Thursday, November 30, 2006


In keeping with its legacy of offering innovative products,, the world’s No.1 independent online money transfer portal, has launched a first of its kind product, Rupee Express. Rupee Express helps you send money to India online.
The customer can fix the INR amount to be sent to the beneficiary, thereby fixing the exchange rate at the time of the booking of the remittance transaction. Between 25-30% of the NRI money transfer goes towards payment of loans, insurance premiums, house rent, etc. in terms of EMIs or fixed rupee denomination amounts.
Earlier, NRIs would send an estimated foreign currency amount, depending on the indicative exchange rate displayed at the time of booking the transaction. However, the exchange rate which would be finally applied was that on the day of conversion of funds, typically on the 3rd working day. With Rupee Express, the overseas Indian can pay the exact EMI rupee amount for his loans or premiums as well as guard himself against any exchange rate fluctuations. T
his product further enhances the existing Guaranteed Exchange Rate product at Currently, Rupee Express supports only USD currency for all its transactions done via- automated clearing house system of the US. Additionally, customers can track the status of their transaction online or on SMS Alerts facility. “Rupee Express marks yet another pioneering service in the industry. We are committed towards offering differentiated services customized to the needs of our NRI customers,” Suresh Rangarajan, Chief Operating Officer, TimesofMoney, said.


The Greater Manchester Police (GMP) force has won an award for coming to the rescue of the small Kerala-origin community that had become the target of sustained racist attacks in recent months.
The victims were mainly nurses and their families hailing from Kerala who had come to work at the Wythenshawe Hospital in 2000. The small community settled around the hospital, but soon became victims of racist attacks.
In one attack, a girl's hair was set on fire, while the husband of a nurse working at the hospital was attacked at his house. The unnamed victims have recounted their tales to the local media in Manchester.The husband of the nurse said: "I was sitting with my 18-month-old son on my knee when someone smashed my window with a rock, showering us with glass. My son was so upset he screamed and didn't stop crying for an hour. A week later, it happened again."
A nurse said: "We have had our car windows smashed, and fireworks and eggs thrown at the house. One of my friends' daughters was targeted by people who tried to put matches to her hair."We came here to help people. We are not illegal immigrants. We pay tax and work at the hospital, but we are too afraid to leave our house after dark.
"However, the local police, housing and council officials took these acts seriously. They organised 'open days' at the hospital and encouraged members of the Kerala community to become involved against the drive against racism.A race incident steering group was set up, uniformed police patrols were increased and spy cameras were installed. A number of people were charged and anti-social behaviour orders were imposed on the culprits.
Reports from Manchester say that police figures now show that the number of incidents has dropped "significantly". The team formed to tackle the problems has now won the 2006 "diversity in action award" from the magazine Police Review.Paul Goggins, MP for Wythenshawe, told the Manchester Evening News: "As the community has become more diverse, this has called for leadership and a sensitive response from local police. This award underlines how successful the police have been."


Montreal - Indo-Canadians should stop trading the community's fabled ability to mobilize mass grassroots support for particular candidates in return for patronage rewards, a prominent B.C. Liberal activist has told party members in an open letter. Instead, Indo-Canadian political organizers should use the community's clout to have a greater influence on policy, Sukhi Sandhu argued in a letter he acknowledged might anger community members. Sandhu, active in West Coast politics, said there is ''unprecedented'' Indo-Canadian involvement in the eight-person Liberal leadership race that concludes here Saturday.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


National Security Advisor MK Narayanan stated on Wednesday that the investigations into the blasts in Mumbai local trains were over and they had clearly established the involvement of Pakistan-based terrorist groups. (MORE...)


Ask Canadian author John Ralston Saul about the rise of India, and he promptly corrects you: "The re-rise, you mean." He says for millennia, Indian civilisation has been dealing with complexities with methods of its own."It has come so far by drawing upon itself and moving at its own pace. It is probably the only post-colonial state that has survived without a coup d'etat or an economic collapse," says Saul. And now India is rewriting the rules of globalisation.
In India to promote his latest book, The Collapse of Globalism, Saul, an economic historian, blames the collapse of globalism on the rise of India and China in a manner that defies the rules as defined by the West. "The economic idea behind globalism and globalisation comprised a deter ministic belief in the weakening of the state and the ascendancy of the market, which would take economics out of the purview of the state. We see none of this taking place in India or China. They are, in fact, rebuilding the nationstate," says Saul.
India's young demographics, says Saul, are more promising than China's, which are already ageing. India has first-rate institutions — judiciary, free press and democracy "however flawed".
Saul asserts that although India's rise is impressive, for this growth to last, it has to be more inclusive. At the moment, there are some successful sectors, a small percentage of people growing richer and some expanding cities.
But wealth has not spread to the vast majority of the population. And herein lies India's challenge. "Historically, the rich states of today set off on a path of economic growth only when they began to invest in infrastructure and education for all," he says.
Only when wealth is fairly well spread out does the wealth of a nation solidify to form a strong base for further growth. "A healthy, well-educated, well-to-do population is the best wealth-creating tool a country can have," he says.
Does Saul agree with the possibility of an emerging India-China duopoly? "It depends on how unstable the world becomes as India and China grow in importance. Perhaps they will end up as rivals. But, who knows, they may just cannily realise that their interests are best served through cooperation," he says.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Sydney (Australia): Queensland police in Australia have applied to a magistrate to approve the extradition of disgraced India-born surgeon Jayant Patel, dubbed 'Dr Death' by the media, from the US.
The move is seen as a major relief for Patel's victims who have accused the government of doing little to prosecute him. Patel's work as director of surgery at the Queensland hospital has been linked to at least 17 deaths and dozens of injuries.
He found himself at the centre of a medical scandal in early 2005 when he was accused of gross incompetence while working at Bundaberg Base Hospital in Queensland. Beryl Crosby, a spokesperson for the Bundaberg patients support group, said she was happy the fight to get Patel back to Australia had finally shown signs of coming to an end, according to the Australian newspaper.
"I'm feeling very relieved," she said. If extradited, Patel will face manslaughter charges involving patients who allegedly died as a result of his surgical error at the Bundaberg Base Hospital. Patel fled to America in March 2005, just a fortnight before it was revealed that he had deceived the Queensland Medical Board.
The Indian born surgeon is expected to fight the extradition proceedings because of his belief that he would not receive a fair trial in Australia, according to the newspaper. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) said the extradition was a complicated one and would take months. "It is not possible at this stage to anticipate how long the extradition process would take," she said in a statement.


