HOME | ABOUT US | Speaker | Americans Together | Videos | www.CenterforPluralism.com | Please note that the blog posts include my own articles plus selected articles critical to India's cohesive functioning. My articles are exclusively published at www.TheGhouseDiary.com You can send an email to: MikeGhouseforIndia@gmail.com

Saturday, March 17, 2012

India: Political Parties and Key Politicians

Parties and Key Politicians of India

SP 224


SAD 68



  • Bharatiya Janata Party
  • Shiv Sena - Maharashtra
  • Janata Dal (United) - Bihar and Karnataka
  • Shiromani Akali Dal - Punjab
  • Indian National Lok Dal - Haryana
  • Asom Gana Parishad - Assam
  • Rashtriya Lok Dal - Uttar Pradesh
  • Nagaland People's Front-Nagaland

Congress and its Allies - (UPA)
  • Indian National Congress
  • Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
  • Nationalist Congress Party
  • Jharkhand Mukti Morcha
  • All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen
  • Republican Party of India (Athvale)
  • Sikkim Democratic Front
  • Indian Union Muslim League
  • Trinamool Congress

Third Front
  • Biju Janata Dal - BJD
  • Communist Party of India - CPI
  • Communist Party of India (Marxist) - CPM
  • Revolutionary Socialist Party - RSP
  • All India Forward Bloc
  • Telugu Desam Party - TDP
  • Telangana Rastrasa Samithi - TRS
  • Janta Dal (Secular) - JD(S)
  • Haryana Janahit Party


Key Contenders / Key Contestants

Live Update
Biennial Elections to the Legislative Council 2009-2010
Uttar Pradesh

Sonia GandhiAfter a long self-imposed silence, Sonia Gandhi has rose to the helm of Indian politics in 1999. Widow of the assassinated Indian former Prime Minister, she has now matured in the game... (more)

Lal Krishna AdvaniShri. L.K. Advani was born on November 08, 1929 in Karachi (now Pakistan). Charismatic Lal Krishna Advani has been in active politics for over half a century. He began as Rajasthan state secretary in 1951... (more)

Rahul GandhiProjected as the Congress(I)'s great hope in a country with an overwhelmingly young population, the 33-year-old Rahul Gandhi has a lot riding on his shoulders. Rahul, son of the slain former Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi... (more)

Lalu Prasad YadavLalu Prasad Yadav is an Indian politician in Bihar and president of Rastriya Janata Dal. He is famous for his charismatic leadership and mass appeal among the backward castes and religious minorities.(more)

Narendra ModiNarendra Modi is the chief minister of Gujarat since 2001. He entered politics in 1987 by joining the Bharatiya Janata Party. He was interested in social services since childhood. (more)

Mulayam Singh YadavMulayam Singh Yadav, a veteran politician, entered electoral politics in the 1960s and won his first election in 1967 to become an MLA in UP Assembly. (more)

BangarappaBorn on 26th October 1933 in Kubatur, Distt. Shimoga (Karnataka) , Bangarappa was Chief Minister during 1992-94. Since 1967, he has been a sure-shot winner, particularly in...(more)

D. P. OjhaBihar ex-DGP D.P. Ojha is contesting as an Independent from Begusarai in Bihar after the NDA denied him a ticket for the coming Lok Sabha polls. Ojha was the toast of the public as recently as four months ago because of...(more)

JayapradhaBollywood star Jayaprada sprang a surprise by becoming Samajwadi Party candidate from Rampur Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh to upset the apple cart of Congress stalwart Begum Noor Banu, who represented...(more)

Jyotraditya ScindiaJyotiraditya Scindia was born on January 1, 1971 in Mumbai which makes him among the youngest in the Parliament. Elected to the Lok Sabha in February 2002 from his father the late Madhavrao Scindia's constituency...(more)

M Veerappa MoilyM.Veerappa Moily was born at Mudubidre in the Karkala taluk of the Dakshina Kannada district, then in the Madras Presidency, on 12th January 1940. He completed his Primary and High School education...(more)

Maneka GandhiManeka Gandhi was born on 26th August 1956 in Delhi and educated at Lawrence School, Sanawar. She is the widow of Sanjay Gandhi, the son of Indira Gandhi (former Prime Minister of India)...(more)

