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Spacewoman Sunita Williams felicitated in Ahmedabad

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VOL 41. ISSUE 48

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An Indian couple from Oxford is fighting to regain the custody of their five-year-old son after he was taken away by the social services over allegations of abuse. Rajat Puri, who works in an investment firm, and his software programmer wife Shruti have been fighting for the return of their child Achintya since March 6 and have even written letters to British Prime Minister David Cameron and their local MP. Meanwhile, an emergency protection order passed by the local family court allows the parents to

see their son three times a week for up to an hour. The couple, who are originally from Punjab, moved to the UK in 2009 after living in South Africa for five years. Under child protection rules in the UK, a local council can start "care proceedings" if it is concerned about the welfare of a child. The council can take the child into care on a temporary basis for up to eight weeks at first, which can be renewed every 28 days. Continued on page 8

Rajiv Gandhi was 'middleman' for Swedish jets in 1970s: WikiLeaks Opposition seeks Sonia's explanation


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Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was a middleman in the 1970s for a Swedish company that was looking to sell fighter jets to the Indian Air Force, whistle blowing website Wikileaks


claimed. The revelation that he was the "main Indian negotiator" for a massive aircraft deal is contained in the latest tranche of US diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks. Continued on page 26

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MARGARET THATCHER Rupanjana Dutta & Sunetra Senior Margaret Thatcher, first female Prime Minister and revered leader of Britain, died from a stroke aged 87 on Monday 8th April. She had been recovering from another operation, having suffered minor strokes before. From her background to her political actions, Mrs Thatcher is a woman who has sparked contradiction and controversy and will continue to do so: a conservative politician from a lower-middle class background, in favour of unregulated capitalism, but also of lower tax, both a crusader against communist oppression and fighter for the Falklands. However, born 1925 to grocery-store owner Alfred Roberts and mother Beatrice Ethel in Lincolnshire, and working her way up in politics obtaining a scholarship to Oxford University and becoming leader of her party by her fifties in the House of Commons, Margaret Thatcher is still indisputably a portrait of individual determination and focused leadership. Her funeral is to be held at St Paul's Cathedral on Wednesday 17th April with a procession from Westminster and a private cremation following and although was set to be state funded, her governance being likened to Winston Churchill's, was changed according to the late great icon's wishes herself. Continued on page 13

1925 - 2013



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2 - Asian Voice 13th April 2013

Keith Vazwith MP

Keith Vaz MP

Dr Kiran Patel

as a cardiologist in Sandwell and to help the NHS to ensure prevention of disease were high on the agenda. My wife and mother are influential too as without them I couldn’t deliver the range of commitments I have.

Dr Kiran Patel graduated from King's College, Cambridge University in 1993 and is a Consultant Cardiologist in Birmingham. He was the founder member and is currently Chair of Trustees of the South Asian Health Foundation (SAHF). SAHF delivers health promotion to Asian communities and education to healthcare professionals. As a clinical manager he has managed significant change as Clinical Director for the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority and then as Medical Director for West Mercia Primary Care. 1) Please tell us about your current position? I wear a few different hats. I am a cardiologist in Birmingham and also Medical Director for 4 Primary Care Trusts in the Midlands. In the voluntary sector I am Chair of Trustees for the SAHF, a medical charity focussing on health inequalities. Life is extremely busy, but it’s a privilege to be able to contribute to a wide portfolio of roles and responsibilities. 2) Please tell us about the work you are currently doing on diabetes and heart disease? I am passionate about preventing diabetes and heart disease. I have helped to plan services (with the Department of Health) which can screen for and reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. If you live in England you may have heard of NHS Health Checks which

inform individuals of diabetes and heart disease risk. If you are between 40-75 years old, you will be invited for a health check sometime in the next 5 years. With SAHF, I deliver community based health promotion events and engage audiences about simple lifestyle changes one can implement to reduce risk of diabetes and heart disease. 3) What are your proudest achievements? Coming from a humble working class background, I was thrilled to get to Cambridge and study medicine and make my parents proud. At work, getting a PhD was special (becoming Dr Dr as my daughter says) and I will never forget being asked to write a Commonwealth ministerial briefing document in advance of a UN summit.

Dear Letter Writers Thank you for your letters to our ‘your voice’ section. As you may recall a few years back we made it mandatory that your ‘letters to the editor’ must not be more than 200 words. Despite that we have allowed people to write upto 250300 words and have edited them as and when required. However some letter writers continue to send letters worth 400-450 words. Our Editorial team has been editing them every week. However the team and the Editors have decided that from now on, if any letter is more than 250 words, we would unfortunately not be able to accommodate in the paper. Please note: Letters must be written within 250 words. And can be sent via email to by Monday 5pm or by fax to 020 7749 4080 or by post. - AV


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4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? Time. There simply is not enough of it to do all the things I would like to do, though I am ruthless at time management and do manage to fit everything in and still get home to put my children to bed most nights. 5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? My father worked hard but died prematurely from diabetes and heart failure, having received little advice on prevention and treatment. I wanted to rectify such inadequate provision of healthcare by returning to work

6) What is the best thing about your current role? I am privileged to be able to combine being a doctor, where I can improve the life of individuals, with medical management, where I can influence and help shape services at local, regional, national and international levels. Being able to lead a national charity at the same time is fantastic as it draws upon the philanthropy of many health professionals and enables us to give something back to the communities we come from. 7) And the worst? There is nothing bad about being able to take up the roles and responsibilities I have accepted but I feel guilty that I spend a lot of time away from my family. We compensate by having a family season ticket to watch West Bromwich Albion..

Close The Gap Oxfam press officer Sarah Dransfield was in India during February and saw how inequality - particularly for girls- is a part of everyday life. “I always wanted to be a teacher”, smiled Meena*, a bright and sociable sixteen-year-old girl whom I met in Madanpur Khadar, an urban slum resettlement colony to the south of Delhi. A fairly reasonable dream for a teenage girl, I thought, and an honourable career to aim for, in a country where many children miss out on school because of a lack of trained teaching professionals. But Meena’s smile faded and she looked sad. It started a year ago, she told me, when a group of older boys began following her to school. At first they rode after her on their bikes, then the teasing got worse and they started trying to touch and kiss her. She was afraid they might follow her home and assault her, the recent rape case in India highlighting that for many women in India their fears are often sadly justified. Meena did the right thing and told her parents about the victimisation, but their reaction was not

what she’d been expecting. She was bringing dishonour on the family, they said, and was obviously leading the boys on. Things got so bad for Meena that her brother actually hit her and it was decided that she would no longer be able to leave the house to go to school. So Meena had to say goodbye to her dreams and now faces a future of getting married off by her parents to someone she’s never met. Sadly stories like Meena’s are commonplace in Indian society, which is why Oxfam India has launched a new campaign, Close The Gap, to tackle inequality particularly for women and girls. Oxfam believes it is an outrage that in the 21st century, women don’t feel safe when they walk home at night and that women’s representation in places of power is so insignificant. Currently only 5 per cent of the Indian Police Force are women, an especially worrying statistic given the fact that many crimes against women go unreported because they don’t feel safe reporting them to a man. The ground-breaking campaign is aimed to start a public debate on the inequality between men

8) What are your long term goals? I want to be remembered as a good man, a good doctor and someone who contributed significantly to healthcare. I feel capable of being a national leader in the NHS in due course. I don’t believe in having more than a 5 year plan as so much can change so quickly in healthcare. 9) If you were Prime Minister, what one thing would you change? I would make sure that everything we commit to doing or changing has a health and equality impact assessment undertaken at the outset, so that we could see the impact of every policy and change in policy on people’s health, both in the UK and globally. 10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend time with and why? Mohandas K Gandhi, who applied his education and principles for the greater good. I would relish the opportunity to discuss how he might address today’s global health and wealth inequalities in an era when the world is a smaller place, we have technology to hand, and governments can, if they wish, make real change to the lives of millions if they get their priorities right.

and women. People from all over India are invited to call a hotline or use social media to record their views on the massive gender gap that exists in India today and to provide a space for Indian people to question why women are still being treated as second class citizens. The aim of the campaign will to be use public opinion to try and influence attitudes and behaviours and to push for change in a society where only 5 per cent of women in Indian corporates are a part of the top management and only 8 per cent of judges in the Supreme Court are women. Oxfam India will analyse and combine the comments left on the hotline and take them to senior decision makers in the political, social and corporate spheres. Close The Gap will also kickstart a broader Oxfam India campaign against inequality focussing not just on women but also on other marginalised groups and the poor. Whilst there is sadly little hope for Meena to reach her dream of being a teacher, if women in India had a more equal place in society then stories like hers would become a thing of the past. *Meena’s name has been changed to protect her identity

Lord Ahmed apologises for his 'anti-Sematic' comment

Labour peer Lord Ahmed has apologised last week for blaming his imprisonment on a Jewish conspiracy, but offered no explanation for his anti-Semitic remarks. Lord Ahmed issued the “complete and unreserved” apology two weeks after The Times revealed his claim in a Pakistani television interview that Jews were the cause of his 12-week jail sentence for dangerous driving. There were indications that the regret belatedly expressed by the Rotherham-based businessman was unlikely to prevent his expulsion from the party. The decision on whether to expel him is expected to be taken by the party’s National Executive Committee within the next 10 weeks. - Asian Voice 13th April 2013


Telling the truth as it is The Economist in its article on India sounded two cheers for the country’s many achievements, listing these to include its democratic system of government based on the rule of law, its manifestations of soft power, and its caution and restraint in the face of jihadi terrorism despite the formidable military strength at its command. The magazine’s jibe at India’s preference for a Fabian model of economic development was par for the course, but some measure of intellectual honesty might have conceded that, warts and all, the system had laid the foundations of an industrial economy, facilitated the “Green Revolution” in agriculture, banishing the spectre of famine foretold by Western doomsayers; and put the country on the road to a promising and secure future in science and technology. These early investments were frequently derided as white elephants by Western critics and their local subalterns. They have borne fruit, some spectacularly ripe. The Economist lamented the absence of strategic vision in the formulation of Indian statecraft, the limitations of its diplomatic institutions, and (no surprise) the country’s refusal to sign up to partnership with the US-led Western alliance for the preferred policy of non-alignment (code for strategic autonomy). The desired quantum of strategic thinking may still be a deficit in official Indian thinking: that will surely be made good with unfolding selfconfidence as India undertakes its rite of passage from soft state to hard in the pressure-cooker of international power politics. This said, one must wonder why the US and the European Union, especially the eurozone, are in such dire straits financially, with all their intellectual resources mortgaged in free market economics; and why with such a multitudes of strategic institutes buoyed by the currents of oracular wisdom, and why with legions of polished diplomats, such strategic disasters as the Iraq and Afghanistan misadventures occur in Libya, Syria and places to come. Quite a mystery, this. National conceits may hold the answer. Also, how is it that medias boasting independence of reporting were so complicit and accommodating to the whims of political establish-

ments? These nostrums deserve close critical scrutiny if the West is to do better in the future. For the present India must thank her stars and native adroitness for securing her sovereignty. The Economist revealed the cloven hoof behind its velvet glove by proposing that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visit Pakistan to help out its beleaguered democracy by discussing a possible resolution of the Kashmir dispute. This, surely, was the point of its article. Since the statistics of a recent British Council survey revealed that one section of Pakistani youth favoured the imposition of Islamic sharia and the other section sought salvation in military rule the Indian exercise would be a poisoned chalice. BJP Premier Atal Behari Vajpayee’s peace journey to Lahore in the spring of1999 and Islamabad’s military response on the Kargil heights a few weeks later was a lesson for the Indian nation. The Indian Army lost over 700 men clearing the territory of the marauders. The Indian public after the jihadi deeds of 26/11 and the numerous terror attacks in the country emanating from Pakistan would not be nearly as forgiving this time around. The writer Ahmed Rashid – “Pakistan on the brink” – informs us that his country’s military continues to be the recipient of generous flows of aid from the US and its principal Nato allies, despite the covert refuge accorded to the fugitive Osama bin Laden by Islamabad for the better part of a decade. For all the claptrap on human rights and democracy, the Western democracies continue to succor the world’s foremost terrorist state as a matter of right. So be it. India, for her part, must reserve the right to factor this into an appropriate policy response. Withholding its third cheer for India conforms, no doubt, the best interests of the Economist. Dismissing its unsought for advice is the honourable thing to do for India. The spirits of India dead would recoil as would the flesh of the living at anything less. Being a coolie state was never part of the modern Indian agenda, and it never will be. The Economist and likeminded institutions in the West would be better off leaving India to its own devices.

Something rotten in the state of Bengal They came in their hundreds and thousands in most shapes and forms from far corners of West Bengal to assemble in the metropolis of Kolkata. It was a monster demonstration of Islamic solidarity with Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, the Jamaat leader sentenced to death for war crimes in Bangladesh’s 1971 struggle for independence from Pakistani rule. Sayeedi and his close associates were accused of collaborating with the Pakistani occupiers in an orgy of killing, rape and forcible conversion in which some 3 million Bengalis lost their lives. (On a visit to the UK in 2006, under the auspices of the Home Office, Sayeedi likened the minority community in Bangladesh to human excreta). The Kolkata rally was held under the aegis of Islamic organizations such as the All Bengal Minority Council, the All Bengal Minority Youth Federation, the Madrassa Students Union, the Muslim Think Tank, the All Bengal Imam Muazzin Association and the Allah Madrassa University. Demonstrators from distant parts were bussed into the city. But for an extensive report and analysis in the edit-page of Hindu newspaper by Garga Chatterjee, a researcher at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology, few in Kolkata, apart from witnesses, would have known of the event. The local media in shameful denial uttered no word. The author’s title – “A dangerous connivance”- said it all. His boxed comment, “It is worrying that West Bengal’s political class remained tactical spectators to the Kolkata rally organized by Muslim groups in support of Bangladeshi war criminals,” was hugely appropri-

ate. Wielding the threat of violence, these groups have long held the authorities hostage on whether authors deemed to be unIslamic, such as novelists Tasleema Nasreen and Salman Rushdie, should be permitted to enter the city precincts or live there. What next? Soon may come the demand that Muslims by divine right determine school and university curricula? Or books suitable for publication. It could come to that, eventually, as happened in Nazi Germany when too many remained silent in the forlorn hope that Evil would simply disappear. The Communist-led Left and the present Trinamool dispensation, both cut by political instinct from the same demagogic cloth, have much to answer for as they pander to their obscurant vote banks in their insensate drive for power. It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that social violence in West Bengal is now a pandemic out of control, making the state the worst governed in India. On this the media have been anything but mute Across the border in Bangladesh, the Sheikh Hasina government has arrested two Internet bloggers for proclaiming their atheism, an act “defaming Islam.” Its credentials with the faithful will remain insecure. This abject response is the beginning of the slippery slope to a religious dictatorship and terror. Every system, religious or agnostic, orthodox or liberal, must surely be open to critical scrutiny. This alone guarantees ultimate survival in a fast changing world in which expansive sciences and humanistic philosophies jostle for space with the untested dogmas of received wisdom.

UN-sponsored Arms Trade Treaty is flawed The recent Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was carried by a thumping majority at the UN General Assembly. India was among the notable abstentions. Its Permanent Representative to the Conference of Disarmament in Geneva, Sujata Mehta, averred that it, “falls short of our expectation….in producing a text that is clear, balanced and implantable…..and able to attract universal adherence…..that such a treaty should make a real impact on illicit trafficking in conventional arms and their illicit use especially by terrorists and other unautho-

rized non-state actors. India has also stressed consistently that the ATT should ensure a balance of obligations between exporting and importing states. However, the draft treaty that is annexed to the resolution is weak on terrorism….The relevant provisions in the final text do not meet our requirements.” Quite so. Theory and practice on anti- jihadi terrorism in third countries (which is the real issue) prevalent in much of the West are not conjoined. Therefore, no deal.


Thoughts lead on to purposes; purposes go forth in action; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny - Tyron Edwards (1809-1894)

Margaret Thatcher Obituary

There was a time in the twentieth century when the Heads of the largest and the oldest democracies were women, and the Head of their Commonwealth also a woman. ‘When Margaret met Indira’ is probably a book worth writing. But the divisive conviction not consensus politician that Margaret Thatcher was did not approve of India’s State of Emergency during her visit in 1976 before she became PM. At the height of the Cold War, when the bilateral relationship mattered far more than it does even today, said Margaret Thatcher, ‘"I lunched with Indira Gandhi in her own modest home, where she insisted on seeing that her guests were all looked after, and clearing away the plates while discussing matters of high politics." "Both her sons, Sanjay and Rajiv, were present, although it was the former who had most to say for himself. He had, indeed, allegedly been responsible for many of the abuses such as forced sterilisation and compulsory re-housing which had provoked such bitter opposition," she said. You will read elsewhere in other obituaries about her rise to power, the Falklands, treachery, the miners strike, working with Gorbachev, her special relationship with Ronald Reagan, her unwillingness to support Nelson Mandela more clearly and overtly during the apartheid years. "But in spite of everything I found myself liking Mrs Gandhi herself. Perhaps, I naturally sympathised with a woman politician faced with the huge strains and difficulties of governing a country as vast as India…In spite of a long self-justificatory account she gave me of why the state of emergency had been necessary, I could not approve of her government's methods." During her Premiership the relations with India were frosty because of India’s leanings to the USSR and Britain’s support for Pakistan to fight the Mujahidin in Afghanistan – funds which India complained were being diverted into terrorist camps in Kashmir. But what of Indians in Britain? Files released in 2009 show that in July 1979, soon after becoming PM, she complained privately it was "quite wrong" for immigrants to get council houses ahead of "white citizens". This was a period when the Conservative Party – feeling they were the natural party of enterprise, could not tap significantly into the British Indian vote. Things are changing. Indians today vote much more like the mainstream now – according to factors relating to economic status and values, rather than immigrant status. Continued on page 6

ASIAN VOICE is published by Asian Business Publications Ltd Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, (Off Coronet Street) London N1 6HW. Tel: 020 7749 4080 Fax: 020 7749 4081 Email: www: © Asian Business Publications

Midlands Voice

4 - asian Voice 13th April 2013

Leicester MP 'deeply shocked' by Paris Brown's tweets Leicester East MP Keith Vaz has reportedly said that he was "deeply shocked" by the tweets posted by Britain's first youth police commissioner Paris Brown. Ms Brown, 17, wrote violent, racist and anti-gay comments on her feed before she became the first youth commissioner for Kent, representing young people's views on policing. The tweets, which included references to taking drugs, were posted by the teenager between the ages of 14 and 16, but have now been deleted. The 17-year-old has also apologised for the "inappropriate language and views" she posted on her Twitter account. Mr Vaz, who is Chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, was quoted saying by Leicester Mercury: "I am deeply shocked by these disclosures. "Public money should never be given to anyone who refers to violence, sex, drunkenness and other anti-social behaviour in this offensive manner." There were wide protest and call for Miss Brown to resign from the £15,000-

Woman assaulted in Queens Road

Keith Vaz, MP

Paris Brown

a-year post she was appointed in, but Kent Police and crime commissioner Ann Barnes defended her. Miss Brown reportedly said: "I deeply apologise for any offence caused by my use of inappropriate language and for any inference of inappropriate views. "I am not homophobic, racist or violent and am against the taking of drugs. "If I'm guilty of anything it's showing off and wildly exaggerating on Twitter,

and I am very ashamed of myself, but I can't imagine that I'm the only teenager to have done this. "As one example, the line about hash brownies is a reference to a Scooby Doo film. "I have a genuine interest in working with young people, as demonstrated by my current work as an apprentice for a local authority helping teenagers in a community."

Shirdi Sai Baba Temple has a grand opening in Leicester The Shirdi Sai Baba temple had a grand opening in Leicester. The temple, at the grade II-listed former Guild of Disabled building, in Colton Street, Leicester, is the second of its kind in the UK and follows the teachings of Baba, a Hindu guru born in 1835. Rita Jivanji, 32, from Rushey Mead, Leicester, was one of the volunteers helping to co-ordinate the day told Leicester

Four’s Sunday programme this weekend. The programme also spoke to Leicester East MP Keith Vaz, who is chairman of the Home Affairs select committee, which is also investigating the scale of the crime. Mr Vaz told the programme: “There is no excuse for this kind of criminality, whoever is involved in it, but I don’t think it is a particular

group of people, I don’t think it’s a particular race or religion.” The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) said child sexual exploitation spanned “all cultures and ethnicities”, while the recent cases had “highlight that Asian males have been involved in an organised manner in exploiting young women”.

Mercury, "It has all gone really well," she said. "...People are very excited because so many devotees wanted this temple here in Leicester." Inside the temple a fire was set up in front of a statue of Baba, with offerings placed in the flames, a local newspaper reported. Families queued up to receive food. The organisation's first temple was opened in Wembley, London. After running into trouble with the council regarding planning issues, the management turned to Asian Voice for help. The newspaper campaigned widely with local leaders, finally persuading the authority to keep the temple open. A member of the management team at the temple said he hoped the opening would spread the message of treating others with politeness and helping the needy, as well as having trust and patience. The Guild of Disabled building, completed in 1909, is believed to have been the first building in Britain – and possibly the world – to have been designed to be wheelchairfriendly.

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In Brief

Muslim leader urges community to speak out against sex grooming gangs A senior Muslim community leader has said people need to speak out against child sex grooming gangs in his community and all others. Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, pictured, who is a Leicester imam and a senior member of the Muslim Council of Britain, (MCB), said that grooming gangs existed in all communities. The MCB is working with organisations including the police, the NSPCC and Muslim groups to raise awareness of the problem and to highlight people’s need to speak out against it. The Muslim Council of Britain is planning a national conference to educate people about grooming, he said. Mr Mogra spoke out against the practice when he appeared on BBC Radio

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The National Space Centre in Leicester has had to take drastic action this week to ensure the safety of its visitors from hot beverages. The café, situated at the base of the attraction's iconic 42m high Rocket Tower, is now serving half measures when it comes to tea, coffee and hot chocolate. A team of experts at the Centre have carried out a thorough investigation into the reports of strange behaviour by liquids and discovered that the cause of all the problems is actually a fragment of the Moon on display at the top of the Rocket Tower. Lee King, has been challenged to create a vessel that will hold the liquids affected by the Moon rock; “I have to make sure there are no spillages, which is very challenging.” Anna Prentice has joined the team in a training role and will

be running diagnostic tests on the Moon rock; “Tides are created because of gravitational forces, the main one being between the Earth and the Moon. Due to the attraction between the Earth and the Moon, the oceans closest to the Moon are gravitationally pulled out towards the Moon into a bulge. The movement of this bulge gives the Earth its tides. A similar effect is occurring with liquids in close proximity to the Moon rock at the National Space Centre, hence the increase in spilled liquids.” A Boss at the Centre said that although he was delighted to be working at one of only two places in the UK where people could see a very rare piece of the Moon, it was also important that visitors should be able to enjoy a nice cup of tea without worrying about the science of tidal waves.

Police have appealed for help tracing a man who indecently assaulted a woman of 24 in Queens Road, Clarendon Park, Leicester, last week. A man allegedly approached the woman and touched her indecently at 9.30pm on Monday, March 25. Detective Constable Joanna Brown told the local press: "It was a distressing incident for the victim and I am keen to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time and saw the suspect either before or after the incident. "The information you have may seem insignificant to you but could help with our inquiry." The suspect is Asian, 5ft 3in, thin and has short black hair. He was wearing a loose-fitting, long-sleeved, light-coloured buttoned shirt and dark jeans. Any one with any information must contact Det Con Brown on 101.

Man charged with murder appears in court

A man appeared in court on Monday charged with the murder of a 41-yearold whose body was found in a lake last November. Jagdev Rai, who is accused of killing Jasbir Singh Bains (pictured), spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address during a hearing at Warley Magistrates' Court. Rai, of Salisbury Road, West Bromwich, is charged with killing Mr Bains in the town between November 26 and November 29 last year. The 43-year-old defendant, who is also charged with three counts of fraud, was sent in custody to appear at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Wednesday. Mr Bains, who had suffered an injury to his neck, was found dead in Dartmouth Park, West Bromwich.