Washington (US): In an effort to bridge the culture-security gap, a Sikh legal group and the US Homeland Security Department have devised a poster meant to help screeners through their interactions with the community.
The poster, which will be distributed to federal agencies across the country, shows photos of different kirpans, a ceremonial dagger that the Sikhs are required to always wear by their religion, reports said.
The centuries-old requirement has collided with beefed-up, post 9/11 rules that no longer allow people to leave legal weapons and other banned items with security guards working in such buildings as courthouses and federal offices.
In two-dozen cases in the last two years, Sikhs have been arrested, threatened with arrest or harassed in disputes with guards over the ceremonial kirpan, according to the Sikh American Legal Defence and Education Fund.
The poster shows kirpans ranging from a symbolic necklace some women wear to the more common three-to six-inch daggers as well as full swords. Sikhs often wear them under their clothing, bound to them by a cloth body holster.
The kirpan, one of five items Sikhs are required to wear, is meant as a reminder of the duty to uphold justice. Although Sikhs still can't take the wooden or steel-handled knives - which sometimes have blunted tips - into government buildings, the poster tells security workers how to navigate the situation.
"Respectfully ask if a Sikh is carrying a kirpan. If so, request to inspect the kirpan," the poster reads. "If a kirpan must be confiscated, explain the reason(s) and handle the kirpan with respect and care.
"Sikhs are accustomed to packing their kirpan in their luggage when they fly. Screeners also went through a similar education campaign after Sep 11 about the turbans Sikh men are required to wear. Turbans are often made of 20 feet of fabric and taking them off and putting them on are elaborate processes," said Manjit Singh, co-founder and chairman of the legal fund.
"For Sikh Americans, this is a huge and significant accomplishment," Singh said of the poster, which tells screeners to "show respect to all variations of faith".


Surrey (British Columbia): A popular Indo-Canadian artist has just completed a large outdoor mural in Surrey, British Columbia, depicting the infamous incident of 1914 when 376 Indian emigrants aboard the ship Komagata Maru were barred entry despite having valid passports.
The vessel sat in Burrard Inlet for weeks, with its human cargo deprived of food and water by authorities who hoped to weaken their resolve.
Passengers attempted to fight the racist immigration policies keeping them from shore, but all except a handful were ultimately deported two months after their arrival.
For Jarnail Singh, the mural was an important project - one he'd thought of doing when he migrated to Canada with his family six years ago."
"When I came here, I was thinking about doing a piece depicting the sacrifices and struggles of Indo-Canadian pioneers," Singh said. The painting, to be officially unveiled at an event Friday, measures 16 feet by 18 feet and covers two levels of the six-storey Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS) building, according to the PICS website.
"After nearly 100 years of that grave injustice, the passengers of the Komagata Maru will finally get a landing status in Canada," said Charan Gill, CEO of PICS.
According to Gill, the mural will symbolise Canada's journey from being an exclusionist society to one of the most culturally diverse and tolerant societies in the world today. PICS has been instrumental in raising awareness among Canadians about Komagata Maru and its passengers. In 1989, it organised a conference on race relations with the Komagata Maru incident as a main topic of discussion.


Ludhiana (Punjab): In his frenzy to go abroad, a middle-aged man allegedly set his wife on fire at Seelon Khurd, near Dehlon, today after she persistently refused to accept a “sham” divorce pact that could have enabled emigration to the man after marrying a woman based in a foreign country.
Amarjit Kaur suffered 90 per cent burns and had been admitted at the CMC Hospital in Ludhiana. The couple has an 11-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter.
According to Amarjit, her husband wanted her to sign papers for divorce by suggesting that it would be just on paper to facilitate his emigration after a second marriage.
The SSP, Jagraon, Mr R.K. Jaiswal, said the incident took place late in the afternoon but it was only in the statement of the woman made before a judicial magistrate at the hospital in the evening that the shocking act came to light. He said the woman’s statement could well be a dying declaration as her condition was very serious.
Meanwhile, the police has booked her husband Devinder Singh and parents-in-law under Section 307 of the IPC for attempting to murder the woman.


Vancouver (British Columbia): Some Air India families fear they will be shut out of significant parts of the judicial inquiry into the deadly 1985 bombing by a proposal allowing the hearings to move behind closed doors. (MORE...)

Air India Inquiry...

Air India Bombing...