Murli Manohar JoshiDr. Murli Manohar Joshi was born on January 5th , 1934 in Nandavi, Maharashtra. Dr. Joshi had his early education at Hindu High School, Chandpur and completed his higher education from Meerut College...(more)

Nafisa AliNafisa Ali, Winner of the Miss India crown at 19, runner up at the subsequent Miss International contest, model, actress, celebrity wife, TV star and the recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award...(more)

Sachin PilotSachin Pilot son of the late Rajesh Pilot was born on March 13th 1978 and was educated at the Air Force School in New Delhi and at St. Stephen's College, he also has a degree from the Wharton Business School in the US...(more)

Suresh KalmadiMr. Suresh Kalmadi was born on May 1st 1944 at Pune in Maharashtra. Mr. Kalmadi has been Pune's man in Delhi for the last 22 years. He has served on many committees and made important contributions...(more)

Vinod KhannaVinod Khanna was born on 6th October 1946 in Peshawar (now in Pakistan), in a business family which migrated from Punjab to Delhi, to settle down in Mumbai in 1947. He did his schooling in St. Xaviers High School Mumbai...(more)


Akhilesh Yadav, India's youngest Chief minister of the largest state

Surprise at India’s Polls Reveals a New Kind of Leader

“People have a lot of hope in me, that I can do something good.” -Akhilesh Singh Yadav

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AKHILESH SINGH YADAV came through New Delhi this week for a victory lap of sorts, more than a week after he upended Indian politics. He met with many of the country’s top leaders, accepting their congratulations, before he returned later in the week to India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh, where he was sworn in as new chief minister. Everywhere Mr. Yadav went, the irresistible scent of power followed.
Grown men flocked to him, plying him with bouquets of flowers and boxes of sweets, bending to touch his feet, pressing to be near him. The display of deference is a ritual of Indian politics, yet in a country governed by old men, Mr. Yadav represents something new: At 38, he is now India’s youngest chief minister, overseeing a state with more than 200 million people, more of a country than a state.
“People have a lot of hope in me, that I can do something good,” he said in an interview this week, as his cellphone buzzed with messages.
In a country where the public hunger for change is palpable, yet where politics often seems unchangeable, Mr. Yadav is suddenly, unexpectedly, a symbol of a new generation, featured on newspaper front pages and magazine covers, with photos of him riding his bicycle on campaign trips, as well as tidbits about his college affinity for the hard-rock band Metallica, his passion for soccer and accounts of his “love marriage.”
The election in Uttar Pradesh, conducted in stages in February, with the results announced this month, was supposed to coronate India’s better-known new generation leader, Rahul Gandhi, the heir to the fabled Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, who made the state election a test of his popularity and political franchise. He failed to deliver, with voters instead endorsing Mr. Yadav.
Now all Mr. Yadav has to do is lift up the poorest state in India.
Like Mr. Gandhi, Mr. Yadav is the scion of a political family, if one rooted in the grittier, bare-knuckle traditions of Indian politics. His father, Mulayam Singh Yadav, is the founder of the regional Samajwadi Party, which drew support from Muslims and some of the lower Hindu castes, before falling out of favor in 2007.
The senior Mr. Yadav served three times as chief minister, but he oversaw an administration marred by corruption, as many party workers and officials were drawn from the ranks of toughs and mobsters. Even this year, half of the lawmakers elected from the Samajwadi Party had criminal cases pending against them, a pattern repeated in most parties competing in Uttar Pradesh.
What also made the party seem out of step were some of the positions espoused by the elder Mr. Yadav, who once opposed the use of English and computers as affronts to traditional Indian culture and village industries. To an aspirational young India, English and technology are the tools of upward mobility, a point not lost on the younger Mr. Yadav as he began to change the direction of his father’s party.
“India has changed a lot,” he said. “You see the amount of mobile phone penetration. It is huge here. People are slowly learning how to use computers. They want to move forward.”
AFTER a boyhood in Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Yadav attended an engineering college in southern India before graduate school in Sydney, Australia, where he studied environmental engineering and tasted the wider world.
“There was a lot of development in Australia,” he recalled. “I had never seen this. It was a totally different world for me.”
He returned to India and soon met the woman he wanted to marry, even though her family was from a different caste and background, in a country where most marriages are still arranged. “There was a little hesitation,” Mr. Yadav recalled of his family’s reaction, but he persisted in what is known as a “love marriage” until his family consented.
He and his wife, Dimple, were married in November 1999, and three months later he was elected to the lower house of Parliament. He was 26, one of the youngest members of his incoming class, but he remained mostly out of the political limelight until his father lost power in Uttar Pradesh. The son then gradually assumed a bigger role in the Samajwadi Party, becoming the state president in 2009.

