Pravasi March 2007 Volume 2 Issue No. 3
C O N N E C T I N G I N D I A W I T H I T S D I A S P O R A
M I N I S T RY O F OV E R S E A S I N D I A N A F FA I R S
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs
hen Finance Minister P. Chidambaram tabled India' national
budget for 2007-08 on February 28, he made it very clear —
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs sectors that were doing well should be left untouched and
9th Floor, Akbar Bhawan, Chanakya Puri
New Delhi - 110021
sectors lagging behind should be given a boost. Hence the
India budget gave a thrust to the agricultural sector, which many see as one of
Phone: +91(11)2419 7900 the key players of the Indian economy.
As Chidambaram said, “Agriculture must top the agenda for policy
makers and hold the first charge on resources.”
Vayalar Ravi Dr. Ranbir Singh Another area that the budget has given boost to is education. And a new
Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Director (Emigration Policy) cess has been levied for secondary education. This is important given the
Phone: +91-11-24676839/24676837 Phone: +91-11-24197952/26874247 rapidly globalising world. As the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs
email: email@example.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org (MOIA) has been pointing out, India is set to become the world’s largest
human resources supplier. And in today's world, there is little place for
Nirmal Singh Ms. Sandhya Shukla unskilled workers, who form a significant chunk of overseas Indian
Secretary Director (Social Services Unit) workers.
Phone: +91-11-24674144/24674143/ Phone: +91-11-24197918/26874231 This brings us to the budget and MOIA. This year, the budgetary
24197902/24197991 email: email@example.com allocation for MOIA has been hiked to Rs. 500 million. This issue gives
email: firstname.lastname@example.org some insight into the various schemes and programmes for which MOIA
Yogeshwar Sangwan plans to utilise the budgetary allocation.
Malay Mishra Director In its efforts to tackle the growing problem of marriages involving
Joint Secretary (Diaspora Services Division) overseas Indians, MOIA has announced a new scheme under which brides
(Diaspora Services Division) Phone: +91-11-24197910/26874246 from India who are abandoned or abused by their spouses abroad will get
Phone: +91-11-26874240 24197906/ email: email@example.com legal and financial support from the Government of India. Details of this
24197907 scheme are given in this issue.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org S.P. Tripathi Ever since Pravasi Bharatiya became a 48-pager since January this
Deputy Secretary (Vigilance) year, we have endeavoured to introduce new and interesting features in
G. Gurucharan (Management Services-I) the magazine. We are starting two new interesting series beginning with
Joint Secretary Phone: +91-11- 24676145 /24197909 this issue.
(Financial Services Division) email: email@example.com One is a series on profiles of the Indian diaspora in different countries
Phone: +91-11- 24676210 /24197916/ across the world. We start off with the diaspora in the Caribbean, where
24197917 S.K. Khurana the cricket World Cup is being held. After all, Guyana and Trinidad &
email: firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Secretary (Admin.) Tobago, two of the nine hosts of the World Cup, are home to a significant
(Management Services-II) population of people of Indian origin.
J. Panda Phone: +91-11- 24197908/24676146 The second one is on investment opportunities in India. This series
Protector General of Emigrants email: email@example.com starts off with Maharashtra and the various investment opportunities
(Overseas Employment Services available in this western Indian state.
Division) T.Q. Mohammad Meanwhile, the section on diaspora newsmakers has undergone a
Phone: +91-11-24197972 /26874250 Deputy Secretary (Financial Services) change. From now on this section will not have diaspora newsmakers
email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +91-11-24197914/24676841 alone but also other news about the diaspora.
email: email@example.com When we talk of the Indian diaspora and their interests, can we leave
Dr. R.K. Verma out Bollywood? Hence a new section on Indian films and overseas Indian
Senior Technical Director Shailja Sharma filmmakers.
(National Informatics Center) Director (ES) All these and more in this issue of Pravasi Bharatiya. Read on.
Phone: +91-11-24676147/24197913 Phone: +91-11-24197902
email: firstname.lastname@example.org email: email@example.com
— Editorial Team,
2 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 3
THE INDIAN DIASPORA 32
A new series will profile the Indian diaspora in various
parts of the world. It starts off in this issue with a
profile of the Indian diaspora in the Caribbean where
the cricket World Cup 2007 is being held.
The 2007-08 national budget
presented by Finance Minister P.
Chidambaram lays stress on
Policy documents unveiled by the Government in
6 Women’s Day Special 38
A look at how the modern Indian
agriculture and education. A woman is conquering male
February shows that India’s economy has decidedly
detailed analysis. bastions.
moved toward a period of sustained high growth.
A review of various news
related to the Indian
diaspora across the world in INTERVIEW
the month gone by.
Gandhi speaks about
remains timely and
BUDGET TRAVEL 42
INVESTING IN INDIA 20
A new series on statewise
investment opportunities in India
A look at the
CRICKET WORLD CUP. . . . 30 White water rafting on the Ganga
in winter can be an exhilarating
experience. A first hand report.
starts with a feature on Maharashtra
which looks at the state
and projects in the BOLLYWOOD . . . . . . . . . . 36
government policies and
infrastructure that is coming up.
10 BOOK REVIEW . . . . . . . . . 46
CATCH THE WIND! “
The two issues were sustaining the
growth with moderate inflation and
making the growth inclusive so that Industry and services have done well. Attention is,
larger sections of the society benefit in
terms of more jobs and lower poverty
The three priorities were managing
the high growth, maintaining fiscal
prudence and high investment level,
therefore, being diverted to agriculture. A plant
needs nursing and not a firm oak tree... Faster
economic growth has given us, once again, the
opportunity to unfurl the sails and catch the wind.
and improving the government’s
efficiency in tackling issues such as
health, education and support for the more inclusive growth,” His proposals invited praise from
poor masses. Chidambaram said as he enhanced the Prime Minister.
These policy prescriptions were budgetary allocations for education, “This budget focuses on fiscal
immediately addressed a day later by agriculture, water, child development, consolidation,” Manmohan Singh
the Finance Minister when he urban renewal, employment said, adding an attempt was made to
presented the $148 billion national guarantee scheme and social security. address the concerns and aspirations
budget for 2007-08 in which the “Industry and services have done of a larger section of society, especially
primary focus was on social sectors well. Attention is, therefore, being the common man.
and agriculture with moderate cuts in diverted to agriculture. A plant needs Even the Indian industry was happy
taxes and import duties. nursing and not a firm oak tree,” he with the developments in the recent
“Agriculture must top the agenda later told a press conference past, with both the Confederation of
for policy makers and hold the first explaining the main premise of his Indian Industry (CII) and the
charge on resources,” the finance budget. Federation of Indian Chambers of
minister said in his 100-minute The Finance Minister said he was Commerce and Industry (FICCI)
speech in the Lok Sabha, the lower also giving a new thrust to agriculture, praising the Government’s efforts.
house of Parliament, setting the tone on which two-thirds of the 1.17- “India is now poised for the next
for his sixth personal national budget billion population still depends, as wave of growth, having
and the fourth for the United also to the small taxpayer and small comprehensively established its
Progressive Alliance (UPA) service providers. “Faster economic strong economic fundamentals
ifteen years after India unveiled its market- government led by Prime Minister growth has given us, once again, the through two consecutive years of nine
A series of policy oriented reforms programme in July 1991, the Manmohan Singh. opportunity to unfurl the sails and percent plus economic growth,” said
nation’s economy has decidedly moved toward a “The declared objective is faster and catch the wind.” CII president R. Seshasayee.
period of sustained high growth, which should
by the Government The fact that the fiscal
help the Government to play an even more proactive role
and other agencies in in making this boom inclusive. consolidation programme is on
February, including This was the essence of a series of policy documents target (means that) we are
the Economic Survey unveiled by the Government and other agencies in moving in the set direction. That
for 2006-07, shows February, including the Economic Survey for 2006-07,
itself should be an assurance
that India’s economy which is often called the annual report card on the state of
the Indian economy presented by the Finance Ministry. that inflation will not be allowed
has decidedly moved
The Indian economy will grow by a robust 9.2 percent to get out of hand... The fact that
toward a period of
in this fiscal and a sense of optimism had characterised the the budget seeks fiscal
sustained high growth,
developments in recent years as the country heads toward consolidation, the fact that
which should help the high growth trajectory, said the survey tabled in customs duties and excise duties
Government play an Parliament by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on have been reduced in a number
even more proactive February 27. of sensitive commodity areas,
role in making this “The economy appears to have decidedly taken off and
moved from a phase of moderate growth to a new phase of
will certainly impart the anti-
boom inclusive. Here
high growth,” the survey said, while listing a set of two inflationary bias to the budget.
is a look.
issues and three priorities for the policy-makers. — PM Manmohan Singh
6 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 7
FROM THE ECONOMIC SURVEY 2006-07
NON-RESIDENT DEPOSITS been strong in every single month in improved investment climate. Outward
In the last 16 years ending 2005-06, 2006-07 up to November 2006. NR(E) investment also simultaneously showed
non-resident deposits remained an RA flows have also been strong in the signs of a pick up with domestic
important and relatively stable source of same period, but were marginal in the companies making deeper forays for Agriculture must top the
capital flows. As a proportion of total
capital flows, it had strengthened in the
four-year period 2000-04 to above 20 per
cent. But, such deposits became a source
of negative flows in 2004-05. There was
months of April and October. Together,
these resulted in the total inflows of $2.7
billion in both the non-resident accounts
as against $476 million in the
corresponding period of the previous
acquisitions abroad. FDI inflows were
mainly in the form of equity accounting for
about 75.2 per cent of the total FDI into
India during 2005-06. FDI abroad
(outward investment) grew sharply to
reach $3.2 billion on 2005-06.
agenda for policy
makers and hold the
first charge on
a resumption of the earlier trend in 2005-
06, with the proportion rising to 11.5 The rising trend in FDI observed in
percent. FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT 2005-06 accelerated further in 2006-07. “The economy is on an production,” the report said. progress fast over the next decade.
With the discontinuance of Non- Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows As per provisional data available, FDI unprecedented growth momentum It also said that the prospects looked First, its savings and investment
Resident (Non-Repatriable) Rupee (net), which had declined from $4.7 billion (net) in April-September 2006 at $4.2 and this is a unique opportunity for brighter for the 11th Five-Year Plan, rates are rising and from the present
deposits with effect from April 1, 2002, in 2001-02 to $2.4 billion in 2003-04, billion was almost twice its level in April - India to build on this with further which begins from April 1, 2007, with level of 32 percent and 34 percent of
the outstanding on the other two forms of continued its growth for the second September 2005. rapid economic reforms,” he said, a focus on four areas — agriculture, gross domestic product, it has scope to
NRI deposits, namely, NR(E) RA and consecutive year in 2005-06 to climb back According to the latest data on foreign adding the Government’s emphasis infrastructure, health and education rise by five percentage points each in
FCNR (B) at $35.1 billion at end-March to $4.7 billion again. The overall FDI direct investment inflows, there has been on social sector, especially in — to make economic growth the next five-six years.
2006 are mainly on account of the former. reported is inward FDI netted for outward a 98.4 per cent jump in the equity education, health and poverty inclusive. “India will also be the beneficiary of
At end-November 2006, such outstanding FDI. FDI on a comparative net basis, investment into India in April-September alleviation, was welcome. In fact, during an address at this a ‘demographic dividend’ given the
at $37.8 billion, however, indicate growth year-on-year, exhibited a growth of 27.4 2006-07 over April-September 2005-06 In fact, betting on India’s growth year’s Pravasi Bharatiya Divas from age profile of its population. This
in both forms. FCNR (B) inflows have percent in 2005-06 reflecting the levels. story, foreign firms also increased January 7-9, Planning Commission demographic dividend itself will drive
their investments in the country by Deputy Chairman Montek Singh up growth and the savings rate, apart
Outstanding balances and net flows under various non-resident deposit schemes 151 percent during April-December Ahluwalia even invited members of from making India one of the few
2006, according to official data the Indian diaspora to become part of countries without a labour constraint
Panel A: Outstanding balances under different schemes* released by Department of Industrial India’s development process with for many decades to come,” he says.
(US$ million) Policy and Promotion (DIPP) of the suggestions and ideas for the next And third, there was a broad
As at the end of Commerce and Industry ministry. five-year plan. national consensus on economic
March March 01 March 02 March 03 March 04 March 05 Mar-06 Nov-06 “Foreign direct investment inflows “There are many experts in the policies, even if on a few issues
2000 (P.E.) (P.E.) during the period April-December Indian diaspora from whom we can differences may crop up from time to
Foreign Currency Non-Resident (Banks) 8172 9076 9673 10199 10961 11452 13064 14270 had been $9,272 million against get ideas. If these are good ideas in time among various political parties.
Non-Resident External Rupee Accounts 6758 7147 8449 14923 20559 21291 22070 23481 $3,697 million in the corresponding any part of the world, we are ready to This, he said, was quite remarkable
Non-Resident (Non Repatriable) 6754 6849 7052 3407 1746 232 period last year, representing a record take them,” he said, and added: “We for a democracy like India.
Rupee Deposits increase of 151 percent,” the want the non-resident Indian Indian policy makers believe that
Total 21684 23072 25174 28529 33266 32975 35134 37751 department said in its annual report, community to critique on our 11th the overall macroeconomic
adding this showed the confidence of Five-Year Plan.” fundamentals of the Indian economy
B: Net flows under non-resident deposits* foreign investors in India. In fact, the Prime Minister said that are robust, particularly with tangible
(US$ million) The period between April- the basic idea of increasing the progress towards fiscal consolidation
Schemes 2000-01 2001-02 2002-2003 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 Apr-Nov (P.E.) December 2006 also saw surging of budgetary support for Plan allocation and a strong balance of payments
2005-06 2006-07 industrial growth to 10.8 percent was to support some ambitious position. With an upsurge in
FCNR(B) 904 594 526 762 492 1612 -32 1206 from eight percent in the same period developmental programmes that the investment, the outlook is distinctly
NR(E)RA @ 860 1626 6195 4695 84 1177 508 1509 of the preceding year. government has set for itself. upbeat, they maintain.
