Page 1


US comes to Modi

First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe

See Page 25

Asian Achievers Awards flaunts a new look

See Page 17

Leicester's River Soar to be treated as UK's holy river Ganga See Page 4

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

VOL 42. ISSUE 41

Telangana to become a reality Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the UPA government gave nod to the much talked about Telangana Bill and paved the way for its tabling in parliament after a presidential assent. The cabinet approved the bill after a meeting held at the prime minister's official residence. In a meeting of the Group of Minister, the decision to convene a cabinet on Telangana was taken a day before the bill got approval. There was no proposal to give union territory status to Hyderabad, which would be the joint capital of the two states after bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, said Continued on page 26

BCCI chief’s son-in-law indicted for betting

The Supreme Court appointed probe committee indicted Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president N Srinivasan for his involvement in betting and passing information about the team in the sixth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) matches. Meiyappan is associated with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) lead by Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The conclusion of the three member committee headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal came as a major setback to Srinivasan, who is also ICC chairmandesignate. The committee also concluded that con-

Gurunath Meiyappan

trary to the assertions of the Srinivasan camp that Meiyappan had no official status in CSK, he was "in fact acting as a team official if not the de-facto owner of CSK". The panel also recommended for a further

Send money to India in minutes


Continued on page 26

Indian diaspora denounce proposal to scrap OCI and PIO cards

Rupanjana Dutta

The Indian diaspora globally have reacted angrily to the proposed changes to their O v e r s e a s Citizen of India (OCI) and Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cards, issued by the Indian government, which replaces the need to apply for a tourist visa while visiting India. This comes after the Indian Government proposed a new bill to issue a new Overseas Indian card, that will replace the existing OCI and PIO cards.

The bill, that has already been passed by the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Indian Parliament), is likely to come up

before the Lok Sabha (Lower House) for passage in the current Parliament session, ending on 21st February 2014. Continued on page 2

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And anywhere you see the MoneyGram sign *Subject to agent hours of operation and local regulations. **Fees mentioned are applicable for sends up to £100 to India. In addition to the transfer fees applicable to a transaction, a currency exchange rate set by MoneyGram or its agent will be applied. ***For a full list of online transfer fees please visit Post Office, Thomas Cook, Lebara, Debenhams, MoneyCorp and Speedy Cash are agents of MoneyGram International Limited in the provision of money transfer services, Post Office and the Post Office logo are registered trade marks of Post Office Ltd. MoneyGram and the Globe are trademarks of MoneyGram. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. MoneyGram is available at 44 Debenham locations via the money travel bureau. MoneyGram International Limited is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority. ©2014 MoneyGram. All rights reserved.


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probe into allegations of betting and spot-fixing against Raj Kundra, partowner of Rajasthan Royals. It also sought a probe into the possible involvement of international stars, including six

15th February to 21st February 2014

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UK - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

Keith Vazwith MP

Keith Vaz MP

Neelam Aggarwal-Singh MBE DL Neelam Aggarwal-Singh MBE DL is Chairperson of the Indian Hindu Welfare Organisation, which aims to complete a £12million project to build a Hindu Temple in Northampton. She has previously been a Non-Executive Director with various NHS Trusts. Neelam also held positions as a Vice-Chair of the local Primary Care Trust, a Lay Member of the Lord Chancellor Advisory Committee, Trustee of Interfaith Network and Co-Chair of the BME Sub-Regional Partnership. She has worked tirelessly for over 25 years to provide outstanding leadership and services to the community and has been featured in several prestigious books and articles as a valued member of the community. She also was awarded the very first “Inspirational Woman of the Year in 2013” in celebration of International Women’s Day. 1) Please tell me about your current position? I am currently Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Indian Hindu Welfare Organisation (IHWO), a charity that will build the first Hindu temple in Northampton, a £12m project. Alongside this I fulfil various other roles with Northampton Inter Faith Forum, the BME Sub-Regional Partnership and I also serve as a lay member on the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee.

achievements? Significant moments would be when I was honoured by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace; the moment we performed a Bhoomi Pujan to bless the land on which our Kutumb centre will be built; and when my two daughters graduated from University. In general I feel that a huge achievement has been in becoming a persistent and determined person in everything I do.

2) What are your proudest

3) What inspires you?

Happy 80th Birthday Baroness Flather

Asian Voice would like to wish Baroness Shreela Flather a Happy 80th Birthday on 13th February 2014. A teacher of English once, she became a life peer for the Conservative Party on 11 June 1990 as Baroness Flather, of Windsor and Maidenhead, in the Royal County of Berkshire. She was the first Asian woman to receive a Peerage. As a member of the House of Lords, she gained particular attention for wearing a sari and for being among the first ethnic minorities in the House. She has served on numerous public bodies including being a distinguished supporter of the British Humanist Association and an honorary associate of the National Secular Society. She is one of the Vice Chairs of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group and Patron of the British branch of Child In Need India (CINI UK) and of Population Matters. Baroness Flather has also been widely featured in the Asian Who's Who as Asian of the Year 1996.

She was responsible for the construction of the magnificent memorial on Constitution Hill at Hyde Park Corner to the forgotten volunteers from the Indian subcontinent, Africa and the Caribbean, in WWI and WWII. The Baroness is the great granddaughter of Sir Ganga Ram, a noted engineer, philanthropist and agriculturist, during the late 19th Century and early 20th Century in Punjab, British India. She currently resides in Maidenhead with her husband.

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Lots of people inspire me. In my early life in India, Late PM Indira Gandhi was my inspiration; coming to the UK as a young woman, Princess Diana inspired me - she is my favourite in fact, due to how well she connected with people with no barriers. Gandhi ji, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King are also great people who have inspired me. Keith you inspired me last week when you said “if every Hindu donated £10, the money will be there to build this project” that was so profound!! A new challenge inspires me. Hard working, punctual and honest people with strong ethics and principles inspire me. My faith and my family inspire me. 4) What has been the biggest

obstacle in your career? There have been many. One was perhaps facing and challenging the perceptions of many as a minority Hindu woman in my community, which was not comfortable with an Indian woman taking a leadership position. But I would dare to say that we ourselves are usually our biggest obstacle. Once I gained the selfbelief, I viewed ‘obstacles’ differently; often as a challenge and therefore as an opportunity.

common ground; human relationships. There is nothing more fulfilling. 7) And the worst? It can often be a struggle to work in such divided communities. I wouldn’t define it as the ‘worst’ though. It is a challenge and challenges are of course there to be overcome. 8) What are your long term goals? To serve the community and build the Kutumb Centre and Hindu temple which has been my dream for many years and to observe wider integration and understanding between different faith groups.

5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? My father, he gave me strong foundations as a woman. He was a very loving, generous and humble and a very successful business man. Those very qualities are what guide me and ground me in my work and life today.

9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? I don’t need to be the Prime Minister to make a change! As Gandhi ji said “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”. 10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? Martin Luther King. He said he has a dream. I would love to share mine with him and gain his perspective on it.

6) What is the best aspect about your current role? The opportunity to educate through my various training programmes. We live in a society in which it is very easy to point out the differences. My work is about finding the similarities and establishing that

Indian diaspora denounce proposal to scrap OCI and PIO cards

Continued from page 1 India has also proposed new tourist visa rules (see page 26 for full story). A foreign national can acquire an OCI card if she/he was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26.01.1950, or was a citizen of India on or at any time after 26.01.1950, or belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947. His/her children and grandchildren are also eligible for registration, provided the resident country allows dual citizenship (except Pakistan and Bangladesh). Every year about 250,000 people sign up for the OCI card scheme and pay a fee up to £175/person. To acquire a PIO card, one needs to pay £217/adult and £112/minor; and can enter India with multiple entry facility, but for 15 years only, while the OCI card is a multiple entry, multi-purpose lifelong visa for visiting India. Kunal Shah, a resident of North London told Asian Voice, "My whole family has had the OCI card for a few good years now. Will we have to surrender our current OCIs to the Indian High Commission, when and if

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the new rules come in?" Pratap Singh, from Birmingham told Asian Voice, "I hope the new card offers the same facilities as the OCI card. We have paid for certain privileges under it. If our rights are going to change under the new system, even if it is free and mandatory, it remains a thoroughly unfair proposition." Munish Gupta, co-ordinator of the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) International, told an Indian daily: "The idea of merging the PIO card and the OCI card will create more confusion rather than solving any problems. Members of the Indian diaspora, many of whom are OCI and PIO card-holders cannot understand the rationale behind the Indian government's move to suddenly change the nomenclature of the cards and introduce a new one. "The organisation has officially taken the stand that while Indians overseas had deeply appreciated the gesture of the government of India to create the much-needed emotional engagement with the diaspora through the OCI/PIO cards, by doing away with them they will

now feel a deep sense of humiliation." However our sources from the Ministry has told Asian Voice, that there is no such concrete proposal at the moment to do away with the OCI and PIO cards. The current proposition is in view to simplify the entire process, merging both cards into one. But this proposal has been under consideration for some time and deliberations and discussions are still ongoing, within the Government of India.

Report: Foreign Offices abuse their privileges NDTV has reported that India's tourism office in London lost a case against a former employee who says that he was unfairly dismissed. The office was instructed to compensate the employee with £91,000, which was allegedly never paid to him. In June 2013, Mr Merchery reportedly said he approached a county court to recover his dues. When bailiffs were sent to the tourism office, they obtained a stay saying that the property was owned by the Government of India. Continued on page 30

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Rural India springs to life

During a recent feature on India, BBC Television’s Stephen Sackur asked a young middle class couple at a Mumbai shopping mall a question or two about the Indian growth story; according to them, it was only helping the rich get richer, while the poor got poorer. Mr Sackur followed this up with a visit to a slum and posed the same question to a couple of families living there. Their view was equally bleak. Their lives hadn’t improved one little bit. There is no reason to doubt their words. There are others like them across this vast land of 1.2 billion souls. To change the lives of a vast numbers of people with the wave of a magic wand is fiction, not fact. Mr Sackur repeated this as gospel, applicable to the entire Indian experience. But this is far from the whole truth, as the story of the new Dalit millionaires, related on this page a couple of weeks ago, amply illustrates. This issue’s Media Watch page carries a report on India’s Auto Expo show, with its presence of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers, foreign and domestic. And you know what? Many of their number are pitching their hopes, now and for the future, on India’s expanding rural market. These companies do a lot of expert market research before venturing into unknown territory. Not for them an easy interview or two (BBC style) and a glib conclusion ready for packaged on the airwaves. Maruti Suzuki was the first foreign company to enter India, and its impact on the country’s automobile sector has been extraordinary. Its first model, Maruti 800, was sold way back on 14 December 1983, its last on 19 January 2014. Maruti sales during this period reached 2.7 million. The parent Japanese company never achieved the success at home or abroad that it did (and does) in India. The drab Ambassador was all one saw on Indian roads, until the Maruti 800 arrived on the scene. It was a defining moment the Indian car market and it signalled the dominance of the small car in India as never seen before. The upwardly mobile Indian middle class took to the Maruti 800 as a status symbol. Ambitions soared, as Maruti Suzuki

and its numerous competitors began manufacturing more spacious models for a buoyant market driven by a growing middle class whose incomes began to match the size of their pockets. There was a belief that the Maruti 800 would concentrate on the rural market, but all good things have an allotted shelflife, and Maruti 800 was no exception. Spare parts will be produced for another decade before the curtain is finally brought down. Even in rural India the desire for advanced models of Maruti have started taking hold. If urban India can aim for more expensive models, rural India, with time, is sure to do likewise. Incomes there are rising, as prosperous farmers make their presence felt in villages, towns and cities. In the first nine months of 2013-14 (April December) Maruti’s sales in rural India rose by 18 per cent. Its mobile services, carried in vans across the countryside and urban conurbations, is an innovative selling point for the brand. Honda, South Korea’s Hyundai and India’s own Mahindra & Mahindra’s utility vehicles are also making significant headway. Urban demand for passenger cars may be in the doldrums, but rural demand is bringing in the profits. Rakesh Srivastava, Vice-President Sales and Marketing, Hyundai Motor India, says: “There is no doubt that the Indian economy will bounce back and the entire road to recovery will start from rural sales, and perhaps it may have begun.” He expects improved figures across the urban-rural spectrum from May. Increasing sales in rural market of cars, utility vehicles and two-wheelers (scooters and motorbikes) point also to robust demand in apparels and consumer durables. Clearly, the rural market during the economic slowdown is the driver of India’s growth. With an approaching equilibrium between urban and rural markets, the Indian marketplace is set to move to an appreciably higher level of development in the coming years, barring the intervention of unforeseen circumstances. It is more rewarding to take a holistic view of the Indian economy rather than rely on partial sight and fashionable clichés.

Greg Barker, British Minister for Business Engagement with India and Minister, Energy and Climate Change, visited this eastern metropolis at the head of a 16-member delegation to strengthen business ties with West Bengal and explore opportunities in infrastructure, architectural restoration, the environment and education. Under the 34-year-old blight of Communist-led Left Front rule urban decay brought Kolkata into disrepute at home and abroad. The work of regeneration was taken up with commendable vigour by the Trinamool government, which replaced the Left Front in May 2011. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has led from the front in revamping higher education and instituting urban renewal as one of her priorities.. British experts were invited to help develop a critical stretch of the State capital bordering the Hoogly river. The venture has been a grand success. A new road network has been laid out and cafes and restaurants established on the riverfront for citizens and tourists. The makeover of the 200-year-old Indian Museum (financed by the Centre), now comparable with the best in the world, was inaugurated recently by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Realty boom is changing the face of Kolkata. Speaking to

reporters on the sidelines of a seminar, Mr Barker said Britain was eyeing long-term investment possibilities in Bengal and the eastern region as a whole. “We are looking to double our trade with India by 2015, and Kolkata is a strategic priority for British business,” he explained. India’s Look East policy had added a new vibrancy to the business environment here, he said. “British experts advised on the riverfront development….and now at the invitation of the State government, the experts will be involved in the renovation of Writers’ Building,” long the seat of the Raj and an architectural landmark, which fell into disrepair through years of deliberate Left-Front neglect. At a seminar organized by the UK Trade and Investment department, the British Deputy High Commission and the Confederation of Indian Industry, Mr Barker said India’s $1 trillion plan to build new infrastructure offered British infrastructure companies exciting new prospects. The creation of a Minister for Business Engagement with India was the only one of its kind in the British government. David Cameron’s visit to these parts in November laid the groundwork of a revived relationship with Britain. There can only be winners in this ambitious venture.

Delhi provided another tale to its litany of horrors. This time it was the assault on a 21-year-old undergraduate student from the Northeast, Nido Tania, by a gang of thugs who had taunted him for his hair style and his features: to them he was Chinese, as if this were a crime. During an altercation, the young man was severely beaten; he was taken to hospital the next morning but succumbed to his injuries a few hours later. There was justifiable outrage in Delhi’s Northeast student community and widespread condemnation, beginning with Narendra Modi, who was addressing a public meeting in Meerut, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and MPs of every political stripe. This, alas, is not enough. Young people from the Northeast have been targeted in Bangalore, from where there was a mass exodus, and a police picket in Mumbai not so long ago made offensive remarks to a group

of Northeastern visitors. In this instance they invited the policeman and the officer in charge to their house, served them tea and cakes, and explained to them that they were as Indian as any other citizen, Mongoloid features, Christian faith and all. The policemen apologized for their behaviour and, in turn, invited their hosts to the station. All ended well, but that is not the point. Why should such incidents occur at all? There is relatively little awareness in much of India, particularly in the Gangetic heartland, of the Northeast as an integral part of India, there being virtually no reference to the region or its people in school textbooks or curricula. Such ignorance breeds alienation and hostility. It is time the racist disease is tackled vigorously. Unless the Indian political class desire a fraught future for themselves and their country.

UK role Kolkata regeneration

Another horror story in Delhi

3 Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity or undue depression in adversity - Socrates (469-399 BC)

Seema Malhotra MP For Feltham and Heston

Celebrating 21st birthday of NHSF (UK) Last week I was delighted to host and celebrate the 21st birthday of the National Hindu Students Forum (UK) in Parliament – the largest Hindu student’s body outside of India – with Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP and NHSF founder Manoj Ladwa as the Guest Speakers. Whilst on the night I was proud to speak to so many young, bright and engaged Hindu students, it was excellent to also see people of other faiths present to celebrate and recognise the achievements of NHSF, and to be proud to be supporters of their work. In my speech on the night I talked about the vital work NHSF do to encourage more young people to get involved in politics and public life, and how they have shown a real ability to develop civic leadership in the next generation, combining an exploration of Hindu values with a deep sense of public duty and responsibility. Their work on increasing bone marrow donations from minority communities – the subject of my 10 minute rule bill last year – is just one case in point, highlighting public contribution that goes beyond the needs of the organisation. In addition to see the ongoing commitment of NHSF alumni is inspiring – young people who have used their skills to set up the Hindu Lawyers Association and other networks which now are making a difference across our business and charitable sectors. It is an encouraging feature of modern Britain that diversity in public life is increasingly valued, and the Asian Diaspora is seen as a key asset. The representation and participation of ethnic minorities is something we should celebrate, and also campaign to increase. At present ethnic minorities make up just 4.2% of the House of Commons, with 27 non-white MPs. If the UK ethnic minority population were represented proportionally

in Parliament, this would be quadrupled. But it is not just Parliament where diversity and representation matters. On local councils where key decisions are made about local services, ethnic minorities make up around 4% of councillors in the UK. Ethnic minorities also make up just 5% of the police force, 6.6% of teachers, and 4.8% of the judiciary. The pathways into public life can be challenging, and that’s why we need to make it easier for ethnic minorities to participate in public life. The NHSF is a powerful example of this happening – breaking barriers for others to follow – and in this goal, pushing back the boundaries, building those vital connections with Parliament and building the confidence we need all our young people to develop. The Labour Party has always worked hard to break barriers of race, ethnicity and religion, through public engagement, encouragement, and policy. Most recently Labour has announced that the next Labour Government would introduce a new legal requirement for police forces, including the Metropolitan Police, to have active recruitment policies to increase diversity. Momentum in recruiting more BAME police officers has been lost, and too many forces are still not representative of the communities they serve. Previously Labour also had in place targets for diversity on public boards – targets which were removed in 2010 after which we have seen ethnic minority representation fall. At its heart, Labour is an internationalist party, with diversity a key element of the One Nation Politics. That is why we are proud of our history and our record, and passionate that Government too plays its part to help ensure all our communities are well represented in public life.



Leicester's River Soar to be treated as UK's holy river Ganga

The officials in Leicester have designated River Soar as the holy river Ganga or Ganges of the UK. By tradition Hindus, Jains and Sikhs immerse ashes in Ganges, that runs across India into the Bay of Bengal. The officials have declared that members of Indian origin can scatter ashes of the deceased in River Soar- a quiet, leafy spot on the river, that has been especially designated for the same. The spot, near the National Space Centre, has been identified by the Leicester City Council and the Environment Agency following after calls for such a facility locally from the city’s Hindu, Jain and Sikh communities, as it is often difficult for them to go all the way India, to scatter the ashes. This spot is also away from any angling clubs, boating clubs or

other organisations which also use the river. Leicester Assistant City Mayor for culture, heritage, leisure and sport, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, reportedly said, “Local faith group leaders have been asking us for some time for a suitable site on the River Soar in Leicester for scattering ashes, and following work with the Environment Agency we’ve identified this location”. He further added, “It meets many of the requirements in terms of being a discrete, quiet spot suitable for such a ceremony, but is also easily accessible and safe for people to use”. A spokesperson of the Environment Agency reportedly said: “Ashes have little impact on water - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

River Soar in Leicester

River Ganges in Varanasi

quality, but other items should not be placed in water with them. Wreaths


can contain metal or plastic which can cause litter or harm wildlife.”

'Arts and Culture of India' launched in London In a unique Industry and artists initiative to promote indigenous arts from India, The Confederation of Indian Industry’s UK office, State Bank of India, UK and Air India UK and Europe, joined hands to support the launch of 'Arts & Culture of India'. An organisation set up with the objective of promoting Indian heritage arts and culture in the UK, bringing the best of traditional and modern art forms from diverse areas. 'Arts and Culture of India' aims to provide a platform to traditional Indian art for a global audience and raise awareness about the heritage and the artisans who, till today, practises the indigenous art form which is passed down from one generation to another. The initiative was formally launched by Mrs Sangeeta Bahadur, Minister Culture, High Commission of India in UK and Director Nehru Centre, London at the opening ceremony of the two day exhibition of exquisite paintings and art on fabric by Indian artists and fashion designer. Honourable Shri. Ranjan Mathai, the Indian High Commissioner to UK took keen interest in learning about Kalighat patachitra on display by rural artists of Bengal and the textiles show by Neishaa Gharat brought together by Arts and Culture of India. The Chief Guests for the evening included Mr Rajesh Agrawal, Chairman & CEO Rational FX, Ms. Sangeeta Bahadur (Sinha), Minister (Culture) High Commission of India and Director, The Nehru Centre, Mr. Kailash Singh, Regional Manager Air India UK/Ireland/Europe, Mr. Mrutyunjay Mahapatra, Regional Head State Bank of India (UK Region) and Mr. CB Patel, Publisher/Editor, Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar The launch showcased a rare collection of Kalighat Patachitra, water colours on paper by Bhaskar Chitrakar, a traditional practitioner of Kalighat Paintings in Calcutta. Kalighat painting or Kalighat Patachitra originated in the 19th century Bengal, in the vicinity of Kali Temple in Kalighat, Calcutta, India, and from being items of souvenir taken by the visitors to the Kali temple, the paintings over a period of time developed as a distinct school of Indian

UK Professor bags prestigious award in India

Professor Kamlesh Khunti receiving his award from Honorable Chief Guest Shri Balmiki Prasad Singh, Former Governor of Sikkim and Shri Ram Avtaar Sastry at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, New Delhi, India

Professor Kamlesh Khunti for the Leicester Diabetes Centre, University of Leicester was honored with a prestigious award for his contribution to “Excellence in Medical Research” at a ceremony in Delhi on 8th February. He was awarded the Sardar Patel 8th International Award for 2013 by the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Foundation of India. The Foundation is based on Humanity and Human rights to work for the improvisation of the weaker section and went in a big way for creating health awareness all over India and abroad. The main foresight of the Foundation is to concentrate upon the health awareness and education programme and implementation. Professor Khunti said “I am absolutely honored to receive this award which is in recognition of the work than Professor Melanie Davies and I with our Leicester Diabetes Team have been undertaking in south Asians over the past 14 years.”

Bangladeshi man murders wife over land dispute

HE Ranjan Mathai, the Indian High Commissioner being shown around by Ms Neishaa Gharat

painting. Ms Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, wrote a personal note to applaud the initiative to help a dying form of art revive its roots. The idea took shape among friends

alism rooted in ancient Indian wisdom." The exhibition also brought to London art lovers, beautifully hand crafted textile creations by Indian born, London based designer and

A BritishBangladeshi man has been jailed for a minimum of 15 years after murdering his estranged Lilima Akter Munny and wife in a Mohammed Liaqat Ali reportedly "deranged" attack over a land dispute, involving his mother-in-law. The couple married in 2004 and had two children. Mohammed Liaqat Ali (37), who had moved to the UK in 1998, strangled his wife Lilima Akter Munny (27) in June 2013 after months of rows over a property in Bangladesh, which he had demanded to be given to him. Birmingham Crown Court heard that the couple's children had not been picked up from school by their mother on June 13, when police were alerted by a relative. West Midlands police gained entry into the family's home the next morning and discovered Mrs Munny's body at the foot of the stairs. A post-mortem examination later found that she died from pressure to the neck.

Football fan arrested for causing racially aggravated harassment Mr Rajesh Agarwal, Ms Neishaa Gharat, Mr Mahapatra, Dr Lahiri, Shri Udayraj Gadnis, Mr K Singh, Ms Sangeeta Bahadur, Ms Divia Patel and Mr C B Patel

who were inspired with the opportunity of preserving the heritage of Indian indigenous art, which is largely unknown to the international audience. The designer Neishaa Gharat, of House of Gharats is already on the way to create the first range of accessories inspired by Kalighat Paintings. On display were exquisite oils on canvas works of Shri. Udayraj A. Gadnis, a Guru, a Mystic and a Painter. His mystical & fascinating paintings are inspired by world spiritu-

Entrepreneur, Neishaa Gharat. Divia Patel, Curator, Asian Department Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) shared an interesting talk about art in Indian textiles and the collection at the V&A. This 'Arts and Culture of India' will continue to bring to UK art lovers, exquisite art from India in a long term initiative to promote Indian indigenous art and artisans, taking it to a global audience and finding them a global appreciation and market."

A 25-year-old man has been charged with causing racially aggravated harassment after he was found tearing pages from the Quran during a football match. Mark Stephenson was arrested following the incident during the Birmingham City vs Middlesborough game on 7 December. Stephenson from Shrewsbury, will appear at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on February 28. West Midlands Police reportedly said that Mr Stephenson had been charged with "causing racial or religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress". - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

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Pakistani doctor successfully removes woman's 2kg tumour

A woman has undergone a miracle operation after she turned up at hospital with a football-sized tumour on her neck which weighed two kilograms. Joyce Haigh, 79, had the largest ever tumour reported in the UK, after living with it for a remarkable 20 years.

the tumour during a fiveoperation at hour Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Mrs Haigh said: 'I know I should have done something sooner about the tumour, but I wasn't in any pain and, I am ashamed to say, I was afraid to go to the doctors

Mr Muhamad Quraishi

Mr Muhamad Quraishi, an ear, nose and throat surgeon was responsible for removing

about it. “I saw Mr Quraishi before Christmas, and he was wonderful.

