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Martyrs' Day Special: Remembering the 'Mahatma'

First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe

See Page 17

BJP poised for best-ever tally, Modi set to be PM, say polls See Page 16

7 Gujaratis in Padma awardees list See Page 26

VOL 42. ISSUE 39

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

Is the Government lifting turban ban to appease British Sikhs? New revelations also suggest Thatcher's connection to anti Tamil Eelam movement in Lanka

Britain's decision to lift the ban on turbans at high risk workplaces has been welcomed by the British Sikh community in several quarters of Britain, though some of them have addressed it as the Prime Minister's mere 'damage control method' to deal with the fallout of the Margaret Thatcher government's alleged role in Operation Bluestar in 1984. Continued on page 7

Indian President stresses for stable govt after Lok Sabha poll

Taking dig at the Aam Adami party (AAP), the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee in his Republic Day-eve speech cautioned that “populist anarchy” cannot be a substitute for governance in context of AAP’s dharna in New Delhi which almost paralyzed routine life of the Indian capital. Mukherjee also warned the dangers of intemperate populism and made unusually direct comments on AAP's politics and also stressed the need for a stable government after the forthcoming Lok Sabha election. “A fractured mandate would be catastrophic for the nation,” said the President. Continued on page 26

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Keith Vazwith MP

Keith Vaz MP

Millie Banerjee CBE

Millie Banerjee has had a long and varied career in the private and public sectors. Millie has been the Chair of the British Transport Police Authority since 2008 and is currently a member of the Board of the College of Policing as well as a member of the Police ICT Board. She also chairs Working Links a public, private voluntary sector company working with Government in supporting long term unemployed and disabled citizens. She chairs Nominet Trust which invests in application development for social good. In her executive life she spent 25 years with BT in various senior roles including operations, large scale system implementation, product design and consumer service. Her last role in BT was as the Director responsible for BT’s product portfolio and pricing strategy. Following her career in BT she was the COO of a global mobile satellite company. She continued her association with the communications sector as a non-executive director of Ofcom for 9 years. She has also been the Chair of Postwatch, and the postal regulator Postcomm and the Carnegie UK Trust. She has held several other non-executive appointments including a non-executive director of the Cabinet Office, Channel 4 TV, the Prisons Board, and the Peabody Trust. Millie studied in Camden School for Girls and University College London. She also studied at Greenwich University from where she has an honorary doctorate. She was the High Sheriff of Greater London from the year 2012-13. 1) Please tell me about your current position? I am the chairman of the

British Transport Police Authority. I also chair a public, private voluntary sector com-

pany (Working Links) and a charitable trust (Nominet Trust). 2) What are your proudest achievements? In my earlier years leading a large (10,000) engineering workforce in BT working to give customers the best possible service. In the work I do

6 Muslim siblings guilty of attempted kidnap of lesbian sister's lover

Six siblings, from a conservative Muslim family in Lancashire, have admitted attempting to kidnap the girlfriend of one of their sisters, threatening to kill her because Tahmoor Ditta Tosif Ditta Aftah Ditta she had got involved with the “wrong muslims”. Nazma Ditta, 28, who is one of nine children from Blackburn, began a secret relationship with Sarah-Jane Ghazala Ditta Nayyar Mehmood Nighat Morris Harrison, 35, three sisters Tosif Ditta, 35, and Ghazala years ago when both women worked Ditta, 31, trying and failing to bunat a clothes shop in Blackburn, dle Harrison into the back of a car Preston crown court heard on Friday before driving away. They were 24th January. guarded throughout the attack by Unhappy that Nazma was in a Tahmoor Ditta, 26, one of Nazma's same-sex relationship with a white, brothers. non-Muslim woman, six of her sibTahmoor Ditta, Nazma's brother, lings plotted to break up the relapleaded guilty to conspiracy to comtionship. mit actual bodily harm, attempted Three of Nazma's sisters were kidnap, robbery, possession of an caught on CCTV kicking and punchoffensive weapon and battery. ing Harrison after she finished work Ghazala Ditta and Aftah Ditta in Blackburn town centre on 20 June pleaded guilty to conspiracy to comlast year. They were shown dragging mit actual bodily harm, attempted her to the floor by her hair and kidnap and robbery. Nayyar snatching her handbag. Mehmood pleaded guilty to conspirCCTV shown to the court acy to commit actual bodily harm. showed Nighat Morris, 39, the eldThey will be sentenced on Friday est child in the family, along with her 31st January 2014.

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now it is about leading the Transport Police to ensure that passengers travelling on the railways are safe and secure.

6) What is the best aspect about your current role? Getting home knowing that one has done one’s best that day and that there is more to do tomorrow.

3) What inspires you? Seeing young people pursuing their ambitions in particularly circumdifficult stances.

7) And the worst? Sometimes success comes too slowly.

4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? Potential obstacles have been attitudes to race and gender but over the years I have worked hard to devise strategies to overcome these as one has to do. 5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? I have had many mentors each one of whom have inspired and supported me. So now I act as a mentor to help people who are making their way in life.

Employment Judge Rules that Caste Discrimination is already covered by Domestic Law

Kishan Bhatt

exhaustive definition of race in Section 9(1) of the Equality Act 2010 and race is in itself a wide concept - “caste” is already part of the protected characteristic of race. He explained that Article 14 of the Articles of the Human Rights Convention was certainly wide enough to include the caste discrimination complained of by the Claimant in the case. This judgment is of paramount significance in the determination of caste discrimination legislation. There is no need for further legislation to allow someone who has been discriminated against because of his or her caste, to be able to successfully sue for this maltreatment. This can only be construed as a positive move in breaking down community barriers, and it gives impetus to building a collaborative consensus around the issue. For more information contact

It is right to consider whether caste discrimination, in all its guises is sufficiently covered by domestic law. An area where this has been tested is employment law. As an employer, you are not allowed to discriminate on certain grounds – including race, sex, sexual orientation, amongst others. If an employer does this, they will be liable to pay damages. Whether someone who is discriminated against by their employer because of their “caste” can seek damages, is a question which was recently answered in a recent case - Tirkey v Mr & Mrs Chandok. Judge Sigsworth sitting in the employment tribunal in Huntingdon supported the Hindu Lawyers' Association argument that ‘caste’ is already protected under the general concept of ‘race’, which includes an ethnic group. As there is no comprehensive and

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8) What are your long term goals? Continuing to work on projects that support citizens specially those who need help to navigate this complex and difficult world in which we live. 9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? Prime Minister’s question time – really frustrating to watch the point scoring. Mind you it isn’t just the PM - all others would have to change too. 10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? Nelson Mandela – I have just read his wonderful and inspiring biography and have so many questions to ask him.

Teen receives multi-millionpound compensation Teenage schoolgirl, Maisha Najeeb, 13, pictured, has received millions of pounds compensation after her brain was accidentally injected with glue during treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Najeeb has since been left with devastating permanent brain damage. The compensation will be spent on care and accommodation for Maisha, who needs assistance with all daily tasks. Though she had a rare medical condition that involved arteries and veins getting tangled, which could result in a bleed, Maisha Najeeb, of Ilford, Essex, was a healthy 10-year-old until she went into hospital in June 2010. She had successfully received embolisation treatment previous to the accident, which involves injecting glue to block off bleeding blood vessels. But on this occasion, said solicitor Edwina Rawson of legal firm Field Fisher Waterhouse, the syringes were not marked making it difficult to distinguish between the syringe with glue and those containing the dye, and they got mixed up. This resulted in glue being wrongly injected into the artery to Maisha’s brain, causing catastrophic and permanent brain damage.

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India’s message at Davos

India has established a strong presence over the years at Davos, where the great and good congregate for the annual World Economic Forum. It is no different this year. The global economy has suffered its worst recession since the great depression of 192932. The one from which we are now emerging also began with a Wall Street crash in 2008. There are propitious signs that the worst is over in Asia as well, where the economies of China, Japan and India took a series of hard blows. Double digit and near double digit growth in China and India recorded a sharp downturn to 7.5 per cent and 5 per cent respectively – good figures by North American and European levels, but unsatisfactory for their own social needs. Both countries and Japan (mired for years in a deflationary cycle) are emerging in the sunlit uplands of economic recovery and growth. The lean years for Asia’s three largest economies should, hopefully, turn into years of revival. India’s message at Davos was driven by a sense of purpose and optimism which jelled well, with the World Economic Forum theme: “The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business.” What discussants have been putting under close critical scrutiny are their convergences. Understanding the importance of India and its place in the regional and global marketplace, the organizers at Davos made space for a broad spectrum of authoritative speakers from India Seven Indian ministers and 120 business leaders, media representatives and academics were present and many spoke at a variety of forums or participated in group meetings at which the public engaged with questions and contributions. While the recent slowdown in the Indian economy was the focus of attention, Indian speakers stressed the need to view the Indian economy within a broader timeline where economic growth had been impressive by any standard. Its GDP had grown at a yearly average of 8 per cent, and although this had declined to 5 per cent at the last fiscal, World Bank estimates projected a rise to 7 per cent within the next two years. Indian speakers drew attention to government measures taken to revive growth. Structural reforms, greater

infrastructure investment and steps to create a more business friendly environment were mentioned to inform and enlighten those present. Set in context, Indian growth. over a larger period had resulted in significant social structural shifts: the poverty level fell faster than ever before, bringing 140 million people into the consumer matrix; the investment ratio peaked at 38 per cent; rural expenditure levels doubled; gross enrolment ratio in higher education presently stands at 20 per cent; telecom subscribers come to 900 million and the penetration ratio had crossed 73 per cent; more power generating capacity had been added in the last decade than in the previous half-century; and to these could be added many other success stories. Together these numbers, said India’s speakers, indicate that Indian expectation over a number years were understated, and that, looking ahead, the confluence of these fresh circumstances could account for changes much beyond what the people of India imagined was possible. Broader issues affecting India and the world came up for public scrutiny at Davos, including the deepening relevance of global and regional institutions for economic growth and human welfare. A key area that impinges both is technological innovation and connectivity have come to be a major force for social development. These factors have played an important role in India’s growth story and, going forward, their roles will be greater still. At the heart of the matter is the need to maintain inclusive growth. A rich-poor chasm defeats one of the principal purposes of economic growth i.e. wealth generation is to provide for all sections of society in a manner that permits, over time, a significant measure of distributive justice that encourages the work ethic as a means of individual and collective betterment. Expectations must have an open door to social and economic fulfillment. Plutocratic governance can, in the long and medium term only lead to social tension, violence and a consequential instability, which, eventually, will thwart the development of a society and a people at peace with themselves and the world beyond.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to India as the country’s Guest at the magnificent Republic Day pageant, where India’s military, scientific and technological heft are bared annually for the Indian people, and for nations near and far to understand and weigh as they make policy. Showcasing Indian achievements were a matter of legitimate pride for the country, commented Gopal Gandhi, the former Governor of West Bengal. The military parade, he continued, renewed the people’s ties with the men and women who put their lives on the line for the defence of the nation. However, said Mr Gandhi, there was much that had happened in the country for which India must feel remorse and shame. Returning to India and Japan, Mr Abe has breathed new life into Japanese politics by reviving his country’s long dormant economy and charting a matching security profile. Gone are the days when a Japanese prime minister was seen abroad as nothing more than a self-effacing salesman for Japanese goods and services. Mr Abe has given notice to Asia and the international community that this is no longer true, that they would do well to adjust to the new realities What is of special interest for India is Mr Abe’s vision of a new forwards looking relationship between Japan and India in the evolving security and economic architecture in the Asia Pacific region. China’s rise concerns both parties. Beijing’s increasing assertiveness on contentious territorial and maritime issues can no longer be brushed aside with the customary bromides of reassurance. Mr Abe has likened the present state of Sino-Japanese relations to the fraught ties

between Britain and Germany before the outbreak of the First World War, whose centenary falls in August this year.. It was a point well taken. War, he told the World Economic Forum in Davos, would cause untold damage to Asia and the world; it would seriously set back the emerging economies of Asia, hence must be avoided. The Indo-Japan alignment, seen in its proper light is a force for stability. It brings a much needed balance to a region where China’s shado looms ever larger. Japan will sell 15 of its much prized US-2 amphibious aircraft to the Indian Navy and will join the India and the US in the Malabar naval exercises off India’s southwest coastline. However, at the heart of the Indo-Japan alignment is deepening trade and investment ties. Japan, long an economic and technological superpower. Large-scale Japanese investment in India has the potential to speed up India’s economic transformation, and with it, hasten India’s social makeover as well.. The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, and those between Mumbai and Bangalore, Bangalore to Chennai and Amritsar to Kolkata are visionary projects designed for the realization of an Indian future that works. Japan’s role in these enterprises will be key. Prime Minister Abe is the first Japanese leader to give India pride of place in his country’s external relationships. His predecessors were polite but distant. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has reciprocated, has made his own special contribution to the new, evolving Indo-Japan strategic partnership, which is likely to be one of his enduring legacies to his country.

Even as Bangalore is now the world’s foremost IT hub, with Pune, Delhi and Hyderabad not far behind, Indian entrepreneurial skills are manifesting themselves in a big way in the United States of America. Silicon Valley in California has long been a seedbed for thrusting high tech Indian American companies looking for new opportunities, seeking to blaze a trail with their latest products. Forbes Magazine’s 100 most promising US companies includes eight with Indian founders. Further afield, Professor Emeritus Paulraj of

Stanford University, has been awarded the Marconi Prize for Technology for his work in electronics and sensors. Professor Paulraj, who was born in Tamil Nadu and worked as a scientist in the Indian Navy for 20 years, where his researches in high tech warfare systems earned him international acclaim. His time at Stanford University has also been outstanding, winning him a string of honours and ensuring him a global recognition, of which the Marconi Prize is the clearest symbol.

India-Japan ties a likely game changer

Indian Americans excel as entrepreneurs

3 All the masterpieces of art contain both light and shadow. A happy life is not one filled with only sunshine, but one which uses both light and shadow to produce beauty

Sarah Teather MP

- Billy Graham

Liberal Democrat MP for Brent Central

Let’s think about mental health

We all know someone who suffers from depression or another mental health issue. Figures suggest that in any one year, they affect one in four people. This costs UK employers up to £26 billion a year, and in the area I represent, Brent Central, it remains one of the largest causes of morbidity among adults. That’s partly because those with severe mental health issues have increased risk of physical health issues, with higher rates of cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, as well as having higher levels of alcohol abuse. The effects are even worse for those living in poverty or with no one to turn to. Mental health illnesses affecting children and young people are particularly distressing. GPs estimate that tens of thousands of young adults suffer from stress, depression and anxiety, with 1,600 taking their own lives in 2011. What’s painfully clear is the need for better support early on in life. Half of those with lifetime mental health problems experience their first symptoms at 14, and so the earlier help is put in place the better. Getting this right will mean more young people are able to fully participate and contribute to society. That’s why, when I was Minister for Children and Families, I launched the BOND initiative. This is improving access to mental health services for children, young people and families through schools, voluntary and community organisations. But more needs to be done, with mental

health still seen as less important than physical health. This week, Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the Lib Dem Health Minister Norman Lamb launched an action plan for mental health. This is a huge step towards banishing the stigma and unfairness surrounding the treatment of mental health. From April, patients will be able to choose where they receive their mental health care in the same way that patients with physical health problems can. Support for talking therapies will be expanded to an extra 300,000 people. And from next year, the introduction of mental health access and waiting standards will start to become a reality too, helping to bring down unacceptable waiting times and delivering earlier treatment. Perhaps most importantly, we’re building on the BOND initiative by boosting mental health support for children and young people, so that nobody grows up facing this burden alone. Children across the whole country will be able to access talking therapies by 2018, and age-appropriate support will be given to adolescents when they move over to adult care services. This Plan is a call to action across the NHS, the mental health sector and wider society. But the Government alone cannot do it all. No-one suffering a mental health crisis should ever be turned away or feel they have no one to turn to. That’s something we can all help with – in our homes, our schools and colleges, and our places of work.

ASIAN VOICE is published by Asian Business Publications Ltd Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, (Off Coronet Street) London N1 6HW. Tel: 020 7749 4080 Fax: 020 7749 4081 Email: © Asian Business Publications AsianVoiceNewsweekly



Birmingham salutes Mother India


Dhiren Katwa

Heavy rain did not dampen the spirits of guests who attended the annual 65th Indian Republic Day celebrations at the Indian in Hockley, Embassy Birmingham last Sunday.

the hall with a large colourful backdrop was the centre of attraction. Entertainment provided by solo artists and groups of performers, of all ages, included live music, Bharatnatyam dances, poetry and brief discourses. The programme was beautifully

Guests, sat in rows theatre-style on two sides , with many standing at the back of the packed hall, included men, women, boys and girls, all dressed in traditional outfits and wearing badges bearing the flag of India. Even the usually unfriendly and miserable counter staff, many accompanied by their spouses and children, managed to smile and enjoy the programme. The stage at the front of

compered by sari-clad Anu Priya. VIPs included Baroness Sandip Verma and her husband Ashok Verma, Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands Paul Sabapathy CBE, Mr Ramalingam, the Indian Consul General, and his wife, Deputy Consul Mr R Swain, Kuldip Singh Sahota, leader of Telford & Wrekin Council and Labour MEP candidate Neena Gill. Also present was Councillor - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

Ragasudha Vinjamuri from Maharashtra Mandal honoured with a memento from LordLieutenant Paul S Pathy, Her Majesty Queen's representative in West Midlands for her performance during the Republic Day celebrations at Indian Consulate in Birmingham

Chaman Lal, Professor Pawan Budhwar, educationalist Sardul Dhesi, Hindu priest Madhu Shahstri resplendant in his usual silk outfit and community activist Hari Jindal. Rapturous applause echoed across the hall as the flag of India was unfurled by Mr Ramaligam, donning a

beige Nehru suit, flanked by his officers. He then read out in full the President’s speech. Soft drinks flowed throughout the programme, and a buffet meal was also served. The event was broadcast live on air by Radio XL, whose CEO, Dr Arun Bajaj, was also present.

Temple goers miracle escape after the Gurudwara is struck by lightening

Temple goers at the Ramgarhia Sikh Temple in Meynell Road, off Uppingham Road, Leicester experienced an extremely close call when lightning, during a freak storm on Saturday afternoon, struck the temple's roof. The lightening strike blew a massive hole in the roof of the temple. Worshippers inside had a lucky escape, with no-one suffering serious injuries, after the roof caved in at about 3pm. Three men inside a car outside the temple also had a miracle escape when an 8ft section of roof timber crashed through their car windscreen during the storm.

Ramgarhia Sikh Temple

Temple president Indy Panesar said: "They were sitting there and then 'smash'. The man in the front passenger seat was in a state of shock. He had cuts and bruises but could not believe how the timber had missed him. They were all shaken up, but generally otherwise

okay." A group of elderly women were singing hymns in the temple when the lightning struck. They were showered with debris and roof tiles in the prayer hall, where a section of the building was destroyed. Mr Panesar said the dam-

Charity runner dubbed 'Usingh Bolt' to take on 6th marathon in 7 months

Through his runs, Barry Cheema, from Walsall, aims to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support who have helped several of his close friends. He has been dubbed 'Usingh Bolt' as he begins a challenge of running six full and ten half marathons in just seven months. “I’ve always enjoyed running, but I wanted to set myself a challenge that would surpass anything I have done before,” he said. “I came up with the idea of trying to replicate the number of races I had run in my lifetime within the year. “I felt it would be quite a significant achievement to double my race numbers in such a short time.”

Barry Cheema

Barry has put in around 30 hours of training a week ahead of his first race, the Coventry Half Marathon on March 23. “I chose Macmillan as a lot of my friends have

benefited from their fantastic work in the past,” he said. “Hopefully my challenge will go a small way to help to ensure they can continue their good service in the West Midlands for years to come. My family think I’m a little crazy, but they are extremely supportive of what I’m trying to achieve. My wife even encourages me to go out training when I’m having an off day, so I couldn’t ask for more really!” Coventry’s Half Marathon will start and finish in Coventry city centre and pass through the countryside beyond.

age and destruction could have been a lot worse, as there were 250 people in the prayer room about half an hour before the strike. "We had had a thanksgiving service for one of the priests whose daughter had got married," he said. "Most people had dispersed by about 2.30pm and there were only about 50 people left. There were about 20 people in the main prayer hall, with some of them being the old women singing. It is a miracle no-one was seriously hurt or killed. Mr Panesar also said that luckily the temple's holy scriptures had escaped damage in the roof fall. "The

Leicester window company deceive elderly customers by stealing information A director of a window company and its three staff which used information stolen from a rival firm to deceive elderly customers have been given a suspended jail sentence. The victims were cheated out of deposits for double glazing and other work after being told lies by sales staff at Leicester firm Premier Home Improvements. At least 25 victims, many in their 70s and 80s, lost deposits totaling about £15,000. Work promised was either never carried out or, if customers changed their minds, they never got their money back. In a few cases, work was carried out, but there were complaints about the quality. Christopher Donne, one of the bosses, admitted conspiracy to commit fraud by making false representations, between February and July, 2009. At Leicester Crown Court on Friday, the 57-year-old, of Whitesands Way, Northampton, was given a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for a year, and ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work. Donne's three co-accused were sentenced at an earlier hearing in August last year. In August, codirector Neeraj Madhvani (26), pictured, and his girlfriend, Ekaterina Lycett (28), along with Lee Varnum (27), all admitted conspiracy to commit fraud by making false representations, between February and October 2009. They were each given suspended jail sentences. Jane Sarginson, prosecuting for Leicester trading standards, said all four worked for Zenith Staybrite, but left together when Madhvani and Donne set up Premier Home Improvements, with Lycett and Varnum as sales reps. In August, Madhvani, of Raine Way, Oadby, was given a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for a year, with 180 hours of unpaid work. He was responsible for £11,000 to £15,000 of customers' lost deposits. scriptures were in the main prayer hall and could have taken a direct hit but did not. One of the women respectfully collected them and we put them in a safe place. That was another amazing piece of good fortune." Mangal Singh Loyal, 67, who was in the temple when the lightning struck, said: "We heard one thunder clap, then lightning struck. "I heard a terrible noise then looked towards the main prayer hall. Then I saw women coming out screaming and shouting. They were covered in debris. I looked inside and there was smoke and rubble everywhere. I looked up where the roof had caved in and you could see the sky outside.." Structural engineers from the city council were due to visit to assess the building.

Dr to blame for death of brain haemorrhage patient 48-year-old mother Victoria Pearce “died for nothing” merely a week after being sent home from a troubled Birmingham hospital without undergoing a vital scan, an inquest heard. Mrs Pearce died at Good Hope Hospital on December 1, 2010, after suffering a brain haemorrhage. This occurred only nine days after she was allowed to leave the hospital without having a vital CT scan, despite it being recommended by one doctor who examined her. Dr Masood Qureshi overruled his colleague and decided Mrs Pearce did not need the procedure. Since then, he is

reported to have said that he has endured “sleepless nights” and regretted his decision. Mrs Pearce's husband Christopher, told him: “That does not bring my wife back, you learning.

“My wife died for nothing at the end of the day.” The court heard Mrs Pearce, from Sutton Coldfield, was sent to the town’s hospital by her

GP on November 22. Dr Damian Perrin, a specialist registrar at Good Hope, told the inquest he carried out basic tests and, despite not being unduly worried about Mrs Pearce’s condition, advised a CT scan be conducted. Consultant physician Dr C a t h e r i n e Hulley told the hearing there was no way of k n o w i n g whether a scan on Mrs Pearce’s first visit to the hospital would have detected the haemorrhage. Birmingham coroner Louise Hunt gave the cause of death as acute intracranial haemorrhage and recorded a “natural causes” conclusion. - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

Looking for authentic Indian rice recipes made easy? ȱȱŽ ȱ’•Šȱ ž–Š›Šȱ˜ěŽ›œȱŽ•’Œ’˜žœȱ›ŽŒ’™Žœȱ›ŽŠ¢ȱ˜ȱŽŠȱ’—ȱ“žœȱŘȱ–’—œǯȱȱ Ž ȱ’•Šȱ ž–Š›Šȱ˜ěŽ›œȱŽ•’Œ’˜žœȱ›ŽŒ’™Žœȱ›ŽŠ¢ȱ˜ȱŽŠȱ’—ȱ“žœȱŘȱ–’—œǯȱȱ ȱȱ ˜žȱŒŠ—ȱŽ—“˜¢ȱŽ’‘Ž›ȱ’›¢Š—’ǰȱ ‘’Œ‘’ǰȱ ¢Ž›Š‹Š’ȱŠœŠ•Šǰȱžœ‘›˜˜–ȱ Š””Šȱ ˜žȱŒŠ—ȱŽ—“˜¢ȱŽ’‘Ž›ȱ’›¢Š—’ǰȱ ‘’Œ‘’ǰȱ ¢Ž›Š‹Š’ȱŠœŠ•Šǰȱžœ‘›˜˜–ȱ Š””Šȱ Š—ȱŽŸŽ—ȱŠȱŽœœŽ›ȱ ‘ŽŽ›ȱ ’‘ȱ–’—’–Š•ȱŽě˜›ȱ‹žȱ–Š¡’–ž–ȱŠœŽǯȱȱ Š—ȱŽŸŽ—ȱŠȱŽœœŽ›ȱ ‘ŽŽ›ȱ ’‘ȱ–’—’–Š•ȱŽě˜›ȱ‹žȱ–Š¡’–ž–ȱŠœŽǯȱȱ ŸŠ’•Š‹•ŽȱŠȱŽœŒ˜ǰȱŠ’—œ‹ž›¢Ȃœȱ˜›•ȱ˜˜ȱŠ’œ•Žœǰȱ  ŸŠ’•Š‹•ŽȱŠȱŽœŒ˜ǰȱŠ’—œ‹ž›¢Ȃœȱ˜›•ȱ˜˜ȱŠ’œ•Žœǰȱ  ŒŠ˜ȱŠ—ȱŠ••ȱ˜˜ȱœ’Š—ȱ’—Ž™Ž—Ž—ȱœ˜›Žœǯ ŒŠ˜ȱŠ—ȱŠ••ȱ˜˜ȱœ’Š—ȱ’—Ž™Ž—Ž—ȱœ˜›Žœǯ



UK - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

Spriha Srivastava

AAP launches office in UK Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is in news all over India at this moment because of their coming to power to fight a corrupt system. The political party’s support base is limited not just to India but it spreads to Indians abroad. Indians settled in different parts of the world helped in every way possible in bringing AAP come to power – be it through donation, spreading the word or volunteering. 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. Recently 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 in the afternoon at AAP UK’s South Ealing office where a number of supporters gathered. There was ribbon-cutting, an inauguration speech, national songs and national anthem was sung. Despite the rain and cold weather, a number of supporters gathered to show their support for this one-year old political party that has got the entire nation glued to their TV sets. Following the inau-

guration, the event moved to central London where an action-packed audience came together to discuss a range of with AAP’s issues 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. It was a wonderful day to inaugurate AAP UK office in London and it served the purpose of both paying a tribute as well as establishing AAP’s presence in the UK where thousands of NRIs have been supporting and contributing to the new political party’s efforts.

A new year and another Republic day comes bringing with itself all those aspirations, dreams and a hope for a better tomorrow. Every year there is a speech by the President of India followed by a colourful display of India’s strength at Rajpath. It’s a day to be happy and to be proud of our country’s achievements.

