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William Hague plans trip to India

Hazare disbands Team Anna, says no talks with govt on Lokpal

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For report see page 26

VOL 41. ISSUE 15

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Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe 11th August to 17th August 2012

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Seven killed as gunman opens fire at US gurdwara Wade Michael Page Candle light memorial for the deceased at Oak Creek

has done more to reach out to the Sikhs than any other leader, expressed his condolences to the Sikh community while recognizing their remarkable imprint on America. Sikhs are among the earliest Indian immigrants to the United States going back more than 120 years when the first agricultural laborers from the Punjab arrived in the Pacific Northwest. Since then they have gone on to be one of the most successful immigrant communities in North America on the strength of their industry and entrepreneurial enterprise. Their political activism goes back decades, and in fact, before Bobby Jindal entered Congress, the first lawmak-

er of Indian-origin in the US House of Representatives was Dalip Singh Saund, a clean-shaven California Sikh. However, Sikhs have faced discrimination then most notoriously in a Washington state town called Bellingham which witnessed anti-Sikh riots as far back as 1907 - and have continued to be at the wrong end of bigotry now even though at nearly a million strong in North America, they are not an unfamiliar sight. But post 9/11 they have been mistaken by some wing nuts in America for Islamist fundamentalists because of their turban. “The President wanted to make sure that as we

denounce this senseless act of violence we also underscore how much our country has been enriched by our Sikh Community, who are an integral part of our broader American family,” the White House said in a statement. Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh also condemned the attack on the Sikhs in US and asked the authorities ensure that such things do not occur in the future. Virendra Sharma UK MP condemns gun attack on US Sikh Gurdwara. In a letter he writes, “I am writing to express my total condemnation and grave concern about the unprovoked attack on the peaceful and innocent Sikh. Continued on page 26

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India plans to launch Mars mission in 2013 India plans to launch a mission to Mars next year, putting an orbital probe around the red planet to study its climate and geology, top space department officials had said. The mission would mark another step in India's ambitious space programme, which envisages the Asian giant's first manned mission in 2016. "We will embark on the Mars mission after the Department of Science gives the green signal and decides the schedule early next year," Deviprasad Karnik, director of the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had said. A 320-tonne Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket will be used to carry the orbiter spaceship, blasting off from the ISRO launch site at Sriharikota in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. The estimated cost of the mission would be 4 to 5 billion rupees ($70-90 million dollars). The central government earmarked 1.25 billion rupees for the project in the last federal budget. India began its space programme in 1963 and has developed its own satellites and launch vehicles to

cut dependence on overseas agencies. In September, 2009, India's Chandrayaan-1 satellite discovered water on the moon, boosting the country's credibility among established space-faring nations. But the space programme suffered a major setback in December 2010 when a satellite launch vehicle blew up and fell into the Bay of Bengal after veering from its intended flight path. Meanwhile, G Madhavan Nair said ISRO’s priorities are misplaced. Nair, who has accomplished 25 successful missions during his tenure of six years as Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Secretary in the Department of Space, argued that for India, the manned mission (human space flight programme) is the “immediate priority”. Continued on page 26

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A misguided white gunman opened fire at a Sikh gurdwara in Wisconsin during morning prayers on Sunday killing seven and injuring several people, some seriously. The shooting at Oak Creek, just south of Wisconsin's biggest city Milwaukee, occurred at around 11 am (local time), the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported. Oak Creek is about 1,250 km from New York. Three men have been admitted to hospital. One is in critical condition in the surgical intensive care unit while the other has been sent to an operating room. Later it was found that the shooter was a lone gunman, 40-year old US army veteran named Wade Michael Page who was reportedly a white supremacist skinhead with a 9/11 tattoo on his arm. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that studies hate crimes, said Page was a frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band known as End Apathy. A mortified President Obama, whose administration, and who personally,

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UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

one to one Keith Vaz MP with

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali Bishop Michael was the first non-white Diocesan Bishop in the Church of England. He was appointed in 1994 as Bishop of Rochester. Before that he was the General Secretary of the Church Mission Society from 1989-1994 and prior to holding this position was Bishop of Raiwind in Pakistan. In 1999 he was appointed a member of the House of Lords. He has both a Christian and a Muslim family background and is now President of the Oxford Centre for Training, Research, Advocacy and Dialogue (OXTRAD). Michael has taught at colleges and universities in the United Kingdom and Pakistan. He is Visiting Professor of Theology and Religious Studies in the University of Greenwich and on the Faculty of the London School of Theology (LST) affiliated to the Universities of Brunel and Middlesex. He is the author of ten books and of numerous articles on Mission, Ecumenism, the Anglican Communion, and relations with people of other faiths (particularly Islam). 1) Please tell us about your current position? I am working to assist Christian and other

4) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? A) The university chaplain who first modelled service to humanity for me. B) Medical missionaries who pioneered leprosy treatment in Pakistan. C) My English teacher at school.

communities which are living in difficult circumstances with educational and human rights issues.

5) What is the best thing about your current role?

Mohammed Shabir Ali, left, and Mohammed Shafik Ali

count of terrorist fundraising. Their activity was uncovered when police found a recording of a phone call between them and their brother in Somalia in which he discussed fighting and dying for his beliefs. The recording is thought to have been made because they believed they would never see their sibling again. Police also found a copy of a document entitled 44 Ways to Support

2) What are your proudest achievements? A) Writing short stories and poems for a mainstream magazine whilst still at school. B) playing cricket for teams beyond my ability because I could bowl with either arm. C) As a Christian, being awarded a gold medal for Islamic studies. 3) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? Discrimination, whether based on race or religion, that prevents service to the community.

Twins jailed for raising jihad funds Identical twins who posed as charity collectors to raise £3,000 for their elder brother’s jihad training in Somalia were each jailed for three years last week. Mohammed Shafiq Ali, a Transport for London security guard, and his brother Mohammed Shabir Ali, a teaching assistant, pretended to collect money for Muslim Aid and the Palestinian cause but wired the funds to Mohammed Shahim, 29, who went to Somalia to become a jihadist fighter in August 2008. The fundraising plot was masterminded by Shabaaz Hussain, 28, who was jailed for five years and three months in March after pleading guilty to donating £9,000 to mujahidin groups. The twins, aged 25 from Stepney, East London, were charged with preparing for terrorist acts and collecting extremist literature but pleaded guilty to a single

I also talk to governments and NGOs about basic freedoms for their people.

Jihad by the US-born radical leader Anwar alAwlaki in a search of the brothers’ home. Deb Walsh, deputy head of the Crown Prosecution Service C o u n t e r - Te r r o r i s m Division, said: “This was a case that demonstrates the network of international support that funds acts of terrorism and in turn seeks to threaten lives. The Ali brothers now face three years in prison for their criminal acts.”

Sikhs in the City to hold sixth relay marathon The Sikhs in the City running club is holding its sixth relay marathon in Redbridge on August 26. Teams of between five and seven runners will compete over 26 miles by lapping a course. The 2km route is the same used for training by 101-year-old Fauja Singh, pictured, of Goodmayes, believed to be the only centenarian to complete a marathon and runners will tackle 21 laps. The closing date for entries is August 17 and is limited to the first 26 teams received. All-women teams will be guaranteed a place and multi-faith teams are encouraged to join.

Helping those who feel no one is helping them. 6) And the worst? International travel! 7) What are your long term goals? To achieve proper respect for conscience and freedom of belief (including freedom of expression) both here and abroad. 8) If you were Prime Minister, what one thing would you change? The intolerance of tolerance. 9) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figures would you like to spend your time with and why? Mary and the Apostles to learn more about Jesus, John Fisher and Nicholas Ridley my predecessors as Bishops of Rochester and martyrs for the faith, C.S. Lewis a great advocate of the faith and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, so that I can learn from him the original vision for Pakistan and why it went wrong.

Rochdale sex gang leader jailed The leader of a network of men who groomed young white girls for sex has been jailed for 22 years for a “campaign of rape” against a vulnerable Asian girl whom he regarded as his possession. Shabir Ahmed, who told victims to call him Daddy, may have attacked the girl more than 700 times over 14 years, a court was told. The divorced father of four was one of nine men convicted in May of sex crimes against girls aged 13 to 15 in the Rochdale and Oldham areas, for

which he was given a 19year prison sentence. Last month another jury found Ahmed, 59, a former kebab shop delivery driver, guilty of 30 specimen counts of child rape against the Asian girl, which allowed him to be identified for the first time. The court was told that he remained “in denial” of his guilt. He passed a 22-year prison sentence, to run concurrently with the 19year sentence imposed by Liverpool Crown Court. Throughout both trials

Ahmed, pictured, claimed that he was the victim of a “white lies” racist conspiracy against Pakistani men involving the media, police, prosecutors and the judiciary.

Postman branded 'cockroach' receives £100,000 pay out A postman has received a £100,000 payout after he exposed 'endemic racism' at his sorting office where Asian workers were labelled 'cockroaches' and 'vermin'. Abdul Musa blew the whistle on problems at the Canterbury Street sorting office where he worked in Blackburn, Lancashire between 2006 and 2007. Asian workers, including Mr Musa, were labelled ‘cockroaches’ ‘vermin’ and ‘P***s’, an employment tribunal heard, and an Italian worker also received racial slurs and was dubbed a ‘greasy b******’. But following Mr Musa's complaints he was accused of a string of ‘quite incredible’ racial and sexual counter-accusations, and sacked in early 2007. Postal worker

Abdul Musa

Christopher Eccles was also sacked, as a result of the ongoing abuse, and 12 colleagues were later disciplined. The episode prompted strike action at the delivery office over Mr Eccles's sacking and the graffiti ‘Kill The P****’ appeared in a staff toilet, the tribunal was told. Now a judge has ruled that Mr Musa, pictured, was racially victimised by his colleagues and the judge blasted Royal Mail's investigation into his slurs as 'shambolic'. He said that Mr Musa

had been unfairly dismissed in July 2007 and upheld his racial discrimination claims. The findings of a fiveday tribunal, held in Manchester in January 2012, have only now been made public. The Equality Commission attacked Royal Mail for failing to protect Mr Musa, from Burnley, following efforts by a union and fellow staff to drive him out. The EHRC funded Mr Musa’s case after his previous legal representation withdrew from the proceedings. A Royal Mail spokesman said: 'There is no room in Royal Mail for racism or any other form of discrimination. We are committed to investigating any complaint of discrimination fairly and thoroughly.'


Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

COMMENT

Sikhs are unfairly targeted The gunning down of seven Sikh worshippers and injury of many more at a gurdwara in Wisconsin during morning prayers on Sunday by a misguided white man was a sad incident. Sikhs are a peace-loving people. Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak Devji during a turbulent period in India to bring peace and harmony among Hindus and Muslims through spiritual renaissance. The 9th Guru of Sikhs, Guru Teg Bahadur Ji, did sacrifice his life to save Kashmiri Pandits, only because forcing someone to change the religion is against humanity and Sikhism. They are very hard working and industrious. They run free kitchens in every gurdwara and feed the needy. The Sikh faith is the fifth-largest in the world, with more than 30 million followers. They believe in one God and that the goal of life is to lead an exemplary existence. Equality is a very important element within the Sikh religion, regardless of caste and class, all humans are seen as equal. Everyone possesses the same rights, with all men and women being treated equally in the gurdwara (temple). This emphasis on equality then sees many people from all ethnical backgrounds being welcomed into the gurdwara and into ‘Guru ka Langar’. Sikhs believe in doing good deeds as their belief is that their present and past life would lead the way to their life in the future. The Sikh religion encourages that life should be lived in truth and justice. Sikhs should earn their money honestly and not take away from others and they should only consume what rightfully belongs to them. Sikhs should also undertake a form of ‘sewa’ (service to God), by giving to the needy. At the end of every Sikh prayer is a supplication for the welfare of all of humanity. It seems that the Sikhs have paid a heavy price for standing up against exploitation. They have suffered

heavily during the partition of India. They never indulge in revenge even after many of their brethren were murdered during the Delhi riots. They have contributed a lot for the development of America by their hard working nature. So the attack on Sikhs is a despicable incident. The American government and the media should be partially blamed for the incident. The white people think that Sikhs and Muslims are one and the same. Their beard and appearance resembles Muslims in some way. But they are quite different from Muslims. It is the duty of the American government as well as the media to educate the white people about the differences between the two communities. After the September 11Twin Tower attack, the whites look at Muslims with suspicion. The white people blame the Muslims for the attack and death of many people. If the government and media had educated the general public about the difference between these two communities this incident would have been avoided. Urgently the government should take steps to prevent this type of hate crime by misguided youth. The gunman should be punished severely so that in the future, this type of incident does not happen. Expressing mere sympathies won’t do. It is time for the American government to act and punish the guilty. The shoot out has sent fear among the Sikhs. The Obama administration should take measures to ensure the safety of the Sikhs and win their confidence. Let us remember that the first Indian origin Congressman some 50 years ago, was a Sikh. Sikhs have settled in the US and Canada since the late 19th century and they are above average in excellence in education, commerce, industry, hospitality and even in agriculture. They deserve to be respected and not attacked in such a 'cowardly' way.

Are Indians really enjoying freedom? India gained independence on August 15, 1947. We gained independence after years of non-violent agitation against the British rulers. A large number of people have sacrificed their lives for the giving us freedom. On the eve of 65th Independence Day many questions are agitating our minds. Are we really independent and enjoying freedom? Is India progressing as per the wishes of the founding fathers of the country? The answers to these questions are not very encouraging. Corruption and exploitation are widespread. Unless the rule of the law prevails and unfairness stops freedom doesn’t mean much to the common man and those marginalised. Corruption prevails in every field of activity. Today politicians are the cause of much of corruption. Power and money-making are the main objectives of some politicians. They are the makers and breakers of law. They interpret the law according to their personal interests. The schemes which are devised for the welfare of the common man are hijacked by middle-men. They pocket the benefits for themselves thus depriving the benefits to reach the needy. Morality has taken a back seat. The rule of the mighty prevails. Honesty and sincerity are lacking. It is a shame that most people are after power and money. Eradication of corruption from the society is not easy since it is deep-rooted and prevails from top to bottom. The example is the recent agitation launched by Gandhian leader Anna Hazare and his team against corruption. Initially he was able to draw a big crowd during his indefinite fast for the passage of the Lokpal bill. He raised the vision of the ordinary people by his principles. But the politicians, especially the ruling party, cheated him by promising to enact the bill. The government had brought about a bill which was a watered down version of what Anna and his team

wanted. The real reason why he had to call off his fast was that none of the political parties were willing to whole-heartedly support his version of the bill. The parties know that if Anna’s bill is enacted then a several of the politicians would be in jail. So they all played a dilly-dallying tactics. Now Anna has disbanded his team and is planning to launch his own political outfit and fight election by giving an alternative for the people to choose from during election. Let us elect clean and honest candidates in the next general election. Let us also learn a lesson from the selfless service of Lakshmi Swaminathan who later became Captain Lakshmi Sehgal. She was a great freedom fighter and joined Netaji’s Indian National Army to fight for India’s freedom. During the Second World she was in Burma and was giving her full service to the wounded in the war since she was a qualified doctor. After India gained freedom she came back to India and settled down in Kanpur. She had dedicated her full service to the poor and needy patients of Kanpur and neighbourhood. She passed away recently. Till her end she was serving the poor. She could have gained fame and power if she had followed the path of most of her fellow freedom fighters. Money and fame never enamoured her. She led a simple life serving the needy. We have to follow her example and devote a part of our earnings and time for the welfare of the poor so that they can also enjoy the fruits of freedom. Then the freedom will have some meaning for them. The root cause of strife and violence is lack of opportunities and lack of good governance. If we can provide the common man the basic necessities of life then India would be a better place to live.

India must dare to dream, to do and to move ahead Even though the success of NASA’s spacecraft ‘Curiosity’ landing on Mars has been hailed by many scientists, the question is about its impact on proposed Indian space mission to Mars which has been cleared recently by the government. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning a Mars mission in 2013 to study its climate and geology. ISRO which has been under some pressure after China’s success with a man mission to moon has been looking beyond moon and aiming at exploring the Red Planet which will put India in a leading position in the space programme. With the recent Cabinet clearance, the ISRO is gearing up for the Rs 4.50 billion Mars mission. There are some dissenting voices against India going for a Mars mission. They say that instead of spending money on such ambitious missions the money should be spent on productive activities. They talk about the corruption and lack of progress in many fields. They cite the recent blackouts in India and say that instead of spending money on a Mars mission it should spend on power sector reforms. But India should go ahead with the mission which would mark another step in India's

ambitious space programme, which envisages the Asian giant's first manned mission in 2016. India began its space programme in 1963 and has developed its own satellites and launch vehicles to cut dependence on overseas agencies. A team of 185 scientists from different units of the Indian Space Research Organisation will collaborate for this ambitious project. That NASA is willing to lend $2.5 billion itself is an indication of the potential of the Indian movement in exploring Mars. India has well-educated, experienced and dedicated engineers, space experts and technologists. The Mars mission itself will enhance India's own excellence in technology, engineering and eventually lead to knowledge and many other forms of developments. We are aware that the main strength of India is that it performs better with every difficulty. Right from natural disasters to inflation, recession, corruption, poverty and other problems, India has risen higher and become more successful and prosperous with time. As of now the latest news is India planning to launch a mission to Mars in 2013.

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Thought for the Week True fulfilment is, I believe, vicarious. We get our deepest satisfaction from the fulfilment, growth and happiness of others. It takes time, often a lifetime, to realise this - Charles Handy (1999)

Political Sketchbook www.PoliticalAnimal.me

Alpesh Patel’s The Politics of the Olympics and a Manifesto for a Superpower ‘India’s wannabe superpower elite are delusional’ said one analyst. What does an Olympics’ medals table say about a country of one billion people if it is at the bottom of that table? Nothing? Perhaps. But never has there been an unfit superpower or great civilisation without a culture of sporting achievement. Not the Romans, not the British, the Russians, the Chinese, and of course, not the Greeks who themselves invented the Olympic Games. A manifesto then for India who may have learnt some very harsh humbling and humiliating lessons this past Olympic fortnight. It shall be the policy of this Government to invite the British back to India. In fact we shall invite all the best and brightest with incentives to lead our major institutions. So that we may learn from them, in place of thinking we know it all because our ancestors can be traced back to pre-history. It shall be the policy of this Government to invite the British to run an anti-corruption ‘untouchables’ unit who will have the authority to set up and enforce an anti-corruption unit. Of course there is corruption in Britain, but we can no longer use that excuse for it to be in India too. It shall be the policy of this Government to invite the British to run a national infrastructure programme throughout the country to ensure power grids do not lead to black outs for one in twelve people on the planet. Of course there are power cuts in Britain, but that is not an excuse for them to be in India. It shall be the policy of this Government to invite British NRI’s to India with a red carpet welcome and immense respect– because they like Gandhi, Nehru and Patel, went to Britain for the opportunities it provided and with a British education and British training came back to India to lift a nation. It shall be the policy of this Government to invite the British police force and security services to train the Indian police force and intelligence agencies. Whilst Britain has had failures in policing and security, none can be as incompetent as those that led to the Mumbai attacks. It shall be the policy of this Government to learn from the British about quiet confidence , national spirit and unity. Whilst there are many in India that do have this and many in Britain that do not, we can no longer wait for another generation before we have British educated persons like Gandhi to act in the national interest. The British have shown they can, time and again. It shall be the policy of this Government to invite the British Foreign Office to advise this Government on how to undertake global responsibilities on a world stage. How to speak on a global stage. How to interact with world leaders so as to be taken seriously. Whilst Britain is a small power, this tiny nation of 60 million people remains more respected in global foreign policy than India with 20 times as many – they clearly know something. It shall be the policy of this Government to once again ensure it will create a man or woman of whom, at their passing, the world will say, as they once did of the greatest Indian of them all, ‘The object of this massive tribute died as he had always lived - a private person without wealth, without property, without official title or office…not a commander of great armies nor ruler of vast lands. He could boast no scientific achievements or artistic gift. Yet men, governments and dignitaries from all over the world have joined hands today to pay homage to this little brown man. Pope Pius, the Archbishop of Canterbury, President Truman, Chiang Kai-shek, The Foreign Minister of Russia, the President of France... are among the millions here and abroad who have lamented his passing. This Indian had become the spokesman for the conscience of mankind, a man who made humility and simple truth more powerful than empires." Others will add "Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth." To make Indians such as these, shall be the policy of this Government by all means and help necessary. Spurred on are we now by what we have just seen the world achieve to leave us behind.


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LEICESTER/MIDLANDS VOICE

Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

Solar power at Sikh temple A Sikh temple is harnessing the sun's rays to supply its electricity. Leicester's Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara, in Evington, has installed 400 solar panels on its roof in what leaders believe is a first for any temple in England. The ÂŁ125,000 environmental project has been funded entirely by worshippers and the city's wider Sikh community. Surinderpal Singh Rai, general secretary of the Gurdwara, in East Park Road, said the temple's spiralling electricity bill had forced them to take action. He said: "It's a huge fourstorey building which used to be a shoe warehouse. Our electricity bill was pushing ÂŁ1,700 a month and it was becoming a real burden." The temple welcomes more than 25,000 visitors a week for daily prayers, community meals, after school classes, a day care centre for the elderly and respite care for the families of adults with learning diffi-

culties. Mr Rai said: "The costs were becoming prohibitive and so when we saw this opportunity we went for it. The panels will power the whole building and save us about ÂŁ600,000 over the next 20 years. They will have paid for themselves within a matter of years and the result is we can use the savings to invest in services for the community. On top of all that, we are also doing out little bit to help protect our environ-

ment." Mr Rai said he wanted to thank supporters who had helped raise funds. "We would like to thank the whole community for rallying around us. We've been taken aback by their enthusiasm and generosity. It is a wonderful achievement and something everyone should be very proud of," he said. The panels were fitted by Midlands Solar Panels Ltd. The Gurdwara has been praised by environ-

mental campaigners for setting an example to other organisations and businesses across the city. Gavin Fletcher, conservation team leader for environmental charity Groundwork Leicester, said: "You often see people who have lots of money invest in solar panels, but for a community to come together and pool their resources in this way is fantastic and a great example of what can be achieved. We'd love to feature the temple's story in our EcoHouse in Western Park." Rory Palmer, deputy city mayor with responsibility for the environment, said: "I would like to congratulate the Gurdwara for this ambitious and inspiring project, which will reduce their carbon emissions and energy costs. It's just the sort of action we want to see from organisations in the city as we look to cut our carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2025. The temple is setting a great example."

Dad takes on a challenge in memory of brave Jyoti A father whose daughter died of a genetic disorder is taking on a sponsored bike ride to raise funds for charity in her memory. Suresh Patel, of Thurmaston, is planning to ride 174 miles along Hadrian's Wall. He is taking on the challenge in memory of his daughter, Jyoti Bruce, pictured, who died earlier this year. The 23-year-old suffered from mitochondrial disease – a condition which meant the cells in her body were not producing enough energy, so were not functioning properly. Mr Patel, 54, said: "Jyoti was eight when she was diagnosed. She had balance and co-ordination problems and then she began having epileptic fits. She also had tunnel vision. Drugs helped to keep the fits under control but when

she was 16, doctors told her she might never walk again because her conditioned worsened. Jyoti told me she was determined to do a marathon. Instead, we walked five miles – which was a marathon for someone in her condition – and raised £3,000 for charity." Mr Patel said Jyoti always remained positive. "She was a real fighter. She always said she would deal with her condition. If she fell over she would just

get up again," he said. Jyoti's fight to be independent led her to successfully apply for a business studies course at the Royal National Institute for the Blind College in Loughborough when she was 18. "Jyoti was very determined and lived independently in Loughborough. Then, one day she told me she had met someone and was going to get married," Mr Patel said. Jyoti and her fiance Sean Bruce, who was working at the college, were married in July last year and lived in Mountsorrel. Mr Patel said: "I am very proud of her – she taught me such a lot." Mr Patel and his son Kelpesh, who lives in Surrey, are preparing for the three-day cycle ride,

Knifepoint robber found guilty A serial street robber has been found guilty of mugging a student and a schoolboy at knifepoint. Ismail Mohammed Iqbal, pictured, committed the offences within three weeks of being released from jail for similar offences. He was convicted last Thursday, by 10-to-two majority verdicts, of both robberies. The 23-year-old was on licence at the time from a six-year jail sentence imposed in May 2008. The earlier offences, a robbery and three attempted robberies – all with knives – involved two fleeing victims being stabbed in the back by Iqbal, in January 2007. After being found guilty of those crimes at a

trial in May, 2008, the sentencing Judge, Peter Morrell, warned him: "If you do anything like this again you will be classed as dangerous and dealt with as such." During last week's Leicester Crown Court trial, the jury was told that Iqbal robbed 21-year-old student, Stephen Warr, of a phone in St Alban's Road, off London Road, on November 30 last year. The victim described a knife with a four-inch blade being held close to his chest. The following day, he robbed a 17-yearold schoolboy, taking a phone and an iPod, in Biddulph Street, Highfields. The teenager told the jury how the robber told

him: "I've a knife and I've no problem stabbing you." Recorder Richard Swain adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report to be prepared for a dangerousness assessment. To be classed as dangerous in law would leave him at risk of receiving a fixed minimum- term sentence for public protection and being on licence for life. Iqbal is due to be sentenced on August 30.

which begins on August 25. They are hoping to raise about £5,000 for the Lily Foundation – a charity devoted to raising funds for research into the disease. Mr Patel said: "I have been practising and am riding about 20 miles a day to get ready for the ride." Kelpesh has also organised a competition in which everyone donating £2 by text – MITO88 to 70070 – to the Lily Foundation is in with the chance of winning a signed Manchester City football shirt. He said: "I am hoping this will help to find a cure so that other mitochondrial sufferers have hope for a brighter future." For more on fund-raising in memory of Jyoti, visit: www.justgiving.com/Jyotibr uce



                    

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Leicester's Sikhs pray for victims of shooting

Members of the Sikh community light candles in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, after the shooting in Oak Creek.

Sikhs in Leicester have said prayers for the six victims of Sunday's fatal shootings at a temple in America. Gurjit Singh Walia, spokesman for the Guru Nanak Gurdwara, in Holy Bones, in the city, said: "We are all shocked by the senseless killings. We just wanted to gather to say prayers for those who lost their lives and the others affected." Leicester Sikh Alliance (LSA) has also offered its condolences to those affected by the shootings, which took place at a Sikh temple outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Spokesman Amandeep Rai said the alliance's thoughts and prayers were with "the victims of the shooting, the Sikh community of Milwaukee and the larger community of Wisconsin, which we know will stand with their Sikh neighbours with their support and prayers during this very trying time".