'Mitwa' star singer Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan to visit B'ham

Classical singer S h a f q a t Amanat Ali Khan has announced a trip to B'ham on Sunday, June 16, 2013 to perform some of his most popular numbers at the LG Arena. Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan, pictured, a Pakistani classical singer belongs to Patiala Gharana lineage and is the youngest brother of the late Asad Amanat Ali Khan. He was the lead vocalist of the Pakistani rock band Fuzön and was awarded the President's Pride of Performance civil award in 2007. Shafqat was introduced to Bollywood by Shankar Mahadevan and sang the breath taking "Mitwa" song that was composed by the music directors for Karan Johar's movie Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna. The song made it into the Indian charts, helping propel Shafqat into stardom. Tickets for Shafqat Amanat Ali are on sale now. For more information visit

UK - Asian Voice 13th April 2013


Are Sharia Councils putting Muslim women 'at risk'?

Lords to make it an offence for Sharia councils to set themselves up as courts giving judgments. She said: “If one looks at the way in which the system of the Sharia courts work ... it is actually operating like a parallel legal system in this country. And in a democracy you can’t have two legal systems – there has to be one rule for all.” No one knows how many Sharia Councils there are in Britain – in mosques and houses. One report estimates at least 85. Jane travels to Leeds, Bristol, Manchester and East London hearing similar stories across the nation. Sharia councils say their main concern is saving marriages through reconciliation. Barrister Charlotte Proudman has been to many hearings at Sharia councils and is worried about what she’s seen. She said: “They’re totally unregulated, unauthorised, there’s no accountability and many of them are not operating in accordance with UK law. Unfortunately they are ruling on contact matters, residence disputes...they certainly don’t act in accordance with UK law where the paramount importance is the child’s welfare.” Baroness Cox summed up saying: “It is a system which in its gender discrimination causing women such suffering is utterly incompatible with our country’s values of promoting gender equality and one law for all. It is time to draw a line in the sand and say – enough is enough.”


tackling honour based and domestic vioSharia Council explained: lence. He said: “Most of them are “We try to facilitate for the absolutely fine but there are some … who Muslim community someare putting women at risk. And doing so thing which they badly need for ridiculous reasons namely that they because there’s no other instiare somehow responsible for the abuse tution [which] can provide they are suffering. such services so we are pro“What I’ve witnessed is so dangerous viding it. We are not just here because if there is early intervention we to issue divorces. We want to know people’s lives can be saved, they mediate first. We try to save can be spared significant harm. Where marriages first. So when peopeople are deterred from seeking help and ple come to us we try to recsupport regrettably many of them go on to oncile them.” suffer a lifetime of cruelty and significant But, as Jane discovered, harm. Islamic rulings given here “Women from minorities are signifiaren’t always in the interests cantly less likely to report abuse they’re of the women concerned and can run suffering. We want them to realise that’s counter to British law. An undercover not the place to go. Where they can go is Panorama reporter posed as a women the women’s groups who provide support with a violent husband seeking divorce and the police who can do something to and she consulted Dr Hasan. His first ensure this doesn’t happen in the future.” response was to ask if she has done anyWhen Panorama asked Leyton Sharia thing to provoke her treatment: “I think Council about the guidance they offered that you should be courageous enough to women who are suffering domestic vioask this question to him. Just tell me why you are so upset, huh? Is it because of my cooking? Is it because I see my friends, huh? So I can correct myself.” The reporter asked if she should report the violence to the police and was told: “You involve the police if he hits you but you must understand this will be the final blow. You will have to go leave the house. Where will you go then? A refuge? A refuge is a very, very bad option. Women are Secret filming at Sharia council shows women at risk not happy in such places.” Dr lence they said with domestic violence it Hasan went on to suggest counselling may be essential to involve the police and with his wife who also advised: “Don’t other authorities - but that can be a step think about the police because if the with irrevocable consequences. They also police is involved then think – your famistate that safety is paramount and any UK ly life is going to break.” court order must be followed. The Chief Crown Prosecutor for the Baroness Cox has been trying to take North West, Nazir Afzal, is a Muslim who a Private Member’s Bill to the House of has taken the national lead for the CPS in

Photo courtesy: BBC Panorama

The BBC’s Panorama programme has uncovered fresh evidence of how some Sharia Councils in Britain may be putting Muslim women “at risk” by pressuring them to stay in abusive marriages. Women seeking to divorce abusive husbands told the programme how they felt pressured to stay married. During undercover filming at one council, an Islamic scholar said going to the police was a "last resort" Jane Corbin when presented with a case of domestic violence, and asked if the woman had done anything to provoke her treatment. Panorama’s Jane Corbin investigated what’s really happening in Britain’s Sharia Councils. During her investigation, Jane meets women across the country who have struggled to be granted a divorce by Sharia courts, often despite court injunctions against violent husbands. She talked to Baroness Cox who has been trying to take her Private Member’s Bill to the House of Lords; charity workers who work within Muslim communities; Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor of North West Region; and Charlotte Proudman, a barrister specialising in family law. Jane talked to the Councils themselves. Around 50 cases, mainly marital disputes, are heard at Leyton Sharia council every month. 90% of them are brought by women from all over the country. For many a Sharia divorce is the only option because the couple only had a Sharia marriage not a British civil one. Leyton is one of Britain’s oldest and most active Islamic councils. It cannot enforce its judgments but places like this control the lives of many Muslim women in Britain today. Dr Suhaib Hasan of Leyton Islamic


UK - Asian Voice 13th April 2013

Every brand and business needs a personality Spriha Srivastava

Bollywood Showstoppers: Shaan steals the show Over the weekend I attended the Bollywood Showstoppers event at the O2 arena. A larger than life musical that brought together India’s singing sensation Shaan, Malaika Arora Khan of the ‘munni’ fame,

coming back to it again and again. Prior to the performance, at a press conference Malaika said, "Places like Birmingham and Manchester and London are fun. I'm really excited to be perform-

Twitter and Facebook timelines gone crazy with his new found fan-base sending good wishes, but even Bollywood has gotten involved with the San2 frenzy! The incredible and multi-talented Bollywood

Mo Luthra Branding Consultant Brand personality is a term that is battered around board room tables quite a bit these days. The idea that a business or a brand has a personality is not a new one, but what does it really mean. ‘Personality’ is a concept borrowed, as are many ideas in brand development, from the world of psychology. The idea of personality is quite complex and has been studied from Aristotle to modern day thinkers. At the base level personality is about how we all differ from one

famous actress Bipasha Basu and rockstar Atif Aslam. Organised by Bollyflex, the event totally rocked the audiences and electrified the atmosphere at the O2. The Bollyflex dance troupe performed in between and along with Malaika and Bipasha on many famous bollywood numbers. The crowd sang and danced to every number and cheered the stars. The biggest star of the evening however was Shaan who stole the show by singing his most famous numbers and making the audience dance, laugh and cry with his beautiful voice. Shaan has been India’s number one romantic singer for nearly 13 years now and it was a pleasure to hear him live. He sang his famous Tanha Dil in the end and said he is here because of that song since that was a major breakthrough for his career. Malaika Arora Khan performed to her famous munni and anarkali numbers among others. She swept the audiences by their feet during her performance. She even threw her sunglasses towards the crowd which was caught by a 10 year old boy. The boy came running on to the stage and shook a leg with Malaika. She said London is Khan family’s favourite holiday destination and they love

ing at the O2. The last time I was at the O2 was to watch [Justin Bieber] perform, and to actually perform on that stage will be a Mecca of all sorts.” Bipasha’s style was a little different. She chose a lucky boy from the audience who danced with her on the stage during her performance. She danced to her famous numbers such as namak ishq ka, beedi jalaile, billo rani among others. "We have been trying to put together shows for the last five years. Besides the IIFA, I don't think there has been a show with actors here. The last time I performed in a world tour was 2003," said Basu. "When Naz [Choudhury] came up with the idea, I knew that there will be mostly singers and performers involved and I will be the only Bollywood actress, but I was still very excited. I was still excited that I will be performing in the UK." Separately, Shaan has encouraged UK newcomer San2 for his beautiful voice. Music fans across the globe have completely embraced the amazing debut song by 22 year old San2 from Nottingham in the UK. The single 'Nayo Lagda' has already taken the top spot on the iTunes World Music Chart within 24 hours of release! Not only have his

playback singer 'Shaan' recently congratulated San2 during an interview with the BBC Asian Network. He said: "I've been listening to your radio station for the past 3 days now and really enjoying the debates and all the music. I must especially mention a song I heard, San2...that's S. A. N. 2 with a numeric 2...beautiful voice, beautiful song, wonderful singer, you must congratulate him!" Shaan then went on to Tweet at San2, calling him 'True Talent'. The extremely humble San2 responded to his social media followers with: "Am I dreaming? The famous singer Shaan that I watch on TV and listen to all the time is talking about me! I'm going to pinch myself and wake up!" San2’s first single ‘Nayo Lagda’ is an infectious up-tempo Qawwali track. The young singer has been described as a complete breath of fresh air, bringing a new light to the Asian music industry. With music by the well-seasoned producer Dharam of DSD Musik and lyrics by the remarkable Deedar Singh, Nayo Lagda was always guaranteed to be a hit. British Asian celebrity Ameet Chana, famed for his roles in Eastenders, Bend it Like Beckham and numerous other films, directed the accompanying video.

Let us know what you think. Email Spriha at

another. This is manifest though the way we each think, act and behave. By having this sense of personality we distinguish ourselves. Furthermore, this sense of personality allows us to make choices in life that aide us. If I need a shoulder to cry on, I know the friend I should call upon, based on their personality their consistent behaviour, their ability to empathise and act in a way that I require. By doing so, the concept of personality allows us to compartmentalise all aspects of our relationships. We in turn get to be known as the ‘guy’ or the ‘girl’ that is either fun, or serious, intellectual, or silly, and so forth. Personality acts as the short cut to get to know someone. Our personality shines through, and if at dinner party for instance, we meet a few new faces, the personality we have allows us to connect with and relate with individuals or equally turn them off in a very short time period. Remember first

impressions count. Through this you might see how this also relates to business. If your company has no personality that is communicated and expressed, it makes it hard for potential customers to decide whether they want to use you or not. Without your brand having a personality it makes it really hard to create attraction or preference. There is nothing there for a consumer to go ‘I like that company.’ By having a brand personality it also acts as a way to protect your business from the competition. While competitors might be able to copy the products or services that you offer, it is next to impossible to copy a personality. That is generally unique to you and owned by you, and can be a business’s best defence mechanism. Businesses should try to understand what is their brand personality? By defining that you can use that to create the reason to like your company in a consumer’s mind.

MBA students to be allowed to stay in the UK upto an year From Saturday 6 April the UK home office relaxed immigration rules that will allow international MBA graduates from British Universities and other higher education institutions to stay in the UK for up to a year after graduating as part of the expanded graduate entrepreneur scheme. The Times of India reported that upto 1,000 will be able to stay to develop their own business idea or work in a start-up, after which they can apply to stay in the UK as a skilled worker or an entrepreneur. Additionally, the changes will create greater flexibility for successful PhD students by allowing them to stay on after they complete their studies for

up to a year and work, without having to switch routes. These changes expand the existing options for international students to stay and work after their studies. There is no limit on the number who can obtain a Tier 2 visa to stay and work, providing they can get a graduate-level job paying a minimum of £20,300. The number of stu-

dents coming from India to study at UK universities registered a fall of nearly 23.5% last year, including a 28% drop at postgraduate level. The rules will also benefit Indian businessmen coming into UK. Intracompany transferees (ICTs) who are paid more than £152,100 will no longer need to take an English test if they want to extend their stay in the UK. The government is also reducing the number of documents that need to be shown by ICTs to prove they have worked for the company for more than a year.

Margaret Thatcher Obituary Continued from page 3 And like the mainstream population they will be divided between the those who got the benefits of a mass homeowning capitalist economy and those who in deprived areas never got the direct benefits at all and felt the British immigrant dream was not for them. For me the most enduring memories will be those I had in person with the Iron Lady. Only a couple of years ago, frail and suffering from ill health, she attended a small ceremony at the Commonwealth Memorial Gates in London to commemorate the service of all the Commonwealth Soldiers particularly the Indians who were the largest contingent who valiantly and bravely served the Empire in both World Wars. She was ill. She was old. It was a small event. But she wanted to be there. As a Prime Minister who had sent

armed forces into harms way she must have had a particular connection to the memorial. She knew full well the debt Britain owed to India – not least because the speeches by British Army Generals made it clear to her that cold morning had she not known. The second memory comes from yet another small event, this time a dinner at the home of a Tory MP, with no media, but for Priti Patel, in support of Priti’s election efforts. Just before the last election the Baroness was ill, and fragile. She not only met everyone, but in a private conversation with Priti, advised her at length. She continued her work for her beloved Conservative Party to the end. Even in ill health for new first time MPs. It was not relevant, and should not be relevant, but I know she did that for a British Indian new MP. - Asian Voice 13th April 2013

Introducing Tilda Grand Our Longest Grain Yet With over 40 years of expertise in the rice world, Tilda ‘the connoisseurs of fine rice’ is unveiling its latest new range of legendary rice - Tilda Grand For many years we have been searching for a very special rice to sit alongside our legendary pure basmati; our wait is finally over and we present you Tilda Grand. Tilda Grand is a truly unique rice with long beautiful grains perfect for dishes like biryanis. Its distinct and versatile shape means it can absorb a variety of flavours during the cooking process which make it superb for biryanis and other such dishes where the length of the grain is important. The slender shape, sweet taste and delicate texture of the rice makes this an ideal ingredient for one pot dishes. The lusciously long grains also look fantastic on the plate which makes this the most beautiful rice on earth. Just like the Tilda Grand grain the packaging is also special. What makes the packaging unique is the striking calligraphy used to design the pack which involves a variety of distinctive brush strokes. The looseness and free flow of the design around the pack emphasises the magical properties of the grain during the cooking process. A variety of icons have also been used which outlines the type of utensils and ingredients used to cook the rice which brings Tilda Grand to life. Tilda Grand Extra Long Grain Rice is available in 5kg and 10kg Seal ‘n’ Store bags, which contain re-sealable locks to preserve the quality of the rice inside. Each Seal ‘n’ Store bag also contains an easy carry handle. Strong and userfriendly, the new bags are durable, waterproof and turquoise blue in colour.



8 - Asian Voice 13th April 2013

Indian couple urges social services to return their son

LILY Foundation is the sponsored charity of Asian Achievers Awards 2013


Brother Turns Trafficker Lady Mohini Kent Noon

Tragedy struck early in Jayeeta’s life when both her parents died young and she was sent, along with her brother, to live with their grandmother in a village in West Bengal. Since her brother was much older than her, he became Jayeeta’s guardian. Time passed. The brother grew up and married. His new wife resented Jayeeta. Sure enough, she persuaded her husband to send Jayeeta, who was then 12, out to earn money. He did exactly what his wife wanted and sent the little girl all the way to Mumbai to work as a domestic servant. The money that Jayeeta

A pillar of strength: Jeyeeta

any affection for Jayeeta because he brought her back to West Bengal and sold her to a brothel at Sonagachi for Rs.5000 (about £60). In the brothel, despite the sordid existence, the rough clientsincluding labourers and truck drivers and lack of decent food or any healthcare, Jayeeta did make some friends. They helped her to escape by scaling the

Police Training Session

earned came to them but that still did not satisfy his greedy wife.Perhaps her brother never had

wall. Somehow, she made her way to the famous Howrah Station in Kolkata. The bustling

train station teeming with humanity is a hotbed of trafficking and many victims change hands here to be transported to other cities. Jayeeta was very lucky that she did not fall into the hands of a trafficker. Instead, she encountered a kindly policeman. He sized up the situation at once and took her under his care. Having heard her story, he arranged for her to be sent to the Women’s Interlink Foundation, an NGO that runs shelters for women. With time and patient counselling and rehabilitation, Jayeeta blossomed. Today she is a confident and independent 17-year old. Looking at her, it’s hard to guess the shattering events of her young life, the betrayals and traumas. Now, she helps others like her who come to the shelter and has become a pillar of strength for them. The LILY campaign works for girls such as Jayeeta. She is a girl like any other, like one of our sisters or friends, but life was very unkind to her. She needs our patience, understanding and monetary support. Please help us to help her. For more information go to OR contact us at +44 20 7841 8919

Sikhs protest in London over death penalty in India

A group of UK-based Sikhs have protested outside the Houses of Parliament on Saturday 10 April as part of a campaign to end the practice

of death penalty in India. Members of Kesri Lehar condemned the death sentences imposed on four Sikhs, including one convicted for the

assassination of an Indian politician. The BBC's Robert Pigott reportedly said that the threat of execution is seen by some Sikhs as a

Nachiket Joshi, Sunny Roy, mother Shruti Beri, father Rajat Beri with son Achintya's photo and Cllr Darshan Grewal

Continued from page 1 If the case goes to court, it can take up to a year, or even longer, for a decision on what should happen to the child. Father Rajat, who has been suspected by the authorities of "improper" behaviour towards his son told a newspaper, “They simply don't understand the difference between the Indian and British culture. Their style of upbringing is totally different from our culture.” "Our child is in a bad state. He has been crying and begging to be sent back home because he is scared of being shut up in a dark room every night," added mother, Shruti, who insisted the case has been misinterpreted by the Oxfordshire County Council. Meanwhile, the Indian External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi is awaiting a detailed report from its mission in the UK about the case. "We are awaiting a detailed report from our High Commission on what exactly is the situation and what needs to be done," Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said April 8 when asked about the case. The case triggered when Achintya's teachers at Bayards Hill Primary School in Oxford called in police and social services last month after he is believed to have described his father as doing "bad things.”

They feared it may be a reference to sexual or other kind of abuse. However, Achintya’s mother is certain it was a reference to her husband's social drinking and smoking which she had often described as a "bad habit" in an attempt to put her son off from copying similar behaviour. In an interview Shruti told Times of India, "We want the top lawyer who understands Indian customs. UK may interpret a father bathing his son as sexual molestation but in Indian families it is the done thing. Indian parents bathe their children, feed them, wash them and dress them with their own hands. Does that mean they are being sexually molested?" Nachiket Joshi, a Senior Youth Leader from the Overseas Friends of BJP told Asian Voice, "This is very unfortunate that Indian couple is suffering for their 5 years old child from last one month. Social services must have to respect different cultures and religious methods to raise their child. They should work according to that... I am requesting the Indian community to come forward and support this Indian couple in Oxfordshire. We are looking for more cases where people have faced similar situations from the social services and we would like to send a signed petition to the Ministry to amend the social services law

according to different cultures in Britain. We respect the British Judiciary system and I am sure Ms. Shruti and Mr. Rajat will get justice very soon." Cllr Darshan Grewal (Ex Mayor of Hounslow) told the newspaper, "As I am associated with the Labour Party, I want to take this issues further. I will support Indian couple to get their son back as soon as possible and I am ready to support all people of UK who have been victim of social services and its unfair decision...Being Punjabi I can understand how we would like to teach good things to our children. Parents should have all the rights to follow their culture faith in the UK. We will go forward and make sure that the Indian couple get justice via judiciary system. We are working with legal representatives to understand the social services system very closely and we will suggest Government to make any changes, if we find it necessary." This case has however taken a political turn in India with BJP leader Vijay Jolly who was due to meet British high commissioner to Delhi Sir James Bevan on Tuesday. Jolly, who is in charge of BJP's overseas affairs committee, demanded that the child who is now in foster care be returned to his parents immediately

B e a n t key part of oppresSingh, the sion against them. chief minisThe India's High ter of Punjab Commission in the state, in UK said that the India. use of the death B e a n t penalty is valid Singh was under its laws. killed on 31 Saturday's A u g u s t protest, organised 1995, along by campaign group Kesri Lehar, aimed Bulwant Singh Rajoana with 17 others by a suito draw attention cide bomber identified as to the fate of Bulwant Dilawar Singh. Rajoana Singh Rajoana, who was was convicted of acting as sentenced to death in a back-up suicide bomber 2007 for his role in the should Singh have failed. 1995 assassination of

Rajoana - whose hanging was postponed by Indian officials in March 2012 has not appealed against his sentence. Executions are comparatively rare in India where hundreds of convicts are awaiting the death penalty. Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving attacker from the 2008 Mumbai attack, was executed in November 2012, while Kashmiri militant Afzal Guru was hanged in February.

UK - Asian Voice 13th April 2013

Leading Lights


Lord Loomba calls on the Indian Government to set up “Widows Help Centres”

Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Anjali Bulley Passionate about Publishing Anjali is the Managing Editor of V&A Publishing at the Victoria and Albert Museum. In this job Anjali is responsible for managing the editorial team of V&A Publishing, which publishes exhibition catalogues, general books and academic publications to complement the Victoria and Albert Museum's international exhibition programme of art, design and fashion. Anjali is extremely passionate about what she does. Her love of books began at a very early age. After she graduated from Manchester University, she undertook a publishing and printing course at the London College of Printing and Publishing. She started as an editorial assistant at a family-run company producing giftbooks, before moving onto a commercial specialist art book publisher. This gave her opportunity to work first-hand with contemporary artists, designers and other museum publishers. 'I have always loved the challenge of creating a beautiful, highquality product that people want to have. That the books we produce are the one lasting, often groundbreaking outcome of a milestone exhibition is immensely rewarding,' Anjali told us. She then moved to the National Portrait Gallery as Senior Editor in 2000, cutting her teeth on seminal painting and photographic shows including Painting the Century, Mario Testino and Cecil Beaton. This proved to be a pivotal experience for Anjali and cemented her desire to work in museums and galleries. The job of a lifetime came up at the V&A in 2006 and Anjali jumped at the chance to work in one of her favourite museums, the V&A, famous for its unrivalled art, design, and fashion collections. 'I count myself doubly blessed', says Anjali, 'to work in publishing but also within the inspiring and creative surroundings of a museum. Our book list is led directly from the exhibition programme, however we also have a very strong presence in the international book trade - particularly with our design and fashion lists'. She cites supportive mentors and fellow colleagues as a strong reason for entering – and staying in – publishing. 'There is something uniquely family-like about our industry,

Lord Loomba CBE, Mrs Cherie Blair CBE, and the Honourable Dr Ashwani Kumar, the Union Law Minister

Anjali Bulley

people tend to stay in the professions all their lives because they believe so passionately in what they do, and you build up networks and friendships that last a lifetime. To me, that's invaluable. I currently work with a fantastic, motivated and creative team, I couldn't ask for more in a job'.

At this time of financial contraction, the arts will only continue to flourish through diversity and fresh perspectives Since joining V&A Publishing, the list has grown to approximately 30 new titles a year, plus reprints and foreign editions. The programme has recently expanded to include children's titles and e-book products. The books regularly feature in the top 20 of the Amazon bestseller list and UK nonfiction charts and regularly win awards for their design and production excellence. ‘One of the most enjoyable aspects of my job is that you get to work on a wide-reaching range of subject matter and with experts on their field from all over the world’. Recent projects include China Design Now, Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts and the currently touring Hollywood Costume. ‘Working with Indian royalty or Hollywood royalty requires a great deal of diplomacy, a strong intu-

ition and a flexible approach. Ultimately, as a project manager you have to understand that the artist, photographer or curator in question is putting their life’s work in your hands. You have to have their confidence and trust in you; that you will deliver the highest quality book for them, which can be the one authoritative publication that is referred to for years to come’. In 2010 she won the Gold Award for Media Art and Culture, Asian Achievers Awards and was shortlisted for The Arts and Culture Award for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards in 2011. I asked Anjali why these were significant achievements: 'I think it is because so few Asians enter the publishing and arts sectors. She explains. 'It's no secret that Asians do encourage their children to pursue more traditional professions that offer financial security and stability. It's also no secret that the arts probably don't offer that in the current climate!' she laughs. 'The current cuts in the Arts budgets are unprecedented and the government's wilful destruction of public libraries is endlessly depressing. However, at this time of financial contraction, the arts will only continue to flourish through diversity and fresh perspectives. The British Asian community has a great deal to contribute to the culture, heritage and arts sectors and I would love to see a new generation of Asian youth come forward more confidently in our academic and artistic institutions.'