Councillor Bobby Thomas, Honorary Alderman Keith Toms, Pritam Lal – First Secretary to Indian High commission, London Assembly Member Navin Shah and Councillor Harshadbhai Patel A grand Republic Day celebration also took place at Grosvenor Square in London and in Birmingham by the

and rightly so, when we see democratic institutions being weakened by complacency and incompetence. If we hear sometimes an anthem of despair from the street, it is because people feel that a sacred trust is being violated.” On the important issue of corruption he said, “It’s a cancer that erodes democracy, and

Republic Day celebrated in UK

Pensioner uses walking stick to fight off burglars Margaret Holding, 66, takes action as thugs enter her home, which she shares with her seriously ill husband Reginald, 72 Mrs Holding forced two of the men out of the back door and pursued a third, who ran upstairs and started rifling through their bedroom 66 year old pensioner Margaret Holding fought off a gang of three wouldbe burglars by threatening to hit them with her walking stick. Mrs Holding defended herself when thugs entered her home, which she shares with her seriously ill husband Reginald, 72, through an open back door. The raiders told them they had seen a man run into their semi-detached property in Tern Hill, Shropshire, at 6.45pm on Tuesday and were trying to catch him.

Margaret Holding

But Mrs Holding, a retired hotel manager, refused to believe them and turned on the men with her stick and threatened to hit them until they left. Mr Holding, a retired plumber, who suffers from heart, kidney and lung problems as well as diabetes, was upstairs at the time and telephoned the police from the bedroom. Mrs Holding forced two of the men out of the

back door and pursued a third, who ran upstairs and started rifling through their bedroom. She again used her walking stick to force the man out of her house. All three men fled emptyhanded. Another man who was acting as a lookout in the garden also ran off. Police are hunting three men who are described as white and in their early 20s. Two are thought to have Irish accents.

MP Douglas Carswell MP chases after and catches shoplifter

A shoplifter remained stunned when an MP of his own borough chased after him and handed him over to police. 42 year old, Douglas Carswell, the Conservative MP for Clacton, saw a man running out of a shop in his Essex constituency with items falling out of his pockets and store detectives chasing after him. Mr Carswell, who runs regularly, quickly outpaced him. Holding him down against the wall in an alley way whilst awaiting police, he told the suspected shoplifter: “You probably don’t want to hear this, but I’m your local MP.”

Mr Carswell reportedly told the Telegraph: “I was walking down Pier Avenue in Clacton when I noticed a store detective shouting at someone sprinting. I thought, I think I can outpace this guy and gave chase. I ran down Pier Avenue, went

On Friday an NRI IT Consultant started a 3 day hunger strike outside the Indian High Commission, in Aldwych, London to protest against the Indian Government’s failure to introduce absentee ballots for NRIs around the world. Absentee ballot is a vote cast by someone who is unable or unwilling to attend the official polling station. The co-founder of the

Pravasi Bharat group that was set up in 2012, Mr Nagendra Chindam reportedly said “This is the very last resort. We have written numerous letters, organised peaceful protests and a march in London in October 2012 but the government has failed to address the issue,” Mr.Chindam held the fast by consuming only water until 4pm on 26th

Douglas Carswell

after him into an alley way and put him up against the wall. “I said, “You don’t want to hear this but I’m your MP.” I can put him down as not a supporter. His language was rather unparliamentarily. The store detective arrived. I had my iPad under my arm and tweeted, and the police later arrived.” He said when the police arrived they thanked him for his efforts and took the suspect away. Following the heroics Mr Carswell tweeted: "Just chased and caught a shop lifter in Clacton... waiting for police."

IT consultant on hunger strike demanding absentee ballots for NRIs

This year the event was celebrated in yet another grand way among Indians in London. There is always a flag hoisting by the Indian High Commissioner at the High Commission. This is followed by everyone listening to President of India’s speech. The event was also celebrated in a grand manner by the Brent Indian Association, Wembley. BIA is an association of Indians which was set up in 1965 by Ghanshyambhai Patel and Sureshbhai Patel. The event was attended by Shri Dhanjibhai Tanna MBE, Virendra Sharma MP, Mayor of Brent –

Indian High Commission for well-known Indians here. Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan is due to host its Republic Day Celebrations next week. Among all the celebrations, the most important bit is always the President’s speech. This time, the speech was extremely significant because of a new government in Delhi. President Mukherjee said, “Some cynics may scoff at our commitment to democracy but our democracy has never been betrayed by the people; its fault-lines, where they exist, are the handiwork of those who have made power a gateway to greed. We do feel angry,

weakens the foundations of our state. If Indians are enraged, it is because they are witnessing corruption and waste of national resources. If governments do not remove these flaws, voters will remove governments.” He also added that “The last decade witnessed the emergence of India as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The slowdown of our economy in the last two years can be some cause for concern but none for despair. The green shoots of revival are already visible. The agricultural growth in the first half of this year has touched 3.6 per cent and rural economy”

Let us know what you think. Email Spriha at

January and broke his fast near the Mahatma Gandhi Statue at Tavistock square in London. They gathered to lay floral tributes to the Mahatma, sang the Indian National anthem and also signed a petition together to state that all NRIs are concerned citizens of India residing abroad want to take part ibn its democratic electoral process.

Rich Chinese swarm UK on investor visas A large part of this growth could be to do with the large number of rich Chinese people who are coming to the UK on investor visas. This is interesting because with so few Chinese MPs or Peers in government, and a stronger representative of Indian MPs, it

is surprising that Indians are not offered the same entrepreneurial and investor visas that the Chinese have. According to statistics, the number of wealthy businessmen and women in China taking advantage of the investor visa programme

has increased by a quarter. If looking at figures, it is clear to see that India does not follow too far behind China in terms of the number of wealthy individuals. China has 157 billionaires whilst India only has 54 less with 103 billionaires. - Asian Voice 1st February 2014 Continued from page 1

Fresh revelations also suggest that Thatcher had also played a significant role by offering military advice in 1980s, to crush the separatist Tamil Eelam movement in Lanka. Reports have claimed former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had asked her British counterpart Margaret Thatcher to stop helping Sri Lanka with military advice, according to newly declassified documents. The Department for Work and Pensions announced last week that Sikhs will no longer be forced to wear hard hats or helmets inside factories and warehouses. British Sikhs have complained about the law since it was introduced in 1989. However, some Sikh groups questioned the timing of the government's announcement, which coincides with an ongoing inquiry into Britain's alleged role in Operation Bluestar, the Indian Army's operation to flush out militants from the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Amrik Singh, Chairman of the Sikh Federation UK, reportedly claimed this move as a "sweetener" to deal with the fallout of the allegations, which are being probed by Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood under instructions of the British Prime

Is the Government lifting turban ban to appease British Sikhs?

Tigers of Tamil Eelam Minister David Cameron. to give a positive lead by (LTTE) forces and other He said, "There's an old making constructive suggroups in the north and political saying that 'timing gestions at the All Parties east of the island is everything' in nation. politics. This long Ricketts wrote: overdue closure of “The Sri Lankan a loophole in government have employment law engaged another is welcome, yet it British company will do little to (name removed) to assuage the great provide training in concern that the c o u n t e r - t e r ro r i s t government of techniques…The 2014 may refuse presence of (the to reveal the truth PM Cameron during his visit to Golden Temple, Amritsar, India company’s) employabout the governees, including some ment of 1984." ex-SAS personnel, in Sri Conference. Military aid Thatcher link to anti Lanka, has aroused conand anti-insurgency assisTamil Eelam movement and the Indian troversy are not enough to tance in Sri Lanka government have overcome a political crisis Fresh controversies sugexpressed concern to us which has to be faced and gest that Former Indian about the firm’s involveresolved.” Prime Minister Indira ment. According to another Gandhi had asked her “We have made it clear document, the British govBritish counterpart that this is a purely comernment under Thatcher Margaret Thatcher to stop mercial matter and that allowed former SAS offihelping Sri Lanka with HMG (Her Majesty’s cers to train Sri Lankan military advice to crush Government) are not security forces against the the separatist Tamil Eelam involved.” LTTE. movement in the 1980s, The firm was allowed The new set of docuaccording to newly declasto continue working in Sri ments, that will intensify sified documents. Lanka. speculation over SAS In a document relating operations in the region, to Sri Lanka, released by Educating the suggest that in September the National Archives in community 1984, Peter Ricketts – priLondon under the 30-year The Times of India recentvate secretary to foreign declassification rule, a refly reported that the Sikh secretary Geoffrey Howe – erence was apparently Council UK had organised wrote to David Barclay – made to India’s suspicion a series of meetings in private secretary to then in 1984 that Britain’s elite prominent Sikh-inhabited prime minister Thatcher – Special Air Service (SAS) areas like Southall and about a request to allow a was training the Sri Ilford in London, British company with SAS Lankan military. Wolverhampton and Leeds connections to work in Sri The Indian Express over the last weekends to Lanka. reported that Gandhi told update the community on The Sri Lankan govThatcher: “We hope that these recent disclosures. ernment under President J you will use your influence Noting that the letters R Jayewardene was then to persuade (Sri Lanka’s) released by the National tackling the Liberation President J R Jayewardene

Archives were dated severmonths before al Operation Bluestar, the Sikh Council UK said: "The community wants to know what else were the UK government saying and doing over all that time." Labour MP Tom Watson and Lord Indarjit Singh have also demanded an explanation, while UK political parties have asked for a first hand knowledge of the developments in the investigation that has been probed by Cameron.

Reaction in India

Despite General Brar, the military commander who led the Operation Bluestar, having rubbished claims that UK special forces advised and assisted the Indian operations, all India Forward Bloc (AIFB) has reportedly said that B Raman, then additional director of research and analysis wing (RAW), in his book 'The Kaoboys of R&AW: Down Memory Lanes', has claimed that two officers of the British Security Services (MI-5) had visited the Golden Temple as tourists and advised then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on the operations in the temple. The party has demanded a time-bound thorough probe into the matter and a statement from the Prime Minister and foreign ministers of India on this issue.



Immigration aiding to Britain's financial recovery? The government has remained divided on the heated debate of Immigration over the last week. Nigel Mills, Tory MP, who was at the front of criticising David Cameron, called for tougher restrictions. Many people also remain worried about the impact of migrants on public services and the jobs market, but, in contrast, according to recent figures declared by coalition ministers, the economy is now growing at the fastest rate since the financial crisis. This proves Britain is on the right course and suggests that the large influx of immigrants into the country over the last few years could be aiding to this recovery. Official released on figures Monday 27 Jan show the economy grew by 0.7% in the last quarter of 2013. Growth last year was 1.9% in all, the biggest annual expansion since 2007, when the financial crisis began. We would like to apolfor ogise publishing the wrong photo of Lord Ahmad in AV last week (pg 7). Following is the correct photograph of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon.



India celebrated its 65th Republic Day with all the pomp and gaiety befitting the historic occasion. The Constitution of India has stood its test of time and has proved its capability to handle the vagaries of a vibrant democratic process. The President’s address to the nation also amplified clearly, if it was ever needed, that Mr. Pranab Mukherjee has risen to the occasion. A lifelong devoted Congressman, senior member of the Congress-led governments for years, Mr. Mukherjee himself has witnessed 10 years of malfunctioning in the UPA government and its several scandals of corruptions and wheelings and dealings. He correctly observed the challenges and opportunities faced by the electors of the 16th Parliamentary election due in about three months. The Prime Minister of Japan was the chief guest. The President’s speech was able to manifest his vigilance as the Constitutional Head of India. The Vigilance Commission against corruption has proved to be ineffective. The Supreme Court of India has taken bold steps to rectify several errors and blunders of the Union and State governments. Even the CBI has not been able to discharge its duties objectively all the time. The Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) has been able to expose several scandals. The four pillars of any democracy; Constitution, Executive, Judiciary and the Media are playing their part, which are giving rise to optimism, hope and confidence for the future. India is bigger in size than Western Europe. Its population is nearly four times larger than that of E.U. countries. The vibrancy is matched by the variety of various regions of India. The contradictions in education, economic development and social parameters like human development index are very wide. In spite of such Himalayan problems, the nation has remained democratic, secular and has entered the 65th year as the Republic with tremendous potentiality. Media – both Print as well as Electronic - has hundreds, if not thousands of players, up and down the length and breadth of the country in several languages. The languages of India are not an obstacle but has proved to be of an added advantage. The social media is playing a very useful and vital role in this election campaign. Without any doubt one can summarise that the privately owned media are able to act in public good. Recently, in an exclusive article in Asian Voice by the former Chief Election Commission of India, S.Y. Quraishi ‘Conducting elections in the world’s largest democracy’ on 18th January, 2014, after reading Mr. Quraishi’s article any reader would have clear idea about the logistics and the implementation of the general elections in India laid out so brilliantly in its Constitution.

Enter Aam Adami Party

The clock is ticking very fast for the 16th general election. Until 8 weeks ago it was a two horses’ race between the two major political parties – the Congress and the BJP. However, nearly six weeks ago, only a year old political outfit, the Aam Adami Party (common man’s party) popularly known as AAP entered

the fray. It has not only mesmerised the nation by its stunning success in Delhi State but also challenged the supremacy of the Congress and the BJP. Congress is a very old political party, more than 125 years old and has remained left leaning since the time of Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru– the first Prime Minister of India who was credited for so many innovative initiatives for science and technology, but his preference for a socialistic pattern of society acted like chains. It was only in 1991 that India marched on the path of free market by liberalizing its economy. Sadly the man who helped India to embark upon such a path, Dr. Manmohan Singh was unable to pursue his policies thoroughly. Maybe it was the compulsion of coalition politics. Maybe it was inherent tradition of Nehru-Gandhi dynasty or it was due to the power politics within the Congress apparatus. All the same, India was at par with South Korea around six decades ago and is now so far behind that any statistical data is disheartening for any Indian. AAP is perhaps strong on ideals and very short in delivery. Its economic ideas are of the old left and could take India back to its socialist past. The Congress party was expected to take giant stride on the 17th of January with proclamation of Rahul Gandhi as their PM candidate. Several indications were given, lots of hopes and expectations arose but eventually in the words of Narendra Modi “I see a very human, sensitive reason for the decision. Would any mother sacrifice her son? Sonia Gandhi thought of saving his son”. He went on saying that primarily, her party “is staring at certain defeat”. One may agree or not with the wordings of Mr. Modi but the effect is the same. The reality as read by the Congress leadership that they are unable to win the adequate numbers of seats in the Lok Sabha to cobble together a working coalition will not be hidden from the indian voters. The internal quarrels within AAP are now surfacing. Some of the irresponsible and unacceptable statements of its stalwarts and the confrontation of the Delhi state’s Law Minister with the police officers in that notorious incident shown on the television would not convey a very dignified message. Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, a well-meaning and intelligent Indian, took some rash decisions regarding Janata Darbar and the worst of all was

Man sentenced to life imprisonment

A man has been sentenced to life imprisonment, to serve a minimum of 16 years, for murdering his wife in east London on Tuesday. Rojel Haque, 40 of Shrewsbury Road, E7, pleaded guilty at Blackfriars Crown Court to the murder of 27-year-old Anu Kapoor on Sunday 4 August 2013. Haque initially stated that he had come home - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

Election Process Gains Momentum As I See It

from work to find his wife stabbed at their home address. Anu worked as a receptionist at a firm of solicitors. The couple have a boy (8) and a girl, aged (2). Haque was arrested at the scene a short time after police attended. He was charged with murdering his wife on 7 August.

Dharna on the streets of New Delhi.

The race narrows in

Even his strongest supporters have described such acts as naïve, immature and even irresponsible. The three horses’ race has now become a two horses’ race again between the two arch rivals – the BJP and the Congress. After the convenient exit of Mr. Rahul Gandhi, Narendra Modi gave a very detailed statement about his policies for the nation. One may or may not agree with Mr. Modi, but he has a successful experience of running the state of Gujarat, where for the past 12 years there was continuous economic progress with communal harmony (a record period in that part of India) and, in principle as well as in practice, his policies were all inclusive.

There is no other candidate to compare with the experience of Narendra Modi. The poll projections released in India in the last few days from respectable organisations show BJP's lead in the Lok Sabha. The average projection is 212 seats for the BJP, which is though much higher than 138 seats in last Lok Sabha but still it is 80 odd seats short of a workable majority. One can expect that the BJP policy makers and the leaders have their own strategy and plan of action. In June 2013 when Mr. Modi was declared as the Chief of the BJP’s Campaign Committee, there were so many murmurs and reservations within the party. There were some open voices of dissent. But today the situation has changed dramatically all over India. The BJP appears to be united and with one voice. Senior BJP leaders like LK Advani, Shtrugan Sinha and many more up and down the country have become staunch supporters of Modi. The battle is now more focused in

several states with strong regional parties. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar as well as the other smaller states can make or mar the BJP dreams to give India a workable and experienced strong government. Karnataka has proved that the four southern states are not off-limits for BJP. In the Northern Hindi belt the BJP bandwagon is marching ahead and as seen from London the obstacle laid in its path by the BSP, SP, RJD and also TNC are there but not totally insurmountable. It reminds one of the time, of the integration of the states in 1946-47. VP Menon, the able administration assistant for Sardar Patel, has described the process how nearly 562 princely states became part of the Indian Union and the one nation of such huge size and population was reestablished. Some princely states were very keen to declare themselves “Independent” as per British Parliament's Act of Indian Independence of 1947. Some were large, prosperous and powerful too, but Patel and his team was able to convey clearly to the Maharajas or Nawabs that the people of India have arose with one voice and if British find it sensible to withdraw gracefully, how are you going to oppress the expectations of your people. Something similar could happen in the next phase of election campaign of the BJP. It is not generally known in the West but Mr. Modi is not the one man army. He has been backed by some of the brightest men and women in the political process, media, academia and industrialists. He is taking his steps very carefully. Yes, AAP’s role could have been his spoiler to a large extent but its own projections are not indicative of such a decisive role in the next Lok Sabha. The timing of the elections will be chosen by PM Manmohan Singh. Of course, the remote control is in the hands of the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. But it appears that it is impossible for the Congress and its allies to change the expected result of the next election. 23 million Indian overseas are also becoming active, especially in the USA, Canada and the UK. Most of the recent arrivals in these countries are Indian citizens, almost all of them are young. Some of them very well educated professionals and they have the right to vote in Indian elections. Earlier in the USA and now in the UK, the Overseas Volunteers for Better India is active since May 2013 to encourage voters’ registration as well as to have them more and more involved in campaigning. OVBI is able to deploy its social media prowess to fulfil its dream. This organisation is encouraged and founded by the Art of Living organization of Sri Ravi Shanker with a huge following in many countries. Of course, some other parties have similar outfits. After all, overseas voters are minuscule compared to 700 million voters in India. The forthcoming election in India could be a turning point for the national party's rule in India or at least the more effective and better governance without undue bargaining of the regional parties when they have the upper hand in the coalition government.

19 arrested in Home office raid targeting Indians

16 addresses raided by the UK Home Office targeting suspected immigration scam by Khalsa Missionary Society has led to 19 arrests. The organisation is alleged to have brought religious preachers in the UK, who have then disappeared, the PTI has reported. Ten people were arrested on suspicion of obtaining leave by deception during the early morn-

ing raids in a Home Office, or interior ministry, investigation that was supported by officers from the National Crime Agency. Addresses are now also being searched in Birmingham, Slough, Southall, Southampton, Luton, Hounslow and Leicester. The probe is targeted at sponsoring of Indians to work at the society as Ministers of Religion, under the Tier 2 and Tier 5 migrant workers


system. A further nine people were arrested for immigration offences, including overstaying their visas. In September 2013, 17 people were arrested as part of the same operation when properties were searched in Manchester, Glasgow, Huddersfield, Middlesex, Pangbourne and Wolverhampton. Three separate cash seizures were also made.

UK - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

Leading Lights

Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Award-Winning Lady Lawyer set a Child Care Agenda Uma Mehta is the Chief Community Services Lawyer at the London Borough of Islington. She joined Islington Council in August 2007, having qualified in private practice in 1991. She is the winner of the Law Society's Excellence AwardsCategory, In-House Solicitor of the Year 2013/2014. Over 650 lawyers and their guests joined the President of the Law Society, Nicholas Fluck, and BBC Today Show host Mishal Husain at the Park Plaza Hotel. The awards recognised the most outstanding practitioners in their field and were open to individuals and teams across the entire legal sector. Uma Mehta was recognised for making a difference to the lives of vulnerable children. At Islington, she has overarching responsibility for the Community Services Team. Uma spe-

Uma Mehta being presented with the Solicitor of the Year Award by the Law Society

cialises in Child Care Law/Adoption and Community Care Law. Uma was born in Kenya, East Africa. She speaks Hindi and Punjabi. Uma gained her Coaching and Mentoring Certificate in 2011 and her Diploma in Local

Government Law and Practice, (distinction), 2012. This bright lady is a member of a number of panels and boards including the Children Law panel. Uma was recently appointed as one of the specialist advisors to the

Research based writers and advertising personnel required

Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar have an excellent record in publishing theme based special issues besides the two newsweeklies. In 2013 we published British Punjabis, Finance, Banking and Insurance, Diwali Special, Asian Achievers Awards, Asian House and Home from our UK offices and from India offices we published several special issues such as Rajkot, Anand (Charotar), Vadodara, Medical Tourism, to name a few. Asian Business Publications special issues are not only full of informations but they are also preserved by a large number of readers as a resource for future use. We have been approached by several readers to put together a very informative and useful special issues on:

a. British Lohanas b. Leicester Special

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

Victoria Climbie Foundation UK. Uma has trained 732 Family Judges in England and Wales on the new Public Law Outline, a Case Management System designed to reduce delay in child care proceedings, enabling child care cases to conclude within 26 weeks. This is groundbreaking legal work in relation to Care Proceedings/vulnerable children and the relationship between Local Authorities and the Judiciary across England and Wales. Uma went beyond her day job in making the new 26 week deadline for childcare cases a reality for the judiciary and local authorities, putting Islington at the forefront in this field. In addition, Uma brought in about £12,000 income by training the Judges and other Local Authorities in relation to how it can and should be done. While this training programme has been successfully completed, Uma's commitment to the judicial modernisation programme and to improving the court process for the children and families who come into contact with it continues. Key players value her knowledge and expertise, and she is often asked to contribute to changes as they are developed. Uma is helping draft Local Authority Guidance on care applications made under the new PLO, and she has also accepted an invitation by the

Department of Education to join a working group to assist in the rewriting of Volume One of the Government Guidance, entitled 'Court Orders'. Last year, Uma spoke at the Family Law Conference held at the Law Society with regard to Law, Family and Religion in Family Courts, providing an expert view on how local authorities act when dealing with child protection issues involving faith involvement in families.

“No other solicitor in her position has been able to achieve what she achieved” Lord Justice Ryder, Court of Appeal Judge Lord Justice Ryder, Court of Appeal Judge and Head of the Family Court M o d e r n i s a t i o n Programme, said of Uma (permission has been granted to release these contents): “It is rare for a Local Government solicitor to have engaged with the judiciary as Uma has done. She took the trouble to arrange training for legal and social care colleagues across London authorities which for the first time in a generation involved the senior judiciary - allowing us to explain what we needed and local authorities to

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explain their own internal good practice and governance. The resulting meeting of minds has improved understanding, mutual good practice and professional relations at a time of significant change for us all. Uma was the first solicitor to explain to the Judicial College what it is that judges needed to know about local government and she has become a very effective trainer and communicator. No other solicitor in her position has been able to achieve what she achieved, this last year in particular. The programme she devised with us has been rolled out to all family judges and now to a significant number of local authorities. It has not only significantly improved systems and good practice across England and Wales but it has put local authority good practice and Islington in particular 'on the map'.” Law Society President Nicholas Fluck said of Uma’s achievement: 'This year's winners have set new precedents in the legal profession and are some of the brightest minds and most innovative businesses in England and Wales- they are the Olympians of law... 'The winners should be justly proud of the great work they have done which has led to this award. The Law Society is committed to recognising and celebrating excellence in the legal profession and we congratulate our winners on this huge achievement.'

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Takeaways & Deliveries



YOUR VOICE - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

Duty outweighs loyalty

Historical exaggerations

Hidden Indian History

Legacy of a Street Vendor

I have been following long running saga of Cllr Sodha since she was unceremoniously deselected in Hendon, after being devoted Labour Councillor working check by jowl with Asian community, gaining cross-party support from her constituents that would stand her in good stead. She was replaced by newcomer who joined the party less than year ago, conveniently bending party rules. Indian community feels that they are being marginalized, being used as Ventricular dummies at election time and then ignored. Irony is that few privileged members, obsessed with trappings of office, are having strangle-holds in some constituencies with detrimental effect. Cllr Navin Shah AM, the most popular Asian who deserves to be in HOC/HOL has never been selected as Parliamentary candidate. It is time for “Om Kranti” not “Om Shanti” for Indian community on political front. There is no need for surrogate apologists. It would have been tragic loss if Cllr Sodha had retired from politics under logic of despair. Even as Conservative Councillor, she will be great asset to Asian community, especially as under David Cameron, party is appreciating law abiding, entrepreneurial Indian community and gave us our first Gujarati male and female MPs. Labour has moved away from founding principles so ably demonstrated by past Labour leaders like Aneurin Bevan who gave us NHS and Clement Attlee who won first election after WW2 defeating Churchill who saved the nation from clutches of Hitler. Then we were lumbered with Blair and Brown for decades. Let us applaud, appreciate and support Cllr Sodha in May election.

Though Mr. B. Avari’s letter, regarding Mogul and British rule is commensurate to his status in History section of Manchester University. He is not justified to call mythology as false, brooding and inaccurate. Modern science has acknowledged reports of ultra-post modern scientific, technological narratives depicted in epics and legends in mythologies. Ram’s journey across south India via Nasik, Swetbindu-Rameshwar and Ram-setu(renamed as Adam’s bridge) are irrefutable facts. Sri Lanka has acknowledged existence of many Vimanas owned by Ravan. Flame throwing, rain-making weapons and thermonuclear weapons, mentioned in Mahabharat, are no secret today. IVF reproduction methods and trephining to relieve pressure on brain-as mentioned in mythologies are also acknowledged. History must flow from base of mythology into large and all inclusive thought system of concept and fullness. Such history can lead us into contact with ultimate reality-the causal factor. Retrogression into mythological past is not brooding. It is awareness that Indian greatness and strength is not sullied by centuries of tyranny and loot by Moguls and British. Correct concoction of provable/ accurate history with ethereal mythologies is the only weapon to fight malignancy that has seeped into all walks of India’s national, political, military/defence/security, social and personal fabric, If human psyche, in fullest totality may be considered as Purusha, provable/accurate history must be considered as visible body then mythologies must be invisible but essential skeletal framework. In terms of science, history can be physically visible entity, whereas mythologies as quantum; invisible but undeniably and insidiously influencing all aspects of human psyche.

Mr Avari in “Historical Exaggerations” (AV 25th Jan 2013) wants to have his cake and eat it. He says “The British brought post-Renaissance and post-Enlightenment philosophy of Europe into India and helped introduce modernity” and ends with.” It was not the Mughals who trampled India’s dignity, it was our good old British friends”. Both are tainted with what Edward Said in his book “Orientalism” states as “the other”, a western view of peoples of the East. Muslim rulers decimated Hindu temples as per Koranic verses and a holocaust of 80 million Hindus dead resulted, since their arrival in Hindustan (Islamic term), a mountain range named so (Hindu Kush). The Europeans sucked the blood out of their colony, be it the Goan Inquisition 1545, the Panipat 1761,Jhansi 1857-8, and Jallianwala Bagh massacres, or mutiny of 1857. Truth be Europe was lifted from its 800 years of dark ages by Islamic scholars, who combined the knowledge of Ancient Greece and Ancient Hindus. In particular Fibonacci in “Liber Abaci” (1254 ACE) introduced Hindu mathematics to the British, via the Italian Renaissance. More telling is when the US colonies fought free from the British King, in 1777 with descriptions of him as “destroyer, plunderer, waging war, death, desolation, tyranny” his defeated army promptly set off to “modernise” India according to Mr Avari and his chart, resulting in the cataclysmic decline of Indian GDP, well documented by Marxists, leaving it in utter poverty by 1947, and only because they themselves were bankrupted by WWII. One thing Europe did teach India is do learn from your own history.

