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NRI Corner 2
xposting from BR..

<!--QuoteBegin-"Sudhir"+-->QUOTE("Sudhir")<!--QuoteEBegin-->Attacks in the United States on Indian Temples and discrimination against opening/expanding Hindu temples are more common that one would think. Its not popularly known due to our tendency to burry things under the carpet and not make an issue - The noticeable difference is that Hindus in the US don't ask the UN or some foreign NGO / Government to assist them against discrimination as is the "victimization" tendency of Christians in India.  Its not their fault but due to no good folks like Dayal and his cohorts who work with Southern Baptist and other evangelical Christian sects in the US against India.

For example:

1) The Missouri temple has been vandalized <b>thrice </b> in the last 3 years (2 times fire bombed with Movtov cocktails)

2) The Bridgewater, NJ temple (that area is home to many Pharma/Biotech/Hitech companies and hence Indians) has been denied to expand its small temple on the grounds of too much traffic. If you drive in that area you will find about a dozen churches and a small temple that serves probably a several thousand families. If you think this is something from the distant past, the Bridgewater Township ruled against it in Nov 2005. They even limited the number of priests that could be at the temple.

Take this Bridgewater example and apply to nearly a dozen other proposed temple locations in the US that are being held up in a discriminatory manner (probally the best known example is the BAPS temple in Chino Hills, California)

3) Take the California action on correcting the portrayal of Hinduism in the California textbooks. As someone who grew up in the US, I can say first hand that the US school texts on India / Hinduism are mere excuses to teach stereotypes and bigotry.

There are numerous more examples... here are some news clips of recent incidents:

<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->
Hindu Temple Firebombed


Rediff.com, New York, Mar. 1, 2003

"The police and F.B.I. are at a loss why a fire bomb was thrown at the Hindu temple in St. Louis, Missouri, on the night of Feb. 22. 'It seemed to be a crude bomb or Molotov cocktail, which set fire to the front door of the temple,' Krishna Reddy, president of the temple trustee board, said. The police have registered a hate crime case, officials said. The fire quickly burned itself out, charring a four-foot section of the door. The attack happened after midnight, Reddy thinks. Temple officials discovered the attack when they arrived to open the shrine the next morning. 'There are four priests living in the compound a little behind the temple. They did not hear anything that night,' Reddy said. 'We are getting a lot of support from the police, F.B.I. and other officials. There is no panic in the community,' Jiwan Singla, chairman of the temple building committee, said. 'Everything is normal, but we are increasing security,' he said."
"There was no threat to the temple, police said. The temple has no dispute with anyone, Reddy noted. There was an attack on statues in front of the temple two years ago, he said. Vandals cut parts of the statues, which were replaced later. After that incident, security cameras were installed inside the temple. 'Now we are installing security cameras outside the temple,' Reddy said. Established 13 years ago, it is one of the largest temples in the U.S. serving more than 8,000 families. Lord Venkatesa is the principal deity. 'Maybe it's just kids, I don't know, but what they did is serious and it could have been worse,' Reddy said. 'We certainly hope they don't come back.' Maha Shivratri celebrations are scheduled for Mar. 1. 'The attack has not changed anything,' Singla noted. All the activities will go on as scheduled, he said."

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Another attack on temple in Missouri

George Joseph | March 05, 2003 03:06 IST

A second firebomb attack on the temple at St Louis in Missouri has made the Indian community jittery.

On February 28, someone first threw a brick through a window followed by a container filled with flammable liquid, police said.

The liquid started a fire at 3:45 am and set off the alarm system in the temple, which alerted the priests living nearby.

"A major fire was averted with only a part of a carpet inside the temple catching fire," Jiwan Singla, past president and building committee chairman of the 13-year-old temple, said.

Police found foot marks of two people outside, which they traced to a field.

<b>After the first attack on February 22, the temple had installed video cameras outside in addition to the ones inside, installed after an earlier attack two years ago.</b>

One such camera captured the container being thrown through the window and the resulting fire. But the camera could not capture the culprits on the videotape, sources said.

"There's no indication this is a hate crime, but you never know," St Louis County police officer Mason Keller was quoted in the media. "But with two incidents in two weeks, there's a good chance it might be. It's certainly very coincidental."

The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are also involved in the investigation.

"We are worried about the safety of the community members," Singla said.

The temple officials are looking into additional security measures, including hiring a security guard and installing perimeter fencing, motion-detector lights and more cameras.

In the February 22 incident the fire quickly burned itself out, charring a 4-foot section of the door. Officials came to know of the attack the next morning only when they came to open the temple, located at 725, Weidman Road in west St Louis County.

There is no threat to the temple or of acts of graffiti at the temple, police insist.

The temple, with Lord Venkatesa as the principal deity, is one of the largest in the US serving more than 8,000 families.

There is a community center named after Mahatma Gandhi in front of the temple and a mosque a furlong away.

Krishna Reddy, president of the trustee board, pointed out the temple has no dispute with anybody, but said there was an attack on the statues in front of the temple two years ago. Vandals had cut parts of the statues, which were later replaced.

In spite of the attack on February 28, the Maha Shivratri celebrations in the temple went on with the usual festivities. The celebrations had begun at 7 am on March 1.

Incidentally, on the same night as the first firebombing on February 22, someone broke the glass front door on the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of Kansas City in Shawnee, Kansas, causing damage estimated at about $700.

An FBI spokesman in Kansas City told the St Louis Post Dispatch that the incident was not being investigated as a hate crime.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> Hindu Temple Officials Wait For Their Day In Court
E-Mail this report to a friend

Arthur J Pais

Mahesh Dixit is clearly tired of the controversy that has bogged down the plans for a $ 2 million project to build a cultural center adjacent to a temple in Berlin Borough, about an hour's drive from New York.

"We have been working on it for many years, and when we were able to start the construction work, the town changes its zoning laws," he says with a heavy sigh. The cultural center was to be built on a seven acre land near the Hindu temple housed since 1982 in a former Baptist church.

Dixit, an engineer with Simon & Webster in the nearby Cherry Hill town, is one of the pillars of the Indian Temple Associates Cultural Center that manages the temple. He has officiated as a priest at the temple since its inception.

The Center bought the land for $ 20,000 and has spent about $ 100,000 in engineering and traffic studies and sent notices -- as per the law -- to property owners within 200 feet of the site in November about the proposed cultural center. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"Hindu Temple to Challenge State Judge on Religious Grounds"

by Robert F. Worth ("The New York Times," August 4, 2004)

A prominent Hindu temple in Queens plans to file a motion in federal court today accusing a state judge of violating the separation of church and state by intervening in the temple's affairs.

The motion is the latest step in a growing legal struggle at the Hindu Temple Society of North America that is now being followed by Hindus throughout the country.

The motion, to be filed in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, seeks to stop the state courts from forcing the temple to hold elections for its board of trustees. A state appellate panel ordered the elections a year ago, a bitter defeat for the temple's current 11-member board and a victory for the group of six disaffected members who had filed suit to demand the elections.

"We're trying to prevent the court from imposing a non-Hindu form of control on the largest Hindu temple in America," said Roman Storzer, a lawyer with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a nonprofit law firm based in Washington that is representing the board of trustees.

