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Let noble thoughts come to us from every side


15th March to 21st March 2014

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India goes to polls from April 7 to May 12 The results will be declared on May 16 polling to be stretched over nine rounds lasting 34 days, as against five phases spread over 28 days in 2009, this general election will be the most protracted so far. Chief election commissioner V S Sampath, who was flanked by election commissioners H S

India goes to polls from April 7 to May 12 to elect a new parliament and a new government. The Election Commission has announced a nine-phase election to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim between April 7 and May 12. With

Migrants backlash against suppressed Immigration report Whilst the Asian community is welcoming the Lib Dem Party's plans to let migrants' grandparents come in to the UK, it is appalled at the recent controversy involving 10 Downing Street,

embroiled in accusations that it suppressed a report on the contribution of immigrants on the job market. The now published research, which was undertaken by think tank DueDil, a research company and Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE),

announced that almost half a million people from 155 countries have launched UK businesses that are currently trading with at least ÂŁ1m in revenue. Continued on page 7

Brahma and S N A Zaidi at the press conference said polling would be conducted on April 7, 9, 10, 12, 17, 24 and 30 and May 7 and 12. Andhra Pradesh will have simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections in two phases on April 30 and May 7, Odisha in two phases on April 10 and 17, while Sikkim will have a single day poll on April 12. Counting for both Lok Sabha and assembly polls has been scheduled for May 16. This will give the parties almost a fortnight for government formation, as the term of the current Lok Sabha expires only on May 31. "The model code has come into immediate effect with announcement of the dates," declared Continued on page 26

Malaysian jet missing, 5 Indians among 239 on board

A Malaysian airliner with 239 people, including five Indians, on board en route to China has gone missing and is presumed to have crashed on Saturday in the seas between Malaysia and Vietnam where a massive search is on. The Boeing 777-200 Flight MH370 with 227 passengers, including two infants and 12 crew members disappeared on Friday night. The list of passengers on board

comprised 154 Chinese, 38 Malaysians, seven Indonesians, six Australians, five Indians, four Americans, three French, two New Zealanders, two Ukrainians, two Canadians, one Russian, one Italian, one Dutch and one Austrian. Malaysia Airlines said the last point of contact with the plane was approximately 120 nautical miles east of Kota Continued on page 26

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UK - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

Keith Vazwith MP

Keith Vaz MP

Kumar Iyer

Kumar Iyer is the British Deputy High Commissioner for Western India and Director General for UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) for all of India. He arrived in Mumbai, where he is based, on 5 August 2013. As Deputy High Commissioner Western Region, he has responsibility for all aspects of diplomatic engagement in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Goa. As Director General India of UKTI he has overall responsibility for the UK-India commercial and trade relationship across India. Kumar has an MPhil in Economics from Cambridge University where he was a Bank of England scholar and an undergraduate tutor in Microeconomics. He was also a Kennedy Scholar and Teaching Fellow in International Capital Markets at Harvard University. He joined the British government in 2008 as Deputy Director, Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. In 2010 he moved to the Treasury, first as Deputy Director, Strategy, Planning & Budget, and then as Head of Financial Sector Interventions. Prior to that he was at the Boston Consulting Group where he worked mainly in the Financial Services Practice but also for large multinational media and retail clients. Kumar is a keen cricketer and chess player. He is married to Kathryn, a barrister practising criminal law. They have two children, a son and a daughter. 1) Please tell me about your current position? I am the British Deputy High Commissioner in Mumbai and the Director General for UK Trade and Investment for India

as a whole 2) What are your proudest achievements? My children! They are 4 and 6 yrs old and they are great (I

career I was struggling to go to university without financial support – it was a point when I was worried I might not even have the chance of the career I wanted if I wasn’t able to go to university. But luckily I got a scholarship from Deloitte through university for which I will always be grateful.

3) What inspires you?I’m always inspired by people who’ve managed to live a balanced and meaningful life. Making a difference professionally without giving up on family life or charitable work or staying fit – I don’t know how some people do it.

5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? There was a Partner that I worked with at the Boston Consulting Group, he still works there so I won’t embarrass him, who managed to do a great job, never get flustered and leave at a reasonable time every day. He always believed that you don’t need to worry about the politics just do a good job and your work will speak for itself.

4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? In my very early educational

6) What is the best aspect about your current role? I am very lucky in my current

admit extreme bias).

betrayed by a loved one. The findings indicate that even though the UK economy is improving, money worries are still having a huge impact on the nation’s psyche. The research from also revealed that the rising cost of utility bills (60 per cent) and food (43 per cent) are the UK’s biggest financial concerns as the cost of essential living has gone up but salaries have yet to follow. Top UK consumer worries include money concerns, getting divorced / separated, betrayal by a loved one, not being able to provide adequately for children / family and being fired.

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A bogus immigration adviser in Brent, who reportedly conned £20,000 out of his clients while giving some the wrong information resulting in their deportation has been jailed. The Kilburn Times reported that Amit Banerjee posed as a qualified advocate on immigration matters in Brent pocketing the fivefigure sum between July and December 2012. Harrow Crown Court

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7) And the worst? Not enough hours in the day 8) What are your long term goals? To retire near the coast somewhere (I’ve promised my wife we’ll have a view of the sea). 9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? I would change the Prime Minister! Having been lucky enough to have worked in Downing Street, I know that it is a seriously tough job and I would probably decline the honour. The sheer breadth and relentless nature of the work takes a very rare set of skills to handle. 10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? Lord Baden-Powell: always handy to have someone that can start a decent campfire, put up a tent and scavenge for food.

Cobra Beer celebrates the launch of its biggest ever marketing campaign

Money worries tops the list amongst UK adults New insight from has indicated that worrying about money tops the list of things keeping UK adults awake at night – more than the thought of getting divorced or being

role and I particularly enjoy the variety. It ranges from negotiating trade deals and regulations on one day to supporting British nationals in distress or engaging with immigration issues on the next.

Cobra, one of the world’s most awarded beers, from the Cobra Beer Partnership a joint venture with Molson Coors and Cobra Beer, is launching a high impact advertising campaign to drive re-appraisal and expand the drinking occasions associated with the brand. The campaign introduces the new face of the brand for the very first time, The Boss, who lives an impossibly smooth lifestyle and creates the impossibly smooth Cobra beer. The ‘Live Smooth’ TV ad, designed to highlight the care and craftsmanship that goes into bringing Cobra to life, sees charismatic entrepreneur The Boss visiting his two

businesses – Cobra brewery by day and his premium brassiere atelier BraCo by night. Lord Karan Bilimoria, Founder of Cobra Beer and Chairman of the Cobra Beer Partnership, said that he was “proud of the journey that Cobra Beer has made over the past twentyfour years.” Commenting on the ‘Live Smooth’ nature of the campaign, he added that the idea had

emerged from a desire to build upon Cobra’s positioning as “Impossibly Smooth Indian Ingenuity.” The multi-channel campaign was created by Cobra’s advertising agency Karmarama, the fastest growing advertising agency in the UK, along with social media agency Grape, content agency Kream and PR agency Kaper, all part of the Karma Comms Group.

heard the 53-year-old charged people who wished to acquire various forms of status to remain in this country legally. He apparently told some to submit a particular application form which

in most cases would have been inappropriate for them, and in some cases led to them being thrown out of the country. Banerjee was arrested at Heathrow Airport trying to board a plane to

India and was charged with illegally providing advice under Section 91 of the immigration and Asylums act 1991. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison last month.

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Indian freedom incomplete without poverty eradication

The Reverend Jessie Jackson, the black American human rights campaigner and close associate of the iconic Martin Luther King, addressing an audience of Kolkata’s good and great said India’s freedom from British colonial rule remained incomplete without the eradication of the country’s poverty and its related social and gender discrimination. At the same time, he was eloquent in his praise of India’s intellectual achievements, particularly in science and technology, the professions and in business. In these areas, he opined, India’s performances were of global significance. “India is number one in technology, in having most billionaires in one country, in economic growth and exporting talent around the world. Scientific research in the US is largely driven by Indian scientists; Microsoft is led by an Indian,” he said. “Some countries,” he went on, “export oil as their major contribution, some export timber…… India has been exporting brains ……. That is all the more reason why the exclusion of some children from school and thereby leaving them no choice but to become illiterates is such a sin.” Poverty was one cause of social violence and terrorism, which can often be seen as the desperate cry of the helpless. “Poverty breeds terrorism. It breeds fear. Terrorism is designed to make people afraid…..Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction because it kills en masse……It saps the spirit and weakens the body, it saps resolve and it destroys dreams.” Thus, “the unfinished business of the Indian liberation struggle….is freedom from poverty.” He likened India’s situation to that of his native America where want existed cheek by jowl with

abundance. The only effective answer was “to democratize the economy.” Reverend Jackson, like his mentor Martin Luther King, is a man of noble speech; he has drawn attention to the glaringly uneven distribution of wealth, which is the Achilles heel of both India and the United States. Democratizing the economy, however, can only be properly addressed when society provides a level playing field, when politics is released from the shackles of big money and politicians as a class are made more accountable for their actions. The impediments are formidable, not least from vested interests ever fearful of losing their privileged status and hold on power. Reverend Jackson showed up the disfiguring carbuncles of social injustice with appeals to the moral conscience of individuals and of society as a whole. In 19th century England Bishop Wilberforce denounced the abominable traffic in black slavery and aroused his fellow citizens to take this up as a righteous cause – which they did. Mrs Pankhurst fought and won the battle for the enfranchisement of British women after a long and arduous struggle. Mahatma Gandhi (to whom Reverend Jackson made mention) packaged his political message with the appropriate words and practical measures for the emancipation of India’s voiceless millions, of the lowly and downtrodden. If India was capable of attaining world standards in a multitude of material fields, she surely had the capability to do likewise in areas where she is starkly deficient. Reverend Jackson’s words were nuanced yet robustly forthright.

The US and EU are caught in a trap of their own making in Ukraine. What they hoped to achieve through their reckless and brazen support of farright, neo-Nazi, pro-jihadi leaders in the Kiev cauldron – accepting that the broad mass of protesters was driven by liberal goals - is mystifying. To engineer the overthrow a democratically elected government, however unworthy, in yet another exercise in regime change, the latest in the long march of folly. Over sixty years ago, the CIA and its British accomplices organized the military coup in Iran that bounced out the elected government of Mohammed Mossadegh and restored the unpopular Shah to the throne. The outcome? The regime of ayatollahs in Tehran today. Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Indonesia, not to speak of Vietnam, et al, is the abysmal narrative of Western meddling in the internal affairs of countries deemed to be unfriendly. The ends have not justified the means, bringing to mind Alexander Pope’s memorable lines: “Lo! The dread Empire, Chaos! Is restor’d;/ Light dies before the uncreating word;/ Thy hand great Anarch! lets the curtain fall;/ And Universal Darkness buries All!” Mark Almond Professor of History at Oxford University pointed to abiding Russophobia in the British media and the country’s public life, its roots embedded in 19th century imperial rivalry; Danny Welch, an American anti-war activist and US Republican Congressman Ron Paul, dwelt on the US establishment’s insatiable appetite for enemies, pointed to the 136 military bases spread across the world, a view echoed by Stephen Cohen, the noted American historian of Russia. The Professor of International Relations at Harvard University remarked that Ukraine was of paramount geostrate-

gic importance to Russia for reasons of geography and history, referring to America’s past conduct in defence of her sphere of Interest, hence Americans should appreciate Russian concerns as Nato expands relentlessly Eastwards. Russia is too large, too well endowed with natural resources, its people too tough and resolute to be bullied and subdued. Napoleon and Hitler were destroyed in their attempts to do so. Mainstream media in the West have lost every ounce of credibility after their performances over Iraq and Libya, not to speak of Vietnam, where they echoed, without shame, the falsehoods of their political masters.. India has reason to recall the behaviour of the Nixon administration in 1971, when the US president and his national security adviser Henry Kissinger showed no interest in reining in their Pakistani surrogate Yahya Khan from his genocidal massacres in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), utterly contemptuous of Indian concerns at the magnitude of the refugee influx from across the border, and calling cynically on China to open a second front on India’s northern border to take the pressure off their Pakistani client. As once US senator, Secretary of State John Kerry was responsible for getting through Congress huge amounts of financial aid to Pakistan despite its export of terrorism to India, Mumbai 2008 and all. The former US security advisor in the Carter administration, Zbigniew Brzezinski in his book “The Great Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives” has written of the need to contain Russia and India with the help of China; stressing, more recently, the need to press into service Islamist jihadis across the continents.. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

The Mughal tyrant Aurangzeb died in 1707, exhausted by his labours to transform India into an orthodox sunni state. The disintegration of the Mughal Empire and the consequent anarchy brought on by invasions from Persia and Afghanistan reduced the country to a ruined hulk. The first signs of regeneration came in th the 1780s when the English polymath and judge in Calcutta, William Jones, having studied Sanskrit, perceived its linguistic relationship with classical Greek and Latin. With the active encouragement of the first British Governor General Warren Hastings, Charles Wilkins produced the first English translation of the Gita, to which Hastings wrote an enthusiastic foreword. He went on to make the prophetic pronouncement on the corpus of Sanskrit literature, “These would survive when the British dominion in India shall have long ceased to exist, and when the sources which it once yielded of wealth and power are lost to remembrance.” A galaxy of British Indologists in the early years of the 19th century devoted their lives to the study of ancient India. H.H. Wilson founded

Sanskrit College in Calcutta in 1812, the first such modern institution in the country. The first chair of Sanskrit in the West was set up at Oxford in 1827 based on the bequest of Colonel Boden whose name is associated the professorship. Max Muller’s work on the Vedic texts elicited the admiration of Swami Vivekenanda. Indian universities under the British dispensation included a science curricula, and Indian philosophers such as Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Surendranath Dasgupta and Bimal Motilal in their time lectured at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, while scientists J.C.Bose, Homi Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai, among others, graduated from Cambridge. In law and civil and military administration the British have left a lasting impact. British surveyors helped also in mapping the entire subcontinent in accordance with the strictest scientific principles. The greatest of Indian historians, Jadunath Sarkar, said the British presence, warts and all, remade India – the platform for the democratic state to follow. His should be the last word on the subject.

Ukraine crisis: Old habits die hard

British legacy that remade India

3 When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. And that's my religion - Abraham Lincoln (1860)

“Our London” Navin Shah

GLA Member for Brent and Harrow


This is the time of year when Local authorities are in the final stages of deliberating and deciding their budgets for the new financial year (2014-15). London Assembly in the past few weeks too has debated London Mayor’s budget. The Mayor in presenting his budget painted a rosy picture of London and his achievements last year. I do not deny that some progress has been made but the year has proved to be tough for Londoners under the Mayor. London has become increasingly polarised city which has seen increase in poverty of people in-work, unemployment in London is higher compared to its English region and 650,000 children live in poverty.

POLICE: Under this Mayor last year London saw half of it’s police stations closed, Safer Neighbourhood Teams hugely depleted and local police consultation groups made dysfunctional – one in Harrow even forced to close down. Front counters at police stations are being replaced with part-time contact points. London has seen the lowest victim satisfaction level in England and Wales. Crime has fallen more slowly in London as compared to the other urban areas in England. In my own patch fear of crime has increased in Harrow which has slipped down the league table from being one of the safest Boroughs in London to the 7th safest Borough. FIRE: Mayor is going ahead with his plans to close 10 fire stations, remove 14 fire engines and delete 552 operational firefighter posts. All of this against the overwhelming wishes of Londoners and against democratically arrived decisions of London Assembly and

Fire Authority’s elected members. As a result, as per our analyses, target response times would increase – putting safety of Londoners at risk. TRANSPORT: Last year, yet again, Londoners were slapped with fares hike well above inflation. Mayor had pledged he will not close ticket offices but has taken a complete U-turn and he has now proposed closure of ALL ticket offices and proposed massive reduction of station staff without any consultation. The Mayor pledged to be the Mayor for all zones but has failed to prioritise accessibility issues in Outer London Areas. Somehow he cannot find a business case to provide step-free access for areas like Harrow. Equally even access facilities like platform ramps for stations like Kilburn have stalled.

HOUSING: The Mayor has created major crisis across all tenures of housing. The supply is failing to meet housing needs. New housing completions have fallen to a low of 20,000 when Mayor’s (London Plan) target is 32,210 new homes per year. Similarly the Mayor is unlikely to achieve his target of 55,000 new affordable homes by March 2015. PLANNING: Planning de-regulation by Government has meant threat on supply and retention of office uses, threat on retail units in high streets and serious impact on economic viability of town centres. If Nick Boles has his way greenbelts and open spaces would also be under threat from development. The year has been tough with Londoners facing Cost of Living Crisis created by the Mayor and his colleagues in Government.


Report reveals fundamentalists aim to replace teachers with radicals


Leaked documents have allegedly revealed that Muslim fundamentalists are plotting to take over state schools. Activists have reportedly launched a campaign to oust head teachers by spreading false allegations and packing governing bodies with their supporters. The plot that ringleader have apparently bamed Trojan Horse, has emerged in documents drawn up by the group and leaked to a local newspaper. The authors of the documents have been found to be discussing the possibility of extending the ‘jihad’ operation to Bradford and Manchester – cities with rapidly growing Muslim populations. Apparently written by fundamentalist Salafist Muslims, the papers outline a five-point guide to forcing out a headteacher and installing supporters in key positions to ensure a school is run according to Islamic principles. This involves identifying state schools in Muslim areas which are underperforming and at risk of being turned into academies. Under the academies programme, schools are removed from local council oversight. The four schools named in the Birmingham blueprint include Saltley School, Regents Park Primary, Park View Academy and Adderley Primary. The head teacher of Saltley School, Balwant bains was forced out of his job after opposing plans by Muslim governors to scrap sex education lessons and allow only halal food. It is also claimed that Balwant Bains was required to sign a non-disclosure agreement preventing - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

Faiths Forum meeting him from making public his concerns about the running of Saltley School. Sources close to Bains, who is of Sikh origin, claim he was “bullied and intimidated” in the months before he left Saltley last November after clashing with the governing body. Five nonMuslim governors have resigned in recent months and 12 of the school’s 14 current governors are Muslim. Last week Ofsted, the schools inspectorate, conducted an emergency inspection at Park View Academy, a neighbouring school, after claims that non-Muslim staff members were being sidelined by a predominantly Muslim leadership. A former head mistress has also reportedly claimed that she was deliberately ousted from her school because her Muslim views were too moderate. The woman claims she was the vic-

tim of a “dangerous” and “organised” group who conducted a smear campaign against her to ensure she was sacked from the school - which is said to be one of 12 being targeted by Islamic fundamentalists. The Birmingham City Council has reportedly said it had launched an urgent probe to establish the authenticity of the leaked documents, which are understood to name up to 12 schools. The investigation is being monitored by police and the Department for Education, which said it would not hesitate to take ‘firm action’ against those involved. The Mail reported that Education Secretary Michael Gove met the leader of Birmingham City Council last month to discuss the documents.

Aberdeen to host European Marathi Sneh-Sammelan 2014

The global Maharashtrian community would once again come together to celebrate its rich cultural heritage when the prestigious European Marathi Sneh-Sammelan 2014 (EMS) will be hosted by Aberdeen over the upcoming Easter Bank holiday weekend. The European Marathi Sammelan is organised every two years by a group of cultural ambassadors in Europe. The first EMS was organised in 1998 in Netherlands, and was in subsequent years held in Switzerland, Germany, Norway, France and the UK. The core objective of this

completely non-profit event is to provide a platform to the Marathi speaking diaspora to connect to their roots. The event this year would take place at The Beach Ballroom on the beach Promenade in Aberdeen, celebrating the confluence of Maharastrian and the Scottish culture. A grand three day cultural extravaganza comprising of dance, art, drama and instrumental and vocal recitals will be performed and attended by prominent personalities of Indian and Marathi film industry and by local European talent. Dilip

Prabhawalkar, one of the finest thespians of the Marathi stage today is the Chief Guest, who would also be performing his famous audio-visual show ‘Chimanrao te Gandhi’. The guests of honour for the event are film-maker Mahesh Manjrekar and actress Reema Lagoo. Renowned actors Sonali Kulkarni and Milind Pathak will be staging their play ‘White Lily aani Knight Rider’. The event would also be showcasing the world premiere of Kiran Yadnyopavit's much-awaited film Salaam. Celebrity chat show with eminent cricketer

Birmingham Uni student wins title of Miss India Europe 2nd Runner Up

Having just returned from Barcelona fresh after winning the title of Miss India Europe 2nd Runner Up, Suhani Gandhi is setting her sights on doing even more for the local community. A Law student at the University of Birmingham, Suhani rose to fame after winning the Miss India Europe competition for the UK category, held in Birmingham, on Sunday 26 January. The contest was based on talent and culture and is a platform for young Indian women

Missing boy found safe

A missing Walsall schoolboy has been found safe and well in Southampton. The police received confirmation earlier today that Jaspreet Khun Khun, pictured, had been located at a family member’s home. The 12-year-old, from Norman Road, Park Hall, was reported missing to police shortly before 6pm on Wednesday, March 5, when he didn’t return home from school. Det Con Joanne Myatt-Jones, from Walsall police station, said: “Thankfully Jaspreet has been found safe and well, some miles away in Hampshire. “We want to thank everyone who has helped us with this missing persons inquiry.”

to voice their opinions and values. She said: “I was rep-

resenting the UK and am happy to bring the title back as a Gujarati also”. She has recently returned from a training session in Barcelona and attending the Grand Finale with the other European country winners. She hopes to continue to represent her culture and do more for the community in the future, alongside pursuing her studies in Law at University.

Dilip Vengsarkar is one of the star attractions. The lively and eclectic all girl Ceilidh band Danse McCabre promises an evening of traditional Scottish dancing while singers Hrishikesh Ranade and Savani Ravindra conclude the event with a grand musical finale. Delicious Indian-Maharastrian cuisine would be served, prepared under the guidance of the famous chef Manoj Vasaikar. It is a great event to be a part of. More details could be obtained at or on 07598 696 493.

Islamic Bank of Britain, Birmingham hosts ISA information evening

Islamic Bank of Britain plc (IBB), the UK’s only wholly Sharia compliant retail bank, hosted an information evening in Birmingham dedicated to improving the local community’s understanding of Sharia compliant savings. IBB held the event following its launch of the UK’s only Sharia compliant Notice Cash Individual Savings Account (ISA), which is currently topping the savings comparisons tables with an expected profit rate of 1.8% (per annum). IBB hosted this event on 13th March 2014 at Islamic Bank of Britain, Birmingham.The evening consisted of a brief presentation about how customers can maximise the returns from their savings in a tax-efficient and Sharia compliant way. This was followed by an informal Q&A and discussion session.

The next meeting of Warwick District Faiths Forum will take place next Tuesday (18 March). Everyone welcome. Now in its 8th year, the Forum is chaired by Jatinder Singh Birdi. The Forum is part of West Midlands Faiths Forum of which Mr Birdi is a Board Member, as are Gerald Nembhard, Maud Grainger and Sheetal Panchmatia. The meeting will be held at 3:00pm at The Church of Latter Day Saints, Birmingham Road, Saltisford, Warwick, CV34 4TT. To find out more visit or telephone 01926 428738.

Passers-by catch child rapist, drag out of car Members of public caught a child rapist, after he allegedly attempted to abuse a 13 years old in his car. Passers-by spotted Vinit Lala (48) as he sat partially undressed in his car in Martin Street, Belgrave, Leicester, with the girl, who wearing her school uniform. They then dragged then married father-of-two out of the vehicle. As he jailed Lala for nine years at Leicester Crown Court on Friday, Judge Richard Brown praised the passers-by for preventing Lala from carrying out any more abuse. The court heard that, after his arrest, Lala denied any wrong-doing and accused the girl of setting him up. But he later reportedly admitted one count of raping the girl, one of attempted rape, one of sexual activity with a child and a further charge of kissing and touching the same girl earlier last summer. Jailing Lala, the judge made him subject to a restraining order to protect the girl, and a sexual offenders prevention order stopping him from having any unsupervised contact with underage girls. Both orders are indefinite.

Shyam, 5, makes an impression Five-year-old Shyam won rapturous applause after singing, in public, a Sai Baba devotional song. Encouraged to sing by his father, Shyam was among guests at a remembrance function held in Luton last Sunday in memory of Vasudevbhai, originally from Jinja, Uganda, and Parvatiben Gohil. The Gohil family paid tribute to the couple who, they said, were the backbone who shall forever be remembered. Bhajans were performed by Gopal Lal Bhajan Mandal.

Muslim schools asked to stop gender discrimination

Muslim state schools have been ordered not to discriminate against potential staff on the basis of gender, a report has revealed. Department of Education intervened after it they were made aware that Madani Girls’ School in Leicester and Feversham College in Bradford had been running advertisements specifying women teaching staff. Madani Boys’ School in Leicester had similarly requested male staff.

UK - Asian Voice 15th March 2014


School founder Ranu Mehta-Radia awarded 'Mum of the Year' title

A mother, who helped set up a school in North London, has been crowned as mum of the year in a national competition. Ranu Mehta-Radia, 56, from Pinner, won the prize as part of the Tesco Mum of the Year award for her work founding the Sai School of Harrow, based at Shaftesbury High School. She set up the Saturday school nearly 20 years ago to help bring together Hindu children from across the borough. The school then became a charity and started the Sai Citizens’ programme for the classes in the school to adopt a charity from the area. Today it has 300 pupils and is run by

Hate preacher Anjem Choudary Vic Sethi and Vijay Bhola join investigated over road show hands to promote Bollywood artists The Hate preacher Anjem Choudary and his followers could face prosecution under anti-terrorism laws after promoting al-Qaeda-linked groups on a busy high street in London, while demanding the creation of an Islamic state. The “road show” was staged last Saturday in Kingsland Road in Dalston, northeast London, one of the capital’s trendy areas.