“The staff at Doncaster Royal Infirmary were marvellous and I can't thank them enough.” Mr Quraishi said: “In the whole of my 20-year medical career, I can honestly say that I have never seen or treated such a massive tumour. I have now found out that Joyce's lump is the largest to have been removed from somebody's head or neck at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals and the largest ever reported in UK.”

Criminal Ashraf Islam jailed for 3 years for plotting Prince's murder

Convicted criminal Ashraf Islam, pictured, 31, who plotted to kill Prince Harry, has been jailed for three years. Islam, 31, justified his actions by reportedly saying he had a “moral right to judge” the royal because he disagreed with the work of the British Armed Forces, of which Prince Harry is a member. The judge at Isleworth Crown Court in

London described Islam’s plot as “vague and unlikely to succeed”, but said he

still presented a risk to the public. Islam, who is from west London, was given a three-year jail term. He pleaded guilty to making a threat to kill Prince Harry, at Uxbridge Magistrates Court in May 2013. Defence counsel Roxanne Morrell has said that Islam had earlier handed himself in to police and volunteered the information about the plot.

Free Al-Madinah Muslim school ordered to close down The Muslim free AlMadinah school, which shot to headlines in November last year after Ofsted found it to be failing on all fronts, has now been ordered to stop teaching older children after the Government said that its quality was too poor to improve. Al-Madinah secondary school in Derby will be shut this summer and its 137 pupils forced to find places elsewhere. A primary school with 170 pupils that is part of AlMadinah will remain open. The school was

taken over by Greenwood Dale Foundation Trust in Nottingham in November after its poor Ofsted report. Despite the imposition of new leadership and governance, the Department for Education said that it would close the secondary school. Lord Nash, the School’s Minister said that he was concerned about the

“poor quality of secondary teaching and the lack of breadth in the curriculum”. Barry Day, the chief executive of the Greenwood Dale group, who is now Chairman of the Al-Madinah Trust, wrote to parents, saying: “We accept the department’s assessment that a concerted focus on the primary school will help turn the school around.” The Department for Education said: “We believe the new board needs to focus efforts on the primary school.”

'Vague Hague' leaves out one crucial file in Bluestar Investigation William Hague's 'noted' public speaking skills are undeniable, particularly as he constructed his statement on the Cabinet Secretary’s investigation into Britain’s role in the attack on the Golden Temple in 1984 with extreme precision. The investigation was

announced and it became immediately apparent that the Cabinet Secretary had read extensively. Yet he managed to rather carefully leave one file out, which had not been subjected to a forensic search. The file, which was on Britain's advice to India on the Golden

Temple, is seemed to have been destroyed by the Ministry of Defence. Hague reportedly said that it was shredded as part of a “routine process” at the “25-year review point”. The vital file, it seems, could have been the missing piece to the puzzle. - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

“Our London”

Navin Shah, GLA Member for Brent and Harrow

Save Harrow’s Community Festival ‘UNDER 1 SKY’ In my capacity of a longstanding Harrow Councillor and the Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow I’ve taken huge pride in Harrow’s diverse culture and community. Also as a local resident and working actively with local communities and organisations I’ve promoted community cohesion and the proud record Harrow has as a diverse and peaceful Borough. This has been achieved through a number of local initiatives one of which being Harrow’s flagship community event ‘Under 1 Sky’. Unfortunately due to short-sightedness of Tories in Harrow, this festival is under threat. I strongly urge the residents of Harrow to oppose the plans to scrap this event by signing our petition. Please see below for details. In the early period it was the Harrow Heritage Trust who commenced this important initiative – followed by Harrow Council. I remember it well, working on the

concept and details of Under One Sky with Cllr Bill Stephenson in around 2005 when he was portfolio holder for Education and I was Leader of Harrow Council. The project in essence was designed bring together to Harrow’s communities and celebrate our rich cultures through this annual festival. Since those early days a lot of work has gone to shape and strengthen the annual celebrations. Under 1 Sky festival has grown from strength to strength with 60,000+ people attending. In the main the festival brings the following benefits to Harrow: 1. Brings Communities together to celebrate culture and diversity in Harrow. 2. Young and Old people alike attend the event along with parents and families. 3. The festival is highlight of the calendar year for schools, voluntary organisation and communities that contribute and perform at

the festival. 4. It is a flagship community event that puts Harrow on the map. I agree with David Perry Leader of Labour Group on Harrow that Council “Conservatives do not the understand Community in which they claim to serve. The Under 1 Sky festival has a great family atmosphere year after year and there is a real buzz around the place as our communities celebrate diversity together. Scrapping of Harrows flagship community festival will negatively impact on the community when the Council should be strengthening community relations now more than ever”. I urge the readers to sign our petition to re-instate Under 1 Sky festival by signing our petition. Please visit my website or email me on or email Cllr David Perry on david.perry@harrow.go

Former finance manages secures £50,000 from Dragon's Den for curry business Former manager at Lord R o t h s c h i l d ’ s investment trust, Vini Aujla, has successfully secured £50,000 of funding from the BBC’s Dragons’ Den programme to help with her curry sauce business. Vini Aujla, who formerly worked at RIT Capital, and her husband, Bal, who are of Punjabi origin, successfully sold a 30pc stake in their business in exchange for funding and mentoring. They are the first British Asian couple to win an investment on the programme. Since the episode was filmed the couple have secured a deal with J Sainsbury to supply 300 stores with their sauces. The couple hope to follow in the footsteps of other successful food companies to feature on the show. The Aujlas founded their business two years ago and applied to Dragons’ Den for more capital to help them to grow. Previous winners were Levi Roots’ Reggae Reggae Sauce, who secured £50,000 from Mr Jones on the programme in February 2007, and is now a millionaire, with his hot sauce available at outlets such as

Morrisons, Subway and Domino’s Pizza. M e a n w h i l e , Mancunian twins Helen and Lisa Tse, who received £50,000 from Dragons Hilary

Devey and Duncan Bannatyne to fund their Sweet Mandarin sauces firm in September 2012, have since gone on to be awarded MBEs for services to food and drink.

Speaker John Bercow speaks out against increase in female MPs leaving Parliament John Bercow has spoken out against the increasing “woman problem” within the political parties. His comments came after Ed Miliband last week used Theresa May’s absence from Prime Minister’s Questions to criticise David Cameron's "allmale front bench" claiming that the Government had "failed women". The Labour Party and the Conservatives have accused each other of failing to recruit and maintain enough women with four Conservative

John Bercow

female MPs and seven female Labour MPs already announcing their intention to resign at the next election. The Liberal Democrats have also been criticised for only having just seven out of 57 women MPs, five of whom are in the party's 12 most vulnerable seats. - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

BBC Panorama uncovers student visa scam in Britain

An undercover probe has witnessed widespread cheating and fraud within the UK's student visa system which has allowed about 200,000 foreigners into Britain annually. This has prompted the government to suspend the crucial English test, run by English Testing Service (ETS), one of the world's biggest English language testing companies. A BBC investigation revealed that a network of agents were found helping overseas students pass English language exams, obtain false documents and doctor their academic records. The Panorama programme filmed a secure exam centre where "fake sitters" answered questions or invigilators read out the answers for the candidates. The "fake sitters" thereafter submitted their answers to a secure terminal, while the real candidates were called to

be photographed as "proof" of taking the test. In one case, an undercover reporter also paid £500 to an immigration consultancy in West London, for a 'guaranteed pass' in an official test. Labour's shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said the investigation showed that the immigration system was failing. A Home Office statement reportedly said: "We have taken action and suspended the two colleges identified in the programme." "Applications made by students in the UK using the English Testing Service or associated with the colleges or immigration advisors mentioned in the programme have been put on hold pending the outcome of those investigations. All further English language tests done through ETS in the

UK have been suspended." UK Home Secretary Theresa May said, "For too long many colleges, particularly private or further education colleges, have been selling visas and not education. It is time for them to face up to their responsibilities as purveyors of education and not abuse..." In a statement, ETS has reportedly said that it "maintains one of the most thorough test security protocols in the world and works closely with incountry representatives to monitor all aspects of test delivery". "When testing on a global basis, no test provider can claim 100% prevention or detection of fraudulent activity, but ETS does everything it can to detect and prevent rare instances of dishonest test administrators or test takers.”

Miliband praises Thatcher's governing approach

Labour leader Ed Miliband has outlined his vision of improving the state sector, by praising former Tory PM Margaret Thatcher. He has pledged to govern Britain with the dedication shown by Margaret Thatcher as he outlined plans to give ordinary people more control of public services. The Labour leader said that Thatcher’s “sense of purpose” was essential to effective government. In his speech, Mr Miliband,

who is due to visit India next week, explained his views on the reform of public services, promising changes that would give NHS patients and parents of school children more power in the running of hospitals and schools. Mr Miliband closed by saying that he was determined to tackle “inequalities of power” in public services: “Everyone not just those at the top - should have the chance to shape their own lives.”



First female genital mutilation prosecution after 28 years The first female genital mutilation (FGM) prosecution will be taking place in the next few weeks after Britain launched a united effort to end its horrific record of the crime. The case, which involves a woman who was mutilated twice, will be the first prosecution since the practice was criminalised 28 years ago. Yet, senior police officer Jason Ashwood, head of Scotland Yard’s FGM team, has warned that the prospect of more prosecutions was being stopped by the fact that doctors, teachers and social workers are failing to report the crime. More than 65,000 girls aged under 13 in Britain are at risk of

FGM, according to the latest research. Yet reports to the police are extremely low. There were only 24 to West Midlands Police in 2012 and 69 to the Metropolitan Police last year. Efforts are hampered by difficulties obtaining evidence, getting young girls to testify and confusions over the legal definition of FGM. The Crown Prosecution Service has established a network of

specialist prosecutors throughout England and Wales to work with police. It is currently examining ten cases in London. The new network, with a prosecutor appointed in each region to lead on FGM, opens up the likelihood of prosecutions throughout the country. The College of Policing also plans to train all frontline police officers in spotting outward signs of FGM and other “honour-based crimes”. The move, part of a national revamp of the police approach to child sexual exploitation, comes as the Inspectorate of Constabulary prepares to conduct a national inspection of so-called “honour crimes”.

Lord Dholakia urges a change of emphasis on immigration Speaking during the Second Reading of the Immigration Bill in the House of Lords, Lord Navnit Dholakia spoke of the urgent need for a change of emphasis on immigration and for greater recognition of the valuable contribution eligible migrants make to this country and its economy. Whilst Lord Dholakia did not: “dispute that all major political parties sub-

scribe to fair and just immigration policies and procedures,” he stated: “the greater the emphasis on excluding the ineligible, the tougher are the rules introduced by successive Governments”. This resulted, Lord Dholakia believed, in a complicated and lengthy process that caused unnecessary expense to those that are eligible. A detailed story on

Lord Dholakia's comments will be published in next week's Asian Voice.

million UK children who struggle with their speech, language and communication. Humf, from the popular children’s TV show, is also supporting the Challenge again this year. Chatterbox Challenge week is 10-16th February but groups can take part in the Challenge at any time of the year. To register for your free fundraising activity pack, or to find out about Humf and TTS prizes, go to w w w. c h a t t e r b o x c h a l For more details about childcare in Harrow, please contact

Sanjay Morzaria on 07932 623852. Little Darling Childcare is a childminding setting based in Harrow Weald. It is well established locally with a reputation of providing inspirational home-tohome childcare. It is unique in offering flexible, affordable childcare and excellent facilities to keep children safe and active. I CAN is the children’s communication charity. They ensure that no child is left out or left behind because of a difficulty speaking or understanding.

Harrow children get chattering to raise money for charity

Children from Little Darling Childcare in Harrow are joining together on Monday 17 February to participate in I CAN’s Chatterbox Challenge – the annual sponsored sing-along from I CAN, the children’s communication charity at 55 Sefton Avenue, Harrow, HA3 5JP. Children aged 1-5 years at different ability levels are learning songs and rhymes on the theme ‘Sounds like Fun with Humf’. They will then perform this in an inclusive sponsored Chatterbox Challenge event in front of families and carers. Darshna Morzaria from Little Darling Childcare said, “We are really excited about our children taking part in I CAN’s Chatterbox Challenge. ‘Sounds like Fun with Humf’ themed songs and rhymes mean that we can help our children develop key skills needed for their communication development, whilst having fantastic fun. On the day, children will sing a number of nursery rhymes they have

Darshna Morzaria

been practicing, make foot and hand prints and talk about other parts of the body and finally talk about different emotions to help them with their communication. Our parents are fully supportive of this event and we hope to raise over £600 for I Can’s char-

Children practicing their song

ity”. Kate Freeman, Chatterbox Challenge Lead Advisor said, “The Chatterbox Challenge is written with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) in mind to ensure

Children learning about expressing emotions

young children taking part develop their speaking, listening and understanding whilst having great fun. We hope as many groups as possible will take part and help raise money for I CAN’s work with children who have communication difficulties.” Thanks to sponsorship of the Challenge from Openreach, a BT Group Business, alongside TTS, the suppliers of high quality educ a t i o n a l resources, all money raised by groups taking part in the Challenge goes directly to I CAN’s work with some of the 1.2

Contact email: Telephone: 07932 623 852 Website:



As I See It - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

Indian Electorate deserve efficient Government

Every day is different in the UK – especially weather wise, sometimes with three or more variations. But every Wednesday is rather different when the PMQ (Prime Minister’s Questions) are taking place in the House of Commons.

Its entertainment value is no less than the informative one. It is said that the restaurants and clubs frequently favoured by MPs, media persons, lobbyists have plentiful guests during Parliamentary recess. Consequently, they have a lean period during the PMQ sessions. Perhaps for NRIs and those interested in day-to-day news from India, satellite TV Channels provide a more easy and accessible avenue. There are scores of such broadcasts, beamed at UK from India. Bollywood, Cricket, financial scandals, sensational exposures by some adventurous media are added with incremental value presently by the forthcoming general election in India. In less than 100 days, such an easily available entertainment is likely to end. Let’s look at what is happening right now. On Monday (10th February) something rather surprising to many, happened in Gandhinagar during the inauguration ceremony of the BJP’s Gujarat headquarters. I was pleasantly surprised when such a senior politician like LK Advani kept on heaping praise on Narendra Modi. Mr. Advani said Narendra Modi has brought a seachange, all over India, for the BJP. He is not only hopeful but almost confident that BJP will do much much better this time than ever before. Mr. Advani also lavishly praised Mr. Modi’s organising skill, oratory, deep knowledge of the history of India coupled with his long experience of running a Gujarat State so successfully. Mr. Advani discarded all his previous reservations regarding Mr. Modi. This will not only be highly pleasing to Mr. Modi and his supporters as well as millions of voters all over India who are traditional supporters of BJP, besides those who have been flocking to the Namo Chai stalls up and down the country. No doubt it will be upsetting the Congress party’s strategists who are becoming very edgy about the united approach of the BJP stalwarts in different parts of India. This election would be a watershed for the future of India. For last three decades or so India was ruled by coalitions of parties with the mix bag of staunch regional parties as well as some with extreme leftwing ideology. Such a hotchpotch prevents the Prime Minister in pursuing to promote the most appropriate strategy for the development of the country as well as fair distribution of the national resources. Dependence on certain notorious individuals in the regional parties compelled the Prime Minister to ignore inefficiency as well as tolerate corruption in all parts of India. A brilliant economist, an honest and reasonably efficient administrator, and the one who opened the doors of liberalization in 1991, was prevented to take the process further. The real power remained with Sonia Gandhi, the UPA chairperson. All vehicles with backseat drivers are susceptible to be accident prone. Though the end of ten torturous years for Dr. Manmohan Singh, perhaps, could be a relief when he relinquishes his position of the Prime Minister of India. Dr. Singh is not frequently heard campaigning for his party. The main responsibility (burden) is on the shoulders of Rahul

Rahul Gandhi

LK Advani

Mahatma Gandhi

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

Mr. Chidambaram

Dr. Manmohan Singh

Arun Jaitley

Ed Miliband

David Cameron

Narendra Modi

Gandhi, scion of the Gandhi-Nehru dynasty and who has been groomed as Prime Minister for last one decade. Rahul Gandhi is working very hard, perhaps too hard. He is no match to Narendra or Arun Jaitley or Sushma Swaraj and the other stalwarts of BJP. Rahul was in Bardoli (South Gujarat) on Saturday. Bardoli became internationally famous in 1928 when the farmers refused to pay the revenue to the government due to near famine situation and won that campaign hands down. Barrister Vallabhbhai Patel led that campaign so successfully that even in a House of Commons’ debate the Secretary of State for India was reportedly using the word ‘Bardolized’ but that is history which made Sardar Patel as universally accepted leader of Indian masses. Rahul Gandhi and the Congress bigwigs are upset and angry that near Sardar Sarovar Dam on the River Narmada the tallest statue is being erected (The Statue of Unity) of Sardar Patel. This project is a pet project of Chief Minister Narendra Modi of Gujarat and it is very much welcome and popular initiative for Indians everywhere. Rahul Gandhi blasted Narendra Modi on Saturday. Sardar Patel was a Congressman who had allegedly called RSS, a divisive and poisonous outfit. According to Rahul, it was RSS behind the murder of Mahatma Gandhi. Those who have read history or the proceedings of the trial of the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi (Nathuram Godse) know this is farfetched and untrue. Naturally, if PMQ in House of Commons becomes a slanging match between David Cameron and Ed Miliband than it is not surprising that Narendra Modi gave a fitting reply on the same day in his three huge election rallies in Imphal (Manipur), Guwahati (Assam) and later in the evening in Chennai (Tamilnadu). Bardoli is almost at the edge of tribal belt surrounding three sides of Gujarat State. Up until the recent elections this area was a safe preserve of the Congress party. In the 2004 and 2009 elections BJP was able to score some success. But after the state elections of Gujarat in 2012 the only hope of a substantial Congress win appears to be in this tribal belt. Fortunately for the Congress, renowned and respectable person, Mr. Madhusudan Mistry, has worked tirelessly for years in serving tribals, dalits and other depressed people in some parts of the tribal belt. Of late Mr. Mistry had been

elected as the congress member for the Upper House (Rajya Sabha) of India. He is also a close adviser of Rahul Gandhi. Last week, at a meeting of the Congress party in Delhi, Rahul Gandhi made an announcement that the Congress workers should dig out scandals of BJP and Narendra Modi on war footings. This also appears to be a futile exercise. For last ten years UPA was the power that ruled India. They have CBI, IB and the whole government machinery and they have been watching Narendra Modi almost day and night. The allegations about his wife and his woman friend and on corruption, nothing worthwhile has been found out. Even in the governance of Gujarat there is nothing so far which is able to pin down Narendra Modi for his illegal or unacceptable behaviors. Even SIT and other high powered investigations have given him clean chit. Last week the CBI in the report about Ishrat Jahan encounter refused to put any blame on Amit Shah, a close confident of Narendra Modi and the a man in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state with a population of nearly 200 million, which is larger than several members nations of United Nations. Narendra Modi’s campaign is focus on omissions and commissions of the Congress led UPA government. I submit that it is his duty and the approach is right. The voters of India want to know, what was done which was unacceptable and what was not done which was expected from Central government over last 10 years.(The cash-forvote scam, 2G spectrum scam and Commonwealth Games scam to name a few.) There is unending series of financial corruption of Himalayan size including some serious allegation against Robert Vadara, son in law of Sonia Gandhi who is alleged to have amassed disproportionate amount worth billions of rupees. It is noteworthy that, no such allegations have been levelled against Modi or his relations. When the people in power all-around you are involved in corrupt practices, it is not easy to refrain from such malpractices. Rahul, Sonia, Digvijay Singh and many such individuals have only one theme to attack Narendra Modi, the communal tragedy of March 2002, about which even the SIT report has not implicated Narendra Modi. Very

sadly, all the times they ignore what happened near the Godhra Railway Station on 28 February, 2002. They do not utter a word on what happened in Delhi aftermath Indira Gandhi’s assassination on 31 October 1984 when several thousand Sikhs were butchered by the Congress goons. Narendra Modi will naturally focus on the financial scandals and vast amount of money from the national exchequer being squandered in the pre-election bribery. In the last 10 days such irresponsible bribing has continued. The extra subsidies for gas bottles would cost Rs. 50 billion ($800 million) according to FICCI. Adding to the Rs. 1400 bn already been spent in the current financial year on subsidizing oil and oil products. Subsidies are big burden and bane against development. Just two days ago the UPA government in New Delhi launched the country’s latest pay commission which is expected to raise substantially. Such pre-election largesse happens to be the habit of the Congress party. Prior to the election of 2008 the loan waivers to the farmers cost Indian exchequer some $ 15 billion, as reported by FT (6th February, Thursday). No party has yet announced anything on that scale up until now, but who knows. Desperate situations necessitate desperate actions. The Congress would have no compunction in promising unrealistic ‘gifts’. The finance minister Mr. Chidambaram is a very capable and Harvard educated politician. He promised the investors in the speech in the Indian Parliament that he will limit the budget deficit to 4.8 per cent of gross domestic products. But to do so he has had to push some spending plans to the following financial year and extract a special interim dividend from the state-owned Coal India worth $2.6 billion to the treasury. Indian electorate is not unaware of such irresponsible mis-management both on the national and international aspects of India. This year, there are 97 million new voters. Narendra Modi is receiving rousing reception in all parts of India. BJP would do much better than what it was able to achieve five years ago and is likely to achieve working majority in Indian Parliament. India needs it and it is the demand of the moment. One would wish 1.25 billion Indians would get good and effective government. - CB

UK - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

Leading Lights

Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

A Top Gujarati Health and Fitness Entrepreneur Chiraag Patel is the Owner and Head Coach of Health and Fitness at Body Conscious Conditioning. He is also a Track and Field Coach with UK Athletics. As a child, he struggled with a few health problems; he was skinny, had asthma, and suffered from back pains aggravated by playing sport. When doctors couldn’t locate any major health concerns and recommended that he avoid strenuous exercise, Chiraag was determined to find a solution independently. He read everything he could from books on personal training and sports conditioning to scientific studies about biomechanics and corrective exercise. Chiraag then read everything he could about rehabilitation therapies, diet and nutrition. Over time, he cured his back pain and healed his asthma using self learning. Today, fit and healthy, Chiraag educates people to do the same. Chiraag pursued academic studies in Exercise Science, Nutrition and Sports Therapies. His decision to become a Health and Fitness Coach was a natural progression.

Chiraag Patel

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Kampala. “Growing up in London, I spent a lot of time around Nagin Fuwa as my dad has a strong relationship with him. As time went on, Nagin Fuwa’s health started deteriorating and at the same time he would study and create natural ayurvedic Indian remedies, which helped him fight back. Living in a western culture most would run to the doctor for some pharmaceutical drug to be sold to them! I wondered what caused this quick reduction of health in Nagin Fuwa, and saw how his way of fighting back was to use India's ayurvedic powers to stay strong. I'm sure these elements influenced me.” For Chiraag everything was sports related. During his childhood, Asian families focused on the grades achieved in the class room and very little outside. “So growing up I did it the traditional way, studying, yet my mind and heart told me this is not for me so when my school offered opportunities to study coaching courses in athletics and football, I took them. A few events in life encouraged me to choose sport. Even though no one in the family said anything negative about it, I could see it was

not the most agreeable decision for my family. For Chiraag, the toughest part was making it all work because resources were limited or undeveloped. He said, “One day it all started when I was introduced to a gym. I’m an outdoor type of person so putting me inside a box did not seem right. Yet I progressed with it regardless and was introduced to people who were not sports participants yet wanted to be active, healthy and fit.” This is when I had an epiphany about Nagin Fuwa, my passion for sport combining with learning about the illnesses Asians/ Indians are prone to such as high cholesterol, heart disease, lack of vitamin D, and diabetes. These things can be influenced by where in the world you live, and how you choose to live, not just by your DNA.” Chiraag explained. Chiraag tells students, athletes, private and corporate clients about exercise and food - that being overweight or fat is only a side effect of their surroundings and exercise can make an impact on their results whether for personal health or for sports. “Because you can eat all the healthy foods the world has to offer and think you are what you


eat, yet the truth is you are what you absorb and what you absorb is down to how well your body functions,” he revealed. He volunteers his time to coach athletes at Ealing and Middlesex athletics club. At the 2012 Olympics in London. Chiraag guided young athletes from his club to assist with the successful delivery of the games. “I enjoyed guiding the young with their responsibilities of looking after athletes, showing them how to conduct themselves while reminding them that one day this can be them. I told them to absorb the atmosphere and when you stand on that track in the Olympic stadium imagine it's you these people are here to see win. These experiences can change the way youth believe in what is possible and in turn allow their parents to be inspired by their children. Exercise, says Chiraag, is the ultimate way to reconnect with your body and youth. His mantra is the Kiss and Tell Principle- K.I.S.S (Keep it simple and smile) and S.A.I.D (specific adaptation to imposed demands) Connect with Chiraag via or

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Minority Status of Jains

Jains had no alternative but to ask for a minority status as it has many privileges already available to Sikhs, Muslims, Parsis etc. Article 30 of the constitution gives minority faiths rights to manage their own educational institutions without interference. They also do not have to grant quotas or reservations to other groups. They also become eligible for funds for welfare project. This is the divisive policies of the Congress Party. However the bond between Hindus and Jains has to remain unshakable. Jains are safe under the umbrella of the majority Hindus. We are children of the same Bharat Mata. Our culture is the same. Defending Hinduism is defending Jainism. One day soon all privileges to minorities which helps in dividing the country will be taken away. It was Jain Bhamasha who financed the army of Maharana Ranapratap. Nitin Mehta Croydon

Do you really want our culture and heritage to exist?

