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VOL 39. ISSUE 44

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ManMohan accepts responsibility for appointing cVc

12th March to 18th March 2011

Gurkhas deserve fair treatment in Britain By Rupanjana Dutta The Gurkhas have been loyal servants of the British Crown. They have been a part of the British Army for almost 200 years. Famous for their bravery, politeness and amiability, they

to live on benefits and choose to work to earn their keep. Many Gurkhas live in Britain having migrated from Nepal with their families. Thanks to the vigorous campaign led by Joanna Lumley for their right to migrate.

Supreme Court earlier nullified appointment of P J Thomas to the post

After the Supreme Court of Indian dealt a major blow to his moral authority by quashing the appointment of the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accepted the responsibility for appointing PJ Thomas. “I accept my responsibility in the appointment of PJ Thomas as the Central Vigilance Commissioner,� Singh said in a suo motto statement in parliament after proding from leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj. Mr Singh virtually blamed former MoS (Personnel) Prithviraj Chavan for the fiasco involving appointment of Thomas, saying the note forwarded by him for the selection committee did not have information about corruption case

against Thomas. Singh told the Rajya Sabha that he was not aware of a charge sheet against Thomas till the meeting of selection committee on September 3 last year and that he gave his approval as he believed vigilance clearance would have been obtained as Thomas had earlier served

as Kerala Chief Secretary and Secretary in the Central government. At the same time, Singh owned "accountability" and responsibility for the "error of judgement" in appointment of Thomas which has since been struck down by the Supreme Court. Continued on Page 26

DMK finally blinks, agrees to Cong demand The DMK on Tuesday blinked first in the battle of attrition and conceded 63 seats to Congress under a seat-sharing deal between the two parties for the coming Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, ending three days of political drama. The leaderships of DMK and Congress have finally decided on the number of seats and Congress will contest 63 seats, announced Ghulam Nabi Azad to reporters outside the residence of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. The demand of 63 seats by Congress

marks an increase of 15 seats over the number it got in the 2006 assembly elections and a number that was frowned upon by DMK chief M Karunanidhi when he announced pull out of the party from the UPA government on Saturday. The deal was announced after DMK Minister Dayanidhi Maran held two rounds talks with senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee in Parliament House during which Azad and Gandhi's Political Secretary Ahmed Patel were also present. Continued on Page 26

Actress Joanna Lumley with the Gurkha war veterans

have lost more than 50,000 men, and received 26 Victoria Crosses for combat through out the world. But today in Britain these predominant worshippers of Lord Shiva still suffer deprivations in variety of fields. However they prefer not

Larger numbers of them have chosen Aldershot as their new home, but have won little favour with the local authority. Jobless in this current economic climate, the Gurkhas are suffering from alienation, poverty and financial debt. Continued on page 2

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Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

Gurkhas deserve fair treatment in Britain Continued from page 1 Some are even contemplating returning to Nepal. Mrs Indra Rai is one of those immigrants who wish to go back to Nepal. As she struggles with a solitary existence in Britain, according to a recent report in the Daily

Mrs Indra Rai

Mail. The 64 year-old woman spends almost £600 on rent, £40 on phone calls to her children in Nepal, with little left to spend on her food. She told the daily: ‘Coming to the UK has brought me nothing but unhappiness...I expected a house, money to spend from your Government, a job sewing or in a shop. It was all exaggeration.’ She adds, quietly, through an interpreter: ‘I borrowed nearly £6,000 for the journey from my friends and family. It is money I still have to pay back. Now I am in debt, but it is better I am in debt in my own country than here. I am going back to Nepal.’ Mrs Rai is the widow of Man Bahadur Rai, a Gurkha who served in the British Army between 1952 and 1968 in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. Today, one in 10 of Aldershot's 90,000 residents hails from Nepal. Gerald Howarth, the local MP and a defence minister, recently raised the issue with David Cameron, claiming that public services are at risk of being overwhelmed due to an influx in population after arrival of these immigrants. The Home Office says 7,250 visa applications have been approved since the end of Lumley’s campaign in 2009. But the plight of Gurkhas continues to be dire. It is a pity, that the local council and the minister are complaining about 24,500 new Nepali arrivals, when double that number of people have given their lives for the Crown. The London Borough of Brent which has at least 55% non whites including 17% Hindus- has never complained about the rising number of immigrants. In

fact they have gracefully accepted immigrants and given them equal opportunities in life. The journey of these Gurkhas to Britain has also never been very smooth. They were helped by members of the veterans' charity in Nepal, the Gurkha Army Ex S e r v i c e m e n ' s Organisation (Gaesco) and by the immigration and human rights's law firm Howe and Co, Ealing, West London. Gaeso has allegedly been charging the veterans between £500 and £700 to fill in British visa applications, with the help of Howe and Co’s representatives operating in Gaeso offices in Nepal. A Government inquiry was subsequently ordered. Howe and Co was exonerated , although it emerged last March that the firm had allegedly received at least £1 million in legal aid fees - £500 a head on average for veterans it advised in Nepal paid for by the British taxpayer. That is now suspected to be a fraction of the true total. The Legal Services’ Commission, which distributes legal aid payments, told the Mail last week that between April 2007 - the year Howe and Co took up the cause for Gurkha settlement - and November last year, the firm allegedly received £8,722,051 in legal aid for ‘a variety of immigration and asylum work’, including advice to Gurkhas. Asian Voice spoke to

Major (Retd) Tikendra Lal Dewan

Mr Tikendra Lal Dewan, a retired Major, who chairs the British Gurkha Welfare Society (BGWS) and the Greater Rushmoor Nepalese Community. The British Gurkha Welfare Society, situated in Farnborough, is the largest welfare organisation run by Gurkhas for Gurkhas in the UK and Nepal, and was founded in 2004 to cater for the needs of the many ex-servicemen and their families returning to the UK. The remit of the Society is to seek equality of treatment for Gurkhas. a. The pension for the Gurkhas is still not the same as the British

Keith Vaz MP and

People ■

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■ Labour Leader Ed Miliband was guest of honour at a bash for Ken Livingstone last natives. What are you planning to do about it? We have been campaigning for many years on behalf of Gurkhas who retired before 1997 who still do not receive a pension equal to those of their former British and Commonwealth colleagues. This has involved our bringing a legal test case against the Ministry of Defence, and at present we are considering our options on the legal front, after the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the MoD in October 2010. We are also continually working to highlight the considerable difficulties and poverty faced by this group of Gurkhas to the MPs and decision makers of Westminster, along with the wider British public. Our view is very much that, while the decision on settlement in 2009 was a huge achievement, many of the Gurkhas that have come to the UK have had to do so out of financial need. Granting them equal pensions will give them the financial independence to stay in Nepal with friends and family if that is their preference – with this cost to the UK government being offset by the reduced demands on health, housing and other services from Gurkhas in the UK, many of whom are elderly and face great difficulties in finding employment. b. Why is BGWS not taking initiative to help the Gurkhas spread across Britain, as suggested by Gerald Howarth, MP? It is not for the BGWS to suggest where Gurkhas settling in the UK should live. Aldershot is a town where many Gurkhas have been based while serving in the British Army, and so it a familiar environment that those choosing to settle in the UK are comfortable coming back to. There are a number of other towns across the UK that are home to serving Gurkhas, and these also tend to be population centres for veterans. Equality and diversity are very laudable, but I

think we need to be very careful about suggesting exactly where people live. Ultimately it is a free society and therefore an individual’s choice. Suggestions of encouraging Gurkhas to live in different location in the UK will also not change the fact that many of these veterans are living in poverty. Encouraging them to live elsewhere will mean they will just be living in poverty in a different place – but potentially with less community support from fellow Gurkhas around them. c. Aldershot has been named as 'Mini Nepal'. Do you think it is offensive? I don’t find it offensive, but I don’t place much stock in the idea of Aldershot being a ‘Mini Nepal’. Admittedly there is a particularly high concentration of Gurkhas in Aldershot, but this is more a catchy one-liner for a headline than anything else. That said, anything that draws attention to the difficulties facing retired Gurkhas and their welfare needs is helpful. d. Do you think Britain in this economic situation will be able to give the Gurkhas a warm welcome and comfortable home? The financial pressures facing both local and central government in the UK mean that there is less money to go round, and less funding available for local services. We need to be realistic and accept that many of the Gurkhas who have come to the UK are elderly and in need of care. Many more will struggle to find jobs in what is already a very difficult jobs market with high unemployment. This all means that there is a legitimate question to answer about how local services are supposed to deal with the increased demands placed on them without being given any additional resources. What I don’t doubt for a second is that the British public will continue to be welcoming and accommodating to the Gurkhas.

However, there are overriding financial concerns that need to be considered. Our view is very much that equal pensions is the solution to this conundrum. e. How will the Gurkha families add value to the British economy besides joining the army? The simple fact is that the Gurkhas coming to the UK want to work, and will contribute to society in whatever capacity they can. A number have found success in establishing shops and restaurants, and many others have successfully found employment in a whole raft of other areas. As I’ve already mentioned, however, many of the Gurkhas who retired before 1997 and do not have equal pensions are elderly, some also in illhealth. Realistically they will struggle to find employment, and so there must be alternative provisions in place to allow them the quality and dignity of life they have earned through their years of service to the UK. f. Is BGWS planning to help the families with money, who have recently migrated to Britain? The vast majority of Gurkha veterans and their families settling in the UK are entitled to benefits, and BGWS provides a ongoing support service to ensure that they can access these allowances – including assisting with translation and explaining the benefits process, providing training for interviews and helping to write CVs. We have on occasion also helped find emergency accommodation for settling Gurkhas – and the fact this is needed shows how desperate the situation facing many of these veterans can be. g. Why are women like Mrs Rai and neighbour Durga devi still suffering despite of aid provided? Mrs Rai’s is one example of the bitter poverty facing Gurkha veterans and their families – and a

Steve Pound

week. MPs attending included David Lammy, Valerie Vaz and Shadow Minister for Northern Ireland Steve Pound.

■ A delighted LM Mittal watched son in law Amit Bhatia's beat Leicester City on Saturday in the 87th minute. It seems that QPR are destined for the Premiership. Amit will have to get a bigger car park if he is going to be able to fit it all the Bentleys that will be parked there. demonstration that current provisions are insufficient. Unless this question is reconsidered seriously by the UK’s central and local government, there will continue to be examples of Gurkhas moving to the UK for a better quality of life only to face hardship similar to that they might experience in Nepal, but often without friends and family around them. h. Why are you not seeking the help of Joanna Lumley to help the suffering Gurkhas now? Joanna Lumley obviously made an incredible contribution to the settlement campaign in 2009, and Gurkhas remain very grateful to her. I know that she is aware of the ongoing issues facing Gurkhas, and I am sure wishes us the best with our ongoing efforts. However, the Gurkha community cannot be entirely reliant on a single figure, and must continue to shoulder responsibility for highlighting the difficulties facing its members.


Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

COMMENT

Libyan saga in comic mode Libya becomes more complex by the day. The expected fall of Colonel Muammar Gadaffi has not taken place. Forces loyal to him have put up stern resistance against the rebels and the country at present appears to be divided in an eastwest configuration. The US and its European allies – Britain and France principally – are in a quandary on what to do next. President Obama has hinted at US military intervention if the bombing and killing by Gadaffi's men continues, while London and Paris are shortly to seek UN approval for their no-fly zone for the Libyan air force. There are undoubted perils along the way. The American and British presene in Iraq and Afghanistan have created more problems than they have resolved, and a move into Libya could well end in a similar result. Already, the British Government's decision to dispatch a special forces unit to Libya has ended in a comedy of errors, with the Britons captured by the Libyan rebels they were supposed to be aiding following a fire fight. Fortunately no lives were lost in the encounter and the prisoners were duly released and have returned home to the UK. But the Foreign Secretary William Hague, admitted to Parliament that a “misunderstanding” had occurred about the goal of the SAS unit. Clearly, he was less than frank since SAS operations are cloaked in secrecy. However, the embarrassment

of this escapade was visible, hence London and Washington must tread carefully in a difficult situation. Whatever they propose to do must be done with the support of the United Nations. This is imperative. To ignore the international community in favour of unilateral action would spell disaster, such being the fragile state of politics in the Middle East and North Africa. Colonel Gadaffi may have bought time for himself and his regime, but his days as leader of Libya are surely numbered. Gadaffi's 41-year record in office has been dismal, while the piles of dead and wounded in the present struggle with rebels have added to the dictator's crimes. Eventually, he has to be called to account. Justice must be done and seen to be done. But this is more than a case of individual wrongdoing, it brings to the fore the region's history of poor governance, the absence of the rule of law and the lack of representative institutions and civil liberties, the serious deficit in gender equality and an endemic cronyism that debilitates society and politics generally. Beyond Colonel Gadaffi, Hosni Mubarak and Ben Ali and kindred despots are issues that need to be addressed seriously if there is to be a lasting solution to the problems of the Arab world. Only then will a permanent peace take hold there.

Spending cuts take toll of public services There have been a litany of complaints, from town halls in London and elsewhere, that Whitehall's spending cuts have severely affected the quality of public services on offer from local governments. This was particularly true of many inner city areas of the metropolis where poverty and disadvantage are widespread. “The government cuts are a hammer blow to the people of Haringey,” said council leader Claire Kober, in the latest issue of Overnight, the council news sheet. Investigative reporter Andrew Gilligan, in The Daily Telegraph, writes: “Last week, in rowdy scenes, Haringey voted to close four residential care homes and six old people's day centres, halve park maintenance and cut three-quarters of its youth service: hammer blows indeed, at least for users of those services, and a tale repeated across the country as local authorities struggle to come to grips with the spending cuts demanded by the Lib-Con coalition.” However, Mr Gilligan asks: “Are they [Labour councils] deliberately cutting more than they need , to make the Government look bad?....And have they scared people too much? Having made Haringey a case study, Mr Gilligan says yes, they have. He charges Haringey with making payments of £323,000 to a “rainbow coalition of race or gender interest groups, including £19,250 to the Haringey Race and

Equality Council , £17,625 to the Bangladeshi Women's Association, £13, 950 to the Afro Caribbean Leadership Council, £10, 525 to the Haringey Women's Forum, and large sums to Cypriot, Irish, Turkish and other ethnic-only centres. Having studied the books, Mr Gilligan asks if it wouldn't be a good idea to make cuts in these contributions for savings in areas of greater critical need. In the hard times in which we presently live, with a massive national debt that requires urgent reduction in order to save money on interest payments, these questions are pertinent and call for satisfactory answers. That said, the Government's spending cuts have hit pockets of the needy hardest. The levels of poverty throughout the country have risen appreciably. Yet bankers keep paying themselves inordinate sums as salaries in other sectors decline and unemployment takes hold, especially among the young. Political parties seek to apportion blame on each other, but that Britain is in dire straits cannot be denied. The Barnsley by-election result has sent out a strong message. The people are growing increasingly dissatisfied at the state of affairs and are more than willing to hold those they believe most responsible to account. There is no getting away from this. The reaction to the Chancellor's forthcoming Budget will be viewed with considerable interest.

Pakistan's long dark night An article each on Pakistan's anguish, the first, in The Sunday Times, by Aatish Taseer, son of the assassinated Punjab governor, Salam Taseer, the second in The Daily Telegraph by its Diplomatic Correspondent Praveen Swami. They delve into complementary aspects of the country's slide into religious fanaticism and anarchy. Mr Taseer says his father was killed because he wanted to ameliorate the injustices of Pakistan's blasphemy laws. He writes: “Bhatti [the recently assassinated Minister for Minorities], people will say, as they do about my father, died for Pakistan. But it is not fair to say this. The two months that have passed since my father's death have shown that he did not so much die for Pakistan as for a dying idea of Pakistan; they have shown, too, that.....religion has become an impediment to people being able to distinguish right from wrong.” Mr Taseer referred to the country's lawyers celebrating his father's death and their eagerness to defend his killer. Mr Swami pointed to

the vast increase in the power and influence of the nation's clerics that seemed to signal the death knell of any possibility of Pakistan discovering a path to a liberal future. The country's beleaguered liberals fear for their lives and are increasingly reluctant to speak out in public. Hopefully their day will come. Mr Swami pins the blame for the current state of affairs on the late General Zia ul Haq. He has much to answer for without doubt, but finding an easy scapegoat as western apologists are prone to do ducks the real issues. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto contributed significantly to Pakistan's Islamism as did his predecessors in their time. They and Zia were all close friends of the West. The US armed Pakistan's military and funded its extravagant lifestyles. Human rights were ritually violated and democratic rule repeatedly annulled with barely a protest in Washington and London. It is a shaming story and no amount of obfuscation can eradicate the western record in Pakistan.

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Thought for the Week The doers cut a path through the jungle, the managers are behind them sharpening the machetes. The leaders find time to think, climb the nearest tree, and shout 'Wrong jungle!' Find time to climb the trees. - Peter Maxwell, director of the Leadership Trust, "Guardian", 6 October 1999

“Our London” CIIr Navin Shah AM London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow

Swaminarayan Museum - Amdavad.

Reaching out to wider community In the last ten days from dreadful weather in London to pleasant pre-summer break in Mumbai and Amdavad has been very refreshing for me. The added bonus to this and my prime purpose of the current visit to India this time is to attend opening of a Swaminarayan Museum in my hometown of Amdavad. At the time of putting together this column the Museum has not opened formally but due to open today (Tuesday 8th March). I’ve just returned from the Museum this morning after Narendrabhai Modi the Chief Minister’s visit prior to the formal celebratory cultural programmes this

access to community. The concept for this Museum was first thought of by Mota Maharajshri about 7 to 8 year ago around the time when he came across a handwritten document on one rupee stamp paper

Chief Minister and Mota Maharajshri

dated 20th March 1825 witnessed by Sahjanand Swami himself giving power of attorney to Kuberdas. This historic document gradually started the

Main Entrance

evening. Last week I’ve had the privilege of conversations with both Mota Maharajshri (Bapji Tejendraprasadji) and Acharya Maharajshri Koshalendraprasadji Pande. In advance of the formal opening when I was also afforded an opportunity to do some photography of the Museum. I will be compiling a further report of the museum with photographs shortly but in the meantime here are glimpses of what I’ve seen and learnt: The museum has collection of the old antiques and memorabilia associated with the Swaminarayan Sampraday. It was the vision of the Mota Maharajshri to have a ‘central collection and display place’ for a range of historic memorabilia / old historic items currently scattered throughout Gujarat and other areas of India, often neglected and requiring restoration and lacking in

process gradually collecting important historic items belonging to Swami Sahjanand Maharaj and other significant people plus marking key historic and important events. Acquisition of collection itself then started the process of authentification and restoration of articles. Restoration issue being a big problem it was felt at the very early stage that the Museum should have its own dedicated restoration laboratory. One might consider the process of collection of articles for Museum a mere mechanical / technical exercise but for Mota Maharajshri every article in the Museum is a ‘Prasadi’ (a divine offering) to be shared by everyone. The Museum according to Acharyashri is evolved with the idea of bringing awareness to the masses. Continued on page 13


4

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

Double standards

Middle East crisis

Goodluck to team India

I have been following with interest the debate about Sai Temple on Ealing Road. This particular hall on Union Road, used by the temple, has been in existence for 75 years, I am told. It has always been a public hall. In the past, I have been there when some of my friends celebrated family events. Let me now highlight the double standards of Brent Council. In Neasden shopping centre, there is a Muslim Advice Centre. That is the name on the shopfront but at the back it is used as a mosque. One can see every day hundreds of people coming there to pray. I rang Brent Council's planning department a year ago and informed them that an advice centre was being used as a mosque. No action has been taken against them and the misuse of the premises continues. I then also notified my local councillor about it. I suppose there is one law for Muslims and one for Hindus in this "diverse borough called Brent". Whenever I have heard Cllr Anne John at the Swaminarayan Temple, she has boasted about the "multi-cultural borough and how proud I am to be its Leader." With such double standards, no doubt she is proud of her Borough. Throughout history, Britain has been noted for her double standards. If only the Hindus of Brent woke up and stopped supporting this hypocritical party called the Labour Party. If the Lib Dems support us, we should reciprocate them.

I agree with the comments under 'Middle East crisis: needs clear head not delusions' in the 26th February issue of your esteemed weekly. However one needs to adopt a strategy of country by country approach and to work on the long term basis considering those willing to reform whilst still in power even if that means the full democratic demands of their newly embodied citizens might have to wait. Also one should find out if in these countries there is alternate leadership who can provide stability and growth. It is interesting to note that rulers like the Saudi King have modified their approach towards their subjects and are now trying to palliate their adversity. Furthermore, I am not sure if Arabs have any previous experience of democracy – they don’t have Athens nor the Roman republic up their family tree. Additionally unlike the overthrow of communist rule in Europe in 1989 following which the Eastern European countries had European Union which was ready to impose a frame work for political and economic reform, the Arab countries have no such regional structure into which to integrate themselves nor do they have any history of democratic self governance to use as an internal template. As you rightly say the process will take patience and wise counsel to fructify.

The game between India and England on Sunday 27/02/2011 was really a breath- taker. The way England, especially Andrew Strauss, started the mammoth chase, it was pretty brave. Although there were a lot of misfields throughout the game, both the teams shared the blame equally. Each and every member of the crowd had more than their money worth excitement in return. There were a string of actions to talk about. Both Sachin and Strauss made electrifying centuries. The last run of the Indian innings wasn't counted as it. England captain Andrew Strauss was caught behind twice but neither Dhoni nor Zahir realised that. Harbhajan Singh missed Strauss's catch. Ian Bell was given controversial not out by the third umpire. Last but not least, a six each by Swann, Bresnan and Shahzad was enough to silence a crowded stadium. Team India had tremendous support from the audience. It was probably one of the great games in the World Cup history.

Sir J K Chande Via Email

The elevation of Sir Gulam Noon to House of Lords (HOL) was long overdue. This success, recognition is fruits of lifetime of devotion to this country, Asian community and his philanthropic nature in the field of education and health that has benefited both, India, his country of birth and his adopted country Britain, his Karmabhumi. If Asian community, in particular the Muslim community have even 50% of his love, respect, loyalty and commitment for Britain, then we all will be living in harmony, peace and prosperity. My greatest joy and relief was when Lord Noon escaped unhurt during the terrorist attack on Mumbai. I admire Lord Noon for his tireless effort to stop our ethnic communities from being divided and subdivided into tiny atoms that could be a source of friction and a target for recruitment for dubious political organisations like BNP and EDL that would be detrimental to our social and political health. No wonder his glittering celebration was attended by so many leading lights from the world of politics, media, entertainment, academy, health and business that include scores of MPS, CEOS, High Commissioners and leading lights from his own Daudi Bhora community. Lastly may I wish Lord Gulam Noon, who is Gulambhai to most of us, a long happy and fruitful tenure on the red leather benches of HOL he richly deserves.

Jagdish Patel Via Email

Explain the double standards I write to highlight Brent Council’s discriminatory policies against Brent’s Hindu population, particularly in light of their actions against Sai Temple on Ealing Road. I have been a local resident and live off Ealing Road. For many years the Mosque on Ealing Road has been used to over capacity. At lunch time on Fridays it is even difficult to walk through pavements around the mosque. You can see people praying on pavements sometimes. This situation has persisted for many years and there is no sign of improvement. It would appear that Brent Council has never taken action against this mosque because the intensive use continues. Can Brent Council explain their double standards please? Dilip Mehta Via Email

Happy International Women's Day I have been subscribing to Asian Voice for the last 5 years and I think lately it has become much more readable. Last week I was very very impressed to read through the articles about International Women's Day. What I liked

Say good about India The BBC 4 managed yet another antiHindu TV program! BBC Four's "Sex Death and Gods" last broadcasted on Wednesday at 9pm. Images of Hindu deities are shown along side squalor, poverty, under age sex, prostitution, images from the Kama Sutra, and many negative Hindus stereotypes, were shown in the previous shows about Devdasis. The devdasi are Hindus who are married to god in childhood, and at puberty sold for sex. In this film by acclaimed director Beeban Kidron, BBC goes to the twilight world of the devdasi and meet the girls of Karnataka, southern India who are forced to live in this ancient tradition despite it having been declared illegal for more than 60 years. Hindus have many good things that are never talked about. It is unfortunate that only poverty and such sex scandals of India are broadcasted by BBC! Jayesh Patel, London about the interviews are that those women are absolute commoners, they work in good companies or they are working for good cause. We have never met them or heard about them (except Baroness Flather), yet it was a great pleasure to know that our community is represented so widely and successfully by women!

Good Luck to Team India. Devang Bhatt, Harrow, London

Recognition long overdue

Bhupendra M Gandhi Via Email

Amita Khanna Leicester

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Bonus to Subscribers Being secretary to Shree Jain Sangh East London and Essex, it is my responsibility to find out when various Jain festivals and holy days occur during the year and organise functions to celebrate these events. But these regular festivals follow the traditional Indian calendar so the dates vary from the European calendar. I knew that Mahavir Jayanti, the birth of the twenty fourth and last Tiranthakara of Jainism, was imminent but could not establish when it will take place this year. Having drawn a blank in my research, ABPL’s calendar came to mind and to my astonishment and delight, Chaitra Sud Teras, Mahavir Swami’s birth date, is clearly marked as occurring on the 16 th April this year with Lord Mahavira’s photograph along the left hand side in beautiful golden colour. Flicking through the pages, I discovered that other Jain festivals and religious days like Paryushana (commences 25 August and ends on 1 September), various Ayambils, Jain Chaudash, Atthay, Varsitap, Diwali (Mahavira’s Nirvana/Moksha day) etc are also marked with appropriate pictures to easily identify them. I am certain that only the ABPL’s calendar with Lord Ganesha’s picture on the top of every page, shows all important Jain events so clearly and accurately. And talking about value for money, the calendar comes as a free bonus to all subscribers. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Shingadias and royal wedding I read the news about Shingadias being invited on the royal wedding (AV 2, 5th March). I believe that it was an excellent noble act from Kate's end. This shows that despite of the royal glitz, she is a commoner within and she has not forgotten where she belongs. The national dailies have often spoken about Kate's childhood and a mother's ambition in having her daughter married to a prince. As a mother I must say, all of us think our daughters to be princesses and want them to be married to Princes. Every parent wants to give their children the best of education at best of institutes. More than anything, what Kate's mother could instill in her was the respect for people and basic values. It also feels William that is more of a common man than a Prince- which is probably his mother's values that he has still kept intact. Anita Sethi Birmingham

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Cricket crazy Indians for the first time was seen so euphoric on Monday morning, as they expected a couple of Oscars. British Indians in the UK, Dharavi slums, the shanty township of Mumbai, a village in Uttar Pradesh and almost the entire Bollywood waited in expectation, glued to their TV sets. They burst into celebrations as one by one, their heroes, the actors of the British Indian film and the music maestro, A R Rahman bagged the top awards in the world of entertainment. British actress Kate Winslett also won the Oscar after having missed it almost five times earlier. ‘Smile Pinki’, a short documentary on a cleft-lipped Indian girl in Uttar Pradesh directed by American director Megan Mylan, won the Oscar for the Best Documentary (Short). -/1% /. 0!'%

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UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

Anni's parents plead for justice The parents of murdered honeymoon bride Anni Dewani pleaded with their son-in-law last week to return to South Africa and face justice, reported Evening Standard. They laid a heartshaped wreath and lit lanterns around a photograph of her at the spot in Khayelitsha township. Mrs Hindocha, 49, was too emotional to speak but in a statement released earlier she told the daily: "I beg you for the love of Anni to liberate us all from this torture. Shrien, please do this in the name of love and in honour of the kind and beautiful girl who was your wife and will forever be my adored daughter. "As a mother I cannot rest and my grief remains raw because the case goes on and on." The couple, who are originally from Uganda and live in Sweden, sobbed quietly as a Hindu priest gave a blessing. They also retraced the journey Mrs Dewani made on the night she died. Her body was found slumped in the back of a Volkswagen Sharan on November 13. She had been shot twice in the neck. Mr and Mrs Hinocha

Anni Dewani

arrived in Cape Town last week for the court appearance of Mziwamadoda Qwabe, 25, and Xolile Mngeni, 23. The pair are accused of abducting and killing Mrs Dewani after faking a carjacking. The trial will start in June. Zola Tongo, the taxi driver who took the Dewanis to the township on the night Anni died, is serving 18 years in jail. Shrien Dewani, of W e s t b u r y - o n -Tr y m , Britsol, is due before City of Westminster magistrates on March 23 when the South African authorities are expected to apply for his bail to be reversed. Shrien who is suffering from severe mental stress, is grieving the death of wife Anni in the UK. He has lost a lot of weight and look severely depressed. It is alleged he tried to kill himself, though his family has denied it.