Vic Sethi with Vijay Bhola

UK’s top bollywood promoter Vijay Bhola of Rock on Music and Vic Sethi of Anand International Ltd. & Daewoo International (Europe) Ltd. have joined hands to bring top Bollywood artists and performances to Leicester. This is the first time they will be seen sharing the stage together in Leicester. They have signed up four top artists for Leicester this season including Punkaj Udhas, Shreya Ghoshal, Salim Sulaiman and Arijit Singh bringing a new shows to Leicester’s De Montfort Hall. Vic said, “I am delighted to team up with Vijay Bhola of

Rock-on-Music a pioneer of bringing successful concerts to the UK. This will be great for the City of Leicester and will attract a lot of fans and media to the City” Vijay has worked with artists like Sonu Nigam, Adnan Sami, Shreya Ghoshal, Sunidhi Chauhan, Pankaj Udhas, Dharmendra and many many more. Most of the shows will be taking place at the De’ Montfort Hall and the tickets are on sale at the box office, Anand International & Radia’s Superstore on Melton road and Chilli tickets.

North West London based law firm The Sethi Partnership Solicitors celebrated their 20th Year Anniversary. It also coincided with the founding partner's 50th birthday, Mrs Ritu Sethi, published author and motivational speaker

Last weekend’s this incident was filmed and posted on YouTube by a group calling itself Need4Khilafah, a reference to governance by Sharia, Islamic law. The Met Police are examining the YouTube footage to see whether any offences, including incitement to or glorification of terrorism, were committed.

40 volunteers, many of whom are former pupils. The Mum of the Year attended a reception at 10 Downing Street ahead of International Women’s Day on Saturday. She said: “I am delighted to be invited to this special event and be in the same room as some incredible women and the Prime Minister of course! Serving the nation is a priority to me and I want to spread our message to all children and young people.” She will be awarded with the Enterprising Mum Award at a ceremony at The Savoy Hotel in central London on Sunday March 23.

Good samaritan donates kidney as repentance One of the first Good Samaritan donors to choose who receives their organ has been told how he gave away his kidney to repay for the crimes of his youth. Before her death, Peter Farrell’s grandmother, who stood by him despite his violent past, urged him to do something good in his life. Last month he donated one of his kidneys to a mother of three young children, Saira Khan, 41, to keep his promise to his grandmother.



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Indians in London come face to face with NaMo at the famous 'Chai Pe Charcha' - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

Dr Kiran Bedi to visit Britain Spriha Srivastava

India’s first woman police officer Dr. Kiran Bedi will be in the UK from 19th March to 24th March, organised by Mukund Jobanputra family. Dr. Bedi will be here to talk about India Vision Foundation, an organization committed to rebuild the lives of the imprisoned and those whose families have a history of incarceration from Central Prison, Tihar Jail. Their primary objective is to provide target population with social skills, vocational training and ample opportunity, increasing their employability and enabling their smooth transition to becoming ‘mainstream’. She will also talking about governance of India and future of the country, in the light of the coming general election. Dr. Bedi has a diary full of meetings with a number of dignitaries and universities. She will be the Chief Guest at a reception and concert organised by Milapfest's Samyo at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, where Mr Jobanputra annd CB Patel, Publisher/Editor of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar are patrons. To buy tickets for attending this event contact .uk/084448479910.

Dr. Bedi had come to London last year in July for the screening of her film ‘Yes Madam Sir’. The event was organised by the Jobhanputra family on a very large scale with a number of members of the Indian diaspora. The event also had an auction towards the end which raised a considerable amount of money for India Vision Foundation. Dr. Bedi is an Indian social Dr Kiran Bedi activist and a This will be followed retired Indian Police by a book launch and Service (IPS) officer. Bed Seminar and talks with i joined the police service Political science students in 1972 and became the at Liverpool Hope first woman officer in the University, organised by IPS. Bedi held the post Milapfest. of Director General at She would also give a the Bureau of Police talk at the famous Research and Oxford university, and Development before she attend a lunch organised voluntarily retired from by the Bharatiya Vidya the IPS in December Bhavan, Manchester. 2007. She was the host Ms Bedi has also and judge of the popular agreed to grace the TV series "Aap Ki offices of the Asian Kachehri" which is based Voice and Gujarat on real-life disputes and Samachar on 21 March provides a platform for 2014, to attend a lunch settling disputes between reception at Unit 1, consenting parties. Karma Yoga House, 12 A special mention Hoxton Market, London must be made of Vedicca N1 6HW. To register London and Mr Pravin yourself, please email Shah for helping Mr kamal.rao@abplgroup.c Jobanputra to organise om. Limited space availMs Bedi's visit to able. London.

I am in Delhi for holidays currently and it coincided with International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate women all over the world, a day to reaffirm gender equality and a day to teach everyone to respect women. But do we need a special day to propagate this? I am not a very big fan of special days but in this case I can understand that the idea behind instituting such a day. At the end of it, we all want gender equality and respect for women. But how far are we in this struggle? In Delhi, I went around speaking to a lot of young women and asked them what International Women’s Day meant to them. Their views and opinions were so strong that it made me think how disappointed women have become today due to all the heinous crimes

against women. A young girl who wishes to be anonymous says International Women’s day to her is a day to reaffirm that women are still not free. “We are still not liberated, we are still not free. From facing inequality at home to harassment at workplace, or even when walking on the road, you are always made to feel the lower sex. I wait for a day when this changes and I will continue to celebrate International Women’s Day till then.” “One needs to be extremely careful while living in Delhi. There have been many instances where I have had to take cabs late in the night because of my work but I am extremely alert and careful,” says Stuti, a young hotelier in Gurgaon. Ever since the Nirbhaya incident in Delhi which took place

Give women the respect they deserve in December 2012, young women in the city have become careful and cautious. But is that enough to prevent a crime? Do we not need the law enforcement to be tightened as well? And that’s not something that has been done till now. A number of organizations are lobbying for a stronger law and order in the city but this might take some time since the government functions at its own pace. In the meantime, is there something that we can do? I think as women we need to be alert and cautious at every step but at the same time we need to sensitize men and young boys so that they start respecting women. It is only then can we dream of an equal society. Meanwhile, here’s wishing everyone a Happy Women’s Day!

Let us know what you think. Email Spriha at

'Chai Pe Charcha with NaMo' is the first ever and unique initiative in the UK where Overseas Indians, came face to face with Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi and interacted with him on the International Women’s Day on Saturday 8 March 2014. Hundreds of professionals especially women attended this event and had an interactive chat with Mr Modi, which was held across the globe through video conferencing. The interaction took place simultaneously across 1600 Indian centres and over 30 overseas centres. This was an exceptional display of Modi's signature style of using cuttingedge technologies for governance, outreach, dialogue and delivery with huge number of people at the same time. He communicated with millions of people at the same time. The London event was held at the Sangat Community Centre in Harrow, organised by i4unity and Asian VoiceGujarat Samachar. The event marked the presence of many women, especially young professionals who were eager to ask questions about Modi’s work and thoughts on women empowerment, women security and women education. The women present voiced their belief that if Shri Narendra Modi becomes the Prime Minister of India, he would look after the safety and security of women on the priority basis. The UK centre also got chances to give the Chief Minister a few suggestions. On behalf of the people present Mrs Alka Shah asked "Woman in the UK gets 52 weeks mater-

nity leave (26 weeks pre delivery optional – 26 weeks after delivery). Maternity leave in India in various offices is restricted only 12 weeks. There are hundreds of women working in the multinational companies in India which have separate policies for India and other countries. Why do women face this

who conducted the event, said: “The youth present were very impressive with their knowledge of technology, and effort. Some of these youngsters are so impressed that some of them wished to join election campaign in India for Mr Modi. Some NRIs also discussed about their plans to settle down in

Mrs Alka Shah asking a question to Mr Modi

discrimination while working in the same company? This forces women to choose between their child and their work, often resulting into quitting their job." To which Shri Modi

India when Mr Narendra Modi become the Prime Minister. NRIs have strong expectations from Mr. Modi including hopes to transform India, where common men have equal rights as the highest per-

Members of audience cheering for Narendra Modi

replied that he is aware of this disparity existing and would look into it- giving immense hopes to the women about their career and future in India. CB Patel Editor/ Publisher of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar

i4Unity team with CB Patel and Lalubhai Parekh, President OFB

Photo Courtesy - Dipam, B'ham


son on the chair. Everyone is of the opinion that Mr Modi with vision and his determination will embrace new opportunities for the progress of country, putting India on the global map with pride." Nachiket Joshi, President, i4unity said, "After successfully organising ‘Run for Unity’ in the UK on the 26th Jan 2014, i4unity (, a young professionals group in UK, had organised this "Chai pe Charcha". A special credit go to the CAG team, Hemesh. Vrajesh and Yogesh from i4unity." - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

Migrants backlash against suppressed Immigration report

Continued from page 1 This means that migrant entrepreneurs create one in every seven companies in the UK. This report is in line with figures published by Asian Voice in last week's issue stating that out of the UK's 56 billionaires, a strong 7 are of Indian origin. According to the report, based on filings at companies house, it found that entrepreneurial activity among the migrant community was nearly double that of UKborn individuals: 17.2 per cent had launched their own businesses, compared with 10.4 per cent of those born here. They are also, on average, eight years younger than indigenous entrepreneurs at 44.3 years old, compared to 52.1. This is despite the extra challenges they face, including language barriers and access to finance, the reports authors reportedly said. Furthermore, the majority of migrant entrepreneurs come from Ireland, with 48,854 founders currently running businesses in the UK. India follows in second place with 32,593, and third is Germany, with 30,755. American and Chinese entrepreneurs are also behind a significant number of UK-based businesses. Almost every country across the globe is represented by at least a handful of founders or company directors. Despite these positive figures, the attitude of the public to migrant entrepreneurs is extremely varied. A YouGov poll reportedly found that, while two-thirds agreed with the statement “there are too many immigrants in Britain”, 44% felt that migrant entrepreneurs made a positive contribution to the UK, whilst 11% believed migrant entrepreneurs had a negative impact. The report has also put the Coalition government in a verbal battle, with the Tories continuing to blame the Lib Dems and vice-versa. Amidst this immigration debate is the Liberal Democrats recent announcement of plans to let migrants' grandparents in the UK. They have asserted that the rules should be changed so it is less difficult for the husbands and wives and elderly grandparents of migrants to move to Britain. Some people have criticised the Government’s recent decision to raise the earning threshold from £18,600 to £22,400 before a migrant can bring their husband or wife to the UK, saying nearly half the population would not meet this criteria. Other proposals include allowing ageing relatives to join their migrant children in the UK for up to two years through a new grandparent ‘super visa’. The Lib

Dem plans have thus been welcomed with open arms by the migrant community. Though the plan is being welcomed by the Asian community with open arms, the Lib Dems have faced backlash from

the Tories, who are concerned about the escalating levels of immigration, which increased by 60,000 to 220,000 last year. James Brokenshire, the new Conservative immigration minister, spoke out against the influx of foreign workers in particular last week, blaming a “wealthy metropolitan elite” of middleclass households for helping to support mass immigration to Britain by demanding cheap labour and services. With the backing of Theresa May, Mr Brokenshire accused better-off families and big businesses of benefiting from the recent arrival of foreign workers in Britain, whilst “ordinary, hardworking people” have not felt the economic benefits of immigration. Further strengthening tensions in the Coalition, Mr Brokenshire reportedly said Dr. Vince Cable, the

Lib Dem Business Secretary, had “made a number of statements about immigration in the last week and, to be frank, a lot of them were simply incorrect”. His remarks are con-

troversial to say the least considering his predecessor Mark Harper was forced to resign after employing an illegal immigrant to clean his flat and new revelations surfacing that PM Cameron's wife Samantha helped her Nepalese cleaner get UK citizenship. Whilst some see immigrant workers as a benefit and boost economic growth, Mr Brokenshire dismisses this argument and claims that the costs and benefits of foreign labour are not being fairly shared. Yet his anti-business rhetoric has angered many, including the Institute of Directors who reportedly saw the minister's speech as “feeble and pathetic”. Deputy PM Nick Clegg responded to the Conservative Immigration Minister with a bold voice at the Liberal Democrat spring conference in York at the weekend. He reportedly told party members

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Residents of Harrow express concern about increasing robberies in the area Areas like Harrow, Kenton and Stanmore have seen an increasing number of robberies in Asian homes with the gold price soaring in the market. Last Saturday in Stanmore, a Patel couple in their 80s were robbed at knifepoint. The husband was watching tv at 9pm when the wife, who was upstairs saw the thieves, appearing to be European, entering the house, breaking back room windows. She ran downstairs to join her husband, when the thug charged at them with a knife and took away whatever jewellery she wore, including her magalsutra (a Hindu symbol of a married women), gold bangles, diamond earings and whatever cash was there at home, while the other robber ransacked the he believed James Brokenshire’s speech accusing the middle classes of exploiting cheap foreign labour, was “irresponsible”. Whatever stance is taken by the Lib Dems or Conservatives, as the general election nears, the Tory's failing immigration policy is only heading in one direction. PM Cameron came to office

house. When the thieves left, police was called, but they were not able to identify the thieves, because of the mask and gloves. In December 83 years old Ramaben Patel was going to sleep at 9pm when she heard a loud banging. She went downstairs to check, when she found 4 people entering her house, breaking the windows. She ran outside and raised alarm, when the thugs ran away in a car, parked nearby. In another instance, on 8 March a retired Gujarati family had gone ambitiously hoping to cut down annual immigration to under 100,000, yet the annual total remains above 250,000. With ambitious migrant workers rushing from the EU to the UK, the UK should not impede these migrant workers from flourishing, because ultimately, they too could add to the list of UK billionaires in the future.


out, when their house was robbed, with cash and gold stolen from their house in Kenton. Kanti Nagda, from Sangat Advice Centre wrote a letter to the Harrow police expressing concern about the increasing robberies in the area. He wrote: "We would like to know from your statistics if there is an increase in house burglaries. We would also like to establish percentage of victims who are of Indian origins. The community needs to know as to what the police are doing about stopping this type of crime, alerting the community and supporting the community. We would like to suggest a meeting with Police and community leaders to discuss how we could help each other."

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UK - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

As I See It Trust deficit:

Divisive and dangerous phenomena Britain's politicians, police and some others who are in powerful positions or who have authority and responsibility to perform duties in public service, are losing the trust of their constituents and clients. As a minute existence in media, I must also acknowledge that several media organizations have also lost trust and confidence of the readers and the common man. Breach of trust leads to the breach of peace. Prime Minister David Cameron, his deputy Nick Clegg and the Metropolitan Police are reaping the appropriate rewards for their Omissions and Commissions. Amongst the most important topics, where such bigwigs find themselves in ‘soup’, are: l Immigration targets l EU diversions l Stephen Lawrence, a dreadful saga l Anti terrorism strategies l Foreign relation fudge l Half-cooked (ill-conceived) reforms or 'deform' in education, health, com munity relations, economy l In-built neglect of savers, pensioners and the under privileged l Raising unrealistic expectations & dogmatic legislative maneuvers PM Cameron, within days of the formation of the Coalition Government, made some bombastic claims and set some completely unrealistic (and unwanted) targets on Immigration and set a misleading optimum of numbers. Very soon the rise of UKIP, coupled with the economic realities, exposed the hollowness and futility of such an adventure. The PM's own household is under focus concerning a certain Nepalese maid, as well as similar issues being reported for several other politicians. They employ foreign servants, not only because they are cheap but these underpaid, foreignborn workers are perhaps more diligent, reliable and caring. But who cares! As long as they pretend to suffer from NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) syndrome. According to Nick Clegg the best characteristics of being British are: l Queuing while abroad l Our multicultural cities l The BBC and NSS l Human rights l Rule of law l The Shipping Forecast Mr. Clegg, Great Britain was great and will remain so, as long as this country is committed to fairness, justice, tolerance and respect of law. Mr. Cameron, the sooner you scrap your migrant targets, the better it is for your party and the country. Not only have the settled migrant community demand and deserve but also the employers’ federations, wealth creators and the independent economists recommend it. In the European elections and some local elections, the rise of UKIP need not push you more towards the path of devaluing the important characteristics of being British. There was no urgent reason for diverting the mind from good governance to the so-called revision of relationship with the EU. It is your job to inform and educate those who are concerned about the EU, to remember and remind them that for a very long time, for almost 70 years, Europe has not seen any warfare either on its territory or because of the internal rivalries of the European nations. The gains of such long, sometimes slightly delicate, circumstance have not only the financial savings or the elimination of death and destruction, but this dividend has helped us to create an exemplary lesson for other nations to follow.

Stephen Lawrence

Another area where the Conservative Party, at least some section of it, are wrongly focussed on, is the 40% tax reduction for well-off individuals. 50%, 45% or 40% are, though important figures, are they worthy of disturbing the fabric of the society and especially to deploy all your energies within the government machinery or the Parliament for unending and sometimes misguided debates and discussions? On Foreign Affairs, Britain, sometimes encouraged by the USA, has taken some questionable decisions in Afghanistan, Iraq and several other situations. The focus of the politicians and our media on the events in Ukraine generate some important matter of trust. The other day an Englishman was talking to me and he is not outright pro-Russian but he was concerned about the way the Soviet Union has been reduced to the Russian Federation and there are umpteen numbers of examples where the Western Powers are trying to corner Moscow. There are many examples within the Asian community as well. Some are publicly known, some are not, as some ethnic minorities are not yet at a stage to debate and deliberate openly about their internal problems. We, the Asians and the Blacks, also have to be more constructive and caring. The ongoing saga of Stephen Lawrence's murder and unpardonable behavior of the Metropolitan Police, and a long term negative situation of the trust between the authority and the community, the behavior of the Baroness Lawrence and once firebrand leader Lord Paul Boateng and the sane voice of MP David Lammy, speak volumes about the responsible attitude of a community suffering a lot The Sunday Times has written: “It is a measure of length of time that the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence has cast a shadow over the Metropolitan Police that if he had not encountered murderous thugs that fatal April evening in 1993, he would now be in his 40th year. His murder, the botched investigation, the cover-up and the corruption finally exposed, means the scandal haunts the Met as much now as in 1999, when the Macpherson inquiry found it guilty of institutionalized racism.” Stephen’s mother Baroness Lawrence has written to Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Met Commissioner, saying any confidence she may have had in his organization has been shattered. Neville Lawrence, Stephen’s father, said: “I will never be able to trust these people.” The Sunday Times further said, “Nobody can blame them (the Lawrences). The Met used its surveillance powers – which should be targeted only against criminals and terrorists who pose a threat to the state – to gain an advantage against the Lawrence family to protect its own reputation.” - CB

Ethnic minority adults more likely to receive University education A study by researchers at Manchester University has revealed that adults from ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to be educated to university level than white British adults The research - conducted by the University of Manchester's Centre on Dynamics and Ethnicity (CoDE) - revealed that 43% of all Chinese and 42% of Indians held degree level qualifications as compared to 24% of white British people. The study also says that ethnic minorities had seen bigger overall improvements in educational standards in the last two decades.

But the study revealed that the Bangladeshis and Pakistanis saw a decline in the number of people obtaining university level qualifications - 19% and 16% respectively. According to researcher Kitty Lymperopoulou, the improvement is down to easier access to higher education – particularly among women. She said: “Over the last twenty years, educational attainment has been increasing among ethnic groups as a result of an improvement in access to education overseas and the increasing proportion of ethnic minority people

educated in Britain. “Though this is good news for ethnic minorities, we need to remember that despite achievement gaps between some ethnic groups and White British people narrowing or even disappearing, ethnic minority groups continue to experience inequalities in education and the labour market.” However, the research also reveals that despite higher qualification levels, ethnic minorities are still struggling to get jobs on par with those qualifications and are likely to be stuck in low-paid jobs because of "inequalities" in the labour market.

Priti Patel and Sir James Bevan visit Indian temples and companies in the UK

Priti Patel with Sir James Bevan

British High Commissioner to India, Sir James Bevan & the Prime Minister’s UK Indian Diaspora Champion Priti Patel MP, recently visited BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden and the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Hounslow. Sir James and Ms Patel were accompanied on their visit to the Hounslow Gurdwara by Brentford and Isleworth MP Mary Macleod. During both visits, Sir James and Ms Patel met with leading members of

the Hindu and Sikh communities to applaud the contributions that the Indian Diaspora makes to the United Kingdom across business, education and the charitable sector in both the UK and India. Another notable discussion topic included how to deepen the UK and India’s special cultural relationship. Priti also visited two leading Indian technology firms with offices in Milton Keynes on Friday 7th March 2014. She particularly visited Tech Mahindra, a company spe-

cialising in delivering information technology services and business solutions. They have announced they are setting up a new R&D centre in Leamington Spa. She visited the company with Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South, and both MPs held a Q&A with Tech Mahindra employees that covered a range of questions from immigration to enterprise and small business issues. This was followed by a visit to ITC Infotech, a company that delivers end-to-end IT solutions.

Curry Queen in hunt for new backers

Perween Warsi, pictured, the entrepreneur nicknamed "the Curry Queen" is looking for new backers for her food empire, the Sunday Times has revealed. The report has further said that advisers from the PWC have been hired to lead the search for fresh funds to help expand S&A Foods, the Company Perween set up 30 years back. The Derby based caterer which has around 600 staff, makes curries from supermarkets including Asda.

sales last year were £51m with pretax profits of almost 700. Warsi moved to Briatin from India in 1970, started

the company in 1986 when she was appalled at the quality of samosa she had bought from the supermarket.

UK - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

Leading Lights

Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

As Belgian Royals Visit Here, London Diplomat Discusses India links The Belgian royals, HRH King Philip and Queen Mathilde, are visiting Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in London this week so I thought it would be opportune to Leading Light one of Belgium’s top London diplomats whom I was introduced to by another Leading Light, +91’s CEO, Rakesh Rawal! Ben De Smit is the Economic and Commercial Counsellor for Belgium – Flanders at the Belgian Embassy in London, where he has been for the past eight years. He joined the service in 1988 after spending much of his career in the Asia Pacific. Ben’s organisation, Flanders Investment and Trade, has 70 regional offices worldwide that assist, free, foreign companies that plan to expand into Europe. Indian companies interested in initiating commercial operations in the EU contact the Flanders Investment and Trade offices in Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore.

“Belgium and India have strong economic and commercial ties,” Ben told me. “India is the 14th supplier to the Belgian economy (just after Norway but selling more to Belgium than Singapore for instance) worth some €4.5bn of Indian goods and services. India is also a very important export destination for Belgian goods and services with a value of roughly €8bn. India is Belgium’s eighth export destination, slightly smaller than Spain but HRH King Philip and Queen Mathilde more important nies.” than China. Diamonds Ben explained that, in and other gems constitute addition to diamonds, the bulk of our bi-lateral Belgian luxury products trade. Belgium is the gatelike chocolates, fashion way to the European marlabels, crystals, etc. are ket for Indian compa-

popular in India. “Indian youngsters devour the TinTin cartoons that are translated into Hindi and Bengali.” The Belgian Embassy in Delhi was designed by the famous Indian artist Satish Gujral and the International Forum of Architects considers it one of the most beautiful buildings of the 20th century. In 2008 previous monarch King Albert II and Queen Paolo made a state-visit to India and in 2010 the then Crown Prince led an economic delegation. In November 2011 Minister President of Flanders, Kris Peeters, headed a successful economic delegation to India. In 2010 Belgium welcomed Prime Minister Singh and Minister of Trade and Industry A. Sharma to the EU-India summit in Brussels and in 2013 President Dr Pranab Mukherjee headed a delegation to Belgium. Belgium and India have concluded a unique social security treaty! The Belgium-India Social Security Treaty is a landmark agreement as it was the first of its kind to be negotiated by the Indian authorities. The 2009 Treaty is largely applied by most of the Indian employers who are sending staff to Belgium. As a general rule, an employee

who works on the territory of one country is subject to the social security scheme of that country. The Treaty, however, stipulates that an Indian employee assigned to a position in Belgium – in compliance with overseas posting conditions – can remain subject to the Indian system and be exempt from paying Belgian social security contributions for up to five years with a possible extension. The same rules apply to assignments from Belgium to India.

“Belgium is the gateway to the European market for Indian companies.”

Belgium offers a work permit in no time! A study conducted by the law firm Laga demonstrates that the Belgian migration (work permit) process is the fastest and the easiest to comply with in comparison with other European countries, such as the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Spain and Italy. It only takes about two weeks for third country professionals to obtain a work permit in Belgium. The only prerequisites in this case are: a yearly gross salary in excess of €37,721 (indexed salary amount



for 2012) and at least a bachelor’s degree. Work permits for highly qualified employees are issued for a period of one year, in Belgium, and can be extended on a yearly basis. Tej Soni, President of Izmocars, V. Krishnaram, CEO and Joint Managing Director of Emrald Resilient Tyre Manufacturers, and India’s Azilen Technologies are all using Antwerp and Belgium as new hubs. India-based JBF Industries and British Petroleum (BP) signed a contract for the construction of a new facility in Flanders (Belgium). An investment of € 140 million is involved. This is the first European investment of JBF Industries, one of the top five players in India’s polyester Partially Oriented Yarns (POY) sector. Jet Airways, India’s biggest privately-owned airline, chose Brussels – the capital of both Flanders and Belgium – as its European hub. To meet the needs of the estimated 2,000 Indian people in Antwerp, a new international school has been built close to Antwerp University. This is the first European school run by the DY Patil Group, which manages more than 100 schools in India.