Temple elections are unheard of in India, but they have become common in this country. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->On November 27, 2003 Metro West reported that an Ashland, Massachusetts teenager defaced a Hindu temple in Ashland on Halloween. Anthony Picciolo, 17, was convicted of spray painting hate messages. Police said Piccioli spray painted 'Sand N------ beware,' and 'head,' on a rock near the Hindu temple. Police said 'head' was short for 'towel head.' On June 25, 2003 in Boston, an Indian graduate student named Saurabh Bhalerao, who was working part time as a pizza deliveryman, was the target of deplorable abuse. He was robbed, beaten, burned with cigarettes, stuffed in a trunk and stabbed twice before finally being dumped along a road. Police suspect that the attackers mistook the Hindu man for a Muslim. As they were beating him, the attackers supposedly taunted, "go back to Iraq." <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

In Chino Hills, California, Hindus are fighting for the construction of a 20-acre Swaminarayan Temple and Cultural Center that would liven the freeway area, increase city revenue, and provide a religious space for Hindus and an amazing cultural resource for the entire community.
The controversy surrounding the construction of the BAPS Chino Hills Hindu Religious and Cultural Center serves as a good example of the sorts of problems Hindu temples face in the US and how factors like zoning laws, school curricula, city priorities, and level of support for immigrant communities affect the general opinion of and attitude towards a proposed project such as this.


Other community members feel uncomfortable with such an obvious minority presence. In particular, Larry Blugrind, a Chino Hills resident, vocalized this concern in two letters. The first, dated June 5, 2003, reads: "Should this temple be allowed to be built, you are opening the door to Pandora's box. What will then happen is, for example, Chinese, Arabic, and other nationalities will want to build buildings in Chino Hills with THEIR third world architecture, and part of Chino Hills will look like a third world country." (21) saying in a later letter, dated June 21, 2003, he writes, referring to "that horrible Hindu temple," saying, "For one, it will RUIN, i.e., NOT FIT INTO the RURAL ATMOSPHERE of Chino Hills!!!"

<b>One letter expressed concern because most Chino Hills residents are Judeo-Christian, and Hinduism, which the letter incorrectly defined as a polytheistic religion, goes against the beliefs of the majority of the residents. (22)</b>

These are the issues that Indians in the US face just to open a few dozen Temples. Compare and contrast this with the tens of thousands of Churches and Madrassas that are propping up all over India in the past few years, primarily due to funding from foreign fundamentalist groups. Look at what has happened in Andhra Pradesh.... :evil:<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

NRIs: NDA Indians and UPA Indians
<b>Legislator says ad sent to office is death threat</b>
<i>A bullet hole was drawn on a photo of DFL <b>Sen. Satveer Chaudhary</b>, and a note about his Indian heritage was added.</i>
Conrad Defiebre, Star Tribune
Last update: April 24, 2006 – 9:28 PM

Legislator says ad sent to office is death threat
A mailing sent to the State Capitol office of Sen. Satveer Chaudhary is being investigated as a possible hate crime or terroristic threat, the Fridley DFLer said Monday.
<b>The mailing included a newspaper advertisement bearing a picture of Chaudhary. Someone had then drawn an apparent bullet hole on his forehead. A handwritten note attached to it asked whether the senator, whose parents were born in India, was "eating curry" when he missed 63 votes last year</b>
<!--emo&:furious--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/furious.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='furious.gif' /><!--endemo--> NRIs: NDA Indians and UPA Indians
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->But what I do know is the officials in the Washington embassy have deliberately reached out only to those individuals and groups that are perceived as being sympathetic to the UPA regime.

That is a remarkably silly position to adopt. I know that several senior members of the NDA have expressed their misgivings about the Indo-American nuclear agreement. But that does not mean that the Indian community in the United States would not be willing to support an Indian government on this. (Or, for that matter, any other issue.)

So, why then is the foreign policy establishment deliberately ignoring a large section of American citizens of Indian origin, occasionally even repudiating offers to help? <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Seems like the foosas have way too much control of happenings in the embassy which is not healthy for the NRI community in general.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->How Christian Evangelists Target Hindu American Students
By Francis C. Assisi

In a fictional account of a freshman year at an American State University, author Chris Sherman tells us of an Indian-American student from the Midwest, who is "born again" after a year of intensive prayer and prodding by his evangelical Christian roommates.

Born in India and raised in the United States, the protagonist Hari Singh is caught between the Hindu-Indian culture of his immigrant parents and his desire to "be rid of his Indian roots."

An avowed agnostic when he arrives at the State University, by the end of his freshman year Harry "Bob" Singh's newfound Christian faith presents him with a final challenge: facing his parents. "What to say? He knew he had to somehow begin to see them as his parents, to "honor" them, to show this in a way they with their Hindu heritage would recognize. How was he to do this? He didn't know." 

One recalls a parallel in the real-life situation of Indian-American congressman Bobby Jindal who converted to Christianity during his second year at Brown University. At the time, Jindal wrote: "It was hard for me to struggle with the competing commandments

  'Honor thy parents,' which includes showing respect through honesty, and 'Love God with your whole mind and heart'."

  Anyway, it should come as no surprise that the earlier fictional account includes an Indian American character in the plot, because, since the 1990s, Asian American students have become central players in American evangelical Christianity - one of the fastest growing religous/social movements in the United States.

Whereas the characterization of Hari - hard working, philosophically tenacious, and troubled by his Indianness - hints at larger issues about South Asian American identity in the context of evangelical Christianity, there is increasing evidence that Christian evangelical groups are aggressively targeting Hindu students in American college campuses for conversion.

In fact, a sampling of Asian American-identified evangelical fellowship websites reveals mission statements targeting Asian and Asian American students for outreach and membership, while simultaneously affirming a non-race-specific evangelical identity.

There is evidence that large numbers of Asian American college students are turning to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through the encouragement and support of national and local prayer and Bible study organizations. Alongside the large national organizations, there are numerous local bible studies and fellowships that are often sponsored by local churches and are ethnic specific. 

In response to an increasingly diverse college population, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF), for example, developed a series of "ABC" (Asian, Black, and Chicanos) conferences beginning in 1976 and experienced a membership boom in the 1980s and 1990s producing a significant number of Asian American IVCF student leaders.

One reason for the present renewed aggressive effort is that, unlike other Asian Americans, Hindu-Americans have staunchly resisted efforts at conversion. Also, unlike other Asian Americans who are becoming increasingly associated with evangelical Christianity on college campuses, Hindu-Americans have their own campus groups such as Hindu Students Federation.

Nevertheless, evangelical "parachurch" organizations like Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC), The Navigators, and IVCF are soliciting large numbers of students to their weekly bible studies, prayer meetings, and social events. There is no doubt that Asian Americans – especially Korean and Chinese - are becoming increasingly associated with evangelical Christianity on the college campus. The hope is that Indian-Americans will follow suit.


The main concern of the recently established Fellowship of South Asian Christians (organised at the Overseas Indians Congress on Evangelism) is the evangelization of South Asians living abroad. The organization acknowledges that it is gearing to become a dynamic force for evangelism among Hindus, scattered in countries other than their homeland.

The Institute of Hindu Studies, based in the Midwest, says its mission is to be "a resource base, strategy center and a facilitator of knowledge" by providing "reliable information on India, Hinduism and the Indian Diaspora." The IHS says its vision is "To stimulate and encourage the growth of a culturally relevant movement for frontier missions among the 2,700 unreached, predominantly caste Hindu people groups existing mostly in India, but found throughout the world."

Bhanu Christudas, a student at William Carey International University on the campus of the U.S. Center for World Mission, writes: "I believe it is high time for us to concentrate our efforts on reaching the dear Hindu men and women around the world before this form of Satan's deception begins to devour millions more into its philosophy." He asks fellow Christians: What is your part in reaching the Hindus for Christ?

In 'Reaching The Hindu World', Christudas observes, "since Hinduism "converted" into a missionary religion during the last century, it is growing more than ever before around the world."

