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Vol.6 No. 17 August 17-23, 2013 60 Cents

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New York Edition

India celebrates I-Day with fanfare

As India celebrated its 67th Independence Day on August 15 with flag hoistings and patriotic events, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his address to the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort in New Delhi batted for secular values and warned Pakistan to end anti-India activities. And with next elections nearing, President Pranab Mukherjee in his speech asked people to vote in a stable government to ensure economic development .

Fervor in the Diaspora

While this special issue covers the I-Day celebrations in India and abroad, we also deep-focus on the theme India: Taking Stock, Looking Ahead. (See pages 5-64.)

Indian expatriates and the diaspora across the globe marked Indias 67th Independence Day away from their motherland with festive fervor. In New York, Consul General Ambassador Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay cut the ceremonial cake at the Consulate and rang the closing bell at the NASDAQ Stock Exchange.

2nd India Day Parade in Long Island is a hit

Bollywood star Aarti Chhabria and Miss USA 2005 Chelsea Cooley added glamour, joining Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano as Grand Marshals of the IDPUSA parade in Hicksville on August 11 to mark Indias 67th Independence Day and to celebrate Indias culture and heritage and the communitys success in the adopted country. On August 15, Nassau County hosted a flag-hoisting and celebrations marking the special day for the community. (See pages 16-22)

Vox Populi 44, 46

Bollywood 72

Astrology 74

Spiritual Awareness 76

excellence in journalism


August 17-23, 2013

PM warns Pak, bats for secular India

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has pitched for political stability and secular values even as he told Pakistan to end all anti-India activity if it desired friendship with India. Making his last Independence Day speech from the Red Fort ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Manmohan Singh detailed the achievements of the Congressled UPA government since it first took power in 2004. Speaking in Hindi under an overcast sky, the 81-year-old prime minister presented the big picture, placing emphasis on the government's successes, detailing what more could be achieved and admitting to some weak areas. In comments laced with political overtones, Manmohan Singh declared that there was no place "for narrow and sectarian ideologies in a modern, progressive and secular country. "Such ideologies divide our society and weaken our democracy. We should prevent them from growing," he said in a crisp 35-minute speech, speaking from behind a bullet-proof enclosure at the Red Fort. "We need to strengthen those traditions of our country which teach us to promote tolerance and respect for thought processes different from ours." Thousands of security personnel were deployed at the venue, where India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, began the tradition of addressing the nation every Aug 15 after India gained independence in 1947. Delhi itself came under a thick security blanket amid fears of possible terror attacks. Stating that India had witnessed major changes after every decade, the prime minister said there was a need to build an environment of political stability, social cohesion and security. Manmohan Singh said India desired friendship with all neighbouring countries but relations with Pakistan would improve only when it prevents the use of its territory for anti-India activity. He referred to the "dastardly attack" by Pakistani troops this month that killed five Indian soldiers in Kashmir and vowed to "take all possible steps to prevent such incidents". He asserted that in no other decade had India seen such economic development as in the past 10 years - when the United Progressive Alliance was in power. The economist-turned-politician

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressing the nation on the occasion of 67th Independence Day from the ramparts of Red Fort, in Delhi.

admitted that India's growth rate had fallen to 5 percent. "We are trying our best to remedy the situation... I believe this phase of slow growth in India will not last long." India, he said, grew in the last nine years at an annual average rate of 7.9 percent. He called the pace "the highest in any decade". Manmohan Singh said the government had taken many steps to

speed up the process of clearances for industry, build an environment more conducive to trade and industry, and increase investment in the economy. Even as he listed his achievements, including the much talked about food security bill, he admitted that much remained to be done to reform India's educational system. "Many of our schools still lack

drinking water facilities, toilets and other necessary infrastructure. There is a need to improve the quality of education." The prime minister claimed a reduction in Maoist and terrorist violence but admitted that "Naxal attacks happen from time to time". He said the UPA had taken key measures to make governance responsive, transparent and honest.

President calls for stable government

New Delhi: With election talk in the air, President Pranab Mukherjee asked people to vote in a stable government to ensure economic development even as he warned Pakistan that India's "patience has limits" and it will take all "necessary steps" to protect its security. In his second Independence Day address after becoming head of state in July 2012, Mukherjee said corruption was draining the nation's resources. He took a dig at politicians who he said had turned legislatures into "combat arenas". The president also had a word about protecting nature and respecting the environment, saying the recent Uttarakhand flood disaster was nothing but a "wake up call" and "it is time to wake up". Mukherjee said that before he addresses the people again on Aug 15, 2014, India would have had another general election. "This great festival of democracy is an opportunity for us to elect a stable government which will ensure security and economic development." against disturbing the fine balance between man and nature that could result in disaster. "In our race for development, we must be careful not to disturb the balance between man and nature. The consequences of such imbalance can be disastrous," he said, in reference to the Uttarkhand flash floods that killed thousands. "This tragedy owes as much to the avarice of human nature as to the rage of Mother Nature. This was nature's wake up call. And it is time to wake up." Noting that corruption had become a major challenge, the president said it was sapping the resources of India and spreading disillusionment and cynicism. "Corruption has become a major challenge. The precious resources of the nation are being wasted through indolence and indifference. It is sapping the dynamism of our society. We need to correct this regression." He had a word about the decline of institutions like parliament, saying legislatures looked more like "combat arenas". rather than a forum to pass laws. "Democracy breathes through a vibrant parliament, an independent judiciary, a responsible media, a vigilant civil society, and a bureaucracy committed to integrity and hard work. It survives through accountability, not profligacy," he said. "And yet we have allowed unbridled personal enrichment, selfindulgence, intolerance, discourtesy in behavior and disrespect for authority to erode our work culture," he said, using strong language reflecting the concerns of the nation's first citizen. "The biggest impact of the decay in the moral fiber of our society is on the hopes and aspirations of the young and the poor. "We need a parliament that debates, discusses and decides. We need a judiciary that gives justice without delays. "We need leadership that is committed to the nation and those values that made us a great civilization," he added.

President Pranab Mukherjee asked people to vote in a stable government to ensure economic development.

On the latest flare-up with Pakistan, particularly in reference to the recent killing of Indian soldiers, he said: "Despite India's consistent efforts to build friendly relations with neighbours, there have been tensions on the border and repeated violations of the ceasefire on the Line of Control, leading to tragic loss of lives." Mukherjee was referring to the

killings of the five soldiers by Pakistani troops who sneaked into Jammu and Kashmir last week. Without naming Pakistan, the president said: "Our commitment to peace is unfailing but even our patience has limits. All steps necessary to ensure internal security and protect the territorial integrity of the nation will be taken." Mukherjee cautioned the people

August 17-23, 2013



New York Consulate hosts I-Day reception

New York: To mark Indias 67th Independence Day, Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay hosted a reception at the New India House. About 250 guests including prominent members of the Indian community and dignitaries such as Amb. Frank Wisner, Amb. Asoke Mukerji, Indias envoy to the UN, and his deputy, Manjeev Singh Puri attended. Amb. Mulay highlighted the contributions of the Indian diaspora worldwide towards growth and development of India. We are proud of the diaspora; particularly after 2004 when the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs was installed, the diaspora has become more vibrant and more confident, he said, adding, that 3.8 million Indian Americans in the US are actively contributing towards Indo-US friendship. Admitting that the consulate is facing problems with the service providers, Mulay assured that his team is proactively trying to sort it out. Amb.

US greetings: pride in 'indispensable partnership' with India

Washington: The United States greeted India on its Independence Day saying it takes pride in "our indispensable partnership" and looks forward to working together for peace, democracy, and prosperity in Asia and around the world. In a press statement Secretary of State John Kerry recalled his recent visit to India for the fourth annual US-India Strategic Dialogue, "allowing each side to build partnerships" on issues ranging from regional security to women's empowerment. The US, he said, "also takes pride in our indispensable partnership with India, a friendship built on our shared democratic values, the entrepreneurial spirit of our people, and our rich people-to-people ties,". Kerry said he looked forward to continuing their "critical efforts to lay the foundations for peace, democracy, and prosperity in Asia and around the world."

Get snapped with Big B image to enter contest

Xoom celebrates India's I-Day with photo sweepstakes

New York: Xoom offers you a chance to enter a contest and win $1000. Spot Amitabh Bachchan on Times Square, take a picture with him, display it on Facebook and you can win a $1000, says their press release. As part of India's Independence Day celebrations, Xoom, San Francisco based digital money transfer provider has organized a sweepstakes that includes a video featuring Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan. The Xoom video will appear on the Nasdaq tower and Thomson Reuters screen in the heart of Times Square in New York until August 18. The company is encouraging people to post a photo or video of themselves posing with the Xoom video display on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram by using hashtag #xoomindia to qualify for a chance to win the $1000 cash prize. The photo can showcase Bachchans Xoom video display or any Xoom advertisement in the US and must be posted no later than August 19, 2013.

On August 15, Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay and his wife Sadhna Shanker, Ambassador Asoke Mukerji and Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri, India's envoys to the UN, cut the ceremonial cake that had Congratulations India written on it.

Mulay, who has so far visited 8 out of the 10 states under his jurisdiction since he the start of his tenure here earlier in the year, said, Our plan is to start a comprehensive outreach program by October, whereby community members could get information on the spot about visas, passports, about how to go to India, what are the travel

arrangements, investment opportunities.He also recognized the significant contribution by the Indian community towards $5 million endowment to India Studies Chair at the Stony Brooks University. He particularly felicitated Dr Nirmal Mattoo and his wife and Prof. SN Sridhar and his wife for the endowment.

Bloodbath: Sensex falls 4% on tapering US stimulus

Mumbai: A day after celebrating 67th Independence Day, the BSE Sensex and the Nifty fell 4 per cent on August 16, marking their biggest single-day drop in almost two years, as blue chips including HDFC Bank were hit across the board on fears US stimulus tapering would hit foreign selling. The RBIs India's measures to restrict how much its citizens and companies can invest abroad also raised fears of outright capital controls that would further undermine the confidence of foreign investors. The rupee fell to a record low (62 to a $) on Friday as RBI measures to tighten capital outflows and curb gold imports were seen as unlikely to prop up the currency and could even spark further selling if they spook foreign investors.

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United colors of freedom

Notwithstanding the recent external and internal disturbances, India's 67th Independence day was celebrated with zeal and zest across the country. The SAT captures the mood in a few telling images.

President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Mohd. Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and other dignitaries, during the 'At Home' function, organised on the occasion of 67th Independence Day at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on August 15, 2013.

The Dignitaries coming out from the Red Fort after the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh addressed the Nation on the occasion of 67th Independence Day, in Delhi on August 15.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee salutes during the 67th Independence day celebration in Kolkata

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan after hoisting the national flag at Mantralaya in Mumbai Members of 'Bangalore Round Table India and Ladies Circle India' painting their cars in tricolors to celebrate Independence Day in Bangalore President Pranab Mukherjee paying tributes at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate

New Delhi: Bomb blasts in Assam and Manipur marred an otherwise peaceful Independence Day celebration across India that also saw Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi take on the prime minister and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah voice unhappiness over the "different treatment" meted to his state. In Goa, a man chose the occasion to swim across the Mandovi river to demand a halt to mushrooming casinos in the coastal state. Suspected Bodo militants tried to disrupt the Independence Day celebrations in Assam by triggering a blast in Tengapara of Kokrajhar town, injuring one person. Police recovered another grenade from the same location. A grenade was recovered at Bijni in Chirang district, while four motorcycle-riding youths lobbed a grenade in Chirang, but it did not explode. In Manipur, a bomb blast marred the celebrations as Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh appealed for peace in the state. No one was injured in the explosion. In New Delhi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi hoisted the national flag at the party headquarters. Top party leaders including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,

India is today one of the worlds fastest growing economies

and Rahul Gandhi were present. The Congress president also distributed sweets among children on the occasion. Goa resident Sudip Dalvi swam to the banks of the Mandovi that flanks state capital Panaji and is home to five offshore casinos to protest against casino vessels parked midstream in the river. Omar Abdullah voiced pain at the criticism over the communal

violence in Kishtwar and demanded to know why Kashmiris were treated differently. After taking the salute and hoisting the tricolour at the Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar amid tight security, Abdullah alleged the Kishtwar incident had been "exploited". In Hyderabad, slogans of "Jai Telangana" rent the air during the celebrations at Gandhi Bhavan,

headquarters of the ruling Congress party. Andhra Pradesh saw unprecedented security with protests against the proposed division of the state being seen in a few places in the Rayalaseema and Andhra regions. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, in his Independence Day message, complained of his state being ignored by the central government.

In Tripura capital Agartala, heavy rains ended the Independence Day celebrations in just 10 minutes, with Chief Minister Manik Sarkar forced to finish his speech in a record two minutes. The Agartala programme was scheduled to last two-and-a-half hours. Maharashtra celebrated the day in the shadow of Wednesday's naval tragedy in which 18 sailors were feared killed after an Indian Navy submarine sank. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan hoisted the tricolour at a function in the Mantralaya. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav expressed hope that the state will regain its prominent position in the country, while West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee unfurled the tricolour at the Indira Gandhi Sarani in Kolkata. Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, in his first Independence Day address, declared that his government was ready to hold talks with Maoists if they gave up violence. Reports of Independence Day celebrations came from other states, including Karnataka, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh.

Modi takes on Manmohan, BSF gives sweets to Pakistan Rangers ticks off Congress
Bhuj (Gujarat)/New Delhi: minister. As per traditions, the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra prime minister presents India's Modi found fault with Prime aspirations, thinking, belief and Minister Manmohan Singh's determination before the country Independence Day speech and and the world from the Red Fort. sought a debate on development At least today, Modiji should but praised President Pranab have maintained some restraint," Mukherjee in the same breath. said External Affairs Minister "You are ruling a big country, Salman Khurshid. we are managing a small state. While Modi attacked the prime There should be a debate on the minister, he praised Mukherjee, issue of development and good who expressed his concern over governance between the governcorruption in his address to the ment sitting in Delhi and our nation Wednesday evening. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi government," Modi said during "It would have been good if addressing on 67th I-day an Independence Day function at the prime minister today had said Bhuj. something on corruption," said Pakistan. He said former prime "Our shortcomings will come minister Lal Bahadur Shastri also Modi. He said the prime minister out. It will bring out who has been belonged to the Congress but was listed the same problems before the left behind. Today there is need for ignored by Manmohan Singh. country that were mentioned when competition on development," said Modi said the morale of the Nehru was the prime minister. Modi. "What have you done in the last Indian military would have gone In his address, Modi attacked up if Manmohan Singh had used 60 years. The problems are the Manmohan Singh for not taking "the language the country expect- same," he said. the name of Lal Bahadur Shastri ed" over the killing of five Indian Modi also took a dig at the while referring to previous prime soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir by Congress over allegations of falsiministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Pakistani troops. fication of documents in a property Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, and for His remarks invited strong reac- deal against Robert Vadra, son-innot speaking out strongly against tion from the Congress. law of Congress president Sonia the killing of Indian soldiers by "Today is the day of our prime Gandhi.

The BSF officers and jawans celebrating I-day at Attari-Wagah border. Attari (Punjab): The Border Security Force (BSF) in Punjab offered sweets and fruits to Pakistan Rangers to mark India's 67th Independence Day. BSF Deputy Inspector General M.F. Farooqi walked up to the zero line at the Attari-Wagah border, 30 km from Amritsar, and offered sweets, fruits and plants to his counterpart, Wing Commander Adnan Shiekh. Both sides greeted each other at the brief informal ceremony. Tension has mounted between India and Pakistan after Pakistani troops were accused of killing five Indian soldiers after sneaking into Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch sector last week. The Pakistan Rangers gave sweets to the BSF Wednesday to mark Pakistan's Independence Day. The midnight vigil and cultural functions by social groups, a regular feature near the Attari-Wagah border in recent years, have been postponed following the killing of the Indian soldiers.


August 17-23, 2013


Karnataka CM bats for economic independence

Bangalore: Independence Day will be meaningful when political freedom coupled with economic independence reaches everyone, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. "Political freedom without economic independence is meaningless. Our government feels the IDay celebrations would be more meaningful when economic independence reaches the last person in society," he said on India's 67th Independence Day. Admitting that opportunities were not made equally available to all sections of society resulting in social crisis, the chief minister said the I-Day was not just an occasion for celebration but to introspect if the purpose of independence had been fulfilled. "We may not be in any position to negate the possibility of a situation wherein equality as a principle of democracy can come to conflicting terms with an unequal social order, an apprehension the Indian constitution architect Babasaheb Ambedkar expressed," Siddaramaiah recalled. Noting that the objective of democracy was to ensure equitable distribution of wealth, power and opportunities, he said his government would implement the promises the Congress made in the May
Mumbai Mayor Sunil Prabhu hoists the tricolor on the 67th Independence Day

I-Day against backdrop of naval tragedy

Students performing during Independence Day parade at Manekshaw Parade Grounds in Bangalore

election. "The people of Karnataka opted for a change... Change does not mean one party has completed its tenure and another party had replaced it to govern. Our action should be evident and the people should be able to see visible changes." Since the model code of conduct was in force for by-elections in the Bangalore Rural and Mandya Lok Sabha seats Aug 21 and in three assembly segments (Chitradurga, Dharwad and Mysore), he said he would not dwell upon his government's future schemes on this occasion. Earlier, under a cloudy sky

and breezy weather, the chief minister hoisted the tricolour and reviewed a guard of honour from an open jeep at the Field Marshal Manekshaw parade ground in the city centre. Even as he took the salute and martial music rent the air, a military chopper showered rose petals from a low altitude over the flower-decked dais, drawing cheers from about 10,000 people thronging the venue. About 2,000 personnel from the military, state police, Home Guards, fire brigade, scouts and guides and 3,000 students from various schools in the city marched past.

Mumbai: Maharashtra celebrated the 67th Independence Day in the shadow of naval tragedy in which 18 sailors were feared killed after an Indian Navy submarine sank here. Governor K. Sankaranarayanan unfurled the national flag in Pune and greeted the people on the occasion. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan hoisted the tricolour at a function in the Mantralaya and spoke about the strides made by the state in various sectors. Mumbai Mayor Sunil Prabhu also unfurled the flag at the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation headquarters with a large number of employees in attendance. Similar functions were held at the headquarters of the

Western Railway, Central Railway and Konkan Railway, the state Police Headquarters, headquarters of various political parties, government buildings, private organisations, colleges and schools and housing complexes across the city. In some parts of Vidarbha, which has been ravaged by massive floods in recent weeks, some people boycotted the official functions but held their own small celebrations to mark the occasion. "This was to register our silent protest at the lack of help to the people in the flood-ravaged areas and the continuing neglect of the debt-hit farmers of this region," said Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti chief Kishore Tiwari.

Punjab sacrifices, yet gets step-motherly treatment: Badal

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said that despite having made the maximum contribution to the country's freedom struggle and also making India self-reliant in foodgrain, Punjab was getting step-motherly treatment. Speaking after unfurling the national flag in Ludhiana city, 110 km from here, to mark the country's 67th Independence Day, the chief minister blamed successive governments at the centre for not giving Punjab its due. Badal said Punjab did not receive due recognition and funds from the central government, despite its major contribution to the freedom struggle. He said Punjab had borne the onslaught of wars on the western front. He credited the state government with ensuring that Maoism, terrorism and communalism were not allowed to raise their ugly heads in Punjab. Deputy Chief Minister

We are treated as if we don't belong to India: Omar

Srinagar: Pained by the criticism over the communal violence in Kishtwar, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah demanded to know why Kashmiris were treated differently. After taking the salute and hoisting the tricolour at the Bakshi Stadium here amid tight security, Abdullah praised Kashmiris for not letting the communal trouble to take a far more serious shape. "I want to salute the people of the state for defeating forces who wanted to spread the tensions and vitiate peace and harmony in the state," he said. "I am often asked why you (Kashmiris) consider yourselves separate from the country's mainstream. I have thought over this question, but an answer was difficult to find. "When I found how the Kishtwar incident was exploited, I got the answer to the question. "We are treated differ- Jammu and Kashmir Chief ently like we Minister Omar Abdullah are not part of reading I-day message the mainstream," he added. Abdullah made it clear that the H i n d u Muslim clashes in Kishtwar, which the way the Kishtwar flare-up has claimed three lives, deserved the been used by Bharatiya Janata "strongest condemnation". He said Party leaders to attack the Jammu it was sad this incident took place and Kashmir government and during his administration. "But this Abdullah per se. Abdullah cited figures of comis the fist happening of a commumunal violence in Uttar Pradesh, nal nature during the last four years Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, I have been in power. "Is it for the first time such a Karnataka, Rajasthan and Gujarat thing has happened in India? I do during 2012 and up to March this not want to say what happened in year. The chief minister also spoke Kishtwar can be justified because of the continuing violations of the of what happened elsewhere in the 2003 ceasefire on the Line of Control and the international borcountry." The chief minister has been upset der by Pakistani troops.

Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal

Sukhbir Singh Badal unfurled the national flag in Mohali, adjoining Chandigarh. In Haryana, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda unfurled the national flag at Sonipat, despite rainfall. In Chandigarh, Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Administrator Shivraj Patil unfurled the national flag.


August 17-23, 2013


Artists performing traditional dance during I day ceremonies at Indira Gandhi sarani in Kolkata

India will secure rights over Katchatheevu: Jaya

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa hoped that India will soon regain its rights over the Katchatheevu island that was ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974. In her Independence Day speech here, Jayalalithaa also said that her government was taking steps to protect people from inflation due to the central government's wrong economic policies. "I have faith in re-establishing our rights in Katchatheevu," she said after unfurling the national Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa inspecting the guard flag at the state secretariat Fort of honor at Fort St George in Chennai St. George. Katchatheevu is located in the narrow sea fighter's family pension to Rs.4,500 from dividing India and Sri Lanka. The sea near it Rs.3,500. Coming down heavily on the cenis said to be rich in marine life, leading to tral government and its economic policies, frequent clashes between Indian and Sri Jayalalithaa said these had affected people from all walks of life. Lankan fishermen. She said the rupee devaluation and higher This year, the Tamil Nadu assembly passed oil prices had impacted the people. a resolution urging the central government to Her government, she said, was taking steps revoke the Katchatheevu transfer agreement. The chief minister declared that Tamil like free rice to poor, selling rice and vegetaNadu will keep the public distribution system bles through cooperative stores, setting up (PDS) going in order to address issues relat- "Amma Canteen" that sell subsidised food and others. Jayalalithaa said several steps ed to the poor. She increased the freedom fighter's pension were being taken to usher in a second green by Rs.2,000 to Rs.9,000 and the freedom revolution in the state.

Bengal celebrates Independence Day

Kolkata: Tableaux depicting the vibrant folk art and the rich culture of Bengal were the highlights of an Independence Day parade, as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee unfurled the tricolour at the Indira Gandhi Sarani here. Carrying Chhau, Santhal and other tribal dancers, the tableaux wended their way through the normally busy road segment in maidan area of central Kolkata as youngsters enthusiastically showcased their talents through cultural presentations despite the sweltering heat. Prior to the parade, Banerjee also inspected a guard of honor. Banerjee later witnessed a march-past in which personnel of Kolkata Police, West Bengal Police, Rapid Action Force and school students took part. Colorful tableaux were taken out by West Bengal Police, Eastern Frontier Rifles and various state departments and schools. Last year, Banerjee had broken a tradition, in place since 1948, and hoisted the tricolour at the Sarani, also known as Red Road, instead of the state secretariat Writers' Buildings. People burst firecrackers at midnight to usher in Independence Day. The national flag was unfurled at most places in the city. Cultural programmes were held in schools and colleges and in various localities. Malls across the eastern metropolis started filling up as the day wore on. Families were seen dressed in ethnic wear as they attended functions in neighbourhoods. The Kolkata Metro Railways, the lifeline of the city, also marked the 67th Independence Day with a ceremony at the Metro Rail Bhawan.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot inspecting guard of honor in Jaipur

We're fulfilling people's dreams: Gehlot

sion of India's 67th Independence Day. Gehlot highlighted schemes his government had introduced, and said wheat was being provided at the rate of Re.1 per kg to people living below the poverty line in the state. "We are also providing free medicine and free medical diagnostic tests to all, BPL as well as APL (above poverty line), in the state," he said. "We have launched a new scheme under which the state is bearing all the expenses of boarding and lodging for senior citizens undertaking pilgrimage trips to selected destinations," Gehlot said. The chief minister said his government had launched the Chief Minister BPL Awas Yojana scheme, for which the state had taken a loan of Rs.3,400 crore from the Housing and Urban Development Corporation. "It is really heartening to note that the state government has been able to provide jobs to 1.42 lakh youth so far, and a process is underway to provide more government jobs to youth," he said. One of the major decisions the government had taken was the setting up of a Rs.40,000 crore, nine million tonne per annum capacity refinery in Barmer district.

Jaipur: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, in his Independence Day address, said his government was committed to fulfilling the dreams of the people of the state despite difficult geographical and social conditions.