The violence in Syria’s civil war is escalating with no end in sight to the misery inflicted by the regime on its own people. The conflict has left more than 100,000 dead and millions displaced. The opposition and US said President have been reported as saying that Bashar alAssad, the Syrian ruler, had no legitimacy to lead and must step down from power. The conflict could be said to have followed in the wake of the violence in Egypt when President Mubarak was ousted, soon after the removal from power of the rulers of Tunisia, Libya, Yemen and other Arab countries in a follow on from an incident when a Tunisian street vendor set himself to fire in protest of the confiscation of his wares and the harassment and humiliation that was inflicted on him by municipal officials. His act started demonstrations and riots throughout Tunisia in protest of social and political issues in the country and spread to other Arab countries which saw an end of power of their rulers. The Syrian government and the main political opposition are discussing a transition of power for the country at a major peace conference at Montreux in Switzerland. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has been quoted as saying that Syrians must come together to save their country, protect their children and find a peaceful path to a better future. Let’s hope that the talks in Switzerland will result in a peaceful solution for this country torn by civil war.

Bhupendra M Gandhi Via Email

Under One Sky – the latest victim

It appears that under the present elected-mayor style leadership of the Harrow council, nothing survives that is not personally liked, should this be the chief executive or much enjoyed Under One Sky! Harrow council acknowledged the joyful event and said, “thank you to everyone that came along and enjoyed the sunshine and entertainment for the 2013 Under One Sky Festival”. But those were the sober times. Now the event will not go ahead because the funds will be allocated to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Harrow being granted the status of municipal borough, which would be held before the local council elections in May. Harrow mayor and elected-mayor type leader of the council seem to have commonality of purpose to glorify each other/ themselves through the public funds. They seem to be in a hurry to crown themselves knowing that most probably none of them would be in their

Ramesh Jhalla Via Email

Modi’s challenge

Assuming that Narendra Modi becomes India’s next prime minister, what do you think should be at the top of his “to do” list? Eliminating corruption? Or would his efforts amount to nothing more than trying to stop a rampaging bull in its tracks with a pea-shooter? Rudy Otter Via email respective positions after May. Otherwise, the two events could have been held together after May elections. To salt the wounds, they suggest that Under One Sky could be held by the voluntary sector. May I suggest that both ‘mayors’ pay from their pocket for the anniversary as they are likely to gain most from the celebrations.

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Jayesh A Patel Wimbledon

People Expect Progress

Let us gauge who will fulfil voters’ expectations. Of course we are deliberating about the situation in India and the upcoming Lok Sabha election. Indians are nobody’s fools, they have booted out previous governments including that of Vajpayee’s for not fulfilling their expectations. The recent events in Delhi State are a farce to be laughed at in comic strips. Dharana on pavement, Mogul Durbar for grievances and free water and electricity are the first acts by Kejriwal after assuming Chief Ministerial office. These are not serious endeavours to execute policies to satiate people’s desire for better life but rather to fool them to think that way. These acts remind us of the Nehru era when distribution of wealth rather than creation of wealth was the buzz word. Rahul Gandhi has no record of his own in governance. Amethi constituency has sent generations of Gandhi to the Lok Sabha but it is not better off vis-a-vis any other constituency. The present governing party has brought back Licence Raj and suffocating degree of control over private industry. However it seems, their main aim is to fragment population in manageable chunks. Modi has governance record for more

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Pronouncing it right

A person from any race must try to pronounce a word in a language other than his own, correctly. I would like to mention an example in Hinduism. The incarnations of bhagwan Vishnu are bhagwan Ram and Krushn. In Gujarati Ram is pronounced as Ram and not Rama and Krushn is pronounced as Krushn. But in English it is pronounced as Krishna. In the oldest language Sanskrit, the word Krishna means a girl! Another word in Gujarati is pronounced as Yog but in English it is called Yoga. I do not have any problem accepting how these words are written in English, but people must try to pronounce the word according to its language of origin. Kantilal Thakershi Pankhania Via Email0 than a decade in Gujarat for anyone to analyse. He has always talked about progress of Gujaratis and Indians. Unity is his aim which anyone can discern in his words. His speeches and acts are vetted by highest courts in the land and they have given clean chit to him. Will people trust the courts or the mischief-mongers whose sole aim is to malign Modi and ruin Bharat? All equations indicate that the best chance of economic and social progress is with Modi at the helm. Narsibhai Patel New Malden

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London & Manchester as areas where Asian Voice Annual properties are most at risk of burglary Youth Conference - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

Twelve London postcodes and areas of Manchester have made it to the top of a list of areas with the highest burglary rates. The M21 postcode in is the Manchester most burgled area in Britain, whilst twelve London postcodes are also on the list of the 20 areas at risk. According to insurance claim figures, there were 45.2 claims per thousand people living in the M21 postcode. But Herne Hill and Tulse Hill in SE24 in London were close behind with 41.8, and Muswell Hill in N10 with 40.9. The figures came from 3.1 million home insurance quotes submitted to w e b s i t e over the course of a year.

The top 20 were derived from the areas where the most people reported having made previous claims for burglary, per thousand people. Kevin Pratt from the website said: ''While the M21 postal district in Manchester is the country's most notorious burglary claim hotspot, it is London that dominates the top 20 rankings. But just because somewhere is named a claim hotspot, it doesn't actually mean the area in question is not a nice place to live. Thieves often target areas with wealthy residents and desirable properties where the rewards are potentially greater or quieter areas where they think there is less risk of being caught red-handed.''

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.


18. 19. 20.

The 20 most burgled areas of Britain:

M21 - Chorlton-cum-Hardy; Barlow Moor, Manchester, 45.2 SE24 - Herne Hill; Tulse Hill (part), London, 41.8 N10 - Muswell Hill, London, 40.9 RM8 - Dagenham; Becontree; Becontree Heath, London, 35.9 N2 - East Finchley; Fortis Green; Hampstead Garden Suburb (part), London, 34.5 L18 - Allerton; Mossley Hill, Liverpool, 33.3 L22 - Waterloo, Liverpool, 32.6 N18 - Upper Edmonton; Edmonton (part), London, 32.3 UB6 - Greenford; Perivale, London, 30.9 SE27 - West Norwood; Gipsy Hill (part), London, 30.5 B73 - Boldmere; New Oscott; Wylde Green, Birmingham, 29.5 E8 - Hackney Central; Dalston; London Fields, London, 29.4 DN2 - Intake; Wheatley; Wheatley Hills, Doncaster, 28.7 N20 - Whetstone; Totteridge; Oakleigh Park, London, 28.0 E9 - Homerton; Hackney Wick; South Hackney; Hackney Marshes; Victoria Park, London, 27.8 N11 - New Southgate; Friern Barnet; Bounds Green; Arnos Grove (part), London, 27.7 N16 - Stoke Newington; Stamford Hill (part); Shacklewell; Dalston (part); Newington Green (part), London, 27.7 LS16 - Adel, Bramhope; Cookridge; Eccup; Far Headingley; Holt Park; Ireland Wood; Lawnswood; Moor Grange; Tinshill; Weetwood; West Park, Leeds, 27.6 B24 - Erdington; Tyburn, Birmingham, 27.6 HP10 - High Wycombe; Flackwell Heath; Handy Cross; Hedsor; Loudwater; Penn; Tylers Green; Wooburn; Wooburn Green; Wooburn Moor, Buckinghamshire,

Times League Table declares Swaminarayan School best in Brent

The publication of the Times School League Table for 2013 has revealed that The Swaminarayan School is amongst the best performing schools once again. The League table, which was published on Friday 24 January 2014, was based on boroughs and listed the highest achieving schools in order of highest GCSE results. The Swaminarayan School, which is Independent, topped the list of best schools in the borough of Brent. At GCSE, the School is one of only 113 schools out of more than 4000 secondary schools in England that has achieved a 100% 5A*C passes at GCSE, includ-

ing English and Mathematics. The English Baccalaureate percentage is 67% compared to the national average of 18%. The percentage of A*-A grades is 63%. At A Level, the performance score per student of 863.8 is the highest ever; the percentage of A*-A grades stands at 49%; and the performance score per subject of 243.9 is the same as the second placed A Level school in the country. The Swaminarayan School beat other high achievers in the area, including Wembley High Tech College, Menorah High School, Kingsbury

Cumbria University to become world's first to use Bitcoin as tuition fee

Cumbria University becomes the first public university in the world to accept digital currency Bitcoin as a method of paying tuition fees. However, a private university in Cyprus announced last year that it would start so. Those attending two new courses examining the role of complementary currencies, run by the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS), will be permitted to use the units. The University said it hoped that the acceptance of Bitcoin on these courses would lead to “learning by doing”. Bitcoin is often referred to as a new kind of currency and payment system which enables the international transmission of funds. It has become the world’s most expensive currency and its per unit value soared past $1,200 level in November 2013.

High School and Claremont High School. The Swaminarayan Independent DaySchool was set up by founder Pramukh Swami Maharaj in 1992. It aims to be a school of excellence, encapsulating the best of both contemporary British educational practice and the rich heritage of Hindu culture.

UK's top universities not to extend admission to more students David Eastwood, Chairman of the Russell Group has reportedly announced that most of the England’s top universities are at full capacity and will not 'damage their status' by extending admission to more students. In an interview, the vice chancellor reportedly said that, “Any expansion would involve middleranking universities aiming at students with lower grades. Top universities risked damaging their reputations if they admitted students with lower grades”. Top universities are always the first choice of students and they go to the middle-ranking universities only if they don’t get admission in the top universities. Last year, it was announced that there will be a significant expansion of higher education in 2014 which will benefit the students with solid but not spectacular A-level result. However, Eastwood’s comments indicate that they are not planning to admit any more students once those universities are full.

Asian Voice is organising its annual Youth Conference in March 2014. The Conference aims to inspire the younger generation by offering them a chance to network with successful people, participate in a number of workshops, network amongst themselves and receive valid advice, skills and tips to reach their goals.

Networking Evening On Friday 28 March, we will be hosting a networking evening with drinks and canapés, where we are inviting keynote speakers from different sectors to speak for 10 minutes about their field, journey to success and offer any advice to the participants. This will be taking place from 6pm 8.30pm. Venue: TBC (Central London/City). Admission: Prior Registration Only Workshop Afternoon The 4 hours workshop on Saturday March 29, 2014, will involve various discussions and

mentoring opportunities on importance of thinking outside the box (start ups), how to use social media to sharpen your entrepreneurial skills, how to develop ideas, transform them into a business and offer financial tips. There will be practical advice on interview techniques and preparations, team building exercises, how to develop leadership and interpersonal skills and much more. There will also be ample scope for

the participants to win attractive prizes. Venue: TBC (Central London/City) Admission: Prior Registration only To Register email with full name, age, email and phone number.

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Delhi and the rest OF INDIA were treated to the Arvind Kejriwal Aam Aadmi vaudeville. The capital’s pied piper who promised solutions to myriad problems, is seen more a part of the problem of growing civic disorder. Mr Kejriwal describes himself as an “anarchist.” Earlier, Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti, led a mob to the homes of Delhi’s African community in the search for hidden drugs and covert prostitution. There was not the slightest evidence of these alleged activities. The local police were reluctant to lend a hand in the dubious enterprise. Chief Minister Kejriwal then demanded that the Delhi police be placed under the jurisdiction of his administration rather than remain within the ambit of the Union Government. With Republic Day looming, Mr Kejriwal blinked, accepting a face saving compromise offered by the Lt-Governor. The Aam Aadmi blockade was called off. The local metro stations reopened. But the damage was done. The true face of Aam Aadmi had been revealed. Meanwhile, Indian women’s groups, university students and community leaders joined the African women humiliated by the Aam Admi thugs in a public demonstration. These events have received critical coverage on TV and radio and by the print media. Sample the following newspaper headlines: “Chaos in Delhi as ‘anarchist’ CM [chief minister] takes to the street” (Business Standard, January 21) ‘Anarchist’ CM plunges Delhi into chaos” (Hindu, January 21). The Mint editorial was scathing (January 21). The media drew attention to one of Mr Kejriwa’s close associates, Kumar Vishwas’s racist comments on the complexion of Keralite nurses. Mint concludes: “If it were not for the serious governance issues involved , Kejriwal’sa antics would have been entertaining.” Meanwhile, President Pranab Mukherjee in his Republic Day address to the nation, said “populist anarchy could not be a substitute for governance.”

Modi on song

BJP’s prime ministerial aspirant, Narendra Modi, in a massive rally of the faithful, outlined his vision for India. Summed up, it

culture, industry, best use of natural resources, empowerment of women, opportunities for youth and pursuit of knowledge. 5 Second generation infrastructure, including interlinking of rivers, gas grid, optical fibre network across the country. 6 Golden quadrilateral of bullet trains, focus on talent, tradition, trade, technology and tourism and the eradication of corruption in public life. Mr Modi said he was keener on health assurance rather than health insurance.

Unanswered questions

A Business Standard editorial (January 21) wasn’t too impressed by Mr Modi’s speech, which was strong on “grandiose plans” designed to appeal to the popular imagination. However, as the devil lies in the detail, he failed to say how he would finance such ambitious projects as bullet trains, linking rivers etc, said the paper. The editorial pointed out a crucial fact: that ministers at the state level were able to control the government machine more easily than would be possible at the centre. How would Mr Modi deal with this problem? He had produced no new ideas on administrative reform in Delhi, complained the Standard.

Govt sells itself short

“Rahul Gandhi fires on all 12 cylinders,” proclaimed a banner headline in the Times of India (January 18). It was referring to the Congress Vice President’s speech to the party conference. By all accounts it had galvanized delegates, particularly those of the younger generation. How this plays out in the next weeks and months will be watched with interest. Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said that the present UPA government had failed to communicate sufficiently with the public on its achievements. This communication gap was a serious impediment for the Congress party, and it needed to be tackled, a point made earlier by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.


Narendra Modi

is as follows: 1 No one group has exclusive copyright to the concept of India. 2 Non-violence and respect for all faiths are an imperative of good governance.3 Government based on delivery and not doles. 4 Watchwords: economic revival based on agri-

Mr Sharma produced a number of telling facts. The UPA government budgetary allocation on education had increased nine times, and on healthcare seven times since 2000. He pointed out that contrary to Narendra Modi’s claims on the uniqueness of Gujarat as a recipient of foreign direct investment, the State ranked sixth in the foreign direct investment league behind Maharashtra, Delhi State, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

Expected rise in textile exports Textile exports in the financial year 2013-14, are expected to rise to cross the $40 billion mark, according to government sources. Textile Minister Sambavisa Rao said that export figure for last year was $33 billion, the goal for this year had been $35 billion, but figures in so far point to a likely $41 billion, which is well above the set target. The Minister explained: “Next year (2014-15), textile textile exports will be set at $60 billion, taking into account the potential and concentrating on skills development and the greater focus on the textile sector by the government, plus the decision of the advanced countries to rely entirely on Asia, especially on China and India” for their supplies (Hindu January 21)

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe with the Indian President Pranab Mukherjee at the Republic Day Parade. See comment page 3

IT sector surge

First results for the third quarter (October-December 2013) suggest a economic turnaround for India Inc. This has been led by the IT sector’s exceptionally good financial returns. Software firms spearheaded by Tata Consultancy Services, and followed by Infosys, Wipro and HCL Technologies and 82 other companies have registered a combined profit of 20.2 per cent compared with the same quarter last year. “The results highlight the contrast between export demand and domestic demand. Export-led sectors like IT have benefited from the weaker rupee and an economic recovery in North America and Europe, while Indian companies in the manufacturing and industrial sectors continue to suffer from demand slow-down,” said Jain of Edelweiss Capital (Business Standard January 20)

Amritsar-Kolkata corridor cleared

The Cabinet has cleared the Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor (AKIC) in a band of 150-200 kilometres on either side of the Dedicated Freight Corridor. The project, on the lines of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) is designed to boost manufacturing and industrial growth as well as stimulating agricultural development in India’s eastern region. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has, meanwhile, approved a loan proposal of $4.5 billion for the DelhiMumbai link. The AKIC is to be set up immediately, with an equity base of Rs 100 crore. The Centre will hold 49 per cent of the equity, the rest will be owned by the State governments concerned and the Housing and Development Corporation, to whom the Centre will give Rs 100 crore for project development.

Staged development

The AKIC, to be developed in stages, will encompass a 550,000 kilometre-belt including Haryana, Punjab, Uttarkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkand

Indian Republic Day parade at New Delhi

and West Bengal. (Business Standard January 21)

Agni-IV test-launch

India’s nuclear deterrence registered a further land mark success with the third successful flight-test of its surface-to-surface 4000-kilometre Agni IV missile. Agni IV, which was fired from Wheeler Island in the Bay of Bengal, can carry a one-tonne nuclear warhead. “The success opens a new missile ready for induction into the Army. It takes India’s to newer heights of deterrence,” said Avinash Chander, Director General of


the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), which developed the missile, and its predecessors Agni I,II and III – which together with Prithvi II are already in service with the Army’s Strategic Forces Command. V. G Sekaran, Director General, Missiles and Strategic Systems guided the team, Tessy

Thomas, Project Director, Agni IV, led the team of technologists responsible for the flight. Sibnath Som, Director, Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad, K..Jayaraman, Director Advanced Systems Laboratory, Hyderabad, and MVK Prasad Director, Director, Integrated Test Range, Balasore, were also present at the launch (Hindu January 21)

India, South Korea draw closer

India and South Korea sealed a closer relationship during talks in New Delhi between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting President Park Geun-hye. The two leaders said South Korean steel giant Posco will soon commence with the first stage of its mega-project in Odisha. President Park’s visit saw the two countries sign nine agreements in all, including one on the peaceful uses of outer space. “We have just concluded wideranging discussions on matters of bilateral interest and regional and global importance. This has enabled us to impart further substance, greater content and new momentum to the

Annual talks

strategic partnership,” said Dr Singh. Security cooperation will become the subject of an annual dialogue between the two sides. Defence trade and joint research and production of weapon systems are to be high on the agenda. President Park hoped India would permit South Korean banks to operate in the country. (Times of India January 17). - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

“Our London”

A Brief History Of Women In India on Republic Day

In 1921 Mahatma Gandhi calls for equal treatment of women. “Of all the evils for which man has made himself responsible, none is so degrading, so shocking or so brutal as his abuse of the better half of humanity - the female sex,” the Mahatma wrote in the Young India Journal. He objected to child marriage and the dowry system – both are still practiced. In 1929 Government of British India passed the Child Marriage Restrain Act. It made it illegal for men to marry girls under 18; older men had even steeper penalties. (Some idiot will write in at this point that paedophilia happens in Britain – their point being one should not just point it out in India. These morons would rather we all lived to the lowest common standard anywhere in the world, not the highest). Unicef recently noted that 43% of the nation’s women aged 20-24 were married before they were 18. They note this contributes to parental prejudice against investing in girl’s education which is seen as a waste of resource. In 1950, the New Constitution, three years after independence, grants women the right to vote. In 1953 Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit become the first woman and first Indian president of the United Nations General Assembly. In 1961India enacts the Dowry Prohibition Act. According to the police a woman in India is killed every hour over dowry. As India gets wealthier – the number of dowry deaths and demands increases. Wealth does not bring wisdom. By 1966 India has her first woman PM. By 2013 according to the World Economic Forum India’s women have one of the lowest rates of economic participation and opportunity in the world. In 1979 Mother Teresa wins the Nobel Peace Prize – the first Indian to do so. In 1986 Parliament passes the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act. The law prohibits “the depiction in any manner of the figure of a woman; her form or body or any part thereof in such a way as to have the effect of being indecent, or derogatory to, or denigrating women.” In 1987 Sati is outlawed. It also made it illegal for communities to glorify the act.

In 1994, pre-natal gender testing is banned. By 2011 there had been only 55 convictions, yet India has one of the worst male:female ratios. In 1997 – Kalpana Chawla becomes the first Indian woman in space. 1998 and Sonia Gandhi becomes President of Congress Party. 2005 – the Hindu Succession Act is amended to give women equal inheritance rights to ancestral property. A UN study recently found under 20% believe they will inherit their parental land. 2005 and Parliament also passes the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act. A study in 2013 found one third of married Indian women reported experiencing physical abuse – slapping being the most common form. 2013 also saw India pass the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act – following a retired Supreme Court judge allegedly abusing his intern. Of course I have not mentioned a few other Indian women; Sita, Lakshmi, Kittur Chennamma, queen of the princely state Kittur in Karnataka led an armed rebellion against the British. Abbakka Rani, queen of coastal Karnataka, led the defence against invading European armies, notably the Portuguese in the 16th century. Rani Lakshmi Bai, the Queen of Jhansi, led the Indian Rebellion of 1857 against the British. I have not mentioned that Reg Vedic verses talk of women who married at a mature age and selected their own husbands. But that’s just history now, long dead, who even knows now other than the decline and fall of a civilisation. We can’t blame the movies (this happened before the movies), we can’t blame the British (their house is in better shape), we can’t blame education (women behave better, and this is a TV addicted society even in villages and that could educate), we can’t blame Pakistan or Muslims (Hindus don’t ape others do they surely?). There is hope. The hope will have to be the women themselves. If the men were going to do it, they would have already done it. It will be a woman who on achieving power will not turn her back on her own gender.

Schizophrenic British man faces execution after claiming he was Prophet Mohammed

A 71 year man from Edinburgh suffering from p a r a n o i d schizophrenia faces execution after in Pakistan for blasphemy after he claimed he was the Prophet Mohammed. Mohammad Asghar, who was convicted and sentenced on Thursday 23rd January, is currently in Rawalpindi's high security Adiala Jail where his lawyers said he has attempted suicide and suffered a stroke. Mr Asghar has a long history of mental illness and was once sectioned under the Mental Health Act and treated at Edinburgh's Royal Victoria Hospital where he had been diagnosed.

Mr Asghar was first arrested a few months after his release from hospital after a tenant renting one of his properties aleerted police of some letters in which Mr Asghar claimed to be the Prophet Mohammed. Pakistan's blasphemy law is regarded as controversial among the country's educated elite because it is often misused against Christians and other religious minorities to settle personal and property disputes. Baroness Warsi, Senior Foreign Office Minister, said: “We are aware that Mohammad Asghar, a British national, was yesterday sentenced to death by a court in Rawalpindi in Pakistan. It


Navin Shah - GLA Member for Brent and Harrow

The Indian Perspective

Since I was away in India, I grab this opportunity to express belated wishes for a peaceful and happy new year to the readers. The beginning of the New Year for me has very much been about India. Whilst in India two issues struck me as of major importance. First whilst in Amdavad it was the celebrations of ‘Sankrant’ (the kite festival) and of course the whole nation is buzzing with the issues surrounding the Elections in May this year. Kite flying is taken very seriously in Gujarat, particularly in Amdavad and Surat. The very competitive nature of kite flying for family members and eating undhiyu (special mixed vegetable), jalebi and sesame sweets are very traditional. These have been given an added dimension by the celebrations becoming an international event by Shri Narendrabhai Modi. Once barren and neglected banks of Sabarmati River in been Ahmedabad have transformed in to a vibrant area of activities and celebrations. Leading up to the Sankrant day I attended the annual International Kite Festival on the river front followed by an open air concert attended by thousands of people. On the Sankrant day and Vasi-Sankrant days

it was quite and experience to participate in kite flying with my family and friends. Everywhere the sky was covered with hundreds and thousands of kites of all shapes, sizes and colours. At night the old fashioned ‘lantern’ flying has been largely replaced with the new trend of releasing hot air Chinese lanterns. Whilst these are a great sight they do pose serious problems of fires and safety which was demonstrated with the news of 11 fires (some major ones) and injuries. The hot topic I witnessed both in the media and talking to people in Mumbai and Amdavad is the 16th Lok Sabha General Election due to take place this year. The place is buzzing with expectations, speculation and controversy. Much has changed since the last general election in that Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev have changed the political landscape and the general election result is not a foregone conclusion. There is much criticism of the governance, for the last 10 years, by Congress party. Rahul Gandhi has now emerged (somewhat late) to defend the reputation of his party and promote the vision of Congress. Shri Narendra Modi, seen by many as a natural & poten-

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tial next Prime Minister of India, is leading the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). But, the emergence and resurgence of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the challenge by Shri Arvind Kejriwal has changed the political prospects of the two main parties - making hung parliament a distinct possibility. Since I’ve got back to the UK I’ve been busy celebrating India’s 65th Republic Day with a number of Brent and Harrow organisations. Brent India Association, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, has been for decades organising such events, and this year too was no different. It was great to be celebrating at the BIA with Dhanjibhai Tanna – who’s played a part in India’s freedom movement – and many other dignitaries. It was also a great pleasure to be with senior citizens at the Jaspar Centre in Harrow and at Golden Sip Choolho to join in the Republic day celebrations. India in such a short time has become a global economy and its achievements are acclaimed internationally. But there are major challenges too related to the massive gap between the rich and the poor that exists and seems to be on the increase.