A recent report received by Henrietta Watson, head of the Institute of Hindu Studies at the U.S. Center for World Mission, states: "The Indo- American Society in Chicago overtly stated their goal is to have a Hindu temple and a training center in every  American city with a population over 500,000 ...They are on target with imported idols and priests from India." Should we wait to hear more such reports before we begin to act, asks Christudas.

Another research report contains specific tips based on the field experiences of a senior evangelist, including detailed "do's and don'ts" :

"Do not criticize or condemn Hinduism. …. Criticizing Hinduism can make us feel we have won an argument; it will not win Hindus to Jesus Christ…Never allow a suggestion that separation from family and/or culture is necessary in becoming a disciple of Christ. …Avoid all that even hints at triumphalism and pride. …Do not speak quickly on hell, or on the fact that Jesus is the only way for salvation. …Never hurry. Any pushing for a decision or conversion will do great harm. …. Even after a profession of Christ is made, do not force quick changes regarding pictures of gods, charms, etc. …Do not force Christian ideas into passages of Hindu scripture. … Empathize with Hindus. …. Learn to think as the Hindu thinks, and feel as he feels….

Those who move seriously into Christian work among Hindus need to become more knowledgeable in Hinduism than Hindus themselves are…A new believer should be warned against making an abrupt announcement to his or her family, since that inflicts great pain and inevitably produces deep misunderstanding…."

Indian Christian evangelist Rajendra Pillai of Clarksburg, Md., gives the following advice in the Baptist Press of August 15, 2003: 'Learn to think as the Hindu thinks, and feel as he feels'. Based in Clarksburg, Md., he is the author of a new book,

"Reaching the World in Our Own Backyard."

Pillai explains: "We are slowly realizing that our neighborhoods, communities and workplaces are changing. We're waking up to the fact that we now have new kinds of neighbors -- they look different, they speak a different language, they eat different kinds of food and speak with a foreign accent. We know they aren't Christians, because they worship other gods.

  "North America has always been a land of immigrants, but now we have a new wave of people coming from countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East adding to the growing religious diversity in North America. We don't have to go overseas to meet someone from another culture. Each one of us can now be a missionary in our own communities.

"Between 1990 and 2000, Hinduism has emerged as one of the fastest-growing religions in America. The number of Asian-Indians, most of whom are Hindu, has doubled every 10 years since 1980 to reach a record 1.7 million in 2000. USA Today reported that there are currently 1.3 million Hindus in the United States. The Pluralism Project of Harvard University (www.pluralism.org) lists more than 700 Hindu temples in the United States, many built in the last 10 years. Many more are in the construction stage."

Pillai observes, "We can effectively reach Asian-Indians by knowing a little about their culture, beliefs and practices. First and foremost, we need to learn as much as possible about Hinduism."

And he offers the following pointers:

"The Indian culture is highly collectivist. This means that most Indians will consider their acceptance of the Gospel in light of how it will impact their families and friends.

There is also a strong possibility of being rejected by family members if a person changes his or her religion. Chances are you will not get an immediate response. Be prepared to walk with and support your Indian friend if he or she wrestles spiritually.

"As Indians come from a collectivist society and yearn for community, many will be open to coming to church if it means being a part of a community where people are genuinely concerned about each other. You might start by inviting them to less-threatening events outside of a Sunday church service.

"Most Asian-Indians yearn for community. Coming from a collectivist society, they have a tough time adjusting to the American individualistic culture. This is where Christians can step in, and the church can become the community they are seeking."

Pillai warns: "One thing that turns off many Asian-Indians is when Christians in this country just share the Gospel but are not interested in them in any other way. So if they say "no" to the Gospel, the same Christian friends and acquaintances disappear from their lives. Christian Asian-Indians who used to be Hindus say the most convincing argument for following Christ came through the love Christians showed toward them."

Finally, asks Pillai: "If His heart beats for people from every nation and if Jesus died for all nations, then how can we keep the great news of the Gospel to ourselves, especially now that they live next door?"

In Mission Frontier's article 'personal evangelism among educated Hindus', H.L. Richards writes: 'Friendship evangelism is usually easy to initiate with Hindus. Most Hindus esteem religion in general and are free and open to speak about it. A sincere, nonjudgemental interest in all aspects of Indian Life will provide a good basis for friendship. Personal interaction with Hindus will lead to a more certain grasp of the essence of Hinduism than reading many books. A consistently Christ-like life is the most important factor in sharing the gospel with Hindus. The suggestions that follow should help to break down misunderstandings, of which there are far too many, and help to build a positive witness for Christ. Yet learning and applying these points can never substitute for a transparent life of peace and joy in discipleship to Jesus Christ.'

He advises:

1. Do not criticize or condemn Hinduism. There is much that is good and much that is bad in the practice of both Christianity and Hinduism. Pointing out the worst aspects of Hinduism is hardly the way to win friends or show love. It is to the credit of Hindus that they rarely retaliate against Christians by pointing out all our shameful practices and failures. Criticizing Hinduism can make us feel we have won an argument; it will not win Hindus to Jesus Christ.

5. Do not speak quickly on hell, or on the fact that Jesus is the only way for salvation. Hindus hear these things as triumphalism and are offended unnecessarily. Speak of hell only with tears of compassion. Point to Jesus so that it is obvious he is the only way, but leave the Hindu to see and conclude this for himself, rather than trying to force it on him. Richards says that a Hindu who professes faith in Christ must be helped as far as possible to work out the meaning of that commitment in his own cultural context.

He also warns: A new believer should be warned against making an abrupt announcement to his or her family, since that inflicts great pain and inevitable produces deep misunderstanding. Ideally, a Hindu will share each step of the pilgrimage to Christ with his or her family, so that there is no surprise at the end. An early stage of the communication, to be reaffirmed continually, would be the honest esteem for Indian/Hindu traditions in general that the disciple of Christ can and does maintain.


Steve Edwards, an IVCF staff member serving on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Virginia State University, recently outlined his view of Hindu 'student ministry' in no uncertain terms.

He observes that students from India have recently surpassed the Chinese as the largest international group on the campus where he serves, but that 'in spite of their large numbers there are very few believers.'

Edwards acknowledges that while working with Indian students, the evangelists often "get a foot in the door" by meeting practical needs. This may include assisting with English or hospitality needs. "The best way to start is through friendship, taking the time to listen and to learn about their individual backgrounds and beliefs" he advises.

According to Edwards, "even if believing in Jesus were acceptable to the family, it would likely become a point of conflict when it came to issues of marriage and children. Hindus may and often do find Jesus personally appealing. But an individual decision to become a follower of Christ is quite difficult because it implies a rejection of one's own dharma and the acceptance of the "Christian" dharma."

He explains: "God has given us a wonderful opportunity to welcome them and share the good news of Christ with them. But significant obstacles exist. Therefore, it is vital for us to understand the challenges that we must face in sharing Christ with them and also the challenges they face in coming to Christ.

"Most Hindus readily acknowledge the reality of God's work in life and are not afraid to discuss spiritual matters. As a result, offers to pray for and with them are rarely refused and often welcomed. This is a tangible way we can show our concern and ask God to bless them and provide specifically for their needs. Simply put, Hindus are open to spiritual things. Edwards reveals: "Recently, I met a new student from India who seemed quite interested in visiting church and perhaps a Bible study. But first he wanted to make sure that he didn't need to be baptized or believe that Jesus was the only way to God before attending. As believers our response is to invite them to

"Come and see," with no strings attached and allow the person of Christ as seen in the Bible and the work of the Holy Spirit to lead them to faith."

Noting that the majority of Indian students come from Hindu families, Edwards discusses conversion efforts directed at Hindu students on American campuses and, specifically, his experiences of prayer, partnerships and perseverance, which he claims has been essential in the formation of an 'Indian Christian Fellowship'.