Saturday, November 25, 2006


No, it's not cool to 'live fast and die young', in the same way that it is not cool to believe in 'sex, drugs and rock'n'roll' (bhangra in this case). Well, sex and bhangra is fine, but drugs... Nah! "Gangland style" slayings and shootings are becoming more common in the Indo-Canadian community.
They might be small players, but they get a lot of attention because they are so brazenly violent. These gangs get in shootout on the streets regularly, sometimes over as small as a dirty look. According to reports, the body count for the last six years alone numbers 60 youngsters. The number of kidnappings linked to the same criminal gangs doubled since 1999.
Well, it is also widely known that police have had limited success n solving violent crimes in the close-knit gang world. Bhupinder (Bindy) Singh Johal was an icon of indo-canadian organized crime before he was murdered in December, 1998. The profile of Indo-Canadian gangsters varies.
Some come from well-off families, while others are from poorer ones. Also, in most cases families are aware when a member is involved in a gang. Some turn a blind eye (after all more money gets one of those mega houses, right) while others call it destiny. How convenient. Ignore, blame it on fate and good night! But the story doesn't end here.
Months after the other, there is some family which bears the brunt of turning a blind eye. (of course, you knew it along when he got that fancy car and that mega house). Indo-Canadian crime groups are known to specialize in the transportation of marijuana, and the smuggling of South Asians into the United States.
In British Columbia, most of the gang related violence is happening in the South Asian community, according to the Integrated Gang Task Force (IGTF). The task force reports, “The majority of crimes are opportunistic – extortion, kidnapping, drug ‘rips,’ drug smuggling, homicides and violent acts.” And it suggests that the bad boys with the guns still adhere to traditional Sikh values of “image, status, reputation and respect.”
Fellow community member confirms this by saying that the guns and gangster attitude are a way to get respect. "I have been charged for assaults several times, but that hasnt stopped me from bashing an arrogant racist white guy for making a racist comment to a Desi”. What is it? Identity crisis? Inferiority complex? Frustration? Hatred? Insecurity?
Recently, a group of ten Indo-Canadian professionals, many of whom are social workers, after months of research and fact finding concluded that misguided family and cultural values are a chief cause of the disputes that have killed over 100 Indo-Canadian males, almost all in their 20s, in the last 15 years. Research by VIRSA, the Sikh Alliance Against Violence, shows that “gender inequality” and authoritarian parenting may help lead to the creation of gang culture. The studies show “many young boys killed in gang violence were either the only son or the first son in the family,” writes Harbans Singh Kandola, president of VIRSA.
Kandola says there is often poor communication between immigrant parents and their Canadian-raised offspring. “Children growing in western culture do not take orders, they ask for logical discussion and logical answers rather than decisions being forced on them.”
While not discounting the role of racism and the marginalizing of Indo-Canadians by mainstream society, there are many other causes for the continuing violence, including: The absence of emotional security and structure; the importance of status, reputation and image in South Asian culture; the loss of a moral compass and the acceptance of unethical means of pursuing and achieving power, money and status by some South Asian people.
So where are we heading? What can we do to prevent young Indo-Canadians from getting involved in gangs. The main proposal by the group of ten is the establishment of a broad-based, youth and family integration strategy, funded for its first five years by the federal government, to facilitate, coordinate and monitor the community response to youth violence.
Other recommendations include more community counseling, a help line, after-hours school programs aimed at Indo-Canadian youth and a parent education program to help people raise their children in a Canadian context. A final recommendation is for a media watchdog to monitor the role of the media in stereotyping Indo-Canadians.
Meanwhile, addressing the problem by facing it and admitting that there is a problem would greatly help too. Afterall, the roots lie at home, feed the nutrition of love and understanding and prevent these roots from bearing infected and posionous plant.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Remit2India has got good tidings for NRIs again. The world’s No. 1 independent online money transfer portal this time has an irresistible offer –which is not a singleton but a package of 3 – the awesome Triple Wow! Triple Wow has 3 huge offers in quick succession of one another, the first of them being the Money Mania scheme, wherein every customer gets guaranteed cash up to Rs. 5,000.
Over and above a customer winning guaranteed amount, the customer is eligible to walk away with 10 jackpot prizes of Rs. 10,000. And that’s not all! The customer also has an opportunity to win a bumper prize of Rs.50,000. All in all, Remit2India is giving away prizes worth over Rs. 25 lakhs.
Remit2India has created a credible standing in the market with some of the most exciting offers in the past, and Money Mania is another feather in the cap. According to a Remit2India spokesperson: “Money Mania lets every customer be an assured winner unlike a sweepstakes.” The Triple Wow promotion is designed considering and weighing all possible parameters clubbed in such a way to assure that the NRI as a customer get maximum mileage of all the efforts at Remit2India.


New York: A Los Angeles court has fined high-profile Indian yoga guru Bikram Choudhury for violating building safety norms at one of his studios. The court fined Bikram Choudhury's company Yoga Inc. more than $8,000 after the company pleaded no contest to the charges, including operating without a fire permit, failing to provide required parking for customers and operating the studio without a valid license.
In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped charges against Choudhury, the city attorney's office said. Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo charged Choudhury and his company in June with 10 criminal counts stemming from alleged safety violations at his La Cienega Boulevard Studio, according to Los Angeles Times.
Choudhury, 60, is the founder of 'Bikram Yoga', where practitioners perform a sequence of 26 postures twice in a room heated to between 100 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit. After pioneering what is believed to be the world's first yoga franchising operation, he made headlines last year for a legal fight over his claim to a copyright on the poses that would have prevented others from teaching his style. The dispute was ultimately settled. Choudhury was a national yoga champion in India during the 1970s.