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Was TV executive alive when fire was started ? A successful young TV executive who was found dead in the boot of a burning car was still alive when the fire was started, a court heard last week. Gagandip Singh (pictured), 19, was allegedly lured to Brighton in a bid to end an 'unwanted relationship' with a medical student Mundill Kaur Mahil, reported the daily Mail. The promising entrepreneur, who has been described as a leading light in London's Sikh community, was beaten and then driven back to

London in a Mercedes CClass. Police discovered his body after spotting the car on fire in, Blackheath, southeast London, at around 2am on February 26. Prosecutors claimed the postmortem examination revealed he had suffered severe head injuries but was still alive when the car was set on fire. Three teenagers have been charged with murder - Mundill Kaur Mahil, Harvinder Singh Shoker and Darren Peters, all 19. Mahil and Shoker

appeared at the Old Bailey for a short bail hearing. No bail application was

made and they were kept behind bars. Mr Singh was president of the British and Sikh Student Federation and one of the owners of Sikh TV. Mahil is a student at Brighton University but her family are based in India. Peters, of Blackheath, Mundill Kaur Mahil, of Chatham, Kent and Harvinder Singh Shoker, of Charlton, southeast London, are all in custody. They will return to court for a plea and case hearing on June 3.

Lord Dholakia speaks on Equality on International Women’s Day International Women's Day celebration has not only caught commercial interest, but a debate was also held at the House of Lords. Lord Dholakia, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords told the audience, “At any one time there are around 4,200 women in prison, representing around 5 per cent of the total prison population. Most are not serious offenders and may have a wide range of serious welfare problems.” He stated that these women are five times more likely to have a mental

Lord Dholakia

health problem than women in the general population, and many show signs of psychological disturbance when they enter prison. Many have even attempted suicide. He

continued by saying more than half of imprisoned women have suffered domestic violence, and one in three has experienced sexual abuse. He further added, "It would be far preferable for most of these highly vulnerable women to receive supervision in the community combined with help to address the problems connected with their offending. Community solutions for non-violent women offenders should be the norm". He added, "...What plans does the EHRC have to take enforcement action

following startling revelations of extreme pay gaps, including a gap in annual basic pay between women and men of 39 per cent? What action is the EHRC taking following the Speaker's Conference on political representation, particularly the lack of ethnic minority women in local and national politics?" He concluded by saying the Equality and Human Rights commission is at the heart of the equality debate and we need some clear answers to these important questions.


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UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

Cllr Rabi Martins Watford Borough Council, Liberal Democrats

Key to increasing Asian representation in Parliament

By Spriha Srivastava

Life indeed Goes On If from the title of my column you are thinking that this is going to be a philosophical piece of writing then you are highly mistaken. As they say, one should never judge anything from the face of it. For all you know there might be a beautiful and extraordinary side to it. And it is the same with director Sangeeta Datta’s latest film, “Life Goes On.” The film revolves around a story that is surely close to each one of us who love and are close to their parents. It focuses on how one has to cope with life after the sudden death of a loved one. The film is set in London and looks into the life of a modern Indian-Bengali doctor’s family. The death of Sanjay’s wife Manju leaves him in shock and into rediscovering his relationship and the lives of his three daughters. He faces new crisis with the modern lives of each daughter. And the film beautifully brings to light a generation gap set in a diasporic family. The twist comes in when his youngest daughter Dia falls in love with a Muslim boy named

Sangeeta Datta

a moment where you would relate yourself to one or the other character. During a recent phone conversation with Sangeeta, I asked her what made her take up this film. She said, “The script was inspired by three aspects, one was Shakespeare’s King Lear, secondly being part of the diaspora world in London and thirdly being far away from parents.” The film also boasts of a very flamboyant star cast. With the names like Girish Karnad, Om Puri, Sharmila Tagore and Soha Ali Khan, it is definitely a must watch. Sangeeta said that she

Soha Ali Khan and Sharmila Tagore with others

Imtiaz. It is here that the story takes another turn exploring the history of Hindu-Muslim conflicts. Sanjay recollects his childhood and the trauma of Hindu Muslim riots during partition of Bengal. Eventually he accepts that nothing is perfect in this world and moves on with life. Director Sangeeta Datta has done a great job in making the film look so real and touching that sitting there in the theatre there ought to be

always had Sharmila Tagore in her mind while writing the script and Sharmila graciously agreed to play Manju’s character. “So far as Soha Ali Khan goes, I had found her to be extremely disciplined and hard-working when we worked together in Rituparno Ghosh’s Antarmahal. Om Puri and I have known each other for years when I lived in Mumbai. I found he fit into the character of Alok Mathur, the sad

man who hides his loneliness behind his bad jokes and tries to make the three girls and their father laugh when they feel like crying,” said Sangeeta. The film also touches upon the issue of Islamophobia that happened post 9/11 and 7/7. I think this is another extremely matured angle to the film that lets you feel closer to the story in many different ways. As an Asian, many a times one sees suspicion in the eyes of others and this is truly brought out in the film. Apart from Sharmila Tagore’s performance, I particularly liked Soha’s performance. I have always found her to be extremely energetic and a very natural actor. In this movie, the scenes where she and Sharmila are together, looked extremely natural. While interviewing Soha on the phone, I did ask her how her experience was working with her mother. “The mother-daughter dynamic felt very natural and the nature of the scenes and dialogue felt very natural. On occasion my mother would say 'don’t wear those earrings, wear these ones’. But apart from that she was very restrained,” she said. Soha also said that this movie was very close to her heart for the reason that it is about parents and with Sharmila playing her mother, it became even more natural for her. She thinks she has given her best to the movie. “I have given my best in the film and now it’s up to the audience.” The film is a must watch, not because of its star cast or its song tracks from various genres but because of the script that touches your heart and poses several questions in front of you. So when you leave the theatre you want to run to your parents and give them a big hug. And if they are far away, you ensure that you give them a call once everyday to find out if they are doing fine and to tell them how much you value their lives.

Let us know what you think. Email Spriha at spriha@abplgroup.com

Our Parliament is not representative. The ruling Party consistently enjoys huge majorities with a minority of the popular vote – usually around 35% of the votes cast. At the last election, around two-thirds of MPs won their seats when a majority of their constituents had voted against them. Our Parliament also does not reflect the make up of the country in the context of either gender or race with a mere 15 Asian MPs. How can a Parliament that has such a large ethnic deficit govern in the interests of the large Asian and other communities it serves? We know it cannot and it does not because of the extent of inequalities within Housing, Health, Employment, Housing and so on that exists in the country. Now, thanks to the AV referendum on 5th May we will get a chance to help make the mother of all Parliaments truly representative of the people it serves . On that day voters will get the chance to choose a fairer voting system. Only such a system will improve the chances of Asians and other BME people getting elected. This is a small change that will make a big difference. Katie Ghose Chair of the YES! To Fairer Votes campaign says, “The First Past the Post system has encouraged MPs to rely on their target vote to the exclusion of the wider community. It’s fuelled the democratic deficit among BME communities and younger voters.” “With AV, MPs have to aim for more than 50% of the vote, and so will have to work harder to reach out to more communities and do more to represent them. We want to bridge the democratic deficit in the UK which disproportionately affects BME communities. The current system encourages these MPs to reach out only to key target voters to the exclusion of the wider community. It fuels the demo-

cratic deficit among BME communities” Ghose is right. The current First Past the Post system has created a political culture where sections of voters in many constituencies with “safe” Labour or Tory seats have been able to be ignored or taken for granted as resources are targeted on a small number of marginal seats, and a small number of swing voters. Outside of these areas they only engage with their core supporters and many people have little if any contact from parties or candidates during election campaigns. This often excludes Asian (and other BME communities) from the process because being up to fives times less likely to even register they are not on the radar. And one reason they do not register is because they believe their votes don’t really count. It is interesting that the key opponents of the AV system are MPs with large majorities and the BNP. The safe seat MPs don’t want to have to work harder to secure the support of at least 50% of their voters and BNP don’t want it because they know that they are very unlikely to get elected with such a high threshold. That is why they have becoming unlikely bedfellows in the NO to AV camp, resorting to negative propaganda and scare mongering tactics. For example they say AV is an obscure system that only 3 countries use when in fact it is one of the most widely used systems today. It was used for all the Mayoral elections and Labour even used it for its leadership election. It is the fairest voting system we have on offer even though it is not PR . If we want to improve our representation in Parliament the AV system needs to be extended to electing our MPs. That will only happen if enough of us vote YES in the referendum come 5th May!

SimpleCall Prize Draw Honours Customers with iPad and Air Tickets SimpleCall has awarded an iPad and air tickets to two respective customers. Abu Saleh and Rony Paul were awarded at Zaza’s Grill this evening with unexpected but wellearned prizes. Mr Saleh was awarded air tickets and Mr Paul was the lucky winner of the iPad. Neither Mr Saleh nor Mr Paul attended the annual event, which draws the winners from the more than 3,000 SimpleCall customers entered. The SimpleCall team, however, also rewarded a few customers present at the event with gifts. SimpleCall Managing Director Naufal Zamir addressed the crowd, thanking the company’s customers, along with his team for making the lowcost, high-quality calling service SimpleCall the trusted brand it is: “Our dedicated team and loyal customers make it possible to deliver an honest service to the retail market,” Mr Zamir exclaimed to the audience. Guest speakers Taysir Mahmud, Executive Editor of Weekly Notun

(L- R): Mrs Shuva-Gift Winner, Taysir Mahmud- Executive Editor Weekly Notun Din, Mr Naufal Zamir Director of Zamir Telecom

(L-R): Sheikh Akhlaque Ahmed, Programme Director of the Bangladesh Caterers Association ,Shariul Haque, Marketing Manager - Simple Call

Din, and Sheikh Akhlaque Ahmed, Programme Director of the Bangladesh Caterers Association celebrated SimpleCall by reminding the crowd of the value of transparency in the

telecommunications industry and retail market as a whole. The dinner, hosted by the SimpleCall team, was held at Zaza’s Grill in London on 23rd February 2011.


UK

Asian Voice - Saturday12thMarch2011

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A cocktail reception organised by The Akshayapatra Foundation (UK) five million school children to benefit from a world's largest NGO of a mid day meal programme - Jyotsna Shah Almost eleven years ago Akshayapatra foundation(.org) started in Banglore now serves 1.28 million children, a daily nutrious mid day meal, in India's 8 states, within more than 8,200 government Schools. Its uk chapter, The UK registered charity (www.akshayapatra.co.uk ) was started just recently. Their first event of the 2011 was organised in the Grosvenor Hotel, London. Amongst the distinguished guests were; the Lord Popat (also on the advsiory Board of this charity organisation) Mrs Monika Mohta of Nehru Centre and some forty or so invited guests being professionals from Wealth Managers, Bankers, Lawyers and Hedge fund managers attended the private cocktail reception. Dipika khaitan, the President of The Akshayapatra foundation UK welcomed the invited guests and introduced the trustees; Mr Ravindra Chamaria, Abhishek Khaitan and Mr Harin Thaker

and members of the Advisory Board representatives; Lord Popat, Mr Rajesh Goenka, Mr Prashant Jhawar, Nirmal Bantia, and (the absentee advisory trustess): Mr Nitin Singhal, Mr Yogesh Mehta, and Mr Brijesh Bakda. She also introduced miss Binali Suhanda who had flown over from the AhmedabadGujarat office to share and exchange ideas and knowhow of the India operation with the UK office. She then spoke of the circumstances led poverty striken poor hungry children battling with their hunger and as a result missing out on the education and thus remaining caught in the poverty cycle. She pleaded the attendees to assist in securing a future for these children by getting involved in the charity's UK work; be it financially or through their skills, social and business network. A video of the programme's work on the

ground was shown. Akshayapatra foundation in India operates in 8 states, feeds in over 8200 schools from 18 central kitchen locations. The programme is funded by

the donations raised by the foundation in India, USA and now in UK. In addition the state governmnets also funds by way of a subsidy of some almost 50% of a cost of the meal. The aim of the organization is to ensure no child is deprived of education because of hunger. The stated goal is to reach 5million children by 2020! The video showed the functioning of one of their largest kitchen in Hubli where meals for 180,000

children is prepared everyday. This kitchen is considered to be the worlds largest kitchen. It has been observed that directly as a result of the mid-day meal programme, attendance levels have gone up, drop out rates have fallen and the nutrious food has improved the health of the children. In a way, once the child is educated and employed in economic activity, it would be reasonable to assume that atleast three or four members (dependents) of the family are indirectly being taken out of the poverty cycle. Mr Chamaria, member of the UK trustees stated "Thus this is also a nation building mission." Mr Chamaria, is also an active member of the

Mwanahanisi Mruke

Saeeda Khan

tal in Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania on the East African coast, which Khan owned. Khan allegedly offered her the chance to move to the UK as a domestic servant, telling her she would work six hours a day. It was agreed that Miss Mruke's daughter in Tanzania would be paid 120,000 Tanzanian Shillings a month: equivalent to £50, while she herself would receive a £10 allowance in London. But although the arrangement was initially honoured following her arrival in the UK in October 2006, Khan stopped paying after the first year.

The daughter received 50,000 Tanzanian Shillings a month for the first two years, but those payments came to an end after that. She said: 'Deprived of her passport, communication with her family and her liberty, it is only right that the conditions she existed under with Saeeda Khan be described as modern-day slavery, exploitation, domestic servitude and abuse.' The court heard that the victim's plight was only discovered when she went to see doctor for an examination of her varicose veins. Even then, Khan allegedly continued to

from UK as this country has a track record of being a leader in donating money. Following his comments the invited guests warmly and enthusisatically participated in the questions and answers session and more suggestions were put forward for raising funds in UK. Miss Erica Smith the Head of communications, thereafter thanked the guests for attending. The cocktail reception ended with a high note, optimism and considered the event exciting and succesfull. For further information please visit the website,(insert same details as per the diwali issue), or contact... Please donate generously and participate in removing poverty, educate a child and help build the nation bottom up.

For donations or queries, patrons may contact Erica Smith, mobile 07985080706,email:erica@akshayapatra.co.ukor HarinThaker–07774443598(Onlyineveningsandweekends). Donationsmaybesentbycheques,payableto“TheAkshayaPatraFoundationUK” atTheAkshayaPatraFoundationUK,11thfl.BroadgateWest,1SnowdenStreet, LondonEC2A2DQ.

For more details, please visit website: www.akshayapatra.co.uk

Woman trafficked into the UK as 'modern day slave' A retired doctor allegedly trafficked an African woman into the UK and kept her as a 'modern day slave' for more than three years, a court heard this week. Saeeda Khan, 68, allegedly forced Mwanahanisi Mruke to sleep on the kitchen floor of her suburban London home and made her work from 5am until 11pm, jurors heard. After bringing her into the country from Tanzania, she initially gave her an allowance of just £10 a month, before ceasing to pay her altogether, prosecutors said. Khan allegedly fed her two slices of bread a day and kept her at her beck and call by ringing a bell she kept in her bedroom, Southwark Crown Court heard. It is further claimed she allegedly stopped Miss Mruke, 47, leaving the house in Harrow, north west London, monitored her calls to her family and prevented her attending her parents' funerals. Prosecutor Caroline Haughey told Southwark Crown Court that Miss Mruke worked at a hospi-

operation in Banglore Head Office. He explained how £10 donanted by an individual in UK is augmented by a matching grant of simila sum from the local state governments, and a similar amount of economic benefit is accrued through the economies of scale of the operation. Thus a multiplier of three times was being achieved currently. He pointed out this is how a each £10 collected in UK can feed one child in India for the whole one school-year. He explained that the UK operation has a scheme where by one can adopt a school at the cost of £2,500 per annum. He informed that bulk of the current funding was being received from within India and some from USA. He however expressed his optimism that the organisation will raise significant sums

shout at her in the medical centre car park, in front of a Swahili interpreter, who raised concerns about what she had seen to the authorities. Ms Haughey told the jury: 'In effect, we say that the conduct of Saeeda Khan outside the surgery demonstrated clearly that she considered Mwanahanisi Mruke as property, a chattel, and certainly not a human being.' The court heard police officers raided Khan's home on February 11 last year, and discovered the conditions Miss Mruke was living in. Miss Smaller said: 'She told the interpreter that she was sleeping in the floor of the kitchen. 'She pointed out a thin mattress and some sheets rolled up in the hallway.' Khan, from Harrow, denies trafficking a person into the United Kingdom for exploitation between October 21, 2006, and February 11 this year. The charge alleges that she arranged Miss Mruke's arrival in the UK intending to exploit her in this country. The trial continues.

Restaurant welcomes customer reviews on menu An Indian cuisine restaurant on Conduit Street, Leicester named Gourmet Raj is using anything possible to describe its dishes. One of the them in its Hot and Spicy Specialities Menu is called 'Gandhi's Revenge', which is asking major ethical questions in people's mind. A customer of the restaurant told Asian Voice, “I went to Gourmet Raj to eat with my friends and we were all horrified to see that they are selling dishes on Gandhiji's name. It is an insult to Mahatma Gandhi and also to the Indian community.” The curry which is called Gandhi's Revenge is made with lamb, chicken or prawns. People who know even a little about Gandhi will know, Gandhiji was a vegetarian and was an ardent believer of non violence. But the restaurant menu says 'This should bring a smile to Gandhi's soul after you have eaten it.' Asian Voice approached the restaurant for their comments on the complaints received. Moj Miah, the Manager of the restaurant

told AV: "I have great respect for Gandhiji as a great Indian leader who was highly respected and admired for his alternative ways (i.e. non-violence etc...) by the whole world. I am sorry to learn that you feel it is derogatory and hurtful towards the community feeling to name a dish after Gandhiji. That was not the intention behind naming the dish ‘Gandhi's Revenge’. Also which "community" are you referring to? Because I am part of the community which Gandhiji represented. I am quite surprised at your readers reaction actually. Most of our staff are from the Indian subcontinent (mainly India) and we have many regular customers who are also Indian and nobody until now has complained about this issue. However, if this issue is sensitive for some people then we could review our menu. I would welcome the complainant to discuss this matter with me personally so that I can better understand the issue."


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www.abplgroup.com

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

Midland Voice Dee Katwa

Contact: Dhiren on 07970 911 386 or dhiren.katwa@abplgroup.com

Charity begins at home A Midland pensioner has embarked on a two-month charity mission in Palitana, her native village in Gujarat, India. Her daughter, Dr Rosemin Najmudin, is travelling with her. Frail, but strongwilled, septuagenarian Banubai Mansurali Najmudin believes in giving back to the community, and has done for years. That’s why she’s decided to return to her ancestral roots in a bid to help the needy. But she’s no longer as mobile as she once was, particularly after fracturing her brain two years ago. So when daughter, Rosemin, a diversity consultant, offered to accompany her, she was over the moon. Over the next eight weeks, the pair will be offering their support, including financial, to various “low-profile, but

extraordinary”, charitable projects in Palitana and neighbouring towns and villages. The list includes: helping towards the purchase of medical equipment in hospitals; providing tuition fees for young women entering higher education; supplying study books; empowering young females and encouraging promising learners to pursue scholarships. Up until now, the Najmudins, who hail from the Gujarati Muslim Dawoodi Bohra community, have supported, aside from having done much more, the adoption of 26 girls, who were abandoned at birth.

Energising through creative beats Well done to talented musician Rekesh Chauhan who beat stiff competition to secure a slot at Eastern Electronic, the six-day British Asian music festival in Birmingham. Rekesh, 20, pictured, son of Rajeshbhai and Hemaben Chauhan from Hall Green, Birmingham, performed Indian classical music on the piano and guitar. He was among several existing and emerging home and overseas artists who took part in the festival which ended last week. Aside from pursuing his inherited passion for Indian music, Rekesh (www.rekeshchauhan.com) is currently in his final year of an Economics degree at Leicester University.

Top earners at Council The huge pay packets of the 47 directors and assistant directors at cash-strapped Birmingham City Council have been published on its website under a new “pay transparency” section in response to advice from central government. Of the 47, seven earn as much as Prime Minister David Cameron’s £142,500 salary and three are from an Asian background – Dr Mirza Ahmad, who earns between £105-£110k, Waheed Nazir, £90-£95k and Sukvinder Kalsi, £75-£80k. A total of 1,807 council employees have already taken voluntary redundancy and the council wants to shed 7,000 more workers to save £300 million over the next three years.

Rajiv meets minister to discuss project An innovative app and website, Theatre Ninjas, is set to become a massive global business. One of its lead pioneers is Rajiv, son of Vijay and Bindu Nathwani, 23, an English literature and drama graduate. Theatre Ninjas, which allows people to learn of a limited number of lastminute free tickets for shows, was included on the recent Sunday Times App List of the best 500 apps in the world. Rajiv, pictured, originally from Walsall, currently works in London as a researcher for BBC Learning. He recently met with Culture Minister Ed Vaizey to discuss Theatre Ninjas, which began as a spare-time project, founded by 10 friends, all drama students from Manchester University.

Straight-talking Rosemin said: “I am very sceptical of charity work. The misuse of funds, very clever corruption or people simply lining their pockets is rife. I guarantee that all funds raised will go to those people who need it and will be spent wisely.” She added: “I am happy to provide an absolute record of the money spent, to donors, on request.” Banubai “a remarkable woman” is one of nine siblings, two of whom lost their lives to cancer. After getting married, she spent many years in Kamuli, a town of a 15,000 population in eastern Uganda,

before arriving on British shores, as a refugee, in 1973. Ever since, she has lived in Worcester. Banubai, 73, and Rosemin were honoured to attend the 100th birthday celebration of their community’s spiritual leader, His Holiness Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin - the 52nd ‘Dai’ of the 2000-year-old community, which has around one million followers worldwide, the majority of these in India. Readers wishing to donate money, or wish to offer alternative support, can contact Rosemin at: 33 Casella Road, London, SE14 5QN or email roseminnajmudin@google mail.com or telephone 07958 070789. Photo: Banubai (centre) pictured with her middle son Kurban, his wife Farida and their daughters Sukayna, Zainub and Tasneem.

Town Hall welcomes you The High Sheriff of the West Midlands, Anita Bhalla, invited the region’s movers and shakers to a networking event in Birmingham to celebrate the city and region’s rich diversity. The evening get-together at the Town Hall featured food, drink, speeches and a dance performance by Bollywood Dreams. Ms Bhalla, pictured, encouraged guests to consider, and recommend hire of the Town Hall for weddings and parties.

Delicious plans

Celebrity chef Atul Kocchar wants to open a posh restaurant in Birmingham and go head-to-head with TV rivals Jamie Oliver and Glynn Purnell. Indian-born Atul, 40, who already runs Benares restaurant in London’s Mayfair, Vatika in Hampshire and Ananda in Dublin says moving to Birmingham would rekindle friendly rivalry.

Train forced to stop

A high-speed intercity train was forced to make an emergency stop by irate jobless jogger Kevin Chamberlain, 24, who refused to get off the line. He then told the engine driver to f*** off. The incident caused the main West Coast line to be closed for around 45 minutes, costing Network Rail £40,000. Chamberlain, from Sheldon, Birmingham, is due to be sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on March 24.

Thief, 21, regrets theft A medical student from Leicester University stole aftershave and a T-shirt from Selfridges, Birmingham, then punched the security guard who chased after him. Simon Singh Khela, 21, from Walsall, took items worth £250. At Birmingham Magistrates, Khela, accompanied by his father, said his actions were caused by ‘impulse and greed’. His case was adjourned for reports before sentencing later this month.

Indian karaoke The Hindu Women’s Network Birmingham will host a khichi party, a game of bingo and Indian karaoke, or antakshari, as part of its annual general meeting at Shri Hindu Community Centre, Tyseley (B11 2JP) this Saturday (Mar 12). To attend or find out more contact HWN Chair Anila Chauhan on 07730493633.

News in Brief Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Here’s your chance to get involved and help towards the opportunity of earlier diagnosis by taking part in the 50:50 Challenge. Log on to www.targetovarian.org.uk to find out more. Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women after breast, lung, bowel and uterine cancers and affects one in 50 women regardless of ethnic origin.

Professorship in Zoroastrianism The School of Oriental and African Studies, or SOAS, has become the first in the world to boast an endowed professorship in Zoroastrianism, one of the world’s oldest living religions, thanks to a £1 million donation from the Zoroastrian Professorship Fund, a charitable foundation. Zoroastrianism was founded by the prophet Zoroaster in what is now Iran about 3,500 years ago.

OAP, 76, killed by train A Birmingham pensioner suffering from dementia was killed by a train after escaping from a care home. Father-of-two John Nicholls, 76, was being looked after by Heartlands Care Home in Yardley, when he wandered out of the home last Saturday and on to the train tracks at Marston Green station.

Weight loss programme for men Men from Walsall are being urged to sign up to Evolve, a new weight loss programme. The 12-week programme, which starts this month, will include swimming, gym and fitness sessions to lifestyle classes around food labelling, alcohol and eating out. To find out more call 01902 605500.

Mystery nursery Britain’s most expensive nursery is based in the West Midlands, it has emerged. And it charges £11 per hour, that’s more than Eton, the country’s top elite public school, which charges around £30,000 a year to educate one pupil for a whole academic year. But Anand Shukla, pictured, acting CEO of the Daycare Trust, has refused to name the Midland nursery.

LABA marks Silver milestone Leicestershire Asian Business Association, or LABA, celebrated its Silver Anniversary in style at a glittering ceremony in Leicester last Thursday. Full report next week.

Khyra killers lose appeal The mother and stepfather of tragic Khyra Ishaq, pictured, have lost legal challenges against their jail sentences. Angela Gordon, 36, and her former partner Junaid Abuhamza, 32, were jailed by a judge at Birmingham Crown Court last March for Khyra’s manslaughter. Khyra, 7, died in May 2008 when her body succumbed to an infection after months of starvation at her home in Handsworth. Abuhamza is suing Birmingham City Council.


UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

Muslim extremist fined £50 for setting fire to poppies A Muslim extremist who burned replica poppies on the anniversary of Armistice Day has been fined only £50. Emdadur Choudhury, 26, a member of Muslims Against Crusades (MAC), was guilty of a ''calculated and deliberate'' insult to the dead when he burned two large plastic poppies during a twominute silence on November 11, District Judge Howard Riddle said. Members of MAC were heard chanting ''British soldiers burn in hell'' before the poppy-burning incident near the Royal Albert Hall in west London, Belmarsh Magistrates heard. ''The two-minute chanting, when others were observing a silence, followed by a burning of

District Judge Howard Riddle

cance. The two minutes' silence is seen as a mark of respect. "Against that background, interrupting the two minutes' silence by chanting 'British soldiers burn in hell', followed by the burning of poppies, is behaviour that is bound to be seen as insulting." Judge Riddle said European human rights law allowed everyone the right to freedom of expression. But he said this freedom was not unlimited. "In my view, the rights of others includes the right to express publicly support, sympathy and remembrance for the Armed Forces," he said. He described Mr Kibble as an "apparently mild-mannered" man who had impressed him as a member of the public with "typical feelings" about Remembrance Day. Neither man was present at the court to hear the ruling.