"It is my prayer that this would encourage others in sharing Christ with Indian students in their campuses and communities. May God pour out his grace on India and bring many into his kingdom in the coming years."


As Edwards sees it, Indian culture and religion present significant obstacles to communicating Christianity to Indian students. He is convinced that, "given the ancient spiritual strongholds that exist in the Hindu world it is essential that this ministry be founded upon and sustained by faithful prayer."

One of the method he advocates, besides prayer, is "partnerships with like-minded Indian believers among students and in the community." He notes that "while some Indian students want to interact with other cultures it seems that most prefer to remain in a culturally familiar environment."In addition, explains Edwards, the partnership helps to dispel the widespread preconception that Christianity is just a Western religion.

Finally, he notes that a common suspicion among Hindus is that Christians want to make converts for selfish reasons like pride, financial gain or political power. In contrast, the Bible reminds us that love must be sincere. "We have seen God at work, but it is often a very slow process…We must be patient and wait for God to bring fruit as we are faithful in planting and watering the seeds of the Indian Christian Fellowship."

Edwards, who began his involvement with Indian students while he was a graduate student in an engineering school, recalls: "I was surrounded by Indian students in my classes and actively involved in an international student fellowship. Like so many, I was amazed by the openness of the Chinese students who sought out knowledge of the Bible, often from the moment they arrived. Indian students on the other hand would scarcely ever come to any Christian sponsored event even though their numbers were comparable to those of the Chinese students."

Edwards explains: "So, I began praying for India and for the students that I knew and learning about their culture and beliefs. During that time, God brought me into a close friendship with a Hindu background believer. Through our friendship I saw how difficult it was for him to reconcile his faith with family expectations and pressures. (I also developed a love for Indian food which is a fringe benefit).

"I also had a growing friendship with a Hindu classmate. We had numerous occasions to openly discuss spiritual matters and even though he freely admitted that his life was incomplete I was saddened to see so little change. Periodically, he would remind me that he was a Brahmin, the highest caste in Hinduism, which I learned only added to the barriers.

"One evening early on in our friendship he told me he would be very disappointed and hurt if I was only trying to be his friend in order to "convert" him. His directness shocked me, but it was something I needed to hear. It showed me the suspicions that Hindu students often have of the motives of Christians and their repulsion at the very idea of conversion. It also underscored how essential it is for our love to be sincere and the value of partnering with Indian believers so that Christianity is not equated with Western culture."

Thus, on completion of graduate studies, Edwards joined as staff member with IVCF's international student ministries. "From the start, one of my personal desires was to reach out to the large Indian community. While ministry opportunities with other student groups grew, it remained difficult to make more than isolated contacts with the Indian community."


Edwards says he 'began praying for the Indian community and for God to bring some Indian believers to join us. There were several years of prayer before we saw any answers, and many disappointments along the way. He once even contacted an Indian Christian student 'to see if he had a desire to reach out to the Indian community but he frankly said "No."'

During the following summer Edwards visited India and got a firsthand taste of Indian culture. "Those experiences were priceless and opened doors of trust and understanding that I doubt I could have gained any other way" he says.

According to Edwards, the next fall brought 3 Christian students from Kerala with whom he formed the Indian Christian Fellowship (ICF) "with the faculty advisor being one of our prayer partners who shared our heart for the South Asian students."

"Later that semester, two Hindu friends we had been praying for went on an international evangelistic retreat with us because of the invitation of an Indian Christian friend. The speaker at the retreat was also from India and their experiences at that event challenged them to seek God further. Immediately afterwards they began attending the fellowship regularly. Even though they faced some challenges from other Indian friends, they soon became a part of our "family."

"After attending the fellowship for one year, one of these students began following Jesus. Initially, it was a private decision. But it was soon apparent that it was a genuine step of faith with strong evidence of God's work in his life. Within a short period of time his friends began to ask him what had happened to him and why he had changed. In the months that have followed, he has grown dramatically in his knowledge of the Word and in witness: bringing several friends to the fellowship and even leading a college friend to Christ.

"Although these students face difficult issues ahead (family and marriage especially) we are excited about how God's work will overflow as we grow and serve together. As a result of these developments and as an answer to prayer, in just the past few months we have seen a significant increase in the number of students visiting the fellowship or curious about Christ."


The perception that Asian American students are currently disproportionately involved in InterVarsity and Campus Crusade for Christ appears to be well founded, according to available information.

The aggressive evangelism that took place in Asia after World War II was responsible for Christianizing an emigrant Korean and Chinese population. Evangelists note the dramatic growth in Korean Christianity from three million believers in 1974 to seven million in 1978 as a striking example. They say that a good percentage of Korean American evangelical students in the 1990s would appear to be the harvest of Campus Crusade's farsighted sowing as Korean immigration to the United States rapidly increased in the decades following. A similar trajectory is seen for the emerging South Asian American community numbering about 3 million.

Asian American evangelicals report that being a Christian does not mean rejecting Asian American identity or Asian culture. One IVCF Chinese American staff worker involved with InterVarsity since the early 1970s explained that she came to a deeper understanding of herself as Asian American through the Pacific Alliance of Chinese Evangelicals and an IVCF Discipleship Training program that took her to Singapore.

Other students find that evangelical Christianity reinforces "Asian " values of family, work, and education: "Many Confucian ideas are similar to Christian ideals - like honoring your parents, living a moral, virtuous life, and working hard...there are definitely teachings from Buddhism that are very Christian...not harming anyone, trying to live a good life. ..Asian culture has it embedded that you are supposed to give respect to older people...My parents used to say bow to your grandmother when she comes. I might have done it but I tended to be rebellious. But now I know from the Bible that that's a very Biblical thing. Now it's not just for cultural reasons, but for Bible reasons I want to follow that part of Korean culture."

And, as Bobby Jindal explained in a letter to a Sikh friend: "Only after years of open feuding did my parents realize my new faith had not caused me to reject them or my heritage."

It is clear that evangelical Christianity will continue to attract large numbers of Asian American college students because it provides well-structured and nurturing communities tailored for surviving the anxieties, alienation and liminality of the college experience. Until well-documented evidence is available, we can only speculate as to why some Asian Americans, and specifically Korean and Chinese American students, are more involved in evangelicalism in comparison with Filipinos and South Asians.

An example of what evangelical faith entails is found in an Ivy League based Indian Christian Fellowship statement of purpose: "The purpose of ICF is to establish, assist, and encourage students who attest the Lord Jesus Christ as God Incarnate and have these major objectives: To lead others in to a personal faith in Christ as Lord and Savior. To help Christians grow toward maturity as disciples of Christ through the study of the Bible, through prayer, and through Christian fellowship. To present the call of God to the world mission of the Church, and to help students and faculty discover God's role for them."


As it turns out, the story of Piyush Bobby Jindal's transformation from a devout young Hindu to a zealous Catholic offers an intriguing glimpse into the struggle, often traumatic, of a young Indian American caught between his heritage and his parents on the one hand and his intellectual and emotional turmoil in America.

"My journey from Hinduism to Christianity was a gradual and painful one," Bobby Jindal acknowledged in a 1993 article that he wrote while he was a graduate student at Oxford. As Jindal readily confessed in that article, "it never occurred to me that I should consider any other religion; to be a Hindu was an aspect of my Indian identity."

So his parents were especially surprised that he had investigated Hinduism and found it lacking. "It was important that I had given our shared faith fair consideration."

Jindal recalls, "my parents were infuriated by my conversion and have yet to fully forgive me."

