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August 1, 2012

A Publication of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO)

Issue: XI-11 August 1, 2012
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The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) took the initiative last year to reach out to NRI/PIO organizations, government agencies, institutions, associations and individuals to get involved and participate in the commemoration of the historic GADAR Centennial in 2013. GOPIO continues its appeal for participation to make this a truly historic centennial that is deserving of the sacrifices of those who started this effort to free India.


Gadar was a movement to free India from British slavery with the force of arms. It was started as Hindustan Association of the Pacific Coast in 1913 in Astoria, Oregon. The headquarters of the association was established in San Francisco from where a magazine titled "Gadar" was launched. The Gadar magazine became very popular among Indians in a short period of time and the Hindustan Association of the Pacific Coast itself became known as the Gadar Party.

Ghadr Hall in San Francisco 

 Photo above:Gadhr Hall in San Francisco


As was done by GOPIO for the Kolkata Memorial unveiling on January 11, 2011 in recognition and remembrance of Indian indentured laborers who left India from 1834-1920, Gadar Centennial Commemoration is a GOPIO initiative in our continuing effort to preserve and promote Indian history and culture.



In March 2012, GOPIO issued a GOPIO News Bulletin and Press statement urging all people of Indian origin, NRI/PIO organizations, agencies, institutions, associations and individuals to become part of the GOPIO Gadar Centennial Commemoration Committee. Several influential groups and individuals have come forward to contribute time, talent and resources to the centennial event(s). We are requesting many more people to be part of the Commemoration Committee for a joint celebration of the 100th anniversary.


In 2003, GOPIO, jointly with the National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA) and the Global Punjabi Diaspora organized the 90th anniversary of Gadar movement to pay tribute to the pioneers, patriots and heroes of the Gadar movement. Former President of India, K.R. Narayanan came to the USA to deliver the keynote address. The celebration included a whole day conference during which speakers recalled the contributions of unsung pioneers, patriots and Gadar heroes. At the banquet which followed the conference, several dignitaries paid tributes to the Gadarites who sacrificed life and limb for the freedom of their motherland.


Lala Hardyal and Kartar Singh of Ghadr Party  

 Photo above left: Lala Hardyal: First General Secretary of Ghadr party (1913-14) and founder editor of 'Ghadr' newspaper; right:Kartar Singh (Sarabha, Ludhiana):Leader of Ghadr Party and worked as in charge of the press. He was given the death sentence in Lahore Conspiracy case and was hanged on 16th Nov. 1915 in Lahore Central Jail.



To mark such a significant centennial, GOPIO Gadar Centennial Planning Committee is planning a commemoration of highly prominent global scope and scale that befits such a historic event, significant to Indian history and Indian Diaspora history. As more persons and associations join the GOPIO Gadar Centennial Planning Committee, the global planning will become more finalized. Members of the GOPIO Gadar Centennial Planning team include: affiliate organizations; affiliate institutions; affiliate academic institutes and academicians; affiliate agencies; affiliate government ministries; patrons; benefactors; contributors & supporters; media; and others.


The GOPIO Gadar Centennial Planning Committee has requested of the Government of India, and is engaged in meetings to solicit support to:

  • Declare 2013 as the year of Centennial Commemoration of Gadar Movement;
  • Establish chairs in memory of the Gadar heroes in India and in the USA;
  • Issue a suitably designed postage stamp in memory of Gadar Heroes;
  • Publish a historic Centennial Commemoration book about the Gadar Movement for free distribution to libraries, schools, institutions, organizations and to all delegates at Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) 2013;
  • Direct all Indian Consulates in USA, Canada and other countries to commemorate the centennial of the Gadar Movement by holding official community events throughout 2013;
  • Convert Gadar Memorial Hall in San Francisco as a museum and research library on Gadar Movement.

GOPIO is pleased that Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) is including GADAR Centennial Commemoration (GCC) at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2013 in a significant way with an Oration, a PBD Session, Release of the GOPIO Gadar Book and an exhibit in the PBD 2013 Exhibition Hall. This prominent level of support enhances our efforts for worldwide promotion and coordination of Gadar Centennial Commemoration in news bulletins, interviews, articles and associated information. There is ongoing discussion on a short documentary that will be shown and distributed at all GOPIO Gadar Centennial events.


Planning has begun by GOPIO Gadar Centennial Planning Committee for a series of events to be held during the centennial year 2013, beginning with a kick-off meeting in San Francisco in 2012.