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COMMUNITY - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

The Jews - exile and continuity Brit-Indians organise 'Run for

Michael Whine The Jewish experience of exile may contain some lessons for other peoples who are separated from their familial homeland, for whatever reason. After the Exodus from Egypt, the Jewish people returned to the Land of Israel in the 12th-13th century BCE and eventually established self-rule and the First Jewish Commonwealth. Although a Jewish presence in the land of Israel has never ceased, the people and the land experienced numerous takeovers by other empires, notably Assyrian, Persian, Greek and Roman. The Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar II conquered the Southern Kingdom of Judah and destroyed the First Temple in Jerusalem, forcing the Jews into exile in Babylon (modern-day Iraq) and there they had to face the challenges of a new life without the focal point of the Temple service, to which Jews made a pilgrimage three times a year. After some 70 years of exile, a portion of the Jewish people left Babylon (which by then had been conquered by the Persian Empire) and returned to the land of Israel. During the Second Temple period and until the invasion of the Greek Empire, the locus of Jewish religious and judicial leadership was within the Knesset Hagedolah (the Great Assembly). This body was comprised of Jewish sages and the last of the Prophets recorded in Jewish tradition. The Great Assembly ensured the accurate transmission of the Oral Law; they began the process of formalising the structure and liturgy of Jewish prayer; and they decided on the fixed text of the Holy Scriptures, known in

Hebrew as the Tanach, an acronym for Torah, Prophets and Writings. The laws and principles of the Scriptures still underpin many of the so-called “Judeo-Christian” values of contemporary Western society. Many years later, in 70 CE, the Roman Empire ended the Second Jewish Commonwealth in the Land of Israel, d e s t r o y e d Jerusalem and the Second Temple and massacred and exiled millions of Jews from the land. Their presence there, however, never ceased. Because the Jewish religious leadership existed in parallel with that of the temporal leadership, the Jews were capable of living and functioning outside the Land of Israel. Indeed, many Jewish communities were already living throughout the Roman Empire. Although the Jews lacked a unifying commonwealth and Temple, the continuance of Jewish legal order remained active within a body called the Sanhedrin, which reconvened in central, and later northern, Israel shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem. Over many decades, Jewish laws and tradition were preserved through the compilation of the Mishna and, years later, the Gemara. Together, these texts constitute the Talmud, a multi-volume compilation of rabbinic discussions in Hebrew and Aramaic pertaining to Jewish law and lore. Indeed, two versions were produced: the Jerusalem Talmud, which was compiled around 400 CE by the Jewish community in the Land of Israel, and the Babylonian Talmud, which was compiled around 426 CE by the Jewish community residing in Babylon. The Talmudic sages recognised the importance of modifying Jewish practice in order to preserve Jewish law and tradition and in order to sustain the Jewish way of life and communal cohesion. Because the focal point of Jewish communal life could no longer be the priests’ daily service in the Temple, the sages instituted rulings and customs to enable Jewish communities to survive and thrive in

Israel and the Diaspora. The establishment of synagogues or smaller houses of religious practice and study is one of many outcomes. While Jewish communities remained in Israel, Jews established communities in Rome and other parts of modern-day Italy, Spain, Portugal, North Africa, the Rhineland, the Ottoman Empire, India and later Poland and Russia. The development of Jewish law (halacha) and the amplification of Biblical exegesis, research and commentaries flourished despite persecution. Centres of Jewish study grew in eastern and northern Europe and created powerhouses of Jewish learning that still influences Jewish life today. At the same time, Jewish centres continued in North Africa and Iraq, which had not undergone the traumas that afflicted European Jewry such as the Crusades, the Inquisition, pogroms, the Chmielnicki-Cossak Massacres and the Holocaust (or Shoah, in Hebrew). Only now in modern Israel is some sort of fusion taking place between the oriental and occidental traditions. But these would not have survived had not the Jews of antiquity learn to adjust their religious practice, while carefully preserving and guarding their central beliefs, and adapting them to the circumstances which confronted them. M r M i ke Wh i ne, Director, Government and International Affairs, Community Security Trust (CST) has been involved with community work for over 25 years and Asian Voice is delighted to inform its readers that over the next few weeks, Mike will discuss varied topics in his column, starting with the worldwide journey of the Jews to how they coordinate nationally and internationally. He will include details about British Jewry, the formation of its agencies, the challenges they face, and how they handle them. His messages will interest British Indians on how Jews interact amongst themselves, how they interact with others and the government. British Indians consider the Jewish experience as a valuable role model for our communities.

Unity' on India's Republic Day

The participating volunteers at the Run for Unity event

gave every possible to support to the group. Vijay Jolly Convenor OFBJP also extended strong support. Mr Bob Blackman MP, (Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Hindus) said that Indian community has been contributing tremendously in the UK. He assured that there should soon be a direct flight to Ahmedabad from London. He publicly announced his support for Mr Modi and expected the trade between India and UK to increase many fold if he would become the Prime Minister. Lord Sardar Singh supCB Patel speaking to the gathered audience in presence of ported Mr Modi for becomNachiket Joshi and Cllr Muhammad Butt ing Prime Minister of India. He mentioned all the determined and cheering gaining overwhelming Punjabi community will for Mr Modi and the response not only in India support project of Statue of national unity wearing Tbut also abroad among Unity. He hoped and shirts of Sardar Patel’s NRIs and NRGs. wished for a United India image. To promote the project which was Sardar Patel's Nachiket Joshi, the Government of Gujarat dream. Member of National had successfully organised Virendra Sharma, MP, Executive Committee, "Run for Unity" event explained how across India on 15th Indian commuDecember, 2013. This nity is an insepevent was organised at arable part of 1100 places across the Britain and how country and approximately in every field of 4.5mn people had particicommerce pated in it, which is a world Indians have record of its kind. contributed and After having huge excelled. response in the country, Bob Blackman MP lighting the lamp CB Patel, NRIs and BJP fans residing with other dignitaries Publisher/Editor in UK decided to organize of Asian Voice and Gujarat India and UK (OFBJP) and the Run for Unity in Samachar, appreciated the convener of i4unity, organLondon on 26th January, efforts of the youngsters. iser of the event thanked the Republic day of India. He elaborated that Sardar people for their incredible The Run had been Vallabhbhai Patel is the response for the cause and organised by 'I4unity', a symbol of Unity in our life support for Mr Narendra young professional's group and we should follow his Modi for prime ministerial in UK with support of footsteps. candidate. Overseas Friends of BJP as Cllr Muhammad Butt, Amit Thaker Co well as local community. Leader of the Brent Convener of OFBJP India, Parliamentarians like Bob Council, Mr. Lalubhai had planned and inspired Blackman, Virendra Parekh (OFBJP President), the "Run for Unity" in UK Sharma supported the Cllr Darshan Grewal and guided i4unity to project. (OFBJP Vice President), organise the event. Over a 1000 men and Cllr Gopal Dhillon, , Cllr Thaker's efforts for widely women walked in pouring Bhagawan Chohan, Cllr acknowledged by several rain wearing raincoats and Dhira Kataria and many UK based Indian organisaholding umbrellas from councillors were also prestions. Ms. Shalini Agrawal, Jalaram Jyot temple in ent. Collector & DM of Kheda Repton avenue, Harrow to

BJP's prime ministerial candidate and Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi's dream project 183 metres tall statue of 'Iron Man' Sardar Patel on Narmada river, is

the Sanatan Temple on the Ealing Road, where the temple organised a reception addressed by several dignitaries and provided the runners with prasad (refreshments). They were

Crystal Travel hosted its 17th 'Beat the New Year’s Blues' luncheon at the Efes London W1. Over 120 Airline and corporate partners attended to celebrate a successful 2013 with 25% increase in sales. Crystal Travel has over 400 staff in the UK and overseas offices and specialises in worldwide R-L: Shahid Ali, Travel House, John Kalia, Director, Vicky flight travel and package Joyce, Garuda Airlines, P S Kang, Managing Director, Cherrubin Nararatnam, Travel Centre UK holidays. They also opened a new office in 2013, Sam Travel at 714 Romford Road E12 and together with their online website is now open 7 days a week. Crystal Travel is main agents for many airlines.


It seems many Screwfix customers were having an extended Christmas when a technical glitch put thousands of pounds worth of goods up for a fraction of their retail price. One customer bought a sit-on mower worth £1,599.99 for just £34.99. The tools and hardware retailer suffered a huge error that reduced the price of everything on the website to just £34.99 overnight. Power tools and big ticket items such as ride-on mowers were reduced to less than £40 at the online checkout. Fast customers grabbed goods worth thousands of pounds after news of the malfunction spread on Twitter. The website was closed down on Friday 24th January but was back online by around 10am the next morning.

Metro Bank, the revolutionary high street bank, has announced the launch of its new Asian Banking Group for Asian businesses and entrepreneurs at an event hosted by Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP and Metro Bank Chairman and Founder Vernon W Hill, II. The specialist group, led by Metro Bank’s Nimesh Sanghrajka, will act as a hub for Asian businesses in

tomers and non-customers. Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP commented: “I’m delighted to be part of the launch of Metro Bank’s Asian Banking Group today. A specialist group for Asian business people and entrepreneurs is an exciting development in high street banking and it demonstrates an understanding from Metro Bank of the role that culture plays in many business communities.

photo courtesy: Raj D Bakrania, Prmediapix error reduces all products to £34.99


Metro bank launches Asian banking group - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

Metro Bank Chairman Vernon Hill

London raid arrests teenager under Terror Law

Police raised a home in South-west London on Saturday 24th January and have arrested a teenager on suspicion of an offence under the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act. The raid was an "intelligence-led, preplanned operation", where a 19-year-old man was arrested. He has since been released on bail pending further inquiries. The raid was carried out in Wyatt Park Road, near Streatham Hill station in the London borough of Lambeth.

1 million on sickness benefit deemed fit for work amid benefits crackdown

Almost one million people on sickness benefits have recently been found fit for work, it was revealed on Friday 24th January. More than a million other people withdrew their claims to benefits before tough new face-toface assessments are imposed by the Government. Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has made the reform of the welfare system a top priority. As part of his programme, he targeted the 2.6 million people who were on incapacity benefit – with 900,000 of them having claimed for more than a decade.

Despite London as a hub of employment, Asians remain jobless

New revelations show that employment is on the rise, but the areas concerned are unbalanced. While 216,700 jobs were created in London in the last two-years, only 13,200 were generated in Manchester and 4,200 in Leeds. Regardless of location however and the revelation that employability is getting better, Asians are still not getting jobs. Asian Voice published an article 'Young jobless Asians on the rise' highlighting the crisis amongst Asians, despite an increase in the total employment figure. Currently the unemployment rates of young Indians in Britain is 34%, whereas its 46% for Pakistanis and Bangladeshis and 45% for Blacks. London represents 80% of national private sector jobs growth between 2010 and 2012, while Britain’s next nine largest cities created only 10% of all new private sector work.

Sham marriages are the 'golden ticket' to residency in UK

According to a recent report released by John Vine, Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration on Monday 27 January, sham marriages have become the “golden ticket” for people wishing to remain in the UK. Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Nigerians are the most common people from outside the EU to be involved in suspected fake marriages, the report said. Up to 10,000 applications to remain in Britain each year are based on sham marriages, many of which involve “away day” brides from eastern Europe. This is alarming because register offices are failing to report suspicions to the Home Office.

L George Chief of Operations, ABPL, Vernon Hill with Kishor Parmar Advertising Manager, ABPL

London and the South East. Its introduction reflects Metro Bank’s strong community focus and understanding of the cultural diversities present in many business communities. The group will host regular events, including breakfast seminars and networking sessions, for its members, which will include Metro Bank’s existing cus-

It’s great to see this new high street player developing its relationships with the Asian community even further.” Vernon Hill, Chairman, Metro Bank said: “At Metro Bank we pride ourselves on the strong relationships we have with our customers and local communities. We’ve seen tremendous support for the Asian Banking

Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP and Metro Bank Chairman and Founder Vernon Hill

Group from our existing customers and we’re confident that its creation will provide the Asian business communities around our stores with an additional layer of understanding from their banking partner.” At Metro Bank, local bankers serve local customers. The bank offers a bespoke business banking service including a full

range of lending and cash management solutions for businesses of all sizes. It launched in July 2010 with a focus on providing unparalleled levels of service and convenience to customers. Metro Bank now has more than 280,000 business and personal customer accounts, and has recently opened its 25th store in Milton Keynes.

Banker found guilty of strangling his wife to death

A bank worker who strangled his wife to death in a fit of rage because he was about to lose his job was found guilty of murder on Thursday 23 January. Manas Kapoor, 35, of Kewferry Drive, Northwood, was found guilty at Wood Green Crown Court of killing his wife Shivani. He has been sentenced to life imprisonment to serve a minimum of 16 years. Police were called to the couple's home in Northwood shortly after 13.50hrs on Wednesday 10 July following reports of a woman found unresponsive. When officers arrived, they found 35-year-old Shivani being treated by staff from London Ambulance Service. She was taken to Hillingdon Hospital but later died from her injuries. A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as manual compression of the neck. Her husband was arrested at the scene. Investigating officer Detective Inspector Simon Pickford, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: "Manas Kapoor was under a great

deal of pressure, both at work and home. He was a compulsive gambler who was heavily in debt. On the day in question he was due to attend a disciplinary meeting with his employers and genuinely feared he was about to lose his job. "He admitted in police interview that he found it difficult to deal with stress and Shivani the jury, today, have agreed was being held responsible Manas Kapoor with the prosecution account for. Kapoor feared he was that he killed his wife, stranabout to lose his job. He had been on gling her in a fit of rage when the many long-term sick leave since the previous stresses came to a head. January with depression and anxiety. "Our thoughts are with Shivani's Kapoor was also in personal debt by family and her 18-month-old child, who £8,000 due to gambling and this had have lost a loving daughter and mother." caused tension between himself and his The court heard that Kapoor had wife, with whom he had a young daughmade a 999 call, claiming he'd found his ter. wife unconscious on the bedroom floor Police officers who attended the and he thought she had fallen off a stool scene noted that Kapoor had a series of and hit her head. small thin scratches on the right side of On the day of the incident, Kapoor his face, which he claimed were caused had been due to attend an important by his daughter. He said he was in the work meeting about a serious accountbath when his wife "fell". ing error involving millions of dollars he

Report shows no. of GPs earning £100,000 has quadrupled

The number of family doctors earning more than £100,000 a year has quadrupled in the last ten years, according to evidence submitted to the annual NHS pay review. Official documents show that more than 16,000 GPs are being paid six-figure salaries, including more than 600 GPS on more than £200,000. Only 9 years ago, just 4,000 doctors were paid more than £100,000 a year. NHS documents now show that figures have quadrupled in the last decade. This amounts to a 13 per cent rise for GPs, the document says, while nurses’ pay fell by 5 per cent.

Judge pleads for couple to end their £1m legal dispute Judge Nicholas Francis QC has urged a wealthy family to end a bitter legal dispute that has already cost more than £1 million in lawyers’ fees and caused “untold misery”. The courtroom battle is between Susan and Richard Shield and their children over who owns shares in the family's RA Shield Holdings company. Susan Shield, 69, won a preliminary victory in her High Court battle with her estranged husband Richard, 72, over the ownership of shares in a business empire worth tens of millions of pounds. Judge Nicholas Francis QC said it was “a matter of deep regret”

Nicholas Francis QC

that the “family squabble” had not been resolved earlier and admitted that his ruling would not be “the end of the matter”. He added: "It must be hoped that... the family can yet find a way to resolve the dispute without further bitterness and haemorrhage of costs, for they have already now spent more than a million pounds in costs."


ELECTION SPECIAL - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

BJP poised for best-ever tally, Modi set to be PM, say polls

BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi may be poised to become India's next prime minister with two opinion polls predicting that the NDA will get at least 210 seats and the BJP itself would cross the 180 mark and perhaps even 210 in the coming Lok Sabha elections. In contrast, the UPA and the Congress appear to be facing a rout with both polls giving the ruling alliance less than 130 seats and the Congress perhaps less than three digits for the first time ever. With parties like the AIADMK, the TDP, the TRS and the BJD, all of which would be regarded as potential BJP allies, projected to win 50 seats or more between them, the news for the BJP and Modi couldn't get better. The India Today-CVoter poll predicted that the NDA would win 212 seats on the back of a dominant performance in the Hindi belt and the western states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. The CNN-IBNCSDS poll was not very different in terms of the big national picture, though regional details vary between the two polls. According to the CSDS poll, the NDA would win between 211 and 231 seats if elections were held now and the BJP alone would bag anywhere between 192 and 210, which would make it the party's best showing ever. At the upper

limit of this range, the NDA would need just 41 more MPs to support it to gain a majority in the Lok Sabha. While agreeing on the big picture, including on the fact that AAP will not have a major impact in terms of seats anywhere other than in Delhi, the two polls have significantly different predictions for key states. In Uttar Pradesh, for instance, the India Today-CVoter poll projects that the BJP will win 30 of the state's 80 seats, the BSP 24 and SP 20. The CNN-IBNCSDS poll gives the BJP between 41 and 49 seats, BSP 10-16 and SP 8-14. Both agree that the Congress will decline drastically from the 21 seats it won last time in UP. Similarly, while the CVoter poll sees the JD(U) getting nearly wiped out in Bihar, with just four seats, the CSDS poll gives Nitish's party anything between 7 ands 13 seats.

Mulayam, Akhilesh have destroyed UP, says Modi

BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi tore into the father-son duo of Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, alleging they had destroyed Uttar Pradesh. In his first direct attack against the Samajwadi Party chief, who earlier said at a rally in Varanasi that Modi's hands were soaked in blood, the BJP leader said the "baap-beta" (fatherson) duo followed him wherever he went. Gujarat chief minister Modi was addressing a Vijay Shankhnad (conchcall victory call) rally organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party, at Gorakhpur city in Uttar Pradesh. Referring to the statement of Mulayam Singh Yadav that Modi could not make a Gujarat of Uttar Pradesh, he said the Yadavs have no "haisiyat" (standing) to change Uttar Pradesh into Gujarat. "Uttar Pradesh ko Gujarat banane ke liye 56inch ka chauda seena chahiye, vote bank kii rajniti karne waale log nahin," (For turning Uttar Pradesh into Gujarat, a vibrant state, one needs a 56-inch chest and not politicians digging their heels into vote bank poli-

Narendra Modi

tics), Modi said, as the massive crowd cheered at Manbela in Gorakhpur. To become Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh needed 10 per cent growth in agriculture, not three or four per cent as in the last 10 years, Modi said. Gujarat, he pointed out, meant 24x7 power supply, sugarcane dues paid on time, crushing of cane on schedule, and happy farmers, something not possible for the Samajwadi Party government, Modi said. "Uttar Pradesh has the potential to become the leading state in the country, but sadly the people who have ruled here in the past one decade have chosen to ruin the state with their petty, narrow political thinking and vote bank politics," the Gujarat chief minister said. "The state affords no honour to girls and women, no employment, no security or safety for its citizens. You have destroyed the mandate given by the people to your

Both give the BJP the bulk of Bihar's 40 seats but disagree on the distribution of the rest, primarily between RJD and JD(U). In Tamil Nadu, too, while the CVoter poll gives the AIADMK a decisive edge with 29 of the state's 39 seats, the CSDS poll sees Jayalalityhaa's party winning between 15 and 23 seats. In Kerala, CVoter suggests the Left has the edge in a close contest while CSDS feels the Congress-led UDF is well ahead. One of the regional parties on which both polls agree is the Trinamool Congress, with CVoter giving Mamata's party 23 of West Bengal's 42 seats and CSDS saying it could win between 20 and 28 seats. Either way, it would improve on its tally of 19 in 2009 and could end up being the third largest party in the Lok Sabha after the BJP and Congress. Whether Mamata would be able to leverage this gain in seats could be another matter. The polls did not give seat shares for Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana where Congress has incumbency to deal with. The election tracker also predicted a saffron sweep of Rajasthan. The soundings suggest that the BJP which won a landslide in the assembly polls can hope to win 20-24 of the 25 seats in the state.

party in the 2012 state assembly polls," the BJP leader said, referring to Mulayam as "Netaji" as he is called by his partymen. He also told the gathering that while other parties in the state had decided to destroy Uttar Pradesh, the BJP was committed to the development and prosperity of the state. Seeking a five-year term for the BJP in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, Modi said that while they had given 60 years to the Congress, he was seeking 60 months to change the face of India and bring prosperity in every home, a smile on every face. Inviting the farmers of Uttar Pradesh to Gujarat, he said one should see for himself or herself what vision he has for the state. Predicting that the voters of the country had made up their mind to vote out the Congress and its allies, Modi also charged the United Progressive Alliance government and its allies, the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, of presiding over gloom in the country. Thanking the people of Uttar Pradesh for the love they expressed in attending his rallies in large numbers, Modi said that given a chance, he would return that love, offering them the dividend of development.

EC calls parties’ meet on Feb 4 Setting in motion the process of consultations with various stakeholders ahead of the announcement of 2014 general election, the Election Commission (EC) has convened a meeting of all recognized political parties on February 4 to discuss poll preparedness and other relevant issues. The all-party meeting comes a day ahead of the start of Parliament session. During the meeting, to be attended by the leaders of six recognized national parties and 47 state parties, the EC will discuss electoral rolls, polling stations and various factors having a bearing on timing of polls. The Lok Sabha polls are expected to be announced in February-end or early March, and may be timed between midApril and mid-May. They are likely to be staggered over 5 to 7 phases. Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim will have assembly polls along with the Lok Sabha polls.

Black flags greet Rahul in Amethi

Rahul Gandhi

Amethi had never been a problem area either for Congress or party vicepresident Rahul Gandhi. But there were signs of changing times when the Gandhi scion was shown black flags by the volunteers of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) during a visit to his constituency. Members of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) and Jan Kalyan Samiti also joined the protest. This was Rahul's first visit to Amethi after being named the chief of party's poll campaign committee and also after AAP leader Kumar Vishwas landed to challenge him in the polls. Because of inclement weather, Rahul arrived more than five hours late accompanied by sister Priyanka. They were shown black flags by AAP workers in Jais and BKU activists at Gauriganj. "The protestors relented and allowed the convoy to move after the Congress vice-president assured them that their problems would be looked into," said a local Congress leader. Brushing aside all allegations, Rahul said, "We believe in action and not in words. Various projects were executed by us,

from women self-help groups to national highways and many others. But poor electric supply and bad roads come under the purview of the state government." He accused the Akhilesh Yadav government of not using central funds. "The Centre is always willing to extend a helping hand and there is no compromise on any work undertaken," he said. Kumar Vishwas termed the two-day visit as "political picnic". "Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party are least interested in the progress and development of Amethi. Rahul rarely speaks or raises any issue in Parliament. We want that some serious talk and discussions," Vishwas said as he challenged the Congress leader for a debate. Rahul to consider PM's post if party MPs select him Amidst clamour among Congress workers that he should be named the prime ministerial candidate, Rahul said he would definitely consider it if the party comes to power and the elected representatives select him for the post.

AAP plans to field 73 candidates in election

The young anti-graft party that stormed to power in the national capital last month plans to field at least 73 candidates in Lok Sabha elections due by May to stand against politicians accused of crimes, its founder said on Monday. Following its strong performance in Delhi, interest in the year-old Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has surged. Since an announcement earlier this month that it would contest the general election, its membership has passed 10 million. Until now the party had not said how many of the 540 lower house parliamentary seats it might contest in an election pitting the centre-left governing coalition against front runner opposition candidate Narendra Modi.

Arvind Kejriwal

While polls suggest the debutant party is unlikely to win more than a dozen or so seats, its success in Delhi has shaken up the national race, with Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress party both aping Aam Aadmi's antielite, anti-corruption language. Even a small clutch of seats for the AAP could be enough to deny Modi a chance at forming a government, and give AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal a say in national policy.

Remembering the 'Mahatma' - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

On the night of 30 January1948, the first Prime Minister of a newly independent India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, while addressing his people over the radio said, “...the light has gone out of our lives and there is darkness everywhere...Our beloved leader, Bapu as we call him, the Father of the Nation, is no more.”

Gandhi's death marked one of history's greatest tragic ironies. A man who had dedicated all his life to the cause of non-violence and peace was killed by an assasin's bullet. Gandhi, who was on his way to an evening prayer meeting at Birla House, was shot three times at close range by Hindu extremist Nathuram Godse, plunging the entire nation into sorrow. A newly independent India, still coming to terms with its freedom and the aftermath of the partition, was suddenly left orphaned by the loss of its 'Mahatma'. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 to Karamchand Gandhi and Putlibai in Porbandar, a coastal town in Gujarat.

Gandhi's London connection

When nineteen year old Gandhi arrived in London to study Law at University College, he was just as curious about the great city and what it had to offer like the scores of people even today who come here to travel, study or work. The only difference of course is that 125 years ago only a fortunate few could afford to visit and study in London, not to mention the challenges he would have had to face because he was non-white. His desire to explore and experience London was as strong as his yearning to pursue his law degree. Here is an excerpt from what is called Gandhi's London Diary, a diary which Gandhi began writing in London in 1888. While the original diary is said to have included 120 handwritten pages, only the first 20 pages have survived (source: Paul K Lyons' blog dhis-london-diary.html). "October-November 1888...Before the intention of coming to London for the sake of study was actually formed, I had a secret design in my mind of coming here to satisfy my curiosity of knowing what London was..." In the last surviving paragraph from Gandhi's diary reproduced on Lyons' blog, Gandhi refers to his visit to the Victoria Hotel in London with his friends and describes his awe at the hotel's luxurious ambience: "I was quite dazzled by the splendour of the hotel. I had never in my life seen such pomp." It was also Gandhi's first experience travelling in a lift. "Then we were to go to the second floor by a lift. I did not know what it was...The doors were opened and I thought that was a room in which we were to sit for some time. But to my great surprise we were brought to the second floor." Unsurprisingly, Gandhi's time in London presented him with its fair share of challenges. Before he left home for London, he made three vows to his mother involving abstinence from meat, alcohol and promiscuity. Abstinence from meat was one of the tougher challenges during his time in the city as vegetarian options were very few and he found the food offered by his landlady very bland. He is said to have frequently gone hungry until he came upon one of London's few vegetarian restaurants. Inspired by his writer, social reformer friend Henry Salt, he even joined the Vegetarian Society and got elected to its executive committee. Some of the vegetarians he met were also members of the Theosophical society, which was founded in 1875 to promote universal brotherhood and also devoted itself to the study of Buddhist and Hindu literature. It was through this association

that a previously disinterested Gandhi was encouraged to read the Bhagwad Gita, both in translation and in the original and it marked the beginning of his commitment to its teachings which he practiced and preached till the very end. James Tepfer in his 2004 article Gandhi's India-A biographical sketch (published by the Institute of World Culture) describes “the gradual awakening of the religious spirit” in Gandhi as one of the two most significant impacts of Gandhi's years in London on his young consciousness, the other being “the slow metamorphosis of his personality”. Due to his initially-positive attitude towards Britain and the British empire and his belief that India should be self-governing but within the confines of the empire, Tepfer says that Gandhi attempted to mould himself into the image of an 'English gentleman' whether it was in his dressing style, or trying to learn dance or to play the violin, a far cry from the Gandhi who visited London years later as the architect of the Indian independence movement. Gandhi left for India after he passed his law degree in 1891. His second visit was in 1931 as a delegate representing the Indian Congress at the Second Round Table Conference (September 1931December 1931) demanding complete independence for India. Although he returned disappointed because many of


his demands were not met, his stay with the working class in East London during the conference duration made him a popular figure amongst the British public and sensitised them to India’s struggle for freedom. Gandhi’s 1931 visit to London saw him set foot on British soil for the last time but his memory has been honoured to this day through plaques marking where he lived as a law student, statues like the one in Tavistock Square in Central London, and another in Leicester, conversion of Kingsley Hall where he stayed during his 1931 visit into a community peace centre and more recently a guided ‘Gandhi’ tour walk taking visitors to London across the different sites in the city where he lived, studied, explored and walked. Organisations like the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation ensure his teachings are kept alive by constantly initiating campaigns, events and discussions surrounding prevalent social and political issues using Gandhian principles.

Civil Right movement in South Africa

It was his experiences in South Africa that in many ways shaped his views on social activism and non-violence. Gandhi faced several instances of racial discrimination. Soon, Gandhi realised the plight of Indians in South Africa and extended his stay in the country, initiating campaigns to highlight their grievances to the authorities.

Role in Indian Freedom struggle

Gandhi's returned to India permanently in 1915. He joined the Indian National Congress and under the guidance of Gopal Krishna Gokhale. Over the years, Gandhi helped transform the Congress's approach to one that was wholly Indian


rather than one inspired by British traditions. He took over leadership of the party in 1920 and began a series of campaigns and protests that were steeped in his now evolved methodology of non-violence, non-cooperation and peaceful resistance to address a range of issues that affected the lives of the aam aadmi (common man) under the British Raj, later on demanding complete freedom for the Indian people. During this time, Gandhi was arrested twice, once on 10 March 1922 after he called off the campaign of mass civil disobedience owing to violent clashes between his followers and the Raj and the second time at the height of the Quit India movement on 9 August 1942. Perhaps the biggest blow to Gandhi came after his release from prison in May 1944. Without his strong unifying leadership, the party he had helped shape had split in his absence. More worryingly, his hopes for a religiously united India were under threat, fuelled in great part by the rising prominence of the Muslim League headed by Jinnah, who refused to settle for anything less than a completely independent state for Muslims because he believed that a unified India would fail to cater to the needs of minority communities. Much to Gandhi's dismay, the Empire delivered its final blow in the form of the partitioning of British India into two nations- India and Pakistan. On August 15 1947, India became a free nation and on the previous day Pakistan was officially born. Gandhi stayed away from the independence celebrations and continued to work towards Hindu-Muslim unity. For a man who practiced principles of Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism in his everyday life, preached the universality of their basic tenets and tirelessly worked for most of his life to sustain religious unity in a diverse India. Five months later, the principles which Gandhi gave life to during the Indian freedom struggle became the very cause of his death when he was assasinated by a religious extremist.