As Jindal explains, "My parents went through different phases of anger and disappointment. They blamed themselves for being bad parents, blamed me for being a bad son and blamed evangelists for spreading dissension. There were heated discussions, many of them invoking family loyalty and national identity.

He elaborates: "My parents have never truly accepted my conversion and still see my faith as a negative that overshadows my accomplishments. They were hurt and felt I was rejecting them by accepting Christianity. According to Jindal, his parents resorted to "ethnic loyalty" to counter his new faith.

What was the motivation for Jindal's rejection of Hinduism and his acceptance of Christianity? The answer can be pieced together in his own words.

Essentially Jindal claims that having studied the Bible, he accepted Jesus Christ's radical claim to divinity, along with Christ's redemptive sacrifice on the cross. That is, Christ had died to redeem mankind from sin.

"I was comfortable in my Hindu faith and enjoyed an active prayer life; I only gradually felt a void and stubbornly resisted God's call…it was truth and love that finally forced me to accept Christ as Lord" Jindal recalled in an article.

In comparing Hinduism with his new faith, Jindal noted that whereas "Hinduism taught me to earn my way to God's grace" he found Christ's sacrifice on the cross meant something personal for him. "God loved me and was lifting me up to Him" declared Jindal, two years after his conversion. The young Hindu American had examined Hinduism and found it wanting. Looked at from another perspective, the Hindus whom he approached were not competent enough to satisfy his intellectual curiosity.

While he explains that he is aware of "gross injustices in the name of truth and God" committed by missionaries in India and elsewhere, Jindal is appreciative of their enormous contributions to health and education. That's why he exhorts: "Let us all become missionaries and live so that the world will know us by our love."

In his 1993 article, Jindal wrote wistfully, "I long for the day when my parents understand, respect and possibly accept my faith. For now I am satisfied that they accept me."

indiaspora@gmail.com <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--emo&:bcow--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/b_cowboy.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='b_cowboy.gif' /><!--endemo--> Film recognises NRIs' achievements
[ Friday, May 19, 2006 11:20:38 pmIANS ]

RSS Feeds| SMS NEWS to 8888 for latest updates

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Award winning Kerala director T. Rajeevnath has just finished shooting his documentary "Indian Diaspora in the US" that was produced by the State Department and the US-based First Serve International.

The 120-minute film, which documents the success story of Indians who have made it big in the US, will have four episodes.

"I have a big job in hand because I shot 46 hours and now have to edit it to 120 minutes. I have interviewed 36 Indians who are big names in the US," Rajeevnath told IANS.

He returned home earlier this week after travelling 28,800 km through the US in 25 days and interviewing 36 Indians.

The list of those who feature in the film include UN under secretary general Shashi Tharoor, most expensive plastic surgeon in US Raj Kanodia, spiritual guru Deepak Chopra, tennis ace Vijay Amritraj, management wizard Bikram Choudhary, IT giant Kanwal Rekhi, writer Bharathi Mukerji, musician Zakir Hussain, journalist Fareed Zacharia and economist Jagdish Bhagwati.

Also featured are Didar S. Bains, a Punjabi who is called the peach king of the world, and filmmaker Mira Nair.

"The post production work of the film would be done here and the film is expected to be ready for release in July," said Rajeevnath.
And the winner is Bonny Jain
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->If he could push a magic button, Bonny Jain, who has won the 2006 National Geographic Bee and a $25,000 scholarship prize, would travel to Greece tomorrow. "It is the place I really, really want to go," he says.

The other things he would love to do are -- Study the ruins and learn about Greece's classical tradition. And hold a huge party in his hometown Moline in Illinois.

But the 12-year-old super achiever says that he has some serious business to take care before the big party: He has to prepare for next week's Scripps National Spelling Bee. Last year he had ranked 24th in that contest.

<b>"Witzel-FOSA Starts IER chapter in New Jersey"</b>

This is after all what they have been striving to achieve by obstructing textbook reform in California.

<b>Bigots target Hindu family </b>
Hope to start the classes in early July, possibly at Sunnyvale Temple, CA or other convenient place. Please have someone intereswted contact me by e-mail or phone
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>A VEDIC MATHS (VM-AIM) WORKSHOP</b>
"How to make Friends with Numbers and Influence People  with Fun and Laughter (or at least without tears!)"
Instructor :  Dr VIJAY ASHAR
                 Adjunct Professor,
                 Mathematics & Quant. Methods
Phone: (408) 541-9927 bhakta711@yahoo.com , vijay.ashar@gmail.com

'Vedic Mathematics' was described as "mental mathematics" by its founder, Sw. Bharati Krishna Teerthaji of Shankaracharya Order. It provides very easy, superfast, mental methods along with speedy cross-checking for verifying answers.

These methods are easy to understand and their variety, speed, and ease of calculation brings joy to the heart and a smile to the face of every student. Together, they represent a complete system for solving a variety of mathematical problems and constitute a holistic mental approach to tackle them efficiently. As such, the methods of Vedic Mathematics are a real boon in preparation for all competitive examinations.

Based on sixteen crisp, chemistry-like formulas (sutras) and thirteen corollaries (upasutras), they have wide-ranging applications in various branches of mathematics, including arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, and beyond.

In this gound-breaking workshop on Vedic Mathematics, we will discuss and demonstrate the application of a few of the sutras to various problems in arithmetic and algebra. The method of presentation will elicit participation from students, so they develop an appreciation for the power of these methods, and strengthen their numeracy skills. By the end of the workshop, the students will develop a great flair and confidence for working with numbers in everyday life, and in the process will develop a greater awareness of Vedic cultural heritage.

The contents of the workshop will be beneficial to anyone with a curious and inquiring mind from ages 11 to 80 plus.

Dr Vijay Ashar has a doctorate in Statistics and O.R./Economics from North Carolina State University and post-Doctoral training in Computer & Information Systems. He is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Adm. Management Program of Central Michigan University. Earlier, he was an Associate Professor of Quantitative Sciences with the Universities of New Haven, of Hartford and of Connecticut in Stamford. He had also spent two years as Visiting Professor of Computer Science and Business Administration at Jackson State University.

Subsequent to his doctoral studies, Dr Ashar spent 17 years with IBM Corporation in East Firshkill, New York and parted as an Advisory Systems Scientist. Later, he spent three years as a student resident at Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, in Saylorsburg, PA, studying Vedanta. While there, he also taught Sanskrit and Vedic Mathematics. 

Since 1994, Dr Ashar has been regularly conducting lectures, seminars and (training) workshops in India, USA, Singapore, etc for diverse audiences including school and college students and teachers, post-graduate (e.g. MBA, Engineering, etc) students and professors, professionals, Rotary Clubs and even senior citizen groups (in USA).

Some of the major institutions where he has given presentations are: Jamnabai School, Somaiya College, S P Jain College of Management, Jhunjhunwala College, Nehru Planetarium, Indo-American Society- all in Mumbai; Andhra University (Vishakapatnam), Vishwa Bharati University (Shantinekatan), Bangalore Education School Board, J Krishnamurti Schools in Rishi Valley, Bangalore, Chennai, Varanasi, etc.
                                                                                                                                                    In USA, Dr. Ashar has conducted classes and seminars at Penn State Univ., East Stroudsburg Univ. (PA), Athens Univ., OH, Stevens Inst. of Technology, NJ, Vedanta Society in Hollywood , CA,  Cerritos College, Cerritos, CA, etc.