It was announced Monday that the gunman who opened fire as several dozen people prepared for Sunday morning services was former soldier Wade Page, 40, a neo-Nazi white supremacist. As well as the six people who were killed, three people were critically injured. Page was later killed outside the temple in a shoot-out with police. Suleman Nagdi, public relations officer for the Leicester-based Federation of Muslim Organisations, said: "This cowardly shooting of innocent people symbolises all that is wrong with some parts of society, especially as it took place so soon after the horrific cinema killings in Denver. Early reports from the USA have suggested a racial motivation for this crime which is fuelled by hate. I find this very upsetting, since the Sikh community is well known for its hospitality and generosity to all of humanity."

Indian student who waged filthy email campaign is thrown out of Salford University A student who hacked into his university’s computer network to bombard a business partner with obscene messages has been kicked off his course. Salford University said the overseas student was able to remotely access PCs on its campus and use different accounts to send a series of sexually explicit emails. The messages were also sent to the female victim’s friends and family. The incident happened in 2009 – but the Indian student was only recently expelled in April following a court case in Hyderabad. The 22-year-old

enrolled on the aerospace engineering masters course when he used a laptop to break into the university’s IT system. Details of the incident emerged as the region’s universities revealed that 18 students were expelled last year, with infringements including drugs, theft, plagiarism and fraud. A male undergraduate was asked to leave after claiming he was marked down for rejecting sexual advances from a female lecturer at Salford. A student was expelled from Manchester Metropolitan University

for drug abuse, while a Manchester University student was thrown out for tampering with fire safety equipment in a hall of residence. A fraudulent application to gain a ÂŁ2,000 bursary using false circumstances and the theft of three microscopes from a science lab also saw two Salford students expelled during the last academic year. Overall, 29 students have been expelled from the three universities in the last two years, with most offences linked to cheating in exams or plagiarism in coursework.


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Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

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UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

Preserve your heritage Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar has been serving the British Asian community for the last 40 years. Each year we go from strength to strength in terms of quality content and circulation. We give our valued readership a comprehensive news platform as well as other features on health, entertainment, business & finance, politics,sport ex... On the auspicious event of 40th Anniversary of Gujarat Samachar and Asian Voice, we are proud to present once in a life time opportunity to create your very own personal documentary film. In today's world it is necessary to preserve our culture and history. Moreover physical printouts have limited value and difficult to preserve. We are proud to present this opportunity to film your family or firms details and traditions for the generations to come. We can design this documentary/ talk show as per your requirements. For eg. success story/journey, family oriented, personal, business related, career profile, family tree- who we are, where are we from etc.... Interview to be conducted by well known and professional persons from Gujarat /UK

Technical details/ Terms and conditions: l Interview/Meeting time: 2 hours l At Sangat Community Centre, Sancroft Assembly Hall, 28a Sancroft Road, Harrow, Middx, HA3 7NS. l All the materials/photos to be provided together. We shall not accept part of it later. l Commentary in English/Gujarati. Final video upto 30 minutes. l On this celebration of 40th Anniversary, we offer this at a discounted price of only £1250+VAT, which could cost up to £3000 to £5000 elsewhere. l The final copy of the documentary will be scripted, edited and will have voice over by a professional artist. l Payment terms 50% in advance and remaining 50% on delivery of the CD. l Please contact Alka Shah immediately on 07944 151 893/07875 229 122/ 020 7749 4002 or email on alka.shah@abplgroup.com

Father suing NHS for leaving broken needle in son's leg A father is suing the NHS after a nurse left a broken needle in his four-year-old son's leg. Eesa Shafiq was in agony after the 2cm-long sliver of metal was left in his left thigh after a routine jab to prevent against childhood diseases, the Daily Mail reported. Hours later the boy’s leg became stiff and he could hardly move. The next day his father Shanwazcoor took Eesa to hospital where an X-ray revealed the needle was still in his leg. He had a two hour operation to have the needle removed and now Eesa is recovering at his home

Father, Shanwazcoor with son Eesa

in Woodthorpe, Nottingham. Restaurant owner Mr Shafiq is now suing the NHS Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County for negligence. A spokesperson for

NHS Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County said: 'It would not be appropriate for us to comment publicly about this case for reasons of patient confidentiality, but we would always encourage any patient who is unhappy with the treatment they have received to contact their GP practice directly or use the NHS Nottingham City PALS and complaints service. 'We can then work with them to properly understand, investigate and resolve any concerns or issues they may have.' No one from the Sherwood Health Centre was available to comment.

William Hague plans trip to India British foreign secretary William Hague is planning a visit to India "in the near future" to push the 'envisaged special IndoBritish relationship' to a different level. Hague admitted that the relationship "needs very energetic follow-up over the next two to three years" in an exclusive interview with Times of India, India's biggest daily. British Prime Minister David Cameron had visited India weeks after taking over in 2010 to seal a mutual commitment on upgrading bilateral ties. But Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is yet to reciprocate his visit. Following Queen Elizabeth's surprising absence from Delhi Commonwealth Games opening ceremony an

William Hague

impression was created that the enthusiasm for enhancing the ties has lost steam, reported the daily. But Hague described it as "symbolic to some people'' and maintained that "the substance of the cooperation is very good''. In the interview Hague refused to criticise Pakistan for exporting or supporting terrorism. "We are not in the business of

ganging up on anybody in the (South Asian) region in any direction," he said. But he called on Islamabad to tackle its terrorist threats. "There is no lack of clarity in our dealings with Pakistan on that." Though Britain has sought a free trade agreement between India and the European Union "as soon as possible", Hague does not see this happening this year. He added, "(There are) outstanding difficulties. It is all on that openness (on the part of India) agenda." Hague refused to comment on the perception of policy paralysis in India in the interview with Ashis Ray, saying Britain would not interfere in India's domestic politics or comment on domestic issues.

Asian Voice launches

community campaign against changes to UK immigration laws In the last 2 years the British Government has tried innumerable ways to target the immigrants. It has resulted into endless confusion with hardly much of a difference in the numbers. Asian Voice has run several stories raising issues that affect immigrants directly and indirectly. In the 16th June issue (page 1) we spoke about a 'future' campaign and invited our dear readers to write to us about their feeling regarding the upcoming laws to be enforced on immigrants who want to settle here with their families. This week we have launched the campaign formally and we want more of you, in fact all of you to support us to make our government realise Britain is a multicultural country, where every tradition and faith should be given its due credit. The upcoming changes are to directly and severely affect our culture, age old traditions and our ways of life. We need the government give us our due 'right to equality and life'. Read on to know more about our campaign and the ways you can support this campaign. On the 9th July 2012 the Government will begin to introduce changes to immigration laws which will restrict the number of people who are able to come to this country. There are two main changes; they will begin to abolish the right of appeal for family visitors applying for a visa to visit the United Kingdom; and they will introduce minimum income requirement for persons wishing to sponsor a family immigration application. These changes will have a profoundly negative impact on many of our readers, on our grandparents our husbands and wives, our aunties and uncles and cousins. We as a newspaper feel it is only right to launch a campaign against the changes that is why we urge you to join our community campaign for families against the proposals.

Main changes at a glance Changes to family migration routes: l Will introduce a new minimum income requirement for persons wishing to sponsor an application for a nonEEA national partner l Will have to demonstrate a minimum gross annual income of £18,600 l The minimum threshold increases if the applicant has children; £22,400 for one child and an additional £2,400 for each child l Previously there was no minimumincome requirement l Allowing adult and elderly to settle in the UK only where they can demonstrate as a result of age, illness or disability, they require a level of long-term

personal care that can only be provided by a relative in the UK l Will extend the minimum probationary period for settlement from two years to five years Right of appeal against visa decisions: l Uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces and first cousins will no longer be considered to be family visitors for appeals purposes l They will no longer be able to appeal against family visitor visa refusal decisions l The government intends to eventually completely remove the right to appeal to any visa application What we are doing We are writing to all MPs to urge them to join our campaign against the Government’s proposals We are writing to Ministers at the Home Office to ask them to review the decision

How you can help You can write to your MP to raise awareness about the issue here: http://www.migrantsrights.org.uk/takeaction/family-migration Sign up to our petition calling for the Government to urgently review the changes online: www.ipetitions.com/petition/asianvoice or by post to: Petition Against Government’s Immigration Law Changes, Asian Business Publications Ltd, Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, London N1 6HW.

Oldham shop worker to be sentenced An Oldham shop worker who tried to claim a £1m lottery prize won by an elderly customer has admitted fraud. Farrakh Nizzar, 30, of Woodlands Road, Crumpsall, Greater Manchester, told Maureen Holt, 77, she had won nothing when he scanned her ticket. Oldham Magistrates Court heard that Nizzar later tried to claim the EuroMillions jackpot himself. But the scam unravelled when checks were made by lottery operator Camelot. Nizzar, who admitted a charge of fraud by false representation, will be sentenced on 20 August at

Farrakh Nizzar

Maureen Holt

Manchester Minshull Crown Court. The checks revealed the winning ticket was bought at a Tesco Extra in Oldham, where Mrs Holt had used her Clubcard, and not the Best One Convenience Store in Watersheddings Street where Nizzar worked. Mrs Holt and husband Fred, 80, had been on holiday when the EuroMillions UK Millionaire Raffle draw which matched their numbers was made in June. The shop involved has been suspended from selling National Lottery tickets, pending an internal investigation, he said.


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Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

Olympic opening ceremony gatecrasher apologises M a d h u r a Nagendra, an Indian student who gatecrashed the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, has apologised for her "error of judgment" during the athletes' parade. The 26 year-old, an Indian student studying in Britain, admitted it was "mistake" to lead her country's 50strong team during the parade of nations. She provoked a huge backlash in India in the wake of last week's ceremony after she appeared smiling next to India's confused flag-bearer Sushil Kumar, a freestyle wrestler. The bizarre incident was also subject of an official protest from India's Olympic delegation, who described the move as a security breach and an

Opening doors to the Buddhist faith

A young Tibetan religious leader, Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje, has just been meeting young people in London, including youth ambassadors from the Prince’s Trust, students and those promoting volunteering, to share Buddhist teachings and to encourage interfaith dialogue at a time when Europe appears to be floundering in disillusion and a loss of values. He also visited Sadhu Paramtattvada at the Swaminarayan Hindu temple in Neasden, London Baps UK, to enhance inter faith relations (pictured).

'Shoddy' lawyers to be named and shamed 'Shoddy' solicitors are to be publicly identified for the first time, with consumers able to check online whether complaints have been made about a lawyer or firm. Nearly 700 lawyers will be identified when the site goes live in the next few weeks, a daily newspaper has reported. It will display all cases of alleged “shoddy work” or inadequate service handled by the Legal Ombudsman since April. The Ombudsman investigates about 8,400 cases a year. Most are resolved informally but one third lead to formal rulings. The most common complaints are in family cases or conveyancing (18 per cent and 15 per cent), followed by wills and probate (12 per cent). Complaints include allegations of dishonesty, poor communication and

Community betrays Shafilea Ahmed Tanveer Mann

affront to their athletes. Despite initially claiming she was just following orders, the keen amateur dancer apologised for her "error of judgment" and "mistake" but denied she had been a security threat. Miss Nagendra, one of 10,000 volunteers taking part in Danny Boyle's £27 million extravaganza, admitted she had become overexcited and spontaneously joined in the parade.

delays and disputes about fees. Under the plans, lawyers or law firms will be named if there has been a “pattern of complaints” or if naming them is thought to be in the public interest. Second, the names of all lawyers or firms involved in complaints that have led to rulings by the Ombudsman, whether adverse or not, will be published. The first category is expected to involve “no more than a handful” of decisions, but the second involves about 3,600 rulings a year. People will be able to see how many decisions have been made by the Ombudsman against any named lawyer or firm; their area of law; the date of the decisions; what remedies were ordered, such as fines or apologies, and the reasons for the complaints.

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Shafilea Ahmed's tragic and heartbreaking story has hit the world like a storm in the last few weeks. Shafilea was a talented and ambitious girl, who had dreams of becoming a barrister. The only wish she ever had was, to live like any other normal girl yet this was stripped away from her by her parents at an early age, because of their commitment to ensuring she would never bring disgrace to the family. After 9 painful years of investigation with stagnated evidence, the case was reopened last August when Shafilea's sister Ayesha implicated her parents in Shafilea's death. Shafilea's parents were finally found guilty for the murder of their daughter, on August 3, 2012. Having finally been brought to justice, Shafilea's story begs the question of why it took so long and why none of the surrounding community stood up to stop the unfortunate yet inevitable events. A com-

munity leader and frequent writer has told Asian Voice that not only have the friends and family failed Shafilea, the community and the religion are also to blame for allowing this betrayal. Standing on the sidelines to watch this brutality occur, the community have proved just as guilty in Shafilea's case. Seventeen-year old Shafilea Ahmed from Warrington disappeared on September 11, 2003, and would never be seen alive again. After a year of searching, a body was found in Cumbria and was identified as Shafilea Ahmed's. Her parents were initially arrested for suspicion of murder but then were released as there was no evidence, neither could the coroners identify the cause of death. It is only when

Shafilea's brother, Junyad (far left), and sister, Mevish, with Mr and Mrs Ahmed

Shafilea's sister was arrested for robbery, she revealed to the police everything that happened on that unforgettable night. As an extremely orthodox, Islamic, immigrant family, Shafilia's parents believed in raising their children, as they had been raised in Pakistan, with the fundamental principles of Islam. However this narcissism, bordering on suffocation, only led their daughter to the brink of

to a Danish woman, Vivi Lone Anderson. According to her, his views only changed when he returned to Pakistan to marry Shafilea's mother. The hypocrisy is evident. In a tragic few years before her death, Shafilea was being shipped back and forth to Pakistan for potential marriage. On one account, she attempted suicide by drinking bleach. The local authority knew of her father's brutality yet

Iftikar with first wife Vivi

death herself. Not one of the first honour killings to make headlines, but truly the first to wake society up to the problems occurring in religious families, intolerant of British culture, the double standards involved in this case are truly horrific. Shafilea's parents were intolerant of their daughter's pleas to live a normal life, like her friends who wore makeup and went out, yet they allowed their son to do as he pleased. There is also unveiling evidence that Shafilea's father was guilty of enjoying Western culture in his previous 'secret' marriage

failed to take any measures against him. As the case increasingly narrowed in on Shafilea's parents however, it was revealed that Iftikhar Ahmed had a gold biscuit hidden in a suitcase as part of an escape plan. 18 year old Reshma Patel said “It is absolutely unbelievable that Shafilea's parents could place the shame of their family at a much higher priority than their daughter's happiness. Restricting their daughter was probably the worst thing they could have done, as it only enticed her further to push away”.


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Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

OLYMPIC EXCLUSIVE

All in the spirit of the game, Jai Bhagwan Indrani Thakurata Along with the London Olympic celebrations, there is a parallel celebration going on in a village called Nirjan in Jind district, India. After all, their village lad represented India in the London 2012 Olympics,the biggest sporting event in the world. Riding on their Ladla's (sweetheart) back, this village enjoyed its small stint with fame after Jai Bhagwan qualified for the Olympics. After eight-long-years of struggle to qualify for the Olympics, the two time Asian Championship medallist and a bronze winner in the 2010 Commonwealth Games is happy. “I am happy to have reached till here. Its amazing to play for your country in an International level, especially Olympics,” says the feisty star. Though, for the pugilist, boxing caught his liking gradually, “Bachpan mein jab bachcho ke saath khelta tha tab dhishoom dhishoom bahut karta tha (since my childhood, I have liked the sound of boxing),”

Jai Bhagwan

says Bhagwan matter-offactly. His mother always knew that he would take to boxing. The cool, composed 27-year-old started the Olympics on a very good note. Backed by a large Indian audience at the ExCel London, he thrashed Andrique Allisop of Seychelles 18-8 in the lightweight (60 kg) category. Happy with the fans support, “ there were many Indians in the crowd, and their love made me happy.” His win in the opening tournament, won him lot of praises for his technique and focus. His combina-

tion of jabs and punches were appreciated widely, But his winning streak didn't last for long. He bowed out in the pre quarter-finals of the men' lightweight category against Gani Zhailauov of Kazakhstan. “I started on an aggressive note, but lost it somewhere. A change of tactic worked wonders for Kazakh boxer,” explains the boxer. “The warning also did the trick for Zhailauov. It affected my momentum.” The field in the lightweight category is very competitive, so, Bhagwan went in with the right philosophy, 'I have nothing to lose '. And indeed, for a cricket frenzy nation, it is nice to see young talents from other sports sprung up from villages to make India proud. For the 27-yearold, he has tried his best. But as he puts it, “I will work harder next time to win.” We say, better luck next time!

Sikh Family denied entry to London Olympic As per news report in the Daily Telegraph on Friday 3 Aug, members of a Sikh family were denied entry to an Olympic football game in Coventry because the father was carrying a small Kirpan. A Kirpan is a cermonail sword that is an integral part of Sikh religion’s practise and is also considered to be vital part of Sikh identity. Dalwinder Singh Sandhu, 37, was attending the games with his wife, children aged 6 and 4 and other family members and friends. He had spent £200 to see football in city's Ricoh Arena. He is quoted to have said that “My father, wife

and I are baptised Sikhs and we openly disclosed that we were carrying a small Kirpan under our clothes but we were still denied entry”. The Sikh community wrote a letter to Lord Coe in March last year, asking if Sikh’s were allowed to carry Kirpan’s into games. Lord Coe, Chairman London 2012 in a statement issued earlier this year told UK based Sikh leaders taht “At Games-time, small symbolic ceremonial daggers (an Article of Faith with a maximum blade length of 3 inches) carried for religious reasons will be allowed. We have worked closely with the

Sikh community and the Metropolitan Police on our plans in this area, and published this statement on our website”. Mr Singh says he was upset that he and his family were not allowed entry. “Words cannot describe how upset my family and I are from being excluded from an Olympic event the we had been looking forward to for such a long time. The Olympics are supposed to be all about inclusion and embracing all nations and cultures. This obviously does not include the Sikh population” Dalwinder Singh Sandhu added.

Olympics fans cherish Indian tea at Southbank A special Indian tea promotion in London started on August 1, 2012, at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London, coinciding with the London Olympics 2012. A delegation of major producers and exporters, led by the additional secretary, ministry of commerce, Madhusudan Prasad, was in London for the special promotional event. Dr J. Bhagwati, the High Commissioner of India in the UK, inaugurated the show and there

was a symbolic pouring of the tea from a huge teapot into a cup by Madhusudan Prasad and Tea Board of India chairman MGVK Bhanu. A mini tea garden was created inside the Royal Festival Hall, narrating the story of tea production. The entire hall came alive with the drumbeats, along with Bhangra performance and other Indian dance performances, which were a major attraction. The crowd cherished the music and dances with food stalls, coffee, spices

etc. Prominent Indian tea producers and exporters, including McLeod Russell, Goodricke, Ambootia, Rossell Tea, Typhoo Tea, as well as Indian Tea Association (ITA) and Darjeeling Tea Association(DTA) were present and displayed some of the best teas in the exhibition stall outside the Royal Festival Hall. There were also stalls by other commodity boards like coffee board, spices board and APEDA.

Many to blame for exploitation during Olympic lead-up A fourth Olympic Mining Network, the While Britain continues partner, Dow, is accused anti-poverty charity War to climb up the medal on Want, the Bhopal chart and the celebraof failing to pay full comMedical Appeal, the oil tions continue, hundreds pensation and refusing to campaign group Platform of people saw and clean up the site of the and the UK Tar Sands expressed their backing Bhopal chemical plant Network. for a huge image and disaster, which has London Mining video projected on a claimed 10,000 lives in Network coordinator building overlooking the the capital of the Indian Richard Solly said: "Rio Olympic Park, in state of Madhya Pradesh. Tinto has mined the metStratford accusing the In addition, the paper als for the Olympic Games sportswear parthas reported that medals in a mine in Utah Olympic partner BP ner Adidas of making that is causing so much advertises its “advanced millions out of the pollution to the local biofuels for London exploitation of workers, community that local 2012” while 99 per cent who produce its clothes. physicians have taken of the company’s fleet of The image and video out a lawsuit against official Games vehicles (http://www.youtube.co use conventional fossil m/watch?v=AQK42CT5 them. It is sad for athvTw) came from the letes that the anti-poverty charity medals they are 'War on Want'. receiving have It says Adidas has been tainted by already sold £100 such human sufmillion of Olympic fering." clothing, while workM u r r a y ers, making its goods Worthy, War on around the world, are Want’s sweatpaid poverty wages shops camand are having to paigner, said: skip meals to survive. “Adidas are The charity making millions, yet the beamed the 65 feet workers who high image – which produce their proclaimed “exploitaclothes have to tion – not OK here, skip meals just not OK anywhere” to get by. This is underneath the exploitation. It famous Adidas threewouldn’t be OK striped logo - as the for Adidas to do sell-out 80,000 crowd this in the UK left the stadium after and it shouldn’t the Olympic highImage projected against Adidas on a be OK anywhere light, the men’s 100 metres final on building overlooking the Olympic Park by else. Adidas must ‘War on Want’ photo credit: Guy Smallman ensure that workSunday. Campaigners, ers are paid including one wearing a enough to live.” fuels. It cited that BP’s giant head of Olympics With the world’s eyes oil extraction from tar chief Lord Coe, were due on London, the protest sands in the Canadian to hand out copies of follows reports that province of Alberta killed what resembled a popular Adidas factory workers off swathes of forest, former London evening near the Cambodian capwhich in turn drives cliital Phnom Penh receive mate change, and conpaper on Tuesday, as £10 a week basic pay, are taminating water supAsian Voice went to forced to work overtime, plies, with illness soaring press, which attacked cannot afford decent food among indigenous comGames sponsors for and live in squalid condimunities. alleged human and envitions. The paper has also ronmental abuse. War on Want also claimed that Games enerActivists were due to cites other Adidas workgy partner, distribute the 'London ers, struggling to surLate', a spoof based on vive on well under a livthe 'London Lite' ing wage, in the on Tuesday, to Philippines, Indonesia, travelers at east Sri Lanka and China. London tube stations Liverpool It contrasts the Street and Old workers’ poverty pay Street and other with the £529 million local places on the profits Adidas eve of new financial recorded in 2011 and results from the conits chief executive troversial Games partHerbert Hainer’s ner Rio Tinto. £4.6 million “comThe paper alleges pensation” last year. that 'Rio Tinto', which Colin Toogood, supplied the medals, is from the Bhopal responsible for hunMedical Appeal, dreds of premature said: "Dow has deaths each year spent a fortune through air pollution in e on its Olympic th the Salt Lake City area of n o d e poof bas sponsorship and the US state of Utah. Late', a s in East 'London Lite' distributed all it has bought The Olympic security n o d n 'Lo London them is terrible public contractor G4S were relations. There must be EDF, is at the denounced over recruita connection between centre of nuclear safety ment and training failthat and their recent concerns and secret ures, which is also highannouncement dumping of uranium in lighted in the paper for of Siberia. alleged human rights crashed profits and a The paper has been abuse in Britain, falling share price. Our Afghanistan, Palestine advice to Dow is to take produced by five organiand Australia. the enormous PR." sations – the London


UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

Condolence Message

Leading Lights

by Rani Singh

Special Assignments Editor

Vikram Santilal, 35 Vikram Santilal is the managing partner of Jeram Jewellers in London and brand director of Maison Santilal in the Indian Ocean island of Reunion and Madagascar. Vikram trained to be an accountant. After finishing his BA degree he married a lady who encouraged him to explore his talent in the field of jewellery. With generations of influence, including a grandfather who is a professional jeweller, he took his business to a high level. Q. Tell me about your family background. We are a family of jewellers serving local communities for generations. Our history outside India started with my great grandfather, Jeram Jogia, who landed in Madagascar in 1911. With an anvil and a hammer as his only assets, he started his business serving local expats. My great grandfather’s older brother had migrated to South Africa, so it was the natural place to move to. During the 1960s my grandfather, Santilal Jeram, moved to the capital, Antananarivo, and became very successful. He still is the most important ambassador for our brand and visits the store daily to spend a few hours in the workshop with the “chef d’atelier.” Q. Which countries do you source from? Goods can be produced in one part of the world and sold in another. What matters is that quality is maintained. We have workshops in Madagascar and London but produce goods in conjunction with our designers around the world. Q. Are all your items high end? We have three main lines of products in our store, the so called “bread and butter” goods focus on our 22ct gold jewellery line which caters to the traditional market, but also incorporates goods aimed at second generation British Asians.

Our house diamond range concentrates on styles that are upmarket but still wearable. Finally the tour collection, which is done twice a year, and visits all our stores is aimed at high net worth clients. Our clients for this range tend to leave their styling requirements with us. Each collection takes about six months to complete with the help of each store’s managing partner.

With an anvil and a hammer as his only assets, he started his business As the goods move around the world catering to different clients, we are not restricted in producing designs that are sure sellers, and so have the opportunity to push the boat out. Viewing of the tour collection tends to be by invitation only. This is due to the limited numbers of jewels made and the exhibiting time at each location. Only some items from this collection will ever become a house range for display at the store. Q. Who designs for you? The tour collection is a compilation of ideas from each managing partner. They get together twice a year. Not only is this a family gathering but we also get an opportunity to present the last six months of design briefs to people who care for the brand. Only after being approved by each member will the jewels be part of the next tour

the “Maison under Santilal” name. Q. Tell me about one of your craftsmen. Our honourary “chef d’atelier”, Mr Jean is 83 and still attends the workshop. My grandfather recruited him over 50 years ago. Most craftsmen can get quite attached to jewellery they have produced especially when they are working for the same family for years. My grandfather commissioned a bracelet for my father in the early 70s which was made by Mr Jean. About five years ago my father gifted the jewel to his nephew, which Mr Jean found out about. He was extremely upset to know that a product which was made by him was given away and insisted that a new one be made for the nephew. Fortunately we were able to explain to him that the product was still with a member of the family and that his hard work is part of the family jewellery and is being enjoyed by the next generation. Q. How are you doing in a British recession? We have seen the giftware market shrink. However the top end of the market has not shown any downward trends. If anything the reverse is true, as this group of customers is spending money on customised projects or one- off products. When a business has invested in taking care of client’s needs as ours has I find that work comes to us instead of us chasing it.

Dr A C Mehta Born on 5 Dec, 1938, Dr Anil C Mehta of Leeds, has been a columnist with Asian Voice for past few years. Originally an Infirmary Manager in a Pharmacy, his column 'History Matters' focussed on historical elements and incidents in the 'Indo-British' relations. After a brief period of illness, Dr Mehta passed away on 23 July 2012 and his funeral was held on 31 July 2012. He is survived by a loving wife and 2 sons. Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar would like to convey their deepest condolence to the family for such an irreplaceable loss.

