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VOL 42. ISSUE 46

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side


22nd March to 28th March 2014

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BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi who is also considered as the frontrunner to become India’s next prime minister, will contest from Hindu pilgrimage centre Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. Continued on page 26

British clothing chain Primark to pay $10 million to 580 employees

Almost a year after collapse of Rana Plaza building tragedy in Bangladesh, the British retail clothing chain Primark announced to pay an additional $ 10 million in long-term compensation to victims. The compensation will be paid to the 580 employees of Primark supplier, New Wave Bottoms, which occupied the second floor of the eight-story structure – Rana Plaza – in Bangladesh. The payment will be made in cash according to the impact of the injury and level of dis-

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ability resulting from the collapse or in the case of the dependents of those who lost their lives in the tragedy. All workers and



dependents will be paid within 12 months. In the tragedy took Continued on page 26


Further changes to immigration rules announced After a battery of changes made to the immigration rules over the last 3.5 years, the Coalition government has now proposed another set of changes, desperately trying to do damage control, after falling out with the migrant community, which contributes largely to the British economy. James Brokenshire, pictured, the Minister for Immigration and Security, has laid down before the Parliament, a statement of changes in Immigration rules last week. He is making a package of changes to Points-Based System work routes to improve flexibility for applicants

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and enhance economic growth. In a statement he said: “These changes will ensure that the UK remains competitive in attracting global talent to work for British businesses, so that we can succeed in the global race. Continued on page 2




UK - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

Keith Vazwith MP

Keith Vaz MP

Paul Lindley

available to children, and what we could do as business people and a society to make it easier for kids to eat healthily. That idea turned into Ella’s Kitchen.

Paul Lindley founded the organic baby and toddler food brand Ella’s Kitchen® in 2006, which is sold in supermarkets internationally. Paul is now CEO of the Global Infant Toddler and Kids division atThe Hain Celestial Group® and is also an ambassador for the Family and Childcare Trust. In February 2013 he launched the Averting A Recipe For Disaster report, a long-term, cross-political party plan to improve nutrition for the under-fives. The report has formed the basis of a campaign Paul has led to effect meaningful, coordinated changes in the way young children are introduced to a healthier lifestyle that can last their lifetime, by pressuring and persuading Government, business and individuals to collaborate in a long-term commitment. Please tell me about your current position? I am founder and CEO of Ella’s Kitchen, the babyfood brand I set up eight years ago to help improve children’s relationship with food. I am also CEO of Global Infant Toddler and Kids division, Hain Celestial®. What are your proudest achievements? My proudest moment has to be the launch of Ella's Kitchen in January 2006. I'll never forget seeing my daughter’s face on each of our products, stocked on the shelves of 350 Sainsbury stores. After giving up my job at Nickelodeon to pursue my dream of creating my very own children’s food brand, which I had spent two years planning, it was amazing

to see that materialise. My idea was to create a sustainable business that would change society - the dream is now a reality. What inspires you? My basic philosophy in business is to think like a toddler. We can learn so much from them. What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? As an entrepreneur, you face new, unexpected challenges every day, but your ability to adapt and learn from these obstacles is often what makes your business stronger. Much of the first 18 months was spent looking at how to build a sense of purpose into what we were trying to achieve, beyond

just selling products. Taking on the challenge of staff was tough – how do you create one team with the same goals when they join at different stages? I set up a values-based business and been very lucky in that the team at Ella’s share passionately my vision and that has been one of the vital ingredients to our success. Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? Quite simply, my children are my biggest influence and probably the greatest asset to my business. When my daughter Ella was a toddler we struggled to get her to eat a wide variety of food which made me think about the kind of foods that are

More changes in immigration rules announced

Continued from page 1 We are building an immigration system that works in the national interest as part of our long term economic plan. One that is fair to hard-working British citizens and legitimate migrants and tough on those who break the rules or flout the law”.


The announced changes include:

Expansion of Tier 1 category Visa: The Exceptional talent category, Tier 1 Visa will now include leading talent in the digital technology sector, who are endorsed by Tech City UK. It will make it easier for applicants in this category to apply from overseas and to count time spent in other immigration categories towards qualifying for settlement. l Tier 2 grants upto 5 years: Tier 2 grants which are limited to three years at present will be increased to five years at a time. Changes to Tier 2 requirements are also to be applied to Croatian nation-

als. l New Category for overseas language teachers: New Category for overseas Government sponsored language teachers will be introduced under the Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange Route. This will enable overseas government sponsored teachers to share knowledge and awareness of foreign languages and cultures in the UK. It would start with a Mandarin teaching scheme designed to foster good cultural relations between the UK and China. l Scheduled updates to salary and maintenance fund requirements, as well as a number of other minor changes to Points-Based System categories. The maintenance fund changes will take effect for applications made from 1 July. l Ending the exemption from the genuineness test that applies to nationals on this list when applying for a Tier 4 visa. l United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman will be

added to the list of countries whose nationals benfit from different documentary requirements. Also, Bahraini nationals who hold diplomatic and special passports issued by Bahrain when travelling to the UK for the purpose of a general visit will no longer have to obtain a visit visa to travel to the UK. l Visa required for Venezuela Nationals: Venezuela to be added to the list of countries whose Nationals require visa to travel to the UK. l Discretionary policies for civilian employees of NATO and the Australian Department of Defence, and employees of firms under contract to NATO to be incorporated into the Immigration Rules. Minor changes and clarifications to the Immigration Rules relating to family life. These mainly reflect feedback from caseworkers and legal practitioners on the operation of the rules. l Clarification of the knowledge of language and life pro-