The following venues are being considered to host celebrations in the Gadar Centennial Commemoration Forum & Lecture Series as consecutive events during 2013.


    • USA: San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Washington (DC), Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Chicago, Seattle, Boston.
    • Canada: Vancouver, Toronto.
    • UK/Europe: London, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam.
    • Australia/New Zealand: Sydney, Auckland.
    • South Africa: Durban
    • Fiji: Suva
    • India: Chandigarh, Patiala, Bhopal, Delhi, Patiala, Ludhiana, Kolkata, Kolhapur and others. 

Note: Sequence and scheduling of forum and lecture series could be changed as needed.


The year-long festivities will culminate with a Gadar Centennial Commemoration Finale & Memorial Dedication in San Francisco on November 1, 2013.


GOPIO urges more organizations and individuals to be part of the Centennial Commemoration Committee so that a major joint effort is made for memorable celebration events at several places throughout the year 2013.


For more information, please send an email or call:

Inder Singh, Chairman,, Tel: +1-818-708-3885

Ashook Ramsaran, President,, Tel: +1-718-939-8194
Sunny Kulathakal, Bahrain, Executive Vice President, Tel: +973 39441956 or +91 9845756692,

Piyush Agrawal, Senior Vice President, E-mail:, Tel: +1- 954-648-6494

Thomas Abraham, Exec Trustee, GOPIO Foundation, E-mail:, Tel: +1- 203-329-8010

Or Contact any GOPIO International team member listed at GOPIO website:




"In the evolution of India's struggle for independence, the Gadar Movement constitutes an important landmark. Countless daring and intrepid people participated in that movement, set the goal of liberating our country through armed struggle, faced untold misery and hardships in pursuit of their objective and even made the supreme sacrifice of laying down their lives. One of the distinguishing and heartening features of the Gadar Movement was its inclusive and broad based identity. Its leaders had the vision and outlook which transcended the boundaries of any particular religion or caste. They considered themselves first and foremost as Indians and treated patriotism as their religion. Even though the Gadar Movement failed in realizing its ultimate objective, it inspired our leaders during subsequent phases of our freedom struggle and constituted a glorious phase of our history for freedom, liberty and independence".


Former President of India, K. R. Narayanan, Chief Guest for the 90th anniversary of Gadar Movement. (Hon. Narayanan could not deliver his speech in person due to illness in Washington, D.C on his way from India to Fremont, California, however, it was delivered by a direct TV hook up from Washington DC).



"In the first decades of this (twentieth) century, California provided the scene for one of the most bizarre and memorable incidents undertaken by any ethnic community in the United States: the attempt by a group of India's expatriate nationals to create a revolutionary army, invade India by sea, and liberate her from the clutches of British rule".Prof. Mark Juergensmeyer, University of California, Santa Barbara - The Gadar Syndrome: Ethnic Anger and Nationalist Pride



"In the early months of World War I, an ambitious attempt to free their country was made by Indians living overseas, particularly in the United States and Canada. Although the overwhelming majority of the Gadarites were Sikhs and the centers of revolutionary activity were the Sikh temples in Canada, the United States, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore, many of the leaders were of other parties and from different parts of India, Hardyal, Ras Bihari Bose, Barkutullah, Seth Husain Rahim, Tarak Nath Das and Vishnu Ganesh Pingley. The Gadar was the first organized violent bid for freedom after the uprising of 1857. Many hundreds paid the ultimate price with their lives"  Khushwant Singh - Publisher -- Illustrated Weekly, February 26, 1961.



"Even in the eyes of the enemy, these (Gadar) heroes shone like rays of hope in the darkest night. They were India's dream, its future and the path they showed was later followed proudly by other martyrs like Bhagat Singh. It is time that we remember and honor them," F.C  Isemonger & J. Slattery of Indian Police, Punjab -- An Account of the Gadar Conspiracy 1913-1915. Dr. Ved Prakash Vatuk wrote in the Foreword.