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In this year’s race, Mr. Yadav did not initially attract much attention in an election framed as a showdown between two of the country’s most powerful leaders, Mr. Gandhi and the state’s incumbent chief minister, Mayawati, who uses one name. But Mr. Yadav began working the state, riding his bicycle for 120 miles to lead a “yatra,” or march. He also adroitly repositioned his party to appeal to the modern sensibilities of the state’s growing number of urban voters: He promised to distribute free tablet computers to students and hammered away at a positive message in what became a dirty political fight.
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To combat his party’s reputation for lawlessness, Mr. Yadav required the party’s legislative candidates to submit applications and undergo vetting, even the party’s established power brokers. He vetoed several candidates with criminal records and elevated candidates with clean reputations, including an academic from the state capital, Lucknow, who would win in an upset.
Mr. Yadav was careful not to forget his roots, though. He usually insisted on speaking in Hindi during interviews on India’s English-language television channels, even though he speaks very good English. He also made a point to be accessible to voters, journalists, almost anyone, admitting that he loved glad-handing and meeting people.
It made a stark and appealing contrast to Mr. Gandhi, who is rarely accessible. While Mr. Gandhi arrived at rallies in helicopters, Mr. Yadav, the local boy, traveled on a bicycle or a customized campaign bus, stopping at villages for smaller gatherings.
“I found that cycling was a better way to connect with people rather than having large rallies,” he said. “I was able to meet everyone.”
YET the scale of his party’s victory surprised even Mr. Yadav. Analysts had predicted a split vote and a coalition government, possibly through an alliance of the Samajwadi Party with the Congress Party. But led by Mr. Yadav — and the political organization oiled by his father — the Samajwadi Party won a stunning 224 seats in the state assembly, a comfortable majority that meant a coalition partner was not necessary.
Then the only question was who would be chief minister, father or son. When the younger Mr. Yadav was given the job last week, the Samajwadi Party, once dismissed as a relic of India’s old politics, suddenly possessed an altogether different ingredient: excitement and buzz.
“I’m quite happy and quite excited,” Mr. Yadav said. “But the responsibility is big. This is a state, of course, but this is a country, population-wise.”
At a news conference after his swearing-in this week, Mr. Yadav got an early taste of the pressures and challenges of running India’s poorest but biggest state, as reporters peppered him with questions about his agenda and asked why many of his father’s cronies still held positions of power.
“Our priority will be unemployment, the farmers and law and order,” he said, smiling, as he noted that his party could no longer just act as an indignant opposition.
“From today onward, the responsibility is ours,” he said.
Or, more precisely, the responsibility is his.

Hari Kumar contributed reporting.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

HAPPY HOLI, the India festival of colors and joy

Radiant Colors of Holi

Holi is an Indian festival of radiance. It is a celebration of spring with colors that nourish one’s joyous moods and complements the function of respective elements in the atmosphere.

Legend has it, that Lord Krishna is believed to have complained to his mother about his dark complexion while Radha's had a lighter skin. Krishna's mother decided to apply color to Radha's face (Reverse Make up?) The celebrations officially usher in spring, the celebrated season of love.
The essence of Holi is liberation and breaking the barriers between adults and children, family members and friends, and the festivity opens up to each other.

Several years ago, my son, daughter and I were drenched in Holi colors at the Hindu Temple festivities and were driving home. At a stop light, people in others cars on either side stared at us and looked scared and drove off screeching on the green light... the three of us laughed and looked at each other…  it dawned on us that we looked bloody, green, yellow and mellow.......colors in our hair, face and clothes…

My kids thoroughly enjoyed throwing the colors in liquid and dust forms on me, they loved it. I would also call it friendship festival as it removes inhibitions.
Prasad's daughter, Prasad Thotakura | Jasmina, Mike and Jeff Ghouse

Wow, Happy Holi!