What is the best aspect about your current role? The fact I am now able to pursue the vision that first inspired my company, to improve children’s relationships with food, and build on this vision to turn it into tangible, meaningful projects is something I feel very fortunate about. What are your long term goals? Our ambition is to improve children’s relationship with food and to play our part, as one of the UK’s business success stories to influence positive change. I firmly believe that business should have a purpose beyond profit and this is at the heart of the Ella’s Kitchen brand. By running campaigns such as Averting A Recipe for Disaster or grassroots projects, like Start Smart, taking place in Leicester this week to raise awareness about childhood nutrition for the

visions which apply for settlement applications by partners and children of members of HM Forces. l Changes to the curtailment provisions in Part 9 of the Immigration Rules (General Grounds for Refusal) “to support the Home Office in its work to take robust action against those who attempt to abuse the immigration system and ensure that migrants do not retain leave to which they are no longer entitled.” In particular: l Incorporate the grounds in section 10(1)(b) and (c) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 in preparation for the changes made by the Immigration Bill l Enable leave to be curtailed where a Points-Based System sponsor notifies the Home Office that a migrant’s period of study or work is due to end earlier than had been originally planned when leave to enter or remain was granted l Make further minor changes to ensure that the wording and the intentions of the rules are clear and consistent.


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under–fives, I hope we can use our influence as and work alongside government to make a tangible impact on the health challenges our country faces. If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? As with many issues our country faces, the challenges we have around childhood health, obesity and food poverty are multi-faceted and will not be solved with a silver bullet. It requires a long-term solution that will be based on greater collaboration between business, government and the community, rather than policy changes from an individual party. I would like to see this type of collaboration, which has been proved possible by our Start Smart project, happen all across the country and I would like to see the hurdles that prevent it from taking place broken down. If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? One of my favourite quotes is from a speech by Robert Kennedy; "There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” - to me, this inquisitive philosophy could be the right one to have if you are stranded on a desert island.

Harrow police to tackle increasing robberies with community leaders Areas like Harrow, Kenton and Stanmore have seen an increasing number of robberies in Asian homes with the gold price soaring in the market. After a letter written to Mr Simon Ovens, Borough Commander at the Harrow Met Police by Kanti Nagda of Sangat Advice Centre, the Police Commander has promised to organise a meeting with the leaders of the community within 2 weeks, to discuss how to prevent such crimes in the area. In his letter Kantibhai, on behalf of the concerned local residents wrote, "We would like to know from your statistics if there is an increase in house burglaries. We would also like to establish percentage

Borough Commander Simon Ovens

of victims who are of Indian origins. The community needs to know as to what the police are doing about stopping this type of crime, alerting the community and supporting the community. We would like to suggest a meeting with Police and community leaders to discuss how we could help each other." If you are interested to take part in this meeting, please contact Mr Nagda on 020 8427 0659 - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014


Time for indians to choose a workable government

Dates of elections in India have been announced. Post 1947 India has had as many as 15 elections. Compared to previous elections, the 16th Lok Sabha polls are perhaps extra special as well as interesting too. This time, the election will be held in nine phases and the polls would be the longest in the history of Indian polls. The election process will not only continue for 36 days but it would also be the costliest ever election for the country. As per primary estimates, this year the cost will be over Rs 300 billion. The most important feature of the polls is the number of young voters, almost 40 to 50 per cent of total voters. Of the total 814 million voters, 100 million are set to vote for the first time. In BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s home-state Gujarat, there are 30 million young voters between the ages of 18 to 39. All the political parties are trying very hard to woo more and more young voters. Youngsters have more awareness now. Whether its protest against gang rape on Nirbhaya or Gandhian Anna Hazare’s agitation, youngsters are highly active. Even political analysts strongly believe that youngsters will play a very crucial role to decide who would occupy the throne. But good governance and anti-corruption movement remain the two major agenda in this election. Narendra Modi's slogan ‘Congress Free India’ and his speeches are based on the above ideology. Opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is aggressively attacking the Congress over these issues. On the other hand ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) headed by the Congress Party is finding it difficult to counter accusations by the Opposition, especially on corruption. During the two terms of UPA government led by the Congress, maximum number of incidents pertaining to corruption have come into light. Scams like 2G spectrum, Commonwealth Games, allocation of coal blocks and the list goes on. Though the Manmohan Singh government has recently claimed that it has taken stringent measures against corruption, everyone knows that there is not much substance in such claims.

