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Best wishes for Pongal, Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Bhogali Bihu and Eid-e-Milad-un-nabi to our readers.
First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe
Labour Lord fights for Asian public-workers protection in Britain.
See Page 5
India Election Special
See Page 16
VOL 42. ISSUE 37
Let noble thoughts come to us from every side
18th January to 24th January 2014
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Innocent Hindus attacked in Bangladesh Though minority Hindus have nothing to do with the execution of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leader Abdul Quadar Mollah in Bangladesh, but aftermath of his execution, innocent Hindus were not only attacked but robbed of their belongings too. This is not a new phenomenon in Bangladesh. Whenever anything happens, Hindus and their temples are attacked in the country. JI is an Islamist party allied to the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Mollah was
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Continued on page 26
Young jobless Asians on the rise
World Wide Packages Euro Star Or Coach Packages Cruise Or Safari
Shailesh Vara, being awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, at a ceremony in New Delhi on 9th January 2014 Full report on page 2
Narendra Modi steals the show. See page 26
Sikhs demand probe into Thatcher link to Operation Bluestar ation is worsening with time as the ethnic minorities have been missing out even on the recent job boom in public sector, unlike before. It has been also reported, that Asians and Blacks who have higher educational
Pravasi Bhartiya Divas: Vara gets top Award from Indian Government
Britain historically has given its youngsters a foot up (whether as an apprentice or intern)- since as early as the 19th Century. Today the future of this countryâ€™s ethnic minority youngsters are in doldrum. A recent figure by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) showed that last year (2013) the unemployment rate for people of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Black background was twice that of the white jobseekers. The figures also depicted that the situ-
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achievements fail to acquire the same rewards as those from white British backgrounds with similar qualifications. The Government has been urged to do more to help these youngsters.
Continued on page 7
Outraged Sikh leaders and organisations all over the world have demanded a thorough investigation regarding the reports that British government 'colluded' with former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi over Operation Blue Star, where the Indian security forces entered the holy Sikh
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shrine, the Golden Temple at Amritsar in Continued on page 17
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www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Keith Vazwith MP
Keith Vaz MP
inspiring man. I interviewed him in front of all the Toyota GB employees & it was one of the most memorable moments of my career. In terms of influence on my recent career however, I would have to single out Toyota Motor Europe President & CEO Didier Leroy. He is the most passionate & challenging person I’ve ever worked with and has helped me develop my career at a European level.
President and Managing Director, Toyota (GB) PLC
Matt Harrison joined Toyota GB as General Manager Vehicle Marketing in 2000, progressing to the post of Marketing Director in 2003. Subsequently he moved to Toyota Motor Europe in 2005 where he worked as General Manager for Corporate Planning, before becoming General Manager of the Sales Planning Department in 2006. In 2008 Matt was appointed Director of Lexus Europe, returning to Toyota GB in 2011 to take up the role of Commercial Director. He progressed to his current role in September 2013. Matt’s previous motor industry experience includes 10 years with Ford Motor Company, working in sales and marketing in its UK, European and global operations. Born in Oldham and raised in Lytham St Anne’s, Lancashire, Matt holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Financial Accounting from the University of Kingston upon Hull. He is married with two children and in his spare time enjoys family life, squash and skiing. 1. Please tell me your current position? I was appointed to the role of President & Managing Director of Toyota GB PLC in September 2013, with responsibility for leading both the Toyota & Lexus brands in the UK. Toyota GB is based at Epsom in Surrey and we manage the relationship with 185 Toyota Retailers & 50 Lexus Retailers in the UK. Last year we sold 97,500 Toyota vehicles & 9,000 Lexus vehicles. 2. What are your proudest achievements? In my personal life, I am the very proud father of two wonderful children & have a wife who is very supportive. Professionally, there are many
achievements, but being promoted to my current role of President & Managing Director of the UK Operations is one of my proudest so far. 3. What inspires you? Working for a company that puts the customer first, that sets challenging targets and that always encourages continuous learning & personal development. My vision for Toyota GB is to ensure that we structure our organization to do business the way that customers want it – this inspires me. 4. What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? Overcoming obstacles & solving problems is at the heart of
leadership. I have had to overcome a few obstacles in my career so far but I don’t recall one specifically being the biggest. I do however wish I had more time to learn a couple of additional languages. As I work for a Japanese company and have a Brazilian wife, perhaps Japanese & Portuguese would be a good starting point.
6. What is the best aspect of your current role? The most important & enjoyable part of my role is the responsibility for employee engagement and growing & developing our people. It’s my job to make sure that the Executive team leads by example and try to develop & inspire the next generation of Toyota employees.
5. Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? Last year, I had the opportunity to spend some time with then Toyota Motor Company Chairman Fujio Cho. He was such a humble, insightful &
7. And the worst? I have a very positive disposition and try to embrace all tasks or problems as a challenge. With a young family however I make a real effort to protect an acceptable work-life balance, but in my position this
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Also receiving the Award was Mrs Ela Gandhi from South Africa, who is the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi. The Award is made to individuals from across the world who the Indian Government feel have brought honour to India through their endeavours and achievements in another country. It was felt that Mr Vara had brought distinction by becoming the first person of Indian origin to be made a Minister in a Conservative led Government when he became a Government Whip in May 2010, following the last General Election. Moreover, recognition was given for his “eminence in the field of public service in promoting ties between India and the people of the United Kingdom”. On receiving the
Shailesh Vara, being congratulated by the Prime Minister of India Shri Manmohan Singh
Award Mr Vara said: “This is a great honour and I am deeply humbled to receive it. I am mindful that of the 2 million strong Indian diaspora in Britain, there are many others who, in their own quiet way, play a role in helping bring Britain and India closer. And rightly so. I want to acknowledge their contribution as much as that of everyone else”. “There is much that links Britain and India. As well as a shared history, we increasingly have so much more in common in other areas, such as trade
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and industry, education and matters concerning global security. Britain is also a major investor in India and likewise Indian companies invest large sums in Britain, a fact which is underlined by the largest private sector employer in Britain being the Tata Group”. “Awards such as the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman can only help in strengthening relations and I look forward to working towards establishing even closer links between our two countries”.
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8. What are your long-term goals? The top three that spring to mind are: - Establishing a sustainable business in the UK by increasing the appeal of the Toyota & Lexus brands to younger customers. - Growing our hybrid mix of sales to at least 50% by 2020 (Toyota is 20% today, Lexus is already 80%) & maintaining our environmental leadership. - Improving employee engagement levels to become one of the top 100 places to work in the UK (as measured in the Best Companies survey). 9. If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? I’d prefer to leave politics to the politicians, but I would certainly like to do as much as possible to champion the automotive industry in the UK. 10. If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with & why? Perhaps I would choose Nelson Mandela. He was an extraordinarily courageous man & an inspirational leader. I had the opportunity to visit Robben Island where he was imprisoned & I am now reading his book ‘Long Walk to Freedom’.
TFL’s new fares set to come into effect very soon
Vara gets top Award from Indian Government Justice Minister and Member of Parliament, Shailesh Vara, has been Awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award by the Government of India. The Award is the highest honour that can be conferred by the Indian Government on a person of Indian origin living outside of India. It was presented to Mr Vara by His Excellency the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, at a ceremony in New Delhi on Thursday 9th January 2014. Mr Vara is the only person to receive the Award from the United Kingdom this year and, along with the other 12 recipients, he was also congratulated by the Prime Minister of India, Shri Manmohan Singh. The other Awardees were from various countries including the United States of America, Australia, France, Saudi
is sometimes more difficult than I would like.
Transport for London (TfL) have issued a reminder to its customers that new fares for 2014 will come into effect on Sunday 19 January. Fares across TfL will rise by less than RPI on average – 2.7 per cent – this year and Travelcard fares will rise by 3.1 per cent (RPI) on average. Customers will be able to purchase tickets, including Travelcards, at 2013 prices until 18 January. The delay to implementation of the new year fares is due to the timing of the Government’s announcement that rail fares would be set at RPI on average for 2014 and the need to implement a revised set of fares. TfL has been able to keep fares down due to the huge £16bn programme of efficiencies and savings which support the billions of pounds of
investment in transport infrastructure over the next ten years. They are still continuing to identify and make savings and efficiencies that will keep fares down as well as developing the commercial strategy to meet revenue targets. Some of the changes in the 2014 fares package will include: an increase by 10p to pay as you go fares on the Tube, cash single fares will increase by 20p, on the buses the pay as you go fare on Oyster and contactless payment card increases 5p to £1.45 while the daily cap and cash fare is frozen and the 7 Day Bus & Tram Pass will increase by 60p to £20.20. For more information, please visit: http://www.london.gov.uk / m a y o r assembly/mayor/mayoraldecisions/MD1299
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www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Hindu suffering in Bangladesh
The sustained assaults on minority Hindu lives and property by Jamaat-e- Islamic mobs allied to Begum Khaleda Zia’s opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has been a feature of the mainly postelection violence that has disfigured the country and brought much of its economic and social life to a standstill. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon expressed concern at the violence but thought it fit to remain silent on the targeted killing of Hindus. The United States, which, had once encouraged jihadi fanaticism or turned a blind eye to its depraved excesses in the interests of its Cold War statecraft – witness the Archer Blood Telegram from Dhaka in 1971 to President Nixon and his National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, highlighting the genocidal atrocities suffered by the Hindu population of then East Pakistan at the hands of the marauding Pakistani military and its locally-recruited Razakars, and the duo’s dismissive and spiteful comment that the US consul had gone native (See “The Blood Telegram: Nixon Kissinger and the Forgotten Genocide” by Gary Bass). Washington’s double standards and double talk is the accepted norm the world has come to expect. The high moral tone adopted by the State Department and the good and great in their censure of the general election as flawed and the Pecksniffian advice on the need for inclusion is par for the course. No comment was made on the jihadi violence presumably because it had escaped Uncle Sam’s partially sighted line of vision. As in 1971, Russia, sympathizing with the predicament of the Sheikh Hasina government, expressed its expressed support, as did the Government of India. The Indian media generally have been remarkably low key on the goings-on next door. The Hindu newspaper was the sole exception. To its credit, the paper gave appropriate prominence to the dispatch from Dhaka by its Correspondent, Haroon Habib, which told the whole, depressing truth. “Systematic attacks,” he writes, “were carried out by activists of the Opposition BNP and the Jamaat-e- Islami, the party which had violently opposed the independence of Bangladesh from Pakistan in 1971. Mr Habib told of the leading (Bangladesh daily Ittefaq report, which said: “The
Jamaat-e-Shibir cadres launched despicable attacks on Hindu communities in four districts…. Hundreds of houses of the minority community were torched and looted….A large number of Hindus took shelter in temples, while others have fled to other villages. They are too scared to return even after assurances from the local administration.” The rampage reminded one Doyamoy Sarkar, a local Hindu inhabitant, of the atrocities committed by Pakistani-occupying forces and their collaborators in 1971. “And we are passing through the same ordeal in 2014,” he said. About 700 elderly and young women, men and children took shelter in an adjoining village, while about 100 Hindu houses were set alight and vandalized. In Dinapur district, at least 350 houses and 50 shops were gutted and looted. And so the litany of terror across much of Banglaseh goes on regardless. Haroon Habib concludes: “Inspector General of Police Hasan Mahmoud Khandakar said areas prone to post-election violence were identified and security there has been strengthened. But the assurance may hardly instill confidence in the minorities unless strict action is taken against the violence.” Too little, too late, alas. Or, to put it another way, there is no point in shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted. On the editorial page of the same issue of The Hindu (January 8), Hasan Suroor, the paper’s former UK Correspondent, in a lengthy piece of searing honesty entitled, “A battle for the soul of Islam,” lamented the demise of the vaunted Arab Spring and the hopes that it had engendered and ferocious rebound of extremist Islamist forces that were capturing the strategic high ground in Islamic societies. He writes: “Today, the Muslim world is in worse shape than ever before – a seething cauldron of hate and bigotry, and torn by sectarian violence….The mess is entirely of Muslims’ own making. It is the ‘Great Satan’ within who is wreaking the damage. Islam is at war with itself, which is simultaneously raging at different levels – between moderates and extremists; between Shias and Sunnis; between proWest Saudi Arabia (and its Gulf allies) and anti-West (Iran, Lebanon, Syria) Muslim powers.” Enough said.
The launch of India’s Geosynchronous communications satellite, GSLV-5, constitutes a landmark in the country’s space programme. The long elusive cryogenic technology, which propelled the satellite into a geosynchronous orbit 36.000 kilometres above the earth, keeping correct pace with the planet’s rotation, had worked at last. The successful launch could have come a decade earlier, but for American perverse technology denial to India; Russia which had previously agreed to supply cryogenic technology to India, reneged on the deal under American duress. Washington put the screws on the alcoholic President Yeltsin, who, having bankrupted his country, was unable to withstand the pressure and performed a humiliating kowtow. The specious American argument that the cryogenic transaction would infringe an international treaty curtailing the spread of missile technology had no basis in fact. Cryogenic technology has no military use, but rational discourse was aborted under the mask of missile proliferation. The boffins at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) laboured hard to beat the embargo and put things right. There were setbacks along the way, most notably, when the launch in April 2010 saw the rocket veer off course and plunge into the Bay of Bengal. It was then that the Prime Minister’s Office suggested to ISRO that it might be worth bringing in a new team with a fresh
approach to the challenge . And so rocket wizard K. Sivan was appointed team leader. Making a quick trip to Moscow to consult with his Russian peers, Sivan returned with a workable plan. A glitch occurred on the eve of a GSLV launch last August, which proved, thankfully, to be the last for, on 5 January 2014, ISRO successfully launched its New Year gift to the nation. Sweet are the uses of adversity, and sweeter still, are the triumphs that follow. Each failure was a stepping stone to success, for lessons were being learned and experience deepened. The cooperative aspect of the endeavour must also be emphasized, with private sector firms, large and small, contributing nobly the cause. From the public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd made a critical contribution, but it was the ISRO team which put it everything together in this collective enterprise. Apart from the technological spin-offs from GSLV5, there are the considerable financial rewards to consider.. This launch capacity makes huge domestic savings, with the dependence on expensive foreign vendors substantially reduced. Countries across the world will have the option of using India’s heavier rockets for their own satellite launches. The income enriches the Indian exchequer. For ISRO and for India, it is a giant leap forward. India’s space programme has truly come of age.
Devyani Khobragade, the Indian diplomat at the heart of the current between and the United States, was expelled from the US last week. India retaliated by expelling a US diplomat of similar rank, leaving Indo-US ties in a state of disrepair not seen the worst days of the Nixon-Kissinger dispensation in the early 1970s. Some in the American media, like the New York Times and Washington Post have chided India for its retaliatory measures against the US embassy in India as “unworthy of a mature democracy.” May one ask if arresting and handcuffing a woman diplomat in public, then strip-searching her in jail and detaining her with criminals and drug pushers for company, is how the judicial and law enforcing authorities of a mature should behave? American exceptionalism has long been a
breeding ground of double standards; and it is no different now. Imagine the firestorm that would have broken out if had done to an American diplomat what American did to an Indian counterpart. It doesn’t bear thinking. It is because India is a democracy that the government of the is compelled to respond to the public voice. And the Indian public has been enraged at the treatment meted out Ms Khobragade. The less said, the sooner mended. US legislators on Capitol Hill seem dismayed at the turn of events and look askance at the doings of the Obama administration. The India Caucuses in the Senate and House of Representatives, consisting seasoned and influential hands, should parley urgently with senior Indian diplomats and jointly decide the best way forward to damage control.
India’s space programme comes of age
Whither Indo-US relations?
3 If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours - Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
The Problem of Beliefs, Modi and Hindu-phobia
‘Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You do not have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.’ We’ve just hired a lady in my office. It just so happens she’s a vegetarian, no eggs, no fish, like me. Teetotal as well. What is about beliefs that scares people? Narendra Modi has beliefs. He also scares much of liberal India who think he’s a fundamentalist. ‘Hindu-phobia’? And by ‘fundamentalist’ people mean you’re going to be a miserable dictator – telling everyone how they should lead their lives. This is a clear problem for Narendra Modi. Secular, liberal India doesn’t want to be told how to live. The bigger problem for him is that he isn’t telling them how they should live, but is perceived as an extremist nevertheless. What he, and all of us with beliefs, need to do more of us be aware how much we scare everyone else. Beliefs means conservative or traditionalist. Actually, like Modi, I’m a liberal modernist with beliefs. Most people never ask why beliefs exist. For me I’m not vegetarian because of animal rights. I could have just as much given up chocolate. My father is not vegetarian and neither is half my family. My family values were always ‘make your own decisions’. It was a vow. Personal and private. As for being teetotal, my grandmother had three sons who were not teetotal. I knew she would have preferred it if I were. Nothing to do with superiority. She’s passed away now, but I like the link to her. She’s the only person I ever cared about pleasing as she was the one who raised me. My version of Hinduism is ‘do as you please’ – after all it’s your karma. I’m not here to convert you. My family were in the nightclub business – I’ve served more alcohol to more people than anyone I know! But equally, don’t tell me how to live either. Persuade me, educate me, but dictate to me and you will go the way of Adolf Hitler and all dictators. Disrespect my beliefs and expect to defend yourself. But are beliefs bad? No, but for god’s sake be informed. Take the time to know why you do something. The worst type of belief is ‘I will not do anything I have not done before’ or ‘I will only do what I’ve always done.’ My uncle told me when I was 13 – ‘don’t be Hindu just because your parents are. Be it because it’s your own informed decision.’ And that’s how I’d want my children to be – ‘informed free liberal decision makers on anything from faith to food’ – not dictated to. Be proud of the gift of your heritage and culture and if you want to dustbin it all – that’s up to you, your conscience and your God. Luckily for me my family has never ever guilt-tripped me – that’s just another form of dictatorship within families. Governments do it by laws. The most important political book I ever read and the foundations of all modern liberal democracies is ‘On Liberty’ by JS Mill. The liberal, like me, believes that that if you do no harm, then you should not be dictated to. Simple. Narendra Modi desperately needs a message overhaul to win the next election outright. He needs to reach out to Muslims. That they too under a ‘Hindutva’ Government are free to live as they wish. Only then will he remove fear from the hearts of Hindu liberals too. Else he will remain a Gujarati Chief Minister and never the leader of the world’s largest liberal democracy.
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Asian men jailed for making £1.27m of counterfeit £10 notes B’ham: Four men of Asian origin, including two brothers, who used a B’ham printing business as a front to make £1.27 mn of forged £10 notes have been jailed for 7 years each. The Birmingham Mail reported that Amrit Karra, 45, of Sycamore Road, Handsworth and Prem Karra, 43, of Brookhouse Road, Walsall, were previously convicted of conspiracy to make counterfeit notes following a five week trial at Birmingham Crown Court. Rajiv Kumar, 40, of Clarkes Lane, West Bromwich and Yash Mahey, 44, of Granbrook Road, Handsworth, who were found guilty of the same charge, were each imprisoned for four-and-a half-years. The bogus currency was massively circulated throughout the country and many of the notes are still being
Amrit Karra, Prem Karra, Yash Mahey & Rajiv Kumar
recovered. Judge Richard Bond during sentence, said the gang were all “professional forgers” and that the Karra brothers had been the masterminds behind the “sophisticated” operation. Timothy Hannam, prosecuting, said that for years the business had been run as an entirely legitimate enterprise. “But it was in financial difficulties and in 2010 they decided to use its
facilities to produce high quality counterfeit £10 notes on an industrial scale.” However, he added, they had made a mistake which meant the bogus notes recognisable. Franco Tizzano, for Amrit Karra, said that the operation had been a “one-off” and that the defendants had been persuaded to get involved by others. The pair had not been involved in the distribution.
15 year old Asian boy stabbed in a prearranged park fight B’ham: 15 year old schoolboy Hassan Mahmood, pictured, was fatally stabbed after he went to a Birmingham park for a prearranged fight when his opponent launched a “pre-emptive strike,” a court was told. He collapsed immediately after being knifed in the back in Oaklands Park, Yardley, and died in hospital later the same day, despite efforts to save him, a jury was told. A 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has denied a charge of murder while a 16-year-old has pleaded not guilty to assisting an offender by destroying evidence. Neither can be named for legal reasons.
Peter Cooper, prosecuting at Birmingham Crown Court, said the reasons for the fight last July were not entirely clear but there had been previous ill feeling between the defendant and the victim’s older brother. He said there had been a confrontation about a week before when a fight was arranged, but the 17-year-old had failed to show up at the ren-
dezvous. Mr Cooper said there had subsequently been telephone calls and exchanges between the defendant and Hassan, some over Facebook. Those involved were going to “settle their differences” with a fist fight arranged on July 15 last year and it was quite clear each side had recruited supporters, he said. Before the fight began the 17-year-old produced a knife and stabbed the victim in his back, causing a “deep and penetrating wound,” said Mr Cooper. He said afterwards the defendant fled from the scene. Police later arrested both defendants at a house in Kingstanding.
Police push to shut Long Bar which ‘attracts violent customers’ Police are calling for the closure of a bar which they say is badly managed and attracts violent customers. Officers said they had tried countless times to tell management to address the problems at the Long Bar, in Market Street, Leicester city centre. Leicester City Council’s licensing panel will meet on Monday where Police will inform them of the “numerous incidents and crimes” in and around the bar. Statements from the city centre’s 999 response police officers and CCTV operators are also due to be delivered at the hearing, describing violent
incidents in the street which police said involved the bar’s customers. A 16-year-old boy, who was accompanied by undercover police, visited the bar in November and was served alcohol. Pc Tejas Mavani, of city police’s licensing team, said: “We will be telling the licensing panel our concerns about the
violent behaviour of customers, a lack of management control and the recent failure in the test purchase operation. “Our main concern is the licensing objectives of preventing crime and disorder, protecting the safety of the public and children from harm and preventing public nuisance are not being met.” Owner Yogesh Sharma, who has operated the venue since July 2011, reportedly said that he is seeking legal advice as he prepares to contest the police application to revoke the venue’s licence. The hearing is due to begin at 9.30am on Monday.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Friends and family raise more than £17,000 in memory of a young man Birmingham: In memory of a young man who was killed in a horrific car crash in November, grieving friends and family have raised more than £17,000 to donate. Arhsan Jalil, aged 21, pictured, of Washwood Heath, died when his car hit a factory wall in Rea Street, Digbeth. Devastated by their loss, his friends and family decided to raise money for charity in his memory. Formerly a student at Washwood Heath Academy and Cadbury Sixth Form College, Ahsan was studying accounting at Coventry University College at the time of his death. He enjoyed going to the gym and played football with his friends every week,
having played for Sporting FC in Hodge Hill for many years. A local newspaper reported, his friend Mohib Rashid dedicated his fundraising page The £1 Challenge – aiming to get as many people as possible to donate £1 towards building wells in Syria – to the memory of Ahsan, and saw more than £10,000 flood in from people paying tribute to the popular young man. And Ahsan’s mother Rukhsana Jalil decided to raise money for Islamic education centre the AsSuffa Institute in Aston, where she is a student. Her appeal has raised more than £7,000 so far, including a donation of more than £3,200 from staff and customers at
Tesco in Hodge Hill, where Ahsan worked with older sister, Hina, and one of his younger brothers, Zohaib, for two years. Childhood friend, Sohail Lodhi, told the local newspaper: “Ahsan’s laugh was contagious and his smile would lighten your mood so easily. He made us all who we are today.”
Shisha owner prosecuted for allowing smoking inside Leicester: A shisha cafe owner has been prosecuted for allowing smoking in a smoke-free area of the premises. 29 year old Muhammed Bunglawala, owner of The Gaming Café shisha bar in Gwendolen Road, Evington, Leicester, was prosecuted by magistrates on January 7, for failing to abide by the Health Act 2006. The site was first visited by Leicester City Council in September 2012, when they warned Bunglawala that the premises did not comply with smoke-free legislation. Yet during a second visit by undercover offi-
cers from city council and police in February last year, about 25 people were seen to be smoking shisha in an enclosed area. The officers were also sold shisha. The premises was visited for a third time in May last year and further evidence of shisha smoking was found on the premises. Officers seized about £2,500 worth of shisha smoking items, including 142 shisha pipes, 73 silver towers, 35 mouth pieces, 53 charcoal trays, 21 charcoal tongs and a quantity of charcoal. At court Bunglawala pleaded not guilty to the charge of failing to prevent people from smoking in
smoke-free premises. He claimed the cafe only served flavoured stones and not shisha tobacco. Bunglawala was fined £195 plus £300 costs and a £20 victim surcharge. Leicester assistant city mayor for environmental services, Councillor Sarah Russell, said: “his case highlights the need for businesses to ensure that they comply with smokefree legislation and do not allow smoking in enclosed parts of their premises. The law is there to protect employees and customers from the effects of secondhand smoke and we will continue to visit such businesses to ensure they are complying.”
Indian origin man wins Guinness book of world record Coventry: A pensioner is celebrating success after harvesting a world recordbreaking 1,355 tomatoes from a single seed. Surjit Kainth, 68, planted the seedling in April last year and was stunned when his plant sprouted a never-ending supply of tomatoes. He received official confirmation from Guinness World Records last week that he has broken the record for ‘most tomatoes grown on a single truss’. The father-of-three, pictured, revealed his secret is giving the fiveand-a-half-foot plant ‘a lot of care’, and also praying beside it. Surjit, who is a retired bus driver from Coventry, said: ‘I am so
Surjit Kainth with Mick Poultney, from Guinness records, and Coun Linda Bigham
pleased to have the record, it was quite a relief to get the certificate through. It was a nervous wait. He nearly tripled the
current record held by Graham Tranter, from Bridgnorth, Shropshire, who boasted 488 tomatoes in 2009.
Indian outsourcing company planning to open call centre in Scotland Glasgow: An outsourcing company from India is planning to open a huge call centre in Glasgow. Aegis, which runs customer service call centres for 300 companies all over
the world, is making the move because it believes British customers will relate better to or have “cultural affinity” with the people answering the telephone. The centre promis-
es to employ 2,500 staff. The move is part of a wider trend of companies that have outsourced manufacturing and call-centre work to India, now returning back to the UK.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Labour Lord fights for Asian publicworkers protection in Britain
British businesses prefer India for emerging markets
Lord Foulkes puts forward an Amendment to make assaulting a public-facing worker a separate, more serious, offence
Britain is widely known for being a nation of shopkeepers. Even more so, the recognisable image of the Asian shopkeeper and his corner shop has stereotypically become embedded in the national psyche. Since the notorious 1972 Idi Amin’s expulsion, a vast influx of Asian migrants, arriving from East Africa, were forced to set up shops to survive in their new home, Britain. But as Sita Balani said in her article, ‘Britain: A history of Shopkeeping, Empire and Racial Tensions’, our shopkeepers were subjected to racism, were seen as job-stealers and ruiners of an all-white, pure English society. Despite this, they have managed to establish themselves as a very integral part of Britain’s economy. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), about a fifth of the Asian population, around 214,000 Asians work in the retail or wholesale sectors (16.6% Indians, 19.4% Pakistanis, 17.2% Bangladeshis). In the education sector, which includes teachers, the percentage breakdown is: 5.9% Indians, 8.2% Pakistani, 11.2% Bangladeshi. For health and social work activities: 17.3% Indians, 9.9% Pakistani and 8.1% Bangladeshi. For food service activities: 3.1% Indians, 8.2% Pakistani and 27.5% Bangladeshi and for transportation and storage: 6.5% Indians, 13.4% Pakistani and 10.2% Bangladeshi. In spite of the growing number of Asians in public-sectors, many of them are victimised regularly (through verbal, physical or sexual assaults) while the perpetrators get away with very little punishments. The current legal system fails to provide these public-facing workers with the required protection, as assailants often end up with a fine as little as £50. In many cases, they have been found to re-offend without any shame or remorse. On Tuesday 14th January, Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, with the support of the Labour Party, put forward an Amendment to the Government’s AntiSocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, in a debate at the House of Lords, that would make
assaulting a public-facing worker, a separate offence with more stringent penalties. The bill also covers health and transport workers, as well as teachers and local government staff, postal workers and catering staff. Lord Foulkes, who has been championing the cause of USDAW (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) and has worked very closely with them to try to press for a vote, in an exclusive interview with Asian Voice, said: “About half of retailers in 2012 reported some kind of verbal or physical abuse by underage youngsters, who are refused alcohol or cigarettes over the counter. According to figures, 30% of violent and abusive incidences occur when customers
are challenged on agerestricted items, and 15% when staff confront shoplifters.” USDAW’s Freedom from Fear campaign, launched in 2002, seeks to prevent violence, threats and abuse against shopworkers. On its website, they stated rather worrying statistics according to a survey it carried out. Every minute
of the working day another shop worker is either v e r b a l l y a b u s e d , threatened with violence or physically attacked. In the last year alone, 4% of UK shopworkers were violently assaulted in the course of their duties, w h i c h amounts to 1 1 2 , 0 0 0 a s s a u l t s against staff across the UK retail sector. The survey also shows that almost 1 in 10 shopworkers have experienced at least one assault during their career. Discussing why the government has not done anything so far, Lord Foulkes said: “It is basically complacency rather than any kind of malevolence. I received a reasonably sympathetic response in principle from the minister at the committee stage, who promised to highlight it to the prosecuting authorities. It will not cost the government anything to change the law. In fact, this will put people facing the public in a safer position.” When asked whether prevention is better than simply curing the current problem, Lord Foulkes responded: “Absolutely. This amendment is not
meant to be the only way of dealing with it. There are also some other ways, for example, more vigilant action by the police and more publicity about it so people are made aware of the existing dangers.” Speaking of racial abuse on Asian shopkeepers, Lord Foulkes emphasised: “A large proportion of the Asian pop-
ulation work in the retail sector. This amendment would offer them affordable protection. Yet to make it clear, the purpose of this, is not to deal with any kind of racial aggression, abuse or antagonism. That is dealt with separately.” “This amendment would effectively increase the penalties for this particular crime, act as a deterrent and draw attention to the fact that this is considered a particularly serious offence by Parliament,” added a hopeful Lord Foulkes. John Hannett, the General Secretary of USDAW, told Asian Voice: “Every day across the UK more than 300 shopworkers are being violently assaulted; simply for doing their job. Those shopworkers deserve to see justice done and to know that the law will punish their assailant. There is a real need to address the scourge of workers being assaulted. I am concerned that assailants are getting away with relatively lenient sentences. We want a change in the law to ensure that proper punishments are given out and to give a clear message that assaulting workers who are serving the public is totally unacceptable.” A shopworker based in Shoreditch, East London highlighted that there is never usually trouble during the day: “normally, we have problems during night time with drunk people but the day time is fine. We have special security on the door though, that can easily pick up any shoplifters. But I still think that there should be more police in this area to protect the shops on this road”. Atul and Nilkani Patel, who own a corner shop in Kingston-uponThames, said: “We have fortunately never faced any abuse as we live in a nice area where the public are friendly. It all depends on how you treat your customers and build a friendship with them.” “But what we do need is extra CCTV, a stronger police presence, particularly community police, more harsh penalties for those people that abuse so they learn a better lesson. Police should also take crimes shopkeepers report more seriously, whether its shoplifting or physical abuse, otherwise assailants will know they can get away it.”
