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FIRST & FOREMOST ASIAN WEEKLY IN EUROPE

Health & Healing Treating mouth ulcers at home See Page - 18

Exclusive Interview

Read more about Khan’s love story inside

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VOICE

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

VOL 38. ISSUE 40

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his comments on defending the rights of the Sikh boys, the family of the boy has said that Ed Balls, the

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Allow ceremonial ‘Kirpan’ at school Wearing or displaying items of their faith have been a problem for students at various schools in UK. Students have also taken their schools to court and have won in most of the cases. Yet, Compton school in Barnet, North London last year forced a boy to leave because of a ban on wearing daggers in the school. Following this, Sir Mota Singh, the first British judge of Asian origin has said Sikh boys should be allowed to wear ‘kirpans’ or daggers at school after they have been baptized. Following

Your FREE magazine from the British Heart Foundation. All paid subscribers are offered a free copy of the British Heart Foundation's heart & soul magazine along with this week's edition of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar. For more see inside

13th February to 19th February 2010

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Schools secretary should give a categorical advice to schools of allowing boys to wear kirpans.

United Sikhs campaign group is representing the boy's family. Mejindarpal Kaur of the group said: “We are encouraged by the judicious comments from someone who is a practising Sikh and also an honest judge.” She further added that Sikhs are not asking for British people to accept something new, they want that the country’s traditions of religious freedom are upheld”. Continued on page 23

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Fonseka charged for plotting a coup, arrested Sri Lanka opposition leaders fear crackdown ahead of Parliamentary polls in April General Sarath Fonseka was a hero in Sri Lanka last year. He was stripped of his role as the army chief later, and was forced to resign. After he challenged Mahinda Rajapaksa in the presidential election last month, he lost. Now, with charges of plotting a coup, he has been arrested on last Monday. His secretary also has been taken into custody. It would be worth a mention here that Sri Lanka has no history of military coup. Sources in the Sri Lankan opposition parties have also expressed fears of a crackdown as the country is to go for parliamentary elections in April. Military police, once

Sarath Fonseka

under him, dragged the retired war hero after they stormed his office on Monday. Fonseka was in a meeting with opposition leaders, discussing on the issue of challenging the results of the presidential elections held on 26 January. Continued on page 23

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Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

ONE TO ONE Keith Vaz MP with

Sid Garg, PPC for Uxbridge & South Ruislip Sid was born in 1976 in Perivale, England. He read for a law degree in East Anglia and subsequently a Masters in European Law in Cambridge. He has been a member of the Labour Party for a number of years and was elected as a Local Authority Councillor in London Borough of Hillingdon in 2006. He is the lead for the Labour Group on the Corporate Services and Partnerships Policy Overview Committee and has been Deputy Whip of the Labour Group for over two years. He also holds the positions of Youth Officer and Ethnic Minorities Officer for my Constituency Labour Party. 1) What inspired you to follow a political career?

4) What are your long term goals?

To bring about positive change for all and not just an elite few. I am determined to fight against inequality – it’s why I got involved in politics in the first place.

To hopefully be a representative of the people in the Commons.

2) What are your proudest achievements? I am proud of all my achievements that have benefited members of my community. I hope to continue to represent people objectively regardless of any stereotype. 3) What advice would you give to someone wishing to pursue a career in politics today? To be honest and open and to be able to demonstrate impartiality, fairness and openness in both private and public life.

6) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? My parents. They have always encouraged me and have supported me through good times and bad. 7) And the worst? Those that criticise for the sake of criticising. There are those that do

Pickles MP – Chairman of Conservative Party, Ms Caroline Fint MP – Minister for Europe, Mr Robert Howard Harris MP, Sailesh Vara MP, Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP – Chairman of Home affair, attended the event. 2009 Asian Voice Political & Public Life Award included Winners Rt Hon Harriet Harman, Adam Holloway MP, Sarah Teather MP, Naresh Goyal - Jet Airways, Ms Ann Treneman – Jounalist, Slumdog Millionaire, Baroness Uddin, Mohammed Ajeeb CBE, Mr Dolar Popat, Mr Rajesh Rupani Sony Television Asia, Ms Nina Wadia, Ms Teji Singh, Mr Amin Ali, Ms Nina Amin, Mr Dipankar De Sarkar, Mr Bhanu Choudhrie.

The annual Sony TV inspired British Asian Sports Awards (BASA) took place in Park Lane last weekend. Tennis legend Vijay Amritraj, Olympic Medallist Denise Lewis and many more stars were there. From British Asian Business came Rajan Singh, Surinder Arora, Sanjay Anand MBE, Tony Lit and Nat Puri. Ken Livingstone has reappeared to support the election of a Mayor for Tower Hamlets the Yes campaign began last Saturday at the Brady Centre and will end on 6th May. Respect MP George Galloway was also there with Blackburn’s Lord Patel.

Denise Lewis

Lord Patel

UK News

Three more peers face charges not want to do anything, but also hinder those that want to bring about positive change. With elected public office comes power but with great responsibility; it is important to always remember that it is not who or what you are that defines us, but what you do or achieve that does. 8) If you were Prime Minister, what one thing would you change? If I was Prime Minister I would give more impetus to environmental issues and assist third world countries in poverty related issues.

9) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figures would you like to spend your time with and why? Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr.. All three great men took on the might of great institutional powers and succeeded in bringing attention to their causes. Their struggles have been well documented, but having the opportunity to speak at length to all three would be something that I would relish.

Asian Voice Political and Public Life Awards It’s time for the ‘Asian Voice Political and Public Life Awards'. These awards are given annually to people who have made a special impact in the preceding 12 months, ranging from international politicians to individuals who have made a big difference in their local communities. The awards will be handed out at a prestigious ceremony at the House of Commons on 25th February, 2010 and the winners will be joined at the ceremony by a select group of 250 high profile politicians from all political parties, business men, community leaders to celebrate their achievements. Last year’s awards proved a great success, with figures as diverse as Rt Hon Geff Hoon MP – The then Defence Secretary, Mr Eric

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5) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? People that are stuck in the past and do not want to move on. We need to learn from history but we also need to move on and practice and evolve from what we learn.

People

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Politician of the Year Labour Parliamentarian of the Year Liberal Democrat backbencher of the Year Conservative Backbencher of the Year Minister of the Year TV personality of the Year Journalist of the Year Special Award for International Achievement Media Company of the Year Restaurant of the Year Asian broadcaster of the Year Campaign of the Year Male Entrepreneur of the Year Female Entrepreneur of the Year Professional of the Year News Agency of the Year Community Award Lifetime Achievement Award Sports Personality of the Year

The shortlists for the awards for 2010 will be decided by a panel of judges and as always we are sure even this year there's going to be a fierce competition

which will prove very difficult for the panel to choose the winner. Readers of Asian Voice vote and nominate who they think should win the coveted Awards.

Baroness Uddin

Lord Paul

The expenses scandal is likely to deepen this spring with another three peers and at least two MPs facing possible criminal charges over their allegedly fraudulent claims. Police are actively investigating a second batch of cases after the decision last week to charge four politicians under the Theft Act. Keir Starmer, director of public prosecutions (DPP), mentioned only one of the other cases when he announced the charges against the four at a press conference on last Friday. Although Starmer did not name the politician, he was probably referring to Baroness Uddin, who obtained £189,000 by falsely claiming that her main home was outside London. The other cases include Lord Paul, the Labour donor, and Lord Taylor of Warwick, the Tory peer, who both made large expenses claims based on properties that were not their actual homes. One of the MPs is Eric Illsley, a Labour member and former union official, who allegedly over claimed £6,000 in council tax. The DPP has already decided to charge the Labour MPs David Chaytor, Elliot Morley and

Jim Devine and the Conservative peer Lord Hanningfield. The Uddin case is one of the more complex. In each case the allegation is that the peers created a false “main home” outside London while really being resident in the capital. Unlike the Commons, the Lords has no definition of “main home” and this has presented difficulties for the police investigation. Defence lawyers may argue that peers are entitled to designate anywhere they like as their main home. Uddin’s case is complicated by the fact that she owns the Maidstone flat, but rents her home in London. Prosecutors will be confident that a jury will understand the common meaning of “main home” and conclude that it is not a flat many miles away from someone’s family home that is rarely, if ever, visited. Paul, a multi-millionaire friend of Gordon Brown, admits he never even slept in the property he called his main home. It was, in fact, a one-bedroom flat at the back of one of his hotels. The hotel’s former manager has confirmed that he - and not Paul lived in the flat.


Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

COMMENT

Stain of corruption shames British politics The scent of corruption appears to have taken hold in the land. No sooner does one scam disappear than another takes its place. The story of the MPs allowances which broke last summer looks set to run past the looming general election. A number of the fraternity caught with their fingers in the till, as it were, who had claimed monies that were not theirs to claim, are now to be charged. If found guilty, they could well go to prison. They have given advanced notice of their defence: they would take umbrage under an obscure rule in the 1689 bill of parliamentary rights and privileges. The context then was the protection of MPs from the possible encroachment of arbitrary Royal authority. Hence matters concerning MPs and their conduct came under parliamentary procedure, meaning that these could only be properly discussed in parliament. The United Kingdom is a wholly different place today and amount of casuistry can protect wrongdoing by those in whom the people of this country have placed their trust. There can be no hiding place for them. The law must take its proper course and they must abide by its verdict. This is not all. The Serious Fraud Office in the UK and the Justice Department in the US have succeeded in bringing the British arms company BAE Systems to book for malfeasance. The company was slapped a hefty fine of $450 million in the US. In Britain the penalty was 30 million pounds. The company through its plea bargains saved itself from a long and expensive trial and, possibly, higher fines as well.

However, the subject cannot end here. BAE was accused of paying huge bribes to Saudi royalty for lucrative arms contracts worth many billions of dollars. Under the Thatcher dispensation the deal amounted to 40 billion pounds. A case brought against BAE during Tony Blair's time as prime minister was scuppered on his orders. Why? Because the Saudis had threatened that revelations of bribe-taking by some of their royals would affect BritishSaudi ties, especially in the area of anti-terrorist intelligence sharing. No 10 baulked and Serious Fraud Office was ordered to suspend its inquiry. The rule of law took second place to placating one of the world's most corrupt and repressive regimes from whose territory is exported the noxious brand of Wahabi Islamism. The new regime in BAE claims to have cleansed the Augean Stables of corruption, it says that it had learnt the appropriate lessons of the company's previous misdemeanours, which was ethically reborn and reformed bottom up. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating. Coupled with scenes from the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war, the unsavoury scent of corruption is quite overpowering. Small wonder that there is a growing loss of faith within the British public for their legislators and rulers. Like the deficit in the public finances, public mistrust of politicians is unlikely to decrease anytime soon, notwithstanding tearful protestations of innocence from politicians whose arrogance and doublespeak have brought the country to its present pass, at home and abroad.

Amnesty has case to answer Amnesty International has long presented itself as the institutionalized conscience of the liberal great and good. Its bulletins are frequently quoted in the mainstream British media including the BBC as gospels of the unvarnished truth and nothing but the truth. A few years ago it published a picture of what purported to be a Kashmiri woman in distress after her alleged by Indian security forces. It transpired that she was a Tamil with no connection to Kashmir. This would have been obvious to anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of the area from the dark colour of her skin. But any accusation from Islamist sources, it would appear, had a touch of the sacred, hence was accepted without demur. A report by Richard Kerbaj in The Sunday Times (February 7) has highlighted an insider's disquiet on an important aspect of the way Amnesty functions. Gita Sahgal, head of the general unit at Amnesty's international secretariat, says that collaborating with British Pakistani terror suspect Moazzam Begg, a former inmate of the US Guantanamo Bay 'fundamentally damages' the organization's reputation for objectivity. She believes that the Amnesty top brass had mistakenly allied itself with Begg and his 'jehadi' group, sen-

sitive to the possible accusation of being racist and Islamophobic. The Sunday Times tell us how Ms Sahgal had described Begg as 'Britain's most famous supporter of the Taliban'. He had defended jailed al-Qaeda members and hate preachers, including Anwar alAwlaki, supposedly the spiritual mentor of the would-be Christmas Day Detroit plane bomber. Ms Sahgal isn't alone, it would appear. In 2008 an Amnesty board member in the organization's US arm, opposed Begg's appearance, via video-link at the AGM but was overruled. Begg, a Birmingham resident was detained in Guantanamo on suspicion of having al-Qaeda links, which he has denied. But he had lived in Kabul and praised the Taliban in his memoirs “as better than anything Afghanistan has had in 20 years.” He has dismissed the concerns directed at the Amnesty International board. Begg is charismatic and a “compelling speaker,” on detention claimed Anne Fitzgerald, policy director of Amnesty's international secretariat. What apparently counts is the pied piper's ability to pay a beguiling tune. Truth comes a poor second. The medium is the message.

President Rajapakse throws caution to the winds Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse has clearly got the bit between his teeth. Having presided over the defeat of the Tamil Tiger insurgency, he spoke bravely and wisely about the need to heal his country's wounds of the need to bring his country's majority Sinhalese community and its minority Tamils together. A major step on that road would be devolution of power to the Tamil-populated north, and complementary measures that would bring a sense well-being to the island's citizen, irrespective of ethnicity or religious faith. Constitutional reform and a rigorous application of democracy and the rule of law would go a long way to achieving this goal. But this long awaited process is yet to get off in a serious sense. Thuggery and intimidation by the president's supporters and have diminished his recent triumph. Now comes news of the arrest of General Sarath Fonseca,

his opponent in the recent presidential election and the army chief who led the country's forces to victory against the dreaded Tigers. The two men fell out, with General Fonseca claiming that credit for this should be accorded to him and not the president. He then gave up his uniformm and contested the election against Mr Rajapakse, which he lost. He disputed the result. On President Rajapakse's orders Mr Fonseca has been arrested for conspiring with opposition politicians dsuring his time in uniform. He will appear for a court martial and face charges. Peaceful political life in Sri Lanka has taken a blow. Instability may take hold. Economic and social development may be put on the backburner while personal vendettas are resolved. These are uncertain times for Sri Lanka. The country's friends must prevail upon its leader to take pause and start a national dialogue. That way lies the surest road to peace and stability.

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Thought for the Week We tend to measure life by too one-sided a standard: its length rather than its greatness; we think more of extending life than of filling it. - Tomas Masaryk (1850-1937)

Steve Pound, MP Ealing North (Labour)

From Bharatnatyam to the ballet via Beck theatre Very, very occasionally even the most jaded Parliamentarian can experience an aesthetic epiphany that leaves him breathless and such was my reaction to the stunning Geeta Chandran and her Vriksha Natya Dance Company in Hayes last Thursday. We were there to celebrate sixty years of the Indian Republic and I was honoured to be in the presence of H.E.the High Commissioner of India, Shri Nalin Surie and Mrs.Poonam Surie as well as many friends and colleagues such as Virendra Sharma MP, Rami Ranger, and many Councillors from Hillingdon, Hounslow and Ealing as well as the ubiquitous C.B.Patel. The Indian Council for Cultural Relations in New Delhi and the High Commission along with those wonderful cultural ambassadors of the Nehru Centre were presenting “So Many Journeys” and we were promised Indian classical dance both in its original purity and a contemporary dimension. It was an excellent departure from traditional practice to take this production around the country from the Southbank Centre to Hillingdon, Cardiff, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leicester and to close in Edinburgh. The first half of the programme was classical India dance at its breathtaking finest. The six dancers and the soloist performed the Nrityanjali – Vande Mataram with a disciplined beauty and exquisite skill that was matched, if not exceeded, by Geeta Chandran in her solo Dance of Shiva. We then sat back in utter amazement as the troupe performed a traditional Raas with the familiar milkmaids each dancing with Lord Krishna but danced at a pace so dizzying that the laws of gravity seemed to have been suspended for the occasion. After a much needed

Geeta Chandran and her team from Natya Vriksha

break we returned for the second half of the programme and here it was that the rules went out of the window. If classical India dance is performed within a rigid template of tradition then Geeta Chandran leapt free from any such restraints and gave us a piece entitled Unurth – Exploring the Other that saw two beams of light crossing the stage and the soloist hidden in the darkness between. The communication by movement of the feet and facial expression could only have been achieved by a truly great artist and Geeta showed us that she can be so described. If we thought that iconoclasm had run its course we could not have known what was to come next. Pyotr Tchaikovsky cannot possibly have imagined when he wrote The Nutcracker that one damp evening in Hayes would see his ballet performed by seven classical Indian dancers who took the essence of India to the Slavonic sounds of 19th.Century Russia and produced a coruscating incandescence that shimmered, sparkled and shone in a way to dazzle and delight. Indian costume and Russian Ballet may seem an unlikely combination but the brilliance of the troupe brought them together in a stunning synthesis that credited both traditions but produced a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Over two thousand years ago, when classical India dance was already an ancient art, Continued on page 6

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YOUR VOICE

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The Fur will Fly The unusually cold weather worldwide has brought with it an inordinate increase in the fur trade. Not being satisfied with woollen clothes, man has taken to wearing fur coats and other garments made from fur for warmth. But this is taking its toll on animals like fox and mink. These animals are being joined by an array of other animals like rabbits, beavers and even cats and dogs! One of the most notorious, a lambskin, worn by some film stars, is made from the pelt of new-born lambs that are killed days after birth or even taken from the womb. Animals are killed for one reason only for their coats. People who kill animals and make coats out of their skins do that for money, and people who wear them do so out of vanity, thinking that they look glamorous. Worldwide, millions of animals are killed for their fur. Fur is also considered fashionable. Ladies adorn fur not just for warmth, but also for fashion. Coats and scarves with even the head and tail of dead animals left intact are wound round the neck for fashion more than anything else. If this continues unchecked, these beautiful species will soon be wiped out from the face of the earth. It is time for animal welfare organisations to launch a campaign to ban the fur trade. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Ali Dazaezia real evil? It looks like one of the pages from a Bollywood movie where a cop harasses the citizens and tries to frame him for not agreeing to his demands or obeying him. Ali Daraezi has certainly misused his policing powers. Because of such officers the entire Asian community comes under a disrepute and when such officers are sacked, we then go to courts alleging racism. It is surprising that Ali didn't think of the consequences. Was he actually thinking that he is in India or Pakistan, let alone Iran, to get away with such shenanigans. The 4 years imprisonment is too less for such monsters who harass the general public of whom they have pledged to protect when they finish their trainings. They should be locked in for life to deter other public officers. Even in India there is an uproar against a commissioner who misused his powers. Such acts also creates a bad name for the Muslim community as surprisingly such news is more widely publicised. It is a shame such things happen and because of a handful of few people, the entire community is branded as evil. I sympathise with the person and his family who were victims of this wretched man Kamla Shah London

Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

Refunds on season tickets

Mumbai row heats up again

Many of your readers will be as outraged and astonished as I am that Transport for London are going for the triple in Brent, after closing three major tube lines running through our Borough, either wholly or in part, over the last two weekends. The Jubilee, Bakerloo and Metropolitan lines were all shut for planned engineering works over the weekends of 30th and 31st of January and 6th and 7th of February. The Jubilee line closures are particularly galling because last year, the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Arbiter found that Tube Lines, working in partnership with London Underground, could have completed the upgrade of the Jubilee line on time and to budget - which would have seen the works completed last year and vastly reduced the inconvenience local residents are now facing. Everybody wants better public transport, but allowing three lines across Brent to close at the same time shows a lack of joined up thinking at Transport for London and the Mayor’s Office. It’s very frustrating for local people and I think Mayor Boris Johnson should tell us all why he has allowed this to happen. I am now considering asking the Mayor if he will make refunds on Season Tickets to Brent residents who have not had the proper service that they pay for. This would be similar to those offered by First Capital Connect recently in respect of their comprehensive service failures in respect of their travellers. I urge any of your readers who may have experienced particular problems as a result of the closures, to contact me at cllr.daniel.brown@brent.gov.uk

Wise ones use sweet words, unlike Rahul’s debacle in Bihar, where he had to flee for his remarks against Gujarat. Similar fate befell Shiv Sena and MNS who, with its arrogant attitude, attacked SRK, and other cinema, oil and cricket tycoons. Investors may relocate to friendly states a la Nano’s relocation to Gujarat. Shiv Sena and MNS have bone fide intentions but resort to unrealistic measures and over zealous parochialism regarding Marathi language and jobs reserved for indigenous Maharathis. Instead of sudden implementation, these measures can be gradually phased in. On the other hand is Gujarat celebrating fruitful Golden Anniversary, persistently marching on path of progress, and attracting local and foreign investors. Mumbai also is progressing but with Shiv Sena and MNS as millstones. Mumbai’s achievements gets lost due to political intimidation, assertive arrogance, aggression and overzealous regional attitude by Shiv Sena and MNS.

Councillor Daniel Brown Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson, Brent Council

Westminster Expense Sandal The cost of the Enquiry in to MPs' expenses was, reportedly to be, One Million One Hundred Thousand Pounds. It will be now reassuring to know that every penny that is inappropriate, fraudulent or incorrectly claimed will be reclaimed. But it should not stop there.The cost of the enquiry should also be be reclaimed from the MPs along with interest, if they are not to be treated as a 'special' case. Then, just to be very fair, it would be nice if the Tax man knocks on all their door to collect the right tax for all the perks, as benefits in kind. Then, may be, another enquiry can be launched to find out what is a fair wage packet to reflect the top job they do, so they don't have to live off expenses to subsidise their pay. Sharad Parikh Via Email

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Mumbai controversy Mukesh Ambhani, Rahul Gandhi and Shahrukh claim that Mumbai belongs to all Indians not exclusively for Maharashtrians. India claims that Kashmir is an integral part of India and still Indians cannot settle in Kashmir or buy land there. The chief Minsters of Kashmir are always Muslims even though 20 per cent of the population of Jammu & Kashmir are Hindus. When the Vaishno Devi temple authorities wanted a small piece of land to put some permanent buildings for the benefit of Hindu pilgrims, it was opposed by Muslims. Indian government failed to give protection to 200,000 Kashmiri Pandits who were thrown out of Kashmir valley and they are living in refugee camps. Maharastrians in Mumbai fear that they are becoming minorities in Mumbai because of the large influx of people from Bihar and U.P. In Nagaland and Mizoram people outside the states are not allowed to settle and buy land. Indian government should not adopt double standards one for Muslims and another for Maharashtrians.

I received a truly inspirational email of a marble temple within the courtyard of the first state hindu school.I then inquired who designed this masterpiece and the designer is Shri Amrish Patel. Every Hindu and Sikh trustee and British politicians I have talked to have the highest praise for Amrishji. Your readers many not know this, for many years (and most still do) have their sikh and hindu temples converted from old warehouses and houses. A Christian child can proudly show that his faith is represented in the beautiful St Paul's cathedral, a Muslim in the Regent's Park mosque and the Jews in the beautiful synagogues, but for Hindu and Sikh children they can now hold up there heads, proud to take there Christian friends to these amazing buildings that Amrishji has designed, what a achievement ! I would highly recommend you consider a profile on Amrish Patel for your readers. Ravi Shah Harrow (We would try our level best to cover a profile of Mr Patel soon.) AV

India Tightens Visa rules After the Mumbai massacre and the David Coleman Headley incident, tightening of Indian visa was inevitable if India would like to retain some sort of reign on the people who enter the country with ulterior motives. The one regrettable Indian attitude is that it is not willing to be tough either on the home grown terrorists or the ones who enter the country illegally from either Pakistan or Bangladesh. According to the current rules, Britons can live up to 180 days at one stretch. Then they can fly out for a few days to neighbouring countries like Nepal or Sri Lanka rather than return to London. This would not be possible under new rules, as they will not be allowed to return within two months of leaving. This means it will not be economical to spend such a long time in Nepal. This is a step in the right direction if the rule is implemented with care and understanding, differentiating between a friend and a foe.

Arun Vaidyanathan Via Email

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Profile on Amrish Patel

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Boyle says Mumbai dwarfed the statuette

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Karma Yoga House 12 Hoxton Market (Off Coronet Street)

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).

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LEICESTER / UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

Golden Mile in the UK's best street food? With its dozens of takeaways, restaurants and Indian sweet shops you are never short of somewhere to eat on Leicester's Golden Mile. Now, the Belgrave Road has reached the finals of a search for Britain's best food street. The competition, run by internet search engine Google, will see the businesses on the winning street put together in an interactive online tour for the Google Maps website. It would be the first street in Leicester to be given Google's "Street View" treatment, which allows people to navigate streets via 360-degree photographs. People are now being urged to vote for Leicester – the street is the only East Midlands road to be nominated in the award's food category. Dharmesh Lahkani, whose family owns Bobby's restaurant in Belgrave Road,

said the Golden Mile, which helped Leicester win the title UK Curry Capital in 2007, deserved to top the poll. He said: "We should be very proud of what we've got here. The Golden Mile is still a great road. There's good variety here too. People come and open new businesses and try new things." Manish Joshi, who owns Prakash, which sells handmade Indian sweets and savories, told a local media: "We've been here since 1986 and the Golden Mile has always brought a lot of people to Leicester on weekends. There's been a bit of an influx of fast-food restaurants recently because of the economic climate. But there are a lot of good places and I think Belgrave Road should win." Shoppers in the Golden Mile were pleased to hear the street was up for an award.

HSE using all opportunities to reach the Construction workers

5

MANCHESTER

Husband faces jail after assaulting dying wife

Wlati Singh

A husband faces jail after being convicted of beating up his estranged wife as she lay dying of cancer. Wlati Singh, 39, allegedly punched the mother-of-four repeatedly, demanding cash from the divorce ending their 20-year marriage. His wife Vijay, a 37-year- old WPC, was able to give a statement to police but died two days later of natural causes. Singh also allegedly attacked his mother-in-law Kailash Kaur, 57, pinning her to the wall after barging into the family home and locking the door, as reported by Daily Mail. He had tried but failed to stop his wife's deathbed statement from being read out in court. Singh, of Longsight, Manchester, was charged with assaulting his wife and her mother. He denied hitting the WPC, claiming: 'She was crying and trying to hug me. She was ill.' But the Manchester magistrates found him guilty of one assault on his wife and two on Mrs Kaur. It is understood Mr Singh will not receive any benefit from the proposed £18,000 divorce settlement or her estate.

WPC Vijay

Taxi driver feared for his life during attack Mr Barry Gardiner MP along with Rhaynukaa Soni of HSE and the devotees at the opening of first ever Shri Shirdi SaiBaba temple in UK

Health and Safety Executive have been making all efforts to reach across to the Indian construction workers in UK. They were even present at the inaguration of the Shirdi SaiBaba temple recently in Wembley. Its believed that many construction workers are devotees of Shridi SaiBaba.Shri Sai Baba is revered as one of the greatest saints ever seen in India, endowed with unprecedented powers, and is worshipped as a God incarnate. For devotees of Shirdi Baba, the building of a Shirdi Mandir (temple) in and around the vicinity of London has never been a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’. Sunday 31st January saw the inauguration of the first ever UK Shri Shirdi SaiBaba Mandir in the UK.Navin Shah, Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow said, I welcome this addition to the rich religious tapestry of Brent and London which I have no doubt will be a spiritual home for everyone.” The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) who we re also present, continuing their campaign to

protect vulnerable Indian workers from death and serious injury at work. Rhaynukaa Soni, the Outreach Executive who is leading the Indian campaign, said, "I was delighted to be able to spread the word at such an auspicious and historic event. There was a great turnout today, which is excellent news for the temple. On top of this, people were showing a keen interest in the campaign and asking for more information. People see this as a positive step for our community." HSE has developed an outreach programme targeting construction workers from Indian background to raise awareness of health and safety, and inform them of their basic rights as well as their employers’ safety responsibilities. The construction industry has the highest rate of fatalities of major industries in Britain, and the HSE has identified that the large number of smaller sites as high risk. As Navin Shah aptly put it, “health and safety on building sites are absolutely paramount but often ignored.”

