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Anna Hazare dares PMO to punish him if he is 'anti-national'

MP Sachin says no to government bungalow

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VOL 41. ISSUE 7

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Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe 16th June to 22nd June 2012

May turns back on 'family-life' Campaign launched to preserve Immigrants' Right to Family Life in Britain

In the last 2 years the British Government has tried innumerable ways to target the immigrants. It has resulted into endless confusion with hardly much of a difference in the numbers. While organisations like Operation Black Vote have emphasised that multiculturalism is good for Britain, many questions have been raised by the government regarding

the immigrants, settled in Britain as citizens, who have lost their jobs and have taken shelter recently under the state care. It is rather surprising to note how in these difficult times, the government has conveniently overlooked the contribution made by the immigrants like the Asians, not only to Her Majesty's Tax and Revenue services, but

Sixth man arrested in fraud investigation Gross financial mismanagement allegations lead to arrest of Dr I P Patel along with five other Copland Community School staff members. Dr I P Patel

also the Community wealth. This is perhaps a usual ‘blame-game’ by the Tory government, after they messed up the State economy! While Britain is trying to revive its relation with India, which has recently fallen through, a new 'antifamily' blow by MP Theresa May actually shows the disregard of PM Cameron and his Cabinet towards immigrants especially Indians, which includes their family val-

ues and culture such as togetherness. On Monday 11th June, Theresa May announced new restrictions on family migration. The measures, unveiled in parliament on Monday, included a “financial independence” requirement that sets a minimum salary threshold of £18,600 for those who want to bring in a spouse who is from outside the EU.

On Monday 11 June Rt Hon Keith Vaz, MP completed his glorious 25 years. In a span of one generation the whole world looks different. But Keith Vaz has remained steadfast. Not only his constituents in Leicester East, Mr Vaz has represented the whole ethnic community, particularly the British Asians with boundless zeal. We on behalf of our readers would like to convey our heart felt congratulation to Mr Vaz, with gratitude to his Leicester East constituents who have elected him for the consecutive 6 elections! 25 years ago, Member of Parliament Keith Vaz was first elected to Parliament by the people of Leicester East. At the height of Thatcherism, he won a surprise victory from the incumbent Tory MP with a majority of just over 1000. Since that day in 1987 he has been re-elected to the same seat 6 times. His time as an MP has seen him become a Minister twice, first for

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Theresa May, MP

Keith Vaz celebrates his 25th Anniversary in Parliament

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Rt Hon Keith Vaz, MP

Justice and then as Minister for Europe in 1999. Since 2007 he has held the influential position of Chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, tackling issues as wide-ranging as phone-hacking and forced marriage. He has chosen to use his 25th anniversary to support the work of Silver Star, a Leicesterbased diabetes charity founded after he discovered he suffered from type-2 diabetes in a chance testing. Continued on page 2


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UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

one to one Keith Vaz MP with

Harlem Désir, Member of the European Parliament, French Socialist Party Harlem Désir was born in Paris in 1959. He studied philosophy at the University of ParisSorbonne. In 1984, he founded the anti-racism movement, SOS Racisme in response to the actions of the National Front and was its President until 1992. He has been a Member of the European Parliament for the French Socialist Party since 1999. He has sat on the Socialist Party National Council since 1994 and is currently number two in the Party. 1. Please tell us about your current role. I am a Member of the European Parliament and am now ‘number two’ in the French Socialist Party. 2. What led to your interest in politics? Politics was hardly a conscious decision for me, I fell into it when I was very young. I remember following the revolutions in Spain and Russia avidly. Racism and anti-colonialism interested me very much growing up. I became an

Keith Vaz celebrates his 25th Anniversary in Parliament Continued from page 1 On this, his 25th anniversary, Mr Vaz expresses disgust over the Government’s proposals to introduce tougher restrictions on spousal visas. The Home Secretary has confirmed that the Government will introduce a new minimum income requirement for British citizens looking to bring their spouses to the UK and stringent English speaking test for foreign born husbands, wives or partners. Immigration welfare campaigners say that the move will exclude twothirds of British people – those who have a minimum gross income of under £25,700 a year – from living in the UK as a couple if they marry a non-EU national. Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP said: “It does not feel like 25 years. It feels like it is my very first day.” “I am shocked at the Government’s new proposal. They will dramatically affect my constituents, settled British Asians, not illegal immigrants, tax payers who contribute to our country. What she proposes flies in the face of the Prime Minister’s message at the launch of the

Conservative Friends of India only six weeks ago. A British Home Secretary has no place dictating who British citizens should choose as their spouses based on an artificial financial limit. This is unfair, unjust and unnecessary.” Ed Miliband, Leader of the Opposition said about Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP: "Since his election to the House of Commons on June 11, 1987, Keith has brought a remarkable energy to Westminster. No issue has been too difficult, no circumstance too troubling, and no situation too unworkable for him. For Keith, Parliament has always been a platform to represent his constituents and champion the causes he cares about." David Cameron, Prime Minister said about Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP: "For the past quarter of a century Keith has served his constituents in Leicester East with selfless dedication and commitment. I wish him all my congratulations. I am sure Keith has much more to give to his constituents and to Parliament and I look forward to working with him in the months and years ahead."

5. What has been the greatest obstacle in your life? Myself! I lack patience. 6. How did you feel on the morning President Hollande was elected? Ecstatic. We had been waiting for so many years. We had had local victories before but now we have the Presidency. The people on the street were so proud. At last we are able to put forward our vision for the country. 7. What do you least enjoy about your job? In politics there must always be a balance between noble parts. It is a pleasure to reach new freedoms, but we are all human and must overcome our difficulties. Life can be very complicated.

activist in the student union, and was particularly fascinated by activists on the far left. I then founded SOS Racisme and became very active campaigning against the National Front. 3. Who has had the most influence on your career? That is a very difficult question to answer. Former Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, I think. I worked with him between 1995 and 1997 as a national secretary

recent history of my country.

with responsibility for relations with the social movement and he led the party to victory in 1997. He had a very great influence on me. 4. What is your proudest achievement?

Founding and serving as the President of SOS Racisme was something very important in my life. It mobilised so many people. It was a landmark for a whole generation fighting against the National Front. It is part of the

8. Who would you take with you to a desert island? Nelson Mandela, although poor man after spending 27 years in jail to find himself trapped on an island. I just finished reading his book, Conversations with Myself. He is an incredible man, a hero. Perhaps I could just take the book.

Sixth man arrested in fraud investigation at Copland Community School In 2009 a gross financial mismanagement led to a shameful situation for the Copland Community School in Wembley. While the building stood in a dilapidated state with no available fund to refurbish it, a huge and 'unfair' sum of bonus was allegedly paid to the headmaster and other staff members that led into an investigation by the Brent Council. This followed a suspension of the head teacher Sir Alan Davies, Deputy head teacher Dr Richard Evans, bursar Columbus Udokoro and HR manager Michele McKenzie over similar claims and the former Chairman of governors of the Wembley school was recently charged with fraud offences. Dr I P Patel (Indravadan Patel), of Green Lane, Stanmore, has also been accused of

misappropriation of funds at Copland Community School in Cecil Avenue, Wembley. The 72-year-old has been charged with conspiracy to defraud and fraud by abuse of position. He was due to appear on bail at Westminster Magistrates Court on June 12 along with five other former staff members who were charged last month. Former head Sir Alan Davies of Mill Hill area, has been charged with conspiracy to defraud, money laundering, conspiracy to commit false accounting and fraud by abuse of position. Dr Richard Evans, 55, from Barnet, the former deputy headteacher, is accused of conspiracy to defraud and fraud by abuse of position. Michele McKenzie 52,

of Ruislip, ex- human resources manager, is accused of conspiracies to defraud and commit false accounting. Martin Day, 75, from Halstead, Essex, former vice chairman of governors, is charged with conspiracy to defraud and fraud by abuse of position. Columbus Udokoro, 61, from Greenford, exbursar, is charged with conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to commit false accounting. Jitubhai Patel, a Chairman of the board of Trustees of BAPS Swaminarayan Temple, Neasden, who was contacted by Asian Voice told us, Dr I P Patel was a Trustee at the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, but retired over 3 years ago due to ill health. He however had no further comments on Dr Patel's arrest.

35 Women under 35 In July, Management Today will publish their prestigious '35 Women Under 35' list of women in their magazine. They have always featured the very best female talent on the list. In 2011, they profiled women from all walks of business life – from Alexandra Popa who makes corsets for Lady

Gaga to Emma Woollcott. Last year they also had three lawyers, including Misha Patel and a business woman like Shazia Awan. This year Aekta Mahajan, the Vice Chair of City Hindus Network and a civil servant has been nominated. We hope she gets included. Goodluck Aekta!

Jewellery robbery in East Ham Police are appealing for information after a man and a woman were assaulted during a jewellery robbery of more than half a million pounds in East London. On Monday, 28 May, two men went into Aron Jewellers, in East Ham, on three occasions, looking at jewellery. They put a £20 deposit on a gold chain on one of the visits. The next day, Tuesday, 29 May, the same two men attended the shop and were allowed access through the security door by the female member of staff, who recognised them from the previous day. They requested to view another item of jewellery in a display cabinet. As the staff member opened the cabinet, one of the men jumped over the display counter, grabbed her around the neck and put something over her face, causing her to pass out. Hearing her scream, the elderly male staff member, who was at the back of the shop, ran to the front and was confronted by the other man. He was thrown to the floor, something was stuffed in his mouth and he was held face down. Both victims then had their hands and feet tied up and the female had duct tape put over her mouth. The suspects then spent approximately 25 minutes emptying all of the display cabinets of bracelets, necklaces, bangles and rings. They did not take any earrings. More than 500 items of jewellery were taken, valued at approximately £600,000. Aron Jewellers specialises in Asian jewellery, as can be seen in the images. Many items are purchased by clients specifically for Asian weddings. The suspects are described as male, both Asian, possibly from Pakistan and aged between 30 and 40. Any one with any information can contact Flying Squad, North East Branch on 020 8345 4226 and ask for DC John Conner or DC Simon Cuthbertson. Every item of jewellery has the owner's certified hallmark and can be easily identified.

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COMMENT

Are immigrants the usual scapegoats? Immigrants are blamed for all the problems in Britain It is an usual excuse by the Tory government, that is down due to its own mismaganement of the economy. Immigrants are welcome to create jobs and for reviving the economic well being of the country. But when it comes to bring the families of the immigrants, the governments brings in new laws to put restrictions. Home secretary Theresa May has announced new restrictions on family migration that aim to cut the number of people entering the UK to join their partners, parents or children by about a third each year. May’s policies form the last in a series of changes intended to bring down net migration from the current level of 250,000 to the “tens of thousands” by 2015. Curbing family immigration will affect the breakdown of family system. The family which is the basic unit of any society disrupts the whole society. In fact it puts the future generation in jeopardy. It is only proper for the state to impose laws that are rational and in accordance with the natural law. For instance is separating a wife from her husband and a mother from her children will not be a good idea. To some extent breaking up families to achieve a legally upright state or achieve high security status is not moral in its own end. Following revisions, the number of family visas granted will be down about 18,500 a year. This will save the UK taxpayer £ 570m in health costs, £ 530m in benefit claims and £ 340m in education costs over the next decade, the Home Office predicts. Children whose par-

ents are deported back to their countries are both physically and psychologically stressed. It is not imperative to disorient families for the sake of security measures, in fact most immigrants are not law breakers but play a great role in building the country. Although the immigration reform has a number of benefits, the shortcomings will be far greater. Adopting friendlier and humanistic approach while dealing with illegal immigrants is expected from a developed country like England. The measures, unveiled in parliament, include a “financial independence” requirement that sets a minimum salary of £18,600 for those who want to bring in a spouse who is from outside the EU. The figure rises to £22,400 for a child, with each additional child adding £2,400 to the threshold. May said: “We welcome those who wish to make a life in the UK with their family, work hard and make a contribution, but family life must not be established here at the taxpayer’s expense.” But Keith Vaz, a Labour MP and chair of the home affairs committee, hit back at the plan, saying it would disproportionately affect the British Asian community. The Oxford-based Migration Observatory warned that those on low incomes – predominately women, those in their 20s, and those living outside London – would be hardest hit. Scott Blinder, senior researcher at the Observatory added that even if the policy made a sharp reduction to family migration, this still represented only a “small fraction” of the cuts needed to reach the tens of thousands target.

There is no end to India’s economic woes but it is growing day by day. As per the latest news, India’s growth rate has fallen to 5.3%, the lowest in seven years. The latest news on India’s economic front is that international rating agency Standard & Poor's has warned that India risks a sovereign downgrade which would result in the country dropping off the list of countries with an investment-grade rating. The statement comes less than two months after the agency revised the outlook on India's rating to negative from stable. The sputtering of India’s economic miracle carries social costs that could surpass the pain in the euro zone. The near double-digit pace of growth that India enjoyed in 2004-08, if sustained, promised to lift hundreds of millions of Indians out of poverty. Jobs would have been created for all the young people who will reach working age in the coming decades. But now, after a slump in the currency, a drying up of private investment and those GDP figures, the miracle feels like a mirage. Whether India can return to a path of high growth depends on its politicians - and, in the end, its voters. The Congress-led coalition government insists things will bounce back. But India’s slowdown is due mainly to problems at home and has been looming for a while. The state is borrowing too much, crowding out private firms and keeping inflation high. It has not passed a big reform for years. Graft, confusion and red tape have infuriated domestic businesses and harmed investment. A high-handed view of foreign investors has made a big current-account deficit harder to finance, and the rupee has plunged. The remedies agreed on not just by foreign investors but also by Manmohan Singh’s government, are blindingly obvious. A combined budget deficit of nearly a tenth of GDP must be tamed, particularly by

cutting wasteful fuel subsidies. India must reform tax and foreign-investment rules. It must speed up big industrial and infrastructure projects. It must confront corruption. None of these tasks is insurmountable. But, the will to act is missing from government policy. Why, then, does Mr Singh not act? Vacillation plays a role. But so do two deeper political problems. First, the state machine has still not been modernised. It is neither capable of overcoming red tape and vested interests nor keen to relax its grip over the bits of the economy it still controls. Second, as the bureaucracy has degenerated, politics has fragmented. The two big parties, the ruling Congress and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), are losing support to regional ones. For all the talk of aspirations, voters do not seem to connect reform with progress. India’s liberalisers over the past two decades, including Mr Singh himself, have reformed by stealth. That now looks like a liability. No popular consensus exists in favour of change or tough decisions. As a result, when the government tries to clear bottlenecks, feuding and overlapping bureaucracies can get in the way. When it suggests raising fuel prices, it faces protests. When it tries to pass reforms on foreign investment, its populist coalition partners threaten to pull the plug. It does not help that the ageing Mr Singh has little clout of his own. With the general elections approaching in 2014, Congress does not want to take risks. Is it time for a change at the top? Mr Singh has plainly run out of steam, but there are no appealing candidates to replace him. The opposition BJP is split and has been wildly inconsistent about reform. If it formed a government tomorrow, the BJP would also have to rely on fickle smaller parties.

India’s economic woes grow further

Teaching foreign languages to children – a welcome step The government’s move to teach a foreign to all children of seven is a welcome step. It will form part of a new primary national curriculum, taking effect in 2014. Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, says that subjects such as French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Latin or Greek will be made a compulsory part of the primary school timetable for the first time. An Indian language should also be taught as part of the new languages. It will equip the children to understand the culture of India better. Accordingly Hindi will be an ideal option. Ministers hope the move will make pupils betterequipped to compete in a global economy. Currently about one in ten state primary schools offer no language lessons at all and a further 20 per cent only offer it to some year groups. It will be popular with middleclass parents who complain that state schools lag behind independent prep schools in providing goodquality language teaching. According to a report countries with high-performing education systems begin teaching foreign languages at a much younger age than England. A system in which all primary children learn a foreign language from age seven will give pupils a much stronger foundation, which they can build on in secondary school to become fluent. Learning another language is good for young children and it will give them more options in education and work. Under the plans, schools would be allowed to decide which language their pupils should be taught. By the age of 11, pupils will be expected to speak the language in sentences with appropriate pronuncia-

tion, express simple ideas with clarity and write phrases and short sentences from memory. They will also be expected to understand basic grammar and be acquainted with songs and poems in the language studied. Primary teachers will be required to focus on a single language to avoid a piecemeal approach. Currently, foreign language teaching is compulsory in England from the beginning of secondary school, when children are aged 11. In primary schools the picture is mixed, with about 10 per cent offering no language classes, more than 60 per cent teaching a language to all pupils between the ages of seven and 11, and the rest offering something in between. A report published last year found that 25 per cent of primaries depended on specialist teachers coming from outside the school to teach language lessons and that if what was taught in a 30 to 40 minute lesson was not reinforced at some point during the week, children failed to make much progress. New Zealand and Singapore teach languages at age six, and Finland at age nine. In Hong Kong, English is compulsory from the start of primary school. Evidence shows that children may be better able to learn a foreign language if they are given the opportunity at a younger age. Research also suggests that being taught a foreign language can help to improve conversation skills and literacy in English, as well as benefit study in other subjects. Just making an announcement is not sufficient. There should be enough number of qualified teachers to teach the foreign language as well as enough funds to support the scheme.

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Challenges Facing London’s Housing: PRIVATE-RENTED SECTOR I chaired a conference recently in the Sattavis Centre to discuss the challenges facing London’s private-rented housing sector. The event, sponsored by the National Approved Lettings Scheme and Brendons Auctioneers, was organised by Jacky Peacock, the Secretary of the National Private Tenants Organisation and the well-known of Brent Director Private Tenants’ Rights Group. The BPTRG runs an invaluable Housing Advice Centre in Brent for tenants and works with tenants on policy changes for the sector. The conference examined the critical issues facing private tenants, the private-rented sector itself and how the current dire situation can be addressed through better partnership working. Key facts about London’s private-rented sector: The private-rented sector has been growing at an unprecedented rate. From 2005 to 2009 the sector grew by one million homes (to around 3.8 million) and all the indicators are that it is currently expanding at an even faster rate. Estimates now stand at nearly 4.5 million. The increase in London is running well ahead of the rest of country. There are currently between 1.5 and 2 million households renting privately in London. Brent has one of the largest private-rented

sectors, arguably the highest, if the luxury end in Central London is discounted. It’s not difficult to see why. House building has plummeted at the very time the number of households is expanding. Property prices are at an all time high and lending at an all time low, very few residents can afford to buy. In London rent makes up 41% of pay. The Broughs of Brent, Camden and Westminster have the highest rent to earning ratio in the UK at 56%. Brent is typical of London boroughs in managing to house only a fraction of those needing social-rented accommodation. In the last year Brent has rehoused around 800 families, less than 9% of the 12,000 families who are homeless or have been identified as having a significant housing need. With social housing and home ownership out of the question for the vast majority, the only alternative is renting privately. But is the private-rented sector seen as ‘the only alternative’ with the implication that it’s the last resort? Or could private renting ever become a choice, or at least a perfectly acceptable alternative to social renting or home ownership? The conference addressed these vital issues through contributions from specialist panel members. Continued on page 6

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LEICESTER VOICE

Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

Forced marriage law 'is welcome' Campaigners have welcomed a Government plan to outlaw forced marriages – but warned the laws could deter victims from coming forward. The proposed new laws mean parents who force their children to marry could be brought before the courts and possibly jailed. Meena Kumari, who runs Safe, which helps protect young people from being forced to marry welcomed the proposal and said a growing number of victims were coming forward to seek help. However, she urged ministers to proceed with the new laws with caution. Ms Kumari said: "Some of the people we have supported might not have come forward if they thought their parents could end up in prison. So,

while we are really grateful that the Government is taking this issue so seriously, they have to proceed with caution. Some of the people who we work with would simply walk away if they thought they were going to have to face their families in court." Safe works with police, social services, schools and colleges to identify victims and help them flee abusive homes and rebuild their lives, sometimes under new identities. It is hearing from one person every month – some as young as 14 – who fear they are being pushed into a marriage against their will. When it launched two and a half years ago, new cases were coming to light every three months, Ms Kumari said.

Detective Inspector Mark Parish, who runs Leicestershire Police's domestic violence team, said: "We are seeing a gradual increase in cases, but it is still under-reported. It is a big step for people to contact us but they can be assured we will do everything we can to help them get through this difficult period in their lives." Police have the option of seeking court orders to prevent families forcing a relative to marry. Officers also put victims in touch with welfare organisations such as Safe or local authorities for help with re-housing and ongoing support. Leicester East MP Keith Vaz is chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, which has previously urged the

Government to outlaw the practice. Mr Vaz said: "The Government must not only prosecute those who commit this appalling crime, but prevent it from happening in the first place. There should be zero tolerance of this harmful activity that ruins the lives of so many." Announcing the plan, the Prime Minister said local authorities and voluntary groups would be given a share of a £500,000 fund to help combat the problem, including helping teachers to spot children at risk. A Home Office spokesman said the Government would publish further details of the proposals later. Contact Safe on 0800 022 3353 or visit: www.safedvs.co.uk

New shop set to rise from bulldozers' dust

A family business that is being forced to move out to make way for a housing development has been provided with a new premises by the developer. Four years ago, Jahendra Master and his son Pratik began their fight to stop Jelson's plans to bulldoze a row of shops in Castleton Road, Wigston, including their store, Hendricks News. Nearby residents backed the shop in the fight in 2008 and, after hearing about the key role the news shop played as the hub of the local community, members of Oadby and Wigston Borough Council's planning committee decided to refuse the application. But last year the develop-

Jahendra Master and his son Pratik

er came back with a compromise – a plan that still included demolishing Hendricks News, but building a new shop for the family to rent next door to the old site.

Residents urged the council to allow the new plans with a 300-signature petition, and Jelson was given the go-ahead. The six new homes are now under construction

and the shop is almost ready. Jahendra and Pratik plan to open their new shop, which they will call J Master & Son, on the corner of Castleton Road and Carlton Drive, on June 23. Pratik said: "Jelson have been amazing and built us a wonderful new shop when they didn't really have to. We had been in the old shop for about 10 years and Hendricks News has been there for 40 years, so it would have been a shame to see it go. Now we're starting a new businesses, we decided to give it a new name. When we open we will be providing free samosas for all our customers."

Asian cabbie banned for using mobile A cabbie has been banned from driving for six months after being found guilty of using a mobile phone while driving. Jagjit Singh (42), of Gainsborough Road, Knighton, Leicester, pleaded not guilty to the offence, in Vaughan Way, Leicester, on November 1. However, he was convicted at Leicester Magistrates' Court and fined £75, with £75 costs and a £15 victims of crime surcharge. Because three penalty points imposed on his licence took the total to 15, magistrates had to disqualify him from driving all vehicles for six months. He had previous-

ly claimed – in October 2010 – that being disqualified from driving would cause him exceptional hardship due to loss of employment, so this option was not available to him a second time. Prosecutor Ian Johnson said police saw Singh holding a mobile phone to his right ear at 3.05am. Mr Johnson said: "He told the officer who cautioned him that he was phoning a customer but was not driving. He said he had been parked." Pc Lee Eckersley told the court that street lighting made vision clear and there was nothing

between his car and the taxi driven by Singh. "He was using a handheld mobile phone as the taxi was driven towards me in Burleys Way. Throughout the journey he had his hand to his ear," he said. Singh, a taxi driver for six years, said he worked from a base in Braunstone Gate and regularly picked up fares from around Church Gate. At the time of the offence, he had been asked to pick up a fare from outside Liquid Envy nightclub. Singh maintained that he made a phone call to check whether the woman he was due to collect was

still there. He said he saw the police car coming towards Church Gate from Vaughan Way, and was waiting for the traffic lights to change. He said: "I was stationary. The police vehicle passed me. I had no reason at all to use my mobile phone when I was driving." After sentencing, his solicitor, David Rhodes, said the six-month ban would have a devastating effect on Singh and his family. He said: "He has a mortgage which needs paying. His wife's job is manual, in a bakery. They are going to find life very difficult from now on."

Campaigners accuse police over handling of EDL march in Leicester Police have defended their handling of the English Defence League's march in Leicester earlier this year. A national campaign group, the Network for Police Monitoring – Netpol – yesterday criticised officers' conduct toward people opposed to the EDL's presence in the

city centre on Saturday, February 4. The EDL marched through the city surrounded by police officers while their opponents, Leicester Unite Against Fascism, staged a march in a different area of the centre. No arrests were made. The city council was criticised for urging young

people to stay away from the city centre, stressing that unaccompanied youths could be detained and escorted home. Both city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby and the officer in charge of the police operation have defended their handling of the event. They stressed they spent several weeks before

it took place speaking to community leaders. Sir Peter said allowing the EDL to march prevented a repeat of the violence which marked the protest of October 2010, when people inside the EDL cordon pelted police with missiles and several hundred broke through police lines.

CCTV appeal after gold theft at jewellers in Melton Road

CCTV still of the people police want to trace

CCTV footage has been released after a gold bracelet was stolen from a jewellers in Melton Road, Leicester. Two women and a man entered the shop and as two of them distracted a member of staff one of the women stole a 22 carat gold men’s bracelet. The footage shows three people police want to trace in connection with the theft which took place at about 12.10pm on Saturday, April 28. The suspects have been described as being

of Eastern European appearance, of heavy build, with dark hair. Pc James Gardiner said: “We would urge people to have a look at the footage and contact us if they recognise any of the people. We would also like to speak to anyone who may have been visited in similar circumstances. If you can help with any aspect of the investigation then please contact us.” Anyone with any information is asked to contact Pc Gardiner on 101.

A £1 million public appeal to help equip a new heart research centre in Leicester is almost at the halfway mark. People across Leicestershire have helped to raise £480,000 towards the target so far. The money will pay to equip the £12.6 million centre which is being built at Glenfield Hospital and funded by the University of Leicester, the British Heart Foundation and other organisations. Professor Nilesh Samani, pictured, a British Heart Foundation professor of cardiology at the University of Leicester and a consultant at Leicester's hospitals, is leading the project. He said: "Leicester is one of the leading cardiac centres in the country but to maintain this position we need to provide facilities for research. Places such as Oxford and Cambridge have heart research centres and now, with the combination of investment from the university and other trusts, we are beginning to catch up." The new centre, due to open later this year, will bring scientists, doctors and patients together to develop life-saving research and techniques. Prof Samani said: "Our clinical services are so busy we cannot easily do trials, which is why we need the clinical and laboratory facilities of a cardiovascular research centre." Some of the 17,000-

plus patients with heart problems, who are seen at Glenfield Hospital each year, will be given the chance to volunteer to take part in research and trials at the new centre. The professor said: "Very few families are not touched in one way or another by heart disease. More than 175,000 people die of cardiovascular diseases each year in the UK, more than 50,000 prematurely. Despite these grim statistics, through research there has been progress in the prevention, management and treatment of the diseases in the last 30 years. Research in Leicester has made a significant contribution. The new research centre is not just for them, but for the people working here and it will attract the best people to come to Leicester. We are at the cutting-edge of science." The latest donation to the £1 million public appeal to equip the centre is £50,000 from the Freemasons of Leicestershire and Rutland and neighbouring counties.