British PM David Cameron with Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh
India is one of the leading partners for British companies when it comes to trade. This is not surprising because India’ economy is considerably growing faster when compared to other nations. According to the Ernst &Young capital confidential report, more than 1,500 topmost executives of more than 50 countries would prefer investment in India over countries like United States and China. The research team reports that India is the present target with respect to the developing markets for FTSE 100 companies and organizations. The country is the fourth biggest hub for investment from the UK based companies, which is a very decent score when compared with countries like China and all. The reason for this is that India has shown a relatively unbeatable faster growth score in the last ten to fifteen years. British companies are thus focusing on leveraging the prof-
its which such beneficial business provide, adding to the well known historical and cultural relationship in business between the two countries. For example, BP made a deal with the Reliance Industries, which was worth a huge sum of around $7.2 bn, whilst a deal between Tesco and Tata was made in order to process the retail chain in India. Due to the ingenuity in India in areas of technology and even automobiles, the markets and deals are emerging at a high rate and economic opinion is comparatively lower in India when compared with the world economy making the values and prices are lower. According to the present scenario there is a temporary slowness mainly because the political elections are round the corner but still India is an important destination for British companies when it comes to emerging market deals.
UK visas could be auctioned to overseas millionaires: Report Overseas millionaires may soon be able to buy or bid for UK visas in exchange of donations to hospitals and universities, a report has suggested. The British government’s proposal reportedly says donors willing to help schools, universities or hospitals in the UK with much needed funds should be ‘let in’. The Times reported Migration Advisory Committee chairman Sir David Metcalf, said that it was time for Britain to think a little bit more creatively about the operation of the investor visa route into the country. “It may very well be that we should be auctioning some of these slots,” he was quoted as saying by the daily. “There should be proper discussion about it. Equally it may very well be that we should be letting people in if they endow a Cambridge college, a major teaching hospital or the London School of Economics with 10 million pounds,” he said. British home secretary Theresa May has asked the committee to look at whether auctioning visas or making it available in exchange of donations can
be a plausible option. Officials said though a screening process will ensure criminals aren’t let in through the process; it will also help reduce strain on public financing and funds. The Committee is expected to submit a report in February. A second option to be outlined in the report is to offer the visas to millionaires who are willing to endow good causes, such as universities, colleges and hospitals, it said. The ideas are to be put forward amid concern that the existing investor visa route is not working to the country’s economic advantage and has become a “cheap” way for many wealthy Russians and Chinese to remain indefinitely. Critics have also pointed out that the proposed new system would be absurd for offering visas for sale without any longterm investment. Rt Hon Keith Vaz, MP, and Chairman of the Home Affairs committee, said that it was time for a full examination of how the investor visa route was being used as a way of getting a British passport without the country really benefiting.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Book Review: What a loser by Pankaj Dubey Have you been craving a light read? Possibly something that reminds you of your college days, the fun times with friends and more? Well, recently I picked up a book called “What a Loser” by a debut novelist Pankaj Dubey who is based in Mumbai and I just couldn’t keep it back. It was one of those days when I had a stressful couple of hours at work, things didn’t go too well with my cooking experiments and my cleaning lady didn’t turn up either. So in short - a crisis or a meltdown as some might call it. I had two options in front of me - either get on with cleaning and cooking or order some pizza and indulge myself in some light reading. I chose the latter. In retrospect, that was a great decision. The book is a roller coaster ride back to your college days, especially for those from Delhi. It reminds you of those days you spent with friends in paying guest accommodation, of coming to a new city and feeling absolutely clueless and more so, adjusting slowly to people around you even as you are still reeling from various cultural shocks. Without giving away much suspense, the story revolves around one Pandey Anil Kumar Sinha (PAKS) who comes to Delhi with precisely three things: One, his jaded old trunk full of sattu (gram flour) and achaar (pickles); Two, a borrowed dream of becoming an IAS officer from his clerk father; and three, to sleep with a milky white Punjabi girl. Living in North Campus with a set of interesting flatmates, PAKS thinks day and night of his father’s dreams for him. Little did he know that fate had some other plans for him. He finds himself in the middle of extremely
smart people and decides to enroll himself for English speaking classes. And from there starts his extremely fascinating journey. He gains much more confidence and gains perspective and clarity. He becomes this cool guy who everyone wants to hang out with and suddenly sees getting pushed to the forefront of college elections and he becomes a hero! Now the hurdles in front of him is - Is this the life he wanted? Is this why he came from Bihar? What about his father’s dream of him becoming an IAS officer? Right, I am not going to give away any more suspense. All I can say is the book is extremely interesting, hilarious and will make you fall off your bed or your couch as you follow the story. It’s already a success story and has become a best seller in India. The book was recently launched formally and has already received extremely positive reviews from readers across India and abroad. Its Facebook page has crossed ten thousand likes and people have been discussing various excerpts from the book. The book is extremely popular among those who have lived and studied in Delhi University. The author, Pankaj Dubey, is a first-time novelist but comes with
immense experience. Born in Ranchi and grown up in Chaibasa, Jharkhand, Pankaj travelled to Delhi and to Europe for higher studies. Between living in a dingy flat in Mukherjee Nagar, Delhi, with four IAS aspirants and becoming the paying guest of a toilet cleaner in Coventry, England, he thinks he has seen it all, big and small. Pankaj was awarded the Navodit Lekhak Award for his story, Mukhauta by Hindi Akademy (Government of Delhi) for penning down his creative ways to waste time in the North Campus of the University of Delhi. His humour expedition continued in the Coventry University in West Midlands, England where he did his Master’s in Applied Communications. Pankaj Dubey started his career as a Journalist with the BBC World Service in London and then moved to the TV Today group, New Delhi, India. Pankaj is now a Novelist and a Screenplay Writer based out of Mumbai. A young and intelligent first-timer novelist, Pankaj takes you on a funfilled and nostalgic journey in his book. A must read, especially if you enjoy light and hilarious reading. A kindle edition is available on Amazon UK. Log in now and grab your copy and enjoy the laugh riot.
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1 in 10 babies in England are Muslim Britain is increasingly being seen as a land of immigrants with mass migration becoming even more prominent in recent years. However, as multicultural as it is becoming, it seems that there are many more Muslim babies in the UK than other religions such as Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists etc. This is concerning to ethnic minority groups, which see this as an imbalance in a fair
British society. A report by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), first published in May 2013 and then November, has revealed that nearly 1 in 10 babies and toddlers in England and Wales have been found to be Muslim, according to a new analysis of the census figures. The ONS figures showed that around 317,952 children (9.1 percent) of the 3.5 million
Aap ki Baat or Aap ka Baap ?
Follow me on Twitter: @kdudakia
children aged under five in England and Wales, were registered as being Muslim in the 2011 census, which illustrates a surprising shift in the demographics in England and Wales. Whilst it does not calculate birthrate, it shows that almost a tenth of babies and toddlers (under-fives) are Muslim. Furthermore, 4.8% of the 56.1 million resident population of England and Wales in 2011 were
by Kapil Dudakia - email: email@example.com
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) did not win Delhi outright, but unsurprisingly with the help of Congress they have managed to secure the right to govern it. Since then it appears there is now a media blitz promoting anything and everything associated with AAP. In fact some well known high profile media gurus (e.g. managing editor of Hindi news channel IBN7, Ashutosh) have joined AAP also. So the question arising; what is going on in India? Is there any merit in AAP and its narrative? Are they now truly the ‘Aap ka Baap’ of Indian politics? Or is it a case of ‘Aap ka Jadugar’ with all the smoke and mirror tricks to hide that AAP might in fact be Congress Lite in guise? The leader of AAP, Arvind Kejriwal went out of his way to talk about corruption and how he would stop it in its track. He went on TV stating that he had a dossier on Sheila Dixit’s government and that the very first thing he would do is chase the wrong doers. In fact instead of taking action against the corrupt he asked the BJP to give him evidence of the Congress/Dixit wrong doing. It seems the very things Kejriwal was complaining about may well trap him as he feels the lure of political power in his hands. Within the first weeks of gaining power Kejriwal has attempted to make some big decisions. For example by allocating 20000 litres of water free to each household per month. Unfortunately this was only to those households with a working water meter. Those who know Delhi will instantly conclude that in effect the free water promise is basically to the middle class households. The rest, pay by volume and will have to wait until they get their own working meter – whenever that might occur. It is early days and therefore even I do not want to prejudge Kejriwal and AAP. I do reserve my right though to question what they are doing and the effectiveness or otherwise of anything they do. So how does this impact Narendrabhai and the BJP? First let us be clear there is a difference between the BJP and Narendrabhai. The BJP is stuck in the past with many of its senior membership having their noses knocked out of place by the NaMo juggernaut. Narendrabhai is a forward looking successful political leader who demands efficiency and effectiveness at all levels of governance. Therein we have problem number one, the BJP itself might be its own worst enemy unless it grows up fast, controls its urges to act in a rash manner and gives Narendrabhai the full Muslim. There were 1.6 million Muslims in England and Wales in 2001, or 3 per cent of the population, according to the census.
bandwidth of support. Can they do that? We shall see in the weeks to come. In the meantime Narendrabhai needs to use his trusted group to forge ahead and take on the opposition with his customary gusto, but tempered with that British guile of diplomacy which is so required of any national leader. Can Narendrabhai do that? Yes, but in my view he is missing some out-of-the-box strategic thinkers who are not afraid to say it as it is – for a friend who has the courage to stop you from making a foolhardy decision is truly a good friend? I have just heard that Anna Hazare’s right hand person Kiran Bedi has now declared her support for Narendrabhai. This is great news but not sufficient to counter the AAP bandwagon. And let us be clear, in 2014 AAP is the real threat to Narendrabhai since they will take the floating votes and could give Congress a chance to hold on to more seats than they deserve. In my view the vision of Anna Hazare can only be achieved if he supports Narendrabhai and I hope that in the weeks to come he will put country first. Swami Ramdevji is a well meaning person. However again I am not sure he has got the right people around him to give that advice that is not only suitable for local consumption, but also presents him in good light internationally. In his zeal Swamiji can potentially harm the Modi camp. However, there is one area where if a village to village yatra of persuasion were to take place led by Swamiji’s huge following – they would make a massive difference where it really counts. We may well end up with a Delhi style outcome with no party having a clear mandate. My personal view is that the BJP will secure around 210 seats which is short of the 272 required to form a government. However its natural allies might well secure the remaining 62 seats to give them the keys to national governance. Failing that it will become interesting to see which way AAP goes this time? In such circumstances would they align themselves with Congress (again), a party they have rejected thus far on the charge of wholesale corruption and poor governance, or will they opt for the BJP who after all under Narendrabhai are more likely to fulfil much of the AAP manifesto anyway. In 2014 the Indian people will make the most important decision for a generation. If they get it wrong, their children will suffer the consequences for years to come. It is NaMo time; it is time for Bharat Varsh to lead again.
Philip Lewis, a scholar of Islam and author of Young, British and Muslim, has reportedly said in a Times article that a 1 in 10 birthrate statistic
Figure 3: Muslim population by age and sex, England and Wales, 2001 and 2011
Population in each age band
By 2011 the Muslim population had grown to 2.7 million people or 4.8 per cent of the population.
Souce: Census - Office for Naional Statistics
could “generate alarmism”. Whilst expert David Voas, Professor of
Population Studies at the University of Essex, said the number of practising Muslims could soon outnumber the number of Christians who actively worship in the UK: ‘It’s not inconceivable.’ There are now 136 Muslim schools, 125 of them in the private sector, according to the Department for Education. Britain has a total of 1,600 mosques and the first UK halal food festival was held in September. Yet the largest religious group, at 1.5 million, among those aged 0-4 is still comprised of Christians, making up 43 per cent.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Khushwant Singh awarded Fellowship of King’s College London In recognition of his exceptional achievements in the fields of literature and journalism, King’s College London has awarded esteemed alumnus Khushwant Singh, pictured, a Fellowship of the College, its highest honour. The award was given by Professor Sir Rick Trainor, Principal & President of King’s College London at a private ceremony at Mr Singh’s home in Delhi on Sunday 12 January, also attended by Professor Sunil Khilnani. 2014 is the 80th anniversary of Mr Singh’s admission to King’s as an undergraduate in 1934, while 2015 is his 100th birthday. Mr Singh was called to the Bar by The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple in 1938. He began his legal career on the eve of the Second World War and spent eight years practising law at the High Court of Lahore. In 1947 he entered the diplomatic service of a newly independent India and served his country for four years in London and Ottawa. In 1951 he began a career in journalism during which he edited some of the most prestigious titles in India, including
the Hindustan Times, the National Herald, the Illustrated Weekly of India and New Delhi magazine. During his tenure at the Illustrated Weekly he was able to increase circulation from 60,000 to 410,000, and he still writes a weekly column in the Hindustan Times which is read by several million people. Mr Singh has published over 100 books and is one of India’s best-selling authors of both fiction and non-fiction. His first novel, Train to Pakistan, has been in print since 1956, while his most recent book was published by Penguin on his ninetyeighth birthday in 2013. He was awarded a Grant by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1966 and held Visiting Lecturerships at the University of Oxford,
Research reveals Gujaratis introduced British to the idea of travellers cheques The story that Gujaratis in India introduced the British to hundis (an unconditional order in writing made by a person directing another to pay a certain sum of money to a person named in the order), which later morphed into a traveller’s cheque, has excited the diaspora in Britain. The London Credit Exchange Company had issued the first traveller’s cheque on January 1, 1772. Tempted by trading opportunities, since centuries the enterprising Gujarati businessmen have travelled the world. Driven by the need to ensure a safe moneytransfer system, these merchants invented the hundi — adapted in modern times as traveller’s cheques. In his book ‘Eighteenth Century Gujarat: The Dynamics Of Its Political Economy’, Ghulam A Nadri writes, “At Surat, merchants issued hundi on their correspondents in other cities. The issuer received the accounts plus a commission.” A report in the TOI said, historian Achyut Yagnik has also pointed out that even before the British era, Gujaratis were sarraffs or sahukars — money changers or lenders. “Since Cambay was an important port, the mer-
A modern day travellers cheque
chants willingly accepted the network of hundi transactions for it was safe. From the Solanki to Chalukya dynasties, to the Mughal rule and British Raj, hundis were prevalent. Everyone from Ahmedabad’s Shantidas Sheth to Emperor Shah Jahan issued hundis. Their use was widespread within the country as Gujarat dealt with Kolkata, Kashi, Delhi, Madras and other regions,” says Yagnik. In her thesis, ‘An Economic History of Hundi — 1858-1978’ for The London School of Economics, Marina Bernadette Victoria Martin states how hundis were a “centuries-old artery for Indian merchants’ networks”. Several types of hundis have Gujarati names; consider jokhami, shayog, and muddati, testament to their area of origin. However, in Gujarat, the existence of the hundi lives on in the legend of Narsinh Mehta. The song Narsinh Mehta ni hundi describes how Krishna paid Mehta’s debt via a
Princeton University, the University of Rochester, New York, the University of Hawaii, and Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania. In 2011 he was awarded an honorary D. Litt by Panjab University. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of the Parliament of India, from 1980 to 1986. Mr Singh’s exceptional achievements have been recognised on multiple occasions. In 1974 he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award in the Republic of India, which he returned in 1984 in protest against the siege of the Golden Temple by the Indian Army. In 2007 he was awarded the Padma Vibhusha, the second highest civilian award of the Republic of India. Professor Sir Rick Trainor, Principal & President of King’s College London, said: ‘We are delighted to confer this award on Mr Singh in celebration of the substantial achievements of one of our most successful, and best-known Indian alumni, as he enters his ninth decade of association with King’s College London and his 100th birthday.’
Family doctor cleared after evidence found ‘unreliable’ A family doctor has been cleared of groping a patient’s breast after a court found the woman’s evidence to be unreliable. The 42-year-old woman claimed Dr Abhijit Banerjee locked the consultation room door and asked her to remove her bra while she sat on the couch. She claimed that the senior partner at the Abbeyview Surgery, in Peterborough, Cambs, had knelt on the floor while he cupped and squeezed her breast as he breathed ‘erratically’. The General Medical Council accused the married fatherof-two of ‘sexually motivated conduct’ but the GP was vindicated when the court found Patient A’s evidence to be unreliable. Patient A, had a history of chest problems and had consulted Dr Banerjee for a ‘thorough’ chest examination. Despite undergoing more than 60 similar appointments because of her particular medical history she told the Manchester hearing this time it ‘just felt wrong’ at the hands of Dr Banerjee. The hearing was told that Patient A reported the incident after discussing what had happened with a friend, but did not make an official complaint until two months later. Dr Banerjee had been placed under temporary conditions that have now been lifted and the doctor can return to unrestricted practice.
Mother found dead with children at Harrow home A mother was found dead after allegedly killing her two young sons in their Harrow home, the police has revealed. Father Sakthivel Vageswaran, 36, an accountant found the bodies of his five-year-old Anopan and eightmonth-old Nathiban in black bin bags when he returned from work. Wife Jeyavani was also found dead. He is said to be still ‘screaming for his babies’ and will not return to the family home in Harrow, North London. Mr Sakthivel, who was born in northern Sri Lanka, moved to the UK around ten years ago and studied at London’s South Bank University. He has spent the past three years running a firm called Vaasi Accountancy. Neighbours described the family as ‘happy and smiling’ but said the second baby had increased the strain on the couple and they were shouting and arguing, at least three or four times in a month. But there were no mention of post-natal depression.
Jeyavani Sakthivel and her son Anopan pictured with father Vageswaran Sakthivel
mother had been suffering from post-natal depression. A post-mortem examination gave the woman’s cause of death as compression of the neck, a Scotland Yard spokesman said. Post-mortem examinations were due to be carried out on the two children on Tuesday, he added. A Scotland Yard Anopan Sakthivel, aged 5, (left) spokesman said Mrs and Nadaben, aged 8 months Sakthivel and her sons were pronounced dead Police revealed that at the scene. Police are they were not seeking not seeking anyone else anyone else in connection in connection with the with the deaths and were incident. investigating whether the
Young jobless Asians on the rise
Continued from page 1 The unemployment rate for whites aged 16-24 was 19% last September, the rate was 46% for young Pakistani and Bangladeshi workers, while it was 45% for young black people. For young Indians the rate was 34%, while it was 26% for young mixed-race workers and 29% for Chinese under-25s. All minority ethnic groups in the study had a higher joblessness rate than whites, especially those under 25. In the 12 months to September 2013 the average unemployment rate for young people in all minority ethnic groups including Asians jumped from 33% to 37%, an increase by 5%. In our report on 29 September 2012, we had highlighted that there are some underlying issues within the community that may have led to the current scenario. With the education cost rising by thousands, there are many who cannot afford to go to university - leading to a gap in their Resume. Secondly, many youngsters do not want to work in Asian or SME businesses, making their choice restricted to the general market, where competition is very high. Third, Asian businesses many times do not enrol their vacancies at Job Centre Plus. They believe in spreading the news within the community by word of mouth. So often
those availabilities go unnoticed. Fourth no one wants to hire inexperienced people in this economic climate, whereas without any previous scope of work, youngsters often remain inexperienced for very long. The longer the young stay out of work or education, the more difficult it becomes for them to get back into the world of work. It is frighteningly easy to slip into a cycle of inactivity and despondency as a result of prolonged unemployment. Across the adult working population as well, ethnic minority groups suffered a rise in the unemployment rate from 13% to 14% over the previous year. The rate remained constant between 2012 and 2013 for the UK as a whole, at 8%, and at 7% for white British workers. John Philpott, the Director of the Jobs Economist thinktank, said the latest data showed that youth unemployment is disproportionately affecting Britain’s ethnic minorities. Stephen Timms MP, Labour’ Shadow Employment Minister, responding to figures showing that young Black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi people have twice as high rates of unemployment as the UK average, told the Asian Voice: “These figures provide more evidence that there is no recovery for young people who are facing a cost-of-
living crisis. This complacent government is failing to help thousands of young people find work. “It’s deeply worrying that young Black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi people have twice as high rates of unemployment as the UK average. To address this situation, Labour would introduce a jobs guarantee for young people and take firm action to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.” A DWP spokesperson reportedly said: “Nationally there are more people from ethnic minorities in work than ever before. This is encouraging, but we are not complacent, we know more needs to be done to help people into jobs. That is why we introduced schemes such as the Work Programme to give people the individualised help they need. “The diversity of this country means we need an approach that focuses on individual job seekers, rather than simply defining people’s needs by their ethnicity. But where jobseekers from an ethnic group in an area have common barriers, then Jobcentre Plus and Work programme providers have the flexibility to tailor support to ensure they get the help they need to find work.” The report showed that over three million people from ethnic minorities were in work in the year to last September, up from 2.6 million in 2010.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Is It The Numbers Game Again? As I See It
On Saturday I attended the funeral of my longstanding friend Manab Majumder at the Golders Green crematorium. There were prayers from the Vedas, Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta and some songs as well. Attending a funeral is very sobering experience. For those few minutes most people not only remember the departed soul but also become engrossed with their own life and destiny. It is all very easy when the preacher says that all those who are born have come with one certainty, i.e. their death. The Geeta says the soul does not die, it cannot get wet or fire cannot touch it. Ultimately all of us are mortal and destined to die. It is an ongoing quest – who we are, and what we are here for, or what our destiny is. On my way back I was reading some newspaper in the tube. “Census figures have revealed a Startling shift in Britain’s demographic trends with almost one in ten babies or toddler who have born in England and Wales being Muslims” said Mr. Keith Perry in his dispatch in the Telegraph. Some newspapers have given details of similar children from Hindu, Sikh, Jewish and Christian backgrounds. In UK we can discuss all such matters openly. In India, sadly, such information is suppressed. Last year The Economist magazine published a story that the 2011 census statistics in India on the religion based data is not published by the Indian government – the Congress led UPA government. They were concerned about the potential backlash from the Hindus. When India became a separate nation in 1947, Muslims formed 9.4 per cent of the Indian population. And Christians formed 1 per cent. According to The Economist, in 2011 census, the Muslim numbers have grown up to 14.9 per cent and Christian to 3 percent. The natural corollary is that the percentage of Hindus in India is decreasing dramatically. Another fact was also revealed. At the time of partition, Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan were somewhere between 16 to 17 per cent. In the East Pakistan (present day Bangladesh) Hindus were
correctly) that Prophet Mohammad was also belonging to a Jewish family root. The Jewish which was one stage the majority religion in the Levant and Middle-East has today shrunk to only about 15 million population worldwide. Just over six million live in the state of Israel and just Swami Sri Baba Ramdev John Major Anjem Choudhary under six million are setSatyamitranandgiriji was a timely initiative. The demosomewhere around 31 tled in the USA. The Jewish population graphic change in the country could be per cent. Today that percentage in in UK, France, South Africa, Australia satisfying to the Muslims but could Pakistan is less than 3 per cent and in and Argentina are altogether less than cause deep concern to the British (The Bangladesh the Hindus have shrunk to two million. White British) people. With all the probnearly 9 per cent. (Sadly Hindus in It is also said that in the USA more Bangladesh are suffering untold misery lems of politicians harking on the immiand more Jews marry the Gentiles. The today – see comment on page-3) grants and immigration, UK has an six million Jews in Israel are surrounded In Britain the regular church going excellent record on anti-slavery measure by over 200 million Muslims in adjoining Christians are perhaps less than the as well as accepting refugees and asylum countries and the situation is very deliMuslims attending the mosque on reguseekers from foreign land and on the cate and volatile. Douglas Coupland has lar basis. The comment from Mr. Overseas Aid too. been quoted saying, “Old class definiIbrahim Mogra, the assistant secretary I cannot in all honesty advise “a man tions are increasing becoming obsolete. general of the Muslim Council of Britain on the London omnibus” but the sudden Perhaps word class can be replaced by describes that the large number of young demographic alteration does create some religions, caste or work ethics. As concerns in many and inevitably create Muslim children was a vote of confihuman beings we are concerned with problems for the policy makers. To my dence in the country by Muslims. our culture, religion and ethnicity. “I just wouldn’t want our fellow citiBritish British friends, I would say Perhaps the main reason is the bottomzens to be alarmed by an increase in please bear some thoughts for Hindus, line – political power of group A versus number”, he said. Some British media Sikhs, Jains and Buddhist in India. group B. have reproduced statement made by Mr. Few months ago a visiting holy man I too worry sometimes that our faith Anjem Choudhary, a firebrand leader of Swami Sri Satyamitranandgiriji and the is supposed to give us peace, solace, conAl-Mujahidin who has declared that one well-known Yoga guru Baba Ramdev fidence and hope. Perhaps it does. day Britain will be a Muslim nation and said in two separate and well attended Perhaps it is the opposite. I began quotthe flag of Islam will fly over the British public meetings that the Hindu percenting Vedas simply because it was the easy age in India is shrinking dramatically. parliament and Monarch’s palace. option. But in today’s interdependent Perhaps rather than going further on this Dale Barton, a priest in charge at St. world whatever is our faith the danger line, let me change the track a bit. Clements’s, a Church of England parish line is the aggression, the hatred, the vioin Bradford, said: “This was a white There is a major debate in the Jewish lence, the assertiveness as well as the working class British area 50 years ago. community as well about who is a Jew. conversion or otherwise pursuit for They have all gone. There are two pubs Hinduism and Jainism have not begun majority in the numbers game. I feel that hanging on by their fingertips. There’s a with an individual prophet or personalithe Jews who are in such a tiny number Labor club. One club has just gone. ty. They have evolved over a period and worldwide will always survive. They Shops are now Muslim owned. I am not hence there are large number of variahave got tenacity and many other posidecrying that”. tions in the interpretation of the message tive attributes. Their resilience, their Philip Lewis, a scholar of Islam and and the rituals. outstanding success in almost all walks author of Young, British and Muslim, To a certain extent that is true in the of life and their commitment to the State Judaism as well. Jesus Christ was the warned that the one-in-10 birthrate staof Israel and the basic tenets of Judaism Son of a Jew. Until recently the church tistic could “generate alarmism”. makes one feel that the quality is someDuring the premiership of John used to proclaim that Christ was the Son times more powerful than the quantity. Major, Mr. John Patten was a minister in of God. It took a Jewish Scholar years of the home office. He launched a camwork to prove that in fact Jesus was the - CB paign “On Being British”. I believe it Son of a Jew. I am also informed (I hope
Alok Sharma MP appointed as New Co-Chairman of the Conservatives Friends of India
Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West and Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party, has been named on Tuesday, as Co-Chairman of the campaigning group, Conservative Friends of India (CF India). Alok replaces Shailesh Vara MP, who stepped down following a promotion to government at the last ministerial reshuffle, and is now serving as Minister for Courts and Legal Aid. Alok will be working alongside Ranjit Baxi, who is the group’s other existing CoChairman. Alok has been a CF India Board member since its launch by the Prime Minister in 2012 and also serves as Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party, leading on BME engagement. Alok Sharma said: “I look forward to working with Ranjit and the rest of the team at CF India as we build further links with the
British Indian community and campaign for Conservative success in 2015 and beyond.” Lord Andrew Feldman, Chairman of the Conservative Party said: “I am delighted to welcome Alok Sharma as the new Co-Chairman of Conservative Friends of India. Alok brings with him a wealth of campaigning experience and will be a huge asset to CF India. I look forward to working with him to ensure that the Party continues to build on its strong ties with the
British Indian communities.” Ranjit Baxi, CoChairman of CF India said: “I congratulate Alok Sharma on his appointment as Co-Chairman of CF India. Alok's long standing association with the Indian community and his work in promoting Indo British ties will be very much welcomed by the Indian Community and CF India members. I very much look forward to working with him.” Ranjit continued: “I want to thank Shailesh for
all his efforts and it has been a joy working with him. The Conservative Party’s engagement with the Indian Community is stronger now than it has ever been, not least because of the considerable strides made by CF India.” Shailesh Vara, the outgoing Chairman of CF India, said: “CF India has a very important role to play in continuing to serve as a bridge between the Conservative Party and the British Indian Community. Increasingly, under David Cameron’s leadership, the new modern and inclusive Conservative Party is attracting more and more people from the British Indian community, especially young people. CF India is at an important stage in its development and I wish, Alok, the very best in his new role. I know that working alongside Ranjit they will take the organisation to a higher level.”
