Betul, Madhya Pradesh, August 26, 2016: An American woman has reportedly become so devoted to Lord Krishna that she has been living here in Rukmini Balaji Mandir for the last two months, immersed in ‘bhakti’ and oblivious to the world.
A graphic designer from San Francisco, Angelique Boiteus, 35, has been a ‘Krishna bhakt’ since 2012, said Sheonarayan ‘Sam’ Verma, a Non-Resident-Indian (NRI) who built the Rukmani Balaji Mandir here in Madhya Pradesh.
According to Verma, her devotion intensified over the years- much in line with the ‘Rasa’-filled tradition of Krishna bhakti in which the devotee gradually begins to view the god as his or her lover- drifting her increasingly away from her family and worldly life in the US.
“She now spends her time absorbed in her love for Krishna and doesn’t like to meet people,” Verma said.
India is continuing to engage with the US over the H-1B visa, largely availed of by Indian IT companies, after the Trump administration proposed changes to the programme, a senior official said on Thursday.
“It is a very important topic for us and that is the reason why we have time and again at various levels, we have taken up this matter with the US side,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to queries by journalists here.
Kumar said that most recently, the issue was raised during the first ever India-US 2+2 Ministerial Meeting held here last month that was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.
On Wednesday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to come out with its new proposal by January 2019.
The DHS said it was also proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non-immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation.
The move to end the rule could have an impact on more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders, who have work permits.
The H-4 visas are issued by the USCIS to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the holders of H-1B visa.
The DHS said it will propose to revise the definition of speciality occupation to increase focus on obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B programme.
It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages, the DHS said.
In his remarks on Thursday, Kumar said that India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.
Stating that there are certain bills which have been introduced, he, however, said that “it is important to note that none of these bills have been passed so far”.
“When we have engaged with the US, we have emphasised that our partnership which we have in the digital sphere have been mutually beneficial,” the spokesperson said.