At a Charity Dinner in Mumbai on 20th March 2013, hosted by the Loomba Foundation to raise funds for improving the lot of widows and their children, Lord Raj Loomba CBE, along with Blair CBE, Cherie President of the Loomba Foundation, called upon the government of India to set up “Widows Help Centres” through Panchayats. “In my experience, widows in rural India are the hardest hit. I would, therefore, like to take this opportunity to call upon the Government of India to set up “Widows Help Centres” through the Ministry of Panchayati Raj all across the country,” said Lord Loomba. “At present, widows who are poor and uneducated do not know who to turn to when they are ill-

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treated by their families or communities," said Mrs Blair. "In case they are abused physically, psychologically, raped, or robbed of their possessions, wealth and inheritance they should be able to reach out for support and help to a bona fide local authority that has the powers to help them and provide justice,” she said. The chief guest at the dinner, Union Minister of Law and Justice, Ashwani Kumar, who is an Oxford alumnus himself, acknowledged the request of Lord Loomba CBE and promised in his speech that he would strongly recommend the Foundation’s request for setting up Widow Help Centres to the government of India and will definitely provide the legal framework to activate these centres.

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The Minister admitted, “The government of India has many schemes for women in this country, some of them also pertain to widows, but I’m afraid they’re not enough.” Loomba Foundation has been undertaking a series of initiatives to improve the lot of widows in India. Speaking in Mumbai, Lord Loomba said, “As you’re perhaps aware, widows in India live in pathetic conditions. Widowhood in this country bring in an enormous amount of suffering - mental, economical and emotional – not to mention the verbal insults and humiliating taunts that they have to live with each day. "Through our relentless efforts, we convinced the United Nations to declare June 23 as International Widows Day."



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Your Voice


Public mood is changing The key issues on which the 2015 elections will be lost or won are welfare benefits, NHS, Half-way house EU membership and Immigration. They are all irrelevant. We have always muddled through them. We do not know any better. Three years ago, I remember Harriet Harmen coming to my table at a Labour Party dinner after I had responded to a question that was raised on the floor. Chuck Umunna was sitting at the next table. I did speak at length with him also. I was discussing with her the chronic UK trade deficit problem for decades. She said my ideas made sense and she would ask the Labour Party Economic Policy Unit to contact me. That never happened. The Tory Party has dramatised EU working time directive of 48 hours per week, patient treatment short comings in 10 out of 400 NHS hospitals and the case were six children were murdered to sway public mood in their favour re welfare, NHS and EU membership reforms. Tory reforms are all dog’s breakfast. Labour Party can turn the table and beat the Tories at their own game by fighting the next general election on one issue, repeat one issue only. “If we are elected, we shall recommend joining Euro currency. We have no comments on any other issue”. They could lose the next general election but would win the following five general elections. Only 18 countries working as a team using a single currency would create genuine economic growth. Nagindas Khajuria Via Email

Attracting bad Karma Rudy Otter’s query, whether suffering is result of previous karma, is praiseworthy. Those who propound that suffering is caused by past sins are ignorant, callous and heartless. Philosophy of karma and reincarnation was never meant to hurt, or ridicule sufferer. Philosophy is meant to motivate all to follow path of righteousness and to console sufferers with promise that suffering must end in bright / healthy future; tomorrow can be improved by good actions today. Soul, being imperishable, never suffers. It is perishable physical matter that suffers via indulgence bordering on abuse. Soul learns meaning of pleasant and unpleasant processes affecting gross physical matter passing through various experiences between birth and death. Objective of suffering, karma and reincarnation is for soul to understand various experiences via gross material i.e. the body. Soul reincarnates into new physical vehicle in order to beget newer experiences under different circumstances surrounding different physical vehicles. Again, the objective is to refine circumstances for soul to make a person into super-person, to god and super God. The process of perfection cannot be achieved in one single incarnation; soul needs several incarnations in variety of physical matter of different densities in - Asian Voice 13th April 2013

Coverage of India makes AV unique

Paving the way for today’s women

While I agree with Shri Sheth’ comments about the length of letters in last week’ AV, I beg to differ about his short sighted, personal views on coverage of India, Modi, MMS and other Indian political leaders. In common with most subscribers to AV/GS, I neither read nor watch Indian TV channels. AV/GS provides me, keeps me in touch with my motherland which makes my subscription worth ten times over! AV is an umbilical cord that binds me with my land of janma (birth) if not karma. (Deeds) Today world is but a global village. India, the world’ largest democracy, plays an important role on world stage. What happens there affects us all. In last week’ AV, India, Gujarat, Modi was practically on every page with IPL grabbing top billing and Scrutator’ is my favourite column. So is Bollywood with younger generation. Without it, AV would be a poor read. I also profoundly disagree with his blanket statement that some letters are of poor quality and only worth skimming through. Let’ not be elitist or holier than thou. All letters published are thoroughly scrutinized by efficient, dedicated AV Editorial team. The year 2014 will be the year of general election. I am looking forward to AV coverage of this event in depth, as it did Gujarat Assembly election that makes me proud of being associated with AV/GS for the last 30 years, as admirer, writer and subscriber.

For all those who care about drive, determination, patriotism and representation, the passing of Margaret Thatcher should be a moment of great personal significance. Only a month old when Britain’s first female Prime Minister left Number 10 Downing Street for the last time, I have nevertheless been profoundly influenced by Margaret Thatcher’s Premiership, which built on the same principles as the previous Conservative government led by Ted Heath who granted refuge to my Ba, Dada and Dad on expulsion from Uganda. Following the example she set, I found myself, whilst at Warwick University reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics, with the same ambition to truly change the face of British politics. Her breakthrough achievements ended the dusty orthodoxy of the “male, pale and stale” politicians and lifted the barriers for people from all walks of life to follow suit. Lady Thatcher – the grocer’s daughter who secured a scholarship to study at Oxford, balanced her scientific career as a Chemist with Law School studies and, in later life, Prime Ministerial duties with family life – proved that hard work, and hard work alone, is the key to achieving one’s potential. She personified the concept of an ‘aspiration nation’, embracing a characteristically Asian attitude. We must not undervalue the impact she has made on representation in and of this country. The Iron Lady defied expectations and paved the way for women to hold public posts, much like her formidable female counterpart in India, Indira Gandhi. So here’s hoping her legacy lives on, as we ladies are not for turning either!

Bhupendra M Gandhi Via Email

Direct Flights to Ahmedabad

Binita Mehta Hempstead Road, Watford

Whilst I appreciate the painstaking, vigorous campaign by CB Patel for direct flights to Ahmedabad; I wonder as to why in the first instance, Mr. Praful Patel, the then Aviation Minister, backed out on his promise! Narendra Modi is well aware of the hardships and inconvenience faced by Gujaratis. He immensely values NRI’s contributions to the economy of Gujrat in particular and India in general. I am sure he will do everything feasible to accommodate their needs. Why the authority are so stubborn? I feel the readers/campaigners must know the reason. Niranjan Vasant Via Email different habitats to mature via good, bad and ugly experiences. These are codified by soul in dispassionate manner, whereas human mind labels these as suffering, sin or otherwise. Suffering of body does not stop journey of soul towards causal roots. It is therefore irrational for anyone to trivialise the philosophy and whip sufferers. Ramesh Jhalla Via Email

Question on Karma The Hindu who told Rudy Otter (Letter 6 April 2013) that he never helps poor people and the views of Mr Roach; are incorrectly expressed. They have failed to realize that our Karmas are interrelated by Dharma (meaning duty performed with the right actions for the greater good). A Hindu may possibly comment that a person suffers because of his past actions but he will also know that according to their Dharma they must help those who suffer. Therefore for someone to claim they cannot help because of ‘bad’ karma is a contradiction of Dharma and of misguided intellect. Karma is not punishment or retribution which seems to be the understanding of people with half baked knowledge. Karma is the universal principle of cause and effect; action and reaction that govern all life. Poverty does not necessarily mean it was due to your so called ‘bad’ karma; since if we look into Hindu history; some of our greatest Gurus were born and lived in poverty or chose to live life in poverty as wondering monks; yet these Gurus are given the highest respect in society. Kiran Parmar Leicester

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Consultative Conference, (and a member of the politburo of Communist Party of China), Modi showcased Gujarat as a destination with a conducive environment to invest and work. He also explained Gujarat becoming a major tourist destination. He brought out the richness of Buddhist culture in Gujarat which solicited very keen interest among Chinese leadership. He also dwelled upon the ancient Indian and Chinese ethos, relationship, friendship, cultural and business ties. While showcasing


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

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The cancellation of 80 flights in the past couple of days left thousands of passengers in the lurch prompting the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to demand an explanation from Kingfisher. The cash-strapped airline claimed that it had to drop flights as the company was trying to reconfigure its aircraft. There was chaos at several airports after passengers complained that they were not intimated about the Kingfisher cancellations. )(.#(/ )( * !

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

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


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Survival on £53 a Week Can someone live on £53 a week – the amount given to some benefit claimants? A Government minsiter has recently claimed that one can. Perhaps one can if one was living in the so called third world countries like India or Africa, and that too with increasing difficulty.In this country, the poor only survive at all by obsessive penny-counting and price comparing. The price of our weekly shopping is rising in leaps and bounds. Where we used to get away with a trolly full of groceries from the supermarket in return for £50 or £60, we now see hardly any change from hundred pounds worth of notes. A glittering example is the price of milk. A carton of milk which used to cost £1.59 not too long ago, has gone up in price to £1.89! There is a huge hike in almost all other food prices, and they are rising at their fastest rate for couple of years. The reasons are given as global demand from emerging markets like India and China. The increases have been driven by high income growth in emerging economies, the relative inelasticity of supply, historically low stock levels and some speculative investment. These demands are not met due to draughts in some parts or floods in other parts of the food growing regions. On top of the food prices, the prices of utilities like electricity and gas keep rising every so often. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Sanjay Dutt’s pardon The bollywood stars and politicians who are advocating Sanjay Dutt’s pardon from jail term accorded by Supreme court’s verdict on possession of banned arms are out of their minds. It is an insult to India’s valuable justice system. He committed very serious crime and must be punished by laws of the land where he lives. If he was worried about his life then he should have asked police protection or should have left the country. In this context let me narrate here an example of India’s great leader Late Sardar Patel. I read a book by Raj Mohan Gandhi, grand son of Mahatam Gandhi on Sardar Patel. When Sardar Patel’s elder brother Vir Viththalbhai Patel (he was the first elected President of India’s Legislative Assembly) died in Vienna, his body was brought to India for funeral in Bombay and at that time Sardar Patel was in jail. To attend his funeral British Raj was willing to give conditional discharge from jail which Sardar Patel refused. He told British Raj that if you want to discharge me then there should be no condition. Where can you find leaders like him in today’s mother India? Our shameful bollywood stars and politicians should learn from this shining example of principles he believed in. Everybody should be equal in the eyes of law-rich & famous or poor. Suresh and Bhavna Patel Ontario, Canada

UK - Asian Voice 13th April 2013

London Metropolitan University regranted license to sponsor international students

International students will be permitted to enter the UK to study at London Metropolitan University (London Met) from Tuesday 9 April 2013. This decision follows the removal of the university’s sponsor licence in August 2012. A series of inspections carried out by the Home Office in the last six months have demonstrated that the university has made the necessary improvements to its systems and administration. The university now meets the requirements needed to sponsor international students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). In line with Home Office policy, the university will now be subject to 12 months probation in order to build a track record of compliance with the rules for sponsoring students to study in the UK. During this period there will also be a limit on the number of international students the university can enrol. Immigration Minister Mark Harper said: “It is in the interest of international students that all institutions take their immigration responsibilities seriously and demonstrate that they comply with the rules. This is exactly why the sponsorship system was set up. “We have worked closely with university staff to ensure that London Met standards were improved. As a result the university now meets the required standards and we are able to grant a licence. “We will continue to welcome the brightest and

best students to our worldclass universities.” The Home Office will shortly be launching a dedicated University Assurance Team which will undertake all future university audits. We also continue to run our pilot of the Account Management Service for universities. This provides each university with a dedicated account manager to support them with any queries relating to their sponsor licence. Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP said, “Today’s decision shows that the hasty verdict by the UKBA to revoke the licence at the start of the new academic year in September, which left thousands of genuine students, including around 350 Indian students, in limbo and at risk of deportation, was the wrong choice. It was poorly handled and has irreparably damaged the UK’s reputation abroad as the destination of choice for overseas students. While it is right to tackle bogus students, to avoid this farcical situation in future, the Home Office must take up the Committee’s recommendation that if an institution performs poorly in an inspection they should send in a task force to improve its procedures. The Home Office must also be fully transparent about the number of London Met students deported or those who have left voluntarily. No doubt they will be issuing an apology to the university.”


SWISS DREAMS Switzerland offers a special experience for everyone, whether it’s admiring the spectacular scenery, travelling in the many iconic trains, relaxing by glittering lakesides or against mountain backdrops, enjoying a romantic getaway or being more adventurous with outdoor activities. The country can be enjoyed during the summer and winter periods and while Bollywood has already made its plush valleys and snow cap mountains a significant symbol for ‘blossoming love’, Switzerland also delivers a mine house of history, exquisite food and beverages, and diverse culture. With the country being well connected by the magical Swiss transport, especially the very efficient railways it makes Switzerland an ideal place for a short break or a week long holiday. Asian Voice readers have the opportunity to book two great packages, which offer some of the best mountain excursions from the picturesque beauty of Mount Titlis and Rigi to the world-famous Jungfraujoch. These fantastic short breaks will give you a highlight of Switzerland and will leave you with everlasting memories and wanting to experience more. LAKES & MOUNTAINS OF LUCERNE – 4 Days / 3 Nights Experience snow and ice on Mount Titlis and breathtaking views from Mount Rigi; Enjoy a lake cruise on one of the historic paddle steamers on Lake Lucerne; Relax with a beautiful lakeside setting and spectacular mountain backdrop in Lucerne. THE ITINERARY Day 1: Transfer by rail in 2nd class from border or arrival airport to Lucerne. Depending on your arrival time there maybe some free time in Lucerne. Your accommodation for the next three nights is the 3* Hotel de la Paix including breakfast.

Day 2: Start the day with fun in the snow and ice on Mount Titlis. Board the train from Lucerne directly to Engelberg and enjoy the relaxing 45min journey to the monastery mountain village. Take a leisurely walk through the base station of the Mount Titlis before starting with the first of three sets of gondolas to the top at 3,020m. In the afternoon explore the mountain village of Engelberg before returning to Lucerne. Day 3: Today you can take in the breathtaking views over Lake Lucerne from the top of Mount Rigi. Board the boat from Lucerne across the lake to Weggis, where you then walk through the lakeside resort to the cable car station for your journey to the top. Enjoy 90 square kilometers of scenic landscape, many vantage points providing superb views as well as spectacular sunsets or sunrises. Return by cogwheel train to Arth Goldau and then by local train back to Lucerne. Day 4: Depending on your flight times explore Lucerne and its picturesque, historic town centre with its many shops. Transfer by rail in 2nd class to border or departure airport.

THE ITINERARY Day 1: Transfer by rail in 2nd class from border or arrival airport to Lucerne. Depending on your arrival time there maybe some free time in Lucerne. Overnight at the 3* Hotel de la Paix including breakfast. Day 2: Start the day with fun in the snow and ice on Mount Titlis. Board the train from Lucerne directly to Engelberg and enjoy the relaxing 45min journey to the monastery mountain village. Take a leisurely walk through the base station of the Mount Titlis before starting with the first of three sets of gondolas to the top at 3,020m. In the afternoon explore the mountain village of Engelberg before boarding the train to Hergiswil where you change for the direct connection to Interlaken. Your accommodation for the next two nights is the 3* Hotel City Oberland, Interlaken including breakfast. Day 3: Enjoy a spectacular excursion to Jungfraujoch – the highest railway station in Europe at 3,454m. Visit the Ice Palace – a unique world of shimmering ice, fantastic views of the Aletsch glacier from the Sphinx platform, and have some fun and games in the snow. Day 4: Depending on your flight times explore Interlaken and its lakes or visit some of the traditional shops. Transfer by rail in 2nd class to border or departure airport.

WHAT’S INCLUDED: 3 nights at the 3* Hotel de la Paix or similar in Lucerne Daily breakfast 2nd class rail transfers Excursion to Mount Titlis including Ice Flyer Excursion to Mount Rigi including lake cruise Detailed itinerary and time tables, as well as suggestions of Indian or vegetarian restaurants Daily Departures

WHAT’S INCLUDED: 1 night at the 3* Hotel de la Paix or similar in Lucerne and 2 nights at the 3* Hotel City Oberland or similar in Interlaken Daily breakfast 2nd class rail transfers Excursion to Mount Titlis Excursion to Jungfraujoch Detailed itinerary and time tables, as well as suggestions of Indian or vegetarian restaurants Daily Departures

SNOW PEAKS OF SWITZERLAND – 4 Days / 3 Nights Experience snow and ice on two of Switzerland’s highest mountain peaks; Enjoy two famous Swiss resorts – Lucerne and Interlaken; Relax surrounded by spectacular mountain backdrops.

Savita Halappanavar inquest hears midwives' evidence Savita Halappanavar, a dentist who was originally from India, died after a miscarriage at University Hospital Galway in Ireland. The inquest into the death of Savita Halappanavar has heard evidence about her first day in hospital and conversations she had with a midwife on Monday, the BBC reported.

Two friends of Mrs Halappanavar who had visited her in hospital have been describing their conversations. One of them, Mrudula Vasepalli, was with her on the morning of 23 October.She told the inquest that when a request for a termination of pregnancy was made, a midwife said: "We don't do that here dear, it's a

Catholic thing." During lengthy cross examination by Declan Buckley, acting on behalf of the hospital and its staff, Ms Vasepalli was adamant that this was what she had heard. Mr Buckley said there was no record of such a conversation in any medical notes. Earlier, Coroner Dr Ciaran McLoughlin had asked legal representatives for the hospital if the

midwife can be identified. Mr Buckley told the coroner it was difficult to be certain who the woman in question was as there were several midwives on duty at the time. The inquest was told both nurses have made statements but were not listed as witnesses. The coroner has requested that they give evidence for the sake of completeness.


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Media Watch

The Indian Premier League (IPL) commenced with the customary fizz, with the Sri Lankan cricketers welcomed wherever they’ve played. Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayewardene and Angelo Matthews, outstanding players all, captain their teams. Whatever the differences between the Sri Lankan government and the international community, the country is a parliamentary democracy governed, warts and all, by the rule of law.

Sri Lankan cricketers, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene & Angelo Matthews

Tamil Nadu politicians seek to gain local mileage with their demagogic posturings, while in Sri Lanka, Sinhalese xenophobes, spearheaded by the Buddhist clergy, are doing likewise. Mixing religion with politics defiles the former and degrades the latter. The late S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike a good half century and more, ago rode a tiger and was unable to dismount, being assassinated by a Buddhist monk for not being militant and exclusivist enough with the minority Tamil population.

Boy soldiers Attention, recently, at home and abroad has been drawn to the death of Balachandran, the LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran’s 12 year-old son, during the final stages of the civil war, killed allegedly by Sri Lankan soldiers. The respected Tamil journalist P.Jayaram, in a scorching piece in the Chennaibased Hindu newspaper (April 3) reminded his readers of “The many Balachandrans of Jaffna’’,” a clear reference to the boy soldiers forcibly drafted into LTTE ranks by a cynical and pitiless leadership: innocents reduced to cannon fodder, with as strong a claim as any to our collective memory.

Hall of Fame for U.R.Rao Professor U.R. Rao, who headed the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) from 1984-94 has become the first Indian to be inducted into the prestigious Satellite Hall of Fame in Washington, thus joining an elite list of 50 other space scientists who have been conferred with this honour. The ceremony, organized by the Satellite Professionals, took place recently in the US capital with 1,000 space scientists, industry leaders and administrators present at the glittering event.

their applications to the nation’s development” (Hindu March 29).

India’s vast gains India has made vast economic gains, worth thousands of crores of rupees from remote sensing, according to Earth Sciences Department Secretary Shailesh Nayek. Citing a recent report by the National Council of Applied Economic Research, Dr Nayak said applications based on Earth imageries taken from remote sensing satellites improved farm and fishing productivity and saved hundreds of lives from cyclones. Public and private sector agencies last year used 70,000 remote sensing data maps, assess mining areas and planned urban infrastructure. ISRO plans to launch its first regional navigational satellite IRNSS-1 in June, said current Chairman K.Radhakrishnan (Hindu March 17).

Dr U.R Rao

Dr Rao was Secretary, Department of Space and ISRO chairman for ten critical years as the country’s space programme flowered and took firm root. The citation said Dr Rao “contributed to the development of space technology in India and its extensive application to communication and remote sensing of natural resources. More than any other single individual, Professor Rao is responsible is for the creation of India’s space and satellite capabilities and

Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt

and economic impact of the Internet, Mr Schmidt replied, “China gets all the attention (but) math favours India and I am a mathematician.”

PM’s optimism on economy Addressing a meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed to industry leaders to keep faith with the country’s economy. There was excessive media negativism on the subject, he said, which didn’t take sufficient account of the government’s reform measures to restore the high growth of previous years. Dr Singh admitted that corruption, bureaucratic inertia and slow implementation of projects, together with the difficulties of managing a coalition were impediments, but these were being tackled, he claimed. Bajaj Auto CEO Rahul Bajaj said that these ills, which had existed in the past, had not stymied economic growth, hence the causes of the present slowdown required deeper investigation (Hindu. Times of India, Telegraph April 3).

Honda unfazed

Indian aid projects Despite voting against Sri Lanka at the United Nations, most mega Indian projects for the relief and rehabilitation of the Tamil population in Jaffna are proceeding ahead of schedule. India and Sri Lanka are preparing to reopen their Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement to give bilateral trade a further impetus, according to the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, whose spokesman gave details of 50,000 houses being built for displaced persons, one of India’s largest foreign projects. Two rail lines, also in various stages of construction, proceeding ahead of time, are based on an Indian line of credit worth $800 million (Hindu April 4). The DMK and ruling AIDMK, competitors in incendiary rhetoric, would do well to take a lesson from such constructive activities and indulge in reasoned speech for a change. - asian Voice 13th april 2013

Even as most carmakers were closing down factories and reining in output, Japanese major Honda Cars India Ltd announced an investment of Rs 20,000 crore to commence operations at its second plant at Tapukara in Rajasthan. The annual capacity of 120,000 units for the Honda line of diesel cars will be launched by the time this report appears. Four more models – a diesel variant of its best-selling Sedan City, premium car Jazz and a compact utility vehicle – are expected to roll off the production lines during the next eight years. Honda is ready for business in India in a big way (Hindustan Times April 3).

Google bets on India Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said he preferred to bet long-term on India. Asked “India or China” by Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the Guardian, in a public conversation in New Delhi on the social

Alan Rusbridger

According to Google’s estimates, around 5 billion people worldwide were set to gain access to the Internet, and (he said) “… a majority of this would come from India.” He said Indians who were hopping on the mobile Internet train would access web-based education, medical and banking services. He suggested that India should go in for fibre optics to dramatically increase the penetration of broadband access (Mint March 22).

Pitroda’s message India needs to invest $20 billion to computerize all government departments and records so that information was available up to panchayat level, said Sam Pitroda, Chairman, National Information Council. Mr Pitroda pioneered India’s telecom revolution in the eighties. “We have today some 10,000 people working government on all these applications. If you put all these pieces together, the networks platforms, applications, (then) we believe the government of India will wind up spending about $20 billion,” said Mr Pitroda, who is also the Prime Minister’s Adviser on information infrastructure and innovation (Mint March 22).