Coronation Street chooses Muslim Family to represent Asians for the first time
The 53-year-old ITV soap Coronation Street will welcome a Muslim family to the much-loved street for the first time in the soap's history. The family will act as relatives of Kal Nazir, a former soldier played by Indian-Irish actor Jimi Mistry, pictured, who joined the show in November. Most people are all too familiar with Mr Masood's family from Eastenders and now Coronation Street seems to be following in those footsteps. It is surprising that they have chosen a Muslim family as a representative of an Asian family, when there are Hindus and Sikhs that also make up the British demography in the UK. Is it their ignorance that they do not know the difference between the different religions/cultures? Producers have admitted that it was "bizarre" that the long-running soap has never featured an eth-
nic family. It seems they chose to include a Muslim family because a fifth of residents in Manchester are Muslims. The bosses of the show are adamant that they have consulted experts over 'all aspects of their lifestyle, culture and religion' to ensure that the family accurately reflects the experience of Muslims in Manchester. 41-year-old Mr Mistry, who started his career acting in EastEnders before finding fame as a star of 1999 film East Is East. In 2010 he competed on Strictly Come Dancing, and later became engaged to his dance partner Flavia Cacace. Mr Mistry is the son of an Indian father and an Irish mother.
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The Bangladeshi Beauty with Brains Farzana Munny is one of the most famous young women of Bangladesh and a beautiful, passionate, committed entrepreneur. I have spent two weeks studying her empire here in Dhaka for a radio series I am working on. Farzana has a thriving beauty business as owner and CEO of two salons in upmarket areas of Dhaka that cater to the rich, the famous and those mortals who just want to feel and look good. The brand is called Que Bella and is growing so fast that more of Farzana’s fantastically designed boutique beauty houses are likely to be built over coming years. With different buildings like a VIP spa all in a spacious complex set away
from the road in secure surroundings, just entering the place is relaxing. Farzana has appointed a capable manager called Laila (another entrepre-
neur who supports NGOs) to run one of her salons in the diplomatic quarter of Dhaka. But this entrepreneur always gives back to socie-
Married woman cheats seven fiances she met on dating website out of £36,000 Mother-of-two Sidra Fatima, from Yorkshire, cheated seven future husbands out of £36,000 after joining match-making website. She, with the help of her former-husband, used two identities to convince prospective suitors into the wedding scam. Posing as a prospective bride on the dating website, she lured the wouldbe husbands out of cash and gifts worth £36,000. But once the men handed over the cash and jewellery, she called off the ‘’relationships’’ or stopped answering their telephone calls. Fatima, 33, who has previously admitted to a string of fraud offences, was given a 12-month jail term suspended for two years on Friday 10th January. Her former husband Raja Haider Ali was jailed for a total of 30 months. In one of her website profiles Fatima, who lives in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, described herself as a simple person learning from life and finding herself. ‘’I am looking for someone who knows the meaning of love - someone who can touch my soul,’’
Raja Haider Ali
she claimed. But Bradford Crown Court heard that Fatima and Ali were working as a team to attract would-be husbands with Ali acting as her brother or cousin during meetings. Prosecutor John Harrison reportedly said: ‘’The various suitors were not told that Fatima and Ali were married. Following the initial meeting Fatima would agree to a marriage. She would then insist that the complainant hand over money to pay for the wedding and also purchase items for the wedding to give to her in the form of a dowry. The defendants made significant sums from this fraudulent activity. It was, the prosecution say, an audacious if simple fraud.” It is believed that the seven victims included men from Yorkshire and from Southern England. Only one of the victims had the strength to come forward after he saw
media coverage of the police investigation into the scams. One man said he honestly wanted to marry Fatima who appeared to be a clever, smart and humble person, while another said another proposed marriage had fallen through because of his involvement with Fatima. Fatima, 33, admitted fraud offences against seven would-be husbands and also pleaded guilty to further charges of mortgage fraud and insurance fraud relating to a property in Huddersfield. The court heard she gave false details about her employment and income to obtain a £171,000 mortgage on the house, which had been owned by Ali, and she later obtained an insurance pay-out of £25,000 after submitting a bogus burglary claim. Fatima, who was said to be the sole carer for her two children, had her 12month jail term suspended
ty. She is a tremendous philanthropist and, even in her salons, tends to employ tribal girls from the hill tracts who are able, through her, to become empowered and support their own families. Farzana holds several directorships and is one hundred per cent committed to Bangladesh. She would never leave, she told me, even though she could easily move her business to New York or London. “I want to stay here,” she commented. “I was always interested in beauty and fashion, which is why I set up my own business.” How did she do it, I wanted to know. “Well, even though there have been some ups and downs, maybe it was due to my passion. I have now 170 workers who are empowered. It makes me feel proud and happy to contribute something to my country.” Her business has progressed by leaps and bounds over the last five years. She does design,
makeovers and brides and most times when I asked for her in Dhaka her staff told me she was running around styling brides or working on another aspect of her business.
I love my people, no matter what, I want to stay here and do something for my country
“In the modern world, women have to work alongside men too. That encourages me to do more and to do better. I believe our country provides many job opportunities for women to pursue their own careers. The government also provides small loans to small and medium entrepreneurs so anyone who wants to, can start their own business and the interest is low. It encourages women to be more independent and to do better day by day.” Farzana commented.
I wanted to know what life was like for businesswomen in Dhaka. “Well, take a look at me,” smiled Farzana enigmatically. And she has plenty of ambition- but in a positive way. “What do you want?” I asked her. “To do good for the people, she explained. “To do something better for the country. To do a lot of things for women, especially. I really want to work for underprivileged children. I love my country, I love my people, no matter what, I want to stay here and do something for my country. All my workers are happy, they have smiles on their faces. I can do anything for them.” Farzana certainly deserves to be in demand and her incredible spirit of giving is unusual. She is generous, sincere and affectionate and full of energy. I hope she will progress further in life, even though she is already one of Bangladesh’s most significant ladies and has already touched the stars.
Police community support officer accused of rape and blackmail Kabeer Yousaf, 30, has been charged with blackmail, rape and misconduct in a public office, as well as extorting money and taking sexual favours from prostitutes. Yousaf was arrested during an indepth investigation into the trafficking of women from Eastern Europe as sex workers. The civilian employee is suspected of demanding money in return for keeping quiet about their activities. Anti-corruption investigators believe he took hundreds of pounds while working on the job in Upton Park, East London. The married police officer appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court charged with blackmail, rape and misconduct in a public office. The court was told he is accused of blackmailing women at a brothel on St Stephen’s Road near Upton Park Tube Station. According for two years after Judge Burn heard that she also suffered from mental health problems including depression. She will have to take part in a high level activity programme under the guidance of the probation service.
to the charge, he visited the illicit business in September and offered to keep police away in return for £500 a week. The rape charge states that the PCSO demanded that one of the women perform a sex act on him on December 22 in lieu of payment. Yousaf was arrested 24
hours before his court appearance as part of what the Met described as an ‘ongoing investigation’ by its Human Trafficking Unit. Yousaf worked in the Green Street East ward of Newham borough, alongside PCs, a sergeant and an inspector. His role involved high-visibility patrols, meeting members of the community and dealing with low-level antisocial behaviour. Yousaf has been ordered to appear at Southwark Crown Court on January 24.
Man charged with murder of Sameena Zaman
Leicester: 44-year-old Mohammed Zaman appeared in court on Monday 13th January, after been charged with the murder of 34-year-old Sameena Zaman. The body was found at a house in Down Street, Belgrave, on Wednesday,
January, 8. Dressed in jeans and a fleece-lined dark jacket, he spoke only to confirm his name, address and age. Magistrates adjourned the case to Leicester Crown Court for a preliminary hearing later this month.
Rain, Rain, Go Away
In my previous letter entitled “The North Wind Doth Blow”, I had enlightened Asian Voice readers about the weather forecasters’ predictions of severe snow falls in the UK this winter. It transpires that the forecasters’ predictions of inclement weather have come true albeit in the form of unprecedented rainfall. The snow has gone to the east coast of the US where the coldest weather in 20 years has been recorded and millions have been told to stay indoors. However, the Atlantic jet stream which emanated in the US, has brought us misery in the form of floods. The Government is doing all it can to help the victims of the heavy rainfall by providing and sandbags and flood defenses but that is not enough. We need to educate people all over the world to stop harming the earth’s atmosphere. The rainfall, snow and floods are Mother Nature’s cry for help in retaliation to the flogging we humans subject her to. I would like to reiterate here what I have said before in this column – stop belching out poisonous gases in the atmosphere or else our posterity will have no earth to live on. So what could be done to prevent such disasters from happening again? It is time for governments to do more to protect the environment. This could be achieved by reducing global warming and conserving an ecological balance by avoiding the depletion of natural resources like trees and forests – by creating sustainability. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford
When in Rome, do as the Romans do
I read the news in Asian Voice about long term immigrants unwelcoming towards the new (AV 11 Jan, page 1). It is true that longer you live in Britain, one’s threshold to tolerate a certain lowly and unacceptable behaviour from their own kin changes. For example a few years back in Wembley I saw newly arrived immigrants spit ‘katha’ (catechu) on the road after eating pans (betle leaf). The roads were stained with brownish red spots everywhere. We Asians have been a part of Britain for the last 40 years and never once we have dirtied or stained the roads like the newly arrived. Naturally the feeling of hostility towards our own kin for exporting their bad habits to Britain from our country of origin enrage me. In fact I felt they were bringing shame to the whole community by engaging in such heinous acts. Why can they not spit in a bin? This perhaps is not the case with every Asian who have migrated to Britain in the last 10 years, and I don’t want to generalise. But integration is one of the main factors and if you cannot accept the British ways of life, its rules and regulations, you should not live in Britain at all.
Indian taxes reform debate
Sunday evening’s debate on NDTV was about proposals for taxation reform by BJP and now more generally by experts and other parties in India. As a percentage of total tax receipts in 2011-12, Corporation Tax accounted for 34%; Income Tax 18%; Import Duties 15%; Excise Duties 13%; Service Tax 11%; Education Cess 2% and other taxes 7% of total INR 90bn tax revenue. Total tax burden is very low at 8% of GDP (UK is 38% of GDP). Abolishing or reducing taxes may not be a good idea. A simpler more progressive system of taxation is desirable. AAP is already arguing for this. I believe the black economy is a very large part of the Indian economy. The “cake” is not distributed equitably. Basically there is an India of haves and another of have-nots. There is now a momentum to combat corruption. Surely combating tax evasion should be a part of this reform. One idea could be inclusion of private drawings and personal profit and loss and balance sheet in Tax Returns. A mismatch between declared income and private drawings often implies tax evasion. I was told in Mumbai that when a new model of Mercedes comes in town, Senior Tax Inspector telephones a client: “new Model of Mercedes has come”. Next day the Mercedes would be delivered at his home. So Tax Inspectors need to make returns of private drawing as well. Tax reform could improve education, healthcare and life of the have-nots. Nagindas Khajuria Via Email
Scrapping income tax in India
The main opposition party BJP in India during the forth coming national election campaign suggests that income tax should be scrapped altogether. There are too many taxes in India and there should be a simpler tax system.. In India only 3% of the population out of 1.4 Billion pay income tax which comes to less than 4 million people. Only people who work in governmental jobs, big manufacturing companies and private corporations pay tax. The people who earn less than 2 lakhs a year pay no tax. The average pay in factories is less than 10,000 rupees per month and in small towns they are paid less than that. More than 60% of the population in India have no income at all and unemployment is very high in India. According to Western calculation more than 400 million people in India are economically inactive and they do not have any income apart from free hand outs of rice, wheat, oil and gas cylinders. Handing out free food does not generate wealth or create jobs. On the basis of western calculation on unemployment figures there may be more than 400 million people long term unemployed with no proper jobs in India. When average income of a worker in
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British Indian in Spain
We note with joy Mr Avari’s keen observation about Mogul and British rule over India as 421 years. He is able to so as he is attached to Department of HistoryManchester Metropolitan University. He is correct to suggest that writers should write history with care and precision. But Mr Gandhi’s, seemingly exaggerated remark is blast from schooldays when information was deemed more important than accuracy. As scholars go to higher levels of learning or teaching, accuracy becomes important. Thus writers like Mr. Gandhi or others may be excused for such faux pas. But, I would impose on Mr. Avari’s goodness to indulge in lateral thinking and hover out of Mogul-British time frame written by Mr. Gandhi. Then he would find truth in Mr. Gandhi’s statement about thousands of years of foreigners’ rule, subjugation, exploitation and loot of India. Emperor Ashoka, Harshavardhana, Cholas, Pandas and Kattabomanas resisted and repelled such invaders. It is no secret that India has been invaded by Greek (Alexander), Persians, Turks, Afghans before Moguls. Gazanavis, Khiljis, Aybak, Nadirshah, Tamurlane etc are well-known invaders too. Retrogress farther and one will find Shakas and Huns invaded India. Further retrogression may also be done to include epics like Ramayan and Mahabharat as war history of India. Mogul and British rules had decisive roles in moulding Hindustan. Moguls contributed mirs, pirs, fakirs, music, naat, quawalis, art and architecture. Later, British ended Mogul dynastic rule and helped Hinduism to enter 20th Century with dignity that was trampled by Moguls. Ramesh Jhalla Via Email
I spent a week in Spain over New Year on a golf resort, where many Europeans come to escape the cold. I was the only Indian, normally when I travel abroad I take three hats, Gujarati, Indian and British. The Gujarat hat gives problems as many have not heard of the Indian state, so I retort to, have you heard of Gandhi. He was a Gujarati I say with pride, this answers the query. On this trip a Frenchman from Paris asked but where in Gujarat, near Ahmedabad the capital I replied, to my astonishment he replied, I was there, to design a car plant for Peugeot, in Sanand the industrial hub of Ahmedabad. Of a German couple only the wife spoke English, my thoughts turned to India where the race is on to drop your “mathtru bhasa” (mother tongue) and learn English, and here was a husband, from one of the most powerful economies in the world, who spoke no English, a lesson for Indians I thought. A Swede was familiar with India, as he had played golf in New Delhi. A Dutchman from Rotterdam said, “I work for Tata steel, Ratan Tata does a lot for charities, hospitals housing etc” It was heartening to hear. A Norwegian man from Oslo, who was widely travelled, in Europe we are taught only a little of the rest of the world he said, India has no national language I moaned, and the UN has no language for India as a result. How can a national government function he asked, I was at a loss myself. For me Gujarati becomes useful in Spain, where words like “TU” you; “DIAS” day “DIEZ”(ten) and many more. So when I dropped my London born daughter for a flight to India I said, leave your English hat here, and take the Hindi hat with you. Jayesh Patel Via Email
India is less than 200 rupees a day what is the point in increasing the tax limit to more than 2 lakh rupees a year? People who earn more than one lakh rupees should be asked to pay income tax. How many people in India earn even 17,000 rupees a month? The government has fixed below poverty level as one who earns less than 25 rupees per day which comes to less than 10,000 rupees a year. The best thing is to scrapping income tax and it costs more to collect the money. Arun Vaidyanathan Via Email
Tainted Blessing for Rahul
It saddens most people to witness spectacular downfall of Manmohan Singh, gentle, kind and caring person and above all great economist who rescued India from economic meltdown when he was appointed Finance Minister in 1991 by PM Narasimha Rao and given free hand to turn the economy around. As Governor of Reserve Bank of India and economic technocrat, he had the knowledge, tenacity and burning desire to serve Bharat, succeeding beyond his
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wildest dream, freeing economy from the shackles imposed by left leaning Congress since independence. His economic reforms paid handsome dividends, especially when BJP came to power under PM Atalji notching 8-10% growth, especially in Gujarat under Modi. Crafty, unpatriotic Gandhi dynasty led by Italian import turned this gentle giant into puppet on a string, presiding over declining economy, corruption and totalitarian rule. Dr Singh has become an object of ridicule and fun. PM Singh performed his last rights by pronouncing his benediction, endorsing Rahul Gandhi as his successor, out of loyalty rather than conviction, complete novice and a failure who trails Modi and even novice Kejriwal in every opinion poll. Rahul is an asset to opposition, especially BJP, having miserably failed to uplift Congress in recent State elections. Congress practically lost every constituency Rahul addressed. Retirement will come as relief and a blessing to this likable, decent politician thrown at the deep end, a sacrificial lamb to the altar of Gandhi dynasty. Let us wish him a happy retirement which he richly deserves. Bhupendra M Gandhi Via Email
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British High Commissioner Indian-origin student to India ushers students challenges UK universities on to study in the UK 'voluntary' gender segregation
Sir James Bevan, the British High Commissioner to India is working very hard to convince Indian students to choose Britain as a destination for higher education. This comes as perhaps a corrective measure after the tougher visa system and exchange rates have started proving as tough hurdles for Indian students. In 2011-12, the number of Indians studying in the UK declined by almost a quarter than before. In his speech on January 9th at Delhi University, he said that the best Indian food in the world (curry) is served everywhere in the UK, especially London, as
nation's one of the most favourite foods. "Here’s something that will surprise you: visas are not a problem. Really,” Sir James told his audience. “We want the world’s best and brightest, we
have set no limit on the numbers of foreign students who can come to Britain. No limit. So if you are a genuine student with a place at a UK university, you will get your visa,” he added. Sir James further said: “Camellia Punjabi, who introduced regional Indian cuisine to the UK, said recently that the best Indian food in the world is now served in London. “We want you. We in the UK want the world’s best and brightest to come and study in our country…there’s a global competition for the best and brightest: you students here are in that category. We want you in Britain..."
by some South Asian communities, specifically those with roots in parts of Pakistan or Bangladesh," the commission said in its evidence paper published recently. The "higher risk" areas that will come under further investigation include Birmingham, Blackburn with Darwen, Bradford, Burnley, Calderdale, Coventry, Derby, Hyndburn, Kirklees, Oldham, Pendle, Peterborough, Slough,
Tower Hamlets, Walsall and Woking. "The evidence and views we have heard raise significant questions about whether individuals within these communities are able effectively to exercise their right to vote...We have begun further work to identify relevant evidence in order to help address concerns about the vulnerability of some South Asian communities," the commission said.
Sir James Bevan
Britain guards against Pakistani and Bangladeshi voting fraud
The Electoral Commission has decided to take additional precautions to avoid voter fraud in areas that have majority residents of South Asian origin, especially those who are of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin. Officials, political parties and police have been asked to do more to prevent election fraud among these communities. Therefore voters in the UK will now have to show a photo ID before being allowed to vote at polling stations, the Election Commission has confirmed. The Electoral Commission, which undertook a consultation on 'Electoral Fraud in the UK' last year, found that electoral fraud is committed in areas largely populated by some South Asian communities. MP Dominic Grieve had faced scathing criticism in November regarding his comment about voter fraud in Pakistani communities, when he gave an exclusive interview to the Daily Telegraph. Electoral Commission chairperson Jenny Watson reportedly said, "Proven cases of electoral fraud are rare and, when it is committed, the perpetrators tend to be candidates or their supporters. Voters are the victims and sustained action is needed now to prevent fraud from taking place." "There are strongly held views, based in particular on reported firsthand experience by some campaigners and elected representatives, that electoral fraud is more likely to be committed by or in support of candidates standing for election in areas which are largely or predominately populated
British Universities bribing students to take up places UK Universities are facing accusations of wasting money trying to allure students with free flights, laptops, gym membership, cinema tickets and upto £10,000 in cash to fill places. There has been a steady decline in the number of students taking up university places after the tuition fees tripled in 2012. Institutions have been warned that they risked squandering resources by entering a US-style “arms race” to recruit bright teenagers on to degree courses irrespective of their household income. This disclosure came
days before the main deadline (Jan 15) to finally apply to courses starting in autumn 2014 through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). A research by the Telegraph has found that many universities are also promising cash contributions upto £10,000 towards living costs or substantial discounts on fees, while some are providing a string of other benefits. Some universities offering some form of academic scholarship – irrespective of household income.
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Radha Bhatt, an Indian student at the Cambridge University, has challenged a move by the UK universities to allow 'voluntary' gender segregation at Muslim meetings on campuses across the country. In a legal letter, she has reportedly demanded that that Universities UK (UUK), which represents all vice-chancellors in the United Kingdom, admit that a guidance on segregation, it published last November, was "unlawful". Ms Bhatt, a 19-yearold first-year history student, believes that the UUK guidance is a threat to women of all backgrounds. UUK's guidance had cited a case study to justify its policy of allowing the "voluntary" separation of men and women for religious purposes. It was forced to withdraw the case study last month and to review its guidance after Prime Minister David Cameron said he wanted to ban segregation at universities. She told the Sunday Times, "I don't see this as
a Muslim issue. Once you allow one religious group to impose its discriminatory values, it's like a slippery slope, and others will follow," she told the Sunday Times. "Universities are secular, neutral public bodies that perform public functions, and for them to allow others to impose such discriminatory values is really dangerous." "I feel that religious sensibilities are taking precedence over basic equality laws and universal human rights protocols and I think equality must always trump religious belief. Of course religious belief is important, but equality trumps
it," she added. Ms Bhatt has raised her concern about UUK's guidance in a letter sent through her lawyers to the chief executive Nicola Dandridge and has demanded an explanation regarding the "confusion caused by the original version of the guidance", The Times of India reported. A UUK spokeswoman reportedly said the organisation "has always maintained that enforced gender segregation at university events is wrong. However, where gender segregation is voluntary the law is unclear". It is working with senior legal counsel and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) "to clarify the position for both universities and students". Last month the EHRC said the type of segregation proposed by UUK was "not permissible" under gender equality laws.
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While BJP prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, and his Congress rival Rahul Gandhi may be hogging the media headlines, spare a thought for a possible dark horse on the rails, to quote a racing metaphor, surprising the favorites on the final lap. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha’s name was mentioned in the Business Standard (January 7) in the context of a hung parliament and a constellation of regional parties jockeying for power.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Witness also scenes during the ‘Arab Spring’ in Cairo and elsewhere and their affinity with those at Delhi’s Ramlila Ground in August 2011 during the Anna Hazare agitation on the Lokpal Bill and the intervention of Statement Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland cautioning the Indian government on its reaction. (The shenanigans in the Ukranian capital, Kiev, and the brazen calls from the US and EU for regime change are an even more telling example, surely). Finally, the number of US-influenced Magsaysay awardees in Aam Aadmi ranks carries more than a whiff of suspicion. The search for lost innocence leaves many honest participants in such movements vulnerable to manipulation. Period
She clearly has presence, a gift of speech and a formidable intelligence, not to speak of her record as chief minister of a state whose economic progress and advances in social and education welfare have propelled it to the top three of the larger Indian States. Tamil Nadu has never had a prime minister, and the last from India’s south being Narasimha Rao almost two decades ago. If that wasn’t enough, the Congress decision to rope in Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as a leading campaigner in the party’s electoral roadshow (The Hindu made this its lead frontpage story, January 8) is a sure sign of a new political intensity, although The Telegraph (January 8) dismissed the move as “clutching at a straw.” It could, of course, be no more than that, a desperate remedy for an increasingly desperate situation, but much the same was said of her grandmother Indira Gandhi’s arrival on the centre stage of Indian politics many moons ago. A good case can be made for Indian women politicians having more bottle than their male compeers. It took the feisty Mamata Banerjee, in West Bengal, did it not, to blow away the Communist-led Left Front after its entrenched 34-year rule, when Bengali men, a talkative breed at the best and worst of times, had failed miserably to do so. There is some way to go before May’s general election, but be prepared for a bumpy ride to who knows where or what. Crystal ball gazers should find hours of gainful employment.
Aam Aadmi in bother
Little did Aam Aadmi pied piper, Arvind Kejriwal, know what he was letting himself in for, when he clasped Prashant Bhusan to his bosom as one of his own. The absurdist “human rights” advocate set the cat among the pigeons with a thunderbolt across the bows, with a proclamation calling for a referendum on the Indian Army’s presence in certain strategic areas of Jammu and Kashmir. The uproar in Delhi and its surrounds rum-
bled angrily across the land. The Times of India editorial, “Dangerous Mumbo-Jumbo” (January 8), recalled that it wasn’t the first time that the egregious Mr Bhusan had opened his mouth on the subject and put his foot in it, nor probably would it be the last. When chancer Bhusan had joined Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement in 2011, he had called for a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir, much to Mr Hazare’s annoyance.
Former Justice of India’s Supreme Court Ashok Kumar Ganguly, who was accused of attempted sexual harassment of a law intern stepped down as Chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission, alleging that the charges against him were “baseless”. However, a three-judge panel of the Supreme Court “found substance” in the harassment complaint by the 19-year-old complainant. Mr Ganguly had tendered his resignation to West Bengal Governor M.K Naryanan “to obviate further controversy and to ensure peace and happi-
The Strategic Forces Command, which handles India’s nuclear weapons delivery systems, test-fired the surface-to-surface Prithvi-II missile on January 7 from a mobile launcher near Chandipur, Odisha. The missile, capable of carrying a 500-kilogramme nuclear warhead covered its full 350-kilometre range. Prithvi-II has replaced Prithvi-I, as a tactical battlefield weapon. Its naval nuclear capable version, Dhanush, has a 250-kilometres. the retail price has fallen by 57 per cent. Likewise, onions are 50 per cent cheaper in the wholesale markets of Chennai and the retail outlets of Delhi. Vegetables like brinjals (egg plants) and ladies fingers have joined the slide. CARE ratings Economist Madan Chief Sabnavis said an exceedingly good December-January production cycle had boosted supplies and brought down prices across the board (Business Standard, January 8)
Four of India’s leading twowheeler manufacturers have sold almost one million motorcycles and scooters in December, an 8.5 per cent growth over the same month in the previous year. Market leader MotorCorp, reported record sales of 1.68 million during the SeptemberDecember quarter. The scooter segment grew fastest. Honda India motorcycle sales rose by 18 per cent, while those of its
Kejriwal dissociation, what else?