"We have provided a transparent and responsive government, and are trying to work for the development of the state," Gehlot said after unfurling the national flag at a ceremony in Jaipur's Sawai Man Singh Stadium here on the occa-


August 17-23, 2013


UP will regain prominent position: Akhilesh Yadav

Lucknow: Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav expressed the hope that Uttar Pradesh will regain its prominent position in the country. Speaking on the occasion of India's Independence day, the chief minister said efforts were on to ensure that the state emerged as a front ranking state. Akhilesh Yadav enumerated the various schemes undertaken by his Samajwadi Party government for the poor and the minorities. He said his government was giving adequate focus to strengthening roads and laying new roads and highways in the sprawling state. "All district headquarters will soon be linked to four-lane roads." Stressing the need for women's participation in mainstream society, the chief minister said educating girls was a core area for the state. Farmers, he added, were being

Andhra Pradesh policemen march during Independence day celebrations at parade ground

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav

Andhra marks I-Day under shadow of division

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh celebrated Independence Day amid continuing protests in Seemandhra over the decision to bifurcate the state to create Telangana. Protests at a few places in the Rayalaseema and Andhra regions, collectively known as Seemandhra, marked the day as police tightened security to prevent any untoward incident. YSR Congress party legislator Gurunath Reddy tried to disrupt the official celebrations in Anantapur. Alleging that the ministers failed to stop the division, he lodged his protest by squatting on the ground when Revenue Minister Raghuveera Reddy was addressing the gathering after unfurling the national flag. In Kadapa, Minorities Welfare Minister Mohammed Ahmedullah, who faced the fury of the protestors a few days ago, stayed away from the celebrations. It was district collector who hoisted the tricolour. Slogans of "Jai Telangana" were raised by a few people at Gandhi Bhavan, the headquarters of the Congress party in Hyderabad. The party leaders and workers from Seemandhra countered them with 'Jai Seemandhra' slogans. State Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana, who unfurled the tricolor in the presence of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, his deputy Damodar Rajanarasimha and other leaders, appealed to people to exercise restraint as the division of the state was a sensitive issue. The chief minister is from Rayalaseema while his deputy hails from Telangana. Satyanarayana comes from coastal Andhra region. The chief minister hoisted the national flag at the main official ceremony at Parade Grounds in Secunderabad amid tight security. He received the guard of honor and reviewed various contingents of police, Home Guards and students. The chief minister avoided any reference to the state's division. Claiming that his government's aim is to help the poor, he spoke about the various welfare and development schemes being implemented. Kiran Reddy said the state was expecting good crop this season as the good monsoon had filled most of the reservoirs. "This has also helped the state tide over the electricity shortage." The chief minister said the government had launched 'Bangaru Talli', a scheme to provide financial aid to girl child from her birth till completion of her education. He also announced that the pension of freedom fighters would be increased from Rs.4,000 to Rs.7,000. The state ministers in Seemandhra reluctantly agreed to lead the official celebrations in their respective districts, fearing protests from people demanding their resignation to oppose the state's division. Government employees in Seemandhra, whose indefinite strike entered the third day, resumed protests after taking part in the I-Day celebrations. Some employees stayed away from official celebrations, and instead held their own ceremonies. Over four lakh employees in all nine districts of coastal Andhra and four districts of Rayalaseema are on strike, paralyzing the administration. They want New Delhi to reverse its decision.

provided timely seeds, fertilizers and free irrigation from state-owned canals and tube wells. "The state government has given

a 138-acre land in Rae Bareilly for AIIMS. I am sure very soon work will start on this ambitious project," he said.

B-town wishes Happy I-day, says salute our heroes

Mumbai: Different people interpret Independence Day differently. For Boman Irani, it's a time to remember our martyrs, while writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar wants fellow citizens to follow the path of unity. Tinsel town took to Twitter to express their views and wish everyone a "peaceful" day. Here is what they have to say on the occasion of the 67th Independence Day: Boman Irani: Rather than wishing each other, we should remember the ones who gave us freedom. Work towards an India that future generations remember you too. Javed Akhtar: Happy Independence Day. Today let's bury all the hatchets and together sing our National Anthem from the depth of our hearts. Jai Hind. Farhan Akhtar: Being independent means to think for yourself, not about yourself. Happy Independence Day. Akshay Kumar: I love my India! Proudly wearing the Tiranga to celebrate the precious freedom of our country. A.R. Rahman: My fellow Indians, wish you a very happy Independence Day. Jagaao mere des... Manoj Bajpayee: Happy Independence Day! Vande Mataram! Salute to all who fight for their rights!

Not the day to criticize one another: Advani

New Delhi: BJP leader L.K. Advani said Independence Day was not a day to "criticise one another", after his party colleague and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The veteran BJP leader also wished Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Independence Day. "Today, I want to wish the entire nation a Happy Independence Day. When I say the entire nation, I don't think some of them are my own and some are not," Advani said after unfurling the national flag at his res-

BJP leader L.K. Advani

idence. "So I want to wish the prime minister and his entire cabinet on this occasion. I want this feeling to grow... without criticising one another, people should be aware on this day that India has unlimited possibilities," said the BJP leader.

Patnaik calls for inclusive growth in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the benefits of development must reach the people in both urban and rural areas to achieve inclusive growth. Odisha has more than 50,000 villages and over 100 small and big towns and their overall development is important, the chief minister said after unfurling the national flag at the state level Independence Day function at the Mahatma Gandhi Marg here. The development of infrastructur, agriculture and allied sectors in the state are essential, Patnaik said. The development and welfare of the people including farmers, workers, women, physically challenged, poor, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and students was required for achieving inclusive growth, he added.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik hoists tricolor


August 17-23, 2013


2 IndIa day Parade In Long IsLand a grand success

Bollywood star Aarti Chhabria and Miss USA 2005 Chelsea Cooley added glamour, joining Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano as Grand Marshals of the IDPUSA parade in Hicksville on August 11 to mark Indias 67th Independence Day and to celebrate the communitys culture and heritage.
100 local community organizations, cutting across religion, politics or region of origin in India. The dignitaries - Republican and Democrat--who took part in the parade included Senator Jack M. Martins, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman, and Nassau County legislators Rose Walker, Mike Venditto and Judi Bosworth, who is aspiring for Kaimans seat. Besides former County Executive Tom Suozzi (aboard the float of Indian Americans for Tom Suozzi), Adam Haber, another contender for the County Executive seat, showed up besides some candidates for legislative and judicial positions. And what did the visitors think of the parade? Juned Qazi, of Indian National Overseas Congress (INOC-USA), who came all the way from New Jersey, said, The parade represents not only the

By Parveen Chopra
NRIs celebrating the growth and development back home in India since Independence, but is also a showcase of the growing presence and prominence of the emerging community in America. Shobha Prakash of Herricks put it simply, We are celebrating with gusto. We are in America, but our hearts are still in India where we came from. An estimated 15,000 people attended the celebrations held in Hicksville, the newest Little India located in Nassau County. Indu Jaiswal was chair of the 2013 parade and DJ Kucha the emcee of the entertainment program. There were 17 floats including of Air India, Patel Brothers, Apna Bazar, INOC, Friends of Good Health, and Indian American Bank. The 30 booths near the stage included those of HAB Bank, MetLife, Antuns, NY Life, and Hicksville Rajbhog. Air India, Patel Brothers and Lotus Management Group were the Grand Sponsors of the event. Platinum Sponsors included Friends of Ed Mangano, MetLife and Antuns. The South Asian Times was also Platinum Sponsor & leading Media Partner. The Long Island parade was telecast live by Global Punjabi TV and covered by many other channels.

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, actress Aarti Chhabria (on his left), and Miss USA 2005 Chelsea Cooley (in sky blue lehnga-choli) and the BQ Girls marching in the front line of the parade.

Hicksville, NY: Only two years old and the India Day Parade of Long Island is already becoming so well attended and immaculately organized to stand tall with the leading parades celebrating Indias Independence Day in America from coast to coast. The parade organized by IDPUSA celebrating Indias 67th Independence Day in Hicksville was led by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Bollywood star Aarti Chhabria, and Miss USA 2005 Chelsea Cooley, all Grand Marshals. They were joined by other elected officials and Indian community leaders. They were followed by colorful floats and marching group playing Indian patriotic songs and lustily chanting Jai

Hind as well as bands and dhols. The march down South Broadway was joined by thousands of cheering people. At the culmination point near the Hindu temple a viewing stage was erected for the dignitaries, which then staged a scintillating entertainment program of song and dance. Said County Executive Mangano, Today is a celebration of culture; it is a celebration of freedom. It is a wonderful day to unite with old friends, make new friends. Aarti Chhabria, who has starred in 28 films, was ecstatic: Being a patriotic Indian, I am honored and proud to be the Grand Marshal at this parade. The experience has been breathtaking and exhilarating. She frequently broke into a

jig along the parade route. Even Chelsea Cooley, dressed in a sky blue lehnga-choli, showed her newly mastered Bollywood moves from the stage. Looking at so many beautiful women in colorful Indian outfits, Bobby Kumar, parade founder and sutradhar, told local Channel 12, The whole idea of this parade is power to the women and women is the power. Kamlesh Mehta gave the background, Hicksville has become like a hub for the south Asian community and it is growing fast. The purpose of India Day Parade is to bring all the diversity of Indian community together under one umbrella. Indeed, the parade is the collaborative effort of about

Many state, county and town lawmakers joined Indian community leaders at the parade, and they included New York State Senator Jack M. Martins (second from left), and Nassau County legislator Mike Venditto (second from right).

The floats were led by one of the parade organizer, IDPUSA, with patriotic songs and shouts of jai Hind.

Glamorous Bollywood star Aarti Chhabria breaks into a jig on the parade route, unprompted by Bobby Kumar (in pink shirt), parade founder.


County lawmakers atop the float sponsored by Ed Mangano.

Miss USA 2005 Chelsea Cooley (middle) shows her newly mastered Bollywood moves on the entertainment stage.

The 3 star fundraisers of the parade, Finance Committee Chairs: Kamlesh Mehta 2012, Nagendra Gupta, Chair and Co-Chair Rajan Nabe 2013.

A group picture of IDPUSA committee members.

Nassau Countys Irish band playing along the march route.

3 honored as Jewels of IndIa In Usa by IdP Usa

Kamlesh Mehta is the Director of Nassau County Office of Business & Economic Development. A well known jeweler and diamond dealer, he is also the founding publisher of leading weekly newspaper The South Asian Times, and Chairman of Forsythe Media Group, Indo-US Media and IANS International. He is actively involved with Rotary Club and a few other organizations, and has been recognized by many pristine organizations in the past. Last year, Bobby Kumar was honored with Jewel of India in USA for his leadership, vision and outstanding contributions to mainstream politics in Indo-US and other communities in North America. India Day Parade USA started organizing India Day Parade in Hicksville, Long Island from 2012.

ndu Jaiswal, Chair of India Day Legislative building on Indias InParade 2013 in Long Island, as dependence Day since 2010. well as Harendra Singh and Indu Jaiswal is also Chairperson Kamlesh Mehta, founders of the of the Indian American Forum, India Day Parade in and past president Long Island, were of India Association bestowed with the of Long Island. She Jewel of India in has been involved USA award by the in community orIndia Day Parade ganizations for the Committee. last 30 years, and They were honored served on the board in the presence of top of many leading orgovernment officials ganizations. She has and over 300 gathbeen awarded by ering of elite memmany organizations bers of the Indian in the past for her community in Long tireless community Island. The three service. were recognized for Harendra Singh their leadership, viis CEO & President sion and outstanding of Singh Hospitality service to the Indian Group, which owns American communicrown catering venty at large. Kamlesh ues such as Waters Mehta was honored Edge in Long Isat the Nassau County land City & WoodLegislative Chamlands in Woodbury bers along with Nas& Melville. He is sau County Executive Honorees Indu Jaiswal, also known for his Ed Mangano during philanthropic conChairperson, and Harendra Singh, a the flag hoisting certributions to many emonies on August founder of the parade. charitable organiza15. Both are instrumental in start- tions. He contributes in managing ing the flag-hoisting at the presti- Raj Rajeswari Foundation, and a gious Nassau County Executive & hospital in rural India.

Saffron and green of the Indian tricolor everywhere.

Honoree Kamlesh Mehta, a founder of the parade, with Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano.

Nuns and priests of a church watching intently the India Day Parade go by.


Vignettes from IDPUSA India Day Parade, Hicksville, Aug 11.

Tom Suozzi (top left) took out a float to seek support for his run for Nassau County Executive, a post he held before Ed Mangano, the incumbent. The float of Patel Brothers, a grand sponsor of the parade. The parade in Hicksville originates from Patel Brothers Plaza and moves along South Broadway towards the Hindu temple.

Indu Jaiswal, chair of IDPUSA Parade 2013, received a certificate of appreciation from Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano. County Comptroller George Maragos is on the right.

The Maharaja held aloft the flags of India and USA at the float of Air India, the countrys national carrier, a grand sponsor of the parade.

Lusty dancing to Punjabi music at the Bolla group float - group founder Harry Singh is in grey suit. HAB Bank's new manager at Hicksville branch, Rupal Sehgal, with the parades Guest of Honor Miss USA 2005 Chelsea Cooley and the BQ Girls. The branch was specially kept open on a Sunday to provide hospitality for the Guest of Honor and the Grand Marshall Aarti Chhabria.

The publicity-shy Chief Deputy County Executive Rob Walker (left) was snapped by The South Asian Times with Kamlesh Mehta, Nassau Countys Director of Economic and Business Development as well as parade co-founder.

The Indus American Bank float, led by the Hicksville branch manager, Akshat Kaul (in red T-shirt).

India Association of Long Island had a walking group and a float, led by the IALI President Kishore Kuncham (middle).

(Photos: Parveen Chopra)


More vignettes from IDPUSA India Day Parade, Hicksville, Aug 11

The float of Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan, founded by Ashuthosh Maharaj. Rotary Club of Hicksville members group club President Quddus Mohammed (second from right) and founder President Kamlesh Mehta. Role reversal: A Caucasian artist named Senya applying henna to an Indian girls hand.

A float portraying freedom fighters such as Rani Jhansi.

(From left) Prominent community members Zinda Singh, Juned Qazi, Darshan Singh Bagga and Mohinder Singh Taneja.

Young and old all enjoyed the parade offerings and they came from all over Long Island and Queens.

A young dancer evocative of Bharat Mata (Mother India) images.

(Photos: Parveen & Shiv Chopra)

The audience kept swelling as the entertainment program progressed.

Rajbhog Sweets of Hicksville, managed by Sheetal Talati (in green apron), had mouthwatering chaats at its stall. Rajbhog is offering special discounts for Rakhi festival.


August 17-23, 2013


Nassau CouNty Celebrates INdIa day 4th tIme IN a row

By Parveen Chopra
Mineola, NY: To mark the 67th Independence Day of India, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano hosted prominent community members and Indian-Americans at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building for a joyous celebration and flag hoisting on the balmy morning of August 15. The bringing in and presentation of the Indian and American flags in a grand way was led by Champakbhai Parikh, a veteran of such presentations. The Indian flag was hoisted by Mangano along with the dignitaries. Mangano honored the following for their service to the community: Air Marshal (retd) S. Raghavendran, AVSM, PVSM; Ms Shammi Singh, Trustee, Nassau Community College; C.T. Parikh, freedom fighter of India who manages charitable educational institutions in Baroda, Gujarat; and Dr Ashok Chhabria, a dentist and humanitarian. In Dr Chhabrias absence, his actress daughter, Aarti Chhabria, Grand Marshal of Long Islands India Day Parade, received the citation. Mangano, who was Grand Marshal for the second time at the India Day Parade held in Hicksville on Aug 11, congratulated the Indian community and said that it was a day to celebrate freedom and liberty. He also referred to his forthcoming historic announcement for Nassau Countys future: the construction of a 100% privately financed Nassau Coliseum. The Madison Square Garden Company missed the boat. The project went to the Nassau Events Center, LLC, an affiliate of Forest City Enterprises, Inc, which will transform the Coliseum and Plaza into an attractive, first class destination for family fun, sports and entertainment, investing a minimum of $229 Million. Hon. Mangano was honored as distinguished leader and true friend of the Indian American community by the India Day Parade USA (IDPUSA) group. After receiving the Jewel of India in USA honor from the IDPUSA committee, Kamlesh Mehta, a founder of the IDP who is also Nassau Countys Director of Business and Economic Development, pointed out that this was the 4th year in a row that the county was hosting Indias Independence Day

Nassau County Executive Hon. Ed Mangano hoisting the flag of India.

on August 15 itself. It was his own brainchild backed by the County Executive Ed Mangano, which has become now an annual event. Bobby Kumar, Co-Founder and sutradhar of the India Day Parade in Long Island, gave a memento of appreciation to Mangano, and said, He is a man of his word, always helpful to the community.

Lal Motwani, Chairman of NFIA presented a Gandhi statue to Mangano. He added, We wish to celebrate 15 August the same way for four more years under Hon. Mangano, alluding to the second term that Mangano is seeking. Dr. Kishore Kuncham, President of IALI, was the emcee, and Indu Jaiswal, Chair IDP, presented a vote

of thanks. Commissioner of Public Works Shila Shah read the Pledge of Allegiance. Sunita Sadhnani of BollyArts presented the patriotic cultural program, and sumptuous brunch was catered by Hicksville Rajbhog. The flag hoisting event was attended by many leading community leaders as well as over a dozen veterans of Indian Forces.

(left to right) All those honored by the County Executive posing for a picture. | Bollywood actress Aarti Chhabria, Grand Marshal of the Long Island India Day Parade, posing with Mangano and Bobby Kumar Kalotee. | County Executive Mangano receiving gift of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi from NFIA Chairman Lal Motwani.

UnsUng heroes of IndIa day Parade In Long IsLand

Hicksville, NY: A mega event such as IDPUSA India Day Parade in Long Island cannot be successful without a dedicated team of many leaders and volunteers. Some do get noticed; some go unsung though their contribution is no less worthy than those in the front row. Whereas Bobby Kumar was an obvious leader who shared his resources and was the epicenter of all activities and decision making, there were Parade Chair Indu Jaiswal, Finance Committee Chair Nagendra Gupta and Rajan Nabe, Coordinator Flora Parekh, Cultural Committee Chair Sunita Sadhnani, PR Chair Bhavani Srinivasan, Floats Committee Hussain Baqueri & Parveen Chopra and Media chair Ajay Batra were always around since day one to make the 2nd IDPUSA India Day Parade a grand success. Dedicated team members were always there to support the logistics of various necessities: Kishore Kuncham, Kenny Epstein, Dr Kwatra, Dr Sukhwinder Ranu, Eric Kumar, Vijay Goswami, Anuj Rihal, Shashi Malik, Animesh Goenka, Mala Bakshi, DJ Kucha, Ashok Varshney, Jay Enjapuri, Rajesh Kumar, Mohinder Taneja, Jaya Bahadkar, Tina Shah, Anu Gulati, Bina Sabhapathi, Naidoo

Veerapen, Krishnasri Gandham are a few names who were instrumental in the parades grand success. Media Masters printed the 168-page souvenir in recordshort notice. Antuns by Minar, Glamorous Events, Lavanya, FernDcor and DJ Kucha lent their services free of charge. Friends of Ed Mangnao, Met Life, Apna Bazar and Purna Aramalla were also Platinum Sponsors. Patel Bros., Air India, and Lotus Management Group were Grand Sponsors. Global Punjabi TV telecast the parade via live stream; The South Asian Times was the Platinum Sponsor besides a leading Print Media Partner.

Champakbhai Parikh and the group flag march holding tricolors.

(Photos: Michael Tamborrino)


Two I-Day parades, back to back, draw thousands in NJ

Despite rivalry, the show goes on as IBA and OTIBA organizes separate parades this year too

Headlining the parade was Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and IBA president Kapil Shah. By Jinal Shah/SATimes New Jersey: Despite the arch rivalry between two organizing groups, Indian Americans living in New Jersey attended the India day parade in huge numbers on Sunday. Edisons India day parade is famous for being one of the largest Indian independence day parades outside of India, besides the annual parade in Manhattan. However past couple of years NJ parade is in the news for the rivalry between the two organizing groups to run Edisons annual parade. This year marked round three in the battle between Iselin based Indian Business Association (IBA), and Edison based Oak Tree Indian Business Association Inc. (OTIBA) that led to two separate parades. It was a celebration of unity organized by two groups who cant unite. Friction between factions has grind on for years, almost since inaugural procession in 2004.For over nine years, Woodbridge Township has granted a parade permit to the Indian Business Association, which is based in the Iselin section of Woodbridge. In Edison, Mayor Antonia Riciglianos administration for the third straight year granted the parade permit to the Oak Tree Indian Business Association Inc. Since then the Independence Day celebration was marred by factional fight between IBA and a rival group both of who claimed legitimacy for holding the parade. The issue went to court to determine who should be allowed to hold the parade on Oak Tree Road, the hub of Indian businesses. The issue is yet to be resolved amicably. Despite the dispute, thousands of Indian Americans straddled the border between Woodbridge and Edison to watch the dueling parades march down Oak Tree Road in Edison within a half hour of each other. According to IBA around 37,000 people are estimated to have witnessed the parade. The IBA parade, now in its ninth year, kicked off at 1:30 p.m. from the Cinder Road intersection in Edison and moved across the Woodbridge border into the heart of the Indian-American business district in Woodbridges Iselin section. Then around 2 p.m., the Oak Tree Indian Business Associations parade made its way down Grove Avenue and turned onto Oak Tree Continued on page 26

Governor hopeful, Senator Barbara Buono in a pink saree walked the parade, greeting people along the way.

Another governor hopeful Christie Guadagno participated in the parade.

Volunteers for the Aam Aadmi party in the USA participated in the India day parade. Three of the party volunteers marched from Washington DC in the swaraj yatra- an attempt to create awareness about participatory democracy.

Women clad in nauvari sarees danced with lezim to the beats of dhol at the IBA India day parade on Sunday

Indian cultural society of New Jersey participated in the parade.

Photos by: Jinal Shah


August 17-23, 2013

Continued from page 24 Road on the heels of the other event. It stopped just before Wood Avenue. Leading the parade as the Grand Marshal were Bollywood actor Gulshan Grover and television actress Rashmi Desai for the IBA parade and Bollywood actor Shweta Bharadwaj for the OTIBA parade. It is my honor to be part of India day parade and to commemorate India's 66th Independence Day, said actor Gulshan Grover. Indian Business Association had 19 floats and about 22 walking groups making it the largest India day parade in New Jersey. A lot of political bigwigs were also part of the parade, said Viru Patel secretary of IBA. We had just four days to prepare for the parade after getting permission despite that we managed to roll 10 floats and two walking groups with dholis, said Pradip (Peter) Kothari, president OTIBA. Most of the floats were decorated with Indian tricolor flags and American national flag, children on board the floats danced to popular Bollywood songs. Part of the IBA parade was a group of young professionals who marched down to New Jersey from Washington DC as a part of the swaraj yatra - A walk for Democracy 2.0 in order to create awareness for Aam Aadmi Party and learn about local governance system in every county region. Of the group, three working professionals walked end to end from Washington DC to New Jersey nonstop for a week to participate in the India day parade on Sunday. We started our yatra last Saturday and covered 145 miles to participate in the India day parades both in New Jersey as well as New York (August 18), educating Indians along the way about Aam Aadmi Party. We walked 15 to 20 miles a day to make it to the parade to create awareness about the importance of citizen participation in Indian democracy and the necessity of upgrading Democracy 1.0 to Democracy 2.0. We were met with great enthusiasm from public, said Massachusetts based software consultant and a volunteer with Aam Aadmi Party, Madhusudhan VN. He along with Akshay Kumar Anugu and Jayesh Srivastava are now creating awareness in Jersey city area. The parade worked as a perfect battleground for politicians to lock in campaign battles. IBA parade had a heavy presence of politicians such as U.S. Senate candidates such as Newark Mayor Cory Booker and U.S. Reps. Rush Holt (D-12th Dist.) and Frank Pallone (D-6th Dist.) shook hands with the crowd. Also in attendance was state Sen. Barbara Buono, (D-Middlesex), who is running against Gov. Chris Christie for governor. On the other hand OTIBA too had some known faces including Edison mayor Antonia Ricigliano, Councilman and mayoral candidate Sudhanshu Prasad and Assemblyman Upendra J. Chivukula. Asked on the rift between the two groups Patel said, Yes there are people in both the groups who are at loggerheads but we are not divided as a community as portrayed. We are friends and socialize regularly outside the realm of India day parade. The spectacle left some confused, some nostalgic and some embarrassed. It is sad to see people divided for a celebration of unity, harmoparades with his four year old son Aditya and two year old Akash. While many saw the parade as a way of connecting their kids to their Indian roots, there were others who found nothing Indian in the India day parade. National pride or publicity stunt? asks 44 year old Pawan Patel at the India day parade in New Jersey. From banks to local ethnic television stations, from local beauty parlors to pathology clinics and even liquor companies participated in the parade each in their own floats. Patel criticized the march and said the event was too commercial and that it did not reflect the spirit of India. You expect Independence Day parades to be about national pride, a tribute to the thousands of people who lost their lives in the freedom struggle. You expect the parade to be recognition of everything the nation has achieved since independence or least; display Indias rich culture and heritage. There was no display of Indian culture, tradition except for a couple of Hare Krishna floats. None of the two parades had statue of Mahatma Gandhi or any other national leader or freedom fighter or displayed Taj Mahal or the Red Fort replica. I could not find anything Indian in the parade. Majority of the floats advertised local business, or rallied US politicians, rest of the charm was taken away by Bollywood personalities and not to forget the rivalry between the two groups, said Patel, a resident of Woodbridge. The event drew a lot of Americans, one of them was Florida resident Kathy Freeman. My son has many Indian friends and my exposure to India is through my son David. I am glad I came here to see the parade, said Freeman. She was with her sister Phyllis Iau, Woodbridge resident. This is my first time at the parade. It is exciting to see the young and old come together to celebrate and to experience the beauty of India culture. The parade is colorful and the music is great especially the drums (dhol). Both the parades ended with cultural programs with children dancing on popular Bollywood dance numbers, games and stalls with delicious Indian cuisine. Amidst the celebration, an unidentified 50 year old woman, a spectator, was rushed to hospital after she fell down at the sidewalk. Emergency medical service responded promptly. Viru admitted that the parade has become more commercial. When we started we talked about representing our country on floats but the only way to survive the escalating cost of organizing the parade is through sponsors. The budget for this year s parade was over $ 150,000 for a half hour spectacle, we too have to recover costs. Without money nothing happens, people have to understand. This parade was done in just four days and parading 10 floats and two walking groups in such a short notice is in itself an achievement. For cultural display we have navratri and many other cultural functions round the year, said Kothari. The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin also celebrated Indias Independence Day with a parade on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. The parade started at 4 pm on Saturday in front of the Taj Mahal casino.