NR(NR)RD 553 508 -3745 -1816 -1538 The industrial growth was led “We also recognise that there are While infrastructure is one problem
Total 2317 2728 2976 3641 -962 2789 476 2715 mainly by the manufacturing sector, legitimate additional expenditure faced by the country, the general
P.E.: Provisional Estimates. which grew at 11.8 percent in the demands which will arise as we belief now is that the recent
* All figures are inclusive of accrued interest. same period. unfold the contours of the 11th Five developments in tackling this issue
@ The inflows of the NR(E)RA deposits from the year 2002-03 onwards may partly be due to crediting of maturity proceeds of the “This has been possible due to new Year Plan and so we will review the such as public-private-partnerships
NR(NR)R deposits which were discontinued with effect from April 1, 2002. investment and capacity addition by situation towards mid-July, for had made the outlook promising.
Note: Inflows/Outflows have been calculated by taking the monthly variation in rupee denominated deposits & converting those by
the industry. This augurs well for the example, and we have a contingency “The drumbeats of infrastructure
future growth of Indian industry plan to increase expenditure in due are gradually getting louder and in the
monthly average exchange rate. All figures are inclusive of interest & valuation changes arising on account of fluctuation in non dollar
because plants, machinery and course of time,” he maintains. next few years their rumble will be
currencies against US dollar.
mother goods, which constitute this India, Manmohan Singh believes, felt and heard all over the country,”
sector, are needed for further has three main reasons why it will maintains the Economic Survey. ■
8 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 9
ollowing calls from the Ministry are therefore designed to scheme has been fixed at Rs. 6 million
With the budgetary Indian diaspora in different meet these wide ranging needs and but the ministry expects the total
allocation for the Ministry parts of the world for a
separate ministry in the
expectations. expenditure in this count this year to
be around Rs. 7 million.
of Overseas Affairs Government of India to look after OCI SCHEME MOIA expects the scheme to fulfill
increasing, the Ministry is their issues, the Ministry of Non- the aspirations and expectations of
looking forward to Resident Indians’ Affairs was
established in May 2004. It was
In response to a long and persistent
demand for “dual citizenship”
And help bring the overseas Indian
implementing its various renamed the Ministry of Overseas particularly from overseas Indians in community closer to the country and
schemes in the coming Indian Affairs (MOIA) in September North America and the Western enable them to participate in the
2004. world and in view of the development programmes more
fiscal year. Here are the MOIA is the nodal Ministry for all Government’s deep commitment effectively.
details. matters relating to overseas Indians towards fulfilling the aspirations and
comprising persons of Indian origin expectations of overseas Indians, KNOW INDIA PROGRAMME
(PIOs), non-resident Indians (NRIs) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
and overseas citizens of India (OCI). had announced at the Pravasi The Ministry organises four-week
The mission of the Ministry is to Bharatiya Divas 2005 in Mumbai the internship programmes for diaspora
promote, nurture and sustain a grant of Overseas Citizenship of India youth to promote awareness about
mutually beneficial and symbiotic (OCI) to all PIOs where local laws contemporary India, its socio-cultural
relationship between India and permit “dual citizenship” in some diversities, the rapid economic
overseas Indians. form or the other, except Pakistan and transformation under way and thus
The year 2006-2007 was the third Bangladesh. help the younger generation of
budget year for the Ministry with The scheme has been in operation overseas Indians bond with India.
budget estimates (BE) of Rs. 380 from December 2, 2005. OCI has Earlier called the Internship
million and revenue estimates (RE) been introduced by statute to facilitate Programme for Diaspora Youth
of Rs. 260 million. The first Outcome life-long visa, free travel to India and (IPDY) and now known as the ‘Know
Budget of the Ministry for the year certain economic, educational and India Programme’ (KIP), the scheme
2006-07 and the Performance Budget cultural benefits. This is not to be is implemented in partnership with
for the year 2005-06 were presented construed as ‘dual citizenship’ since it state governments and logistical
to the Parliament in March 2006. does not confer political rights. support from the Nehru Yuvak
For the year 2007-2008, the BE for In 2005-06, an expenditure of Rs. Kendra.
the Ministry is Rs.500 million. 1.9 million was incurred on In 2006-07 the financial outlay for
Given the diversity and geographic preparatory work of this scheme. KIP was fixed at Rs. 2.5 million. For
spread of the overseas Indian The financial outlay for the scheme 2007-08, this has been doubled to Rs.
community and with it, the in 2006-07 was Rs. 12.5 million with 5 million and the idea is to organise
emergence of distinct region and a target of issuing 75,000 cards during two to three such programmes each
country specific ethos, the needs and the period. Given the heavy demand year.
expectations of the overseas Indians for the card, around 102,500 OCI
vary considerably. The policies, cards were issued till December 2006. PROPOSED PIO UNIVERSITY
programmes and the schemes of the In 2007-08, the outlay for the
The High-Level Committee on
Indian Diaspora, appointed by the
Government in 2000 had visited
Given the diversity and geographic spread of the various countries with large
concentration of Indian diaspora and
overseas Indian community and with it, the had recommended, among other
emergence of distinct region and country specific things, the setting up of new
ethos, the needs and expectations of the overseas universities and professional
“ institutions offering courses of
Indians vary considerably. The policies, international standards in streams like
programmes and the schemes of the Ministry are management, information
therefore designed to meet these wide ranging needs technology, media, agricultural
research, medicine, and food
and expectations. processing.
At the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
10 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 11
(PBD) 2007, the annual conclave of Diaspora to provide a suitable place to the American Association of
the Indian diaspora, in New Delhi in commemorate the trials and Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI)
January this year, Prime Minister tribulations, as well as the subsequent in 2006 to take up initiatives in
Singh announced that the proposal evolution and achievements of the healthcare all over the country starting
for establishing a university for PIOs diverse Indian diaspora. with pilot projects in two States —
is under active consideration of the The Kendra would become the Andhra Pradesh and Bihar. The
Government and that the challenge is focal point for interactions between partnership with AAPI and the states
to create an enabling framework. India and the diaspora and would also provides a framework to tap diaspora
The Ministry’s mandate is to take in course of time, become the hub for knowledge resources to promote and
up new initiatives in the field of various activities aimed at creating implement innovative and best
education and therefore endeavors to pride in the achievements of India and practices in healthcare in Indian
promote India as a competitive the diaspora. It would be an ideal States. The objective of this project is
destination for the benefit of overseas centre to facilitate harnessing of the to create a template in rural healthcare
Indian students, particularly from talent pool amongst overseas Indians. through pilot projects, which can then
those countries where opportunities The Ministry of Urban be replicated in other states.
for higher education are inadequate Development has recently allotted The project envisages canalising the
or are not within their reach due to land in New Delhi for the Pravasi knowledge resource of AAPI to train
legal, economic or constitutional Bharatiya Kendra. the local medical practitioners for
compulsions of the home countries. The Kendra will include a early detection and medication of
The policy framework to set up a convention centre, permanent different diseases like carcinoma
NRI/PIO university within a Special exhibition illustrating the history of cervix, diabetes, heart disease,
Educational Zone (SEdZ) in a Special the diaspora, lecture rooms for carcinoma prostate and deafness in
Economic Zone (SEZ) is being orientation programmes, a well- children.
examined and it is expected to be stocked library and documentation It also seeks to build capacities in
finalised during the fiscal year 2007- centre, a modern theatre and guest the community to undertake
Then president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) Dr. Vijay N. Koli, centre,
08. rooms. preventive measures and raise
briefing the press about the plans for providing primary healthcare in India in cooperation with the Ministry of
No allocation for this has been An outlay of Rs. 50 million has been awareness on the need for a healthy
Overseas Indian Affairs, in New Delhi on May 30, 2006.
made in this year’s national budget as fixed for this purpose in 2007-08. life style.
the funding mechanism is yet to be Work on the project is expected to The project is expected to start on OVERSEAS INDIAN FACILITATION industry associations in the country. INDIA DEVELOPMENT
finalised. commence in the fiscal year 2007-08 a pilot basis in the states of Andhra CENTRE To be called the Overseas Indian PHILANTHROPY FOUNDATION
and will be completed within four Pradesh and Bihar in the beginning of Facilitation Centre (OIFC), it will
PRAVASI BHARATIYA KENDRA years. the next financial year. The Ministry India is already the highest recipient serve as a “one-stop shop” for the A new foundation to serve as a
of Health and Family Welfare has of remittances from its diaspora ($23 Indian diaspora. nodal point for overseas Indians on
The proposal to establish a Pravasi INDIA HEALTHCARE INITIATIVE agreed to fund the project and a bllion till 2005). However, given the Expected to be operational during investments of philanthropic nature
Bharatiya Kendra was suggested by financial outlay of Rs. 10 million has profile of the Indian diaspora, the financial year 2007-08, OIFC will to facilitate social development of the
the High-Level Committee on Indian The Ministry signed an MoU with been fixed for 2007-08. investment by overseas Indians has also establish and maintain a Diaspora country is being planned.
been far short of its potential. While Knowledge Network, function as a To be called the India
there is high interest amongst clearinghouse for all investment Development Philanthropy
overseas Indians to invest in India, related information and assist states Foundation (IDPF), the foundation
there is a need for a market driven to project investment opportunities will aim at establishing and
institutional platform that will to overseas Indians in the maintaining a diaspora philanthropic
facilitate a two-way flow of overseas infrastructure and social sectors. network
Indian investment into India as well as An outlay of Rs. 2.5 million was It will promote overseas Indian
promote B-to-B partnerships of fixed for 2006-07 for this project and philanthropic investment for social
Indian businesses with overseas it is expected that a total expenditure and community development of the
Indians. of Rs. 1.5 million will be incurred by country especially in the fields of
A need has therefore, been felt for the end of the fiscal year. For 2007-08, health, education, rural development,
a trusted and neutral body with state the outlay has been hiked to Rs. 10 drinking water and energy
of the art facilities to provide a host of million. conservation
investment advisory services The Ministry believes that OIFC It will also function as a repository
efficiently and on a real time basis. will transform ideas into well thought of information related to
The Ministry of Overseas Indian out projects in India and give impetus philanthropic investment by
Affairs is in the process of establishing to projects in the public-private overseas Indian in India.
a centre as a not-for-profit trust, in partnership (PPP) mode across a wide The financial outlay for the project,
(in millions of rupees) partnership with one of the apex spectrum of sectors. which was fixed at Rs. 2.5 million in
12 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 13
2006-07, has been hiked to Rs. 10
million for 2007-08 and the
foundation is expected to be set up in
the new fiscal year.
AWARENESS CAMPAIGN ON NRI
The Ministry has, with the assistance of the Indian Society
of International Law, published a guidance booklet on
‘Marriages with Overseas Indians’ for the benefit of
prospective brides and their families. This booklet
contains information on safeguards available to women
computerisation of its emigration
wing’s functioning. The initiative
comprises two projects.
One is a project that has been
assigned to the National Informatics
Centre (NIC) for implementation.
Automation of the office of Protector
of Emigrants (POE) in Delhi has
language and culture of the
destination country. The scheme
finances a week-long module for
refreshing the skills of the potential
emigrants compatible with the needs
of different countries and for
familiarizing them with good
working practice safety norms and use
An outlay of Rs. 15 million has been
fixed for this purpose. The council
will be set up in 2007-08 after
obtaining necessary approvals.
PRAVASI BHARATIYA BIMA YOJANA
The Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojana
MOIA, in collaboration with the
National Commission for Women
(NCW), has started an awareness
campaign through booklets,
pamphlets and by holding seminars
deserted by their NRI spouses, legal remedies that can be
pursued, authorities that can be approached for redressal
of grievances and non-governmental organisations that
can provide assistance.
“ been taken up and will be completed
by April 2007.
The remaining seven POE offices
will be automated by July 2007. This
will replace the existing manual
of tools. There are inputs on human
behavior, recruitment, visa and
emigration procedures as well as
elementary inputs in bookkeeping.
An outlay of Rs. 80 million during
(PBBY) is a compulsory insurance
scheme which provides insurance
cover of Rs.500,000 and some other
benefits to overseas Indian workers.