Heart centre bid nearing halfway


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Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

Convicted sex offender joins Prince Charles on Royal barge By Spriha Srivastava

Jaal – A Trendsetter Jaal - a book that has set a new trend in the Indian literary world was launched at the House of Lords on Monday. Authored by Sangeeta Bahadur, who is better known as the Director of The Nehru Centre, the book was launched by filmmaker Shyam Benegal amidst a gathering of London’s who’s who. While noted storyteller Seema Anand read excerpts from the book, Lady Kishwar Desai gave a review of the magnificent and unique story. Known as The Kaal Trilogy, Jaal- The Web is the author’s first book and two more are expected in due course. The book is the story of Arihant, the central character in this book who has taken upon himself to destroy Aushji, the Lord of Maya. The book is Arihant’s journey across lands and mindscapes– from innocence to experience, as he harnesses his faculties to perceive enemies both temporal and illusory. Dealing with Gods and Serpents, politics and obstacles, he must come to terms with the dizzying unfolding of his purpose and potential. Armed with merely a dagger and a staff, he confronts dangers with dexterity. Ultimately, he is looking for answers to the web of self and identity. The book starts in flashback where Aushji, the Lord of Maya has been tricked in to a prison of dreams by his siblings in order to save the world. However, despite being in prison, Aushji continues to create havoc on the real world. On seeing this, Arihant takes it up the mission to destroy him. And thus starts his journey across lands and mindscapes. The book instantly takes you into the world of fantasy, into the land of dreams, perhaps a land unknown to all of us. However, the best part about the book is that it hooks you onto the story instantly. This book is a change from

Sangeeta Bahadur

the typical mythological writing about India. The unique story is presented in a totally palatable fashion that is set to appeal readers from the time they lay their hands on it. “Arihant has the universal appeal of the super hero who, even as he grows to fit the prophecy of his incredible destiny, never outgrows the emotional vulnerability of his humanity, his sense of perspective, and his sense of humour. Arihant

appeals to the invincible spirit in all of us, for he shares with us his strength and gives us the gift of hope and dignity to face the vicissitudes of life. This is what makes the book an absorbing, enthralling read,” Sangeeta says on her blog. She further goes on to say, “The reader is taken on a fascinating journey along with Arihant, who is confronted, as the Book progresses, not only with enemies both temporal and Mayavi; he must also

struggle and come to terms with the dizzying, often shocking, unfolding of his own selfhood, purpose and potential. As he goes through his transformation and growth, he learns to conquer the foes that lie in wait for him both within and without. Until he faces the penultimate challenge that the Lord of Illusions has created for him - a battle with his own dark alter-ego, in which he must defeat himself and kill what is dearest to him. Only in his own death can he find the ultimate transformation necessary to take on the Great Asura Aushij." The idea of this book has been close to Sangeeta for a long time indeed and it was with the encouragement and support from her husband Yuresh, that she got hooked on to writing her first book. When asked about the next book, she smiled and said “It’s in the works.” “Jaal - The Web”, which could be described as a Heroic Epic, is the first Book of a Trilogy set in an imagined world akin to ours and reminiscent of India in the immediate post-Vedic Era. Each Book of the Trilogy outlines a different phase in the highly unusual life of the main protagonist, Arihant, visualized by the Universe as both Taarak The Saviour, and Vinaashak The D e s t r o y e r, ” Sangeeta mentioned on her blog. Being the first book in the series, it stands out in every respect. Be it the story, the language, the twists and turns, the mix of Hindi and Sanskrit for certain mythological terms and in the end the strong character of Arihant that takes you on a rollercoaster ride. This one’s a must read for all, especially because it is a trendsetter not only for the series but also in the sphere of Indian writing.

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

Prince Charles is ‘extremely angry’ that a convicted sex offender was allowed to stand alongside the Queen on the Royal Barge during the Jubilee celebrations. MPs have demanded an investigation after Harbinder Singh Rana was invited on the vessel despite being jailed for four years for assaulting ten women in their homes while posing as a doctor. The 52-year-old – who was invited by Prince Charles in recognition of his position as a ‘leading member of the Sikh community’ – was pictured on the Spirit of Chartwell during Sunday’s Jubilee River Thames Pageant, standing near Prince Harry, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William. MPs demanded an inquiry into the security blunder, the policeman

Rana on the Royal barge

who led the investigation into Rana’s crimes in the mid-1980s described him as a ‘con merchant’. He pointed out that at least two newspaper articles relating to Rana’s case could be found on the internet using a simple Google search – suggesting even basic checks on his background had not been carried out. He has been banned from all future events involving the royal family

after the sex offender was exposed. A spokesman for Clarence House confirmed that the Prince had no knowledge of Rana’s sex crimes. Both Clarence House and Scotland Yard refused to comment on royal security procedures. Rana is understood to have been accompanied on the boat by his 22-yearold daughter Kamalpreet.

Gurkhas survive army cuts; soldier awarded Victoria cross for bravery As the Army shrinks over the next eight years from 102,000 to 82,000 men – its smallest in 200 years four infantry battalions and two cavalry regiments will be lost through disbandments and amalgamations.

Ministry of Defence sources confirmed that the Gurkha regiments would escape the cuts provoking anger elsewhere. The pain will instead fall on traditional recruiting grounds in the North of England and the Midlands. Recently, a Gurkha sol-

dier who single-handedly defeated more than 30 Taliban fighters has been awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross by the Queen. Corporal Dipprasad Pun, 31, pictured, described how he was spurred on by the belief that he was going to die and so had nothing to lose in taking on the attackers who overran his checkpoint in Afghanistan. His gallantry award is second only to the Victoria Cross - the highest honour for bravery in the face of the enemy. Cpl Pun, from the 1st Battalion the Royal Gurkha Rifles, was presented with the CGC during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, during which a number of other soldiers were recognised for their bravery. The soldier fired more than 400 rounds, launched 17 grenades and detonated a mine to

thwart the Taliban assault on his checkpoint near Babaji in Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan, last September. At one point, after exhausting all his ammunition, he had to use the tripod of his machine gun to beat away a militant who was climbing the walls of the compound. After the ceremony, Cpl Pun was congratulated by investiture guests who queued up to shake his hand.

Challenges Facing London’s Housing: PRIVATE-RENTED SECTOR Continued from page 3 Equally, the focus of the conference was to hear from landords, tenants and letting agents. The conference looked at the potential for working together to come up with ideas about the future of private-renting – how it can provide quality, affordable accommodation across the sector and the framework for it which will be of most benefit to both landlords and tenants. For further details on the issue and the conference contact navin.shah@london.gov.u k or telephone 020 7983 4876.

“Love of Faith” JAIN COMMUNITY’S CHARITY WALK I’m pleased to be supporting the UK Jain community’s sponsored walk on Saturday 30 June which is a part of the offering of the Jains to ‘A Year of Service’ in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen. The landmark charity walk organised by Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur UK in conjunction with the UK’s leading Jain Organisations is aimed at highlighting the Jain Community’s

commitment to developing good interfaith relations and its inclusive message of ‘LOVE OF FAITH’. The walk, starting from a Jain temple, will be lead by Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai, the founder of the Mission and will visit six of the world’s great faith places including a Synagogue, Mosque, Buddhist and Hindu Temples, Trafalgar Square (for Meditation) and a Church of England. For further information visit w w w. s h r i m a d r a j c h a n dramission.org or contact navin.shah@london.gov.uk


UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

Leading Lights

by Rani Singh

Special Assignments Editor

Dr Suresh Chalise, Ambassador of Nepal

Q; Your Excellency, why is the Dolma Impact Fund important? A; Since Nepal’s current challenge is to address her poor economy, it is essential to achieve steady economic growth to uplift the living standards of her population. To achieve this objective, Nepal needs foreign investment, technology as well as skills. In this connection, Dolma Fund is imperative for us as microfinance and large infrastructure projects have already been in Nepal and Dolma Impact Fund aims at filling the “missing middle” range of capital. That is why Dolma Fund is important. I am sure the Dolma Fund will have positive effects on the Nepalese economy. Q; Tell me about the UK-Nepal relationship please. A; UK and Nepal’s relationship has been marked by good-will, understanding and cooperation. Our relationship with the UK was established in 1816. Nepal was the first embassy in London from the SouthAsian region. Our relationship, which is one of the oldest, has been enriched over the years. Q; What do you tell the UK about Nepal? A; Nepal is a nation with an enormous future. Nepal is blessed with huge natural endowment, especially in fresh

flow of private capital to South Asia, led to the launch of this private investment fund to help more businesses in Nepal develop with the availability of muchneeded capital, technology and skills. This is the first international fund ringfenced for Nepal, and is part of an overall trend of cooperation between private capital and development. As well as the Ambassador, speakers at the launch event included Dolma Founder and Chairman Tim Gocher, and one of the fund’s Directors David Grigson, who is also Chairman of Trinity Mirror plc and former CFO of Reuters plc. Also part of the Board, Management Team and Advisory Board are Rameshore Prasad Khanal (former Nepal Finance Secretary and current Economic Advisor to the Nepalese PM), Ian Taylor MBE (former UK Minister of Science and Technology) and Professor Michael Hay of London Business School.

Photography by www.charlessturge.com.

His Excellency Dr Suresh Chalise is Ambassador of Nepal to the Court of St James (UK) and Ireland. He was previously Ambassador of Nepal to the USA, where his accreditation covered Canada, Colombia and Mexico. Dr Chalise conducted post doctoral research in Germany and also took a senior executive course at the Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies in Hawaii. The Ambassador recently hosted the launch event of the Dolma Impact Fund I, a commercial investment fund providing capital to small and medium enterprises in Nepal. The fund is spawned from the Dolma Development Fund – a UK non-profit organisation that has been investing in promising and sustainable businesses in Nepal for nine years as well as supporting rural education. Recent positive economic trends, combined with an overall increase in the

Dr Suresh Chalise

water and the tourism sectors. Nepal has the potential to produce about 83,000 megawatts of clean energy. We have tourist destinations as well in abundance including gorgeous scenic beauty, flora and fauna, birthplace of Lord Buddha and eight of the world’s twelve highest peaks. Nepal’s human resource, too, is rich as about fifty percent of the

Nepal is a nation with an enormous future population is below twenty five years. They are young and an English speaking, productive work force. Besides, Nepal’s location is strategic as it is surrounded by two neighbors who are soaring economies of the world. Therefore, the UK and Nepal need to enlarge their bilateral relationship through an enhanced level of economic ties. Q; How do you see the relationship developing?

A; Our relationship with the UK has deepened with the passage of time. The relationship, particularly at the people’s level, has expanded further. The reason is that every year 32 to 42 thousand British tourists visit Nepal. Many stay there for more than seven days. I have met with an array of British people and government officials around the UK, who say that the Nepalese are a most welcoming people. In the mean time, the Victoria Cross winning Gurkha community is given rights to be resettled in the UK. Many of them are coming here for the sake of a brighter future for their offspring. British people are quite happy to have them in the neighborhood. On the other hand, the governments of Nepal and the UK share common interests and stand together on many transnational issues including terrorism, climate change and human security at the United Nations. For more information on the Embassy of Nepal in London see h t t p : / / w w w. n e p e m bassy.org.uk/. For more information on the Dolma Impact Fund, please write to contact@dolmafund.org. Information on the Dolma Development Fund non-profit group can be found at www.dolmafund.org.

Forced marriage to be a criminal offence Britain plans to introduce a legislation to criminalize forced arranged marriages, prevalent mostly among South Asian, Turkish and Kurdish communities in the country, the home office said on Friday. The legislation, likely to be introduced later this year or early next year, would also make anyone complicit in lur-

ing a British national or resident into a betrothal outside the country liable to prosecution. Officials say around 8,000 cases of forced marriages are reported in the UK annually. The British home office's Forced Marriage Unit said it provided advice or support in nearly 600 such cases this year, including 14%

involving children below 15. Nearly half the cases implicated Pakistani families; others involved those from Bangladesh, India, Afghanistan and Turkey. The unit helped in 1,468 cases last year including one case involving a five-year-old victim and another linking an 87-yearold.

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Dee Katwa

Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

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

Freed DJ killer jailed, again A thug who killed an award-winning Birmingham DJ after breaking into his home to steal his car has been jailed for four years for another car-key burglary. Serial criminal Michael McGuire, 25, was sentenced to ten years in 2004 after he, and a gang of fellow teenagers broke into the Castle Bromwich home of Heart FM presenter Tushar Makwana, pictured, to get to the keys for his BMW. The brave dad-of-three confronted the crooks, but he was knocked down by their getaway car as they fled the scene. Tushar was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where he died three days after the incident on February 9 – just over a week after his 37th birthday. At a Birmingham

Crown Court hearing last Wednesday, Recorder Guthrie QC said the latest raid was the third domestic burglary committed by McGuire while on licence for the Tushar convictions. The youngest of three children, Tushar was born in Jinja, Uganda and moved to the UK in 1972, then aged four. Interested in radio from an early age, he ran a mobile disco as a teenager and helped teach other youngsters about broadcasting. His first experience of broadcasting was as a volunteer at Walsall Hospital, where

Well-wishers help raise £5k for Thusha A fundraiser in honour of Thusha Kamaleswaran, the brave six-year-old girl gunned down while playing in her uncle’s shop last March, has raised nearly £5,000. The money will help pay for the medical care Thusha will need for the rest of her life. The event, which featured a Sri Lankan dance troupe – pictured with Thusha – singers and a magician, was organised by publisher Eshan Goonesekera, 45, and his sister Shevanthie, 46, both from London. The cash will go towards a fund set up by the Metropolitan Police detectives who worked on the investigation. The Trident team, who have raised more than £161,000, are now preparing to do the Three Peaks challenge in September in a bid to help further swell the coffers. Anyone wishing to donate can visit www.thushafund.co.uk for more details.

One to watch: Deana Uppal Big Brother contestant Deana Uppal, pictured, from Walsall has said that money is the greatest love of her life, also she doesn’t trust men. “I don’t believe in love as every man is, or will be, a cheater, said single Deana, 23, who is a black belt in karate. She has been living in India for the past year where she is chauffeured around and waited on hand and foot by her own servants. She began modelling when she was 16 and studied at Tividale Comprehensive School in Oldbury. She has since starred in two Bollywood movies. Reigning Miss India UK Deana faced her first Big Brother challenge when she was forced to nominate three of her fellow housemates for eviction, although she had only just met them. Big Brother, the reality show, kicked off on Tuesday night last week.

Students caught cheating Hundreds of students at two Midland universities have been caught passing off someone else’s work as their own, a FOI request has revealed. Wolverhampton University found 376 cases of plagiarism in 2010/11 while Staffordshire University uncovered 222 cases. Among these, 67 were caught cheating in an exam, four gave fraudulent signatures and one supplied false data.

he once held the position of chairman. In 2002, Tushar won a Silver

Award at the Sony Radio Academy Awards for a show he had presented about UB40. I vividly recall my first meeting in October 2002 with Tushar, a chilled out, true gent, at a baby charity event in Coventry where we both interviewed celebrities Ruby Wax, Ben Kingsley and peer Jeffrey Archer. Since, we had kept in touch and good memories shall remain, forever.

42 Achievers under 42 List Midlands Business Insider Media has named Davinder Bansal, of Howells Architects, as one of the top 42 business people under 42 in the Midlands. This year’s list also includes Rajesh Agrawal, pictured, of RationalFX, a multi-million pound commercial foreign exchange and international payments company which has offices in Birmingham; Balvinder Bahra of Oldburybased Soho Cash and Carry and Vishal Misal, of Nottingham-based event company Blak Pearl. The final 42 will be invited to celebrate their achievements at The Belfry later this Summer.

Thieves nick mobility scooter A disabled man from Birmingham has made an emotional plea to the thieves who stole his mobility scooter from his doorstep, to return it. Tariq Khan, 37, who struggles to walk even short distances because of a crippling heart condition, described the thieves as “despicable”. Mr Khan, pictured, from Telford in Shropshire, relies on his £1,000 scooter to perform everyday tasks such as food shopping or taking his daughter, 7, to nursery.

Top Athletics Achiever Well done Jhalman Singh, an inspirational athlete from Birmingham, who has been honoured by the city’s Sikh community. Mr Singh, 74, from Sutton Coldfield, has taken part in athletics contests at the Vaisakhi festival each year for the last decade. The father-of-four said: “I have been to ten Vaisakhi festivals. I challenge the younger people to take me on in a 200m run.” He added: “I think it’s important to show that you can still be strong and competitive when you are older.” Since starting his athletics career in 1952, the retired engineer has won a host of medals. In 2007, he was given a Parliamentary award at the House of Commons for promoting Punjabi culture in Britain. Mr Singh, a member of the Royal Sutton Coldfield Athletics Club, was crowned the first Midlands Sikh Sports Personality of the Year in 2009 by the Shri Balaji Temple.

Plunge in used car sales The West Midlands saw a slight drop in used car sales in the first three months of 2012 compared to 2011. Almost 170,000 used cars were sold in the region in the first quarter, a drop of 0.46% compared to the first quarter, according to Experian Used Car Index.

New £70k liver machine

New state-of-the-art equipment that gives liver patients instant results has been introduced at Sandwell Hospital in West Bromwich. The £70,000 machine measures the elasticity of liver tissues and avoids the need of a biopsy which can be dangerous as well as uncomfortable. Consultant Dr Saket Singhal, pictured, a member of the South Asian Health Foundation charity, said the machine would be of benefit to those with viral hepatitis, fatty liver disease and liver disease due to alcohol.

News in Brief Drugs ring woman jailed A housewife who smuggled drugs hidden in the soles of sandals has been jailed for her part in an international heroin ring. Noreen Khan, 44, from Derby, was sentenced to nine years for conspiracy to import heroin at a hearing last Friday. Her accomplice Mujahid Ali was jailed for five years for the same offence.

Doctor, 37, found dead A doctor has been found dead in staff quarters at George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton. The 37-year-old man is understood to have been working as a temporary doctor in the intensive care unit at the hospital. A police investigation is underway into the “unexplained” death.

Financial future worries Half of parents (52%) in the West Midlands are worried about their children’s financial futures, according to new research. A Natwest poll found that youngsters in the region believe they will earn almost £48,000 when they reach the age of 35. This is compared to the current national median salary of £24,000.

Ramayana Recital A 27-hour non-stop recital of the Ramayana, the Indian epic, will take place later this month at the Vedic Society Hindu Temple in Southampton. Anyone wishing to take part in the event, which will begin at 9.00am on 30 June, can call temple priest Pankajbhai Raval on 02380 632275 or visit www.vedicsociety.com

Tempers heat up on holidays Arguing between holidaying couples starts even before the trip, according to a poll by travel agent ebookers.com. More than half (52%) of couples cannot agree on a destination, while 37% fall out over the frustrations of the booking process. Once away, twothirds of couples end up arguing, with 25% having rows by the third day of their break.

Cervical Cancer: Get Tested Women in Birmingham are being urged to get tested for cervical cancer by booking an appointment with their GP as soon as possible. Currently one in five women in the city is not attending their cervical screening, which is available to all women aged between 25 and 64. The screening is a simple and painless procedure and with early detection and treatment, it is estimated to prevent up to 75% of cervical cancers.

Top prosecutor to give talk England’s top prosecutor is set to give a talk in the West Midlands next Thursday (Jun 21). Director of public prosecutions Kier Starmer QC, pictured, will deliver his talk on media and the law at the University of Worcester. Kier was educated at Reigate Grammar School, then went on to Leeds University from where he gained his LLB in 1985; and a BCL from Oxford a year later. He became a barrister in 1987.

Have your say: 21 June Citizens in Birmingham are being invited to have their say on the Labour Party at a public meeting next Thursday (Jun 21). The event, organised by the Labour Community Engagement Forum, a new initiative of Labour Friends of India, will provide an opportunity for people to raise hot issues and discuss and debate the party’s policies and priorities. The 7pm9pm programme at Shri Krishna Temple in Sparkbrook, Birmingham (B11 1JL) will aim to promote political opportunities and raise awareness of ways in which the Labour Party could better serve, understand and engage with the city’s Indian community.


UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

Thousands gather at Anand Mela making it a huge success Gujarat Samachar and Asian Voice organised a special Summer Mela (festival) on 9th and 10th June 2012,10am8pm, at Harrow Leisure Centre to celebrate 40 years of our community service. Inaugurated by local MPs and Councillors on Saturday, the Anand Mela displayed the diverse colours and rich heritage of Indian culture, particularly from the Gujarat region, by bringing people and communities together in a festive ambience where everyone enjoyed food, music, dance, community spirit and an abundance of

Lord Dolar Popat, CB Patel, Rt Hon Bob Blackman, MP and Cllr Navin Shah AM during inauguration ceremony

Performance by Navin Kundra

CB Patel with Satyamitranand Giriji Maharaj

family activities besides. The Anand Mela was divided into stall zones spanning Food & Drink, Education and Entertainment, Health & Medical, Travel & Tourism, Property &

Investment, Banking & Finance, Fashion & Wedding and many more. Visitors enjoyed a weekend of endless fun and activities, did some shopping, witnessed each day's entertainment line-

up, were spoilt by a choice of delicious food from an array of tempting stalls, spent quality time with near and dear ones, made new friends and acquaintances, as well as danced and sang along to their favourite folk or Bollywood songs. The event was attended by over 5000 visitors. A full report of the Mela will be published in Asian Voice, 24 June.

Fashion Show

The enjoying audience at the mela

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An International DJ plays for sick children and brings gifts By Rani Singh It was a dull day outside but some seriously ill children on the seventh floor of the Royal London Childrens’ Hospital were having a great time. On one side there was a stack of pastel-coloured new toys, games and playthings for children of all ages. Brightening up their day was DJ Lora, dressed in a simple maxi dress and long cardigan, her face minimally made – up, her hair tied up neatly. Lora likes playing in places like Ibiza’s Pasha, Los Angeles’s Hyde Lounge, and the Mulberry Project in New York. Originally from Durban, South Africa, she recently returned from a successful two-city tour to India. So what brought her to a hospital whose catchments boroughs, Hackney and Tower Hamlets, are the poorest in London? “I wanted something that was heavily involved in the treatment of children so I came here to have a look. It was just so moving. There are some children who have been here for three years and have never left due to the fact that they and their mothers don’t have homes to go to. This hospital needs all the help it can get.” She chose the Royal London over the famous-attracting magnet Great Ormond Street because she believes no well-known people support this department. Lora explained how it all started; when the hospital built new premises away from its former home and dedicated three floors to children. “A lot of toys were destroyed in the move. This ward definitely needs some fun. They need to be inspired. If they’re going to stay here at least give them something to learn from.” she said. “We sent out emails, raised awareness that I was doing this project, got as many people as possible involved sending us money and along with some of the specialists we went shopping to find toys that were appropriate. They’ve got to be hospital regulated. Things that they need and also to brighten up the wards.” She described the purchases which included mats for toddlers and babies. “They didn’t have anywhere for the babies to

lie around so we’ve got mats and cars, iPods, DVD players. The older kids are not so into squishy things so we’ve got them something more technical.” Dr Sandhia Naik, hospital consultant paediatrician, said a lot of inpatients suffer with gastronomic problems to do with the stomach and intestine. The hospital A and E department sees over 35,

000 people a year and is one of the busiest in the country. The socio-economic deprivation of the area and the demographic leads to a high incidence of accidents. “We see a lot of children falling out of trees, falling over in playgrounds and out of win-

Mumbai and Hype and Kitty Su in Delhi, and said the atmosphere was “amazing. When you’re in a club you wouldn’t know the difference –you could be in London. The minute I walked in they were so up for partying. One club even had a no Bollywood rule.” At the Royal London, Lora gave children who could walk the chance to DJ with her at her deck, wear her headphones, and join her in a ward mini-disco. Lora has been moved by cases. “I met a little boy, I think he was two years old. He had gastro problems, only 15% of his intestine. He was so happy and bubbly-he still hasn’t left the hospital at all- he was so unfazed and getting on with life, you think to yourself, why are we complaining?” Another time, Lora met a Bangladeshi mother and her two children, two years apart and suffering from rare stomach problems. “She was just so strong and smiley and happy to show me her kids

dows. Lots of families don’t have stair gates so children run out onto the street. We are a trauma centre as well. In our local, mainly Sylhetispeaking Bangladeshi population, we see a high level of cousins marrying cousins which leads to genetic conditions. Longterm patients need toys.” Thousands of miles away on Lora’s recent India trip, Lora played at Rehab and Theology in

–I think it’s probably the help the hospital gave her to cope with everything.” Lora is committed to the Royal London. “I’m going to carry on over the next few months. I plan on doing as many visits as possible with different toys each time or whatever they need. I’d like to understand more of what the hospital needs to help so hopefully we can raise enough money to bring in medical things.”


YOUR VOICE

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Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

BJP and Congress

Modi, innovative genius

Builders in India

Pomp and Pageantry

As one who is interested in Indian politics, I am concerned about the infighting between the top leaders in Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) and the behaviour of some of the senior members of the party. India is going through a difficult period and the value of the rupee is decreasing in relation to international currencies. There are lot corruption charges against several Ministers including the Prime Minister in the present government. The international credit rating for investment in India has gone down since no new economic policy is adopted by the present government due to internal bickering between the Congress party and its allies. The UPA government has lost the support of the people and it is left to the BJP as a senior partner of NDA to coordinate with other partners to win power in the forth coming state and central government elections. The chief minster of Gujarat Narendra Modi may be popular in his own state but he has made several enemies due to his own arrogance and the way in which he runs the state. The BJP is in power in Bihar due to coalition government in Bihar. Mr. Modi is ‘naive’ on his part to criticise Bihar government as a caste ridden state. How about Gujarat? Mr. Modi refused to attend the national meeting unless senior member of the party Mr. Joshi is removed from the ordinary membership of the party. Now several posters are appearing in Gujarat in support of Mr. Joshi who belongs to upper caste. In the last general election BJP lost all the seats in Lok Sabha elections in Orissa since the ruling party Biju Janatha DAL ( BJD) did not want to contest the election jointly with the BJP. On the other hand the seat arrangement between BJP and JD (U) in Bihar helped NDA to win most of the Lok Sabha seats. JD (U) is the second largest party in NDA. If JD(U) decides to get rid of BJP as a partner in Bihar, this will end any chance of BJP coming to power.