If you really want our culture and heritage to exist in the future, I believe our older generation need to take a big step. If our elders refuse to allow our younger generation to take charge then it's as good as our culture and heritage no longer existing in the UK. These days it is easy for everyone to point the finger at the younger generation. However, have the older generation ever thought what the younger generation is actually thinking? There are many british youngsters who are excelling in Bhajans and Sangeet, however unfortunately when Bhajan programs take place here in the UK, there seems to be some elders who refuse to give encouragement and an opportunity to our younger generation, How do you then expect this aspect of our culture to exist in the future? I say this to our older generation, please allow our younger generation to step up, seeing this another 10 youngsters may come forward, seeing these 10 another 20 may come forward. Then only will I truly believe that the flame of our culture and heritage will continue to burn bright on British soil through our future younger generations. Elders awake arise and nurture our future generations! Vila Fatania Via Post

The shower that rules

Dinesh Sheth’s questions why we “let foreigners rule over India” and “owning house and car?” are valid. Caste system: India was ruled by foreigners, because local public left fighting the invaders to the rulers. Commoners carried on their vocation under new ruler. Brahmins dictated raj-dharma to new rulers. Feudal system made general public, blindly obey new of rulers and advisers. - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

The Berlin Wall between State and Private Schools

Our unsympathetic politicians

The Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, has outlined his aim to break down the "Berlin Wall" between state and private schools. He says that state schools in England should be more like private schools. This is welcome news as the proposals are designed to make pupils of state schools to take the more difficult private school common entrance exams, and the schools will stay open for longer. These proposals come in addition to his previous announcements to make state school exams tougher in a drive to restore confidence in the system and improve standards. He had then said that state school education was like trying to run up a down escalator. The tougher end of year examinations was how it used to be in our school days in Dar-es-Salaam, in East Africa. We had to pass examinations in all subjects in a given year before we could proceed to the next higher year. In these days of information technology, if we relied on course work alone, there are chances of plagiarism with pupils copying stuff from the internet and passing it as their own. The end product of current exam system reminds me of my days at work in the Department of Education when I used to handle correspondence for Education Ministers, and the spelling and grammar in letters which we used to receive from school teachers and even university lecturers left a lot to be desired.

Few years back our neighbour moved to Devon where they used to spend summer holidays. They wanted to relive their pleasant memories, welcome their grandchildren in their beautiful seaside home bought from sale proceeds of their London home and sinking personal savings. Englishmen’s homes are their castles, appreciating in value due to land shortage, rising population. But during last five years they are going through hell, their property flooding on regular basis. They are trapped in health-hazard home, unable to sell or insure. Their plight is almost too heart-rending to contemplate. They feel Government has abandoned them, pleading poverty in harsh economic climate, yet willing to waste billions on overseas aid while their own kith and kin are on the verge of despair. Could this be like asking Satan for directions to pearly gates? Our PM, DPM living in their “Ivory Towers” enjoying holidays in Swiss Alps are out of touch with reality. Miliband who professes to be people’s champion has kept his silence and distance. I would urge Ed to visit these unfortunate people, giving them hope, pledging his support to make this country flood-proof, dredging rivers, raising sea and river defences, turning low lying areas into reservoirs to take excess water during flooding. It may cost £10 billion, one year’s aid budget but this would be wise investment, politically, economically, improving environment, helping wild-life, watering crops during dry season. Government held 21 emergency Cobra meetings since flooding and came up with miserly £100 million aid, too little, too late. Do we live in a fool’s paradise?

Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford Public was not allowed to amass wealth; sustained by moneys from mercantilers (shreshthis), regulated by rulers. Wrong interpretation of noble values, eg non-violence, tolerance, respect to alien religion and forgiveness made them useless against swords of ruthless/ violent Islamic invaders. India has not learnt any lesson from this blunder and is still practicing soft diplomacy. Invaders enlisted indigenous public by offering share of loot. Miniscule army snowballed into massive horde that swept India. British rulers mixed bribes and army assistance against mortgaging the territory, which became British property in absence of legitimate heir. Today’s government is following anti national policy, aided by foreign grants. Feudal system keeps all Indians in poverty trap. Welfare, reservations and subsidies with strings attached is another ruse to stay in power. Car and house: Our gurus and sadhus have brainwashed our psyche that material wealth is momentary, temporary and shallow; unkempt beard and beggarly tattered dress are sign of spiritual lifestyle. So no need car and house. Westerners learnt lesson from soul destroying poverty and created economy that motivates citizens to earn for basic amenities as first/ topmost priority. NRIndians enjoy material rewards as hosts.

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Reclaiming Sardar Patel's Legacy

I visit India every winter and each visit produces amazing sights which lift my spirits, inspire and humble me. On this occasion it was Sadar Patel's ancestral home in the village of Karamsad, Gujarat. A simple dwelling in the center of a modest village, for Indians it equal to a visit to Buckingham Palace, the home of one of the nations greatest founder. I was greeted by a woman, it's sole caretaker who lives next door, her upkeep services are at no charge, so entry was free and I was the only visitor. Stepping into the house I felt I was walking on sacred ground, even though the floor was of cow dung. Photos of Sardar Patel, Mahatma Gandhi and Pundit Nehru, various freedom fighters from the pre-independence movement adorn the walls in this simple tiny one story dwelling. But pictures of Sonia Gandhi (an Italian) and her son Rahul Gandhi seemed incongruous, for me the current leaders have lost the true spirit of the freedom fighters while accumulating billions of dollars. Memory of the fourth

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Would any of your student readers like the opportunity to spend three weeks this summer staying with a Polish family so that the family can benefit from learning and practising English, while the student gets the opportunity to learn about the people, region and country? British student visitors to Poland would receive free board and lodging there, and there are many cheap flights to the country. The "British in a family" project is being organised by a former Polish Member of the European Parliament and is a wonderful opportunity to see how others live. Please write to me at if you are a university student interested in being placed with a Polish family this summer. Syed Kamall Conservative MEP for London

Never trust Pakistan

Your lead article in your issue of 8th Feb 2014 is a warning to Indian planners. Manmohan Singh, our prime minister was molly cuddling with Nawaj Sharif ever since he came to power. Manmohanji was very eager to visit Pakistan, but on the advise of his ministers he dropped the idea, but I am sure he will pay a private visit if he decides to retire from politics. Since he is keen to serve Rahul Gandhi he will stick to his guns in politics but ther is a bif IF whether Rahul will be in power again. Leaving apart all this Pakistan wants once more to control affairs in Afghanistan by hook or crook, not as a well wisher of that country but to syphon off their assets to Pakistan. The interesting point Pakistan has been raising with USA is to help them in retaining their influence in Afghanistan because that country lies in thier ‘sphere of influence’ and they need that country for ‘strategic depth’. Pakistan is herself in turmoil of exhorbitant magntude. They are going through a civil war of their own kiilling Shias and all minorities. Also, the migrants from India whom they call ‘muhajirs’ ie refugees even after 67 years are being massacred in Karachi in twenties everyday. We must learn from our history how mistaken we have been in the three wars we have fought with Pakistan since 1947. While the BJP government offered friendship they offered war in Kutch and Kashmir. PC Aggarwal By email fighter, Mahamana (great mind) Malaviyaji has also been erased, instead the decedents of Indira Gandhi are laying personal claim to a heritage they have little link with, Gandhiji modeled his life on the Bhagavad Gita of which Mahamana was a scholar and renowned Sanskritist, he was also the Mahatma's "rock". I am hoping the next Modi government will reclaim their true legacy on behalf of India. Jayesh A Patel Wimbledon SW20

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Date - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

Multicultural Show 'East Meets West' promises to dazzle audiences

Tanveer Mann

After months of rehearsals and preparation, Imperial College Indian Society's are proud to present its 22nd 'East meets West' multicultural show! Students have been rehearsing for months to ensure the longest running student show in the UK is a night to remember. The East Meets West Charity Show, which is run by Imperial College Indian Society (ICIS), aims to support incredibly worthy charities by means of hosting a show highlighting a fusion of Eastern and Western cultures through various art forms including dance, drama and music, on Sunday 23, February at the Novello Theatre.

EMW has strived to consistently propagate Indian culture to students in the UK by means of meticulously rehearsed dance, musical and dramatic acts. The evening showcases the talents of Imperial students, including everything from Bollywood to Bhangra, Bharatnatyam to Gaana. Intertwined with Western art forms including Ballet, Hip Hop, Martial Arts, a modern catwalk and Bellydancing, this evening promises an incredible diversity. This year, for the first

time in the show’s history, the production will feature a headline act – British Asian music sensation, Arjun, truly showing how the show has expanded from its humble beginnings in 1992. Previously, the show has been held at the prestigious Shaftesbury Theatre, London Palladium, Theatre Royal, IndigO2 as well as the Phoenix Theatre. The heart of the show is charity and all the efforts surrounding the production are centred on improving the lives of others around the world. Last year, the show raised over £18,000 for charity and this year it hopes to raise even more. EMW 2014 will be raising money for the three following charities: I-india, a charity which provides homes, schools and vocational centres for children living on the streets of Jaipur, Anthony Nolan, a charity that helps facilitate stem cell and bone marrow transplants for people with blood disorders, and is particularly keen on addressing the shortage of donors of East-Asian origin and Save the Children, a global charity that fights for the rights of children worldwide. The President of the

One of Britain's most acclaimed Asian actresses, Meera Syal, has called for more Shakespeare performances to be set in foreign countries and to feature black and Asian actors to help to “create a shared sense of heritage” among immigrant children. Meera Syal, who is best known for the television comedy The Kumars at No 42 and played Beatrice in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC’s) 2012 production of Much Ado About Nothing, set in India, also promotes teaching Shakespeare's works to children as young as five in a bid to “expunge the fear about Shakespeare at a very young age”. As the only Asian girl at her school in the West Midlands, Syal said: “Teachers made it clear that Shakespeare was not for the likes of me, despite the fact that I went on to study English and drama at university.

“I did not see it as part of my cultural heritage at all. Rather I saw it as part of the canon of English literature. It was only when I got to university and saw other productions which made Shakespeare relevant that my attitude changed. If it is not taught the right way when you are young, Shakespeare can seem like an elitist and intellectual exercise.” Syal has also suggested approaches such as a modern version of The Tempest for refugee pupils and contemporary gang warfare in London being used to represent inter-family conflict in Romeo and Juliet. “You can make Shakespeare relevant to a child’s life,” she said. “If you point out to a child that the plot of Macbeth is not unlike the plot of one of their favourite computer games like Call of Duty, without the moral les-

When: Sunday 23rd February 2014 Where: Novello Theatre Time: 6:00 pm Book Tickets here:

Indian Society at Imperial College, Sahil Dawar, said: 'The spectacle that awaits the audience on February 23rd is no short of magnificent. A tire-

less cohort of performers have come together to create an incredibly inspirational production showcasing talent from across the globe. Over the past 22 years, East Meets West has grown from strength to strength whilst the ethos of the show has remained constant. Unlike other performances, the ethos of East Meets West is inclusiveness and the nurturing of hidden talent - turning everyday students into breathtaking West End performers. This year's East Meets West has taken the show to new heights with a plethora of performances ranging from Bollywood to Bhangra, Bellydancing to Bharatnatyam. You can expect to see a dazzling array of talent and culture on Mamma Mia's very own West End stage.'

Modernising Shakespeare can make migrant children British, says Meera Syal

Meera Syal

son at the end, you will hook them.” Syal also said it was ironic that Shakespeare was praised as the greatest British writer when “what he did was plunder stories and myths from around Europe and subtly adapt them to different political situations in Britain”. She is urging more actors to go into schools to excite pupils about Shakespeare. “Someone like David Tennant [who has been playing the lead role in Richard II] is so iconic for children because he was Dr Who,” she said.

11 EDUCATION/COUNCIL VOICE Labour calls for more representation for BAME communities on electoral register Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary, over the last week has called on members of BAME communities, and other under-represented groups, to make sure they sign up to vote. BAME communities, young voters and people living in the private rented sector are all disproportionately under-represented on the electoral register and in the week that the first ever National Voter Registration Day was held, Sadiq Khan, pictured, worked to encourage more people to register to vote. With the council elections around the corner, one must understand that being on the electoral register is about more than just voting. Membership of juries is drawn randomly from those registered which makes the fairness of our justice system about having the register

as representative of our communities as possible, and those wanting to get credit or a mortgage will find it much more difficult if they aren’t registered. It also ensures citizens are properly counted for the drawing of political boundaries – by ward and constituency. Less than 5% of elected Members of Parliament are from the BAME community - compared with

approximately 10% of the general UK population. Sadiq Khan MP, Shadow Justice Secretary said: “It is incredibly important that those who are currently under-represented on the electoral register make sure they sign up, so they can take part in our democratic system – ahead of local and European elections this May and before the General Election next year. “We have come a long way in improving the representation of minority groups and women in politics in recent years, but we still have a long way to go. Making sure more under-represented groups sign up to vote is one of the ways we can continue to address this issue – so we can begin to see a political system which represents the diversity of this country.

UK boarding schools are now determined to attract students from India, to fill in the gap in the Higher Education industry, especially in British universities, that have a declined number of international students, post the UK visa fiasco. The Anglo Schools International Services

(ASIS) have put together a Federation of leading boarding schools in the UK to offer seats to Indian students with scholarships worth £700,000. According to reports, many ASIS federation school want to see all of their students get into their first choice

University. Usually it costs about £200 to register for an entrance exam to a school of one's choice, but ASIS have ensured that with a payment of £250, one can register to all the schools in the Federation at once and take a common entrance exam in India, rather than in the UK.

British schools to allure Indian students



It was front-page news in every newspaper in the land: Hyderabad-born, Satya Nadella,46, educated at the Manipal Institute of Technology, Mangalore, and the University of Wisconsin had been appointed CEO of Global IT giant Microsoft Corporation, where he has worked for the past 22 years. He succeeds Steve Ballmer, who resigned last July., but remains on the Microsoft Board. Mr Nadella’s two reported rivals for the job – both from outside the Microsoft fold - are also Indian. Microsoft founder and Chairman Bill Gates has stepped down and is replaced by 64 year-old John W.Thompson. Mr Gates, who remains a member of the Microsoft Board, will now hold the new post of Technology Advisor in product development but will continue with his philanthropic work through the Gates Fundation.

Gates, Nadella

Mr Gates issued the following statement: “During this time of transition, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella. Satya is a proven leader with hardcore engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together.” Mr

finest entrepreneur and philanthropist the world has seen. I have no doubt that Satya will do a great job.” N. Chandrasekaran, CEO and Managing Director, Tata Consultancy Services, emphasized the broader picture: “The world is on a cusp of a massive digital transformation. It is a wonderful time for Satya - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

Tagore, and coming down to the present, another to “Pranabda” (an affectionate local colloquialism - ‘da,’ short for elder brother – in reference to President Pranab Mukherjee as well). Mr Modi felt Mr Mukherjee should have been India’s prime minister following the assassination of Indira Gandhi. He was clearly playing to the gallery. Making an overture to “Mamataji,” West Bengal’s Chief Minister, he hoped for an understanding with her Trinamool Congress, after the general election, if the BJP needed the numbers to lead a coalition government. Mr Modi promised that, with a BJP government at the centre, West Bengal would get all the development funds it sought. Mr Modi poured scorn on the socalled Third Front, whose present disruptive antics in Parliament justified his opprobrium. “This Lok Sabha to end up as the worst performing ever.” (Times of India front-page headline February 3)

a facility at Haldia port, the largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) so far in West Bengal and one of the biggest in India’s chemical industry. Recently appointed State Finance Minister Amit Mitra, who is a trained economist and has considerable experience of the business world from his years as Secretary of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has registered his first major success in attracting large-scale investment to West Bengal (Times of India February 1)

said Ralf Speth CEO, JLR as part of its global expansion plans. While its principal home will continue to be the UK, JLR will focus more on its “second home, India,” where it hopes to establish a production facility for its XJ saloon car, which it will add to its Jaguar XF and the Land Rover Freelander. Tata Motors will use the synergies of the Tata conglomerate in this venture. The huge profits earned from the global sales of Jaguar Land Rover across continents helped Tata Motors offset its recent losses in India. (Times of India February 6)

Those who calculated that India’s economic downturn would deter global automobile companies from turning up at the Indian Motor show in the Delhi suburb of Greater Noida

Underpinning the necessity to ensure food security, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has

Auto Expo

GM crops necessary: PM

Contrast with Gujarat

Bill Gates (left), Satya Nadella (centre)

Nadella made a statement of his own: “Microsoft is one of those rare companies to have truly revolutionized the world through technology, and I couldn’t be more honoured to have been chosen to lead the company.” These are challenging times for Microsoft and its new CEO only the third in Microsoft’s 39 year history. Mr Nadella’s predecessor, Steve Ballmer, was a sales specialist, but with the Microsoft Board believing that, in view of the competition the company faced from Apple Inc and Google Inc, a CEO with proven engineering skills was what the company needed going forward. Mr Nadella’s record as company chief in cloud computing appears to have clinched his appointment. His father and father-in-law were senior civil servants who served in the government of the Indian prime minister P.V.Narasimha Rao. His wife is also an engineering graduate from the Manipal Institute of Technology (Times of India, Mint, Hindu, Business Standard February 5)

to take over at the helm of a leading technology company such as Microsoft. It is a proud moment and I wish Satya all success.” It took less than 30 minutes of his appointment for Satya Nadella to become the major topic of discussion on the Twitter website, summing up the Times of India’s first front-page headline: “India makes a power point.” It was pithy and apposite.

Modi woos Bengal

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) icon Narendra Modi addressed a large rally in Kolkata under the tightest security seen in the city

Indian tributes

The Business Standard commented: “India cheered in unison. And rightly so! The move is seen not just as an outstanding achievement for the 46-year-old, but also a moment of glory for the entire country.” Narayana Murthy, co-founder and Executive Chairman of Bangalore-based Infosys, said: “I am very happy a person of Indian origin has has been filling the shoes of Bill Gates, the

Narendra Modi contrasted the alleged 35 per cent shortage of power in West Bengal with the abundance of electricity in his own Gujarat. Mr Modi’s research team let him down with sloppy homework. Whatever its other travails, West Bengal has a surplus of power, which it exports to other states. For the rest, Mr Modi appealed to the people of West Bengal to give the BJP a chance by electing its candidates to parliament. The Modi rally was large, even by Kolkata standards, but he knows only too well that West Bengal has never been a happy hunting ground for the BJP.

Lacking appeal

Why so? Principally because of the BJP’s perceived cultural xenophobia, which goes against the grain of the liberal, inclusive high culture of Bengal. Its interaction with the West has been deep and abiding; the role of English has long been recognized. Vivekenanda’s educational priorities for the young were a sound grounding in mathematics and English. It was the Communist Party’s folly to relegate English in the education system that was one major reason for its fall from grace. On this the BJP and the Communist-led Left Front appear to speak from the same page (The local Telegraph newspaper devoted its entire front page to the Modi rally; see also Hindu, Mint February 6)

Mitsuibishi in Bengal

Narendra Modi in Kolkata

in recent times. His famous common touch was clearly in evidence, with a sprinkling of Bangla getting things going. There were the obligatory references to Vivekenanda and Aurobindo and Rabindranath

The arrival of Japanese business giant Mitsuibishi to West Bengal could be the industrial game-changer for which the people in the State have long been waiting. Mamata Banerjee’s government has cleared a10-year tax break for the Mitsuibishi Chemical Corporation to set up

Auto Expo cars Maruti launches 'Celerio'

argued that genetically modified must do their sums again. crops was the best way forward Global majors Renault, Ford, for India. Speaking at the Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Suzuki, Indian Science Congress in BMW, Mercedes, General Jammu, Dr Singh said:: “Use of Motors et al were present in biotechnology has great potenforce. They were joined by the tial to improve yields. While big Indian players Tata, safety must also be ensured, we Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti should not succumb to unscienSuzuki, Ashok Leyland, and tific prejudices against Bt two-wheeler manufacturers such crops.” (Hindu February 4) as Bajaj and Hero. Cinema stars, cricketers and other celebrities were also much in evidence promoting their brands. Economic downturn and kindred speed bumps were taken in their stride. The industry executives, foreign and domestic, made it abundantly clear that were in India for the long haul, that their faith in the Indian market remained undiminished. It was where they all wanted to be. They told reporters how impressed they with the quality of the show, which they compared CNR Rao receiving Bharat Ratna from with the best in Paris and President Mukherjee Geneva. Unlike the last time in 2012, when it was held in the cramped surroundings of central Delhi. The decision to move Auto Expo to Greater Noida worked brilliantly (Times of India, Mint February 6)

JLR to invest in India, China, Brazil

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is to invest $3.6 billion in India, China and Brazil over the next 15 months,

Sachin Tendulkar receiving Bharat Ratna from President Mukherjee - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

On The Proper Role of Government

‘What do we pay our taxes for?’ ‘The Government should do something?’ This and many other comments like them show our total addiction to the Government being the answer to most problems in our lives. Yet at the same time we hate Government intrusion into our lives and we hate paying the cost of big Government. Whether it is flood defences or Cybersnooping or police corruption – whether in India or Britain – the size, role and responsibility of Government has never been more assumed to be big and include everything. We ask the Government to be at once cheap, and superhuman, full of people we know are singularly inadequate at managing their bodies, budgets or behaviour. At Oxford I was taught in Economics that the type of person that seeks to be your elected representative is exactly the kind of person you don’t want being your elected representative. (We weren’t all told to go out and rule at Oxford, some of us were told simply to be useful and of value to society). It is about time we the people realised Government by the people, for the people, of the people, means like most of the people it’s pretty shabby. Incompetence, laziness will all be rife. This not yet another attack on the soft soft target of MPs. But rather a realisation that if you pick life’s inadequate, incompetents to run a zoo, you shouldn’t be surprised when you’re left with a circus full of individuals mimicking animals at Prime Minister’s Question Time. Writing for the Financial Times I used to get the same caseload as an MP. I would write to banks on behalf of the poor old lady who had been maltreated. And of course she would be delighted that the bank listened to such power and got

results for her. But power in spotlight grandstands. My helping the little old ladies was not done in the public glare. I never wrote about it in the press. So I didn’t need to run to the nearest TV station to proclaim my heroics. They were for the individual. The media spotlight instead of helping has harmed the motives of those entering the politics. We now help for PR, for branding and that corrupts and does not get things done. The ideal Parliamentarian is one who uses his office to do casework, without media courtship. One who doesn’t feel the need to make pointless endless speeches because it’s ‘their topic’ but puts their wellies on and grabs a shovel, or raises money by virtue of their office for a nonGovernmental body. That’s what politics used to mean – ‘of the people’. We are all politicians in the truest sense and the responsibilities of society’s failings do not lie with those we voted for – that’s too easy to shift the blame. ‘You get the Government you deserve’ goes the old saying. The hope is and always will be, ‘we the people’ and our community organisations. As a former judge for the Asian Achievers Awards of this paper, I can tell you, tear-filled eyes read the nominations for the award for public service. Unsung heroes. Proper politicians them. No media glare to corrupt their motives. And as for why we pay tax? Well if you pay peanuts you can only expect monkies. I don’t want the politicians having a bigger budget through my taxes – I want them having a smaller one and I’d rather volunteer to help non-governmental bodies and simplify my expenses. They’re the last bunch of people I would outsource even more things to.

Up to 1m workers remain sick for at least a month each year

The government plans to crackdown on the 1million workers off sick for a month, by introducing health assessments to try and get patients back to work quickly, after the Department for Work and pensions revealed that up to 960,000 workers – one in every 25 employees - in Britain were on sick leave for more than a month each year between October 2010 and September 2013. Workers will be referred for health assessments if they are sick for more than four weeks under a new government scheme, headed by Iain Duncan Smith,

pictured, the work and pensions secretary. GPs will be able to refer any worker who has been off sick or is expected to be absent in plans drawn up by the Department for Work and Pensions. The service will assess how sick

they are and draw up a plan to return them to health – and work - as soon as possible. Those working in the public sector are among the groups most likely to take extended sick leave while those in London are the least likely, according to the official analysis of the scale of long-term sickness in the British economy. Workers in the northeast are also among the groups most likely to take long periods of sick leave. Employees working for small companies are less likely to take long periods off than those with big employers.

Immigration minister Mark Harper quits Mark Harper, the former i m m i g r a t i o n minister, claimed more than £2,000 in parliamentary expenses to pay an illegal immigrant to clean his home. It has been reported by the Telegraph that Mr Harper’s cleaner was Isabella Acevedo, who was paid £22 a week to clean and iron at his Westminster flat. She is widely known to be a cleaner amongst Mps, which begs the question of how many other politicians could be drawn into the affair. Mr Harper quit as immigration minister on Saturday after it was confirmed that Ms Acevedo was

not legally permitted to remain in the UK. He insisted that he had not broken any law, but was resigning because he felt he had to maintain higher standards than other people in immigration matters. Tory colleagues have praised his quick resignation, however some lawyers believe that the MP could yet face legal action. Parliamentary records seen by the Daily Telegraph have confirmed that Mr Harper paid the cleaner using Commons expenses after taking her on in April 2007. The cleaner was working at Mr Harper’s flat in the Westminster Square development near Waterloo station.



Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi apologises for comparing Gaza and Holocaust A Labour MP has apologised after she compared the situation in Gaza with the treatment of Jews during the Holocaust. During a Westminster Hall debate that took place on Wednesday 5th February, on the humanitarian situation facing Palestinians, Yasmin Qureshi, pictured, drew parallels with the Holocaust. The MP for Bolton South East suggested it was "quite strange" that the Israeli government was "complacent and happy" to allow Palestinians to be treated like "Jews who suffered genocide".

Her remarks were condemned by the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET), Labour Friends of Israel and Labour supporters. HET chief executive Karen Pollock referred to the remarks as "offensive" and an "inappropriate comparison". Ms Qureshi issued a statement apologising over the weekend. She said: “The debate was about the plight of the Palestinian people and in no way did I mean to equate events in Gaza with the Holocaust. "I apologise for any offence caused. I am also personally hurt if people thought I meant this.

"As someone who has visited the crematoria and gas chambers of Auschwitz I know the Holocaust was the most brutal act of genocide of the 20th century and noone should seek to underestimate its impact.”

Three Downing Street police officers who were being investigated for swapping porn on their mobile will not face pornography charges. Metropolitan police have said that though the images are of an extreme sexual nature, they do not involve children and the file has now been passed to the CPS. The officers from the diplomatic protection group (SO6), a unit already in the spotlight recently as a result of the

Plebgate affair that led to the resignation of cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell, were arrested on 19 December, Scotland Yard confirmed. A fourth officer who was not arrested was interviewed on 8 January in connection with the investigation and placed on restricted duties. Searches were carried out at the home addresses of the arrested offi-

cers, who were questioned at a central London police station. One of them has been suspended from duty while two others have been placed on restricted duties.

No. 10 Police officers not to face pornography charges

Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar have an excellent record in publishing theme based special issues besides the two newsweeklies. In 2013 we published British Punjabis, Finance, Banking and Insurance, Diwali Special, Asian Achievers Awards, Asian House and Home from our UK offices and from India offices we published several special issues such as Rajkot, Anand (Charotar), Vadodara, Medical Tourism, to name a few.

Asian Business Publications special issues are not only full of informations but they are also preserved by a large number of readers as a resource for future use. We have been approached by several readers to put together a very informative and useful special issues on:

a. British Lohanas

b. Leicester Special

We have been preparing on these projects for some time. These special issues will provide attractive reads for individuals in London, Leicester and other places. Research based writers and marketing and advertising personnels are much needed for the above projects. If you think you are able to embark on an additional career, full time/part time, you are invited to write to L. George, Chief Operating Officer on



National Hindu Students Forum (UK) - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

National Hindu Student’s Forum Celebrates 21st Birthday in Parliament

National Hindu Students’ Forum (NHSF) (UK) celebrated its official 21 years of achievements on Monday 3, February 2014 in the Palace of Westminster at a reception hosted by MP Seema Malhotra, Labour and Cooperative Member of Parliament (MP) for Feltham and Heston. The organisation consists of 5,000 members and aims to encourage and celebrate Hindu Dharma through practice, preserving, promoting and protecting Hindu Dharma through a variety of sporting, spiritual and social events for their members. NHSF (UK) also engages with the British Asian community and the wider society as a whole to ensure that the views of Hindu students’ and Hindu people as a collective in the UK are represented and discussed in matters affecting them. A host of Labour Mps, in high spirits, attended the reception including Leader of the Opposition and MP for Doncaster North, Ed Miliband who commented, “I wanted to congratulate the National Hindu Students' Forum for reaching 21 years and come here to recognise the work you do not just for the Hindu community but for the wider community. The Hindu community is part of the mosaic that makes our country stronger." Seema Malhotra added, “Congratulations to the National Hindu Students Forum (UK) on their 21st birthday and this special celebration in Parliament. NHSF (UK) has shown a real ability to

Lydia Nazareth, General Manager UK & IRE, Bram Steller, Executive Vice President, International Sales, Rajan Sawhney, Sales Director, The Holiday Team, Jaymin Borkhatria, Sales Director, Southall Travel and Suzie Kennedy, Replica of Marilyn Monroe

Southall Travel has been awarded The Best Overall Agent Award for 2012-13 at Jet Airways Agents Award night at Capthorne Tara Hotel in Kensington, London. Southall travels, the company that has made both the list of Sunday Times Fast Track 100 and Sunday Times Top Track 250, is the largest Asian travel company in the UK.

Virendra Sharma MP (far right) meets delegates who attended NHSF (UK) 21st Anniversary Celebrations

develop civic leadership in the next generation, combining an exploration of Hindu values with a deep sense of civic duty and

Kingdom. Other distinguished MPs in attendance included Keith Vaz, Barry Gardiner, Gareth Thomas, Jonathan A s h w o r t h , Michael Gapes, Stephen Timms and Stephan Pound who all shared kind words about NHSF (UK) at the reception. Vishal Patel and Avnish Thakrar, National Vice Presidents of NHSF (UK) showcased the achievements of NHSF Rt Hon Ed Miliband, Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition (centre) with (UK) over the past MP Seema Malhotra (left) and Pranav 21 years with an Bhanot, current National President enlightening presentation and both NHSF UK (right) touched on what responsibility. I am sure the future holds for the the NHSF will continue to ever-growing organisago from strength to tion. strength.” Pranav Bhanot, Sadiq Khan, MP for National President of Tooting, also commended NHSF (UK) stated, the British Hindu “Hindu students in the Students’ for the hard UK contribute greatly to work and continued conBritish life. This opportunity, in association with tribution to the United

The Labour Party has allowed us to strengthen the links we have established with The Labour Party and highlight our achievements to the wider community. We feel as an organisation political engagement is paramount to ensuring the British Hindu voice is heard and recognised.” To conclude the evening, Suraj Bhanot, National Public Relations Officer thanked the supporters of the organisation including sponsors and well-wishers, who have strongly impacted the success of the organisation. It was the opportunity to invest in our future generations ensuring they have a platform to develop, engage and contribute to British Society. Each presentation highlighted the continued support NHSF (UK) needs from its supporters, and encouraged attendees to be part of the change to ensure the organisation continues to flourish for generations to come.

Charity Sreepur Village celebrates 25th anniversary in London Chef Sabbir Karim, pictured, is delighted to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the charity Sreepur Village – UK, a charity which aids destitute women and children in Bangladesh, with a delectable 4 course menu at £34.95 at Namaste Kitchen in Camden. The fundraising event is organised by Award Winning Chef Patron Sabbir Karim, who is also a Cabin Crew for BA. His BA colleagues have also been heavily involved with this charity as a cabin crew. Sabbir will be donating all proceeds of this Fundraising event sales straight to the Sreepur Village Charity based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. British Airways has also very kindly sponsored 2 Return Tickets to Europe as First prize Raffle Ticket @ £10.00 to raise money for the

event. Sreepur Village was built as the result of a campaign started by BA stewardess Pat Kerr. Pat is still centrally involved in the management of the Village, and is currently based at Sreepur. On 6th February 2014 Sreepur celebrating 25 years since the Sreepur Village was formally declared open by Lord King and President Ershad. For more information, visit:

Modi Tea Club, UK distribute free tea in Hounslow West

Hundreds of youths joined I4Unity's successful Modi Tea Club, UK, on Sunday morning, that was organised mainly organised by Convener Mr. Nachiket Joshi with the support of Shri Vijay Jolly (Convener of OFBJP, India) and Shri Amit Thaker (Co convener of OFBJP, India). The enthusiastic participants discussed and deliberated on the role of India's Prime Ministerial Candidate Hon. Narendra Modi. The energetic youths also distributed tea to

all passers-by near Kingsway banqueting and Hounslow West Station. In an apparent reference to Hon. Narendra Modi, who once sold tea in his childhood, Cllr Darshan Grewal reiterated that for India's economy to revive and bring buoyancy back into the market, Narendra Modi is the only option India has. Investors, while having a sip of the hot 'Modi tea', affirmed that not only Modi will bring investments back into the lagging sectors, but also bring e n t re p re n e u ri a l spirit and create crucially needed jobs. A 'Chai Pe Charcha' seminar was also organised in which exBJP Youth Wing President and current National coconvener of OFBJP Hon. Amit Thaker interacted with the august audience. Mr

Nachiket Joshi, senior youth leader, OFBJP (UK and India) also advocated the need for youths to actively participate in nation building, to revive India's image. Mr. Dhiraj Shah, Dr. Madhukar Ambekar, Leader of Hounslow council

Cllr Jagdish Sharma, Cllr Gopal Dhillon, Cllr Ashok Kapoor, Shri Lalubhai Parekh, Cllr Manji Kara, Mr Atwal, Mrs Alka Shah, Advertising Manager, ABPL and many more dignities attended this event and enjoyed a hot cup of tea. - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

Life and


Amidst Valentine's Day fervour comes this hot social discovery app called SinglesAroundMe (SAM), with the latest Position-shift technology. SinglesAroundMe represents the new wave of social discovery apps and is proving to be a challenge to the traditional online dating sites like and eHarmony, because of its new, hyper-real approach. SinglesAroundMe can help members discover, flirt, meet, and date one another locally, wherever they are in the world. With user-controlled location and privacy options, SAM offers a fresh and immediate way for people to meet. The Android version of SinglesAroundMe was launched in December 2012. In just one year it has has risen into the top tier of all dating apps on the Android mobile platform in Google Play and #1 GPS dating app and is sure to be a very popular app for singles this Valentine’s Day. Last week SinglesAroundMe announced its ground breaking patent pending Position-Shift technology. Position-Shift provides users with the ability to selectively determine the level of positional accuracy that they provide to the external world through social media applications. SinglesAroundMe uses Position-Shift within its Android and iPhone applica-

itÄxÇà|Çxá Wtç `xáátzxá

Top 20 Official Asian Download Chart!

9. GV Legends Boliyan (feat. Heera, Premi, Apna Sangeet, Balwinder Safri & Shin DCS) 10. Shaan, Shreya Ghoshal & Shabab Sabri - Tere Naina Maar Hi Daalenge 11. Angrej Ali & Aman Hayer - Jatt Di Akh 12. Arijit Singh - Kabhi Jo Baadal Barse" 13. Tasha T - Malang (feat. Raool) 14. Antara Mitra & Nakash Aziz -


If you have any particular topics you would like covered on my page, please let me know.

Tanveer Mann

1. Sunidhi Chauhan - Kamli 2. Money Aujla, Nesdi Jones & Yo Yo Honey Singh - London 3. Amrinder Gill & Dr Zeus - Mera Deewanapan 4. Yo Yo Honey Singh & Neha Kakkar - Sunny Sunny 5. Shreya Ghoshal & Osman Mir Nagada Sang Dhol 6. Shilpa Rao & Siddharth Mahadevan - Malang 7. Jaz Dhami - Zulfa (feat. Dr Zeus, Fateh, Shortie & Yasmine) 8. Bhoomi Trivedi - Ram Chahe Leela


“I would like to wish my husband Dakshesh a Happy Valentines Day. Thank you for everything and for the love we share for each other. We love all our family and wish them Happy Valentines Day. Best wishes and lots of love from Jyoti Rajdev”

“To my sweet, Darling Varsha, My morning is full of your thoughts, my evening ends with your thoughts, it's a matter of one glance form you, but my whole life depends on it. Love yours only Rajesh”

Saree Ke Fall Sa 15. Junai Kaden - Tanha 16. Roach Killa - Baby Girl 17. Sultana Nooran & Jyoti Nooran Patakha Guddi 18. Mika Singh & Kalpana Patowary - Gandi Baat 19. KK, Bappi Lahiri & Vishal Dadlani - nTune Maari Entriyaan 20. Nafees - Sazaa (feat. Mumzy Stranger) To see more, hart/downloads


tions to offer users a privacy choice that displaces the users true location by a few miles. This degree of privacy still allows users to flirt within the general vicinity but provides them with the comfort and security they desire. Company CEO Christopher Klotz said, “SinglesAroundMe continues to innovate and lead the new world of social discovery dating apps. SAM is now mainstream and this is a testament to our model - proof that users are enjoying our real, intuitive and safe app on both the Android and iPhone.” WORD OF THE WEEK

Avolition - means Lack of Initiative or Goals DID YOU KNOW...?

M&M's chocolate stands for the initials for its inventors Mars and Murrie

“Especially for my Valentine Mrs Jaybharti, I wish I could find a way to tell you how much you mean to me, but it would take forever to list all the things you do and the reasons why you are so special. A thousand words would never be enough to tell

you how much I truly love you because nothing can compare to the happiness you have brought into my days..with love on Valentine's Day, Mr Jaybharti”

“Be my valentine again, dear Niru. In 1965, we both had our first childhood true love. I was 23 and you were 18. In 1967, your father accused me of trapping you for his money and shipped you to India. I left for UK. In 1969, we met in UK but it was too late. You settled in USA. I remained in UK. We kept in touch by telephone occasionally. In 1974, we met in India. In 1989, we met in London. Since then I have lost touch. 2014: Let us meet again and relive our childhood days. Love Nagindas Khajuria”

Salt 'N' Pepper



Only a few steps away from the hustle and bustle of Leicester Square lies a hidden treasure. Situated at 32 Orange Street, just off the famous square, is Salt 'N' Pepper, the newest venture from the Salt 'N' Pepper chain, which opened in September 2013. As well as being unique in its outlook, taste and appearance, the restaurant welcomes all to come and try its offering of an authentic taste of Pakistan. As you enter, you are blown away by the far-from-typical décor of Salt 'N' Pepper. Extremely spacious and airy, the restaurant's apple-green ambience ensures your dining experience is truly relaxing and enjoyable. Upon being seated, a fresh set of traditional, crunchy pappads appear in the shape of a cone along with some

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


fresh mint, imli and mango chutneys. A list of dishes is then placed in front of you, with a heavy starters range, to a tantalising array of choices for your main, not least forgetting the sumptuous desert choices on offer. From non-veg to veg options, a favourite is the fried crumbed paneer which arrives promptly, coated in breadcrumbs with a delicious added kick of seasoning.

Salt 'N' Pepper definitely gives you both quality and quantity the portions remain extremely generous throughout each of your meals, along with the rice and naan, which are steaming hot and fresh. The curry's are not bathed in your typical out-of-the-jar sauces either – instead, the

ingredients ooze in your mouth, allowing you to taste the fresh ginger, tomatoes, and chillis. That being said, the chillis are enough to give your food the kick it requires but will far from burst your spice capacity. The prices are extremely affordable with starters ranging from £4.20 to £6.90 whilst mains include burgers, BBQ grills, Balti and Karahi dishes, and much more typically ranging from £8.40 to £12.50. A fullyequipped bar also takes over a corner of the spacious restaurant with freshly squeezed juices being one of its favourite drinks to offer. Overall, the restaurant is truly an all-over great experience, that is perfect for both families, intimate couples, or a bunch of friends. Both the excellent food and hospitality combined together make the Salt 'N' Pepper an extremely impressive restaurant and one to be explored!

32 Orange St, London WC2H, Tel: 020 7930 2939

Competition! Salt ‘N' Pepper is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a complimentary meal for 2 along with 2 glasses of house wine. All you have to do is answer the below question and send your answers to: by 28th February 2014. The winner will be picked on a first-come, first-served basis from the correct answers received. Question: What type of cuisine does Salt 'N' Pepper offer? Answer: a) Indian b) Pakistani c) Bangladeshi


ELECTION SPECIAL - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

Third Front will make India third rated: Modi Launching blistering attack on the smaller parties trying to forge a ‘Third Front’, BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi asserted that ‘Third Front’ would only make India ‘third rated’. He held some of the parties associated with the endeavors to form Third Front, responsible for the lack of development in the eastern part of the country. While addressing a mammoth public rally at Kolkata he urged the people to reject ‘Third Front’ forever and insisted those who are talking about the formation of third alliance to visit Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Ground to see ‘which way the wind is blowing’. He was speaking on the backdrop of a meeting of 14 non-Congress and non-BJP parties to create ‘third force’. The two major parties having strong based in Bengal – the Left and

Congress made injustice to Pranab Mukherjee

Modi struck a chord with Bengali audience and blamed the Gandhi family for denying Pranab Mukerjee as the Prime Minister, despite he was the senior most leader in 1984 after Indira Gandhi’s assassination. The Congress made injustice to ‘Pranab Da’ once again in 2004 after Sonia Gandhi declined to be the prime minister, instead of Mukherjee, they (Gandhis) selected Dr. Manmohan Singh. He said that people should let Trinamool Congress do a good job in the state, elect BJP in the Centre, with ‘Pranabda to supervise us'. Interestingly, while he was severe in his criticism of the Left parties, the Third Front and the Congress, he softened his stance when it came to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

Trinamool Congress have shown keen interest in the formation of a federal front to give one more option to the people of India. However, Modi took development plank to attack’ saying that the western India is developing at rapid speed, and one of the major reasons is absence of third front there. “On the western side, none of the Third Front parties have ruled. No associate of the Third Front has ever been able to

step into that region. It is different here in the eastern states and result is lack of development,” he said adding that those who are pushing the country to the third grade are ruling in the eastern region and, therefore, there is lack of development. Taking a dig at previous governments in Bengal, Modi said if the people voted for BJP, he would undo what has been done to Bengal in the last 60 years.

BJP represents RSS ideology: Rahul Gandhi

AV Correspondent

All India Congress Committee vice president Rahul Gandhi launched blistering attack on the rival Bharatiya Janata Party and said it represented the RSS ideology which had killed Mahatma Gandhi. The scion of NehruGandhi family while addressing a huge rally at Bardoli in South Gujarat also criticized BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for taking credit for development in Gujarat, despite the fact that the people toiled for the progress made by the State. He blamed that it was the RSS ideology that killed Mahatma Gandhi. After the assassination of Gandhiji, Sardar Patel had moved a resolution to ban the RSS, he said adding that Sardar Patel gave his entire life for the Congress party and fought for the rights of the poor. However, BJP leaders (especially Modi) never read about it, never thought about it but now want to build his statue!” “The BJP leaders here talk about Sardar Patel and say they will make his statue. But these people don't know history. They haven’t read any books on the ideologies of Gandhiji and Sardar Patelji. They know nothing. Sardar Patel said that RSS is a

poisonous ideology which will destroy the soul of India. The BJP leaders spend their entire life with RSS. They neither know about Patel nor they read about him, but want to build his statue,” he said. The Congress vicepresident slammed Modi’s claims on Gujarat’s development and said, “BJP makes big claims on the education sector but 13,000 govt schools were shut down in Gujarat. This is never mentioned by its leaders anywhere”. “In Gujarat, just one person has the entire power. No one else has any power or rights... We want to give people their rights. But here the government runs for selected people. We fight for the people, the farmers, Adivasis and the poor. This is the difference between us and BJP. Gujarat progressed due to the sweat of its people, not because of one man's efforts. People of Gujarat worked hard and he takes the credit for it”. Gandhi launched a sccathing attack on BJP’s stance on corruption and said, “Who stopped appointment of Lokayukta in Gujarat? The BJP govt spent Rs 40 crore to block Lokayukta appointment. Modi govt did not let lokyukta pass inGujarat for nine years. Entire world knows it; all women know it. Gujarat

cabinet has three convicted persons as ministers. Still they talk too much on corruption”. “I want to make it clear that Gujarat does not have the government of poor people. It does not work for the upliftment of the poor and Adivasis and their voices are not heard. Only handful of people run the government and works for the elite” asserted Rahul Gandhi. “While we talk about eradicating poverty, BJP talks about eradicating the poor people. We talk about providing the poor with jobs, food, health and education. Indira Gandhi said ‘gareebi

hataao’ but BJP wants ‘gareeb hataao”. This is the difference” the Congress leader said.

Anna on Mamata’s side?

In an interesting development anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare might endorse West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee as prime ministerial candidate of possible third-front. Hazare possible support to Mamata is because of Trinamool Congress agreeing to back his economic agenda that the Maharashtra-based leader had written about in a letter to the Bengal CM. Hazare had highlighted a 17-point agenda that includes village centric social and economic initiatives and proposals like more vocational education and tough laws against corruption.

AAP appeals middle-aged people

Arvind Kejriwal’s political outfit Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) appears to attract educated middle-aged men if snap trends are anything to go by. Interestingly the average AAP ticket aspirant is a male graduate between 40 and 50 years of age. Top AAP leaders like Arvind Kejriwal, Yogendra Yadav, Sanjay Singh and Kumar Vishwas are also in the forties with strong educational backgrounds. According to initial trends, 21.3% of the applicants seeking an AAP ticket are graduates followed by 18.4% who are post-graduates, 15.5% have a law degree, 7.5% hold a management degree while 7.5% have passed Class 12. An overwhelming number of aspirants (87.9%) are men.

Ramdev termed Rahul ‘immature’

Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev described All India Congress Committee (AICC) vice president Rahul Gandhi as immature and innocent boy. Ramdev said: "Rahul is an innocent boy who is misled by the Congress. Such an innocent person is of no use to the country. He is unintelligent as well and such an individual is not fir for the Prime Minister of India." He also predicted the Congress’s future in the upcoming general elections and said the party would reduce with just 50 seats.

Patnaik govt looting public money: Rahul Gandhi

Launching the Congress party’s campaign in Odisha in view of Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi while addressing a rally in Salipur said blamed Naveen Patnaik government in Odisha for looting public money and indulging in rampant corruption. Saying “Odisha is rich, but people are poor”, Rahul said.

Pawar says he met Modi

BJP welcomed NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s admission of having met the party’s PM nominee Narendra Modi in January. BJP also clarified that Rajnath Singh had already denied there was any political meeting between the two, but did not deny that the two had met. Stating that he kept meeting CMs in his capacity as agriculture minister, Pawar had sought to know what was wrong in doing so. “As the Union agriculture minister, I have the responsibility of increasing the country’s food production and for that purpose, I have to visit various states. I visited West Bengal and met CM Mamata Banerjee. Similarly, I meet Naveen Patnaik in Odisha, Shivraj Singh Chouhan in MP and Narendra Modi when I go to Gujarat,” Pawar said adding, “What is wrong in meeting the chief ministers? Have I met anyone from Pakistan or China? What is wrong in it?”

“Rs 600 billion has been looted by people in power in connivance with mining mafia. People of the state should have been benefited from this money, but the real beneficiaries were the mining mafia,” he said, adding, “Nearly 20 lakh people in Odisha have been hit by the chit fund scam.

BJP suspends two dissident MLAs

Taking stern action against dissident activities within the party, the Bihar BJP suspended two party MLAs - Awanish Kumar Singh and Rana Gangeshwar Singh - for their alleged antiparty activities. "We have suspended our two MLAs Awanish Kumar Singh and Rana Mangal Pandey Gangeshwar Singh with immediate effect for their anti-party activities," state BJP president Mangal Pandey. Taking note of the two BJP MLAs' sustained anti-party activities over a long period, the party leadership was left with no other option, but to suspend them from the party, Pandey said. They had also dared the BJP leadership to take disciplinary action against them. - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

City Sikhs host an Inspiring Interfaith Evening at St Paul’s Cathedral

The City Sikhs Network held an inspiring Interfaith evening on Monday 10th February at the world-famous, historic St Paul's Cathedral, for the first time ever. The evening consisted of short inspirational talks and a panel discussion given by leading women from 4 different faith traditions: Amrit Kaur Lohia –

prominent Sikh activist, Rev. Jody Stowell – faith leader within the Church of England, Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers – faith leader within Reform Judaism and Sughra Ahmed – President of the Islamic Society of Britain. This groundbreaking event was open to people of all faiths. Full story in next week's issue.

UKTA celebrates Sankranthi in the Parliament

UK Telugu Association held a scintillating Sankranthi celebrations, for the fourth year in a row, in the Parliament, on the occasion of the Harvest Festival demonstrating the strength of Telugus in the UK. The event was hosted by Rt. Hon Dan Byles,

Member of Parliament. Rt. Hon. Virendra Sharma, MP, graced the occasion. Around 80 persons witnessed entertaining cultural items and exchanged greetings. Full story in forthcoming issues of Asian Voice.

Enlightening discussion on Indo-British relations held at India House

Panelists at the discussions

The High Commission of India organised a review discussion of the book 'ReImagine: India–UK Cultural Relations in the 21st Century' at India House on Monday, 10 February 2014. The discussion was chaired by Ms Shrabani Basu, a veteran journalist and a remarkable author, and the panelists included Mr Prashant Pise, Minister (Press & Information) and Head of Chancery, Indian High Commission, Dr Virander Paul, Deputy High Commissioner of India, Professor Nirmalya Kumar, Director of Aditya Birla India Centre, London Business School and Head of Strategy, Tata Group, Dr Mukulika banerjee, Head of South Asian Studies department at the LSE, Professor Subir Sarkar, head of

Particle Theory group at the University of Oxford, Dr William Crawley, former head of BBC Eastern Service abd author, Dr David Page, author, and former journalist at the BBC Eastern Service, Mr Sanjay Suri, London Correspondent for CNNIBN, and Vidya Ram, London Correspondent for Businessline. 'Re-Imagine: India–UK Cultural Relations in the 21st Century', is a book on future-forging pieces by leading thinkers in India and the UK, exploring the evolving relationship between the two countries, tracing not only the shared history but also its contemporary ramifications, and is edited by Shrabani Basu. Full story on the panel discussion will be published in forthcoming issues of Asian Voice.