A kid dressed as hanuman takes a break from walking. ny and peace, said Sheetal, a 17 year old student. For 77 year old Shantaben Patel who was discharged last week from a hospital where she was admitted for stroke, parade reminds her of the first Independence Day. I was 10 back then. My father took me out at the junction in Ahmedabad, the mood was festive. People old and young, of every caste, creed and color, were cheering and singing to their hearts' content on jam-packed roads in celebration of azadi, recollects Shantaben who has been living in the US past 23 years. Music blared from floats during both parades, as dancers moved to the rhythm and Hare Krishna worshippers chanted. This is my first parade with the kids and this is as close as I can get to India. It is very important for me to expose my children to Indian culture, said Suresh Menon, an IT professional from Edison. Menon saw both the

Edison Mayor Antonia Ricigliano, grand marshal Shweta Bharadwaj and president of OTIBA Pradip (Peter) Kothari leading the parade. A participant blew conch shell to start the OTIBA parade

Edison Mayor Antonia Ricigliano, grand marshal Shweta Bharadwaj and president of OTIBA Pradip (Peter) Kothari addressed the crowd post parade.


August 17-23, 2013


Actress Priyanka Chopra graced the India Day celebrations in Los Angeles last weekend.

I-Day celebrated with fanfare in Toronto

Toronton: Top Canadian leaders, including Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, ministers and MPs, joined thousands of Indians in advance celebrations of Indias 66th Independence Day celebrations here on Aug 10 featuring cultural performances and a colorful parade in core downtown. Congratulating Indians at daylong Independence day celebrations at Yonge-Dundas Square, Premier Kathleen Wynne said, It is a wonderful celebration and I wish you a safe and happy Independence Day. She praised the contribution of the Indo-Canadians for enriching Canada through their hard work and cultural diversity. You have strengthened our country through your hard work, the Premier said at the annual event organized by Panorama India an umbrella organization of various Indian associations. Highlighting deepening relations

Dignitaries on the stage between India and the largest Canadian province, she said Ontario and India have a lot in common as both were models of democracy and multiculturalism. Lauding the contribution made by the Indo-Canadians in strengthening these bilateral ties, the Premier said Ontario is fortunate to have half a million people who trace

(Photo courtesy: Newseastwest.com)

Premier Kathleen Wynne with Consul General Preeti Saran, Consul D Charandasi and Panorama India Chair Jibanjit Tripathy of India and said India and Ontario shared deep bonds of friendship and common values. Panorama India Chair Jibanjit Tripathy said freedom remains the most cherished word in human history, and Indias freedom remains the most cherished and recognized event in world history. As we continue to celebrate our independence, we remember those sacrificed their lives so that we could live a free nation, Tripathy said. He said Indo-Canadians are proud of their unique heritage and culture as well as being part of Canadian mosaic of multiculturalism. In his speech, Tim Uppal, Canadian minister minister of state for multiculturalism, praised the immense contribution made IndoCanadians to Canada. Parliamentary secretary and seniormost Indo-Canadian MP Deepak Obhrai highlighted how India stood out in the world today for its vibrant democracy and economic growth and how it has become a role model for many countries since it began journey as an independent nation. Senator Asha Seth read out Prime Minister Stephen Harpers message of greetings for the IndoCanadians. In his congratulation message read by MP John McCallum, Liberal leader Justin

their origin to India. She praised outgoing Indian consul general Preeti Saran for her contribution to strengthening bilateral ties between India and Ontario. Preeti is one of the most gracious persons I have ever met, Kathleen Wynne said. Thanking the Premier, Preeti Saran called her the `dearest friend

PMI celebrates I-Day

Dancers performing Bharatnatyam Trudeau said, Such festivities work to connect our Indian communities with all CanadiansI, and the Liberal Party of Canada, believe that this country is great not in spite of its diversity, but because of it, and these celebrations further enrich society by introducing people to Indian culture and traditions. After the opening ceremonies were over, a big India Day Parade went around the downtown core, giving a glimpse of life in various Indian states. Decorated rickshaws and cultural troupes representing various Indian states added color to the parade. It was followed by a cultural extravaganza.

Amb. Asoke Kumar Mukerji, Permanent Representative of India to UN, hoisted the national flag at the Permanent Mission in New York, The impressive ceremony was attended by over 150 guests including senior Indian officials of the UN, Indian Army and Police officers on deputation to the UN.


August 17-23, 2013



5,000 years of uninterrupted civilization has helped India accumulate unmatched wisdom. In the past six and half decades India has painstakingly strengthened its democratic polity, harmonized the best of its past and present to build a nation that can truly become a model and inspiration for other countries, states Ambassador Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay, the new Consul General of India in New York.
By Parveen Chopra lization has accumulated unmatched wisdom. The last more than six decades of its history in which it has emerged as the largest practicing democracy has made India stronger. It has painstakingly strengthened its democratic polity, harmonized the best of its past and present to build a nation that can truly become a model for other countries. The diversity of people, cultures, ethnicity, language and history along with modern achievements have inspired the world. Our independence itself paved the way for the freedom of several Asian and African countries. Today India is recognized as a great power that is making considerable contribution towards world peace as well as development. SATimes: Is India's soft power being adequately projected and utilized by the country's envoys like you and the PR machinery? Amb. Mulay: India is recognized for its soft power that primarily emanates from its rich cultural diversity. However, its contemporary achievements have also strengthened its soft power. Besides the traditional aspects such as our classical arts, music, dance, sculpture, architecture and literature, our philosophy and wisdom has dazzled the world. The teachings of Vedas, Upanishads and epics like Mahabharat and Ramayan have had great influence

Exclusive Interview with Ambassador Mulay

on the world. The Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi are revered universally for their teachings of nonviolence, peace and harmony. In recent times, India's soft power has been visible in its literature, films and projection of diverse culture. The democratic aspect and the economic development of the last two decades have also added to India's soft power. India has very effectively used the soft power for its benefit and the current stature it enjoys worldwide is partly attributable to these efforts. SATimes: After taking over as Consul General in New York in April, you must have a fairly good idea by now of the Indian community here. Please tell us some of your observations. Amb. Mulay: The Indian community in the US is resourceful, vibrant, and proactive. By sheer grit and hard work, it has acquired considerable respect in the US. Today members of the Indian community are holding important positions in politics, society and in the economic field. Many advances have also been made in academics as well as the media. Government of India's policies too have given a new confidence to overseas Indians. The OCI and PIO card schemes have connected the diaspora with India and a number of new partnerships are shaping up our relationship with the US. Future of overseas Indians is likely to be brighter and their contributions are going to be more widely recognized both in India as well as in the US. SATimes: On the working of the Consulate General of India (CGI), what are you trying to change or improve for smoother interaction with public seeking consular services? Amb. Mulay: In the Consulate, we are attempting to consolidate the past efforts of building bridges between India and the USA and focusing on its further expansion in the context of very strong bilateral relations. The CGI is active in organizing economic and commercial seminars, workshops and presentations. Similarly, on the cultural front, wider canvas is being covered so as to do justice to visiting artistes as well as the local talent. India's achievements are being showcased through various activities. On the consular side, the work related to visa, passport, OCI and PIO card is being continuously streamlined to accord a more friendly and responsive service. SATimes: As India's front man in this region of America, what would you like to achieve during your term? What is on your wish list? Amb. Mulay: The CGI attempts to carry out Government of India's foreign policy with focus on economic and consular relations. Providing a transparent and effective service to the passport and visa seekers is one of the objectives. However, a considerable work could be done to boost economic partnership between India and the US taking into account the role that New York plays on the world economic stage. Building institutional linkages between banking and financial institutions is also emphasized. Assisting the diaspora to play a more vital role in strengthening India-US relations is also acquiring importance. Further contacts between US and Indian think-tanks could also be built for mutual benefit. Partnerships in the field of education, IT, pharma and

ot many may know that Ambassador Dnyaneshwar Mulay had started writing much before he joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1983. But the Service broadened the horizon, he admits. He has been an award winning writer in Marathi and Hindi and has published several books, some of which have been translated into Kannada, Urdu and Arabic Before taking over as Consul General in New York earlier this year, Amb. Mulay was posted as High Commissioner to Maldives. The career diplomat has also been posted in Indian missions in Tokyo, Moscow and Port Louis and has served at the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi. Amb. Mulay was born in 1958 in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra and has a master's degree from Mumbai University. He wife, Sadhna Shanker, has recently joined him in New York. They have two sons and a daughter. In New York, within a short time he has endeared himself to the Indian community, graciously attending receptions given in his honor. In this interview given to The South Asian Times days before Indias 67th Independence Day, Ambassador Mulay dwelt on Indias genius and soft power, and on the happy state of Indo-US ties. More importantly, he answered questions on what the consulate is striving to achieve under him vis-vis the Indian community and what is on his wish list as India front man in this part of America. SATimes: What is India's genius that has brought us to the forefront of world's nations within seven decades after independence? Ambassador Dnyaneshwar Mulay: India offers to the world many things that no other country offers. It is the most diverse country with a very rich and vital cultural heritage. The more than 5,000 years of uninterrupted civi-

Amb. Dnyaneshwar Mulay, Consul General of India in New York.

health services, as well as infrastructure are being encouraged. CGI is playing an important role in these endeavors. SATimes: Indo-US relations are said to the warmest ever. What is the view from inside the Indian establishment, and what awaits the ties in future? Amb. Mulay: The strong bilateral relations are only likely to expand by leaps and bounds in the future. Convergences and synergies between the two countries are visible in almost all areas. Besides the high level bilateral visits including that of President Obama and Vice President Biden from the US and PM Dr. Manmohan Singh from India, a highly multifaceted cooperation has emerged. Being democracies and respectful of pluralistic culture, our countries could benefit immensely from each other. The future is going to be one that witnesses newer and bigger partnerships in almost all fields including education, science and technology, strategic fields, trade and commerce, investment, banking as well as cultural arena.

Ambassador Dnyaneshwar Mulay (middle) was recently honored at Bharatiya VidyaBhavan, New York, where he shared his literary journey.

The gracious guest at community receptions -- Consul General Mulay with wife Sahdna Shanker (standing next to him) at one hosted by Ravi and Ranju Batra.


August 17-23, 2013


The voice of Aam Aadmi Party in India and the man who made Hindi poetry popular again, explains why India needs you now!

Politics is Yug dharam. We all should be in love With Politics

By Roopsi Narula
Kumar Vishvas: I am not contesting from any seat for AAP. This is my personal call. However, I am engaged in party rallies and canvassing for my friends, who are contesting for AAP. The youth in India are coping with many problems, the biggest being corruption. What can the youth do to make a difference? What is your message to the youth? Today the whole country is wondering who to vote for. During the recent elections in Karnataka, there was an anti-Congress wave in the whole country but Congress won. This is because BJP looted the state and people were angry. The call was looteri BJP ko hataao. Modi had addressed dozens of rallies there. People attended those rallies. Modi said, I have done good governance in Gujarat so please vote for BJP. However people did not vote for BJP. AAP did not contest from Karnataka. In UP people voted for Akhilesh Yadav thinking we should vote for a new face, but what Mr Yadav is doing is totally absurd and wrong. People are angry. When we formed a political party, BJP felt that it wont be able to cash in on the anti-Congress wave. Our complaint with BJP was that BJP should at least bring Lok Ayukta and Right to Recall in states governed by them and should not let their corrupt leaders such as Mr Gadkari move forward in the party. AAP is a party of nationalists but we are not pseudo-nationalists or pseudo-secular. Pseudonationalists are Mr Modi and BJP and pseudo-secular are Congress and Samajwadi party. China is regularly intervening in India. I have never heard Mr Modi say a word against China. He blames central leadership for this. He is rebuking the center for favoring American policy but he says yes to Walmart. His President was acting like a beggar at the doorstep of US for a visa for his would be prime minister. What is all this? This is pseudo-nationalism. I have not heard any word by Mr Modi against suspension of Durga Nagpal (IAS officer suspended by UP government). AAP stands against corruption but BJP is against Congress. Sixty per cent of the Indians now know us. They know me, they know Arvind Kejrwal and Prashant Bhushan. AAP is emerging as an option in 2014 elections. I am confident that we will form a government in Delhi. A recent survey by Times of India declared that AAP is heavily leading against Congress in Delhi. BJP is nowhere. Maybe in America you are not aware that we recently got our election symbol. Yes, I am fully aware of this. Its a broom! So why did you choose this symbol? Kumar Vishvas: Its a broom and its a trend on twitter right now. Our party slogan is Rajneeti Ki Safai Karo and personal slogan is Ab Lagegi Jhaadu. How are you involving the Indian diaspora, who may want to

wo weeks before Indias Independence day, I had a chance to interview Dr Kumar Vishvas, who is now a prominent face of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in India. Living in New Delhi a few years back, I was a part of the English-speaking generation of the Indian youth, who were irresistibly pulled towards Hindi poetry by Dr Vishvas legendary, Koi Deewana Kehta Hai. Hindi poetry was

Dr Kumar Vishvas

support you in the anti-corruption movement? Kumar Vishvas: We are short of money but we have not initiated NRI funding. If you do not have an Indian passport, we do not welcome any financial support of NRIs. We are the first party, who said we wont take money from any corporate house. We do not take any money that we cannot declare. NRIs can help us by supporting us with technology and helping to spread our message on social networks. We want NRIs to come to Delhi in mid-November and canvass for AAP. That time the weather will also be good for you to visit Delhi. We also have a dedicated group of followers. We have guys from IITs, Indian youth from all over the world, who have taken leave from their jobs to work for us and to see a new political revolution in this country.
Interview continued on page 33

Kumar Vishwas (left): Poet, professor and now activist.

not the in thing for us but Dr Vishvas was too compelling to be ignored. I later moved to the US but like millions of his fans, continued following him on social networks. His association with the AAP and strong stand on issues such as corruption in India, increased my respect and admiration for him. In times of delusion and hopelessness, its refreshing to hear a man, who does not mince words in opposing what is wrong. I consider him the king of sarcasm and wit, and truly a man of substance. After an hour long conversation with him on the phone, I felt a new hope for the future of India. I wish many more people like him come forward and take a lead in Indian politics. Here are excerpts from the interview. How did you get associated with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)? Kumar Vishvas: My association with AAP began as a personal call on behest of my childhood friend and journalist Manish Sisodiya, who is now a member of AAP. I joined Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal in the anti-corruption movement. Then there was no looking back. I felt compelled to be a part of the movement. I took it as a social responsibility, which I could not abdicate. Are you contesting on AAP ticket?

Kumar Vishvas: AAP is fighting against corruption. Youth can make a big difference by joining us in this movement. In a country where bhrastachaar was shristacchar and we had a chalta hai attitude, the anti-corruption movement that we started has now brought us forward from kuch nahi ho sakta hai to kuch ho sakta hai. Chalta hai attitude has to go. Some people say Modi, Nitish Kumar, or Kejriwal, will remove corruption, but I say it will be over once we have good governance. What is the short-term and long-term agenda of AAP? Kumar Vishvas: Our immediate agenda is formation of Lokpal (Ombudsman), right to recall (legislators), right to reject and good governance. The long-term agenda is peoples governance or Gram Swaraj. It is my observation that voters in India do not see beyond BJP and Congress. Many are not even aware of AAP. Comment. Kumar Vishvas: BJP and Congress are not parties, these are gangs. People are now angry with both Congress and BJP.

Kumar Vishwas (left) with Aam Aadmi Party colleagues Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia.


SantoSh Koli * activiSmS life cut Short

Santosh was Aam Aadmi Partys nominee to contest an east Delhi assembly seat. But this indomitable fighter for the common mans basic rights and associate of Arvind Kejriwal was becoming Enemy No 1 for people who did not want to relinquish their power which they were using for their own gain. By Manjari Rana
help to solve the grievances of people of their area regarding electric supply. An unassuming Santosh Koli had dropped out of school after completing tenth grade. But by no means she lacked motivation to do something for her fellow citizens. During the long association of almost 12 years with Arvind Kejriwal, founder of Aam Aadmi Party, Santosh showed her zeal to work for the common man or Aam Admi in the community. Santosh was one of the first employees at Parivartan, an NGO started by Arvind Kejriwal. She did not let lack of a college degree be an excuse and took head on peoples issues with corruption in the public welfare system. She lobbied local bodies to embrace self-governance or Jan Lokpal as fought for by Anna Hazare and Kejriwal. She was not only a pillar of support for RTI (Right To
The author is a social worker by education and artist by profession, based in Placentia, CA.

t is a dream of every parent that their child will do something special in this world. But what they never anticipate that their child and that too a daughter coming from a traditional family with its set of rules and restrictions, will face political goons, be nominated to run in elections and be famous at a young age of 30 years. Santosh Koli was born in an east Delhi colony in 1983. Her father works in a garment factory and mother in an NGO. True to her name, Santosh (meaning satisfaction in Hindi) was not going to tolerate ill-governance of the prevailing system. What gave her a sense of accomplishment was when she could help hundreds of people get what is rightfully theirs, be it rashan (food), electric supply or their basic human rights. Santosh met activist Arvind Kejriwal in 2001 through her mother seeking

Santosh Koli was 30 when she was silenced by elements with vested interests. (right) A feisty Santosh stopped at a protest rally by the police.

Continuation of Kumar Vishwas Interview from Page 32

We also seek funds from the constituencies where we do not have money. We gave a call for Santosh Kolis constituency. Sadly, Santosh, an RTI activist, has died after she was brutally attacked. Now we will call for Surinder Singh, an ex-NSG commando, who was denied pension by the Indian government on account of a disability. We stood for him and he started getting his pension. Now he is our candidate from Delhi Cantt area. Some other candidates of AAP are an auto rickshaw driver, another was in CISF (Central Industrial Security Force). We seek funds for them and we hope people will come forward to support us. We want to clean up politics. Its a time to take a stand. We are fighting hard and it is the first time that this is happening in the Indian political history. Politics is an agenda of the times. It is Yug dharam. We all should be in love with politics. Its our social responsibility. Dont calculate your benefit and loss in this. Everyone should come forward and join us in this revolution. I read somewhere that you also have some forthcoming projects in Bollywood. Kumar Vishvas: Yes, I am in discussion with several good producers and directors. I have developed some stories as well as lyrics. The biggest names of film industry are regularly interacting with me. Big Boss (TV reality show) is calling me every year. They offered me a few crore rupees but I denied because I think this doesnt go with my profile. I dont think my fans and followers

would love to see me there. I also have a lot of respect for you and I would never want to see you on Big Boss! Kumar Vishvas: Thank you for that. Every artist is in need of money and so am I. Salman ji (host of Big Boss) is very interested that I should be there. However, I know if I do this, I will end up losing that what I have and which no one else has! At the most, I can go to Big Boss for just one day to perform for the residents but if they expect that I stay inside, I wont be able to do it.

Information) bill, but also mobilized people to stand up against injustice and corruption. As concerned parents of a daughter of marriageable age, they asked her to leave her activism which had resulted in several attacks on her life. Once her throat had been cut by knife and several times there were attacks on her with blades. Harrowing conditions which will force ordinary mortals to give up on the cause, but Santoshs only answer was that if she wouldnt do it then who will! At an age when most girls from traditional families are busy raising kids, Santosh was in the forefront of any group raising issues of common man. As has been noted in the blog of one of her activist friends, After April 2011

all of us worked for grass rootmobilization and Santosh was the one who used to give us tips. She had far more knowledge about the ground scenario than any of us. Also , One incident I specifically remember is of 21st August 2011 She coordinated the effort of protesting in front of the homes of our political leaders That day was the first time anyone protested in front of PMs house in the history of Indias anti-corruption protest She and her colleagues got arrested but that never deterred her. When in April 2013, Aam Aadmi Party started selecting candidates to contest Delhi assembly elections slated for alter this year, Santosh Koli was an obvious choice to run from the Seemapuri

constituency in east Delhi. Masses considered her sister, daughter and a fighter. But this indomitable person was becoming Enemy No 1 for people who did not want to relinquish their power which they were using for their own gain. On June 30, 2013, Santosh was hit by a vehicle while she was on her way to AAP office along with another activist Kuldeep on a motorbike. Santosh sustained extensive injuries while Kuldeep had minor injuries. Due to the extent of her injuries, Santosh breathed her last on August 7. She is not among us now but her short life has taught us a lesson, how to live and fight for a cause. If we can stand for something that does good for society, then the expanse of life does not matter but the content does.

The author is Vice President, The South Asian Times. She can be reached at roopsi@thesouthasiantimes.info


IndIa Is prImed for tIppIng poInt

The exponenTIal era
Moores Law documents how computing power is growing exponentiallycomputers are becoming ever more powerful while prices drop. The same exponential growth is happening in an assortment of other technologiesin fields such as robotics, AI, computing, synthetic biology, 3D printing, medicine and nanomaterials. These advances are making it possible for small teams to do what was only once possible by governments and large corporations. For example, the price of genome sequencing is dropping at double the rate of Moores Law. Today, it is possible to decode your DNA for a few thousand dollars. Genome data is becoming available for millions of people. Soon, this will be billions of people. Using IT-like tools, we will be able to discover the correlations between disease and DNA and to prescribe personalized medicationstailored to an individuals DNA. This will create a revolution in medicinewhich Indian entrepreneurs can lead with their IT skills. We can also now write DNA. Advances in synthetic biology are allowing the creation of new organisms and synthetic life forms. Entrepreneurs have developed software tools to design and compile DNA. It isnt just DNA that we can print. In an emerging field called digital manufacturing, 3D printers enable the production of physical mechanical devices, medical implants, jewelry, and even clothing. Within this decade, we will see 3D printers doing the small-scale production of previously labor intensive crafts and goods. In the next decade we can expect the manufacturing of the majority of goods to be done locally, buildings and electronics to be 3D printed, and the rise of a creative class empowered by digital making. Indias entrepreneurs can now use their CAD/CAM skills to design genomes as well as 3D objects. There are also major advances happening in Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (or MEMS) which make it possible to build inexpensive gyros, accelerometers, temperature, current/magnetic fields, pressure, chemical & DNA sensors. Imagine iPhone cases that act like medical assistants and detect disease, smart pills that we swallow which monitor our internals, and tattooed body sensors that monitor heart, brain, and body activity. And then there is Artificial Intelligence, which has advanced to the point that computers can defeat humans on the TV show Jeopardy, perform medical diagnosis, and drive autonomous cars. All of these play very well to the engineering and IT skills of Indians. Entrepreneurs in India are on a level footing with entrepreneurs in the West in these new technologies because there are few experts in these emerging fields. With their strong education in mathematics and science, Indian entrepreneurs may even have an advantage over entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. The Valleys entrepreneurs are being told by tech moguls like Peter Thiel not to worry about college educationthat it is not necessary. Indian entrepreneurs have been brought up in a society that believes that education is everything and that still cherishes its engineers and scientists. These exponential technologies will help us solve many of humanitys grand challenges, including energy, education, water, food, and health. Indians can solve not only their own countrys problems, but also those of the world.

TableT revoluTIon
By designing and sanctioning the Aakash tablet and starting the process of connecting India via fiber-optic cable, the Indian government has inadvertently started a revolution that will transform Indiaand shake up the world. India has lowered the expected base price of tablet technologies from $400-500that is common in the West, to $35-50. This would not have happened on its own. For example, if you look at Apple, their new versions of technology mostly involve only minor upgrades in featureswith the price being constant. Now, Acer is set to announce a $99 tablet and Chinese vendors are competing with Aakashs manufacturer Datawind to bring the production cost below $35. This will wreak havoc on the global PC, laptop, and smartphone industries because profit margins will decimate while the numbers of cheap tablets in use increases exponentially. India currently has around 900 million cell phones which were typically purchased for $30 or more. With the cost of tablets reaching this price point, the replacement devices for cell phones will be tablets. The fiber-optic lines that the government is laying in hundreds of villages will provide cheap, affordable Internet for the masses. India will likely have more than 100 million new Internet users over the next 2-3 years as a result, and this number will grow to more than 500 million within 5 years and a billion by the end of the decade. India is going to leap-frog the entire PC generation. Other countries have gone from desktop to laptop and now to tablets. India doesnt need to do that. It doesnt have to invest in cable wires and fiber optics like the US; it can move directly to cell towers for broadband access. Never before has humanity been connected the way India will soon be thanks to the Aakash project. With Internet connected devices, the poorest of the poor in India will be able to gain access to the same ocean of knowledge as is available to the elite the world over. They will be able to educate themselves, learn about the latest advances in agriculture and farming, find out the real value of the goods they produce, and take advantage of e-commerce to purchase and sell their goods. Most importantly, they will be able to participate in discussions and exchange of ideas with the rest of us. They will be able to tell the world about the bribes they paid and the abuses they suffered

Despite government inefficiency, corruption scandals and global slowdown, India is well on its way to several first-generation billion-dollar technology companies that solve its grand challenges.

By Vivek Wadhwa

espite my belief that Indias IT industry will soon peak and that its government will be embroiled in even more corruption scandals (thanks to a more vigilant and vocal public), I am more optimistic than ever about India. Thats because as they have done before, Indias entrepreneurs will save the day. They will reinvent India and solve not only its problems, but those of the world. All the government has to do is to get out of their way and steal a little less. There are three trends that will converge and give India its advantage: more IT executives will tire of working for their white masters and take the leap into entrepreneurship; exponential technologies will enable them to think bigger; and a tablet revolution that the Indian government inadvertently started will transform education, commerce, and societyand this will become the governments worst nightmare, by empowering the people to hold it accountable.

