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VOL 42. ISSUE 43

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

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1st March to 7th March 2014

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Jaya locks horns with Centre over release of Rajiv killers

Following the apex court’s order restraining the Tamil Nadu government from releasing seven prisoners, convicted in the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has decided to challenge the move to release four convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. On February 18, 2014 the Supreme Court of India commuted the death sentence of the three key conspirators to life imprisonment, holding that the 11-year delay in deciding their mercy petitions was unreasonable and dehumanizing. “We commute their death sentence into

Harithra Sriharan imprisonment for life. Life imprisonment means end of one's life, subject to any remission granted by the appropriate government,� said an apex court bench consisting Chief Justice P. Sathasivam, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh. On February 19, AIDMK chief announced that the Tamil Nadu government would release V

Rajiv Gandhi

ÂŁ50 million gap in the country's budget. The Home Office is calling it the duty of 'immigrants and visitors to contribute their fair share in British economy', eventually putting itself at a direct clash with Cameron's promises to boost student and business visits to Britain from countries like India and China. Continued on page 2

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Prime Minister David Cameron is going back on his words again. After several efforts and promises to improve the IndoBritish relationship, the Tory government has now seemingly broken India's trust for the nth time, by proposing an increase in visa fees by 4%. According to reports by prominent UK dailies, the UK's plans to increase the visa fees is solely aimed to plug a

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Cameron to risk Indo-British relation to plug gap in UK budget

Sriharan alias Murugan, A G Perrivalan alia Arivu, T Suthendraraja alias Santhan, Nalini Robert Payas, Jayakumar and Continued on page 26

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UK

www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 1st March 2014

Keith Vazwith MP

Keith Vaz MP

Dr Ralph Abraham

demands of the private patient – with the full expression conferred by status, income, diagnostic enigma or personality disorder –are either the making of a consultant and the growth of his practice or the destruction of it. I never forget that my patients have a choice – and not seeing them again is always a cause for some soul searching.

Dr. Abraham is recognised as one of the UK’s leading experts in Diabetes, Endocrinology, Heart Disease Prevention and Cholesterol Management. In 1991 ,Dr. Abraham set up London Medical (www.londonmedical.co.uk) with the objective of delivering a bespoke and comprehensive one-stop treatment of diabetes and endocrinology conditions. London Medical is now one of the largest private outpatient facilities in London. With over 75 consultant physicians, the clinic has grown to provide a multi-specialty centre of expertise to thousands of national and international patients in the investigation, diagnosis and comprehensive treatment of particularly diabetes, heart disease, eye disease, cardiovascular health, impotence, sexual health and osteoporosis. 1) Please tell me about your current position? I work as a consultant physician in the private sector dealing primarily with diabetes, heart disease prevention (lipid disorders) and hormone problems. I am also the Clinical Director at London Medical. 2) What are your proudest achievements? Being a doctor whose opinion is sought and respected both by my patients from around the world and by my peers. Once in the USA, at an interview, a senior Professor commented that I would be a disadvantage to his team as I was a ‘Renaissance Man’. This highlighted the fact that I was trained broadly – as a scientist, a gastroenterologist and hepatologist, diabetologist, endocrinologist, lipidologist and obesity expert. He was right, but maintaining a competence and

expertise on more than one front has stood me and my patients well in good stead and, in a world of superspecialisation, ‘Renaissance Men’ are in short supply. 3) What inspires you? My patients, with their intricacies and individual quirks of the myriad diseases and presentations they bring to me. Over a lifetime of medicine, I have seen incurable conditions now cured, and care that was experimental and expensive, now routine in the NHS. I remember the days before the Clean Air Act and before Sir Richard Doll proved the connection between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer. We have come a long way and I marvel at what can now be achieved. 4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? Prejudice. I came up against

Increase in lottery admissions threatens children's right to place at local schools One in 12 schools is rejecting the traditional process of admitting children in local areas in favour of new rules designed to create a more balanced student body. Tens of thousands of children could lose their automatic right to a place at their local secondary school amid an increase in the number of comprehensives using lottery-style admissions policies. The shift is being driven by a rise in the number of academies and free schools whose admissions policies are independent of local council control. The head of one major chain of academies reportedly said it was no longer “inherently fair or good for our society” to let parents move into the catchment area of a leading school to get a place. A report to be published this week by the Sutton Trust

will reinforce the case for dismantling traditional catchment areas, saying access to the most popular comprehensives should “not be limited to those who can afford to pay a premium on their mortgages or rents”. But this new initiative could anger many parents who fear children’s futures are being dictated by the a lottery decision, with pupils being turned away from a nearby school in favour of one several miles away. The Department for Education reportedly said admissions were run by individual schools or councils but insisted places “should be allocated in a fair and transparent way”. Parents will find out which state secondary school their children have been allocated on March 3 as part of National Offer Day.

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6) What is the best aspect about your current role? Practising my craft to the highest standards, taking into accounts my patients’ personal needs. I am allowed the time to do this, working in a fabulous working environment in Marylebone, alongside of consultant colleagues and staff who I respect and like.

this early in my schooling as I started out with an ‘Anglo Indian’ accent, and later, when interviewed for a place at Cambridge University, my aptitude and skills in music were considered an obstacle to obtaining a First class Honours. When I first started my house jobs on the wards, my PhD singled me out as a scientist who would not have the human skill required by patients.

7) And the worst? The pressures that come through increasing regulation. I welcome regulation, process, audit and setting standards but somebody has to curb the enthusiasm of the people who manufacture the software used in regulation, that becomes “the tail that wags the dog”.

5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? I have trained with many outstanding physicians but the biggest influence on my career has undoubtedly been my patients. It was a steep learning curve to realise that the

8) What are your long term goals? To build further on the reputation of London Medical and see

it established as a destination clinic for chronic diseases. To continue, with a team of colleagues, to put cutting edge practice in front of our patients and manage them with the sensitivity and caring approach that has made us successful. 9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? Take the NHS out of the political arena. There has to be financial and budgetary control just as there is for Defence, the Home Office, Education, Agriculture etc. Once this is set, allow a cross party group to appoint the ‘Director’ or the ‘Board’ and let the management exercise policies that will not necessarily buy votes. Healthcare will change overnight. 10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? When I studied Physiology at Merton College, in Oxford, the wonderful tutorial system allowed me many special hours of tutorials with the great late Dr Dennis Parsons. The Tutorials laid the basis for my natural curiosity about where I stand in the cosmos, to tease out the molecular mechanisms of how the body works, to find out about what happens when a key component is blocked and to learn to ask the right question that could lead to an answer that can effect change. “The brain is black box ……discuss!”

Cameron to risk Indo-British relation to plug gap in UK budget

Continued from page 1 In a separate bid, the government is also considering an option for wealthy foreigners to settle here permanently, on basis of wealth, ignoring the fact that it could lead to a "cheap" way for many foreign criminals to remain here indefinitely. The proposal for an acrossthe-board rise in visa fees is contained in a letter from a Home Office official circulated in the corridors of power here, The Times reported on Monday. According to the newspaper, the move could mean a hike in visa fees by 4%, more than double the rate of inflation. On another note, the Migration Advisory Committee, an independent advisory body to the government on immigration issues has suggested that Tier 1 (Investor) route has not done enough to benefit to British residents. Apparently after gathering evidence from financial organisations and users, the Committee

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has recommended to the government, a further increase in the minimum threshold for investment for the standard route from £1m to £2m and relaxing restrictions on investment opportunities to bring more tangible benefits to the UK economy. It has also suggested replacing the higher investment routes of £5m and £10m, which are hugely under-used, with a “premium route” to give applicants an incentive to make a more significant contribution to the UK. Anyone applying under the premium route would benefit from relaxed residency requirements, effectively halving to 90 days the amount of time an individual has to remain resident in the UK a year. But it would only lead to settlement and not citizenship. Although the Committee found that investor migrants have an indirect beneficial impact through their general expenditure in the UK, particularly on things such as private education, it

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believes the reforms recommended around the direct investment itself will make it much more likely that UK residents gain from this route. It has been therefore proposed that access to this premium route should be limited and the price of entry best determined through an auction, allowing the market to set the price. Any excess above the reserve price could be put into a good causes fund, similar to the one operated by the National Lottery. It has also reported that foreign millionaires will be offered visas in exchange for donations to hospitals and endowments to universities, under proposals by the government's official migration advisers. These measures have been thoroughly criticised by immigration lawyers and has reportedly been greeted with scepticism by the Home Office and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

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www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 1st March 2014

COMMENT

India, Australia connect via Commonwealth

India and Australia are drawing ever closer in a strategic relationship in which their Commonwealth membership plays a significant role. As geography underpins history and politics, India and Australia are increasingly aware of their respective roles in the evolving architecture of Asia Pacific security to Australian leaders include IndoPacific label to locate the precise area of their converging interests with India. . The new Tony Abbott government in Canberra is intent on structuring this relationship, even as it maintains its traditional embrace of the US and Japan and its calibrates ties with rising China. It is not a zero-sum game but trust and wariness are much in evidence. China is the elephant in the room. New Delhi and Canberra have vital economic ties with China, which neither wish to disturb. Both partners are committed to the maintenance of political equilibrium with China. That said, there are also anxieties about Beijing’s maritime goals in the South China and East China Seas, and its territorial objectives on its Himalayan border with India. So much for the broad canvas. Specifically, Indo-Australian ties have been buttressed by people-to-people contacts through the increasing flow of skilled Indian migrants to Australia, whose contributions in business and the professions towards the well-being and prosperity of their country of adoption are widely appreciated by Australian society as a whole. The English language, common democratic values entailing obedience to the rule of law, a shared passion for the game of cricket and membership of the Commonwealth have led to a vigorous bonding between India and Australia. Other bolts of mutual interest are being riveted into a solid 21st century platform. Australia is now keen to sell uranium (of which Australia has 40 per cent of the world’s total reserves) for India’s nuclear power industry, the previous qualms of the Australian Labour regime having been put aside. Australia’s first woman

Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, and Trade and Investment Minister, Andrew Robb, are vocal in their criticism of the Kevin Rudd-led Labour regime for overturning its predecessor John Howard’s decision to permit uranium sales to India. Peter Varghese, an Australian career diplomat and former high commissioner to India is now Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade and has voiced optimism that a deal on uranium sales to India will come through sooner rather than later.. “There is already a growing convergence on the strategic partnership front. The nuclear agreement is part of that,” he explained. When asked whether it was head or heart that was driving Australia’s India policy, Julie Bishop replied: “Our heart lies with India,” adding that her first blog as Opposition shadow foreign minister was on India. With the rapid expansion of their country’s economy Indian companies have spread their wings abroad, becoming stakeholders in Australia’s mining resources and selected ports for shipment of coal, for example, to Indian power stations. Each country is a robust market for the other’s goods and services. India more so with its 1.2 billion population. Peter Varghese again: “We are seeing an unparalleled shift in economic weights. We have to make sure that they don’t lead to unstable power relationships. We see India playing an increasingly important role. Using the term Indo-Pacific instead of Asia Pacific locates India in the partnership and recognizes that future challenges will be maritime challenges…..There is an overlay of economic interdependence and strategic interests.”Australia looked forward to the rejuvenation of the Indian Ocean Rim Association, he said. Putting flesh on the bones of these developments is the growing military cooperation between the parties, particularly their naval exercises, in which Japan and the US are key participants. The best is yet to come in the burgeoning India-Australian partnership.

If Indians didn’t know it before, they know it now. Indian cricket is a swindle run by a cabal of manipulators adept at throwing the dice and making off with the loot. The comatose public drugged by media hype and routine bombast by programmed scribes believed, until recently, that their team was perched by divine right atop the Himalayan heights, monarch of all it surveyed. It was an illusion worthy of Houdini but the spell was broken with a sickening thud by the utterly wretched performances of Team India, led on the field by an apparition called Mahinder Singh Dhoni. Long a media darling, scribes waxed eloquent on his myriad qualities leadership skills anf prowess with bat and gloves. His ability with the bat was of a high order on its day, his wicket-keeping was decent without being outstanding. It was his captaincy at Test level that was deeply flawed. He was clearly out of his depth in the longer form of the game. He lacked intuition and imagination in judging its critical moments and was thus left floundering for the correct responses to employ. He was rigid and inflexible in his approach and fell back repeatedly on his chosen favourites to bale the team out.. Mediocrities all, Dhoni’s cronies were unable to oblige. Bowlers with fancy tricks like the vaunted “carom ball” proved innocuous in Test matches, even if more adept in one-day cricket. Those outside the Dhoni circle were rarely given any opportunity to shine in the encircling gloom. Their job, it would appear, was to stand and wait. So legspinner Amit Mishra was never used , neither were the slow left arm sub-

tleties of Pragyan Ojha, who has been cast beyond the pale. Following the disastrous tours of 2011-12 tours of England and Australia, where India were trounced in eight straight Tests, Mohinder Amarnath, the Chairman of the Selection Committee, spoke of replacing Dhoni as captain. He was summarily dismissed for his honesty; Dhoni, warts and all, was kept on as captain because the sinister Indian cricket board President, Narayanaswamy Srinivasan, willed it so. The retainer was duly retained, and another international disaster has been the result. Whither Indian cricket? Clearly in limbo. The Dhoni spell is over. The once untouchable media hero is being savaged. His performance at the press conference at the end of the Auckland Test was utterly pathetic. He whimpered about “positives” and “improvements” in the team, which had been whipped in two backto-back series. Speaking out again, Mohinder Amarnath called for Dhonn’s immediate dismissal as Test captain, with Virat Kohli as his replacement. Former cricket greats Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly, while criticizing Dhoni’s leadership, say that he should be kept for another year during which India will be touring England and Australia. Quite staggering, this. Three years of unrelieved failure abroad, yet these worthies want more of the man. For a start, Dhoni’s cronies should be sacked. Dhoni should follow. Now! Then give the selectors a free hand to repair the damage.

No amount of cajoling, no persuasive argument, no vision of renewal have shaken President Mahinder Rajapakse’s resolve to keep Sri Lanka on the straight and narrow pathway of the past. TamilSinhalese discord continues to simmer, resentments deepen, rising xenophobia, religious bigotry, militarism and their concomitants are eroding the country’s democratic values and the rule of law. Such are the findings of Navi Pillay, head of the UN Human Rights Commission. Her report on the present situation in Sri Lanka makes grim reading. The Colombo government made a predictable show of defiance by flaunting China’s support of its position buttressed by sumptuous quantities of Chinese financial aid and investment. If President

Rajapakse imagines that his regime’s ties with China will send India scurrying for cover, or make the international community quake, he has failed yet again to engage with reality. His domestic problems will not disappear (neither will China’s), the wounds of the past will fester, not heal, and the body politic will bump along from crisis to crisis. Has Pakistan’s much touted all weather friendship with China ended its Taliban insurgency? Or the communal violence in China’s Xinjiang province? Or unrest in Tibet? President Rajapakse and his advisers would do well to ponder the path they have chosen for their troubled country. You can bet that they are unlikely to do so anytime soon. It will be more of the same.

Swindle that is Indian cricket

Sri Lanka trapped in its past

3

Some people bear three kinds of trouble - the ones they've had, the ones they have, and the ones they expect to have - H. G. Wells (1866-1946)

“Our London” Navin Shah

GLA Member for Brent and Harrow

Sky - High energy bills The big debate catching the headlines and controversy is how do we meet our energy demands (gas and electricity) and the cost to consumers? In this context it was interesting to visit the Battersea Power Station a couple of weeks ago. This iconic heritage building dominating the frontage of river Thames was built in 1933 and decommissioned in 1983 - supplying at some stage half of London’s electricity. But it has become redundant and due to be transformed into a complex for mixed use development comprising commercial and residential uses. The controversy in London and the rest of the Country has been about double-digit rocketing gas and electricity bills by the private monopoly of six companies and the resultant dire impact on the cost of living of Londoners. The inflation busting raise from 15th November will see price rise on average across country by 8.2% - three times the rate of inflation. The official figures indicate that London has the highest gas bills in the country. Not only that the ‘Big Six’ utility companies are acting as monopolies they are also calling the shots and making unacceptable demands on the government. They have recently warned that unless the government delivers cuts to “green levies” they would consider a second price hike. What are these green levies and how much do we pay from our gas and electricity bills towards the green levies? In brief green levies are used for renewable energy schemes, climate change and schemes like home insulation etc. Average household dual fuel (gas & electricity) bill in 2013 is £1,247 of which the wholesale energy cost is 47%, other supplier cost and margins are19% and cost of the energy and

climate change policies are only 9%. Mayor Johnson was quizzed on this issue at the Question Time last week because he needs to exert leadership and tackle fuel poverty in London. My worry is that Londoners are facing a cost of living crisis but the Mayor who pledged to ‘campaign against fuel companies who are ripping off the consumer’ has done nothing. I asked the Mayor whether the big six utility companies were right to blame green levies’ for the latest round of price rises imposed on Londoners? Unfortunately I did not get much of an answer. The Tory coalition too have no real answer to curb the excesses of the private monopoly. The answer lies in various alternatives to protect Londoners such as: 1. As Labour has proposed, freeze prices until January 2017 which would save typical household £120 and the average business £1,800 per annum. 2. Introduce a simple new tariff structure so people can compare prices. 3. A programme of a high level of retrofit (insulation of properties) across Britain’s 26 million domestic properties. 4. The other initiatives / areas to address would include a root and branch review of government’s ‘Green Deal’ which has failed and requiring all energy companies to trade their energy in an open market etc. David Cameron in his election campaign pledged ‘vote blue go green’ but like the Mayor the government has talked the talk but failed to walk the walk and allowed the private monopolies to allow them to hold consumers as hostages unless they get what they want. We know whose side they are on. Surely not on the side of the consumers!


MIDLANDS VOICE

BBC gets its first Assistant Editor of Gujarati origin

4

Leicester: Kamlesh Purohit has been appointed Assistant Editor at BBC Radio Leicester. Kamlesh started his broadcasting career at BBC Radio Leicester in 1986 at a time when Asian programming was still very much in its infancy - its purpose was to help the city’s new wave of immigrants from East Africa to settle into a new way of life. When he stepped up to radio presentation in 1988, he became the first of a new breed of young British Asian presenters, incorporating challenging and stimulating speech content in his programmes, striving for harder-edged journalism, and more informed news and sport content. His Sunday Discussion programme took on thought-provoking debates. The excellence of his early work was rewarded with recognition, winning CRE and Asian Film Academy Awards for his presentation and journalism. In 1996, Kamlesh, pictured, was promoted to the role of Senior Producer - the starting point for a series of important and influential roles he played in key developments as Radio Leicester’s Asian service went from a local to a regional, and then to a national service in its own right – BBC Asian Network. In 1998, he was part of the small team that developed the Asian Network News Service. With his knowledge of Asian audiences, Kamlesh played an invaluable role in helping to shape the news editorial content with a new team of journalists that included Aasmah Mir, who went on to present on BBC Radio Five Live. In 2002, the Asian Network was launched as a national service on DAB digital radio. Kamlesh was Head of Programmes responsible for all programming from the Leicester site – he linemanaged a large team of programme producers, presenters and freelance staff. A huge challenge was to develop staff to the high standards expected of a national network. Later in 2002, Kamlesh was appointed Head of Asian Network Sports Service. As the first service of its type in

www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 1st March 2014

Manchester: TfGM, ticket providers System One and Jobcentre Plus is to give jobseekers free bus and tram passes to interviews and work following the success of a trial scheme. The government is sponsoring 24,000 tickets, that will be made available to eligible Greater Manchester jobseekers up to March 2015. It will include free one-day bus passes to get to interviews and free 28-day bus or Metrolink passes for the first four weeks of a new job. For the next 12 weeks of work, travel will be discounted. There will also be a ‘Bike Back to Work’ scheme – with access to free recycled bikes, cycle training and maintenance courses.

Bollywood comes to B'ham University

the UK, he established the template for a service that would be relevant to a British Asian audience, and one that championed British Asian sporting achievements. Kamlesh also holds the distinction of being the first British-Asian broadcaster to commentate on Test Match Special an institution among sports programmes - when he joined the team for the 2004 Pakistan vs India cricket series. Over his time at the BBC Kamlesh has made significant contributions across several parts of the organisation. He presented TV News bulletins at BBC East Midlands Today; worked as Assistant Editor at BBC Radio Stoke; was senior sports producer at BBC Radio Five on the Five Live Sports programme as well as BBC World Service sport; he worked as Researcher at BBC One’s Countryfile programme; and he worked on a BBC Local Radio Digital strategy project for Online audio offer and Podcasting for Head of Radio Development, BBC English Regions. Kamlesh regularly devotes his own time advising, mentoring and coaching young journalists and has an enviable record in nurturing new talent, many of whom have gone on to significant

achievements in broadcasting - Manish Bhasin (BBC TV Football presenter), Alison Mitchell (BBC Test Match Special/Five Live reporter), Lee James and Ade Adedoyin (BBC World Service), Priya Kaur-Jones (BBC East Midlands Today & GMTV), Adil Ray (Five Live/Radio 4/Citizen Khan) to name a few – something he takes immense pride in. Coming back to a full-time role at BBC Radio Leicester completes a very exciting journey for Purohit. He said, "I've been lucky enough to have worked in many parts of the BBC - News, Sport, Five Live, World Service, regional television. But they say home is where the heart is - and coming back to the station where I started my BBC career, a station I grew up listening to as a child, completes a very exciting journey for me. To be Assistant Editor at the country's first BBC local radio station, working with such a fantastic team, is a dream come true." Jane Hill, Managing Editor, BBC Radio Leicester, commented: “I’m thrilled that Kamlesh is joining us as Assistant Editor. I’m looking forward to benefitting from his huge experience within the BBC.”

Lankan doctor keeps job after B'ham 'filming up the skirts' scandal

Birmingham: A doctor of Sri Lankan origin, who was caught, allegedly filming up the skirts of Birmingham shoppers secretly, can still practise as a GP. However Dr Buddhi Ranjan Yapa Abeywardena, who reportedly claimed he didn’t believe there were anything wrong in taking the sordid snaps, has been hit with a string of strict working conditions by medical chiefs. The Birmingham Mail has reported that the 63year-old has not been seen at his Iver, Buckinghamshire, surgery since his arrest. Recently, the General Medical Council reportedly confirmed Abeywardena, pictured, who qualified as a doctor in his native Sri Lanka 38 years ago, is free to work, but under 10 strict conditions. These include having a “chaperone” present during con-

Manchester jobseekers to get free bus and tram passes

sultations with female patients. Despite the criminal conviction for outraging public decency, a decision over whether Abeywardena will face a “fitness to practise” hearing, where he could be struck off, is yet to be taken. After the high-profile case, a spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Dr Buddhi Abeywardena claimed that he was unaware that his actions and behaviour were an offence as he felt he was not hurting anyone. “What this defendant

was doing was committing a very serious criminal offence and this was not a victimless crime. “Young females were being stalked by this man and then filmed without their knowledge or approval.” A spokesman for Ivor Heath Health Centre, told the Birmingham Mail: “We are aware of the conviction and community order given to Dr Abeywardena at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court. “Dr Abeywardena has not practiced as a GP since he was arrested. His offence does not relate to patients and did not occur at Iver Heath Health Centre. The practice has plans in place to ensure the continuation of medical services for our patients.” A spokesman for the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service said a fitness to practice hearing is likely to be set within the next few months.

Birmingham: Youngsters interested in Bollywood now have a fantastic opportunity to learn Indian dance moves in the Birmingham University, combined with a bit of inspiration from the Bard William Shakespeare. The Birmingham Mail reported that Bollywood actors signing up to learn the

secrets of the fast-growing trade at South and City College in Birmingham will be put through their paces in dance, acting and singing – even taking inspiration from the Bard William Shakespeare. Studying traditional Indian dance moves, students will take on characters from Shakespeare’s great novels and even learn stage combat in a bid to master control of their movements. They will also get the chance to share their talents on stages across the UK.The BTEC Bollywood Performing Arts Course, taught in both Hindi and English, will start at the college next month. The course will run over 10 weeks and is free to youngsters aged 16 to 18.There are separate classes for 19- to 24-year-olds and similar courses available to the over 25s. It is run by The Bollywood Academy, based in Digbeth, whose founder Faraz Chouhan helped champion boxer Amir Khan to choreograph a routine at his wedding.

Teenager jailed for robbing a boy and stabbing a friend

Leicester: A teenager who has reportedly robbed phone from a 15-year-old boy in the city street and stabbed a friend in a separate incident has been jailed for four years. Talha Sarfudin (17) also committed a series of other offences, including carrying a kitchen knife and assaulting his mother by pushing her violently. Philip Gibbs, prosecuting, said that on May 14, the defendant and another youth robbed a 15-year-old boy in a city street, taking his phone and watch after threatening he would “get smacked”. The accomplice told Sarfudin: “Take it out and shank him,” causing the victim to fear they had a knife, although no

weapon was produced. On October 4, the defendant forcefully pushed his mother as she tried to stop him from stealing a relative’s laptop. The court heard she was not injured in the incident. On November 11, Sarfudin, of Mere Road, Spinney Hills, Leicester, smoked cannabis and was drinking vodka in Humberstone Park, Leicester, with two friends, when he suddenly “became altered and angry,” said Mr Gibbs. He produced a flickknife, waved it in his friend’s face and threatened to kill him. He then slashed the victim’s hand as he tried to push the knife, also cutting the back of his head and

punching him. He then barged into the victim’s home a short time later to steal a £50 mobile phone. The victim needed six stitches to his hand and an open wound on his head was glued. On November 16, Sarfudin was detained in the street with a “large kitchen knife” in his waistband and was in possession of a stolen bank card. He pleaded guilty to robbery, common assault on his mother, causing actual bodily harm, possessing a knife, possessing an offensive weapon and two thefts. Sarfudin has previous convictions for robbery, causing actual bodily harm, possessing a knife and house burglary.


www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 1st March 2014

Prince's desire to destroy all Royal Family's ivory is 'bonkers', expert says

The Duke of Cambridge’s desire to destroy all the ivory in the Royal Family’s collections has been referred to as “bonkers” by experts on art and the antiques trade. Primatologist Jane Goodall, who met Prince William at a meeting on the illegal trade in wildlife in London last week, reportedly said that he had told her he would “like to see all the ivory owned by Buckingham Palace destroyed” to highlight the fact that elephant poaching is unacceptable. This came a day after the The Times reported that Prince Charles had asked for all ivory objects in his homes to be put away.

Prince William

An expert has reportedly said that the idea of destroying every piece of ivory was “incomprehensible”. “Any items made from or including ivory that are held in the Royal Collection are historic and antique,”

the royal source reportedly said. “The issue raised by the Prince of Wales last week over poaching and the annihilation of the elephant population is a completely different and far more contemporary one.”