Asian Achievers Awards flaunts a new look

Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar have now launched a fresh and vivacious look for the prestigious Asian Achievers Awards, with a new logo and a more interactive website, which went live on 6 February 2014. This was attended by top executives from leading firms and businesses all across the UK at a gala evening reception in the Doubletree Hilton, Holborn. The evening was sponsored by Mr Naynesh Desai, DDO Solicitors.

The Asian Achievers Awards, is not just a recognition of talents. It is a record of the contributions of our community - their passion and hard work. It is reflective of the time passed, the Big Society as we see today and the ambition of Britain's tomorrow. A witness to the changing identity of our Britain, it is famously known as the face of diversity, rewarding accomplishments of the Asian community's finest. The Asian Achievers Awards, which has proven to be a benchmark to measure the success stories in our community, is back this year with a promise to be bigger, better and brighter. Whether its sport, media, art, culture or community service, the Asian Achievers Awards have mirrored the success of the Asians, in order to highlight the valuable con-

Ms Priya Patel, compere for the evening

AAA 2014 are now open to public. The Awards have also shown continued support for the underprivileged. The proceedings of the evening, collected through an auction, are donated to the sponsored charity of the year. We have raised about half a million pounds over 13 years and this year our chosen charity is the Cherie

Asian Achievers Awards 2013 said, "We would like to express our pleasure and pride at being closely associated with the Asian Achievers Awards. One can’t help but see the natural synergy in the collaboration of

Mr Naynesh Desai, Partner, DDO Solicitors

Dr Prodipta Sen, Executive Director, Alpha G Corp

Mr Paul Monk Managing Director, Working Options

Ms Laura Stebbing from Cherie Blair Foundation for Women

Blair Foundation for Women. CB Patel, Chairman of the Asian Achievers Awards on the launch evening said, "The Asian Achievers Awards had the most modest beginning. It was started to ensure that successful people from all walks of life, are given their due recognition. Over the last 13 years ABPL team has successfully achieved its professional and noble objectives. Thanks to the nominees and nominators, sponsors, advertisers and, last but not the least, the hardworking judging panel, that selects and shortlists the winners. Asian Achievers Awards are recognised as the 'People's Awards'. It's all inclusive, without any preconditions, except the brilliance of an individual's contribution to the society." Dr Prodipta Sen, Executive Director, Alpha G Corp on behalf of the Headline Sponsor of the

tributions they have made to Britain's social fabric. It is now regarded as one of the most prestigious and highly respected ceremonies on Britain's social calendar. Getting bigger and better each year, the Awards continue to attract a number of dignitaries. Today we have a guest list of more than 1000 people, featuring the who's who of the community. Instead of a few individuals deciding who the award winner is, a truly independent panel of judges are given total freedom to select a shortlist and then the winner in each category. Not only the subscribers and the readers of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar, but also the wider community is invited to nominate candidates in various categories of the award, as it is publicised through radio, television, internet and various events. Every year, a record number of nominations are received and the calibre of the candidates are always very impressive. Invited guests Nominations for


CB Patel, Chairman,

our Asian Achievers Awards

Paresh Davdra, Dealing Director, Rational FX

organisation that believes in being the finest, with this most distinguished initiative that recognises and felicitates the successes of the finest achievers of the Asian community across a multitude of businesses, professions and nationalities. This evening is an important one as the Asian Achievers Awards stride forward with yet greater purpose and expanded scope. In this regard, we will be witness to the relaunch of the Asian Achievers Awards website and logo. I feel sure that the fresh look and feel will go well beyond appearance; enveloping and signifying reinforced ambition for the scope and reach of the Asian Achievers Awards and what they will stand for in the years to come." Photo courtesy: Raj D Bakrania, Prmediapix

18 - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

FINANCIAL VOICE Why Invest In India?

I was able to say with some pride on my BBC interview that the CEO of one of the world’s largest companies is Indian. So is Chairwoman of Pepsi by the way – and heads of countless other companies. So with all this talent of Indian origin, why is the Rupee at an all time low, given it is the currency of the Indian. Surely all the talent is not outside the country, flourishing only where her politicians do not reign? Never before has any country outside the US had as many of its corporate leaders in the Forbes Rich List top 10 as India has today. Not even Japan in its heyday or China matches the feat. To make the case for opportunities in India would seem self-evident then. After all, if a nation’s own people, who know the country the best, can make fortunes to compete with the world’s largest economy, then surely outside investors too can do very well there. Yet, misperception still obstructs many investment decisions concerning India. Let’s eradicate them. Meeting a California Silicon Valley billionaire who has re-emigrated back to India is perhaps one of the more striking proofs of India’s potential. These, the most successful of Indians, who moved to the US in the 1960s from an opportunityshorn India, return today with their millionaire colleagues, to capture the types of opportunities few, if any places on earth can match. After, all, no other major capitalist economy will even come close to matching India’s growth for decades. Imagine a business person with a time machine. They would probably choose to go back to the beginning of last century to the US to make their fortune – the time of Rockefeller and Getty. Consider during that century, the Dow advanced from 66 to 11,497. This gain, though it appears huge, shrinks to 5.3% when compounded annually. And that nevertheless was the American century – the century when the US became a super power. Consider that that growth rate transformed a backward nation from the horse and carriage to one which freely sent man to the moon. Yet India today exceeds and is projected to exceed for our working life times

that return-rate of 5%. The baton of Rockefeller and Getty is truly carried by Ambani and Tata. If your investment options were binary: US, the world’s largest economy, or India, think now about this century. For investors to merely match that 5.3% market-value gain, the Dow – recently below 10,000 – would need to close at about 2,000,000 on December 31, 2099. We are nearly a decade into this century, and we have racked up none of the 1,990,000 Dow points the market needed to travel in this hundred years to equal the 5.3% of the last. Whereas, India, with the real economy targeting 8% for the foreseeable future is far more likely to provide the types of returns to match the transformation the United States had since 1900. Where would you invest? Surpassing then the US in the last century; in terms of returns, in terms of the spirit of the peoples. The obstacles are not truly Indian, but those of other nations knowing how to leverage the opportunities. Take SMEs in the UK. Thanks to the energetic UK Trade and Investment providing access and know-how on exporting from the UK into India, or the vitality of the UK India Business Council providing a soft-landing in India, SME access to India has become easier. If SMEs from Britain do not come out to India to become more productive and tap growth, then competitors from around the world will swarm upon the weakest British companies and through corporate Darwinism extinct them. The obstacles are not in India, but in the exporting or investor country, knowing how to leverage the opportunities. To describe India in statistics would be to describe the Taj Mahal by its dimensions; you can do it, but it denies any beauty. But if you want statistics, consider theses: Little wonder then this nation had the greatest GDP of any country on the eve of the formation of the British East India Company. There is nothing to suggest her people will not return to resume their destiny. So it is, I remain a buyer of India.

Britain eyeing huge, long-term investments in Bengal

Britain is eyeing "substantial, long-term investments" in West Bengal, and is seeking to tap into the state's needs for infrastructure, renewables and upgrading the skills of the workforce, said Greg Barker, Britain's minister for business engagement with India. Barker's visit comes barely three months after British Prime Minister David Cameron made a stopover in the city and met West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Barker was part of the delegation led by Cameron in November last year. "We are looking at huge, substantial investments here (in Bengal)... They will be long-term investments," Barker said during a 'UK and West Bengal in Partnership' seminar organised jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI). "We are looking to double

Greg Barker

trade with India by 2015 and Kolkata is a strategic priority for Britain's businesses," said Barker, who also officiates as the British Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change. Leading a 16-member British business delegation, the minister spoke about strengthening economic ties with the state and follow up on the agreement signed on his last visit between his government and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation to work towards a low carbon

Rajan aims to control inflation

Unbridled inflation is a worrying prospect in India. The consumer prices have been hovering around 10 per cent. It not only affects the common man but destabilise the macroeconomic stability, which India badly needs in this year of tapering and uncertain political transition. Indians have at last found someone – new Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan – who is taking steps to control the inflation. In India, the politicians and industrialists have long leaned on Rajan to control price rise. Since taking charge in September, he has raised interest rates three times even though investment levels are miserable and growth is limping along at below 5 per cent. He has taken bold measures to improve India’s current account position, helping to stave off an attack on the rupee after tapering talk at the Fed first arose last summer. This year, even though it is still considered one of the “fragile five”, India has weathered the latest bout of emerging market jitters better than most. He has also thrown his weight behind

Raghuram Rajan

proposed changes that could fortify the central bank’s independence and stand the economy in much better long-term prospects. Besides raising rates, Rajan has made several gestures that bode well for a long-term campaign. He said that consumer price index (CPI) rather than the wholesale price index was a better measure of inflation. The rate of wholesale price rises is down to 6.2 per cent, but consumer price inflation is running at 9.9 per cent. The governor has not yet set his inflation target. But he is edging in that direction. He has spoken to bring down the headline inflation level of

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and climate-resilient Kolkata as part of the Corporation's Vision 2020 strategy for the city. "Tackling climate change is an economic as well as environmental imperative. This is a key theme rising up to the challenge for both Britain and Bengal governments," he said. Other areas of focus include public-private partnerships in infrastructure development, regeneration and restoration projects and skilled workforce. "British experts advised on the riverfront development a few years ago and now at the invitation of the state government, the experts will be involved in the renovation of the historic Writers' Building," he said. Pointing out that Britain is the third largest investor in India and India is presently the fifth largest investor in his country, Barker called for inward investments from the Indian businesses.

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6 per cent in two years. Intellectually, he has rejected the idea that there is a tradeoff between inflation and growth. As he said in a recent interview: “The best way I as a central bank can help the economy grow is by keeping inflation low. Only once price rises are tamed will the conditions be in place for savers to save, lenders to lend and businesses to invest. The notion that you can buy a bit of growth by easing off in the fight against inflation flies in the face of India’s recent stagflationary experience.” Rajan is cautiously backing changes that could institutionalise better policy. A committee wants the bank to formally drop its “multiple indicator” approach and concentrate instead on the CPI. It wants a target of 4 per cent with a leeway of 2 per cent either side. In an era when other central banks are taking into account additional factors – such as unemployment – this could be seen as running counter to international trends. But, as Rajan points out, inflation is hardly the main concern of western central banks right now.

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Different Strokes For Different Folks - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap A Property Investment Company

We are gearing up for a busy year in the property market, prices in many locations will increase beyond their glass ceiling heights of 2007. The signs on the ground are confirming this trend. Last week we closed a development deal with a group of investors for £4.4m, we purchased this off someone who had bought it for less, there’s even a chance we will be reselling this on prior to completion. When property is being resold on several times between exchange and completion it’s a sure sign the market is heating up. Severe lack of quality stock forces this to happen. I am sure this will continue and intensify through the coming year, along with the practice of guzumping which will start to emerge where buyers of property are dumped half way through the purchasing process by other buyers with higher offers. Another deal, that was supposed to happen on Friday, then again today, which will hopefully happen tomorrow is a flat in Mayfair for which we had double the investment money for. One investor was umming and aahhing and in the mean while we got someone else in the deal as we only had a short time to close, then he woke up and also sent his money in. This particular deal has a long completion after exchange and therefore there is a strong chance it will be resold prior to completion. Given the cheap price and a four month completion, who knows perhaps it too will be sold twice before completion. Another deal we will be exchanging on this week will be a development deal in Sloane St. This is being purchased at £2.25m, it’s off market. It comes with a short lease of 39 years which actually is not as short as it sounds given the location. Believe it or not it’s sellable as it is with even this amount left in the lease. However we will be inheriting the right to extend the lease when we purchase this property. According to a surveyor’s opinion the lease extension will cost £500k. Allowing for a refurbishment cost of £300k we will wind up with a property which has cost roughly £3.05m and has a resell value of £4.5m. The property is in a quaint courtyard, aloof from the busy High St, and is in a portered block in a rich and fashionable area of Sloane St. It is in a very prestigious location and has the classical entrance you would expect to see typically in a London flat with plenty of brass and wood in the reception. The entrance is important and this is the one which is not in your control. So it is very important it has a wow factor before you even get to the apartment, this will be the potential buyer’s first impression. Here none of the shops have price tags and there is a guard posted outside them. You will find the wives of footballers and rich business men shopping at these exclusive venues. What seems expensive to most is relative; here £3,000 to £4,000 per sq ft is the standard bread and butter prices.

the price. Who knows for sure? Apart from the buyers and the sellers. There is another deal to be done as well this week, it’s a property in St John’s Wood where prices go for £1,500+ per sq ft. This is a flat which consists of circa 500 sq ft is going for only £500k. This one is cheap and can be easily resold on for £650k on the open market with some slight works on it. O n e o f t he q u e st i o n s we ha ve t o al wa ys ask i s wh ic h c l ie n t d o we pu t i n t o w hi c h d e a l? Th e re ar e s e ve ra l f ac t o rs t o c o n si d e r. F i rst of co u r se i s b u d g e t , t h o se w it h s mal l e r b u d g e t s a re ad v is e d t o g o in t o s yn d ic at e s , wh ic h b u y l arg e v al u e p ro pe rt i e s, t h is wa y a sm al l a mo u n t o f £5 0k c an g iv e ve ry hi g h re t u rn s. S o me c li e n t s ar e ave rs e t o syn d i c at in g t he i r in v e st m e n t an d wis h t o g o al o n e , t h is i s f i n e a s l o n g as yo u h av e t he b u d g e t t o d o s o . F o r a £5 00k pu rc h as e yo u wi l l n e e d £150 k t o al l o w f o r 25 % d e p o sit an d a sso c i at e d c o st s. The other criterion is time, many investors want to keep recycling their investments whilst others prefer to keep it in one and hold, and pass it through generation after generation. Some prefer a combination of both. Another major consideration is tax, many say they want income producing properties yet not realising they are high income earners and therefore half of the excess income will go to the HMRC. Another factor is cash flow, is it necessary for you to have money coming in every month? Or would you prefer your money to work harder with a payout instead every 6 - 12 months. Some clients even have strict criteria of where the door faces or even the number of the property. One of our current clients has a strict criteria regarding which direction the door should face, and he’s not even Indian!

M o st l y d e al s are n o t pa ck a g e d u p f o r yo u a n d h an d e d o ve r o n a p la t e, t h e y n e e d t o b e wo rk e d . H e re we h av e a f e w is su e s t o c o n t e n d wi t h, a s h o rt is h l e as e an d a p l an n in g pe rm is si o n wh i ch n e ed s t o co m e t h ro u g h i n o rd e r f o r wo r k t o s ta rt o n t h i s p ro pe rt y. No n e o f t h es e se e m pr o hi bi t i ve . It is moments from the famous One Hyde Park, a development done by Candy and Candy, which I haven’t seen internally, but good sources who have seen it have stated they wonder where the money paid at £10,000 per sq ft, paid several years ago, has gone. There are also vicious rumors, which state many of the flats had been sold inhouse to establish the initial comparable to maintain the illusion of

The Real Deal

O f t e n t h e se q u e st i on s a re n ot c o n si d e re d w it h a n y cl ar it y b y in v e st o rs, an d pa rt o f o u r ro l e i s t o he l p d e f i n e t h e i n ve s t me n t d e p e n d in g on t he i r c i rc u ms t an c e s wh i ch a re u n i q u e t o e v e ry i n d i vi d u al .

Knightsbridge, London, SW1X Purchase Price: £2.25m

At the moment we have a rather unique circumstance which I have not come across before. It’s someone who has a pension fund in the form of an SSAS which is a Small Self Administered Scheme. This type of pension allows tax free contribution into it and allows the holder to control the investments they make subject to some criteria. An SSAS does not allow one to purchase residential property outright but allows one to develop property and pay for legal costs, money is not invested but loaned to the scheme. Ultimately the aim is to increase the investment amount within the scheme aggressively and then go overseas, where after five years the whole thing becomes tax free, all within the rules of the HMRC. It’s actually been a learning experience getting to grips with this and has opened my eyes to a new realm of investing. This is an interesting scenario and one I am confident we can adhere too and one our lawyers will be able to understand and execute.

l A first floor apartment in this highly sought after location l Excellent ceiling heights l Comparable properties are priced at £3,300 per sq ft and above while this comes at around £1,600 per sq ft l End value after works and lease extention expected to be around £4.5m Call us now if you would like to have a piece of the pie!

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Tips of the Week l Remember the mantra of property investment! You must forget your whims and follow the mantra, in property it is Location, Location, Location! l Buying a property is a package deal; don't look at it from only one angle, if you concentrate only on yield you may find the capital appreciation is not so good.



The Minister, the Cleaner and the Law

Maria Fernandes

Whilst the resignation of the Minister responsible for Immigration, Mark Harper,was motivated by political considerations, it is quite likely that legally he had not done anything wrong. Although the circumstances are not entirely clear it appears that he had a cleaner. Cleaners that are called in to work once, twice or three times a week and are not regarded as employees but are considered to be self-employed. The requirements of checking the immigration status of a person apply only to an employee and not to the self-employed. The Minister’s position contrasts that of Baroness Scotland who, some years ago, was fined because in her case she had employed the member of staff. The point that Mr Harper made is that he did in fact check the status of this person on 2 occasions but subsequently lost the paperwork. He also maintains that it later emerged that the cleaner’s documents werefound not to be genuine. The duty on an employer is merely to undertake reasonable checks to ensure that the document is genuine. If it later emerges that the document was not, the employer has a statutory defence. As the case of the Minister goes, he had advocated the use of vans that went around the country preaching to illegal immigrants to get out of the country so it was inevitable that he had to hand his head on a plate. However if this had happened to others, there would have been difficulties. Firstly, any person found on their

premises would,in general, automatically be considered to be an employee. Where a person is unable to provide paperwork that proved that checks had been conducted, a civil penalty would have been levied. The proposal is for this levy to be doubled from a maximum of £10,000 to £20,000 although most fines are in the region of £5,000. This case demonstrates the practical difficulties that exist in asking the public to shoulder responsibility for work that is best done by Immigration Officials. There are various types of status, some of which permit work which are difficult to understand even by those experienced in this field. The new Immigration Bill attempts to extend checks to landlords, GPs and hospital staff. The difficulties in accurately identifying those who are allowed to work, those in respect of whom checks are mandatory, distinguishing genuine from forged documents are all issues that are complicated. What is likely to happen is that people of a different colour or accent will not be employed even when their situation is entirely legal. The regulations have a tongue-in-cheek statement which warns that employers must check the status of all staff to avoid accusations of discrimination. The evidence is that the ethnic minorities are being rejected for jobs and the feeling is that this has a relationship with the immigration regulations. The Minister may have gone but the proposed law and its myriad difficulties remain intact.

Nadella’s appointment dissapoints some

Some analysts in US was expecting a high profile man to be appointed as chief executive of Microsoft. Satya Nadella's appointment took them by surprise. Some privately admitted that they were also taken aback by Nadella's origins. "What, an Indian Indian?" one seasoned commentator asked. "Where was he raised and educated?" Nadella, 46, was born in Hyderabad and studied at Manipal University in Karnataka, before moving to America

to pursue his post-graduate studies in Wisconsin and Chicago. These days, his Indian accent may be rounded with an American lilt, but he remains very much someone born and bred on the subcontinent. He is Indian in anyone's book. America is a multicultural society - but it is still unusual to see a foreigner take the helm of a US firm. It seems they like their chief executives white, all-American, middle class and educated at Harvard or Yale.

Two firms told to stop sale of cancer drug in India

Bangalore-based Biocon and US-based Mylan, which jointly developed their own version of a Roche breast cancer treatment in India, have been ordered by the Delhi high court to stop sale of their drug. This follows after the Swiss group claimed that the drug makers could not have carried out adequate clinical trials. Biocon was expected to start selling a biosimilar version of Roche’s drug Herceptin in India this month. However, the high court ordered them to stop sale of the drug until they had persuaded the court that their product had undergone sufficient test- - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

ing. The lawsuit launched by Roche against the companies and Drugs Controller General of India is the latest in a series of legal battles by global pharmaceutical

Cyrus Mistry takes charge of Tata Motors

innovators facing stiff competition from Indian generic rivals. The case highlights innovating companies’ determination to use all available tools to defend their position in India’s

potentially lucrative drugs market. Biocon accused Roche of filing the lawsuit to “protect their market monopoly and prevent Indian patients from accessing a more affordable trastuzumab.” Biocon said its biosimilars to the Roche drugs were “world-class products that adhere to stringent quality standards,” and it expressed confidence that the restrictions “will not stand” once it has a chance to be heard by the court. Indian patient groups have expressed outrage at the court order, calling it “unwarranted and inexplicable”.

about 100,000 people in eastern India. We desperately require land he said and added that coal is closely intertwined with India’s economic growth. He said that the slowdown had been tied closely to bottlenecks in India’s domestic coal production. This year, Coal India aims to produce 482 million tonnes of the fuel, up 6.6 per cent from 452 million tonnes of coal in the financial year 2012-13. However, this falls far short of demand, forcing India to import up to 120 million tonnes of coal mostly from Australia, Indonesia and South Africa. “Macro-economically, it’s adding a huge burden to the current account deficit,” Rao said. “If we could meet India’s thermal coal demand locally, we could reduce India’s current account deficit by at least $10 billion.”

An Indian-origin hedge fund portfolio manager has been found guilty by a federal jury in US on charges that he participated in one of the "most lucrative" insider trading schemes totalling USD 276 million involving information about clinical trials for an Alzheimer's drug. Mathew Martoma, 39, was convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and two counts of securities fraud. Following the conviction, Manhattan US attorney Preet Bharara said that Martoma cultivated and purchased the confidence of doctors with secret knowledge of the drug

Coal shortage affecting India’s growth

Following the death of Karl Slym, Cyrus Mistry, the chairman of the Tata group, will take charge of the struggling Tata Motors. Mistry will head a committee of executives as an interim replacement for former chief executive Slym. Mistry, who has no experience in running a carmaker, will be in direct charge of new products and engineering processes. He faces a tough task of turning around the fortunes of the car and truck maker, once one of India’s largest but now struggling in a competitive market. “The Board of Tata Motors has constituted a corporate steering committee to oversee strategy execution and key aspects of operations chaired by me,” Mistry said in a statement. “We will ensure that the company vigorously pursues and delivers on the strategy which had already been defined and which Karl Slym was executing.” The company expects

to appoint a permanent managing director “in due course”. Tata Motors, which first started building cars in 1991 before India’s boom in car sales, has found itself struggling to compete with global rivals such as Suzuki, Hyundai and Ford, because it lacks new models and cuttingedge features.. Anil Sharma, an analyst, said Mistry’s job was likely to be to maintain continuity and see through Slym’s plans.

S Narsing Rao, the chairman of Coal India, one of the country’s biggest companies, said that India could double its economic growth if it resolves coal shortage that is destroying its ability to meet surging energy needs. Rao said that the n a t i o n ’ s demand for coal could be met easily from India’s own resources, which are among the largest in the world at 267 billion tonnes. However, he said that exploiting them remained a “daunting task”, because a string of new mining projects were stuck in the planning stage without proper government approval for environmental and other necessary permits. Others are unviable without significant new rail links and the acquisition of roughly 48,000 hectares of land, which he said would require the resettlement of

India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs last week approved the proposal of British telecom major Vodafone to increase its stake in the Indian entity to 100% for Rs 101.41 billion from 64.38% at present. In the process, Vodafone Plc will buy out the minority shareholders who together own 35.62% equity in the company. The company had received approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in December last year. “We welcome the decision by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs,” said Ben Padovan, Group head of Media (External Affairs), Vodafone Group Services Limited, in an e-mail.

The Ajay Piramal-led Piramal Enterprises, which owned a 10.97% direct equity holding in Vodafone India, will get Rs 89 billion, a premium of about 51% for its stake, more than double of what it had expected (reportedly 17-20%). The remaining Rs 12.41 billion will go to Analjit Singh who indirectly holds the remaining stake in Vodafone India. Piramal had invested a total of Rs 59 billion to buy 10.97% in Vodafone India in two tranches. While Piramal Enterprises had invested an average Rs 537.83 a share for its stake, the selling price is Rs 811.30 per share. Piramal had first bought about 5.47% stake for Rs 28.93 billion in 2011. In February 2012,

the company again bought 5.5% more for Rs 30.07 billion. In the process, Vodafone India’s valuation rose 48% since February 2012, when Piramal Enterprises took 5.5% in Vodafone India for Rs 30.07 billion. Vodafone India is now valued at Rs 811.30 billion, 42% higher than the Rs 570 billion Vodafone had paid Hutch in 2007 to buy a 67% stake in the company. Earlier, Analjit Singh had said, in a statement, that what the British telco has offered to him for his indirect stake in Vodafone India is consistent with the agreements signed between him and Vodafone, which were filed with the FIPB in 2007 and 2009.