A taxi driver has spoken of his horror at being strangled, slashed and robbed by two violent passengers. Bharat Upadhay said he suffered cuts and bruises to his face and neck after a man and a woman attacked him as he dropped them off in Braunstone Frith, Leicester. The 48-year-old, from Rushey Mead, who has only worked as a taxi driver for four months, said he "feared for his life" during the unprovoked attack. He told Leicester Mercury: "The man asked me to stop and I had just told him how much the fare was when suddenly I felt a rope around my neck. He held the rope so tight I thought I was suf-

Bharat Upadhay

focating. Then the woman pulled out a knife and was trying to stab me. I was terrified. I thought I was going to die. It was really scary, but I need this job as it is my bread and butter. I'm worried about going out at night again after what happened." He said the attack began as he pulled over to

drop off the couple in Cuffling Drive at 10.45pm on last Saturday. The man, who was sitting behind him, threw a rope around his neck and the woman, who was in the front passenger seat, began slashing at his face with the knife. Mr Upadhay said he managed to free himself from the rope but the man then grabbed him, holding his head against the head rest while the woman began punching his head and face. He eventually slipped free of the man's grip and got out of the car. But he was again confronted and forced to hand over his wallet before he was able to run off. When he returned to the scene, he said his green Skoda

Octavia had disappeared. Mr Upadhay, a driver for Highfields Taxis, picked the couple up in Humberstone Gate, where the company is based. They asked to be taken to the New Parks area. He said: "It looked like a normal fare until I reached Dominion Road and they started telling me to go left, then right and left, then right again, and I started to get worried. Taxi drivers are getting attacked too often and something needs to be done. I was lucky this time." A spokesman for Leicestershire Police said: "We received a call to a report of a taxi driver being attacked at 10.56pm on Saturday, in Cuffling Drive, Leicester."

Student launches bid to become Miss Universe A useful Christmas present and a visit to a website have launched a student on the road to becoming Miss Universe. Gurpreet Bain, 20, from Rushey Mead, Leicester, is one of 50 finalists in the UK heat of the contest. She signed up after looking at the competition's website and was one of 500 girls invited to auditions. She said: "I was curious about what Miss Universe was all about and I was just looking at

its website and decided to apply. I'd got some professional photos done as a Christmas present, so I sent some in to see how it went. I was invited to an audition and I've just heard back that I'm through to the UK final. It's brilliant – it's a very big contest." If Gurpreet wins, she will be through to the worldwide finals in America. The contest is owned and run by American tycoon Donald Trump. The former

Gurpreet Bain

Beauchamp College student is currently on a tourism course at Loughborough College. She said that while she was keen on modelling work, her dream was to

work in an airline cabin crew. The UK final of Miss Universe will take place over two days in Birmingham, in May, and will include interviews as well as swimsuit, evening wear and other stages. Gurpreet said: "If I have enough confidence on the day, I think I can win it." The winner of Miss Universe 2010 will spend a year in New York City, living in Trump Tower, with a diary full of international engagements.


6

UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

Kapil’s

Britain’s top Asian policeman gets four years for abuse of office The most senior British police officer ever convicted of corruption offences has started a four-year prison sentence after a jury decided he had tried to frame an innocent man and told lies in an attempt to cover up his abuse of office. Ali Dizaei, 47, a commander with the Met who will end his 25-year police career drummed out of the force in disgrace, remained defiant, telling reporters the case was “completely outrageous and a fit-up”. He said the authorities had a vendetta against him. Dizaei was an outspoken critic of the police on race, leader of the National Black Police Association, and a key figure in a race row that erupted at the top of Scotland Yard in the summer of 2008. He had been cleared of criminal charges in 2003 and returned to duty despite Scotland Yard having suspected him of serious offences. That inquiry was intensified after MI5 had suspicions that the Iranian-born officer was a danger to national security. In the case that ended last Monday at Southwark Crown Court in central London, the Crown alleged that on July 18, 2008, Dizaei had clashed with Waad al-Baghdadi, who claimed the police commander owed him £600 for a website he had designed for him. Dizaei arrested the 24year-old then, using the special call sign given to him as a commander Metro 35 - called for back-

by Kapil Dudakia - email: kapil@abplgroup.com AV the answer?

Metropolitan police commander Ali Dizaei, left, and Waad al-Baghdadi

up to take his prisoner away. He claimed to have been assaulted and poked in the stomach with the mouthpiece of a shisha pipe. Mr Baghdadi had called emergency services just before being detained, but the call was overruled seconds later when Dizaei took his phone and told the operator that he was arresting the victim for a public order offence and needed “urgent assistance”. The officer’s story began to unravel when doctors said his injuries appeared to be self-inflicted. Mr Baghdadi later compared Dizaei to a gangster because he used his influence in the Iranian community to intimidate people. The jury was unanimous in finding Dizaei guilty of misconduct in public office and attempting to pervert the course of justice following a fourweek trial. Nick Hardwick, chairman of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, said: “Dizaei behaved like a bully. The greatest threat to the reputation of the

police service is criminals in uniform like Dizaei.” Speaking after the verdict was given Gaon Hart, reviewing lawyer for CPS Special Crime Division, said: “The jury agreed that Commander Ali Dizaei abused his position as a senior police officer when he threatened and arrested an innocent man with whom he had a personal dispute. Mr Dizaei had no proper reason for making this arrest and there was no real evidence that this young man had committed any crime on that day. Mr Dizaei’s corruption, which would be deplorable in any police officer, was all the more so given his position as a highly ranked Police Commander. The public entrust the police with considerable powers and with that comes considerable responsibility. Mr Dizaei abused that power and ignored that responsibility. The public should have confidence that we will prosecute anyone, regardless of their position, where there is evidence that they’ve committed serious offences of corruption...”

Mayor suspended in benefit fraud probe The mayor of a London borough arrested for alleged benefit fraud has been barred from wearing his robes and chain of office. The move prevented Omar Faruque Ansari, 55, representing Camden and from meeting Princess Anne at a function last week and the Duke of Gloucester this week. Mr Ansari has been expelled from the Liberal Democrat group on

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KHICHADI

Omar Faruque Ansari

Camden council after being bailed until March by police investigating whether he wrongly claimed thousands in disability benefits for a neck injury. After he refused to quit as mayor, council bosses held a meeting to ban him from the mayor's parlour preventing him from access to his robes, chain or use of the mayoral limousine. Under its constitution, Camden, which is ruled by a Lib-Dem-Tory coalition, cannot force Mr Ansari to quit. Instead it has reallocated his responsibilities to the Tory deputy mayor,

Lulu Mitchell. He will continue to be paid a £15,954 special responsibility allowance and remains mayor until May, as reported by Evening Standard. He also allegedly claimed incapacity benefit until it was stopped in 2006 when he became a councillor. He told the Camden New Journal he was an “innocent man”, adding: “I have done nothing wrong. I have not broken the law. I have been a good mayor and I want to continue to serve Camden.” Camden said in a statement: “While it is acknowledged that Councillor Ansari refutes the allegations which have yet to be proven, experience over the last few days has indicated that the current situation is detrimentally impacting upon the functioning of the mayoralty.” Lib-Dem council leader Keith Moffitt could not be reached for comment.

Some 6 months ago I had floated the idea that the Prime Minister might want to consider the ‘Alternative Voting - AV’ system, though I recall a few people thought I was a bit naïve! It has taken Gordon Brown time but it seems he has finally figured out that this might be the only saving grace for Labour (and the Liberals) in the future. Had he followed my timely advice, by now he would already have conducted a full public referendum giving a clear indication one way or the other of what the voters wanted. However, he missed that boat and therefore it seems that at the next election there will now be one more party that will put forward ‘proportional representation’ as one of their manifesto commitments. This will give voters a clear choice between Labour and the AV system, or the Tories with the ‘first past the post’ system. I wonder which way the floating liberal will vote?

Muslim Parliament? I have seen a video of a speech made by the Rt Hon Shahid Malik, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government. One of his responsibilities relates to ‘Preventing Extremism’ and in promoting ‘Community Cohesion’. In his speech he talked about increasing the numbers of Muslim MP’s in Parliament and then went on to say, ‘and at this rate the whole parliament will be Muslim.’ Adding, he also hoped that within 30 years there would be a Muslim Prime Minister. I was rather surprised that someone in such a senior position would seem to suggest Continued from page 3

that he aspires to see Britain becoming wholly Muslim. Of course I have no objection to people making their own minds up in relation to which faith they choose to follow, or who they vote for or even if our Prime Minister is of the Muslim faith. However, for a minister of the government to publicly declare that he awaits for the day when the character of Britain has changed so dramatically that it would elect a wholly Muslim parliament seems to be bordering on the absurd, if not downright ridiculous. Britain is and will continue to be a wholly Christian country and people of all faiths have to work within that framework, and learn to respect it. He then went on to suggest that due to his influence, financial aid/support was secured countries like for Pakistan (£480m), Bangladesh (£370m), Palestine (£243m), Yemen (£100+m) totalling in excess of £1 Billion. Yes, you did read that correctly, more than £1 Billion. Of course I have no idea if this is indeed as a result of his influence or the Labour government’s aid/support programme to various countries. Regardless, it seems Mr Malik feels so empowered and sure of his position within government, that he can make such astonishing statements with no fear of any recourse.

Pray and getaway! I was amazed when Judge Cherie Booth let a man off because he appeared to be religious and of good character. The man concerned had, it seems, broken the jaw of another man after a heated debate when they were waiting in queue. I can understand taking one’s good

character into account when a judgement is made. However, can we really allow the religiosity of an individual to come into reckoning within our legal system? By this rule one assumes that if the Archbishop were to ever commit murder, he could potentially get away with it given his apparent good character and for being so close to God. Judge Booth does a good job and her judgements are often sound – however, on this occasion I can’t help but wonder that she has made a grave error of judgement.

Polls, for whom do they Toll? The last six polls show that the Tory lead over labour now ranges from 7% to 9%. This is not good reading for David Cameron who has not been having a good time over the past few months. The Tories are getting into a tangle by not wanting to say too much, but when they do say something, it comes out as ill thought out and potentially dangerous for the country and the economy. Labour has successfully managed to label the Tories as a party that will cut too deep, too quickly and jeopardise recovery. Adding to this the Tories got caught out by abusing crime statistics in the way they presented the data to the country. They will have to be careful since once the public perceive that their use of data is nothing but spin – they would have lost whatever trust they might have built up over the past few years. Remember, we still have to see the ugly head of race and Europe to rear. Oh, and don’t forget the ‘Burkha’ element either. This is going to be a great pre-election run up with everything to play for, and power to those who make the least number of mistakes.

From Bharatnatyam to the ballet via Beck theatre

the Greeks would talk of the goddess Terpsichore who inspired dancers to a state of divinity and allowed the immortals to appear on earth through the medium of the dancer. Watching the Natya Vriksha company made me realise that the greatest dancers can seem to have been imbued of the essence of divinity and while I know that this is an accepted aspect of Indian classical dance I had never before seen it demonstrated so indisputably. Many years ago I saw Ravi Shankar playing with jazz musicians in

a style then known as IndoJazz fusion. He would have been delighted to see this physical demonstration of his musical inspiration. Talking to the dancers after the presentation was a signal honour for me and I was greatly impressed by their collective pride in their “Indian-ness”. They gloried in the 60th.anniversary of their nation and were proud to take Indian culture around Great Britain but they had modesty in their manner that spoke of their reverence for the great tradition that they

represented. The High Commissioner is a great diplomat and one who has won well deserved praise for this tour but, at the risk of causing offence, I would say that the Natya Vriksha Company are at least as good ambassadors for India as the best that India House can offer. Happy birthday India – and never was such an anniversary better celebrated than it was by the utterly unforgettable Geeta Chandran and the Natya Vriksha Dance Company.


Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

7


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www.abplgroup.com

Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

Dee Katwa

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

Lavish weddings at Westminster, thanks to MP Mahmood Media floodlights are once again being beamed on Khalid Mahmood, the influential Birmingham MP. This time for using his position to arrange for personal friends to hold their wedding receptions in exclusive House of Commons banquet rooms. Putting his hands up, Mr Mahmood (Lab, Perry Barr) insists he has done nothing wrong. “This didn’t cost taxpayers anything and it opened up the House of Commons to people from my Birmingham constituency,” he told local newspaper Sunday Mercury. Records published by the Commons show Mr Mahmood booked a dining room for a wedding reception in February 2006. In July 2009 he

booked the Churchill Dining Room for another wedding reception. This is one of the largest dining rooms in the Palace of Westminster and opens on to the Commons Terrace, overlooking the Thames. Both bookings 49-year-old Mr Mahmood admits to. “The first was a wedding reception for friends from Small Heath,” he said adding, “the second was for the son of a very good friend of mine from Aston. This

Call for ‘racist’ councillor to resign A British National Party councillor is to face a standards investigation after he described an Asian garage attendant as “f***ing filth” on an internet blog. Nuneaton councillor Martyn Findley (Barpool) launched the attack because the Asian man, he says, was staring at his son who was wearing his army cadet uniform. He posted: “How dare this piece of filth look at my son like that while he proudly wares (sic) his uniform? If he has a problem with British Army uniform there are plenty of places on gods

( s i c ) earth that he will not see it. H e should move to one of them.” The comments have led to Nuneaton and Bedworth’s longest serving councillor, Dennis Harvey (Lab, Camp Hill) to call for Councillor Findley, pictured, to resign. The article, entitled F***ing Filth” was published on Councillor Findley’s personal blog and advertised on his Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Dishonest GPs struck off Dr Purushottam Reddy Padala who cheated thousands of pounds out of the NHS by going off sick while working at another hospital has been banned for life. The orthopaedic specialist registrar took a sickie from City and Sandwell hospitals claiming he had injured his wrist, but worked as a locum at Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital. Padala, who qualified in India in 1993, acknowl-

edged his behaviour was fraudulent and apologised. Separately, another Birmingham medic, Dr Saroj Adlakha, pictured, who arranged an illegal late abortion for her teenage daughter in Spain has been struck off the medical register for being ‘deceitful’ and ‘dishonest’.

Come buddies, let’s enjoy: Khalid Mahmood MP

was someone who did a lot of work in the community, and they had been struggling to find a venue.” MPs are entitled to book rooms in the Palace

Westminster, of described as a “people’s palace” by Mr Mahmood, at no cost –but on the assumption that they are used for Parliamentary business. Mr Mahmood’s expenses claims were illuminated last year when it emerged he charged taxpayers £1,700 to stay at a fivestar London hotel with his ex-girlfriend, Elaina Cohen. Last month the pair hosted a reception in the Members Dining Room at the House of Commons to launch a new film about Benazir Bhutto, the former Pakistani premier who was assassinated in December 2007.

Shying away from diversity Kenneth Clarke, the former chancellor, now shadow business secretary, cannot answer questions on diversity. Nonsense. Absolutely not. I had emailed Mr Clarke, pictured, eight questions after a face-to-face meeting was ruled out by Salma Shah, the Tory spin surgeon for ethnic media, due to Mr Clarke’s indefinite unavailability. Ms Shah kindly responded: “We were under the impression that you wanted to interview Ken regarding his brief and unfortunately there is only one in the list that relates

The Good and Bad of Outsourcing to India: Emerging Problems in the sector and the way forward, was led by the modest Professor Pawan Budhwar, pictured, of Aston Business School. Professor Budhwar sup-

Free swimming lessons A Solihull leisure centre has launched a series of free swimming lessons for locals of all ages. Adults aged over 60, teens aged 15-17 and mothers with babies who cannot swim can all attend sessions throughout the year at Tudor Grange centre, Blossomfield Road. For more details call 0121 705 6371.

TV dodgers Nearly 10,000 people in Birmingham were caught watching TV without a licence last year, latest figures show. In Wolverhampton 2,741 people were caught; Walsall had 1,692 evaders, Dudley 825 and in West Bromwich there were 712. Nationally, 417,000 people were nabbed – 4,000 more than the previous year.

A warehouse that housed one of the West Midlands’ biggest-ever cannabis factories is owned by Wolverhampton Cabinet member Councillor Mohammed Arif. Cllr Arif, who owns a 50 per cent share in the Walsall property, was “in shock” when he discovered this. There is no suggestion that Cllr Arif was linked with the crime. to business.” She added: “The Shadow Cabinet do not answer questions that do not relate to their shadow teams.” Can’t answer questions on diversity, or being guarded from doing so. Which one Mr Clarke?

Birth milestone Three cheers to Coventry businessman Sureshbhai Shah, of Shah Pan House, who celebrated his 65th birthday with guests at the local Shri Krishna Temple last Sunday.

Name badges for cops Manchester police last week became the first force to make all officers wear name badges. With the way things are going now, how lucky that Bristol’s first black female officer, WPC Adora Dick, is no longer on the force.

Gold raid, family devastated Dr Dudrah. Other Global Achievers include nuclear physicist Dr Shan Nair, actress Lisa Ray, playwright Emteaz Hussain and artist Roma Patel.

Outsourcing to India seminar An eye-opening presentation on the ups and downs of outsourcing to India attracted over 160 delegates from a cross section of society at Aston University in Birmingham. The free evening seminar, entitled

Dementia bill Caring for people with dementia in Coventry and Warwickshire costs a staggering £238 million every year, new research suggests. According to the Dementia 2010 report (see full report at www.dementia2010.org) each of the region’s 8,600 patients costs an average of £27,647 each. Just over one in every 100 Coventry and Warwickshire residents has dementia.

Councillor ‘owned’ drugs den

Lecturer scoops top award Three cheers for lecturer Dr Rajinder Dudrah who has been recognised as one of the UK’s top 50 South Asian ‘Global Achievers’. Dr Dudrah, pictured, who is Head of Drama at Manchester University, received his trophy at a prestigious ceremony last Sunday for his contribution to the understanding of the Bollywood film industry through his academic and media work. “It’s humbling and equally thrilling to witness my work on Bollywood cinema,” said

News in Brief

ported his findings with tangible examples. Globally, the business process outsourcing, or BPO, sector employs 30 million people of which 750,000 are in India. To find out more email p.s.budhwar@aston.ac.uk

Gold jewellery worth £21,000 which was to be part of a wedding dowry and thousands of pounds in cash has been stolen in a burglary in Rushall, Walsall. The collection of gems had been saved up over several years by Mohammed and Parveen Habib for their 19-year-old daughter Asba’s future. The burglars also pocketed £5,000 in notes. Parveen and her three children, who are on holiday in Pakistan, have been informed.

Trainee cops on waiting list More than 200 would-be West Midlands Police officers who have completed the force’s recruitment process remain jobless. And more than 500 recruits, who have passed the first stage of the force’s training, are yet to be offered a position.

New role for Ila

Congratulations to Ila Kotecha who has joined the media relations team at SG CIB, the French investment bank. Previously she held a similar role at RBS Global Banking & Markets.


EDUCATION

Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

Government plan backfires The government's push since 1997, to increase the number of students at university is partly to blame for the looming admissions crisis, critics claimed. When Labour came to power it declared that it wanted 50 per cent of school-leavers to go on to higher education. Investment in careers advice and higher education recruitment campaigns increased and – controversially – universities were given targets to recruit more students from working class backgrounds and poor-performing state schools. Against this backdrop, the number of students applying to university has risen sharply. According to the latest figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas), applications to start courses this autumn have increased by 23 per cent. It is the fourth year in a row that demand has hit a record high, Ucas said. But critics claim that in recent years the increases have not been met with appropriate rises in Government support –

leaving a wide chasm between Labour’s ambition to “widen participation” to university and the reality. Ministers deny they have failed to match the rhetoric and point to figures showing that almost 400,000 more students are

spending in the recession means there is little chance of a dramatic increase in the number of places funded by the taxpayer in coming years. Last week, universities learned that their budgets were to be cut by £449 million for 2010-11,

now in UK universities compared with 1997. However, it is claimed that this fails to take account of demographic changes, as well as an increase in mature applicants and students from the European Union taking a larger share of places. Separate figures show that in 2008, 39.8 per cent of Britons aged between 18 and 30 were in higher education, compared with 39.2 per cent 10 years earlier. A squeeze on public

including a 1.6 per cent reduction – £215 million – in teaching grants. Since 2006, students have been charged more than £3,000 a year in fees, resulting in more money for universities. But, because students can take out loans subsidised by the taxpayer, the system is still expensive for the Government and – without a major overhaul of the entire system of student finance – it cannot deliver a truly significant rise in the number of places.

Future Generations

Sai School Harrow by Nikhita Sethi, Age 16

Channel 4’s Portrayal of India Since the release of Danny Boyle’s hit film, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ in 2008, the Western media and entertainment industry have taken sudden interest in India. Beginning with mainstream music artists singing songs in Hindi, it recently led to Channel 4’s highly advertised ‘Indian Winter’ season in January. The advert itself looked extremely promising, portraying Indian culture to be as colourful, rich and vibrant as it truly is. It showed all aspects of India from religion, to food and festivities, and most importantly for some, cricket! Commencing with the film itself, C4 went on to show popular and glamorous Bollywood films, such as Dhoom 2, and Om Shanti Om, which although were highly entertaining, were an obviously false depiction of India’s current society. However, it was highly anticipated the documentaries would display to many unaware British people, how affluent and

prosperous India as a country was becoming, they greatly failed to do so. The 3 main informative programmes focus on the state of the slums in Mumbai, and the disgusting environment the 1 million residents are forced to live in. Although India does accept the unfortunate circumstances of those people, there are furthermore 13 million people currently living in Mumbai in perfectly adequate conditions, some even in luxurious surrounds . Instead the programmes focussed on a small minority of Mumbai’s population, giving a completely untrue interpretation of India to those who watched the programmes, of many Indians to be uneducated and drug abusers, with many children forced to live on the streets or work as a ‘ragpicker’ to survive. As well as this, I believe the term ‘Slumdog’, which was used as 2 programmes titles, to be completely derogatory when describ-

PHILIP GLASS’s

SATYAGRAHA

GANDHI’S SEARCH FOR TRUTH IN A SPECTACULAR STAGING 25 Feb – 26 Mar 9 performances only

ts Ticke ly n o m o r f

£16

‘An astonishingly beautiful work’ The Guardian

A production by IMPROBABLE

ENO LIVE AT THE LONDON COLISEUM www.eno.org 0871 911 0200 Illus tration by S teve Rawlings

ing the children who are forced to live in the slums. I only realised the true impact the programmes had when being asked by a non-Asian friend as to whether India really was like that. Although like most other British Asian kids my age, I have been born and brought up in England, I still feel a strong connection to India, and therefore went to great lengths to respond to this question as honestly as possible, by telling her that although my experiences of India may be slightly limited, India has economically and socially advanced rapidly, on observations I made myself during my visits. To conclude, I believe that a large majority of British Asians agree with me when I say that although the general idea of Channel 4’s Indian Winter was brilliant, the documentaries depicted India as far poorer than it actually is, and as a whole the programmes displayed India incorrectly.

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10

ART & CULTURE

Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

Spriha’s

Corner

By Spriha Srivastava

London Zapped by Geeta Chandran It was a high-octane event in which the movers and shakers of the India-UK relationship in London came together to salute 60 years of the Indian Republic. And showcasing India was India’s very own Bharatanatyam. In a unique cultural initiative personally shepherded by the Indian High Commissioner Nalin Surie, Bharatanatyam Dancer Geeta Chandran and her Natya Vriksha Dance Company per-

dancing Bankim Chatterjee’s Chandra Vande Mataram. Her involvement in the abhinaya reflected unusual pride in her country, an aspect that touched the hearts of the packed house-full audience, led by India’s Commerce Minister Anand Sharma. Geeta backed this with a mesmerizing Dance of Shiva which she contextualized as a plea for change. Shiva after all is a metaphor for creation and destruction. The Dance of Shiva

Geeta Chandran formed at the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Hall. Produced by The Nehru Centre, London, and sponsored by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, the opening performance kicked off a two-week tour of the same performance in various cities in the United Kingdom: Cardiff, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leicester and Liverpool. What was extraordinary was the care and craft with which dancer/choreographer Geeta Chandran delivered the performance. It had elements of tradition for the traditionalists and stark experimental numbers for those who found pure tradition claustrophobic. Very few artists are able to traverse this trajectory, but Geeta’s skill and flair enabled her to undertake this delicate balance with unusual aplomb. The performance opened with a Mallari danced by 6 dancers. This traditional piece was recast by Geeta as an exciting apportioning of space in a manner very different from what is usually to be seen in Indian classical choreography. Then Geeta herself appeared as a soloist,

showed her as a dancer sure of her craft and extraordinarily surefooted as she negotiated complex rhythmic patterns even while her hands and eyes wove pure iconographic magic. The finale of the traditional repertoire was a Raas, an original composition Geeta had created from the Haveli Sangeet tradition of North India. Sequencing the raas dance of Krishna as a balance between solo and group rhythms and as solo expressiveness, by the end of the dance, every audience member felt that they had been present at the very moment when Krishna himself had danced the raas! Such was the power of Geeta’s lyricism; met in equal measure by the 6 talented young dancers she has trained in her own mould. The first part of the performance showed Bharatanatyam to be vibrant and resilient. If the artist is consummate, then tradition can remain exciting and creative! But if the first part excelled in delivery, the second part of the programme took audience

excitement to further heights. In her first solo Unurth, Geeta explored movement when even the loss of meaning does not make the choreography meaningless. Presented to the haunting soundtrack of Shubha Mudgal, Unurth presented a rare visage of classical dance where the familiar embraced the unknown. In terms of dance theatre, it was purely experiential. The language of words and criticism remains a poor reply to the dexterity of a great artist. So Many Journeys concluded with a finale which announced India’s arrival as a truly world player in global affairs. The traditional play of the Indian seasons was unbelievably cast to the music of Tchaikovsky. In a truly remarkable choreographic breakthrough, Geeta decoded the music of the beloved Russian western classical music composer and interpreted it through chaste Bharatanatyam that was minimalistic and where brevity of movement let the purity of the music filter through. It was probably the best essaying of India meets the world today sort of sentiment, without propaganda or mush; purely dance! Prominent people present at the performance were S. P. Hinduja and G. P. Hinduja, Chairman and President respectively of the Hinduja Group, Dr. Kartar Lalvani, Chairman of the Vitabiotics and Rami Ranger, leading NRI entrepreneur. As the India High Commissioner Nalin Surie and his charming wife Poonam Surie gushed to their VIP audience, “we wanted to showcase the best that India has to offer.” This truly was the very best! London’s Nehru Centre and its Director Monika Mohta need to be congratulated for a welldelivered cultural experience that transcended geography.