The Lokpal Bill, for which the entire nation came on the streets, is yet to be legalised. Proposal of Rahul Gandhi to bring bill against corruption has not been accepted by his own cabinet. Ruling party’s inaction against issues touching common man have given arsenal to the opposition party. Narendra Modi is much ahead than any other political leader in the country to take maximum mileage from the issue of ‘Good Governance’. Other political parties are continuously launching scathing attack on Modi, but it has not affected his popularity. Contradictory to their blames, poll surveys say that Modi is much ahead than others. However, people are asking one question repeatedly as the elections are coming closer: Whether one party of alliance would get clear majority or not? Poll surveys till date suggest that the BJP would emerge as the largest party. Many allies have left the Congress lead UPA. On the other hand BJP and NDA are trying hard to involve maximum number of regional parties in their fold. And they are getting success in it too. Formation of the Third Front has definitely damaged the equations of two major alliances – UPA and NDA. However, nobody can guarantee how long this Third Front would last. It would only play a decisive role, in case neither the NDA nor the UPA fail to get clear majority. Otherwise, it is quite possible that political outfits of the Third Front may change their loyalty in favour of the alliance that is likely to grab power. Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Adami Party (AAP) may not contest from all the constituencies, but on certain seats, AAP candidates would definitely create trouble for the BJP as well as the Congress candidates. With the only goal to win, the BJP, the Congress, AAP and the Third Front are putting their candidates keeping keeping in mind factors like religion, caste, creed and region. In this situation voters will have to give prominence to national interest and use their ‘power’ to vote judiciously. If voters utilise votes without giving chance to any political party to entice them, it would be the greatest service of the nation.

India’s external affairs minister Salman Khurshid is not at his diplomatic best. Just about recovering from “impotent” jibe at BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi that seems to have bruised Khurshid more, the minister dug into the Supreme Court and the Election Commission of India in the course of a talk on “challenges facing Indian democracy” at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. His comments on the Supreme Court and the Election Commission taking a proactive stand in the middle of an Election Campaign have caused a stir among political parties. Khurshid’s criticism of Election Commission and the Supreme Court were perhaps stepping beyond reasonable limits on what it could expect to run on. He said the Election Commission had done some yeoman services and has sorted a lot of ugly warts. His grouse is that both the constitutional bodies represented by a few members cannot be left with decision on how to conduct the election in the country. He wanted political parties to have more freedom on how to conduct the election.

Stirring up controversy is nothing new for Khurshid. On his jive at ‘impotent’ Modi, he had earned a rebuke from Rahul Gandhi. Earlier Khurshid criticised Rahul and earned the ire of Congress men. He has backed the controversial statement of Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Kashmir. BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said that Khurshid comments’ had been made out of desperation. He alleged that since the Congress is sure to lose the election, its now finding a scapegoat in the Supreme Court and the Election Commission. Former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswamy said that Khurshid’s criticism was unfair. Khurshid is a senior minister in the UPA government and it was not expected of him to ridicule the Supreme Court and the Election Commission when they are doing the work the government failed to do. Because of the proactive role of the constitutional bodies, the number of tainted candidates contesting the election and the money power has come down. Instead of supporting the actions of these two bodies, Khurshid’s criticism is strange to digest.

Immigrants are the whipping boys of politicians of all hues in UK. They are blamed for the problems plaguing the country. Recently, the 10 Downing Street deliberately suppressed a report on the positive contributions of immigrants on the job market. The report was finally published by DueDil and Centre for Entrepreneurs which shows that almost half a million people from 155 countries have launched companies in the country and are currently trading with at least £l million in revenue. According to the report, out of seven companies, the migrants created four and out of 56 billionaires seven are of Indian origin. The entrepreneurial activity among migrant community was almost double that of local individuals, despite the additional challenges they face, including the language barriers and access to finance. This figures show how important the contributions of migrants are for the development of the country. Despite these positive figures, the attitude of the public and the politicians are not so encouraging. While two thirds think that there are too many immigrants in the country, 11 per cent even thinks that the migrant entrepreneurs had a negative impact. The report has also put the coalition partners at loggerheads. Liberal Democrats want the rules to be changed so that the husbands, the wives and the old grandparents of the migrants can move to Britain. At

the same time the government has decided to raise the earning threshold of the migrants to bring their wives or husbands to UK. The Tories are not ready to welcome more immigrants. Migrants also contribute cheap labour to the country. They are willing to accept lower wages compared to their British counterparts. They take up jobs that the local population is not willing to take up. Not only that, in the age of global migration you cannot block legal immigrants from entering any country. Overall migrants are doing a yeoman service to the society, yet the local population sees them as a scourge. There are some agencies which are deliberately publishing reports which will harm the interest of the immigrants. Migration Watch UK issued a new assessment and accordingly the immigrants cost the taxpayer over £140 billion or more than £22 million a day over the 17 years 1995 - 2011. The Migration Watch has followed some unrealistic assumptions to reach at the figure. The Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM) claimed a net benefit of £25 billion from recent migrants which they described as “a very sizeable fiscal contribution”. However, analysis by Migration Watch finds that the true figure is more likely to be a net cost of that amount. This all means that the contributions from the migrants are welcome but you are not welcome here.