India League marks 66th death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi India League is a Britain-based organisation that evolved from the Commonwealth of India League, which was established in 1922 with the aim of campaigning for complete independence for the Indian people. At the helm of affairs was lawyer, activist, editor, Mr. V.V Krishna Menon, who became joint secretary of the League in 1928. In the 1930s, the organisation flourished under his leadership opening multiple branches across London and in other British cities including B o u r n e m o u t h , Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Dublin, Hull, Lancashire, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, Southampton and Wolverhampton. The League organised its members into various committees including a Women's Committee, an Action Committee, a Parliamentary Committee in an attempt to raise awareness amongst the British public of the injustice of British colonial rule in India and to urge them to join the League members in protesting for the Indian independence cause. The Parliamentary Committee lobbied MPs, several of whom spoke on the League's behalf in the House of Commons, provided opportunities for League members to address the House of Commons and discussed strategies based on events in India. The League also held public meetings to

mark 'Independence day' celebrations, Tagore's birthday, and to commemorate the Amritsar Massacre. Executive members of the League, including Menon, addressed several different groups of people- workers, women's groups, church-goers, and also spoke at several conferences held by other organisations like the Labour Party, the Communist Party and the Fabian society. They published numerous articles on the plight of India via their own two organs Indian News (NewsIndia) and the Information Bulletin. Several treatises and pamphlets were also issued to the British public to counter government propaganda and misinformation regarding the true state of affairs in India. During India's independence struggle, the League was a strong ally of the Indian National Congress in Britain, which was a consequence of the close ties between Menon and Jawaharlal Nehru. While the organisation was successfully active for the most part of the 1930s, the second world war marked a period of lull with respect to the impact of its activities since the political focus of Britain was diverted towards the war. However, the 'Quit India' movement in 1942, the subsequent imprisonment of Nehru and other Congress leaders saw a zealous surge in the League's activities, as did the Bengal famine of 1943.

Even though Indian and Ceylonese people resident in or visiting England, which included several students, attended the League meetings, membership to the League was largely elitist and predominantly British until the early 1940s. At this time, in an attempt to win the support of South-Asian working class in Britain, the League opened a branch in the East End. After Indian independence in August 1947, the organisation continued its work, this time with the aim of strengthening the ties between Britain and India, as well as working towards people's empowerment across the globe. Even though its primary objective involved India's struggle for freedom and later British-Indian ties, the league remains internationalist in its outlook till today, reaffirming its view that India's fight for independence was a part of the larger global campaign against imperialism and capitalism, still prevalent today. The current executive members of the India League are: Mr CB Patel (Chairman), Dr Cyriac Mapreil (ViceChairman) and Mr Ashok Gupta (acting Gen-Sec) and a new committee will be elected soon. On 30 January every year, the India League in association with the Indian High Commission, observes Mahatma Gandhi's death anniversary at 11am in Tavistock Square, London, WC1, where Bapu's statue is situated. Dignitaries from the Indian High Commission, British MPs, Peers and Mayor of Camden pay their floral tributes to the 'Mahatma' and address the gathering.


FINANCIAL VOICE Financial Voice - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

Dear Financial Voice Reader,

I am often asked how people should get into finance – so I’ve created a special free guide. You can download it from: My own story is pretty simple. But getting into finance for me was not about making money. It was about the idea of everyone benefiting from what Thatcher called a ‘share owning democracy’. That idea in the 1980s when I was a child captured my imagination. Getting into finance to make money will leave you feeling hollow. But getting into finance has to be about more. When this year I launched and that was about a greater purpose. The idea started when the Financial Times called me the top FTSE 100 forecaster, and magazines started carrying the profitable trades and my name on their covers and Bloomberg TV paid me to do my own show. The Financial Times gave me my own column on investing. But I wanted to reach a broader audiance; those who are too busy to invest, or research but deserve the best information; I wanted to democratise investing to offer know-how to moms and dads without charging commissions and broker fees or a vested interest or conflict. Soon it was followed by Industry accolades and big banks becoming paying clients of my company to have me speak to their audiences. And if you want to get into finance, then employers will want to see this bigger vision and passion. For me was democratising investment by offering free video training on investing. And was about democratising investing by offering tips that only the super-rich get. Why should they get all the money and best treatment. Both sites are free – like I said – it was about democracy. Spreading wealth. Sharing knowledge. Not greedy bankers. And that is the point of this column too – so let’s get to the markets: Increased volatility in the currency markets didn't subside on Friday with the major currency pairs demonstrating large swings for yet another day. The theme in the markets on the last day of the week was the massive liquidation of positions on emerging markets' currencies. This liquidation that has become an actual sell-off has been reflected on the major currencies' technical outlook as increased flows of money previously placed elsewhere is being repositioned on safer heavens like the Dollar, the Euro, the Pound and the Japanese Yen. Just to give you a brief description of the large withdrawals from emerging markets' currencies I must note the 15% drop in the Argentinean Peso in the last week, the over 4% drop in the Turkish Lira and the 3% decline in the Brazilian Real all within the previous week. Investors are abandoning their positions on emerging markets' currencies in a massive fashion due to the recurring signs that China, a very big importer of goods and raw materials from these countries, seems to be heading for a reduced growth in the next 5 years. This development definitely has a spill-over effect in the majors as well and with a week filled with important news events I expect volatility to remain high throughout the week. The Euro attempted to break above 1.3700 but retreated immediately below that key resistance and traded around 1.3680 having run a 200 pips rally over the previous sessions. Draghi's positive remarks at the Davos meeting where he mentioned that 'data have been more and more solid' and that 'the ECB policy is finally being passed on to the economy' have lifted the European currency. On the other hand, the British Pound took quite a dive as BoE Governor Carney alarmed investors when he mentioned that they are considering a 'range of options' for their forward guidance policy as the 7% unemployment rate seems at hand. The 2.5 years' high seems to be an issue for the Governor that wants to see production to continue to increase in 2014 and a pricy Pound wouldn't help in that direction.

Lloyds facing compensation bill

Lloyds Banking Group could face a huge compensation bill after hundreds of thousands of customers were left unable to use debit cards and 7,000 cash points as a result of a computer glitch. The largest retail bank in the UK, which has 22 million customers, has

apologised for the widespread disruption – the latest in a series of IT problems to hit UK banks in recent years. It said debit card transactions were affected, while Lloyds, TSB, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers suffered ATM problems for four and a half hours.

Cameron reveals measures to support small firms

Small firms will see the cost of doing business fall this year following measures brought in by the government to help them get on. Speaking at a Federation of Small Business (FSB) event, Prime Minister David Cameron has set out how the success of small businesses is central to the government’s long term economic plan. He pledged his commitment to continue to make it easier for small businesses to thrive. The country’s 4.9 million small businesses could save up to £10,000 each a year by taking advantage of government measures available to them, including; Business Rates - £1.1 billion package of business rates measures, with extra relief announced for small businesses through the extended doubling of the Small Business Rate Relief. Growth Vouchers – A £30 million programme which will see 20,000 small businesses receive up to £2,000 to help them access specialist support on hiring, financial management and marketing. Broadband vouchers – 10 out of 22 cities across the UK have already started to benefit from up to £100 million of broadband vouchers worth up to £3,000 each to help more small firms boost their business by

£800 million a year once the measures are fully implemented. Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Small businesses play an important role in boosting growth and creating jobs. I regularly meet these companies across the UK to hear first hand how government can do its part to help small and medium sized businesses grow and succeed. We have acted on their demands by improving access to finance with the new British Business Bank which I established last year, by significantly reducing red tape and by increasing the take up of business rate relief. “We are also tackling late payment, which affects so many small firms that still have to wait too long for cash to flow through to them. It's important that businesses give us their feedback on this issue. The

Business Exchange will help strengthen supply chains and forge good working relationships between firms of all sizes. Big firms naturally have a wealth of expertise and knowledge that small businesses can and should benefit from.” Enterprise and Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: “Small businesses are the bedrock of the UK economy and I’m delighted that today at the Federation for Small Business policy day, we are able to cement our commitment to help them grow. “Small businesses are responsible for nearly half the job creation in the UK. That’s why we must continue our drive to provide the support they need to scale-up, move into new markets and hire more staff so that they can compete in the global race.” To further support small businesses the government has been working closely with Enterprise Nation to launch The Business Exchange. This asks big businesses to link up with smaller ones to exchange skills, resources and ideas to help them grow. Building on the industrial strategy this initiative aims to strengthen the UK’s position as a great place to do business.

Award. Last year, her commitment to education and young people earned her a British Empire Medal. “There is a huge desperation from students and youth looking for routes into employment. We respond to that in a way they understand,” she said. Haghdadi is close to hiring her first employee. “Working in an area where people are starting companies all the time inspires you.”

Statistics collated by StartUp Britain, the national campaign for entrepreneurship, show Birmingham to be one of the top-performing regions for start- up businesses. With 16,281 new companies registered last year, it came second to London, on 152,084. More than a quarter of the capital’s start-ups were created in east London, which incorporates Tech City, the technology cluster promoted by government. The list of 25 start-up hotspots shows Manchester, Bristol and Glasgow among the top performers while Newcastle sits at the bottom, with only 5,530 new companies. Figures from Companies House show that a record 526,446 fledgling businesses were registered in 2013, beating the 484,224 a year earlier and 440,600 in 2011.

David Cameron

accessing faster and better broadband connectivity. E m p l o y m e n t Allowance – from April 2014 every business and charity will be entitled to a £2,000 Employment Allowance to reduce their employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) bill each year. Over 90% of the benefit of this allowance will go to small businesses. Fuel Duty - government has cancelled the planned September increase in fuel duty. The average small business with a vehicle will save £1,300 on petrol by 2015. Regulation - more than 3,000 regulations, including employment, health and safety law and environmental legislation have been identified for scrapping or improvement through the Red Tape Challenge since 2011. This is expected to deliver savings of over

There’s a world of start-ups outside London

For Anisa Haghdadi, the transition from student to businesswoman was seamless. After graduating from Aston University in 2012, she whipped up a business plan, secured a £20,000 grant and got her venture off the ground. Her entrepreneurial flair combined with a readily available network to nurture her idea. “You’re never far from bumping into an entrepreneur in Birmingham,” said Haghdadi, 23, who was born and raised in Northfield, a suburb in the south of the city. “If people aren’t working from offices or hubs, they’re in coffee shops starting businesses. There is a real buzz and lots of support.” With co-founder Chris Orthodoxou, Haghdadi runs Class Careers, which works with employers to make secondary students aware of school-leaver schemes. Through webinars - meetings conduct-

ed via the internet - classes are connected to companies running programmes for students unable or unwilling to enter higher education. “I’m a fan of businesses with meaning. Ones that make a difference,” said Haghdadi, who has worked with social enterprises since she was 15. Cash for her venture came from Baldwins Kick Start, which granted Haghdadi the Midlands Youth Entrepreneur

FINANCIAL VOICE - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

Why London Has Pulling Power

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap A Property Investment Company


Over the weekend I met an Israeli who was working in London, though he had his roots in his homeland. We got talking about property and he mentioned his father in law had made a sizable fortune in Uzbekistan. He also informed me his father in law had distributed some of his wealth already to his children. He had been the recipient of some of these funds and these were currently sitting in his account not doing very much. He wanted to invest in property, prices were rising in Israel and Uzbekistan, however with good reason he did not feel comfortable in either of the two countries, unsurprisingly. Though prices may be rising these countries do not have much stability. Therefore his choice was to invest in London. How to invest? He presumed he should simply go out and purchase a buy to let property and sit on it, waiting for it to rise. This is certainly one way and the most common way.

I ask ed him what he wishe d to gain from the in vest me nt, capital gain or re gular in come, he pred ictably replied bo th. Nine t ime s out of te n when I ask t his q uestion t o investors this is in evit ably the answer I g et back. It seems the y are sc ared if they say just on e of these the y may n ot ge t the other on e at all . To co ve r t hemse lve s they answe r both. However this may not be the best way to get return out of a property. For example, a group of businessmen decided to invest in property, they all had high incomes as business was doing good. They went out and purchased a high yielding HMO property because the yield was unusually high. I asked them why they purchased such a property if they did not need the income, they had no answer. They were all on high income tax brackets therefore half the income was going straight to the tax man. This kind of property did not suit their circumstances. Furthermore the rise of an HMO property will only be a fraction of other properties in the area for various reasons. I proposed to him another way, by trading property through our consortiums. This will give him regular cash lump sums throughout the year, ensuring his money is working harder for him than being stuck in one property. At a later stage of course it may be wise to keep a property on the side as a long term investment. This way has advantages, he is able to remain fluid yet his money is working for him. This week the FT did an exposé on the property market in Jakarta, Indonesia. A city I have some familiarity with having visited it several times in the last couple of decades. I have seen the traffic jams get heavier and heavier to the point it seems like there’s a permanent jam. The island is surrounded by putrid waters and is at risk from floods. Prices have increased as much as 40% per annum in some places leaving many aspiring Indonesians without a roof over their heads. Very expensive shopping malls have risen, shopping malls which the common Londoner would find expensive. The prices are now facing some threat, with the upcoming presidential elections and the interest rates going higher. This real estate market has been described as one of the strongest in the world by one of the leading real estate brokers Cushman & Wakefield. This is typically what happens when economies grow too fast, the

local infrastructure cannot keep pace. And so the growth becomes lop sided, like a lame animal trying to run. An exception to this seems to be China, a country wherein the government is the entrepreneur, so you have a guided and well thought out development. This is a traditional market where speculators and developers are still averse to taking loans. Developers depend upon pre sales to fund their developments rather than going for bank finance. Despite the hike in property prices, much of the Indonesian money is finding its way to the UK property market. Someo ne I kn ow in Jakart a who has a family base d there is k een t o invest in Lon don for two reason s. The primary re ason is his children will want to go to universit y here in the UK, In don esia doe sn ’t have th e matu re ed ucation system which t he UK has the ref ore he se es the ne ed to bu ild a f ound atio n in the UK. The seco nd is he kn ows t his is a go od and stable in vest ment, meaning med ium t o long te rm the price s will rise by a sensible le vel. A recent survey done by Knight Frank asking respondents to rank the most important global and regional cities resulted in London taking the pole position in almost every category. Demand for central London comes from 63 countries around the world, with Indonesia steadily increasing its share. It is not difficult to see why London is an attractive city to invest in from an international point of view, with good sensible reasons. Even if we take the price rising completely out of the equation, we are still left with two main factors. One is it is a stable country politically and investors trust the system here. On the whole if you purchase a property here no one would question whether you have a clear title of ownership. When renting no one can claim ownership of the property and if rent isn’t paid there are systems in place which will evict the tenant. Secondly this is one of the leading countries for secondary education, which has taken many years for maturity; not something which another country can replicate in a hurry. A large reason why international investors are investing is due to wealth preservation. They see the importance of keeping their funds out of unstable countries, where though they made their money there they do not wish to keep funds there.

The Real Deal

Kilburn High Road, London, NW6 Purchase Price: £725k l A rarely available freehold building in this prominent location l Commercial on the ground floor and residential on the above l Moments away from the station l Excellent buy and hold opportunity l There could be a grant available for the works in the property

Th e price of anything is dete rmined by su pply an d d eman d. W e have a situ at io n where the demand co mes from a wide variet y of so urces fo r cent ral Lon don pro perty, yet supply is very con strain ed. This is further fueled by the intrinsic demand for property. It is easy to see why prices will be rising. My predication is in the coming two years you will see historic records being broken.

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Tips of the Week

l As with any business venture it is always wise to have more than one exit strategy; property has this naturally, instead of reselling you can refinance and get all or most of the money invested back if the price has risen, and continue enjoying the rental income. l Don’t buy property blindly, do your research. Not on the property as most do, but on yourself and your situation, some considerations are tax, lifestyle and retirement.



Maria Fernandes

Is Malta a Better Option for Investors?

Whilst the UK has an investment route which requires a minimum investment of £750,000 and the availability of a further £250,000, it requires applicants to be resident in the UK throughout the period and citizenship is available after 6 years in all. The Government is looking at changes to this system and this may mean a rise in the figure or the rules for investment may change. This coupled with high inheritance tax rules are putting investors off and they have been looking elsewhere. There has been significant interest in the proposed investment programme in Malta which grants citizenship in exchange for an investment. Many EU countries have been up in arms as it appears that applicants can “buy” passports and there has been some talk of the regulations being challenged as unlawful. In fact nationality laws are a matter for each country to determine and so it would appear to be a measure that can lawfully be taken. In fact the EU Commissioner has said as much. Some years ago Ireland wanted to introduce similar rules but backed off after an outcry. This time Malta is staying put. In fact Malta has two options. The first is a nationali-

Cairn Energy restrained from selling India stake

The Income Tax Department, which is probing Cairn Energy plc’s transfer of India assets, has asked the UK-based company not to dispose of its 10.3 per cent holding in Cairn India. Cairn Energy was widely seen as a likely participant in the Indian firm’s share buyback, which opened last week. The I-T Department had started an investigation on January 15 to establish if capital gains tax was due from Cairn Energy’s transfer of shares of Indian assets that were held in a subsidiary set up in the tax haven of Jersey to newly incorporated Cairn India in 2006. “Cairn (Energy) has been contacted by the Income Tax Department for the year ending March 31, 2007. Cairn is cooperating to provide the necessary documentation and information as requested,” the Edinburgh-based company said in a statement.

ty route which gives immediate rights to free movement to work or set up in business in all the 28 EU countries and to bring not only their spouse and children but also parents for a small additional sum. The total investment is EUR 1.15 million. EUR 650,000 must be invested directly in Government funds. 70% must be invested in the National Development fund and 30% will go into the public coffers directly. For spouses and children under 18 there will be an additional EUR 25,000 required and for parents and children between 18-25, a sum of EUR 50,000 will be required. They will also need to either buy property worth at least EUR 350,000 or rent it at a minimum of EUR 16,000 per year and hold it for a period of 5 years. A further EUR must be invested in bonds of shares. There are no requirements of residence and so upon the grant of citizenship applicants are free to set up elsewhere within the EU. There is a cap of 1,800 places and once these are filled the programme will be closed. Applicants will be subject to strict “due diligence” checks which can take upto 6 months. The other route that is available does not give rights of free movement immediately but will take

6 years, the same as the UK. The applicant must have business capital of EUR 350,000 or Real estate plus an annual income of a minimum of EUR 23,000 and will be required to buy or rent premises within 12 months of entry. There will be a requirement to transfer additional funds every year. The advantage of this category, however, is that there are no requirements for residence. Therefore for those who want a foothold in the EU can invest their money there and live elsewhere and wait for 6 years before qualifying. These regulations are by far the most generous amongst the EU countries. Coupled with far less stringent requirements, there are no inheritance taxes and tax is not based on worldwide income. If the nationality scheme goes ahead, and it looks likely, other countries are likely to follow suit in an effort to boost their economies. When changes are being considered it is vitally important for the UK not to price themselves out of the market by imposing stricter controls than are necessary. Malta is a country which enjoys permanent sunshine and for this reason alone would be a further draw for those coming to Europe from sunnier climes.

Importance of IT compliance in auto industry automobiles skill in Gujarat Federation of Indian

Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in association with Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) organized a seminar on “Importance of IT Compliance in Automobile IndustryBenefits of Strengthening your Supply Chain” in Ahmedabad on 28th January 2014. The Seminar focused on the importance of IT compliance in the supply chain associated with the Automobile Industry comprising of automotive component manufacturers and exporters. Welcoming the Industry Commissioner, Dr Bimal N Patel, Director & Vice Chancellor, Gujarat National Law University highlighted that IT today has become the basis of our existence. Similarly in the auto industry as well they are not only needed for the automation, designing but the need has spread to the entire supply chain. “The next big thing will be to continue investing in the capacity building specific to

to be able to sustain the automobile revolution” said Dr Patel. Inaugurating the Seminar Industries Commissioner, Kamal Dayani (IAS), Gujarat State Government, said “With companies like Ford, Maruti, General Motors and Honda setting up their shops, Gujarat is fast becoming an automotive hub for the country. With them they will nurture hundreds of ancillary units that will feed the supply chain of the hub.” Dr. K. Rangarajan, Head, Centre for MSME Studies, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, IIFT Kolkata while delivering his address on the “Emerging Issues and Risks in Supply Chain” while discussing the recent US law of Unfair Competition Act said that given the dependence of Automotive manufacturing sector on IT systems, use of genuine software and hardware will become a critical factor to recon for competitiveness. - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

RBI raises repo rate further

The Reserve Bank of India unexpectedly raised its policy interest rate on Tuesday by 25 basis points but said that if consumer price inflation eases as projected it does not foresee further near-term tightening. The policy decision was driven by an expectation that consumer price index (CPI) inflation will remain high, an indication that the RBI is looking to adopt a recent proposal to base its policy rate decisions on a CPI target. The RBI raised its policy repo rate by 25 basis points to 8 per cent. Most economists in a poll conducted last week had expected no change in rates. However, expectations for a rate hike had increased after a central bank panel proposed to make CPI the main inflation benchmark. Indian bonds, stocks and the rupee fell after the rate hike but soon recovered most losses on the back of the dovish statement. The benchmark 10year bond yield which rose as much as 9 basis points

following the hike, retreated entirely to continue trading down 5 bps on the day at 8.72 per cent. "For now, this should mark the peak of the rate hike cycle, with the central bank's growth projections close to our conservative estimates at 4.8 per cent for FY14 and 5.3 per cent for FY15," said Radhika Rao, economist at DBS Bank in Singapore. The CPI eased to a three-month low of 9.87 per cent in December but remains well above the central bank's policy repo rate of 7.75 per cent, and the RBI said that consumer inflation risks remain to the upside.

Last week, a central bank panel proposed revamping its monetary policy structure by setting a CPI inflation target of 4 per cent, plus or minus 2 per cent, over the long term, with a goal of trimming CPI to 8 per cent by January 2015 and 6 per cent by January 2016. "An increase in the policy rate ... will set the economy securely on the recommended disinflationary path," the RBI said in a brief policy statement. "If the disinflationary process evolves according to this baseline projection, further policy tightening in the near term is not anticipated at this juncture," it said. The wholesale price index, long the RBI's main price barometer, slowed to 6.16 per cent in December. "It seems like RBI has implicitly accepted the (panel) recommendations implying continued focus on CPI going ahead," said Upasna Bhardwaj, economist at ING Vysya Bank, referring to the central bank panel on revamping monetary policy.

China has overtaken India as the world’s largest gold consumer thanks to soaring purchases of jewellery, minted Panda coins and small gold bars. According to a survey, Chinese demand reached 1,189.8 tonnes last year, a 32 per cent year-on-year jump and a fivefold increase since 2003. Its hungry factories and mushrooming cities had already made China the number one global consumer of industrial metals such as copper, aluminium and zinc. The frenetic buying of gold in China, which led to a temporary shortage of physical stocks, was sparked by the 28 per cent fall in the precious metal’s price last year, the worst performance in more than three decades. Following a 12year bull run, gold lost its lustre in Europe and North America as economic con-

ditions improved and the prospects of inflation receded. Western investors dumped gold-backed exchange traded funds in 2013, with holdings falling by 880 tonnes. A simultaneous “Asianled buying frenzy”, with consumers chasing bargains, resulted in gold bars being removed from vaults in Europe and other markets, melted into smaller bars in Swiss refineries, and shipped to the East. GFMS described the flow

as the “largest movement of gold, by value, in history”. Indian consumption rose 5 per cent to 987.2 tonnes last year, but was held back by new import tariffs and restrictions. In China there were no brakes. Gold jewellery fabrication rose nearly a third to 724 tonnes, surpassing India for the first time, and the retail sector boomed. In July and August, more than 200 gold showrooms opened in the southern city of Shenzhen.

Bangalore remains the most attractive IT/ITeS outsourcing location in the world, and six Indian cities are part of the top 10 most attractive outsourcing locations, says the latest annual ranking by consulting firm Tholons. The other cities are Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune. But the 2014 edition of this survey, which ranks the top 100 locations, also points to some interesting trends: several Indian tier2 cities, as also cities in the Philippines, Poland and South America, have significantly improved their

attractiveness over the past year. Chandigarh (at No. 23), Kolkata (25), Jaipur (38) and Ahmedabad (63) have improved their rankings. Ahmedabad rose the most, by six ranks, compared to last year's ranking, suggesting that Gujarat CM Narendra Modi's economic initiatives are paying off for the IT/ITeS industry too. It is seen to be particularly good in finance & accounting BPO and in certain aspects of IT. However, Coimbatore (31), Bhubaneswar (55) and Thiruvananthapuram

(68) have slipped a little. "Efforts by Nasscom (IT industry body) and others to promote tier-2 and tier-3 cities are paying off," said Vikrant Khanna, principal at Tholons. But it remains to be seen whether these cities can evolve to service a diverse portfolio of services. Manila, the capital of the Philippines, has risen to the second spot, dislodging Mumbai, which is down to No. 3. Other cities in the Philippines, including Davao City, Santa Rosa (Laguna), and Bacolod City, all rose up the ranks, while Cebu City maintained its No. 8 position.

Raghuram Rajan

China becomes top gold consumer

6 Indian cities among top outsourcing hubs - Asian Voice 1st February 2014



Foreign Exchange

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

Not reached escape velocity Bank of England Governor Mark Carney made a speech on Friday 24th January stating that the UK economy has not yet reached 'escape velocity'. So whilst there has been significant improvement in the economy, with consumer spending and rising house prices driving growth, the UK is not yet out of troubled waters. He acknowledged the dramatic improvement in the job market with unemployment now at 7.1% but once again reaffirmed that the Central Bank would not carry out an interest rate hike in the nearest future, as there was "no immediate need” for such a move. He added that the BoE will need to update its forward guidance on future interest rate rises as the Bank was not expecting the rate to fall to 7% for another two years. Under the current forward guidance plan the Bank of England have set a 7% unemployment rate threshold before they consider raising interest rates. As a result sterling’s recent run of gains was halted, with the pound notably falling off from a

being passed through to the real economy”. The euro advanced the most in almost four weeks against the dollar as a measure of manufacturing, rose to the highest in more than 2 ½ years, boosting optimism that growth in Europe is gathering pace. In Germany the ZEW index that measures investors’ Bank of England Governor Mark Carney confidence, decreased slightly and now stands at 61.7, 2 ½ year high against the US from 62.0 in December. This figdollar. ure was also positive for the European Central Bank entire Eurozone coming in at President Mario Draghi made a 73.3 for January higher than speech on Friday 24th January December’s figure of 68.3. This evening commenting of a “drahelped to provide some support matic” improvement in the for the euro. health of the euro area economy Overall the euro was generand that inflation will gradually ally well supported over the past return to the target of under 2%. week, sweeping aside worries Draghi stated “What we have that a lower rate of inflation been seeing in the past three or would put pressure on the four months is both the Central Bank to lower interest improvement in financial marrates. kets and that our accommodaThe annual rate of Inflation tive monetary policy is finally

in New Zealand rose more than expected in the fourth quarter, from 1.4% to 1.6%. A stronger rate of inflation would put pressure on the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to start raising interest rates with many analysts expecting a hike to occur in March. Canada's annual inflation rate climbed to 1.2% in December from 0.9% in November, largely due to higher gasoline prices, but remained well below the Bank of Canada's 2.0% target. The data gave the Canadian dollar some much needed respite after recently falling to fresh 4 year lows against the pound. The other main theme at the moment is regarding the weakening of emerging market currencies, in particular the Indian rupee. Fears over global economic growth has taken risk appetite out of the markets, as well as the potential for the Fed to continue to taper their quantitative easing program has sapped confidence out of investors. As a result the pound is at a six month high against the Indian rupee.