English Defence League (EDL) took place at Kensington Gore in west London. Tony Kibble, the grandson of a Second World War soldier, told the court that he felt "sick inside" when he witnessed the poppy- burning. Judge Riddle said the ceasefire at 11am on November 11 1918 had "huge significance" for people in Britain and was seen as marking the end of a "terrible war" in which millions died. "The act of remembrance has come to include Mohammad Haque (left) and those who have Emdadur Choudhury (right) died in subsequent wars and conflicts. Poppy Burning incident near Royal Albert Hall the symbol of remembrance was a The two minutes' calculated and deliberate insult to silence remains widely respected," Daniel Breger, defending, said the dead and those who mourn or he said in his ruling. Choudhury was a married man remember them,'' District Judge "Even now the business of the with two children who worked Riddle said in a ruling given at courts, and indeed other everyday part-time. He said his wages were Woolwich Crown Court. life, usually comes to a standstill at £480 a month, and he received Mohammad Haque, 30, of 11 o'clock on November 11." working tax credit of £240 a Mace Street, Bethnal Green, east He said the poppy was a "vivid" month, child tax credit of £432 a London, a fellow MAC member, symbol of the trenches of Flanders month and child benefit of £120 a month. Choudhury's total monthly income was £1,272, he said. Choudhury was ordered to pay a £50 fine along with a £15 victim surcharge by the court. Shaun Rusling, of the National Gulf War Veterans and Families Association, said: ‘I think the British people would be disgusted with the sentence handed out. Remembrance Day is very special for those in the Armed Forces, when we remember those who have lost their lives for freedom and fighting for their country." ‘It is a personal insult to all of them. I am personally insulted, any veteran would be personally insulted by them burning a poppy. The protest against Remembrance Day in front of the police I don’t think it is an acceptable sentence at all.’ was found not guilty of the same where many of the deaths in the A spokesman for the Royal public order offence. First World War occurred. British Legion said: ‘The poppy is Choudhury, of Hunton Street, "No doubt the event means Spitalfields, east London, had the symbol of sacrifice and valour. more to some people than others denied a charge under Section 5 of It offers everyone an opportunity and no doubt it symbolises differthe Public Order Act of burning to reflect on the human cost of ent things to different people," he the poppies in a way that was likeconflicts past and present. went on. ly to cause "harassment, harm or ‘The two-minute silence is a "However it is undoubtedly the distress" to those who witnessed time for such reflection, and not case that, for a large section of the it. for political protests or public dispopulation, remembering those The court heard that the order. We are confident that this is who have died in the service of understood and supported by most offence was committed as rival their country is of genuine signifipeople.’ protests between the MAC and the

9

Housewife who faked her own death jailed A depressed housewife who teamed up with her police officer husband to fake her own death in a £2million 'Reggie Perrin-style' scam was jailed for 25 months last week. Rozeena Butt, 39, plotted with Mohammed Butt Nosheen Chughtai trainee Met Police passport in the c o n s t a b l e name of Billa, in Mohammed, 45, July the same year. and her niece Once there, N o s h e e n she set about fakChughtai, 32, to ing medical docuclaim she had ments claiming died of 'dehydra'Shamshad Billa' tion' in a remote had died of dehyhospital in rural dration in a hosPakistan. Rozeena Butt pital in the Okara Her lawyer district of the told the court she was Punjab. given the idea by a 'clairA few weeks later voyant' who was helping Chughtai contacted the her through family trouthree companies involved bles. to inform them of the Butt was jailed for two 'death' and asked them to years and one month at pay out on the policies. Southwark Crown Court The proceeds of the after she admitted three policies were to be held in counts of fraud. trust for Mohammed Butt, Her husband received while Chughtai was to act an 18-month sentence, as a trustee. and Chughtai a 51-week Unbeknown to the term suspended for two three, the insurance comyears with 125 hours, after panies investigated the they were both convicted claims because of the of participating in the young age of the woman scam following a trial in who had supposedly died January. and the fact that the poliPassing sentence, cies had only been recentRecorder Steven Gee QC, ly issued. said: 'The impression I They soon realised have is of a woman who that Butt and Billa were was under some pressure the same person. Police of debt and under signifilater found both Rozeena cant family pressures conand Moahmmed Butt's cerning the extremely fingerprints on the challenging behaviour of Pakistani hospital docuher eldest daughter. ment certifying the death. 'She was a depressed Following her arrest, middle-aged housewife for Rozeena Butt confessed to whom the pressures of life the scam. became too much and she Her barrister Nick engaged in an act of Barraclough said she had extreme folly. resorted to fraud after her 'In reality, there was no business fell into financial chance whatsoever of this trouble, and her relationfraud succeeding.' ship with her eldest Prosecutor Mark daughter Rabia became Fenhalls said mother-ofstrained. four Butt had maintained Financial worker a secret second identity Chughtai and Mohammed for many years when she Butt denied helping her committed the fraud in but were convicted follow2007. ing a trial. The name 'Shamshad Giving evidence Billa' appeared on her Chughtai sobbed as she original birth certificate, told jurors her aunt threatbut by the time she marened to kill her and her ried Mohammed Butt in boyfriend if she did not 1989, she was calling herco-operate with the scam. self Rozeena Sadiq. City of London Police's She continued to use DI Dave Manley, who her alter ego to apply for oversaw the investigation, official documents includsaid: 'This case is a pecuing a passport, and regisliar mix of identity fraud tered her off licence busiand a faked death which ness 'Billa Wines' in may be more at home in Islington, north London the Reggie Perrin sitcom, under the alias. but there was nothing The Butts and funny about what these Chughtai took out three fraudsters were trying to life insurance policies for achieve. 'Shamshad Billa' totalling 'They tried to take £2.2million in January money which they weren't 2007: £800,000 each from entitled to, and which Legal and General and would ultimately have Norwich Union; and come from the premiums £600,000 from Royal Liver of honest people. Instead Assurance. they got only a trip to the Rozeena Butt flew out courtroom and a guilty to Pakistan, using her verdict.'


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COMMUNITY NEWS

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

Centenary celebration for His Holiness Syedna Dr Muhammed Burhanuddin Saheb Masjid al Husaini, Northolt is celebrating for the leader His Holiness Syedna Dr Mohammed Burhanuddin Saheb who will be 100 years on 25th March. In fact a world wide celebration started for 100 days, ending on

25th. Many events are taking place every week in London and in 700 Bohra centres all over the world. On Friday 18th Feb at 100 houses in London simultaneously held prayers and recitations at 7 30pm. Those invited in group of either 8 or 16 were treated to a 7 course dinner. Likewise every 16th night of the month more than 800-1000 gath-

er at the Masjid al Husaini Northolt for similar ceremonial practices. This month on 13, 14 and 15th March Friday thousands and thousands observed 3 days of Fasts through out the world - to pray for long life in good

health for the Syedna Saheb The Bohra community is known as peace loving loyal citizens of their country of birth or adoption. Prince Charles and Lady Cammila visited the Northolt Mosque in 2009 for the second time in 12 years. Archbishop of Canterbury also paid a return visit on the last General Election day. His

Holiness went to Downing Street to meet Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2007 In his 2nd trip to London in 1976 for the World of Islam Festival His Holiness met the Her Majesty the Queen

In the 1950s the first Bohras came from East Africa and India/Pakistan. 1960s onwards some Bohra Muslims came for settlement, especially from Uganda being expelled by Idi Amin. There is a sizeable community of Bohra Muslims in Manchester, Bradford, Leicester, Birmingham and Nottingham.

South Asian Women to lead the way in Elephant Atta’s Healthier Lifestyle Movement Iconic South Asian chapatti flour brand Elephant Atta has launched a new campaign aimed at inspiring women to lead the way in changing unhealthy food and lifestyle habits amongst the UK’s South Asian population. Since women, especially mothers, are core Elephant Atta flour consumers, the new integrated campaign plans to utilise their influence, alongside the brand’s own health credentials, to create a movement which affects not only individual households but also the wider community. The launch event was an opportunity for the brand to preview its new advert, which focuses on the way homemakers can impact on their family’s health. Since healthy lifestyles start at home, Elephant Atta flour wants to mobilise everyday women and mothers who recognise the importance of nutritional eating, to lead the way in creating this health revolution amongst South Asians. Spreading the message of health is a natural next step for Elephant Atta flour as upholding family

Elephant Atta mothers Farah, Shila and Naresna

ties and traditions has always been at the core of the brand’s essence. In traditional South Asian households, women are responsible for the well being of their families and Elephant Atta wants to encourage them to take the lead in starting this revolution at home and in their communities. The campaign is an opportunity for the brand to actively encourage more South Asians to find out about the simple ways in which they can improve their health whether through reducing their salt and sugar intake or taking up more physical activity. Elephant Atta flour is naturally low in salt, sugar and saturated fat and is a

great source of fibre which makes it the perfect choice of chapatti flour for South Asian households. Shila Shah, who has used Elephant Atta flour for over 2 decades and attended the launch said: ‘Mothers are at the heart of every South Asian household and it’s great that a community brand like Elephant Atta is trying to engage with people like me to make a difference. In many of our households, we are in the habit of thinking that healthier food is less tasty, which is not the case. The more we educate ourselves and our families about health the better it is for our generation and the generations to come.’

British Museum acquires historic ivories from ancient Assyria The British Museum announced a major new archaeological acquisition, made possible by generous support from donors including the British Museum Friends, the Art Fund and the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) on 7th March 2011. Grants totalling £1,170,000 have been donated to the British Museum to help save the Nimrud Ivories, the finest collection of carved, decorative ivories excavated in the Middle East. The majority of these funds have been raised with the support of the British Museum Friends and a six month appeal to members which saw over 1,800 members donate. Some of these precious pieces of elephant ivory are nearly 3,000 years old and were excavated from Nimrud in modern day Iraq in the mid-20th century. These objects represent an important addition to the museum’s Middle East collection and form its largest acquisition since the Second World War. The British Museum already holds many objects in other materials from Nimrud, including the famous Assyrian reliefs, so the addition of the ivories will mean that the whole Nimrud collection can

be seen together. The collection is comprised of nearly 1,000 numbered items, as well as a further 5,000 fragments or unnumbered pieces. These beautifully carved ivories, dating from the 9th-7th centuries BC, were mostly made in Syrian and Phoenician cities near the Mediterranean coast and were brought to Assyria in ancient times as booty or tribute. They formedthe decorative elements of furniture, containers, chariots and horse trappings, many originally covered with gold foil and inlaid with stones. A large number are carved with intricate figural decoration of animals and humans, as well as floral and geometric motifs. One example shows a rearing winged griffin, with its paw resting on a lotus flower in Egyptian style.

Another piece was probably made in Assyria and has incised decoration showing a frieze of wild goats on either side of a palmette. John Curtis, Keeper of the Middle East collections at the British Museum commented: “Nimrud is one of the most important sites in the Ancient Near East, and the carved ivories found there are amongst the finest products recovered from an archaeological excavation. These ivories tell us a great deal about the art and history of the Middle East in the early 1st millennium BC, and now they will be available for everybody to see and study. I am hugely grateful to BISI, the British Museum Friends, the Art Fund and the NHMF, for enabling us to purchase this collection”.

LABA hosts awards at its 25th anniversary dinner Mahendra Jadeja was awarded for his services to the independent business sector in United Kingdom by Rt Hon. Minister of State and Enterprise, Mark Prisk MP and LABA (Leicestershire Asian Business Association) President Mr Jaspal Singh Minhas at the 25th Anniversary Award Dinner of LABA, held at a most prestigious venue in Leicester. LABA is one of the most active Asian Business Association in the United Kingdom.

Flex FX acknowledged internationally Over the past decade Naz Choudhury and Flex FX have performed, created and produced spectacular productions nationally and internationally. Flex FX Productions (www.flexfxproductions.c om) was founded in 2003 by Naz to create a platform for British Asian talent and create mainstream

opportunities. Flex FX has been recognised internationally for providing excellence in arts and

entertainment. Events range from world music festivals in Norway to producing Dhamaka in the Royal Albert Hall and The Essence Tour. Most recently Naz Choudhury’s Bolly Flex received a standing ovation on Sky 1’s Got To Dance and competed in the Live semi finals on 20th February.


UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

A peep through the curtain

Why do some immigrants refuse integration with Big Society? In the recent speech by PM David Cameron was the pain in him, when he spoke about a failed multiculturalism, in terms of amalgamation with the mainstream. In a recent conference Baroness Flather said "Don't worry your culture will always remain yours. You will only lose as much you want to lose. Being adopted in the mainstream as a part of the real Britain, does not make you lose anything that is already yours." Today's Britain gives a fair hearing to all. But that was not the story 33 years back. There was a point the British authority was extremely critical of its new arrivals and were often suspicious and biased. Yet the immigrants tried to adopt the British society fully. It is a pity now that despite of having a very tolerant and welcoming British natives now, some immigrant communities refuse to accept the Big Society and integrate with the British ways of life. Looks like the tables have turned! 10th March 1978 l A Bradford Asian was held in custody for 23 days- without being charged or appearing in court because he was suspected of being an illegal immigrant. Mr Javaid Akhtar, 21, of Seaton Street, Berkerend was held under the immigration laws. In fact he entered

Britain legally in 1969 to join his father. Serious contemplations and efforts were made to bring about some changes in the laws, that legalised such short detentions without any accessibility to a lawyer by the victim. An application was also made for a writ of Habeas Corpus. But due to lack of

information and awareness, even police authority refuse to help the victim. l A brave shop owner Madhukant Patel (49) was a victim of two robberies. On the third attempt at his sub post office in Southwark, he startled the gunman with a loud noise on the counter with his fist and pushed his wife under the counter, who pressed the alarm to notify the police. Mr Patel received a £100 for his bravery and his wife Kantaben received £15 for hers! l A group of singers and musicians- the Sabri brothers from Pakistan played in Bradford at St

George's Hall. They specialised in qawwalis. The trip was organised by a Neasden based promoter Mr Kanti Patel. l The PM James Callaghan reminded Tories in the Commons of the skills brought to Britain by immigrants. He said it was generally accepted that the immigrants had brought great skills. He encouraged coloured nurses, bus drivers and underground staff. l UK-Indian dual citizenship was asked to be reconsidered. The UK government had caused grave concern to the Indian immigrants about their future stay in the country. The Minister of External Affiars, India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee told that the UK government had reaffirmed about a multi racial society and explained that the dual citizenship was not a solution. He had also said that dual citizenship could not be considered for those Indians who acquired British citizenship voluntarily. l Runnymead Trust established that any government wanting to cut back hard on immigrants from New Commonwealth and Pakistan , would not be able to do so, without breaching the European Human Rights code. It established more people left Britain between 1971 and 76, than came to live here, and immigrants generally stayed for a limited period.

Copland school fraud arrests welcomed by pupils Three people, including a couple from Arkley, have been bailed over allegations of fraud at a Wembley school. Dr Richard Evans, 53, and his wife Lesley, 50, were arrested last week after a long-running investigation by the fraud squad into dealings at Copland Community School, Wembley. Allegations centre around alleged irregular bonus payments to senior staff members. Dr Evans, a former deputy head at the school was dismissed last year for gross misconduct, and has been working as a maths teacher at Mill Hill County High School since September. In the 2001 and 2005 General Elections he stood as the Tory party

candidate for the Hendon constituency. He was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud, as was former headmaster Sir Alan Davies, 64. Mrs Evans was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and theft. All three have been bailed until late September.

According to a report in Watford Observer, Dr I P Patel MBE, (pictured) chair of governors at the school at that time, admitted that Sir Alan had been paid two bonuses worth £ 50,000 and £80,000 over two years after allegations first emerged in April 2009. At the time he said: “This is not money for nothing. “We expect them to work hard for it, and they do, which is why we have such excellent results. “The bonuses were – as all bonuses should be – paid in recognition of the excellent work done by Sir Alan, well above and beyond what would be expected from any normal headteacher. “We believe that Sir Alan is worth every penny

11

National Hindu Students Forum (UK) By Miten Kana, NHSF Learning Team

Unity Through Krishna Kirtan “So beautiful was the sound of Krishna’s flute, that the gopis would stop their play and gather around Him; the cows and calves would forget to chew the cud; the birds would stop their chirruping song to listen. The deer would nuzzle against His feet. And the peacock would stand majestically at attention, as if it had forgotten how to dance! Even the leaves of the forest seemed to be absolutely still as if listening to the divine music. Everybody would be enchanted and full of wonder...” Sri Krishna captivated the entire universe each time he played the flute; so it was only befitting that the National Hindu Students Forum (NHSF) Central Zone hold testament to Krishna’s life by singing his praises at the annual NHSF bhakti event – a non-stop 12 hour Krishna Kirtan held at the Lakshmi Narayan Mandir in Birmingham. On Saturday 26th February university students from across central England came together from 9am until 9pm to

sing the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, in what proved to be a spiritual, bhakti-filled fun day. From slow raags to upbeat, fast-paced rhythms, there was something for everyone to enjoy from start to finish. Youngster’s right through to our respected elders all had the opportunity to get involved and showcase their talent on the microphone. In fact, there were even times when the students broke out into garba and danced away to the sound of Krishna’s name. Sri Krishna is NHSF’s ishta devata, translated literally to ‘cherished deity’, for 2010-2011. He is the embodiment of righteousness, knowledge and action. Why do we do Krishna Kirtan? Well, music plays a huge part in understanding dharma. The symbolism and meaning behind music is just as beautiful as Sri Krishna himself. His flute represents freedom; the gopis and all those intoxicated by his music symbolise the wandering soul (atman); Sri Krishna is a form of the

Ultimate Reality (Brahman) and the music is the blissful journey to attaining oneness with Brahman (Moksha). This spectacle brought together people of all backgrounds and highlighted just how powerful Maha Mantra can be in uniting society. With activities held for children, exhibitions produced by universities depicting stories from Sri Krishna’s life and 3 meals kindly prepared by both students and the local community, it seemed only right that the kirtan was concluded by a speech from Dhirajbhai Shah, General Secretary of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (UK), who spoke passionately about the role of youth progressing Hindu values in society, closely quoting Swami Vivekananda’s famous speech at the First Parliament of World Religions. With this in mind, let us continue to follow the music of Sri Krishna’s flute and unite all with the power of kirtan. Hari Bol!

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and we are proud to have him as our headteacher.” Dr Patel argued that Sir Alan had brought in £ 300,000 in sponsorship for the specialist science community college, helped to draw in finance for the future redevelopment of Copland School, and run a Saturday school. Pupils at the school said they were pleased the matter was being investigated. Waqas Ishtiaq, 18, said: “The budget is so low now that we have to pay for any retakes of exams, we have to buy our own textbooks and we had to have our prom in the school hall instead of hiring a venue. “We even have to pay £5 for our ID cards which we need to get into school." Hamid Tahir, 17, told the local paper: “He (Sir Alan Davies) was here for five to ten years telling us that he was going to build a new school, showing us plans that he'd made." It was apparent Sir Davies did not keep to his promise!

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12

MEDIA WATCH

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

Scrutator’s The police officer who investigated the Godhra train massacre, Noel Parmar, was interviewed recently by Sheela Bhatt editort of the Rediff.com website. It is an absorbing read. “The case was assigned to me on May 27, 2002. I was then the Assistant Police Commissioner in Baroda. I took over the case from K.C.Bawa, who conducted the primary investigation,” said Mr Parmar, setting the scene to his own role as investigator. He went on: “I went to see the S-6 compartment and the exact place where it was halted before it was burnt down. The first thing I noticed was that the compartment steps were intact. How was this possible if a crowd had burnt it down from the outNoel Parmar side?The steps would be burnt if people were torching it from outside. My peer group advised me that such cases are almost impossible to solve.” But solve it, Mr Parmar did – through meticulous police work.

Burnt out carriage in Godhra train massacre

“I started staying in Godhra. I started moving around .....Muslim ghettos. Slowly, I collected the information. From local people that this incident was a pre-planned conspiracy.” Mr Parmar described how he tracked down one Ajay Bariya, a tribal youth hawker who had grown up in the area and had deep community roots there. He was unyielding initially, but gradually the police interrogator won his confidence and the information poured out from the young man. The rest is history. As a Christian, Mr Parmar cannot be accused of acting on Hindutva impulses as some conspiracy theorists are prone to suggest. His religious faith is a private matter; what matters is his devotion to duty, to his calling as a public servant. He upheld the law and helped to bring the guilty to justice and the innocent released. All honour to Noel Parmar.

Murdered for his faith The assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan's Minister for Minorities, and the sole Christian member of the country's Cabinet, led to an editorial in The Times (March 3) . It blended a sense of outrage with cool political analysis. “The horror of the attack [on Mr Bhatti] is compounded by the impeachable insouciance of the Pakistani Government and security services in the face of a campaign to murder Christians, to crush religious pluralism and silence every dissenting voice.” Mr Bhatti had voiced his opposition to the current imposition of Pakistan's appalling blasphemy laws. “This grotesque legislation is a vehicle for the persecution of non-Muslims. Mr Bhatti received death threats for his stand against it, and has paid the price in blood.” The Times continued: “The very best that can be said of Pakistan's political authorities

and its Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) is that they have countered fanaticism with feebleness. But that would be too kind, for they have not countered it at all. They have rather been so complaisant that they have given ideological sustenance to the enemies of tolerance.....Pakistan's dysfunctional system provides scant protection to the country's brave voices in support of liberal values. Ever since the country's military rebuff by India in 1965, the ISI has been riddled by sympathisers with Islamist terrorism. They have turned a negotiable territorial dispute over Kashmir into a holy war, given consistent support to the Taleban in Afghanistan.... ” Isn't it time that the US and UK governments spoke out publicly against their client instead of showering Islamabad with military aid? Why not bring the International Criminal Court in Hague into play?

Sino-American angst strain ties The James Kynge analysis of the stresses sand strains that beset the Sino-American relationship (Financial Times March 4) will repay one's time, but it pales besides John Lee's brilliant and scorching piece, “Why China is Wary of India?”, which appeared in the modestly profiled Weekly Voice (February 18) published in the US. Mr Lee, a research fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies, Sydney and the Hudson Institute, Washington DC, started by setting the scene. At a recent security conference in Washington, a Chinese delegate caused “an awkward silence among the congenial group at a post-drinks session” when he stated that India was “an undisciplined country where the plague and leprosy still exist. How a big, dirty country like that can rise so quickly amazed us.” John Lee again: It is this Chinese sentiment of disdain and also grudging admiration that explains much of Beijing's attitude towards New Delhi. Indeed, one needs to go beyond strategic and military competition to understand the depth of rivalry between Asia's two rising giants.” China had resolved its border disputes with 14 neighbouring countries including Russia, Mongolia and Vietnam. Yet it allows its claims to Arunachal Pradesh to sour relations with India. The source of the problem has been China's militarisation of Tibet, says the author, who avers that it is the strategic rivalry that keeps the Sino-Indian pot boiling..

Stereotypes of India China's defeat of India in the 1962 war deepened Beijing's contempt. Until the late 1990s this was the prevailing attitude in the highest echelons of power in China. For Chinese leaders, Asia at core was China with a number of cultures and polities on its periphery. Not for nothing is China the Middle Kingdom in the Chinese language. “They see little room for another culture and civilisation with equally big claims in their concept of Asia. .....As the other great foundational civilisation in Asia, India presents a unique challenge that the other big Asian powers such as Japan do not. ...As Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kwan Yew....has observed, few countries in East and South East Asia fear India's rise even as they remain wary of China. “Finally, as far as the Chinese are concerned India has something which few other democracies in Asia have: a preparedness to go to war. This immeasurable national and political characteristic is highly respected by the Chinese. That such a potentially big country like India has it greatly concerns Beijing. “In a sense there are compelling reasons why China should want to construct a better relationship with India. Its

strategists know this. But fundamentally accepting this legitimacy of India's rise – and therefore its ambitions – is the harder task for Beijing.”

Preparations a deterrence Bharat Rakshak.com picked up the following report from the Russian publication Rossiyskaya Gazeta (February 23) by one of the country's noted defence experts, Sergei Ptichkin., who refers to the close collaboration between Russia's NPO Machinostroeniya and India's Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO‚ which jointly produced the supersonicBrahMos cruise missile, the only one of its type in the world. The missile comes in three forms: an anti-ship missile for the Indian Navy, a land missile for the Indian Army and a third, recently tested missile, for use in mountainous terrain, possibly the Himalayas. According to Dr Sivathanu Pillai, who heads the BrahMos facility in India, the new missile combines the best features of the first two variants. “It was almost impossible to do. To ensure manoeuvring and the nosedive when the missile travelled at supersonic speed. Nobody has ever made anything of this kind. Nobody has even tried to do it, and successfully at that,” exclaimed Dr Pillai proudly. “When Russian and Indian scientists work together, they are capable of working wonders,” he said. To which Sergei Ptichkin added, “it is a hard point to argue.”

told The Hindu newspaper (March 7) that it was a “fabulous launch, [which] had a copybook terminal homing, taking the interceptor very close to the incoming ballistic missile.” The interceptor sped to its target at 4.8 Mach. “With this launch, we have perfected the interception in endo-atmosphere” below an aititude of 50 kilometres. “Our BMD programme has matured, and it is ready now for integration into the air defence assets of the country,” said Dr Saraswat, who is also the DRDO Director General. Avinash Chander, Director, Advanced Systems Laboratory, DRDO, Hyderabad, called it “a fantastic mission, with a perfect hit and a 100 per cent confirmation of a direct hit.”

Double-talk. double-think

Conservative Party Chairperson, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, has been in the news ever since her position merited a seat in David Cameron's Cabinet. Baroness Warsi seemed to speak with two voices, one to The Daily Telegraph March 5), the other to the Financial Times (March 5). “Why go into politics if you are not going to be brave? If you want to stand on the sidelines and not stand for what you believe in, politics is the wrong game to be in. If that means you have a short but productive life, that is worth doing.” To Elizabeth Rigby in the Financial Times said Lady Warsi acknowledged that a “whispering campaign to undermine her position” was under way among certain grass roots Tories. Ms Rigby writes: “Her comments Interceptor missile test expose simmering tensions between between the chairman India tested its fifth (out of six) of the party and the main successful interceptor missile at activists' website.” They resent the weekend off the Orissa coast her reluctance to engage in in the Bay of Bengal, thus joinhand-to-hand combat with ing a select group of nations Labour and the Lib Dems. which include the US, Russia, Baroness Warsi is perhaps France and Israel. The 'hostile' aware that most members of her missile took off (on Sunday) at community vote for Labour and 9.32 am, while the interceptor Lib Dems. She courted controblasted off at 9.37 am. The interversy for a faith speech in which ceptor was fitted with a specially she asserted Islamphobia had designed directional warhead, passed the middle England (much of it Interceptor missile Tory) “dinner table test-fired test.” Naturally.

Pakistan’s roots

“which will go towards the target, look at it and cause the maximum damage.” The attacker missile ended up in a shower of fragments over the Bay of bengal. Both missiles were developed by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO). Dr S.K.Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister,

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, in The Times (March 7), was remiss in claiming that Pakistan's present rulers and their people had betrayed the founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah's vision of a secular, tolerant nation. Mr Jinnah founded Pakistan on visceral hatred of Hindus. His Direct Action Day call led to a bloodbath of the “Great Calcutta Killings” on 16 August 1946; this was planned and organised by the Qaid-e-Azam's Muslim League government in Bengal and carried out by the party faithful. Hindus then, Christians now. Pakistan today is Jinnah's truest monument.


UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook: The Politics of War and Peace and Big Society ensure recognition and dignity and that fight continues all over the developing and developed world today”. I quote her because as I write it is International Women’s Day. And the Memorial on Whitehall outside the entrance to Downing St commemorates the work of the women in the World Wars. On 6 November 2002 HM The Queen officially inaugurated the Memorial Gates with an inscription stating that this took place in the Golden Jubilee year of her reign. So if you want to know about women’s contribution to society – just look at our greatest monuments. If you want to know about the Big Society then consider funding was from the National Lottery, provided by the Millennium Commission as well as donors such as Mr Mittall and the then Mr GK Noon, now Lord Noon. But that is not all when it comes to Big Society. Acts do not need to be financially large. In helping promote this cause the number of volunteers remains substantial. Take for instance Pallab Sarkar. He has a company to run, Apollo Public Relations – he has done PR for the British Government – so someone much in demand. But donates of his PR time. That is Big Society. I mention this because if only we would look around, we would see those willing and able to be involved in the Big Society, if only they were asked. If only we look around we will see those citizens past and present who shaped today’s Big Society. They will be present in spirit at 1059 on March 14 at Constitution Hill. I hope you will be there too. I will. (You can find more on Facebook by searching ‘Memorial Gates’).

You’ve probably heard the quote "When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today". Most don’t know where it comes from. It is inscribed for instance as the epitaph at the Memorial Gates at Constitution Hill outside Buckingham Palace is attributed to the Battle of Kohima, India, where in WWII, the Japanese suffered the greatest defeat in their history. (It is thought to have been inspired by the epitaph written by Simonides to honour the Greeks who at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480bc. That battle was made famous by the movie '300'.) This is relevant because next week, on 14th March, is Commonwealth Day. And on this day in the heart of London politicians and representatives from India and the other Commonwealth countries, together with Field Marshalls and Major Generals will gather to commemorate the armed forces of the British Empire from five regions of the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka), as well as Africa and the Caribbean, who served in the First World War and Second World War. The Gurkha Bugle will be sounded at 10.59. Baroness Flather, with a political voice in the House of Lords, who worked tirelessly for years to raise funds and receive planning permission to create the gates, reminds us just how young the memorial still is: “It took over fifty years after World War Two ended to build a lasting memorial to honour the five million men and women from the Commonwealth nations who fought as part of the British Empire in both world wars. “This reminds us that people who are injusticed must fight their corner to

Swaminarayan Museum - Amdavad.