Salman Khurshid creates a new controversy

Migrants not welcome in our country, except your money

3 People will not always remember what you said. People will not always remember what you did. But people will always remember how you made them feel - Anonymous

Seema Malhotra MP For Feltham and Heston

Over the last few weeks in Parliament, the Care Bill has been going through Parliament The Care system needs massive reform, as since 2010, £2.68bn has been cut from council budgets for adult social care, approximately 20% of the budget. Many of the changes to the social care system included in the Care Bill build on the recommendations of the Law Commission’s review of adult social care legislation, which was initiated by the last Government, and the proposals in Labour’s White Paper before the last election “Building the National Care Service”. I therefore welcomed some of the measures in this Bill, stronger legal rights for carers and improving access to information and advice. Labour raised a number of specific concerns about certain clauses of the Bill. One key area is the programme which allows the Government to utilise anonymous patient data. In principle, the utilisation of anonymous patient data is one that Labour supports. It can lead to better research, improve care and increase safety. More information about how people with certain conditions react to treatment can improve quality of life and also allow more efficient treatments to be developed. However, it is absolutely essential that adequate safeguards are in place to ensure patient privacy. There are worrying reports that patient information in the G o v e r n m e n t ’ s ‘’ scheme can potentially be ‘re-identified’ and that the current processes do not provide adequate protection. Labour tabled a new clause to make ‘re-identifying patients an offence’ and remain concerned that this was not passed. The Care Bill removes the check and balance of the Secretary of State having final sign off on applications to approve the processing of confidential patient information for research purposes. Instead, this

decision will be taken by an unelected body and unaccountable body called the Health Research Authority. Labour tabled an amendment to re-apply the duty of sign-off on all applications to the Secretary of State and the Health and Social Care Information Centre. The Government’s handling of the scheme has been a concern – not because of what it is in principle, but because implementation issues must be seriously addressed to ensure the public have confidence that their data won’t be used for non-medical purposes.. MPs were also heavily lobbied on Clause 119 of the Care Bill, which gives the Health Secretary sweeping powers to force hospital closures over the heads of local communities. Labour is opposed to this clause and voted against it in the House of Commons. Labour also supported a new clause, NCI6, which would have ameliorated the worst parts of Clause 119. Local people and local healthcare commissioners should have a real say in the future of their local health services – a good law builds in this principle into how decisions about local hospitals are taken and does not give disproportionate powers to the Secretary of State. The Care Bill has the potential to improve our care system and provide the real support people need. Over the past six weeks MPs have debated the concerns of healthcare professionals, patients, charities and carers about the inadequacies this Bill. The Bill has now gone back to the House of Lords for consideration. I hope that it will be given the upmost scrutiny to ensure reforms that could provide an important building block in how we pay for and deliver social care in the future is done also with the right safeguards, and that carers see their rights further enshrined in law.


MIDLANDS VOICE - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

University of Leicester plays instrumental role in preventative action against diabetes

A team of academics from the University of Leicester has been instrumental in shaping National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance that will influence medical policy towards diabetes prevention nationwide. NICE's recommendations in the form of a local government briefing, which have been developed with advice from NICE's Local Government Reference Group using feedback from council officers, councillors and directors of public health, encourage local authorities and partner organisations to use body mass index (BMI) as a signal for preventive action against long-term medical conditions, such as diabetes. The University of Leicester’s Diabetes Research Centre has a close relationship with NICE. Professor Kamlesh Khunti was Chair of the NICE Early Identification and Prevention of Diabetes Guidance Group and Professor Melanie Davies and Dr Thomas Yates were also members of this group. This new guidance will mean that more people will receive interventions to help them make such changes earlier, which is very important if we are to halt the rise in diabetes. Action now will result in significant social care and health savings, by delaying and improving the management of complications associated with limiting long-term illnesses. The focus is on people from black,

Prof Kamloesh Khunti

University of Leicester

Asian and other minority ethnic groups. The prevalence of chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke is up to 6 times higher, and occurs from a younger age, among these groups. In addition, these groups progress from being at-risk to being diagnosed with these conditions at twice the rate of white populations. Existing lifestyle interventions targeting sedentary lifestyles and diet have reduced the incidence of diabetes by about 50% among high-risk individuals.

This includes people from South Asian, Chinese, black African and African Caribbean descent with a BMI of 23 kg/m2 or more, where interventions to identify and manage pre-diabetes have been found to be cost effective. Diabetes, however, is the most common cause of visual impairment and blindness among people of working age and the most common cause of kidney failure and non-traumatic lower limb amputations. NICE’s guidelines will put greater focus on preventing diabetes in high-risk individuals.

Police finds automatic gun in a taxi during a shadowy handover

Marshall, 32, have been Police have found a 9mm jailed at Manchester automatic plus 22 rounds Crown Court after admitin a magazine, 34 bullets ting firearms offences. and a silencer in a miniIt’s understood that cab. the pair were couriers This was discovered, when police observed a shadowy handover on a residential street. Police officers found these in a bag after pulling over the taxi Mohammed Ali was travelling in at Great Cheetham The machine gun discovered in the taxi Street East, Salford. working for gangsters Now, Ali, 31, and the moving the deadly man who supplied him weapon on. with the weapon, Beren