Cyrus Mistry

Vodafone gets final nod for $1.6bn deal to fully own India unit

Indian-origin hedge fund manager convicted

FINANCIAL VOICE - Asian Voice 15th February 2014


Foreign Exchange

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

BoE holds the interest at 0.5%

Bank of England unsurprisingly held interest rates at a record low of 0.5% and kept its quantitative easing program at £375bn. The European Central Bank held interest rates at 0.25%, which was largely expected. Also Mario Draghi had no change in his stance with regards to future monetary policy, stating that he expects inflation and the interest rate to stay low for an extended period – which was no change from previous rhetoric. Off the back of all this, the euro strengthened. Why? Due to the low levels of inflation, markets were anticipating either an interest rate cut or for Draghi to change his stance on monetary policy possibly suggesting a rate cut could be on the cards. However, as Draghi did not mention any of this, the euro picked up strength. However he did add that effective from March, the ECB will release new economic forecasts over a two year horizon – giving more guidance to the markets. The pound fell for a second week against the dollar as reports showed that both the

manufacturing and services sectors slowed in growth last month strengthening the case for the Bank of England to keep interest rates at a record low. Sterling posted its biggest weekly loss versus the euro in almost a year after the central bank kept the benchmark interest rate at 0.5% on 6th February. United Kingdom construction output rose to a six and a half year high in January. The data from Markit revealed that construction firms hired more people in January, the eighth month running, and all subsec-

tors of construction – house building, commercial property construction and civil engineering – all saw rising activity. The United States had bad news after Markit reported that the US manufacturing PMI came in at a three-month low of 53.7 last month, down from December's 55.0. That suggests the pace of expansion slowed during the rough winter weather, with some firms blamed disruptions from the extreme weather conditions at the start of January. Export orders also fell, but more encouragingly

firms kept hiring. Global equities made strong gains at the end of a volatile week that was largely dominated by uncertainty over the outlook for the US economy. Friday’s (07/02/2014) stock market gains came even as a disappointing US employment report added to concerns that momentum in the world’s biggest economy was slowing – which could affect the Federal Reserve’s plans to scale down its stimulus measures. Non-farm payrolls only rose by 113,000 last month, much less than what was expected. This was mainly due to the fact that the number of people who are actively seeking employment in the US has dropped off. Payroll growth appears to have slowed but, given the strength of economic growth in the second half of last year, a possible rebound is expected in the monthly gains over the next few months. However a bit of good news came from the fact that the unemployment rate slipped from 6.7% to 6.6%. But nonetheless, the US dollar weakened across the board.

Weekly Currencies

As of Tuesday 11th February 2014 @ 6pm

GBP - INR = 102.24 USD - INR = 62.11 EUR - INR = 84.79 GBP - USD = 1.65 GBP - EUR = 1.21

EUR - USD = 1.37 GBP - AED = 6.05

GBP - CAD = 1.81

GBP - NZD = 1.97

GBP - AUD = 1.82

GBP - ZAR = 18.06

GBP - HUF = 373.78

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.




Sally Bercow triggers a controversy

London: The publication of the photograph of Sally Bercow, wife of speaker John Bercow, in an intimate pose with a mystery man in a nightclub has triggered a controversy. But Sally claimed that her marriage is not in danger and blamed others saying that it was depressing how others rush to judge. She said that people were jealous because Mr Bercow is liberal and cool.

Health officials warn against shisha smoking

London: Health officials warn that shisha smoking is more dangerous than cigarette smoking. The smokers believe that water in the pipes will filter out the dangerous chemicals. But that is not at all true. The officials say that the water acts as a coolant, which means the lungs are able to take a much larger quantity of carbon monoxide. The presence of carbon monoxide can see the veins and arteries deprive the body of good-quality oxygen over a sustained period, which can weaken the body's capability to circulate blood.

Concern over UK’s tax system

London: The Institute for Fiscal Studies, a leading economic think tank, has warned the government against forcing a small number of higher income earners to foot the tax bill. They said that it would be detrimental to the government’s long term goals.

Parents blamed for women’s plight

London: Consumer affairs minister Jenny Willott blamed the parents for forcing the women to take up less paid jobs. She said that when the children were young instead of giving uniform toys for both boys and girls to play, they were given “pink for girls and blue for boys. Girls were often guided into low paying occupations like nursing because of the types of toys they were given to play with. This led to an over-representation of women among nurses and of men among engineers and physicists.

Thailand-based councillor not resigning

London: West Oxfordshire District Council said that the councillor Steve Hayward who has moved to Thailand is not resigning but taking a cut in allowance. Hayward moved to Thailand last June and continues to act as district councillor for Ducklington. Hayward said that he was capable of fulfilling his role through email, telephone and Skype.

Police officer jailed for pocketing fines London: Hertfordshire traffic police officer Irfan Hussain has been jailed for imposing fines and pocketing the money. Three motorists who gave evidence against Hussain said they handed over £ 30 each after being told by the officer that by giving money to him they could avoid getting penalty points.

Young couples forced to stay with their parents

London: Rising property prices and squeeze on earnings are forcing more and more young couples to stay with their parents or in-laws, official figures show. An analysis of returns from the 2011 census shows that 289,000 families are living in another family’s home in England and Wales – most of them under the age of 35.

A cure for snoring

London: Snoring by your partner can affect your sleep. Now a new device is under trial. It is an activated nagging pillow. The pillow detects snoring and nudges a sleeper into a new position so they do not wake up their partner next to them. It is fitted with an integrated microphone that picks up the sonic vibrations of snoring. It then inflates an internal air bladder which increases the pillow’s depth by three inches – sufficient to make a sleeper move their head or body. The device is available online from the New York-based retailer Hammacher Schlemmer for £92.

3,000 hit by benefit cap found employment

London: More than 3,000 people who were denied government’s welfare schemes have now found work, according to figures. The government has introduced a £ 26,000 cap for the families to avail the welfare schemes in 2013. The figures show that 40% of those coming off the cap have found employment.

River Thames breaches its banks near London - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

London: The River Thames has burst its banks after reaching its highest level in years, flooding riverside towns upstream of London. Residents and British troops piled up sandbags to protect properties from the latest bout of flooding, but the river overwhelmed their defenses in several places, leaving areas including the center of the village of Datchet underwater. The Environment Agency has issued 14 severe flood warnings meaning there's a danger to life - along the Thames east of Windsor, about 20 miles (32 km) from London. Its chief executive, Paul Leinster, said "extreme weather will continue to threaten communities this week" with more Thames flooding expected. There were no flood alerts for the part of the river that flows through London. That stretch is protected by the Thames Barrier, a series of giant metal gates downstream of central London that can be closed against tidal surges. By holding back the tide, the barrier also creates more space in the river for excess water from upstream to flow down to the sea. England has had its wettest January since 1766. Its southwest coast has been battered repeatedly by storms and a large area of the low-lying Somerset Levels in the southwest has been under water for more than a month. The disaster has sparked a political storm, with the Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative-led government facing criticism from many residents for allegedly failing to dredge rivers and take other flood-prevention measures. Both Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited floodhit areas as the government struggled to take charge of the flooding crisis. Cameron denied the government had been slow to respond. "We have been dealing with it from the very moment it started," he said. "Where money was needed, we provided more money. Where military was needed, I made sure the military was deployed." Some areas are already under water, including parts of the Great Windsor Park, near Queen Elizabeth II's castle at Windsor, which itself is built on higher ground. Forecasters at the Met Office said the run of winter storms, which have brought heavy rain and strong winds and seen high waves batter the English coastline, has been "exceptional in its duration". Many people in Somerset, one of the hardest-hit counties in the southwest, blame the dev-

astating floods on the failure of the Environment Agency. Communities minister Eric Pickles joined the attack on Sunday, suggesting the government "perhaps relied too much on the Environment Agency's advice" on flood prevention. "I am really sorry that we took the advice... we thought we were dealing with experts," Pickles, a member of Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party, said. Chris Smith, the head of the Environment Agency, hit back and accused ministers for holding back vital funds. "When I hear someone criticising the expertise and professionalism of my staff in the Environment Agency who know more about flood risk management - 100 times more about flood risk management - than any politician ever does, I am not going to sit idly by," he said. Smith, a former minis-

build walls of sandbags. People living in Chertsey, Egham, Staines, Shepperton Green, Laleham, Horton, Wraysbury, Old Windsor and Datchet have been contacted by the agency’s floodline and warned to leave. “We need help here. We need the police, we need the army,” said Councillor Colin Rayner, from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, speaking from Wraysbury in Berkshire. As the new crisis was developing along the Thames Valley, an acrimonious row broke out between Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, and Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, over where blame should lie for failure to protect the Somerset Levels. Paterson, who is recovering from surgery and has handed to Pickles the responsibility for managing the floods response, has complained to

ter in Labour government, said the Treasury had limited the amount the agency could spend on flood management in Somerset. The prime minister last week announced £130 million in extra funding for emergency repairs and maintenance. Cameron paid his first visit to Somerset, where the Royal Marines have been deployed to help with sand-bagging, on Friday and on Monday he visited storm-affected areas in the southwest counties of Devon and Cornwall. Evacuations begin along Thames Thousands of people have begun to evacuate their homes in the Thames Valley as water levels continue to rise in the flooded river. Soldiers have been helping local residents to

Downing Street about Pickles’s attack on the Environment Agency. The Communities Secretary savaged the EA, blaming it for ministers’ decision last year to turn down requests from Somerset farmers for urgent dredging work on the Levels. “We made a mistake, there’s no doubt about that. We perhaps relied too much on the Environment Agency’s advice. I am really sorry that we took the advice … we thought we were dealing with experts,” Pickles said on Sunday. Forecasters have given little hope of any imminent improvement and warned of further severe weather until the end of the week. The Met Office has issued yellow “be-aware” warnings for heavy rain in

London and the South East, the South West, Wales and the Midlands. The floods were expected to disrupt travel between London and parts of the Home Counties after a weekend in which the South West was severed from the railway. A statement from National Rail said: “The River Thames has flooded at Datchet and other locations between Staines and Windsor & Eton Riverside. Because of this, trains are unable to run and a replacement bus service is not available.” Flooding has also disrupted services between Oxford and Radley. Travel from the South West continues to be disrupted by floods, landslips and the loss of an 80-metre stretch of the Great Western Railway in Devon. Firemen rescued 20 people from a caravan park near Northmoor, Oxfordshire, which has been flooded twice by the Thames in the past five weeks. In Croydon, South London, a pedestrian underpass was turned into a reservoir to hold hundreds of thousands of litres of floodwater. Reserve soldiers of 7th Battalion The Rifles were called on to dam a breach in the Kennet Canal, which threatened to flood an electrical sub-station near Burghfield, south of Reading. Sixteen hundred troops are on standby in the South. Rescuers in Kent saved a man who had been swept away, and two people who were stranded in a car in water more than a metre deep. Rail passengers were disrupted by a landslip at Meopham. Two severe flood warnings remain for the Somerset Levels. Almost 1,000 homes are at risk outside Bridgwater, and officials have built an earth embankment between the villages of Moorland and Huntworth to try to hold back the waters. In Wales, roads were closed by floods and fallen trees, and 64,000 homes were left without power. Emergency services were searching for a kayaker in difficulties on the River Usk. - Asian Voice 15th February 2014


950,000 year old human footprints found in Britain

London: In a major archaeological discovery, experts have found around 50 footprints, made by members by an early species of prehistoric humans almost a million years ago, near the village of Happisburgh, in Norfolk, 17 miles north-east of Norwich. It is one of the most important archaeological discoveries ever made in Britain and is of great international significance, as the footprints are the first of such great age ever found outside Africa.

Adulterated food

London: Scientists during a test found that food is being adulterated with “meat emulsion”, banned additives and bromides used in flame retardants. While testing hundreds of samples they found that more than a third was not what they claimed to be or were incorrectly labelled, including vodka that contained an ingredient of antifreeze. Companies are selling mozzarella that is less than half real cheese and frozen prawns that are 50 per cent water.

Extreme views of Conservative members

London: Tim Yeo, a Conservative MP who was not selected to contest the next election from South Suffolk by the local activists, said that the party was dominated by members with “extreme” views on issues like Europe and same-sex marriage. He said the party’s dwindling membership was leading it to take positions that are increasingly at odds with wider public opinion. He was the second sitting Conservative MP in a week to be sacked as a candidate by local activists.

Smoking ban in cars carrying children

London: MPs in the House of Commons are expected to vote in favour of banning smoking in cars carrying children. But cabinet ministers believe that the ban is unworkable and impossible to enforce. Although the Commons is expected to vote in favour of a legal ban on smoking in private vehicles David Cameron was preparing to miss the vote. The health experts are pressing the lawmakers to impose the ban.

European migrants to work harder

London: A senior Brussels official has claimed that European migrants are more likely to work harder than their British counterparts. In an interview, Viviane Reding – a Commission vice-president who was visiting London, claimed that 77 per cent of EU migrants are economically active, compared to 72 per cent of British nationals. She also dismissed attempts by the Government to limit access to benefits for migrants to reduce incentives for immigrants to come to the UK.

Karzai holds secret talks with Taliban

Islamabad: Afghan president Hamid Karzai is said to have held secret talks with Taliban militants in an effort to convince them to shed violence and bring peace in the troubled country. The militants want the US forces to leave the country and that may be the reason why Karzai has not signed the security treaty with the US for the continuation of a small force after Nato forces withdraw from the country at the end of 2014. Karzai hopes that his stand would facilitate the militant to come to the negotiating table. “Contacts have been made and we are also in touch with them,” according to his spokesman Aimal Faizi. This year marks a crucial milestone for Afghanistan more than a decade after the Taliban were ousted from Kabul. Karzai will have to step down from the presidency following election which is expected in April. The Nato forces are also due to leave the country in the end of 2014. Karzai know that peace with Taliban is crucial for the survival of an elected government.

Nepal elects Sushil Koirala as new Prime Minister

Kathmandu: Nepal's parliament picked a social democrat as its new prime minister on Monday after a last-minute power sharing deal ended a deadlock that had lasted more than two months after an election. Sushil Koirala, the head of the centrist Nepali Congress party, was elected with support from the communist UML party, which holds the second largest number of seats in parliament and which wanted the assembly to hold new presidential elections. Koirala needed to be elected by a majority in parliament and his Nepali Congress party controls 194 seats in the 601-seat assembly.



Scotland referendum may be a big blow for Cameron

London: The Scots have voted for independence in a referendum. But it will have far-reaching consequences for Prime Minister David Cameron. He is still smarting from the humiliation of achieving third place in the European parliament elections in May. Now he will for ever be seen as the man who presided over the break-up of Britain - the worst possible epitaph for the leader of the “Conservative and Unionist party”. The yes majority in the referendum has also provoked a series of questions to which there are no certain answers. Will Scotland keep the pound and, if so, on what terms? When will it be able to join the European Union? Will Salmond accept the UK’s right to keep its Faslane

nuclear base on the Clyde or will he challenge London’s insistence that this is “UK sovereign territory” beyond his control? Closer to the hearts and wallets of the Scots, will their country benefit from new jobs and more investment or will it lose out as international companies shift both of those benefits south of the border?

Scot leader Salmond deserves his victory celebration, but the task of converting referendum victory into the reality of independence could prove tricky. As for Cameron, the vote could offer him good tidings. Without Scotland, Conservative prospects at Westminster will be a lot brighter. In 2010 Cameron was forced into a coalition because his party fell 19 seats short of the number it needed to govern alone. Had there been no MPs from Scotland he would have led a contingent of 306 MPs out of a total of 591. He would have enjoyed an overall majority of 21. Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, can find no such consolation in Scotland’s decision to leave the UK. For if

Bilawal Bhutto

Bakhtawar Bhutto

David Cameron

Labour returns to power in next year’s general election its victory might be short-lived. The day Scotland becomes independent, Labour will lose more than 40 of its MPs. Overnight the Tories might well become the largest party at Westminster. At best Miliband will have to call a fresh general election; at worst he will return immediately to opposition. That is not all. The Scottish vote for independence has also exposed a profound weakness in Miliband’s party. It has seen a large number of Labour’s working-class supporters flock to Salmond’s banner, just as they did in the final days of the 2011 election to the Scottish parliament.

Bitter experiences of Banazir’s siblings

Islamabad: Former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s children were in self-imposed exile for many years because of threats and court cases from their homeland. Now they have spoken about their experience during that time. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, 25, has been anointed as the former prime minister’s political heir and has moved centre stage in recent weeks organising a major cultural festival. In an interview, he and his two sisters describe how they grew up longing to return to their homeland. Bakhtawar, 24, who has worked for a number of charities assisting flood and earthquake victims, said their mother juggled running the Pakistan People’s Party with bringing up three young children. “We always wanted to return back to Pakistan, my mother frequently spoke about returning home and we often reminisced about our memo-

ries of Bilawal House,” said the Edinburgh University graduate, referring to the family home in Karachi. “Tragically, we came back for our mother’s funeral. It was not the sort of homecoming we had planned…” Mrs Bhutto was killed in a suicide attack as she left a campaign rally in 2007, weeks after she flew back into the country for the first time in almost nine years. Her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, spent eight years in prison after being arrested in the late 1990s, years which weighed heavily on his

young children as they grew up in Dubai. Aseefa, 21, said: “It was a very traumatic time for all three of us. I was only three years old when my father was imprisoned and it wasn’t until I was eleven when he was finally released. My childhood was quite bereft.” Diplomats wonder whether she might have more campaigning fire in her belly than her brother – roundly criticised for staying away during last year’s general election and whether she might ultimately emerge as the keeper of the Bhutto political flame.

Aseefa Bhutto

In recent months, however, Bilawal has developed a higher profile, improving his Urdu and carving out an outspoken leftist position on tackling extremism and reforming the economy. He became the third generation to run the family party when his mother died, just as she had inherited the post when her father was hanged after a military coup. “I never planned to be doing this,” he said. “Like my mother, this crown of thorns was entrusted to me at a very young age. I see it as both an honour and an opportunity.

James Dyson plans all-purpose robots

London: Sir James Dyson, one UK’s most successful entrepreneurs, is trying to create affordable house robots that will revolutionise domestic chores. He believes that robots will soon be able to cope with almost every menial household task, from cleaning to putting out the bins and spotting intruders. He wants to create “a new generation of robots that understand the world around them”. He will announce £5m for a new robotics laboratory at Imperial College London to develop a vision system that will enable robots to see and

James Dyson with robots

interact with their environment like humans. It will supplement the research on robots being carried out at his Wiltshire

headquarters, which employs 2,000 engineers and scientists. “Almost anything where you need a human

to do it, you could replace that with a robot in the brave new world,” said Dyson. “The key is being able to behave as a human does. Vision is key to it.” He believes his company’s expertise in producing small, powerful motors and his work on electronic navigation systems means he could develop a mass-selling housework robot. He is competing against the Japanese to be the first to build an advanced generation of household androids.




Jayalalithaa sets up panel for talks with allies

AIADMK general secretary and Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa constituted a four-member panel to hold talks with allies on seat sharing for the coming Lok Sabha polls. Party treasurer and finance minister O Paneerselvam, electricity minister Natham R Viswanathan, local administration minister K P Munusamy and housing minister R Vaithilingam will be the members of the committee, Jayalalithaa said in a statement. AIADMK has already announced an alliance with CPI and CPM for the polls.

Chennai likely to get 200 more Amma canteens

Chennai is likely to get 200 more Amma canteens by April-end. While officials have identified locations and begun work on 65 canteens, efforts are on to identify 135 more locations by this month-end. Councillors believe that many schools with low student strength will fall prey to this space hunt. The Chennai Corporation, which opened its first 200 canteens by April 11 last year, plans to double the number before the first anniversary. However, space constraint seems to be an issue.

DMK seeks meeting on fishermen's arrests

DMK parliamentarians have urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to convene a meeting of ministers, elected leaders and representatives of fishermen of India and Sri Lanka to find a permanent solution to the arrest of Indian fishermen by Sri Lanka navy. According to the DMK, the arrests of Indian fishermen continue even after the recent talks between the fishermen representatives of both the countries.


Sikhs take out Walk for Justice in Delhi

Carrying torches in their hands, hundreds of Sikh men, women and children led by the president of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee Manjit Singh GK took out 'Walk for Justice' from Gurdwara Bangla Sahib up to the residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Delhi symbolizing enlightening and awakening of Congress party to stop atrocities on Sikhs and give them the Justice. "Congress party's dealing with the Sikhs has been atrocious and full of cruelty, as Operation Bluestar in 1984 in Golden Temple was planned by the Congress government with the help of UK government," alleged Manjit Singh.

Haryana Cong searches for new candidates

Haryana's ruling Congress may have to find new candidates for nearly half of the 10 Lok Sabha seats from the state for the general elections expected in April-May. Having won nine out of the 10 Lok Sabha seats in the 2009 general elections, the stakes for the Congress are high. Though no one gives the Congress any chance of repeating that performance, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda seems supremely confident that the party could even win all the 10 seats this time round.

Pak prisoner dies at Faridkot medical college

A Pakistani prisoner Mohamad Amin died at Guru Gobind Singh Medical College where he was admitted for treatment on January 30. According to officials, the Pakistan national was earlier treated at PGI, Chandigarh, and again at a mental hospital in Amritsar. Mohammad Amin, 55, was booked under Indian Passport Act on January 14, 2013, at Fazilka when he had crossed over to India under mysterious circumstances.

LS poll: Yeddyurappa, Nilekani named in the list - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

The Congress and BJP in Karnataka have almost finalised their first list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections. The state Congress has asked the high command to field all 9 sitting MPs from the state while the BJP has already submitted a list of 21 candidates cleared by the state leadership. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, KPCC president Dr G Parameshwar, top leaders of the state BJP including B S Yeddyurappa had descended over the national capital to discuss Lok Sabha poll preparedness. Union ministers M Veerappa Moily, M Mallikarjuna Kharge, KH Muniyappa and former CM N Dharam Singh are among the MPs likely to contest again.

ter BS Yeddyurappa, who has just returned to the party, will be contesting from Shimoga. His son BY Raghavendra, the current MP has agreed to vacate the seat for his father. BJP national general Yeddyurappa with Rajnath Singh in Delhi secretary Ananth Kumar will be seeking a 6th The KPCC has also recomconsecutive term mended the name of Infosys from co-founder Nandan Nilekani Bangalore South. He will be from Bangalore South. taking on Nandan Nilekani of The Congress is yet to the Congress. finalise the names for remainYeddyurappa's close coning 18 seats. Union minister fidante and former minister KH Muniyappa will be seekShobha Karandlaje is likely to contest from Mysoreing a 7th straight term from Kodagu. Former deputy chief Kolar. minister R Ashoka will most The BJP which has 18 likely to contest from MPs from Karnataka has Bangalore North. The BJP cleared the names of 21 canhas denied ticket to sitting didates. Former chief minis-

The six official nominees of the Congress, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) were declared elected to the Rajya Sabha from Andhra Pradesh. Returning officer S Raja Sadaram announced that KVP Ramachandra Rao, T Subbarami Reddy and MA Khan (all Congress) Garikapati Mohan Rao and Thota Sitarama Lakshmi (both TDP) and TRS nominee K Keshava Rao were elected. Keshava Rao was elected after considering the second preferential votes whereas all the other five members won the polls based on the first preferential votes. Of the effective strength of 279 members, as many as 248 MLAs cast their votes while YSRC (17), BJP (4) and CPM (1) members stayed away. The six Congress rebels, who had recently crossed over to the YSRC, also did

not turn up. Khan secured 48 votes while Subbarami Reddy and KVP Ramachandra Rao secured 46 each. The two TDP candidates secured 38 votes each. TRS nominee Kesava Rao got 26 votes. The contest was necessitated by the presence of Congress MLA Adala Prabhakar Reddy as the seventh candidate. However, he retired from the contest in the last minute. Congress MLA Daggubati Venkateshwara Rao became the first MLA to avail the "None Of The Above" option which has been introduced for the first time in the Rajya Sabha elections by the Election Commission. Rao claimed that he had chosen the option after consulting the chief minister. He said he chose the option to express his displeasure over his party's adamancy in bifurcating the state without consulting the people of Seemandhra.

All 6 candidates elected to RS from Andhra

Badal promises better show than son Sukhbir

A war memorial near Mohali in Punjab town is out to become a battleground of a different kind. An event to be hosted at the Baba Banda Singh Bahadur War Memorial complex in Chappar Chiri village is a father's challenge to his son and political heir apparent. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is sparing no efforts to ensure that the first Progressive Punjab Agriculture Summit (PPAS), which he claims is going to be the country's biggest agriculture event, is bigger and better than the Progressive Punjab Investors' Summit organised by his son and Deputy Chief Minister in December. The PPAS summit is to be held during Feb 16-19. While Sukhbir was able to line up some of the biggest names from industry for the December summit and even got assurances of investment of around Rs 650 billion, his father wants to put up a bigger show of a different kind.

Parkash Singh Badal

At the last summit itself the chief minister had declared that his agri-summit would be bigger than Sukhbir's. The senior Badal is expecting over 50,000 farmers from Punjab to converge at the agri-summit. Another 5,000 farmers will come from other states. There will also be chief ministers from various states, experts, agri-scientists and economists from 10 countries - Canada, Pakistan, Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, the US, Israel, Italy and New Zealand. A leading consultancy and the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry have been roped in.

MP DB Chandra Gowda from Bangalore North. Former CM DV Sadananda Gowda who was eyeing Bangalore North is now being forced to contest from Udupi-Chikmagalur, which he won in 2009. The third party in the fray, the JDS has also finalised its first list of candidates. Party patriarch and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda will be contesting from Hassan for the 6th time. His daughter in law Anitha Kumaraswamy, who lost the 2013 Lok Sabha by-poll from Bangalore Rural, is once again taking on sitting MP D K Suresh of the Congress. The JDS is likely to field retired Commissioner of Bangalore City Corporation Siddaiah from Kolar.