India Abroad, America's oldest Indian community weekly and a publication of Rediff.Com India Ltd. has honored GOPIO Founder President Dr. Thomas Abraham at its annual banquet with its Award for Lifetime Service to the Community on June 29th at The Pierre Hotel in New York. Dr. Abraham, a veteran community leader has been the prime mover of the overseas Indian movement and founded many community organizations. Others recognized at the awards banquet included US Attorney for New York Southern District Preet Bharara as India Abroad Person of the Year 2011, writer Anita Desaifor Lifetime Achievement, Democratic Party political activist Neera Tanden with India Abroad Publisher's Special Award for Excellence, Professors Susanne and Lloyd Rudolph with India Abroad Friend of India Awards, computer scientistDr.Shwetak N. Patel with Face of the Future Award, and India Abroad Special Awards to US Army Major Kamaljit Singh Kalsi, US Army Hindu Chaplain Captain Pratima Dharm and Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion Sukanya Roy.


Photo above: Award recipients at India Abroad Annual Awards held in new York City on June 29th, 2012. From L. to R. Captain Pratima Dharm, Major Kamaljit Singh Kalsi, Sukanya Roy, Dr. Thomas Abraham, Prof. Lloyd Rudolph, Anita Desai, Preet Barara, Neera Tanden and Dr. Shwetak Patel.


Dr. Abraham has been involved in the NRI/PIO movement for the last 4 decades. Dr. Abraham's involvement in the Indian American community started in New York in 1976, when he was elected at the Chairman of the Joint Committee of Indian Organizations. In 1977, he brought together all Indian community groups in the New York area under the umbrella of the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA). In 1980, Dr. Abraham as FIA President organized the First Convention of Asian Indians in North America attracting as many 1500 delegates from all over the United States for a convention in New York which resulted in the formation of the National Federation of Indian American Associations. Dr. Abraham coined the word PIO (people of Indian origin) in 1989, when he served as the convener of the First Convention of People of Indian Origin in New York. The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) was formed at this convention of which he served as its first convener/president from 1989-2004 and Chairman 2004-2009. GOPIO is a worldwide organization unifying the whole Indian Diaspora with chapters in 30 countries. Other groups he initiated include National Indian American Association for Senior Citizens (NIAASC) in 1998, South Asian Council for Social Services (SACSS) in 2000 and The Indus Nanotechnology Association (TINA) in 2011. He is also co-founder of Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center in New York and served as the co-chairman of the campaign to raise funds for Jagdish Bhagwati Chair for Indian Political Economy at Columbia University with an endowment of $4.0 million.


Through these organizations, Dr. Abraham has helped to build a solid base for India in various countries and the Indian Diaspora. In the last 23 years, GOPIO took up several issues of NRIs/PIOs to the United Nations, India and other countries. Currently, Dr. Abraham, serves as the Executive Trustee of GOPIO International Foundation. Dr. Abraham served as the founding president of FIA from 1977 to 1981, and founding president of NFIA from 1980 to '88 and as NFIA Chairman from 1988 to '92. He conceived the idea of the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) in New York and helped to start such umbrella organizations (FIAs) in other US cities. FIA New York does the largest India Day Parade outside India.


In recognition of his selfless community service, Dr. Abraham was presented with Bharatvanshi Gaurav (Person of Indian Origin Pride) Award by former Vice President of India Bhairon Singh Sekhawat and Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (Overseas Indian Honor) Award by President of India in January, 2008 for his outstanding service to the Indian communities worldwide and India. Dr. Abraham was also presented the Outstanding Alumnus Award by the Malaviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT) at its annual convocation in November 2008.


A graduate of Columbia University, Dr Abraham is an expert in advanced materials and nanotechnology and is President of Innovative Research and Products (iRAP), Inc., a Stamford, CT (USA) based technology and market research firm. Dr. Abraham has written over 50 papers that are published in the various professional journals and magazines.


Born in Pathanamthitta (Kerala), Abraham came to the US in 1973. He is married to Susy, a physician/geriatrician and has two children, Nitya, an urologist fellow at Cleveland Clinic and Jay, an aircraft design engineer currently working for Pratt&Whitney. Abrahams live in Stamford, CT, USA.




 GOPIO-CT is hosting an open house discussion on what the chapter wants to achieve for the organization, how to involve people in various activities, roles and responsibilities for Executive Board Members and what programs to take up for the rest of this year and the next year. The discussion will be lead by a GOPIO-CT member, Mr. Aashik Khakoo, who is a finance director at Moet Hennessey USA. Aashik also specializes in Project Management and Creating Efficiencies in Businesses. 


The event will be held in conjunction with the monthly GOPIO-CT meeting on Thursday, August 9, 2012 starting at 7 p.m. at Stamford Hampton Inn and Suites, Stamford, CT.