Reaching out to wider community Continued from page 3 He does not want the religion itself to be ‘cocooned’; he wants the Museum to be a focal point for humanity and be inclusive attracting the wider community. The Museum is also evolved as a ‘green project’ including measures such as rainwater-harvesting, solar energy and energy from wind turbines. A brief site visit accompanied by Karsanbhai of Laxcon Construction (Builders of the project) gave the following account of the facilities and key displays: Seven Halls comprising the Main Hall, an Auditorium seating 100 people, Space for Projects/Events allowing use by outside organisations and Exhibition Halls for displays. Laboratory for Restoration work. The main hall – central feature of the museum has the 5 most significant displays of items belonging to Sahjanand Swami e.g. a tooth, hair and nails.

Asian Voice is the Voice of British Asians

The key motto of the Museum is ‘Preserve PLUS’ which sums up the ethos behind this innovative project aimed at being inclusive and reaching out to the wider section of the community.

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YOUR VOICE Cuts and Costs rising Stamp duty 5% on houses over £1 million. IHT Allowance frozen at £325000 until 2015. Threshold for 40% tax rate reduced by £1400 to £42475. NIC rates increased by 1%, both employee and employer rate. Alcohol Duty to rise by 2% above inflation. Fuel Duty to increase by 1% above inflation each year from 2011 to 2014. Two year public sector pay freeze begins. Housing benefit to be capped at £250 a week for one-bed property; £400 for 4 or more bedrooms. Parents claiming benefits who have adult children living with them: benefits will be cut. Indexation of welfare benefits, tax credits and public service pensions basis changed from RPI [Retail Price Index] to CPI [Consumer Price Index]. Universal child credit: £20.30 1st

child; £13.40 for additional frozen for three years. Childcare support under tax credits reduced by 10%. Sure-start Maternity Grant limited to first child. For all benefits withdrawal rate increased from 39% to 41% for income exceeding threshold. Employer Supported Childcare Scheme PAYE exemption: £55, £28 and £22 for 20%, 40% and 50% taxpayers. Family element of the child tax credit: second income threshold reduced from £50000 to £40000. New baby element of £545 abolished. Summary in plain English [Calendar of cuts and costs about to kick in: FT 25 Feb 2011 page 3, more info at www.ft.com/timetable].

Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar recently launched their British Tamil magazine in the House of Lords. This event, which was a tribute to the Tamils, attracted creme de la creme of the community to the launch. The British Tamil magazine is now available for our paid subscribers and will be posted along with the weekly newspaper. If you are not a subscriber and wish to buy the magazine, please call 020 7749 4080.

Nagindas Khajuria Via Email


14

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

British Tamil Launch 2011 The evening of March 3rd 2011 saw Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar launch a one of its kind project at the House of Lords. The special magazine issue, "British Tamils 2011' was launched in presence of the creme de la creme of the Tamil community. Amongst the high profile names, Baroness Shreela Flather, the first Asian woman in the House of Lords was the Chief Guest, Cllr Paul Sathianesan, Cllr Unmesh Desai, Shri Jitendra Kumar, First Secretary (Consular & Community Affairs)- High Commission of India, Mayor Cllr Masood Ahmed (Waltham Forest), Cllr Harshad Patel (Conservative leader, Brent), Cllr Logie Lohendran (Wimbledon) were also present. From 7pm onwards the esteemed guests graced the occasion, adding to the buzzing atmosphere of the evening. The event started with a short welcome by Rupanjana Dutta, Associate Editor of Asian Voice, who introduced the compere for the evening, Mamta Saha. Mamta is a Chartered Business Psychologist and director of the Mamta Saha Ltd. She is married to Rishi, a former parliamentary candidate and now a special advisor to David Cameron. She is also a regular commentator on Sky News, the BBC and has written in print media including the Asian Voice. Once on stage Mamta invited Mr CB Patel, Publisher/Editor of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar, Baroness Shreela Flather, Cllr Paul Sathianesan, Mr Pat Nabhan, Chief Executive Officer, QiCOMM and Mr Anandan S Anorld, Partner, BBK Partnership Chartered Accountants to light the lamp/deep to start the ceremony/event formally. This was followed by a Tamil Hindu prayer by Dr Vijayambigai Indrakumar. Dr Vijaymbigai is an Indian

classical dancer and choreographer in Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi dances. Next invited on stage was Cllr Paul Sathianesan, who gave a touching speech on the journey of the Sri Lankan Tamils till now from the day they arrived in Britain. He spoke about how the Tamils reached Britain 25 years ago, seeking asylum, leaving behind a satisfied life back in Sri Lanka. Now, these British Tamils are not only a part of the main stream politics in Britain but also own many corner shops all over the UK. He thanked Cllr Unmesh Desai for introducing him to politics. Cllr Sathianesan also emphasised that the Tamils did not come to Britain to live on benefits and he praised the British Asians for honouring the Tamils and giving them equal opportunity to flourishwhich has made some of those non Tamils honorary Tamils! After Cllr Sathianesan, Mamta welcomed Cllr Unmesh Desai to give a speech. Cllr Desai spoke about the hostility that the British Guajartis faced

Mr Selva Warren - Man and Co Estate Agents, Mr Siva Ranjan & Mr Anandan Arnold both of BBK Partnership, Mrs Meera Arnold of AM Management Consultants

Nathan Birac (Bahamas), Merul Patel (Director -ABPL Group), Tamara Andrews (Bahamas)

when they arrived in Britain after Idi Amin expelled them from East Africa. He welcomed all the British Tamils and insisted that they join politics in Britain more. Next invited guest on stage was Mr Siva Pillai, Dept of Educational Studies, Goldsmith Collegem, University of London, who spoke about the importance of Tamil education, language and developments. The evening then turned to a wonderful Bharatnatyam performance by Dr Vijayambigai and Sharlina who is just 9 years old. D r. Vi j a m b i g a i Indrakumar founded the dance school “ Vi j a y a n a r t h a n a l a y a ” (academy of Indian arts)was founded in 1972. In 1982, she took the dance scene by storm choreographing Tchaikovsky’s Swan lake in the style of Indian classical dance. In 1983, the Soviet government invited her to the Bolshoi theatre in Moscow. Sharlina Kirubaraj is 9 years old. She has been studying dance from Dr.Vijayambigai for the last

CB Patel (Publisher and Editor of Gujarat Samachar and Asian Voice), Cllr. Paul Sathianesan (London Borough of Newham), Baroness Shreela Flather (Windsor and Maidenhead in the Royal County of Berkshire, House of Lords) Anandan Arnold (BBK Partnership) Pat Nabhan (QiCOMM) at Deep Light Ceremony during the launch of “British Tamils” A4 size magazine at House of Lords

5 years. She has achieved Bharathanatyam Arangatram in India at the age of 8. She has danced with her guru in many programs presented by Vijayanarthanalya in London and India. Sharlina is currently studying in year 5 at Park hill Junior School Essex. In addition she learns western violin in her school! She has performed Indian classical Bharathanatyam, in school premises since year 1. She has also performed Kuchpudi (Tharangam) on various seasonal occasions such as Diwali, Pongal, Independence day and Dussera since the age of four.

T.S.Tharmalingam (Luckva Accountancy), Maheswaran Marisamy and his Guest

Victor I. Sivagunam - CEO of TCHA, Kuhan Kuhachandran, HOM of TCHA

The beautiful and elegant performance was followed by a lavish spread of vegetarian dinner. At the end of the dinner, Surendrabhai Patel from Bhavans performed two melodious Bollywood classical numbers. Mamta then invited Anandan S Arnold from BBK Partnership Chartered Accountants to give a speech. Anandan spoke about the success of the 250,000 British Tamils who are in Britain. He spoke about the petroleum exports made by the Tamils for the last 20 years. He was proud to talk about the positive contribution of the Tamils to Britain. At the end however, he expressed his

concern regarding the Tamil talents in the field of cricket and urged for more playgrounds or clubs to help their developments! Jitendra Kumar, from the Indian High Commission was the next invitee on the stage. In an inspiring speech he said that Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar are symbols of Indian culture. He spoke about the secularism and diversity of the Indians that helps Indians to be tolerant and open to versatility. He congratulated Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar for launching such a unique project especially for the non Gujarati population. Mr Kumar also

Thambirajah Jeyabalan (International Tamil Magazine), Mr & Mrs Sripathy Sivanadiyar Head of Operation Europe DAN Tamil Television

Mr and Mrs Arpit Khamar and Devangi (Glenmore)


15

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

Racing ahead with confidence Some prominent guests present:

Rupanjana Dutta (ABPL Group)

Mamta Saha (Master of Ceremony)

Dr.Vijambigai Indrakumar & Sharlina Kirubaraj – Performance of Bharatnatiyam - Pushpanjali & Malari

Cllr Unmesh Desai (London Borough of Newham)

Dr.Shivani Govender and Tarrin Constantine (Group Financial Director (U.K & Cyprus) for The Desilu Group)

spoke of the Chola dynasty, the Tamil culture and the migration of the Cholas, who helped the country of adoption to flourish better. CB Patel, the Editor and Publisher of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar was the next speaker. In a short and humorous speech, CB first thanked Baroness Shreela Flather for helping Asian Voice to have such a successful launch. He attributed Baroness Flather as the inspiration of the British Tamil launch as an idea years ago. He added that Indians in Britain are here as a matter of right. He also spoke of the value of being British, the qualitative contribution of the Tamils and much more. He criticised the violence of the Sri Lankan government and the violent counter reaction of the

Siva Pillai Dept of Educational Studies

Anandan Arnold (BBK Partnership)

Honoured with shawl by Cllr Paul Sathianesan according to Tamil Tradition to CB Patel and Nikhil Gor

Tamils. He wished the community goodluck for prosperity in Britain and said "the best is yet to come." After CB, Baroness Flather was invited on the stage and was garlanded Ksenia Sossak, Events Manager, Lycatel. Baroness Flather though praiseworthy about the Tamil community, criticised some of the Asian attitudes. She insisted that Asians should try to become part of the mainstream in Britain. She also added, becoming part of the mainstream does not mean you lose your culture. You only lose as much as you want to lose. It is the duty of the parents to make sure that the children retain their sense of belonging and inheritance. She said, nobody has ever written about the plight of the Tamils who

were taken by the British to work abroad in rubber plantations. They did not migrate all over the world just by choice! It is time to tell the stories that were untold! She also demanded more participation by women in the future and concluded the speech saying, "If the Tamils have survived elsewhere, they would also survive here!" Before the vote of thanks by Nikhil Gor, the British Tamils Project Coordinator, the 36 pages glossy magazine was launched by Baroness Flather, CB Patel, Cllr Sathianesan, Cllr Desai, Mr Pat Nabhan and Mr Jitendra Kumar. To their surprise, CB Patel and Nikhil Gor were felicitated with shawls by Cllr Sathianesan, which was followed by a warm vote of thanks and greetings

Quashik Desai (Auditor – ABPL Group), CB Patel (Publisher Editor of Gujarat Samachar and Asian Voice), Jitubhai Parikh, Deepak N. Lalwani OBE Director(India), Lalcap Ltd., Cllr Paul Sathianesan (London Borough of Newham), Rokas Sidlauskas (Ezetop Ltd.), Surendra Patel (Chief Financial Officer - ABPL group)

Cllr. Logie Lohendran (London Borough of Merton), Mrs Priya Lohendran, Cllr Harshad Patel (Leader of Conservative Party in Brent Council)

Jitendra Kumar, First Secretary (Consular & Community Affairs- HCI

Garlanded to Baroness Shreela Flather by Ksenia Sossak (Event Manager from Lyca Mobile)

by Nikhil. The event was a stupendous success and will be broadcasted by Deepam TV, MATV and was photographed by Raj Bakrania from PR Media. It was a fine tribute to the Tamils throughout history as well as those who have built on strong foundations today.

1. Baroness Shreela Flather 2. Mr Sithiravelu Karunandarajah 3. Mr Tarrin Constantine Group Financial Director (U.K & Cyprus) - The Desilu Group 4. Cllr. Logie Lohendran, Wimbledon 5. Mr N. S. Shergill - Editor and Publisher for Indians Abroad 6. Krishan Ralleigh - India Link (UK) Ltd. 7. Councillor Unmesh Desai -Executive Member for Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour and Majority Group Vice Chair - London Borough of New Ham 8. Siva Pillai - Department of Educational Studies, Goldsmith College, University of London 9. Mr. Jitendra Kumar -First Secretary (Consular & Community Affairs)- High Commission of India 10. Thambirajah Jeyabalan -International Tamil Magazine 11. Anandan S Arnold, Partner of BBK Partnership Chartered Accountants 12. Cllr Paul Sathianesan, London Borough of Newham 13. Mayor Councillor Masood Ahmed - Waltham Forest 14. Mr Pat Nabhan - Chief executive Office - QiCOMM 15. Mr Victor I. Sivagunam - Chief Executive, Tamil Community Housing Association ltd. 16. Mr H.S. Rao - PTI 17. Aditi Khanna, Senior Editor, India Inc 18. Cllr Harshad Patel 19. Dr Shaukat Nawaz Khan- active community member in the UK (This is not an exhaustive list...)

Dr. Vijambigai Indrakumar (Tamil Prayer)

Ksenia Sossak Events Manager of Lycatel and Herita K Samani, Marketing Executive Lycatel

Mayor Cllr Masood Ahmad, Shaukat Nawaz Khan (Active Member of Community in UK), CB Patel, Merul Patel, Jitendra Kumar (HCI)

Selvakumar from Deepam TV, S. Karunanandarajah (Independent Journalist)

Guest during the Launch of “British Tamils”

Raj Bakrania from P R Media and CB Patel


Bollywood

16 Asian Voice Saturday 12th March 2011

Kollywood gets new item girl from Bollywood Kollywood is importing Bollywood’s new item girl via Ajith’s 50th film ‘Mankatha’. She is the gorgeous Kainaat Arora who wooed the audience in the song ‘Aila Re Aila’ from ‘Khatta Meetha’ directed by Priyadarshan. Yes, the same film that introduced Trisha to Bollywood. Kainaat Arora is just back from doing an item song in ‘Mankatha’. She shot for the song with Ajith for four days. So what was it like dancing along with him. Kainaat has no words to narrate it. She raves about him and says, “he is not only a great actor but a great human being too.” Ajith on his part surprised the bombshell with

his customary culinary skills too. During the four days, one day Ajith surprised Kainaat with boiled chicken, on another day he made lovely dosas and chicken soup for her. All said and done, Kainaat is sure that her hot item song with Ajith in the film will be a visual treat to all. Let’s hope so.

Rajinikant says yes to ‘Enthiran’ sequel

The hottest gossip in Kollywood is that superstar Rajnikant has said big YES to Enthiran-2, the sequel to the blockbuster movie of the year 2010 and all time highest grossing movie in India, “Enthiran.” "Enthiran part 2 would be the next film to be produced by Sun

Pictures and we have had discussion with Rajini sir in this regard. Shankar is ready with the story and script and budget of this movie will surpass that of the Enthiran," says Hansraj Saxena. "You can expect an official announcement in this regard soon", concluded the COO of Sun Pictures. As Rajini will be busy with Rana related work whole of this year, it seems this project may start early next year. By that time director Shankar, who is busy shooting his upcoming movie Nanban with actors Vijay, Jiiva and Srikanth, would have completed that project as well.

After Nanban, its Pagalavan for Vijay

Ilayathalapathy starrer Pagalavan is expected to start rolling from April end. The story, screenplay and dialogues are ready. And Vijay has also given the nod. It looks like the shooting of Pagalavan will begin after Nanban. Vijay has just completed Velayudham and moved on to Shankar directed Nanban which is a remake of block buster Hindi movie 3 Idiots. Vijay is playing the role of

Aamir Khan, Madhavan’s role is being taken up by Srikanth and Sharman Joshi’s character will be portrayed by Jeeva. Ileana will be donning Kareena Kapoor’s role and Mona Singh’s character is by Anuja Iyer. Nanban also stars Sathyaraj in the important professor character. Seeman directed Pagalavan is likely to begin after the Tamil Nadu state assembly elections.

Khiladi Kumar in a new avatar Akshay Kumar, the most versatile actor in Bollywood is again coming up with the new role. It is a role of superhero which he has never played before. Like, Shah Rukh Khan (Ra.One) and Ajay Devgn (Toonpur ka Superhero), Akshay is all set to play a superhero but he doesn't want to play a conventional superhero inspired by Hollywood but the one associated with our culture. "It's something that I've promised my son Aarav. Not quite the Western model of a superhero, but a superhero more identifiable with our own culture," Akshay said. The role-model for Akshay's superhero would be Hanuman, a source said. "He doesn't want to make his super-hero film a replica of Superman or Spiderman. He knows the original Hollywood super-heroes are now available in every Indian language, including Bhojpuri.” He has asked his director to turn more to Hindu mythology for inspiration. So this film will be a super-hero epic that would be a mytho-

logical-cum-fantasy flick and Nikhil Advani is set to direct it.. "All I can say at the moment is that I'm going to cast Akshay as a full-on hero. He is the kind of guy kids look up to as a protector. He's complete super-hero material," Advani said. Akshay's comeback as a full-on action hero is much awaited. "He will perform a lot of his stunts himself. Somewhere down the line he began playing the goofy loser once too often. Son Aarav and wife Twinkle want him to play the superhero. "The idea is not to take on Hollywood on their terms but to work our way around their USPs," concluded Khiladi Kumar.

A new feather in Ranbir Kapoor’s hat

British beauty Hazel entering Khan dynasty Superstar Salman Khan is known for helping new talents find their footing in Btown, and he is at it yet again. This time, it is British model Hazel who he has taken under his wing. While the British might be busy scrutinizing Kate Middleton, we in India have our own, on-going investigations of a London belle who seems to have made her entry into the Khan dynasty. Hazel is a British model, born in Essex, north-east London, she took inspiration from her Indian mother's roots and enrolled into a local Bollywood dance academy.! She used to be involved in a lot of dancing and acting classes in UK. She has also been trained in kathak, bharatanatyam, jazz, tap dance, ballet, hip-hop and the basics of belly. While holidaying in Mumbai six years ago, she chanced upon several opportunities to pursue her acting career. Ever since, she appeared in the Tamil film, “Billa” and in some commercials on air, garnering a lot of popularity in the ad-film circuit. Rose Dawn, aka Hazel, was an extra on Harry Potter's second, third and fourth

series of films. Probably that's where she learnt how to cast her spell on Bollywood's most eligible bachelor, Sallu! At the age of 19 she earned praise for gyrating to Kahin Pe Nigahen. Like Sallu's ex-flame Katrina Kaif, she is currently taking Hindi diction classes from Vidur Chaturvedi for Sallu's brother-in-law Atul Agnihotri's remake of the Malayalam super hit “Bodyguard”and she plays the second lead opposite Sallu. She will be seen playing Kareena Kapoor's college friend. On the sets, Salman has been spotted giving her career tips and helping her become familiar with the industry. Though this pretty gal has a heavy British accent she is making her transition to B-town quite an effort, sources say.

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

17

Vidya Balan hunts a Bengali man to marry Expanding her love for Bengal, Vidya Balan said in humorous tone: "I am always searching for a Bengali man to settle down with. See if I can get him," she said and added, “ I am deeply associated with Bengal. I think I hardly know anybody having so much touch with Bengal as I do." And she was heard reciting popular Bengali rhymes like: "Ramgorurer chana na haste tader mana".

Kolkata," she said and added that she always searches for some excuses to visit Kolkata. Speaking about her upcoming movie named 'Kahaani', Balan said: "The film has been directed by Sujoy da (Sujoy Ghosh) and the entire film has been shot in Kolkata." Balan said that she is willing to work in a Bengali movie with ace Bengali director Rituparno Ghosh.

The Bollywood beauty and leading Bengali band 'Chandrabindoo' were seen sharing the platform together at a hotel in Kolkata as they shared their experiences of working together for a new television commercial of hair oil brand Nihar Naturals. Working in this commercial for Nihar Naturals was a wonderful experience as the song captured the brand's message to the Bengali woman who are always very intelligent and progressive thinking," Balan said. "This has been five years after which I had a full-fledged shooting in

"Every year we feel we should work together, but it never materialises," she said. Speaking about her upcoming film on actoress Silk Smitha, Balan said: "You won't be able to imagine me in that role! But that is a challenge for an actor." "I have not started preparing for the film, but I will watch her films once I start preparing for the film," she said. Vidya Balan will be seen featuring along with Chandrabindoo in the advertisement where the band will be seen singing a new track 'Jaani Naa'.

Mallika refuses to wear a bikini

Ranbir has always been in good books of his fans, but now with his social work he would add a feather in his cap. He is a man with a generous heart, lately he has done some good work in terms of donation and service. He recently contributed solar lamps worth lakhs of rupees to the Purani Bazar village in Lakhisarai town of Bihar. He did his own research before contributing to the cause. "RK found out that solar lamps are more economical and less polluting than kerosene lamps.” And indeed this effort was very beneficial to the villagers as solar power is an economical energy option. Some of them would do business using kerosene lamps which would cut into their earnings as it cost them R 8 a day to run these. Some days they couldn't even light up as kerosene isn't available easily, but that problem would not arise now. Ranbir says, "I did the little I could in my small way and I hope this encourages the youth to do the same. I am very humbled by the villagers' appreciation." He believes in quietly doing his bit to prevent global warming. When a news channel approached him, he believed in what they were doing and supported the cause." The actor was part of the NDTV Greenathon 2010 that helped raise money to provide solar power to 160 villages across the nation.

Mallika Sherawat, who is extremely comfortable shedding her clothes at the drop of the hat, is now turning coy and has refused to wear a bikini for a film. Buzz is that despite agreeing to don a bikini initially, the “Hisss” actress threw a fit and refused to wear one for Indra Kumar's “Dhamaal 2.” Mallika, apparently, wants a body double for the shoot, reports said. Mallika told Indra Kumar that he could film her waist up in a bikini top but waist down will have to be a body double. She told him in clear words, "Merge the two shots, mine upper and the body double's lower, or show it separately. Do whatever you want but no visuals of my lower body." Initially, Indra did not take it seriously but when it came to actually shooting the scene, Mallika was adamant. He tried to persuade her for 3-4 hours but no amount of cajoling helped. Finally, Mallika won and Indra had to find a body double to do the scene. Indra Kumar simply conceded and said, "I got what I wanted. You will see Mallika in a swimsuit from head to toe. I am not complaining."

At 77, Asha Bhosle takes up a new challenge

Hrithik Roshan is the highest paid actor on TV

You have always heard Asha Bhosle, but has not seen her acting in a film. Now she is all set to make her Bollywood debut with Hindi film “Maaee.” The singer has been doing music videos but it would be the first time that she would be acting in a film. Now at 77, she will do everything to make her effort a success. “It was something that I hadn't done so far. My fans know very well that I do whatever my heart says is good.” she says. The film is being produced by Subhash Dawar-Nitin Shankar and tells the story of what happens when a woman is abandoned by her only son and then goes to live with her daughter and son-in-law. The film will be directed by debutante Mahesh Kodiyal.

The hero who is ruling the big screen is all ready to become the latest heartthrob of small screen. The Bollywood hero Hrithik Roshan, is making his television debut as a dance reality show judge and moreover he will be the highest paid film star on small screen. The shooting for "Just Dance" the dance reality show on Star Plus will start next month where the 37-year-old film star will judge contestants along with choreographers Farah Khan and Vaibhavi Merchant. After his two previous films 'Kites' and 'Guzaarish' bombed at the box office, he said, "Only after biggest failures come biggest success." He is now looking forward for success on small screen. About reports that he is being paid approximately Rs 20 million per episode, Hrithik had said, "I thought I am paid well." But sources close to the actor claim that the Hrithik is indeed the highest paid actor on television. "He gets Rs 20 million per episode. Whereas Salman Khan shot for his last TV show only during the weekends and would wrap up two episodes in a single day and take home a pay packet of Rs 25 million, " sources said.

Sonakshi loves to mingle with Ranveer Kareena is the most sought after The Dabangg girl Sonakshi Sinha loves to mingle with “Band Baaja Baraat” star Ranveer Singh. In an episode on “Koffee With Karan” she couldn’t stop praising about the B Town’s newbie and said how she would love to date if he is ‘single.’ When KJo mentioned it to Ranveer's current girlfriend Anushka Sharma who was with him in the hot seat in the following week, she retorted, "He is all yours. Please go ahead." Wait for Ranveer’s reaction.

With 13 brands riding on her, Kareena Kapoor is Bollywood's most sought after actress, according to the latest Television A u d i e n c e Measurement (TAM) reports. More brands are chasing her but she is very choosy in selecting the product she wants to project. Says Kareena, "I don't put a value to my worth. I'm not a product you can pick off the shelf. I have always been selective about what I endorse and the work I do. And I have always been exclusive."

Abhishek Bachchan likes to go bare !!! It’s not only Salman who removes his shirt to bare and dare, even Abhishek Bachchan will do the same thing, provided Mamma has no problem about it. If all goes well, he would be taking off his shirt for the first time in “Dhoom 3.” So he has met two of the top physical trainers in LA earlier this week to get his perfect body shape. Says a source, "With the help of these two renowned trainers Abhishek hopes to build his self-confidence (read: muscles) enough to appear bare-chested on the screen for the first time. There's just one hitch. Abhishek's mom Jaya is strictly against her son appearing barechested on screen. Until Abhishek convinces her that it's fine to do so.


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Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

India denies Cameron charges on Cairn deal Alpesh Patel Consultant Editor Financial Voice Dear Financial Voice Reader, I have given you my stock picks last week. So since we are getting lots and lots of earnings let me give you advice on stock earnings. First, they are very good from companies on the whole. So expect the UK market to be up about another 6% by the end of the year. But more importantly – you need to look at this: You may think CEOs speak English. It may sound like the language you use to communicate. But it is not. It is ‘CEOese’. Here are some translations. CEO: Profits are up Translation: Profit is opinion, but cash is fact. Our profits are up even though we have less cash in the bank because: 1. we sold some of our ‘crown jewel’ assets as a one off. So the profit rise is a one-off exceptional item not the start of a trend. And those assets we sold, we’ll need those in the future. 2. Actually, when we said we sold those assets, it wasn’t for cash. It was a barter arrangement and ummm…so our cash balance isn’t improved…but hey, we can still call it profit because we put a ‘notional value’ in the accounts. CEO: Prospects are good Translation: We are not telling you about the contingent liabilities; the lawsuits and the pension provisions. We can lean on the accountant to say it is not too bad and so our figures don’t look too bad, until the proverbial hits the fan that is. But hey, I’ll have left by then. CEO: I have every confidence in the company Translation: That damn headhunter still hasn’t agreed my golden handshake at the next job. CEO: We have increased profits from increased revenue growth. Translation: You might think sales are growing and this is adding to profits, especially with wider profits margins. That would get your vote. But I am afraid I am tricking you. We are counting money that is expected but not in hand. That allows us to show greater revenues and profits. Guess what? Sometimes we think there is little chance of getting that money. Bristol-Myers Squibb overstated $2.5 billion in revenues and $900 million in earnings between 1999 and 2001 by giving incentives to move product before the end of its quarters. CEO: We have increased market share Translation: Sounds good doesn’t it. Actually this is achieved from a lower profit margin and that means price-cutting to increase volume. That can be fine in the short-term, but longer term I do not rate those earnings as necessarily high quality. CEO: Our cost-cutting programme means our profits are up Translation: Cost cutting can be a short-term benefit before longer term profitability is hit. Imagine for instance companies cutting on research and development. This years earnings go up, but in five years you pay the real price for potentially under-investing. CEO: Don’t worry about the footnotes Translation: Heck that’s where I have hidden everything. CEO: If you ignore the one-offs it looks very healthy Translation: Yeah, these one-off expenses come in every year, they’re not so one off. Cendant, Kodak, Edison International, HCA, Weyerhauser. Each of these companies took a special charge/gain in each of the 20 quarters between 1998 and 2002. My blog is at www.alpeshblog.com and www.alpesh.tv you can see my latest TV commentary. Alpesh.patel@tradermind.com

Cairn Energy took more than three months to comply with regulation of seeking approval for selling stake in Indian unit

The oil ministry in the government of India has refuted British Prime Minister David Cameron's allegations that "unexpected regulatory hurdles" were delaying the $9.6 billion Cairn-Vedanta deal, and said the British firm was responsible for the deferment. "Cairn Energy - which has agreed to sell a majority share in its Indian subsidiary to Vedanta, faces unexpected regulatory hurdles which are causing delay and could block the deal entirely (which is very time-sensitive) - thus preventing Cairn investors from legitimately exiting the market," Cameron wrote to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently. In response, the oil ministry has told the Prime Minister's Office that Cairn Energy took more than three months to comply with regulation of

seeking formal approval for selling most of its stake in Cairn India to Vedanta. Sources in know said the ministry stated that the final applications came in only in end November, more than 3 months after the deal was announced on August 16, 2011.It was pointed out that as per the terms of the production sharing contracts signed by Cairn and its units, it was mandatory for them to take prior permission from the government for the proposed stake transfer. Cairn apparently paid no heed to this stipulation and had said that no such governmental consent was necessary. Only after considerable pressure did the company apply to the government for its approval, it

was pointed out. The ministry assured that the deal is being processed expeditiously and a final decision would be taken very soon. It has moved a note seeking nod to the transaction from the Cabinet Committee on E c o n o m i c A f f a i r s (CCEA) subject to certain conditions being met, sources said adding the Cabinet may consider the proposal at its meeting next week. Though Cairn Energy and Vedanta have to close the deal by April, the deal would go through even if Cabinet was to give its nod by the month-end. Once the government's nod is obtained, the two firms can approach their shareholders seeking extension of the April 15 deadline,

saying the conclusion now remains a mere formality. Sources said that in all likelihood, the deal can be closed by May-end. "I want to encourage a growing appetite among British companies to invest and expand in India. But the sorts of difficulties which I have outlined above are a deterrent to potential investors. They risk jeopardising our joint goal of a much stronger trade and investment relationship," Cameroon had written. "This is not to comment on the merits of individual Indian policies, which are, of course, a matter for you. But I want to highlight my concern that some UK companies are facing difficulties which are hard to explain and that this is, in turn, affecting the wider business climate," he added.