The Ministry mandate is to ensure
to address growing menace of system of granting emigration services 2007-08 has been projected for this the mandatory cover to all emigrant
fraudulent marriages involving to prospective emigrants with a purpose. workers for their welfare and better
overseas Indians, particularly NRIs. . prospective brides and their families. of booklets, pamphlets and holding of computerised system, which will lead The scheme, which was launched protection when problems in the
In 2006, MOIA and NCW This booklet contains information on seminars. to greater transparency, better recently, is likely to benefit about foreign country arise.
organised two regional workshops in safeguards available to women monitoring, less discretion, less 75,000 workers during the course of
Chandigarh and Trivandrum with deserted by their NRI spouses, legal ASSISTANCE FOR VICTIMS OF harassment, speedier processing and the year. OVERSEAS INDIAN CENTRE
the objective of involving the state remedies that can be pursued, FRAUDULENT MARRIAGES greater control on data.
commissions for women as well as authorities that can be approached for The project is expected to be COUNCIL FOR PROMOTION OF The Government has approved
the women organisations of the states redressal of grievances and non- In its bid to assist Indian women commissioned in all locations by the OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT setting up one Overseas Indian
concerned to spread awareness. governmental organizations that can who have either been deserted or end of financial year 2007-08. Centre in Dubai to provide medical,
The Ministry also organised parallel provide assistance. divorced by their overseas Indian The financial outlay for the project, In a rapidly globalising world, there legal and financial counseling to the
sessions during PBD 2007 in which The Ministry has also published spouses within two years of marriage, which was fixed at Rs. 5 million in is a need to bring a strategic overseas Indian workers in the Gulf
issues relating to problems of overseas pamphlets in various languages to MOIA has introduced a scheme to 2006-07, has been tripled to Rs. 15 dimension to the process of countries, where there are frequent
Indian marriages were discussed. educate the masses about the issues provide them financial assistance for million for the fiscal year 2007-08. emigration of Indians abroad in reports of exploitation of foreign
NGOs, women organisations and involved in such marriages and the obtaining legal and counseling The second project of this e- search of employment and to forge workers by employers.
state government representatives precautions that should be taken. In services, through Indian missions governance programme will be partnerships that will best serve India The centre, to be headed by a
besides the overseas Indian delegates addition, a publicity campaign abroad. implemented through the National as a supplier of skilled and trained counselor, will provide professional
attended these sessions. through electronic scrolls on regional The Ministry has introduced the Institute for Smart Government manpower and meet the expectations assistance and requisite guidance to
The Ministry has, with the television networks was done in the scheme, to start with, in the US, UK, (NISG) and is aimed at a of the overseas Indian workers as a the needy workers.
assistance of the Indian Society of states of Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. Canada, Australia, New Zealand and comprehensive transformation of the significant constituency across the The centre is expected to start
International Law, published a To continue with this campaign, a the Gulf, which are countries from emigration process. world. functioning within the 2007-08 fiscal
guidance booklet on ‘Marriages with financial outlay of Rs. 2.5 million has where several such cases are being To take full advantage of the and Rs. 10 million has been set aside
Overseas Indians’ for the benefit of been fixed will go into the publication reported. The assistance will be PRE-DEPARTURE ORIENTATION AND emerging employment opportunities for this purpose.
provided to Indian women who are SKILL UPGRADE PROGRAMME abroad and meet the challenge of
victims of fraudulent marriages and
deserted by their overseas Indian
husbands or are facing divorce
The demand for unskilled workers
is rapidly declining in the overseas
competition from other labour
sending countries, the Ministry has
initiated a proposal for constituting a
O ver the last three years, the
Ministry has undertaken a
number of policy initiatives and has
proceedings in a foreign country. employment market. The future Council for Promotion of Overseas taken up a wide variety of
The Indian missions concerned belongs to those who have skills, Employment (CPOE). programmes and schemes to fulfill its
will involve credible Indian women’s preferably multiple skills and are The benefits would broadly include mandate. The Ministry has also
organisations and NGOs working in willing to upgrade their skills. Hence, forecasting of future opportunities for grown with the posting of some more
these countries and give them it is extremely important for India to overseas employment and officers and staff, though a large
financial assistance to the tune of take immediate steps for preparing its corresponding skill requirements, number of posts still remain vacant.
$1,000 per case. young workforce to meet the making projections and plans for The Budget of the Ministry is fully
challenges of future needs in the overseas deployment of workers, been on the non-Plan side. Though in
E-GOVERNANCE IN EMIGRATION overseas employment market. disseminating information and the first three budget years the
The Ministry has therefore upgrading skills of intending Ministry was not able to fully utilize
This June 20, 2006 file photo shows chairperson of the the National To bring in greater transparency, launched a scheme in order to bring emigrants to match the market the budget allocation, it is now well
Commission for Women Girija Vyas speaking at a workshop on ‘Problems efficiency and accountability in the the skill levels of Indian emigrants at requirement, benchmarking, testing placed to ensure that the financial and
related to NRI marriages and suggested measures’ in Chandigarh. On the emigration process and to support the par with the overseas market and certification of skills, imparting physical targets are achieved and the
extreme right is Nirmal Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Overseas legislative framework, MOIA has requirement and to equip them with foreign language skills and on-site targeted outcomes of its programmes
Indian Affairs. planned comprehensive a basic knowledge about laws, welfare measures for emigrants. and schemes are met. ■
14 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 15
BUDGET 2007 A FINE-TUNED ONE
teaching at the higher level.
The consequence is that within a
few years the same corporate sector
Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has presented a carefully fine-tuned starts bitterly complaining about the
shortage of skills, without awareness
Budget so as to least disturb the arrangement of policies that have of the fact that it is their own action
generated such impressive growth, writes Badal Mukherji. that is partly responsible for the
But this is not the full story;
agencies like the University Grants
Commission (UGC) have for
decades permitted colleges and
universities to virtually contribute
nothing towards the cost of
education. Both tuition for students
and salary for teachers are miserably
low. Growth depends on savings,
investment and knowledge. I am
Budget documents under security check in front of the Parliament in New afraid there seems to be no awareness
Delhi on February 28, 2007. of the last factor.
Chidambaram has still avoided the make is that whereas RBI has With the Government losing its
most powerful contra-cyclical responded with the monetary policy importance in overall economic
instrument of inflation control, which to contain inflation, the discussions activities, its responsibilities towards
is increase in private and corporate about the supply side problems are proper regulation of economy and
income taxes. slightly irrelevant in the short run; towards social welfare increase
Indeed, if a combination of the there is serious need for appropriate substantially. But it has now become
monetary policy already instituted by management on the demand side. a standard practice that plan
the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and With the savings rate of 32 percent documents make noble statements
the reduction of indirect taxes and the investment of 33 percent, a about social welfare and budgets
introduced in the Budget fail to good rate of growth is almost assured, largely ignore them.
significantly lower inflation, then an especially as it is driven by the service To sum up, this has been a carefully
ndia’s Finance Minister P. technology bottlenecks in agriculture court cases. The state must intervene
Chidambaram, until very have to be lifted. Secondly, in order to with a suitable instrument and increase in income-tax rates across the sector, almost independently of what fine-tuned Budget so as to least
recently, was heading to Budget provide gainful employment to a very protocol. board will be inevitable. the government does. It is a matter of disturb the arrangement of policies
2007 quite comfortably. With a large number of unemployed people, As for inflation, it is observed that Hindsight is so easy that I almost some concern that the service sector that have generated such impressive
GDP growth rate over 9 percent and non-agricultural jobs must be found. there has been 6.2 percent increase in decided not to talk about mistakes of in turn is facing a very serious growth as of the recent years,
foreign exchange reserves in excess of Within a year none of these problems the wholesale price index, implying the recent past, but to the extent that constraint in the form of supply of especially as that growth is almost
$180 billion, the Indian economy can be solved by an annual budget; if something like a 12 percent increase they have a bearing on the current skilled manpower. I have not seen entirely due to the private sector.
seemed to be well under control. But anything, it is a five-year plan that in the consumer price index, which is policy, they need to be sorted out. anything in the Budget that takes this With large revenue collections in
inflation and state elections created should address these issues. not extraordinarily high but high One of the biggest sources of constraint head on. hand, the state can turn to urgently
concern. However, in the approach enough to adversely affect the budget generation of incomes is capital gain, I am afraid the problem of higher required investment in infrastructure
The latter gets into the Budget document of the 11th Five-Year Plan of the lower middle-class and the both on land and buildings and on education is far more complex than a sectors. It will hope that better
debate through the agrarian there are some general discussions on poor. equity. simple enhancement of budgetary foodgrain output plus imports,
constituency that most MPs have. the subjects but no tangible policies. It is in order to grapple with this In a country where income allocation can handle. One needs not wherever necessary, will, together
This perhaps explains why To make a realistic dent in the that Chidambaram has lowered the distributions are so grossly skewed, only a flow of quality students coming with monetary policies already taken,
Chidambaram began his Budget unemployment problem the most import duties, sales, excise and other capital gain must be taxed. But last up through schools to colleges and help contain and lower the rate of
presentation this year with the important instrument is the small and indirect taxes; measures that will also year taxes on long-term capital gains universities and research institutions, inflation. But until such time as the
statement that to him agriculture was medium enterprises (SME) sector. increase imports and further lower of equity shares were in fact abolished. one also needs just as importantly a analysis that explains the growth
the first priority. But I have not seen any serious prices. In January, there were published matching supply of skilled teachers process is reasonably complete, no
However, with its share in GDP understanding of the problems of the Again, international steel, cement estimates of the loss of revenue on who can train the students. hard action on any front for who
below 20 percent, there is no way that sector either in the approach and petroleum prices have increased this account — it is somewhere But the academic scene has knows what might upset the apple
agriculture can play a dominant role document or in the Budget. Vast sharply, and the tax component of between Rs.150-250 billion. changed drastically in the recent past cart!
in the economy. There are two major majority of the SMEs do contract jobs each of these has been substantially The simple re-imposition of this in as much as the top students going
policy corrections required. for large corporates but get lowered. Whereas industry seems to tax will immediately mop up a out of the universities are being bid (The views expressed here are of the
First, in order to enhance bankrupted because those contracts be unhappy about the lack of any tax substantial percentage of aggregate away by the private corporate sector writer and not of the Ministry of Overseas
productivity, infrastructure and cannot be enforced. They get broke in sops, they should be thankful that demand. The point I am trying to and hence there is nobody left for Indian Affairs.)
16 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 17
and can be punished for it!
To provide the information, every Indian government
department has a Public Information Officer or PIO
responsible for collecting the information you need and
giving it to you within a short, specific period. Of course,
some information on defence, scientific and economic
matters and foreign affairs and other sensitive areas cannot
be disclosed. Since most people do not require
information on these matters, RTI can serve them well.
You can file an RTI application on a plain paper either
The Right to Information (RTI) by post or give it personally with a small fee. The
application fee for the Central government departments
Act has heralded a new era in is just Rs.10. For getting information, you have to pay Rs.2
government accountability and per page of information provided by a central government
transparency and NRIs will have department.
There is also a fee for inspecting documents. There is
less to complain about when it no fee for the first hour of inspection, but after that, you
comes to dealing with the have to pay Rs.5 for every hour of inspection. You can
government, writes Kul deposit the fee in cash or through a demand draft, banker's
cheque or a postal order. However, different states have
Bhushan. different fees.
n NRI has used a new Indian law to get his You can file your application with the PIO of the
income tax refund without bribing. After department you are questioning and obtain a receipt and
waiting for five years without any reply from you must receive information within 30 days. For more
the income tax office, 60-year-old Tushar details, go to www.rti.gov.in among other websites.
Dalvi, an NRI living in Mumbai, filed an application under All NRIs moan about the apathy and corruption of
the Right to Information (RTI) Act and got his refund government offices and how they are sent from one
pronto - in fact, in a week. dreary office to another to get nowhere. Now RTI can
Earlier, he tried to use the services of a chartered help them but, like all government departments, it has
accountant who wanted Rs.50,000 ($1,130) as his fees and piled up hundreds of cases and a large number of irate
“other expenses”. Since this amount was almost half of the applicants accuse PIOs of dismissing their applications
refund, Dalvi looked for a solution and filed a query under summarily.
RTI and got speedy action. The authorities say that the number of applications has
People are now taking the RTI route in a big way to get increased so much that they are unable to handle them as
what is rightfully theirs. Take, for example, Radhey enough staff is still to be appointed. A new government
Shyam, a construction worker. He wanted to go to the body just over a year old is drowned in paperwork.
Gulf for work, and applied for a passport in May 2006. He Instead of appointing more clerks, perhaps technology
didn't get it till October. Fed up, he filed an RTI can solve registering and tracing applications with a heavy-
application in the Regional Passport Office. Sure enough, duty scanner to create a computer database. But an
he got his passport by December. application pointing to high corruption got ‘lost’ although
Though it’s been more than a year since the RTI Act most officers know about it! A suggestion is that PIOs be
came into effect, not many know about it. So a series of appointed from the private sector and not from
awareness campaigns in different cities and parts of India government departments.
has been organised. These awareness drives have been a RTI came into effect on October 12, 2005, but has not
great success as the poor people get to know about their been fully implemented in all states and at all levels. RTI
rights to get information on their applications or dealings requires an aggressive and massive campaign to inform the
with the government. people about their fundamental right to information.
RTI is a fundamental right of every citizen buried by the Despite its slow start, RTI heralds a new era for
red tape and corruption. But if the right to information is government accountability and transparency for the
a fundamental right, then why does it need a law? Simply common man. The next time an NRI is frustrated with
because if you go into a government office and demand the apathetic response of government departments, there
that it tell you why your work has not been done, it will is hope of speedy action as Tushar Dalvi discovered.
not entertain you or might even throw you out. If it’s a law,
then it becomes harder to do this. If the office did not give (The views expressed here are of the writer and not of the
you the information you wanted, it will have broken a law Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.)
PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 19
Investing in India
sustained interest shown industry base of 26 per cent. An essential prerequisite to
by domestic and foreign The latest IMD Switzerland world industrial development and growth is
investors in Maharashtra competitiveness survey shows that the existence of a sound capital market
in preference to other Maharashtra’s ranking in the world and Maharashtra is home to three
states in India has given Chief has improved from 42 to 37 — above stock exchanges: the Bombay Stock
Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh the Italy, Korea, South Africa, Indonesia Exchange (above), the Over the
much needed confidence not only to and Russia. Counter Exchange and the Pune
tide over the current power crisis but Maharashtra has the largest number Stock Exchange. The National Stock
also consolidate the state’s leadership of export oriented units — 560. Exchange too is situated at Mumbai.
position in the nation’s economy. Under the aegis of an ambitious The Bombay Stock Exchange
The state received a record number industrial development policy of late (BSE) and the National Stock
of 3,893 proposals worth Rs. 389.3 sixties, the Maharashtra Industrial Exchange (NSE) here account for
billion foreign direct investment Development Corporation (MIDC) over 70 per cent volume of trade
(FDI) during 2005-06 alone. This was developed 250 industrial parks in the across all stock exchanges in the
followed up with 126 new, much state spread over an area of 25,000 country.