Arvind Kejriwal and his followers were quick to dissociate themselves and their party from Mr Bhusan’s latest calculated outburst on Jammu and Kashmir, but his outburs. These performances set a number of discerning minds thinking aloud. One such person was Saurav Jha who reproduced, in summarized form, Colonel RSN Singh’s analysis on the internet, Guest Post # 5. The piece is too long for a full reproduction or discussion here, so its gist must do for now. As Colonel Singh is one of India’s foremost security experts, his views deserve close critical scrutiny. He makes the following points: 1 A new form of international warfare, conducted by intelligence agencies, has replaced the old overt forms conducted by battlefield militaries. 2 The proxy war in India thrives on political instability, with Kashmiri jihadis and Maoists ranged against the Indian state.3 Subversion and terror are their instruments. 4 The US factor. The US, deeply disappointed at losing out on the lucrative multi-billion contract for its fourth-generation aircraft for the Indian Air Force, was determined to teach New Delhi a lesson through engineered political turbulence. The US ambassador left India in a huff, his post vacant for an unprecedented eight months.
Ashok Kumar Ganguly
Parsi grandee Parsi billionaire Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry,84, has added $2.8 billion to his wealth last year, aided by a 73 per cent surge by Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) - 74 per cent owned by Tata Sons. As the largest individual shareholder in Tata Sons along with his family - his son Cyrus Mistry is Chairman of the Tata Group - Mistry senior has amassed a fortune of $14.1 billion. The Indian IT sector performance in recent times has been good, but TCS has surpassed it. The company posted a 34 per cent jump in net income, with more surely to come as the economies in Europe and the US emerge from the shadows.
The Shaoorji Pallonji Group has built Mumbai landmarks such as the Reserve Bank of India, the India headquarters of the Hong
Reserve Bank of India building in Mumbai
ness of the members of my family….” The manner of his departure, which involved government pressure and a media outcry, came in for trenchant criticism from the former Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Somnath Chatterjee, a distinguished member of the bar, who averred that due process had been violated to the detriment of the rule of law (Hindu, Times of India, January 8)
Winter crops cool prices
Prices of many vegetables have declined, by as much as 50 per cent is some cases, thanks to increased volumes of crops to market. Vegetable prices were seen as one of the key factors behind the ruling Congress party’s debacle in the recent State elections. Vegetable prices, especially onions and tomatoes, are now on a downward trend. Consider Chennai, where the wholesale price of tomatoes has plunged 50 per cent from its December 6 benchmark., while
scooters by an exponential 54 per cent in the same period, Yamaha Motor India sales went up by 37 per cent. Honda Cars India bucked the declining trend in automobiles on the back of a 29.5 per cent sales rise, thanks largely to the success of its latest model, Amaze. (Business Standard January 3)
Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Holdings Plc, the new Taj Mahal Palace and the Oberoi Hotel. It built the stunning royal place in Oman, and Tata factories and steel mills across India. Put this down to enterprise, vision and hard work (Business Standard January 3).
Morgan Stanley banker killed wife after losing bank millions of pounds
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Morgan Stanley banker Manas Kapoor, who was also a gambling addict, strangled his wife in fit of rage after he lost the bank millions of pounds, a court has heard. 35-year-old Manas Kapoor, from Northwood, who worked as a product controller, feared he would be sacked after an accounting error cost the bank millions of pounds. He had asked his wife Shivani to come with him to a meeting for moral support, the jury was told. But on July 10 last year, prosecutors claim, he attacked the 35-year-old at their home and then tried to cover up the crime by saying she fell off a stool. She died in hospital two days later. Before she died, Mrs Kapoor, who had a one-year-old daughter with her husband, discovered he had been spending thousands of pounds on gambling websites. He admitted he was £8,000 in debt and had been borrowing from friends and family to cover his losses, the
Shivani & Manas Kapoor
court heard. Duncan Atkinson, prosecuting, reportedly said that, three days before she died, Mrs Kapoor noticed jewellery including four bangles, a chain and a gold coin, as well as £1,500 cash had gone missing. When she confronted her husband he denied taking it but became “very aggressive and defensive”, the jury was told. He told Wood Green Crown Court: “At 1.17pm on July 10 2013, a call was made to the emergency services from their home address by the defendant. He said he had found
his wife unconscious on the bedroom floor and thought she had fallen off a stool and hit her head and stopped breathing. The emergency operator talked the defendant thought CPR techniques until paramedics arrived at 1.32pm.” The court heard that when paramedics arrived they spotted a red mark across Mrs Kapoor’s neck “like a ligature mark”. Mr Kapoor also allegedly had fresh scratches on his face. During a post postmortem examination two days later, further injuries were found. These included bruising on her back, elbows and shoulders, implying she had been pinned against a wall or floor, deep bruising around her nose suggesting a hand had been put over her face, and her neck had been compressed so hard it had bruised her spine, the jury was told. Mr Kapoor denies murder. The case continues.
Pregnant fiancee watches partner hacked to death with axe Father-to-be Danny Gough, 24, was cut down with an axe and a machete by three masked men in front of his pregnant wife Kareena Modashia, Police have heard. Mr Gough had returned home to Croydon from a weekend trip to Brighton and announced it on his Facebook account, jurors were told. One of the alleged killers, Sam Monteith, 32, accessed the page using his laptop just hours before Mr Gough was murdered. Prosecutor Mark Heywood QC reportedly
said: ‘The venture was carefully planned, the participants had acquired detailed knowledge not only as to the location but also as to the interior of the address and where people might be. They knew that Danny Gough, their target, was present and where he was. It leads to the conclusion that they took steps to
avoid identification. Whoever did it made damn sure there was no evidence.' ‘There is no identifiable DNA, no fingerprint, no distinctive footmark, no facial recognition, because they were covered and no weapon discarded. Above all there was one very obvious conclusion. This was a revenge attack of a particular kind, intended to be a statement. If you are able to work out those who have motives for revenge and who had motivations for a revenge of this particular kind, you are much further down the track. All of
these factors become relevant when considering who the killers are.’ It is claimed the murder was part of an ongoing feud between Mr Gough’s friend Leanne Meredith and Monteith.
Friendships with all races helps children overcome discrimination Amidst the anti-immigration fervour that has blanketed over Britain since January 1, with the opening of doors to Romanians and Bulgarians, comes this new revelation that ethnic mixing for children is actually crucial, in order for them to overcome discrimination. The study by psychologists in Goldsmiths found that friendships with white children are good for children with ethnic minority families and helps them build a sense of
well-being. The research also indicated that friendships across ethnic lines also mean white children are less likely to grow up prejudiced. The results of the study acts as a contradiction to the left-wing philosophy of multiculturalism, which encourages different races to develop their separate cultures and identities. Those who support multiculturalism regard mainstream British culture as racist and believed that ethnic minorities do not
Footballer Michael Chopra fined over £10,000 for criticising club Blackpool striker Michael Chopra has been fined more than £10,000 after he took to Twitter to criticise manager Paul Ince and the club’s training methods. Chopra has only played four full games with Blackpool Football Club since moving from Ipswich in the summer and is yet to
score a goal, despite making another 13 appearances as a substitute. The former Newcastle United, Cardiff City and Sunderland centre-forward was told to come in for extra training on Tuesday by Ince, but the 30-year-old was unimpressed when he got there.
benefit from integrating with the white majority However, the report from the Unit for School and Family Studies and the University of London college reportedly said: 'Increasing cross-ethnic friendships quality, in terms of frequency and closeness, was related to higher psychological wellbeing and resilience. An increase in the number of cross-ethnic friendships helps protect psychological well-being from the consequences of perceived ethnic discrimination and strengthens resilience of ethnic minority children.'
ABPL would like to inform readers that the article of 23rd November 2013 on page 13 incorrectly quoted Mr Khalid Sheikh as having used the words: 'rather than be misled by opportunists such as Mr Patel'. No such words were in fact used. While ABPL did not adopt or endorse the erroneous quotation, it is happy now to make clear that it accepts Mr. Patel is not a misleading opportunist. ABPL apologises to both Mr. Patel and Mr. Sheikh for the error.
Hot Pink: Try your virtual products before you buy
CGI and digital 3D modelling have increasingly become the go-to technology for retail websites that want to allow their customers to try their products before they buy. Start-ups, in particular, are using virtual reality tools to compete with traditional shops – and even using 3D modelling to create new industries. The traditional jewellers in Hatton Garden are being faced with new competition from the disruptive new online startup, Hot Pink. Founded in 2011 by Manu Bhardwaj, the company uses complex 3D modelling software to help customers create the ultimate engagement ring Hot Pink offers shoppers a free consultation either over the phone or at its offices in central London or Essex. The ring is designed on screen by one of Mr Bhardwaj’s four staff. Everything from the stones, setting, shape of the ring and any engraving
can be defined by the customer. “As long as it meets the laws of physics, we can make it,” he said. Once the ring has been created online, customers can see it modelled on a virtual hand. Hot Pink also offers a prototyping service for skittish customers who are unsure about their final design. “We make the ring out of silver and Swarovski stones, at cost,” explained Mr Bhardwaj. “We call it the ‘proposal ring’ service. If your partner likes it – and says yes – we remake it with precious stones.” “I think of us as a technology company, first and foremost, rather than a jeweller,” says Mr Bhardwaj, who used to be an engineer for the Ministry of Defence. “This technology is common place in the engineering industry,” continued Mr Bhardwaj. “I’ve brought that level of sophistication to the consumer industry.”
2 Asians among 11 evil NHS workers to have their pensions stripped
The trial continues.
The researchers asked 247 11-year-olds from Asian backgrounds in 37 different school classes a series of questions about who their friends were, and on what they thought the effects of discrimination were on their lives. The result found a clear link between more friends from different ethnic groups and stronger well-being. Professor Adam Rutland, one of the chief researchers, said: 'This research is really important in developing and improving our understanding of relationships across ethnicities. He tweeted: “F***ing joke this came into training only 6 f***ing players here then find out the fitness coach taken (sic) the football session #joke.” The tweet was quickly deleted from Chopra’s account and although attempts to contact Ince directly have so far failed, the club have
GP Kanval Nagpal
Darwish Hasan Darwish
Eleven NHS workers have had their pensions taken away after committing offences including murdering and molesting patients, stealing their blood and corruption, the Department of Health has revealed. Almost all of the health workers stripped of their benefits are doctors and nurses, while only one is a health service administrator. Each have committed offences in connection with their work that the Health Secretary believes "to have been gravely injurious to the State or to
be liable to lead to serious loss of confidence in the public service" - the criteria which each has to meet in order that pensions can be withdrawn. The list, which was provided to The Times under the Freedom of Information Act, includes gynaecologist Darwish Hasan Darwish, who was punished for indecent assault and was stripped of all benefits in 2009. In 2011, GP Kanval Nagpal was also punished for indecent sexual assault and he was stripped of 15 per cent of his pension.
confirmed he is furious with his striker’s behaviour. “The club can confirm that Chopra was one of number of players asked to report to training as normal this morning for extra work with the fitness coach. Both the manager and the chairman are aware and disappointed with the contents of his
tweet, prompting this course of action. The player, who has the right to appeal, has since apologised for the tweet and removed the contents from his account.” Blackpool fans are also unlikely to be impressed by Chopra’s behaviour given his poor form for the club.
Meherban Mahendra Kaul
Kailash Budhwar Former Head, BBC World Service in Hindi and Tamil
Nearly a year and a half back, when his daughter Kalyani organised a party to celebrate his 90th birthday, anyone who happens to be anyone amongst the British Asians, along with many British celebrities, joined the gathering to congratulate veteran Mahendra Kaul. Mr Kaul still gets cross with his daughter for creating that ‘fuss’, as he calls it. Therefore, I don’t know how he is going to react to this article. Incidentally, if you happen to be a visitor here, to get acquainted with Mahendra Kaul or his daughter Kalyani, you can in addition to the Asian “Who’s Who” refer to the UK’s “Who’s Who” where both of them appear with distinction. My personal association with Mr Kaul goes back more than 43 years. I had just arrived in London with no relations or acquaintances. It had taken me more than six months hesitation to accept the BBC’s appointment to join the World Service. Raw and homesick, there was no way I could ever imagine settling down in this country but for a chance meeting with Mr Kaul. How can I forget the day I went from the BBC hostel to visit him; he suggested that I should buy a house before my family arrived. When I politely tried to explain to him that I did not have funds - even to whitewash a room if I happen to rent one - he plainly told me that it is only the rich people from the Middle East who can afford to rent a residence here. Hence the best option for wage earners like me would be to go to a building society and buy a house. Here I am with his advice and continuous help, now a house owner, which but for that chance meeting, I could never dream of. Mahendra Kaul is an institution. He has been a celebrity for over five decades in this country. For anyone here in the 1960’s or 70’s, when modern technology had yet not arrived, when there were no video recorders, let alone ipads, mobile phones, or satellite channels; the only talking point at any Asian get together used to be Mahendra Kaul’s Sunday morning programme on the BBC, both on radio and television. That was the only chance in the week to hear in your own language topics of your own interest, and your own
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
music from Mahendra Kaul OBE. Very early in 1975, Mahendra Kaul was awarded an OBE for his services to community relations. He had the key to open the only window to reach the Asian population in this country, with the result that whether a film personality, or a music maestro from back home, or a
was no way one would meet him and not become his lifelong friend. I have been a witness to see VIPs like politician Faruk Abdulla or newscaster Anna Ford chatting to him intimately. No wonder the walls in his drawing room are covered with pictures of him talking to royalty, politicians, to distinguished personalities in
In Memory of
Manab Majumder: As I remember him
I had known Manab Majumder who died on 4 January 2014 for more than four decades. He was known as Kabul to his family and friends. Always a smartly dressed affable man. Kabul had always been warm and affectionate towards me, my late wife and our only son. I have fond memories of him of the years past. He went to study at the London College of printing and achieved very good results. He specialised in colour separation in fourcolour process printing. He had the knowledge and expertise to direct the printer what percentage of which colour – yellow, cyan, magenta and black, were needed to achieve perfect reproduction of a photograph or painting. He had a French photographer friend in Fleet Street, who took pictures of the British royal family including the Queen, and decided to publish a book of selected photographs. The publishing company commissioned Kabul to be
the colour consultant for the printing. A fact recorded in the book. No mean feat for an Indian! Kabul liked Indian music and songs, particularly Bengali. And was mad about cricket. He used to broadcast cricket reports and comments from the Bengali section of the BBC World Service. He also wrote on sports for a Kolkata newspaper. He knew and became friend of cricketing luminaries – both Indian and English. He travelled to several cricketing countries of the world reporting important matches. On his return from such trips, he would regale us with gossips and anecdotes.
Kabul had been a brilliant organiser. He was involved in the activities of the Indian Journalists’ Association (Republic Day Dinners), The India League (Mahatma Gandhi’s birth and death anniversaries), and of course the Durga Puja celebrations in London. Whatever he undertook to do, he did that with dedication. I went to see a friend in the evening of 3 January 2014. My friend sent a text message to Kabul wishing him a happy New Year, and asked me if I had spoken to Kabul. I told him that I tried Kabul on the telephone and had no response and would send him a text the following day. Alas, that was not to be. A funeral was held at the Golders Green Crematorium on Saturday 11 January. Around 100 people attended it. Manab’s son Sanjoy (who is the BBC correspondent in India), said in a very moving tribute: “My father would not have wanted you to grieve but to celebrate his life.”
Youth Conference 2014
Mahendra and Rajni Kaul
politician in this country - Mahendra Kaul was the man who mattered. To Prime Ministers from James Callaghan to Margaret Thatcher with whom he was known on first name terms. On every special get-together, Mr Kaul’s personal friends used to be invited -to the music evenings of famous musicians at his residence. When Baroness Usha Prashar interviewed him some years back on the stage of the Nehru Centre, the audience was thrilled with the nostalgia of those enchanting memories. There was another facet of the multi coloured personality of this man, those who met him soon became aware of. He was not only the owner of the first restaurant which introduced Tandoor in Europe, he had successfully established a chain of Indian restaurants in the UK and Europe, serving genuine Indian dishes. From Gaylord to Viceroy of India to Chor Bizarre, the aficionados of the food industry appreciated the taste of delicious Indian varieties in the heart of Mayfair, London. An introduction to him meant any invitation to his restaurant. There
the world of literature, films, music or sports. He started his career with All India Radio in Kashmir in 1949. He was interested in drama and thank God did not stay long in Bombay to become a star. He joined Voice of America as an editor of Indian service from 1955 – 1960 then came to London in 1961 to become a producer in the external services of the BBC. He then launched the joint immigrant programme of the BBC in Birmingham, in 1966. His wife Rajni is a talented Broadcaster in her own right and they have been blessed with a daughter Kalyani who is Queens Council now; and their two talented grand-children at college. I feel myself lucky to know him personally and to claim to be his friend. He is an unassuming, simple at heart man, generous to a fault. Once you know him, there is no way you would not become his friend for life, to join a galaxy of eminent and distinguished stars of the rich and famous. He stays the centre of attention at any gathering; is life and soul of any party; and yet, when you meet him personally, you feel you are the most important and dear friend he ever met.
The time has come again for the annual Asian Voice Youth Conference, hosted by Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar in a Central London venue. This year the conference will take place on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 March 2014 and will be open to 15-30 year olds or students. After a huge turn up last year, we are expecting more than 200 youngsters to participate this year. This year's conference will be divided into two segments. On Friday 28 March we will be hosting a networking evening with drinks and canapés. We will have a few big names as keynote speakers who will share their success stories, give motivational short talks to inspire and advise the younger generation, so that young people can fulfil their aspirations and get ahead in the world of work. There will be a scope to take part in Q&A. The 4 hours workshop on Saturday March 29, 2014, will involve various discussions and mentoring opportunities on importance of thinking outside the box (start ups), how to use social media to sharpen your entrepreneurial skills, how to develop ideas, transform them into a
business and offer financial tips. There will be practical advices on interview techniques and preparations, team building exercises, how to develop leadership and interpersonal skills and much more. There will also be ample scopes for the participants to win attractive prizes. The conference is in its fourth year and is set to be the best and most anticipated until now. Date & Time: 28 March 2014, 6:30-8:30pm 29 March 2014, 12-4pm. Venues: Central London (TBC) Mandatory requirement for participants: Prior registration required. To register: send an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name, age and contact details (email and phone number) by Sunday March 2, 2014.
Harrow hosts Xcite Employment and Training Fair If you’e looking for a new job or simply want to brush up and learn new skills, then look no further as the next Xcite job fair takes place on Thursday, 23 January 2014, from 11am to 3pm. Exhibitors include a wide range of employers and training providers such as Care UK, Care Mark, Gentlecare, Crown Moran Hotels, Avon and Kay Cosmetics. Exhibits from training providers include Harrow and Stanmore Colleges, Learndirect, Adult Community Learning and many more.
Jobseekers can apply for work and speak to local companies at Harrow Council’ Xcite Employment and Training Fair. Residents wanting to update their skills can expect a full range of local training providers who will be on hand to offer help. The job fair puts Harrow residents in direct contact with employers, recruitment companies and training providers who will be there to advice people on how to gain and improve skills as well as interview skills and CV writing.
With over 400 residents attending last year’s jobs fair in September 2013, this proves to yet again be a fantastic opportunity to get expert advice on training as well as speak to companies who are looking to recruit staff. Also, it provides great networking possibilities with other people in similar circumstances.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Life and MUSIC
If you have any particular topics you would like covered on my page, please let me know.
Jaz Dhami presents the lyric video for ZULFA
Many mainstream artists do it but Jaz Dhami has become the first British Asian artist to launch a specially made lyrics video for the smashing hit.
ZULFA LYRIC VIDEO The music video has hit over a million views in one month and topped
charts worldwide. Adding to this immense success - Zulfa Reprise which released yesterday and Zulfa (original) both shared the two top spots on the Official World DID YOU KNOW..? iTunes chart. Jaz Dhami: "The love for The T-shirt was invented in 1904 and marketed to Zulfa has been so crazy, thank bachelors who couldn't sew or replace buttons you for all your kind messages. I've had lots of requests to post WORD OF THE WEEK the lyrics, I thought lets do one Philodox - A Person in Love With His Own Opinion better and launch a lyric video hope you guys enjoy it"
International Superstar ‘Hrithik Roshan’ Launches New Clothing Brand,
HRx - Push Your Extreme
..with Suki Sandhu Derby-born Suki Sandhu is the CEO and Founder of Audeliss Recruitment, established in 2011 and the LGBT executive network, OUTstanding in Business, which recently launched the first ever list of the Top 50 LGBT Business Leaders. Suki has been in the executive search industry for nearly 10 years and is one of the UK’s leading specialists who is committed to helping businesses find diverse talent and making the boardroom a more diverse place. When did you come out and how was it received in the community? I’m always coming out and the reaction always differs. The first person I came out to was my younger sister. She was brilliant and supportive, but also deeply concerned about the reaction of my parents. Gay identities were alien to them, with most of their knowledge stemming from gay characters in British soaps on TV.
My mum was deeply upset at the prospect of having no grand-children, and even suggested that I could still get married to a woman so that the community and the wider family need never know. She also had the attitude that my sexuality could be altered via some form of therapy –I found this particularly upsetting as I didn’t choose to be gay, no one does, as it’s part of your human DNA. This really highlighted for me that there was a significant amount of education needed in the Asian community about LGBT identities. My dad was actually more understanding than my mum.
Yes I have but generally in my earlier career. I would hear a homophobic comment here and there, but at the time I was too young and naive to do anything about it and I remained quiet. Like most people I felt safer in the closet. However, if it happened now, I would handle it very differently and address it there and then.
Director of Exceed, a company focused on building new businesses for iconic brands such as Playboy and Times of India, conceptualised and launched Hrithik Roshan's active lifestyle apparel and casual wear brand Hrx. This new brand will be sold and manufactured exclusively by Myntra.com, a leading e-commerce platform for fashion and lifestyle products. Commenting on the launch of the brand, Hrithik Roshan said: “I always envisioned HRx to be a platform that could inspire people to bring out their best and to never give up. My team, Afsar Zaidi from Exceed and Sid Shah from The Wild East Group have taken my philosophy and turned it into a brand." The HRx range has something to suit every taste, and combines film star chic with versatility and affordability.
..and your parents?
Have you ever experienced homophobia in the workplace?
Bollywood’s most stylish man Hrithik Roshan has joined with multi-platform entertainment management company Exceed and business development and brand extension agency, The Wild East Group, to launch a great initiative centred around fitness and fashion. ‘HRx - Push Your Extreme’, the clothing brand, represents India's first celebrity brand extension project of this kind. HRx epitomises fashion, fitness and flair, which the stylish and suave Hrithik Roshan is known for, across the globe. The lightweight product range includes comfortable casuals as well as leisure sportswear teamed with sports footwear for men. The products are made of premium fabrics crafted with a contemporary slim fit and dominated by vibrant colours. Afsar Zaidi, Founder & Managing
Why did you set OUTstanding in business?
I have been open about my sexuality in my professional life for a long time, but I have always been stunned at the lack of senior LGBT role models in business. Additionally a few executives I knew felt uncomfortable attending LGBT networking events as well. I decided to address both of these issues, and with the incredible support and backing of Lord Browne I created OUTstanding, which not only brings together these LGBT (and straight ally) senior executives but it also creates a platform where their voices can be heard, their stories told and their images used as inspiration for aspiring business leaders everywhere.
How do you deal with negative comments from the Asian community? I agree that the Asian community is behind but they are also lacking in positive LGBT role models. I really believe that people need to be open and honest about who they are if we want to make others think differently about LGBT people and issues. It wasn’t easy for me to come out, but my parents are now completely fine with my sexuality and have embraced my partner who’s German and Caucasian. They had to deal with me being gay AND being civil partnered to a white man; a double whammy so to speak. It’s imperative that people know that your sexuality doesn’t change who you are as a person. What advice can you give to other Asian LGBTs who keep their identity a secret? Coming out is a very personal thing to do and I’m not here to preach to others that they should come out. What I can say is that at first it might be difficult but I know I felt so much more free and like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders when I was proud to be open and honest about who I am. Those that don’t accept you, are they people you want in your lives anyway? Where do you hope to see the company in the next five years? I hope to grow on an international level so that we can create a global community of LGBT executives. I also want to launch a ‘future leaders’ membership to encourage people further down the career ladder to be themselves, and prove that it doesn’t have a negative impact on their career progression. We’re a social enterprise so all our profits go to our charity partners or re-invested back into the programmes of work we deliver.
AAP appeal grows, Modi top candidate for PM
India's biggest metropolises are looking forward to the Aam Aadmi Party going national and expect it to make a big splash in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, but a majority still view Narendra Modi as a better prime ministerial prospect than Arvind Kejriwal with Rahul Gandhi a distant third. That's the message from an opinion poll across the country's eight most populous cities Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune and Ahmedabad - conducted by a market research agency. The survey found that a third of the respondents thought AAP would win between 26 and 50 seats, another 26% felt it could win 51-100 seats, 11% said it would bag more than 100 and 5% even predicted a majority for the party. Given that 44% of those polled said they would vote for an AAP candidate if there was one in their constituency. As for prime ministerial preferences, 58% picked
Modi, 25% were for Kejriwal - despite AAP making it clear he is not in the running - and only 14% thought Rahul Gandhi would make the best PM. In Chennai and Mumbai, Kejriwal was preferred over Modi, and even in Modi's home turf, Ahmedabad, 31% thought Kejriwal was the best choice. Asked what they find most appealing about the new party, 40% cited its "sincere efforts" at addressing issues of ordinary people, another 35% said it was full of honest people who would root out corruption and 24% said the fact that it was involving people in deci-
sion making was its best aspect. That 44% said AAP would help in at least reducing corruption and another 29% felt it would be able to completely eliminate it. Clearly, the perception about whatever the Delhi government under AAP has done in its brief tenure so far has helped buttress the party's image. Asked if the Delhi government's moves on free water supply and subsidised power tariffs were economically irresponsible, a majority said they weren't, though 60% in Mumbai did feel these 'populist' decisions were irresponsible.
Buoyed by its spectacular success in Delhi assembly polls, the Aam Aadmi Party kicked off a nationwide membership drive with an aim of including at least 10 million members by January 26 to strengthen the party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. AAP leader and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said under the 'Main bhi aam aadmi' cam-
paign, any citizen can enroll as member of the party without paying any fee. "Our target is to include 10 million members in the party by January 26. But the membership drive will continue after that as well," he said addressing a press conference. He said the party had decided to waive off the Rs 10 membership fee as it
was found out that many people could not afford it. "The decision to waive off the membership fee was taken at the national executive meeting last week," he said. Party leader Gopal Rai, who has been tasked to oversee the special membership drive, said over 300,000 people have registered online as party members after the Delhi elections.
Kejriwal launches AAP's nationwide membership drive
Rahul ready for PM role
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi gave the first real indication that he is positioning for the Prime Minister’s role in the event of a United Progressive Alliance win in the 2014 general elections. In an interview, Gandhi in response to a specific question said he was ready to accept the role of PM, “if the responsibility is given to me”. This is the first time the Congress leader has positioned himself openly as his party’s prime ministerial candidate, and it sets up a direct one-onone clash with BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the upcoming general elections. The interview also assumes significance,
coming as it does less than a fortnight before the January 17 All India Congress Committee meet; it follows closely on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s recent press conference wherein he announced that he would not be seeking a third term as PM, but would be “handing on the baton” to a new leader after the polls.
Ending mounting speculation that his sister Priyanka Vadra might be roped in to play a larger electoral role, particularly in light of Rahul’s lukewarm reception during his campaign stops, he said there was “no election related role” for Priyanka. The statement is seen as an attempt to undercut a section of the party that, panicked by opinion polls and other evidence that Rahul Gandhi’s popularity is not on par with Modi’s, has been making a case for putting the charismatic Priyanka in the spotlight. In his by-now customary attack on Modi, Gandhi meanwhile said a nation cannot be run purely on the ideas of one man, and that unlike the BJP, the Congress had always united the country.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Cong shameless about corruption: Modi
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Sunday said Congress is shameless about corruption and people have decided to get rid of them. "People of this country have decided to rid the country of the Congress. And I am not referring to the party rather I am talking of the Congress culture which is troubling India. The Congress is shameless about corruption. If this is their attitude, what will happen to India?" he said while addressing his Vijay Sankalp rally at Panaji, Goa. He also said that the Congress Party wasted the 50 years since independence and added: "Rajiv Gandhi always spoke of making India ready for the 21st century but look what has happened. India has never seen days worse than those in the past 10 years. All institutions have been systematically destroyed." "We will see to it that the prestige of the constitutional authorities and offices are restored. Now it is a question of a few more months. We will protect the environment and also
bring transparency in mining projects. We will use mining as an engine of development," he added. He said some people are questioning the relevance of the BJP today. "I want to tell these people that this is Atal Behari Vajpayee's party. Even after becoming the PM, he doesn't have his own house," he said.