Although Holi is part of the Hindu tradition, most Indians participate in it, here is a song that reflects the unity of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians and of course, Jains, Zoroastrians, Baha’i, Jews, Buddhist and native traditions… also celebrate it.  Here is a Bollywood song to reflect that.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NocV6jsegVY

The picture below reflects that sentiments - all colors coming together to create oneness, thus the phrase Vasudaiva Kutumbukum; the whole world is one family. Similar expressions are a staple in every faith.

Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalguna which usually falls in the later part of February or March.

Since 1993, I have been writing about every festival on the earth, have done a weekly Radio program called "Festivals of the world" and shared about each festival.  Make it simple enough that most people can get the essence of it. For Hindus there is lot more depth and meaning to it, but for the non-Hindus, this gives them an idea about the festival. It is a part of the Pluralism education, so we all can know each other and appreciate our own uniqueness. Each one of is a model of our own.

Happy Holi and please enjoy the songs;

From the movie Lagaan, Radha Kaisay na Jalay -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmC86-uX7JE

Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, civic affairs, Islam, India, and cohesive societies. www.ProfessionalSpeakerMikeGhouse.com and current articles atwww.TheGhousediary.com

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Celebrating 50 years of India Association in Dallas


Sunday, February 4, 2012 - The India Association of North Texas initiated celebration of 50 years of its glorious existence by inviting community leaders for a dinner gathering at the India Associations new building at 701 N. Central Expressway in Richardson, TX 75080.

Thanks to the Board of Trustees, Directors and volunteers for making this event possible. It was great to connect with every one.

We, the Indian Americans are a thriving community here in Dallas area and have earned a respectable place in the society and I rejoiced this celebration along with my fellow Indians. One of the accomplishments is to have our own building, thanks to the leadership and Jack Godhwani for making this happen.

This event made me appreciate those who have created a beautiful legacy for us. It reminded me of a celebration we had organized for seniors in the 90’s. We invited the pioneers for dinner and have them share their stories. We also did a radio talk show in 1997 where they shared their stories about what Dallas was like in the early 60’s. Each one of us have added something significant to Dallas Desi living and some day, I hope to write the history of it with pictures and all. I have not seen the book, but someone at UT Austin wrote a book on history of Indian Americans in Texas and I have provided him the information I had available to me, I believe he has written a note about me as well.

Three Indians made it to America before our independence and have made Dallas their home; Late Amir Khan around 1910, Mr. Pallana in 1946 (to the US, I need to check how long he was in Dallas) and one of my Jewish Indian Friends came to the US in 1932, and the late Ike Sekhon in 1957. In the early sixties about ten families made it to Dallas – Dr. Prabhakar and Asha Ghate, Dr. Kapadia, Saboo, and a few others (I have to dig into my Radio Shows and notes to list them all). Most of them are all here.
Please remember the critical period of the history at that time – Martin Luther King’s legacy had not come in to effect yet – the non-whites had to sit in the back of the bus and had to drink water from a separate fountain. One of these days, I will share what it was like for them then.

President of India Late Sri Sarvapalli Radha Krishnan, Saint Mother Teresa, former Prime Minister VP Singh, Laloo Prasad, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Dilip Kumar, Late Dev Anand and other legends have graced our city as well…
There are a lot of firsts. Just to recall on the food side, India Coffee House was the first Indian Restaurant on Mockingbird lane, owned by Madan Goyal, then came Pradeep Sharma (India Palace), Veer Singh and Nick Kumar with Kebab n Curry in 1983, that popularized Indian cuisines in the Metroplex. Right along came Saheb’s restaurant on Park Lane, which uplifted the Indian food to fine dining. There is Dilip Shah of Travel King, one of the first travel agents in the area, then Mr. Sharma, who had a grocery story on Preston Road and Mr. Pallana who had a store in Oak Lawn and Ranajani Pallana who popularized Yoga in Dallas.