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

Improbable return to direct Philip Glass’s Satyagraha Director Phelim McDermott and designer Julian Crouch, two of the three co-artistic directors of the visionary British theatre company, Improbable, direct and design the highly acclaimed Satyagraha. This dynamic creative team, making their debut at ENO in 2007, devised a must-see production breaking all Company boxoffice records for contemporary opera making it the most popular contemporary work to be performed by ENO. Its first revival sees the return of Alan Oke as M. K. Ghandi alongside the ENO Chorus that takes a central role as the mass force for change under Gandhi’s inspired leadership. In visualising Glass’s expressive score, Improbable bring together a wide range of artistic forms including improvisation, animation, puppetry and extraordinary sets. Satyagraha, a Sanskrit word meaning ‘truth force’ is the second in Philip Glass’s trilogy about men who changed the world: the first being Einstein on the Beach (1976) and third Akhnaten (1984): the underlying sub-text is politics. Satyagraha is seminarrative in form, hypnoti-

cally ritualistic in style and deals with Mahatma Gandhi’s early years in South Africa and his development of non-violent protests as a political tool. Each of the three acts depicts a ‘spiritual guardian’ who is linked to the Satyagraha philosophy. In Act 1 this is Tolstoy: Philip Glass believes that Gandhi and Tolstoy, who were friends, shared the same combination of the spiritual and the political. In Act 2 it is the Indian mystic and poet Tagore, whom Gandhi acknowledged as a great moral authority. The ‘guardian’ of Act 3, Martin Luther King Junior, impressed Glass as ‘a sort of American Gandhi’, who fought the same battles and accomplished many shared objectives, using the weapon of peaceful mass resistance. Together, Tolstoy, Tagore and King represent the past, present and future of Satyagraha. Phelim McDermott has been directing and performing since 1984, and has collaborated with designer Julian Crouch on several productions, including Shockheaded Peter, which has been seen worldwide to massive criti-

cal and audience acclaim. In 2010 this remarkable duo will bring a new musical, The Addams Family, to Broadway. Conductor Stuart Stratford returns to ENO, following his debut in 2004, to lead a stellar cast consisting of Alan Oke as M.K. Grandhi following his acclaimed performance in the premiere at ENO in 2007. He is joined by Elena Xanthoudakis as Miss Schlesen, Janis Kelly as Mrs Naidoo, Ashley Holland as Mr Kallenbach, James Gower sings a double role as Lord Krishnal and Parsi Rustomji and Robert Poulton as the Prince. New to the production are Stephanie Marshall as Kasturbai and Anne Mason as Mrs Alexander. Integrated with the ENO Chorus is a team of 12 skills artists including aerialists, puppeteers and regular performers with Improbable. Satyagraha opens at the London Coliseum on 25 February for 9 performances – 4, 12, 18, 19, 25 & 26 March at 7pm and 6 & 13 March at 6pm. Box Office: 0871 911 0200 or online www.eno.org

Where Three Dreams Cross 21 January – 11 April 2010 The Whitechapel Gallery presents the first major survey of historic and contemporary photography from the subcontinent. This landmark exhibition explores culture and modernity through the lens of photographers from India, Pakistan a n d Bangladesh, with over 300 works by 70 artists. Images on show range from the earliest days of photography in 1860 to the present day. Seminal works from the most important collections of historic photography, including the renowned Alkazi Collection in Delhi, the Drik Archive in Dhaka, the Abhishek Poddar Collection in Bangalore, and the White Star Archive in Karachi join many previously unseen images from private family archives, galleries, individuals and works by leading contemporary artists. The exhibition is presented in five themes which incorporate historic, modern and contemporary works: The Streets looks at social documentary and street photography. Including works from early street studies by Lala Deen Dayal to press photography by India’s first female photojournalist Homai Vyarawalla; from the photo-documentary traditions of Ram Rahman and pioneering use of colour photography by Raghubir Singh to contemporary conceptual works by artists such as Iftikhar Dadi and Rashid Rana. Intimate Relationships explores family and group structures within society. It traces the story of photography

from 19th century hand-painted family portraits to contemporary investigations of creed, communities and race. Artists in this section include Pablo Bartholomew, Asim Hafeez, Huma Mulji, Dileep Prakash, Vicky Roy and Vivan Sundaram. Architecture addresses the cultural value of buildings and public spaces.

Early works include 19th Century views of religious and secular and architecture, while contemporary artists such as Dayanita Singh and Bharat Sikka explore contemporary globalised India. Artists in this section include Aasim Akhtar, Dinesh Khanna, Praful Patel, Bharat Sikka and Shahid Datawala. Points of Transition looks at political moments and movements. It makes reference to key historical events such as independence in 1947 and the creation of Bangladesh in 1971. Works include portraits of 20th century politicians; Sunil Janah’s iconic images, Tanveer Shahzad’s photo-journalism and Kriti Arora’s documentation of Kashmir. The Portrait charts the evolution of self-representation through portraiture from 19th century studio portraiture to Pushpamala N’s contemporary self-portraits. Artists in this section include Bani Abidi, Babba Bhutta, Saibal Das, Gauri Gill and Umrao Singh Sher-Gil.


UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

UK seeks deeper trade ties with India Business Secretary Lord Mandelson and Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma met in London to look at deepening ties between the UK and one of the world’s fastest growing economies last week. Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said: India is not only a global economic power, it is also one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. I am delighted to welcome Minister Sharma here, and anticipate fruitful talks today. India’s confidence, energy and innovation, allied to the UK’s worldclass knowledge economy, can transform life for millions in both our countries and around the world. We can work together in the high technology sectors that will facilitate low carbon growth and bring longterm prosperity.” The Joint Economic Trade Committee (JETCO) talks came amidst a period of intense activity between the UK and Indian Governments. Indian Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath was in London two weeks back, shortly after a visit by Human Resources Minister Kapil Sibal in January. Lord Mandelson visited India in December, following a visit by Trade, Investment and Small

Mr Anand Sharma, Commerce and Industry Minister of India with Business Secretary of UK, Lord Mandelson

Business Minister Lord Davies. With India one of the largest consumer markets in the world, retail will be a key issue. The sector accounts for over 10% of India’s GDP. The UK has experience in managing supply chains for agri-business that could help India to tackle the issue of food spoiling en route to market. Currently almost 35-40% of agricultural produce in India is lost during transit. Infrastructure is an important area of opportunity. India has 80,000 kilometres of road that need either expanding or build-

ing, and a UK-India roads group was set up last week. There are ambitious plans to turn Nagpur, a city at the geographical heart of India, into a road, rail and air hub. In the food and drink sector, India is the world’s largest market for whisky, with 90 million cases sold every year. Indian banks such as ICICI and State Bank of India are expanding in the UK, and UK banks are keen to expand further into India, where they are already offering microfinance loans. With 15% of India’s population under the age of 15, education has been pin-

pointed as a growth area. The Indian Government plans to triple the public budget for science and technology by 2012 to reach 2% of GDP. With India’s middle class currently numbering 300,000 people, opportunities to increase the provision of business services will be on the agenda. UK’s bilateral trade with India is worth £12.6bn. The UK is the biggest European investor in India and India last year overtook Japan to become the biggest Asian investor in the UK by number of projects. Over 600 Indian firms are represented in the UK, of which about two thirds are in information technology or software. Last year alone, almost 4,000 new jobs were created in the UK by Indian investment. Lord Mandelson also spoke about the 'Future of British Economies' in Canary Wharf on the 3rd of February to the crème de la crème of the British society and Labour party present. He thanked the people of the UK for being brave enough to face losing their jobs and the economic slump. Criticising the Tories, he stated how the government has always cultivated the best of the economy for its people and promised even a better future under the Labours.

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Seminar to be held For construction workers on various health and safety measures Sunday 28th February 2010 @ 3pm to 6pm Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar along with Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Construction Division is hosting a free seminar/event at the Brent Indian Association (BIA), Ealing Road on Sunday 28th February for construction workers providing advice on various health and safety measures they will need to keep in mind whilst they are on the construction sites.

Also they will be advised on their statutory rights whilst they are on construction sites. Workers from the construction Industry are free to attend and the seminar will be in Gujarati and English. Please note there are only few seats and the seats are offered on a first come first serve basis only. To book your seat please call on 020 7749 4013.

Mr Ash Patel of Eagle Cargo Services winner (center) of Ocean Fright Award receiving the Award from Andrea Robinson of CargoWise (left) and Frances Edmonds, Auther and Broadcaster (right), at the British International Freight Association (BIFA) Awards ceremony held recently.

Watch your step UK Health and Safety Law protects you even if you are not working here legally

Rhaynukaa Soni Outreach Executive

Several thousand construction workers are injured every year after they trip or slip over while they are at work on a building site. Around 1,000 every year involve someone fracturing bones or dislocating joints. Simple accidents like these can mean that people like you lose money or even have to give up working in the construction industry. You cannot afford it. Most of these accidents could be avoided if everyone on the site did their bit to make the workplace safer. It is in everyone’s interest to keep the

building sites you work on tidy and well organised. The job can be done quicker, more easily and without the risk that workers will get seriously injured. Too often site managers just expect the workers to get on with work without doing the proper planning – especially when the site is small. Here are simple things you can do to reduce the risk of slips and falls: ! Keep storage areas tidy; ! Plan deliveries to minimise the amount of materials stored on site; ! Make sure all corridors, stairways, footpaths or other areas used by pedestrians are kept clear at all times; ! Tie up loose cables, especially along corridors; ! Keep work areas as tidy as possible while work is going on; ! Put covers over, or barriers around, all holes and excavations into which people could fall;

! Make sure that all rubbish and waste on site is managed and removed in a planned way. These six photographs were all taken on the same small refurbishment project. When an HSE inspector visited the site he closed it down with a Prohibition Notice, a legal order – he took the ‘Before’ photographs at the first visit. The ‘After’ photographs are the same site when the inspector returned to check that the employer had complied with his legal duties. This is the way the site should have been organised in the first place. The conditions on this site were very poor. The toilet facilities for the workers were a hole in the ground behind the wooden screen in the ‘Before’ photograph above. A temporary portaloo with fresh running water was provided. After the inspector shut the site down the employer provided a secure walkway to replace the single board which was an accident waiting to happen!

BEFORE

AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER

Helpline: 0207 556 2181 e-mail: desi@hse.gsi.gov.uk Website: www.hse.gov.uk/construction/gujarati


12

MEDIA WATCH

Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

Scrutator’s We start on a note of optimism. James Lamont's analysis piece on the India's economy (Financial Times February 5) describes the profits chalked up by the Steel Authority of India (SAIL), much to the satisfaction of its chairman, industry veteran S.K.Roongta, who sensed better times ahead. Mr Lamont ascribed this optimism to “India's powerful domestic market and a hunger for making things out of steel, such as bridges and electricity grids. Public spending on infrastructure and rising automotive sales have spurred domestic consumption of metals. In what is the world's fastest growing large economy after China, industrial production as a whole has been running at double the rate of a year earlier.” Steel production was up 13 per cent he said. Says Mr Roongta: “Demand is primarily driven by the domestic market. Incomes are rising and so is demand across different sectors. We see growth not just for the coming quarters but on a sustained business for many, many years.” Mr Lamont continues his narrative: “SAIL is one of a number of India's more inward-looking companies whose performance shows that Asia's third largest economy is one of the great escape artists of the global economic downturn.” The country's other big companies had also sidestepped the global crisis, he said. The buzzword in India was now resilience. It was now popular with foreign investors. “Peter Loshcer, chief executive of Siemens, whose attraction for a market 'booming in terms of size and growth' prompted him to double the German engineering group's investment there: Siemens is to design specifically for Indian customers.” However, the implementation next tranche economic reforms was vital, pronounced Mrt Lamont. Assuredly so. He appeared mildly pessimistic, fearing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his principal aide Montek Singh Ahluwalia would be marginalized by the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty heir apparent Rahul Gandhi, whose major concern appeared to be the strengthening of his Congress party. But how else can a democratic state be governed? How else can economic and other reforms be implemented? Not surely through a Delhi version of the Beijing Tiananmen Square live display of tanks, guns, and corpses?

Caution or genius? In a separate column profiling the previous governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Y.V.Reddy, Mr Lamont highlighted his caution, a quality which had determined India's monetary policy and enabled India to avoid being caught up in the global economic downturn. Stephen Roach, chief economist at Morgan Stanley, the US investment bank, credits Mr Reddy's conservatism for this. “When the world was talking about how difficult it was to spot asset bubbles the RBI made sure that there was no such event in India.” Nobel laureate and Columbia University (New York) Professor Joseph Stiglitz believed that had the US had a Governor Reddy the subprime crisis would never have happened. His colleague Jagdish Bhagwati jested that it was difficult to know whether Mr Reddy's prudence was fluke or genius. Whatever it was, it worked – to India's advantage.

IT exports to grow “India's IT exports set to grow by 13%” was the title of James Fontenella-

Khan's report in the Financial Times (February 5). He writes: “Revenues from India's IT and software services exports could grow at least by 13 per in the next fiscal year as companies such as Tata Consultancy Services start to benefit from a pick-up in global demand....India's National Association of Software and Servicee Companies (Nasscom) forecasts that export revenue will grow to $56bn in the year to March 2011....Pramod Bhasin, chairmann of Nasscom, said that the global financial crisis had forced India India's outsourcing industry to reform.

Agni III launched Soft power has to be shielded by hard power – an apposite mantra for our times. There is much skulduggery in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with Islamabad's patrons unable or unwilling to rein their charge. China has laid claim to the entire Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh and the SinoAmerican relationship appears to have hit choppy waters. India's neighbourhood is combustible. To prevent war one must prepare for it – which is what India is clearly

Agni III in majestic take-off

any blemish. The flight gave us the full range and pinpoint accuracy. The missile travelled accurately its entire range to its last decimal place as we had planned.” Agni II is now ready for induction into the Army's missile force.

Raising the bar

Dr V K. Saraswat

doing. The successful launch of Agni III, the country's ballistic missile with a reach of 3,500 kilometres, at the weekend surely carried the appropriatee message to those who harbour predatory designs. The Hindu newspaper (February 8) carried a report from its science and defence correspondents, T.S.Subramanian and Y.Mallikarjun describing the launch from the Wheeler Island off Orissa, said the pre-arranged target in the Bay of Bengal was hit accurately after the missile entered the atmosphere, having reached an altitude of 350 kilometres. It withstood temperatures of 3,000 Celsius on its re-entry. The two-stage surface-to-surface missile, powered by solid propellants, is capable of carrying nuclear warheads. An elated V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, called it “a fantastic launch and a hattrick. Speaking to reporters from Wheeler Island he went on: “It shows the maturity of the missile's design and the quality of its systems because we have had three successes in a row without

Scientists and engineers at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have raised the bar. They plan to produce Agni V, which is projected to reach a target 5,000 km away. According to Dr Saraswat, the indigenisation of India's missile technology had reached a level which could withstand any sanctions regime such as the country had faced before. Agni III was equipped with a sophisticated computer system, navigated with an advanced system and guided to its target by an innovative instrumentation including several radars and electro-optical tracking facilities. Avinash Chander, the Mission Director, said Agni III was tested for its full range and that its integrated strategic command network was fully proved. Mr Chander is also Director, Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) Hyderabad, which designs and develops the Agni variants.

High-tech helicopters India Defence online reports that Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the state-owned company, will soon be flying the first prototype of the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). Speaking to reporters,

HAL chairman Ashok Nayak said that this was the first attack helicopter to be designed indigenously and was tailor made for the Indian Air Force (IAF) requirements. The upgraded Advance Light Helicopter (ALH), also a HAL product, had already been inducted into the IAF he said. The current batch, he went on, had been upgraded with several sensors and mission equipment. “These ALHs sport Shakti engines for high altitude operations up to 6 kilometres. This apart, it had electronic warfare suite and electro optic sensors. Weapons had also been been integrated into the helicopters,” he said.

IPCC bungle The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been under fire sustained for bungling its hyped report on climate

Dr Rajendra Pachauri

change. As this authoritative body bears the UN's imprimatur, it was rightly expected that its findings on climate change would be free of error. The errors may have been few, as some climate change scientists have claimed, but they were gross. The Sunday Telegraph duo of Richard Gray and Ben Leach (February 7)

itemized the report's mistakes. Many of its sources were culled from student dissertations and from publications by environmental pressure groups. “Last month, the panel was forced to issue a humiliating retraction after it emerged that statements made about the melting of the Himalayan glaciers were inaccurate.” Hopelessly so. It was predicted that would be gone by 2035. The IPCC panel had also wrongly reported that half of the Netherlands was below sea level because it had failed to check information supplied by a Dutch government agency. Rajendra Parchauri, the IPCC chairman, reacted truculently when the errors in its report were pointed out to him. He may not have been personally responsible for them but as chairman he must take responsibility. A second Telegraph report by Robert Hendick and Amrit Dhillon of the same date told how The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri), “of which Dr Rajendra Pachauri is the director-general, has given corporate awards to Pepsi and Honda as well as Indian businesses. Those same companies have given financial backing to Teri through grants or paid-for consultation work. According to Teri's own website Dr Pachauri and his wife are on the jury panel for the 2010 awards. Dr Pachauri as been on the jury panneal for the awards in previous years. “The disclosure will lead to further questions over possible conflict of interest against Dr Pachauri......” You bet they will. Caesar and Caesar's wife must be above suspicion each and every time.


Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

www.abplgroup.com

Alpesh Patel Consultant Editor Financial Voice Dear Financial Voice Reader, We humans have a lot of shortcomings. And many of those manifest in the stock market in particular. Studies in 1973 by Kahneman and Tversky show that humans have a tendency to overestimate the probability of their forecasts being accurate. This is fine if you’re the leader of a political party – you’re expected to think you’ll always win until the last result comes in. But, when your investing in the markets, this gets to be painful. Worse still, investors, especially novices are slow to adjust their expectations according to other studies (Daniel, Hershleifer & Subrahmanyam, 1998) and this leads them to be the last to enter the party and the last to leave, in other words, they come in once most of the moves have happened and leave ones the gains have gone and the market is on the way down. For instance the markets have had a great rally and run, it’s about now many retail investors will be getting ready to invest. The private retail investor is such a good ‘contrary’ indicator that when a bell boy told J Pierpont Morgan (the JP Morgan) which stocks Morgan should buy, it was then Morgan called his broker and told him to go into cash. That was 1929. Then there is how things are framed. In one study, participants had to choose one of two scenarios, an 80% possibility to win $4,000 and the 20% risk of not winning anything as opposed to a 100% possibility of wining $3,000. Although the riskier choice has a higher expected value ($4,000 x 0.8 = $3,200), 80% of the participants chose the safe $3,000. When they had to choose between a 80% possibility to lose $4,0000 and the 20% risk of not losing anything as one of the scenario, and a 100% possibility of losing $3,000 as the other scenario, 92% chose the gambling scenario. The problem is individuals overweigh losses when they are described as definitive, as opposed to when they are described as possible. Even though looking at it rationally the expected outcome is the same in both cases. People tend to fear losses more than they value gains. So investors will take a greater risk and gamble in a losing situation, holding on to the position in hope that prices will recover. In a winning situation, they will become risk averse and quickly take profits. Tell that to the Iraq Inquiry. In other words, private investors do not do what winning traders do. They do not cut losses short and let winners run. Private investors let their losses run and cut their profits short. Further research shows investors tend to let losses predispose decision makers to take risks. That is they take more risk if they have made an earlier loss. What does this have to do with forecasting? Profits. Sunk costs, those already expended result in more risky, not less risky business. So how does this impact forecasting? It is these psychological biases that lead to poor forecasts. It is these we have to understand so that we can forecast better. Poor investors and traders shift their risk tolerance according to whether a situation is positively or negatively framed. They show an aversion against losses when one is avoiding a loss even if it means accepting a higher risk. They have a preference for risky actions to avoid an impending loss over less risky options just to minimize the loss and “bite the bullet”. I mention this as in the present markets I think it is a good time to take some money off the table – even if you’re late to the party and suffering losses in doing so.

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UK companies interested in building roads in India India’s minister for Road Transport and Highways Kamal Nath has been able to generate interest among a few British companies to venture into building roads in India. A group of British construction companies formed a consortium – The British India

Roads Group (BRIG). The consortium met Kamal Nath during his recent visit to UK. According to Kamal Nath, BRIG is expected to sign an MOU with government of India within about two months. The consortium or individual companies may

set up joint ventures or Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) with Indian partners for their participation in the highway development works. They are expected to work in many areas, including reforms in certification and licensing procedures, road safety,

financing and construction. Kamal Nath had meetings with British Transport Secretary Lord Andrew Adonis as well as UK Trade and Investment also, apart from extensive discussions with the consortium.

East India Company to capture London retail market Sanjiv Mehta to expand the footprint to India, other countries too

The entity that once ruled India is now owned by an Indian and has plans to conquer London retail market with outlets in UK as well as in India, Middle East and later to expand in Japan, Russia and the USA also. The 400 year old company that stepped on the Indian soil for busi-

ness and went on to become the ruler was bought in 2004 by an Indian origin businessman Sanjiv Mehta. The 48 year old owner feels a huge sense of redemption. He says he feels very personal for it. “It would be nice going back to my motherland (India) as the owner

of East Company”. Mehta wants to open flagship store in Mayfair, central London this year. The outlets will be selling tea, coffee, spices and fabrics. Other products like chocolates, leather goods, fruit pickles, sushi and furniture also could be there. The new stores will have a

BAE Systems & Mahindra to invest £13.62 mn in defence JV

UK’s BAE Systems and their Indian joint venture partner, auto giant Mahindra and Mahindra will be investing £13.62 million (Rs. 990 million) in their Indian joint venture – Defence Land Systems India. The jv has been formed with the aim of special purpose vehicles meant for use of defence forces and para military forces. The investment will be pumped over a period of next three years, the new company announced on Tuesday through a press release in Mumbai. Mahindra and Mahindra holds 74 per

cent stake in the jv, while the rest 26 per cent is with BAE Systems. Defence Land Systems India is expected to become functional soon. With its headquarters in New Delhi, the company will be having the manufacturing facility near Faridabad in Haryana, located in the National Capital Region. Defence Land Systems India has ambitious plans to become an artillery centre of excellence in the country with capabilities of not just manufacturing but also development, testing and support. To start with, the company will manufacture

Axe high mobility vehicle as well as up-armoured and bulletproof Scorpios, Boleros, Rakshak, rapid intervention vehicles and the Marksman lightarmoured vehicle. The BAE System, accused of corruption and malpractice in its deals with various countries, was recently in news following a’ plea bargain’ agreement with the US and UK’s anti-corruption entities. Under the agreement the company has agreed to pay 400 million dollars to US Justice Department and 30 million dollars to UK’s Serious Fraud Office.

With a majority of global economies still limping back to positive grounds, private equity funds are looking at betting their investments in developing countries like China and India, atleast for 2010, according to results of a survey by Preqin, a global PE research firm. Asian countries have

attracted considerable interest of the investors, with 45 per cent saying that atleast at present, the region is attractive. The Preqin report said more than 50 per cent of the investors preferred China, while 41 per cent said they look towards India. About two-third of

those who responded said they are already having investments in Asian countries or they intend to do it in near future. Even as challenges and risks of investments remain high during such a period of turmoil, more PE investors are expected to be back to the market this year.

India, China most attractive destinations for PE investments

feel of today and yet tell of the connection to its past. The new owner of this historical company has said every salesperson will be made to study the history of the company, as they are expected to sell not merely a product, but to sell an experience to the customers.

Vodafone tax case: Brown worried, writes to Manmohan As Vodafone is facing a huge tax demand over its deal of buying Hutchison stake in Indian mobile company, the matter has reached political levels, with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown warning his Indian counterpart that such a treatment to overseas companies will affect the investment climate for India. Brown wrote to Dr. Manmohan Singh after the Income tax department in India served a notice to Vodafone in October, 2009 over the demand of capital gains tax. Earlier, Supreme Court of India had dismissed Vodafone’s petition. The British company had challenged the jurisdiction of Indian income tax authorities for demanding capital gains tax. Vodafone has been asked to pay US$1.7 bn as capital gains tax over the shares that the company purchased from Hutchison International. CGP Investment also was involved. Vodafone was supposed to deduct the amount from the proceeds of the deal paid to Hutchison. Vodafone may even face penalties and an annual interest @ 18%.

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14

FINANCIAL VOICE

Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

India’s economy is expected to grow at 7.2 per cent Agriculture is struggling after the worst monsoons in 37 years

Toyota Motor Corp will recall around 436,000 hybrid cars worldwide, including the 2010 Prius model. Toyota formally issued a recall filing of 223,068 cars in Japan across four hybrid models -- the newest Prius model, the Prius PHV (plug-in hybrid), the SAI and the Lexus HS250h.

Capital flows to India faster than expected Capital flows are coming into India at a faster pace than expected, and in such a situation, liberalising the use of funds raised in the overseas market becomes a challenge, said C S Mohapatra, director, capital markets department of the finance ministry. Mohapatra avoided any comment on the question of rising capital flows were a concern, and

would the government consider some curbs on portfolio investments. He, however, clamed the capital flows would be managed efficiently. Analysts and market players have pointed out the challenges the government and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will face in the wake of rising capital inflows into India, as global investors seek high yielding assets.

Siemens increasing investment, employment in India Germany based engineering group and Europe’s largest company in the field, Siemens has said last week it will be investing $346 million in India over three years, mostly to make wind turbines to tap into a rapidly expanding market for renewable energy. The German company will add 8,000 jobs in India by 2012, taking its workforce to 25,000. Siemens however said this was not a move to shift production to lowcost countries. Siemens had previous-

ly said it would cut 2,000 jobs in Germany and was eyeing reductions in other locations on falling demand, adding it would take time before production returned to pre-crisis peaks of 2007/08. Siemens is in India for more than 140 years and built the first telegraph line between Kolkata and London in 1867. Siemens plans to increase its local revenue by 10 times to 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) by 2020 and Loescher said much of this would come through organic growth.

Shapoorji Pallonji to set up 2,000-MW project in Guj Mumbai-based infrastructure major Shapoorji Pallonji is to set up a 2,000-MW power project at Chhara in Kodinar taluka, Junagadh district, the place where it is planning to set up a greenfield port with an investment of Rs 1,200 crore. Media reports say sen-

ior executives of the enterprise were recently in Gujarat and met state energy secretary D Jagatheesa Pandian about a month ago to finalise the location. To be set up with an investment of Rs 10,000 crore, the project will be based on imported coal.

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India’s Central Statistical Organisation on Sunday announced that India’s economy is expected to grow at 7.2 per cent in the fiscal year ending March 2010. Manufacturing (+8.9 per cent from 3.2 per cent) and mining (+ 8.7 per cent against 1.6 per cent a year earlier) will lead the economy. Agriculture is feared to contract by 0.2 per cent, after being battered in 2009 by the worst monsoon in 37 years. The figures confirm data released by the Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central bank, which said it expected the GDP to grow to 7.5 per cent for this year.