Standard Chartered earns record profit as India, China boom

Northern Rock to offer 90% mortgages

East, and it is very acute in India and China where a quarter of our staff are based," Sands said. Costs rose 13 percent last year, outpacing a 6 per cent rise in income, as higher wage costs were added to by more investment after the bank slowed spending in 2009. Costs rose to 55.9 per cent of 2010 revenue from 51.3 per cent.

Northern Rock is poised to launch a range of mortgages offering up to 90 per cent of a property’s value, marking the nationalised bank’s return to riskier lending three years after its collapse and government bail-out. The loss-making lender could make the new high loan-to-value mortgages available at the earliest, according to people familiar with the plans, as it seeks to boost revenue ahead of a return to private ownership. Northern Rock’s aggressive boom-time lending practices, including the Together mortgage that offered borrowers up to 125 per cent of their property value, caused one of the most high-profile failures of the financial crisis. Since then it has restricted the loan-tovalue it offers to 85 per cent.

The booming Asian markets, especially China and India, has helped Londonbased Standard Chartered Bank to record a 19 per cent jump in its profit during 2010. The bank, which generates more than four fifths of its profit in Asia and other emerging markets, said it had its best ever January and expects revenue to grow by at least 10 per cent this year and beyond. It made a pretax profit of $6.12 billion last year, a new high for the eighth year in a row and in line with forecasts, as a sharp drop in bad debts more than offset a rise in wage costs. But the bank warned banking regulations were becoming more fragmented than coordinated and said it was "relatively cautious" on the outlook for

the world economy. "The bank is very well positioned, and while we won't see the kind of jump

we saw last year, it is still going to be fairly good growth," said Daniel Tabbush, analyst at CLSA in Bangkok. Chief Executive of the bank Peter Sands said the bank started the year with good momentum but faces a battle to attract and retain staff in its hot Asian markets, as local banks become more capable and with international banks "returning to the fray". "We are seeing the war for talent across most of our markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle

Booming trade India surpassed Hong Kong as its top profit contributor last year with earnings of $1.2 billion. The bank expects the majority of its markets to grow at 5-8 per cent annually in the next 20 years, and reckons the five largest economies in 2030 will be China, the United States, India, Brazil and Indonesia.

Accor joins hands with London Town Hotels Second franchise agreement in less than two months Accor, the world's leading hotel operator and market leader in Europe, has joined hands with London Town Hotel Group, a privately held hospitality group of UK. Accor, which is operating under the brand name Mercure in London, had earlier signed franchise agreement with Focus Hotels in January this year. With the addition of 13 more hotels under the Mercure Brand, the total number of hotels under its umbrella in UK has risen to 46. Jean-Jacques Dessors, Chief Operating Officer of

Accor, UK and Ireland, said, “the agreements demonstrate Accor's ability to choose a strong franchisee partners such as LTH to grow the Mercure brand in the UK market." The new four star hotels will all re-open under the Mercure hotel brand within the next four months. The Mercure London Paddington Hotel will open for business in March 2011, with the hotels in London Kensington and Nottingham both scheduled for June 2011. The Mercure London

Kensington Hotel will provide the Mercure hotel brand with a foothold in Kensington & Chelsea for the first time. Koolesh Shah, Managing Director, of London Town Hotel Group said, "Mercure is a strong global brand which perfectly complements and exemplifies London Town Hotels' ethos of four star city centre hotels. I am keen to expand our four star offering within key city centre destinations. This deal achieves a part of this vision which I hope will be of benefit to our

customers. It is really exciting to be working with Accor for the first time." With the latest agreement, Mercure has added 240 rooms more to Mercure's UK network, increasing the existing presence of the Mercure brand from 43 to 46 hotels. Mercure has an established network of over 700 hotels operating in more than 50 countries across the world and ensures the quality of a well-known brand, with the charm and personality of individual hotels.


FINANCIAL VOICE

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

19

There’s no local in location

Suresh Vagjiani Managing Director Sow & Reap A Property Investment & Financing company.

We have had a huge response in regards to the property we had for sale in Wembley. Admittedly it was cheaper than market price but that was not the main factor which drove the interest. The main push was Indians believe you should grow your flowers where you can water them. Meaning investment in properties occurs in and around where a person lives. Often this decision is made with the foresight that perhaps 'one of my children can also live there in the future'. The 3 most important points when considering property investment is location,location and you guessed it location. The need to be close stems from us all wanting to invest within our comfort zones as things can get scary if you go outside of these boundaries. It's an unknown and dangerous world out there. We know around here, we know the streets, the prices, we been here for years. But going back to the 3 points, not one says local, it's says location. Let's look practically at what benefits investing locally will help with? The first you can manage your own property, this means if the tap is broken you can go and mend it yourself and save on the charge of someone else going and some nasty agent over charging you. You can look at the property daily and show others your property as it's local, this no doubt has a feel good factor to it. I would quantify the savings from the above to be between £1500 to £5000 per annum without putting a value on the feel good factor. When considering a property worth £300,000 it represent less than 2% of the value if we take the top end estimate. This means that a superior location would need to grow by this much extra.

The growth rates in central locations rise well in excess of this percentage when compared to areas such as Wembley and Harrow. No doubt areas such as Wembley are strong locations. They have however been driven up by predominately asians alone who make up the demand for local properties. Central locations have an international demand, therefore demand does not depend upon the UK economy exclusively. This is a very reassuring factor given the recent issues. The prime London rental market is now characterised by severe stock shortages and very high levels of demand, a combination that will underpin the strong price growth seen in 2010, says property consultant Savills. Average rents grew by 11.5 per cent in 2010, according to latest analysis from the company’s research team. As a result, rents are forecast to grow this year by an average of 8 per cent across prime London and 7 per cent in the prime central zones. This compares to a 1.0 per cent growth forecast for capital values across the capital this year. Growth in 2010 was supported by a general lack of properties avail-

able to rent at a time when increased demand for rental property, particularly from corporate tenants, was recovering. In summary it is always better to treat an investment in property as a pure investment and not to combine it with the possibility of one day staying in there. Each has a separate objective and when you try to mix the two you end up achieving neither one effectively. Property is liquid, it's even more so in prime locations. Potentially it can sold within 28 days and refinanced in 2-3 weeks. This will allow you to switch funds to a residential property if required at a later date. So apart from the psychological comfort factor there is little financial reason to invest in property simply because it is local.

Plotting scheme From £10,000 What you must look out for when purchasing plots 4 Plotting schemes are best for pure investments

diligence, so you do not have too

4 There are no maintenance to worry about

4 Plots within a society where there is some

4 Decide why you are purchasing

construction and activity will be better placed to hold future value

4 Is it an investment or to live in? 4 It is better to keep both separate otherwise you will not achieve either objective well 4 Always purchase NA approved plots 4 Not buying a NA plot is like taking a post dated

4 As the real estate is increasing in value it has attracted attention from dubious characters, be very aware who you purchase from and do the necessary due diligence 4 Engage the services of an advocate to check all the

cheque without knowing when you finally will be able to cash it

paper work

4 Think about how and when you will exist

Basics of the deal

4 Contrary to popular belief a NRI can purchase agricultural land in india, but not in some states. Gujarat being one of them 4 A few banks will lend on plots, it is a good idea to get a small mortgage as the bank will do all the due

4 Do not let an attractive price detract you from the 4 Plots within a society are more secure then open land Next week we will look at the documents you require for society property

We have plots in hotspots where we have already done the due diligence, where we can both purchase and resell for you call us now to invest, investment from as little as £10,000. This investment will not be around for long the cut off is end of March 2011.

We provide a turnkey solution. Contact us now:

UK Sales 0207 706 0187 India Sales 0203 384 5323

Tips of the Week l Past price growth is not necessarily a indication of future, look out for future council plans on their website l 85% LTV is back! Its good to gear up when the property has a solid Rental and Growth prospects


20

financial voICe

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

Leadership Matters

By Amit Patel

The King’s Speech Maria Fernandes

maria@abplgroup.com

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report: Chefs and Skilled Senior Care Workers MAC have issued their final recommendations to the Government. Their recommendations have, so far, been accepted. They were asked to consider which posts qualified for acting in the Shortage occupation list following the Government’s policy to restrict entry to graduate level personnel only. In respect of Chefs, MAC have reported that experience and on the job training are important factors for these roles. Skill levels within Chef’s roles depend on a number of factors, including the type of cuisine (e.g. Asian Oriental etc) and the style of service (e.g. Professional cookery, Quick Service). They came to the conclusion that some executive Head and Sous Chef jobs are skilled to NQF 4 plus. Chef roles in fast food and standard fare outlets will not be skilled to NQF 4 plus. What “standard fare” means is not defined. A Chef would have to

have a minimum of five (as opposed to 3) years experience, be paid a minimum salary of £28,260 if the person is a Head Chef and £22,700 if the person is a Sous Chef. The Migration Advisory Committee made the point that they considered a lower paid threshold but felt that this would not break the long term cycle of over dependence on migrant labour in this sector. They express the view that the less use of migrant labour would raise pay and relative prices and result in a smaller, more robust ethnic restaurants sector. The dynamic nature of this industry means that if some restaurants close others will, to a large extent open up to replace them even if the balance of cuisines on offer changes over time. Lastly MAC recommended that the UK Border Agency should be free to supplement these criteria with additional criteria on the basis of

enforcement and operational needs. Specifically that the specialist chef roles should be rigorously monitored with a view to striking employers off the Tier 2 Sponsor register if they are found to be abusing the rules of the system. In relation to Senior Care Workers, the news is bad. The recommendation is removal of Senior Care Workers entirely from the shortage occupation list. MAC believes shortages in this sector needs to be addressed through other means, which include efforts to attract, retain and up skill resident workers. Maria Fernandes has been in practice exclusively in immigration for the past 25 years and is accredited in Immigration Law by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Fernandes Vaz is based at 87 Wembley Hill Road Wembley in Wembley and can be contacted by telephone on 02087330123, by email on info@fernandesvaz.com.

Tata’s Jaguar Land Rover to employ 2,500 workers in UK

To design and engineer a new generation of Jaguars, Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) in the UK will employ 2,500 new workers to build the new baby Range Roger. The beginning of production of the 29,995pounds Evoque, the new baby Range Rover, at its Halewood plant in UK would mean 1,500 new assembly jobs on Merseyside, JLR Chief Ralf Speth was quoted as saying at the Geneva Motor show by British daily The Telegraph. "We are spending 1 billion pounds a year in product creation and engineering and design facilities. In total we will pro-

vide 2,500 more jobs, with more to come...in fact thousands more to come," Speth said. Plans for the rapid expansion of the Jaguar portfolio with a baby Jag and a new sports car in the pipeline, and the move to produce an electric petrolpowered hybrid Range Rover, the Range-e has already prompted the hiring of 1,000 engineers at its R & D facilities at Gaydon and at Warwick University. The report said it is a remarkable turnaround for a company that was on its knees two years ago, when Tata Motors bought the ailing business from Ford. It is on course to make

1 billion pounds of profit for this financial year. JLR confirmed plans to open a manufacturing plant in China to capitalise on growing demand there. Tata Motors also plan to have a new Land Rover plant at Pune. This, according to the report, was announced by CarlPeter Forster, the chief executive of Tata Motors at Pune. He said that the Pune plant would produce 2,000 Freelanders initially to satisfy "demanding growth" for the vehicle in India. Jaguar launched the new XKR-S, a derivative of its existing XK model and Jaguar's most powerful car to date, at the Geneva show.

By now many of you will have heard of the film ‘The Kings Speech’. The story is centred on King George VI and his efforts to overcome his stammer and how his leadership grew during the process. I thought I would continue this theme by relating the contents of a letter written by the Kings wife, Queen Elizabeth (more popularly known as the Queen mother). Her words give a valuable insight into the mindset of the King as a leader of his people. On the 13th September 1940 during the infamous ‘Blitz’, the Nazi Luftwaffe bombed Buckingham Palace. Remarkably, the bombs did in fact come very close to actually killing the royal family – which would have been devastatingly demoralising. The question does arise of why were they in Buckingham Palace, the most obvious target during a bombing raid? Surely they should have been somewhere more secret and safe? It was to emerge after the war that the Foreign office did ‘advise’ the

King that he should leave the country for his own safety; however despite this ‘advice’, right throughout the war the royal family were at home and in harms way. Why? The answer can be found in one of Queen Elizabeth’s letters, in it she writes, "The children will not leave unless I do. I shall not leave unless their father does, and the King will not leave the country in any circumstances, whatever." This is the mark of a true leader. During the height of the battle, when thousands of tonnes of explosives were raining down on the capital, the Commander in Chief of the British armed forces was right there, standing shoulder to shoulder with his people. Their fight was his fight, their troubles were his troubles and in doing this his resolve became their resolve. The Queen famously declared, “I'm glad we have been bombed. Now I can look the East End in the face". And true to her word, just a few hours after being the bombing the King and Queen travelled to the East End of

India to further liberalise FDI policy The government of India is considering further liberalisation of FDI policy for meeting the ambitious $ one trillion fund requirement in the next five years for infrastructure development, said finance minister Pranab Mukherjee. The move comes in the backdrop of a slowdown in the foreign direct investments (FDI) and its impact on the current account deficit. The FDI during AprilDecember this fiscal declined by 23 per cent to $ 16 billion from $ 20.8 billion in the same period last year. The current account deficit has been projected at 3.5 per cent of the GDP for the fiscal 2010-11. The country’s CAD, representing the difference in inflows and outflows of foreign exchange, barring capital movements, stood at 2.9 per cent of the GDP last fiscal. Mukherjee further said that the sustainability of growth momentum of the country in medium term depends critically on quality and pace of infrastructure development. The infrastructure sector requires an investment of a whopping $ 1 trillion in the 12th Plan, beginning year 2012 -17. Mukherjee said the 8 per cent growth rate achieved by the economy during 2009-10 came on the back of stimulus pro-

Pranab Mukherjee

vided by the government to tide over the financial slowdown. India’s GDP is expected to expand by 8.6 per cent in 2010-11. "This growth... vindicates the expansionary fiscal and monetary policy stance adopted during and after the economic slowdown in the sector half of 2008. The economy is thus back to its pre-crisis growth momentum," he said. Mukherjee also said that the rising commodity prices and volatility in capital flows is a source of worry. Also, political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has pushed global crude prices to USD 116 a barrel, its highest since 2008. Even the World Bank has expressed serious concerns over food prices rising to "dangerous levels" globally and said food inflation has pushed 44 million people in developing countries into extreme poverty since June last year.

Amit Patel has over 15 years experience in the field of Leadership and Human Resource Management London which had suffered in the same air raid. They walked amongst the ruins and comforted the suffering and consoled the bereaved. Today our leaders tell us about the need to make sacrifices in order to secure the future of the nation. They speak of tolerating hardship; they declare that we are all in this together and if we pull together we can succeed. King George gave a similar speech when he prepared the nation for battle. Only he stayed in London with his people and faced the dangers with them. This is what great leaders do. What are our leaders doing? Last week Nick Clegg went skiing.

Bill Gates' philanthropy costs him richest man title

Bill Gates didn't lose his title as the world's richest man last year; he gave it away by plowing billions into his charitable foundation, experts say. Forbes will release its 2011 billionaires list soon and Gates, investor Warren Buffett and last year's richest man, Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim , will almost certainly be in the top three. The trio have topped the list for the past five years. But it would be no contest if Microsoft co-founder Gates had not already given away more than a third of his wealth to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation , which focuses on global health and development and US education. "It wouldn't be a competition," said David Lincoln , director of global valuations at wealth research firm Wealth-X. "(Gates) would have a comfortable margin if he had never discovered philanthropy." Lincoln said Gates was currently worth about $49 billion, behind Slim, whose fortune he estimated at $60 billion. Buffett, also a philanthropist, is now worth some $47 billion.


FINANCIAL VOICE

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

21

Foreign Exchange Rajesh Agrawal is the Chairman & CEO of RationalFX, Currency Specialists. For any further information call 020 7220 8181 or e-mail info@rationalfx.com

Who Are Winners With Rate Hikes in UK? With inflation building in the UK a rate hike by the BOE is beginning to look inevitable. Although Mr King and his committee have voted against a rate hike and are reluctant to push up rates in UK at the moment but it seems a question of time before they act. Mr King has repeatedly said that in his opinion inflation will come down naturally in due course but can he really justify holding rates at historical lows with inflation still rising. The current troubles in the Middle East have already caused a spike up in the already thought to be inflated oil price. With oil prices around these levels there is very little chance of a downturn in the rate of inflation in the UK or Europe as a whole. Energy costs are pushing up manufacturing and food costs to much higher levels than in the past. This is a worry to all aspects of the UK economy at the moment and will only get worse you would think if the BOE raise interest rates. Normally savers are the ones to benefit from a rate rise but with rates at such low levels at this time even with a hike returns on savings are poor. They could have expected a good return before that if rates edged up

now it would not get them too excited by a rise. In fact the only benefactors by a rise in rates could possibly be the banks as although they wouldn’t receive much of a boost by bigger funds being deposited with them it would be able to increase the rate on such products as overdrafts credit cards and loans. The average UK household is already struggling with its budget and a rate rise will only compound the problem. Areas for growth will also be hit such as the already ailing housing market which is currently going through its biggest slump for many years and an increase in

rates isn’t going to inspire a pick up in the market. If anything it will trigger the reverse and kill it off unless the government produce so tax incentives. The housing market in a big part of the UK economy and without that looking to prosper in the foreseeable future in the UK the government will have to look at other sectors for growth. Our banking system once our pride and joy looks like one area that could show growth but after the recent banking crisis there will be more bankers being wary of recent improved profits. Bankers are not the favourite figures with the general UK pub-

lic and in fact have been heavily criticised by the BOE governor Mr King recently. He has accused them of profiting their balance sheets by preying on the problems being experienced by their customers and questions their morality over how they are running their business. They seem very reluctant to lend out to businesses or households for mortgages but are content to still charge at high levels of interest on credit cards overdrafts and loans. They are quick to add rate hikes to these products before passing them onto savers around these low levels and many banks appear to worry considerably more about their shareholders than their customers. The balance appears to not to be at the right levels at the moment possibly because they have to show more stability than previously to avert another banking crisis. So it would appear that the average person in the street and businesses can only be harmed by a rise in rates. The growth of the economy can only slowdown and once again the only likely winners will be the banks and how much they will benefit will probably depend on how greedy they are and what they want to pass on to their shareholders.

Weekly Currencies As of Tuesday 8th March 2011 @ 11.15am GBP - INR = 72.92 USD - INR = 45.11 EUR - INR = 62.79 GBP - USD = 1.62 GBP - EUR = 1.16 EUR - USD = 1.39 GBP - AED = 5.95 GBP - CAD = 1.57 GBP - NZD = 2.18 GBP - AUD = 1.60 GBP - ZAR = 11.148 GBP - HUF = 315.52

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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Pakistan-Bangladesh-Sri Lanka

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

Pak minorities minister shot dead It shows the growing extremism in the country

Islamabad: A vocal advocate of diluting the harsh blasphemy law and Pakistan’s minister for minorities Shahbaz Bhatti was gunned down by unidentified gunmen at Islamabad last week. He was the only Christian minister in the cabinet. His assassination months after the murder of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer who called for the repeal of the blasphemy law, deals a serious blow to efforts to quell religious extremism in the country, Eric Rassbach, litigation director at the Washington-based Becket Fund, said. Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) demanded the Pakistani government to secure the rights of minorities. "We ask that the government takes every measure necessary to secure the rights of religious minorities in Pakistan, as well as their safety and those of their places of worship," its president Imam Mohamed Magid said. ISNA called on Pakistanis and their gov-

Fanaticism threatens Pak: Zardari Washington: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has warned that fanaticism in his nation was a "tinderbox" poised to explode across the country and asked Washington to avoid confrontation and work together with Islamabad against terror. Zardari said :"The religious fanaticism behind our assassinations is a tinderbox poised to explode across Pakistan. The embers are fanned by the opportunism of those who seek advantages in domestic politics by violently polarizing society." But he declared that his government will not retreat nor will it be intimidated and will give a determined and calibrated response to terrorists.

demands the civilian leaders of Pakistan who still value the principles of democratic governance stand together to keep the country from lurching further toward lawlessness and instability," Curtis added.

Shahbaz Bhatti

ernment to stand for the rights of religious minorities. "We know that many of them do not agree with these acts of violence and it is now time for them to speak out against them." The assassination Bhatti was an "outgrowth of that country’s blasphemy law, which fuels extremism and violence rather than keeping the peace," said US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Lisa Curtis of the Heritage Foundation said the murder of Pakistani Minority

Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti by religious extremists establishes a pattern of growing religious intolerance. "It is undermining Pakistan’s struggling democracy by shutting down free speech and political expression in the name of a ruthless ideology disguised as religion," she said. "The rising tide of extremism gripping the country as evidenced by the assassination of the second top official in Pakistan over the blasphemy issue in the space of less than two months

Sherry may be next target: Pakistan MP Sherry Rehman may be the next in the hitlist of the extremists for supporting Aasia Bibi, the Christian woman who was sentenced to death last November for allegedly committing blasphemy against Prophet Mohammad. The other two politicians, former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer and minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti, who supported her were already eliminated. “Make no mistake, she is in danger,” one of her friends said. "We will continue to target all those who speak against the law which punishes those who insult the prophet. Their fate will be the same," Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan's deputy spokesman, Ahsanullah Ahsan, said earlier.

Pakistani legislators demand Rehman Malik’s resignation Islamabad: Pakistani legislators who were deeply concerned about the murder of minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti has demanded the resignation of interior minister Rehman Malik for his failure to protect him. For failing to provide sufficient security cover to the minorities minister, several members from the treasury and opposition also criticized Rehman Malik More vocal was Pakistan Peoples Party legislator Jamshed Dasti, who said that had if he been the country's home minister, he would have resigned after such a security lapse. Two other federal ministers, Babar Awan and

Rehman Malik

Raza Rabbani, had emotionally expressed their anger over the government's inaction against the deteriorating law and order in the country. Pointing towards Malik at a cabinet meeting, they said that if no one is ready to demonstrate the moral courage, then they are ready to accept the responsibility for Bhatti's murder, and were ready to tender their resignations.

Speaking on the occasion, a Christian MP Akram Masih Gill demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident to unearth the actual forces responsible for Bhatti's assassination. He said that Bhatti had informed the Interior Ministry regarding the threats he was receiving and had asked for more security from the ministry. In response, Malik told the national assembly that he would resign from his position if it was proved that there was a security lapse in the assassination of Bhatti. He said the government had provided adequate security to Bhatti but it wasn't fully utilized.

Bangladesh HC confirms Yunus sacking Dhaka: Bangladesh's High Court on Tuesday confirmed that Nobel-winning Muhammad Yunus had been fired from the microfinance bank he founded, upholding an order last week from the central bank. "Yunus has been continuing in his job with no legal basis, therefore his petition (challenging his sacking) has been rejected," High Court judge Muhammad Mamtaj Uddin Ahmed told the court. "Also, the managing director is an officer of the bank, and the mandatory retirement age for bank officers is 60, so he has also exceeded his retirement age long ago," he said.

Muhammad Yunus

Yunus, 70, was removed from his position as managing director of Grameen Bank last Wednesday but defied the order, returning to work and moved the high court challenging his dismissal. “Yunus was not given

even a show-cause notice saying why it was illegal for him to be managing director of Grameen,” Mr Yunus’ lawyer Kamal Hossain told the court. “Yunus himself had expressed his intent to retire on many occasions, but why is this humiliation for such a respected person? This is like destroying the image of the country,” he said. The government’s lawyer told the court that Yunus had not followed the proper procedure when extending his tenure. “There is also no doubt as he is over 60 so he cannot hold the position,” the lawyer added,

referring to a government rule that state bank employees retire at 60. Grameen Bank pioneered micro-lending in the 1980s, a system in which small amounts of money are lent to poor entrepreneurs outside the mainstream banking system, catapulting Yunus to international fame and his Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. Finance Minister A M A Muhith said in Dhaka that the government had no choice but to remove Yunus because he had held the position illegally since 2000, as he had failed to seek the central bank’s prior approval when he was re-appointed.

In focuS Pak minister escapes attempt on life Karachi: It was a narrow escape for a sitting provincial minister of the Mutthaida Qaumi Movement party, after unknown assailants opened fire at him in Pakistan's Hyderabad city, police said. Zubair Khan was standing outside his residence last week in old Hyderabad city when miscreants on motorcycles fired bursts at him as he hastily went back into the house, they said. "The attackers escaped after the security guards of the minister retaliated," they added. The incident drew sharp reactions from the MQM central coordination committee which called upon the government to immediately take notice of the incident and arrest the culprits. "The government must take note of this serious incident where another minister has been targeted, the people behind this attempt must be arrested immediately," MQM chief Altaf Hussain said from London. This is the second attempt on a sitting MQM provincial Assembly member as last year Raza Haider was shot dead outside a mosque in Nazimabad, leading to major violence in Karachi.

Gulf envoys’ car in Pakistan attacked Karachi: The car that was carrying Qatar's consul, Oman's consul and deputy consul for Kuwait was fired upon with bullets last week. It was an attempt for robbery, when the assailant tried to open the car door and fired shots from a pistol. But no injuries were reported. Pakistani police confirmed an attempted robbery on a Qatari mission vehicle but gave conflicting accounts on whether any diplomats were directly targeted. However, another senior Pakistani police official said two armed men on a motorcycle held up a van carrying the consul. A police guard in the vehicle gave them some money and a cellphone. As the robbers sped away, one fired a bullet at the van, hitting it from behind, said the official. He said other diplomats were believed to be in the van, but he did not know who. Fayyaz Leghri, the top police official in Sindh province, said armed robbers went after an escort vehicle in the Qatari consul's convoy. But the consul himself was not directly targeted, said Leghri, who did not say if shots were fired or if any other diplomats were in other vehicles in the convoy.