Namaste Switzerland Switzerland is not the only a place for 'chocolates, cheese and clocks'. It's a country of 'all that you fancy and feel'whether it's just scenic beauty, a nice and relaxing spa, a romantic getaway or pure trekking and adventures. While Bollywood has already made its plush valleys and snow cap mountains a significant symbol for 'blossoming love', Switzerland offers that and much more. It is a mine house of history, exquisite food and beverages, people, culture and diversity. Though visibly small, the country offers uncountable spots of absolute visual wonders. Very well connected by the magical Swiss transport, especially the very efficient railways make a week or so in Switzerland, an unmissable experience. There are packages to go and see Switzerland the way you wish to, custom made or otherwise, but packages such as ‘A Taste of Glacier Express’ or ‘Best of Switzerland’ or a trip to the ‘Snow Peaks of Switzerland’ with ‘Lakes and Mountains of Lucerne’ are noteworthy. The Glacier Express is probably Europe’s best-known daily service designed for tourists, linking the famous resorts of Zermatt and St. Moritz via an endless succession of varied mountain landscapes, viewed through special panoramic windows. The journey is narrated

throughout explaining the amazing engineering in overcoming feat extreme altitude differences not to speak about the 291 bridges and 90 tunnels the train has to cross along the way. The Glacier Express is now becoming more and more popular amongst Asians and in 2011 we had Pankaj Kapoor's film “Mausam” shot on board. From May 2012 a range of Indian meals have been made available on it, just for those 'Indian moments'. On the à-la-carte menu, there are two meat dishes and one vegetarian Indian dish available now, along with the 'dish of the day' and a small side salad. They can be ordered on the train of course. Talking about the glaciers and snow capped mountains, we must say that no holiday to Switzerland can be complete without at least one mountain excursion and you don’t even need to be a mountaineer! Whether it is Top of Europe such as Jungfraujoch or Mt Titlis or Mt Pilatus, every spot on a mountain is interlinked by the fantastic cogwheel railway, or even the revolving aerial cable car with a 360 degree panoramic view. In the summer months you can enjoy a leisurely cruise across Lake Lucerne before boarding the steepest cogwheel railway in the world to Mt Pilatus. In a perfect setting by the shores of Lake

Lucerne, flanked by Mount Rigi and Mount Pilatus, this beautiful city remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in Switzerland. You can walk through the Old Town and marvel at the painted facades and historic buildings, enjoy a stroll through narrow cobbled streets lined with shops selling traditional Swiss goods or walk across the river on the famous wooden 'Kapellbrücke' (Chapel Bridge) with its triangular paintings, some of which date back to the 17th century. However if you are aiming for the best of Switzerland, you cannot possibly rule out the Lake district of Switzerland. Interlaken is the most popular humdrum for Asians in the whole of Switzerland. Creating a foothill to Jungfraujoch, Interlaken mesmerises visitors with its blue water against the high mountain ranges in the distant. A journey on the Golden Pass Panoramic takes you through the alpine forests, traditional villages, vineyards, flowering meadows to Lake Geneva. If you enjoy cruises, you must not miss out a boat cruise on Lake Lugano. And if you are thrilled with steep climbs, try Bernina Express without fail. For information and bookings contact stcswitzerland travel centre on 020 7 420 4935 or Namaste Travel on 020 7312 1742.

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YOUR VOICE

10

Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

Olympics and pagan practices

Should rich Asians emulate Mittal’s philanthropy?

As a Hindu the Olympics has an odd fascination for me. The sanctity of the torch relay and the Olympic flame is what every Hindu does daily, a divo (holy flame). The modern games are a product of the supremacy of western civilisation which claims Greece as its source, but I would dispute this. When Rome became Christian it destroyed and put an end to all pagan rituals including the Ancient Games under the Christian emperor Theodosius I in 393AD. Skip forward 1300 years, and the Games where nothing but relics left on ancient monuments in Greece. Christian Europe kept many pagan customs and festivals including the holy day of Sunday a day on which pagans and hindus worship the Sun. Middle age Europe then created a myth of Greek origins of European civilisation resulting in Britain France and Russia recreating the modern day Greek state from the remains of the Islamic Ottoman state in 1843 this lead in turn to the of reviving the Games by a Frenchman Baron de Coubertin in 1880’s. The 1933 German Games were used to promote the Aryan races proved popular with the Nazis, while Britain believed in the Empire. The Nazis thought up the idea of the Torch relay as a way to unite the Germans. So when the majority of the world’s people speak Mandarin and Hindi, French and English are still the only official languages allowed. In short young Indians may think they have no history worth turning to whereas in truth Hindus today still practise many ancient pagan customs and rituals of the Ancient Greek Olympians.

I find your editorial on ‘Rich Asians should emulate Mittal’s Philanthropy’ (Asian Voice 4th August 2012) totally misleading. Most of the Indian businessmen are show off and are more interested in pleasing Westerners by donating money for projects which cannot be defined for philanthropic purposes. Arcellor Mittal Orbit is a waste of money from poor Indians point of view since it has not helped to provided free education and drinking water facilities to eradicate poverty in India. But for his investment in India Mittal would not have made a fortune. By donating millions of pounds for a steel orbit structure and couple of million pounds to a small number of athletes, we cannot call him as a philanthropist and the donation for the Olympics cannot be considered for philanthropic purposes. On the other hand the Microsoft founder Bill Gates has donated more than 200 Million to eradicate AIDS which kills thousands of people every year in developing countries including India. Bill Gates wife Melinda Gates goes to India regularly to visit HIV camps and this is why I call her a philanthropist. When Indian universities are struggling for funding, Ambani’s family gave millions of dollars for the rich Harvard university in America. Several Hindu businessmen have donated cores of rupees for Christian institutions in India since they studied there and the same amount of support is not given to Hindu run charitable institutions in India. Hindu businessmen who are based in Britain for tax purposes should learn from other religious groups and contribute for the welfare of Hindu community since most of their business activities are based in India. Arun Vaidyanathan Via Email

Jayesh A Patel Wimbledon

Last Flicker

In a meaningless gesture of defiance, geriatric 83 year old Ex CM of Gujarat Keshubhai Patel (KP) and his fellow conspirator Kashiram Rana theatrically announced that they have quit BJP and would explore the possibility of forming a new political party. As they failed to renew their membership, they were no longer members of BJP. It was a publicity stunt designed to get maximum exposure and possibly a call from Delhi with some concession. It is the last throw of a failed politician, last flicker of a dying, extinguishing political career. As we say, there is no fool like an old fool and KP fits the bill perfectly. Modi’s popularity, single-mindedness bordering arrogance will not let KP get any concession either from the Centre or significantly from the people of Gujarat. It is time to show KP the door and be damned. He has already lost the support from his numerically powerful Patel community. It is time KP should enjoy his retirement, playing with his great grand children rather than harbour the ambition of becoming CM of Gujarat once more, not out of love for the State but to further the political carriers of his family members. Modi do not harbour such ambition. People of Gujarat know and appreciate such honesty in Modi.

Empty seats While Olympics preparations and opening ceremony went very well, empty seats exposed that fiasco behind inflated and over expectation image of the image of the games. Empty seats tend to shrink profits and demote image of britain vis a vis international event. I suggest that these can be offered to students, and educational organisations at concessionary rates. Students can thus use their holidays in constructive manner and get incentive to participate in future games. I hope LOCOG will attract willing students, OAPs and disabled persons to earn goodwill and public confidence for future. Krashnakant M Jhalla Thornton Heath KP should know that he is being used by other decedents like Kashiram Rana, Suresh Mehta and other ageing, disgraced politicians who have no where to go. KP would not fare any better than Shankarsinh Vaghella, a much wiser and shrewder politician than KP who is now in a political doldrums after toppling KP.

Kaliyuga-age of vice? Devika shows praiseworthy interest in Mahabharata, Kaliyuga as age of vice and need of big and fierce war to SEE God. God is in us, around us and it is in him that we live and move? It is God that puts us to bed and wakes us up; makes crop grow and ripen to eat; gives one appetite, and digests food. It is the same God that keeps us warm, planets afire and keep universe in foolproof synchronisation. Doctors have discovered God area in Parietal lobe, (by expensive Electro Encephalo Gram), of human brain and quantum physicists have discovered God particle (by super expensive Hadron Collider). God is cosmos and you are micro cosmos therefore, you can see God free of any charge with your mind and yoga. Mahabharata is simplistic story, adventure, scriptural encyclopaedia, futuristic science-fiction political and social compendium, depending upon the reader. Kali Yuga is not age of vice but age of awareness which can be disseminated with speed of thought by technology. Humanity has not stopped from indulgence in sins. 0Krishna’s promise about big and fierce war to see God is half the promise to restore dharma. God has promised protection of pious too. Ramesh Jhalla Via Email

Foxes in the Back Garden I was woken up the other night by foxes screaming and howling in my back garden. It was a pitiable sight to see them scavanging for food and fighting among themselves for whatever scraps of food was available in people’s waste bins. But then they have to find food to feed themselves and their cubs. Who is responsible for this situation and why are foxes visitng cities and people’s back gardens? It is us humans who have driven them out of their natural habitat and they have no alternative but to come to the cities in search for food; we have taken up their hiding places for our own use and built houses where they would have roamed freely in the forests. So how do we help them? Unless we humans feed them, foxes could become a nuisance because of fouling, digging or damaging garden plants. Moreover, in autumn and winter, the main breeding seasons, foxes searching for food would scream and bark and thus disturb people’s sleep. So next time you discover foxes in your gardens, be a little kind by placing food for them. Foxes are scavengers and will eat a wide range of foodstuffs, including small mammals, birds, worms, beetles, berries, rabbits, eggs, insects, fruit and vegetables. Although they are predators, they are lazy and will not bother with elusive prey, where scavenging a meal will be easier. Therefore, we should try and deliberately place food for them as a recompense for taking away their land and driving them out of their natural habitat. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Bhupendra M Gandhi Via Email

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Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman ensure victory for India in first test

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Brand ‘Gujarat’ – which is equated with Guangdong of China, he invited Chinese business community and public enterprises to participate in the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit- 2013. He highlights Gujarat’s special investment regions as areas where Chinese companies could invest. He called on China to invest in infrastructure and power projects in the state, wooing potential investors with a sales pitch that showcased Gujarat as a state with levels of “governance, transparency and stability” that they could not find elsewhere in India. He declared that “the two great countries will make Asia the centrestage of the global economy.”

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A new theory says that any physical activity for 15 minutes every day is a good insurance against a plethora of health problems, be it related to the heart, the brain or even cancer. A study published in The Lancet, a British medical journal, said that just a quarter-hour of physical exertion a day could reduce a person's risk of death by 14% and increase life expectancy by three years compared to inactive people. Incidentally, another theory published in a different British journal said daily TV-viewing for six hours could take

away five years from your life. Adding and subtracting years from your life has never before been quantified in such medical terms, say doctors. The 15-minute short-cut to good health, in fact, changes the most fundamental rule that was approved by the World Health Organizationthat 150 minutes of activity a week is needed to stay healthy. )(.#(/

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E-mail: support@abplgroup.com

Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar have always valued and cherished the contributions made by our letter writers. To help in further interactions amongst each other and with our team, we have planned a Letter Writers' Seminar on Saturday 18 August between 3-6pm at our offices (address: Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, London N1 6HW). We would also extend this invitation to our regular columnists and sincerely hope their participation. If you are interested in attending the seminar, please register your name at aveditorial@abplgroup.com or via post to our offices by Wednesday 15 August 2012.

Mittal’s Philanthropy I was very pleased to see that Mittal and Ambani are going to try and help Indian athletes to come to Olympic standard. It has of course been sad for us not to have anyone mentioned from India. However I have to say that philanthropy is wonderful but philanthropy should not always be with one’s own name attached. People in this country give money, some big money and some small money but it is not personalised in the way that the Indians tend to do. When have the Arcelor Mittal Orbit next to the Olympic Park forever a reminder of the company which paid for it. I have yet to meet anyone who likes it. It seems like something which is yet to be completed. I am a great admirer of Anish Kapur but this is not something which pleases either the eye or the heart. Could the fifteen million pounds have been better spent? Baroness Shreela Flather Via Email

Conversion to other religion Referring to the news in Asian Voice 4th August 2012 about a Pakistani television show broadcast live a Hindu boy converting to Islam, does not surprise me. Islam and Christianity has opened doors for any one to join their religions. They will get every kind of help they need. This is a daily story in India with poor people. Many are being helped and are being converted to Islam and Christianity. It will continue and why not? If we Hindus and Sikhs do not bother about our own people then why other religions would not take the advantage? Hindus got to learn and understand what exactly is happening in our temples. How many temples do you where the management committees welcome you other than asking for “Dan” (donations)? They will not even encourage you to become a member. We have a long way to go to understand our religions and improve them. Can we convert any person to become a Hindu? Dharam Sahdev Ilford Continued on page 13

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In a rare gesture, China’s top leadership hosted his delegation at Great Hall of People and had a free and frank discussion and exchange of ideas on a range of subjects including trade, industry, socioeconomic development, investment, and prevailing global economic scenario. Modi emphasized about the shared heritage of India and China, and common vision for improved quality of lives of their people. In his meeting with the Mr Wang Gang, Vice Chairman of the China People’s Political

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EDUCATION / COUNCIL VOICE

Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

Pupils taking international GCSEs More pupils in the UK are taking international GCSEs, figures from exam boards suggest. In England, the increase has followed a lifting of a ban which stopped state schools from entering pupils for them. The exams - known as IGCSEs - are taken at the end of two years - unlike many GCSEs, where students take exams in stages over two years. Overall, UK schools made 50,000 IGCSE entries this year, this compares to the more than 5m GCSE entries last year. From September, pupils in England starting GCSE courses will mostly take exams after two years. In 2010, the coalition

said state schools should be allowed to enter pupils for IGCSEs. Until then, the qualifications could not be counted in school league tables. Two exam boards which produce the qualifications are reporting increases in take-up. Cambridge International Examinations says 400 state schools in the UK are now preparing pupils for

IGCSEs, compared with 97 in 2010. Among private schools, 500 are using IGCSEs, compared with 320 in 2010. The Edexcel exam body also has IGCSEs and says the number of schools and colleges entering pupils for them in the UK more than doubled in the past two years, rising to just under 2,000.

Academic condemns academy expert teacher ruling An education expert has condemned a government decision to let academies in England hire unqualified teachers. Professor Chris Husbands, director of the Institute of Education at London University said the plan contradicted national and international evidence. Last week, ministers said academies could hire staff who were experts in their field, even if they did not have qualified teacher status (QTS). The government says the new rules will help school to improve faster. Ministers say it will

allow these schools to hire professionals who are experts in their field, such as scientists, engineers, musicians and linguists who may not have QTS. But the decision angered teaching unions, who said pupils should be taught by qualified teachers.

In his blog, Prof Husbands cites the 2010 White Paper, called the Importance of Teaching, which says international evidence shows "the most important factor in determining the effectiveness of a school system is the quality of its teachers".

11

University of Cambridge Vice Chancellor to visit India in September

Former University of Cambridge students included: Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi and Manmohan Singh

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, will lead a senior delegation on a tenday visit to India next month. The visit to Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai will celebrate the University of Cambridge’s long standing ties with India, and strengthen important academic partnerships, industry collaborations, and the university’s strong alumni network in India. In New Delhi a highlight will be the major international Summit on Monday 10 September, “India In The Global Age”. The event will bring together key opinion leaders from business, politics, academia, journalism and the arts in India and the University of Cambridge, to address key issues and challenges of India’s place in the changing global order. For details see: http://www.cambridgeindia.org/delhi2012/ ‘Science, Innovation and Entrepreneurship’ is

the theme of the inaugural conference of the Bangalore - Cambridge Innovation Network at IISC Bangalore on Thursday 13 September. For more than 150 years, the University of Cambridge has valued its close relationship with India. From the mid-nineteenth century, when the first students from India arrived in Cambridge, scholarship and lasting friendships have been the foundation of academic partnership. Among former students, three Indian Prime Ministers - Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi and Manmohan Singh - were educated at Cambridge, and in turn the University is now home to distinguished academics from India, including Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta (Economics), Professor Ashok Venkitaraman (Cancer Research), and Nobel laureate Sir V e n k a t r a m a n Ramakrishnan (Molecular Biology).

Engagement with India is a strategic priority for the University of Cambridge and, working in partnership, we seek to advance research as the basis for creating knowledge that will tackle global challenges and contribute to a sustainable future. At any one time there are more than 200 students from India studying at the University of Cambridge; about half are supported by scholarships and bursaries administered by the Cambridge Trusts. Since 1982, the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust has enabled more than 1,000 students from India to study at Cambridge; since 2001, the Gates Cambridge Trust has funded 60 Gates Cambridge Scholars from India. The Dr Manmohan Singh Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarships support outstanding candidates from India to study at Cambridge; they cover full tuition fees plus a meanstested contribution towards stipend and travel expenses.

COUNCIL NEWS

Sikh Gurdwara Mismanagement: local cllrs face £250,000 legal cost bills

L to R: Cllr Balvinder Gill, Cllr Balraj Dhesi and Cllr Mota Singh

Gurdwara Sahib Leamington & Warwick is once again under the media spot light. Recently, members of the former Gurdwara Sahib committee have been granted the right to share information about a legal case that was happening with members of the current management committee. In January 2012, in a High Court hearing, former Mayors of Leamington Spa, Mota Singh, Balvinder Gill and Balraj Dhesi were found guilty along with

Ranjit Hayer, the current Stage Sectary of Gurdwara Sahib Leamington & Warwick, and Shalvinder Mali for fabricating lies against Jagtar Singh Gill, Satnam Singh, Narinder Singh, Gumit Singh and Phulvinder Singh. The five who were found guilty now face £250,000 legal costs bill. In April 2010 allegedly the ‘Defendants’ went on a crusade to disrupt the Gurdwara projects in progress and stop Sikhi Parchaar in Leamington Spa by distributing

leaflets in which they ‘knowingly misled’ the Sikh community through alleged ‘lies and deception’, as reported by panthic.org. The communist group led by these named five individuals had spread alleged lies that the former Gurdwara Management Committee had intended to evict the elderly people from their current site within the Gurdwara complex site. They were unable to produce evidence of the serious allegations they had made.

Barnet launches major consultation on new Council Tax Support scheme Residents’ views are being sought by Barnet Council on a range of options for a new Council Tax Support Scheme. The new scheme, which will be introduced in April 2013, will replace the current Council Tax Benefit. The government is abolishing Council Tax Benefit on 31 March 2013 and is asking every local council to replace it with a local reduction scheme, called Council Tax Support. The government has told councils that the funding they provide will be 10 per cent less than the funding for Council Tax Benefit. Pensioners will be protected and see no changes to their entitlement. However, everybody of working age who currently

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claims Council Tax Benefit, and anyone of working age who may need to claim in the future, will be directly affected by these proposed changes. Given the level of savings which need to be made it is very likely that everyone of working age, unless they are in a protected group, will have to pay something towards their Council Tax bill. Council Tax Benefit helps people on low incomes to pay their Council Tax. In Barnet last year (2011-12) £32.2 million was spent on Council Tax Benefit. Over the past five years, Council Tax Benefits have risen each year because more people are claiming. Cllr Daniel Thomas, Deputy Leader and

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12

MEDIA WATCH

Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

Scrutator’s The Communist Party of India’s (Marxist) trade union wing, Citu, issued a bandh (strike) call for July 31, a routine occurrence during 34 years of blighted Left Front rule in West Bengal. The state’s feisty Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee countered with a warning that the police would be out in force on the streets of Kolkata, that civil servants staying away from work would face salary cuts, and that private buses and taxis refusing to ply would do so at the cost of their licenses. The irresistible force had met the hitherto immovable object headon: the Communist leadership blinked and the strike was called off. It was a famous victory, the first of many, one hopes, to secure the future of West Bengal. The message was forthright: strikes at a party whim, based on the culture of coercion, has had its day. Economic regeneration is the new mantra (The Telegraph July 30).

Rail network derailed

Calamity, disaster

Thirty-two passengers, including women and children, perished in a fire in one of the coaches of the Chennai-bound Tamil Nadu Express from Delhi. Flames took hold as the train approached Nellore in Andhra Pradesh. The Indian Railways is becoming more disaster prone by the day. Dinesh Trivedi, whose brief tenure as Railway minister was brought to an abrupt end by his party chief Mamata Banerjee, had a firm grasp of his role as facilitator of rail modernization; his successor, Mukul Roy, an incompetent Trinamool

This outage was followed the next by an even worse breakdown, condemning 600 million people across northern, eastern and north-eastern India to hours

decks of the finance ministry, following Pranab Mukerjee’s departure, has brought in P. Chidambaram as the new Finance Minister. Mr Chidambaram’s term as Home Minister, witnessed a sea-change in India’s security culture and administration, in contrast to the drift and ineptitude of his

India in Cambodia

India has left an indelible footprint on the Buddhist heritage of Cambodia, nowhere more than in the awesome temple complex of Angor Wat. Built by King Jayavarman VII around 1181 AD, it has decayed significantly in recent centuries. UNESCO has taken a hand in restoring this world heritage site to something approaching its former glory, a daunting task given its size and the complexity of the undertaking. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), with its wealth of experiSushil Kumar Shinde P. Chidambaram ence in the field, has been entrusted with restoring predecessor, Shivraj Patil. Mr the Ta Prohm Temple. The work Chidambaram’s previous stint in involves D.S.Sood, Deputy the finance ministry positions Superintending Archaeological him to reignite the reform agenEngineer, Archaeological Survey da so necessary for high ecoof India and team leader of the nomic growth. project. The Hindu newspaper made “We are a team of five from the following comment (August the ASI,” he said, “restoring the 1): “The new Finance Minister Ta Prohm complex from will be expected to restore the December 2004. It is challenging confidence of foreign investors, work because of the environtame inflation and ensure the mental and site conditions. return of high economic Safeguarding the authenticity of growth…..[He] is clearly the risthe monuments is of utmost ing star and is set to play a key importance. UNESCO has said role in the two years that remain we cannot destroy any tree of the (Congress-led) United because it wants the people to Progressive Alliance.” see how trees and the complex Sushil Kumar Shinde succo-exist” (The Hindu July 30). ceeds Mr Chidambaram at the Home Ministry, having been the Naval base Baaz country’s Minister of Power, a commissioned post made over, as additional charge, to Veerappa Moily, the INS Baaz, India’s combined Corporate Affairs Minister. A Naval, Army and Air Force base further ministerial reshuffle is was commissioned recently by likely to follow when Parliament the Chief of the Naval Staff reconvenes. Admiral Nirmal Verma. Located at Campbell Bay in the vicinity Restorative measures of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, it is within close range Even as the Reserve Bank of of the strategic Straits of India (RBI) kept the lending rate Malacca, which link the Pacific anchored at 8 per cent; with and Indian Oceans and is India’s inflation and the fiscal deficit window to South East and East still a major concern, it cut the Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) by one percentage point from 24 per cent to 23 per cent to take effect from August 11. SLR is the amount of liquid assets that commercial banks or securities must maintain as reserves other than cash. Liquidity conditions play an important role in the transmission of monetary policy signals. RBI Governor D. Subbarao said: “Although the liquidity situation has eased significantly in the recent period, the reduction of SLR is expected to ensure that liquidity pressures do not constrain the flow of credit to the productive sectors of the economy. This will allow banks to shift their portfolio in favour Asia. China’s truculence over its of the private sector.”The reducexclusive claim to the South tion of SLR has released China Sea has been the spur to Rs60,000 crore into the econoIndia’s action. The latter-day my (The Hindu August1). Great Game is well and truly joined (Times of India August Supplementing this, was 1). Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s decision to simplify the acquisition of government land Indian physicist for infrastructure development acclaimed in a bid to quicken the pace of India’s economic growth (The Professor Asoke Sen, of the Hindu August 3). Harish Chandra Research

Baaz Naval Base

Power failure in Delhi

Congess hack, has been an infrequent presence at rail headquarters in Delhi, preferring to play the gallant at Mamata Banerjee’s side in faraway West Bengal. Such are the pitfalls of coalition politics at the centre.. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the failure of the Northern grid on the morning of Monday, July 30 brought to a halt 500 trains in the entire stretch of India’s north, from Delhi, Punjab and Haryana to Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The outage underlined the inadequacies of the country’s power management. The Railways, in conjunction with a national power company, are setting up a 1,000 MW thermal plant at Nabinagar in Bihar, which is expected to be commissioned by 2014: plans are afoot to construct another 1,320 MW coal-fired plant at Adra in West Bengal. The lack of forward planning in the industry is self-evident (The Hindu, Times of India July 31).

of darkness. The rail network, including the Delhi Metro, ground to a halt. This unparalleled blackout, reflecting the collapse of three grids, was the largest on record anywhere in the world. The Hindu editorial (August 1) attributed the current state of affairs to “poor long-term planning and abysmal lack of grid discipline.” The Times of India (August 1) argued for greater private sector participation in the power industry in the interests of greater efficiency. The consensus was that much of the trouble lay with state electricity boards, with their woeful administration, poor finances and inadequate investment in new power projects. Political interference coupled with irresponsible populism add to the chaotic brew.

Ministerial changes Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, having moved to clear the

Institute in Allahabad, is one of nine scientists awarded the Yuri Milner Fundamental Physics Prize, worth $3 million (the Nobel carries $1.2 million), for his pioneering work in string theory, viewed by many in the global scientific community, as one of the foremost peaks in modern science. The prize, set up by Russian entrepreneur and venture capitalist Yuri Milner, is exclusively for achievements in theoretical physics. Born in Kolkata, Professor Sen, whose father taught physics at the local Scottish Church College, graduated from Presidency College, whose famed alumni include Jagadish

Professor Asoke Sen

Bose, P.C. Ray, Satyendra Nath Bose and Megnad Saha. Professor Sen, then moved to IIT Kanpur, attained a doctorate at the New York State University in the US, before joining the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai, He won early recognition with the award of India’s Bhatnagar prize and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in London in 1998, aged 42. Put simply, the string theory, which impacts cosmology and black holes, seeks to unify the two fundamentals of physics – quantum mechanics and gravity. The work, initiated by Albert Einstein, has been the subject of intense study by some of the best brains since his time. Professor Sen is married to Sumathi Rao, who is also a Professor of Physics at the Harish Chandra Research Institute (The Telegraph, August 2, Times of India August 2,5).

Miscellany The recent bombings in Pune are believed to be the work of Indian Mujahideen. The specialist anti-terrorist cell of the Delhi police has charged an Iranian military unit for last year’s attack on an Israeli diplomat in the Indian capital. An Indian accomplice, journalist Syed Mohammed Kazmi, already in police custody, has also been charged. ********* All 12 members of the Maruti workforce responsible for vandalizing the company’s Manesar car plant and killing a manager have been arrested.


Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

YOUR VOICE

Saturday Night Fever at the Olympic Stadium Saturday, 4th August 2012, shall become part of the folklore. It has been described as the greatest day in Great Britain’s sporting history. Having secured two tickets for Saturday evening in the first ballot many months ago, the value of the tickets was not appreciated until the full Athletics timetable was announced. The expectation that Saturday evening was going to be special intensified once Great Britain started winning gold medals. Whilst doing my shift as London Ambassador, a total stranger gave me two tickets for the Rowing on Wednesday (1st August) and my wife and I were lucky enough to witness Great Britain winning its first gold medal. The atmosphere in the Olympic Stadium on Saturday evening was electric and it is just as well that the stadium does not have a roof! Everyone was friendly and talkative and

for four hours we saw a multi-cultural Britain as it should be – Great Britain! The backgrounds of Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah, the pride in being British coupled with a multi-cultural audience including Asian women in colourful sarees with the Union Flag pinned to their hair must have made the likes of Norman Tebbit realise that we do not need to pass the cricket test. We are all British and this was the perfect occasion for us to demonstrate both our Britishness and our patriotism. Since the start of the Olympics, the often silent majority has taken the Union Flag back from the minority groups who have used it for their own purposes. Let us hope that the spirit created by the Olympics will last forever. Ramesh Vala OBE Via Email

Olympics in politics The average turnout in the last five general elections was 67%. The popular votes average was Labour 37%; Conservatives 35%; Liberals 20%; and Others 8%. The parliamentary seats average was Labour 53%; Conservatives 36%; Liberals 7%; and Others 4%. If there are no boundary changes during this parliament, the next general election result is likely to be similar. The past two years have clearly proved that it is not in the culture of any British political party to work harmoniously with one or the other of the two parties. In the long term national interest, all the three political parties should be abolished. We cannot have gold, silver and bronze medal in the race to run the coun-

try. In true democracy all members of Parliament would belong to the National Party and MPs would vote on a bill by bill basis. After all, forcing or coercing back benchers to follow the party line is antitheses to democratic representation through 600 or so parliamentary constituencies. The ideologies of private enterprise, trade unions, public services, taxation, economic growth and social justice are so muddled up in the psyche of the three current political parties that none of them are able to lead the country in one clear long term direction. Nagindas Khajuria Via Email

Olympic opening ceremony I sat through the whole opening ceremony of the Olympics and didn’t blink and eye. I was not impressed. Why? Perhaps my expectations were high, as I took it for granted that Danny Boyle was in charge of the project and assumed he would only deliver the ‘best’. Yet a lot of the fundamentals of British culture, intentionally or unintentionally, were overlooked. It began at a slow place, introducing the boredom of the NHS which was overstated. The heart of British culture was missing. Britain is a multicultural nation where we have come to accept each other as they are. So what happened to the “Big Society” dream of our dear David Cameron? What about the Scottish and their colourful skirts? The West Indians and their drum music? How come the Chinese were completely

forgotten? Their display in the last Olympics is still alive in our memories. What happened to Indians and Pakistanis and their music? Gujarati women with their dandiya (stick) dances and multi-colour sarees would have added an honourable stripe to Great Britain’s achievement. Yet we have to give credit where it is due; I enjoyed two good laughs: Our present James Bond going to Buckingham Palace to escort Her Majesty and their most unexpected yet pleasant parachute jump arrival. We did need a more piercing song to begin however, rather than the Paul McCartney song that was chosen. We needed a voice with an echo to alert the world that the UK Olympics are about to begin! Noni Sahota Northolt

AAA Talent Hunt Asian Achievers Awards (AAA) in its 12th year is unique, as the winners are nominated by our 200,000 or more readers and supporters and then carefully selected by an independent panel of judges. It has been previously attended by Tony Blair, Baroness Shriti Vadera, Dr Vince Cable as Chief Guests and many other MPs and Lords to cheer for the achievers and the great accomplishers. This year being our 41st year of the

publications, we have extend the opportunity to youngsters in the community to showcase their extraordinary talents. The shortlisted candidates for AAA Talent Hunt will be called for audition on 1 Sep 2012 at a Central London venue (TBC). Auditions will be held in front of a panel of judges and the winner or winners will be given a chance to perform at the AAA on 14 September 2012 in Grosvenor House Hotel.

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The paid subscribers of Asian Voice will receive a complimentary copy of 'Asian House & Home Magazine' with their 11th August 2012 issue. Olympics 2012: India's Medals Tally India has 2nd highest population in the world and the way things are going on, it is not far when India will secure the 1st spot in it. When I was a kid, I used to think that we(Indians) are small(avg. body size) people compare to other countries like US, UK, Australia, etc. I didn't make a big deal out of India's performance in the Olympics as I thought that the overall physique of the Asian people would be a reason for not performing noticeably during the events such as the Olympics. But China's performance in the recent past, especially the previous and the current, has taken me aback. It is scintillating stuff. It shows that hard work and dedication can get you whatever you want to achieve in life.

Looking at the medals tally(half way through the event), India has managed to secure 1 Silver and 2 Bronze so far (just around 35th in the list)! Such a shame. China was 1st initially and is 2nd in the list so far. I am not challenging my people to compare with China and get 1st, 2nd or may be a 3rd place but all I expect is a noticeable and considerable success. I am sure there is so much talent in the country but now the question is are we investing enough into finding and developing the right athletes and trainers? Or the money is simply traversing through various scandals to get disappeared before it gets invested! Devang Bhatt, Harrow, London


ART & CULTURE

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Akademi presents successful outdoor arts production

A model village of rural India, literally empowered

Indrani Thakurata

Akademi presented their magnificent, large-scale outdoor arts production Bells in collaboration with the international Belgian company, Theater Tol, in three outer London boroughs: Lewisham, Hounslow and Barnet over the summer of 2012 as part of the Mayor of London's outdoor festival, Showtime. Working with London 2012 Festival, Arts Council England and leading cultural organisations the Mayor of London commissioned a world-class programme of events to celebrate the 2012 Games. Akademi worked in collaboration with Theater Tol, an interna-

tional Belgian performing arts company known for working in unusual spaces and creating aerial work. The spectacle united the best international talent in South Asian dance as well as flying performers from Theater Tol. The combination of artistic cultures and disciplines created a breathtaking magical experience with a dramatic wedding procession, the appearance of aerial fairies and an accompanying Kathak performance to celebrate the memorable finale. Bells was first performed in July 2007 for the Trafalgar Square Festival and was reworked with an

enhanced storyboard to celebrate the 2012 Olympic year. Originally choreographed by Kumudini Lakhia and reworked by Amina Khayyam and Urja Thakore, Akademi were thrilled to be relaunching one of their most celebrated works. The Kathak performers included Amina Khayyam, Archita Kumar, Hanna Manila, Iris Chan, Kakoli Mishra, Kavya Kaushik, Manuela Benini, Parbati Chaudhury and Quincy Charles. The original music score for Bells is by Atul Desai and Niraj Chag, the composer for Sadler's Wells Bollywood musical Wah! Wah! Girls.

Gala dinner and dance to be held for Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research The Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research (a registered charity) is a leading organisation for Heart and Stroke Research. A Gala Dinner and Dance will be held on Friday, 7th September 2012 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Portman Square, London W1H 7BG. Tel: 020 7208 6000. The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP, Professor Colin Green, founder of the charity and Mr Atul Pathak from Appt Corp Limited will be honoured

for their contribution to the Campaign at this event. Lord Jeffrey Archer will conduct the auction. Dr. Rami Ranger MBE, Chair of the Golden Heart Club at the Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research aims to raise much needed funds to support the pioneering work undertaken at the Centre for Investigative Proteomics at the Institute through the dinner. There are very few units in the world are involved in this type of research, which has

tremendous potential to identify individuals at high risk of vascular diseases. The dinner will be attended by over 300 guests, this event promises not only to raise the profile of the Heart and Stroke Research Campaign, but, more importantly, raise much needed awareness of these dreadful diseases which affect people of every walk of life. For further details, please contact Jayshree Shah at 020 8869 3284.

Bhaktivedanta Manor Foundation Annual Patron Dinner held On Saturday 4th August The Bhaktivedanta Manor Foundation hosted it's Annual Patron Dinner which took place at Bhaktivedanta Manor, Watford, Hartfordshire home of the UK International Society for Krishna Consciousness. It was truly a remarkable and enjoyable event which was attended by Patrons, special guests and VIP's. Sisters Karishma Raichada (aged 14) and

Kareena Raichada (aged 10) performed a special introduction swagatam dance. Karishma dressed up as Goddess Radha and Kareena dressed up as Lord Krishna. The event also featured guest artist Shivali Bhammer . Karishma, Kareena and Shivali will also be performing on the main stage during Janmashtami at the Mannor.

Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

“I couldn’t cure the educational system of its diseases. The system is such that I had to abide by it. The university made me run a traditional college that I wasn’t too keen on. I am against the examination system,” says a visibly frustrated Mukat Singh, grassroot activist from International Task Force for Rural People. For a shining( read: sarcasm) India where 20% children between the age of 6-14 years don't attend primary schools. And more than half the students in the fifth grade can't read at the grade level, Mukat Singh's dream to push their village children into schools, and equip them to earn for themselves was ambitious. “When I left my job as a lecturer in the West and headed for my village, people were shocked. It was hard for people to digest my return, especially to this village with a white woman. But I wanted to work in my village, build schools.” The couple spent 40 years of their lives in t r a n s f o r m i n g Amarpurkashi in Uttar Pradesh. From a village

which had a single school, no roads, electricity and open wells to a thriving rural community which has close to 100% employment, education facilities. “When I came into the village, I was trying to find out the areas that needed my attention. Rural people are interested in education that will directly impact their well being. During that time, 25 school dropouts came to me for jobs. And since they were dropouts and not fit for employment, I designed a course to instill confidence in them. Improved farming was designed in three parts, communication, technical and socioeconomic. Now, we have a degree college affiliated to the MJP Rohilkhand, Bareilly,” Singh elucidates. Having faced many challenges himself, he talks about the challenges in India's rural education. “Majority of the schools are in villages, where the education standards are very poor. Most of the good Govt schools are away in the city, or near city. So, its hard for a child to travel that length to study. Infrastructural challenges such as high stu-

dent-teacher ratio, absence of teaching resources, poor transport and health facilities are other problems that impact heavily on the learning outcome. Most of the schools don't have proper toilets for the children. Such is the condition!,” he exclaims. Quick to point out their success story in bridging the gender gap in their college, Mukat Singh credits this to many campaigns in the village. “My degree college has a 50:50 ratio of girls and boys. One largely holds rural villages responsible for gender divide, but urban territories are no exception. And the gap is mainly because of economic reasons. ” In states such as UP, Rajasthan and Punjab-- women are often treated as a piece of property. “Many campaigns for the girl child has brought awareness. And specially now, women are also earning, so they are not just mouths to feed.” Happy to serve his village Amarpurkashi, this samaritan doesn't plan life. “I take life as it comes,” concludes Singh. Well, I guess, most heartfelt gestures are spontaneous.

Young Indians discuss how to release more Indian prisoners held in Pakistan

A discussion on “Indian prisoners in Pakistan” was held on Friday at the Jalaram Jupadi, Hounslow on 3rd of August 2012. The discussion was led by Ms Jas Uppal and organised by 'Yuvan'. Jas is a lawyer in England and Wales and has been campaigning for and instrumental in the release of Indian prisoners, including Prisoners of War (PoWs), in Pakistan. The discussion was attended by young participants, who were privileged to hear first-hand about Jas's cases, including

Sarabjit Singh, and her experience in campaigning for the release of many Indian prisoners. It was an eye-opener for many participants. They were appalled to hear about the pathetic conditions of the prisoners and the abandonment of Indian soldiers by the Indian government. “If this continues, which aspiring soldier would want to join the Indian army? I wouldn't.” The young Indians also discussed specific actions that they can take to help Jas in this matter.

Decided to that time has come all the young Indians has come to one banner and help Indian get better. 'Yuvan' is doing the same and it is an unbiased and non-political organisation for all Indians. The organisation offered a special gratitude for their success to Mr. Amitabh Soni (Core Committee Member Indo Jewish Association UK). The event was hosted by Mr. Nachiket Joshi, Chaitanya Deshpande, Amit Pekamwar and Sumit Joshi.


UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

f ashionista

by Debasree Ghosh

Be a Fashionista, Be You! If you have any questions or a story or a new style to share with us, please write to Shree at aveditorial@abplgroup.com

How To Look Hot in Twenty Years Skin: While you may think the ideal time to treat ageing is when you start seeing the signs of it popping up on your face, the truth is it's a lot harder to fix damage than it is to prevent it. The first step on your road to good skin is sunscreen... yes, even in sunny England! Sunscreen is critical to preventing wrinkles and age spots. So be sure to choose a moisturiser with at least an SPF 15 and wear it every single day. No excuses. Some of the most telltale signs of ageing are often more evident on your neck and décolletage than on your face. But it's not just the sun that's causing this damage - gravity is also a key culprit. Adding insult to injury, the skin on your neck and chest aren't able to handle some of the more intense anti-ageing under-theknife treatments that your face can. That means that prevention is really your only option for dealing with ageing below your chin. Invest in a good neck cream or treatment, preferably one with SPF, and be sure to apply it religiously. As for above-the-neck wrinkles, your best bet is to hydrate. After sunscreen, the second most important thing is moisturisation. Sagging skin can also happen as a result of ageing. To prevent sagging, it's important to exercise your muscles, which can keep the skin more taut. If you are looking to lose weight, avoid crash diets. Any more than losing one lbs. per week will result in saggy skin. Finally, if you're a smoker, you're already aware that you're

not doing your skin any favours. Kick the butt. Hair: Just because your strands aren't technically alive doesn't mean they're safe from the effects of time. As we get older hair can become finer and we notice a

change in our volume and density. Some of the things that cause these age-related changes over time include low iron levels, lack of protein, hormone imbalances, and stress. To keep your hair full and lush, make a habit of deep conditioning weekly to add moisture, choosing products designed specifically for your hair texture, using a protective cream when styling, taking care not to use heat styling tools at too hot a setting, and of course, eating better. Hair does very well with well-balanced diet that includes fat, dairy and protein. As with skin, crash dieting wreaks havoc on hair. Body: Have you seen Helen Mirren lately? Who wouldn't want to look like that at 60? The bad news is that a lot of how your body looks and behaves is down to genet-

ics. Thanks ma for the short torso! But like everything in life, we can make the best of what we have. What most us need to do is to eat better as of, like, yesterday. A complete diet overhaul is difficult and often unattainable. However, making a few small changes can go a long way. These include adding fats like walnuts, avocado, and olive oil to help rebuild cell membranes and reduce dry, flaky skin; eating more foods like eggs, beans, and seeds, which contain all the building blocks for regeneration and will flood your body with vital nutrients to make all your cells healthier; and drinking a lot of fluid. Try cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower, which contain sulfurophane, a powerful antioxidant that aids in detoxification while reducing those dark circles. Above all, remember that ageing is natural process. At 20, I could eat popcorn for dinner, drink like a sailor and not get out of the sofa for days and still had a flat(ish) stomach, poreless skin and perfect eyesight. That’s the magic of youth. A decade later, I find myself calling it a night at 10, and battling tired skin. But I am also the happiest I have ever been. I feel nourished, fulfilled and I know better than to skip meals or drink on a Monday night. Age gives us perspective…and that is the biggest beauty trick of all.

Number of forged passports reduces in the UK The number of forged passports being spotted by border guards has fallen by almost half in recent years, prompting fears that criminals and illegal immigrants could be getting into Britain undetected. Figures obtained by the BBC show that 1,858 fake travel documents were picked up at the country’s airports last year. In 2007, the number of bogus passports spotted by UK Border Agency officials was 44 per cent higher at 3,300. Some critics say the drop is down to the fact that staff levels have

fallen by some 4,000 in the past two years, so there are fewer people on the frontline looking out for forgeries. It is also claimed that training needs to be improved so that border guards can spot the increasingly sophisticated forgeries, and that detailed scrutiny of ID may be suffering in an effort to cut queues in arrivals halls. Watchdogs recently found that fewer forged documents were found at Heathrow Terminal 3 compared with Terminal 4, with staff blaming "faulty forgery detection equipment" and infre-

quent training sessions. Keith Vaz, chairman of the cross-party Home Affairs Select Committee, told Radio 4 on Sunday: “The worry for me as that people are finding more sophisticated ways of getting in. “I don’t believe that the people in this industry looked at the figures [in previous years] and thought ‘we’re just going to go away’. “The concern is that one becomes complacent and believes that the reason [for the falling detections] is that everything is going well.”

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Saregarama celebrates 100th year anniversary of Bollywood with legends This ‘once in a lifetime’ UK concert tour will pay tribute to some of the greatest singers from the Indian sub continent as Saregama celebrates 100 years of Bollywood cinema. Modern yet classically trained singing sensations Roop Kumar Rathod and Sunali Rathod (the voices behind many contemporary hits, from Bollywood blockbusters to Ghazals and Sufi songs) will showcase the incredible vocal talents of legends Mohammad Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Talat Mahmood and Noor Jehan in what promises to be a musical masterpiece. The husband and wife duo will travel to Birmingham, Leicester and London, taking UK audiences on a trip down memory lane in an evening of timeless classics from a bygone era, in addition to Roop’s own hits from Bollywood such as ‘Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai’ (Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi), ‘Tere Liye’ (Veer Zara), 'Maula Mere Maula' (Anwar), the award winning ‘Sandesein Aate Hai’ and ‘To Chaloon’ (Border) to name a few. Accompanied by eight of the finest handpicked musicians flown over from India, they will cover some of the best loved

our own innovative style, we will sing not only our own popular numbers but also gems from the Golden era of cinema.” With a fan following of millions around the globe, the likes of Rafi, Lata, Talat and Noor need little introduction. Nevertheless, Saregama recognises the importance of showcasing India’s classic singers and songs. Amarpal Singh Gaind (Saregama Head of OperationsEurope) said, “Celebrating the Roop and Sunali Legends is our grandsongs from yesteryear, est project to date and we including Rafi classics like don't mind being loud and ‘Chaudhvin Ka Chaand’ proud about it. We will be (Chaudhvin Ka Chaand), honoring some of the sub ‘O Duniya Ke continent’s finest singers Rakhwale’(Baiju Bawra) and their landmark songs. etc. Roop and Sunali are clasAccording to Roop and sically trained musicians Sunali, “The exhilarating and yet commercially sucresponse that we got on cessful therefore are the our UK tour in 2010 has most appropriate choice to encouraged us to come pay tribute to these great back to be with our artists, made especially favorite audience one poignant in the lead up to more time. We are thrilled the 100th anniversary. that Saregama Events are Roop's silken voice is perdoing this. We are comfect to do justice to greats pleting 100 years of Indian like Rafi and Talat, cinema next year, but if we but with a new spin to try to count the names and it, while Sunali’s versatile pay homage to all those vocals will evoke memoresponsible it will take ries of Lata and Noor at another 100 years. So in their peak.”

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Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

‘Aadhi Bhagavan’ is all ready At last, the shooting of “Aadhi Bhagavan” is over. The last day shoot took place at Bikaner and the cast and crew of the project are happy about the way the movie has taken shape. Reflecting the mood on his microblogging page, protagonist of the film 'Jayam' Ravi wrote: "Last day of shoot here in bikaner... It's been a hectic, tiring but fulfilling schedule. Can't wait to see the results." Directed by Ameer, the action adventure has Neetu Chandra as the female lead. 'Jayam' Ravi is said to be sporting the role of a CBI officer in this flick. The film has been in the making for a longtime. Recently, Ameer resumed the shoot with a determination to complete it at the earliest. And now, he seems to have achieved what he had planned.

Prabhu Deva ready for his next venture The shooting of Prabhu Deva's next Bollywood directorial venture, which follows the success of 'Rowdy Rathore', will kick start in Mumbai in August. The film produced by Kumar Taurani will have his son Girish Kumar as hero and Shruti Haasan as the leading lady. It will be a remake of Prabhu Deva's Telugu blockbuster “Nuvvostanante Nenodattana.” The film was remade in Tamil as 'Unakkum Enakkum'. For its Hindi version, Prabhu Deva has retained Shiraz, writer of 'Rowdy Rathore' and cinematographer Kiran Deohans.

Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

Amy paid a bomb for ‘I’?

Hema Malini to be guest of honour at Bollywood festival in Norway Hema Malini will be the guest of honour at the Bollywood festival in Norway which is opening on 7th September at Lorenskog Cinema. The festival will be celebrating its 10 years with dance show at Oslo concert house on Sunday 9th September with Hema Malini, Esha Deol, and Ahana Deol. They will perform a classical dance presentation in Odissi and Bharatnatyam. ‘Sholay’ will be among many films to be shown during the film festival from 7th to 14th September at Lorenskog cinema, located near Oslo. "This is Hema Malini's first visit to Norway, the country which awards the Nobel peace prize. It will be an honour to have Hema Malini as our special guest," said festival director Nasrullah Qureshi. "Bollywood Festival is one of the biggest film festivals in Norway for the last 9 years,” Qureshi said.

Aamir Khan now owns veteran Shammi Kapoor`s jacket Bollywood star Aamir Khan can now take pride in owning legendary actor Shammi Kapoor`s jacket, one among the six film memorabilia items he bid for, at the Osian`s Cinefan auction in Delhi. Aamir spent a total of Rs 238,000 at the event. The auction was held as part of the ongoing 12th Osian`s-Cinefan Film Festival. It turned out to be a success with sales worth Rs 6955,000. Gurgaon-based entertainment hub Kingdom of Dreams successfully bid for the full rights to the last recorded song of legendary Kishore Kumar who recorded it three days before his death in 1987. Kingdom of Dreams will use it for its new musical show "Jhumroo", which celebrates the spirit of the singer. They got it for Rs 1560,000. The auction offered vintage and rare posters, show-cards, stills, song-synopsis booklets among other artifacts.

Don`t hide your illness, advises Mumtaz Veteran actress and cancer survivor Mumtaz, whose favourite co-stars Rajesh Khanna and Dara Singh passed away recently, says it is never wise to hide an illness. "What I don`t understand is, why does one have to hide one`s illness? When I was ill with cancer, my thyroid gland was gone because of the chemotherapy. That meant anything I ate went straight to my weight. I bloated up. But since my fans knew about my condition, no one made fun of me," said the 65-year-old. "I was honest about my illness and I am honest about my age. Fans love you more for your honesty. They all know that no matter how big the star, he or she will die one day," she added.

Farah Khan dances like teenager

When she was booked for “Madrasapattinam,” Amy Jackson, if sources are to be believed, was paid Rs 500,000. And when director Vijay roped her in again, this time for “Thaandavam,” she was signed for somewhere between Rs 4500,000 and 5000,000. Now for 'I', a film directed by Shankar with Vikram in the lead, the British actress has been reportedly paid Rs 7500,000, a whopping amount considering that she is just one film old in Tamil cinema. "Shankar and the producer (Aascar V Ravichandran) were thoroughly convinced with Amy's skills and screen presence and hence they came forward to pay the huge sum," sources say. 'I' the romantic thriller features Vikram in a 'never seen before role' and Amy plays an international super model in this mega budget film.

Hot Garam masala

Bollywood stars Anushka Sharma and John Abraham have topped the list of best bikini and beach body in India while Jessica Alba and David Beckham dominated internationally, according to a survey. The ‘Band Baaja Baraat’ actress received 11 per cent votes to top the list. ‘Jism 2′ star Sunny Leone and actress Deepika Padukone came in second with 9 per cent votes each. Bipasha Basu and Priyanka Chopra shared the third spot by receiving 7 per cent of the total votes while Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Nargis Fakhri rounded off the best five list, said the survey. In Indian male celebrities, John swept the poll with 20 per cent votes for the best beach body thanks to his body baring antics in ‘Jism’ and ‘Dostana’. Hrithik Roshan came in second with 17 per cent votes while Salman Khan came third with 7 per cent. The best five was rounded off by Ranvir Singh, Ranbir Kapoor and Arjun Rampal. Internationally, “Fantastic Four” star Alba ruled as the best beach babe with 16 per cent of the votes. She was closely followed by singer Beyonce Knowles, who stood at second place with 15 per cent of the votes. Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton was placed third with 5 per cent votes, after her photographs in a bikini during her honeymoon surfaced online. Among the men, Beckham took the top spot for having the buffest beach body in the world with 23 per cent of votes.

Salman wishes all the best to SRK Indian Idol 6 set to capture Asian audiences in UK

The hostility between two Bollywood titans, Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan seems to be mellowing down. For if Salman’s recent interaction with the media is anything to go by, there is the hint of a possible truce with SRK. Salman normally does not make amends with anyone who has irked him in the past. The seed of animosity between the two Khans was sown a few years back on Katrina Kaif’s birthday party. But, as Salman readies to release his new Yash Raj film ‘Ek Tha Tiger’, the fighting tripartite seem to have crossed path yet again as SRK gears up for YRF’s upcoming yet-untitled love story with none other than Katrina Kaif. Kat, incidentally, also plays the romantic lead opposite Salman in ETT. Given the stupendous success of Salman Khan’s film at the box office, experts believe that ETT would break some major records, but Salman, speaking to reporters, said that he is not looking to make records with ‘Ek Tha Tiger’. He just wishes that the film does well.

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On being asked about any competition from the other YRF film featuring his arch rival Shah Rukh, Salman rubbished any rivalry between him and SRK, and, much to everyone’s surprise, he even wished Shah Rukh success in all his movies. Salman further added, “Well, there’s a very strong and healthy competition and it’s only increasing. But I want everyone’s films to do well… Aamir (Khan), Ajay (Devgn), Akshay (Kumar), Shah Rukh (Khan)…”. Even Shah Rukh (considering the equation that the two share!)? “Well, I do want his films to do well… purely professionally… it’s not just him. There are hundreds of people involved in a film and it’s good when everyone makes money. So, I do wish Shah Rukh all the best,” added Salman. The only thing which bothers more than peer pressure to Salman is the drive to sustain his NGO ‘Being Human’. “Today success is valuable for me, as it ensures that I can help that many more people through my NGO,” said Salman.

Kangana turns director; shoots short film Kangana Ranaut has opted for the unconventional yet again. However, this time it isn't for a role. The actress has crossed over to 'the other side' of the camera and has turned director. And no, she hasn't retired from her acting career just yet. Sources reveal that the actress' directorial debut is a short film, written in collaboration with an Australian writer. The as-yetuntitled short film (in post-production) has been shot in Los Angeles with an all-American cast and crew and deals with a complex subject involving a dog and a four-year-old boy. Kangana said that the decision to direct was well thought out and came to light "after meeting Hollywood biggies during one of my recent trips to Los Angeles. And things just fell into place."