This suggests that Asia’s third-largest economy is recovering quickly from the global economic slowdown and may act as a major leader in the world economy, whilst Western countries are still struggling. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of India’s planning commission, said that the latest figures supported government action. He added that growth could return to 8 per cent in the next fiscal year, close to levels achieved during the boom years of the mid2000. Concurring with most experts, he said that caution was needed until the next data are released. Many believe that the

recovery is closely related to government stimulus, and prefer to wait to see what happens when the government ends fiscal stimulus. For others, it was too early to stop the stimulus as the economy was still at an early stage of recovery. After starting to rise again, inflation tops the list of concerns. If unchecked, it could have a devastating effect on the poorest elements of India’s 1.1billion people. India’s wholesale price inflation for this fiscal year rose from 8 per cent to 10 per cent. Food prices have recently grown at an annual rate of 17 per cent, according to government data. Other experts believe

food prices rose even more and that the jump of the last few weeks is not going to stop in near future. Analysts sound a note of caution, arguing that we will know how accurate trends are only in a few months time. They, however, agree that the recovery should be rapid, even if some data are less optimistic than those of the government. In a recent research note titled Global Outlook: Green shoot have arrived, Barclays Capital said that India’s real GDP growth for the calendar year 2009 would be 4 per cent, rising to 6 per cent in 2010. It was 9.1 per cent in 2007 and 6 per cent in 2008.

India’s IT World’s Most Powerful Billionaires list exports may has Mukesh Ambani, Lakshmi Mittal cross US$ 50 bn

Mukesh Ambani, owner of India’s Reliance Industries and Lakshmi Mittal, India born steel czar figure among the World’s most powerful Billionaires list compiled by Forbes. The list also takes into account political clout apart from the riches. Mukesh Ambani ranks eighth in the annual list prepared by the US business magazine. He is the richest Indian. Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City ranks at no. 1, while Mittal ranks 13th. Bloomberg has influence in the media, finance and fashion capital of the US - and arguably the world". "Ambani controls oil and gas conglomerate Reliance Industries. With a market value of more than $73 billion, the firm is

Mukesh Ambani

Lakshmi Mittal

India's biggest independent company." Compatriot Lakshmi Mittal - India's second wealthiest with a net worth of $30 billion - heads ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel maker, and ranks 13th on the list. The steel giant operates in 60 countries and has market value of $65 billion. "Media and banking titan Silvio Berlusconi is prime minister of Italy and

ranks second on Forbes list. Billionaire industrial heir, Saad Hariri, who was appointed prime minister of Lebanon Iast June, ranks fifth. Apple's Steve Jobs ranks as the 18th most powerful billionaire in the world. Billionaires falling from the ranks this year include Oprah Winfrey, Roman Abramovich and Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud.

IT exports from India are expected to cross the US$ 50 bn mark for year 2010, ending on 31st March, 2010. A Nasscom forecast says the industry is likely to add 150,000 jobs next year. Nasscom last week said that growth in software and services exports revenue would more than double to 1315% in 2010-11, compared to the 5.5% increase it is expected to see this year. The slowdown this year was on account of the cuts in IT budgets by overseas customers following the global recession. Domestic software and services revenues are estimated to grow by 15-17% next year.

Morgan Stanley bullish on India Advises India and China to lower dependence on exports Financial services company Morgan Stanley’s Asia chief Stephen Roach is more bullish on India than China. He believes the Indian government will be able to deliver on fiscal consolidation, disinvestment, tax reforms and infrastructure. Stephen S Roach, chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, told reporters that he expects Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s budget a positive one. Roach’s expectations include cut down on fiscal deficit by 1.3 per cent to bring it 5.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). “In infrastructure, Minister of Road

Transport and Highways Kamal Nath has set a goal of investing $20 billion in road construction in the next five years. It may sound ambitious, but shows the intentions of the government,” said Roach. On public sector companies (PSUs) up for stake sale and the poor response some of them have received from institutional investors in the past, Roach said there will always be demand for quality PSUs. Talking about the Asian economy, Roach said India and China need to lower their dependence on exports and emphasise on domestic consumption. “The Asian economy did not decouple from the

global one in the past and it is going to be a victim of turmoil in the US and Europe unless the share of exports in GDP starts diminishing.” The sovereign debt crisis in Europe, which has led the equity markets around the world to take a hit are aftershocks of the recession in Europe in the last two years, said Roach. “The problems we are seeing in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland are aftershocks of the global crisis. The latest International Monetary Funds estimates the potential writedown of toxic assets worldwide at $3.4 trillion. So far, realised markdowns have been only

half that amount. So, about $1.7 trillion of toxic assets are still to be written down,” he said. According to Roach, rising unemployment in the US has led to a fall in consumption and in turn has hit exports from the Asian countries. “Last week’s employment survey in the US claimed there has been a dip in unemployment. Politicians claimed joblessness in the US stood at 9.7 per cent. This is a mirage. In the US, driven by despair, people are giving up looking for jobs. Actual employment rate there stands at 11.5 per cent, 2 per cent higher than what the latest survey suggests,” said Roach.


FINANCIAL VOICE 15

Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

India offices of London Development Agency closed London Chamber chief warns of huge losses in new business London Mayor Boris Johnson has closed Mumbai and Delhi offices of “London Development Agency” for cutting costs. His decision has evoked sharp reactions, with London Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Colin Stanbridge warning that such a move will send wrong signals to the potential investors, may cost millions of pounds in new businesses. Boris Johnson revealed that the London Development Agency offices in India have not been staffed since last year. He said the operations were under review. Business generation is worth £14.4 billion a year,

as India is the second largest investor in UK after the USA. Colin Stanbridge said: “It is essential that we maintain offices in Delhi and Mumbai so that we can continue to market London in one of the fastest growing economies in the world. If we are not out there selling London as the best place in the world to do business, our international rivals will be more than happy to fill the vacuum.” Graham Capper, of business group London First, added: “If representatives and offices in India are adding value then they should be retained — there's no point saving cash by cutting them if it costs us investment and jobs in

China feels India will grow faster China, the fastest growing economy of the world today feels India will beat them. A top Chinese official has also called for internationalisation of Chinese and Indian currencies to help safeguarding financial stability of Asia. Chairman of China's National Council for Social Security Fund, Dai Xianglong has said, “India attaches more importance to knowledge and technol-

ogy innovation in the development of the newand-high tech industries. We believe India may achieve better development in the next few years. In future, the economic growth rate of India is likely to exceed China. As per IMF figures, even as the world economy shrank in 2009, the two Asian giants saw their economies growing at impressive rates.

TCS sees double digit growth in two years India’s premier IT exporter, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), said it was currently seeing an 8-10 per cent growth in revenue from domestic operations and is eyeing a doubledigit growth in the next two years. Current run-rate of

ours in the domestic business growth is 8-10 per cent and we hope to maintain and take it to higher double-digit in the next two-years. The deal cycle has come back to normalcy...that is the pre-crises levels. The pricing is currently stable.

London.” In a written Mayoral answer, Mr Johnson said: “We are currently examining options for the most effective method of promoting London's position overseas, including India, and this may involve the option of having overseas representative offices. “The position in India currently is that the LDA's representatives in Mumbai and Delhi resigned last year and have not yet been replaced pending the outcome of this review.” Murad Qureshi, Assembly member from the Labour said, “A back door closure of the India offices is disgraceful”. The decision of the Mayor was also termed as utterly irresponsible.

127% rise in Indian exports from SEZs The global slump notwithstanding, Indian exports from SEZs recorded a rise of 127 per cent for the 9 month period of April to December 2009 official sources have said. B L Singhal, Director General of Export Promotion Council for EOUs & SEZs, giving details of the Indian exports said the value of the shipments crossed Rs. 1500 billion. The comparative figures for the same period of the previous year were Rs. 6663.8 billion, clocking a 127 per cent increase on YOY basis. India at present has 101 SEZ operational. The employment generation at these enclaves was recorded to 154,025 people.

BA still expecting record losses

Cost cutting has put the airline on the right course Even as the cost cutting drive has put the British flag carrier British Airways on the right course, the airline still is expecting to report record losses. For the nine month period ended 31 December, 2009, BA had an operating loss of £86 mn, while last year for the same period, it earned profits of £89 million. Operating costs were down 10.5 per cent, but that didn't keep pace with a 12.9 per cent fall in revenue. Premium traffic volume declined by 9.7 per cent during the nine months, which BA said was better than the industry as a whole. It said the volume was stable and yields were improving.

In January, premium traffic was down 2.1 per cent while other passenger traffic fell 7.9 per cent. British Airways is locked in a dispute with cabin crew over issues including wages, job security and working conditions. BA said it was confident of winning regulatory approval for a merger with Spain's Iberia, which was announced in November. BA also said it was confident of approval for its proposed North Atlantic joint venture with American Airlines and Iberia.

Amul to venture in tea marketting The Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) which markets the Amul brand of milk and butter is venturing into tea now. The pound 920.59 million co-operative giant, already sell tea at concessional rates to their milk producers. After Banas Dairy in Banaskantha and Sumul Dairy in Surat, Amul Dairy in Anand and Panchmahals –based Panchamrut Dairy will follow suit. "Without spending a single penny on marketing , we have been selling 50 metric tonnes of tea every month to farmers in Banaskantha district through our existing network for the past seven years," says GCMMF chairman Parthi Bhatol, who is also the chairman of Banas

Dairy. A feasibility study commissioned by GCMMF has revealed that while it is difficult for a new entrant to penetrate urban tea markets where consumers are more brand conscious, Amul has direct access to 32 lakh farmers of Gujarat, making its indirect penetration in the rural market easier. "We had started selling Sumul tea as an incentive for our farmers. As the demand increased, we reached out to consumers in Surat city along with towns like Bardoli," says Jayesh Desai, managing director of Sumul, which sells five metric tonnes of tea every month. Amul and Panchamrut dairies plan to model their tea business on Banas and Sumul ventures.

Hindujas to buy construction company in India In a bid to secure a foothold in India’s fast growing infrastructure sector, especially roads, the Hinduja Group is acquiring an Indian construction firm and also announced an investment of 10 billion US dollar in power sector. “We have shortlisted a local company which we are buying ... When you have a local infrastructure firm which has synergy then you can start much faster. It is an acceptable company which can be a good foothold for us to give a growth. It is well managed,” group’s global president G P Hinduja said. “We will retain them as minority partners. The Hinduja policy is to have a minimum 51%. This company is engaged in everything (construction), in parking, roads, concessions, in bridges. But our

focus will be on roads,” he said, adding the announcement would be made by March 15. Hinduja, who was in Davos to participate in the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, said soon after taking over Indian firm, the group will announce its foreign partner, which has already been selected. About FDI induction programme he said, “We definitely have a programme with full focus on infrastructure including power involving 10,000 MW. Finances for the 1,000 MW plant at Vizag are likely to be tied up by end of this month.” Asked how much investment is expected by the group in power sector, he said, “Going by $1 billion for the 1,000 MW we are ready to bring $10 billion for the 10,000 MW once the things start get moving.”

AI gets US EXIM bank Delhi could become a global airline hub Air India will shift most of the operations to the national capital funding to buy planes NACIL, the holding company for Air India and the Export-Import Bank of the US have signed an agreement worth $ 1.1 billion to support financing of sale of Boeing airplanes to the Indian carrier. EXIM Bank has said the financing will support the sale of Boeing B777200LRs and B777-300ERs for Air India and B737800s for Air India Charters. At a ceremony held at EXIM Bank headquarters, the financing documents were signed by EXIM Bank Chairman and President Fred P Hochberg, NACIL Chairman and Managing

Director Arvind Jadhav, and JPMorgan Chase & Co (New York) head of Global Structured Trade Finance Astar Saleh. The Joint Secretary and Financial Adviser to the Civil Aviation Ministry, Bharat Bhusan, was also present. “This support has enabled Air India to raise finances for acquiring latest technology aircraft at competitive rates of interest compared to commercial financing,” Jadhav said.

Most of the expanded capacity at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport will be ready and available for use from July, 2010. With this, government of India plans to shift most of Air India’s international flights to Delhi, with Mumbai will have less presence of the national carrier. A senior civil aviation ministry official confirmed the development and said the decision has been conveyed to both international and domestic carriers. A meeting has been scheduled in March to finalise the details. Under the plan, the government decided that

National Aviation Company Ltd (Nacil), the company set up after merging flag carrier Air India and domestic carrier Indian Airlines, will set up its hub in Delhi (Delhi currently serves as the hub for domestic operations and Mumbai for international operations). The government is also planning to make Delhi a regional hub to connect South East Asia to Europe by leveraging the capital’s strategic mid-point location, a ministry official added. The ministry has also decided to lift earlier limits on allowing more flights under bilateral agreements. "We won't

sign any new bilateral agreements, but any unused capacity available in the bilaterals would be given out," said the ministry official. “After the new terminal comes up, Delhi will be the primary hub for Air India, and all that is needed to make it a hub — which basically means operating more flights from and to Delhi from global locations — will follow," says a senior Nacil executive. Air India operates 12 international flights from Delhi and 17 from Mumbai, a large chunk of which is expected to shift to the capital now. Air India will move its international flights by using

the erstwhile Indian Airlines network in Delhi. “As far as the infrastructure at the airport is concerned, it will not be a problem and we will be the largest operator in the new terminal,” said an Air India official. This new arrangement means Mumbai, which has an annual capacity of 25 million, will see fewer Air India flights. Airlines executives confirmed that a meeting was held late last month in which domestic airline companies were requested to prepare plans to bring more international flights to Delhi. However, experts opine that the hub concept is not easy to develop.


16

FINANCIAL VOICE

Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

BlackBerry wins patent battle with Motorola in Britain BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) last week won its patent battle in Britain with Motorola when a court in London ruled in favour of the Canadian wireless giant based at Waterloo near London. In his ruling, Justice Richard Arnold of the London high court said RIM didn’t infringe one of Motorola’s patents - pertaining to email system in its two systems. Motorola had moved the US International Trade Commission in New York last month on the same patent which was at dispute in the London court. The London verdict will have no bearing on the Motorola lawsuit in the US. In the lawsuit, Motorola had complained

that RIM continues to sell products using its patents longer than agreed to from 2003 to 2007. Co-headed by Indianborn Sanjay Jha, Motorola

cited violations of its proprietary wireless technology related to WiFi access, user interface and power management by RIM. Motorola said its

agreement with RIM to use its patented technology expired in 2007, but the BlackBerry maker made no efforts to seek renewal of the agreement. Instead, it continued to use its patents in violations of proprietary laws, Motorola said. “These patented technologies are important to Motorola as they allow for more comprehensive connectivity, a better user experience and lower product costs,” said the US telecom giant. Motorola requested the US trade commission to ban import and sale of infringing products by RIM. It also sought ban on marketing, advertising, demonstration and warehousing of infringing products in the US.

FDI inflows to India rise to $1.5 bn in Dec 2009 India received USD 1.5 billion foreign direct investment in December 2009, an increase of over 10 per cent over that in the same month of last year, a government official said on Thursday last. Foreign direct investment was USD 1.36 billion in December 2008. The overseas inflows, however, declined marginally to USD 20.9 billion in April-December compared

to USD 21.15 billion in the corresponding period last year, the official said. This is the third consecutive month that FDI inflows have posted a healthy year-on-year jump. In October 2009, FDI grew by 56 per cent to USD 2.3 billion, while in November it surged by 60 per cent to USD 1.74 billion against USD 1.08 billion in November 2008. In a move to push FDI

inflows further, the Commerce and Industry Ministry has released a draft document that consolidates FDI policy notified through 177 Press Notes so far into a single regulatory framework. The move is aimed at providing a greater clarity on the existing rules to foreign investors, but will not change the current FDI norms or sector specific caps.

Carry your library with you! Ahmedabad firm invents a reading device SWATI BHAN For all book freaks who do not want to carry those heavy loads in their bags and yet get the pleasure of reading some of he best novels or informative books there might jus be an option even while you travel. And all of this paper less with just the touch of a finger. Ahmedabad based Infibeam.com has come out with a solution with a device of what they call Pi. While the world has shown concerns about environment and saving of trees what best than to utilise a devise like this, says Mr Vishal Mehta of Infibeam.com. With the possession of his device the owner could just become even an owner of a digitalised library of sorts. He said that they have been working upon to design this device for the last couple of years and now that it has been launched it is indeed a reality for even the most non technical book lover. ``We have the copyright

of all the publishers hence with the touch and name of the book an avid reader can adjust the font size of the page and even customise it to their choice,’’ explained Mr Mehta. He said that the device has a capacity to store as many as one lakh books and at present they have accommodated the works of literati of almost all Indian languages in this device. Mr Mehta said that it was helpful even for students who wanted to save themselves of the trouble of going to libraries. He said at present with this device they were trying to target primarily all readers. ``Many novels and books are no longer available on print and one has to pay huge prices to get an original work of such books, so this device and the storing capacities will enable such reader to get a glance of their favourite authors, Explaining about the functioning of the devce Mr Mehta said, ``.

One can download files by connecting to your PC using USB port and move files. You can be almost anywhere, think of a book, and get it in one minute by downloading a selection of more than 1 lakh digital books from Infibeam.com. He said that the selection would continue to expand. Speaking about some of the future plans of upgrading this device, Mr Mehta said depending on the response they would add other features to the device which makes it not only a reading device but helps the carrier to be utilising this device as a communication tool wherein they would remain connected even while hey read. Speaking about the expense that one has to incur if one has to utilise the device., Mr Mehta said it would cost Rs 10,000 and also have a Secured Digitalised card which would protect the device and enable upgradation as and when required by the user.

Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook: Politicians and TV As the Iraq Inquiry takes a break there will be fewer politicians on TV for a while – thank god. They may be good at ‘sexing up’ dossiers – if only they could do the same for themselves. Here are some basic rules for politicians about to ‘do TV’: Clothing. Wear a tie (men). I don’t care if its 9am on a Sunday morning. You’re meant to be leading us. We want to be assured you sleep with a suit and tie…just in case. And Mr Cameron, you’re meant to be a Conservative. The clue is in the name. Open collar – it ain’t cool. You went to Eton, not Brixton Comp. We’re British, we like our politicians to dress like MacMillan – if only because we as a peoples don’t like the thought of being laughed at by the Italians and the French when this stuff gets broadcast. Speeches. Look, either get the glass teleprompters like the Americans have, or memorise the key points. Please stop looking down at your notes. It looks like you don’t know or believe what you’re talking about. Whilst both are probably true – at least make an effort to delude us, if not yourselves. I know you have a prepared script you give to the press and have to stick to it – well Abraham Lincoln managed to emancipate the slaves without writing down “slavery is bad”. Given that your words of wisdom will be eminently forgettable ditch the protocol and try speaking from the heart for once. It’s the organ that beats near the…never mind. But don’t do what Sarah Palin did this

week where she wrote down her key speaking points on the palm of her hand. If you need to do that, eg ‘Save economy, free the animals, talk up self’ is usually a clue you should not be leading a country. Consider applying same palm in repeated motion to side of face. Posters. Being on TV does not make you telegenic. Read that again. Consequently do remember that it’s the other guy you wanna stick on posters and remind the public just how much they loathe looking at politicians. Your spouse and mother may find big pictures of you attractive. But that’s really it, aside from the strategy sycophants. If Britain really is as broken as you claim, then do expect posters of your face to be defaced. That’s why you put the other guy on them and let creative Britain get to work on the blank canvas. Indeed, just put a portrait of the other guy with a big blank space and let people create their own slogans. Trust me, they’ll do a far better job at destroying the opposition than your political junky monkies will. Simple = truth. It’s sad but true. Psychologists have proven it. If it sounds simple, and preferably rhymes, people tend to believe it’s true. Now this works in your favour on TV because you won’t have to remember all those complicated thoughts. But it helps us the viewer because we tend to switch off midsentence anyway. Dancing on TV. Don’t. Remember Prescott after the 1997 election victory dancing to ‘Things can only get better’. We had a clue

they couldn’t as soon as he started dancing. I share a gym with the man – trust me don’t dance you’re British. You can’t. Darwin’s famous because he discovered the British evolved from a rare species of dinosaur called the ‘Shouldntdanceasuraus’. There’s a UN resolution against it I think, sponsored by the Caribbean nations – I know you ignore UN resolutions but this is an important one, not like the other ones. Bitching on TV. You don’t like the other side. We get it. It’s all their fault everything is rotten and bad. We get it. We too have spent time in a playground complaining to teacher. Just focus on telling us what you will do and why we should believe you, without attacking the other guy. Try it. Bet you can’t. Don’t forget, on TV you’re up against 400 other mindless channels for our attention. The columnist hails from Karamsad and is a former Visiting Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He sits on the Board of the United Nations Association for UK and is a Trustee of Chatham House. He read Philosophy, Politics, Economics at St Anne’s College, Oxford when he also interned in the US Congress during the Clinton administration, read Law at King’s College, London, qualifying as a barrister. He is a former Bloomberg TV presenter and Financial Times columnist with 250+ columns published in the FT and author of 13 books on business and the markets. Alpesh.patel@tradermind.com

Cost-cutting plans at A India draw a blank More tough actions like wage cut looming large Air India management’s inability to achieve the cost cutting target of Rs 20 billion within this financial year (2009-10) has put a huge question mark on the troubled airline’s survival. Virtually giving up on the airline’s muchtouted turnaround plan, the Pranab Mukerjee-led group of ministers (GoM) on Wednesday decided to refer the issue to the Cabinet and the

PM. It will seek political clearance for taking “tough decisions” like wage cuts that could lead to labour unrest and strikes. The other option — that’s unlikely to be accepted — is keep pumping in money in AI to keep it afloat. The GoM may clearly say that without some tough decisions, the airline cannot survive in its present bloated form.

The GoM has asked AI management to come up with some credible plan at the earliest so that it could meet again by next week and take a call on the reference to be made to the Cabinet and PM. “The cost-cutting figure may not cross Rs 7 to 8 billion. Air India management must find an effective way of costcutting and a credible turnanround plan.


FINANCIAL VOICE

Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

17

Suresh Vagjiani is the Managing Director of Sow & Reap, a Property Investment & Financing company.

HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT This week the FT carried an article titled ‘Be wary of high-yield , low capital growth’ and rightly states Buy-to-Let property investors should be cautious of investing in higher yielding properties. Experts have warned this as they are likely to be in areas that will experience relatively low capital growth over the long term. This is correct advice as money made from property traditionally comes from capital growth not yield. According to Savilles the highest yielding properties across the UK are currently in Nottingham, Tyne and Wear, Merseyside and Greater Manchester. Nottingham has an average yield of 6.08 per cent, compared with a yield of 4.67 per cent in Bristol – an area that is forecast to be among the first to see sustainable capital value recovery. Lower value London boroughs are also offering higher yields. The average gross yield in Barking and Dagenham is 6.38 per cent, compared with 3.87 per cent in the City of Westminster. According to Savilles Lucian Cook: “For Buyto-Let investors, the temptation will be to look to the higher yielding markets, where costs of purchase are lower and there is a greater ability to fund a moderate level of

gearing out of net rents.” But he warns that these markets are expected to experience a slower economic recovery – with the risk that capital growth will be constrained by lower owner occupier demand. So in short these high yielding properties are high yielding because they do not have sufficient demand to ensure future saleabilty and growth. The high yield is gained at the expensive of future capital growth. With talk of a double dip recession mentioned by many commentators, this on the surface seems a sensible option as even if the capital value fluctuates the yield will ensure a regular monthly income, come rain or shine. Traditionally gains made by property come mostly in the shape of capital growth and only a little through yield. What if you can have your cake and eat it? What if the location of the property is not secondary and will ensure a robust price growth in capital values as well? The properties we are sourcing seem to have gone underneath the radar of this article. Feedback I received from an investor recently was that the figures written in my articles seem too good to be true. I assured him we always give true and honest case studies, there is no inten-

tion to dress or massage the figures. We simply we do not need to. Buying a property is a little like an onion, all information will come out through research and through searches done by the solicitor during the purchase.

agement fee comes to £23,166. Assuming a large service charge of £1500 per annum, the net income comes to £8,231. In one sense this income comes free of charge. He has taken a decision and acted upon this decision.

We have rented a property last week for a client for £495 per week. The property had been purchased for £275,000. The whole amount had been borrowed, 25% deposit from his residential property and the rest on a BTL mortgage. This represents a yield of 9.36%, higher than the 6.08% quoted in the article for Nottingham. This property is not on the outskirts, its in Westbourne Park, with a W2 postcode. The amount of interest applied to the whole loan of £275,000 comes to £13,435. The net rental allowing for a 10% man-

As all that has happened is the equity has been released and made to work for him so the burden for him to work has been replaced partially by the equity in the property which is now working for him and generating over £8,000 p.a. From another point of view this doesn’t come entirely free. The rate at which the deposit has been extracted from his residential property may increase in the future as it’s on a variable rate. This means the income we have generated will be decreased; however the other part of the income

TRAINEE REQUIRED ! ! !

on the BTL angle is fixed and will not fluctuate for the next two years at least. For every percent the interest rate increases his income will decrease by £700. So from this perspective the rates will need to go up at least to 11% for his income to be reduced to zero, which does not look likely at least in the next couple of years. The other variable is that the price of the property may decrease, especially if all the commentators who are talking about a double dip recession are correct. However our experience has been that the agents are crying out for properties in Central London. There is a chronic lack of supply and this has been the case for the last couple of years, especially in the range below £500,000. Due to the international appeal of Central London the effect of the last couple of years has insulated this region from much price drop if any. It is easy to see why the first basic mantra of property is location, location, location. This has been tested in recent years to hold true. Of course certain very high properties have come down. I once remember a dilapidated huge property set in the corner of prestigious Holland Park Avenue with a swimming

pool in the basement. All the nice fixtures like gold taps had been removed, presumably by the servants, going for £8.5m. Expensive I thought, but could see how through doing a high level of interior design and splashing another £1m into it a good profit would come out. What I didn’t expect was some one would buy it and 12 months later would put it right back on the market again- same dilapidated condition for £13.5m. This was of course pre credit crunch, but illustrates what a chronic lack of supply does to property prices. Knight Frank’s figures reported in 30th March 2007 show an overall average 40 per cent price rise in Belgravia over 12 months, against 25 per cent in Mayfair. Of course the above properties are all in the most desirable location in London and at the high end of the scale. What these figures do illustrate is the strength and value of location. These are stunning growth rates and moreover you do not have to go overseas to benefits from them. You are protected with the benefit of a regulated and at least reasonably transparent system. Even with credit as it is 75% of the purchase will still be funded by lenders. Not so in many countries around the world.

SMALL ENOUGH TO CHEW

Are you hard working, honest and reliable? Are you willing to learn and exceed? Are you a cut above the rest?

If so please get in touch! We are looking for a trainee for our mortgage department. We require someone with integrity, professionalism and commitment. Excellent communication and time management skills are essential. Email your CV to eana@sowandreap.co.uk with a covering letter explaining why you would be suitable for this role.