The number of active Internet users in India will go from the double digit millions to triple digits millions. India will have many Amazon and Google-sized Internet companies. And Indian entrepreneurs will start using the new technologies and their unique experience and skills to start solving big problems.

IndIan IT
In its third decade, in addition do doing the grunt level IT maintenance they are known for, Indian engineers are now designing aircraft engines, automotive components, manufacturing plants, next-generation microprocessors, telecom products, and medical devices for western companies. There now are hundreds of thousands of highly skilled workers who have worked for these companies for more than a decade and are reaching middle age. They respected the wishes of their parents and joined brand-name corporations, and built a nest egg of savings. Now, they are yearning to break out on their own and become entrepreneurs. American entrepreneurs typically start their first companies when they are 40they get tired of working for others and want to build wealth before they retire. Indians are doing the same. So in any city you visit, you find hundreds of former IT executives taking the leap into entrepreneurship.

at the hands of corrupt government officialsin other words, they will be able to stand up just like the Indian middle class did to the horrendous cases of rape and government corruption. Indias Internet and e-commerce industry is struggling right now because there just arent enough Internet users to achieve critical massand profitability. If these startups can surviveanother 18 months and hone their business models and customer service skills, they will be positioned for greater growth than what Silicon Valleys startups experienced during the last decade. The number of active Internet users will go from the double digit millions to triple digits. India will have many Amazon and Google-sized Internet companies. And Indian entrepreneurs will start using the new technologies and their unique experience and skills to start solving big problems. This will be good for India and for the world. So there is every reason for great optimism about India and its future.
Vivek Wadwa is Fellow, Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Stanford University; Vice President of Innovation and Research, Singularity University and Director of Research, CERC, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University.

With cheap Internet connected devices like the Aakash tablet, the poorest of the poor in India will be able to gain access to the same ocean of knowledge as is available to the elite the world over.


August 17-23, 2013


Meet the rising superpower

From the days of savings to the days of spending, India has seen a complete revival of its fortunes over the last two decades

The female literacy rate is 65.46 percent and male literacy rate is 82.14 percent

Talent pool of the world

India is today one of the worlds fastest growing economies he Indian economy from 1947 to 1991 was based on a mixed economy combining features of capitalism and socialism, resulting in an inward-looking, interventionist policies that failed to take advantage of the post-war expansion of trade. Five-Year Plans of India resembled central planning in the Soviet Union. Steel, mining, machine tools, telecommunications, insurance, and power plants, among other industries, were effectively nationalised in the mid1950s. The rate of growth of the Indian economy in the first three decades after independence was derisively referred to as the Hindu rate of growth by world economists. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the Gulf War, which caused a sharp rise in oil prices, resulted in a major balanceof-payments crisis for India, which found itself facing the prospect of defaulting on its loans. In 1991, India adopted liberal and free-market principles and liberalised its economy to international trade. The country's economy grew rapidly with relatively large increases in per-capita incomes. Goldman Sachs has predicted

that India's GDP in current prices would overtake France and Italy by 2020, Germany, UK and Russia by 2025 and Japan by 2035, making it the third largest economy of the world, behind the US and China. India is often seen by most economists as a rising economic superpower and is believed to play a major role in the global economy in the 21st century.

Salient points
India is today one of the worlds fastest growing economies. By 2030, India will become the worlds third largest economy with projected GDP (PPP) at $13,716 bn. India is the 19th-largest exporter and the 10th-largest importer in the world. During 201112, India's foreign trade grew by an impressive 30.6% to reach $792.3 billion. Industry accounts for 28 per cent of the countrys GDP and employs 14 per cent of the total workforce. India is one of the fastest growing retail markets in the world. One of the top five retail markets in the world by economic value, the retail industry is estimated to be $450 billion. India has the world's third

largest road network, covering more than 4.3 million kilometers and carrying 60 per cent freight and 87 per cent passenger traffic. India has a national teledensity rate of 74.15 per cent with 926.53 million telephone subscribers. India has the second-largest pool of scientists and engineers in the world. India has 122 billionaires with net assets of Rs 500 crore and above, as of December 2012. The production of passenger vehicles in India was recorded at 3.23 million in 2012-13 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 per cent during 2012-2021, as per data published by Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA). Passenger car sales saw sales of 1.89 million units in 2012-13. The aviation sector in India has attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) worth $449.26 million from April 2000 to March 2013. Indias Rs 77 trillion banking industry has 87 scheduled commercial banks, 26 public sector banks, 20 private banks and 41 foreign banks. ndia took a major step t o w a r d s attaining its long-awaited nuclear weapons triad as a reactor on board the countrys first indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant was activated on August 10, paving way for its deployment by the navy after sea trials. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described it as a giant stride in the progress of the country's indigenous capabilities. The production of INS Arihant makes the Indian Navy one of the six navies in the world that are capable of building and operating

he importance of education in India was recognized by the founding fathers of the country and the subsequent governments, and as a result considerable importance has been given to literacy, school enrolment, institutions of higher education and technical education, over the decades ever since independence. Indias aspirations to establish a knowledge society in the context of increasing globalization, is

based on the assumption that higher and technical education essentially empowers people. Post-independence India has witnessed an above average growth in the number of higher educational institutions vis--vis its population. While there were just about 20 universities and 500 colleges at the time of independence, today these numbers have grown exponentially.

Salient points
Today, India has a total of 610 universities. 43 central universities, 299 state universities, 140 private Universities, 128 deemed universities and 5 institutions established through state legislation, 30 Institutions of National Importance There are 45 technical institutes, 13 management institutes, 4 information technology institutes, 6 science and research institutes and 3 planning and architecture institutes Currently, the Government spends around 3.8 percent of its GDP on education According to the 2011 census, the total literacy rate in India is 74.04 percent compared to the world average of 83.4 percent. The female literacy rate is 65.46 percent and male literacy rate is 82.14 percent FDI inflows in the education sector during May 2012 stood at $31.22 mn There has been phenomenal growth of higher education in India since Independence. There were only 20 universities and 500 colleges at the time of independence. These numbers have increased by 26 times in the case of universities and 66 times in the case of colleges.


INS Arihant

nuclear-powered submarines. The 6,000-tonne submarine will provide India the third leg of its nuclear triad the capacity to fire nuclear weapons from land, sea and air. The army has nuclear capable Agni and Prithvi-II missiles in its arsenal and the air force has aircraft capable of delivering nuclear warheads. The Indian armed forces are steadily undergoing modernization with investments in missile defense system and a nuclear triad. India has been in possession of nuclear weapons since 1974 and maintains a no-first use and a nuclear deterrence policy. Apart

from nuclear missiles Prithvi and Agni, India has long range strategic bombers like the Tupolev Tu-22 M3 and Tupolev Tu-142 as well as fighter jets like Sukhoi Su-30MKI, Dassault Mirage 2000 and MiG-29 capable of armed with nuclear tipped bombs and missiles. The surface-to-surface Agni-III ballistic missile has a range of over 3,000 km. Agni-III is capable of carrying warheads weighing up to 1.5 tonnes. It is 16 metres tall and weighs 48 tonnes. The nuclear-capable Agni-IV missile has a 4,000 km range. The missile is designed to carry a payload of 1,000 kg.


August 17-23, 2013


IndIa, the Land CoLumbus set out to FInd Is a deLICIous mystery that thomas JeFFerson WouLd FInd WIth destIny, and John Kerry FInds Warm and thIrsty
being conquered, as a whole, by the unstoppable digital binary code, the great denominator, the world has indeed gone flat, and time instantaneous: lost are the curves of the globe and the hands of time on the altar of digital transparency - more controlled by multinational corporations than by analogue sovereign governments desperately seeking to harness the binary code to defend against enemies, foreign and domestic. What is to become of India, one may ask. Beware, I say to all who thought that China would counter-balance the Soviets. Like Chinas core greatness lay sub-rosa unseen by the likes of Henry Kissinger, so, I fear is true of India, albeit, mercifully, only in part. In part, I say, because Indias investment in democracys warts is fullthrottle and every citizen, poor and rich alike, sees himself as the master of the public trust. Just ask The New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman as to why he is so in love with India, and why India, a Hindu-majority nation, effortlessly and confidently rests its position in the comity of nations in the gentle, strong and erudite hands of Salman Khurshid. It is as if Ashoka the Great, Akbar the Great, Guru Nanak, and Mother Teresa, not just Gandhi, Jinnah and Nehru, wrought this continuing tryst with destiny. For us in the United States, where each of the 50 states are a laboratory of policy for the nation to embrace or reject, India, I submit, given its diverse religious content and in the main peaceful co-existence, economic growth that defies the weight of regulations, may well be a laboratory to the world - for there, East and West, greed and charity, ambition and detachment live in substantial harmony. Since Secretary John Kerry is working overtime to seize the moment decreed by destiny, as he races to the Middle East to jumpstart the cobwebbed peace process between Israel and Palestine, no matter the profit of the status quoers, and harder yet, to re-order the Afghan-Subcontinent equation, each of the affected nationsand citizenry, in the exercise of their enlightened self-interest, owe a good faith response -- for destiny awaits, in an infinite variety of shades and colors, the outstretched-hands state of loneliness or girth, given the many amalgamated hands reaching for the same sweet spot of history. Moreover, the dynamic of Israels meddlesome Thomas Dewey-like preference in last years presidential elections when Barack Obama won the imperial term in a resounding Harry Truman-like fashion, presents the Middle East a better shot than ever before. However, multi-lateral frustration infecting the Afghan-Subcontinent recalibrated process requires a critical mass of trilateral leadership, which ignores the interlopers inflammatory excesses, so as to bring the blessings of liberty and prosperity to their populace, unhappily aware of their common ancestry and uncommon present. For them I recall the example of the European Unions birth, when jealous pride of many a nation, that claimed the world as its own, was overcome - surely those in the subcontinent can bequeath to their childrens children a gentle neighborhood where all are free to worship as they see fit and prosper per individual effort, as they have the benefit of crosspride across the border. It may well be that the United Nations, created with the ink of World War II victory and a subsequent switcheroo a la ROC with PRC, needs the reforms that many have pushed for, including, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and his then-Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri, after winning an unprecedented near-unanimous electoral victory to a rotational seat on the Security Council. It may well be that the bubbling South China Sea needs to bubble less, even as it starts the Kabuki dance of a future theater of avoid-able war and re-militarization. Indias attention, then, must be Eastward, Upward, and Westward. As an American, I can only hope that the land Columbus set out to find, India, and the nation he caused to be born, the United States, find in each other a common soul, aided by the rule of law and abetted by a democratic republic, such that Jeffersons Declarationof Independence, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Natures God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be selfevident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. ... And Jawaharlal Nehrus Tryst with Destiny speech loudly resonates tothis day: Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity. At the dawn of history India started on her unending quest, and trackless centuries are filled with her striving and the grandeur of her success and her failures. Through good and ill fortune alike she has never lost sight of that quest or forgotten the ideals which gave her strength. We end today a period of ill fortune and India discovers herself again. The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us. Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future? The world is better that Columbus lived, dreamed and strove. For we are here, dear Cristoforo Columbo, to prove you were never map-lost.

By Ravi Batra

hat is it about India, that its tryst with destiny is still on-going? Why does India keep moving forward despite the doers and the naysayers, the empire builders and the colonized? The answer, I submit, lies in the glorious amalgam of history and hope, glory and defeat, education and renunciation, family and loneliness, accomplishment and

India, I submit, given its diverse religious content and in the main peaceful coexistence, economic growth that defies the weight of regulations, may well be a laboratory to the world - for there, East and West, greed and charity, ambition and detachment live in substantial harmony.
worthlessness, ego and doubt, government and the governed, East and West, nuclear energy and organic linen; in short, India is a living contradiction - old and young, religious and secular, Eastern and Western, proud and humble, poor and rich, stranger and friend. On Indias 67th Independence Day, one cannot but thank the British empire for all of its managerial excellence and vision, for it is they who did what no maharaja was able to do short of Ashoka the Great: create a Greater India, a unified India. That there was a Great Partition, with untold stories of misery and heroism, courage and slaughter, so that a few Royals, domestic and foreign, could uproot so much humanity for map-makers joy rather than compel sovereign governments to give equal protection to the governed, remains an irksome lesson for would-be nation-makers. Arab Springs lessons are both forward-looking, as they are rear-view looking, and given the world

As an American, I can only hope that the land Columbus set out to find, India, and the nation he caused to be born, the United States, find in each other a common soul, aided by the rule of law and abetted by a democratic republic, such as envisioned in Jeffersons Declaration of Independence and Nehrus Tryst with Destiny.

InCredIbLe, JaWaharLaL nehru Found a tryst

> The author is an Eminent attorney based in new York and Chairman of National Advisory Council on South Asian Affairs. <


August 17-23, 2013


August 17-23, 2013


August 17-23, 2013


Opinion polls have rejected any single party formation in 2014 elections. This requires a fresh interpretation into who finally is going to represent Congress and BJP as PM candidate.


New Delhi Bureau

s 2014 approaches, the tug-of-war between ruling Congress and opposition BJP is getting bitter by the day. Both sides are trying hard to sell their agenda for general elections that, in all probability, would see a hung Parliament. Two key opinion polls, one by The Hindu and other by Times Now, have projected a hung House, with neither UPA nor NDA getting close to the majority mark. This also means more bargaining power to regional satraps. This also requires a fresh interpretation into who finally is going to represent Congress and BJP in next elections as PM candidate. The suspicion oner Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as BJP's PM candidate is deepened by the fact that the Hindu supremacist Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) has seemingly thrown its full weight behind Modi and clearly wants him to be the BJP's prime ministerial candidate. Yet, if the BJP is taking its time over naming him, it is probably because of two reasons. One is the internal opposition by Advani and Co. and the other is the fear that his projection will restrict the BJP's appeal mainly to its core group of supporters to the exclusion of minorities and liberals. It is in this context that Modi's latest utterances have been seen as playing into the Congress's hands. The eagerness with which Congressmen have sought to counter

In the run-up to the 2014 elections, one thing is certain: Neither Congress nor BJP have declared their PM candidates so far. Will it be Narendra Modi vs Rahul Gandhi? While both the parties keep cards close to their chest, Narendra Modi seems to hog the limelight while Congress is waiting for him to utter something that can be made another national issue. Game is on!
Modi - the veil of secularism is better than "naked communalism", as Ajay Maken said - shows that they are happy to lure the BJP's poster boy into the secular vs communal debate where he will be at a disadvantage. It is to avoid this trap that the BJP's Yashwant Sinha has advised Modi to stick to his development plank and not veer into the quicksand of ideology and identity politics. Although Modi started off with an emphasis on the Gujarat model of economic progress, the series of public functions and interactions with the media are apparently forcing him to digress into controversial areas, says political expert Amulya Ganguli. Today Modi is not just a rising, but a risen star. If coordination between major parties is the name of the game, it would be appropriate to understand the level of coordination for all round benefit. All round benefit means benefit to India Inc headquartered in Mumbai, Congress, BJP and the multinationals who have gauged India as a trillion-dollar market which could be utilized for global economic recovery, after which we may have time to consider the Indian People too, adds political commentator Saeed Naqvi. It is elementary that Modi is no coalition builder. Since only a coalition, a UPA-III or an NDA-II, are possible after the 2014 general elections, why is Modi being projected? And what is he being projected as? The BJP has not announced Modi as the prime ministerial candidate. He is the chief of the partys campaign panel, a position earlier held by Pramod Mahajan and Arun Jaitley. And yet, there he goes flying, higher and higher, on the winged horse called the media. On the other hand, the suspense over whether Congress will project Rahul Gandhi as PM candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls continues to linger. Political circles feel that Congress is reluctant to project Rahul PM because it would like to the 2014 elections as a Presidential match up between him and Narendra Modi. It is also felt that spelling out the choice might embarrass Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who has eight months of his tenure left and who has been

painted by the party as a success. Congress had so far argued that it has traditionally not projected PM candidate, the exception being 2009 when Congress Manmohan Singh was the incumbent PM was the obvious choice. The question however remains -- who would head the next Congress regime should the party be in position to form the government. While insiders say Rahul would take the baton, many believe it may depend on the tally the party mops up at the hustings. The 2009 score of 206 seats was more than comfortable for Rahul's ascension but a dip would mean that the party would not be able to have a dominant say in the affairs of the next non-BJP coalition and could lead to a search for other options. Today's voter in any country of the world is not in a mood to give an absolute majority to any political party, forcing coalition governments. The voter is crying out loud to urge the politicians not to take extreme positions on any issue so that they can join hands with other parties to form coalitions. A majority of them are below 35 years in age, just like in India, and they don't like any kind of discrimination based on religion, class, caste or creed. They want all to work together for the betterment of the entire humanity. Keeping the voters' mood in mind, both Congress and BJP are waiting for time to pass. They would come in close battle once this year ends and we enter 2014. Till then, the ball would move from Modi's court to Rahul's and vice versa. There is no substance in the fight all media masala -- at least at this very juncture.


August 17-23, 2013


With election year 2014 closing in and the falling rupee, rising inflation, corruption and crimes making living conditions miserable for an average Indian, sentiments hit a high this Independence Day as we spoke to people from different sections of the society. The political parties are all set to fight it out over ballots but with no clear mandate expected the rise of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as a prime ministerial candidate is a hot topic of discussion across the board. Will Congresss poster boy Rahul Gandhi be able to shift the winds of change in his partys favor? Readers speak

Politicians have disaPPointed us

For this reason I have been advocating since years that by all means raise the age of retirement of IAS, IPS, IRS and other senior civil services and even the judiciary, but disqualify the retiring personnel from holding any public office for a period of five or at least three years from the date of retirement. Then the retiring personnel cannot be tempted with the carrot of post retirement glamorous jobs. healthcare is touching the skies and education is so competitive that the common man takes life to be a burden? See the spiraling crime rates and find out the answer to which partys governance is better. I am sorry but I have no interest in politics as its not going to change the ground reality in our country.

Many think that the political system in India needs cleaning up. No wonder, the new Aam Aadmi Party has adopted broom as its election symbol.

Sunita Pant Bansal

writer, editor and entrepreneur, Noida
Frankly, I do not have much of an opinion about any political party in India. This Independence Day, I feel that the real independence would be when women feel safe in our metro cities, when they feel safe in their homes/families, when the girls are not treated any different from boys/daughters from sons, when women get credit and appreciation for what they do... I am not a feminist, but I do believe in independence of a person. I am not talking of gender equality but just independence. How is any political party different from the other? All of them have skeletons hidden in their closets. All of them are steeped in scams. None of them think about the country - they just pretend to. If they did, then why would we have so many scams running across parties? And why would a disaster like Uttarakhand happen? When such things happen then instead of forgetting personal rivalries, people like Modi offer to help Gujaratis stuck in the area - proving their small mindedness and callousness towards humankind in general. Then we have Mamta Banerji who speaks only about the Bengalis and the Thakarey family who keeps threatening the nonMaharashtrians to leave Mumbai... So, which party can actually rule the country when their thought process is so limited? Does it really matter how much progress they show in a state, if the people in general, the masses, still face redtapism every day? When food is getting more expensive,

Vinayak Rajesekhar
student pursuing diploma in Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding and a photo-journalism enthusiast
At this point in time, when the political structure is witnessing a major flux and shift in power and focus, it is difficult to say/ ascertain who would prove to be a better leader albeit it is important they take into account major issues that need attention and come up with timely solutions without politicizing any of them or allowing their attention to deviate to relatively more trivial matters. Having said that, I feel the opposition this time around, not just the BJP must realize the role of a responsible opposition that is created not just to oppose, but to oppose on substantive, productive grounds which it has failed to do so. Therefore, while I do recognize that there were positives as well as negatives during both the BJP as well as the Congresss rule as independent as well as coalition parties, they must learn to work together as they represent political parties along with the nation in the parliament, debating for the nations interests, not just their own. As far as Indias future and its role and standing in the world community is concerned, I see a deficit/imbalance between legislation and execution. While I do not blame the Bureaucracy explicitly, I feel there is an apparent crevasse between the execution related aspect of legislation, and legislation itself. Until that is resolved, Indias future in both the short and long term looks anything but progressive.

Amit Rele
entrepreneur, Pune
The comparison between Gandhi and Modi is unfair for Gandhi, Gandhi is yet to achieve his political stripes and Modi is a seasoned administrator, campaigner and proved his governance. Willy-nilly Gandhi has chosen to be the face of the elections, given a choice he would rather retire and lead a simpler life. So if you ask me who will be better it will be Modi. After 66 years of independence, the middle class strata of the society where in lies the largest Indian population is completely

D. R. Kaarthikeyan
Padmashri Awardee, Former Director, CBI and Chief of SIT-CBI, Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case, New Delhi
I do not like to discuss political personalities or parties. No doubt the nation is facing crisis on many fronts, Economic, Political, Social, Security and Governance. All this can be attributed to loss of values, particularly by those holding reins of authority in various sectors. Unfortunately the society at large also has been reduced to worshiping power and wealth, whatever be the means by which they are acquired. Increasing greed for wealth has corrupted not only those at the highest levels, it is becoming a norm for anyone to be considered successful. The nation has been let down even by those kept at highest levels by the tax payer. For the sake of post retirement jobs, they mortgage their conscience and collaborate with people in power in doing wrong things, harmful to the nation but beneficial to the ruling clique.

disillusioned with the governance of this country. The only hope that we see now is if there is a change in the way justice and law is enforced in the country. While there are several areas which will require immediate attention, the biggest bane of this country is the spread of corruption in our everyday life which we have taken for granted resulting in a miserable quality of life for an average Indian. Taking action is the need of the hour, at every level and it has proven time and again Modi does it in Gujarat and so did T.Chandrashekar in Nagpur and Thane. We need to allow such good people to exist. If that does not happen, we will soon have no standing in the international scene. If the current government continues then we will see more of the brain drain that we saw 15 years ago, which had been arrested some time back and I will certainly be the first one to move back to UK where I was based earlier.

(Compiled by Hiral Dholakia-Dave)

AnnA HAzAre to leAd IndIA dAy PArAde In new york

Anna Hazare reading The South Asian Times at his home in Maharashtra, India.

New York: Indias anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare will be a surprise guest of honor at the largest India Day Parade in America in Manhattan this Sunday as Indian-Americans celebrate Indias Independence Day. Now in its 33rd year, the parade organised annually by the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA-NY-NJ-CT), will also feature Bollywood film star Vidya Balan as grand marshal and Sarath Kumar and Raddhila as other guests of honor.


We asked our respondents in USA two questions.

In the best Interest of the country

Rahul Gandhi never promoted himself to be Prime Minister, rather sacrificed the opportunity to become one. On the other hand, the Gujarat CM is so hungry to be PM that he has been working full time in promoting himself - even at the cost of unity of his own party. How can Modi be sincere to the public when he has not been sincere to his own leader? He brought down the man (LK Advani) who had once made him chief minister. Mr. Modi created divisions in his own party and tarnished the once solid National Democratic Alliance. How can we trust this man? The choice is ours; do we want to trust his words or his actions? Our Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) was able to keep our economy solid when rest of the world economy collapsed. The world economy is eventually having some impact on India which is unavoidable as economy is becoming more interdependent. Based on the past performance of the Congressled government, I am sure it will be able bring the economy back on track faster than anyone else. Jai Hind! and power with three consecutive victories in Gujarat. Of course, just on the basis of Gujarat we cant judge the results he can deliver nationwide, but the level of security and satisfaction the people of Gujarat have felt under him is something remarkable. Muslims changing attitude: Modis alleged role in Godhra riots has been an obstacle for him to a great extent. But the times have changed, so does the thinking of Indian citizens. He seems to have regained the faith of Muslims. Recently, his party created history by winning all 27 seats of Salya municipality, a Muslim-majority area in Dwarka district, Gujarat. Modi and business tycoons: Modis approach towards the industrial sector is appreciated worldwide. Ratan Tata, Mukesh and Anil Ambani, and the Birlas all have good rapport with him. Fastest infrastructure and industrial development: Gujarat today has one of the best infrastructures in the country comprising 11 airports, one international airport, an extensive rail network and a robust road network of over 74,000 km. 99% of the villages here are connected with concrete roads, the best in the country. Gujarat coastline of over 1,600 km, the longest in the country, is dotted with 41 ports, which handle over 25% of Indias total cargo.

By Parveen Chopra

1. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has already launched BJPs election campaign for 2014 and is his partys as yet undeclared PM candidate. Hit by scams and policy deadlock, Congress partys standing has been hurt. Opinion polls say, no single party will get a majority in the next Lok Sabha. So, will BJP-led or Congress-led coalition form the government? Who will be better for the country as PM, Modi or Rahul Gandhi? 2. Indias growth rate has slowed but is still considerable. How do you see Indias future and its role and standing in the world community? Here are their responses.

The government formed in India after the election next year will be a khichdi, a coalition.
We need to become ambassadors of those values in the world. Indians do very well abroad, because we bring our values system here. We come here and get good education and the values that we learn at home and in our families, and that is how we do so well here. But we leave politics of India behind. If we can change the politics of India, bring more transparency, India can do much better. One of the objectives of AIANY is to promote the image of India in the US by showing its rich culture and traditions through various events. The annual Deepavali Mela in South Seaport, Manhattan, is our flagship event. This year it is on October 6. BJP looks likely to improve its seats tally in Lok Sabha and has more chances. Congress chances are hurt because of corruption scandals and muddled policy on FDI (foreign direct investment). So Congress has scored self-goals. But in the end, the next government will be a khichdi, a coalition. Led by BJP or Congress? My guess is Samajwadi Party may become the deciding factor. Narendra Modi becoming prime minister will be great, he will be 100 per cent good for the country. Even an impartial person will say that Rahul is too young and lacking in governance experience to be ready for the top job. Even if you want him to, he will not be the in PM chair. What India needs to grow is to have policies which are clear, crystal clear. Look at how the 2G licenses were cancelled, badly hurting the companies involved. That brings a bad name to the country for investors, making them feel unsafe. Also, there should be single window clearance for FDI. And what kind of a system prevails in India, which will not let Durga Nagpal do her job. (The upright IAS officer was suspended by the UP government on some pretext and has even been charge-sheeted). It sullies the image of the country abroad.