Sony Entertainment Television Asia had launched Indian Idol- a musical show that exposes the talents of aspiring singers. It has created television history and has become a rage among music lovers and viewers in India as well as in other countries. Cutting across all boundaries of caste, creed and social status, the show engages people from every walk of life, not only to participate and make their dreams come true but also to vote to choose their idol. Previous winners of the show have been very successful and have gone on to star in dramas, movies and became playback singers for some of Bollywood's biggest blockbusters. The fans can now see the talented contestants from India and the UK battle out with their sonorous voices for the 2012 singing sensation. Neeraj Arora, Executive Vice President of Sony TV said: "This is an exciting and biggest year for Indian Idol. All the finalists are extremely talented singers. And Sony is proud

to introduce them to the British audiences. The final is set to capture the Asian community here in a big way." With the new judges and a more dynamic mix of contestants, the sixth season promises to be not only the best Indian Idol ever, but the best reality talent show ever. The judges are singer Sunidhi Chauhan, music directors Annu Malik, Salim Merchant, and the legendary singer, Asha Bhosle. They will judiciously screen the finalists and help select that One Voice who will become the pride of the nation. In addition to a recording contract with Universal Music India, the new "Indian Idol" will be awarded a contract with Multi Screen Media, thus catapulting him/her to unparalleled stardom. The new idol will experience a jet set lifestyle, mingling with the stars and follow their dreams of becoming a professional singer. The show will be on Fridays and Saturdays at 8.30 pm.

“Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi” is on a roll by unveiling little more from the entertaining film with every passing week! The film that has Boman Irani and Farah Khan romantically paired, have released a brand new romantic song track that sees the couple enjoying the sweet little moments of being in love. The title of the song is 'Khatti Meethi', lent by Shreya Goshal. The song has Farah Khan, playing the role of Shirin, happily dancing and enjoying the splash of love like a teenager. Farah breaks into an impromptu jig and dances like any other Bollywood actress. Farah, after giving some record breaking hits as a choreographer and after her successful stint as a director, is all geared up to set the silver screen on fire with her acting skills. The film traces the journey of Farhad Pastakiya (Boman), a 45year-old Parsi bachelor working as lingerie salesman who falls in love with Shirin Fugawala (Farah), 40-year-old, bubbly, straightforward woman. The promo of the film has been well received and people can't stop raving about the adorable pairing of Shirin and Farhad. Directed by Bela Segal and produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the film is slated to release on 24th August.

Sanjay Dutt quits Deepika to get Smita Patil Memorial Award alcohol for 'Saamy' role Recently Salman Khan has given up smoking and drinking as he doesn't want to hamper his recovery process post his surgery for a painful nerve ailment. Now, it seems that Salman's good buddy Sanjay Dutt is also gearing up to follow suit - albeit for different reasons. Sources claim that Dutt, who will be playing the role of a tough cop in “Saamy,” the remake of a Tamil hit flick, has given up booze and has started hitting the gym regularly so as to get in shape for the role. Confirming the news, Sanjay was quoted as saying that he is quite excited about his role in the film and so he is trying hard to get in shape by quitting alcohol and religiously following a workout routine.

Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone would be honoured with the biennial Smita Patil Memorial Award instituted by Priyadarshni Academy for her contribution to the film industry. The award would be presented to her at the 28th anniversary global awards function of the Priyadarshni Academy on September 18, its Chairman Nanik Rupani said. On the occasion, noted industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla would be honoured with Harish Mahindra Memorial Global Award for outstanding contribution to “globalisation of Indian industry.”


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Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

ArcelorMittal's ratings lowered to junk grade by S&P Dear Financial Voice Reader “For the first time in Olympic history all the participating teams will have female athletes. This is a major boost for gender equality." Said the President of the International Olympic Committee. A reminder were these words just how far there is yet to go and how we men will resist change. When I wrote my book about women entrepreneurs, ‘Our Turn’, little did I know just how many advantages men have thanks to women (and other men blocking women). To any woman who have yet to become entrepreneurs, Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for making it so much easier for us men. You are willing to undervalue your work, and so of course we are happy to pay you less than a man for it. What you think we’re stupid? Well, most of us are not….although being elected to public office makes us so. You are willing to work longer for the same pay as a man, research proves it. Thank you. It makes it easier to pick a man to promote – heck I’m hardly about to move someone up who works the longest hours am I to do the same work? Of course you have rights and should have more rights. But guess what - nothing of value was ever granted for free out of the generosity of good grace – and especially not to women. So what makes you think you will get it now without a fight. That’s the point. What are you going to do about it? A cause needs all troops to be disciplined. So the next time one of your number goes off to exercise your hard won rights, maybe remind her of your duties too. Like the right to appear nude in a magazine. Absolutely your right. As the first Indian woman to appear in Playboy exercised and revealed recently. Totally her right. Bravo. But what did it cost the rest of you? Will it help or hinder your cause. And sure men should not think this way. But life’s a bitch isn’t it? Or should I say, life’s a bastard. Oh rights have consequences, especially if you’re asking for more of them. And rights without duties, duties to your fellow sisters, end up costing you all. And the next time you say, ‘I’m just a housewife or I’m just a mom’ know that as you value yourself, so do others – and your entire gender too. And it’s unfortunate because the world needs more women entrepreneurs than ever. It needs more women in business because statistically they are more likely to succeed. It needs more women running top companies FTSE companies, because statistically their share prices do better. It needs more women at heads of Government, because statistically it leads to less wars. It needs more women managing household finances, because statistically it leads to less personal insolvencies. But if you want all this…come and get it….out of my cold steely grip. And finally, to all of you who whinge about the fricking glass ceiling, and it all being unfair – I have only four words to say to you – they’re not even in English. Those words are: ‘Ang San Suu Kyi’. Generals, in Burma, she stood up to. So shut up and stop defeating yourself before we men even get the chance to do it for you. A Man (Written, with irony, by Alpesh Patel)

India plans economic zone in Lanka Indi’a trade minister Anand Sharma said a special economic zone is planned for Sri Lanka's eastern port city of Trincomalee as part of an effort to double bilateral trade to $10 billion by 2015. Anand Sharma also said other investments in Sri Lanka were planned to help reach the goal. India accounted for just 4.9 per cent of Sri Lanka's total exports in 2011, led by machinery and equipment, animal fodder, spices and garments. Trade between the two countries was worth $4.8 billion in 2011. "We see the present engagement is well below the potential. Therefore we have set a target of doubling (the trade) to $10 billion by 2015," Sharma said.

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In a move that will have implications on ArcelorMittal's fund raising abilities, rating agency Standard & Poor's has downgraded Lakshmi Mittal led steel group to below junk grade. "We are lowering the long- and short-term ratings on ArcelorMittal to 'BB+/B' from 'BBB-/A-3'. The negative outlook reflects the uncertainty related to the extent of the company's planned nearterm debt reduction as well as the weak steel environment" S&P said in a statement. The lowest level for an investment grade rating assigned by S&P is BBB any rating below BBB is considered sub-investment grade. In industry parlance, bonds with a sub-investment

grade rating are described as 'junk' bonds and these bonds only sell if they provide a high return. According to S&P the do wngr ad e reflects the weaker steel industry environment and econ o m i c prospects globally, and particularly in Europe which has led the company to revise downward its forecast for ArcelorMittal's profits for the rest of 2012 and 2013. "Our rating action follows the recent change in Standard & Poor's economic forecast for Europe. In addition, purchasing manager indices for other parts of the world have weakened,

India permits FDI from Pakistan

which we believe should translate into lower steel demand in 2012-2013," S&P said pointing out that the 20% decline in steel and raw material prices over the past two months indicates that the industry environment is currently weaker than we previously expected. Finally, the downgrade also follows ArcelorMittal's secondquarter results, which were somewhat below our expectations as of May 2012. "We now expect that the company's adjusted ratio of funds from operations (FFO) to debt will be below 20% in 2012 and

about 20% in 2013 according to our scenario, compared with our previous forecast of 25% in 2013" the statement said. A further slowdown in steel demand in China and consequently weaker iron ore prices may also have a major negative effect on the company's profits because mining represents an estimated 30% of its earnings before interest tax and depreciation. Under S&P's base-case scenario, ArcelorMittal will generate adjusted FFO of about $4.0 billion-$4.5 billion in 2012. Taking into account the working capital inflow of $1.1 billion in the first half of this year, operating cash flow should cover capital expenditures of $4.5 billion and dividends of $1.2 billion.

StanChart's India outsourcing under US scanner

India decided to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) from Pakistan in a move to boost bilateral economic relations. “The government of India has reviewed the policy...and decided to permit a citizen of Pakistan or an entity incorporated in Pakistan to make investments in India, under the government route, in sectors/activities other than defence, space and atomic energy.” Sources said in order to address the security concerns, FDI proposals from Pakistan would be routed through the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). The government had earlier allowed investments from Bangladesh under the FIPB route. Following India's move, Pakistan's central bank has allowed two banks to open branches in India as part of efforts to normalise economic and trade relations between the two countries. State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Yasin Anwar told the media that

the National Bank of Pakistan and the United Bank Ltd had been given the "green signal" to operate in India. He said the Reserve Bank of India had been informed of SBP's decision of allowing the Pakistani banks to explore opportunities in India. India's move has been welcomed by businessmen on both sides of the border. Earlier this year, Pakistan switched over to a negative list regime for trade with India, paving the way for giving the Most Favoured Nationstatus to the neighbouring country. However, recent reports have indicated that Pakistan has decided to link progress in normalising trade relations to the resolution of other issues, like the Kashmir issue and the Sir Creek border dispute. Trade between India and Pakistan is worth a little more than $2 billion dollars and the two sides have agreed to increase it to $6 billion dollars by 2014.

Outsourcing of key oversight jobs by global banks to India has come under the scanner for the second time in less than a month for exposing the US financial system to terrorists and money laundering risks. On the heels of a probe by the US Senate's permanent committee on investigations pointing out major lapses in the work of HSBC's India staff, another UK-based banking giant Standard Chartered's outsourcing of key banking jobs to Indian shores have come under the scanner in the US. A probe by the New York State's key banking regulator, the department of financial services (DFS), has found deficient money laundering controls in outsourcing of work by StanChart to India, thus exposing the US financial system to terror financing and other risks. The findings in these two separate probes have come at a time when the voices against outsourcing of jobs to India and other locations are gaining momentum in the US, ahead of the presidential

elections in November. In an order on Monday night, the DFS accused StanChart of hiding secret transactions involving $250 billion with Iran - leaving the US financial system vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes. The DFS probe found that SCB had assured the New York state in May 2010 that it would take immediate steps to comply with the US office of foreign assets control (OFAC) sanctions. However, another regulatory examination in 2011 found continuing and significant anti-money laundering failures. Among these, the bank was outsourcing its "entire OFAC compliance process for the New York branch to Chennai, India, with no evidence of any oversight or communication between the Chennai and the New York offices." The OFAC is the designated US government agency for preparing list of entities with whom US citizens and entities are barred from doing any business.

After being in red for five quarters in a row, Jet Airways Group flew back into the positive terrain with a net income of Rs 364 million in the June quarter on the back of higher yields and cost management. India’s largest airline had posted a net loss of Rs 1.232 billion in the same period last year. Jet Airways said the profit would have been much higher had it not been for the huge forex losses on account of the falling rupee which resulted in an outgo of Rs 1.703 billion. However, a 148 per cent jump in Ebitdar

(earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, and restructuring or rent costs) to Rs. 8.25 billion against Rs. 3.33 billion a year ago, cushioned the impact of forex loss. This also saw its Ebitdar margin nearly double to 16.1 per cent from 8.9 per cent. The consolidated group revenue grew by 31.4 per cent to Rs 52.748 billion during the period driven by a 10 per cent growth in domestic traffic, while the industry growth was a paltry 1 per cent during the quarter. The domestic yield for Jet Airways rose 8.9 per

cent, the same for JetLite rose 43.2 per cent. Commenting on the turnaround, Group Chief Executive Nikos Kardassis said, “Fuel cost increase and depreciation of the rupee against the dollar weighed heavily on the industry’s profitability. “In fact, ATF price rose by 13 per cent in the quarter y-o-y, against a rise of just 3 per cent in the previous quarter. Overall the fuel cost rose 25.8 per cent to Rs 19.67 billion from Rs 15.63 billion.” He further said though crude has fallen from the highs of USD 120 a barrel

and now range between USD 100-105, benefits of the same have not accrued due to the fall of the rupee, which dipped from 44.70 in Q1 of FY12 to 55.615 in Q1 of FY13, a loss of around 24.4 per cent, putting pressure on our dollar-denominated costs. “Going forward, we do not expect any major capacity increase given the delivery schedules of airlines in the sector,” Mr Kardassis said.

Jet Airways posts profit after a year


FINANCIAL VOICE

Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

19

You Don't Know Who’s Swimming Naked Until The Tide Comes In Suresh Vagjiani Sow & Reap A Property Investment Company

A couple of clients who attended our seminar regarding investing in Central London came to see me last week. They had been following my articles for a while and only recently decided to come to the seminar. We had a brief discussion there and we then arranged to meet up. They were not new to property, in fact they had invested quite heavily into property and still retained a fair number. Stereotypically like many asians they were self employed and owned a convenience store, which they had been running for over two decades. I have seen many different situations with property in different parts of the country but the figures they told me even shocked me. The loan to value of the properties they held was ridiculous. They had thre e propert ie s all in sunn y Margate, one which had a loan of over £800,000 with a valu e of onl y £350,000. They had two o ther pro perties with the same ratio! Like many who have been working hard running their own business, they wanted to venture into something else to provide a certain level of income. This would then serve to provide a passive income, which would provide a cushion for them into the future should business decline or serve as a retirement fund when they decide enough is enough. About 8 years ago in 2004 during the pre credit crunch era, when the property market was increasing everywhere, they were introduced to properties in Margate, through an agent “who could get things done”. They had an angle: they would purchase old guest houses as the hotel market in Margate was in decline. These were large properties which would be converted to flats by getting planning permission. While the permission was in progress the properties would be used as a HMO, House of Multiple Occupation, basically meaning the rooms would be rented individually. This kind of set up provides a strong cash flow. We sold a similar HMO freehold property to an investor, it was in Marylebone and was producing £63,000 p.a. on a purchase price of £700,000, a 9% yield. This property was sold for £1.15m just three and a half years later. In Margate the yields would have been much higher than this, even if the planning was not granted the properties would have been generating a strong positive income, although the hassle factor would be higher. Even our client who purchased the HMO in Central London was complaining regarding the never ending minor repairs and the constant turn around in tenants. The difference was he had made £350,000 on a deposit of £100,000. Our guys in Margate have ended up with a hole in their pocket.

W hat is t he main difference between the two e xamples? Simply the lo cation . This is what made money for one inve sto r an d l ost mon ey for th e o ther.

The Real Deal

l Cash Purchaser Only l £125,000 for a 19 year lease studio l Lease extension costs £70,000 l End Value £320,000 l In prime location W2 l Right to extend the lease will be passed on to the new buyer therefore no need to wait for 2 years l We have the right lawyer to handle this

Our friends in Margate completed the works quickly after planning permission was granted, and then remortgaged to the hilt in order to extract money from the building to replicate the model again. Easy to do in a rising market. The surveyors shall we say were very optimistic in their valuations and kept the wheels rolling. The same surveyor firm is now under investigation. This was during the days when you could choose which surveyor you wanted when doing the mortgage application. In a nut shell it was like the emperor with no clothes, every one knew what was going on but nobody said anything. From top down even the lenders didn’t care as they were simply selling the debt on and so it wasn’t going to be their problem later on, if it all went pear shaped. Buy using this strategy they managed to purchase 10 buildings in a short period of time. This is all good when the market is rising, but there is a saying: you don't know who's swimming naked until the tide comes in! When the market turned, values plummeted. Though there was one saving grace for our Margate investors, cash flow. Because the interest rates were low they had income coming in from most of the properties as they were on base rate trackers. Using a good solicitor they managed to negotiate with the banks regarding handing back some of the properties and are currently left with four blocks, which have mortgages between two to three times the value of the properties. It is not so simple that they can just give the keys back, as the lender will come after them for the difference in what they have lent and what they end up selling for, which is likely to be over £1m. If they didn’t have equity in their homes they could simply bankrupt themselves, and start again but unfortunately they do, and these would be put at risk. To say the least, this has been a steep learning curve for them and there are some lessons you cannot learn from books. They are still young enough to recover. It is worse when you see this kind of situation amongst pensioners, who have lost everything due to some bad decisions. Luckily they haven’t lost their faith in property as an asset class, and they realise the value in investing in Central London. Despite the baggage of toxic debt acting as an anchor and weighing them down, their enthusiasm is there to make money in the Central london market. One reason is to make enough money to climb out of the hole they are in. In these situations the worst thing you can do is put your head in the sand. I too have come to this conclusion after making errors in investing in far off places, a decision driven purely by yield. Or looking at regeneration plans and being told these areas were up and coming, unfortunately after several years they are still waiting to come up. Or the ‘discounts’ from off plan properties which have been offered on practically all the flats in the blocks and so no longer can be classed as a discount. All these discounts served to do was make the deposit disappear, so you could purchase by putting no money into the deal, hence opening the doors up for any penniless investor to invest. Now if these guys had simply changed their chosen location to Central London this probably would have been a different story.

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Tips of the Week l Buying a property is a package deal, like getting married! Don't look at it from only one angle, if you concentrate only on yield you may find the capital value decreases. l Rather than purchasing in cash it may be tax efficient to take a mortgage, and also it will allow you to purchase multiple properties instead of only one.


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fInancIaL voiCe

Lack of reforms lead to blackouts in India The blackouts experienced by more than half of India recently will badly damage the country’s reputation and highlights the rotten infrastructure that is hobbling its efforts to catch up with China. The cause of the blackouts is murky - an overloading of the national network that links together regional grids is the most likely explanation. Engineers did a heroic job of patching things up. But the power industry, which must double its output roughly every decade if India is to grow fast, has long been a disaster waiting to happen. A pile of private capital has been attracted to build new power stations. But the rest of the supply chain is a mess. At one end, not enough cheap coal is being dug up and gas fields are sputtering. At the other, the national transmission grid needs investment. Meanwhile the “last mile” distribution companies, largely state-owned, that buy power and deliver it to homes and firms, are financial zombies. Much

sector to competition. It has allowed corruption and red tape to damage other vital industries, such as telecoms. Politicians shirk these tasks because they fear offending powerful lobbies, such as the farmers who receive subsidised electricity, while voters seem to manifest little appetite for reform. No party has a clear majority in parliament, and none was elected on a platform of change. The present Congress-led coalition government has few people with a record of or an instinct for reform, save perhaps the prime minister, Manmohan Singh, who has now run out of zip. It relies on fickle regional parties to stay in power. The opposition is no better - and possibly worse. Compared with a blacked-out India, China’s economic star shines bright. But the present failures of the Indian system are not an argument for adopting China’s. There are autocracies without enough electricity, and democracies with plenty of it. Meanwhile, democrati-

Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

China’s Huawei is stoking fears of cyber-espionage Huawei, a private firm, is a standard-bearer in China’s long march into Western markets. Its founder, Ren Zhengfei, who served as an engineer in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), at first struggled to win customers even in China. But his company followed Mao’s strategy of using the countryside to encircle and capture the cities, and it has moved on to win foreign markets too: in Europe it is involved in over half of the superfast 4G telecoms networks that have been announced, and it has become a strong competitor in mobile phones. The company is now a $32-billion business empire with 140,000 employees, and customers in 140 countries. It commands respect by delivering high-quality telecoms equipment at low prices. But Huawei inspires fear too - and not just among its competitors. The company is said to be too close for comfort to the PLA. Westerners fret that the networks the firm is building are used by Chinese spooks to eavesdrop during peacetime and could be shut down suddenly during wartime. They see the firm as a potent weapon in China’s burgeoning cyber-arsenal. It is a view that some governments are taking

seriously. Earlier this year Australia blocked Huawei’s participation in a scheme to build a national broadband network in the country. The company has also faced opposition to its commercial expansion in India. And in America, where Huawei’s attempts to grow have often been stymied, a congressional committee that focuses on intelligence matters is putting the firm under a microscope; suspicions have been aggravated by a recent spate of cyber-attacks attributed to Chinese hackers. Western governments are also suspicious of the subsidies, low-interest loans and generous export credits lavished on favoured champions, including Huawei. The European Commission is considering opening an investigation. Some people suppose that the Chinese government is helping Huawei win overseas con-

tracts so that spies can exploit its networks to snoop on ever more of the world’s electronic traffic. Arguments against imports always need to be viewed with caution, since they will be used by protectionists to keep emerging rivals out. Still, it is reasonable to worry about security in telecoms: recent reports have pointed to the efforts of Chinese state-sponsored hackers to vacuum up valuable Western commercial secrets on a massive scale. Western intelligence agencies are also alert to the risks of eavesdropping and cyber-attacks because they themselves are practitioners (a prime example being the Stuxnet virus, aimed at Iran’s nuclear programme). As for Huawei, a firm that controls a network’s creation and management is ideally placed to sneak in malware and sneak out sensitive data. Even though it is a private

P Chidambaram junks Pranab's policy, orders retro tax review of their power is pinched or given away free. Local politicians put pressure on them to keep tariffs low, which leads to huge losses. Squeezed between a shortage of fuel and end-customers who are nearly bust, those private generating firms are now cutting back on vital longterm investment in new plants. The state of the power industry causes problems for the country not just because electricity is in short supply. The distribution companies’ huge debts weigh on the banks’ balance-sheets, threatening the health of the financial sector as well. The solution is to cut graft, tackle vested interests and allow markets to work better. The coal monopoly needs to be broken up and local distribution firms privatised. Yet despite the looming crisis, for a decade the government has shirked doing what is clearly necessary, just as it has failed to implement key tax reforms, cut public borrowing or open the retail

cally elected governments are quite capable of winning public consent for brave reforms as India’s did two decades ago. The government’s reaction to the power cuts has been depressingly in line with its more recent performance. During the blackouts it enacted a cabinet reshuffle, and the power minister was promoted to a more senior post. Yet there are some grounds for hoping that things may change. The very scale of the power cuts may remind voters that bad economic policies are not just abstract notions, but hurt people’s lives by making jobs scarcer, roads more congested, and food and phones more expensive. And that in turn may remind politicians of the dangers of ignoring the economy. India’s great blackout is a consequence of rotten governance. Voters need to understand that, and deliver the country’s political class a different kind of electric shock.

India’s finance minister P Chidambaram has ordered a review of tax provisions that have a retrospective effect, a move which is expected to bring relief to telecom o.perator Vodafone and help regain investor confidence. "I have also directed a review of the provisions to find fair and reasonable solutions to pending as well as likely disputes between the tax department and the assessees concerned," Chidambaram said on Monday, in his first formal interaction with reporters after returning to the finance ministry. The retrospective tax changes introduced in the 2012-13 budget had drawn sharp criticism from across the globe and scared investors. Along with the General AntiAvoidance Rules (GAAR) on tax avoidance, another controversial element of Pranab Mukherjee's budget, it had rattled investors. The twin steps created a sharp divide within the government, with a strong school identifying it as key factors which forced investors to keep their India plans on hold. The decision, aimed at assuaging the concerns of

foreign investors, marks a clear repudiation of Mukherjee's legacy in the ministry. It came a day after finance secretary R S Gujral, who symbolized the Mukherjee dispensation, was divested of the crucial revenue portfolio and pointed to an anxiety to overturn the controversial features that defined the previous finance ministry team. Chidambaram, who is seen as a staunch proreform politician, sought to allay investor concerns, saying the aim of the government's effort would be to remove the perceived difficulties of "doing business in India", including fears about undue regulatory burden or regulatory over-reach. "Clarity in tax laws, a stable tax regime, a non-adversarial tax administration, a fair mechanism for dispute resolution and an independent judiciary will provide great assurance to insurance," Chidambaram said, adding, "The key to restart the growth engine is to attract more investment, both from domestic and foreign investors. Since investment is an act of faith, we must remove any apprehension or dis-

trust in the minds of investors." Continuing in the same vein, he said, "I believe that around the world, there is enormous goodwill for India, and most people continue to keep faith with the India growth story. A reassurance on the investment climate, continued flow of remittances and a rise in capital flows - both FDI and FII - will bring stability to the exchange rate. We intend to finetune policies and procedures that will facilitate capital flows into India." The finance minister said the measures that the government announced on Monday as well as other steps which it hopes to unveil in the short term would enable it to raise the level of investment to 38% of gross domestic product that was achieved in 2007-08. There were already clear signs of a re-think on the "retrospective" tax on Vodafone, with the government avoiding raising a fresh tax demand on the telecom giant. Howls of protest from investors forced it to also put on hold the implementation of GAAR by a year and set up a panel to fine-tune the provisions.

company with an awful lot to lose if it were caught spying, the power of the state in China’s version of capitalism means the West is right to be vigilant. But banning Huawei from bidding for commercial contracts is wrongheaded, for two reasons. One is that the economic benefit of competition from China in general and Huawei in particular is huge. It boosts growth and thus wellbeing. Huawei’s cheap but effective equipment helped make Africa’s mobile-telecoms revolution possible. Distrust and verify The other reason for not banning Huawei is the dirty little secret that its foreign rivals strangely neglect to mention: just about everybody makes telecoms equipment in China these days. Chinese manufacturers and designers have become an integral part of the global telecoms supply chain. Blocking Huawei (or its rival Chinese telecoms giant, ZTE) while allowing gear from, say, AlcatelLucent or Ericsson on a network may make politicians feel good. But it is no guarantee of security. Huawei’s competitors have a vested interest in hyping concerns about it, while disguising their own reliance on Chinese subcontractors and on subsidies.

No money to pay salary, Kingfisher tells unpaid staff There's no end in sight for troubles at crisis-ridden Kingfisher even as its listed peers, Jet and SpiceJet, have flown into black from deep red in Q1 this fiscal. Vijay Mallya-promoted airline's penny stock touched a new life low of Rs 8.94 on the BSE last week before closing at Rs 9.15 following a stormy meet between a section of unpaid employees and the airline management. "We met airline CEO Sanjay Aggarwal and were clearly told that the airline has no money as of now for paying us; the accounts are seized and now some word on fund infusion or any other decision would come only when Mallya returns to the country," said an employee. The CEO is learnt to have admitted that over 100 employees, including pilots, engineers and others, were yet to be paid their February salaries. All employees are now waiting for their March salaries and they will meet to decide their strategy. A senior official close to the airline management confirmed the employees meeting Aggarwal. "They wanted to know when the March salaries would be paid. The airline's difficulties were explained to them and their cooperation was sought," he said.


financial VOICE

Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

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Foreign Exchange Paresh Davdra is the Dealing Director of RationalFX, Currency Specialists.