Since BJP took charge of Gujarat and in particular, Modi replaced Keshubhai as the Chief Minister (CM) Gujarat has progressed by leaps and bounds, leaving all other States far behind when it comes to economic progress, including agricultural sector that is so often neglected in the wake of haste to make an impact on the manufacturing, industrial front. Under Modi, the progress is symmetrical and synonymous involving all sectors and the most pleasing aspect is the greenification of the dry state with dams and inter linking canals that will turn Gujarat into one of the most productive states, a bread basket, in line with Punjab, a land of five rivers with fertile soil where every thing grows without much effort. With the inauguration of the first canal-top solar power project in Mehsana district, a first in Bharat, Gujarat has laid down the challenge to the rest of Bharat where the enormous cost and intricacies of acquiring land so often hinders progress. Nano project in West Bengal is the prime example where the State lost a billion dollar investment due to delay in acquiring land. Gujarat has no such problems, with business friendly, corruption free administration and cooperation from the people at the grass root level. The installation covers Sardar Sarover Narmada Nigam branch canal passing through parsley inhabited landscape where it would be uneconomical to bring electricity through normal channels, laying down hundreds of kilometres of cables that would serve tiny villages without industrial demand. Using canal-top technology that would also save millions of gallons of fresh water that normally evaporate in the extreme summer heat is a bonus, a side product that will please farmers, as this extra water will be available to farmers to plant three crops a year. How we wish every state in the Indian union has some one like Modi in charge who could change the demography of the state with brilliant innovations for the good of the nation.

Millions have burnt their fingers in the hands of Indian builders, who visit UK periodically to lure unsuspecting indians. We have an impression that India is booming and things operate in a systematic & orderly way. That its a changed place with benefits to be had in investing some money in a property for personal use. But the actual reality is far from this. Try contacting local authorities in India to obtain filed information under RTI - well, no matter how good the system is supposed to be in existent; in practise you never get very far. You would have thought that courts will surely have resolutions. In experience, years of knocking at the consumer court’s doors, which are supposed to be highly efficient has only convinced us that we have a long wait on our hands and it could be few more years although as per consumer protect act, courts are supposed to decided all the consumer cases with a maximum period of three months only. These builders to my experience sell their apartments by super area and not by Carpet areas and they don’t permit you to take the measurements of your own Apartments because in reality, they do not even deliver the actual carpet area what was originally promised to you. They to my experience will give you details of for only 60% of the area being charged from you and if you dare ask them about the balance 40% area, then you will have to wait for indefinitely. Most of the builders forfeit your initial deposit which is normally 15% of the total purchase of your apartment. If for any reason you seek refund from the builder, which most people do, then you have absolutely zero possibility of success until of course you are willing to go to consumer court and are willing to wait for at least 10 years or ad infinitum.

After the pomp and pageantry of last year when millions of people witnessed the event as Prince William and Kate Middleton were pronounced husband and wife at a service at Westminster Abbey on 29th April 2011, we were privileged to watch the spectacular flotilla on the River Thames for the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations as Her Majesty’s barge, The Spirit of Chartwell, led a motley but majestic flotilla of more than1,000 vessels in a waterborne pageant to mark her 60 years on the throne. An armada of various ships and boats followed a flower-festooned royal barge down a 7-mile stretch of London’s river. It is only this country which could put up such a grand show of pomp and pageantry. This was a world event and not just a London event or a British event. With a crowd of 1.25 million rainsoaked spectators cheering from the riverbanks, the pageant was the largest public event seen for a long time.The occasion gladdened the heart and was a tonic at a time of unrest and war and other calamities in the world. I watched the event on the TV from the comfort of my home and had the benefit of the TV presenter’s comments while the millions, including many foreigners, who braved the weather, could have benefited from a commentary over loud speakers along the river banks. This spectacle on the ribbon that runs through the Queens’ kingdom was followed by the appropriate “Diamonds are forever” song by Shirley Bassey in the concert at the Queen’s doorstep; the carriage procession through London and the flypast of Red Arrows over Buckingham Palace. Now we await the greatest show on earth, the London Olympics!

Arun Vaidyanathan Via Email

Homelessness Shri Alpesh Patel in “Political Sketchbook” rightly replied Mr Winner’s insulting remark, homeless in India “might make a mess of the carpet”. But mockery of homelessness must be taken positively as challenge to eradicate it from India. What we are TODAY is more valid than “immense wealth” vide Warren Hastings, 10,000 years of scriptures, gifts of zero and numbers. Why homelessness persists, after 63 years of independence, to be slandered by west? What projects are undertaken by selfish politicians, millionaire and billionaire Indians to remove homelessness, poverty, insanitation? Don’t you think that astronomical sums spent on heartless, nonhumane space and nuclear programmes, could or should be spent on make soul less slum dwellers into human beings?

Subhash Mahajan Via Email

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Bigots target India for homelessness but it also exists in western countries. Arrogant attitude also shows their ignorance about India’s progress into space age, computer age and nuclear club. Prosperity of the west lies in massive buyer’s market of India. India’s homelessness does not bother begging politicians who fly to India to sell British goods. Mr. Winner and ilk ridicule the very hand that feeds them. Instead of mocking India, Mr. Winner must solve problems of binge drinking and teenage pregnancies at his door step.

I read your article on the protest against Rajapaksa by the Tamils. I am a non Tamilian, yet I resonate the same community feeling as the Tamils who have lost all their belongings in Sri Lanka. UK has been trying to make Rajapaksa apologise and at least give back the due human rights to the homeless Tamils. He has not really done anything so far except waging wars and denying any responsibility of genocide. British journalists have seen it themselves how much of blood shed has caused these Tamils to flee their country. In this situation UK- a nation that is a gate keeper of human rights all across the globe should not have invited Rajapaksa to England to attend Queen’s Jubilee. One must realise diplomacy is good but not standing up against a man who is guilty of mass genocide is a bigger crime. He did not deserve to rub shoulders with other Commonwealth heads.

Ramesh Jhalla Via Email

Rima Sen London

Anita Patel Via Email

Bhupendra M Gandhi Via Email

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

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

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Brand ‘Gujarat’ – which is equated with Guangdong of China, he invited Chinese business community and public enterprises to participate in the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit- 2013. He highlights Gujarat’s special investment regions as areas where Chinese companies could invest. He called on China to invest in infrastructure and power projects in the state, wooing potential investors with a sales pitch that showcased Gujarat as a state with levels of “governance, transparency and stability” that they could not find elsewhere in India. He declared that “the two great countries will make Asia the centrestage of the global economy.” )(.#(/

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

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

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Anand Mela I was present at the Anand Mela that was organised by Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar on 9 and 10 June 2012. I must say I haven’t had such good fun for a very long time now with my family. Let me start with the food. There were every possible vegetarian variety including Indian ice creams like golas. Whether chaat or pani puri or fried rice, there was not a single item that I fancied but had no availability. The entertainment was good, though I felt the microphone was a little too loud. My ba who visited the vadilotsav was very pleased by the seminars. I particularly liked performance by Navin Kundra and Honey Kalaria’s dance academy. I would wish the ABPL group to organise a mela similar to this during Diwali. I think that would bring festivity even closer to heart. After the Brent council has stopped the float and garba, we thoroughly rely on community torch bearers like Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar to help us celebrate our culture and festival better.

President Rajapaksa

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EDUCATION / COUNCIL VOICE

Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

SARVAM

Official Charity for AAA 2012

Making a change at India's Grassroots

SARVAM children give Indian flavor to British software environment. To work towards this SARVAM’s education team guided by Devin Hess, an education volunteer from US, set upon the task of customising the children’s animation software ‘Movie Soup’ to a village’s context in Tamil Nadu. Children from the SARVAM targeted

transformed into an Indian Tamil version. This version of the Movie Soup was utilised by SARVAM to introduce children to the joy of computers in the 2011 Summer camp. Many children saw and touched computers for the first time in their lives and their joy was immense.

Mr Vijay Poddar

Literacy in rural India is increasing steadily, but the quality of education still needs initiatives at the policy as well as execution level. While computers have been introduced in many schools throughout the country, they still remain a museum object for maximum. For those who get to set their hands on the keyboard, it is not an easy subject as computer education in general context involves learning programs/software which doesn’t give children the joy of creation. Leave behind opportunities in their own environment to apply those skills! In last year’s Summer Camp at SATYAM, the question before SARVAM was thus to introduce computers to children in a way that brings them joy of creativity and provides them with skills to tell their stories through an computer application adapted to their

villages, clicked pictures of objects and people from around their villages and the cartooned version of these images was set into the software. The cartooned images in the original software were from the British culture and now they got changed to cartooned images from an Indian context, more specifically the context of a village in Tamil Nadu. The British developer of the software, Marcus Winters helped in its localised Indian adaption. Consequently a British software for animation and storytelling for children got

Should you wish to know more about Sarvam and their project, please speak to Mrs Shilpa Shah on 07404618633 (between 2pm and 6pm) or email on shilpa.sarvam@gmail.com. They requires your help with their projects and should you wish to donate please make cheques payable to ‘THE SARVAM TRUST’ and send them to: The Sarvam Trust, UK. Asian Voice/ Gujarat Samachar Asian Bu siness Pu blication Ltd , 12 Hoxt on Mark et, Lo nd on , N1 6HW

totalling £8552.65. Ealing Council’s food hygiene inspectors visited Dahab Grocery Limited last November, which had been sub-divided into a retail shop, butchers and cafe. They found evidence of rat and mouse infestations, outdated cleaning and temperature logs, no evidence of hygiene training for the food handler and general filth throughout the entire premises. Councillor Ranjit Dheer, cabinet member for community services and safety, said: “Our

food safety laws are in place to protect the health of the public and violating these is a very serious offence. We will continue to do everything in our power to make sure these rules are followed.” Mr Sheikh had been in business for seven years, with no prior history of infringements. Following a second visit from the inspectors in November 2011, the business’ hygiene and food handling standards had improved and the premises was allowed to re-open.

Crime doesn't pay for housing benefit fraudsters A benefit cheat who fraudulently claimed £29,100 in housing benefit is facing community service and a substantial fine after a court case brought by the council. Raja Imran Khan of Eisenhower Drive, Beckton, had continued to claim housing benefit on a property in Viscount Drive, Beckton, despite leaving in 2007. He continued to claim benefits until February 2011 when he was caught by Newham Council's benefits team after a routine

Smaller institutions eligible to become universities Up to 10 smaller higher education institutions in England are now eligible to become universities government under changes announced on Monday. The number of students required for a university has been reduced from 4,000 to 1,000. But the government has been criticised for not introducing primary legislation in its reforms of the higher education sector. Labour called the plans "nothing more than

small technical details". The announcements came in a ministerial response to the Higher Education White Paper from David Willetts, the Minister for Universities and Science. Mr Willetts described the change to the status of small higher education institutions as "broadening the range of institutions that can be called universities and tackling a long standing grievance". "It is right to remove

the red tape stopping good quality smaller higher education providers calling themselves a university." The change affects 10 institutions which already have degree awarding powers in specialist areas such as the arts, agriculture or teacher training. These range from The Royal Agricultural College, Norwich University College of the Arts and Newman University College in Birmingham.

Firms offer school leavers remedial classes

COUNCIL NEWS Company director charged for dirty premises A company director found breaching food hygiene regulations was ordered to pay more than £8000 following an investigation by Ealing Council. Mr Nuh Sheikh, 61, director of Dahab Grocery Limited, at Featherstone Road, Southall, appeared at Ealing Magistrates Court on 25 May 2012 to plead guilty to six charges. For each of the six offences Mr Sheikh was fined £1000, and was ordered to pay £2537.65 in prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £15,

11

check. His trial at Inner London Crown Court was told the investigation discovered his housing benefit claim was based on a false tenancy agreement and a false electricity bill used to infer that he was living at the claim address. Khan pleaded guilty and he was sentenced on 14 May to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and will have to do 200 hours unpaid work. He must also pay costs of £3,000

and the benefit cash he claimed totalling £29,060. Cllr Unmesh Desai, executive member for crime and anti-social behaviour, said: "Benefit fraud is not a victimless crime. This is stealing from everyone including those who need support because of unemployment or ill health. These are tough times for everyone and we are determined to catch and convict those who think they can abuse the benefits system."

Many employers are providing remedial classes for school and college leavers, a major annual survey suggests. A third of 542 firms surveyed for the Confederation of British Industry and Pearson were unhappy with youngsters' literacy and numeracy skills. The figure is barely changed from a decade ago when the CBI said 34% were unhappy with youngsters' basic skills. Two-thirds said school leavers lacked the selfmanagement skills needed

for work. And four out of 10 of the firms surveyed said they provided remedial training for school and college leavers. Despite rises in GCSEs and national assessment tests over the past decade, the report for the business organisation claimed there were structural issues within schools that needed addressing. President of Pearson UK Rod Bristow said employers wanted to see an even sharper focus on the "three Rs". He added: "Literacy and numeracy are the

basic building blocks that help young people learn other subjects, get on in life and find rewarding work. "But it's not just about literacy and numeracy. Even the best-performing nations say the number one issue in education is to equip school leavers with the broader skills needed for working life, and we are no exception. "Employers still find that some young people lack the initiative, problem-solving and communication skills needed to succeed at work."

New curriculum 'to make languages compulsory from seven' Learning a foreign language will be compulsory from the age of seven in England's primary schools in an overhaul of the national curriculum, the education secretary is to announce. Michael Gove, pictured, will also say later this week that children as young as five will be expected to recite poetry. There will also be a new focus on spelling and grammar. The plans will be put out to public consultation later in the year, ahead of a scheduled introduction in 2014. The proposals come amid concerns over a decline in pupils taking foreign languages at GCSE. In 2010, 43% of GCSE pupils were entered for a language, down from a peak of 75% in 2002. The last Labour government ended compulsory language study for children after the age of 14 in 2004. Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg defended that decision, telling the BBC's Sunday Politics the "mistake had been not to focus on primary schools first". He welcomed the government's ideas, saying: "I think it's absolutely right. Children will get a love of languages if they start them young." Under Mr Gove's

plans, primary schools could offer lessons in Mandarin, Latin and Greek, as well as French, German and Spanish. The Department for Education said that where English teaching was concerned, the aim was to ensure that pupils left primary school with high standards of literacy. A systematic approach to the teaching of phonics - the sounds of letters and groups of letters - would be advocated to help pupils to become fluent readers and good spellers,

it said. Russell Hobby, general secretary of the school leaders' union, NAHT, said "reciting poetry and learning foreign languages are great for young children: both useful and enjoyable. That's why almost every primary school in the country teaches them both already." However, he added that teachers should be given the "respect and trust for their experience and professionalism" to know how to teach these subjects. "For example, we have to strike a balance between teaching phonics and reading for meaning and pleasure." The plans are expected to emphasise the importance of grammar, setting out exactly what children should be expected to be taught in each year of their primary schooling, as well as giving lists of words they should be able to spell.

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12

MEDIA WATCH

Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

Scrutator’s Pre-monsoon showers have moistened the parched earth of northern India, giving a measure of relief to the wilting population. The Anna Hazare-Baba Ramdev road show is under some strain, with its leading lights directing their beams at one another (The Hindu June 4). Less entertaining but more serious by far are the travails of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP appears to be riven by internal discord, as the ruling Congress party was (and, still is) by factionalism. “People disappointed with BP, too”, wrote BJP elder L.K.Advani on his blog. The Hindu newspaper (June 1) and the rest of the media had their desired front-page story. If the Congress-led UPA coalition, said Mr Advani, inspired little confidence in the country, the BJP has not done much better, he opined. He called for “introspection” on L.K. Advani why this should be so. Truth is that the retirement of Atal Behari Vajpayee from politics left a void in BJP ranks. Mr Vajpayee made the BJP electable; he commanded support outside of the party, as prime ministers in every effective democracy must do to become true national figures. The Vajpayee regime had its shortcomings, certainly, but it was driven by a national vision to which the people of India could respond. Mr Vajpayee well understood that political discourse in liberal democracies is about control of the centre ground. The Hindu’s editorial of June 4 opened thus: “The Bharatiya Janata Party has long since lost its brand image of being a party ‘with a difference.’ It is a party with differences”, commented the paper sardonically, as it listed the BJP pugilists trading blows for the party’s crown. The challenge for the BJP is surely to reinvent itself as a party with broad national appeal. Reflexive agitations, strikes and rancid slogans are no substitutes for credible policies.

Upbeat Bihar It would appear that there is nothing in the slowing Indian economy that cannot be put right with the proper tuning. Figures recently released tell of an astonishing growth story in once benighted Bihar, one of the largest and most impoverished states in the country. Bihar was once a national embarrassment, today it is a source of national pride. With 13.1 per cent growth, Bihar is now India’s fastestdeveloping states (admittedly from a low base), followed by Delhi, Goa, Puducherry and mineral-rich Chattisgarh (written off by many because of its Maoist insurgency). Among the larger developed states, Gujarat, a favoured destination for domestic and foreign investors, posted an impressive 9.1 per cent growth, but it was edged out by Tamil Nadu with 9.4 per cent. Punjab, India’s granary, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, both major IT and technology hubs registered growth below 6.5 per cent, which represents the India figure for 2011-12 (The Times of India June 2).

Galvanized government India may not convey the dismal picture of the Eurozone, but media headlines about a slowing Indian economy ready to hit the buffers seems to have jolted the government into action. Ministerial turf wars will now be less acceptable to the powers that be. Two years down the line will be a general election. The choice before the present Congress-led UPA dispensation

is to stick together for the common good or hang separately. However, action rather than words are needed to put the economy back onto an assured growth trajectory. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has announced that the Investment Tracking System would be submitting quarterly reports so that corrective measures could be taken to ensure speedier Implementation of large public sector projects, their progress to be monitored by the National Manufacturing Competitive Council. The Prime Minister’s Office explained that the tracking system was set up in “the contest of delays faced by projects on multiple fronts – security clearances, environmental clearances and land related matters which required expeditious responses.

CII remedies The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) President Adi Godrej demanded urgent action from the government in Delhi and governments in the States. Talking to reporters, he said the Centre should see the present trend of economic slowdown as a wake-up call. There had to be a coordinated response at the central and state levels, with the Reserve Bank of India also participating in the process. He hoped the government would clear 50 major projects in consultation with the States and get them off the ground within a month. The CII demanded 25 per cent accelerated depreciation on plant and machinery and give tax benefits for investments in green areas. Greater direct foreign investment (FDI) had to

be encouraged, a point well taken as senior ministers were dispatched to State capitals to reason with recalcitrant chief ministers given to populism (The Hindu June 2). There was a noticeable shift in the media tone – “Stung government plans infrastructure push to get the economy moving” screamed The Times of India’s front-page headline (June 7), with The Hindu following suit: “Economy set on high growth trajectory” (June 7). The Sensex reached its highest point the current financial year and the value of the rupee rose accordingly. But it is early days. What goes up can just as easily come down.

Power projects In North East The Centre has earmarked 157 power projects for India’s North East, with Arunachal Pradesh as the hub, with the 2,000-MW Lower Subansiri hydroelectric project, located at Gerukamukh on the Arunachal-Assam border, in fast forward mode. The Union government is pushing for similar projects in the region as a whole, including Sikkim, for meeting the nation’s shortfall in power generation.

Gujarat Plan hiked The Annual Plan for Gujarat for 2012-13 was finalized last week at a meeting in New Delhi between Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and State Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The Plan outlay has been increased by 34 per cent. Indeed, the Plan size exceeded the original proposal put forward by the Gujarat government. “We proposed a Plan size of Rs 50,000 crore, but the Commission thought we can do well above that. They found it appropriate to fix the outlay at Rs 51,000 crore,” Mr Modi told the media in New Delhi. Mr Ahluwalia said that, while Gujarat had registered robust economic growth it could do more in the sphere of human development. More also had to be done for sustainable growth in agriculture, Mr Ahluwalia opined (The Hindu June 2).

Naval satellite India’s armed forces are set to get their first dedicated military satellite, a naval surveillance and communications craft in a bid to harness space to national security. The geo-stationary satellite has already been shipped out for launch within a month or so. The satellite, with a radius of 1,000 nautical mile footprint over the Indian Ocean, will enable the Indian Navy to network all warships, submarines and aircraft from the East African coast to the Strait of Malacca (The Times of India June 4). Also, Sivathanu Pillai, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, BrahMos Aerospace Ltd told The Hindu (May 23) that BrahMos III, which had

been configured for high altitude operations, was ready for deployment along the SinoIndian border in Arunachal Pradesh. Dr Pillai also spoke of the current development of the Mach 7 (seven times the speed of sound) hypersonic BrahMos missile, which should be ready for testing by 2015. The BrahMos missile has been jointly developed by India and Russia.

ject for the American press. Following a recent visit to China, they produced a lead article on Chinese attitudes to India for the editorial page of the Hindu (June 7). The official Chinese line, say the authors, was generally one of “condescension” for their neighbour to the south, despite a few kind words about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and the linguistic and diplomatic skills of Indian officials. Perceived Indian pretensions to be “brackPanetta in India eted” with the Middle Kingdom were brusquely dismissed. They US Defence Secretary Leon ascribed this to Indian “arroPanetta completed a successful gance”. India in their opinion three-day visit to India, where he would always remain a secondheld extensive discussions with ary power, in contrast to China, which was a great power destined for superpower status sooner rather than later. Chinese conceit, remarked Lord Curzon in the early 20th century, defied human conception. It was so during the Opium wars in the mid-19th century, when the country was being humiliated US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta with India’s and beaten by Defence Minister A.K. Antony the all powerful West. It is no difPrime Minister Manmohan ferent now. Hubris is usually folSingh and Defence Minister lowed by nemesis, whatever its A.K.Antony on security issues form. The kowtow by inferior involving the Asia Pacific region, tributary states is buried deep in Afghanistan-Pakistan, and the the Chinese psyche. It is China’s deteriorating situation in Syria. problem, not India’s. Mr Panetta assured his hosts Chinese officials were noticethat the Obama Administration ably shy about taking questions was committed to ready Indian from the Schaffers on their access to advanced US defence country’s relations with technologies. A strong Indian Pakistan, particularly the milidelegation led by Foreign tary help (nuclear weapon and Minister S.M.Krishnai will have missile technologies) Beijing visited Washington at the head had rendered, and was continuof va high powered delegation, by the time this column appears, for the Strategic D i a l o g u e between the two countries. Chinese pressure on neighbours such as India and Vietnam surely facilitate the growing US Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi (right) with Deputy presence in the Chairman Planning Commision Montek Singh Ahluwalia Asia Pacific ing to render, to Islamabad, its zone. Decades ago, President one steadfast ally in a turbulent Ho Chi Minh, reacting to the world. locust-like presence in Vietnam June 4 was the 22nd anniverof Chiang kai-shek’s KMT sary of the Tienanmen 1989 forces, advised that a political massacre in Beijing in which deal with France, then his counhundreds of unarmed Chinese try’s colonial overlord, would be students were gunned down by preferable to “smelling Chinese tanks and machine gun fire in dung all one’s life.” India and full public view. This isn’t up for Vietnam, cloned by similar expepublic debate in the country, it is riences of Chinese behavior, are taboo. Growing numbers of tied at the hip today. China’s middle class are buying

Chinese view of India Teresita and Howard Schaffer were once US diplomats in South Asia. They have an abiding interest in the subcontinent and write frequently on the sub-

properties in the US, UK and Australia and emigrating to distant parts. China’s looming property bubble and rising economic insecurities in the wake of declining exports to the West may also be a reason for the exodus.


UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

Political Sketchbook www.PoliticalAnimal.me

Alpesh Patel’s

The Politics of Killing Children Children and babies are being targeted and killed in Syria. Britain is pushing for military action to stop the murder of children. India, who desires a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, does not want such action and so presumably would have stood alongside Russia and China in vetoing such humanitarian based military action by the US and UK. Thank god India does not have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council – we don’t need another moral equivalent of China and Russia. Below is what I wish the Indian Ambassador to the UN had said. He didn’t. At the end, I reveal who did actually say what is written below. Mr President, India considers the actions of the Government of Syria in killing children to be an act of war upon humanity and as a member of the family of nations, India shall act to defend the citizens of Syria and considers itself as of now formally in a state of war with the nation of Syria. You can imagine what a bitter blow it is to me that all my long struggle to win peace has failed. Yet I cannot believe that there is anything more or anything different I could have done and that would have been more successful. Up to the very last it would have been quite possible to have arranged a peaceful and honourable settlement between Syria and its people, but Assad would not have it. He had evidently made up his mind to attack whatever happened; and although he now says he has put forward reasonable proposals which were rejected, that is not a true statement. The proposals were never shown; and although they were announced in a broadcast on Thursday night, Assad did not wait to make comment on them, but ordered his troops to cross the frontier villages.

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His actions show convincingly that there is no chance of expecting that this man will ever give up his practice of using force to gain his will. He can only be stopped by force. We and Britain are today, in fulfilment of our obligations, going to the aid of Syria's citizens, who are so bravely resisting this wicked and unprovoked attack on her people. We have a clear conscience. We have done all that any country could do to establish peace. The situation in which no word given to Syria's ruler could be trusted and no people or country could feel themselves safe has become intolerable. And now that we have resolved to finish it, I know that you will play your part with calmness and courage. At such a moment as this the assurances of support that we have received from the Commonwealth are a source of profound encouragement to us. When I have finished speaking certain detailed announcements will be made on behalf of the Government. Give these your closest attention. The Government have made plans under which it will be possible to carry on the work of the nation in the days of stress and strain that may be ahead. But these plans need your help. Now may God bless you all. May He defend the right. It is the evil things that we shall be fighting against – brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution – and against them I am certain that the right will prevail." Actually, the Indian Ambassador to the UN did not say the above. No, the British PM said it. He said it in 1939 when Britain declared war on Germany for acts of genocide. But then there was not Russian and China or UN to block the war through a veto.

lijuij najt )5 bi )r

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British Sikh and Hindu communities protest against the term 'Asian' Leaders of Britain’s Sikh and Hindu communities are protesting that the term “Asian” is being used incorrectly to describe the men responsible for sex-grooming gangs when the perpetrators are in fact nearly all of Pakistani origin. In a joint statement by Sikh and Hindu organisations on the so-called “Asian” grooming gangs, the Network of Sikh Organisations, the Hindu Forum of Britain and the Sikh Media Monitoring Group say the use of the term “Asian” to describe the perpetrators of these crimes is wholly inaccurate and unfair to other communities of Asian origin. The Hindu and Sikh leaders are protesting also that the religion of a person is always noted when in custody in police stations, when on remand in prison and when

convicted. Tim Loughton, the Children’s Minister, said this week that Britain needed an open debate about “issues around culture” that may explain why men of Pakistani heritage are over-represented among offenders prosecuted for street-grooming sex offences against white girls. Nine members of a sexgrooming network in Rochdale were jailed last week for child-sex offences against troubled girls aged 12 to 16. Their victims were lured with free food and alcohol then sexually abused over a two-year period in flats and houses across northern England. The trial was the latest in a series of prosecutions in which men from the Pakistani community were accused of offences against vulnerable young teenagers.

