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One day a horse trader, a foreigner, came to the court of Krishnadeva Raya and told him he had some fine horses for sale. The emperor offered to buy them. The man took an advance of 5000 gold coins and promising to return with the horses in two days, went away. That evening Krishnadeva Raya saw Raman writing on a sheet of paper. "What are you writing?" he asked. "I'm making a list of the greatest fools in the empire," said Raman. The emperor was astonished to see his own name on the top of the list. "What is the meaning of this?" he demanded. "You think I am a fool!" "Any man who would give 5000 gold coins to a stranger and expect him to return, is a fool!" replied Raman. "Oh, so that's what is troubling you," said the emperor. "You think the man won't return. What if he does?" "In that case," said Raman with a twinkle in his eye, "I'll scratch out your name and put his there."
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Obama Nudges India on Religious Freedom and Gender Equality
New Delhi: President Barack Obama gently nudged India Tuesday to fulfill its constitution's pledge to uphold the "dignity of the individual," drawing on his own experience as a minority in the United States as he closed out a three-day visit to New Delhi.

Obama said that while he has had extraordinary opportunities, "there were moments in my life where I've been treated differently because of the color of my skin." As he touted the importance of religious tolerance, he noted the persistent false rumors that he is a Muslim, not a Christian.

"There have been times where my faith has at times been questioned by people who don't know me, or they've said that I adhere to a different religion, as if that were somehow a bad thing," Obama said.

Equality is enshrined in India's constitution, but religious minorities and women have experienced harassment and violence. A horrific gang rape on a moving bus in the heart of New Delhi in 2012 sparked public protests, which prompted more stringent laws. But critics say more progress is needed and Obama gave voice to their cause.

"Every woman should be able to go about her day - to walk the street or ride the bus - and be safe and be treated with the respect and dignity that she deserves," Obama said to applause from the audience of 1,500 at the Siri Fort Auditorium, a government-run event center.

Since taking office in May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often talked about women's rights, urging Indians to treat sons and daughters equally. He recently launched an "educate the daughter, save the daughter," program to stem sex selective abortions that skews the gender ratio toward boys and to encourage parents to educate girls, who are often considered a burden.

Obama nodded to his wife as he noted that he's married to a strong woman who is not afraid to speak her mind. "Our nations are strongest when we uphold the equality of all our people and that includes our women," he said.

India is largely Hindu, with almost 80 percent following the faith. At over 12 percent Muslims are India's largest minority, with Sikhs, Christians and Buddhists making up the rest. While religious groups largely coexist peacefully, the country has seen several flare ups of violence, primarily between Hindus and Muslims.

Obama said no society is immune from man's darkest impulses, as he raised the 2012 shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin that killed six people. "In that moment of shared grief, our two countries reaffirmed a basic truth, as we must again today, that every person has the right to practice their faith how they choose, or to practice no faith at all, and to do so free of persecution and fear and discrimination," Obama said.

Modi was denied a visa to the U.S. in 2005, three years after religious riots killed more than 1,000 Muslims in the Indian state where he was the top elected official. He has denied any wrongdoing and India's top court says it found no evidence of Modi's involvement in the riots, but India's Muslims and Christians are wary of Modi's right wing Bharatiya Janata Party.

Obama's speech was the closing to a three-day visit to celebrate India's Republic Day, the anniversary of India's democratic constitution taking force in 1950. He cut out Tuesday's plans for a visit to the Taj Mahal, India's famed white marble monument of love, to add a stop in Saudi Arabia on the way home to pay respects to the royal family following King Abdullah's death.

Earlier, the Obamas met with Nobel Peace Prize winner and anti-child labor activist Kailash Satyarthi and his wife. They were accompanied by three children - a 12-year-old rescued from a button factory, an 8-year-old who lost a finger as a farm worker and a 12-year-old girl who has advocated for clean drinking water in school and against child marriages. Satyarthi said there are still more than 5 million child slaves worldwide and thanked Obama for helping fight the scourge.

In his speech, Obama also raised his pursuit of an agreement with India to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

"I know the argument made by some - that it's unfair for countries like the United States to ask developing nations and emerging economies like India to reduce your dependence on the same fossil fuels that helped power our growth for more than a century," Obama said. "But here's the truth - even if countries like the United States curb our emissions, if countries that are growing rapidly like India with soaring energy needs don't also embrace cleaner fuels, then we don't stand a chance against climate change."

Obama's remarks were well-received despite his criticisms of his host country. He drew laughter and applause when he referenced the hugely popular Bollywood movie Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, or "the brave heart will win the bride." Obama quoted a line in Hindi from the movie as he joked that he wasn't able to dance during this visit as in his last.

The sentence translates to, "Senorita, these things happen sometimes in big countries."

World backs India against 'bully' US
NEW DELHI: Apprehensive of the US exerting pressure on India to dilute the public health safeguards in its patent laws, organizations from across the world have signed a global petition supporting India's patent law and urging India to stand strong in the face of "US bullying".

Along with over 77,000 individuals and 10 organizations working on public health issues in India, the signatories of the petition initiated by the non-profit Oxfam India include 11 organizations from Thailand, where there is strong civil society mobilization on public health issues, two from Malaysia and several coalitions from South Asia and the Asia Pacific.

Yet another petition initiated by the non-profit Avaaz, was targeted specifically at the Obama visit stating that his visit to India could spell life or death for millions of poor people in Asia, Africa and Latin America. This petition has gathered over 870,000 signatures from across the world both from developing and developed countries.

The Avaaz petition urged people to move fast to ensure the poor could still get the medicines they needed.

"India produces cheap HIV, malaria and cancer drugs, but American drug companies want to stop this, to sell their own products at higher prices. Their fierce lobby has got the US to push their line hard, even threatening trade sanctions if India doesn't change patent laws which put people before profits. Now pressure is rising, with talks set to begin on an investment treaty," warned the petition.

It said, "President Obama boldly faced down critics to expand healthcare for the poor in the US. Let's call on him to do the same for global medicine and open up the trade talks, consider our people's trade plan and put the poorest patients' lives before Big Pharma's profits."

The Oxfam petition signatories also included some US-based organizations (Health Gap, International Treatment Preparedness Coalition, Knowledge Ecology International and Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network) mostly coalitions or networks of community-based movements, consumer groups, researchers and activists in the field of HIV treatment which work in various developing countries in Africa, South Asia and the Asia Pacific.

Other signatories included Consumer Association the Quality of Life (EKPIZO), Greece, Health Innnovation in Practice (HIP), Switzerland and Medecins du Monde (Doctors of the World), France.

The petition stated: "India is the pharmacy of the developing world. It is a critical global supplier of low priced medicines to treat diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, cancer and diabetes, which are among the biggest causes of death and suffering." It added that medicines were affordable for millions of poor patients across the world, thanks to India's progressive intellectual property system and that this system was responsible for bringing down the price of medicines through generic competition. Indian generic medicines have reduced the prices of HIV/AIDS treatments by more than 90%.

"Now, transnational pharmaceutical companies and the US government are putting pressure on the Indian government to change India's laws which will make medicines unaffordable," it warned.

According to the petition, there were signs that the US pressure was working. "Any changes to India's IP system would mark the end of India's ability to serve as the affordable pharmacy for the developing world - cutting a medical lifeline to millions." It concluded by urging people to "stand strong with the Indian government and reject US pressure to change India's IP system and protect access to life-saving medicines."
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Beetroot Poriyal
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon urad dal
teaspoon mustard seeds
teaspoon cumin seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
2 dry red chillies
1 cup onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
teaspoon asafoetida
20 Almonds
2 cups Beetroot, chopped fine

Take almonds and pulse it for 5-6 times in the mixie. You are done. Set aside.
Heat oil in a saute pan and add in the Urad dal, mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves and dry red chillies. and let it splutter. Fry for a minute until the urad dal is lightly brown. Then add in the onions, asafoetida and salt and fry till soft and tender. About 3-4 minutes.
Add in the steamed beets and saute for a minute more. Add the almond meal and toss until combined. Switch off the flame and remove it from heat. Serve with rice.
Contributed by Kannamma
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