Spiritual Awareness 30
NEW YORK EDITION Vol.5 No. 10 June 23-29, 2012 60 Cents Mitra Dutta named Vice Chancellor of Illinois varsity
Aamir Khan invited to parliament to discuss medical issues
Follow us on
TheSouthAsianTimes.info BhupathiBopanna pair for Olympics, Paes gets Vishnu Sports, Page 26
Sangma in ring, but Pranab sure shot for President India, Page 19
At Rio, India blames it on rich but content overall Rio de Janeiro: As the Earth Summit began Wednesday, India had more than one reason to be happy, with its main concerns addressed in the draft of the declaration to be adopted by the 90 global leaders here Thursday, but felt let down by rich nations for lack of commitment in funding green programs. "One significant development has been the restoration of the centrality of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities," said India's Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, who is assisting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, also here, at what is also called the Rio+20 Summit. Her reference was to the demands of poor and developing economies that rich countries, which are seen as having been primarily responsible for the present environmental
Race for Pak PM: PPP drops Shahabuddin, names Pervez Ashraf Islamabad: Tipped earlier as a covering candidate, Raja Pervez Ashraf of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was Thursday named the party's main candidate for the office of prime minister following the issue of a non-bailable
arrest warrant against the previous contender Makhdoom Shahabuddin. Pervez Ashraf was earlier minister of power and water in the Gilani government, Two opposition candidates, Continued on page 4
Raja Pervez Ashraf
IALI holds 33rd gala, honors 7 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with President Obama at the G-20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. degradation, must share a greater burden in restoring the health of our planet. "Equity and its manifestation -- the princi Continued on page 4
New York: The India Association of Long Island (IALI) held its 33rd Annual Gala Dinner at Leonard’s in Great Neck, NY last Sunday attended by prominent Long Islanders, community leaders, businessmen and public officials. Consul General Prabhu Dayal and NY State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli accompanied IALI President Dr.
Sukhvinder Ranu in honoring 7 outstanding individuals: Dr. Ajay Lodha, Dr Jagan Pahuja, Animesh Goenka, George Abraham, Raj Mehta, Sher Singh Madra, and the Jaswinder Johal-Deepak Bhardwaj duo. They were also presented citations from Nassau County Executive Hon. Ed Mangano. (More pictures and detailed story on page 18).
Xavier medical school holds graduation ceremony in New York
The Xavier University School of Medicine, Aruba (XUSOM) has graduated 63 students from the class of 2012, out of which 27 were conferred degrees June 16 at a grand ceremony including hooding and taking of the Hippocratic Oath. The event was graced by dignitaries including NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and top officials of the school. The WHO-recognized medical school in a Caribbean island boasts over 300 students on its rolls, with guaranteed clinical rotations in the US. (Photo: Xitij Joshi). See report and more pictures on page 14-15.
Tristate Community TheSouthAsianTimes.info
NY to have speed-cameras and automatic writing of tickets Albany: Under a proposal gaining ground in Albany, New Yorkers may soon have to contend with cameras that record the speed of a passing car and issue violations automatically. Though similar programs have already been put into effect for redlight and bus-lane violations in the city, the new bill could signal a sweeping shift for drivers. The proposal initially calls for as many as 40 cameras to be mounted high across the city, of which 20 can be rotated, ensuring that drivers are never certain when their speed is being tracked. Only those who exceed the city’s speed limit, typically 30 miles per hour, by more than 10 miles per hour would be given tickets, receiving a $50 fine. For those who exceed the limit by more than 30 m.p.h., the fine doubles to $100. Drivers would not be docked points on their licenses. Transportation advocates, as well as the city’s Transportation Department, have long lobbied for a speedcamera policy, but supporters say the bill has finally cleared a significant hurdle: gaining a Republican sponsor, Andrew J. Lanza of Staten Island, in the State Senate. “We live hurried lives,” Lanza said. “If people know these are out there, they’ll think twice. Nobody wants to pay a fine.” He was confi-
dent that the bill would pass the Senate before the legislative session ends this week; a similar bill in the Assembly, sponsored by Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick, also required passage. Proponents say scores of New Yorkers are killed each year in speeding-related crashes, and the use of cameras has already proved effective in other cities. Since speed cameras were installed in Washington in 2001, the police said traffic fatalities had fallen 56 percent. (In New York City, there were 243 traffic fatalities in 2011, about a 38 percent reduction from 2001, New York Times reported.) But Bhairavi Desai, the executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, said the measure was simply another tactic to raise revenue for the city. In 2011, the city issued more than 820,000 red-light camera violations, the Transportation Department said, down from more than one million in 2010. The city has also issued 86,180 bus-lane camera violations since the program was begun in late 2010. Ms. Desai said many cabdrivers had received bus-lane violations after performing what they thought were legal pickups or drop-offs in bus lanes. “With a camera, who do you argue against?” she said.
June 23-29, 2012
Yale names Anjani Jain to top post Washington: The prestigious Yale School of Management has appointed Indian American professor Anjani Jain as senior associate dean for the full-time MBA program as part of the school's expansion program. Jain, an Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, graduate who has served in multiple leadership roles at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, will join Yale on July 1, Dean Edward A. Snyder announced Monday. The school recently introduced a Master of Advanced Management program and participated in the launch of the Global Network for Advanced Management, a collective effort by 21 international business schools to understand the challenges posed by complex global markets. With the planned move to Edward P. Evans Hall, SOM's new campus, in late 2013, the New Haven, Connecticut based school intends to significantly increase the number of students in its master's degree programs. "Anjani is highly motivated by Yale SOM's mission to educate leaders for business and society, and I am confident he will make important contributions as the school continues to grow in scope and influence," Snyder said. As senior associate dean for the full-time MBA program, Jain will focus on Yale's flagship full-time MBA program, assuming lead responsibility for admissions, career development, and student and academic services, it said. Jain has had a distinguished and impactful career at Wharton over the last 26 years, including ten years as vice dean of its full-time MBA program. For the last
Anjani Jain, an almunus of IIM Ahmedabad, is joining the Yale School of Management as senior associate dean for the full-time MBA program. two years, he has been the vice dean of the MBA program for executives. Jain has taught a range of courses and conducted important research in production and operations management, and he will contribute to the Yale SOM curriculum as a senior lecturer. Jain also has a PhD. from the University of California, Los Angeles, Graduate School of Management.
Dharun Ravi walks free
Dharun Ravi, 20, right, walks out of Middlesex County jail, NJ with his attorney Steven Altman.
Yoga practitioners celebrate the summer solstice during the Mind Over Madness event in New York's Times Square, June 20, 2012. At least 14,000 people attended on the longest day of the year.
New Jersey: Dharun Ravi, the Rutgers University student who was convicted of a bias crime after spying with his web cam on his roommate who later committed suicide, was released from Middlesex County jail Tuesday morning after serving 20 days of his 30 day sentence. Ravi, 20, who eluded a maximum 10-year sentence and reported to jail voluntarily May 31 while his lawyer appealed his sentence, was giv-
en 10 days off his term for good behavior and working while in jail. Ravi - who wore a beard and glasses while exiting prison - still faces three years of probation, as well as orders to pay fines and perform community service for spying on Tyler Clementi who was having a romantic encounter with another man. Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge days after the incident.
June 23-29, 2012
US Commerce Secretary John Bryson resigns Washington: Commerce Secretary John Bryson, already on medical leave, has resigned his post. He had stepped aside for medical reasons earlier after being involved in hit-and-run car crashes in California and suffering a seizure. Bryson wrote in a letter
to President Obama Wednesday. "The seizure I suffered on June 9th could be a distraction from my performance as Secretary and that our country would be better served by a change in leadership of the Department." Obama has accepted his resignation.
Mr. Anil Bansal (third from right), the new Executive Chairman of Indus American Bank , was given a reception at the Hicksville, NY branch on Thursday. Pictured are: Indus officials Gagandeep Kaur, Roopam Maini, Akshat Kaul (branch manager), Jasbir Chopra (President and CEO) with guests Kamlesh Mehta, Darshan Singh Bagga, Ravishankar Bhooplapur, and Bobby Kumar Kalotee. At Rio India blames story Continued from page 1 ple of common but differentiated responsibilities -- are at the heart of international cooperation for sustainable development. We are glad that we have collectively agreed on this key issue," Natarajan told journalists at a briefing session. But India felt saddened by the lack of firm commitment by the rich nations on how to fund schemes, technologies and programs that will result in making planet Earth greener and promote growth and inclusion in a sustainable manner. But that was not expected given the current global economic crisis. "While we remain disappointed with the weak political will in developed countries to provide enhanced means of implementation to developing countries, we are glad we have agreed to set up two important mechanisms -one for technology transfer and another for finance," Natarajan said."Both were Indian proposals and received strong support from G77 countries, including those from Africa, the least developed countries and small island-
Printed Every Saturday by Forsythe Media Group, LLC ISSN 1941-9333 76 N Broadway, Suite 2004, Hicksville, NY 11801 P: 516.390.7847 Website: TheSouthAsianTimes.info Updated Daily Chairman and Co-Founder Kamlesh C. Mehta
Board Advisors (Honorary) Ajay Lodha, MD, Lakhpat B. Mehta, Esq. Rajasthan High Court & Supreme Court
Race for Pak PM story Continued from page 1 Maulana Fazlur Rehman from the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Sardar Mehtab Abbasi from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), also filed nomination papers Thursday. Shahabuddin's name was dropped
after an anti-narcotics court Thursday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against him as well as disqualified prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's son Ali Musa in an illegal drugs quota case, Geo News reported. A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has directed the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) to arrest Shahabuddin. Shahabuddin, in his earlier capacity as health minister, had unauthorisedly approved the manufacturing license for the drug ephedrine to two pharmaceuticals firms -- Berlex Lab International and Danas Pharma -- for Rs.7 billion. The case came to light after the two Multan-based companies failed to export asthma drugs to Afghanistan, after obtaining export quotas from the health ministry. President Asif Ali Zardari had earlier formally named Shahabuddin as the PPP's candidate for the PM post. A special session of the National Assembly has been summoned Friday (June 22) to elect the new prime minister, after Yousuf Raza Gilani was disqualified by the Supreme Court
Strategy & Business Development Namit Narain, C: 516.303.2075 [email protected]
Photo Journalist: Parveen/Bhanu Seth
Managing Editor: Parveen Chopra C : 516.710.0508 [email protected]
Administration and PR (New York) Smita Bhooplapur. P: 516.390.7847 [email protected]
Art and Design: Vladimir Tomovski Bhagwati Creations, Rahul Sahota
Associate Editors Vikas Girdhar, Hiral Dholakia-Dave, Meenakshi Iyer
Marketing & PR (Washington DC) Chander Gambhir, P: 703.717.1667
News Service: HT Media Ltd. IANS Newswire Services
Jaipur (India) Bureau Prakash Bhandari [email protected]
Printing: Five Star Printing, NY Richner Publications
Contributing Editors: Melvin Durai, Dr Prem Kumar Sharma, Harry Aurora, Ashok Vyas, Ashok Ojha, Jinal Shah, Dr Akshat Jain, Nupur Joshi West Coast Correspondent Pooja Jain, [email protected]
Print Distribution in India Maneesh Media Agency, P: 91.141.4188811, [email protected]
New Delhi Bureau Meenakshi Iyer [email protected]
Photographs: Gunjesh Desai/ masalajunction.com. Xitij Joshi/xitijphoto.com
Co-Founder: Saroosh Gull President: Arjit Mehta
states. We are now keen to collectively ensure these mechanisms are operationalized and delivered effectively for developing countries." At the Summit, India also sought to point out the dichotomy between the environmental concerns of the rich countries and those of the poor and developing economies, particularly since the latter were being asked to reverse the consequences of what had been done earlier by the developed world. But that does not mean India was seeking to shirk its role. "India has already taken several steps to promote green growth in the context of sustainable development, including plans for emissions intensity reduction by 20-25 percent by 2020 over 2005," Natarajan said.
Chief Cartoonist: Mahendra P. Shah
Web Editor: B.B.Chopra
Contacts [email protected] [email protected]
Advertisements [email protected]
P : 516.390.7847 F : 516.465.1343
Notice: The South Asian Times is published weekly by The Forsythe Media Group, LLC. POSTMASTER: Send all address notices, subscription orders/payments and other inquiries to The South Asian Times, 76 N Broadway, Suite 2004, Hicksville, NY 11801, USA. Copyright and all other rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be reprinted without the consent of the publisher. The views expressed on the opinion pages and in the letters to the editor pages are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect those of The South Asian Times. The editor/publisher does not warrant accuracy and cannot be held responsible for the content of the advertisements placed in the publication and/or inaccurate claims, if any, made by the advertisers. Advertisements of business or facilities included in this publication do not imply connection or endorsement of these businesses. All rights reserved.
Tristate Community TheSouthAsianTimes.info
June 23-29, 2012
Jindal calls Obama ‘most liberal, most incompetent’ Washington, DC: Louisiana’s Indian American governor Bobby Jindal, frequently mentioned as a potential vice presidential candidate, has called President Barack Obama “the most liberal, most incompetent president in the White House since Jimmy Carter,” “The Obama administration is at the nexus of liberalism and incompetence and together that’s a deadly combination,” said Republican Jindal in a scathing critique of Obama at the Chicago Conservative Political Action Conference. Jindal, who has not yet campaigned with likely Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, said the private sector is like a foreign country to Obama and his administration was “lurching” America toward Europeanstyle socialism. “I suspect that many in the Obama administration really don’t believe in private enterprise. At best they see business as something to be endured so that that it can provide tax money for government programs,” said Jindal. Responding to Obama’s state-
Gov Bobby Jindal ment that the private sector was doing fine, he added: “Mr. President, I’ve got a message for you: The private sector is not doing well when 23 million Americans are unemployed and underemployed in this great country.” “This president, the private sector is so foreign to him he might need a passport to actually go visit and he might need a translator to help him talk to folks in the private sector.” Jindal gave a standard expression of disinterest when asked about his name coming up as a possible vice presidential candidate. “I’ve got the job that I want,” he told reporters after his speech.
Indian-American businessman arrested for bribery, tax fraud New York: An Indian-American businessman, who was a former fund-raiser and key figure in the senate seat scandal of now jailed Chicago governor Rod Blagojevich, was arrested on Wednesday on charges he paid bribes to physicians for patient referrals and filed false income tax returns. Raghuveer Nayak, 57, was charged in a 19-count indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury last week and unsealed following his arrest, US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Patrick Fitzgerald said. Nayak, a fundraiser for Blagojevich and Representative Jesse Jackson Jr, owned multiple area outpatient surgery centres in and around Chicago. He is scheduled to appear before Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez in US District Court. During a 2008 meeting in a Chicago restaurant, Nayak allegedly promised to raise a million dollars for Blagojevich if Jesse Jackson Jr was appointed to the US Senate to replace President Barack Obama. Blagojevich was convicted of try-
Raghuveer Nayak ing to sell President Barack Obama's vacant senate seat. Nayak had also told the FBI that Jackson made a "pay-to-play" offer to get Blagojevich to appoint Jackson to fill the senate seat left vacant by Obama's election as US President. Nayak was charged with 10 counts of mail fraud, five counts of interstate travel in aid of racketeering, and four counts of filing false income tax returns for the years 2005-2008. The indictment seeks forfeiture of at least $ 1.8 million in alleged fraud
proceeds, or substitute assets, including Nayak's Oak Brook, Illinois residence and two surgery centres. In addition to those two facilities, Nayak owned and controlled health care-related businesses in Illinois and Indiana, according to the indictment. Each count of mail fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $ 250,000 as well as mandatory restitution, while each count of filing a false income tax return carries a three-year maximum prison term and a $ 250,000 fine.
3rd Chaalo Gujarat mega-event this Labor Day weekend Edison: The third Chaalo Gujarat – World Gujarati Conference will be held after a gap of nearly four years by the Association of Indian Americans in North America (AIANA) during the Labor Day weekend of August 31 to September 2 at the Raritan Expo Center. The theme this year will be “Gujarat, Gujarati Gujaratism.” The idea is to showcase Gujarat’s glorious past, the enterprising present and the bright future. “The event will be quiet different as compared to the earlier two ventures,” said Sunil Nayak, AIANA president. One of the highlights of the event will be a three-dimensional film on Gujarat in Gujarati and will be screened for the first time on a giant screen. Besides that a multimedia show, seminars on different subjects, a pageant for Gujarati girls, the usual Gujarati dayro and musical entertainment. The key to the success of the event
is to popularize the best 2-letter Gujarati word “Kem Cho” as universal greeting all over the world. “We plan to unite those Gujaratis born in Gujarat and flourished all over the world. And the best example of this was none else but Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and Narendra Modi. They were from Gujarat and were followed by the world including TIME magazine,” Nayak said. The organizers have ventured to get innovative with their event ideas this time. They plan to include 15 auto rickshaws from the roads of Ahmedabad and 15 world famous chakdas from Saurashtra which are being shipped to the Raritan Center. These rickshaws and chakdas will ferry people from the parking lot to the main concourse and during its short journey it will halt at places for the vendors to sell the famous peanuts as seen on roads of Gujarat. One of the highlights of the
event is life-size statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel specially designed by a Chinese company on the lines of Madam Tassaud museum. Besides that a 30-feet tall wooden charkha—popularized by Mahatma Gandhi will also be run all throughout the 3day event. To cater to the entertainment of the crowd plans are afoot to have kiosk of famous Gujarati songs and a karaoke lounge. Some of topics for the seminars also include the good and bad impact of internet, the glorious past and bleak future of Gujarati films, increasing price of properties in Gujarat and if that could enable to fulfill the dream of having a another home in Gujarat, the role of Gujarat in Global warming and if it is a global warning. Unlike previous events, this year the organizers plan to charge $15/Day per person including food for the event.
Minister of External Affairs, S. M. Krishna met with Indian National Overseas Congress (I) (INOC), USA Senior Leaders in Washington DC during his recent visit. George Abraham, President of INOC, USA was accompanied by Senior Executive members, Treasurer Kanwal Sra, Kerala Chapter Chief Kalathil Varghese, Former Vice President and current Executive Committee member, Mohinder Singh, and Lavika Bhagat Singh, President of the Washington Chapter.
SUNY Old Westbury to host school principals from India New York: The State University of New York College at Old Westbury will be hosting an international conference of delegates of principals from India, mainly from Delhi. The purpose of the conference is to educate Indian principals and
school officials about good teaching principles and practices of the New York educational system. They will be coming to SUNY Old Westbury and meeting with local high school principals, superintendents, administrators and the College's faculty.