LONDON: Indian-origin writer Kiran Desai has scooped the 50,000 pound Man Booker Prize with her second novel, The Inheritance of Loss' , a story rich with sadness about globalisation and with joy at the small surviving intimacies of Indian village life.
The 35-year-old author, daughter of well-known Indian novelist Anita Desai -- to whom The Inheritance of Loss is dedicated -- is the youngest woman to win the award, eclipsing the works of five other short-listed authors. “I didn't expect to win. I don't have a speech. My mother told me I must wear a sari... A family heirloom, but it's completely transparent,” Desai, said, while accepting the award at a ceremony at the Guildhall in London, Tuesday night.
After thanking her publisher, editor and agent, the student of creative writing at Columbia University in America added: I'm Indian and so I’m going to thank my parents. “To my mother I owe a debt so profound and so great, that this book feels as much hers as it is does mine. It was written in her company and in her wisdom and kindness in cold winters in her house... One minute isn't enough to convey it,” she said, after accepting the prize.
It is in sharp contrast to her mother's 40 years of writing experience. The elder Desai has won five different awards and written 14 novels three of which have been nominated for the Booker, the last in 1999. One was turned into the Merchant Ivory film In Custody . Desai came to live in England as a teenager for a year before moving to America.
The novel, which took eight years to write, draws on her experience of leaving India. It is set in the north-eastern Himalayas and New York, and is about an embittered old judge who wants to retire in peace. It interweaves his story with that of his orphaned teenage granddaughter, his cook and his dog.
Desai beat five other authors, including favourite Sarah Waters to win the 50,000-pound award. The other five books which had made it to the shortlist were Kate Grenville's The Secret River , M J Hyland's Carry Me Down , Hisham Matar's In the Country of Men , Edward St Aubyn's Mother's Milk and Sarah Waters's The Night Watch .
The Booker Prize is one of the most prestigious prizes in literature which aims to reward the best writing published in Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth. It has a prize of 50,000 pounds as well as the 2,500 pounds awarded to each of the six short listed authors.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006



Sohail Khan

Sneha Ullal

Fardeen Khan

Direction: Abhishek Kapoor

Once a boxer, always a boxer. But surely the film needed a little punch to prove this old jungle saying right. Ironically, Aryan is a completely 'thakela' film that almost puts you to sleep with its insipid ghoulash of college daze, teen pregnancy, Rambo-Rocky craze, rich-poor divide and mid-twenty's emotional haze.

Sohail Khan wants to be a fighter and dreams of ruling the ring. But his only problem is his love story which comes in the way. He becomes a husband and a dad even before he can become a star boxer. So naturally, the ring is set aside for a more sedate studio job as a sports journalist. A happy and humdrum life, he gets to sing a few songs with sweet little Sneha Ulla, who, hold your breath, is a wife and mother at 18-going-on-16.

But remember, he hasn't hung up his gloves yet. Soon it's time to test his pugilistic skills again. This time, he does it to re-discover his sagging self-esteem which seems to be threatened by something as inconsequential as a pretty, successful wife. Strange story. Strange film. Meant only for those who are imaginative enough to handle Sneha as a mom and wife.



John Abraham

Arshad Warsi

Linda Arsenio

Hanif Hum Gum

Direction: Kabir Khan

If debutant director Kabir Khan wanted to give the innovative cinema buff a taste of exotica, he somehow succeeded. For Kabul Express is a travelogue — rarely made in India — set in the badlands of Taliban country. Afghanistan has grabbed the headlines for so long now that any attempts to set up a camera there should be able to grab eyeballs. Yet, ironically, Afghanistan has been so much in the news now, that any attempt to go there and not get the real story — the war, the destruction, the resurgence of the Taliban, the American excesses — can only fill the viewer with a sense of loss.

If the filmmaker wanted to make a United 93 or a World Trade Centre — films which have successfully captured 9/11 and its aftermath — then his film on post 9/11 Afghanistan ends up as a mere docu-feature that skims through the rugged terrain and the terrible tales that hide within. Understandably, it would have been difficult to translate the murky politics of oil, American imperialism and Islamic fundamentalism on celluloid, but mere conversational references to contemporary history can hardly compensate for the real thing.

The film unfolds essentially as a road movie and Kabul Express is the name of the van which transports two Indian journalists (John and Arshad) in search of a good story through war ravaged Afghanistan. But other than a handful of sad-looking Pakistan soldiers and solitary shots of a decrepit tank, there is little to suggest the terror within. Unless you take the friendly Talibani, reluctantly wielding the AK 47 to be of the same fraternity as the one-eyed Mullah Omar and the bearded Mr Bin Laden.

Our friendly neighbourhood Taliban kidnaps the two journalists and hitches a ride to the border in their van. And along the way, he ends up singing Hindi film songs with them and sharing their cigarettes, apart from indulging in healthy debates on Imran Khan versus Kapil Dev. And to keep the politics more correct, there is the proverbial enemy — once again, the Pakistan army — who ends up even more inimical than the Americans.

The film has its moments, mostly sculpted around Arshad Warsi's deadpan humour which doesn't desert him even in the face of death. Of course, the hero of the show is Mr Taliban with his nice guy-bad reputation image, (he even carries a photo of his daughter and takes a detour to reunite with her) which leaves little room for histrionics from John Abraham and the 'firangi' female journalist. Both of them look totally lost in the film.


Indo-Canadians are Canadians whose origin traces back to the nation of India. The term Indian is not commonly used in Canada to describe people of ancestral origin from India since it has been used in the past and present to refer to the Aboriginals of Canada.
The term
East Indian is also used to distinguish people of ancestral origin from India, from the people of the Caribbean, who are sometimes referred to as West Indian. Most Indo-Canadians prefer, and many times will refer to themselves, as Indians more than East Indians. This is partially because many of them are immigrants who are used to being referred to as the internationally-used term.
However, because the term East Indian is not pejorative and is in widespread use in Canada, this term is accepted by Indo-Canadians. Another term,
NRI (non-resident Indian), is used by Indians in India to refer to Indians abroad, including Canada. According to Statistics Canada in 2001, there were 713,330 people who consider themselves as being Indo-Canadians. The main concentration of the Indo-Canadian population is centred in the Greater Vancouver Area and the Greater Toronto Area, however there are growing communities in Calgary, Edmonton and Montreal.



Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Vedic Study Circle of Windsor Ontario Canada

Arya Samaj Society of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Art Of Living Centers - Canada Vancouver Canada

West End Buddhist Centre (Halton-Peel Buddhist Society) Mississauga CanadaMississauga Meditation Groupnorth-central Mississauga, near 401 and Mavis 905/821-7000 ext. 221e-mail:
Profile: Started by Debbie McCubbin as a non-denominational co-operative meditation group Since 2002. Its activities include studying teachings, including Pema Chodron (Tibetan), Charlotte Joko Beck (Zen) and Jack Kornfield (Theravada), and others; meditation, study from videos, tapes and books, then have group discussion. Contact: Debbie McCubbinWebsite:

Canadian Tamils

Shiromani Sikh Society Toronto Canada

India-Canada Association Orleans Canada

BC Muslim Association Richmond CanadaB.C. MUSLIM SCHOOL12300 BLUNDELL ROADRICHMOND B.C.V6W 1B3


The High Level Committee on People of Indian Origin was told by large sections of the Diaspora about the need to prevent abuse of Indian women married to NRls/PIOs. The panel strongly recommend that a special cell should be created in the proposed new organisation to handle Diaspora issues with the mandate to assist in the provision of free legal counseling for the families of girls contemplating marriage to NRls/PIOs.
Such families should be advised to check the voter or alien registration card of such NRIs/PIOs, their social security number and tax returns for the preceding three years. The bridegroom should be asked to give them an affidavit stating his current marital status.
That document should be attached to the application for marriage registration. This should be a mandatory pre-requisite to the issuance of a marriage registration certificate. This procedure would considerably bring down cases of misinformation and fraudulent marriages.
The Committee has drawn strength from the Supreme Court decision in the case of Smt. Neeraja Saraph vs. Shri Jayant Saraph, where the court had suggested the need to consider legislation safeguarding the interests of women. It had suggested three specific provisions, namely,
(1) No marriage between an NRI and an Indian woman, which has taken place in India, may be annulled by a foreign court.
(2) Provision may be made for adequate alimony to the wife in the property of the husband both in India and abroad.
(3) The decree granted by Indian courts may be made executable in foreign courts both on the principle of comity and by entering into reciprocal agreements like section 4A of the Civil Procedure Code, which makes a foreign decree executable, as it would have been a decree passed by that court.
Check out this simplified version of Hindu Marriage Act.

As Amended by [Act No. 2 of 1978] An Act to amend and codify the law relating to marriage among Hindus.
(1) Short title and extent- Sec.1
This Act may be called the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
It extends to whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and applies also to Hindus who are residing abroad.

(2) Application of Act -Sec.2
This Act applies to those who are Hindus, Buddhist, Jaina or Sikh by religion, but not to Muslim, Chirstian, Parsi or Jew by religion. Their respective Acts governs them.
Explanation -The following persons are Hindu, Buddhists, Jainas or Sikhs by religion, as the case may be:
a. Any child, both of whose parents are Hindus, Buddhists, Jainas or Sikhs by religion.
b. Where only one of the parents is Hindu, the child only then will be considered as Hindu.
c. Any person who is a convert or re-convert to the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain or Sikh religion.

(3) Conditions for a Hindu Marriage- Sec.5
i. Neither party (husband or wife) has a spouse living at the time of marriage, otherwise he/she will be punished for bigamy;
ii. At the time of marriage, neither party:
a. Should be of unsound mind such that it incapacitates a person from giving a valid consent to marriage. It need not be continuous unsoundness of mind, it may exist just before the marriage.
b. Should be suffering from mental disorder which
i. Renders him/her unfit for marriage &
ii. Giving birth to child.
iii. Should be suffering from recurrent attacks of insanity or epilepsy even if curable.
iv. The bridegroom has completed the age of [twenty-one years] and the bride the age of [eighteen years] at the time of the marriage;
v. The parties to marriage should not be in a prohibited relationship for example brother/sister, aunt-nephew, uncle-niece, cousin etc, unless the custom allows. For example in Muslims, marriage between cousins is allowed.
vi. If any of the parties to the marriage is in direct degrees of ascent (upward relatives) within 5-generations to the other through the mother.

(4) Ceremonies for a Hindu marriage -Sec.7
(i) A Hindu marriage may be performed in accordance with the customary rites and ceremonies of one of the parties to marriage.
(ii) Where such rites and ceremonies include the saptapadi (that is, taking of seven steps by the bridegroom and the bride jointly before the sacred fire), the marriage becomes complete and binding when the seventh step is taken.

(5) Registration of Hindu marriage -Sec.8
Non registration of marriage does not effect the validity of a marriage, however for the sake of a proof, the marriage maybe registered within 15 days of the date of marriage.

(6) Restoration of the respective rights possessed by husband and wife -Sec.9
Marriage imposes a duty on both spouses to live with each other, the difference it makes to the lives of individuals is that parties will live together, however if one party refuses to live with the other, the latter can compel the former to live with him/her, by a legal process.

(7) Judicial separation Sec.10
An application for judicial separation can be filed on the same grounds on which application for divorce can be filed. Ordinarily, judicial separation either leads to reconciliation or to divorce. Judicial separation leaves the doors open to reconcile again. In judicial separation it is no longer obligatory for husband or wife to live together or cohabit. By the mutual consent of husband or wife the decree of the court of judicial separation can come to an end.

(8) Invalid Marriages -Sec.11
Any marriage can come to an end if it is in contravention of the conditions of the Hindu marriage Act-1955.
Note - Decree of divorce - Decree of nullity - carries the same meaning i.e. the relationship of marriage has been brought to an end by process of court by decree. AIR 1989 SC 1477.