B'ham Academy accused of treating non-Muslim staff unfairly

In a case similar to the Al-Madinah School in Derby, which will now be stopping teaching in the summer, another school in Birmingham is to be investigated over claims non-Muslim staff are being treated unfairly and staff are attempting to introduce Islamic studies to the curriculum.

Park View Academy in the Alum Rock area of Birmingham was the first academy in Britain to be rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted and is non-faith based. Following complaints by an employee, the Department of Education (DfE) officials will begin investigating the school. The unnamed employee has claimed that the school has been attempting to

introduce Islamic studies on to the curriculum. The schools inspection report also detailed concerns over quality of teaching and the curriculum at the academy, after claims it was imposing strict Islamic practices such as forcing women to wear headscarves. This is the second time the DfE has received a complaint about the school. In 2013, Ofsted was informed the school had a rule that female students were not to be taught tennis by male teachers. On Monday 24 February, the DfE announced that they will take firm action if any breaches of statutory public sector equality duty are found.

Minister says Public school kids should mix with State school kids

Minister for civil society, Nick Hurd, pictured, has reportedly said that public schoolchildren must 'get out of their towers' and mix with pupils from state school backgrounds by volunteering. Hurd, who is the minister responsible for the Government's National Citizen Service (NCS), a volunteering programme for 16-and 17-year-olds, reportedly warned that private school children must not isolate themselves from the rest of the country by "sitting in silos" and must "get involved in social action". The minister, who was educated at Eton, praised the "entrepreneurial" spirit of young people in Britain and said that there has been an increase in the number of people volunteering in recent years. But also said that both state and independent schools

have a responsibility to prepare young people for the workplace by encouraging them to volunteer. M r Hurd concluded that the "picture is mixed" in terms of state schools taking part in volunteering programmes and said that independent schools can also do more. His comments come after a report by the think tank Demos reportedly claimed that 80 per cent of young people believe that their generation is more concerned with social issues than previous generations.

UK

5

Ministers urged to use forced marriage powers to prevent female mutilation

Forced marriage powers to protect victims should be extended to include all those at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM), a group of human rights lawyers have reportedly told MPs. The Bar Human Rights Committee has urged ministers to make these powers available to potential victims of FGM, in the same way they are available to those being forced into marriage. It is believed that there are more than 66,000 FGM survivors living in England and Wales, with 24,000 girls under 15 thought to be at risk. There is yet to be a single prosecution in Britain despite the practice being outlawed in 1985. Since forced marriage protection orders were introduced in November 2008, 616 have been issued. The legally binding safeguards allow police and councils to confiscate the passports of potential victims before a wedding, often carried out abroad, can take place. Anyone found in breach of an order

faces up to two years in jail. Breach proceedings have been started in 14 of the 616 orders. In their written evidence to the first parliamentary inquiry into FGM, the lawyers said the tool could also be a powerful weapon in the battle against community-sanctioned mutilation. Yet some have highlighted the fact that the protection orders still remain imperfect tools. Jasvinder Sanghera, pictured, chief executive of the Karma Nirvana charity, which supports victims of honourbased violence, reportedly said: “They are potentially wonderful tools, if for example somebody is missing. We can make an application to court for an order that requires the family to reveal the whereabout of

that person, or else they will be in contempt of court,” she said. “But it’s the only type of protection order in the UK, as far as I know, where you return the vulnerable person to those [suspected of] perpetuating the abuse. What happens when that front door is closed? You’re putting the victim back into a situation of escalated risk.”

Malala joins fight to end FGM

Malala Yousafzai, the brave Pakistani teenager who was shot in the head by the Taliban, is joining the British campaign to end female genital mutilation (FGM). The support of Ms Yousafzai, is the most highprofile endorsement to date for the movement started by a group of Bristol teenagers and their teacher, who were due to meet Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, on Tuesday 25th February. Ms Yousafzai is due to take time out from revision for a GCSE exam, to meet FGM campaigners in Birmingham, where she now lives with her family.

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Shrien Dewani given more time to fight extradition over wife's murder

AAP’s Shazia Ilmi addresses London gathering Spriha Srivastava

Aam Aadmi Party’s very own Shazia Ilmi brought together the Indian community in London to discuss party’s agenda and much more in front of a huge audience gathered at Southall. Aam Aadmi Party, India’s newsest political party has been in news time and again in the past one year but it has received both praise and criticism when it came to power last month. Born with a newage strategy, the party’s sole focus is to eradicate corruption. Ilmi’s visit to London came at a time when AAP supporters all around have enough questions in their minds on Party’s strategy and the upcoming Lok Sabha elections this year. Ilmi spoke at length on priorities in front of the party at this stage and how it plans to work its way towards its goals. Before addressing the audience Ilmi was honoured with the presentation of a saropa (scarf) by

the committee of the Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Southall Park Avenue. Ilmi spoke about the party’s philosophy and goals, and reiterated the reasons for AAP’s existence - to fight corruption, to give power back to the common people, and to ensure equality for every Indian citizen. The packed hall filled with applause and shouts of “Jai Hind” , “Vande Mataram” and “Inquilab Zindabad” as Ilmi answered questions from the audience regarding the SIT re-probe into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Arvind Kejriwal’s recent resignation, and the party’s plans for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Ilmi was a key activist in the India Against Corruption movement, and has been a part of the Aam Aadmi Party since its inception. As an ex-

journalist, then activist and now politician, Shazia Ilmi continues to fight for the environment, women's issues, and against corruption. The Aam Aadmi Party has hundreds of supporters in the UK who will be actively involved in volunteering for the party in the upcoming the Lok Sabha elections. Indians in UK are more than keen to help out and contribute to efforts being made in India. The event was chaired by Mr. Raj Malhotra, ExCouncillor, Coventry who delivered a rousing speech in Punjabi on why UK NRIs should support AAP. “The event was a huge success because it brought together hundreds of NRIs who want to fight corruption and

oppression in India. They see in AAP a platform and a route to express their active support in this struggle. ” says Raj Redij-Gill, convener of the AAP UK Supporters Group. Redij-Gill highlighted the role of UK supporters group and its key functioning areas in increasing awareness among the local Indian communities, donations and supporting AAP teams in India. “I am of course a big fan of AAP, but the way Shazia interacted with us and what she spoke is proof that the AAP leaders are really common people who are working hard for the common people,” says Ms Navi Dhillon. “India’s future is in their hands.” In the past few months AAP UK has accelerated its activities in London and around. The latest feather in

AAP’s cap is its new office in London. The office is a place where AAP UK members can meet to discuss ideas and co-ordinate projects for Lok Sabha 2014 elections. This will serve as the AAP UK Supporters headquarters for India’s fight against corruption. The new AAP UK office organised a number of events to inaugurate its new office and simultaneously to celebrate Republic Day as well. The inauguration took place on January 26th afternoon at AAP UK’s South Ealing office where a number of supporters gathered. The group also has kept the line open with the main leaders of the party. From Google hangouts to personal interaction, AAP has broken the

old stereotypes of Political practices. Recently, a number of supporters gathered in Central London to discuss a range of issues with AAP’s Yogendra Yadav on a Google Hangout. Volunteers were introduced to Mr. Yadav and they discussed lots of issues including AAP’s strategy, Lok Sabha elections 2014 among others. While AAP is still trying to carve a niche for itself, such interactive activities with its leaders will only help in reaching out to a larger public, especially when there’s so much in news on a daily basis about the newlyformed party. It’s a great opportunity for Indians settled abroad to be informed and contribute to their country’s developments, especially with the General Elections around the corner.

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

Millionaire Shrien Dewani is making one last appeal to the Supreme Court despite the High Court and Theresa May saying he should be flown to South Africa The family of murdered Anni Dewani spoke of their distress on Friday 21 February, after hearing that her husband was given more time to fight extradition over her

Shrien Dewani

death. Anni’s father Vinod Hindocha reportedly said: ‘When the High Court decided last month that he should go back, I believed that was it and he was on his way. The judges said it was not only in the interests of justice that he should go back, but also in the interests of us, Anni’s family. But now we find he is looking for another way out of facing trial and they may reverse their decisions. I am so upset by this news. It has been more than three years and the British courts still allow him to carry on looking for a way out of talking to

the police.’ Dewani, 33, is being detained under the Mental Health Act and suffers post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Doctors say he may be unfit to stand trial, although it is accepted he can travel. But various hearings have been told that he has been able to visit his family home, swim, use the computer and stay in a caravan on hospital grounds. Mr Hindocha said he had no reason to doubt that Dewani, from Bristol, had suffered posttraumatic stress disorder and needed treatment. But he added: ‘The South Africans have convinced the British judges that their medical facilities and doctors will care for him adequately over there. It has also been agreed that he is recovering and is well enough to get on a plane and meet detectives in Cape Town.’

Teenage victim of grooming gang raped by 30 men in only six hours Mr & Mrs Hindocha

A teenage girl was groomed and raped by up to 30 Asian men - including a father and his young son - during an horrific sex attack which lasted six hours, an inquiry has heard. This report comes after campaigner Shaista Gohir MBE, Muslim and women's rights activist, detailed the abuse a young vulnerable Asian girl endured, in a shocking report highlighting how prominent grooming is within ethnic communities, to Birmingham City Council. She reportedly claimed that sexual exploitation and grooming of young Asian girls by men of the same ethnic origins was happening in front of authorities, but too many people are too ready to

dismiss the attacks or even cover them up. She used a Commons home affairs committee report from June 2013 as evidence that there is a dangerous trend of Pakistani men grooming young white girls. This race affiliation has caused controversy amongst many, even landing some MPs in deep water due to

their honesty, but public officials have once again said that people must stop 'tip-toeing' around race when tackling child sex gangs and claimed that there is a trend of Asian gangs targeting youngsters. Ms Gohir reportedly said: 'The biggest barrier that we need to address is the shame and honour card. They would rather protect the honour of the family and community than report an offender and protect other girls, as well as get the victim the counselling and help they need.' She also added that young boys needed to be educated as often they did not see what they did as rape, and had no awareness of the impact of their actions on women.

just seven in 2011, which reportedly included a complaint from former MP Louise Mensch, who was sent emails which threat-

ened her children. Internet 'troll' Frank Zimmerman, 60, was given a 26-week sentence suspended for two years and banned from contacting Mrs Mensch and a string of other public figures. At Cromwell Green, the visitors' entrance to Parliament, police and security guards seized cannabis, knives, CS gas and other weapons. Also reported stolen were 70 mugs taken on one single occasion, chocolate and a teddy bear.

Shaista Gohir MBE, Muslim and women's rights activist

Police probe into alleged sex attacks on women in Parliament

Police are investigating three cases of sexual assault on women in Parliament, according to newly released data. The three cases, which include common assault and harassment, are amongst 140 offences reported to police that took place in Parliament including House of Commons and the House of Lords - between March 2012 and last December. There were also 23 cases of malicious communications - a more than threefold increase from


www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 1st March 2014

Britain plans to clamp down on criminals hiding assets abroad

In fresh plans to clamp down on criminals hiding their assets abroad, Britain has announced that it will deploy six specialist lawyers overseas to work with foreign authorities and hopes to recover £10 million in assets from convicted tax evaders, drug barons and corrupt businessmen. The first two asset recovery advisers will be stationed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Spain. The country's Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders recently said criminal asset recovery would be a priority for

the Crown Prosecution Service. "We've identified 12 priority cases and the total assets we are hoping to recover from that is about £10 million." Criminal Justice System data suggests that there is around £200 million worth of criminal assets in the UAE and Spain. Over the past decade the amount successfully confiscated from criminals has gone up from £25 million to more than £150 million a year; with the Crown Prosecution Service responsible for recovering more than two thirds of that in 2012/13.

An Indian-origin man has been jailed for life with a minimum of 27 years imprisonment, with a further 4.5 years sentence to run concurrently for 3 fraud offences, for murdering his school friend to claim £319,000 in life insurance, that he had taken out in the defendant's name. The Mirror on Sunday reported, Jagdev Singh Rai, 44, was imprisoned for life last week for luring Jasbir Singh Bains to Dartmouth Park of West Bromwich in the West Midlands in the middle of

the night, where he slit his throat and flung his body into the water. Bains was found floating November 28 in 2012 by a passerby. A jury also heard how a CCTV camera outside Rai's home on Salisbury Road, which usually remained in a static position, changed angles on the night of the murder something that could not have been a coincidence. Bains was homeless and struggling with drink and drugs at the time of his death. Rai was also jailed for 18 months for negligent driving in 2011.

Indian-origin man kills friend to claim £319,000 insurance

Letter written by WWI Indian soldier to be exhibited in Britain

A letter written by an Indian soldier fighting for Britain in World War I (WWI) to his family in north India, discovered by British Curator Jody East last month, will be part of a landmark exhibition to commemorate 100 years of the Great War. East told The Times of India, "One of these letters was sent from Brighton. We will definitely be sharing the voice of the soldier. This a very important find for us." East is the curator of Brighton's Royal Pavilion which will host some of the most significant cultural events during the year-long event. Heroics of Indian soldiers will also play a major part in Brighton and Hove's WW1 centenary plans as an exhibition called War Stories: Voices from the First World War will run from July 12 2014 to March 1, 2015 and bring to life the experiences of

12 people whose personal stories reveal the impact of the war. Around 1.2 million soldiers from undivided India fought for the British Empire during the war, of which 74,000 died. The project is being funded by Britain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Between December 1914 and January 1916 the Royal Pavilion estate was solely used for wounded Indian soldiers. It housed a total of 724 beds. By 1916, over 4,000 Indians and Gurkhas had been treated there.

UK

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EU migrants have to earn £150 a week before claiming benefits In a bid to stop EU migrants “taking advantage” of the welfare system, Ministers are planning to introduce “minimum earnings threshold” in March to stop some immigrants gaining access to both in-work and outof-work benefits including Jobseeker’s Allowance, housing benefit, child benefit and child tax credits. European Union migrants will have to show they have earned at least £150 a week for three months before claiming benefits under new plans to 'better' the welfare system. A loophole currently allows EU citizens to claim thousands of pounds of benefits in Britain despite working only a few hours every week. From March 1, all migrants from EU member countries will have to

Iain Duncan

show they have been in Britain for three months earning at the level at which employees start paying national insurance before they can claim benefits. That is roughly £150 a week, equivalent to 24 hours at the national minimum wage. Jobseekers will need to wait three months before gaining income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance and, after the introduction of new rules on April 1, will be ineligible for housing benefit.

Conceptions in young adults at record low

Public Health England (PHE) welcome new figures showing the conception rate among under 18 year olds dropped by 9.8 per cent to 27.7 per 1000 in 2012, an all-time low for England. Published by the Office of National

Statistics, the number of under 18 conceptions also fell, by 10.3 per cent to 26,157, as did under 16 conceptions (5,131). Since 1998, the under 18 conception rate has decreased by 40.6 per cent – with reductions of up to

JASPAR CENTRE

64 per cent in some top tier local authorities in England during this period. However, regional variations remain striking - with conception rates in some areas nearly 90 per cent higher than the England average.

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8

www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 1st March 2014

How to reach the moon ? As I See It

Success, happiness and some other values are not a particular destination but they are along the way as part of our journey of life – this age old wisdom is equally important today. Recently, I came across two books and one book review. ‘The Triple Package’ by Amy Chua and her husband Jed Rubenfeld have become internationally famous and in a way somewhat controversial. “From Nothing to Everything” is a fast moving and inspiring business autobiography of Dr. Rami Ranger MBE, FRSA. The third book which I have not read is “Out of the Ashes”. I have read a brilliant commentary in the Bagehot (section of The Economist).

Perhaps, the most talked about of these three books, is by Amy Chua and her husband. This book has more focus on genes than other attributes. The authors have attempted to explore what really determines success. Other than one birth place and situation of birth, there are so many factors which affect the upbringing of a particular individual. Inferiority, insecurity and the impulse control especially not to be ambitious, not being upwardly mobile, not to have the most comfortable or luxurious life is also, some say, good in their own ways. But that belongs to Yogis or those who can find happiness and comfort even in the most difficult circumstances. Some say health and well being are important ingredients to feel better. The other day Ed Miliband, the labour leader was quoted as saying, “I will govern like Thatcher”. Perhaps he may have said it in some special context but Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister left a legacy of judging progress in purely financial terms. The United Kingdom economically and socially was a very different, than what it is now. When Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979, Britain was termed as the ‘Sickman’ of Europe. In some respects, it was not totally untrue. Our economic progress was very slow. The trade unions, normally acceptable and important, had become too powerful and dictatorial, the government machinery had become more cumbersome. Because of asevere exchange control regime, Britain had been experiencing crisis very often in the previous 40 years and the Finance Minister had to rush to the IMF with a begging bowl. Margaret Thatcher was not called an iron lady for nothing. She had her own vision, determination, commitment and energy to see her project through - almost. Britain is no more the ‘Sick-man’ in Europe. It is the sixth largest economy in the world. Whether the society is more relaxed and happy is a subject

of debate, discussion and disagreements. But financial success is not the only aim of everyone. Aim differs as a name differs. Success in general is craved by most people whether it is in business, art, culture, politics, social service etc. there are innumerable options available. One chooses according to one’s own deep desire. But for an immigrant society, of recent years, Asians are more focused in the financial terms. This is not surprising and there is nothing ignoble about it. The difference is of the degrees of proportion as well as of the overall priority. Amy Chua and her husband cited Chinese, Koreans, Jewish and Indians (in the context of USA) as the most successful people. To a certain extent, that may be true also, but those within the communities know there are people with “Haves” and there are substantial sections that can be labeled as ‘Have nots’. Gene’s theory may have some relevance, but there are ample other evidences, which are too difficult to go in detail here, to illustrate that the circumstances of once formative years and the overall environment also play a very significant role in one’s progression. Indians abroad, especially in western democracies are able to achieve a lot more than the Indians in India itself. There are umpteen numbers of statistical studies to verify this. Sometimes people wonder that why some five million Indians in North America and Western Europe as well as some countries in South East Asia achieved so much in such a short time, while the thousand millions in India are struggling at the bottom right now. Are genes the primary factor? Perhaps the situation could have been much different. We British Indians and Asians

who have achieved so much in various walks of life in the Great Britain owe it to the values of the British society as well as the positive environment. The question which is more important is that our younger generations, who are likely to receive substantial inheritance from the hard work and sacrifice of their parents – How they progress? – Inheritance should not be an alternative to hard work. As to Rami Ranger’s inspiring book which is fast moving and reminds most of us of our own on the British soil, is very beneficial for all the readers to enjoy and perhaps to learn some lessons as well. I happened to know Rami very well and I am one of his admirers. I am highly impressed that his company had unique distinction of achieving five consecutive Queen’s Awards for Exports. It is not easy to be so

Meeting on Modi at HoC cancelled

successful. Also, what I admire about Rami Ranger, though not much discussed in the book, is his upfront approach and outspoken tendency. I consider it as very rare, in most of our own successful persons in the UK. Rami has put his money where his mouth is. He has the guts to embark on a legal step against Establishment for not considering his application to be a member of the House of Lords without disclosing the reasons for their disapproval. Any cautious person would be scared before taking up a battle with such a powerful adversary. This is not totally surprising those who know that the late father of Rami Ranger became a martyr who opposed the division of India on religious lines. Four of Rami’s brothers have served in the armed forces of India too. I would like to focus especially

A meeting in the British Parliament on Narendra Modi, titled 'Narendra Modi exposed: challenging the myths surrounding the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate', on Wednesday 26 February 2014 has now been cancelled. According to an email widely circulated, a number of MPs, lawyers, academics and human rights activists were due to address this meeting. This list of speakers apparently included Yusuf Dawood from West Yorkshire, Suresh Grover of the Monitoring Group, Professor Chetan Bhatt, Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at the London School of Economics, Pragna Patel, of Southall Black Sisters, Professor Gautam Appa, emeritus professor at the London School of Economics and many others. An Early Day Motion to the House

of Commons was also to be announced, along with a delegation of MPs to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office asking that there should be no engagement with Modi until he has answered to a court of law or judicial inquiry for his role in the 2002 Godhra violence. However the event was called off, after Virendra Sharma, MP, pictured, for Southall told the concerned parties that he was misinformed about the purpose of this meeting while he was away, and he cannot accept to be a part of it on return, in light of the information released, without his prior approval. He further said that he would not like to be involved in supporting any Indian political party in the upcoming elections, leaving the right to choose their leader entirely with the Indian voters.

750 foreign criminals disappear in UK on the David Lammy and his Out of Ashes, which is a mixed autobiography with public policies. For the readers who like to know the background of Lammy – he is the son of immigrants from Guyana who grew up in one of the poorest parts of London. Tottenham is one of the most unsettled constituencies which experienced dreadful race riots in 1985, when a policeman was murdered on the tough Broadwater’s Farm Housing Estate. He was brought by his mother very bravely. His father was absent. Lammy went to a boarding school on a Choral scholarship, then University of London and Harvard Law School. “It was a typical immigrant’s story,” he says. It was also a better time to be poor, he suggested, supported by institutions, like the church, youth clubs and trade unions, which are all now weakened or gone. (Some of the sentences quoted directly from the Bagehot) What impressed me most about David Lammy is that he has shown exemplary deftness over the riots, calling for the peace while Tottenham burnt. Even recently after the inquiry report in the Duggan killing, he carefully condemned, “Mendacious”, killing by the police and at the same time offered no encouragement to the dead man’s belligerent supporters. This is not very common. This behavior of David Lammy has helped to keep the peace in that area. He is hoping to contest for the London Mayorship in 2016. He may be successful to be selected and possibly elected. That would be a very welcome thing to see the first Black Briton to hold such a prominent office. In their own ways Rami Ranger and David Lammy proved to be pathfinders for our younger generations. Success is after all available irrespective of one’s background and circumstances. It is up to one’s deftness and deep desire, which can bring the much coveted things in one’s life.

- CB

Around 750 foreign criminals are occupying our streets after abusing their bail, it has been revealed. These criminals should have been deported after completing their sentences, but instead have been released from detention under human rights laws and then gone on the run. Among those at large are serious violent criminals, including 11 rapists, at least two killers and several child abusers and arsonists. The previously unseen figures show the total also includes six

burglars, 26 robbers, dozens of violent thugs and 76 drug dealers. The figures were released under the Freedom of Information Act but the Home Office is refusing to identify the criminals by name because to do so would breach their ‘right’ to privacy. The Home Office revealed that 752 foreign offenders who have committed crimes in Britain have absconded after they were released on bail from prison or immigration detention and have never been found.

Toddler dies after falling from window An Indian-origin toddler in Bradford has died after falling with her mother from the window of a house in Bradford. The Mirror reported that the 22-months-old girl, identified as Amrita Kaur died on Tuesday morning after she was found unconscious outside a house along with her mother. They were discovered in the back garden of the house by a neighbour. It appeared that both of them had fallen from a first-floor

window. Amrita's mother, 36, was also injured in the accident. She was later arrested on suspicion of her daughter's murder. Both were taken to a hospital where Amrita died soon afterwards but her mother was still in the hospital in a critical condition. Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident. A postmortem report has revealed that Amrita died of "injuries consistent with a fall".

Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary and London Minister, writing in the Daily Mirror, has suggested the Conservatives come across as part of the “racist establishment” of the 1980s. He pointed out the Cabinet was “overwhelmingly white and male” with Baroness Warsi the only ethnic minority attendee, and wrote: “No party can understand society without looking like the country it represents. “Britain will know

when the Tory party has finally changed on race and ethnicity – after all, seeing is

Sadiq Khan suggests Conservatives as part of the 1980s 'racist establishment'

believing. “But as the election gets closer, the Tories are targeting ethnic communities. They say they’ve changed, but have they?” This comes after Afzal Amin told that to win 2015 election, Tories need to secure support of the Asian community.


UK

www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 1st March 2014

Leading Lights

Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Deputy Inspector General of Police, Security Chief and UN Peacekeeper Rajendra Singh Bhandari is the Nepalese Deputy Inspector General of Police. He is the founder director of Nepal’s Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) ) and is currently working in the research and planning directorate of Nepal Police, developing, planning and researching reasons for success and failure. He is also working on the restructure of the Nepal Police Force. He joined the noble ranks of the UN peace keepers in Mozambique and Sudan and has been decorated with several medals. He is a Masters in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Law. Rajendra joined the Nepalese Police Force in 1988 as a cadet officer, working as a police inspector. He worked in various parts of the country as an investigating officer, and was later in charge of a district, zonal and regional police head quarters. I met Rajendra while

Rajendra Singh Bhandari

he was here in the UK on an International Leadership Course run at Bramshill Police College, in the UK. On his course were his counterparts from around the world; countries that included Saudi Arabia, Brunei, Bahrain and Palestine- I wish I could have been admitted as a fly on the

wall, but security strictures would not allow! Nonetheless, I made sure to talk to Rajendra while he was in the UK to get a look inside his head, since he is not normally allowed to talk much about his work and is therefore one of my more publicity-shy Leading Lights. I found out that this

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Police Chief has had lots of international experience; Security Strategies courses in the US, Investigation and Training the Trainer courses in Singapore and Malaysia, Indonesia. He has attended international seminars and conferences representing Nepal. So what did he feel are the differences between the British Police system and his own in Nepal? “We all want to deliver a strong police service,” he said. “Our leadership style and way of thinking is the same. But here in the UK, society is in proper order. A person’s role is systemised. There is function and service delivery. In Nepal, e c o n o m i c growth has yet to happen and literacy is low. There is disorder; everywhere cars toot their horns. In Nepal, the police are enforcers. Here in the UK, policing is about social enforcement. The community and its leaders are the master. In South Asia, we think the baton gives us power- but it does not. Here in Britain, polic-

ing is service by, and for, the people. Crime here is to do with drugs, the vulnerable, money-laundering, cybercrime and terrorism. “ DIG Rajendra Singh Bhandari says that the UK uses high-tech policing; where investigation is scientific. Surveillance works here. “With community participation, CCTV cameras reduce the need for policemen. Nepal is more traditional; we rely on vast numbers of police. Crowds actually get irritated by batons, guns and whistles.