‘Jayanthi tax’ derailed crucial projects A belligerent Modi rebuked union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde and former environment minister Jayanthi Natrajan. Modi objected strongly against Shinde’s letter to the chief ministers asking them to review terror cases against Muslims, and took a jibe at Natrajan saying there was a ‘Jayanti tax’ under her watch at the environment ministry that derailed crucial projects. Modi criticized Natrajan’s functioning and alleged all files in the MoEF were pending because of a new tax in Delhi, ‘Jayanti tax’, and unless it was ‘paid’ no file would move in the ministry.
Gujarat BJP getting into campaign mode
Apart from Modi magic, one of the major reasons for the success of saffron brigade in Gujarat is micro level campaign strategy to achieve macro level goals. Like it did in the previous elections successfully, Gujarat BJP is getting into campaign mode and as on Monday it has formed 20 important state-level committees to win all 26 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Talking to Asian Voice, Gujarat BJP president R.C. Faldu said that as per the guidelines of BJP’s national executive, Gujarat has completed the exercise to form the committees. “As far as Gujarat BJP is concerned, the organizational wing in the state is ready for the election even if the Election Commission would announce it on tomorrow,” said the confi-
dent state BJP chief. The committees have been formed in order to take holistic approach in coordination during election campaign, Faldu said. These committees are named as Sankalp Patra, Vision Document, Campaign and Propaganda, Rally, Parliamentary Convention, New Voters’ campaign, traditional campaign, Intellectual Convention, Special Relation, Election Organization, CongressUPA charge-sheet, Public analysis & participation, Literature Creation, Event & Transportation, Election Commission & Legal Matter, Booth Coordination etc. Incharge for the each committee has also been appointed and now some of the committees would be formed at district level too as per the requirement.
Kiran Bedi supports Modi
Former police officer Kiran Bedi said her support was for experienced governance, and the only option was the Bharatiya Janata Party. "My support is for experienced governance. My support is for inclusive India which is not dividing urban and rural. My support is for development, and unity and integrity of this country. If we get a hung parliament, where will we go?," Bedi said. "My support to Modi is for a strong, united, accountable, stable government," she added.
Mallika Sarabhai joins AAP
Buoyed by its sterling performance in the Delhi elections, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is set to field candidates in the coming general election in all 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat. It got a shot in the arm when danseuse, actor and social activist Mallika Sarabhai, daughter of scientist Vikram Sarabhai and classical dance exponent Mrinalini Sarabhai, joined the party, calling herself its “foot soldier.” She said,
Medha Patkar to support AAP
Noted activist Medha Patkar, who led a movement against the construction of a dam over Narmada River, said that she would support the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as "she felt there was a need for a new brand of politics today". Patkar said political parties have become deeply corrupt and people’s movements have been waging a political war for a long time. "In the name of politics, there is loot of water, electricity and of government coffers. We will fight for our people," she said.
7 Indians among 30 most admired people in the world
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Seven Indians figure in the overall list of 30 most admired people in the world. While Microsoft founder Bill Gates has been named as the most admired person on the planet with cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar fifth on a list of 30 people compiled after a poll in 13 countries, including India. The "World's most admired people poll" was conducted by YouGov for Times by surveying almost 14,000 people in Great
Britain, France, Germany, Russia, the US, Australia, Pakistan, Indonesia, India, China, Egypt, Nigeria and Brazil. There were four Indians in the top ten and seven overall in the list of 30. Sachin, 40, was fifth with six other Indians featuring in the list- BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi (7th), Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan (9th), former President Abdul Kalam (10th), social activist Anna Hazare (14th),
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal (18th) and business tycoon Ratan Tata (30th). Gates, 58, the cofounder of Microsoft and a billionaire philanthropist, earned more admiration than US President Barack Obama who was second, Russian President Vladimir Putin (3rd), Pope Francis (4th) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (6th) to claim the title. Some interesting choices in the list of 30
were Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama (13th), American business magnate Warren Buffet (8th), Queen Elizabeth (17th) and Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie (19th). Surprisingly, there were just six women on the list of most admired people with queen highest ranked among them. Other women to make it to the list were Jolie, US talk show host Oprah Winfrey (20th), German Chancellor Angela Merkel
(26th), former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton (27th) and Chinese contemporary folk singer Peng Liyuan (28th). Sportsmen featured highly in the affections of many across the world. After Tendulkar it was Argentina footballer Lionel Messi who was 15th followed by US basketball player Michael Jordon (21) and Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo (22). Pakistani cricketer-
turned politician Imran Khan was 12th on the list. No Briton featured in the world's top ten mostadmired people. Stephen Hawking was placed highest, at 16th. Separate lists of the poll in different countries was also given by YouGov. In the poll in India, as expected, Tendulkar topped the list but interestingly it was Obama who came in second followed by Modi, Gates and Bachchan.
Continued from page 1 1984, to flush out militants. Outraged Sikh leaders and organisations all over the world have demanded a thorough investigation regarding the reports that British government 'colluded' with former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi over Operation Blue Star, where the Indian security forces entered the holy Sikh shrine, the Golden Temple at Amritsar in 1984, to flush out militants. British Prime Minister David Cameron has directed his cabinet secretary to establish the facts behind claims that Margaret Thatcher's government may have helped Indira Gandhi plan Operation Bluestar in 1984. In a statement from the 10 Downing Street, a UK Government spokesperson said: "These events led to a tragic loss of life and we understand the very legitimate concerns that these papers will raise. The Prime Minister has asked the Cabinet Secretary to look into this case urgently and establish the facts. The PM and the Foreign Secretary were unaware of these papers prior to publication. Any requests for advice from foreign governments are always evaluated carefully with full Ministerial oversight and appropriate legal advice.” Labour MP Tom Watson and Lord Indarjit Singh had demanded an explanation too. A lawmaker from Britain's Labour party claimed that he has seen documents that suggest that Thatcher's administration dispatched Britain's Special Air Service (SAS) officials to help Indira Gandhi in the storming of the Golden Temple. The 'Stop Deportations' website quotes from the documents which were made public by the
National Archives in London under the 30-year rule as part of a series over the New Year. The website reported: A letter marked dated 23rd February 1984, titled ‘Sikh Community’, noted “The Home Secretary will have seen press reports of communal violence in the Punjab. The Foreign Secretary wishes him to be made aware of some background which could increase the possibility of repercussions among the Sikh communities in this country”. The ‘background’ in question was the covert role of an elite British military adviser in India. “The Indian authorities recently sought British advice over a plan to remove Sikh extremists from the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The Foreign Secretary decided to respond favourably to the Indian request and, with the Prime Minister’s agreement, an SAD [sic] officer has visited India and drawn up a plan which has been approved by Mrs Gandhi. The Foreign Secretary believes that the Indian Government may put the plan into operation shortly”. The file stops short of detailing this “plan”, so it is not clear how similar this was to Operation Blue Star, the code name for the eventual assault in June. However, three other letters in this chain (between Thatcher’s private secretary Robin Butler and his counterpart at the Foreign Office) have been weeded out of the file and remain classified. The file stops in March 1984, and the next part of the folio is still unavailable, obscuring more details about the months leading up to the raid. However, in a crucial letter, the Foreign Secretary’s Principal Private Secretary, Brian Fall, explains to his oppo-
site number at the Home Office, Hugh Taylor, how a raid on the Temple might: “increase tension in the Indian community here, particularly if knowledge of the SAS involvement were to become public. We have impressed upon the Indians the need for security; and knowledge of the SAS officer’s visit and of his plan has been tightly held both in India and in London. The Foreign Secretary would be grateful if the contents of this letter could be strictly limited to those who need to consider the possible domestic implications.”
involvement in negotiating British arms sales to India. The military raid led to a chaos amongst Sikhs across the world and the increased tension following the action led to assaults on members of the Sikh community within India. The operation also led to a deep resentment among the Sikhs over an armed attack on their most revered Shrine and also widened a growing chasm between the members of Hindu and Sikh communities. "I've only seen the documents this morning (Monday) and am told
clean, I think would be a very grave error and I very much hope that the foreign secretary will...reveal the documents that exist and give us an explanation to the House of Commons and to the country about the role of Britain at that very difficult time for Sikhism and Sikhs," he added. Following the release of documents Pat McFadden, MP for Wolverhampton South East, has written to the Foreign Secretary calling for full disclosure of all papers and information relating to this matter. McFadden speaks in his letter of the ongoing grief and pain in the Sikh community resulting from the events of 30 years ago and says that pain is added to by the belief that the full truth of what happened has never been fully and openly established. Five months after Operation Bluestar, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her own Sikh bodyguards, triggering a further wave of retaliation in which nearly 1,000 Sikhs were killed. In the year when Sikhs commemorate their role in the centenary of World War I and mourn for loved ones lost in the events of 1984, this latest revelation will be disheartening. Retired Lieutenant General Kuldeep Singh Brar, who had spearheaded Operation Blue Star, was attacked in September 2012 by a gang and slashed in the neck as he was walking with his wife near the busy Oxford Street shopping area during a holiday in Britain. Sikhs in India demand probe In Amritsar, president of the leading Sikh religious organisation, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Avtar Singh slammed the Indian government for taking help
from British government in attacking its own people. Indian lawmaker and Sikh rights activist Tarlochan Singh called for an urgent inquiry into the British government's involvement in the events of 1984. "Now this time British intervening in attack at Golden Temple, this is a slur on our autonomy and I request that there should be a thorough probe by India and everybody should know that what happened at what time, and how the Golden Temple attack, was it a vote bank policy, was it something, other sinister move? So, I demand full inquiry at all levels," he said. Indian lawmaker, Mohammad Adeeb urged the government to get to the root of the problem. "This is very dangerous news, if there is an iota of truth in it. Then we should look deeper into it across party line, that if outside help has been taken to kill and to commit atrocities on our own people, then it is extremely shameful. Instead of playing politics, we should go into the root of the matter," said Adeeb. BJP asks govt to come out with facts BJP asked the government to come out with the “facts” on ‘Operation Bluestar.’ BJP said since political consultation within the government on the subject at that time was minimal, it asked whether the action against Sikh militants holed up in the shrine was planned on British advice or was any other country also consulted. “It is about time that the Government of India decided to tell us the truth as to what the real facts were. This would enable the people of India to conclude whether ‘Operation Blue Star’ was a strategic miscalculation,” Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said.
Sikhs demand probe into Thatcher link to Operation Bluestar
Only four copies of the letter (stamped ‘Top Secret and Personal’) were made, and circulated to principal private secretaries at Downing Street, the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Defence, to keep the operation under wraps. Despite these precautions, SAS involvement was rumoured in a Sunday Times article written by Anne Mary Weaver shortly after the raid in June. This new evidence provides conclusive proof that British Special Forces were involved with planning a raid on the Temple. It also starkly reveals the risks involved with Thatcher’s covert foreign policy for events in India and Britain. The majority of letters in the file relate to Thatcher’s
Courtesy: ‘Stop Deportations' website
there are others that have been withheld. This is not good enough. It is not unreasonable to ask for an explanation about the extent of British military collusion with the government of Indira Gandhi," Watson, an MP for West Bromwich East, said. He has written to UK foreign secretary William Hague and plans to raise the issue in the House of Commons. "I think British Sikhs and all those concerned about human rights will want to know exactly the extent of Britain's collusion with this period and this episode and will expect some answers from the foreign secretary. "But trying to hide what we did, not coming
FINANCIAL VOICE Financial Voice
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Dollar devaluates sharply after the NFP report disappoints, will this affect the Fed's tapering agenda? Markets were in turmoil on Friday as the Non-Farm Payrolls report missed expectations by a large margin. The jobs report monitoring the employment market in the US printed at 74k jobs added in the month of December versus a 200k prediction. The figure came below even the most pessimistic prediction of 100k and this caused a sell-off frenzy in Dollar positions. The unemployment level fell down to 6.7% but this is clearly a distorted image as the decline in the unemployment level is not caused by more people going to work but rather a decline in the workforce. This means that more and more people are dropping out of the workforce thus technically reducing the percentage of people wanting to find a job and not being able to do so. This development is definitely a step back for the US Dollar that was poised to appreciate versus the rest of the currencies after the FOMC decision to taper its asset purchases program. Some analysts are making word of the bad weather conditions in December that didn't allow for many people to go to work for an extended period of time but still this miss in the jobs report will weight in Dollar's short-term outlook. After the release the Euro and the Pound exploded higher against the Dollar signaling that a medium-term bottom might have been reached for the high-beta currencies at this time. However, given the fact that the US economy has been on a path of beating expectations time after time for the past quarter and keeping in mind that a bad report doesn't necessarily constitute a change in this trend the question that now emerges is what will the Fed do with its intention to further reduce the current QE levels. The FOMC is due to meet at the end of the month and already there are voices that are discussing the possibility that the committee will refrain from tapering further the QE program at this time or even bring it back to the pre-tapering levels. My view is that the Fed's reaction will not be a radical one, they are a large institution that will find it difficult to take back their tapering initiative mainly for two reasons: first, such a reaction would be interpreted by the markets as a sign of major weakness in the Dollar that will negate the whole tapering agenda and second, the Fed has always been of the view that markets are mainly guided by forward guidance and a firm stance in their intention to continue tapering will bring confidence back into investors' minds. I don't reject the possibility that they might refrain from tapering at their next meeting since their further tapering steps had been labeled "data dependant" but I think that there's still room for them to go forward with it rather to take the previous reduction back. The week ahead holds a number of important releases and apart from that we will have the opportunity to hear from several FOMC members discussing their views on further tapering but with a lack of any significant reports coming in today I'd like to see how market participants behave this week. It is important to see if the sell-off in Dollar positions will continue or if investors will keep calm and patient after the miss.
India’s retail inflation dips to three-month low in Dec
Retail inflation slowed to a three-month low of 9.87 per cent in December from 11.24 per cent in November, helped by falling vegetable prices, government data showed on Monday. The moderation may allow the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to leave policy rates untouched in its thirdquarter monetary policy review on January 28. During the month, vegetable price inflation eased to 38.8 per cent compared with 61.6 per cent in the previous month. In its mid-quarter policy review on 18 December, the RBI kept its policy rate unchanged
at 7.75 per cent, pegging its hopes on a drop in the inflation rate because of an expected fall in food prices. The RBI had then cautioned that if the expected softening of food inflation does not materialise, “the Reserve Bank will act, including on off-policy dates if warranted”. Data issued on Friday showed the country’s factory output shrank for a second straight month in November by 2.1 per cent due to a sharp decline in production of consumer durables, signalling that economic recovery may take longer than earlier expected.
India Inc’s earnings to hit sixquarter high in Q3
India Inc is expected to post its best earnings growth in six quarters in the October-December quarter (third) of the current financial year on the back of strong performance by export-oriented sectors and a low base. Profit after tax (PAT) of companies on the benchmark sensex is set to increase 13% year-on-year (y-o-y) to around Rs 550 billion during the quarter, estimates made by leading brokerages showed. PAT growth is expected to accelerate to 16% y-o-y in the fourth quarter (January-March) as earnings slowly move up to levels seen during the boom
years. Though India Inc’s PAT growth will still be lower than the heady 25%plus increase seen between 2002-03 and 2007-08, it would be closer to the average of the past 10 years. While growth was concentrated among a few sectors in the previous quarters, several sectors are expected to register grad-
ual improvement in growth rates from the third quarter. “Downgrades to sensex EPS (earnings per share) have taken a breather,” an analyst at Motilal Oswal Securities (MOSL) said. The growth trend emerging from the quarterly results suggest that the worst may be over for India Inc in terms of earnings. After a 3% y-o-y de-growth in PAT in the quarter ending June 2013, profits at 143 companies covered by MOSL grew 8% y-o-y in the following quarter. PAT growth is expected
to be 10% y-o-y for these firms during the quarter ending December 2013. But this is still lower than the long-term average growth of 14%. Only around a third of these firms are expected to report a decline in PAT, the lowest level in 11 quarters. “The worst is over for most of the sectors. The earnings are likely to be above expectations, especially in IT and commodity-related businesses,” said Vikram Dhawan, director, Equentis Capital. “The earnings for the third quarter will be better,” said Deven R Choksey, managing director, KR Choksey Shares and Securities.
Land Rover volumes rose 15 per cent to 348,338 vehicles, the firm said in a statement. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders last week predicted that British car production will exceed the peak of 1.72 million cars reached in 1972 by 2017. Production data for 2013 are due on January 23, and will likely exceed 1.5 million for the first time in six years. Luxury car makers are among the manufacturers enjoying the strongest levels of growth.
India’s environment ministry has rejected Londonlisted Vedanta Resources Ltd's request to mine bauxite in the Niyamgiri hills of Odisha state after local residents opposed mining in the area they consider sacred, an official said. Ve d a n t a Aluminium's 1 million tonne-ayear alumina refinery in the eastern state has been struggling to source key raw material bauxite since its commissioning in August 2007. The company has been forced to import bauxite as a result. "Vedanta forest clearance has been rejected.
There will be no mining in Niyamgiri hills," Saswat Mishra, Chairman of the Orissa Mining Corporation said. An official of Vedanta declined to comment. The mining project near the Lanjigarh refinery in Kalahandi district had drawn the anger of rights groups globally. India's top court in April last year ordered the state to submit a report based on the views of the local villagers to the federal environment and forests ministry. Residents of all the 12 villages whose opinion the state authorities sought had unanimously voted against the mining.
JLR taps global markets India rejects Vedanta's for record sales bauxite mine request
British luxury car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover sold a record volume of vehicles last year, when rising demand in markets such as Brazil, China, India and the United States helped it boost sales by sales by 19 per cent. The strong performance highlights the resurgence of the car manufacturing industry in Britain since the 2008 financial crisis, with most of the new cars sold abroad. The company, which is owned by Tata Motors, said it sold 425,006 vehicles in 2013, with new sales records set in 38 of its international markets. Sales of Jaguar rose the fastest, up 42 per cent on the previous year, while
Murthy effect: Infosys returns to double-digit growth
Indian IT bellwether Infosys Ltd. has bounced back with double-digit (12 per cent) revenue forecast this fiscal (2013-14) and revival in fortunes on return of its co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy as executive chairman. Revising its guidance upwards once again, the global software major said its consolidated revenue would grow 12 per cent in dollar terms this fiscal (FY 2014). A month (June 1, 2013) after Murthy returned from retirement to head the company, annual guidance was revised to 9-10 per cent in July 2013 from 6-10 per cent given in April 2013, in dollar terms as 97 per cent of its revenue is from exports, with the US accounting for 60 per cent
N.R. Narayana Murthy
and Europe 25 per cent. In rupee terms, revenue forecast has been revised to 25 per cent from 22 per cent estimated in July and 17 per cent in April. "The year ahead looks exciting for the IT services industry. We believe the global economic environment has improved and our clients are gaining confidence to invest in their strategic initiatives," Infosys chief executive
S.D. Shibulal said in a statement. The company's board of directors met to finalise the quarterly results at its 350-acre sprawling campus on Mysore’s outskirts, where it houses its largest leadership training institute and development centre. Earlier in the day, the company reported net profit of Rs. 28.75 billion for third quarter, posting 19.4 per cent sequential growth (quarter-on-quarter) and 21.4 per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth in rupee terms. Similarly, consolidated revenue for the quarter under review (Q3), increased to Rs.130.26 billion, registering 25 per cent YoY growth but sequentially marginal (0.5 per cent) in rupee terms.
India’s exports rise 3.49% in December
India's exports grew 3.49% in December to $26.3 billion, while imports dipped 15.25%. Imports last month were $36.4 billion. However, growth in exports was slower than in November, when outbound shipments rose 5.86%. India’s commerce secretary SR Rao said export growth slowed mainly because of a drop in petroleum exports. "It is only one product group which has contributed to (slower growth in exports) and that is petroleum products," he said. There was an unplanned maintenance shutdown at Reliance Industries, Rao said. However, lower imports helped to narrow the trade deficit to $10.1 billion in December.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Sow & Reap A Property Investment Company
Our fund is looking to resell a block of five flats in Earls Ct in Nevern Sq. The purchase price will be £6.05m, this equates to £1,300 per sq ft. The closest evidence we have of price is next door which is selling for £1,528 per sq ft. You cannot get a closer comparison. There is still a lot of juice left in the deal, furthermore prices are rising steeply. This project will be a purchase and resell over the period of a year, to benefit from the price rise, which is occurring in this location. If you’re itching to release your money sooner the other option is to refinance the property after a 6 month period. This will release most, if not all of your initial capital subject to valuation. Six months is the time imposed by lenders, where they will take the valuation of the property into consideration as opposed to the purchase price. A long term hold is also an excellent option due to the regeneration in the local area the prices will be lifted naturally. We are looking at a steep rise in prices for the next couple of years. In Earls Court this will be compounded by the local regeneration going on in the area. The property can also be split, and part sold and part kept. The stamp duty payable on this transaction is not paid on the total purchase price. In the course of doing such transactions I have come across two lawyers, one of whom is a large firm who got this wrong. Naturally they both tried to save their reputations by wrapping their replies in diplomacy. On one transaction they were about to charge £40,000 on a deal which only attracts a rate of 1%. This was for the purchase of a block of 10 flats in Surrey for £1.1m. The buyer was a seasoned investor but even then didn’t think to question the lawyer acting for him, as you would expect to trust your lawyer’s advice right?
blending the spirit of the past with the best of tomorrow. The villages will include around 7,500 much needed new homes for people on a range of incomes and new work spaces and offices will generate thousands of new jobs. The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham (LBHF) and The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea (RBKC) formally granted outline planning permission for the Masterplan for the Earls Court Project on 14th November 2013.
It always pays to u se profe ssional firms and not to che ap ou t wh en it comes to g ood advice an d service . This is n ot an In dian trait unf ortu nately. Ge nerally Indians are happy to pay go od mon ey for a piece o f gold or a Me rced es but th ey d o no t valu e the import an ce o f paying for good advice.
Th e project will bring hu ge be nefits to the surro und in g are a with an e xte nsive re tail hig h stre et, busin ess and resid ent ial acco mmo dat ion, healthcare and edu cat io nal facilities.
The stamp duty is payable on the average amount calculated by dividing the purchase price by the number of flats. In this scenario it will be based on £1.21m, this will attract a stamp duty of 5% as opposed to 7%, which represents a saving of £121,000; not a small amount of money. Better to pay a few thousand more to get a good lawyer. Earls Court has a colourful history. It used to be owned by a noble family called the De Veres for a period of 500 years. Though owned by them, it is doubtful it was ever visited by them. Instead it was governed from a court house. Hence the name Earls Court. Since then it has had many illustrious people residing in the local area, such as Mahatma Gandhi who lived in 20 Baron Ct whilst studying to become a barrister at University College in 1888; and Marcus Garvey who lived at 53 Talgarth Rd from 1935 to 1940. What’s more important than the history is the future of this area. Earls Ct has been designated as an opportunity area in the Mayor’s London plan. The intention is to develop this area in phases to minimise disruption to the residents. The Earls Court Masterplan has been created by renowned architect Sir Terry Farrell and Partners. Farrells are considered to be the UK’s leading architect planners with offices in London, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The plan proposes the transformation of the Earls Court Project Area into four new urban villages and a 21st century High Street,
The Earls Court Project Area spans 77 acres of land, and along with the homes and offices it will include tranquil public squares and gardens which will be a haven from the hustle and bustle of the city. The property is situated on the eastern side of Nevern Square with direct views westward across the communal gardens. The area is very well connected and is located at a point where Kensington, Chelsea and Fulham all meet, therefore providing great potential for value increases throughout the area. You are purchasing in the bulls eye of the regeneration plan. The property benefits from excellent transport amenities with Earls Court Underground Station (Piccadilly, Circle and District lines) located approximately 300m to the south east and West Brompton Station located approximately 600m to the south (District Line and London Overground Trains). Road links are also good with the A4, a main arterial route into London from the west, accessible approximately 250m to the north west. The shopping facilities on the Fulham Road, Kings Road, and Kensington High Street are all within easy reach, while Westfield Shopping Centre is located approximately 1.5 miles to the north west. The property is an attractive mid-terrace Victorian block which extends to approximately 5,317 sq ft (GIA)/4,660 sq ft (NSA) and is set over lower ground, ground and 4 upper floors. The building has a red brick façade, timber sash fenestration and is set beneath a part slate mansard part flat roof. 5 self-contained apartments are arranged over lower ground to fourth floors. At the time of sale three of the flats will be let on AST agreements, while two, which are currently owner occupied, will be provided with vacant possession. The building is accessed via a main entrance leading from Nevern Square which provides access to a central stair core that serves all upper floors.
The Real Deal
Earls Court, London, SW5 Purchase Price: £6.05m Summary l An attractive freehold building comprising of 5 self-con tained apartments extending to 5,317 sq ft (GIA)/4,660 sq ft (NSA) of residential accommodation. l Located on a prime garden square in Earls Court, with in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, close to the Earls Court Regeneration Area. l The building benefits from a private garden and roof terrace to the rear and access to the private 1.15 acre communal gardens l This property is coming at around £1,300 per sq ft. l Comparable properties on the market are priced at £1,500 per sq ft and above. l Potential to reconfigure, refurbish and possibly extend the accommodation subject to the usual consents.
Each of the five flats be nefit f rom the rig ht to Royal B orou gh o f Ke nsingto n & Chelsea re sid ents parking pe rmits. This is beco min g a rarity as coun cils are red ucing the n umber of permit s the y issue to red uce parking cong est ion in the area. The property has a private garden to the rear, accessed from the ground and lower ground floor flats and a good size roof terrace from flat 3. All of the flats have access to the 1.15 acre private garden which the property benefits from direct views across. The building is presented in good order, but with potential to reconfigure, refurbish and possibly extend subject to the usual consents.
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Tips of the Week l Define the type of return you would like from property; for example there is no point going for a high income property when you will be paying 50% tax on the income. It may be better to aim for capital gains instead and make use of your yearly capital gains allowance. l Look for properties which have a problem such as short lease, unknown tenancies etc. It’s rare a property deal will be given to you on a plate, often you need to work the deal.
Reseve Bank eases FDI rules
Slaves or Immigrants
Watching the brilliant film by Steve McQueen,12 Years a Slave,was not only about the de-humanisation of fellow human beings but also about the effect of the slave trade on the history of migration of Asians. Once the slave trade was abolished in the UK in the 1830s, it led to a demand by slave owners for indentured labour for work in their rubber plantations and railways in colonies in countries from Kenya, South Africa to Mauritius, to British Guiana and to Canada. Although this was as workers receiving payment, there was large scale abuse as they were shipped at their own cost in poor conditions, leaving them in substantial debt. They were expected to acclimatise to arduous work immediately upon arrival and living conditions were abysmal.Many succumbed to disease, malnutrition and sheer loneliness. We are the children of that history.First, second or third generations. Theresa May has introduced a bill to toughen sanctions on modern day slavery and William Hague has written on the subject at length. The number of victims of slavery is said to have increased by 25% over the past year. What is surprising is that on one hand there are grand
gestures to end this scourge, yet on the other hand immigration policies have vastly strengthened the hand of the exploiter. Unable to rent property, seek medical attention, they live at the edge of society, in the shadow lands, vulnerable in the extreme, eking out their days in misery. A frequent claim is that there is a lack of rational discussion about immigration yet it appears every columnist has a view of it, positive or negative. It is discussed every single day. Not surprisingly, an IPSO poll found that the young under 35 were positive about it whilst the older 60+ were against it. As to the old nugget about â€˜taking jobsâ€™, as someone on Question Time pointed out, jobs are not simply taken from one person and handed to another. The old nugget that is used with regard to immigration is the argument that this will be a burden on public services. Yet immigrants work and those who work contribute in taxes which pay for these services. There is no evidence whatsoever that there is a disproportionate use of services. In the end immigration is, as it has always been, a feeling of being swamped and of a need to preserve a way of life. It is, in the end, a question of race.