Abhishek Bachchan - Jai Dixit

Hrithik Roshan - Aryan

Uday Chopra - Ali

Aishwarya Rai - Sunehri

Bipasha Basu - Shonali Bose

Rimi Sen - Sweety

Director : Sanjay Gadhvi

Producer : Yashraj Films

An explosive, adrenaline-pumping Dhoom 2 is what I expected, but what I got was more: A complete roller-coaster ride which left me completely enthralled and exhausted by the first half. Before I get to the questions you want answered, let me outline the story. Dhoom 2 opens to a robbery taking place in a train passing through a desert in Namibia, supposedly the world's oldest solitary railway line. And a breathtaking robbery it is, with Mr A aka Aryan (Hrithik Roshan) parachuting down on the train, and getting away in a captivating sequence. There are twists and turns in the second half, some expected, some not. Sure, there are faults when you stop to think rationally. But that does not stop you from being dazzled by the film. Men, women, kids, no matter who, the high-on-octane action sequences and racy chases will leave everyone panting. The subtly done special effects are another draw, making you want to take the roller-coaster once more.
OK, so let me now answer the questions uppermost on everyone's mind. Dhoom 1 or Dhoom 2? Dhoom 2, obviously. Ash or Bips? Errr, tough to call, honestly. Both are awesome. This is a Hrithik film, he simply takes over the film, effortlessly overshadowing Abhishek.

My verdict: Go see Dhoom 2 now, and get rocked.


Q: Who is non-resident Indian (NRI)?
Ans. An Indian Citizen who stays abroad for employment/carrying on business or vocation outside India or stays abroad under circumstances indicating an intention for an uncertain duration of stay abroad is a non-resident

Q. Can accounts be maintained by NRIs with any bank in India?
Ans. Banks holding authorised dealers' licences (i.e. banks authorised to deal in foreign exchange) or banks specifically authorised in this behalf by Reserve Bank can only maintain accounts in the names of NRIs.
Know about:

Q. Can NRIs invest their funds in Government securities or Units of Unit Trust of India (UTI)?Ans. Yes. NRIs are freely permitted to invest their funds in Government securities or Units of UTI through authorised dealers. Units can also be purchased directly from UTI.

Q. What is the Portfolio Investment Scheme?
Ans. Under this scheme, NRIs are permitted to acquire shares /debentures of Indian companies or units of domestic Mutual Funds through the stock exchange/s in India.


Passport, Visa Division of the Ministry of External Affairs is responsible for issuance of Indian visas to the foreign nationals for their visit for various purposes. This facility is granted through various Indian missions abroad.
Some Basic facts on Visa to India:

Passport valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of intended departure from India should accompany visa applications.

Paste one photo and staple the other one on the form at specified place.

Foreigners holding other nationalities (other than the country where applying for visa), should submit proof of long-term (at least three years)/ permanent residence in the country (where applying).

For citizen of other countries, a reference has to be made to their country of residence for which an additional fee is applicable and will involve extra processing time.

Following visas are available from the Indian missions abroad:


Is given for 6 months normally, rest specifically depends on the country of residence. The applicant is required to produce/submit documents in proof of his financial standing. Tourist travelling in groups of not less than four members under the auspices of a recognised travel agency may be considered for grant of collective tourist visa.

Business Visa is valid for one or more year with multiple entries. A letter from sponsoring organization indicating nature of business, probable duration of stay, places and organizations to be visited incorporating there in a guarantee to meet maintenance expenses, etc. should accompany the application.

Are issued for the duration of the academic course of study or for a period of five years whichever is less, on the basis of firm letters of admission from Universities/recognised colleges or educational institutions in India. Change of purpose and institutions are not permissible.

Are issued for a maximum period of 15-days with single/double entry facilities to bona-fide transit passengers only.

Are valid for single entry and duration as permitted by Government of India. A letter in triplicate from sponsoring organization indicating intended destination in India, probable length of stay, and nature of duties to be discharged should be submitted along with guarantee for applicant’s maintenance while in India.

Are issued to professional journalists and photographers for visiting India. The applicants are required to contact on arrival in New Delhi, the External Publicity Division of the Ministry of External Affairs and in other places, the Office of the Government of India's Press Information Bureaus.

Are issued for attending conferences/seminars/meetings in India. A letter of invitation from the organiser of the conference is to be submitted along with the visa application. Delegates coming to attend conferences may combine tourism with attending conferences

Are issued to skilled and qualified professionals or persons who are engaged or appointed by companies, organisations, economic undertakings as technicians, technical experts, senior executives etc. Applicants are required to submit proof of contract, employment, engagement of foreign nationals by the company or organisation.

The fee structure depends on the nationality of the passport holder and type/duration of

Visa applied. The existing fee structure is:

Transit Visa US

Visas with validity up to six months: $60.00
Visas with validity up to one year: $120.00

Visa fees indicated in US$ are payable in local currencies as well. Visa fees are not refundable except in cases where a visa already issued is cancelled thereafter.

Depends on the type of visa applied.


The duration of stay in India, for each visit on a tourist visa or business visa is only for a period of 6 months even though a valid visa may be for more than 6 months.

Visa is given for a period for which passport is valid. For example, if a passport is valid until April 30,2003 and an applicant is applying for 5 years visa on December 31,1999, the applicant will not be issued a 5 years visa as the passport expires before the 5 year visa.

Validity of all visas is counted from the date of their issue.

Tourist visa up to 5 years may be granted if the foreigner is connected with the tourism trade. If visa is for more than 180 days, registration is compulsory within 14 days of first arrival in India.

Extension of visa in Delhi-

MHA- Director (F), Lok Nayak Bhawan,

Ist floor, Khan market,
New Delhi-110003


Under the Tatkaal Scheme, passports would be issued on the payment of additional fee over and above the normal passport application fee. The additional fee in India for out-of-turn (Tatkaal) Passports would be as follows:

Fresh Passport
(i) Within 10 days of the date of Application Rs.1500/- plus the passport fee as applicable.