In Nepal, the police are enforcers. Here in the UK, policing is about social enforcement

Here, you have traffic lights and high-tech supervision. In Nepal, you have four policemen instead!” Rejandra feels that he learnt a style and a system that he is now implementing back home. “We had a paradigm shift. A leader can change perception; we should downsize our police and change our style.” On India-Nepal relations, Rajendra says that, with an open border, there could be more visibility, it could be more regulated with more technology;

9

then the two sides would not blame each other when upsets occur. “We should be able to identify the people who belong to each country. There is a lot of smuggling of skins and hide between China, Nepal and India. The Nepalese –China border is not open, it is more controlled, and because of the mountains [between the two countries] there is a natural boundary so it is not so much of a challenge. Of course at some places, the Tibetans get through and they go to India. “ I am always interested in those brave souls who take on UN peacekeeping roles and asked Rajendra about his missions. “Mozambique, my first, was exciting. Our job was to stabilize the situation and give training to the police. We had to deal with rebel militia and convert them so that they would refrain from violence. That was difficult. In Sudan, My job was to be in charge of a training unit at Police Headquarters. “ Rajendra’s belief is that leadership can take people where they do not necessarily want go, but ought to be. He is a change agent for Nepalese policing and says his mission statement is; “I can, you can, we can; all can do, and get success.”


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YOUR VOICE

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Religious discrimination against Christians in India

First hand encounter with Corruption

It is outrageous on the part of Jubel D’Cruz to suggest that the CatholicChristian community face religious discrimination because they belong to minority religious group in India. In fact India is ruled now by Muslims and Christians and top jobs are given to them. The Christian population in India is less than 4 per cent. Still there are two cabinet Minsters Antony and Thomas in senior positions. The Congress leader and the UPA Chair Sonia Gandhi is an Italian pure Roman catholic. The deputy speakers P.T. Chaco and Kurian are Christians. In addition there are several junior ministers in the Indian Cabinet. In the name of secularism all Christian institutions are considered as minority institutions and fifty per cent of the students admission and teaching jobs are reserved for Christians. Churches do not come under the state control and they come under charitable institutions and Hindu temples are not. Even though Christian population is only 30 per cent in Kerala the Chief Minister Chandy is a Christian. The Chief ministers in Nagaland and Meghalaya are Christians. Goa had a Christian Chief Minster. Christian priests bullied Indian government to ban ‘Da Vinci’ code in India even though it was not banned in Italy. The film ‘Elizabeth’ was banned in India. I come from South India where large number of Christians live and it is the upper caste Hindus face discrimination at the hands of Christians. Since elections are going to take place in India, Christians and Muslims have started a campaign to stop BJP and Narendera Modi from coming to power!

We read of corruption in poor nations and how it eats away at the fabric of a nation. Rich nations can afford the many checks and balances from judiciary, government to the police. With 58% of Indians on the breadline this is a luxury India can ill afford, though it has all the laws it needs, corruption is rampant from the nations leaders in government down to the lawyer on the street. To then came across it in an unusual quarter at first hand was shocking. I love Indian history so a visit to a renowned ancient manuscript museum in India lead to an unexpected meeting with its academic and curator. I told him all the documents should go online and he concurred. I offered to donate basic IT items missing from the museum an internet connection, a computer and a scanner. I can’t even get a simple desk he replied, and said money was not an issue. It turnout the institution has had many grants made to it, using his name, by the government’s cultural ministry, but the trustees of the institution allegedly pocketed the money. His employment allowed grant applications to be made, yet he was he was not the beneficiary, and was thinking of resigning in frustration, with nobody to turn to. I was dumb founded at his story which he asked to be kept anonymous, as he had a child going to the same college. He was very glad to meet me at such a low point in his career and made suggestions for ways to help him out of his predicament. BJP’S PM candidate has touched on this very topic, that of governance and black money. There is enormous waste of potential, talent and money which is waiting to be unleashed with the right government in India.

Arun Vaidyanathan Vai Email

Doing things mindfully

While eating, if we chew slowly and concentrate on what we are eating rather than allowing our mind to let other thoughts coming in, we would enjoy that food more and digest it better. Jon Kabat-Zinn, a MIT- educated scientist has developed a curriculum called Mindful Based Stress Reduction . There are now 1000 certified MBSR instructors in every US State and 30 countries. He maintains how hard it has become to think about just one thing at a time. Busy mind is multi-tasking with technology gadgets. There is constant struggle between distraction and mindfulness. The MBSR class meets every Monday evening for eight weeks and costs $350 per person. 477 scientific journal articles were published in 2012. Source: The Mindful Revolution - the science of finding focus in a stressed out, multitasking culture by Kate Pickert. (Time magazine, 3 Feb 2014, p38-41). I have practiced Yoga and Meditation for 35,years. MBSR is mostly same. Credit goes to my wife and daughter, both B W of Yoga qualified teachers (www.yogawithsejel.co.uk). The great sage Patanjali (c 300 BC)

Defending Hinduism

Freedom of Speech

Arun Vaidyanathan’s letter boldly exposes and denounces Professor Wendy Doninger’s book “The Hindu, an alternative history”. Jayesh Patel’s suggestion to seek withdrawal of book from worldwide market is noteworthy. Unfortunately, Arun Vaidyanathan generalising all Hindus as zombies on basis of one book by porn oriented westerner is not fair. Hindus have been source of benevolent energies right from ancient history till now. Just consider following titans, going back from now, into the past: Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Vallabh bhai Patel and Subhashchandra Bose. All freedom fighters who fought for 90 years from 1857 to 1947. Brave Hindu warriors like Queen of Jhansi, Maharana Pratap and Shivaji. Praiseworthy Sikh Khalsa, Swami Vivekananda, Yoga guru Iyengar, Dr. Hedgevar-founder of R.S.S., Srila Prabhupad-founder of ISKCON, Swaminarayan and Sai Baba groups, who have built magnificent temples all over the world. Patriots refugees-Parsees and Sindhis who have progressed as well as contributed to national kitty? Jains and Budhhists, gave eternal principle non violence; Hindus gave indispensable secular yoga, meditation, numbers and decimal system. Name one zombie from above. Can all Hindus be weighed as zombies against one ignoramus professor? Just because history has distorted facts to suit myopic, western, Bible thumping writers, is no excuse for Hindu, erudite writer to accept or label all or any Hindus as zombie and hurt their sentiments. Hindus must respect their brothers, to force foreigners to respect Hindus? Self respect begins from self.

I was disturbed to discover Arun Vaidyanathan’ in the Asian Voice (22nd February 2014) that sought Wendy Doniger’s book to be treated in the same fashion as Salman Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses”. The banning of Satanic Verses by the Indian government was a cowardly reaction of appeasement to a fatwa and threats of violence issued by the despotic Ayatollah of Iran and backed up by various facets of the Islamic community. The fact that there have been no threats against Wendy Doniger is something to be proud of, not decry. Drawing comparisons with the “Satanic Verses” or cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed is a step in the wrong direction. We should not aspire to have similar savage reactions. It is they who should aspire to use peaceful methods to convey their ideas instead of killing and intimidating those who disagree. Above all, freedom of expression and reasoned debate must be allowed on any subject within society. I believe that Wendy Doniger’s book should have been published, irrespective of whether it was factually accurate, offensive or “hurts the feelings of Hindus”. If one does not agree with her work, then deconstruct her arguments, satirise her work or even ridicule it but do not seek to ban it because it is unpalatable. Banning the work denies Indians the chance to make up their own opinions on the matter and treats them as too puerile to read such material. The first book banned, speech censored or freedom of expression denied creates a slippery slope towards a stifling and toxic environment, the type that already exists in certain countries, where we’re all damaged Shaan Patel Via Email

Jayesh A Patel Wimbledon composed a book called Yoga Sutras from ancient traditions going back 6000 years before him. It described eight levels of attainment: Yama; Niyama; Asana; Pranayana; Pralyahara; Dharana (think of one thing at a time); Dhyana (meditation); and Samadhi. No credit given to him and Hinduism. There is no thought on this planet that has not passed through an Indian mind. Sadly those minds are not given credit in history in the making now. Nagindas Khajuria Via Email

More Unsolicited ‘Phone Calls

It has been reported that from later this year, drug and insurance companies will be able to buy information on patients – including mental health conditions and diseases such as cancer, as well as smoking and drinking habits – once a single English database of medical data has been created. Would this mean that patients’ telephone numbers and address-

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Ramesh Jhalla Via Email es will go into public domain? People are inadequately informed about these plans and more needs to be done to raise awareness. There is also a proposal, being discussed later in the year, which could give non-NHS bodies access to the data. This would mean that in addition to the unsolicited calls we already receive from companies trying to sell their products, we would be plagued and pestered by ‘phone calls at any odd times from drug companies trying to sell their goods and services or companies asking you to participate in their surveys. The sure way to overcome this would be to pick up the phone and keep it off the hook. This way the callers would incur call charges and would stop ringing again. I hope these tactics would work. Other readers may have some other tricks up their sleeve and may want to share them with us. Similar thing applies to junk mail we will receive from these companies. How do you stop unwanted post? Just return to sender in the stamped and addressed envelopes usually provided thereby costing them postal chargers. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

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International Students

The National Union of Students (NUS) has found that, each year, up to 175,000 international students come to the UK in good faith only to find that the tuition fees for their course have increased without warning. Already paying high fees and budgeting meticulously, these rises threaten international students with hardship and worse: non-completion of their studies. NUS research has found that at least 50 per cent of universities do not provide international students with a “ixed fee guarantee”and that their fees increase during their programme, often by thousands of pounds. This could make a huge difference to international student retention; our research has found that students who pay unexpected additional costs of £1000 or more are three times more likely to leave their programme. This is inexcusable, unjustifiable and extortionate. NUS is calling on every institution to guarantee fixed international student fees. International students should not have the goal posts moved by institutions while they are here. Daniel Stevens NUS international students’officer

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MEDIA WATCH

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s eagerly awaited Vote-onAccount Budget was received with cautious optimism by the captains of Indian industry and by the country as a whole, as the general election looms ever nearer. By reducing the excise duties from 12 per cent to 10 per cent, resulting in falling prices of cars and other automobiles, and a range of consumer durables, from air-conditioners, refrigerators and personal computers. The reduction in tax is designed to kick-start the manufacturing sector, which has suffered most from the slowdown of the Indian economy over the last couple of years. that the FM[Finance Minister] has managed the path of fiscal consolidation, and the current account deficit has come much below expectations. The excise duty reduction on auto is a good move because we need to push growth in a difficult environment.” Adi Godrej, Chairman Godrej India echoed these sentiments. “Overall, it was a good Budget. The Finance Minister has highlighted all points to contain the fiscal deficit, which is under conFinance Minister with interim budget trol…..Excise duty reductions…..will augur well for Auto companies, including Tata growth.” The Sensex rose 170 Motors, Hyundai, Maruti points to end at a three-week Suzuki and Honda, have high on gains in banking, capital announced that they would pass goods and auto shares as on the benefits of the excise duty investors continue to cheer the cut to consumers. Two-wheelers, interim Budget measures amid including scooters and motorcyfirm global cues. cles will also cost less, but the price of mobile phones will rise Critical voices following Mr Chidambaram’s decision to levy a uniform Narendra Modi, the Opposition excise duty on phones across BJP’s prime ministerial aspirant price bands. The government’s was excoriating: “UPA’s last current account deficit will be vote-on-account is extremely held at 4.6 per cent, which is disappointing! It is nothing but lower than the 4.8 per cent figa glorified exercise in self-conure put out previously as he gratulation.” West Bengal Chief claims.

Positive reactions

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sions to one rank, one pension (a longstanding demand of the armed forces) was warmly received by all sections of Parliament. The three services in total number 3.9 million, of whom 1.4 million are serving officers and 2.5 million are retired officers. The new structure will be implemented from 2014-15 (the coming financial year). One rank, one pension basically means that soldiers of the same rank and the same length of service get the same pension, irrespective of their retirement date. (Times of India, Hindu February 18)

Interest rate fall likely

On the back of declining inflation, now marginally over 5 per cent in contrast to the last reading of 6.16 per cent, and a lowerthan-expected current account deficit,, an interest rate cut seems likely when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor and his board next meet to review the state of the nation’s economy. “The good news around the corner is that food prices, which were the cause of the high inflation numbers, is coming down. “If food inflation eases, the RBI has a better rationale to hold or bring down the interest rates,” said Deepak Parekh, Chairman, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) (Times of India February 18

Telangana Bill passed

The contentious Telangana Bill, subject of fierce and prolonged controversy in Andhra Pradesh and beyond, received Lok Sabha

President of the Confederation Indian Industry (CII), Kris Gopalakrishnan said, “The reduction in excise duty on sectors such as automobiles, capital

Kiran Reddy losing support Andhra Chief Minister Kiran Reddy, a steadfast opponent of the Telangana project appears to be losing ground as MPs and MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly in Andhra Pradesh) have started rethinking their position to start a new political party with Mr Reddy, following the passage of the Telangana Bill through Parliament in Delhi. The leaders of the Andhra Pradesh unit of the ruling Congress Party have put up a strong rearguard action against Chief Minister Reddy which, it would appear, is making inroads into his support base (Hindu February 19)

Mamata upset

Mamata Banerjee called on President Pranab Mukherjee with a Trinamool Congress delegation to register a protest at the passage of the Telangana Bill which, she claimed, constituted a threat to the unity of India. What she hopes to achieve through this melodramatic gesture must remain a mystery. Her rants fell on stony ground. President Mukherjee, no spring chicken, is accustomed to Ms Banerjee’s unpredictable ways. She did her level best to derail his election as president, something he is unlikely to have forgotten. Ms Banerjee sought Anna Hazare’s public blessing for an all-India role. The West Bengal Human Rights Council cautioned Mr Hazare on Ms Banerjee’s indifferent human rights record in her state. Mr Hazare, however, endorsed Ms Banerjee’s vaulting ambition to be a national leader. Best to concentrate on Bengal, where growth and development proceeds apace, and live honourably than to be dishonoured by an ill-fated project (Hindu, Telegraph February 19)

Death sentences commuted

India’s Supreme Court has commuted the death sentences given to the plotters of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, the country’s prime minister, in 1991. Mr Mamata Banerjee and Narendra Modi

Adi Godrej

Deepak Parekh

goods and consumer electronics is welcome as this will revive demand.” Shikha Sharma Managing Director and CEO, Axis Bank, “The good thing is

Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo, Mamata Banerjee, dismissed the interim budget as “an election gimmick.” The earlier railway budget was also “gimmick”, she said, a word which clearly holds her in thrall. She said it was possible “fool some people but not all the people.” She was scornful about the government’s ability to last beyond the general election. Pity that neither Mr Modi nor Ms Banerjee enlightened the public on where precisely Mr Chidambaram had fallen short (Times of India, Hindu, Telegraph, Mint, February 18)

One rank, one pension

Finance Chidambaram’s decision to restructure military pen-

approval after weeks of disruption, with the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) following suit. This confirms the bifurcation of Telugu-speaking Andhra Pradesh, as Telangana becomes India’s 29th state. There is no reason why Telangana, much the poorer half Andhra Pradesh and once the hotbed of a Communist insurgency, shouldn’t come good as a prosperous and thriving entity. Haryana and Himachal Pradesh did so after they were hived off from the old Punjab. Likewise, Uttarkhand has benefited significantly from its separation from Uttar Pradesh. Truth is that some Indian states were too unwieldy, hence were backward administratively and economically. Pruning set them alight.

of the island.

Moral depravity

The Supreme Court judged that the associates of the suicide bomber, Murugan, Sathan and Perarivalan had been awaiting the results of their mercy petitions to the Indian President for almost 14 years, and their ordeal should now end. They were given life sentences. The fourth member of the group, Nalini, had her death sentence commuted by the government some years ago. The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalitha has announcer her government’s decision to release the convicted murderers of an Indian prime minister, done clearly to gain favour with Tamil chauvinists – surely a new low in cynicism and moral depravity. Mercifully, the Court redeemed Supreme national honour by denying Jayalalitha the right to release the convicts.

Wanted jihadi held

Dubai police have arrested Indian Mujaheedin (IM) operative and 2008 Delhi serial blasts mastermind Faizan Ahmed Sultan. An IM co-founder with Amir Reza Khan, Sultan has allegedly been the leader of the Dubai wing of the organization, providing refuge for IM operatives, sending recruits to Pakistan for training and arranging finances for terror attacks in India. Sultan, 55, who comes from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, moved to Dubai a few years ago and set up businesses there, one of which became the meeting point with fellow IM operatives in the Delhi blasts, Dr Shahnawaz Salman and Bada Sajid. Other leading members of the IM Amir Reza Khan and Iqbal Bhatkal were involved in smuggling IM operatives to Pakistan for training. The external arm of the Indian intelligence services, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) had recently tracked down and arrested Abdul Wahid Siddibappa, cousin of IM operations chief Yasin Bhatkal in Abu Dhabi. A RAW official told reporters that, “We are working with the Dubai authorities to get Sultan to India.” Recent operations in the area highlight the cooperation between the Gulf states and India (Times of India February19)

Postscript

Jajayalalitha

Gandhi was blown up by a Tamil Tiger suicide bomber in Chennai in 1991. The Tigers were led a violent and particularly bloody insurgency against the Sri Lankan government in a bid to establish an independent state in the northern and eastern areas

The Pakistan government has suspended talks with the Taliban following the killing of 23 soldiers by Taliban gunmen operating near the border city of Peshawar. Meanwhile, Indian security forces killed seven Maoist insurgents in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district, which borders Chhattisgarh, in an encounter set up by ‘quick real time’ intelligence (Telegraph February 19). Those who take up the sword are apt to perish by the sword.


UK

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Two cities as big as Leeds required to house new migrants

Hindustan –

For They Have Nowhere Else To Go

“We have a responsibility toward Hindus who are harassed and suffer in other countries. Where will they go? India is the only place for them. Our government cannot continue to harass them. We will have to accommodate them here…As soon as we come to power at the Centre, detention camps housing Hindu migrants from Bangladesh will be done away with,” Narendra Modi said this past week. Is this communalism, is this the Hindutva in Hindustan the liberal elite fear? ‘Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.’ That is all Modi is saying – and that quote from the Bible only shows that the Christians have the same values. What strikes fear in Liberals and why he won’t sweep each State is that he does not also state, we will always do what is right, regardless of favour to any faith. But because Hindus have nowhere else to go, and this is their ancestral and spiritual home, as Israel is to the Jews, we shall have a special protection for Hindus. Modi aspires to greatness. A lesson from history, I would advise him to remember the words of Diogenese and remember true greatness seeks to save not only your own, but all who need saving. That is dharma. First, think global: "I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a Citizen of the

13

World" said Diogenese. That is why India’s problems are the world’s problems. Second, give to the world: "I threw my cup away when I saw a child drinking with his hands at the trough." That is why India’s problems are the world’s problems. Again, said Diogenese. ‘Take little from the world, It is the privilege of the gods to want nothing, and of godlike men to want little.' I am not saying all Indians or Hindus should be clad in saffron, or that liberal democracy and freedom of speech and expression are not to be cherished. Beware, because apart from your culture, your history, one day, not every day, you will discover you are nothing, neither of this nor that, just bobbing around, without the sturdy safety and certainty of your culture and its values. I fear it is this lack of confidence, sometimes called the Indian inferiority complex, which permeates into the global political sphere, where unlike a China, India is not prepared to be belligerent, not prepared to be a global player shaping the world. It is also this, ‘do as you please’ attitude which I fear is at the root of corruption. So when Modi says, you may not do as you please, you may not do as you please to Hindus, for we are a powerful India, just as Israel says you may not anywhere in the world do as you please to Jews, for they are protected, and America says you may not anywhere in the world do as you please to an American, for they are protected. So too Modi says, you may not do as you please to Hindus, for they have nowhere else to go, and India like America will use its economic might and like Israel use its military might in defence of Hindus. Fair warning to you all.

Two cities the size of Leeds will be needed to accommodate a new generation of immigrants over the next decade, official figures indicate, amid fears that new arrivals are pushing up house prices. An analysis by the independent House of Commons library has found that over the next decade, migrants will be responsible for 629,000 new households, equivalent to one in three formed in England. It forecasts that between 2011 and 2021 a further 1.4 illion migrants will come to Britain, forming the equivalent of 629,000 households.

There are only 320,000 households in Leeds. These figures will put further pressure on David Cameron to deliver on his promise to reduce levels of net migration to “tens of thousands” by the next election after restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian migrants were lifted. A total of 1.8 illion people have come to Britain since 2004, with net migration peaking at in 2010. 250,000 Immigrants are estimated to have formed the equivalent of 795,000 households, two thirds more than in the previous decade.

Senior Conservative ministers including Theresa May, the Home Secretary, and Nick Boles, the planning minister, have voiced their concerns in the past that uncontrolled migration will push up house prices. James Clappison, the Conservative MP and member of the home affairs select committee who requested the research, reportedly said: “Labour pursued an open door immigration policy and gave no thought to the consequences. The worry must be that a future Labour government will do that again.”

Money laundering TV boss jailed over crash-for-cash scam Founder of a television station for Britain's Bangladeshi community Mohammed Ferdhaus has been jailed for three years over a crash-for-cash insurance scam. Mohammed Ferdhaus, 40, admitted to laundering money from a scam operated by his brother, Mohammed Samsul Haque. At least 124 claims linked to Motor Alliance made Ferdhaus £500,000 profit between 2005 and 2008, Southwark Crown Court heard. Ferdhaus pleaded guilty to money laundering when he appeared before the court in July. Haque and five other men

Mohammed Ferdhaus

were jailed in October 2011 for their scam, which was thought to cost the insurance industry £1.9m. Of that sum, £1.17m was paid to Motor Alliance and at least £500,000 was

transferred to Ferdhaus or companies controlled by him. The court heard that Ferdhaus committed money laundering offences in 2008 while awaiting trial for conspiracy to defraud - which he was later jailed for 18 months for at Croydon Crown Court. In sentencing for the money laundering, Judge Anthony Pitts took his previous offence into account. The judge accepted the defendant was "very well respected" in the Bangladeshi community. But, he reportedly said, "an immediate custodial sentence of some length must be passed".

IJA welcomes Indian High Commissioner HE Ranjan Mathai to Britain Rupanjana Dutta

The Indian Journalist Association organised a welcome dinner for HE Mr Ranjan Mathai, the new Indian High Commissioner to Britain on Monday 24 February 2014. The dinner, organised at Chakra, was attended by many digni-

Indian High Commission with wife Radhika Pise, Business tycoon Dr Kartar Lalvani and wife Rohini Lalvani, author Abir Mukherjee, Alok Sharma, MP, author and journalist Anita Raghavan, Lord Karan Bilimoria, Sanjay Hinduja, Baroness Usha Prashar and Mr Vijay

Alok Sharma MP, HE Ranjan Mathai, the Indian High Commissioner and Mr Abir Mukherjee

taries including Lord Swaraj Paul and Lady Aruna Paul, Raj Persaud, Lord Navnit Dholakia and Lady Ann Dholakia, Dr Virander Paul, Deputy Indian High Commissioner with wife Racheline Paul, Mr Prashant Pise, Minister, Press and Information and Head of Chancery,

Sharma, Prof Tejinder Virdee, Seema Malhotra MP and Virendra Sharma MP. After a brief introduction of the invited guests by the IJA President, Amit Roy, there was a short speech about Prof Tejinder Singh Virdee, who travelled to London, all the way from Geneva,

Switzerland, for this dinner. Prof Virdee gave an illusive description and introduction on Higgs Boson, having first hand knowledge on the matter. Tejinder Singh Virdee, FRS, as people know, is an experimental Physicist and Professor of Physics at Imperial College London. He is best known for originating the concept of CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) with a few other colleagues and has been referred to as one of the 'founding fathers' of the project. CMS is a world-wide collaboration which started in 1991 and now has over 3000 participants from 38 countries. He was followed by an introduction on HE Ranjan Mathai from IJA former President Ashis Ray, who is also a veteran journalist. He spoke about IJA and how it has always welcomed every Indian High Commissioner who has come to London, including HE Vijay Lakshmi Pandit. He elaborated saying this occasion is special, as not for many years after Salman Haider, no former Foreign

to take for granted a level of cooperation and a level of each others' concerns and interests, which was remarkable 10 years ago... "But I think our future is bright and we have made most significant developMrs Radhika Pise Prof Tejinder Singh Mr Ashis Ray ments in field of eduVirdee cation, communicaabout his jourSecretary of India has tion, media and culture. It ney as the Foreign come to London as the is a way forward and I Secretary, drawing inferIndian High commend you all to take a ences from Llyod Commissioner. little more interest in our George's story, and paid a Mr Mathai also did a education, science and tribute to the Indian comdistinguish spell as the technology cooperation. I munity, residing globally. Deputy High look forward to speaking He added, "These Two Commissioner in Britain, on the above subject on countries (India and UK) 8 years back, and then he another occasion in the have chartered a long was deputed as the Indian future..." course through history, Ambassador to France. The dinner concluded and we have as much Under his leadership, the with a vote of thanks, ahead of us. However, relationship between from IJA General cooperation between us, India and France develSecretary, Aditi Khanna. or business or whichever oped to a level of trust field, is no longer news. and understanding and photo courtesy: The fact is we have come the rest is history. Ashis Raj Bakrania, Prmediapix added, "I think him coming to Britain, will help our Indo-British relation go from strength to strength. As a Foreign Secretary Mr Mathai has faced many tricky situations, including IndoChina border dispute, which he had tackled very well." HE Ranjan Mathai HE Ranjan Mathai addressing the IJA gathering greeting the guests spoke


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COMMUNITY

BAPS Charities ‘Ramped up the Red’ to fight heart disease with the British Heart Foundation BAPS Charities joined members of the British Heart Foundation to support their ‘Ramp up the Red’ campaign at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Saturday 8 February 2014. Coronary heart disease is the UK’s single biggest killer, with 2.3 million people currently in the UK living with the condition. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is fighting for everybody who suffers with a heart condition – from babies born with life-threatening heart problems, to the many mums, dads and grandparents who survive a heart attack and endure the daily struggles of heart failure. The BHF asked the great British public to Ramp up the Red and join the fight for every heartbeat. Devotees attending an evening festival at the Mandir pledged their support by wearing red coloured clothing and also engaged with the volunteers from the BHF who were on hand to provide information. Vo l u n t e e r s from BAPS Charities helped by selling badges to not only raise

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Opportunity to make our hearts stronger than ever before

Prinal Nathwani

funds, but also awareness about the cause. The BHF is the biggest funder of charitable heart research in the UK, which has already helped to transform many lives. BAPS Charities have shared a long-standing partnership with the BHF, having previously partnered

with the Charity to raise funds during Great British Bag-Athon campaign as well as the BAPS Annual Challenge in 2007 and also a number of awareness raising and training sessions, including the provision of emergency life support training.