India, Israel FTA close The India-Israel free trade agreement (FTA) which has been under negotiation for the past two years appears to be drawing to a successful close, according to a Business Line report. The main hurdles have been surmounted, with the fine print of the text proceeding to full signature expected by the middle of the year. The Israel Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission in New

Delhi, Yahel Vilon, said that, following the FTA, bilateral trade with India would grow exponentially from the present $5 billion to a massive $15 billion over the next decade. He said the IndiaIsrael Action Plan on Agricultural Cooperation, a three-year project for farm development in India through Israeli technological transfer, covered eight states including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. Under the project, 30 centres of excellence would be set up throughout India by 2015 for fruits and vegetables, he said. In one Haryana district the tomato yield had jumped from 14 tonnes per hectare to 100 tonnes per hectare. The future for Indo-Israel trade and development in all spheres is bright and secure. There is no limit to its potential.

Army’s sight in the dark The Indian Army’s night-fighting capability received a major boost with the Defence Acquisition Council’s decision to induct thermal imaging sights for its main battle tanks and infantry combat vehicles worth Rs 1,000 crore. A further Rs 960 crore worth day-night sights for the Army’s advanced Russianbuilt T-90 tanks has also received official approval. The Army is also undertaking an ambitious upgrade of its entire fleet of infantry combat vehicles at a cost of Rs 850 crore (Times of India April 3).

Adani Power compensated The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has “granted a compensation package” to Adani Power for its Mundra power project. This is perceived as a breath of fresh air for the ailing power sector, a measure calculated to inject dynamism into long dormant ultra-mega projects. In its order on the petition filed by Adani Power for its 1,980 MW project, the CERC said: “In the present case, the escalation in price of imported coal on account of Indonesian regulation and non-availability of adequate fuel linkage from state-run Coal India Limited for the project of the petitioner is a temporary phenomenon, and is likely to be stabilized after some time. Therefore the petitioner needs to be compensated for the intervening period with a compensation package….” (Hindu April 4). - Asian Voice 13th April 2013

Tribute by Asian Peers, MPs & Community leaders Lady Thatcher was and will forever remain an inspirational and pioneering leader who helped to save this great country. For the past thirty years she has been the defining figure of British politics – our greatest peace-time Prime Minister - and the leader who all modern politicians are now compared to. She cared very deeply about her constituents in Finchley and was a great friend of the British Indian community. She played a pivotal role in establish the Anglo-Asian Conservative Forum in Barnet and she was always very willing to do events with the British Indian community. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with her on a number of occasions and she was always very kind and had a great personality. As a small business owner at the time, her premiership helped to reshape the British economy and give so many entrepreneurs a chance to grow their firms and help the economy. Her lasting legacy for millions and many British Indians across Britain will be home-ownership; a chance to become a property owner and invest in their family’s future. We owe our first female Prime Minister so much for helping to build a country that gave people opportunities and challenged the decline we had faced in the late 1970s. Lady Thatcher built so many of the elements that make modern Britain so great; we may have lost a great woman, but her legacy will outlive us all. - Lord Dolar Popat Margaret Thatcher was a colossus on the world stage. She became Prime Minister at a time when Britain’s international standing was at a low ebb and by sheer force of personality she dragged Britain up from its knees and made it a world power again. She took on the might of the Unions, rescued the country’s economy and always put Britain first in all her dealings. On a personal note, it was a privilege to have known her and I will never forget the day when she campaigned for me in Northampton, in the 2001 General Election. The world’s media were in attendance on that day and she brought the town to a standstill. She had not lost her charm. Not a bit of it. Margaret Thatcher has left a very firm imprint in the history books. She was a truly remarkable woman. - Shailesh Vara MP Baroness Thatcher was an inspirational leader who dedicated herself to the service of this country. She was a principled politician whose many achievements are unprecedented. At home and abroad, Baroness Thatcher stood up for freedom and democracy, and she will be fondly remembered. Her robust approach to foreign policy and defending the British interest ended the cold war, led to the liberation of the Falkland Islands and won Britain the rebate from Europe. Baroness Thatcher successfully restored Britain’s status in the world, which had diminished following the Second World War and the economic troubles of the 1970s. Here in Britain the lives of millions of families were transformed for the better as Baroness Thatcher’s government empowered people to own their own homes for the first time. She also reformed the economy so that a new generation of entrepreneurs could start up their own businesses and become wealth creators. Baroness Thatcher’s recognized that this country and our economy perform at its best when politicians free people from the shackles of the state and trust them to take control of their own lives. Her legacy can be found all around us in the freedoms we enjoy today and the strength of Britain in the world. My heartfelt condolences and thoughts are with the Thatcher family today and she will be missed in Britain and throughout the world. - Priti Patel MP Baroness Thatcher is no more but her legacy will remain forever. We owe her an immense debt of gratitude. First, she became the first woman Prime Minister in Britain by defying gravity. Many pundits had predicted Britain was not ready for a woman Prime Minister. She was no ordinary woman or Prime Minster. She was unique in her resolve and determination for Britain. She was rightly called the Iron Lady as she stood for no nonsense and stayed on her course. For her the interests of Britain always came first and every time. As a result, she fought for Britain’s interest in Europe and beyond and succeeded. She stood for the rights of the people of the Falkland Islands when many in her position would have capitulated to the Argentinean dictator, but not her. Her resolve brought her admiration from every corner of the world. Many great leaders emulated her and her economic policies became known as Thatcherism. It was due to her economic policies that turned Britain from a sick man of Europe to the most prosperous country in Europe. She took on the might of the Trade Unions when many before her had appeased them with dire consequences for the nation, especially the ordinary people. It was the ordinary people who helped her win elections three times in a row as they could see she was good for everyone. I recall inviting people for a job interview to be told that they were better off not working. This was the state of the nation when Baroness Thatcher came to power. Her policy of selling council houses made many successful entrepreneurs as they could raise money against the property they bought. She was a visionary who believed in human nature and wanted responsibilities shifted from the state to the individual. The effects of her legacy are being felt even today and I dare say will be felt for ever. Britain has changed for good thanks to Baroness Thatcher. The world has become a poorer place today with the loss of a leader who had qualities which will remain unparalleled. Dr Rami Ranger MBE Co Founder,The British Asian Conservative Link

13 UK FAREWELL MARGARET THATCHER Continued from page 1 Thatcher did not want government expenditure to be funnelled this way, showing a strong sense of civil duty and economic sageness even with her passing. She will still be accorded the same level of historic importance, with the ceremonial consent and attendance of the Queen. Cameron also cut short his trip to Europe to fly back and call a special session of Parliament on Wednesday 10 April, to commemorate 'great Briton' Margaret Thatcher, and precede the funeral ceremony. Together with Downing Street, Buckingham Palace, the House of Commons and UK embassies around the world lowered their flags to half mast. They will be at half-mast again on Wednesday 17 April when they will be lowered at sunrise and raised again at sunset (0800 – 2000). Books of condolence have been opened at the Grantham Museum and Finchley & Golders Conservatives. They are open daily and both venues are looking at keeping them open over the weekend. A book of condolence will be opened in central London and UK embassies around the world will also open books of condolence. The public too has shown a gushing display of affection and admiration. Soon after the announcement of her death floral tributes and messages in their hundreds have been left outside the Baroness' home. Margaret Thatcher's Memory Thatcher is both praised and criticised in Britain. Although she is seen to have carried the country out of an economic slump, she did make some very cut-throat decisions in the process; a stern ideologue but also admirably practical. Holding her own as Secretary of State for Education and Science during Heath's government through the 70s, she ran confidently for office and carried out important decisive reforms that shocked even her own party members. While campaigning for a freemarket state where there is less government interference and more privatisation, quelling trade union movements and the political autonomy of many working-class people, she also saw the importance of lowering tax for the community in the long run- 'Poll tax'. This was a fiscal legacy kept by John Major and adopted by the New Labour government. At the time of the Falklands dispute, there was also controversy. Some may see Thatcher as someone who showed the necessary

Margaret Thatcher with the then External Affair Minister Pranab Mukherjee at South Block in New Delhi

level-headedness, strategy and bravado during a tense time of homeground and world politics where her political and military conduct would have severe repercussions on her position as leader, plans to financially revive society and show assertion in the cold war. Indeed it did lead to her re-election, the party's second victory and murmurs in Eastern and central Europe. However, she increased time and spending on defence and foreign policy at a time when taxes had only been lowered for the higher rung of the English public. There is still debate about whether her tactics paid off, or were just the actions of an 'iron lady' who had got a taste of power. Thatcher, India and Indira Gandhi Baroness Thatcher had commented favourably upon Indian politics on the late and current Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi and Manmohan Singh's decisions about economy and the direction of businesses in India, following

set about transforming India's economy by sweeping away many of the obstacles to economic advance. They have tackled an enormous problem. The old bureaucratic system of industrial licensing has largely been dismantled. Customs duties have been reduced. Foreign exchange controls have been relaxed. Financial services are being opened up. The taxes on foreign companies have been cut." Although she did not approve of Indira Gandhi's more socialist principles, she has also belied an affectionate affinity for the India Congress Party leader; for her stringent approach to bureaucratic thinking and actions, sympathising with her for ruling a country as vast as India, and their common struggle as ambitious and driven women of their times. Thatcher attended her funeral in Teen Murti Bhavan India, after the assassination of the Indian Prime Minister by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31 1984 and disparaged members of the British Sikh community

Margaret Thatcher (left) with Indira Gandhi in the UK in 1982

their move to the more unregulated capitalist approach "Since 1991, the policies of Prime Minister Rao and Finance Minister Singh (now prime minister) have ‘courageously’

who were celebrating this. Laying a wreath on the body of the 67-year old Gandhi she stated “I will miss Mrs Indira Gandhi very much indeed”. Continued on page 14

Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi with former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher


UK - Asian Voice 13th April 2013

Continued from page 13 Other Reactions to Thatcher's Death With a legacy that does produce such a large platform for debate, inflammatory responses are to be expected but not necessarily condoned. British exminers celebrated in places such as Yorkshire chanting 'the witch is dead', while riotous street parties broke out in Brixton and Bristol where looting began, and six policeman were injured. Strong nationalist reactions included that of Irish cricketer John Mooney who tweeted that he hoped her death 'had been slow and painful' though he has now retracted this statement. Thatcher is remembered critically in Ireland by both Republicans for her tough-

National Hindu Students Forum (UK) By Amar Jethi, Public Relations Officer

Bone Marrow Appeal

Asian Voice Publisher/Editor CB Patel with wife Puspa Patel discussing PM’s immigration and nationality bills on eve of PM’s departure to India

line approach to the IRAletting protesters starve and opening fire- and by Unionists for her stalemate actions in the peace agreement, signing the Anglo-Irish Agreement 1985 that protected the right of the Irish Republic to a role in the affairs of Northern Ireland. The

political divisiveness is continued with the refusal of some members of parliament to return for a special debate that was held at Westminster on Tues 9th April. Labour MP Ronnie Campbell, a former miner, stated “I have got better things to do in the office here”.

Riotous street party in Brixton to celebrate Baroness Thatcher’s death

Tribute to Baroness Thatcher by UK & World Leaders The Queen was sad to hear the news of the death of Baroness Thatcher. Her Majesty will be sending a private message of sympathy to the family. Buckingham Palace on behalf of the Queen We have lost a great Prime Minister, a great leader and a great Briton. She didn’t just lead our country, she saved our country, and I believe she will go down as the greatest British peacetime Prime Minister. We have lost a great Prime Minister, a great leader and a great Briton. She didn’t just lead our country, she saved our country, and I believe she will go down as the greatest British peacetime Prime Minister. Margaret Thatcher took a country that was on its knees and made Britain stand tall again... But if there is one thing that cuts through all of this, that runs through everything she did, it was her lion-hearted love for this country. She was the patriot Prime Minister and she fought for Britain’s interests every single step of the way. Her impact here and abroad is still remarkable. When people said Britain could not be great again, she proved them wrong. Margaret Thatcher loved this country and served it with all she had... (extract) - Prime Minister David Cameron 10 Downing Street Margaret Thatcher was one of the defining figures in modern British politics. Whatever side of the political debate you stand on, no one can deny that as prime minister she left a unique and lasting imprint on the country she served. She may have divided opinion during her time in politics but everyone will be united today in acknowledging the strength of her personality and the radicalism of her politics. My thoughts are with her family and friends. Deputy PM Nick Clegg I send my deep condolences to Lady Thatcher's family, in particular Mark and Carol Thatcher. She will be remembered as a unique figure. She reshaped the politics of a whole generation. She was Britain's first woman Prime Minister. She moved the centre ground of British politics and was a huge figure on the world stage. The Labour Party disagreed with much of what she did and she will always remain a controversial figure. But we can disagree and also greatly respect her political achievements and her personal strength. She also defined the politics of the 1980s. David Cameron, Nick Clegg and I all grew up in a politics shaped by Lady Thatcher. We took different paths but with her as the crucial figure of that era.

Do you think you could save a life? Try saving Aneesa’s. Aneesa is an 18 year old bright, bubbly Asian girl from Birmingham who enjoys seeing her friends and spending time with her family. But unlike most other 18 year old girls, Aneesa has a serious blood disorder called aplastic anaemia. This blood disorder affects her daily life and is so severe that her only chance of a cure is a bone marrow transplant from an Asian person. Despite a worldwide search, no suitable donor for Aneesa has been found. Annesa is not the only person who needs a bone marrow transplant. There are currently 1,700 people in the UK waiting for a suitable donor and due to the lack of donors on the register, people die waiting for a match. Her father, Manzoor, said, “Aneesa, my 18 year old daughter, needs a bone marrow transplant to save her life. Things don't get much more difficult than this. Asians have a repu-

tation for having large community networks and it’s at times of difficulties that we need to get together and encourage as many of us as possible to join the Anthony Nolan register.” A patient from white Northern European background has a 90% chance of finding a suitable donor. However, these odds fall to just 40% for someone from an Asian background. This is why blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan runs a register to match people in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant to potential donors. Anthony Nolan has launched a campaign to “Reach the Six Percent” of Britain who are Asian. National Hindu Students’ Forum (UK) (NHSF (UK)) is supporting this campaign to increase the awareness of this issue amongst the British Asian population, and encourage more Asian donors onto the register. NHSF (UK) has teamed up with Anthony Nolan and local student

Marrow groups to recruit more Asian people to the bone marrow register. So far, they have signed up hundreds of potential donors at sports competitions, conferences, religious events and even in student unions! But it is not enough. Now NHSF (UK) wants to encourage even more people to sign up! You can help by joining the bone marrow register. If you are between 16 and 30 and are fit and healthy, join the register now. Joining the register involves providing a saliva sample and in 90% of cases, bone marrow donation is a similar procedure to giving blood. To have the chance to save the life of someone like Aneesa, please give some thought to joining the bone marrow register today. To sign up to the register, and find out more about the donation process, visit Email for more information.

She coped with her final, difficult years with dignity and courage. Critics and supporters will remember her in her prime. Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Opposition Very sad to hear of death of Baroness Thatcher. Her memory will live long after the world has forgotten the grey suits of today's politics. (twitter) Boris Johnson, Mayor of London As a grocer's daughter who rose to become Britain's first female prime minister, she stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can't be shattered. As prime minister, she helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best. And as an unapologetic supporter of our transatlantic alliance, she knew that with strength and resolve we could win the cold war and extend freedom's promise. US President Barack Obama I express my deepest sadness on the passing away of former British Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher. She was a transformative figure under whom the United Kingdom registered important progress on the national and international arena. People of India join me in sending our sincerest condolences to the Thatcher family, the Government and people of the United Kingdom. (on twitter) Dr Manmohan Singh Prime Minister of India I am deeply saddened to know about the passing away of Lady Margaret Thatcher, former British Prime Minister and a legendary figure in world politics. She is widely known as 'Iron Lady' as a mark of her uncompromising politics and leadership style. She fought hard for the common people to give them due recognition and position in the society… (Facebook wall) - Mamata Banerjee Chief Minister, West Bengal Others: While expressing condolences over the death of Britain's first woman Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Indian politicians remembered the Iron Lady as an inspiring world leader. Hailing Thatcher's complete personality as a World leader, Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid spelt all praises for her ideology, which made Great Britain a successful country. Admiring Thatcher in the same tone, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal became nostalgic while remembering the late British Prime Minister, terming her leadership as inspiring.

Education/council Voice - asian Voice 13th April 2013

University of Wolverhampton on Indian Sub-Continent Mission A delegation from the University of Wolverhampton travelled to India, Bangladesh and Nepal to raise the profile of the University, city and Black Country region. The trip is led by the University’s Chancellor, the Rt Hon Lord Paul of Marylebone PC and ViceChancellor, Professor Geoff Layer. It involved meeting with education providers, representatives of Government, business and investment bodies and Alumni of the University. In India the delegation visited Delhi, where the University’s South East Asia Regional Office is based. The trip included a visit to a local school, meetings with UKTI (UK Trade and Investment) and an event hosted by the British Council in Delhi celebrating the links between Wolverhampton and India. In Bangladesh meetings were held with Government officials, the British Council and the Federal Chamber of Commerce in Dhaka. An event was also held for University of Wolverhampton Alumni and senior civil servants who took part in a training programme to deliver government reforms.

The last leg took place in Nepal and involved a visit to Kathmandu University and the British Council and culminated with an event celebrating 30 years of the University’s Centre for International Development Training (CIDT) in the country. Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Geoff Layer said: “We are the University of the Black Country but it is also important that we have an outlook as a global University. “Just looking at our India connections we have more than 2,000 graduates from India alone and they add to the rich cultural mix and economy of our region when are with us. “Some of our esteemed honorary graduates include the current president, the Honourable Shri Pranab Mukherjee. “Education can change and improve people’s lives and we think it is vital that we seek to work with partners around the world to share knowledge, best practice and build a culture of lifelong learning.” The trip took place between 6 April and 13 April 2013.

National Youth Jazz Orchestra to perform at Loughborough University Big-Band Jazz is coming back to Loughborough in style on Wednesday April 17th when the National Youth Jazz Orchestra makes a very welcome return to the University's Cope Auditorium. NYJO is renowned throughout the world as a showcase for the country's best young musicians. Since its formation in 1965, most of the rising generation of jazz musicians have passed through the orchestra's ranks, often becoming established jazz stars whilst still playing with NYJO. One of NYJO's aims is to share the talents of these exciting young players with as wide an audience as possible. NYJO features 23 highly talented young artists from all over Britain. Past members include Guy Barker, Mark Nightingale, Gerard

Presencer, Pete Long, Dennis Rollins, Winston Rollins and the muchmissed Amy Winehouse. Members are encouraged to write their own arrangements and compositions, thereby creating a diverse repertoire to draw from in addition to classic big-band standards. All this leads NYJO to be recognised as a worldclass jazz orchestra. As John Dankworth said,

"Forget the word youth, this is one of the best bands you will ever hear”. The National Youth Jazz Orchestra can be heard at Cope A u d i t o r i u m , Loughborough University on Wednesday April 17th The show begins at 7.30pm and tickets are available now from the Loughborough Students Union at

Under One Sky Festival returns to Harrow Cultural arts festival Under One Sky will make a welcome return over the summer with this year’s Glastonbury act Ska Cubano headlining the main stage. Organised by Harrow Council, the ska act tops an exuberant and enhanced programme of dance and world music to be held at Byron Park, Wealdstone, from 12.30pm to 9pm on Sunday, June 30. Up to 10,000 revellers are expected at Harrow’s premier open air festival which showcases local talent and is the chance for families and friends to come together and see the local community at its best. There’s something for everyone at this year’s festival with more than 100

acts and activities which will keep children and adults entertained throughout the day. The festival will feature a carnival parade; open air cinema; skate park; outdoor pool; dance village and a circus and children’s village. Harrow Council Portfolio Holder for Community and Cultural Services, Cllr David Perry, said: “I’m incredibly proud of the hard work that is going into the eighth Under One Sky Festival which is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever before. I would like to see as many Harrow residents come along as possible and let their hair down – you can’t fail to have a good time. It’s the perfect opportunity for the com-

munity to come together and celebrate our diverse borough.” Local resident Darshana Natha of Cunningham Park, Harrow, added: “Under One Sky is an excellent way of finding out what’s going on in the local community as well as enjoying some great entertainment. It’s always well organised by Harrow Council and you can tell a lot of hard work goes into the planning of this event. I will definitely take my little boy along this year and I’ve spoken to some of the mums at our local school to make sure they are there as well.” For further information visit


Tagore Centre for Global Thought opens at King’s India Institute in London

Smt. Chandresh Kumari Katoch, Honourable Minister of Culture, Government of India, speaking at the inauguration event

The Tagore Centre for Global Thought has been officially inaugurated at King’s College London, in a ceremony attended by Smt. Chandresh Kumari Katoch, Honourable Minister of Culture, Government of India, and Dr Virander K Paul, Deputy High Commissioner of India in London. The Centre, housed in the prestigious King’s India Institute, has been established to engage audiences with India’s intellectual traditions whilst addressing a number of contemporary global questions and dilemmas. The Centre was founded in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Government of India as part of celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of Tagore’s birth, taking inspiration from his work to enhance academic, intellectual and philosophical work globally. Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was a Bengali poet, writer and musician who became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for Literature one hundred years ago in 1913. He became famous for introducing Indian poetry, literature and culture to the West and is thought to have influenced a number of 20th century writers and philosophers. The Tagore Centre at King’s will provide two PhD scholarships for students from India over the next three years. It will host a series of public lectures, discussions and film screenings based on Tagore’s writing and a number of high-profile Tagore Fellows, the first of which is Gopalkrishna Gandhi – former Governor of West Bengal and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. The Tagore Centre is expected to become a vibrant intellectual hub in the field of arts and culture and build on King’s

extensive cultural links in the capital and beyond. It will not only promote and support research studies inspired by Tagore’s work in art, music, education and traditional literature, but focus on studies of Indian intellectual traditions in global perspective. Speaking at the launch event in London, Smt. Chandresh Kumari Katoch, Honourable Minister of Culture, Government of India said: ‘I’m delighted to officially inaugurate The Tagore Centre of Global Thought at King’s College London. This Centre has been established in honour of the life of our great poetphilosopher Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, as a key part of the Government of India’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of his birth in 1861. ‘Tagore was a great icon – he changed the mindset of India. He was a great educationalist and encouraged the people of India to educate their children and bring them forward. This year also marks one hundred years since Tagore received the Nobel Prize in 1913, an important milestone in the celebration of his remarkable and cosmopolitan life. ‘Inspired as it is by Tagore’s thought, the Centre will of course range much more widely across India’s intellectual traditions and debates, bringing them into connection with global discussions and spreading his ideology all around the world. In this regard, there could be no better place to locate such a centre than at King’s India Institute. I look forward to the Centre becoming an international hub for engaging India’s intellectual traditions with global debate and encouraging new ideas to flourish.’ Professor Sunil Khilnani, Avantha Professor and Director of the King’s India Institute, said: ‘Throughout his life,

Tagore strove to find a language that allowed Indian philosophy and culture to speak to the rest of the world. The Tagore Centre for Global Thought will act as a focal point for exploring the global implications of modern India's intellectual traditions and highlight the ways in which Indian and South Asian ideas have long played an important role in global intellectual life. ‘We aim to further the spirit of Tagore's insights across the world in order to prompt new ideas and conversations, and bring them into dialogue with contemporary global questions – about education, development and society, cultural diversity and human freedom.’ King’s has a long tradition of excellent relations with India, and a strong commitment to encourage all its students to broaden their horizons through an international education. King’s India Institute, which was opened in 2012 by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague MP, is rapidly becoming a worldleading institution for global engagement with contemporary India. The Institute forms a core part of the university’s strategy to build global partnerships with cultural and research organizations, encourage collaboration and exchange of staff and students. Students at King’s India Institute are able to take advantage of close relationships with universities, government and businesses in India, such as an exchange scheme with Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi, one of King’s international strategic partners. The Institute is one of a network of Global Institutes at King’s focusing on emerging and influential world powers, with experts covering a wide range of disciplines from social sciences, policy, law, security studies, science and health.