All GOPIO members and supporter are welcome to attend. Following the meeting, there will be a contributory informal sinner at the Spice Affaire located at the same location.


For more information, contact Shailesh R. Naik, President, GOPIO-CT, Tell: (914) 409-2552, E-mail:




"Poets have played significant role in our struggle for freedom and their contribution shall remain in our heart forever," said Ambassador Arun K. Singh, Deputy Chief of Missions, Embassy of India. Ambassador Singh was addressing the gathering assembled at the Universities at Shady Grove Auditorium in Gaithersburg, Maryland for the 6th Annual Independence Day Mushaira-Kavi Sammelan and release of two recently published books of poetry.  

"Hindi and Urdu are twin sisters, who have been marching forward side by side in India and all over the world," he added. He praised the efforts of organizers for arranging an event which brought poets and audience of both languages under one roof.  "I would like to especially recognize the efforts of Abdullah ji and Zafar Iqbal sahib, who have been actively engaged in bringing our diverse community members together," he said concluding his remarks.

Releasing Rashmi Sanan's book of poetry, Tanha, Tanha, Ambassador Singh commented that he felt very elated in launching this book because the poet was a part of the Indian Embassy in Washington. 

Mrs. Daler Deol Aashna's book Rubaru was released by Dr. (Mrs.) Maina Singh, Professor at Georgetown University in Washington. Professor Singh said that as an academician with keen interest in poetry, she was very glad to be asked for this duty.  She congratulated both poets for their work. 

Coordinator of the program, Dr. Zafar Iqbal said that the goal of this program, organized by the organized by the Metro-Washington Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) in cooperation with Washington Aligarh Alumni Association (AAA), was to provide a forum where people could get together transcending political, religious, regional, and geographical boundaries promoting Ganga-Jamuni culture of the Subcontinent. He apprised the audience that for the last four years the Embassy of India has been supporting these programs. Last year, the Embassy of India, with our support organized an Urdu-Hindi poetry meet for the first time in the Embassy. It was very pleasing to note that such events are gaining increasing popularity, he added.  The AAA President, Mr. Sayed Naved and GOPIO National Coordinator, Dr. Renuka Misra welcomed the poets, distinguished guest and audience for their time and participation. 

Dr. Moazzam Siddiqui, in his address "Ganga ki mauj mein Jamuna ki lahren: Urdu Hindi do zubainai" emphasized that it was misleading to label Hindi as the language of Hindus and Urdu as the language of Muslims. Muslims have contributed significantly to the development of Hindi and Hindus to the development of Urdu. He added that, "Urdu suffered heavily during the partition of the Subcontinent in 1947 and wrongfully blamed by bigoted politicians for the division of the country." "Whereas in reality no other Indian language has the same amount of patriotic and nationalistic poetry, qualitatively as well as quantitatively, as produced in Urdu. Great literary centers of both languages are situated on the banks of Ganga and Yamuna and their tributaries (Delhi, Agra, Mathura on the banks of Yamuna and Allahabad, Patna and Benares on the banks of Ganga)." 

Independence Day Mushaira and Kavi Sammelan by GOPIO Metro Washington DC 

Photos above left: Poets with Ambassador Arun singh and Dr. Zafar Iqbal. Photo above right: A section of the audience.

Other distinguished guests included Dr. Maina Singh, Minister for Community Affairs Datta Padsalgikar from Indian Embassy, Fakhrul Islam, Akmal Aleemi. Khursheed Usmani, AAA Secretary formally thanked all participants and the audience for their cooperation. 

Dr. A. Abdullah, the evergreen conductor of poetry recitation sessions, mentioned in his introductory remarks that the AAA and GOPIO have been successfully providing a common platform for the interaction of Urdu and Hindi literary personalities under one roof for the last five years and that increasing number participants and audience is in these programs is a testimony to the desire of people to share the common heritage. The event was presided by Mrs. Ishrat Afreen, a guest poet from Houston, TX and participating poets included A. Abdullah, Akram Mahmood, Aziz Qureshi, Daler Deol Aashna, Fayyazuddin Saieb, Sadiq Bajwa, Ishrat Afreen, Narendra Tandon Sahil, Narendra Govil, Rakesh Khandelwal, Rashmi Sanan, Razi Raziuddin, Salahuddin Nasir, Satyapal Anand, Suman Vardan, Vishakha Thaker, and Zaheer Parvez.