In the famous words of the much coveted Second World War US Air Force Pilot Jimmy Doolittle, “there’s nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer”. Now, I first came across this quote when I joined the National Committee of the National Hindu Students Forum (UK) (NHSF), but it didn’t mean a lot to me at the time. In fact, it just seemed one of those phrases that people used to seem intelligent and make themselves feel better about what they were doing in their spare time but, as you may have guessed it, how wrong I was. Having worked with NHSF for over five years, and now having been given the amazing opportunity to chair the City Hindus Network (CHN), the people I have met and worked with have shown

me just how this quote is put into practice on a day to day basis by so many people within the Hindu community, and also wider British society. Be this commitment through financial support, emotional support or, perhaps most importantly, volunteering their time, the numerous volunteers across society are showing us that their hearts are clearly heading in the right direction. I can honestly say that being a volunteer for a number of years has brought to light how true Jimmy Doolittle was and how much volunteering can enhance one’s character and personality. Going through highs and lows, conference calls at ungodly hours for literally hours on end, and weekends spent in meetings, events and sleeping on uncomfortable floors with one blanket between three, its surprisingly true that those who volunteer in any way, shape or form not only impact those around them, but also contribute significantly, and beyond measure, to their own self-development. Indeed, if one seeks to draw inspiration from this great Dharma of ours for the importance of volunteering, we need look no further than the great Hanumanji. The everready, ever-willing and

wholehearted volunteer in Hanumanji was willing to go through numerous trials and tribulations to serve his Lord and Dharma, and it is with this indomitable spirit that I believe every volunteer should proceed. So what do all these intangible concepts of dedication, strong hearts and spirit translate into in practice? Well, for the new CHN team, these concepts and principles are what we adhere to in order to keep developing the strong base established by previous teams, and continue taking CHN to new heights. The new team are ready and raring to go, and it is with the inspiration of great volunteers such as Hanumanji, that we continue to devote our time and effort to work for the betterment of the Hindu community across the UK. In case you were wondering whether you can play a role in joining hundreds, if not thousands of volunteers, working tirelessly across the UK, then the answer must be a resounding “Yes!”. Whether it’s volunteering in organisations or initiatives, or indeed by being actively involved and supporting the activities of CHN, there is an opportunity out there for all of us to make our hearts stronger than ever before.

been growing faster than ever in most developed and developing countries. This gives rise to very significant economic, social and educational challenges, but also to many opportunities. Through the Fellowship, Impact Hub with AXA and Swiss Re Foundation are looking for innovative initiatives that provide sustainable solutions towards meeting the challenges and opportunities posed by the UK’s ageing society. T h e Fellowship will be open to ambitious, purpose-driven entrepreneurs who aim to re v o l u t i o n i s e the status quo and who find that collabora-

tion is the most powerful tool to generate positive impact. Awards will be made to initiatives that offer scalable solutions in the form of products or services that enable changes in practice or behaviour in one or several of the following aspects: Organisation of family life, Education system, Corporate economic life and Public services. For more information and to apply for the Award go to kingscross.impacthub.net.

AXA, Swiss Re Foundation and Impact Hub King's Cross team up to support social entrepreneurs working with the Ageing population

Deesha Chandrana The Impact Hub Fellowship for Longer Lives is kicking off its London scheme and is calling for submissions from entrepreneurs to address the challenges of the increase in human life expectancy, falling birth rates and an ageing workforce. The Fellowship is a topic focused entrepreneurial idea award and one-year incubation programme designed to attract, select and support early stage entrepreneurs and help them realize their innovations for a more sustainable world. Each Fellowship gets implemented by the collabora-

tive effort of key stakeholders. This partnership came into being on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Swiss Re, joining forces with one of the world’s largest insurers, the AXA Group. "We at Swiss Re Foundation are proud to work with AXA on this new initiative. It is a natural extension of our business relationship and offers opportunities to merge our business and social objectives for the good of society", said JeanJacques Henchoz, CEO Reinsurance EMEA and Member of the Board of

Trustees Swiss Re Foundation. “I am convinced that the increase in life expectancy is one of the main challenges of the 21st century, for both mature and emerging economies. This partnership with Swiss Re and Impact Hub is a wonderful way to help turn one of society’s greatest risks into an economic opportunity, thanks to concrete solutions launched by social entrepreneurs throughout the world”, said Alice Steenland, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at AXA Group.

The focus of the new Fellowship programme will be to create innovative solutions to the challenges and opportunities presented by an ageing society. Participants can pitch their ideas to win over £30,000 of start-up support. Created in 2013 the Impact Hub Fellowship for Longer Lives is part of an international programme to be implemented in Oaxaca, Milan, Madrid and London.

Fellowship for longer lives

The number and proportion of elderly people has


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Tanveer Mann

New movie 'Highway' is making tongues wag, that's for sure. This controversial 'road-movie' directed by Imtiaz Ali, whilst illuminating the beauty of India, exposes the deep divide between the rich and poor and blurs the lines between what is stereotypically seen as 'good' and 'bad'. The powerful movie begins: Affluent city girl Veera Tripathi is full of life and is preparing for her wedding. Amidst the hustle and bustle of family members and wedding fever, she is shown to be distant and lost. A secret meeting with her fiance four days before the wedding during a midnight encounter sends her whole world crashing down. She is rapidly swung away from her world of comfort and 'safety' to face the harsh brutality of abduction by a ruthless gang.. After the painful-to-watch kidnap takes place, we see a gagged and attacked Veera tied up whilst the gang discover she is an extremely wealthy industrialist's daughter. For the leader of the gang, Marabir, he promises that he will do whatever it takes to get a ransom for her. But as the days pass

by, the scenery changes, and the journey thickens into unknown destinations, Veera starts to feel her vulnerability disappear. Gradually, Veera begins to form a twisted bond with her captivators, so much so that she purposefully misses out on an opportunity to escape. It is seemingly in this captivity that she, for the first time, feels liberated. She does not want to go back but she also doesn't want to reach where he is taking her. She wishes this journey on the highway to never end. With a backdrop of fantastic music by A.R.Rahman, you are taken on a journey with the young Veera, a a journey that portrays the director's sheer skill and improvisation to create something truly unique. The constant omnipresent theme of rich and poor overshadows Veera's journey into the unknown until she finally

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realizes that it is being in this 'unsafe' world that she gains complete freedom from her stale and manacled life at home. Speaking about the idea for the movie to Asian Voice, director Imtiaz Ali said, “though there was a script and I knew what Imtiaz Ali would happen after what, I tried to not specify too many things and have too many instructions. I tried to keep the script open. It kept changing, depending on what we would find along the

journey, so that things in the journey could be included, such as the musicians we found on the way, the Kashmiri woman could be included. Also if you are making a journey film you would know better what would happen when you actually go there. If I sit over here and write a script and do exactly that when I go there it won't really be the same thing so I tried to keep it open and since I had good actors who were very efficient and experienced, it helped.” When asked how he managed to successfully get the balance between stating the obvious and leaving the movie to interpretation, Imtiaz elaborated: “I try to make the movie in the way that I would like to see it, so not really spoon feeding or falling prey to over-explaining. I

tanveer.mann@abplgroup.com

Gagan Sharma set to release new single 'Ferrari' ft Nick Chowlia on March 6th!

Born in India, raised in Vancouver, the 6ft 3 inch dashing Mr Sharma, is no stranger to the music industry. Since childhood his cousin Bobby Kumar; a drummer for the superstars (Malkit Singh, Jazzy B, Jaz Dhami and many more) subtlety influenced Gagan on his musical journey. He has evolved into a young vibrant singer who caters to the young Urban Punjabi market as well as experimenting with Hindi records as well. 'Ferrari' is Gagan's second single into the music industry, with a catchy beat and production by Nick Chowlia the song is set to bring Gagan to the forefront in today’s generation of singers. Gagan is one of the rare singers that is able to

think there is something cinematic that is lost when the movie becomes verbose so I wanted to make the movie thin, I didn't want to labour with the obvious because I do feel that people get it if it's there. So that was a reason and I knew that the lighter I would make this film, the more effective it would be, and thats when the journey comes in, the music comes in and that that was what I was trying to do. As long as a movie reaches out and touches people, I've done my job.” Asking both director and actress what the most exciting thing they had to do for the movie is, Imtiaz said: “There is a scene where Alia goes on top of a sand dune and talks to herself. The exciting thing I had to do for that was to rush up the dune with Alia, telling her about the shot we were going to take, and knowing that the dialogue was written for it to be a chat with the sun, only that it usually doesn't rain in a desert but it was raining. So the climb up there, knowing that there was no sun, that walk up the hill was one of the most exciting things I had to do for the film.”

Alia said: “So there were many moments in the film that were not in the film where Imtiaz said let's take a shot. So sometimes we would take a shot and Imtiaz would come and tell me so we're not going to keep that. So one day he said Alia we have some time, the scene you see where I climb on top of the rock and I laugh and then I cry, he said let's go there and do what you want. So I was like ok this is one of those shots that we are taking because we have time and it's not going to be there. And that landed up being one of my most favourite shots of the film, I don't know what I was doing. All that you see there is what my state of mind was at that time.” Finally, speaking about the women that they met on the journey, Imtiaz

sing live, no music and no engineer needed. It is this talent and his passion that has him already a step ahead of his game.

proudly complimented Alia and said: “One such woman was Alia herself, her spirit, I saw step by step that spirit developing. I'm from a small town but Alia has lived most of her life in a metropolitan

city so I used to think this girl hasn't really travelled so she'll tend to be a little unexposed but then somewhere the thought hit me, if someone was to tell her you're 20, what have you seen, she can proudly say, 'I've been to such-and-such village in March, I've walked up the slope for an hour, I've stayed a night without electricity, without water, I've sat on the middle of the road, where have you been?' so if nothing else, this movie gives her the pride to answer to anyone who ever brings her down.”


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BJP plays ‘politics of blood’: Rahul

Training his guns at rival BJP, the Congress party’s unannounced Prime Ministerial candidate Rahul Gandhi accused the saffron party for practicing ‘politics of blood’. Gandhi went to up to the extent that the BJP was pitting one religion against and one caste against other, just to grab power. The NehruGandhi scion said that they (BJP) didn’t’ see anything but power. “They can pit communities and castes against each other, they won't hesitate to spill blood if they find it necessary to gain power," Rahul said at an election rally in Deharadun. The Congress, he said, on the other hand, tries to lessen the pain of the people even if it falls

short of expectations at times. He came down heavily on Modi saying that the Gujarat CM speaks about corruption when he never thought of appointing a Lokayukta in his state, and that he did so only after a judicial order, adding that Modi has kept himself out of the watchdog's ambit. "There's still one man

in Gujarat who does not come under Lokayukta. All others are under it but not that man", he said in an obvious reference to Modi. He then attacked Modi for calling for a "Congressfree India" and invoked religious texts and figures like the Bhagvad Gita, Koran and Buddha to assert that Congress's ideology is inclusive. Congress believes in empowering people, while the BJP wants to concentrate power in a few hands, Rahul said. "Congress has the vision to take the country on the path of development. At times we fall short of expectations but it does not stop us from reaching out to people to solve their grievances," he said.

In a shot in the arm of Arvind Kejriwal’s political outfit Aam Adami Party (AAP), Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Rajmohan Gandhi joined AAP. “The party is vehemently opposed to corruption and this is what I liked in it. There is a disparity between the rich and poor and this also reflects in poor. If a common man joins and also becomes a part of politics, then this is a welcoming step,” said Gandhi after joining AAP. The 78-yearold came into limelight when he contested against former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi from Amethi. He has expressed his willingness to contest on a party ticket and there are possibilities that he may be slated against Narendra Modi. Along with Gandhi another big name C. Rajagopalachari also joined AAP. Rajagopalachari was the first Governor General of India.

After resigning as Delhi Chief Minister, Aam Adami Party’s (AAP) ‘unannounced’ prime ministerial candidate Arvind Kejriwal kicked of election campaign by addressing a public rally at Rohtak in Haryana. Launching AAP’s nationwide campaign for the general elections he went after not just the Congress and BJP but also Reliance, its owner Mukesh Ambani and the media. The AAP national convener said the Reliance owner funded the campaigns of the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as well as Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Kejriwal went on to read out numbers of what he called were two Swiss bank accounts belonging to Mukesh and Anil Ambani. “Mukesh Ambani runs this country. A few years ago, Mukesh Ambani had said that the Congress was his shop… Be it Rahul Gandhi’s government or Sonia Gandhi’s government or Narendra Modi’s government, Mukesh Ambani will rule the

country,” he claimed. Waving a photograph, Kejriwal said, he has a photo of Modi with Adani’s helicopter. “Modi says he was a teaseller. How can a tea-seller have so many helicopters? Up to Rs 50 crore are spent on his rallies. Who funds them?” He also offered Modi to give the Swiss bank account numbers of Mukesh and Anil Ambani and said that Modi should tell us if he would get the country’s money back from these accounts. Kejriwal alleged that there was a nexus between media organisations and the Ambanis. “Mukesh Ambani has bought some TV channels and newspapers. They have been told to give extensive coverage to Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi, he blamed targeting media. Apart from Kejriwal and Yadav, AAP leaders Ashutosh and Gopal Rai and Delhi MLAs Manish Sisodia, Rakhi Birla, Akhilesh Tripathi, Madan Lal, Kapil Mishra and Surendra Singh attended the rally.

Rajmohan Gandhi in AAP

Rahul Gandhi

Kejriwal kicks off campaign; targets Ambani

Big jolt to Congress in Arunachal

Congress stalwart Gegong Apang, who served as the second longest serving chief minister in the country with a record 22 years, has resigned from the oldest political party of India to join the BJP. Apang, in a letter to Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee

Gegong Apang president on February 17 resigned from the primary and active membership of the party, party sources said. He joined the BJP in New Delhi during the day in the presence of senior party leaders, Arunachal Pradesh BJP unit president Tai Tagak said.

Anna announces sup

Clarifying his political stand ahead of 2014 general elections, social activist, Gandhian and anti corruption crusader Anna Hazare announced to support West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee popularly known as ‘Didi’. Hazare also ruled out any sort of support to Arvind Kejriwal as well as his political outfit Aam Adami Party (AAP) in the impending elections. Refering to Trinamool chairperson Banerjee as "didi" (elder sister, as she is affectionately called), Hazare said: "All her life, she has lived simply, eaten simple food, she has neither a house nor a car. So long we did not have any leader like her. Now we have found (one)." 76-year-old Hazare, who spearheaded Jan Lokpal movement a couple of years back along with the former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that he was supporting Banerjee not as party or person, but her ideas for the country. “I have spent my life working for the country. For the first time I have seen a person who thinks and works for the country and that is why I am supporting Mamata Banerjee,” he said adding that Kejriwal didn’t respond to the 17 key issues raised by

him in a letter written to the top AAP leader. On the contrary Mamata accepted most of the issues. "Mamata Banerjee could have lived a lavish life after becoming CM, but she lives a normal life. Didi is one person who understands that without sacrifice the country cannot progress. I support her ideology," said Anna while praising her simplicity. Mamata Didi was the only one who replied to my letter regarding 17 issues including

forming of Lokpal, bill for security for whistle blowers. Speaking about the important issues affecting the country, Anna lamented that it was unfortunate that no political party was having rural development as a priority. No party thinks of villages, they only think of the markets and companies, he said adding that Mahatma Gandhi used to say the country wouldn't change until you change the villages.

Now, Lalu joins ‘Tea Party’

Unlike previous polls in India, 2014 elections are being fought over ‘tea and milk’. After Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav has also joined the bandwagon as Lalu’s political outfit Rashtria Janata Dal (RJD) members have decided to open Lalu tea stalls. Known critic of NDA’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi, Lalu was quoted as saying that he is the "real tea seller" and Modi was junior to him in this business. Lalu's party workers have set up the first Lalu tea stall in Muzaffarpur, and many more will soon be opened in different parts of the state. According to RJD leaders it was Modi's father who ran a canteen but in the case of Lalu he used to sell ea to earn livelihood in his adolescence as a student. The RJD leaders said that

Lalu Prasad Yadav

Lalu marches with 9 'rebel' MLAs

RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who accused Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar of poaching his MLAs, claimed that nine of the 13 MLAs who had rebelled had returned to the party fold.In a show of strength, Lalu marched with the 9 MLAs to the state assembly to prove that there was no split in his party.

Lalu tea stall will serve free tea. "We have decided to open 17 such tea stalls in each block of the Muzaffarpur district," they added. Meanwhile Bihar BJP chief Mangal Pandey said Lalu tea stall is a copy of Modi’s successful tea campaign. Lalu Prasad recently revealed that he sold tea at a shop in the veterinary college campus in Patna during his childhood.

LJP leader. Interestingly Paswan had quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) over the infamous Gujarat riots in the year 2002. When questioned about the alliance with the BJP whose prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was then the chief minister of the state, a party leader said, “When the court has

given a clean chit to Modi, who are we to say anything.” According to sources LJP’s pre- poll alliance with the BJP would be formally announced after Paswan's meeting with BJP chief Rajnath Singh. LJP sources said Paswan was miffed with inordinate delay over the announcement of the pre-poll alliance by the

Paswan’s LJP to join ha

Ram Vilas Paswan led Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) will join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party in view of general elections in May 2014. The decision was taken following a meeting of the LJP leaders at Paswan's residence. “Alliance between LJP and Bharatiya Janata Party has been finalised,” said a senior


pport to ‘Didi’

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To change the country it was important to concentrate on agriculture, but big companies snatching away farmers' lands,” he said adding, “is this our independence? For land acquisition there will be laws so that no one can forcefully take away land from farmers. We have shown how economy can change. We have practiced these things in villages. In our countries rivers are also sold. We will stop exploitation of rivers. It is not progress, but destruc-

tion. Constitution suggests uplifting of poor and backward classes, but it does not happen in our country. We will take this up.” Meanwhile, Banerjee said that she had discussed all 17 points with Anna. “Except for a few we have already worked on rest such as those on land acquisition. Whatever are the issues of Anna, we will work on them. Want electoral, judicial, administrative reforms,” she said.

Its RaGa milk V/S NaMo tea In order to counter Narendra Modi’s election campaign over tea parties and NaMo tea stalls, the Congress activists launched a RaGa (Rahul Gandhi) milk booth in front of the District Congress Committee (Bhopal City) office. The stall was launched to counter the Modi tea kiosk programmes the BJP has launched nationwide. Led by leaders Monu Saxena and Manoj Shukla, Congressmen offered steaming milk to autorickshaw drivers and pedestrians in paper cups with pictures of their party's Vice President Rahul Gandhi. Saxena said,"This is an initiative by the youth to oppose the divisive policies of the BJP." The BJP has had similar programmes at railway stations in Madhya Pradesh, which saw senior party lead-

ers distribute tea along with campaign paraphernalia is in support of their PM candidate Narendra Modi. Mr. Modi has also started "Chai pe Charcha" interactions with voters at tea stalls to project himself as a champion of common people. The BJP's MP unit has also launched a Tulsi Yatra programme to distribute Holy Basil saplings to households. A symbol of purity in India, the party is attempting to use the yatra to publicise the corruption scandals in the UPA. Former Bihar CM Lalu Yadav has also launched Lalu Chai Stalls in Bihar to counter Modi's tea stalls. The RaGa milk stall here however is a local campaign by former youth Congressmen in Bhopal. Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma had earlier claimed that Modi's tea has opium to poison people's minds.

ands with BJP Congress and RJD. He was also reportedly offered only five Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. In contrast, the BJP is said to have offered him nine seats. Political observers said the BJP would benefit by roping in Paswan in Bihar since it would help the alliance get Dalit votes, especially the dominant Paswan.

Earlier, the BJP entered into an alliance with Upendra Kushwaha's Rashtriya Loktantrik Samata Party (RLSP) in Patna. The RLSP will contest three Lok Sabha seats from Bihar. The BJP hopes to get the non-Yadav, non-Kurmi OBC votes by having Kushwaha, a Koeri leader, in its alliance.

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Congress stood for ABCD of corruption: Narendra Modi

NDA’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi came down heavily on the Congress at an election rally in Punjab saying that the oldest party in the country stood for ABCD of corruption where A was for Adarsh scam, B for Bofors, and C for coalgate and so on. Sporting a Sikh-like saffron turban Modi said that he was surprised when the Congress leaders accuse others of corruption. “How can they point fingers at others when their own government has seen so many scams? Full ABCD has become the identity of Congress’s corrupt activities by listing frauds committed under the watch of the UPA government.” Modi said that he would work like a watchman at the PM’s office if his party was elected to form the next government adding, “I assure you the ‘Panja’ (hand - the Congress party’s symbol) is kept away from the treasuries of my departments. “When Rajiv Gandhi was PM, he once said that out of every rupee sanctioned from Delhi, only 15 paise reached the villages. I want to know where, how and which Panja is degrading the value of rupee, he said. Touching the issue of

NDA’s PM nominee warns China For the first time in the election related rallies, Modi took up foreign policy related issue at Asighat in bord e r i n g A r u n a c h a l Pradesh. Striking the chord with the people of the northeastern state Modi asked China to shed its "expansionist mindset", making it clear that no power on earth can snatch Arunachal Pradesh from India. "Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India and will always remain so. People of Arunachal Pradesh didn't come under pressure or fear of China," he reiterated. Referring to murder of Arunachal Pradesh youth Nido Tania in Delhi, Modi cautioned the UPA government against underestimating the people of the state and added that it was the duty of the entire nation to protect the people and the state's territorial integrity.

Sikh farmers in Gujarat, Modi, during his speech ensured the people of Punjab in presence of leaders of NDA ally Akali Dal that no Sikh farmer in either Kutch or elsewhere in Gujarat would ever be evicted from their land. Advocates Congressfree India In an another rally at in Davanagere, 255km from Bangalore in central Karnataka Modi continued attacking the rival

Congress party and pick the hot topic of Telangana and the sentiments of the people of Seemandhra. Addressing a wellattended rally— ‘Bharata Gellisi’ (Vote for India) Modi said: “Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi came to the south, but they didn’t find time to go to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. Today, the troubles, small requests and problems of the people of Seemandhra need to be heard. They need to be comforted. But both have no time. Politics can’t be this heartless.’’ Criticizing the Congress and its first family he called the party a “disease” and the Nehru family “fake Gandhis”. “It’s a disease which is destroying the country. If you have to save ‘Hindustan’ and build the future of the youth, you have to ensure a Congress-free India. Don’t leave a trace of it,” he said.

GPP merged with the saffron party

Finally Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) president Gordhan Zadaphia’s acrimony towards BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi transformed into bonhomie as GPP formally merged with the Bhartiya Janata Party at the state BJP’s newly constructed building ‘Shri Kamalam’ near Gandhinagar on Monday The merger is being seen as the major political development, especially for BJP to secure eight Lok Sabha constituencies in Saurashtra region as well as couple of seats in South Gujarat. Sources in the state BJP said a huge meeting was convened at Gandhinagar town hall on Tuesday evening to welcome large number of GPP workers along with its leaders in BJP fold in presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. After joining BJP, Zadaphia said that not only he but everyone from Gujarat wants to see Narendrabhai as the next prime minister of India. In context of GPP founder and former Gujarat Chief

Two more Congress MLAs join BJP

With two more sitting Congress MLA decided to migrate into BJP fold, the Congress reduced further in Gujarat assembly after the 2012 Gujarat polls from 60 to 53 in 182 member house. On Monday Chhabil Patel, MLA from Abadasa constituency in Kutch and tribal MLA Prabhu Vasava who elected from Mandvi con-

stituency in South Gujarat resigned as MLA and joined the saffron brigade. After 2012 assembly elections, Vithal Radadia and his son Jayesh left the Congress and joined BJP. In last fortnight three other sitting Congress MLAs including Bavku Undhad, Jasabhai Barad and Rajendrasinh Chavda joined BJP.

Minister Suresh Mehta’s criticism, Zadaphia said the he didn’t care about anyone criticizing him over the decision as he had taken majority of the leader in confidence before joining BJP. “The decision was taken in view of the possible polarization of votes on the national scale and ‘similar ideology’ with the saffron brigade,” said Zadaphia, who was minister of state for home in Modi government till 2002. Angry over the Modi’s style of functioning, he left BJP during 2007 assembly elections and formed his own political outfit Maha Gujarat Janata Party (MJP) in 2008 based on the thoughts of Deendayal Upadhyay and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. However, ahead of 2012 assembly elections, when former BJP chief minister Keshubhai Patel decided to form GPP along with other senior BJP leaders including Mehta, Kashiram Rana and others, he decided to merge MJP with the new political party.


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FINANCIAL VOICE Must Read Predictions for 2014

I’ve been asked by many people to provide my predictions and forecasts for 2014 after beating every single UK companies fund manager over the past 10 years and Warren Buffett over the same period (Source: www.investingbetter.com/sharescope). For the record I was up 350%, the closest UK fund manager was up 250% and Berkshire Hathaway up 89% - over 10 years. So here are some forecasts and predictions for 2014 using the same techniques I used for over 10 years – actually closer to 20 years now. Positive Year for FTSE But Not Dow UK growth resumed after the US bounded ahead I expect a positive 810% year for UK equities this year. I know US and UK markets are highly correlated, but we are somewhat out of sync this year. I expect the Dow will be flat as will the S&P given the bumper year last year and even more bumper expectations of 2014. Yes the taper will continue, but we know that, the market expects it. In any event we’re spreadbetting – we want movement, and we don’t care if it is up or down. The key reason for being so bullish on the FTSE is expectations. Earnings forecasts I’ve examined don’t match the rate of growth of the company’s track record. The analyst’s expectations for earnings growth are for slowdown in other words and I don’t think that is justified given the economic background, therefore when expectations are exceeded the market will rise. Simple. My analysis of the Dow shows parallels with 2008 and the falls then. But the macroeconomic conditions presently are so different that I do not expect that to repeat. No crash The pundits and gurus will talk

about a chart going viral on the internet showing the current rally since 2008 looking just like the one leading to the 1929 crash. In fact they will overlay both and say a crash is imminent. The fact that private investors are buying this story and most private investors are wrong, this is a good sign there will be no crash. Another good sign is that my school prize in Advanced Mathematics with Statistics tells me if you fiddle with X and Y axis you can also correlate waist size of Lord Lawson with an impending market crash. Although since 1932 the average duration of a bull market run has been 3.8 years from bottom to peak in the S&P 500 and we are now past the average – so beware. 10% falls Since 1969, the average number of days between 10% falls for the MSCI World Index is 400 days. We are due a 10% fall in the world index. Don’t panic, it’s not a crash. It could be before Summer. Given how correlated global markets have been becoming since 1990, do not be surprised if the cause is from the East not the West. Spreadbetters – you’re okay – you know how to short. US Stocks The US stocks in the Dow I like the most based on value and growth are Walt Disney, Visa, El Du Pont. In Nasdaq are Alexion, F5, Netflix, Equinix. What to spreadbet – range bound Stocks moving in smooth cycles over a period of days with clear upper resistance and lower support levels I love. In this list falls for 2014 these names: International Public Partnership, Kingfisher, Grafton, Premier Farnell, Wolseley. To be continued next week

2008 crisis confused US Federal Reserve

US Federal Reserve initially failed to grasp the 2008 financial crisis and how to adequately respond to it, reveals transcripts. After a five-year wait, the central bank released the records of a total of 14 meetings

from 2008. It offers an insight into the central bank’s thinking during the crisis. "Frankly, I am decidedly confused and very muddled" said former chief Ben Bernanke during a September meeting.