June 23-29, 2012
‘First Sight’ screened in NY
IALI to host ‘IndiaFest 2012’ on August 12 ndia Association of Long Island (IALI) has organized the 21st Annual “INDIAFEST 2012’ annual event which will be held on Sunday August 12th 2012, at Hyatt Regency Hotel, Hauppauge, NY. IndiaFest 2012 is a way for us to celebrate the rich ethnic and cultural diversity of India with the long Island, New York community. IndiaFest has become one of most anticipated and biggest premier events to occur in long Island,NY with over 10,000 people in attendance. The event is
free for all with no parking fee. The festival will showcase and highlight in many ways - Indian culture, Art and Crafts, varieties of delicious Indian cuisine, Fashion Shows, Indian Bazaar, designer clothing and jewelry, Music, Indian Folk and classical dances, Bollywood entertainment, mingle with social and political dignitaries, Youth and Kids activities and even in the area of spirituality and yoga.In addition, the event will have lots of free gifts, raffles and big prizes. For further info visit www.IALINY.org
Sunanda Mane nominated as Ashoka Globalizer Fellow unanda Mane (Ashoka Fellow 2011), co-founder and President, Lend-A-Hand India, an NGO, has been conferred with the reputed Ashoka Globalizer Fellowship 2012. She will be presenting the program model of Lend-A-Hand India at the Globalizer Summit 2012 in Geneva later this month. The Ashoka Globalizer is a highly selective fellowship program which aims to broaden the scale of innovative social initiatives, which have
succeeded at a local/regional level by providing financial and strategic support to take them to the global scale. The Geneva Summit will see her present the model of Lend-A-Hand India and exchange ideas in the field of rural development with social entrepreneurs from Sub-Saharan Africa and India. The fellowship stands testimony to the instrumental role Lend-A-Hand India has played in reducing the disconnect in educational curricula and employment opportunities.
NGO Akanksha opens four new schools in Mumbai in June he Akanksha Foundation, an education non-profit organization credited with creating the charter school system in India through public-private partnerships, announces the opening of four news schools in Mumbai by mid-June: Laxmi Nagar, Bandra; Mahalaxmi MPS, Mahalaxmi; Wadibunder, Mazgaon; and Nutwar Nagar, Jogeshwari. Each new location will house one lower kindergarten classroom, which will educate 30 students and employ two teachers, for a total of 120 new students and eight new teachers. “As part of our commitment at the Clin-
ton Global Initiative (CGI) last year, The Akanksha Foundation pledged that it would open six new schools by 2015, for a total of 15 fully-operating schools,” says Vandana Goyal, the organization’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are well ahead of our goal, and we are looking forward to reporting our progress at CGI this September.” Last year, The Akanksha Foundation was recognized as ‘NGO of the Year’ for The India NGO Awards, co sponsored by The Resource Alliance and The Rockefeller Foundation.
V journalist and documentary filmmaker Joya Dass tackles the topic of curable blindness in children in the developing world, in a 50-minute documentary 'First Sight.' A screening was held at the Disney Screening Room Tuesday, June 19th. “First Sight” features new music from award-winning artists Sivamani and Falu. Screening was made possible by a donation from Meera Gandhi and the Giving Back Foundation and is featured as part of S.H.E. Summit Week, about women effecting change in the world. Living in rural India and beset by poverty, poor hygiene, and lack of medical care, Ranjith, Balaji, and Anitha all suffer from devastating eye conditions that diminish their quality of life and threaten their futures. First Sight follows the emotional journeys of these young patients as they prepare for and undergo life-changing procedures to reverse their debilitating handicap. India is home to a fifth of the world’s blind children, many of whom suffer from easily reversible conditions, such as cataracts. However,
generations of intermarriage, poor hygiene, malnutrition, child labor, a lack of education have left these children with no avenue for seeking treatment. Recognizing the plight of this highly vulnerable demographic, one doctor formed the Sankara Eye Institutions, India. When the right resources and the right intentions connect, common conditions such as cataracts are easily solved. Since the 1970s, Sankara doctors have performed over a half million free eye surgeries. Their monumental goal is to treat a million people a year and eradicate curable blindness in the country by the year 2020. “First Sight” follows Ranjith (age 15), Balaji (age 14) and Anitha (age 5) as they undergo life-changing eye surgeries at a foundation hospital in Tamil Nadu. The film not only aims to raise awareness for eye disease in the developing world, but also seeks to illuminate the remarkable journeys of three of its youngest victims. Their stories represent both the immense hardships and the growing hope in overcoming it.
Husband, accomplice indicted in wife’s murder New York man and his female acquaintance were indicted June 14 in the fatal shooting of the man's wife in front of their 3-year-old son at a family celebration in Boonton, N.J.Kashif Parvaiz, 26, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Antionette Stephen, 27, of Billerica, Mass., were indicted on charges of first-degree murder, first-degree conspiracy to commit murder, multiple weapons offenses, endangering the welfare of a child and child abuse charges. Both are being held at the Morris County Jail. According to news reports, the two are accused of killing Parvaiz's wife, Nazish Noorani, 27, on Aug. 16, 2011 while the couple was in Boonton visiting Noorani's family during Ramadan celebrations. Noorani died of multiple gun- shots to the chest. Parvaiz, who was shot
four times, had originally told authorities he and his wife were victims of a hate crime. He claimed they were approached by several men who yelled racial slurs before shooting them while they pushed their son in a stroller, nj.com reported.Through phone records, authorities discovered Parvaiz allegedly plotted the killing and had Stephen carry out the shooting, the Morris County Prosecutor's Office said. "This case was extensively investigated with witnesses interviewed and significant evidence gathered in numerous states," Morris County Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi said in a statement. "We now look for- ward to presenting our proofs in court and again extend our sympathies to Nazish Noorani's family for such a tragic and senseless loss."
OFBJP-USA hosts a meet with Ravishankar Prasad in NY New York, : Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) – USA held a round table luncheon meeting with BJP Chief Spokesperson and General Secretary, Ravishankar Prasad at Bombay Palace restaurant in Manhattan, NY on June 13, 2012. A strong OFBJP delegation consisting of its key leaders from tri-state area, headed by the president, Jayesh Patel accorded welcome to Ravishankar Prasad and apprised him of the major activities of the organization. Ravishankar Prasad elucidated the current politico-economic situation in India and blamed the UPA government headed by Dr.
BJP Spokesperson and General Secretary Ravishankar Prasad
Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Mrs. Sonia Maino Gandhi for this pathetic situation. He elaborated that the prime minister has power with no authority and Mrs. Sonia has authority but no accountability. He said, that under the watch of these two people, one corruption scandal after another have been tumbling down from the cupboards of the Congress led government. He also said, that Dr. Manmohan Singh, who is touted as the renowned economist is prevailing over the historic price raise; dwindling economy; high inflation; heavy taxation; low investments; and stashing away of black money
in foreign countries. Prasad highlighted the significant achievements made by the nine BJP or NDA ruled states in India in contrast to the states that are ruled by Congress or UPA. All nine BJP or NDA administered states have achieved double digit growth rate, he said. He gave an example of Narendra Modi Government in Gujarat making that state a favored destination of auto industry in Asia which is in direct competition with China. He revealed growth statistics and innovative programs pertained to other BJP/NDA rule states such as Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and more.
National Community TheSouthAsianTimes.info
June 23-29, 2012
Kamala Harris announces passage of Human Trafficking Legislation Sacramento: Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has announced the passage out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee of a bill to ensure that those convicted of human trafficking crimes involving minors will not be able to keep the financial benefits reaped from those crimes. “Human trafficking crimes involving minors are reprehensible and convicted perpetrators should not be able to keep the financial rewards from trafficking,” said Attorney General Harris. “This bill will aid groups who are dedicated to helping victims.” Senate Bill 1133, authored by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), will force perpetrators of human trafficking crimes to forfeit any profits made from committing those crimes. The bill expands on the current list of assets that are currently subject to forfeiture. These resources will be used to aid the victims of human trafficking by providing resources for treatment and services. SB 1133 passed unanimously and will be heard next in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. “Sex trafficking of minors is a horrendous crime that is driven by the prospect of lucrative profits,” said Senator Leno. “This legislation aims to deprive convicted criminals of the financial resources and assets that would allow them to continue luring young people into the sex trade. In turn, proceeds from those forfeitures would rightfully be used to help victims begin to repair their lives.” “We have girls who come in literally wearing just the clothes on their back and the shoes on their feet,” said Alexandra Snyder, Policy Director of Courage House, who spoke in support of the legislation. Attorney General Harris is also sponsoring Assembly Bill 2466 (Preservation of Assets
California Attorney General Kamala Harris for Victims of Human Trafficking), by Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley), which will require that more victims of human trafficking receive restitution. AB 2466 will be heard in the Senate Public Safety on June 26. Attorney General Harris has made the fight against human trafficking a priority throughout her career. This week she announced an innovative program with Yahoo! and Polaris Project to combat human trafficking, which, in the past five years, has largely migrated to the Internet. Through this joint effort, if key search words like “human trafficking” are entered into Yahoo! Search, Internet users will see a banner that states: “Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888373-7888 to report sex trafficking, forced labor, or to get help.”
Indian-American engineer-physicist named US varsity VC Washington, DC: Mitra Dutta, a distinguished Indian-American engineerphysicist, who has studied at Guwahati and Delhi universities, has been named vice chancellor for research at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dutta, a former senior executive with the US Army Research Office, has served as interim vice chancellor at one of America's leading research universities since January, overseeing a research enterprise with annual expenditures of more than $340 million. Announcing her appointment, Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares said: "Dr. Dutta's outstanding performance as interim vice chancellor and her distinguished record as a researcher, administrator and teacher make her the ideal choice to take on this vital role." In accepting the position, Dutta said, "It's a privilege
Mitra Dutta, engineer-physicist. to serve in this position and past recipient of the Society work with so many excel- of Women Engineers' lent researchers across our Achievement Award, the campus. We want to pro- organization's highest vide the best environment honor. possible for our faculty to Since joining Illinois carry on their important University, she has been work." principal or co-principal Dutta joined Illinois investigator on about 20 University in 2001 to head grants totaling more than the newly formed depart- $7.5 million. ment of electrical and comDutta received a BSc puter engineering. from Gauhati University, an A longtime senior MSc in physics from the researcher and director with University of Delhi, and a the Army laboratories who master's and doctorate in supervised $310 million in physics from the University grants to universities, she is of Cincinnati.
US asks India to make strong anti-trafficking law Washington, DC: A US report accusing India of being a source, destination, and transit country for forced labor and sex trafficking, has asked New Delhi to develop a comprehensive anti-trafficking law. The annual Trafficking in Persons Report released by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Tuesday places India for the second year among Tier 2 countries whose governments do not fully comply with minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance. The forced labor of millions of India's citizens constitutes India's largest trafficking problem, the report said noting men, women, and children in debt bondage are forced to work in industries such as brick kilns, rice mills, agriculture, and embroi-
dery factories. A common characteristic of bonded labor is the use of physical and sexual violence as coercive tools, it said. Ninety percent of trafficking in India is internal, and those from India's most disadvantaged social strata, including the lowest castes, are most vulnerable, the report said. Some Indians who migrate willingly every year for work as domestic servants and low-skilled laborers find themselves in forced labor in the Middle East and, to a lesser extent, Southeast Asia, the United States, Europe, Southern Africa, the Caribbean, and other countries, it said. The report noted that In March 2012, a US court entered a default judgment of $1.5 million in favor of an Indian domestic worker who sued a former Indian consular offi-
cer who had employed her while assigned to duty in the United States No appeal was filed in the case, the report said. The domestic worker had accused the Indian diplomat of forcing her to work without adequate compensation for three years and subjecting her to physical and mental abuse. Noting that the India was making significant efforts to fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, the report recommended that India develop a comprehensive anti-trafficking law or amend anti-trafficking legislation to be in line with the 2000 UN TIP Protocol. It also asked India to increase prosecutions and convictions on all forms of trafficking, including bonded labor and encourage states to establish special anti-trafficking courts.
June 23-29, 2012
Indian-American businessman joins Georgia Senate race
Bikram Kumar Mohanty Bhubaneswar: Indian-American entrepreneur Bikram Kumar Mohanty has been chosen as the candidate of President Barak Obama's Democratic Party for Georgia state's Senate elections slated later this year. Migrating to the US in 1994 from Chandbali in Odisha's Bhadrak district, around 110 km from here, Mohanty, 45, is the founder and chief executive officer of Innovative Rehab Solutions - a health care company based in Gerogia's Valdosta city. "As a student, I got the opportu-
nity to serve in the Missionaries of Charity as a clinical intern. I truly believe my skills and commitment would help create jobs in south Georgia," said Mohanty. The Indian-American entrepreneur said he was appointed to the 'White House Conference on Aging' as an alternate delegate from Georgia in 2005. He has also served in Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce from 2002-2003 and as the licensure liaison to the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapist. Mohanty set up the Mother Teresa Foundation, a non-profit organization, to raise awareness about health care and disease prevention issues among low-income and homeless Americans. The elections to the Georgia state Senate will be held July 31 and November 6, he said. "Mohanty is the first person from Odhisha to run for a state senate in the US and we are proud of him," said Dhirendra Kar, former president of the Orissa Society of the Americas.
NFIA holds ‘Empowering Women’ seminar
Empowering Women seminar panel and special guests. Washington, DC: For the second year, the National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA) organized an ‘Empowering Women’ seminar on June 8 following NFIA’s Congressional luncheon and White House briefing under the leadership of Lal Motwani. The seminar was attended by 150 people where distinguished speakers spoke highlighting the contributions of women from all walks of life who have been making an impact in many economies. The speakers also addressed women’s struggles because of prevalence of poverty and other social ills that ail many societies all over the world. A documentary Tinka Tinka,
Sikh body gives scholarships to Punjab students Washington, DC: Washington-based Sikh Human Development Foundation (SHDF) has given scholarships totaling about $210,000 to 504 needy students pursuing higher education in 159 institutions in Punjab and other northern Indian states for the 2011-12 academic year. "This number is up from 412 of the last year," said Gajinder Singh Ahuja, secretary general of SHDF. "Fifteen scholarship recipients belonged to farmers' families where the farmer had committed suicide to escape the excruciating debt burden." There is increased emphasis on female education in our program, he said, noting 69 percent of the scholarships went to female students and 31 percent to male students. 52 percent scholarship recipients were from rural areas and 48 percent from urban areas. SHDF has granted 2,373 scholarships since the program was initiated in 2001 and 774 students have
already graduated and have become professionals, according to SHDF chairman Amar Jit Singh Sodhi. "It is heartwarming that some of the scholarship recipients have landed in multinational companies or found top career jobs throughout India and overseas," he said.Rajwant Singh, SHDF's outreach director, said: "In rupee terms, this year we have distributed more than Rs.1 crore (close to $210,000) as pure scholarship money." "This is perhaps the largest single grant money given by the diaspora community to needy but bright students surviving in extreme poverty and yet who dream of standing on their own feet," he added. SHDF is largely supported by donors from Washington metro area and by many successful entrepreneurs throughout the US. It partners with Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council for implementing this program in India. Students can apply through its website: www.shdf.org.
Indian American raises $95,000 to support social issues New York: Ravi Baichwal, an anchorman at ABC7 and James Whelan, Professor at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University organized a special fundraising program recently to support the social programs conducted by Chinmaya Organization for Rural Development (CORD) in India. CORD has been focusing its services on specific areas such as health, education, social justice, environmental issues for the last 30 years. They also extend helping hand to the disabled and poor people. The second-generation along with the community-minded Indian
Ravi Baichwal American young professionals lead the program and were successful in
raising an amount of $95,000.Many among these youngsters have visited India to bring in some social change in the country and to support community awareness. Nearly 500 people attended the event and there were high-powered fusion Indian performances and comedic acts to enlighten the program. The target amount kept for the fundraising program was $100,000 and through the sales of paintings and hand-made goods made by the villagers, $95,000 was raised. Numerous individuals and business entities also contributed to the event.
about the dream of a Dalit girl of getting education in India, was also shown. The symposium, put together by Angela Anand, was held at Diya Restaurant in Vienna, VA. It was addressed by Ambassador Islam Siddiqui, the Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Obama Administration, and US Trade Representative. He said women are making significant contributions and can also benefit economically because the Administration has placed a high importance on bilateral trade. Dr. Kalpana Kochhar, Chief Economist (South Asia) at the World Bank, pointed out that “South Asia
has the highest gender inequality in the world.” In response, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (South and Central Asia), Dr. Alyssa Ayres, said the Obama Administration is focusing on helping women’s development globally and that the President has appointed an ambassador, Ms. Meulanne Verveer, to spearhead the initiatives for helping women overcome societal and economic barriers. Ajita Talwalkar, Special Assistant to Under Secretary of the Department of Education and focused on student loan financing, said,” Education is important for Indian families and education helps individuals to get out of economic disadvantage.”
Police probing murder-suicide by ex-Indian army major Washington, DC: US police are trying to determine why a former Indian army officer wanted in India for the 1996 murder of Kashmiri human rights activist Jalil Andrabi opened fire on his family before killing himself. According to authorities, Major (Retd) Avtar Singh shot his wife and two children and gravely wounded a third child early Saturday at his Selma, California home before turning the gun on himself. Singh was arrested in February 2011 by Selma police after his wife accused him of trying to choke her. That is when police discovered that he was wanted in India on the charge of murdering Andrabi, local newspaper Fresno Bee reported. The daily cited Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims as saying that Indian officials chose at that time not to extradite him, and police had no cause to hold him for anything other than the domestic violence incident. Singh apparently shot and killed his wife and two other sons, ages 15 and three, before killing himself. He called Selma police at 6.15 a.m. Saturday to report that he had killed his family and was going to kill himself, police said. The lone survivor, identified by family friends as 17-year-old Chris Singh, remained in critical condition in a Fresno hospital Sunday evening after he underwent surgery for head trauma.The Fresno County Coroner's Office has not yet officially released the names of Singh's wife or the two
Major (Retd) Avtar Singh sons who were killed. Singh owned and operated Jay Truck Lines in Selma. It is unclear when he settled in the Selma area, but a search of public records databases reveals prior addresses in Fowler, Fresno and Kerman dating to 1996, the Bee said. He also may have lived in Iowa for a time in 2006-07. The murder-suicide has left the tight-knit Indian community in the small agricultural town of Selma shocked. "Our community is completely shocked," Rajbir Singh Pannu, president of the town's Sikh temple, said Sunday. "It's a really bad misfortune, especially for the children who died. Anybody who takes somebody's life, in our religion that's cowardice." The Indian community numbers about 15,500 in Fresno County. That includes 750 in Selma, surrounded by vineyards and peach orchards. The majority of Indians in the area are Punjabi Sikhs, like the family.
National Community TheSouthAsianTimes.info
June 23-29, 2012
Indian Americans top in income and education Washington, DC: Indian Americans are the highest-income and best-educated people in the United States and the third largest among Asian Americans who have surpassed Latinos as the fastestgrowing racial group, according to a new survey. Asians as a whole too are better educated and earn more than the general US population, according to the Pew Research Centre report on "The rose of Asian Americans" released Tuesday. Indians, who now number 3.18 millions, the third largest after the Chinese (4 million) and the Filipinos (3.4 million) have a median household annual income of $88,000, much higher than for all Asians ($66,000) and all US households ($49,800). Median annual personal earnings for Indian-American full-time, yearround workers are $65,000, significantly higher than for all Asian Americans ($48,000) as well as for all US adults ($40,000). Seven-in-ten (70 percent) Indian Americans ages 25 and older, have obtained at least a bachelor's degree; this is higher than the AsianAmerican share (49 percent) and much higher than the national share
78 percent of Indian Americans say being a good parent is one of the most important things to them personally. (28 percent), the survey found. More than half of Indian Americans (57 percent) own a home, compared with 58 percent of Asian Americans overall and 65 percent of the US population overall. The share of adult Indian Americans who live in poverty is 9 percent, lower than the rate for all Asian Americans (12 percent) as well as the national rate (13 percent).Indian Americans stand out from most other US Asian groups in the personal importance they place
on parenting; 78 percent of Indian Americans say being a good parent is one of the most important things to them personally. Indian Americans are among the most likely to say that the strength of family ties is better in their country of origin (69 percent) than in the US (8 percent). Compared with other US Asian groups, Indian Americans are the most likely to identify with the Democratic Party; 65 percent are Democrats or lean to the Democrats, 18 percent are Republican or lean to the Republicans, the Pew Survey found. And 65 percent of Indian Americans approve of President Barack Obama's job performance, while 22 percent disapprove. Key Findings: Indian Americans are more evenly spread out than other Asian Americans. About 24 percent of adult Indian Americans live in the West, compared with 47 percent of Asian Americans and 23 percent of the US population overall. More than three-in-ten (31 percent) Indian Americans live in the Northeast, 29 percent live in the South, and the rest (17 percent) live in the Midwest.