A home away from home for the Asian elderly The Jaspar Centre is managed by the Jaspar Foundation (Registered Charity No1127243)

The Jaspar centre is a meeting point for the elderly to flourish friendships, enjoy shared interests and feel a sense of belonging over a hot cup of tea


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G Computer/internet access provided

Upcoming Events:

Holi Celebrations 1pm to 4pm Friday 14th March

Mothers’s Day Celebrations 1pm to 4pm Friday 28th March Easter Celebrations Thursday 17th April

Monthly Bhajans Every Last Friday of the month

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Indian Penal Code

I thank Ramesh Jhalla and Arun Vaidyanathan for their insightful responses of 8th March 2014 to my previous letter. I continue to believe that Penguin’s withdrawal and settlement is not only a bad move for liberal expression in India, as it tacitly encourages self-censorship amongst publishers, but also damages the country’s national image. Furthermore, I take issue with Section 295(A) of the Indian Penal Code itself. It is far too broad to be enforceable. What constitutes a malicious insult to a person’s religious beliefs? Are we to be held hostage to the sensibilities of every believer of every faith? The broad scope can also be open to abuse as was seen in November of 2012 where two women were arrested in Mumbai for nothing more than a harmless post on Facebook, all under the black cloud of Section 295(A). Section 295(A) is a dinosaur from a bygone era, out of place in an increasingly interconnected world where the robust exchange of a broad range of ideas will inevitably offend some. Section 295(A) promotes social discord and sectarianism by potentially allowing any interest group to have material censored and destroyed, should it offend their delicate sensibilities. I am much more in favour of UK and US legislation where the focus is more finely tuned on prohibiting the use of threatening language and the incitement of religious hatred to protect society from clear, present and actual danger. Shaan Patel By email

Leave schools alone

Recent events of the alleged takeover of schools in Birmingham and Bradford should set off alarm bells. I wrote an article in your pages in 2006, from which I draw the following words which are even more pertinent today, not just to minority communities but to every concerned citizen. If the minority communities really care about their own well-being and the economic and cultural cohesion of society in their chosen homeland, they must reject the overtures of those who promote segregation in the name of religion and classify and categorise society into eversmaller segments. The solutions are simple but require courage on the part of government and society: 1. All schools must be totally outside the influence of any religion or creed. We must implement a plan to secularise all existing denominational schools over the next 5 years maximum. 2. Overturn the policy on faith schools and withdraw all the promises and plans for the mostly Christian and Muslim schools, but also for Hindu, Sikh and other faith schools. 3. Remove the Religious Education as commonly exists in many schools today from the curriculum. Education in ethics should include important socio-political and philosophical progress together with how some key spiritual and religious - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

Broad perspective required to document Indian history

Kapil’s Khichadi - a column with punch and purpose

The column reviewing book “India - A Short History” by Andrew Robinson/publishers Thomas and Hudson is fantastic. You have hit the nail on the head by suggesting that future history writers use material from Indian historians and western scholars. Please note that bold writers are deterred by the Indian government whose motto is shameless appeasement of minority. Such government bans books that are candid about persecution of Hindus by foreigners. Only non Indian writers can be bold to depict savagery, loot and persecution by invaders. Indians cannot even celebrate defeats of Pakistan in three wars. However, your depiction of Modiji is encouraging. He is one of the luminaries in a long line of Gujaratis. Vedic lore mentions Shankar-vide Somnath temple, and Krishna-vide Dwarka, and his stay in Gujarat for 90 years. Folklore and history mentions arrival of Nagars from Egypt/Israel/ Kashmir to settle in Vadnagar. History mentions wealth of Gujarat which was utilised by Chhatrapati Shivaji. Narsinh Mehta, Jalaram bapa, and Thakkarbapa are gems of Gujarat. A Gujarati founded Arya Samaj. Goverdhanram Tripathy and Kavi Narmad are literatures personalities. NRIs diaspora spread Gujju flavour by contributing to social infrastructure, local economies (East Africa), and technological achievements (USA space programes), both houses of Parliament, (Britain). Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabh bhai Patel, Morarji Desai are brilliant beacons in Gujarat/ India’s history. Modi wave promises to become tsunami to flush away UPA government. History will be then definitely rewritten exposing misrule, loot and damage to India/ Bharat.

I am great admirer of Kapil Dudakia. He has guts, panache and burning desire to serve Hindu community. His latest piece “Hindu Sentiments Violated” is no exception. Labour Party never learns. They take pride in attacking decent, law abiding, highly educated, gainfully employed Hindu community. We are unfortunate in having 5th columnists, leftist intelligentsia amongst our midst with Hobbesian attitude with Jaichands, Mansinhs and Vaghelas betraying their brothers for pot of gold or few minutes of fame who are obsessed with trappings of being traitors. During Labour instigated attack on Hindus, “Caste-Gate” debate, I recommended Hindus should unite, form “Vote Bank” and create “Black Book” with names of traitors who should be boycotted and marginalized, as well as loyal, active and dedicated Hindus should be publicly rewarded. This will replenish and create reservoir of foot-soldiers who would explore the realm of extraordinary, go a mile to serve the community. Without unity, 5th Columnists will always flourish and even be rewarded by our enemies. They will be used like “Ventriloquer’s Dummies” and then ignored, as no one trusts traitors except for ulterior motives. Local elections are only weeks’ away. Come out of den of inequality, denounce gullibility, embrace every moment, cement your resolves, create Oasis of enlightenment and vote enemas, support our candidates irrespective of party loyalty, following into the foot-steps of enlightened Muslim, Jewish and Sikh communities who have taken to politics like duck to water. Bhupendra M Gandhi By email

Ramesh Jhalla By email

Ukraine and the Crimean Region

principles continue to shape humanity. 4. Let religious communities take responsibility for educating their own children in their customs, beliefs and traditions OUTSIDE of school. These must not transgress the common law of the land and should remain a private matter for the individual.

London, Netherlands and Brussels. Natural Gas Front Monthly Average Prices were €31 to €23 megawatts per hour in the two years ending 2012 were quoted in these platforms. Platforms were: NBP (UK) [National Balancing Point]; TTF Netherlands [Title Transfer Facility] and EEX Brussels. [Source: page 28, Eon 2012 Annual Report]. Governments plan energy mix production policy on a long term basis. For example, Germany has banned nuclear production; France has banned fracking. Fracking will produce very little gas in densely populated countries which is most of Europe and may damage the substrata permanently. Shale gas is very expensive compared to fossil fuels and has already damaged water reservoirs and habitat in the US even though US is not densely populated. Crude oil, gas, coal and electricity are bought at wholesale prices in a truly live daily market. Such ideas will damage US and EU more than Russia as Russia would sell their gas elsewhere.

Jay Jina By email

Nagin Khajuria By email

The Times Leading article “Turning off the Gas” (8 March 2014 page 24) recommends that US increases it gas production from the shale (fracking) revolution there and all EU countries must speed up exploiting gas from fracking to turn off gas from Russia. Gas is part of a very complex energy mix worldwide. About quarter each of gas is produced in North America, EU including Russia, Middle East and Asia respectively. Gas demand has doubled in the past ten years. In Europe gas is traded at wholesale prices on virtual online platforms in

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London Grand Prix

I was pleased to see Government Ministers warming to the idea of seeing a Monaco-style Grand Prix race taking place in the streets of London. London is leading world city and many motor racing fans would love to see a London Grand Prix in addition to the British Grand Prix which takes place at Silverstone. There could be significant benefits for the capital in terms of fees, sponsorship and tourism. London is a home to numerous iconic sporting events and I hope that the Government and Mayor’s Office will do all they can to work with the Formula One authorities to bring a race here. Syed Kamall Conservative MEP for London

Eradicating Child Poverty

Some four years ago,in March 2010, the Child Poverty Act was passed, legally binding the government to a commitment to eradicate child poverty in Britain by the year 2020. For the first time ever, government and local authorities have been asked to set targets to end childhood poverty for good. With some 1.6 million children living in extreme poverty in the UK, this is welcome legislation. But how do you define poverty in a developed country like the UK? Is it that because of the successive recession and unemployment, parents have no resort but to buy on tick by borrowing from banks, financial institutions or pawn brokers and pay-day loans to meet the needs of their school going children? Money thus borrowed has eventually to be repaid with exorbitant interest charges. However, poverty in UK is relative. One needs no reminder how poor the children in these countries are. A preferable yard stick to measure poverty is probably found in films like “The slum dog millionaire” where the poverty depicted may be extravagant but is real. The British government needs to be commended for taking steps to wipe out poverty here even when it is not as dire as elsewhere in the world. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Humans, animals or plants

There is one big difference between human beings and animals: animals cannot speak any of the peoples languages, otherwise if they would have asked the human beings - how could you eat me or my family? If humans or animals break a finger or arm or anything else, would they receive a finger or arm automatically? There are a lot of differences between the humans and animals or plants. If you remove fruits or vegetables, it will grow back. Same with stems or branches in a tree. There are thousands of seeds in a plant. Killing a human being or animal is annihilation but removing fruits or vegetables is not a violence at all. Every man must sit down peacefully and think about this. Kantilal Thakershi Pankhania By email

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Date - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

Britain and India gives Ramayana a digitised makeover

The first ever digitised Ramayana, interpreted from one of finest and the oldest epics of Indian heritage have successfully been completed by India and Britain. Experts from the British Library and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Mumbai (CSMVS Museum) - formerly the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India), in Mumbai have reunited the 17th century Mewar Ramayana manuscript - one of the most lavishly produced copies of India's great epic which have been split between the UK and India for over 150 years, the TOI reported. The Mewar manuscript was commissioned by Rana Jagat Singh I of

Mewar in 1649 - who regarded himself as a direct descendent of Lord Ram and contains over 400 exquisite paintings. It is widely considered to be one of the finest of all surviving illustrated copies. The British Library currently holds around 80% of the surviving manuscript and the remaining folios are held by the CSMVS Museum as well as the Baroda Museum and Rajastan Oriental Institute. The digitised version will go live on March 21. The project is funded by one of the oldest philanthropic institutions in India, The Sir Dorabji Tata Trust along with Friends of the British Library and the World Collection programme.

Trade Union leader Bob Crow dies Bob Crow, Britain's most well known and divisive trade union leader, has died at the age of 52 on early Tuesday. The cause of death has not been disclosed, as the paper went to print. With his bald head and cloth cap, Crow affected an old-fashioned, working-class demeanour, but he faced criticism for his six-figure salary and subsidised home.

UK school faces backlashes for giving smoking breaks to students A school in Britain is in the line of fire for allowing pupils to take official smoking breaks during school time. Students at the Honeyhill Pupil Referral Unit in Peterborough are reportedly allowed two supervised off-site smoking breaks each day, with parental consent, a move that has caused widespread uproar and protests across the UK. Shockingly, the head teacher of the school has

defended the move, saying that allowing smoking stopped some pupils from " a b s c o n d i n g " . Interestingly, pupils were also offered support to stop smoking. Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson has meanwhile criticised the school and said he disagrees with its new policy. He has, therefore, asked the City Council to review this with the school and try to find a way to end the practice.

Study shows mixed communities less racially prejudiced

Study conducted by Oxford University has revealed that racial prejudices among white people drop significantly when they live in ethically mixed communities, even if they do not have direct contacts with minorities. The study found that simply seeing white strangers interacting positively with ethnic minorities is enough to reduce racial prejudice. The researchers call this positive effect "pass i v e tolerance".Individuals living in highly segregated areas or posh localities were found to be lot less

tolerant. The researchers now say that governments should do more to encourage different groups to mix with each other. The scientists used survey data from seven studies conducted between 2002 and 2011 across England, Europe, USA and South Africa and investigated people's attitudes towards different ethnic groups. The results show that even prejudiced people who avoid contact with other groups become less prejudiced when they live in areas where different ethnicities mix.



Lord Loomba asks government to enable women to contribute freely Lord Loomba, pictured, has challenged the government to do finish of the work of laying the foundations that ensure women are able to contribute as freely to the British economy as men do. He made this contribution during the 6 March 2014 debate at the House of Lords on “Women: Contribution to Economic Life”. He recalled his more than 40 years of experience in the garment business as a retailer, wholesaler and importer in the UK, where the key positions in the clothing industry were dominated by men, remembering that, “when I started my business in 1964 from a market stall in the north of England, I clearly remember that the clothing business was run mostly by men. We did have assistants who were women, but most of the wholesalers and manufacturers were men. I saw this trend going on until the late 1980s when some of the high street multiple retailers started employing women buyers and heads of sales departments. Shame that it has taken so long to appreciate that women have the same ability as men in developing business strategy.”

Lord Loomba cited evidence which shows that companies with women on their boards of directors have better financial results than companies with only men on their boards. He welcomed the fact that companies involved in the clothing business were now hiring more women for key roles. However, in 2014, he noted, “only 20.4% of directors of FTSE 100 companies are women, falling to 15.1% for FTSE 250 companies.” He suggested that the lack of women in his sector, and elsewhere, is down to a lack of appropriate skills training during girls’ school years that. If remedied, having these skills would help broaden girls’ aspirations for their working lives. He emphasised the need for the government to re-design the early years of education to include high level skills training in industry specific skills, and to make them as important in education as academic subjects.



March 29, 2014

NETWORKING EVENING On Friday 28 March, we will be hosting a networking evening with drinks and canapés at PWC, More London Riverside. We have a fantastic line-up of speakers who will share their success stories, give motivational short talks to inspire and advise the younger generation, so that young people can fulfil their aspirations and get ahead in the world of work. There will be a scope to take part in Q&A. Date & Time: 28 March 2014, 6-8:30pm Venue: PWC, 7 More London Riverside, London SE1 2RT Age: 16+ RSVP:

PwC Hindu Network, a part of PWC’s diversity networks, established since 2005, as the first Hindu professionals network in the City. Founder and Chair Nilesh Solanki wanted to create a platform to bring together Hindu professionals to collaborate, network and learn. Sunil Patel (Partner) and Umang Paw (Partner) are advisory board members, supporting the network strategically and managed by a team of 10. Their objectives are, to provide a meeting point for people of any belief, who follow, or are interested in the Hindu culture. The network, its meetings and events are open to all.

Confirmed Speakers

Rajeeb Dey

Roma Agrawal

Associate Structural Engineer, WSP Group. Only Asian woman to work on creating The Shard

COMPETITION FOR ORGANISATIONS: Any non profit/community organisation that will send the highest number of participants (between 16-35 years) will be eligible to win a free space in Asian Voice Editorial section for 6 months* If you want to take part in this competition and are affiliated to a certain organisation, mention the full name when you register. * Terms and Conditions apply

Time: 12.00 - 4.00pm Age: 16-30/Students



In Association With

Founder and CEO, Enternships, Co-Founder, Start up Britain. Announced as the youngest Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, 2012

Theme: The power to think differently, develop innovative business ideas and pursue your career ambitions through building effective interpersonal, entrepreneurial and leadership skills


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House of Commons London SW1

I Building your brand: how to differentiate yourself - through extra curricular activities and networking. I Using social media to advance your career: why it is so important and how you can use social media. I What it takes to become an entrepreneur: key skills you need, how you can get started, helpful resources. I Preparing for interviews: how to prepare in advance, how to present yourself on the day. I Communication for Success: How good are you at asking 'Insightful Questions'? What does it mean to really listen? Why might these skills be important at interview, building relationships, networking and getting on in life?

@ King's Cross Impact Hub

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We are excited to announce that the Asian Voice Youth Conference Workshops will be held at one of London's most innovative and coolest spots - King's Cross Impact Hub. Dubbed the 'business incubator', the social enterprise community centre offers a unique place for resources, inspiration and collaboration opportunities - the perfect place to complement our theme this year!


MEDIA WATCH - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

India’s much awaited General Election is to start on April 7 and continues in stages until its conclusion in mid-May. The recently consecrated Third Front announced loftily that its constituents would stay away from the Congress Party and the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). This must be taken with the proverbial pinch of salt, for come the hour and day and the offer to partake of the loaves and fishes of office, there will be usual unseemly scramble to join the winners. Barely was the ink on the accord than it started to unravel, with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha waling out on the Communists.. Navin Patnaik, the Chief Minister of Odisha, who leads a regional grouping has kept his distance from the front, as has the Asom Ganatantra Parishad (AGP). he had met Mr Kejriwal but knew nothing of his party, let alone being a member. “I am ignorant about AAP…..and I am indifferent about politics.” said Mr Bajaj. So endeth the lesson (Business Standard February 26)

Fake opinion polls exposed


Nitish Kumar

The Third Front caper – for that is what it is – was the brainchild of the not very brainy Prakash Karat, the head of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and its ideological twin, the Communist Party of India, both at death’s door and hoping for a biblical miracle to stay alive as a political force. Mulayam Singh Yadav, another Third Fronter Yadav, who heads the Samajwadi Dal in Uttar Pradesh, is a paid up member of the State’s rogues gallery, with accomplice Deve Gowda, from Karnataka, the relic of a discredited, near-forgotten past. Only Bihar’s Nitish Kumar and Jayalalitha are serious figures. Both have considerable achievements to their credit. Jayalalitha, a woman politician and a southerner, has the intellect to be India’s prime minister. Her 45page manifesto spells out her party’s policies in detail. But she has to get the numbers first (Hindu, Mint, Hindu, Times of India February 26)

There have been a deluge of recent opinion polls predicting a BJP landslide, but a sting operation conducted by a Hindi Television channel purports to show that the statistics were faked for substantial sums of money. “The sting shows the company’s business development director saying they would charge a separate fee for the manipulation.” (Times of India February 26). The exposure, called ‘Operation Prime Minister,’ “Shows how opinion polls are conducted and manipulated at the instance of political parties , their results traded to show a particular party in a favourable position for a price,” said a statement issued by News Express Television Channel (Times of India, February 26)

One factor holding back increased numbers of foreign tourists was the lack of direct international flights to the Andaman-Nicobar chain. Existing facilities for scuba diving, snorkeling and other adventure sports could be expanded as the numbers of visitors to these parts grew, said General Singh (Times of India February 26)

Seven jihadis killed, Military conference

Seven Laskar-e-Taiba terrorists were killed by the Indian Army in an armed encounter at Dardpur in Northern Kashmir. An Army spokesman said the jihadis were foreigners. An arms cache was recovered. Meanwhile, a high level conference between Defence Minister A.K.Antony, a National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and chiefs of the Army, Air Force and Naval Staff, General Bikram Singh, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha and Admiral D.K.Joshi reviewed the operational military readiness on the western and eastern fronts, where the infrastructure build-up along the Line of Actual Control along the Himalayan border with China was proceeding too slowly for comfort, according to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence, which was robustly critical of the pace in road and railway development in these far-flung areas (Times of India February 28)

V.K. Singh joins BJP

Nilekani for Congress

Nandan Nilekani, once an Infosys IT wizard, who subsequently became the head of the Unique Identification Authority of India - an enabling project to put every Indian citizen on a

More islands open to tourists

Three to four more islands in the Andaman-Nicobar archipelago of 556 islands (of which only 37 are inhabited) will be opened for tourism. This will entail the creation of infrastructure on the islands, which will help generate employment. The success of this venture could lead to the opening of 40 islands in all, said the Lt Governor Lt General (retired) A.K.Singh He said 2.5 lakh (250,000) tourists had visited the area in 2013, but large though the figure was, there was sufficient capacity to accommodate greater numbers of visitors.

his native Bangalore. “I will win the election. Whatever I have set out to do, I have done,” he says, without the slightest trace of arrogance. He went on: “I grew up in a Nehruvian household. My father was a great admirer of Nehru ….and the fact that we are creating a society where people, no matter their religion, caste and ethnicity, have equality.” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had asked him to head the Aadhaar and was “a pillar of support…..I think I can be part of the change and I can contribute to the change,” Mr Niloekani backs up his enthusiasm with financial generosity $5 million donated to Bombay IIT, where he was once an alumnus, Rs 50 crore to the Indian Institute of Human Settlement, and a further Rs 50 crore to the New Delhi-based National Council of Applied Economic Research to create a “worldclass think-tank.”Quite a man, whence comes another?

Computers to healthcare

Shiv Nadar, who used his garage 38 years ago, to begin HCL, the fourth largest Indian IT company, has now turned his attention to healthcare provider, promising a nationwide chain of multispecialty clinics. FounderChairman of IT major HCL, Mr Nadar has announced that these clinics would provide diagnostics and treatment services in four areas – asthma and respiratory illnesses, diabetes, gastroenterology and dermatology. HCL Heathcare, through a subsidiary HCL Avitas, has established two clinics with 12 doctors in Gurgaon and Noida both suburbs of Delhi. Similar clinics will, no doubt, follow in other parts of India. (Telegraph February 7)

Innovation prize

Nandan Nilekani

General V.K.Singh

The former chief of the Army Staff, General V.K. Singh has thrown in his lot with the Opposition BJP in the coming

data base that would give the poorest classes access bank loans and and qualify them for government aid. Mr Nilekani has joined former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s niece to become a Congress Party member. Mr Nilekani packs formidable brain power and character, both as scarce among Indian politicians and the political class as a rare earth resource. His book, “The Idea of a Renewed Nation” avers that. “India is never short of dreams.” Quite so.

Auto maker Mahindra & Mahindra has established a “Rise Prize” worth $1million, whose goal is to spur the growth and development of a technology innovation culture. “With the Rise Prize, the Mahindra Group wants to provoke big disruption ideas that can dramatically


Bajaj no to Aam Aadmi

BajaJ Auto Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj has scotched media reports that he was planning to join Arvind Kejrival’s Aam Aadmi party. “The chances of my joining AAP or fighting the election under their banner is as likely as Kejriwal making motorcycles for the market.” He said

general election. General Singh produced two birth certificates, of which the second gave his age a year shorter than the first. On the basis of this document he demanded an extension of his term as head of the Indian Army. The government rejected his demand, and when the recalcitrant general appealed to the Supreme Court, he lost his case. Brajesh Mishra, the principal aide to Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former BJP prime minister, advised that General Singh be unceremoniously sacked. The government chose not do so, and let him retire normally with no further loss of face. General Singh has nursed a grievance ever since, there being nothing quite “like the malignity of disappointed humanity,” as Lord Curzon remarked memorably over a century ago. The BJP’s haste to accommodate a discredited figure, who had also charged a number of his fellow officers of taking bribes and failed to provide the necessary proof, doesn’t say much for its judgment. Grabbing power, it would appear, is all that counts (Times of India, Telegraph, Hindu February 27)

Andaman, Nicobar Islands

Mr Nilekani’s halfpage interview to The Telegraph (March 2) gave vent to his aspiration to be a stakeholder in India’s evolving future. Now 58, Mr Nilekani will be contesting a seat at the general election from

Anand Mahindra

change lives. We are offering a big incentive for fresh thinking among the next generation of innovators in our country,” said Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group. (Hindu February 28) - Asian Voice 15th March 2014




Over 1000 women celebrate Women's Day with Tessa Sanderson CBE at Neasden Temple - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

Tessa Sanderson

Tessa Sanderson CBE, the sixtime Olympian and winner of a Gold Medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, attended the International Women’s Day Celebrations on Saturday 8 March 2014 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London. Ms Sanderson, the only British Woman to ever win a throwing Gold Medal and winner of three Commonwealth Gold Medals has been voted Sports Personality of the Year and Athlete of the Year on three occasions. She was greeted by more than 1,100 women and young children in the afternoon at the Mandir. Volunteers from BAPS Women’s Forum escorted Ms Sanderson inside the Haveli (prayer hall) where she was welcomed with a garland. This year’s celebration was themed around ‘the strength within’, with the aim of reinforcing the delegates of their resilience, build their self-belief and harness their inner strength. The presence of Ms Sanderson provided the ideal inspiration during this event, and attendees benefitted from her own personal experiences of these qualities which she portrayed through her keynote address.

Addressing the gathering, Ms Sanderson expressed what International Women’s day means to her through her personal examples of “grasping an

opportunity” and being “mentally and physical prepared to take and face challenges, and also making decisions.” Ms Sanderson also motivated the ladies to “get up, dust themselves off and find the inner strength to carry on when they fall down.” Following her address, Ms

Sanderson was guided around the sanctum sanctorum and also performed abhishek of Shri Nilkanth Varni. She visited a selection of the workshops that had been organised invigorate the mind, body and soul and enable women to harness their resolve. These were supported by seminars to convey practical lessons in overcoming everyday obstacles in achieving

one’s true potential. Refreshments were provided throughout the day as well as a sumptuous vegetarian evening meal to all guests. The conclusion of this educational and enlightening event travelled back in time to explore the importance of faith, presented through a variety of mediums including a lively debate.

UKTA and the Nehru Centre celebrate International Women’s Day

Rani Singh

For the fifth year running, the UK Telugu Association collaborated with the Nehru Centre for International Women’s Day and held an enjoyable, thought-provoking panel discussion titled Women in leadership; Diverse Voices and Changing Vision. The all-female panel was inaugurated with the traditional lamp lighting by Mrs Sangeeta Bahadur, Minister for Culture at the Indian High Commission and Director of the Nehru Centre. This talented lady then told the audience that the theme of the event was pertinent to her, as it dealt with the challenges women face while advancing to the top. Sangeeta can certainly be described as having reached close to the top of her tree, so I believed her when she said that “The demands of my professional career are often at variance with my personal life.” Dr Padma Killi then spoke about the place of women in Indian culture in a male-dominated society, before introducing speaker Professor Nirmala Rao, Pro-Director at the School of Oriental and African Studies and an O.B.E.

Professor Rao told us how International Women’s Day was first celebrated 100 years ago in the USA, before it was picked up around the world. She too said that women often still find it difficult to reconcile their public and their private lives, before highlighting that both Pepsico and General Motors have female CEOs. She also told us that in Sweden, there is a greater number of female government leaders than male counterparts. Overall, Professor Rao said, though there are more women coming into the professions, they are still not making it to the top proportionally. In Europe,

she quoted, though a third of managerial positions are held by women, only 3% are CEOs. The ratio is even worse for non-white women, she mentioned. Professor Rao is now ready to head up a university with all her years of experience, adding that out of all the British university Vice-chancellors, only 17% are women; 16 in total. She said that women are still seen as submissive and sentimental. “I was fortunate enough to have important people guide me,” Nirmala explained. “We have the qualities, but we need to get a strong record –with the right experience, the right breaks. We need the courage to

challenge accepted orthodoxies. Success requires us to demonstrate commitment and long working hours.” Next up was Dr Rama Bala, Consultant Cardiologist at King’s College Hospital, who is also the first independent woman cardiologist in Andhra Pradesh. Rama had a power point presentation that was engaging. Like other speakers, she described some qualities of the leadership as; intelligence, adjustability, conscientiousness, being open to experience and self-efficacy. Taking us through some historical examples, Dr Bala explained how, in the past, leaders like Abraham Lincoln were charismatic, but now leaders tended to be more democratic and participatory. Regarding the professions, Dr. Bala commented that in the past, engineering used to be thought of as unsuitable for women, now, many software engineers are women. In Dr Bala’s field of health, she found that women receive fewer complaints and listen more. She highlighted the sad truth that perceptions need to change. For instance, while a man is often described as assertive, a woman is called “pushy.” Her

advice to women is that we should be courageous, but we “need to choose our battles well.” She told us not to undervalue ourselves. When managing others, we need to be good role models and build great teams, have integrity, be supportive and not undermining of others. Dr Bala had tons of good advice; “Hire a good secretary or assistant and live closer to work. Improve your communication and technical skills. Set time aside for family, have interests and hobbies.” She said that it is known that women can take more stress than men, but they must have mentorship, develop a professional network and have role models and sponsors. “Seek feedback, learn from other fields, develop your skills by attending courses, and grab opportunities.” The most hilarious part of the evening was when one lady in the audience suggested that women should start bucking the South Asian trend to take a husband more qualified than them and seek out an unemployed husband, for instance, to stop propagating the view that women are inferior. A very good evening was had by all.