Overall, the documents paint a picture of the Fed that shows that it worried perhaps more than it should about inflation risks, and failed to grasp initially the full impact of the housing market crisis.

There is a 50 per cent rise in the gross profit of foreign exchange firm Moneycorp last year. The Knightsbridge-based firm, which is controlled by a former investment vehicle

of RBS, said gross profit rose to £ 97.2 m from £ 65.2 m in 2012 after a surge in revenues at its retail and international payments. “The international payments market is

poorly served by the high street banks, and yet they still retain around 80 per cent of the market in the UK”, Moneycorp chief executive Mark Horgan said.

Britain’s largest bank HSBC is expected to post a 20 per cent jump in annual pre-tax profits to £ 14 billion, after getting a

grip on costs and suffering lower levels of impairment charges in 2013. The lender, among those that did not need a taxpayer-

funded bailout in the banking crisis, is also expected to reveal plans to get around new EU rules curbing bonuses.

50 per cent rise in Moneycorp’s profits HSBC set to unveil bumper profits

Inflation in Britain falls below 2 pc for first time in 4 years

Britain's economy is showing signs of revival after inflation dipped below 2 per cent for the first time in more than four years. The consumer prices index (CPI) measure of inflation eased to 1.9 pc in January, from 2 pc in December, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This is the first time inflation has fallen below the Bank of England’s 2 pc target since November 2009. Slower price rises will help to ease pressure on the Bank to begin raising interest rates as it seeks to secure Britain’s recovery. Last week, the Bank upgraded its UK growth forecast to 3.4 pc in 2014, from a previous forecast of 2.8 pc. “Fairly robust growth combined with low price pressures is considered the Goldilocks scenario for an economy: not too hot, not too cold,” said Kathleen Brooks, research director at Forex.com. “This description hasn’t been used to describe the UK’s economy since well before the financial crisis, which is suggestive of the

UK economy’s return to growth.” Bigger discounts at a range of attractions and falling DVD prices provided the biggest downward contribution to inflation last month, the ONS said, while sterling's recent strength has also helped to ease the pressure of price rises. The last of the “Big Six” energy firms’ price hikes fed through in January, with E.ON and EDF Energy raising prices by 3 pc. However, the ONS said this was offset by a 3.2 pc cut by British Gas to reflect the Government’s recent reduction in environmental levies on bills. Sterling’s recent strength has also helped to

Recovery not enough: Osborne

The UK's economic recovery is "not yet secure", Chancellor George Osborne has warned, ahead of next month's Budget. In a speech to business leaders in Hong Kong, Osborne called for an increase in exports, but insisted the situation remained "unbalanced" and that cuts to the national debt had to continue. It comes after the Bank of England upgraded its UK growth forecast for 2014 from 2.8% to 3.4%. The chancellor will deliver his Budget on 19 March, following a recent run of good economic news, with unemployment down and the revised growth forecast. However, Bank of England’s governor, Mark Carney, said the recovery so far had been "neither balanced nor sustainable" and required continued support. Experts have raised concerns that

George Osborne

improvements are too dependent on consumer spending. The chancellor, who will attend a meeting of G20 finance ministers in Australia this weekend, echoed this note of caution in his speech. He said: "Some in Britain might be tempted to say, 'job done - let's avoid more hard decisions'. Osborne: "We need to roll up our sleeves, get to work and make it happen. If we avoid hard decisions then we will abandon the progress we have made and go back to

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ease the pressure of price rises. Chris Wi l l i a m s o n , chief economist at Markit, said survey data suggested wage growth was also starting to pick up. “A v e r a g e salaries should start to rise at a stronger pace as we move through 2014 and, if inflation remains under control, a return of real wages growth is likely by the second half of the year,” he said. The retail prices index (RPI) measure of inflation rose to 2.8 pc in January from 2.7 pc in December. Philip Shaw, chief UK economist at Investec, said the difference between the official rate of inflation and the RPI could grow over the coming months. “With fixed term mortgage rates beginning to edge up and with house prices accelerating, it is quite possible that the wedge between the two measures continues to widen,” he said.

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square one.” He continued: "I said that we have to go on dealing with our debt and our deficit - and we have no choice but to do so." Osborne said that we have reasons to be cheerful as well as careful. “We cannot rely on consumers alone for our economic growth, as we did in previous decades. And we cannot put all our chips on the success of the City of London, as my predecessors did. Britain is not investing enough. Britain is not exporting enough." 'Need action' The chancellor said his Budget would support business investment and exports to lay foundations for "long-term economic security". It would ensure that "around the world, wherever you are, you can't help but see 'Made in Britain'. That's the Budget I'm going to deliver," he said.

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www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 1st March 2014

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap A Property Investment Company

FINANCIAL VOICE

Deal or time bomb

19

There have been a few articles in the main stream press regarding a pensioner aged 88 who had sold his Mews house. He had called a local agent, and the agent rather than offering to give a market valuation he instead asked the pensioner: what do you want for the property? The question itself reveals volumes. The pensioner replied he would be happy with a million pounds. The agent, delighted, promptly arranged a lawyer for the pensioner and exchanged contracts very quickly. This is the same question the owner of the popular pawn broking store series on the TV asks his customers all the time as soon as they come in. He never proposes the price, and instead asks how much do they want. The way and what question you ask is very very valuable; in this case it was worth almost £1million – potentially. The neighbour of the pensioner, who happened to be a lawyer, found out what had happened and was understandably livid. Friends, family and neighbours joined forces and managed to rescind the contracts, which is a rare occurrence.

T h e reports i n th e pres s sh owed the p roperty was l ater res ol d for £1.81m , thi s w as not true as S ow & Rea p Inves tor s were th e ones th at ended up taki ng it, or rath er onl y exc ha nged on it and never com pl eted, th ey traded it on for £ 1.925m. Th i s was never m entioned i n the r ep orts. A few people had sent me an article on this property knowing we had been involved in the deal. The article states the original agent who had been involved in the deal stated it was a genuine error and apologised for what has happened. The article states: Mr Owen Hill died before the dispute was resolved, but his friends, family and neighbours were so angry that they decided to keep fighting to have the deal rescinded. The deal was called off in July and the executors of Mr Hill’s will then sold the property on the open market for £1.815m. Bargets has now settled out of court for the legal fees incurred by the claimants. Neil Stone, who owns Bargets Estate Agents, in Park Road, Regent’s Park, said the company had meant to have the deal rescinded immediately, but there had been delays. “I personally apologise to everyone involved,” he said. “It will never happen again. We do not have a black mark against us as estate agents. “I am a member of the National Association of Estate Agents and we co-operate with the ombudsman. It was a genuine error and we went to enormous lengths to rectify it.” However I got speaking to one of our partners on a deal we have done recently and this story came up in conversation. He had told me the property had been exchanged for £1m and then resold almost instantly for £1.6m. Although the original contract for £1m had been rescinded, the second contract could not be. This buyer for £1.6m is apparently now suing the 2nd seller who had sold to him for £1m for breach of contract and losses. So the story gets even more convoluted. It will be interesting to see the outcome of this. The thought that had naturally crossed my mind was would we have gone in and taken the 88 year old man’s property for half the

price, knowing full well he didn’t have a clue what was going on in the outside world? And the answer I honestly arrived at is No. There is a price we would have offered which would have been lower than market value, this is what we do. There must be a premium for offering a no-nonsense and swift exchange. I would have genuinely gone in at £1.75m on this deal, which I consider fair. It is rare we have an opportunity to purchase directly from a seller, most of our deals get done through our network of agents and auctioneers. This provides a buffer from the actual seller and the onus falls on the agent to achieve the best price possible. You cannot get more open than an auction place, this is the reason why many public bodies choose to dispose of their stock in this way. Anyone is free to enter and place a bid. This is exactly what we did on the property we mentioned in last week’s article, in Plaistow, which we managed to purchase on behalf of a client for £258,000. The property in our opinion is worth £325,000 to £350,000. The property was sold by a Trustee in bankruptcy, the property comes tenanted and viewings were difficult. It’s a double fronted house and comes under rented, as the rent had been agreed three years ago and the market has moved on since then. Wh at ca ugh t my eye r ega rding t hi s propert y was i t s eem ed t o be in t he wrong a uct i on, it was i n a c omm ercial auction and secondly it is a little on the outskirts. Al so vi ewings w oul d h ave b een di ffi cul t. Therefore there w as a chance we could grab a b arga in; whi ch i s exa ctly what we did.

The Real Deal

We aim to squeeze the maximum from this deal by getting planning for four flats on this property. We have already taken our architect’s opinion on this possibility and it seems there is nothing stopping us from doing this. This will mean the end value for this property is expected to be £110k per flat which means the total end value is expected to be £440k on this. After planning we will consider our options to resell with planning or carry the works through. When you have purchased a property in auction it is imperative to get the finances organised ASAP. Which is why we submitted the application the following day on behalf of our buyer, who seemed blissfully unaware of the urgency around this. His application was declined due to bad credit score. We then had two choices, either purchase in another person’s name or take a bridging loan. We are currently proceeding with the purchase in a second nominated name. It may be prudent to keep a bridging loan ready on this deal just in case. Bridging companies are always lenders of last resort as the interest rates they charge can very easily turn a profit into a loss.

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Tips of the Week

l Whether it is a BTL or Buy and Flip deal, the most important aspect is Location. Find a property in a desirable neighborhood where people want to live in.

l When flipping properties first impressions count; pay attention not just to the inside of the property but the outside as well. You cannot show off all the upgrades done inside the house if potential buyers are turned off by the outside appearance and its surroundings.


20

FINANCIAL VOICE

Maria Fernandes

info@fernandesvaz.com

Reporting from India

Business Did you know investment by Indian companies in the UK is substantially greater than investment by UK companies in India? Did you also know that India is in the top 3 countries that invests in the UK? Whilst in the UK arguments rage around the negative aspects of Immigration from non-EU countries, the picture that is emerging is a positive one for the UK if it plays its cards right. There are large scale plans to invest substantial amounts in industries that will create large numbers of jobs. The Mayor of London has put his weight behind initiatives to proactively encourage the businesses to come to London although the picture in other parts of the UK is patchy. Formerly the UK agencies funded by government were divided into 9 zones covering areas in the UK which had representatives and could put the case for investment in their region. However this has since been submerged into a much smaller organisation which collectively takes responsibility for all areas and the responsibility for generating business and funding has been placed in the hands of individual councils. The result is that

some councils are more active than others. London and Birmingham have the greatest levels of activity. The industry that is particularly growing at a substantial pace is the pharmaceutical industry, which has the ability to produce generic drugs at a competitive price, manufacture them abroad, and then brands and packages them in the UK. It is a labour intensive industry and would create substantial numbers of jobs. The bad news is that Other European countries are arriving in droves with a plan to attract businesses to invest in their countries. The UK is still favoured over other countries for now but things could change as the competition for investment grows. Domestic workers A frequent complaint among those who want to invest and live in the UK was that they would not be able to take their staff with them. Staff that have been with them for many years, and who understand their homes and culture are an essential part of the package and the Government underestimates how important this factor is when these vital decisions have to be made. Visitors There is a growing trend for Indians to travel

throughout Europe using the Schengen visa. Many have said that they do not bother to apply to come to the UK as they have to obtain a separate visa at great cost when they can visit a number of countries freely with the Schengen visa. Goa It was interesting to talk to local people about the effect of immigration in their community. There has been a huge influx of Russians in Goa which is creating resentment as there is a view that they are not only there as tourists but that Russians are illegally operating businesses which the Government appear unable to stop. There are also concerns that they do not make any effort to integrate and in certain areas the local communities have felt physically threatened by the behaviour of some of these illegal operators. There was an overwhelming view that the British tourists are much more polite. Immigration controls Whilst we are still estimating the numbers of passengers going in and out of the UK, India takes an image of the passenger which is stored which then will not only be able to calculate numbers but the actual identity of the person.

India willing to restart conciliation talks with Vodafone

Salary credit to nonresident external rupee account not taxable

www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 1st March 2014

Indian employees working overseas often face litigation over taxation of their overseas salary income, if such salary is received in India. This is because a non-resident can be subjected to tax in India on that portion of the income which is received in India. The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) which adjudicates tax matters, in a recent decision, has held that merely because the salary was credited by the Singaporebased employer company to the employee's NRE bank account in Mumbai, it will not trigger a tax incidence in India. The ITAT sought to distinguish between 'income' received in India and an 'amount' received in India. The ITAT relied on earlier judicial pronouncements and held that salary income is a compensation for services rendered by an employee. Thus, salary income in the hands of the non-resident employee cannot be taxed in India, if the services are rendered outside India. The place of receipt of the appointment letter is immaterial. However, the income tax authorities pointed out that the money was received in India, as the salary cheques were credited by Executive Ship Management Pte - the Singapore employer - to

qualitatively different. The salary 'amount' is received in India in this case but the salary 'income' is received outside India". Gautam Nayak, partner, CNK & Associates, said, "The ITAT in this order has highlighted a new aspect relating to income received in India. It has drawn a distinction by holding that salary income was not received in India as the employee had the lawful right to receive salary outside India. The salary amount was at the employee's disposal outside India and he merely exercised his right to transfer it to India." India, with 14.2 million migrants, is among the leading exporters of manpower, according to latest UN statistics. A large chunk of them constitute blue-collar workers. The practice of a salary credit either in full or in part to a bank account in India is more common in case of highly skilled workers. "Employee agreements should be properly structured. If these agreements bring out the point that the salary for services rendered overseas is being credited to a bank account in India, at the employee's request for the sake of convenience, this ITAT decision could help mitigate litigation" explains Nayak.

Bank of England may raise interest rates before general election

The government of India appears to be willing to restart conciliation talks with UK-based Vodafone if the telecom firm makes up its mind to settle the Rs 200 billion tax dispute. A day after finance minister P Chidambaram said it was up to the revenue department to enforce the tax notice on the company, highly placed sources said if Vodafone makes up its mind on conciliation, it can happen in a few days. "If Vodafone decides to begin the conciliation, if two conciliators can be appointed, then the conciliation process should not take more than a few days," sources said. The conciliation talks had broken down after Vodafone issued a supplementary notice to the government, invoking the Bilateral Investment

Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA) and demanded that a separate transfer-pricing case be clubbed with the capital gains tax matter. The finance ministry has already circulated a draft Cabinet note withdrawing the conciliation offer to Vodafone. "In Vodafone's own words, they are unable to make up their mind whether they should go forward with conciliation. The conciliation did not even start," Chidambaram had said. The Cabinet had in June 2013 approved a finance ministry proposal to go in for conciliation with Vodafone to resolve the capital gains tax dispute related to its acquisition of Hutchison Whampoa's stake in Hutchison Essar in 2007. While the basic tax

demand for the acquisition is Rs 79.90 billion, outstanding dues, including a penalty of a similar amount and accrued interest, run into Rs 200 billion. "There is no need for a fresh notice. The notice is already there," Chidambaram had said, adding that it was for the tax department to decide whether to enforce the notice. Vodafone blames India Vodafone has blamed the Indian government for the collapse of talks. “Vodafone entered into discussions with the Indian government in good faith and with a desire, as one of India’s largest international investors, to achieve a fair outcome acceptable to both parties,” Vodafone said following media reports on the government’s move to scrap the talks.

A Bank of England policy maker said that interest rates could be raised if there were indications that falling unemployment was causing inflationary pressures. Martin Weale, an external member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), said the Bank could raise rates before next May's general election. "I think it is very helpful if we try and explain that the most likely path for interest rates is that the first rise will come perhaps in the spring of next year," he said. "During an election campaign it would obviously be difficult to raise rates but the election campaign will last for three weeks." Mark Carney, the Bank's Governor, said that MPC was in no rush to raise rates, and that any increases would be gradual. The Bank severed the

Facebook has agreed to buy instant messaging service WhatsApp for $ 19 bn (£11bn), in a move that stands to radically redraw the competitive landscape of Silicon Valley. The deal gives Facebook access to

the 450 million people who use WhatsApp’s service every month, effectively turning one of its biggest potential threats into a valuable ally. It will also help Facebook cement its position at the heart of

users’ lives, and will reinforce its standing with younger users, who have been drifting away from the social network in favour of WhatsApp and other instant messaging services.

In order to arrest the flagging sales in UK, Tesco is planning to cut prices and modernize its stores. Philip Clarke, chief executive, will tell investors at a presentation that price cuts and store revamps are

Facebook to buy WhatsApp for $19 bn

the NRE (non-resident external rupee) account maintained by the employee Arvind Singh Chauhan with HSBC Bank in Mumbai. Thus, it should be taxable in India in his hands. Under tax laws, the tax incidence is based on the concept of residence, which in turn depends on the number of days stayed in India. A resident of India is subject to tax on his global income. However, a non-resident is subject to tax in India only under two situations, one of them being that income received in India is taxable in India. In this case, the employee who was working on a ship plying on international routes was a non-resident as he had spent less than 182 days in India during the relevant financial years relating to the matter being heard by the ITAT. The ITAT rejected the contention of the tax department that the salary amount credited to the bank account in India should be subject to tax. It observed that the employee had a lawful right to receive the salary amount at the place of employment (which is the location of the foreign employer outside India). The ITAT held: "The connotation of an income having been received and an amount having being received are

link between the unemployment rate and an interest rate hike last week, switching to a broad range of measures including wage growth and business investment to assess Britain’s ability to support a rise. "The MPC will not take risks with the recovery," said Carney. The Bank is betting on an increase in productivity as involuntary part-time workers take on more hours, keeping inflation close to Bank's 2 pc target. It pre-

dicts spare capacity in the economy will be absorbed gradually, paving the way for stronger wage growth. However, some surveys suggest firms are already running close to capacity. This means increased demand puts pressure on input costs, including wages. Workers then use higher incomes to buy more goods and services, further pushing up prices and wages. Weale said average earnings could rise more quickly than expected in the coming months. "We certainly expect wage growth to pick up during the course of this year. If it picks up by more than we expect and there isn’t an offsetting improvement in productivity by more than we expect, then the case for an earlier rate rise will certainly be there," he said.

needed to improve Tesco’s performance in the UK despite unveiling a £ 1bn turnaround plan two years ago. The Tesco boss is likely to warn that Britain’s biggest retailer is to sacrifice its industry-

leading profit margin of 5.2 pc to try to boost sales. Tesco will operate without a stated target for margins so the retailer can move with customers and operate without a “straitjacket”.

Mark Carney

Tesco to cut prices, modernize stores


FINANCIAL VOICE

www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 1st March 2014

21

Foreign Exchange

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

Prospects of an interest rate hike The pound weakened across the board in the week ending 21st February, following lacklustre data as well as a lower inflation rate reading The annual rate of inflation dipped to 1.9% last month from 2% in December, according to the Office for National Statistics, driven lower by prices of furniture and other household goods, alcohol and tobacco, DVDs and tourist attraction entry costs. This caused the pound to weaken off as it lowers the expectations that the Bank of England will raise interest rates in the medium term. The pound has been buoyed since August 2013 by the prospect of an interest rate hiking occurring sooner than the BoE’s forecast of 2015. Whilst these inflation figures may dampen this prospect, general mid to long term sentiment remains for an interest rate hike to occur at some point this year – providing the prospect of further sterling gains. The UK’s unemployment rate also rose to 7.2% from 7.1%. However the number of people filing for jobless benefits

fell by 27,600 providing a silver lining in an otherwise dreary unemployment rate. The release of the minutes from the latest Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee meeting revealed that all members voted to keep interest rates at 0.5% as well as keeping the quantitative easing programme at monthly bond purchases at £375bn. Overall the pound weakened by 1.06% against the euro and by 0.88% against the US dollar. The big event out of the US was the release of the Federal Reserve’s minutes. The central bank stated that the current emerging market turmoil and the recent poor economic data will not stop them tapering their quantitative easing programme at a pace of US$10bn per month, a practice which we would expect to strengthen the US dollar. Investors have been dismissing lower than forecast U.S. economic data over the past two weeks, pointing to harsh winter weather as a reason for unexpected weakness in US data and thus the data is really providing

a true reflection of economic conditions in the US. Fed officials seem to be speaking with one voice that the barrier to ceasing tapering is pretty high.

The Fed also indicated that they will revise 6.5% unemployment threshold for when they look to increase interest rates, citing the current inflation levels as a reason for changing this. The US dollar gained across the board at an average of 0.5% Despite persistent rumours that the European Central Bank may need to introduce negative interest rates and data generally disappointing with both the services and manufacturing sectors shrinking, the euro continued to go from strength to

strength. The two other major events came from Japan and Australia. The Japanese yen weakened to its lowest level in a month after the Bank of Japan boosted its two lending programmes, and reiterated its aggressive monetary stimulus programme; in order to meet its inflation target. As has been well documented over, further monetary easing will typically weaken the currency it is associated with. In the minutes from the latest Reserve Bank of Australia board meeting, the central bank revealed a dreary job outlook with job creation below trend. This means that either unemployment is on the rise or less jobs are being created to keep in pace with the growth in the number of people employment. Whilst economic growth was expected to “strengthen a little” in 2014, in general economic growth is also well below trend. The Australian dollar still clearly lacks any real support so further weakness could be on the cards.

Weekly Currencies

As of Tuesday 25th February 2014 @ 1pm

GBP - INR = 103.48 USD - INR = 61.98 EUR - INR = 85.23 GBP - USD = 1.67 GBP - EUR = 1.21

EUR - USD = 1.37 GBP - AED = 6.13

GBP - CAD = 1.85

GBP - NZD = 2.00

GBP - AUD = 1.85

GBP - ZAR = 17.85

GBP - HUF = 374.54

www.rationalfx.com

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


22

WORLD

IN FOCUS

Police discover drug making lab in a house

London: Police discovered a drug making lab in a house in Hanwell after they were called in following a scuffle between the landlord and a tenant. When they reached there they swooped on the four- bedroom house and discovered equipment used to make an addictive drug which featured in US TV series. Police said a man had been arrested on suspicion of producing methamphetamine hydrochloride and remained in custody at a west London police station.

Trader’s son stabbed to death

London: Breck Bednar, 14, the son of a wealthy trader was stabbed death after the boy went to see a man he had met online. Breck told his father that he was going to a friend's house nearby. However, the boy travelled two hours by train to the home of a man he befriended via internet. The schoolboy, from Caterham, Surrey, was found with stab wounds to his neck at a flat in Grays, Essex. He died despite paramedics’ desperate efforts to save him.

Surge in number of Romanian, Bulgarian workers

London: There is a 42 per cent rise in the number of migrant workers from Romania and Bulgaria in Britain. In the final three months of last year, shortly before immigration restrictions were lifted, 144,000 people born in the two countries were working in Britain - and they took 41,670 of the 424,503 jobs which were created last year. Restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian migrants were lifted on Jan 1, giving them the ability to move to Britain, work here and claim benefits.

57 MPs are related to each other

London: The House of Commons library found has found that one in 11 MPs (57) is related to each other or have ancestors who sat in the House of Commons. It includes David Cameron, who is the great grandson of Sir William Mount, MP for Newbury in the early part of the last century. The MP with the most illustrious ancestry is Nicholas Soames, MP for Mid-Sussex, who is related to five former Members of Parliament, including Sir Winston Churchill.

Women need to take folic acid supplements

London: Researchers from Queen Mary University of London found that women who fail to take folic acid supplements ahead of pregnancy increase the risk of their baby suffering from spina bifida. The findings have prompted calls for the introduction of mandatory folic acid fortification in the UK, a policy already adopted in more than 70 countries including the US and Australia.

Female MPs told to toughen up

London: Former Tory MPs Edwina Currie and Ann Widdecombe asked the female MPs to toughen up to survive in the male dominated House of Commons. Their advice came after four female MPs decided not to stand for election because the rowdy and aggressive atmosphere in the house. But two veteran female politicians believe that the modern crop of female politicians merely needs to grow a bit of backbone.

Shane Warne's tryst with bra tycoon Michelle Mone

London: Hours after he spent Valentine’s Day with Liz Hurley, Shane Warne spent four hours in millionaire businesswoman Michelle Mone’s hotel room. The 44-year-old former cricketer, who split from the actress last year, reportedly met up Mone at her suite in London’s Dorchester Hotel on February 16.

Global warming won’t reduce winter deaths

London: Britain won’t be able to take comfort from global warming as there will not be any reductions in the number of deaths due to winter, researchers say. They say that deaths occur in winter because of seasonal illness such as flu, but the latest findings suggest the country is far less vulnerable to cold weather than in the past. The researchers work claim that this undermines the arguments made by those opposed to climate change that warmer temperatures will have health benefits in this country.

NHS halts plans to share medical data of its patients

www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 1st March 2014

London: Following widespread criticism and its failure to gain the confidence of the public, NHS England has halted its plans to share the private medical data of its patients. NHS chiefs have conceded that they have failed to explain the scheme properly and now they realized the need to restore public confidence. The NHS chiefs will now ask doctors, patients and charities how best to explain the project, which will take information from GP records and link it with existing data from hospitals. They will also study to whom to share the information after allegations that sharing of data would put patent confidentiality at risk. The health service is under pressure to undertake a national TV advertising campaign and to write to every patient individually. NHS chiefs say that joining up patient data will allow doctors to track new diseases, assess new drugs and spot areas where the health service is failing. Even supporters of the

scheme criticized the “cavalier” manner in which the authorities go ahead with the scheme without properly explaining its benefits to the public and gaining their confidence. Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: “Patients need to be given confidence that information is in good hands in the NHS. Public trust and confidence has been tainted. This is what happens when you don’t consult the right people.” The plan is backed by big health charities, but, in recent days, a number of doctors have warned that it is confusing and has not been communicated properly. The NHS

spent £1 million in sending leaflets to every home in the country, but most patients said that they had not seen them. Tim Kelsey, national director for patients and information at NHS England, said: “We have been told very clearly that patients need more time to learn about the benefits of sharing information and their right to object to their information being shared. That is why we are extending the public awareness campaign by an extra six months.” Data collection, which had been due to begin within weeks, will not start until the autumn. Clearer advice will be given on how patients can

opt out, and tougher checks could be imposed on researchers wanting potentially identifiable data, to ensure that they cannot use it for commercial purposes. Health chiefs say that the principles of the scheme remain sound. Calls from some patient groups for the NHS to seek permission from people to upload their records, rather than allowing them to opt out, have been rejected. Nigel Mathers, Honorary Secretary of the Royal College of GPs, said: “We believe that the scheme will help the NHS improve the quality of care for patients and to better prepare for outbreaks of infectious disease. However, the lack of information and awareness led to a crisis of confidence among patients and a lack of clarity for GPs about what safeguards would apply. “The public’s trust in the way in which the NHS treats their personal data cannot be overvalued and it is paramount that we do everything possible to protect and uphold it.”