Contact: Dr. Zafar Iqbal, President, GOPIO Metro Washington, DC, E-mail:




GOPIO-CT will celebrate India Independence Day with a flag hoisting at the Govt. Center in Stamford. It will also recognize the recent high school graduates. The chief guest is Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri, Deputy Permanent Representative of India to the UN. Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia and the event sponsor Dr. Prasad Manoharan will hoist the American and tri-color Indian flags. Those who have graduated from high school this year may contact GOPIO-CT and provide details. More information about the program is provided below.

GOPIO-CT Independence Day Celebration 





Lord Khalid Hameed has been given the Freedom of the City of London award in recognition of his work within the medical profession and in promotion of interfaith relations. Lord Hameed, who hails from Lucknow, is currently the chairman of Alpha Hospital Group and chairman and chief executive officer of the London International Hospital. Prior to this, he was the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Cromwell Hospital in London.


Lord Hameed chairs the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council. A Board member of the British Muslim Research Centre, Lord Hameed supports various charities and was awarded the Sternberg Award for 2005 for his contribution to further Christian-Muslim-Jewish relations. He was the first Asian high sheriff of Greater London for 2006-2007. He was awarded Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award by India in 2009.


In contemporary society the award of Freedom of the City tends to be entirely ceremonial, given by the local government to those who have served in some exceptional capacity, to celebrate a significant achievement or to pay tribute to their outstanding contribution to London life.




Reita Faria Powell, the first Indian to wear the Miss World crown in 1966, was among several Goan origin individuals felicitated during the UK Goan Festival. Wearing her Goan heritage proudly, she is a role model for the community.


A major event in the annual cultural calendar, the festival attracted nearly 9,000 visitors this year. The event attracted visitors from all over the UK as well as from Australia, Canada and the Middle East. Festival events included an open air mass partly conducted in Konkani by a visiting priest from Goa and two local priests; several cultural performances, and Goan food.


First organised by the Goan Association in 1985, the festival also felicitated senior Labour leader Keith Vaz, of Goa origin, who recently completed 25 years as a member of parliament. The event was attended by other MPs such as Virendra Sharma and John McDonnell.


The UK Goan community has recently secured funding from the UK Heritage Lottery Fund for a project to record the oral histories of British Goans who arrived in this country from East Africa.




Indian-American Rahul Nagvekars won the National Geographic Bee Championship with an educated guess about the Bavarian city that was a legislative seat of the Holy Roman Empire from 1663 to 1806.


As part of this year's Australia Day Honours, Adelaide's Dr Jagan Mazumdar became the recipient of the Order of Australia (OA) "for service to applied mathematics and bio-medical engineering as a researcher and educator, and to the Indian community". This award is an acknowledgment of his contribution to academia and service to the Indian community.


Dr Mazumdar and his wife Maya are 'pioneer' immigrants because when they arrived at Adelaide in 1966, there were only three Indian families here, including them. As he established himself as a valuable staff member of Adelaide University's Mathematics Department, they helped other Indian migrants who started arriving in the 70s and 80s, offering support in a variety of ways.


During his forty plus years at Adelaide University, Dr Mazumdar was involved in two main areas of research - Solid Mechanics, and his latter-day love of Biomedical Engineering. His interest in Biomedical Engineering led him to undertake research on non-invasive study of heart valves tissue pathology. He was also involved in research on tissue engineering on articular cartilage impacting on osteoarthiritis that affects some 10 percent of Australians.


Dr Mazumdar has published over 200 research papers and written two seminal books. In view of his scholarship in biomedical engineering, he was one of the few non-engineers elected to a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers.


With only four Indian families in Adelaide in 1968, he formed the India Club. He served as President of the Indian Australian Association of SA (1974-76) and the Hindu Society (1996-98). Dr Mazumdar still maintains active interest in the local Indian community. His wife Maya has held many offices at the Indian Association for several years, and in her role as the Welfare Secretary, she has helped numerous Indian migrant families sort out their early problems when settling down in a new country.




Ten-year-old Sana Nadkarni, of Andover, Massachusetts, was chosen as Massachusetts' winner of the Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award from the National Association of Gifted Children. Nadkarni's artistic outlet of choice is painting. Her paintings were featured last year as a solo exhibit at the Massachusetts State House in Boston.