18 - Asian Voice 13th April 2013

Financial Voice Dear Financial Voice Reader,

Most readers of this paper will have an interest in property. What of property stocks? Since the budget they have been rocketing higher. But for those watching property companies, they will know that in fact they’ve been rising since the credit crunch. The reason is those companies were able to buy land from small independent developers at rock bottom prices and then hold on until now when 5% deposits are back. You see the Bank of England and the Chancellor can ask Banks to keep cash in reserve to protect themselves against bad debt, but asking people to save 20% for a house deposit just kills the market dead. So we are back to the days of 5% deposits. And that means for properties – rising prices. I mean don’t panic, you are not missing the boat. And will it be a bubble? Well, not yet. These property companies will build new supply. The problem with property is people don’t realise that like fashion and innovation in most things, younger people want new shiny builds. So old stock ends up not rising in value. But the problem with new builds is that other than for London, you can build lots of them. So either way the reason for prices to rise is not existent. The only reason is money supply then – rising wages or lower deposits. Well wages aren’t rising. And lower deposits will help for a short while. But because of supply of new builds I don’t believe prices will become a bubble. London is the exception because it is 20% of the UK’s GDP – so to pay for your home you need to be near your work. So London is congested and that keeps prices rising – everyone chasing demand. The top end is always buoyant to I like Savills as a stock. The global rich keep buying around the world. Barratt and Rightmove are right up there too with Taylor Wimpey as risers set to continue because their profit expectations are being exceeded. Another reason to think people have money to spend, or are willing to, is that the best performers over the past 3 months include Thomas Cook and Ocado. Some of that is due to the weather and to better offerings. But a lot is because the consumer is spending a little bit above just saving and paying down debt. As I said on Reuters TV this past week, whilst May to September tend to be not so good months for the markets, I think this year may be different because of the lower market expectations and so any exceeding of those expectations leads to a rise in market prices. Oh, and EasyJet is taking off too. But one thing that is clear with the best performers since January, is that people are now starting to sell and take some profit. This is short-term and will last a month or two before the opportunity to buy into all of these returns.

Cairn India makes new oil discovery in Rajasthan Cairn India on Tuesday said it has made the 26th oil discovery in its prolific Rajasthan block. The discovery follows allowing the company to explore for oil on block well after expiry of the exploration phase. “Cairn India has made its latest oil discovery, the 26th discovery so far in the RJ-ON-90/1 block, following recent policy clarity by Government of India (GoI) to conduct exploration activity in development blocks,” the company said in a statement. Block oversight panel, called the Management Committee approved the exploration work programme for the RJ-ON90/1 block on February 14 after which Cairn India, the Operator of the block, commenced the drilling of its first Exploration well, Raageshwari-South-1, on February 25 located in the southern part of the block.

“Technical evaluations indicate about 10 metres of gross oil column within Dharvi Dungar Formation,” it said. “Oil has been discovered and tested for the first time in Dharvi Dungar sands in R a a g e s h w a r i -Tu k a r a m area, where previous discoveries were in the shallower Thumbli sands,” the company said, adding the volumes of oil in place and the potential resource base associated with this discovery are under evaluation. Cairn Chief Executive Officer P Elango said the discovery in the block “reaffirms our belief that an aggressive exploration drilling programme will help harness the full potential of the Barmer Basin in Rajasthan.” “This is a step closer towards reserve accretion through exploration-led growth,” he added.

Expressing commitment to continue with reforms, India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh indicated government would further liberalise FDI regime in the coming months and push the land reforms measures. "The liberalization of FDI in multi-brand retail, civil aviation and other areas, are important signals. We are reviewing the FDI policy comprehensively to see what more can be done in the coming months," he said at the CII annual meet. The private sector, the Prime Minister said, needs an environment in which

enterprise can flourish and create both jobs and stimulate growth to ensure that it remains inclusive. "The environment today is not what it should be, and that is what the Government must correct," Singh said adding that more reforms are being considered by the government. Meanwhile, talking to reporters, India’s commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said that further liberalization of foreign investment norms could include raising FDI cap in sectors like insurance, banking and defence in a "calibrated and incremental" manner.

Manmohan Singh

Elaborating on other reform measures being contemplated by the government, the Prime Minister said "the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill has been cleared by the Cabinet and

would soon go to Parliament". The long awaited land bill seeks to address problems of the industry with regards to acquisition of land for setting up green field projects. On the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Committee (FSLRC) recommendations, he said, they were being "carefully considered" by the government. Headed by Justice (retd) B N Srikrishna, the FSLRC, among other things, has recommended setting up of a unified financial agency as an arching regula tor after amalgamation of SEBI, IRDA, PFRDA and FMC.

AirAsia gets Foreign Investment TVS, BMW join hands to Promotion Board approval develop motorcycles AirAsia said it has received formal approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board to launch an airline in India in association with the Tatas, paving the way for the companies to move the sectoral regulator DGCA for an air operator licence. "The application made by AirAsia through its investment arm, AirAsia Investment, to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board seeking approval for a 49 per cent investment into a joint venture company named AirAsia India, partnering Tata Sons and Arun Bathia of Telestra Tradeplace, has been granted a formal approval on April 4," the Malaysian carrier said in a statement. AirAsia, the largest low-cost airline in Asia, announced the JV with Tatas late February. Last

month FIPB had approved the proposal. "This approval will enable AirAsia India to apply with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation for the aviation licence to operate as an airline," the statement added. The proposed airline would operate from Chennai and would be focused on providing connectivity to small towns. Currently, AirAsia operates in Thailand and Malaysia and already connects Chennai, Bangalore, Thiruchirapalli, Kochi and Kolkata to Asean and beyond.

Two and three-wheeler maker TVS Motor Company has signed a “cooperation agreement” with German auto-maker BMW Motorcycles’ division BMW Motorrad to develop and produce a new series of motorcycles in the below 500 cc segment.

“TVS Motor Company and BMW Motorrad have signed a long term cooperation agreement. The aim of the cooperation is to join forces to develop and produce a new series of motorcycles that will cater to the segment below

500cc”, TVS Motor Company said in a statement. The agreement allows the companies offering their own vehicle derivatives, which will be sold through their own distribution channels in India and across the globe. “We have a highly expert and experienced partner in the TVS Motor

Company. This means that in future we will be able to offer vehicles in smaller capacity classes in addition to the BMW Motorrad core segments,” BMW Motorrad President Stephan Schaller said. The tie-up for TVS Motor comes after parting of ways with Japanese auto giant Suzuki Motor Corporation.

India Inc to post worst results in 3 years India Inc is set to post its worst ever quarterly earnings growth in the last quarter of fiscal 2013 since the end of the global financial crisis, thanks mainly to lack of demand in the economy, the slowdown in government spending and the inability of some manufacturers to pass on full cost escalation to their consumers, estimates made by leading brokerages and research firms said. Going forward, management commentary on momentum of decision making and order placements will be important for the market, and any disappointment in earnings or on future outlook may lead to corrections, a report by Kotak Securities said.

Net profits of sensex constituents is estimated to decline 2-4.7% year-onyear to Rs 520 to 540 billion for the period, estimates made by leading brokerages and research firms said. Revenues of these companies would register a modest 6-7% yo-y increase during the quarter ended March, between Rs 4,300 and Rs 4,750 billion. Revenue performance is expected to remain subdued reflecting the slower-than-expected pick-up in economic activity, reports said. “The earnings downgrade cycle has resumed in the last few months, post some stability towards the end of 2012. As economic growth makes new lows,

its impact on corporate earnings is also visible,” a report by Motilal Oswal Securities noted. The earnings per share (EPS) of sensex companies, which was originally expected to grow by around 14% in FY13, would advance by a mere 5-6% to Rs 1,180, projections showed. “We expect the sensex EPS to post a modest 5.8% growth in FY13 with significant contribution from BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) stocks, followed by stocks from IT and FMCG sectors,” a report by Angel Broking said. On the sectoral front, consumer-oriented sectors, including FMCG,

information technology (IT) and healthcare sectors are expected to outperform cyclical ones like metals, capital goods, automobiles and cement, the report by Motilal Oswal Securities said. The report by Kotak Securities noted that revenues of IT companies are expected to be driven by the nearly 8% y-o-y depreciation in the rupee. Another report by Crisil Research pointed out that capital goods, construction, commercial vehicles, tyres, auto components and steel are expected to witness either a revenue decline or low single-digit growth in Q4 FY13 on a y-o-y basis, due to the weak demand environment.

finAnciAl Voice - Asian Voice 13th April 2013


A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

Suresh Vagjiani Sow & Reap A Property Investment Company

Today (Monday 9th April) we took an offer on a property and exchanged prior to it coming into auction on the 17th April. When we 'bought' the property we had exchanged with delayed completion, in order to allow us to place it in auction in-between the exchange and completion dates. The aim was always to resell prior to the completion date, so in order to secure a firm sale we had entered it into the auction. With a normal sale through an agent there can never be any security until exchange of contracts occurs. With auction you're almost assured a sale on the day of the auction, given of course that your reserve price has been set reasonably and there are enough people in the room. We anticipated it would resell for £275k (we had exchanged on a purchase price of £240k). The property was so popular it attracted interest prior to the auction and had two offers on it on the basis we agree the sale prior to the auction. I suspected it would probably sell for more in the room but as the saying goes 'a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush', this means that it is preferable to have a small but certain advantage than a mere potential of a greater one. Auctions can be a hit and miss game. Bad weather, school holidays, World Cups etc are all events which serve to reduce the attendance at auctions; and all you need is for a couple of buyers not to turn up and the property will not go for what it should on the day. Your market in the auction is those people who turn up in the room whether physically or over the phone. Some time ago, at one of these leading auction houses, we entered a block in Shepherds Bush; the property consisted of three flats and was given a guide price of £600k with a view of selling for £650k . Surprisingly the block didn't sell. It should have, it defied reason. However the Olympics and the Queen's Jubilee celebrations had meant there was poor attendance and therefore the demand in the room was low, and this was our market in the auction room.

A more appropriate return should be based on £25k over £72k which is a 30% return in 3 weeks. Still an excellent return at 10% per week and without the cost of stamp duty and funding. The trouble is trading or flipping opportunities don’t come along all day, every day. The investor is certainly chuffed at his first return with us. He originally wanted us to charge him a fee and to handle the property himself. I advised him this was his choice, but I suggest he should not as this is the first time he's dipping his toe into property with us, and it would be better if we handled the exit too. The decision though was of course his. He chose to follow my advice in both, us handling the deal and accepting the offer prior to the auction. The advantage is he is now in the market to look for another deal and be in the position to purchase one with the confidence of having successfully completed one deal with us already. Although the danger is now the bar has been set fairly high, and so the pressure to outperform on this deal is on! Trades don’t come by every day, there are some slow burners and other which cook faster, like popcorn. You need a combination of both when in property.

The flats in the block are cu rrently un der offe r in divid ually, the o ffers totalling £875k - only 9 mo nths later withou t spe nding a pen ny e xtra on the m. Clearly the mark et missed this on e. Hence we may be losing some money by taking an early offer but then again it’s a sure sale; and by executing this deal we are ready now to take on another one. The client for whom we're doing this property deal for is training to become an accountant, he had some money saved up and wanted to invest along with his brother. He realised the secret: it is better to have his money working for him to make money rather than himself. This is even more necessary given the current rates offered by institutions. Only £24k was tied up in this deal, from 15th March 2013 to 8th April 2013. Therefore the money was tied up for only 3 weeks and the return was £25k, so almost 100% allowing for expenses, over a three week period a 33% per week return. Of course there will be deductions from this, such as sales commissions and legal fees etc, but this is a big enough return to allow for this and still be left with an excellent return on funds employed. In all fairness the above example is actually misleading as although funds have not been directly employed they have to be ring fenced and held just in case they are required for completion. So 30% of the property price would need to be held if required for completion, this comes to £72k.

Rath er th an run ni ng aro un d f oc ussin g o n t rad es it 's so met imes be tte r t o sit on de als an d see t he m t hrou gh - rig ht t hrou gh th e d eve lo pme nt and rese ll. Th ere is al so a satisf ac t i o n wh i c h c o m e s f ro m c o m p l e t i n g s o m e t h i n g t o f ru it ion . You may find this approach sometimes actually generates more money than all the running around, as in between trades your funds are not doing very much. Actually new build flats are geared perfectly up for trades, due to the long completion periods. You don’t even have to negotiate the long term completion - they offer them to you. Completion can be a couple of years away, in this time if the property increases in value you can resell. When you exchange you give the developer 10%, if the property rises 10% more you can exit and get double what you put in. This however is a double edged sword, what happens if the price drops? You will lose what you have put in totally, and you will be forced to complete the deal. 10% will not be the limit of your loss. Many investors only discovered this after the credit crunch, many thought they could simply walk away from the deposit. Not so easy, in one particular case the developer sued and won a landmark case. The investors were forced to complete on their investments irrespective of the loss. In all fairness if they had made money they would not have shared any profits with the developer, so why do they expect the developer to bear the loss in the event of a downturn? If you do get the right development which rises in value you can be onto a good earner without having to worry about managing a property or completions costs. The resell however may be difficult though as the developer normally has hundreds of units and a nice marketing suite backed up by a full blown marketing campaign. Whereas you'll simply be reselling a piece of air in the sky which is yet to manifest.

By the way, did you know…. Property Funds – Returns without the hassle of direct ownership l Investing in property directly may not suit everyone l There are funds offering returns of 15% to 20% in the market l This means you get a decent return without the hassle of owning a property l This beats the returns offered by banks and many other financial products l Underneath it your money is secured by property in a strong location l There is a reason why banks are still prepared to lend 75% of a property value in this climate, because they know it is a secure investment l Many funds are protected with external auditors and fund managers, this means your funds are kept as secure as possible

We provide a turnkey solution. Contact us now:

Specialists in Central London Property Sourcing

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Tips of the Week l If you are planning to buy a property from the auction ensure you get a soliciter to read the paper work very carefully. l If you find a really good investment property don't rule out the opportunity to buy it before the auction. Many sellers will be happy to do a deal.



Maria Fernandes - Asian Voice 13th April 2013

It’s not all doom and gloom out there! Sometimes the most difficult situations can lead to the best opportunities. Take the issues many borrowers and investors are currently facing with their funding banks. In recent times, some lenders have been quick to call valuations of the assets on which they have lent, which in the current market often results in a breach of the borrower’s banking covenants. Property investment companies in particular have borne the brunt of this and with many loan terms expiring this year, such situations will undoubtedly continue to arise. As a result, many borrowers find themselves fire-fighting in the face of demands from their lender. With the wrong approach, it is likely the lender will maximize its recovery and the borrower may well lose its investment, having incurred significant costs in the meantime. Many assume there is little that can be done other than to meet the lender’s demands or agree a short term solution to

Visitors and “minor” changes

he new rules which take effect on the 6th T April will affect visitors

and the changes are proposed described as merely “clarificatory” is much more than that. The changes appear innocuous, merely “[the applicant] does not intend to live for extended periods in the United Kingdom through frequent or successive visits;”. The reality is that the changes will give greater authority to officers to refuse applicants who spend a lot of time in the UK. In a recent case the judges clarified the principles that should apply. In this particular case an elderly mother spent large amounts of time and the judge in the initial appeal decided that because of this she was not an ordinary visitor. The Judges in the higher court disagreed and stated that once he accepted that the Appellant was a visitor the case should have succeeded. The sole issue before the Judge was whether the appellant intended to visit and leave at the end of the period permitted. These following principles were re-iterated: There is no restriction on the number of visits a person may make to the UK, nor any requirement that a specified time must elapse between successive visits. The periods of time spent in the United Kingdom and the country of residence will always be important. The purpose of the visit, what the person has done in the past, intends to do in the future is material as well as the length of time that has elapsed since previous visits. Where a parent is visiting a son or daughter, the parent will often help in the house and provide child care. In the case of an adult child visiting a parent, they will often assist in care arrangements. None of these activities, for that reason alone, will take the indi-

vidual outside the definition of a genuine visitor. The links that the appellant retains with her country of residence will be a material consideration. The presence of other family members will be a material consideration. The Tribunal is required to ascertain what is the reality of the arrangement entered into between the appellant and the host in the United Kingdom. The issue may be approached by considering whether the reality is that the appellant is now no more than a visitor to her country of residence as the purpose of the return home is confined to using his or her presence there solely as the means of gaining re-admission to the United Kingdom. This does not prevent a person from remaining in the country of residence for the least amount of time. Family emergencies, whilst likely to result in a longer visit, should not be regarded as taking up residence without adequate supporting evidence to that effect. Thus, the pregnancy of a daughter or daughter-in-law or the aftermath of the birth might explain a more-protracted stay (within the 6month duration of a single permitted visit); so, too, a serious medical condition. There may be comparisons with the person who owns homes in two different countries. Is he resident in both or a visitor to one of them? The right of appeal of family visitors will end in 2014 and when it does, these principles so carefully formulated by the judges will die with them. Maria Fernandes has been in practice exclusively in immigration for the past 25 years. Fernandes Vaz is based at 87 Wembley Hill Road Wembley in Wembley and can be contacted by telephone on 02087330123, by email on

domiciled individuals to plan such that only their UK- based assets fall within the UK inheritance tax net. However, once a nondom has been UK resident for 17 years, they become “deemed domiciled”, meaning they lose this benefit and their worldwide assets fall within the net. The good news is that both India and Pakistan have negotiated treaties with the UK meaning they can override this “deemed domiciled” rule. So, if an individual is domiciled in either India or Pakistan, even if he has been resident in the UK for more than 17 years the UK inheritance tax charge on death can’t apply other than on UK assets. With good planning, there is therefore every chance that an individual resident in the UK but domiciled in India or Pakistan can pay little or no UK inheritance tax on death, a fantastic saving for the next generation. Sunil Radia is a Partner at CVS Solicitors LLP ( and CVS Private Equity Partners (

India’s fiscal deficit lower than 5.2%: Chidambaram

Ratan Tata nominated to the board of Mondelez International

India’s finance minister P Chidambaram said the fiscal deficit for 2012-13 will be better than 5.2 per cent as tax collection target of over Rs 1,038 billion has been achieved. "As always there will be some savings (on expenditure). So what does it mean ... if we reach the revenue target and if there are some savings, the fiscal deficit will be better than 5.2 per cent that I have projected," Chidambaram said. He, however, did not "hazard a guess" on the actual fiscal deficit number for 2012-13. On revenue collections, Chidambaram said while there was a slippage on direct taxes front, the indirect tax mop up has exceeded the revised estimates. "In the indirect taxes there was excess over the target. In the direct taxes, there was a shortfall over target. But overall we have achieved the target of over Rs 1,038 billion," he said,

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but to allow the lender to take control, or to agree an extension to the loan in the hope that the market would eventually recover. However, the investors were well advised and took a different approach. Following negotiations with the bank, they managed to acquire the outstanding loan for £1.5m, a discount of 44%. Soon afterwards, the consortium were able to raise £2m against the now unencumbered property, enabling the purchased loan to be repaid in full and the remainder distributed to the investors, a profit of £500,000 ! On expiry of the new loan, the investor’s equity in the property should be no less than £1.5m. Taking into account future cashflow from the property, the total projected return is now £4.5m, a 300% return. Complex tax schemes have received much publicity of late. It is, however, often the simple but lesser known planning measures that are the most effective. Here is one example relevant to those domiciled in India and Pakistan. It is possible for non

Sunil Radia

stave off the pressure. In fact, with the correct approach, there is very often a possibility of turning these situations around into a fantastic opportunity to make money. Take this example of an apparently hopeless situation that was turned around with great effect. An investment consortium had acquired a commercial property using debt finance. The lender ordered a valuation which came in at £2m against a loan of £3.4m. Unsurprisingly, the lender called a loan to value breach and demanded repayment. With the property “underwater” to the tune of £1.4m, there seemed little alternative

P Chidambaram

adding that the revenue growth in 2012-13 was 16.7 per cent. He said this revenue growth was "commendable" in the "difficult year" of 2012-13 when the economic growth is expected to be 5 per cent or a shade above it. The revised estimates was to collect over Rs 5,650 billion from direct taxes and Rs 4,690 billion from indirect taxes. Total expenditure was pegged at Rs 14,300 billion. With savings in expenditure, the fiscal deficit is expected to be lower than

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5.2 per cent as projected in revised estimates. As per government's fiscal consolidation road map, the gap between revenue and expenditure is to be brought down to 4.8 per cent by 2013-14 and 3 per cent by 2016-17. The finance minister also exuded confidence that the revenue target for 201314 financial year would be achieved as the GDP growth is likely to be over 6 per cent. "Revenue target of 2013-14 is achievable ... because we believe GDP will grow by 6 per cent or above 6 per cent," he said. When asked about the results of the over one lakh letters sent by Income Tax department to non-filers, Chidambaram said he was happy that the approach was paying dividends. "I think our non-adversarial and tax payer friendly approach is paying off. These very kind and loving letters are paying off and people are filing returns.

Ratan Tata has been nominated to the board of Mondelez International Inc, the $35 billion global snacking powerhouse, which owns Cadbury. In an announcement, Mondelez International's chairman and CEO, Irene Rosenfeld, said: "Ratan Tata is an outstanding candidate for our board. A global citizen and accomplished innovator, his career achievements are truly impressive. His operating experience and marketing expertise, particularly in developing markets, will be terrific assets to our Board and to Mondelez International." Ratan Tata, 75, is chairman of the Tata Trusts, which are among the largest private sector philanthropic trusts in India.

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

US economy still crawling

Weekly Currencies As of Tuesday 9th April 2013 @ 5.30pm GBP - INR = 83.30

Figures from the US on Friday 5th April showed that the US labour market isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t improving as the Federal Reserve was initially hoping for. The US dollar generally traded lower in the week beginning 2nd April on anticipation that the data was going to confirm that only 200,000 new jobs were added in March, which was lower than the addition of jobs in February. However the actual figure fell well short of expectations with only 88,000 new jobs added, causing the US dollar to trade to a one month low against both the pound and the euro. The US dollar had been supported and has been strengthening in recent months as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has been suggesting that a continued improvement in the job market would give scope for the Federal Reserve to scale in the current US$85 billion per month quantitative easing bond purchase program. However the disappointing figure on Friday, which is the lowest in nine months, has abated this and it looks like the Federal Reserve will stick to the current program for longer than the market anticipated.

The UK came into focus last week with a plethora of economic data, including manufacturing output, construction output, service sector figures and also the Bank of England (BoE) interest rate and monetary policy decision. The impressive service sector figures overshadowed the lower than expected manufacturing and construction figures, with the sector showing an expansion to 52.4 from 51.8. According to the British Chamber of Commerce the service sector has been strong for the last three months, kept the economy growing and may stop the UK from falling into recession â&#x20AC;&#x201C; however we will need to wait

until 25th April when the first quarter gross domestic product figures are released to confirm this. On Thursday 4th April the BoE, unsurprisingly kept interest rates at an all time low of 0.5% and also kept the quantitative easing program at ÂŁ375bn per month, despite three members of the Bank of England voting to increase the program in last monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s minutes meeting. Whilst the BoE are appearing to be holding off from expanding the program at the moment, there is potential scope for an expansion when Mark Carney, a long term advocate of monetary stimulus, takes over as the gov-

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ernor of the BoE in July. The spotlight also fell on the European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday 4th April, as the central bank kept interest rates at 0.75%. However in the following monetary policy press conference, Mario Draghi appeared to be surprisingly dovish on the euro zone and indicated that the ECB are ready and would be willing to reduce interest rates in order to steer the euro zone out of recession. Commodity exporting nations were boosted last week as data from the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest consumer of metals and energy, China, showed that manufacturing output expanded to an 11 month high and thus caused higher demand for commodity based currencies such as the Canadian, New Zealand and Australian dollar. The other big mover last week was the Japanese yen which suffered significant falls against all of its counterparts on speculation that the Bank of Japan will intensify measures and increase monetary policy to fight deflation. An increase in monetary policy/quantitative easing is a practice that would typically devalue a currency.