Nearly nine-in-ten (87 percent) adult Indian Americans in the United States are foreign born, compared with about 74 percent of adult Asian Americans and 16 percent of the adult US population overall. More than half of IndianAmerican adults are US citizens (56 percent), lower than the share among overall adult Asian population (70 percent) as well as the national share (91 percent). More than three-quarters of Indian Americans (76 percent) speak English proficiently, compared with 63 percent of all Asian Americans and 90 percent of the US population overall. The median age of adult Indian Americans is 37, lower than for adult Asian Americans (41) and the national median (45). More than seven-in-ten (71 percent) adult Indian Americans are married, a share significantly higher than for all Asian Americans (59 percent) and for the nation (51 percent). The share of unmarried mothers was much lower among Indian Americans (2.3 percent) than among all Asian Americans (15 percent) and the population overall (37 percent).
Ashwin Sah bags second place in Mathcounts Nationals toller Middle School student Ashwin Sah placed second in the 2012 Raytheon Mathcounts National Competition last month.Sah, a seventh-grader at the Beaverton school, won the individual title along with $6000. The Indian American was among the top 12 mathletes vying for the title but fell just short during the one-on-one countdown round. An eighth-grader from Indiana won the competition, which took place in Florida. To win, students had to correctly answer story problems, geometry and other advanced math questions during timed events.About 224 middle school students from across the nation and U.S. territories competed.Sah was among four Oregon students who advanced from the state to the national competitions. The others were all from Meadow Park Middle School: Andrew Bai, Akshay Pulavarty, and Raghav Prakash.Also in the national competition, the Mathcounts team from Massachusetts captured the title of national team champion, of which Niket Gowravaram was a member.
June 23-29, 2012
Independence Day – July 4 or 2 for Indian Americans By Inder Singh he Fourth of July is American Independence Day. It commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain. It has been a federal holiday since 1941. Independence Day is celebrated with festivities ranging from patriotic displays, fireworks, parades, concerts, political speeches Inder Singh and ceremonies, in addition to casual family gatherings and barbecues. Indians started coming to the United States in the beginning of the twentieth century. They soon found out that the phrase “All men are created equal” in the Declaration of Independence, applied only to the white people and “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” in the Declaration, was also not meant for Indian nationals. They, in fact, faced prejudice, hostility and blatant discrimination
Perspective from the American people. The majority of the arrivals from India were Sikhs who preserved their religious beliefs and practices by keeping a beard, long hair on their head and wearing a turban. They were easily distinguishable from the rest of the immigrants. But, unfortunately, they were called “Rag heads”, a derogatory term used for the Indians at that time. Also, all Indians were commonly called “Hindoos” (“Hindus”) irrespective of their faith. The very presence of Hindus in America provoked hostility from the Asiatic Exclusion League which carried propaganda against the “Hindu invasion of America” and persuaded the media to write against “The Tide of Turbans.” The employers preferred the Indians to the whites but the unions despised them. As the number of Indian workers increased within a span of few years, they started encountering rampant prejudice and widespread hostility. In 1907, Indians became the victims of racial riots in Bellingham, a milling town in the state of
On the extreme right with President Truman signing the Luce-Cellar bill, are J J Singh and Dr Anup Singh. Washington. The chief objective of the attack was to “scare them so badly that they will not crowd white labor out of the mills.” The nightmarish incident forced about 300 Indians, employed in various mills, to leave the town in fear. The Asiatic Exclusion League and other similar groups became emboldened and wanted to prevent further immigration from India and force those already in the country to go back. Anti-Indian immigration groups also succeeded in getting the Alien Land Law passed in 1913, a
new law that prevented “aliens ineligible for citizenship" to own property in California. The U.S. citizenship conferred many rights and privileges but only white immigrants were eligible to apply. Indian nationals without citizenship, continued to suffer humiliation and hardships. The US Congress could pass a law to grant US citizenship to 2,000 or possibly 2,500 Indians in America. But majority of the Indians were very skeptical if Congress would pass such a law. “It was not that they did not want citizenship rights, but they had suffered so many hardships and been knocked about so much that it was very difficult for them to believe that there was a chance of their winning.” (Saund: Congressman from India) J. J. Singh of India League of America, Mubarak Ali Khan of the Indian Welfare League, Anup Singh, Haridas Muzumdar, Taraknath Das, and from California, Dalip Singh Saund of the India Association of America, led the lobbying effort for citizenship rights. They were able to successfully convince Connecticut Republican Congresswoman, Clare Booth Luce, and New York Democrat Congressman, Emanuel Cellar, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, to jointly introduce a bill in Congress for the grant of US citizenship to Indian immigrants. However, selling this concept to the majority of the members in the US Congress was an uphill task, more so as the passage of the bill could open the door for other Asians who were similarly deprived of citizenship rights. For four years, the bill languished in the Congressional Committees and Indians continued running into obstacles in finding a powerful ally to push it through Congress. Although, President Roosevelt wrote letters to Congressmen and Senators but some die-hard members of Congress and the American Federation of Labor would not relent in their opposition. Fortunately, in 1946, President Truman took special interest in the passage of the LuceCellar Bill which was subsequently passed by the US Congress. President Truman signed the bill on July 2, 1946, in the presence of several people including Sardar J.J. Singh of New York, President of the India League and Dr. Anoop Singh of Washington DC. On July 2, Luce-Cellar Bill became law as the Immigration Act of 1946, conferring rights of citizenship on the natives of India. This day, in essence, should be considered as the Independence Day for Indian Americans. The US proclaims “liberty and justice for all.” For the first time, Indians felt that this phrase applied to them also. Indian Americans should celebrate America’s independence enthusiastically on July 4. At the same time, Indian civic organizations should organize annual celebration of July 2 as the day when Indians achieved parity, equality and dignity in America. The grant of citizenship rights opened new opportunities for Indian nationals. They could lease or own land, which previously they could not under the Asiatic Exclusionary laws or take part in an election or even run for a public office. They could go back for a visit to India or bring their spouse and minor children to the US. There was no longer a bar on love relationship; an Indian could marry an American citizen. (Inder Singh is chairman of Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO International), former president of NFIA and founder president of FIA of Southern California.)
June 23-29, 2012
Rajat Gupta's fall 'from lofty board room to lowly jail cell' New York: The conviction last Friday of the one-time poster boy of Indian business in America, Rajat Gupta, on charges of securities fraud marks yet another phase in his roller coaster ride from an orphan to lofty board room to convicted felon. A jury at federal court in Manhattan convicted the former Goldman Sachs' India-born director of three counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy. He was acquitted on the remaining two counts of securities fraud. Each of the three securities fraud charges he was convicted of carry maximum sentences of 20 years each. He was also found guilty of one count of conspiracy, which carries a five-year maximum. The jury reached its verdict on the second day deliberations concluding a four-week trial that started on May 21. Gupta, 63, did not testify in his own defense. It was the highest-profile conviction yet in a wave of federal cases focused on Wall Street misconduct. Adult daughters of Harvard educated Gupta hugged and wept as the verdict was read. He showed no visible reaction. Ironically, Gupta's fall from grace was brought about by another Indian American, Preet Bharara, nicknamed the "Sheriff of Wall Street", for leading a wave of insider trading probes over the last two-and-a-half years. "Having fallen from respected insider to convicted inside trader, Gupta has now exchanged the lofty board room for the prospect of a lowly jail cell," as Bharara succinctly summed it up after a federal court jury convicted Gupta on three counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy. Born in Maniktala, Kolkata, in 1948 to a freedom fighter journalist Ashwini Kumar Gupta, Rajat became an orphan at the age of 18 as his parents died one after the other within two years. His upward journey began after he received a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Delhi in 1971 and chose to go to Harvard Business School, where he was named a Baker Scholar. Gupta joined McKinsey & Company in 1973 as one of the earliest Indian-Americans at the consultancy. Starting his career in New
York, he moved to Scandinavia to become the head of McKinsey offices there in 1981. Elected senior partner in 1984, he became head of the Chicago office in 1990. In 1994, he was elected the firm's first managing director born outside of the US, and re-elected twice in 1997 and 2000. In this capacity, Gupta was recognized as the first Indian-born CEO of a global corporation. After retiring from active practice, while maintaining an affiliation at McKinsey, Gupta served as corporate chairman, board director or strategic advisor to a variety of large and notable organizations. These included Goldman Sachs, Procter & Gamble and American Airlines, and non-profits including The Gates Foundation, The Global Fund and the International Chamber of Commerce. Rajat Gupta is additionally the cofounder of four different organizations -- the Indian School of Business, the American India Foundation, New Silk Route and Scandent with various partners. The conviction of Gupta on charges of securities fraud has shocked India's business elite, who are still struggling to come to terms with the downfall of one of their most celebrated members. In India, while many expressed feelings of sadness and shame, others admitted that the trial had damaged the international image of Indian commerce. "The devastating part of this is that Rajat was a hero and a role model to many of us, in terms of his success and his conduct," says Jayant Sinha, managing director of Omidyar Network India Advisors, an investment group, and a former colleague of Gupta at McKinsey. "So to see this happen, it is just really heartbreaking." During the trial many leading industrialists backed a public campaign supporting Gupta and casting doubt on the evidence against him, including Mukesh Ambani, the billionaire head of Reliance Industries, and Adi Godrej, chairman of the Godrej Group. Ambani also published an open letter, in which he expressed admiration for Gupta's philanthropic endeavors, which included a prominent role in setting up the Indian School of Business, an elite west-
ern-style management school founded in Hyderabad in 1999. "I respect Rajat for his selfless dedication and humility and he will always be a friend of mine," he wrote. But while the tone of much of the reaction to the verdict has been marked by quiet regret, others have been more critical, both of Gupta's conduct and more broadly of the manner in which India's business elite rallied to his defense. Gurcharan Das, an author of books on the Indian economy and former chief executive of the Indian operations of Procter & Gamble, said the saga suggested that Gupta, while associating with billionaires, aspired to become one of them. Eminent New York lawyer Ravi Batra said, “The Jury has spoken fast and with two "not guilty" verdicts, made it more just. Gupta, in a moment of near insanity, successfully sued the US Government to dismiss the S.E.C. administrative case and got a double-barrel response: criminal indictment and a civil case. He stands convicted by a just jury, which honored its oath to hold the Government to its highest burden of proof: guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Now, after the defense motion to set aside the verdict is swiftly disposed off by the court, the sentencing stage will cause Judge Jed Rakoff, one of America's independent best, to take stock of Gupta's lifelong good deeds to determine a reduced just sentence.” “Wall Street, directors and consulting firms have just had one of their own convicted for cheating the investors on Main Street. High time for fiduciaries to honor their duties honestly,” he added.
Former McKinsey chief and Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta.
Preet Bharara, nicknamed the 'Sheriff of Wall Street', led a series of insider trading probes, which brought about Gupta's downfall. Praising Bharara, Batra said, “Preet Bharara is a global hero, even as markets in the EU and across the world continue to suffer from an economy tainted by financial misconduct by self-proclaimed masters
of the universe, Bharara has reminded them all that they are subject to the rule of law and will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. In so doing, he is doing to Wall Street what Rudy Giuliani did to the mob."
June 23-29, 2012
It’s not exactly Dream Act. The provisions are cornerstone of what Dream Act was _ David Nachman, Esq. By Vikas Girdhar D a v i d Nachman, of Nachman, Phulwani & Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C., provided exclusive insight to the new immigration policy, speaking to SATimes. Historical perspective “About a year ago, John Morton, who is in charge of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Division of the Department of Homeland Security, passed through what was called the Prosecutorial Discretion Memorandum. It listed out some of the initiatives that ICE was hoping to take. One of those initiatives was specifically with regard to individuals who were, what we call ‘Dreamers’ or kids who were brought to the United States when they were young, who knew no other country other than the US, who have gone to school and who don’t have criminal records. What the memorandum did is it gave the government the ability to exercise what is called ‘prosecutorial discretion’ and to close their cases and not remove them from the United States, depending on what part of the process they were in, immigrationwise. Let’s say, if they were in a removal proceeding, the trial attorney was given discretion to be able to close the case. If they were not in a removal proceeding, the legal counsel could, if they wanted to, try to make out an affirmative action for application based upon prosecutorial discretion. “It was wonderful that they promulgated this policy but the downside was that not all of the agencies of the Department of Homeland Security were on the same page a year ago.
employment authorization document, which is done on a form I-765. Right now, there is not enough information out there for us to be able to do anything except for the people who are currently in removal proceedings who do qualify for these provisions because we can make a motion to reopen those cases and to have the affirmative action granted to them.”
EXCLUSIVE When ICE promulgated that memorandum, CBP (Customs and Border Protection) and CIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services), which are the other two agencies within the Department of Homeland Security, were turning their backs and saying ‘this is a nice thing but we don’t really know what ICE is talking about’. That was the position that they took. So what happened was that with this passing of the buck as in any bureaucratic organization, you had a lot of people who were just throwing up their hands and saying ‘look, I’m not going to do anything because it’s the safest thing to do’.” What it means now “What just happened on June 15 is that the President made an announcement about the new provisions. It was an administrative initiative. This is very important. A lot of people think it’s an executive directorate but it’s an administrative action by the Department of Homeland Security. The anti-immigration people are saying it’s unconstitutional or he’s acting without Congress—that’s a load of baloney. Fact is, the administrative agency under the administrative arm, which is that part of the government, is taking an initiative. They’re passing a policy where if you have an individual who entered the United States prior to the age of 16, was in the country for at least five years continuously (and that’s defined), gone to school or served in the military and is under 30 years old as of the date of the memorandum passing which was June 15, that they are allowed to obtain deferred action. There are two ways to obtain it: 1) If they are in removal proceedings—the government is opening removal proceedings for them. Any cases that have been administratively closed, they are going to be reopening them and issuing deferred action to these kids. 2) They’re in the process of
The DREAM Act (acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) has been gaining support in recent years. formalizing a policy and a procedure for making an affirmative application to these kids who are in the US. So what they’ll be able to do is apply directly to the Citizenship and Immigration Service and they’ll be able to obtain employment authorization documents and that will be good for two years which will allow them to get social security and driver’s license and also to be able to apply for tuition benefits and all kinds of wonderful benefits that students should have. “There is no policy currently in place and we are warning the public to be very careful because there are people out there that are not licensed to practice law that are preying on these people. There are a tremendous amount of people in the Indian community, the South Asian community, the Hispanic community—every community you can possibly imagine, has these people that encounter those that don’t speak the language and selling them the bill of goods. There is no policy in place. So what we’re doing is we are taking names and numbers and once there’s a policy out there—a formal procedure that’s been implemented, we’re going to be notifying everyone as soon as we can, hopefully through the reach of media and other
non-governmental, community and religious organizations to get the word out there and to try to get as many people as possible swept under this new law. It’s estimated, I believe, there are 400,000 to 500,000 people in the US who will be able to benefit from this new rule. I personally believe that the application process is going to mimic the deferred action process that presently exists, which is basically a written letter to the district director’s office requesting deferred action for humanitarian purposes, which have to be clearly outlined and accompanied by an application for
Future outlook “We are very hopeful that something more formal will be coming down. For us right now, it’s just a matter of getting the word out. For a very long time, since 1996, the alleged cornerstone to comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) has been the discussion of Dream Act. Politically, Marco Rubio, who is allegedly going to be Mitt Romney’s running-mate, is working on his own Dream Act bill in Florida. Obama beat him to the punch by making this announcement. I believe that President Obama is sending a subtle message to the masses that if and when he is re-elected in the second term, he is going to push through comprehensive immigration reform—and for us, that’s a wonderful message to get.” For more information, visit the ‘Dream Provisions Page’ of the firm’s website www.visaserve.com.
Talented young illegal immigrants can stay in US: Obama Washington: In an election-year move hailed by South Asian, Latino and other immigrant organizations, President Barack Obama announced that his administration will stop deporting talented young illegal immigrants if they pose no criminal or security threat. The changes caused by his executive order will make immi-
gration policy "more fair, more efficient and more just," he said in a White House address last Friday to praise from Latino leaders but outrage from opposition Republicans. "This is not amnesty. This is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It's not a permanent fix," Obama said answering his critics. "This is a temporary stopgap measure."
Asians, more than Latinos, are largest group of new arrivals in U.S.
In 2010, 36% of new immigrants were Asians compared to 31% for Hispanics. Washington: The immigration debate often centers on stemming the flow of people entering the United States illegally and what to do about securing borders to the south. But here's a fact that
goes without much attention: Asians have now taken over Latinos as the largest group of new arrivals every year. In 2010, 36% of new immigrants were Asians compared to
31% for Hispanics, according to a report released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center. That's a significant change from a decade ago, when 19% of immigrants were Asians and 59% were Hispanics. Far fewer Asian Americans enter the US States illegally than do Hispanics. The Pew survey looked at recent arrivals of people with both legal and unauthorized status, as well as those arriving with work, student or other temporary visas. Pew's exhaustive new report on Asian-Americans found important differences between AsianAmericans and other population groups in America. It also shed
light on the diversity among Asian-Americans, who sometimes cringe at the broadness of the category that covers every country of origin from Afghanistan to South Korea. The Pew survey showed that across the board, AsianAmericans are more satisfied than any other Americans with their lives, finances and direction of the country. They also place more value on traditional marriage, family and parenthood and usually possess a strong work ethic. Nearly seven in 10 respondents said people could get ahead if they are willing to work hard. And 93% of Asian-Americans
describe people of their origin as "very hard-working," whereas only 57% said the same about Americans as a whole. Asian-Americans also attain college degrees (61%) at about double the rate of recent nonAsian immigrants (30%), Pew found. Indian-Americans lead other groups in terms of income and education. Seven in 10 Indian-American adults ages 25 and older have a college degree, compared with about half of Americans of Korean, Chinese, Filipino and Japanese ancestry, and about a quarter of VietnameseAmericans.