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Ali, described him as a ‘man of limited intellect, a man of use to those more sophisticated, a man prepared to run errands and take risks with items that they would not’. Ian Metcalfe, d e f e n d i n g Marshall, said he Beren Marshall Mohammed Ali was also being used But police, acting on intelliby others higher up the chain, gence, had them under surveiland had been pulled back into lance, and observed their clancrime just as had begun find destine meeting at Shakespeare stability with the mother of his Road, Swinton, Salford, at two children. 5.15pm on November 27. Sending the pair down, The court heard that Ali has Judge Patrick Field QC said: previous convictions for “It’s without doubt that this is firearms after being caught with a deadly weapon and was a sawn-off shotgun and stunintended for use in serious and gun in a police stop in violent crime, where there Rusholme. would be the risk of death, or at Convicted drug dealer the very least serious personal Marshall has a previous convicinjury. The danger to society of tion for possessing a sawn-off such weapons is manifest - you shotgun along with 50 carboth acted knowing that the tridges. weapon was to be conveyed to Michael Johnson, defending serious and dangerous men.�

Prenatal growth could play key role in predisposition to non-communicable diseases amongst South Asians A new study in mothers and children of Pakistani origin suggests non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes could be programmed prior to birth. South Asians show some of the highest rates of cardiovascular disease in the world which, according to a Loughborough University study, may be traced back to a marked reduction in

the prenatal growth of the abdominal circumference, specifically during the third trimester. Abdominal circumference is thought to represent critical organs such as the kidneys and liver which have key roles in the programming of disease. These latest findings may show that, in Pakistani foetuses, programming of non-communicable diseases

New system set up to help police identify victims

A new system has been set up to help the police to identify victims and people suspected of easy exploitation. Greater Manchester Police have received more than 2,000 tip-offs about child grooming in under a year, new figures reveal – a third of them in Rochdale. A new system set up a year ago – in the wake of the town’s sexual exploitation scandal – has kept track of every single piece of intelligence passed to officers relating to the crime. It means police can form a better picture of potential victims and offenders, while helping to protect children and spot trends. A local newspaper reported that the figures, which have been analysed for Stockport MP Ann Coffey, who is investigating how agencies have responded to the scandal, show 2,286 pieces of intelligence have been received in the 10 months to January from worried members of the public, teachers, social workers and officers. And 693 of those were in Rochdale. Ms Coffey said it showed the public now has its ‘eyes and ears open’ to child sexual exploitation. The figures reveal 105 reported crimes with some link to child sexual exploitation in that period, roughly a third – 37 – of them in Rochdale. Area Child grooming tip offs Rochdale 693 South Manchester 269 Oldham 224 Tameside 210 Stockport 191 Bolton 162 130 North Manchester Wigan 151 Trafford 115 Salford 75 Bury 65

Teenager jailed for murder

An 18-year-old Birmingham teenager who has admitted murdering a college student after a dispute on a bus has been jailed for life at the Birmingham city’s crown court. Azeem Akhtar was ordered to serve at least 16 years and three months before he is considered for release when he was sentenced for the stabbing of Azim Azam, pictured. The 16-year-old was en route to his first full day at Bournville College last September when he was killed. The pair had reportedly clashed on the number 2 bus in Moseley after falling out months earlier. Witnesses had described how Akhtar, shoved his way past people standing in the aisle to reach Azim as he stepped off the bus in Wake Green Road. As the victim got off the bus he was stabbed in the chest. He initially ran off but the wound had penetrated his heart and he slumped to the ground. A doctor tried reviving him as he lay on the pavement but despite the best efforts of paramedics he later died in hospital. Akhtar handed himself into police the following morning. begins prenatally. The study, published in the Annals of Human Biology this month, analysed more than 5,000 foetuses from the Born in Bradford study - one of the biggest and most important medical research studies undertaken in the UK. Researchers compared body measurements to identify differences between White British and Pakistani foetuses to help explain why South Asians appear to be more prone to cardiovascular disease. Researchers found that although there was no difference in prenatal growth between the groups in terms of weight and head size, Pakistani foetuses displayed a marked reduction in growth of the abdominal circumference. - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

Indian origin man escapes jail after killing a mum

Balbinder Dhillon of Warrington, an Indian-origin man, who ran over a woman with his car last year in Lovely Lane, UK was freed of all charges by the British Court on last Thursday. Mr. Dhillon, who is a resident of Montana Close, Great Sankey was driving home in his Audi A4 after picking-up his two children from Kickboxing, when he drove across the other side of the pavement where Donna Davies, 42, was walking with her 10 year old daughter on April 25, 2013. As soon as Mrs. Davies saw the car heading towards them, she threw her daughter out of its way; but she got fatally injured and died.

Paul Davies, whose wife Donna was hit by Dhillon's car

The car came to a stop only after hitting a stone wall. It was travelling at a speed of around 31 to 34 miles per hour. The prosecutor told the court that the 39 year old had been under stress due to his wife’s

Balbinder Dhillon

depression and also because of his father’s illness. He had also smoked cannabis on the Sunday and took his wife’s sleeping pills two days before the accident, on Tuesday. She also said that Mr. Dhillon has been diagnosed as clinically depressed and is suffering from post accident amnesia. Paul Davies, Mrs Davies’ husband, said, “My happy loving family had gone to nothing but a shell.” “My life and that of the two children has been destroyed,” he added. The defender, Anne White, said, “He said that he blacked out but we will never know if he did that night. He had his two sons, aged 10 and four, in the back of the car. He had every motive not to drive in a dangerous fashion.” Mr. Dhillon, the former director of a landlord and letting agency, was given a two year suspension along with 300 hours of unpaid work and has been barred from driving for five years.