Posco's Odisha plant finally gets environment clearance
South Korean steel maker Posco has received environment clearance for its Rs 520 billion steel plant in Odisha, ending an eightyear wait for the project to get off the ground. "Yeah, I have cleared it," new environment minister M Veerappa Moily said. "It (the approval) was given about a week back." The approval comes a week ahead of South Korean president Park Geun Hye's visit to India. The clearance will pave the way for Posco to build the steel plant with an annual production capacity of 12 million tonnes. The Odisha project, the largest foreign direct investment in India, has languished since 2005 due to problems related to environmental clearance
and land procurement. Officials in the ministry said Posco's project comprised of two aspects - a steel plant and a port project. Moily delinked the two and granted approval for the steel plant. Environment clearance for the port is pending. Posco's steel project had received initial clearance from the environment ministry in 2007 and final approval was granted in 2011. A year later, the approval was suspended by a quasijudicial body, citing environmental concerns.
To attract more long-term foreign money into the country through the foreign direct investment (FDI) route, the Reserve Bank of India said that if a company opts for pre-contracted exit price (popularly called put-call options) while accepting funds from an overseas investor, under some conditions such contracts will be legal. Top consultants from the sector said that the RBI notification brings much clarity to the foreign investment rules which can help bring in more foreign funds, especially through the private equity route. The RBI notification is in line with earlier such rule changes by the government and stock market regulator Sebi.
The Indian rupee will have a more stable year after one filled with wild swings, as an improved current account deficit (CAD) will check outflows when the US Federal Reserve reins in its bond purchases, a poll found. The poll of over 25 currency strategists showed the rupee is expected to trade at 62.4 to the dollar in a month from now, 62.9 in three months and 62 in a year, compared with 62.2 last week. Countries with high current account deficits were hit the most when overseas investors, spooked by the Fed's hint at rolling back its massive stimulus program, pulled money out of almost all emerging markets across the globe. The Indian rupee took one of the biggest hits between May and August, falling to new record lows before it bottomed out at 68.85, 20 per cent weaker than at the start of 2013. It ended the year as one of the worst performers, down 11 per cent. The Fed last month embarked on its much awaited program to trim asset purchases, but India's government finances are less onerous now, which will keep for-
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
When a foreign entity invests in an Indian company, it often prefers to have a clause that allows an exit at a pre-determined price at a future date. Till recently, RBI's position on the put-call option clause was that if an equity
investment guarantees pre-fixed return, it should not be called an equity, and instead should qualify as debt. The industry's view, on the other hand, was that the put-call option clause is more like a penalty clause on the company receiving the investment, forcing its promoters to make the company perform to its full potential. In the last few years, there have been some instances where Indian companies, after receiving foreign investments, did not perform as expected and approached RBI when
investors sought exit under the put-call option clause, terming it invalid under FEMA. The current circular will restrain Indian companies from taking such an approach. "The legality of the putcall option had become an area of concern for foreign investors. The recent RBI notification removes such concerns to a large extent," said Gautam Mehra, ED, PwC, India. A note from Ernst & Young (E&Y) said although RBI has tried to put an end to the controversy over put-call options, in the process it has also slapped some conditions which could be perceived negatively by long-term foreign investors.
eigners from pulling out as much money from the country when the Fed tapers further. "We expect a more stable year for the rupee in 2014," wrote analysts at BTMU in a note to clients. "Net foreign institutional investor outflows are unlikely to be as large as in May-August 2013 as the US Fed has made clear that tapering is not tightening, which will help contain rate expectations." The Reserve Bank of India took decisive steps to stem the rout in the rupee last year and will be prepared to support the currency if needed. Strategists in the poll also said the general elections due by June this year will also play a role in driving the rupee. "We are going to face some political uncertainty over a period of time and another concern will be the reform policy measures taken after the elections," said Shakti Satapathy, analyst at AK Capital.
Tata Motors launched the Nano Twist- a variant of its small car Nano. The Nano Twist comes with a power steering, which the earlier Nano models did not have. The Nano Twist is priced at Rs. 236,000 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). Except for the power steering, the rest of the mechanical specifications in the Nano Twist stay the same as the earlier Nano. It still comes with a 0.6litre engine with a maximum torque of 51 Nm (Newton metre) and a 4speed manual transmission. "The Nano Twist will redefine customer's driving experience in city traffic with the EPAS (Electric Power Assisted Steering). It comes loaded with trendy features, exciting new colour and sporty
interiors, which makes it a cool, smart city car to hang-out with," Ranjit Yadav, President, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors said. Some of the new features in the Nano Twist include a new look instrument cluster that houses a trip computer and a new driver information systems, with a bright daytime and night-time amber display and digital clock. The cluster houses features like - distance to empty (DTE), average fuel efficiency (AFE) readouts, an LED fuel gauge and a coolant temperature gauge. The Nano Twist also has features like remote keyless entry, twin glove boxes, and a four-speaker music system with Bluetooth.
investors under the initiative, which seeks to ease bottlenecks that slow travel on the world's fourthlargest rail system. "The plan is to allow 100 per cent foreign direct investment in suburban corridors, high-speed train systems, freight line projects implemented through
public-private partnership," said an official at the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion. The government officials said the move could attract up to $10 billion of foreign investment over the next five years. Previous targets to attract private investment to build India's infrastructure have been missed by a wide margin, but there were positive initial responses from potential investors such as General Electric Co and Bombardier.
Established under British colonial rule, India's vast train network has been overtaken by China's rapid rail expansion over the past two decades. Indian train travel is very cheap, and transports some 25 million passengers daily. But years of underinvestment mean the service is slow and plagued by frequent accidents, most recently a fire that killed nine people last week. Freight charges are pegged far higher to subsidise the passenger services, driving much cargo transport onto clogged roads.
Indian rupee to stabilise Tata Motors launches Nano this year: Poll Twist with power steering
India to seek foreign investment in rail network
India will soon invite foreign businesses to help expand its once-mighty but now outdated railways, government sources said, in a move that would mark the opening up of one of the country's last great state-controlled industries. Foreign investors will be allowed to fully own new services in suburban areas, high speed tracks, and connections to ports, mines and power installations, said two senior officials involved in the deliberations. Existing passenger and freight network operations will not be open to foreign
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Paresh Davdra is the Dealing Director of RationalFX, Currency Specialists.
ECB to maintain low interest rates as long as inflation stays under 2% threshold Economic confidence in the Eurozone rose in December 2013 according to a European commission survey. It hit 100 last month, up from 98.4 in November. Consumers are also less worried, with consumer sentiment up to -13.6 from – 15.4 in November. GDP for the Eurozone was in line with analysts’ expectations showing modest growth of .1% for Q3 2013. There was also good news for the Eurozone new manufacturing data from Spanish shows a 2.6% jump in industrial output in November up from October's 1.3% decline. ECB president Mario Draghi stated that low inflation is here for a while, saying it will remain around current levels for the medium term to fight the risk of deflation. He explains the ECB will maintain low interest rates as long as inflation stays below the 2% threshold. He was optimistic on global growth and demand suggesting this positive sentiment will also flow through to the Eurozone economies.
Greece’s unemployment worries continued. Unemployment in the area climbed to 27.8% up from 27.7% as they battle tough austerity measures on the enforced European Union. The Eurozone kept the headline interest rate at 0.25% as expected. Official figures have poured some cold water on hopes that the UK’s economic recovery gathered steam in the final quarter of 2013. Manufacturers and the wider industrial sector failed to clock up any growth in November 2013, defying forecasts for modest growth. Construction output fell sharply. The output in the manufacturing sector, which makes up a tenth of the economy, was flat in November marking it the weakest performance since August 2013. United Kingdom’s trade balance figures trade narrowed to its lowest level since August 2013 but continues to show a large deficit. The total
As of Tuesday 14th January 2014 @ 1pm
GBP - INR = 101.71 USD - INR = 61.49 EUR - INR = 84.06 GBP - USD = 1.64 GBP - EUR = 1.20
EUR - USD = 1.37 GBP - AED = 6.04
GBP - CAD = 1.79
GBP - NZD = 1.95
GBP - AUD = 1.83 trade balance fell from 3.496B to -3.238B. The Bank of England kept rates unchanged 0.5% and kept QE unchanged at 375B. This came as no surprise and did not have an impact on the markets. The recovery in the US jobs market came to a grinding halt in December 2013 as businesses added just 74,000 new jobs, the lowest rise since January 2011. The report from the US Department of Labour
shocked economists on Friday who had been expecting the number to increase by at least 200,000. The report said the unemployment rate had dropped to 6.7% in December, but the fall was explained almost entirely by people giving up on their search for work. This caused a dollar sell-off as this disappointing jobs data dampened expectations that the Fed will push on with tapering of its quantitative easing program.
GBP - ZAR = 17.85
GBP - HUF = 360.39
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.
Asian expatriates outnumber natives in Kuwait
Dubai: Asian expatriates reportedly make up nearly one-third of the total population of Kuwait, outnumbering the natives representing just 31.3 per cent of the total four million inhabitants. The Asian communities dominated the figures with 1,499,929 people among the total 2,722,532 number of foreigners living in Kuwait, the Gulf News reports. The northern Arabian Gulf state has been home to 3,965,022 people, including nationals and foreigners, as concluded in December 31, 2013. The number of Kuwaitis among the total population was just 1,242,490, the report added. Arab communities made up 27.9 per cent of the foreign population in Kuwait with 1,106,605, while Africans were a counted few at 76,698.
Indian shot dead in Philippines
Singapore: An Indian was shot dead while another was wounded while collecting loan repayments from clients in a city in the Philippines, a media report said. Navjot Singh, 26, and Lakhwinder Singh, 33, were shot by two unidentified motorcycleborne suspects while collecting loan repayments from clients at San Roque in Calabanga municipality of Camarines Sur province, the Vox Bikol online newspaper reported. After the two collected money from Milagros Avila, a local resident, one suspect covering his face with a handkerchief shot Navjot Singh with a pistol. Lakhwinder was shot in his left arm. Navjot sustained two fatal gunshot wounds in the chest and was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Zardari in court on graft charges
Islamabad: Former Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari appeared before an anti-corruption court over multi-million-dollar graft allegations dating back to the 1990s. The cases against Zardari relate to kickbacks, moneylaundering and the illegal construction of a polo ground at the prime minister's official residence, during his slain wife Benazir Bhutto's two stints as premier. As president, Zardari enjoyed immunity from prosecution, but this ended when he stepped down in September last year after five years in office.
Indian-American doctor in fraud case
New York: An Indian-American physician will pay $ 400,000 to resolve allegations that he and his clinics violated federal laws by billing a government insurance programme for vein injections and physician office visits performed by unqualified personnel. Floridabased Ravi Sharma agreed to pay the amount to resolve allegations under the False Claims Act, the justice department announced. As part of the settlement, Sharma entered into a three- year integrity agreement with the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Sri Lanka protests US war crimes remarks
Colombo: Sri Lanka said it would protest to the United States over its allegations that army shelling killed hundreds of families during the final days of the island's ethnic civil war. A senior foreign ministry official said the allegation, made in a US embassy tweet, would be discussed with visiting Ambassador for Global Criminal Justice Stephen Rapp.
Former Israeli PM Sharon laid to rest
Sycamore Farm (Israel): Israel buried former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at his family farm on Monday, celebrating the military achievements of a man seen as a war hero at home but as a war criminal in the Arab world. Eulogized first in a ceremony in Jerusalem, and later in the southern estate, a stream of speakers hailed a life entwined with that of his country, while gently alluding to the controversies that also defined his career. US vice-president Joe Biden and former British PM Tony Blair laid wreaths at his grave.
Sheikh Hasina sworn in Bangla PM
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Dhaka: Bangladesh’s Sheikh Hasina was on Sunday sworn in for her second straight term as prime minister, a week after her Awami League secured a landslide win in the violence-hit general election boycotted by the opposition as a farce. President Abdul Hamid administered oath of the office to the 48-member strong council of ministers at ‘Bangabhaban’ - the presidential house - in a ceremony that was broadcast live. A total of 29 lawmakers took oath as cabinet ministers. Seventeen MPs were appointed as state ministers while two as deputy ministers. Prominent among those who were dropped from the previous government were
foreign minister Dipu Moni, home minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir and minister without a portfolio and minority leader Suranjit Sengupta. Hasina took oath pledging to preserve, protect
and defend the national constitution. “I am, Sheikh Hasina, taking oath...that I will discharge my duties faithfully as the prime minister of the government as per the law,”
An investigation team from the Central Narcotics Bureau has also been appointed to conduct investigations into the possible causes of the riots. The team began investigations on December 26. It has since spoken to various witnesses including police officers, residents and shopkeepers in Little India, as well as the driver of the bus involved in the accident and the bus' time- keeper. At the conclusion of the public hearing, the committee would consider the evidence presented before it and submit a report of its proceedings, findings and recommendations to the home affairs minister. The four-man committee is headed by former Supreme Court judge G Pannir Selvam.
Islamabad: Pakistan said fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim is not present in the country, a day after India asserted that its most wanted terrorist was living in the neighbouring country. "We have repeatedly informed Indian authorities that Dawood Ibrahim is not in Pakistan," Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said. Asked if Dawood was ever present in Pakistan, she said, "This issue has been raised in the past too. We have checked and have said he is not present here." Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, India’s home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had said, "As per our information, Dawood is in Pakistan." "When I went to America last year to discuss inland security, I met the Attorney General who looks after the FBI. I talked to him and we decided that we will pass whatever information we have on Dawood amongst each other. We decided we will make joint efforts," Shinde had said when asked
Singapore to conduct public hearing into Dec 8 riot
Singapore: A governmentappointed committee will start public hearing from next month into Singapore's worst riots in 40 years, involving South Asian workers, mostly Indians. Some 400 South Asian workers were allegedly involved in the riots on December 8 night in Singapore's Little India precinct when an Indian worker was killed in a road accident. The Committee of Inquiry (COI) Secretariat said it was inviting those who wish to make representations or give evidence to the inquiry to notify it by February 5. The public hearing will start on February 19. Little India is an area mostly of Indian-origin businesses, eateries and pubs where the South Asian workers spend their day off. The committee was appointed on December 13, 2013, after the riots. It has since conducted voluntary interviews with 20 of the 56 Indians and one Bangladeshi worker who were deported.
Dawood Ibrahim not in the country: Pakistan
Murder trial of Sarabjit begins in Pak
Lahore: The murder trial of Indian national Sarabjit Singh began at a high-security Pakistani jail with a court holding the first hearing against alleged killers. Two death row prisoners had brutally attacked 49-yearold Sarabjit at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in April last year. Sarabjit, who sustained severe injuries, including a fractured skull, died on May 2 of injuries sustained in the assault. Police had booked Amer Aftab and Mudassar for the attack. They reportedly told investigators that they had attacked Sarabjit because he had allegedly carried out bomb attacks in Lahore. Additional Sessions Judge Syed Anjum Raza started the hearing after the police filed a challan of the case before him. The judge adjourned the hearing till January 16. The jail administration is a complainant to the case. A jail
official said that the police had submitted the challan against the two accused for their alleged involvement in the killing. Earlier, a single memberjudicial commission had held a "thorough" inquiry of the incident and recorded the statements of over 50 people including Indian prisoners and jail staff.
Hasina said. This is the third term for Hasina as the PM. Awami League won over two-thirds of parliament’s 300 seats in the January 5 polls which were described as a farce by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led 18-party opposition alliance. The opposition boycotted the polls demanding a neutral caretaker regime to oversee the polls. The opposition led by former prime minister Khaleda Zia tried to derail the polls by calling strikes and blockades. Over 160 people were killed in poll-related violence since November. Jatiya Party, headed by former military ruler H M Ershad, won 32 seats and is likely to play the role of the main opposition in the parliament.
Some 30 or so Indian prisoners are currently languishing at the Kot Lakhpat Jail. "The commission's report will also be presented before the trial court as it is a part of the investigation," the official said. Both the accused had also recorded their statements with the commission, confessing to the murder of Sarabjit. They said: "We wanted to take revenge from him (Sarabjit) for killing the Pakistanis in bomb blasts in Lahore and Faisalabad," the official quoted a part from their statements. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan had declared Sarabjit's murder "planned one". Sarabjit was convicted for alleged involvement in a string of bomb attacks in Punjab province in 1990 that killed 14 people. His family, however, said he was the victim of "mistaken identity" and had inadvertently strayed across the border.
about the whereabouts of Dawood, who is wanted in a number of cases by Indian security agencies, including the 1993 Mumbai blasts. Dawood, who heads a vast and multifaceted illegal business, has emerged as India's most wanted terrorist after the 1993 Mumbai bombings, which he allegedly organised and financed. An Interpol red corner notice is still pending against him. According to the US, Dawood maintains close links with terror outfit alQaida. As a result, the US declared him a "global terrorist" and pursued the matter before the United Nations in an attempt to freeze his assets across the world and crack down on his operations.
Musharraf told to appear in court
Islamabad: After analysing his medical report, the special court conducting Pervez Musharraf's treason trial summoned him on January 16 and hinted it may act against the embattled former dictator if he does not appear before it. The three judges of the special court, formed to try 70-year-old Musharraf on charges of high treason for imposing emergency in 2007, issued the order after a careful review of his medical report. Summoning him on January 16, the court said an "appropriate order" would be issued if Musharraf fails to appear on that date. Musharraf was admitted to a military hospital in Rawalpindi on January 2 when he suffered heart problems while being driven to court.
INDIA - WORLD
Social workers Rabheru and Jayant Doshi felicitated
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
In the fifth edition of ‘Samvad’ function organized by ‘Gujarat Samachar’ & ‘Asian Voice’ at Sangat Community Centre at Harrow on December 21, 2013, social workers C J Rabheru and Jayant Doshi were felicitated for their invaluable services. Rabheru a prominent member of Lohana Community is associated with many organizations, including Jalaram Jyot Mandir, while Doshi is associated with Navnit Vanik Association and Navjivan Vadil Kendra. While welcoming the guest, coordinator of ‘Samvad’ Vinod Kapasi said that looking to the convenience of everyone, Editor/Publisher of the weeklies C B Patel suggested to oganise the program at Harrow, which was accepted unanimously. To know opinions of everyone, create harmony in the community, how to develop friendship and brotherhood are the main purposes of ‘Samvad’.
about his involvement in the establishment of ‘Richmond Nagarik Mandal’ up to a project of purchasing a building for Lohana Community in 1998. He talked about the necessary qualities to become good leader, awareness towards once duty, discipline, teamwork, health relations amongst committee members, accountability, trust
of public, transparency in administration amongst others. In his response Jayantbhai Doshi narrated his experiences of tracking, adventures and social services. Nairobi-born 74year-old Doshi’s fitness is as good as that of a youngster, who came to London for further studies. He gave services as Vice President of Navanit Yuvak Mandal in Nairobi and editor of Londonbased Navanit Vanik Association’s mouthpiece for 25 years. Apart from his invaluable contribution in social service, Doshi has also visited Kailash Mansarovar and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Mera peak etc. Members of Navjivan Vadil Kendra meet at 27 Gam Patidar Samaj Hall on every Thursday and regularly organize Yoga and Medical camps, Musical events and trips. C B Patel said that his group puts in efforts to create harmony in diversity through ‘Samvad’. This program works as creating acquaintances with each other and spreading cul-
and contextualise them to create a rich online resource for students, scholars and the general public. The online resource was promoted through local and regional exhibitions, school INSET days and events at Jain temples around the UK. The website is now live and statistically very successful. About Ahimsa Day: Ahimsa Day is an annual event at the House of Commons, held in October, which celebrates the central Jain tenet of ‘non-violence’. The event, now in its 11th year, attracts MPs, Lords and Ministers who use the day to discuss how current world issues can be considered from an alternative ‘compassionate’ perspective. About the Ahimsa Award: The IoJ launched the Ahimsa Award in 2007 after the United Nations declared Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary as International Ahimsa Day. The award is given to persons who have lived a life exemplifying non-violence and compassion. The first award was jointly presented to The Dalai Lama and Dr Nelson Mandela. The Dalai Lama collected his award during his recent visit to London. Subsequent awards were given annually.
It's almost im]possible to compute how much he gave to Gujarat. But for all that he donated to the state, it would be no exaggeration to call Deepchand Gardi, a modern-day Daanveer. Gardi, one of the biggest names in philanthropy, passed away at the age of 99 in Mumbai last week. Gardi stubbornly preferred to remain a silent donor throughout his life even as the millions that he donated have seen a number of education institutes and hospitals come up and flourish since the last many decades. Born in Padadhari village of Rajkot in 1915 in a poor family, Gardi donated millions of rupees for education, health and welfare of poorest of the poor. He was fondly called modern-day Daanveer Bhamasha, a legendary figure known for his social contribution. Gardi was survived by his two sons, Rasmikant and Hasmukh, along with their families. "Having received his primary education at Wankaner at his paternal aunt's home, he migrated to Mumbai to study law. He was a barrister at law from London and practiced in Mumbai," a close associate of Gardi family Mukesh Doshi said. Doshi said that Gardi began his philanthropy from the age of 45 when he retired voluntarily. Seventy years ago, he had purchased large tracts of prime land in Mumbai. This land bank became his major source of money
From left Ramaben Jayantbhai Doshi, Dr. Vinod Kapasi, Jayantibhai Doshi, Jyotsnaben Shah, Kantibhai Nagada and CB Patel at the function
Felicitation of those who have achieved something in life is our intention. The function was opened with ‘Ganesh Vandana’ by young singer Priyesh Shah along with Bhajans. Subsequently, the two special guests who were to be felicitated were introduced. Dr. Kapasi narrated profiles of Rabheru and Jayant Doshi. Besides,
Jyotsnaben Shah, consulting editor of ‘Gujarat Samachar,’ read out the ‘Felicitation Letters’ to be given to the dignitaries. Speaking on the occasion Rabheru said that he was born in a small village Morogoro in Tanzania and completed primary and high school education there. “For further studies I came to London in 1965” he said while informing
Institute of Jainology celebrates 11th Ahimsa Day at House of Commons
The Institute of Jainology (IOJ) UK celebrated its 11th Annual Ahimsa Day [Day of Non-violence] at the House of Commons on 9th October 2013. Conservative, Labour and Lib-Dem ‘Friends of India’ groups hosted it jointly. The celebration was attended by MPs, Ministers, Lords, the Jain community and others and celebrated the Jain tenet of ‘non-violence’ as preached by Lord Mahavir for compassion to all life. This year, Mr Gavin Grant, CEO of RSPCA UK delivered the keynote address on ‘Ahimsa: Conscious Compassion and the Compassionate Consumer'. He spoke of the importance of compassion in a modern world and the changing values and behaviours of the consumer, enlightened by a greater understanding of ethics and personal impacts. From his personal experience gained at The Body Shop, he illustrated the power of the consumer in driving change for the better for animals. He inspired an upbeat assessment of consumer practices. Recipient of the IOJ Annual Ahimsa Award for 2013 Dr Melanie Joy is the Founder and President of the Carnism Awareness & Action Network [CAAN]. She is also the author of “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows” and her passion is to raise awareness among meat eaters of the impact of their food choices on themselves and the general environment. Mr Kumar Mehta, Director for ITC
Development at the Institute of Jainology read out the citation for the Award in which he said: “The Directors of Institute of Jainology felt that Melanie has created awareness amongst meat eaters of the attitude they have towards different breeds of animals; the fact that meat eating is not essential for survival and that it is only a habit and a choice. Her style of presentation has brought this awareness to the audience. This directly reflects the Jain philosophy of Ahimsa - non-violence for which the Directors have nominated Dr Melanie Joy for the IOJ Annual Ahimsa Award 2013.” In response, Dr Melanie Joy thanked the Institute for considering her for this prestigious award. She spoke briefly on the subject of non-violence through a vegetarian life style. Mr Nemu Chandaria, Chairman of the Institute of Jainology, said: “We are very pleased that Dr Melanie Joy and Mr Gavin Grant agreed to participate in this, the 11th IOJ Annual Ahimsa Award 2013. Both of them are directly related to the theme of Ahimsa in their personal and professional life; both of them live a vegetarian life style and they are at the apex of compas-
sion for animals that cannot fend for themselves.” About IOJ: The Institute of Jainology promotes Jain philosophy and its values of compassion and non-violence towards all living beings through art, culture and education. The Institute has many years of experience in delivering national and international Jain projects. These have included major exhibitions at the V&A (1995), publications of Jain sacred literature with contemporary English commentaries (Tattvartha Sutra, Harper Collins 1994) and an annual Ahimsa (non-violence) Day at the House of Commons. In 2007, HRH Prince Philip launched the Catalogue of Jain Manuscripts of the British Library which was compiled by the Institute over a 12 year period. The Institute also launched Discover Jainism in 2007, a book for teaching Jainism within the English National Curriculum followed by a supplementary book: JAIN TALES. In 2008, the Institute launched JAINpedia, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, to digitise important Jain collections in the UK at the British Library, Wellcome Trust Library, V&A and the Bodleian Library (Oxford)
tural values. For us it is a social service and a vehicle to spread knowledge. CB added that he recently disbursed ashes of his late colleague Narendrabhai Patel and he would like to dedicate the fifth edition of ‘Samvad’ in memory of ‘Narendrabhai. “We desire to keep personal experiences in the form of book. You can send us your exciting life stories in 1,000 words either in English or Gujarati, if possible typed format,” announced CB during the function. Kantibhai Nagada of Sangat informed the audience about initiation of the centre and gave information on immigration. It is the only organization which got level-3 licence. While lawyers are taking fees up to 2,000 pounds, the organization does it at hardly 200 pounds. Sudhaben Kapasi thanked Kantibhai Nagada for Sangat Hall, Ashokbhai Shah for video recording and thanked guests for attending the fuction.
Gujarat's philanthropist Deepchand Gardi passes away
that he started donating for social causes. He started by donating Rs 1,000 every day and the amount increased progressively. With the motto of 'Live and let live', he ensured good education and healthcare for thousands in Gujarat. "When Saurashtra University (SU) was passing through a severe economic crisis, Gardi donated generously. In all he donated Rs 64.50 million to SU," vice-chancellor Dr Mahendra Padaliya said. The university gave him a honorary doctorate in 2004 for his contribution. "Gardi told us that he had been declared dead at birth but his parents smiled when he cried after 10 minutes," recalled Doshi. He is also credited with running Sharda Gram, a rural education campus in the coastal town of Mangrol in Junagadh district, by donating Rs 200 million. Gardi's dream of establishing two medical colleges in Saurashtra, however, remained unfulfilled.
Andhra assembly takes up Telengana bill
The Andhra Pradesh legislature finally took up for debate a bill for creating a separate Telangana state after days of bitter wrangling over the issue. A war of words is on between the legislators of Telangana and Seemandhra when the debate began on the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2013, sent by President Pranab Mukherjee last month for the legislature's opinion. The unprecedented debate marks a significant step in the process for bifurcating the southern state, which was formed in 1956 with the merger of Telangana with the then Andhra state (now Seemandhra).
Serial rapist Jaishankar in police custody
Four months after he fled from the Central Jail, serial rapist-killer M Shankar alias Jaishankar is finally in police custody. With Jaishankar in their clutches, police are hoping to unravel the most sensational jailbreak. Jaishankar suffered serious injuries in his spine and limbs while jumping the 30-feet prison wall. After he was re-arrested, he had to be immediately rushed to hospital. Stating that Jaishankar was unfit for interrogation, the court had turned down repeated requests from police seeking his custody.
Toe party line, Karuna tells son Alagiri
Annoyed with son M K Alagiri for openly airing his opposition to an alliance with the DMDK, DMK chief M Karunanidhi warned he would not hesitate to expel any one who did not toe the party line. At a time when the DMK has been actively wooing actor Vijayakanthâ€™s DMDK, Alagiriâ€™s remarks in an interview to a television channel, dismissing the party as irrelevant, evoked a furious reaction from his father.
Canada-bound man abducted midway
With dreams to get permanent residency of Canada, a 31-year-old farmer from Zirakpur found himself locked in a hotel room in Bangkok. He was forced to break his journey in the Thailand capital by agents of an immigration company in Zirakpur who accompanied him. But the usual immigration fraud story took a turn when Mandeep Singh jumped from the fourth floor of the hotel room to escape from their clutches, fracturing both his legs in the process. Even after paying Rs 2200,000, the immigration agents were demanding Rs 1600,000 more to free him.
AAP to contest all 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has announced that it would contest all 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab in the forthcoming general elections. AAP spokesperson and working committee member Sanjay Singh, who was in Jalandha to attend a workers' meet of the party, along with senior human rights advocate H S Phoolka, said that drugs would be a major issue for the party during parliamentary polls in Punjab, along with farmer suicides and national problems like corruption and inflation. Sanjay Singh said his party favoured a judicial probe against Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia, who has been named in synthetic drug racket.