London: The Cameron government is planning to introduce a law to limit the fees the fund managers can charge for managing the retirement savings of people. Speaking at the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow, Steve Webb, the pensions minister, said that the high charges are discouraging people to save for their retirements. He said, “We will consult on a cap. People differ on whether that is the best way to do it. A cap would give absolute confidence.” He said the cap should be set at one per cent a year. The proposal follows an investigation by competition watchdogs into hidden charges of fund managers. An annual fee of 1.5 per cent a year can translate to 37.5 per cent of the money saved over the 25year life of a pensioner because of compound interest. Some schemes have charges of three per

cent or more. The charges can mean that as much as three quarters of a possible pension is taken up by costs. An investigation by the Office of Fair Trading will be published soon and the cap on fees would be sorted out by next April, said the minister. This means that the cap would be in place when small and medium-sized companies join the Government’s “auto-enrolment” rules, where a portion of workers’ wages are automatically diverted into an occupational pension unless they opt out. Webb admitted that a cap may have problems, since it could encourage some managers to raise fees if they charge less than the maximum. “At the moment often pension scheme members don’t know what they are paying and even if they do, they don’t know whether it is a fair deal or not,” he said.

London: The Chartered Institute of Housing has urged the government to remove stamp duty for elderly people so that they can sell big houses and shift to smaller ones. Hundreds of thousands of older people are living in big houses which are far too big for their needs and are often too expensive for them. But many are deterred from moving into smaller accommodation because of the prohibitive costs of stamp duty, which can add up to thousands of pounds. It means that large homes are being under-used which would be perfect for younger families to own. The CIH said that this would allow the country to ‘make optimum use’ of available housing stock. The CIH submitted a memorandum in this connection to Chancellor George Osborne in advance of the Budget next month.

CIH’s chief executive Grainia Long, said: ‘When older people on lower incomes want to move from a home that has become too big and expensive for their needs, stamp duty can stand in their way. Removing stamp duty when older home owners who receive pension move to smaller properties would make downsizing more affordable and would also free up bigger homes for larger families. In its submission, the CIH said the Chancellor could also use the Budget to tackle the housing crisis by taking steps to help councils build an extra 75,000 new homes, increase standards and choice in the private rented sector, and increase the rate at which homes sold under Right To Buy are replaced. They called on Osborne to allow councils to borrow more so they can build new homes.

Stockholm: India with total defence imports of $5.9 bn has becomes the number one buyer US weapons, replacing Saudi Arabia from the top spot. India’s purchases included Boeing’s C-17A strategic transport aircraft and P-8I Maritime Patrol Aircraft. “We are seeing trade patterns fundamentally change for the dominant players,” said Ben Moores, senior analyst at the security consultancy

and the author of the report. “India is outpacing everyone.” India overtook China to become the biggest arms importer in 2010, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which monitors the global arms trade. Until now, however, most of India’s contracted arms purchases have been from Russia, partly because it has needed to

replace or upgrade equipment bought from its former ally the Soviet Union. India has struggled to create indigenous manufacturing of high-tech weapons systems, and depends on imports in its efforts to catch up with the better-equipped Chinese armed forces. “It is a big capability gap that’s opened between the Indians and the Chinese,” said Moores. “India is buying a lot of

high-end equipment from the Americans to address that gap.” In 2009 India imported $237m in military equipment from the US but this jumped to $1.9bn last year, as almost half of its $13.4bn defence procurement budget went overseas. India accounted for nearly 10 per cent of the $63bn international defence market, outstripping much of the Middle East and China.

Govt planning cap on pension fund managers fees

Govt urged to give stamp duty break for elderly

India becomes biggest buyer of US weapons


www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 1st March 2014

IN FOCUS

Food minister admits hardships of the poor

London: Food minister George Eustice admitted that the government knew that the poorest families are finding it difficult to feed themselves. He made the admission a day after 43 church leaders blamed the government cutbacks and failures in the benefits system for forcing hundreds of thousands of people to visit food banks since last Easter.

Steep fall in divorce cases

London: Statistics show that there is a steep fall in the number of divorce cases during the early years of marriage now. Couples who married in 2005 were 24% more likely to still be together after seven years than when divorce was at its peak, according to figures calculated from Office for National Statistics data. There is a sharp reduction in the number of women filing for divorce for reasons ranging from their partners’ infidelity to simple incompatibility.

Now, a ‘lie detector’ for social media

London: The scientists are now developing a mechanism by which you can test the veracity of statements that appears on social media. The scientists hope to ensure that scurrilous rumours and false statements do not fool you. The creators believe that the system, which has been named Pheme, would prove valuable during events such as the London riots in 2011. Panic was caused and police were diverted when Tweeters spread incorrect reports.

Britain to usher in same sex marriage law

London: Britain will be ushering in the same sex marriages law next month. So changes are to be made to the way the royal titles are granted to stop a man becoming the Queen or a woman a king. Under the current rules if Britain were to have a gay king, his husband would be statutorily be made a Queen. Likewise a Queen's same-sex consort would be a king. And if a future prince of Wales were to marry a man, his husband would automatically be grated the title princess of Wales. The changes will extend to dukes, earls and other male peers in order to prevent a same-sex husband becoming a duchess, countess or lady.

Build 240,000 new homes in villages: Princess Royal

London: Princess Royal said that villages must build 240,000 houses to protect it from large scale developments. Speaking just weeks after the Coalition discussed plans for two new garden cities, the Princess entered the debate by asking planners if it was “really necessary” to build 15,000 new houses. Instead, small developments of between six and 12 homes in villages would make up the same number, she said.

Butcher's assistant who stabbed his boss jailed for 27 years

London: Naeem Mehmood, 27, a butcher's assistant who stabbed his boss Parvaiz Iqbal 51 times in an unprovoked attack has been jailed for a minimum of 27 years. Naeem stabbed Parvaiz in the freezer room of his butcher’s store and in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, in October last year. When another employee, Saied Husseine, 44, discovered what was happening, Mehmood stabbed him in the stomach before picking up a butcher’s knife and running through the streets covered in blood - smashing car and shop windows on his way.

25 Kenyans control half of the country’s wealth

Nairobi: A small group of super-wealthy Kenyans control about half of the country’s wealth. And the group is growing. In 2007, there were 6,600 super-rich people; today there are 8,200. They are projected to grow by 28 per cent to 10,700 by 2017. Consumer goods maker Bidco’s chief executive Vimal Shah tops the list of the super-rich with Sh144 billion ($1.7 billion) to his name. He accounts for 36 per cent of the Sh404 billion ($4.7 billion) worth of assets controlled by the 25 richest Kenyans.

WORLD

23

Cameron’s bid to persuade Scots to vote 'no' to independence

London: In order to persuade the Scots to vote no to independence in the coming referendum, Prime Minister David Cameron will unveil plans to boost revenues from North Sea oil by £ 200 billion over the next two decades. Cameron will attempt to underline his desire for Scots not to vote to leave the Union in this September’s independence referendum by bringing his entire Cabinet north to Aberdeen for a regional meeting. Number 10 said Cameron had accepted the main recommendations in a review of the industry that could see an extra four billion barrels of oil being recovered. First Minister Alex Salmond will hold a separate meeting of his Cabinet in nearby Portlethen. He has promised to base part of the Scottish energy ministry in Aberdeen if there is a Yes vote for independ-

Washington: Ten Indian Americans have announced their decision to enter the race for elected public offices, including the House of Representatives. Ami Bera, the only IndianAmerican Congressman and the third ever, is seeking re-election from the 7th Congressional District of California. Another IndianAmerican Kamala Harris too announced her decision to seek re-election for Attorney General of California. Republican Neel Kashkari has entered the fray for the top post of governor of California. However, all eyes are expected to be on the 17th Congressional District of California from where Ro Khanna, the former deputy assistant secretary of commerce in the Obama administration, has thrown up a serious challenge to his own party colleague Mike Honda.

ence on September 18. The two meetings have been timed to coincide with the publication of a review by Sir Ian Wood, a former oil services executive, which recommends measures that could result in three to four billion more barrels being recovered, bringing in over £ 200 billion to the UK economy. The measures include the creation of a new independent regulator to supervise licensing and to ensure maximum collabo-

ration between firms to explore and develop oil and gas fields. There will also be a joint commitment b e t w e e n Government and the industry to ensure licences are awarded on the basis of recovering the maximum amount of petroleum from UK waters. Cameron said that the UK Government was able to support this level of investment in the industry. This was because the UK’s large consumer and tax base will allow it to support the industry and help exploit the increasingly hard-to-reach oil and gas reserves. Cameron said: “For many years the UK has supported the North Sea oil and gas industry and we have worked together

to make this an economic success the whole country can be proud of. I promise we will continue to use the UK’s broad shoulders to invest in this vital industry so we can attract businesses, create jobs, develop new skills in our young people and ensure we can compete in the global race.” Ed Davey, the Energy secretary who will break into his paternity leave to attend the meeting in Aberdeen, stressed Britain’s “attractive” tax system for oil and gas firms. He said: “The UK already has a very attractive fiscal regime for oil and gas that ensures businesses want to invest here - and pay taxes here. Because of the size and diversity of the UK economy, we can provide the stability, certainty and levels of support that a smaller country would struggle match.”

The 17th Congressional District has gained added attraction as another Indian-American Vanila Mathur Singh, an associate professor at Stanford University's School of Medicine, has entered from the Republican Party. While Singh has little chance of winning the seat, this is the first time that two Indian-Americans are contesting against each other from one Congressional seat. Upendra Chivukula, the first Indian-American lawmaker in the New Jersey State Assembly, this month announced his intention to try his luck for US House of Representatives from 12th Congressional District of New Jersey, which is being vacated by his own party colleague Rush Holt. Never Give says the Iraq war veteran Manan Trivedi, who has announced to contest for

the third consecutive House of Representatives election from sixth Congressional District of Pennsylvania. Top Republican leader Paul Ryan, who was the vice presidential candidate in the 2012 elections, is receiving a serious challenge from IndianAmerican Amerdeep Kaleka, from the first Congressional district of Wisconsin. Kaleka is son of the president of Sikh Temple of Wisconsin Satwant Kaleka, who was shot dead by a white supremacist in a Gurdwara shootout in 2012. Swati Dandekar, the first Indian-American to be elected to Iowa House of Representatives in 2002, is seeking to enter the House of Representatives from the first Congressional District of Iowa. She has received quite a support from Indian Americans.

London: Former prime minister Gordon Brown warned the Scots that they would lose their British state pension if they vote “yes” in the September referendum. Brown used a rare public speech to challenge the SNP’s claims that payments would continue to be made even if Scotland leave the UK. In a packed town hall in Fife, Brown told about 200 pensioners: “You have paid into your pension to the UK Exchequer all your life, you’ve paid your National Insurance, you’ve paid your taxes so that you have a right to a pension. You are expecting, rightly, that you will get a British pension as a result of the contributions you have made. But if there is independence the British pension stops.”

dictatorship has ended," she told reporters. "Each drop of blood was not spilled in vain," she said referring to the deaths of some 77 protesters in violence in recent days. Tymoshenko, who later addressed a crowd in Kiev, called the opposition supporters gathered to greet her, called them "heroes." "You are the best thing in Ukraine!" she said. Tymoshenko's remarks followed a vote in parliament to consider Yanukovych "resigned." The body also voted to hold new presidential elections on May 25. Yanukovich wanted for mass murder

Meanwhile, the authorities said that Yanukovich was wanted for mass murder. Yanukovich, who vanished on Saturday, is still at large. "An official case for the mass murder of peaceful citizens has been opened," acting interior minister Arsen Avakov wrote on his Facebook profile. Yanukovich had left a private residence in Balaclava, in the Russianspeaking Crimea region, for an unknown destination in a car with one of his aides, Avakov said. A day after Yanukovich fled, parliament named its new speaker, Turchinov, as interim head of state.

David Cameron

10 Indian-Americans in race for 2014 elections in US

Scots warned of losing pension

Ukrainian President voted outs

Kiev: Ukraine's parliament has voted to push President Viktor Yanukovych out of office hours after he fled the capital and denounced events in the country as "a coup d'etat" in a television interview. The legislature also voted to release Yanukovych's jailed archrival, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. The 53-yearold ex-premier, who had been held in a hospital under prison guard since 2011 for abuse of office over a gas deal with Russia - a charge widely viewed by her supporters as politically motivated - was

Viktor Yanukovych

freed shortly after the vote. Speaking after her release, Tymoshenko said the ouster of Yanukovych amounted to the fall of a dictator. "Our homeland will from today on be able to see the sun and sky as a


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INDIA

SOUTH BRIEFS

Girls kidnapped, burnt alive by uncle in Andhra

Distressed over not getting married, a man kidnapped and murdered three children of his relatives in Andhra Pradesh, police said. The charred bodies of three girls aged between four and nine years were found on the outskirts of Nizamabad town. The girls were kidnapped allegedly by their uncle Narendra Reddy during a marriage ceremony in the town. Even as the police teams were searching for the missing girls, their bodies were found near an engineering college.

Karnataka to enact new Lokayukta law

Karnataka will soon have a new Lokayukta law, modelled on the lines of the Centre's Lokpal legislation passed last year. A state cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Siddaramaiah decided to scrap the existing Lokayukta system and bring in a new piece of legislation, giving primacy to the judiciary and judicial process over the police arm of the watchdog. The bill proposes to have a ninemember watchdog, headed by the Lokayukta and including eight members drawn from various fields.

Kiran Reddy urged to float new party

Seemandhra MPs, expelled from the Congress and other party leaders, urged Andhra Pradesh caretaker chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy to launch a new political outfit. “We fought (in Parliament) and chief minister in the assembly. Our fight should not go waste. We told him to start a new party. He will also talk to MLAs,” MP GV Harsha Kumar told reporters. Another expelled MP Sabbam Hari also said Reddy would continue his consultations with MLAs and others and a conclusion can be reached thereafter.

Former DMDK leader rejoins AIADMK

Panruti S Ramachandran, who quit from actor Vijayakanth's DMDK recently, rejoined the ruling AIADMK. The senior politician, who was DMDK's presidium chairman, quit the party and from his MLA post in December last year, saying he was retiring from politics on doctor's advice. Ramachandran said he met Jayalalithaa before receiving the party membership card.

PUNJAB BRIEFS

Badal bats for corporate election funding

Punjab Chief Minister and patron of the Shiromani Akali Dal (B) Parkash Singh Badal has called for the introduction of a corporate funding law for elections in the country, saying regulating politically-linked contributions is a must to ensure for free and fair polls. Responding to the controversy surrounding Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani's role in making contributions to political parties, Badal said that there must be a law to regulate funding by corporate houses.

Haryana hikes financial aid to award winners

Haryana government announced a steep hike in award money to recipients of gallantry and other award winning members from the state. Recipients of Param Vir Chakra would now get financial assistance of Rs 20 million instead of Rs 3100,000. Similarly, recipients of Maha Vir Chakra would get Rs 10 million instead of Rs 2100,000, recipients of Vir Chakra would get Rs 5000,000 instead of Rs 1500,000, recipients of Sena Medal, Nausena medal, Vayu Sena Medal would now get Rs 2100,000 instead of Rs 750,000.

Haryana schoolgirl alleges rape by her father

In a matter of four months, a schoolgirl in Haryana was allegedly gang-raped twice and then sexually assaulted by her father. In her statement to the police, the girl gave a horrifying account of repeated assault in her village in Sonepat and in her own home. A group of boys from her village allegedly gang-raped her twice in two months. They were all arrested, but then her father allegedly started raping her.

Jaya names candidates for LS seats

www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 1st March 2014

underscoring her national ambitions. The party has promised replacement of current food security scheme with universal public distribution scheme; increasing supply of subsidised domestic gas cylinders; hiking individual income tax limit to Rs 500,000; review of oil and gas pricing mechanism; rescinding foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail; expanding at the national level Tamil Nadu's welfare measures for women; nationalisation and interlinking of rivers; and nondivestment by government, among others. The party also promised implementing some of the welfare measures of the state at the national level.

Even as talks on seat-sharing are still on with the two Left parties, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Monday announced the list of party candidates for all the 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu and the lone seat in Puducherry. In 2009 elections, the party won nine seats. However, once the seats are finalised with the CPI (M) and CPI, the AIADMK will withdraw its candidates from the constituencies allotted to the parties, she said. Jayalalithaa was greeted on her 66th birthday by the cadres as she arrived at

the party headquarters to announce the list of candidates. She also announced her month-long campaign schedule commencing in Kancheepuram on March 3. Besides three doctors, there are many law and postgraduate degree holders among the candidates. Three sitting MPs – Dr. P. Venugopal (Tiruvallur),

Dr. M. Thambidurai (Karur) and P. Kumar (Tiruchi) – were retained in their respective constituencies. Asked on the possibility of other parties joining the alliance, Jayalalithaa said the existing alliance (with the CPI-M and CPI) was enough for the AIADMK. The slogan for election would be ‘Peace, Prosperity and Progress.’ “My concentration will be on Tamil Nadu. My efforts will be focused on winning all the 40 Lok Sabha constituencies,” she said. Manifesto released: The AIADMK's manifesto released by Jayalalithaa has a mix of welfare and hard economic measures

Even as the Centre appeared to veer towards imposing President's rule in the state following the resignation of chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, four aspirants for the top post met governor ESL Narasimhan together and urged him to explore the possibility of forming an elected government headed by one of them. Indications from the Raj Bhavan were that the governor has sent a report to the Centre favouring President's rule in Andhra Pradesh. He is believed to have not favoured forming a popular government for the remaining term of the assembly on the grounds that the situation is volatile in Seemandhra region. However, AICC sources said the two new states are likely to come into being only after the

elections and, hence, it would be feasible to explore forming a Congress government in AP until that time. The Centre is expected to summon the governor for consultations before arriving at a final decision. The term of the present assembly, which began on June 3, 2009, will end on June 2, 2014. Since nearly four months are left, Congress leaders are hopeful of forming a new government. In this context, four chief ministerial aspirants PCC chief Botsa Satyanarayana, ministers Anam Ramanarayana Reddy, N Raghuveera Reddy and Kanna Lakshminarayana - met the governor and urged him to install a popular government in the state during the crucial time of general elections.

UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani, who's got the Congress high command nod for Bangalore South, is perhaps the only candidate to bag a ticket without even becoming a party member. As expected, it has caused heartburn among many in the party, especially contenders for the seat. The Congress is expected to release its first list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections this weekend or in the first week of March. Nilekani made a headstart and began groundwork in Bangalore South six months ago, when his candidature was mere speculation. Contenders for the ticket feel he has sailed through in a prime constituency, while they've toiled for years for the party. Nilekani, though, doesn't see himself as an

outsider in the Congress party. Besides kicking off his campaign, he's been meeting party leaders and functionaries from Bangalore South, all without becoming a primary member of the Congress. Since he is the Congress high command's choice, his formal entry into the party is also expected to take place in New Delhi. Sources close to him said: "Nilekani joining the party is only a formality. He's been working with the Congress and UPA governments for the past five years.

The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal party in Punjab released an experienceheavy list of candidates for six out of 10 constituencies in Punjab but held back the names of the rest four, including two where Congress is represented by its Union ministers. The Akali Dal's first list released by Punjab deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal included candidates from Bathinda, Anandpur Sahib, Fatehgarh Sahib (SC), Jalandhar (SC), Khadoor Sahib and Sangrur. "This first list is a mix of youth and experience. We have young faces in Jalandhar and Fatehgarh Sahib but we have carefully fallen back on experience in other constituencies," Sukhbir Badal said. The party has not named any candidates from Ludhiana, Patiala, Faridkot and Ferozepur constituencies. Congress

is likely to retain Union information and broadcasting minister and sitting MP Manish Tewari from Ludhiana and his colleague Union minister of state for external affairs Preneet Kaur from Patiala. The Akali Dal and BJP, according to the old arrangement, have been contesting at 10 and three out of 13 seats respectively in the general elections. Badal bahu Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who was expected to return after her triumph in 2009 LS polls, will be fielded from the family bastion in Bathinda, a district that has recently gained notoriety for protests that included the death of a kid of an agitating Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) teacher just two weeks back. Last time, she had beaten exCM Capt Amarinder Singh's son Raninder Singh from Bathinda.

The Election Commission admitted that complaints made by the Congress against Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini, who was picked up by the Akali Dal as the top cop in 2012 superseding five IPS officers of the same rank, are of "serious nature" and "require right concern". "We received too many complaints at different stages by different Congress leaders. These are serious, which is why we've intervened," EC H S Brahma said. He added, "Whether the complaints hold ground will be decided by the three-member commission later." Brahma also revealed the EC had held a threehour meeting last week with Saini at the office of Punjab CEO V K Singh. But he did not disclose what transpired in the meeting, which was attended by deputy election commissioner Alok

Shukla, in charge of Punjab affairs, and Singh. Congress spokesperson Sukhpal Khaira was also separately invited to the meeting. Brahma also said the apex poll body had sought additional comments from Punjab chief secretary Rakesh Singh on Saini's role as Punjab police chief for the past two years. The new development came even as Punjab chief electoral officer (CEO) V K Singh submitted a 14-page report on the complaints raised by the Congress leaders to the EC. Both Saini and Singh were present in Delhi to attend a conference by chief election commissioner V K Sampath. The report was prepared by principal home secretary D S Bains. The charges made by Congress include Saini's role in Punjab CM Badal's 2003 disproportionate assets case etc.

Andhra: 4 CM aspirants queue up before governor

Akalis release list of candidates for LS polls

Nilekani gets ticket without joining cong

Nandan Nilekani

Complaints against Punjab DGP


‘Follow the Indian Model’: Indian Schools teach Britain?

www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 1st March 2014

Sunetra Senior

The perks and problems of the British education system have been discussed since the post-war era began, but in one of the most extreme economic climates yet, they have come bursting to the fore. With university fees being raised, primary and secondary education are more foundational than ever and private versus public schools is the highly debated topic. In latest editions of left-wing paper "New Statesman", an interesting solution has been put forward using India's education system as an exemplary model. Former teacher and Fulbright scholar Laura McInernary essentially voiced the feeling that Manmahon Singh's government has made into law what we the British public continue to squabble about in her segment ‘Follow the Indian Model’. The "New Statesman" had covered the various opinions about independent teaching at great length in an original essay 'Education's Berlin Wall: the private schools conundrum' by David and George Kynaston. Arguments in favour of private schools included not being so quick to dismiss institutions that provide such excellent teaching and focusing on the betterment of poorer qual-

ity state schools instead, while arguments against included the idea that private schools are ‘engines of social mobility’ and the hypocrisy of arguing that parents have the right to choose where their child goes when it is social inequality that allows those wealthier families that very privilege. Thus, with strongest points considered, the overarching dilemma emerged as giving those of a poorer background an equal chance at better teaching without compromising opportunities for the rich. However the proposed courses of action were as polarizing as the theory, and there was a stalemate on whether one should ‘draw private day schools into the state sector as direct-grant academies’ effectively nationalizing them or concentrate more funds on the state school system in a more impactful way. Here, the scholar Laura McInerney piped up to promote the educative reforms of the Indian state as the fairest and therefore most ideal practical compromise: ‘India now requires all of its private schools to ensure that 25 per cent of their intake comes from the poorest children in a given area,' she stated. "And don’t think they pick favourites. The places are won by open, random lottery. Any

child from a low-income family can enter; if he wins he must be admitted and taught...It (our government) should at least ensure that their (private schools) charitable status becomes dependent on them saving 25% of places for children drawn at random from among groups with the most need. This would allow the wealthy to exercise their right to buy a private education but stop them from any longer buying an "exclusive one’. McInerney particularly vilifies the idea of picking “favourites” in response to a seemingly generous offer in the original NS piece by Peter Lampyl of the Sutton Trust: ‘Open Access is a voluntary scheme’, he announced, 'opening the best independent day schools to talented children of all backgrounds” However, as McInernary quite rightly scrutinises, this does not ensure the participation of every private institution in the country or provide everyone from a poorer background a fighting chance: ‘let us accept for a moment the idea that most private schools are superb and confer the best quality teaching,’ she continued to retort. ‘Given such skills, why limit access solely to the talented? The poor-yet-dim child is surely at least as deserving of a great education as the

poor-but-bright.” She went on to commend the Indian government for commitment as well as equitability: ‘they are sending watchdogs to tackle lottery rigging and the systemic mistreatment of students. Examples include poorer students being seated at the back of the classroom, or siphoned into separate classes altogether'. This observation was another rejoinder to comments in the initial ‘New Statesman’ article. It said the Labour Party have let the fact that ‘many of their politicians (and their children)’ who have attended the ‘hallowed halls’ of private scholarship scare them into passivity on the issue lest they be judged, despite the several opportunities they have had to institute democratic changes in the schooling body politic. This, so McInerney proposes, is a relatively trivial fear when India ‘a nation with a caste system,’ and indeed a tangle of sticky bureaucratic tape have ‘persevered’ with enforcement so. India may still pale in comparison to Britain in terms of infrastructural and social reconfigurations as a whole but in this specific case, if what McInerney asserts is true, its legislation and measures are blazing the way to enlighten us.