UK - Asian Voice 15th March 2014


Breaking the law on religious grounds

a Dutta


KitchinN1 brings a breath of fresh air to Central London restaurants. Located in the heart of the city, its a pure culinary delight. Situated off York Way by the Kings Cross station, the restaurant is centred round a theatreisland kitchen where you can watch the chefs prepare their delicious creations. The scent of all the fresh food sizzling away will make your mouth water. Particularly popular are the live cooking sections, where you choose the ingredients and the chef transforms them into delicious meals right in front of you. Whether it's wok noodles or kebab- everything is made before you as you order, served piping hot on your table. Don't forget to try the Wok Station; the Grill; dishes from the Tandoori Oven and the Pasta section. You can enjoy as much food as you

Ratings Taste : Ambience : Decor : Service : Value 4 Money :




like for one price (lunch from £7.99, Sunday roast £9.99, Dinner: £14.99Monday-Thursday & Sunday and £15.99Friday and Saturday) in a nice, spacious and friendly atmosphere with cordial and friendly staff, very eager to assist. The head chef is also around to walk you through your preferences, which is quite rare in other places. The buffet section includes many cuisines including Indian, Chinese, Thai, Italian, and the salad and dessert tables are a source of pure ecstacy. Amongst the desserts served, the chocolate fountain is mega popular amongst youngsters, whilst their creme brulee is one of the

best I have ever tasted. The new chef and his team make sure that the food is unique. Whether its your Thai green curry or your Wok noodles, everything has a distinct taste, and most often it is more unique than anywhere else. It is believed the designated chefs bring in a bit of their own innovation, making each dish slightly different from the usual. There are many restaurants serving World foods- some located in Central London as well, but KitchinN1 to me is one of the best I have ever dined at. KitchinN1, 8 Caledonia Street, London N1 9AA. Contact: 020 7713 8777

Competition: KitchinN1 is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a complimentary meal for four. All you have to do is answer the below question and send your answers to by April 13th 2014. The winner will be picked on a lottery basis from the correct answers picked. Question: Where is KitchinN1 restaurant located? a. Kings Cross b. Euston c. Warren Street

Tanveer Mann Holi, widely known as the festival of colours, takes place on the day of the full moon of the Phaluga month and is one of the most famous Hindu celebrations in the northern parts of India. This year, Holi falls on Monday 17 March and London is set to have its largest celebration yet, with Holi festivals already selling out at Wembley Park and Queen Elizabeth Olympic

Park. During the Festival, people come together to celebrate the victory of the good over the bad, the arrival of spring and to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair ruptured relationships. In India, Holi celebrations typically start with a Holika bonfire on the night before Holi where people gather, sing and dance. A national holiday, people prepare for the next morning which becomes, literally, a carnival of colours, where everyone plays, chases and colours each other with dry powder and coloured water. The fun, fright and frolic with colours occurs in the open streets, open parks, outside temples and buildings. Musical instruments and drums are played in different areas as people sing, dance and share Holi delicacies, food and drinks. The word "Holi" originates from "Holika", the evil sister of demon King Hiranyakashipu. King Hiranyakashipu had special powers, which made him virtually indestructible and arrogant. He demanded that everyone worship only him. His own son, Prahlada, disagreed with his father's attitude and remained devoted to Vishnu. This infuriated Hiranyakashipu. He subjected Prahlada to cruel punishments, none of which affected Prahlada. Finally, Holika Prahlada's evil aunt - tricked

20 Years ago, almost to the day, they tried to tear down a Temple. My first ever political act was to write in the Asian Voice newspaper in defence of the mandir in reply to a resident who said we were breaking the law. I was a student. I wrote to defend the faith against the attack on it from residents of Letchmore Heath who did not want a mandir there. And why if we were breaking the law, then it was our duty and the right thing to do. I was well aware as a trainee Barrister this may well have hampered a legal career before it began. From this one act of faith, for faith, I wrote for the Financial Times and 18 books. Faith gave me courage to stand up and be counted. One simple political act of faith that changed everything in my life.

That article from 20 years ago: Dear Editor, I write in response to the anonymous letter (25th March 1994) of a resident of Letchmore Heath. I too, like him am British, and like him I consider being British a fact, however I consider being an Indian an ideal. And an essence of Indian idealism is surely civil disobedience in the face of unfairness. The writer, a Christian, raised many issues including the violent nature of Hindus. The writer places great emphasis on the obeyance of the law as a duty related to citizenship. His thoughts exhibit a confusion between the concepts of the state and the nation. To acknowledge the authority of the established system of government and obey its laws is one thing; but to ask that one accept the prevailing form of life and values is quite different. The obligations of full citizenship confer the privilege to shape the nation, and its laws. Given, the writer’s emphasis on planning permission I remind him the issues involved here are cultural, social, political, and legal and include the freedom of relihim into sitting on a pyre with her. Holika was wearing a cloak (shawl) that made her immune to injury from fire, while Prahlada was not. As the fire roared, the cloak flew from Holika and encased Prahlada. Holika burned, Prahlada survived. Vishnu appeared and killed Hiranyakashipu. The bonfire is a reminder of the symbolic victory of good over evil, of Prahlada over Hiranyakashipu, of fire that burned Holika. The day after Holika bonfire is celebrated as Holi. Traditionally, washable natural plant-derived colours such as turmeric, neem, dhak, kumkum were used; but water-based commercial pigments are

gion, association, assembly and the freedom from undue control. It is far easier for a hundred men to build a by-pass than for one man to change his religion. However, if I was thinking of changing my religion, I can think of none better to change to in Britain than Protestant Christianity, given the existence of a legally Established Church, favorable blasphemy laws and emphasis in social teaching, a right to the House of Lords of some bishops and the hope of becoming Monarch. The current dispute is a symptom of the incorporation into our laws of the values and traditions of the dominant culture. The enactment of laws carries with it the sanction of the state and ultimately the legitimate deprivation of personal liberty for non-obeyance. Given the power of the State authority and sanctions at its disposal, it is vital for the citizens of a nation to be able to shape those laws, particularly by means of public protest and civil disobedience if those citizens constitute a minority. Civil disobedience is very different from ordinary criminal activity monitored by greed or cruelty. Moreover, those engaging in civil disobedience act to acquit their duty as citizens not to deny it; they do not challenge the legitimacy of the government or the authority of the state. Let us remember for those who want maintain the status quo, Goebbels’ declaration to the German churches was, “You are at liberty to seek your salvation as you understand it, provided you do nothing to change the social order”. Yours sincerely, Alpesh Patel

Barrister-at-law, currently reading in the Honour Schools of Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St. Anne’s College, Oxford University. increasingly used. Everyone in open areas such as streets and parks are made to get involved. By the afternoon, everyone is covered in a rainbow of colours. In London, the biggest Holi Festivals are set to take place in the Summer. On 28th June, the 2nd Holi Festival of Colours will be taking place in London at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Here, there will be even more colours, even more stalls and an even better line up! On 2nd August, a large-scale Holi Festival will be taking place at Wembley Park where thousands of people will be dressed in white, coming together to share music, dance, performance art and visual stimulation.

16 - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

Lalu faces revolt after fielding daughter Misa and wife Rabri

Patna: Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad battled a revolt by senior colleagues after fielding his daughter as a candidate over other aspirants. Lalu announced the names of candidates for 25 of the 27 constituencies; his political outfit will contest in alliance with the Congress in Bihar. According to the list, daughter Misa Bharti will be the RJD nominee in Patliputra in Patna and wife Rabri Devi in Saran. Some of the party's influential leaders were furious that he had given ticket to his daughter and wife both and ignored their interests. Senior RJD leader Ramkirpal Yadav, a Rajya Sabha MP who has been close to Lalu for over two decades, had wanted to

Misa Bharti

contest from Patliputra constituency. Informed sources said he had made up mind to resign from the party and was likely to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). "Ramkirpal is upset and feels betrayed and cheated by Lalu who had promised to field him (from Patliputra)," a RJD leader close to Ramkirpal Yadav said. He left Patna for New Delhi Friday, ostensibly to

meet BJP leaders. Another senior RJD leader, Ghulam Ghaus, has said he will contest as an independent from West Champaran after the party denied him the ticket. "Lalu has ignored people like me who worked hard for the party," he said. Suresh Paswan is another RJD leader and former minister who had revolted against Lalu Prasad, saying committed leaders now have no place in the party. "I will decide my future course of action within two days," said Paswan, who was expecting to be made a candidate in Gaya or Jamui Lok Sabha constituency. Another man who is angry in the RJD is former minister Iliyas Hussain, who has not been picked as a candidate.

Big B’s shooting postponed

AV Correspondent

Ahmedabad: The shooting of Gujarat Tourism’s advertisement campaign ‘Khoosboo Gujarat Ki’ along with Hindi film icon Amitabh Bachchan is reportedly postponed following objections raised by Naran Rathwa, former Minister of State for Railways in UPA government. The three day long shooting was to start from Monday at Vadodara, pilgrimage Pavagadh and Champaner. Following the complaint, the chief electoral officer of Gujarat has asked the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited (TCGL) not to proceed with the shooting

Amitabh Bachchan

till the decision on the matter would be taken by the Election Commission of India. Ratwa raised concern that ruling party BJP in Gujarat would take undue advantage to promote its government’s development claims using celebrities like Bachchan at a time when model code of conduct was in place.

Sources said that Gujarat Chief Election officer Anita Karwal has sought advice from ECI over the issue. According to Karwal Gujarat Tourism officials were asked to postpone shooting till she received the reply from New Delhi. A senior official in Gujarat Tourism said that Bachchan was scheduled to arrive at Vadodara airport and his accommodation arrangements for three days were made in the city. “His vanity vans, cameras, technicians, equipments and other shooting related things were reached at Vadodara. Now there is no clarity on next schedule,” he said requesting anonymity.

Opinion polls to continue

New Delhi: There will be no restriction on dissemination of opinion polls in the run-up to the general elections, barring the limited period of 48 hours before end of polling in each phase. The Election Commission of India (ECI) clarified that it has no powers to ban opinion polls, and that it was for the government to act on its long-standing proposal to disallow dissemination of poll surveys from the date of notification of elections. “We never hesitate to use a power that is available to us and you cannot expect the Commission to use a power that is not available to it. Our view with regard to opinion polls is (that) this is something which falls within legislative competence,” Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) V S Sampath said to media

V S Sampath

persons when asked if media organizations could publish or broadcast opinion polls. As per existing norms, there are restrictions on broadcasting of opinion poll results during 48 hours prior to the end of polling. Experts pointed out that, technically, these restrictions need not apply to the print media. Unlike opinion polls, exit polls will be banned until half an hour after the end of last phase of polling on May 12. Sampath also proposed making ‘paid

news’ an electoral offence, even as EC tackles it by monitoring the expenditure of candidates. EC had recently made a fresh appeal to the government to ban opinion polls after a news channel claimed that nearly 11 opinion poll companies, secretly approached by it during a sting operation, were willing to tweak their poll projections, purportedly for a fee. The Election Commission wrote to the law ministry noting how its stand that opinion polls could be misused had been vindicated and sought an immediate ban on opinion polls during elections. Interestingly, the Congress had moved EC seeking a ban on opinion polls in the wake of the “sting”, even though its own government has been dragging its feet over the proposal.

Kejriwal’s stormy cam

AV Correspondent

Ahmedabad: National Convener of Aam Adami Party (AAP) Arvind Kejriwal’s four day campaign visit to Gujarat turned out to be a story and full of action. Right from incidents of stone pelting on the AAP leader’s car as well as detention by Gujarat police, burning of his effigy, showing of black-flag at various places in the State, his attempt to meet Modi personally and even in Ahmedabad to his 16 questions on the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s claim on Gujarat’s development. Kejriwal, during the visit to Gujarat didn’t miss single opportunity to target Modi as if his only focus on NDA’s Prime Ministerial candidate. On the last and final day of his visit, he addressed a public rally, fist ever in Gujarat at Bapunagar area in Ahmedabad. During the public rally he accused Modi that the Gujarat Chief Minister was not allowing opposition to exist in Gujarat by purchasing, threatening or killing them. "Governance of Modi is considered as the best in our country. But what he couldn't do in past one decade, my government did in just below

Amar, Jaya join RLD

New Delhi: Former Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders Amar Singh and Jayaprada joined political outfit of Ajit Singh, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). Amar Singh, who was once close to Mulayam Singh Yadav and was the deal maker for the SP, was expelled from the party in 2010. Actorturned-politician Jayaprada followed him in quitting the party. Addressing the press conference, the RLD chief said his party would be fighting on eight seats in western Uttar Pradesh. Amar Singh went ahead to back RLD's demand for a separate Harit Pradesh carved out of western Uttar Pradesh. "Development in Uttar Pradesh is not possible without dividing it," said Amar Singh. The former SP leader, who is known for his blunt remarks, tried to make peace with both Congress and BJP saying he "respects" Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and calling BJP president Rajnath Singh a "friend".

50 days," he said on how he could bring down electricity and water tariff in Delhi. He criticized Modi government on ‘plight’ of education, healthcare, agriculture and other key sector in Gujarat. He also called Modi as ‘Property Dealer’ of industrialists like Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani and Tata Group. Earlier the former Delhi Chief Minister got a rousing reception on the first day of his visit at Ahmedabad Airport by his party workers around an hour before the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced dates for the general elections. Kejriwal immediately started his campaigning activities and drove down to North Gujarat for public interaction. As his convoy reached at Radhanpur town, the police stopped and detained him on the ground of violation of model code-0f-conduct. According to the police he had not taken permission to hold rally after seeing hundreds of car in his convoy. After questioning, the AAP leader was allow going ahead, said a senior police official. Meanwhile, sources said that Kejrieal in his reply to the police requested that they could stop only those cars

with party stickers and banners, but the other cars should not be stopped. Though Kejriwal’s Gujarat visit started with grand welcome, except one meeting at a village in N o r t h Gujarat where he listened grievances of nearly 100 people under a tree, his party workers couldn’t gather adequate people to hold group meeting in o t h e r places. H e

Ahmedabad: Gujarat unit of the Bhartiya Janata Party has lodged complaint with Election Commission of India (ECI) against AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal for unparliamentary and anarchic speech on 6-3-2014 at Gandhidham in Kutch district. While referring to NDA's Prime Ministerial candidate, Kejriwal during his speech said: "Gujarat Me Ya to Dara dete hain ya mar dethe hain (In Gujarat either people are threaten or killed)". Taking objection on the AAP convener's remark Gujarat BJP president RC Faladu said: such a statement is an offense under the provisions of section 171-F and 171-G of the Indian Penal Code. In addition thereto the aforesaid statement is in violation of the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct as made applicable from 5-32014. Mr. Kejriwal has attempted to influence the election with a malafide intention by making false statements with a view to create hatred amongst the peo-

ple and also create undue influence against a particular candidate and a particular political party. This action straight away invokes the provisions of the corrupt practice as contemplated in the Representation of People Act, 1951. Faladu further said in the complaint that the person likes Kejriwal should be put to strict notice by the Election Commission for restraining the same from undertaking any further actions which amount to any offence or corrupt practice. "It is prayed that the Election Commission may kindly be pleased to peruse the copy of the videography performed by the Election Commission itself through its delegate team and may kindly be pleased to institute a criminal FIR against Mr. Kejriwal under the provisions of Chapter IXA of the Indian Penal Code read with the provisions of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951 and the Model Code of Conduct," he said in the complaint.

Ahmedabad:AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal during his tour to Gujarat clarified that his party would contest election from all 26 Lok Sabha constituencies in

Gujarat. Answering a query on whether he would like to file nomination against BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi, he said that he had not yet decided on it.

Gujarat BJP files complaint against Kejriwal with EC

AAP to contest from all 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat

SPECIAL - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

mpaign in Modi Bastion also said that Modi is not a ‘Development Man’, but only works for the development of selected few industrialists. During his visit to Kutch district, Kejriwal also met representatives of Sikh farmers and heard them over their issue of farming land given to them four decades ago. On

the issue, he said that Gujarat government didn’t want to return Sikh farmers’ land and for the purpose it had hired well-known lawyers too. Kejriwal is anti-Gujarat: Javdekar BJP’s national spokesman Prakash Javdekar said that former Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal had no right to talk about Gujarat. According to Javdekar Narmada Project is lifeline of six core Gujaratis and if the height of the dam would increase and gates would be

allowed to put crore of people in the State would get benefitted. “If Kejriwal really wants to do something good for Gujarat, he should tell his party candidate Medha Patkar to withdraw writ petition against Narmada Project in the Supreme Court,” said the BJP spokesman in Gandhinagar. He said that all the Congress poll plank – Poverty, Dalit, Secularism and Inclusive Growth – have now been become major agenda of the BJP besides its other agenda like good governance. “The Congress leaders are perplexed. They have no clue on what issues they would fight the upcoming elections. They tried to raise Modi’s ‘Chaiwala’ background but it only boomeranged,” he said. Knowing the fact, the Congress party is now promoting ‘Third Front’ and AAP to fight proxy elections against BJP and to stop Modi to become the next Prime Minister, he claimed adding that in reality, the elections will be fought between the BJP and the Congress. “After 70 days, the BJP and its allies would form the government by winning 272 plus seats and India will become the Congress free,” he asserted.

Gujarat government dismisses Arvind Kejriwal's accusation

Ahmedabad: Reacting on the accusations of Aam Adami Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal Gujarat's development, the Gujarat government spokesperson finally came out with clarification on issues raised by AAP leader on agriculture, education, healthcare, electricity and issues of Sikh farmers etc. The state spokesperson said that unlike Kejriwal's charge the condition of Gujarat's farmers improved a lot and became more prosperous. "Due to adequate electricity as well as innovative schemes on drip irrigation, soil heath card and water conservation, Gujarat's area under cultivation have in fact increased. Against the national average of 3.46 per cent agriculture growth rate, Gujarat could achieve almost 11 per cent growth rate," said the spokesman. According to the press

communiqué Gujarat is producing 30 per cent of total cotton in the country and that of 32 per cent groundnut as well as 78 per cent castor. Denying the claim of hundreds of farmers' death in the State, the Modi government said that since year 2003 to 2012, only one death of farmer reported due to failure of crop. "Other deaths were not related to farming but their personal reasons like illness, family and social reasons. On Sikh farmers issue the State government clarified that from 1964 to 1984 as many as 454 Sikh farmers were given land in Kutch district to rehabilitate them. "These all farmers are still holding the land given to them. So there is no question of 'discrimination' on Sikh farmers. The government has frozen 784 land accounts in the State under the Act

passed by the Congress government. These include 164 farmers from Punjab & Haryana, 108 non-farmer Gujaratis and 512 hailing from other states" said the communiqué. Clarifying Kejriwal's charge on supplying Narmada water to industrialist at the cost of farmers, the Modi government said that through Sardar Sarovar scheme nearly 1.12 lakh hectors of land would be given irrigation water in Kutch district alone. Of the nine million acre feet water, only 0.2 per cent water is being given to industrial purpose, says the spokesman. Answering another accusation that Gujarat government was taking farmers' land at cheap rate to give industrialists, it said, "Land acquisition process in the State is being done within the purview of 'Land Acquisition Act'.

Raj Thackeray for Third Front?

Mumbai: Raj Thackeray began preparations for a ‘Third Front’ in the state after the Shiv Sena thwarted the BJP’s plans to get the MNS on board the saffron combine ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The Sena snub seemingly prompted the MNS chief to gear up for an anti-saffron front comprising splinter groups which, while appear-

ing to be on the fringes of state politics, enjoy considerable clout in a district or two across Maharashtra. The Peasants’ and Workers’ Party (PWP) and the Jan Surajya Party (JSP) are his newfound allies in the Third Front. Significantly, Thackeray has chosen as his allies political outfits with Left, secular leanings.


‘Didi’ hails ‘Amma’ for the top post New Delhi: Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa popularly known as ‘Amma’ got strong support from Bengal tigress Mamata Banerjee ‘Didi’ for the post of Prime Minister. Banerjee was quoted as saying that she wouldn’t have any problem with AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa’s national ambitions and would support her bid for prime ministership. Banerjee said she was speaking to her, and added that she thought the Tamil Nadu CM was doing a good administrative job. “Yes, she has (national ambitions). What is wrong? Nothing is wrong. If Nitishji wants to become prime minister I will be happy, Jayalalithaa. Yes, Mayawati, Yes, Mulayam. I have no problem. Three things: one, I am for stability, political ability. Two, I am for economic stability; and, three, there should be change for this typical political system. We need

some reforms these days. Like electoral reforms, state funding (of elections).” Asked if she could work with Jayalalithaa and Mayawati, considering they were known to be strong and temperamental, Banerjee said if they could work together under Atal Bihari Vajpayee, they could do so again. “Strong personalities feel strongly for the country also.” She said if Jayalalithaa wants to be PM, she will be happy to support her if these issues were taken care of. “I have no problem. I am not bothered about the chair. I care

about the people,” Mamata said. “I am telling you one thing. I know my limitations. That’s why I say we can play a key role, but I am with all. If somebody takes the lead, I will be happy to support them. But I want the federal structure to be strong and I have a good relationship with all the political parties.” She assured there will never be a squabble between her, Jayalalithaa and Mayawati. “There will be nothing. From my side, I can assure you there will be no scuffle and no problem,” she said.

(CAG) decided to make the campaign on global platform. If first round of CPC was conducted in 48 locations and nearly 1000 teastalls were connected with Modi sitting in Ahmedabad using technology, in the second round the Gujarat Chief Minister set at a tea-stall in Delhi and connected himself with people from 500 Indian cities and villages, 1500 tea-stalls and 30 different countries. ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ event was held at countries like Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Kenya, Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand, Uganda, United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA) to name few. “In the opening round of ‘Chai pe Charcha’ the focus was on good governance. Besides issues pertaining to terrorism, taxation, black money etc

were covered. In the second edition, the theme of CPC was on Women Empowerment and issues related to their security. Already 17000 questions on the subject have registered,” said Gujarat’s revenue minister, Anandiben Patel. The organizers – CWG is a not-for-profit organization registered under section 25 of the Companies Act by 100 odd like minded young professionals educated from some of the finest educational institutes like IIT, IIM, ISB, Stanford, and Cornell etc. and promoting accountable governance in India. “Arrangements have been done in such a way that Mr. Modi can interact with the people gathered at all the locations – both domestic as well as international – simultaneously through video conferencing involving a unique combination of satellite, internet and DTH technology,” said a CWG volunteer.

Modi’s tea party campaign ‘Chai pe Charcha’ becomes global

AV Correspondent

Ahmedabad: On the International Women’s Day when Aam Adami Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal was doing a road-show cum public meeting at Ahmedabad, NDA’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi focused on international audiences and connect himself globally through his famous tea party – ‘Chai pe Charcha’ (CPC) and interacted with people in 500 Indian cities as well as 30 countries across the globe while sitting at a tea-stall in India’s capital - New Delhi. Enthused with the grand success of a unique poll campaign ‘Chai pe Charcha’ on February 12 this year, which was initiated after the Congress leader Mani Shanker Aiyer’s jibe on Modi’s background as ‘Chaiwala’ (Tea Vendor), the organizers Citizens For Accountable Governance

18 - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

Dear Financial Voice Reader,

For all of my readers I would like to offer you a free copy of my latest book. You can download it for free from And in the shops it’s £25. But as loyal readers it is free to you. Based on 8 years of research from actual real traders and investors on who wins and who loses and why. It should hopefully make you a better investor or trader. But there are only a limited number of copies – first come, first served. The US jobs report was the focus of the day last Friday and finally the US economy has shown a positive reading in job growth after 2 months of disappointing results. The US has added 175k people in the workforce during the previous month which is a very impressive number and definitely puts aside any doubts over the Fed suspending its tapering agenda. Other key metrics showed improvements as well with Average hourly earnings rising 0.4% for example and there are signs that if it wasn't for the severe weather conditions the US economy would have added significantly more people in its workforce. However, the strong jobs release hasn't been translated into a rally in the Euro and the Pound as one would suspect. Keep in mind here that although the reading is positive for the US economy we would naturally expect the Euro, the Pound and other riskcorrelated currencies to strengthen versus the Dollar. The reason, in simple terms, is that people that have jobs are more likely to feel keen on investing than keeping their money in the bank in the form of Dollars, thus the Dollar depreciates after a strong jobs release. So why didn't we see a rally in the Euro but instead we witnessed the US Dollar gaining? The reason is once again the tensions in the Crimea region. The situation there might not be 'breaking news' by now but still developments like Russia's Gazprom gas company threatening to cut off Ukraine from its gas supply and rumors that troops thought to be Russian ceased military installations in the Crimea have weighted down on the Euro and the Pound. Investors don't like being exposed over the weekend when geopolitical risk emerges due to the fact that the situation could easily change over a couple of days and with the markets closed for trading they would have little room to reposition themselves. During the week I expect volatility to pick up but trading conditions could still remain choppy until the situation in the Crimea resolves. The US Dollar should strengthen from increased flows coming into the US currency after the strong jobs number and this could signal a reversal in the EUR/USD that has reached 1.3900 on Friday. The week is light on economic releases which means that the situation in the Crimea will mostly dictate trading conditions.

Gujarat DISCOMs

All the four DISCOMs from Gujarat - Uttar Gujarat Vij Company, Madhya Gujarat Vij Company, Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company and Paschim Gujarat Vij Company were rated as A+ (the highest rating) after the union power ministry launched integrated

rating of state electricity distribution utilities. The power ministry has sent invitations to felicitate the winners. But in the last minute the programme was cancelled as the winners were from Gujarat. Last year the power minister did not felicitate Gujarat DISCOMS.