Surgeon lay on floor to look up woman’s skirt A heart surgeon allegedly lay on a supermarket floor so he could look up a woman shopper’s skirt, a court heard. Ahmed Abdelgawad, 35, apparently positioned himself on the ground in an aisle at Tesco so he could peer at her underwear. It is alleged that he was touching his groin during the incident, which was caught on CCTV. Witnesses called police and Abdelgawad was arrested as he

sidled up to other unsuspecting women in the shop, the court was told. Abdelgawad, who works at two hospitals in Swansea, South Wales, admitted outraging public decency but denies touching himself. The court will hold another hearing, at a date to be fixed, to decide whether Abdelgawad touched himself at the time of the offence.


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Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

Foreign languages to be a part of curriculum Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, said that subjects such as French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Latin or Greek will be made a compulsory part of the primary school timetable for the first time. Ministers hope the move will make pupils better-equipped to compete in a global economy while reversing the “damaging collapse” in GCSE language take-up. Currently about one in ten state primary schools offers no language lessons at all and a further 20 per cent only offer it to some

year groups, according to the most recent official figures. The move to make languages a requirement from age seven will form part of a new primary National Curriculum, taking effect in 2014. It will perhaps help more if Indian languages like Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil etc could also be included. The announcement this week, which will be consulted on over the summer, is not expected to include any additional funding to help schools provide language lessons.

May turns back on 'family-life' Continued from page 1 The figure rises to £22,400 for a child, with each additional child adding £2,400 to the threshold. She also emphasised overseas grandparents who are financially dependent on relatives in the UK will be able to settle in the country only if they can prove that through age, illness or disability, they require long term personal care only available with relative in the UK. From next year onwards immigrants wishing to settle in the UK, they have to speak and understand English and pass the Life in the UK test, demonstrating and understanding British history and traditions. She also suggested that Article 8 suggesting Right to Family Life will not be extendable to immigrants any longer. She is also set to scrap rules allowing settlement after 14 years, but suggested anyone in the UK illegally for 20 years would still be able to apply. Ms May told the MPs: “We welcome those who wish to make a life in the UK with their family, work hard and make a contribution, but family life must not be established here at the taxpayer’s expense.” But Rt Hon Keith Vaz, a Labour MP and Chair of the Home Affairs committee, has hit back at the plan, saying it would disproportionately affect the British Asian community. Yvette Cooper, Shadow Home Secretary has questioned why the government had backed away from an earlier plan of incoming migrants paying a “bond” that could be redeemed against any use of public services. “It is not clear the best way to protect the taxpayer is to focus solely on the sponsor’s salary,” Ms Cooper said. “For example in the current economic climate, someone on £40,000 today could lose their job next month and

then there is no way to protect the taxpayer.” Ms May fails to realise that the immigration is not just about settling in the UK. It's also about added skills that are unavailable in the UK otherwise. In December 2011 in an interview with Asian Voice regarding foreign skills Subhash Thakrar, the Chairman of London Chamber of Commerce told Asian Voice, "Our report shows that firms recruit from beyond the EU not only for reasons such as a lack of specialist skills in the domestic market, but as an important means of exploring and investing in new markets overseas. At a time when investment and growth are fundamental to the future success of the economy, the government must do all it can to support UK plc, providing a framework for growth and creating an environment in which SMEs in particular can easily access new markets and recruit from a truly global talent pool. “We accept that the government must balance a whole host of social, political and economic issues, but it needs to do so without damaging the principal means of stimulating the UK: its business community. Restricting firms’ ability to grow through an inflexible migration system runs the risk of not only halting our recovery, but hampering future growth for many years to come.” We at Asian Voice are all set to start a campaign against Theresa May's decisions that would affect Asians and their Right to Family Life in Britain. If you have any comment please email us at aveditorial@abplgroup.co m and we would like Ms May to know what our readers feel about her decision through our campaign.

BOOKWORM Gujarat’s Maritime History:

A Step towards Bridging the Gaps Vivek S Khandpekar The maritime history of Gujarat, the region that forms the northwestern limit of the Indian peninsula, has been recorded across the centuries in disjointed fragments. Written in different periods by variously motivated chroniclers – almost all of them alien to Gujarat and India – these inherently fascinating accounts fail to yield a coherent, holistic view of the subject. A crucial first step towards filling this lacuna is the publication of the book Gujarat and the Sea. Edited by Lotika Varadarajan and published by Darshak Itihas Nidhi (DIN), India, its 650 pages bring together material from diverse sources, harnessing modern scholarship to interpret and integrate secondary material as well as primary records from the distant past. It incorporates findings from recent fieldwork and some perspectives that transcend conventional notions of historiography. Long before the nations of Western Europe started sailing to far-flung lands on voyages of exploration, discovery, commerce and conquest, peoples of various Asian civilisations were engaged in seaborne trade to shores in their own vicinities. They had almost single-mindedly mercantile ambitions, and until the entry of Europe into their space, they prospered in mutual civility and relative peace. The main actors in this maritime enterprise, which flourished simultaneously with the famed ancient overland trade routes, were Arabs, Indians, Malays and Chinese. Their relays of shipping routes, complemented by short overland links (such as the one between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean) and entrepôts for transfer of goods between maritime domains, extended from Ancient Rome in the west to Japan and Korea in the east and down the east coast of Africa. Gujarat played an important role in this activity. Its traditionally entrepreneurial people, a 1600-km coastline – more than a quarter of that of today’s mainland India – and a rich and extensive hinterland predestined it as a major fulcrum of overseas trade in Asia and East Africa. In October 2010, DIN organised an international seminar on Gujarat and the Sea at Mandvi, a port and boat-building centre of the erstwhile princely state of Kutch, now part of the modern state of Gujarat. The seminar included some 40 scholars from abroad and many more from India. Of the 38 papers presented, 34 are included in the book, which borrows its title from that of the seminar. The emphasis of the seminar was on People and Technology. Most of the papers are faithful to this theme, but a few departed from it, bringing in interesting new perspectives which compelled their inclusion. They fall in seven broad categories: Hydrography, Archaeology (6); Technology – Ethnological and Comparative (4); Navigation, Shipping (3); Trade and

Commerce (5); East and Southeast Asia (7); Memory as Validation (4); and Mercantile Communities (5). Nine of the papers are based on fieldwork, two on the study of unique artefacts and the remaining 23 on secondary sources. Of special interest among these are navigation journals of various voyages. Of the fieldwork-based papers, three are by teams of scientists of the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa. Useful additions to existing data on the coastal and marine archaeology of Saurashtra, they yield few strikingly new insights or pointers to likely areas of future research.

Honor Frost, who died barely a month before the seminar, left copious notes for her lecture on stone anchors in submarine and sacred contexts stretching from Ugarit in Syria to the Gulf of Cambay in Gujarat. From these notes John Carswell painstakingly put together the paper that appears under her name. It is enriched by Lotika Varadarajan’s scholarly additions, reflecting her intimate acquaintance with Frost’s work and her own experience in allied subject areas. Varadarajan’s paper on boats in Gujarat, co-authored with Rupal Mankad and Himanshu Ajabia, emerges from intensive fieldwork in three different parts of coastal Gujarat. It compares and contrasts the design and construction techniques and details of different types of boat in the areas surveyed; the navigation methods and aids used by mariners in bygone days; and identifies topics and areas for further cross-regional comparative studies. Her documentation of the technical terms used by boatbuilders and mariners deserves special mention: it gently draws attention to a woefully neglected aspect of modern Indian lexicography. Pulin Vasa, an amateur archaeologist from Mandvi, recounts the pleasures and pains of 25 years of pottering around in a small village, close to the mouth of a river, up which two millennia ago, came vessels bearing goods from distant lands. The finds he reports are substantial enough to warrant more systematic explorations in the area by professionals.

Javed Khatri’s essay on the culture and language of the fishing community in Diu is a small but brave effort to document and analyse intangible and ephemeral aspects of an off-mainstream dimension of society which, were it not for such attempts, would soon be forgotten. Edward Simpson brings his rich experience of anthropological work in Kutch to bear on a fascinating discussion of the potentialities and pitfalls inherent in interpreting myth and legend as history. He comments perceptively on how such constant revisiting of historical perspective shapes and reshapes a society’s perceptions of itself and of the ‘others’ whom it encounters. Rukshana Nanji’s account based on three seasons of excavations in Sanjan – one of the earliest Zoroastrian settlements in India – not only helps reinforce and authenticate what is already known about trade relations between Gujarat and the Persian Gulf, it also serves as a guide to constructing the history that is not known about this tenacious and enterprising community, whose survival and success over the centuries is remarkable considering its small numbers. The papers based on secondary sources most importantly bring together scattered material. They shed light on the extensive trade relations of Gujarat with Southeast Asia and with the Persian Gulf and East Africa on the other. They trace how these relations became vectors of cultural exchange and the basis of Gujarati settlements overseas. Some of them reveal less known aspects of the historical role of maritime Gujarat, such as the spread of Islam to Maritime Southeast Asia, or of Gujarati merchants in the governance of Muscat and Zanzibar. The papers on particular communities such as the Jains, Bhatias and Khojas analyse how their religious and sect affiliations gave them opportunities to prosper which orthodox Hinduism would have denied. In terms of sociological studies of communities, the book unfortunately misses out on those whose livelihoods directly depend on the sea, such as fisher-folk, boat builders and salt pan workers. Some papers reveal ugly truths about the secondary sources they are based on. It is hinted, for example, that mediaeval Arab and European travellers’ accounts may not be entirely factual. Hearsay, prejudice, generalisation and erroneous interpretation of second-hand intelligence from local informants, suggests some serious reporting errors if not downright fabrication. Notwithstanding some significant omissions and a few flaws, Gujarat and the Sea is undoubtedly a valuable, path-breaking addition to the literature of crossdisciplinary studies focussing on communities who made major contributions to the evolution of international trade and the emergence of what we today call globalisation.


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Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

Police hunt criminals in identity fraud scam

For more stories visit www.scribbledesk.com

Short Story by Neha Garg

The Giants and the Rainbow Story So Far: Jamie and Millie hear someone crying. They follow the sound to a hole in a tree trunk. When Jamie sticks his head inside, he is shocked to be staring in someone’s den! Jamie almost cried out in surprise but caught himself just in time. He pulled his head back out and shook it a little to clear it. 'What happened?' asked Millie again, with an impatient look. Jamie stared at her, not knowing what to say. 'There ... There is a ... I don't know how ....' he began. He shook his head again, a little more vigorously this time. Millie's brow furrowed.

'Let me see,' she said, brushing Jamie to one side and crawling past him and sticking her head inside the opening. Her whole body seemed to freeze and she stayed where she was until Jsmie began to worry if whoever was on the other side had pulled Millie's head off. He was just about to grab her leg and pull when she emerged, eyes wide open. 'There ... There is a room in there, she whispered, pointing a shaky finger at the tree trunk. 'I know. Here, let me have another look,' said Jamie. Now that he was over his initial shock, Jamie had a proper look around. It was a round, cozy room full of squashy armchairs, the size of teacups. A flickering light came from a fireplace in one corner. The other corner was lit by a lamp tall enough to reach the ceiling and yet Jamie didn't think it was any higher than his knee. The walls were almost completely covered in bookshelves upon which stood hundreds of books. It was then that he noticed someone sitting in one of the armchairs. She, as far as Jamie could tell, was a girl and all he could see was the back of her blonde head. Jamie wondered how tiny did someone have to be, to fit in those chairs. He wondered if even one of Millie's Barbies would fit. She shifted slightly to the right and a slender arm came into view. It was holding one of the matchbox sized books open for its mistress. 'This cannot be right,' said the girl in the chair. 'Grandmamma must have made a mistake.' Suddenly she stood up and still with her back to him, walked to one of the

(Part 3)

shelves. As she did so, a pair of wings unfurled themselves from her back. This time, Jamie really did cry out. Alarmed, he began to back out but before he had moved more than a couple of inches, the faerie looked up and saw him. Her mouth fell open in a big O and her eyes followed suit. She looked just as surprised to see him as Jamie had been to see her. Jamie recovered first. 'Erm .. Hello,' he said, forcing his lips upwards in, what he hoped would be, a smile. 'You .. You are a human,' said the faerie, pointing at Jamie, still very wide-eyed. 'I know I am,' said Jamie, slightly taken aback. 'How did you find the gateway?' 'Errrr .. Gateway?' said Jamie, still not knowing quite what to make of this situation. 'Do you actually live inside this tree?' 'No, of course not,' said the faerie, looking slightly amused. 'Would you like to come visit me?' 'Yes, please,' said Jamie. 'But ....' He looked around at the matchbox sized books and the teacup sized armchairs. 'I don't think I will fit.' At this, the faerie took a wand from her pocket, pointed it at Jamie and muttered an incantation. Once again, Jamie felt as though he had stuck his head through a warm waterfall, only this time the feeling carried on all the way down his back to his toes. The next thing he knew, he was standing at the edge of the giant tree hole, looking in at the faerie. She was smiling. 'Jamie ... Jamie,' Jamie turned to see Millie's huge face looming over him. She looked very frightened and had tears in her eyes. 'What happened to you Jamie?' she said. One of her tears dropped on Jamie's head, drenching him from head to foot. 'Ouch!' said Jamie. 'Be careful Millie.' Millie blinked. 'What happened to you?' she asked again. 'Who were you talking to?' 'Don't worry Millie,' said Jamie, trying to wipe himself dry with his handkerchief. 'A faerie lives here. She has magicked me smaller so I can go visit her. You come along too.' A few minutes later both Millie and Jamie were standing inside the faerie's room. Millie looked around wildly trying to take it all in. Jamie walked over to the fireplace and stood with his back to it in an attempt to dry himself. 'My name is Halo,' said the faerie, smiling at first Millie, then Jamie. What happens Next: Who is Halo? And what is she doing inside a tree?

Former police chief to investigate Warsi claims Former police chief Paul Kernaghan decided to investigate after being asked to look into the claims by Lady Warsi. She is facing allegations that she claimed for accommodation expenses while staying at a friend's house rentfree.

Scotland Yard said it had decided not to investigate Lady Warsi's expenses and had passed the matter back to the House of Lords. Labour had called for a criminal inquiry into the Tory peer's expenses. Lady Warsi, the Conservative Party co-

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chairman, has denied any wrongdoing, insisting that she had acted within the rules at all times. A spokesman for the Lords Standards Commissioner said he was holding a formal investigation after an initial assessment.

Police have begun a search for thousands of British suspects who used an online “fraud factory” to commit identity theft and mortgage swindles, The Times has learnt. Innocent Britons with excellent credit ratings had their identities cloned by the operators of

Confidential Access (CA), a website that sold fake documents including driving licences, bank statements, passports and payslips to its subscribers. Scotland Yard said that it would hunt down the website’s clients, numbering up to 11,000, after the masterminds were jailed for what

a judge described as identity theft on an “industrial scale”. The organisers of the website, who were based in Britain and Spain, provided false addresses and created fictional businesses for their customers, who were either British or were seeking to commit fraud in this country.

British businessman on hunger strike collapses A British businessman whose property company once owned the “Britain” island of Dubai’s extravagant project The World has collapsed in jail after seven weeks on hunger strike. Safi Qurashi, 46, is one of about 20 prisoners who began a hunger strike in April to protest at their lengthy sentences, imposed for bouncing cheques when property deals went sour during the financial crisis. Bouncing a cheque is a criminal offence in Dubai. Another British prisoner on hunger strike was reported to have had a

stroke. A lawyer for Peter Margetts, 48, said that he was suffering from facial paralysis. Mr Qurashi, pictured, collapsed in his cell on Friday. He was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat

by prison doctors and transferred to a clinic at Dubai police headquarters. His family is lobbying to have him taken to hospital and have criticised his treatment.

Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar thanks all their supporters for making the Anand Mela a great success. We would like to organise a similar fun fair in the nearest future and hope to have supports from all of you once more.


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Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

Kamal to go to Hollywood? The Ulaganayagan' is going global, so to speak. The leading star of south Indian cinema is ready to make his Hollywood debut, if one has to go by what sources say. It is said he would make an announcement about a production he was soon to start with Barrie M Osborne, the producer of blockbusters like 'The Matrix' and 'The Lord of the Rings'. Recently, Kamal screened his forthcoming film 'Viswaroopam' to Osborne. The Hollywood producer is all praise for Kamal ever since he watched the film. "The story is really surprising and exciting. It gets you right into the movie and keeps you off-balance because it changes and shifts, things you can't anticipate. I love Kamal's acting, writing and direction," Osborne said. It is said that the duo would come together for the project shortly.

Priyadarshan taking ‘Naadodigal’ to Hindi Samuthirakani's “Naadodigal” is the latest South Indian movie to enter Bollywood. Well, Priyadarshan is all set to remake it in Hindi and interesting point of the story is that he is joining hands with cinematographer Santhosh Sivan with whom he worked 17 years ago in “Kalapaani.” Reports say that like “Naadodigal,” the Hindi version will also feature newcomers in the lead roles. Currently, Priyadarshan is busy with the pre-production works. The movie will be shot in Mumbai and Mysore. Manisha Korde, who had written script for “Billu Barber,” a remake of “Kuselan,” is penning the script. The cast and other crew are yet to be finalised.

Samantha walks out of Mani Ratnam's 'Kadal' Much to the shock of those in the film industry, Samantha has walked out of ace director Mani Ratnam's prestigious project 'Kadal'! Mani is currently on the look out for a new face to replace her. The film has made several headlines as it brings back Mani Ratnam to what he is best at, an out and out romantic entertainer and marks the debut of Karthik's son Gautham. Several scenes have already been shot and the shoot was taking place in locales near Kanyakumari until recently. There are rumors that the actress walked out of the project due to other offers, a date clash between her and cinematographer Rajeev Menon and that the actress was recently suffering a skin allergy due to shoot in the water!

Hot Garam masala Kareena Kapoor mum on wedding date If grapevine is to be believed, actress Kareena Kapoor is set to tie the knot with her beau Saif Ali Khan soon, but she is mum about it as of now. She dodged questions related to her wedding at an event. Asked if she browses through bridal wear online, Kareena said: "Your question doesn't interest me." Kareena was put to wedding-related queries on the sidelines of the launch of a brand's new campaign. Meanwhile, Saif's family members, including his mother Sharmila Tagore and sister Soha Ali Khan, have reportedly said that the wedding will be Oct 16 this year. Asked to confirm the date, Kareena chose not to respond.

Akshay thanks fans for ‘Rowdy Rathore’ success Khiladi Kumar is back with a bang! Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha's “Rowdy Rathore” is doing exceptionally well at the box office. Watch it for Akki's Dabangg avatar and Sonakshi's Chikni Kamar. Akshay Kumar has thanked his fans for giving “Rowdy Rathore” the biggest solo opening of his career. "I owe a huge thank you to my audience! You are the only reason behind the biggest opening weekend of my career! Love Rowdy," Akshay tweeted. Rowdy Rathore may enter Rs 1billion club, say trade experts. Made on a budget of Rs 450 million, the film released on Friday last earned Rs 298 million on the first two days.

Ranbir Kapoor, Vidya Balan win top IIFA honours Bollywood heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor and actress Vidya Balan walked away with top honours for their films "Rockstar" and "The Dirty Picture" respectively at the 13th International Indian Film Academy awards (IIFA) at Singapore on Saturday. The IIFA awards were given at a glittering ceremony in Singapore Indoor Stadium. Ranbir, who played the role of an aspiring singer who aims to make it big, beat actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan, to walk away with the trophy of best actor in a leading role. On the other hand, actress Vidya Balan also continued her winning streak by picking up the award for best actress in a leading role for "The Dirty Picture". She emerged victorious among Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor, Mahie Gill and Kangna Ranaut. 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara' sweeps technical awards Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar's 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara' starring Abhay Deol, Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif and Kalki Koechlin, walked away with five awards for best editing for Anand Subaya, best sound recording mixing for Anuj Mathur and Baylon Fonseca, best choreography for Bosco-Ceaser, best screenplay for Zoya and Reema Kagti and best cinematography for

B-Town hotties praise Farah for her acting skills The Bollywood bandwagon has been raving about Farah Khan's acting debut. Choreographer-director Farah Khan may have made stars dance to her tunes all these years and called the shots on the sets. Now she is making them sit up and notice her acting talent as well! Ever since the promos of her forthcoming film with Boman Irani went on air, several B-Town actresses have been surprised to see Farah as an actress. She can pack a punch as an actress as well and give them a run for their money! Says a source, “Actresses like Priyanka Chopra and Sonakshi Sinha called up Farah to congratulate her. They simply

loved the promos. They really feel she has done a great job of it.” Adds the source, “Priyanka was among the first one to call. She praised her and told her how fantastic she looked in the film. Sonakshi told her that she was waiting to see her film. Farah was surprised to receive the calls as she considers herself new to acting. She has done it as a oneoff thing.” Even filmmakers like Anurag Kashyap have been bowled over by her performance. He states on his microblogging site, “Farah Khan and Boman are rockstars in Shireen Farhad ki nikal padi, super awesome. Really looking forward to it.”

I'm not interested in politics: Aamir Khan He doesn't want to enter politics and candidly admits he has no solutions to problems. Actor-filmmaker Aamir Khan, basking in the "dream reaction" to his TV show “Satyamev Jayate,” says his purpose is served if his efforts make people introspect. Each Sunday since May 6 had seen the 47-year-old bring Indian television audiences face-to-face with issues like female foeticide, dowry, child abuse, malpractices in medical profession and honour killing. An entertainer rarely does that, and Aamir is happy in his space. "I am not interested in politics, so I won't be joining politics. I feel what I am able to do from where I am, from the stream that I am in, is much more. I can contribute much more (this way). So I am happy doing that," Aamir said in an interview . He admits one TV show and one person's efforts cannot bring about any change, but says "information and knowledge make you act differently." And that, through “Satyamev Jayate,” is his effort. When asked about the love he received from audience, he said, “This is a very dream reaction that we are getting...right from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, people are watching it in the small towns, villages, big cities...”

Meet Bollywood's new Miss Knowit-all

Elena Kazan, who has signed her second Bollywood film, has been stocking up on information about the industry since her college days in USA. Elena Kazan is one foreign import to Bollywood who seems to be quite ready to take on an industry that has a certain take on white skin extras. It’s almost rare to come across someone among them who has watched myriad Hindi films and even understands Guru Dutt’s genius as well as Kalpana Lajmi’s subtlety. She even speaks Hindi fluently! With her Central Asian surname and German-Russian roots, Elena is definitely cued in to the industry than a lot more industrywallahs. Born in Moscow before moving to Berlin, the now Mumbai-based starlet didn’t really grow up watching Hindi movies but her eventual visit to United States as an exchange student changed everything. There she used to borrow rented DVDs with subtitles, through which she even picked up the language. Being self-confessedly adventurous, after her education she travelled to Kolkata to work for an NGO. Alongside she was modelling and auditioning for roles in the local film industry too. In India since 2008, Elena calls her B-Town journey “rather accidental” and has appeared in several Bengali films before sharing the screen with Saif Ali Khan in “Agent Vinod.” After that minor role, Elena will be next seen playing the lead opposite Randeep Hooda in debutant director Solomon Ahishor’s forthcoming film. “I’m essaying this edgy Iranian girl with a dark past and a complicated present in a revenge drama,” the 25year-old adds.

B-Town's 3 'heroines' to clash on Sept 21 Shilpa names son Viaan Sonakshi turns to mum Poonam for advice

Priyanka trying to make friends of her enemies

Priyanka Chopra seems to have gone into PR overdrive. The actress has reportedly been at the receiving end of a hate campaign in Bollywood, prompted by whispers of an affair with Shah Rukh Khan. A peace treaty of sorts was negotiated when she was invited to, and attended, the 40th birthday party of Karan Johar, the man rumoured to have led the antiPriyanka campaign. Since then, Priyanka seems to have decided that she needs all the friends she can get in Bollywood, and is losing no time in making amends with former foes. First it was Salman Khan, Priyanka's co-star in films such as “Mujhse Shaadi Karogi” and “Salaam-E-Ishq,” and who happens to be SRK's sworn enemy.

Carlos Catalan. 'RA.One' followed with four awards for best special effects, best sound design for Resul Pookutty, best song recording for Vijay Dayal for 'Chammak Challo' and best production design for Sabu Cyril. Niharika Khan won the award for best costume design for 'The Dirty Picture' and best make up award went to Vikram Gaekwad for the same film. 'The Dirty Picture' also won the award for best dialogues.

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Call it “The Dirty Picture” effect or the flavour of the season, a spate of woman centric movies will see light of the day in coming months. Sridevi, Kareena Kapoor, Bipasha Basu and many others will give heroes a run for their money. After the release date of Shirish Kunder's “Joker” got shifted to Sept 14, Madhur Bhandarkar has delayed his upcoming film “Heroine” by a week. The film that now releases on Sept 21 will clash with

two other women-centric films - Sridevi's “English Vinglish” and Preity Zinta's “Ishkq in Paris.” “Heroine” starring Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal and Randeep Hooda revolved around the life of a film actress. Sridevi's “English Vinglish” is about a housewife, who enrolls for an English speaking course in order to please her husband and family. “Ishkq in Paris,” Preity Zinta's maiden production, marks the comeback of the actress.