The Eurozone’s debt crisis sparks more debate across the region The single currency rose on Monday morning as it continued to add to gains made the previous week after Mario Draghi, ECB president, said the central bank was prepared to buy government debt to help lower yields if politicians requested assistance from the Eurozone bailout fund. Investors and politicians were grappling with the significance of Draghi’s comments on sovereign debt purchases. While markets initially tumbled after Draghi said Spain and Italy would have to formally request a resumption of the bank’s bond buying in conjunction with Europe’s bailout fund, thus entering into a rescue program with strict conditions, they rose today as investors concluded that ECB action would happen, albeit on an unknown future date. The Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos stated at the weekend that Spain awaits details of the ECB’s bond-buying proposals before deciding whether to request aid. On the other hand, both Italian Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio

Visco and Minister for Economic Development Corrado Passera said in separate interviews that the country does not need a bailout. Currency traders are now expecting few key events during the week, with no bond auctions from Spain or Italy and a German Bund auction on Wednesday. Analysts said that weaker signs on the Spanish or Italian economies during the week could be, counter-intuitively, seen as risk positive given the ECB’s stance on providing aid.

Meanwhile in the United Kingdom this week, market participates are expecting a raft of negative figures. This means that we could see the Pound really losing ground and with the Eurozone starting to show signs of unity and support. Again, the Euro could be the winner of the week. The focus this week in will be in the Bank’s quarterly inflation report and there is expected to be sliding revisions to growth and inflation forecasts. Meanwhile United Kingdom industrial production is expect-

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ed to show a sharp decline in June. According to figures published by Halifax the UK housing market is reportedly looking stable. The latest monthly survey shows that prices fell by 0.6% in July compared with June, to leave the average house price across the country at ÂŁ161,094. This results that the average prices are also 0.6% lower than a year ago. Therefore Halifax predicted that there would be little change in the remainder of this year, unless the recession becomes worse. Meanwhile United States unemployment rate rose from 8.2% to 8.3% last month, as more people re-entered the workforce but failed to find a job. However the economy added an extra 163,000 jobs in July and still needs to generate 100,000 new jobs a month just to stand still, according to the Federal Reserve. The United States economy will also be operating in a more difficult global environment in the next few months as Europe's debt crisis will most likely worsen before it gets better.

Weekly Currencies As of Tuesday 7th August 2012 @ 3pm GBP - INR = 86.20 USD - INR = 55.06 EUR - INR = 68.44 GBP - USD = 1.57 GBP - EUR = 1.26 EUR - USD = 1.24 GBP - AED = 5.75 GBP - CAD = 1.56 GBP - NZD = 1.19 GBP - AUD = 1.48 GBP - ZAR = 12.77 GBP - HUF = 349.76

www.rationalfx.com Information provided by RationalFX. None of the information on this page constitutes, nor should be construed as financial advice. The exchange rates used are the commercial foreign exchange rates provided by RationalFX. For a live quote or to find out more about how RationalFX can help you, call us on 0207 220 8181.

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world

Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

Curiosity sets down on Mars, beams first image In Focus Washington: In a show of technological wizardry, the robotic explorer Curiosity blazed through the pink skies of Mars, steering itself to a gentle landing inside a giant crater for the most ambitious dig yet into the red planet’s past. A chorus of cheers and applause echoed through the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Sunday night after the most high-tech interplanetary rover ever built sent a signal to Earth. It had survived a harrowing plunge through the thin Mars atmosphere. “Touchdown confirmed,” said engineer Allen Chen. “We’re safe on Mars.” Minutes after touchdown, Curiosity beamed back the first pictures from the surface showing its wheel and its shadow, cast by the afternoon sun. It was NASA’s seventh landing on Earth’s neighbour; many other attempts by the US and other countries to zip past, circle or set down on Mars have gone awry. The arrival was an engineering tour de force, debuting never-before-tried acrobatics packed into “seven

minutes of terror” as Curiosity sliced through the Martian atmosphere at 20,920.5 kph. In a Hollywood-style finish, cables delicately lowered the rover to the ground at a snail-paced 2 mph. A video camera was set to capture the most dramatic moments which would give earthlings their first glimpse of a touchdown on another world. The extraterrestrial feat injected a much-needed boost to NASA, which is debating whether it can afford another Mars landing this decade. At a budget-busting $2.5 billion, Curiosity is

the priciest gamble yet, which scientists hope will pay off with a bonanza of discoveries. Over the next two years, Curiosity will drive over to a mountain rising from the crater floor, poke into rocks and scoop up rust-tinted soil to see if the region ever had the right environment for microscopic organisms to thrive. It’s the latest chapter in the long-running quest to find out whether primitive life arose early in the planet’s history. The voyage to Mars took more than eight months and spanned 352 million miles (566 million km). The trickiest part of the journey? The landing. Because Curiosity weighs nearly a ton, engineers drummed up a new and more controlled way to set the rover down. The last Mars rovers, twins Spirit and Opportunity, were cocooned in air bags and bounced to a stop in 2004.

The plans for Curiosity called for a series of braking tricks, similar to those used by the space shuttle, and a supersonic parachute to slow it down. Next - Ditch the heat shield used for the fiery descent. And in a new twist, engineers came up with a way to lower the rover by cable from a hovering rocket-powered backpack. At touchdown, the cords cut and the rocket stage crashed a distance away. The nuclear-powered Curiosity, the size of a small car, is packed with scientific tools, cameras and a weather station. It sports a robotic arm with a power drill, a laser that can zap distant rocks, a chemistry lab to sniff for the chemical building blocks of life and a detector to measure dangerous radiation on the surface. It also tracked radiation levels during the journey to help NASA better understand the risks astronauts could face on a future manned trip. After several weeks of health checkups, the sixwheel rover could take its first short drive and flex its robotic arm.

US, Pakistan join hands Cash-strapped Pak gets $1.118 bn from US against Haqqanis Washington: After over a year of rancorous relations, US and Pakistani authorities are considering to launch joint counterterrorism operations against the dreaded Haqqani network, which has carried out several attacks on American troops, in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The operations would be intended to help stamp out major security threats facing each country, targeting what the US says are sanctuaries for the Haqqani network in Pakistan, and what Pakistan says are sanctuaries for the Pakistani Taliban in Afghanistan, said officials familiar with the proposal. According to the Wall Street Journal, the plans are considered, at best, promising US officials have long pressed Pakistani counterparts to target the Haqqani group, without success. US says the Haqqani network acts like a “veritable arm” of the Pakistani military, a charge Pakistan denies. The potential USPakistani plans were dis-

cussed in meetings in Washington last week involving ISI chief Lt Gen Zaheerul-Islam and top officials of the CIA, state department and Pentagon, as well as top lawmakers, the newspaper reported citing the officials familiar with the talks. Also discussed was Pakistan’s demand for a halt to CIA drone strikes in Pakistan. No agreement was reached on any changes to the programme, the officials said. US and Pakistani officials both described this week’s meetings as productive and indicative of a higher level of trust than in previous meetings. Until now, counter-terrorism negotiations between the sides have been largely on hold after US forces killed 24 Pakistani troops near Afghanistan’s border in November amid miscommunications between the sides. As tensions rose over the US’s refusal to apologize for the incident, the new Pakistani intelligence chief deferred a June invitation from the CIA to visit Washington.

Islamabad: Cash-strapped Pakistan has received USD 1.118 billion from the United States as reimbursement for its expenses on the war on terrorism, the first payment from the Coalition Support Fund since December 2010. The State Bank of Pakistan received the payment from the US, SBP chief spokesman Syed Wasimuddin said. The amount will be reflected in the foreign exchange reserves for next week, he said. Wasimuddin said this was the first payment from the Coalition Support Fund since USD 633 million was received in December 2010. Washington released the funds after it signed a memorandum of understanding with Islamabad for transporting supplies for NATO troops in Afghanistan through Pakistani soil. The MoU, drafted in line with recommendations made by Pakistan's parliament for resetting ties with the US, replaced existing arrange-

ments for NATO supplies. The agreement will be valid till the end of 2015. The United States has released the funds to Pakistan as reimbursement for the costs it had incurred on antimilitancy operations. The spokesman said the United States had paid Pakistan a total of USD 8.8 billion between 2002 and 2011 but the Pakistan government stopped claiming the money as relations were strained after the US operation in Abbotabad in May 2011 in which they killed Osama bin Laden. The crisis hit a new low when US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and Islamabad imposed a sevenmonth blockade on NATO traffic in protest.

Pakistan police parade couple naked In a shocking incident, a man and a woman arrested on charges of "intent to commit adultery" were paraded naked by police through a town in Sindh province of southern Pakistan, according to a media report. Mumtaz Mirbahar, a trader, and a woman were arrested by police in Gambat town in Sindh on July 27. They were forced to walk naked through the town to the police station. Police and local residents filmed the incident. Grainy footage on media

website showed policemen preventing Mirbahar and the woman from putting on their clothes after being arrested. Mirbahar said he was the victim of a conspiracy and that the woman had been brought by the policemen. He said they were both made to walk for over half a kilometre while several persons, including policemen, filmed them. Mirbahar subsequently obtained bail from a local court though the woman continues to be in jail, the report said. He filed a petition in the Sindh High Court

that will be heard on August 8. Residents of Gambat told BBC that they had tried to stop the policemen from forcing Mirbahar and the woman to walk naked through the town but they did not listen. The report said another woman was arrested along with the duo but she was not paraded naked. The policemen acted as both complainants and witnesses in the case registered against Mirbahar. The policemen claimed they were informed by an informant that Mirbahar

had invited two women to his home for "sexual favours". . Witnesses said the naked woman was forced into a police van while Mirbahar was made to walk in front of the vehicle all the way to the police station. The second woman was fully clothed, they said. After reports of the incident emerged, three policemen were suspended in connection with the incident.Gambat is part of Khairpur district, which is home to Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah.

Pak judge resigns after his dancing video goes viral

Lahore: A Pakistani judge resigned after a video showing him dancing with a girl at a party was uploaded on YouTube. The resignation of civil judge Muhammad Masood Bilal of Khanewal district in Punjab province has been accepted, said a Lahore high court registrar. He said the court had initiated departmental proceedings even before he resigned. Bilal attended his brother’s engagement party where he danced with a 'professional dancing girl', officials said.

Axed Pak officer won’t stop service

Islamabad: Pakistan's former deputy attorney general Khurshid Khan has vowed to "fully volunteer'' himself to sevadari' (voluntary service) at Hindu and Sikh shrines across the world two days after he was sacked over it. "I am happy that I have become a free man. I will travel all over the world to do seva. I am thankful to authorities, who have spared me from an 8 am to 5pm hectic job," Khan, who had recently hit headlines after he polished shoes at temples in India. Khan first performed seva at gurdwaras in Peshawar as a mark of solidarity with the Sikh community after Taliban killed one of its members in 2010. He performed similar community service at the Golden Temple and other places of worship during his visit to India.

US asked to reach out to the Sindhi population in Pakistan

Washington: With the popularity of the United States inside Pakistan at an all-time low, an influential American lawmaker has asked the State Department to make efforts to reach out directly to the country's population, in particular the Sindhis. "Pakistan is a nuclear-armed Islamic state on the front line of several conflicts with so many extremist groups. Pakistan is a pressing international problem for us. My hope is that you are reaching out to the Pakistani people - not just in Urdu, which is the politically correct language that the government and the ISI in Pakistan would have you use, but also in the other languages, particularly Sindhi," Congressman Brad Sherman, said during a Congressional hearing. Sherman alleged that the people of Sindh, predominantly those who speak Sindhi language, have been under attack by governmental bodies.

2 killed, 15 injured in Pak fireworks workshop blast

Islamabad: At least two people were killed and 15 injured when three buildings collapsed following an explosion in a fireworks workshop in Pakistan's central city of Multan, with several people being buried under the debris. Several nearby shops caught fire following the blast. Residents said that there used to be similar accidents involving fireworks workshops in the residential area. Six to eight people are stranded under the debris and were rescued.

Mumbai attack case trial in Pakistan adjourned till Aug 25

Islamabad: The trial of seven Pakistani men, including Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, for their involvement in the Mumbai attacks was adjourned for three weeks after defence lawyers were unable to attend the hearing due to the cancellation of a flight. Judge Chaudhry Habibur-Rehman of the Rawalpindi-based antiterrorism court adjourned the proceedings till August 25. Sources said the lengthy adjournment was also due to the ongoing Islamic holy month of Ramzan and the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr festival.

US warns of LeT threat, asks Pakistan to act

Washington: Expressing great concern over continued threat posed by Lashkar-eTaiba to stability in South Asia, the United States has asked Pakistan to take more action against the terrorist group responsible for the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. US spokesman Benjamin said he had not seen any decrease in LeT strength and "the threat to stability in South Asia that it poses." The State Department report itself also warned that "terrorist opponents of better IndianPakistan relations, such as the LeT.


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Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

Scandal rocks Singapore’s biggest church

Indian killed in US mega bus crash

Singapore: The prosecution of a priest, no less, for corruption has caused a furore in Singapore. On July 25th Kong Hee, pastor at City Harvest Church (CHC), and five others appeared in court on charges of misusing up to S$50m ($40m) of church money to fund the music career of Mr Kong’s flamboyant wife, Sun Ho. The case has divided Singapore’s fast-growing Christian community, which makes up about a fifth of the 5 million population. It also worries those who see corruption as a growing problem. The CHC is Singapore’s largest megachurch, with more than 30,000 members. Ms Ho helped to found the church and started singing as a way to broaden the church’s appeal: skimpy outfits and provocative gyrations helped. A decade ago she became a full-time pop singer. She has released several albums. Her home is a mansion in Hollywood Hills, California. Mr Kong’s detractors are smug after years of wailing about the evils and excesses of the new megachurches which, they claim, put entertainment before spirituality, Mammon before God. Mr Kong often prophesied

Illinois: A 24-year-old Indian – origin passenger died when a double-decker mega bus crashed in Illinois. Aditi R Avhad was headed to Columbia, Missouri, when the bus slammed into an interstate bridge support pillar. Thirty eight others were injured and are being admitted to hospitals. Illinois state trooper Brad Lemarr said he didn't know where Avhad was seated on the bus, which was travelling between Chicago and Kansas city. The city in which she lived was also not immediately known.

Man jumps off moving plane in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur: A man jumped out of a moving aircraft while it was about to take off from an airport in Malaysia, causing delay in the flight operations. AirAsia flight from Miri in Malaysia's northern Sarawak state to Kuala Lumpur was scheduled to take off at 7.40 pm. However, it was delayed for over an hour as a result of the runway drama. A witness said that as the plane was about to take off, the man suddenly opened the emergency doors and jumped out.There were no injuries and the passenger was arrested.

that donations to the church would cause donors’ personal wealth to swell. Such a “prosperity gospel” exploits the materialist aspirations of young Singaporeans living in a society with more millionaires per head than almost any other. Church members have closed ranks, claiming that they approve of their leaders’ spending (CHC’s building fund alone raised S$23m last year). They seem to have trusted Mr Kong to spend their money in any way he saw fit. Local activists also acknowledge that the church contributes much to the wider community. Still, the case has revealed a lack of accountability and transparency at religious organisations. Worshippers often place blind faith in their church leaders, showing little interest in where their tithes and donations go.

Rwandan government’s human-rights record is bad Kigali: Paul Kagame, Rwanda’s president, is a clever and persuasive man with influential foreign friends. In the past few weeks America’s Bill Clinton and Britain’s Tony Blair, among others, have been singing his praises. The American and British governments, Rwanda’s two biggest aid donors, both extol Mr Kagame’s performance on economic development. But while Mr Kagame’s economic achievements continue to impress, his human-rights record is getting grubbier, both at home and abroad. He is intolerant of opposition. A recent UN report has accused his government of stoking a rebellion in eastern Congo, across Rwanda’s border, that has led to the displacement of 300,000 people. Should donors go on pampering him, and Western governments persist in turning a blind eye to these nastier tendencies? Or should they try to persuade him to mend his ways by reducing that aid, thereby risking the possibility that some of Rwanda’s poorest people will lose out? Rwanda is not the only place where aid donors face this dilemma. Ethiopia is another. Different cases need different answers, depending

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with Rwanda, which joined the Commonwealth in 2009. It has become part of an enlarged East African Community, has sent peacekeeping troops to Sudan’s embattled Darfur province, and largely supports Western policy in the wider world. Mr Kagame promises that he will step down from the presidency in 2017, in accordance with an admirable constitutional term limit. But in other respects the negatives have been piling up. Several leading opposition figures and journalists were assassinated or attacked in the run-up to the most recent presidential and parliamentary elections. A host of respected international human-rights organisations, including Human Rights Watch, has lambasted him. In independent circles in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, the mood is fearful.

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largely on how grave the abuses are. In Rwanda’s case, they are too serious to be ignored. Under Mr Kagame, Rwanda has advanced economically at a lion’s pace. GDP grew by more than half between 2005 and 2011. Mr Kagame has been deservedly praised for the progress his government has made in health care, education, agriculture, internet technology and women’s rights; half the members of parliament are female, an African record. Rwanda is also rated one of the least corrupt countries in Africa and easily the cleanest in its region. The British government claims that bilateral aid to Rwanda offers the best value for taxpayers’ money in the world. Moreover, Western governments, particularly those of Britain and the United States, enjoy a “strategic partnership”

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24

INDIA

Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

Mulayam Singh Yadav issues stern warning to partymen

A peeved Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav warned the party's elected representatives of some harsh action if they failed to meet people's expectations in Uttar Pradesh. "Nothing much has changed in last two months. Everybody seems to be catering to their own interests. This cannot be allowed any longer. If this continues, we will not be able to face people in the Lok Sabha elections," a stern Mulayam said. Addressing the first meeting of MLCs and MLAs at the party headquarters here, Mulayam took the ministers head on. "On the very first day of the government formation, I had asked each one of you to make sure that we deliver what we have promised. I have even assured you that those who will take the right initiative will get all support from the government. But I don't see any remarkable change," Mulayam said. In the presence of the entire top SP leadership,

Mulayam expressed dissatisfaction over the manner in which SP MLCs, MLAs and ministers have conducted themselves. "I am watching every one of you and can point out by particular instance where you have faltered," Mulayam said, adding that this was neither in the interest of the party nor people or the politics of the state. "Don't be surprised if you find an unexpected reshuffle in the cabinet if I don't see a change soon," he said looking towards chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. Senior SP leaders including Mohammed Azam Khan, Shivpal Yadav and Ahmed Hasan were among those present in the meeting. It was here that some unhappy MLAs sitting in the back rows reacted: "Kuch mantriyon ko badal hi dijiye ab (change at least some ministers now)." Mulayam, however, took the comment in his stride despite the displeasure of being interrupted reflecting on

L K Advani sees non-Cong, non-BJP PM post-2014 polls

BJP veteran L K Advani on Sunday stumped his party colleagues and provided mirth to opponents by conceding the possibility of the BJP not being able to lead the coalition at the Centre after the 2014 polls. While ruling out the possibility of a Third Front-led coalition, Advani wrote in his blog, “A non-Congress, non-BJP prime minister heading a government supported by one of these two principal parties is, however, feasible. This has happened in the past also.” Advani also predicted that the Congress was headed for its worst-ever debacle and might for the first time “sink to just two digits” in the Lok Sabha, adding that the BJP would benefit from the ruling party's “fast-eroding reputation”. However, his comment about the possibility of a non-BJP prime minister leading the next coalition implied that the saffron party would not be able to cross the threshold - estimated to be around 170-odd seats - where it

would be the natural claimant to the reins at the Centre. As BJP leaders dived for cover or tried to put a spin on the statement, Congress pounced upon the blog. Minister of state for parliamentary affairs Rajeev Shukla and SP’s Mohan Singh said the BJP had given up the fight even before it could be joined. The commentary was in line with the disappointment Advani has publicly expressed earlier on the BJP’s failure to make the most of the Congress’s bungles, and mirrored the assessment in neutral political quarters. However, the prognosis is at odds with the BJP leadership’s assessment that the growing disgust with Congress “misrule” could see the party post a 180plus tally. It comes at a time when the BJP leadership is debating whether it can risk annoying allies like Bihar CM Nitish Kumar by projecting his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate. The divergence stunned the party’s usually voluble spokespersons into silence. They refused to comment, citing the leadership’s instruction “not to react to Advaniji’s blogs”. However, party leaders who spoke on the condition of anonymity were fuming. “The remarks are demoralizing and betray the mindset of someone who knows that his innings is over and has, therefore, concluded that he has no stake in whatever may happen now,” a leader said.

his face: "Dekh lijiye ... jab apaski log khush nahi hain to janta ka kya hoga" (See for yourself. Our own people are not happy, what to talk of the people in general)," he said as other senior leaders waved their hands to silence those who had made the remark. Mulayam had barely completed his sentence when the entire auditorium plunged into darkness following the collapse of three grids. The meeting resumed when power was restored after 15 minutes. "People have given us a clear mandate because they were fed-up with Mayawati's misrule. They have some expectations from us and if we fail to meet them, then I am sure everyone knows what will happen," the SP supremo said. He admitted that there were problems at certain levels in terms of execution of policies. "But people are not bothered, they have voted us and they want results and rightly so," he said.

Hamid Ansari wins second term as Vice-President

Vice-President Hamid Ansari won a second term as he defeated senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh in the election on Tuesday. He is the second person after the first Vice President S. Radhakrishnan to get a second term in the chair. Ansari bagged 490 votes, 13 votes less than what he was supposed to get. His opponent managed 238 votes, four more than the tally of the National Democratic Alliance and the AIADMK. Eight votes were invalid. The BJD, RSP and the TDP had abstained. The halfway mark was thus brought down to 377 from 396. The UPA and its supporters the SP, BSP and the RJD had decided to support Ansari along with the CPI (M), CPI and the Forward Bloc. Five years ago, it was the CPI (M) which had suggested his name for the post of Vice-President. He was then the Chairman of the National Commission of Minorities. The Congress had also considered his name for the post of President, along with Pranab Mukherjee. Polling began on a brisk note for the vice-presidential election on Tuesday in which UPA candidate Hamid Ansari appears set to fend off the contest put up by NDA nominee Jaswant Singh. A total of 788 Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs, including nominated members, are eligible to vote in the poll to elect the 14th Vice-President.

In divine light By Rajen Vakil

Arjuna battles with a Kirat

ll of the Pandavas and the Brahmins travelling A with them gathered

around Arjuna. Yudhisthira asked him to tell them of his five years in Swarga, the kingdom of Indra. He said “Please tell us how you acquired these divine weapons? How did you please the lords Shiva and Indra, and how did they give you their weapons?” “Five years ago I left you in the Kamyakvana (the forest of desire) and went to a place called Bhrugutunga and there I started practising severe austerities and tapas. I met a Brahmin who told me to go to the top of the Himalayas and do tapas and very soon I would be able to see lord Indra.” “I did as he said, and for the first month lived only on a diet of fruit. The second month I did not eat anything but drank water, the third month I did not eat or drink anything, the fourth month I stood with my hands in the air. I was shocked to see that even though I was not eating or drinking, I did not lose any weight. One day after the fifth month, a massive wild boar came and stood in front of me. It had a huge

horn and was digging up the earth as it moved.” “A few paces behind the animal stood a huge Kirat, a hunter. In his hand was a huge bow and he had a sword. There was a group of women behind him. I took my bow and shot an arrow into the animal. At exactly the same time this Kirat also shot a bow into the boar. The twang of his bow string was so powerful that it sent shivers through my whole being. He then spoke with me.” The Kirat said, “When I had already decided to kill the boar, why did you break the rule of hunting and shoot him? Keep

standing there and I will break your pride.” Saying this, he lifted his bow to shoot Arjuna. “He then covered me completely with arrows. As fast as I could, I lifted my Gandiva and countered him arrow for arrow. I then took some burning arrows, and pulling the bowstring as much as I could, shot and wounded him. As soon as my arrow hit him, the hunter split up into more than a thousand forms. I started shooting at all the forms which suddenly again became one. So again I wounded him with my arrows, but this time he started taking larger and smaller forms at will; each one having a different kind of head and body.” “I took out the terrible astra (arrow) called Vayurvaha (of the wind) thinking I would finish him off. When this astra returned to me without harming him, I was shocked. With even greater intensity, I started attacking him with the best weapons I had. This Kirat just swallowed up all of my astras.”

All past articles on the Mahabharata can be accessed from http://epaper.asianvoice.com or from http://www.3stepbreath.com/mahabharata.html

British 'rail motor car' facing final journey in India One of the world's most celebrated, romantic railway trains, the British 'rail motor car' of India's Himalayan Kalka-Shimla line may have made its last journey after officials said they could no longer source essential spare parts. The train played a part in India's successful campaign for the railway to be declared a Unesco World Heritage Site along with the countries other mountain toy-train lines in Darjeeling and the Nilgiri Hills in 2008. The train – one of four – which has plied the railway which once spirited colonial officials and their families away from the heat of India's northern plains to the summer capital Shimla in the pine forests foothills, was suspended last month. Its suspension and likely retirement brought pangs of regret throughout India on Monday where it is warmly remembered not only by those who have made the five hour crawling rail journey to Shimla but by millions of Bollywood film fans who have seen the train star in countless romantic classics.

The train was built in 1927, 24 years after the Kalka-Shimla railway was opened as one of the world's most ambitious engineering projects. It has been built to dramatically reduce the travel time to the British summer capital from several days by elephant, horseback and hand-pulled rickshaw to a humane four and a half hours. Its 60 miles of track cross more than 800 bridges and viaducts, some

of which are five tiers deep to span steep valleys. It has more than 900 switchback hairpin bends to make the climb from just over 2000 feet to just below 7000 and passes through more than 100 tunnels to offer clear views of the Himalayan snow caps above grassy meadows. The train itself has featured in a number of Bollywood films, including the 2007 hit “Jab We Met”

(When we met), and also in Michael Palin's acclaimed television series Himalaya. But according to railway officials the celebrated train has finally run out of puff with no manufacturers able to supply key parts for its maintenance. Indian Railways divisional manager for Ambala, P K Sanghi, said the train was suspended three weeks ago on safety grounds after wear and tear on its wheels could no longer be overlooked. "The wheels are not in shape to be in service,' he said. He and his colleagues have been searching for steel manufacturers to make new cast iron for several months and have issued a tender but former suppliers have moved on to higher technology manufacturing, he said. "The wheels or steel tyres are made of special cast steel and we have difficulty in getting them. We are changing the 'tyres' for the first time after its inception. The rail technology has changed drastically and manufacturers are not making spare parts for heritage trains," he explained.