NaMo wants to popularize Ayurveda through better technology support

AV Correspondent

NDA’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Tuesday advocated for promotion of Ayurveda through better application of technology supported by modern marketing techniques of branding and packaging the vast base of Ayurvedic medicines to escalate demand across the globe and thereby increase the exports. Addressing a large gathering of Ayurveda practitioners from as many as 26 states across the country at the National Ayurveda Summit 2014 in Gandhinagar, Modi stressed on exploring the untapped potential of Ayurveda as the concept of holistic healthcare. “We have lot of talent but we need to present it to the world in the most modern manner. We need to present our technology to the world in the language in which they understand. The Hathi Commission was called for improving the packaging for Ayurveda,” said the Gujarat Chief Minister adding that if China is exporting herbal medicine,

Baba Ramedev raises issue of Sonia’s foreign origin

Though Narendra Modi refrained from attacking rival Congress party and its leader during the Ayurveda summit, it was his staunch supporter and Yoga Guru who trained his guns on All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi by raising her Italian roots. In context of Ayurveda as local medicine, Ramdev said, “Local things are good. We promote local things. All of you understand this.” Without naming Sonia and Rahul he kept on saying that those coming from outside are not always good, we imported everything, even their progeny. Ram Rajya is set to begin in 2014, said Yoga Guru while showering praise on Modi, “We have to cure many of the diseases in this nation through Ayurveda only. Through the initiatives of Narendrabhai, India will get its due stature.” He blamed the Congress led UPA government for stepmotherly treat to Ayurveda compared to Allopathy saying that the health ministry has become allopathy ministry as 97 per cent budget allocation goes to it and hardly three per cent is being spent for alternative medicines.

it means there is a market. “Why cannot our herbal medicines take over the world market? How can we take our Ayurveda to the world?” he added. Talking about efforts done by his government in Gujarat, Modi said that Gujarat has increase allocation for Ayurveda from Rs. 36 crore to Rs. 325 crores in last one decade. He emphasized on greater awareness in IPR and patent in Ayurveda. He also put forth the example of Mahatma Gandhi’s immense faith in our culture and urged the audience to have faith in the efficacy of Ayurveda. He said, “First and foremost we need to have faith in our traditions. Many times, people wondered about Gandhiji’s attire etc. but he was never affected. He engaged with the world on his own terms.” Asserting that the problems of ‘hurry, worry and curry’ are the main cause of concern for humankind, Shri Modi called for the need to adopt an approach that promotes the balance of all three aspects and ensures improved living.

INDIA - WORLD Sad Demises

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Shrimati Hansaben Jamnadas Lukka Shrimati Hansaben Jamnadas Lukka passed away peacefully in the early hours of Saturday 22nd February 2014, aged 79. Hansaben was the wife of the late Jamnadas Pragji Lukka and mother to Nilesh, Jita and Shilpa Lukka and Lady Sandhya Popat and mother in law to Lord Dolar Popat. Hansaben was the daughter of the late Govindji Karsandas Sachdev and was one of six sisters and six brothers. Hansaben left behind five grandchildren; Birju and Swati Lukka and Rupeen, Paavan and Shivaan Popat. Hansaben was originally from Kakira, Uganda and was a resilient, courageous and spirited soul who was looked up to by all in her family for leading them through testing times. She was a devoted follower of Osho, whose teachings of love and compassion she practised on a daily basis. Hansaben’s loss will be sorely missed and she will continue to remain an inspiration to her entire family. May her soul rest in eternal peace.

Shri Priyadarshi Ashokaji It is with deep regret and sadness that we have to inform you of the passing away Shri Priyadarshi Ashokaji on Friday, the 21st February 2014. Born in Sindh in 1929 Ashokaji was Scholar, Linguist, Philosopher and Thinker. He renounced his early career as diplomat and journalist to serve our community here in UK and around the world. He came to the UK in 1967 and was instrument in helping set up several social and spiritual organisations in the country. This was the need of the time. He worked closely with communities like Gujarati, Caribbean and other Hindu organisations through teaching and lectures. If you wish to pay your respects at the departure ceremony to be held at: Ruislip Crematorium, Brakespear Road on Thursday 27th February at 13.40. Contact: Ishwar Ashoka- 07718 746 428

Shri Mahendra Mehta

Shree Mahendra Vadilal Mehta, 68, chairman of Veerayatan UK, in London passed away on Sunday, 23 February 2014. Prathna Sabha will be held on Friday, 28 February 2014 from 8 pm to 10 pm at Byron Hall, Harrow Leisure Centre, Christchurch Avenue, HA3 5BD. Funeral will be held on Saturday, 1 March 2014 at 11 am at Golders Green Crematorium, Hoop Lane, London, NW11 7NL. Mahendrabhai’s leadership was instrumental in the setting up of Veerayatan UK. He oversaw the opening of Shree Chandana Vidyapeeth - the first formal Jain Vidyapeeth in London - which tutored hundreds of young children and teenagers in 'practical jainism', and continues to do so as his legacy carries on. He is survived by his wife Nisha, son Menal, daughter- in- law Lavina, daughters Deepa and Chandni, son- in- laws Shainal and Kevel and three grand children.

Shrimati Vijyaben Lakhani

Vijyaben Mathuradas Lakhani passed away peacefully on Monday, 24th February 2014 aged 89. She was the wife of Late Mathuradas Shamji Lakhani (formerly of Jinga, Uganda) and mother of Kishore Lakhani, Ashok Lakhani, Bharat Lakhani & Usha Kotecha. A prayer meeting has been organised at Shree Kutch Leva Patel Community Hall (SKLPC Hall), West End Road, Northolt, Middlesex, UB5 6RE on Thursday 27th February 2014 Meet the family: 7.45pm - 8.15pm. Prayers: 8.15pm - 9.15pm Funeral Arrangements: Golders Green Crematorium, Hoop Lane, NW11 7NL. Friday 28th February 2014 at 12 Noon. Contact details: Bharat Lakhani ( Kolak Snacks Ltd ) 07957 244239


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INDIA

IN FOCUS

Sonia Gandhi wants dismissal of 1984 case in US

UPA chairperson and the Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi's has filed a new motion to dismiss a human rights violation lawsuit against her by Sikhs for Justice, a New York based human rights group. In a reply memorandum filed in the district court of New York's Eastern District, Gandhi's lawyers said the plaintiffs had unjustly argued for "unlimited extraterritorial jurisdiction and corporate liability to reach the tragic events of 1984 in India, and hold an innocent Gandhi liable. Saying that "two wrongs don't make a right," the motion said the plaintiffs "fail to attribute actual acts or omissions to Mrs. Gandhi." US federal court for the Eastern District of New York had in Sep 2013 issued summons against Sonia Gandhi on a complaint filed by SFJ and some victims of anti-Sikh violence in India in November 1984.

Odisha minister fired at

Tourism and culture minister of Odisha, Maheshwar Mohanty was operated upon and the bullet lodged in his ribs removed after he was shot at by assailants in his Puri constituency. The condition of the 59-year-old minister is stable and "he is out of danger," said one of his close aides. The minister was in the intensive care unit of the private hospital after the surgery by a team of four doctors. Mohanty sustained bullet injuries on his left arm and back when the attackers, who were apparently following him on a two-wheeler, opened fire at him in a narrow lane near his house in Puri, police said. He was rushed to a hospital in Puri and subsequently shifted to Bhubaneswar.

AAP files petition in SC to dissolve assembly

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has filed a petition in the Supreme Court to direct the Central government and lieutenant governor to dissolve the Delhi Assembly, and order for fresh elections in the capital. The petition was filed by the senior AAP leader Prashant Bhushan. "After the resignation of the AAP government, which had also recommended the dissolution of the assembly and call for fresh elections, imposing President's rule means violating the democratic rights of the people of Delhi," said Bhushan. AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal resigned as Delhi Chief Minister after the Assembly session was adjourned sine die following protests by the opposition over the Jan Lokpal Bill. Kejriwal also said that the Delhi Assembly should be immediately dissolved, and demanded for re-elections in the state. Meanwhile, The Delhi high court has issued notice to Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal in a defamation suit filed by Congress parliamentarian Avtar Singh Bhadana. Bhadana, Lok Sabha member from Faridabad, Haryana, has sought a written apology and Rs 1 crore compensation from Kejriwal for tarnishing reputation in the eyes of constituents.

About 10,000 people in the UK waiting for a donor organ

London: About 10,000 people in the UK are waiting for a donor organ. Most of them - 6,000 are waiting for kidneys. The numbers of people waiting for kidney transplants is rising, mainly due to an increase in type 2 diabetes. The kidneys remove waste products from the blood. When they fail, waste accumulates in the body, gradually bringing on symptoms including nausea, itching, gout, fatigue, poor concentration and memory loss.

4 arrested for Syria related terrorism offences

London: Police have arrested four people, including former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offences. Three men and a woman from the West Midlands were taken into custody, police said. Begg, from Hall Green, Birmingham, is being held on suspicion of attending a terrorist training camp and facilitating terrorism overseas. The others, a man aged 36 from Shirley, Solihull, and a 44-year-old woman and her son aged 20 from Sparkhill, Birmingham, were detained on suspicion of assisting terrorism overseas. All four are being held at a police station in the West Midlands area.

www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 1st March 2014

Amnesty International demands details on Indian workers’ death

Amnesty International (AI) has demanded that the Indian government must provide more detailed information about the circumstances of the deaths of Indian workers in Qatar following revelations about the number of Indian nationals who have died there. According to various sources at least 450 Indian nationals died in Qatar in 2012 and 2013. However, the Indian embassy in Qatar has claimed that the number of deaths reported is “quite normal” considering the size of the Indian migrant worker popula-

tion in Qatar and that most of the deaths took place due to natural causes. Nikhil Eapen from Amnesty International India, said: “What we need to know is who these people were - how old they were and what work they were doing and how they died. “Instead of simply saying that such deaths are ‘normal’, the Indian government should provide clearer and more transparent information, because at this point we are unable to say how these deaths took place whether on construction

worksites, in labour camps, road accidents, or as a result of natural causes. “The Indian government should also work urgently with the Qatari government and other governments across the Gulf to address the serious labour abuses experienced by Indian migrant workers. That will require tackling abuses in the recruitment phase in India, as well as the countries of destination.” Amnesty International India calling on the Indian government to engage closely with the

government of Qatar and the governments of other Gulf countries to enforce and strengthen bilateral agreements, and administrative and legal procedures to protect the human rights of Indian migrant workers. In November 2013, Amnesty International released an extensive report on human rights abuses in Qatar’s construction sector ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup. The report revealed widespread and routine abuse of migrant workers - in some cases amounting to forced labour.

Chitra Ramesh

The entire fabric of society into which we were born and grew up has seen complete transition in depicting a woman. The eulogizing of woman has become a rarity and limited to the shloka 'Janani Janmabhoomischa', among a few. Since a long time woman is symbolized as either a suffering individual or a grossly politicking one - stories doling out from everyday soaps or in films or from pages of books. Having resigned to this belief that the premise of nothing different is there on women in the ancient stories or from the

present needed strong cleansing. A celebrated writer Dr Tina Doshi who has 15 books to her credit has decided to break this myth and is bringing out the kaleidoscope of women’s' journey right from ancient days to the modern one in her Charutar Vidya Mandal’s (CVM) 5 volume encyclopedia titled 'Bharatiya Mahila Vishwakosh' . Dr. Doshi, Assistant Professor of Sociology at CVM's Centre for Studies and Research on Life and Works of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel( CERLIP) which offers M.Phil. and Ph.D. programme.

"It should be as unique as the encyclopedia." says Dr.Tina Doshi, “I want to present it as Nari Katha (Story of a Woman). The woman has held a definite position in society right from vedic age. Sita of Ramayana was a palmist (Samudrik shastra). Draupadi was a Mathematician and also the Home, Finance and Revenue minister. Kaushalya had inept knowledge of medicine and so on." The 3 day programme of Nari Katha has been designed by Dr. Tina Doshi herself and is blessed by CVM Chairman Dr CL Patel. The one and half hour

programme each day will have some songs also. This is the first ever narration to be taken up. Nari Katha has a logo - a woman with 8 hands spread out. The logo is also for the encyclopaedia. The moto is "Aham Keturaham Murdha." Nari Katha will be held on the grounds of CERLIP in Vidyanagar. The dates are March 6th : Shubharamba Parva to be presided by CVM Hon. Secretary Prin. S.M. Patel, 7th : Mangalya Parva to be presided by CVM Hon. Secretary Dr. J.D. Patel and 8th : Samapan Parva to be presided by CVM Chairman Dr. C.L. Patel.

Continued from page 1 Ravichandran. On the very next day the central government moved the Supreme Court against decision of Jayalalithaa government to fee seven people convicted in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and as a result of it, the apex court directed Tamil Nadu government to maintain status quo. The Supreme Court had earlier commuted the death sentence to Murugan, Perarivalan, and Santhan citing the inordinate delay in deciding their mercy petitions. In a statement, the Supreme Court said, “There have been procedural lapses by the Tamil Nadu government in its decision to release convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. Appropriate government can remit the sentence but it must follow procedure.” “We will counter it in the court," said Jayalalithaa at AIDMK headquarters on the occasion of her 66th birthday. The UPA government has been vocal against Tamil Nadu government's move

to release four convicts. Jaya said she was aware that the Centre was moving the apex court with a petition. “They have already written to us that they are going to file a petition.” She said her government would do all necessary steps to get the convicts released. “But all that cannot be discussed in a conference with the media. All what we want to say will be said in the court through our counsel,” she added. Reacting on Jaya’s stand All India Congress Committee (AICC) vice president Rahul Gandhi said that if someone who killed a prime minister was released, how the common man would get justice. “I am against death penalty but this issue concerned the country. My father will not come back but it is a national matter, not one of my family or my father,” he said. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said he was neither happy nor unhappy over the decision. BJP leader Ravi

Shankar Prasad also expressed disagreement with the Tamil Nadu government. “The larger issue of the seriousness of the crime, namely the assassination of a prime minister of India, is being ignored,” he said. Meanwhile, the London-based daughter of Murugan and Nalini Harithra Sriharan, 22 – was quoted as saying that her parents "deserved" forgiveness having spent more than 23 years in prison. “I'm really sorry for Rahul Gandhi. My parents have regretted enough, they deserve forgiveness. I can understand losing someone you love,” she said adding that she has suffered the same punishment and now she deserves to be with her parents. “Though I have parents who are alive, I have never had them. Even if they had done the crime they've suffered enough,” she said. “I'm thankful to Ms Jayalalithaa. She made it possible. I can't express how happy I am. I always knew one day my parents would walk

free. They are innocent,” Harithra said. In a much anticipated report ahead of a UN Human Rights Council debate next month that could order action on the issue, Navi Pillay recommended an “independent, international inquiry mechanism, which would contribute to establishing the truth where domestic inquiry mechanisms have failed.” US plans to propose a resolution against Sri Lanka at the meeting and Pillay's report, based on her visit to the country last August, add to pressure on the government. President Mahinda Rajapaksa's administration rejected the recommendations as “arbitrary, intrusive and of a political nature.” Many thousands of civilians were killed, injured or remain missing after the 25-year conflict between government forces and separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the north of the island that ended in May 2009, Pillay said in her report to the Geneva forum.

Nari Katha - Journey of a Woman

Jaya locks horn with Centre over release of Rajiv killers


www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 1st March 2014

IN FOCUS

Blood pressure pills

London: Scientists have warned millions of older people taking high-blood pressure tablets, like beta-blockers, may be doing themselves more harm than good because the pills increase the risk of fatal falls. Yale University has discovered that the risk of dying from a fall when taking tablets rises by 40 per cent over three years.

Ugandan President signs antigay bill

Kampala: Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni has signed into law a bill toughening penalties for gay people but without a clause criminalising those who do not report them. It includes life sentences for gay sex and same-sex marriage, but a proposed sentence of up to 14 years for firsttime offenders has been removed. US President Barack Obama had cautioned the bill would be a backward step. Museveni had previously agreed to hold it pending US scientific advice.

Breakthrough in diabetes treatment

London: A pill which reduces blood sugar levels and offers hope to millions of diabetes sufferers has been launched in the UK. The breakthrough treatment is being unveiled at the same time that the drug watchdog has recommended it for use on the NHS. Experts say the drug, canagliflozin, which is taken once a day, is a vital new weapon in the battle against the Type 2 diabetes epidemic and its devastating complications.

Elderly couple conned into laundering money

London: An elderly couple who gave away their life savings to fraudsters were threatened with arrest after they unwittingly began laundering money for the gang. The husband and wife, who are in their 80s, began sending money to the India- based conmen after being promised a bank rebate of £650,000 in return for an administration fee. Over the next three years they sent around £ 200,000 through Western Union but received nothing in return.

Little blue gem may explain the origins of life

London: A fragment of crystal, which is twice the diameter of a human hair, has been identified as the oldest piece of the Earth. The grain of zircon is 4.4 billion years old and dates from when the planet was beginning to form a crust. Before then, Earth was a fiery ball devoid of life and covered in a magma ocean. Scientists previously thought that the planet, which formed 4.5 billion years ago, took 600 million years to cool enough to form a crust. But this microscopic gem, which is twice the diameter of a human hair, proves Earth must have cooled 100 million years after its birth.

13- year- old Indian boy ties at US Spelling competition

Washington: A 13 years old Indian origin boy and an 11 year old girl has tied at a spelling bee competition in the US. The original pool of 25 students was quickly reduced to just Kush Sharma, a seventh-grader at Frontier School of Innovation, and Sophia Hoffman, a fifth-grader at Highland Park Elementary, who battled in Missouri county's annual spelling bee competition with both of them getting every word right. Finally, the judges ran out of words and the contest between them will resume on March 8 for a spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington.

NYC mayor requested to include Diwali as a school holiday

New York: A broad-based coalition of about 40 organisations and temples from New York City has asked Mayor Bill de Blasio to include Diwali alongside the new proposed public holidays for Eid and Lunar New Year. In a letter to the New York City mayor, the Diwali Coalition has highlighted importance of the festival for the city's Hindu, Jain and Sikh communities and urged him to take into consideration the significant number of the city's public school children who celebrate this festival, establishing "Diwali as an official school holiday for NYC public students".

INDIA - WORLD

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UK investors keenly watching Indian elections

UK investors are keenly watching the coming general election in India to see what impact the election results have on returns. India was one of the hardest hit emerging markets last year. Its currency slumped to a record low and sluggish economic performance coupled with a lack of structural reform and corruption, made the country an unappealing market for investors. Despite this, there are some positives, the Government has introduced indirect tax cuts and a new head of the central bank, Raghuram Rajan, has brought with him a much needed hard decisions that helped to address the economic issues currently besetting the economy. However, all eyes are now on the outcome of the general election to see if this platform can be built upon and if India can once again provide a worthwhile opportunity for UK investors. Edward Bland, Head of Investment at Duncan Lawrie Private Bank, said: “Whatever the outcome of the election, whoever takes the helm will benefit from a marginally improving economic situation. Rajan hiked interest rates and appears to have had some success, bringing inflation down below 10 per cent. “Many foreign investments are being held back as investors sit on the

Edward Bland

fence waiting for a new government to be formed. The election will remove political uncertainty and provide a boost to economic growth. “The common consensus is that the incumbent ‘Congress Party’ is unlikely to retain power as its track record in recent years has been poor. Although they introduced food subsidies, which have been an excellent way of lifting vast numbers of the population out of poverty, this has left the government with a high subsidy bill and diminishing means to meet it. Supply side reform is now essential. “Looking stronger in the polls is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Led by a charismatic but contro-

versial leader, Narendra Modi; a win for the BJP would see an increase in business investment and the implementation of a growth-oriented programme of reforms. “As the chif minister of Gujarat, Modi has established a reputation for implementing strong economic reform, and has succeeded in driving a growth rate in excess of the national average (10% p.a. in the six years to 2012), and in attracting foreign investment. “However, Modi’s social record is less to boast about, with literacy rates in Gujarat far below the national average. If Modi does win a national mandate, he will have to learn to spread wealth cre-

ation more evenly, driving growth as well as literacy and job creation. “The equity market has already moved, possibly discounting a Modi victory and the dislodging of the Congress Party. Excluding the move in the rupee, the market is up 4.5 per cent over the past 12 months, versus a drop of 3.2 per cent for broader emerging markets. There is more to play for. We believe in the longer-term potential of the Indian economy and stock market beyond the election and see it as being one of the more attractive emerging markets for investors. “Around 40 per cent of the world’s population will be part of an election in 2014, and India is one of the regions where political change would be a positive catalyst. An incoming Government would benefit from a current account deficit which has narrowed sharply since last year and should soon reach 4 per cent of GDP, helped by accelerating exports and lower imports. “The key thing is that after the Indian election, stability returns to the country quickly and action is taken to help drive growth in the economy. Since 2010, political reform has not matched early progress, so the election could be a turning point for the economy and in turn the opportunities for UK investors."

Matthew Offord welcomes support for children in India

Matthew Offord, Hendon MP, visited Annamrita, or Midday Food Programme, run by ISKCON Food Relief Foundation in Mumbai which is a group that is aligned to the Bhaktivedanta Temple in Watford. Annamrita is a unique project between the Indian government, ISKCON and private partners which feeds 65,000 school children in the Mumbai for five days a week for just 4.5 rupees per child per day. On an annual basis this costs just 900 rupees (£9) per year for each child. The scheme has been replicated in other locations across India including Delhi, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand and West Bengal and is producing dramatic results in skills improvement. Matthew said: "I am very grateful for the invitation from Bhaktivedanta Manor to visit the programme in Mumbai to see what is being achieved. The project’s success lies in the fact that it encourages families to ensure their children attend

Under the guidance of the programmes's Director Mr Radha Krishna Das, Matthew is pictured mixing spices into chickpeas as the food is cooked in an industrial pressure cooker at the Tardeo Road kitchen in Mumbai

school for the midday meal and, in turn, the children receive an education. This not only means increased nutrition in the children's diet but also improves the literacy and numeracy of millions of children across the country. “In Mumbai the meals are produced in a 1,200 sq foot unit by 20 people and are delivered by a team of drivers for two sittings, one in the morning for the early classroom shift and the second in the after-

noon for the next. Each container is security sealed and contains the

exact portions for the number of children in the class.


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www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 1st March 2014

Sridevi looking for a director

Nayanthara and Udhayanidhi to pair again

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dhayanidhi Stalin and Nayanthara paired up for the first time in the film “Ithu Kathirvelan Kadhal.” The movie which has released last week is running to packed houses. Now the pair has started acting in their next film

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titled “Nanbenda.” The shoot of the third film of Udhay as a hero has started. Nayanthara was signed for Nanbenda even before the release of IKK. It is said that Nayan was offered Rs 15million as salary to act in the film and an advance of 5000,000 has been already paid. Earlier Udhayanidhi had paid advance to Kajal Aggarwal to accept the heroine role of Nanbenda, but the producer cum actor has replaced her with his IKK co-star.

Hansika, next only to Superstar Rajinikanth

ast year was an exciting year for Hansika Motwani and all her movies struck gold in the box office. And, she is all set to continue her dream run in 2014 as well. She says, “2014 is going to be bigger and better for me. It will be full of lights, camera and action.” She has two meaty projects lined up – “Aranmanai” with Sundar C and “Maan

ost 'English Vinglish', Sridevi has been flooded with offers but she has been choosy about the projects. She believes and perhaps proved that she is not cut out for the 'Hero's Mother' roles at least for a while in her come back stint. It’s learnt that she has okayed a revenge drama with herself in the lead role and along with hubby Bonny is seriously looking for a good director to take over and start rolling. The cache is that it will be a tri-lingual and the director should be ideally exposed to all the three languages viz., Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. So, Mr. Director who ever you are, go hit the bull's eye and give us some thing to look forward to celebrate.

Karate” with Siva Karthikeyan. Reportedly, she is the most famous actor in Japan, only next to Superstar Rajinikanth. She recalled an experience when shooting in Japan – A local woman had rushed to her with a collection of her DVDs. A visibly overwhelmed Hansika attributes all her success to these fan support.

Kamal starts working on his next

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amalhassan has started working on his next film titled “Uthama Villain” while shooting of his Magnum opus film “Viswaroopam 2” is in its final stages. Kamal has already started scouting locations to shoot the film being produced by N Lingusamy and directed by Ramesh Aravind. This has been confirmed by the Ulaganayagan. Uthama Villain marks the reunion of Kamalhassan and ace theatre personality and comic writer Crazy Mohan. The film also reportedly stars director K Balachander in a pivotal role and the film might include three leading heroines like Trisha, Tamannah and Kajal Aggarwal according to reports.

New Release

‘Shaadi Ke Side Effects’

haadi Ke Side Effects” is a quirky and humorous “S story dealing with a serious

issue of decision making and sharing in a married life. With time the intimacy in most marriages falls apart. But not Sid and Trisha’s marriage… They just can’t keep their hands of each other in spite of being married for years! But Sid has a secret behind this: “When I make a mistake, I say sorry… And when my wife makes a mistake, I say sorry!” This diffuses conflict in a marriage and prevents the slow death of intimacy. The film is directed by Saket Chaudhary and produced by Ekta Kapoor and Pritish Nandy. Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan are the main actors along with Vir Das, Ram Kapoor, Gautami, Ila Arun etc.

Ranbir selling vada pao

anbir Kapoor selling vada pao? Yes, that's exactly what the star was doing at Pune's R DY Patil College recently. Not surprisingly, his

stall was the most crowded as everyone wanted a bite of the snack that he was serving. The reason the scion of Bollywood's first family agreed to become an aam aadmi for a day was because he wanted to raise money for the treatment of Sunita Ingli, the 10-year-old daughter of a cement truck driver, through an episode of an upcoming reality show.

Katrina’s sister Isabelle makes acting debut

atrina Kaif ’s K younger

s i s t e r Isabelle Kaif is all set to make her acting debut with ‘Dr. Cabbie’, co produced by S a l m a n Khan. While sister Katrina Kaif began her acting career in Bollywood with ‘Boom’, Isabelle will be starting with a Canadian film. But the film’s first look does have a Bollywood touch to it. The film, which is being shot in Toronto, will be produced under Salman Khan’s Being Human (SKBH) Productions.


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www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 1st March 2014

Latest Aishwarya avoids Jaya at Ambani bash Rumours surrounding Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and mother-in-law Jaya Bachchan's alleged tiff have been doing the rounds for long now. But if the latest rumours are to be believed then this saas-bahu saga has once again brought their questionable amicable relationship to the forefront. According to reports, the famous saas-bahu jodi avoided each other at a bash thrown by the Ambanis on the occasion of their mother Kokilaben's birthday. While both

Aishwarya and Jaya attended the event, they apparently avoided each other. This piece of news however, hasn't come as a surprise. Jaya and Ash have been in the news for long about their differences. So much so that there were reports that Abhishek Bachchan may move out of his parents home with wife Aishwarya and daughter Aaradhaya. The foursome however, made for a pretty picture when they posed for photographers at Ahaana Deol's wedding reception.