Thanks to Dilip Shah for planting the seeds of Anand Bazar some 20 years ago, and Akram Syed for initiating the Gandhi Walk and ...... for commencing India Nite? I can't believe, I don't know it. Thanks to Prasad Thotakura and Taiyab Kundwala for working on the Gandhi Statue in Dallas The list of good things is endless! Believe me, when I get a chance, I will write about each one of our leaders in North Texas who have contributed significantly towards the growth of our community, whether they are Hindu, Muslim, Jain, Sikh, Christian or others, they have done it all together. This is just an initial note in between my work and more will be written for the event.
I request India Association to consider organizing a dinner event to appreciate the pioneers of Dallas, On occasion of the 50th anniversary of India Association’s celebration around Middle of June, and I will be happy to assist or coordinate the event.

Mike Ghouse,
A life member of India Association
Associate Member of India Association as President of Foundation for Pluralism
Moderator of

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer committed to building a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Congressional Resolution on Gujarat Violence of 2002

Indian American Group welcomes Congressional Resolution on Gujarat Violence of 2002
Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC - http://www.iamc.com) an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India's pluralist and tolerant ethos, has welcomed the introduction of Congressional Resolution H.Res 569 by Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) "recognizing the tenth anniversary of the tragic communal violence in Gujarat, India."

"Congressman Ellison's resolution is an important effort to memorialize all those who were killed in the horrific sectarian violence of Gujarat in 2002," said Mr. Shaheen Khateeb, President of IAMC. "It is an opportunity to renew our pledge to continue the struggle for justice and reparation for the victims and to combat the discrimination and the economic hardships that plague minorities in Gujarat," added Mr. Khateeb.

The resolution quotes the US State Department's International Religious Freedom Report of 2003 which found that the communal violence claimed the lives of an estimated 2,000 people and displaced over 100,000 into refugee camps.

The resolution cites Indian investigative magazine Tehelka's exposé wherein people who participated in the violence confessed on camera that such violence "was possible only because of the connivance of the state police and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi." Mr. Modi was denied a visa to the US by the Department of State on the grounds of egregious religious freedom violations under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

IAMC has called on all people of conscience to call upon their local Congressional representatives and urge them to become a co-sponsor of the House Resolution H.Res 569.
In observance of the 10th anniversary of the Gujarat violence, Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) as part of the Coalition Against Genocide, is organizing candle light vigils across various cities in the US during the weekend of March 3rd - 4th 2012.

Indian American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with 10 chapters across the nation.

For more information please visit our new website at www.iamc.com.


Call your Congressperson to support the resolution by becoming a co-sponsor
Click on the following link, enter your zip code and get contact numbers of your congressperson:

Participate in a vigil near you (March 3rd-4th, 2012)

Light a candle in the virtual candle light vigil on facebook
Like the facebook page and light a virtual candle


India: A Decade on, Gujarat Justice Incomplete - Human RIghts Watch, Feb 24, 2012
Muslims are Gujarat's new outcastes: Survey - DNA, March 2, 2012

2008: US State Department confirms Modi will not be given visa

27 US Lawmakers want Modi's visa ban extended; Coalition Against Genocide gets support from more congresspersons

US Congressman Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania writes to State Department

2008: Letter from Representative Betty McCollum to the US Department of State

2008: USCIRF Urges Denial of U.S. Visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

India: Gujarat Chief Minister Endorses Unlawful Killings, Human Rights Watch, December 7, 2007

No entry for Modi into US: visa denied - Times of India, March 18, 2005

NO ENTRY FOR MODI - By Vijay Prashad, Outlook Magazine, March 12-25, 2005

2005 House Resolution H.RES 160 -- 'Condemning the conduct of Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his actions to incite religious persecution and urging the United States to condemn all violations of religious freedom in India.'

'Did this letter stop Modi?' - Rediff.com, March 18, 2005

'Understanding Gujarat Violence' By Ashutosh Varshney, Contemporary Conflicts, Mar 26, 2004

International Religious Freedom Report 2003, US Department of State

"We have no orders to save you" - Report by Human Rights Watch

Concerned Citizens Tribunal - Gujarat 2002, An Inquiry into the Carnage in Gujarat

Zafar Haq
phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270
email: info@iamc.com
6321 W Dempster St. Suite 295
Morton Grove, IL 60053
phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270
email: info@iamc.com