Actress Shilpa Shetty has named her son Viann Raj Kundra. "Hey tweetos, Yes, its official, Did the naming ceremony today, our son is christened Viaan Raj kundra. It means Full of life and energy," the 36-year-old tweeted. Shilpa, who is married London-based Raj Kundra in 2009, gave birth to her son on May 21. This is Kundra's second child - he has a daughter, Deleena, from ex-wife Kavita. Kundra also introduced the son on microblogging site Twitter. "Please welcome twitter's youngest user my son Viaan Raj Kundra. Be nice to him and he may reply," he tweeted.

Sonakshi Sinha will now play a gangster's moll in “Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai 2.” "As part of my homework, I have to watch a lot of movies from that era to understand the fashion, behaviour and other nuances," says Sonakshi. For the uninitiated, the sequel's story is set in the '80s, when the Mumbai underworld was fascinated with Bollywood, especially the women. It was not uncommon at that time for starlets to be romantically linked to gangsters. Although the “Rowdy Rathore” leading lady refuses to accept that her role was inspired by a real-life actor, she does plan to seek advice from her mother Poonam Sinha. "My mother is always there for me with inputs and suggestions,” she says.


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Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

Standard & Poor's warns India of a downgrade to junk category Dear Financial Voice Reader, As readers will know I work with entrepreneurs – both in my Government role (www.entrepreneurs.gov.uk) where I look to bring talented entrepreneurs from India, Malaysia, Singapore and China to the UK – and also in my voluntary work. In these economically austere times I see more people taking up entrepreneurship – so I thought I would ask someone I’ve known for years – what made him go into entrepreneurship. After all, many of you are probably looking to do so yourselves. The interview is with Mayur Dasani of Dasani Property Services (www.dasanipropertyservices.com). If you’ve got an unusual or interesting entrepreneurship story – get in touch – I may just write about you! 1. I got into the business as I felt that it was a pathway for me to learn how businesses work and also gain relevant experience in my field of Real Estate. 2. I got into Real Estate because I have been interested in property since watching "Homes Under the Hammer" with my dad during my primary school days, and thought to myself "I can do that!". Since then, I started visiting property auctions and seeing how it all works. 3. I researched this by firstly, doing the Real Estate degree at university. Followed by doing some work experience for property related companies to get the inside knowledge of how they carry out their day to day business. Also, looked into what accreditation I can apply for to become a trusted and well known property business. 4. I have a goal of achieving 100 properties to manage within the first 3 years of the business. However, property management itself is not enough to keep the business going, thus I do lettings agency and estate agency as a secondary business within the property management business. My aim is to get the company name spread around London, and eventually across the UK and would like to franchise out more and more branches of the business. I would like to have gained an in-house team of contractors and service-people within year 2 of the business, so that I can reduce costs of outsourcing for repairs, maintenance etc. 5. I have been receiving advice from people that are already in business, and mostly those that are in the property business. LinkedIn has been a great resource for getting contacts, tips and advice for almost anything that needs questioning. I also have the help of my tutors at university who have helped with getting the legal bits sorted and getting contracts ready etc. 6. The major gaps are that we are a start up company. We aren't able to reach out to as many people as I initially thought we would. Marketing is crucial and I am approaching all streams of marketing as possible. It is thought that our website (once up and running) is going to be the highlight of the business. It will be a means for clients to interact with the company and also for Landlords to interact with their Tenants to see how their investment is doing. Another thing is, that we have a lot of competition. More and more estate and lettings agents are offering their own property management services when a landlord approaches them with a property to let. However, these are local estate agents, who are restricted to one geographical area, whereas we are not physically restricted to any particular area and we cover the whole of London within the M25. Also, being only 21 and inexperienced, there is a lot of informal business knowledge that I am yet to be exposed to. However, I hope that in due time, I will have learnt all the tricks of the trade! 7. In order to get customers, foremost is word of mouth. We have been holding competitions where friends and family and facebookers have the opportunity to recommend our business to others, and whoever recommends the most people gets a prize. We are hosting weekly competitions like this, to help use the public to spread the word. Also, we have had adverts designed which will be placed in local and mainstream newspapers in due course. 8. My current customers have been pleased with the service they have received so far. They have even gone as far to say the "our company has taken the stress of looking after their property"- which is what we initially set out to do. This is a great feat for us, which lets us know that we are successful in what we are doing. 9. Over the next 12 months, our foremost aim is to build on our client base, and to get our name out there. Also, we would like to have gained a skilled in-house team to use for managing properties. Alpesh Patel (alpesh.patel@tradermind.com) www.InvestingBetterBlog.com & www.alpeshpatel.com

International rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) has warned that India risks a sovereign downgrade which would result in the country dropping off the list of countries with an investmentgrade rating. The statement comes less then two months after the agency revised the outlook on India's rating to negative from stable and said that the country has a one-in-three chances of being downgraded in the next two years. India presently enjoys a BBBwhich is the lowest investment grade rating. Making a pointed observation on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government, S&P said, "It would be ironic if a government under the economist who spurred much of the liberalization of India's economy and helped unleash such gains were to preside over their potential erosion." The trigger for the recent report appears to be the sharp drop in India's

quarterly GDP growth numbers and the drop in the value of the rupee. "In our view, setbacks or reversals in India's path toward a more liberal economy could hurt its longterm growth prospects and, thus, its credit quality. How India's government reacts to potentially slower growth and greater vulnerability to economic shocks may determine, in large part, whether the country can maintain its investment-grade rating, or become the first "fallen angel" among the BRIC nations (which include Brazil, Russia, India, and China)," it said. According to S&P, business confidence has been undermined by a perceived slowdown in government decision-making, failure to implement announced reforms, and growing bottlenecks in key sectors (including lack of reforms to archaic land acquisition laws that hinder investment). And, infrastructure problems, combined with growing

shortfalls in the production of coal and other fuels, have dampened investment prospects. "For example, various regulatory and other obstacles have delayed a proposed $12-billion investment in the steel sector by Korean steelmaker POSCO--potentially the biggest foreign investment project in Indian history -by more than seven years. Other steel projects have also faced extensive delays because of land acquisition hurdles and other issues," S&P said. The rating agency is concerned about recent setbacks in economic policy which have hurt investor sentiment. "Strong opposition from within the Congress party-led ruling coalition, as well as from opposition parties, recently forced the government to reverse its decision to raise the cap on foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi brand retail to 49% of total ownership from 26%. Similarly, pres-

India’s April industrial output up 0.1%, worse than expected India’s industrial production growth rate slowed down sharply to 0.1 per cent in April due to contraction in capital goods and dip in manufacturing output, reflecting the sluggish state of the economy that may prompt RBI to cut lending rates. Growth in factory output, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), was 5.3 per cent in April last year. The manufacturing sector, which constitutes over 75 per cent of the index, grew barely 0.1 per cent, as against 5.7 per cent in April 2011, according to the official data released on Tuesday. The capital goods output declined by 16.3 per cent as against a growth of 6.6 per cent in the same month last year. Mining output contracted by 3.1

per cent in April, as against growth of 1.6 per cent in the same month a year ago. The slowdown in industrial production is likely to put pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut lending rates at its midquarterly review on June 18. However, consumer goods production showed a faster growth rate of 5.2 per cent in April, compared to 3.2 per cent in the same month last year. The consumer durables segment also expanded by 5 per cent in April, as against 1.6 per cent in the same month last year. Power generation witnessed a slower growth of

4.6 per cent during April, compared to 6.5 per cent in the same month a year ago. In all, 12 of the 22 industry groups in the manufacturing sector have shown positive growth during April as compared to the same month a year ago. The output of basic goods went up by only 2.3 per cent in April, as against 7.1 per cent in the same month last year. However, intermediate goods witnessed a contraction of 1.4 per cent as against a 3.9 per cent growth in April last year. The consumer nondurable goods output grew by a faster 5.4 per cent in April, compared to 4.6 per cent. Meanwhile, the IIP growth figure for the 201112 fiscal was revised to 2.8 per cent, over the previous fiscal, from 2.4 per cent announced last month.

sure from a coalition ally of the governing Congress party caused the government to roll back a 10% hike in passenger train fares and forced the Railway Minister to quit. (Passenger fares have been flat for many years despite substantial growth in personal income and high inflation.)," S&P said. The rating agency has said that in a pessimistic scenario there is a risk that political problems could prevent the government from containing the growth in current spending, and lower-than-projected GDP growth could result in revenue shortfalls. Politically inspired spending programs could further widen the fiscal deficit. "Lack of progress in alleviating bottlenecks in key sectors of the economy could lower both domestic and foreign investment levels. Fiscal slippage, combined with persistently high inflation, could further weaken investor confidence." the rating agency said.

Tata Steel to set up `300 bn plant in Karnataka

Tata Steel last week announced its plans to set up a `300 billion steel plant in Karnataka as the government-sponsored Global Investors' Meet (GIM) 2012 commenced here with the state laying a red carpet for potential investors. The six million tonnes per annum capacity plant would come up up Haveri district, the company's Vice-Chairman, B Muthuraman, said at the inauguration function. CMD of Aditya Birla Group, Kumar Mangalam Birla, said the Group proposed to invest `70 billion in the state, including for setting up a four million tonne per annum capacity cement plant at a cost of `27.50 billion.

RIL to invest `1 trillion in five years: Mukesh Ambani Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) plans to invest nearly `1 trillion ($18 billion) on expansion of its retail, petrochemical and telecom businesses in India over the next five years and targets to double profit during this period. "We will invest nearly Rs1 trillion over the next five years in India to build a stronger and more diversified Reliance," RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani said at the 38th annual general meeting of the company. He said the company targets to double operating profits over the next five years.

Ambani's statement came against the backdrop of recent decline in profit. RIL has reported second quarterly drop in profit in the quarter ended March 31. "I have set myself the target to double the operating profit of your company in about five years," Ambani told shareholders in his keynote address. RIL's operating profit declined by nearly nine per cent to `222.25 billion in 2011-12. This was the first decline in the company's profit in nine years. Ambani said high inflation, slowdown in economic growth, decline in

the value of rupee and high government subsidies on petroleum products have negatively impacted the company's business and profitability. "Businesses of Reliance are equally influenced by development in the Indian economy," he said. "High rates of domestic

inflation, adverse foreign exchange rate movements, continuing state subsidies for petroleum products and slowdown in rate of economic growth have had an impact on doing business in India," Ambani added. India's economic growth has slumped to nine-year low of 5.3 per cent in the quarter ended March 31. For whole fiscal 2011-12, the country's GDP expanded by a sluggish 6.5 per cent, the slowest growth in almost a decade. Ambani said despite the recent slowdown, the long-term India growth story remained intact.


FINANCIAL VOICE

Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

19

Refuge in the sanctuary of London’s Property

Suresh Vagjiani Sow & Reap A Property Investment Company

I have had a number of meetings in Georgia with clients who are interested in investing in the Central London property market. From art dealers and night club owners to those who are into property already as their main business in Georgia. A few of those I had meetings with did not speak English and therefore required a translator. Interestingly one investor who has a large portfolio in Georgia has several million pounds of commercial property and it is already rented in a strong area of Georgia. The tenants are blue chip companies like Puma. During the meeting he stated his preference was to liquidate all his assets and start in investing in London property, which was a bold statement. It was me who made the suggestion he should move one step at a time. After all there is a teething time to understand everything and this takes time. So better to get the formula right. Here was a savvy property man who instantly saw the value in our proposal to invest in Central London property.

So why would a propert y man who has substantial asse ts wan t to ent er int o an u nkn own market, afte r all isn ’t it bett er t o grow your flowers where you can water t hem? There are a couple of reasons why he came to this conclusion. One, if he wanted to sell his properties in Georgia in the future the market hasn’t strong enough demand to offload several million pounds of commercial property in a hurry. The exit is not strong to the degree it exists in a market like Central London. This means if the demand is not strong the price is not likely to escalate as much as another market which has the appetite for these levels of investments, from both individual investors and institutional investors like pension funds. One of the main driving factors of this is the credit available in mature financial markets like London. Though we complain regarding this, it is a comparative complaint to pre credit crunch times. When you consider even in this market you can still get 75% lending on a Buy to Let property with pretty much no proof of income, we still have it good. Georgians are crying out for a simpler and smoother form of credit approval. One mone y lende r I met mak es his mone y by len ding out fun ds at 5% per mon th and his secu rity e ve ry time is property and he only g ive s up t o 65% Loan to Val ue. He has no lack of customers, thanks to the bureaucracy of getting approval for lending from Georgian banks. Even bridging companies in the UK will lend at around 1.5% per month and everyone tries to avoid them in favour of a plain vanilla mortgage. Secondly the political situation is not so stable in Georgia, and trou-

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ble can kick off any time. It was only in August 2008 that Russia launched a full scale military invasion of Georgia, they still occupy two disputed regions within Georgia. Currently the government needs money to fund the coming elections in October this year. This is important considering the opposition’s net worth, officially at least, is worth half of Georgia’s GDP. Unofficially it is even more. One of the clients I met recently who owns a nightclub had to pay equivalent of £100,000 to government officials to keep them off his back. I was told he just got milked! Very simply the property investor saw that demand for London is international and the supply limited. This coupled with the transparency of the London market means it’s a solid place to park funds. When comparing to the likely growth in Georgia it was no comparison. Hence it was actually a well thought out and inevitable conclusion. Interestingly the FT had an article this week titled ‘Euro’s Zone in on London’, describing how rich Europeans are seeking refuge in the prime postcodes of London. The article points out the direct and almost instantaneous correlation with issues in countries in Europe and the interest this generates to purchase prime property. It seems the growth rates are not the main aim. The market is being driven by fear of losing what they already have, which is a stronger emotion than the need to gain more wealth than one has. The article quotes Charlie Bubear of Savills who says “The market is being driven by weakness in the eurozone, around 50 per cent of our buyers in the year to date have been driven by eurozone fears, seeking sanctuary for their money.” Further proof of this is, as Spain’s debt crisis worsened in April and May, web searches by prospective Spanish buyers increased the most out of all European countries, rising 40 per cent from March. Similarly when Greece was threatened with a dramatic exit from the eurozone, rich Greeks wanted to protect their wealth, interest from Greek buyers rose 34 per cent From March to May, compared with a 13 per cent rise since January. Figures from Savills paint a similar picture. In the past four weeks, they have experienced a 50 per cent uplift in searches for expensive London homes from Greek buyers. Some have even rushed and purchased blind, such is their faith in the sanctury of this holy market. A manager at a Hamptons branch was quoted saying “After the announcement of a possible Greek default, we had a Greek buyer exchange blind 48 hours after having his offer accepted on a £1m purchase, which was full asking price.” Though the factors between the current economic crisis in Europe and the political uncertainty in Georgia are different, the motivation is the same: To seek financial refuge in the sanctury of prime London property, in order to preserve what they already have. Knight Frank’s index of prime property prices also shows a rise of 11.4 per cent across all prime Central London in the year ending April this year. It seems this rate of growth is secondary to the primary need of preservation of wealth.

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Tips of the Week l Transportation is everything. Ensure your prospective BTL property is not more than a 5 minute walk to a tube/train station, this will ensure good future rentability. l Don't forget your tenants are your customers. Treat them well and they will treat you well, ensure you go out of your way to make the property homely, this small extra investment helps towards ensuring your property is mantained nicely.


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financial vOICE

Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

Amit Patel has over 15 years experience in the field of Leadership and Human Resource Management

Maria Fernandes

maria@abplgroup.com

The problems with policy In the last few weeks immigration for once has not dominated the headlines. However this is the calm before the storm. Behind the scenes there are changes afoot which will this time have a huge impact on the fortunes of families. In the next few weeks an announcement will be made about the minimum income threshold for families to be reunited in the UK. It is believed that it will be £25700 which is the top end of what the Migration Advisory Committee recommended. There are many chefs and health care workers who came to the UK many years ago with the aim of establishing a life for themselves and their families. The two categories have traditionally been low paid workers and it has taken many years for them to reach the point at which they can qualify to bring family. The argument for raising the threshold is, according to Theresa May, to prevent these families from relying on public funds. There is no evidence whatsoever that this is the case. What is clear is that the Government need to reach their goal, using whatever means are avail-

able to them. The Universities are up in arms over the severe restrictions placed on students. 85% of students return to their country after finishing the course. And when they do come they pay huge amounts in fees and need accommodation, utilise services and spend money within the economy. Apart from short term gains they take with them the experience and connections of having studied in the UK. Some will later enter public life or successful private businesses and their experiences will form a bias towards the country they know best other than their own. These long term goals are as important if not more than the short term aims of controlling immigration. A recent article quoting the Ambassador discussed the tendency for the Chinese to prefer other destinations within Europe to visit and study because of the visa restrictions in place and it appears that Germany appears to be the country of choice. Germany have been actively encouraging students and looking at their economy it is clear that they know what they are doing. Elsewhere

artists and writers have been expressing concern about the negative impact on their industries. The industry that is particularly struggling is the hospitality trade. Any restaurant that offers a take away or buffet service is excluded from qualifying to bring staff. In this economic climate restaurants are using every opportunity available to attract customers. If this includes a lunch buffet or some kind of take out service they will have to make do with local staff. The much trumpeted idea of a chef school to train local staff is a good one but the process will take years, at least 5. The high street will not be able to bring in good staff and therefore the quality and authenticity of the cuisine will be lost to the mass population leaving the best restaurants only available to a few who have lots of cash and want the best. Maria Fernandes has been in practice exclusively in immigration for the past 25 years. Fernandes Vaz is based at 87 Wembley Hill Road Wembley in Wembley and can be contacted by telephone on 02087330123, by email on info@fernandesvaz.com.

The Online Trading Cookbook

By Alpesh Patel

• Published by John Wiley, June 2012 • Hardback and e-book • £29.99 Despite the recent financial turmoil, there are a host of opportunities for traders and investors playing the markets online; indeed, due to the clear failings of the traditional buy-andhold investment approach, it is anticipated that there will be a substantial movement towards traders/investors taking control of their own investments, and incorporating more short-term strategies into their trading. The online trading boom continues even in a difficult financial climate, with many brokers seeing record trading volumes at the height of market volatility in recent months, and growth is expected to continue when the markets return to relative normality. The Online Trading Cookbook is a unique resource for busy online traders of all levels. Featuring a variety of shortand long-term trading strategies, the book addresses the need amongst the growing number of those trading and investing from home for solid, low-

risk trading strategies which they can incorporate into a busy lifestyle, and which will allow them to balance successful trades with a 9-5 job. Written by a trader and investor of great experience - Alpesh Patel has been described as the ‘UK's best-known internet trader' - the book also carries the authority which anxious traders seek in uncertain times.

The core of The Online Trading Cookbook is supplemented by extremely useful advice on the best trading tools, websites and brokers, the different markets available to trade, tips on risk- and money-management and a final chapter featuring a selection of trading success stories. With a

simple yet informationpacked layout based on the cookbook format – the ‘ingredients/recipe' detail the trading strategy, what the trader/investor needs to do, and the tools and preparation required. The results of the strategy are then illustrated using a series of annotated charts with an emphasis on visual content and charting for clear and practical explanation. Alpesh B. Patel (London, UK) is the author of 12 books on trading and investing, which have been translated into eight languages. He currently runs Praefinium Partners Ltd, a London-based hedge fund. He presents monthly on CNBC, regularly provides market commentary on the BBC (television and radio) and CNN, and has appeared on ITV, Channel 4 and Sky News. He is editor of the Financial pages of Asian Voice (UK circulation approx. 11,000), and also contributes a weekly column. For an interview with the author, images or further information please contact Louise Campbell at locampbell@wiley.com / 01243 770674 Visit www. wiley.com/go/press for the latest news from Wiley

The Difference Between Knowledge and Education There is a well known story about a college dean telling his graduating students, ‘Now that you have knowledge, go out and get an education.’ That such a simple statement can be so deep and meaningful is in itself a lesson. A relative recently commented how all of the children of the ‘Kenyan branch’ of my family had become doctors. There was an obvious respect and perhaps even a tinge of awe in her statement. To be fair there was nothing wrong in what she said, or even how she said it. It was actually an honest reflection of how people value knowledge. We live in a society where people are judged by their qualification or occupation rather than their personality. And so it should be, after all, knowledge is power. Those who study hard are more likely to become successful in their chosen professions and will undoubtedly wield some power because of it. For a nation to be strong and successful its soldiers need to be the bravest, its workers the most diligent,

its professionals to be the cleverest and its leaders to be the wisest. However, again we see the distinction being made between knowledge and education. It is very clear that while one can learn to do forensic accounting or neurosurgery at university, where does one learn to introspect about ones own actions, or learn to understand what others are thinking? These are lessons which cannot be found in any textbook or guide but rather they are acquired through experience. When Mohandas Gandhi returned to India after his successful civil rights campaign in South Africa, he could have prescribed what he had learned in South Africa and tried to implement the same here. But his first action was to set out on a journey across India. He wanted to know about his country, its people and its needs. He knew that while he had acquired his knowledge at University College London he needed to acquire his education

By Amit Patel

on the streets and fields of India. This is a valuable lesson for anyone who wishes to go into politics. It is not just about what you know, and it’s not just about who you know, but rather is what you know about who you know. Only then will you know how to apply your learning to help them overcome their challenges and achieve their ambitions. Gandhiji was not the first Indian lawyer to be called to the Bar in London, nor was he the brightest. It was what he learnt by living and walking among the people he chose to serve that made him the great leader he was. He demonstrated the difference between acquiring knowledge and getting an education. Amit Patel has over 15 years experience in the field of Personal Development and Human Resource Management. He provides HR consulting and training to small and medium businesses. To contact Amit, email amitpatelmail@gmail.com

Captive Audience Display Solutions buys Proventus Renewables A meeting of the share holders of Dublin-based Captive Audience Display Solutions PLC (CADS PLC) has overwhelmingly agreed to a proposal to buy outright Proventus Energy PLC for a sum of pound 55 million. With the approval of this deal, CADS establishes as a major international force in the climate change and renewable energy sector with a variety of rapidly developing prospects. The company will operate under the new name Proventus Renewables PLC. “Following this deal, the enlarged Proventus Renewables group will be at the forefront of the renewable energy sector internationally, allowing us to expand and achieve the company’s ambitions in this regard. We can now move forward to consolidate our strengths, and actively engage with the exciting projects and prospects available. The approval of this deal allows us to fulfil our longterm strategy of diversification and growth,” commented Liam McGrattan, Chairman of Proventus Renewables PLC. Mr. McGrattan will head the enlarged group and is joined on the executive by

Nial Ring as ViceChairman. Todor Todorov becomes Chief Executive Officer and Samrat Deep Bhandari becomes Chief Financial Officer Mr McGrattan continued, “The purchase of Proventus Energy means that we are in a prime position to take full advantage of the wealth of opportunities on offer in this constantly changing field. This is a key development in our strategy to expand, and our highly experienced executive team working from the Dublin head office will drive the growth of the newly revitalised operation. It’s a hugely exciting development and allows us to showcase our strengths internationally.” Proventus Energy PLC is a UK- based company involved in the renewable energy sector and focuses on activities in Central and Eastern Europe. It actively participates in the global processes of climate change prevention, envi-

ronmental protection and creating secure conditions for a positive future for society. The CADS group’s other business activities in Ireland and the Middle East will continue unaffected by these developments. Nial Ring, an independent councillor for Dublin City Council, joins the board as Vice-Chairman. Ring has a background in the financial services industry in Dublin, London and New York. He is presently involved in a number of businesses as an executive and an investor, and is a former board member of the IDA. Chairman Liam McGrattan is also a director of the IMC Exploration Group Plc and Managing Director of Wilhan Ltd, a private investment company. He has been involved in a number of highly successful private and publicly quoted companies. Samrat Deep Bhandari is the CEO of William Albert Securities Ltd, a UK- based stockbroking, investment research, and corporate finance company. Since 2008, Todor Todorov has been the CEO of Maison Group AG based in Switzerland. He has vast experience in the wind energy sector and is considered a pioneer in the field.


financial VOICE

Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

21

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

EU needs to unite, fiscally and politically The US dollar ended its two week rally as central banks dismissed another round of quantitative easing. Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke spoke strongly about the level of debt the US government is currently holding. Bernanke encouraged the government to start implementing austerity cuts in order to avoid another downgrade by rating agencies this year. The US debt is currently at $15.4 trillion, the biggest bond market in the world. Bernanke also said that further QE in the near future would be bad for inflation however it will be looked upon should the European crisis continue to deteriorate. The FOMC also kept interest rate at record low, 0-0.25% as unemployment is still high and consumer spending is subdued. On this side of the pond the Bank of England mirrored the Federal Reserve. The MPC voted to keep interest rates on hold at 0.5% and the asset purchase was also capped at ÂŁ325 billion. Even though we saw the UK GDP fall more than expected, 0.3% fall as oppose to 0.2% the BoE feels that the economy will recover in the second quarter of the 2012.

We have seen the rate of inflation far above the central bank’s target rate for 30 months in a row and the risk of inflation remains if more money is injected in the economy. Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund tried to encourage the BoE to keep an open mind about reducing interest rates further in the event of further decline in GDP. King does however feel that the inflation could be affected substantially if energy prices rise again. The Euro was off to a great start up almost 1% against the US Dollar following news that Spanish banking sector will be given a capital injection of up to ₏100billion (£80.8billion) to solve and recapitalize its banking system. This is only seen as a short-term fix for the Euro-zone and like Greece’s situation, how long can this continue to happen‌‌? The rescue funds for the banks should speed up the "flow

of credit loans to families, small and medium enterprises and to self-employed workers". However there is a warning that the near future looks bleak: "This year is going to be a bad

very little way for Spain to pay back the debt – it is likely that they will require more in the not so distant future! Another black hole similar to Greece?! The temporary relief may be short lived though, as all eyes are still on Greece’s election on June 17 that could put Athens on a path out of the bloc and precipitate a deeper crisis over the future of the euro. The E u r o g r o u p Working Group released a contingency plan for the first time during the crisis making Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke the breakup of the one." The economy, which is in Eurozone a real possibility. ATM its second recession in three machines will dispense limited years, was still expected to amount of Euros, flows of capishrink by 1.7%. The bailout has tal pan European will be conincreased the Spanish governstrained and travel inter contiment debt by 10%, hence the nent may require a visa. The sitlack of confidence in the country uation is now at a critical point. and the plan. The EU needs to unite, fiscally Markets also feel that this is and politically or accept the not really a solution and with inevitable.