Arjun Kapoor has a special place in my life: Alia Bhatt

Salman Khan says no to Deepika

eepika Padukone might be D Bollywood's reigning

queen at the moment but she still has to wait to do a film opposite Bollywood biggie Salman Khan. According to a report, Deepika has apparently been brushed aside from Sooraj Barjataya's upcoming film opposite Salman as the superstar did not want a "busy"

actress. The report further mentions that Salman had earlier said that he would not be involved in the process of casting a leading lady opposite him but news reports suggest otherwise. According to the report Himesh Reshammiya has been roped in to do the music and lyrics for the

film. This will be a first for Rajshri Productions as they usually stick to their own music composers. While Deepika has 'Happy New Year' opposite Shah Rukh Khan and 'Finding Fanny' with Arjun Kapoor, the 'Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela' actress may have to wait for some more time to act opposite Salman.

he Highway” actor Alia Bhatt says she shares a very special “T bond with her “2 States” co-star

Arjun Kapoor. “He (Arjun) has a very special place in my life… we were shooting for ‘Highway’ and ‘2 States’ around same time. He became a good friend of mine. He is a funny person and has a good sense of humor,” said Alia. Alia has been romantically linked with Varun Dhawan and Arjun Kapoor since her entry in Bollywood, to which she said, “It doesn’t matter. If it’s not true or even true why it should bother me. I will never talk about who I am dating. The constant intrusion in my personal life by the media is part of their profession and job. I don’t have issues being clicked until and unless I am not looking good. About invasion of privacy you can only let a person invade the privacy if you allow them to cross the line,” she added. According to Alia, the link ups do not affect her father-filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt too. “I don’t think it bothers him. But I think he doesn’t want me to date anybody like any other father,” she said.

Reliance Enterainment to present ‘Total Siyapaa’

eliance Entertainment will release Brit-Asian cross-over film “Total R Siyapaa” (total chaos) worldwide on 7th

March. It is full of hilarious mishaps which ensues when Pakistani rockstar Aman (played by Ali Zafar) meets his BritishSikh love interest Asha’s (played by Yami Gautam) battle-axe Punjabi mother (Kiron Kher). The film is directed by E Niwas and the script is penned by Neeraj Pandey. Set in London, this film is a melting pot of cultures. The film gains pace when Aman travels to London to meet Asha’s

parents who are conservative Indians and completely unwilling to go against their rigid beliefs. Aman’s life descends into ‘Total Siyapaa’ when he attempts, albeit unsuccessfully at first, to impress his future in-laws with hilarious and at times completely cringe-inducing consequences! The film uncannily captures the differences between India and Pakistan and hopes to foster a deeper understanding and togetherness between the two countries. Total Siyapaa also sees real life couple Anupam Kher and Kiron Kher come together on-screen for the very first time.

Shah Rukh creates mayhem on flight hah Rukh Khan is not S only Bollywood's

badshah but also the king of his hearts. The star created a frenzy on a Mumbai bound flight from Malaysia when passengers were informed about his presence. The star-struck passengers went berserk as they all wanted to meet him, and created quite mayhem in the flight. When he boarded the flight, the flight attendants announced the star's presence. Everyone became crazy and started cheering and shouting his name. Some people also tried to approach him for autographs and pictures. As a result the staff found it difficult to control the crowd surrounding the star.

Hrithik to do the stunts himself

here were reports that a body double was arranged for Hrithik Roshan for his stunts in ‘Bang T Bang’ in view of his brain surgery. However, an insider

said that when Hrithik reached Shimla, he was not happy with the scenes so he wanted to do it himself. “Hrithik will do the action sequences on his own. The stunts are designed by Andy Armstrong who was working on ‘Spider Man 2′,” a source close to the development said. “Hrithik has always done his own stunts and he does not like body doubles. All the stunts are designed in a unique way making it interesting for Hrithik to do it on his own,” the source said.

Bipasha confesses dating Harman

ts official! B ol lywood’s IBengali beauty

Bipasha Basu has put an end to all the speculations and cleared the air about her relation with Harman Baweja. The actress admitted to dating Harman Baweja. Bipasha t w e e t e d , “Stating the o b v i o u s ! Ye s Harman n Me r a couple :) Finally I have met a person who is a far better human being than I a m . B l e s s e d .” Harman had already admitted his love for the dusky beauty.


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UK

Chris Grayling to implement £600 court charge for all criminals

All criminals will be forced to pay towards the cost of their prosecutions under new reforms which ministers believe could raise £80million per year. Convicted criminals will be forced to pay the cost, even if they plead guilty to the offence, the Justice Secretary plans to announce this week. Anyone convicted of a crime will be required to pay a charge of up to £600 under Government plans to force offenders to contribute towards the cost of running the country’s courts. Chris Grayling hopes the proposals will raise up to £80 million per year to cover a portion of the cost of running criminal trials in England and Wales. Currently, offenders are not charged for the cost of administering their case when they are convicted of a crime.

The charge will be imposed on all criminals as soon as they are convicted but it will not be collected until other financial penalties – such as compensation for victims – have been paid. For criminals who refuse to pay, enforcement officers will be able to deduct payments directly from their earnings, which could include taking money from state benefits, under the plan. Offenders who are jailed will not pay the fine until after they have been released. The measure forms part of Mr Grayling’s effort to make convicted criminals pay to help their victims recover. The New Economics Foundation think-tank suggested that collecting court charges would be difficult, with an estimated £600 million in fines already outstanding.

Police are investigating an NHS cancer surgeon after at least three patients of his died. Sudip Sarker, 44, had double the death rate of other doctors while working as a consultant general surgeon at Worcester Royal Hospital and the Alexandra Hospital, Redditch. One in five of his patients had to be readmitted after procedures he carried out, according to a report by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS). He was referred to the RCS in July 2012 after colleagues raised concerns about his work as a colon and bowel keyhole sur-

gery specialist. But while he was being investigated he was still allowed to continue operating for several months on patients. A coroner was due to hold a joint inquest in the deaths of three of his patients, William Jones, 84, Daphne Taylor, 81, and Jean Thomas, 80, who died in 2012 after being operated on by Mr Sarker. The inquest has now been adjourned while they wait for the investigation by West Mercia Police. Dozens of patients have made complaints and some families have instructed lawyers to take up their cases.

Police investigate Cancer surgeon, after 3 patients he treated, died

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Hinduism & Modernity Talk Leicester Friends group is inviting you to regular monthly talks, which have changed to the first Saturday of the month. This month the talk will be on the effects of Modernity on Hinduism, by Shaunaka Rishi Das of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. Leicester Friends group explore the Indian ideas and principles that have formed the basis of the world’s oldest existing religion and examine why it still exists today. For centuries Hindu culture has proven to be very adaptable but can it survive the challenges of modern times? How can Hindus in the UK negotiate their lives in a multimedia age? Saturday 1st March 2014, 6.30pm to 9.00pm Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre Rothley Street, Leicester LE4 6LF

Coming Events

l Wednesday 27th February 2014 Antarrashtriya Issyoga Samaj present Shivatri Mahotsav at Clay Oven, 197 Ealing Road, Wembley, HA0 4LW from 10.30am – 10.30pm. Contact: 07730590808. l Thursday 28th February 2014 – Celebration of Shivratri at the Sandford on Thames Village Hall, 22 Heyford Hill Lane, Sanford on Thames, Oxford OX4 4YG from 8pm – 11.30pm. Contact: 07977201790, l Saturday 1st March 2014 – Shrutiarts Romance of the Bansuri at Upper Brown Street (old Phoenix Theatre), Leicester, LE1 5TE from 8pm – 10.30pm. Contact 0116 261 2264. Tickets: £10/£8. l Sunday 2nd March 2014 – Shirdi Sai Baba Temple Assoication of London in Parternship with british heart Foundation is pleased to offer Healthy Eating Demonstration and Emergency Life Support training at Patidar Centre, 22 London Road, Wembley HA9 7EX from 11am – 4pm. Contact: 0208 902 2311. l Saturday 8th March 2014 – Swadesh – Dance Festival at The Sangam Centre, 210 Burnt Oak Broadway, Edgware HA8 0AP. Contact: 020 8952 7062. l Sunday 16th March 2014 – Leicester Friends of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies are organizing a sponsored Holy Walk on Holi Day. The walkers will visit 14/15 mandirs in Leicester. Contact 01162680306 to register.

www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 1st March 2014

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20

You may find yourself hard at work behind the scenes, although that may not be apparent to others. You may find yourself caught up in a whirlwind of activity, with opportunities to advance on both the inner and outer level. There is likely to be a powerful incentive to do what remains to be done and tie up loose ends.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Not only will the general pace of everyday life gather a speedier momentum but there are liable to b a few unforeseen problems along the way. It is only if you try to cram too much into the day that you will come a cropper or damage your health, so be warned. Be prepared to shoulder certain responsibilities.

The prevailing astrological trend indicates increasing vigour and stamina, both mentally and physically. At an ordinary everyday level you can expect this to be a pleasant time, indulging in the good things of life and taking a much needed break. At a deeper level, however, there does appear to be a new energy stirring within you. Romance will have its pleasant surprises.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

At home, be at your diplomatic best and try not to tread on anyone's toes. Passions will run from hot to cold, and relationships may suffer. Even the most strong-willed Cancerians will be more open to compromise to keep the peace. Plan your spending and set sensible budgets to reach your financial goals.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

It is a particularly favourable time for dealing with financial interests with a long-term basis, such as investments, insurance and pension schemes, legacies and all jointly held resources. There may be a certain amount of unfinished business to be dealt with. Therefore you will need to adopt a fairly flexible policy in order to accommodate the odd twists and turns of everyday life.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

With Venus traversing your sign of leisure for some time to come, it will put you in the right mood if you intend to indulge your pleasure-loving instincts. Venus, the planet of love and romance throws a pleasing light on affairs of the heart. Existing emotional differences can be easily sorted out now. Your creativity is riding high and you should make the most of this phase.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

You will experience some tension in close relationships - take careful stock of things, especially your own attitude. Developments during this week are likely to make you feel rather restless, perhaps because you have allowed yourself to fall into a routine that is now becoming jaded.

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SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22 The Sun illuminates your fifth house. After a period of “nesting”, you are coming out of your shell, ready to perform and to express yourself creatively. You are feeling inspired creatively and romantically and you express your loving feelings quite openly now. At this time, you instinctively know how to place yourself in the best light in order to make a good impression on others.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21 Financial and business affairs are unlikely to give rise to any major problems this week. The gentle influence of Venus ensures that most things run smoothly and that your cash-flow remains viable. Domestic and career interests are likely to come into conflict - try to aim at a more balanced pattern of life and remember that work is not always a virtue.

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 You will have the distinct feeling that everything is moving ahead at a very satisfying pace. Indeed, you will be in a forwardlooking mood, more inclined to reflect on the future and its potentials. The power of destiny is very much in your own hand and any major decision you make will have a profound effect on your future. AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

A great time to meet and interact with people. Whatever your present interests you are likely to find that new doors open and the way ahead offers increased scope for expressing your real self. Don't get too carried away and lose sight of little things that mean a lot to you. You will feel energetic and confident as the week begins. New beginnings are favoured around now, as long as you do not bite off more than you can chew. Your thinking is inspired, so listen to your thoughts. This may be a time of expansion and improved opportunity and it would be unwise to let yourself become complacent. Affairs of the heart are likely to flourish.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20


England beat India in U-19 World Cup cricket

www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 1st March 2014

Defending champions India crashed out of the under-19 World Cup cricket tournament after suffering a three-wicket defeat at the hands of a disciplined England side in the quarterfinals here Saturday. Batting first, India managed 221 for eight, and then saw England chase down the target with five balls to spare at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. On conditions favourable to seamers due to overcast conditions, Deepak Hooda (68) and Sarfaraz Khan’s 46-ball 52 helped India post a decent total on a slowish track. But England rode on Ben Duckett’s 64-ball 61 and Joe Clarke's 42 off 45 balls to enter the last-four stage. Needing four off the last over, Rob Sayer slashed left-arm seamer Chama Milind over covers to complete the job, leaving his teammates jubilant. However, it was the penultimate over bowled by offie Hooda, which cost India dear as he conceded 11 runs to bring the equa-

tion down to a gettable four off six balls from 15 runs in two overs. Earlier, seamer Matthew Fisher was the most successful bowler for England, picking up three wickets for 55 runs, his early blows giving his team the initial advantage. Left-arm chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav, India's most impressive bowler in the event, took as many wickets but, on this day, he ended up being on the losing side. The seventh-wicket stand of 51 runs between Clarke and Rob Jones (28 not

out) proved to be crucial for England. Jones then added 23 runs with Sayer (10) to help their side cross the line. Opting to bat first, India were off to a disastrous start losing four wickets with just 24 runs on the board, including last match's top scorer Sanju Samson. India beat Sri Lanka India beat Sri Lanka by 76 runs in a fifth-place playoff on Monday. After being put in to bat, India scored 291/7 in their quota of 50 overs and bowled our neighbours Sri Lanka for 215 in 48.1

overs. Defending champions India lost their quarter-final to England Saturday and are now playing for 58 position. The India colts put up a big total with the help of in-form allrounder Deepak Hooda who top scored with an unbeaten 76 lower down the batting order. Hooda hit four sixes and seven fours in his 56-ball knock. Earlier, Shreyas Iyer (59) and captain Sanju Samson (40) also played decent knocks to give India a good start. Kerala youngster Samson was leading the Indian outfit after regular skipper Vijay Zol was suspended for a match for using obscene language/gesture in the last-eight clash against England. Anuk Fernando, Hashen Ramanayake and A.K. Tyronne took two wickets each for the Sri Lankans. The Indian bowlers were in their elements, regularly picking wickets and bowling out Sri Lanka.

impressive knocks. India will join archrivals Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and debutants Afghanistan in the tournament that will start on February 25 and run until March 8. India will begin their campaign with a match against Sri Lanka on

February 28, before locking horns with Pakistan on March 2. Dhoni's captaincy has been a subject of intense criticism following India's 0-1 defeat in the twomatch Test series in New Zealand. While former India skipper Sourav Ganguly called Dhoni's captaincy "obnoxious", Rahul Dravid termed it defensive. India have lost their last four series abroad starting with the 4-0 rout suffered in England and ending with the loss to New Zealand last week. Away from home, Dhoni has captained India in 23 Tests, of which they have won five, lost 11 and drawn seven.

Virat Kohli to lead India in Asia Cup

Under-fire Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was ruled out of the Asia Cup cricket tournament due to a side-strain injury that he suffered during the second Test in New Zealand, paving the way for Virat Kohli to lead the side. "MS Dhoni has been ruled out of the forthcoming Asia Cup, which began in Bangladesh. He sustained a Grade I left side-strain injury during the course of the second Test against New Zealand. He will be undergoing rehabilitation for ten days," BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said in a statement. "The All-India Senior Selection Committee has

picked Dinesh Kartik as his replacement in the Indian squad for the tournament. Virat Kohli will lead India in the competition," the statement said. Kohli has been India's standout batsman in recent years, stamping his mark in almost every overseas tour with

SPORT WORLD

Asia Cup 2014: Lanka beat Pakistan

Spirited performances by Lahiru Thirimanne (102) and Lasith Malinga (5/52) helped Sri Lanka beat Pakistan in the first match of the Asia Cup in Fatullah. Chasing a 297-run target, Pakistan seemed to lose the plot right at end as Sri Lanka bounced back with quick wickets to choke them in the opener. Pakistan were given some respite by skipper Misbah-ul-Haq when he slammed a gritty fifty; however, he fell victim to Malinga soon after. Misbah, who reached his half-century in 62 balls with the help of 4 boundaries and a single six, also put up a steady 121-run stand with Umar Akmal. Akmal (74) too reached his 18th ODI half-century in the 41st over to take the partnership pass 100 runs before being dismissed by pacer Suranga Lakmal. Misbah and Akmal helped revive Pakistan's run chase after they got off to a bad start as they lost their top order cheaply against Sri Lanka. The wickets started falling when Lakmal gave Sri Lanka the first breakthrough when he dismissed opener Sharjeel Khan (26). Sharjeel was caught comfortably at mid-on by skipper Angelo Mathews after the Pakistan opener mis-timed a short of length delivery. Pakistan then tried to get its run chase back on track courtesy a steady stand between Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez when the duo stitched a crucial 49-run partnership for the second wicket. However, Chaturanga De Silva and Mathews struck in consecutive overs to send Shehzad (28) and Hafeez (18) back to the pavilion. Spinner Sachithra Senanayake then joined the wicket taking party when he scalped Sohaib Maqsood (17) by getting him caught at deep midwicket. Earlier, opener Lahiru Thirimanne notched up his second ODI hundred to power Sri Lanka to a challenging 296 for six against Pakistan. Thirimanne hit 11 fours and a six in his 110-ball 102-run innings and starred in a 161-run stand with Kumar Sangakkara (67) for the second wicket to lay the foundation for a huge score at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium. Pakistan tried to make a comeback in the middle overs as they picked up a few wickets, before skipper Angelo Matthews provided the late charge, cracking a 50-ball 55, to take Sri Lanka close to the 300-mark. For Pakistan, Umar Gul (38) and Shahid Afridi (56) picked up two wickets each, while Saeed Ajmal (1/50) took one. Electing to bat, Sri Lanka made a watchful start before opener Kusal Perera (14) edged an Umar Gul delivery straight to Umar Akmal behind the stumps in the eighth over to slip to 28 for one. However, Thirimanne continued his good run and notched up his fifty off 56 balls in the 20th over, his first half-century since last July.

Sehwag to captain MCC in match against Durham

India Test discard Virender Sehwag has been roped in to captain the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) squad in a four-day Champion County match against Durham starting on March 23 in Abu Dhabi. "Virender Sehwag and Muttiah Muralitharan have been confirmed as part of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) squad that will travel to Abu Dhabi next month," the MCC said in a statement. Muralitharan will lead the team in the preceding Emirates Twenty20 tournament. Also in the squad are England's Monty Panesar

and Sri Lankan wicketkeeper batsman Prasanna Jayawardene, as well as a host of young county players including Kent's Daniel Bell-Drummond, Lancashire's Luis Reece and Middlesex opener Sam Robson, who has been in great form for England Lions in Sri Lanka this winter. Virender Sehwag, who is also confirmed to appear in the MCC vs Rest of the World Lord's Bicentenary match on July 5, said: "I was delighted to be asked to play in this match, and being able to captain the MCC side makes it even more of a privilege. "We're taking a very

strong squad out to Abu Dhabi so I'm sure the standard of cricket on show will be very high. It's also very exciting to be

playing under lights with the pink ball. It's a big innovation for the game and I'm very keen to be involved in any initiative

31

which aims to increase the appeal of cricket to a wider audience," he added. Nottinghamshire trio Samit Patel, Andre Adams and Harry Gurney are also included in the squad. Left-arm opening bowler Gurney, a former Leeds/Bradford MCCU cricketer, has been selected for England's upcoming limited overs tour of the West Indies. The MCC team will arrive in Abu Dhabi on March 18 to take part in the Emirates T20 tournament on March 21 which also features Lancashire, Sussex,

Durham and a Fly Emirates Select XI. Lancashire will then play 50-over matches against an MCC Universities Combined XI and MCC Young Cricketers on March 22 and 23 respectively. Muralitharan will be making a special appearance as MCC captain in the Emirates T20 tournament, which will be played under the MCC Spirit of Cricket banner and will feature the use of pink cricket balls. The traditional fourday County Champion match will get underway on March 23 and will be a day/night match played with a pink ball.


32

SPORT

www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 1st March 2014

IPL all set to shift to South Africa

Indian Premier League is all set to shift to South Africa as the government is not able to provide security for T20 event in view of the general elections. Five years ago also the matches were shifted to South Africa for the same reasons. This time the last part of the matches may be brought back to India. IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal told all eight franchises that the tournament will move to the African nation but return to the country on May 10 or 11 after the elections are over. “After the meeting with home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, one thing was certain that holding IPL during general elections was not feasible. Now, out of the alternative options that BCCI has for hosting tournament, South Africa looks the most promising. We have been told that final dates of IPL-7 will only be announced after we come to know the dates for general elections,” Delhi Daredevils CEO Hemant Dua said. Sources close to the

development said that all the franchises are keen to host at least part of the tournament in India in order to minimise the loss of revenue. “We have been informed that the tournament in all likelihood will be back in the country around May 10 or 11. It will ensure that the business end of the tournament will be held in front of the teams’ home crowds,” one of the franchise owners said. Asked whether the later stages of the IPL

could be staged in the country, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said, “100 per cent, they can be held”. As the present scenario goes, IPL-7 is now most likely to be played in SA between April and May. The exact schedule will be announced at the end of this month. “All franchises are okay with the idea of shifting the IPL to SA. They have a good idea how popular it turned out to be when it was hosted there the last time,” a source said.

The window kept aside for IPL this year is also huge - from April 9 to June 3 - a total of 55 days whereas the tournament - with only eight teams this year -needs a maximum window of just around 40 days to be completed. For Cricket South Africa, IPL shifting there should come as a huge shot in the arm considering the revenue potential it brings along. The possibility of BCCI having dangled the IPL carrot to CSA in return for their support for the ICC revamp also cannot be ruled out. However, sources said that it was only after the Union ministry's refusal to grant security that the Indian cricket board decided to take the step. The IPL governing council as well as the BCCI working committee is supposed to meet in Bhubaneswar on February 28 where a final decision on the issue will be made.

sion as none of the other batsmen reached double figures. The result left the three-match series level at 1-1 with the third Test starting in CapeTown on Saturday. After JP Duminy had removed Warner and Morne Morkel grabbed the wicket of Alex Doolan (five), Shaun Marsh picked up a pair in the match and now has six ducks in his last 11 Tests.

T h e n began the S t e y n onslaught as Clarke (one) was brilliantly caught by Faf duPlessis at second slip and Steve Smith trapped lbw first ball. That wicket showed evidence of reverse swing and Steyn produced more as he clattered into the middle stump of Brad Haddin (one) for the second time in the match. Mitchell Johnson was the fourth lbw victim of the innings when he was struck on the pads by Philander. Ryan Harris (six)was also trapped in front of the

stumps but the key moment came when, with just seven minutes remaining in the day’s play, Rogers was run out trying to take a quick single to substitute fielder Alviro Peterson. Nathan Lyon (zero) was the final wicket to fall, lbw to Dean Elgar and although replays showed he had hit the ball, Australia had used up their reviews. South Africa earlier declared their second innings on 270 for five as Hashim Amla plundered an unbeaten 127, his 21st test century to move joint third on South Africa’s alltime list with Gary Kirsten, still behind Graeme Smith (27) and Jacques Kallis (45).

again focusing the nation’s attention on curling - a sport which captured the country’s attention 12 years ago when Britain’s women won gold at the

Salt Lake City games. O n F r i d a y morning the country saw four broomwielding S c o t s attempt to clinch gold on the ice. The quartet secured at least silver thanks to Murdoch’s last gasp heroics in a thrilling contest with Sweden. Murdoch had one delivery which would have

made or broken his Olympic dream. With his Swedish opposition bound to win if he blew his shot and with his “heart pounding like mad”, Murdoch’s granite rock curled perfectly into the centre of his target - the “house” - sending his team-mates and a small, noisy group of fans into ecstasy. It was the second time in two days he has clinched victory with the final stone when he held his nerve to defeat the Norwegian team in identical fashion.

Steyn leads SA to crushing win over Aussies

Dale Steyn produced a ferocious spell of fast bowling to inspire South Africa to a crushing 231run victory over Australia in fading light on Day Four of the second Test at Port Elizabeth on Sunday. With rain predicted for Monday, Steyn charged in and took four wickets, including the key scalp of Australia captain Michael Clarke, as the tourists lost 10 wickets for 90 runs having looked comfortable at 126 without loss chasing a record 448 for victory. Only opener Chris Rogers showed any real resistance with a fine 107, this third ton in four Tests, as he shared a century opening stand with David Warner (66), but for the remainder it was a proces-

Murdoch wins Olympics medal in curling

David Murdoch, a farmer’s son who witnessed the horror of the Lockerbie bombing, is ready to make an emotional return to his home town with an Olympic medal he won in the Winter Games’ most hypnotic sport, curling. With one beautifully delivered stone along the ice which found its target with precision under the utmost pressure, the 35year old sealed his team’s place and guaranteed that this is now Britain’s best Winter Games since 1936. He also succeeded in once

Kallis to be honored during Newlands Test

Former Proteas great Jacques Kallis will be honored by South Africa's Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula during the third Test between South Africa and Australia to be played at Newlands in Cape Town. According to Sport24, the WPCA said the tribute would be paid on the second day of the final test against Australia, which will run from March 1-5. Speculation is also rife about a stand at Newlands being named after Kallis, but a decision is yet to be taken officially on this. Kallis played 166 Test matches, scoring 13,289 runs in an illustrious career spanning 18 years for South Africa.

Windies end Irish hopes of history

Ireland's flirtation with cricketing history came to a disappointing end in Kingston's Sabina Park when they lost their second Twenty20 international with the West Indies.Victory, following a famous sixwicket win on the same ground earlier in the week, would have given the Irish a first series win over a Test-playing nation.But the West Indies drew on all their experience to win by 11 runs, hitting 96 for nine off their 20 overs after Ireland had won the toss and put them into bat, and then restricting the Irish to 85 for eight in theirs.Gary Wilson led Ireland's run chase with a brave 35 from 39 balls after they had slumpoed to 25 for four and he moved them on to 72 for seven before being caught and bowled by Dwayne Bravo.So, having gone so close, the Irish, coached by former West Indies batsman Phil Simmons, had to settle for a draw in the two-match series.It was at the Kingston venue where Ireland dramatically defeated Pakistan in a St Patrick's Day 50-over World Cup match back in 2007.West Indies and Ireland meet again in a oneoff one-day international at the same ground on Sunday, the last match of the Irish tour.Next month sees the West Indies defend their global title at the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh - a tournament where Ireland's first match is a St Patrick's Day clash against Zimbabwe on March 17.

Saina seeded 7th at All England

Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal has been seeded seventh in the $400,000 All England Open Badminton Championships to be held in Birmingham from March 4-9. The World No.7 is the only Indian who has been seeded in the prestigious Super Series Premier tournament which will host its 104th edition at the National Indoor Arena. Saina, whose best performance at All England have been two semifinal appearances in 2010 and 2013, will open her campaign against Kirsty Gilmour of Scotland. The Hyderabadi could have a possible meeting with 18-year-old P.V. Sindhu in the semifinals. The World Championship bronze medallist will open her round against Yu Sun of China. Parupalli Kashyap and Kidambi Srikanth are the only two Indians to have got direct entry into the main draw of men's singles. There are no other Indians currently in the main draws of any of the five categories. However, a host of Indians will be vying for the main draw by participating in the qualifiers.


AV 1st March 2014  

Asian Voice weekly news paper (Issue 43)

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