Starting with this issue, we are bigger proposals worth Rs. 397.4 hectares. With the highest number of traded
billion in the next financial year Though many units in these securities and listed companies here,
starting a series on investment making the state the most favoured sprawling industrial estates in the as many as 98 per cent of
opportunities in various states of investment destination. state’s 35 districts are sick, an infusion commodities turnover transactions
India. We start off with Indeed, the total worth of as many of investment and professional and 90 per cent of merchant banking
as 13,366 industrial projects — management can bring them back to activities happen in Mumbai.
Maharashtra, a state which has domestic and multinational — under health. A clutch of centrally assisted
established its strength in every way or proposed in the state, is a With 27 information technology projects under the Jawaharlal Nehru
sector of industry. Shyam whopping Rs. 30,374.9 billion with parks in the public sector and 102 in National Urban Renewal Mission
Gujarat, which had, for some time in the private domain, the state has 32 (JNNURM) are promising to lend a
Pandharipande writes. the recent past, surpassed percent of India’s IT professionals and redeeming touch to this vastly
Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, an equal number of Internet overcrowded maximum city by
trailing far behind. subscribers. It contributes 20 percent streamlining its road and rail traffic,
With 42 percent of its total to the country’s software export and improving its sewerage disposal
population of nearly 100 million boasts of the presence of 25 percent of system and cleaning up its sprawling
living in urban areas, the state the world’s software companies. slums.
contributes 13 percent to the nation’s While some other cities in the state If that happens, the metropolis,
gross domestic product (GDP) and (notably Nagpur, which has been which the 2002 Gartner study
has a per capita income 39 percent reckoned as the fastest growing city of certified as the most attractive
higher than that of the country. It India today) too are attracting destination for BPOs in India and a
accounts for 40 percent of the national investment, it is true that the state recent Gallup/Business Today survey
fiscal receipts. capital Mumbai has mainly scripted described as the number 1 city for
Having maintained an economic its success story. business, will also be less suffocating
growth rate of 7.1 per cent in the last The economic capital of India that and more livable.
decade, the state is aiming to increase boasts of the sixth largest metro area Four cities in Maharashtra are
it to nine percent in the next few in the world is home to the among the top 10 in India. A recent
years. It boasts of the largest service headquarters of the nation’s most World Bank-Confederation of Indian
sector contribution of 61 per cent of corporate houses, banks and financial Industries (WB-CII) study has
the country’s GSDP and has an institutes. certified to Maharashtra’s best
industrial climate and the highest
firm-level analysis of competitiveness.
It has highest industrial productivity
Four cities in Maharashtra are among the top 10 in rate.
As leading industrialist Shekhar
India. A recent World Bank-Confederation of
Indian Industries (WB-CII) study has certified to
Maharashtra’s best industrial climate and the
highest firm-level analysis of competitiveness. It has
highest industrial productivity rate.
“ Bajaj puts it, Maharashtra has a good
work culture and the attitude of the
government (towards development)
is positive. “With the biggest
information technology infra-
structure in the country, the state has
20 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 21
Investing in India
unlimited opportunities of attracting Chandrapur in Vidarbha where the
investment in that sector,” the state’s biggest thermal power station
chairman-cum-managing director of exists. An electricity and textile SEZ
Bajaj Electricals told Pravasi Bharatiya. each has also been proposed besides a
While abundant investment chemical industry zone in Amravati in
opportunities are available in the state the same Vidarbha region. There is
in a wide range of industrial activities, also ample scope for those willing to
the main among them are set up steel plants, cement plants and
automobile, aviation and infra- coal mines in the mineral rich
structure besides biotech, pharma Vidarbha.
industries and food processing. The mega projects policy,
Ironical though it may seem, the introduced in 2005, which provides
state, which is reeling under an customised packages for industry and
unprecedented power shortage, facilities like single window clearance,
affords the largest scope for has already begun to pay dividends.
investment in power sector — to the As many as 38 mega projects have
tune of $27 billion. The Mumbai been approved with an investment of
makeover requires an investment $60 Rs. 4,320 billion under the mega
billion. projects category.
The state needs dedicated freight Facilitation for arranging requisite
rail corridors from hinterland to ports infrastructure and an institutional
through PPR model. Development of framework of high power panels are
greenfield airports in Navi Mumbai, the hallmarks of the mega projects
Pune and Nagpur is another area of policy.
opportunity for foreign investment. Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh Nagpur is another major industrial city in Maharashtra.
In the automobile sector, is leading the phenomenal industrial Airport at Nagpur – MIHAN) and a proof enough of the success of these
manufacturing units are required for push like a man possessed. His road visit to the US earlier fetched huge high-level initiatives.
all segments — passenger cars, An essential prerequisite to industrial development show in Bangalore recently was a real investment commitments. The state has signed MoUs with
commercial vehicles and two- and and growth is the existence of a sound capital demonstration of his zeal after a The state’s minister for industries majors like Boeing (Rs. 50 billion),
three-wheelers. Major oil engine similar road show in Singapore late too led delegations to Korea and General Motors (Rs. 135 billion), LG
manufacturers and auto ancillary market and Maharashtra is home to three stock last year for the cargo hub project China. A steady stream of foreign Electronics (Rs. 53.5 billion), Bajaj
units in the state belong to Skoda,
John Deree, Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto,
Fiat, M&M, Bharat Forge and
Cummins. New additions to the list
are General Motors, Volkswagen,
exchanges: the Bombay Stock Exchange (above),
the Over the Counter Exchange and the Pune Stock
Exchange. The National Stock Exchange too is
situated at Mumbai.
“ (Multi-modal International Hub
MAHARASHTRA: STATE FACTS
industrial delegations in the state is Auto (Rs. 200 billion) Mahindra &
Mahindra (Rs. 375 billion that
includes Logan, Ingenio &
International Truck project), Gulf
Finance House (Rs. 1,000 billion),
Daimler Chrysler and Renault. Ballarpur Industries (Rs. 120 billion),
As for the pharmaceuticals and Mico Bosch (Rs. 70 billion) and
biotechnology sectors, Wockhardt Textile SEZ and food-parks are In the relatively hassle-free special Volkswagen (Rs.235 billion)
Serum Institute is setting up biotech coming up in Nagpur. economic zone (SEZ) coming up in As many as 72 SEZs spread across
SEZs in Aurangabad and Pune. The state aims to be power surplus Butibori near Nagpur, the the state have been approved by the
Foreign companies, namely Glaxo- again by 2010 and is facilitating non- government is creating an IT city in Government of India. Prominent
Wellcome, Novartis, Pfizer, Johnson conventional energy initiatives. which leading companies have already among them are Navi Mumbai,
& Johnson and Abbott have a Besides, it wants to establish natural evinced interest. Mahindra, MIHAN, Bharat Forge,
presence here along with Indian gas grid and distribution network too. Besides two existing IT parks in Bajaj Auto and Videocon. As many as
majors like Cipla and Lupin besides Broadband connectivity and Nagpur where several domestic IT 49 IT parks were set up in the State in
Wockhardt. networking is another activity it aims companies are working, three IT the last one year with an investment
Facilities for wineries and to initiate with an infusion of foreign parks have been proposed in Butibori of Rs. 592 billion.
distilleries are being created in investment. — two by the Raheja group and one These committed investments will
western Maharashtra including For all this to happen expeditiously by the Mantri group. An IT park, generate employment opportunities
Nashik, known as the wine capital of and in a streamlined manner, the state besides a textile SEZ, has also been to over 700,000 persons.
India, and Sangli. Soybean extraction is committed to nurturing industrial proposed in Nagpur’s Empress City
Capital: Mumbai Sex ratio: 922 females per 1,000 males
units are being set up in the upcoming clusters for IT and IT-enabled project being developed by Tayal Area: 307,713 sq.km. Prinicipal languages: Marathi, Hindi, Urdu
(The views expressed here are of the
food parks in Buribori near Nagpur services; biotech, winery and food Group. Population (2001): 96,752,247 Governor: S.M. Krishna writer and not of the Ministry of Overseas
and Sangli. processing and also textiles. A power SEZ has been proposed in Population density: 314 per sq.km. Chief Minister: Vilasrao Deshmukh Indian Affairs.)
22 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 23
Top award for India-born Aussie woman cricketer
ndian-born Australian woman cricketer Lisa Sthalekar
has been named Women’s International Cricketer of
the Year at the coveted Allan Border medal ceremony,
the most important cricketing award in Australia.
The Pune-born Sthalekar pipped Australian captain
Karen Rolton by one vote at Allan Border Medal count on
February 5 to become just the third member of the
Australia women’s team to win the award.
Sthalekar, 27, enjoyed a superb individual year with the
Southern Stars, and averaged 44.71 as a top-order batter
and 22.55 as an off spinner from one Test and eight
limited-overs matches against India and New Zealand.
In a one-off Test against India last year at Adelaide, she
was the player of the match scoring 72 runs and bagging
five wickets for 30 runs in the tourists’ second innings.
She steered her state team New South Wales to victory
in the 2005-06 Women’s National Cricket League in her
first season as captain.
“Lisa’s strength is her all-round game,” an Indian Link
report quoted Rolton as saying. “She makes runs at the top my dreams.”
of the order, even under pressure and has been in really “The smell of the sun, the grass and sunscreen again has
good form lately. She can also bowl 10 tight overs (and) got me excited,” she told the newspaper. “In Sydney,
pick up some wickets on the way, so she’s a very valuable everyone goes, ‘the smell of sunscreen is like you’re going
hit by changes to UK immigration rules
member of the team.” to the beach’, but for me it’s the cricket ground.”
Lisa had spent just three weeks in India before her family Sthalekar, who works full time for Cricket New South
moved to Australia, where her father introduced her to the Wales as high performance coach, also has an arts degree
everal students from India who completed their creating hardships for one and all. Highly qualified and
game, when she showed promise as a backyard cricketer. majoring in psychology. studies in British universities and switched to experienced professionals are being denied further visa
“I first picked up the bat at the age of six or seven in the “I would like to pursue further study in psychology but employment here face an uncertain future due extensions based on the new rules.
backyard with my father,” she said. “Throughout my that will come when I finish cricket as I just don’t have the to changes made to the Highly Skilled Migrants “This shows that the new legislation introduced by the
career, my family supported and encouraged me to follow time,” she said. Programme (HSMP) in November 2006. UK Home Office is not only unfair but is designed
The number of students from India enrolling in British without taking into consideration the ground realities.
New Hindu temple in Austin
universities has been increasing every year. All of them pay Also given the fact that the UK Home Office has been
Sikh NGO helps rebuild fees that are at least three times more than that paid by going back on its promises very often, people from the sub-
church in Florida British students, and seek to recover the costs of their continent should think twice before making life changing
ustin city in Texas has got a February 11 by Senator John Cornyn.
studies through employment. decisions by coming to UK as the Home Office cannot be
new Hindu temple and
“The great thing about this culture
is that it is not exclusionary, it is U nited Sikh, an international
non-profit organisation, is
helping authorities rebuild a church
In recent years, after completing their courses, many
Indian students have switched to the HSMP and sought
taken on their word anymore.”
Kapadia cites the example of Nirupam Kumar, an
The 76-acre temple and inclusive,” Cornyn said. “People are
in Florida that was devastated by a employment based on qualifications gained in Britain. engineer who worked for Reliance Info in India,
community centre cost $15 million, welcomed without regard to religion,
deadly tornado early February. However, the recent changes mean that most of the Indian completed his MBA from the De Montfort University in
funded mostly by donations from the nationality or race.”
The NGO swung into action after students who switched to HSMP will not be able to meet Leicester and got his HSMP visa early last year. However,
Hindu community and some from He said the Indian-American
it received information that the 31- the new criteria and will have to return home. he will not qualify for extension of his visa under the new
corporations such as Dell, Inc. community in Texas was well
year-old church at the Lady Lake area Campaigners working to reverse the recent changes to rules that require the migrant to hold a job that earns a
“The centre is available to everyone. educated and productive and would
was turned into rubble by the HSMP say that it is ironic that on the one hand the British salary of £35,000 per annum.
There are only a few restrictions, enrich the culture and the quality of
tornado, according to the government is seeking to increase the number of students Kapadia quotes Kumar as saying: “I spent around
which include no meat, no alcohol life in Austin.
organisation’s website. from India, and on the other it is making it difficult for £20,000 on my courses and got my HSMP but now due
and no shoes,” said Harish Kotecha, The centre will offer educational
The 150 mph tornado which hit them to continue in their jobs after securing qualifications to the unfair new changes introduced in November 2006
treasurer of the centre. classes that will include teachings on
Florida and adjoining areas on from British universities. I don’t qualify for HSMP extension as my earnings are less
Earlier, the Hindu community of discipline in life and Hinduism,
February 2 blew trees, ripped roofs Amit Kapadia, coordinator of the HSMP Forum who than £35,000. If I knew this before hand then I would
Austin had to move from facility to according to the Daily Texan.
and threw mobile houses off their did his MBA from Strathclyde University in Glasgow, never have done my studies from UK.”
facility for daily ceremonies and “The classes will teach about why
foundations, leaving thousands and runs a consulting firm, told IANS: “Many students A large number of Indian students come to Britain for
cultural activities. we practise Hinduism,” said
without power and killing at least who came to UK with a thought that after studies HSMP higher studies every year. Indians are prized by universities
Hundreds of people attended the Jagannath Vedula, a religious
killing 20 people. would be a payback period are proved wrong. here for their academic achievements. They consistently
ribbon-cutting ceremony on coordinator.