Economic growth empowers women in developing countries

radar screen. The Contrary to the fact is that no views of the western company can nations, the rapid afford to ignore economic growth in highly qualified emerging markets in female talent if it recent years has wants to compete greatly increased in these fastopportunities for e x p a n d i n g women in business, economies – and giving them a boost win,” the authors over their countersay. parts in developed But in India, countries. The developed nations think Chanda Kochhar and Kumud Srinivasan women’s participation in that tradition and the McKinsey. In China, social customs in many workforce has risen only 4 women are still expected developing countries, as per cent, to 34 per cent, in to put their families first, well as educational and the past eight years. “In an attitude reinforced by economic disadvantages, India, a policy was just the one-child policy. limit women’s empowerpassed which means all Chinese women are also ment in business. publicly listed companies expected to take care of have to have one female To some extent the the elderly in the family. director on board ... and perceptions reflect reality: “Observers in the west there’s a trend to get more although women lead tend to see third-world women in leadership posiArgentina, Brazil and women as victims,” write tions. Chile, 70 per cent of execSylvia Ann Hewlett and “But this is also the utives in Latin America Ripa Rashid in their 2011 country where a lot of the say family pressures cause book. “In a similar vein, poverty and illiteracy is women to leave their jobs, business leaders tend not concentrated among according to a survey by to have women on their

Gold industry in India plans one-day strike

Gold dealers in India are planning a oneday strike to protest against the government’s gold policy. The government has restricted the import of gold and in an effort to curb gold smuggling; the authorities are carrying out raids on the gold dealers. India Bullion and Jewellers’ Association has asked the entire gold industry to shut shop for one day as a symbolic protest, and expects 500,000 stores to participate. The decision follows a series of raids where government officials have demanded dealers prove all gold bars were imported through official channels and seized unrecorded stocks. “The bars are always imported by the banks and some of the bars imported by the banks are 10, 20 years old,” said Surendra Mehta, secretary of the association. “How do bullion dealers prove these bars are imported on such

and such date?” Large, listed jewellers such as Gitanjali Gems will participate in the strike. “If the whole trade is going to take part, we will take part too,” said Mehul Choksi, managing director of Gitanjali Group, who estimates that the company’s recent gold jewellery sales have dropped to 30 per cent of what they were a year ago. “By increasing the duty, a lot of gold is coming illegally and there are a lot of raids all around.” Although the strike is unlikely to have much economic impact, it is a sign of trouble in a sector that is crucial to Asia’s thirdlargest economy. The gems and jewellery industry is worth an estimated Rs

2,510 billion ($41bn) a year, and provides some 2.5 million direct jobs, according to a 2013 report from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and AT Kearney, the consulting company. India’s jewellers complain that a shortage of gold has crippled business. Official imports have ground to a near-halt, the country has almost no gold mines and supplies of scrap gold satisfy a negligible part of their needs. The shortage follows a series of recent government measures to limit these non-essential imports as India’s current account deficit soared, fuelling depreciation in the rupee last year. New Delhi has raised import duties on the yellow metal to 10 per cent and introduced quantitative restrictions, whereby one-fifth of all gold imported into the country must be set aside for export.

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females,” Zahidi says. “Because of cultural implications you see a divergence between low- and high-income women.” Chanda Kochhar, chief executive, ICICI Bank, says, ‘Change will be driven as much from an economic as from a social perspective. An economy cannot reach its full potential if it limits the progress of 50 per cent of the workforce.’ Kumud Srinivasan, president, Intel India, says, “Technology has great potential as an equaliser. It does dramatic things: removes barriers; makes geographic distances irrelevant; increases transparency and reduces corruption. It has potential, but we have to watch out for ‘digital divide’. There is a chance women could be left behind.”

Probe into banks' failure to lend to small businesses The new competition watchdog, Competition and Markets Authority, which will take over charge from the C o m p e t i t i o n Commission and the Office of Fair Trading from next month, will be conducting an investigation into banks’ failure to lend to small businesses. It marks a victory for the Daily Mail’s ‘Make the Banks Lend’ campaign launched in July 2010 to highlight the plight of small firms, which need money to grow. The OFT began a review of small business lending last year, amid concerns that healthy firms were being starved of credit. Banking industry insiders said that it had found sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to recommend a full-scale inquiry by the CMA. The investigation will pile more pressure on the High Street giants.

Buy To Let Mortgages

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The Three Ds - Asian Voice 8th March 2014

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap A Property Investment Company


As property people we make our money through what is known as the three Ds; these are Death, Distress and Divorce. No matter how well the economy is claimed to be doing, these three are a fact of life. Distress takes on many forms, and doesn’t have to be financial. For some reason or another people want to offload their property very quickly and some times very discreetly too. As I write this article on Monday night I have just closed a deal a couple of hours ago at 9.45pm. A call came in and the contract has been sent to our lawyers, exchange is required by no later than midday tomorrow. The property is in Knightsbridge. I haven’t seen the property but I know when someone offers me a property for £600k and the property is 450 sq ft with a share of freehold, I know enough to say yes, blind, regardless of the state of the property. I called one of our investors the same night and told him to do a transfer tomorrow morning, without hesitation he replied the affirmative and said consider it done. Emails were sent the same time to the lawyer to go ahead and exchange.

T h e p r o p e r t y o r i g i n a l l y w as t o b e p u rc h a se d b y s o m e o n e w h o c o u l d n ’ t p e rf o r m s o r at h e r t h a n l e t t i n g g o o f t h e c o n t r a c t t h e y pa s s e d i t o n t o a n ag e n t w h o i n t u r n pa s s e d i t o n t o u s ; wi t h b o t h p a rt i e s t a k i n g a f e e . I w o u l d e s t i m a t e t h e v a l u e o f t h e p ro p e r t y t o b e i n t h e re g i o n o f £8 5 0k t o £ 90 0 k . W e ’ r e g e t t i n g a so l i d d e a l w h i c h c a n b e t r a d e d p ri o r t o c o m p l e t i o n , I ’ m p r e t t y su r e . Ag a i n a l l o f t h i s c o u l d b e p r e m a t u re as t h e d e al i s n o t d o n e u n t i l i t ’ s d o n e . So this is a live example of perhaps a distressed deal where the lady who was purchasing it certainly was under pressure, it is likely the original seller would have been a distressed seller as well; however we are too removed to tell. There was another case where three partners who had purchased a couple of buildings and converted them to flats about 30 years ago wanted to offload, primarily because one of the parties was having financial issues and siphoning the rent to cushion his issues. They tried to sell the blocks with no luck. We agreed a deal at £1.25m with a delayed completion of 6 months, and on the condition we release the 10% deposit which equates to £125,000. This I knew would be a juicy carrot for them. They accepted. Our aim was to offload before completion in 6 months’ time. I dumped them in auction thinking this would be a sure sale. Surprisingly they didn’t sell. We had sensible reserves, one block was priced at £700k and the other at £650k. After the auction I had an offer for £700k from someone I knew. The other block we kept, 9 months later we got £975k for the block. The reason for the crap auction results was no reflection on the properties, they were good deals. The reason why these two properties didn’t sell but should have is because there was the Queens Jubilee and the Olympics, the mood in London was not to hunt bargains. It was as simple as that! The person who purchased the property for £700k was a very shrewd trader so there was meat on the bone for him. Death is inevitable and is a certainty regardless of the state of the economy. However probate properties are not always bargains just because they are probates. The reason why sometimes this happens is because the beneficiaries are not too fussed about getting the maximum price, their aim is to get the money as fast as they

can; and so the agent often uses this to pass on the discounted property to favored investors in exchange for a swift deal. G r an t o f p ro b a t e c a n b e a l e n g t h y p r o c e s s , an d i n b e t w e e n ag r e e i n g t h e d e al a n d t h e c o m p l e t i o n i f y o u ’ r e i n a m a rk e t l i k e y o u a re i n n o w t h e n t h i s t i m e a l o n e w i l l s e r v e t o r ai s e t h e pr i c e o n a d e al y o u h a v e n o t pu t money into. Divorce is something which is on the rise; when couples are going through this, generally there are a lot of negative emotions involved and sometimes properties are put into auction without the other party knowing. A while back we purchased a property on 92 Shirland Rd W9; a freehold block of five flats, which came up in auction. The husband had dumped the property in the auction, and the ex wife lived in one of the flats and was renting the rest out. Because he didn’t have access to the ASTs the property was put in auction with unknown tenancies. We had information from a local contact who knew the background of the story, you could call this insider information.

The Real Deal

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K n o w i n g t h i s we m a n ag e d t o g e t t h e b l o c k f o r £ 1 . 1 m an d 3 d a y s l a t e r w e r e s o l d i t f o r £ 1 . 3 m , a f t e r e xc h a n g e .

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At times the complications surrounding a divorce can serve to lengthen the time between exchange and completion. There was a deal done on Durham Terrace in Notting Hill for £700k, nine months later before completion it was sold for £980k, and then again it was resold for £1.25m. No work had been done to the property. The long completion period was there because the partner’s family were trying to seize some of the assets and it took time to settle the court case; this delayed completion and in the interim the price only went upwards.

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Tips of the Week l In Central London you are unlikely to go wrong in terms of rentals and resell; apply the same to other parts of London and you might not be so lucky.

l You should think about the funding properly when considering a property requiring work. BTL funding may not always work as this is based on a property which is ready to Let.



Maria Fernandes

Migrant Nannymania

A recent report indicates that the UK is now moving closer to the Victorian period in which domestic help is commonplace among middle class families not only among the “wealthy metropolitan elite” as indicated by the new Immigration Minister anxious to make his mark in the poisoned chalice of the Home Office. His remarks were considered to be more extreme than other politicians as he ascribed to the view that employers should shun legal migrants in favour of British workers. What he has said however is a variant of what others have said from all other parties albeit in more colourful language. The fact of the matter is that more women than ever are going out to work and need support in the home wherever they can find it. The migrant worker has not wrenched the job out of the hands of the British worker. Place an advert for this type of job and see who applies. Many of the migrant domestic workers make huge personal sacrifices to provide a better life for their families abroad. They leave children behind but their money ensures that the next generation aspire to different and better careers. Many stay on long after their children grow up and marry abroad. They provide a seamless service which includes both child care and domestic work under one roof and they usually do it without resentment. Another fallacy is that the labour is cheap. It is not. And it is a dying breed. The domestic workers

that entered during the Labour years were freed from being tied to a particular employer and enabled them to change employers. It is likely that our Prime Minister, who reports indicate obtained his member of staff from Kalayaan,was able to recruit one of these workers. Ironically,under the rules established by this Government subsequently, domestic staffare not allowed to change employers regardless of the circumstances, are strictly limited to a 6 month permission and can only come if an employer normally lives abroad. These rules significantly favour those bringing in staff from the Middle East where, statistically, the abuse of staff was the most pronounced. As the drum beat of the election draws ever closer, parties are taking a stand. The Conservatives want a strict policy but are happy to benefit from the advantages that immigrant labour brings. The Liberal Democrats who have sleep walked into allowing draconian changes are now suddenly waking up to assert the positive effects of immigration. Labour will go whichever way the election wind blows them. For years, various bodies have reiterated the positive benefits of immigration but have been marginalised. Now it suits all parties to do so to attract the crucial vote of the ethnic minorities who tend to pay great deference to their right to vote and are an important sector electorally. Let the games begin.

Domestic passenger car sales in India increased 1.39 per cent to 1,60,718 units in February from 1,58,512 units in the year-ago month. Motorcycle sales last month climbed 5.39 per cent to 8,43,307 units from 8,00,165 units a year earlier, according to

data released by the Society of Indian A u t o m o b i l e Manufacturers (SIAM). Total two-wheeler sales in February rose 9.69 per cent to 12,20,012 units. Sales of commercial vehicles were down 29.84 per cent to 47,982 units in February, SIAM said.

India’s car sales up

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Equities soar to new high on hopes of Modi-led govt - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

Stock market indices in India jumped to record highs as foreign institutional investors (FIIs) stepped up purchases of domestic shares encouraged by the stability in the rupee. The Sensex clocked its record for the second straight session, while the Nifty surpassed its previous high on December 9. But few were rejoicing as the rally was led by battered domestic sectors such as banks, real estate and infrastructure, a deviation from the usual suspects such as information technology and pharma. A larger section of fund managers, who had cut exposure to these shares to the bare minimum, had to scamper to buy them on Friday despite bleak earnings prospects to avoid underperformance. Fund managers said heightened hopes of a Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) forming the next coalition government is driving the frenzy in these shares. Many market par-

ticipants are also not impressed with the gains on Friday because the rally was not broad-based, though the general consensus is that further gains are in the offing. "This is clearly a liquidity-driven rally where the high-beta sectors and stocks that are underinvested are leading the charge. Market is running ahead of fundamentals,” said Ritesh Jain, chief investment officer, Tata Asset Management. BSE’s Sensex rose 405.92 points or 1.89% to a new closing high of 21,919.79 after touching 21960.89. NSE’s Nifty rose 125.50 points or 1.96 per cent to close at 6,526.65 off the all-time highs of 6,537.80.

a huge investible pile of over $500 billion, according to reports of various international agencies. Almunajjed said India is now on the top of the Saudi investors' list as the prospects of returns in Asia's third largest economy are much better than from Western countries like the US and those in Europe, a traditional investment destination for the Gulf investors. India and Saudi Arabia signed a memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation during Prince Salman's official visit to India from Feb 26-28.

In order to turn round its deteriorating fortunes, the Tata Motors is holding talks in China over potential tie-ups in the world’s biggest car market. India’s largest carmaker by sales owns Jaguar Land Rover of the UK, which entered the Chinese market for the first time in 2012 through a joint venture with Chery Automobile, the privately owned car group. But Tata Motor’s domestic Indian operations, which produce less expensive cars and trucks for consumers in emerging economies, presently has no presence in China. Any tie-up between Tata and a Chinese player would mark a significant international expansion for the struggling Indian group, while also signalling deeper industry links between the car sectors in Asia’s two largest emerging economies. Reports suggested that Tata was in discussions with Chery.

As part of the "Great British Festival in Kerala", Britain will showcase its innovation and expertise in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector in Thiruvananthapuram. In a statement issued, the British Deputy High Commission in Chennai said the event was being held in partnership with

the multinational professional services firm Ernst and Young. "This will bring together academics, researchers and experienced professionals in Kerala, alongside British ICT firms operating in the state to facilitate drawing up a partnership agenda that would drive entrepreneurship and innovation.

India, Saudi Arabia to deepen energy partnership

With the strengthening of strategic ties, India and Saudi Arabia seek to transform the "buyer-seller" relationship in the oil sector to one of deeper partnership focussing on investments and joint ventures in third countries. The recent visit of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to New Delhi boosted strategic ties and the two countries agreed to explore ways and means to transform their buyer-seller relationship. Saudi Arabia is India's fourth largest trading partner at $43.78 billion in fiscal 2012-13. In the AprilNovember period of the current fiscal, the two-way trade was $32.7 billion. Imports of crude by India form a major part of this trade. Almost one-fifth of India's oil imports come from Saudi Arabia. However, investment flows between the two countries have been far below their potential. According to data availSpecialist Finance Development Bridging

able with India's external affairs ministry, total Saudi investments in India were $41.08 million between April 2000 and September 2013. Unofficial estimates put the figure close to $1 billion as the majority of investments are done in the name of companies from Mauritius and Dubai. Saudi-India Joint Business Council chairman Kamel S Almunajjed said these investment figures are set to change dramatically in the coming years as stronger strategic relations will boost investors' confidence. Saudi Arabia is sitting on

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FIIs net bought shares worth about Rs 25.77 billion on Friday, extending their purchases to the 17th straight trading day. In these 17 days, these investors have poured about Rs 95 billion into Indian stocks. Some analysts said a large chunk of the inflows on Friday could have been from global exchange traded funds (ETFs), which are known to flood the market ahead of key events or when the undertone is optimistic. ETFs usually invest in Sensex or Nifty as a basket. Brokers said this could be the reason why the broader market ended weak. Across the BSE, declines outnumbered advances 1466:1354.

BSE’s mid- and small-cap indices fell 0.2 per cent. Another sentiment indicator, Volatility Index (VIX) - a measure of traders’ expectations of near-term risks in the market - also reflected that a section of the market was uncomfortable with the market rally. VIX shot up 15.5 per cent to 16.72 on Friday, showing traders were buying options as insurance against any possible fall. BSE’s Banking index and real estate index soared over 5%, their highest intra-day gains since September 2013. “Expectations are high that the next government would be pro-business and revive the country's investment scenario," said Jain. The rupee extended its gains for the fourth straight day on the back of dollar flows by FIIs. The rupee ended at a three-month high of Rs 61.09 per dollar compared with previous close of Rs 61.12 per dollar. The rupee had ended at Rs 61.04 per dollar on December 10.



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Tata Motors holding talks in China over tie-up

Britain to showcase innovation in ICT sector

CURRENCY VOICE - Asian Voice 15th March 2014


Foreign Exchange

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

BoE leaves interest rates unchanged Britain’s housing boom surged again in February, with prices rising at their fastest rate in almost five years according to the latest survey from the Halifax building society. It reports that prices rose 2.4% last month, which is the biggest monthly rise since May 2009. The average home is now worth £179,872. Economists had expected a rise of just 0.7%, and this leap reinforces fears that a bubble may be forming in the housing market As expected the Bank of England left interest rates unchanged at 0.5% and also left its quantitative easing programme untouched at £375bn. Policy makers have indicated they will not raise rates until the recovery eats away at enough spare capacity in the economy and inflation starts to rise again. United Kingdom services output dipped slightly in February from January but nonetheless business activity was still expanding. Looking at the data in more detail, orders in the sector rose quicker than expected and optimism about UK services, which makes up

70% of the UK economy, rose to its highest level in 4 ½ years. Overall the data pointed to UK GDP for the first quarter of 2014 matching that of the fourth quarter of 2013 and thus coming in at 0.7%. The European Central Bank also left interest rates unchanged at 0.25%. Mario Draghi reiterated the ECB’s ‘forward guidance’ - where interest rates will remain at their present levels, or lower for an extended period. Inflation expectations in the medium and long term continue to be firmly anchored. Draghi also stated that the ECB remains determined to maintain the high degree of accommodative monetary policy for as long as needed, and will take further actions as it sees fit. As a result we did see the euro strengthen considerably as

the market had expected the ECB to take more accommodative measures to starve off the threat of deflation that was expected to further weaken the euro. Greece’s unemployment rate has dropped slightly in December to 27.5%, down from 27.6% in January, but more than double the average for the Eurozone. The small decline was due to more people dropping out of the labour market altogether.

In the US, job data was of primary focus and the data didn’t disappoint. To start with, initial jobless claims, a measure of how many people were filing for jobless claims fell by 26,000 to 323,000 in the week ending February 28th, which is the lowest level since the end of November 2013. Continuing Jobless claims also fell by 66,000. Data at the end of the week from the non-farm payrolls report showed that the number of new jobs added in February rose to 175,000 in February from 129,000 in January; far more than the market was expecting and as a result provided evidence that the Federal Reserve is correct with its current plan to continue to taper monetary stimulus by US$10bn per month. The US dollar broadly strengthened off the back of the news. On a separate note, US service sector figures showed a dip in activity from 54 to 51.6 for the month of February.

Weekly Currencies

As of Tuesday 11th March 2014 @ 3.30pm

GBP - INR = 101.30 USD - INR = 60.93 EUR - INR = 84.50 GBP - USD = 1.66 GBP - EUR = 1.20

EUR - USD = 1.39 GBP - AED = 6.11

GBP - CAD = 1.84

GBP - NZD = 1.96

GBP - AUD = 1.84

GBP - ZAR = 17.90

GBP - HUF = 375.15

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




Family breakdowns costing British taxpayers heavily

London: Lord Freud said that the true cost of divorce and family breakdown in Britain goes “far higher” and “far deeper.” He said that the current £9 billion cost to the taxpayer of lone parent benefits amounts to just the tip of the iceberg when the full social cost of separation is taken into account. He also called for marriage to be “put back into its rightful place” after a surge in the number of children being brought up by unmarried parents.

Binge drinkers double risk of dying early

London: Research has warned that binge drinkers of middle aged people are doubling their risk of dying early, even when they consume amounts within weekly recommended levels. A study of hundreds of people found that those who overindulge on a night out or at the weekend were twice as likely to die within 20 years as moderate drinkers.

Healthy diet may reduce risk of early birth

London: A researcher has suggested that pregnant women who drink water and eat a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and whole grain cereal could reduce their chance of premature birth. Experts found that women on such a diet, also rich in oils, whole grain bread and poultry, were less likely to give birth before 37 weeks. Those who followed a more "traditional" diet of foods such as potatoes, cooked vegetables and fish, could also cut their risk.

US freezes $ 458 mn hidden by former Nigerian leader

Washington: The United States has frozen more than $ 458 million that former Nigerian leader Sani Abacha and his conspirators obtained through corruption and hid in bank accounts around the world. About $313 million was restrained in bank accounts in the Bailiwick of Jersey and $145 million was restrained in bank accounts in France, the US justice department said.

Husband stabbed wife 19 times in the neck

London: Jahangir Nazar stabbed his wife Farkhanda Younis 19 times after he discovered that she was having an affair, a court was told. Farkhanda Younis, 30, known to friends as 'Jabeen', was killed in a 'ferocious' attack at her home in Chadderton, Oldham, in the early hours of April 19 last year. Her body was found after her six-year-old son rang 999 because he couldn't rouse his mother and her bedroom door was locked.

Half of books in homes are unread

London: A survey has found that more than half the books stockpiled on shelves in British homes remain unread. The study also found evidence that many people hoard books which they become emotionally attached to and that average home has 138 books.

Saudi princesses seek freedom

Jeddah: Two daughters of Saudi Arabia King appealed for help to come out of their royal palace compound where they are kept against their will for the last 13 years. Princesses Sahar, 42, and Jawaher, 38, have appealed for help in emails and phone calls. “We slowly watch each other fading into nothingness,” they wrote in an email. They said their sister Hala, 39, and Maha 41 were held in separate villas.

Gangster David Hunt’s brother questioned

London: Police have questioned the brother of David Hunt, the head of an organised crime group, for alleged money laundering and tax evasion. Officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA) questioned Stephen Hunt late last month about his business interests, including an extensive property portfolio. He was questioned under caution but not arrested.

Victims’ group condemn Pope’s claim

Rome: The Pope’s claim that the church has done more than anyone to tackle child sex abuse has infuriated the victims’ families. Victims’ groups condemned Francis after he said that the Church was the only public institution to act with “transparency and responsibility”. In an interview to mark the first anniversary of his pontificate, he did not demur when it was suggested to him: “The scandals that rocked the life of the Church are fortunately in the past,” he said.

Afghan Taliban threaten to attack presidential poll - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

Kabul: The Afghan Taliban said next month's presidential election was being manipulated by the United States, which had already chosen the winner, and threatened to use "full force" in attacking anyone taking part. Two campaign workers have already been killed and at least one presidential candidate has been assaulted during campaigning for the April 5 poll, the first democratic transition of power in the country's history. The Taliban said the proceedings were being stage-managed by the United States. "The people should realise that the election

will bear no result because the real elections have taken place in CIA and Pentagon offices and their favourite candidate has already been chosen," the Taliban said in a statement. "...All fighters are given orders to disrupt this sham

elections by full force and bring under attacks election workers, activists, volunteers and those providing security everywhere. If someone takes part in this (election), they will be responsible for the bad consequences themselves."

Art of Living’s Pakistan yoga centre set ablaze

Islamabad: Unidentified armed men have set ablaze an Art of Living yoga centre established here by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who once offered to hold talks with the Taliban to usher in peace in Pakistan. "Two guards were present at the centre. Around eight people came and asked where the money was kept. When guards said they didn't know, they were tied up and the building was set on fire using petrol on Saturday," police sources said. The centre is on Peace Street in upmarket Bani Gala area of Islamabad. Four rooms of the centre were completely destroyed. Meena Gabeena, an official at the centre, said the attackers did not speak a word. "The attackers came in two cars, hit the

guards on the head and legs," she said, adding when people from nearby areas came and made noise, the miscreants fled. The Art of Living, in a press note, quoted faculty member Shahnaz Minallah as saying: "It's shocking. The centre has the capacity to house 60

people. Fortunately, this weekend, the venue of the stress-elimination programme had been moved to Nankana Sahib." Ravi Shankar had visited Pakistan in 2012 and inaugurated the centre for his Art of Living movement. He had also offered to hold talks with the Taliban to usher in peace in the region, saying it would help foster understanding among people with divergent views. "I'm ready to go and talk to the Taliban. I want to talk to them, understand them and give them my opinion. So we can definitely make a difference. We should try it again and again even if we have to try it 100 times," Ravi Shankar had said. Art of Living has presence in 152 countries. In Pakistan, it has one centre each in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.

Washington: The Dalai Lama has thrown his moral weight behind gay marriage, condemning homophobia and saying he was not bothered by consensual sex among people from other traditions. In an interview released during his latest trip to the United States, the celibate Buddhist monk said gay marriage was up to each government and ultimately "individual business". "If two people - a couple - really feel that way is more practical, more sort of satisfaction, both sides fully agree, then okay," the Dalai Lama told an online talk show by veteran radio and television host Larry King. The Dalai Lama drew a distinction between public policy and individual morals, saying that people should still follow their own religions' rules on sexuality.

"But then for a nonbeliever, that is up to them. So there are different forms of sex - so long (as it is) safe, okay, and (if both people) fully agree, okay," the Dalai Lama said. "Bully, abuse - that's totally wrong. That's a violation of human rights," he said. The Dalai Lama is Tibet's exiled spiritual leader and one of the most prominent leaders in Buddhism. Gay marriage has won

growing acceptance in the Western world and Latin America. No predominantly Buddhist nation allows gay marriage, although several nations with Buddhist influence including Nepal, Taiwan and Vietnam have increasingly debated the issue. The Dalai Lama, who fled his Chinese-ruled homeland for India in 1959 and later won the Nobel Peace Prize, has prided himself on progressive positions and described himself as a feminist.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

No problem with gay marriage, says Dalai Lama

Dozens of Afghan security forces and civilians were killed on the day of the 2009 presidential election, which saw the return of incumbent Hamid Karzai to power. He is barred from running for a third term. The vote is taking place against the background of a stagnant economy and concerns over Afghanistan's long-term security. NATO is due to withdraw its troops by the end of the year, but a small continent of US troops may remain behind to help with training, logistics, medical and air support if the next government signs a deal to let them stay.