She has had several other exhibitions at varied locations from town libraries to corporate buildings to colleges. Her paintings are also featured at a number of area hospitals, including a traveling exhibit at Children's Hospital in Boston. Her art has also been on display at libraries, hospitals and galleries.


Nadkarni has won a number of awards related to art including in the 2011 Massachusetts School Library Association Bookmark Contest, 2011 Junior Federal Duck Stamp Contest and PBS 2011 GO Writer's Contest and 2011 U.S. Arts Olympiad.


The Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Awards is designed to recognize distinguished achievement in academics, leadership, or the arts, in children. The National Association of Gifted Children believes that the Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Awards inspire children to achieve to their fullest potential, highlight high-ability students, and draw attention to the educational needs of our nation's gifted and talented students.




Hari Harilela, Indian origin entrepreneurs in Hong Kong who founded a billion-dollar enterprise, has been honoured with honorary doctorate in Business Administration by the Edinburgh Napier University. He was conferred the honour in recognition of his outstanding contribution to business and higher education. 


Harilela, 90, is Chairman of the Harilela Group, which owns a range of companies across the world including restaurants, hotels and real estate. He has been previously honoured with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman from India as well as the Order of the British Empire (OBE).


As a philanthropist, he contributed substantially to the relief effort in the wake of the 2001 Gujarat earthquake and is also a firm supporter of education and the growth of young people. 


Professor Dame Joan Stringer, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University, said: "Dr Hari Harilela's life has been one of fortitude and determination, a vivid example of how one can not only overcome poverty but also go on to make a tangible difference to the lives of many".





The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), a powerful professional community of doctors with over 65,000 members, has not only become a "force to reckon with" but aims to "advance the science of healing" worldwide.


According to the new AAPI president Narendra Kumar, "AAPI has become a force to reckon with; we will all work together, stay focused and make you proud of our organization." Kumar has been practicing otolaryngology - head & neck surgery - in Saginaw, Michigan since 1988.


The members of the new executive committee are: Jayesh Shah, president-elect; Ravi Jahagirdar, vice president; Seema Jain, secretary; Ajay Lodha, treasurer; Durgesh Mankikar, chairman, board of trustees; Kusum Punjabi, Young Physician Section (YPS) president; and Amit Bhakoo, medical student, Resident and Fellows Section (MSRF) president.


Shah, an internationally recognised clinician in wound management and hyperbaric medicine and a two-time recipient of Jefferson C Davis Memorial Award at the Gulf Coast Chapter, has pioneered the formation of Hyperbaric Medical Society in India. "With its extensive knowledge network, AAPI could advance the science of healing all over the world," said Shah, the youngest president-elect of AAPI.


Jahagirdar, one of the pioneers of robotic surgery in his field has a special interest in obtaining industry liaison and corporate sponsorship for conditions unique to the Indian Diaspora. Jain, a practicing psychiatrist in New Jersey, sees her role as a woman leader in AAPI to take up women's health issues in society. Treasurer Lodha wants AAPI "to be a platform in helping our young physicians coming from India to seek residencies and to help them in settlement and to get jobs".





The Pravasi Legal Aid Cell will address the grievances of NRIs who have been suffering from mistreatment and harassmentin Saudi Arabia. Named as "Pleace India", the voluntary organization has called upon Indian embassy and the consulate for taking prompt and effective actions to ensure that legal protection and legal aid for the needy.



Pleace India is a forum under leadership of charity workers and legal experts, in association with various social organizations. Indian expatriate community will get free legal advice/help from the Indian legal professionals, who come forward to associate with Pleace India voluntarily.

Visit for more information and to register a petition.




Expedition 32 launched with Indian-American Astronaut Sunita Williams aboard a Russian Soyuz Rocket on July 14 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, with Yuri Malenchenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The Soyuz blasted off and the rocket cleared the pad on its eight and half minute ride to orbit.


The Russian Soyuz is the only way to reach the International Space Station for American Astronauts until the commercial sector comes through with a new American made rocket.


While on the International Space Station, Williams set a world record for women with four spacewalks totaling 29 hours and 17 minutes. Williams logged a total of 195 days in space.




Investing in Indian real estate is a hot favorite among Non Resident Indians (NRIs). And like every other investment tax challenges relating to real estate is peculiar to the Indian Income Tax.