“The unpredictable nature of UK immigration rules is achieve high results in the courses they enrol in.
24 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 25
Indian diaspora respected for
ethics, success: Tory MP Indian
he Indian community in is a member of the Conservative
Britain is widely
respected and liked, says
a Tory MP, putting into
Friends of India committee, said there
was growing awareness in Britain,
especially in political circles, about
perspective the escalating racism
debate in Britain, particularly after
India’s economic growth and its
increasing importance as a regional contribution
verbal attacks against Bollywood
actress Shilpa Shetty on the TV show
Celebrity Big Brother.
power and a strategic ally.
“While there is still some concern,
often fuelled by trade unions, among
“Indians are respected for their
work ethic, business success and the
way they have integrated into British
the general population about job
security as a result of outsourcing to
India, many people are recognising
society,” said Stephen Crabb(in that India has arrived on the world
ahrainis hold Indians, the Bahrain and said such exhibitions booming and it offers tremendous
picture), who at 34 is the youngest stage and will help shape global oldest expat community in would further strengthen commercial investment opportunities to both
Conservative member of the House victory on Celebrity Big Brother by economic and geopolitical the country, in high esteem and economic ties, according to the Indian and foreign nationals. We hope
of Commons. viewers in Britain in January this year. developments in the decades ahead.” and value their contribution, says Gulf Daily News. investors in Bahrain will use this
“There is little jealousy or “During my visit to India, I realised When asked what key areas his Bahrain’s Industry and Commerce Close to 30 builders from India are opportunity,” Shetty said.
animosity towards the Indian diaspora that Shetty is truly a celebrity, unlike committee had identified for Minister Dr Hassan Fakhro (in taking part in the exhibition with the “At a nine percent annual growth,
among British people and that is one Jade Goody and others, who are far engagement with New Delhi, he said picture). The minister was speaking aim of attracting the large number of India has proved to be an attractive
of the reasons why Bollywood actress from being famous in the UK.” the highest on the agenda was trade. after jointly opening the Homes of NRIs in the region to invest in the destination for international
Shilpa Shetty attracted so much “Whether Jade Goody’s comments “The fear is firms in the UK are not India property exhibition with Indian country’s booming real estate sector. investors,” he added.
support during the dispute over Jade were motivated by racism or not, they capturing enough of the huge increase Ambassador Balkrishna Shetty in The exhibition features ‘semi- Well known developers, architects,
Goody’s behaviour,” Crabb told were unquestionably rude and in India’s international trade.” Manama last month. luxurious’ apartments and villa banks, financial institutions, interior
Pravasi Bharatiya during an India tour offensive. Goody’s behaviour was According to Crabb, the concerns Fakhro also recalled the centuries projects in major Indian cities. designers and legal advisers from India
with British human rights ugly and many British people want to of the committee included old relationship between India and “The real estate market in India is are also taking part in the exhibition.
organisation Christian Solidarity distance themselves from it,” added educational links, especially in the
Worldwide. Crabb, who won the Preseli fields of science and engineering, and
Pembrokeshire seat in the 2005
Shetty, who was allegedly subjected healthcare. His party is also eager to he lone survivor According to media
to racist bullying by fellow participant
reality TV star Goody, was voted to
The British parliamentarian, who
see an increasing diplomatic role of
India in the area of regional security.
of a racially-
motivated Indian American reports, Patel, 32, who
had been confined to the
India-origin police officer appointed to top post in Oxford
shooting spree in 2000,
an Indian American, has survivor of 2000 wheelchair after a single
bullet severed his spinal
shooting spree dead
died in hospital. Sandeep cord, died after
A n India-origin police officer has been appointed to a top post coordinator and architectural liaison officer, drugs adviser, income Patel was paralysed from complications arising
in Oxford, marking a landmark in race relations for the police generation officer and as chief officer and coordinator of the the neck down after he out of pneumonia at the
forces in Britain. county’s Special Constabulary. was shot in the neck and upper back by Richard University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC),
Chief inspector Jack Malhi, 52, who hails from India, has He told the Oxford Times, a leading local newspaper, “The best Baumhammers, a former lawyer, on April 28, 2000. He was Passavant, in Pensylvania.
replaced chief inspector Steph Cook as number two to Oxford’s times are always on the front line. When I was a rural policeman, shot at his sister Leena Patel’s grocery store in Scott, “He died a very peaceful death,” a report in the Tribune
police commander, superintendent Jim Trotman. an elderly lady was charged £600 for £50 worth of work by some Pensylvania, where another Indian American was killed. Review quoted Dr. Mohan Chabra, a cardiologist and
Malhi, who joined the Thames Valley Police from the very dodgy people. Patel, who had a degree in accounting, had been in friend of the family, as saying. “He didn’t suffer at the
Bedfordshire force, said: “When they offered me a job in Oxford “She didn’t want to report it, but I persuaded her to make a America for less than 20 months before the shooting spree. end. The way he died was so peaceful.”
I was delighted. When you talk about Oxford, you talk about an complaint. When she did, the greatest satisfaction was when the Baumhammers, a white, had then gone on to kill four Patel was given the city’s first Voice of Tolerance Award
international landmark. offender had to pay back the woman and meet her.” more people, all minorities, in the Mount Lebanon and in 2002 for speaking out against racial intolerance.
“You go to China or any part of India and say you come from He was also chairman of the Bedfordshire Black Police Scott, Robinson and Center townships in Pensylvania. “He believed in God and he believed in humanity,”
Luton or Bedford and no one knows where you’re from. Everyone, Association for eight years. Despite holding such high-ranking ‘Hey’ was the word Patel hated to hear. For when Chabra told the Tribune Review. “He forgave Richard
everywhere in the world, knows where Oxford is.” roles, however, Malhi believes getting justice for the victims of Baumhammers strode into the store in April 2000 with a Baumhammers. He had pardoned Richard
Local reports in Oxford say that Malhi joined the Bedfordshire crime has been the most satisfying part of his career. .357-caliber Magnum handgun, it was the only word he Baumhammers in his mind.”
Police in 1982 and worked as a local beat officer before working “I’m looking forward to working in partnership with Oxford City had used before he pumped a bullet into Patel. Baumhammers was convicted in 2001 on five counts of
his way up the ranks. He has worked as a crime reduction Council,” he added. Patel did not want to testify about the fateful day,but his first degree murder and one count of attempted murder.
friends and family members persuaded him. He is now on death row.
26 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 27
Diaspora News Ministry News
Financial aid for victims of fraudulent marriages
Indian The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs will financially assist women
American’s who fall victim to fraudulent marriages with overseas Indians.
could lead to
n Indian American professor’s project on magnetic single-molecule magnets might produce greater contrast
resonance imaging (MRI) could revolutionise in medical imaging, meaning MRIs would be much more
healthcare by providing a more accurate tool for accurate.”
diagnosing cancer and other illnesses. Working at the FSU and the National High Magnetic
Naresh Dalal, professor of chemistry and biochemistry Field Laboratory, Dalal and another FSU researcher,
at the Florida State University (FSU) and a graduate of chemistry graduate teaching assistant Vasanth
Panjab University, conducted experiments with other Ramachandran, were able to synthesise a substance known
researchers from the University of Colorado and the as Fe8 that is one of the strongest magnets known.
National Institute of Standards and Technology that “Fe8 is a molecule made up of eight iron ions that form
uncovered unique properties in a molecular magnet — a tight molecular bond,” Dalal said. “It has a powerful
properties that could significantly increase the resolution magnetic field, which is obviously important in generating
of MRIs, according to the FSU website. a very clear image with an MRI device. What’s more, Fe8
Their paper on the “Efficacy of the single-molecule is non-toxic and water-soluble, making it safe for injection
magnet Fe8 for magnetic resonance imaging contrast agent into the body.” Minister for Overseas
over a broad range of concentration” was published in the Molecular magnets such as Fe8 hold great potential for Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi.
Polyhedron, a prestigious science journal. other applications as well, he said. However, Dalal
“There are continual efforts to enhance the level of admitted that there still are some hurdles to overcome
n the wake of increased cases of told Pravasi Bharatiya. obtained by the overseas Indian
image clarity found in today’s MRI devices,” Dalal said. before Fe8 becomes a viable MRI option.
Indian women falling prey to An estimated 30,000 women have husband and a case of maintenance or
“MRIs utilise injectable dyes, but those in current use, Dalal graduated from Panjab University in 1962 and
fraudulent marriages with been abandoned by their NRI alimony is required to be filed.
while easy to manufacture, offer a relatively low contrast. later, in 1971, did his doctorate in physical chemistry from
overseas Indians, the husbands in India. The Indian missions abroad have
Our experiments show that a class of materials known as the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
Government has announced financial “The Indian missions concerned been asked to circulate the scheme
aid for such women to seek legal and will involve credible Indian women’s among the community associations.
Indians will be second largest recipient of US visas counselling services through its
organisations and NGOs working in
these countries and give them
“It will be sent to women’s groups
and NGOs inviting them to apply for
ndians wishing to travel to the of a mouse by visiting the embassy’s personnel. In the same breath, he Under the new scheme, to be financial assistance to the tune of empanelment under the scheme for
US can expect an easier ride with website www.vfs-usa.co.in. added that all efforts were being initially introduced in the US, Britain, US$1,000 per case,” the Minister providing legal services. The
the American embassy expecting “We have mastered the backlog in made, including deploying extra Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the stated. women’s organisation/NGOs will
to issue 800,000 visas this year — a visas. We expect to issue 800,000 personnel, to correct this and fast- United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, According to the Minister, the make efforts to enlist community
feat that will make India the country visas from India. This will make track issuance of visas. Kuwait and Bahrain, the Government scheme is to provide advisory and advocates to extend further legal
from where the US issues the largest India only next to Mexico in terms of As India and the US focus on will provide $1,000 to women who legal services to women of Indian assistance/appearance in court etc,”
number of visas after neighbour the number of US visas issued,” US expanding business bonds between have either been deserted or divorced origin in distress as a welfare measure. the statement said.
Mexico. Ambassador to India David C. them, especially after the civil nuclear by their overseas Indian spouses “Legal services would be provided The missions will examine the
This projected increase from Mulford told reporters in New deal last year, the US embassy here within two years of marriage. by a panel of community advocates applications received by its legal cells
500,000 visas last year has been Delhi. has made it its mission to cut down “The assistance will be provided to through credible Indian associations and a committee will examine the
spurred by the focussed efforts of the “And we don’t even share a border on delays in granting visas to Indians Indian women who are victims of and women’s organisations,” the requests that come to MOIA. The
US missions in India to reduce the with India,” Mulford added in a wishing to travel to the US. fraudulent marriages and deserted by Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs committee can recommend their case
waiting time for those seeking visa lighter vein. The US has consulates in Kolkata, their overseas Indian husbands or are (MOIA) said in a separate statement. for financial assistance.
appointments. The envoy, however, admitted Mumbai and Chennai and a fourth facing divorce proceedings in a Legal aid will also be provided in MOIA has been running an
One can now get a US visa that getting visas takes slighter longer would be opened in Hyderabad by foreign country,” Minister for the cases of an ex-parte decree of awareness campaign to restrict such
appointment in six days at the click in Mumbai due to a lack of adequate the year-end. Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi divorce or annulment of the marriage fraudulent marriages.
28 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 29
Cricket World Cup
Indian origin in the Kenyan side, who had made his against Scotland being his highest.
hat is common to Navdeep Poonia, then, he has played many a cameo in the east African
Tanmay Mishra, Hiren Varaiya, Ashish nation’s international outings. debut against Pakistan in the 2004 Champions Trophy Having captained Canada’s under-19 side when he
Bagai and Ashif Mulla? Sure, the names Giving company to Mishra is veteran Ravindu Shah, in England. He, however, had very little opportunities to was only 15, he made his international debut at the age
sound familiar with the cricket World Hiren Varaiya, Malhar Patel and Rajesh Bhudia. showcase his talent. of 17 in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.