Surinder Mongia appointed chairman of the Board of Trustees of CSC

Surinder Mongia

Following the resignation of Ian Cain from the role of Chairman of the Board of Trustees due to his professional commitments, CSC has appointed Surinder (Max) Mongia, Chairman of Strongfield Technologies, as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Consortium for Street Children. Max has served on the Board of CSC for over 10 years and has extensive experience of the world of street-connected children. His passion for global justice and understanding of the challenges faced by millions of street children around the world have already served CSC well and the trustees and staff welcome his willingness to step into the role of Chairman at this time. Recently appointed Chief Executive Officer Andrew Johnston says: “I very much look forward to working alongside Max, developing the global capacity of the Consortium for Street Children to be an agent for positive change. Our twin objectives of securing recognition at government and UN level for the rights of street-connected children and working to improve street children’s lives are ones which I know Max shares with me. With his extensive connections in the business world and clear and visionary leadership, Max will continue to be an immense asset to CSC.” - Asian Voice 15th March 2014


Cherie Blair backs barristers’ strike

London: Former prime minister Tony Blair’s wife Cherie has supported the walkout by thousands of barristers in protest against cuts in legal aid. Cherie, a leading barrister, said there’s a real crisis in legal aid at the moment. Our criminal system doesn’t work unless each side is properly represented. “And the legal aid cuts, which could be as much as 30 per cent ... mean it’s going to be more and more difficult for people where the state is taking you to court, whether it’s about a criminal offence or perhaps the state its taking your child into care.”

I’m addicted to shopping: heiress

London: Sara al-Amoudi in her first interview since winning a High Court wrangle over a £14 million property portfolio said that she is an incorrigible spendthrift. She said in court that she received up to £100,000 a month from her family in Saudi Arabia, and admitted to spending £912,000 on perfume in two months. “I have a shopping addiction,” she said. “I can spend £100,000 on perfume in one day. In my house I have a wall of perfumes. I know it’s a problem.”

Low fat foods stuffed with 'harmful’ levels of sugar

London: An analysis has shown that most of the popular cereals, yoghurts, snacks and ready meals marketed at people wanting to eat a low fat diet contain levels of sugar which leading campaigners and scientists now warn are too high. The disclosures come after the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that the daily allowance for a person’s intake of added sugar should be halved to six teaspoons to help avoid mounting health problems including obesity and tooth decay.

People enjoy warmest day in Britain

London: Britons have come out in the open to enjoy the warmest day with temperatures hitting 20C for the first time in six months. A meteorologist said that unfortunately it might just be one nice day followed by less pleasant days, particularly for those in the east of England who will struggle to see double figures.

British women among ‘leisure queens’

London: An international study has crowned British women among the “queens of leisure” of the Western world. A new comparison published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found that women in the UK have – or at least admit to having – more leisure time than their counterparts in any other EU country and second only to those in Norway among the world’s leading economies.

Boy’s record-breaking experiment

London: Thirteen- year- old Jamie Edwards has become the youngest in the world to build a nuclear fusion reactor. When he told his stunned headmaster of his plan to build a nuclear reactor in a classroom, the obvious question was: ‘Will it blow the school up?’ Fortunately, in a victory for the spirit of amateur scientific discovery over the health and safety culture, Jamie’s promise that it was perfectly safe was believed.

High-protein diet is bad for health

London: A research which tracked thousands of adults for nearly 20 years found that people who eat a diet rich in animal protein are four times more likely to die of cancer than someone with a low protein diet. The risk is nearly as high as the danger of developing cancer by smoking 20 cigarettes each day. Previous studies have shown a link between cancer and red meat, but it is the first time research has measured the risk of death caused by regularly eating too much protein.

Muslim families seek police help

London: Muslim families in Britain are begging antiterror police to arrest their sons and prevent them from joining jihadists in Syria. They are reporting to police that their sons and brothers if they fear they will leave to fight in Syria, it was revealed. Scotland Yard has announced a large increase in arrests of world-be jihadists this year as it embarks on a more ‘sensitive’ and ‘less macho’ approach to fighting terrorism.


China hikes military spending, Japan expresses disquiet

Beijing: China announced its biggest rise in military spending in three years, a strong signal from President Xi Jinping that Beijing is not about to back away from its growing assertiveness in Asia, especially in disputed waters. The government said it would increase the defence budget by 12.2 per cent this year to 808.23 billion yuan ($131.57 billion), as China seeks to develop more high-tech weapons and to beef up coastal and air defences. The increase follows a nearly unbroken run of double-digit hikes in the Chinese defence budget, second only to the United


might prefer to concentrate on domestic development over military expansion in a slowing economy had "underestimated the Chinese determination to shape its strategic environment", he added. The 2014 defence budget is the first for Xi,

the 'princeling' son of a late Communist Party elder, and the increase in spending appears to reflect his desire to build what he calls a strong, rejuvenated China. Xi also recently urged China's military leadership to work faster to get the country's sole aircraft carrier combat-ready. The spending jump is the biggest since a 12.7 per cent rise in 2011. Within hours of the announcement, officials in Japan and Taiwan expressed disquiet over the absence of any details on how Beijing will spend the money - concerns long echoed in Washington with China's defence budgets.

Late last month nine skeletons were lifted from a shallow grave in the garden of a family home. The government pins the blame on the Tamil rebels. Tamil activists say that the grave lends credence to claims that the Sri Lankan army has systematically hidden evidence of wartime massacres which it committed in the north and east. The fate of many Sri Lankans remains unknown. The Red Cross counts 16,000 missing people since 1990, with a surge as the civil war came to an end. Yet the govern-

ment of President Mahinda Rajapaksa is unwilling to look deeply into the disappearances. The army launched an inquiry which cleared it of w r o n g d o i n g . Recommendations from a government-appointed body, the “lessons learnt” commission, achieved little. Last August the president ordered a new inquiry into the missing, which is due to report in August. Critics call it a sham, set up to discourage foreigners from launching more serious investigations. Similarly, official suggestions that Sri Lanka could

adopt a South Africanstyle truth-and-reconciliation process appear to be an attempt to stall. Rajapaksa’s administration is only occasionally ruffled. This month, as in each of the past two years, the UN’s human-rights council in Geneva is assessing Sri Lanka’s postwar progress. It will probably conclude that Sri Lanka must do more to account for disappearances, but allow it more time to do so. Last year Navi Pillay, the UN’s commissioner on human rights, toured Sri Lanka and heard of wartime atrocities carried out by both sides, and of government intimidation since. On February 24th she released her draft report to the council, calling for an independent international inquiry, following an effort by experts sent in 2011 by the UN secretary-general. She says she is concerned at the government’s refusal to allow “a credible national process with tangible results”.

n't have love in your heart; you had acid in it," Laxmi recited soon after receiving the prestigious award along with several other

women from different parts of the world including Afghanistan and Fiji. Laxmi was 16 when an acquaintance threw acid on her face while she waited at a bus stop in New Delhi's busy Khan Market in 2005, disfiguring her permanently. Her attacker, a friend's 32-yearold brother, threw the acid to destroy Laxmi's face after she refused to respond to his romantic advances. Recognition for her

effort through this award, is a great encouragement and motivation for the girls and women of India, many of whom still are not able to speak out against the atrocities inflicted upon them, Laxmi said soon after receiving the award. "After this award, girls of India would think, if Laxmi can do this, I can also raise my voice against injustice," Laxmi said in an interview. Last year, Nirbhaya, the courageous 23-year-old girl whose brutal gang rape and murder on a moving bus in Delhi in December 2012 triggered widespread protests, was honoured with the award.

States in size, for the past two decades. "This is worrying news for China's neighbours, particularly for Japan," said Rory Medcalf, a regional security analyst at the independent Lowy Institute in Sydney. Those who thought Xi

More bodies discovered from mass graves in Sri Lanka

Colombo: More bodies are being recovered from mass graves in Sri Lanka reminding the gory past. Last year 154 bodies were unearthed from a mass grave behind a hospital in Matale, in the centre of Sri Lanka - victims, in all likelihood, of an uprising by Marxist rebels in the 1980s. In February an excavation in Mannar, in the north-west, produced 81 bodies, casualties of a bigger and more recent conflict, the long civil war between Tamil secessionists and the state. The police blame the rebels, a cruel and bloodthirsty movement defeated in 2009, for the deaths. But the army is not above suspicion either. Now comes a small but gruesome find near Mullaitivu in the northeast, the site of awful fighting and massacres in the final months of the civil war. Then, perhaps 40,000 people, many of them civilians, were killed as the army trapped the rebels and fleeing Tamils.

Michelle Obama felicitates Indian acid attack victim Laxmi

Washington: US First Lady Michelle Obama has felicitated Indian acid attack victim Laxmi after she won the International Women of Courage Award for successfully leading the campaign against acid attacks on women in India. Michelle Obama and the large crowd at the US State Department auditorium was moved and touched when Laxmi, a standard-bearer of the movement to end acid attacks, recited a poem recounting her experience on the occasion. "You haven't thrown acid on my face; you threw it on my dreams. You did-




AAP representatives denied permission to attend meet

Chennai: Tamil Nadu election department officials denied permission to Aam Aadmi Party representatives to attend an all-party meeting held at the state secretariat on the ground that it is 'not a recognized party.' The meeting convened by chief electoral officer Praveen Kumar was to discuss the model code of conduct to be observed by the political parties for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. It saw the participation of representatives of nine state and national parties, including the AIADMK, the DMK, the Congress and the BJP. There was a mild flutter when AAP volunteers Khaja Mohideen and Shafee were asked to leave the meeting.

Nandan Nilekani joins Congress

Bangalore: Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Chairman Nandan Nilekani joined the Congress on Sunday, a day after he was declared the party's candidate for Bangalore South Lok Sabha seat. Nilekani, the face of "Aadhar" programme, was formally inducted into the Congress with Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President G Parameshwara handing over the party flag to him before he filled in the membership form at a function at the party office here.

Yeddyurappa to contest from Shimoga on BJP ticket

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party's central election committee decided to give former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa - who recently merged his Karnataka Janshakti Party with the BJP Lok Sabha ticket from the Shimoga parliamentary constituency. Addressing the press after the party CEC meet in which the second list of LS candidates was finalised, Ananth Kumar said Yeddyurappa would contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls from Shimoga on a BJP ticket.


Same gotra lovers convicted for murder

Chandigarh: A girl and her lover, both from the same gotra (sub-caste), have been convicted for killing seven members of her family in a village of Rohtak district in 2009. Sonam and her boyfriend had drugged and strangled seven members of her family in Kabulpur village after the couple realized that they would not give consent to their marriage. Rohtak sessions judge convicted the couple. Public prosecutor Gajender Mor said that the couple had been convicted on basis of circumstantial evidence. Another youth, Jasbir, 25, a resident of Chhara village (Jhajjar), has also been convicted for conspiring with the couple.

6 Indians returning from Pakistan caught with pistols

New Delhi: Six residents of Muzaffarnagar, including two women, returning from Pakistan were arrested with 11 pistols and 20 magazines at the Attari railway station in Punjab. The six persons were caught red-handed by the custom officials when they were alighting from the Samjhauta Express, which runs twice a week between India and Pakistan. The officials said the weapons were found hidden in the base of meat grinders by the people arrested, who were visiting their relatives in Pakistan.

United Sikhs extend scholarship of 39 Pak students

Amritsar: United Sikhs has extended scholarship to 39 needy students from families who were internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Peshawar, Pakistan, said, director, United Sikhs, Mejinderpal Kaur. Amongst the 39 students supported by United Sikhs includes children of Jaspal Singh who was brutally beheaded by Taliban in 2010. "Within three months, the students have shown an improvement in their studies and have achieved 'A' grade in their term test," she claimed.

Only 6 NRIs enrol for right to vote

Chandigarh: Six NRIs from Chandigarh have enrolled themselves with the Chandigarh election department to cast their votes in the upcoming parliamentary polls. This would be the first time in the history of city's parliamentary polls that NRIs are being given a chance to cast their votes and subsequently they have enrolled themselves, even though the number is only a few. - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

Vijayakanth to lead BJP alliance in TN

Chennai: DMDK, the main opposition party in Tamil Nadu led by actor Vijayakanth, will effectively lead the BJP sponsored alliance in the state for the Lok Sabha elections by contesting a maximum of 14 seats under an understanding reached with the national party. Vijayakanth whose party had contested alone in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, will now be leading a mega alliance in the state for the first time. With the Ramadoss- led PMK also likely to join, it will be a potentially formidable alliance including the Vaiko-led MDMK to pose a serious challenge to the


Jayalalithaa-piloted AIADMK formation in Tamil Nadu. Given its clout in the state's northern and western belts, DMDK may be a significant game changer in the alliance which already has the IJK, KMDK and

Karunanidhi denies ticket to his son Alagiri

smaller regional players on board. After weeks of uncertainty, the DMDK decided in principle to have an alliance with the BJP for the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu scheduled on April 24. The BJP leaders including party general secretary in-charge of Tamil Nadu, Muralidhar Rao have discussed with DMDK youth wing leader LK Sudheesh on the number of seats and names of constituencies. "We have officially started our seat sharing talks with the BJP. An agreement will be signed between us in a few days," Sudheesh said. A source in the party

said they have allotted 14 seats and the BJP also accepted to allot most of the constituencies in the wish list presented by the party. Contesting in the highest number of seats in the BJP alliance, the DMDK has ensured that it will actually lead the formation in Tamil Nadu, a DMDK MLA said. AIADMK-Left alliance collapses Ahead of the Lok Sabha election, CPI-M and CPI have decided to call off their alliance with AIADMK in Tamil Nadu. Both parties will fight the upcoming general elections alone in Tamil Nadu.

Kiran Kumar Reddy floats new party

Chennai: MK Alagiri will not run from his constituency in Tamil Nadu as a candidate of the DMK, the party headed by his father, M Karunanidhi. In January, Alagiri, who is 63, was suspended for a sustained campaign to undermine his younger brother, M K Stalin, who has been picked by his father as his political heir. "Don't hurt me by asking about Alagiri," said Karunanidhi to reporters as he announced the regional party's candidates. Alagiri's constituency has of Madurai has been reassigned to another DMK member. Included in the DMK's list of candidates are two former union ministers being investigated for corruption when they handled the telecom portfolio. A Raja and Dayanidhi Maran will both run for Parliament from the constituencies they won in the last election in 2009. Maran is being investigated by the CBI for

allegedly misusing his office as Telecom Minister to pressure the sale of Aircel to a Malaysian firm whose owner then made a large investment in Sun Networks, owned by Maran's brother. Raja replaced Maran as Telecom Minister and is accused of accepting large bribes to help ineligible firms get mobile network licenses at throwaway prices in 2008. Karunanidhi also announced a candidate for Sivaganga, represented in Parliament by union finance minister P Chidambaram.

Hyderabad: including many Ending the suswho had inipense and tially thrown threatening to their weight upset the calcubehind Kiran lations of the were present at YSR Congress the press conin the ference. Those Seemandhra present includregion, former Kiran Kumar Reddy ed MPs chief minister Lagadapati and Congress leader Kiran Rajagopal, Sabbam Hari, Kumar Reddy announced G Harsha Kumar and former minister Pithani that he is floating a politiSatyanarayana. When cal party that will fight for asked about the poor the self respect of the attendance, Kiran claimed Telugu people. "The name of the new that some of the leaders political party and its polibacking him were indiscies will be announced at a posed while others had public meeting in prior engagements. Rajahmundry soon," Kiran Coming down heavily said at a press conference on the Telugu Desam Party at his newly-opened office (TDP) and YSR Congress in Madhapur. According to for their 'dual' policies just sources, Kiran has not regto 'grab' the chief minisistered his new party with ter's post, Kiran said his the Election Commission, party was not after power and his aides are scouting and posts but was being set up to safeguard the self to take over the name of a respect of the Telugu peoregistered party that will ple. "The sentiments and have the words 'Telugu' self respect of Telugu peoand 'united.' ple were badly hurt Contrary to expectation, very few leaders because of the division.

Chandigarh: In a symbolic gesture aimed at putting up a united front before elections, Punjab cabinet minister Surjit Singh Rakhra, who was a contender for Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) ticket from Patiala, was invited by party's candidate Deepinder Singh Dhillon to inaugurate his first poll office in Patiala. Dhillon is seen as an outsider in the constituency, despite the fact that his stronghold, Dera Bassi assembly segment, falls in Patiala parliamentary constituency. The Rakhra brothers - rural development and panchayati raj minister Surjit Singh Rakhra and his brother Charanjit Singh Dhaliwal - were seen as probables for Patiala seat and now the attempt of Akali leaders in Patiala is to portray their unity in support of Dhillon.

In yet another attempt to neutralize SAD candidate's opposition from within the party, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal also changed party in charge of Patiala district a day after announcement of Dhillon as candidate from Patiala seat. Earlier, Punjab education minister Sikander Singh Maluka was in charge of Patiala. However, in an apparent attempt to accommodate Rakhra family in changed political scene, state Akali leadership has given Surjit Singh Rakhra the responsibility to manage election affairs in the district. "Party leadership has given me the task of taking care of Patiala district. But this is probably due to the reason that Makula belongs to Bathinda district and he might be busy there in elections.

Shimla: Ahead of parliamentary elections, BJP has objected to ration cards carrying photographs of Congress leaders like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and chief minister Virbhadra Singh. Leader of opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal lodged a complaint with chief electoral officer Narender Chauhan, saying that under public distribution system (PDS), ration card is considered as certificate to take ration and other goods. "But through these ration cards, Congress is trying to take undue benefit during election by influencing the voters," he added. Dhumal said that for the first time, ration cards in the state are affixed with photographs of Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, chief minis-

M. Karunanidhi

SAD placates Rakhra to BJP alleges violation of put up a united front poll code by Congress

ter and another minister. "On the basis of these ration cards, ration is given to people from the depots. This is a clear violation of model code of conduct," he added. He requested chief electoral officer to take immediate action on the issue and cancel the ration cards carrying the photographs of Congress leaders. Such complaints are not new to the state as, before 2012 assembly polls in the state, Congress party had objected to the photograph of former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on jute bags then distributed under PDS, forcing election commission to impose a ban on these bags. Many parties had then feared that carry bags with picture of Vajpayee would give undue benefit to BJP and would disturb the level playing field.

Rahul launches blistering attack on Modi - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

AV Correspondent

Balasinor: Launching a blistering attack on NDA’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi at Balasinor in Central Gujarat, All India Congress Committee vicepresident Rahul Gandhi said that the people of India didn’t require a watchman (Chowkidar) who snatched away farmers land for industrialists. The Nehru-Gandhi scion was talking in context to Modi’s election speech in which the Gujarat Chief Minister pitched himself as the ‘Chowkidar’ who will protect the country’s treasury if made Prime Minister. While addressing at a largely attended public rally, the 43-year-old Congress leader said that his party wanted to empower people of India to become guards of their own. “What kind of ‘Chowkidari’ is this to take away lakhs of acres land from farmers and give it to industrialists? This is nothing but theft,” he added without naming Modi. Rahul Gandhi also continues battle over the

legacy of Sardar Patel saying that they (Modi & BJP) are constructing Sardar’s statue, but they should first read about him. Those who are constructing the statue, are having RSS background, he said adding that they should know that Sardar termed the RSS ideology as ‘poisonous ’. Training his guns on the saffron brigade he asserted that unlike his party, BJP didn’t have any ideology but only anger and only wanted to give anger to people.

“Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi were from Gujarat who gave their entire life for Congress. There were not mere individuals but ideology. What was that ideology? It was to connect India and fight against British,” he said adding that they want to decimate the Congress, which was formed with ideology of Mahatma and Sardar. Accusing BJP for taking ownership of the Congress government’s initiative, Rahul said that

when computer was introduced by Rajiv Gandhi and Sam Pitroda, then top BJP leaders opposed it an expressed fear that it would took away job opportunities for youth and increase unemployment. “However, a decade back their leader Pramod Mahajan promoted Information Technology. Now they say who did computer revolution, he said adding that he wouldn’t be surprised if BJP would take ownership of the UPA government’s initiatives like NAREGA or Right to Food after a decade. Talking about UPA government’s ‘success’, the unnamed PM candidate of the Congress party said that his party is targeting to uplift those 70 crore people who are above poverty line and well below middle-class level. These are taxi and truck drivers, tea-vendors, watchmen etc. He also claimed to generate large number of employment through Delhi-Mumbai-Chennai as well as Delhi-Kolkata industrial corridor. He also talked about woman empowerment and favour women’s reservation bill.

New Delhi: UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav conceded that BJP's reach has expanded "to some extent" in his politically-crucial state but stressed that there is nothing like a 'Modi wave'. Yadav took a dig at BJP's PM candidate Narendra Modi for his "petty" statements like giving lions from Gujarat to Uttar Pradesh and said only somebody with a big heart can become the Prime Minister. He responded to Modi's barb that UP saw over 100 riots in the last two years against none in Gujarat in 10 years, alleging that it was Modi government which starts communal violence in Gujarat while he was working to stop it in UP. The rallies of Samajwadi Party have

measure are attending their rallies. But to say results will be in their favour is difficult," he said in what appeared to be a reluctant admission of the challenge a resurgent BJP is posing to SP in UP, which Akhilesh Yadav sends the largest contingent of 80 been bigger than those of MPs to Lok Sabha. BJP, Yadav claimed at Asked if there is a India Today Conclave, Modi wave in UP, he adding that BJP supportrejected it, saying "there is ers make their gathering no such atmosphere so appear bigger by leaving far". empty space around them Yadav also attacked while SP supporters sit BSP chief Mayawati and together closely. AAP leader Arvind "This is true that BJP Kejriwal and said he has has increased its numbers no wish to meet the foramong people by some margin. People in some mer Delhi chief minister,

New Delhi: After ordering disqualification of MPs and MLAs immediately after conviction for heinous offences, the Supreme Court on Monday took a second big step towards cleansing the political process by directing that trial proceedings in cases of corruption and serious crimes against elected representatives must be completed within a year. The apex court's July 10, 2013 judgment had robbed elected representa-

within three months of the order of conviction. H o w e v e r, "tainted" MPs and MLAs drew comfort from the snailpaced judicial process, hoping that cases against them would linger indefinitely, or that they could use delaying tactics to prevent the court from reaching a final conclusion about their alleged guilt and pronounce a judg-

Rahul Gandhi

BJP gaining in UP, concedes Akhilesh




Indians and other Asian diaspora disperse continuously within the UK and several readers have demanded that family newsweeklies like Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar should allocate some space, charge some modest amount if necessary, to communicate family arrivals or departures. From 15 March 2014 issue, both our newsweeklies will provide the following services: 1. Birth and Weddings: Upto 25 words free of charge without photo

2. Bereavement notices and others: Upto 25 words without photo- No charge. For upto 150 words and a photograph £100+VAT.

The written message has to be in English and the photograph will have to be provided by the sender, with their relevant contact details and need to be emailed to Saroj Patel at Phone: 020 7749 4006/4080

Jail threat to students who hail Pak cricket team

who recently held a rally in Kanpur and roadshows across towns of UP. "AAP won't have much impact in UP," he insisted. Mayawati, he said, wasted public money in self-promotion and gave an impression that she was a bigger leader than Bhim Rao Ambedkar as her statues were taller than that of the Dalit icon. He, however, hinted at SP's willingness to do business with Congress, saying it is said among 'Samajwadis' that they will stand by the Congress, when it is at its weakest. Asked about his father and SP President Mulayam Singh Yadav's frequent criticism of his government, he said children should take their elders' scolding in the right sprit and his government had learnt from it.

Meerut: A group of 60 Kashmiri students who cheered on Pakistan’s national cricket team during a match against India have been expelled from their university and could face charges of sedition, police said. Officers in the northern city of Meerut said they were investigating complaints about the behaviour of the students, all of whom are from Indian-administered Kashmir, from officials at the city’s Swami Vivekanand Subharti University (SVSU). Both countries claim the disputed Himalayan region and have fought two wars over it since they won independence from Britain in 1947. All the students, who were accused of cheering “Hail Pakistan!” and other slogans, were expelled and escorted off the campus after Pakistan’s dramatic victory by one wicket in the

Asia Cup match on Sunday. They could face up to three years in jail. Omkar Singh, a police officer in Meerut, said police were examining a complaint against the students from university staff for “indulging in antinational activities and creating a ruckus on the university campus”. He added: “We have registered a case.” Some of the students, many of whom have returned to Kashmir’s capital of Srinagar, claim they were attacked by Hindu students after the game and subjected to stone pelting. Gulzar Ahmed said he and his friends were never allowed a chance to explain themselves. “They (local students) attacked us with stones and abuse after the match,” he said. Many Kashmiris in the Muslim-majority province feel resentment against India and associate more with Pakistan, an Islamic republic.

ment. The order, passed by a bench of Justice RM Lodha and Justice Kurian Joseph, ends the last hope of MPs and MLAs of evading early adjudication of their alleged guilt and a possible conviction resulting in a sentence of more than two years or more, which generally follows in a corruption case or in serious offences. Deadline to start after framing of charges In its interim order on a PIL by NGO "Public

Interest Foundation", the bench said, "Where sitting MPs and MLAs are facing corruption cases and other serious offences (which involve a punishment of more than two years on conviction), the trial will be completed expeditiously on a day-to-day basis and in no instance later than one year from the date of framing of charges." This means, those who get elected in the coming general elections and have pending criminal and cor-

ruption cases against them, the verdict will be out before May next year. If found guilty and sentenced to more than two years imprisonment, they will immediately lose their membership. This order will also have a sanitizing effect on political parties and ensure that they do not field candidates with criminal background. According to an estimate, the order will have a bearing on the political career of 162 MPs who are facing criminal charges.

SC orders to finish trial against MPs and MLAs in one year

tives of the benefit under Section 8(4) of Representative of People Act which allowed them to save their membership in respective Houses by merely filing an appeal




Good looks help you in business

London: A Harvard University study finds that good looking men are more likely to be successful when pitching to investors than unattractive men or women, even when delivering the same brief. The study, in fact, shows that it is men who should be more concerned. Being good looking helps a man in businesses, but appears to have little impact on whether women succeed.

Older People denied proper cancer care

London: A study by leading Queen’s University academic, Professor Mark Lawler of the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology says that older people are being denied proper access to cancer care. Professor Lawler said: “there is increasing evidence that elderly patients are being ‘under-treated’, leading to a ‘survival gap’ between older and younger patients.

Questions over UK border security

London: In the wake of the mysterious Malaysia Airlines flight, concerns have expressed that the passport details of more than 20 million people entering and leaving the UK are not being properly checked. The lack of security at UK airports could aid terrorists.