(ii) Within 11 to 35 working days of the date of Application Rs.1000/- plus the passport fee as applicable.

Duplicate Passport

(i) Within 10 days of the date of Application Rs.2500/- plus the passport fee as applicable.

(ii) Within 11-35 days of the date of Application Rs.1500/- plus the passport fee as applicable.

After expiry of validity

(i)Within 10 days of the date of Application Rs.1500/- plus the passport fee as applicable.

(ii) Within 11-35 days of the date of Application Rs.1000/- plus the passport fee as applicable.

Additional Booklet

(i) Within 10 days of the date Rs.1500/- plus the passport fee as applicable.

The ‘Tatkaal’ Scheme would only be applicable in cases where either the police verification report is not required (minors less than 15 years of age) or where a passport can be issued on post police verification basis (duplicate passport/re-issue of passport without change in address, Government servants with NOC and their spouses and applications with Verification Certificates).

Initially passports under the ‘Tatkaal’ Scheme would be granted in cases where there is a genuine urgency and would cover the following categories:

i. Patients requiring to go abroad for medical treatment or consultation (without any enhanced fee);

ii. Close relatives of a person residing abroad who is seriously ill or is in maternity confinement.

iii. In case of death abroad of a close relative (spouse, father, mother, children, children’s spouses, grand children, brothers and their spouses, and sisters and their spouses) of applicant (without any enhanced fee)

iv. Businessmen wishing to travel abroad urgently for trade conferences, trade fairs/exhibitions, export/import or seminars.

v. Students requiring a passport for appearing in examinations such as SAT (without any enhanced fee if the earnings of the parents/guardian of the student applicant is less than Rs.2000/- per month);

vi. Students going abroad to join foreign universities (without any enhanced fee if the earnings of the parents/guardian of the student applicant is less than Rs.2000/- per month);

vii. Spouse, parents, parents-in-law, children, brother, sister, brother-in-law and sister-in-law of individuals working abroad;

viii. Winners of promotional awards and schemes where foreign travel is a prize/incentive;

ix. Spouses of officials/passport holders going abroad availing of companion ticket;

x. Pilgrims and journeys for religious purposes;

xi. For marriage or honeymoon after marriage;

xii. Individuals wishing to go abroad to attend marriage of relatives such as children, grand children, brother, sister, niece or nephew.

xiii. For employment, project work, interviews, training, conferences, seminars and any other work in their professional capacity e.g. journalists, employees of public/private sector, air/ship crew, charity workers, film persons;

xiv. Cultural troupes for performance abroad;

xv. Individual as well as groups on Study Tour;

xvi. All infants/minors accompanying their parent(s) /guardian;

xvii. Businessmen and their spouses for incentive tours and Dealers’ Conferences;

xviii. Sports persons and accompanying officials, managers, trainers, doctors etc. going abroad to participate in an international event or for training;

xix. Employees and their dependants who get free passage tickets; and

Other cases approved by the Chief Passport Officer.