USD - INR = 54.40 EUR - INR = 71.22 GBP - USD = 1.53 GBP - EUR = 1.17 EUR - USD = 1.31 GBP - AED = 5.62 GBP - CAD = 1.56 GBP - NZD = 1.80 GBP - AUD = 1.46 GBP - ZAR = 13.66 GBP - HUF = 347.27 Information provided by RationalFX. None of the information on this page constitutes, nor should be construed as financial advice. The exchange rates used areâ&#x20AC;&#x201A;the commercial foreign exchange rates provided by RationalFX. For a live quote or to find out more about how RationalFXâ&#x20AC;&#x201A;can help you, call us on 0207 220 8181.



world - Asian Voice 13th April 2013

In Focus Maximum penalty sought for man who beat up Sikh man in US

Washington: An American Islamic group sought maximum penalty for a man from Washington who has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Seattle on charges of hate crime against a 50-year-old Sikh man. "We ask that federal prosecutors seek the maximum penalties in order to send the message that anti-Muslim violence, or violence against minority group, will not be tolerated in our state or in our nation," Jennifer Gist, civil rights coordinator of Council on AmericanIslamic Relations (CAIR) said in a statement.

Death for British grandmother in Bali

Denpasar (Indonesia): An Indonesian court upheld the death sentence handed down to a 56-year-old British grandmother found guilty of trafficking cocaine into the resort island of Bali. A spokesman said the Bali high court had confirmed the death sentence given to Lindsay Sandiford in January, which had been a shock verdict after prosecutors recommended 15 years imprisonment. The court "decided to uphold the decision of the Denpasar district court," said spokesman Makkasau.

Bilawal Bhutto launches PPP election campaign

Karachi: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari launched the Pakistan People's Party's election campaign in a low-key manner, invoking the legacy of the Bhutto family while calling on people to back the party in the May 11 election. Addressing a gathering of PPP leaders and workers in the Bhutto family's traditional stronghold of Naudero in Sindh province Bilawal listed the achievements of his grandfather Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and mother Benazir Bhutto as he made an emotional appeal to voters.

Indian-American hotelier Vikram Chatwal released on bond

New York: Indian-American hotelier Vikram Chatwal, arrested earlier this week at a Florida airport for allegedly carrying drugs, has been released on bond. According to reports, Chatwal was arrested on April 2 at the Fort Lauderdale/ Hollywood International Airport after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials found drugs hidden in Chatwal's luggage as he was about to board the flight. A spokeswoman at the Broward sheriff's office said that Chatwal was released on April 3 on a bond of about $56,000.

Taliban attack Afghan courthouse, 53 dead

Kabul: At least 53 people, including nine attackers, have been killed in a daylong gunbattle in western Afghanistan, a provincial governor said. The fighting broke out after suicide bombers disguised as Afghan soldiers stormed a courthouse in Farah province in a failed bid to free more than a dozen Taliban. Provincial governor Akram Akhpewak said that those killed included 34 civilians, 10 security forces and nine attackers.

Pak poll officials told to stop 'intrusive' questions

Lahore: A Pakistani court has barred election officials from asking irrelevant or intrusive questions while scrutinizing nomination papers after days of televised proceedings during which candidates were asked to recite Quranic verses and to reveal intimate details. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of the Lahore high court in his order directed returning officers to “immediately refrain from asking intrusive and inquisitive questions."

Caretaker cabinet takes oath in Pakistan

Islamabad: Pakistan's 14-member interim cabinet of caretaker premier Mir Hazar Khan Khoso was sworn in by President Asif Ali Zardari with ministers drawn from all four provinces. The 14 members are Malik Habib, Ahmer Bilal Soofi, Musaddaq Malik, Arif Nizami, Shahzada Ahsan Ashraf ,Shahzada Jamal, Sohail Wajahat Siddique, Maqbool H H Rahmatoola, Younis Soomro, Abdul Malik Kasi, Asadullah Mandokhel,Mir Hassan Dhomki, Sania Nishtar and Feroze Jamal Shah Kakakhel.

Islamabad: The Pakistan Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a plea to arrest the former president Pervez Musharraf in a treason case and adjourned the next hearing till April 15. A two-judge bench led by Justice Jawad S Khwaja had issued summons to Musharraf after hearing preliminary arguments on five petitions seeking his trial for treason for subverting the constitution and declaring an emergency in 2007. The bench had said Musharraf or his lawyer should appear in court to respond to the allegations. It

Pervez Musharraf

had also ordered the Interior Secretary to take steps to prevent Musharraf from travelling abroad and to put his name on the 'Exit Control List'.

The bench had also issued notices to the government, Musharraf and other respondents to respond to the petitions. The petitioners asked the apex court to direct the government to prosecute Musharraf under the High Treason (Punishment) Act of 1973. Most of the petitions against Musharraf have been filed by lawyers who want the former military strongman tried for treason for imposing emergency and deposing dozens of judges in 2007. "Musharraf should be prosecuted for high treason because he is guilty of sub-

verting the Constitution," lawyer Hamid Khan told the court. "He should be punished with death or be jailed for life," Khan said. The lawyers pointed out that the Senate or upper house of parliament had passed a resolution in January 2012 that said Musharraf should be arrested on his return but the government had not acted on it. Meanwhile, Musharraf’s nomination papers for three parliamentary seats in Karachi, Kasur and Islamabad have been rejected. But his papers for another seat in Chitral were accepted.

Bangladesh PM rules Pakistani youth prefer out new blasphemy law Shariah to democracy

Dhaka: Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has rejected vociferous demands by Islamists to introduce the death penalty for bloggers whom they accuse of insulting the Prophet Mohammed. As part of their push for a change in the law, the Hefajat-e-Islam organisation has organized a general strike last week. Television reports said scores of people had been injured in clashes between pro-government activists and Islamists, already infuriated by the recent convictions of leading opposition figures for war crimes. But Sheikh Hasina, who has been leading a secular government in the Muslimmajority country since 2009, said existing laws were adequate to prosecute anyone accused of insulting a religion. "Actually, we don't have any plan to (bring in a new law). We don't need it," Hasina said. "They should know that existing laws are enough," she added, before stressing that "this country is a secular democracy". Hundreds of thousands of

Sheikh Hasina

Islamists rallied in the capital Dhaka to demand a blasphemy law, with provisions for the death penalty for those who defame Islam. There has been vociferous debate between staunch atheists and fundamentalists in Bangladesh's social media for years, but it took a deadly turn in February when an antiIslam blogger was murdered. Under existing cyber laws, anyone convicted of defaming a religion on the Internet can be jailed for up to 10 years. Hefajat-e-Islam, which describes itself as a non-political organisation, has given the government until the end of the month to meet a series of demands or face a blockade of the capital.

Islamabad: Only 29 per cent of the young Pakistanis believe democracy is the best political system for the country, according to a survey conducted weeks before the general elections. Majority of them believe the country should be governed by Islamic law or military rule rather than democracy. Pakistan is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections on May 11 - the first transition between democratically elected governments that has experienced three military coups and constant political instability since its creation in 1947. The parliament's ability to complete its fiveyear term has been hailed as a significant achievement. But a survey by the British Council found that young Pakistanis - defined as those between the ages of 18 and 29 - have grown more pessimistic about the future over this period, as the country has struggled with a weak economy, high inflation, pervasive energy shortages and a deadly Taliban insurgency.

Obama says sorry to Indian-American attorney general Kamala Harris Washington: A day after causing a stir by calling Indian-American Kamala Harris as "by far the bestlooking attorney general", US President Barack Obama apologised to her for remarks that some branded sexist. Obama spoke to California's top law officer after he came back from his trip to the state where he made the "offending" remark at a fundraiser for his Democratic Party. "She's brilliant and she's dedicated, she's tough... She also happens to be, by Kamala Harris with Barack Obama far, the best looking White House Press Secretary attorney general," Obama Jay Carney told reporters. said according to a transcript "He called her to apologise provided by the White House for the distraction created by only to cause a nationwide his comments." flutter among the chatteratti. "They are old friends and "The president did speak good friends and he did not with Attorney General want in any way to diminish (Kamala) Harris after he the attorney general's profescame back from his trip,"

sional accomplishments and her capabilities, and I would note that he called her in those same comments brilliant, dedicated and tough. She is all those things," Carney said. Obama "fully recognizes the challenges women continue to face in the workplace," he added. Harris' communications director Gil Duran said in a statement, "The Attorney General and the President have been friends for many years. They had a great conversation and she strongly supports him." Harris, 48, daughter of an Indian mother and an African-American father, became the first woman and first IndianAmerican to be elected as California's top law official in 2010, after serving as district attorney in San Francisco.

About 94 per cent of young Pakistanis believe the country is going in the wrong direction, compared with 86 per cent in 2009, the study found. Less than a quarter believe democracy has benefited themselves or their families. Given these figures, it is perhaps not surprising to find relatively low levels of support for democracy among the youth. Only 29 per cent of young Pakistanis believe democracy is the best political system for the country. "Young people are losing confidence in the democratic system," the report said. "Leaders of all political persuasions have a duty to convince the youth that they remain committed to 'undiluted democracy' for Pakistan." Around 38 per cent said Islamic law, or Shariah, is better suited for Pakistan - a reflection of the deeply held religious views of many young people in the majority Muslim country, the report said.

North Korea tells embassies to evacuate staff

Seoul/ Moscow: North Korea has warned foreign diplomats in its capital Pyongyang that it can’t guarantee the safety of embassies in the event of a conflict and suggested that they may evacuate their staff, Russia’s top diplomat said. Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov is demanding an explanation from the North Koreans - asking whether the warning is an order to evacuate or merely a proposal that they should consider doing so. “This proposal has been sent to all the embassies in Pyongyang,” Lavrov said. “We are now trying to clarify the situation. We asked our North Korean neighbors a few questions that need to be asked in this situation.” About two dozen countries have embassies in North Korea. Lavrov was quoted as saying that Russia is in touch with China, the United States, Japan and South Korea - all members of a dormant talks process with North Korea.

IndIA - Asian Voice 13th April 2013

Kokila Patel “Gujarat Samachar” and “Asian Voice” launched special issue ‘Charotar Sahsikoni Bhomka’ on 26th March at a grand function at Madhubhan Resorts situated on Anand-Vidyanagar road. It was hosted by Madhubhan Resorts Managing Director and Elecon Engineering Co’s chairman Prayasvinbhai Patel at the resort. The program began with ‘Saraaswati Vandana’ by famous singer Mayadipak. It was anchored by Tushar Joshi, who cherished the memories of ‘Sahsiko’s of Charotar’ like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Vithalbhai Patel, Ravishankar Maharaj, Indulal Yagnik, Tribhuvandar Patel, Bhaikaka, Bhikhabhai Sahib and H.M Patel.

Launch of ‘Charotar Sahsikoni Bhomka’ and its presentation by dignitaries: Madam Rambhaben Patel, Prayasvinbhai Patel, Vijaybhai Master, Vejabhai Ravalia, Savjibhai Vekaria and CB Patel.

Voice,” its dynamic vision and its mission for charity. The memorable moments of the tabloids and its growing popularity for the last 40 years was presented through a video. Editor/Publisher of these tabloids, C B Patel was applauded with lots of claps & appreciation.

Prayasvinbhai Patel, Rajkot dignitary Vejabhai Ravalia, Surat dignitary Savjibhai Patel, Anand municipality President Vijaybhai Master and former lady president Madam Rambhaiben Babubhai Patel launched the special issue. The issue as a guidebook to non-resident

even youth become more and more innovative. “Madhubhan Resorts & Spa is attracting lot of peo-

my parents - Madhuben and Bhanubhai, and tried to present Charotar village in this resort and presented haveli, pol, chikuvadi and amvadi of village. I believe our creations should be unique and best. Till now, India was considered as a country of poverty. One of my uncles who loved me a lot used to preach my father that I should not be brought in comfort so that I will be able to understand the real value of money. Because of certain rigid mentality of elders, the growth of the person is retarded. I believe that if you spend money, then you

Publisher-Editor CB Patel

Tushar Joshi

Bureau Chief Nilesh Parmar

Managing editor Kokila Patel

In his welcome speech, Nilesh Parmar, Bureau Chief of ABPL Group Ahmedabad office, gave an account of the popular tabloids “Gujarat Samachar” & “Asian

“Charotar Sahsikoni Bhomka” that proved to be the connecting link between non-resident Gujaratis and Charotar, was launched on this occasion. Chief guest

Gujaratis reflects a progressive image of not only Charotar but of the whole country as well, said Prayasvinbhai Patel. He said India of today was progressing in every field and

ple worldwide. Why I was inspired? I will say that I am always interested in trying something new and secondly I also have lot of patience to do it. If we wish, even impossible can turn possible. My Father Bhanubhai was my inspiration. I wanted to create a masterpiece in his name and wanted to present it to whole of Charotar. I initiated this resort in name of


our culture & country in the best possible way.” Cherishing the impressive talk of Prayasvinbhai, CB Patel said that our new generation can add value to their father’s business and expand their businesses. Elecon Engineering Company was started by Prayasvinbhai’s grandfather in Mumbai and then his father Bhanubhai expanded the same business in Vidyanagar. Now this company is growing rapidly and getting popular worldwide under the expert vision of Prayasvinbhai. He is a very emotional person. He has contributed lot of fund for social, educational, health and good cause. Before the program ended, well-wishers and friends on behalf of ABPL Group presented bouquet of flowers to Kokila Patel.

Madhubhan Resorts MD Prayasvinbhai Patel

earn money. You can succeed if you take risk and explore. The person can surely reach their goals with wish, will and patience. India that was ignored before is now one of the fastest growing country in the world. The countries around the world have its eyes on India. Thus, it becomes really necessary that we present


The invitees enjoyed the delicious Gujarati-Punjabi food at the resort and the program ended with everyone demanding to keep on publishing such special issue for Charotar.

Go Dharmik



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IndIa - asian Voice 13th April 2013

South Four Lankans arrested for abducting Australia-based trader Four Sri Lankans settled in Chennai have been arrested for abducting an Australiabased businessman after enticing him to the city for a lucrative business deal. Packiaraj Ponnukone, a Sri Lankan-origin man living in Australia, flew to strike a business deal. He was abducted from the airport by a fourmember gang. A complaint filed by his wife in Australia was send to the Sri Lankan mission and a 'man missing' case was registered.

School flooded for 17 months

"The sun is shining," reads a line on a blackboard in a shed that is a classroom of St Joseph's Nursery and Primary School in Kallukuttai near Velachery. For more than a year now, even the sun has not been able to help drain the water that has flooded the main building. The school's 150 children, from KG to Class 5, are set to take their final exams starting April 12. The school was inundated in the rains in November 2011 and has remained flooded since.

Realty market strikes gold, Chennai sees 3 deals

Indicating buoyancy in the realty market, Chennai-based builder Akshaya bought a 1.03-acre land on Sterling Road for Rs 86.75 crore. In few days, three city-based builders have concluded land transactions worth nearly Rs 450 crore. While VGN bought a 26ground (one ground is 2,400 sq ft) property in Nungambakkam from Tata Communications for 195 crore, Ceebros is taking over five-star Hotel Atlantic in Egmore from publishing firm S Chand and Co for 165 crore.

Punjab Unemployed youth climb atop water tank As many as one dozen unemployed youth climbed atop a water tank situated in the city's busy Pink Plaza market threatening to commit suicide if they were not given jobs in Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) on compassionate grounds. Their fathers had died during service with PSPCL. Two dozen more unemployed youth demanding jobs on compassionate grounds were arriving from different parts of Punjab to join them.

SC rejects Punjab probe report in woman assault case

The Supreme Court has rejected the Punjab govt's magisterial probe report on assault of a woman by police at Taran Taran. The apex court castigated the magistrate for saying police need to resort to lathicharge in such situations indicating that the girl and her father were the aggressors. SC said it will impose heavy cost on Punjab and Bihar governments for police assault on unarmed women.

Rare vulture seen at Siswan

The foothills behind the Tricity, Siswan Dam, their was a feathered novelty. A red and turkey-like but a scavenger, and one declared as not far off from extinction by global conservation watchdogs. Cinerous vultures and a lone Egyptian vulture at the dam has deified this spot as an upper crust cafe for endangered scavengers. These vultures were once found in may parts of India, currently they are most likely to be seen along Western Himalyan foothills.

Police seize 23kg drugs, 115 arrested

Drugs were recovered in a operation when Jalandhar commissionerate police have arrested 115 people. Around 23 kg of "intoxicant powder" was recovered from the accused, which included a woman. Drug peddlers were involved in killing of ASI Gurdev Singh on the national highway between Jalandhar and Phagwara The arrested were in the 18 to 40 age group and most of them have shady past.

The construction of KGS Aranmula International Airport, a greenfield airport near Sabarimala in Kerala, has been stayed by the National Green Tribunal. The under-construction 2,000crore project was to be completed in 2014. The NGT's southern bench, comprising of Justice M Chockalingam and expert member R Nagendra, granted an interim stay, saying a prima facie case had been made out for granting an interim stay on construction. They also directed the Airports Authority of India to ensure that no construction activity takes place in the disputed area until further orders. The 2,000-crore project, in which the government of Kerala has a 10% stake, is to come up on 700 acres of land to cater to the needs of about 60 million pilgrims visiting the Sabarimala shrine every year. The project is the first private greenfield airport in the country, promoted by the Chennai-based KGS group. The order was passed on a petition filed by the Aranmula Heritage Village Protection

Council, which alleged that environmental clearance for the project had been obtained by "misrepresenting facts". In its petition, the village council had alleged that the construction of the airport in a wetland area would be in violation of the provisions of Kerala Conservation of Paddy and Wetland Act, 2008, which prohibits conversion of paddy land and wetland for nonagricultural purposes. "During the environment impact assessment (EIA), the company had submitted that no paddy cultivation has taken place in this area in the past 10 years," said Era

Meyappan, counsel for Aranmula Village Council. "Both central and state governments have been giving subsidies to cultivate paddy to farmers here for a few decades now", he said. Located on the banks of the river Pampa, Aranmula is considered a heritage area, home to temples and a palace dating back to the 18th century, as well as the venue for the annual snake boat race. "The Salim Ali Institute of Ornithology estimates that there are at least 23 endemic species of birds and animals in this area," added Meyappan. "However, as we

have mentioned in our petition, the company proposes to fill up the Kozhithode canal, which is a tributary to Pampa and a breeding ground for fish." Refuting the allegations, Gigi George, managing director for KGS group, stated that the channel in question was only a small stream. "It is a one hectare long stream and the filling up work on it is being done by the Kerala irrigation department itself, keeping all these factors in mind," he said. "All the necessary approvals from the union government are in order. Moreover, the project itself is not in question. The tribunal has only questioned the issue of declaring the area as an industrial area." George added that the stay order is unlikely to impact the schedule of the airport, which is slated to launch in 2014. "This is only a minor setback and we will finish as per schedule," he said. The project has been opposed by several activists and political leaders in Kerala since 2009, when the Kerala government first proposed the project.

One of the KFA pilot said something interesting ""Each time Mallya has an entertainment event, he gives some token salary so that we keep quiet.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; He said that two days ago KFA employees received their salaries for the months of June and July of last year. The silent protests would continue across the country throughout the IPL season. "Banks have stopped issuing loans to us because we are KFA employees and unemployed, hence we have resorted to borrowing money from family and friends," said a KFA engineer.

Congress is taking time to announce its candidates, unrest over selections already mounted. But there were no leaders at Congress Bhavan to hear the grievances. KPCC president G Parameshwara is in Koratagere in Tumkur district, his constituency, while CLP leader Siddaramaiah is indisposed. Many workers from the Jigani and Gottigere Block Congress Committee protested against giving the Bangalore South ticket to former MP Tejaswini Gowda. Their contention is that she doesn't belong to the constituency. Party member SS Prakasam, who wants to be nominated from Rajajinagar, came with his followers and broke down before the party office. The ticket is expected to go to Manjula Naidu. Another section opposes giving the Rajajeshwarinagar nomination to corporator N Muniratna. Former legislative council chairman V R Sudarshan,

who is seeking the Jayanagar nomination, wrote to Parameshwara that he is being denied a ticket because he made some honest observations in his report on crossvoting in the June 2012 legislative council election. Old issues nag Congress: Reacting to these protests, AICC general secretary Madhusudan Mistry said : "This is a natural phenomenon. I can understand their feelings. When there is one seat, 10-15 aspirants are bound to be there." Besides, two old issues â&#x20AC;&#x201D; cross-voting during the legislative council election, which former MP Iqbal Ahmed Saradgi lost, and Union minister Mallikarjun Kharge's son Priyank's defeat in the Youth Congress poll in November 2011 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; have been raked up to lobby against some young aspirants. The high command is yet to decide on fielding Kharge and KH Muniyappa's children Priyank and Roopkala.

Kingfisher staff stage protest Trouble brews in Congress over nominations at IPL venue in Bangalore

Few hours before Vijay Mallya's Bangalore Royal Challengers took on the Mumbai Indians in the IPL-6 league match in Bangalore, employees of the grounded Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) held a silent ten-minute protest in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue, adjacent to the cricket stadium. As many as 70 employees comprising of engineers, pilots, ground staff, and cabin crew held placards demanding that Mallya, chairman of KFA, pay their salaries instead of spending money on entertainment activities such as IPL and Formula 1. Employees of KFA haven't been paid their salaries since August last year. 'Money for IPL, not for employees', 'Please pay our salaries, we want to live', read the placards. The police noted the names of the protesters and let them go on the assurance that no mass gathering would take place without prior police permissions.

Chargesheet nails MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary

The lady Jyoti Devi of Hoshiarpur was allegedly punched, kicked and later thrown under the rear wheel of a truck by accused MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary and his two other associates in sector 21 on November 21, 2012. Chaudhary had accompanied the victim to a nursing home in sector 20 Chandigarh for her abortion and signed documents mentioning himself as Jyoti's husband in the official register of nursing home on August 7, 2012. On August 9, Chaudhary went back to the nursing home and over-signed his sig-

nature converting Ram Kumar into Ramesh Kumar. Dr Aditi Gupta, who had examined the victim, has also identified Chaudhary in the presence of police personnel establishing that he had accompanied the victim on August 7. A 1400 pages long chargesheet, which was submitted in a local court on April 3, reads that for misleading the investigation agency, Chaudhary led the recovery of his Cruze claiming that Jyoti was thrashed and strangulated in this car which later turned out to be

another car. The chargesheet revealed that accused Chaudhary had deposited Rs 1.38 lakh in the bank account of Jyoti in sector 11 in five installments between February, 2012 and July, 2012. The chargesheet claimed that Paramjeet was in the touch with Chaudhary and when he conveyed to him that he was intercepted by the police, Chaudhary and his associates along with Jyoti went to the roundabout and the accused Gurmeet went to police and managed to bring him back.

Lecturer booked for duping 95 people with job promise Police have booked a school lecturer of the district on charges of duping 95 persons, aspiring to get employment as PTI teachers, to the tune of Rs 95 lakhs. Interestingly, the accused is a namesake of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh and a case related to appointment to teacher posts is already pending in Punjab high court. "Sukhbir Singh, a lecturer at Sarava Bodla village senior secondary school, has been booked for duping many persons to the tune of Rs 95 lakh on the pretext of getting them appointed as teachers," Muktsar SSP Surjit Singh said.