PIO student wins spell bee after epic 95 rounds

New York: A 13-year-old Indian-origin boy has won a spelling bee contest in the US in an epic duel that lasted a total of 95 rounds, including the 66 rounds of a previous contest held last month, which ended in a tie after judges ran out of words. Kush Sharma, a seventh-grader spelled out “definition” to clinch the Jackson County Spelling Bee in Missouri, and a berth in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington in May. He beats fifth-grader Sophia Hoffman, 11, who missed out after she couldn’t get the word ‘stifling’ right. Between the two, they spelt 260 words.

Man given suspended jail sentence

London: A man who hid his mother's body in a freezer at home to continue pocketing her benefits, walked free from Court on Monday. Philipe Brough, 54, has been handed a suspended jail sentence after he pleaded guilty to fraud and to preventing a lawful and decent burial of his 90-year-old mother Louise. A postmortem revealed she died of natural causes but that she had been dead since about the end of February.

Accountant denies murder

London: A British accountant accused of murdering a toddler on Skype from 1,100 miles away, by asking the mother to teach her 'discipline'. Ammaz Qureshi, 35, reportedly told mother 28-year-old Yasmin Chaudhry, to submerge her one-year-old daughter in a bucket of water after the child interrupted their online chat, a UK daily has reported. The pair both went on trial in Oslo charged with premeditated murder and assault. Qureshi's lawyer Vibeke Hein Baera told the court: 'He denies the accusations of premeditated murder and assault. 'My client is baffled that he is accused of a crime committed in a country which he - at that point in time - had never set foot in.'

Legal changes to affect Councillors' public pension

London: Under a legal change announced, Councillors will no longer be entitled to taxpayer – funded pensions. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, will also lose his right to a public pension, as ministers make formal legal changes to rules that allow local councillors to claim pension contributions.

Teenager fed 9 litres of goat milk/day cannot stay with his mother, court rules

London: A boy who was made to drink nine litres of goat's milk a day for six months will not be allowed to live with his mother, a senior family court judge has ruled.The 12-year-old was reportedly "exposed to significant harm" by his mentally ill mother and thus will now live with his aunt, Sir James Munby ruled at the Family Division of the High Court in London. However, the boy's mother may be able to somewhat of a role in her person's life if she sorts out her problems, the judge added. - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

Details of corruption, spying and cover ups emerge in Stephen Lawrence case

London: The mother of Stephen Lawrence heard on Thursday 6 March, that she had been the victim of two decades of corruption, spying and cover-up, during the case of her murdered son. Doreen Lawrence found that Scotland Yard corruption even extended to spying on her family, during a face-to face meeting with the Home Secretary Theresa May, in the House of Lords. Despite the revelations however, Doreen remained dignified and held back her tears and reportedly spoke quietly of her, “21

years of struggle” to get to the truth about Scotland Yard’s shameful behaviour over her son Stephen’s murder. “We weren’t asking for anything special, just what we should have had, like any other citizen of this country,” she said. Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, who was made a peer last October, had earlier been told that the Metropolitan Police planted a “spy in the Lawrence family camp” to “smear” them. A report by Mark Ellison QC, found that an undercover officer codenamed N81 was planted by the Met’s top secret

Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) and passed on information about the state of Doreen and Neville Lawrence’s marriage and other family details to senior officers. Mr Ellison also found evidence to suspect that one of the detectives investigating her son’s murder had a “corrupt relationship” with the gangster father of one of the killers, and that other officers may also have been corrupt. After the murder of 18 year old Stephen Lawrence, in Eltham, south east London, in

April 1993, Scotland Yard failed for 19 years to bring his killers to justice. The institutional failings prompted the Macpherson Report in 1999, which found that the Met was “institutionally racist”. But the Ellison report had access to material which was not made available to the Macpherson inquiry, including evidence that suggested DS Davidson was corrupt and had links to Clifford Norris, the father of David Norris, who was convicted of Stephen’s murder together with Gary Dobson in 2012.

Continued from page 1 Baru in South China Sea. The airlines group chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said a search and rescue mission had been launched in the area after the aircraft lost contact. “We have contacted both the Malaysian and Vietnamese authorities as it is actually the borderline of Malaysian airspace and Vietnam control,” he said in Kuala Lumpur. Vietnamese air force planes spotted two large oil slicks close to where Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 went missing, the first sign that the aircraft carrying 239 people had crashed. The air force planes were part of a multinational search operation launched after Flight MH370 fell off radar screens less than an hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing. The oil slicks were spotted late on Saturday off the southern tip of Vietnam and were each between 10 and 15 km long, the Vietnamese Government said in a statement. There was no confirmation that

the slicks were related to the missing plane, but the statement said they were consistent with the kinds that would be produced by the two fuel tanks of a crashed jetliner. Earlier, Vietnamese newspaper quoted Rear Admiral Ngo Van Phat, political commissar of the Fifth Naval Region of Vietnam, as saying that the plane had crashed. However, Malaysia’s Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said he had “no information” or confirmation on the plane’s fate. “We are doing everything in our power to locate the plane,” he said. According to the information obtained by the Indian Embassy in Beijing, the Indians on board were identified as Chetna Kolekar, Swanand Kolekar, Suresh Kolekar, Chandrika Sharma and Prahlad Shirsatha. Chandrika Sharma (51) is the executive secretary at the International Collective in Support of Fish-workers (ICSF), Chennai. She was on her

way to Ulan Battor in Mongolia to participate in the regional conference of the Food and Agricultural Organisation, according to Sebastian Mathew, advisor, ICSF. “She was to present a paper on the guidelines on the livelihood of fish workers and sustainable fisheries. Sharma was actively working to draw the attention of the FAO towards the issues faced by small scale fish workers,” said Mathew. One Indian-origin Canadian Muktesh Mukherjee was also on board. He was the grandson Mohan Kumaramangalam, Indira Gandhi’s steel and mines minister who died on Indian Airlines flight 440 which crashed close to New Delhi four decades ago. Mukherjee was the vice-president of operations in China for the Pennsylvania-based XCoal Energy and Resources. Relatives of the missing passengers were angry at the lack of information, with many having gathered for the Press conference in an east Beijing

hotel. Cries and tears gripped the hotel conference room. Many relatives just sat on the floor. Many grief-stricken relatives even fainted and some were led to hotel rooms to take rest. Some said they would fly to Vietnam to look for their loved ones. Rescuers scour sea for Malaysian jet The disappearance of a Malaysian jetliner is an "unprecedented aviation mystery", a senior official said on Monday, with a massive air and sea search now in its third day failing to find any confirmed trace of the plane or the 239 people aboard. The head of Malaysia's Civil Aviation Authority, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, said a hijacking attempt could not be ruled out as investigators explore all theories for the loss of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 en route to Beijing. "Unfortunately we have not found anything that appears to be objects from the aircraft, let alone the aircraft," he told a news conference.

Continued from page 1 Sampath. Among the states, UP and Bihar will vote over six phases; West Bengal and Jammu & Kashmir over five phases; Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra over three phases; and Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, Odisha, Rajasthan and Tripura over two phases. There will be a single-day poll in Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttarkhand and Goa, a majority of north-eastern states and Union territories including Delhi. Accepting the Union home ministry's suggestion to hold polls to Naxalhit and disturbance-prone

areas of northeast in the first phase, the EC has scheduled polling in 13 Lok Sabha constituencies across Assam, Tripura, Mizoram, Nagaland and Odisha in the initial two phases on April 7 and 9, followed by voting across Naxal-hit areas of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Maharashtra and Odisha over the next two phases on April 10 and 12. An 814 million-strong electorate will elect the 16th Lok Sabha by voting across 930,000 polling stations in the country. This is in contrast with 716 million electorate and 830,000 polling stations in the last Lok Sabha poll. Around 115,000 Central paramilitary personnel will be deployed for poll

duty. Sampath said while the electoral rolls had been updated with January 1, 2014, as the reference date and published across all the states, the voters could enrol themselves up to the date of notification of poll. In fact, the EC held special camps on March 9 across all the polling stations to enable eligible voters to verify their names in the electoral rolls and apply for registration if not enrolled already. The booth level officer will be present at these camps to facilitate the voter to fill up Form 6 for enrolment. "We assure the voters that these applications will be disposed well in time to enable them to vote in the

coming poll," said the CEC. These polls are expected to be one of the most fiercely contested, with the BJP looking to wrest power from the UPA government beleaguered with strong antiincumbency. The EC appealed to all political parties and candidates to "uphold the peerless democratic traditions by maintaining high standards of political discourse and fair play in the course of their election campaigns". "We appeal to the leaders of all political parties, especially their star campaigners, to refrain from using language that is against decorum and decency," said election commissioner Brahma.

Malaysian jet missing, 5 Indians among 239 on board

India goes to polls from April 7 to May 12 - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

SC asks BJP, Cong to spell out stand on President’s rule in Delhi

With Aam Aadmi Party crying foul on imposition of President's rule in Delhi, the Supreme Court asked its political rivals, BJP and Congress, to clarify their position on keeping the Assembly under suspended animation for a year. The apex court, which earlier had kept the two parties away from the hearing, decided to know their stand, after noting that neither the BJP nor the Congress had made their position clear on government formation following the resignation of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. It took into account the submissions of AAP and the Centre and wanted to know that "after enactment of tenth schedule of the constitution whether defection to happen can be a relevant consideration as a ground to keep the Assembly under suspended animation". The bench was also looking for an answer as

to "how the President's order can say that the Assembly has to be kept under suspended animation for a year." When senior advocate Fali Nariman, appearing for AAP, said it was because of the provisions of law applied in the matter, the bench responded, "then it requires consideration." "What is worrying, legally and constitutionally, is keeping the Assembly under suspended animation for a year may be harmful for democracy," the bench observed and added "is it not open for the President to recall his order". The bench, which on February 24 had refrained from involving the BJP and Congress in the matter to avoid "political contest" at judicial forum, said since the position of the two parties was not clear on staking claim for government formation, their view has to be elicited.

New Delhi: Washington will drop a travel ban on Narendra Modi if he becomes PM. US assistant secretary of state Nisha Desai Biswal finally buried the controversy over Modi’s visa as she told a TV channel that the US would welcome the Gujarat CM if he ascends to the top job. “I would just say that the US has welcomed every leader of this vibrant democracy, and that a democratically elected leader of India will be a welcome partner,” Biswal said adding that Washington is ready to do business with him. For nine years, the US has kept its visa ban on Modi who has won three successive terms in Gujarat. “Visa issues are handled on a case by case basis. And determinations are made based on the facts of the day and reviewed at the time a request is made,” she

said according to a transcript released by the US embassy. This has been the official position of the US for some time, which they have used to claim there was no change in their visa policy. Biswal is on her first visit to India to repair some serious cracks in the Indo-US relations in the wake of the Khobragade episode and over contentious trade and IPR issues on the Indian side and protectionism and immigration issues on the US side. The US recently opened a channel of communication with Modi, widely seen as a frontrunner in the coming Lok Sabha elections. Last month, US ambassador Nancy Powell travelled to Gandhinagar to meet the Gujarat CM and start a conversation at the official level. Despite a large population of Gujaratis in the US, Modi has remained beyond the pale for the US administration since the 2002 Gujarat riots. The UK made up with him a year and half ago, while countries like China, Japan, Israel, Denmark and Canada swiftly moved in to build ties with Modi. Modi has so far maintained a discreet silence on the visa ban. While Modi’s advisers say he recognizes the importance of tries with the US, nobody is clear about whether Modi would actually take up the US visa offer.

US to drop visa ban on Modi if he becomes PM



Constant innovation is the secret of Troika’s success story

Chairman & Managing Director of Troika Pharmaceuticals Limited Ketan R Patel started manufacturing in 1983 at Thol village on the outskirts of Ahmedabad with just 15 employees. His vision and passion for bringing innovative products in the market created the small venture into a company having global presence.

Mayuri Dave

With three decades of rich experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Troika Pharmaceuticals Limited (TPL) CMD Ketan Patel has carved a reputation for being an innovator, a successful entrepreneur and a pharmacist. Patel, who hails from Sojitra village in Charotar area of Gujarat, believes that his passion for innovation helped him to make his company globally competitive. Even as a student of pharmacy, Patel shown excellence by receiving gold medals both at the graduate and post graduate level. His entrepreneurial spirit inspired him to start his own business in 1983 after the completion of studies. So a manufacturing facility was set up at Thol village - about 25 km from Ahmedabad. “It was a pharma manufacturing unit having just 15 employees,” says nostalgic Patel. However, the humble journey has now transformed into a worldclass company having two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities at Ahmedabad as well as

Ketan Patel

Dehradun in the North Indian State Uttarakhand. As against workforce of mere 15, today nearly 2,000 people are working in Patel’s company. “Troika is having presence across India with over 24 depots and 2,000 stockiest who cater to thousands of retailers across the country. The company also exports its products to over 70 countries,” he says. From the beginning Patel gave thrust to innovation in the area of novel drug delivery, wherein he has several patents to his credit. Two of the most successful

innovations are: Dynapar AQ, the first of his inventions, is world’s first painless diclofenac injection which offers several benefits over the conventional diclofenac injections. “Dynapar QPS is a novel transdermal diclofenac which can reduce the sideeffects of oral pain killers,” he said. Apart from pain management, Troikaa manufactures and market products for cardiovascular disease, gynecology and anesthesia. The company also has a comprehensive range of parenteral products which cater to needs of hospitals.

Sri Sri releases Namo’s book - ‘Sakshibhaav’

AV Correspondent

Ahmedabad: Once written as diary when NDA’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was just 36 years old, has taken a form of a book and released by spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shanker. Speaking at book release function of his own book – ‘Sakshibhaav’ at Gujarat University convention centre, Gujarat Chief Minister said that his generally people know him by newspapers, but with this book they would be able to know him by himself. Accepting the fact about tight security around him, Modi said that he knew that reaching at him is difficult, but this book would give people opportunity to reach at him. “When I wrote all this I was never in politics. In fact, I used to burn what I wrote after 6-8 months of writing it. One day, a Pracharak, Narendrabhai

Panchasara saw me doing it and he said do not do this, don’t burn this. That is why I did not burn it and the book has taken share. It is Narendrabhai Panchasara who should get credit for this and that is why I dedicated this work to him,” said Modi. Modi recalled that for years these papers were lying somewhere and that is when he gave it to Suresh Dala, noted Gujarati writer, who persisted the work be published. “Sureshbhai told me that from these bits of paper we can make good furniture I said no. For a month there was a tussle and finally 4 years ago I said yes, it can be published. And after the process to publish it began I took a lot of interest” he added. In lighter tone he said that if the book was released 30 years back, critics might have seen it as literary work, but what would happen to his book,

he couldn’t imagine. “Today, I can see events occurred around me 36 years back,” said nostalgic Modi saying that in the book his letters addressed to Ma Jagdamba (Jag Janani Maa) have also been published. He urged the readers to write to him about their experience of reading the book. Sri Sri Ravishanker, who released the book, said that country desperately required a lion hearted leader, which India got in form of Narendra Modi.

The innovative products introduced by the company with demonstrable benefits over the competition and the creation of strong brands have resulted into a strong demand for these products in the global markets and attracted interests from MNCs eager to market these products in the EU and US markets. The international business division is one of the fastest growing divisions of the company with an annual growth rate of around 30%. The company is also expanding and opening subsidiary companies in emerging markets like Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Nigeria and Peru in the coming years where the company at present distributes its products through agents. The R& D division also has a strong medical services team comprising experts in clinical pharmacology and pharmacokinetitcs. They provide continuous feedback to the formulation group so as to arrive at therapeutically (and hence commercially) meaningful novel products.

Indian woman accused of killing husband in US US prosecutors have

rested their case against a 27-year-old Indian-origin woman, who faces life sentence for allegedly killing her husband by setting him afire two years ago. Shriya Patel's trial began on March 4 in Austin, Texas, with prosecutors accusing her of luring her husband into the bathtub for a massage, dousing him with gasoline and then setting him ablaze before shutting him in the bathroom. Bimal Patel, 29, died at the burn centre of the San Antonio Military Medical Center, nearly five months after the April 17, 2012, incident. In testimony, the state presented evidence from DNA experts who said Shriya Patel's fingerprints were found on a 10-gallon white bucket that contained gasoline.

28 - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

Kajal seeks quality films

Sneha enters a new world A


lmost all leading heroes and heroines of the current generation have their own Twitter accounts. Post the release of his recent super hit film Jilla, actor Vijay had a chat with his fans via Twitter. Now the recent star to enter the Twitterati is actress Sneha. Her husband, actor Prasanna is very active in Tiwtter and he has been updating news related to Sneha in the Twitterspace for long. But now the Punnagai Arasi has started her own account much to the delight of fans and also her husband. Prasanna has asked her fans to show the actress, how lovely and delightful is the Twittter world.

Amy Jackson poses topless for magazine


my Jackson turned on the heat by flaunting her sexy curves for a photoshoot. The pretty heroine from London went topless showing off her sultry figure in the photoshoot. In a n o t h e r though, with a sensuous look, Amy posed wearing a bikini. The 22-year-old star showed off her perfectly toned body in a tiger skin colored bikini, clicked by UK based photographer Gavin Glave. The actress said she loved the photoshoot with the freelance photographer. Amy Jackson is playing the female lead role in Shankar’s ‘Ai’ which has Vikram playing male protagonist.

New Release


Cast: Rishi Kapoor, Ayushmann Khurrana, Sonam Kapoor Director: Nupur Asthana e tory Tshabout

is Mohit, a marketing whiz kid vying for a step up the career ladder and Mayera, a financial brain with a penchant for shoes. A young middle-class corporate couple that’s ambitious and likes the good life too. They work hard and party hard! The couple is passionately in love with each other and believe that they can live on love and fresh air! But, well as every other filmy couple, Mohit and Mayera too have a obstacle in their love life! It’s Mayera’s willful bureaucratic father V K Sehgal. The obstinate old man believes that only a rich man can bring Mayera happiness and a mid-level executive like Mohit simply isn’t good enough!

ajal Aggarwal was the most sought after heroine in Tamil, Telugu as well as Hindi film industries. But now the Thuppakki girl has limited the number of films she acts at a time. Speculations were rife that the actress is planning to enter the wedlock soon and that's why she is not accepting many offers. But Kajal refutes them and says, "I have decided to concentrate on quality rather than quantity. Going forward even if I act only one film a year, my role in that film will be talked about. Moreover I get a lot of free time now. With that I take part in fund raising activities for good causes. I have also started reading many books and spend more time with family."

I'm a big Rajinikanth fan: SRK


ollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan said he was such a big fan of Rajinikanth that he decided to attend the audio launch of his film "Kochadaiiyaan" in Chennai. Reminiscing his earlier days, SRK said that many years ago when he landed in Mumbai, he went to see the shooting of a Hindi film starring Rajinikanth and learned an important lesson after observing the southern superstar. "I saw from far away that he was standing in front of a big mirror and practising throwing cigarette in his mouth. "There were a lot of actors minding their own business, but Rajini sir kept on practising. He was getting it right like he does every time in the film, but he kept practising. That's one of my learning lessons of my life because someone of his talent and stature keeps on working so hard," he said.

Ranbir, Honey Singh to collaborate

Sunny Leone fakes an orgasm

ctor Ranbir Kaoor, who will be seen in Bhushan n Ekta Kapoor's upcoming film “Ragini MMS2,” Kumar's next "Roy", may collaborate with rapper A Sunny Leone plays herself, an actress who I Yo Yo Honey Singh for a special song for the film. "I travels with a crew to a haunted location to

share a very close relationship with Honey Singh. He also recently did a song for us for 'Bhoothnath Returns'. We are contemplating with the idea of having Honey Sigh and Ranbir Kapoor for a song but nothing is finalised so far," Kumar said. "At the moment I am not in a position to reveal anything as its too early," he added.

shoot a film on the life of Ragini. While shooting a sequence for the film, she simulates a prolonged orgasm with emotion to get even with her male co-star, who earlier challenges Sunny by telling her that just uttering 'Oohs' and 'Aahs' don't qualify as performance.

29 - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

Reviews ‘Total Siyaapa’ fails India-Pak peacekeeping efforts

he theme of confusion based comedy has T made its way into

Bollywood again with the film “Total Siyaapa” (meaning: big trouble). Starring Ali Zafar, Yami Gautam, Kirron Kher and Anupam Kher, this film brings to life all those questions which plague the minds of cross-border lovers (in context of India and Pakistan). Aman (Ali Zafar) and Asha (Yami Gautam) are engaged to be married. All is hunky dory, except for a teenytiny obstacle that Asha’s Pak-hating Indian family isn’t aware that their tobe son-in-law is a Pakistani. Asha doesn’t seem to be a fan of confrontations and only tells her parents that the ‘boy is a Muslim’. Poor Aman is subjected to all sorts of

ridicule and scepticism by his fiancée’s family members but he swallows their idiosyncrasies owing to his love for her. Amidst all this, by accident, he ends up hitting a man with a container of frozen soup who turns out to be his fiancée’s father. What ensues is pure chaos fuelled by Asha’s mother, a blind army-retired grandfather, her little niece (who strangely enjoys acting pregnant

with a pillow over her belly) and her flirtatious elder sister who tries to sexually tease her to-be ‘jijaji’ several times in the film- a deeply disturbing set of people, I must say. The film has a promising start and then it just goes haywire, not in a good way. Fascinatingly, this is the first movie which features Kirron Kher and Anupam Kher together and what was on-screen was far from pleasing. The film has a stereotypical script filled with carefully constructed confusions which don’t ease their way into your mind. Ali Zafar takes the cake, though. Kirron Kher seems to be the saviour of the movie. Anupam Kher's role and character were unworthy of a fabulous performer

like himself. “Total Siyaapa” does manage to get a few laughs out of you. Some scenes with Ali Zafar and Kirron Kher together were delightful. The musical score was mostly dull except for ‘Nahi Maloom’, a Latino-cumMiddle Eastern song and ‘Palat Meri Jaan’, which is a light lovey-dovey track. Interestingly, this film is completely shot in London. Sadly, it achieves feeble success in promoting ‘Aman-KiAsha’, the peacekeeping initiative between India and Pakistan, owing to one ill-fitting random scene at the near-end. Three reasons to watch Total Siyaapa- Ali Zafar, Kirron Kher and a LOT of time in your hand. - Charusmita

Amitabh Bachchan launches charity book

board in India, came up with the idea, which is part of the charity Because I am a Girl campaign. “Girls remain among the most discriminated social groups in India,” he said. “Let us take pride in empowering our girls, because our daughters are our strength,” added Nihalani.

‘Gulaab Gang’: A must watch film

ver since trailers of “Gulaab Gang” have E been doing the rounds,

there has been curiosity about it being based on the life of Sampat Pal, an uneducated but passionate woman who formed a vigilante group for women’s rights in Bundelkhand. Though it cannot be denied where the film’s script has liberally lifted its main character from, “Gulaab Gang” is a must watch. Captivating performances, earthy lyrics, rugged rustic humour, delightful choreography (by Saroj Khan), and use of rich and intense coloursplenty of reasons to watch this film. Rajjo (played by Madhuri Dixit-Nene), a

fierce protector of justice and a staunch advocate of literacy and education, forms an army of women to fight for basic human rights in Madhavpur. ‘Rod is God’, she says, highlighting her key tactic. People in the village fear and respect her. Enter an eccentric, vile and dangerous politician

Kareena turns flower girl

Sumitra Devi (played by Juhi Chawla), who makes men crawl through woman’s legs when she is angry, quite literally! She suspends an officer who doesn’t bend down to touch her feet, tortures her aged accountant because he addresses her by name, blatantly declares to compensate a minor-rape with money and asserts ‘jise maarna hai, shanti se maaro’ (if you need to kill someone, do it sans the noise). The story after this turns predictable with Rajjo’s Gulaab Gang fighting against Sumitra Devi and her corrupt political backup. The film lacks a ground-breaking script and though the dialect is nearly accurate, there are

Salman to marry Romanian beauty?

evident inconsistencies in it throughout the film. The good vs. evil theme is done to death; the film could have had a better screenplay and fewer over-the-top action sequences. The only charming element was the rugged rustic humour and the internal dynamics of the gang’s members. Madhuri as Rajjo embodies strength as well as innocence through a wide range of enthralling expressions and body language, but Sumitra Devi is the character to look out for. Juhi Chawla has outdone herself with this intriguing facade and the idea of the ‘baddie’ as a woman is a masterstroke. - Charusmita

ollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan has B launched a book celebrating

the special relationship between daughters and their parents. Meri Beti Meri Shakti (‘My Daughter, My Strength’) was unveiled in Mumbai by the charity Plan International. Bachchan, who was guest of honour at the event in the Palladium Hotel, is among 43 influential Indian personalities who have contributed to the book. The volume features stories and pictures about the relationships the authors have with their daughters. Film-maker Govind Nihalani, chairman of Plan’s

Vidya to meet Kevin Spacey

areena Kapoor is on the March 2014 he 48-year-old Salman Khan, who Vogue India Cover as part of the floral K ollywood icon Kevin Spacey and was at his funniest best at India T issue. She shot in about five different looks Indian film industry ace Vidya H Today Conclave 2014, did not rule out for the magazine. Kareena dons a bright Balan will meet soon in Florida to red outfit followed by a pink outfit. She looks feminine and the red shoes add a different touch to her outfit. In one of the pictures, Kareena looks radiant in a multicoloured lehenga with a skimpy white choli and a rose print jacket. Kareena being a compulsive shopper also posed with the shopping trolley in a full sleeved, buttoned green and white sheer top teamed with an ankle length green and black skirt, which turns mesh around the knee.

the chances of marrying Romanian beauty Iulia Vantur, whom he is allegedly dating for quite sometime. "Now I'm in transit period and I like it. From the age of 15, I did not get a transit period. For the first time, I have such a chance to sigh. I am sighing more since it has been two-and-a-half years. It's time to stop sighing because something soon will happen in my life...

discuss the basics of cinema from their respective countries. Spacey will head an IIFA Masterclass in Tampa, Florida during the 15th Videocon D2H IIFA Weekend. The IIFA acting workshop will see luminaries from both Bollywood and Hollywood sharing their valuable opinions and profound insights on a variety of subjects relating to cinema.