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Sow & Reap

Call On: 0207 706 0187 Email at: info@sowandreap.co.uk

Sow & Reap Properties Limited is trading as Sow & Reap. Registered in England No. 05083823 Registered Office Address: 31 Southwick Street, Paddington, W2 1JQ


18

www.abplgroup.com

Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

BY

SWATI BHAN

Treating mouth ulcers at home They may sound very simple disease but mouth ulcers are definitely painful and an irritation as long as they are there in the mouth. So to keep them at bay and treating them with remedies at home before visiting a doctor here are some methods that could

keep you away from mouth ulcers and at the same time enable you to treat them with the existing ones. Grind leaves of Indian plum-jambul and add to glass of water.Gargle with this

water to get instant relief from mouth ulcer pain. Gargle with water of adulsa.This is also useful in bringing instant pain relief caused due to ulcers. Mix lemon peel with white catechu. Make into a fine paste and apply directly over the ulcer to cure it almost immediately. Mix together three guava leaves with a few catechu leaves.Chew them daily to get relief from even the most persistent mouth ulcers. Mix catechu with water to make a smooth paste. Apply this over the ulcers to get quick relief. Add a ripe banana to abowl of curd obtained from cow's milk. Eat after meals to get relief from this condition.

Avoid eating acidic food and fruits for the duration of the mouth ulcer. The acids may cause irritation on the ulcer spot. Eat plain yogurts; cooked broccoli, sweet peas, spinach and beets. Cook these vegetables very soft. Treat the mouth ulcer with simple remedies to reduce the pain and to aid with the healing. Mix a cup of warm water with a spoon of salt; make sure the salt is dissolved. Do a mouth wash with the mix two to three times a day. Following regular oral hygeine will also enable a clean mouth free of any kind of ulcers and other infections.

Removing dark circle under the eye Dark circles under the eye are a concern for beauty conscious women and men. There are several reasons which lead to the darkening below the eye. While one could be weakening of blood cells, some experts point out that it could also be lack of sleep. Dark circles could also develop because of genetical problem or many a times because of dehydration. There are even reasons like fluid retention or lack of iron deficiency anemia which could lead to developing dark circles below the eye. Some home remedies for removal of dark circles under the eyes There are some home remedies that may help to temporarily diminish the appearance of dark circles under the eyes, and prevent dark circles from worsening. • Be sure to drink enough water. • Use sunscreen with under the eyes to pre-

• •

• •

vent skin weakening caused by sun damage. Get plenty of rest. Apply plain cool teabags over closed eyes. Don’t use herbal teabags, because most aren't as effective. Apply cool cucumber slices over closed eyes for 15 minutes. Be careful not to consume too much dietary salt. Start by learning about sources of sodium in the diet. Apply vitamin K c r e a m . Although studies haven't looked at the use of topical vitamin K for dark circles under the eyes, preliminary studies have found that vitamin K may help with

Life style

bruising. Vitamin C helps to strengthen blood vessel walls. The dietary supplements grape seed extract and pycnogenol contain antioxidant pigments that may help to strengthen blood vessels. They should be used under medical supervision by people on "bloodthinning" drugs such as Coumadin (warfarin) and aspirin. Certain foods, such as cranberries, blueberries, bilberries, tea (green and black), black currant, onions, legumes, and parsley also contain these antioxidant pigments. Eat kidney-balancing foods. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, a bluish cast under the eyes are due to an imbalance in kidney energy. Learn more about kidney yang deficiency and foods to eat.

By Mamta Bhatia, Psychologist

How to survive life’s politics and drama This week’s article is going to focus on how you can remain objective and calm regardless of any drama and politics that may surround you in life. It is very easy to say yet difficult to implement. However, if you take the time to invest in your own development by reflection, meditation and contemplation, the points below can help you feel be in direct command of your life. If you have more control you realise how many choices you have, you can be proactive and self directed. If you are consumed and reactive, you limit your growth and any potential for a brighter, happier future. Take note of the points below to enable you to get into the driving set of your life and feel in charge of you. The first point to note is that any energy you spend worrying about the situation takes away any potential strength you could use to find your way out of it. People who play games gain much satisfaction when others are affected. Most of their malicious acts are triggered by the motivation to cause a stir or be controversial. When you choose not to react, they loose, you win. If you keep distant and consistent with this, your lack of reaction will eventually bore the trouble maker (s). Eventually they start scheming with somebody else as they quickly realise that they will not get a reaction from you. However tempting it

may be you should not stoop down to the individuals’ level. If you decide to get even and play the aggressor at their own game you will simply frustrate yourself, compromise your own good values and again choose to waste your energy rather then conserve it for your own betterment. Remind yourself of the following mantra – ‘what goes around comes around’. Eventually, the source of trouble will get what they deserve as proven by quantum physicists - like attracts like. Also, related to the above point, do not consume your energy discussing the individual or drama negatively. This may give you short term satisfaction and make you feel as though you are letting off steam, however, backstabbing conversations, moaning and complaining will not get you anywhere. When you engage in these sorts of activities you create and invite a higher frequency of dilemmas into your life. Soon nothing seems good enough and potentially you can find yourself stuck in a rut of constant complaint, inevitably annoying yourself and everyone around you. Make sure you think before you speak or react. One impulsive, off the cuff statement or act can significantly damage your reputation and credibility. Not only will you embarrass yourself you may ultimately make the situ-

ation worse and then before you know you will start feeling even more helpless about the situation and more out of control. Remember silence is golden, especially when you are angry, tired or around people that do not make you feel great. You will be thankful that you did not react. Most importantly, speak to someone you trust and respect about your dilemma. If your situation is causing you to loose sleep you should ideally turn to someone professional. A great service that is provided at www.thinkspalondon.co m will ensure that you are supported by a trusted coach to help you deal effectively with your dilemma. A professional coach at think spa can offer great advice, counsel and ultimately act as a sounding board. At the end of the day, you should respect yourself and your feelings; therefore professional support is crucial if you are troubled by any such situation in your life. You may even contemplate undertaking a day seminar with www.thinkspalondon.co m. Go to the website and register your interest, the sessions are conducted in a small groups or as one to one’s you choose what is best for you. Remember there is always a positive way forward but you are the only one that can help yourself and change your life and circumstances for the better. Good Luck!

If you have any questions write to mamta@abplgroup.com

kitchen

Treats

Spicy Sev

Ingredients: • 2 cups gram flour (besan) • 1/2 tsp. ajwain (omam) seeds • 1 1/2 tsp. red chilli powder • 1 tbsp. oil • salt to taste • 2-3 pinches asafoetida • water to make dough • oil to deep fry

Method 1. Mix the chilli, oil, salt and seeds into the flour. 2. Add enough water to make a dough which is quite gooey. 3. It should not be pliable but sticky. 4. Grease the inside of a Sev-press, fill with the dough. 5. Press into hot oil, and fry lightly on both sides. 6. Drain well and cool before storing. Variation: • You may adjust the chillies as per taste.

• You may omit chillies to make bland sev. • You may add finely crushed dried herbs (eg. mint) for add flavour. Note: A sevpress is similar to a vermicelli press, but it should be small enough to handle over hot oil. Making time: 15-20 minutes Makes: 250 grams approx.


Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

www.abplgroup.com

19

SRK, Karan Johar join Abhishek Bachchan for ‘National Bingo Night’

Ajith a ‘cop’ in Asal Gautham Menon feels so lucky over cop stories laced with ‘thrill’ moments that even though his melodramas– Minnale, Vaaranam Aayiram have won him laurels, the filmmaker is adhering to tales on cops. Well it indeed is true that he has splendidly tasted success in this genre with Kaaka Kaaka and Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu turning out to be box-office hits. Now with Ajith Kumar’s Asal slated to hit screens this weekend, the actor is involved in script discussions with Gautham Menon’s next film that will start rolling shortly. Close sources of Gautham Menon have mentioned that it will be a taut thriller revolving around a cop (played by Ajith Kumar). In recent times, Ajith Kumar has been spotted with typical trimmed hair cut of a cop. A.R. Rahman will score music for this film

and Dayanidhi Azhagiri is producing the film under the banner of Cloud Nine Productions.

es Trisha hikes heractfe ress Trisha has hiked

Kollywood 20. The Telugu her fees to pound 137,3 which had a” film “Namo Narayan cast has the in sha Tri d an Venkatesh been a great hit. a fees pound Trisha had received film. “Namo this 91,340 for acting in the theatres in ll we ing do is Venkatesa” the theatres to g and crowds are throngin of a sudall sha Tri So . film to watch this . den has hiked her fee ed to do the Trisha was approach Telugu film the in female lead role demanded she t Bu u.” en “Don Se e has not Sh . fee pound 137,320 as di film Hin the for n eve fee got this is she ich wh in “Katta Meeta” e. rol d lea ale fem the doing s than Even she took les il film Tam the for 20 7,3 13 pound which in ” aya ruv “Vinnai Thandi Va But if u. bh Sim h wit g irin she is pa ” becomes a “Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya fee in Tamil r he e hik l wil hit, then she reya and Sh , ara films too. Nayanth roines in he id pa hly hig the Trisha are Tamil film industry.

Is dancing for an item song, a sin – Shriya Saran Your acting itself is a sin Shriya Charan. The actress hasn’t given an outstanding performance even once in her career and yet proclaims herself to be a great actress. The actress lost her prominence when she tripped her foot with comedy actor Vadivelu in ‘Indiralogathil Na Azhagappan’. Now with none of her big releases winning her laurels, the actress gets back to the same strategy of dancing for an item number. Yes, she’ll be seen shaking legs for an item song in SJ Suryah’s Telugu film ‘Puli’ starring Pawan Kalyan in lead role. Says Shriya: ‘Why do people perceive me dancing for an item song is much more than a sin? I am really privileged to work with a great team and the song has a musical score by A.R. Rahman. I will be dancing even for the Tamil version of this film that has SJ Suryah himself in lead role…’

COLORS, the Indian entertainment channel brings Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar to the game show ‘National Bingo Night’, joining host Abhishek Bachchan this Sunday at 1.00 pm. SRK and KJo will hit the Bingo trigger as well as promote their much anticipated film releasing this week - ‘My Name Is Khan’ on special episode of 'National Bingo Night'. With superstar Shahrukh present on the sets, both the host and the studio audience go into a fine frenzy of anticipatory excitement. In order to give Shah Rukh and Karan a warm welcome and to highlight their upcoming film ‘My Name is Khan’, ‘National Bingo Night’ presents the duo with a unique surprise - all members of the studio audience have the surname

Khan. So, barring the hosts and one of the guests, Karan, everyone's ‘name is Khan’! Shahrukh’s charm has an infectious and potent quality that women could fight tooth and nail for. However, on ‘National Bingo Night’ one person turns out to be luckier than others as Shahrukh lavishes his charms on none other than Bingo Bombshell, Rashmi, who turns out to be the object of Shahrukh's affections for the evening.

W h i l e Shahrukh is busy flirting, Karan is busy playing Bingo with Abhishek. And just as Vidya found her 'Lucky Auntie' last week, Karan finds a lucky charm this week - none other than the dishy host, Abhishek Bachchan, himself! Each time Karan hits the trigger he hides behind Ahishek before Rashmi can announce if his guess on the Bingo Ball is right or wrong...and low and behold...he gets lucky each time! COLORS - India’s premier entertainment channel, is available on Sky’s Digital Satellite platform on Channel No. 829. Also coming soon on the VIEWASIA package.

‘Kavi’ makes it to the Oscars There may be no Indian hopefuls in this year's Oscar race after AR Rahman's ouster, but India still figures in the competition with 'Kavi', a short film about a young Indian boy trapped in child labour, which has been nominated in the 'Short Film (Live Action)' category. The 19-minute-long fictional film in Hindi by American debutante director Greg Helvey is about a boy who wants to escape from the brick kiln where he is forced to work as a modern-day slave. Helvey who shot the film on a shoe string budget in and around Wai, near Mumbai, said that the goal of the film was to "motivate action through awareness".

"What incredible support for Kavi. Thirty per cent of our DVD proceeds are going to anti-slavery organisations. Hope this gets eyes on human trafficking," wrote Helvey, a student of the University

of South California, on his Twitter account. "My goal is to reach at least 50,000 people with 'Kavi' in the first year. The purpose is to motivate action through awareness," he added in a statement. Last year's Oscars were dominated by the Mumbai-based-potboiler 'Slumdog Millionaire' which won eight Oscars, including two for musician Rahman and one for sound artiste Resul Pokutty. 'Smile Pinki' a documentary by American director Megan Mylan about a young Indian girl stigmatised due to her cleft lip had also won the Academy Award in the 'Best Documentary Short Subject' category.

Another split for Ameesha Patel Ameesha Patel has split with her NRI boyfriend Kanav Puri. The couple split after dating for three years over differences that have arisen between them. Kanav wanted to marry Ameesha while she wants to try her hand at acting one last time, which has led to their split. According to sources, Kanav and Ameesha's relationship has been troubled for about 8 months now. Kanav proposed marriage to her in June when he came to India for her birthday. She has been unsure of what to do since then and didn't give him a

proper answer. Kanav grew tired of waiting. Ameesha is not desperate to get married as she has recently buried the hatchet with her family and isn't very lonely anymore. Kanav had been her support when she was alone and had broken up with Vikram Bhatt. However, now that her family is back in her life, her relationship with Kanav is being sidelined. It's not as if Kanav gave up easily. He came to India once again in December to ask Ameesha about her decision regarding marriage and she told him that she would want to focus on her career. They aren't on speaking terms anymore and have taken time off each other.


20

Exclusive Interview

Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

My Name is Khan

BY AEKTA MAHAJAN

In conversation with Karan Johar Karan Johar (born May 25, 1972 in India) is the son of the late Yash Johar and is a popular Indian film director, producer, and TV celebrity. Whilst in London, promoting his latest movie “My Name is Khan”, Asian Voice met with Karan Johar…

Aekta with Karan Johar

AV: Firstly, tell us a bit about “My Name is Khan” and where the inspiration came from? It’s essentially a love story between Rizwan and Mandira. The inspiration for the movie came from a series of observations and conversations from my travels. It made me realize that I must address the humanitarianism topic in my next movie. AV: There appears to be a trend of movies following the terrorism and 9/11 theme, first there was New York then AV: How does it feel to team up with Shahrukh Khan and Karan Johar again after 9 years? It’s been really great. It doesn’t actually feel that like it’s been that long. The three of us are such great friends so there’s a strong comfort level between us which makes it easier to work together again. AV: Why has it taken you so long to work with them again? Whenever Karan offers me a script - he always says that I can refuse if I don’t like it because we have a friendship which transcends into work. So the only reason I’ve not done any work with them is because the script hasn’t been right for me and Karan understands that. AV: Tell me a bit about your character Mandira in the movie? The movie is a love story at the core and it follows two people in love that have to fight to make their relationship survive. Mandira is an interesting character; she is a single mother that is somewhat bruised and battered, a bit mad but then she is also

Kurbaan, how is this movie any different? This is a misconception that I want to clarify. This film has no relevance to terrorism. The movie is about the conception of a religion on a global level so it is addressing humanity. We are essentially showing a humanity driven journey of a man from the age of 4 to 14 - what he achieves in that journey and the impact he has on the world. AV: Why did you base the lead character Rizwan as being autistic?

I wanted to convey humanity as a super power through Rizwan’s irrational character. Yes he is autistic but the way that he embarks on an impossible journey of love and one day meets the prime minister of America is truly amazing. AV: How did Shahrukh Khan cope with playing an autistic character? We did extensive research on autism beforehand especially in London. In fact, there is a couple in London (Chris and Gisela) who have written a book called “An Aspergers Marriage” which is based on their personal experience of dealing with an autistic partner in the marriage the love story of Rizwan and Mandira is based on a small leaf from their story. Using all the research that we did, SRK made the character his own. AV: Why did you team up with Fox for this movie? I felt that Fox would give us a certain audience base that would be new for us and it was required for this movie. They can help us to open new markets which is something we couldn’t we couldn’t do alone. AV: Is it true that you thought of making the film with Amir since

Shahrukh had no dates? No that’s not true, it was always Shahrukh for this movie. AV: When you first starting making movies, all the movies began with the letter “K” as you claimed that was lucky for you - why did you stop following this trend? When I realised that my superstitions were starting to become my beliefs than it became a problem. I didn’t want to give all the credit of my movies to a letter in the alphabet when I work so hard. Recently all my “non K” films have done much better than my movies with the letter “K”. AV: You must read hundreds of scripts before selecting a storyline, how do you decide on which scripts are right for your movies? I always follow gut instinct. I go on the basis that if a story connects with me and moves me emotionally then I hope that it will move the audience too. There is no winning formula unfortunately. Audience reactions you can never be pre-empted so you can only hope and pray that what moves you, will move the world AV: You seem to be addicted to Twitter like most of us in London. Do you use twitter in a professional capacity or socially to stay connected

In conversation with Kajol trailer on Times Square, it was really touching and it felt great.

practical and sensible when she has to be. I like Mandira’s character; if I ever met someone like her I’m sure that I would like her. AV: What were the challenges of playing Mandira? There actually weren’t that many challenges for me as Karan had done his homework when he wrote the script. I always bring elements of myself into the character; I find simi-

larities in my own personality and then emphasise them. AV: You and Sharukh Khan were both invited to open NASDAQ in New York recently. How was the experience as the first Indian actors to enjoy such a status? It was scary. We never realised the extent of the event until it finished and everyone was calling us non-stop. The best part was when we watched the

AV: There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the statements that Shahrukh Khan has made about the lack of Pakistani players in IPL cricket. How do you feel about the negative publicity the movie is receiving as a result of this? It’s disappointing. I just think that anything he said should not be confused with the movie. Shahrukh has a right to an opinion but “My Name is Khan” is a movie - it is my work, it is Karan Johar’s work so it’s unfair to confuse both things. AV: As a result of this incident, do you feel that as actors you are restricted in voicing your true opinions? I don’t think that I’m a very controversial person. But as public figures we have to be responsible and very careful about what we say. At the end of the day, we are only here to make people happy through our movies and

with friends / family? For me, it’s purely a professional way to connect with people. Twitter is a respectable platform and it’s like waking up every morning and reading the newspaper for me now. Every morning, I can get instant feedback and gauge the reactions of others. AV: Your new show “Lift Karade” is excellent as you are using the show and your connections in the film industry to raise money for underprivileged people in India, where did the inspiration for this show come from? I can’t take the credit for this one. It’s an Aditya Chopra show and his team deserves the credit. I’m just the face and voice of the show - it’s been really enjoyable experience. AV: Are you planning to have another series of Koffee with Karan? Most definitely, I’m nothing else. AV: Anoushka Sharma from Rab Ne Naba Di Jodi, is thought of to be the next Kajol, do you agree? It doesn’t make sense to compare someone that has just come into the industry with an established actress. Anoushka has had only one release but I’ve been around for the past 15 years. So I’ve had the time to build up a repertoire of several films and people can judge me as an actress against several movies. It’s not a fair comparison and people shouldn’t expect her to be like someone else. AV: Are you and Ajay Devgan planning any films together in the near future? “Toonpur Ka Superhero” is coming up soon so I’m excited about that. Ajay is also planning to direct another film but we haven’t finalised anything yet. AV: How do you find working with Ajay - is it difficult to balance your marital relationship with your professional relationship?

planning the next series for sometime in June / July this year. I enjoy making that show a lot, so I’m dying to get back to it! AV: You seem to be passionate about New York with so many of your movies based there. If you had to live anywhere apart from Mumbai – would it be New York? §I love New York. If there is anywhere in the world where I can just get lost and disappear for a few days, it is that city. But if I were to live anywhere else then it would be London. London feels like my second home already. AV: Finally are you single? And if you had the option to date any woman in the film industry then who would it be? Yes I am single but most women in the film industry don’t deserve me. So there isn’t anyone I could name right now. I love working with him as Ajay is such a professional. We started our relationship whilst working together so it’s easy for us. And no I don’t feel like “we have been working together all day and now we are going home together”, I really enjoy it. AV: Your daughter Nysa is now 6 years old, how do you cope with spending time apart from her when shooting for films abroad? I don’t cope with it at all, so I don’t spend much time apart from her. I make it point to only travel if she is with me so I schedule dates according to her vacation dates. I wouldn’t do it any other way as she is my life. AV: If your daughter wants to became an actress and follow your footsteps when she grows up, how would you feel? I would do whatever it takes to make her happy. I wouldn’t want her to follow my expectations. Her dream for herself is important to me, so I will make sure that whatever her dream is, I will support her in making sure that it came true.


Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

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21

A Love story by Khan

A Dharma Productions joint venture between Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) and Karan Johar, ‘My Name is Khan’ is a romantic drama and a social theme. It’s the story of an unconventional hero overcoming obstacles in life to get back his love. Rizvan Khan is a little ‘different’ kind of a young man. He is afflicted with Aspergers Syndrome. It is named after Dr Hans Asperger who first noticed the traits in children. Having Aspergers means though the person may not be a stupid, his/her appearance, behavoiur gives that kind of impression. The person could be intelligent, yet may not be able to understand people. Rizvan says, “I don’t know why people say things they don’t mean. For example, they say come to my house any time, and when I go to their house they say why have you come at this time? Sometimes people think I am rude. I don’t mean to be rude, being rude is not good. My mother said there are only good people and bad people in the world and I am a good person...”. Rizvan Khan, a Muslim man from India, moves to San Francisco and lives with his brother and sister-in-law. Rizvan, who has Aspergers, falls in love with Mandira. Despite protests from his family they get married and start a small business together. They are happy until September 11, 2001 when attitudes towards Muslims undergo a sea-change. When tragedy strikes, Mandira is devastated and they split. Rizvan is confused and very upset that the love of his life has left him. To win her back, he embarks on a touching and inspiring journey across America. Produced by Gauri Khan and Hiroo Johar under the banner of Dharma Productions, the film is directed by Karan Johar. The lead cast consists of Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Jimmy Shergill, Zarina Wahab, Parveen Dabbas, Arif Zakaria, Navneet Nishan, Sheetal Menon, Tanay Cheda, Arjun Mathur and Sonya Jehan. The story of the film is written by Karan Johar and Shibani Bathija. Shibani has also penned the screenplay, while dialogues are by Shibani and Niranjan Iyengar. Niranjan has the sole credit for lyrics, while music is by the well known trio of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. Playback has been rendered by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shankar Mahadevan, Richa Sharma, Adnan Sami, Shreya Ghoshal, Shafqat Ali Khan, Rashid Khan and Suraj Jagan.

New Hindi movies releasing this week 1. My Name is Khan

2. Sukhmani

Top 5 Bollywood movies for the week No. Film 1 2. 3. 4 5

Ishqiya 3 Idiots Veer Rann Road To Sangam

No. Last Week New 2 1 New New

Total weeks 1 6 2 1 1

BY RUPANJANA DUTTA

C

ourthouse hotel was bustling with anticipation as the audience comprising mostly of journalists eagerly awaited one of the most popular trio from Bollywood to arrive. It was only after 45mins than scheduled,

Shahrukh, Karan and Kajol made a grand entrance to have a formal rendezvous about their forthcoming film- a legend of its kind- 'My Name is Khan'. Though by now people are ought to know that this film is about an autistic Khan, living in the US, but what we are unaware of is, My Name Is Khan is

yet another love story between Shahrukh and Kajol, with the same old intensity and spark. However, it is wrong to claim that it's an old wine in a new bottle. The real charisma of this love story releasing around Valentine's Day is the passion of an autistic man- for whom love is not red, but black and white, love is not a jargon but it is a courage, conscience – something extra ordinary. Shahrukh who lately spoke at length about Bollywood and his acting at the famous Jonathan Ross's Friday show and on Raj and Pablo's Love Bollywood at BBC Asia, said, “In a world of which is ever so busy looking for a hero, or creating one when it does not find it, My Name is Khan is a quiet inner voice that whispers- to walk the right path, to find the answers, to save yourself and the world with it, you don't need to wear an exterior armour and fly. All you need is a gentle conscience telling you that the simple truths of life matter the most... It might seem odd to say that we created a

super hero film. A hero who has Asperger's syndrome is a simpleton and all he has for a superpow-

er is his humanity... A love story is also woven between all this, so wonderfully simple and relatable, that really it seems of a different world...” A complete revamped diva, Kajol Devgan said, “I have seen autistic people around. I had an idea how Shahrukh may portray the character. But on the first day in the set, he completely blew me away and eventually made me rethink of how to emote my character! Till today SRK has always played Shahrukh Khan in all his films, but it's the first time, he plays Rizvan Khan.” An exceptionally witty Karan Johar, added at the end, “In My Name is Khan, Shahrukh and Kajol inhabit the most challenging roles of their careers. Rizvan Khan is an honourable Muslim

man from India, living with Asperger's Syndrome, who falls unconditionally for the beautiful Mandira, a Hindu single mother living out her version of the global dream of success. Yet when an unspeakable act of cowardice tears their family apart, Khan selflessly embarks upon on a powerful journey through a contemporary America that is as complex as the terrain of the human heart. He inno-

cently becomes that most most unlikely act of defiance, one of peace and compassion. He provides a sobering reality that touches the lives of every person he crosses. In the name of the woman he loves, a curious stranger will introduce himself to the world simply by saying, “My Name is Khan, and I am not a terrorist.”


FESTIVE MOOD

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Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

The History of Valentine' s Day 14th February

very February, across the country, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint and why do we celebrate this holiday? St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. Today, the Catholic Church recognises at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men — his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realising the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempt-

ing to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl — who may have been his

jailor's daughter — who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasise his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It's no surprise that by the Middle Ages,

Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France. While some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial — which probably occurred around 270 A.D — others claim that the Christian church may have decided to c e l e b r a t e Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to 'christianise' celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival. In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and a type of wheat called spelt throughout their interiors. Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February, February 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

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Maha Shivaratri Sri Maha Shivaratri means “The Night of Shiva”. The ceremonies take place mainly at night. This is a festival observed in honour of Lord Shiva. Parvati married Shiva on this day. This is the night when Shiva is said to have performed the “Tandava Nritya” or the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction. People continuously chant the Panchakshara Mantra of “Om Namah Shivay” as it is believed that a person who utters the Names of Shiva during Shivaratri with perfect devotion and concentration, is freed from all sins. He reaches the abode of Shiva and lives there happily. He is liberated from the wheel of births and deaths. Devotees flock to Shiva temples in large numbers.

Legends behind Shivaratri Lord Vishnu and Lord Bramha once had a very heated argument over each who was more powerful than the other. However, Lord Shiva challenged both of them. He appeared as a flaming Linga and challenged the duo to measure the gigantic Linga (phallic symbol of Lord Shiva). Lord Bramha took the form of a swan, and Lord Vishnu became a boar and went to Netherland, were both unable to measure the Shivlinga. Then Lord Shiva came out of the Linga and declared himself the most powerful. Maha Shivratri therefore means the grand night of Shiva. Shiva devotees fast

during this day and pray to the lord throughout the night. This legend goes to prove the supremacy of Mahadev over other Hindu Gods. King Daksha, father of Parvati was opposed Sati's marriage with Shiva. At a Yagya later, Daksha ignored Shiva’s presence and thereby insulted the latter publicly. Sati was so angered by this that she jumped into the sacrificial fire and ended her life. Lord Shiva unleashed his fury at the death of his wife by performing the violent dance, Taandav. He wiped out Daksha’s kingdom, undertook rigorous penance and retired to the Himalayas. The Gods feared that the severity of Shiva’s penance might bring an end to the world, revived Sati in the new avatar of Parvati. Shiva-Parvati married and this reunion is celebrated on Maha Shivratri.