Weekly Currencies

As of Tuesday 28th January 2014 @ 2.00pm GBP - INR = 103.93 USD - INR = 62.68 EUR - INR = 85.51 GBP - USD = 1.66 GBP - EUR = 1.22

EUR - USD = 1.36 GBP - AED = 6.09

GBP - CAD = 1.85

GBP - NZD = 2.00

GBP - AUD = 1.88

GBP - ZAR = 18.34

GBP - HUF = 369.84

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.



In Focus

Business leaders flay Labour plan to revive 50p tax

London: Business leaders have reacted with fury to Labour Paraty’s plans to resurrect the 50p tax rate, saying it would be a “disaster” for the economy. Entrepreneurs warned the move would spark an exodus of top talent and damage Britain’s standing as one of the most competitive tax regimes in the world. Industry leaders said it was the “final nail in the coffin” for their relationship with Labour and could sabotage the recovery. Official figures out this week are expected to show Britain grew by 1.9% in 2013, its fastest pace since the financial crisis. Economists say this year growth could hit 3%.

Thousands left with no electricity

London: As thousands of homes were left without power during the recent storms, engineers were diverted to fix a simple problem at David Cameron’s home. Two workmen were part of a team battling to restore electricity to 11,000 houses in Oxfordshire after storms and floods left families shivering in the dark. But they were suddenly diverted to the PM’s home after he lost his power while watching the Sound of Music on TV.

The stethoscope is on its way out

London: The cold sensation of the doctor's stethoscope has been familiar to patients for decades. But the device could soon be replaced by new technology, a leading scientific journal has predicted. It claims that a new generation of hand-held ultrasound devices, modelled on smartphones, are able to diagnose heart, lung and other conditions quicker and with more accuracy than the 200-year-old stethoscope.

Older cancer patients are being ‘written off’

London: Some patients with cancer are being denied treatment because they are too old, according to charity Macmillan Cancer Support. Elderly patients are being "written off" for treatment after being assessed on age rather than fitness, claimed the charity. The claim comes despite research showing tens of thousands of pensioners have survived the disease for 10 years or more. "It's wrong to write off older people as too old for treatment," said Macmillan chief executive Ciaran Devane.

Do not arrest drug users, border guards told

London: Border guards have been instructed not to arrest travellers who bring small amounts of cannabis or other drugs into Britain, it has emerged. Official guidance to Border Force staff at ports and airports says no action should be taken against people found with “personal use” quantities of Class B drugs such as cannabis, amphetamines and mephedrone, also known as meow meow.

Long live the loving ties that bind for ever

London: What’s the secret of a happy marriage? Never both wanting to get divorced at the same time. Boom-tish! Actually, there’s a grain of truth in there bigger than the emerald in my engagement ring. Way back when I was still a sassy girlfriend rather than a naggy wife, I informed my then-boyfriend that any chap contemplating the purchase of a ring ought to spend a month’s salary on it. His reply, which should possibly have made me run for the hills, was: “Would that be before or after tax?” Now we learn that the secret to a happy marriage is, in fact, living apart. Who knew? Apart that is, from Helena Bonham Carter and her husband, Tim Burton, who sussed it years ago.

Water giants swallow £11bn in dividends

London: The owners of Britain’s big six water companies have pocketed £11billion in dividends in the past decade while pushing up bills by 55% and avoiding billions in corporation tax.

Obama’s Indian-born critic indicted - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

Washington: A leading Indian-born conservative critic of US President Barack Obama was indicted for election finance fraud and one other charge that could together get him seven years in jail. Dinesh D’Souza, the accused, will appear in a New York court, in a process called arraignment, to be freed on bail on an amount to be determined by the court. D’Souza, 52, is the maker of “2016: Obama’s America”, a film that argues that the President was weakening American with his anti-colonialism inherited from his Kenyan father. The filmmaker now stands accused of using fronts to bypass limits on individual contributions to the campaign fund of a candidate, and then making false statements about it. “Trying to influence elections through bogus campaign contributions

Dinesh D’Souza

is a serious crime,” said George Venizelos, FBI officer in charge of investigating the case. D’Souza allegedly used fronts to contribute $20,000 to the campaign of an unidentified New York candidate for the senate in 2012, going way over the limit of $5,000.

Indian-American Neel Kashkari to run for California governor

Washington: Former IndianAmerican US Treasury official Neel Kashkari, architect of the bank bailout during the 2008 financial crisis, plans to run for governor of California with a pledge to create jobs and improve public schools. "Today, the gift of a good education and the opportunity it creates are out of reach for millions of struggling Californians," he said in a keynote speech at the 2014 Sacramento Business Review at California State University, Sacramento. "That's why I'm running for governor: To create jobs and give kids a quality education. Jobs and education. That's it. That's my platform," said Kashkari, 40, a Republican, according to his website. But unseating Democratic Governor Jerry Brown Brown, "a popular Democratic incumbent who is widely expected to run for reelection, will be an uphill battle for Kashkari, a political novice," according San Jose Mercury News Right now, Kashkari's only

Neel Kashkari

Republican challenger is California assembly memmber, Tim Donnelly, a tea party favourite and staunch social conservative. "In the coming weeks, Kashkari's favourability among the state's Republican and independent voters will be tested, as will his ability to raise enough money to be competitive against Brown, who has already amassed a campaign war chest of $17 million," Mercury News said. Kashkari, a first-generation American whose parents emigrated from India 50 years ago, was appointed to the Department of Treasury in 2006 by then Republican President George W. Bush.

“D’Souza did not act with any corrupt or criminal intent whatsoever,” his lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, has said in a statement. “He and the candidate have been friends since their college days, and at most, this was an act of misguided friendship by D’Souza.” Conservatives lit into the indictment accusing the Obama administration of using the instruments of state to settle scores with the president’s critics. D’Souza is the third conservative accused of corruption and power abuse recently with New Jersey governor Chris Christie and former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell. That was one conservative line-of-attack on the indictment. The second hinged on the man who announced it: Indian-born Manhattan US attorney Preet Bharara. “As we have long said, this

Office and the FBI take a zero tolerance approach to corruption of the electoral process,” said Bharara in a statement. Critics tried to portray D’Souza’s as another attempt by Bharara to score points here by implicating IndianAmericans -- “Another Indian American :-/ ...” said a tweet. Others recalled Bharara’s previous “conquests” to bolster that point: former McKinsey CEO Rajat Gupta, who was held guilty of insider trading last year, as charged by Bharara. And, more recently Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, who was expelled by the US for visa fraud and making false statement, again, as charged by Bharara. D’Souza was born in Mumbai and came to the US as an exchange student. He doesn’t say more about his life in India on his website.

London: A Muslim woman standing trial in a full-face veil was told she must remove it if she gives evidence in her defence, a court has heard. Rebekah Dawson, 22, has been allowed to appear at her trial for alleged witness intimidation in a niqab showing just her eyes. Trial Judge Peter Murphy ruled last September that she could wear the Islamic garment in court but he said she would have to let the jury of five women and seven men see her face if she gave evidence. Her barrister, Susan Meek, told the jury at Blackfriars Crown Court in London that she would not be giving evidence in her own defence. Judge Murphy had asked Ms Meek whether she had told her client that the jury would be free to ''draw such inferences as might be proper'' from a decision not to give

evidence. She said she had. ''Does she intend to give evidence?'' he asked. ''No'', Ms Meek replied. Dawson, of Hackey, east London, is on trial alongside her brother, Matthias Dawson, 32, accused of intimidating a security guard at the Finsbury Park mosque in north London last June. It is alleged they approached Daudi Yusuf at the mosque after an incident between him and Ms Dawson's husband, Royal Barnes. Both defendants deny a single charge of witness intimidation.

Muslim woman told to remove veil to give evidence

Musharraf wants overseas treatment

Islamabad: Former dictator Pervez Musharraf has refused to undergo an angiography in Pakistan and wants to go abroad for treatment, media reports quoted a medical board as saying in a report submitted to a special court. Though the board's report was presented to the court in a sealed cover, details of it were leaked and reported by several news channels. Express News, which said it obtained the report, quoted it as saying that Musharraf's health is such that a heart attack could be "life-threatening". The medical board was set up by the special court, which is conducting Musharraf's treason trial, to assess the 70year-old former military ruler's health condition after he was admitted to hospital on January 2 with heart problems. The court said the medical

Pervez Musharraf

board's report will be subjected to cross-examination, following which it will announce its decision on Musharraf's appearance for hearings. The report stated Musharraf was unwilling to get an angiography done in Pakistan as the cardiac support system in the country is "not up to standard", Express News reported. The government's prose-

cutor, Akram Sheikh, objected to the findings in the report, which was submitted by the four-member medical board headed by Maj General Syed Imran Majeed. Musharraf's lawyer Anwar Mansoor requested the court to keep the report secret. However, the prosecutor said Musharraf is a public figure and the report should be made public. He said the Constitution includes a provision for a free press. Sheikh demanded that another medical board, comprising cardiologists of Aga Khan Hospital, PIMS Hospital and Shifa International Hospital, should be formed to review the report. He further said the report's findings seemed to imply that all heart patients should be sent abroad for treatment.

Housemaid accused of killing employers' daughter

Dubai: A housemaid who had been refused holiday allegedly murdered her employers' baby in a lastditch attempt to get time off work. The woman, who worked for an Indian couple in Dubai, was arrested on suspicion of suffocating the girl with a wet rag while she slept. The parents returned home from work to find their only child had died from what they initially thought was natural causes. But an autopsy later ruled that she had been suffocated. When questioned by police, the housemaid said she was angry after being denied time off work to travel back to her home country. - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

In Focus

Flood of cement closes London’s Victoria Line

London: Thousands of rush hour commuters in London faced chaos on their way home after a major London underground control room was flooded by a sea of cement. A large section of the Victoria Line covering central and south London was closed following the incident early on Thursday afternoon, and was expected to remain shut throughout the evening. Officials admitted that the disruption had been caused by upgrade work to expand Victoria Station.

Labour plan to stub out smoking in cars with children

London: Smoking would be banned in cars carrying children under plans drawn up by Labour. Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary, said the move would “protect children from preventable harm”. Research has shown that the confined space of a car means the toxic fumes other passengers breathe in are up to 11 times more concentrated than those in a smoke-filled pub.

Indian woman may face death penalty in Indonesia

Jakarta: An Indian woman, who was arrested at Juanda International Airport in Indonesia's secondlargest city Surabaya for carrying 1.7 kg of banned drugs in her luggage, may face the death penalty. The woman, who was arrested on January 19, was charged with trafficking more than a kilogram of drugs and under the nation’s strict drug laws she could face the death penalty, the Jakarta Globe quoted an official as saying.

50 killed in Pak air strikes

Peshawar: The former interim chief of the Pakistani Taliban was among 50 militants, including 36 foreign fighters, killed in heavy air strikes in the lawless North Waziristan region, military sources said. "Most of the terrorists killed in North Waziristan strikes are foreign fighters which include 33 Uzbeks and three Germans," a Pakistani military source said. He named the militant commanders as "Wali Mohammad (predecessor of Qari Hussain), Asmat Shahin Bittani, Noor Badshah and Maulvi Farhad Uzbek". Bhittani served as the acting TTP chief after the killing of Hakeemullah Mehsud.

Gunman kills 5 Afghan cricket players

Kabul: An Afghan official says a gunman on a motorcycle opened fire at a group of local cricket players, killing five of them during a game in eastern Laghman province. A provincial spokesman, Sarhadii Zhouak, says the attack took place in Alinghar district. He says the attacker fled the scene. There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Zhouak blamed the Taliban. When the Taliban ruled the country, they severely restricted sports and public celebrations.

Little India riot: Indian to plead guilty to lesser charge

Singapore: Chinnappa Vijayaragunatha Poopathi is among 25 Indian nationals facing charges relating to last month’s riot which left 39 police officers and civil defence staff injured. A 32-year-old Indian national, one of the 25 people accused of taking part in Singapore’s worst riots in over 40 years, is expected to be the first person to plead guilty to a reduced charge, a media report said.

Marlboro Man dies of smoking disease

California: The actor Eric Lawson, whose face once glowered from newspaper adverts to promote cigarettes as the essential accompaniment to a rugged lifestyle, has become the latest “Marlboro Man” to die from a lung disease. Lawson, who suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, died of respiratory failure at his home in California at the age of 72, according to his wife, Susan.

Woman ends life over fears of hair colour

London: A woman killed herself after becoming obsessed with the colour of her hair, an inquest heard. Frances Warren, who was known as Frankie, sent more than 50 text messages to her hairdresser asking for an appointment on the day she died. Warren, 26, had her bleached blonde hair dyed brown, but complained that she still “hated it”.


US military eases rules on religious beards, tattoos

Washington: The US military has eased restrictions on religious tattoos, hairstyles or apparel that troops can display while in uniform, as long as it does not jeopardize "unit cohesion." The Pentagon said the rules it unveiled marked the first time the agency has laid out a general policy on the issue. "The new policy states that military departments will accommodate religious requests of service members unless they have an adverse effect on military readiness, mission accomplishment, unit cohesion, and good order and discipline," spokesman

Lieutenant Commander Nate Christensen said in a statement. As long as a unit's mission is not put at risk or safety jeopardized, the regulations would allow an exception to standard "clean-cut" grooming standards on religious grounds, including facial

India-born scientist wins technology ‘Nobel’

Washington: An Indiaborn engineer-scientist who was disdained by the Indian system despite his yeoman contribution to the country’s naval defence, and whose subsequent work in the US is at the heart of the current high speed WiFi and 4G mobile systems, has been awarded the 2014 Marconi Prize, a Nobel equivalent for technology pioneers. Coimbatore-native and Stanford University professor emeritus Arogyaswami Joseph Paulraj, simply known as “Paul” to his legion of friends and admirers, has been recognized for his work in inventing and advancing MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology, a key enabler of wireless broadband services that has revolutionized high speed delivery of multimedia across the world. The Marconi Prize, whose previous winners include world wide web pioneer Tim Berners-Lee, internet legend Vint Cerf, Google search maestro

Joseph Paulraj

Larry Page, and cell phone inventor Martin Cooper, comes with a $100,000 prize. Uncommonly, the Marconi Prize comes just three years after Paulraj was honoured with the other major Telecom technology award - the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal for his work on theoretical foundations of MIMO. “Paul has made profound contributions to wireless technology, and the resulting benefit to mankind is indisputable. Every wifi router and 4G phone today uses MIMO technology pioneered by him,” says professor Sir David Payne, chairman of the Marconi Society and director of the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton.

hair or other hairstyles, tattoos and piercings that reflect a soldier's spiritual faith. However, certain apparel or other expressions of religious faith would not be permitted if it "interferes with the wear or proper function of special or protective clothing or


equipment," such as helmets, flak jackets or flight suits, Christensen said. The new rules will help commanders maintain order and discipline and are designed to "reduce both the instances and perception of discrimination among those whose religious expressions are less familiar to the command," he said. Requests to waive rules on grooming and appearance will be handled on a "case-by-case" basis, he added. The revised rules follow a case in which Sikh service member asked that the military permit fellow Sikh troops to wear a turban or maintain a beard.

8 Indian-American students among 40 science talent finalists

Washington: Eight IndianAmerican students are among the 40 finalists of the Intel Science Talent Search competition, the oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition in the US. The 40 finalists will compete in Washington, DC from March 7-13 for USD 630,000 in awards. The top winner will receive USD 100,000 from the Intel Foundation. The Indian finalists are Vishnu Shankar from California, Sreyas Misra from California, Rahul Siddharth Mehta from Chicago, Anand Srinivasan from Georgia, Ajay Saini from Massachusetts, Anubhav Guha from New York, Preeti Kakani from New York and Parth Thakker from North Carolina. "It's exciting for the future of innovation because the US needs these 40 high school sen-

These 40 finalists were narrowed down from 300 semi-finalists and more than 1,700 entrants, an Intel statement said. "The Intel Science Talent Search encourages students to pursue ambitious scientific questions and develop skills to solve the problems of tomorrow. Participants are judged on their original scientific research and their achievement and leadership, inside and outside the classroom," it said.

school within H a r v a r d University that grants underg r a d u a t e degrees. Khurana earned his PhD through a joint programme between HBS and Harvard's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1998. H a r v a rd president Drew Faust described Khurana as a "faculty leader who embodies the interconnectedness" of Harvard. "His experiences as a graduate student, an

award-winning teacher at HBS, and the master of an undergraduate house give him a unique perspective on the university, and his deep respect for the liberal-arts model and the residential education will serve him well as he guides Harvard College," Faust said in a statement. Following the announcement, Khurana said he is "honoured" to have the opportunity to serve the college and work with the faculty, students, and staff to create a "transformative educational experience for our students. I am convinced that, working together, we will have a significant and positive impact on the college."

iors, and others like them, to question, explore and help solve some of the world's greatest challenges," said Wendy Hawkins, executive director of the Intel Foundation.

Rakesh Khurana named dean of Harvard College

New York: IndianAmerican professor Rakesh Khurana has been appointed dean of the prestigious Harvard College, becoming the latest addition to a long list of Indian-origin academicians assuming leadership roles at renowned global universities. Khurana, 46, is currently the 'Marvin Bower' professor of leadership development at Harvard Business School (HBS), professor of sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), and comaster of Cabot House at Harvard. He succeeds Evelynn Hammonds, professor of history of science and of African and African

Rakesh Khurana

American studies at Harvard and will assume his new role on July 1. Harvard College is the




Telangana activists pull down MP from dais

Two pro-Telangana activists disrupted a meeting organized to oppose bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh by pulling down Member of Parliament L. Rajagopal from the dais. Tension prevailed at Indira Park during the meeting when the Congress MP from Vijayawada was pulled down by the protestors, who barged into the venue raising 'Jai Telangana' slogans. According to witnesses, one of the protestors grabbed the MP's shirt and pulled him down as he was addressing the gathering to oppose the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2013 currently being debated by the legislature. The MP was not hurt in the incident.

Thousands bid adieu to Nageshwara Rao

Family and fans of thespian Akkineni Nageshwara Rao bid a tearful farewell to the actor last week. The funeral was performed with state honours with a 21-gun salute by the Andhra Pradesh Special Police. The APSP fired three times in the air as the funeral pyre was lit by ANR's sons Nagarjuna and Venkat helped by some of the grandchildren, including Supriya at the Annapurna Studios. The 90-year-old Dada Saheb Phalke award winner had died due to cancer. Practically the entire film industry was present at the cremation. ANR's heroine of many films, Sridevi, who lives in Mumbai flew down to pay her last respects to the departed actor.

Former TDP leader launches new outfit Spurred by the success of Aam Aadmi Party and the need to bring about clean and corruption-free politics in Andhra Pradesh, entrepreneur-turned-politician Palem Srikanth Reddy launched a new platform, Janapaalana that aims to bring about sociocultural and political transformation. Janapaalana will comprise a state executive council and district councils.


HC rejects MLA's bail plea in Jyoti murder case

The Punjab and Haryana high court dismissed the bail application of Ram Kumar Chaudhary, the Congress MLA from Doon in Himachal Pradesh, in the Jyoti murder case. Chaudhary, the main accused, had sought bail on the grounds that he was falsely implicated on account of political rivalry. Jyoti, 24, who hailed from Bhunga village in Hoshiarpur district of Punjab was found dead in Panchkula on November 22, 2012. The postmortem report confirmed she had died of head injuries and underwent an abortion. It was only after the investigation of Jyoti's cellphone details, the role of MLA and his accomplice came under the scanner.

Tobacco tax reduction in Punjab criticised

A recent decision of the Punjab government to drastically reduce value added tax (VAT) on cigarettes is being criticised for health and religious reasons. Less than a year after the Punjab government increased the VAT on cigarettes from 20.5 per cent to 50 per cent, the decision has been reversed. While the Badal government has sought to justify the tax roll-back, NGOs have criticized the move.

World Economic Forum selects Chandigarh entrepreneur

A Chandigarh entrepreneur, Munish Jauhar, has been selected as the founding curator for the Chandigarh Hub in India of the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers Community. The Community is a network of hubs led by young people who are unique in their potential, their accomplishments and their drive to make a contribution to their respective local communities.

Controversial Madras HC judge resists transfer - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

court. As such, it is my bounden duty to establish the veracity of my allegations. Therefore, my presence as a judge of the Madras high court is absolutely essential." Expressing his willingness

to be shifted to any other high court after the "decks are cleared", Justice Karnan said: "After the inquiry is over to the satisfaction of one and all, I will certainly and willingly proceed to any other high court throughout the length and breadth of India, to serve with dignity and uphold the highest levels of judicial propriety." The serving judge, who made heads turn when he stormed into a court hall while a hearing on a PIL was on earlier this month and said the choice of names for appointment as judges of the court was not fair, also con-

tinued his tirade against the controversial 12-name list. He said: "I am concerned with various facets of the larger issues and grave problems in selecting the 12 judges by the collegium of the Madras high court." Cautioning the higher judiciary against diluting high judicial standards, Justice Karnan said: "If you tinker, tamper or dilute our judicial procedures, then all our well thought of procedures will be subverted, bringing anguish and disregard to the topmost body. All could be lost if the leadership wobbles and surrenders."

More than five years after legendary actor Sivaji Ganesan's statue was installed on the Marina beach front, the Madras high court ordered its removal. A division bench comprising Justice Satish K Agnihotri and Justice K K Sasidharan directed the Chennai city police and other authorities to take decision on removing the statue as expeditiously as possible. The statue stands tall at the junction of Kamarajar SalaiRadhakrishnan Salai off the Marina. "The court finds that there are materials to show that the statue obstructs traffic, as it is located on a public road which is meant for regular vehicular traffic,"

observed the bench. It also said that a public road should not be used for erecting such statues. The bench was passing orders on a PIL filed by senior advocate R Gandhi who sought the removal of the statue on the ground that it obstructed traffic and put pedestrians' lives in danger. In its response to the PIL, the city police too informed the court that it was indeed a traffic hindrance and was responsible for at least three road accidents, including one fatal incident. The statue was installed during the DMK regime in 2008, after the high court declined to restrain the government from erecting it.

BJP and MDMK last week officially announced their alliance for the Lok Sabha polls even as the former is said to be holding talks with two other regional parties in the state. With this, the BJPMDMK alliance has virtually emerged as the third front against the regional majors AIADMK and DMK in Tamil Nadu for the Lok Sabha polls. Addressing a joint press meet in Chennai, BJP state president Pon. Radhakrishnan and MDMK general secretary Vaiko said their alliance was a winning combination and would add a new political dimension in the state. “Since 1998, we have had a good relationship with MDMK even without alliance. We are now making it official,” Radhakrishnan said. In response to a query on the two parties having divergent views on issues such as ‘Eelam’ (separate homeland for Tamils), Vaiko said, “Parties do not necessarily agree on all issues in an alliance. What matters is the basic policy that the Congress should be dethroned.” “We have not made any preconditions on whether this

or that party should join the alliance,” Vaiko clarified. The parties were yet to agree on the number of seats to be shared between them. While Vaiko said the party would decide on his candidature, Radhakrishnan interrupted to say, “We would want him (Vaiko) to contest.” BJP has also invited MDMK to participate in a public meeting to be addressed by its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Chennai on February 8. Asserting there is a ‘Modi wave’ in the country, Vaiko said only BJP has the power to dethrone the Congress. Asked for his reaction to senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s controversial ‘tea vendor’ remarks against Modi, Vaiko lashed out at Congress, saying history showed a son of a cobbler and son of a carpenter becoming rulers of nations. Radhakrishnan said that BJP was also holding talks with PMK for forming alliance. “We are talking to persons next to Vijaykanth. We are sure he won’t support Congress or parties associated with the Congress,” he said, replying to a query.

Expats, Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and foreign nationals have been allowed by the union petroleum and natural gas ministry to avail the facility of cooking gas connections in India, reveals a communication received by the Punjab NRI panel. In its order on a complaint filed by two PIOs in regard to cooking gas connections, the Punjab NRI Commission said that the ministry had allowed foreign nationals, expats, PIOs and Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) to be eligible for domestic non-subsidized connections. The complainants, Baldev Singh and Vijay Kumar Saria, had said that while many benefits had been given to PIOs with regard to their stay in India, they were not allowed to have a cooking gas connection. They pointed out that anyone applying for a new connection had to give a declaration that they were Indian

citizens and since they are not they cannot apply for a gas cylinder. "This frustrates their intention to stay in India for a longer period," they said in their complaint. "There is no dispute with PIO/OCI card-holders having been provided facilities by the Indian government in economic, financial and educational fields and for a longer stay in India. However, this very objective gets frustrated when they cannot apply for a cooking gas cylinder for cooking during their stay in India," they pointed out. Following the complaint, the commission issued notice to public sector Indian Oil Corporation, which stated that the issue was under the purview of the ministry. The commission then issued a notice to the ministry. In its reply, the ministry said foreign nationals, expats, PIOs and OCIs were eligible for domestic non-subsidized cooking gas connections.

Rebel Congress MP from Gurgaon Rao Inderjit Singh is all set to join the BJP. Breaking the 36-yearlong relationship with the Congress has not come easy for rebel party leader. Terming it a 'calculated' move, Inderjit said: "Leaving Congress was not an easy decision for me. I took my time to study the political situation, reviewed stand of senior Congress leaders and discussed the issue with party workers before reaching the decision". On the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, Inderjit said he has been made MP by the people and the polls will make it clear whether or not they want him to continue as their representative. In the present scenario, BJP is the only option and Narendra Modi is the right choice for Prime Minister, he added. On his priorities, Inderjit said the state's development is his top priority and he will make the

party stronger in Haryana. Inderjit said he will join BJP on February 13 at their Delhi office. When asked about his plans for the Haryana assembly elections, he said the priority as of now is to perform in the Lok Sabha polls. Speaking about his socialcum-political organization, he said Insaaf Manch is a social organization and will focus on social and development issues only. It's not registered with the Election Commission and is not involved in any political activity. However, its political arm Haryana Insaaf Congress will merge with BJP.

Perhaps to prevent the possibility of his transfer to another high court, Justice C S Karnan has written to the Supreme Court saying his presence in the Madras high court was important, as he was "duty-bound" to prove his allegations against the Chief Justice of India and other judges of the high court. The signed letter, copies of which were circulated to media, said: "I've made several allegations against your lordships (CJI P Sathasivam and Madras HC Chief Justice R K Agrawal) and other judges of the Madras high

C S Karnan

HC orders removal of actor Sivaji Ganesan's statue

Expats, PIOs eligible for cooking gas connections

MDMK to ally with BJP for Lok Sabha polls

Rebel Cong MP Inderjit to join BJP - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

In Focus

Karunanidhi suspends elder son from DMK

In a dramatic development, the DMK suspended former Union minister and DMK south zone organizing secretary M K Alagiri from the party for anti-party activities. A press release issued by the DMK headquarters said Alagiri and his followers had been indulging in anti-party activities. "Alagiri and few others have been suspended from the party," said the release issued by party general secretary K Anbazhagan.