0 8 0 8

$ 0 4 5

Weekly Currencies As of Tuesday 12th June 2012 @ 2.30pm GBP - INR = 86.68 USD - INR = 55.80 EUR - INR = 69.70 GBP - USD = 1.55 GBP - EUR = 1.24 EUR - USD = 1.259 GBP - AED = 5.70 GBP - CAD = 1.60 GBP - NZD = 2.00 GBP - AUD = 1.56 GBP - ZAR = 13.07 GBP - HUF = 368.81

www.rationalfx.com 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.

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Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

Kayani refuses to meet US defence official In Focus Islamabad: Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani's office turned down a request for a meeting by visiting US deputy assistant secretary of defense Peter Lavoy, reflecting the strains that have hit ties between the two countries since last year. A meeting was requested by the Americans but the General Headquarters declined it, unnamed Pakistani officials were quoted as saying by The News daily on Monday. The officials said they were not aware if Lavoy was given any reasons for the decision. US officials in Washington too confirmed the development, the daily reported. One unnamed Pakistani official indicated the request was turned down because of allegations by US

officials that Pakistan was not doing enough to rein in militants operating along the border with Afghanistan. "There are several reasons for turning down (a meeting with) Lavoy. It is to tell the Americans that you cannot be bad-mouthing us day in and day out and then expect a meeting with Pakistan's most powerful personality," the official said. "You cannot trash our sovereignty, threaten us, announce intensified drone attacks, kill our soldiers, refuse to apologise when you do the same in Kabul, hold back our money (from the Coalition Support Fund), threaten to cut off all aid and then pretend that it is business as usual," the official added. Pakistan has been angered by remarks made by

US defense secretary Leon Panetta during a recent visit to India and Afghanistan. Panetta said the US had no plans to stop drone strikes despite protests from Pakistan. Panetta further said the US was running out of patience with Pakistan for failing to act against militant safe havens in the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan. Officials involved in work-

ing out a "package deal" with the US told The News that there were clear instructions from the Pakistan government that a US apology for a deadly NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November last year was more important than the fees to be paid for NATO containers going to Afghanistan. "We would be willing to forgo charges in return for assurances on our sovereignty and offer of an apology. It means more than the money, we are more concerned about our dignity and honour. "If we get assurances that our sovereignty will not be violated and our dignity will be respected, we will not bother about the money part. Price of containers is not an important issue," an official was quoted as saying.

NATO apologises for No change in our stance on deaths in Afghan airstrike Osama’s doctor: US official Afghanistan: The commander of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan apologised for civilian deaths in a coalition air strike recently, the first confirmation by NATO forces that civilians were killed in the operation. Marine Gen John Allen flew to Logar province to personally deliver his regrets to villagers and provincial officials for the deaths of women, children and village elders in pre-dawn raid to capture a Taliban operative. Afghan officials have said the air strike called in by NATO troops killed 18 civilians. "I know that no apology can bring back the lives of the children or the people who perished in this tragedy and this accident, but I want you to know that you have my apology and we will do the right thing by the families," Allen told the group of about two dozen Afghans gathered at a base at the provincial capital of Pul-i-Alam. NATO and Afghan officials have said the troops were on an operation to capture a Taliban leader who had

holed up in the house in Baraki Barak district's Sajawand village. As they tried to breach the compound, they came under fire and fought back, eventually calling in an airstrike. Allen said that the troops did not know that there were civilians inside the house when they called in the airstrike. "They were taken under fire. A hand grenade was thrown. Three of our people were wounded. We called for the people who were shooting to come out and then the situation became more grave and innocent people were killed," he told The Associated Press after talking with the group gathered in Logar. "Our weapons killed these people," Allen said. In Logar, Allen met with the governor before taking his message to the assembled group of Baraki Barak residents and local officials. He invoked his own family, saying that he kept seeing the faces of his own children as he thought about the children who had been killed.

80 feared dead in Afghan landslide

US losing patience with Pak, says Panetta

Kunduz (Afghanistan): At least 80 people were feared buried under mud after an earthquake triggered landslide in Afghanistan on Monday. Two quakes with magnitudes of 5.4 and 5.7 struck mountainous northern Afghanistan on Monday, bringing a slide of mud and rocks down on the remote settlement. The governor of Baghlan province said 22 homes were buried but the bodies of only two women had been recovered. Twenty people were in hospital with injuries. “We don't think we will be able to take out the other bodies," Governor Abdul Majid said. A rescue team only had one bulldozer to try to clear the rubble, he said. Afghanistan's north is prone to earthquakes. A 2002 quake in the same province killed more than 2,000 people.

Kabul: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the United States was reaching the limits of its patience with Pakistan because of the safe havens the country offered to insurgents in neighbouring Afghanistan. It was some of the strongest language used by a US official to describe the strained ties between Washington and Islamabad. Panetta was speaking in the Afghan capital, where he arrived for talks with military leaders amid rising violence in the war against the Taliban and a spate of deadly incidents, including a NATO air strike said to have killed 18 villagers. The United States has long pushed Pakistan to do more to help in the war against militancy, but the relationship has received a series of blows, not least by a unilateral US raid into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden last year which humil-

Washington: Pakistan has formally informed the US that sentencing of Shakil Afridi was not linked to his help in tracing Osama bin Laden, but this has not changed the view of Obama administration that 33 year imprisonment to the physician was not justified, a senior US official said. "We continue to express our concerns about his continued incarceration. We have actually gotten some clarity that the charges against him are not related to the bin Laden case apparently," state department spokesman, Mark Toner, told reporters at his daily news conference. "We did get a response from the Pakistani government. This, however, doesn't change our view that the prosecution and conviction of Dr Afridi sends the wrong message about the importance of our shared interest in taking down one of the world's most notorious murderers, bin Laden. So we would just continue to urge the Pakistani government to

Leon Panetta

iated Islamabad. "It is difficult to achieve peace in Afghanistan as long as there is safe haven for terrorists in Pakistan," Panetta, who arrived in Kabul a day after a deadly insurgent bombing, told reporters. "It is very important for Pakistan to take steps. It is an increasing concern, the issue of safe haven, and we are reaching the limits of our patience." Pakistan's cooperation is considered critical to US

Shakil Afridi

consider his appeal," he said. The US, he said, believes his conviction and sentencing send the wrong message about people who are trying to cooperate to bring down a terrorist like Osama bin Laden. There's an appeal process underway and that that should be considered, he noted. Responding to questions, Toner said the US was very much cognizant of the fact that extremism and terrorism remains a threat to Pakistan's stability, to its citizens. "Nobody's suffered more from these kinds of terrorist attacks than the people of Pakistan," he said.

efforts to stabilise Afghanistan before most foreign combat troops leave at the end of 2014. Pakistan has strong traditional links with the Afghan Taliban and other militant groups. A Pakistani doctor accused of helping the CIA find bin Laden has been jailed for 33 years for treason last month, officials said, deepening strains in ties between Washington and Islamabad. Pakistan's parliament has been drawing up recommendations on how to proceed on ties with Washington, including a halt to US drone strikes in the country that have enraged many Pakistanis. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he was cutting short an official visit to China following reports of civilian deaths in a NATO air strike in southeast Afghanistan and an insurgent bombing in the south, the presidential palace said.

Blast rips apart bus in Pakistan, 20 killed

Peshawar: More than 20 people killed and over 40 injured when a bomb exploded on a bus carrying government employees and other civilians to the suburbs of Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar. The bus was taking lower rank government officials and 24 other passengers from Peshawar to their homes in Charsadda town. When it reached Gul Bela village area on the outskirts of Peshawar, the bomb planted inside it went off, almost completely destroying the back half of the colorfully decorated bus. Bloodied pieces of human flesh littered the seats, along with blood-stained clothes and pieces of twisted metal on the road. The dead and injured were shifted to hospitals in Peshawar and Charsadda. Peshawar borders the country's volatile tribal belt, a stronghold of Taliban, alQaida and affiliated militant groups. The city has suffered more terror attacks than other parts of the country over the past five years.

Earthquake rocks Pakistan Islamabad: An earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale jolted Pakistan's northwest province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The earthquake tremors were felt at about 10.20 am in the provincial capital of Peshawar and its adjoining areas, including Mardan, Charsadda and Nowshera. The epicentre of the earthquake was located at 214 km northwest of the country's capital Islamabad in the Hindu Kush mountainous range along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area. The earthquake created panic among the people, but no loss of life was reported, according to the initial reports. Northern and northwestern Pakistan is located in one of the most earthquake prone areas. Geographically, Pakistan lies in the collision zone of the India tectonic plate to the south and the Eurasian plate to the north.

Four French troops killed in Afghan attack

Kabul: Four French soldiers killed and several wounded in a suicide attack against a convoy of NATO-led troops in eastern Afghanistan. In line with policy, ISAF did not disclose the nationalities of the troops but local officials said the attack in Nijrab district of Kapisa province targeted a convoy of French troops. Taliban militants claimed responsibility for the attack in a text message sent to reporters. France has 3,500 soldiers in Afghanistan, mostly stationed in Kapisa, and provides the fifth largest contingent to NATO's 130,000-strong US-led force.

Pak Chief Justice recuses himself from son's case

Islamabad: Pakistan's Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry recused himself from a case against his son Arsalan Iftikhar, who allegedly received up to Rs 400 million from tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain to influence cases in the apex court. The Chief Justice made the decision when a three-judge bench headed by him resumed hearing the suo moto case against his son. Attorney General Irfan Qadir again objected to the Chief Justice's inclusion in the bench, saying it amounted to a conflict of interest. The Chief Justice, who has been criticised by legal experts for taking up the case against his son, subsequently acknowledged that the Attorney General's objection and preliminary arguments had made him come to the conclusion that he should disassociate himself from the matter.

Six killed, dozens injured in Balochistan blast

Islamabad: Six persons were killed and dozens injured when a bomb went off near a bus in the restive Balochistan province of southwest Pakistan on Monday, officials said. The bomb, hidden in a motorcycle, was detonated by remote control as the bus was passing through Mastung district, 50 km south of the provincial capital of Quetta. Officials confirmed the death of six persons. Over two dozen people were injured. Nearly 50 people, including women and children, were in the bus. The condition of three of the wounded was critical, officials said. The injured were taken to a nearby hospital and those in a critical condition were later shifted to Quetta.


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Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

In Focus 88 years after death, Vladimir Lenin set for burial

London: Russia may bury the embalmed corpse Vladimir Lenin, 88 years after the death of the founder of the Soviet Union. The revolutionary’s body remains on public display in a mausoleum on Moscow’s Red Square, more than two decades after the break-up of the former USSR. Describing it as absurd that Lenin had not been laid to rest after his death in 1924 at the age of 53, Russia’s new culture minister Vladimir Medinsky, who is seen close to President Vladimir Putin, suggested that Lenin should be given a send-off that recognised his role as a state figure. Calling for him to be buried in a normal grave, as Lenin himself had requested.

No bending of immigration rules for VIPs, asserts US Washington: Nearly two months after Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan was detained at a New York airport, the US has said that the VIPs visiting the country will have to go through the immigration procedures like everyone else unless they have diplomatic exemption. "For VIP arrivals, unless they have some type of, say, diplomatic visa or exemption, everyone would go through the same type of process. We don't want it to be seen as a hassle," John Wagner , executive director of US Customs and Border Protection's Office of Field Operations, Admissibility and Passenger Programmes, said.

Ex-Indian Major kills wife & 2 kids, commits suicide Los Angeles: A former Indian Army officer, Major Avtar Singh, who was wanted in India for the murder of a prominent Kashmiri lawyer, has killed himself along with his wife and two children in his California home. Singh, 47, had fled to US after he was accused of killing Jaleel Andrabi, a Kashmiri lawyer and activist associated with the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), whose body was found floating in the Jhelum River in March 1996. Andrabi, 42, was allegedly detained by a unit of Rashtriya Rifles led by Major Singh and his body was found a day later. Authorities in Selma, California, believe Singh shot his family and then took his own life. Singh was found dead in the living room with an apparent gunshot wound to his head.

New York Hindu temple head gets protection order New York: A US court has issued a restraining order against an Indian-origin Long Island pharmacist after he assaulted a disabled 72-year-old president of New York Kali Mandir Hindu Temple. Suman Saha was issued a temporary order of protection from Nassau County Criminal Court following his alleged assault on Ajoy Nayak, president of the Baldwin, New York-based Hindu temple. The elderly Nayak, who is left-leg amputee, had recently been elected to the post. Saha was arraigned in Nassau County First District Criminal Court on Monday before Judge Douglas LeRose where the restraining order was issued. The order prohibits Saha from having any contact with Nayak. According to court documents, Saha was accused of assaulting Nayak.

US to exempt India from Iran sanctions Washington: The United States extended exemptions from its tough, new sanctions on Iran's oil trade to seven more economies on Monday, leaving China the last remaining major importer exposed to possible penalties at the end of the month. In the latest sign Washington is working with other countries to pressure Iran's nuclear program, India, South Korea, Turkey and four more economies will receive waivers from financial sanctions in return for significantly cutting purchases of Iranian oil, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. China, which alone buys as much as a fifth of Iran's crude exports, and Singapore, where much of the country's fuel oil is blended, did not receive such waivers, ramping up pressure

on two important US trade partners in Asia. The sanctions, which the United States may impose starting on June 28, are Washington's most ambitious measures yet to strangle Iran's nuclear program by cutting funding from its oil export sales. The United States and the European Union believe Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. Tehran says the program is strictly for civilian purposes. Beyond the 27-country EU, which has banned Iranian imports from July under separate sanctions, other buyers of Iran's crude have pledged to cut purchases by up to a fifth. "By reducing Iran's oil sales, we are sending a decisive message to Iran's leaders: until they take concrete

Convicted Tahawwur Rana loses retrial plea

Chicago: A Chicago court has dismissed a retrial plea by Pakistan born Canadian Tahawwur Rana, convicted of providing material support to Pakistan based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taeba (LeT), blamed for November 2008 Mumbai terror attack. His sentencing was set for Dec 4. While a jury acquitted Rana on June 10, 2011 of involvement in the 26/11 attack that killed more than 160 people, it found him guilty of helping LeT for an aborted plot to bomb a Danish newspaper for publishing cartoons of Prophet Muhammad in 2005. Rana's trial featured testimony from the government's

star witness - his boyhood friend, David Coleman Headley, who has confessed to his role in the Mumbai attack and the Denmark plot. Son of a Pakistani father and an American mother, Headley changed his given name Daood Sayed Gilani, to scout targets for the Mumbai attack. He was arrested and found guilty much before Rana, but his sentencing is yet to be announced. In affirming Rana's conviction, Illinois District Court Judge Harry Leinenweber on Monday noted the jury had been presented with contrasting pictures of him. The prosecution portrayed Rana, 51, as a man who knowingly supported his lifelong friend as Headley travelled the world plotting and preparing terrorist attacks, the judge noted. In contrast, the defence painted him as an ambitious businessman manipulated by a friend into unwittingly providing cover for terrorist plots.

actions to satisfy the concerns of the international community, they will continue to face increasing isolation and pressure," Clinton said in a release. She is hosting high-level, previously scheduled talks with ministers from India and South Korea, Iran's secondand fourth-largest oil buyers, this week in Washington. South Africa, Taiwan, Malaysia and Sri Lanka will also be exempt from the sanctions, Clinton said. Japan and 10 EU countries had been granted exceptions in March. Banks and other institutions in the economies that received waivers will be given a six-month break from the threat of being cut off from the US financial system under sanctions signed late last year by President Barack Obama.

China, Japan, India and South Korea cut imports by about a fifth from the 1.45 million barrels per day they were buying a year ago as they prepared for the sanctions to come into effect. Oil traders had largely expected the exemptions after the cuts, with Obama seeking to tread a fine line between tightening the screws on Tehran and triggering a squeeze on global oil supplies that could tip the economy back into recession. "The White House doesn't want to see 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian exports cut when oil prices are still relatively high, but at the same time they want to make sure the sanctions still have some bite," said Andy Lebow, senior vice president of energy at Jefferies Bache in New York.

Muslim-Buddhist mob violence threatens new Myanmar image Sittwe (Myanmar): Northwest Myanmar was tense after sectarian violence engulfed its largest city at the weekend, with rival mobs of Muslims and Buddhists torching houses and police firing into the air to disperse crowds. At least eight people were killed and many wounded, authorities say, in the worst communal violence since a reformist government replaced a junta last year and vowed to forge unity in one of Asia's most ethnically diverse countries. The fighting erupted in the Rakhine State town of Maungdaw, but has spread to the capital Sittwe and nearby villages, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency late on Sunday and impose a dawn-to-dusk curfew. Foreign aid workers have begun pulling out, aid sources said. Plumes of black smoke rose over parts of Sittwe, a port town of mainly wooden houses where Buddhists and Muslims have

long lived in uneasy proximity. Some Buddhists were seen carrying bamboo stakes and other makeshift weapons. "We have now ordered troops to protect the airport and the Rakhine villages under attack in Sittwe," Zaw Htay, director of the President's Office, said. "Arrangements are under way to impose a curfew in some other towns." The unrest undermines the image of ethnic unity and stability that helped persuade the United States and Europe to suspend economic sanctions this year, while increasing curfews could threaten tourism and foreign investment - rewards for emerging from nearly half a century of army rule. It might also force reformist President Thein Sein, a former general, to confront an issue that human rights groups have criticised for years: the plight of thousands of stateless Rohingya Muslims who live along Myanmar's border with Bangladesh.

Islamists put camel bounty on President Barack Obama Washington: A Somali Islamist militant group is offering rewards of chickens and camels for information on the whereabouts of President Barack Obama and secretary of state Hillary Clinton, mocking the millions of dollars the US has offered for leaders of the al-Qaida affiliate. Fuad Muhammad Khalaf of the Shabaab al-Mujahideen Movement in Somalia made the offer according to the

SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant organizations. The US state department offered a reward of $5 million each for the whereabouts of Khalaf and three associates, as well as $7 million for information about al Shabaab founder and commander Ahmed Abdi aw-Mohamed . A bounty of $3 million was offered for the location of two other officials of the organization. Al-Qaida said in February

the al Shabaab group, which was branded a terrorist organization by the US government in 2008, had joined its ranks. Al Shabaab, which has controlled large parts of Somalia , faces pressure from Kenyan troops in the south, Ethiopian troops in central Somalia and African Union forces near Mogadishu . In a statement, the Somali government said the rewards would help crush the Qaida affiliate, a report said.


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INDIA

Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

Face election case, court tells P Chidambaram India’s union home minister P Chidambaram's bid to avoid trial in a case pertaining to the validity of his election, in 2009, from Sivaganga parliamentary constituency in Tamil Nadu failed last week with the Madras high Court refusing to entirely strike off an election petition filed by AIADMK's losing candidate R S Raja Kannappan. After having lost the election by a narrow margin, Kannapan filed the election petition levelling several allegations of malpractice against Chidambaram. In his petition, Kannappan claimed that Chidambaram had mobilized funds from various banks to spend on poll campaign.

P Chidambaram

Chidambaram's preliminary objection petition to reject the election petition at an initial stage itself failed last year. Later, he filed a strike-off petition. Had he succeeded, it would have spared him the rigor of the trial such as appearing in the court and getting into the box.

MP Sachin says no to government bungalow Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, recently nominated to the Rajya Sabha, has opted out of staying in a government bungalow allotted to him in the national capital, saying it would be a waste of taxpayers' money. "I am not keen on staying in any government bungalow when I will be in Delhi for only a few days. I feel this would be a waste of tax payers' money and it would be better if the bungalow is allotted to someone who needs it more than me," Tendulkar said before leaving for London. The batting legend took oath as Member of Parliament after being nominated for a seat in the Upper House last month. He was allotted 5, Tughlaq Lane which is opposite Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi's house. Tendulkar said the honour of being nominated to the Rajya Sabha was enough for him and not staying in the Delhi house would not affect his job as MP.

"I would prefer to stay in a hotel every time I am in Delhi. For me the honour of being nominated as a Rajya Sabha MP matters much more than the perks and privileges of the job. "Not taking the house would not affect my responsibilities as MP. I do hope to attend a few days of parliament in every session," he added.

Last week, Justice K Venkataraman dismissed the strike-off petition but directed deletion of two specific paragraphs in Raja Kannappan's petition containing allegations that the bank funds were used in contesting the elections. Kannappan, in his petition filed on June 25, 2009, had alleged that Chidambaram's election 'deserved' to be declared void due to 'manipulation' of votes and 'corrupt practices' committed by him, his election agents and others, with his consent. Kannappan had also sought recount of the votes polled in the entire constituency, particularly in the Alangudi Assembly segment.

UP’s most wanted gangster held A 44-year-old interstate gangster, allegedly involved in a triple murder case in south Delhi 16 years ago, was arrested by the southeast Delhi police. Identified as Ravi Prakash, alias Ravi, he is the 'most wanted gangster of western Uttar Pradesh (UP), police said. Ravi was picked up from a guesthouse by a team of the special staff following a tip-off. Additional commissioner of police (southeast), said they had received an input that Ravi, who has been involved in several cases of murder and dacoity, is in Delhi. A team of the special staff under inspector Rajesh Kumar was tasked to develop the information and nab the gangster. His interrogation revealed that he was involved in a number of cases of murder, attempt to murder, dacoity and robbery in UP and Delhi. There is already a non-bailable warrant against him for murdering one Harish Sirohi in a case of gang rivalry. It was in 1992 that Ravi committed his first crime.

Arrest Nithyananda and seal his ashram, orders Karnataka CM Karnataka chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Monday directed the home department to initiate legal action against selfstyled godman Swami Nithyananda. Gowda held a highlevel meeting with home minister R Ashoka, law minister S Suresh Kumar and top police officers, including DGP Lalrokhuma Pachau. The CM later said he has asked Ramanagaram deputy commissioner and the superintendent of police to secure the ashram (Dhyanapeetham), collect evidence about its activities and seal the ashram till order is restored. However, police are still awaiting government’s

Nithyananda

order for a crackdown. The decision follows complaints by several women devotees accusing Nithyananda of rape and sexual abuse. A woman from the US lodged a complaint alleging the godman sexually abused her for five years. Police have launched a manhunt for Nithyananda, who is reportedly absconding

after his devotees assaulted reporters at the ashram in Bidadi last week for asking inconvenient questions. The CM said he has asked regional commissioner Shambhu Dayal Meena to submit a report on the clashes at the ashram. The government will soon discuss with the law department to seek cancellation of Nithyananda’s bail. Recently, the Karnataka high court granted Nityananda bail in a case of rape and criminal intimidation. He is facing criminal charges, including rape, on complaints last year by former disciples. He was arrested and later released on bail.

In divine light By Rajen Vakil

Hanuman shows his Great Form

After hearing the description of the four yugas, Bhimasen told his elder brother Hanuman, “I will not go from here unless you show me the grand form in which you crossed the seas to go to Lanka to meet Sita. If you really want to grace me please show me your form.” Hanuman gave an affectionate smile and started assuming his old form. He loved his younger brother and so gave in to his wish. As he started expanding his body, he became taller than any mountain and his chest expanded to cover the trees of the forest. His form was huge, his eyes red. He had long sharp teeth and his tail covered all four directions. He stood up like a huge mountain and his lustre shone more powerful than the sun. Seeing this majestic form, Bhima was shocked and surprised. He could feel waves of happiness flowing through his being. Bhimasen started drinking in his elder brother’s grand form which was shining like a mountain covered in gold. After

some time, his eyes could take it no longer and he had to close them. Hanuman laughed and said, “O one who is free of sin, this is the most of my vast form that you will be able to absorb. If I want I can take an even grander and bigger form. When I have to fight my enemies, the form automatically becomes bigger.” As he was taking in this huge form of

Hanuman, Bhima was suddenly frightened and the hair on his body stood up. With folded hands, he said, “O Great One, this form of yours is brighter than the mid-day sun. There is no one who can see and withstand it at the same time. I cannot

All past articles on the Mahabharata can be accessed from http://epaper.asianvoice.com or from http://www.3stepbreath.com/mahabharata.html

US firm roped in for Sardar statue project

Leading US-based construction firm, Turner Construction has been roped in to oversee the ambitious `25 billion project to build world’s tallest statue of Sardar Patel off Narmada dam. A Gujarat government-sponsored trust, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust (SVPRET), has handed over project management consultancy to Turner Construction, which has built global landmarks such as the new Yankee Stadium in New York and the world’s tallest and second-tallest buildings, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and Taipei 101 in Taiwan, to name a few. To be called Statue of Unity, the 182-metre tall statue will be built on Sadhu Tekra in the midst of the river, about 3.2 km downstream of the dam. “Turner will be involved in the project right from the beginning, which is the pre-design phase and floating the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) bid for the project, to construction supervision and handing over of the project”, said a senior state bureaucrat, who is handling the project. Turner’s contract is for a period of 56 months. “It has agreed to charge `610

hold you in my eyes any longer, so please return to your normal state. A question has arisen in me after seeing this glorious and frightening state of yours. Why did Sree Rama have to kill Ravana himself when you could have done it for him? You alone could have destroyed Ravana and the whole of Lanka. In battle nothing is impossible for you.” Hanuman replied, “O Bhimasen you are right. I could easily have killed Ravana and all his demons but that would have diminished the fame of Lord Rama. By killing Ravana and his family, and bringing back his wife Sita, songs of his fame will be sung in the world of men for all time to come. That is why I let Ravana go.” Hanuman continued, “O intelligent one, if you love your brother, follow this path. You will be protected by Vayu, the wind god, and no obstacles will come in your way.” To be contd…

million for the entire process,” he said. Turner was awarded project management consultancy in an international bid, in which Parsons Brinckerhoff and IOSIS International also participated. Gujarat government has been in talks with South Korea's Samsung Construction & Technology for the project’s actual implementation. Last year, executives from Samsung C&T took geo-technological data, including rock condition, weight bearing capacity of the river pit and hydraulic capacity. They have submitted a go-ahead report. Both Turner and Samsung C&T were part of the team which built the world’s tallest, Burj Khalifa, which stands 828 metres tall. The SVPRET meeting, chaired by chief minister Narendra Modi, also discussed connecting Vadodara with the Statue of Unity with a metro rail and a six-lane highway

Poor Parsi is one who earns up to `90,000 per month The Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) told the Bombay high court that it had revised the definition of a poor Parsi as one who earns up to `90,000 a month, in order to be eligible for a subsidized community apartment. The BPP, which controls over 5,000 flats in the city, had earlier fixed this amount at under `50,000 a month. There are an estimated 45,000 Parsis in Mumbai. Incidentally, the Planning Commission of India had pegged the minimum sustenance level required for a poor person in an urban area at `29 a day. An affidavit was filed by BPP chairman Dinshaw Mehta in response to a petition by Dahanu resident Rohinton Taraporewala, (65) challenging the nonallotment of a flat to him at Panthaki Baug, Andheri. Earlier, Taraporewala had submitted the names of those who were allotted flats despite earning above `50,000 a month. In his April 17, 2012 reply, Mehta refuted Taraporewala's claim of being a "poor, needy and deserving Parsi". He said after the high court, on October 15, 2009, allowed BPP to sell flats on ownership basis, the trustees adopted criteria for allotment.