Cup currently on in the West Indies. Yes indeed, they A veteran of over 50 one-dayers, Shah has been a key Rajesh Bhudia, a right hand batsman and a right arm The standby wicketkeeper in the Canadian team is
are all cricketers, and they are all representing teams character in Kenya’s campaigns in the international fast medium bowler, is also in the Kenya side, but is yet also of Indian origin. Ashif Mulla was born in the Indian
which many are calling ‘minnows’ despite the giant cricket scene. Having made his debut, he has a career to make his international debut. state of Gujarat in 1980s. He represented in the
killing acts some of these teams have come up in the best score of 113, which he made against Scotland in an Glasgow-born Navdeep Poonia is an important Americas Under-19s in the 1999-2000 Under-19 World
past. International Cricket Council (ICC) development member of the Scotland side. Having played for English Cup and made his one-day debut for Canada in the
And they are among the lesser-known Indian origin programme tournament in Kenya. county side Warwickshire, this right hand batsman made 2006-07 against the Netherlands in the 2006-07 season.
players turning out in the colours of other countries. He enhanced his reputation, scoring valiant half his international debut against Ireland in 2006. He is a right hand batsman but has yet to make a half-
Much like the more illustrious personalities like centuries against South Africa and Canada during He has also made a mark in cricket’s latest format, century.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Kenya’s foray to the semifinals of the 2003 World Cup. Twenty20, becoming part of the World Cricket League And finally, Saleem Mukuddem, the all-rounder who
Denesh Ramdin of hosts West Indies, Jeetan Patel of In the 2007 edition, despite his side’s loss, he made a squad that participated in the Twenty20 World is appearing for Bermuda. A right hand batsman and
New Zealand and Monty Panesar and Ravinder Bopara creditable 71 in a group match against New Zealand. Championships in Kenya. right hand medium fast bowler, Mukuddem was born
of England. Born in 1984, Hiren Varaiya shares the same Canadian wicketkeeper Ashish Bagai is another player in South Africa in 1972. He made his one-day
Born in Mumbai in 1986, Tanmay Mishra was nickname as India’s explosive batsman Virender Sehwag of Indian origin taking part in the World Cup. Born in international debut for Bermuda in May 2006 against
brought into Kenyan squad in 2006 in that country’s bid — Viru. A left arm spinner, he made an impressive New Delhi in 1982, slightly built Bagai is known for his Canada and comes to the World Cup with the
to infuse young blood into the team. A right hand debut in 2006, taking three wickets for 24 runs against clean work behind the stumps. As a batsman, he has experience of 18 ODIs. He has scored a career best 57
batsman, who also bowls right hand fast medium, he did Canada in Toronto. He boasts of a career best record of acquired a reputation for being calm in pressure against Canada and has best bowling figures of four for
not disappoint the selectors, scoring 46 in just his second 4/25 in that same series against Canada. situations and has to his credit two international 40 which he took against the Netherlands.
against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo last year. Ever since A right hand bat, Malhar Patel is another youngster of hundreds and four half centuries, an unbeaten 137 Indeed, wherever cricket grows, Indians appear. ■
From Shivnaraine Chanderpaul
and Ramnaresh Sarwan of West
Indies to Jeetan Patel of New
Zealand, cricketers of Indian
origin have worn colours of
different countries which they
call home. At the cricket World
Cup 2007 in the West Indies,.
where 16 nations are
participating, there are a number
of players of Indian origin
representing different countries.
Here is a look.
30 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 31
The Indian Diaspora
Canada as a matter of preference, the
East Indians, whether they are Indo-
Trinidadians or Indo-Guyanese
longingly look to India for inspiration
without being any the less Indo-
As Trinidad & Tobago’s Leader of
the Opposition Kamla Persad-
Bissessar is often fond of saying: “For
us, India is not Mother India. It is
Starting with this Grandmother India.”
That synergy was the result of a
issue, we feature valiant struggle in the face of deep
profiles of the Indian disdain the White plantation masters
nursed against them treating them as
diaspora in various inferior. It was a history of an illiterate,
parts of the world. half-starved, deprived Indian
And what better place migrants holding out against
enormous pressure of a hostile
to start than the environ, never wavering from their
Caribbean, where the tenets of faith, their cultural
2007 Cricket World inheritance and identity.
Between 1845 and 1917, some
Cup is being held. 134,183 indentured labour arrived in
CONNECTING TO THE
Trinidad & Tobago from Uttar
Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal and in A bronze replica of the vessel Whitby at the Indian Immigration Monument in
Georgetown, Guyana. The vessel was one of the two that had brought the first batch
course of time proved their worth so
much that they were given plots of of Indian indentured labour to Guyana in May 1838.
land to build their cottage and Following Trinidad & Tobago’s chose to appoint Patrick Manning of
continue in the sugarcane plantations. independence in 1962, there were the People’s National Movement
After the British abolished slavery in reports of social tension between the (PNM) as the Prime Minister.
all its colonies, the plantation owners Afro-Trinidadians, who were But, even today, Indo-Trinidadians
kept on bringing indentured imported originally as slaves, and the continue to occupy high
labourers on contract who, however, Indo-Trinidadians, the indentured constitutional posts. Both the offices
remained in virtual slavery. labourers. There were also allegations of the president of Trinidad’s Senate
By 1917, the winds of change that there were efforts to keep away and speaker of the House of
oti Hut, Roti Corner and like Jamaica, Barbados and Antigua. secretary-general Sridath Ramphal is
Roti Palace as names of From the days of indentured another name in international started blowing. By that year, Indian the Indo-Trinidadians from the Representatives are occupied by Indo-
restaurants. Hindi film labour, of unending servitude, diplomacy. The name of Rohan migrants owned over one-fifth of land national mainstream. Trinidadians — Linda Baboolal and
music blaring out from unrequited toil and indigence, the Kanhai of Guyana is known all over in Trinidad & Tobago. By 1921 the However, Indo-Trinidadians Barindra Sinanan respectively. And
cars and music shops. Movie theatres Indian diaspora in the Caribbean the cricket world. And so are migrants moved to jobs other than continued to remain in the political both belong to the ruling PNM.
screening Bollywood films with today has secured an acclaimed place Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh those in sugar plantations. The limelight and in 1995, the United And the country’s leader of the
subtitles. Yoga and Sanskrit classes of honour and excellence. The likes of Sarwan and Denesh Ramdin in migrants, both Hindus and Muslims, National Congress (UNC), which opposition, as mentioned before, is
that are packed to capacity. Indeed, Basdeo Panday in Trinidad & Tobago today’s world of cricket. set up their own educational draws its support from the Indo- also a person of Indian origin —
India can be very much felt and seen and Cheddi Jagan and Bharrat Jagdeo The relevance and permanence of institutions. Trinidadian voters, came to power Kamla Persad-Bissessar of the UNC.
when one visits Guyana and Trinidad in Guyana, are some of the names that the Indian diaspora in the West Indies and Basdeo Panday became the first Apart from the Indo-Trinidadians,
From the days of indentured Indo-Trinidadian to become the there is also a small number of non-
& Tobago, two Caribbean countries burn bright in the battle the Indo- has been achieved by a wonderful
with a huge Indian origin population. Caribbeans fought and won. adaptation of the Caribbean ethos as labour, of unending prime minister of Trinidad & resident Indians, some 700 in
While ethnic Indians comprise 43.5 And the glory extends beyond marked by the three Cs — cricket, servitude, unrequited toil and Tobago. number, who are into professions like
percent of Guyana’s population of politics into the fields of literature as calypso and carnival — while Under the leadership of Panday, medicine, engineering and teaching.
indigence, the Indian
over 750,000, Indo-Trinidadians
form a little over 40 percent of the
country’s total population of over one
Indians in smaller numbers are also
personified in Sir V.S. Naipaul and
Samuel Salvon (who was, of course,
of mixed ancestry) and a host of
women writers like Mahadai Das,
Ramabai Espinet and Niala Maharaj.
retaining its cultural distinctiveness
that has given them an identity as East
Indians among a homeland
population known as West Indians.
Except for a small portion of the
diaspora in the Caribbean
today has secured an
acclaimed place of honour
“ the UNC went on to win the 2000
elections too but internal strife in the
party forced another election in 2001
which resulted in a tie.
Without any clear constitutional
Looking up to greater glory and
assimilation with the their adapted
homeland, Indo-Trinidadians expect
dual citizenship from India, more
trade opportunities for them with
there in other Caribbean countries Two times Commonwealth East Indians that look to the US and and excellence. guidelines, the country’s president India and more socio-cultural links
32 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 33
The Indian Diaspora
achieve what was rightfully theirs, sector is not very developed in in the Guyanese capital Georgetown
disputing every inch of ground and Guyana but there are a few industries has been quoted as saying. “And these
stopping at nothing before it touched owned by the Indian diaspora. Most included people from all ethnicities.”
the summit. of the farmers growing paddy are The centre is today even holding
In 1992, Jagan, described by his Indo-Guyanese. exams in Sanskrit with students from
admirers the country’s ‘heart and The number of Indo-Guyanese as far away as Canada appearing for
soul’, finally came to power as the bureaucrats in senior position is them.
country’s first Indo-Guyanese surprisingly miniscule as compared to So, when the Indian Vice President
president after his party, PPP, their number in professions like law Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, during the
defeated the PNC which had ruled and medicine. course of a visit to the Caribbean last
the country from 1962 to 1992. Guyana has a very small year, inaugurated a Rabindranath
Jagan’s administration saw many community of non-resident Indians Tagore Resource Centre at the
constructive policies to improve the as unlike in Mauritius, Trinidad & University of Guyana — named after
country’s socio-economic condition Tobago and Fiji there was no Guyana’s first Indian origin the revered Nobel laureate — and
transcending the racial divide. He migration of professionals from India President Cheddi Jagan. announced that a new Mahatma
dreamed of bringing the Indo- during the 1960s and 1970s. The total “We may not speak Hindi but these Gandhi Cultural Centre would be
A steel pan orchestra playing Hindi numbers in Trinidad. Guyanese and the Afro-Guyanese number of NRIs in Guyana is no religious chants have been passed constructed in Port of Spain, the
like larger number of scholarships to Forbes Sampson Burnham together as partners in progress more than a hundred. down by our ancestors from capital of Trinidad & Tobago, there
study in India, bilateral visits, representing the Afro-Guyanese. through ‘participatory democracy’. The Indo-Guyanese community is generation to generation,” she said. was cause for much cheer among the
exchange of students and the like. The racial policy of successive PNP Hence, it was no small loss for keen to see that the Indian private And there is more. Along with Indians.
governments between 1964 and 1992 Guyana that Jagan breathed his last in sector is encouraged to invest in the Bollywood, religion and festivals, Apart from retaining their Indian
1997 while in harness. Caribbean country. there is a growing awareness about traditions, the Indian diaspora in the
I ndian migrant labourers started
arriving in Guyana in virtual
disenchanted the Indian diaspora and
many complained that India was not However, his legacy lived on. Sanskrit and yoga across the Caribbean has also created a unique
slavery as indentured contract labour
from 1838, the flow peaked after 1850
doing much to alleviate their
sufferings. A large number left to
Jagan’s American wife Janet assumed
the role of president. But she resigned T he history of the East Indians in
the Caribbean countries is
Caribbean nations thanks to the culture blending with the culture of
the Afro-Caribbeans. And nothing
and continued till 1920. Ninety per settle in US and Canada. two years later and passed on the almost the same — an uphill fight to exemplifies this better than the
cent of the Indian migrants came But there were those who remained mantle to a bright young Indo- keep their distinct identity against immensely popular ‘chutney music’.
from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and the to leave their signature on the Guyanese politician, Bharrat Jagdeo, heavy odds that was won with an Chutney music derives its elements
rest from Tamil Nadu and other Guyanese society, sketching a profile an economics postgraduate from admirable singularity of purpose. Jagan’s administration from the Caribbean’s unique soul
south Indian states. in courage and grit. Many of them Moscow University and groomed in The Indian diaspora, whether in calypso or soca and Indian film songs.
Guyana or Trinidad & Tobago, has
saw many constructive The lyrics are in Hindi, Bhojpuri or
It was only after 1900,the migrants won their community and their politics by Cheddi Jagan. In the
stepped out of the sugar plantations country of adoption great honour in general elections held in 2001, been able to retain its cultural identity. policies to improve the English the songs are sung to the beats
and started taking up other jobs. The diverse fields like business and Jagdeo’s People’s Progressive They built a large number of temples country’s socio-economic of soca and Hindi film songs. An
community gradually acquired the industry and in professions like law Party/Civic (PPP/C) again swept to and mosques. And celebrate religious uptempo song, it is suing to the
festivals with as much fervour as
condition transcending accompaniment of the dholak,
ability to play a meaningful role in the and medicines. power and he got a second term in
socio-political arena of the country Jurist Sir Lionel Luckhoo has found office. Indians in India. the racial divide. He harmonium and dhantal. Though
with tremendous grit and persistence an entry into the Guinness Book pf In August 2006, Jagdeo started a “We celebrate Diwali and Phagwah dreamed of bringing the originally, chutney music was
against odds. World Records as a criminal lawyer who third term in office after his party was (Holi, as it is called in the Caribbean) religious in nature, today, it is rare.
again elected to form the government. in a big way,” Trinidad’s Persad-
Indo-Guyanese and the Pioneers of this unique style of
Guyana became independent in won the largest number of murder
1966. Under a British-made cases. Dr. Mohamed Shahabudeen Jagdeo, at 43 one of the youngest Bissesar has been quoted as saying in Afro-Guyanese together music are Trinidad & Tobago’s
constitution aiming at self-rule,
elections were held in 1953 that was
overwhelmingly won by Dr. Cheddi
Jagan’s People’s Progressive Party
(PPP). The PPP formed the
became a judge of the International
Court of Justice. Dr. Harry
Annamunthodo was acclaimed as a
distinguished surgeon. Sir Sridath
Ramphal left his mark on
heads of state in the world, has
continued to keep the policies of his
mentor alive, working for unity
among the Indo-Guyanese and the
an interview. “Why, I am sure, there
are a number of festivals we celebrate
here which are not even observed in
And when a visiting Indian
as partners in progress
“ Sundar Popo and Drupatee
Ramgoonai and Suriname’s Ramdeo
Chaitoe. Among the current crop of
artistes are Rikki Jai, Adesh Samaroo,
Devanand Gattoo and Heeralal
government with Jagan as prime international diplomacy as the “We can allow our real and journalist, struck by the popularity of Rampartap.
minister which was dissolved four secretary-general of the perceived differences to divide us to Bollywood films and songs, The Indian diaspora in the
months later because the British Commonwealth for two times. our peril and dissipate our national wondered aloud whether it was Caribbean from the years of
thought the prime minister was Rohan Kanhai has taken his place in energies. Or we can resolve to Bollywood alone that defines India in Indian cultural centres that have been indentured labour to this day have
moving to socialist bloc. the list of the Caribbean cricketing harmonise our diversity to our the Caribbean, an Indo-Guyanese set up by the Indian government over been a fighting lot, determined to
Guyanese politcs moved along greats. national benefit, if not glory. It is a scribe was quick to reply, “No, we are the years. keep their prized identity while
racial lines as sharp antagonism From 1938 to 1992, the journey had destiny we have to choose,” he said in very particular about the religious “When we started a yoga merging with the society of the
developed between the PPP and been, indeed, arduous. But the Indo- his swearing-in ceremony last year. rituals.” She went on to recite the programme, as many as 150 people adapted country contributing to its
People’s National Party (PNP) of Guyanese community, true to their The Indo-Guyanese control much Gayatri Mantra, a Vedic invocation, signed up in the first month itself,” an culture and progress. That saga will
Jagan’s one time associate Lynden spirit and aim, fought tirelessly to of Guyana’s trade. The industrial to prove her point. official of the Indian Cultural Centre continue in future. ■
34 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 35
Sushmita set to produce Jhansi Ki Rani
Deepa Mehta’s Water
ollywood actress Sushmita Sen has decided to
loses out in Oscars produce Jhansi Ki Rani, in which she plays the role
of the warrior queen, because she feels others
cannot translate her vision satisfactorily on screen.