Ashok Sapra
Event organizer
It is hard to say whether Narendra Modi-BJP will come to power or Congress party after the next elections in India.

Mahendra Shah

Shudh Jasuja
President, Indian National Overseas Congress (I)
Let me first wish Happy Independence Day to the South Asian Times readers. I will not make any unfair or unfounded statements. No one can correctly predict the 2014 Indian elections outcome. But if consecutive victories of Congress in several state polls is any indication, the party should retain power in the center too. Opinion polls are projecting no party will get clear majority. No party would be able to form government without alliances. BJP-led NDA is completely broken while Congress-led UPA is intact. BJP will not be able to come to power as they dont have any big alliance partner left. Rahul Gandhi is a young man with sincere intentions to make India better. He talks less, does more. He doesnt talk loud and does not do self-promotion like Narendra Modi.

Looking at the progress, prosperity in Gujarat for the last three terms of Narendra Modi, plus his personality, popularity, not only he is the best candidate for prime minister, not only from BJP, but also from all political parties. Given political, social, and economic turmoil plus scams and corruption, NarendraModi as PM will turn around the country in no time, which India needs very badly! Rahul Gandhi and other leaders are no way close to him. Lets look at the factors favoring the ascension of Modi: Modi the youth icon: The points he makes with his impressive and aggressive speeches, not just older generation but also the youth of India are inspired to support Modi. One thing that helps him connect with the youth are his speedy results in any field, be it infrastructure, education. 15 years legacy in Gujarat: Modi has proved his leadership

Sunil Modi
President, Association of Indians in America (AIA-NY)
I have lived in America for 22 years, and so I am not the right person to comment on the Indian political scene. But I do think India needs a change and Modi is a good candidate to accomplish that change from what I hear of him, because of what he has achieved in Gujarat. Indias future can be very bright because India is the mother of culture, something even world philosophers have agreed upon. We need to demonstrate that to the world, rather than trying to copy what goes on in the world, and make everybody realize how deep our philosophy is, how deep our values are.

A cartoon by Mahendra Shah


Save neighborhood, else Big Brother may gobble you!

By Prabhu Chawla A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.John F Kennedy. or the past decade, the Indian establishment has been scrupulously adopting market mantras of the land of Kennedy. Indias economy is now more open than that of the mother of all open economiesthe US. Both, however, have one thing in common. They are afraid to let people know the truth behind the establishments shady decisions. America wants to snoop on every global citizen. The Indian government is going out of its way to conceal the truth from the people. Defense Minister A K Antonys statement last week followed this example. Within a few hours of Pakistani soldiers killing five jawans at the LoC, Antony was forced to say terrorists in Pakistan Army uniform were responsible. Who hypnotized him to try market the imaginary innocence of the Pakistan Army is a mystery. He finally accepted that it was indeed an act aided and sponsored by the Pakistan military. While the credibility of Indias defense establishment suffered damage, the incident raised questions about Indias dubitable diplomacy. A series of decisions by a cabal of diplomats have left none in doubt that they would go to any extent to promote their personal ambitions at the cost of Indias clout. Their success is evident in the PMs unwillingness to call off the sham of a peace dialogue with Pakistan. In spite of a nationwide consensus in favor of teaching Pakistan a lesson by isolating it in the international community, the UPA is determined to host Nawaz Sharif at a friendly rendezvous in New York next month. Indias fixation for talks with Pakistan became more pronounced after UPAs return in 2009. It was reflected in the joint statement issued after a meeting between PM Manmohan Singh and former Pak president Asif Zardari at Sharm el-Sheikh in July 2009. In a deviation from past policy, India delinked Pakistan-sponsored terror from composite dialogue. India accepted the inclusion of the Baluchistan issue in the statement, which had never happened before. Since then, the PM and his advisers on Pakistan have stuck to their resolve of pandering to our untrustworthy neighbor. No neighbor takes us seriously. There was a time when nothing would move in Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka without Indias involvement. Now, they ignore us and also threaten to join hands with China and Pakistan. The new Maldives dispensation cocked a snook at us by canceling the building contract of an Indian company. Bhutan chose to open a dialogue with China after Indias short-sighted move to withdraw oil subsidies. First, India revised the 63-year-old Indo-Bhutan friendship treaty in 2007, which gave Bhutan

Despite LoC violations and nationwide protests, UPA is determined to host Nawaz Sharif at a friendly rendezvous in New York next month

the freedom to devise an independent foreign policy. But our diplomats were busy cozying up to the US, and ignored Bhutan. In the case of Sri Lanka, Indias top leadership reversed its policy on human rights, which led to not only DMKs exit from the UPA but also to the island nation turning hostile to India. Now it is creating more trouble by arresting Tamil fishermen on a daily basis. It has invited China to take over strategic port construction activities. Indias Bangladesh policy is worrying. Our diplomats are busy playing golf and smoking cigars in Nepal, a playground for extremists from

China and Pakistan. Despite having a massive Indian-origin population, Nepal is not an ally. Like other neighbors, it perceives India not as a dependable friend but a ferocious foe. South Block, it seems, has forgotten the saying that once you lose your neighbor's confidence, you run the risk of being gobbled up by Big Brother and losing your identity acquired at a huge cost and through hard work by leaders like Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. (The article appeared in The Sunday Standard and The New Indian Express)

A nation adrift: Lack of leadership and Big Ideas

By Amulya Ganguli he standard explanation for the prevailing sense of despondency is the "ethical and governance deficits", which, in Finance Minister P. Chidambaram's words some time ago, have characterized the government in recent times. But there is another, more potent cause. It is the absence of an inspiring leadership in the Congress and other parties, and the dearth of the Big Idea which motivates a nation. Instead, what is being witnessed is the listless, bureaucratic execution of routine jobs by various ministries without a clear enunciation of the goal towards which the country is supposed to be heading. Moreover, they seem to be working at cross-purposes. For instance, there is the curious spectacle of the environment ministry wanting to submit its own views on genetically modified crops to the Supreme Court over and above the government's petition. Evidently, the cabinet does not have the last word on the subject. Not surprisingly, this particular

What is worrisome is that it isn't the government alone which is in the throes of indecisiveness. The entire political class seems to be in the grip of this malady.

ministry has been held responsible by the well-known economist, Arvind Panagariya, for robbing the reforms of their momentum although the market-oriented economic measures are known to be favored by the prime minister. The reason for this divergence of opinion is an inability of the people at the helm, viz. the prime minister and the Congress president, to evolve a consensus on the proposed path. It isn't that Manmohan Singh hasn't occasionally clarified where he stands. For instance, on the question of GM

crops, and also on nuclear power plants, he has said that it is the opinion of experts which should count since these are not matters which can be decided on the streets. Yet, the government takes weeks and months to proceed on these and other issues, like FDI in retail, for instance, which was once rolled back, because the ideological background of these measures is not cogently presented. It is obvious that unless the reins of leadership are gripped by a firm hand and the ideological direction

is specified, the present uncertainty will continue. Considering that the general election is less than a year away, it is however unlikely that there will be a change in the leadership style or an articulation of the Big Idea which should guide a nation, as it was when Indira Gandhi raised the "Garibi Hatao" (Banish Poverty) slogan in 1971, or Rajiv Gandhi spoke in 1984 of taking India into the 21st century, or V.P. Singh promised in 1989 to eradicate corruption. It can seem, therefore, that the

Congress's unexpected victory in 2004 caught it unprepared to either select a leader with firmly held views or formulate a clear ideology. As is known, Manmohan Singh declared himself to be an "accidental" prime minister who was chosen because Sonia Gandhi refused to accept the crown of thorns. It is possible that the sudden selection left no time for either Manmohan Singh to convince the party about his right-wing views, or for the party president to signal a return to a Nehruvian past of Fabian socialism, which she seemingly favours. Hence, the drift. What is worrisome is that it isn't the government alone which is in the throes of indecisiveness. The entire political class seems to be in the grip of this malady. As much is evident from the leadership tussle in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is unable to summon the courage to name a prime ministerial candidate. The paucity of leadership means that the country will continue to be rocked almost on a daily basis by events big and small, whether it is the suspension of an officer in a state or a border skirmish.

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


August 17-23, 2013



By Jinal Shah 1. Accession of Kashmir to India 1947 On October 26, 1947, the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir acceded to the Dominion of India when its ruler Maharaja Hari Singh signed an Instrument of Accession and the Governor General of India, Lord Mountbatten accepted the same. With this the Maharaja handed over the Valley to India. Thousands of tribals had raided the state already. A month before the accession, Indian troops were airlifted to Kashmir to defend it from Pakistan. Four wars have been waged over Kashmir since. 2. Mahatma Gandhi's Assassination 1948 At 5.03 p.m. on January 30, 1948 Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead by Nathuram Godse near Birla House in Delhi. Three shots at close range from an automatic 9 mm Beretta irrevocably changed Indias political and cultural future. Nathuram Godse and Narayan Dattatraya Apte were sentenced to death, while the other conspirators received prison sentences. Gandhis death left the newly born nation in fear and uncertainty for the strongest influence for peace and religious harmony in India had gone. 3. Birth of Indian Constitution 1949- 1950 On January 26, 1950 Constitution of India came to life. It was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949 and came into effect on the following 26 January (celebrated every year sicne as Republic Day) to commemorate the Purna Swaraj declaration of independence of 1930. It was the longest written constitution in the world, and took three years to complete. Dr. B R Ambedkar was the Chairman of the Drafting Committee. With its adoption, the Union of India officially became the modern Republic of India and it replaced the government of India act 1935 as the countrys fundamental governing document. 4. Indias first General Election -- 1952 This period saw the first general election of independent India. Fresh out of the freedom struggle, India gave adult franchise to the masses. There were 4,500 seats to be decided by 176 million Indians, spread over a million square miles territory. 85 % of voters were illiterate. To aid them, large pictorial party symbols and separate ballot boxes for each party were used. The West called it the biggest gamble in history. Yet, as an exercise in social organization, and as a display of sheer political exuberance, the 1952 elections had no precedent. 5. Reorganization of states based on language -- 1956 When Potti Sriramulu went on fast unto death in 1952 demanding a state for Telugu speakers, he set the groundwork for dividing India on linguistic lines. People of the same language tended to share a cultural heritage and a will to work together -- no matter what religion or ethnicity they belonged to. The State Reorganization Commission of 1956 redrew the map of India - coagulating people of the same language into separate autonomous states. It was the most practical way to hold the nation together

Key events since Independence that shaped the modern day India.
6. Nehru passes away -- 1964 Jawaharlal Nehru, architect of modern India and her Prime Minister for the 17 years since independence, died on May 27, 1964 at the age of 74. Born in Allahabad in 1889 into a wealthy Kashmiri family, he was a lawyer in England till 1912. But by the end of World War II, hed evolved into Mahatma Gandhi's second in command in India. As Indias first PM, he put the nation firmly on the path of industrialization and pioneered the non-aligned movement during the cold war. 7. Indira Gandhi becomes PM -- 1966 A new definition was bestowed upon India when Indira Gandhi, daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, was sworn in as prime minister on January 19, 1966. She is not only India's only female prime minister to date, but also remains the world's longest serving female PM as of 2013. She was also the only Indian premier to have declared an emergency in order to 'rule by decree' and the only Indian PM to have been imprisoned. 8. Creation of Bangladesh -- 1971 India defeated Pakistan and helped carve out Bangladesh. The victory shook off the countrys weak image after the unsettled 1965 war with Pakistan and the disastrous 1962 conflict with China. Earlier, President Nixon had sent in warships to the Indian Ocean to "threaten" India into submission. But Mrs Gandhis special bond with Brezhnev and her "friendship treaty" with the Soviets forced America to back off. However, the India-Pakistan Simla Agreement signed soon after, could not settle the Kashmir dispute once and for all. 9. First Nuclear Explosion, Pokhran 1 -1974 India joins the nuclear club after a successful explosion of its first nuclear testing device on May 18, 1974 in Pokhran desert in Rajasthan. The test, which made India the world's sixth nuclear power, broke the nuclear monopoly of the five members of the UN Security CouncilUS, USSR, Britain, China, and France. 10. Emergency's hard knocks - 1975 Democracy was suspended for 19 long months and India was reduced to a tin-pot dictatorship when the then prime minister Indira Gandhi declared emergency. She drove the worlds largest democracy to the brink - and beyond. Son Sanjay Gandhi ruled the roost before dying in a plane crash. 11. SLV-3 satellite launcher succeeds - 1980 On July 18, 1980, India's image as a country of bullock-carts was changed forever. Made in India, the SLV-3, Indias first satellite launcher, punched a 30 kg satellite 300 km into space. Made in India suddenly was a tag to be proud of. Today, India hurls indigenous satellites as big as trucks, 36,000 km into space, saving billions in foreign exchange. 12. Colour TV launched -- 1982 Indians saw colors come alive on screen for the first time on November 19, 1982 when viewers saw the first color telecast of the Asian Games in Delhi. Each color TV cost Rs 8,000 then. 13. India wins the World Cup - 1983 Indian did the unthinkable at Lord's on this day, June 25 in 1983. In a fight dubbed as David vs Goliath, the mighty West Indies were stunned by India in the World Cup final at the Lord's. Kapil's Devils made cricket an entire nations everlasting obsession. Its an event still etched in sharp memory for many Indians. 14. Bhopal Gas Tragedy -- 1984 On the night of December 3, more than three lakh unsuspecting Bhopal residents were suffocated by a mix of methyl isocyanate, chloroform and hydrochloric acid leaking from Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) an Indian subsidiary of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC).Over two thousand died instantly. Children of the survivors of this ghastly incident are still born with genetic defects. Investigations revealed that all safety regulations had been brazenly flouted. 15. Advanis Rath Yatra -- 1990 In a motor carriage emblazoned with the Om and the Lotus, Lal Krishna Advanis political rally covered 10,000 km across India. Countrys liberal, secular credentials stood severely eroded as the kar sevaks rubbed the nation's nose in the debris of the Babri Masjid and protests erupted. Advanis attempt at defeating VP Singh's reservations agenda worked. The BJP's support base surged in the 1991 elections: its seat share in the Lok Sabha increased from 85 to 120 in just two years. 16. Economic liberalization -- 1991 A foreign exchange crisis in 1991 induced India to abandon decades of inward-looking socialism and adopt economic reforms that have converted the once-lumbering elephant into the latest Asian tiger. Thanks to liberalization, the license raj ended; almost all Central taxes were lowered and public-sector monopoly on a whole range of industries was broken. A good 44 years after political freedom, India finally began to taste economic freedom. 17. Babri Masjid demolished - 1992 On December 6, 1992, Indian secularism fell to the fanatics pick-axe. When the Masjid crumbled, it ripped the fabric of communal harmony in free India. Today, Ayodhya is still a hotbed of dispute, a source of energy to the loony fringe of the Sangh Parivar and an abiding motif in the divisive politics of the republic. 18. Beauty pageants craze -- 1994 First Sushmita Sen became Miss Universe. Then Aishwarya Rai was crowned Miss World. The double whammy sparked off a near hysterical beauty industry. The historic win on the worlds largest beauty pageant platforms kindled the hope in thousands of starry-eyed girls. 19. Sabarmati Express torched, Gujarat riots - 2002 On February 27, 2002, Gujarat changed for the worse. The S6 coach of the Sabarmati Express caught fire at Godhra, killing 59 people, mostly kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya. The communal riots that followed affected at least 16 of the state's 25 districts and claimed over 1,000 lives, mostly Muslims. Many were rendered homeless.

1971: Indian General Jagjit Singh Aurora (left) hands a pen to Pakistani General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, Governor of East Pakistan, on Dec 16 to sign the document surrendering his army, paving the way for the creation of Bangaldesh.

1975-77: A pensive Mrs Indira Gandhi during the fag end of the Emergency period, a dark era in Indias history.

1984: The deadly gas leak from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal killed over two thousand and gave genetic defects to the progeny of those exposed to the gas.

1994: Sushmita Sen became Miss Universe and Aishwarya Rai was crowned Miss World both in the same year.

20. RTI Act -- 2005 The RTI Act was among a slew of rightsbased legislation put in place by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in its first term. Of the package, the RTI law was the most successful, gaining in momentum faster and wider than anyone expected. Not only empowering the ordinary citizen, it became the means to unearth scams and scandals of those in power. The biggest hit was taken by the very government that created the law. It became the common mans greatest weapon against corruption and red-tapism. 21. US signs nuclear deal with India -- 2005 America, that once imposed sanctions on India for nuclear testing went out on a limb recognizing India as a responsible nuclear weapons power. It offered US nuclear technology, fuel and military hardware it had banned after Pokhran in 1998. On July 18, 2005 by signing a nuclear deal exclusively with India, it put aside non-proliferation laws it had held sacrosanct for the past 60 years. 22. Mumbai terror attacks -September 2008 All the violence before the Mumbai terror attacks seemed only a dress rehearsal for what turned out to be the most audacious terror strike in the history of independent India. Armed assailants held Indias financial capital hostage for nearly three days. 179 people were killed as many of Mumbais iconic landmarks including the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Taj Mahal hotel and the Oberoi-Trident came under fire. 23. India decriminalizes gay sex - 2009 India took a giant step towards joining global mores on July 2, 2009 when the Delhi high court delivered a historic judgment to amend a 149-year-old colonial-era law Section 377 of the IPC and decriminalized private consensual sex between adults of the same sex. It is the biggest victory yet for gay rights and a major milestone in the country's social evolution. India becomes the 127th country to take the guilt out of homosexuality. 24. Commonwealth Games, Delhi -- 2010 On October 3, 2010, as the huge inflatable blimp rose slowly and smoothly into the hot air above Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to the sound of hundreds of traditional drums, pipes and conch shells, and the cheers of 65,000 people, India showcased Indias booming economy and growing international clout at the 19th Commonwealth Games that was marred by allegations of large-scale corruption, but were held succesfully. 25. Indian rupee gets a new symbol. 2010 India joins the elite currency club that includes US dollar, Euro, British pound and Japanese yen in having a distinct identity. The symbol gave a distinctive character and identity to the Indian currency and further highlighted the strength and global face of the Indian economy 26. Unique identification project Aadhar -- 2010 The country's most ambitious and tech savvy initiative called 'Aadhaar' (base) to provide the unique ID cards was rolled out on September 29, 2010. It is the world's first ID project where biometric data is used to provide unique identification numbers for India's billion-plus citizens. 27. India unveils first Formula 1 race track After Formula One came to China with its race outside Shanghai in 2004, there remained no market in Asia more important for the elite racing series to break into than India. With a population of 1.2 billion and a growing middle class, the powerhouse on the subcontinent was a vast and potentially lucrative market for the series and its sponsors. 28. Nirbhaya rape case 2012 Over the last year, the story of Nirbhayaa 23-year-old paramedic who was gang raped with unspeakable brutality on a bus on December 16, 2012, and died 13 days later of her injurieshas triggered shock and outrage across the world and galvanized spontaneous and unprecedented protests in India. She has become an icon of resistance, a watershed moment.

2007: In July, the Bombay Stock Exchange Sensex Index eclipsed the 15,000 mark for the first time. The milestone meant India's markets had soared fivefold in five years. Economic liberalization at work.

2010: Delhi successfully hosted the Commonwealth Games, a massive project, and also did very well in the medals tally.

2010: Delhi successfully hosted the Commonwealth Games, a massive project, and also did very well in the medals tally.


Politics, Science & IT, Medicine, Hospitality, Governance, Academics they are all over, more often than not, on the top. Indian Americans have arrived and how!
By Hiral Dholakia-Dave

hen Arvind Mahankali, 13, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee on May 30th this year, he became the sixth consecutive Indian American winner and the 11th Indian American in the last 15 years to win the title. The statistics surrounding this winning-streak are astounding: Indian Americans make up 1% of the total US population. However, their representation in the Bee is significantly higher: This year, 20% of the 281 Bee contestants were of Indian origin; seven of the ten finalists were of Indian origin, as were the three finalists. It is no surprise, too, that the youngest participant this year (8yrs) is of Indian origin. This phenomenal representation by one ethnic minority has not only merited much commentary but is also a reflection of the larger picture where a million strong Indian American voters are gaining clout in the mainstream. nita Raghavan, the author of The Billionaire's Apprentice, in an article for The Daily Beast has aptly summarized the success stories thus: Less than 50 years since Asian immigration into the U.S. was relaxed, Indians have vaulted into Americas power elite. They now head Fortune 500 companies like PepsiCo (think Chennai-born Indra Nooyi) and mete out law and order (think principal deputy solicitor general, Sri Srinivasan, a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was confirmed by the United States Senate by a vote of 970 on May 23, 2013.) They create movies and write books (think M. Night Shyamalan, the Pondicherry-born director of The Sixth Sense, and Jhumpa Lahiri, the Pulitzer Prizewinning Bengali fiction writer) and they start innovative companies (think Vinod Khosla, the cofounder of Sun Microsystems and a prominent venture capitalist). The number of Indian-Americans who as US citizens are eligible to vote has now crossed one million with their total population, including multiple ethnicities, growing by 68 per cent over the 2000-2010 decade from 1.9 million to 3.19 million. Even counting single ethnicity (discounting mixed race), the Indian-American population grew from 1.67 million to 2.84 million in the same period, according to data released by an

USAID administrator Rajiv Shah is the highest ranking Indian American appointee.

Indian American members of AAHOA near Capitol Hill.

organization devoted to tive focused on the Indian strengthening South Asian American experience, will Communities in America convey the history, contribuBased on the 2010 census, tions and challenges of nearthe number of Indian ly three million Indian Americans who can vote has Americans and signal their increased 100 per cent from place in America. 2000, when it was 576,000, Another major evidence of to 1.15 million in 2010. the rising profile of Indian Indian Americans now make Americans are the numerous the third largest AsianWhite House appointments. American group in the US President Barack Obamas after Chinese-Americans administration has by far the (3.79 million) and Filipinolargest number of Indian Americans (3.42 million), Americans. USAID adminbut with a much faster istrator Rajiv Shah is the US Attorney Preet Bharara highest ranking Indian growth rate. Besides, with two of them on cover of Time magazine American appointee. governors, four billionaires and over a score And who wont recognize Preet Bharara, sitting in high places in government, Indian the Punjab-born, Harvard and Columbia Americans not only keep making news but alumni currently serving as the U.S attorney have also emerged as major players in for the Southern district of New York. In American media. Take Indian-born Aparism 2012 Bharara was featured on the cover page Bobby Ghosh, for instance, who was last year of Times magazine as one among The 100 named by Time magazine as Editor-at- Most Influential People in The World. Large. In naming Ghosh, Time Managing Under his supervision the judiciary was Editor Richard Stengel, called him "one of involved in the high profile prosecution of Times greatest assets and this past year was insider trading and other financial fraud on one of his best yet." Wall Street including a detailed investigation Called "the most influential foreign policy made against Galleon Group founder Raj adviser of his generation" by Esquire Rajaratnam and former McKinsey chief Rajat Magazine, Zakaria hosts what has been Gupta. Due to this he was featured in Time dubbed one of the most intelligent shows on magazines cover story entitled This man is American TV, Fareed Zakaria GPS on bustling Wall Street. His name was also CNN. included in Vanity fairs New establishment Equally ubiquitous is Sanjay Gupta, the list and Bloomberg markets magazines 50 multiple Emmy-award winning chief medical most influential list. correspondent for CNN. He previously served as the chief counsel Little wonder then that the Smithsonian to Senator Chuck Schumer and also played a Institution, the significant role in U.S Senate committee durworld's largest ing the judicial investigations into the firings museum and of the U.S attorneys. research complex Its not just Indian American men. Indian is putting together origin women too have made their mark in an exhibition fields as diverse as politics, Information chronicling the Technology and governance. story of immiDuring the California State elections in grants from India 2010, Kamala Devi Harris was made the and their descen- Attorney General of California. She has predants in America. viously served as the District attorney of San " H o m e S p u n : Francisco from 2004-2011. She is the 32nd S m i t h s o n i a n and current attorney general of California. Indian American Prior to this she has served as the deputy disHeritage Project", trict attorney in Alameda County, California, the first from 1990-1998. Since 1998, she has been 2013 Scripps Spelling Bee winner Arvind Mahankali is Smithsonian initia- serving as the Managing Attorney of the thesixth consecutive Indian American winner

Career Criminal Unit in the San Francisco District Attorney's Office. She is also recognized by The Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of the top 100 lawyers in California serving on the board of the California District Attorney's Association and is also the Vice President of the National District Attorneys Association. The 52 year old Chief Technology and Strategy Officer of $43 billion Cisco Systems, Padmasree Warrior has led the company through 15 acquisitions in 15 months. In a recent interview, Chairman John Chambers named her as one of the people who could get his job when he retires in 2-4 years. The poster women of tech companies, Warrior is among a handful of women executives in the overwhelmingly male-dominated technology world. For over 30 years, Indian physicians have made significant contributions to health care in this country, not only practicing in inner cities, rural areas and peripheral communities but also at the top medical schools and other academic centers. Almost 10%-12% of medical students entering US schools are of Indian origin. The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) is the largest ethnic medical organization in the United States. AAPI is an umbrella organization which has nearly 130 local chapters, specialty societies and alumni organizations. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, AAPI represents the interests of over 100,000 physicians and fellows of Indian heritage in the United States. Similarly, founded in 1989, Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) is now one of the fastest-growing organizations in the industry, with nearly 11,000 members owning more than 20,000 hotels totaling $128 billion in property value, and employing 578,600 full- and part-time workers with a $9.4 billion payroll. These organization are not only working towards furthering the interests of their members in the US but are also creating bridges with their counterparts backhome in India thereby contributing to the now so important Indo-US strategic ties. The Silicon Valley is replete with dynamic startups, many, many of which have Indian origin founders who are changing positively the way we go about our lives, at the same time creating thousands of jobs in the US.


August 17-23, 2013


Conquerors of the cricketing world

Under the inspirational command of MS Dhoni, the fearless gladiators have taken Team India to the zenith in all formats of the game and amid IPL match-fixing scandals and BCCI hoopla future holds immense promise for billion-plus cricket lovers
New Delhi Bureau ven as the ball passed a despairing James Tredwells bat in the One-day against England, the normally inscrutable MS Dhoni jumped and punched the air in delight. Not once but a few times. Maybe he even allowed himself a smile. It means a lot because youre playing against some of the best sides, and also the kind of match that we had won, he explained his reaction later. To beat England in a 130-run game is something thats very difficult. This has been a new Dhoni, an animated not on the Virat Kohli scale, but by his own sedate standards and openly eager variant. Maybe he feels this is his team, his own boys the whole squad younger than him to lead. With victory in the Champions Trophy, Dhoni has completed his collection of ICC silverware as captain after the 2007 World T20 and the 2011 World Cup. He has been at pains to state all along, though, that he has never desired them personally. The trophies were hardly going to go into his cabinet, he had protested at the start of the competition.

This dance of young Men in Blue, after clinching ICC Champions Trophy in 2013, would be remembered forever in the history of Indian cricket.
that till the semi-finals they have won quite easily. It just speaks volumes about the way this team has developed into a unit. It speaks volumes of their temperament." Former India coach Anshuman Gaekwad was of the view that the Champions Trophy triumph would help in restoring the fans faith back in the game which took a beating in the aftermath of the spot-fixing scandal in IPL 6. "It's so much important to win the trophy to win the faith of Indian cricket fans back. It's a tremendous achievement from that point of view," he said. Added Wasim Akram: "The Indians have moved ahead of Pakistan as far as cricket is concerned. Theyre organising more tours around the world for all of their teams at all levels. Everybody wants to play against India at home or in India, so they are playing a lot more cricket than Pakistan and that has an impact on the quality of player you produce." Gaekwad praised the selection panel headed by Sandeep Patil for their decision to blood youngsters which has paid rich dividends. What does the success mean to the chucked out stars like Virendra Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan? They seem to be already fading from memory. To be fair to Dhoni and also the national selectors, these great players went out of the team on form after getting ample opportunities to fight their way back in. A couple of them are sulking, but that will not get them back into the side. After seeing this Indian team playing, Einstein would have added the word cricketers to his quotable quote to read: "If you want your children to be intelligent 'cricketers', read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales."

Captain Cool

Under him, India reached the top of the Test rankings (a level theyve subsequently been toppled from), won the T20 and 50-over World Cups, and is now the undisputed king of the one-day game. Dhoni is the countrys most successful Test captain and is nine wins away from leapfrogging Mohd. Azharuddin in the ODI section. However, this latest triumph a bruising, unbeaten run through the competition with a team that was anything but the favourite should firmly locate him among Indian crickets greatest leaders. Today, Team India is a side that is reverberating with young dreams to take on to the world in all formats of the game. Team India created history again by recording their firstever five-match ODI series whitewash on foreign soil as they thrashed Zimbabwe by seven wickets in the fifth and final cricket one-dayer, riding on leg-spinner Amit Mishra's careerbest six wicket haul. This feat was achieved under the captainship of Virat Kohli - another promising cricketer.

MS Dhoni is the countrys most successful Test captain

Showering praise

The cricket fraternity has hailed the Indian team's "tremendous achievement" of winning the ICC Champions Trophy with some former players raising a toast for captain Dhoni's "ability to rise from the ashes" and instill confidence in his young teammates. "It really has been a fantastic team because the way they have played, the way they have won every match, the way they have come out of tough situations, just speaks of a cham-

pion's mentality and that's what we have seen throughout this tournament," former skipper Sunil Gavaskar said. "He (Dhoni) has got this ability of rising from the ashes. It is his temperament where he has treated those two imposters - fame and failure -- in just the same manner. I think that is the reason why he is able to bounce back after a tough time," Gavaskar said. Former India captain Gundappa Vishwanath also lauded Team India. "Full marks to MS Dhoni. Now, he has all the world titles to his name. He is undoubtedly one of the best captains we have ever produced," Vishwanath said. Another former Indian captain and selector, Krishnamachari Srikkanth said that India has again proved their superiority. "This is an excellent win. Yet again they proved that they are the best team in the world in one-dayers. In 2011 they won the World Cup and again they proved their superiority with solid performances," he said. Gavaskar said Dhoni has managed to develop the team into a good unit. "You expect a final to be a close thing but before

Pitch dark
Amid all the praise came the darkest hour of the Indian cricket. IPL match fixing and BCCI drama over it. The credibility of the powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been shattered beyond repair after the thorough exposure of the 'skeletons in their cupboard', according to a report. BCCI has been faced with a serious credibility crisis ever since the spot-fixing and betting scandal broke out in the sixth edition of the IPL. The whole issue led to N Srinivasan stepping aside as BCCI president and even the Bombay high court declared that the two-member panel, constituted to probe the scandal, was "illegal and unconstitutional". The Indians love for cricket had in a way, transformed the BCCI into what it is today. We hope that sense would prevail and the Indian cricket would come out of the din. Till then, in the 66th year of independence, it is time to celebrate the young Team India and its growing charisma.


August 17-23, 2013



he year 2013 is the centennial of the Gadar movement. It was in 1913 that the Gadar Party was formed in Astoria, Oregon with headquarters in San Francisco, California. The Gadar newspaper became the mouthpiece of the party. The unambiguous target in the movement was the British empire. The enemy needed to be overthrown to make way for an independent, united India. Daring conviction, though, can make ordinary men attempt the extraordinary. That is what happened during the brief Gadar movement (1913 1918). Nearly 8,000 overseas Indians, mostly living in the USA and Canada, but also drawn from British Army units from places such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Penang, Siam, Malay, Burma, Shanghai, Tokyo, Manila, Cairo, Istanbul and Kabul joined the movement. Many gave up their flourishing farmlands and businesses in America and Canada to unite for the cause of freeing the nation. The force of the empire needed to be taken head on. The majority who challenged the empire were Punjabi farmers who had migrated to Canada and to the USA defying unfavorable immigration policies. Although discriminated by white Americans, the Punjabis had

The Gadar Heroics

Indian Ambassador to US Nirupama Rao launched the book in Washington DC last month, with Inder Singh, chairman of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), co-author of the book.

By Inder Singh and Sayantan Chakravarty; published by India Empire Publications; to order: indersingh@sbcglobal.net.

built up a reputation for hard, unmitigated labor. Through the money they earned, they bought up large tracts of farmland and other businesses that they were later able to sell and fund the Gadar movement. They were true heroes, their patriotism unmatched. They staked their lives so that India could break free, and breathe the sweet air of freedom. The intellect, thinking, brainstorming and

outreach for the movement became the responsibility of Indian students and teachers at Berkeley and Stanford in California. Their message was spread to overseas Indians across the world through the Gadar weekly newspaper, printed in Urdu and Punjabi from November 1913 at the Gadar Party headquarters, Yugantar Ashram in San Francisco. In the end, the revolution was short-lived. The British spy network foiled attempts of Gadarites to free their motherland. The gaddaars, the traitors succeeded; the patriots could not. The Gadarites were arrested and jailed, several hundreds from the moment they landed in India from overseas. They were tried swiftly in British special courts and sentenced to hanging, life imprisonment and held guilty of sedition, waging war against the crown and conspiracy. In January 2013, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh released a Gadar centenary stamp and announced that Gadar Memorial Hall will be upgraded to a functional library and museum. An oration on Gadar was held at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) in Kochi in January 2013. The Gadar Heroics takes the opportunity to continue that momentum, and see who those heroes were.


August 17-23, 2013


Peace has been said to be indivisible; so is freedom, so is prosperity now, and so also is disaster in this one world that can no longer be split into isolated fragments. To the people of India, whose representatives we are, we make an appeal to join us with faith and confidence in this great adventure. This is no time for petty and destructive criticism, no time for ill will or blaming others. We have to build the noble mansion of free India where all her children may dwell. The appointed day has come - the day appointed by destiny - and India stands forth again, after long slumber and struggle, awake, vital, free and independent. The past clings on to us still in some measure and we Independent Indias first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru gave his have to do much before we refamous Tryst with Destiny speech to the Constituent Assembly deem the pledges we have so ofin Parliament on the night of August 14, 1947. ten taken. Yet the turning point On this day our first thoughts go to the architect of this is past, and history begins anew for us, the history which freedom, the Father of our Nation, who, embodying the we shall live and act and others will write about. It is a fateful moment for us in India, for all Asia and for the old spirit of India, held aloft the torch of freedom and world. A new star rises, the star of freedom in the east, a new lighted up the darkness that surrounded us. We have often been unworthy followers of his and have hope comes into being, a vision long cherished materialises. strayed from his message, but not only we but succeedMay the star never set and that hope never be betrayed! The service of India means the service of We rejoice in that freedom, even though clouds sur- ing generations will remember this message and bear the the millions who suffer. It means the ending round us, and many of our people are sorrow-stricken and imprint in their hearts of this great son of India, magnifiof poverty and ignorance and disease and in- difficult problems encompass us. But freedom brings re- cent in his faith and strength and courage and humility. We sponsibilities and burdens and we have to face them in the shall never allow that torch of freedom to be blown out, equality of opportunity. however high the wind or stormy the tempest. spirit of a free and disciplined people. - Nehru Our next thoughts must be of the unknown volunteers and soldiers of freedom who, without praise or reward, have served India even unto death. We think also of our brothers and sisters who have been cut off from us by political boundaries and who unhappily cannot share at present in the freedom that has come. They are of us and will remain of us whatever may happen, and we shall be sharers in their good and ill fortune alike. The future beckons to us. Whither do we go and what shall be our endeavour? To bring freedom and opportunity to the common man, to the peasants and workers of India; to fight and end poverty and ignorance and disease; to build up a prosperous, democratic and progressive nation, and to create social, economic and political institutions which will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman. We have hard work ahead. There is no resting for any one of us till we redeem our pledge in full, till we make all the people of India what destiny intended them to be. We are citizens of a great country, on the verge of bold advance, and we have to live up to that high standard. All of us, to whatever religion we may belong, are equally the children of India with equal rights, privileges and obligations. We cannot encourage communalism or narrowmindedness, for no nation can be great whose people are narrow in thought or in action. To the nations and peoples of the world we send greetings and pledge ourselves to cooperate with them in furthering peace, freedom and democracy. And to India, our much-loved motherland, the ancient, the eternal and the Throngs of Indians celebrating the first flush of freedom outside ever-new, we pay our reverent homage and we bind ourRashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on August 15, 1947. selves afresh to her service. Jai Hind [Victory to India].

ong years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity. At the dawn of history India started on her unending quest, and trackless centuries are filled with her striving and the grandeur of her success and her failures. Through good and ill fortune alike she has never lost sight of that quest or forgotten the ideals which gave her strength. We end today a period of ill fortune and India discovers herself again. The achievement we celebrate today is but a step, an opening of opportunity, to the greater triumphs and achievements that await us. Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future? Freedom and power bring responsibility. The responsibility rests upon this assembly, a sovereign body representing the sovereign people of India. Before the birth of freedom we have endured all the pains of labour and our hearts are heavy with the memory of this sorrow. Some of those pains continue even now. Nevertheless, the past is over and it is the future that beckons to us now. That future is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving so that we may fulfil the pledges we have so often taken and the one we shall take today. The service of India means the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity. The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us, but as long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over. And so we have to labour and to work, and work hard, to give reality to our dreams. Those dreams are for India, but they are also for the world, for all the nations and peoples are too closely knit together today for anyone of them to imagine that it can live apart.

Freedom at midnight
To continue to keep to the ideals envisioned by Indias freedom fighters and nation builders, it will do us good to recall and re-read Prime Minister Nehrus Tryst with Destiny he gave on the eve of independence , a speech that ranks with Lincolns Gettysburg address and captures the essence of the triumphant culmination of the countrys hundred-year non-violent struggle to throw away the British yoke.


August 17-23, 2013


Arun Gandhi, the New York based grandson of the Mahatma Gandhi shared the lessons he learnt from him in a talk he gave recently.

GrowinG up with the MahatMa

Gandhi was selling autographs to raise money for emancipation programs at the time, and he assigned Arun to the task of collecting items to be signed from the people gathered at the prayer services. After Arun attempted to get a free autograph for himself one day, Gandhi told him he would have to work for the money and pay for it like everyone else. Arun, who was 12 years old at the time and quite feisty, decided then and there that he would test his grandfathers anger management skills. I said, No way, Arun said. Youre my grandfather and Im going to make you give me your autograph. So he laughed and said, OK well see who wins. From that day on, Arun would burst in on his grandfather during important diplomatic meetings, demanding an autograph. When the officials in the meeting asked why he wouldnt simply give his grandson a signature, Gandhi would smile, place his hand over Aruns mouth, and say it was an inside joke between family members. He never did give me his autograph, but he never ever told me to get out of the room and leave him alone, Arun said. On a separate occasion, Arun was walking home from school, examining the worn-down pencil in his hand when he decided he deserved a better one. He threw the pencil aside, sure that his grandfather would give him a new one. When he got home, however, Gandhi questioned him at length about why he threw it away. I couldnt understand why he was making such a fuss over a little pencil, until he sent me out with a flashlight to look for it, Arun said. After two hours, Arun found the pencil and returned home. Gandhi then explained that in the making of even a thing as small as a pencil, many of the worlds resources are used, and throwing that away is violence against nature. Every time we indulge in any of that waste we are committing violence, either against nature or against other human beings, Arun said. To drive the lesson home, Gandhi had Arun keep track of the different ways physical and passive violence were influencing his life by drawing a violence tree. Every night before going to bed he had to analyze and examine his experiences from the day and put the violence into the correct category on the tree. When I began to do this introspection, I was amazed that within a few months I was able to fill up a whole wall in my room with acts of passive violence, Arun told his audience. Theres always a victim of the passive violence we commit, and that victim is roused to anger and uses physical violence to get justice, because that is what justice has come to mean today. Arun said that the cycle of violence is perpetuated when children are raised to believe that punishment can be a form of justice. In the Gandhi household, he said, punishment had no place. If the children misbehaved, their parents would take on an appropriate penance. They would fast, for example, preparing meals for the children, but not eating anything themselves because they were the ones who raised children to misbehave. We felt awful when they had to do such things, and so we made sure that we never did it again, Arun said. Arun concluded with a story about one such penance that changed his life. He was 16 at the time, back in South Africa after his grandfathers assassination, and his father

rowing up in South Africa in the 1940s, Arun Gandhi was beaten by whites for being too black and by blacks for being too white. I was filled with rage and wanted eye-for-an-eye justice, the Rochester, NY resident, now 79, said in a talk at the Carlson MetroCenter YMCA on July 30. Aruns parents saw the anger building up in him and sent him to live with his grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi, from whom they thought he could learn a valuable lesson. Arun shared some of the lessons he learned from his grandfather in the talk, Growing Up Gandhi. It was not a bed of roses growing up, he said. Sometimes it bordered on the ridiculous. Arun Gandhis father was the second of Mahatma Gandhis four sons. After moving to South Africa, he adopted a life of voluntary poverty. Living in a home 18 miles away from the nearest town, Arun learned about real poverty from the children of the laborers on the sugarcane plantations surrounding his home. He said he learned to make his own fun playing with them, building toy cars out of matchboxes and buttons. He, in turn, taught them the lessons he learned in school. By the time he was 7, Arun was leading informal classes on the alphabet, counting, and arithmetic. As we grew up and began to experience life, I saw that it could be a very wonderful experience, he said. Arun was sent to live with his grandfather in India at a time when the elder Gandhi was in the middle of the struggle for Indian independence. At the YMCA talk, he told stories about two of the lessons his grandfather taught him during those years. The first lesson he taught me was about understanding anger and being able to channel that anger into positive action, Arun said. The elder Gandhi compared anger to electricity, saying they could both be used with deadly force or for the good of humanity.

In the Gandhi household, Arun Gandhi said, punishment had no place. If the children misbehaved, their parents would take on an appropriate penance.

asked him to drive him to town. He got a shopping list from his mother and dropped his father off, promising to pick him up again at 5 p.m. After running some errands, Arun went to a John Wayne double feature and didnt pick his father up until 6 p.m. When his father asked why he was late, Arun was caught in a lie. His father said there must have been something wrong in the way he brought Arun up that would cause him to not be confident enough to tell the truth, and he insisted on walking the 18 miles home as a penance. For nearly 6 hours I was crawling behind him in the car,watching him go through this banal agony for a stupid lie, and I decided right then and there I would never lie again, Arun said. If he had punished me I would not have learned the lesson. I would have just tried harder to not get caught next time. Arun said that from then on, he made the decision every morning to be a better person today than yesterday. Nonviolence is about personal transformation, he said. It is about change in ourselves and our weaknesses. If we make that decision that we are going to be better human beings, we can achieve it. It is not impossible.
Arun Gandhi takes groups to India on yearly Gandhi Legacy Tours, exploring Indian villages to show visitors how young people are employing Gandhis teachings to bring about change in the county. For more information, visit ArunGandhi.net.



The fading moments of Mughal glory and the tragedy that followed, the First War of Independence in 1857, have been revived in public memory as the campaign is set afloat to bring back the mortal remains of the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar from Burma.
7, 332 years after Babur first conquered the city, the last Mughal Emperor left Delhi on a bullock cart. Along with him went his wives, his two remaining children, concubines and servants a party of 31 in all... the journey had been kept secret, even from Zafar himself and the old man knew nothing of his departure before being woken up at 3 am and told to get ready." There was no one to bid farewell to the emperor at pre-dawn as he left his beloved Dilli forever. "Will people succeed where the Government failed," asks Naqvi. He recalls the 2006 meeting, "Noted Gandhian, late Nirmala Deshpande's idea was particularly well received. She suggested that soil should be brought from Bahadur Shah Zafar's mazaar in Yangon for a memorial in the Mehrauli dargah." Time and again the issue of bringing back the remains is raised, but not been followed up. Shamsul Islam, founder of Nishant Natya Manch, who has started a signature campaign, questions: "How long will Bahadur Shah Zafar's exile continue?" He adds, "It is unfortunate that this commander of Indias First War of Independence remains buried in a foreign land. It is high time steps are taken to bring his remains to India so that we and coming generations have the opportunity to emulate Zafar's deeds for a free and secular India."

Bahadur Shah Zafar in 1858 just after his show trial in Delhi and before his departure for exile in Rangoon. This is possibly the only photograph ever taken of the Mughal Emperor.

By Nirupama Dutt

he lament of the last of the proud Mughal emperors, Bahadur Shah Zafar, remains ever alive in the collective consciousness of the subcontinent in which the emperor who was also a poet cried out of his misfortune at not being able to avail of the two yards of land in his beloved country: Kitna hai badnaseeb Zafar dafn ke liye/Do gaz zameen bhi na mili koo-eyaar mein. This couplet still has the power to sadden the human heart to let out a helpless grieved sigh. This summer a campaign of sorts is being built to bring back the mortal remains of the emperor back from Rangoon (now Yangon) in Myanmar. The campaigners of this very just although somewhat delayed demand are a handful of liberals and Leftists who see in Zafar a symbol of the composite culture of pro-colonial India. These include the old guard like journalists Kuldip Nayar and Saeed Naqvi, lawyer Rajinder Sachar, historian Mushirul Hasan, Leftwing theatre artiste Shamsul Islam, Prem Singh, general secretary, of the near-forgotten Socialist Party of India. After a Press conference in early May in New Delhi, a public meeting was held at the Law Institute in the Capital but the old guard is rather surprised that but

for stray reporting, the media has not highlighted the campaign with the emphasis that it required. In 2006, an initiative had come from the government itself in this direction, a year before the 150th anniversary of the War of Independence. A high-level meeting was held at 7 Race Course Road, residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, attended by the who's who of Indian politicians, academics, artists, writers and journalists. The Prime Minister raised the issue, describing Zafar as the man who defined India's diversity, liberalism, integrity and the national movement. All were in unison that the remains of the emperor who suffered great tragedy should be brought back and it would be poetic justice if these could be buried in the two yards at a dargah in Mehrauli. The grave is still waiting to be claimed for Zafar over a century and a half after he chose it. Zafar's wish was to be buried in the dargah of Qutubuddin Bakhtiar Kaki in Mehrauli and had earmarked two yards of land there. Dargah caretakers have kept an empty grave to honor wishes of the star-crossed emperor.

Bahadur Shah Zafar, painted by August Schoefft around 1854

Burmese king
Meanwhile, at the time of his hasty burial in Yangon in November 1862, a bamboo fence surrounded his grave and with grass growing over the precise spot was lost for a long time and only in a restoration exercise as late as 1991 was the original brick-lined grave discovered. The Burmese Muslims then built a shrine and Zafar is worshipped there as a Saint to whom devotees go for wish fulfillment. Ironically, Zafar's own wish remains unfulfilled. The sad chapters of colonial history tell that while Zafar was exiled to Myanmar, King Thibaw of Burma (1859-1916) was exiled to India and died pining for his land in Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. Of

late, Myanmar has been wanting the tomb of the King to be relocated in his native country. Political dignitaries have not responded to this civil-society demand that has yet to gather popular momentum. Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj is the perhaps the only one who has warmly supported this campaign. The responses to her statement on Twitter show that not many are interested setting the wrongs of the faraway 1857 in present times. One response smirks at

concern for what happened over a 150 years ago, while another asks about the mortal remains of the BJP in Karnataka. The British had showed callousness to the last Mughal and now it is indifference. So is there a hope for the lost cause unless some smart Bollywood director brings him back into public domain like Aamir Khan did to Mangal Pandey, the rebel soldier who led the 1857 revolt? (Courtesy: The Tribune, Chandigarh)

The Last Mughal

William Dalrymple in his famed book, The Last Mughal describes the journey to the sad exile thus: "At 4 am on October

The last Mughal emperors grave in Yangon (Rangoon)

Kitna hai badnaseeb Zafar dafn ke liye Do gaz zameen bhi na mili koo-e-yaar mein.



Unheralded so far, many Jains too displayed their love and devotion for Mother India resisting and fighting the Portuguese, the Mughals and finally the British.
By Pankaz Chandmal Hingarh & Rohit Chandmal Hingarh s we know that patriots from each and every faith did in some way or the other display their patriotism for Mother India in the last millennium before Independence. But not much is known about the contribution of the Jain Patriots who too had displayed their love and patriotism for their motherland fought and sacrificed much for its sake.

Bhamashah & Tarachand

Two other Jain patriots were valiant brothers Bhamashah and Tarachand Kavadia. Bhamashah (1542-1598) is today also addressed as Savior of Mewar. This was the time when Mughals had invaded India . Maharana Prataps fight was for Mewars independence. Bhamashah used to serve as an advisor, a minister and treasurer of Mewar. Tarachand was bestowed kingdom of Godwad Region. Abdur Rahim Khankhana, the Subedar of Ajmer, had tried hard to get Bhamashah in Mughal favour with lucrative offers but the loyal son of Mewar preferred to share hardships with his Maharana. In the years after the battle of Haldighati, Maharana Pratap was left with little resources to carry on his resistance against the Mughal tyrant. Disheartened, he almost gave up. Once Maharana saw his young daughter crying for milk and he felt very sad at the sight. He decided to leave Mewar and settle somewhere else. Bhamashah, a staunch supporter of the Mahrana and a patriot to the core, learnt about his decision and was saddened. He persuaded his king not to leave Mewar and to continue to fight to regain freedom from the Mughals. Maharana said: How do you want me to fight on? I have neither soldiers nor money. How do I put up a fight against Akbar so severely handicapped that I am? Bhamashah replied: I offer you my entire wealth. You will be able to wage a battle for a long time. Bhamashah then laid down at Maharanas feet all his ancestral wealth as his contribution for the freedom struggle of Mewar. That wealth was sufficient to raise and maintain 25,000 soldiers for 12 years for freeing Mewar. Bhamashah went further than just donating his money, and also advised the Maharana to attack and regain first the trade routes and stifle the supply chains of the Mughals in the west. It is by following this advice that in less than a decade, the Maharana quickly brought the imperial control to its feet and reclaimed almost entire Mewar leaving Chittod and Mandalgarh. Tarachand was a great patron of Lokagach sect of Jains amd Bhamashah had done renovation of Shree Kesariyaji Jain Teerth.

Veer Abbakka Rani

One of the earliest freedom fighter in the country was Abbakka Rani Chowta, a Jain warrior queen who had resisted the Portuguese. A 16th century queen who knew no fear, she ruled over parts of coastal Karnataka. She is often regarded as the 'first woman freedom fighter of India. She was also known as the Queen of Spices as Ullal was a prosperous port and a hub of the spice trade to Arabia and other countries in the west. The Portuguese had made several attempts to capture Ullal for control of the region as well as the trade routes. But Abbakka repulsed each of their attacks for over four decades. She was a great warrior and even in the end she lost battle because of treachery of her ex-husband. Today a bronze statue of the queen has been erected in Ullal and another in Bangalore. The Chowta Dynasty had been the chief patron of an important Jain tirth Moodabidri.

Lala Hukamchand Jain

Hansis (distt. Hissar, Haryana) Shaheed Lala Hukamchand Jain was one of the remarkable revolutionaries of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. We learn from official records of the Hissar Govt and historical books on Lala Hukumchand Jain that he was well-versed in Farsi, Urdu and Mathematics. He served on a high post in the court of Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. In 1841 he was appointed the kanungo in the Hansi region. His systematic work and popular deeds brought him reputation both in the public and governmental circles. On 11th May 1857 the last Mughal Emperor, a pensioner of the East India Company till then, was chosen unanimously by all the rebels as the Head of the rebellion, proclaimed the Emperor of Hindustan and a 21 gun salute was offered in his honor. Lala Hukamchand was entrusted the responsibility of leading the revolt at Hansi and fighting the British on that front. Mirza Muneer Baig was his colleague in that mission. The two patriots now totally immersed themselves in the work of organizing the revolt in the Hansi region. They also recruited soldiers afresh and sent arms, ammunition and manpower to Delhi. Though Hukamchand had offered stiff resistance, he was finally defeated due to shortage of arms, ammunition and manpower. The British troops raided his house and ransacked it. Both Hukamchand Jain and Mirza Muneer Baig were arrested and hanged on 19th January 1958. Even Fakir Chand Jain, the 13-year-old nephew of Hukamchand, was hanged.

Jorawarmal Bapna
In the 19th Century another patriot was Sheth Jorawarmal Bapna (owner of Jaiselmers famous Patwa Haveli) who acted as a prominent diplomat between the British and the local Rajput princes and had played an instrumental role in settling crucial issues of princely states like Udaipur, Jodhpur and Indore. He also had built many Jain temples in Rajasthan and elsewhere.

P.P.Acharya Vijayvallabh Suri

Interestingly, a Jain monk P.P. Punjab Kesari Acharyashree Vijayvallabh Suri had also displayed his patriotism during Indias freedom struggle . Throughout his life he used to wear khadi cloth as his support to the swadeshi moment. He had supported Mahatma Gandhis satyagraha and non-cooperation as potent yet non-violent tools to achieve independence. His 14 points formula for world peace was highly appreciated by Shri Morarji Desai then. He was a visionary to recognize the necessity of educational institutions and motivate Jains to start schools and colleges. Apart from the above mentioned, there were many more Jains who were part of Indias freedom struggle or had displayed their patriotism for their motherland. A book 'Jains In Freedom Struggle' written by Dr. Kapoor Chand Jain & Dr. Smt. Jyoti Jain, acknowledges some 400 Jain freedom fighters who fought for Indias freedom. Historically Jains were not known only for their philanthropist activities but also for their patriotism.

Virchand R Gandhi
On 25th September, 1893 in Chicagos Parliament of World Religions, Jain youth jcon, Virchand Raghavji Gandhi had displayed his patriotism by defending Hinduism & Indian culture though he was there to represent Jainism. Richard Hughes Seager in his book on the 1893 event mentioned that the audience had applauded Virchand on his this patriotic speech. A true patriot is someone who feels or voices expressions of patriotism, love and devotion to ones country. VRG displayed his patriotism, love and devotion for Mother India and its spiritual heritage. Later he also had corrected prevailing fallacy about India that was spread by Christian missionaries that in India mothers used to throw their babies in Ganga and people willingly used to sacrifice their life by coming under the rath of Jagannath. He talked about economic and political freedom five decades before India became independent.


August 17-23, 2013


Humor with Melvin Durai

n a highway in Chennai, I pass a luxury bus with the words Incredible India emblazoned across its side. Underneath, in smaller letters, is an explanation that some genius in the tourism department found necessary to include: The mantra to woo tourists. India is indeed incredible. And if you dont believe me, just ask some of the tourists who have been successfully wooed. British tourist, wiping his brow at a juice stand in Bangalore: Its incredible how hot it is over here. American tourist, sitting in an auto-rickshaw in Mumbai: Its incredible how unruly the traffic is. Australian tourist, relaxing on a houseboat in the backwaters of Kerala: Its incredible how few crocodiles there are. India is incredible in many other ways, of course. Its a country where youll find incredible poverty and also incredible wealth. Some of the worlds richest people

Its incredible how incredible India is O

live in India, the type of folks who would wonder how Bill and Hillary Clinton managed to spend only $3 million on their daughter Chelseas wedding didnt they buy enough diamond and gold jewelry to put around the necks of the elephants? Didnt they spend a few million to ensure that a dozen Bollywood stars made appearances, not to mention a former U.S. president? Indias wealth is evident in the huge houses youll see in many neighborhoods and the coterie of servants that the well-to-do employ. If youre lucky enough to be rich in India, youll have someone to do your cooking, someone to do your cleaning, someone to write love letters to your wife. (A man can dream, cant he?) But you dont have to be rich to have domestic help in India. Even some of the maids have maids. Whats truly incredible is the number of businesses in India. Youll find stores and stands on the side of almost every street in the city, most operated by smalltime entrepreneurs. Now I know what the tourism guidebook meant when it said, Dont be surprised if you spot a few people doing their business on the street. (But Im still confused about the part that said, Its impolite to stare.) Very few of Indias retail outlets are franchises most are independent businesses. McDonalds, like other fast food chains, has expanded to India, but A you wont find the golden arches in every neighborhood not yet, at least and thats a good thing. I dont miss having a Big Mac, not when I can have a Big Dosa. I ordered an incredibly big dosa at one restaurant and, being a little careless while handling it, almost knocked over the man in the next table. Many a fight has been started by a poorly handled dosa. Its incredible what youll see on the streets of India. The other day, I saw a man washing clothes on the side of a street, another man ironing clothes, and a third man standing in his underwear, saying, Hurry up! Im going to be late for my interview! Ive seen young women wearing burkas with only their eyes visible and also young women wearing short skirts. And youll never guess which of the women were

country of contrasts listening to Justin Bieber on their iPods. Its incredible how much progress India has made in the last decade or so. You can see it almost everywhere. The economy is churning, people are earning, and rupees they are burning. The people who rode bicycles to work a decade ago are now riding motorcycles, those who rode motorcycles are now driving cars, and those who drove cars are now relaxing on houseboats in Kerala. As the country develops, it may one day be flooded with tourists. Then I wont be surprised to see a luxury bus with the words Intolerable India on it. And underneath, some genius in the tourism department will include an explanation: The mantra to shoo tourists.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

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



August 17-23, 2013


8th Annual Veggie Fest draws thousands

true existence is at the level of the soul and that through meditation we can experience the inner Light and Sound of God our souls true nature. Saturday also saw the release of Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharajs most recent book, Meditation as Medication for the Soul translated into Spanish. During his second keynote address, The Healing Power of Meditation and the Vegetarian Diet, he stressed the importance of a cleaner diet, free of meat, fish, fowl, and eggs, for those wanting increased health and clarity of mind. This was our first time at Veggie Fest and we all had a blast! We especially loved trying out new foods in the food court and visiting the Family Meditation Tent, said one enthusiastic attendee. Well definitely be back next year!

Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj delivered keynote speeches on spirituality & vegetarianism.

Maharaj Ji meeting the stall owners at the event

Naperville, IL: Tens of thousands of fun-seekers from throughout the Chicagoland area and over a dozen countries flocked to the Chicago suburb of Naperville, IL this past weekend for Veggie Fest, one of the largest vegetarian festivals in North America. Now in its 8th year, Veggie Fest has become a popular summer event that people look forward to each year. The gorgeous Chicago weather encouraged the large crowds to come early and stay late to enjoy more than 100 vendor booths, the Spirituality and Health Symposium, an extensive international vegetarian food court, live cooking demos by cookbook authors and chefs, meditation classes, exciting childrens activities, and great live music by local bands. Admission was free, with Science of Spirituality its principle sponsor. On both days, people enjoyed the wide variety of vegetarian fare in the international food court, danced to the music, and attended the many talks and demos Veggie Fest has become noted for. Vendors busily

served the thousands of people coming to their booths many making record sales. This has been our best Veggie Fest yet, said event coordinator Jonathan Kruger. Many of our vendors, as well as the local fire and health departments tell us were one of the best run festivals in DuPage County. Its great to see so many people coming out for a weekend in celebration of vegetarianism and spirituality. Highlighting the weekends festivities were the keynote talks by Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj, a world-renowned spiritual Master and head of Science of Spirituality. Over 2,000 people attended his talks with overflow crowds gathering around the grass outside the main tent. On Saturday, during his talk, What is Meditation? the spiritual Master spoke on how all faiths and traditions advocate meditation in some form, whether they call it sitting in stillness, inversion, prayer with attention, or turning within. He reminded the audience that our

Festival organizers were inspired to see that 2200 people pledged to take the Vegetarian Challenge, an initiative encouraging people to drop meat, fish, chicken, and eggs

for two weeks in exchange for a vegetarian lifestyle. For more information about Veggie Fest, visit www.veggiefestchicago.org.

Veggie Fest 2013 attracted tens of thousands of health-enthusiasts from around the world.

Indian artist set to break Guinness record for the longest painting
New York: Gurmej Singh, widely known as Artist SinGh, is a famous if controversial artist based in southwest Michigan. He is now all set to break the Guinness world record for the longest painting by an individual artist. Called The Worlds Best Stunt Painter, SinGh rose to fame with his unique ability to paint while performing stunts such as levitating, jumping from heights, and hanging himself from trees. His shows are high on entertainment quotient, while producing some finest art pieces. The Kalamazoo Gazette has referred to him as the man who redefines art. Besides one-man shows and public sculptures in many parts of the world, his work is on permanent display in galleries in Kalamazoo, MI, Dubai and India. He is also known for his unique drip painting technique, where he paints without actually touching the canvas. SinGhs love for unconventional painting methods has made him the center of attraction. In the past, SinGh hit the headlines for his controversial works such as the one based on the rape of Oprah Winfrey and Saddam Husseins effigy. Currently SinGh is all set to participate in ArtPrize 2013 and break the record for the worlds longest painting. The painting will be displayed for the $560,000 competition. He aims to achieve this rare feat in a duration of less than two
Stunt painter Artist SinGh and a part of his longest painting.

months. Speaking to The South Asian Times, SinGh shared how he has been painting for more than 17 hours every day to complete this work on time to be displayed in the Grand Rapid exhibition on September 18. This project is being

supported by Claredon Textiles, which has provided $50,000 worth of canvas. OLeary Paint has provided all the paint. SinGh also spoke about some of the challenges he is facing while working on breaking this record. Apart from the erratic weather and rain, which slows down his work, finding a sponsor is tough. He

agreed to the competition criteria including paying for the visit of a Guinness official that costs $9000. On www.artistsingh.com, one can even book a piece of the worlds longest painting for a reasonable price and follow SinGhs blog. SinGh dedicates this work to liberty and well-being of women all around the world.


August 17-23, 2013



Nikki Haley set to kick off re-election campaign

Washington, DC: South Carolina's IndianAmerican Governor Nikki Haley is all set to kick off her re-election campaign with the help of some of the biggest names in the Republican Party, including fellow Indian-American governor Bobby Jindal. Born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa to Sikh immigrant parents from Amritsar, India, the youngest US governor will officially announce her campaign at a rally in Greenville Aug 26, her spokesman Rob Godfrey tweeted. Besides Louisiana governor, Jindal the rally will feature will feature two other fellow high-profile Republican governors Rick Perry of Texas, and Scott Walker of Wisconsin, according to Greenville News. South Carolina's Tim Scott, whom Haley appointed to the Senate to replace former Senator Jim DeMint, will emcee the event. Meanwhile Vincent Sheheen, a Democratic state senator who challenged Haley in 2010, has also announced he will run for governor again, according to Politico, influential Washington news site focusing on politics. While Democrats suggest that Haley would find the going tough, a top Haley strategist Jon Lerner predicted "she will win a by a bigger margin than 2010," according to the Washington Post. "Haley is well-funded, and will continue to fill her campaign coffers at a quick pace. Sheheen has put up impressive fundraising numbers so far, but Haley's head start means he has a lot of ground to make up," it said. The fact that Wallker, Jindal and Perry

Indian American kids are world geography champs

Washington, DC: A team of three bright young Indian American students beat out teams from 17 other regions to win top honors at the 11th National Geographic World Championship in Russia's St. Petersburg city. The US team composed entirely of Indian American kids soared ahead of second place Canada, which was up against third-place India in a tense tiebreaker round in the July 31 final. The team was made up of captain Gopi Ramanathan, 15, from Sartell, Minnesota; Asha Jain, 13, from Minocqua, Wisconsin; and Neelam Kaur Sandhu, 14, from Bedford, New Hampshire. In the biennial competition, teams of students answered questions on physical, cultural and economic geography. The Indian-American trio won by correctly identifying a country whose flag has six small stars representing the mainland and its five offshore islands. The answer was Equatorial Guinea. "I'm still trying to process it and what that means," Ramanathan was quoted as telling his local newspaper

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley

will be at her Aug 26 kickoff events suggests she will be able to tap the national money pipeline again and again, the Post said. "The natural tilt of the state gives Haley an advantage, too," it said noting "Haley's 2010 race against Sheheen was pretty competitive, even in a Republic wave year. But the the state remains a bright red (Republican), which is a challenge for Sheheen." "For Democrats, it's an opportunity to make a pickup in a deeply Republican state, which would be a big-time gain for the party," the daily said. "The bottom line is this: South Carolina is a contest worth watching, because of the high stakes both in and outside the state," the Post said. "And while the race could move in either direction as we head toward 2014, right now, Haley could lose, but just about everything would need to go right for Democrats," it said.

The winning team of Gopi Ramanathan, Asha Jain and Neelam Kaur Sandhu

the St. Cloud Times. "It (the world competition) is different from any other geo bee I've been in. It was very fun." Ramanathan, who has won his state geography bee twice already, finished seventh in the 2012 National Bee in Washington, DC. "I was kind of surprised that they asked me to do it," he told the St. Cloud Times. "I thought it was odd because it had been a year since I last competed in a geo bee, but I was happy to be selected." Students around the world earned the chance to be part of the World Championship

competition by winning or being a top finisher in the national competitions of their home regions. The 15 other teams competing were from Australia, Bulgaria, China, Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Mexico, Mongolia, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Slovakia and Britain. Indonesia and Mongolia participated for the first time this year. The competition was sponsored by Google, and presented by the US National Geographic Society in partnership with the Russian Geographical Society.

Internet millionaire Gurbaksh Chahal pleads not guilty to domestic violence charges
California: Gurbaksh Chahal, the multimotion seeking to rail Chahal's bail. millionaire Internet mogul pleaded not According to court documents, proseguilty Aug. 9 in San Francisco, Superior cutors said Chahal was angry when he Court, to 47 charges of domestic violence learned his girlfriend had gone to Las in connection with an argument Vegas with another man and cheated with his girlfriend. He allegedly on him. hit and kicked his girlfriend The alleged attack reportedly 117 times over a half-hour occurred about 10:30 a.m. in period Monday morning at his his home. He beat her, pulled home in The Infinity Towers, her hair and threatened to kill according to prosecutors, her despite multiple pleas from adding the entire assault was the victim, the court documents caught on video. Chahal, 31, said. Gurbaksh Chahal of Rincon Hill, the chief She called 911 when he left the executive of online advertisroom, prosecutors said, and coming company RadiumOne, also allegedly pre- mented to investigators that when police rang vented the young woman from breathing for the doorbell she was "saved by the bell." 20 seconds during a dispute prosecutors said Police reportedly seized surveillance video was fueled by jealousy. from cameras inside the bedroom. The video A judge raised his bail from $125,000 to $1 provides a "grisly picture" of the attack, prosmillion, ordered him to stay away from his ecutors said. The girlfriend told police it wasgirlfriend and seized his passport, according n't the first domestic violence incident. The to prosecutors. He is out of custody after most recent attack, she claimed, occurred posting the $1 million bail. July 4 when he allegedly busted her lip. Chahal's attorney Stuart Gordon called the The entrepreneur was once named charges overblown in a statement sent to America's "most eligible bachelors" by reporters. He said the woman "provided pho- ExtraTV. He reportedly founded his first tographic proof of an unblemished complex- Internet advertising company, ClickAgents, ion to SFPD" and filed an affidavit requesting at age 16 and later sold it for $40 million. At that the investigation be terminated. 25, Yahoo bought another one of his compaProsecutors told a different story in a nies, BlueLithium, for $300 million.
Ambassador Nirupama Rao co-hosted "Reflections on Peace: From Gandhi to King" concert at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Aug. 10 honoring 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Seen here at preview concert Aug. 9.

Preview of MLK, Jr. Memorial concert held at Embassy residence

lent civil disobedience, was one of the greatest influences on Dr. King. Inspirational writings of both leaders were read by Ambassador Rao at the poignant, elegant event. She quoted Gandhi's words, "What is possible for one is possible for all." And "Nonviolence is the first article of my faith and also the last article of my creed...It is the rule and the breadth of my life." The ambassador also quoted Dr. King's radio address broadcast throughout India at the end of his month-long 1959 visit. "Since being in India, I am more convinced than ever before that the method of nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for justice and human dignity." Some of Dr Kings favorite spirituals like "Precious Lord" were performed gloriously by Rev. Nolan Williams, Jr. and the Voices of Inspiration, a headliner of the concert. Another headliner, Sri Lankan concert pianist Soundarie David Rodrigo, accompanied the singers at the preview, where she also played classical pieces, as well as her medley of songs of peace. The audience sang along to "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" and "We Shall Not Be Moved." The diverse guests gave several standing ovations to the performances. The preview and concert honor the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Dr. King gave his "I Have A Dream" speech on Aug. 28, 1963. Other performers of sacred songs from African American, Indian, and African traditions Aug. 10, include Grammy-nominated local hiphop artist Christylez Bacon; singers Vidya and Vandan Iyer; clarinetist-composer Shankar Tucker with Jonathan Batiste; POEM-CEES; and Nistha Raj.

Washington, DC: A candlelight concert "Reflections on Peace: From Gandhi to King" at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Aug. 10 was previewed at the Washington residence of India's Ambassador Nirupama Rao. Spirituals, songs of peace and the civil rights movement, classics by Beethoven and Brahms, were interwoven with readings of passages from Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. King at the Ambassador's residence Aug. 9. Gandhi, who led India to independence through nonvio-


August 17-23, 2013


August 17-23, 2013



Narendra Modi to address British parliament

London: British MP Barry Gardiner has written to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, inviting him to visit the House of Commons and speak on 'The Future of Modern India', a move that ends UK's decade-long boycott of Modi following the 2002 Gujarat riots. Gardiner, who is also the chairman of Labour Friends of India, said that he invited Modi because he is the chief minister of a state with which Britain has more FDI than the rest of the country put together. "Narendrabhai is (among) the longestserving chief ministers of his generation. He is also CM of a state with which Britain has more FDI than the rest of India," Gardiner was quoted as saying. "Just because he is from the BJP does not mean he isn't secular. Look at Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Did he rule as a divisive character? Was he a bad prime minister? Both Modi and Vajpayee are respectful of the (Indian) constitution. India was earlier a regional power. It's now a global power. In this century, it can become a superpower. It's, therefore, of utmost importance to hear the views of a man who has had so much influence on the country's events," Gardiner said. "Whether or not Modi goes on to become India's next prime minister, nobody can deny he is clearly one of India's most influential political actors. Hence, his view on how he wants to see India in the near future is of great interest to the UK and Europe," Gardiner added. Modi has been invited to visit the House of Commons and deliver a lecture for a select group of top MPs on what he envis-

Indian submarine sinks, 18 feared dead

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral D.K. Joshi briefing Defense Minister A.K. Antony and Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chauhan about the sinking of INS Sindhurakshak submarine in Mumbai.

Earlier this year, the European Union also ended a decade-old boycott of Narendra Modi

ages should be the future of modern India. Gardiner is also a shadow minister. The influential Labour organisation works to further links between the Labour Party and India. Asked whether Modi is capable of governing India, Gardiner said, "Gujarat is the size of the UK or any European country. Since he has taken the state to the highest pinnacles of growth, it's easy to see him as the head of the UK or any European country." Earlier this year, the European Union also ended a decade-old boycott of Modi.

Mumbai: At least three bodies of sailors who were trapped inside INS Sindhurakshak submarine, which exploded, caught fire and sank here, were recovered on August 16 by naval diving teams. The fate of 15 more sailors was still uncertain as rescue efforts continued since the past 36 hours, an official said requesting anonymity. The identity of the bodies, or their condition, is still not known. The defense ministry released the names of the three officers and 15 sailors who were aboard the ill-

fated submarine INS Sindhurakshak. Eight of these 15 personnel, including two officers, were married. The divers' efforts are seriously hampered by poor visibility conditions inside the submarine which is filled with water, extremely restricted spaces and displacement of most of the equipment from their original locations. The heat of the explosion had melted parts of the internal hull deforming the submarine hatches, preventing access to different compartments. Heavy duty pumps have been deployed to pump

out the seawater from the sunken submarine. The cause of the explosions and a raging fire - to which the submarine succumbed within six hours and sank - is still not clear nearly three days after the incident. US ambassador Nancy J. Powell has expressed "sincere condolences" over the sinking of the Indian submarine INS Sindhurakshak. Powell offered the condolences on behalf of the US to the Indian people and to the "families and friends of those lost aboard INS Sindhurakshak", an American embassy statement said.

Parliament disrupted over Vadra's land deals Onion makes people cry,
New Delhi: Both houses of parliament were rocked this week over allegations of illegality in Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra's land deals in Haryana, leading to proceedings being disrupted. While the Congress played down the issue, the government slammed Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka, who probed the land deals, for his "administrative overreach" and said the matter could not be debated in parliament as it was "a state issue" and urged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) not to disrupt the house over the matter. "I don't think when you exercise quasi-judicial authority, you are supposed to call off the principles of natural justice," Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said outside Parliament House. Parliament Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said parliament cannot discuss the purportedly illegal land deals of Vadra as it is a "state

Delhi wants export ban

New Delhi: The prices of onions and vegetables, which have already sent the budgets of many homes in the national capital haywire, are expected to go sky high, vegetable vendors said here. The Delhi government plans to seek a ban on onion export. The price of onions in the wholesale market ranged between Rs.6080 a kg. "There has been poor harvest of onions this year due to rain shortage in Maharashtra. Prices of onions will continue to rise. There is inadequate stock to meet demands," Ram Dhan, a vegetable wholesaler in Azadpur Sabzi Mandi, said. Hoarding by traders is also being blamed for the rise in prices but traders denied any wrongdoing. "There has been no hoarding by us. We are just creating stocks so that we can meet the demand and supply. If we do not create stock right now, there will be months when the onion supply would be nil," said Mahendra Khuranna, owner of Jagriti Agro, a fruit and vegetable wholesaler in Sabzi Mandi. Delhi Food and Supplies Minister Haroon Yusuf said: "The chief minister (Sheila Dikshit) will write a letter to Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to stop the export of onion." The spiralling prices of onion were deemed one of the factors which cost Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) its government in Delhi in assembly election in 1998. Since then it has failed to return to power. Women who manage households have been facing the greatest pinch as their budget has been greatly hit. "I used to buy three kg of onion for a week, but now I have cut down to one kg because the price has almost tripled," said Arati Negi, a 32-year-old homemaker.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra's land deals in Haryana are under the scanner

issue". "It is a state issue and parliament does not discuss state issues ... if they (opposition) want to discuss, then Congress members will demand a debate on the mining scam in Karnataka and mining mafia in Madhya Pradesh. We must discuss issues of Gujarat," Kamal Nath told Times Now channel here. The allegations forced repeated adjournments of the Rajya Sabha

and the Lok Sabha which saw the BJP raise slogans like "Congress ka hath, damad ke sath (Congress' hand with the son-in-law) referring to Vadra. BJP members even called Vadra a "thief". "He is a thief, so what if he is a son-in-law," BJP members shouted. The party also demanded a Supreme Court-monitored special investigation team (SIT) probe into the alleged land deals.


August 17-23, 2013



'Pak terrorists may hit India to foil Sharif'

for ways to defuse tension with India and concentrate on the internal terrorist threats. "But the jehadi groups and their Islamist supporters have already started opposing Sharif's peace policy with India. They are bound to sabotage such efforts by stepping up terrorist activities in India," the author says. Ayaz's book is a comprehensive study of Pakistan since its birth in 1947 and the many crises it has faced, including an unending conflict about its own political and religious identity. The journalist of over four decades says Pakistan "cannot be called a failed state" but makes it clear that the time has come to separate religion and politics in the world's only nuclear-armed Islamic state. "Religion and politics have to be separated to check the sectarian strife and stop the state patronage to the Islamists. "The jehadi organizations have to be wound up with a program for the rehabilitation of their foot soldiers. "Mosques and madrassas have to be closely monitored to stop them from spreading hatred against other sects and other countries," it added. Whatever the nature of the Pakistani establishment, most Pakistanis want "a modern democratic state", the author says.

Positive on our NY meet, Sharif to Manmohan

Whatever the nature of the Pakistani establishment, most Pakistanis want "a modern democratic state", the author says

New Delhi: Pakistani terrorists might sabotage new Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's peace policy towards New Delhi by staging terror attacks in India, a new book by a Pakistani journalist warns. Author Babar Ayaz also says in "What's Wrong With Pakistan" (Hay House India) that Sharif's peace overtures might suit the Pakistan

Army for now as it wants to cut the tensions with India. Sharif, the 364-page book says, wants to resurrect the peace process from where he had started with the former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1999 before Pakistan's Kargil war sabotaged it. "This might suit the military for the time being as it has been looking

New Delhi: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the people of his country aspire to "promote friendly, cooperative and good neighborly" ties with India and he looked forward to meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New York. In an Independence Day message, the Pakistan prime minister said it is Islamabad's "desire to turn a fresh page in our bilateral relations". His message read: "The peo-

ple of Pakistan aspire to promote friendly, cooperative and good neighborly relations between our two countries. I would like to reiterate that it is in our common interest to work closely to achieve our shared goals of peace and prosperity in the region. I look forward to our meeting in New York to discuss issues of mutual interest. It is our desire to turn a fresh page in our bilateral relations."

