Pravasi Bharat 


Holland honours Hindustanis
TV personality Reshma Roopram, musical star Anil Jagdewsing, dance guru Sandhya Manniesingh, singer Oemar Wagid Hosain, news reporter Perdiep Ramesar, taekwondo champion Soebhaash Dihal, DJ Prako and businessman Virindra Kalika are chosen to be the ‘Hindustanis of the year’ in Holland.
This was the choice of more than 6,000 visitors who voted on the website of Sanoja Entertainment Magazine. There were 40 nominees divided over eight categories. The main goal of the election was to enlarge the perceptible of Hindustanis—which is what PIOs in the Netherlands call themselves—in the media, to stimulate new talent and to force acknowledgement of the community. There were lots of heated discussions through the project, and even death threats.
Therefore, the organisation decided to cancel this year’s event. At the end of 2007 there will be a new election in The Hague, the presidential capital of the Netherlands where the largest group of Dutch Indian’s—approximately 65.000—live. Dutch Indians, especially those belonging to the new generation, are suffering a mentality crisis that goes deep down to our roots in India and Suriname.
US immigration fees set to rise
The US government is expected to announce a more than 80 per cent hike in immigration application fees, said officials.
The increase, which has been under consideration for months, would raise nearly $1 billion for US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), according to the Washington Post. Once the increase comes into effect, the cost of applying for naturalisation would rise from $330 to $595, and a required fingerprint check would go up from $70 to $80.
The troubled $2 billion a year agency faces a budget crunch because of an increase in the number of applications and because the US Congress does not fund it with tax money but gets funded by user fees.
Critics have warned that the fee increase will keep lower-income and less educated people from becoming US citizens.
"The money will allow USCIS to recoup its business costs, provide future services, enhance national security and to modernise a totally outdated business infrastructure," said an agency official.