HC quashes selection of 3,206 teachers in Haryana
The Punjab and Haryana high court quashed the selection of 3,206 junior basic teachers (JBT) who were appointed in the controversial selections process held in 2000, because of which former chief minister Haryana OP Chautala, his son Ajay Chautala 53 others were jailed by a CBI court. While quashing the appointment of the teachers, Justice K Kannan of the HC has also directed the state government to prepare a fresh merit list of the candidates who had appeared in the selection process at that time.
Modi to address rally in Chennai on Feb 8
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will address his first ever public meeting in Chennai on February 8, which will also kickstart his election campaign in the southern states. This will be his third meeting in Tamil Nadu following his anointment as the PM nominee after the Trichy rally in September last year and the Nani Palkivala memorial lecture that he delivered at University of Madras in October. Announcing Modi's rally,
Nandan Nilekani ready to contest election
state BJP chief Pon Radhakrishnan said the venue would be decided soon . "By the time Narendra Modi comes, we hope to complete our talks for alliances with like-minded parties," he said, adding that preliminary talks are on with DMDK, PMK and MDMK. "We have had talks with DMDK leader Sudheesh (brother-in-law of actor Vijayakanth)," he said responding to a query. He said that smaller parties like the IJK have already pledged support to the BJP.
Radhakrishnan said thanks to the "Modi wave" in the country, he expected to conclude alliances with the regional parties. "Not only Congress, some other parties may also get isolated (when BJP strikes alliances)," he said replying to a question. Welcoming a Congress activist and seven advocates into the BJP, he said the Tamil Nadu Agriculturists Association has submitted a letter pledging support for Modi and the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
India, Sri Lanka free fishermen from prisons
Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani has said he was ready to contest in the upcoming general elections. Earlier, Indian media was abuzz with speculation that the ruling Congress party could nominate the former software czar as its candidate for Bangalore (South) in the 2014 polls. Nilekani said he was keen on fighting the elections, if given a ticket by the Congress Party. "Yes, if I am given a ticket (for the polls), yes, I will contest," he said. Justifying his entry into politics, Nilekani said he wished to bring forth change in the country. "Certainly, I believe that I
am interested in doing something for the political front, mainly because I think India needs a lot of change. India needs to create opportunity for its entire people, and at the end of the day, politics is the best platform for change," he said. In 2009, Nilekani had resigned from the post of Chief Executive Officer of Infosys, which was believed to be one of the most high-profile jobs in India. Nilekani is presently leading the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which is implementing the biometric identity cards, known as Aadhar cards in the country.
Tension over prolonged detention of Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen in each other's prisons eased on Monday with both governments initiating the process of releasing them. The detente has set the pace for a dialogue between the two nations this week on the prickly issue of fishing rights in the Gulf of Mannar. Sri Lanka made the first move on Monday by releasing 52 Indian fishermen held in the Trincomalee and Jaffna prisons since their arrest on November 20 for straying into
the island nation's waters. In a reciprocal move, Tamil Nadu government released an equal number of fishermen belonging to Sri Lanka from Puzhal prison in Chennai. TN government later said in a statement it would respond in equal measure to any conciliatory action Sri Lanka takes to resolve the crisis precipitated by incursions along the maritime boundary by fisherfolk in the two countries. In all, 275 Indian fishermen and 213 Lankan fishermen are in custody for straying out of territorial waters.
Already facing flak from human rights groups for protecting police officials accused of serious human rights violations, the Punjab government received another jolt with UN Human Rights Council 2013 report on extrajudicial executions slamming the state. The report by Christ of Heyns, special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, not only put Punjab government in the dock, but also gave a fresh handle to rights groups to embarrass the SAD-BJP government at international forum. The 21page report also mentions S u m e d h Saini's promotion as DGP by Punjab government in this context to drive home its point. The report said: "The situation is aggravated by the fact that security officers who committed human rights violations are frequently promoted rather than brought to justice. The special rapporteur has heard of the case of Sumedh Singh Saini, accused of human rights violations committed in Punjab in the 1990s, who was promoted in March 2012 as director general of
police in Punjab. Promoting, rather than prosecuting perpetrators of human rights violations is not unique to Punjab. The special rapporteur heard this complaint from families of victims throughout the country. Delay in judicial proceedings constitutes one of India's most serious challenges and has clear implications for accountability. For example, lengthy and ineffective proceedings exist in Punjab, where large-scale enforced disappearances and mass cremations occurred between mid-1980s and 1990s. The lack of political will to address these disappearances is evident in a context where steps to ensure accountability have been reportedly inconclusive." The report also noted that the burden of initiating civil, criminal or writ proceedings in cases of unlawful killings is frequently placed on the victims' families. "Their vulnerable status often cripples their ability to seek and secure accountability. Families of victims are not always aware of their rights with respect to investigation into the death of victims," it said.
BJP workers in Chandigarh used bricks with Narendra Modi's name on them for a foundation-laying ceremony of a community centre to be built by the city civic body. The Congress, which runs the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, was outraged, and Mayor H C Kalyan said the bricks would be pulled out. He said the ceremony was not official, and the BJP had organised it "on its own". Municipal Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh said there was no official sanction for the foundation-laying. Fifty bricks etched with the name of the BJP's prime ministerial candidate were used at the function in Sector 15, at a site where the corporation has declared an existing structure unusable and approved funds for a new building. The site is in a ward
represented by the BJP's Saurabh Joshi. Councillor Joshi said, "Modi is known for his development initiatives, and we wanted bricks with his name for the foundation so that the work progresses at a rapid pace. Modiji's name is synonymous with good governance and administration, and this is a gift of love for him. The bricks were purchased by residents; the municipal corporation did not pay for them." An infuriated Pawan Kumar Bansal, former railways minister and Lok Sabha MP from Chandigarh, however, said, "This is atrocious. The BJP is trying to promote its leader through work that is being undertaken by the municipal corporation. Modi is the chief minister of another state... this is against democracy."
UN report on India puts Punjab in dock
Councillor gets 'Modi bricks' to build govt project
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
As Devyani Khobragade returns, Modi, Salman celebrate US withdraws diplomat from India Uttarayan, Eid together
The United States said that it was withdrawing a diplomat from India in hopes it would end a bitter dispute that started with the arrest and strip search of an Indian diplomat in New York. Wa s h i n g t o n ' s announcement that it was complying with a demand from New Delhi for the expulsion of the US official came hours after Devyani Khobragade, India's deputy consul general in New York, left the US. Khobragade, 39, is accused of exploiting her Indian-born housekeeper and nanny, allegedly having her work more than 100 hours a week for low pay and lying about it on a visa form. Khobragade has maintained her innocence, and Indian officials have described her treatment as barbaric. In an apparent compromise, she was indicted by a federal grand jury but also granted immunity that allowed her to leave the United States. Khobragade arrived in New Delhi on Friday,
where she was met at the airport by her father and a sister. "She just said, 'Papa, I love you' and that's all. And she's happy to be back," her father, Uttam Khobragade, told reporters. Khobragade left the airport separately through an exit that is not accessible to the public. Many believed that Khobragade's return to India would be enough to give both countries a way to save face. India, however, asked the United States to withdraw a diplomat
Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Lohri and Bhogali Bihu were celebrated by people from all walks of life in India on Tuesday. The festival of Makar Sankranti traditionally coincides with the beginning of the Sun's northward journey, also known as the Uttarayan, when it enters the sign of Makar or Capricorn. This day has a very special significance for Hindus. In Uttar Pradesh, Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Kicheri. The first important
ciated with agriculture, the rural areas are lit up more than the urban cities. On the occasion of the festival, women dressed in traditional sarees make the Pongal dish with rice, sugar and jhaggery and lots of ghee (rarified butter). The harvest festival of Lohri was celebrated with traditional fervour and enthusiasm in most parts of North India. Lohri is a popular festival celebrated by the people of Punjab, particularly of the Sikh and Hindu faiths. A
bathing festival of the about one-and-a-halfmonth long Magh Mela is being held on the banks of Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati at Allahabad on the occasion. In Tamil Nadu, Pongal, the harvest festival, was celebrated. One of the most popular festivals in Tamil culture, it signals the end of winter and the onset of spring. The festival which begins on the first day of the month of Thai is celebrated for three more days. As the festival is asso-
key feature of Lohri is the bonfire. Lighting of the fire has been common in Winter Solstice festivals throughout time and the world. It signifies the return of longer days. For some the bonfire has a religious meaning, a remnant of ancient origins, perhaps. For others, the bonfire is no more than a tradition. In Assam, the postharvest festival of Bhogali Bihu was observed. Several cultural programmes and traditional sports were organised to mark the festival.
Makar Sankranti, Pongal and Lohri celebrated
from the US embassy in New Delhi, and the state department said it was complying, although with "deep regret". "We expect and hope that this will now come to closure, and the Indians will now take significant steps with us to improve our relationship and return it to a more constructive place," spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington. Khobragade moves US court Khobragade has moved a federal court here
to dismiss the visa fraud case against her, saying there is lack of personal jurisdiction since she had been accorded full diplomatic immunity by the US Department of State. Khobragade's lawyer Daniel Arshack submitted a four-page "motion seeking dismissal of action for lack of personal jurisdiction" on January 9 with Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn of the US District Court of the Southern District of New York. She was indicted for visa fraud and making false statements but flew back to India on the night of January 9 from the JFK airport here on an Air India flight after she was accorded diplomatic immunity by the State Department and was asked to depart from the US. The deal allowing Khobragade to return to India had been expected to help mend the rift, but there was no sign, in the short term at least, that India was ready to forgive and forget.
BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi joined people in Ahmedabad and state capital Gandhinagar in celebrating a quartet of national festivals coinciding on Tuesday – Uttarayan across India, Bihu of Assam, Pongal of Tamil Nadu and Eid-eMilad of the Muslim community. The celebration in Ahmedabad was special following the presence of Bollywood star Salaman Khan with the Gujarat Chief Minister. Modi met Salman Khan at Ahmedabad Circuit House and talked about Gujarat’s all round development, particularly the State Government’s efforts to promote tourism in the state. They also exchanged greetings on the occasion of Eid-e-Milad. Modi and Salaman had special Uttarayan menu of ‘Undhiyu and Puri’ together. “I am impressed by Gujarat’s good governance and people’s zest for celebrating festivals” said the film star while talking to
media. Terming Modi as a good man, he said that he observed development taking place in Gujarat during his visits in the state in the past decade. On a question that who should become the next Prime Minister, he answered diplomatically and said that let the best person become the PM and the God would decide his fate. On his choice, Salaman said that, he would vote to the best possible candidate in his constituency. “If Modi would destine to become PM, he would definitely become,” he replied to a straight question on Narendra Modi. He showered praised on Modi for the development and tourism promotion in the state.
350 elections to State Legislative Assemblies, facilitating peaceful, orderly and democratic transfer of power. The statistics of today’s Indian elections may be mind boggling, even if you look at them purely as numbers. There are around 780 million electors as on 1st of January 2014. The last elections to the Indian Parliament held in 2009 can be described as the biggest humanly managed event in the world. It is not just the magnitude of Indian democracy in terms of geographical area or size of the electorate, but the anxiety to reach every single citizen. India is perhaps the most diverse country of the world, be it geographical or in being multi-religious, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-ethnic. There’s a responsibility on the EC to deliver free, fair, transparent and peaceful elections. The management of elections in India is continually evolving. From separate ballot boxes for each candidate to the marking system, to EVMs (electronic voting machines) has been a long journey. A major challenge in our elections is how to ensure level playing field. The party in power has all the resources of the state at its command. Hence there is a need to create a code of conduct to be followed by all stakeholders, particularly the party in power. Model Code of Conduct is a unique com-
pact evolved with the consensus of political parties in India and is a singular significant contribution by them to the cause of democracy. The Election Commission enforces it right from the day it announces any election schedule. MCC has no statutory backing and many of its provisions are not legally enforceable. Despite that ECI has quite effectively neutralized the challenges of muscle power and incumbency power. Elections have to be not only free and fair but also socially just and more participative. During our 60 years democratic history, the voter turnout has remained around 55-60%. It is a good figure compared to the declining voter interest in several societies. To make democracy truly inclusive, we have come up with a Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) wing that rolls out comprehensive community outreach and multi-media campaigns to bring all citizens into electoral participation. In every election now, we carry out a scientific survey of Knowledge, Attitude, Behaviour and Practices (KABP) of voters before launching voter awareness programmes. This initiative has returned impressive dividends in terms of higher registration and turnout in each of the recent state elections
including records in some states. The Commission declared 25th January, its foundation day as the National Voters Day from 2011 with the avowed purpose to increase enrolment of voters. It does not require any explanation that aspiring democracies around the world look forward to sharing the knowledge, skills and expertise at ECI’s disposal. Responding to increasing global demands, especially from Afro-Asian nations, the Commission has started off the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIDEM) that serves as a training and resource centre in the critical sector of elections and democratic processes for both national and international participants. With the type of constitutional mandate that the Commission has, it cannot afford to sit on its laurels. There are several reform proposals from the Commission, that aim at cleaning up the electoral process, so that the foundation can be laid for good governance and a corruption free polity. We have come to a stage in India when holding a free and fair election is no more news. In fact not holding one would be an exception. This is India’s promise to its own people and to the world. The writer is former Chief Election Commissioner of India
Conducting elections in the world’s largest democracy
S. Y. Quraishi
Democracy has been India’s most distinct and durable identity, long before it asserted itself as an economic, nuclear or IT major. Founded by a great Constitution, it has been nurtured by parliament, judiciary, political parties, media and above all by the people of India, with some contribution from the Election Commission of India. Despite doubts and fears from many quarters, founders of modern India adopted universal adult suffrage thus reposing faith in the wisdom of the common Indian to elect his/her representative to the seat of power. When the independence came directly to the hands of ordinary people in the form of a vote, it was a period when 84% of Indians were illiterate, equal number in poverty living in an unequal society fractured by a castebased hierarchical system. Over the past 63 years, the Election Commission has delivered 15 elections to the Lok Sabha and over
Pravasi Bhartiya Divas: Narendra Modi steals the show
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Many dignitaries visited during the 12th edition of Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD), but it was BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, who stole the show. The kind of response he could get from Indian Diaspora members, no other speaker, including Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was able to receive. PBD is celebrated in India on 9th January each year to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the development of India. The day commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa in Mumbai on January 9, 1915. Gujarat Chief Minister Modi was literally mobbed by enthusiastic Indian Diaspora members as they crowded around him, tried to get themselves photographed with him while many placed silk scarves around his shoulder. Delegates at the 12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the largest gathering of Indian Diaspora in the world, including many from Gujarat, hung on to each word of Modi's speech at the meet and applauded him lustily. The hall at Vigyan Bhavan was crowded with many people standing along the aisles to hear Modi. His speech at a session on Investment Opportunities in States, in which he took a dig at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had the audience clapping loudly and laughing in agreement. He made mockery of the prime minister's statement to the Diaspora that there is no need to despair and good times lie ahead and would certainly come true in the next few months - in and after the general elections. Modi’s speech on the achievements of the state was given in a booklet form to the audience in advance. An invite to a separate session that he was to address after the speech was also placed for the audience. On corruption, a question raised by one Diaspora participant, Modi said the debate in the country is on "post corruption" or the measures - like Janlokpal and Lokpal - to take to tackle corruption after it has taken place. The other chief ministers who spoke
were Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Meghalaya's Mukul Sangma. Modi also invoked Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel. "Had it not been for Sardar Patel's foresight, we may have had to get a Pakistani visa to see Gir lions," Modi remarked while paying tribute to India's first home minister. He also described the 75th year of India's independence in 2022 as an important milestone that could best be celebrated by enabling a "developed India that is globally admired", with the quality of life driven by speed, scale, skill and smartness. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sought to dispel apprehensions of the Indian Diaspora on the state of the economy, saying the country was heading towards "better times" and there is no reason to despair about its present or worry about the future. He said that regardless of the outcome of the next elections, they will once again demonstrate the strength of India's democracy and its institutions. "I know that many of you have questions about the future of the Indian economy and concerns about social challenges, the shape of our polity and the issues of governance in our country. There is a perception in some quarters outside India that the country is losing its momentum of the past decade," he said adding that despite a number of external and domes-
tic factors, "our economic fundamentals are strong." Indian economy has done well over the past decade; he said adding that in the nine years since 2004, India averaged a healthy growth rate of 7.9 per cent per annum. There has been no doubt a slow down in the recent past, and we will probably end this year at the same level as last year with 5 per cent growth, said the Prime Minister. Awards Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India on 9 January 2014 conferred the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Awards to 13 NRIs, PIOs and organisations for their outstanding contribution in their of residence as well as to India. The Pravasi Bhartiya Divas was organised in New Delhi from 7 to 9 January 2014. The theme for the year was “Engaging Diaspora: Connecting Across Generations.” Following people were awarded • Lisa Maria Singh from Australia was given for Public service and fostering friendly relations between India and Australia. • Kurian Varghese from Bahrain was awarded for Business for enhancing India’s image and for Promotion of better understanding of India abroad. • Vasdev Chanchlani from Canada was awarded for Community service and fostering ties between India and Canada and efforts in promotion Indian culture and heritage. • Ramakrishna Mission from Fiji was
awarded for Community service and philanthropic activity and enhancing India’s prestige abroad. • Satnarainsing Rabin Baldew Singh from Netherlands was awarded for Public service and developing closer ties between India and South Africa. • Bikas Chandra Sanyal from France was awarded for Education and culture and enhancing India’s image. • Sasindran Muthuvel from Papua New Guinea was awarded for the field of Public service. • Shihabudeen Vava Kunju from Saudi Arabia was awarded for the Community service and promoting ties between India and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. • Ela Gandhi from South Africa was awarded for Public service, enhancing India’s image and promoting ties between India and South Africa. • Shamsheer Vayalil Parambath from United Arab was awarded for Health business and in promoting Better understanding of India United Arab Emirates. • Shailesh Lakhman Vara from United Kingdom has been awarded for Public service and in promoting ties between India and the people of U.K. •Parthasarathy Chiramel Pillai from USA was awarded for Science and for fostering closer relations between India and USA. • Renu Khator from USA has been awarded for Education and enhancing India’s prestige abroad.
After Aam Aadmi Party's first 'Janata Darbar' ended in chaos, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that there will be no more Janata Darbars in the capital. But Kejriwal vowed to meet people once a week for two-three hours and said that online forum will be set-up where people can post their grievances. "People do not have to come to me to sub-
mit their grievances now," he said. The chief minister said that people do not need to visit him with their grievances and added that call centres will be set-up soon where people can submit their complaints online or by post. "We are setting up a system in which the people will be able to send their grievances online. The facility is already
available on the Delhi government website," Kejriwal told reporters. "We will also set up call centres for those who cannot write their grievances and their problems would be written and read to them. People can also send their grievances by post," the chief minister added. On Saturday, the first 'Janata Darbar' of Arvind
Kejriwal and his cabinet ended in chaos after thousands thronged the venue, forcing the AAP leader to leave the scene to avoid a possible stampede. An estimated 5,000 people poured into the open space outside the Delhi Secretariat since early morning, eager to pour out their woes to Kejriwal and his ministers who took oath Dec 28.
Congratulations to my daughter Miss. Bhavisha Bhinubhai Patel (Dabhou) for achieving her postgraduate masters degree in MA Criminology. Mum (Kailas Patel), dad (Bhinubhai Patel), her loving sister (Minal Patel) and her supporting brother - in - law (Shamir Patel) are so very proud of you for your big success in achieving her postgraduate masters degree. Love you very much.
Innocent Hindus attacked in Bangladesh
Kejriwal scraps 'Janata Darbar' after fiasco
Continued from page 1 convicted of war crimes and Hindus have nothing to do with Mollah, but they were brutally attacked, their houses and vehicles were burnt through petrolbombing. The attack was by JI militants during the run-up to the general election held on January 5, 2014.
of the government attacks on Hindus continue in Bangladesh. Recently seven activists of the opposition BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami were arrested for attacks on Hindu community even as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina promised stern action against the perpetrators. Sources said that the Hindus were targeted after
Some of the Hindus had to leave villages and farm their families owned for more than a century. Local Hindus had nothing to do with the execution. But here near the Ganges delta, members of the Hindu minority are particular targets of JI because of their religion and because they almost all support the Awami League, the nominally secular party which has run Muslim-dominated Bangladesh for the past five years and which won the election after a BNP boycott. Way back on May 20, 1971, Pakistani troops massacred thousands of Hindus – about 15,000, the locals say – as they fought to keep what was then East Pakistan from seceding to become the independent nation of Bangladesh. Many Hindus and Muslims fought together, that include JI as guerilla freedom fighter, against Pakistani troops for formation of Bangladesh. But after that, Hindus are constantly becoming victim of arson, rape, stabbings and beatings in many villages. Nearly a year ago, in the Satkhira district, JI militants took control of several villages, cutting down trees and building embankments to stop the security forces from entering. Locally the area is known as – Pakistan in Bangladesh. Once Hindus were a majority here but now reduced to 25 to 30 per cent of the population. Despite stern warning
members of the community voted in defiance of the opposition's call to boycott controversial general elections that were swept by Hasina's Awami League party. The worst attacks were reported from western Jessore on Election Day, when suspected opposition activists vandalized 130 Hindu homes and torched another 10 in Malopara village. Police said 70 to 80 men attacked Malopara. Opposition activists threatened Hindus with dire consequences for voting, prompting the army's intervention. Hindus were also attacked in Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha and Thakurgaon in the same region. "Everyone responsible for the attacks on the minority community will face stern punishment. I have never compromised with terrorism," said Hasina while condemning the attacks on Hindus. She said the paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh, anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion and police have launched a massive campaign to track down on those responsible for attacks. Hasina accused the BNP and the fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami of intimidating Hindus on the grounds that they are perceived as traditional supporters of her Awami League. "The attack on the minority community indicates that the character of BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami remains unchanged," she
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Crash diet offers hope for diabetes ritain’s 2.6 million type 2 diabetics have B been offered new hope
after scientists found a short-term crash diet can reverse the disease and restore their natural insulin levels. They found that putting overweight diabetics on a diet of just 800 calories a day cleared the disease and returned them to health in a few weeks. So far the technique has been tested successfully on only 11 patients, but now it is to be the subject of a £2.4 million medical trial involving 280 people with obesityinduced diabetes. The hope is that the crash diet could provide a clinical treatment for GPs around Britain to use to tackle the epidemic of diabetes that costs the NHS about 10% of its entire budget. Professor Roy Taylor, director of Newcastle University’s magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) centre, who led the initial study, said the early findings were “enormously exciting”. “We demonstrated that by changing calorie intake we could change fat levels in the liver and pancreas and return insulin production to normal,” he said. “The new study is to see whether GPs can use this approach to reverse diabetes in their patients and whether it will stay reversed. The evidence is that it will, but we need a large-scale trial to prove that it works.” Type 2 diabetes,
unlike type 1, is closely correlated with obesity. It occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells do not react to insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas that moves glucose from the blood and into cells where it can be used for energy. With insufficient insulin, blood sugar soars, with a raft of dangerous side effects. These include a sharply increased risk of heart attack and stroke, blindness, foot amputation and dementia. Scientists already know that people who undergo weight-loss surgery such as gastric bypasses often see their type 2 diabetes go into remission, but such treatments are dangerous and seen as the last resort. The crash-diet approach is based on new evidence about the underlying cause of the disease, linking its onset to the depositing of fat around the liver and pancreas. In healthy people the liver
should contain only about 2% fat, but in the obese this can exceed 40%, which, research shows, can suppress insulin production. Taylor and his co-researcher Mike Lean, professor of human nutrition at Glasgow University, who will be jointly overseeing the new trial, used MRI scans to observe how crash dieting rapidly removes these particular fat deposits, potentially explaining why it gets such rapid results. “The good news is that if you cut fat in the diet then the liver fat falls very rapidly - and that means the pancreas can start working again,” said Taylor. Allan Tutty, aged 54, from Sunderland, saw his diabetes go into remission after starting the crash diet in November 2012. Taylor and Lean are encouraged by such success stories, but say far more data is needed to assess the potential. In their new study 140 patients with obesity-
A good night's sleep critical to protect your brain
ne night of sleep deprivation increases morning blood concentrations of two molecules - a neuronal enzyme (NSE) and calcium-binding protein S-100B - in healthy young men. These molecules are typically found in the brain. Thus, their rise in blood after sleep loss may indicate that a lack of snoozing might be conducive to a loss of brain tissue," said Christian Benedict, Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, Sweden. To reach the conclu-
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sion, the researchers selected 15 normal-weight men. In one condition, they were sleep-deprived for one night, while in the other condition, they slept for approximately eight hours. "Increased blood concentrations of these two brain molecules in sleep-deprived participants mean brain damage. Thus, our results indicate that a lack of sleep may promote neuro-degenerative processes," added the study. It's important to note, however, that levels
of NSE and S-100B previously found after acute brain damage (including as a result of a concussion), have been distinctly higher than those found in the Swedish study. "There is no suggestion that a single night of sleep loss is equally harmful to your brain as a head injury," said Benedict. Still, the researchers said their findings suggest "a good night's sleep may possess neuroprotective function in humans, as has also been suggested by others".
related type 2 diabetes will be put on low-calorie liquid diets for 8-20 weeks. Another 140 will act as controls - getting the best modern treatments but without having to diet. Once they have hit their target weight and come off the diet, the patients will be monitored for up to two years to see if they can avoid regaining the lost weight. Lean said the crash diet would be tough for people to stick to. “We’re confident that some people with type 2 will be able to achieve remission because we’ve seen it happen before. But what we really want to know is: how many can do it and are we able to identify those for whom it is not worth making the effort? “If our analysis shows this approach is both effective and cost-effective, our aim will be to produce a programme that can be implemented in the NHS as soon as possible.”
Scientists discover new therapy to cure HIV S cientists have found a new way to clean the remaining human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from the bodies of infected patients after they have been treated with antiretroviral therapy. Scientists used radio immunotherapy (RIT) to destroy remaining human immunodeficien-
infected cells, respectively," said Dadachova, the study's lead author. Dadachova's team paired the monoclonal antibody (mAb2556) designed to target a protein expressed on the surface of HIV-infected cells with the radionuclide Bismuth-213. Researchers found
cy virus (HIV)-infected cells in the blood samples of patients treated with antiretroviral therapy, offering the promise of a strategy for curing HIV infection. E k a t e r i n a Dadachova from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York and a team of researchers administered RIT to blood samples from 15 HIV patients treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). RIT, which has historically been employed to treat cancer, uses monoclonal antibodies cloned cells that are recruited by the immune system to identify and neutralise antigens. "In RIT, the antibodies bind to the infected cells and kill them by radiation. When HAART and RIT are used together, they kill the virus and the
that RIT was able to kill HIV-infected lymphocytes previously treated with HAART, reducing the HIV infection in the blood samples to undetectable levels. "The elimination of HIV-infected cells with RIT was profound and specific. The radionuclide we used delivered radiation only to HIVinfected cells without damaging nearby cells," Dadachova said. An important part of the study tested the ability of the radiolabeled antibody to reach HIVinfected cells in the brain and central nervous system. Using an in vitro human blood brain barrier model, the researchers demonstrated that radiolabeled mAb2556 could cross the blood brain barrier and kill HIV-infected cells without any overt damage to the barrier itself.