US Affairs TheSouthAsianTimes.info
June 23-29, 2012
Supreme Court’s will not be last word on healthcare law
Newt’s advice for Mitt: Sharpen your animal instincts
Washington: Eric Cantor pulls no punches about what Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives will do to "Obamacare" if the Supreme Court leaves any of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law intact. "We're going to take a bill to the floor that calls for the total repeal of Obamacare," the House majority leader said in a nationally televised press conference this month. Why? "So that we can start over and we can tell the American people: we're on your side," the Virginia Republican explained. What might sound like music to some voters' ears is also part of the political dance that Republicans and Democrats have started as they await a landmark ruling on the 2010 healthcare reform from the Supreme Court within the next two weeks. In an election year, the political stakes are high on an issue which, many polls show, has divided the nation. How the court's decision is framed politically, whether by the Democrats and Obama or the
Gingrich called him a liar and a Massachusetts moderate -- attacks he maintains did not go over the line. "It was a very tough primary, and we fought each other. I threw the kitchen sink at him, he threw a bigger kitchen sink at me," said Gingrich. Gingrich defended the harsh attack ads against Romney's record at Bain Capital released by a SuperPAC supporting the former speaker. "They're legitimate questions you can ask, and I think you should be able to ask about anybody, whether it's Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney or, you know, Rick Santorum, or, you know, anybody who's running for president," said Gingrich. Gingrich attributed his own loss in the Republican primary to Romney's overwhelming financial advantage. "In the end, he had, I think, sixteen billionaires and we had one," Gingrich said. Now Gingrich says he has encouraged Adelson to give generously to Romney. The casino mogul recently did just that, giving $10 million to the pro-Romney group Restore Our Future -- the single largest contribu-
Republicans and their presumptive nominee Mitt Romney, could sway wavering independent voters that each side probably needs to win the November 6 election. Obama and Democrats might stand to gain electorally from the ruling even if it overturns part of his landmark policy achievement. But up to now, Republicans have dominated the political message on healthcare with calls to "repeal and replace" the law, condemned by conservatives as a government intrusion into the lives of private citizens that will only waste taxpayer money and drive healthcare costs higher. The repeal vow seems to be resonating among voters angered by a provision known as the individual mandate, which would require most Americans to obtain health coverage by 2014. After about a year when polls showed Americans pretty evenly divided on healthcare, surveys may have begun to sway the Republicans' way. A recent CBS News/New York Times poll showed nearly 68 percent want at least some of the law overturned.
Republican nominee for President, Mitt Romney Washington DC: Newt Gingrich says he believes the super rich have an unfair advantage in American politics, but he also tells Spinners & Winners that he urged his wealthiest supporter to give millions to the cause of electing Mitt Romney President. Spinners and Winners caught up with the former Speaker of the House at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., where he weighed in on presumptive nominee Mitt Romney's strengths and weaknesses, the unavoidable role of money in politics, and another of his great passions: zoo animals. Romney's "biggest weakness is gonna be the tendency of the consultants to say play it safe," warned Gingrich. But if Romney stays on offense, Gingrich argued, Obama could lose by a "surprising margin." When Romney was his foe during the primary battle, however,
tion, by far, to the group. "Look, I've told my supporters, this is the most important election of our lifetime," Gingrich said. "Any conservative who sits on the sidelines is helping re-elect Barack Obama, and I think an Obama second term, for our values, would be a nightmare."
Clinton launches Kindle Mobile Learning Initiative with Amazon Washington, DC: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced the global launch of the Kindle Mobile Learning Initiative Department of State ghere Wednesday. This public-private partnership with Amazon.com and the U.S. Government will create a global e-reader program that introduces aspects of U.S. society and culture directly to young people, students, and international audiences in new ways and expands English language learning opportunities worldwide.
ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR SEPTEMBER 2012 ADMISSIONS. XAVIER OFFERS NEW SCHOLARSHIPS FOR THE BASIC SCIENCES Merit Scholarship
* * * * * *
4 YEAR OR 5 1/2 YEARS MD PROGRAM FOR MOTIVATED STUDENTS CLINICAL ROTATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES LOW STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO USMLE REVIEW WITH KAPLAN SUPERIOR FACULTY AND IDYLLIC LOCATION FOR THE STUDY OF MEDICINE PAYMENT PLAN OPTIONS AVAILABLE
MCAT 25-29 MCAT 30-34 MCAT 35UP
$1500* $2000* $3250*
PER SEMESTER PER SEMESTER PER SEMESTER
* MAINTAIN MINIMUM HONORS TO QUALIFY FOR FURTHER SEMESTERS * ONLY SEMESTER MD1 THROUGH MD4
June 23-29, 2012
Xavier medical school holds graduation ceremony in New York Xavier University School of Medicine (Aruba) has graduated 63 students, out of which 27 were conferred degrees June 16 at the ceremony graced by dignitaries including NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and XUSOM top officials. By Parveen Chopra New York: The Xavier University School of Medicine at Aruba (XUSOM) held a grand Graduation Ceremony on June 16 here for its 27 graduating class of 2012 addressed by dignitaries and top officials of the WHO-recognized medical school. XUSOM’s 60,000 sq ft state-of the art campus in Aruba, a picturesque and accessible island in the Caribbean, boasts over 300 students on its rolls, with guaranteed clinical rotations in the US. The graduation ceremony at Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Concert Hall, CUNY-Queens College in Flushing, NY, was accompanied by the traditional pomp and decorum--hooding ceremony and taking of the Hippocratic Oath by the 27 new doctors. They were conferred the coveted degrees by XUSOM President Ravishankar Bhooplapur in the presence of Chairman Ed Casey and many distinguished guests to loud cheering by proud family and friends of the graduates who filled the hall to capacity. The evening’s well-orchestrated events were interspersed with many inspiring speeches replete with guidance to graduates embarking on a successful career in medicine. The distinguished guests and the graduating class of 2012 were introduced by Brian L. Little, MD, PhD, Chief Academic Officer of XUSOM. Ravishankar Bhooplapur introduced Guest Speaker, Bill de Blasio, New York City Public Advocate, who had well chosen words of encourage-
27 of the 63 graduates taking the Hippocratic Oath at the ceremony held in New York. (right) Graduating class Valedictorian, Rachel Karmally speaking. ment for the graduates. to “serve humanity. Do all the good introduced Keynote Speaker Dr now “we officially get to put those President Bhooplapur, in his you can, by all the means you can, Jerome Lowenstein, Professor of small, but significant letters at the inspiring address, while noting that in all the ways you can.” Medicine at NYU School of end of our name –M.D.” all the graduates were wearing Chancellor Dr J. Ganesh Bhat Medicine, with a personal anecdote She also recounted a medical identical caps and gowns, empha- also addressed the graduates and that it was Dr Lowenstein who case to stress the onerous responsisized ‘individuality’ as the interviewed and hired him as bility a physician has to his or her key to success. “Always be a young man for a nephrolo- patients. a first-rate version of yourgy fellowship at NYU. The hooding ceremony of the self, instead of a second-rate Dr Lowenstein, who has graduates was rendered by Brian L. version of somebody else. also written books on med- Little, and Dr Manuel Flores. Dr Dream to be bigger, bolder, ical matters, advised the Flores also administered the better. As Henry David medical graduates to listen to Hippocratic Oath, ending the Thoreau once said, ‘Go conthe patients’ personal stories, evening’s proceedings but starting fidently in the direction of because people have emo- the celebrations for the new docyour dreams. Live the life tional needs too. tors and their near and dear ones. you have imagined’.” Chairman Edwin Casey XUSOM was chartered in the Bhooplpaur complimented also gave his address. He Caribbean in 2004 by the Ministry the graduates for choosing then said that XUSOM is a of Education of Aruba. The the most noble of all professchool of cooperation not Medical School is now directed by sions. competition, yet as the tradi- a group of eminent doctors from “Medicine is the only protion goes, he introduced the the United States – all of them fession that possesses the Class Valedictorian in Rachel experts in their specialties. With its power to heal diseases and Karmally, MD. admissions office in Woodbury, the only one that labors conIn her speech, Rachel NY, Xavier is one of the most tinuously to destroy the reacalled the graduation day as affordable medical schools. Best son for it own existence,” he The enthusiasm of the graduates’ families and the sweetest of their time as of all, there are no MCAT required said while encouraging them medical students, because for admission. friends was writ large on this balloon
XUSOM Board Members, Trustees, Faculty and top officials posing after the graduation ceremony.
Medical Education Thesouthasiantimes.info
June 23-29, 2012
Inspiration and advice for future doctors from XUSOM
Ravi Bhooplapur, President of Xavier University School of Medicine at Aruba (XUSOM), conferred the degrees on the graduates and addressed them.
Keynote speech was delivered by Dr Jerome Lowenstein, Professor of Medicine at NYU School of Medicine, and author.
XUSOM Chancellor Dr J. Ganesh Bhat introduced the Keynote Speaker and delivered his address.
New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio was the Guest Speaker at XUSOM’s 2012 graduation ceremony.
(Photos: Xitij Joshi/xitijphoto.com)
XUSOM Trustee Dr Dayan A. Nayak, Keynote Speaker Dr Jerome Lowenstein, Chancellor Dr J.G. Bhat, and Board member G.S. Narula.
Dr. Neelam Dwivedi, Associate Professor, and (extreme right) Dr. Arun Kumar Dubey, Dean, Basic Sciences, with President Bhooplapur and Valedictorian Rachel Karmally.
The proud graduating class of 2012 and XUSOM top officials posing for a picture together on the dais.
June 23-29, 2012
Unusual pairings: The new recipe in Bollywood here was a time when films used to ride on popular screen couples. But not any more! Today filmmakers are not only experimenting with content but are also bringing unusual couples on screen. From Akshay Kumar-Sonakshi Sinha to Vidya Balan-Farhan Akhtar, filmmakers are trying various permutations and combinations to bring freshness to the silver screen. According to trade analyst Vinod Mirani, an unusual pairing will definitely become a hit formula but cautions that such experiments need a convincing script. "An unusual pairing works only when it is needed. When the story demands it, then it looks authentic. Or else one can't just force unusual pairs in a film to make it look different," Mirani said. So far, one of the most successful unusual pairs has been of Rahul Bose and Mallika Sherawat. They teamed up for "Pyaar Ke Side Effects" and were instant hit at the box office as the people adored their romantic escapades in the rom-com. When Amitabh Bachchan was paired opposite much younger Tabu and Jiah Khan in "Cheeni Kum" and "Nishabd" respectively, critics were sceptical about viewers' reaction. But much to their sur-
Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha in 'Rowdy Rathore' and Vidya Balan and Farhan Akhtar to come together in Shaahi Ke Side Effects prise, audiences enjoyed watching Big B romancing Tabu and they also appreciated his pairing with Jiah. It was so because it fitted into the scheme of the story. A typical paring that saw high popularity was when heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor and Konkana Sen Sharma came together in "Wake Up Sid". Not only did audiences enjoy their on-screen chemistry, the film too turned out to be one of the biggest successes of 2009. Vidya Balan was seen romancing
Naseeruddin Shah in "Ishqiya" and later in "The Dirty Picture" and in both the films, they scorched the screen with their passionate romance. "At times it works at times it doesn't. The story has to be conniving like 'The Dirty Picture' or 'Kahaani', where it should be justified," said Mirani. The 44-year-old Akshay, who teamed up with 25-year-old Sonakshi Sinha in recent hit "Rowdy Rathore", says age doesn't
Watch love, crime sagas this week
A scene from 'Teri Meri Kahaani' t's romance versus crime at the box office this weekend with out and out romantic drama "Teri Meri Kahaani" and reality-based crime thriller "Gangs Of Wasseypur" hitting the screens this week. Kunal Kohli's "Teri Meri Kahaani" will see hit 'jodi' of "Kaminey" - Shahid Kapoor-Priyanka Chopra - serenading on the screen in three avatars in three different
time zones. Anurag Kashyap directed "Gangs Of Wasseypur", however, is all about gore and violence and it will focus on war between two gangs and the coal mafia in Wasseypur, Jharkhand. Kohli loves pure romances and is ready to woo his fans with "Teri Meri...", which will take them through a journey of eternal romance between a couple who have vowed to love each other not only in one life, but in every life to follow. Their love is so strong that even destiny wants to bring them together. With the tagline 'thrice upon a love story', "Teri Meri..." has three stories set in 1910, 1960 and 2012. Each character plays a different role in each time period. The story starts in 1960 in Bombay with Govind (Shahid) and Ruksar (Priyanka), then moves ahead to the present Britain and shows Radha-Krish's relationship, and again goes back to 1910 Punjab to tell Aradhana and Javed's love story. Will true love prevail or will destiny take its course? Watch the film to know the answer.
Not dating Parineeti: Uday Chopra ctor Uday Chopra finds rumors of a relationship with Yash Raj Films (YRF) discovery Parineeti Chopra ridiculous. "Whoa! @ParineetiChopra and I are NOT dating guys...it's kinda ridiculous! And she doesn't call me Sir, though I think she should start," tweeted Uday. Parineeti's Bollywood career kicked off with Yash Raj Films' (YRF) Ladies vs Ricky Bahl. She followed up its success with Ishaqzaade. Meanwhile, Uday is looking after the banner's Hollywood wing -- YRF Entertainment, which develops and produces feature films for the US and international market. The duo were spotted enjoying together at various nightspots, sparking rumours that there's something beyond a professional camaraderie.
Filmmaker Uday Chopra with Parineeti Chopra
matter while finalizing the cast. "Age is just a number. Even today I can run better than a person who is half my age. Also, if these young girls look great with us, then what to do?" said Akshay, who will again be seen with Sonakshi in "Joker". Sonakshi, who started her career with much older Salman Khan in "Dabangg", says chemistry is more important than anything else. "There is nothing like that, one should not think about it (unusual
pairings) so much! After all, the chemistry looks awesome on screen and we saw that in 'Rowdy Rathore', isn't it?" she added. Upcoming love triangle "I, Me Aur Main" starring John Abraham, Chitrangda Singh and Prachi Desai; "Shaadi Ke Side Effects", for which producer Pritish Nandy has roped in Vidya and Farhan as the lead pair; and Farah KhanBoman Irani starrer "Shirin Farhad Ki Nikal Padi" are expected to take the trend forward.
Can't wait to work with Madhuri again: Naseer
Naseeruddin and Madhuri Dixit eteran actor Naseeruddin Shah says he cannot wait to work with Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit in Abhishek Chaubey's "Dedh Ishqiya". "Madhuri and I have worked together before. I am her fan. I don't know how many films of mine she has seen but I always thought she is a good actress and I am waiting to work with her again," he said. Chaubey is all set to make the sequel of his 2010 debut film "Ishqiya". Of the original cast, Naseeruddin and Arshad Warsi have been retained, while Vidya Balan has been replaced by Madhuri. Talking about the film, Naseeruddin said: "It is a nice step. I am also waiting for the shooting. It will be at the end of the year. I amw
aiting also because it will be Abhishek Chaubey's next film. I feel it will be better than 'Ishqiya'." Naseeruddin will also soon be seen in Kabeer Kaushik's "Maximum". The film also features Sonu Sood and Neha Dhupia in pivotal roles. One of bollywood's finest actors, Nasseeruddin says that he will never leave acting. "I like films and love them. I will never leave acting. Even if I stop working in films, I will never leave acting. I do a job which I love," he added. Most veteran actors are becoming directors now, but Naseeruddin has no such plans. "I will not be directing a film. It's very difficult and I admire the people who make good films. But I will not try," he said.
Ultimate Bollywood Thesouthasiantimes.info
June 23-29, 2012
'Kshay' - small film with a big message igital filmmaking has opened up a whole universe of opportunity for those with cinematic aspirations. Today, like photography being the art of the masses, filmmaking has come closer home to the larger masses. This should have resulted in crazy, wonderful experiments. And it has. To have proof watch independent film 'Kshay', made on a micro-budget, a handful of actors and over a two years period. It is a film which despite its flaws, not only manages to hold its own, but in moments shines. Chhaya (Rasika Dugal) gets enamoured by a white statue of goddess Laxmi and wants to have it at any cost. The husband, who is struggling to make ends meet, agrees to get it once he has money. Soon, however, her desire takes an obsessive turn to disastrous consequences. The greatest strength of the film, is its obvious but beautiful and extremely important metaphor. Chhaya's obsession for the statue of Laxmi (goddess of wealth) and her ability to see it everywhere is an allegory to modern man's maddening
A scene from the film Kshay. obsession for wealth. Driven by a madness not different from Chhaya's, we want money. We do not care what this does to those near us or what its final conclusion would be. And this obsession, debutante director-
You need passion to become an actor: Boman
Actor Boman Irani.
oman Irani, who started his film career at the age of 44, feels it is the passion for the art of acting that has helped him in establishing himself as an actor even after crossing forty. "To become an actor, you need to have passion. You need to have fire in your belly. It's true that you need talent to become successful, but if you don't have the passion for the job you are doing, you will never succeed," said Boman, who was in the city to attend an educational program. "If you have the passion and the fire in your belly, you will get noticed one day," he added.
Boman's one of the first films was 2001 release 'Everybody Says I Am Fine' and after more than a decade, he is one of the most renowned names of the B-town thanks to his versatility and brilliant performances in "3 Idiots", "Lage Raho Munna Bhai", "Don-2", "Housefull-2" and "Eklavya". His latest release is "Ferrari ki Sawaari", which deals with the concept of small guys with big dreams. "What I need right now is a good night's sleep. For the last few days, it has been a hectic schedule regarding the promotion of 'Ferrari ki Sawaari'," he said.
writer Karan Gour captures beautifully and metaphorically in his film. Shot in black and white, the film complements its straightforward statement against obsession. There's no final reason given for the character's fixation with the statue, but
there really is no need. Obsession is an end in itself, an end of all beauty and grace. The film, however, is not bereft of flaws. Though otherwise the editing is nice, it is 15 minutes too long. One has the nagging feeling that the makers were scared of not being taken too seriously if the film did not reach 90 minutes duration. This leads an otherwise beautiful film to slack. Many shots are useless and don't add to the narrative. E.g.in the end when the guy is crossing the road, it takes him forever and the camera meanders with the character. It does not serve any purpose because his next crucial act is not carried out in that one long shot. Three minutes could have been easily saved just in that shot. The film rests on the petite shoulders of Rasika Dugal. And this Film and Television Institute of India graduate plays the transformation of an innocent, loving housewife into a bewitched woman elegantly. One can only wish her the best, hoping she'd catch the attention of more filmmakers for her solid performance.
Kim Kardashian in 'Bigg Boss' season 6? lamoring for the casting for 'Bigg Boss' season 6 has begun in a big way. And if the casting agents are to be believed, American socialite, television reality star, model and actress Kim Kardashian is being wooed to come on the season 6 of the baap of all the reality shows... obviously for the oomph factor. Apparently, the hitch is the price she is quoting, which is close to Rs 4.5 crore, as per the casting agents. It may be recalled that the Bigg Boss season 4 had welcomed the busty hottie, Baywatch star and Playboy cover girl Pamela
Anderson, and in the last season it was the porn star Sunny Leone, who was shacked up with the reality show's dirty dozen. Agents say, that filling in the controversial slot after Sunny Leone, who had captivated the audience's heart last year, would be tough. They want someone super sexy. And coordinators are pitching in aggressively. "We have approached many international celebrities for Bigg Boss but I can't divulge the names right now," says Deepak Dhar, Endemol India CEO. Kim Kardashian
Aamir invited to Parliament to discuss medical issues
Actor Aamir Khan s his show 'Satyamev Jayate' makes waves, the 47-year-old has now become the first non-MP Bollywood actor to be invited to the Indian Parliament.
Soon after his TV show ruffled feathers with after an episode dealing with malpractices in medical profession; the actor has received an invitation to the Sansad Bhavan. Aamir and his creative team will be there on Thursday to give their views on the subject of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the pharmaceutical sector. “It’s a matter of great pride,” says an insider. Apparently, the head of the parliamentary committee, Shanta Kumar has invited Aamir to the Parliament. “The basic idea is to share the research on the subject of medicines. Aamir is personally working hard on it,” reveals the insider. Although Aamir remained unavailable for a comment, his official spokesperson confirms: “Yes, Aamir has been invited and he would be going there on Thursday.” Minister of state for parliamentary affairs, Rajeev Shukla, however, says he is unaware of any such development. “I am not aware of Aamir being given any such permission. It is not easy.”