Proceedings against DMK MLA stayed

Madras high court's Madurai bench stayed proceedings in a lower court against DMK's Tiruchendur MLA, Anitha Radhakrishnan, who was booked for causing public disturbance by holding a rally with 300 party men near Sri Murugan temple in Thiruchendur on April 11, 2011. The rally was held as part of his election campaign. The Kovil police registered a case against the MLA on the basis of a complaint filed by village administrative officer Venkateswaran, who said the rally had caused public disturbance. The case has been pending before the Thiruchendur judicial magistrate court. The MLA filed a petition at the high court stating that the police had filed a chargesheet against him at the judicial magistrate court without conducting any investigation. The MLA claimed that he had held the rally with the permission of the election

Anitha Radhakrishnan

officer. However, the police booked a case against him as he is a DMK member, he claimed. Hence he sought an interim stay on all proceedings in the judicial magistrate court. He prayed to the court to dispense with his personal appearance in the lower court. Justice G Chockalingam on Friday granted an interim stay on the proceedings in the lower court and adjourned the matter by a week.

Haryana Chief Minister Hooda says khaps are NGOs

Following the footsteps of Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda equated khap panchayats with NGOs, saying village courts are a part of the state's culture. Addressing the press after a cabinet meeting in Chandigarh, Hooda said: 'Khap panchayats are like NGO as we have resident welfare associations.' The Congress leader was responding to P Chidambaram's statement calling khaps as backward organisations. Last week, Arvind Kejriwal said he would not ban the illegal village courts because they had a 'cultural' purpose despite their harsh treatment of women. "No, it is not a question of banning these khaps," Kejriwal said, referring to khap panchayats, the name given to village councils in rural north India. "Khap panchayats are a group of people

Bhupinder Singh Hooda

who come together. There is no bar on people to assemble in this country ‌ (But) whenever they take a wrong decision, whenever they take an illegal decision, they ought to be punished." Khap panchayats' diktats have ranged from banning women from wearing western clothes and using mobile phones to ordering the killing of young couples. Some councils have demanded that the minimum age of marriage be lowered to 16 from 18 for girls and 21 for boys as a way of coping with an increase in the number of rapes.

INDIA - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

US comes to Modi

It seems US is following European nations and Australia and taking soft stance on Gujarat Chief M i n i s t e r Narendra Modi. Sources in the Gujarat’s State capital said that the US ambassador to India, Nancy Powell has sought an appointment to meet the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate and she might meet Modi on Thursday in Gandhinagar. The meeting would have great significance in backdrop of the United States’ decision of banning the entry of Modi in U.S.A. In fact, the United States had revoked a visa for Modi in the year 2005 under a domestic law that bars entry by any foreign officials seen as responsible for violations of religious freedom in context to post Godhra riots in various parts of Gujarat in the year 2002. Sources said that the move from the United States had come looking to increasing possibility of BJP to come in power and Modi as Prime Minister. However, an official was quoted as saying that this is part of ‘concentrated outreach’ to senior politi-

Nancy Powell

cal and business leaders which began in November to highlight the US-India relationship. In the recent past among the high profile envoys from important European countries were U.K. High Commissioner James Bevan and German Ambassador Michael Steiner. If sources has to be believed, apart from Modi’s bright prospects in the upcoming general elections U.S. is also eyeing at a muti-billion site for nuclear power reactors which is considered as big ticket investment to boost U.S. economy. With court of law has also given clean chit to Narendra Modi, the U.S. strategists have adequate reason to lift a decade on ban on India’s most highprofile politician.


Kejriwal up-in-arm against Ambani, Moily and Deora over gas prices

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal came down heavily on Reliance Industries limited and blamed the company of creating artificial shortage of gas in the country and conspiring to raise its price. Kejriwal said he has ordered the anti-corruption branch to file a criminal case against Mukesh Ambani and former oil minister Murli Deora and present oil minister Veerappa Moily in connection with a complaint received by the Delhi government against the pricing of gas produced from the D6 block in the east coast. FIR will also be lodged against VK Sibbal, former DG hydrocarbons. The anti-corruption branch had received a complaint from four eminent people against Reliance, said Kejriwal adding that in the complaint it was stated that some central ministers conspired to ensure windfall gains for Reliance in the gas deal. Reliance had initially agreed to supply gas to utility NTPC Ltd at about $2.3 per million British thermal units (mBtu) for about 17 years, he said adding that but price of gas from the D6 block was fixed at $4.2 per

Mukesh Ambani

mBtu when Deora was oil minister. There was a move to raise the price of gas from the existing $4 per unit to $8 per unit from April 1 If the rates are increased, it will lead to chaos as prices of everything will go up, he said. He said he would be writing to the Prime Minister to put on hold the order to increase the price of gas till the probe by anti-corruption branch was over. In his letter, he will also request the PM to ensure that all concerned ministries cooperate in the probe. Reacting to Kejriwal's charges, Verrappa Moily said, "I should sympathize with him,he should know how govt functions,there is certain system to fix prices."

Murli Deora

Veerappa Moily

Orders for probe against Dikshit in CWG scam

The Aam Aadmi Party government has ordered an FIR to be filed against former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit for her alleged role in the Commonwealth Games street-lighting scam in 2010, in which a private company was favoured leading to crores of losses to the exchequer. According to sources Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal directed the anti-corruption bureau to investigate Dikshit's role in the purchase of imported street-lights at inflated prices. A CBI chargesheet says that the change lead to losses of Rs 1, 42, 83,000 to the government.

Delhi govt wants SIT to probe into 1984 riots

The Kejariwal government in Delhi is planning to recommend to Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung to set up a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. "We have decided to recommend to the Lt.Governor to form a SIT on the killing of Sikhs in 1984 riots. This is a blot on the history of India," Education Minister Manish Sisodia told reporters.


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Give Aurangzeb Road new name

Dr Rami Ranger MBE, Chairman of the British Sikh Association has urged that he would like to help in renaming Aurangzeb Road in Delhi, the capital of India to Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Road. “Aurangzeb was a tyrant who converted millions of Hindus in their own country by force. Guru Teg Bahadur Ji paid the ultimate sacrifice with his life to uphold our religious freedom in India. I shudder to think what our future would have been if it wasn’t for the stand of Guru Teg Bahadur and the vision of his son Guru Gobind Singh ji,” he said in a letter adding that this will help convey the right message to the public, especially to those who are not aware of the above mentioned historical aspect.

8 died in Raipur cave temple

Eight including three young girls died as the wall of a cave leading to a popular Hindu temple in central India collapsed. The accident at Bildwar Cave in Chhattisgarh may have been triggered by blasts in nearby coal mines, said the sources.” Frequent blasts are carried out in the nearby coal mines and that could be the reason for the cave-in. A senior police officer said/ that eight bodies had been recovered, three were girls aged between 10 and 13, and five men. "Three others are injured. They are in a serious condition", said the official.

MLA withdraws support: Kejariwal govt in trouble

The AAP government in Delhi left teetering after an independent MLA Rambir Shokeen withdrew his support to Arvind Kejriwal’s ruling party. According to Shokeen he decided to withdraw support as the government has "failed" to fulfill the promises made before the polls. He was elected from Mundka constituency in New Delhi. "We had given support to the AAP based on the issue of removing unnecessary restrictions on villages, extension of 'Lal dora' boundaries, making the teachers working on contract permanent and also on the water issue, but they have failed on all these fronts. Shokeen blamed Kejriwal and his ministers of not visiting the villages of Delhi at least once after the formation of the government. Earlier, Congress MLA Asif Mohammad Khan had also reportedly withdrawn his support to the AAP government.

'Third Force' to be given final shape

Leaders including Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar had a breakfast meeting to give final shape to form ‘Third Force’ – a non-Congress, nonBJP alliance in view of upcoming general elections. The informal meeting took place at the residence of JD(S) chief and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda in which it was decided that leaders of 11 non-Congress non-BJP parties, who recently came together in Parliament, will hold a formal meeting after the extended winter session is over to give concrete shape to the "third force". The meeting was attended by CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat, CPI veteran AB Bardhan and Forward Bloc general secretary Debabrata Biswas.

Apex court issues defamation notice to Kejriwal

In a defamation case filed by Amit Sibal, son of Union telecom minister Kapil Sibal, the Supreme Court has stayed a Delhi high court order giving relief to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and advocate Prashant Bhushan. The SC issued a defamation notice to the Delhi chief minister and three other AAP leaders. The Delhi HC had refused to quash defamation proceedings against AAP leaders but had told trial court to consider the discharge plea of Kejriwal and Bhushan.

Penguin to destroy copies of 'The Hindus'

Copies of American scholar Wendy Doniger's book 'The Hindus: An Alternative History' will be withdrawn and pulped in India, due to a legal dispute. Publisher of the book Penguin has taken the decision. A copy of a settlement agreement between Penguin and an organisation called Shiksha Bachao Andolan that found the book insulting to Hindus, leaked on the document-sharing website This was following a threeyear-old civil lawsuit in the Saket District Court in New Delhi. Soon after the news broke, torrent links to pirated e-copies of the book began to be shared online. Many on Twitter shared links to torrent websites where the book could be downloaded, or offered to share the PDFs or Epub version of the book themselves. - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

Extension to Visa-on-Arrival schemes for 180 nations to boost tourism in India

In order to boost tourism activities, the government of India has extended the country’s visa-on-arrival scheme to 180 nations. Under the scheme, however, eight countries will be barred that include Pakistan, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Somalia. Right now, visa-onarrival facility is available for only a few low-risk countries including Japan, New Zealand and Vietnam; a mere 17,594 tourists used this facility in 2013. The tourism ministry had pushed for visa on arrival for 40 countries in October, but was not applied practically posing to resistance faced from the home ministry. Confirming the development planning minister Rajeev Shukla said that the historic decision to extend the visa-on-arrival facility to tourists from 180

nations was taken and it will take 5-6 months for the respective departments to put the required infrastructure in place. The electronic visa-onarrival would be available at 26 major airports in India and would be valid for 30 days from the date of the tourist's arrival in India. India currently offers visa-on-arrival to tourists from only 11 countries. Sources said that due to the decision tourist travel plan to India is soon to become hassle-free and easier. Citizens of most of the countries, including the UK and US have to line up at local embassies and wait for several weeks before getting their Indian Visa. That’s the current situation. A new procedure that is different from the typical visa-on-arrival system requires tourists to apply online before their departure. They will then

Continued from page 1 a highly placed source. The current bill envisages Hyderabad as joint capital for Telangana and residual Andhra Pradesh for the first 10 years after the state's bifurcation. The Telangana issue has continued to disrupt Indian Parliament since it began on Feb 5 this month with business in both houses paralysed due to protests by members belonging to Seemandhara and Telangana. The bill has been rejected by the Andhra Pradesh assembly. Meanwhile, the Congress and BJP are engaged in intense negotiations to hammer out an understanding over the creation of Telangana. BJP has assured the government that it would not waver from its commitment to the creation of Telangana but is insisting on a specific pledge of financial support for Seemandhra region as the condition for supporting the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill, expected to be introduced in Parliament. The Union home ministry has sent a recommendation to President Pranab Mukherjee for introduction of the Telangana bill in Parliament. According to sources, BJP had demanded a commitment for extending financial assistance worth Rs 170 billion to Seemandhra region through the Consolidated Fund of India to meet the revenue gap it will be saddled with, based on projections for the previous and current fiscal years, because of the

transfer of resource-rich Hyderabad to Telangana as the capital of the proposed state. The party also wants the government to ask the Finance Commission to find ways of helping Seemandhra region with adequate funds on a longterm basis as a compensation for Hyderabad which generated Rs 240 billion in revenue. The Congress and BJP have said that while sticking points remained, they were in agreement on provisions of the bill such as declaring Rayalaseema region as backward and providing special incentives including tax holidays and exemption from central exercise for industry, creation of reservoirs in Seemandhra as part of the Polavaram project on Godavari, swift completion of six irrigation projects four in Rayalaseema and two in Telangana - linked to Krishna river and a provision in the bill that education and employment opportunities in Hyderabad will remain open to people from both regions until Seemandhra gets its own capital. Meanwhile, the Congress has expelled six Lok Sabha MPs from Andhra Pradesh who opposed creation of Telangana and had given a notice of no-confidence motion against the government. The MPs expelled by Congress president Sonia Gandhi are Sabbam Hari, GV Harsha Kumar, V Arun Kumar, L Rajagopal, R Sambasiva Rao and A Sai Pratap.

Telangana to become a reality

get an email authorisation within two or three days, said an official associated with the decision making process. The new Immigration, Visas, Foreigners’ Registration and Tracking (IVFRT) system will have a huge database of every tourist in India under a unique case file and their pattern of stay will be recorded. India , which is rich in its range of beaches , cultural themes and historical monuments failed to attract as many tourists visiting other countries

like Thailand- in 2012, only 6.58 million tourists visited India, which accounts to just a quarter of traffic to Thailand in the same year. Thailand has emerged as a veritable Asian tourism giant on the back of efforts to create conducive tourism ecosystem. Since the 1960s, the Thai government has invested heavily on infrastructure, resulting in improvements in road construction, power supply, banking, communications and other government services that aid tourism.

Continued from page 1 capped Indian players, whose names figured in conversations between bookies taped by the police. "The allegations of betting and passing on information against Meiyappan stand proved. However, allegation of (match) fixing require further investigation," said the panel, also comprising additional solicitor general L N Rao and Nilay Dutta, in its report to the Supreme Court. The report also raised dark clouds on CSK's participation in IPL tournament this year by accusing it of breaching the rules by failing to rein in Meiyappan. Meiyappan's illegal acts stood accentuated given his role/position in CSK, it said. The franchise owner of CSK (India Cement) is responsible for failing to ensure Meiyappan (a team offi-

cial) had complied with the BCCI AntiCorruption Code, IPL Operational Rules, said the report. "It is for the Supreme Court to decide what action, if any, is to be taken pursuant to this report," it suggested. The inquiry panel also flagged for the SC's serious attention to questions of conflict of interest raised against Srinivasan, both inside and outside the BCCI. The report, presented to the court by counsel Gautam Bharadwaj and Vidushpat Singhania, said Meiyappan indulged in betting through Vindoo Dara Singh, who in turn was in direct touch with bookies and punters like Vikram Aggarwal. Bets were placed by Meiyappan not only in favour of CSK but also against it, said the report.

Despite 43 per cent of Kerala’s population belongs to minority community, there was unprecedented turnout in Modi’s rallies in Kochi a n d Thiruvananthapuram. At the first public meeting in Kochi, Modi inaugurated the convention of a faction of Kerala Pulaya Maha Sabha, a socio-cultural organization of one of the state’s leading Scheduled Caste communities. During his speech, he declared that a change of regime was certain at the Centre in the next 100 days. The presence of

Shri Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) chief and Ezhava leader Vellappilli Natesan on the dais at Kochi was a minor coup and a sign of the BJP’s new strategy of cobbling a backward caste-dalit coalition in a state where, despite desperate several attempts, it has never won a Lok Sabha or assembly seat. In fact, Modi’s speeches in both the cities repeatedly invoked the pantheon of backward caste stalwarts from Ambedkar and Phule to Sree Narayana Guru, Ayyankali and Pandit Karuppan.

BCCI chief’s son-in-law indicted for betting

Unprecedented turnout in NaMo’s rally in Kerala - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

Meghmani Group - the conglomerate created by classmates


UK to launch ‘business is great’ campaign in Indore


Founders of over $ 200 million Meghmani Group Jayanti Patel and Ashish Soparker were classmates at Lakhdhirji Engineering College. After completion of their engineering, the roommates in the college hostel teamed up to form a chemical business with hardly Rs 16,000. The humble beginning today flourished into Meghmani Group – a conglomerate having interest in chemicals, dye-chem, agro-chemicals and real-estate.

Mayuri Dave

In the year 1975, two friends Ashish Soparkar and Jayanti Patel completed their chemical engineering. With a dream to start their own business, the duo initially worked for other companies before they start their own chemical business – Ashish Chemicals in 1977 with a small investment of Rs. 16,000. Patel, son of a farmer of a small village Trent near Viramgam town and Soparker, son of a bureaucrat were the right combination to face issues related to entrepreneurship right from capital inflow, skilled manpower, exploring markets so on and so forth. The duo worked hard for almost nine years and decided to form another unit – a partnership firm Gujarat Industries in 1986. Patel’s brother Natavarlal, Ramesh and Anand also joined the business in the same year and started manufacturing pigment blue. “The product developed by us in the segment became a hit coupled with productivity and profitability. In the year 1995-96 Gujarat Industries transformed into a joint stock company under the name – Meghmani Organics Limited (MOL). Since then they have diversified its business interests to include a range of pesticides and other pigment products as well as specialty chemicals,” said Jayanti Patel, chairman & managing director of Meghmani Group. Talking about growth of Meghmani Group, Managing Director Ashish Soparkar says that during the journey of over two decades, MOL has carved out a distinct position as a conglomerate having interest in segments of Chemicals with a focus on excellence in quality of products backed by inhouse research & development. MOL which started as an SME is now having presence in more than 60 countries across the globe such as North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific countries. More than 80% of Meghmani’s pigment

Kumar Iyer, British Deputy High Commissioner Western Region and Director General, India, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) will led a successful British “Business is “great” campaign in Indore from January 15-17, aimed at inviting Indore to partner with British businesses for mutual benefit. As part of the activities, UKTI hosted a series of well-attended events in which more than 30 UK companies participated. These included an exhibition, symposiums on public health, fuel economy and green technology for the auto sector, an infrastructure and energy round table and a lecture at IIT Indore by Professor Peter Lindstedt of Imperial College London. In addition the UK was the

Jayanti Patel and Ashish Soparker

products and over 60% of pesticides products are being exported the world over. The group has five multifunctional production facilities at Ahmedabad, Dahej, Ankleshwar and Panoli in Gujarat. With export of 70 per cent of its total production, the group is having five overseas companies including Meghmani Organinics USA Inc at Charlotte in USA, Meghmani Europe BVBA at Antwerp in Belgium, Meghmani Overseas FZE at Sharjah in UAE, India Meghmani Organics Limited, a representative office in China at Sanghai and PT Meghmani Organics Limited at Jakarta in Indonesia. According to founders of the group, they have recently diversified into real-estate

business too. The group is also constructing a state-of-the-art building to house its headquarters in Ahmedabad. Meghmani has many awards to its credit that include export award from the President of India, Investors’ choice award for the most transparent company to name a few. Meghmani also successfully completed its secondary listing in India at the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange. The Meghmani Dyes & Intermediates Limited (MDIL)-the pioneering dyestuff business division has stock points at various locations like Istanbul (Turkey), Antwerp (Belgium), Barcelona (Spain) and Colonia (Uruguay).

ic bl ce u P oti N

Country Partner at the Indore Management Association (IMA) Golden Jubilee Conclave, which brings together all the major CEOs in Central India. During the conclave, the IMA conferred a Lifetime Achievement Award to Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan, who was also presented with a memento by Iyer on behalf of UK in its capacity as Country Partner. Highlighting complementarities between Indore and the UK, Iyer said: “Indore is one of India’s fastest growing Tier-II cities, with strengths in key sectors such as automotive and pharmaceuticals. It has the potential to grow into a major industrial hub, given its location in central India and the presence of high-quality edu-

cational institutions. The UK can complement Indore businesses in charting new growth, and the Great campaign is aimed at forging connections, developing opportunities and initiating business exchanges.” The Great campaign in Indore was part of a recently launched all-India activity which invites businesses in high-growth regions such as Indore, Chandigarh, Chennai and Bangalore to collaborate with the UK. Its purpose is to highlight the Great British offer: a strong manufacturing heritage with some of the biggest global brands across sectors, a stable, businessfriendly environment, a culture of innovation and the best educational institutions.

28 - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

Karthika is the Lara Croft of Kollywood A

fter her runaway performance in “KO,” Karthika Nair will be seen doing an action packed performance in award winning director, J a n a t h a n a n ' s Poorampooku alongside Arya, Vijay Sethupathy and Shaam. The tall actress currently shuttling between Manali and


Jodhpur for extensive shooting has quipped that this movie is demanding both physically and mentally, and the director has made use of her talents quite well. Her action sequences are inspired by the video game "Lara croft" and the actress has given her best. Apart from action, she will also be seen doing the tiring tap dance sequence as well.

Akshara romances with Dhansuh

amalhassan's younger daughter Akshara Hassan is making her acting debut with actor Dhanush in the Bollywood film to be directed by Balki who gave soulful films like “Cheeni kum” and “Paa.” The shoot of this yet to be titled flick has started recently and it is said that some romantic scenes including Dhanush and Akshara have been shot in the past two days. Akshara whose

Shriya learning Karagattam I

t is almost certain that Shriya Saran is all set to act in director Bala's upcoming film as the lead lady. The film is said to be based on Karagattam, a popular folk dance form in Tamil Nadu. Though Shriya has lost her charm in Tamil industry, Bala prefers an actress who has good dancing skills. The latest development is that Bala has asked Shriya to learn Karagattam. Though Shriya is a trained dancer, she has never acted in rural subjects and Bala apparently feels that it would not be possible for her to perform the art without getting trained by a professional.

ambition was to become a director was working as assistant director in a few Bollywood films and has rejected many offers to act. Akshara's elder sister Sruthi Hassan is going great guns as a heroine in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. Now Akshara is all set to follow her sister with her acting debut in a film that includes some famous names of Indian film industry like Ilayaraja and P.C.Sreeram.

Andrea wishes to lip-lock with Ranbir K

o l l y w o o d actress/singer Andrea opened up on various things about herself in 'Koffee with DD', a popular TV show. The pretty actress, who speaks her mind out, when asked who is the actor she thinks is very hot and would be happy to do a liplock scene on screen,

she thought for while and chose Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor. She further added "I don't think he is hot, but there is some cuteness with him." She revealed that she would like to marry an Indian settled in London and settle down with him there. Andrea recently also had lip-lock scene with Fahad Fazil in Malayalam film, “Annayum Rasoolum.”

New Relesse I’m not a stealer: Anushka, Virat Priyanka Chopra spotted together in ‘Gunday’ riyanka Chopra coNew Zealand hosted the Filmfare 2014 Paward live their lives on the wrong side of the “Gunday” (English: Outlaws or ceremony recently ab Tak Hai law, becoming gun carriers and coal Goons) is an upcoming crime thriller with Ranbir Kapoor. She ‘JJ a a n ’ written and directed by Ali Abbas bandits. The film will also be released answered a barrage of a c t r e s s Zafar and produced by Aditya Chopra. The film will feature Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor in the lead roles while Priyanka Chopra and Irrfan Khan appear in supporting roles. The film is based on Kolkata during 70s and is about Bikram and Bala, who

in Bengal with a full Bengali soundtrack also composed by Sohail Sen. In some of the Bengali songs, the singers will differ from the originals. This will be also the first Indian film to have its trailer premier at the Dubai International Film Festival.

questions about winning the trophy and what it feels like. "It is amazing. I remember my first Filmfare award ever. It was such a beautiful moment. And then I got one for ‘Fashion,’ which was also very special. My father was there in the audience. It was beautiful," she said. Priyanka said she wasn't sad about not taking home one in 2014. "There were so many trophies backstage and I could take one," she said laughingly. "But, I'm not a stealer... I have many of my own," she said.

A n u s h k a Sharma, who has always maintained ‘just friends’ status with I n d i a n cricketer Virat Kohli was seen walking hand in hand with him in Auckland, New Zealand. The two lovebirds were spotted by fans taking a stroll together on the deserted streets of Auckland. India is currently playing New Zealand. According to reports, Anushka specially flew in to Auckland to spend some quality time with her rumoured beau Virat Kohli, who is there for the Test matches along with Team India.

29 - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

Latest Abhay Deol prefers acting to producing films

Abhay Deol, the producer and the main actor in “One By Two,” talked about the film and a wide range of subjects to Tanveer Mann in an interview

Abhay Deol

Tell us about your character in One by Two? I play a regular, urban guy with a 9 to 5 job in a software company. His name is Amit Sharma and he’s 30 years old. He leads quite a mundane and ordinary life. He lives with his parents and mostly just gets on with the daily grind. He has recently been dumped by his high school sweetheart. He eventually has a nervous breakdown. What's the most exciting thing you had to do for the movie? I had to walk around the set with nothing but my boxers on for a scene. Well, that and producing the film! Why have you been flaunting a black eye for promoting the movie? It was a visual and symbolic protest saying that my film's marketing has taken a hit because of the lack of industry support for its soundtrack. I wanted to bring attention to an issue that has been around the industry for quite some time now. This issue has been affecting musicians and producers negatively for too long, nobody was really talking about it. If musicians have their instruments to express themselves, I figured an actor has his make up! What do you prefer: Acting or Producing? I’d say both are rewarding and challenging in their own individual ways but I guess I prefer acting. I began my career as an actor so acting is my primary passion. I only began producing because I wanted to give independent filmmakers the opportu-

nity to make non-formulaic Bollywood films. While I enjoy providing new directors with a platform for their films, I think acting is where my real interest lies. Were you heavily influenced by your star-studded family to become an actor or was this a personal decision? I can never answer that one. I've always loved acting, from the moment I saw what it was. In school, theatre was the only thing I was confident in doing. I grew up in a family of actors so that could have been an influence. I can’t say for sure if it’s a

case of nature or nurture but I’m happy in the career I’ve chosen regardless. What has been your most demanding role in all the movies you have acted in? And your favourite so far? It would have to be the role of T A Krishnan in the film "Shanghai". I had to play a south Indian. In Bollywood, there are no professionals to help you master an accent. I had to improvise a lot, with the help of a Tamil writer. It was quite difficult though because most Tamils almost always speak to you in English rather

Ranveer to play Deepika’s husband

fter their sizzling chemistry in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Goliyon Ki Rasleela A Ram-Leela’, Bollywood’s hot couple Deepika

Padukone and Ranveer Singh will be seen playing lovers once again. Ranveer will be seen in a cameo role in Deepika’s upcoming film ‘Finding Fanny Fernandes’, which also stars Ranveer’s ‘Gunday co-star Arjun Kapoor. Ranveer Singh recently revealed that he will be playing Deepika’s husband in the film which will be a small special appearance. Directed by Homi Adajania, majority of the film has been shot in Goa. The film also stars Dimple Kapadia, Pankaj Kapoor and Naseeruddin Shah.

than in Hindi. So the Hindi/Tamil accent was hard to achieve without bordering it on stereotype. I’d say that this role was also my favourite because it was so challenging. Which particular character do you think you could have done better? I have a rule to never think about that! Almost never. Because I’m of the school of thought that you can’t go back and change something, so don’t dwell on it. Of course, I can evaluate past roles as a way of seeing how I can improve for future roles. In Hollywood, you see many films with extremely complex plots and demanding roles, whereas more and more Bollywood films that are being produced are light-hearted or comedies, why do you think that is? It started off because for most of India’s history, it has been a poor country. Because of the hardships people faced, films became a way for people to escape from reality. Although times have now changed and we have a lot of wealth, it’s difficult to undo decades of conditioning. Hindi films began with a specific purpose which fit a specific genre, therefore it’s hard to shake this conventionality and equally difficult for filmmakers and the audience to accept change. Who would you love to work with that you haven't already? I’d love to work with the Coen Brothers. I really respect their work. What was it like working with the gorgeous Preeti Desai? It was fun; I loved every minute of it. It’s always a challenge to work with your partner but we had a lot of fun on set and kept it very professional.