IndIA - Asian Voice 13th April 2013


The Story of Kartikeya – 7

ndra addressesd the young Kartikeya, “Please accept the honour of becoming Indra. You are more than worthy.” Kartikeya replied, “O Indra, you are unique and have never been defeated. It is thus befitting that you rule the three worlds. I am your servant; I do not want to take your place.” Indra said, “You are more powerful than I in battle and if I remain Indra, the Devas will be divided into two groups one that follows you and another me. I am already battle-weary, so I want you to accept the title of Indra.” Skandha replied, “I am only willing to follow your orders, so tell me what I should do. But you will remain the king of the three worlds.” Indra said, “O brave one, I will keep this title of Indra with your support. If you are willing to follow what I say, then please become the head of the Deva’s army.” Skandha replied, “I accept. I will head your army and fight the

Danavas and evil ones. Please anoint me as your General.” The Devas then performed a grand yagna to make Kartikeya their general. All the rishis arrived to worship the new General. Lord Shiva came with his consort Uma. The rishis had asked the divine architect to weave a special garland with which they garlanded Skandha. The Brahmins who had come for the yagna named the Agni of the yagna as Rudra. Rudra (angry) is another name for Shiva. And since Skandha was Agni’s son by virtue of Agni being called Rudra, he became Rudra’s son and is therefore known as the son of Shiva. Actually, when Svaha met Agni in conjugal bliss, it was Rudra who had taken the form of Agni. In this way, the Devas made Skandha the commander of their army and the young lad shone in his

armour like the moon and its 27 constellations. After all the Devas had performed pooja of Kartikeya, Indra remembered the girl whom he had freed from the clutches of the demon called Keshi. He called upon the girl and she came adorned with all her jewels. Indra went to Skandha and said, “Even before you were born, the lord Brahma had decided this girl should be your wife. Please accept her hand.” So saying, the guru of the Devas, Brihaspati invoked the mantras and got the couple married. The Brahmins called her Skandha’s queen and gave her the names of Shashti, Laxmi, Kuhu, Sadvruti and Aparajita. Lakshmidevi or Sri came to Skandha on the 5th day of the full moon and asked for shelter. Thus those who want prosperity and wealth pray to Skandha on that day. (To be Continued)

All past articles on the Mahabharata can be accessed from or from

Mid-April ushers in New Year to many Indians


he Hindu solar calendar by contrast starts on April 14–15 each year. This signifies the sun's "entry" into Mesha rashi and is celebrated as the New Year. Ugādi, or Samvatsarādi is celebrated on Chaitra Sukla Paksha Padyami or first day of the waxing phase of the moon in the month of Chaitra as per Telugu, Kannada or Hindu calendar (MarchApril as per the Gregorian Calendar). It is the New Year's Day for the people of the Deccan region of India. The name Yugadi or Ugadi is derived from the Sanskrit words yuga (age) and ādi (beginning): "the beginning of a new age." It falls on the different day every year because the Hindu calendar is a lunisolar calendar. While the people of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka use the term Ugadi for this festival, the people of Maharashtra term it as Gudi Padwa. People of Rajasthan celebrate the same day as their New Year day Thapna. Sindhis celebrate the same day as their New Year day Cheti Chand. Manipuris also celebrate their New Year (Sajibu nongma panba) on the same day. The Hindu New Year is also celebrated based on Solar Calendar which is celebrated as Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, Bihu in Assam, Vaisakhi in Punjab, Vishuva Sankranti in Orissa and Nabo Barsha or Pohela Boishakh in West Bengal and is normally celebrated on or around 14th April every year. People in Kerala also welcome their new year – Vishu around this time. Baisakhi of Punjab: "Baisakhi", traditionally a harvest festival, is celebrated on the 13th of April every year, marking

the Punjabi New Year. People celebrate the occasion by performing Bhangra and Giddha to the pounding rhythm of the dhol and rings in the New Year. Baisakhi also marks the founding of the Khalsa brotherhood by Sikh Guru Govind Singh. Shubho Naba Barsha on Poila Baishakh in Bengal! The first day of the Bengali new year falls on the 13th or 14th of April every year. Called "Poila Baishakh," it's a state holiday in West Bengal and a national holiday in Bangladesh. To welcome the New Year or "Naba Barsha", people clean and decorate their houses and i n v o k e G o d d e s s Lakshmi. All new enterprises begin on this auspicious day. The Boisterous Bohaag Bihu of Assam: The northeastern state of Assam ushers in the New Year with the spring festival of Bohaag Bihu or Rongali Bihu, which marks the onset of a new agricultural cycle. Fairs are organized where people revel in gay games. Tamil New Year: Varsha Pirappu/Puthandu Vazthukal: Tamil speaking people across the globe celebrate 'Varsha Pirappu' or 'Puthandu Vazthukal', the Tamil New Year, in midApril. It is the first day of Chithirai, the first month in the traditional Tamil calendar. The day dawns by observing Kanni or viewing auspicious things such as gold, silver, jewelry, new clothes, new calendar, mirror, rice, coconuts, fruits, vegetables, betel leaves, and other fresh farm products. This ritual is believed to usher in good fortune.

After corporates and youth, it was the turn of woman power that Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi sought to woo in his bid to reach out to audiences nationwide in a speech that also had digs at Rahul Gandhi and the woman governor in his state. Women's entrepreneurship, empowerment and equality for the fair sex were the themes during his hour-long interaction organised by the FICCI Ladies Organisation in which a number of entrepreneurs, including FICCI president Naina Lal Kidwai, were present. Observing that 50 per cent women alone could do a lot to bring economic development in the country, Modi cited examples of women in tribal areas and the dairy movement which made Amul an internationally known brand. "But even today women are not part of the economic decision-making process. We have to change this. Bring them into the decision making process," Modi said in a speech that was repeatedly cheered by the women audience. The chief minister, however, did not leave the opportunity to have a go at Rahul Gandhi, who could potentially be pitted against him in the prime ministerial race, and the state governor, a woman, over non-clearance of a


Modi welcome to apply for visa, will review case: US


ven as it acknowledged that a US congressional delegation's visit to Gujarat had official sanction, the US said there was no immediate change in its stand on a visa to Chief Minister Narendra Modi, but he is "welcome to apply". Visits like this do help support a deepening of business-to-business ties, of people-to-people ties, across India, in Gujarat," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters. "So from our perspective, the more congressional delegations that visit India and understand its dynamism and diversity, the more likely we are to women's reservation bill. Modi brings Gujarat model to Kolkata: Modi has proved his mettle as a politician. His acceptance in the business community recently got a shot in the arm by the stupendous success of the Vibrant Gujarat investment meet. Against this backdrop, Modi landed in Kolkata for a day's engagement with a part of the country that he will be engaging in this manner for the first time. And if one goes by the scramble to hear him at either of the three venues, Kolkata's enthusiasm to see and hear

continue to deepen those important ties," she said. But this did not foretell a change in its policy towards Modi, who has been denied a US visa for his alleged role in the 2002 Gujrat riots, Nuland said. "With regard to Mr. Modi, our lines have not changed here. He is welcome to apply," she said. him is way beyond what any other national leader has attracted in recent years. Nayantara Pal Chowdhury, former president of the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce & Industry, felt the mad rush is justified given Modi's enigmatic image in this part of the country. "Everyone's keen to know how the Gujarat model works. Moreover, now that he will take on a national role, people are curious about his vision for the country's future. I will be there because of his leadership quality," she said.


IndIa - asian Voice 13th April 2013

A show of strength by Modi Spacewoman Sunita Williams on BJP’s 33rd foundation day felicitated in Ahmedabad

By AV Correspondent BJP president Rajnath Singh last Saturday declared Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the country’s most popular leader. The day was to mark the 33rd foundation day of the BJP. After Rajnath Singh made him a member of the party’s parliamentary board, Modi decided to organise a meeting a show his popularity at Ahmedabad’s Sardar patel stadium where one lakh of supporters from different part of the state gathered to show their solidarity with their leader. Attacking the Congress, especially its policies and the language it uses to talk about Modi, Singh said, “For addressing him a ‘Maut ja Saudagar,’ the people have shown the door to the Congress and now that he is being termed as the Yamraj and the people will definitely punish the Congress for this.’’ For Modi who has been inducted in the

party’s top decision making body, along with his close aide and former minister Amit Shah, this was an opportunity to showcase his strength in his home turf with the party president by his side. Modi chose to make a veiled attack on the Gandhi scion for his comparison of India with a beehive, he said “If you do not have enough understanding of the country please get it from the people who do, but don’t insult our mother land,” “It may be beehive for you, but India is mother for us,” Modi added. And unlike his speeches in the past on the party’s foundation day, Modi decided to dedicate it to senior party leaders, founders of the party and party workers. “It is because of you and your hard work that the party has been able to be in power in so many states of the country and also at the Centre under the able leadership of Vajpayee,’’ said Modi.

Rajiv Gandhi was 'middleman' for Swedish jets in 1970s: WikiLeaks Continued from page 1 Cutting across party lines, leaders of various political outfits sought an explanation from Rajiv’s wife and Congress president Sonia Gandhi over the revelations. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut stressed that Sonia Gandhi was the one, who must now clarify these revelations. "A lot of points have now come out and they are concerning a former Prime Minister of this country. Now it is the responsibility of Sonia Gandhi to give a clarification on the issue,” Sanjay Raut said. Communist Party of India (CPI) national secretary Atul Anjan said the latest revelations would create fresh problems for the Gandhi family, and sought an explanation from them on the entire issue. "There is truth in these facts as names of other senior administrative officers were there in this expose and they were those people who have been close to the Nehru family, like Henry Kissinger," he added. Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Prakash Karat also expressed serious concern over the issue. "What it shows is this a matter of great and wider concern that you have over the years foreign arms dealers and companies having this nexus with Indian people, political connections and the bureaucracy and

the system in India. This is a matter, which already is there. There are so many recent contracts of arms deals," said Karat. "So, I think it should be taken as something which confirms that this nexus exists," he added. Samajwadi party (SP) leader Kamal Farooqi said that we should not dig up the past, but tries to make corrections in the system. "I personally feel that we should not go into the past so much rather whatever has happened in the past, it should be a lesson for us in future and we should try to correct our system, we should try to make everything foolproof so that there is no element of correction in all this kind of deals," he said. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Balbir Punj urged the government to order an independent inquiry into the matter. "It's a very serious matter. It is an allegation, very serious allegation on the former Prime Minister of India (Rajiv Gandhi). The least the government can do is to order an independent inquiry so that we can know what the facts are," said Punj. Congress party, however, dismissed this expose, and said that the 'magazine reports' should not be given much importance. "All these are nonsensical things and we do not comment on reports in a magazine," said Congress leader Rashid Masood.

Sunita Williams was in Ahmedabad, when the participants and delegates revolved around Sunita's life in space at the event organized by the Indian Council of Social Welfare. When some students asked her whether they can become astronauts like her, she answered in the affirmative. One student asked whether Sunita was bored in the 320 days that she spent aboard International Space Station (ISS), she said, "I was never bored because I had a lot to do. I was like a bird floating in space, observing the earth. Life

was never dull for me Williams, who holds the world record for the most spacewalk time by a female astronaut, was gifted a pair of gold bangles. A couple of families also offered her land in case she decided to settle down in Gujarat. Sanand may get ‘Sunita school’ soon. Motown Sanand, which is famous for attracting carmakers, has another reason to cheer. IndianAmerican astronaut Sunita Williams may soon set up a school for underprivileged children in the area.

In Focus Rahul Gandhi: Talk about my becoming PM is irrelevant

Who would be the Congress' next prime ministerial candidate? Rahul Gandhi dubbed as "irrelevant" and "all smoke" the debate on the issue as he insisted that no individual can fix all the complex problems of the nation. Gandhi, who has been reluctant to join the government, described his advent into politics as "an accident of fate" and "DNA" linkage with a particular family. He said that he is not a hard-nosed politician" and does not want to become one. "These are irrelevant questions. Like when are you getting married or when are you becoming PM? It's all smoke," the 42-year-old Congress vice-president said, adding the only relevant question is how to give voice to one billion people that would solve all problems.

5 of family immolate themselves in Rajkot

Five members of a Nepalese family succumbed to burn injuries as they immolated themselves before civic authorities fearing eviction from their dwelling in Rajkot last week. The Nepalese family, which had been residing there for 35 years, had received a notice from RMC some months back for vacating the place and their plea for a stay on demolition of additional construction had been turned down by a court. Meanwhile, police arrested two people for abetting the crime and aare on the look out for four more people.

Petition in support of Direct Flight between UK and Gujarat, organised by AV, GS and NCGO (UK) If you want a direct flight from London to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad; if you have a desire to get a permanent, easy connection with people of Gujarat, do sign and get others to sign this petition and send it to “Asian Voice” or “Gujarat Samachar” office by post or fax it to our office (Fax no: 020 7749 4081), at the earliest. THE CAMPAIGN to facilitate direct flights between London Heathrow and Sardar Vallabhbhai International Airport Ahmedabad, Gujarat has generated much interest amongst Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar readers and the entire community. All those wishing to add their names to the list of petitioners, which includes several prominent politicians, business people and community members are requested to complete the tear-off the form and send it to the offices of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar,

12 Hoxton Market, London N1 6HW. We will forward all petitions to the Honourable Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Narendra Modi. Who is renowned to be in the forefront of serving Gujarati people. Please note: If you wish to register more than 10 names on your petition, then simply photocopy the tearoff form and add the extra names. All petitions must clearly state your full names, postal address and must be signed and dated.

REGISTER YOUR SUPPORT WE THE undersigned hereby support the direct Air India flights between London and Ahmedabad for the following reasons : l There are more Gujaratis living and travelling abroad than any other Indian community, and this figure is increasing. l About 40% of Air India passenger to the UK are Gujarati. Indeed on some flights, close to 80% to 90% are Gujarati. l India is the 2nd largest investor into United Kingdom, according to British Government figures. Many of these Indian companies are either owned, controlled, or significantly staffed by Gujaratis. l The UK is the Second Largest investor in India, and the largest cumulative investor in Gujarat. l Nearly 50% of all visas issued by British High

NAME 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Commission in India are to Gujaratis. l Currently, air passengers travelling between the UK and Gujarat are required to change planes either at Mumbai or Delhi. This inevitably leads to considerable inconvenience, delay and expense – particularly for families with young children, pregnent women, the elderly, and the increasing number of business travellers. l We believe that the introduction of direct flights will not only be of benefit to the Gujarati diaspora, but also prove commercially successfully for Air India.

Form also available online at to download and Fax on 020 7749 4081 Email:




indiA - Asian Voice 13th April 2013


Cluster Pulse, an Ahmedabad-based NGO, changed the lives of around 200,000 people, working at Alleppey coir cluster in Kerala. United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and other international agencies supported the project. By Nayan Dave


ne of the biggest coir (natural fiber extracted from the husk of coconuts) products manufacturing cluster in the world at Alleppey in Kerala used to function in a traditional way. The process of making ropes from coir fiber was manual. Spooling and weaving was physically strenuous for thousands of people engaged in manufacturing process. The workers, mostly women used to stand, tie the raw material around their waist and walk for hours –almost 10 to 12 km in scorching heat to make 8-10 kg of coir per day. Till the year 2007, no serious efforts were made to enhance productivity. Introduction of new technology and marketing skills were never in the agenda of the factory owners. UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), Germany- based credit institute Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KFW),

USA’s OTF group, GIZ Deutsche Gesellschaft für I n t e r n a t i o n a l e Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) identified the potential of the cluster and joined hands to work on enhancing productivity and improve working condition of the workers. These donors roped in Cluster Pulse to implement the project. Cluster Pulse (CP) carried out a diagnostic study to understand issues of the coir industry. In Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha, there were nearly 45,000

yarn manufacturers. The owners of small coir making units were contented with the traditional way of making ropes. There was complete lack of focus on marketing. Enhancement of quality to tap newer market was never thought of. There was limited access to modern management techniques, including IT enabled services. “Other important outcome came during the study. In order to run a traditional unit at least 50 feet shed worth Rs 85,000 was required. Besides, younger generation was

shying away from coir industry. They would find it easier to get less toilsome jobs elsewhere. There was urgent need for increased mechanization to enhance production and reduce physical work,” says Vishal Acharya of CP. Instantly workshops on designing of coir products and IT awareness were conducted. CP helped a local association of coir units to develop a B2B portal. Brand building strategies were formed and as part of it world’s largest coir mat was manufactured. The Guinness Book of World Records also recognized the achievement. Side by side, technical intervention process was also carried out. Technical experts were also started working on developing

user-friendly spinning ratt. The holistic approach of Cluster Pulse team brought sea-changes in manufacturing process and marketing the products. In four yearspan technical experts introduced four different versions of mechanized spinning ratts. The new technology addressed crucial issues of quality and productivity. As production almost doubled compared to traditional method of making coir products and at the same time workers were able to sit at one place instead of walking around. The quality of yarn was extremely high and continuous. Due to technological intervention, now coir units would require lesser space. Many workers became entrepreneurs as they bought spinning ratts and started business from their homes. Some progressive manufacturers like Sony Joseph and G Nair started exporting also. Most importantly the revolutionary change in the cluster through the project touched the lives of

more than 200,000 people. Technology intervention put the cluster on world map as they started producing world class products. DFID – international leader in global crisis: The Department for International Development (DFID) is a UK government department with a Cabinet Minister in charge. It was separated from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1997. The goal of the department is “to promote sustainable development and eliminate world poverty.” A 2010 report by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) identified DFID as ‘an international development leader in times of global crisis’. DFID’s main programme areas of work are education, health, social services, water supply and sanitation, government and civil society, economic sector, including infrastructure, production sectors and developing planning, environment protection, research and humanitarian assistance.

In Focus Dravid, Sharmila and Sridevi get Padma awards

President Pranab Mukherjee conferred Padma awards at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. International sculptor Raghunath Mahopatra, Energy Physicist Prof. Yash Pal were conferred Padma Vibhushans. Indian cricket skipper Rahul Dravid, Bollywood actress Sharmila Tagore, DRDO Director General Dr. Vijay Kumar Saraswat were Padma Bhushan awardees. Bollywood actress Sridevi Kapoor, veteran Malayalam actor Madhu, Sanskrit and Hindi Scholar Ramakant Shukla were among the 42 receivers of the Padma Shri awards.

7 Naxals killed in encounter

Seven Naxals were killed in an encounter with the police in Bhamragad division of Gadchiroli district. Police have recovered four bodies and said that three more Naxals may have been killed in the encounter. Police claimed that the number of Naxals killed could be much more.

14 Pak fishermen released from Kerala jail

Fourteen Pakistani fishermen, lodged in the central prison in Thiruvananthapuram after being taken into custody by the Indian Navy six months ago for crossing into the Indian waters near Lakshadweep Islands, have been sent back to their country.

13TH ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS NOMINATION FORM The prestigious Asian Achievers Awards is hosted every year by UK’s leading news weeklies Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar to honour British Asians par excellence. If there is someone you know who has broken boundaries and deserves recognition for their unique contribution to the community and the nation then please nominate them for one of the awards listed below. Make sure that you fill in this application form and send it on or before 12th July, 2013 by post, fax or email to Mr. L George, Tel: 020 7749 4013, Fax 020 7749 4081, Email: If you are sending it by post the address is Mr. L George, ABPL Group, Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, London N1 6HW.

Please tick the appropriate category Achievement in Media, Arts and Culture ................................

Someone who has made a mark in media including print and broadcast media; cinema, art and culture.

Business Person of the Year .......................................................... Awarded to a business person who is a success in every sense of the word and can demonstrate a genuine passion for social issues.

Achievement in Community Service............................................

Woman of the Year ............................................................................

Sports Personality of the Year ......................................................

The award will recognise and honour a woman who has made a significant mark in any chosen field.

Uniformed and Civil Services ........................................................

International Personality of the Year ........................................

In recognition for an individuals service to community. Awarded for excellence in sports.

For outstanding achievements in uniformed and civil services or contribution to the community through any of the above services.

Professional of the Year ..................................................................

Professionals in the field of medicine, law, education, banking, finance and others, who have scaled the heights of their chosen profession.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year ..................................................

Awarded to an young entrepreneur (less than 35 years) with a proven track record of operating a successful business enterprise.

Awarded to those who have acclaimed popularity internationally for his/her contribution in any particular sector and is recognised for their timeless philanthropic activities.

Lifetime Achievement Award ........................................................ To honour those individuals, who during their lifetime, have made immense contributions in any given field. This remarkable individual can be marked as an example for the younger generation.

Name of the Person you are Nominating: __________________________________________________________________________ Contact Details of the Nominee (Tel & email):_______________________________________________________________________ Present Occupation of the Nominee:_______________________________________________________________________________ Please attach the Nominees's CV which includes the following information (Please do not exceed a limit of 1000 words)

(1) Personal background (2) Most important career achievements till date. (3) Nominee's contribution to the community and nation. (4) Future Plans, ambitions and visions. (5) Any notable obstacles in the Nominee's career that has helped him/her to reach where they are today.

Summary- (Please include a summary in not more than 150 words why the nominee is worthy of winning the particular award in a separate sheet) Nominators name and contact details: ____________________________________________________________________________ Nominators current Occupation/Company: _________________________________________________________________________ Tel/Mobile: _________________________________ Email: __________________________________________________________ Official TV Partner NOMINATION AND SELECTION PROCESS: This is a unique event where readers nominate and an independent panel of judges comprising of eminent personalities selects the winner. Judges’ decision is final. ABPL Group will not entertain any dialogue with members of the public regarding the judging process. In order to ensure a high degree of transparency and fairness, the management and members of the staff of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar will play no role in the nomination or judging process. You may use an additional sheet if the space provided is insufficient. The winners will be announced at the AAA Awards ceremony on 6th September, 2013. Asian Voice, Gujarat Samachar will publish the names of the short listed candidates and winners after the event. The winners names will also appear in our e-edition You can nominate yourself if you wish to. Nominations and entries must follow the prescribed format. All nomination forms must reach our offices on or before 12th July, 2013


travel - asian voice 13th April 2013

Rome, Florence & Milan

from top to toe, is as diverse as it unique. From the mountain peaks in Itheistaly,north to the sandy beaches in the south and the lush vineyard country inbetween, there is plenty to see and

explore. Whether you choose to toss a coin into Rome's Trevi fountain or relax on the picturesque Amalfi coast, Italy is bound to delight you. Italy comes into its own around about April to June and gets progressively warmer into summer, when the coastal region basks in hours of glorious sunshine and the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean. Rome, could it possibly be the most stylish city in the world? Every turn and every corner pays homage to free-flowing fountains where the weary rambler can rest and soak up the calming sounds of the waters trickle. Pebbled streets are home to small independent cafes selling the best Cappuccino’s to be found anywhere in

the world. Immaculately dressed workers mingle with youngsters zipping around on their Vespa’s shouting “Ciao” as they pass. Everything in Rome is at a relaxed pace. Lest we forget, the Roman Empire was a mighty force and many of its legacies still remain throughout Europe. The Colosseum stands proud as a testament to the power and glory of history. Built in the 1st centaury AD for gladiator fights, three stories of tiered seating could accommodate 50,000 spectators at a time. History lovers will marvel at the Pantheon – the most impressive monuments of Augustan Rome, dedicated to the seven planetary divinities and featuring an interior of gorgeous marble. The Tuscan city of Florence is a short

one and a half hours away from Rome and is definitely worth a visit. It is a relatively compact historic city situated along the borders of the Arno River in the middle of the Tuscan hills. The city boasts a large number of museums and impressive landmarks such as the Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio. The Duomo di Firenze. The Florence Cathedral, one of the largest in the world, was built between 1296 and 1436. These great monuments to past riches are now more than matched, as Florence is also the home of the worlds greatest design houses – Gucci and Ferragamo. Maybe Florence takes the title of the most stylish city in the world? Milan, northern Italy is the richest and most populous region of Italy. Some of the must see attractions in Milan

include the majestic Cathedral, the monumental Castello Sforzesco and the famous Leonardo da Vinci's painting of the Last Supper in the Santa Maria delle Grazie. Milan is globally recognised as one of the worlds most important fashion capitals. Via Monte Napoleone is the place to see and be seen with couture houses lining the streets and fashionistas sipping wine in classy eateries. Maybe Milan is the most stylish city in the world? Why not visit all three Cities and decide for yourself? Rome, Florence or Milan, decisions… decisions… For return flights and B & B accommodation in Rome a 2 night package

starts from just £195pp. Brightsun Travel offers a price match promise on worldwide flights and holidays so you will get the best deals. To book your dream holiday, call Brightsun Travel on 0208 819 0486 or visit

fusion of Hindu and Muslim styles By AV Correspondent ani Sipri's Mosque along with Rani R Rupmati's Mosque in

Ahmedabad is in a league of its own. Rani Sipri's Mosque with its exquisite architecture and interesting history is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ahmedabad besides being one of the prominent and well revered pilgrimages among the local Muslims. Thus, the mosque is one of the important holy places in Ahmedabad. Rani Sipri was one of the Hindu queens of the king of Ahmedabad. The Rani Sipri's Mosque was commissioned by Rani Sipri of Ahmedabad and speaks volumes of the inter-religious marriage trend that became quite popular among the Indian royalty, to facilitate political alliance. The mosque is believed to have been built in 1514 AD by Rani Sipri, wife of Mehmud Begada, who executed their son for a misdemeanor. The Mughal sultanate had under its rule a number of smaller local sultanates ruled by Muslim rulers. These regional Bengalis love their mishti and melt-in-the mouth ‘shondesh’ has pride of place in their pantheon of sweet delights. Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes Servings: 4 Preparation Time: 3040 minutes Ingredients: Milk 8 cups Lemon juice 1/4 cup Castor sugar (caster sugar) 1/2 cup Green cardamom powder Pistachios,blanched and chopped 12 Method: Bring the milk to a boil in a deep, thick-bottomed non-stick pan. Add the lemon juice and stir till the milk curdles. Strain and immediately refresh the chhenna in chilled water. Put the chhenna in a piece of muslin and squeeze till all the water is drained out. Knead the chhenna well

Sultanates had to rely more actively on Hindu political and military allies, and were also more liberal in adopting Indian practices, or making concessions to native traditions. The Muslim nobility in Gujarat treated Hindu noble families with relative equality and respect, and Muslim princesses were often married into the families of Hindu allies, just as Hindu princesses entered into the Muslim royal households. This was however, in sharp contrast to the practice of the Mughals who though they sought Rajput princesses as brides, did not permit their own daughters to be wed into Rajput families. Mughals accepted the Rajputs wives only as inferior partners (with the exception of Akbar who was known for his secularism), whereas the regional Sultanates were more likely to treat their Hindu allies as equals. This attitude is reflected in both Ahmedabad and Champaner in an array of outstanding monuments that in some respect outshine Mughal monuments even. Remarkable for their

ornate three-dimensional decoration derived from Hindu and Jain architecture, these monuments seamlessly incorporate into their scheme, motifs considered traditionally auspicious by the Hindus such as the Jain 'lamp of knowledge' and the 'kalpalata' (wish-fulfillment creeper) and the 'kalpavriksha' symbolizing fecundity and prosperity. And Rani Sipri's Mosque and Rani Rupmati's Mosque are two of the most aesthetically enriched monuments in Ahmedabad that showcases the fusion of Hindu and Muslim styles, fabulously. The mosque is a small one with a height of 50ft and length of 54ft. This mosque is also known as the Masjid-e-Nagira or Jewel of a Mosque because of its intricately carved decoration. Jali or filigree screens with motifs of flowing plant and tree forms are commonly seen. The mosque is adorned with an array of columns intricately carved, long running corridor and domed roof. A separate area of worship, for the women called, 'Jenana' is located upstairs.


with the heel of your hand. Add caster sugar and cardamom powder, and knead again. Cook in a non-stick pan on medium heat for eight minutes. Remove from heat and divide into twelve equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball and make a dent on the top. When cooled, place a pistachio in the dent and serve. Health benefits: Milk and dairy products are providers of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and protein which are all essential for healthy bone

growth and development. Adequate consumption of milk and dairy from early childhood and throughout life can help to make the bones strong and protect them against diseases like osteoporosis (a debilitating, brittle bone disorder) in later life. - asian Voice 13th april 2013

CALCIUM + Magnesium + Vit. D3


blood pressure pill, which is taken by tens of thousands of patients, could be the key to beating Alzheimer's disease. British scientists believe that the 3p a day tablet could slow progression of the disease and even combat devastating memory loss. Experts at the University of Bristol hope that the drug losartan will be so effective that high blood pressure patients could routinely be given it to protect long-term against Alzheimer's. The university's Dr Pat Kehoe is launching a ground-breaking four-year 2-million-pound UK trial. "Without wishing to get ahead of ourselves, the beauty of this drug, if it is found to work as we expect, is that it is already available and is cheap," he said. Previous research has found that people on losartan for high blood pressure also appeared to be significantly protected against dementia - in fact, it is thought to slash the risk by

ou need more than planning and organisation to Y win the weight-loss battle.

Looking at the week gives you structure and gives you control of your working week and your food, said Burrell. Prepare for the week ahead by making a meal plan and doing your shopping for the week. Buy enough for lunch and dinner and healthy snacks for the next five days, she suggested. Cook at least two meals from your plan and freeze them on Sunday, she added. "I call them sacred Sundays. Use this day to reset and nourish yourself and that way you will find the week doesn`t pile up on you and you are more rested and in control. This prevents you from running on empty," she explained.


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as much as 50 percent. Now, the scientists hope to test the drug on dementia sufferers. They believe losartan could slow down Alzheimer's by improving blood flow in the brain and altering chemical pathways that cause brain cell damage, brain shrinkage and memory problems. The ultimate test of any potential new treatment strategy is success in clinical trials, so it is encouraging to see this trial getting underway. Losartan, and related drugs working in a similar way, have been found to block a naturally occurring chemical called angiotensin II, which prevents the release of vital memory chemicals in the brain. The new trial will use brain imaging on an estimated 230 patients to measure if losartan helps to reduce brain shrinkage that is strongly linked with reduced memory function and discover if the drug improves memory and quality of life.

Burrell suggests writing down an exercise plan for every day of the week. Prioritise Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for exercise so that if things get busy later in the week you have at least three sessions done, Burrell said. "Given our sedentary lives and jobs we also need to include half-an-hour to one-hour of walking to make up for how much we don`t move during the day. This could be walking to the station, or taking a half hour walk at

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attooing, so popular among the young, can T increase the risk of skin

cancer, say doctors. According to doctors, inks used in tattoos may contain toxic elements, which can cause skin cancer, especially blue ink, the age-old colour of choice for tattoo artists, which has cobalt and aluminum. Red ink may have mercurial sulfide and certain coloured inks often contain lead, cadmium, chromium, nickel, titanium and other heavy metals. "The equipment used in tattooing and body piercing, if contaminated with infected blood, can risk transmission of bloodborne viruses such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C and various skin cancers like squamous cell, carcinoma and melanoma," Dr. D.J.S lunchtime," she said. Burrell recommends drinking only one milk coffee a day, eating breakfast before 8am, making vegetables the focus of your snacks and having one, low calorie day per week. Bring lunch to work four days a week and avoid eating at your desk, she suggests. Take a good combination of protein, carbohydrate and vegetables, followed by a cup of herbal tea and try for at least a 20-minute walk after you eat to aid digestion and up your movement quota. Get up early and don`t sleeping too late, as it can set your day back and can lead to problems spiralling out of control, she said. Eat the majority of your food by 3pm. Breakfast by 8am, lunch by 1pm and dinner by 7pm, she recommends. Learn how to compensate, she said. For example if you overindulge for one meal make sure the next one is as light as possible, like a replacement-meal shake or a salad.


Tula, consultant plastic surgeon at Delhi's B.L.K. Hosptial, said. "Everyone who gets a tattoo doesn't get skin cancer. But they have increased risk as most tattooists use ink which is arsenic. Many youngsters don't realise the damage tattoos cause to their skin. They want them for a lifetime. Certain designs are deep penetrated into the skin and damage muscles," Tula added. Experts also say that a tattoo should not be done near a mole (nevus). "One needs to know the changes occurring in a mole - symmetry, border, colour, size, shape and texture. If there is a tattoo around it or on it, the key warning signs on the mole cannot be noticed and it might later evolve into melanoma or another skin

ew research shows that fat women with a N high body mass index

(BMI)—a measure of the body's fat content—that is indicative of obesity were twice as likely as those of normal weight to suffer a potentially life-threatening heart attack or stroke within just four to five years following childbirth, the study found. While these cardiac events are very rare among women of


# #



cancer," oncologist Dr. Amit Kumar said. "One should choose a hygienic place for a tattoo where needles are properly sterilised. Tattoos between the mid ribs and upper shoulders should be avoided," said Jane Ruth, a dermatologist. Other fairly common skin risks associated with tattoos include allergic reactions to certain tattoo inks. But infection just after a tattoo can be treated with antibiotics. Experts also say that there are risks involved in removing tattoos like hypopigmentation (loss of skin colour) and as hyperpigmentation (skin darkening) where the tattoo was.

this age, there is a very clear and strong link between carrying excess weight and suffering a heart attack or stroke. These associations remained unchanged even after accounting for other pregnancy-associated complications or cardiovascular risk factors, including smoking.


On the contrary, tattooists in the city claim that tattoos do not lead to skin cancer or other bloodborne disease. "One should go to a professional tattooist. A professional will use only organic inks. The best inks are imported from the US, Britain and Australia. Some Chinese inks available at cheap rates in the market might be harmful," said Anu Singh, who owns Tattoo Empire of India. "Aftercare procedures should also be followed to avoid infected on the inked skin. My clients have not had any cancer or skin disease. There might be a slight inflammation for a few days after the tattoo is made," Singh added.

"Young women need to be aware that there are serious health risks associated with obesity and poor lifestyle habits, and these [negative effects] appear to set in early," said Michelle Schmiegelow, a PhD student at the University of Copenhagen and the study's lead investigator. "This study is important because although the incidence of heart disease is declining overall, this downward trend doesn't seem to apply to women 35 to 44 years of age. In fact, coronary artery disease seems to be on the rise in this group, however it is still very rare," she added. Women who were underweight were slightly more prone to having a heart attack or stroke as well, although this trend needs to be further investigated.



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Asian Voice wishes all its Tamil, Assamese, Bengali and Punjabi readers a Happy New Year Coming Events l The leading tour operator HARI AUM HOLIDAY has started Premier H Club to give more benefit to its members. First gathering of the Premier H Clubto be held on 19th April to celebrate Ram Navmi at Patidar House, 22 London Road, Wembley HA9 7EX. Free lunch will be provided to all the attendee. All are welcome. For more information contact 020 8452 0350 l Shri Swaminarayan Jayanti and Shri Rama Navami celebrations Saturday 20 April, BAPS Swaminarayan Temple, London NW10 8LD. Contact: 020 8965 2651 l 2nd Edition of The Prideview Cricketers’ Cup will be held once again at Merchant Taylors’ School, Northwood Middx on Sunday 14th July 2013. Everything earned via team entry fees, corporate sponsorship and the raffle will again be donated to The Big Hug Foundation. The team entry fee will be a minimum of £350 (including food and drinks for your players / supporters) and we will have 8 teams like last year. Contact : Nilesh Raj Patel t: 0208 863 8680 (ext. 36) or email: l Kali presents My Daughter's Trial. 8-25April, 7:30pm, Brown's Courtroom, Soho Theatrebox WC2N4AG 02074780100 l Friday 19 April 2013, 6:30pm. Music Panorama by Urmi Chakraborty. Nehru Centre. South Audley Street l Bhavan presents sanskrit play: Sakshee Shila, for the Southbank alchemy festival. Venue: Queen Elizabeth Foyer, Southbank centre l Gujarat Hindu Society presents, Sunday 21 April 2013, 9:30am onwards. Sponsor: Chandrakantbhai Limbachia and family. Preston. Contact: 01772827403 l Bhaktivedanta Manor celebrates Ramnavami on 21 April 2013. 4-7pm. Contact: 01923851003 l Hanuman Jayanti 25 April 2013, 108 Hanuman Chalisa, 11am-5:30pm. Shree Jalaram Mandir, Greenford - Asian Voice 13th April 2013

'Mayor is playing with fire' Appeal to attend Public meeting The ‘London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority’ (LFEPA) is holding Public Consultation meeting across London to consult on its Draft London Safety Plan (LSP)5 which includes proposals to close 12 fire stations, dispose off 18 fire engines and delete 520 fire-fighter posts across London. A public Meeting will be held on 16th April 2013 from 7pm to 9pm at Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road Harrow HA1 to consult residents of Harrow about Draft LSP 5 and its overall impact on London and critically impact locally on people of Brent and Harrow. The meeting will give an opportunity to local residents to hear how the plan will affect them and also provide opportunity to ask questions. The proposals within the Draft London Safety Plan are a direct result of 45M budget cuts instigated by the Mayor of London and Conservative/LibDem Government. The closure plans do not propose fire station closure in Brent and Harrow. However, the overall performance in London will get worse. According to the plan, London-wide attendance to an incident will increase by 15 seconds for

Venus continues to favour your love life. If you are still seeking the ideal partner, things are definitely looking up. An increase in your social life is likely to bring you in touch with someone attractive. At work you need greater flexibility as well as a degree of patience. Do not step on any one's toes.

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21

Cllr Navin Shah AM

the first fire engine and 16 seconds for the second fire engine. Every second counts and any delay in fire engines reaching late at incidents would risk lives. Navin Shah London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow and Vice Chair of the Fire Authority said “The Mayor is playing with fire and putting lives of Londoner’s at risk by his reckless plans to close 12 fire stations, reduce 18 fire engines and delete 520 fire-fighters. Residents should not think that just because fire stations are not closing in Brent and Harrow it won’t affect them. The plans will mean reduction of fire cover right across London which in turn will put at risk safety of Brent and Harrow’s residents. I urge the residents to attend the public meeting, hear about the plans and have their say. I also urge our residents to respond to the consultation and oppose Mayor’s closure plans to keep Brent -Harrow and London safe’.

l Chaitra Navratri, 11 April-20 April, Thursday 18 April, Sanatan Hindu Mandir, Wembley HA0 4TA

COMPETITION WINNER Which year did "Mint Leaf" restaurant open? Answer: C - 2003

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It's time when experience will enable you to enrich your inner mind and personality. You are moving into a new phase of life which will bring wider scope for developing your unique qualities and talents. You are likely to move around more than usual. Life will become very lively and there will be a lot of social interactions.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22

You are likely to be lucky in terms of opportunities and meetings with helpful persons. Whatever you are aiming to achieve at this time will suddenly take a leap onto a new level. If you are hoping to move up the ladder of success, this is definitely a time to be on the alert for new openings.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22 Your urge towards greater freedom and independence is very strongly accentuated. In intimate affairs, the prospect appears entirely favourable. In work matters you can expect a progressive phase. Efforts to bring about desirable changes in your working life are more likely to be positive. LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

Many Leos will be intent on expanding their mental horizons. Your way ahead is likely to become very clear now - priortise your future goals. This is an appropriate time in which to talk things over with your loved one - especially anything that has been worrying you or making you feel insecure.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

Don't take shortcuts in legal or official matters. It will be only too easy to feel exasperated by bureaucracy but you won't be doing yourself any favours if you lose your cool. This is a fine time for you to get away from the mundane realities of life and relax. Some of you will probably go abroad.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23 Love and close personal relationships will occupy the centre of your attention this week. With Venus remaining in your opposite sign, any emotional tensions will be smoothed out easily and harmony will prevail. On a purely practical note, you can expect your financial affairs to take a turn for the better. SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22 Health is an important area that you will take seriously. It is likely that you may embark on a course of physical exercise and diet. It could be quite a difficult week psychologically with increased danger of misunderstandings arising and not being able to see the wood from the trees. Try to be diplomatic. SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21 The prevailing pattern of planets gives you a marvellous opportunity. Take time out to 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. Venus throws an easy light on affairs of the heart prime time for engagements and weddings. CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 You can expect a sustained and quite hectic flow of visitors to contribute greatly to a very buoyant atmosphere. If you are ambitious, this promises to be an important time in your life. You are likely to get the lucky breaks and reach a wider audience no matter what your aims. AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 Don't get over- anxious if you feel that you're being kept in the dark. You will probably find that worries have been unfounded. Although you may be faced with a difficult decision concerning your career or employment, this is not the time to hide. Don't waste time if you can improve matters. PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20

You can expect a lively and varied time ahead. Communications will be free and easy, making this an excellent time to deal with important matters. Also, you'll find that people you meet, perhaps especially newcomers, will be a stimulating influence and may encourage you to dabble in new interests. - Asian Voice 13th April 2013


32 - Asian Voice 13th April 2013

IPL Results of 10 matches played till Tuesday, 9th April Match Date 1 3 April


4 April


5 April


6 April


6 April


7 April


7 April


8 April


9 April


9 April

Teams KKR v/s DD at Kolkata KKR won by 6 wickets Brief scores: DD 128 (20 overs); KKR 129/4 (18.4 overs) RCB v/s MI at Bangalore RCB won by 2 runs Brief scores: RCB 156/5 (20 overs); MI 154/5 (20 overs) SH v/s PW at Hyderbad SH won by 22 runs Brief scores: SH 126/6 (20 overs); PW 104 (18.5 overs) DD v/s RR at Delhi RR won by 5 runs Brief scores: RR 165/7 (20 overs); DD 160/6 (20 overs) CSK v/s MI at Chennai MI won by 9 runs Brief scores: MI 148/6 (20 overs); CSK 139/9 (20 overs) PW v/s KXIP at Pune KXIP won by 8 wickets Brief scores: PW 99/9 (20 overs); KXIP 100/2 (12.2 overs) SH v/s RCB at Hyderabad SH won by won the one-over eliminator Brief scores: RCB 130/8 (20 overs); SH 130/7 (20 overs) RR v/s KKR at Jaipur RR won by 19 runs Brief scores: RR 144/6 (20 overs); KKR 125/8 (19 overs) RCB v/s SH at Bangalore RCB won by 7 wickets Brief scores: SH 161/6 (20 overs); RCB 162/3 (17.4 overs) MI v/s DD at Mumbai MI won by 44 runs Brief scores: MI 209/5 (20 overs); DD 165/9 (20 overs)

ICC Champions Trophy: Sehwag, Harbhajan omitted Senior cricketers Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh were omitted while Jammu and Kashmir allrounder Parveez Rasool was named in India's 30member probables list for the ICC Champions Trophy to be held in England in June this year. Apart from the struggling Sehwag and Harbhajan, pacer Zaheer Khan, batsman Cheteshwar Pujara and spinner Pragyan Ojha were also left out from the list of probables announced by BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale. The left handed Gautam Gambhir, who had been dropped from the Test team, finds himself in the list which has a number of youngsters like Madhya Pradesh all-rounder Jalaj Saxena, Punjab pacer

Siddharth Kaul, Maharashtra middle order batsman Kedar Jadhav and MP pacer Ishwar Yadav. Both Sehwag and Harbhajan's axing did not come as a surprise since both have been out of form for quite a long time. While Sehwag, who is also currently sitting injured on the Delhi Daredevils bench, was dropped from the squad for the third and fourth Test against Australia because of a prolonged form slump, Harbhajan managed to retain his Test place but failed to earn a spot in the playing eleven. Gambhir, who was ignored for the entire Test series against Australia, kept himself in reckoning by making it to 30-men list which will be pruned down to 15 a month before the tournament.

Mumbai Indians thrash Delhi Daredevils by 44 runs in their IPL clash at the Wankhede stadium on Tuesday. After Karthik (86) and Rohit (74) powered Mumbai to the 209/5, highest total of the tournament so far, bowlers put up a united effort to restrict Delhi to 165/9, securing a thumping victory for their team. Earlier, Ricky Ponting took a stunning catch to send Unmukt Chand back on the first delivery of Delhi's innings. Chand tried to loft Harbhajan through extra cover but was shocked by Ponting's brilliance. Mitchell Johnson then sent back skipper Mahela Jayawardene to give Mumbai second success. Jayawardene's dismissal reduced Delhi to 13/2. He was caught behind by Dinesh Karthik in the third over. Mumbai pacer Mitchell Johnson got rid of danger man David Warner (61) while Kieron Pollard removed Jeevan Mendis (0) reduce Delhi Daredevils to 97/4 in their chase of 210. Johnson struck in the 11th over to break a solid stand for the third wicket by getting warner caught by Ambati Rayudu. Warner rescued Delhi from early setback and put them in hunt with his fiery show. However, he failed to make it big and fell just when the side wanted more of him. Dinesh Karthik smashed a 48-ball 86 while Rohit Sharma struck an unbeaten half-century as Mumbai Indians posted an imposing 209 for five against Delhi Daredevils. Karthik and Sharma treated the opposition bowlers with disdain as both helped Mumbai recover from two early jolts at the Wankhede Stadium. Karthik continued his rich vein of form as he hit 14 fours and two sixes in his aggressive knock while Sharma too played his role to perfection, hitting an

unconquered 50-ball 74 to take the team's total past 200-run mark. Sharma's chanceless knock was laced with 4 fours and five towering hits beyond the boundary line, which included three sixes off the last over bowled by pacer Ashish Nehra. Virat Kohli helps Royal Challengers to humble Sunrisers Hyderabad In the first match of the day Virat Kohli led from the front with a breathtaking unbeaten 93 as Royal Challengers Bangalore made short work of a challenging target from Sunrisers

Hyderabad winning by seven wickets in a Pepsi Indian Premier League match, on Tuesday. Chasing a commendable target of 162, Kohli made a mockery of Sunrisers bowlers as he single handedly guided his team to victory smashing 11 four and four sixes off 47 balls as they knocked off the runs with 14 balls remaining. It was a sweet revenge for RCB who had lost to Sunrisers in a 'Super Over' two days back. The match swung decisively in RCB's favour in the 16th over bowled by Amit Mishra after 'Strategic Time-Out'

where Kohli smashed the bulky leggie for 21 runs. This included to straight sixes. In the next Thisara Perera over he got another 16 runs to close in on the match and couple of boundaries from Ishant sealed the issue. He had a partnership of 66 with Moises Henriques (7) for the fourth wicket but it was Kohli who was in complete control as he paced his innings in brilliant fashion. The ploy to open the bowling with Hanuma Vihari failed miserably this time as Agarwal hit him for a four and six to get him out of the attack. The local boy then pulled Ishant for a six over deep fine leg to get 15 runs from the over. But the youngster paid the price for being over aggressive as he mistimed a pull-shot off a back of length delivery from Perera which ballooned up for skipper Sangakkara to take an easy catch. Earlier, Cameron White and Perera's slam bang approach during the final five overs saw Sunrisers Hyderabad reach a competitive 161 for six. White and Perera added 80 runs in only 7.2 overs to take the new IPL franchise to a comfortable position. While White clobbered three fours and three sixes in his 34-ball52, Perera hit four huge sixes and a four in his knock of 40 which came off only 24 balls. The last six overs of the innings produced a whopping 77 runs as Sunrisers had scored only 84 in their first 14 overs.

Indian Premier League 2013 Points Table (09 / 04 / 2013) Teams Match Won Lost Tied Mumbai Indians 3 2 1 0 Rajasthan Royals 2 2 0 0 Royal Challengers Bangalore 3 2 1 0 Sunrisers Hyderabad 3 2 1 0 Kings XI Punjab 1 1 0 0 Kolkata Knight Riders 2 1 1 0 Chennai Super Kings 1 0 1 0 Delhi Daredevils 3 0 3 0 Pune Warriors 2 0 2 0

N/R 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Points 4 4 4 4 2 2 0 0 0

Net RR +0.850 +0.600 +0.352 +0.083 +3.158 -0.231 -0.450 -1.024 -1.915

Asian Voice  

Asian Voice weekly news paper

Asian Voice  

Asian Voice weekly news paper