Hindu killed over kite flying row in Pak Peshawar: A Hindu man was shot dead by his Christian neighbour following a row over kite flying in Peshawar, police said. Phool Aslam was allegedly killed by Salim Masih after they exchanged angry words in Kali Badi area of Peshawar cantonment. Masih and his son Sikandar were flying kites when an object lobbed by the boy to catch a kite fell into the house of Aslam. When Aslam complained, Masih exchanged harsh words with him, police said. Masih then allegedly fired at Aslam with his pistol. Aslam was hit by several bullets and succumbed to his injuries in the Cantonment General Hospital. Masih fled from the scene and police have launched a search operation to trace him, officials said.

Pak court says Davis has no diplomatic immunity

Islamabad: A Pakistan court recently ruled that CIA contractor Raymond Davis does not have diplomatic immunity. Davis, who is facing murder charges for killing two Pakistani men in Lahore last month, is currently kept in a high-security detention centre. He said he acted in self-defence and the United States says he has diplomatic immunity and should be repatriated. The case has inflamed anti-American sentiment in Pakistan and is straining relations between the allies. There have been conflicting accounts about the identity of the two victims with Davis and a police report indicating they were armed robbers while Pakistani media and some officials have portrayed them as innocent victims.

Another US request rejected Meanwhile, Pakistani authorities have turned down a US request to shift Davis from Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail to the Governor House for his safety, according to a media report published on Monday. "After examining the different aspects of the US demand, Punjab government refused it and termed it unworkable," an unnamed official told The Express Tribune newspaper. The US had reportedly proposed that Davis be shifted to the Governor House, two rooms of which could be declared a sub-jail. The US also proposed that Davis' trial should be conducted in the Governor House. The demand was made to ensure safety and wellbeing of Davis as the American media has expressed concerns that his detention in jail posed a risk to his life. The Punjab government assured the US that the "best possible security arrangements" have been made for Davis.


world

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

In focus Singapore appoints Sikh as Army chief

Singapore: Singapore has appointed Brigadier General Ravinder Singh as its next army chief, the first Sikh in nearly 30 years to be given the force's baton. Singh, 41, takes over from Major-General Chan Chun Sing on March 25, a news paper reported. A Singaporean of Indian origin, Singh is currently Deputy Secretary (Technology) at the Defence Ministry. He joined the Singapore Armed Forces in December 1982. Singh also served as assistant chief of General Staff (plans), head of Joint Communications and Information Systems Department and Chief of Staff - Joint Staff. He is also the first non-Chinese Chief of Army in nearly 30 years.

No burqa in France from April

Paris: France will start enforcing a ban next month on full Islamic face veils, officials said, meaning any veiled woman can be summoned to a police station and asked to remove her face-covering or pay a fine. Officials say the law is mainly symbolic and police will not call in every veiled woman they see to avoid stigmatising Muslims. But a Paris imam said forcing veiled women to present themselves at a police station would be just as uncomfortable. When France passed the ban on full face veils last year, Muslim leaders voiced concern that it could lead to veiled Muslim women being unfairly treated by police or singled out for harassment. The ban forbids wearing any garment concealing the face in a public space, namely the street, public transport, shops, schools, courtrooms, hospitals and government buildings. From April 11, police are instructed to summon veil-wearers to a station, where they will be asked to remove the garment for "identification" and leave it off.

US Army turns to yoga

Washington: US Army, the world's most hi-tech force is to introduce yoga to boost "combat readiness" of its troops to prepare them for tough operations globally. Yoga is being made part of forces new fitness regimen already brought into force from March 1 in a drastic overhaul of the combat readiness being carried out for the first time in 30 years, Christian Science Monitor quoting Pentagon sources reported. This is not the first time that the US Army has turned to yoga since the outbreak of the Gulf war and battle in Afghanistan, the army has been using the ancient Indian meditation art to treat cases of "Post-traumatic Stress Disorders" (PTSD) reported from these battles. Experts said soldiers who took to yoga had reported remarkable results in suppressing PTSD and mental tensions reported in large number of cases at military bases like Fort Jackson, the official US military website has reported.

Six women shot dead in Ivory Coast

Abidjan (Ivory Coast): Security forces loyal to Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo shot dead at least six women at a demonstration last week in support of his rival for the presidency, witnesses said. They started shooting as several hundred women gathered in the Abobo neighbourhood of Abidjan, a stronghold of Alassane Ouattara, and shouted "Gbagbo, get out!" and "Alassane for president", a resident said. When the defence and security forces, the army backing Gbagbo, arrived with an armoured vehicle, "they opened fire," another resident said. "Six women were killed on the spot," he said. Other witnesses said the toll was higher and there were many wounded, some by gunfire and others in a stampede that followed the shooting. Violent clashes have erupted in the west African country since a disputed election on November 28 which Ouattara is internationally recognised to have won. Gbagbo, who has been in power since 2000, has refused to stand down.

Warrant issued against US Hindu guru

Washington: A US court has issued an arrest warrant against an elderly Hindu religious leader, convicted of molesting two young girls, after he failed to appear before it on the day of his sentencing. In a statement, Hays County Sheriff's office said it was on the lookout for Prakashanand Saraswati, known to his devotees as Shree Swamiji and is head of the 200-acre Hindu ashram in Texas, after the arrest warrant was issued against him. Last week, the Texas court convicted in all of the 20 counts following charges by two women Shyama Rose, 30, and Vesla Tonnessen Kazimer, 27, alleging that Prakashanand tried to exploit them on numerous occasions over the course of several years, beginning when they were as young as 12. The two lived in the campus of the ashram along with their other family members. After Prakashanand failed to appear before the court for more than an hour after the scheduled appointment yesterday, District Judge Charles Ramsay not only issued an arrest warrant against him, but also revoked his USD 1 million bond.

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obama warns Gaddafi with military action Washington: US president Barack Obama has threatened Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi with military action. He delivered a new warning and said that it was the loyalists around Gaddafi that would be "held accountable" for violence raging amid a rebel uprising. "I want to send a very clear message to those who are around Colonel Gaddafi. It is their choice as to how to operate moving forward. They will be held accountable for whatever violence will continue to take place there," he said. He also noted that Nato was meeting in

Muammar Gaddafi

Brussels to discuss a range of responses to the violence in Libya, including military options and said he had endorsed another

$15 million US donation to humanitarian efforts. "In the meantime, we have got Nato, as we speak, consulting in Brussels around a wide range of potential options including potential military options in response to the violence that is continuing to take place in Libya," he added. The military options being considered range from positioning a signaljamming aircraft in the international air space off Libya which could muddle Libyan government's communication with military units. "US administration officials said preparation

Now, a Dandi march in US against corruption in India Washington: Now, their will be Dandi March in US to fight against corruption taking place in India. It will be 240 mile walk inspired by historic Dandi march initiated by Mahatma Gandhi to fight for Freedom of India. It will start at Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Park, San Diego, California March 12, "Dandi March II" goes through Los Angeles and ends on March 26 at Gandhi Statue, San Francisco. The dates coincide with the dates Gandhi did his historic march in 1930. Every major city in USA, 10 major cities in India and 8 other countries globally join the movement by organizing supporting events on March 26, the NRI organisers said. Conceived to fight those who seek to plunder and enslave their own

Tibet closed to foreigners in March Beijing: Chinese travel agents organizing trips to Tibet said they have been ordered not to receive foreign visitors around the March 14 anniversary of a bloody anti-government riot in 2008. Beijing Youth Travel Service saleswoman Li Jianyue said the order was conveyed verbally, as is often the case with official directives that the government does not wish to defend or explain. “A few days ago, they told us not to organize the foreign groups this month,'' Li said. Liu Qiang, a sales manager at Kangqu International Travel Agent in Tibet's capital, Lhasa, said his company was notified of the measure in January. Hotel receptionists reached by phone in Lhasa also said foreigners were barred from the beginning of the month. The receptionists and the travel agents said the impact would be minimal.

country are to push the government to enact Jan Lokpal bill and ratify UNCAC which are designed to free India from the clutches of corruption, and to bring back the hidden money from foreign banks, they said. "The recent scams involving unimaginably big amounts of money, such as the 2G scam, are well known. It is estimated that more than trillion dollars are stashed away in foreign havens, while 80 per cent

of Indians earn less than 2$ per day and every second child is malnourished," the organisers added. This effort now has support from the stalwarts in anti-corruption movement and other progressive groups in India such as Lok Satta Party, India Against Corruption, The 5th Pillar (Chennai), Youth For Better India ( Hyderabad) Saaku ( Bangalore) and Save India From Corruption, the organisers said.

for such an operations were underway," the New York Times said. The other options, it said, before the US were air dropping of weapons including anti-tank arms and supplies to Libya's oppositions or inserting small special operations team to assist and guide the rebels, as was done in Afghanistan in 2001 to topple the Taliban. Such teams of commandos are specially trained to turn rag-tag rebel groups overnight into more effective fighting formations, with the modest infusion of know how and leadership.

Saudi Arabia will not allow protests: Kingdom Dubai: As mass uprisings erupt in its neighbourhood, Saudi Arabia announced that it will not allow any demonstrations in the kingdom and ordered its security forces to clamp down on any dissent. The kingdom banned all demonstrations saying they contradicted Islamic laws and society values, according to a statement issued by the Interior Ministry. The new clampdown came a day after about 100 members of the Shia minority staged a protest in the western region of the kingdom. "Security forces are authorised to act against anyone violating the ban," the statement said. The restrictions come as a group of influential intellectuals urged King Abdullah to adopt far-reaching political and social reforms. They said the country's rulers should take a lesson from the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

Nepal's Gandhian warrior passes away Kathmandu: One of Nepal's most-loved political icons who was inspired by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi but later took up arms to lead a guerrilla army against Nepal's dictator prime ministers in 1950 passed away at the age of 87. Krishna Prasad Battarai, called Kishunji by Nepal with love and reverence, died of multiple heart failure at the Norvic Hospital in Thapathali and was mourned by thousands of people. It was a tribute to his integrity and popularity that mourners flocked to his home in Badegaon, where his body had been kept for people to pay their last respects, even though he had left Nepali Congress, the party he had founded with other leaders, four years ago and exercised no more political power. His own party leaders, the Maoists and even deposed king Gyanendra Shah expressed grief at his

Krishna Prasad Battarai

passing away, acknowledging that Nepal had lost a saint. Born to an exiled family in Brahmaghat in Banaras, Kishunji joined the Quit India movement in 1942 with his elder brother Gopal Prasad. While Gopal Prasad was jailed for nearly three years, the younger Kishunji was kept in police detention in Banaras. Undeterred by the surveillance, he became an active student leader in Banaras Hindu

University and when riots broke out in India during the freedom movement, he was among the volunteers seeking to restore peace. Inspired by the Indian independence movement, the Nepali Congress planned an armed uprising against the autocratic Rana regime in Nepal and in a movement foreshadowing the Maoist movement that started from 1996, began an armed uprising. According to veteran Nepali Congress member Purushottam Basnet, in 1950, Kishunji lead the "People's Freedom Army" in Janakpur and Udaypur in southern Nepal, capturing the administrative offices and declaring a "people's government" that held on till the Ranas were overthrown. The end of the Ranas however saw the Shah kings swoop down on democracy and KIshunji was jailed for almost 14 years.


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INDIA

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

After 33 years, Aussie gets Rs 18 mn for injury in hotel pool An Australian swimmer, who became paralysed nearly 33 years ago after slipping in a swimming pool of an ITDC hotel in New Delhi, was awarded Rs 18.2 million compensation by the Delhi High Court which held the hotel management "negligent" and responsible for poor upkeep of the pool. "It is clear that it was on account of the defendant's (Indian Tourism Development Corporation Ltd) negligence that the floor of the swimming pool was slippery on account of

which the injury was sustained by the plaintiff (Susan Leigh Beer)," a bench headed by Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed said. The bench considered the fact that Susan, who was 17 when the incident had taken place, suffered from Quadriplegic, paralysis of all four limbs -both arms and both legs-after receiving head and spinal chord injuries during the jump in the swimming pool of Akbar hotel here on the evening of May 5, 1978. Susan, who was a

member of Queensland women's polo team and is now wheel chair-bound, had come to India on a holiday along with her parents and brother. Considering the plea that she became disabled and suffered mental trauma after the incident, the court said "thus, Susan is entitled to a decree in the sum of Rs 1.82 crore along with simple interest thereon at the rate of 6 per cent per annum with effect from January 22, 1982, till the date of the decree...."

Supreme Court for terror charges against Hasan Ali Khan The Supreme Court mulled invoking terror and other stringent penal charges against Pune stud owner Hasan Ali Khan, accused of massive money laundering and tax evasion, for his alleged links with arm dealers and people linked to terror activities. A Bench of Justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar also asked the Union government to examine if the case registered against him for possessing fake passports could be probed by the CBI. The Bench contemplated invoking terror charges under anti-terror law – Unlawful Activities Prevention Act – and other stringent provisions of the Indian Penal Code owing to Khan's alleged

Now, a telescopic darshan of Pakistan gurdwara Even as India and Pakistan deliberate on a ‘corridor’ for Sikh pilgrims to pay obeisance at Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, situated three km away from the international border, Sikh bodies plan to install telescopes on the Indian side for a darshan of the shrine. Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), with help from Baba Sewa Singh of Khadur Sahib, will take up the project. DSGMC chief Paramjit Singh Sarna claimed the necessary permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for installing such a facility at the sensitive border had been taken. Dera Baba Nanak is situated 3 km away from the border, inside Pakistan. Separated from India after partition, the gurdwara, where Guru Nanak spent his last days, attracts hundreds of pilgrims daily to the border from where the shrine is visible on a clear day. “But we want the devotees to have a better darshan of the shrine with the help of telescopes.

Hasan Ali Khan

links with various arms dealers and those involved with terror-related activities, threatening the country's security. The Bench expressed displeasure that the probe against Khan in the fake passport case had not proceeded in the right direction with right speed as nothing is moving despite

the magnitude of the issue. The court made the observations and issued directions while hearing a public interest litigation filed by eminent jurist Ram Jethmalani, seeking repatriation of a huge corpus of black money stashed in banks abroad by unscrupulous Indian citizens. Khan was arrested last night by the Enforcement Directorate which carried out searches at his Pune home and that of his associates' premises in several cities, cracking the whip to meet today's Supreme Court deadline. 53-year-old Ali, who was detained in Pune, was brought to Mumbai later and was grilled by the ED for nearly six hours before being put under arrest.

Survey shows 54% Biharis use tobacco

"As much as 54% people of Bihar use tobacco, according to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) India-2010. The most common form of tobacco used is smokeless, which is consumed by nearly 49% of adults in Bihar," said Abhinav Bossi, outreach officer, HRIDAY, a Delhi-based NGO, during a districtlevel capacity building workshop on tobacco control. The workshop was organized under the aegis of District Health Society, Patna under the supervision of State Health Society Bihar, SEEDS

Bihar, and with technical support from HRIDAY. Bihar government is implementing the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) on pilot basis in the two districts of Patna and Munger. Besides, SEEDS Bihar and HRIDAY are also implementing a tobacco control project in five districts of Bihar. The workshop was part of the tobacco control programme. Deepak Mishra, executive director, SEEDS Bihar, highlighted the need and importance of tobacco cessation facilities because more than one million people die due to tobacco-related diseases in India. Dr. Mahavir Das, exdirector in chief, health services, government of Bihar, informed the participants about various cessation facilities available in Bihar and in the country. Representatives of various government departments and NGOs were present at the workshop.

In divine light By Rajen Vakil

Burning of the Khandava Forest Part 7 : Story of Sarang Birds There was a famous rishi whose name was Mandapala. He was very learned and also practised many austerities; he was able to control his passions very well. In his drive for sadhna, he did not get married and was not versed in the experiences of a household life. One day during his tapas, he left his body and went into the netherworld or the ‘pitruloka’. There he saw that he had not obtained the fruits of all his austerities. So, he went to Dharmaraja, the god of death. Dharmaraja was sitting with many other gods. Mandapala asked “Why am I not getting my due rewards? Did I commit some form of ingression in the human form?” The gods answered him that man has to fulfil three obligations – worship without doubt, celibacy, and giving birth to children. Dharmaraja cited that Mandapala could not reap the benefits of his tapas because he had not fulfilled one of the three obligations. Mandapala had fulfilled the obligation of celibacy and worship but since he did not marry or have any children, the third obligation remained unfulfilled. The word Mandapala means slow – something which comes as an obstacle to higher experiences. It means the creative energy is dull and is not enough to be transformed; hence meaning one whose sex energy is dull. Sadhna is the transformation of sex energy but even after observing celibacy, the rishi was called Mandapala. By practice, the attention which has the habit of going out is trained to move in. At the same time the sex energy rises from down to up – both these processes should be simultaneous. Here the rishi was devoid of the basic energy which is symbolised by his not getting married and having children. Thus, because there was not enough energy to rise he did not get the higher experiences of meditation. As a result, Mandapala decided to get married and have children. As he had not purified his lower psychic nature he thought of a cunning way to expedite the process. He decided to take birth as a Sarang crane so that he could grow up, get married, and have children very fast. He courted a female

crane called ‘Jarita’ and in a short span of time, she gave birth to four young cranes. Even before the eggs had hatched into young chicks, Mandapala fell in love with another female crane and let his wife Jarita. Hence, Jarita had to hatch the eggs and then rear the chicks by herself. Mandapala married Jarita which represents the aging process. So, dull energy became a victim to the process of aging. Unmanifest desires that were lying in the unconscious mind, now after his marriage, started appearing and lust came into his life. His falling for another woman while being married represents this lust. Her name was ‘Lapita’ – one who sticks like glue, a person who keeps on talking. So the rishi who had worked so hard to calm the mind, once again fell a victim to its incessant chatter. After Mandapala left her for Lapita, Jarita started worrying of how she would look after the children alone. She worked hard so she could feed her four hungry sons. In the meantime, Lapita and Mandapala were roaming in the forest where he saw that Agni was about to start the burning of the forest and he started worrying about his little chicks. This brought him to his senses and he started worshipping Agni. He said “O Agni you are the source of energy, the fire that lights the sacrifice. You are the life of all living beings, then you feed and purify with your fire. You live and work mysteriously in everyone’s heart. The great rishis call you as Trividha or the one whose pierce is threefold. That is, by igniting the fire of yoga within one’s self the yogi can free himself of the three knots or granthis that bind him to the physical, astral, and mental worlds. The rishis worship your fire as all creative process of the universe depends upon it. The seen universe will destroy itself if you withdraw feeding it with your flames. You are the electricity that fills the clouds in the sky and provides the light that dispels darkness. O great wave of purity, I bow down to you that you may grant my

children, my wife, and me with your grace so that we may rise above the troubles of the world.” Agni was pleased with Mandapala’s words of worship and he appeared before him and asked him how he could grace him. Mandapala folded his hands and prayed to him that when he burns the Khandava forest, he should spare his four innocent children. Agni promised him not to harm them and then continued burning the forest. Here we see how transformation and purification can come through the fire of love and repentance. The thought of his innocent children brought out the father in Mandapala. He prayed to Agni and in that he was transformed. The young chicks were unaware of Agni’s promise to their father and as the flames were burning the forest they started fearing for their lives. Their mother Jarita started crying and said “The fire which gives light to the universe and has always been worshipped by our ancestors, is today for me a source of pain and suffering. Every moment it is burning trees and coming closer to my little children whose feet and wings have not yet formed and so cannot escape it. I cannot do anything to save them and this is burning me more than the fire whose flames are destroying everything. Maybe I can carry one away, but which one out of the four. What justice is there in my flying away when these innocent children of mine will surely die in these flames? Even with deep meditation, I can see no road that can let us escape this predicament. Let me cover you with my wings and when the fire comes I too will be burnt along with you.” In life, moments come when conditions are so adverse that we see no hope of escape. It is exactly in such situations that our unconscious mind opens up and can lead to a rise in consciousness and a deep transformation. We will continue the story next time. The author can be reached by emailing 3srb@live.com (Edited by Chintu Gandhi)

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


INDIA

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

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Air India fails to take off COO Gustav Baldauf’s resignation adds to the airline’s woes

In mid-2009, Indian aviation authorities appealed to Ratan Tata, the industrialist, to join a high-level advisory board to oversee the rehabilitation of Air India, the ailing stateowned carrier. Mr Tata declined the offer, privately telling colleagues that the airline’s problems were extreme. A year-and-a-half on, Air India’s woes are as intractable as ever. Although the carrier is burdened with $3bn in accumulated losses, the management is battling trade unions over cost-cutting. Then, Gustav Baldauf, a former Air Austria executive, was appointed last year as chief operating officer (COO) to oversee an attempted turnround. But in eight month’s time a frustrated Gustav resigned from the job citing interference from government officials in the day to day working of the airline. He accused officials of unnecessary and unwelcome meddling in the airline’s affairs. “When you call someone from outside, let him work”, he told a newspaper. “The Government should control but let him

work.” This has infuriated the officials and they asked Mr Gustav to explain why he had spoken to the media. When Asian Voice sent an e mail to Mr Arvind Yadav, CMD of the airline, on 4th March 2011 for his reaction to the resignation of Mr Gustav as well as about resuming the Ahmedabad-London direct flight, he has not respond to the mail till March 8 Air India has accumulated losses of 130 billion and debt of 500 billion. At a meeting with the Prime Minister's Office in November last year, the airline's independent directors had said that the carrier needed one large injection of funds instead of small doses of equity infusion which may not be effective in helping the airline improve its financial condition. Earlier in the month, the finance ministry had asked for the airline's turnaround plan when Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi had requested for infusion of more funds into the national carrier. Mr Baldauf, who was being paid a salary of $664,000 had been

Poll officials bans free TV distribution in Tamil Nadu A day after the announcement of the poll schedule, the Tamil Nadu election department cracked the whip on district administrations to regulate implementation of various welfare measures. Enforcing the model code of conduct, poll officials ordered district authorities to stop distribution of free colour television sets, a popular scheme of the DMK government, and warned them of strict disciplinary action if they were found violating the rule. A few political parties in the state have also formed watch teams to spy on their rivals and ensure they don't violate the poll code. Chief electoral officer (CEO) Praveen Kumar said the district collectors and the heads of departments have been asked to stop forthwith distribution of free colour TVs till the election process is over. The free distribution of televisions was among popular freebies that helped DMK win the 2006 assembly elections. The EC's sudden announcement of polls has clearly put a spoke in the DMK's plans. Government sources said so far 16 million TV sets had been procured in five phases in a transparent manner and 15 million of these sets distributed to

the poor. The government had covered a major section of the population under the scheme and it recently ordered procurement of an additional 10 lakh television sets for distribution. "Even tokens have been distributed to some of the beneficiaries to receive the sets," sources added. The election commission (EC) has also stalled the inclusion of new beneficiaries into other welfare schemes for insurance and housing. However, Praveen Kumar pointed out that those who have already availed of the free health insurance card from the government cannot be stopped from undergoing treatment. "But, the government cannot include new beneficiaries into this scheme," he said. A total of 2,73,557 people have so far benefited from the ''Kalaignar Free Health Insurance Scheme'', implemented by the government, which provides a cover of Rs one lakh. On the free housing scheme, the CEO said if the government had already started constructing houses, it could complete them. "But the government cannot construct new ones under the scheme any more," he said.

charged with stemming the losses at Air India. Since his appointment, the country’s oldest and largest airline had slipped from third to fourth place in the domestic aviation market, trailing behind privately owned rivals such as Kingfisher and Jet, where Mr Baldauf had worked previously as head of operations. During Mr Baldauf’s tenure Air India’s performance has improved slightly with the rebound in air traffic. From April to November, its capacity utilisation rose to 66 per cent, up from 63 per cent the previous year. The carrier announced a $10.8m operating profit in December, after a $4.4m operating profit in

November, reflecting the seasonal travel peak. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has recently been understood to have questioned government's reasoning to order 111 planes for Air India for almost Rs 50,000 crore in 2006 and also why the MRO facility, which is part of the offset clause, is yet to come up. In an interim report, the CAG is learnt to have questioned the need for procurement of such a large number of aircraft and wanted to know the reasons for delay in setting up of a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in India as part of the offset clause in the deal. European aircraft manufacturer Airbus was

to set up the MRO as part of the offset obligation for the erstwhile Indian Airline's Rs 9,890-crore 43-aircraft acquisition proposal. While all the 43 Airbus aircraft ordered by the erstwhile Indian Airlines have been delivered, 40 of the 68 Boeing planes have been inducted in the fleet. The list price of each of the Airbus A-320 family of aircraft and 68 Boeing planes range between US$ 37.34 million and US$ 143 million. The CAG is believed to have asked the airline and the government whether they could justify the massive order through a detailed business plan and give the reasons behind Air India's dwindling market share, which has brought down its position to fourth, lower than the no-frill carrier IndiGo, Jet Airways and Kingfisher. The government and the national carrier have already sent their response to the CAG. Being a stateowned enterprise, the finances of Air India are audited by the CAG. In response, the civil aviation ministry is understood to have said that ageing fleet was the prime reason for

Immediate crackdown on illegal use of student visa Invoking the Tri-Valley University episode in California in which hundreds of Indians were caught up in a visa scam, four American Senators have called on U.S authorities to launch an "immediate crackdown" on illegal use of student visas by foreign nationals to attend sham universities. While many in India believe the students were victims, the U.S lawmakers said in a letter to immigration authorities that universities which exist solely to allow any foreign national with sufficient resources -including potential criminals and terrorists -- to unlawfully enter the United States could endanger American national security. "These so-called schools not only defraud students and violate immigration laws, but they pose a real threat to our country," says Senator from California. "Sham universities are not real institutions of higher learning, but rather, operate solely for the purpose of manipulating immigration law to admit foreign nationals into the country," the Senators wrote, adding, "When the student visa program can easily be

manipulated by bad actors, it threatens the viability of the entire program for the large majority of bona fide participants." They pointed out that "fraud in the student visa program is especially troubling given that several of the 9/11 terrorists entered the country using the student visa program." The Senators said recent examples of such fraudulence include TriValley University in Pleasanton, California where over 1,500 students from foreign countries (mainly India) obtained student visas to enroll in an unaccredited school that did not meet standards required under student visa laws. In 2008, ICE officials in Los Angeles, California busted two English-language schools for being fronts that provided student visas to Russian prostitutes and other ineligible foreigners, they added. The senators put forth what they called a "common-sense plan" to crack down on sham universities and the recurring problem of illegal student visas. Elements of this plan include: • Urging USCIS and ICE to formulate a list of high-risk factors for fraud

within 90 days and then conduct site-visits to every Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified institution that exhibits those high risk factors within the next year; • Urging greater information sharing between USCIS, ICE, and the U.S. Department of State regarding schools granting student visas; • Heightening the penalties for principals who operated sham universities to engage in student visa fraud. The proposals come even as the Indian government and the U.S administration are struggling to resolve the TriValley issue which resulted in some 1500 Indian nationals caught up in a visa limbo with some of them radio-tagged for violating terms of the visa. Strong intervention by the Indian foreign office resulted in a U.S assurance of a "fair and appropriate" treatment of those caught in the muddle. As of last week, the Indian Embassy in Washington said it had been informed by US authorities that more than 50% of the students were at various stages of processing for reinstatement.

placing a big order as competing airlines were taking away passengers through their new and young fleet. On the MRO issue, the Ministry is believed to have responded by saying that the work was in progress. The CAG is understood to have asked why the number of aircraft ordered by the airline was increased to 50 when the government was earlier planning to take 35 on firm orders and have the option of taking another 15 at a later date. It has also sought government's response on why a bridge loan was taken to finance the aircraft deal. The CAG report, which is to be tabled in Parliament soon, is also said to have raised questions on the rationale behind the merger process between Air India and Indian Airlines and talked about the poor financial performance of the merged company. Since its merger in 2007, Air India's decisions have come under scathing attack from two parliamentary panels ~ the committee on public undertakings and the standing committee on transport, tourism and culture.

Mamata not to contest Bengal assembly poll

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said she would not contest the assembly elections in West Bengal and campaign for her party. In case her party wins, she would get elected to the assembly within six months, the railway minister said. "It is not mandatory to contest the elections. I will campaign for my party," Banerjee told reporters at her Kalighat residence before leaving for Delhi. Asked what she would do if her party is elected to power and forms the next government, Banerjee said in that case she could get elected to the assembly within six months for which there is a constitutional provision. "Now if I devote myself to campaigning, I can concentrate more on my work. I will continue as railway minister and fulfil my commitment," she said. Banerjee had said yesterday that the list of her party candidates for the assembly elections was ready.