Salman Khan turns barber alman Khan’s love for charity is well known. The actor not only S initiates philanthropic events

regularly but also supports others’ efforts. Recently, the “Dabangg” actor shot for an episode of an upcoming charity-based reality show, Mission Sapne. The format of the show requires celebrities to take on the small jobs for a day. Salman took the role of a barber in the show. The money earned by the known name is then multiplied and donated back to a person in need.

Ranbir learning stammering

anbir Kapoor does not want to leave anything to fate but wanted to learn it in the hard way. R Recently he enrolled himself in a New York school

to learn stammering. The actor needed to stammer for a role in one of his upcoming movies. And he actually felt it would be beneficial to him if he learnt stammering, so that he could do it more convincingly. Frankly, such dedication amongst Bollywood actors is a rare quality. Before he joined Sanjay Leela Bhansali as an assistant in 2005, Ranbir had completed his course in filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts, and he had also learnt acting from the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York.

Vidya Balan Sonam dons completes film bikini for shoot in 51 days! ‘Bewakoofiyaan’ ia Mirza and Sahil Sangha's next feature D “Bobby Jasoos,” starring Vidya Balan has completed main shooting in 51 days across a host of locations in Hyderabad. The unit ended the shooting on a melodic high as they wrapped with the filming of a song which has all the ingredients of a chartbuster!!! Producer Dia Mirza says,""We are thrilled with the work done so far. Vidya and the entire cast and crew have made Bobby Jasoos their own and that has led to an experience that we will all cherish forever."

he first official trailer of Sonam Kapoor and Ayushmann Khurana starrer T ‘Bewakoofiyaan’ is finally out and

‘Raanjhanaa’ girl is super hot in her steaming hot pink bikini. The highlight of the trailer certainly becomes Sonam and Ayushmann’s swimming pool scene where Sonam flaunts her well toned body in a pink two piece bikini. Yash Raj productions ‘Bewakoofiyaan’ is about a well settled executive played by Ayushmann and his girlfriend Sonam Kapoor. The two are in a happy state until the boy meets the girl’s father – which is being played by none other than Rishi Kapoor. From the trailer, ‘Bewakoofiyan’ looks like any other romcom but with Rishi Kapoor playing the bride’s dad you can expect much drama and zing in the movie.



Asian Voice Youth Conference is back for 2014!

The time has come again for the annual Asian Voice Youth Conference, hosted by Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar in Central London. When: 28 March 2014, 6:30-8:30pm (Venue: PWC, Embankment) 29 March 2014, 12-4pm (Venue: TBC) This year the conference will be somewhat different, taking place on both Friday 28 and Saturday 29 March 2014 and will be open to 15-30 year olds or students. After a huge turn up last year, we are expecting more than 200 youngsters to participate this year.

Coming Events

l Saturday 15th February 2014 - Shree Gopallalo organizes two auspicious Utsavs from 4pm – 8pm at Kingsbury High School, Bacon Lane, Kingsbury, NW9 9AT. Contact: 0774 832 4092. l Sunday 16th February 2014 - Bhajans at 3.00pm by Shree Budhdevbhai finishing with Arti at 5.30pm followed by Maha Prasad sponsored by Kishanbhai Bhugun - prepared by Sukumar Menta at Adhya Shakti Mataji Temple, 55 High Street, Cowley, Middlesex UB8 2DZ. Contact: 07882 253 540 l Monday 17th February 2014 – Kung Manorath from 4pm – 7pm at Vrajdham Haveli, 58 Loughborough Road, Leicester LE4 5LD. Contact: 0774 832 4092. l Thursday 27th February 2014 - Maha Shivratri celebrations, Rudrabhishek puja every 15 minutes for all attending devotees finishing with Maha Rudrabhishek at 5.00pm at Adhya Shakti Mataji Temple, 55 High Street, Cowley, Middlesex UB8 2DZ. Contact: 07882 253 540 l Monday 3 March 2014 - Exhibition: Gauge The Gaze by Vikash Kalra at 06.15 pm at the Nehru Centre, 8, South Audley Street, London W1K 1HF. Contact: 020-7491 3567 l Monday 3 March 2014 - Musical concert by Illumina at 06:30 pm at The Nehru Centre, 8, South Audley Street, London W1K 1HF. Contact: 020-7491 3567 l Wednesday 5 March 2014 - Panel Discussion: Women and urbanisation by Pan Asian Women’s Association at 06:30 pm at the Nehru Centre, 8, South Audley Street, London W1K 1HF. Contact: 020-7491 3567 - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

Esha’s Dream to Walk

Esha, pictured, 10, has Cerebral Palsy which affects her walking and her balance – she is unable to stand unaided and relies on a frame to walk even short distances. There is an operation Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy new to the UK available that must be carried out before the age of 11. Esha has been recommended and approved for this operation, to take place at Great Ormond Street Hospital, but the NHS have said that they will not pay for the operation. £36,000 is needed for this operation to take place. £22,000 has already been raised but time is ticking to raise the reminder before end of March by which the operation must be booked in. Esha A Dinner & ways that donations can Dance (One Night to be made: Shine) has been organised Web: http://www.justgiv(all sponsored) for Esha being held on Saturday By Text: Text ESHA47 & 22nd February 2014 at the amount, i.e. £2, to Dagenham & Redbridge 70070 Football Club. All ticket BACS: Name: Eshas sales and proceeds raised Fund, Sort code: 08-60from the event going 01, Account number: towards the project. 20317838 For those not able to Cheque: Cheques made attend and/or would like payable to: “Eshas Fund” to help, there are a few

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Do not kid yourself that emotional problems can always be solved by material means. This only covers the cracks and does nobody any good in the end. Be prepared to confront the issues. If love has left you feeling rather dejected or cynical, it looks as though soon events will pull you out of this mood of despondency.

It’s all about communications, as they take centre stage this week. You’ll have to openly speak up about your wants and needs without fear. Regarding love there will be a struggle between devotion and freedom. You need to feel completely consumed by the passion of your lover, and yet you need personal space to explore your own thing.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

It is certainly going to be a fortunate time for those already married or in an established relationship. The keynote is emotional enrichment through close interaction with a loved one. Facets of your life that have been a source of restriciton and dissatisfaction will begin to loosen their hold.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

If you are your own boss, then you can look forward to a fairly good week. Leos who face a strict schedule may find the next seven days a little frustrating, because this is a week where you will need a certain amount of personal space. You may be absorbing new ideas about how to create financial independence. Others may not understand, so you may have to keep your ideas to yourself.

The outlook remains optimistic as developments point the way forward and bring you a sense of real achievement. However, this is not likely to be an easy-going week as demands on time and energy are going to be heavy. Relationships look great as Venus and Mars help to enhance your personal magnetism.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

Brilliant ideas come easily as you trust your higher self and allow thoughts to flow freely. You are able to embrace new opportunities and make positive changes in your life. Your efforts bring a greater stability to your work than ever before. This is an important development, considering all the changes occurring around you.

"have not been accorded inviolability under the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987." Cases like the above unfortunately highlight the privileges enjoyed by foreign offices abroad.

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TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

Report: Foreign Offices abuse their privileges

Continued from page 2 According to the NDTV report, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which has the final say in this matter, ruled on October 3, 2013 that the tourism office premises

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

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20

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SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22 Now is the time to cultivate an easier relationship with life, get out and about, explore fresh possibilities and make new friends. Any effort to enrich your life by making changes is almost certain to work in your favour and you will be surprised how circumstances help you once you make the initial move.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21 Your urge towards greater freedom and independence is very strongly accentuated. In intimate affairs, the prospect appears entirely favourable. In work matters you can expect a progressive phase. Efforts to bring about desirable changes in your working life are more likely to be positive. CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

Relationships are likely to widen your horizons, but exercise caution, because some opportunities won't prove quite as amazing as they first seem. Saturn in Scorpio, your solar house of work, will help you organize your priorities. Life now encourages you to move beyond your established boundaries of safety.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 You are endowed with a level of determination that others sometimes find formidable. Once you set your mind on a goal you stay the course no matter what obstacles you encounter. Saturn's placement in your Solar 10th house often denotes a phase of restriction, sometimes frustration, in one's life.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 Whether you’re single or attached you’ll have to go through a lot, as deep psychological transformations are taking place in all types of relationships. No matter what your chosen path is, you’ll be recognised and rewarded for it. Don’t be afraid to experiment, trust your hunches, go with your gut feeling.


BCCI chief Srinivsan to be the next ICC boss - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

The International Cricket Council board approved wide-ranging structural and governance reforms despite complaints that they place too much power in the hands of the "Big Three" of India, England and Australia. The proposals were passed after gaining the support of eight of the ICC's 10 full members, with Sri Lanka and Pakistan - who have both been vocally opposed - abstaining, a spokesman said. The package resolution, passed at a meeting in Singapore, includes setting up a five-man executive council with seats reserved for India, England and Australia, the sport's leading financial powers. And N Srinivasan, BCCI chief, which contributes the lion's share of cricket's global revenues, will chair the ICC board from the middle of this year. "I think it was a very good meeting, there was general agreement and all very satisfactory," said England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke. South Africa had previ-

ously opposed the reforms was one of the eight to vote in favour of reforms. The reforms passed include setting up a Test Cricket Fund available to all full members except India, England and Australia, and a move to make it easier for other countries to gain Test status. The proposed World Test Championship, which was due to debut in 2017, has been axed with the

Champions Trophy an eight-country tournament in the one-day format - continuing in 2017 and 2021. And a new financial model will recognise members' contributions in terms of finance, history and on-field performances, a moved aimed at providing "longterm certainty of participation" as they negotiate TV and sponsorship deals. Lord Woolf criticises move Lord Harry Woolf, author of a report into the ICC's governance, criticized the move and said that the Big Three were "entirely motivated by money.” He said that the development would be “a really alarming position for the future of cricket”. Woolf, the former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, said, “this is a very

unusual situation as far as I’m concerned and that’s why I think it right to give a perspective, and I’m doing it on my own behalf personally.” Woolf commented on the draft proposal being rushed through by the Big Three: “I don’t see how if we had this to consider we could see it as anything but a retrograde step. It is giving extraordinary powers to a small triumvirate of three people, and everybody else has got no power to say anything or do anything.” “I would certainly think it would be very difficult to get any person who was completely objective, looking at cricket, to understand how these proposals could take forward the programme for international cricket,” added Woolf, who submitted his report on the ICC last year. “To say a sport that has got aspirations to be a world-class sport internationally should not have an independent body at the top seems to me to be very surprising. It seems to be entirely motivated by money.”

last 24 ODIs he has played. Raina's poor form has prompted the selectors to turn to Pujara, who has been a prolific scorer in Tests. Pujara's technique and his ability to score briskly will provide some much-needed stability to the Indian top order which failed miserably in the recent ODI series against New Zealand. The selectors also reposed faith on off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who has not been very successful in overseas conditions. Ashwin found a place in both the ODI and T20

squad. The pace department looks a trifle inexperienced with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Varun Aaron and Ishwar Pandey forming the line-up. The 24year-old Bhuvneshwar, who has played six Tests and 31 ODIs, will be the spearhead in Ishant's absence. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra has found a place in both the ODI and T20 squads but has not featured in any of the formats for a while despite being a part of the side. Squads: ICC World T20: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Roger Binny, Amit Mishra, Mohit Sharma, Varun Aaron Asia Cup: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Chetshwar Pujara, Ambati Rayudu, Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Varun Aaron, Roger Binny, Amit Mishra, Ishwar Pandey.

Yuvraj makes it to India’s World T20, Ishant axed

Pacer Ishant Sharma was axed from both the limitedovers teams, while struggling batsman Suresh Raina was dropped from the ODI squad for the Asia Cup but was retained in the T20 side for the upcoming World Championships in Bangladesh. Cheteshwar Pujara, regarded as a Test specialist, has also been included in the squad for the Asia Cup also to be held in Bangladesh from February 25 to March 8. All-rounder Yuvraj Singh continued to be ignored for the ODI team but got the selectors' nod for the Twenty20 World Championships to be held from March 16 to April 6. Rookie pacer Ishwar Pandey, all-rounder Stuart Binny and fast bowler Varun Aaron retained their place in the ODI squad announced by BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel after a meeting of the selection committee. Opener Gautam Gambhir and veteran offspinner Harbhajan Singh, who were picked in the Rest of India for Irani Trophy, were not named in the ODI

squad. The biggest casualty was, however, Ishant, who has been drawing flak for his poor performance in the limited overs format, as he was dropped from both the teams to be captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The axe on Raina was also largely expected as the left-hander has been in wretched form for quite a while now. In fact he was dropped midway through the ODI series against New Zealand last month which India lost 0-4. Raina has scored only one half-century (against Zimbabwe) in the


India's Olympic exile ends as IOC revokes ban on IOA

More than a year after being shunted out of the Olympic movement due to tainted officials, India were welcomed back by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) within days of conducting a fresh election in the IOA. The IOC lifted the 14-month old ban on India after the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) barred charge-framed officials from its fresh election held reently in which World Squash Federation chief and younger brother of BCCI boss N Srinivasan, N Ramachandran, was elected as the president. "The IOC has informed us through telephone that the ban on India has been lifted," newly-elected IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta said. The decision comes after the IOC's three observers for the elections left Indian shores "satisfied with the IOA elections promising to submit a "favourable report to the IOC president". Jerome Poivey, IOC's head of institutional relations, event went on to state that the amended IOA constitution was one of the best in the world and it should be implemented fully. All India Tennis Association (AITA) chief Anil Khanna was elected treasurer in the polls which marked the exit of corruption-tainted Abhay Singh Chautala and Lalit Bhanot from the IOA.

Pakistan PM sacks cricket board

The Pakistan government dismissed the country's cricket board on Monday and appointed an ad-hoc committee to run the sport. Following an order from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, an 11member committee will run cricket in the country, replacing the Zaka Ashraf-led Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), of which Sharif is the chief patron. "Zaka Ashraf has been dismissed on several charges by the Prime minister, who is a great lover of the sport," Shakil Sheikh, a member of the committee, said. "The charges include that he (Ashraf) left Pakistan isolated in world cricket with his mishandling of the big three issue and there were also financial mismanagement and appointments in his tenure."

Bangladesh to play Test series in India in 2016

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has signed the members’ participation agreements (MPA) with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as a result Indian team will visit Bangladesh and Bangladesh team will visit India to play tests. “We have signed agreements with India and that they will visit us in 2014,” BCB president Nazmul Hassan said. “The next year, 2015, India will come to Bangladesh to play Tests. In August and September of 2016, Bangladesh will tour India to play Tests. In June 2020, India will come to play Tests and ODIs.” Apart from an ODI series against India in June 2014 and a Test and ODI series in June 2015 at home, Bangladesh will play their maiden series in India in 2016. They have also agreed on another Test and ODI series against India in 2020 at home.

England give chance to Moeen Ali, Stephen Parry in World T20 England selectors have given chance to uncapped players Moeen Ali and Stephen Parry to play for their World T20 squad and Harry Gurney for the one-day squad for the Caribbean. Moeen and Parry have been consistently excellent for Worcestershire and Lancashire respectively, Moeen across all formats with bat and ball

and Parry with his savvy left-arm spin in one-day cricket. “England have won the ICC World Twenty20 before – in 2010 in the Caribbean – and this group has an exciting mix of youth and Twenty20 experience and I am sure with good preparation, desire and determination they will be able to produce an exciting brand of cricket,”

said chief selector James Whitaker. Crucially, along with James Tredwell, both Moeen and Parry bowl spin, the playing and purveying of which are almost certain to decide the World T20, scheduled to be held in the bare, gripping pitches Bangladesh. Gurney was included for giving England bats-

men practice against leftarm seam this winter, is for the Caribbean leg only. England’s pace attack for Bangladesh will be Stuart Broad, the captain, Tim Bresnan, Chris Jordan, Jade Dernbach and Ben Stokes with Ravi Bopara and Luke Wright to fill in any gaps that team composition may throw up. Eoin Morgan will be

the team’s vice-captain and for all those who feel Pietersen’s dominance and chutzpah will be sorely missed, on the field at least, Morgan has long outdistanced Pietersen on the flair front in the shorter formats, playing shots the other still practises in the nets. England squad to tour the Caribbean: S Broad, E Morgan, M Ali, R Bopara,

T Bresnan, J Buttler, J Dernbach, H Gurney, A Hales C Jordan, M Lumb, S Parry, J Root, B Stokes, J Tredwell and L Wright. England squad for World T20 in Bangladesh: Broad, Morgan, Moeen, Bopara, Bresnan, Buttler, Dernbach, Hales, Jordan, Lumb, Parry, Root, Stokes, Tredwell and Wright.


32 - Asian Voice 15th February 2014

Cameron takes up Pietersen’s case with selectors

British Prime Minister David Cameron has taken up the case of sacking of Kevin Pietersen from the team with the selectors, but at the same time James Whitaker, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, refuses to give reasons for the action. Whitaker, the new chairman of selectors, cited legal reasons for not discussing why Pietersen was dumped by the England management. The six-figure severance deal between Pietersen and the ECB has not been signed yet, which is why neither party will talk publicly about the controversy. The ECB has been advised that speaking now could be used against them by Pietersen if talks over his severance package collapse and he sues the cricket board. It could open up the possibility of a court case in which coaches and senior management would be questioned on the process of getting rid of the player. The ECB believes it is better to be criti-

cised for being evasive rather than opening the door to an unseemly legal scrap. A confidentiality clause will ensure Pietersen’s silence for a period of around six months, but once that period is over, Pietersen will be free to reveal his side of the story. The ECB allowed only Whitaker to be interviewed and he dodged specific questions about Pietersen by saying he “was not at liberty” to say why he had been axed.

Whitaker described dropping Pietersen as a “tricky decision.” “All I am very optimistic about doing, with the England cricket team going forward, is to reinvigorate and reignite the passion that people have for playing for England and to win back the country, because I feel some of that enthusiasm from cricket followers has diminished following the winter.” Cameron described Pietersen’s batting average

and argued for keeping him in the team, when asked for his opinion during an interview. Newly-appointed ECB managing director Paul Downton, who only recently oversaw the departure of England coach Andy Flower, hinted the need to restore team harmony, rather than playing ability, had been the key reason behind the "tough decision" to axe Pietersen. "Everyone was aware that there was a need to begin the long-term planning after the Australia tour," said Downton. "Therefore we have decided the time is right to look to the future and start to rebuild not only the team but also team ethic and philosophy. "England cricket owes a debt of gratitude to Kevin who has proved to be one of the most talented and exciting players to ever represent the country and his 13,797 runs are a testimony to his immense skill," the former England wicket-keeper added.

chase with his side still 44 runs short of their target. India were eventually dismissed for 366. The final session typified the ebb and flow of the fourth day, with both sides at times holding the upper hand only for their fortunes to change over by over. India had earlier looked favourites to win the match

after lunch with Kohli and Dhawan well established and ready to guide their team home in the final session. Wagner dismissed the dangerous Kohli to break a 126-run stand with Dhawan, then had the opening batsman caught behind to give the hosts hope they could still win the match at Eden Park. Trent Boult then dismissed Ajinkya Rahane before tea with the first delivery of the second new ball when he trapped the batsman lbw for 18, though television replays showed Rahane had

got an inside edge before the ball hit his pads. Southee had Rohit Sharma caught behind by Watling for 19 on the first ball after tea. Ravindra Jadeja and Dhoni raced to a 54-run partnership in 34 balls and looked to have seized the initiative back before Jadeja produced one shot too many off Boult and the ball flew to Ish Sodhi at mid-on. Zaheer Khan continued in that vein but when he fell Dhoni was left to try to see his side to an unlikely victory. When he was controversially bowled by Wagner, TV replays suggested the bowler could have been called for a no-ball, India’s pursuit effectively ended before it was finished when Ishant Sharma perished.

English cricket fans Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne are set to get one more chance to see Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne in action at Lord's after the pair were confirmed as captains for a match marking the ground's 200th a n n i v e r s a r y. Recently retired India batting star Tendulkar will lead Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the owners of the northJuly 5. The MCC XI will also west London venue, and forinclude Tendulkar's former mer Australia leg-spinner India team-mate Rahul Warne the Rest of the World Dravid, returning to the in a 50-overs per side match scene where he scored 95 on at the 'home of cricket' on

his Test debut, against England in 1996 - a match where fellow India debutant Sourav Ganguly made a hundred. Tendulkar, who scored a hundred in the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Match at Lord's in 1998, said he was looking forward to the July fixture. "It is an honour to be asked to captain MCC in such a prestigious fixture, and I am delighted to accept," Tendulkar explained in a MCC statement. "Lord's is such a special

place to play cricket and I am very much looking forward to helping celebrate its bicentenary by taking part in this match. "I was delighted to be presented with an MCC Honorary Life Membership in 2010, and it will be a privilege to play at the 'home of cricket' once again." Warne, who took 19 wickets in four Tests at Lord's, added: "I'm sure the match will be a lot of fun and it will be a pleasure to be part of the bicentenary celebrations of the most famous cricket ground in the world." Meanwhile MCC president Mike Gatting promised "more big names in the coming weeks".

Indians spirited show not enough

Neil Wagner captured four wickets at crucial times as New Zealand held off a counter-attacking India to win the first Test at Eden Park in Auckland by 40 runs after tea on the fourth day on Sunday. India looked favourites to win the match for much of the day before Wagner dismissed Virat Kholi (67) and Shikhar Dhawan (115) after lunch. He then removed Zaheer Khan (17) and M S Dhoni (39) in the evening session when the tourists were in sight of the 407 runs needed for victory. Dhoni, the architect of a bludgeoning counter-attack after his side had been reduced to 270 for six after tea, was the ninth wicket to fall, effectively ending the

Sachin, Warne to lead teams in Lord's bicentenary

Srinath, Ravi to officiate in World T20

Match referee Javagal Srinath and umpire S. Ravi are among match officials picked for the World Twenty20 to be held in Bangladesh from March 16-April 6. The match referees' responsibilities throughout the tournament will be shared between David Boon, Ranjan Madugalle and Javagal Srinath of the Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees. The on-field responsibilities will be shared by all 11 of the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, namely: Aleem Dar, Kumar Dharmasena, Steve Davis, Marais Erasmus, Ian Gould, Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough, Nigel Llong, Bruce Oxenford, Paul Reiffel and Rod Tucker, as well as Billy Bowden and S Ravi of the International Panel. The ICC has also confirmed the schedule of warm-up matches. A total of 16 warm-up matches will be played in the men's event, including eight ahead of the first round and another eight in the lead up to the Super 10 stage, while 10 women's warm-up matches will be held at the Bangladesh Krira Shikha Protishtan (BKSP) 3 and 4 in Dhaka before the Women's World Twenty20 off in Sylhet on March 23.

Sangakkara creates new record

Veteran Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara has created a new record by becoming the fastest batsman to reach 11,000 runs in terms of innings played after reaching 300 with a flurry of boundaries in the second Test against Bangladesh last week. The tourists, who won the first Test by an innings and 248 runs in Dhaka last week, took their overnight score of 314-5 to 587 post-lunch on the second day at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium. The left-arm batsman, who was caught out at 319, earlier made his ninth double-century, adding to his 34 three-figure knocks. Australian legend Don Bradman leads the list with 12 scores of 200 or more.

Eoin Morgan withdraws from IPL auctions

English cricketer Eoin Morgan has just announced via Twitter that he has withdrawn from the IPL auctions. Morgan had played for the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise before this year’s re-shuffling, in which he was not retained by the Kolkata team. He was set to be a major hit in the auctions for his overall batting prowess as well as his ability to finish off games. With Kevin Pietersen sacked from the English Cricket, Morgan might be the one to replace him in the Test side for the series against Sri Lanka. Although no official statement as to why he has pulled out of the mega event has been made, his possible inclusion in the Test side is one of the reasons.

AV 15th February 2014  

Asian Voice weekly news paper

AV 15th February 2014  

Asian Voice weekly news paper