The Because I am a Girl campaign aims to reach four million of the world’s poorest girls to enable them to reach their potential. "The book is an effort by Plan to celebrate the girls,” says Bhagyashri Dengle, Plan’s Executive Director in India. “When we empower our daughters with equal opportunities and good education, they are sure to create an identity for themselves. We believe that it is important to provide equal opportunities to girls so that they are not left behind.” Contributors to the book include screenwriter and lyricist Prasoon Joshi, businesswomen Gayatri Ruia, actress Sharmila Tagore and former cricketer Kapil Dev. Plan works in 13 states in India, across 5,400 communities, helping more than a million children.

Kunal Kapoor on a spiritual quest? h e talented T Kunal Kapoor,

who has not had much luck with his m o v i e releases, seems to be in a limbo. The actor e v e n consulted a tarot card reader to know where his career was headed a n d requested for tips to give his acting career a professional pep-up. "Kunal expressed concern over taking things ahead professionally and wants his career to look up. He wanted to know when his good time would start," said a source. We are guessing soon, because frankly, you cannot keep a good actor down for long.



Coming Events

l Sunday 16 March 2014 – Holi Puja from 7.00 – 9.00pm at National Association of Patidar Samaj Building, 26B Tooting High Street, London SW17 0RG, Opposite Broadway Market. Contact: 07814005096. l Sunday 16th March 2014 – Shree Shakti Mandir Wembley's Holi Celebration from 6pm – late at 30 Talbot Road, Wembley, Middlesex, HA0 4UE. Contact: 0208 903 6100. l Sunday 16th March 2014 – Holi! Let's get Coloured from 12.30pm onwards st 504 Melton Road, Leicester LE4 7SP. Contact: 0116 212 2827. l Sunday 16th March 2014 – Satsang Sabha followed by Maha Prasad Bhojan from 4.00pm – 8.00pm at 'Tiny Twinkles Nursery', White Cross Hall, Winchester Ave, Kingsbury, NW9 9TA. Contact: 07830979829. l Sunday 16th March 2014 – Gaura Purnima at the Radha-Krishna Temple, 10 Soho Street, London W1D 3Dl. Contact: 020 7437 3662. l Sunday 16th March 2014 – Holi at Roe Green park, Kingsbury Road, London NW9 from 6pm – 9pm. Contact: 07976 364 515. l Sunday 16th March 2014 – Holi Festival at Shree Jalarim Mandir Greenford, 39-45 Oldfield Lane South, Greenford, Middlesex, UB6 9L from 5.30pm – 6pm. Contact: 0208 578 8088. l Sunday 16th March 2014 - Bhajans at 3pm by Shree Budhdevbhai at Adhya Shakti Mataji Temple, 55 High Street, Cowley, Middlesex UB8 2DZ. Contact: 07882 253 540. Sunday 16th March 2014 – Holi from 6pm – 9pm at The Malden Manor Park, Malden Road, New Malden, KT3 6AU. l Sunday 16th March 2014 – Holi at Great Central Road, Great Central Park, Loughborough, LE11 1RW. Contact: 07718 923 800. l Sunday 16th March 2014 – Holi at Bhaktivedanta Manor Hare Krishna Temple, Watford from 2pm till late. Contact: 07919 933 824. l Sunday 16th March 2014 – Holi from 5pm – 8pm at The Swaminarayan School, 260 Brentfield Road, Neasden, London, NW10 8HE. Contact: 020 8965 26 l Saturday 22nd March 2014 – Health and WellBeing Event from 10.30am – 3.30pm at Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre, Rothley Street, leicester, LE4 6LF. Contact: 0116 266 8266. l Saturday 22nd March 2014 – Anand Utsav from 6.45pm – 9.30pm at Shree Ram Mandir, Leicester LE4 5GG. Contact: 07789 747 834. l Sunday 23rd March 2014 – Holi 2014 from 2pm – 6pm at HillBrook School, Hillbrook Road, Tooting, SW17 8SG. Contact: 07411 585 662. l Sunday 23rd March 2014 – Amazing Little Stars Dinner from 5.30 – 6.30pm at 4a Castletown Road, London W14 9HE. Contact: 0207 381 3086. l Sunday 30th March 2014 - Bhooli Bisari Yaade and Dinner by Fahad Muhammed from 5.30 – 6.30pm at 4a Castletown Road, West Kensington, London W14 9HE. Editor: CB Patel Associate Editor: Rupanjana Dutta Tel: 020 7749 4098 - Email: Editorial Executive: Tanveer Mann Tel: 020 7749 4010 - Email: Senior News Editor: Dhiren Katwa Freelance Correspondent: Rudy Otter Chief Operating Officer: Liji George Tel: 020 7749 4013 Email: Chief Financial Officer: Surendra Patel Tel: 020 7749 4093 Mobile: 07875 229 220 Email: Chief Accountant: Akshay Desai Tel: 020 7749 4087 Business Manager: Alka Shah Tel: 020 7749 4002 - Mobile: 07944 151 893 Email: Advertising Manager: Kishor Parmar Tel: 020 7749 4095 - Mobile: 07875 229 088 Email: Business Development Managers: Rovin J George - Email: Tel: 020 7749 4097 - Mobile: 07875 229 219 Urja Patel - Email: Graphic Designers: Harish Dahya & Ajay Kumar Tel: 020 7749 4086 Email: Customer Service: Ragini Nayak Tel: 020 7749 4080 - Email: (BPO) AB Publication (India) Pvt. Ltd. 207 Shalibhadra Complex, Opp. Jain Derasar, Nr. Nehru Nagar Circle, Ambawadi, Ahmedabad. Tel / Fax: +91 79 2646 5960 Bureau Chief: Nilesh Parmar (M) +91 94266 36912 Email:

Enough is Enough! Forced Marriage Talk

Forced Marriage – Chaz Akoshile, Joint Head, Forced Marriage Unit, Domestic Violence – Jannette Arnold, Chair of London Assembly, Member of Police and Crime Committee, Rape – Detective Sergeant Bhupendra Sonigra, MET Police Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child. Date: 23rd March 2014, Time: 10.30am – 3pm, Address: Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Dharma Bhakti Manor, Hari Krishna Hall, Wood Lane, Stanmore, London, UK HA7 4LF. Contact: 07903 42 66 75

ALAJYOTI celebrates HOLI at Laguna Banqueting Hall on 1st March 2014 - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 Plans can change suddenly, but the diversion you take now may be helpful overall. There may be some drama regarding a relationship or a significant discovery about one. It's not the time to push yourself too hard with your ruler, Mars, retrograde in your opposing sign. You should try to get away from mundane realities of life, but choose any escape routes wisely. TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21

There can be some difficult matters surrounding your work and health to deal with. Energy may not be at its best and you could be feeling sluggish or bored. Mercury continues to transit your solar tenth house. Career matters are busy at this time and it's a good time to analyze your work tasks and to streamline them or improve your skills.

Career developments grab your attention this month, and unexpected events trigger new directions. A more creative direction is likely, and you'll find that it suits you very well. Brand-new initiatives are not favored generally speaking with Mars retrograde until mid-May. This is a good time for re-assessment and fine tuning anything that you have already started.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

You could be feeling happy, optimistic, and more confident, especially as your goals are within reach. Others are likely to find you inspiring and they also see you in a good light. Now that Mars is retrograde (until mid-May), however, and for you, this occurs in your solar 4th house of domestic affairs. Watch for passive-aggressive behavior and patience is also necessary now. Love will also blow hot and cold. The colourful festival of Holi falls in spring in India but while the winter chill was still there, Kala Jyoti – The Society for Indian Arts & Culture celebrated this colourful festival with 300 guests. All the guests were enjoying the festival with coloured Gulal on their faces. Lady & Lord Raj Loomba, Lady & Lord Mohamed Sheikh, Parliamentarians Mr Berry Gardiner, Mr

Virendra Sharma with their partners, Naval Attaché COMO Sandeep Beecha with his wife Minakshi, Mr Richard Barnes ex deputy Mayor of London, many other distinguished guests all joined in on the dancing floor to celebrate Holi. President (Mrs) Kartick Sehgal welcomed the VIP’s, Media and all other guests for joining to celebrate Holi and supporting with full house.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

You may find the pace of your daily life challenging this week, however responsibilities on the home front can be daunting, and finding the time to run errands and handle paperwork may be a challenge. There can also be some disagreements with siblings, neighbours, or acquaintances. Some of you could experience delays or challenges with education or short inner city travel plans.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

You must be careful with money, joint resources, taxes etc., anything linked with your solar second and eighth houses. This area of your life is affected by retrograde Mars. In fact, until mid-May, it will be important to watch spending and pay attention to fine print when making purchases or commitments. Though, this is a good time for friendships and networking. Your social life is picking up pace.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

Watch for pent-up anger and passive-aggressiveness in your partnerships. Occurring in your solar first house, Mars retrograde cycle is very up close and personal! Fortunately, Venus your ruling planet is enhancing your overall charm. There can be invitations and more opportunities to enjoy yourself. You'll have the most success if you bring more creativity to your daily routine or work.

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SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22 Living in the moment, and enjoying it, without too many expectations is your best bet right now, as long as you don't go overboard. Work is strong now, and you're likely to immerse yourself in it. Private affairs and solitary work might need to be put on the back burner. Any fears or anxieties need to be dealt with as concerns of the past could be part of the picture. SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

Family life appeals greatly now, and you're in need of feeling secure and safe. It’s a good period for refocusing and re-establishing yourself and your goals. Mars is retrograde from March 1-May 19. This will affect you in the areas of creativity, children, recreation, entertainment, hobbies, and romance because Mars rules these areas of your solar chart. This may be a good time to re-assess a love affair.

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 Mars is now retrograde and likely to cause some disruptions and frustrations in your professional life. With your ruler Saturn turning retrograde too, your best bet is to keep a low profile. Work requires more strategy and patience, as this is not the time to push. Try to steer clear of differences of opinion and other conflicts that threaten to be unprofessional. AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

You are more likely to pay closer attention to your physical appearance and mannerisms, aiming to improve and enhance your attractiveness as Venus and Mercury are transiting your sign. Delays and complications with travel, educational, promotional, or legal matters are possible now with Mars turning retrograde until mid-May. There can be frustrations and conflicts over differences of opinion.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20

Mars is retrograde from March 1-May 19. Conditions are not favorable for raises, loans, support, and taxes. Try and re-assess your finances very carefully. As Venus spent an unusually long time in your solar 12th house, your charm is more noticeable, and others seem to take your needs and desires more seriously. This is a good time to pamper yourself and try to relax.

India end Asia Cup campaign with victory over Afghanistan - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

India finished their Asia Cup 2014 campaign with a clinical eight-wicket victory over Afghanistan at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur in Bangladesh. It was nothing but a consolatory victory as India are all but out of the competition after Pakistan beat Bangladesh. On the other hand, Afghanistan were playing for pride and one can say that they have won some respect during this tournament. India do have many questions to answer as their Asia Cup campaign ends. Firstly, they fielded an unchanged side for this game; even though they had the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishwar Pandey in their side. Also, their seamers failed to trouble a relatively weaker batting line-up as the Afghanistan toporder was very good. Mohammed Shami did get two wickets, thereby completing 50 scalps in OneDay Internationals, but was too expensive to begin

with. Noor Ali Zadran was very good upfront. He was driving very well and even when they pitched it a touch shorter, he stood tall and drove with authority. Nawroz Mangal was given a promotion, but lost his wicket early when he inside-edged Shami onto his stumps. While Noor Ali continued stably, the Indians changed their tactics and got back the spinners. Ravindra Jadeja dismissed Rahmat Shah and Noor Ali in his very first over. Asghar Stanikzai also did

not last long as Jadeja had him pulling to mid-on. That was the start of the slide and Afghanistan had slipped to 83 for six when Samiullah Shenwari entered the stage. There was a cameo from Mohammad Shahzad, but it was Shenwari who extended Afghanistan’s challenge and got to his fifty in good time even as wickets kept falling at the other end. Ultimately, with the score on 159, Shenwari was leg-before to Shami, becoming his 50th victim in the format. That was

the end of the Afghanistan innings. Jadeja finished with figures of four for 30 and Ravichandran Ashwin finished with three for 31. India made a change to their batting line-up as Ajinkya Rahane came in place of Shikhar Dhawan to open the batting. The duo started off slowly but went on to accelerate as the innings progressed. For a major part of the innings, Rahane was the more dominant partner, but Dhawan caught up and actually got to his fifty before Rahane. They took India past 100 quite easily and both fell in quick succession thereafter. Rohit came at No 3 and Dinesh Karthik was in at No 4 as skipper Kohli decided to let some of his teammates have a hit in the middle. The two batsmen finished the game with 17 overs to spare. India got the bonus point in the process, but it would hardly matter now as they are out. If only Bangladesh had beaten Pakistan they would say.

with the team and not looking to put his feet up at the slightest chance." Citing how Team India dominated world cricket under its previous coach Gary Kirsten, Gavaskar explained how the South African got the most out of the players. "Kirsten

was enormously respected by the players because he had done the hard yards in both forms of the game. Kirsten knew the value of practicing to get better and under him the training sessions were competitive, productive and enjoyable," observed Gavaskar. "Since his departure, Indian cricket has just slipped and slipped." Kirsten was Team India's coach from 2008 to 2011 and helped India attain the No. 1 Test ranking and win the 2011 World Cup. Interestingly, Fletcher's name was recommended to the Board of Control for Cricket in India by Kirsten himself. It may have been a move that undid all his previous hard work.

The Indian team has looked ordinary under Fletcher, who beat the likes of fellow Zimbabwean Andy Flower and Kiwi Stephen Fleming, to bag the top job. Overseas losses have maligned the side's otherwise formidable reputation and despite his years of experience as a coach, Fletcher has not been able to motivate the side. Now with the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand less than a year away, Gavaskar feels Indian fans would be better off not expecting their team to defend the title. Unless of course, someone inspirational replaces Fletcher, who has played 6 ODIs and 111 first-class matches.

Gavaskar wants India coach Fletcher sacked

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar says it is time that Indian cricket looks to replace Duncan Fletcher and bring in someone who is young, energetic and whose ideas can galvanise players ahead of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year. In his column for a national daily, Gavaskar trains his guns at 65-yearold Fletcher and writes that under the former Zimbabwe cricketer, the Indian players have looked extremely ordinary. "It (Indian cricket) seems to be in a freefall that looks tough to arrest," he writes. "What Indian cricket needs right now is a younger coach who will want to be out working

Watson to lead Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2014 Australian all-rounder Shane Watson will captain Rajasthan Royals in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL). Watson has been with the Royals since the inaugural season in 2008. Former captain Rahul Dravid, who retired from all forms of cricket in 2013, will be involved in all aspects of cricket strategy - mentoring the team and guide youth and talent development initiatives for the franchise. Watson's strong performances helped the team win the inaugural IPL under the leadership of Shane Warne. The Australian displayed allround skills and matchwinning performances in crucial ties and was

adjudged the player of the tournament. The Queenslander scored his first IPL century in 2013 against the Chennai Super Kings at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium. His strong performances took the team to the play-offs and Watson won his second player of the tournament award.

"I would like to congratulate Shane Watson on his appointment as the captain of the Royals. He is not only one of the world's best all-rounders but a leader par excellence," said former India captain Dravid. "Watson has been with the team since the first season and is familiar with the players and the staff. The

Royals squad is a bunch of extremely energetic and talented players who know their roles perfectly well and they will thrive under Watson's inspiring leadership." Watson said he was honoured to be given the position. "I am honoured to lead the Rajasthan Royals, an extraordinary team which has always given me amazing opportunities. Shane Warne and Rahul Dravid had a lot of faith in me while they were captains and gave me opportunities that helped improve my cricket. I hope to live up to the confidence shown in me by the franchise and give our fans an exciting season of cricket," said the 32-year-old.


Gayle slams ECB for sacking Kevin Pietersen


West Indies batsman Chris Gayle has reportedly slammed the 'disrespectful' English Cricket Board (ECB) over sacking of his buddy Kevin Pietersen from the England team. Gayle said that he was 'disappointed' with the manner Pietersen 'bowed' out of international cricket, as it was 'disrespectful'. Gayle also sad that it was sad to see big player, who has made an impact around the world, to 'go out like that' and added that for a top player like Pietersen a chance to retire and walk away from the game should be provided regardless of what is happening.Gayle also said that he would miss him personally as Pietersen is an 'easy wicket' for him and is also sure that the fans would miss him too adding that he would try to entertain the fans.Although, Pietersen and Gayle have reportedly been welcomed back into the Windies squad with open arms, after signing a new central contract for the first time in three years, Pietersen is just a gun for hire.Gayle, who has had problems with the West Indies Cricket board and also had injury problems, said that he was keen to play all the three formats of cricket for West Indies, the report added.

Lala Amarnath's grandson to play in Irish League

Continuing to make rapid strides in his cricketing career, Digvijay, son of former batsman Surinder Amarnath and grandson of the legendary Lala Amarnath, would now be playing in the upcoming Irish League to be held from April 27. The batsman, who has been training at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai, has signed up with Brigade CC of Northern Ireland. Last year, Digvijay played first class cricket in Sri Lanka. Playing four games, Amarnath scored close to 140 runs with a highest of 62 in his maiden first-class season which also happened to be his maiden overseas tour. Impressed with his batting ability, he was called to Sri Lanka this year too to be a part of the first-class tournament but citing a big breakthrough here in India in the form of the high-profile IPL, he decided to give it a miss. Amarnath is now all set to go to England on a five-month tour and has been busy making preparations for the same.

Boxing Federation snaps ties with Indian board

The International Boxing Federation (AIBA) has reportedly terminated any official relationship with its current suspended member, the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF), for damaging the image, reputation and interest of the sport in the country. AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu said in a statement that although the board had always regarded India as one of the most important members of its family, it has become impossible for them to bear the 'hard feelings, the pain and suffering the boxers as well as the boxing family in India had to go through under the past and recent leadership'. According to the official AIBA website, AIBA has not recognized any official activities and did not support the officers from IABF since the December 2012 suspension, adding that after receiving disturbing reports on the way the sport of boxing was managed in India, it has now become impossible for them to continue any association with India.


32 - Asian Voice 15th March 2014

Malinga, Thirimanne help Lanka clinch Asia Cup

Opener Lahiru Thirimanne hit a magnificent century to help Sri Lanka thump Pakistan by five wickets to regain the Asia Cup title in Dhaka on Saturday. The left-hander notched 101 for his third one-day hundred to anchor Sri Lanka's successful chase of a 261-run target in 46.2 overs for his country's fifth Asia Cup title at Dhaka's Shere Bangla stadium. Thirimanne, who also scored a hundred in the tournament's opening match against the same opponents, hit 13 boundaries during his 108-ball knock and steadied the chase during a solid 156run third wicket partnership with veteran teammate Mahela Jayawardene, who made 75. Pakistan's main spin weapon Saeed Ajmal had broken through after Sri Lanka's confident start of 56, dismissing Kusal Perera (42) and danger man Kumar Sangakkara (nought) off successive deliveries.

finally bowled by Ajmal who finished with 3-26. Sri Lanka had also won the Asia Cup in 1986, 1997, 2004 and 2008. Earlier, Pakistan, who decided to bat after winning the toss, were helped to 260-5 by a brilliant unbeaten 114 by Fawad Alam and a solid 65 by skipper Misbah-ul Haq. Alam's knock helped Pakistan recover from early devastation caused by paceman Lasith Malinga, who took the first three wickets to force Pakistan on to the back foot, before he finished with 5-56. Alam added an invaluable 122 for the fourth

wicket with Misbah and then another 115 for the fifth wicket with Umar Akmal who made a 42-ball 59. Alam, who returned to the team with a brilliant 74 against Bangladesh earlier after a four-year absence, hit eight boundaries and three sixes off 134 balls. Alam became the first left-handed Pakistan batsman, other than openers, to hit a oneday century. He hit paceman Thisara Perera over long-on for a six to reach his century off 126 balls. Akmal hit seven boundaries to give impetus to the innings as Pakistan scored 101 in the last 10 overs. Earlier, Malinga rocked the innings with the wickets of Sharjeel Khan (eight), Ahmed Shehzad (five) and Mohammad Hafeez (three) in his incisive four-over spell, pushing Pakistan to 18-3 by the fifth over. Misbah and Alam played steadily during their 122-run partnership and were lucky to survive some close chances.

wickets of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel as South Africa were bowled out for 265 with less than five overs remaining in the day. South Africa's intent to settle for the draw and not chase a target of 511 to win was clear, as it scored 130 runs in 65 overs before tea. However, Australia remained patient throughout the day to keep itself in the hunt for a hard-

earned series victory. South Africa resumed on its overnight total of 71-4, and Australia soon had most of its fielders around the bat as the home side's defensive approach became clear. However, with Kyle Abbott able to get in behind the line of Australia's pace bowlers and to block out the spinners, the tourists faced a frustrating morning until James Pattinson bowled

the night watchman in the 26th over of the day. Australia captain Michael Clarke brought back strike bowler Mitchell Johnson to try and dislodge new batsman Du Plessis, but aside from one shout for lbw, Du Plessis and De Villiers looked comfortable in the 14 overs remaining before lunch. Their challenge became more difficult after the break when Australia took the second new ball, and after missing several deliveries from Harris, De Villiers eventually feathered one through to the wicketkeeper. He departed for 43, having spent 228 deliveries and more than five hours at the crease. Du Plessis and Duminy were able to dig in and see off the new ball, but legspinner Smith returned to break the stand.

According to reports, the only Brit footballer to make the annual Goal Rich List this year is

Wayne Rooney who was named the world's fourth richest footballer with a 69 million pounds fortune. Rooney, who recently signed a 3,00,000-a-week pounds deal with Manchester United, reportedly adds to his fortune with sponsorship deals worth 1.8 million pounds, including contracts with Nike and Samsung, while his wife Coleen Rooney draws in

her own money in hundreds of thousands from her Littlewoods fashion and Argos jewellery ranges. Ronaldo is followed in second place by Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, who is worth 120.5 million pounds thanks to a string of endorsements, and in third place by Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o with a 70 million pounds fortune, the report added.

Jayawardene, who had a poor run of scores with 13, nine, 14 and nought in the tournament, benefitted when wicket-keeper Umar Akmal dropped a regulation catch off Shahid Afridi. Jayawardene, then 36, hit nine boundaries and a six before he holed out off paceman Mohammad Talha. Sri Lanka also lost Ashan Prinyanjan (13) to Junaid Khan and Thirimanne to Ajmal but skipper Angelo Mathews (16 not out) hit the winning runs. Thirimanne, who reached his hundred with a single off Khan, was

Australia clinch series against South Africa

Australia snatched a thrilling victory over South Africa in the third Test at Newlands to clinch the series. Although the margin - 245 runs - of the triumph suggests a onesided affair, the home side had fought hard to keep Australia at bay. Graeme Smith’s side appeared to have done just for most of the final day, but AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis fell in quick succession in the second session. Still South Africa went to tea on 201-7 to keep its hopes alive. While De Villiers was caught behind off the bowling of Ryan Harris and Steve Smith trapped Du Plessis lbw, J P Duminy held firm to reach 22 while Vernon Philander hit an unbeaten 16. But then Ryan Harris returned to claim the

Ronaldo becomes world's wealthiest footballer

Cristiano Ronaldo has topped the world's wealthiest player with a fortune of 122 million pounds dethroning retired England legend David Beckham, who was named last year's richest with 165 million pounds. Ronaldo has reportedly got a lucrative Nike deal and signed a new 76 million pounds contract with Real Madrid last summer to add to his fortune.

Pak spinner barred from bowling

Pakistan spinner Abdur Rehman was not allowed to bowl after bowling three consecutive full-tosses (perceived as beamers) above the waist in their Asia cup match against Bangladesh at Mirpur on March 4. He finished the match with bizarre figures of 0-0-8-0. His first delivery was way wide down the offside, as the ball slipped out of his hand. It was judged as a no-ball by umpire Johan Cloete. His next delivery was above batsman Imrul Kayes’ waist and was signalled as a no-ball again. His third and final delivery was a high full-toss, and Anamul Haque pulled it away for a boundary towards midwicket. He was then barred from bowling in the match, and Fawad Alam was asked to complete his over.

Brijesh Patel to be manager for India at World T20

Former Test player and Karnataka State Cricket Association Secretary Brijesh Patel has been chosen as the manager of the Indian cricket team for the Twenty20 World Cup that would be held in Bangladesh from March 16 to April 6. Patel has previously worked as the chairman of national selection committee for the Indian national team. However owing to a heart ailment, he had to resign from that post. Patel played in 21 Test matches from the period of 1974 to 1977. He was able to sustain a batting average of 29.45 and his highest test score was 115 not out. Though he didn’t have a very sparkling career, still he managed to score 37 hundreds and over 11,000 runs in first-class cricket.

Don’t make public cricketers’ names, BCCI urges SC

The Indian Cricket Board pleaded before the Supreme Court not to make public the cricketers named in the report placed in a sealed envelope by its probe committee which raised suspicion on their role in IPL betting and spot-fixing scam. The three-member committee, headed by former Punjab and Haryana Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal, has named in its report six prominent “Indian capped” players, including one who is part of the current team whose names cropped up during its investigation. The Board, in its response to the report, said “speculative and baseless” charges against leading cricketers have been made by “unscrupulous” news channels and the apex court must pass an order to prevent any further damage to the image and reputation of “innocent” cricketers. “It is further submitted that the probe committee has given certain confidential material in a sealed cover to this court. Since that material has not been verified to be true, it is most humbly submitted that the material contained in the sealed cover remain with the court and not to be released to the parties,” the Board said in its response to the report filed on February 10.

New Delhi to host Asian Games road show

The 2014 Incheon Asian Games Organising Committee (IAGOC) announced that New Delhi will be the last destination for the promotional road show planned to take place in six countries ahead of the Games. In collaboration with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the IAGOC will hold a road show on March 18 to promote the 17th Asiad taking place in Incheon, South Korea, from September 19 to October 4. “We’re excited to showcase our plan and preparation for the 2014 Incheon Asian Games in New Delhi, the host city to the inaugural 1951 Asian Games, and one of the few cities to host multiple editions of the Asian Games” IAGOC president Kim Youngsoo said.

AV 15th March 2014  

Asian Voice weekly news paper (Issue 45)

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