INDIA

Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

In Focus First class, AC rail fares may go up from July 1 A 3.6% service tax on railways - scheduled to be levied from July 1 - is likely to push up freight charges and fares in first class as well as all AC classes in India. Parcel rates that were hiked by 25% are also likely to be further raised. "The government had given service tax exemption on goods carried by railways till June 30, 2012. From July 1, using railways to transport goods will come under service tax net," said S K Goel, the Central Board of Excise and Customs chairman. A Railways official maintained that the hike was not yet a foregone conclusion, as it was possible that Railways Minister Mukul Roy or his party boss Mamata Banerjee may step in to extract an additional period of exemption before the June 30 deadline. He added that the railways may also decide to absorb the additional financial burden, instead of passing it on to the passengers.

India’s presidential poll on July 19 Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath on Tuesday announced that the Presidential election will take place on July 19 and counting of votes will be taken up on July 22. According to the Chief Election Commissioner, the notification will be issued on June 16. The last day for making nominations is June 30. The nominations will be scrutinized on July 2 and last day for withdrawal of nominations is July 4. The Election Commission of India has fixed the following schedule for the election to fill the office of the President of India. For the first time since India became independent 65 years ago, it may have a President with political clout. That power will flow from a prerogative that effectively gives the president a casting vote when no one political party has a clear mandate to rule - the likely outcome of the next national elections due by 2014.

BEML chief suspended for fair probe

The government of India on Monday suspended BEML chairman and managing director V R S Natarajan in what looks like a prelude to the defence PSU chief being formally prosecuted by CBI for alleged financial irregularities in the Tatra trucks, armoured recovery vehicles and other cases. “The defence ministry’s decision to suspend Natarajan came after a recommendation by CBI last week that he should be kept away from the post to ensure fair investigation. The charge of BEML has been given to its senior-most functional director P Dwarkanath,’’ said an official.

CPM avoids action against Achuthanandan

CPM central committee did not take any disciplinary action against V S Achuthanandan, as sought by the Kerala leadership, for putting the party in hardship through his public comments, but asked them to discuss the matter in the state. At a meeting of party’s central committee attended by Achuthanandan and the party’s Kerala unit secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, the issue was raised but the committee decided to ask the state secretariat and state committee to discuss the matter first. Achuthanandan has been taking a position contrary to party on the issue of political killings allegedly involving some cadre, when the state leadership was trying to hard to dispel the notion that the party was not involved in it. Achuthanandan spoke in the meeting and he raised the need for a change in the leadership in Kerala, a demand he had raised in a letter written to CPM general secretary Prakash Karat earlier.

Punjab prisons may allow conjugal visits

In a first, Punjab may allow conjugal visits in state jails. Punjab’s head of prisons Shashi Kant has sent a proposal to the state government seeking permission to allow select male inmates to have sex with their partners in a designated area of the jail. If the proposal is cleared, Punjab will become the first state to allow prison sex. “The proposal is part of the jails reforms programme in Punjab. Sex is a basic need like food and the lack of which can give rise to unprotected sex among male prisoners,” said Kant.

25

Anna Hazare dares PMO to punish him if he is 'anti-national'

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare challenged the Prime Minister's Office to prove the charges of foreign funding of his anti-graft movement. Hazare dared the government to punish him if he was guilty, asking the powers-thatbe to show proof of foreign funding in his movement. "I have been accused of not giving an account of the money which was collected at Ramlila Maidan (venue of his anti-corruption protest in New Delhi)," he said. "This is completely wrong. Every penny has been accounted and it is there for everyone to see. We are in the clear. We have posted it (the accounts) online. We have even got the accounts audited. What more do they want?" he said. Addressing a press con-

ference at his village Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra, Hazare said: "We are not backed by any foreign hand. All allegations against us from the PMO are false and baseless. This is just a trick to divert attention from the Lokpal Bill," he said. "(Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs) V Narayanasamy has said Anna lacks the will to fight corruption. He says we are antinationals. But I'm already

fighting corruption toothand-nail. What more does he want me to do? This is not right," he said. Narayanasamy had alleged that Anna Hazare and his team had the support of foreign forces. "Anna Hazare is a simple man but is surrounded by anti-national elements. I would like to say that Arvind Kejriwal collected a huge amount of money at the time of Anna Hazare's agitation... what happened to that money... nobody knows," Narayanasamy had said. Targeting Kiran Bedi, another Team Anna member, Narayanasamy had said: "Kiran Bedi is accused of collecting money from organizations, she attended meetings by going economy class and then collecting the money for business class... and that alle-

gation was proved and now she has refunded the money... this is the reputation." Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi went a step further, accusing US-based groups of backing the movement led by Anna Hazare. Seeking to draw a link between US money and Team Anna, Ravi suggested it was more than a coincidence that Hazare and his two associates - Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal - were Magsaysay Award winners. "What I suspect is that Anna Hazare and his people are not all that innocent. Every one of them has got the Magsaysay Award which has been funded by American foundations... I suspect there is a conspiracy to destabilise Indian politics," Ravi had alleged.

Talwars cannot escape 80 per cent voting in Aarushi murder trial: SC crucial Andhra by-polls The Supreme Court told Rajesh and Nupur Talwar that they cannot escape trial for the murder of their teenage daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj, maintaining that the Ghaziabad magistrate’s decision to summon them as accused was flawless. The SC took a dim view of the Talwars’ persistent petitioning of courts to stall their trial, saying Nupur’s plea for a review of the apex court’s January 6 order was “uncalled for” and amounted to “misuse of jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.” Cautioning her against vexatious litigation in future the court said, “This most certainly amounts to misuse of jurisdiction of this court... I would only seriously caution the petitioner... Any uncalled for frivolous proceedings initiated by the petitioner, hereinafter may evoke exemplary cost. Nupur’s plea for further investigations in the double murder case on possible involvement of outsiders also fell flat as the court saw it as a

“last ditch effort to salvage a lost situation.” It stressed the dentist duo did not challenge the trial court order passed while summoning them as accused on February 9 last year and a plea for further probe could not be advanced at this late stage. One of the main planks of Nupur’s attack on magistrate Priti Singh’s order of February 9, 2011 was its length and content, which she said almost prejudged parental guilt. Rejecting the plea, Justice Khehar said, “It was essential for the Magistrate to highlight, for perusal of the Sessions Court, reasons which had weighed with her in not accepting the closure report submitted by the CBI, as also, for not acceding to the prayer made in the protest petition (filed by Rajesh Talwar) for further investigation.

An estimated 80 per cent voter turnout was recorded on Tuesday in crucial by-elections to 18 Assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh amid sporadic violence in a repeat of heavy voting last year in a Lok Sabha by-poll won by YSR Congress chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy by a record margin. Considered to be semifinals for the 2014 assembly elections in AP, the by-polls are expected to test the claim of the son of late chief minister Y S Rajashekara Reddy to be his father’s political legacy in the State besides being crucial for the future prospects of the ruling Congress which has a razorthin majority. By-elections were also held for Nellore Lok Sabha constituency. Along with these elections, by-polls were held for eight seats spread across seven states. Counting of votes will be taken up on June 15. Bypolls were held for the Assembly constituencies of

Maheswar (SC) in Madhya Pradesh, Nalchar (SC) in Tripura, Daspur and Bankura in West Bengal, Mant in Uttar Pradesh, Pudukkottai in Tamil Nadu, Kaij in Maharashtra and Hatia in Jharkhand. Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath said in Delhi that the average turnout for the 18 seats in Andhra Pradesh was around 80 per cent while it was 69 per cent for the two seats in West Bengal. Voter turnout in Pudukottai in Tamil Nadu was around 70 per cent in the second by-poll in the State where former friends AIADMK and DMDK are locked in a direct face-off, with DMK choosing to skip the contest.

Congress a sinking ship, says Narendra Modi Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi fired a salvo at the Manmohan Singh government and said that “Congress has a little chance of survival.” He told party men on the concluding day of the two-day BJP meet in Rajkot, “This government has disappointed the people of the country with a series of scams and failure to check corruption and price rise.” Modi described the Congress as a sinking ship and exuded confidence that it would be completely wiped out in the state assembly elections. “We have a bright chance of winning with a thumping majority as compared to earlier polls,” he added. Hitting out at Prime Minister Manmohan, Modi said, “Every time he (PM)

assures the country that inflation would come down, it only increases. If you cannot bring prices down, at least bring them to the level where our Atal Behari Vajpayee left them.” He even hit out at the UPA for its failure to arrest the fall of rupee and blamed rampant corruption for its depreciation.

Meanwhile, people wearing Sanjay Joshi’s masks appeared outside the venue of the state BJP executive meeting in Rajkot on Sunday as supporters of the ousted leader took a leaf out of Modi’s book of poll strategy. They distributed pamphlets scoffing at Modi’s prime ministerial ambitions. “I am an RSS member. I do not sell gauchar land. I do not do genocide for power. I do not compromise with my ideology to become prime minister. I do not change my colour for power,” read the pamphlets. Joshi’s supporters shouted slogans like “Sanjay Joshi tum aage badho, hum tumhare sath hain” and “kaho dilse, Sanjay Joshi phirse.” The masks read, ‘I am Sanjay Joshi.’

Modi biggest terrorist of Indian politics: Modhwadia In Surat Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president Arjun Modhwadia has described Modi as Indian politics’ biggest terrorist. Modhwadia, who was in Surat to address a Maharashtrian sammelan, said, “Modi has not done anything for 10 years as chief minister except spreading terror in the name of caste and religion. He is the biggest terrorist of Indian politics. This is the reason why his entry has been banned in 20 countries. In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, his own party men fear his separatist brand of politics. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar had cancelled a dinner programme for BJP’s top leaders to avoid being seen in the company of Modi.”


26

INDIA

Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

Kiran Bedi compares Manmohan to Dhritarashtra

Team Anna member Kiran Bedi compared Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the blind king Dhritarashtra of the Mahabharata epic, saying he is aiding corruption in the government. The Congress hit back, saying Team Anna had converted the movement against corruption into "a personal campaign and personal ambition". Continuing the attack on the prime minister over irregularities in coal blocks allocation, Bedi tweeted: "PMO clears PM. Did Dhritrashtra in Mahabharat not support Kauravas even after they attempted to disrobe Draupadi? Indian genes/culture? or? (sic)." According to Bedi, Team Anna was focused on the

Congress party as it alone can give through parliament an effective anti-corruption law and not the opposition. Her comments came after the Prime Minister's Office turned down Team Anna's demand for a special team to

Jaswant meets Mulayam, lobbies for Vice President's post

Jaswant Singh on Tuesday met Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav amid speculation that the BJP leader could be lobbying for the Vice President's post. When Yadav was meeting yoga guru Ramdev at his residence on the issue of black money this morning, Jaswant Singh drove in and was inside the SP leader's house for ten minutes. It is understood that the three discussed the issue of Indian black money stashed away abroad. Jaswant Singh had raised the issue on behalf of the BJP in the Lok Sabha. The meeting between the SP chief and Jaswant Singh triggered speculation that the BJP leader may be making an effort to lobby for himself as a candidate in the Vice Presidential poll. BJP and NDA have not yet taken a stand on issue of Presidential and Vice Presidential election candidates.

Defamation case: Court summons ex-army chief A Delhi court issued summons to former army chief Gen V K Singh in a defamation case filed by Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh. Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja issued summons to Singh and four others in the defamation case for July 20. "In the light of aforesaid discussion and the discussion in the order dated May 18, all the respondents are summoned as an accused in the present matter," said the court. Tejinder Singh has requested the court to summon and initiate proceedings against the former army chief and others for allegedly making libelous statements against him in the media and accusing him of bribery. Alleging that the officers misused their official position, power and authority to level false charges against him.

After the meeting, Yadav came out to see off Jaswant Singh and the two were seen talking one-on-one for some time. Sources said Jaswant Singh has been lobbying for his candidature for the post of Vice President for sometime. He has reportedly discussed the issue within and outside the party. Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, whose SAD is part of the NDA, has also been talked about as a possible Vice Presidential candidate.

probe charges against cabinet ministers for alleged irregularities in coal blocks allocation. Reacting to her remarks, Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid, said: "There are many questions they (Team Anna) must first answer. I don't think they have a right to ask questions... I don't think they are being very helpful or good to the democracy in our country." "We all felt that they started off with a good idea - the idea of containing corruption or questioning corruption. But now they are doing greatest disservice to this idea by converting it into a personal campaign and personal ambition," he said. Khurshid added the country would give them a suitable answer at an

appropriate time. "They (Team Anna) never ask for probe against themselves. We are at least subject to public scrutiny every five years when we go to election... We are ready for any public scrutiny," he said. "..Every time an honest question is asked about their activities... They start screaming or shouting," he added. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that Team Anna has "its own way of saying things but the truth is that the prime minister has failed to check corruption in the government". "The prime minister is responsible for checking corruption but he has failed to give a corruption free government," said BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain.

SC refuses to stay order quashing 4.5% subquota for minorities

The Supreme Court of India on Monday said it cannot entertain Centre's plea for stay of Andhra Pradesh HC order quashing 4.5% minority sub-quota for admissions and jobs within 27% OBC reservation unless the government produces material to show a detailed exercise was undertaken to carve out the sub-quota. It gave time to the Centre to produce the documents and put the matter for hearing. The apex court repeatedly asked the government as to why no material for carving out the minority sub-quota was produced before the HC. It said the 27% OBC reservation had been going on for more than a decade and that the Centre should have referred the issue to National Commission for Backward Classes and National Commission for Minorities before taking a decision for 4.5% sub-quota. The SC said the Centre

since 2003.” They further agreed that the next round of talks on Siachen would be held in New Delhi on mutually convenient dates to be fixed through diplomatic channels. Pak demand Emerging from talks with a delegation led by her Indian counterpart Shashikant Sharma, Pakistan’s Defence Secretary Nargis Sethi said Islamabad wants both sides to simultaneously pull out troops from Siachen. The deployment of troops on the glacier is affecting the envi-

I will fight for women's rights in Parliament: Dimple Yadav

Dimple Yadav, the newly-elected MP from Kannauj, on Tuesday said she would fight for women's rights in Parliament. "I will use my position as MP to fight for women's rights," Dimple told mediapersons after collecting her victory certificate from district electoral officer Selva Kumari. Dimple, who has been elected unopposed from Kannauj parliamentary seat, was accompanied by her husband and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Talking to reporters, Yadav promised a slew of reforms for the constituency, including improvement in the power situation, upgradation of a hospital and setting up of an engineering college. "Problems of the people of Kannauj would be sorted out on priority and stern action would be taken against those playing with the law and order situation," Yadav said. Dimple is the second woman representing the constituency. Earlier in 1984, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was elected from Kannauj.

Bangalore, Pune blasts accused murdered in jail

Suspected Indian Mujahiddeen operative Qateel Mohammed Jaffer Siddiqui, named in the German Bakery blast and the Bangalore terror attacks, was found murdered inside his cell in Pune's Yerawada Central Jail, police said. Siddiqui was found strangled with a thin rope inside his cell in the high-security jail, a police official said. Preliminary investigations point to a gang war among members of rival mafia gangs in the prison which could have led to Siddiqui's killing. Siddiqui had been caught by Delhi police in November 2011. He was arrested for involvement in the Chinnaswamy Stadium blast in Bangalore besides an aborted bid to blow up the Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganesh Temple in Pune last year.

Father kills Sonipat teen for honour

was blaming the HC for not appreciating the facts when it produced no material before it. Attorney General G E Vahanvati agreed that the government did not argue the matter properly before the HC but sought stay of the order to allow IITs, which are conducting counselling at present, to take students under the 4.5% minority subquota which could be subject to final outcome of the appeal. But, the court refused saying without looking at the material it would not pass any interim order.

No breakthrough in India-Pak Siachen talks

India and Pakistan were on Tuesday unable to make any forward movement in ending the military standoff on Siachen, merely committing themselves to “serious, sustained and result-oriented efforts” for an amicable settlement of the issue over the world’s highest battlefield. “Both sides reaffirmed their resolve to make serious, sustained and result-oriented efforts for seeking an amicable resolution of Siachen,” said a joint statement issued at the end of the two-day talks on the issue, in Islamabad. It was agreed to continue the dialogue on Siachen in keeping with the desire of the leaders of both the countries for early resolution of all outstanding issues, the statement said. The two countries “acknowledged that the ceasefire (in Siachen) was holding

In Focus

ronment and talks on the issue should be speeded up, she told reporters. During the talks, the two sides “explained their respective stances” and reiterated stated positions, diplomatic and official sources from both sides. The second day of talks was largely devoted to working out the joint statement, the sources said. The joint statement said the talks were held in a “cordial and friendly atmosphere”. Islamabad has stepped up calls to demilitarise the Siachen glacier in the wake of an avalanche that killed 139 people at a high-altitude Pakistan army camp on April 7. The two-day talks on Siachen, part of the resumed dialogue process between India and Pakistan, were held at the Defence Ministry in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

In a suspected case of honour killing, a 17year-old girl was strangled to death allegedly by her father for having an affair with a youth in Ramnagar colony of Sonipat last week. Brijesh Singh, belonging to a Rajput community and employed in a local factory, allegedly killed his daughter when she was asleep in her room. His wife Nirmla called up the police after the incident and the accused courted arrest while confessing to his crime. The family originally hails from Azamgarh district in Uttar Pradesh and had settled in Sonipat over a decade back. The victim's mother revealed that they were angry with their daughter as she had been having an affair with a youth living in the same locality. "We tried to persuade her to mend her ways but she did not listen to us. We had also withdrawn her from the school recently," said Nirmla. Rai police station SHO admitted that the girl had been withdrawn from school as she used to return late from her classes. But the police refused to buy the theory that she was killed merely for going steady with a neighbourhood boy.

Modi’s foe Sanjay Joshi quits BJP

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sanjay Joshi has resigned from the party. "He has sent his resignation to (BJP president) Nitin Gadkari," said a party leader. The move comes after Joshi, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's known foe, had to resign from the BJP's national executive in Mumbai last month. Modi agreed to attend the party's national executive only after Gadkari asked Joshi to leave the panel. Modi and Joshi have been at loggerheads for years. Modi stayed away from campaigning in Uttar Pradesh this year after Gadkari made Joshi a key person in the election campaign. Both Modi and Joshi have strong ties with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

111 children dead due to AES in Bihar

Altogether 111 children have died due to Acute Encephalitis Symdrome(AES) in Bihar since May and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has asked the union health secretary to send a central team to help in tackling the disease.


INDIA

Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

27

Dharmik Pandya keeps alive the dying art of Aakhyaan AV Correspondent At 81, Dharmik Pandya barely gets the energy to perform an Aakhyaan but for the sake of maintaining a dying art, Pandya never says no to an invitation which many times come even from other parts of the country. Travelling is difficult for Pandya and performing for two hours continuously without any break is even more difficult. But for the sake of keeping the tradition alive for the younger generation and for the love of the art form, Pandya never refuses to perform even in the worst of weather conditions. Aakhyaan is a century old tradition where a Leela of the gods or poems written by poets are presented by a person and sung in the folklore form. The performance lasts for about two or three hours and is performed by a single person with the help of two others, one on tabla and the other on harmonium. Aakhyan is performed throughout in Gujarati interspersed with Sanskrit. A favourite art form with the Maharaja of Baroda, Sayajirao Gaekwad, it was encouraged not only by him but even the maharani and later the son of Sayajirao, Ranjitsinh Gaekwad. Speaking about the form of this art, Pandya said, “When there were no tabla and harmoniums, the only accomplice was that of a manjira.’’ He said that the narrator- and at present he being the only one in Gujarat, also performs with a Mann (or ghada) and for that too the person gets a special training. The person also called the Maanbhatt has to have a trained voice for singing as well. For Pandya he has been lucky that his father had given him an all round training beginning from narration, reading of Sanskrit and playing the ghada. Pandya also received a training of singing from his father. The process of the narration was on from the time of the Maharaja Sayijirao Gaekwad, who would then invite Dharmik’s father to the palace and take him around if there were requests for performances in other neighbouring kingdoms. “I would accompany him as a child to play the

Woman pilot saves 48 on AI’s Guwahati flight

manjira and grew up with this tradition and that was like my formal education,’’ said Pandya. He said after the maharaja even the maharani would call them if they had any guests at the palace. He recalls as

traits of Aakhyan and they too have picked up, but they do not perform in public platforms and they do not have the time as well,’’ said Pandya. He admits that in the present day it is difficult to sustain an art form like Aakhyan. He says that though his sons who are engaged in alternative employment do realise that they need to protect the dying form of art but they realise that they are not able to give the time and the attention that it requires. For an optimistic Dharmikbhai he is glad that his sons are making some attempt to keep the art form alive but sadly concludes that there would be no one to talk about Narsinh Mehta which has been one of his favourite narrations apart from Bhagwat Gita.

a child many a times they would be out of home for days. His father and he both specialises in the narration of prose of Narsinh Mehta and even of famous poet Zaverichand Meghani. “Their poems are restricted to books and not even the younger generation is aware of some of the poems but through the narration of Aakhyaan they do develop interest,’’ said Pandya. He says that for people outside the state who are not too aware of the poets of Gujarat they prefer hearing the Bhagwat Gita or parts of Mahabharat in the folk lore form. Pandya says that the way his father had passed on the tradition to him, he too would have loved to pass on the tradition to his two sons. “I have taught them the

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Name of the Nominee: ___________________________________________________________________________________ Forty-eight passengers and four crew members of an Air India ATR flight from Silchar to Guwahati had a miraculous escape on Sunday morning when the female captain and her copilot managed to land the aircraft safely despite losing a front wheel mid-air. “The pilot hovered above Guwahati for more than one hour to burn the fuel and reduce the weight of the aircraft for landing with its tail first. Immediately on touchdown, the pilots pulled the brakes and cut off the engine,” a source said. Chief minister Tarun Gogoi congratulated Captain Urmila Yadav and her co-pilot Yashu for averting a disaster and saving 48 passengers on board. The CM’s office said that Gogoi called up Capt Urmila and conveyed his thanks to her and Yashu for their courage and dexterity by landing the flight at Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International airport. “Hats off to you and your co-pilot for your daring and courageous act which saved the precious lives of the passengers,” Gogoi told Capt Urmila.

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28

TrAvel & women

Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

women achievers Archana Shah has defined ethnicity through Bandhej By AV Correspondent

The ican r e m A m a e r D America is full of incredible places to visit, from the glittering city of New York, to sunny Florida, fun in Las Vegas' casinos or seeing breathtaking sights like the Grand Canyon. If you have only a weekend free, it is only a short flight to New York where you can pack in a Broadway show, see amazing views from the Empire State Building and take a ferry to Ellis island to visit the Statue of Liberty. You'll be able to squeeze in shopping at fantastic malls like Macy's and Bloomingdales for great bargains. The best place to stay is the Intercontinental Times Square as its location is downtown and easily accessible to the major hotspots. If you can spare a week or two, and with the numerous internal flight connections across the continent, take a twin centre holiday and fly to California after New York. If it's a family trip, go to Los Angeles and can enjoy Universal Studios with magical rides from scenes in Hollywood blockbusters, and enjoy Disneyland's thrilling rides. Or if it is adults only, take a tour through Napa Valley's vineyards and learn about Californian wines on a cycling tour. Of course San Francisco is only a few hours drive so hire a car and drive the scenic route along the coast for amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. Once there, the must see is Alcatraz, a notorious prison located on an island off the bay which closed in 1963, where you can visit cells, and learn about life for inmates. San Francisco is also home to the Golden Gate Bridge, an iconic landmark and the city is known for its hilly landscape, so the best way to travel is to take a tram downtown for fantastic sights, shopping and restaurants.

Great hotels to stay in are W hotel or the Hyatt at Fisherman's Wharf which are ideally located for shopping, sightseeing and restaurants. Other top tourist spots to visit in the USA include: Las Vegas where you will be dazzled by the glittering hotels on Las Vegas Strip. Fantastic hotels to stay at include the Bellagio or Monte Carlo Resort Casino; or another holiday option for sun worshippers is to stay in Miami and for a luxurious experience, book into the Acqualina Resort and Spa. For fun, go people-watching on the boardwalks and enjoy the amazing nightlife with busy bars and restaurants. If you want to see the most iconic American landmarks, visit Niagara falls which you can get to from New York; visit Arizona and ideally catch a sunrise over the Grand Canyon, or explore Yellowstone National Park set aside in 1872 to preserve the vast number of geysers and hot springs, as well as to protect the incredible wildlife and rugged beauty of the area. And of course to see the hot seat in America, stop off at the Whitehouse in Washington DC. To book your American dream holiday, call Brightsun Travel who offer amazing value deals on the hotels mentioned and many others, and can arrange personalized tours. Brightsun have special summer package offers available on many destinations. A great family package for Disneyworld Orlando including flights, transfers, 7 nights and Disneyworld's Ultimate Ticket(unlimited admission) starts from just £879pp. Brightsun Travel offers a price match promise on worldwide flights and holidays so you will get the best deals. To book your next trip, call Brightsun Travel on 0208 819 0486 or visit www.brightsun.co.uk

Archana Shah has defined ethnicity through Bandhej, a store which offers both traditional and contemporary collection for both men and women. Based in Ahmedabad, Bandhej's collections are sold through its lifestyle store in Ahmedabad and through other exclusive and lifestyle stores in Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, Goa and Surat. Started by National Institute of Design graduate Shah in 1980, Bandhej also incorporates western styles in its range of designs, making the collection a trendy urban wear one with a very Indian essence. At these outlets you cannot miss out and you have to spot on entering the store a range of stunning jackets, short kurtas and shirts for women in silk, in a range of Rs 2,000 to 4,000 plus. Some are delicately embroidered, some have tie and dye work, some have a generous splash of mukaish work on the bodice and some are

embellished with pintucks. This is the western wear section for women and also has short tops in cotton, gorgeous A-line skirts, comfortable drawstring pants and capris and very trendy silk pants. Shah has also a collection of sequined knitted tops in different styles here, starting from Rs 800 onwards. The men’s wear mainly comprises kurtas and

shirts. The kurtas are available in different styles, in cotton and silk. While the cotton kurtas for men are around Rs 800 and above, the silk ones start around Rs 1,900 and are ideal wear for festive occasions or family events. Coming back to the more varied women’s wear, the next section is dedicated to Indian clothes, ie, salwar kameez and sarees. There’s a whiff of

Gujarat in Bandhej’s trademark embroidery on the kurtas, available in colors like lemon yellow, light green, all time favorite white and black and in bright jewel tones like red, green, yellow etc. If you like tie and dye work, then there are salwar kameez sets in beautiful contrasts with plain kurtas and tie and dye salwars and dupattas. These are paired with salwars, churidars or straight pants and priced around Rs 2,000 and above. You can also pick up intricately embroidered stoles apart from block printed or woven dupattas to complement your look. Bandhej also stocks beautiful sarees, from patolas to benarasis. They also have a limited collection of stylish cholis in brocade, lycra mesh and other fabrics that can be altered to your measurement. The store also stocks woven mojris (traditional flat shoes) and silk bags. Bandhej has worked with weavers and rural craftsmen for decades and the difference shows in the designs.