Rare sword of Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh auctioned on 18 March 2014

A recently discovered early 19th century Indian sword bearing on its blade a silhouette of Maharajah Ranjit Singh – the legendary ‘Lion of the Punjab’ – went under the hammer on March 18th, in Ludlow, Shropshire. This most exquisite find comes from a British family of military descent and is inscribed in the hilt in Gurmukhi ‘Ranjit Singh Lahore’ and dated. As such it could prove to be one of the most significant Sikh artefacts to come to light in recent years.

Maharajah Ranjit Singh was the founder of the Sikh Kingdom in the Punjab and ruled for 40 years. His Kingdom was annexed to British dominions after the Anglo-Sikh Wars and his infant son, Maharajah Duleep Singh was removed and sent to

England where he lived the life of an English Gentleman. The Mullock’s sale features more than 100 lots of important Indian items, including a military bugle with a letter from the bandmaster of the Kashmir State, saying that it was used in the army of Maharajah Ranjit Singh. Also in the sale is a rare copies of the Chronicles of the Lahore Durbar, the Travel Memoir of Godfrey Vigne to the Court of Ranjit Singh and a two volume set of ‘A Year on the Punjab Frontier’ by Herbert Edwardes which belonged to Sir John Lawrence, Viceroy of India from 186469, and containing handwritten notes by the author’s wife. The sale also features rare photographs and documents of the Punjab States, and important documents including a memorandum on the widow and son of Maharajah Sher Singh and a rare first hand account of the Indian freedom fighter Bhagat Singh written by his colleague in 1945.



Mittal Champions Trust dissolved after receiving complaints

The Mittal Champions Trust, a London based charitable trust, funded by the tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, supporting scores of Indian athletes has been dissolved, after promoters reportedly complained about the chronic "disorganisation" in the Indian sporting system. The Mittal Champions Trust was founded in 2005 and led by the steel tycoon's son-in-law Amit Bhatia, and Indian tennis legend Mahesh Bhupathi. Since its' inception the Trust had reportedly spent nearly £8mn funding the development of non-mainstream sports in India and was said to have been instrumental in India's unprecedented success at the Beijing and London Olympics in sports such as shooting and wrestling. The news of the Trust's' dissolution was

Amit Bhatia

reportedly confirmed by Mr Bhatia. He said: “We believe that we did our best to help athletes at Beijing 2008 and London 2012. It is now time to hand over the reins to others to continue with this wonderful initiative." He added, "The biggest challenge is to be able to support athletes in a way that makes a real difference. There is a lot of disorganisation within the Indian sporting system. The lack of planning

Mahesh Bhupathi

within the government and federations makes it challenging to implement systems." Abhinav Bindra, the shooter who won India's first ever individual Olympic gold at the 2008 Beijing Games and was one of forty athletes sponsored by the Trust, was full of praise for the work done by Mittal Champions Trust. He said: "MCT was an individual’s effort to support the athletes because of his passion

Abhinav Bindra

for sport – a family thing. They introduced professionalism in the way we ran our sport and all of us benefited from it". Reports say that the dissolution of the Trust will affect India, as it prepares for the u p c o m i n g Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer and the Asian Games in late 2014.



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India's External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid visits UK, creates controversy - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

‘Democracy Held Hostage by the Unaccountable, Unelected’: Salman Khurshid at SOAS


India’s Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid’s lecture at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS, London) last week incited scathing reactions from the Opposition party in India, the BJP, and left the audience shaken and confused owing to some flippant contradictions. The event was attended by students, staff and a delegation from the High Commission, Indian London. Speaking on the ‘Challenges of a Democracy’ in India, Khurshid talked about the world’s largest democratic exercise which witnesses a participation of over 814 million voters. Just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections (2014), he made some imprudent comments on the Election Commission and the Supreme Court of India. Overhauling these two pillars of the country’s democracy, he said that only 2 or 3 judges out of 31 (of the Supreme Court) decide who goes to the parliament, referring to the MPconviction law. Calling it a ‘judge-made law’, he overlooked the irony that just about 790 parliamentarians are responsible for making laws for a population of 1 billion. Having served as the National Law Minister, these remarks were unexpectedly uncalled for. In an even bolder statement made about the Election Commission, the senior Congress leader said, “The recent instructions that we received from them (EC) interestingly are that our manifesto should not offer the building of roads and water because promise of building roads distorts democratic decision-making and influences voting. There are just three members behind this ruling; it is an interesting area of study on how much Election Commissions can interfere in public discourse”, the senior Congress leader said. Khurshid attempted to introduce a note of levity saying that seemingly, according to the EC, “You should do or say nothing that wins you an election”. The Q & A session at the end was cut short owing to an unidentified student who vehemently criticised the UPA government for atrocities in Kashmir. She was joined by another male colleague who termed Khurshid’s ambition to hold a permanent seat at the UN Security Council as ‘bullshit’. It was clarified repeatedly to them by the panel and the audience that the topic of discussion was not Kashmir and eventually they

stomped out of the venue. Khurshid also felt important to mention Arvind Kejriwal, as “he is all over the news these days” and referred to him as ‘that 49day Chief Minister’ in a cheeky comment. Faced flak for calling Narendra Modi ‘impotent’, he upheld his choice of the word and stated that such strong reactions emanated from Modi’s snide remarks on Sonia Gandhi (calling her ‘dus numbrí), declaring to possess a 57” chest (sic) and running a presidentialstyle campaign in a democracy. He said that the use of the word ‘impotence’ referred to the incompetence of Modi’s admin-