June 23-29, 2012
IALI honors seven at 33rd gala
New York: The India Association of Long Island (IALI), perhaps the largest organization representing Indians on Long Island, held its 33rd Annual Fund-Raising Gala Dinner at Leonard’s in Great Neck, NY last Sunday and honored seven outstanding individuals. The cream of Long Island high society comprising community leaders, business people, politicians, executives and county representatives were among 300 attendees. Chief Guest was Consul General Prabhu Dayal and Guest of Honor was New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. IALI President Dr. Sukhvinder Ranu delivered the Welcome Address. He was followed by Amb. Dayal’s warm words of appreciation. He also released IALI’s Annual Souvenir Journal in the presence of Dr. Ranu, IALI
Secretary Rekha Valliappan and IALI Past President Rajeshwar Prasad. A citation from the White House was presented to Dr. Ranu and IALI. It was followed by citations from New York State and Nassau County to the honorees (the citations from Nassau County Executive Hon. Ed Mangano were presented by Zahid Syed, Chairman, Nassau County Human Rights Commission, and Mohinder Taneja, Dy Commissioner of Community Services, Town of North Hempstead.) IALI presented a plaque to Amb. Dayal. Hon. DiNapoli, in his speech, expressed deep appreciation for the honorees and his happiness to be part of the event. Those honored at the event for their remarkable commitment and dedication to humanitarian and community service were: Dr. Ajay Lodha – Treasurer, AAPI-National; Dr Jagan Pahuja, Past President of IALI; Animesh Goenka, President of Association of Indians in America (AIA)-National; George Abraham, President of INOC; Raj Mehta, CEO of Infosys International; Sher Singh Madra, Chairman of Nargis Dutt Memorial Foundation (NDMF); and
Honorees were presented citations from Nassau County. (Photos: Vaaho Photo) Jaswinder Singh Johal and Deepak Bhardwaj, owners of Apna Bazaar. Each Honoree received a rosewood plated engraved plaque, was invited to speak, and their wives were presented with a bouquet of roses. A Bollywood style entertainment with local artistes Rangeela Dance Studio was followed by DJ Ricky who got people on to the dance floor with high energy music. Dinner was fromCopper Wok. Sponsors included JHS Capital Advisors, Habib American Bank, Chase Bank, Xavier University School of Medicine-Aruba, Atlantic Partners Financial Group, Ashok Kumar of Copper Wok, and Mohammad Faroqui of Malak Designs.
George Abraham, Dr Jagan Pahuja, Raj Mehta, and Apna Bazar duo Deepak Bhardwaj and Jaswinder Singh Johal were among the honorees.
IALI President Dr Sukhvinder Ranu presented Consul General Prabhu Dayal a plaque as a token of appreciation. Guest of Honor NY State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli joined in the presentation.
Ambassador Prabhu Dayal released IALI’s Annual Souvenir Journal in the presence of Dr. Ranu, IALI Past President Rajeshwar Prasad and Secretary Rekha Valliappan.
Animesh Goenka (left), Dr. Ajay Lodha (middle) and Sher Singh Madra (right) receiving the plaque from Consul General Prabhu Dayal. The gala event was attended by many notable community leaders such as Harry Singh of Bolla Oil, Ravi Bhooplapur of Xavier University School of Medicine, Haridas Kotahwala, President Rajasthan Association, Lokendra Singh Kalvi, Ex Minister of Rajasthan, Shudh Prakash Singh of INOC and Prem Bhandari of Rajasthani Bhasha Movement.
June 23-29, 2012
BJP brings Sangma to presidential ring New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced its support to former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma for the presidential election. The BJP said it would not support the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate Pranab Mukherjee since the ruling combine did not consult the opposition in advance. "We had two candidates, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (former president) and Sangma. As Kalamji decided not to contest, so the second one was Sangma. We all decided P.A. Sangma is the most suitable candidate, so BJP supports P.A. Sangma as its presidential candidate," said party leader Sushma Swaraj at a press conference here. She said the National
Bihari Vajpayee (former prime minister) followed when A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was nominated as a consensus candidate," Swaraj said. The announcement comes a day after Sangma resigned from the Nationalist Congress Party to join
JD-U to support Pranab
PA Sangma resigned from the Nationalist Congress Party to join the presidential race Democratic Alliance (NDA), led candidate. "BJP decided that if UPA wanted by the BJP, could not arrive at consensus on presidential candidate as a consensus candidate, they should the Janata Dal (United) and the have discussed with us, as consenShiv Sena could not decide their sus has a pre-requisite like Atal
Rupee hits record low of 56.57 against dollar Mumbai: Falling for the fourth-day, the rupee tumbled to new record low of 56.57 against the US dollar on increased capital outflows from equity markets and rising demand from importers amid the US Fed indicating weak growth prospects for the American economy. After a weak start at 56.40, the rupee dropped 42 paise to hit new low of 56.57 per dollar at 1323 hours -- minutes after it had touched the 56.55 level for the first time -- surpassing its previous record low of 56.52 set on May 31. The rupee has lost 75 paise in last three sessions. The US Federal Reserve launched new economic stimulus measures yesterday to tackle weak jobs growth, and predicted a slower output expansion amid the continuing debt crisis in Europe, especially in some euro-zone nations. Meanwhile, the BSE 30-scrip benchmark Sensex declined by 81.83 point or 0.48% to 16,814.80 as foreign funds
the presidential race. The NCP had decided to support the UPA presidential choice in Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, and asked Sangma to follow the party line or face action for indiscipline.
continued to sell equities. In New York, the euro turned weak against the dollar on concerns that Spain's troubled banks may need a bigger bailout and dollar got boost after moves by the US Federal Reserve to power the economy. The Fed has extended a bond-swapping programme by six months, aimed at pushing down longer-term borrowing costs and stimulating the world's biggest economy. Forex traders said they were on watch for any potential intervention from the Reserve Bank to defend the rupee, as the renewed global risk aversion amid deep uncertainty about India's fiscal and economic outlook. The RBI dampened the market sentiment by keeping interest rates unchanged the mid-quarterly monetary policy review. The same day global rating agency Fitch cut the country's outlook to "negative", becoming the second credit agency after Standard and Poor's to threaten India's investment grade rating.
New Delhi: The Janata DalUnited (JD-U) announced its support to United Progressive Alliance (UPA) presidential nominee Pranab Mujherjee. Soon after the BJP pledged its support to former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma, JD-U chief Sharad Yadav said his party "has decided to support Pranab Mukherjee for presi-
dent". He said the JD-U did not want a contest for the post of president and it had tried to convince the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to go for an unanimous choice. "Given the present political situation, my party has decided to support Pranab Mukherjee," Yadav said.
Rashid Alvi calls Mulayam 'BJP agent' New Delhi: Angrily reacting to Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi describing Mulayam Singh Yadav as a "BJP agent", senior Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav said he is not worth giving any importance. "If a person turns mad and starts making all sorts of baseless statements, then I cannot comment on that", he told reporters here. To a question that despite SP supporting UPA, such statements mere being made against the party chief, Yadav said, "He is not worth giving importance". He said if a person becomes "mad", he should be referred for treatment. SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav refused to make a statement on the issue, saying he would not comment on such things. Alvi sparked off a controversy on Wednesday after he termed the SP chief as the "biggest agent" of BJP. "I don't know if you would like it or not but I have been saying it for the last 10 years that if there is anybody who is the biggest agent of BJP, it is Mulayam Singh Yadav. If anybody dances to the tunes of BJP, it is Mulayam Singh Yadav,"
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi Alvi, the Congress spokesperson, said addressing a public meeting here last night. The Congress was however quick to distance itself from Alvi's comments. "Party does not approve of this....the Congress has always been in favor of uniting all secular forces," AICC General Secretary Janardhan Dwivedi said.
Trinamool accuses Pranab of trying to break party Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress has accused union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee of trying to break the party after the United Progressive Alliance's presidential candidate called Trinamool MP Kabir Suman to garner support. "What Pranab has done is unethical... He is trying to break Trinamool. Both Pranab and Suman are masters of unethical politics," state Rural Development Minister and Trinamool leader Subrata Mukherjee said. Suman earlier described the finance minister as "the most suitable person for the president's post" and announced his support for the veteran leader.
"The president needs to be an experienced and very efficient personality and Pranab 'babu' fulfils both the criteria. He has been an extraordinary and outstanding parliamentarian," Suman said. "Pranab 'babu' called me up today (Wednesday) in the morning. He enquired about my health and we had a discussion over the presidential poll. I told him that I personally want him to become the president," Suman later told a Bengali news channel. A Lok Sabha member and a popular singer, Suman currently has a strained relationship with Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee. Trinamool Congress has been opposing Pranab Mukherjee's
Last week, Mamata Banerjee was left red-faced after Mulayam Yadav said his party would support Pranab Mukherjee candidature tooth and nail. chief Mulayam Singh and Last week, Samajwadi Party Banerjee had virtually rejected
the finance minister, whose name Congress president Sonia Gandhi had suggested for presidency during her talks with Banerjee. The two parties named former president A.P.J. Kalam, former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as their three preferred candidates for president. However, Banerjee was later left red-faced after Yadav said his party would support Pranab Mukherjee. Banerjee remained firm on her stand and started a Facebook campaign to back Kalam, but the former president opted out of the race Tuesday saying he took the decision after studying the "totality" of the situation.
June 23-29, 2012
Rio+20: India to push for green growth with equity Rio de Janerio: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh joined world leaders in finding ways of reducing poverty, advancing social equity and protecting the environment in a sustainable manner amid a serious global economic crisis. "We have come a long way since the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992," the prime minister said ahead of the Summit, referring to the first such gathering of world leaders in this Brazilian port city 20 years ago that first emphasized the concept of sustainable development. "Environmental concerns today occupy center-stage of the global discourse. Yet we are far from pursing a truly sustainable path towards development. The UN Conference on Sustainable Development is a historic oppor-
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on way to attend the Earth Summit tunity to give meaningful content to the paradigm of sustainable development," the prime minister said. According to him, there was now the need to move away from a resource-intensive development
Nitish attacks Modi, Shiv Sena backs Pranab
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the NDA prime ministerial choice should be secular and acceptable to everyone Patna/New Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's disguised attack on his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi opened a can of worms for the BJP-led NDA, with another ally Shiv Sena coming out in support of UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee. Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar said the National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) prime ministerial choice should be secular and acceptable to everyone - an obvious comment on Modi. "The NDA will have to declare its nominee. The electorate should know who they are voting for and who will lead the country. The NDA should have a leader who can feel for the underdeveloped states like Bihar," the chief minister said in his interview to the Economic Times. "This leader should be acceptable to every constituent of the alliance. To me, the leader of the coalition should have secular cre-
dentials... In a multi-religious and multi-lingual country like ours, the leader should not have rough edges in his personality. An alliance can win the confidence of the people only if the leader is seen as accommodating," he said. While the Bharatiya Janata Party kept mum, its alliance partner Shiv Sena came out in support of UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee, exposing the cracks within the NDA. Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Bharatkumar Raut also told IANS Tuesday that the NDA should name its prime ministerial candidate. "We feel that the NDA should take this step but only after consultation with all the parties in the alliance," Raut said. The BJP has maintained that the prime ministerial candidate will be announced only after the Lok Sabha elections. But Modi had been projecting himself for the post.
process, while ensuring inclusive and balanced development and growth to eradicate the grinding poverty that afflicts millions of people around the globe. The Rio+20 Conference is expected to dwell on some com-
plex and extremely contentious issues such as a green economy and sustainable development goals - areas where there is a sharp divide between the developed countries on one side and the emerging and poor countries on the other. "I will emphasize that we must not dilute the cardinal principles of Rio 1992, particularly the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities as well as equity, which have been at the core of global sustainable development efforts," the prime minister said. "We must acknowledge the continuing differences in levels of development across the world and the need for provision of financial and technological support to the developing world if we are to work together as a
global community to address our most pressing environmental challenges," hesaid. "India will work with likeminded countries to forge a consensus in this endeavor." Speaking about India's stand at Rio+20, Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, who is here to assist the prime minister, said the outcome of the summit has to to be voluntary, non-binding and address the aspirations of all stakeholders. "There should be no compromise on equity and common but differentiated responsibility and these two principles should be the core of any outcome," she said. The prime minister is scheduled to leave for South Africa Friday for a transit halt and reach New Delhi Saturday night.
India may soon export rice to China Rio de Janeiro: India may soon be allowed to export rice to China. The assurance from Beijing came when Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met here with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao on the margins of the Rio+20 Summit. "There were some regulatory issues earlier. Our commerce ministry had been working on it. Now these have been resolved as per the Chinese premier," a top Indian official, privy to the deliberations between the two leaders, told reporters. The decision, he added, was conveyed when the two leaders dwelt
on the target of boosting bilateral trade between the two leading Asian economies to $100 billion by 2015, during which Manmohan Singh mentioned the large trade surplus in China's favor. This was the 13th time the two leaders met, since Manmohan Singh, now in his second term, took over as prime minister for the first time in 2004. "The Chinese premier agreed India has a large trade deficit with China and in that context he said rice exports from India would be allowed. He also assured Chinese investments in India's infrastruc-
ture," the official said, requesting anonymity. India and China enjoyed a bilateral trade of a record $73.9 billion last year. But the trade deficit for India ballooned to $27.07 billion, even as Indian exports grew nearly 13 percent to $23.4 billion, as per official data. The two sides, according to Indian officials, also agreed to form an inter-ministerial group within their respective countries on maritime matters, and deploy officials to hold formal talks on subjects pertaining to security, trade, navigation and other issues, including piracy.
Manmohan, Hollande talk $20-bn plane deal Rio de Janeiro: The just-concluded G20 summit in Los Cabos may have focused on the global economic crisis, but when French President Francois Hollande met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on its sidelines, their discussion also veered towards India's $20-billion tender for 126 combat planes for which France's Rafale is the lowest bidder. Top Indian officials who accompanied Manmohan Singh to Los Cabos said the French president expressed "happiness" over India down-selecting French aviation major Dassault's Rafale plane as the lowest bidder for the tender, described as the "mother of all defence deals" for its sheer size. Hollande told Manmohan Singh that he was hopeful the cost negotiations for the Rafale that are in progress in India will conclude soon. India named the Rafale as the lowest bidder in February. Rafale had beat its closest competitor, European consortium EADS Cassidian's Eurofighter Typhoon that is in service with the four partner-nations - Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain - and has been chosen by the Austrian and Saudi Arabian air forces. If India signs the contract with Dassault, it will be Rafale's first export order. Rafale is the frontline combat plane of the French air force as of now. Though beaten in the commercial bids by Rafale, the Typhoon's manufacturers are hopeful of returning to
French President Francois Hollande with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the reckoning and have voiced their keenness to quote a better price if India so desires. The Indian government, however, has not yet shown any interest in the overture. If the French president also talked about the EADS Cassidian's efforts to get back in the race, an official noted: "No specific reference was made." Rafale, along with Typhoon, had in April 2011 edged out the Boeing F/A-18 and Lockheed Martin F-16, the Saab' Gripen and United Aircraft Corporation's MiG35 in the Indian Air Force's Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) tender to emerge the front runners.
Op Ed TheSouthAsianTimes.info
June 23-29, 2012
With friends like Bill Clinton...
Presidential race: Mamata's historic blunder By Amulya Ganguli ven as Pranab Mukherjee basks in the sunshine of an almost certain victory in the presidential election, there are inevitably a number of losers, such as P.A. Sangma, who banked on the perception of the Congress's political weakness and habitual dithering to fish in troubled waters. But, the biggest among them is Mamata Banerjee, who has undoubtedly made the most egregious mistake of her career. Coming on top of her other follies as chief minister intolerance of dissent, inability to control her unruly cadres, lacking a game plan for the state's development - her latest bungle is bound to haunt her for a long time, especially because she tried to prevent a fellow Bengali from rising to the country's highest constitutional office. What is more, she tried to do so not because of any ideological kink, like the roadblock put up by the Communist Party of IndiaMarxist (CPI-M)'s Prakash Karat and his supporters in the politbureau against Jyoti Basu becoming the prime minister in 1996, which the then West Bengal chief minister called a "historic blunder". Instead, Mamata was guided solely by her petty, personal angularities. As a result, what could have been a routine exercise involving adherence to coalitional loyalties turned into an unedifying spectacle of hectoring, subterfuge and double-talk. Yet, none of this political vaudeville would have occurred if she had simply agreed, or disagreed, with Sonia Gandhi's list of two names for the president's post - those of Pranab Mukherjee and Hamid
Bill Clinton is a major surrogate for US President Barack Obama's re-election campaign By Anirudh Bhattacharyya s US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spent time schmoozing with Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna at the US-India Strategic Dialogue in Washington, the Obama administration was engaged in a strategic dialogue with her husband, former President Bill Clinton. The gist of that conversation could well have been: "Shut up, please." Bill is a major surrogate for US President Barack Obama's re-election campaign. But already, the relationship between them has turned into one resembling that between supposed allies, the US and Pakistan. Every time Obama's team puts a strategy in place, Bill saunters out to the media and destroys it. You can almost picture a Clintonian wink as he shrugs: "But I was only trying to help, guys." Bill was famously elected president on the bumper sticker slogan: "It's the economy, stupid." As the Obama re-election campaign attempts to deflect attention from that very issue, their mantra of grief could well be: "It's the stupid economy." Even as they attempt to paint Republican Mitt Romney a one percenter and a vulture capitalist, Bill smiles at the camera and talks. For instance, he described Romney's business record as "sterling", an adjective that left Democratic strategists lost for words. If Romney's time heading the firm Bain Capital was to be another mode of attack, Bill was happy to interject and explain that Romney's background put him over the "qualification threshold" to be president. At times, Bill even seems to channel his nemesis during his presidency, then Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich. During his abortive run for
the Republican nomination, Gingrich described himself as a would-be "president of paychecks" while dubbing Obama "the finest food stamp president in American history." Always competitive and unwilling to let his erstwhile adversary have the last word, Clinton recently whined about the state American economy is in with "so many people getting food stamps, so many people getting unemployment." The Romney campaign is certainly enjoying the unexpected assist. It launched a fake Twitter account Bill_Clinton12, now suspended. Funnily enough, those tweets, meant as parody, seemed too real. One went: "A vote for @BarackObama is a crap shoot, a roll of the dice." That was a phrase Clinton actually employed during the 2008 primary campaign, when his wife was engaged in a bitter race with Obama for the Democratic Party's nomination. The Romney campaign killed that Twitter account, possibly figuring that Bill was doing a fine hit job on his own. The real question is whether Bill is really gaffe prone. If the punditry expects American voters to believe that, Clintonistas could turn to them and respond, "Sorry, no cigar." Who could believe that a politician, who, during l'affaire Monica Lewinsky, asked for a clarification of what the "meaning of the word 'is' is", would be careless with words? With Bill Clinton you know what the meaning of this is. He may have turned vegan but he knows red meat when he sees it. Obama may just find out what the meaning of diss is. There's no doubt that Clinton will proclaim during the campaign that he's got Obama's back. That may not be where the president wants him. (Currently based in Toronto, Anirudh Bhattacharyya has been a New York-based foreign correspondent for eight years.)