INDIA

Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

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Captain Lakshmi Sehgal – doctor and India’s freedom fighter Captain Lakshmi Sehgal, doctor and fighter for Indian independence, died on July 23rd, aged 97. Till the end she was serving the poor in her Kanpur clinic. Her sister said she had always had the technique to reassure the patients. She had massaged the scrawny limbs of Bangladeshi refugees in West Bengal in 1971 and in December 1984 had soothed the burning eyes of victims of the explosion at a chemical factory in Bhopal. She also knew how to fire a revolver and prime a grenade, change the magazine on a Tommy gun and wield a sword. She was as skilled and ruthless as any man, for Dr Lakshmi had been trained beside the men to become a killing machine. From 1943 to 1945, in the jungles of Singapore and what was then Burma, she commanded a brand-new unit of the Indian National Army in the hope of overthrowing the British Raj. The Rani of Jhansi regiment, set up by the independence leader Subhas Chandra Bose, was for women only, the first in Asia. It was named after a heroine of the 1857 Sepoy

Mutiny against the British, a widowed child bride who cut her saris into trousers to ride into battle. For Dr Lakshmi, another rich tomboy who had married too young, a rider of horses and driver of cars who had eagerly thrown her foreignmade dresses on a nationalist bonfire, the rani made an irresistible model. Bose, too, was irresistible. She had first seen “Netaji” at 14, in 1928, when she was taken to Calcutta to the assembly of the Congress party by her activist mother. He strode in uniform at the head of his party volunteers, bravely rebellious, his owlish glasses glinting in the sunrise. Fifteen years later, when she had fled to Singapore with a new lover to set up a free clinic for Indian migrant workers, they met again. Bose persuaded her to recruit Indian women from the diaspora in Malaya and Singapore to fight for the cause: to link up with the Japanese, invade India through Burma, and seize the capital. He made her a colonel, although she was always “Captain”. A fine singer, she had already recorded the army song: Chalo Dilli, “On to Delhi!”

As a native of Madras (now Chennai), whose soft voice still kept the lilt of Tamil, she was used to heat, but not to privation. Wearing the same sweatsoaked khakis for days on end was torture. Nonetheless, she cut an almost fashionable figure, and would take the salute in stylish sunglasses. The troops she commanded were mostly single teenage girls from the Malayan rubber plantations, fresh out of purdah, giggling and shy. They all trained hard, but to her intense frustration they were deployed as nurses and never went

Former CM Keshubhai Patel launches Gujarat Parivartan Party

AV correspondent With former Chief Minister Suresh Mehta , former Union Minister Kasiram Rana, former Gujarat MoS Home Gordhan Zadafiya by his side, former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel launched his new political outfit under the name of Gujarat Parivartan Party in Gandhinagar on Monday. Keshubhai, who had formally resigned from BJP last week had been spewing venom against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for quite some time now, much to the discomfort of BJP. While announcing his resignation last week, Keshubhai had lashed out at the state government for having lost its sensitivity for the people of the state and the way BJP high command had turned a deaf ear to his concerns about governance issues in Gujarat. On Monday, Keshubhai made it clear that his party would function in the ideological lines of the Sangh but fight the ‘misrule’ of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the ensuing election. Though he declined to divulge much of the political strategy of his party at this moment, insiders believe that the party may project Keshubhai as the Chief Ministerial candidate, as he enjoys tremendous support among the powerful Patel community in the state. Born in July 24, 1928 in Visavadar town in the Junagarh District of Gujarat, Keshubhai became an RSS Pracharak in 1945 and had been one of the principal architect of BJP rule in Gujarat. While he became the first BJP Chief Minister of the state in 1995, he had to step down following a revolt by his close aide Shankarsinh Vaghela; only to stage a stunning victory in 1998. However, BJP high command unceremoniously removed him in 2001 to pla-

cate persistant Narendra Modi, pushing the stalwart of the Patel community in temporary political oblivion. While he staged a cameo against Modi in 2007, Keshubhai since 2001 until this year remained largely out of public glare. However, with anti-incumbency factor steadily setting in the state, the octogenarian politician has been fairly active this time around, mobilizing public opinion against the incumbent government. With his strong grip over the Patel community and his alliance with another emerging Patel leader Gordhan Zadfiya, who has been working at the grassroots level across the state, Patel with his new party is expected to play a significantly decisive part in at least 20 to 25 seats out of 52 seats in the Patel heartland of Saurashtra. For the records, disenchanted RSS leaders like Parvin Maniar and ousted pracharak like Bhaskarrao Damle are also set to lend their support to Keshubhai. While this may not be prudent to speculate that Patel community would en-masse vote for Keshubhai, the fuming discontent among the voters particularly in the Saurashtra region would benefit Keshubhai. While the community virtually formed the backbone of the saffron polity in Gujarat, the disenchantment of Patel community with BJP started with the unceremonious ouster of Keshubhai in 2001, which was further accentuated by the political exploitation of the intra-community divisions . The process had backfired seriously for Modi in 2009 Loksabha election when three out of four Patel candidates were rejected by the community in the Patel heartland of Saurashtra. The drifting of the Patel voters in Bhavnagar also had seen the winning margin of the incumbent BJP MP Rajendrasinh Rana reduced to a wafer thin 5902 votes. The nouveau-riche community however have been calling the shots in Gujarat polity with its financial and numerical muscles and the Patel Patriarch Keshubhai had successfully galvanized the community to a strong voter base for the BJP.

into battle. Bose’s campaign ended in the spring of 1945 with a 23-day retreat through the Burmese jungle under monsoon rains, the leader solicitously shepherding his women soldiers, and Colonel Lakshmi once more a doctor to his horribly blistered feet. A dream of free women Looking back on it later, she felt the whole freedom struggle had gone wrong. Partition had been a disaster, and the modern pursuit of money had ruined what was left. Blunt-spoken and practical, she denied having dreamy ideals for an independent India; but she had had many. As the only woman in the short-lived cabinet of Bose’s Provisional Government of Free India, she hoped to abolish child marriage,

dowries and the ban on remarriage of widows. She wanted women to have chances like hers: to be educated, self-supporting if they cared to be, and able to make their own choices about marriage. Beyond that, she hoped for an end to all the divisions in India, between rich and poor, men and women, castes or religions. She would rush to help people, carrying clothes and medicine, whatever their tribe or creed. When Indira Gandhi was murdered by her Sikh guards in 1984, she interposed her small body to save Sikh shopkeepers in her street; when the Ayodhya mosque was destroyed in 1992, she rebuked Hindu neighbours who were dancing in celebration. As a girl, she had got

into communism by reading Edgar Snow’s “Red Star over China” and by talking through the night with some of India’s first women communists. In 1971, encouraged this time by her daughter Subhashini, she joined the party’s Marxist branch, and felt she had come home. Still moved by Netaji’s fighting spirit, and still hungry for an egalitarian India, she went into politics, getting as far as the upper house of Parliament. In 2002, at 87, she was the candidate of four far-left parties for India’s presidency, running on a single theme: the unity of the country. She was pummelled, but it didn’t matter. She had made her case and, just as important - for she was always a doctor first - she had not neglected any of her patients. Every morning, until the day before her heart attack in July, she went to the clinic at 9 am. Since she charged almost nothing, there were always many more patients than she could see. Before she opened up, she would personally sweep the street in front of the place, to clear away the litter the neighbours threw out of their windows. Someone lowercaste could have done it for her. But it was a small gesture, with her own hands, towards the sort of India she would have liked to see.

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INDIA

Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

Hazare disbands Team Anna, says no talks with govt on Lokpal Apparently paving the way for the formation of a political party, Team Anna on Monday disbanded itself and decided not to have any more talks with the government on Lokpal issue. The dissolution of Anna Hazare's team came three days after it ended its indefinite fast at Jantar Mantar in Delhi with plans for formation of a political alternative to fight the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The announcement was made by Hazare in his blog but he did not clearly specify whether they were going to immediately announce formation of a party though he has talked about the procedures for setting up the political alternative. "The government is not ready to enact Jan Lokpal Bill. How long and how many times we will go on fast? Now people have asked us to leave fast and give an alternative. I also thought that the government is not going to curb corruption... "We are now stopping the activities of Team Anna. Team Anna was formed to fight for Jan Lokpal. We have also decided not to have any more talks with the government. From today, there will be no Team Anna or Team Anna Core Committee," Hazare said.

India plans to launch Mars mission in 2013 Continued from page 1 Indian scientists hailed the successful landing of Nasa's rover - Curiosity – on Mars on Monday with the country’s first cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma describing it as a beginning of an ``exciting phase of solar system exploration’’ that could pave the way for the Red Planet’s human exploration. After years of hard work and seven minutes of terror, workers of Nasa’s jet propulsion laboratory in Pasadena, California, let out their tears of joy. “Touchdown confirmed,” said a member of mission control at the laboratory as the room erupted in cheers at the touchdown of their $2.5-billion Mars Science Laboratory and Curiosity rover on the surface of the Red Planet, breaking new ground in the US-led search for signs of alien life.

Since April last year, Team Anna has been on streets with Hazare going on indefinite fast four times and one-day fasts also four times besides being part of a joint committee to draft the Lokpal Bill. Team Anna's decision to enter electoral politics had earlier met with opposition from several of core committee members like Justice Santosh Hegde, Medha Patkar, Chandramohan and Akhil Gogoi. "I have given an alternative of sending good people to Parliament. But I am not going to be part of any party nor I will contest elections. After getting Jan Lokpal, I will go back to Maharashtra and indulge in my activities. "I have told this to those who are for forming a party. Even after forming the party, this movement should go on. In the movement, we had earlier demanded for Jan Lokpal Bill and now keeping this movement alive, send good people to Parliament with the help of people and ensure that the law is enacted," he said. Team Anna member Ar vind Kejriwal has confirmed that they will form a political party to stem out corruption plaguing the nation. Anna Hazare, while speaking at the end of the fast at Jantar Mantar on Friday,

announced that he himself would not be contesting elections, but will support this party 'from the outside'. Throwing light on its proposed "political alternative", Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal said that it would not be a party but an "andolan" or movement. "Our aim is not to grab power, but to end the Delhi-centric government and take governance to the villages and the people. Ours will not be a party, but a movement," Kejriwal told the thousands gathered at the indefinite fast site in Jantar Mantar. "There will be no party high command and the people will select the candidates. We will go among the farmers and the people and ask them about their problems. They will tell us about their problems and their solutions. We will also go among the youth and ask them about their problems and ask for solutions. Likewise, we will go around the entire country

and meet people. They will form the ghoshna patra (manifesto)." "Our aim is not just to win the polls, it is to challenge all the political parties. All the donations we get we will put on our website and challenge the political parties to do likewise. We will likewise put our expenses on the website." He added that they would take their agitation "inside parliament and on the streets". "I have a vision that in three years, India will change," he added. Taking potshots at Team Anna over its decision, Swami Agnivesh said they have hurt the sentiments of the general public by leaving their 'anshan' midway. "They ran away...I am pained that Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal and others have broken the sanctity of 'Anshan' (fast) as a method of protest. Anshan is always the last option," Agnivesh said. Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said their move to form a political alternative would make them realise the responsibilities and compulsions of being in politics. "I am glad they agreed to call off fast...they can't hold government to ransom. Government has some obligations," Soni said.

India confirms drought as El Nino looms

Monsoon rains will not be enough to save the country from its first drought in three years, the weather office said as it forecast that the El Nino weather pattern should reduce rains again in the second half of the June to September season. India, one of the world's largest food producers and consumers with a population of 1.2 billion, last suffered a drought in 2009, which forced it to import sugar, pushing global prices higher. This time around, global grain prices are soaring as the United States wilts in its own drought - the worst in the country for half a century. Monsoon rains are considered deficient - a drought in layman's terms - if they fall below 90 percent of a 50year average. The India Meteorological Department

(IMD) said rains over the entire June to September season were now expected to be less than 90 percent of long-term averages. This is the first time it has forecast deficient rains at this point in the season.

Between June 1 and August 1, rainfall was about 19 percent below average, close to the 23 percent shortfall in the 2009 season. Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar is touring the worstaffected states and ministers will meet again to discuss the

situation when he returns to Delhi. Poor monsoon rains have already pushed up food prices and Food Minister K. V. Thomas has said that the government is watching volatility in some commodity futures. Some analysts do not see prices rising further. Gnanasekar Thiagarajan, director of Mumbai brokerage Commtrendz Research, said: "Most of the prices of agricultural commodities have already reacted to this deficient monsoon. Agri prices are not going to go up much from current levels; prices will take a breather right now." The monsoon is vital for the 55 percent or so of farmlands that do not have irrigation. The four-month season accounts for 75 percent of the country's annual rainfall and half of that is usually delivered in June and July.

Seven killed as gunman opens fire at US gurdwara Continued from page 1 This attack on this small Sikh community is very worrying indeed and raises fears of further attacks on Sikhs in the USA and the rest of the world. As you know I represent Ealing Southall which has the largest Sikh community in the UK and many of my constituents have family in the United States and have expressed their fears to me.” Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA), said: “Our hearts go out to the victims and their families and the community is deeply saddened at this

tragedy. Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged Hindus worldwide to join him in prayers for the victims and their families. Mourning this loss, Rajan Zed pointed out that Sikhs had made lot of contributions to America and the world. Various faith and inter-faith groups nationwide should join hands to express support to the Sikh community and to spread the message of peace, love and harmony at grassroots level, Zed stressed. US mosque gutted in fire A day after the tragic

shooting incident at a gurdwara, a mosque in the US was burned to the ground for the second time in little more than a month in a suspected arson attack. The FBI said the Islamic Centre of Joplin in Missouri was gutted down to the ground on Monday. The center was vacant at the time of the fire and no individuals sustained any injuries. The FBI, in conjunction with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Jasper County Sheriff's department, and the Missouri department of Fire Safety are currently

investigating and providing significant resources to determine the cause of the fire. "We are currently in the preliminary stages of this investigation and are awaiting a determination as to the cause of this fire. If this fire is determined to be deliberate in nature, it will be investigated to the fullest extent possible," said FBI special agent in Charge Michael Kaste. "Any act of violence to a house of worship is taken very seriously by law enforcement and threatens the very core of the safety and security that our communities enjoy," he said.

AsiAn voice wishes its Indian & Pakistani readers a Happy independence Day

In Focus Ex-Haryana Deputy CM's 2nd wife Fiza commits suicide

Fiza Mohammed, aka Anuradha Bali, who got married to and was later divorced by former Haryana deputy chief minister Chander Mohan under controversial circumstances, has committed suicide. Police officials said the body was found in her room in a decomposed state. "She was alone at home and insects were there on her body. She could have committed suicide three-four days ago. The body has been sent for post-mortem," a Mohali police officer said. The police haven't found a suicide note yet but reports say she took this step over property dispute. Fiza's body was found hanging from the ceiling fan. Fiza had attempted suicide before.

Indian scientist wins world's richest academic prize

Theoretical physicist Ashoke Sen, a string theorist at Allahabad's Harish Chandra Research Institute, became a millionaire overnight as he is one of the nine winners of the first Yuri Milner Fundamental Physics Prize which at Rs 16.7 crore is the most lucrative academic prize in the world. The prize, which is nearly three times that of the Nobel purse - which is frequently shared by two or three winners - has been instituted by Yuri Milner, a Russian student of physics who dropped out of graduate school in 1989 and later made billions as an investor in companies like Facebook. The prize is aimed at recognizing contributions of younger researchers to fundamental physics.

4 hurt as actor’s car runs amok

An actor lost the plot and control of his car, leaving four people injured as his vehicle careened across Poonamallee High Road and slammed into a motorcycle and two autorickshaws. 24-year-old Sri Ranjan alias Suresh, lead actor in the film 'Theni Mavattam', ready to be released soon, was returning home after shooting for a documentary film through the night and fell asleep at the wheel. A police inspector was among the four injured in the accident and sustained serious head injuries. Anna Square traffic investigation police arrested the actor and registered a case against him.

E-mail threatens blast in Delhi on Independence Day

State and central intelligence agencies have been put on alert after an email threatening blast in Delhi on Independence Day was sent to various state chief secretaries, including Rajasthan chief secretary C K Mathew. The email, forwarded by one Ajay Kashyap to the chief secretaries of Rajasthan, Delhi and few other states, claimed that a man from Bihar was planning to trigger blasts in Delhi on August 15, state intelligence sources said. The email also contained specific details of the man, it claimed, would carry out the blasts, they said. Efforts are on to trace the source of the email and the sender's identity.

Top LeT commander killed in encounter in J&K

A top Lashkar-e-Taiba militant commander was killed in an encounter with security forces in a village in Kupwara district of north Kashmir. "Abu Hanzullah has been killed in the operation launched in Rajwar belt of Handwara," inspector general of police S M Sahai said. Hanzullah was one of the top ranking commanders active in Kashmir and involved in several attacks on civilians and security forces in north Kashmir. Troops of 21 Rashtriya Rifles and Police launched an operation in Rajwar area following information about Hanzullah's presence there. They said the militant opened fired as he was trapped inside a house.


festival

Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

Pateti - A day of atonement for Parsis Pateti is the Parsis New Year Day. The last day of the previous year is the time to close all accounts for that year. The significance of this day is that it is the time to consider the wrongs and sins of the previous year and atone for them. Pateti is celebrated on the eve of New Year of the Zoroastrian calendar.

On Pateti day the Parsis visit the fire temple or agiary. The agiary is called fire temple because the sacred fire which was brought from Iran once upon a time is always kept burning in the temple by the high priest. The Parsis worship Ahura Mazda, symbolised by fire. The

Parsis on this day promise to live with good thoughts, use good words and perform the right actions. Parsis wear their kusti or sacred vest. The men wear their traditional dress called dagli and the women dress up in their traditional and heirloom gara sarees. In the agiary a puja (jashan) is performed and sandalwood is offered to the fire. At this time, the Parsis decorate their houses. Torans and flowers are used to decorate the entrance of the house and beautiful rangoli patterns are made of birds, flowers, fish or any other design. On this day, Parsis go and visit their relatives and friends and exchange gifts and sweets. Special food like Patra ni macchi (fish wrapped in banana leaves), sali boti (meat with potato chips), rava and falooda is also prepared. After the Jashan, (thanksgiving prayers) in he temple the rest of the day is spent in meeting and visiting with friends and family. The traditional greeting is "Sal Mubarak" (Happy New Year).

Varied activities mark India’s India achieved independence from the British rule on 15th August 1947 and the day is commemorated as Independence Day. That day India became a sovereign nation. India achieved independence following the Indian independence movement noted for largely peaceful non-violent resistance and civil disobedience led by the Indian National Congress. The independence coincided with the partition of India wherein the British Indian Empire was divided along religious lines into two new nations - Dominion of India (later Republic of India) and Dominion of Pakistan (later Islamic Republic of

Pakistan); the partition was stricken with violent communal riots. The Independence Day is a national holiday in India. The day is observed all over India with flag-hoisting ceremonies, parades and cultural events. Citizens rejoice the day by displaying the national flag on their attire, household accessories, vehicles; varied activities such as kite flying, bonding with family and friends, and enjoying patriotic songs and films. On the eve of the Independence Day, the President of India delivers the "Address to the Nation", which is televised nationally. On 15th August, the Prime Minister hoists the Indian national flag on the ramparts of historic Red Fort in Delhi. Twenty-one gun shots are fired in honour of the solemn occasion. In his speech, the Prime Minister highlights the achievements of his government during the past year, raises important issues and gives a call for further development. He pays tribute to the leaders of the freedom struggle. The Indian national anthem, Jana Gana Mana is sung. The speech is followed by

Ramadan is the month of fasting for Muslims

Ramazan or Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and Muslims all over the world observe this month by fasting. This annual observance is regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam. The month lasts 29-30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in Hadiths. The first day of Ramadan is July 20 and the last day of Ramadan usually ends on August 18. The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic root “ramida” or “ar-ramad,” which means scorching heat or dryness. While fasting from dawn until sunset Muslims are supposed to refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids and sexual relations. According to Islam, the sawab (rewards) of fasting are many, but in this month, they are believed to be multiplied. Fasting for Muslims in this month, typically,

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includes the increased offering of salat prayers and recitation of the Quran. In the month of Ramadan, the Quran, guidance for mankind and the criterion (of right and wrong) was revealed. Everybody is supposed to fast during the month. Sick people and those who are on a journey should undertake the fast on some other day. According to the Quran, Prophet Muhammad first received revelations in the month of Ramadan. Therefore, the month of Ramadan is considered to be the most sacred month of the Islamic calendar, the recording of which began with the Hijra. Beginning of Ramadan: Hilāl (the crescent) is typically a day (or more) after the astronomical new moon. Since the new moon indicates the beginning of the new month, Muslims can usually safely estimate the beginning of Ramadan. However, to many Muslims, this is not in accordance with authenticated Hadiths stating that

visual confirmation per region is recommended. The consistent variations of a day have existed since the time of Muhammad. Fasting: Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, improvement and increased devotion and worship. Muslims are expected to put more effort in following the teachings of Islam. The fast (sawm) begins at dawn and ends at sunset. In addition to abstaining from eating and drinking, Muslims also increase restraint, such as abstaining from sexual relations and generally sinful speech and behavior. The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the soul by freeing it from harmful impurities. Ramadan also teaches Muslims how to better practice self-discipline, selfcontrol, sacrifice and empathy for those who are less fortunate; thus encouraging actions of generosity and compulsory charity (zakat). It becomes compulsory for Muslims to start fasting when they reach puberty, so long as they are healthy, sane and have no disabilities or illnesses. While fasting is not considered compulsory in childhood, many children endeavour to complete as many fasts as possible as practice for later life. Those

march past by divisions of the Indian Army and paramilitary forces, and parades and pageants showcasing events from the struggle for independence as well as cultural traditions of the country. Similar events take place in state capitals where the chief ministers of individual states unfurl the national flag, and parades and pageants follow. Major government buildings are often adorned with strings of light. In some cities, such as Delhi, kite flying is a celebratory event associated with the Independence Day. National flags of different sizes are used abundantly by the rejoicing residents to symbolise their allegiance to the country. Citizens adorn their cloths, wristbands, cars, household accessories with replicas of the tri-colour. Newspapers have reported a trend that the celebration pattern has changed from a nationalistic one to a more relaxed, festive one, where friends and family bond and make merry. The Indian diaspora celebrates the Independence Day in various parts of the world, particularly in regions with high concentration of non-resident Indians, with parades and pageants. In United States, 15th August has received the nomenclature "India Day" among the diaspora and the local populace.

who are unable to fast are obliged to make up for it. According to the Quran, those ill or traveling (musaafir) are exempt from obligation, but still must make up the days missed later on. Each day before dawn, Muslims observe a pre-fast meal called Suhoor. Considering the high diversity of the global Muslim community (ummah), it is impossible to describe typical suhoor or iftaar meals. It can be anything halal - from dinner or iftar leftovers to typical breakfast foods to various ethnic food preferences. A few dates and a cup of water are usually the first foods to break the fast, while fried pastries, salads, nuts, legumes, and breads are also common. After stopping a short time before dawn, Muslims hasten to pray the first prayer of the day, the Fajr prayer. Charity: Charity is very important in Islam and even more so during Ramadan. Zakat, often translated as "the poor-rate", is obligatory as one of the pillars of Islam; a fixed percentage required to be given by those with savings. Sadaqa is voluntary charity given above and beyond what is required from the obligation of zakat. In Islam all good deeds are more handsomely rewarded in Ramadan than in any other month of the year. In addition to fasting, Muslims are encouraged to read the entire Quran. Some Muslims perform the recitation of the entire Quran by means of special prayers, called Tarawih. These voluntary prayers are held in the mosques every night of the month, during which a whole section of the Quran is recited. Eid: Coming with the new moon, Ramadan ends. Feasts and family gettogether are the major highlights of the celebrations. Eid means recurring happiness or festivity. Eid is celebrated in India with much enthusiasm and fervor and Muslims from all strata of life can be seen in beautiful new clothes, visiting the mosques to attend Salatul Eid (Eid prayers). Greetings of "Eid-Mubarak" or "a blessed Eid" are exchanged.


28

travel & women

asian voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

Purvi’s travEl bag By Purvi Apurva Shah

women achievers Prachi Desai makes it big all at the age of 24 By AV Correspondent

Jaisamand Lake:

one of India’s most treasured landmarks Renowned as the second largest artificial lake in Asia – The Jaisamand Lake is one of India's most treasured landmarks to this date. Situated within a beautiful setting in the Udaipur district of Rajasthan, India – the lake sprawls across an area of 36 square miles and it was created by Rana Jai Singh in the 17th century. Further, to the lake, Rana Jai Singh also built a dam made out of marble stone across the Gomati River. Sightseers to Udaipur will find the lake and its picturesque surroundings a relaxing getaway from the everyday hustle and bustle life brings their way. With a number of attractions within its vicinity, some noteworthy ones are the seven islands that are 10 to 40 acres each perched around the lake. You will also find a small temple built to honour the great Lord Shiva, a game sanctuary which was once the hunting grounds of Maharana of Mewar and

Sabudana vada is a scrumptious snack usually enjoyed during fasts and is a popular Maharashtrian dish. Fried dumplings of sabudana, potatoes, peanuts and green chilies serve with cilantro chutney or yogurt. Ingredients: 2 medium sized otatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed, 1/2 cup of sabudana (sago), 4 tablespoon of roasted peanuts, c o a r s e l y crushed, 2 tablespoon of cilantro, (coriander leaves), finely chopped, 2 green chilies, finely chopped, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice , optional 1 teaspoon of sugar, salt to taste , oil for deep frying. Method: Wash sabudana and soak it in 2 cups of water for 6 hours, drain the water and keep aside.

the Jaisamand Sanctuary that houses a wide variety of migrant and resident birds and animals. While at the Jaisamand Lake, sightseers can climb down the marble staircases that lead to the water

Jaisamand Lake and travel to the nearest islands where many more attractions within each island awaits. What's more, in nearby location to the lake, visitors can find the Jaisamand Sanctuary, Marble Elephant

and enjoy the breathtaking views of the summer palaces of the former kings and queens of Udaipur that surround the lake. A 12 pillar pavilion structure is also a must see when exploring the many attractions at this prestigious landmark. Visitors can enjoy a peaceful boat ride on the calm waters of the

where various types of mammals such as panthers, deer, leopards, wild boar and crocodiles can be seen. This place also serves as a bird watching location since a variety of migrant birds grace the area. The Jaisamand Lake, due to its beauty, heritage and traditions is among the "Heritage Monuments of India". The Wild Life Sanctuary: The sanctuary is situated along the Jaisamand Lake. Fourteen km in length and nine km in width, the lake has a circumference of nearly 88 km. Close to Jaisamand is the game sanctuary, which is spread over an area of about 45 km and has a motorable road. The sanctuary shelters wild animals like panthers, wild bear, spotted deer, sambhars etc.