“This is the kind of year that I look forward to,” said
Sushmita about her big plans for 2007.
“And I don’t see my vision being translated to screen by
any other producer. For my interpretation of the ultimate
ndian-born Canadian director Deepa Mehta’s
warrior queen I need to create a situation conducive to a
Water, a film on the plight of Hindu widows in
free-flowing creativity,” Sushmita said.
the India of 1930s, lost out to Germany’s The
She says it isn’t a random decision.
Lives of Others for an Oscar.
“Nor have I come to this decision only to accommodate
But as The New York Times said, “Win or lose
myself as an actor. But yes, there’s a definite economic and
tomorrow (February 25) night at the Academy Awards
creative method to my plans to go into film production.”
ceremony in Los Angeles, one contender — Deepa
At the moment Sushmita is in serious closed-door
Mehta’s Water, a nominee for best foreign-language
discussions with her scriptwriters. She hopes to zero in on
film will already have scored its greatest triumph
a director (one of the top names in show business) in the I’ve always created a situation where I can make my dreams
simply by existing.”
next couple of months. come true. This is my chance to play the one historical
“Every actor has a dream role. Mine is Jhansi Ki Rani. character that I most closely empathise with,” she said.
Big B to mentor Depp in Nair project for Rang De Basanti
Nadiadwala ties up with Fox, Australia
ohnny Depp and extensively shot in Australia,
Amitabh Bachchan, China and India, is a story Eklavya has a heart for the
two actors representing with true global appeal, she ell-known
the best of Hollywood said. Bollywood
and Bollywood, sharing
screen space. Mira Nair could
Shantaram is a screen
adaptation of Gregory David Nadiadwala’s T he New York
not have hoped for more for
her next film Shantaram.
Roberts’ book of the same
R ang De Basanti,
Khan, was nominated by
banner, Nadiadwala Grandson
Entertainment Pvt Ltd (NGE),
Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s
new film Eklavya: The
While the Hollywood star The film will show how has clinched a deal with Fox Royal Guard as a
the British Academy Studios Australia for the pre
of films like Pirates of the Roberts (played by Depp), a sombre drama that
Film Awards (BAFTA) and post -production work of
Caribbean and Finding convicted Australian bank clearly has a heart for the classics. “Dharma,
in the ‘Best Non-English Heyy Babyy being extensively
Neverland will be playing the robber and heroin addict, the time-honoured concept of proper
Film’ category. Directed shot in the exotic locales of that
central role in the film, escapes from Pentridge conduct, is a recurrent notion” in the film
by Rakeysh Omprakash country.
Amitabh will be the kind- Prison, Australia, and flees to that opened on February 16 in the New
Mehra, the film, which This makes Heyy Babyy the
hearted Mumbai gangster. India to make his base in York-New Jersey metropolitan area, said
caught the imagination first Indian film to be processed in Australia and NGE the first
The New York-based Mumbai. critic Andy Webster.
of Indians with its Indian production house to have an office at Fox Studios.
Indian filmmaker, who was In Mumbai, Roberts has to “...And while the film takes place in the
patriotic overtones, The film has Akshay Kumar, Riteish Deshmukh, Fardeen Khan
approached by Depp to direct deal with the Mumbai mafia. present, it clearly has a heart for the classics,
eventually lost out to and Vidya Balan in important roles.
Shantaram, couldn’t have He later decides to help slum particularly those of eastern philosophy,
Guillermo Del Toro’s “Fox Studios Australia provides filmmakers with the most up-
asked for a better deal. dwellers and starts a health Shakespeare and genre cinema,” he added.
Pan’s Labyrinth. But the to-date, integrated production and post production environment.
“It was an honour for me Bachchan (above) and centre that provides free Shakespeare’s sonnet (“Shall I compare
selection of the film for We have been home to many highly successful US films and now
that Depp asked me to make medical facilities to the poor. thee...”) is twice invoked in the film and its
Depp one of the most coveted welcome our first Bollywood film to the lot,” said Nancy
the film. It is here that Roberts dark palace interiors and scheming evoke
categories was a perfect Romano, CEO Fox Studios Australia, in a press release.
When asked about other members of the befriends Kader Bhai (Amitabh) who ‘Macbeth’, NYT noted.
start for the Indian film Nadiadwala is quite happy with the deal.
cast, Nair said it was just Depp and eventually becomes his mentor and guide. “The main tribute in the ‘Guard’, however,
industry this year after He said: “It’s a privilege for NGE to be the first Indian company
Amitabh right now. Asked about her views on Bollywood is to Mr. Bachchan, an aging Bollywood
2006 saw more to be associated with Fox Studios for Heyy Babyy. The studio is
The Monsoon Wedding director describes and the chances of her making a typical monument, whose sunken, heavy-lidded
Bollywood movies simply the most up to date with the best production facilities.
herself as a very intuitive person and one potboiler, she said: “I am all for eyes, grizzled countenance and noble bearing
entering the UK Top 10 "Our company would always like to support our talented
who selects her projects on the basis of her commerciality. I love Bollywood formula indisputably convey the presence of a
compared to British technicians with the best facilities for the changing needs of our
instincts. but other people make better than me. I seasoned star,” NYT said.
films produced audience,” he said.
And Shantaram, which will be make my own kind of cinema.” domestically.
36 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 37
Women’s Day Special
“Education helped me see what was
wrong and gave me the confidence to
question it,” she said.
Indian women are breaking barriers
and entering fields which have been
male bastions until recently.
Take, for instance, the Indian
women’s squad that stepped out of
their homes and emerged triumphant
at the World Boxing Championship Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, centre, releasing a set of four stamps on the
held in the capital last November. occasion of International Women’s Day in New Delhi on March 8, 2007. Also seen are
Spearheading the group was 24- Minister for Communications and Information Technology Dayanidhi Maran, left, and
year-old M.C. Mary Kom (in picture,
Minister of State for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury.
facing page) from the northeastern
difficult customers. It’s not the gender am successful, they respect me, they
state of Manipur who helped break
but the attitude that matters. listen to me,” said a confident Anita.
Russian dominance over the sport by
Moreover, I am in this profession And it’s not just for themselves that
winning four gold, one silver and
because I want to be. It’s liberating,” these women are standing up for.
three bronze in the tournament.
said Shroff with confidence. From tackling problems like cleaning
Unfazed by the raised eyebrows in
She’s among the rising number of up the community well to spreading
the society at large about a woman in
young women in the country who are awareness about HIV/AIDS, they are
what is called a “male sport” as well as
getting into professional bartending taking issues in their hands and not
by the medical complications, which
because they choose to be. relying on their men folk to help
could arise due to the physical
If there are girls like Amy in the them.
aggressiveness of the sport, these
glitzy cities, there are others like Anita In November last year, for instance,
women say: “Boxing has given us
Khushwaha in the laidback lanes of teams of women bikers rode across
everything. Hopefully we will
rural India who are standing up for Maharashtra spreading awareness
become household names one day.
their rights of choosing the way they about HIV/AIDS and sensitising
We want to do our country proud.”
want to live. people about violence against women.
Flipping the bottle with ease, Amy
A beekeeper in Bochaha village of Amongst them was 19-year old
Shroff of Mumbai is equally
Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district, Anita Shabana Abdul Rezzak Sheikh of
determined to live her life to the
had to try hard to convince her father Solapur who said she is proud to have
fullest, never mind the security risks
to let her go to school instead of been associated with such a noble
or the raised eyebrows that come
looking after the goats at home. When cause. And she has her parents
along with the fact that she is one of
she did not get his support after backing her up.
the few Indian woman bartenders.
attending school for some time, she “Both my parents understood the
“I am a professionally trained
he odds are stacked heavily “The status of women in India has been started teaching other children and importance of this message and were
against her right from subject to great many changes over the past bartender so I know how to handle
earned enough money to pay for her more than happy to let me go,”
conception to the moment she few millennia. Women in India now are
books and school fees. Shabana said.
breathes her last. But ever so not far behind in sectors such as education, In a village where mostly men keep Add to their numbers the millions
often women in India break free of the politics, media, art and culture, service bees and make honey, Anita was the who are full time homemakers and
shackles of tradition and prejudice that fix sectors, science and technology,” Renuka I always do what I want first woman to give it a try. From the mothers, or those who slog in
them in defined roles to take on — and Chowdhury, Minister of State for Women and what makes me money she saved, she bought two humdrum jobs to supplement their
March 8 is observed as conquer — male bastions. and Child Development, told this writer.
happy, and when no one queen bees and started her business. family income, or those who slog in
Female foeticide, domestic violence, Bhauri Malavat, a 24-year-old village
International Women’s Day. dowry, sexual harassment, subjugation of woman from Rajasthan’s Bikaner district, helps me I find my own
Today she has 100 boxes of bees,
makes honey and even goes to college
construction sites working as hard as
the man next to them, or even those
Azera Rahman looks at how the girl child, discrimination... women is one such example of the never-say-die way. I have learned that on her bicycle. And she is just 17. who break the glass ceiling to reach
the modern Indian woman is fight these and more everyday. And spirit of the Indian woman. A victim of “I always do what I want and what the top of their careers and the
breaking free of the shackles of
tradition that fix her in defined
roles to take on and conquer
Some 70,000 women die every year
while giving birth and the girl child
struggles to survive with a gender ratio,
according to UNICEF, of roughly 927
child marriage and caste discrimination,
she was determined to axe the odds with
the aid of education.
Standing proud as a police constable
now, Bhauri believes that her
it is never easy for a girl
to do something new;
people say bad things
“ makes me happy, and when no one
helps me I find my own way. I have
learned that it is never easy for a girl
to do something new; people say bad
things about her. A lot of people,
realisation dawns — a new dawn
might just be round the corner.
Do we dare to hope?
(The views expressed here are of the
what were thought to be females per 1,000 males. determination to go to school has brought including my own family, were upset writer and not of the Ministry of Overseas
traditional male bastions. Now, things could finally be changing. her where she is today. with me at first, but today because I Indian Affairs.)
38 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 39
reading the peace path led East. The problem with militarily Hindu or Muslim in India bears no ill
by his grandfather tackling terrorism is that it has proved will against each other. But
Mahatma Gandhi, Arun to be self-defeating as it results in the sometimes issues like the Ram temple
Gandhi (in picture, left), annihilation of innocents as well. (in Ayodhya) and ‘Vande Mataram’
who is working on milder ways of What about terrorists who (national song that ran into
conflict resolution, censures the use RDX, human bombs controversy) have been used
United States’ eye-for-an-eye policy and the latest techniques for political gimmickry to
in fighting terror. to eliminate innocents? gain electoral mileage in
“Violence cannot be controlled I feel in this kind of India.
with military might and fight because scenario, our work The best method for
in the eye-for-an-eye formula, no one redoubles as the Indians to come to terms
finally wins. The winner — or prevention and healing of is that voices of sanity
perpetrator — leaves behind a bitter violence becomes an from both the
enemy,” Gandhi said in an interview. ever-increasing need in communities must take
“I have been voicing my views not our hearts and homes, our care of the communalist
only to the US government but to the streets and communities, elements. A saner Hindu
world that for every terrorist killed, in our nation and world. must sanitise a Hindu
we are raising hundreds like in Iraq, Our research and work communalist and a saner
Afghanistan and the Middle East,” he echo and affirm the Muslim must sanitise a
said. prophetic nature of Mahatma Muslim communalist within
Gandhi, the director of the M.K. Gandhi's prediction: the community.
Gandhi Institute for Non-violence in “Undreamed of and seemingly Is there any remedy for
Memphis, US, says he set up the impossible discoveries will be mishaps like the Samjhauta
institute to help reduce the “hate that made in the field of non-violence.” Express (India-Pakistan peace
consumes our hearts, homes and Is it possible to win the war train) blasts in Panipat in India?
societies”. Excerpts: against terror? Unless peace efforts by all agencies
Question: What moved you to It is possible as globally we now involved are absolute and
set up an institution in the US and have growing communities of friends, unconditional, such disasters might
not in India, where the students and practitioners of non- continue.
Mahatma’s practical philosophy violence who are forming a moral ...Mahatma Gandhi is These demonic acts are committed
is required most? support network and fortifying the timely and topical. by people who have been completely
Answer: Not just to me but to the collective project of peacemaking all brainwashed.
Moreover, he is one man
world at large Mahatma Gandhi is over the world. All of us can do it by We should try to get in touch with
timely and topical. Moreover, he is
one man who is above the
geographical and religious barriers of
regions and faiths. With my wife
Sunanda, I founded this institute in
anger management, diversity training,
How can Indian Hindus and
Muslims come to terms with their
who is above the
religious barriers of
regions and faiths.
“ such people and try to brainwash
them against terrorism by a process
(The views expressed here are of the
1991 to promote and teach the mutual hatred? interviewer and the interviewee and not of
philosophy and practice of non- I think that the heart of a common the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.)