Shiva, the Cosmic Dancer BY DR ANIL MEHTA In Indian art especially the ancient sculpture, nothing exists for its own sake. Hindu gods and goddesses are often portrayed in various poses that convey a symbolic meaning in every stance and gestures. The best known artistic representation of divine powers of god is that of Shiva as Nataraja, the Lord of the Dance – one of the most recognisable icons in the world. It

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Experience an authentic Indian Valentines evening at Zeen Couples can enjoy an evening of exotic Indian romance at Zeen Flavour of India this Valentine’s Day with a three course speciality set menu full of ancient Indian aphrodisiacs costing £25 (per couple) which includes a glass of bubbly. Available from 12 – 14 February, men looking to wow their dates can call Romance Concierge Stalin to discuss ideas for how to create the perfect evening – from what colour rose petals are scattered on the table, to where to hide the ring… Indian love songs will play throughout the night, and woman can succumb to the ambiance by having Henna painted on their hands. To speak with Love Concierge Stalin, or book a table, please call 020 7387 0606 or visit www.zeenrestaurant.co.uk for menu details.

11th/12th February

shows the four-armed Shiva gracefully performing the cosmic dance (tandava nritya) within a ring of fire. The image is significant as both a religious icon and work of art. The symbolism in Nataraja image is endless. It depicts Shiva performing the dance through which the cosmos (universe) is cyclically created, maintained, and destroyed. In his upper right hand he holds a small two-sided drum (damaru) whose rhythmic beat signals creation while a flame in his left

hand signals destruction. The lower left hand points gracefully downwards to his raised foot which signifies salvation i.e. beneath it the devotee may take refuge, while the lower right hand is held in the gesture of reassurance (abhayamudra) and blessings. With his right foot Shiva crushes Apasmara, a demon dwarf personifying ignorance and illusion (maya). He is perfectly poised for his yet another cycle of cosmic dance of life. Nestling with Shiva’s hair is a tiny crescent moon – a symbol of the passage of time, and a small figure of the Goddess Ganga whom he receives on his hair during her descent to earth. The whole figure is encircled by a ring of flames showing the extinction of the cosmos as well as the god’s destructive power. In this image, the dynamism of the dancing Shiva with his flying waistband and wildly flowing hair contrasts sharply with the calm of his face and the hand raised in blessing. This truly reflects his contrasting attributes (creator and destroyer, calm and furious) as a god. Nataraja has long been patronised by Chola kings (9th to 13th centuries) of Tamil Nadu in South India, and was frequently portrayed in sculptures (Chola bronzes) during their reign. The sacred town of Chidambaram is associated with the legend that Shiva performed cosmic dance there. As a work of art the Nataraja image is unparalleled in its composition, beauty, and grace, but as a religious icon, Nataraja to his devotees always remains the supreme god of creation, preservation, and annihilation. Finally, may Lord Shiva bless all on the auspicious occasion of Shivaratri.


INDIA

Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

Allow ceremonial ‘Kirpan’ at school Continued from page 1 Sir Mota Singh had said that he saw no objection to a young Sikh boy or girl being allowed to wear the Kirpan if they wanted to do. “I wear my Kirpan and I have always worn it for last 35 to 50 years. I have worn it even when I was sitting in court or visiting public places, including Buckingham Palace. Honoured by the Queen with knighthood this year, Sir Mota Singh was born in Kenya, but has spent his entire life in UK. The boy’s family has still not decided whether to bring in a discrimination claim against the school. They have though got the boy admission in another school and have taken a loan to pay the fees. The new school allows wearing kirpans. Compton school said they banned kirpans on security reasons and even offered a compromise that was rejected by the boy’s family. The responsibility for uniforms rules at present is that of individual schools and local authorities, although they must abide by the Human Rights Act, which guarantees freedom of religion. Sikh, Christian and Muslim teenagers have taken their schools to court in recent years for the right to wear jewellery and clothing that they claim is central to their faith. Dr. Rami Ranger, MBE, FRSA - Chairman

Dr. Rami Ranger

of British Sikh Association, in his comments on the issue said, “ As a Sikh I am in favour of Sikhs carrying a symbolic ceremonial dagger as a mark of respect to our founder, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, rather than the real thing.

Sikhs are one of the most successful communities in the world and contribute more than their number to society bears testament to their teachings. More importantly, those who look back cannot look forward. The fact of the matter is that the species that will survive in the future will not be the most intelligent or the strongest, but that which will adapt to change. Similarly, we Sikhs must adapt to change if we are to remain a modern and progressive race, rather than monuments of the past. I am confident that the Sikh leadership will find a compromise in order to send a positive signal that we are a pragmatic race

• Sir Mota Singh, QC defends Sikh rights • A Barnet school forced a Sikh boy to leave for wearing the ceremonial dagger Many will agree with me that these days there is no use in carrying the real thing as we are no longer fighting against the tyranny and oppression of the then Mogul Emperor, Aurangzeb. As a matter of fact, the next war will not be fought with swords; instead it will be fought with the help of science and technology. The Sikhs are the product of the most modern and progressive religion as our Gurus wanted us to be the best amongst the rest. The very fact

and can see the rationale of carrying symbols rather than the actual weapon which is now considered offensive in a modern and civilized society where equality and basic human rights for everyone are enshrined in the constitution.” Harpreet Singh, an Indian city worker thought Judge Mota Singh is not supporting a right cause. He said, “There is a reason why a law has been formed not to carry knifes on the street and no religion should be allowed to

Fonseka charged for plotting a coup, arrested Continued from page 1 Sources in Sri Lanka say the retired general still has many supporters in the army and the government fears they could stage a rebellion. Keheliya Rambukwella, a government minister and spokesman, confirmed that General Fonseka would be tried in a military court on charges of conspiring against the President and planning a coup. “He had been plotting against the President even while in the military ... with the idea of overthrowing the Government,” he said. Rajapaksa won easily, but the general did not accept the results, accusing the Government of monopolising the state media and tampering with ballot counting. After the election results, Rajapaksa has cracked down on the media, closing two newspapers, arresting one editor and detaining dozens of journalists. A purge was also carried out in the army. Voicing concern over the arrest of Fonseka, Philip Crowley, a US State Department spokesman, said: “There is a tremendous need for the Government of Sri Lanka

to work to overcome the fissures that exist within its society.” General Sarath Fonseka is still widely admired within the Lankan armed forces, drawn from the ethnic Sinhalese majority, for his no-nonsense style of leadership during the victorious campaign over the Tigers last year. Although his supporters in the army top brass have almost all been replaced, he remains hugely popular among the rank and file. He also has powerful friends overseas. Kaveri Alagappan, a Tamil student from Lanka in the UK said, "Rajapaksa is evil. He has tortured so many of us back at home. I have lost so many of my family members. I am sure he manipulated the results." Shivrajan, an Indian Tamil shop keeper in East London said, "Foneska is a good man. Rajapaksa has tortured my fellow Tamilians in Sri Lanka. Its high time people realise what we need. We desperately require a government that looks at everybody equally and does not do injustice to people because they are Hindu Tamils."

Anita V, a house maker, living in the UK said, "We NRIs and the asylum seekers should have a voting right in Sri Lanka. We know what we have lost in Rajapaksa's regime. Our friends spent days without food and water to bring justice to my homeland. We made protests in the Parliament square for over two months. With the help of some British MPs including David Miliband, we improved the condition of Lanka. We hoped a change in the government will ease out the condition of our fellow Tamils. But now that hope also dims out." Crackdown feared Parliamentary elections in the island nation are due in April and political parties fear a crackdown ahead of the polls. The series of incidents will heighten fears over curbs on freedom of speech following attacks on journalists and independent commentators in recent years. It will also raise the political temperature in Sri Lanka at a time when many business executives had hoped the government would focus on the economy following the end of the war.

be bigger than the law of the land. Kirpans, even though may not be exactly like a knife, can still be used like a weapon and cause serious harm. I would like him to go and show the Kirpans to all the victim's families who have lost their beloved and ask them if any one should be allowed to carry them even though beneath their clothes. Kirpans religiously had to be carried by Sikh people to protect oneself and do the right things, but in this day and age, who is to say what is right and what is not. You never know which child becomes a vandal and mis uses what Sikhism has given them as a Godly protection.” Alok Verma, a high street lawyer added, “what Judge Mota Singh is trying to do here is protect a heritage and multi culturalism. But this country and its ways do not allow use of tradition in the right way. If someone dies because of the mis use of Kirpan in school that is definitely hazardous. Personally speaking, it depends on a family how he brings up his child. Not only one should know that using Kirpan is to protect himself alone and not otherwise, but he should also learn that anger management is a part of being responsible.”

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Modi on top once more, says Sunday Indian It’s Narendra Modi and Gujarat again. The Sunday Indian and C-Voter nationwide survey of India’s best governed states has seen Gujarat emerge on top among the big states and the incumbent chief minister is adjudged best in all categories. Orissa and Bihar have tied to fill the rest of the podium. Among the small states, Haryana has run away with the top spot, followed by Chattisgarh and Delhi. In terms of perception outside one’s own state, Narendra Modi is the most popular chief minis-

ter, Sheila Dikshit and Nitish Kumar coming in at distant second and third positions respectively. One thing has come out crystal clear from the responses. People have given primacy to development and governance in rating the state governments and chief ministers. However, the survey held among 20,000 respondents (people eligible to vote) has a lesson in store even for the toppers. None of the chief ministers have got a net approval rating of over 40 per cent.

Quota for Muslims quashed by Andhra Pradesh HC West Bengal announces 10 per cent reservation for the minorities in jobs In a huge setback to the ruling Congress government in Andhra Pradesh, a seven judge bench of the state High Court on Monday quashed a bill providing 4 per cent reservation for backward Muslims in educational institutions as well as government jobs. In another related development, even as the Union government is yet to take a decision, West Bengal announced 10 per cent job quota for backward Muslims in the state. Chief Minister Buddhadeb

Bhattacharjee, addressing the media on Monday at Kolkata, said the state government decided to accept the report of the Ranganath Mishra committee and will be providing job quotas for educationally, socially and economically backward Muslims in the state. Congress had given electoral promise of reservations for Muslims. Hence, the High Court judgement is seen as a huge setback for the party as well as for a large number of Muslim bodies.


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INDIA

Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

India says ‘no’ to Bt Brinjal for now Decision pre-poned after US representative lands in New Delhi In a big blow to the pro GM lobby and multinational agricultural companies, India decided to cancel the green signal given by the expert group to introduce Bt Brinjal commercially. After conducting open hearings all over the countries, Environment minister Jairam Ramesh called a press conference on Tuesday, a day earlier than the deadline he had set. He announced that as there was no urgency to bring in the GM variety, a moratorium is imposed on all GM crops till independent scientific research does not produce satisfactory results. In another significant development, those opposing GM food crops had accused Jairam Ramesh of siding with US multinational Monsanto. The minister denied the allegations. But Nina Fedoroff,

science adviser to the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, arrived in India late Monday night to presumably lobby for Bt Brinjal. This could perhaps be the reason behind Environment minister going in for an early announcement. There is no unity among the scientists on the issue and many state governments in the country have opposed Bt Brinjal. Since it was the first GM food crop, a precautionary approach was felt necessary, Jairam Ramesh said. He also cited strong opposition from scientists, civil society groups and even common men as the basis of his decision. Environment minister added that the GEAC (Genetic Engineering Advisory Committee) will now have to look into the matter afresh on the principles

spelled out by eminent scientists like Swaminathan, Bhargava etc. US interests Nina Fedoroff is reported to have met Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and several other top government officials. She is seen worldwide as the biggest lobbyist for GM foods. The US Embassy and the Environment Ministry denied that Fedoroff’s visit had anything to do with the decision on Bt Brinjal. More waiting Bt Brinjal was the test case, many more GM foods were line up to be introduced. Awaiting GEAC approval were 25 kinds of rice, 23 kinds of tomatoes, many types of groundnut, pigeon peas, potato, mustard, sugarcane, soy and okra. For now, all have to wait for a longer period.

We need to improve our agricultural productivity Nothing to worry in industries coming up on farmlands, says Gujarat Agriculture Secretary R K Tripathi BY DILIP D. TRIVEDI Even as the hue and cry over the introduction of Bt Brinjal has settled for the time being, another issue of agricultural land increasingly under threat of industrialisation is pertinent. With the twin issues in focus, Asian Voice had a chat last week with Gujarat Agriculture secretary R K Tripathi to find out the views of the state government on the crucial subjects. On the Bt Brinjal front, even as pro and anti Bt (Bacillus Thuringiensis) Brinjal lobbies are made strong representations before India’s environment minister Jairam Ramesh, Gujarat government has not declared whether it will allow or not. Even as the federal Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar openly advocated for allowing BT Brinjal, many states said they will not allow Bt technology in food items, while a few have said they will leave for the farmers to decide. When asked as to why has the state not made its decision yet or what would be the likely decision, Tripathi said ‘no comment’. He added that whether to welcome Bt Brinjal or reject it; the decision will be taken at a political level, and he can’t say anything on that. But carrying on the discussion further, he elaborated that almost the same situation prevailed about eight years ago at the time of introduction of Bt Cotton. Yet, today the fact is

that Gujarat farmers have welcomed Bt Cotton and have prospered with the better yield that the technology has brought. He further said that even the Bt crop is possibly being put to edible use, as cottonseed oil has become a very popular cooking medium for long now. Till date, there are no reports of any adverse effects on health of people consuming cottonseed oil. Asian Voice asked him whether there is any substance in the argument that Genetically Modified foods (GM foods) are harmful and not fit enough for human consumption, he said that barring European nations, GM food crops are being used widely in the USA, America, China and many other countries. There are no instances of any adverse effects that can be solely attributed to the GM food. While those against the GM food argue that European nations do not use, one should also take into account the weather conditions and many other factors that are unique to Europe and not just follow them blindly. He added that doctors also say that everything under the sun, including the sunlight itself are all potential allergens. Even tomatoes are allergens for some people, so what do you decide? Every food item, every environment may be suitable for a lot of people, while there are a few who may be allergic to them. Asian Voice also tried to elicit his views on the land use policy, as Gujarat

too is on a fast track of industrial development, with already some problems over acquisition of agricultural land for industry. It is also pertinent to mention here that, after the Tata Motors fiasco, West Bengal government announced a policy decision – no agricultural land for industrialisation. R K Tripathi said that in India, agriculture is not sustainable, not efficient enough for a larger section of the farming community. With a lot more land under cultivation, India produces very little compared to the USA, China and a few other countries. There needs a lot to be done on many fronts, but if we improve our productivity, we need not worry about losing agricultural land. We can be self reliant if we are able to make use of the full potential of our land. Fragmentation of land holding and subsequent decrease or non use of cultivable land is one of the big issues. Agriculture secretary said, in quite a few leading European countries there are laws on fragmentation of land holding even in matters of inheritance. They stipulate a minimum size of holding for agricultural land. In case of inheritance and division, the land cannot be divided beyond the limit. While in India, the fragmentation has no limits. In many cases, over generations the land holding goes down to absurd levels, rendering the ownership of the agricultural land or cultivation on that land simply not sustainable.

In divine light

BY RAJEN VAKIL

Bhima, our inner strength Bhima is the second son of Pandu and Kunti, younger only to Yudhisthira. The word ‘Bhima’ means the sentiment of fear. There are two types of fear. The first, instinctive or positive fear arises from a direct sensory impression of danger. This can be channelised by a student to sharpen his/her attention and make it more powerful. The second, imaginative or negative fear arises from always worrying about what the future beholds; simply put, from negative imagination. Of all that lives, only man suffers from this kind of fear. For instance, if rabbits lived in imaginative fear of dogs, they would only stay in their burrows, never to come to the ground. Bhima is the sex centre within us. This is the centre which has an unlimited source of vital energy (after adolescence, called sex energy). Desire uses this centre to manifest, and so every desire we have acts as a leakage point of this centre. The irony is that we desire something new every moment and that our unconscious mind is full of unfulfilled desires. The student of spirituality must work hard to be free of both, the leakages of negative fear, and of desire. The character of Bhima holds the key towards this aim. Let us see how Bhima does this. Bhima is the son of vayu or wind. He is the prana (vital energy) that manifests as breath. Our breathing is chaotic and follows our thoughts and emotions. By practising three step rhythmic breathing, we can slowly bring our thoughts and emotions into rhythm and over a period of time, even our sex energy. If we can, like Bhima, use vayu or breath to transform our sex energy then the biggest obstacle on the spiritual journey has been surmounted. When young, Bhima enjoyed bullying Duryodhana and his brothers (the Kauravas). Once, Duryodhana poisoned him, tied him up, and threw him in the river. The river was full of poisonous snakes; their bites neutralised the poison of the food and Bhima survived. The eating of poisonous food is symbolic of not expressing our negative

emotions. Going in deep water and getting bitten by snakes depicts going into the deep unconscious mind and being free from the deeply embedded patterns or samskaras, which is the source of all our negativity. First, he eats the apparent poison in the conscious mind and then, goes into the unconscious and swallows the causes of all poison. Duryodhana and his evil uncle Shakuni built a palace of lac for the Pandavas and planned to burn them inside, but they escape

kills another rakshasa called Bakasura, meaning baka-baka or inner chatter, or monologue. Within our minds we keep on chattering and talking. This inner talk or Bakasura is a cause of continuous leakage of our energy. It takes many years of patient practice to be free of this weakness. Both these monsters drank human blood, which shows that worrying and inner chatter eat our subtle blood or vital energy. Everything is made up of five elements, each governed by different centres within the bodybrain system. Bhima

by digging a tunnel. We must see within ourselves how much inflammable substance we carry. We are all filled with lac which catches fire at the slightest pretext. We get angered at the smallest instance – someone insults us, life goes against us, or something even more trivial, such as a car crossing our path. Like Bhima, we must build a tunnel into our hearts which we slowly train to absorb all the hurts of life. Bhima sets fire to the palace himself after the Pandavas have escaped. The Pandavas then pass through a forest where there is a maneating rakshasa or a giant demon. His name is Hidimb, meaning the one who flies in the sky or also, the power of imagination. After we have freed ourselves of all inflammable emotions within us, it is time to be free of negative imagination and worrying. Bhima kills the rakshasa and then marries his sister, Hidimba, symbolising that we kill negative imagination but marry the positive use of it. They have a son, Ghatotkacha; the power to hold a thought. Patanjali calls this as dharna, which can later lead to dhyana and samadhi, the highest aspects in yoga. After killing Hidimb, the Pandavas go to a town called Ekchakra meaning one wheel or repetition. Here, Bhima

represents the anahata chakra, the centre for vayu. This chakra has a positive and a negative part. The yogi purifies the chakra to make both the parts positive. We have seen how Bhima did this. Draupadi or sex energy marries all the five Pandavas and rises up the five chakras as kundalini. With the marriage of Bhima and Draupadi, the heart chakra gets charged and opens up, bringing about a kind of joyous softness in life. Despite being physically very strong, Bhima had a beautiful softness about him. Throughout their years in exile, Bhima looked after Draupadi with much care and devotion. He tried to fulfil her every desire, even going to collect divine flowers for her. Softness of touch, speech, and vision are the progressions on our path. If we become hard and dry, then we have taken a wrong turn. A purified sex centre brings creativity in our lives. We could write poetry or a novel, or become an artist or a sculptor, or even design a garden. The very sensitivity of the flow of this energy brings a unique happiness and ecstasy in our lives. (Edited by Chintu Gandhi. Illustration by Siddharth Ramanuj.) The author can be reached by emailing 3srb@live.com


Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

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Madhya Pradesh Govt transfers IG for praising Kasab The Madhya Pradesh government last week transferred Special Armed Forces (SAF) IG Rajendra Kumar for praising Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving Pakistani gunman involved in the Mumbai attack. "The state government has issued transfer orders of Kumar posting him to the headquarter here," officials said. Kumar had cited the example of Kasab to buttress his point on importance of undergoing training with passion at an SAF training camp. "If you are trained well you can do anything...An example is the Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab. He just studied up to class eight and had just one year training. With this he could operate weapons and gadgets and GPS devices. He could do this because he had passion and he trained very well...," he had said.

Dandi monuments, Saife Villa being restored Dandi, which has become synonymous with the India’s freedom movement, is abuzz with activities these days. The Archaeological Survey of India is working round the clock for the restoration and conservation of Saife Villa and Bapu’s statue which depicts the Namak Satyagraha. “The villa and the Banyan Tree spot are about 125 years old. We were sent here last month on special orders of ministry of culture, Government of India to restore them to their original shape and structure,” an ASI official said. Saife Villa, built in early 19th century on 747 sq mtr of land with a built up area of 167.24 sq. mtr, has lime plaster, said ASI Vadodara’s Rajesh Johri. He said the restoration project was likely to be completed by March 15,

2010. The Banyan Tree at Dandi where Mahatma Gandhi gave his speech before breaking the law of the British Empire will also get a facelift. The memorial was opened by Jawaharlal Nehru on April 6, 1961. However, except for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi not many can claim to have seen it for many years. The Father of Nation’s

statue near Saife Villa is in a shambles. Only a push is enough to bring it down. However, the ministry of culture, Government of India and Gujarat government plan to install a new statue, to be built with 78 stones for the 78 followers who were with Bapu during his famous 1930 Dandi March, which began from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, a distance of 241 miles which they covered in three weeks.

Indian EVMs attracting foreign poll panels Indian electronic voting machines (EVMs) may be a subject of controversy in the country, but that hasn't stopped poll panels of many countries, including South Africa from showing interest in acquiring the ballot gadget. According to the Election Commission of India, poll bodies of South Africa, Mauritius, Kenya and Nepal have evinced keen interest in the EVMs. The interest in Indian EVMs from foreign poll management bodies comes in the backdrop of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Telugu Desam Party and the AIADMK, among others, and some rights activists raising questions over the proper functioning of the voting machines. In his latest criticism, BJP's Parliamentary Party chairman L K Advani early this week blogged that "there's no such thing called

a tamper-proof electronic voting machine". He asked the poll panel to clear misgivings and apprehensions on their functioning. Meanwhile, India's Chief Election Commissioner Navin B. Chawla and Election Commissioners S.Y.

Quraishi and V.S. Sampath met with the poll panel heads of Commonwealth nations who were in New Delhi for the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Election Commission of India. The Indian officials met with Deputy SecretaryGeneral of the Commonwealth Mmasegoa Masire-Mwamba. Masire-Mwamba com-

plimented India's leadership in election management and suggested that the ECI should play a key role in promotion of democratic process worldwide through the mechanism of the proposed Commonwealth network of election management bodies, according to an official statement. Several countries requested for the Election Commission's support in training, improvement of skills and human resource development. Some heads of electoral bodies requested that their personnel should get an exposure to the conduct of Indian elections. Indian voting officials also met with US election commissioner Ellen L. Weinstraub. The exchange focused on campaign financing, expenditure scrutiny and regulatory provisions, the statement said.

India to send 2 astronauts into space in 2016 5-member panel to look India will launch its first manned mission in 2016 with two astronauts for a week-long odyssey in space, said a top Indian space agency official last week. "We are planning a human space flight in 2016, with two astronauts who will spend seven days in the earth's lower orbit," Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K Radhakrishnan told reporters in Bangalore. Space scientists and senior officials of the state-run ISRO are

preparing a pre-project report to build the infrastructure and facilities for the mission, estimated to cost a whopping Rs 124 billion ($2.76 billion). The Planning Commission had in principle approved the human space flight project in February 2009. Its Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia then said more funds would be allocated in two phases during the Eleventh Plan (2007-12) and Twelfth Plan (2012-17). "We will design and develop the space module

for the manned mission in the next four years. Two astronauts will be selected to train for the space flight," Radhakrishnan said on the margins of a space event. The government had allocated Rs 950 million for pre-project initiatives in 2007-08. The space agency will set up a full-fledged training facility in this tech hub for training the astronauts and building a third launch pad at its spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 80 km northeast of Chennai.

"Spacecraft for the proposed manned mission will have extra facilities like entry into crew capsule and an escape chute," the chairman said after releasing a book titled Moon Mission: Exploring the Moon with Chandrayaan-1. To demonstrate its reentry technology prowess, ISRO had launched in 2007 a 600 kg space capsule recovery experiment (SRE) using the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) rocket and was successful in bringing it back to the earth safely 12 days later.

into Telangana issue

The government of India last week constituted a five-member committee headed by former Supreme Court judge B N Srikrishna to study the Telangana statehood issue. A home ministry spokesperson said the committee would hold wide-ranging consultations with all sections of people and different political parties and groups in Andhra Pradesh. The other members of the Committee are Prof (Dr) Ranbir Singh, Vice Chancellor, National Law

University, Delhi, Dr Abusaleh Shariff, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, Delhi, Dr (Ms) Ravinder Kaur, Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT, Delhi and Vinod K Duggal, former Home Secretary, who will also function as its Member Secretary. The spokesman said the terms and references were being drafted and would be finalised in consultation with the chairman of the Committee.

New vision for Kinnari Desai, Gagandeep Singh Ahmedabad’s Blind People’s Association a ray of hope for differently-abled BY K K JOSEPH Blind People’s Association (BPA), Ahmedabad is a ray of hope for the differently- abled people by giving a new confidence to be self-reliant and face the realities of life, thus helping them lead a normal life. BPA is promoting comprehensive rehabilitation of people with all types of disabilities through education, training, employment, community¬- based rehabilitation, research, human resource development and other innovative means. It is working for the blind, the deaf, mentally retarded, the orthopaedically impaired, the mentally ill etc. BPA also imparts technical education and professional training to the differentlyabled. It produces and dis-

tributes devises like crutches, calipers, wheelchairs and other mobility devises, free of charge. At least 1,500 disabled students are studying here. It also runs hostels for the blind boys and disabled girls, a library, an eye hospital and orthopaedic hospital. BPA, which was started in Ahmedabad in 1964, is running 11 campuses in Gujarat of which five are in Ahmedabad. The blind are now operating computers, surfing the web, doing telemarketing of products and services, thanks to BPA. People with disabilities are mobile on their tricycles and three wheeler scooters. Artificial limbs are provided free of cost to the needy. It is forging a new alliance by taking over the management of Jeet Mehta

Kinnari Desai

School for mentally retarded children. It is starting two primary schools – one each in Bavla and Naaz – where normal and disabled children will study together in inclusive settings. BPA has touched the lives of thousands of differently-abled people and transformed them. An example is Kinnari Desai who was a programmer in the State Bank of India, Ahmedabad. Later she

became a victim of low vision and lost her job. She became very desperate, dejected and lost interest in life also. She regained her confidence through the help of BPA. Now she is the proud recipient of Ford Foundation scholarship which enables her to continue post graduate studies in disability. She will be leaving to USA soon to pursue her studies. She will be first person from Gujarat to receive this scholarship out of 30 people selected from all over India this year. All this was possible because of the encouragement and guidance she received from BPA. Another example is Gagandeep Singh. While he was studying in St Xavier’s school in

Ahmedabad he became a victim of low vision. Through the help of BPA he also regained confidence and continued his studies. He took BBA from Gujarat University and later joined the B K School of Management. Now he is a proud student of IIM, Bangalore. He will be completing his studies this year and will be able to stand on his own feet. These two are only a few examples where BPA has given a new lease of life to the disabled. According to Dr Bhushan Punani, the Executive Director of BPA, Ahmedabad, 0.45 per cent of India’s population are blind. A lot of blindness is curable if given treated at the right time. He says eye donation in Gujarat is very encour-

aging, but hospitals in Ahmedabad are not able to take full advantage of the donations because of lack of cornea transplantation facilities. So most of the donated eyes are being sent to south India where the facilities are excellent. On the employment front, he says 77 people secured employment through them in 2009. The main areas of employment are in the fields of computer programming, lift operation, BPOs and in animation. They are depending on government, individuals, trusts and international aid agencies for financing their activities. BPA continues to be a single window service for people with disabilities. It is touching the people and changing their lives.