Deemed rent


According to the Indian Income Tax Act, if a taxpayer (resident or NRI) owns more than one house property, only one of them will be deemed as self-occupied. There will be no income tax on a self-occupied property. The other one, whether you rent it out or not, will be deemed to be given on rent. If you have not given the second property on rent, you will have to calculate deemed rental income on the second property (based on certain valuations prescribed by the income tax rules) and pay the tax thereof.


Important: Property is defined as 'building and any land appurtenant'. So this includes residential property plus office building, factory building, godowns, flats, etc. It does not include only land holding. In case you own a single commercial property in India which is lying vacant, you would need to pay tax on deemed rental on that property.


A detailed explanation on this is available from the Income Tax Department under the Tax Payer Information Series - 17.


One house in foreign country and one house in India


The Income Tax Act does not specify if either or both these properties must be situated only in India. But now, more and more Indians are settling abroad. So from the reading of the Act, the rule of 'more than one property' will apply to global properties. If you are an NRI and own only one property globally and that property is in India, you would not have to pay any income tax on that property.


However, if you own and live in a house in USA and you also own a house property in India which is not given on rent, that property in India would be treated as 'deemed to be rented' because your self-occupied property is in USA. So even if you do not give the property in India on rent, you would have to pay income tax on deemed rent in India.


Inherited property


Once you inherit the property, you become the owner. Therefore, the property qualifies for the same tax rules as if you had purchased the property. So if you have inherited a property in India and that is not your only property, you would have to pay tax on deemed income


Calculating tax


The deemed rent is determined by valuation rules prescribed in the Income Tax Act. For calculating tax, the income from the property is taken as the 'annual value' of the property. The municipal value of the property, the cost of construction, the standard rent under the Rent Control Act, the rent of similar properties in the same locality are relevant factors for the determination of the annual value. Usually, the highest of all the above is taken as annual value of the property. Your chartered accountant will help you to arrive at this annual value.


From this annual value, you will be allowed a deduction of 30% in expenses, irrespective of whether you have actually incurred 30% as expenses. The balance is added to your total income and taxed thereon.


Advance tax


You must pay advance tax in three installments during the year in case the tax payable, after adjusting TDS (tax deducted at source) is likely to be Rs 10,000 or more. If your total tax liability in 2011-2012 exceeded Rs 10,000, you should have paid advance tax during 2011-2012 in three installments. In case you have failed to pay sufficient advance tax, there are interest implications. The interest is generally 1% per month for the default amount and extends till the date of payment. So for financial 2012-2013, now maybe a good time to calculate your total tax liability including deemed rental income. If your tax payable in 2012-2013 is likely to exceed Rs 10,000 (after netting off TDS) you would need to pay advance tax installments.


Tax on deemed rent in country of residence


As a permanent resident or citizen of the country that you are living in, you may need to pay tax in that country on your global income. But you would need to check the provision for deemed rental income. For instance, in the case of NRIs in the United States, the US tax code does not tax deemed income. So if you have a property or multiple properties in India that you have not given on rent, you would not have to pay any tax in the US on those properties.


However, here's an important point. During the period that you hold the property, you may be eligible for certain deductions on the property in the US. For instance, property taxes from personal use property are deductible in schedule A - itemized deductions. Now at the time you sell the property, your gain or loss would be treated differently by the IRS depending on the purpose of your holding - whether it was for personal use, investment or business. And the purpose of your property holding is based on the relevant facts and circumstances - - this includes both your intentions of the property while you held it and also from the way you have claimed deductions, if any, in the years prior to the sale.


You may hence want to consult your tax advisor on showing this property in your US tax return.


Source: Economic Times -




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Chief Editor: Dr. Thomas Abraham, Founder President and Chairman Emeritus of GOPIO Intl. and Executive Trustee, GOPIO Foundation (Stamford, CT, USA)

Editor: Nami Kaur, Secretary, GOPIO International (New York, USA)

Co-Editors: Bina Mahabir, Co-Chair GOPIO Media Council, GOPIO International (Guyana-New York, USA) and Nilofar Pardawala (Portland, Oregon, USA)

Webmasters: Prashant Gupta (Hyderabad, India) and Abu Thomas (New Rochelle, NY, USA)   

Contributors of this issue: Inder Singh (Chairman, GOPIO Intl.), Ashook Ramsaran (President, GOPIO Intl.), Dr. Zafar Iqbal (President, GOPIO-Metro Washington DC), Shailesh Naik (President, GOPIO-CT)


 Contact Dr. Thomas Abraham, Tel: 203-329-8010, E-mail:


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