MK GANDHI INSTITUTE FOR NON-VIOLENCE
violence to help reduce the hate that
Taking on terrorism
consumes our hearts, homes and
Do you think the US has had T he M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence was founded in
1991 by the grandson of Arun Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi's
grandson, and his wife, Sunanda. The Gandhis provided seed
dedicated to nonviolence worldwide. Arun’s nationwide lecture
series in the US makes thousands aware of non-violence yearly,
and this has spurred the development of non-violence groups
THE GANDHI WAY
any success in curbing terrorism?
Violence cannot be controlled with money for the institute through the sale of Gandhiji’s letters to his throughout the country.
military might and fight as in the eye- son and daughter-in-law (Arun’s parents), Manilal and Sushila. These growing communities of friends, students, and
for-an-eye formula, no one finally Sustaining funds come from contributions, publications, practitioners of non-violence are forming a network of moral
wins. The winner — or perpetrator program fees, and grants. The institute is hosted by the Christian support for each other and fortifying the collective project of
Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Arun Gandhi — leaves behind a bitter enemy. Brothers University, which graciously provides an office for its peacemaking all over the world.
work on non-violence. In the United States, new groups committed to nonviolence,
tells Firoz Bakht Ahmed that he set up the I have been voicing my views not
Many of the Institute’s educational programs are aimed at and inspired by the Gandhis, have sprung up in Los Angeles, San
MK Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence in only to the US government but to the
world that for every terrorist killed, conflict prevention, anger management, diversity training, and Antonio, Chicago, Houston, Portland, Rochester, and many cities
Memphis, US, to help reduce the ‘hate that we are raising hundreds others like in relationship and community-building. in between.
The Gandhi Institute is in communication with organisations (From the institute’s website.)
consumes our hearts, homes and societies’. Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle
40 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 41
y the time the 32-seater bus had
Pix: Gaurav Schimar
roared up the Garhwal Himalayas
past Rishikesh, darkness had fallen.
We could see the signboards,
though, from the bus’s headlights as it
zigzagged up — Aqua Terra, Snow Leopard,
Glass House on the Ganges, Adventure Links,
Mercury Adventure Park, Himalayan River
Rafters... Exotic names, river rafting camps.
The bus eventually came to a stop in the
middle of nowhere. At least that was what we
thought as we alighted into pitch darkness.
And the roar of the Ganga as it rushed down
the Himalayas to the north Indian plains.
And then we saw. Our camp — Camp 5
Elements. Down, down below, two rows of
lights — lanterns, we later learnt — like a very,
very short airport runway.
We saw our guides trudging up a steep
hillside lanterns in hand.
“Careful,” they warned as we negotiated our
way down a narrow slippery path.
The river’s roar rose. And then some relief.
Some flat ground and a bridge. We crossed the
river and then further down we finally put our
feet on sand. We have arrived. One could see
two rows of tents a lantern in front of each.
Remember the airport runway?
Camp 5 Elements. Earth, water, fire, wind,
space. Spread over 800 metres along the river
and surrounded by thick forests and
mountains, one cannot miss the rush of
Coffee and snacks later, we went to the tents
allotted to us.
“Freshen up and come over,” our camp
supervisor Brijmohan had said as he prepared a
We did so. After all, it was quite a long
journey from New Delhi. We had started off
in the morning, breakfast on the way, and
White water rafting on lunch at a heritage hotel in Haridwar and
crossed Rishikesh — that was 225 km from
the Ganga in winter can where we had started - and then a further 37
be an exhilarating km up the Himalayas till Kaudiyala where our
experience, as camp is located.
Aroonim Bhuyan It was the typical tent in the wild but luxury
found out. thrown in. Zip up to open the tent flap to
enter. Inside, there are two beds on a carpet
42 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 43
Pix: Gaurav Schimar
Morning. As our raft rocked wildly
on the rough waters, Maddy rattled
away instructions to paddle,
Paddle, paddle, paddle. Paddle
right, paddle left, paddle right, paddle
Waves rose above us and water hit
us with force. But the ice cool chill
couldn’t stop us from sweating after
that hard bout of paddling.
But that was just the starting. That
rapid was what pros call Grade 1+.
And there was another in the same
grade — Black Money.
The tougher ones were ahead —
Three Blind Mice (Grade 3+) Cross
Fire (Grade 2+), God’s Gift (Grade
2+), Return to Centre (Grade 2+),
Roller Coaster (Grade 4+), Tee Off
(Grade 2+), Golf Course (Grade
4+), Club House (Grade 3+),
Initiation (Grade 3+), Double
Trouble (Grade 2+).
Every other rapid seemed tougher
It took a minute or even less to
tackle the rapids which would try to
throw us back or flip our raft. But
everytime it seemed like a lifetime.
But Maddy with his constant
shouts of “Cheat him!” or “Kill it!” as
a new rapid appeared would keep us
In between there was a stretch of
laid over sand. There was another around eight km downstream to a calm water. We decided to float
section within, which had a place called (guess what?) Marine around in the crystal clear, ice cold
washbasin, and a tap, bucket and mug Drive. water, courtesy our life jackets.
Waves rose above us and for taking a bath. It is here that our rafting expedition Bodysurfing.
water hit us with force. But if you have to go to the toilet, begins. Our instructor Madan — Three hours later, 26 km
But the ice cool chill you have to go to the second row of “Call me Maddy”— helped us to our downstream, at a place called NIM
tents behind. helmets and life jackets. Six of us got Beach close to Rishikesh, our
couldn’t stop us from Refreshed, we sat around the on to the raft, rafting oars in hand, expedition ended. Much like many of
sweating after that hard bonfire to kill the winter chill. As a after a series of instructions from others around us. Lunch on the beach
bout of paddling... It local guitarist treated us to popular Madan and his partner. was relaxing.
Bollywood numbers under a bright As we glided on to the middle of The bus that had followed on the
took a minute or even moon, Brijmohan regaled us with what was then a comparatively calm road above all the way down to NIM
less to tackle the rapids tales of the Garhwal jungles as the river, Maddy exhorted us into Beach took us back to our camp.
silver-shimmering river flowed by. chanting “Ganga Mata Ki Jai!” Camp 5 Elements, above, and tackling a rapid.
which would try to
throw us back or flip
our raft. But everytime
it seemed like a lifetime.
Dinner was an elaborate affair.
Under a huge tent, the different
dishes were laid out buffet style with,
yes, lanterns for light.
The big day dawned. After
clacking our oars in the air.
One could here it much before
Rapids ahead! Rough, roaring
In the evening, there was the
bonfire again. We met a veteran rafter
who narrated us his experiences.
And that was when we learnt why
we were taken eight km downstream
to start our expedition.
had to tackle a rapid called the Wall.
Apparently, sometime before we
went there, the Wall had held back an
Australian rafter by — hold your
breath — six hours!
asked. Only one word could describe
the experience — exhilarating.
(The views expressed here are of the
writer and not of the Ministry of Overseas
breakfast, we were taken by bus This one was called Good Had we started closer by, we have “So, how was it like?” the veteran Indian Affairs.)
44 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 45
JRD, a man of
then. When asked whether he missed having a son, JRD
had famously replied: “I miss not having a daughter.”
She adds: “Each day from the large bouquet of fresh
SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMME FOR DIASPORA CHILDREN
flowers in his room, he’d pick a rose and take it home for The Ministry of Overseas least five years of education
his ailing wife (Thelma who he married in Paris in 1930)... Indian Affairs is introducing a in any foreign country during
every single day.” Scholarship Programme the last eight years and must
“He loved to live dangerously,” says Bhartania, asking,
for Diaspora Children pass the qualifying
“Had he not piloted a plane at ’78, skied on the mountains
and performed the most difficult workouts in the gym in
(SPDC) to study at higher examination (inclusive of
FOREVER JEH! his house nearly till the end?” and technical institutions in 11th and 12th standard or
Author: Surekha Tenneti Russi Lala, who has written multiple biographies of India. equivalent) from the foreign
Venugopal JRD, says: “He was in essence a very great human being. The Educational country.
Publsher: Purple Peacock There was this undeniable aura about him wherever he Consultants India Limited All candidates must have
Books went.” (Ed.CIL), a Government of passed the qualifying
160 pp The private letters between JRD and his father, too, are India enterprise, has been examination as recognised
touching testimony to his affection and ambition even as
designated as the nodal by Association of Indian
a little boy. In one letter, he writes: “Papa I am sure that
you merit the Legion de’Honeur in your business because
agency for implementation of the Universities (AIU) with requisite subjects
you work as no many persons did work. When I shall be scholarship programme. and must have secured a minimum of at
big I shall be like you...and I kiss you so much that I can't Ed.CIL will provide all assistance least 60 percent aggregate marks or 6.75
A cross between a coffee table tell you.” required before and after the admission. CGPA on a 10-point scale or equivalent
book and a research treatise, Anonymous pals vouch for JRD’s provocative sense of Each student admitted under the grades in aggregate of all the subjects in
humour while top officials of Tata Steel remember an scholarship programme will be provided the qualifying examination.
Forever Jeh is a veritable photo irreplaceable mentor. On his death on November 29, financial assistance up to $1,800 The selection test will be of objective type
album with rare footage of JRD in 1993, the Parliament, in an unusual gesture for a private (Rs.80,000). of two hours’ duration. The test will consist
both personal and professional citizen, was adjourned in his memory and Maharashtra
The last date for receiving completed of English language, reasoning
declared three days of mourning.
spheres, writes Shinie Anthony. The author, who was married to a Tata Steel engineer application forms is March 31, 2007. ability/quantitative abilities and general
and was a columnist for TISCO News, quotes Sir Homi The main objective of the scholarship awareness.
ehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata is an easy man to Mody as saying, “JRD had a very keen intellect... his programme is to make available India’s Short-listing and selection process will
write about. With his iconic status and corporate versatility is truly amazing. Whether it is a blast furnace or highly developed higher education system be based on common written examination,
accolades, JRD the businessman could have an ice-cream freezer, an aircraft engine or a cigarette to children of the Indian diaspora — which will be held on Sunday, April 30,
overshadowed JRD the man and yet the book Forever lighter, he is equally at home with all of them.”
Jeh details the humanitarian side of the astute
persons of Indian origin (PIOs), and non- 2006 in the respective countries. The
A cross between a coffee table book and a research resident Indians (NRIs) — living in different venue and timings of the examination shall
entrepreneur. Instead of showcasing his by now legendary treatise, Forever Jeh is a veritable photo album with rare
impact on the country’s commerce, the book picks up countries. be informed to individual candidates by
footage of JRD in both personal and professional spheres.
strands from his social and public commitments. The book is a must, not just for die-hard Tata fans, but for
The scholarship covers a wide range of email or through Indian missions in their
A collection of interviews, photographs and quotes, anyone who is in need of a motivational fix. ■ subjects, including engineering, respective countries.
Forever Jeh describes a gentleman tycoon who could “look humanities, commerce, management, The medium of examination shall be
beyond labels”. Clarifying that “this is not another About the author journalism, hotel management and English only.
biography of JRD Tata” in the preface, author Surekha
C oming from by her. agriculture. The shortlisted/selected candidates on
Tenneti Venugopal pledges the emotive tribute to a
a literary She has also authored two The programme is applicable to the basis of scores obtained in the written
subjective analysis of the Bharat Ratna awardee and first
airline pioneer of India. aware family, books of poems in addition to undergraduate studies in professional and examination and meeting all the eligibility
Born June 29 1904, in a pretty house in Rue de Halevy her education at the Besant her all-pervasive commitment general courses (except medical and other requirements shall be admitted to the
in Paris to French girl Sooni and Indian Parsi R.D. Tata, Theosophical High School to teaching, learning and related courses). scholarship scheme and shall be eligible
JRD was named Jehangir — conqueror of the world. enlarged Surekha Tenneti communicating. To opt for the scholarship the minimum for assistance according to the scheme.
When he was a teen he was sent to the Tata Iron and Venugopal's vision and gave She was swept into life in age of the candidate should be 17 years Interested candidates can submit the
Steel Company in Jamshedpur and, at just 34, became the wings to her spirit. the Tata industry after she
and maximum 21 years as on October 1, completed application forms to the project
chairman of Tata Sons. She has scripted, produced, married a Tata Steel engineer
2007. manager, Educational Consultants India
Aloo Bhartania, JRD’s former secretary, reminisces: “He directed and choreographed and arrived in Jamshedpur.
Candidate must be a PIO and citizen of Limited, Ed.CIL House-18-A, sector-16-
was most perturbed about the way people carelessly used shows and plays. Actors It was when she first met
articles — ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’. An article has such significance, Madhavan and Simone Singh, J.R.D Tata one day that
any country or an Indian national studying A, Noida-201 301 (India). For more
he often said.” had been trained and first been Forever Jeh! began to be abroad. details, log on to www.edcil.co.in or
The non-chauvinist and romantic Jeh surfaces now and presented on the proscenium composed in her mind. The Indian nationals must have had at www.educationindia4u.nic.in.
46 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 PRAVASI BHARATIYA MARCH 2007 47
The Victoria Memorial in Kolkata is a memorial of Queen Victoria of Britain. The
structure was designed by Sir William Emerson in an architectural style similar to Taj
Mahal. It was built between 1906 and 1921. It is a majestic white marble building at
the southern end of the Maidan and surrounded by a sprawling garden. A black
bronze angel known as Victory, holding a bugle in her hand, was placed at the apex
of the dome above the Memorial. It is fixed to its pedestal with ball bearings and rotates
when the wind is strong enough.
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs
(Designed and produced by IANS [www.ians.in] on behalf of Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs)