First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe
Let noble thoughts come to us from every side
VOL 40. ISSUE 36
Expats can now vote in Indian elections: Manmohan Singh It is a dream come true for people of Indian origin as they can now vote and participate in the election process in India. “Pursuant to the law that was enacted to enable nonresident Indians to vote in our national elections, the government has issued notifications for registration of overseas electors under the Representation of People Act, 1950,” Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh said. “This constitutes the first major step to enable Indian residents abroad to participate in our election process,” Dr. Singh said while addressing the annual
14th January to 20th January 2012
Body of Brit-Indian student found in Manchester river The body of a man who had not been seen since he went out with friends on New Year’s Day has been found dead in a Manchester river on Monday 9th at 2:50pm and was identified on Tuesday as the missing man Gurdeep Hayer, 20 years.
Pravasi Bharatiya diwas. Continued on page 26
Continued on page 15
Anuj cremated in Pune, fund set up in his memory
Dr. Manmohan Singh lighting the lamp to inaugurate the tenth Pravasi Bharatiya divas 2012, at Jaipur, in Rajasthan on Jan 7-9. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the Governor of Rajasthan, Shivraj Patil, the Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, Vayalar Ravi and the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot are also seen.
The untimely death of Anuj Bidve has not only affected his family members, friends, near and dear ones but it has startled and demoralised the whole of British Indian community and Indian citizens here and back in India. Continued on page 6
Anuj Bidve's mother Yogini and father Sunhash Bidve visiting the murder spot
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Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
one to one Keith Vaz MP with
Dr Diwan Rahul Nanda, Global Chairman of TOPSGRUP Securities At the age of 16 Dr Nanda joined his family business, Chinese restaurant chain TUTKUKs in Mumbai. He is now Global Chairman of TOPSGRUP an Indian Multi-National Corporation which provides security services and has 93,000 employees. Its global headquarters are now in London. He is married with three daughters. He recently received a hat-trick of prestigious awards, the Asian Leadership in International Business Award at the 24th Asian Who’s Who Annual Dinner, the Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the GG2 Leadership Awards, and the Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the TiE UK Annual Awards 2011. What inspired you to begin your career in your chosen field? My inspiration stems from the days I began work at my family business, TUTKUKS, a chain of Chinese restaurants in Mumbai. The business enjoyed relatively good bouts of success in the past, however when I joined the company at the age of 16, the company's performance was already very bleak due to internal mismanagement. This was largely a result of a failed business partnership my father and his cousin had set up and later terminated two decades earlier. Being the optimist that I am, I saw a positive in a negative situation and decided to take charge and transform the business. It was a life defining moment as I had to choose between the options of submitting to the circumstances and running away from my fate or to stand tall and write my own destiny. I chose the latter and courage came with it! With this came a natural flair of self-confidence and a determination to achieve, especially as this was a business venture my family had launched. Within 5 years, I transformed TUTKUKS into a very successful enterprise, recognised for its excellent food and the service. The business even enjoyed the reputation of being the most cherished Chinese restaurant in
What is the best thing about your current role? The most amazing thing about my role is that TOPSGRUP was once just a belief but now it is a dream that has come true and I am living and breathing a dream that I dreamt for so many years for all my thousands of employees. I know in my heart that every mile of this journey has been worth it. And the worst? It can be hard to be away from my beautiful wife and three lovely daughters due to the extensive business commitments that I have but I know that without their support and encouragement, I would never have been as successful as I am today.
Mumbai. What are your proudest achievements? While I am most proud of how my business TOPSGRUP always accomplishes to provide complete satisfaction to our 8000 customers and our 93,000 employees, what moves me is how our committed men and women have over the years placed our brand and our commitment to the society much ahead of themselves and their families. We have a not for profit enterprise called TOPSLINE 1252 which offers Emergency Response Service (similar to 999 in the UK) but as a private service. In the past 5 years of operations, TOPSLINE 1252 has rescued and saved over 15,000 lives in Mumbai. Be it earthquakes in India, the deluge in Mumbai or even the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks, TOPSLINE 1252 has been in the forefront, rescuing family members and innocent citizens from the clutches of fatality. During the 26/11 attacks, our brave men in collaboration with the law enforcement agencies rescued 150 people amongst the hail of bullets and IED explosives. It takes much more than plain employment to jump into fire and rescue somebody you don’t even know and that is what I am the most proud of.
ness and trade which directly would encourage much more employment and new entrepreneurs which in turn would help reduce crime. Running a country is not much different from running a big enterprise. You need to step out of the game and view the country from an outwardly non conflicted macro perspective. By doing so, you will be able to focus on the core issue rather than work and worry on hundreds of micro issues which inadvertently do not solve the main situation at hand. Once the economic conditions improve in our country, everything will improve and the only way to improve the economy is to actively support and foster business and trade in the country and that is something I would immediately do.
Please tell us about your current position? My position as Global Chairman of TOPSGRUP is to bring a spirit of innovation to the company and to motivate and inspire my employees. I remember, entering our Mumbai office on my first day at TOPS, everyone looked stale and tired with little or no expectations from their jobs. I feel my role was to inject passion and hope into the business. I had to raise morale of my employees and rejuvenate a dream and I think I achieved that. Today, we employ over 93,000 employees with an employee attrition rate of just under 7%. Today we have scores of our men who live, eat, breathe the same dream as I do and they love the Company and the brand we have jointly created. What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? I came up against a few major obstacles, especially during the early stages of my career. When I had made the decision to take over TUTKUKS, I faced a lot of resistance from union leaders to my family members. To achieve my goals, compromises and costs had to be made and endured. However overcoming such
difficulties made me a stronger businessman; this was a phase that sparked my passion and the challenge moulded me as a person, however I must say it was not easy as a 16 year old boy with no experience! Further when I entered TOPS in 1993, mafia was a big threat in Mumbai. As TOPS gradually started to secure and protect all High Net worth Individuals especially the Bollywood actors and producers, managing the hostilities and risks from the mafia on a daily basis whilst ensuring our customers are safe and alive was something that I had never expected when I entered the security business. Who had been the biggest influence on your career? There are two people in my life that helped motivate me and shape the person I am today and they are my Mother and Father. However I have always supported and admired Indian business leaders such as Laxmi Mittal, Ratan Tata, Anil Aggarwal and Sunil Mittal amongst others. They are a handful of individuals who had the courage to achieve goals, which seemed like the impossible, through sheer hard work, good ethics and
What are your long-term goals? My long term goals for TOPSGRUP is to embark on a global leadership mission with a vision to become the number one brand in the global security space and a be a 10 billion dollar security group by 2020. It’s not about dreaming big, that drives me, its knowing how to do things differently.
If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figures would you like to spend your time with and why? If I was marooned on an island, I would like to spend time with Mahatma Gandhi. I would like to learn how he so effectively used non-violence and motivated his fellow freedom fighters to place their country before themselves, not an easy task by any standards. And yet he managed to regain independence from India’s erstwhile rulers without even raising his hand or using his powers as India’s national hero. That learning would be priceless for me as a leader.
If you were prime minister, what would be the one thing you would change? If I was the Prime Minister, I would follow the basic necessity that our country needs. I would make GB much more tax efficient as that would foster more busi-
Injured Gurkha hero dies in B’ham Tributes were paid last week to an “immensely courageous” Gurkha who died 18 months after being blown up by the Taliban. Rifleman Sachin Limbu, 23 (pictured), suffered horrendous injuries in Helmand province in June 2010, but managed to put on his uniform again last year to receive a medal. His parents were at his bedside when he died in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, last week – the 395th British soldier to die in Afghanistan since 2001.
Father Dillisher Limbu – a retired Gurkha himself – said: “My wife and I are immensely proud of our only beloved son, who has sacrificed his life for the good of others.” “Sachin was our only son and we both extend our sincere thanks to all the staff at The New Queen Elizabeth hospital and Brigade of Gurkhas who have supported us all so closely.”
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Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
David Miliband regrets Iraq war David Miliband who lost out in the Labour Party’s leadership stakes was in reflective mood during a lecture visit to Chennai. He struck what sounded like a penitent note as he spoke to the Hindu newspaper in an extensive interview, which included his reflections on the Iraq war and the enormous damage it had caused in loss of life and property to the people of Iraq most of all. The political damage caused to the credibility of the US and UK on the failure to discover Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction was undoubtedly huge; worse was the loss to the moral standing of both nations in the international community. For Labour to recover public esteem in Britain and abroad, its present leadership must disavow publicly the Blair government’s decision to follow the Bush administration’s declaration of war against the Saddam regime on the spurious plea
that it was cahoots with al Qaeda and Islamist terror groups. This was a calculated falsehood designed to fool the American and British people. The deception has cast a severe blow to the wellbeing oif American and British democracy with burgeoning public cynicism about the truthfulness of the counmtry’s rulers. Diminished public trust has eroded the people’s faith in political institutions. Labour’s mea culpa on the issue will be a significant step forward in the party’s conversation with the British people. Why not swallow false pride and say sorry? It may heal festering wounds and go some way to restoring public confidence in Labour’s traditional values. With Britain’s economic and social crises deepening, the country could turn to it confident that it had a new page by acknowledging a past wrong.
ANC celebrates centenary The African National Congress is 100 years old and its centenary celebrations were loud and long. The struggle against apartheid was undoubtedly hard, many lives were lost amid the suffering caused to the African and other non-white peoples in the country. Surely the celebrations could have been better served without the ritual slaughter of a bull, an atavistic practice out of sync with the spirit of the age. It is a reminder that while much has been achieved since the abolition of apartheid and
replacement by a democratically elected government led by the African National Congress there is more to do to bring a greater measure of economic equality and social opportunity for all segments of society. Crime and violence are rife and the new political elite appears less sensitive to the disadvantage and poverty of multitudes of South African citizens, most of whom are black. South Africa is a beacon to su-Saharan Africa. It should thus be an exemplar of social justice and the rule of law.
Murder in England’s eyes A man alleged to have murdered Anuj Bidve, the Puneikar from my hometown, told the Manchester court this week that his name was “Psycho” Stapleton. He was asked again and he gave the same answer. I can’t gauge why he gave this answer. His real name is Kieran Stapleton. Cameras are not allowed in British courts so one couldn’t read his body language as he said it. Nevertheless, on the Internet one can see Stapleton’s photograph and there is in his eyes something that speaks of madness. I hasten to distance myself from claiming any professional expertise in psychiatry but don’t all of us acquire the uncertain skill to detect the glint in the eyeball that breeds the suspicion that things are not quite right and warns us to keep our distance? Bidve didn’t catch this glint when Stapleton allegedly accosted him on December 26, 2011, on the Salford streets. Bidve, a microelectronics post-graduate student at Lancashire University, was in the company of other Indian students when he was approached by a couple of white men who may or may not have broken loose from a gang of others to confront the Indians. It is reported that they asked Bidve the time and when he looked at his watch to tell them one of the men pulled out a gun and shot him in the head. Bidve died almost immediately. Though lawyers and responsible journalists need to be cautious and circumspect about what they say about a case which has not yet come to the courts, I am certain that the murder of Bidve was a racially motivated “hate crime”. This last phrase is enshrined in British law and carries a penalty; though as far as a convicted random murderer is concerned, the sentence can’t conceivably be heavier if the meaningless act was given the motivation of race hatred. “Psycho” may have answered in this vein because he and his lawyers intend to pursue a defence of insanity. Is that indeed the name by which Stapleton is known to his friends? Is he proud of it? Insanity would certainly explain why he would go up to a stranger and shoot him. Would it explain why he was carrying a weapon? There is, in the possible “racial motivation” a very sinister and one hopes, not widespread Western tendency. Eighteen years ago a young black man, Stephen Lawrence, an 18-year-old student was standing at a bus stop in South London when he was accosted by a gang of white youths, of a similar age, racially abused and stabbed to death. A police investigation resulted in three men being arrested but the Crown Prosecution Service assessed the police evidence and concluded that there was not enough to convict any of them of murder. The voices which set themselves up to speak for the black community, though no such coherent formation exists, examined the processes that the police had followed in the investigation and several liberal newspapers accused the police of a lack of enthusiasm in bringing a conviction of murder against white working-class lads suspected of the random stabbing of a black youngster. The case created political history. The government
of the day set up an enquiry into relations between blacks and the police. This McPherson Enquiry concluded, quite remarkably, that the police were “institutionally racist”. Several police commissioners and politicians in charge of the police have since then either admitted or attempted to deny the charge and some have said they will tackle it and now claim that progress has been made. Now 18 years later, with a detective nominated by the Metropolitan police to look again into the forensic evidence in the Stephen Lawrence case, two men ― Gary Dobson, now 36 years old, and David Norris, 35, have been tried, convicted and sentenced to 15 and 14 years for his murder. The convictions were based on forensic clues ― hair and blood of the victim found, all these years later, on the clothing the police had seized and sealed in the days after the crime. The conclusion of the court was that Dobson and Norris had committed a racially motivated murder. They had killed Lawrence simply because he was black. They are convicted “racists”. Recently this word has been bandied about in a literary feud between Pankaj Mishra who reviewed a book by the historian Niall Ferguson and compared his stance to that of a self-styled and self-publicising racist. Ferguson has not done Mishra any bodily harm at all but he professes himself annoyed and worse. Norris and Dobson, I don’t suppose, are perturbed by being called racist. Neither, I suspect will “Psycho” Stapleton be. Theirs is not the safe intellectual racism that can be discerned in a historical slant by a critic. It’s not the racism inherent in a thesis or a phrase or look. It’s the racism of the knife, of the gun, of a completely baseless hatred; of the bus stop and celebratory nocturnal town centre of an English city. What has generated this breed of murderous hatred? Is it the same as that of the fundo for the “immoral kaafir”? In 1968 Enoch Powell, a vicious and calculating politician, made a speech in which he said that when he looks into the eyes of Asian immigrants he sees that which will challenge him for the ownership of his country. In the evidence produced in court in the Lawrence trial Dobson, Norris and friends were seen in a secretly captured video outdoing each other in boasts about how they would love to randomly kill any black person. Did Psycho Stapleton’s friends know he shared this animus and ambition to kill? Did they dare him to do it? Is this working and lumpen class segment of the British population seeing in Stephen’s and Anuj’s eyes some challenge for the ownership of this country? (This has been reproduced from an article by Farrukh Dhondy, published in The Asian Age) Farrukh Dhondy is a British writer, playwright and activist of Indian Parsi descent. This column was also published in Deccan Chronicle)
Thought for the Week The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. - Martin Luther King, Jr
“Our London” CIIr Navin Shah AM London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow
New Year brings new hike in public transport fares In 2012 I want to see a safer, fairer and equal London and continue my work with our richly diverse communities in Brent and Harrow. To deliver this vision my New Year's resolution is to fight a successful election in 2012 and be part of the team Londoners Navin Shah with Ken Livingstone can be proud of. from 90p in 2008 to the Right from the begincurrent £1.30. Cost to pasning of the New Year sengers is £176 per year Londoners have been hit Outer London is hit hard by a fourth year of hardest. Last year the inflation-busting fare Mayor withdrew, in the increases from London’s guise of ‘simplification’ Mayor. The fares in the zone 2-6 travelcard London are now costing (£5.10), forcing passenover a quarter of the minigers wishing to travel from mum wage take home pay zone 6 but not into zone 1 and the increase to buy a premium priced hits Londoners hard at a zone 1-6 (£8) card. time when people are facNew figures from the ing a squeeze on their House of Commons quality of life and the library shows the increase London economy continmeans an office manager ues to struggle under in central London earning George Osborne’s failed £25,600 living in zone 1 or policies. 2 would have to work for This is the wrong fare three weeks and three rise at the wrong time, takdays before the cost of ing money out of people’s their travel was covered. A pockets when the London cleaner on the minimum economy is struggling and wage (£11,730) would when people are very have to spend 27 per cent hard-pressed. The impact of their take home pay in of the fares increase order to pay for a weekly applies across Harrow, zones 1-6 Travelcard. A Brent and London and newly qualified nurse across ages and income working in inner London brackets. Every year the (£25,411) and living in Mayor rakes in more Zone 4 would have to income from fares than his have to work for 5 weeks budgets and business and a day before they'd plans say he will. paid for their travel, whilst Under the Tory Mayor a shop assistant earning the cost of a single bus the London Living Wage ticket has risen by a mas(£16,013) would have to sive 50 per cent since spend 21 per cent of their 2008. The price of a take home pay to be able monthly zone 1-2 to afford to pay for a weekTravelcard is up 21%, costly zones 1-6 travelcard. ing £230.40 per year more Hardly surprising that this and the price of a zones 1year’s Annual London 6 Travelcard is up a fifth Survey showed that 48 per since 2008. Since Boris cent of people questioned Johnson was elected in said the price of fares were 2008 fares have risen to a their top concern. staggering level: Continued on page 5 Bus fares have gone up
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Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
By Meera Majithia
Diamond Jubilee celebrations commence An exciting launch event is set to mark the beginning of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in the city. Held on January 11th, the event based at the Highcross Shopping Centre, will be launched by the Lord-Lieutenant, Lady Greton, with the help of children from Hazel Primary School. Other people in attendance include the Chaiman of Leicester County Council, Jackie Dickinson, and Lord Mayor of Leicester and Cllr Robert Wann. Activities on the day will include the launch of a Jubilee painting competition for school children across the city, the Lord-Lieutenant an the children will be cutting a special Diamond Jubilee cake, and the LordLieutenant’s Diamond Jubilee Awards will be launched. The awards are designed to recognise community groups and
acknowledge the fantastic work that is undertaken by so many organisations in the city, which benefit the community. There will be a total of 60 awards handed out, one for every year of Her Majesty’s reign. Lady Greton (pictured) said: “Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee provides a tremendous opportunity
Illegal shisha smoking discovered A previously convicted café owner has been fined £1800 after illegal shisha smoking was discovered at his premises. Mr Suhayl Ismail, trading as Marhama, in Evington Road, Leicester, pleaded guilty to three offences, which form part of s.8(4) of the Heath Act 20006. These were; failing to prevent people from smoking in smoke-free premises and obstructing a council officer who was trying to investigate. He was ordered to pay a fine of £1800 and £850 costs and a £15 victim surcharge at a hearing at the Leicester Magistrates on January 5th. On both occasions other customers were also smoking shisha in the flat, which was completely enclosed. No attempt was made to prevent smoking by Ismail or anyone else on his premises. Officers re-visited the flat to carry out an inspection on July 15, 2011, but were refused access by Ismail, despite telling him that in doing so he was committing a further offence. The court heard that when subsequently questioned, Ismail admitted
allowing smoking in the rear garden of the cafe and on the front pavement, but denied allowing customers to smoke in the upstairs flat which he claimed was sub-let to another tenant, and which he couldn’t access without the tenant’s permission. Leicester assistant city mayor responsible for neighbourhood services, Cllr Sarah Russell, said: “Smoke-free legislation is designed to protect people from smoke and to ensure businesses meet their obligations by preventing smoking in enclosed spaces. “Shisha smoking should not be seen as a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. In a typical 60-minute shisha session a smoker can inhale as much smoke as a cigarette smoker would inhale from 100 to 200 cigarettes. “In this case it was made even worse because the shisha smoking was carried out in a totally enclosed room. “The city council will continue monitor all shisha premises to ensure they comply with current legal requirements and where they fall short, appropriate enforcement action will be taken.”
for the country to come together in celebration I would like to encourage all ages and all communities in Leicester and Leicestershire to unite in celebration of 60 years of The Queen’s reign. “The launch event marks the start of the Jubilee celebrations, following which we will be able to look forward to many other and activities throughout the year.” Nominations can be made by the group themselves or by someone in the community who thinks a particular group deserves recognition. For further information or to download a nomination form visit www.leics.gov.uk/jubilee The Lord-Lieutenant is also appealing to hear from couples who are celebrating their Diamond Wedding Anniversary in 2012. Her office can be contacted on 0116 305 6060 or email email@example.com
Woman helping to revamp run-down girls’ hostel in India A charity worker from Leicester is flying out to India at the end of the month to help renovate a run-down girls’ hostel in Tamil Nadu. The Bishop of Leicester’s wife, Wendi Stevens, 61 has raised a total of £12,000 of her £15,00 goal to help get work started at the hostel in Valpara, in the Indian province of Tamil Nadu Wendi discovered the hostel when she was holidaying in the country two years ago and was visiting a tea plantation. It was there she discovered the conditions of the hostel, which houses girls’ between the ages of 12 to 18. They come from the poorest families in the area, many of whose parents are either tea pickers, or who come from singleparent families. Mrs Stevens said: “Like anything else we know that places like this exist, but when I visited and got to see the conditions the girls were living in, I just thought, life’s got to be better than this. “I just feel for a few thousand pounds we can
so improve the lives of these girls and other girls in the future.” The derelict building at best has four Indian style toilets, which previously had no privacy before Wendi proactively helped insert doors. And the shower area consists of a small tap and bucket with cold water – again with no privacy. Wendi and her team hope to upgrade the sanitation area, and improve the sleeping conditions, as at the moment the girls all sleep in iron cots. They are also planning to insert solar panels and update the general run-down building,g which is currently home to around 48 girls, with more on the waiting list. She said: “I will even be getting hands on and doing some of the tiling myself if I can remember how.” Along with her team, Wendi will be flying out to the India on January 24th and is hoping to return on February 10th. If anyone would like to make a donation they can contact Wendi Stevens on 07771 520 501.
Pedestrians injured after eggs thrown
Officers from the county are appealing for witnesses after three people were injured when eggs were thrown from a passing vehicle. Police have received three reports in the last four weeks of eggs being thrown at passers-by. Two incidents occurred on Tuesday 27th December. One of them occurred at about 7.30pm in Pinfold Gate. A 48-year-old man was about to cross the road with a friend when a small black car drove by and the passenger threw an egg at the victim. This resulted in the victim receiving an injury to his eye which required medical treatment. The second incident on 27th December on Loughborough Road, Mountsorrel at about 8.50pm. A 45-year-old man who was walking along the road was hit on the back of the head with an egg, which was thrown from a passing vehicle. On December 10th a 44-year-old woman was hit with an egg on the back as she was walking along Leicester Road in Quorn by the occupants of a vehicle. PC Nicola Duckworth said: “The eggs have been thrown with such force that the victim of the incident in Pinfold Gate will require further treatment to his eyes as a result of the incident. “These were despicable assaults on unsuspecting passers-by and we need to catch those responsible. “It’s believed that a small dark vehicle was seen during the incident in Pinfold Gate and Loughborough Road, Mountsorrel and because of the similarities between all of the incidents we are linking them. Any one with information is requested to contact PC 4227 Nicola Duckworth or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Eigan fit of man issued after woman indecently assaulted in Leicester
Officers investigating an indecent assault in Leicester city centre have released an Eigan fit of a man they wish to identify and trace in connection with the incident. The incident took place at about 1.30pm on Monday 19th September in New Walk, when a 30-yearold woman was approached by a man, who offered to get rid of black magic and change her luck. The man then touched the victim inappropriately as they sat on a grassed area close to the crown court and New Walk. The man has been described as being Asian, 40-50 years-old and about 6’ tall. He was wearing a turban, dark grey trousers, a tunic and a black coat. PC Claire Middleton, investigating the incident, said: “This was a distressing incident for the victim, she was feeling vulnerable at the time and the suspect took advantage of that. “We would urge anyone who recognises the Eigan fit or has been approached in similar circumstances to contact us. Any information, no matter how small, could help us identify the person responsible.” Anyone with any information is asked to contact PC 4820 Claire Middleton or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
City to benefit from £10m funding Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has announced a £10 million funding for the East Midlands to develop one of three hubs, which together will form the country’s first ever National Sports and Exercise Medicine Centre of Excellence. The Centre, which will be made up of three network partners, will promote sport and exercise medicine across the country. Professor Nigel Brunskill, Professor of Renal Medicine and
Deputy Head of the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation at the University of Leicester, said: “This national centre for sports and exercise medicine forms part of the UK’s commitment to Olympic legacy projects. “The University of Leicester is a key stakeholder in the centre and University researchers will be able to use the facilities provided at the centre, and collaborate pro-
ductively with other researchers from other stakeholder organisations, including the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. “I am delighted and honoured to be associated with this project which will solidify the future legacy of the 2012 olympics by establishing a critical mass for research into ‘exercise as medicine’, increasing public awareness and improving the health of patients with chronic diseases”.
The establishment of the Centre will also fulfil one of the Government’s key 2012 Games bid commitments and will be a lasting legacy of the Games. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:“Hosting the Olympics is a once in a life-time opportunity for Britain and it provides a great opportunity for the NHS too. “I am pleased to commit £30 million funding for the first ever
National Sport and Exercise Medicine Centre of Excellence for England - £10 million of which will go to the East Midlands. This will not only help get more people active but it will keep them active too. “The Centre will share research findings and best practice with the entire NHS so that the whole country benefits. This will ensure we achieve a real Olympic legacy in the health service.”
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
Carer who stole jewellery convicted A mother found guilty of stealing from a family home where she looked after an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s disease has escaped jail. Mayuri Pankhani, (pictured), of Dakota 24 Gardens, Northolt, was handed a six month sentence suspended for two years at Isleworth Crown Court on December 16, reported by the Greenford and Northolt Gazette. The judge ordered her to 100 hours of unpaid work after being convicted of five counts of theft when she was employed as a carer to 90-year-old Gangaben Gokani. The court heard how she helped herself to expensive valuables, including sentimental pieces of jewellery, at the family home in Church Road, Northolt. Mrs Gokani’s granddaughter Rakhee Gokani, 31, was relieved the case is finally over. Her father Mahendra, 67, was in hospital for prostate cancer at the time which made the whole family more stressed. Granddaughter Rakhee Gokani told the Ealing Gazette, “The most important thing is that she doesn’t do it again. “There were items of particular sentimental value, my dad’s watch for his 60th birthday and my Bulgari ring. “It was one of those years you don’t have, a really stressful year. We didn’t even have time for a nice family meal. “They asked me in court, why did we go to her birthday party in July if we suspected her. Because I never thought she would do that, we cared about her. I’ve heard of stuff like this happening
Prosecutor Rose Burns said: “This was a callous theft from the family of the elderly woman for whom this woman cared.” Ms Pankhani has denied theft and says the items were either given to her or were hers in the first place but the jury convicted her. Although their trust has been shaken, the family are currently looking for a new carer through Alzheimer’s Concern. Miss Gokani said: “It’s hard to let someone into your house and not trust them. We have to find hope that most people wont do that.”
but never thought someone I knew could do something like that.” A video camera trap was set by sisters, Neelam and Fahkee, in September last year, and a film purporting to show her caught in the act was shown to the jury. Items said to have been stolen included Gucci and Kenneth Cole watches, necklaces belonging to Miss Gokani’s deceased grandmother, rings, vouchers and cash - which Miss Gokani believed to have a net worth of 20,000. Prosecutor Rose Burns said: “This was a callous theft from the family of the elderly woman for whom this woman cared.” She added, “We are slightly disappointed with the sentence but this is what we expected as she has a child. “We hope that others can learn from this regretful situation and those who are supposed to be carers, think twice before taking advantage of vulnerable people...”
Diane Abbott lands in controversy Diane Abbott is facing fresh calls to resign after enraging London’s taxi drivers with a claim that they routinely refuse to pick up passengers who are black. Miss Abbott, pictured, came close to losing her job as a shadow health minister and was forced to apologise over her comment on Twitter that “white people love playing ‘divide and rule’”. It seemed that her apology had deflected the worst of the criticism, which included the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, condemning her as “stupid and crass” and her own party authorities issuing a public rebuke. However, taxi drivers were outraged to learn of further remarks from the Labour MP in
Youth Conference 2012 Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar have been organising a youth conference every year for the last one decade. We discontinued in between for a short while but revived it last year in August 2011. We had professionals from City Hindus Network mentoring youngsters within age group 15-25. This workshop based event was a huge success and was held next to Guild Hall in the City. This year we having our Youth Conference at one of the London University/College campuses
on Saturday 3rd March 2012. Time: Afternoon. Age group 15-25 years. If you are interested to take part in the conference, have a heart to heart discussion with panelists and be guided by some of the city’s best mentors, please email Rupanjana with your contact details and age by Saturday 18th February 2011 at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please note particularities regarding the age of a participant is meant for the mentoring workshop purposes only).
New Year brings new hike in public transport fares
Continued from page 3 Against the impact of unprecedented fare increases by Mayor Johnson, Ken Livingstone is offering a ‘Fare Deal’ to commuters. He plans to cut fares by 7 per cent and slash bus tickets which she alleged that they drive past black people who attempt to hail a cab. Steve McNamara, a spokesman for the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, said Miss Abbott was either “racist” or “stupid”
from £1.35 to £1.20. His proposals also include wiping out the Tory Mayor’s planned increases for 2012 and saving the average commuter £1000 over the next four years. That’s what Londoners want, and need. and should resign. He said he had personally picked up Miss Abbott about 15 years ago and taken her to “a rather trendy mews development” in Stoke Newington. Miss Abbott was unavailable for comment.
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
Anuj cremated in Pune, fund set up in his memory Continued from page 1 On last weekend Anuj was cremated amid emotional scenes back home in India. Mourners clasped one another as his flowerfilled open coffin was carried through the streets. Anuj’s family flew back with his body on Friday after visiting the spot where he was gunned down in Salford on Boxing Day. His father Subhash Bidve and mother Yogini visited the scene before taking his body back to their home town of Pune, India. Anuj, 23, was shot in the head at point-blank range as he walked along Ordsall Lane in Salford with friends. Mourners clasped one another in the street as they gathered to watch as his flower-filled open coffin was carried through the town ahead of his cremation. His parents picked up their son’s belongings from Lancaster University, where he had been studying, and met his friends and tutors before going to Ordsall Lane, where tributes and flowers had been left. Speaking to reporters at the scene, Mr Bidve said: “We have made the journey from India in order to see Anuj, see the place where he died, and most importantly take Anuj home with us. “Whilst in England we have taken the opportunity to meet a number of other people who were involved in Anuj’s life and to achieve our goal of taking Anuj back home with us as soon as possible.” Mr Bidve, who left flowers and prayed at the spot, added: “As you can imagine, this has been an exceedingly difficult journey to make. “ W h e n Anuj left India in September last year he was full of hope and ambition for the future. We were all so very proud of him. “Anuj was our only son and we cannot comprehend this dreadful tragedy. “We do not blame the people of this city for what happened. The only person we blame is the man
Yogini and Subhash Bidve, parents of student Anuj Bidve and his brother-in-law Rakesh Sonawane being greeted by the Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP and his daughter Anjali as they arrived at the House of Commons to meet with him last Thursday 5th January 2012.
responsible for taking Anuj away from us in such a senseless act of violence on Boxing Day morning.” Mr Bidve said the family have been “deeply moved” and have taken comfort from the hundreds of messages they have received from the people of Salford and Lancaster, and especially the Indian community. Mr and Mrs Bidve and brother-in-law Rakesh Sonawane met Home Affairs Chair CommitteeRt Hon Keith Vaz for about 35 minutes after flying into the UK on Wednesday and called for justice. Kiaran Stapleton, 20, has been charged with murder. They were also taken to a meeting at Salford Town Hall, where they met civic and police leaders. David Cameron said he had “huge sympathy” for the family of Anuj
who have contacted me, and contacted the family direct, are very keen to set up a fund to honour the memory of Anuj and to
help the family. I am therefore helping to establish a fund to receive donations in memory of Anuj. Further details will be announced after discussions with the family. There will be 3 overseers of the fund, Kamel Hothi from Lloyds Bank, Reena
Anuj Bidve’s body being carried in Pune
Bidve. Rt Hon Keith Vaz told Asian Voice, “There are many people who have contacted me who wish to acknowledge the memory of Anuj and express their sadness as to what has happened. These people
Anand and Sangeeta Mandal.” A charity called Good Human Foundation, run by Yogesh and Madhuri Apte has been closely in touch with Anuj Bidve’s family and Indian High Commission, which released the body to the family on their arrival in Britain. Madhuri Apte who is from Pune herself had many people contacting them regarding the safety concerns of Indian students in Britain on hearing about Anuj’s murder. Yogesh Apte told Asian Voice that they have put together a page where they would suggest a free Local guardian scheme for
foreign students. That would enable students coming to Britain for the first time to cope with the cultural differences and settle better. They are also hoping to work with UK universities closely through this scheme helping to bind the communities together. This scheme would be launched on 26th Dec (seehttp://www.goodhumanfoundation.org.uk/pages/l ocal_guardian_scheme_14 6192.cfm) He also added, that there have been greeting cards sent for Bidve family to their offices and there have been several enquiries about donating money to Bidve’s family. Mr Apte said, people can make donation on the goodhuman website for Anuj, but in the Comment section must mention it’s meant for Anuj Bidve, so that it could be forwarded to the family. They have also launched a facebook page, that has gained remarkable support from at least 10,000 people so far (https://www.facebook.co m/JusticeforAnuj). Analysing the possible motivation that might have led to such a racial incident, Dr S Datta, an Economist and a former University of London professor said, “The threats of possible racial intolerance is arising out of the recession. One of the greatest sufferers from the recession has been the young population across the Anglo Saxon world. This has been worsened by the loss/lack of jobs caused by structural unemployment where a segment of the local youth population are just not adequately skilled/educated to take on a globalised workforce where better skilled or harder working immigrants do take away some of the jobs. I would still rate Britain as one of the most racially tolerant country in the world. But there would be sporadic cases of racial hatred as long as youth unemployment is high.” Expressing sadness at the killing of Anuj, Professor Eric Thomas, president of Universities UK, said that such incidents were rare in the country. Universities UK, the representative body of varsities in the UK, on Wednesday sought to reassure Indian and other international students that the country is “safe and tolerant” with low levels of violence and street crime. Prof Thomas recalled that a recent survey by the British Council showed that only a very small proportion of students had ever experienced any kind of crime here.
What does the murder of Anuj Bidve tell us about the safety of South Asian students in the UK? By Rani Singh Anuj Bidve’s parents walked somberly to the site where their son was fatally shot in the head at point blank range in the early hours of December 26, 2011. Watched by the world’s media, they quietly laid flowers and prayed. They were closely surrounded by British police who were sadly lacking at that same spot on Boxing Day, due to bank holiday staff shortages. Yogini and Subhash Bidve also travelled to Lancaster University where Anuj had been studying for an MSc in microelectronics. They had expected to be visiting there later in 2012 for his convocation. They had not anticipated being there to collect the belongings of their slain son from his room. Anuj’s parents and family had only found out about the tragic murder from Facebook, way ahead of British police contacting them. Several suspects have been arrested and one, Kiaran Mark Stapleton, has been charged with murder. The trial is set for June 2012. The issue of a 50,000 reward early on in the investigation indicates a high need for witnesses prepared to give evidence in a country where gang members are known to kill simply for initiation rituals or “bragging rights.” And while the police talk of a hate crime which may have been racially motivated, no substantive information has yet been released as to why they said this. In sensitive and high profile community-related murders the police, as a matter of policy, are required to set up a Community Reference or Independent Advisory Group to oversee the conduct of the investigation, manage expectations and provide appropriate oversight. It is not clear whether this has been done. What lessons can be learnt from the tragic murder of 23-year old Anuj Bidve? 1) There needs to be better emergency cover over bank holidays so that senior officials at the British Home and Foreign Office and the Indian High Commission (or the relevant country’s embassy) can react immediately to help with visas, air travel and communication to families and loved ones. 2) UK procedure and law needs to be explained to those affected and their families and speeded up where possible.
3) Police transparency needs to be in place; if racial motives are suspected, the reasons need to be made clear. 4) The security and safety of the thousands of Indians studying in the United Kingdom need due attention. Is there a central database of Indian students studying in UK universities, and does the Indian High Commission know how many such students there are? 5) What security and personal safety advice, based on locational threat and risk assessment is given by universities to new overseas students during their induction programmes? 6) Can local police and the private sector develop a relationship so that tracking services can be provided to students? 7) How can family liaison and information sharing across cultures and continents be improved? 8) How can the police and authorities stay ahead of social media in cases such as that of Anuj Bidve to respect sensitivities? 9) Is there an underlying anti-immigration feeling that is heightened during recessionary times and provides fuel for attacks such as the one on Anuj Bidve? What can be done to change this? These are some questions that we can all consider in answer to Mr Subhash Bidve’s pertinent statement last week; “It was really unfortunate that I lost my son, but I feel myself as a father this should not happen again because a lot of Indian students come here for their education and they go back to their own countries. I humbly request to you all kindly do justice for Anuj and kindly make sure that students who come here for their studies, they have their own studies and go back to their own countries.” (Rani Singh is the Security Correspondent for CSD UK Ltd, which is concerned with the safety and protection of communities, and whose chairman is Tarique Ghaffur, CBE, QPM, former Assistant C o m m i s s i o n e r Metropolitan Police.)
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
Midland Voice Contact: Dhiren on 07970 911 386 or email@example.com
Delayed discharges on rise Over 100 patients at some hospitals in Birmingham over Christmas were kept in longer than necessary because of delays assessing their condition or finding anywhere else for them to go, it has emerged. Figures from the Department of Health (DoH) revealed there were 138 “delayed discharges” patients stranded in hospital – up from 101 patients at the same time the year before. Delayed discharges are when patients are kept in
hospital even though they are ready to leave. Of the Birmingham patients, 37 were waiting for an assessment of their needs to be completed while 22 were waiting for places in a residential home, 15 were waiting for a place in a nursing home and 23 were waiting for a care package to be arranged to allow them to return to their own homes. The worst-hit hospital trusts were University Hositals Birmingham NHS Trust, which runs the Queen Elizabeth
Volunteers’ charity abseil A Birmingham lettings agency team have raised around £1,000 for The Stroke Association by braving an abseil down the walls of Dudley Castle. Lead volunteer Jatinder Gakhal from Oliver Edwards Residential Lettings said: “When my uncle had a stroke while abroad, it hit all our friends and family incredibly hard. This opportunity gave us the chance to help raise awareness, increase levels of support for all sufferers and help bring a positive touch to their lives.” Strokes are the UK’s third biggest killer. Each year 150,000 people in the UK suffer from a stroke, and for 53,000 of those, it is fatal. Photo: Hindi Chatha, Palli Gill, Sanchez Singh, Bonnie Chatha and (front) Jatinder Gakhal.
Graduates paint faces to earn cash Two debt-laden Cambridge graduates attempting to survive for a year solely by charging businesses to paint their company logos on their faces made more than £11,000 within just three months of starting their business. Entrepreneurs Ross Harper and Ed Moyse, pictured, both aged 22, who have combined student debts of almost £50,000, started the scheme on October 1. Within the first ten days they collected £3,500. They have so far donated £500 to charity. Their website is www.buymyface.co.uk is free. For more information contact 0121 303 2895.
Cops nabbed in sex offences A police sergeant avoided the sack despite being taken to court for picking up a prostitute, a Freedom of Information request has revealed. The shamed West Midlands Police employee was among 27 officers who kept their jobs despite being convicted of offences over the past seven years. Nationally, almost 1,000 police and community support officers had criminal records. Separately, a police officer who targeted vulnerable women for drugs and sex has gone on trial at Nottingham Crown Court, reports the Birmingham Mail. Pc Jasbir Singh Dhanda, 52, of Derby, is charged with 12 counts of misconduct in a public office and of obtaining personal data through misuse of a police database while he was a serving officer with Derbyshire Police over a seven-year period. Dhanda denies the charges.
Hospital, and reported 43 delayed discharges in a snap DoH survey, while Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Good Hope, Heartlands and Solihull Hospitals, reported 44. According to the DoH, each day costs an estimated £260, making a total cost of £1.1 million, for November 2011 alone. A DoH spokeswoman, defending, naturally, said it was “committed” to
minimising delayed discharges. “That is why we are investing £300 million to help people return to their homes after a spell in hospital,” she said. “The money was given for the first time in April and we would expect to see the money making a difference soon.” Tell us about your experience of staying in hospital, good or bad. E m a i l dhiren.katwa@abplgroup. com
MBE for Equality Officer Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal, a member of Staffordshire Police Authority, has been given an MBE for her work to bring communities closer together. Mrs HaroonIqbal, pictured, is also equality and diversity officer at Staffordshire University with a responsibility for race, religion and belief. “It’s quite humbling. I’m just not convinced it’s totally deserved,” said Mrs Haroon-Iqbal.
Killer poses from cell The killer of a Birmingham dadof-four has been caught posing for pictures in his cell, then allegedly posting them on Facebook, reports the Birmingham Mail. Liam Ryan, 19, is serving life for the murder of shopkeeper Suppiah Tharmaseelan. Yet just weeks after being jailed for 21 years, sickening photos of Ryan, pictured, show him making ‘V’ signs and a gangster’s gun salute from his cell. In addition, he is seen showing off his goodies – TV playstation games console, stereo and a shelf packed with food and drinks.
Leila to help the needy A youth worker from Birmingham is hoping to make a difference to the lives of less advantaged people when she travels to Bangladesh on a threemonth exchange. Leila Williams, pictured, 21, will join a team of 19 others from the UK and Bangladesh as part of Global Xchange – Youth Action – a programme for young people aged 18 to 22 which aims to give youngsters a chance to experience living and working in a different culture and learn about the issues affecting the community.
Social media is the future An increasing number of businesses in the Midlands are embracing social media, new research has revealed. More than one in three companies surveyed (39%) saw a proven positive commercial or reputational uplift; a third said they would increase spend on social media activity this year; and the research by Royal Bank of Scotland showed that senior executives are using tablet computers more, with nearly half (47%) of senior management using tablets regularly.
Meet Max Malik The author of The Butterfly Hunter will be at Central Library, Birmingham, this Saturday (Jan 14) between 2pm and 4pm. Dr Malik, pictured, who lives in Birmingham, was working as a doctor in the RAF in Stafford when terrorists attacked the twin-towers in September 2001. As a result, he has researched into the causes of violent extremism amongst some young people. Award-winning Dr Malik will share his life experiences and also read from his novel. This event
News in Brief Cliche littered CVs A fifth of Midland jobseekers are guilty of using clichés, according to research. A search of 5,000 CVs sent to Bell Cornwall Recruitment found 1,157 resumes used the term “motivated”, 633 called themselves “creative” and a further 202 told potential employers that they were “dynamic”.
Eco Gurdwara Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Sedgley Street, Blakenhall, has won permission from Wolverhampton City Council to fit solar panels to its roof.
Green prize for hospital The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Northfield, Birmingham, has been crowned the greenest company in the Midlands. It scooped a Gold prize in the Green Apple Environment Awards.
Dementia talk The national dementia tsar, Professor Alistair Burns, pictured, will be the keynote speaker at a conference at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham on January 27. In the UK, over 11,500 people with dementia are from ethnic minority communities. Two-thirds of dementia sufferers are women. Of the over 820,000 dementia sufferers in the UK, 16,000 are younger people.
‘Cougars’ on hunt Birmingham has the fifth largest ‘cougar’ population in the UK, according to a survey by website Badoo. A ‘cougar’ is an older woman who dates a younger man.
Jobs drought Irish workers leaving their homeland in search of a better life in Birmingham have been forced to return home after finding there are no jobs in the city. Around 40,000 people left their native Ireland last year, of which a third had come to Britain, according to Irish government figures.
Ex-chaplain’s confession A former chaplain of Birmingham Children’s Hospital is facing jail after admitting child sex offences – including filming a girl undressing. Stuart Charrington, 54, turned himself into police when he believed the offences had been uncovered. He is due to be sentenced on February 20.
Pen-shuns Just 34% of working-age people in the West Midlands are saving into a private pension. The Department for Work and Pensions’ “alarming” figures showed that, nationally, fewer than four out of ten are saving in a pension.
Companies inside jails proposal A new initiative which could see working businesses based inside jails has been launched by Birmingham Prison. Inmates could earn up to £20 a day under the scheme – Working Prisons: Working People – proposed by private prison operator G4S, which took over the newly-privatised jail last year. G4S has appealed to companies to employ prisoners while they are serving their sentences.
Teens depressed, warns charity Almost a third of Birmingham teenagers feel depressed, a youth charity has warned. The Prince’s Trust’s annual Youth Index research, which is based on interviews with 2,136 youngsters, showed 60% of Birmingham teens felt stressed all or most of the time. The research also revealed one in ten young people in the city felt they had not grown up in a stable environment.
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
Siberian court throws out case against Bhagvad Gita commentary Russian court’s decision to allow translation of “Bhagavad Gita as it is” by Srila Prabhupad has cheered ISKCON, Hindu Diaspora and government of India, supplementing “Gita” already available in Russia since 1788. Roving Hindu godmen should learn from ISKCON that rapid and pragmatic karma gets faster results than weeks of preaching, singing and counting breaths. With India-Hindu diplomacy, issue might have ended like, Ramjanmabhoomi debacle, Kashmir imbroglio in UNO, or Anna Hazare’s lok pal bill fiasco, candle light vigil post attacks on Parliament, Swaminarayan temple and Mumbai or lost in President’s office a la Afzal Guru and Kasab’s death sentences. Situation transcends Russia-IndiaGita formula. Russian Orthodox Church is suspicious European Churches, Hinduism and religious ideas from India, which they feel might undermine influence of Russian church a la Falun Gong feared in China and Yoga feared as evil by father Amroth of Vatican. Europeans dancing to tune of Krishna, might have been seen as hidden hand of theological adversaries in disguise of Hindu and Gita. Seeking ban on “Bhagavad Gita as it is” might have been revenge tactic for blocking Russian nuclear programme at Kudankulam overtly by Indians but covertly by Catholics, who did not protest against American nuclear programme. Ramesh Jhalla Via Email
Mayawati and UP election It has been reported in the Indian press that elections for five Indian states are going to take place starting from the end of this month. Uttar Pradesh (UP) the largest state in India with population of more than 100 million is also included in the election for state assembly. The UP government is run by an opposition Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Chief Minister of the state is Mayawati who comes from Dalit community. The BSP symbol is elephant. Mayawati has erected several monuments with elephant statues and the statue of herself and Dr. Ambedkar who came from Dalit community during her tenure as the Chief Minster of UP Dr. Ambedkar did a lot of good work for the upliftment of Dalits. The Indian election Commissioner Mr. Quraishi who is in charge of Uttar Pradesh election wants all the elephant statues and the statues of Dalit political leaders should be covered with cloth during the election period at a very high cost. Mr. Quraishi who is a political appointee of the UPA government wants all elephant statues in the parks should be covered since all political parties should have equal footing since no party should have any advantage over the symbol.
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
Would Clamping Nightmare Never End
One piece of legislation that was introduced by Labour in haste is the clamping law that has become a charter for printing money without obligation. Last week I had the misfortune to witness such clamping in a Wembley car park. Adjacent to this private car park, (PCP) there is metered parking on the road and the ticket machine for road parking is so near to the boundary of the PCP that motorists mistakenly take out a ticket from this machine, instead of one from a machine within the boundary of the PCP. Inevitably their cars are clamped incurring a fine of 90 or if it is towed away, it would cost 350. While PCP acts within the law, even putting up notices, I believe clamping was introduced for major parking offences, parking dangerously, blocking accesses and habitual offenders who ignore such laws. In most such cases, cars are parked safely, obstructing no one yet get clamped for minor indiscretion, buying tickets from a wrong machine or being late by few minutes. At worse these motorists should get a 40 parking ticket, not get clamped. I would like to urge the Brent Council to remove their ticket machine and relocate it either on the opposite side of the road or as far away from the PCO as possible. I hope Con-Lib government will make it a priority to repel this obnoxious act that makes the law an ass. Bhupendra M Gandhi Via Email People do not understand why elephants should be covered since there are hundreds of statues constructed during Mayawati’s rule in several parts of UP. Elephants represent Lord Ganesh and worshipped by millions of Hindus all over the world. Is it going to make different to election results and what happens to elephant statues in case BSP loses the election ? One party which is contesting the election in UP has cycle as the symbol. Are they going to ask all cyclists to cover their vehicle ? The Congress party has tri colour in their flag and Indian national flag has also has the same tri colour. It is politically naive on the part of UPA government to demand such modifications before election. Arun Vaidyanathan Via Email
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We are all eagerly waiting to see the introduction of legislation that would end the cowboy clamping that has plagued the venerable members of the society, sick, disabled and mothers with young children, people who are least able to resist the strong arm methods Motoring organisations have been deluged with complaints about rogue clampers who lurk in the shadows and move stealthily on the unsuspecting motorists when least expected. There are nearly 2000 companies who are legally empowered to clamp vehicles and so often charge up to 900 to release vehicles, marching the confused and frightened motorists to the nearest cash point. Notices in car parks and private land are so often hidden in corners or behind trees and vegetation, out of sight from the motorists. With the change of government, political will now exist to outlaw these operators. Under new rules, only those who are contracted out by local authorities will be able to clamp cars, as a last resort, thus tightly regulating such firms with annual check before renewing their licences. It sounds fair but as corruption is ripe in some local authorities, let us hope that these crooks are not able to bribe and obtain licence to print money at our expense. Kumudini D Valambia Via Email
Murder and Foreigners The murder of Anuj Bidve has been a very scary incident. I came to this country as an Indian student. I made many friends from other parts of India and Europe in London. We had very good time and I have been working here for the past 4 years. I have never ever felt even a bit scary, walking on the roads late at night, because I am an Asian. And I live in a suburban part of London. Today hearing this incident about Anuj Bidve, my confidence has reached rock bottom. When we had heard the story of an Indian student murdered in Australia, we thought this could never happen in the UK. Britain has so many Indians living for quite some time. The Indian diaspora in Britain is noteworthy and they have contributed immensely to the society. Yet such a radical incident happening to an Indian student in the heart of a British cosmopolitan city has absolutely shaken us up. It is very important that the British police and the UK universities become extra careful and provide additional care to the overseas students. Also in this economic period, when Britain needs money, if overseas students stop coming, Britain will suffer more. The British PM should make a separate statement trying to regain the confidence of the foreigners regarding safety on Britain’s streets. S Mitra London
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‘Smile Pinky’ too gets the Oscar Boyle says Mumbai dwarfed the statuette
Cricket crazy Indians for the first time was seen so euphoric on Monday morning, as they expected a couple of Oscars. British Indians in the UK, Dharavi slums, the shanty township of Mumbai, a village in Uttar Pradesh and almost the entire Bollywood waited in expectation, glued to their TV sets. They burst into celebrations as one by one, their heroes, the actors of the British Indian film and the music maestro, A R Rahman bagged the top awards in the world of entertainment. British actress Kate Winslett also won the Oscar after having missed it almost five times earlier. ‘Smile Pinki’, a short documentary on a cleft-lipped Indian girl in Uttar Pradesh directed by American director Megan Mylan, won the Oscar for the Best Documentary (Short). -/1% /. 0!'%
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I was watching an Indian Channel this week and heard one of the Swamiji’s telling people that Bhagwan Krishan Ji had 16108 wives. On the other day I was reading a book on Hinduism and Hindu temples in India, where it was written that Hindus have 33 crore Gods. The book is written by a Hindu. By reading and hearing such wrong statistics (correct me if I am mistaken) from some of the Hindu leaders, I feel we must develop a Hindu body which should have rights to correct these people and stop from spreading wrong messages. Even if I assume for a second that these above statements are correct, then why can’t the Hindus have more than one wife if our god Krishna could have 16108 wives? Why has no Hindu challenged such a law? That is because it’s untrue and there are no proofs to back it up. It is absolutely derogatory and disrespectful towards women. TV channels should show some responsibilities and not bring such Swamijis on shows to acquire popularity feeding false informations to the audience. Dharam Sahdev Via Email
The Bargain Hunters Now that Christmas is over, the great January sales have started and the shop till you drop culture takes on. People start flocking in droves to the high streets to undergo retail therapy through bargain hunting. But are they really bargains? The prices had already been hiked up before Christmas as people would go on a spending spree to buy presents to distribute among friends and family regardless of prices. We go to sales for bargain hunting and come away with things which we really did not need but we buy them because we think we have grabbed a bargain by getting them at a cheaper price. Sale or no sale, one must haggle by asking for discounts and most of the time one can strike a bargain and come away with goods either at a lower price or receive additional benefits in cash or kind. It is indeed necessary in these hard times to haggle for a bargain price otherwise we fork out much more than the item’s worth. This is true more so when we go shopping in say China, Thailand, Turkey or India because the initial prices are already put up four or five times their real worth. An item selling for say 100 Baht in Bangkok could be obtained for as little as 20 or 25 Baht if you knew how to haggle. Bargaining is the rule in many eastern countries, at least at the many markets and back-street clothes stalls. Bargaining is an art and if you are unfamiliar with it always try and drop the seller’s offering price as much as possible before opening your mouth with a price. Be aware that the initial price offered by the seller is usually at least 40% over the general price acceptable. It can be up to 500% over. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford
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Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
Sparks ignites entrepreneurial spirit at the LSE
Lord Karan Bilimoria (Founder of Cobra Beer) – keynote speaker Sparks@LSE 2010
As another year passes, the headlines in the business world have once again been dominated by the fruitless efforts to emerge from the financial crisis. Not a day goes by without hearing the words ‘economic slowdown’, ‘job cuts’ or ‘growing national debt’. Recently, however, another buzzword has emerged and is quickly being recognised as one of the “only strategies left” to reinvigorate growth. That word is entrepreneurship. David Cameron recently claimed that enterprise is “the only hope for growth” for the UK, and accordingly announced a budget that introduced previously unheard of policies to boost enterprise. This philosophy is at
the essence of ‘Sparks@LSE – Inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs’, hosted by the LSEsu Entrepreneurs Society, an interactive weekend entrepreneurship conference held at the London School of Economics for 250 of the most ambitious students and young professionals from around the world. Through their diverse agenda, their goal is to inspire young people to develop their business potential and encourage innovative thinking. Led by high-profile entrepreneurs, the conference will feature lectures, networking sessions and skillsbased workshops designed to ignite the spark in budding young entrepreneurs that now represent the future of our economy. Building on their hugely successful inaugural conference, where they had the great pleasure of welcoming a variety of
world-class entrepreneurs from the likes of Lord Karan Bilimoria (Founder of Cobra Beer) to Ed Wray (Co-founder and Chairman of Betfair), they are incredibly happy to have grown their network of entrepreneurs affiliated with the event this year. Speakers announced so far include the likes of Kris Gopalkrishnan (Cofounder Infosys), Stephen Wiener (Founder of Cineworld) and many more! “The Sparks student team is proud to provide a platform to inspire students and young professionals to fulfill their business ambitions – they are looking forward to welcoming all the delegates in February!” says student Rajiv Dhokia – President Sparks@LSE. Tickets for the conference are now on sale now on their website ( w w w. s p a r k s l s e . c o m ) alongside a full speaker lineup.
Newham Council wins fight to update BBC Eastenders' credits The BBC have finally bowed to pressure from Newham Council and updated EastEnders' credits with the Olympic Stadium. Nearly a year ago Newham where two thirds of London 2012 will take place - sent a letter to Mark Thompson, the BBC's DirectorGeneral. Now, the hit soap has finally unveiled new graphics, which show the Olympic Park, including the stadium. Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales said: "We are delighted to see the BBC has done the right thing. It was absurd that the Olympic broadcaster was using credits that seemed
to be stuck in a time warp. The East End of London is being transformed and it is good to see EastEnders finally reflecting this."
Sir Robin wrote a letter to Mr Thompson early last year (2011). "The council is disappointed there appear to be no plans to update the iconic EastEnders' title sequence. We would ask that you intervene to ensure that,
the BBC helps to support our regeneration efforts as we look to ensure they inspire people in Newham, across London and beyond. As you will be aware, a number of the key landmarks for the 2012 Games are in place. These include the Olympic Stadium, Athletes' Village, award-winning Velodrome, Westfield shopping centre (the biggest in Europe), and the iconic Aquatics Centre. We have not even mentioned the fact that the extension to the ExCeL London exhibition centre is not included, which represents a key part of the regeneration of the Royal Docks.”
Pound Shop owner fined for fly-tipping The owner of a Southall pound shop has been ordered to pay £1,015 after his staff were caught fly-tipping. Mr Ajit Singh, the owner of One Pound Store at 42 South Road, Southall, appeared at Ealing Magistrates Court on Thursday, 15 December 2011, and pleaded guilty to failing to prevent his staff from flytipping on six occasions in May and June 2011. The prosecution follows a CCTV operation by the council's envirocrime
officers. The team caught shop staff dumping black sacks full of the business’ waste, cardboard and cardboard boxes, outside a neighbouring business. Mr Singh had been given advice and warnings by enforcement officers. Mr Singh was fined £100 for each of six offences and was ordered to pay £400 towards the council’s costs along with a £15 victim surcharge, making a total of £1,015. Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for Transport and
Environment, said: "Flytipping is unsightly and will not be tolerated. We will take action against those who choose to ignore the law. Thanks to the diligence of our Envirocrime team, this business owner will think twice before disposing of waste incorrectly again. We are committed to making Ealing’s streets cleaner and I would urge anyone to report any incidents of fly-tipping to Grimebusters, the council’s 24-hour hotline on 020 8825 8825."
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
Scrutator’s Politicians in India may largely be viewed as players in the theatre of the absurd, but scientists, industrialists and the military are seen as a credible force worthy of public respect. One such scientist is R.A. Mashelkar FRS. Writing recently in Business Week (December 20 2011), Dr Mashelkar refers to the innovative cusp from which India is likely to emerge as a global technological power (despite the leeway in research and development across a broad field that is yrt to be bridged). “How innovative is today’s India”?, he asks. His answer: “The Global Inn ovation Index 2011 shows that India is ranked 69th among 125 states. These indices have to be taken with a pinch of salt, though. Indices a per capita basis create a problem for India. Anything that is divided by as billion comes to zero! Let us look at other signals. Is India changing the vocabulary of innovation? The answer is yes.
Frugal innovation Inspired by India, we find the entry of frugal innovation, nanovation, Gandhian innovation and even Indovation! Last year, the late C.K. Prahlad and I co-authored ‘Innovation’s Holy Grail’ in Harvard Business Review….we talked of getting more from less for more and more people – not just for more and more profit. More from less for more has caught the imagination has caught the imagination of the world. The World Economic Forum had a half day session [on the subject] last year. “GE medical team in India made the low-cost portable ECG machine, which inspired GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt to propound the concept of ‘reverse innovation,’predicting that countries like India will become the fountainheads of original innovation, which will migrate
to the West. A $2000 Tata Nano car inspired the American couple Kevin and Jackie Freiberg to write the book ‘Nanovation.’ India continues to make the impossible possible. Can we make a recombinant DNA hepatitis-B vaccine available at a price that is 40 times lower with such a high quality that it captures 40 per cent of the UNICEF market? Can we make a cataract surgery available at a price that is 100 times lower with a quality that is better than what the Royal College of Opthalmic surgeons are able achieve? India has done it.
and Professor Bhanu Pratap Mehta, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. (Socialpolitical science and international relations).
N. R. Narayana Murthy, Chairman Emeritus of Infosys Limited, former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen at the Infosys Prize awards in Bangalore
Abdul Kalam. The prize, into its third year, carries a cash component of Rs 500,000 (about $10,000). The prize winners were Kalyanmoy Deb, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, Imran Siddique, Centre for Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, Kannan Sunderrajan, Director,
Mathematics, Research Centre, Stanford University, USA, Sr (Sriram Ramaswamy, Professor, Centre for Condensed Matter Theory,Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore (physical sciences), Raghu Rajan, Charles Harper Fellow, University of Chicago, USA, School of Business Studies.
A conference of non-resident Indians and people Indian origin living in foreign countries has become part of the Indian political and cultural calendar. This year’s meet was held in the Pink City of Jaipur in the north-western state of Rajasthan. Among the leading figures was Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, whose forbears migrated to the Caribbean island Bihar as indentured labour. President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressed the conference and called for closer ties with the Indian diaspora and the mother country. Dr Singh mentioned the possibility of extending the country’s democratic franchise to NRIs.
Infosys Prize A report in The Hindu (January 10 2012) tells of a function in Bangalore, where six researchers from five science disciplines were awarded with the Infosys Prize-2011 by former Indian President Dr APJ
JAIPUR: The ministry of overseas Indian affairs kicked off the 10th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Jaipur on Saturday with the formal launch of the special pension and life insurance scheme
Delhi car show 2012 The Delhi car show – Asia’s largest – was a glittering occasion with numerous foreign and domestic model carmakers putting their latest products on public view. US carmaker Ford has decided to make India a hub for manufacturing and global exports. The same is true for certain other international brands. Japan’s Suzuki company is one brand. he ne
es el pos A mod 50 bike 2 RTR w TVS
Tata's concept car, Tata Pixel, is on display
Maruti Displayed A-Star Convertible
Two award-winning Jaguar concepts, the groundbreaking C-X75 and C-X16, today made their Indian market debuts at the New Delhi Auto Expo
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
Political Sketchbook About HAROLD BENJAMIN
A national shame I wrote in this column some months ago, that I simply could not understand what a Prime Minister is doing when children are suffering immense abuse and the shame this reflects upon a nation. Well, as I write this, the PM of India, Manmohan Singh, has branded child malnutrition a ‘national shame’. Why the sudden wake up? Because apparently when you are cloistered with a Cambridge education and part of the political elite, you need a report to tell you that ‘nearly half the children in the country are underweight’. But don’t worry Prime Minister, the increasing rich middle class are making sure the other half are thoroughly overweight and obese. So you see, on average, India has nothing to worry about. Apparently 42% of children are malnourished. As I have written before, India, cannot feed its own children and so has no right to have obscene phallic private homes. And I didn’t need a report to tell me. I am sure someone will draw this report to the attention of the British taxpayer who was a kind and generous donor to the people of India. The former colonial master still has to look after its off-
Migrants- helpful or hindrance? Immigration to Britain has had little or no impact on the overall levels of unemployment, even during the recent recession, according to research published on Tuesday. A report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research comes in advance of the results of an official inquiry by the government’s migration advisory committee on the impact of migration from outside Europe on the economy and public services in Britain. The NIESR report, which uses national insurance registrations by foreign nationals for the first time to analyse the impact of immigration on the UK labour market, says it found no link between migrant inflows and the overall level of those claiming jobseeker’s allowance. However the Daily Telegraph reported, a Briton is “displaced” from the labour market for every four extra migrants from outside the EU that arrive in the UK, the Migration Advisory Committee (Mac) has concluded. The findings are in contrast to a study by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (Niesr) which claimed the number of immigrants coming to the UK had little or no impact on the number of unemployed.
spring is the real shame Mr Prime Minister Singh. I’ve also said in the past in this column, India has yet to achieve economic Independence. I won’t be celebrating on August 15th. Political independence is meaningless without economic independence. Instead I will work on August 15th – the people of India need my charity it appears. Shame. Shame is a word you don’t often hear. It’s often linked to honour. ‘Honourable’ is linked automatically to Ministers and politicians. It would appear the British Parliament’s members who have passed aid to India are indeed honourable. It would appear the Indian Parliament’s members have yet to earn that title. India is at war. War with shame. As the BBC stated, ‘India also has the highest number of Vitamin A deficient children in the world: nearly 6% of the children suffer from eye problems related to the deficiency. Of the 37m people in the world who are blind, about 15m are from India. More than 320,000 children suffer from avoidable blindness.’ Yet, just before Christmas, a Member of the House of Lords, a Patron of a charity in India, CINI,
support child nutrition said to me, ‘it’s so difficult getting the very wealthy Indians in the UK to give’. Perhaps it is a reflection of what was said by an Englishman from the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies to an Indian audience in the UK, ‘this is your heritage, it is for you to look after it, not me. I am just a guest. Why should I be cleaning your home for you?’ Yet there is hope. Also over Christmas I received a message from one of the UK Patrons of Akshaya Patra – Harinbhai Thaker – about how much they’ve received this year for their charity focussed on alleviating child malnourishment. You see it is not the super rich Indians in the UK who give in proportion to their worth, it is the middle and working class Indian in the UK who gives disproportionately to their worth. Heaven is full tonight, not with the souls who made riches on earth. Heaven is full with malnourished children and the souls of those who gave more than they could afford. Alpesh is the co-founder of www.batrustmarkets.com a trading platform, the profits from which go to the Prince of Wales’s Charity, the British Asian Trust.
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Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
India Connect London welcomes ‘Player’ Abhishek Bachchan Q & A: Visa to India What is Renunciation/ Surrender of Indian Passports Under the Indian law, people of Indian origin, who have acquired foreign nationality, are required to surrender their Indian passport (nationality) to the High Commission of India in London or at the respective Indian consulates at Birmingham and Jiten Vyas, VFS Global Edinburgh before submitting their visa applications. What documents do I need to surrender my Indian Passport Documents Required for Surrender of Indian Passports Duly filled application form Original Indian Passport (Last/Valid Indian passport at the time of Naturalization) Self attested photocopy of Indian passport (Used Visa Pages) Self attested photocopy of British / Foreign Passport Self attested photocopy of British / Foreign Naturalisation certificate Processing time would be a minimum of 13-14 working days; it may take longer in certain cases. All decisions are at sole discretion of the High Commission of India, London and its Consulates in the United Kingdom. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and does not guarantee a Surrender Certificate. The High Commission of India or its Consulates reserve the right to ask for additional documents if required. What is the fee for Surrendering my Indian Passport? Mode of payment could be Cash, Debit or Credit Card (except American Express Card), Postal Order or Bank Draft payable to “VF Services UK Ltd” The Government of India has fixed a fee for renouncing the Indian Citizenship / Surrender Of Indian Passport based on the date, the Person of Indian Origin, has acquired British/Foreign Citizenship. The fee has been fixed w.e.f. 01.06.2010 as under:-
*The fee in the table is inclusive of the £2 Consular Surcharge. Can I post my Indian Passport Surrender Application? Applications can also be sent by post to our centralised postal processing centre at the address listed below. Postal applications require a minimum of 10-14 working days to be processed. This does not include the period when applications are in transit to and from the High Commission of India or its Consulate General of India in United Kingdom. India Visa Application Centre 1-3, Canalside, Uxbridge Road Hayes, Middlesex, UB4 0JN For further information please visit our website in.vfsglobal.co.uk For more information regarding any quires about Indian Visa please contact by email or post: Email: email@example.com Customer Relations Department. India Visa Application Center, 60-62 Wilton Road, London SW1V 1DE
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By Meera Majithia Hundreds of fans gathered at Cineworld Feltham on Friday 6th January to catch a glimpse of Bollywood superstar Abhishek Bachchan. Crowds cheered and snapped pictures as Abhishek signed autographs and shook hands with a select few. The actor was pleasantly surprised when he was told that all shows at the cinema for his brand new film ‘Players’, were reported to have been sold out. Earlier on in the day Asian Voice caught up with the actor at the films press conference where he spoke to select media about his role. When asked if he identified with his character of con-artist Charlie, Abhishek said: “That’s one of the biggest challenges of any actor – to
find some common-ground. You have to fabricate a character from the word go. It is always difficult to pinpoint one thing you relate with, but having said that the most obvious thing is the physical link with
the character.” ‘Players’ is the official remake of ‘The Italian Job’ however Abhishek told us he had no idea what he was signing up for when he said yes to the movie. He said: “I said yes to the film before I even heard the script. I’ve known Abbas bhai and Mustan bhai for a very long time. I’m a huge admirer of their work and we’ve been trying to work out a film together, which never happened. “This time round when they came to me I said okay let’s block the time first and I’ll hear the script later. It was only two to three months down the line when I heard the script, that I found out we were remaking the Italian job and I was overjoyed.” There are some great locations featured in the film, and it is also the first Indian film to have been shot in the North Pole. The unit were shoot-
ing down there for around 20 hours a day as there was sunlight up until around 1am with only darkness for two hours. Jokingly, the actor added: “If you’re from Mumbai then it’s torture because in Mumbai if it becomes 20 degrees then we get our sweaters out.” Of course it is no secret that junior Bachchan has also recently become a newfound father. When questioned how he managed to juggle his professional life with being a new dad, he said: “You have to make time. I’m an actor, I love doing that but I have a certain responsibility to my audience, I have to fulfil that, and I have a responsibility to my family. “I think I’ve managed pretty well till date before the baby was born, so I don’t think I’ll have a tough time doing it.” However due to his hectic promotional schedule ‘Beti B’ is yet to be given a name. While ‘Players’ released worldwide on January 6th, in the future, Abhishek fans can look forward to seeing him in comedy ‘Bol Bachchan’ co-starring Ajay Devgn, slated for release in mid-July. He will shortly begin shooting for Dhoom 3 and there is also a film with his father, which is in the pre-production stage with their family company AB Corp. Photo courtesy: Raj Bakrania
Couple married for 86 years A couple from Bradford who tied the knot in 1925 could be the UK’s longest married husband and wife. Karam Chand was born in a small rural village in the Punjab in northern India in 1905.
living a long married life. “Eat and drink what you want but in moderation. I have never held back from enjoying my life,” he said. Mr Chand smokes one cigarette a day before his evening meal and also drinks a tot of whiskey or brandy three or four times a week. His daughter-in-law Rani said it was something he looked forward to. The couple have eight children, 27 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren. Many Asian people in Karam and Kartari Chand the UK live withHis family worked in in traditional extended families and the Chands farming and, in keeping are no exception. with the custom of the They live with their time, he married at a youngest son Satpal, young age. His bride together with his wife and Kartari was born in the two of their four children. same district in 1912. “We really feel blessed According to their passthat our parents are still ports, that currently here with us and every day makes Mr Chand 106 and is a bonus,” Satpal told his wife 99 years old. They wed in a typical BBC. Sikh ceremony in “I think that keeping December 1925 and have the minds of older people just celebrated their 86th active is the key to them year together as a married staying alert and healthy. couple, which they think “If you have been may qualify them as the given the privilege to look UK’s longest married husafter your parents you must involve them fully in band and wife. Mr Chand, family life and never get who came with his family angry with them, keep to Bradford in 1965, said them happy and they will there was no real secret to
Hindu Council (Brent) organised a football tournament with Affiliated Organisations of the Hindu Council (Brent). Athia Samaj, Shree Lim Bachia Gnati Mandal and Shree Kshatriya Association had taken part in the match and Athia Samaj won. The Tournament was attended by my self Manubhai Makwana (Chairman) Hindu Council (Brent), Mr. Arvindbhai Dhutia (Vice Chairman ) Mr. Ashwinbhai Galoria (Secretary) and mainly organised by Secretary of Hindu Council (Brent) Mr. Ashwinbhai Galoria. The Trophies were sponsored by KP Engineering Works Limited, and presented by Mrs Jayaben Makwana (Director) and Mr. Manubhai Makwana (Director) then look forward to getting up the next morning.” Kartari Chand is looking forward to getting a letter from The Queen later this year when she celebrates her 100th birthday, but is more cautious about staying fit and healthy. Mrs Chand said that she and her husband enjoyed doing many things, such as eating meals together and going to the temple. However, she added that some aspects of old age were difficult. “My eldest son died
and that was hard for us because you don’t expect to outlive your own children.“We have seen many other close family members depart and that’s something we just have to live with.”Mr Chand is now unable to walk any distance without assistance and needs a lot more care than his wife, who remains active and still has her own teeth. Satpal Chand said he was not sure if his parents were the longest married couple in the UK, but would like to think that they are.
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
by Debasree Ghosh
Be a Fashionista, Be You! If you have any questions or a story or a new style to share with us, please write to Shree at firstname.lastname@example.org
Not Sold On Sale I got a hint that something was amiss about a year ago when I was packing up my flat for a move. Crammed in my closet tucked underneath my shirt hangers were a vast quantity of shopping bags.Grocery store bags. Department store bags. Big bags. Little bags. Boots bags. Selfridges bags. Primark bags. Plastic bags, cloth bags, paper bags. Bags inside of bags inside of bags. My first realization was: Oh my God, I'm a BAG lady! My second thought was: Oh my God, I'm a shopaholic! People love their stuff. And I am no exception. I possess way too many things. Over the last decade, I have moved several times and each time my love of possessions has been reinforced. No time brings out my love-hate relationship with stuff more than post-Christmas; the season of sales. My God I hate sales. Shopping in general is often a harrowing experience (yes, I know I write a fashion column, but wait until next week for my list of justifications), but it’s compounded tenfold when there are sales on. The world and its mother can’t resist getting their grubby little mitts on anything that has a few pennies slashed off it. I tend to avoid it at all costs, but sometimes, you have no choice but to engage. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the concept of buying two things for the price of
one. But the act of saleshopping and the tremendous disappointment it generally involves, is one big hideousness. A few days back, I headed to Oxford Street. All I needed was a pair of jeans that actually fit me, something for a friend’s birthday that’s around the corner and a coat. I had a plan of action, that
actually get some use out of, on the sale racks? I bought it anyway, fullprice, and headed to Zara, convinced that ‘the store that never fails me’ will cheer me up. Boy was I wrong! Rows upon rows of clothes stuffed together on hangers in different sizes, with clothes on the floor and barely any space between
Body of Brit-Indian student found in Manchester river Continued from page 1 Gurdeep, pictured, from West Bromwich, West Midlands, had been staying with friends in Fallowfield, Manchester. Greater Manchester Police said his body was found in the water near York Street on Tuesday afternoon. Mr Hayer, a Glyndwr University student, was last been seen leaving Sankey’s Club on his own early on 2 January. He had earlier gone out with friends to the Radium Street club in Manchester city centre. Mr Hayer was a firstyear business student at the university’s Wrexham site. Professor Michael Scott, vice-chancellor of
the university said: “I was fortunate enough to spend some time speaking to Gurdeep shortly before Christmas. “We discussed our shared roots in the West Midlands and it was clear how much he enjoyed university life and how well-liked he was by his peers. “The thoughts of everyone at Glyndwr University are with Gurdeep’s family at this tragic time.” After visiting Sankeys on New Year’s Day, Gurdeep’s friends last saw him in the early hours of Monday morning (2nd January); they left Sankeys nightclub without him, believing that he had left without them, but
he never made it back to the flat. Gurdeep was last seen leaving the Radium Street club on his own at 02:30 GMT on 2 January before getting into a parked private hire taxi. He was last seen wearing a navy blue polo shirt, black or blue jeans and trainers. Mum Peramjit Kaur, 42, became concerned after her son didn’t return home as planned on January 3 and reported Gurdeep missing two days later. She said: “It is completely out of character for him not to keep in touch with me, he’s a very reliable person and he’s usually ringing me all the time because he knows how much I worry.
Untimely death of a Mastering Engineer shocks London music industry
I planned out with military precision and would not be swayed from. I’d seen pictures in the paper of hoards of people who queued overnight to get into the Selfridges sale. You can file that under ‘Things You’ll Never Catch Me Doing.’ I stepped off the tube into a foggy city centre that looked like the apocalypse. People, like rats, everywhere, with bags hanging from every available appendage, darting around from shop to shop, barging, pushing, yelling. I weaved through the hoards, found my way to Gap and located the jeans I wanted. Only it wasn’t on sale. Why is it that the shop-people never ever put the basic classic items that you will
the racks. I wouldn’t be able to spot my grandma in that chaos let alone a bargain. Then I found a top. A nice a non-offensive green colour and in my size. Halfway to the tills, I got cynical, and started questioning why the item was on sale in the first place, asking myself why it didn't sell well, if I would be prepared to pay for it if the item was full price and if not, would I really be making any savings? I returned the top to it’s place and sulked off into the sunset. And on my way out, I saw the dress I bought before Christmas that’s now on half price. And with that, I got back on the tube and got the hell outta dodge.
MITIE Chief Executive awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours List for 2012 Ruby McGregor-Smith, chief executive of MITIE Group PLC, was named on the New Year Honours List for 2012 and will be honoured with a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for her services to business and diversity in business. Ruby joined MITIE, the FTSE250 outsourcing and energy services company, in 2002 and was appointed as CEO in 2007. She is one of a small number of women holding the position of Chief Executive in the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 and is the first Asian woman to be appointed in such a role within that group of companies. Since joining, Ruby has overseen MITIE grow
its revenues from £0.5bn to £1.9bn, continuing its 24year track record of consecutive revenue and earnings growth. Ruby McGregor-Smith said: “I am truly honoured and humbled by this award. I am passionate about promoting opportunities, entrepreneurialism and diversity in the UK, and delighted to have made a contribution and been recognised with such an honour.”
TV chief killed for revenge? A medical student accused of luring a television executive to his death described in court on Monday how the man had attempted to rape her. Mundill Mahil, 20, is alleged to have arranged for two “gangsters” to kill
Gagandip Singh in revenge for the attack. Mr Singh, 21, an owner of the satellite channel Sikh TV and president of the British Sikh Student Federation, Continued on page 28
The untimely death of Nilesh Patel, the mastering engineer behind classic tracks by the likes of Air, Bjork, Daft Punk and Pulp on 21st December morning, has left the industry music shocked. Initially reported about by various social media was verified by the The Exchange, the London mastering studio in Camden where Nilesh worked for over twenty years. According to the website, Nilesh who was 46 years old had joined
the studio in 1988, during it’s youthful inception. The Exchange website says, “He was a big part of all of our lives at The Exchange including mem-
bers past and present. Nilesh, pictured, was an exceptional engineer and a very kind hearted person and a guy we grew up with, cried with and laughed with...” He is survived by mother Savitaben, sister, wife and two children. Nilesh’s many projects also included releases by Moby, Pet Shop Boys, Underworld, Pulp, Felix Da Housecat, Femi Kuti, Four Tet, David Guetta, Skunk Anansie and Erasure.
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
Rajinikanth's biography to hit stands on 12.12.12 A biography of Rajinikanth will hit book stands in the superstar's true style on 12.12.12. Publishers Penguin Books India said that 'Rajinikanth' by critic-producer Naman Ramachandaran will be the first and only definitive biography of one of India's biggest stars and the launch will commemorate his 62nd birthday on the unique date December 12, 2012. "The book will comprehensively analyse his meteoric career in the movie industry from his debut performance to his forthcoming blockbuster 'Rana', releasing this year. "With never before presented insights on his personal and political life, this book, for the first time analyses the unmatched charm and magic of Rajinikanth”.
G V Prakash to compose music for Big B film
Music composer G V Prakash Kumar has mentioned that he is composing music for the film in which Amitabh Bachchan is acting. He said, “I am composing music for the Hindi film titled ‘Gangs of Wasseypur.’ This film which has Manoj Bajpai in the lead role is being directed by Anurag Kashyap. I am also composing the music for the film “Joker”. This film has Akshay Kumar in the lead role. Apart from these films I have been signed for a Hindi film titled “Common Men” which has Amitabh Bachchan in the cast. The music composing is going on in Chennai. I will be meeting Amitabh Bachchan soon. I consider composing music for Amitabh’s film as a big award.”
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
Kollywood actress Namitha did not have any big release in 2011. This was the time when she got more time to divert her attention from films and she successfully ventured into construction field. However, during the period, the actress also gave a thought on changing her ‘single’ status. Now, we hear that she has found her dream boy. If the latest rumours are anything to go by, Namitha has started liking a lawyer. It is said that he was her pillar of strength, when she jumped into the construction field. His helping attitude and business knowledge impressed the voluptuous girl. Now, her proximity and friendship with him have gone to next step, as the Billa actress is in love.
Hot Garam masala Bipasha Basu locks herself in a storeroom An otherwise hassle-free actress, Bipasha Basu recently threw a tantrum at an event in Bangalore where she refused to come out of a storeroom after spotting a huge crowd of fans waiting outside. Bips is generally quite a sport when it comes to interacting with people and meeting commitments during public events. But this time, at the launch of a jewellery store, the actress got paranoid when she spotted a sea of people who had thronged the venue. The actress then locked herself up in a storeroom and refused to step out unless she was provided with 20 extra bouncers. There were 25 bouncers at the venue already and the event was running late. But the actress absolutely refused to step out unless they arranged for more security.
I’m not the next big thing: Ranveer Singh He burst onto the scene with “Band Baaja Baraat” and his second film “Ladies Vs Ricky Behl” also did well, but actor Ranveer Singh, who is working on Anurag Kashyap's “Lootera” now, says he is not the next big thing in Bollywood. "People started calling me the next big thing after 'Band Baaja Baaraat' but I don't take such things seriously. By no means am I the next big thing and I don't allow such notions to get into my head. It is the end of an actor if he starts believing himself to be big. I have a long way to go. Sky is the limit," Ranveer said.
Karishma Kapoor says no to intimate scenes Karisma Kapoor, who is making a comeback in the film “Dangerous Ishq,” has put her foot down when it comes to intimate scenes between her and her costar in Vikram Bhatt's reincarnation saga. According to a source. Karisma has made it pretty clear in her contract that she won't do any intimate scenes with either of her co actors. And this despite the storyline being about two men passionately obsessed with the actress. Finally, Vikram Bhatt had to edit the lovemaking scenes before Karisma stepped into the role. However, the filmmaker denied the existence of a nointimacy clause in the contract.
Rani-Aditya likely to make it official this year
Namitha finds her dream boy
Looks like Bollywood is going to see a number of stars heading to alter this year. While RiteshGenelia and KareenaSaif have made it official, another couple who might take the plunge in 2012 is R a n i Mukerji and Aditya Chopra. Yash Raj film’s scion and filmmaker Aditya Chopra was spotted at the Mumbai airport recently returning from a family holiday in London. Aditya and his family were spotted along with Aditya’s rumoured girlfriend, actress Rani. The director who has shied away from the paparazzi ever
Madhuri Dixit to be waxed at Madame Tussauds Bollywood diva Madhuri Dixit is the latest Indian film star to join the A-list line up at London's Madame Tussauds. The 44-year-old has already posed in Mumbai for sculptors from the musuem and is expected to unveil her likeness in London in March, according the website of the famed wax musuem. It will cost 150,000 pounds to create and will take a team of sculptors, hair, makeup and wardrobe experts four months to create. "The decision to include Madhuri is set to delight Bollywood fans around the world as we are c o n s t a n t l y inundated with requests to feature Madhuri. Her figure will make a stunning new addition to our Bollywood area which continues to grow in popularity every year," a statement said.
since his first film ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ released in 1995, was captured by the photographers on his way back home. The director this time did not shy away from the camera. What was even more interesting to see was that the director did not mind the presence of the media even when Rani was around. The couple, who categorically denied their relationship in the last few years, seemed to be at ease being clicked at the same venue. Even though the couple were not clicked together, the entourage comprising of Rani, Aditya, Yash Chopra and his wife Pamela Chopra with younger son Uday Chopra, made it evident that they were back from a ‘family’ vacation. The couple was earlier clicked by a website celebrating Diwali at Aditya’s home in Mumbai in 2011. The big question is, will Rani and Aditya finally admit to their relationship?
Ajay Devgn & Saif Ali Khan at odds again
They may have played friends turned foes in “Omkara” but seems like there is some trouble in paradise leading to off screen battle as well. Unbelievable as it may sound but Saif Ali Khan's dream project “Agent Vinod” has been delayed all over again after being pushed ahead from February to March. While the constant flip-flop around the release plan is hardly the kind of situation either Saif or Kareena would have wanted to be in, there is also some heartburn reserved for Ajay Devgn since the film is now clashing with his “Tezz” heads-on. "I don't remember when was the last time a big film saw a change in plan so often," says a trade follower, "Agent Vinod was earlier supposed to arrive in the middle of last year. Then it
got pushed to December. Post that it was pitched around the Valentine's Day in February and now it is March. I hope this time around it is final." Incidentally “Tezz” has been threatened by “Agent Vinod” in as many as two instances, first in December and now in March. The Ajay Devgn starrer too has faced its own challenges in reaching the finishing line. While Ajay has kept mum around the release of “Tezz” so far, Kareena is gung ho about “Agent Vinod” and feels that not much needs to be read in the 'slight delay' that the film is seeing. She says, “Agent Vinod is really special for them. The film is taking some time but that's because it is our baby and we want the best product for the audience."
Vidya turns 33, awaits an 'award winning' season
She worked hard right through 2011 and now that she has celebrated her 33rd birthday last week, it is time to reap benefits. If last year started off quite well for Vidya with ‘No One Killed Jessica’ winning her accolades, the ending was much more than just a cherry on the cake with her “The Dirty Picture” not just winning her immense appreciation but also scoring tremendously at the box office. Even as she has taken a mini break of sorts before kickstarting the promotion of her next film “Kahaani” Vidya is now pretty much a hot candidate for all the major awards coming this way as the awards season beckons. "Well, let's see how the awards season goes but most importantly I am ecstatic with all the compliments that have come my way even though the film's release was a month ago," says Vidya who is on a mini-break of sorts as she brought the New Year and her birthday. Widespread acknowledgment coming her way can be pretty much evidenced from the fact that at last count, “The Dirty Picture” had already collected over Rs 750 million at just the Indian box office and was still counting. While the film is most easily one of the biggest successes of 2011, what also makes it special (and hence a solid reason for being considered for all the awards waiting to be announced) is the fact that it is the first woman centric film to do such huge business. "It was first termed as a hit, then superhit and now it is being called as a blockbuster after a month. Tell me, when there is so much happening around you and the film only grows with every passing week," asks Vidya.
Hrithik & Salman resolve differences Akshay-Aamir tussle over AIDS Saif-Amrita's daughter graces magazine cover Hrithik Roshan and Salman Khan have not been the best of friends. And that started right after Hrithik's film “Guzaarish” which was released in 2010. However, the fight that started with a media interview, is now a thing of the past. At Sohail Khan's birthday bash at Juhu in December 2010, Hrithik and Salman bumped into each other. This was immediately after their stretched out media-driven fight. The birthday revelry however, did not manage to bring the two together. Hrithik and Salman continued to avoid each other in public. Hrithik's proximity to Shah Rukh Khan proved to be a hindrance as well.
In August 2011, after almost a year of maintaining distance, Hrithik took the first step towards Salman. Right before Salman flew out of the country for his nervous surgery, Hrithik went to meet the actor and wish him luck. The gesture surprised many. But it did manage to make its mark. In December 2011, Hrithik who was dubbing for “Agneepath” at YRF Studios, spotted Aditya Chopra sitting outside Salman's van with none other than... Salman himself. Salman was shooting for his film “Ek Tha Tiger.” Hrithik immediately went and spoke to them. And the conversation, according to sources, lasted for over an hour.
Filmmaker Priyadarshan is not only confused but also caught in a weird situation with two A-list stars - Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar, vying for the lead role in the AIDS project, which according to sources, would do to HIV what “Taare Zameen Par” did for dyslexia. The film's producers believe that Aamir Khan after a successful TZP and a panIndia success rate at the box office would be apt for the role. But director Priyan has already discussed to role with his favourite hero Akshay Kumar in the very beginning. Akshay, in turn, has loved the script and is more eager than ever to be a part of the project. While the director is highly excited about working with Aamir Khan for the first time, declining Akshay's offer to be part of the project is not an easy option.
Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh's teenage daughter Sara has made her debut in the world of glamour. In ethnic wear and layers of silk and gold, Sara stands next to her proud mother on the January cover of Hello! magazine. "Dressed in richly embroidered outfits by Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, Sara and Amrita are part of a special story on celebrity mother-daughters, who swear by the designer duo." “The next two years will be critical for her as she will finally decide on her career,” Amrita said.
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
India woos foreign capital for higher growth
Dear Financial Voice Reader: 7 things to keep you up at night about India and Finance I received over Christmas a lovely gift from the CEO of the UK India Business Council. It was the ‘Pocket World in Figures 2012’ by the Economist. I love this book. But whereas with most people it may send them to sleep, for me – I can’t sleep since reading it. Here are the 7 things that will keep you awake at night too. 1. Despite all this growth, no one wants to the Rupee. It is at an all-time low against the dollar. Well that will kill the self-congratulations about the ‘Empire strikes back’ because the Empire isn’t gonna be able to afford to buy much in Britain or US anymore. 2. The Indian economy is smaller than that of Spain. Who would have thought it? And Spain is considered a basket case. Like India it too has budget deficits, but unlike India it has a higher sovereign debt rating so can borrow money more cheaply, and as part of the EU, can borrow from its big brother neighbours. 3. India has a lower GDP per head than Estonia and Greenland. Greenland is covered mainly in ice! This may not worry you because you will happily focus on how big the Indian economy is and how poor people are happy. After all, they looked happy in Slumdog Millionaire. 4. The quality of life is measured by the UN under the ‘Human Development Index’. India comes lower than Serbia and wait for it, Libya. These countries had revolutions and civil war. Not a good sign. 5. But that’s okay you say, India has economic freedom so the future is bright. Well, measured by the Heritage Foundation, India has a lower economic freedom index measure than Estonia and Chile and Lithuania. And before we get too excited about India’s growth – it’s only on a par with that of Mongolia. You’d think with so many Indians working so hard they would have greater growth, maybe to match that of Equitorial Guinea or Angola or Sierra Leone or Afghanistan or Ethiopia or Cambodia or Rwanda or Vietnam or Chad. All of whom have greater economic growth than India. 6. Not worried? Well at least India is a big player through exports on the world stage eh? The world needs India and India can save the world. So as a percentage of world exports how does India do? It accounts in absolute terms for less than Ireland and Belgium. 7. Not to worry, India has lots of gold reserves. Phew. Ummmm…actually fewer than the Netherlands. I’m not sure if I should count half the Swiss gold reserves. But I guess I should not count what is privately held by Indians. I write all this not to be negative about India. But because we need perspective that to invest in India takes skill and know-how and experience and expertise. But also that there is a lot more work to be done.
Kingfisher asks govt for financial help
Cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines has told aviation minister Ajit Singh that it will not be able to maintain normal operations without a temporary bank overdraft, reports said. Kingfisher will require help to pay creditors to avoid having to ground aircraft, Vijay Mallya, chairman of the struggling carrier, reportedly wrote to Singh in a letter. "Our creditors have gone to court in London against non payment of lease rentals. If we don't clear dues, our aircraft will be grounded," Mallya was reported as writing. A Kingfisher
spokesman declined to comment on the report when contacted. Singh said last week that the government won’t cancel licences of cashstrapped carriers on safety concerns, and said that the ministry would provide help to the sector, local media reported. Kingfisher was forced to cancel hundreds of flights late last year and ground aircraft to conserve cash, and has been negotiating with banks for a further cushion to ease its debt burden and to raise working capital. A government report last month said the total debts of India's airlines are expected to rise to $20 billion in the year ending March as they struggle with rising oil prices, high sales taxes on jet fuel and below-cost pricing driven by fierce competition.
Exchange Board of India (Sebi) proposed measures to speed the government’s sale of stakes in state-controlled companies to leading institutional investors. The government is expected to miss its revenue targets from a stalled disinvestment programme in the current fiscal year. State-owned enterprises represent about a fifth of the Mumbai market’s capitalisation. Partial privatisation of companies, such as the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and the Steel
Authority of India, would have helped the finance ministry narrow the fiscal deficit. The finance ministry forecast revenues of Rs 400bn from assets sales this year. So far, it has brought in a lowly Rs11.5bn through the sale of a stake in the Power Finance Corporation after sales were pulled in the face of turbulent global equity markets. Sebi agreed this week to allow founders of companies to sell part of their shareholding through stock exchanges instead of conducting a public offering, a move to speed asset sales.
House prices at record high in London
Loans squeeze spurs buy-to-let boom
India has opened its capital markets and allowed foreign nationals, trusts and pension funds to invest directly in the country’s listed companies from mid-January. His move is in the spirit of financial reforms 20 years ago that opened India’s capital markets to foreign institutional investment, and put Asia’s third-largest economy on the path to higher growth. Widening the investor base has been received as a welcome emergency measure to help restore sheen lost last year from India’s economic transformation. But few analysts expect
The values of prime houses in London rose by 0.8 per cent in December, despite months of turmoil over the eurozone debt crisis and the continuing global economic uncertainty. According to the latest Knight Frank Prime Central London Index prime house values have now risen more than 40 per cent since the nadir reached when Lehman Brothers collapsed. The residential consultant added that this growth surge meant that prices were now more than 7 per cent higher than they were in March 2008 when they peaked during the last property boom. Liam Bailey, Knight Frank’s head of residential research, said: “The three months to December, compared to the same period
immediate results. K u n a l Kumar Kundu, senior economist at Roubini G l o b a l Economics in Delhi, sees the liberalisation as a response to a sharp pull-out by foreign portfolio investors that is putting strain on the currency. India’s stock market regulator has joined efforts to revive investor interest in the country’s equity markets by making it easier for companies to meet free float requirements in the coming 18 months. The Securities and
in 2010, was a positive picture of demand and sales activity, confirming that the eurozone crisis which appeared to reach something of a crescendo in the pre-Christmas period, has had little impact on the prime London property market.” Mr Bailey added that price growth was “particularly healthy” in the £1 million to £2.5 million bracket, because of the
strong demand from European and Asian investors looking for properties to swell their global residential investment portfolios. The best performing top-end residential area was Chelsea where prices rose by 16.6 per cent. Knight Frank said that the number of sales completed last year was also up significantly, jumping by 31 per cent, while properties going under offer, a lead indicator of a market’s health, was even healthier with a 43 per cent year-on-year improvement. However, Mr Bailey said that the volume of new sales instructions had fallen by 6 per cent in the past 12 months against a 10 per cent increase in new buyers looking for homes.
The collapse of mortgage lending in the UK has created a bonanza for buy-tolet investors, the group widely blamed for bringing about the housing market crash by fuelling speculation. Private sector landlords have increased their share of the country’s residential stock by 42 per cent since 2007 and now account for 19 per cent of the total value. At the same time, the value of properties occupied by owners has fallen 2 per cent, according to new figures. This unintended consequence of tighter lending conditions – which has emboldened, rather than restrained, the speculative borrowers who helped trigger the market’s collapse – is likely to anger those unable to gain a foothold on the housing ladder, however.
Money transfer to cost you more
Customers who want to transfer large amount from one bank to another will have to pay fees of up to £30, as a result of changes made to the payment transfer system. The new law introduced at the beginning of 2012, mean that all phone and internet payments made from one bank account to another must be processed in one working day, rather than three, in order to speed the process up.
Although most of these payments will be made free of charge, larger sums of money will now be processed through the current one-day transfer system - which comes with a fixed fee, and is generally used by corporate clients. 'Chaps' - which stands for 'clearing house automated payment system' -
is a method of secure payment transfer that banking customers could previously use instead of traditional Bacs (banker's automated clearing services) payments. Payments
made using Chaps would come with a fee of between £25-£30, depending on the bank involved. Yet, since the new laws mean that banks can't depend on Bacs for large payments, money must be transferred using the free-of-charge 'faster payments' service, or the paid-for Chaps option and fixed transfer limits set by some banks could see customers paying higher fees to move their money.
The unemployed will be penalised in a reform of social housing tenancies designed to give councils more freedom in how they compile waiting lists. Council chiefs will be encouraged to favour working families under proposals. Former serviceman and women will also be expected to be given priority. Ministers said that the changes would end an unjust system where it often paid to stay out of work and would instead allow councils to reward achievement. The Government has already
put in place rules for new tenants to be offered “flexible tenancies” to replace the promise of a home for life regardless of how their circumstances may change. Councils will offer tenancies for a minimum of two years before reviewing them. Part of the thinking behind the announcement, which opens a threemonth consultation with local authorities, is that working families may be able to move out of social housing quicker, freeing the stock for others. Grant Shapps, the Housing Minister, said
that the changes would restore pride in social housing and make council housing a launch pad for social mobility rather than being “a stagnant option for life”. Some councils are already designing plans for how to use the new powers. Westminster plans to give priority to households where the main breadwinner has been in work for at least two years. Those without a job who have been looking for work will be moved up the waiting list. Southend plans to put aside a fifth of its housing
stock for working households and Manchester is aiming to give them higher priority than they have now. Wandsworth is looking to pilot a scheme called Housing to Work, under which applicants will be given two-year tenancies on condition that they look for work or enrol on a training course. The proposals follow separate government plans to make council tenants earning more than £100,000 pay extra and to allow councils to act against the estimated 60,000 local authority tenants who own another home.
Working families to get priority in house allotment
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
The BTL Investor: The Symptom Or The Cause?
Suresh Vagjiani Managing Director Sow & Reap A Property Investment & Financing company.
In a recent article in the FT a writer states the collapse of mortgage lending has created a bonanza for buy to let investors, the group widely blamed for bringing about the housing market crash by fuelling speculation. In my mind that’s the equivalent of dangling a carrot in front of a donkey and beating it if it eats it. For what else is a Buy to Let investor supposed to do if not invest using whatever is available in the market i.e. cheap money. Private landlords have increased their share of the UK housing market by 42% since 2007 and now account for 19% of the total value. Cash rich landlords are now benefitting from the lack of bank lending. This combined with the lowest level of housing output since 1923 have both contributed to drive up rental yields. The article has claimed the tightening of criteria has helped rather than restrained speculative borrowers who helped trigger the housing market collapse by disadvantaging those first time home buyers who are unable to get on to the ladder. Presumably this would have the same effect on the BTL investor? Clearly they are all cash rich (??!!!) This was clearly written by someone who perhaps hasn't got a foot on to the property ladder and is very clouded in his perception. If there is cheap abundant money and the prices of houses are rising what will happen? Of course people will borrow and purchase Buy to Let properties. Can you blame the BTL investors for this? They seek profit in the market in the same way a lion seeks prey, that is their function.
If the blame should lie anywhere it shoul d be in the way the mon ey was made so readily avail able, printed fro m thin air and dispersed int o the mark et, and in th e d erivatives market who c hopped the loans in to in st rumen ts and so ld them o n, classin g t hem as pre miu m securities which in hind sight they were not su pposed to be. The BTL investors where meagre symptoms of the problem not the cause. It does go on to make some reasonable points by quoting someone else, one is the BTL investor of today is not focused on capital growth (unless he's into central London) but the general aim is asserted to be to buy a property with good rental income with strong prospects so it will grow. The under supply of property and lack of credit has attracted equity rich buyers from overseas into the property market, especially so in central London. Most people see the constrained lending in the market is having an
The Real Deal Real deals brought from the street We were approached by a working class couple, the husband worked in the Civil Service for a modest salary and the wife was a housewife. They realised in order to progress financially they needed to take some steps to invest otherwise in a decade when their two children had grown up they would be in no better financial position. The prospect of purchasing a property in central London frightened them due to the size of loan they would be taking on, which was expected to be about £225,000. This would be the highest loan they would ever have had after having paid off their residential home. In order to progress we suggested they group themselves with a friend or relative so the step is not such a big one. The aim after all is to progress financially and not to have a heart attack. And so they grouped with a relative and together will be exchanging on a three bedroom flat this week for £325,000. This property comes with a parking space and a garage, it has a gated entrance. The property is sold as an excouncil but is not! Having sold two already in the same block we had discov-
ered the history of the block, it had originally been built for council tenants but due to an oversupply the block had been sold privately. Previously we have purchased (on behalf of clients) two bedroom properties there for £315,000 and £310,000 with car parking spaces but no garages, these were good deals. So we knew this one was a brilliant deal, easily rented at £500pw and a market value of £375-£400,000 this would put them on good footing straight away and into the future.
effect but do not appreciate the lack of housing on the supply side. The government target was 250,000 for last year, yet the output was only 105,000. This lack of supply is pushing rents up as not many can afford to purchase. Currently the property market is a fertile hunting ground for cash rich investors, and if you’re not cash rich why not clump together in a group. There’s strength in numbers, this is why many animals hunt in pacts. Even if you can go for a property alone the best bargains to be had are in the top end of the scale meaning you can go for bigger kills in a group rather than individually. We currently have a freehold block with planning for three flats priced at £750,000 in a central Location. This can purchased in a company thereby saving stamp duty and making it seamless for a group of investors. The end value of this block is estimated to be £1.15m with an estimated spend of £200,000.
The Victorian House Urban & Middle class housing Victorian houses were built for many classes and sectors of society, from a back-to-back in a Yorkshire Mill town to a mansion in the Scottish Highlands and everything in between. Aristocratic landlords built entire villages for their work force complete with schools and churches. These model villages however remained in short supply and casual workers who were not entitled to them lived in appalling conditions. The urban poor were housed in back to back terraced housing which were modest in scale and austere in design. These had begun to sprawl around mills outside Sheffield, Manchester, Bradford, Nottingham Liverpool and Birmingham. These were still being built in the 1890’s despite efforts to legalise them out of existence. Many charities such as the still existing Peabody Trusts became involved in housing the urban working class. Dozens of prison like blocks were erected for this purpose. No money was spared for non essential items. One notable construction built by the trust was blocks of flats in Islington which were built in 1865, and the original tenants of the two and three bedroom flats had to share kitchen and toilets with their neighbours. These earliest surviving Peabody build-
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ings in London are on the Islington Estate and are protected under a conservation act. Hundreds of thousands of individual homes built for middle class occupants were constructed during the Victorian period, these were modest detached or semi detached and terraced housing, prosperous professionals aspired to live at the edge of town in a villa, these could be built for £1,500. This idea of a villa had been imported from Italy by architects who admired the country houses built in Italy in the sixteenth century. One wonders how much the plush properties will go for in a hundred years given the rate money is being printed.
Tips of the Week l The bigger and juicer deals in the market now are medium and large development deals, you can reach them by clumping together with fellow investors l Good saying is don't wait to buy real estate, but buy real estate and then wait, of-course now your are playing with cash flow and not capital grow
financial voIce British pharma company's bid to patent ginger foiled
India has foiled an attempt by a British pharmaceutical company to claim a patent on using ginger for the treatment of cold. While Indians have been gulping down 'adrak chai' for generations as a home remedy, Nicholas John Larkins, London, filed a patent application (GB2436063) titled "Pharmaceutical composition for the treatment of excess mucous production" on March 16, 2006 at the British patent office. The firm claimed a "unique finding" in the use of ginger ( Zingiber officinale) and kutki (Picrorhiza kurroa) for the treatment of cough and lung diseases. "Within two weeks of India providing evidence, the attempt to pirate India's traditional medicinal knowledge was struck down by the UK patent office in 2011," a health ministry official said.
Bangladesh offers special zones to Indian companies
Special economic zones may be struggling in India, but Bangladesh is offering an exclusive export processing zone for Indian companies to garner investment from its giant neighbour. Amid signs of rapidly rising trade between the two neighbours, sources said, Indian companies are looking to step up investment too. To sweeten the deal, tax holidays for three to 10 years are being offered. "There are 10-12 export processing zones in Bangladesh and we expect Indian companies to come. Trade relations are improving and we have said we can allow Indian companies to takeover some of the EPZ's," said a senior Bangladesh government official.
Fiat to end dealership JV with Tatas Continued poor showing in the Indian market is set to see Fiat completely exit joint-branded showrooms with Tata Motors as the Italian car major makes a renewed push to revive sales. While it will make the transition in the top 20 cities by 2015, the rest of the joint-branded dealerships will be disbanded thereafter. Tata Motors is currently responsible for the sales and service of Fiat cars in India and the transition comes at a time when the foreign partner is battered with poor standing for a very long time. "The new Fiat dealerships will be 3S facilities (sales, service and spares) and will display Fiat's brand identity and style quotient to the Indian market," Ravi G Bhatia, V-P (Commercial) of Fiat India Automobiles said. "We will be then like any other independent car brand in the country." Tata Motors refused to comment on the development.
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
War between Indian, foreign four-wheelers in SUV market
Indian automobile makers like Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors and a couple of new-generation companies like Force Motors and Rio are engaged in a bitter turf war against the likes of Ford, Skoda, Toyota, Audi and BMW, all of whom are getting their off-roaders for a run on the Indian roads. Lured by the exceptional growth rate in the Indian sports utility (SUV) vehicle market, foreign auto majors are lining up new products here, some even tailored to the Indian market’s requirements. Ford EcoSport (to be launched later), Toyota Fortuner, Skoda Yeti, Audi Q3 and BMW X1 are among the international SUV models that are taking a shot at the Indian SUV market at different price points. But the Indian companies are not ready to concede on home turf. While Mahindra has reiterated its hold on the segment with the XUV 500, Tata
Motors is also adding refinement to its offerings like the Safari. And joining the domestic biggies are Firodias of Force Motors. The company has launched the ‘Force One’ SUV, an imposing vehicle that sports an engine sourced from Daimler and body panels from China. On the other hand, the Doshi family - that has had an exposure in the Indian auto market previously through its (now defunct) tie-ups with Chrysler, Peugeot and Fiat - is also making a comeback to the segment with the Rio, a
Nano is not a flop but wasted an early opportunity: Ratan Tata
Hyundai, Land Rover win top honours at Detroit show
Hyundai Motor Co's Elantra won car of the year honours at the Detroit auto show on Monday, a marketing boost for the car with the fastest sales growth in the Korean automaker's line-up. The Range Rover Evoque, a compact crossover with a four-cylinder engine, was named truck of the year. The North American Car and Truck of the Year awards, which are given out at the start of the Detroit auto show, are coveted as a kind of a seal of approval that automakers use heavily in advertising. It was the second time that Hyundai has won the award, which is given out by a panel of 50 automotive journalists from the United States and Canada. In 2009, Hyundai's Genesis luxury sedan was named car of the year. It was the first time Land Rover has won. The other finalists were the BMW X3 and the Honda CR-V. "I can tell you that we are going to market the hell out of this," said Andy Goss, president of Jaguar Land Rover North America. Jaguar and Land Rover are owned by Tata Motors.
Hydrogen-powered 'auto' showcased in Delhi auto expo
The world's first hydrogen-powered three-wheeler, 'HyAlfa', was showcased at the Auto Expo 2012 in Delhi. Part of a development project dubbed 'DelHy 3w', a fleet of 15 HyAlfa three-wheelers will run on an experimental basis at Pragati Maidan, where a hydrogen refuelling station has also been set up. India Trade Organisation Promotion (ITPO) will use the vehicles on an experimental basis. The HyAlfa has been developed under a joint project by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) International Centre for Hydrogen Energy Technologies (ICHET), Mahindra & Mahindra and IITDelhi, with support from the ministry of new and renewable energy. "The aim of this project is to convert vehicles so that they can carry and use hydrogen - a carbon-free fuel – and thus remove all pollutants," Mahindra & Mahindra President (automotive and farm equipment sectors) Pawan Goenka said. He said the vehicle was not yet ready for commercial production and further fine-tuning. Would be required before moving in that direction. "Moreover, we also have to look at commercial viability of running a hydrogen-powered three-wheeler as the cost of hydrogen will be around Rs 250 per kg, which is not affordable at all," he said.
vehicle based on the Daihatsu model and sourced from the Zotye Group in China. So will the Indian companies be able to face the onslaught from the foreign brands. Anand Mahindra, Vice-Chairman of the Mahindra group, answers it emotionally. “If I had not, you wouldn’t be talking to me today. So obviously we can. I was asked this question even in 1991 when I joined the company. I think we Indians have a value proposition and the XUV500 shows that even in a very competitive
The Nano is not a flop, its creator Ratan Tata said but he acknowledged that his Tata Motors failed to capitalise on the early excitement surrounding the launch of the world's cheapest car. While briefing with media,Tata said the steelto-software conglomerate had paid a price for not participating in corruption. Four years ago Tata Motors unveiled the Nano in what was seen at the
time to be a crowning achievement for the silverhaired Tata, but sales have trailed far behind early expectations following a series of setbacks. "We never really got our act together when the 100,000 were depleted," he said, referring to the first batch of Nanos sold through a lottery system when initial demand exceeded supply. "I don't think we were adequately ready with an
advertising campaign, a dealer network," he said. A rising price - the entry level Nano now costs Rs 140,000 (US$2,657), above the 100,000 rupees initially envisioned - as well as production delays, quality concerns following two voluntary recalls, and a stigma over the car's "cheap" image have all dented demand. "We've never pushed it as a poor man's car. We pushed it as an affordable all-weather family car,” he said. While the Nano has failed to live up to expectations, Tata Motors' $2.3 billion purchase of luxury car-marker Jaguar Land Rover in 2008 has exceeded them. CLSA recently upgraded Tata Motors to outperform on the outlook for the two British brands. "In sum, I don't consider it to be a flop. I consider that we have wasted an early opportunity," said Tata.
market, we can come out with products that can have a crazed following. And going forward, there is no reason why we cannot continue to do this.” Mahindra’s confidence does not seem to be unfounded. The XUV500, a product developed by Mahindra indigenously, has been a runaway success. The success of the product, the most ambitious by the company after the Scorpio, has not only taken Mahindra by surprise but is even believed to have impacted the sales of some international SUV brands like the Ford Endeavour and Skoda Yeti. Prasan Firodia, MD of Force Motors, is also confident. While being a minnow in the SUV segment, despite Force Motors’ long presence in commercial vehicles, the young Firodia is not deterred. “I think that there is a place for everybody since the SUV market is growing and expanding,” he said.
To arrest loss, Jet to merge its lowcost brands
Jet Airways, India’s the largest airline, will merge its no-frills brands JetLite and Jet Konnect and operate under the brand name of the latter. In order to compensate the losses and compete with other low-cost airlines had been in the management's mind for some time, but the decision has been taken now. Still there is no finalization of date. The airline's spokesperson did not respond to questions on this issue. A senior executive, however, confirmed the move. "JetLite does not have a wider passenger appeal. The re-branding would help us improve market share,'' said a source. Rebranding would also help the airline to attract corporate and business traffic, which is migrating to lowcost carrier IndiGo.
Honda and Hero battle for No 1 position in India
The alliance is off and so are the gloves. Japanese auto major Honda’s brand new India strategy is to focus all attention on dethroning its former partner Hero as the undisputed leader of the Indian motorcycle market. Unhindered by the terms of the earlier alliance, Honda now wants to sell 10 million bikes in India by 2020 and butt heads with its former allies in India’s lucrative 100cc motorcycle segment, currently dominated by the well-entrenched Hero Honda, now rechristened Hero Moto Corp after the partners finalized the split last year. “Our dream is to
become the number one motorcycle company in India,” said Keita Muramatsu, president & CEO, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI), the Japanese major’s 100% two-wheeler subsidiary in India. “Right now India contributes around 13% of our global sales and we want to increase this to 30%.” To that end, Honda is introducing models that will take on Splendor and Passion, the two bikes that have long ruled the Indian roads. “We are showcasing the 110cc mass motorcycle Dream Yuga as part of a cache of seven products, local and global, which we are unveiling at the Auto Expo,” Muramatsu said.
“We will have more models in this commuter segment every year because it is the biggest in the Indian market. This year is very crucial for us as it is the first when HMSI will be the only two-wheeler company to boast the Honda brand in India,” he added. As if to rub in its resolve, Honda also announced it would make India an export hub for motorcycles, something it never allowed its former partners to do when the joint venture was alive. “Honda is a global company but our core has been changing from Japan to US and north America to Europe. Now India is the centre of our global
two-wheeler business for the next ten years or more,” said Muramatsu. To that end, the company has announced its global brand slogan in India and is investing Rs 18 billion to set up a new factory and increase its production capacity in this market to 4 million units in two years and 10 million units by 2020. As it makes and sells more and more bikes in India, Honda will also look at expanding its parts supplier base currently dominated by companies owned by members of the Munjal family. “As we expand production capacity we need additional vendors too,” said Muramatsu.
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
Foreign Exchange Rajesh Agrawal is the Chairman & CEO of RationalFX, Currency Specialists. For any further information call 020 7220 8181 or e-mail email@example.com
Merkel, Sarkozy to seek growth The German and French leaders fundamental meeting to discuss ways to boost growth in euro zone states struggling to overcome the sovereign debt crisis and rising unemployment, and finalise a deal to increase fiscal coordination within the currency union They may also discuss a financial transaction tax, the "Tobin tax," being promoted by France but resisted by Britain unless adopted on a global scale, which could split the European Union at a summit at the end of the month. Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Nicolas Sarkozy, aiming to align the two powerhouse partners that have driven European integration, will also focus on how to boost employment in the current era of austerity. While Germany's labour market is thriving, employment is a pressing issue for Sarkozy, who faces an election in less than four months and is trailing in polls while French jobless claims are at their highest level in 12 years. He may also try to accelerate plans for a tax on financial transactions, which he has set out as a priority ahead of the election, and which on Friday
Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Nicolas Sarkozy
he vowed to implement in France even if EU partners like Germany are not on board. Paris and Berlin want a "Tobin tax" to be applied across the EU, but Britain is resisting, fearing it will damage London, a global financial centre and mainstay of the British economy where much of the tax would be raised. On Sunday 8th January, Prime Minister David Cameron said he would veto a European-wide financial transaction tax unless it was imposed globally, deepening the confrontation over the matter with both France and
Germany. German officials expect the EU summit to show satisfying results on stronger budgetary rules they have urged for countries using the euro. The updated version of the EU's 'fiscal compact', which gives Brussels the right to take states to court if they violate the stricter rules, is nearing approval, relieving pressure on Merkel to take new initiatives at the summit. Hanging over the meeting will be Europe's sovereign debt crisis, and questions over what can be done in the near term to relieve pressure on states like
Spain and Italy, which are due to pay back a mountain of maturing debt this year. Both states face crucial bond auctions this week that will test investors' willingness to fund countries at a time when low growth, weak public finances and the threat of ratings downgrades risk driving borrowing costs to unsustainable levels. Until now Germany has favoured a crisis-fighting proposal to boost funding for the International Monetary Fund so that it could open larger credit lines to troubled euro zone states if needed, in exchange for strict adjustments. Italy, which requested IMF monitoring in November to calm market concerns over its reform measures, would prefer to avoid reliance on such a plan; its former economy minister has called IMF aid "the most serious risk for Italy." Concern over Italy may have led the French and German leaders to strengthen ties with Prime Minister Mario Monti. He met Sarkozy in Paris last week, and will visit Merkel for talks on Wednesday. The three meet again in Italy on January 20, before a January 23 EU finance ministers meeting and the January 30 EU summit.
Weekly Currencies As of Tuesday 10th January 2012 @ 12.10pm GBP - INR = 79.93 USD - INR = 51.70 EUR - INR = 66.09 GBP - USD = 1.55 GBP - EUR = 1.21 EUR - USD = 1.28 GBP - AED = 5.67 GBP - CAD = 1.57 GBP - NZD = 1.95 GBP - AUD = 1.50 GBP - ZAR = 12.52 GBP - HUF = 379.29
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Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
Pak govt, SC heading for a clash on memogate Islamabad: Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari has said that the government would accept a parliamentary panel’s decision on the authenticity of an alleged memo that had sought US help to stave off a feared military coup in Pakistan, setting the stage for a fresh confrontation with the Supreme Court that is also investigating the scandal. In his first interview since the military and the judiciary began pressuring the government over the alleged memo after it was made public last year, Zardari said both the Supreme Court and Parliamentary Committee on National Security were looking into the issue but in his view, parliament was sovereign. The apex court has formed a judicial commission and tasked it to probe the memogate scandal in a month. Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has indicated in his remarks in
Asif Ali Zardari
court that he believes the Supreme Court is better placed to investigate a matter like the Memogate scandal. Unnecessary publicity Zardari has refused so far to file a statement with his views on the scandal in the apex court. He said “unnecessary publicity” had been given to the memo made public by Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz. However, the government had taken no action so far against Mr Ijaz because that would not
have been in the interests of the country, he said. Zardari rejected the possibility of a clash between various state institutions, saying the government had no conflict with the military or the judiciary. “These are part of evolution. You think this is a fight, I believe this is part of evolution. This fight will evolve and it will simmer down,” he said. “We have no war with the court, why should we have a fight with the army?” Zardari asked. Asked about Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s statement in Parliament that had criticised the military for failing to detect Osama bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan for several years, Zardari said the premier was pointing the finger of blame at the regime of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf. “It is not fair for me to do deliberation and he
Pervez Musharraf faces arrest on his return to Pakistan Islamabad: Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf will be arrested on his arrival in Pakistan as a court conducting the trail of those charged with involvement in the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto has declared him a fugitive, a prosecutor said on Saturday. Musharraf is a "proclaimed offender" or a fugitive who will be arrested on his arrival in the country, Federal Investigation agency prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali told reporters. There is no need of any warrant for this arrest, he said. The former military ruler, currently living in Dubai and London in selfexile, said he planed to return to Pakistan on January 25 or 27 to lead his All Pakistan Muslim
League Party. Musharraf was declared a fugitive by the Rawalpindi-based anti-terrorism court for failing to cooperate with investigators probing Bhutto's assassination. In a related development, the anti-terrorism court adjourned the hear-
ing of Bhutto's assassination case till January 17 after defence lawyers failed to appear in the court. The judge took strict notice of the absence of the defence lawyers and ordered that their presence should be ensured at the next hearing. Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali told reporters outside the court that the lawyers of the accused were using delaying tactics in the case. Meanwhile, Musharraf expressed the hope that he would be acquitted after two to three court hearings. He was talking to reporters in Dubai during an event. Musharraf said that he would return to Pakistan Jan 25 or 27, accompanied by about 500 to 600 people from all over the world.
(Gilani) should be asked about (the remarks). He said Osama was here for seven years, there should be accountability for that. He was talking about Pervez Musharraf. Why is that being linked to the army?” Zardari asked. Kayani, Pasha replies 'illegal': Gilani Meanwhile, Gilani suggested that the replies submitted to the Supreme Court by the chiefs of the army and ISI was "unconstitutional and illegal" as it were sent without obtaining the government's approval. The responses given by the Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and the director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha to the Supreme Court in connection with the alleged memo did not have the approval of the competent authority as required under the rules of business, Gilani said.
British Red Cross worker kidnapped in Pakistan
Quetta: Armed men kidnapped a British Red Cross worker from the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, police said, highlighting the fragile security situation in the country. The incident took place hours after Islamist militants elsewhere in the country killed 15 Pakistani security officers they seized last month close to the Afghan border and left their naked, bullet-riddled bodies sprawled on the ground. Police officer Nazir Ahmed Kurd said the man was taken from a vehicle close to a Red Cross office in an upscale housing complex in Quetta. The assailants bundled him into their car and drove off. Kurd said the man was visiting a local school.
Bangladesh to set up second tribunal to speed up war crimes trial Dhaka: Bangladesh will set up a second tribunal to speed up the trial of those accused of crimes against humanity during the country's 1971 'Liberation War' against Pakistan. "Works are underway to set up the second tribunal by next month to reduce pressures on the existing one and expedite the trial process," law minister Shafique Ahmed said. On March 25, 2010, the Awami League government set up a special tribunal for the trial of war criminals accused of genocide and those who sided with the Pakistani military during the bloody nine months struggle. Ahmed said the old high court building has
been earmarked entirely for war crimes tribunals, relocating other offices elsewhere. "We need to expedite the trial process, reducing pressure on the lone International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) as investigations of several cases were completed and ready for trial," he said. The minister’s comments came as trial of seven high-profile suspects belonging to the country's largest Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami and main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) was currently underway. Jamaat party chief Motiur Rahman Nizami, secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid and assistant secretaries general
M u h a m m a d Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Quader Molla have been detained for alleged crime against humanity. The two BNP leaders are Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury MP and former minister Abdul Alim. They have been charged for ordering or carrying out mass killings, arsons and lootings and rapes. According to official figures, Pakistani troops, aided by local collaborators, killed an estimated 3 million people, raped about 200,000 women and forced millions more to leave their homes during the bloody nine-month guerrilla war. The Jamaat leaders have been accused of opposing Bangladesh's
independence and siding with the Pakistani troops. Officials said they expected a court order for arrest of the fifth suspect, Ghulam Azam, who was the then head of East Pakistan unit of Jamaat and a provincial minister under the Pakistani government. If convicted, the accused could face the highest death penalty for war crimes. Even as Ahmed underlined the government’s decision to speed up the trial, he declined to predict the timeline needed to finish the trial of the seven suspects. However, he said the progress suggested several of them could be completed by June this year.
No military courts, please: Pak PM Islamabad: Pakistan prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who has asked the military not to interfere in civilian affairs, has now come out against a proposal to set up military courts in troubled Karachi. "How is it possible in a democratic set-up? It is a double standard of the PML-N," Gilani said in the National Assembly, referring to the Pakistan Muslim League led by Sharif. "In democracy, there is no room for such courts. Military should always be kept in the background," he added. He said the Army could only be called when there was a law and order issue. If such courts were set up, what would be the difference between democracy and dictatorship, Gilani asked.
Pak SC warns govt on amnesty law Islamabad: Pakistan's supreme court warned the government of action if its verdict on amnesty law, which granted immunity to politicians and bureaucrats in corruption cases, was not implemented by January 10. The court had declared the amnesty law, National Reconciliation Ordinance, void. To implement the SC order , the government must reopen graft cases against thousands of people, including Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari. These cases were closed under the amnesty law promulgated by former president Pervez Musharraf in 2007 to enable slain leader Benazir Bhutto's return to Pakistan.
US likely to resume drone strikes in Pak Islamabad: The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is likely to resume drone strikes that were apparently halted following the deadly November 26, 2011 NATO air strike on Pakistan's border posts. Pakistan and the United States have almost agreed on 'fresh terms of engagements' to resume the drone attacks to target suspected al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan's tribal areas, including North and South Waziristan. They added that Pakistan has convinced the US to resume the drone strikes under two new conditions- the drone strikes should not be as frequent as they had been in the past and the CIA should narrow the stripe to be targeted by the aircraft under the 'box formation' military approach.
Bangla lecturer jailed for derogatory comment in Facebook Dhaka: A university lecturer, who posted a Facebook status wishing for the death of prime minister Sheikh Hasina, was sentenced to six-month in jail by a Bangladeshi court. Muhammad Ruhul Amin Khandaker was sentenced after he failed to respond to a summon to appear before the high court in connection with the post, of which the court took a suo motto notice. Khandakar was handed out the jail term in absentia as he is studying in Australia. "The high court sentenced him (Khandaker) six months jail as he ignored the summon ordering his personal appearance over his comments in the Facebook," deputy attorney general A B M Altaf Hossain told newsmen.
Bomb kills 25 in northwest Pakistan Peshawar: A bomb targeting a militia opposed to the Pakistani Taliban exploded in a market close to the Afghan border on Tuesday, killing 25 people and injuring 24 others in the deadliest blast in the country in several months, officials said. The explosion hit vehicles being used by the militia in the Khyber region, said local security officer Khan Dad Khan. The army has supported the formation of anti-Taliban militias in northwest Pakistan, but the insurgents have ruthlessly attacked the groups over the last two years. Many of the country's bloodiest bombings have been against militia members or their families.
Sri Lankan navy personnel pelt stones at Tamil Nadu fishermen
Rameswaram: About 800 fishermen who went to fishing near the International Maritime Boundary Line Katchatheevu had to return after Sri Lankan naval personnel allegedly pelted stones at them, official sources said. The naval personnel in five boats surrounded the boats of the fishermen and pelted stones at them, forcing them to leave the area without fishing, the sources said. The fishermen escaped without getting hurt by ducking in their boats, the sources said.
F-16 supply to Pakistan to continue, says US
Washington: Despite all the hissing and spitting from both sides in course of a deteriorating bilateral relationship, the Obama administration has clarified that the United States is continuing to supply new F-16s to Pakistan and upgrading the existing fleet. "Some media have reported a stoppage in the US-Pakistan F-16 program. These reports are not accurate. Neither Pakistan nor the United States has cancelled the F-16 program," a US official said, contesting some of the virulent antiUS grievances published in the Pakistani press.
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
Two Tibetan monks set themselves on fire, one dies
Beijing: China has confirmed that two more Tibetan monks have committed self-immolation in the southwest Sichuan province. One of them, an 18-year-old died while the other, 22, is being treated in a hospital in Aba Country, the scene of more than a dozen cases of self-immolation by monks, and a nun, in recent months. Those indulging in self-immolation were former monks, who had been found to be involved in several cases of wrongdoing including stealing and prostitution, Chinese authorities said. The body of a Tibetan monk was paraded through the streets in northwestern China in the latest in a series of self-immolation protests against Chinese rule.
Indian workers stage protest in Oman Muscat: Nearly 500 Indian workers protested in Oman demanding action against their company for not paying them for working overtime and deducting random amounts from their salary every month. The protest took place on at the Manpower Ministry office in Suwaiq, about 136 km north to Muscat. "We are not given the mandatory five-day weekend and the owners also don't pay overtime for working extra hours," a worker of the company was quoted as saying. He also claimed that there were about 500 of them at the ministry office. The source said that they took out the protest march, but soon police arrived and asked them to stop marching or face arrest. The workers want the Indian Embassy to take up the issue with the company and the local authorities and resolve the matter as soon as possible.
Bombs kill at least 67 in Iraq
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Baghdad: Bomb attacks targeting Shi'ite Muslim areas of Iraq killed at least 67 people last week, police and hospital sources said, ramping up fears of an increase in sectarian strife. The biggest attack was on a police checkpoint west of Nassiriya in the south, where a suicide bomber targeting Shi'ite pilgrims killed at least 38 people and wounded 70. Earlier, a bomb planted on a parked motorcycle and another roadside explosive device killed at least 10 people and wounded 37 others in Baghdad's neighbourhood. Another set of explosions, two car bombs, occurred in Baghdad's northwestern Kadhimiya district and killed at least 15 people and wounded 32.
Egypt prosecutor demands death for Mubarak
Cairo: The prosecutor in the trial of Hosni Mubarak demanded the death penalty for the ousted Egyptian leader on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during last year's uprising against his rule. Mustafa Khater, one of a five-member prosecution team, also asked the judge for the death sentence for Mubarak's security chief and six top police commanders being tried in the same case. "Retribution is the solution. Any fair judge must issue a death sentence for these defendants," said
Khater on the third and final day of the prosecution's opening statement last week. Mubarak's two sons, one-time heir apparent Gamal and Alaa, face corruption charges in the same trial along with their father and a close family friend who is a fugitive. An 18-day uprising forced Mubarak, 83, to step down on Feb 11, 2011 after a nearly 30-year rule. The military, led by a general who served as defense minister under Mubarak for 20 years, replaced him in power.
Chief prosecutor Mustafa Suleiman said Mubarak was "politically and legally" responsible for the killing of the protesters and charged that the former president did nothing to stop the killings that he was aware of from meetings with aides.
Afghan girl wants her tormentors jailed Kabul: A 15-year-old Afghan girl who was tortured for months after her arranged marriage has spoken out for the first time since her rescue, saying she hopes her husband and his family are jailed for her abuse. Sahar Gul became the bruised and bloodied face of women's rights in Afghanistan after she was rescued in late December when an uncle called police. 'I want them to be in jail,' she said. 'They gave me electric shock. ... They beat me with cables and tortured me.' She is being treated for multiple injuries that include broken fingers and ripped-out fingernails.
Police in Baghlan province where Gul was rescued have said her inlaws locked her up and tortured her after she refused to work as a prostitute. Her husband's parents and sister have been arrested. They deny any wrongdoing. Authorities have issued an arrest warrant for her husband, who serves in the Afghan army. Her doctor, Feriba Omarzada, said Gul is
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recovering but is still traumatized. Gul's story has shocked Afghanistan and prompted calls for more efforts to end underage marriage. The legal marriage age in Afghanistan is 16, but the United Nations agency UN Women estimates that half of all girls are forced to marry under age 15. Sahar Gul, 15, was in critical condition when she was rescued from a house in northern Baghlan province last week. Police say Gul's in-laws pulled out her nails and hair, and locked her in a dark basement bathroom for about five months, with barely enough food and water to survive.
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He said Mubarak's security chief and codefendant, former interior minister Habib el-Adly, authorized the use of live ammunition on orders from Mubarak. "He (Mubarak) can never, as the top official, claim that he did not know what was going on," Suleiman told the court. "He is responsible for what happened and must bear the legal and political responsibility for what happened. It is irrational and illogical to assume that he did not know that protesters were being targeted."
Iran sentences American man to death in CIA case
Tehran: An Iranian court has convicted an American man of working for the CIA and sentenced him to death. Iran charges that as a former US Marine, Amir Mirzaei Hekmati received special training and served at US military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan before heading to Iran for his alleged intelligence mission. It was not said when the verdict was issued. Under Iranian law, he has 20 days to appeal. Hekmati, 28, was born in Arizona. His family is of Iranian origin. His father, who lives in Michigan, said his son was not a CIA spy and was visiting his grandmothers in Iran when he was arrested.
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Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
Vajpayee, Modi in BJP list of election campaigners Former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who was seriously ill for the past two years, and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, who did not canvas in the Bihar polls due to objections from ally JD(U), figure in the BJP's list of election campaigners. Vajpayee's name is the first in the list of BJP campaigners which the party is sending to the Election Commission for the mandatory approval in connection with the upcoming Assembly elections in five states including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. The list also sets at rest speculation of Modi's participation in the UP election campaign. There were reports that he may keep away as his bete noire and
former general secretary (Organisation) of the BJP, Sanjay Joshi is one of the party's main election incharge in UP. Modi had stayed away from the last BJP national executive as he was sulking over party president Nitin Gadkari's decision to bring back Sanjay Joshi into the party. Joshi had to leave Gujarat when a controversial CD had appeared. Other prominent leaders to campaign in UP for BJP are L K Advani,
Gujarat University student wants to do research on Modi AV Correspondent Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has caught the fancy of a Gujarat University student who has applied for a Phd and wants to submit his paper entitled, “Development in Gujarat and Narendra Modi.” But the difficulty that the student and the university is still to find a guide for him. J K Chauhan, who has done his masters in Political Science said that Narendra Modi’s model of development was being discussed everywhere and it was fit to conduct a detailed research on Modi mania and the development in the state especially from 2001, said Chauhan. “Three months have gone by and the university is still to suggest the name of a guide for me,’’ said Chauhan. He said that the topic was relevant and there have been scattered work done on this topic but there was no comprehensive research on this
given topic. Gujarat University Vice Chancellor Parimal Trivedi said, “The university has initiated the process of looking for a guide for Chauhan.’’ Trivedi said that there were professors of political science but this paper required a guide who was not just with political science background but somebody with sociology as well. Trivedi said if need be the university would approach other universities for an appropriate person so that the student could go ahead with the research paper. Senate member of the university, Manish Doshi said that the student despite having got the title of the paper cleared, the university authorities have not been able to arrange a guide, for a topic close to the heart of the VC himself. Doshi said that there was lack of political science professors in the university hence it was time that the student be given the option of looking for a guide beyond GU.
Sushma Swaraj , Arun Jaitley and Murli Manohar Joshi. However, they are likely to keep away from those constituencies where tainted candidates like Shakshi Maharaj, Chhatrapal Singh, Bhadshah Singh and Daddan Mishra have been fielded. These central leaders had objected to the induction of tainted former minister in Mayawati government Babu Singh Kushwaha and made it clear that they will not campaign for the tainted candidates. Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh and Jharkhand CM Arjun Munda will also campaign in UP, along with Bihar deputy CM Sushil Modi.
Mumbai atteck: NIA wants Headley extradited The NIA told a Delhi court that it did not recognise the plea bargain reached between David Coleman Headley and the US administration and that India should start the process to extradite the American Lashkar operative as soon as possible. Last month, the NIA had charged Headley and eight others, including JuD chief Hafiz Mohd Saeed and Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, of planning the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. Headley entered into plea bargain with the United States without taking India into confidence. Headley did a recce of the 26/11 targets for the Lashkar-e-Toiba, which carried out the attack on November 26, 2008.A metropolitan magistrate's court in Mumbai has already issued letters rogatory to a US court in October 2011, requesting it to enable Mumbai police to question Headley and his accomplice Tahawwur Hussain Rana in the 26/11 terror attacks case.
Talwars to be tried in Aarushi murder case
The Supreme Court of India has rejected the application of Rajesh and Nupur Talwar and given a green signal to conduct a trial against them in their daughter Aarushi's murder case. In a setback for the Talwars, the court said that the cognizance taken by the trial court against them is correct. The CBI had claimed that the dentist couple had killed their daughter Aarushi Talwar. Dismissing the Talwars' petition for quashing of criminal proceedings against them, the SC said it was not going into the merits of the case
and hoped the trial would be expedited. The Talwars, meanwhile, insisted in the court that the servants were involved in the killing of Aarushi and cited various evidences as proof for their claims. The court however clearly told them that citing gory details of the crime was not going to help them. Both Rajesh and Nupur Talwar were named the prime accused in the murder of their 14-year-old daughter in Noida in 2008.In April 2011, the Talwars had told the Supreme Court that the media was influencing the trial and questioned the
lower court order as well as the investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Aarushi was found dead with her throat slit at her Noida residence on May 16, 2008 and the body of their domestic help, Hemraj, who too was murdered, was found on the terrace of her house the next day.On March 19, 2011, the Supreme Court had stayed during a special hearing the Allahabad High Court order that had refused to set aside a special Ghaziabad CBI court direction, summoning the couple in the case.
In divine light By Rajen Vakil We saw how Ashtavakra grew up with Swetaketu, his similar-aged uncle. He regarded Rishi Uddalaka, his maternal grandfather, as his father. His grandfather, as well as his mother, never revealed to him how his father had died; 12 years passed away. One day Ashtavakra was sitting in the lap of his grandfather when Swetaketu jerked him away and told him, “This is not your father’s lap”. Ashtavakra was deeply hurt and went crying to his mother and asking her where his father was. Sujata, his mother, did not want to reveal the truth about his father. Knowing that Ashtavakra had the power of austerity and could curse her, she grudgingly told him the details of his father’s death. That night Ashtavakra told Swetaketu, “Let us go to the court of King Janaka and take part in the yagna he is performing. There we will listen to the Brahmins arguing about the Vedas.” They left for Janaka’s court and on the way they met the king himself. Janaka asked them to make way for him so he could enter the yagna spot. Ashtavakra replied, “When giving way to someone the first preference is given to a blind person, next to one who is deaf, then for women, thereafter to one who is carrying a heavy weight and finally to the king. But above all of these, the
The Story of Ashtavakra (Part-2) first preference of way is always given to a Brahmin.” To this, King Janaka replied, “I will immediately make way for you, so that you can go where you desire, because even if the flame is small it still burns and it is because of this that even Indra, the lord of heavens, bows down to Brahmins.”; this was in reference to a Brahmin’s power to curse. Ashtavakra said, “O King, we have come here to see your yagna, we are guests so please ask the guard at the door to allow us in.” To this the doorkeeper answered, “Children are not allowed in this yagna. I can only allow old and learned Brahmins inside.” Ashtavakra replied, “If only old people are allowed then you should make way for us, for we have done everything the old do. We have kept all
the vows and fasts, know the Vedas and have controlled our passions and senses. Do not take us as young children, for a lighted piece of coal burns, however small it is.” The doorkeeper said, “Please recite the beautiful verses of the Vedas to me. Just see how young you are and how big you talk. A Brahmin with deep knowledge of the scriptures is a rare being.” Ashtavakra said “Just because the body has grown does not make a person wise. The Sheem tree is small but its roots have spread far and wide, and it gives innumerable fruit.” The doorkeeper said, “Children learn from elders and as time goes by they become old. It is impossible to gain knowledge in very little time, so why do you a young child try to imitate an elder.” To be Continued…
All past articles on the Mahabharata can be accessed from http://epaper.asianvoice.com or from http://www.3stepbreath.com/mahabharata.html
Diamond traders to be cautious while doing business with China AV Correspondent While there is a wind of happiness among the diamond traders in Surat as 12 of the diamond traders, who were released from Chinese custody reached Mumbai on Friday morning, there is a major sense of caution now prevailing among the diamond traders in Surat. “We heard that they have returned to Mumbai, but they are yet to arrive in Surat ,” said Dinesh Navadia, President, Surat Diamond Association. “As a matter of fact while all 12 have their roots in Surat now only two of them are based in Surat and rest are in Mumbai and other places,” he added. The release of the diamond traders is being projected as a massive diplomatic victory for chief minister Narendra Modi as the traders were freed in December following Modi’s visit to China in November. All together 22
diamond traders were arrested by the custom officials of China ’s Shenzhen province on January 8, 2010 on allegations of smuggling diamonds from Hong Kong to China. While six have been awarded 3 years jail term 2 have been given 5 years and one 6 years. An Australian national, who was arrested
along with the Indians have been awarded 14 years, it is learnt. Gujarat government had claimed that Modi during his visit to China had brought the plight of these 22 families to the notice of the highest leadership of the Chinese authorities. Narendra Modi on his part had
reacted on micro-blogging site twitter saying that he is thankful to China for expediting the trial. “Thankful to China for acting on my request of speeding judicial process for 22 Indians imprisoned there for 2 yrs. Today is the verdict!” he had written. The diamond merchants of Surat are taking this as a learning experience. “There were mistakes on the part of our traders, who had supplied the polished diamond without bills to the Chinese jewelers,” said Navadia. Navadia said that while Chinese Government levies no tax on the polished diamond, it charges 15 per cent tax on the finished jewellery products. “The Chinese jewellers were evading tax and when it came to the notice of the authorities, our traders landed in the net,” Navadia said adding that the incident will ensure that the future trading will be kept strictly official.
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
Asian Voice wishes its readers A Happy Lohri
BJP suspends Kushwaha from party membership Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and party spokesperson, Shahnawaz Hussain said that BJP has suspended Babu Singh Kushwaha's membership from the party. Hussain told that Kushwaha, in a letter to the party president, himself requested to suspend his membership from the party. “Kushwaha-ji wrote to the party president asking him to suspend his membership until he is proven innocent. The president has accepted it," said Hussain. Kushwaha, a prominent backward caste leader from Uttar Pradesh, was inducted in BJP last week with an eye on the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh. However, it kicked up a storm of protests with many in the party voicing unhappiness over his alleged involvement in the National Rural Health Mission fund scam in the state.
Uganda’s Sadbhavana gift to Gujarat CM The government of Uganda has decided to extend its ‘Sadbhavana’ to Gujarat CM Narendra Modi in a uniquely Indian way. When Modi visits Mehsana for his Sadbhavana Mission fast, John Kakwenzre, senior adviser to Ugandian president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, J Kaggwa Ennore, will present him an urn containing the waters of river Neil in Uganda and Narmada and Saraswati in India as ‘Sadbhavna’ from the people of Uganda. She will be accompanied by four delegates - Miraj Barot, Hitesh Shah, Sohil Shah, and Harshad Brahmbhatt - all of whom are Indian businessmen settled in Uganda.
Trinamool organises rally, warns Congress West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's party, the Trinamool Congress, has launched an offensive against its ally the Congress. For the first time, the Trinamool Congress is holding a political rally against the Congress in the state protesting against what the it calls an alleged Congress-CPI(M) nexus against Mamata. Organised by the party's youth wing the rally is Mamata's first political response to the Congress's street-protests against her government over the past few weeks. On Saturday, Mamata Banerjee dared the Congress to break the alliance in the state. Even though Mamata gave the event a skip, several top
Trinamool leaders including many MPs were present at the rally spewing venom against the Congress. However, the Congress said the party was not worried about the rally and ready for a settlement. "Let Trinamool organise rallies against us and say what they want. We don't bother about it. We are prepared to face consequences and give a fitting reply. We want an all-party meeting to discuss issues like renaming of the Indira Bhawan and paddy procurement prices. As a chief minister Mamata Banerjee should do it. We need to look for a solution and a settlement. We want the alliance to continue, whatever difference may be there it is the will of the people that we must
respect," said West Bengal Congress Committee President Pradip Bhattacharya. With the panchayat elections in Bengal just around the corner and with the murmurs of the Congress wanting to go it alone, the Trinamool wants an early advantage. The Trinamool Congress is the second largest partner of the UPA after the Congress. The two parties also share power in West Bengal, although the Trinamool, with over 180 legislators, is not dependent on the Congress to run the government. Cong reaches out to Mamata: A day after West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s attack, Congress reached out to its
ally saying there was need for “better communication” with Trinamool Congress and the two could re-build trust by ironing out “disagreements” within closed doors. Discounting the possibility of Banerjee parting ways with Congress, senior party leader and Union Minister Salman Khurshid said there was no need to read too much into Banerjee’s statement that Congress was free to walk out of the alliance in West Bengal. “I don’t think we should read too much into these things. I would imagine if we can avoid them, good. Even if our disagreement we can put them across in closed doors.... I hope something like this will be worked out,” he said.
India rules out ban on Salman Rushdie visit Government of India has ruled out barring Salman Rushdie from visiting India in the wake of a demand by a top Islamic seminary to cancel his visa even as the controversial author said he does not need a visa to come to this country. Official sources said 65-year-old Rushdie holds a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card which entitles him to visit this country without a visa. The sources said since PIO card guarantees any such person hassle-free
travel without any document, Rushdie is not required to apply to any authority of the government of India seeking permission for his proposed visit to attend the Jaipur Literature Festival this
month end. "He had travelled to India in the past using PIO card. We have never stopped him. We have no intention to stop any PIO card holder to travel his or her home country in future either," a source said. Rushdie remained unfazed over the demand by Darul Uloom Deoband to block his planned trip to India and suggested it was misplaced. "Regarding my Indian visit, for the record, I don't need a visa," posted Rushdie on microblogging site Twitter after Deoband
demanded that the Indian government cancel the author's visa as he had hurt religious sentiments of Muslims in the past. Indian-origin Rushdie also has a British passport. "Why should Congress stop this (Rushdie trip)?," Union law minister Salman Khurshid asked. "If there is a legal provision to stop someone then it should be put. But whatever step is taken should be taken within legal framework not outside it," he said.
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Lord Meghnad Desai questions Gandhi's principles
Leading economist Lord Meghnad Desai questioned the principles and beliefs of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Speaking at an event in Ahmedabad, he said he was puzzled over why the apostle of ahimsa defended Adolf Hitler and endorsed the Bhagvad Gita, a text that Lord Desai believes condones violence. Desai was speaking on 'Gandhiji's views on violence', as a part of the 12th Prof Ramlal Parikh Memorial Lecture, organised by Indian Society for Community Education. "I chose the topic as I want to raise some questions with regard to Gandhiji's views on violence. I am going to raise two separate issues...," Desai said.’ "First is Gandhiji's endorsement of Bhagvad Gita, whose end outcome is that ultimately everybody should go out and kill everybody. Mahabharata war, if taken literally, was similar to a holocaust," he said. The second issue was Gandhiji's attitude to Hitler, which was beyond belief as it came from a man who practised nonviolence, Desai said.
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
Team Anna not to campaign for or against any party
Team Anna members said that they won’t campaign for or against any party in the assembly elections in five states. 'We have decided that we will not campaign or target any one party during these elections, but explain to the people what the government's role was and what that of the other parties was on bringing in the Lokpal bill,' Prashant Bhushan said after a meeting with Anna Hazare in his village Ralegan Siddhi on Tuesday along with Arvind Kejriwal and Kumar Vishwas. Meanwhile, Team Anna is struggling to stay relevant after the Mumbai fiasco and signs of waning popular interest and is stepping back from its forceful Lokpal campaign to devise ways in which it could keep up the pressure without appearing to be targeting any political group. Anxiety over an uncertain future was palpable as Team Anna's core committee met on Monday for a marathon eight hours for the first time after the poor
show at Anna Hazare's Mumbai fast. Several prominent members including Hazare himself were absent from the meeting. There was considerable debate on the political stand taken by Team Anna and whether it was time to revise its strategy. The Rajya Sabha debate on the Lokpal issue may have attracted widespread criticism for the government, but the opportunity to target Congress was quickly lost because of BJP's inexplicable decision to court scam-tainted Babu Singh Kushwaha. "We want to create systems and structures in rural areas up to the villages and in urban areas up to the ward so that our
message is clear and there is no confusion. This will help us get better feedback and suggestions,'' a source said. Team Anna will be putting together a communication team including experts. The move appears to be prompted in part by the protest in Amritsar where India Against Corruption volunteers showed black flags to prime minister Manmohan Singh and his wife who were visiting the Golden Temple on New Year's day. The protest had attracted flak from people who felt it was in poor taste. There are several eminent people like lawyers, journalists and other social workers who are keen to associate with the organization. The group is also looking at ways to include them. "We will not be tampering with the core committee but we want to create a space or forum by which eminent people can be associated with the campaign so that we receive suggestions and feedback from them,'' the source said.
BJP goes tech-savvy, all candidates to get laptop
The Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to provide laptops, with internet data card, to its candidates for the Assembly election in the state so that they remain connected with the party office and are constantly updated with important news and other information that could come handy in their campaign. Party leaders keeping a tab on news channels will e-mail important news reports to them without any delay. Besides, important orders of the Election Commission as well as the party would be communicated to them promptly.
Cong promises 9% sub-quota for Muslims in UP
Wooing Muslim voters, union law minister Salman Khurshid said the Congress party would provide 9% sub-quota for backward Muslims if it was voted to power in the coming Uttar Pradesh assembly election. The Congress leader promised this while addressing a poll meeting in Farrukhabad assembly constituency from where his wife Louise is contesting. Khurshid said the Congress would provide 9% reservation for backward Muslims within the existing OBC quota in UP in the event of its forming the government in the state. He said more than eight castes such as Mansoori and Qureshi would benefit from such a move.
Lankan president's relative greeted with slippers at Rameswaram Suspected MDMK and Nam TamizharIyakkam activists allegedly barged into the house of the Ramanathaswamy Temple priest and threw stones and slippers when a relative of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa was about to perform a 'pooja'. "They were under the impression that the pooja was being performed for continuance of Rajapaksa's regime, and abused me for performing the pooja...," the priest said. Rajapaksa’s relative Tirukumaran said that he had come to do some pooja for his son. Somebody had spread rumours that the pooja was being done for the good of the Sri Lankan government, leading to the attack, he said.
Expats can now vote in Indian elections: Manmohan Singh Continued from page 1 He said the diaspora plays an important role in the growth and development of the country. The government recognised it, and was committed to address their concerns and fulfil their demands. “The government and people of India recognise and value the important role being played by Indian communities living abroad,” he added as he formally inaugurated the 10th annual Diaspora meet, the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) in Jaipur. Overseas Indian affairs minister Vayalar Ravi said people of Indian origin would be able to exercise their franchise in upcoming elections. “Indian nationals living abroad can now exercise their franchise in India at the time of the elections,” Ravi said. Now those Indian origin people who have registered with the embassies of their respective countries of stay, would be eligible to vote in the upcoming assembly elections in five states including Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur. Ravi said objective of the government was to further increase engagements with diaspora. “Our objective is to raise the level of engagement to go beyond mere investment related issues and address a broader agenda. We believe that this will provide the vast majority of you the opportunity to benefit from as
well as contribute - each in your own way - to India's development story,” the minister said. Addressing more than 1.500 delegates from more than 60 countries, Singh, however, was confident of the government’s efforts to curb inflation producing results and of India climbing up to an annual growth of 9-10 per cent soon. Indians working abroad to get cover, pension benefits In a move that could benefit overseas Indian workers particularly those who are in the Gulf countries, the government cleared a proposal for setting up of a pension and life insurance fund (PLIF) for them in the Emigration Check Required (ECR) countries. Around 20% of overseas Indian workers in ECR countries are women. Under the scheme, the government co-contribution of Rs 1,000 per annum in line with Swavalamban platform for all PLIF subscribers who contribute between Rs 1,000 and Rs 12,000 per year in NPS-Lite, the new national pension scheme. A special Return and Resettlement co-contribution of Rs 1,000 by MOIA will also be given to overseas Indian workers who contribute Rs 4,000 per annum towards Return and Resettlement. This scheme will provide a social security coverage to overseas Indian workers,
India honours 14 ‘Pravasis’
Indian president Pratibha Patil Monday conferred the "Pravasi Bharatiya Samman" to 14 eminent overseas Indians, including Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, and a Canada-based institution, for their outstanding contributions in enhancing India's image globally. Bissessar, a person of Indian origin who became the first female prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, is the most prominent among this year's awardees. The other awardees include: P.V Radhakrishna Pillai from Bahrain, Sachchidanand Sahai from Cambodia, Deepak Naraindas Shivdasani from Cote D'Ivoire, Victor Shahed Smetacek from Germany, Prakash Lohia, chairman particularly in the Gulf. Our vision is growth of Gujarat for India’s development: Modi While addressing the conclave, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi said, “Our vision is growth of Gujarat for India’s development.” Modi said that new India should stand on the three pillars Scale, Speed and Skill – a model propagated by Gujarat, to realize its full potential. The days for slow working has gone and we have to think of a bigger scale, develop skills and execute with speed.
of Indorama Corporation, Jose Parayanken from Mozambique, Kiran Navinchandra Asher from Oman, Hassan Abdulkarim Chougule from Qatar, S.R. Nathan from Singapore, Khorshed Noshir Ginwala Rustomjee from South Africa, Rajesh Kumar Saraiya from Ukraine, Surendra Kumar Kaushik from US and Kalpalatha Kummamuri Guntupalli from US. I n d o - C a n a d a Chamber of Commerce and Industry was also honoured for its contribution in bettering business and economic relations between the two countries. So far, 133 NRI and PIOs and three institutions run by NRIs or persons of Indian origin have been conferred the award. Then only it will be possible to match other countries and reach to the pinnacle of glory making India truly a global power. He said that Gujarat is the India’s rather global capital of solar energy. He said that when he became chief minister of Gujarat in 2001, there was a shortfall of 2,000 MW power in the State. By our efforts, today state has become, a power surplus state. All the 18,000 villages in Gujarat have been interlinked through broadband since 2009. “This is our canvas of development. We have sought
satellite technology from the Central Government and it will be used to propagate the model of E-governance in areas of telemedicine, agriculture, education, empowerment, rural development etc.” While other Indian states are battling with shortage of teachers in their education sector, Gujarat is the first in the country to establish a university to prepare worldclass teachers. At present there are 41 universities in Gujarat, including a University for Forensic Sciences, where even world’s greatest security agencies send in queries to crack their cases. He stressed that within a decade, the State would be producing five million cars annually. Gujarat has the biggest ship breaking industry in the world and plans to contribute five per cent to the world’s entire ship building industry. Gujarat has achieved huge growth in agriculture also. Gujarat has brought a miracle in milk production and value added products with its milk products exported to Singapore, Europe and other countries. Non-resident Indians felt strong sense of belonging and cheered him throughout his speech. He received huge applause as he proposed that Gujarat should host the 2015 Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas to mark the centenary of Mahatama Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa on
January 9, 2015. He appealed to Ravi to announce the hosting of 2015 edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Gujarat. Modi-Gehlot barbs at PBD session In a war of words, host chief minister Ashok Gehlot fell short of “generosity” when Modi was firing barbs at the UPA and Congress leaders. While Modi was lashing out at the UPA, citing the stepmotherly treatment meted out to Gujarat, the jampacked Indian Diaspora audience was applauding him with intermittent claps. But Gehlot suddenly rose from the chair, took the mike from Modi and said, “Aapko jitna bolna hai bolo…main jaa raha hoon.” (You continue your rhetoric, but I am leaving now). They shook hands…exchanged smiles and Gehlot left the dais. Even the session moderator Ravi too was visibly upset at the way Modi started talking about UPA’s apathy towards Gujarat. Ravi vented his anger at the NRIs who were keen on showering praises and extending support to Modi. The Union minister snapped at one of the NRIs when Modi offered to host 2015 Pravasi Bhartiya Divas and sought Ravi’s consent. Modi said, “You (Ravi) had awarded PBD to Jaipur last year in a minute, but why not now?” But the latter remained quiet.
travel & feStivAl
asian voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
Purvi’S travel bag By Purvi Apurva Shah
Uttarayan the colourful kite-flying day
An unforgettable experience of Indian culture A trip to Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat, is not complete without a visit to the Akshardham Temple. It is not merely a monument, a pilgrimage or a temple, it is a classic mirror of our holy Indian culture. It is like holidaying in midst of true stories. Over 2 million people visit Akshardam annually to see the major attractions of the temple. It is one of the largest temples of Gujarat. It is a reflection of swaminaryan, Upanishads, Mahabharat and Ramayan history and philosophy. More than 900 craftsmen have created this magnificent monument. It is 108 ft. tall. The temple complex combines devotions, art, architecture, education, exhibitions, research and recreation all at one place. Akshardham is an architectural marvel of this century. The imposing 10 storey high, intricately carved architectural masterpiece, enshrines Golden Murti (idol) of Lord Swaminarayan, the founder of the Swaminarayan faith. The one thing that deserves special mention is the timeless peace that you experience in the complex. And above that is the laser, sound, fountain, animation show in the evening. It will take your breath away. World-class soundwater show: A spectacular show on water screen using effects of fire, sound laser, water and video tell you a story of nine year old boy Neelkanth who became Ghanshyam and finally Lord Swaminaryan. The first of its kind immersive show - a fusion of high-end technology, it is a multi-media format show on a water screen
primarily consisting of water droplets. The 45-minute programme, Sat-Chit-Anand, is conducted on a 60-ft wide water screen. Use of colourful lights and high-powered projec-
Fly to Ahmedabad and then go by road to Gandhinagar. Other attractions The children’s park is yet another famous destination, and this park has boating facilities and also Deer Park
tors helped in depicting a ghostly atmosphere with anacondas squirming at the gate of death, spikes coming from nowhere to kill the child, dancing demons, fire, volcanic eruptions and lightning all on the water screen. The use of 4,000 nozzles, 2,000 lights, over 100 pumps and 12 fireball throwers supplemented quick change of locations from hell to heaven and cosmos. Mahatma Mandir
Gandhinagar, named after Mahatma Gandhi, is the capital city of Gujarat. Built on the river Sabarmati it is just 32 km away from Ahmedabad. It is the second planned city in India after Chandigarh.
a mini train for kids. Sarita Udyan is a picnic spot that is popular among the locals, and this is located adjacent to a deer park, which is another must see location. Deer Park: It serves as a perfect refuge for those seeking some calm and peace away from the din of the city. It’s not merely for the young but you can see older people visiting the place as well. Craftsmen's Village: About seven km from Gandhinagar is a village called Pethapur dedicated to the art of Bandhani prints. It is popular not merely for the prints but also wooden blocks carved with exquisite designs on hand printed cloth. Here you can purchase some ethnic bandhani printed fabric at reasonable prices. Mahatma Mandir: Mahatma Mandir is an iconic tourist destination that exhibits the life of Mahatma Gandhi It is an international level convention centre, museum and garden having intricately carved stone murals exhibiting life of Gandhiji.
India is observing 14th January every year as kite flying day which is also known as Uttarayan. The name Uttrayan is given to this day because on this day the sun starts moving towards the uttar or north. Uttarayana, is the sixmonth period between Makar Sankranti (around January 14) and Karka Sankranti (around July 14), when the sun travels towards the north on the celestial sphere. The name Uttarayana comes from joining two different Sanskrit words "Uttara" (North) and "ayana" (movement towards). The period from July 14 to January 14 is known is D a k s h i n ā y a n a . Uttarayana is also known as Makara Sankranti. This festival is celebrated on January 14th or 15th.The season occurs based on tropical sun. The earth revolves around sun with a tilt of 23.45 degrees. When the tilt is facing the sun we get summer and when the tilt is away from the sun we get winter. That is the reason when there is summer north of the equator, it will be winter south of the equator. During Makar Sankranti people of all ages rush to rooftops and terraces, to fly kites of different colours and sizes. At night, kite fliers send up bright white kites to be seen in the darkness, and skilled flyers will send aloft their tukkals with strings of brightly lit lanterns in a long line leading back down to the rooftop. Makar Sankranti is celebrated in other parts of India Makar Sankranti, is also regarded as the beginning of an auspicious phase in Indian culture. It is said as the 'holy phase of transition' and celebrated with great fanfare. Makar Sankranti or Sankranti is celebrated in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Sikkim, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal and West Bengal and is known under different names. In other countries too the day is celebrated but in
different ways: NepalMaghi, Thailand – Songkran, Laos - Pi Ma Lao, Myanmar – Thingyan, Cambodia Moha Sangkran Andhra Pradesh: The festival is celebrated for four days in the state. The day preceding Makara Sankranti is called Bhogimand. On this day people discard old and derelict things and concentrate on new things. The second day is Makara Sankranti, also called "Pedda Panduga" which literally means "the big festival", when everyone wears new clothes, prays to God. On the day after Makara Sankranti, the animal kingdom is remembered and in particular, the cows. In Assam, the festival is celebrated as Bhogali Bihu and in Bihar the festival is celebrated as Makar Sankranti or Sakraat. People take bath in rivers and ponds and feast upon seasonal delicacies as a celebration of good harvest. Celebrations in Goa closely resemble to that in Maharashtra. The men hardly take part in the celebrations but it is the women folk who celebrate 'haldi-kumkum'. In Maharashtra on the Makar Sankranti people exchange multi-colored halwa (and til-gul ladoos) and gul-polis are offered for lunch. While exchanging til-guls as tokens of goodwill people greet each other. This is the Suggi or harvest festival for farmers of Kaveri basin of Karnataka. On this auspicious day, young females wear new clothes to visit near and dear ones with a Sankranti offering in a plate. In some parts of Karnataka, a newly married woman is required to give away bananas for a period of five years to married women (muthaidhe) from the first year of her marriage, but increase the number of bananas in multiples of five. This festival is celebrated in Kerala at Sabarimala where the Makara Jyothi is visible followed by the Makara Vilakku celebrations. The 40 days anushthana by the devotees of Ayyappan ends on this day in Sabarimala
with a big festival. This is one of the major festivals in the state of Rajasthan. It is known as "Makar Sakrat" in the Rajasthani language. This day is celebrated with sweets like Ghevar, Tilpaati, Gajak, kheer etc. In Punjab where December and January are the coldest months of the year, huge bonfires are lit on the eve of Makar Sankranti and is celebrated as Lohri. Sweets, sugarcane and rice are thrown in the bonfires, around which friends and relatives gather together. The following day, which is Sankrant, is celebrated as Maghi. Bathing in any river in the early hours on Maghi is important. Hindus light lamps with sesame oil as this is supposed to give prosperity and drive away all sins. The Punjabis dance their famous dance known as "Bhangra." Then they sit down and eat the sumptuous food that is specially prepared for the occasion. It is traditional to eat "kheer", rice cooked in milk and sugar. It is a four day festival in Tamil Nadu: The first day of festival is Bhogi. It is celebrated by throwing away and destroying old clothes. The second day of festival is Thai Pongal and is the main day of the festival. It is celebrated by boiling rice with fresh milk and jaggery in new pots, which are later topped with brown sugar, cashew nuts and raisins. The third day of festival is Maattu Pongal. It is for offering thanks to cattle. The fourth day of the festival is Kaanum Pongal In Orissa people prepare 'makar chaula (uncooked newly harvested rice), banana, coconut, jaggery, sesame, rasagola, khoi and chhena puddings for naivedya to gods and goddesses. In West Bengal, Sankranti, also known as Poush Sankranti named after the Bengali month in which it falls, and is celebrated as a harvest festival Poush Parbon. All sections of society participate in a three-day festival which begins on the day before Sankranti and ends on the day after. The Goddess Lakshmi is usually worshipped on the day of Sankranti.
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
CB Live is only a Gujarati programme in UK on MATV SKY 793 Kokila Patel, Managing Editor of Gujarat Samachar with Pc Mahesh Nandha of Harrow Police, Cllr Navin Shah, AM and Kanti Nagda from Sangat Community Centre will discuss about the security and prevention methods in the light of the recent burglaries in Indian houses at Harrow, East London, Kenton etc. Phone lines will be open for questions. If you do not have a SKY, go to www.tvunetworks.com and watch CB Live on TVU Player Channel 75203
Coming Events l Canons Gujarati School Adult classes started on 8th Jan 2012. Registration 10:15-11:45 am at Canons School, Edgware, HA8 6AN. Contact: Vijyabahen 0208 958 8564 l Ram dhun from 8am-8pm, Sat 14th Jan 2012. Shree Sanatan Mandir, Weymouth Street. Leicester. Prasad- 1pm. l Cervical cancer and cervical screening in BME communities: raising awareness and overcoming barriers.10am until 3pm on Thursday 26 January 2012, at The King’s Fund, 11-13 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0AN
Krupa Sheth, elected as Brent’s youngest Councillor The youngest person to be elected on Brent Council said it was a “great honour” after her by-election victory. Krupa Sheth, 20, pictured, from St Michael’s Avenue, Wembley, was declared the winner with 1402 votes after a late-night count after the election on 22nd Dec. She said: “I want to get younger people interested in politics because it determines how the country runs, which is very important...There are a lot of people who have given up and I want to make them believe in it.” As part of her mission to create community cohesion, Cllr Sheth said she would introduce weekly visits to residents’ homes where she will listen to their concerns about the ward.
Her uncle, Cllr Ketan Sheth told Asian Voice, “Ever since she was a young child, she has been out working with people and has shown a great commitment to the wider community. I know she will make a great labour representative for the people of Wembley Central and we are all very very proud of her. Not only she is the youngest councillor, but first uncle and niece councillor partnership in the Council!”
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Sneh Joshi - 020 8518 5500 A great deal will depend on how you organise your priorities this week. This does not mean that you will have to compromise your ideals but you may be obliged to realise that sometimes a more flexible approach is needed. Your best line of action this week is to stick doggedly to familiar routines and avoid all distractions where possible.
ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20
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TV chief killed for revenge? Continued from page 15 was allegedly beaten unconscious before being burnt alive while trapped in the boot of a car. Ms Mahil was 19 at the time of the killing and in the second year of her medical degree at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School. She said that sex outside marriage was a “nono” and that she had been horrified when Mr Singh had attempted to kiss her after they met on the social networking site Facebook. However later he allegedly had come to meet Ms Mahil before her exam and incidentally tried to rape her while he was in what has been described as a ‘trance’. On being ‘kicked off’, he gathered his senses and was extremely apologetic. Ms Mahil told the court that she had not told her parents or the police about the attack in fear of
being criticised. Ms Mahil told the court that she had been persuaded by Mr Sahota, a prominent member of the Sikh temple in Woolwich, southeast London, to arrange the meeting in Brighton so that he and Mr Shoker could speak to Mr Singh about his attitude to women. Aftab Jafferjee, QC, for the prosecution, has described Ms Mahil as “extremely manipulative”. Michael Birnbaum, QC, for the defence, said Ms Mahil believed that Mr Singh “might be given a few slaps, nothing more”. Ms Mahil, of Chatham, Kent, Mr Shoker, 20, of Greenwich, southeast London, and Mr Peters, 20, of Blackheath, deny murder and alternative charges of grievous bodily harm with intent.
TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 With Venus traversing your sign of leisure for some time to come, it will put you in the right mood if you intend to indulge your pleasure-loving instincts. Venus, the planet of love and romance throws a pleasing light on affairs of the heart. Existing emotional differences can be easily sorted out now. GEMINI May 22 - June 22 You will continue to be in a restless mood for some time to come. This makes you impatient with restrictions and even more determined to cut your own path. Do not get over-anxious if everything seems to be in slow motion - it is time to pull a few strings. You are likely to experience some tension in close relationships.
CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22 There are subtle transformations taking shape in you life and a feeling of helpful influences in the background. There is much to suggest that you are in tune with your inner self and in touch with those hidden forces which often seem to take a guiding hand in one's life. Focus on essentials and establish a solid foundation. LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23 Make sure you are sleeping properly. Give yourself plenty of physical outlets to drain off some of the excess mental stimulation. The Sun in your solar 6th house will make you feel like you can finally settle into a more grounded and steady routine instead of letting your schedule run you. VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23 The outlook remains optimistic as developments point the way forward and bring you a sense of real achievement. However, demands on time and energy are going to be heavy. Relationships look great as Venus and Mars help to enhance your personal magnetism and put you in a gregarious mood. LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23 Although there are very intense amorous energies indicated in your chart, the trouble is that these are likely to be marred by feelings of jealousy. Do not therefore dabble in anything that could harbour such negative potential, as it is bound to end in heartache. Property interests and home affairs are highlighted. SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22 The planets Venus and Mars are moving force in regard to amorous experience, giving more than just a hint that links between lovers will be rather intense and passionate. On a material level the trend greatly favours anything geared towards establishing greater financial stability. Things get a little easier now and you can relax. It's been a hectic time as you've tried to accomplish a great deal. It is a good time to consolidate your gains. You need to to settle down and remember patience brings happiness. Relationships need to be reassessed, though a positive outcome is indicated.
SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21
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There will be increased scope for varying your activities, widening your network of contacts and getting out and about. It is an excellent time for exercising your mental energies, clarifying your and other people's ideas and getting involved in discussion. Exercise caution when it comes to making financial decisions.
CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20
AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 It would be unwise to take any risks, particularly in regard to joint interests and investments. So be extra careful if you need to deal with complex legal matters and necessary red tape. If love has left you feeling rather dejected or cynical, it looks as though soon events will pull you out of this mood of despondency. PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 During this period you are planning for your future and become excited about an idea that promises much greener pastures for you. You are very positive and optimistic but you should not get carried away by your enthusiasm. Keep both your feet firmly on the ground to realise your goals.
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
right diet can save you from
If you have been wondering why you are plagued with cavities even though you floss, brush and visit the dentist regularly, here are a few tips from our experts that will help you put that perfect toothpaste advertisement smile back on your face. Add fibre to it: Your teeth don't just need to be brushed to get food off it, they also need the right kind of diet. Dentist Dr Sanjay Ramani says, "Teeth problems are a result of a modern refined diet." Refined carbohydrates are bad for the teeth. Refined food particles are sticky and sneak between the groves in your
teeth. "If people don't brush at night it remains stuck till the next morning. Bacteria thrive on this and produce high acid levels that can eat away at the enamel," he says. Eat more fibrous foods because they do not leave a sticky residue. Raw fruits and vegetables, nuts and whole wheat items are advised. Eat more calcium: "The average adult should get a minimum of 500 milligrams of calcium per day to ensure healthy, strong teeth," says Dr Karishma Jaradi, cosmetic dentist. Grab in calcium rich foods such as celery and carrot snacks with hummus or avocado dip, cheese, plain yoghurt, fresh
Sleeping pills should be taken with caution
A recent study found those who took sleeping tablets were 36 per cent more likely to die at any given time than others. In the study American researchers focused on a brain enzyme called calcium kinase, which controls sleep in humans, said researcher Fiona Macrae. In an experiment conducted by the researchers, a drug was given to mice that stopped the enzyme to work in the brain and making the animal sleep more.
"Sleep, one of the most mysterious regular shifts in consciousness, is regulated by a delicate balance between biological processes, the environment and behaviour, but the mechanisms involved in the regulation are not well understood," said Subimal Datta, researcher, Boston University. "Current treatments for sleep disorders do not achieve the ideal behavioural outcome, and are usually accompanied by many undesirable side effects," he said. "A more specific, finetuned approach to treating these disorders by promoting alertness and treating insomnia would greatly benefit public health," he added. Lack of sleep is linked to a host of health problems, from heart disease and memory loss to diabetes.
fruit and nuts. Don't crash diet: While dieting might help you lose unwanted pounds, crash diets are detrimental to your molars. When you are on a diet there is less salivation in the mouth. "Saliva has antibacterial properties so the more you create the more you suppress the bacterial growth," says Jaradi. You can increase salivation naturally by chewing any sugarless gum. Be careful with citrus fruits and drinks: All citrus fruits and drinks have ascorbic acid. While the Vitamin C they contain is great for the body, its acidic content is known to erode the enamel. Ramani suggests you drink citrus juices with the help of a straw as it helps the juice bypass your teeth. After eating a citrus fruit, do no rinse for at least 30 minutes. This gives time for the saliva in your mouth to cleanse the acid. Rinsing immediately will cause teeth erosion. "Lot of people wrongly believe that using lime juice can whiten your teeth," says Ramani. "However, it can have disastrous effects on your teeth."
An egg can actually help to lose weight Want to shed the flab? Go to work on an egg - it's the best way to start the day, a new study has claimed. For decades, it was feared eggs caused high blood pressure and raised cholesterol. Now, researchers found that eating eggs for breakfast can help slash the calories eaten at lunch and dinner. Eggs keep one fuller for longer compared with other common breakfast foods, and are also better for people who want to resist afternoon snacks on biscuits, cake or chocolate, according to the researchers. Prof Bruce Griffin, who led the study, said: “This study provides yet more evidence that eating eggs at breakfast can help keep us feeling fuller for longer and may help people to eat less at subsequent meals, thus helping with weight loss.” Researchers found volunteers felt fuller for longer and had a lower desire to eat after an egg breakfast compared with breakfasts of cornflakes with milk and toast, or croissant and orange juice.
Any quest ions writ e to m amta @thinkspalon By Mamta Saha don.com
Question and Answer’s to begin 2012 How does one create a real vision of what you want to achieve as a very first step? Seeing is believing. If you can't see yourself doing whatever it is you want to do - you have already created unnecessary barriers that will get in the way of your success. Spend time daydreaming what it would be like if you were living your dream. Doing the things you would want to do. Ask yourself how it feels, what you are thinking and what you are doing. The more specific you are in describing what your goal and vision looks like the likelihood of you achieving it increases. Your brain becomes conditioned to the fact that it is possible and before you know if your confidence levels increase in order for you to achieve what it is you want to achieve. How do you overcome voices of self doubt? You have to be your own best friend not your own worst enemy. Think about how you would feel if you looked back in 5
Ginger has long been used in food for its wonderful medicinal properties. If you are having cold, having a cup of 'kadak adraki chai' can give you instant relief. Similarly, on a cold winter morning, you can boil water with ginger, basil leaves, mint leaves and then add a spoon of honey. Even in traditional Indian dishes, ginger is added for giving the dish a unique flavor. Ginger's health benefits has made it an essential ingredient in Indian kitchens. Read now to know more about the health benefits of ginger. Ginger has long been used as a natural treatment for cold and the flu. Many people also find ginger to be helpful in the case of stomach problems or food poisoning. Ginger is good for curing digestive problems. Ginger has antiinflammatory properties and is a powerful natural painkiller. Ginger has long been used as a natural heart-
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ur goals. Know that there is no such thing as perfection and nobody is perfect - it is fine to make mistakes. Reflect on successful people and the mistakes that they have made and how they have flourished despite 'failing' at something along the way (Walt Disney, Richard Branson etc) How does one really successfully network Have your elevator pitch, keep it natural, keep it real. Think about all of your strengths and be your own best friend. Learn how to build common ground and have synergy with others. Make good eye contact, dress well (and you will feel good). Challenge yourself to speak with people you wouldn't usually speak with and think about 3 objectives that you would like to achieve through the networking and make a plan around how you will achieving them. e a vision for what you want to achieve by the end of a networking event and always reflect on how it went afterwards.
Ginger beneficial in winter
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years and didn't take the steps out of you comfort zone. There will always be reasons not do something you really want to do and this is because you care about doing this so much. Turn those negative self doubting thoughts into positive thoughts. Ask yourself why you deserve to achieve. Remind yourself why you want to do what you want to do and again, revisit your vision and think about how you will feel once you have achieved what you have. The choice is yours and you must remind yourself of all the reasons why its so important to take a brave step. How does one handle failure - and keep going? View the failure as a unique learning opportunity. Think about what you can take from the mistake as opposed to why it was so bad. Think about all the reasons why you should be grateful for the failure and how this experience has enabled you to sharpen your game plan and brought you closer to achieving yo
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burn remedy. It is most often taken in the form of tea for this purpose. Research has shown that ginger may provide
migraine relief due to its ability to stop prostaglandins from causing pain and inflammation in blood vessels.
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Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
Raonic wins thrilling Chennai Open final
Leander Paes, Tipsarevic win doubles crown
Twenty one â€“year-old Canadian Milos Raonic has won the Aircel Chennai Open final by defeating top seeded Serbian Janko Tipsarevic last week. The 6-7(4),7-6(4),7-6(4) victory for Raonic after 35 aces in his name, 36 service games without a single break and three tie-breaks treated Chennai to three hours of glorious high-quality tennis, perhaps the best witnessed here. While Raonic, who came as a qualifier here last time, goes to Australian Open with a title in the first tournament of the year, his second overall, Tipsarevic's wait for a Chennai crown will continue. But this was a match the Serbian gave his all. He blocked the ball, sliced it, served aces and returned with aplomb. He also scampered, ran like a maniac and defended with all his heart, but Raonic and his power game was a bit too much for the World No. 9 at the SDAT Stadium Nungambakkam. After the first three games went rela-
tively eventless, the fourth game was test of Tipsarevic's character and the 27-yearold passed it in flying colours. Down 2-1, the World No. 9 was in deep trouble as Raonic's ground strokes gained him the upper hand and four break points in the game. But the Serbian got out thrice with aces, and once with a backhand winner down the line. Raonic held his serve easily, and put Tipsarevic's serve under pressure again. With Tipsarevic not ready to give in and Roanic's serve too hot for the Serb, the
set inevitably went to a tiebreak. After the first seven points went with the serve, Tipsarevic had a mini break when, after a rally, Raonic put his volley onto the net. That was enough for the Serbian to close the tiebreak at 7-4 and thereby win the set 7-6. Tipsarevic's serve was immediately under pressure in the second set and like always, he found his way out. All the games went with serves and it was tie-break again. But this time the story was slightly different. Raonic had a mini break with the Serbian's first serve and eventually won it 7-4 to level. The third set went exactly like the first two sets with no player being able to break each other. Raonic started with an ace in the tie-break and raced to a 5-0 lead. The fighter in Tipsarevic was never going down like that. He fought back but serving to stay in the match at 5-6 in the tie-break, his return hit the tape, and fell back into his own court.
Bayern crush India 4-0 in Baichung Bhutia's farewell match German giants Bayern Munich expectedly thrashed Indian national team 4-0 in Baichung Bhutia's farewell match, which had little in quality but made up by big response from the fans on Tuesday. Around 35,000 crowd watched the match at the floodlit Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Delhi but the national team, led for the last time by Baichung, was no match for the highly fancied Bayern Munich side who had overwhelming ball possession and did most of the attacking. Baichung, who was Indian football's posterboy for 16 years since he made his international debut in 1995 till last year, played for 85 minutes before being replaced by C S Sabeeth and he was given a standing ovation by the crowd.
All the Indian players shook his hands, just like some Bayern players, as he made his way to the bench. Bayern, the four-time UEFA Champions League winners, scored through Mario Gomez (14th minute), Thomas Mueller (29th and 37th) and Bastian Schweinsteiger (43rd). The German side started with their
first eleven except for Franck Ribery and toyed with the Indians, attacking almost at will. The Indians, on the other hand, were content with defending their citadel without having a single clear shy at the opposition goal. Coach Jupp Heynckes made several changes in his side in the beginning of second half, including Arjen Robben, Philipp Lahm and Thomas Mueller, while India brought in striker Jeje Lalpekhlua in place of Sushil Kumar. Climax Lawrence came in place of Rocus Lamare while Subhashish Roy Chowdhury replaced Karanjit under the bar. With most of first team players at the bench, Bayern could not score in the second half with Indian goalie Subhashish also bringing some fine saves.
Leander Paes had said that it would be his goal to help Janko Tipsarevic win a doubles title. On Sunday at the SDAT Stadium he did exactly that as the Indo-Serbian pair defeated Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram of Israel 6-4, 6-4 in the Chennai Open doubles final. "It's a disappointment for me to lose the singles, but as soon as I caught up Paes, my disappointment was replaced by determination to win the doubles," said Tipsarevic. This was the first doubles title for Tipsarevic, while for the Indian this is his sixth Chennai Open title. All his previous wins had come in the company of Mahesh Bhupathi. Leander praised his partner for being a thorough professional. "This guy played for three hours in singles and still came out all guns blazing for the doubles. He is an inspiration for all budding athletes." The Indo-Serb combination broke Erlich and Ram in their first two service games of the match to storm to a 3-0 lead, but Paes lost his serve in the fourth game to make it 3-1. Thereafter the duo made amends to clinch the set 6-4. Paes and Tipsarevic started the second set in fine fashion, breaking Erlich's serve to take an early grip in the set and the match. It was three match points for the Indo-Serb combine. Leander served and rushed into the net to perfectly angle it past Andy and into the empty corner of the court. The Indian threw his racquet away and hoisted Tipsarevic on his shoulders, carrying him for a few metres in celebration.
Asian Voice - Saturday 14th January 2012
Virat Kohli fined for finger gesture Indian batsman Virat Kohli was fined 50 per cent of his match fee after making a finger gesture to the crowd during the second Test against Australia in Sydney, team officials said. Kohli was pictured in newspapers showing home fans his middle finger during the second day of the match and subsequently received a level-two offence sanction by match referee Ranjan Madugalle. India team media manager GS Walia said Kohli had been informed of the charge and had pleaded guilty to making the gesture. "The matter has been sorted out... the player felt guilty and sorry and the matter has been closed," Walia told reporters. "When he went to the match referee, he said sorry and that out of emotions 'I must have done it'." Kohli's indiscretion came during a frustrating day in the field for India when Australia's batsmen posted 366 runs for the loss of just one wicket.
Pakistan to launch its own T20 premier league Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Chaudhry Zaka Ashraf has revealed that PCB will launch its own Premier League soon which will be bigger than the Indian Premier League. Zaka Ashraf said that Pakistan players would now play their own league, which the PCB was aiming to launch soon instead of participating in the IPL. “We will talk to major sponsor companies to come forward and select their teams for this grand league of the country and I hope it will be much better than the IPL. It will also attract maximum number of cricket lovers and provide them opportunity to witness their players in action at their own home grounds,” he said. “I was appointed as the PCB chief to boost and promote cricket across the country and it is my sole aim and I am striving hard to achieve my aim by revival of international cricket and added I will provide our national players all the best available facilities,” The Nation quoted Zaka Ashraf, as saying. He further said that he just now had three or four months in the board and gradually he would bring healthy changes for the betterment in the board working. Zaka Ashraf also vowed to follow the vision and policies of the deceased former PCB chairman purely for the promotion of the game.
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Australia get into a huddle after going 2-0 up against India in the 2nd Test at Sydney
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2) in successive overs in the second session and finished with five for 106. Peter Siddle struck early removing Gambhir, who missed out on a well deserved century, caught at point by David Warner. But there was no respite for the Australian bowlers as Tendulkar came out and raced to his 65th Test half-century. The most notable partnership of the innings was the 103run stand between Tendulkar and Laxman. Tendulkar was patient when he walked out to bat and was unbeaten on eight runs from 42 balls, having allowed plenty to go through to the keeper. But during the morning session's play, Tendulkar was in a hurry. The 42 runs he scored on Friday morning to bring up his half-century came off just 47 balls. The batting maestro attacked the Australian bowlers with an array of majestic shots. Laxman, who had scores of 2, 1 and 2 in the series so far, didn't look
India churned out their best batting display overseas in the last six months but could not prevent an embarrassing innings and 68 runs defeat by Australia in the second Test of the Border Gavaskar Trophy at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Friday last. India were bowled out for 400 in the second innings 20 minutes shortly after tea on the fourth day as Australia won the 100th Test at the SCG and took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series. For India, it was their sixth successive Test loss overseas. Australian captain Michael Clarke was the Man of the Match with his unbeaten 329, the highest score at the SCG, that took the hosts to a mammoth 659 for four declared in the first innings. Australia took a huge 468run first innings lead having skittled India out for 191 runs in the first innings on the opening day of the New Year Test. India, resuming at 114/2, came out on the fourth day determined to put on a respectable performance. They had a good first session scoring 129 runs, but lost way during the second when five wickets fell for just 108 runs. It was local boy Clarke, who triggered the dramatic batting collapse by picking up the crucial wicket of Sachin Tendulkar (80), who again fell short of his much-awaited 100th international century. Other notable contributors were Gautam Gambhir (83), V.V.S. Laxman (66) and Ravichandran Ashwin (62). Pacer Ben Hilhenfaus picked up the important wickets of Laxman and
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India suffer humiliating nd defeat in 2 Test at Sydney
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comfortable at the start. After surviving an early onslaught from the Australian quicks, Laxman got back his touch and looked like the player who had tormented the Australians during the past decade. At a time when it looked that more history would be created at the SCG, Clarke struck with his left-arm spin to remove Tendulkar, whose outside edge deflected off the keeper's glove to be caught
by Mike Hussey at first slip. In 2008 against India, Clarke took three wickets in five balls in the dying overs to clinch the Sydney Test for Australia. Tendulkar's wicket triggered a batting collapse as India slumped from 271 for three to 286 for seven. Virat Kohli (9) failed again and is likely to be replaced by Rohit Sharma in next week's third Test at Perth. Zaheer Khan blasted a quickfire 35 off 26 balls.
India in line for 4 - nil thrashing By Premen Addy Demoralized India are as lambs readied for slaughter by a rampaging Australia. Having tasted blood in the Melbourne and Sydney Tests, the hosts are preparing to administer the coup d’grace at Perth, where the wicket has pace and bounce. Mahendra Singh Dhoni may be a fine oneday captain and batsman in the shorter format of cricket, but five-day Test matches are a bridge too far - or so it would appear. However the failings are not his alone. India’s vaunted batsmen – Tendulkar, apart – were all at sea against Australia’s pace attack, while the bowlers had nether the length nor direction expected of players at this testing level. Krishnamachari Srikkanth, the Chairman of the Indian selectors, trotted out the usual
litany of lame excuses for the team’s lamentable showing – no different from his performance following the whitewash in England last summer. Prior to that series, the side chosen for the tour of the West Indies were better fitted for as Caribbeb pleasure cruise, for all one knew. How else does one explain the inclusion of nonentities like Shikar Dhawan and Yusuf Pathan? In Australia a number of the touring party are enjoying honeymoons with their new brides. Cricket is poor second to romantic distractions. The Indian public are being taken for a ride by the country’s cricketing administration, concerned primary with making fast bucks. The sport is fast becoming a swindle. Time for a mass boycott of a continuing farce. The goose must stop laying its golden eggs.