Kangaroo court orders gang-rape as punishment

A 20-year-old girl tribal girl in West Bengal's Birbhum district was gang-raped by at least 12 members of the village panchayat as a punishment for having an affair with a man from another community. A day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee removed a senior police officer when the department failed to seek custody of the men who allegedly gang raped a tribal woman, the 13 accused were sent to 13 days' police custody by a court. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court took suo motu cognizance of the incident and ordered the Birbhum district judge to conduct an on-the-spot inquiry and send a report to the apex court within a week.

Holocaust Commission launched

London: Britain must build a lasting memorial to the Holocaust to avoid the “real danger” of the mass killing of the Jews being forgotten by future generations, the Prime Minister said. Actress Helena Bonham Carter, broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis are among those chosen to sit on a Commission on the Holocaust tasked with looking at what more should be done to establish a permanent memorial. The Commission is due to report its findings to David Cameron in time for the 70th anniversary of the British liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April next year.

Baby dies of rickets from vegetarian mother

London: A five-month-old baby has died from rickets after his parents insisted on following a strict eating regime as part of their religion. Nkosiyapha Kunene, 36, and his wife Virginia, 32, were told at the Old Bailey on Monday that they could face jail after admitting the manslaughter of their son Ndingeko. Acute rickets, from which Ndingeko died on June 14, 2012, sees the bones soften because of a deficiency of vitamin D, phosphorus or calcium. The case comes after health professionals raised concerns that the Victorian disease is returning to Britain as a result of poor diets and children not being exposed to sufficient sunshine.

Britain could open door to Syrian refugees

London: Vulnerable refugees from the Syrian civil war could be allowed into Britain, under plans being drawn up by the Government. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, said Britain was drawing up plans that could see Britain commit to taking in “vulnerable” refugees from war-torn Syria.

Queen down to her last million

London: The Queen’s household finances were at a “historic low” with just £1 million left in reserve, MPs said on Monday. Her courtiers were advised to take money-saving tips from the Treasury. A report by the Commons public accounts committee found that the Queen’s advisers were failing to control her finances while the royal palaces were “crumbling”.

Growing economy shows Britain on right track, ministers say

London: New figures showing that the economy is growing at the fastest rate since the financial crisis prove Britain is on the right course, coalition ministers have declared. George Osborne said the numbers were a "boost for the economic security of hardworking people" with manufacturing growing fastest of all. "It is more evidence that our long term economic plan is working," the Chancellor added.

Most women would 'knock down friends'

London: Majority of women viewed their work colleagues as friends, and 67 per cent said they would knock those colleagues down to get to the top. Would you ever cross a friend to get a promotion? Yes, at the end of the day a job is more important than friendship. No, of course not. Friends come first. Maybe... it depends how well I knew them.


FIR filed against Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

The Delhi Police have filed an FIR against chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for violating Section 144 during his two-day-long protest outside Rail Bhawan. Kejriwal who spearheaded the dharna against Delhi Police has been charged for violating Section 144, violence and inciting mob. Earlier, an FIR was filed against Aam Aadmi Party supporters for holding the two-day dharna despite prohibitory orders being put in place. However, Kejriwal was not named in that FIR. The police had then said that they would need to seek the Speaker's permission to name the CM. The FIR has reportedly been filed after Kejriwal and his supporters held a two-day dharna demanding the suspension of the police officials who refused to follow Law Minister Somnath Bharti's orders to raid a house in Khirki Extension. Raisina Road, near Parliament, had become a battleground for two days, as AAP supporters clashed with the Delhi Police leaving several people injured. SC notice to Centre, Delhi government on Kejriwal dharna Observing that the issue of whether the Chief Minister of a state along

with his cabinet colleagues can hold a dharna on the streets in support of his demand raised an important constitutional issue, the Supreme Court issued notice to the Centre and the Delhi government. A Bench of Justices R.M. Lodha and Shivakirti Singh, acting a writ petition filed by advocate Manohar Lal Sharma, issued notice after Sharma submitted that the question that arose in the petition was whether “law makers could themselves become law breakers.” The Bench granted six weeks for the respondents to file their response. Notice to Kejriwal, Bharti for exceeding poll expense limit The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued a notice

French President Hollande may have tried to persuade his former partner against embarking on a trip to India in the wake of their split, but Valérie Trierweiler spent her day with malnourished babies in Mumbai in what may be an audition for a more permanent role in charity work. Shrugging aside the collapse of her relationship with Hollande to undertake the humanitarian media mission in India, the former first lady of France attracted comparisons to the late Princess of Wales as she embarked on a twoday visit to projects organised by Action Contre La Faim, a French anti-hunger charity. The trip had been scheduled long before it had become public that Hollande was conducting an affair and that he had chosen to end his relationship with her, and her subsequent admission to hospital after reportedly taking an overdose of sleeping pills. Trierweiler’s insistence in going ahead with the Indian trip offered further evidence of her capacity to inflict damage upon the French leader, already the least popular president in modern French history. The couple’s public break-up represents an unwelcome distraction for Hollande and has under-

lined how he has failed to deliver on another election promise - that he would keep his private life away from the public eye, unlike his attention-seeking predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy. At an emotional press conference in Mumbai, Trierweiler offered her first hint about her future without Hollande, who announced they were separating on Saturday. “We’ll see,” she said, speaking in French to a room packed with journalists at the city’s Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. “I have time, there are some years to come. I will see bit by bit. For now I am not foreseeing anything. In any case, don’t worry about me.” Trierweiler’s visit generated a flurry of unusually positive reports about her in France. This suggested that her dire reputation may yet improve after Hollande, 59, dumped her following the revelation that he was having an affair with Julie Gayet, 41, an actress and producer.

Valérie Trierweiler seeks solace in Mumbai slums

to Kejriwal and Bharti for allegedly exceeding their poll expense limit. Earlier on January 21, two leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - Vijendra Gupta and Aarti Mehrahad filed a petition in the Delhi High Court against Kejriwal and Bharti, and appealed to the court to quash their elections. Senior advocate and BJP's legal cell in-charge Satya Pal Jain said that is a simple case of exceeding the proposed poll expenditure, which is an offense. Expelled AAP MLA Binny calls off fast Just hours after be began his protest against the Aam Aadmi Party, expelled AAP legislator Vinod Kumar Binny called off his hunger strike at social activist Anna


Hazare's behest, saying that he is giving 10 more days to Kejriwal to fulfill the promises made to the people of Delhi and threatened to come back with a bigger agitation if his demands were not met. Binny said that Anna Hazare told him that a hunger strike for 4-5 days doesn't work and the only way to protest is by making the people aware of the promises made by the Aam Aadmi Party. The MLA began his protest at Jantar Mantar, in the heart of the national capital, after meeting with Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung. Binny had attacked the government for allegedly backtracking on the promises made in the election manifesto.

Mystery shrouds death of Tata Motors MD Karl Slym

Valérie Trierweiler

Karl Slym

Karl Slym, managing director of Tata Motors Ltd, died on Sunday after falling from a high floor of a hotel in Bangkok, the company said. Slym, 51, had attended a board meeting of Tata's Thailand unit in the Thai capital, a company spokeswoman said, giving no further details. A post-mortem report is due on Monday, she said. A native of Britain, Slym was hired in 2012 to revive flagging sales and market share in the domestic business of India's biggest automaker, which is part of the Tata conglomerate. Slym, 'committed suicide' after argument with wife: Thai police Slym apparently committed suicide after arguing with his wife and reading a note written by her that referred to "domestic problems", the Thai Police said on Tuesday. In a fresh twist to

Slym's death in mysterious circumstances, police said the three-page handwritten note found in the hotel room from which the 51year-old executive plunged to his death, was written by his wife Sally. Police said Slym could have taken the "extreme step" after reading the note by his wife of 30 years that mentioned "domestic problems". "The note was written by Sally Slym. The couple had had an argument. It is her writing," police lieutenant Somyot Booyakaew said, noting that it was not a suicide note by the victim. He did not give further details. Somyot reiterated that Slym's death was not a murder. Police now believe Slym must have jumped through an open window in his 22nd floor suite at the Shangri-la Hotel as the opening was too small for a person to slip through and fall.



7 Gujaratis in Padma awardees list - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

Seven Gujaratis figured in the list of Padma awardees declared by the Indian government on Saturday. The names include Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh for painting, late Dr Dhirubhai Thaker for literature and education, Mathur Savani for social work, Dr Hasmukh Shah for public affairs, Kiran Kumar Alur Seelin for science and engineering, Dr Kiritkumar Acharya for his work in medicine and professor Ganesh Devy for literature and education. Renowned Bollywood star and Gujarati actor Paresh Rawal also figured in the list but he was given the award in the Maharashtra category. Ganesh Devy, 63 is one of the founders of the denotified and nomadic tribes right action group. It was Devy who led the ambitious people's linguistic survey of India. The project which began in 2010 with the aim of documenting every living language in the country identified 816 Indian languages. He was professor of English at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Vadodara, and a renowned literary critic. Mathur M Sawani, born on 1 January, 1963, in Kobana village of Ghadha taluka of Bhavnagar district is the founder of the Saurashtra Jaldhara Trust. He did a lot of work to generate awareness regarding water conservation in the parched Saurasthra region. K i r a n k u m a r Mansukhlal Acharya, popularly known as KM Acharya, is a renowned name in dermatology in Saurashtra. The 64-year old doctor who retired from Jamnagar Medical College, is known for his

work with leprosy patients. Dhirubhai Thaker, the man behind the 25-volume Gujarati Vishwakosh died of multiple ailments. He was 96 years old. Born in Kodinar, Thaker was a native of Paresh Rawal Kiritkumar Acharya Mathur Savani Viramgam near Ahmedabad. After newspaper group, has also the Padma Shri awards. completing MA from been conferred Padma Haasan, Bond, Gopichand Mumbai University in Shri. Other prominent and Paes have all been 1941, he became a lecturpersonalities conferred awarded the Padma er and simultaneously the award include classiBhushan while Yuvraj and wrote books on literary cal singer Parveen Dipika have been given criticism, essays, research Sultana, write Anita the Padma Shri. and plays. Desai, former CAG VN Mashelkar, who got the Ghulam Mohammed Kaul and neonatology speaward for his contribution Sheikh was born at cialist Dr Neelam Kler in the field of science and Surendranagar in 1937. who have all been given technology, was a member He studied at the Faculty the Padma Bhushan. of the scientific advisory of Fine Arts (FFA) of the Among those awarded council to the Prime M S University and then the Padma Shri, the Minister and also of the at the Royal College of prominent personalities scientific advisory comArt. He was also a faculty also include painter mittee to the Cabinet set at the FFA. In 1983, he Paresh Maity, sand artists up by successive governwas awarded the Sudarsan Pattnaik, fashments. He is also the forPadmashri. ion designer Wendell mer director general of the Mashelkar, Paes, Yuvi, Rodricks, cinematographCouncil of Scientific & Vidya get Padma awards er and filmmaker Santosh Industrial Research Renowened scientist Sivan, script writer Sooni (CSIR). Iyengar is the RA Mashelkar, yoga guru Taraporevala, TAFE CEO founder of Iyengar Yoga BKS Iyengar, Justice JS Mallika Srinivasan, orthoand is considered one of Verma and actors Kamala pedic surgeon Ashok the foremost yoga teachHaasan, Vidya Balan are Rajpal, Hindi writer ers in the world. among the 126 prominent Ashok Chakradhar, forJustice JS Verma, who personalities, apart from mer women's cricket team headed the committee writer Ruskin Bond and captain Anjum Chopra that prepared new rape athletes Leander Paes, and Pulitzer winner and laws in the aftermath of Yuvraj Singh, P oncologist Siddharth Delhi gangrape of Gopichand and Dipika Mukherjee. Nirbhaya, was conferred Pallikal, who have been Rationalist Narendra Padma Vibhushan posthuconferred the Padma Dabholkar, who was murmously. awardsr. While Mashelkar dered on Agust 20 last Union minister and and Iyengar have been year in Pune, has also NCP chief Sharad Pawar's conferred with Padma been awarded the Padma brother Pratap Govindrao Bhushan, Balan and Shri. Pawar, owner of Sakal Rawal have been awarded

Continued from page 1 “Corruption is a cancer that erodes democracy, and weakens the foundations of our state. If Indians are enraged, it is because they are witnessing corruption and waste of national resources. If governments do not remove these flaws, voters will remove governments,” said Mukherjee while warning the political parties to either check corruption or be prepared to be voted out of office. His references to irresponsible populism seem aimed at AAP. Elections do not give any person the license to flirt with illusions, he said adding that those who seek the trust of voters must promise only what is possible. He remarked that government is not a charity shop and populist anarchy cannot be a substitute for governance. "False promises lead to

disillusionment, which gives birth to rage, and that rage has one legitimate target: those in power," Mukherjee went on to underline the possibility of public anger against institutions. His comments on the significance of the 2014 election saw him pitching for a stable government not held to ransom by "capricious" regional parties. He added that voters have a responsibility to discharge and should not let the nation down. Stressing to re-discover that sense of national purpose and patriotism, he asserted that year 2014 is a precipice moment in our history and we need to take back our nation on to the road of prosperity. He advocated for giving the young jobs saying that they will raise the villages and cities to 21st century standards. “Give them a chance and you will mar-

Happy 3rd Birthday

Ryan Mathew

DOB: 1 February 2011

Dhirubhai Thaker

Ganesh Devy

Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh

Mukherjee digs at AAP’s ‘anarchy’ vel at the India they can create,” he said. If India does not get a stable government, it would be difficult to happen, he said adding the country will witness the 16th general election this year. “A fractured government, hostage to whimsical opportunists, is always an unhappy eventuality. In 2014, it could be catastrophic. Each one of us is a voter; each one of us has a deep responsibility; we cannot let India down. It is time for introspection and action,” said the President. “Some cynics may scoff at our commitment to democracy but our democracy has never been betrayed by the people; its fault-lines, where they exist, are the handiwork of those who have made power a gateway to greed. We do feel angry, and rightly so, when we see democratic institutions

Kiran Kumar

being weakened by complacency and incompetence. If we hear sometimes an anthem of despair from the street, it is because people feel that a sacred trust is being violated,” he added. He said political parties needed to be realistic about what they promise to people. In fact they will have to deliver development expeditiously, he said adding that this rage will abate only when governments deliver what they were elected to deliver: social and economic progress, not at a snail's pace, but with the speed of a racehorse. Those in politics should understand that every election comes with a warning sign – “perform, or perish”, he said, adding, “I am not a cynic because I know that democracy has this marvelous ability to self-correct”.

You are really getting taller, getting bigger, and a lot stronger. You are 3 and you're a super star! Happy Birthday!

Lots of love, hugs and kisses From Mum, Dad, Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts and Cousins

India shows ‘military might’ at R-day parade

India's military might, its multi-hued cultural heritage and the nation's achievements in various fields were on display on Sunday at Rajpath, the ceremonial boulevard in the heart of Delhi, as people observed 65th R-Day amid tight security. Marching down from Raisina Hills in central Delhi to the historic Mughal monument of Red Fort, the parade showcased India's 'unity in diversity' and defence capabilities as thousands of spectators cheered the contingents and the mechanized columns along the 8-km-long route. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the chief guest at the event. Among the proud highlights was India's first indigenously designed and developed Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas, a fourth generation, supersonic, multi-role combat aircraft designed and developed by DRDO. Attractions included main battle tank Arjun MK-II, the first indigenously designed and developed tank also referred to as 'Desert Ferrari'; recently-inducted transport aircraft C-130J Super Hercules, optimised for undertaking special opera-

tions; and the gigantic C17 Globemaster, a heavy lift, long-range aircraft. DRDO also displayed the 'Astra' and 'Helina' missiles, models of an underwater vehicle, mini UAV-NETRA, tracked surveillance vehicle Muntra S and unmanned aerial vehicle-'Nishant'. The weaponry put on display by the Indian Army included T-90 tank 'Bheeshma', multi-launcher rocket system Smerch, Brahmos weapon system and transportable satellite terminals. A flypast by the Advanced Light Helicopter 'Dhruv' of the Army Aviation Corps drew loud cheers from the spectators, which included Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the country's political and military elite, besides diplomats from around the world. Minutes before the parade began, PM Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister AK Antony and chiefs of armed forces laid wreaths at 'Amar Jawan Jyoti', the war memorial at the India Gate.

27 - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

Health & Wellness

Mouthwashes increase heart attack risk, scientists claim


sing antiseptic mouthwash can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes, a new study has found. Scientists branded the products, regularly used by half a million Britons, a health “disaster” claiming they raised blood pressure by killing off vital bacteria which helps blood vessels to dilate. Using Corsodyl, which contains a powerful antiseptic and widely available in stores across the UK, can push up blood pressure within hours, the team discovered after testing it on a group of healthy volunteers. Professor Amrita Ahluwalia, who led the study, said: “Killing off all these bugs each day is a disaster, when small rises in blood pressure have significant impact on morbidity and mortality from heart disease and stroke.”

When 19 volunteers started using Corsodyl twice a day their blood pressure went up by between 2 and 3.5 units (mmgh). The differences in blood pressure were apparent “within one day” of the mouthwash being used, the study published in the journal

Patients should be more assertive, says health chief


atients should adopt “American” attitudes and be more pushy with their doctors about drugs to which they are entitled, the head of the NHS rationing body has said. Professor David Haslam, chairman of the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), said British patients should become more assertive and see themselves as “equal partners” with their doctors, with legal

rights. He said patients in this country needed to learn from the Americans, who are far more confident about entering into dialogue with family doctors about their health, and taking an active role in managing their health. Prof Haslam said too many patients were not being offered medications approved by NICE – and should learn more about their conditions and ask for drugs which should be prescribed for them.

Boys need to be taught how to treat girls


To Our Readers

We are publishing these items in good faith, kindly consult your Doctor before you try to implement it. We do not hold any responsibility for its efficacy...

ex education should be compulsory at secondary schools to teach boys to respect girls, according to prominent campaigners. Boys and young men appear to be getting their education about sex and relationships from internet pornography, the group says, leading to sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.

Free Radical Biology And Medicine revealed. A two-point rise in blood pressure increased the risk of dying from heart disease by seven per cent and stroke by ten per cent, according to separate research. Heart disease and stroke are currently the

biggest killers in Britain. Prof Ahluwalia, from Queen Mary University of London, said: “We are not telling people to stop using antiseptic mouthwashes if they have a gum or tooth infection but we would ask why anyone else would want to.”

Multivitamins 'can raise risk of a miscarriage' W

omen who take multivitamin tablets while trying to become pregnant are more at risk of having a miscarriage, research shows. A study of 35,000 mothers-to-be found they were 32 per cent more likely to lose their baby early on if they had taken the supplements regularly in the six weeks before conceiving. Millions of women rely on the pills to boost their body’s stocks of vital vitamins and minerals and so increase their chances of having a successful pregnancy. The researchers say in the International Journal of Epidemiology: ‘Women are advised to

take multivitamins when they plan to conceive, believing it can do no harm. We found a modest but consistent increased risk of early foetal death in multivitamin users, especially in women with a regular pre-conceptional intake.’

Jaded skin is the common story of people's lives. Get the shine back with face packs made of orange, avocado and pomegranate. Divita Kanoria, a wellness officer, shares how to make the best of the fruits for healthy skin: Orange and yoghurt pack: Have combination skin? Take an orange and squeeze it. Use three teaspoon of the juice and mix it with a tablespoon of yoghurt. The citrus property of orange helps in giving a refreshing glow to the skin. The fruit also has skin lightening agents. It helps in improving complexion as well as cleans the skin. The yoghurt maintains the moisture level in the skin. Avocado, milk cream and honey pack:

Take two teaspoons of honey and mash an avocado in it. Add another teaspoon of milk cream. All the ingredients in the mask are extremely nourishing and nutritious for dry skin types. Pomegranate, turmeric, lime, Fuller's earth, sandalwood and banana pack: Best for normal skin type, mix half teaspoon of pomegranate juice, mash a small piece of banana to give thickness to the paste and add half teaspoon of lime juice with a pinch of turmeric powder. Further, add a pinch of Fuller's earth, and half a teaspoon of sandalwood powder. Mix everything together and apply on the face. It will help to clear the skin and give a healthy glow.

Get facial glow back with fruits

Painkillers for fever can do more harm than good


new study has revealed that popping a pill to suppress your flu fever could make flu season worse for everybody, as an analysis has shown that when taken at current levels to treat fevers could cause 2000 flu deaths each year in the US alone. Experts in the UK and the US have advised to take painkillers such as paracetamol (acetaminophen) or aspirin, New Scientist reported. According to David Earn at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, some studies

have shown that lowering fever may prolong viral infections and increase the amount of virus we can pass on to others. The researchers analyzed 1982 study and found that ferrets, a common animal model for human flu, produced more seasonal flu virus if their fevers were lowered either with painkillers or by having their fur shaved off. The team used a mathematical model and found that painkillers as used in the US could be increasing the transmission of ordinary winter flu by up to 5 per cent.

BBC guide, written for its children's channel, that describes girls as “over emotional” and boys as “activity and task focused”, has come under fire for gender stereotyping. The Guide to the CBBC Audience outlines gender differences in a

section entitled “girls will be girls and boys will be boys.” A BBC spokesperson said: "The document under discussion is several years out of date and will be removed shortly," and declined to comment further on the matter.

Guide to CBBC being withdrawn


28 - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

Vaani Kapoor reveals too much in a saree

Aishwarya back in Mani Ratnam’s film?


rom Miss World to movies, it was director Mani Ratnam who rolled out the red carpet for Aishwarya Rai, to become a full fledged actress. The actress made her debut in Mani Ratnam's 'Iruvar'. And now we hear that Aishwarya may return to tinsel town, through the same director. Mani Ratnam is gearing up with his bilingual script for Mahesh Babu, Nagarjuna and Fahadh Faasil. The star studded movie is in the lookout for a heroine and the buzz doing the rounds is that Aishwarya was approached for the role. But there is no confirmation on the official front yet.

‘ Kochadaiyaan’

producers announce release date R


aani Kapoor is making her South debut with “Aaha Kalyanam,” the Tamil remake of “Band Baaja Baaraat.” The pretty actress revealed more than she intended too during the audio launch recently wearing a saree. While sitting alongside actor Nani and bending down, Vaani Kapoor revealed quite a bit which the shutterbugs didn't miss to capture. The entire cast and crew of the film were present in saree and vesti, giving an authentic marriage feel to the event. Produced by Aditya Chopra on Yash Raj Films, the bilingual romantic-drama directed by debutante Gokul Krishna, has music by Dharan Kumar. The audio was launched in the presence of the cast and crew including all singers who sang in the film. And the surprise guest at the audio launch was Usha Uthup, who also sang the popular title song on stage, with all singers.

a j i n i k a n t h ’ s “Kochadaiyaan” has seen a few release dates, some speculated and some official, that have not materialized for various reasons. What now appears to be the first step towards releasing the film, the production house has apparently communicated that the film’s audio will be released on February 15th this year. Directed by the Superstar’s daughter, Soundarya Rajinikanth Ashwin, Kochadaaiyan has music by Oscar winner A.R.Rahman. “Kochadaiyaan” is a highly imaginative, and equally challenging, project helmed by Soundarya Rajinkanth which employs motion capture technology to make the animation appear life-like. The film boasts of a stupendous cast including the likes of Deepika Padukone, Sarath Kumar, Aadhi, Jackie Shroff, Shobana and much more.

New Relesse

Bollywood movie releasing on 31st January: ‘One By Two’ ne By Two” is an upcoming Hindi “O romantic comedy directed by

Devika Bhagat. It is expected to be released on 31st January. The film features real life couple Abhay Deol and Preeti Desai. This is the story of Amit and Samara who meet each other while living in Mumbai. The music has been composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.

Cast: Abhay Deol as Amit Sharma, Preeti Desai as Samara Patel, Rati Agnihotri, Jayant Kriplani, Lillete Dubey, Darshan Jariwala, Geetika Tyagi, Yudishtir Urs, Preetika Chawla, Tahir Bhasin, Maya Sarao, Yashika Dhillon and Anish Trivedi.

Sameera marries fiance Akshai Varde ctress Sameera Reddy married A businessman Akshai

Varde last week at a grand ceremony in Mumbai. Akshai, the coowner of Vardenchi motorcycles, and Sameera have reportedly been dating for two years and got engaged at a private ceremony in December last year. The groom rode up on a bike instead of a traditional horse and was greeted by the bride's sister, model and actress Sushma Reddy. Sameera wore a yellow and red sari by designer Neeta Lulla and Akshai wore the traditional Marathi groom's cap. The wedding, a private affair, was reportedly attended by Kingfisher chief Vijay Mallya and designer Nishka Lulla.

Kareena, Karisma turn producers A fter Shilpa Shetty, Dia Mirza and A n u s h k a Sharma, it is now the turn of Kapoor sisters – Kareena and Karisma to start their own production house. Though the details are under wraps, it is confirmed that it has nothing to do with their family banner RK Films that was started by their grandfather, the late Raj Kapoor. Saif Ali Khan, Kareena’s husband, already has his own production house Illuminati Films.

29 - Asian Voice 1st February 2014


Kareena to dazzle at AAHOA convention ollywood star Kareena Kapoor will appear at the B 2014 AAHOA annual convention

and trade show being held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia from March 1922. She will perform at the gala dinner on the closing night of Saturday, March 22. “Ms. Kapoor delivers versatile, instinctive, and powerful performances, so there is no one more accomplished to help us celebrate AAHOA’s 25 years of accomplishments,” said Pratik Patel, vice chairman of AAHOA, who is serving as convention chairman. Kareena has received six Filmfare Awards in a range of film genres. She has established herself as a style icon for young

women, and she became the first Indian actress to launch her own line of clothing in collaboration with the retail chain Globus in 2007. Kareena was named “India’s Most Beautiful Woman” by People magazine in 2010 and was listed among the country’s most influential women last year by India Today. About 4,000 hotel owners and industry leaders are expected to attend as AAHOA marks its 25th anniversary. The event will also feature leading Bollywood entertainers from India. Registration details, including early bird discounts, are available at

Deepika, Farhan win Filmfare Best Actor awards f there was any fear India's sportIingthat legends have

been forgotten, the 59th Idea F i l m f a r e Awards 2013 demolished that notion. “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag,” the incredibly realistic biopic of sprint champion Milkha Singh, scored three out of the top four awards, including best actor, best director and best film at the 59th Idea Filmfare Awards 2013 held at YashRaj studio in Mumbai. The film has won a total of six awards. Farhan Akhtar

outran other nominees in the race for best actor while Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra won the best director award. D e e p i k a Padukone won the best actress award for her portrayal in “Goliyon Ki Raasleela, Ramleela.” Siddharth Mahadevan won the best singer award, while the best debut award went to Dhanush for his performance in “Raanjhanaa.” Prasoon Joshi was adjudged best lyricist for 'Zinda' in Bhaag.

Priyanka tagged ‘an Arab terrorist’ n a recent interview to The Wall Street Journal, IBollywood`s leading actress

Priyanka Chopra has revealed that she faced racist attacks and was even tagged as “an Arab terrorist” by fans of a football league in America sometime back. The actress was left in a state of complete shock after being called a `terrorist` and believed that one shouldn’t be passing such remarks on the basis of one’s skin colour. Chopra, who was crowned as Miss World way back in 2000, said that she has been in the limelight for long and knows how to deal with both brickbats and bouquets. She has also been subjected to racial slurs in her childhood and has learnt how to deal with it. Priyanka believes in moving forward by ignoring such haters and concentrating on the work that she is doing.

