India Abroad December 28, 2012 2012 THE YEAR THAT WAS
NEWS & COMMUNITY
; A federal jury ruled that Wahl Clipper Corporation, manufacturer of the Groomsman Beard and Mustache Trim, was not
responsible for the death of Ishan, son of filmmaker Shonali Bose
and National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientist-turned filmmaker Bedabrata Pain.
; As part of an effort to revive the hitherto comatose Indian
American Forum for Political Education — the oldest Indian-American political organization founded over 30 years ago — its
new president mooted a Florida chapter. The organization resurrected its annual Congressional reception and dinner on Capitol
; President Barack Obama appointed multimillionaire Silicon
Valley entrepreneur Dr Romesh Wadhwani to the Board of
Trustees of the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
; California Governor Edmund G ‘Jerry’ Brown Jr signed two bills
to promote civil rights and religious freedom. Bill AB 1964 clarified that wearing religious clothing or religious headgear as a
belief or observance was protected under the Fair Employment
and Housing Act, and SB 1540 required the state board of education to consider adopting a revised curriculum framework and
evaluation criteria for instructional materials in history and social
; A Northwestern University, Illinois, student, Harsha Maddula,
was found dead at the Wilmette Harbor, Lake Michigan.
; Former University of Alabama Professor Amy Bishop, who shot
dead three colleagues, including Professor Gopi K Podila, chairman, biological-sciences department, in February 2010, was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
; A United States federal judge ruled that India’s Congress party
had been ‘properly served’ with summons in the November 1984
Sikh genocide case as per the Hague Service Convention and
denied a motion of the party to dismiss the case.
; Pennsylvania-based Raghunandan
Yandamuri was arrested for the murder of
a grandmother and granddaughter in a
botched kidnapping attempt.
; Dr Kiran C Patel and Dr Pallavi Patel
donated $12 million to the University of
South Florida aimed at creating the Patel
College of Global Sustainability.
; A jury sentenced former Houston police
officer Abraham Joseph to two life terms
for two counts of aggravated sexual assault
on a Hispanic woman.
; Sonal Shah, who quit the Obama admin-
istration as its first director of the White
House Office of Social Innovation last fall,
joined the Case Foundation as a Senior
Fellow, even as she remains a Resident
Fellow at Harvard University.
; Ramanathan Prakash was sentenced by
United States District Judge Morrison C
England, Jr to a statutory maximum 10-
year prison sentence for health-care fraud.
; Zachariah ‘Reggie’ Zachariah, Jr was
appointed to the influential Broward
County Judicial Nominating Commission
by Republican Governor Rick Scott.
; The gurdwara in Stockton, California —
the first Sikh settlement in the United
States — celebrated its centenary and the
establishment of the Gadri Baba Museum.
; New York’s signature Diwali Mela cele-
brated its 25th year.
; Indian-American doctor Dilip Joseph, of the Morning
Star Development aid group, was abducted in Afghanistan
by the Taliban. He was freed by US and Afghan forces in a
joint operation that killed seven of his captors.
; Dr Meera Sachdeva of Mississippi was sentenced to 20
years in prison and ordered to repay nearly $8.2 million
for fraud at the Rose Cancer Center she ran. The indict-
ment said Sachdeva and her co-defendants defrauded
Medicare and Medicaid by billing for chemotherapy treat-
ments given to patients when no physician was present at
the Rose Cancer Center, billing for services that were never
rendered, and for causing serious bodily injury to a patient.
; First Lady Michelle Obama
made a brief appearance at
the third White House Guru
Nanak birthday celebrations.
; Vice President Joseph Biden led the
White House Diwali celebrations
; Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who
had gone around the country on a bus tour
campaigning for Mitt Romney, slammed
the Republican nominee for the way
Romney ran his campaign.
; While the number of international students at colleges and universities in the
United States increased by 6 percent in the
2011-2012 academic year, the number of
Indian students in the US dropped nearly
4 percent compared to the previous year,
according to the 2012 Open Doors Report
on International Education Exchange.
; Two people were stabbed and a few others injured outside a Sikh temple in Tierra
Buena, Yuba City, California, when two
groups clashed over control of the shrine.
; Sanjay Sarma was appointed the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s
first director of digital learning.
; Nearly two-and-half years after
Divyendu Sinha’s murder in New Jersey,
one of the five individuals charged in connection with the crime pleaded guilty.
Steven Contreras, 19, entered a plea agreement and will now testify at the trial of the
four co-defendants — Julian Daley,
Christian Tinli, Cash Johnson and
Christopher Conway — charged with
; Vitaliy Krasnoperov was sentenced to
life in state prison without the possibility
of parole for the 2007 double homicide
case in which Anaheim Hills resident
Jayprakash Dhanak, 56, and his daughter
Karishma, 20, were murdered and their
Dhanak’s wife Leela, 54, was also severely injured and was in a coma for months
after the attack. He was sentenced for his
role in a revenge-murder and attempted
murder conspiracy targeting the family of
a co-defendant’s ex-girlfriend, Shayona
Dhanak, who was then 18.
; Millionaire Raveesh Ravi Kumra was
killed by intruders who barged into his
home in Los Gatos-Monte Sereno,
; Vishakha Desai, who left her position as
president and CEO, Asia Society and joined
the Guggenheim Foundation as a senior
adviser for global policy and programs earlier this year, was appointed by President
Barack Obama as member, National
Museum and Library Services Board.
Making a historic appointment, President
Barack Obama picked Sachin Dev
Pavithran, a visually impaired program
director of the Utah Assistive Program,
Center for Persons with Disabilities, Utah
University as a member of the Architectural
and Transportation Barriers Compliance
Board, also known as the Access Board. The
board was created in 1973 to ensure design
standards across the country to enable
access to people with physical disabilities.
; Paula Gangopadhyay was appointed to
the National Museum and Library Services