During his recent visits to India and Singapore since 2002,  Dr. Ashar has conducted several seminars and workshops at various institutions. Some among these are National Singapore University, Univ. of Bombay, various faculties at Somaiya Vidyavihar, Indian Planetary Society, S. P. Jain Institute of Mgmt, etc., all in Mumbai;  Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Gujarat Univ., Ahmedabad, Various Amrita Institutes of Education (from high school to University levels) in Kerala;  Amrita Vishwa VidyaPeetham in Coimbatore, TN; Amrita Institutes of Computer Technology; Bangalore University, Mysore Univ., Bharathiyar Univ (Coimbatore), Indian Space Research Org. (ISRO), IIM Bangalore,  Satyam Computers Corp, (Bangalore), etc.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Subject: [SamskritaBharati_SFBayArea] Family Camp, Special Shloka Class and Grand Ramayana Play


Samskrita Bharati would like to bring to your notice the following  announcements. Please forward to your friends.

A) <b>July 1-4 Samskritam Family Camp in Sausalito</b>

<b>Ideal for families to relax, learn samskritam and have fun in a  natural setting similar to our ancient Gurukula. Camp fees cover  cabin-lodging for four days, vegetarian food (breakfast, lunch and  dinner) and class handouts/books. Instruction and other activities  are provided at NO COST.</b>

The cabin site can accommodate ONLY 75 registrants including  children. Limited number of slots are still available. Please  register soon.

Different levels of classes (beginner to advanced)
Special classes for children
Hiking, games, campfire and evening entertainment programs
Yoga, praaNaayaama and meditation sessions
Sessions on special topics and Satsang
Faculty includes Prof Kutumba Sastri, VC of Rashtriya Samskrt
Samsthan in India

<b>Haimavatii-samskrita-shibiram in Sausalito, CA
(10 miles north of San Francisco, CA)
Sat July 1 through Tue July 4
For registration and other details

B) Other announcements:

1) Pilot Shloka Class for Children - 6 Sundays from June 18 500pm to 530pm via Conference Call

To register your children for this unique shloka class, write to  samskritabharati@yahoo.com or visit our website

2) Registration/Audition for Grand Ramayana Play by Children A unique Ramayana play is being organized as part of Hindu Sangam – a day-long program (Sat Sep 9) to showcase the unity and cultural richness of Hindu diaspora in the Bay Area.

To register, please go to

Important Dates:
Second and final audition - June 18, 2006

3) Save the date -- Sat Sep 9, 2006
Hindu Sangam 2006
Jointly coordinated by more than 40 Hindu Organizations

Samskrita Bharati Volunteer Group<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>NRI grooms tortured and fleeced by Indian brides</b>
Monday July 24 2006 00:00 IST
After a year of his marriage in 2003, Jatinder who married Seema (names changed) returned to India from California at his wife's nagging, unaware that he was landing into deep trouble. At his in-laws' house, he was drugged, threatened at gunpoint, imprisoned illegally for weeks, forced to pay $60,000 and forced to apply for visas for the rest of Seema's family, according to his complaint with US immigration authorities. After his family in the US informed FBI in New Delhi and Delhi Police, he was freed.

How an Indian bride cheated and harassed New York's renowned Ambati family has set a new, low standard for rotten NRI marriages. Well known for their social and community service with donations in thousands of dollars, the Ambati family was harassed by their daughter-in-law, Archana, just four months after her marriage in 1995. Archana accused her husband, Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, and his family of demanding Rs.50,000 ($1,200) in dowry and mental and physical abuse, right on the day they were due to be honoured with a major award during a visit to Andhra Pradesh.

Instead of the celebration, they were taken into custody under section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code. Dragging for four years, the case reached the Supreme Court. In 1996, the court dismissed all charges, but Archana appealed. During the trial, the Ambatis produced an audiotape in which Archana's father, Nanda, demanded US $500,000 to drop all the charges.

Although the prosecution opposed this evidence, the court in February 1999 admitted this evidence. Archana then wrote to the ministers for Home Affairs and Law & Parliamentary Affairs that she was "unconditionally withdrawing" all charges against the Ambati family.

The Ambatis paid a high price as they were separated for three years, and eminent physician Dr. B. Ambati, Jayakrishna Ambati's brother, lost two years of his professional career in addition to financial losses and mental trauma.

These are just two of thousands of cases of NRI grooms who are cheated, defrauded, hounded and extorted by Indian brides who manipulate the highly biased dowry laws of India. Conniving Indian brides who make false complaints under IPC 498A, torture not just the grooms but also their parents, siblings and the extended families.

The coy Indian bride, has undergone a sinister makeover. The educated girl gets married to an unsuspecting NRI groom for reasons other than holy matrimony. The 'underground' reasons for marriage include: supporting her family in India by transferring large sums of money from her husband's earnings; nagging her husband for obtaining a Green Card or immigration to the rich countries for her parents or siblings, filing a divorce in the new country as soon as possible to settle down on her own or with her boyfriend, claiming huge sums of money by filing false dowry harassment charges, among others.

Filing a non-bailable dowry case under IPC 498A is easier than ordering a meal. But while a restaurant can refuse service, the police normally arrest the groom and the in-laws. While the Indian media is flooded with reports of dowry-related bride torture, it hardly mentions the horrific cases of suffering husbands at the hands of cunning wives.

After matters reached a critical stage, a police unit for the grievances of the husbands was formed, but it is far short of the response required. Thus many vocal groups of so-called 498A Victims have been formed over the Internet with websites, blogs and web groups to highlight their horror stories, lists of victims and help and advice for men in this dire situation.

NRI husbands are at a further disadvantage in this scenario. A travel warning on "Dowry/Visa Demands" by the US Department of State at http://travel.state.gov warns: "A number of U.S.-citizen men who have come to India to marry Indian nationals have been arrested and charged with crimes related to dowry extraction. Many of the charges stem from the U.S. citizen's inability to provide an immigrant visa for his prospective spouse to travel immediately to the United States.

"The courts sometimes order the U.S. citizen to pay large sums of money to his spouse in exchange for the dismissal of charges. The courts normally confiscate the American's passport, and he must remain in India until the case has been settled." Sometimes, the parents are also kept in jail. And the cases drag on, and on in courts. The complicated Indian administrative machinery is greased by bribes and NRIs are not adept at this game.

A Ministry of Overseas Indians booklet warning about NRI husbands defrauding their newly-wedded wives queered the pitch against NRIs, resulting in a vitriolic response as it paints all NRIs in a very negative manner. An article about this problem in this column had a similar reaction from scores of NRIs and the 498A victims.

NRI marriage dreams can turn into nightmares - both for wives and husbands.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->'All Asians are not terrorists'
[ 15 Aug, 2006 0312hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

LONDON: Nearly 100 hours after the world?s worst terrorist plot since 9/11, Britain?s harried Hindus and Sikhs are almost fit to burst with a cache of dangerously incendiary questions, many are calling with alliterative analytical insight ?the troubling 10?.

The Troubling 10 include these three divisive, if legitimate, questions:

1. Is it not unfair that British Hindus and Sikhs be subject to racial profiling by UK police and security services just because 23 alleged terrorists, mostly Pakistani Muslims, have been arrested in the alleged conspiracy to detonate liquid bombs on trans-Atlantic airliners flying from Heathrow?

2. What training will the British authorities now provide airport security and police to prevent Hindus and Sikhs facing the stigma that comes from being brown and British?

3. Why are British police not providing high-visibility security to Hindu temples and Sikh gurdwaras amid growing fears of a backlash by white vigilante youths, who may be unaware that UK Hindus and Sikhs are not part of the Muslim community and have no part in Thursday?s alleged conspiracy?

The three questions, posed by Ramesh Kallidai, secretary-general of the umbrella Hindu Forum of Britain, on phone to TOI on Monday, are increasingly seen to be at the heart of officially multi-cultural Britain's raging headache over categorising and containing its huge multi-national, multi-religious brown community that has so far been lumped with the omnibus label ?British Asian?.