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INDIA

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

Mercy killing now has legal sanction in India The Supreme Court on Monday broke new ground with a judgment allowing passive euthanasia involving withdrawal of life-sustaining drugs and/or lifesupport systems for patients who are brain dead or in a permanent vegetative state (PVS),and of whom doctors have lost hope of reviving even with the most advanced medical aid. The court, however, clarified that active euthanasia,involving injecting a potent drug to advance the death of such patients, remained a crime under law. While laying down guidelines for passive euthanasia,a two-judge SC Bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra rejected the euthanasia plea for 63year-old Aruna Shanbaug who has been lying in PVS in Mumbais municipal-run KEM Hospital for the last 37 years after a brutal sexual assault in 1973 when she was 25. The government,represented by Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati,had opposed all forms of euthanasia, saying India was not emotionally ready for it.

The SC specified that only a high court Bench of at least two judges can give the final go-ahead for passive euthanasia after bona fide consent from the patients relatives and the opinion of an expert panel of reputed doctors comprising a neurologist,a psychiatrist and a physician.The HC would issue notice to concerned parties and give an expeditious judgment since delay could aggravate the mental agony of the relatives. The court devised this rather elaborate procedure while pointing out that it would have to hold good until Parliament enacts a law on this issue since it was wary of unscrupulous relatives,in collusion with hospital staff,engineering consent to grab the property of a terminally-ill patients,an apprehension expressed by Vahanvati. Agreeing with the 1993 decision of the UKs House of Lords (in a case involving a 17-year-old b o y , A n t h o n y Bland),Justice Katju,who authored the 110-page judgment for the Bench,said: While giving great weight to the wishes of the parents,spouses,or

other close relatives,or next friend of the patient and also giving due weight to the opinion of the attending doctors,we cannot leave it entirely to their discretion whether to discontinue the life support or not. We make it clear that it is experts like medical practitioners who can decide whether there is any reasonable possibility of a new medical discovery which would enable such a patient to revive in the near future,the court said.We agree that the approval of the high court should be taken in this connection.This is in the interest of the protection of the patient,protection of the doctors,relatives and next friend,and for reassurance of the patients family as well as the public. Justice Katju,a voracious reader,quoted a famous couplet of 18thcentury poet Mirza Ghalib: Marte hain aarzoo mein marne ki,Maut aati hai par nahin aati (One dies longing for death but death,despite being around,is elusive). Euthanasia is one of the most perplexing issues which the courts and legis-

latures all over the world are facing today.This court,in this case,is facing the same issue,and we feel like a ship in an uncharted sea,seeking some guidance by the light thrown by the legislations and judicial pronouncements of foreign countries,as well as the submissions of learned counsels before us, he said. A question of life and death The Case : Aruna Shanbaug,nurse at Mumbai's King Edward Memorial Hospital,was sexually assaulted and choked with a chain by a ward boy on Nov 27,1973 The assault left her unable to talk,move or eat on her own In 1999,author Pinki Virani filed case saying Aruna should be allowed to die with dignity.Govt opposed plea. Aruna will live because of hospital staffs love Aruna Shanbaug,bedridden in a permanent vegetative state for last 38 years after a brutal sexual assault in November 1973,will live as the Supreme Court on Monday rejected an euthanasia plea on her

behalf because the staff and nurses,taking excellent care,want her to live.It rejected a petition filed by writer Pinki Virani,who in 1999 had moved the SC seeking a peaceful end to a life struggling within Aruna's body.She had described herself as Arunas next friend and had even written a book on her 37 years of struggle. The Ruling: SC Bench rejects appeal for mercy killing of Aruna because of the KEM staffs love and affection for her But it allows passive euthanasiaor withdrawal of life-sustaining drugs and/or life-support systemsin case a person is being kept alive only mechanically,has been in that condition for some years,and there is no plausible possibility of recovery Active euthanasiainjecting a lethal drug to induce such a patients deathremains illegal Bench says only high courts can give nod for passive euthanasia, after consent from patients relatives coupled with report of court-appointed expert panel,comprising a neurologist,psychiatrist

Prem Chopra honoured Muslim Brotherhood seeks India help for polls in Egypt with Mother Teresa Award For decades in reel life he played an evil villain in the Bollywood, but in real life Prem Chopra was a gentleman and has been honoured with the Mother Teresa award for his outstanding humanitarian work. The 76-year-old who is still winning rave reviews for his film roles, said that he was humbled at being chosen for an award whose previous recipients include Rajeev Gandhi and the Dalai Lama. "I feel really happy and honoured. And this award is special as it has been instituted in the name of Mother Teresa, the saint who served the poorest of our country," Chopra said.

The actor who has done nearly 400 films over a career spanning five decades, was honoured at a function in Kolkata. "I don’t believe in charity for the sake of it and do not talk about the work that I do," said Chopra, whose distinct style and one-liners are recognised by film goers worldwide.

NEW DELHI: The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's Islamic party, has approached India to help conduct elections in the country when they are ready to go to polls. India may be willing to consider the request, sources said, The request was made to the Indian envoy in Egypt in the past weeks. The Brotherhood was banned in Egypt through the reign of deposed president Hosni Mubarak. Its Islamist history and its role in the creation of Islamist movements have raised fears that in the post-Mubarak power vacuum, the Brotherhood may seek to turn Egypt

into an Islamic power. India, with huge credibility in conducting the world's largest elections fairly, looks upon this as a unique way of recasting its relations with Egypt, which were negligible in the Mubarak years. India is also looking at requests like this as promoting brand India, but not piggybacking on any other power. The possibility of India helping out with Egypt elections was also raised by US secretray of state Hillary Clinton with foreign minister S M Krishna. To get a better view of the fast-changing political equations in the region, national security

advisor Shivshankar Menon will travel to Tehran in early March. He will also take in some of the Arab states in the Gulf. India is mulling a highlevel visit to Egypt as well, but there is no decision on that yet, said sources. Menon's visit to Iran comes after a visit to India by Seyed Shamsuddin Hosseini, special envoy to the Iranian president. Iran has once again invited PM for Navroz celebrations. But it's unlikely the PM will attend, said sources. Iran fancies itself as a regional power, particularly after the Arab crisis put Sunni regimes in turmoil.

are prepared "under the guidance of Minister of State incharge of the DoPT", the Prime Minister said, "The honest answer is that the note which was prepared by the DoPT ... did not contain this information about charge sheet." Chavan, who is now Maharashtra Chief Minister, was the MoS incharge of DoPT at the time of Thomas' selection by the committee headed by the Prime Minister and comprising the Home Minister and Leader of the Opposition. Explaining why he still gave his approval to Thomas' name, Singh said,

"since the gentleman was appointed Chief Secretary, Government of Kerala and that he was appointed as Secretary to two departments of the government of India, I thought vigilance matters must have been looked into and therefore we went ahead with the selection process." Singh, who made such a statement on the CVC fiasco in the Lok Sabha yesterday, reiterated that the selection was an "error of judgement" and he took full responsibility for it. Left members were not satisfied with the reply and staged a walkout

Continued from Page 1

unreasonable by escalating the demand for seats from 50 to 53 to 57 and then to 60. And after agreeing to settle for 60, the party later raised the demand to 63, he had complained. But it was not not clear whether there has been any agreement between the two parties on conceding to Congress demand for its choice of constituencies and power sharing after the elections. It was also not not disclosed whether Congress would get the extra three seats from DMK or from the quota of other allies like Muslim League and PMK.

Manmohan accepts responsibility DMK finally blinks, for appointing CVC agrees to Cong demand

Continued from Page 1 Responding to clarifications sought by Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley and Left members after his suo motu statement, Singh said, "Until I went to the meeting of the committee, I was not aware there was any such case of Palmolein and that would involve corruption." He said he became "aware of this case only when the honourable Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha (Sushma Swaraj) raised the issue in the meeting itself." Pointing out that the notes for such committees

From the meeting a beaming Maran, accompanied by another Union Minister M K Alagiri, and Congress leaders drove to Gandhi's residence to thank her for the deal on behalf of DMK's leadership. In an act of brinkmanship, DMK announced the pull out of its six ministers from the Union Council of Ministers and offered issued-based support accusing Congress of making attempts to push it out of the coalition. On Friday night, Karunanidhi had accused the Congress of being

and physician Procedure laid down by court to hold good till Parliament enacts a law on the issue Court also asks Parliament to delete Section 309 of IPC,which makes attempt to suicide a criminal act.Says,A person attempts suicide in depression,and hence needs help,rather than punishment Previously it was told that mercy killing should be allowed, but only in rare cases when there is no hope of recovery,and subject to strict safeguards.The SC decision ensures both,and deserves to be commended as a brave initiative on a sensitive issue that has been taboo for far too long.Now,as suggested by the court,the government must speedily change the law to allow passive euthanasia Decriminalise attempt to suicide: SC The Supreme Court observed that time has come to decriminalise attempt to suicide by erasing the punishment provided in Indian Penal Code and recommended to Parliament to examine it.

Now, a telescopic darshan of gurdwara in Pakistan Even as India and Pakistan deliberate on a ‘corridor’ for Sikh pilgrims to pay obeisance at Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, situated three km away from the international border, Sikh bodies plan to install telescopes on the Indian side for a darshan of the shrine. Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), with help from Baba Sewa Singh of Khadur Sahib, will take up the project. DSGMC chief Paramjit Singh Sarna claimed the necessary permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for installing such a facility at the sensitive border had been taken. Dera Baba Nanak is situated 3 km away from the border, inside Pakistan. Separated from India after partition, the gurdwara, where Guru Nanak spent his last days, attracts hundreds of pilgrims daily to the border from where the shrine is visible on a clear day. “But we want the devotees to have a better darshan of the shrine with the help of telescopes. While one telescope will be placed soon, more will be installed later,” said Sarna.


Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

fashiOn & history

27

history Matters By Dr Anil Mehta

Orissa’s famous ‘bandhas’ sarees

Orissa sarees can be broadly classified into four groups - 'ikat saree', 'orisa bomkai saree', 'Bandha', 'pasapalli '. They have a close relation with the Jagannath culture. Originally, the four basic colours which are found on Jagannath - black, white, red and yellow - is extensively used in oriya sarees. Even the motifs such as the temple border, lotus, conch and wheel signify the affinity with the reigning deity. The orissa sarees have undergone vast changes as weavers try to adapt the designs to popular taste. Orissa has a rich tradition in handlooms and it’s products, especially "Ikat" or tie and dye fabrics, known as "bandhas" in Orissa are recognized all over the country and abroad for their highly artistic designs, colour combinations and durability. The art of weaving in the state is highly evolved and its fabrics bear testimony to the unique and artistic ability and tradition of the weavers of this state. Traditionally the women of Orissa dress in sarees of blue, red and magenta and other deep colours, with ikat (known as bandha in Orissa) patterning. These beautiful and eye catching sariee are made within the state, mainly at Nuapatna, near Cuttack on the coastal plain, or in the weaving centers in and around Sambalpur, Bargarh and Sonepur and Boudh districts. Of late, however, there has been a diversification in designs and products and new centres of production have gained popularity and the acceptance of the consumer. Notable amongst these are "Bomkai" and "Habaspuri" sarees and also cotton sarees produced in Berhampur and Jagatsingpur districts. The charm of silk and cotton handloom fabrics and sarees of Orissa is well known. Sambalpur and Cuttack sarees are unique. Fabrics for dresses, furnishings, bedspreads and table-cloth are also available. Orissan paintings are also done on tussar silk. The Sambhalpur, Bomkai, Katki and tussar saris and yardage are eye-catching. The ikat sarees have typical motifs and borders in striking combinations.' Exquisite sarees, painstakingly woven on looms, in earthy shades of cream, maroon, brown, rust and white reflect the rich cultural heritage of Orissa. The intricate motifs that unfold through a complex process of tie-anddye give a distinct character to the Orissa sarees that have shot into the limelight following the resurgence of traditional handlooms. Orissa sarees have a close relation with the Jagannath cult.

The Orissa bomkai saree have undergone vast changes as weavers try to adapt the designs to popular taste. Vegetable dyes have been replaced by chemical dyes, though the former is still available, but the prices are significantly higher. New shades and patterns have also been added. Although handloom sarees are woven in different parts of the State, somehow the adage "Cuttacki sarees" has remained with people outside Orissa, especially in West Bengal. Orissa handloom saris can be broadly classified into four groups. ‘Bandha’ or tie-and-dye from Sambalpur is one of the finest examples of double ikat; ‘Khandua pata’ from Nuapatna in Cuttack district is relatively cheaper than Sambalpuri because the yarn used is the cheaper Malda variety; ‘Bomkai’ is a recent adaptation from tribal sarees and is named after a tribal village in southern Orissa and has an embroiderylike work on the border and pallav; Berhampuri silks which are usually heavy with narrow borders are slightly plain, without the intricate designs generally found in Sambalpuri sarees. The bandha or tie-and-dye technique used in Orissa is much different from that of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Here, the yarn is first tied in portions, and each section is dyed in a different colour according to the design. When woven, the designs emerge, and the special feature is that the design is prominent on both sides of the fabric. This is a very complicated process and it is rather amazing to find that the traditional weavers do not use any graphic designs on paper. The common motifs are borrowed from nature. Flowers, creepers, birds, animals are abundantly woven in myriad colours, all lending a distinct feature to the nine yards of woven wonder. The "pasapalli" saree with its distinctive black-andwhite squares is a replica of the chessboard. Equally fascinating are the names—Vichitrapuri, Chandrika, Nabagunja, Asman Tara and Krishnapriya. The earlier yarns of coarse cotton have been replaced with fine cotton, silks, tussar and a cotton-silk mix called ‘bapta’. Gold thread and tissues are also used to enhance the patterns.

Queen Victoria: the age of the empire Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland (1837-1901) and Empress of India (1876-1901) was the daughter of the Duke of Kent, the 4th son of King George III. Born at Kensington Palace, London (1819), she succeeded her uncle William IV in 1837 at the age of 18 and reigned over the biggest empire in the world for 64 years, the longest in British history. Her reign coincided with the heyday of British power and prosperity. During Victoria’s reign, the role of monarchy was established as symbolic. Initially she was guided by Lord Melbourne, the first of many able PMs who served under her, who taught the young queen the rights and duties of a constitutional monarch; lessons she was never to forget. She also received support and advice from her beloved husband and cousin Prince Albert, a German prince, whom she married in 1841. In the beginning Albert was unpopular as a foreigner and often a source of suspicion, but he was highly accomplished, publicly active, and a man of highest integrity and ability, who in the end won the hearts of the British public. Under five feet tall but with royal dignity, Victoria immediately showed her determination to rule. Her views on political matters were forthright and shrewd. She was not content to be a mere figurehead and sometimes interfered in the working of government rather more firmly than the constitution allowed. Among PMs, she maintained excellent terms with Disraeli, but was not comfortable with Gladstone of whom she said ‘He addresses me as if I were a public meeting’. Victoria and Albert were happily married with nine children many of whom married into the European monarchies. They enjoyed their private lives particularly at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight and Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Albert’s premature death in 1861 at the age of 42 devastated the queen and her withdrawal from public life for 10 years met much criticisms. However, with some pursuing from family, friends, and PM Disraeli, she gradually returned to public view (but always clad in black) and won back the affection of her people. She was made Empress of India in 1876 and her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were marked by grand celebrations throughout the empire. In spite of the tensions caused by rapid social and economical changes, for most part of the Victorian reign, Britain was feeling quite pleased with itself. It was an era of astonishing progress and prosperity. The Industrial Revolution which had begun in the 18th century continued unabated in the

Queen Victoria

Victorian era. Britain’s fleet dominated the seas and factories the world trade. Victoria reigned over an empire containing 25% of the world population and 30% of its land making her the most powerful woman in the world. The intellectual, scientific, and engineering achievements of the Victorian era were immense as witnessed by the presence of men like Dickens (writer), Darwin (scientist), and Brunel (engineer) and by the Great Exhibition of 1851 (brainchild of Prince Albert) celebrating Britain’s industry, technology, and the expanding empire. Victoria’s reign also saw many social reform acts passed by the government. Victoria’s great assets as the monarch were conscientious discharge of duties, integrity, hard-working capacity, devotion to family and friends, and her compassion for the poor. She worked to the last months of her life and having witnessed a huge empire, died in 1901 at Osborne House (Isle of Wight) aged 81. Her long life gave the British political system an all important stability (10 PMs served under her). On her death the nation went into deep sadness at a loss of a much-loved monarch. It was an end of a splendid era, seen as Britain’s golden age, a period of prosperity not seen since the days of the last great Queen Elizabeth I. Victoria was given an impressive funeral with pomp and ceremony. She was succeeded by the Prince of Wales, Edward VII. A grand Victoria Memorial (pictured) is erected in front of Buckingham Palace in London.


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WOMEN & COMMUNITY

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

Naree Shakti celebrates International Women’s day

“I d ecided it is bett er t o scream. Silen ce is t he re al crime ag ainst hu man it y”

Nadezhda Mandelstam, Russian writer aree Shakti ( Women’s Strength), which is N espousing the cause of women has celebrated the international women’s day on March 8, which happens to be the 100th year of its celebration world wide. For Vijey Rattan, the chair of Naree Shakti for the last six years, women continued to be the heart of her programmes in Enfield. She states ‘we all have multiple identities - I am Asian, I am an Indian, I am a mother, I was born into a certain religion, But most of all I am a Woman.’ IWD can be traced to March 8th 1857, when a group of women revolted against their inhuman working conditions. Fifty two years later on the 8th March 1909, thousands of people marched to commemorate the 1857 demonstration. Women working in textile factories rose up and demand an end to sweat shops,.child labour and women's right to vote. Their courageous efforts eventually led to shorter working hours, better pay and the right to unionise. It is ironic now that in the year 2011 women: • Now work longer hour both in the home and at work. • Have pay levels still below the pay levels for men. •With the right to unionise being almost redundant due the great loss of Union power especially in the UK. IWD and the United Nations: Although IWD had been observed for almost 90 years, it was only since 1975, at which time the United Nation (UN) put IWD on its calendar, that the observances of the day began to spread and grow. The UN suggested that its member states choose a day to " recognise the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of fundamental freedoms. And to strength-

en international peace. Most Nations chose March 8th. Although in many parts of the world IWD is celebrated on 8th march, in some countries, women marked other dates as their day. & BRITAIN IWD...Britain did not celebrate IWD until 1926, the year of the general strike. Here IWD has always had strong ties to trade unions. March 8th was the date for expressing opposition to fascism in Europe until the outbreak of the Second World War. From 1945, IWD for some time was not celebrated in Britain. In 1971, 5,000 women hold a demonstration in London demanding equal pay, equal opportunity, free 24- hour childcare, free contraception and abortion on demand. Since this major event, the celebration of IWD in Britain has continued to grow. The day is now celebrated by women around Britain and in the rest of the world Examples of women who have made history are in: 1872: Susan B. Anthony is the first U.S. woman to register to vote, for which she is arrested. 1882: In the Netherland, Aletta Jacobs attempts to register to vote but her application is denied.1893: New Zealand is the first country in the world to grant women the right to vote.1906-1907: Finland is the first European nation to give women the vote.1908: 250,000 people gather in Hyde Park in support of women's suffragette movement.1918: In UK, only women aged 30 and above are granted voting rights; all men over 21 can vote.1928: UK. Women gain equal voting right to men.1930: Alexandra Kollonta from the Soviet become the first woman ambassador. 1946: In Japan, women vote and stand for election for the first time.1950: Voting right are granted to women in Indiafollowing a successful struggle for independence.1960: Siramavo Bandaranaike of

Vijey Rattan

Ceylon (Sri Lanka) becomes the world's first female Prime Minister. Was then elected from 1970 -1977 and again in 1994 – 2000.1966: Indira Gandhi is elected as the first Prime minister of India and remained until 1977. She was then elected again 1980 -1984. 1969: Golda Meir become the first female Prime Minister of Israel and stayed in power until 1974.1971: Britain's first Women' National Liberation Conference is held; women in Switzerland finally get the right to vote.1975 Elizabeth Domitien Prime Minister for Central Africa until 1976.1979: Margret Thatcher is the UK' first woman Prime Minister. Stayed in power until 1990. 1980: Mary Eugenia Charles – Prime Minister for Dominica until 1995. 1982: Milka Planin becomes Yugoslavia's first female Prime Minister. 1982: The Caribbean's first female Prime Minister is Eugenia Charles. 1988: Benazir Bhutto is first prime Minister of Pakistan and remained in power until 1990 and again from 1993 – 1996. 1990: Mary Robinson in Ireland and Erths Pascal-Trouillot in Haiti are their country's first women President. 1991: Edith Cressin becomes France's first female Prime Minister,as does Khaleda Zia Rahman in Bangladesh. 1992: In the UK, Betty Boothroyd is the first female Speaker of the House of Commons.1993: Sylvie Kinigi Prime Minsiter of Burundi until 1994.1993:

Kim Campbell - prime minister of Canada.1993:.Agathe Uwilingiyimana – Prime minister of Rwanda until her killing on 7 April 1994.1994: Chandrika Kumaratunga – Prime Minister of Sri Lanka .1996: Sheikh Hasina Wajed Prime Minsiter for Bangledesh until 2001, and was once again elected in 2009.1997: Mary McAleese is elected President of Ireland. 1997: Janet Jagan – Prime minister of Guyana 1997: 120 women elected as MPs in the UK - the largest number ever, but only 18 percent in total.2006: Portia Simpson Miller – Prime minister of Jamaica until 2007. In India Ravindra Nath Tagore dreamed of an India where women would enjoy the same rights as men. It is fair to say that these rights have been granted to women in India. Women have had the right to vote and to compete with men. However, there still are major concerns about the way some Asian women are still being treated, issues of domestic violence, female foeticide, forced marriages and pressures of dowry are still prevalent in India. In 1999 Vijey Rattan was awarded ‘Women of the Year’ and was recognized for her contribution to the Asian community in Enfield, Vijey has spent years working with Asian women. She hopes to reach out by educating the Asian society about domestic violence issues and breaking the barriers and shame associated with domestic violence issues. Her organization holds a seminar every year to discuss the issues of domestic violence and hopes that in the years to come she will have changed the mindset.of the Asian community by making them realize that supporting a victim suffering from domestic violence is a huge contribution to be proud of instead of feeling that they will be blamed for breaking up the family unit. Naree Shakti aims to empower women to feel their value and worth and recognize the huge contribution they make to their families and society as a whole.

Life style

Any ques tions wr ite to mam ta@abplgroup.com By Mamta Saha, Psychologist

Rules for Brilliance - 2 Last week the first two rules I shared with you were: Being you’re on best friend and visualising your goals. If you constantly put yourself second you are never in a position to be at your most brilliant and if you struggle to picture what your dream lifestyle looks like you will never achieve it. The brain finds it easier to think negatively, however, when you think positively about yourself, your energy changes and so do your experiences in life. Catch yourself being your own critic and play ’devils advocate’ with your thoughts if they are unhelpful for you. Seek inspiration If you feel like you are lacking the confidence to push yourself out of your comfort zone look around you and seek inspiration. Think about people that you know (in and out of the limelight) that started at the beginning and soon moved forward in time to make something of themselves

despite the odds being against them. No one will give you anything on a plate, so if you need take some risks, seek inspiration and give it a go. Create Monthly goals and break them down week by week. If your goals to ‘Brilliance’ seem too large you will always create excuses as to why you can’t achieve them. However, if you take a big goal and break it down into steps it becomes a lot more manageable. Then you can break these down into daily steps that help you progress little by little to achieve your goal. Your homework is to practice the above. Make sure you spend every spare minute feeling empowered and confident. Don’t ever put yourself down and remember that if you want something you first have to believe it and see it. Keep me posted on your progress by emailing me at Mamta@ thinkspalondon.com

Archbishop of Canterbury hosts a Hindu/Christian gathering

Last week Asian Voice published the above mentioned article on page 25. The author of this article was Nitin Mehta.

Law Society recognised as a business Superbrand 2011 The announcement of Superbrands 2011 confirms the Law Society as one of the UK’s leading business to business brands. The announcement follows a robust research process administered independently by The Centre for Brand Analysis, which analysed the views of an Expert Council and 2,000 UK business professionals.

Of the thousands of brands initially considered only the top 500 are deemed to be Business Superbrands; The Law Society was placed 77th in the prestigious annual listing, now in its ninth year. Law Society President Linda Lee said it is an honour to be included in the list for the third year running.

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HealtH WATCH

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

Ways to boost your energy level

29

By Radhika Madlani

Vicious Circle

If you are feeling tired frequently, there are few tricks handy that you can use to trigger your energy levels. Life is running at fast pace, and in order to survive the race, we cannot afford to be tired. The challenge, therefore, is to maintain health and vitality, which can only be done by preserving the energy. We have and be sure that it isn't squandered by situations and behaviours that will ultimately present a challenge to our functionality. Though we are conditioned to expect such vitality to decline with age, there is much you can do to slow that decline by preserving your vital energy reserves.

fight fatigue and low energy. One should also try and stretch for 10 minutes twice a day. When we stretch, we're actually contracting and relaxing our muscles, thus preventing any kind of muscle stiffness. This practice will allow blood to flow freely throughout the body thus giving us energy in minutes. Gently stretch your toes, legs, arms, shoulders, and neck. Make sure you do not have any medical conditions that can cause fatigue. These include low thyroid function, low haemoglobin levels, and a range of other ailments, which can be determined by blood tests. Go for a complete body check- up at least once in two years.

Managing your energy budget: When you take the time to consciously rest, relax, meditate and eat well, you are preserving what vital energy you already have and are also taking the opportunity to cultivate more. This is of paramount importance to your quality of life, level of immunity and your physical and mental stamina. It is recommended you meditate at least 20 to 25 minutes daily. Make sure that you sleep for at least seven hours everyday. Try and squeeze in a quick a 15 to 20 minute power nap during the day to help you

Bananas and watermelon : These revive energy as fast as sugary sweets do. In fact, ripe bananas rate almost as high as table sugar on the energyupping index. However, unlike sugar, fresh fruit gives you a stamina boost plus the nutritional benefits of fibre, vitamins and minerals. An added bonus is that there's no food quite as portable as a banana. Since watermelon can be a bit messy to eat at your desk, cut some into chunks the night before and stash in a plastic container. (Dates, mangoes, papaya and pineapple also

rank high on the energyrevving scale.) Carrots and potatoes : Just like sugary snacks and soft drinks, carrots and potatoes can up your blood sugar to an all-time high. Unlike junk food, they provide a host of important nutrients (such as vitamins A and C, folic acid and potassium) along with that of energy blast. Keep a bag of baby carrots in your desk drawer and you'll be less likely to make an afternoon trip to the vending machine. Cornflakes and shredded wheat : Even without adding sugar, wholesome cereals such as muesli, corn flakes, instant oatmeal, puffed rice top the list of breakfast foods that provide quick energy. This morning meal tends to be digested slowly, which means that blood sugar levels stay stable. Water : If you're not drinking at least 10 to 15 cups of water a day, especially in warm weather or if you work out regularly, you're setting yourself up for dehydration. Don't wait until you feel thirsty because at that point, your body is already suffering. Make a habit of setting a full glass of water on your desk all day long. Drinking nimbu paani is a healthy way to replenish nutrients that are lost after a workout.