26

Saturday 13th February 2010 - Asian Voice

Obama appoints Jhumpa Lahiri to arts committee Washington: Indian-American Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri has been appointed as a member of US President Barack Obama's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, along with five others. "I am proud that these distinguished individuals will serve in my administration. The arts and the humanities enhance the vibrancy of our society, inspire us and strengthen our democracy," Obama said in a statement. "I look forward to working with them in the weeks and months ahead," Obama said. Besides Lahiri, other appointed to the committee are Chuck Close, Fred Goldring, Sheila Johnson, Pamela Joyner and Ken Solomon, the White House said.

Some attacks on Indians racially motivated, admits Australia Melbourne: Australia on Monday finally admitted that some of the recent violence against Indians had clearly been “racially motivated” and vowed to “punish the culprits with full force of law.” Stating that the attacks had "considerably damaged" the nation's reputation, Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told the Parliament that "if any of these attacks have been racist in nature - and it seems clear that some of them have they will be punished with the full force of law". Smith said the attacks which have included robberies and beatings are "inexcusable" and were

being taken very seriously by the government. The foreign minister intervened on the matter after the government came in for a sharp attack from the opposition which accused the Victorian government of failing to tackle the racist attacks on Indians. Even Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said that he was worried over the narration by his Asianorigin son-in-law of racisms in Australia. Rudd said that his government's efforts were aimed at improving safety of foreign students who worked late at night. Leaders and officials in Australian had earlier down played racism as a motive for attacks on

Roundup 9-year-old girl becomes ‘world’s youngest mom’ Beijing: A nine-year-old Chinese girl has reportedly become the world's youngest mother after giving birth to a boy by Caesarean section. According to reports, the unnamed girl was brought to a hospital in Changchun when she was more than eight months pregnant, and two days later she gave birth by Caesarean section to a boy weighing six pounds. Despite the girl's age, both the mother and the baby are doing well. The family has apparently refused to discuss the circumstances of the pregnancy but had reported it to police. Some reports suggested the girl had been raped. In fact, in China, sex with a child under the age of 14 is an automatic rape conviction. Police were said to be trying to establish who the father was. Young pregnancies are said to be on the rise in China. About 30 per cent of recent abortions in a Shanghai hospital were carried out on schoolgirls, the report said.

Girl ‘sells’ virginity to pay university fees Wellington: A 19-year-old New Zealand student "sold" her virginity to a stranger for more than 45,000 New Zealand dollars ($31,500) to pay university fees, according to news reports last week. The student, who called herself "Unigirl" in an advertisement on an auction website, said she received more than 1,200 bids from the 30,000 people who viewed her ad online. "I have accepted an offer in excess of $45,000, which is way beyond what I dreamed," she said. In the ad, she said she was attractive and still a virgin. "I am offering my virginity by tender to the highest bidder as long as all personal safety aspects are observed," she said on the website ineed.co.nz. "This is my decision made with full awareness of the circumstances and possible consequences," she said.

Hindu temple vandalised in Bangladesh Dhaka: Miscreants have broke six idols and vandalised an ancient Hindu temple in a village near the Bangladesh capital, police were quoted as saying on Saturday. Some 30-35 people attacked the Sri Sri Rahshakali temple in Ashrafdi village in Naranaganj district on Friday night, the bdnews24 web site quoted a police official as saying. They also damaged four adjacent houses and injured five people, it said. Police officer Mohammed Yunus Ali said the temple was attacked following an altercation between a Hindu and three youths in the village. A case has been registered, the official said.

Indians which have triggered outrage in India. Smith's remarks came just ahead of Indian High Commissioner Sujatha Singh's visit to New Delhi to brief the government on the steps taken by Australia to prevent attacks on Indians. Singh is expected to be in New Delhi this week.

Indians told to ‘look poor’ to avoid attacks Victorian police chief Simon Overland has advised Indian students in Australia to keep a low profile and “try to look as poor as you can” to avoid attacks, drawing strong condemnation from the community which called his statement “ridicu-

Sign up NHSF petition to fight racism in Australia against Indians National Hindu Students Forum (NHSF) of UK has drafted a petition, urging the Gordon Brown government to exert pressure on the Australian authorities to act on those attacking Indians and Indian students in particular. The petition is available on the following link: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/IndianAustralia. Readers may sign up and help their Indian brothers and sisters in Australia.

lous”. Indian students could make themselves less of a target if they do not display their expensive gadgets, Oliver told an international students’ safety forum here on Saturday. Tightens immigration rules Australia on Monday tightened its immigration rules to favour higherskilled workers as against “hairdressers” and “cooks,” a revision that will lead to the rejection of an estimated 20,000 migration applications from foreign students, including Indians. Immigration minister Chris Evans said the revision of the immigration

rules will tilt the inflow of foreign migrants to invite more doctors, engineers and IT professionals to suit Australia's local demands. He also announced scrapping of the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) to limit the eligibility for independent skilled migration to “a more targeted set of occupations”. “It (MODL) encouraged overseas students to train in particular occupations to make it easier to acquire permanent residence, in the process skewing the skilled migration programme to a narrow set of occupations,” he said.

Obama to meet Dalai Lama despite Chinese objections Washington: US president Barack Obama will meet the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama despite strong objections raised by China, the White House has asserted. However, no dates for the ObamaDalai Lama meeting were announced by the White House. "The President told China's leaders during his trip last year that he would meet Dalai Lama, and he intends to do so. The Dalai Lama is an internationally respected religious and cultural leader, and the President will meet

Dalai Lama

him in that capacity," Bill Burton, the White House Deputy Press Secretary said.

At the same time, Burton clarified that the US considers Tibet as part of China. "To be clear, the US considers Tibet to be a part of China. We have human rights concerns about the treatment of Tibetans. We urge the government of China to protect the unique cultural and religious traditions of Tibet," Burton said. The Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, P J Crowley, said that China has made its views clear to the US on the Dalai Lama. "Chinese have made

clear their views regarding meetings with the Dalai Lama, regarding arms sales to Taiwan, and I think what we're clearly indicating is that we will continue to follow our national interest just as we would expect China to follow its national interest," he said. China warns Obama China said that a possible meeting between Obama and the Dalai Lama would hurt trust between the two countries, already at odds over Washington's arms sales to Taiwan.

Iran sends animals into space, makes West jittery Tehran: Iran last week said that it had successfully launched a 10-foot-long research rocket carrying a mouse, two turtles and worms into space, making West jittery. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the launch showed Iran could defeat the West in the battle of technology.

The launch of the Kavoshgar-3 was announced by defense minister Gen Ahmad Vahidi as part of Iran’s ambitious space program a move that may add to Western concern about Tehran’s nuclear programme. It comes a year after

Iran sent its first domestically made telecommunications satellite into orbit. The program has worried Western powers who fear the same technology used to launch satellites could also deliver warheads. Vahidi gave no details on the research and the report did not disclose

when or where the launch took place. Ahmadinejad praised the latest launch and said greater events would come in the future. He said the launch was a “very big event. This was the first presence of animals in space launched by Iran. It’s the start of bigger achievements” to come.

Kuwait’s Amir seeks Gurkha bodyguards from Nepal Kathmandu: Gorkhas from Nepal are in great demand as bodyguards. Earlier when Britain’s Prince Harry served in Afghanistan last year, he was protected by Gurkha bodyguards. Hollywood celebrities, who are the new royalty of the US, are also known to seek Gurkha bodyguards and watchmen to keep stalkers and other perils at bay. Now, yet another blueblooded aristocrat is asking for Gurkha soldiers to protect his palace and person. Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, who became the amir of

Kuwait four years ago after a succession crisis, has asked his government to contact Nepal's ruling coalition to hire nearly three dozen former Gurkha soldiers from Nepal, who may have served with the Indian or British Army. Last month, Nepal's ambassador to Kuwait, Maduban Poudel, held talks with Kuwait government officials to discuss the process, the Naya Patrika daily reported on Friday. Meanwhile, the newly appointed Nepali ambassador forwarded the proposal to Nepal's foreign

ministry. The 81-year-old amir's desire to have Gurkha bodyguards is linked to tales of the soldiers' bravery in Britain, Brunei another Islamic kingdom, and Singapore. Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad became the new ruler of Kuwait after the 13th amir, Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah expired in 2006 but the then crown prince had to abdicate, reportedly due to a health problem. Kuwait has seen political turmoil in 2009 after a television channel aired a controversial programme in which the desert tribe,

the Bedouins, were vilified and called non-residents, triggering angry protests by thousands of tribesmen.The issue snowballed with the prime minister and three other ministers being grilled by Kuwait's parliament with rising demands for more ministers to be interrogated. Gurkha bodyguards for Kuwait's royal palace would be a feather in the cap of the government of Nepal if the deal comes through. However, in the past, there was a similar demand from the UAE that was reportedly shelved after protests.


Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

27

Zardari okays women's protection bill Karachi: Pakistani women workers can breath easy now. With the signing of a bill into law by president Asif Ali Zardari last week the perpetrators of crime against women at workplace will face three years imprisonment or a fine of Rs 500,000 or both. Zardari signed the Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Bill at a ceremony held here attended by women parliamentarians and members of the Sindh assembly belonging to the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party. Under the law, if a working woman complains about sexual harassment to her supervisor, a three-member committee would be formed to conduct an inquiry. The committee would then present its report to the concerned authorities for further action.

JuD vows to take Kashmir by force Organises public meeting in Islamabad, rally in Lahore Islamabad: A day after Islamabad said it was seeking a clarification from New Delhi on the agenda for the proposed Foreign Secretary-level talks, the Jamat-udDawah, front organisation of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group blamed for the Mumbai attacks, held a public meeting here vowing to seize Kashmir by force and threatening “rivers of blood” in India. In Lahore too, the JuD organised a public rally, led by Hafiz Saeed, alleged by India to have masterminded the Mumbai attacks. The meetings were held alongside other coun-

Hafiz Saeed

try-wide events to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day, annually observed in Pakistan on February 5. The JuD rally in the capital was held at Aabpara chowk in the heart of the city, a short walk from the barricaded headquarters

of the Inter-Services Intelligence. The government, which took some steps against the JuD and placed Hafiz Saeed under house arrest days after the Mumbai attacks, seems to have given it a long rope now. Friday’s meetings in Islamabad and Lahore followed the one on Wednesday in Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. In the capital, it was not a crowded meeting, the cold and steady drizzle dampening enthusiasm for the event, but the speakers more than made up for

this. Banners and posters with the JuD ensignia were found everywhere. “Whenever our jihad in Kashmir nears success, India becomes ready for talks,” Abdur Rehman Makki, deputy to JuD leader Hafiz Saeed, told his audience. “But what is this dialogue all about? Former President Pervez Musharraf tried dialogue for eight years. What did he get? What did Pakistan get? A ban on Lashkar-eToiba, while Shiv Sena is allowed to go free,” he said. The JuD, he said, “is a reality of Pakistan, and anyone who tries to finish it will not succeed.”

Kayani says army to remain ‘India centric’ Rawalpindi: Pakistan army would remain an “India centric” institution as long as the Kishmir issue and the river water disputes continue, Pakistan’s army chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani reveals. "We plan on adversaries' capabilities, not intentions," Kayani said during a presentation to the Pakistani media. Kayani pointed out towards the threat posed by India's 'Cold Start' doctrine. According to him the traditional theory of war

on its head, 'Cold Start' would permit the Indian Army to attack before mobilising, increasing the possibility of a 'sudden spiral escalation.' Kayani also talked about maintaining a balance in military spending between the two South Asian nuclear powered countries. "Despite the fact that India's defence budget is "seven times" that of Pakistan's "there has to be a balance between development and military spending," The Dawn

Ashfaq Kayani

quioted Kayani, as saying. Referring to New Delhi's earlier stand of not holding any talks with Pakistan following the

26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai, he said: "Peace and stability in South Asia should not be made hostage to a single terrorist act of a non-state actor." "Refusing to talk to Pakistan would send a bad signal on two counts: one, the non-state actors would know that they have the power to nudge India and Pakistan towards war; and two, within India it would become clear that relations with Pakistan could be suspended indefinitely," Kayani added.

Three US soldiers among 32 killed in blasts Islamabad: At least 32 people, including three US soldiers, were killed and more than 100 injured in three bomb attacks in Pakistan last week. In the first attack 7 people, including three US soldiers travelling with Pakistan security force members, were killed and 70 others injured in a roadside bomb attack in northwest Pakistan, security officials said.

In the other incidents, at least 25 people were killed and more than 40 injured when militants detonated two bombs in Karachi targeting the minority Shia community. The three US soldiers were in the region as part of a small, little-publicized US mission to train members of the paramilitary Frontier Corps to better fight al-Qaida and Taliban

militants, the officials said. The blast hit a convoy close to a girls' school celebrating its opening in the Shahi Koto area of Lower Dir district. Among the wounded were many school girls, said an army statement and police chief Mumtaz Zarin Khan. Some officials said three schoolchildren also were among the dead.

In Karachi the first blast took place when an explosives-packed motorcycle hit a bus carrying people to a Shia religious procession. At least 12 people were killed in the incident. The second bomb went off in the parking lot of the Jinnah Hopsital, where some of the injured from the first were taken. This bomb killed at least 13 people.

Suspected US drone strikes kill 29 Islamabad: At least 29 people were killed when the US drones attacked Pakistan’s restive tribal region last week, a Pakistani intelligence official said. Several people were injured in the air attacks that took place in at least four villages of North Waziristan district, a known sanctuary of Taliban and Al Qaeda militants conducting cross-border raids on US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan. "At least eight drones took part in the attack, and they have fired some 18 missiles at three training camps of Taliban, their two vehicles and some bunkers," said a local

intelligence official. Taliban militants have fired at the US aircraft from some of these bunkers. The militants shot down one drone on January 24. "According to the initial reports we have received from various areas, at least 29 people have been killed while around a dozen more are injured," said the official. People are buried under the debris of the demolished house, but no one dares to carry out rescue work since the drones are still flying in the area, the official added. "Almost all those killed are Taliban (fighters)."

An American official in New York, meanwhile, for the first time said that Pakistan Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud was killed while a top Afghan Taliban commander Sirajuddin Haqqani escaped the attacks.

Sirajuddin Haqqani or Siraj is a senior Taliban and leader of the Haqqani network and is long time ally of al-Qaeda. The group operates on both side of Afghan- Pakistan border and is well-known to US.

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Gilani backs J-K ‘separatist’ movement yet again Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani last week reiterated that his government will "continue extending political, moral and diplomatic support" to the separatist campaign in Jammu and Kashmir. "We will continue extending our political, moral and diplomatic support to the people of Kashmir and our principled stance will not be changed on the issue of Kashmir," Gilani said in his talks with leaders of Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Pakistan Kashmir President Raja Zulqarnain Khan and Prime Minister Raja Mohammed Farooq

Khan called on Gilani at his residence in Islamabad on the eve of "Kashmir solidarity day" which was observed in Pakistan on Friday. "Pakistan wants early resolution according to the aspirations of the Kashmiri people, as it is imperative for lasting peace in the region," Gilani said. The reiteration of support to the Kashmir cause comes amid reports that India has sent a formal proposal to Pakistan for talks between their foreign secretaries, stressing that it will carry on these discussions with "an open and positive mind".

Pak terror suspect faces US prison term for entire life Washington: Pakistani terror suspect Dr Aafia Siddiqui may have to spend the remainder of her life in an American jail after a Manhattan court found her guilty of all charges, US Department of Justice statement said. "Dr Aafia, 37, faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each of the attempted murder and armed assault charges; life imprisonment on the firearm charge; and eight years in prison on each of the remaining assault charges. She also faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years in prison on the firearm charge," The Dawn quoted the

statement, as saying. The Pakistani neuroscientist, who has been charged for firing at American investigators in Afghanistan in July 2008, is scheduled to be sentenced on May 6. Earlier this week, a New York court found Aafia guilty on charges related to the attempted murder and assault of US nationals and US officers and employees in Afghanistan. Aafia's unknown whereabouts between 2003 and 2008 has been the subject of much debate among human rights organisations and US government officials.

Former Pak Minister injured, four killed in Rawalpindi attack Rawalpindi: Former Pakistan Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed was injured and four others were killed on Monday when unidentified gunmen attacked his election office in the garrison city of Rawalpindi. Mr Ahmed, who heads the Awami Muslim League, is a candidate for an upcoming by-election to a seat in the National Assembly. The four persons who died were workers of the Awami Muslim League

party. The injured party leader was taken to a nearby hospital, state-run media reported. Mr Ahmed, 59, was earlier a member of the opposition PML-Q and a close confidante of former President Pervez Musharraf. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif directed authorities to conduct an immediate inquiry into the incident. Mr. Ahmed served as the Federal Minister for Railways in Pakistan from 2006 to 2008.

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UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

This week in CB Live meet Mr Anil from Skylink Travel & Tours who will talk about Kailash Mansarovar, Chardham and 12 Jyotirling YATRA

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Coming Events ! Brahmin Society North London organises Maha Shivratri Pooja at BSNL House Middx. HA0 3NL on Friday 12th February 2010 at 7.30pm Contact: Mayank Rawal on 07944 99 4129/www.bsnl.org.uk ! National Tour in February 2010 by Raga Jyoti in collaboration with halle Youth Ensembles Sun 14th Feb, The Lowry, salford Quays, Contact: 0843 208 6010 Saturday 27th Feb, 7:30pm, Curve, Leicester, Contact: 01162423595 ! Watford Asian Community Care in partnership with Watford Gurdwara and International Friendship Foundation UK invites BME communities in Herts to a Community Health Fair – promoting Physical and Emotional Wellbeing on Sunday 14th February 2010 at Gurdwara – Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Watford WD18 0UB from 11.00 am to 3.00 pm. Contact: 01923 229903 or email admin@wacc.org.uk. ! Maha Shivratri Celebrations at BAPS, Shri

Swaminarayan Temple, Neasden, Friday 12th February, Contact: 020 8965 2651 ! Maya Entertainments in support of Lions Club London presents Valentine Dinner and dance in aid of haiti Earthquake Appeal on Sunday 14th Feb 2010 at 7pm. Venue: The Premier House Banqueting , Harrow Contact: Lion Manu 07939845742 ! Valentines Day on Sunday 14th Feb at Poppin Business Centre, Southway, HA9 0HB. Contact: 020 8795 3785 ! Swaminarayan Stanmore presents Shiv Ratri on 12th February 2010 from 8:30am-12pm and 4-9pm. Venue: Dharma Bhakti Manor, Stanmore HA7 4LF. Www.swaminarayansatsang.co.uk ! High Commission of India, London and Indian Council of Cultural relations, New Delhi present So Many Journeys by Geeta Chandran and The Natya Vriksha Dance Company on Saturday 13th February at 7:30pm. St George’s hall, Liverpool

Amazing predictions Sneh Joshi, the UK’s leading Vedic astrologer, writer and TV personality can answer questions on: ! Health Problems ! Investments ! Married Life ! Children’s matters ! Marriage Compatibility ! Love Affairs ! Court Cases ! Any other problems

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Thousands attend The Asian Bride Show London 2010 on the Sunday, The Asian Bride entertainment 2010 Show acts, celebrity proved to be a guests and delimassive succious cuisine all cess. Over coming together 25,000 people at the new, specattended the tacular Wembley biggest Bridal Stadium – guests show in the UK were spoilt for over the weekchoice. end of Saturday The fun23rd and packed weekend Sunday 24th saw musical perJanuary 2010. Pic courtesy: Hiten Ondhia and formances by the Following Asian Woman Magazine hottest singer on the success of the scene – Navin Kundra last year’s show, The (pictured). Also in attenAsian Bride Show 2010 dance were the UK’s most was once again held at popular newlyweds – London’s premium hisSunny and Shay from toric venue - Wembley Channel 4’s hit reality in North Stadium show – The Family. London. Elsewhere, The The world’s leading Ministry of Dhol provided ethnic titles, Asian some great Bhangra beats. Woman and Asian Bride, Guests were also treatwith an international ed to beauty makeovers, readership of over 100,000 health and well-being clinreaders, brought a fantasics and Asian Woman and tic show to remember. Asian Bride giveaways. With even more worldVisit: www.theasianclass exhibitors, the free brideshow.com for more Asian Woman Catwalk information on Asian showing five times on the Bride Show 2011. Saturday and four times

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When is the Ideal Home Show being held in London? If you give a correct answer you may win 4 tickets for your family. Write to Alka at alka.shah@abplgroup.com with your correct answer and full postal address. Last day of entry: Monday 15th February 2010. Special ticket offer expires on 19 March 2010. Visit www.shreemevents.com for more details. Please note that kids 15 years and under can attend the show for free. Chief Executive Director: Kamlesh Amin Tel: +91 922 710 4308 Email: kamleshamin123@yahoo.co.in Editorial Co-Ordinator (BPO): Suresh Samani (M) +91 9898441330 Email: sureshsamani@yahoo.com Dy. Editorial Co-Ordinator (BPO): Nilesh Parmar (M) +919426636912 Consulting Editor (BPO): Bhupatbhai Parekh, Ahmedabad, Gujarat Fax: +91 79 2550 9944 Mumbai: Kanti Bhatt, Hemraj Shah (Jumbo Advertiser) Horizon Advertising & Marketing: 205 Shalibhadra Complex, Opp. Jain Derasar, Nr. Nehru Nagar Circle, Ambawadi, Ahmedabad Tel / Fax: +91 79 2646 5960 (M) +91 9913346487 Email: horizonadvt2009@yahoo.in Neeta Patel, (Advertising Manager) (M) +91 98255 11702 International Advertisement Representative: Jain Group(South India) Tel: +91 44 42041122/3/4 Fax: +91 44 25362973 Mumbai: +91 222471 4122 Email: jainmedia@eth.net

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You’re likely to be doing a lot of thinking about both new and existing partnerships, and maybe toing and froing in one relationship in particular. Home and family duties and responsibilities may weigh heavy on you. In effect, you’re building a new foundation, so the work you put in now will pay off in the future.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Your social graces will serve you well careerwise. Mixing business with pleasure will bring you benefits. You will achieve a lot by being responsible and diplomatic. Ego confrontations with family members are possible now, to handle this do your best to strengthen your relationship with your family and your home base. GEMINI May 22 - June 22 The pace of everyday life will gather momentum and there may be times when you find it hard to keep your act together. Any obstacles that have stood in the way of your heart's desires should melt into the background soon. Your self-confidence will be high due to various encouraging events.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22 You often suppress your emotions and this can manifest as irrational moods that others find hard to understand. Strengthen close ties of affection, sort out emotional differences and proffer the olive branch to anyone who may have caused you pain in recent months. At home, try not to upset anyone around you. LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23 Mars in your sign gives you highs and lows and sometimes leaves you fatigued and not so enthusiastic. You can only benefit from the the effort you are making and the commitment you are giving, even if it does all seem a bit 'too much' at times. You will continue to be in a restless mood for some time to come. VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23 If you are involved in competitive field of activity, you will be the one who comes out on top. There is a definite expansive trend where money is concerned. Play your cards right and you can pull strings in your favour. Good time for cultivating a deeper rapport with your loved ones. LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23 A great deal will depend on how you organise your priorities this week. This does not mean that you will have to compromise your ideals but you may be obliged to realise that sometimes a more flexible approach is needed. Try to stick doggedly to familiar routines and avoid all distractions where possible. SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

You should enjoy a very popular phase in your life where everyone wants to invite you to parties. This is a good time for romantic liaisons. Jupiter, the planet of excesses is associated with splashing out on luxury items which we do not want - take care or you will have things that you have no use for.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

The need to push ahead with personal interests and to assert yourself will take precedence over everything else. 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. This is an opportune time to go ahead with your plans.

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

You may feel at times that the results of your efforts are not coming up to expectation. Progress will be slow and may reflect a negative picure of your current work situation. However, this is a temporary blip. Make up your mind early in the week to knuckle down to the tasks in hand.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 The outlook remains optimistic as developments point the way forward and bring you a sense of real achievement. However, this is not likely to be an easy-going week as demands on time and energy are going to be heavy. Relationships look great as Venus and Mars help to enhance your personal magnetism. PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 Brilliant ideas come easily as you trust your higher self and allow thoughts to flow freely. You are able to embrace new opportunities and make positive changes in your life. Your efforts bring a greater stability to your work than ever before. This is an important development, considering all the changes occurring around you.


TIME

Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

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Across 1 Grasshopper sound 6 Bid first 10 Arabian sultanate 14 Invisible emanations 15 Opera star 16 Skater Lipinski 17 At all 19 Get-up 20 Nepture’s realm 21 “The Lord of the Rings” 22 Prima dona’s number

Notes of scales “Twelth Night” Male graduate Refrain syllable Ripped apart Delhi attire Dell products Thingamabob Taht feels good! “Easy__” Irish Republic Insane Part of EST

Rearrange the letters in the four word jumbles, one letter to each square/circle, to make four ordinary words

How to play

Now arrange the letters in the circles to form the answer to the riddle or to fill in the missing word as indicated

HUYRR ALOSTP GHINSY

The value of consistent _____is not that He will hear us, but that we will hear Him. (6)

Solution of Scramble - 47

SPELLATHON - 74 Today’s Ratings: 05-average | 06-good | 07-outstanding

M W

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How many words of four or more letters can you make from the letters shown in today’s puzzle? In making a word, each letter may be used once only. Each word must contain the central letter. There should be at least one seven-letter word. Plurals, foreign words and proper names are not allowed. British English Dictionary is used as reference.

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Sollution-73

WHATZIT? - 74

MINDBENDER - 74

The cherry on the cake

Once there was a night watchman who had been caught several times sleeping on the job. The boss issued the final warning. On the next night he was caught with his head on his hand and his elbows on the desk. “Aha, I’ve caught you agian, “exclaimed the boss. The watchman’s eyes popped open immediately and he knew what had happened. Being a quick thinking man, he said one word before looking up at the boss. The boss apologized profusely and went home. What was the one word?

Solution of 73 :

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A digit cannot appear more than once in any particular digit combination. For instance in the example, we cannot have the combination of 8+4+8 for 20.

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Solution of KAKURO - 73 12

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44 = Four Times Eleve

The numbers in the pink squares refer to the sums of the digits that you must fill into the empty spaces directly below or to the right of the pink square containing the number. For instance, in the given example, the 2 boxes below 12 must contain 2 digits that add upto 12, whereas for 20, the 3 boxes places horizontally next to it must add upto 20. No zeroes are used here, only the digits one through nine.

Example

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KAKURO - 74

12

Note:

LOOP THE LOOP - 48

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Solution of Spellathon - 73

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Rules Connect adjacent dots with vertical or horizontal lines, creating a single loop. (Fig A). Crossovers or branches are not allowed 3 2 3 2 (As shown by dotted lines in Fig B). 2 3 3 3 Numbers in the puzzle indicate the 2 2 number of lines that should 1 3 3 surround it, while empty cells may 2 0 1 be surrounded by any number of 1 3 3 2 2 lines. You can’t draw lines arround 3 2 1 2 zeroes. Each puzzle has just one unique solution. How to begin: Example (Fig A) - Begin with the zero next to 3. Since no lines can be drawn around zero, mark crosses around it, as shown. Now there is a cross in one space around 3. So we know the three lines of 3 can only be drawn in the remaining three spaces. Next these lines can only be extended in one direction each. Continue, using the same Solution of LTL No. 47 logic. x x Hints: Keep elimix 2 2 x 3 nating possibilix x x x x ties by marking x x 3 3 2 crosses in x x x x spaces between x 1 x 2 x 3 x dots where a line x x x x isn’t possible, x 3 3 1 x 3 i.e., if you have x x x already completx 3 x x 1 x 2 x 0 x ed required lines x x x or where a line x x 3 3 2 2 extension may x x x x x create a branch x 3 3 1 x or cause a deadx x x x end (Fig B)

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list,loss, lost, silo, silt, slit, slot, soil, solo, SOLOIST, soot, stool toss 20

64 65

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Words: Maids, tight, chants, yachts. Answer: Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, a touch that never hurts. -- Charles Dickens

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Islamic ruling Hi, on HI Twilled silk fabric Syrian leader Major in astronomy? NYC opera house French soul More scarace One who works at a trade Wispy clouds Minutes taker, perhaps Study hard Retreat Do over service Sicilian spouter Bellicose cleity Sweet, sticky liquids Marine mammal Daily routine __we a pair? Large Mackeral Borneo ape, briefly Sarnoan port Crumpet complement Diplomat Hammarskjold Hour past noon Kind of lettuce

Solution of Crossword-73

SCRAMBLE - 48

FLYAE

23 24 25 27 28 30 34 35 36

50 Alfred E. Neuman line 55 Ipanema locale 56 Fabled dawdler 57 Rhine tributary 58 Period 60 Act as a lookout, say 61 Streisand film 66 Mark___Baker 67 Top-rated 68 Yamaha product 69 Sundance’s girlfriend 70 Hindu discipline 71 Wise ones Down 1 Crow’s cry 2 “Whazzat?” 3 Charlie Brown’s exclamation 5 Stitched anew 6 Lyric poem 7 Swivel 8 Each and all 9 Soporific drug 10 Capital of Canada 11 New Zealand Polynesian 12 Potter’s clay 13 Stuffy-sounding 18 Diamond Head locale

PASS

Solution of sudoku-73 HOW TO PLAY Each row, column and square 3x3 box is a subgrid of 9 cells. Fill in the grid so that each sub-grid contains the digits 1 to 9. Every puzzle has one solution.

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HEALTH WATCH

Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

Want to boost your health? Then have your pulses An extract from white kidney beans that promotes weight loss by blocking the absorption of carbohydrates has just been launched. Called DEcarb, the new supplement shows that the simple bean has more health benefits than most of us realise. But the entire pulse family has an array of health benefits. Here we explain why beans, peas and pulses should be high up on your menu.

Cholesterol

Up your pulses with houmous, a falafel sandwich or some winter bean soup to keep your cholesterol in check. 'Peas and beans are good sources of soluble fibre and this is known to reduce "bad" LDL-cholesterol, the type that causes the fatty build-up on artery walls,' says Dr Susan Jebb, head of nutrition and health research at the Medical Research Council. Soya beans and chickpeas also contain plant sterols - molecules that have been shown to reduce LDL-cholesterol while raising levels of 'good' HDL-cholesterol.

Lungs

There is growing evidence to show that a diet rich in lentils and beans offers

dampen down the effect of protection from lung cancolon cancer. the woman's own oestrocer. Yet the level of cancergen.' Researchers at the protection offered by peas In this way, phytoeUniversity of Texas found and beans is even higher. that a pulse-rich A study in the Journal diet can cut lungof Clinical Nutrition cancer risk by found that those who between 20 and 45 eat legumes more than twice a week are per cent. They con47 per cent less likely cluded that the effect is due to the to develop the disease. high levels of phyThis could be due toestrogens that beans and pulses to specific cancercontain. fighting molecules These oestrofound in beans. Broad gen-like molecules beans, for example, attach to cell contain molecules receptors in a way Superfood: Beans and pulses are high in called lectins, which fibre and protect against cancer protects that scientists at Imperial against cancer-inducing strogens are thought to College London have dischanges in the body. give a protective effect covered can halt and even from hormone-related canreverse colon cancer. Hormone cers. Muscle builders balancing These same molecules Pulses are rich in carbohyCancer Research UK may be useful during the drate and protein, so eatreviewed a number of menopause, adding to a ing plenty of peas and studies and found that woman's oestrogen supply beans will help you get the women who ate diets rich when her levels are falling. building blocks your body in soya beans were 60 per Colon cancer needs to build muscle. cent less likely to have Peas and beans are rich Haricot beans contain highrisk 'dense tissue' in sources of dietary fibre, 21.4g protein per 100g, their breasts, again due to which in itself goes a long while soya beans contain the high levels of phytoe31.4g protein. way to maintain healthy strogens in the soya beans. 'However, while pulses digestion, prevent consti'These oestrogen-like pation and protect against are good protein sources, chemicals are up to 20,000 bowel cancer. they don't contain all of weaker than natural A study involving the the amino acids that your oestrogen,' says Dr Medical Research Council body needs,' says Laura Margaret Ritchie, expert in and Cancer Research UK Wyness, of the British phytoestrogens at the on half a million people Nutrition Foundation, 'so University of St Andrews. who ate 35g of fibre daily to get them all, you need ' When this weak found they were 40 per to combine them with oestrogen attaches to tiscent less likely to develop cereals, rice or pasta.' sue in the breast, it may

Saffron in curry helps keep vision sharp It is one food colouring that you won't mind giving to the family. Research has shown that saffron, which gives food its yellow colour, helps keep vision sharp. The findings suggest the spice reverses agerelated macular degeneration, or AMD, the most common cause of blindness in old people, the Daily mail reported on its website. "Patients' vision improved after taking the saffron pill," said professor Silvia Bisti, of the University of Sydney, who carried out the research. "When they were tested

with traditional eye charts, a number of them could read one or two lines smaller than before, while others reported they could read newspapers and books again." The finding is timely as it is thought the number of AMD sufferers will treble in the next 25 years as the population ages. It currently affects a quarter of over-60s in Britain and more than half of over75s. There are few treatments for the condition and no cure. While peripheral vision is not affected, the damage to central vision leads to many sufferers being regis-

tered as blind or partially sighted. Saffron has actually been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat a range of ailments, though Professor Bisti is the first to look at its effects on eyesight. "The chemistry of saffron is quite complex. It is wellknown as an anti-oxidant but no one has explored its effects on eyesight before." She believes saffron affects the amount of fat stored by the eye, making vision cells "tougher and more resilient". Saffron is used in traditional medicine for treat-

ing conditions including cancerous tumours and depression. The spice also has properties which encourage oxygen flow and prevents cell death. Researchers are now hoping to discover the ideal dosage. They will also look at saffron's ability to treat genetic eye diseases that can cause lifelong blindness.

Blueberries keep intestinal inflammations at bay Blueberries, rich in antioxidants and vitamins, can alleviate and protect against intestinal inflammations, a new study says. The protective effect is even better if the blueberries are eaten along with probiotics or health promoting bacteria. Sweden’s Lund University Faculty of Engineering (LUFE) project originated as an attempt to see if various types of dietary fibre and probiotic bacteria, lactobacillus and bifidobacte-

ria, can help prevent risk of colorectal cancer and intestinal inflammations like ulcerative colitis. “But new knowledge of this field is also of interest to those who don’t believe they run the risk of developing any intestinal diseases,. In recent years the research world has been realising that our health is governed to a great extent by what happens in our large intestine,” explains Camilla Bränning, nutritionist and Åsa Håkansson, doctoral can-

didate in applied nutrition and food chemistry at Lund. Researchers tested various types of diets of blueberry husks, rye bran

and oat bran with or without a mixture of probiotic bacteria. The results showed that the protective effect of blueberries was reinforced if they were eaten together with probiotics. “The probiotics proved to have a protective effect on the liver, an organ that is often negatively impacted by intestinal inflammations,” explains Håkansson. Blueberries are rich in polyphenols, which have an antimicrobial and antioxidative effect.

HEALTH WATCH IN BRIEF

Heart of the matter People of South Asian origin living in the UK are twice as likely as the rest of the population to die from coronary heart disease before the age of 65. As the nation’s heart charity, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) is dedicated to changing this. The BHF is working hard out in the community to raise awareness of heart disease and to help people live healthier lives. You might have seen the BHF stand at your local mela, offering support and information on how to eat more healthily, do more physical activity and give up smoking. The BHF are now bringing this service straight to your door. In this issue of Asian Voice is your own copy of the BHF’s magazine Heart and Soul, with tips and information on how you can reduce your risk of heart disease. If you are concerned about the health of your heart or the heart of someone you love, sign up to Heart Matters, a new, free service from the

BHF. Join today to get your welcome pack, heart matters magazine six times a year and access to a HelpLine where friendly heart health advisers and cardiac nurses await your call. You’ll find more information about Heart Matters, including three easy ways to join, inside Heart and Soul magazine or you can visit bhf.org.uk/heartmatters or call us on 0300 330 3300. In the meantime, why not get started with these top tips: - Cut down on saturated fat by using semiskimmed or skimmed milk rather than full fat. - For healthier fats, try cooking with olive, sunflower, corn or rapeseed oil instead of ghee. But remember to use them sparingly! - Aim to do at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on five days or more a week. - Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day in curries, salads or as a snack.

Pomegranates could help speed up childbirth - and may reduce the number of emergency Caesarean sections performed as a result of long labour. Research carried out at the University of Liverpool shows that the seeds of the fruit contain high levels of a steroid, betasitosterol. When the researchers added this natural extract to uterus tissue in laboratory tests, they found it increased muscle activity. Every year, around a

quarter of babies born in England 155,000 - are delivered by Caesarean. More than half the Caesareans performed are emergency procedures due to problems during labour. It's thought that the increasing number of obese women may be partly to blame. The Liverpool team hope that the pomegranate- seed extract could help reduce the number of Caesareans. However they stressed there is no evidence that drinking pomegranate juice will have the same effect.

Pomegranate seeds speed up labour

Echinacea stops swine flu symptoms A pure extract of the herbal remedy echinacea stops the symptoms of flu - including swine flu. A team of scientists from Germany and Canada found that it deactivates the virus, cutting the spread of infection by 99 per cent. In the laboratory tests, it was shown to be effective against all the main strains of flu, including swine and bird flu. Furthermore, the pure extract was even effective against strains of swine flu resistant to

Tamiflu, the anti viral medication widely taken by those suffering with the condition. The results found echinacea to be effective within hours. It is thought that it bonds to the virus, making it unable to enter the body's cells. Further studies are under way at Cardiff University to test whether commercially available echinacea remedies can reduce symptoms of flu and colds.


Asian Voice - Saturday 13th February 2010

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Sport World Pakistan falter in a tense victory charge Australia win the only T20 by a whisker

On Friday – 05 February at Melbourne, Pakistan came closest to a victory, but just stumbled by that whisker. In the only T20 match against Australia and their last engagement during the tour, the visitors lost the game by a mere two runs, allowing the Aussies to stamp their domination complete. After the Pakistani bowlers doing a praiseworthy job of restricting the home team to 127 runs, their batsmen just fell short of clinching a victory in a tense finish, as Pakistan ended their contest at 9 for 125 runs. Shaun Tait proved that he still is a force in the game, as he bowled the fastest delivery ever bowled by any bowler in

The Australians celebrate their T20 success

Australia. Tait also accounted for Kamran Akmal and two others, as he ended up with figures of 3 wickets for 13 runs. Akmal was the real threat for Australia. He notched up his highest T20 score, but just could not hang on till last.

While the Pakistani bowlers bowled out their local rivals, their batting missed a really good opportunity to even register a solitary win. Tait claimed the cream of Pakistani batting, including their highest scorer Kamran Akmal, while rest

SA is the only challenge for India’s top spot Dhoni’s boys may earn US$ 175,000 if they ensure a drawn series While the visitors aim to grab back their top billing, India only need to ensure that they do not lose the series against South Africa, to retain their no. 1 ranking till 31st March. If Dhoni’s boys do this, they would also bag the ICC prize of US$ 175,000 that awaits the no. 1 ranked team at the end of the year. And keeping the spot is not a huge challenge, as

except South Africa, there are no other contenders. With 125 points, India is ahead of the visitors with a 5 point lead. Australia, with their no. 3 ranking, would be touring New Zealand. They are not in a position to topple the rankings, as the first two spots would in anyway be occupied between India and South Africa only, till the year end

deadline of 31st March, 2010. Whoever – India or South Africa gets the no. 2 spot, stand to win US$ 75,000 from ICC. Gautam Gambhir, who occupies the top slot as batsman, also faces a challenge from Graeme Smith. Gambhir though enjoys a 39 points lead, but a bad series could see him lose his place.

Shoaib to lead Pak. against England in T20s Kamran Akmal dropped, Afridi to play the second game Pakistan has named Shoaib Malik to lead the team for the two T20 matches against England, to be played in Dubai on 19 and 20 February. Shahid Afridi, the regular skipper, is facing a two T20 ban following the ball tampering episode. He has already sat out in the only T20 match against Australia, and will also miss the first game against England. However, he would be eligible to play the second match and has

thus been selected, though only as a player. Kamram Akmal, the keeper has been dropped following a very poor show in the just concluded disastrous series against Australia. Among others dropped include pacers Rana Naved-ulHasan and Mohammad Asif. The later is banned from entering UAE following an alleged drug scandal. Kamran also is under the scanner for his

liaisons with the press over his selection matters, just prior to Hobart test match. He may face more action from the PCB after an inquiry is conducted. The team: Shoaib Malik (capt), Imran Farhat, Imran Nazir, Khalid Latif, Shahid Afridi, Fawad Alam, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Yasir Arafat, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Talha, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul.

of the bowlers also contributed in keeping the run chase difficult for the Pakistani batting as only three of their batsmen could get into the double figures. Pakistan were very much in the game till the 15th over, having reached 4 for 98. But in the last five overs, they could manage the 29 runs, ending up 2 runs short and losing 5 more wickets. For Australia, debutant Steven Smith was the costliest of the bowlers, yet he walked away with two important scalps of Fawad Alam and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan. {Brief scores: OZ 127 (Hussey 40*, Gul 3-20) beat Pak 9 for 125 (K Akmal 64, Tait 3-13) by 2 runs}.

Record chase for a first class victory at Hyderabad Yusuf Pathan capitalized on his luck and South zone’s loose fielding as he notched up an attacking double century in the Duleep Trophy finals at Hyderabad on Saturday. In the process, his team – West Zone created a new record of chasing the highest targest to win a first class game. West Zone scored 541 runs for seven wickets in the last – fourth innings of the match to beat the home team. The previous highest first-class chase of 513 for 9 between was recorded in a Central Province and Southern Province in the 2003-04 Sri Lankan domestic season. South zone scored 400 runs in the first innings, with skipper and wicket keeper Dinesh Karthik scoring 183, while they declared their second innings at 386 for 9. West zone, in reply scored 251 runs and later the record breaking 541 for seven, to win the coveted trophy by three wickets. For West zone, Yusuf Pathan had also belted a ton (108) in the first innings.

Terry loses captainship, key team member yet Finally, the coach has decided. John Terry, captain of England football team, facing allegations of sexual liaisons outside marriage will no more lead the team. Terry has been relegated. Fabio Capello has named Rio Ferdinand as the new captain. Yet, the coach has described John as an important member of the England football team. For Terry, John Terry another heartening development that Chelsea sees no reason to have a new captain instead Terry. Terry and Capello had a meeting last weekend, after which the announcement was made. In response, Terry had said he honoured Capello’s decision and that he will continue to give everything for England. Capello gave a clear endorsement for the 29 year old sacked captain as a key player. He said Terry is one of the most important players for England.

England footballers without their WAGs in SA World Cup As coach Fabio Capello has said he would allow wives and girl friends (WAGs) of England footballers would be able to meet the players just once a week, they have said they would rather remain at home and watch the games on TV than go far away and yet be unable to spend more time with the players. Taking a tough stand, Capello had said “We are going to South Africa to play, not for a holiday”. Atleast the leading WAGs – Coleen Rooney and Alex Gerrard and a few others have decided to boycott the whole tournament.

England women’s cricket team on India tour England women’s cricket team will be on a tour of India soon. They will be playing five ODIs and three T20 matches against their Indian counterparts, apart from a warm up match at the start of the tour. Between February 17 and March 08, the two teams will be playing in three different cities – Bangalore, Vishakhapatnam and Mumbai. Two ODIs were originally slated for Hyderabad, but as the situation in the city is politically fragile, the games have been shifted. The tour programme is: 19 Feb – 1st ODI & 21 Feb – 2nd ODI, at Bangalore; 24th Feb – 3rd ODI and 26 Feb – 4th ODI at Visakapatnam as well as 01 March – 5th ODI, 04 March – 1st T20, 06 March – 2nd T20 & 08 March – 3rd T20 – all at Mumbai.

English Premier League Matches Tuesday, 16 February Stoke v/s Man City Wednesday, 17 February Wigan v/s Bolton

Britannia Stadium 19:45 DW Stadium

20:00

Indian hockey under a new cloud on captaincy Coach, players against Rajpal as captain; no vice captain for World Cup Just as the issue of payment was settled, Indian hockey is again under cloud, this time around, it is about the captaincy. Even as Hockey India on Saturday announced that Rajpal Singh will continue to lead the Indian team for the World Cup that is to be played soon. The team will have no vice captain.

The announcement over the weekend deepened the crisis. Initially coach Brasa had said Prabjot Singh will be the captain, while the team may have four vice captains. But the Saturday announcement was a surprise for all. Sources say Rajpal doesn't have the backing

of the team-mates due to his stand during the faceoff with Hockey India officials over payment issues. Even coach Jose Brasa looks bent on pushing his case for Prabhjot Singh. It is learnt that a section of the players were shocked by Hockey India decision to retain Rajpal Singh as captain after they

had been told by Brasa that Prabhjot will lead the side in the February 28-March 13 high-profile event. The Indian team There were no major surprises in the 18-member squad announced on Saturday. The official release from Hockey India said Rajpal would lead the side

and there was no vice-captain at all. Three players have been kept as standbyes. The squad has two goalkeepers, three defenders, six mid-fielders and seven forwards. The Squad: Goalkeepers: Adrian D'Souza, P R Sreejesh; Defenders: Sandeep

Singh, Dhananjay Mahadik, Diwakar Ram; Mid-fielders: Gurbaj Singh, Sardar Singh, Bharat, Arjun Halappa, Danish Mujtaba, Vikram Pillay; Forwards: Rajpal Singh, Shivendra Singh, Tushar Khandker, Prabhjot Singh, Sarwanjit Singh, Deepak Thakur, Gurvinder Singh Chandi.


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India crumble against Steyn, Harris

OZ overwhelm WI Caribbean lose both the ODIs

South African challenge proves tough for Dhoni’s boys

India crumbled under the pressure of defending their no. 1 ranking at Nagpur. Dale Steyn and Paul Harris proved that Indian batting without the services of their veterans was very much vulnerable. Finally, India lost the first test match on the fourth day, by an innings and 6 runs. At Nagpur, India capitulated on Monday in the first innings. The margin was huge and Graeme Smith had little hesitation in asking Dhoni to follow on. The same evening, they lost both the openers and things seemed to be ominous. But Sachin Tendulkar played an innings of character to hold on the fort for long. He even scored his 46th test match century. Incidentally, it was the little master’s first ton against South Africa at home. With this, he has centuries against all test playing countries in India. Yet, India could not stretch the match into the fifth day, nor could it score enough to force the visitors bat again. They did put up a better show in the second innings, but just fell short by 6 runs, giving South Africa a resounding victory on Tuesday. In the first innings, Virender Sehwag scored a ton, but could not bat long enough after that. For South Africa, Hashim Amla recorded an unbeat-

Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting walk off after sealing the win at Adelaide on Tuesday

Dale Steyn leads the team off the field after the convincing win at Nagpur on Tuesday

en double century, while Jacques Kallis also slammed a ton to help the team pile up 558 for 6 wickets, when Smith declared. For India, S Badrinath resisted the South African attack in the first innings with a solid 56, while in the second essay, newcomer Saha, Harbhajan Singh and even Zaheer Khan made significant contributions, but all the efforts fell just short for the South Africans to comlete a huge victory. Dale Steyn took a total of 10 wickets in the match, his fourth haul of ten wickets. Paul Harris, the spinner captured 1 and 3 wickets respectively. He

NZ overrun B’desh in ODIs, T20 First, it was the Bangladesh top order that almost gave away the game on a platter and later, it was New Zealand batting that sealed the second ODI on Monday at Dunedin, beating the visitors by 5 wickets and thus putting the 3 ODI series in pocket with a 2 – 0 reading. The home team also won comfortably the only T20 match earlier last week. Bangladesh would have been demolished even cheaper, but for a record stand of over 100 runs for the seventh wicket. As Naeem Islam joined Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh were in deep trouble, having lost the six wickets for 46 runs. The pair added 101 runs for the partnership, lending some respectability. The visitors ultimately put up a score of

183 runs after their top half were dismissed for a paltry 25 runs. Overwhelmed in the only T20 game It was a poor start to the New Zealand tour for Bangladesh, as they were comprehensively beaten by 10 wickets in the only T20 game at Hamilton on Wednesday last week. {Brief scores: 2nd ODI – NZ 185 for 5 (Taylor 78) beat B’desh 183 for 8 (Mushfiqur 86, Butler 3-43, McKay 2-17) by 5 wickets. 1st ODI NZ 336 for 9 (Oram 83, Broom 71, Ingram 69, Taylor 51) beat B’desh 190 (Tamim 62, Vettori 3 for 33) by 146 runs. T20 NZ 79 for 0 (McCullum 56*) beat B’desh 78 (Vettori 3-6, Nathan McCullum 2-15) by 10 wickets.}

scalped the all important wickets of Sachin, Dhoni and Murali Vijay. On the final day Graeme Smith went easy on his pace bowlers, Harris provided his captain exactly what he wanted - control over the runs, many overs bowled and the big wickets. Tendulkar was up to the task, scoring through deft touches and glances against aggressive bowling. He did get a life, when on 45. Wayne Parnell, bowling from round the stumps, got it to straighten and hit the edge, but Jaques Kallis missed a tough one low to his right. Dhoni and Tendulkar played 25.5 overs together,

but neither man made an attempt to hit Harris off his line. Eventually one bounced slightly more than expected, hit Tendulkar on the pad, then onto the elbow, and onto the stumps. Dhoni, too, 25 off 112, eventually got the one accurate delivery from Harris that made him play, took the inside edge onto the pad and landing into the hands of de Villiers. {Brief scores: SA 558 for 6 dec (Amla 253*, Kallis 173, de Villiers 53) beat India 233 (Sehwag 109, Badrinath 56, Steyn 7-51) and 319 (Tendulkar 100, Steyn 3-57, Harris 376) by an innings and six runs}.

On Tuesday, the Australians struck right at the start of the Adelaide ODI, as they claimed Chris Gayle on the first ball. Ultimately, the home team won the second match by 8 wickets. Even in the first ODI at Melbourne on Sunday, the visitors were outplayed and lost the game by 113 runs. West Indies had no clue against Doug Bollinger in the early stages and slumped to 4 for 16. The later batsmen though played better to take the score to 170. But for an opponent as formidable as Australia, that total which was never going to be large enough. Shane Watson and Ricky Ponting notched up half-centuries as the win came in the 27th over. West Indies actually did well to last as long as 39.4 overs. The Australians showed how few problems the pitch held when Watson took control from the opening over. Shaun Marsh had already gone, once again leaving after a useful start, this time playing on to Smith on 26 to end a 51run opening with Watson.

It was not a dismissal which concerned the hosts and Watson was the only other blemish. Bollinger had 3 for 9 in his first five overs and returned in his second spell to grab the dangerous Pollard on the way to 4 for 28. He began by picking up Gayle - for the fourth time this season from the opening ball with a full delivery that hit his back leg. Narsingh Deonarine and Denesh Ramdin (30) took on the task of resuscitating their side and provided some hope for 46 runs. Pollard added 32 before his leading edge in the 29th over, leaving Smith as the last one capable of making an impact. Smith held things together during a 63-ball rearguard and his haul included a massive straight six off McKay. {Brief scores: 2nd ODI - OZ 2 for 171 (Ponting 57*, Watson 53) beat WI 170 (Smith 43, Bollinger 4-28) by 8 wickets. 1st ODI - OZ 8 for 256 (Watson 59, Pollard 3-45) beat WI 143 (Pollard 31, Harris 3-24, Hauritz 3-28) by 113 runs}

Mukesh Ambani, Subrata Roy bid for Liverpool! Hicks, Gillett want to hold on to the club, RBS pressurising for debt recovery Liverpool, one of the prominent English football clubs is in financial trouble and there bids for controlling stakes, though the current owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr are keen not to allow controlling stake to others. Mukesh Ambani, owner of India’s Reliance Industries and the richest man in the country as well as another sports magnet, Subrata Roy of the Sahara group are believed to have bid for the club. Mukesh Ambani though has denied he has bid for the club, sources however said contacts between them and Liverpool owners have been established since November, 2009.

Subrata Roy

Mukesh Ambani

Reports in British media say Subrata Roy and Mukesh Ambani have each tendered similar bids to pay off Liverpool’s £237 million debt in return for a 51 per cent stake in the club.

Christian Purslow, the Liverpool chief executive, denied any knowledge of either bid. It is understood that Liverpool’s banker, the state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland, is pressing

Hicks and Gillett to cut their asking price. Even a Saudi Arabian consortium and a USA buyer are interested. Mukesh Ambani owns the Mumbai Indians team of the IPL cricket, while Subrata Roy’s Sahara India is already the sponsors of Indian cricket team as well as the Indian hockey team. Sahara was linked with shirt sponsorship of Manchester United last February, a deal that fell through. Gillett and Hicks took over at Anfield three years ago in a leveraged buyout costing nearly £300 million, including £70 million for a stadium that remains unbuilt.


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