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|COMMUNITY NEWS BRIEFS: April 2011
Inner Engineering: Isha Foundation's Upcoming Yoga Program
Warriors, Mavericks: Baseball, Meet Bollywood
March Against Corruption
Kolkata Memorial for PIOs
Inner Engineering: Isha Foundation's Upcoming Yoga Program
(Right): Sadhguru Vasudev
Isha Foundation will present 'Inner Engineering,' a two-day online and in-person program for self-empowerment and personal growth that is derived from the ancient science of yoga. The event is scheduled to be held at the Marin Center Exhibit Hall on April 30 and May 1, according to a press release from the organizers.
Inner Engineering’s initial online course followed by an intensive 2-day in-person experiential program is formulated to develop heightened perception and control over even the subtlest aspects of one’s life, opening up the possibility of living life to one’s fullest potential.
For the very first time in 25 years, Sadhguru Vasudev, the creator of Inner Engineering, will conduct the in-person Shambhavi Mahamudra program in this specially constructed 2-day format.
Sadhguru Vasudev is a yogi, profound mystic and visionary humanitarian. Named one of
India’s 50 most influential people, he has addressed prominent global forums such
as the World Economic Forum and the United Nations on issues as diverse as leadership,
sustainability, socio-economic development and personal transformation. Through
his flagship program, Inner Engineering, Sadhguru has helped millions of people realize their ultimate potential.
Isha Foundation is a non-religious, not-for-profit, public service organization, which addresses all aspects of human well-being. From its powerful yoga programs for inner transformation to its inspiring projects for society and the environment, Isha activities are designed to create an inclusive culture that is the basis for global harmony and progress.
Interested readers can visit www.innerengineering.com/ready for more information and registration.
Warriors, Mavericks and Bollywood
(Above): Bhangra performers carrying the The Golden State Warriors flag at the Bollywood Night, Mar. 16, at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.
The Golden State Warriors recently celebrated "Bollywood Night" as they hosted the Dallas Mavericks on Mar. 16 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. Fans witnessed Bollywood dances, Indian food, and the first 19,000 were in for ‘got curry?’ t-shirts, a pun at the Warriors’ second-year guard Stephen Curry and traditional Indian-style food. The event was organized by the people behind the Warriors, which include Indian-born owner of the team, Vivek Ranadivé.
The festivities included special Bollywood entertainment throughout the evening. During the course of the evening, Indian food options will be available at various locations throughout Oracle Arena.
"I believe that basketball will be the sport of the 21st century. Soccer was the sport of the last generation, basketball will be the sport of the next generation. It can be played inside and it can be played outside. It can be played in rich countries and in poor countries. Indians love sports, Indians love to celerbate, and Indians love a good show," said Ranadivé.
The game itself was very challenging. Golden State Warriors led most of the way over the Dallas Mavericks side at halftime. However, the experienced Mavericks managed to pull off a 112-106 win.
March Against Corruption
(Above): Participants of Dandi March II at the venue of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in San Francisco.
The Dandi March II campaign against the current problem of corruption in India was recently completed at the Gandhi statue in San Francisco. Started as a 240-mile 15-day walk with a handful of volunteers on Mar. 12, the event gathered momentum with participants in 10 countries, 40 cities in India and 10 states in the United States. Indians across the globe, from Nagpur to New Jersey and Sydney to Seattle shouted in one voice to enact the Jan Lokpal bill and ratify UNCAC. The walk ended on Mar. 26 at the Gandhi statue in San Francisco.
The recent scams involving big amounts of money, such as the Commonwealth Games, Adarsh housing scam of Mumbai, the allocation of mining leases, and the 2G Spectrum scam which broke all previous records are well known.
It is estimated that more than half a trillion dollars are stashed away in foreign havens since 1948, while 80% of Indians earn less than $2 per day and every second child is malnourished, a release from the organizers pointed.
The release further adds that a team of six marchers walked 240 miles for 15 days irrespective of blistered feet, severe downpours, hot sun and cold weather dedicating each day of the walk to one section of society such as teachers, social activists, women, youth, farmers, armed forces, freedom fighters, etc., who are the building blocks of a nation. The last day of the walk was dedicated to India. Hundreds of NRIs and other local organizations supported this effort.
An open letter addressed to Indian Prime Minister’s office was released globally at every location. Later Jawahar Kambhampati, who was the initiator of the idea of Dandi March II, submitted a symbolic memorandum to Mahatma Gandhi to save country from corruption.
This effort now has support from the stalwarts in anti-corruption movement and other progressive groups in India such as Lok Satta Party (Jaya Prakash Narayan), India Against Corruption (Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal, New Delhi) , Save India From Corruption, People For Loksatta (USA), Youth For Better India (Hyderabad), The 5th Pillar (Vijay Anand, Chennai; Shobila Kali USA), Bharat Swabhiman (Baba Ramdev), Shankara Eye Foundation and Saaku (Bangalore). Towards the end all the supporters of the walk left with a pledge of not giving or taking a bribe for the rest of their life.