Kallidai is emphatic that UK?s Hindus and Sikhs, collectively estimated at more than one-million, are "deeply resentful" in the aftermath of Black Thursday.

Accordingly, the Hindu Forum and Sikh organisations, including the politically-savvy Sikh Federation, have been conducting regular meetings with London?s Metropolitan Police.

In a sign that Britain?s Hindus are increasingly fearful about the risk because of their skin colour, the Hindu Forum has detailed the head of its security committee, Arjun Vekaria, to liaise with senior police officer David Mortimer.

The aim, say Hindu and Sikh leaders, is to put a credible distance between their communities and Muslims. They say they are increasingly frustrated by the police?s lackadaisical response to high-profile policing of their temples and community centres.

Pundits and policy-makers say the Hindu and Sikh resentment portends yet another fragmentation of Britain?s already chequered, fractured and divided ?multi-cultural? society.

But Kallidai is emphatic it is right for Hindus and Sikhs to firmly part ways from the Muslims, in a portentous development 33 days after Britain?s Hindus launched their first official attempt to lobby the government for separate categorisation.

He is blunt about British police?s allegedly woeful failure to address Hindu and Sikh frustrations. "Soon after the terror plot was foiled, the police mounted a security detail at mosques, but not at Hindu temples and gurdwaras. Why was this the case? Are we not at risk as well, perhaps more so and for no fault of our own?

"We cannot bear to hear that British Asians are of terrorist persuasion," he declared, "it is not Asians, it is Muslims. How many Hindu and Sikh terrorists have been unmasked since 9/11?"

As the anguished questions are fired back and forth, British Hindu leaders pose the last and most telling of The Troublesome 10: The white community is now asking for white mothers to be spared the checking of baby milk at airports because it is Asians who are suspect.

Well, we repeat, it isn?t Asians but Muslims. Why are Hindu and Sikh mothers not spared baby milk checks as well? Tell us what we should do to emphasise we are not part of the group of brown British terror suspects?

But for this, as for other questions, there may be no answer.

Allen calls an Indian 'macaca'
What the hell is wrong with this Senator? Studied at Harvard under Witzel?

Added later. Came in email.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->On Friday, Republican Senator George Allen sank to a new low. At a campaign stop the senator singled out the only non-white member of the audience—S.R. Sidarth, a young Indian-American volunteering for his opponent and called him "macaca" (a racial slur meaning 'monkey'). 1 He went on to say, "welcome to America." As it happens, Mr. Sidarth was born and raised in Virginia.

Republicans have used racism to try to win over voters for decades, but this kind of pandering has absolutely no place in our politics. That's why we're standing with Color of Change to ask the Republican National Committee to withdraw support from Sen. Allen. We need to send a strong message that America won't tolerate bigotry.

Can you sign the petition and add your voice? <b>You can sign and watch video of the incident on this page:</b>


The sting of Sen. Allen's words upset me personally, and I'd hoped to see his colleagues in Washington censure him for this display of bigotry. But just yesterday, Senator John McCain stood with him at a town hall meeting. Race-baiting continues to be a time-tested tradition for the Republican party in the South. And it's got to stop.

This is our opportunity—hundreds of thousands of us standing together will make a major statement to our elected officials and the media. I'll deliver these comments to the Republican National Committee when we reach 250,000—we're aiming for the end of the week.

Unfortunately, this isn't the first incident of its kind. Sen. Allen—who's a contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008—has a long history of demeaning minorities. Here are just a few examples of his racial hostility. 2
He used to display a noose—hanging from a tree—in his law offices.
When running for governor he admitted to displaying the confederate flag in his home.
As governor, he proclaimed April as "Confederate Heritage and History Month" and issued a proclamation calling the civil war "a struggle for independence and sovereign rights" (the statement did not condemn slavery).
He opposed the creation of a holiday commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr.
All of this would be bad enough if Senator Allen were a small-time politician. But he's running in one of the key Senate races, and currently, he's ahead.

The media is watching this story closely and you can help show that ordinary Americans are ready to stand up for each other when a powerful man uses race to divide us. Can you sign the petition today?


Thanks for all you do,


1. "'Macaca' or 'Macaque'," Jefferey Feldman at MyDD, Monday, August 14, 2006

2. "George Allen's Race Problem," The New Republic, April 27, 2006
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Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>How NRIs, PIOs can buy land in India</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-Viren+Aug 18 2006, 10:56 PM-->QUOTE(Viren @ Aug 18 2006, 10:56 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Allen calls an Indian 'macaca'
What the hell is wrong with this Senator? Studied at Harvard under Witzel?

His bid to Presidentship is now in drain.
One racist is exposed.
<!--emo&:ind--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/india.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='india.gif' /><!--endemo--> Blast 'em! Rage grips NRIs

Meeta Chaitanya

July 19, 2006

Que sera sera it wasn't for Indian-Americans here. As jolting news of the Mumbai train blasts filtered through local and international news channels in serene living rooms all across Atlanta, all of last week, reactions ranging from irate diatribe to heart-felt grief gripped the Diaspora.

It isn't remiss to say that the 'desi' abroad is more in tune with the vibrations of his/her homeland than some of his relatives actually living that reality.

In happier times, this is because he misses home. In times like these, sadly it is because he misses his family and friends being home!

Echoing this sentiment, Prashant Shah, a Mumbaikar who works as a project manager for a leading software firm here says, "What is being championed as the spirit of Bombay is nothing but the helplessness of people trying to make ends meet.

The common man doesn't have the choice to not travel by local trains. It is so easy for politicians to go a-visiting to hospitals in crisp white kurtas and sarees giving away a dismal 'package' of a lakh per family.

How about cleansing their own consciousness which is the biggest culprit of all? I'd also like to know where Mr Aamir Khan is these days. Was the Narmada Bachao Andolan more pertinent to him than these mindless killings? Where is the film industry for that matter? Surely not on the streets of Mumbai."

Shah, who has family living in Mahim, Mumbai is not alone in his anger and distress.

The tragic loss of over 200 lives in the serial blasts that rocked Mumbai is being felt ever so keenly by the community here and people across the metro are converging informally and formally to condemn the dastardly act as also to show solidarity with their countrymen.

Home to nearly 70,000 Indians, metro Atlanta has many NRIs whose connection with Mumbai is intrinsic.

Needless to say, with the news of the blasts, even those that are not from Mumbai or even India are affected.

Innumerable instances have been cited by people who have had American and Chinese co-workers show express concern at the tragedy. The constant refrain on their lips seems to be "Oh! You're from India…hope all's okay in Mumbai?"

Knowing that to be a far cry, Mumbai natives ended up on jammed phone and internet telephony lines last Tuesday, when they tried to call home to see if their families were safe.

People in Atlanta had not heard from their loved ones for nearly two days following the blasts.

While the city of 17 million grapples with the gory aftermath, Indian organisations such as India American Cultural Association (IACA) and VHPA are holding prayer meetings as a token of their empathy and concern.

Prayer meeting for the victims of Mumbai and Kashmir blasts was held by the IACA at 5.30 pm on Sunday, July 16, at the IACA center, Smyrna.

The sombre gathering was open to all and organizers freely relayed their contact numbers on local websites and news sources for any additional information.

Similarly, the 7/11Condolence meeting for those who died in Bomb blast in India was organized by Vishwa Hindu Parishad's Atlanta chapter. Held at the Impact centre, Global Mall, Norcross GA on Wednesday, July 12th at 7.30 pm, this meeting too was organized to condemn the killings of innocent people.