istration. He agreed with one of the students present at the venue that the political class needs to encourage a healthier mode of discourse and answered all the questions point by point. On being asked to respond to the recent accusation of misappropriation of funds for handicapped people, he clarified his stand by turning tables on Jagdambika Pal (who had made the allegations), saying that “he has changed six parties till now and is well-known in Uttar Pradesh for being outrightly corrupt”. Although he commended on the sustainability of the electoral

process in India, he went on to explain how democracy is not just about numbers or majority. “Simply because majority believes something is acceptable does not make it satisfactory and ‘right’ in a ‘liberal’ democracy (sic)”, he said. He disparaged the current democratic situation in India saying, “Plural societies are struggling with the issue of individual vs. collective interest, while casting votes. A single person can now hold the democracy hostage. Important democratic decisions are being transferred to unaccountable and unelected people (referring to the members of the Supreme Court).” Also

progress made in Fiji towards holding national elections by September 2014. Yet the press conference that followed erupted into a series of questions directed at Sri Lankan, Pakistani and Indian Foreign Ministers, all heads of countries known to have had serious violations of human rights. When asked why Sri Lanka, which chairs the Commonwealth and is accused of serious and persistent violations of CMAG's values and has recently rejected in its entirety a report by the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, highly critical of Sri Lanka's human rights performance, was not included on the agenda of the CMAG meeting, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Mr Kamalesh Sharma said, “We agreed on a roadmap of Commonwealth partnership with Sri Lanka when I visited Sri Lanka last year. There are about 10 different tracks and the progress is there for all to see on our website. We are advancing at a different pace on each track. We

are tackling difficult issues, such as reconciliation, torture and human rights. We are working in a Commonwealth way. We offer practical assistance and a helping hand and we strengthen national endeavours in the field of human rights and the rule of law.” This question was quickly followed by Mr Sharma being asked how the Commonwealth is addressing the issue of human rights violations in Kashmir, to which he simply responded, “This has not been a Commonwealth issue, to look into national situations of this type.” Addressing Mr Sharma again, a question was posed on whether it is the duty of the Commonwealth to undertake initiatives to bring India and Pakistan, which are very important from the point of view of South Asia, together to resolve all the outstanding issues. Mr Sharma said: “The practice in the Commonwealth and its political work is to concentrate on the reduction and elimination of tension inside a

London hosts 43rd Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group Meeting

Tanveer Mann

Welcomed by a number of MPs and peers at the House of Commons on Thursday, the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers gathered together to attend the 43rd Meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) at Marlborough House, London on Friday, 14 March 2014. This meeting involved the nine foreign ministers from the Commonwealth countries gathering to discuss serious or persistent violations of the Commonwealth’s fundamental political values. The CMAG meeting was chaired by Hon. Bernard K. Membe, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania. It was also attended by Hon. Ioannis Kasoulides, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus; Hon. Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guyana; Hon. Salman Khurshid, Minister of External Affairs of India; Hon. Murray McCully, Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand (Vice Chair of CMAG); Hon. Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on National Security and Foreign Affairs; Hon. Dr. Samura Kamara, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone; Hon. Clay Forau Soalaoi, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Solomon Islands; and Hon. Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka. During the meeting, CMAG welcomed the significant

Ofcom fails to act against hate cleric's tv channel Sheikh Yasser al-Habib, a Muslim cleric, is reportedly being allowed to broadcast hate sermons to the Middle east from a pretty Home Countries village, because regulator Ofcom is powerless to take any action. He is accused of stirring up bitter sectarian tensions in the

touched upon was the issue of ‘compartmental’ politics, where a third frontage emerges to distort the voters’ allegiance, leading to weak and submissive coalitions. He highlighted other imperative challenges like demands for autonomous states, sensitive tribal belts in India and terrorism. Lastly, he labelled social media as the ‘intangible’ force disrupting democracy. He pointed out that earlier the government used to be answerable to a ‘tangible’ set of voters but with social media, it is appallingly easier for people to make baseless, nasty remarks and get away with it.

Islamic world via his UKlicensed satellite channel, which is based in a former Christian church hall in a leafy corner of Buckinghamshire. His station, Fardak TV, is required to comply with Ofcom’s strict rules banning hate speech for any programmes that can be

watched by British or European viewers. But the communications regulator can place no restrictions on what he broadcasts to the rest of the world because this is out of its jurisdiction. Sheikh al-Habib, pictured, who belongs to the minority

Shia branch of Islam, has allegedly made remarks on air that are considered deeply offensive to the rival Sunni sect. He was granted asylum in Britain in 2004 after being jailed in his native Kuwait for insulting some of the most revered figures for Sunnis.