The health dangers of shoes
f stilettos harm feet, flat shoes can also be danIgerous. Jacqueline Sutera,
a doctor of podiatric medicine and surgery, and Neal Blitz, Chief of Foot Surgery and Associate Chairman of Orthopedics at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, share the dangers of our favourite shoes. Running sneakers: Too much cushion is not the best thing. When you have a lot of cushion, you're not getting the foot-brain feedback that allows you to sense the ground. These shoes are ideal for forward motion like running, walking, jogging (not hiking, dancing, cycling, etc). Wearing these shoes can cause chronic stress injuries, particularly to the heel. Flip-flops: Most flipflops are too flat, too thin and too open. This exposes the foot to the environment and doesn't provide arch support or cushion-
ing. The thong between your toes is also dangerous as it forces your toe muscles to over-grip. Wearing these shoes can cause inflammation, heel pain, strains and fractures. Stilettos: Wearing heels for long hours shifts
your weight to the balls of your feet, which puts pressure on your foot. The skyhigh heels can cause ankle sprains, midfoot fractures, neuromas (benign nerve tumours). Platform wedges: Wedges also have heels, which puts pressure on the foot. But the heels generally have more cushion. They often have platforms, which protect the ball of your foot and reduce the incline. But you can suffer similar ailments due to heels.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
comes to Kollywood
inguswamy's projects are always on the headlines, and he does not make an exception this time too. The director's latest project with Suriya is underway and the team has already wrapped up one schedule for this film. Now there is a buzz that Linguswamy is likely to bring Bollywood actress to K-town. We hear that Bollywood's leading actress Sonakshi Sinha will be performing in a cameo in the upcoming project. Confirming the news, a source close to the unit revealed that Sonakshi will be dancing for an item song in the film. Sonakshi readily agreed to the offer, once the shot was explained to her. She has allotted dates to shoot the number in Mumbai, next month.
praises her heroes T
he lovely actress Tamannah who is ruling the roost in South is busy shuttling between Tollywood and Kollywood. Her second innings with Director Siva after “Siruthai” is out and already winning rave reviews for the movie and especially her role is being lauded well. When asked about Ajith, she says he is such a nice person and treats everyone equally and she is glad to have worked with him in “Veeram.” She also said that working with other Kollywood heroes has been fun, Vijay is such a soft person and totally down to earth. Also “Paiyya” is one of her favorite movies and acting with Karthi was fun. She also mentioned that she is doing a couple of films in the north too, but will return to south once she has a solid script.
MGR Comes With
fter a bit of grooming, Puratchi Thalaivar MGR's phenomenal hit movie 'Aayirathil Oruvan' has gotten a digital touch, and is up for release now. The film, all set to take Tamil Nadu by storm all over again, is marching ahead with a star of today, Ajith. Trailer of 'Aayirathil Oruvan' is being released along with Thala's Pongal treat, 'Veeram'. Sri Vijaya Productions which has rolled out 'Veeram' is the same production house which has earlier released a number of MGR hits, including his 'Naan Aanai Ittal' fame 'Engal Veetu Pillai'. 'Aayirathil Oruvan' also has the unique distinction of a song that was remixed many times over - 'Adho Andha Paravai Pola'. Starring MGR, Jayalalithaa and Nambiar in the lead roles, the evergreen hit is all set to rock the state once again.
New Relesse Aamir dreams Govinda says no to make film on to Salman offer Bollywood movie releasing Salman Khan, who is all set to Maulana Azad Actor-producer produce the remake of Mahesh on 17 January: ‘Lakshmi’ Marathi film Claiming that the message of his Manjrekar's
“Lakshmi” is the only movie releasing on 17 January 2014. The movie has no big stars in it, and it is directed by Nagesh Kukunoor. The cast of the movie is: Ram Kapoor (lead role), Monali Thakur (lead role), Satish Kaushik (lead role) and Shefali Shetty (lead role).
iconic film '3 Idiots' was the same as given by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, actor Aamir Khan said it was his dream to make a film on the life his great grand uncle. 'Just do what your heart says' was the message Azad had given to his uncle and director Naseer Khan when he wanted to make films, Aamir said in Kolkata. "I hope that some day I will be able to use my art to make a film on his life. It is my dream to do that," Khan said. "I wish I had met him, known him. I have read his books drinking in every word," he said, adding that Azad had an e x t r e m e l y progressive and fertile mind.
"Shikshanacha Aaicha Gho" in Hindi, says he approached Govinda to play the protagonist but he refused the offer. "I approached Govinda but he refused it, seriously. For the last three years I have been after Govinda to do the film but he said that he didn't like the film," said Salman, who will be seen in a guest appearance in the Hindi remake. There were reports that Paresh Rawal will play the main lead in the film.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Latest Sushmita Sen is gearing up for a comeback ushmita Sen has lost weight and is gearS ing up for a comeback
and says 2014 is going to be her year. "I have been preparing actually since 2013. I know every time an actor loses weight or starts looking fitter or thinner, it is always for a reason. But this is me getting ready for the most fantastic time of my life in all aspects. Professionally and personally 2014 is going to be my year," the 38-yearold said at an art exhibition. Sushmita is eagerly awaiting the announcement of two projects, one of which
goes on floors in July. "Professionally you are going to see me back this year for sure. We have two very nice announcements, hopefully they should happen soon," Sushmita said. "The filming for one of them begins in July and the rest of them is more of combining the entrepreneur side of me and the actor and the mum side of me, all of it together," she added. Sushmita is known for hits like " Biwi No.1" and " Main Hoon Na" and has two adopted daughters - Renee and Alisah.
Poonam Pandey manhandled
oonam Pandey, who recently made her Bollywood debut with P 'Nasha', has vowed
never to perform at a New Year's Eve celebration after her nightmarish experience in Bangalore while performing at a posh club. "Never again! Never will I perform at a New Year's Eve celebration. It's much too dangerous," said Poonam. She describes the incident as her most serious confrontation with male aggression. "I agreed to perform in Bangalore because the money was too tempting. They offered me a bomb. How was I to know what the evening had in store for me?"
Akshay Kumar’s next film to be released on R-Day 2015 I would like to romance Salman I again and again: Daisy Shah
ndia’s Republic Day is set to belong to Akshay Kumar in 2015, as the international superstar is in the frame to appear in acclaimed director Neeraj Pandey’s (‘A Wednesday’, ‘Special Chabbis’) next action thriller film. The, as yet, unnamed project is expected to star Akshay in a pivotal and dynamic role. Neeraj is said to have been very impressed with Akshay’s work ethic and how the pair worked together whilst shooting ‘Special Chabbis.’ Despite receiving several film project offers from studios and other Bollywood A-listers, Neeraj honed in on Akshay as his preferred choice of lead star for his forthcoming venture. Needless to say, Akshay accepted the challenge with open arms. Akshay has always been dedicated to his legion of adoring fans and says: “I’ll do at least one action film every year because of my fans. This is my promise to them.” The sizzling action film is set to begin shooting between April and June this year, and is set to be unlike anything Akshay has done before.
Bipasha-Harman to tie the knot After John Abraham's New Year wedding to girlfriend Priya Runchal, his exflame Bipasha Basu too has decided to tie the knot this year with Harman Baweja. Sources close to the couple say the actress' decision was made before John announced his marriage on Twitter. But Bipasha and Harman will make their plans official only after his film 'Dhishkiyaon', produced by Shilpa Shetty and her husband Raj Kundra, hits theatres. The film is slated to release in August. Bipasha's parents had their first formal meeting with Harman's parents at their residence in Lokhandwala Complex.
ollywood`s new entrant Daisy Shah, who is debuting with Salman Khan-starB rer ‘Jai Ho’, says she was asked to tone up a
bit before starting work on the movie. "I was asked to tone down my body before staring for the film. I was not asked to lose weight as such, but I was asked to tone a bit. I was not plump, but I was always on the healthier side and toning up your body brings a huge difference in your appearance," Daisy, also a choreographer said. Praising her superstar co-star Salman, she said: "It`s always a dream for everyone to work with Salman and I had an opportunity to work with him. He is very supportive and very protective about his co-stars." If given a chance, she said, "I would like to romance with Salman again and again in all my films." Daisy has earlier worked in the southern film industry, and she believes there is a difference in the way the Mumbai film industry functions. "The working pattern is different in both the industries," she said.
Item girl tag derogatory: Malaika A
ctress Malaika Arora Khan, whose popular dance numbers like 'Chaiyya Chaiyya', 'Munni Badnam Hui' have raised the bar for her contemporaries to match her style, finds the item girl tag "derogatory and silly". "I don't like the term 'item girl'... Why not look at it (item song) as a special song?...A song that is creating a hype and entertainment. I find it derogatory and silly," Malaika said. When asked if the leading ladies are intruding the space, Malaika said she did not think so. "There is enough work for everyone. Everybody has a role or part to play, if somebody fits the bill that is what matters," she added.
Residents in Harrow will be able to exercise for free this summer
Harrow Council is dedicated to making its residents more active and fight conditions such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes by opening two new outdoor gyms this summer, thanks to a grant of £27,000 awarded from the London Marathon Trust Fund. These gyms will be free for any residents and will add to the existing six Outdoor Gyms in parks and open spaces. The two new gyms will be sited at West Harrow Recreation Ground and Headstone Manor Recreation Ground - areas identified as having low levels of physical activity amongst residents. These Outdoor Gyms complement the borough’s other leisure offers such as the recently refurbished Harrow Leisure Centre.
Residents will have support to use the equipment from Harrow’s Outdoor Gym Activators, specially trained fitness volunteers who are available on specified days/times to help residents use the gym equipment, often for the first time. The outdoor gyms are expected to be in place by the summer with a range of cardiovascular and endurance equipment including a double station surfer, double station leg press, double station chest press, single skier – (cross trainer), single horseback rider – (seated rower) and multi station body twister. More information on the gyms and the Outdoor Gym Activators can be found at: www.harrow.gov.uk/active lifestyle.
l Saturday 18th January 2014 – Magical Strings from 8pm – 10.30pm at Sabras Road, Radio House, 63 Melton Road, Leicester. Contact: 01162612264 l Every Thursday 2014 – Sitar, Vocal by Dharambir Singh MBE from 6pm – 9pm at the Peepul Centre, Orchardson Ave, Leicester LE4 6DP. Contact: 0116 261 6000 l Sunday 23rd February 2014 – Prize-giving at Gujarati School parents Day from 3pm – 6pm at Gujarat Hindu Society, South Meadow Lane, Preston PR1 8JN. Contact: 01772253901. l Thursday 27th February 2014 – Open classical dance sessions leading to a performance for Maha Shivratri Celebrations at 8.30pm at Gujarat Hindu Society, South Meadow Lane, Preston PR1 8JN. Contact: 01772253901. l Saturday 1st March 2014 – Romance of the Bansuri from 8pm – 10.30pm at Upper Brown Street (The Old Pheonix), leicester, LE1 5TE. Contact: 01162612264. l Gandhi Martyrs Day will be observed on Thursday, 30 Jan at Tavistock Square, London, 11am onwards and be attended by the High Commissioner, Mayor of Camden as well as prominent members of the Indian community in London and media personalities. Editor: CB Patel Associate Editor: Rupanjana Dutta Tel: 020 7749 4098 - Email: email@example.com Editorial Executive: Tanveer Mann Tel: 020 7749 4010 - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Senior News Editor: Dhiren Katwa Freelance Correspondent: Rudy Otter Chief Operating Officer: Liji George Tel: 020 7749 4013 Email: email@example.com Chief Financial Officer: Surendra Patel Tel: 020 7749 4093 Mobile: 07875 229 220 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Chief Accountant: Akshay Desai Tel: 020 7749 4087 Email:email@example.com Business Manager: Alka Shah Tel: 020 7749 4002 - Mobile: 07944 151 893 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Manager: Kishor Parmar Tel: 020 7749 4095 - Mobile: 07875 229 088 Email: email@example.com Business Development Managers: Rovin J George - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 020 7749 4097 - Mobile: 07875 229 219 Urja Patel - Email: email@example.com Graphic Designers: Harish Dahya & Ajay Kumar Tel: 020 7749 4086 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Customer Service: Ragini Nayak Tel: 020 7749 4080 - Email: email@example.com (BPO) AB Publication (India) Pvt. Ltd. 207 Shalibhadra Complex, Opp. Jain Derasar, Nr. Nehru Nagar Circle, Ambawadi, Ahmedabad. Tel / Fax: +91 79 2646 5960 Bureau Chief: Nilesh Parmar (M) +91 94266 36912 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Newspaper ordered to pay £270,000 libel damages to Welsh AM Urdu-language newspaper Nawaijang, based in London, and two of its staff have been ordered to pay a total of £270,000 in libel damages to Welsh Conservative AM Mohammad Asghar, pictured, and a friend who is a trustee of two mosques in Newport. Nawaijang, which claims to be the largest circulating Urdu paper in the UK, published a defamatory article about the South Wales East AM and Abdul Rahman Mujahid in January 2012. According to the judgement by Judge Milwyn Jarman QC, the article wrongly alleged a number of points that Mr Asghar did not actually do.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Your horizons have most certainly been expanding with Jupiter in the area of your chart ruling philosophical thoughts. With Venus retrograde, transiting your career sector, you will want to reassess whether you are spending too much time at work. Time to create a better work-life balance.
ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20
After the verdict, Mr Asghar said: “British justice has been done.” The other two defendants in the case were husband and wife Muhammad Asif Saleem and Nadia Tuffail. Mr Saleem said: “We shall appeal. I was unable to attend court because of a heart condition. I did not write the article and should not be involved.”
Journalist Dileep Padgaokar joins Huffington Post's new online venture A noted Indian journalist Dileep Padgaokar, pictured, will join the Editorial board a new online venture by The Huffington Post. A leading international news portal, The Huffington Post, has announced plans for creation of TheWorldPost, a new online publication with 10 editions around the world. In association with the Berggruen Institute on Governance, an independent, non-partisan think
Long-term partnerships are reinvigorated by Jupiter's transit of your Solar 3rd house.Whether you're single or attached you will have a busy time ahead of you. As Venus is retrograde in your Solar 9th house, e extremely careful as an argument over personal philosophies of life can get you into hot water.
TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21
and action tank, Huffington Post will bring together contributors from diverse countries, backgrounds and perspectives for the new venture. TheWorldPost can be found at its own website and in the world section of Huffington Post. Its content will also be published by the 10 international editions of Huffington Post, including in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Japan and Brazil.
GEMINI May 22 - June 22
Venus Retrograde cycle occurs in your eighth house of intimacy, shared resources, and personal transformation. Hold onto your money, work on a budget, and avoid arguments with loved ones that revolve around intimacy and sexuality. You could also be dealing with past actions or karma. It's time to redefine what it is that you want out of life.
CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22
Venus has gone into retrograde motion for some time to come. This is going to be a time of frustration and re-assessment. It’s all about cultivating patience until planet goes direct. This is evident mainly in the arena of relationships, but it could also flow over into business partnerships and joint ventures. While you wait, don’t waste any time organise yourself.
LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23
Venus Retrograde cycle occurs in your sixth house of work, health, and daily routines. The social aspect of relationships on the job may be strained for the time being. Do your best not to let people get to you. Your career as well as relationships with lovers and children are also affected. The desire to get on with people around you is very strong in this period.
VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23
Venus Retrograde cycle occurs in your fifth house of romance, pleasure, speculation, and children. Because the cycle directly affects your sector of romance and speculation, you should be careful. An old lover may come back in your life, complicating matters. There could also be strained relations with family members, and avoid purchases of new property.
LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23 Venus Retrograde cycle occurs in your fourth house of home and family. Relations with your family may be a little strained. You might want to wait until Venus is direct (in July) before you express your frustrations with family members! This retrograde cycle also affects your communications and intimacy sectors.
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SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22 Venus Retrograde cycle occurs in your third house of communication. People around you may seem insincere. In fact, you may have a hard time getting your ideas across in a warm, genuine manner. As Venus also rules your partnership and secret liaisons, both of these things may get re-assessed during this retrograde cycle.
Venus Retrograde cycle occurs in your second house of money and values. Take the time to re-think your sources of income and how you spend your cash during this period, and avoid making any big purchases for a while. Venus rules your sign, suggesting that you could be distancing yourself from others.
SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21
CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 Venus Retrograde cycle occurs in your sign. This cycle will affect the personal image you project to others. Because Venus rules your romance sector, don't jump to conclusions if a loved one is acting a little distant. Wait it out. Your desires from love and relationship may be hard to figure out for the time being. AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19
Venus Retrograde cycle occurs in your twelfth house. What you want from love and your desires are very ambiguous and obscure during this cycle. Deal with your past so that you can put it behind you, but don't do it at the expense of your present. Relationships with friends and family may be a little strained.
PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 Venus Retrograde cycle occurs in your eleventh house of friendships, groups, and aspirations. Your friendships or associations with groups may be a little strained during this period. You must make good use of the energy that is flowing, by channeling it positively! Creativity, romance and leisure all receive a tonic.
Dhoni, Dhawan, Kohli nominated for ESPNCricinfo Awards
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Exceptional performances by Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli make them the leading candidates for the 2013 ESPNCricinfo awards, nominations for which were announced last week. The annual ESPNCricinfo awards recognise the best performances in Tests and ODIs through the year and the Indian trio figured in both the Test batting performance of the year and ODI batting performance of the year nominations. O f f - s p i n n e r Ravichandran Ashwin made the grade in the Test bowling performance of the year, while Ravindra Jadeja was shortlisted for the ODI bowling performance of the year. An independent jury will decide the winners in the four individual performance categories, while fan voting on ESPNcricinfo will determine the Best Debut of the Year award. The winners will be announced later this year at a gala event in Mumbai. Dhoni figured in the list of Test nominations for his Herculean 224 effort in the
Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni
first Test against Australia in Chennai, while his unbeaten 139-run knock in the lost cause against the same opponent in the third onedayer in Mohali also found a place in the ODI scheme of things. Dhawan also got two nominations - 187 in his debut match against Australia in the third Test in Mohali and his 114 in the first match of the ICC Champions Trophy one-day series against South Africa in Cardiff. The nominations also included Kohli's 119 against South Africa in the first Test
at Johannesburg and his superb unbeaten 52-ball 100 while chasing the target of 360 runs against Australia in the second one-dayer in Jaipur. Rohit Sharma's recordbreaking 209, which included a world record 16 sixes, against Australia in the seventh ODI in Bangalore also found a mention in the ODI performance of the year. Ashwin was nominated for his 7 for 103 against Australia in the first Test in Chennai, while Jadeja's 5 for 36 against West Indies in the sixth match of the ICC Champions Trophy at The
Oval saw him shortlisted in ODI's best. Australia, England and South Africa players got three nominations each in the Test bowling category, while their players also led the batting list with two nominations each. The winners in four Performance categories will be selected by a jury panel that includes Ian Chappell, Rahul Dravid, Martin Crowe, Mark Butcher, Sanjay Manjrekar, Daryll Cullinan, Ramiz Raja, Rusell Arnold, Mark Nicholas, and the senior editors and writers of ESPNcricinfo.
series against host New Zealand, which begins on January 19 in Napier.
For both England and Australia to go top, they would not just need wins themselves but also hope that New Zealand gets the better of India. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli is the highest-ranked Indian in the batsmen's rankings at the second spot with Shikhar Dhawan being the next best-placed at 10th. In the bowlers' list, Ravindra Jadeja is the highest-ranked Indian at sixth followed by R Ashwin at the 16th position after going up a rung. Jadeja is also the best among the Indians in the all-rounders' list at the fifth spot.
moments before the official announcement in Zurich. Ronaldo, who was widely expected to win after news spread on social media earlier in the day that seven members of his family were joining him in Zurich and his club Real were transmitting the award ceremony live on their official television channel in a change to the programmed schedule, broke down in tears on stage during his victory speech.
Ribery, who won the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup with Bayern last season, before adding the European Supercup and Club World Cup before the turn of the year, had been the early front-runner. But a controversial twoweek extension to the voting deadline for international coaches, captains and media meant those casting their ballots could take into consideration Ronaldo's remarkable hat-trick to beat Sweden in the World Cup play-offs in November. That was widely believed to have been enough to tip the scales in his favour. However, with 66 goals in his 56 matches this year more than Messi and Ribery's combined 65 - noone could deny Ronaldo was a worthy winner.
India's No. 1 position in ICC ODI rankings at stake
India will have to beat New Zealand in the upcoming ODI series to retain their top spot in the ICC rankings as Australia and England have a chance to topple Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men from the perch. Australia are currently ranked second with 114 ratings points, six ratings behind number-one ranked India, while England is ranked third on 111 ratings points. Australia was last ranked number-one in July 2012, only to be overtaken by England who held the top position till December 2012. Australia and England's
rise to the top position however, is dependent on how India fare in their five-match
Cristiano Ronaldo wins 2013 Ballon d'Or award Cristiano Ronaldo ended the four-year dominance of Lionel Messi when he was awarded the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or in Zurich on Monday. The tearful 28-year-old Real Madrid and Portugal star, who won the award in 2008, had been the overwhelming favourite to pip Barcelona and Argentina wonder Messi, winner the previous four years, and France's Franck Ribery, who claimed the treble with Bayern Munich in 2013. Ronaldo won with 27.99% of the votes ahead of Messi (24.72%) while Ribery was third (23.36%) according to France Football, co-organisers of the award with FIFA. "There are no words to describe how I feel," said Ronaldo. I'm delighted; I want to thank all my teammates, all my family in the
room. "Those who know me know how many sacrifices I made to win this reward. "I want to thank all those who had faith in me and I want to speak again about (recently deceased Portugal legend) Eusebio and (recently deceased former South Afrca president) Madiba ( Nelson Mandela) and to pay tribute to them one last time." News of Ronaldo's success filtered through from France Football just
Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by nine wickets in second Test
Sri Lanka produced a professional performance to register its biggest victory over Pakistan by nine wickets in the second Test in Dubai, taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Paceman Suranga Lakmal took all three wickets to fall on the fifth morning to finish with a career-best 4 for 78 to wrap up Pakistan's second innings for 359 before Sri Lanka knocked off the meagre 137-run target for one wicket. In achieving the victory, Sri Lanka also defied the cloudy weather in Dubai. Opener Dimuth Karunaratne (62 not out) hit the winning runs after putting on 124 for the first wicket with Kaushal Silva who fell after scoring 58. Kumar Sangakkara remained unbeaten on 9.
Shoaib Akthar makes his debut as a singer
Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akthar is all set to make his singing debut with his first recorded song for ‘Saya-e-Khuda e Zuljalal,’ an upcoming Pakistani movie. The speedster will be singing the song ‘Jaag Jaa Pakistan’ alongside many other famous artists from Pakistan. The Pakistani speedster retired from cricket after the 2011 World Cup. Akthar has since written a book titled ‘Controversially Yours’ which generated quite a lot of controversy. The Rawalpindi Express has been appearing as a pundit on Pakistan’s Geo TV in recent times and has expressed some controversial views about fellow fast bowler & former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis. Akthar is now turning a new leaf by stepping into the music industry with ‘Saya-e-Khuda e Zuljalal’, which is supposedly a patriotic movie.
India need more football academies: Robbie Fowler
Liverpool FC legend Robbie Fowler feels that setting up of academies is the way to go for Indian football to raise its profile and says his former club is willing to help India in this regard. "You need talent to raise profile of the game and that can come from academies. We have a plan to set up an academy in Pune. Hopefully, this is not the only one in India. We will start with that but we may set up many others in future to help Indian football," Fowler said in a programme in Liverpool. "I'm amazed at knowing that Liverpool is the most followed club in India with 93 million fans. There is so much passion for football here. Hope some successful players come from India in future from these academies," said the former Liverpool striker and current brand ambassador of the English Premier League club.
Sachin Tendulkar to mentor Mumbai Indians?
Now retired Sachin Tendulkar might be absorbing a big role with Mumbai Indians, something like a mentor but with additional responsibilities, reports said. “The Mumbai Indians are already discussing the issue and will talk to Tendulkar as well before deciding his role,” an official revealed. “He is someone who would play a role on a par with the director of a team.” When asked about his opinion on sitting in the MI dugout in some other role last year, Tendulkar said, “As of now, I don’t know. We’ve just won this tournament and I want to enjoy this moment. There are still good six months (before the next IPL) and I am sure something will come along till then. I am actually looking forward to the next season because I have been part of MI for six years now and it has been an experience I have really enjoyed,” he was quoted as saying by the official CLT20 website.”
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 18th January 2014
Finch ton powers Australia to win 1st ODI
Aaron Finch's second ODI hundred and the first by a Victorian at the Melbourne Cricket Ground powered Australia to a comprehensive six wicket victory over England to take 1-0 lead in the five match series. The 27-year-old, Finch, who has earned the reputation as an all-out attack player in the T20 format, rode his luck early on in his innings and a wave of local sentiment to carry Australia to target of 270 in only 45.4 overs. Finch's 121 and his 163 run opening partnership with David Warner who made 65 made lightweight while chasing 269 runs set by England earlier in the day. England captain's form with the bat down under went from bad to worse as he was once again out in the first over of the match when he nicked a McKay delivery to be caught easily by Haddin, the captain gone for 4. McKay's opening spell got him another wicket, this time Root was caught in front of his stumps. The batsman thought he had nicked it and reviewed the decision after consulting Bell at the other end but sadly the decision
stood as it is and England along with the wicket lost the only referral for the innings. Opener Ian Bell was batting fluently at the other end and along with the impressive left handed Gary Balance was trying to put the innings back on track. Bell was starting to get boundaries and momentum to the innings. He slog swept a
Maxwell delivery over cow corner for a maximum but was clean bowled while trying a similar stroke off left orthodox Xavier Doherty. England were 3-62 in the 18th over. In came Eoin Morgan and started off the blocks immediately with quick singles coupled with odd boundaries. Both the left handers
started to find the pace of the wicket and were looking comfortable against the Aussie attack which was without their lethal weapon in Mitchell Johnson. Eoin Morgan brought up his half century and while looking good for many more chipped a Maxwell delivery on the off side only to be caught by Nathan CoulterNile head high at covers. England lost the much needed momentum and had to start once again. Regular wickets didn't allow England to step on the accelerator that was needed to challenge this strong Australian batting unit. Few lusty blows in the end from Stokes and Bresnan meant England finished their 50 overs on 269 for 7. As it turned out, it was all too easy for the hosts after England dropped few early chances. Both left handed openers made full use of them and made sure their winning streak continued from the Ashes series. Finch's hundred rightly earned him the man of the match award. The second ODI will be played at the Gabba on January 17.
Zol to lead Indian colts in U-19 World Cup
Bopanna-Qureshi end runners-up at Sydney
Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi had to be content with a runners-up finish at the ATP Sydney International after losing the fiercely fought final, in which there was no break of serve, against Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic. The second-seeded Indo-Pak pair lost 6-7 (3) 6-7(3) to unseeded but very formidable Canadian-Serbian combination in one hour and 35 minutes. Bopanna and Qureshi saved all five break chances on their serves but could not convert even one of the seven chances they got in summit clash of the USD 511,825 hard court tournament. Bopanna and Qureshi split $13,100 between them as prize money and earned 150 points each while winners took home a combined prize purse of USD 24,920 and 250 points each.
Lara seeks selection in Trinidad golf team
West Indies cricketing great Brian Lara is to compete for a place in Trinidad and Tobago's national team for the upcoming Caribbean Amateur Golf Championship (CAGC) in Puerto Rico. Lara is down to participate in the two-day TATIL Open Invitational, one of the mandatory events to be eligible for national selection. The TATIL Open Invitational is organised by the Trinidad and Tobago Golf Association's (TTGA) and carded to take place on January 18 and 19. Tournament director Christopher Harries says Lara is looking to enhance his chance of securing national selection to the MidAmateur Division of the T&T team. "Brian (Lara) is looking forward to trying to make the national team and this is one of the counting events towards national team selection," said Harries.
England women win Ashes series by 51 runs
Maharashtra left-hander Vijay Zol will lead the Indian colts in the U-19 cricket World Cup to be held in United Arab Emirates in February. Zol has been in prime form and he led India to the U-19 Asia Cup victory last month. He is also part of the Maharashtra team that made the Ranji Trophy semifinals last Saturday beating Mumbai. Kerala and Rajasthan Royals batsman Sanju Samson is one of the mainstays of the U-19 team. He has good experience at the top level and is bound to play a key role for India in the event. Mumbai's Sarfaraz Khan is another player who will look to make the most of the opportunity. Indian team: Vijay Zol, Akhil Herwadkar, Ankush Bains, Ricky Bhui, Sanju Vishwanadh Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Kuldeep Yadav, Amir Gani, Karan Kaila, CV Milind, Avesh Khan, Monu Kumar Singh, Atit Seth
The England women's cricket team has defeated their Au s t r a l i a n counterparts by 61 runs in the sole Test of women's Ashes series at the WACA G ro u n d . Chasing 185 for victory, Australia was in trouble at 5-57 entering the fourth and final day and although a 44-run partnership between Ellyse Perry (31) and Sarah Elliott (29) breathed life into their run chase as they moved to 5-99, but Perry's dismissal sparked a collapse of 3-7 as Australia were bowled out for 123 shortly before lunch. England speedster Anya Shrubsole was the hero on the final day, snaring three wickets, including the key scalp of Perry, to put the Southern Stars to the sword. The Test victory gave England six points in the multiformat series, which also features three one-dayers and three Twenty20s and Australia needs to win five of the remaining six matches to regain the urn with each one-dayer and T20 match only worth two points, the report added.