10.1 (i) Foreign investment in India is subject to policy guidelines framed by the Government of India from time to time in accordance with its Industrial Policy. In terms of the Industrial Policy announced by the Government of India on 24th July 1991 followed by subsequent guidelines issued by them, foreign equity up to 50%/51%/74%, as the case may be, is permitted by Reserve Bank under the Automatic Route in specified industries/services sector.
Applications, which do not conform to the parameters of the Automatic Route, are required to be made to the Secretariat for Industrial Assistance (SIA), Ministry of Industry, Government of India, and New Delhi.
Foreign Institutional Investors are permitted to invest in all securities in primary and secondary markets in India as per guidelines issued by Ministry of Finance, Government of India, New Delhi.
(ii) A wide range of facilities for making investments in India in shares and securities,
Bank deposits, company deposits, etc. is available to individuals of Indian nationality or origin resident outside India (NRIs) and overseas corporate bodies predominantly owned by such persons (OCBs). They are subject to different rules and investments both with repatriation and non-repatriation benefits are permitted under various schemes.
(iii) Foreign investment in India is also subject to regulation through the various provisions of FERA 1973. However, Government under approves once foreign investment its foreign investment and industrial policy, requisite approvals under FERA 1973 are granted by Reserve Bank in pursuance of the Government approval/guidelines.
While the relative provisions of FERA 1973 have been explained in Part 'A', detailed regulations governing investments and certain ancillary matters such as remittance of dividend, royalty and technical know-how fee, sale/transfer of shares, repatriation of capital, etc. are given in Part 'B'.
The various schemes for investment by NRIs/OCBs and other matters relating to loans, overdrafts and guarantees to non-residents have been explained in Parts 'C' and 'D' respectively.
Foreign Investment in India
10.1 (i) Foreign investment in India is subject to policy guidelines framed by the Government of India from time to time in accordance with its Industrial Policy. In terms of the Industrial Policy announced by the Government of India on 24th July 1991 followed by subsequent guidelines issued by them, foreign equity up to 50%/51%/74%, as the case may be, is permitted by Reserve Bank under the Automatic Route in specified industries/services sector.
Applications, which do not conform to the parameters of the Automatic Route, are required to be made to the Secretariat for Industrial Assistance (SIA), Ministry of Industry, Government of India, and New Delhi.
Foreign Institutional Investors are permitted to invest in all securities in primary and secondary markets in India as per guidelines issued by Ministry of Finance, Government of India, New Delhi.
(ii) A wide range of facilities for making investments in India in shares and securities,
Bank deposits, company deposits, etc. is available to individuals of Indian nationality or origin resident outside India (NRIs) and overseas corporate bodies predominantly owned by such persons (OCBs). They are subject to different rules and investments both with repatriation and non-repatriation benefits are permitted under various schemes.
(iii) Foreign investment in India is also subject to regulation through the various provisions of FERA 1973. However, Government under approves once foreign investment its foreign investment and industrial policy, requisite approvals under FERA 1973 are granted by Reserve Bank in pursuance of the Government approval/guidelines.
While the relative provisions of FERA 1973 have been explained in Part 'A', detailed regulations governing investments and certain ancillary matters such as remittance of dividend, royalty and technical know-how fee, sale/transfer of shares, repatriation of capital, etc. are given in Part 'B'.
The various schemes for investment by NRIs/OCBs and other matters relating to loans, overdrafts and guarantees to non-residents have been explained in Parts 'C' and 'D' respectively.
Transfer of Shares/Bonds/Debentures from Non-residents to Residents
10A.4 In terms of Section 19(5) of FERA 1973, no transfer of shares/bonds/debentures of a company registered in India made by a person resident outside India to another person resident in India will be valid unless the transfer is confirmed by Reserve Bank on an application made to it by the transferor or the transferee.
Reserve Bank has, however, exempted transfer of shares, bonds or debentures of Indian companies held by persons of Indian nationality/origin(NRIs) on both repatriation and non-repatriation basis to residents as also transfer of shares, bonds or debentures by way of gift from the purview of Section 19(5) through issue of Notifications under Section 19(6) of the Act, subject to fulfilment of certain conditions.
Responsibility of Companies Registering Transfer of Shares/Securities in favour of NRIs10A.5 In terms of clause (a) of Section 19(4) of FERA 1973 no person can enter transfer of securities in any register or book in which securities are registered or inscribed, if he has any ground to suspect that the transfer involves a contravention of the provisions of Section 19, i.e. issue,transfer or creation of interest in any security to/in favour of a person resident outside India.
Clause (b) of this Section prohibits the registration of the foreign address of the holder of a security except by way of substitution for any such address in the same country or for which permission has been granted by Reserve Bank.
Before registering any transfer of shares/securities in the names of non-residents, companies concerned must obtain permission of Reserve Bank except where such permission has already been obtained by transferor/transferee.
NOTE: See paragraphs 10C.30 and 10C.31 regarding general permission granted to Indian companies for recording overseas address consequent on change of status of the security holder from resident to non-resident or for conversion of holdings into joint holdings between residents/non-residents.
Safe Custody of Shares/Securities10A.6 Authorised dealers and financial institutions extending custodial services may hold in their safe custody, shares and securities issued/transferred to non-residents and also release the shares/securities from non-resident safe custody account for purposes like recording change of name, sale, etc., provided the relative purchase/sale/transfer is covered by the general or special permission of Reserve Bank.
General rule for Remittance of Dividend/Interest/Sale proceeds of Securities
10A.7 As a general rule, the dividend, interest and other income on shares/securities and sale proceeds of shares and securities originally purchased out of funds held in the investor's Ordinary Non-resident Rupee(NRO) accounts as also those acquired subject to the condition that they will not carry the right of repatriation are required to be credited to the investor's NRO account.
In other cases, authorised dealers may remit the net amount of dividend, interest, sale
proceeds etc. after deducting Indian taxes at applicable rates or credit them to the investor's NRE/FCNR accounts to the extent permitted by Reserve Bank [see paragraphs 10B.6, 10B.7 and 10C.24].
Export of Shares/Securities
10A.8 In terms of Section 19(1)(a) of FERA 1973, export of any security (which includes shares, bonds, debentures, etc.) to anyplace outside India requires permission of Reserve Bank.
NOTES: A. Unit Trust of India has been granted general permission by Reserve Bank to export certificates covering units purchased by non-resident investors from out of foreign exchange remittances to India or from their non-resident accounts in India.
B. At the time of granting permission for purchase/issue of shares/bonds/debentures by/to non-residents, permission for export of the share/bond/debenture certificates is generally granted by Reserve Bank. Permission for export of shares/securities will, therefore, be required to be obtained only in cases where such a permission has not been given.
Reporting of investment inflows 10A.9 Reserve Bank has granted general permission under Sections 19(1)(d), 19(1)(a) and 29(1)(b) of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973 to Indian companies for issue and exports of shares/securities to non-resident investors, and to non-resident investor to acquire shares/securities of Indian companies under various non-resident direct investment schemes.
In terms of Reserve Bank Notification Nos.FERA 188 and 189/RB-98 dated 11th November 1998 it is obligatory on the part of Indian companies seeking non-resident investment to file a report containing the following particulars with the Regional Office of Reserve Bank not later than 30 days from the date of receipt of remittance.
(a) Name of the foreign investor:
(b) Country of residents or incorporation of the foreign investor;
(c) Date of receipt of remittance and its rupee equivalent;
(d) Name and address of the authorised dealer in India through whom the remittance is received;
(e) Number and date of SIA/FIPB approval in respect of which remittance is received. This requirement is in addition to the submission of the prescribed declaration in form FC(RBI)/ISD(R)/ISD, as the case may be, alongwith the documents, within 30 days form the date of issue of shares.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Jabel Shums, Oman

Getting ready to treck for six hours to reach a village which was abandoned humdreds of years ago. It still exists somewhere in the mountains.
Oman is a hot country. Since Jabel Shums is at a height, it is little cooler there.
A group of six, we were checking out our trek path.

Jabel Shums, Oman

Started the trek at 6 in the morning. Yes, it gets this bright at 6 in Oman.

The leader started waiting for the rest of the gang to catch up.
Hmmm... the trek isn't that easy. Didn't take us long to realise.