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav spoiled Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee's party when he took a U-tun on A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's name for the President's race
Ansari. If the Trinamool Congress chief disagreed, as her subsequent actions showed, she could have informed the Congress president accordingly and, as political propriety demanded, announced her decision to leave the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA). What made her adopt such an uncompromising position is difficult to say. But, it is not impossible that having had her way in a number of confrontations with the centre - on foreign investment in the retail and aviation sectors, land acquisition, the setting up of the National Counter-Terrorism Center (NCTC), pension funds, et al - she apparently thought that she could browbeat it on the matter of the presidential nominee also. That she was working to a plan in this respect was evident, first, from her dismissive references to Mukherjee several weeks ago when she called him a "son of the world" when asked whether he was a son of Bengal; and, secondly, from her decision to be in touch with the Samajwadi Party (SP) before and after her meeting
The views expressed in Op Eds are not necessarily those of The South Asian Times.
with Sonia Gandhi. Why the SP initially fell for her strange, even infantile, tactics is not clear unless it simply wanted to keep the centre off-balance for a while. On Mamata's part, by including Somnath Chatterjee's name in the list of candidates drawn up along with Mulayam Singh Yadav, she obviously wanted to atone for her decision to oppose Mukherjee. The choice of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was a part of the typically cynical Muslimappeasing tactics of Indian politicians. Regrettably, the former president, too, played along probably because he is too simple-minded to detect their cynicism. If she stays on in the UPA, it will be at the cost of her self-respect, especially now when there are bound to be murmurs in her own party at her immaturity. But, she will be isolated as never before if she leaves the UPA. Although she was all alone when she fought the CPI(M) for three decades, that was when her political stars were rising, even if unknown to herself. Now, they seem to be sinking.
June 23-29, 2012
Lakshmi Mittal's million dollar tribute to London London: Steel magnate Lakshmi Niwas Mittal has contributed a new landmark to London skyline the newly opened ArcelorMittal Orbit at Olympic Park. The project came about after Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, bumped into Britain's richest man in a cloakroom in Davos, Switzerland and convinced him to do something for the Olympics. The Orbit, which was the result of that conversation, has opened to mixed reactions. "I must be careful when I next go into a cloakroom that Boris isn't behind me, or any other mayor for that matter," said Mittal, chairman and chief executive of ArcelorMittal. His company is a big sponsor of the London Olympics, and covered £19.6 million, or $30.8 million, of the £22.7 million cost of the Orbit. The Greater London Authority, the
A British school where pupils speak 31 languages London: The school sometimes uses translators, as well as a “buddy” system where new students are paired with one already at the school who has the same mother-tongue and can help them start picking up English words. Figures obtained by the Birmingham Mail revealed that more than 120 languages are spoken across the city’s schools. Despite being a Catholic school, the majority of pupils at English Martyrs hail are from a Pakistani background. Latest government figures show that pupils who speak English as their first language are now in the minority at more than a quarter of Birmingham schools. Records from the Department for Education showed a majority of students at 117 of the city’s 430 primary and secondary schools listed a different language as their mother tongue. The English Martyrs school recently celebrated its centenary. It was a mainly Irish Catholic background in the 1950s and 60s. Around 11 percent of students are currently Catholic.
Newly opened Arcelor Mittal Orbit at Olympic Park administrative body that runs the city and is headed by the mayor, paid the rest. The curling steel structure is designed by Anish Kapoor, the Turner prize-winning artist known for his large-scale installations. The aim, he says, was to create a
piece of art that "engages a real public." On approach across the windy wasteland that is the current Olympic Park, the Orbit has as much impact as a broken-down helter-skelter at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, a seaside theme
park. At 114.5 meters, or 375 feet, the spiraling red structure is the tallest in Britain and is about 22 meters taller than the Statue of Liberty. It can accommodate an estimated 5,000 visitors a day who can travel to two platforms on two elevators. There they can spend 30 minutes looking at a panoramic view of London, before descending 455 steps. Kapoor said he wants visitors to the Orbit to experience the sculpture not simply as a piece of art to be observed, but also from within by winding up and down its steps. The Orbit is made from 2,000 tons of steel, 57 percent of which is recycled. It is "a mythical tower of Babel that says 'come and join me,' " Kapoor said. "The experience will be about winding up and in on oneself. You want to forget the construction and engage with what you're experiencing."
Indian taxi drivers scared to drive in Australia Melbourne: Indian-origin taxi drivers in Melbourne, whose vehicles were attacked by a gang wielding baseball bats, say they are so scared they don't want to drive at night anymore as "no one knows what might happen next." A gang of seven men used stolen cars to stop five Indian cab drivers in different suburban areas before attacking the taxis with baseball bats and demanding cash, the Herald Sun reported.The five attacks occurred in Sunshine, Brooklyn and Laverton North in west Melbourne between midnight and 1.30 a.m. Monday. Harpreet Singh was driving his taxi through Sunshine shortly after midnight when his car was rammed from behind and a second car pulled up abruptly in front of him. Four men with baseball bats got out of the car in front of him, and began smashing the driver-
Five Indian taxi drivers were attacked midnight side window. "It was terrifying. They were smashing the car and hitting me with the bats also. I leaned to the left side (of the driver's seat) to avoid the baseball bats hitting me (but) one guy punched me in the face," he said. "They didn't say anything to me, they just smashed the car and straight away asked for the money." Singh handed over $150 in cash and his phone. One of the men punched him before the group sped off in the cars. He suffered a bloodied lip in the attack. Taxi owner Sunny Singh said one of his drivers was attacked.
He said finding people to work during the night was becoming increasingly difficult."They're very scared, they don't want to drive anymore ... no one knows what might happen next," Sunny Singh said. He said taxis needed to have an alarm button to call the police. Sunny Singh said assaults on drivers were increasing, but nobody was concerned enough to do anything about it."We report incidents regularly but nobody is listening to us," he said. "We have to put a stop to this, nobody wants to work the night shift anymore, they are just too scared to drive," he told The Age. Daniel Samuel, a spokesman for the Victorian Taxi Association, said there was a real concern that the latest attacks seemed to have been planned. "It would appear that these are organized attacks and robberies. It must be bloody terrifying for the drivers," he said.
NGO 'United Sikhs' opens a water treatment plant in Haiti Amritsar: Sikh NGO, United Sikhs has opened a water treatment plant in Haiti to provide clean drinking water to as many as 5000 survivors of the 2010 earthquake, informed NGO's director Gurvinder Singh. "This plant provides clean drinking water, by a reverse osmosis system process to over 5000 Haitians on a daily basis" he said. The project is aimed to address the severity of a cholera epidemic and other water related illnesses that cause sickness, death added he. He further
informed that United Sikhs had already distributed 20 tons of rice to over 25 orphanages and make-shift camps to enable the feeding of over an estimated 250,000 meals. Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara of Thailand donated the rice. The United Sikhs Aid team shipped the rice to Haiti and set up distribution in Santo la Plaine, Port-au-Prince, Cite Soleil, Aux Cayes, Montrouis, Mirebalais and Coteaux Port Salut. Deputies in each area assisted the team in distribution.
Cochin to host next annual Indian diaspora meet New Delhi: The 11th edition of the annual diaspora conclave -Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2013 - will be held in Cochin, Kerala's commercial capital, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi announced Tuesday. Ravi said over 2,000 delegates from across the world are likely to participate in the three-day event to be held Jan 7-9. In the 10th edition of the annual diaspora meet held in Jaipur in January this year, nearly 1,800 delegates from more than 50 countries participated. "On request of the Kerala government, we have decided to hold the next Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Cochin," Ravi told reporters. Ravi said the prime minister will deliver inaugural address at the event Jan 8, 2013, while the president will deliver the valedictory address and confer the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman awards Jan 9. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated every year Jan 79 by the government of India in an effort to reach out to nearly 30 million Indian diaspora. The annual diaspora meet begins annually on Jan 7 to commemorate the day Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa to join India's freedom movement. Ravi said at the Cochin meet participation from the Gulf countries is expected to rise sharply because of the large number of Keralites living in that region. "People will come from all over the world, but we are expecting large participation from the Gulf countries. This is obviously because the event will be held in Kerala," the minister said. Asked about the theme of the event, Ravi said it will be focused on increasing connectivity between India and its diaspora. However, he said the exact words for the theme have not been decided yet. "Programs, theme and other details will be finalized soon," he said.
June 23-29, 2012
Gilani stands disqualified as PM: Court Islamabad: The Pakistani Supreme Court has ruled that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani stood disqualified since on April 26 for contempt of court for refusing to write to the Swiss authorities to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain heard a set of constitutional petitions challenging National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza's ruling over Gilani's qualification as prime minister, Dawn News reported. The petitions were filed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the Pakistan Tehrik-iInsaf (PTI) and advocate Azhar Chaudhry challenging the speaker's ruling over the qualification issue. The seven-member bench convicted Gilani on April 26 of the contempt of court. The court, how-
by the National Assembly June 14. "We respect the courts. However, state institutions should try to avoid a clash among themselves," the attorney general said. The chief justice said the judiciary respected parliament and that there was no clash between the state institutions. Khilji said the court's duty was to interpret the law and the constitution, and to stop all measures which violate these. Attorney General Qadir said if the court issued an order against the speak-
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was disqualified for contempt of court for refusing to write to the Swiss authorities to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. ever, sentenced him only "until the rising of the court", or till the time the judges left the court chamber. That was only for about 30 seconds after the verdict was handed down. During Tuesday's hearing,
Pak wants 'appropriate' apology from US: envoy
Pak ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman Islamabad: Pakistan wants an friends to respect our sovereignty "appropriate" apology from the US and territorial integrity. This means over the NATO air strike last year no drone attacks and no incursions that killed its two dozen soldiers, into Pakistani territory." the country's ambassador to Rehman said she was not highWashington Sherry Rehman has lighting Pakistan's sacrifices in the war on terror as part of some "vicsaid. Rehman said the apology over tim narrative" but was reminding the Salala border post incident was the world of the key contribution important to help move the bilater- her country has made over the last al relationship forward, Dawn several years. News reported. "We have helped arrest or neuShe said the two countries are in tralize nearly 250 Al Qaeda mema "critical phase" of negotiating bers, provided the US free use of new terms of engagement and nar- our highways to transport supplies rowing down their differences. to Afghanistan. We have lost more Rehman said the supply routes to than 37,000 Pakistanis to terrorism. Afghanistan through Pakistan Over 5,000 security and law would "remain closed pending a enforcement personnel have laid down their lives fighting terrorUS apology". "The debate on the matter has ism," she said. "I hope we can narbeen wrongly cast as a price haggle row our differences and move or price gouging in the US media. expeditiously forward. In the conThis is not the case," she said. text of our region, Pakistan and the On drone strikes in Pakistan's US working individually are a lot northwest tribal region, the envoy less effective than the sum of the said: "We want our American two working together."
Attorney General Irfan Qadir said the prime minister was not answerable to the court over the dispensation of his professional duties. A resolution had been moved by the government and was adopted
er's ruling, parliament would declare it invalid. Accused of graft, Zardari had been granted amnesty under the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) in 2007 by then president Pervez Musharraf to facilitate his return and, primarily that of his wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. Zardari and Bhutto were suspected of using Swiss accounts to launder about $12 million in alleged bribes paid by companies seeking customs inspection contracts in the 1990s.
Pak to elect new PM akistan's lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, was scheduled to elect the new prime minister at a special session. Minister for Textiles Makhdoom Shahabuddin and Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmad
Mukhtar were strong contenders for the post. Religious Affairs Minister Khursheed Shah, a senior leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), told media the parliament session would begin Friday at 5.30 p.m., Geo News reported.
Drone fallout: Taliban block vaccinations in Pak
Pakistan ranks 13 in failed states index
Islamabad: A Taliban commander in northwest Pakistan has announced a ban on polio vaccines for children as long as the United States continues its campaign of drone strikes in the region, according to a statement by the Taliban. "Polio drops will be banned in North Waziristan until the drones strikes are stopped," said the statement."Almost every resident of North Waziristan has become a mental patient because of the drone strikes, which are worse than polio," the statement continued. "On one hand, the U.S. spends millions of dollars to eliminate polio, while on the other hand it kills hundreds with the help of its slave, Pakistan." Pakistan remains one of only three countries that have yet to eradicate polio. Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur made the decision on the vaccination ban after consulting with other Taliban leaders, according to the statement.
Washington: Pakistan, a country which is run by a military obsessed with India and by a civilian elite that steals all it can and pay almost no taxes, has been ranked 13th in the latest ranking of failed states. The unique ranking compiled by the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine is topped by African countries Somalia (114.9 points), Congo (111.2), Sudan (109.4), Chad (107.6) and Zimbabwe (106.3).Afghanistan with 106 points is ranked at number 6, followed by Haiti, Yemen, Iraq and Central African Republic. Pakistan with 101.6 points, the magazine said, is ranked 13, a slight improvement from the previous two years. In 2011 it was ranked 12th in the list of failed states, while in 2010 and 2009 it was ranked 10th. "The country is run by a military obsessed with - and, for decades, invested in - the conflict with India, and by a civilian elite that steals all it can and pays almost no taxes," Robert D Kaplan, the chief geopolitical analyst at Stratfor, wrote for the Foreign Policy.
US praises India's 'huge role' in Afghanistan Washington: In the face of reported Taliban praise for India for standing up to the United States over the situation in the war-torn Afghanistan, the US has appreciated India's "huge role" and support there. "We are pleased with the support that India is giving to strengthen security, stability, prosperity in Afghanistan," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters in response to a question about the Taliban comment. The US was also appreciative of "the economic support that it's giving; the support that it's giving to the Afghan National Security Forces, including in police training," she said. Nuland, who said she had not seen the Taliban's comments about New Delhi's role, noted: "India has joined us in calling for Afghan-Afghan reconciliation and a process to do that." "I'm not aware that anybody has asked India to play a direct role in that, though." Asked if there was a discussion between India and US at their strategic dialogue here last week about New Delhi playing a larger role in Afghanistan after the 2014 drawdown of US led forces, Nuland said: "Well, India is playing a huge role." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had taken note of India's "some $2 billion worth of investment" she said. "We're also encouraged by the East-West Road
State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland Project that India is sponsoring, which we think can play a strong role in increasing trade and investment across the region." "We've encouraged the police training programme. So all of these things are good steps and they help knit the region together in a democratic direction." The US itself has done a lot of work with Afghan forces, Nuland said suggesting, "There have been manifest improvements in the security situation there, and now we're in the process of turning many of those areas over to Afghan leadership, in line with the 2014 process."
June 23-29, 2012
Infrastructure funding key to growth: G20 with India Los Cabos (Mexico): G20 nations, comprising the world's leading and emerging economies, concluded a much-watched meeting at this Mexican resort with an endorsement of the Indian stand that investment in infrastructure was critical for sustained growth, global economic recovery, poverty reduction and job creation. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been pushing for long-term access to funds for infrastructure for developing countries. India has said it needs at least $1 trillion in the next five years in infrastructure funding. He also has maintained that fiscal prudence and austerity in debtladen countries must be matched by measured fiscal expansion by surplus nations. This was endorsed by the leaders that included US President Barack Obama, German President Angela Merkel, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a document that is formally called the G20 leaders' declaration. "Investment in infrastructure is critical for sustained economic
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with U.S. President Obama at the G-20 Summit in Mexico. growth, poverty reduction and job reacting to the document. creation," the declaration said, "The declaration indicates that adding the recommendations multilateral development banks made by multilateral development should be strengthened for this banks in this regard must be purpose. We would work with Gimplemented. 20 countries to transform their "The Los Cabos Declaration commitment to specific action." fully reflects our initiative that In his address during the plenainvestment on infrastructure in ry, Manmohan Singh said with developing countries can play a developing countries such as India major role in strengthening devel- already facing serious problems opment and in stimulating global due to the negative impact of the recovery," Manmohan Singh said, global economic crisis, funds for
Assange seeks political asylum at Ecuador's embassy
WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange Quito: WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange has asked for political asylum at Ecuador's embassy in London and officials in the South American nation are considering his request, its foreign minister said. "Ecuador is studying and analyzing the request," foreign minister Ricardo Patino told reporters in Quito. Assange faces extradition to Sweden for questioning over alleged sex crimes after Britain's top court said last week that it had rejected a legal request to reconsider his case. The former computer hacker gained international prominence in 2010 when WikiLeaks began releasing secret video footage and thousands of US diplomatic cables, many of them about Iraq
and Afghanistan, in the largest leak of classified documents in US history. The decision by Britain's Supreme Court ended the selfstyled anti-secrecy campaigner's 18-month legal battle against extradition in the British courts, and now only a possible appeal to the European Court of Human Rights stands in the way of his transfer. The British court rejected the 40-year-old Australian's argument that a European arrest warrant issued by Swedish prosecutors for his extradition was invalid. In November 2010, Ecuador backed off an idea of inviting Assange to visit the country as President Rafael Correa accused him of breaking the law by releasing US documents.
growth was getting scarce. "Infrastructure investment in developing countries assumes special importance in this context. It lays the foundation for rapid growth in the longer term, while providing immediate stimulus for their economies and also for the global economy, by providing a robust source of demand," he said. But that, he added, was possible only if they can get access to long-term capital to fund such investment, which was difficult when capital flows stood disrupted. The multilateral development banks can play a major role in this context he said, especially after
the first and immediate task of expanding their war chest to support programs in rich countries had been accomplished. "We now need to take steps to substantially expand the resource base of multilateral development banks so that they have the firepower to help developing countries pursue their development goals," he said. After the G20 Summit, the prime minister headed for the Earth Summit in Rio de Janerio, Brazil to join world leaders in finding ways to reduce poverty, advance social equity and protect the environment in a sustainable manner.
G20 may contribute over $450 bn to IMF: Calderon he Group of Twenty (G20) major economies may contribute more than $450 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), G20 summit host Mexican President Felipe Calderon has said. "This is the biggest capitalization in the fund's
history," Calderon told journalists after the summit. He said the capitalization would help the global effort to overcome the financial crisis. The G20 in April pledged to contribute $430 billion to the IMF to fight the spread of the debt crisis in the eurozone.
'Doctor who helped in Osama mission needs US help' Washington: The US needs to make renewed attempts to help the jailed Pakistani doctor who led the US to Osama bin Laden, a Congressman has said. Republican Dana Rohrabacher from California has made Shakil Afridi's case a personal cause, but fears the issue has fallen off the political radar, the Daily Mail reported. He said without US intervention, the man credited with helping track down Osama bin Laden would be left to "suffer in a dungeon". "If we let that person just hang on a limb and forget him, now that he's put himself in danger for us -- well shame on us. I am very concerned that the United States will shame itself by letting Dr. Afridi sit there and suffer in a dungeon, and be tortured," Rohrabacher said. "It doesn't appear that other people are taking this case seriously. I don't see any movement," he said. Afridi helped the CIA by running a fake vaccination programme that allowed him to collect the DNA
US extends sanctions against North Korea Washington: The US has extended its sanctions against North Korea for another year. In a notice sent to Congress, US President Barack Obama said North Korea posed an "unusual and extraordinary threat" to US national security, foreign policy and economy. Washington accompanied the national emergency, first declared in June 2008, with sanctions against North Korea, which have been expanded over the years, Xinhua reported.
Shakil Afridi. of bin Laden's children from the family compound in Abbottabad. In May, outraged at Afridi's conviction, US Senate panels voted to cut aid to Islamabad by $33 million -- one million for every year of the physician's 33-year sentence.