Shah Rukh injured Vivek Oberoi Parineeti is not Shah Ranbir, Katrina during film shoot gets a hug from Rukh's Fan fight over spending Actor Shah Rukh Salman Khan! Khan suffered time together? minor injuries


arineeti Chopra has denied reports that she has been signed for Shah Rukh Khan's ambitious project “Fan.” Maneesh Sharma of the “Band Baaja Baaraat” fame has been roped in to direct the film. "No, I am not doing Fan, which is being made by Maneesh. Everybody is asking me about it. You should ask Maneesh or Shah Rukh about it," the actress told reporters when asked about it. Meanwhile, the National Award winning actress is happy with the kind of offers coming her way.

It seems that all is well b e t w e e n actors Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif. Turns out that, contrary to some current reports in the media about the alleged couple having split up, sources reveal that there’s no truth to what’s being said. In fact, though the two had a minor tiff, it wasn’t apparently big enough for the couple to break up. A source said, "The two had arguments recently over the fact that they will now be caught up with their respective shooting schedules, and get little time together.” The source added that things between the two are now fine."

while shooting for filmmaker Farah Khan's next, “Happy New Year” at a Mumbai suburban five-star hotel. He was rushed to Nanavati Hospital. A c c o r d i n g reports, a door fell on him. He has been discharged now and resumed shooting. Dr Ashok Hatolkar, m e d i c a l superintendent at Nanavati Hospital, says, "He (SRK) has sustained a minor bruise, which the doctors have taken care of. He is completely fine." Actor Sonu Sood, who is a part of the film, and was present when the accident happened, says, "There was a problem with the hotel's door hinge. It fell on his head while he was passing through. He had suffered an injury on his head, but is doing fine now."

Vivek Oberoi apparently can't thank his stars enough. While his film won an award, the actor received a warm hug from his popular enemy - Salman Khan. The ninth edition of the Star Guild Awards witnessed the unexpected. The boldest adult comedy film of Bollywood, “Grand Masti” has done the impossible yet again by receiving the Hall Of Fame Plaque at the recently held Awards Night! Not only did the small budget movie enjoy a stellar run at the box office and take a place in the list of “100 crore films,” but with this award, placed itself in Bollywood history as well!




Mr Vijen Manek's funeral will take place on Thursday 30th January. The body will arrive at the Auromira Centre (126 Whitton Avenue East, Greenford, UB6 0PY) at 11.15am. The funeral will then take place at 1pm at Golders Green Crematorium (Hoop Lane, London NW11 7NL). At 3pm, Khichdi and Chaas will be served back at the Auromira Centre.

CEO of British Victim's charity denies threatening Pakistani villagers Javed Khan, the Chief Executive of Victim Support, a British government funded charity, has denied allegations that he has used a group of armed men to threaten rivals during a dispute involving family members in Pakistan, the Third Sector has reported. Khan, pictured, has reportedly issued a statement rejecting claims made in the Mail on Sunday newspaper that shots were fired and local people threatened when he arrived in the village of Haveli Baghal in Kashmir with about eight men last week. The charity’s trustees have issued a statement saying they were "making further enquiries as a matter of urgency". The article went on to report further that Khan said the allegations were "either false or a gross distortion of the truth". In a personal statement he said his family had been vic- - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

Dinner and Dance Fundraiser

Readers are being encouraged to buy tickets for a dinner and dance fundraiser. The event in Birmingham next Saturday (Feb 8) in Birmingham will aim to further boost the coffers of the Uttarakhand Flood Relief Appeal. This is a fund set up by Sewa UK, a humanitarian aid charity. The event has been organised by several local Indian organisations. The 6.30pm till late

programme, which will be compered by BBC Asian Network presenter Tommy Sandhu, will also feature an auction, live entertainment, a vegetarian buffet and raffle. Tickets £20 each. All welcome. The event will be held at Sapphire Suite, Banqueting Sherlock Street (B12 0RG). For more information contact Harishbhai Wara on 07801 928 527 or Mukeshbhai Ladwa on 07976 178 800.

Memorial meeting for Dipchandbhai Gardi

tims of a property dispute and he was with a group of people who "supervised the demolition of an illegally erected wall on our land. However, we were acting in accordance with a written authority given to us by the proper local government officials". The Mail on Sunday story quoted a local police inspector who said the row had been resolved with a wall erected on the correct boundary. Both sides accused the other of brandishing guns, the inspector said, but police did not see any firearms.

Coming Events

l Tuesday 4th February 2014 – A celebration of the Republic Day of India at the Bhavan Centre, 4a Castletown Road, London W14 9HE. Contact: 020 7381 4608 l Friday 7th February – Sunday 9th February 2014 – Chalit Murti Pratista of Shree Satyanarayan Bhagwan from 10am – 6pm at Sanatan Mandir & Community Centre, Apple Tree Centre, Ifield Avenue. Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 0AF. Contact: 01293 519 130. l Friday 7th February 2014 – Dehshudi Ceremony from 10am – 2pm at Sanatan Mandir & Community Centre, Apple Tree Centre, Ifield Avenue. Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 0AF. Contact: 01293 519 130. Editor: CB Patel Associate Editor: Rupanjana Dutta Tel: 020 7749 4098 - Email: Editorial Executive: Tanveer Mann Tel: 020 7749 4010 - Email: Senior News Editor: Dhiren Katwa Freelance Correspondent: Rudy Otter Chief Operating Officer: Liji George Tel: 020 7749 4013 Email: Chief Financial Officer: Surendra Patel Tel: 020 7749 4093 Mobile: 07875 229 220 Email: Chief Accountant: Akshay Desai Tel: 020 7749 4087 Business Manager: Alka Shah Tel: 020 7749 4002 - Mobile: 07944 151 893 Email: Advertising Manager: Kishor Parmar Tel: 020 7749 4095 - Mobile: 07875 229 088 Email: Business Development Managers: Rovin J George - Email: Tel: 020 7749 4097 - Mobile: 07875 229 219 Urja Patel - Email: Graphic Designers: Harish Dahya & Ajay Kumar Tel: 020 7749 4086 Email: Customer Service: Ragini Nayak Tel: 020 7749 4080 - Email: (BPO) AB Publication (India) Pvt. Ltd. 207 Shalibhadra Complex, Opp. Jain Derasar, Nr. Nehru Nagar Circle, Ambawadi, Ahmedabad. Tel / Fax: +91 79 2646 5960 Bureau Chief: Nilesh Parmar (M) +91 94266 36912 Email:

One of India’s most prominent Jain Ratna and P h i l a n t h ro p i s t Dipchandbhai Gardi passed away in Mumbai at the age of 99. His simplicity, contribution to the education, alleviation of poverty, animal welfare, improvement of human dignity and service to many Jain institutions including the development of the Jain Centre, Leicester is unparalleled. He was popularly known as Bhamasha of the current era. Shri Gardiji silently donated hundreds of crores of rupees for welfare causes. His family Trust constructed a 500 bed Medical teaching hospital / college in Ujjain. Treatment is provided free to 160 rural areas in the vicinity of Ujjain. He contributed substantially to the

Saurashtra University and was honoured with a honorary doctorate. He was highly respected by all communities. Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi and other prominent persons and the media have expressed grief and sorrow over demise of Shri Dipchandbhai. The condolence/ memorial meeting will be on 2 February 2014 organised with co-operation from Jain Organisation UK in honour of Late Shri Dipchandbhai Gardi who passed away in Mumbai on 6th January 2014 at the age of 99. Date: Sunday 2 February 2014 Time: 1630 to 1800hrs Venue: Jain Centre, 64-68 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5DR Tel.: 020 8200 0828

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20

The focus is on finances this week, but that doesn’t mean you should worry yourself sick. Rather, it is about finding new and improved ways to boost your earnings potential. Don’t let nebulous tendencies interfere with your plans. It’s fine to consider several options but don’t get caught up in indecision. Schedule networking opportunities later this week.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Business partnerships are tested, some of them could challenge your authority. The more you live up to your own set of principles the more you will gain. Now is the time to cultivate an easier relationship with life, get out and about, explore fresh possibilities. Once you set your mind on a goal you must go for it. GEMINI May 22 - June 22

Jupiter is transiting your solar second house for some time to come. During this transit, you have the chance to make lots of money and improve your standard of living. You are likely to feel more confident and enthusiastic about life. Your personal relationships are still going through a period of reassessment.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22 The prevailing pattern of planets gives you a marvelous opportunity. Take time out to strengthen close ties of affection, sort out emotional differences and proffer the olive branch to anyone who may have caused you pain in recent months. Venus throws an easy light on affairs of the heart - prime time for engagements and weddings. LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23 You will find added scope and greater incentive to push full steam ahead with your cherished aims. You must be careful not to tread on other people's toes. This is the right time to talk things over with your loved one especially anything that has been worrying you or making you feel insecure.

The Sun moves into your solar sixth house, the accent shifts to your job interests and physical welfare. Do not try to rush projects to completion pace yourself sensibly. At the moment, relationships are experiencing major transformations those with shaky foundations should be extra careful.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23 Although all kinds of opportunities are coming your way, there are many obstacles between you and the fulfillment of any of these. You’re likely to find yourself weighing practical considerations with long–term goals. Some of you will try to get away from the routine chores. SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

Consulting Editor: Bhupatbhai Parekh, Ahmedabad, Gujarat Tel: +91 79 2630 4142 Urvashi Jagadeesan (India) Mumbai: Kanti Bhatt, Hemraj Shah (Jumbo Advertiser) Horizon Advertising & Marketing: 205, Shalibhadra Complex, Opp. Jain Derasar,Nr. Nehru Nagar Circle, Ambawadi, Ahmedabad. Tel / Fax: +91 79 2646 5960 Email: General Manager: Sanat Trivedi (M) +91 94293 65619 Email: Business Manager: Hardik Shah (M) +91 99250 42936 Email: Advertising Manager: Neeta Patel (Vadodara) M: +91 98255 11702 Email: Assistant Marketing Manager: Manish Shah (Vadodara) M: +91 96876 06824 Email: Business Co-ordinator: Shrijit Rajan M: +91 98798 82312 Email: International Advertisement Representative: Jain Group (South India) Tel: +91 44 42041122/3/4 Fax: +91 44 25362973 Mumbai: +91 222471 4122 Email: Delhi Office: Tel: +91 44 9311581597

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Your horizons are most certainly expanding. Your philosophical thoughts will make your mind run wild. With Jupiter transiting your Solar 9th House, there will be many opportunities. Your financial affairs are looking up. Do not miss out on ways to better yourself in the coming weeks. 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’s a sparkle to your social life and you will have fun communicating with others.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

The fiery planet Mars, continues to occupy your Solar 10th house for some time to come. Its influence will help you to maintain a high energy level and achieve positive results in anything that requires drive and initiative. If you are involved in a fairly competitive field of activity, you will be the one who comes out on top.

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

Your communications are at their peak and any initiatives you take now will be well received by people in authority. An exchange of opinions ought to prove very enlivening at this time. Although the very practical affairs of life continue to be highlighted, you will still be very much in demand socially.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20

The prevailing astrological trend indicates increasing vigour and stamina. At an ordinary everyday level you can expect this to be a pleasant time, indulging in the good things of life. At a deeper level, there does appear to be a new energy stirring within you. This will urge you towards creating greater independence in your lifestyle.


Taylor ton delivers series triumph to New Zealand - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

It took its time coming, it tested a few nerves, but New Zealand finally sealed their first series win at home in five years, not counting the ones against Zimbabwe and Bangaldesh. They should have won it three nights ago, they should probably have won it more comfortably after having reduced India to 278 and then reached 54 for 0 in seven overs and 182 for 2 in 33. They will be thankful that they had their two most consistent batsmen - Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson - in the middle when Ravindra Jadeja started to turn the ball square after he himself gave India a fighting total with 62 off 54, a much more assured innings than the one that tied the previous match to keep India alive. Williamson now has four half-centuries in four matches in this series, and Taylor made up for missing out on one in Auckland by turning this into a big one once he crossed 50. Taylor's innings was exceptional in its discipline: he didn't try his favourite slog-sweep, in fact he scored just 10 runs in his midwicket arc. Most of his runs came behind and in front of square on the off side. India couldn't be accused of showing similar discipline when they batted, but they were also put under pressure by a superbly disciplined start by Kyle Mills and Tim Southee, which led to their repetition of the shot that has been getting them out. Between them Southee and Mills bowled

three maidens, took three wickets, and conceded just 78. India surprised everyone by not only getting rid of their stubbornness but going to the other end. Not only did they drop Suresh Raina, which was long overdue, they also left out Shikhar Dhawan for Ambati Rayudu, and decided to bat first after having invited the opposition 20 straight times outside Asia. With no specialist opener in the side, India moved everyone up by one spot, which meant India's best batsman was now opening. However, the opening spells that Mills and Southee bowled would have frustrated the best of openers. There was nothing to drive or cut, forget getting too straight, and India would have had to take a risk if they were going to score. The first risk was taken to the first short ball bowled, and all Kohli man-

aged was a top edge off Southee. Soon Mills got a similar response from Ajinkya Rahane. In between the two dismissals, Rohit became desperate, somehow hit the first boundary of the innings, enjoyed a drop from Taylor, and India still reached only 28 in 10 overs. More good luck, and some classy Rohit shots, followed, and a 79-run partnership shored India up. However, the luck soon ran out. Rayudu top-edged Hamish Bennett, and in an ironical turn of events Rohit edged Kane Williamson for a catch down the leg side. Of all the bowlers, of all the manners. From 151 for 5, India came back remarkably with two batsmen who applied themselves before taking 100 off the last 10 overs. Say what you will about the strategy, Dhoni proved his batting worth with a third fifty in a row. Jadeja, at the other end, showed Auckland was no

fluke, and played the cleanest knock of the three fifties in the Indian innings. Ravindra Jadeja helps India tie 3rd ODI Ravindra Jadeja hit a 45ball 66 as India pulled off an incredible tie in the third one-day international against New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday to keep the series alive. Corey Anderson took five wickets but his effort was overshadowed by Jadeja who smashed 4 sixes and 5 fours in his knock. India needed 18 runs off the last over that was bowled by Anderson and Jadeja smashed the first ball of the over for four. Anderson then bowled a wide and then did not concede any run on the next two balls and then bowled another wide. Jadeja then smashed a four and a six on the next two deliveries but was able to score only one run off the last ball to tie the match. Ravichandran Ashwin hit a 46-ball 65 before Martin Guptill's brilliant presence of mind resulted in his dismissal. Ashwin hit a Nathan McCullum delivery to deep mid-wicket where Guptill took the catch but just when his momentum was about to take him over the boundary, he tossed the ball back in, took a step over the boundary and then came back in to complete the catch. Ashwin's knock was studded with a six and eight fours.

Spaniard at his chair. "First, Rafa, I'm really sorry for you, I hope your back is okay, you are a great friend and a great champion," Wawrinka said at the trophy ceremony. "You did a remarkable comeback last year. For me it's the best grand slam ever. "Right now I still don't know if I'm dreaming. I guess I'll find out in the morning." The 2009 champion Nadal shed tears at the trophy ceremony, overcome by the emotion of a rollercoaster match. Li Na wins over Dominika Cibulkova

Li Na claimed the second grand slam trophy of her career as she won an opening set tiebreak before shifting her game up a gear to beat Slovak Dominika Cibulkova, 76 (7-3), 6-0, for success at t h e Au s t r a l i a n Open on Saturday. China's 2011 French Open champion needed 70 minutes to claim the opening set against Eastern European pocket rocket Cibulkova, whose big game belies her 1.61-metre height. Li then coasted through the second set to take the win in one and three-quarter hours with 34 winners and five breaks of serve. Fourth seed Li, who lifted the trophy without facing a single top 16 opponent, was competing in her third Melbourne final from the past four editions, losing her last in 2013 to Victoria Azarenka.

Sania Mirza loses mixed doubles final Canada's Daniel Nestor has targeted a mixed doubles grand slam in 2014 after pairing up with Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic to beat Sania Mirza and Horia Tecau and win the Australian Open title on Sunday. The Wimbledon champion pairing were nominally the underdogs against their sixth-seeded opponents but wrapped up a comfortable 6-3 6-2 victory inside an hour on Rod Laver Arena. It was a third Melbourne Park mixed doubles title for Canadian Nestor after his 2007 triumph with Elena Likhovtseva and 2011 victory with Katarina Srebotnik. Nestor then told his 20year-old partner Mladenovic on court that he would now like to target a sweep of the major titles to complete the grand slam in one year. "I was half joking but I always tell my friends my best chance of winning grand slams nowadays are in mixed," the 41-year-old, who now has won a total of 12 grand slam doubles titles, later told reporters.

Wawrinka wins Australian Open

Stanislas Wawrinka held firm in a match of high drama to defeat an injured Rafa Nadal 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 and win his maiden grand slam title at the Australian Open on Sunday. The eighth seed roared to a two-set lead after top seed Nadal struggled with an apparent back injury sustained early in the second set, but the Swiss was left stunned as his opponent suddenly revived in the third at Rod Laver Arena. Though restricted in his movement, Nadal fought back into the match with a barrage of clean hitting, completely throwing the Swiss off his game who surrendered the third set in a hail of unforced errors. Wawrinka captured a break in the fourth set, surrendered it with a terrible service game, but recovered again to earn a chance to serve for the match. He stayed cool when it counted, serving strongly and sealing the win with an imperious forehand rocketing down the line. A relieved Wawrinka raised his hands in the air in celebration and after shaking hands with a gloomy Nadal, went to console the


Indian women coast to 7wicket win over Lanka

An improved performance by Sri Lankan women didn’t cause much of a bother for the Indians who cruised to a seven wicket win in the penultimate ODI match at the Dr YSR ACA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam. Replying to Lanka’s modest 140, India made 143 for three to take an unbeatable 20 lead in the three-match series. Put in, Sri Lankan openers Chamari Atapattu and Yasoda Mendis realised 50 in just 5.2 overs. Right-arm medium pacer Amita Sharma provided the much needed respite for the Indians when she had Atapattu (9) caught by vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur with the score reading 61. Two balls later, Sharma got the big breakthrough when she trapped the rampant Mendis leg before. The 27-year-old Mendis smashed a 29-ball 56 which contained seven fours and three sixes. The Lankan’s strike rate of 193.10 reminded one of her illustrious countrymate and former opener Sanath Jayasuriya. Gouhar Sultana then weaved her magic to take four for 15 as Lanka were bowled out for 140. Chamari Polgampala and skipper Shashikala Siriwardene added 25 for the third wicket but left-arm spinner Gouhar Sultana, who had taken four wickets in the first ODI, once again spun her magic. The Hyderabad lass had Siriwardene (14) caught by Sneh Rana and three balls later bowled Deepika Rasangika (0) to leave the visitors tottering at 90 for four.

Modi winner but don't declare results: BCCI to SC

The cricket board (BCCI) on Monday told the Supreme Court that Lalit Modi, facing a life ban for allegedly swindling $80 million from the IPL, has won the election for Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) president but stalled declaration of the result saying it would force the board to suspend RCA that would lead to dropping of Rajasthan players from Indian teams. The SC had appointed Justice NM Kasliwal to supervise the RCA election and send the result in a sealed cover to it. BCCI wants the court to first decide the contentious point whether Modi was eligible to contest elections to RCA before declaring the result.

Dr Avtar Lit’s companies go into administration

Five radio companies that Dr Avtar Lit owns have gone into administration. However, Litt Corporation Limited that runs Sunrise Radio 1, Sunrise Radio 2 and Sunrise Radio 3 continue to run as normal. Sunrise Radio Limited, Kismat Radio Limited, London Media Company Limited, Time FM 107.5 Limited and Tristar Broadcasting Limited, have struggled financially for

the past few months and therefore administrators have been appointed. It remains to be seen how will this affect the flagship stations and what impact it will have on the Litt Corporation Limited in the coming days. Grant Thornton UK LLP has been appointed the a d m i n i s t r a t o r. BizAsia attempted to contact Lit but was awaiting a response at the time of filing this article.


32 - Asian Voice 1st February 2014

Australia stun England; win ODI series 4-1

Australia pulled off a stunning five-run victory over England in the fifth and final ODI at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday to sweep the series 41. England were bowled out on the fourth ball of the final over as the hosts fought back from what had looked like a losing position for most of the game. The visitors had restricted Australia to 217 for nine wickets with a tight bowling display, but ended up all out for 212 in 49.4 overs. Both sides found batting difficult on a day during which the bowlers were well on top on a slow drop-in pitch. England were unlucky at the death to lose Ravi Bopara to a ball that bounced off wicket-keeper Matt Wade and just removed the bails as the batsman's foot lifted off the ground. The decision was a longtime coming but when Bopara, who hit 25, walked off England were in deep trouble on 209 for nine. Tail-ender Chris Jordan could not connect for a boundary and James Tredwell clipped Watson to the keeper with two balls remaining.

Nathan coulter-Nile finished with figures of three for 34 runs off his 10 overs and Clint McKay, who did much of the final damage, took three for 36. For England, paceman Stuart Broad had led the charge, snaring three key wickets for 31 runs off his 10 overs including two maidens. Broad swung the ball both ways in a master-

class display to help compensate for some slapdash early England fielding. George Bailey top-scored for Australia with 56 off 74 balls while Joe Root hit 55 for England off 86 balls. Root fell flicking an attempted ramp shot to Xavier Doherty at short fine leg off James Faulkner at a time when England looked set to canter

to victory. Wickets then tumbled rapidly and the home team celebrated Australia Day with a 4-1 series triumph on top of the 5-0 Ashes whitewash. England wrap up the tour with three T20 matches starting in Hobart on Wednesday, Melbourne on Friday and Sydney next Sunday.

The cricketing ice between India and Pakistan is melting. The frosty diplomatic relations notwithstanding, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to renew the bilateral ties with Pakistan. The inevitable fallout of the decision is India's readiness to play Pakistan anywhere. In other words, the BCCI, which has been steadfastly against going to a neutral country to play Pakistan, has climbed down from that hard position. It is willing to send the team to any country, including Abu Dhabi and Dubai. They might even say

yes to Sharjah. A decision to this effect was taken at the emergent working committee meeting of the BCCI in Chennai. The BCCI sent out a general press statement but specifically mentioned Pakistan. "The meeting has authorized the office bearers to discuss bilateral matches with other Full Members (including Pakistan) and sign formal FTP Agreements," the BCCI stated in a release. The decision follows a teleconference between BCCI president N Srinivasan and recently-restored president of Pakistan Cricket

Board (PCB) Zaka Ashraf. There is no immediate window for a series to be organised but the BCCI is open to play a short series against Pakistan in the next 12 months. "There is no window till 2015 to accommodate a fullfledged series but we can squeeze in a short series if a proposal from the PCB comes through," Sanjay Patel, BCCI secretary, said. He was categorical that Team India will be ready to travel to any place that Pakistan suggests, including the venues in the Middle East where Misbah & Co play their home

games. India have not played a match the Middle East, particularly in Sharjah, since 2000 and the last bilateral series between the countries was a short ODI-T20 series in 2012-13. It is now India's turn to visit Pakistan. Given India's busy schedule, a window for a short series is not possible but the countries could work out a schedule between September and December this year. "We welcome the BCCI decision. I've had a discussion with Srinivasan and we knew that the BCCI would take such a decision," Ashraf said.

BCCI decides to revive India-Pakistan cricket ties

Cook desperate to stay on as England captain

Alastair Cook has said he was desperate to stay on as England captain after hinting he may quit the job. Cook said he was considering his future as England's one-day international skipper after his side lost the limited overs series against Australia with Sunday's seven-wicket thrashing in Sydney on the back of a humiliating Ashes whitewash. His spirits had improved, however, ahead of the fourth ODI in Perth on Friday. "That was quite an emotional time - we'd just lost another game," the 29-year-old said at the toss. "I'm lucky enough to do this job. I'm desperate to carry on now." Cook has received the backing of the England and Wales Cricket Board to lead the team's rebuilding process despite becoming only the third England captain to suffer an Ashes whitewash. After losing the last ODI against Australia at home, England have lost nine consecutive matches under Cook, including the Ashes tests.

India wins gold in men’s basketball at Lusofonia Games

India on Monday won the basketball gold in the men's section at the Lusofonia Games, defeating Angola 77-70. In a closely fought match at the Indoor Stadium at university complex in Panaji, India led 19-14 at the end of the first quarter before the visitors brought themselves back into the game with a 16-15 second quarter verdict. The Angolans fought tooth and nail to dominate the third quarter, where they scored 23 points against India's 16. The hosts' cagers, however, saw that they did not suffer any more hiccups as they claimed the fourth quarter 27-17 and along with it the title. Mozambique won the bronze defeating Cape Verde 56-37. The women's gold was bagged by Mozambique, who defeated Angola 73-49. India won the bronze. India, Mozambique play for football gold A keen contest is on the cards when Goa (India) take on Mozambique for the football gold. Goa (India) outplayed Macau with their skillful play as they dominated the ball procession throughout to beat them 2-0 in the semi-finals. Goa (India), who are assured of a medal this time, had lost all their matches and conceded 18 goals at the last Lusofonia Games.

Will the world of cricket dare let India walk away?

The future of a controversial working paper to be voted on at the International Cricket Council’s executive board meeting in Dubai will stand or fall on how dependent full members feel they are on India. Vote the paper through and India will stay in the ICC to add significant value to future revenues; block it and they could walk away taking their billion dollar-generating television audience with them. Giving India what they want will, in the long run, be beneficial to most within cricket’s broad church, given the game’s reliance

upon lucrative TV deals. That is why, despite persuasive criticism from former ICC presidents Ehsan Mani and Malcolm Gray, the majority is likely to be carried when the vote is taken in the next few days. Money and its distribution is the most ethically sensitive part of the paper proposed by the ICC’s finance and commercial affairs committee and not just because it appears shot through with selfinterest – its authors being Giles Clarke, Wally Edwards and N Srinivasan, the chairmen of the England and Wales Cricket Board, Cricket Australia and the Board of

Control for Cricket in India respectively. Driven by the inefficiency and vacillation of ICC’s administration, this cartel has made several proposals including the formation of an executive committee comprising them and two other full members voted in by them, to take over from the ICC’s executive board. This has raised hackles as much as the veto enjoyed by England and Australia once did before it was removed in 1996. Yet its controversy has been surpassed by the creation of a payment from ICC revenues known as a “distribution cost”.

This appears to be an amount awarded to a country based on their clout in attracting advertising revenue on TV and is separate from the surplus payment, the equal slice that ICC hands each full member country over an eight-year period. India, England and Australia head the pack in respect of attracting “distribution costs”. Given that ICC’s next eight-year cycle of TV rights (201523) is expected to generate $ 2.75-3 billion (£1.81 billion), of which $2.1 billion of value is generated by the Indian market, the BCCI can expect to receive a distribution cost

between $570-650 million (£345-393 million) – in addition to the $70 million (£42.4 million) surplus paid to each full member. The BCCI will receive that sum irrespective of where an ICC tournament takes place, the calculation made purely on the drawing power their team is perceived to exert over a global TV audience. The ECB would get $124-141 million (£75.1-85.4 million) in distribution costs while CA would receive $77-87 million (£50.652.7 million). These payments, which do not exist at present, are exclusive of the monies the ‘Big Three’

make from their own broadcasting and sponsorship deals. With seven other full members and countless affiliates and development programmes to fund, it seems an unjustifiably selfish and greedy stance, perhaps tempered when you consider the inefficiency of some other boards. Individual sportsmen in team games have long been paid for their influence on the market. Indeed, it can be argued that it is just as unfair on India to have received the same share of the pot as New Zealand, given their respective drawing power globally.

AV 1st February 2014  
AV 1st February 2014  

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