(Above): Mrs. Wisconsin Ami Ahuja
Ami Ahuja, the first Indian-American to have competed in the Mrs. Wisconsin Pageant, has walked away with three of the five major awards at the state level. As the reigning Mrs. Milwaukee, Ami’s conciliatory national awards include runner’s up; people's choice most photogenic; and judge’s choice most photogenic, according to a press release.
Ami, who is passionate about empowering women to achieve their dreams, said “It’s been my dream for 25 years as a child to participate in a pageant. I feel wonderful and more confident after making it real. I think every woman should be able to follow and live their dream.”
Kolkata Memorial for PIOs
(Above): Attendees from Reunion Islands and Mauritius at the inauguration of the Kolkata Memorial monument along with Dr. Thomas Abraham and Ashook Ramsaran of GOPIO International.
The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO International) announced that the Kolkata Memorial was inaugurated on Jan. 11, at Kidderpore Depot along the Hoogly river in Kolkata by Indian Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, Vayalar Ravi. Also in attendance were: India’s Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, MOIA secretary Dr. A Didar Singh; M.L. Meena, chairman of Kolkata Port Trust; and Mukul Roy, minister of state for shipping.
GOPIO International officers and other stalwarts were present at the inauguration including chairman Inder Singh, president Lord Rana, founder president and chairman emeritus Dr. Thomas Abraham, executive vice president Ashook Ramsaran, vice president for North America region Dr. Piyush Agrawal and several GOPIO chapter presidents including Jay Banerjei of Toronto.
The event was attended by a huge turn-out from several countries including Guyana, Trinidad, Surname, Guadeloupe, USA, Canada, UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Kenya, Fiji, Mauritius, Re-Union Islands, New Zealand, Australia and other many others countries where Indians and persons of Indian origin reside.
The Kolkata Memorial is inscribed with a memorial plaque (in English and Hindi) that pays tribute to those who left India as indentured Indian laborers from 1834 thru 1920. It depicts a recognition and remembrance of their journeys as Indian indentured laborers to faraway lands seeking better livelihoods for themselves and their descendants; for their pioneering spirit, determination, resilience, endurance and perseverance amidst the extremely harsh and demeaning conditions they encountered; for their preservation of sense of origin, traditions, culture and religion, and their promotion of the Indian culture; for their achievements and successes despite insurmountable odds.
The plaque is based on a proposal by Guyanese born Ashook Ramsaran, who along with Leela Sarup of Mauritius/Kolkata, made several trips to Kolkata and collaborated closely and continuously with the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs to draft the inscription and on the design of the plaque.
The Government of India accepted the proposal and proceeded to erect the memorial monument with the inscription plaque contained within the monument. The inscription on the plaque was taken directly from the proposal provided by Ashook Ramsaran who quite succinctly captured the shared sentiments of the descendants of those indentured laborers.
The inaugural was preceded by a commemorative luncheon hosted by the newly formed Global Indian Heritage Society (GIDHS) and GOPIO at the Oberoi Grand Hotel in Kolkata. In his remarks after the unveiling, Valayar Ravi said that the memorial is in remembrance of all Indian emigrants who passed through Kolkata seeking better lives elsewhere and reflects on their endurance and spirit of Indianness.
Many remarks were made by those attending from various countries, expressing their gratitude for the Kolkata Memorial as a symbol of their connection and roots in India. It is a long overdue tribute to those who took the risks on barely a promise, to their individual and shared sacrifices and their endurance that made it possible for their descendants to flourish with the spirit of Indianness that transcends time, and to their courage which become a living testament in so many lives.
In the speech preceding the presentation of the Pravasi Samman 2011 awards Jan. 9, President of India Pratibha Devisingh Patil remarked of the ‘steps to set up a memorial for indentured workers at Kolkata Port to mark the indomitable spirit of Indian emigrants.’ At the same ceremony, Valayar Ravi also praised the efforts that made the Kolkata Memorial a reality.
The inaugural and unveiling was a solemn event with the expected heartfelt emotions by so many who came from far off lands to witness this historic event.
After the unveiling, attendees from the various countries gathered at the memorial and praised the efforts of the Government of India for the recognition and remembrance of their ancestors who left those shores generations ago.
It was at times very emotional and there was singing with fervor unmatched in recent times. The delegations from Mauritius and Re-Union Islands sang familiar songs, expressing their gratitude for their presence and participation at the inauguration and unveiling with meaningful significance to all of them.
The Kolkata Memorial project has meaningful significance to millions of descendants of those who left India as indentured Indian laborers from 1834 thru 1920. The plan to begin with the installation of the inauguration plaque on January 11, 2011 followed by the memorial museum and resource center, has been received with overwhelming emotional sentiments and enthusiastic support from all corners of the global Indian diaspora, in particular from persons of Indian origin (PIOs) in destination countries where Indian indentured laborers emigrated from 1834 thru 1920.
The message of the Kolkata Memorial should be disseminated to as many as possible to inform others as well as generate support for its museum and resource center plans, the release added.