Mubarak’s ex-PM too claims poll win Cairo: A campaign spokesman for Hosni Mubarak's ex-PM said Ahmed Shafiq has won Egypt's presidential election, countering the Muslim Brotherhood's claims that its candidate was the winner and setting the stage for a divisive fight for the leadership. The rival claims carry the potential for a new chapter of unrest at a time when opposition already is growing against a "constitutional declaration" announced by the military on Sunday which robbed the next president of many powers and gave the generals who succeeded Mubarak last year legislative powers as well as control over the
process of drafting a constitution. Shafiq's campaign spokesman, Ahmed Sarhan, told a televised news conference that Shafiq won 51.5% of the vote and that the claim of victory by rival Mohammed Morsi was "false" . He said Shafiq had won some 500,000 votes more than Morsi, of the fundamentalist Brotherhood. The Shafiq campaign's claim came just hours after Morsi's campaign repeated their claims of victory, saying Morsi had won 52%of the vote compared to 48% by Shafiq . The Brotherhood first announced Morsi's victory on Monday.
June 23-29, 2012
Fitch move part of herd mentality: experts Mumbai: Fitch's decision to lower India's outlook to 'negative' from 'stable' is unlikely to rattle Dalal Street but it sure will affect the sentiment to some extent. Since Fitch's decision came within a week of S&P's similar observation, it has prompted brokers and analysts in the market to come to the conclusion that it's a "herd mentality" among global ratings major to go negative on India. The term "herd mentality" was coined by Kaushik Basu, the country's chief economic advisor, soon after the ratings major's decision was made public and the Street has latched on to the term like a tweet gone viral. Analysts feel that a sovereign rat-
Fitch also revised down India's real GDP growth forecasts to 6.5% and 7.0% for fiscal 2013 and fiscal 2014
Foreign holdings of US debt hit record high Washington: Total foreign holdings of US Treasury securities rose to a new high in April, indicating strong international demand for US government debt, the US Treasury Department reported. In April, overall foreign holdings of US long-term securities reached $5.16 trillion, up $21 billion, or 0.4 percent, from the revised level of the previous month. It was the fourth consecutive monthly increase, Xinhua reported. According to the Treasury International capital report, China, the largest foreign holder of US Treasury securities, boosted its holdings by $1.5 billion to $1.15 trillion in April. Japan, the second largest foreign holder of US government debt, trimmed its holdings by $10.2 billion to $1.07 trillion. The strong demand is key to funding the US mounting deficit, which is forecast to surpass $1 trillion for the fourth consecutive fiscal year.
ings downgrade may follow soon, but they agree that there was nothing in the Fitch's analysis of the Indian economy that people in the market did not know. "We are not really alarmed by the decision, because what they said is already known. But this was needed since India needs flak for its lax handling of the economy," said Amar Ambani, head of research, IIFL. "This will have some negative impact on the market's sentiment," Ambani was quoted as saying. Fitch also changed outlook on seven PSUs to negative from stable, but this decision too is unlikely to have much impact on the stocks of these companies for the simple
reason that none of the Indian PSUs are big borrowers in the international market, analysts said. Fitch has changed the outlook for REC, PFC, GAIL, IOC, NTPC, NHPC and SAIL. A report from Fitch ratings noted that India's macroeconomic picture had turned unfavorable, and a combination of slower real GDP growth of 6.5% in fiscal 2012 and elevated wholesale price inflation (WPI) of 8.8% suggested that the economy had "entered an extended period of relative stagflation." Fitch also revised down its real GDP growth forecasts to 6.5% and 7.0% for fiscal 2013 and fiscal 2014, down from earlier forecasts of 7.5% and 8.0%, respectively.
US-India remittance partnership formed Washington: A leading US financial services firm, Wells Fargo & Company, has joined hands with India's HDFC Bank to start a US-India remittance service. Under an agreement signed in Milpitas, California, the global remittance partnership with HDFC doubles Wells Fargo's ExpressSend remittance network payout locations in India. With the addition of HDFC Bank's more than 2,500 branches and over 8,900 ATMs, Wells Fargo customers' beneficiaries can now choose from a network
in India of over 5,200 branches and more than 16,000 ATMs for remittances to India, a company release said. "India has one of the highest remittance volumes in the world according to the World Bank," said Daniel Ayala, executive
vice president and head of Wells Fargo's Global Remittance Services. "This is evident from high customer demand as well. We are glad we can make payout locations even more convenient now by expanding our remittance payout network in India with
HDFC Bank." "While we're a major player in the Gulf-India remittance market, this alliance with Wells Fargo will help us expand in the US-India sector, which has been growing exponentially," said Harish Engineer, executive director, HDFC Bank. Wells Fargo ExpressSend customers can send up to $5,000 per day to their beneficiary's HDFC Bank account using the accountbased ExpressSend service for a $5 fee. The fee for account-based transfers to HDFC Bank will be waived through Aug 31.
'India more vulnerable, World in deep trouble' Los Cabos (Mexico): India has far less ammunition now than in 2008 to contain the fallout if the current global economic instability precipitates, Indian interlocutors have said ahead of the G20 Summit here. "The world is in deep trouble," Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told journalists, soon after landing at the San Jose del Cabo International Airport via Frankfurt. "Hope the G20 fill come up with constructive proposals to get the world out of the crisis," he added. At the same time, the Indian side felt there was some positive signals with the results of parliamentary elections in Greece indicating that the debt-laden country could remain in the Eurozone. "This situation in Europe is of particular concern, as Europe accounts for a significant share of the global economy and is also India's major trade and investment partner," the prime minister said. "Continuing problems there will further dampen global markets and adversely impact our own economic growth. It is our hope that European leaders will take resolute action to
conceded that there were domestic problems as well that needed to be addressed. "We will be lucky this year if we are between 6.5 percent and 7 percent," he said on the growth rate he expected for the Indian economy for the current fiscal.
Ahluwalia, who is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's principal interlocutor at the G20 Summit, said the outcome of the Greece parliamentary elections - which could help the country stay in the Eurozone and induce reforms - may calm the markets a little bit.
India pledges $10 bn to IMF for Eurozone
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is welcomed by Mexican President Felipe Calderon in Los Cabos resolve the financial problems fac- respond now," he added, comparing ing them." the situation in 2008, when the crisis Planning Commission Deputy started, with the state of play now Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia when it has threatened to resurface said: "It is a more challenging crisis with far more damaging implicain many ways. I wouldn't say at the tions. moment it is more serious, since we "When there is a big global crisis, don't know if it will be managed or emerging markets are not left unafnot." fected," he said. According to him "In the first crisis, there was the main reason for India's slowenough fiscal room to respond. down were the result of what was There isn't enough fiscal room to happening across the globe. But he
Los Cabos (Mexico): India has pledged $10 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help Eurozone countries out of the current crisis and prevent adverse fallout on emerging economies. "The International Monetary Fund has a critical, supportive role to play in stabilizing the Eurozone. All members must help the fund to play this role," the prime minister told the G20 Summit here. "I am happy to announce India has decided to contribute $10 billion to IMF's additional firewall of $430 billion," he said, also appealing to countries with surpluses
such as China to make similar contributions. The prime minister began by congratulating the new government in Greece that is about to take office, as it has given hope that the debt-laden country will stay in the Eurozone and take up critical reforms. "We wish them well and are encouraged by the early statements of intent." He, nevertheless, said the crisis in Eurozone remained worrying, as it was pulling down even emerging economies such as India and China, which were earlier on a high growth path.
June 23-29, 2012
Bhupathi-Bopanna team up, Paes gets Vishnu when India's External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, the honorary life president of the AITA,
also asked Bhupathi and Bopanna to resolve their problems with Paes in the country's best interests.
Yuki, Vardhan ready for Olympics New Delhi: All India Tennis Association (AITA) has selected two men's doubles teams to represent the country at the London Olympics. India's highest ranked doubles player Leander Paes will team up with youngster Vishnu Vardhan while Mahesh Bhupathi will pair with his preferred partner Rohan Bopanna, AITA confirmed at a press conference here. In the case that Sania Mirza gets a wild card and qualifies for
mid the raging controversy surrounding Indian tennis, young guns Yuki Bhambri and Vishnu Vardhan said they are ready to partner Leander Paes at the London Olympics. Yuki (World No. 219) and Vardhan (328) are in the running to partner Paes after Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna refused to share the court alongside the 1996 Atlanta Games bronze medallist. Yuki said Bhupathi-Paes
A Both Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna have refused to pair with Leander Paes for London Olympics Olympics, she will pair with Paes the AITA and the sports ministry, in the mixed doubles category. both Bhupathi and Bopanna Earlier, AITA had decided to refused to play with Paes. field just one team, that of Paes and Paes' letter to the AITA secretary Bhupathi. However, in a letter to general Bharat Oza came on a day
remained India's best players but he was up for the Olympic challenge if two men's doubles teams were sent to the competition. "It would be a great opportunity for someone like me or Vishnu. I am just back from playing in the qualifiers of Wimbledon which is also the Olympic venue. Though I have not heard from them, I hope the selectors will make the best possible decision," Bhambri, lost in the first round of Wimbledon qualifiers, told a television channel.
First target to make Olympic Chinese will be tough to semis: Hockey captain beat at Olympics: Saina Kolkata: Asserting that India were now one of the fittest teams, hockey team skipper Bharat Chettri said making the semifinals would be the first target at the July 27-Aug 12 London Olympics. "We have decided that we will first focus on making it to the semi-finals. Then we will work ourselves out," Chettri told mediapersons here. Indian, who have an unparalleled record of eight gold, one silver and two bronze medals in Olympic hockey, are in pool B alongside title holders Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Korea and Belgium. The top two sides would reach the semis. Exuding confidence, Chettri said though Germany and the Netherlands were formidable rivals, the Indians had it in them to beat any team. He praised
Hockey team skipper Bharat Chettri.
Australian coach Michael Nobbs and physical trainer David John. "Under John, the teams' fitness has gone up immensely. We are now among the fittest team. We can give a good fight to our opponents," Chettri said on the sidelines of a felicitation ceremony at the Netaji Indoor Stadium. He said while earlier the Indian team's fitness level used to veer around 40 percent, now it has gone
up to 90 percent. Chettri said under Nobbs' tutelage, the Indians were playing a more attacking variety of hockey. "We are creating more chances. He has changed the defensive style which we had adopted earlier". He said the Indian team, which made the cut for the Olympics after eight years, was also studying the video footage of rival sides.
Hyderabad: India's top badminton star Saina Nehwal says it will be tough to beat the Chinese at the London Olympics despite her recent successes against them. Saina defeated Chinese World No 4 Shixian Wang in the quarter-finals and her World No.3 compatriot Li Xuerui to win the Indonesia Open Super Series Premier event. Saina, who returned home from Jakarta late Monday night to a warm welcome from her family, friends and well-wishers, told reporters Tuesday that it would be a tough four to five weeks of preparation for the London Games. "For me, the important point is to be fit and injury free before the Olympics," said Saina, who believes she is mentally in good shape following her successes in the two tournaments. She is waiting for the return of her mentor and chief coach Pullela Gopichand from Singapore to plan a special programme for Olympics. "Of course, it will be really hard and I need to work on a few areas. I found some weak areas in my game in these two tournaments." The World No. 5, who defeated some of the top Chinese players in Thailand and Indonesia, feels it would not be easy playing
Badminton star Saina Nehwal them in the Olympics. that I played such a long "Chinese are, of course, match," she said. very strong opponents. Talking about the final They are so many of them against the reigning All but it is not impossible. I England and Asian champiam trying to defeat most of on, she said beating one of them but, of course, it is not the top contenders of the easy. I have to work very Olympic medal was highly hard for that. In Olympics satisfying. again, there will be three to Asked about the Chinese four Chinese. I have to players, she said they fight work extra hard for that." for each and every point Saina defeated Shixian even if they are losing. "It is after a marathon quarter- very good to see that. It is final at the Indonesia Open not easy to beat them. You and her World No.3 compa- have to be alert and ready triot Li Xuerui in the final. for them or other Asian "The quarter-final was the players." final for me because it was Saina, who won the a one hour 40 minutes Indonesia Open for the third match. We were dead on the time, said he enjoyed playcourt. I still can't believe ing in that country.
June 23-29, 2012
Gayatri Parivar prepares to clean entire Ganges
Originating in Gangotri, the most sacred river is pristine pure in the mountains like at Deoprayag in Uttarakhand. Haridwar: A spiritual group here is conducting a survey on how best to clean the entire 2,525-km Ganges, the holiest of all rivers for Hindus but highly polluted today. The Gayatri Parivar has already begun cleaning the river in patches all across the country but it feels this is not enough. The entire stretch has to be given a facelift -- at one go if possible. "It will be a hugely challenging task, but this is our dream," explained Kedar Prasad Dubey, a former State Bank of India officer who is one of the key persons involved in the project. Dubey said the survey would find
out the number of ghats along the river, the extent of pollution and the number of volunteers needed for what would be an unprecedented enterprise. "We will also create public awareness on the necessity to keep the Ganges clean and litter-free," Dubey said. The Ganges originates at Gangotri in Uttarakahand, at a height of 12,769 feet above sea level. It passes through Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal states in India before entering Bangladesh where it flows into the Bay of Bengal. The Ganges basin is the most heavily populated river basins across
Industrial waste and sewage and festival offerings, like at Allahabad in this picture, have contributed to the pollution of the Ganga.
the world, with over 400 million people and a population density of 390 people per square kilometer. The river is also one of the most polluted in the world, threatening not only humans but also over 100 fish and 90 amphibian species. The government's Ganga Action Plan is widely considered a failure, angering many Hindus who worship the river as a goddess and are upset that the authorities do not seem to be bothered. The Gayatri Parivar, Dubey said, has rich experience in cleaning rivers as well as temples. On June 5, some 2,500 activists joined hands here to clean the Ganges at Haridwar. On May 31, more than 2,000 men and women teamed up to clean all 10 ghats in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. Earlier that month, about 5,000 people took part in cleaning the river Saryu in Ayodhya, also in Uttar Pradesh. Thousands of Gayatri Parivar members and others clean the 615km Tapti river (which flows from Betul in Madhya Pradesh to Surat in Gujarat) every month, Dubey said. Similarly, while the Narmada river
between Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat is cleaned every two months, a similar cleaning operation takes place for the Shivana river in Mandsaur district in Madhya Pradesh, he said. In every campaign, out came tonnes of waste and litter that should have never been dumped in the rivers in the first place: old clothes, polythene and plastic, footwear, bottles, rotting food, even animal carcasses. "It is so sad that people have no respect for our rivers," Dubey said. One of the biggest clean-up operations by Gayatri Parivar took place at the famed Rameswaram temple in Tamil Nadu in January 2011 when 650 people from 11 states gave the shrine and its surroundings a thorough wash. "I too was there," Dubey said. "We formed human chains and took out 25 tractor-trolley loads of garbage from the temple area and four times more than that from surrounding areas. "Our people feel that it is high time both the banks of the entire Ganges was cleaned," he said. "That's what we want to do."
Official Clean India Campaign to kick off from Qutab Minar New Delhi: To provide quality services to visitors in and around tourist destinations, the union tourism ministry has launched a pilot project under 'Clean India Campaign' at Qutab Minar in the capital. The campaign has been initiated by the tourism ministry to increase tourist arrivals to the country and to improve quality of services and provide a hygienic environment in and around tourist destinations across the country. According to the ministry, in the first phase of the campaign, 36 monuments have been identified by the tourism ministry and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). nder the pilot project, all issues regarding the heritage site are taken care of including providing drinking water facilities, reno-
vation of toilets, maintenance of parking lots at Qutab Minar, and conversion of Qutab Minar complex into friendly zone for physically challenged persons. 'Clean India Campaign' is a multi-pronged action and comprehensive strategy to ensure an acceptable level of cleanliness and hygiene practices at tourist destinations for an inclusive and sustainable development of tourism through ownership and involvement of private and public sector stakeholders. "This initiative aims to create a collective mindset that promotes cleanliness and hygiene by a balance of persuasion, education, sensitization, training, demonstration, regulation and involvement of every individual," the ministry said in a statement.
The campaign by the tourism ministry aims to improve quality of services and provide a hygienic environment around tourist destinations in the country.
June 23-29, 2012
Funny Bone by Nury Vittachi
Would you let an airline play matchmaker for you? ver sat next to a really annoying person on a long-haul flight? (If the supersized whiskey-drinker who sat next to me on a recent Singapore-Hong Kong flight is reading this, no need to respond.) An airline is about to launch a seat-buddy system to make sure everyone sits next to their ideal companion, I heard from Christian Fardel, a reader who works in the aviation industry. How do they work out who you'd like to sit next to? When you buy your ticket, you tell Air Baltic your preferred general "mood" of travel ("I like to network", "I prefer silence", "I fondle strangers" etc.) and your work and interests ("I am a Malaysian-Latvian contractkiller who collects Hello Kitty figurines."). The airline reckons that even people who normally prefer grim silence may open up if someone on board has the exact same interests. "I love Hello Kitty too!" Other frequent travelers I discussed this with were intrigued. Reader Chris Huber said he'd ask the airline for a middle seat between two top models. Sandeep Singh said: "I'm going to put down 'gynecology' as my hobby." I pointed out that he had no medical qualifications. "I could say 'AMATEUR gynecologist'," he said. *-* The US national spelling contest last week was won by a girl with Asian roots, Snigdha
Nandipati. What did she correctly spell? Her name? *-* Playboy Boss Hugh Hefner, 86, is having a stormy relationship with his fiance, a 22-yearold model. The argument? One says: "You're just after my money" while the other says: "You're just after my body." The report forwarded didn't say which was which. Hmm, we'll just have to try to work it out for ourselves. *-* After pleading for 24 years, a woman last week persuaded officials that she was alive. Arshafi Devi had been wrongly declared dead in 1988, the Indo-Asian News Service reported. These days, being able to walk and talk is not considered evidence of being alive. Look at Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, who clearly died years ago, but still tours. *-* Last week, I spent 10 minutes reading "How
to Never Be Found", the website written by psycho cannibal killer Luka Magnotta. Never be found? Police found him in four days. I want 10 minutes of my life back. *-* The people of Shingo, in Japan's Aomori Prefecture, claim Jesus moved from Israel to their neighborhood 2,000 years ago, married a local girl, took Japanese citizenship and started a family. At Shingo's annual festival last week, 500 tourists watched as locals danced and chanted the word "Nanyadoyara", which has been handed down for generations, although nobody knows what it means. I strongly suspect it's ancient Hebrew for "Yeah, we're totally off our rockers." *-* Put on my sunglasses and went outside to stare at the sun the other day. Couldn't see the transit of Venus. In fact, after five seconds, I couldn't see anything at all. One reader emailed me to say: "This morning I saw the greatest celestial phenomenon this century, or there may have been a speck of dirt on my lens. How does one tell?" Some people have no imagination. *-* How would you feel if someone deposited a vast amount of yellow slimy stuff in your office? You'd rejoice if you were a tax collector in parts of Tibet, where tax bills are paid in yak butter. I wish this was allowed in other places. We'd queue up to fling our annual payments to the tax collector: "Catch this, sucker." *-* Oh no. THE Phantom housecleaner has been caught. A person has been breaking into homes in the US, washing the dishes, taking out the trash, and vacuuming the carpets. Not a joke. By the quality of the work ("not terrible") victims could tell that the housebreaker was female. When I first read about her, I wished she'd break into my office, preferably making regular twice-weekly visits. But the mystery cleaner's career is over. Police recently caught Sue Warren of Cleveland, Ohio, after she cheekily left one victim an invoice for $75 bearing her name
and address. This news was sent to me by an unmarried male reader, who said: "Please publicize this story to inspire 'copycat' housebreakers to do the same thing in Asia." He particularly wanted someone to break in and deal with his former flatmate's fridge, which had "not been opened for 13 months" and was making strange noises "as if a slime monster had evolved inside". Later it occurred to me that there ARE equivalents to the Phantom housecleaner in Asia. Several times I have stopped at traffic lights in India or China or Indonesia and a young man has washed my windscreen unasked. These guys ask for a few coins, which I give them, partly to reward their enterprise, but mostly because they give me this mad glare which tells me they would insert their sponge-on-a-stick thing deep into one of my orifices if I didn't. *-* A US court fined an Asian doctor $3 million last week for "failing" to warn his patient that being in a bisexual orgy could be fatal. Can someone please warn the US judicial system's credibility that decisions such as these could be fatal? It may be too late. *-* The DEAD BODY of a guy called Vicente Benito was found in his home in the village of Canizal (total population: 520) in Spain last week, the media reported. Doctors reckon he had been dead for 20 years. I guess this is what is meant by the "slow pace of village life". Typical conversation in Canizal must go like this: "Have you seen Vicente recently?" "Yes, I popped in to his place three or four decades ago, he's fine." *-* A RECENT survey said that marijuana smokers get into fewer car crashes than alcohol drinkers. Not surprised. It's hard to get into a traffic accident when you can't find your car. (Nury Vittachi is a columnist who travels around Asia. Send ideas and comments via www.mrjam.org. His column will alternate with Melvin Durai’s)
Photo of the week
Daredevil Nik Wallenda nearing the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls on June 15th. He became the first person to walk a tightrope across the falls, taking steady, measured steps for 1800 feet across the roaring falls. Though tethered to the wire to prevent falling, he still had to contend with gusty winds and the slippery wire. An estimated crowd of 125,000 people on the Canadian side and 4,000 on the American side watched with bated breath as Wallenda crossed the falls. (Inset) Wallenda exulting after accomplishing his feat.