Bangalore girl wins Indian Spell Bee “Belligerent” was one of the words that Samvida Venkatesh spelt right at the Indian Spell Bee's grand finale. The Class IX student from Bangalore won the HDFC Life Spell Bee India Spells 2012, powered by The Times of India, in association with Horlicks. "I'm an avid reader. I started reading at the age of four," says Samvida, from National Public School in Indiranagar, Bangalore, who lists Jeffrey Archer, Dan Brown, Suzanne Collins and JK Rowling as her favourite authors. Samvida's prize includes a trip to the United States to be part of the audience at the Scripps Spelling Bee, held every year in Washington DC. The cash prize of Rs 100,000 will be deposited in the bank, says the teenager, whose parents are engineers. If Delhi's Sukant Koul, was disappointed at not winning, he didn't let it show. The Amity International School student stood second, but says he didn't expect to come this far. "We didn't think it was a great achievement when he became a city finalist, until we saw his photograph in the newspaper," says his mother, Sarita Koul. She hopes her daughter, now in Class 4, would take part in the competition some day.

Rajma Ingredients: Red Kidney beans (Rajma) - 1 cup, Onion - 1(finely minced), Tomato - 2 (crushed or pureed), Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tsp, Green chili – 1, Turmeric - ¼ tsp Chilly powder - ½ tsp, Coriander /dhania powder - 1 tsp, Channa masala/ Garam Masala ¼ tsp, Salt - to taste , Ghee - ¼ tsp , Oil - 1 tsp, Cumin seeds - ¼ tsp , Coriander leaves - for garnishing Method: Soak the kidney beans for at least 5-6 hours or overnight. Wash the beans and cook them with water and salt until the beans become tender. If pressure cooker is used the beans should be done in 1-2 whistles. If left longer, the beans will become mushy. Heat oil in a pan and splutter cumin seeds. Next fry the chopped onions and green chilies until the onions become translucent. Next add the ginger-garlic paste and fry till the raw smell vanishes. Add the crushed

tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are nicely cooked. Add turmeric powder, chilly powder, coriander powder, channa masala/chicken masala powder and saute for a minute. Now add the cooked kidney beans along with the cooked water. Let the gravy simmer for 10 minutes until everything blends together. Garnish with coriander leaves and add the ghee on top. This goes very well with jeera rice, white rice (rajma chaawal) and roti varieties. Nutrition: Kidney Beans are rich in soluble fiber, so these are good in lowering cholesterol. They are a good source of protein, folate, iron, manganese and zinc. Kidney bean is also a good source of iron and potassium, thiamin, riboflavin, phosphorus and copper.


HealtH WatcH

Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

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How junk food affects our digestion Now, eat salt without worrying! How much salt to include in our diets has always been a controversial subject, but a European study has concluded that salt consumption is not dangerous and may in fact, be beneficial. The study contradicts the American Medical Association, American Heart Association and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which advocate that higher sodium consumption can increase the risk of heart disease. The researchers studied 3,681 middle-aged Europeans who did not have high blood pressure or heart disease. The participants were divided into three groups: low salt; moderate salt and high salt consumption. The results showed there were 50 deaths in the low salt group, 24 in the moderate consumption group and only 10 in the high consumption group. Furthermore, the heart disease risk in the low consumption group was 56 pc higher. Hence, the researchers conclud-

ed that lesser salt the participants ate, the more likely they would die from heart disease. "The optimal level of salt in our diets has been a controversial subject for at least 20 years," said co-authors Dian Griesel, Ph.D. and Tom Griesel. "There is no disagreement that high blood pressure (even moderately high) is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. However, salt consumption does not seem to have the same effect on everyone. In addition, there is usually no distinction on the type of salt used. There are many naturally harvested salts that also contain many trace minerals, which undoubtedly have an effect. Medical literature on salt consumption (like many other things) is inconsistent," Griesel added.

Human body needs fluid balance, not just water

Drinking lots of water alone is not necessarily good or won't get you to lose weight. Fluid intake through other beverages can be equally beneficial, says an expert in Australia who researched on the subject. "Our bodies need about two litres of fluids daily, not two litres of water specifically," said Spero Tsindos from La Trobe University, who examined why we consume so much water. "Thirty years ago you didn't see a plastic water bottle anywhere, now they appear as fashion accessories. As tokens of instant gratification and

symbolism, the very bottle itself is seen as cool and hip," Tsindos was quoted as saying in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. "Drinking large amounts of water does not alone cause weight loss. A low-calorie diet is also required," he said. "Research has also revealed that water in food eaten has a greater benefit in weight reduction than avoiding foods altogether. We should be telling people that beverages like tea and coffee contribute to a person's fluid needs and despite their caffeine content, do not lead to dehydration. "We need to maintain fluid balance and should drink water, but also consider fluid in unprocessed fruits and vegetables and juices," added Tsindos.

Good digestion is very crucial for maintaining healthy immune function. A healthy digestive system depends on a healthy diet. Modern-day life can be extremely busy and hectic. Parents have full-time jobs and a number of other personal commitments, leaving them with no time to pay attention to their children's diet. Dr S K Thakur, a Consultant for Gastroenterology, tells us about how exactly the junk food affects our digestion. Eating an abundance of junk seems normal to today's generation. Over the past few years, in urban metropolitan cities, the tradition of eating home cooked Indian food is swapped by quick fix snacks, chips and biscuits etc. Easy availability and low cost are a major cause for the growing fad for junk food among kids. Recently a study among private school-going children was conducted in Delhi and NCR. This study showed that the risk of hypertension, obesity and high blood sugar in these children was as high as 25%. In other words, one out of every four kids among

the urban affluent population is suffering from the above three diseases. Junk food is a classic example of unbalanced diet usually characterized by high proportion of carbohydrates, refined sugar, salt, fats and low nutritional value, which can raise various health concerns like obesity, cardiac disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure etc. These food are processed and refined in such a way that they lose most of the key nutrients, have low fiber and poor water content. Effects of junk food on our digestive system: Junk food is unhealthy for digestive system as they slowdown the digestion process making the stomach bloated. In order to digest food, stomach needs enzymes and fast food does not have them. When food is absorbed by the intestine it requires fiber and water to excrete but they don't have such nutrients which leads to poor digestion and irri-

table bowels. Ways to keep healthy digestion • Keep a count on calories intake. One should not have food just for the purpose of satisfying taste buds, but should be aware of the nutritional value it provides. • Cut down on refined sugar. Don't have sweets and chocolates on an empty stomach as it sharply affects the body's biochemistry. • Cut down caffeine. Caffeinated drinks like tea, coffee etc dehydrate the body; thus look out for alternatives such as juices, green tea etc as a healthier way out. • Exercise regularly. Make exercise part of your daily routine. • Increase intake of seasonal fruits and vegeta-

Eating more fruits, veggies may help kick the butt

Eating more fruits and vegetables may help you stay off tobacco for longer, says a new study. The study, undertaken by University of Buffalo (UB) public health researchers, is the first on the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and smoking cessation. The researchers surveyed 1,000 smokers aged 25 and older from around the country, using random-digit dialing telephone interviews. They followed up with the respondents 14 months later, asking them if they had abstained from tobacco use during the previous month, according to a university statement. "Other studies have taken a snapshot approach, asking smokers and non-smokers about their diets," said Gary A Giovino, Buffalo head of the department of community health and health behaviour. "What we didn't know was whether recent quitters increased their fruit and vegetable consumption or if smokers who ate

more fruits and vegetables were more likely to quit," added Giovino. The UB study found that smokers who consumed the most fruit and vegetables were three times more likely to be tobacco-free for at least 30 days at follow-up 14 months later than those consuming the lowest amount of fruits and vegetables.

These findings persisted even when adjustments were made to take into account age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, household income and health orientation. "We may have identified a new tool that can help people quit smoking," said Jeffrey P Haibach, study co-author and graduate research assistant in Giovino's department.

bles. One can have fruits like apple or any other seasonal fruit as part of midday snacks. • Take time to enjoy food. Eat slowly and allow yourself to focus on the task of eating, letting the body concentrate on the job of digestion. A meal that's not completely digested can stress and overload the body. • Adequate sleep. It is advisable to sleep for at least seven to eight hours a day as an exhausted body leads to poor health. • Eat small meals. It is always better to take small frequent meals rather than larger infrequent meals. A word of advice for parents: Banning junk food never works. Parents should find out a way to keep the balance by combining junk food along with nutritious food. Include a healthy regime in your lifestyle as children always look up to their parents. Encourage cycling/walking to the school if possible. Accompany your kid in outdoor games. Recreational activities are very essential in the otherwise busy academic schedule of your children.

Barefoot running, the new fitness fad It's the latest fad that has caught attention for its health benefits. The wellshod runners are getting competition from minimal footwear runners. If you are curious about barefoot running, these tips will guide you through a safe transition. Well-known shoe expert Tobie Hatfield gives us the scoop why barefoot is so popular in the West. • The natural motion of barefoot training helps in strengthening feet and increase flexibility • The idea is to take notice of one's feet in the similar way one does for other parts of the body. • One feels the sensory nerves. And because there are minimal impact forces on landing, it can be very comfortable provided you develop calluses on your feet. • Running barefoot also means that less energy is spent and has been shown to use about 5% less energy than shod running. • A strong foot, is less likely to develop a collapsed arch. • One must build up slowly by practicing walking around barefoot frequently. Walk a quarter mile to one mile every other day.

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UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

CB Live is the only Gujarati live programme in UK on Television Sarvam Trust is a long established and well run and valuable charity services for children. They are our sponsored charity for the 12th Asian Achievers Awards, to be held on 14 September at Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane. Mr Subhash Thaker is a Trustee of the Charity and also he is a Vice President (UK and Europe) of the Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces, CB with Subhash will discuss about the charity and why they deserve to be supported by our community in the UK. Hasmukh Shah is a well known personality not only from Vadodara and Gujarat but also from all over the world. A former Chairman and MD of Petrochemical Ltd (IPCL), former joint Secretary of PM Morarji Desai, he is also the Chairman of Darshak Ithihas Nidhi Studies in History, who has published a phenomenal book recently, called The Gujarat and the Sea, which was launched at Nehru Centre on 13th June at 6pm. Mrs Nila Hasmukh Shah is a well known personality in her right, who works for nature conservation, ecology, preservation of heritage etc. CB will discuss with Mr and Mrs Shah the various aspects of their activities.

Sneh Joshi - 020 8518 5500 Jupiter, the planet of growth and expansion entered Gemini, your solar third house, on June 11th. During this long-term trend, from June 2012 to June 2013, educational and communication opportunities present themselves and your ideas will be well received.

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20

7pm to 8pm Every Thursday

If you do not have a SKY, go to www.tvunetworks.com and watch CB Live on TVU Player Channel 75203

CB LIVE Every Thursday on MATV (SKY 793) 7pm to 8pm For more information email: cblive_matv@yahoo.co.uk or call Alka Shah on 07944 151 893

Leicester hosts the Dharmic mela Since Monday 11th June 2012 across the UK Hindu Temples, organisations, companies and families are pledging to buy organic milk. So far the internet campaign www.godharmic.com has over 4500 registered pledges and 17 Organisations involved including some of the largest Hindu temples in the country. The cause has found particular favour on the internet with over 30,000 Go Dharmic users to date. The campaign could not be timelier with the rise in applications for industrial dairy operations to host thousands of cows, threatening to change the landscape of the UK farming industry. The Go Dharmic campaign is a small but significant step towards promoting more ethical dairy farming where animal welfare is given the highest priority. MP for Preston Mark Hendrix said of the campaign, it is great to see the work of

Go Dharmic raising awareness on issues that affect animal welfare’. The Go Dharmic Mela is a free event at the Sanatan Hindu Mandir on Sunday 17th June. It will see representatives from over 100 organisations receive a presentation at 12.15pm on how to get to Organic slaughter free milk something 98% of 500 Hindu’s surveyed said they would be happy with. Anybody who is interested in Dharmic values is welcome to attend. Martin Palmer, Director of ARC, The alliance for religions and conservation was quoted saying “The sacred cow has often been a source of much amusement in the west because they never understood it. If we were to take seriously what the sacred cow stands for, this provider, this mother of our needs, and understood what the Dharmic traditions have been saying all along. This could revolutionize the way we eat.”

Coming Events l Tribute to Dr Bhupen Hazarika at Nehru Centre on Tuesday, 26 June 2012 at 7:00pm. The Nehru, 8 South Audley Street, London W1K 1HF l The Winning Mindset – 9th Young Jains UK Convention, Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd Jul 2012, Canons High School, Shaldon Road, Edgware, Middlesex, HA8 6AN l Om Shakti day Centre and Senior Ladies Group celebrate The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, 13 June, 10am-3pm, Byron Hall, Harrow Leisure Centre, HA3 5BD. Contact: Ranjan Manek: 07930335978 l Love of Faith. A Landmark charity walk in Cemtral London embracing six great world faiths Jainism • Buddhism • Hinduism • Judaism • Christianity • Islam led by Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai, Founder, Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur supported by the Jain Community of UK. Saturday, June 30, 2012 l Beyond Time music concert: Popular ghazalgeet of Jagjit Singh on Sunday, 17th June at the Lowry, salford Quays. Contact: 08432086010 l Gujarat and the Sea, Nehru Centre, 13 June, 6pm onwards. Entry FREE l Chinmaya Mission UK presents “Swaranjaneya” - A musical offering to Lord Hanuman with Swami Tejomayananda, world-wide head of Chinmaya Mission. Contact 07825 615 493 or www.chinmayauk.org

Editor: CB Patel Associate Editor: Rupanjana Dutta Tel: 020 7749 4098 - Email: rupanjana.dutta@abplgroup.com Senior News Editor: Dhiren Katwa Freelance Correspondent: Rudy Otter Chief Operating Officer: Liji George Tel: 020 7749 4013 Email: george@abplgroup.com Chief Financial Officer: Surendra Patel Tel: 020 7749 4093 Mobile: 07875 229 220 Email: surendra.patel@abplgroup.com Accounts Executive: Akshay Desai Tel: 020 7749 4087 Email: accounts@abplgroup.com Business Manager: Alka Shah Tel: 020 7749 4002 - Mobile: 07944 151 893 Email: alka.shah@abplgroup.com Advertising Manager: Kishor Parmar Tel: 020 7749 4095 - Mobile: 07875 229 088 Email: kishor.parmar@abplgroup.com Business Development Managers: Rovin J George - Email: rovin.george@abplgroup.com Tel: 020 7749 4097 - Mobile: 07875 229 219 Nihir Shah - Email: nihir.shah@abplgroup.com Tel: 020 7749 4089 - Mobile: 07875 229 111 Urja Patel - Email: urja.patel@abplgroup.com Design and Layout: Harish Dahya & Ajay Kumar Tel: 020 7749 4086 Email: graphics@abplgroup.com Customer Service: Ragini Nayak Tel: 020 7749 4080 - Email: support@abplgroup.com (BPO) AB Publication (India) Pvt. Ltd. 207 Shalibhadra Complex, Opp. Jain Derasar, Nr. Nehru Nagar Circle, Ambawadi, Ahmedabad Tel/Fax: +91 79 2646 6061 Bureau Chief: Nilesh Parmar (M) +919426636912 Email: nilesh.parmar@abplgroup.com Consultant (P.R): Kamlesh Amin Tel: +91 922 710 4308 Email: kamlesh.amin@abplgroup.com Consulting Editor (BPO): Bhupatbhai Parekh, Ahmedabad, Gujarat Tel: +91 79 2630 4142 Mumbai: Kanti Bhatt, Hemraj Shah (Jumbo Advertiser) Horizon Advertising & Marketing: 205 Shalibhadra Complex, Opp. Jain Derasar, Nr. Nehru Nagar Circle, Ambawadi, Ahmedabad Tel / Fax: +91 79 2646 5960 (M) +91 9913346487 Email: horizonadvt2009@yahoo.in Neeta Patel, (Advertising Manager) (M) +91 98255 11702 International Advertisement Representative: Jain Group(South India) Tel: +91 44 42041122/3/4 Fax: +91 44 25362973 Mumbai: +91 222471 4122 Email: jainmedia@eth.net

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TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21

From June 11th, Jupiter transits your solar second house. During this cycle, you are likely to see and enjoy benefits to your earning power and this will boost your own sense of security and wealth. Money problems from the past may clear up, if you manage your resources properly.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 From June 11th forward, Jupiter transits your sign. This transit heightens your optimism and generosity, and the entire cycle has the potential for being a relaxed, fortunate, and hopeful time in your life. Furthering your personal ambitions comes more easily.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22 From June 11th forward, Jupiter transits your solar twelfth house. This transit brings benefits to activities that take place "behind the scenes". Meditation and retreats may be particularly helpful to you now, as they regenerate and invigorate your spirit. With Jupiter riding high in your 11th house, you should enjoy a very popular phase in your life where everyone wants to invite you to parties. This will give you a chance to meet people of your own calibre and pursue any romantic liaisons that might present themselves.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23 With Jupiter in your solar 10th house, your career is lit up and bodes well for the coming year. Some of you will be in a reflective mood and taking stock of your lives and working out the best direction to take. This is a good time to re-assess your home and work balance. Expansive Jupiter in LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23 your Solar 9th house of travel and spirituality is good for widening your horizons. Business dealings, particularly long-distance ones and those involving publicity and promotion, are likely to be profitable now.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

Jupiter transits your solar eighth house of joint finances, loans, taxes, sexuality, and psychological matters. This is a time of increased accumulation of wealth and in some cases, a significant tax refund or inheritance, or other such benefits.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

Jupiter in your opposite sign makes you feel invincible, but the way to utilise this transit is to sift through all the opportunities that come your way. You know you have no choice but to streamline and reassess your priorities. Try to create a balance between expansion and conservation.

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

If your ambitions have been undefined, don't worry as from now on, you understand exactly what kind of impact you need to make on the world. Jupiter in your work sector rules your daily life. All those little details should run perfectly, without you constantly worrying. Health-wise you will be feeling fit and relaxed.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

Jupiter, planet of growth and expansion entered your solar fifth house on June 11th. You are likely to see benefits, and experience growth, in the areas of romance, creative expression and children. For single Aquarians, meeting a special person is highly likely.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20

Jupiter, the planet of plenty graces your solar 4th house for some time to come, bringing noticeable improvements to your environment. This will hold you in good stead as you have a lot of important jobs to finish around the house such as decorating and for some buying or selling of properties.


Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

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Action at a Glance Sammy confident of West Indies beating England in ODI series

West Indies captain Darren Sammy has said his side expects to win their upcoming one-day series against England after finishing the Test campaign with a flourish. Although rain washed out three of the five days in the third Test here at Edgbaston, the West Indies' total of 426 featured an unbeaten century from wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin, a stylish 76 by Marlon Samuels and Tino Best's 95, the highest score by No 11 in a test match. Sammy said the consistent failure to win the key moments in another competitive series for West Indies led to their 2-0 Test series defeat against England. The West Indies captain said his side-lacked consistency throughout the three-Test series which drew to a wet conclusion on Monday at Edgbaston. West Indies' recent results in ODIs suggest that they are far better side and with Chris Gayle back on board, they have one of the world's leading limited overs batsmen in their line-up. Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell and Dwayne and Darren Bravo could also pose problems to an England side captained by Alastair Cook in one-dayers.

Sachin Tendulkar gets Wisden India award

Senior Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar was presented the Wisden India Outstanding Achievement award for completing a century of 100 international hundreds in Dubai. Tendulkar had achieved the milestone while playing against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup in March. The event was organised by FidelisWorld and the iconic batsman was presented with a trophy. Made from crystal, it features a cricket ball resting on the open pages of a book. The 49 oneday international centuries that Tendulkar has made are listed on one side, and his 51 Test hundreds on the other. Tendulkar spoke on various aspects of his career at the function such as his favourite innings - the match-winning fourth-innings hundred against England at Chennai in December 2008 - balancing play and personal life, and the influence that his late father had in shaping his career.

Kevin Pietersen wants to play in T20 World Cup

Kevin Pietersen still hopes he can play in the Twenty20 World Cup for England despite retiring from all oneday internationals last week, he said on Sunday. Pietersen reaffirmed that he did not wish to retire from Twenty20 internationals, but that he had "no regrets" about his decision, because his England and Wales Cricket Board contract does not allow him to pick and choose between 50 and 20 over cricket. "I hope a compromise can be found," Pietersen told reporters.

Asian Voice - Saturday 16th June 2012

Rafa Nadal wins record seventh French Open

Spain's Rafa Nadal sank to his knees in celebration after beating Serbia's Novak Djokovic 6-4 6-3 2-6 7-5 to win a record seventh French Open title on Monday. The number two seed overtook Sweden's Bjorn Borg, who won six Roland Garros titles, and ended Djokovic's hopes of becoming the third man to win four consecutive grand slams. "For me it is a great honour," Nadal said, clutching the Musketeers Cup under his arm, after the presentation ceremony on court. "This tournament is probably the most special in the world and having this trophy with me I am really emotional. It is probably one of the most special moments in my career." Play had been suspended on Sunday, because of rain, with the Spaniard a break down in the fourth set, but he broke back in the first game after the resumption, having rediscovered the penetrating fizz that deserted him in the damp conditions of the previous evening. Then Nadal had moaned vociferously about the wet surface that made conditions underfoot treacherous and the ball hard to see, but he came out refreshed on Monday with the bit between his teeth. He was back to the player who had raced into a 3-0 lead in the first set on Sunday, managing to generate his vicious top spin on the dry balls. After Monday's early break, Djokovic did all he could to resist the Mallorcan's charge, holding serve until the 12th game when Nadal

woman to win all four major tournaments.

conjured up a forehand winner after a 10-shot rally to set up match point. Djokovic's dream ended with a double fault, leaving Nadal to hoist aloft the trophy in front of a packed Court Philippe Chatrier. Red-letter day for Sharapova

Already a big name on the red carpet, Maria Sharapova is now a champion on the red clay, too. The Russian star won the French Open on Saturday, defeating Sara Errani 6-3, 6-2 in the final at Roland Garros to complete the career Grand Slam.

Second-seeded Sharapova, who was guaranteed of moving to No. 1 in the world regardless of the result, jumped to a quick 4-0 lead against the 21st-seeded Errani, who was in her first Grand Slam final. But Errani battled back on a cool, blustery day in Paris, turning what looked like a blowout into an 89minute endurance contest, filled with long rallies that forced Sharapova to find another gear. Eventually, Sharapova's bigger serve and bigger ground strokes wore down Errani, who at 5-foot-4, stands 9 inches shorter than her opponent. When Errani netted a short backhand on the third match point, Sharapova dropped gingerly to her knees and buried her head in her hands, then reached back and looked heavenward - a long, hard journey back to the top finally capped with the only major title that had eluded her. Sharapova added this year’s French Open title to championships at Wimbledon in 2004, the US Open in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008 to become only the 10th

Mixed doubles crown for Bhupathi-Sania Mirza After 73-minutes of action on an windy Parisian night, the all-Indian combine of Bhupathi and Sania Mirza clinched their second Grand Slam mixed doubles title as a team, beating the unseeded pairing of Klaudia JansIgnacik of Poland and Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 in the French Open final. The powerful 25-year-old Hyderabadi, who held the team together at the start of the final when Bhupathi seemed to have left his best shots, promptly declared that the twosome “were the team to beat”. Sania and Bhupathi won their first Grand Slam

title together in 2009 (Australian Open) which incidentally was the last major title Bhupathi won before Thursday. In the past fortnight Sania was scintillating from the back of the court while the Bangalorean was sharp at the net: together they makeup one of the best returning teams on the Tour.

Saina Nehwal conquers Thailand Open

It was yet another superb show on Sunday as Saina Nehwal clinched her 16th title with a 19-21, 21-15, 2110 win over Thailand’s Ratchanok Inathon in the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold title in Bangkok. Saina, who won the Swiss Open two months ago, had faltered in the two preceding major tournaments and there were some doubts about her preparation for the London Olympic Games. However, Saina showed her detractors that she is in fine form and her maiden win in Bangkok will boost her confidence as she tests the waters in the Indonesia Super Series later this week. An elated Saina, however, said she neither has the time to celebrate nor does she want to relate it to her chances at the Olympics. “I am extremely happy with this

victory. But I have no time to celebrate now. It was a very tough week as almost all matches were quite close and tiring. I want to get as much sleep as possible before the Indonesia Super Series,” she said from Bangkok. “Though this win will make me a bit stronger I

don’t know if it enhances my chances at the Olympics. There are more than five weeks for the Games and I am not thinking about them now,” she added. The world No.5 insisted that she was never worried about her poor patch last year. “People may not believe

when I say I was never worried about my poor form. I only play one way i.e Saina’s way. If I win I feel happy, if I lose I just forget about it as I believe it’s not my problem and I have a coach who can sort it out. I follow what my coach says. Though I won very few titles I have been consistently reaching the finals or semi-finals,” she said adding that her performance at the Indonesia Super Series could help her team gauge her preparation for the Olympic Games. “The draw is quite tough at the Indonesia Super Series as many of the top players are taking part in it. I think this will give my team a chance to assess where I stand. I don’t have any issues with my fitness or form now and am confident of doing well at Indonesia, where I had won the title twice,” she added.


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