Those who could not make it to such prayer meetings, stood united against acts of terrorism by taking the other popular propaganda route- blogging for justice. Several Indians have been busy burning the proverbial midnight lamp in order to make their comments seen and heard across personal and media websites.

Asmita Saxena, a local medical student is not temperately inclined. Says she, "The contrast with which Israel deals with terrorism and the way India shields its terrorists is abysmally obvious at such times.

Barely a week after the attacks it is already becoming a fading news piece. To add insult to injury, mindless shielding of organizations as SIMI that impact vote-bank numbers in spite of their obvious criminal past and communal moorings is inexplicable and intolerable."

While their words may be different, the sentiments rippling through thinking-feeling Indians everywhere are the same. Everybody wants retribution.

Before quickly slipping back to Krrish mania, Miss Universe and Zizou antics the nation without boundaries is obviously calling for a firm clasp on the North Western frontier.

And while ideological rhetoric may not be the most sensible way to deal with it, it is time India said unequivocally: the lives that were lost aren't a lost cause.

Traveling exhibit seeks to replace misconceptions about Hinduism



By Vivek Wadhwa

Are Indians the Model Immigrants?

A BusinessWeek.com columnist and accomplished businessman, Wadhwa shares his views on why Indians are such a successful immigrant group

They have funny accents, occasionally dress in strange outfits, and some wear turbans and grow beards, yet Indians have been able to overcome stereotypes to become the U.S.’s most successful immigrant group. Not only are they leaving their mark in the field of technology, but also in real estate, journalism, literature, and entertainment. They run some of the most successful small businesses and lead a few of the largest corporations. Valuable lessons can be learned from their various successes.

According to the 2000 Census, the median household income of Indians was $70,708—far above the national average of $50,046. An Asian-American hospitality industry advocacy group says that Indians own 50% of all economy lodging and 37% of all hotels in the U.S. AnnaLee Saxenian, a dean and professor at University of California, Berkeley, estimates that in the late 1990s, close to 10% of technology startups in Silicon Valley were headed by Indians.

You’ll find Indian physicians working in almost every hospital as well as running small-town practices. Indian journalists hold senior positions at major publications, and Indian faculty have gained senior appointments at most universities. Last month, Indra Nooyi, an Indian woman, was named CEO of PepsiCo (PEP ) (see BusinessWeek.com, 8/14/06, "PepsiCo Shakes It Up").

A MODEST EXPLANATION. Census data show that 81.8% of Indian immigrants arrived in the U.S. after 1980. They received no special treatment or support and faced the same discrimination and hardship that any immigrant group does. Yet, they learned to thrive in American society. Why are Indians such a model immigrant group?
In the absence of scientific research, I’ll present my own reasons for why this group has achieved so much. As an Indian immigrant myself, I have had the chance to live the American dream. I started two successful technology companies and served on the boards of several others. To give back, I co-founded the Carolinas chapter of a networking group called The Indus Entrepreneurs and mentored dozens of entrepreneurs.

Last year, I joined Duke University as an executive-in-residence to share my business experience with students (see BusinessWeek.com, 9/14/05, "Degrees of Achievement") and research how the U.S. can maintain its global competitive advantage (see BusinessWeek.com, 7/10/06, "Engineering Gap? Fact and Fiction").

1. Education. The Census Bureau says that 63.9% of Indians over 25 hold at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with the national average of 24.4%. Media reports routinely profile graduates from one Indian college—the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). This is a great school, but most successful Indians I know aren’t IIT graduates. Neither are the doctors, journalists, motel owners, or the majority of technology executives. Their education comes from a broad range of colleges in India and the U.S. They believe that education is the best way to rise above poverty and hardship.

2. Upbringing. For my generation, what was most socially acceptable was to become a doctor, engineer, or businessperson. Therefore, the emphasis was on either learning science or math or becoming an entrepreneur.

3. Hard work. With India’s competitive and rote-based education system, children are forced to spend the majority of their time on their schooling. For better or for worse, it’s work, work, and more work for anyone with access to education.

4. Determination to overcome obstacles. In a land of over a billion people with a corrupt government, weak infrastructure, and limited opportunities, it takes a lot to simply survive, let alone get ahead. Indians learn to be resilient, battle endless obstacles, and make the most of what they have. In India, you’re on your own and learn to work around the problems that the state and society create for you.

5. Entrepreneurial spirit. As corporate strategist C.K. Prahalad notes in his interview with BusinessWeek’s Pete Engardio (see BusinessWeek.com, 1/23/06, "Business Prophet"), amidst the poverty, hustle, and bustle of overcrowded India is a "beehive of entrepreneurialism and creativity." After observing street markets, Prahalad says that "every individual is engaged in a business of some kind—whether it is selling single cloves of garlic, squeezing sugar cane juice for pennies a glass, or hauling TVs." This entrepreneurial sprit is something that most Indians grow up with.

6. Recognizing diversity. Indians hold many ethnic, racial, gender, and caste biases. But to succeed, they learn to overlook or adapt these biases when necessary. There are six major religions in India, and the Indian constitution recognizes 22 regional languages. Every region in the country has its own customs and character.

7. Humility. Talk to almost any immigrant, regardless of origin, and he will share stories about leaving social status behind in his home country and working his way up from the bottom of the ladder in his adopted land. It’s a humbling process, but humility is an asset in entrepreneurship. You learn many valuable lessons when you start from scratch and work your way to success.

8. Family support/values. In the absence of a social safety net, the family takes on a very important role in Indian culture. Family members provide all kinds of support and guidance to those in need.

9. Financial management. Indians generally pride themselves on being fiscally conservative. Their businesses usually watch every penny and spend within their means.

10. Forming and leveraging networks. Indians immigrants found that one of the secrets to success was to learn from those who had paved the trails (see BusinessWeek.com, 6/6/05, "Ask for Help and Offer It").

Some examples: Successful Indian technologists in Silicon Valley formed an organization called The Indus Entrepreneurs to mentor other entrepreneurs and provide a forum for networking. TiE is reputed to have helped launch hundreds of startups, some of which achieved billions in market capitalization. This was a group I turned to when I needed help.
Top Indian journalists and academics created the South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA) to provide networking and assistance to newcomers. SAJA runs journalism conferences and workshops, and provides scholarships to aspiring South-Asian student journalists.

In the entertainment industry, fledgling filmmakers formed the South Asian American Films and Arts Association (SAAFA). Their mission is the promotion of South Asian cinematic and artistic endeavors, and mentoring newcomers.

11. Giving back. The most successful entrepreneurs I know believe in giving back to the community and society that has given them so much opportunity. TiE founders invested great effort to ensure that their organization was open, inclusive, and integrated with mainstream American society. Their No. 1 rule was that their charter members would give without taking. SAJA officers work for top publications and universities, yet they volunteer their evenings and weekends to run an organization to assist newcomers.

12. Integration and acceptance. The Pew Global Attitudes Project, which conducts worldwide public opinion surveys, has shown that Indians predominantly hold favorable opinions of the U.S. When Indians immigrate to the U.S, they usually come to share the American dream and work hard to integrate.

Indians have achieved more overall business success in less time in the U.S. than any other recent immigrant group. They have shown what can be achieved by integrating themselves into U.S. society and taking advantage of all the opportunities the country offers.

Wadhwa, the founder of two software companies, is an Executive-in-Residence/Adjunct Professor at Duke University. He is also the co-founder of TiE Carolinas, a networking and mentoring group.
Any experience in getting PIO card in US? .
Please let me know how to avoid delays, unnecessary paper works and clueless Embassy staff on phone as they are completely useless and give wrong information?

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