I seldom comment on politics as I know it tends to be an emotive topic for many and to be fair, everyone is entitled to their opinion when it comes to politics. However, I have to share the frustration caused over the recent change in the Childcare Voucher Scheme announced by our Government. From March 2011, new parents will not be able to enjoy the popular childcare voucher scheme which allows each working parent to contribute up to £243 per month to their childcare provider tax-free. It angers me that each government finds a way to keep hard working parents in a vicious circle. Hard working parents put pressure on themselves to afford a standard of childcare and education for their children so they can lead a better life. I read an article recently suggesting that thousands of children come home to an empty home after school as parents struggle to pay for afterschool clubs or childcare and need to stay at work longer to afford their family. The more these families struggle, the harder they work to better their financial state and the merry-goround of the rat race continues. In contrast to this, I

see some families who seldom have a job and rely on state benefits to pay their rent, pay for their children and fund their life. Out of the 60 million people that live in the UK, more than 20% are children. The proportion of children is decreasing as many parents carefully consider whether they can ‘afford’ the same lifestyle if they had more children. In contrast, there are some who have children to ‘fund’ their lifestyle, using child benefits and other benefits from the State to get by (this is not an opinion, it is a fact proven by research). Fertility rates have been noted to increase after reform changes that favour increases in childcare benefits and perks. How else can parents or often single parents ‘responsibly’ raise 6 or 7 children? You have to question whether raising a large family is the attraction or is it the multiplier that applies to each child benefit and the offer of a larger family home by the council. The Government talks about a ‘Culture of responsibility’ – well, to me responsibility starts at home with your own family and with the government supporting initiatives that reward hard working parents, not penalise them. If parents

cannot prove their responsibilities to their own children by working for a living, what hope do we have for their children taking their responsibilities seriously in the future? It would seem that we are caught in a vicious circle at both ends. ‘Responsible’ parents want to maintain their lifestyle, thus having fewer children and working harder than ever to support a smaller family whilst ‘irresponsible’ parents wanting to maintain their income from the welfare system end up having more children which makes it impossible for them to compare income from benefits to any average income from a full time job, hence choosing to stay unemployed. There is a need for major reform of our welfare system in order to avoid the increasing divide between those stuck in the vicious circle of the rat race and those that are stuck in the vicious circle of relying on the welfare system. If nothing changes, we can undoubtedly expect our children to live even more stressful lives than the ones that we are leading now. Quote: “God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into its nest!” - J. G. Holland

Should you have any comments or want to get in touch with me you can email on avmamaria@gmail.com

Say goodbye to salt and You can lose weight even after eating more are eating a lot but ward off health problems You still losing weight. What is In spite of liking spicy food, if you have guts to cut off salt, you will be able to ward off serious health threats. Latest studies show that reducing the amount of salt in diet is key to lower high blood pressure and diabetics. In the Cochrane review, the authors evaluated 13 studies with 254 adults who had either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. For an average duration of one week, participants were restricted to large reduction in their daily salt intake to see how the change would affect their blood pressure. "We were surprised to find so few studies of modest, practical salt reduction in diabetes where patients are at high cardiovascular risk and

stand much to gain from interventions that reduce blood pressure," said lead reviewer Rebecca Suckling. "However, despite this, there was a consistent reduction in blood pressure when salt intake was reduced." High salt intake is a major cause for increased blood pressure and, in those with diabetes, elevated blood pressure can lead to more serious health problems, including stroke, heart attack and diabetic kidney disease. In the Cochrane review, the participants' average salt intake was restricted by 11.9 grams a day for those with type 1 diabetes and by 7.3 grams a day for those with type 2. The reviewers say that reducing salt intake by 8.5 grams a day could lower patients' blood pressure by 7/3 mmHg. This was true for patients with both

type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The reviewers noted that this reduction in blood pressure is similar to that found from taking blood pressure medication. Suckling acknowledged that studies in the review only lasted for a week and that the type of salt restriction probably would not be manageable for longer periods. However, Suckling said, the review also found that in studies greater than two weeks, where salt was reduced by a more achievable and sustainable amount of 4.5 grams a day, blood pressure was reduced by 6/4 mmHg. The review appeared in the current issue of The Cochrane Library , a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates research in all aspects of health care.

the trick? Sounds too good to be true? But you can do it. You can eat more and yet lose weight. One rule applies that whatever you munch, always stick to healthy food only. For this, you will say how can I always keep myself eating healthy. Here are few tips. Read on to know how... Always make a habit of looking at food labels, it is extremely essential as it provides you with the exact calorie count. Comparing labels among different foods and beverages will also result in healthier weight loss options. Eat frequently but in small proportions. Eat small meals every three hours to avoid overeating and inconsistency in blood sugar levels. When you starve your body for long periods, it stores fats. Too much hunger could lead to unhealthy eating as well as consuming large portions.

Instead aim for a healthy snack such as a fruit to eat in between meals. Skipping meals is not an advisable option as you're more likely to over eat or binge when you finally eat after that long hunger break. Starving your body will lead to weight gain rather than weight loss. Intake of whole grains, fruits and vegetables is a must for staying healthy since they're low in calories and high in fibre, which will help you feel full for a longer time. This

in turn makes you eat less and lose weight as well. Drinking water also helps you lose weight. Consume enough water to keep yourself hydrated. Don't wait to feel thirsty to drink water, your thirst at times could be mistaken for hunger, leading to overeating. Keep sipping water throughout the day. Daily exercise to keep the flab off and stay in shape. Exercise also helps you boost your metabolism, which makes it easier to lose weight.


30

UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

This week- Thursday, 10th March 2011 Managing Editor of Gujarat Samachar- Kokila Patel will discuss with former Cllr. Anjana Patel on the Census 2011. Harrow Sai Saturday School students will recite Sanskrit Slokas from Ved and discuss why this knowledge is very valuable. Next week- Thursday, 17th March 2011 In April Prince Williams will marry Kate Middleton, his long standing sweetheart. This Royal wedding has all the good omens for enhancing the happiness of the Royal Family. CB live will celebrate the forthcoming Royal wedding with some songs in English presented by Mr. Manu Thakker which includes the "DISTANT DRUM by JIM REEVES". Up and down the country the Asian community is planning to celebrate this future King's Royal Wedding in various ways. Viewers are welcome to participate with their own songs and prayers during the entire 1 hour program. If you do not have a tv, go to www.tvunetworks.com and watch CB Live on TVU Player Channel 75203

To ask questions please call on: 020 8963 1001

For more information e-mail: cblive_matv@yahoo.co.uk

Don't miss !!!

Only on CB Live - MATV Sky 793 - Thursday 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Coming Events l Gitanjali Multilingual Literary Circle Trent (Nottingham) organises International Holi milan Hashya Kavi Sammelan, 5.30 pm - 7.30pm, Saturday 12th March 2011, At Hindu Temple & Cultural Centre, Nottingham NG3 2FX. Contact: 0115 9113384 Chief Guest Mr Anand Kumar, Hindi and cultural officer, High Commission of India, London, Supported by Nehru Centre, UK Hindi Samiti London, Indian Council of Cultural Relations. l Malawi Shiv Satsang Mandal Will be celebrating 12th Mahashivratri Mahotsav at Ramgarhia Sikh Community Centre, 270 Neville Road, (Off Green Stree), LONDON E7 9QN, On Sunday 13th March 2011 from 11.00 to 5.00pm. Contact: Kusumben Rajani Tel : 020 8504 8117 l Anandabazar Patrika organises celebration of Nobel Prizewinner Rabindranath Tagore at London Ananda Utsav 2011, as the Bengali festival arrives once again in the UK. Friday 1 Saturday June 11, 2011, various times, Alexandra Palace, London, www.londonanandautsav2011.com

b. Sun 13 March 11.00 am The 4th International Hindi Education Conference in UK c. Sun 13 March 05.30 pm Holi Milan Kavi Sammellan with Ashok Chakradhar and Dr. Bageshri Chakradhar, d. Fri 11 March 6.30 pm (Women’s Festival) The Rise of Women in Asian Fiction : Not A Boys Club e. Mon 14 March 6.15 pm (Women’s Festival) Exhibition of Paintings: Contemplation in Silence JayShree f.Thu 17 March 6.30 pm (Women’s Festival) Film : Lajja (165 min) Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, London W1K 1HF l Lights, camera- Cut with Anusha Rizvi, in conversation with Aditi Khanna, Saturday 26th March, 5:30pm. Venue: Nehru Centre, London W1K 1HF, Contact: noor.memorial@gmail.com/020 8904 2533

l Sunday Listening Booth 3-5pm, Sunday 13/3/2011, 12 Upper St Martins Lane, London WC2H 9FB, England. Tel: 020 7420 9320 www.dishoom.com

An exchange of opinions ought to prove very enlivening at this time. An influence that should help to enjoy the 'nicer' side of others brings out the best in friends and partners alike. A wind of change may be in the air; attention should turn to the wider world and benefits come from broadening of horizons and mental stimuli.

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Efforts to restructure and transform your lifestyle are more likely to meet with success. Experience you have built up in the past will now stand you in good stead. If you are thinking of investments, then this is an opportune time to go ahead with your plans. Co-operative ventures are likely to generate financial success. GEMINI May 22 - June 22 You should enjoy a very popular phase in your life where everyone wants to invite you to parties. This will give you a chance to meet people of your own calibre and pursue any romantic liaisons that might present themselves. Your career is going from strength to strength - take advantage of this phase.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22 Life appears to be focusing your mind on practical matters. So you will need to organise your time carefully if you are to avoid an "all work and no play" situation. Resist making any hasty moves when it come to finances - this is a time to focus on consolidation of current assets rather than attempting to make any new investments. LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23 The opening up of a more diverse social life is a point in favour of romantic attachments, if this is what you most desire. The need to push ahead with personal interests and to assert yourself with added force will take precedence over everything else. The general pattern of things continues on a progressive and buoyant theme. VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23 Your attitude to material interests is likely to undergo some deep change. On a material level the trend favours establishing greater financial stability. Focus on essentials and establish a solid foundation, so that you feel secure. The outlook remains optimistic and bring you a sense of real achievement. LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23 There will be increased scope for varying your activities, widening your network of contacts and getting out and about. It is an excellent time for exercising your mental energies, claryfying your and other people's ideas and getting involved in discussion. Exercise caution when it comes to making financial decisions. SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22 There are subtle transformations taking shape in your life and a feeling of helpful influences in the background. You are in tune with your inner self and in touch with those hidden forces which often seem to take a guiding hand in one's life. Focus on essentials and establish a solid foundation.

l a. Fri 18 March 6.30 pm (celebrating Holi at The Nehru Centre) Music : Folk Songs : Brij aur Bhojpur ki Holi Surendra Kumar Holi. Accompanists : Fida Husain Khan (Harmonium), Nafees Irfan (tabla) and Nikhil George (Guitar) In association with the Bassera Arts of London. Editor: CB Patel Associate Editor: Rupanjana Dutta Tel: 020 7749 4098 - Email: rupanjana.dutta@abplgroup.com Senior News Editor: Dhiren Katwa Editorial Executive: Kartik Raval Freelance Correspondent: Rudy Otter Chief Financial Officer: Surendra Patel Tel: 020 7749 4093 - Mobile: 07875 229 220 Email: surendra.patel@abplgroup.com Accounts Executive: Akshay Desai Tel: 020 7749 4087 Email:accounts@abplgroup.com Advertising Managers: Alka Shah Tel: 020 7749 4002 - Mobile: 07944 151 893 Email: alka.shah@abplgroup.com Kishor Parmar Tel: 020 7749 4095 - Mobile: 07875 229 088 Email: kishor.parmar@abplgroup.com Media Consultant: Rovin John Goerge - Email: rovin.george@abplgroup.com Tel: 020 7749 4097 - Mobile: 07875 229 219 Business Development Managers: Urja Patel - Email: urja.patel@abplgroup.com Liji George Tel: 020 7749 4013 - Email: george@abplgroup.com Nikhil Gor - Email: nikhil.gor@abplgroup.com Tel: 020 7749 4009 - Mobile: 07875 229 200 Design and Layout: Harish Dahya & Ajay Kumar Tel: 020 7749 4086 Email: graphics@abplgroup.com Customer Service: Saroj Patel Tel: 020 7749 4080 - Email: support@abplgroup.com (BPO) AB Publication (India) Pvt. Ltd. 207 Shalibhadra Complex, Opp. Jain Derasar, Nr. Nehru Nagar

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SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21 Although there are very intense amorous energies indicated in your chart, the trouble is that these are likely to be marred by feelings of jealousy. Do not therefore dabble in anything that could harbour such negative potential, as it is bound to end in heartache. Existing emotional differences can be sorted out now. CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 You will feel energetic and confident as the week begins. Developments during this week are likely to make you feel rather restless, perhaps because you have allowed yourself to fall into a routine that is now becoming jaded. If so, then the hint of change will be extremely welcome. AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 An inspiring boost to matters of communication but make sure it does not lead to a scattering of mental energy. With a surge of enery and enthusiasm, this is a favourable time to make fresh starts. Personal relationships may be more intense, though this may also demand some heavy sacrifices of personal freedom. PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20

The accent’s very much on relationships, you and a partner may become embroiled in some nitty—gritty aspect of your relationship. Either you or your partner have been going through a phase of inner doubts and uncertainties, and perhaps the main source of tension has simply been the need for breathing space in your relationship.


Sport worlD

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

31

Indain skipper chided over UdrS by Icc Serbia humble India M S Dhoni reacted angrily over controversial ‘not out’ decision involving Ian Bell International Cricket Council (ICC) has chided India’s captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and asked him to follow the rules regarding the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), before challenging the performance of the technology and its use in the ongoing matches. It is understood that Dhoni was issued a warning when he questioned the system after his failed appeal to Ian Bell's leg before wicket (LBW) decision in the match against England, which resulted in a tiein a Group B match on Feb 27.. The Indian captain had reacted that adulteration of technology with human thinking was bad. “That's why we didn't get that wicket. Hopefully, next time it will be either technology or human intention”, he is understood to have said. Meanwhile,. Indian cricket officials, backing the captain, have written to the International Cricket Council (ICC) to complain about the umpire referral system at

M S Dhoni

the World Cup.The Indian board (BCCI) called the system "inadequate" and also said it resented the ICC's criticism of Mahendra Dhoni. BCCI’s opposition to UDRS is well known but the controversy surrounding the use of technology has got thickened during the extraordinary group match between India and England which ended in a tie, Bell survived a close lbw call from a Yuvraj Singh delivery, which was turned down by umpire Billy Bowden. India subsequently referred the decision to the third umpire but they were

denied his wicket because, even though the ball tracking device showed the ball had hit Bell's pads in line with the stumps, it was considered to have been too far down the pitch. Leg-before-wicket decisions by the referral process can only be given if the ball hits the player within 2.5 meters of the stumps. Outside that perimeter the technology is considered inaccurate. Following the controversy, England batsman Bell went on to score 69 from 71 balls, helping his team secure the target of 338 runs on the final ball. Dhoni criticised what he called the "adulteration of technology with human thinking" and Richardson was subsequently quoted in the Indian media, saying Dhoni would not have criticised UDRS had he been aware of the rule. "BCCI takes strong objection to David Richardson criticising the Indian captain Dhoni," the letter continued. “Richardson’s comment that the Indian captain should know the rule is

out of place. The Indian captain only highlighted the inadequacy of the system and rightly so. It was there for the world to see. "For an ICC representative to criticise a player for his post match press conference while the World Cup is being played is tantamount to pressurising the player. Mr Richardson has no right to do so. "BCCI has strong reservations about the statement made by Mr Richardson. He should be instructed not to react in this fashion." Obviously perturbed over Dhoni’s comment,, ICC General Manager (GM), Dave Richardson, condemned the statement and suggested Dhoni should think before commenting on such issues. There is a set of rules and regulations regarding the decision review system and its implementation. No player is allowed to negate the tecthnology. He also said, “If MS Dhoni is made aware of the specifications of these rules, then I am sure that he will accept the decision that was made”.

Pakistan is keen to avoid playing in India Call it a strategy or a demophobia, Pakistan is desperate not to play in India, at least till the final of the ongoing World Cup cricket tournament. how ever, he might not have his way following Pakistan’s defeat against Newzeland on Tuesday. Pakistani skipper Shahid Afridi, who has called upon his teammates to do their best to get on top in Group A, has his own rationale for avoiding Ahmedabad and Mohali, venues of the quarterfinal and semifinal matches. If his strategy worked, Pakistan will play their knock-out World Cup matches in Sri Lanka. Pakistan, champions in 1992, has made a good start in the tournament with two comprehensive wins against Kenya and tournament favourites Sri Lanka.

Ross Taylor’s stunning knock of 131 not out helped New Zealand beat Pakistan by 110 runs. Chasing the rival’s 302-7, Pakistan was burduled out for 192

Afridi wants his team to carry on their winning run as it will give them the much-needed confidence for the knock-out rounds. He also knows that it is also important for them to avoid playing in India before the final in Mumbai. "I want to play in India, but not before the final," he said. "The biggest reward for us if we topped our group is that we will

get to play our quarterfinals here or in Dhaka. It is good for us either way. I want to play our quarterfinal in Sri Lanka or Bangladesh because we are completely used to the conditions and in neutral games we would even get the crowd support. But in India it is going to be a different story." Pakistan lost to India in the quarterfinal of the

1996 World Cup which was played in a highly charged atmosphere in Bangalore. Pakistan last toured India in 2007-08, before bilateral relations touched an all time low after the 26/11 attack on Mumbai by Pakistani terrorists. Hindu rightist party Shiv Sena in India have even threatened to disrupt World Cup matches involving Pakistan. The final of the tournament is scheduled to be played in Mumbai, capital of state of Maharashtra where the party has considerable following. Initially, is when it was co-host Pakistan was slated to play all their matches at home, but being striped of the status now,, the International Cricket Council (ICC) assigned its group matches to Sri Lanka to avoid any possible backlash in India.

in Davis Cup

Serbia has humbled India as Somdev Devvarman’s late charge proved insufficient and he suffered a straight-set defeat in the must-win fourth rubber against Serbia’s Viktor Troicki, ending India’s campaign in the elite World Group of the Davis Cup, at Novi Sad in Serbia on Sunday. Somdev lost the first reverse singles 4-6, 2-6, 5-7 to his world number 18 rival in two hours and 44 minutes as India conceded an unredeemable 1-3 lead against the top seeds and defending champions in the first round tie. India will now compete in the playoffs to enter the elite-16 nation World Group while Serbia have advanced to the quarter-finals. Nevertheless, it was a braveheart performance by the Indian players in the absence of veterans Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi as they made formidable Serbians work hard to win the tie. Somdev did extremely well by beating Janko Tipsarevic on the opening day but losing the doubles rubber cost India dearly.

On Sunday, it all depended on Somdev to keep India’s challenge alive by drawing parity in the tie but Troicki punctured the hopes of the visitors with a clinical show before the home crowd. If Troicki was confidence personified, Somdev was not even the pale shadow of his usual fighting self once he surrendered the opening set, though he fought hard in the third set. As if loss of form was not enough, poor umpiring added to the frustration of Somdev as yet again scenes of arguments with the chair umpire were witnessed. In the sixth game of the third set, Somdev refused to continue the match over a doubtful call and the match referee had to intervene and convince the incensed Indian to resume. Troicki hit a shot near the baseline at 40-30 which looked going out but umpire ruled the point and thus game in favour of the Serb. Somdev first argued and then refused to continue but the match referee eventually succeeded in continuing the game.

For the record O’Brien is new century hero

Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien smashed the fastest century in World Cup history on Wednesday. March 2 when he reached the landmark off just 50 balls against England. O’Brien beat Australian Matthew Hayden’s record of a century off 66 balls against South Africa at St Kitts in the 2007 tournament. The 26-year-old O’Brien hit 13 boundaries and six sixes in his blistering century at the Chinnaswamy Stadium which was also the sixth fastest ODI ton of all time.

Malinga plays down historic hat-trick

The cricket world heaped praises on King of sling for his feat- second hat- trick in World Cup on Tuesday, Feb. 1 against Group A match against Kenya. But Malinga played down his landmark and instead insisted that his famous four wickets in four balls against South Africa in 2007 was a greater achievement. The 27-year-old seamer's trademark collection of yorkers and toe-crushers helped him to a career-best 6-38 as Sri Lanka beat Kenya by nine wickets. "I rate my performance in 2007 better than this because at that stage South Africa were virtually winning the game and I was able to get the hat-trick and brought Sri Lanka back into the game," said Malinga.. However, South Africa , However won the match by one wicket.

Sports help to break down barriers Sports makes you sporty in real sense. A game where there is inclusion of everyone in spite of the differences. Despite disability, children were not discriminated but mixed with able bodied to set a true example of breaking down barriers and be a team. This is what Tom Soper, Partnerships Manager, Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, discovers during his visit to school in Rajasthan, India. In SKSN ( Sucheta Kriplani Shiksha Niketan) with 550 students, 450 of them were disabled, most of them being victims of Polio. Laureus began supporting the IMAGE program which now runs nine clubs in Rajasthan

where it brings able-bodied and disabled together to play sports together. What he saw left him with no words to explain the compassion and companionship He saw disabled and able bodied student all play together. It was a multi-club tournament, where every team consist of equal mix of able-bodied and disabled students. He saw some fierce competitions in table-tennis, kabbadi, basket-ball and cricket between them. He was taken aback when he saw blind students competing in a100meter race. Deaf and dumb girls giving a strong fight in Kabbadi. They were playing with such extraordinary spirits that it sim-

ply proved that no obstacle was too hard for this warriors to overcome and no barriers can stop them to live and let live. Preparing for London Paralympics Tushar Patel was born in Gujarat, India, but has now been living in UK since he was 11 years old. Janak Singh studying at SKSN in Rajasthan, India, comes from an orthodox village and Rahul Kumar was born in Bihar. This three came to know each other recently. One thing common among them was that all three were victims of Polio, but this disability has not stopped them from living life

to fullest. Tushar was lucky to move from India to UK at a young age, and has since travelled the world on a wheelchair race and has held the British records for the 1,500m , 5,000m, and 10,000m races including wins at numerous marathons. Janak is a hero in his village, but had to stop playing cricket because none of the cricketers would even shake his outstretched hand after a win, only because of his disability. This was the kind of the treatment he received until he came back with bagful of medals. Rahul is busy begging on the Delhi streets but you will be surprised to know that he has com-

pleted Amarnath pilgrimage –scrambling up the Kashmiri Himalayan mountain range to an altitude of 3,888metres on his bottom and knees-not just once but thrice. The lives of these three will take a new turn as they are now practicing for the London. Tushar, a Para Olympian in London is helping Janak to be trained at Kingsmeadow athletic stadium. Janak will take part in mini marathon Wheel Chair racing at Reading on 20th march, 2011 and if successful he plans to take part in the Paralympic in London 2012..The Greenford Willow Tree Lions Club along with Polio Children UK are supporting him for all the expenses..


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Kevin Pietersen out of World Cup for hernia surgery England has suffered a setback as its batsman Kevin Pietersen will have to rush back home to undergo a hernia operation. England have applied to the International Cricket Council (ICC) for Eoin Morgan to come in as a replacement player, a spokesman said. Pietersen, moved up the order to open during the World Cup, made a duck during England's dramatic Group B win over his native South Africa on Sunday, and it is now 27 one-day internationals since his last century. Team officials said on Saturday that Pietersen would undergo an operation, but after the tournament, although he did say the injury would "no doubt impact my preparation" during the World Cup. However, the procedure appears to have been brought forward after he was clearly troubled during Sunday's six-run win at the Chidambaram Stadium and looked more of a threat with his part-time off-spin than with the bat.

World Cup Results South Afric beat Netherlands by 231 runs in a Group B match at Mohali, India on Thursday, March 3. Breif Score: South Africa 351-5, Hashim Amla 113, A B de Villiers 134, R ten Dooschate 3-72. Nethrlands 120 all out [Tahir 19-3] Pakistan beat Canada by 46 runs in a Group A match at Colombo on Thursday, March 3. Brief Score: Pakistan 184 all out. Umar Akmal 48, Misba-ul Haq 37. H.S. Baidwan 35-3. Canada 185 all out. A. S. Hansra 43. Shahid Afridi 23-5 New Zealand beat Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in a Group A match on Friday, March 4. Brief score: Zimbabwe 162 all out. Brenden Taylor 44, Tim Southbee 29-3. NZ 166-0. Guptill 86 not out, B McCullum 76 not out. West Indies beat Bangladesh by nine wickets in a Group B match at Mirpur on March 4. Breif Score; Bangladesh 58 all out in 18.5 overs. Junaid Siddique 25, S. J. Benn 18-4,KAJ Roach 19-3, DJG Swamy 21-3. West Indies, 59-1, CH Gayle 37 not out. Australia and Srilanka shared a point each in an abandoned Group A match at Colombo, after heavy rain washed out the play. Canada beat Kenya by 5 wickets in a Group A match at New Delhi on March 7 Brief Score. Kenya 198 all out, Tanmay Mishra 51, Henry Osinde 26-4. Canada 199-5, Ashish Bagai 64 not out, Jimmy Hansra 70

Asian Voice - Saturday 12th March 2011

Cricket World Cup uncertainties deepen

By Dr Premen Addy

The World Cup 2011 is serving up the glorious uncertainties long associated with the game of cricket. If the tie between India and England wasn't enough, came the gob-stopper when the trusty men of Ireland decapitated the fancied stars of England. England could be forgiven for thinking that the match was in the bag when they reached 327 for 8, with a cluster of half-centuries contributing to this daunting total. But that was to underestimate Irish derring-do and the luck of the Leprechaun; their hero Kevin O'Brien, who scored a record-breaking century from 50 balls, said as much in a postmatch interview. Confidence in his ability to hit the ball well and hard to every part of the ground, riding his good fortune on occasion, he provided a spectacle few will ever forget. Hope turned into fevered expectation and was climaxed in spectacular triumph as Ireland passed the English total for the loss of seven wickets and five balls in hand. Throughout Bangalore that day Irish eyes were smiling and Irish celebrations lasted far into the night. Their never-say-die team were truly magnificent. Their next encounter against India was a more staid affair. Ireland scrambled a workmanlike 207 all out, with Yuvraj Singh's part-time left-arm spin earning him exemplary figures of 5 for 31. The regular purveyors of the art Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla went wicketless on a surface offering turn. The Indian bowlers could have been paid up members of the Society of Friends. It doesn't bode well for India's desired success in the tournament. “Bowlers win matches,� is one of cricket's hallowed sayings. The 22-year-old Chawla is still cutting his teeth with legbreaks and googlies, but Harbhajan, a veteran these days, disappoints with his inertia and inconsistency. Pity is that he believes his permanence in the side is cast in stone. Exclusion could just be the bolt of lightening to awaken him from his slumbers. India's batsmen went about their task like journeymen, picking up the runs mostly in singles and twos and the odd boundary to relieve the tedium. They lost four wickets (including Tendulkar ) reaching 100, whereupon Yuvraj and captain M S Dhoni steadied the ship with a 67-run partnership. Dhoni went 34, but the nononsense Yusuf Pathan, with a flurry of fours and sixes, took India past the winning post in double quick time, Yuvraj keeping him company with a measured 50 not out. A couple of hundred miles down the

James Anderson of England celebrates taking the wicket of William Porterfield of Ireland during the 2011 ICC World Cup Group B match between England and Ireland at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.

road in Chennai, the crowd at the Chepauk Stadium were treated to a cliffhanger, as England beat South Africa by six runs. With a victory target of 172, South Africa at 127 for 3 seemed to have the fixture under control, but disaster followed with the fall of three quick wickets. The South Africans appeared to freeze, bringing back old memories of victories that slipped into defeat; hope was reignited for a while with Dale Steyn (20) at the wicket, but Stuart Broad stuck to a demanding length, line and direction, returning figures of 4 for 19. South Africa were dismissed for 165, where England had compiled 171.

Both sides are cabined, cribbed and confined by doubt and uncertainty. The Lord only knows if they are destined to progress further. Maybe he doesn't. Meanwhile, Bangladesh were skittled out for 58 against West Indies at Mirpur, near Dhaka, and were soundly beaten by 9 wickets. A section of the crowd, giving vent to their disappointment, threw bricks at the West Indies coach. Mercifully, no-one was hurt, but Bangladesh are clearly out of their depth, having done little in ten years to suggest they belong to the premier echelons of the sport. How they came to be there is another story.

World Cup Cricket Points table (as on 8/3/11) Teams New Zealand Pakistan Sri Lanka Australia Zimbabwe Canada

Mat 4 4 4 3 3 4

Won 3 3 2 2 1 1

Teams India England West Indies South Africa Ireland Bangladesh

Mat 3 4 3 3 3 3

Won 2 2 2 2 1 1

Group Lost 1 1 1 0 2 3 Group Lost 0 1 1 1 2 2

A Tied 0 0 0 0 0 0 B Tied 1 1 0 0 0 0

N/R 0 0 1 1 0 0

Pts 6 6 5 5 2 2

Net RR +1.848 +0.760 +2.663 +1.813 +0.079 -2.083

N/R 0 0 0 0 0 0

Pts 5 5 4 4 2 2

Net RR +0.768 +0.054 +2.667 +1.754 -0.296 -1.764

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