June 23-29, 2012
By Dr Prem Kumar Sharma Stars Foretell: June 23-29, 2012 Aries: This week some difference of opinion with children or some trouble with servants, co-workers, subordinates would leave you in a terrible mood. Health of some elderly person in your family or of some near one could cause some stress and anxiety. Your own health could also suffer if you do not take proper rest or take proper diet. Avoid hasty investments. Religious feelings would arise making you spend more time on religious and spiritual activities. Foreign related matters would take shape. Taurus: This week you need to take out some time and visit close friends, since your recent work schedule could have prevented you from meeting them. Sudden journey for working women and those connected with sales & marketing cannot be ruled out. Politicians would also find things not proceeding smoothly. Romance would be exciting, but prove expensive to your pocket. Losses are certain if you associate yourself with dubious people. Gemini: This week difference of opinion is likely to create uneasy moments at workplace but your efforts would get noticed and appreciated by your seniors. Relationship with beloved/spouse would improve and you would get to spend some memorable time together. Good news from overseas can be expected later in the week. A new job, promotion or change of residence for some. This seems to be a good period to buy new electronic equipment for your domestic use. Cancer: This week you would have more energy than you normally do and you should use it in a constructive manner. Do not make hasty decision or behave in a manner that could put you into problems with authority figures. You should try to use your extra energy to improve your earnings, build new contacts and help those who approach you with problems. Resist overspending on luxury items and save as much as possible for the not so good days. Leo: This week do not expect too much from your colleagues and friends. Hectic work schedule would require you to be on your toes most of the time, so take as much rest as possible in-between work. Family members ensure support while spouse provides you with a helping hand to finish pending jobs. New ventures and important plans would also be formulated later in the week. Sports and outdoor events would attract you. Virgo: This week some good event revitalizes your energy. You would move ahead with the right initiative and finish off many pending proposals and jobs. Your painstaking efforts of the past, to establish a secure future for yourself and your loved ones would pay off good returns. Journey undertaken this week would bring in appreciable returns not immediately, but eventually. A Lady friend brings in financial/spiritual gains. Libra: The coming week brings plenty of financial gains, giving you reason to be jubilant and extravagant. Business risk that you take during this period would have positive effect and would bring you monetary benefits. You would also acquire new techniques and skills during this period, which would work to your advan-
tage. Be careful of your antiques, documents, cash and expensive items, as losses due to theft seem likely. Scorpio: This week a rendezvous with an influential person provides you with new direction and goals. Meanwhile moneymaking ventures that you undertake this week, would bring immediate gains, but avoid entering into any new partnerships and joint ventures. Unexpected good news from distant relatives would bring happy moments for the entire family. A friend may join you in an important mission. You will win lots of appreciation for your creativity. Sagittarius: This week your dedication and hard work puts you in the limelight. Your personality would have a magnetic appeal, which would easily attract the right people. Put maximum efforts on creative projects, which promise you long-term gains. Romance would flourish as your beloved brings you gifts and expensive presents. Health of your parents is likely to create tension and anxiety. Capricorn: A wonderful week to work on projects which, are of creative nature. You would also make certain changes, which would make you feel good about yourself. The cosmic weather is gradually changing which would bring benefits for you especially in your career. Travelling would be on your mind, but you should leave only if your work is up-to-date. Health needs care, so avoid late night parties and hard drinks. Aquarius: This week the work that you accomplish would not go unnoticed. You would be rewarded handsomely for your efforts. Your partners would be helpful and supportive. Improvement in finances is certain and you are likely to spend on family members and luxuries. Your decisions would be widely accepted by people around you. If you are starving for knowledge then this is a perfect week to sign up for new courses and lectures. Pisces: This week thinking positively would lead you to success. Interacting with eminent people would bring you good ideas and plans. Unexpected gifts and presents from guests as your fortune fairly smiles. Travel for some would prove hectic and stressful, but financially rewarding. Outing with friends would be entertaining but highly expensive, especially if you don’t learn to say no. This is definitely not the best period to speculate or invest in risky business.
Before you consult... i) Accurate Data: Please make sure Date, Time and Place of birth is accurate. ii) Careful: Did you check background of the astrologer before disclosing your secrets. iii) Fee: Discuss the charges before, don’t feel shy. It’s his business. iv) Expectation: Expect the best, if the outcome is not as desired, never give up. v) Consult: Take second opinion before spending thousands on cure/remedies.
Chandigarh, India: +91-172- 256 2832, 257 2874 Delhi, India: +91-11- 2644 9898, 2648 9899 [email protected]
Annual Predictions: For those born in this week June 23: Ruled by number 5 and the planet Mercury, you are practical, energetic, trustworthy and possess a strong intuition. You are highly popular in your group because you are witty and intelligent. You are helpful and sensible but you need to control your tendency to behave vindictive, stubborn and timid at times. Promising career opportunities ahead for fresh graduates and extremely good period for scholars, scientists, writers and sportsmen as well. This year will be important for working women, as they will receive a major boost in their career. Financial gains are certain but expenses will also take an upward trend. For those involved in romantic entanglement, chances of a matrimonial alliance will be quite high. Travel will bring pleasure. The months of September, October, February and April will be significant. June 24: Ruled by number 6 and the planet Venus, you are energetic, smart, attractive, accommodating, diplomatic & highly practical person. Your great assets are your charming personality and confidence, but you need to check your tendency to behave too outspoken and restless at times. This year new money making ventures prove highly lucrative. Your financial position will show remarkable improvement and you will spend more on luxuries to increase your comfort level. Investment in stocks and real estate is recommended for long-term gains. Foreign trips will bring you monetary gains. Your spouse will be cooperative through out the year and will shower love and affection. Marriage proposals for those eligible. Health needs proper care. The months of November, January, March and May will prove to be important and significant. June 25: Influenced by number 7 and the planet Neptune, you are trustworthy, affectionate, creative, sensitive and an emotional individual. You are a person who always wears a million-dollar smile on your face, which makes it very easy for you to make friends and win favors. You are smart and talented, but you need to control your tendency to behave stubborn, arrogant and extravagant at times. This is the perfect time to put in maximum efforts to reap long-term rewards. Your family members will be supportive and assist you in making important decisions. Pending jobs and projects will get completed to your satisfaction. Your health will be normal but health of a family member may become reason for stress and anxiety. A distant journey preferably overseas brings financial benefits and opportunity to meet eminent and influential people. The month of December, January, May and April will prove to be eventful. June 26: Influenced by number 8 and the planet Saturn. You are smart, practical, honest, disciplined, methodical and authoritative person. You are helpful and sincere to your friends and enjoy enormous respect in your group, but you need to check your tendency to behave rigid, extravagant and jealous at times. You will find many good investment opportunities this year, so be highly judicious in making your decisions. Don’t share your ideas and plans with people you can’t trust. Businessmen will expand into new and more profitable ventures. Especially rewarding period for journalist, doctors and marketing professionals. Spouse and children will be supportive, but require your additional attention. Health of a near one, possibly a young infant may bring stress and tension. Wedding bells for those eligible. The months of Oc-
tober, December, March and May will prove to be significant. June 27: Ruled by number 9 and the planet Mars. You are intelligent, energetic, confident, enthusiastic and courageous person. You make firm decisions and once you have taken a decision it lasts forever. You are strong and highly diplomatic person, but you need to check your tendency to behave short tempered and vindictive at times. This year you should concentrate on your priorities and your efforts will definitely bring desired results. Past investments will fetch returns and long pending property disputes will settle amicably. Unexpected gifts and presents from near ones and friends will keep you in high spirits. New plans and ventures will start on a positive note. Family front will be pleasant as children and spouse will provide you with love and affection. Health seems fine but even then, it is recommended that you avoid overeating and alcohol. The months of August, September, February, April and June will prove to be highly important. June 28: Influenced by number 1 and the Sun, you are authoritative, confident, determined, responsible and creative person. You are very attracted to your father who is generally your inspiration and best friend. You are highly decent and well mannered, but you need to curb your tendency to behave careless and spendthrift at times. This year you will make major gains if you associate with creative people. Your performance will be at its best and you will easily impress your seniors with your dedication and ability to handle jobs, which require immense responsibilities. Property transaction, or construction, or renovation will be high on your agenda. Moments at home will not be all that pleasant. You will suffer due to the very unpredictable behaviour of your spouse. Spiritual gains provide solace and comfort. A journey abroad is also on the cards for some of you. The months of July, September, April, March and June will remain significant. June 29: Ruled by number 2 and the Moon, you are highly imaginative, practical, emotional, honest, simple and generous person. You have a very sharp mind, an exceptionally good grasping power and you believe that it’s never to late to learn. You have a pleasing personality and manners, but you need to check your tendency to behave extravagant and moody at times. This year your energy will be high and you will feel strong enough to face any challenge. Middle of the year seems exceptionally good for those who are looking for a change in their career, as they will receive an excellent job offer. Frequent and fruitful journeys will be undertaken. You will also improve your relationship with important people during this period. Children will win laurels at school and overachieve the expectations of their parents. Family members will gather around you providing you with love and affection. The months of July, November and February will be highly eventful.
Free Consultation Learn about the fair value of diamonds & precious stones. from a Gems Expert For appointment, please call 516-390-7847
or email [email protected]
A special offer for the readers of The South Asian Times
June 23-29, 2012
Stay still for God
By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj eople are searching for God. They pray to have a mystic experience of God. Through the ages, people have speculated about God, formed religions to worship God, and done countless rites and rituals to find God. Yet, the simple truth is that the only thing that stands between us and God is the ability to be still. We are so used to speaking rather than listening. In this connection, there is a humorous anecdote. A young man went to the great Greek philosopher, Socrates. The young man wanted Socrates to teach him how to be a great speaker. When Socrates greeted the young man, the young man proceeded to talk nonstop about himself for a long time. Finally, Socrates had to interrupt him and said, "To teach you, I need to double my fees." The young man was shocked and asked why. Socrates said, "Because it appears I must teach you two skills. One is to hold your tongue, and the other is to learn how to speak." It is hard for us to remain silent. How can we find God if we do not stay still physically, verbally, or mentally long enough to allow God to communicate with us? There are many ways in which we are able to stay still for worldly tasks. When we go to a dentist and are about to get an injection to numb our gums, the dentist says, "Stay still." We are certainly able to do so, lest he misses. When we go for a medical procedure in which the doctor has to give us an injection and he says, "Hold still," we definitely sit as still as we can. We know that any movement can be painful. If we ever went for a CT scan, we know we must lie still for a long time. If we move, the film or images they are taking of our body will not come out clearly. Not only does it cost several thousand dollars to have to do it over, which would be a waste of money and
time, but the dye they inject which only lasts a short time would have to be done over and would expose us to more needless radiation. Therefore, to get it right the first time, we find a way to remain still even if it is uncomfortable to do so when we undergo these tests. Some people who have to undergo radiation therapy for certain diseases must lie still. The radiation is targeting a certain area of the body, and if they move, the wrong place will be radiated causing the body unnecessary damage and harm and missing the area that needs the radiation. It is amazing how still we can be when undergoing that type of treatment. If a mouse or insect gets into our house, and we want to catch it so we can escort it outdoors safely where it belongs, we remain quiet.
When people are playing golf, and the golfer is on the tee box, the custom is that no one watching is allowed to speak. There may be thousands of people watching a golf tournament, and they all are able to keep silent long enough for the golfer to take a swing. Those who have a full eye exam from an eye doctor are told to look into the light without blinking for as long as they can. The doctor’s light is bright and it hurts the eyes to stare into, but we still do it because we know it is part of the exam. We are told to keep looking at the light, do not move, and do not blink. There are so many instances in worldly life, when we are able to stay silent. Yet, somehow, when it comes to meditation, we can neither stay still physically nor men-
perfected sitting in silence. For example, when Baba Jaimal Singh Ji Maharaj moved to Beas, he moved into a small hut made of straw and branches. The hut was eight feet long by eight feet wide. It was then plastered with mud and a small cave was dug out. He would go into the cave and meditate in there for days. Sometimes he would stay in meditation there for two weeks, going without any food, as he was absorbed in the inner spiritual journey. Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj used to meditate up to eight hours a day, even when he held a full time job, raised a family, and did selfless service. He would sometimes meditate by the river and even sit on a rock as a way to stay awake all night in meditation. We can see the efforts put in by
Why is silence and stillness so important in meditation? We say we want to find God. But God can only be found in the stillness of our soul. We need to shut down the chatter of the world to hear God within. God comes to us within in the form of a divine Current. This Current is both radiant Light and celestial Sound. To see and hear it within, we need to silence the outer world and silence our thoughts. We may hold a cup or a bucket as the creature lies still on our floor, and we are very silent as we creep up on it from behind to catch it in the bucket so we can take it outdoors. These examples show that we can be still and quiet when we choose to be. Those who are parents know the importance of being quiet when the baby finally falls asleep. When the baby is sleeping and we do not want noise to awaken him or her we are still. We know how long it took us to get the baby to sleep and we want to get our own rest. So, we tiptoe around and remain still so as to let the baby keep sleeping. When we throw a surprise party for someone’s birthday, we may have a room filled with many people trying to keep still until the person enters. We remain quiet until everyone yells out, "Surprise." If the person takes a long time entering the room, we remain quiet and no one wants to speak and spoil the surprise.
tally. If we can stare into the eye doctor’s painful light for many minutes without moving or blinking, then how is it that we cannot gaze continually into the inner Light, which is not painful, but loving and warm, without mentally moving or blinking? Why is silence and stillness so important in meditation? We say we want to find God. But God can only be found in the stillness of our soul. We need to shut down the chatter of the world to hear God within. God comes to us within in the form of a divine Current. This Current is both radiant Light and celestial Sound. To see and hear it within, we need to silence the outer world and silence our thoughts. We need to sit physically still without any part of our body moving. We need to close our eyes. Then, we need to keep mentally still so no thoughts disrupt the silence needed to focus our attention into gazing within. All great saints practiced and
spiritual Masters to perfect the art of stillness required for meditation progress. Can we expect to achieve the results we want when we can barely be still for a few minutes? Physical stillness requires control of our body. It is remarkable how much control we exercise over our body when it comes to worldly pursuits. For example, look at how many tasks we do to get our body in shape. We force ourselves to do aerobic exercises by spending twenty to thirty minutes a day on a treadmill or taking a brisk walk. We find time to do this to keep up our cardiovascular system. We spend time daily when we feel the need to lift weights or do workouts to keep fit and build our muscles. We snatch away time from our other pursuits when we feel something is important. We spend time daily preparing food that we feel will be delicious, nutritious, or weight-reducing. This reminds me of a humorous
story. A family had decided to all go on a diet. The husband was on a diet, the wife was on a diet, and the kids were on a diet. After many months, the husband remarked, "This does not seem fair. We have been on a diet for months and we are not losing weight. The only thing losing weight is the refrigerator." Whether we are eating food for taste, nutrition, or weight loss, we are still spending a considerable amount of time on feeding our body. It takes time to shop, to buy the ingredients we want, time to prepare the dishes, time to eat them, and then time to clean the pots and dishes. We spend time daily showering or bathing to keep our bodies clean, washing our hair, brushing our teeth, flossing, cleaning our nails, and all the other tasks involved in maintaining our bodies. We do all these repetitive tasks until our goal is achieved. Similarly, we are able to maintain mental stillness and concentration for worldly tasks without much problem. Look at how we concentrate mentally on different tasks in our everyday lives. For example, if we are going to school, we study for hours. When we want to pass a course or test, we find a way to tune out everything else and mentally focus on studying. We spend hours memorizing facts and figures. We train ourselves to turn off the television and take time away from our video games and friends to concentrate. Those who are in the computer field learn how to concentrate on the detailed task of writing computer code. They must concentrate with intensity lest they mess up the code! If we want to play a video game or a challenging game like chess, we find no trouble tuning out all distractions to concentrate on what we are doing. Millions of people read books and can do so in a crowded airport or train, at home with children running around the house, or even while the television is playing. When we want to concentrate on reading, we are able to train our mind to tune out all other noises and focus only on the words on a page. (To be continued...) Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj is an internationally recognized spiritual leader and Master of Jyoti Meditation who affirms the transcendent oneness at the heart of all religions and mystic traditions, emphasizing ethical living and meditation as building blocks for achieving inner and outer peace. www.sos.org.
Join us for an afternoon of Polo and enjoy a gourmet picnic while sampling wines from Long Island vineyards.
Children’s activities are part of the festivities that will make this a perfect day for you and your family.
Sunday, June 24, 2012 2:30 - 6:00 pm Hickox Field, Whitney Lane Old Westbury, NY
Provide your own picnic at your reserved tailgate space. Tailgate fee includes admission to the children’s tent but not the catering tent.
Katie Kilcommons - McGowan Executive Director and Founder
HorseAbility Ed Wrigley Horsemanship Award
Mary D’Antonio ’94 SUNY College at Old Westbury
Tickets are $95.00 per person, children under 12 admitted free Tailgate space $50.00
To reserve your ticket(s) or tailgate space call: (516) 876-3207
Alumni Leadership Award
Meadowbrook Polo Club
Proceeds to benefit The Old Westbury College Foundation