Rupee hits record low past 62 per dollar

Mumbai: The rupee fell to a record low on August 16 as Reserve Bank of India measures to tighten capital outflows and curb gold imports were seen as unlikely to prop up the currency and could even spark further selling if they spook foreign investors. The rupee hit an all-time low of 62.03 to the dollar, breaching its previous record low of 61.80 hit on August 6. India restricted how much its citizens and companies can invest abroad to reduce pressure on the rupee, while targeting the current account deficit by banning imports of gold coins and medallions among other measures. The efficacy of the steps remains in doubt, given outflows have already been declining this year and that they ultimately do not address the need to attract overseas investments to narrow a current account deficit that hit a record 4.8 percent of gross domestic product in the year ended in March.

Sindhu enters top-10 in world rankings

New Delhi: Backed by her bronze medal-winning performance at the World Championships last week, P.V. Sindhu entered the top10 of the women's singles rankings for the first time in her career. In the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings, released Thursday, the 18-yearold jumped two places to No.10 while citymate Saina Nehwal retained her No.4 position. After reaching the men's singles quarterfinals of the Worlds, Parupalli Kashyap also rose three places to be ranked World No.14 in the men's singles rankings.



August 17-23, 2013


De Blasio leaps to take lead in NYC Mayor Dem Primary

New York: As sexter Anthony Weiners poll numbers slide in the New York City mayors race, a new poll shows Public Advocate Bill de Blasio benefiting the most, overtaking the frontrunner, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. De Blasio is the first candidate to nab 30 percent of voters in Quinnipiacs polling since Weiner entered the race, as a poll from the university released Tuesday shows him leading Quinn by 6 percentage points. Quinn had earlier led De Blasio by 6 points in a poll conducted July 29. A poll released July 24, conducted before new revelations about former Rep. Weiners sexting scandal surfaced, had Weiner leading the pack at 26 percent, and De Blasio in fourth place at 15 percent. Weiner's top opponents each got a chance to address the former congressman in a major televised debate Tuesday, but Christine Quinn took more than one shot at the flagging candidate as

Jesse Jackson Jr. sentenced to 30 months in prison

Washington: Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced to two and a half years in prison Wednesday for illegally spending $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items, the judge scolding the son of the famed civil rights leader for using the money as a "piggy bank" Former Rep. Jesse and sentencing his wife to a Jackson Jr year as well. However, Jackson, who emotionally apologized to all concerned, was given significantly less prison time than federal guidelines recommend, recognized by the judge as a "complex person" who has done both good and bad. His wife, Sandra, a former Chicago alderman, was sentenced for filing false joint federal income tax returns. After prison, the former congressman is to spend three years on supervised release and complete 500 hours of community service. He agreed to repay the $750,000 when he pleaded guilty earlier this year. Jackson, 48, had been a Democratic congressman from Illinois from 1995 until he resigned last November.

Bill de Blasio (right) has overtaken early favorites Anthony Weiner & Christine Quinn. the two engaged in heated exchanges throughout the night. Incumbent Mayor Michael Bloomberg has served three terms, one more than the normally permitted. Meanwhile, former New York state governor Eliot Spitzer has a 19-point lead over his rival, Scott Stringer, for New York City comptroller, according to an opinion poll released Wednesday. Propelled by an advantage of better than 3-to-1 among black voters, Spitzer, who quit as Governor after a prostitution scandal, was supported by 56 percent of likely Democratic primary voters to Stringer's 37 percent, the Quinnipiac University poll showed.


World condemns Egypt bloodshed, toll crosses 500

Paris: Egypt's military rulers faced international condemnation over the bloody crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood protesters, with France warning of the threat of "civil war" and Turkey demanding UN action. At least 525 people were killed in assaults on two Cairo protest camps of supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in the worst violence the country has seen in decades. The United States led global condemnations overnight against the "deplorable" violence, while Paris, London and Berlin have summoned Egypt's ambassadors to voice their strong concern. Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for an urgent UN security council meeting over Egypt's "massacre" of Morsi supporters. China was characteristically muted, calling for "maximum restraint" from all parties, while fellow security council permanent member Russia only urged tourists to avoid trips to Egypt. Only two Gulf states that have cracked down on Islamist groups within their own borders initially voiced support for the Cairo military leaders. French President Francois Hollande said "everything must be done to avoid a civil war" in Egypt, while his government conveyed France's "great concern over the tragic events" to Egypt's envoy. "France is committed to finding a political solution and calls for elections to be held as soon as possible, in line with the commitments made by Egypt's transitional authorities," said a statement. Germany also summoned the Egyptian ambassador, a day after its foreign minister Guido Westerwelle urged all sides to

At least 525 people were killed in assaults on supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi

renounce violence and return immediately to negotiations. "On the orders of foreign minister Westerwelle, the ambassador was told the position of the German government in no uncertain terms," said a foreign ministry spokeswoman. Turkey's Erdogan, a Morsi supporter, told reporters in Ankara that "the security council of the United Nations should convene quickly to discuss the situation in Egypt". "This is a very serious massacre ... against the Egyptian people who were only protesting peacefully," he added, criticizing "the silence" of the global community in the face of the bloodshed. The United States did not initially criticise the overthrow of Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected and Islamist leader, and has avoided using the term "coup," which under US law would have halted some USD 1.3 billion in annual military aid to Cairo.


August 17-23, 2013



Amitabh Bachchan was crowned the greatest Bollywood star in a poll by a British Asian weekly newspaper with the top 10 list is dominated by actors from Indian cinema's golden era.
mitabh Bachchan has emerged as the greatest Bollywood star in a UK poll celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema. The multi-award winning actor of countless classics bagged a major share of votes from critics, fans and the film fraternity to be named on top in the survey '100 Greatest Bollywood Stars' published by British Asian weekly 'Eastern Eye'. In a career spanning an incredible 40 years, 70-year-old Bachchans blockbusters include 'Sholay' and 'Deewar'. He is also credited with bridging the gap between films and TV by hosting the popular game show 'Kaun Banega Crorepati', which is in its seventh season. Referred to as Big B by his fans,

and critical acclaim. Bachchan's own choice and yesteryear's acting legend Dilip Kumar came in second. Evidently, the charisma of veteran actor Dilip Kumar has stood the test of time. He was followed by Shah Rukh Khan in the third position. Dilips haunting Devdas with Suchitra Sen, in which he gave an iconic performance definitely was much superior to SRKs later version with Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit. Shah Rukh Khan may have been crowned the biggest superstar since Big B, but many argue that his histrionic ability is limited, and

According to the survey compiled via a combination of audience votes through social media, box-office figures, cinematic impact and critical acclaim, the top five Bollywood stars of all time are: Amitabh Bachchan (No. 1), Dilip Kumar (2), Shah Rukh Khan (3), Madhuri Dixit (4) Raj Kapoor (5). Bachchan was also the first Bollywood star to be honored with a wax likeness at Madame Tussauds and represented India as the Olympic torch-bearer at the London 2012 Games. "If you take longevity, impact, number of fans and varied body of work into account then Amitabh Bachchan is the greatest movie star in the history of global cinema. No other movie star has remained at the very top for as long as he has or made a positive impact on the lives of so many," said Asjad Nazir, showbiz editor of the magazine. The survey was compiled via a combination of audience votes through social media, box-office figures, cinematic impact now he is getting old for his lover boy image. Madhuri Dixit topped the survey among Bollywood's female actresses and was placed fourth in the overall list. "I am proud to be a part of that and I am also proud to be a part of the whole movement where cinema is getting better and we are trying to do something different," Madhuri said. Given her intact appeal, no wonder Madhuri has moved lock, stock and barrel with hubby Dr Nene and her two sons from America as she could no more resist the offers from Bollywood. She has made a successful entry back into films and into the hearts of her millions of fans who just cannot have enough of her. The great showman of Bollywood, Raj Kapoor, rounded off the top five list of greatest stars. Nargis, who is one of the greatest actresses in the history of Indian Cinema, landed in the sixth position. Both Nargis and Raj Kapoor made famous romantic pair on screen in films such as Awara, Shri 420 and Barsaat, which were all hits during the 1950s not only in India but also abroad. Russians and the people in the Middle East and eastern European countries loved Raj Kapoor movies and still sing Awara hoon The others who made it to the top 10 included Dev Anand (7), Waheeda Rehman (8), Rajesh Khanna (9) and Sridevi (10). Dev Anand is another great favorite that NRIs love, in particular his Guide. Waheeda Rehman still rules through the movies that we still love to watch such as Chaudhvin Ka Chand and Khamoshi. Rajesh Khannas movies look fresh even now and full of positive energy as this evergreen star enters the screen. Aradhana and Anand are everyones favorite as they relive his nostalgia and talk about him as if he is still alive. Other notable stars to make the cut include Salman Khan (11), Aamir Khan (14), Dharmendra (15), Hema Malini (18), Madhubala (24), Kajol (30), Hrithik Roshan (32), Rani Mukerji (38), Kareena Kapoor (43), Mumtaz (50), Saif Ali Khan (59), Priyanka Chopra (86) and Katrina Kaif (93).


August 17-23, 2013


August 17-23, 2013



By Dr Prem Kumar Sharma

ARIES: Self-confidence would enable to convey your point of view with ease a workplace. Unexpected gifts and presents from close relatives/family members cannot be ruled out. Financial hassles will be eased out with the help of your friends. Romantic opportunity comes your way as your sparkling sunshine smile injures a lively & tender heart. A beneficial week to work on things that will improve your health. When preparing to travel with a family be humble and patient. Inheriting property from your relatives seems to be ahead. For some shower of verbal praises could come from the people who matter. LEO: Cooperative nature brings desired results at professional front. Family front seems to go smoothly as you receive their full support to your plans. It would be in your interest to avoid investment of any kind in this week. You are likely find comfort in the arms of romantic partner. Positive outlook impresses those around you besides keeping you fit & fine. Enjoy your holiday with love of your life. Investment on construction business would flourish your income. Charming nature and pleasant personality would enable to make new friends SAGITTARIUS: Your inner values coupled with a positive attitude will bring success at work. Relatives will be willing to lend a helping hand at the time of need. Investment on long-term plans would pave the way for earning financial gains. Partner brings immense romantic pleasure even if work pressure occupies your mind Sound physical health will enable to participate in outdoor activities. Your boss may ask you for your company to a friends party. Your plan to own a house is ought to be in the right way. Developing a friendly relation with an influential person would augur well for future.

Chandigarh, India: +91-172- 256 2832, 257 2874; Delhi, India: +91-11- 2644 9898, 2648 9899; psharma@premastrologer.com; www.premastrologer.com

Stars Foretell: August 17-23, 2012

TAURUS: Mental clarity gives a decisive edge over all competitors at professional front. You would be the center of attraction at a social gathering that you attend especially with family. Certain important plans will be executed, bringing fresh financial gains. Romance touches new heights, as partner positively responds. Your confidence and energy will be high in this week. Travel plans for ambitions are in full bloom. Your income can be doubled by renting your house or a part of your house. Religious feelings could awaken in you, propping to seek blessings from a holy man. VIRGO: For some change of job would bring mental satisfaction. You find relief, comfort and affection in the company of family members. Hard work of previous days brings good fortune enabling to fulfil monetary promises. Love and romantic encounter will keep you in a cheerful state. Charity work undertaken will bring mental peace & comfort. Romantic destinations seems appealing to you. Dealings for older properties can be in process. Dont get surprised if your unrealisable dreams start coming true. CAPRICORN: Responding positively & quickly to new ideas in business will go in your favour. New relationship at family front will be long lasting & highly beneficial. Improvement in finances makes it convenient in clearing long pending dues & bills. Romance rules heart & mind in this week. You will be successful in getting rid from tensions. Travel plan with a colleague might lead to a new relationship. Plan to invest in cafeteria or a bakery shop; it might create new opportunities for you. You get a good opportunity to get involved in some interesting conversation. GEMINI: Calculated risks would enables to complete the project on time. You would prefer to relax and enjoy the company of family members in the evening. Speculations are likely to bring monetary profits. You are likely to find someone with whom you will enjoy the ecstasies of love. A week when smile will perpetually be on your face and strangers will seem familiar. A beckon destination sounds tempting to you. It would be beneficial if you plan to buy a small property. You are likely to gain a lot if pay heed to the guidance of close friends. LIBRA: This week you are likely to suffer from a feeling that your core competency and knowledge is outdated. Time spent with relatives will be to your advantage. You succeed in making some extra cash on playing your cards well. Sudden romantic encounter is foreseen in this week. Meditation and self-realization prove beneficial. Travel for fun and pleasure is what you demand. Your possession for acquiring a plot might be achieved. Friends would accept unique but original ideas as they carefully listen to you. AQUARIUS: Calculated risks at professional front will be rewarded with success. Guests visit would make it a pleasant & wonderful week. Successful execution of brilliant ideas would help in earning financial profits. Romantic imagination occupies mind forcing to go out of the way to please partner. A sparkling laughter filled week when most things proceed, as you desire. Small picnic organized by your company is good to change your mood. You might apply for bank loan as to get back the possession of your mortgaged property. Sharp observation would help in staying ahead of others. CANCER: A firm commitment will not only enable to achieve professional targets but also to realise your dreams. This week you move with new excitement & confidence as you receive support from family and friends. Monetary position is likely to improve later in the week. Love comes your way as friendship turns into romance. Your energy level will be high. Better to channelize it in a positive direction. Planning a trip for your love will embrace you and your spouse. Real estate is one thing on which you can rely on to invest. You feel the need to escape any kind of confusion to spend time alone. SCORPIO: The week could force you to search a new job where your skills are more useful. Family members will be very positive & supportive to your plans. An auspicious week to invest money on items that would grow in value. A promising week for romance when your innovation infuses a new spirit in it. You will have ample time to do things to improve your health. Small journey with your office colleagues will be interesting. If you invest on smaller properties then it can be beneficiary for future investments. Frequent travels bring into contact with an interesting acquaintance in the process. PISCES: You will be successful in regaining your professional touch. You will be in the mood to celebrate with family and friends. A very successful week as far as monetary position is concerned. Cupids arrows would make your heart flutter high. Your enormous confidence would help in enjoying a healthy life. Official journeys prove to be more fruitful for you. There are chances of getting good amount from an older property of yours. Troubles fade away as the bright side of your personality enables to take things in a stride.

17th August, 2013 Traits in you: Your governing planet Saturn makes you confident, unique, creative, dynamic, and intelligent. You are determined enough to perform any task assigned to you. So you always remain a step ahead from others. Along all your good characteristics, you have few negative characters as well. You need to work on your unreliability, insensitiveness, and selfishness. Health this year: Though you would not face any major health related issues, you should take extra care of your health. Do not take unwanted risk of putting your health in stake. Go for regular medical checkups. Finance this year: Your confidence and hard work will help you earn a lot of money and you will be able to expand your business as well. You may go ahead investing on anything you want as this year is pretty rewarding for you. Your past legal disputes will get resolved this year and give you enough opportunity to make money. Career this year: Your interest and enthusiasm to perform will make you an extraordinary performer in your professional circuit. You will be respected and rewarded for your work. You need to take the leadership responsibility to cement your position in your organization. Romance this year: Your relationship with your spouse or partner will blossom this year. If you are not married, you may have to wait for few more years though you are eligible for marriage. Lucky month: September, January and May

Annual Predictions: For those born in this week

as a very efficient and important resource in your organization this year. Your performance will influence your peers, seniors and higher management. It is the best time to look out for a new job as it will help you grow both professionally and financially. Romance this year: Your romantic relationship will reach new heights this year. You may get married this year, if you are unmarried yet. You need to take care of the emotional requirements of your partner to strengthen your relationship. Lucky month: August, November and April Finance this year: You will get enough good opportunities to convert your startup business to an established one. You need to work hard this year to gain money. It is advisable to avoid partnerships. You may get benefited from your past investments. Career this year: You should take inputs from senior and experienced professionals to learn new things and grow professionally. Act diplomatically if you have some professional issues. Getting emotional and aggressive would not work though. Romance this year: If you are yet to be in a committed relationship, you may get into one this year. If you are already committed, then you may plan for marriage towards the end of the year. Lucky month: November, February and June

18th August, 2013 Traits in you: Being ruled by Mars, you are aggressive, courageous, aspiring, focused, friendly, generous, and honest. You lag behind others because you lose many opportunities. You need to work on your frequent mood swings and temperament. Health this year: You should take your prescribed medication in spite of a better health. The health of your parents may make you a worried person. Finance this year: Your financial condition will be pretty good as the movements of your stars are favorable for making money this year. You may go for any investment on real estate or gold. Do not trust anyone when partnerships are concerned. You should not lend or borrow money as it will create disputes. Career this year: You will be establishing yourself

19th August, 2013 Traits in you: Your ruler the sun makes you unique, creative, dedicated, responsible, reliable, and confident. You are the master of intelligence and skills. However, your domination nature and stubbornness you make you lag behind others. Health this year: Your overall health would remain fine this year. Some of the aged members in your family may fall sick frequently to add your woes. You need to take care of your family members by providing them better medical attention. Finance this year: Your undisputed energy and enthusiasm to earn money will make you financially stable this year. You may go for property sale this year and earn a lot of money. Career this year: You may have to take few major decisions in your profession. You can succeed if you put some extra effort in your work and deliver quality. You have to drive the team to put qualitative effort. Romance this year: You will spend a peaceful life with your love interest this year. You will lead a blissful life with your beloved with lots of love, care, concern, and support. Lucky month: November, February and July 20th August, 2013 Traits in you: As dominated by the Moon, you are very peace loving. You do not want to get involved in unnecessary talks. You are reliable, emotional, generous, humble, kind, mature, and optimistic. However, you need to eradicate selfishness from your nature to improve as an individual. Health this year: As far as health is concerned, you will be enjoying a pretty good health this year. However, some of your family members may fall sick and that will bother you.

21st August, 2013 Traits in you: As you are ruled by Jupiter, you are ambitious, dignified, friendly, cheerful and highly optimistic. You are a believer but you do not believe anything without proper proof. People respect in many ways as you are very social and friendly to them. However, your arrogance blocks the way to become a complete person. Health this year: Your sibling may suffer from an incurable disease this year. You need to take care of yourself and your family members by providing them with modern medical facilities. Finance this year: You may be able to improve your financial conditions by find an extra source of income. You may go for new short term investments. You will be able to obtain luxury and happiness by spending money. Career this year: Your confidence will convert you into a winner. You will be capable enough to overcome any challenge you need to face. The chances of your promotion and transfer are high due to the organizational change. Romance this year: You will find your partner to be a huge emotional support for you during the tough times of your life. You may get involved in a matrimonial alliance. Lucky month: October, December and April 22nd August, 2013 Traits in you: Your dominating planet Uranus makes you dynamic, friendly, fun loving, reliable, focused and optimistic. Your skills and optimism allows you to crate wonders in everything you do. However, you

need to work on your frequent mood swings to obtain expected success in your life. Health this year: Your health will not be very normal this year. You may suffer from some chronic diseases. You should take some precautions before you fall sick badly. Finance this year: Though you will be able to improve your financial status, you may end up spending a lot of money in buying luxury and comfort for yourself and your family. You may put your money in real estate for better returns. Career this year: Your efforts will bear results and you will be appreciated with awards and rewards towards the end of the year. You may get a promotion for your smart work and efficiency. Romance this year: You will be enjoying a better relationship with your partner or beloved. You will get the required emotional support from your partner whenever you seek. Lucky month: September, February and July 23rd August, 2013 Traits in you: Your ruling planet Mercury makes you realistic, reliable, sincere, and optimistic. You are the master of an excellent memory power and charismatic characteristics. You need not get nervous at tough time as it may create a question mark on your capabilities. Health this year: Though you would not face any major health related issues, you should take extra care of your health. Do not take unwanted risk of putting your health in stake. Go for regular medical checkups. Finance this year: You may get your pending works done, which will yield enough financial benefits for you. You should invest in share market or real estate to get better benefits. You need not borrow or lend money as it may create disturbances in your personal life. Career this year: You need not concentrate on the gossips prevailing in your workspace. You should concentrate on your career goals and try to succeed in every department. You should handle professional issues diplomatically. Romance this year: Your relationship with your spouse or partner will blossom this year. If you are not married, you may have to wait for few more years though you are eligible for marriage. Lucky month: November, March and August


August 17-23, 2013



Freedom from strife

By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj

The solution to finding peace requires us to look at the problem from a new perspective. We cannot change the nature of the world or its problems, but we can add a new dimension to life that will give us peace.
advisors to help run his kingdom. Among these great minds was Birbal, the wisest of them all. He was quite clever and could figure out solutions to difficult problems by looking at them from a totally different perspective. One day Akbar wanted to test his advisors, so he presented them with a puzzle. He took a stick and drew a line in the sand. He asked the advisors to try to shorten the line without erasing any part of it. Each counselor took a turn, but all were stumped. They could not figure out how to make it shorter. Finally, Birbal came forward, took the stick, and carefully drew a line next to the one the emperor had drawn but Birbal made his line longer. By drawing the second line longer, it made the original one look shorter. The solution to finding peace requires us to look at the problem

Attain true independence spiritually

By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj ndependence Day is celebrated in India on August 15th. Other countries may also have their own independence days. While in the world this holiday marks the day a country became free from its mother country or declared itself a sovereign nation, independence also refers to the liberation and freedom of our soul. Just as one country may be a colony of another country, our soul has been colonized and taken over by the cover-

ings of our mind and body. Most of us think of ourselves as a body and a mind; few realize that we have another part that is our true essence, our soul. When our soul declares its own independence from the bondage of the mind and body, it soars with exhilaration and freedom. Instead of being bound to the limitations of time and space of this earthly realm, the soul experiences its unlimited nature as it experiences the bliss and joy of regions of creation that exist beyond this realm. Scientists of the soul, often

ife and strife seem to go hand in hand. We have all experienced this. Any happiness that we receive is often short-lived, for at any moment we may suddenly find ourselves in states of sorrow. Disturbances occur at each and every stage of our life. Although existence in this world is turbulent, life should be more than a pendulum in which we swing back and forth between moments of joy and moments of sorrow. The dictionary defines peace as freedom from strife, a state of serenity, calmness, and stillness. Despite the obstacles, we can attain true peace in this lifetime, but to do so, we need to undergo a shift in our way of thinking. Our angle of vision needs to change. We tend to look for peace in the outer world. We hope to find it in our possessions, positions, and relationships, but the loss of any of these causes us to become agitated and distraught. Our peace of mind is disturbed. Everything in this world is subject to change and eventual decay. So long as we look to the transitory world for happiness, we will be disappointed. We need to change the way we look at this problem. An anecdote from the life of the Moghul Emperor Akbar can help us in this regard. Akbar is considered to be one of the most enlightened emperors of India. He had a number of

from a new perspective. We cannot change the nature of the world or its problems, but we can add a new dimension to life that will give us peace. Lasting peace can be found within us. Enlightened luminaries throughout history have had mystical experiences which verified for them the existence of an inner spiritual reality. Mystics from every religious tradition have described their

inner spiritual experiences. They have spoken of heavenly realms that co-exist with the physical world. These are realms of joy and love which are within us. They are regions of eternal peace and bliss beyond time and space. Although we cannot change the fundamental nature of the world, we can become attuned to the worlds lying within us. In order to find peace in the world, we must first find it within ourselves. We can do this only by changing our perspective in life. The way to reach the spiritual realms is to invert through a process known as meditation. Through meditation we can separate our soul from the body and voyage into the regions within. We have within us an opening or door by which our attention can enter the higher regions. This entryway is located between and behind the two eyebrows. It is known as the seat of the soul in the body and has been referred to in many ways by various religions and philosophies. It has been called the single eye or third eye, the shiv netra, divya chakshu, daswan dwar, or tenth door. If we can withdraw our attention from the outer world and focus it at this point we will see the Light of the higher regions reflected therein. As our soul collects at this point, it rises into the beyond. We may spend our time seeking worldly enjoyments, but they last for only short periods of time. So long as our attention is identified with the world outside, we are faced with the problems and miseries that are inherent in physical existence. By inverting our attention and rising above the physical body through a process of meditation on the inner Light, we will find regions within which give us lasting peace. For more information contact www.sos.org.

referred to as saints, mystics, philosophers, or Masters, have been exploring the regions beyond since recorded history. They came to the same conclusions. We are more than the body and mind; we are the soul. The soul can travel into spiritual realms and merge back in its source, the Oversoul, the Creator, or the Divine. They have all achieved this realization by inverting their attention, whether it is called prayer, inversion, or meditation. They tell us our true independence comes when we sit in silence, close our eyes,

direct our attention within, and experience the Divine. The journey begins with our inner awareness or inner eye opening up to see inner light and hear celestial music. Through further absorption in these, our soul transcends awareness of the physical body to become aware of the inner realms, such as the astral, causal, and supracausal regions, until it merges into a region of all spirit, the home of the Divine. We then discover our soul, which is spirit, is the same essence as the Creator, which is also spirit. The two merge

back into one and we experience limitless bliss, joy, and divine love. When we celebrate the outer independence days in our respective countries, whether it is July 4 in the United States, or on different dates in different countries, let us also strive to achieve our spiritual independence. We can do so by meditating on the inner Light and Sound which will lead our soul to recognize that we are more than the physical body and intellect. We are soul, a part of the Divine, and our true nature is bliss, joy, and love.


August 17-23, 2013

August 15, 2013


August 17-23, 2013