Sabudana Vada In a big bowl mix all the ingredients together to make soft dough. Divide the sabudana dough into 10 parts. Lightly grease palms and roll each one into lemon sized balls, flatten between palms of your hands. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. G e n t l y slide the sabudana vada into the hot oil. Fry sabudana vada until golden brown, turning them occasionally. Remove sabudana vada drain on paper napkin. Serve it. Health benefits: Sabudana is full of starch or carbohydrates and is great for a quick boost of energy, and hence often served in India for breaking fasts during religious

festivals. Sago gruel is also great when you're sick because it gives you quick energy and is easy to digest. According to Indian medicine, sago and rice have a cooling effect on the system, hence sago gruel is given if you have excess bile (caused by excess body heat). Sabudana is extremely low in fat.

Prachi Desai who is known for her bold roles in the small and big screen made it big all at the age of 24. Born on 12th September 1988 she is best known for her role as Bani Walia in the Hindi television serial “Kasamh Se.” Prachi was born in Surat in Gujarat. Her initial schooling was in Panchgani and later completed her schooling until ninth grade in Surat. During her school days she was an outstanding student and used to win prizes in dancing and acting competitions. Later, she went to Pune for higher studies and had almost finished her junior college when her pictures were sent for audition. She was 17 when she left her studies and started her acting career with “Kasamh Se.” She also did a cameo in “Kasautii Zindagii Kay.” In 2007, she entered “Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa,” the Indian version of America's dancing show with choreographer Deepak Singh. Prachi then landed a spot in the grand finale of the show and won the first place amongst the contestants. She was awarded the dancing star of “Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 2.” Prachi's first film was “Rock On” (2008), where she played the wife of Farhan Akhtar. Her performance was highly appreciated. She got several nom-

inations as debutant including the Filmfare Award. She even won Anandalok awards as Best Actress (Hindi). Her next film was “Life Partner” (2009). It didn't do well at box office but her performance was again appreciated. In July 2010, she appeared in “Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai” with Ajay Devgan, Emraan Hashmi and Kangana Ranaut. The film proved to be a big box office success and critically praised. Prachi's performance earned her many awards including IIFA awards, Stardust awards, Zee Cine awards, Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild awards and many more and nominations for supporting role at Filmfare Awards and Star Screen Awards. Prachi was working on her fourth film titled “Main Joker,” opposite television actor Rajeev Khandelwal. The film is on hold now following a dispute over the title of the film. Prachi then appeared in a supporting role in “Teri Meri Kahaani” along with Priyanka Chopra and Shahid Kapoor which was released in June 2012. Prachi will soon be seen with John Abraham for “I, Me aur Main.” Prachi Desai has been roped in to play the lead in Kollywood director K. S. Ravikumar’s first Bollywood venture. The film is Hindi remake of “Sammy” which stars Sanjay Dutt and Prakash Raj.

Spinning out silk from banana plants

Soon, one may be able to wear his/her favourite silk saris, dhotis and shirts that are spun not of a silkworm thread, but from the banana plant, which can now be threaded using a banana yarn separator. Invented by a Tuticorin-based mechanical engineer, K Murugan, the banana yarn separator machine was granted a patent in July 2012 after a six-year-long wait. According to him, the large quantity of banana fibres that went waste in his hometown of Tuticorin prompted him to find a solution to use this product. The machine took shape after 40 unsuccessful attempts and in 2006, it bagged the L-Ramp Award of Excellence, a joint initiative of Rural Innovations Network and IIT-Madras. “Almost every part of a banana plant has a use. The fibres from the plant are used to tie garlands and string flowers, the leaves are used for eating, the fruits and flowers are consumed and even the innermost part of the stem is edible and has rich medicinal properties. But, I have seen the plants being cut after the fruit is harvested and allowed to rot. This disturbed me, because it

was not the best way to dispose it,” said Murugan. So he set to work on his innovation. The stem of the banana plant has 15 layers, with the outermost used for tying garlands. The other 14 layers can be used for silk production. The fibre equals the silkworm silk, in luster, tension and strength, said Murugan. Dr Dev Pura, head, department of textile technology, IIT-Delhi and others who inspected his product certified it as an excellent invention and commended him for his efforts during their recent visit to Tuticorin. Once he gets the go-ahead from the department of biotechnology in New Delhi, Murugan says he can start his production. His machine can process 60 lakh banana plants per year and he says that two saris can be spun using the banana silk fibres from a single tree. It would be very eco-friendly

and is adaptable to natural dyes. The Central Institute for Research on Cotton Technology has certified his silk as one of good quality with a tenacity of 37 gm/text.


HealtH Watch

Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

Nail polishes cause diabetes in women A new study has found an association between increased concentrations of phthalates in the body and an increased risk of diabetes in women. Phthalates are endocrine disrupting chemicals that are commonly found in personal care products such as moisturizers, nail polishes, soaps, hair sprays and perfumes. They are also used in adhesives, electronics, toys and a variety of other products. Researchers, lead by Tamarra James-Todd, PhD, a researcher in the Division of Women's Health at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), analysed urinary concentrations of phthalates in 2,350 women who participated in the National Health and Nutrition

Examination Survey. They found that women with higher levels of phthalates in their urine were more likely to have diabetes. Specifically: Women who had the highest levels of the chemicals mono-benzyl phthalate and mono-isobutyl phthalate had almost twice the risk of diabetes compared to women with the lowest levels of those chemicals. Women with higher than median levels of the chemical mono-(3carboxypropyl) phthalate had approximately a 60 per cent increased risk of diabetes. Women with moderately high levels of the chemicals mono-n-butyl phthalate and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate had approximately a 70 percent increased risk of diabetes.

Mild mental illness ‘raises risk of premature death’ People with mild mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression are more likely to die early, say researchers. They looked at the premature deaths from conditions such as heart disease and cancer of 68,000 people in England. The research suggested low level distress raised the risk by 16%, once lifestyle

factors such as drinking and smoking were taken into account. More serious problems increased it by 67%, the University College London and Edinburgh University team said. The risk among those with severe mental health problems is already well documented. But researchers said the find-

The ancient Chinese tradition of walking backward for health is set to become Mumbai's hot, new fitness fad. Forget the jump rope and motorised gym wall and those weights, for the new secret to health is actually quite the proverbial 'walk in the park'! It's going backwards. Before you get flummoxed, let us rephrase. The mantra that's got joggers and health strollers into a bind is about simply walking backwards, even at a pace, to rev up the health quotient. A huge hit in Japan, this philosophy of burning calories and revving up one's balance is becoming increasingly popular over 20 locations globally having set up 'retrostepping' organisations. Experts give go-ahead to going backwards! Dr Hasmukh Ravat, Senior Interventional Cardiologist says a workout like this can set the right pace as there is a heart attack risk in tougher endurance sports. "Very strenuous exercise is associated with the actual deaths of heart-muscle cells," he warns. "A theory suggests that heightened adrenaline levels sometimes observed during prolonged exercise rather perversely lead to the constriction of coronary arteries, which results in localised cell death within the heart. So this seems a good thing but do not bend the knee while walking and choose an obstacle-free path." ing among those with milder cases - thought to be one in every four people - was concerning, as many would be undiagnosed. The Wellcome Trust-funded study, published in the British Medical Journal, looked at data over 10 years and matched it to information on death certificates. This is the largest study so far to show an association between psychological distress and death, according to scientists. Paul Jenkins, chief executive of the charity Rethink, said: "Sadly, these findings do not come as a surprise. "There is a huge lack of awareness amongst health professionals about the increased risk of physical illness for this group, which means people are dying needlessly every day."

Soda a day may see 20% rise in heart attacks Tempting as it may be due to rising mercury levels but people having fizzy drinks daily are at 20% higher risk of getting heart disease than those who don’t, a new study suggests. Also, people who drink diet sodas every day have a 61% higher risk of bursting a blood vessel. What is alarming is that even children, who consume 40-70 ml of soft drinks a day, may put on 35 kilos every year. “Youngsters don’t drink water but readily gulp down colas. They have to be told that what you do

when you are a 10-yearold shows on your heart when you are 40 years old,” says heart surgeon Dr Ramakanta Panda of Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai. But what makes soft drinks such a health hazard is that taking a cola a day is equivalent to having seven to eight spoons of sugar at a time, says Dr Shashank Joshi, an endocrinologist with Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai. The carbohydrates or sugars only provide empty calories without any nutrition, merely adding to one’s weight.

“It’s a well-documented fact that sugary soft drinks lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes,” he says. The latest study from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston shows sugary drinks hit men’s heart hard.

Adds trainer Zarine Wa t s o n , "Retrowalking is a great way to stay fit. Because it's a harder activity for the body to perform, the calorific expenditure is quite high. It sharpens other senses and the step one takes is shorter, so it has a lesser impact on the joints. Unfortunately, we don't have too many open spaces in Mumbai for it. But, it can be done in the gym. You could have a partner as your 'eyes' in front of you. Society's game too! Perizad Zorabian remembers that walking backwards was something her late grandfather was asked to do in Manali, where they holidayed. "He had a heart problem and the doctor

specifically told him to walk backwards on the slopes as that would be less stressful on his heart. For me, I usually do cardio, but I'd like to try out walking backwards as a change. However, I think people are so used to intensive workouts that it might take time for the trend to catch on. Benefits: 100 steps backward walking is equivalent to 1,000 steps conventional walking. Increases balance and vision. Is good for the hips, legs, and trunk. Improves brain clarity.

Sit less, add more years to your life Restricting the amount of time spent seated every day to less than 3 hours might boost the life expectancy of adults by an extra 2 years, a new study has revealed. The findings also suggests that cutting down TV viewing to less than 2 hours every day might extend life by almost 1.4 years. Numerous previous studies have linked extended periods spent sitting down or watching TV to poor health, such as diabetes and death from heart disease/stroke. The researchers used data collected for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for 2005/6 and 2009/10, to calculate the amount of time US adults spent watching TV and sitting down on a daily basis. The scientists trawled the research database MEDLINE, looking for published studies on sitting time and deaths from all causes, and pooled the different relative risk data from the five relevant studies, involving almost 167,000 adults. The database was then reanalysed, taking account of age and sex.

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Decline in walking speed may be early sign of dementia Three new studies have found that changes in walking patterns of the elderly are closely linked to memory loss and may actually be an early clue to dementia. One group of researchers studied the strides of a group of elderly patients at Basel Mobility Center in Switzerland. The study led by researcher Dr Stephanie Bridenbaugh, found that those participants with declines in cognition tended to walk more slowly than their memory-savvy counterparts, particularly when asked to perform a simple task — such as counting backward — while walking. “Gait analysis can simply, quickly and objectively measure walking. When problems emerge, this may provide early detection of fall risk and the earliest stages of cognitive impairment in older

adults,” said by Bridenbaugh Another set of researchers at the Mayo Clinic found similar results. The scientists looked at the changes in the pace and the stride of their patients over the span of 15 months. They found that these changes in walking were directly correlated to their memory loss. Heather Snyder, senior associate director of the Alzheimer’s Association, reports that these studies “continue to build the evidence that there is a connection between gait and cognition.”

To Our Readers We are publishing these items in good faith, kindly consult your Doctor before you try to implement it. We do not hold any responsibility for its efficacy...


30

UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

CB Live is the only Gujarati live programme in UK on Television This week in CB Live, Mr Anand Tatu, well known architect, planning and interior designer from Ahmedabad will discuss about the 'Casa New Diu' project. Pragnaben Gajjar, chief coordinator of Arya Kanya Gurukul, Porbandar, writer and director of dance drama ‘Ganga Amrutsarita’ will discuss about the importance of girl's education and her organisation If you do not have a SKY, go to www.tvunetworks.com and watch CB Live on TVU Player Channel 75203

Your communications are at their peak and any initiatives you take now will be well received. A tremendous amount of planetary activity in your chart signals a time of mixed emotions. Although the very practical affairs of life continue to be highlighted, this does not mean that there will be all work and no play.

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20

7pm to 8pm Every Thursday

CB LIVE Every Thursday on MATV (SKY 793) 7pm to 8pm For more information email: cblive_matv@yahoo.co.uk or call Alka Shah on 07944 151 893

NOTICE

Uganda Reunion, earlier announced to be held this year, has been postponed indefinitely due to presence of Ebola virus in Uganda. For more information contact: prcpatel@vsnl.com

Action against corruption To support Param Pujya Swami Ramdevji’s Andolan in Ram Lila Maidan, Delhi “Action Against Corruption UK” have organised a massive Peaceful Rally/Procession on Saturday 11th August 2012 at 12pm. The Peaceful Rally/Procession will start at noon outside the Brent Indian Association, Ealing Road, Wembley, London, HA0 4TH. The Peaceful Rally/Procession will march along Ealing Road before returning back to the Brent Indian

Association Hall at 2.30pm where there will a short video presentation of the work that Bharat Swabhiman Trust and Pujya Swami Ramdevji is doing in India to stop corruption and short messages of support from Community Leaders here in the UK. The whole programme will finish at 4.00 pm. For further information about the Peaceful Rally/Procession please contact: O P Yadav: 0208 814 2652 (http://iamagainstcorruption.blogspot. co.uk)

Watch your favourite film online Sanona is the UK's leading Bollywood Pay Per View streaming site. Along with old and new Hindi films, there are over 150 other quality dramas, comedies, thrillers and romances to select from, many with English subtitles. There is also a growing selection of Punjabi, Bengali and Marathi films with Gujarati titles to be added in the very near future. To celebrate a summer of Blockbusters, Sanona and Asian Voice are partnering up. To claim your free voucher simply sign in at www.sanona.com, choose the movie you

want to watch and enter the following Voucher Code ASIANVOICE2012 at the payment section. This voucher code is valid until Friday 31st August, 2012. The voucher gives you access to stream ONE film to view as many times as you like within a 48 hour period. Registration is entirely FREE. (Disclaimer: Asian Voice is not responsible for any merchandise /problems with the above m e n t i o n e d website/voucher. If required please contact Sayona directly).

Coming Events l Vaishnav Sangh of UK presents Janmastmi and Nand Mahotshav at Vrajdham Haveli 58 Loughborough Road, Leicester, LE4 5LD, Friday 10th Aug 2012, 7:30am-7:30pm, 11th Aug 2012 to 18th Aug 2012- Everyday Palna Darshan (during Shingar Darshan) l National Association of Patidar Samaj has arranged a YUVA MELO for Marriageable Patidars between 4.00pm and 7.00pm on Sunday 12 August 2012. Normal proof of Identification to confirm name is essential. Patidar Samaj Hall, London SW17 0RG. Contact: 07956 254 274. l Anoopam Mission UK invites you and the family, Friday 10 August: 8:30pm, Krishna Janmashtami, and on the auspicious occasion of the ‘Khaat Muhrat’ at Denham, UK on 18th August 2012, 10am-1pm. Contact: Pujya Himat Swami- 07940 937 375 l Oxford Hindu Temple & CommunityProject' celebrating Janmashtmi on the 10th August 2012 - 7:30 pm till midnight. Sandhills, Oxford OX3 8FN. www.oxfordhindutemple.org l Janmashtami, Fri 10 Aug, Campion School, 7:30-10:30pm. Hindu Cultural Society of Havering

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TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Your attention turns to money and finance this week. You are satisfied with your love life, but now you have to get busy making cash. You have much professional territory to cover, with Jupiter in your financial sector, there is no reason why you should not get there. Good period for communications. An inspiring boost to matters of communication but make sure your curiosity on a range of topics does not lead to a scattering of mental energy. With a surge of energy and enthusiasm, this is a favourable time to make fresh starts. Personal relationships may be more intense and also demand some sacrifices of personal freedom.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22 This is an excellent time for developing and perfecting skills. Do not kid yourself that emotional problems can always be solved by material means. This only covers the cracks and does nobody any good in the end. Be prepared to confront the issues. LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23 You will be pleased to see that your social life livens up during this week. It is as if a lucky twist of events and something unexpected that will provide you with a key to your heart's desire. There is a definite expansive trend where money is concerned, so do not be surprised if you have lucky breaks. VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23 Extra energy and drive will serve you well in getting things accomplished, but try not to come on too strong when you deal with others. Avoid get-rich-quick schemes and be cautious about other people's enthusiasm. Experience you have built up in the past will now stand you in good stead. The fiery planet Mars, continues to occupy your sign for some time to come. Its influence will help you to maintain a high energy level and achieve anything that requires drive and initiative. If you are involved in a fairly competitive field of activity, you will be the one who comes out on top.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

It is essential that you adopt a very open attitude now for this is a good time to enrich your working and home life. New windows on the world are about to open and this is bound to have a positive effect on you. There is a rather secretive aura surrounding new romance, which could turn into something very special.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21 As social life is likely to gather a pleasant momentum throughout this week, this is bound to present a better prospect, not only for striking up new friendships but more especially for romantic encounters. This is going to be one of those times when insignificant events give rise to unexpected developments especially regarding work and health. CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 Try to take things in your stride rather than anticipating what might happen. Keep calm as conflict and disagreement could be sparked off by your short-sightedness. Think carefully about the implications of your actions. Intense focus is what is needed now so do not let yourself be distracted by non-essentials. AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 You will feel energetic and confident as the week begins. New beginnings are favoured around now, as long as you do not bite off more than you can chew. This may be a time of expansion and improved opportunity and it would be unwise to let yourself become complacent. Affairs of the heart are likely to flourish. PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 There seems to be some pressure on joint financial affairs. If you feel that something has been hanging in the balance, whatever happens you will get a clearer picture of the situation eventually. Allow matters to ride as impatience will not give you the whole picture.


Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

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Asian Voice - Saturday 11th August 2012

Kohli, Irfan seal comfortable win

Virat Kohli continued to be imperious and Irfan Pathan impressed once again, as India's completed a successful limited-overs campaign in Sri Lanka with a comfortable win in the only T20 international on the tour. Kohli was in complete command and helped take India to 155. Irfan, who found considerable swing, undermined a Sri Lankan fightback in the death overs by dismissing three senior Sri Lankan batsmen and was backed up by a containing effort by the rest. Irfan takes 5 as India beat Lanka Irfan Pathan grabbed five wickets as India posted a 20-run victory over Sri Lanka in the fifth and final one-day international in Pallekele on Saturday to win the series 4-1.

Medal Table Country Gold Silver bronze Total China 33 20 16 69 United States 29 15 20 64 Great britain 19 12 12 43 South Korea 11 5 6 22 Russia 8 17 18 43 France 8 9 10 27 Italy 7 6 4 17 Kazakhstan 6 0 1 7 Germany 5 12 7 24 Holland 5 3 4 12 Hungary 4 1 3 8 North Korea 4 0 1 5 Cuba 3 3 1 7 Belarus 3 2 3 8 New Zealand 3 1 4 8 South Africa 3 1 0 4 Ukraine 3 0 6 9 Japan 2 12 14 28 Australia 2 12 8 22 Denmark 2 4 2 8 Romania 2 4 2 8 Brazil 2 1 5 8 Poland 2 1 5 8 Iran 2 1 1 4 Jamaica 2 1 1 4 Croatia 2 1 0 3 Ethiopia 2 0 2 4 Spain 1 4 1 6 Canada 1 3 6 10 Sweden 1 3 2 6 Czech Republic 1 3 1 5 Kenya 1 2 2 5 Slovenia 1 1 2 4 Dominican Republic 1 1 0 2 Georgia 1 1 0 2 Switzerland 1 1 0 2 Lithuania 1 0 1 2 Grenada 1 0 0 1 Venezuela 1 0 0 1 Mexico 0 3 2 5 Colombia 0 3 1 4 Egypt 0 2 0 2 Slovakia 0 1 3 4 Azerbaijan 0 1 2 3 Belgium 0 1 2 3 India 0 1 2 3 Armenia 0 1 1 2 Indonesia 0 1 1 2 Mongolia 0 1 1 2 Norway 0 1 1 2 Serbia 0 1 1 2 Tunisia 0 1 1 2 Cyprus 0 1 0 1 Estonia 0 1 0 1 Finland 0 1 0 1 Guatemala 0 1 0 1 Malaysia 0 1 0 1 Thailand 0 1 0 1 Chinese Taipei 0 1 0 1 Greece 0 0 2 2 Moldova 0 0 2 2 Singapore 0 0 2 2 Argentina 0 0 1 1 Hong Kong 0 0 1 1 Saudi Arabia 0 0 1 1 Kuwait 0 0 1 1 Puerto Rico 0 0 1 1 Qatar 0 0 1 1 Trinidad & Tobago 0 0 1 1 Turkey 0 0 1 1 Uzbekistan 0 0 1 1

Murray clinches Olympic gold

Britain’s Andy Murray demolished Roger Federer 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 in the Olympic men’s final on Sunday to win his first gold medal and avenge his Wimbledon final defeat against the world number one. Just four weeks after breaking down in tears when Federer shattered his hopes of a first Wimbledon title, Murray returned to Centre Court to rout the Swiss great in just one hour and 56 minutes. Murray, who has denied Federer a coveted first singles gold, failed to win second gold when he and his mixed doubles partner Laura Robson failed to overcome Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus later on

Sunday. The 25-year-old Scot, beaten in three Grand Slam finals by Federer, has been in superb form all week, but even he hadn’t dreamed he would win gold in such emphatic style. Not only did the world number four do it by beating the Swiss for the first time since 2010, Murray also handed the 17-time Grand Slam winner his heaviest defeat in a major final since Rafael Nadal thrashed him for the loss of just four games in the 2008 French Open final. “This is one of the biggest wins of my life,” Murray said. “I have had a lot of tough losses in my career and this is the best way to come back

from the Wimbledon final. I didn’t expect this at the start of the week. I thought I’d go deep into the tournament but I felt so fresh today. It’s

amazing.” Meanwhile, Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro won the Olympic bronze medal in the men’s singles after a 7-5, 6-4 win over world number two Novak Djokovic. Williams sisters win historic fourth gold Venus and Serena Williams became the first tennis players to win four Olympic golds on Sunday after a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Czech pair Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in the women’s doubles final. The Williams sisters had already won doubles gold at the Sydney Games in 2000 and in Beijing in 2008.

The ceiling broke when Wang, who had won the first game 21-18, got injured as Saina was clawing her way back into the game. Wang won the first point in the second game and collapsed, clutching her left knee. The wheelchair came in but the weeping Chinese shook her head, put her hands across her coach’s shoulders and limped away, leaving behind the shreds of broken dreams.

Indian shooter Vijay Kumar clinched the silver medal in the 25-metre rapid fire pistol event at the 2012 London Olympics. The gold went to Cuban Leuris Pupo while Chinese Feng Ding got the bronze. Cuba's Leuris Pupo hit 34 of the 40 targets to finish ahead of Vijay Kumar in second with 30. Feng Ding of China was third on 27 before being eliminated after 35 shots. In the qualifying round, The 26-year-old clocked 585, finishing fourth, with stage scores of 293 and 292 at an average of 9.750 at the Royal Artillery Barracks. Vijay Kumar made up for the disappointment of failing to qualify for the men's 10m air pistol finals after he finsihed 31st in the qualifiers. The army man was riding high on confidence having won a gold in the Asian Shooting Championship in Doha this year in the standard pistol event.

Vijay won three gold and one silver medal in the Commonwealth Games. He had won two bronze at the Guangzhou Asian Games and two silver medals in the last three years at the World Cups. Mary Kom takes India to its biggest Olympics medal haul: Maroum Rahali will now certainly become part of an Indian school quizmaster’s ‘rapid fire’ round. The Tunisian girl is not wellknown in world boxing circles and did not do much on Monday afternoon at the Excel Arena to get noticed either. However, she became part of Indian sports’ history after being tamed by 29-yearold Indian brave heart M C Mary Kom in the 51kg quarterfinal bout. By winning the contest easily at 15-6, Mary entered the semifinals and assured the country of its fourth medal, which is India’s best ever haul.

Vijay Kumar wins silver in Lucky bronze for plucky Saina Nehwal 25m rapid fire pistol event

Saina Nehwal had dreamt of this moment a thousand times. She had had visions of a roaring stadium with Indian flags around; she had seen images of herself waving from the court, dancing around, beaming like a radiant princess. On Saturday, when the moment came, she just walked out of the arena with a wave of her right hand and that little hint of a smile. That was it. Her medal moment. The dream came true with a bronze medal. When her rival, China’s Wang Xin, hobbled away wiping off tears, Saina could not believe it had happened. That history had been made at the Wembley arena, which witnessed the coronation of Indian badminton’s princess in front of a packed hall, fans screaming their lungs out. Saina was dressed in purple, not the black which she has favoured all her career.

Alistair Brownlee wins gold for GB in men's triathlon

This, though, deserves to appear in a section reserved only for fairytales or superheroes. Not only did Alistair Brownlee become the Briton to win an Olympic triathlon medal but his brother, Jonny, overcame a 15 second penalty to also take bronze. Sandwiched between the two Yorkshire brothers was Javier Gomez, himself a double world champion, and one of the greats of triathlon history. While the Brownlees’ achievement is clearly colossal, what most impressed was the manner in which it was achieved. There had been much pre-race talk of tactics, and of other countries ganging up to try and disadvantage the two brothers (which they did), but the bottom line was that, short of tripping one of them up, there was nothing they could do.

Alistair, in particular, simply raced as quickly as he could for as long as he could and it was eventually sufficient to destroy the field. As a demonstration of endurance sport, it was, quite simply, breathtaking. With crowds along the course estimated at 200,000, the Brownlee brothers, as well as their domestique Stuart Hayes, had been introduced to cheers that echoed through much of central London. Both Jonny and Alistair had always hoped that the race would be a true athletic test, rather than overtly tactical, and they would have been happy with the rapid swimming pace that was set by Richard Varga. It caused an immediate selection in the 56-strong field, with five competitors exiting the 1500m swim in

contention with Varga, who recorded an extraordinarily fast first split of 16 mins 56 secs. Both Brownlees were in this elite pack just a few second behind Varga but, significantly, they were also joined by Gomez, their main threat, as well as Italy’s Alessandro Fabian. Team GB’s third athlete,

Stuart Hayes, had just missed out on this selection but the decision was taken for the Brownlee brothers to immediately work with Fabian, Gomez and Varga in order to distance some of their other main rivals. The gap rose to 23 seconds but, with a much larger chase pack behind also eventually organising themselves effectively, it was gradually whittled down. By the time of the 10km run, the race had reformed into a larger group of 22, setting the race up for a final showdown on the final 10km run. Given the work they had put into making their breakaway a success, it was not an ideal development for the two Brownlees, although they would have been pleased to at least see their team-mate, Stuart Hayes, again.


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