country, whether it is between political forces and parties or for any other reason. That is point number one; point number two: It is at the invitation of the government to work with them in this field. The Commonwealth does not involve itself in inter-state relationships between the Commonwealth members.” The closing question was directed to Mr Salman Khurshid, asking him from an Indian point of view whether there was any particular issue he had brought to the table at the CMAG meeting. Mr Kurshid, replied saying, “No not really. This is the first meeting that I have attended and I am very pleased to see that right across the board, there is very reasonable consensus amongst all our colleagues. We did not have any issue to bring; we came here to participate in the discussions on the agenda before us, and we were grateful to the Secretary-General that he gave us a very comprehensive and extensive report on his good offices.” - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

Asian Voice emerges victorious against Ministry of India's Tourism Office, London On the 28th February Asian Voice obtained judgment against Incredible India, the Ministry of India’s Tourism Office in London, for failing to pay a substantial amount of money owed to the newspaper for an advertising campaign that started in 2009. The Ministry of India Tourism has six regional offices located in London, Sydney, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Dubai and New York. There are seven sub-regional offices in Toronto, Paris, Milan, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Johannesburg and Singapore. The function of these 13 offices is to market India in the tourism industry and to promote India as a destination. Incredible India commenced its advertisements in Asian Voice in 2007. One of the cam-

paigns ran from 2009 to the end of 2012 during which the then Director, Jagdish Chander, resigned. The sum owed to the newspaper had been built up over a number of years and despite repeated assurances of payment the Tourist Office failed to discharge the debt. The newspaper only continued to run the advertisements because of the longstanding relationship between the Ministry and this newspaper which recently celebrated its 42nd Anniversary. As late as a year ago the Ministry was seeking to negotiate on the balance due to the newspaper saying amongst other things that they could not afford to pay the debt and alleging that there was no agreement between the newspaper or the Tourist Office to run an advertising cam-

The FT has revealed that UKIP leader Nigel Farage, pictured, who criticised MEPs who put their wives on payroll, after he was elected to the European Parliament has allegedly done the same thing himself. In 2000, the year after his election, Mr Farage was filmed in a documentary criticising the EU gravy train and the way that MEPs could put their partners on their staff. It has obviously raised questions about how the UKIP leader has paid his wife an allowance for eight

years from the European Parliament, while denouncing the institution for wasting taxpayers’ money. Mr Farage appeared stunned on last Wednesday when Nikki Sinclaire, a former UKIP MEP who is now an independent, reportedly used her Parliamentary privilege to attack her former colleague. Ms Sinclaire claimed that he had used taxpayers’ money “not only to employ his wife, Kirsten, but his former mistress Annabelle Fuller”.

paign despite evidence in writing to the contrary. Asian Voice was reluctantly compelled to issue proceedings against the Ministry and at a Hearing before Deputy Judge Rollason at Central London County Court won judgment for the entire amount claimed together with the interest and were also awarded their legal costs. Asian Voice was represented by DDO Solicitors. Senior Partner Naynesh Desai said it was an unnecessary waste of money by the India Tourist Office in taking a claim to Court knowing full well that Asian Voice had ample evidence to show that the debt was due and despite the longstanding relationship between the newspaper and the Tourist Office. Mr Desai was assisted by Lucinda Lymer.

Nigel Farage alleged to have put wife on payroll

Ms Fuller reportedly said the “false allegations” had dogged her for eight years, while a UKIP spokesman said the comments by Ms Sinclaire were “beneath contempt”.

Maths teacher avoids jail for hiding £7000

Fatimah Ahmed, 30, a maths teacher has avoided jail for hiding £7,000 of her husband's drug money in her bank account. She was arrested after police found cocaine and cannabis worth up to £6,000 in a raid on the home she shared with Mohazzam Ali in Stockport, Greater Manchester. The scandal cost her her job at Poynton High School, Cheshire. Ali's then-girlfriend Ahmed, who has since married and had a child with him, was initially charged with drug dealing and suspended from her job at Poynton High School. The Daily Mail reported that Ahmed had been teaching despite being

Mohazzam Ali with Ahmed (right)

convicted of three thefts, for which she received a conditional discharge in 2003. But prosecutors dropped charges of drug dealing against her after accepting her guilty plea

to laundering £7,000. Ahmed was given 18 weeks' jail suspended for two years - after a judge told her to 'go back' and look after her and Ali’s baby daughter.



Asian Voice Editor CB Patel to go behind bars in aid of St Luke’s! Asian Voice’s editor, CB Patel and Chief Operating Officer, L George will be locked up at Pinner Police station in an effort to raise money for St Luke’s. They need your help to get them out. CB Patel, L George and other prominent community figures will be going behind bars at Pinner police station as part of St Luke’s Jail and Bail event on Friday 4 April. The detainees won’t be let out until they raise their £1000 ‘bail fee’. CB Patel says, “As a law abiding citizen I’ve ensured so far that I’ve never been detained or been put behind bars. This time I’ve agreed to be ‘detained’ for the benefit of St Luke’s, who have done so much to help people at the most delicate stages of their life. I sincerely appeal to all my readers and friends to pledge most generously and support such a reputable and frequently used Hospice by Asians. Help St Luke’s to provide more and better facilities in the future. We all have to prepare unavoidably for a very dig-

nified exit if afflicted by a terminal disease and St Luke’s has a unique record in this field. It is an ideal opportunity for all of us to contribute generously and promptly and associate with the work of St

Luke’s. Please help them and make sure that L George and I don’t stay behind bars. With sincere thanks and anticipation of your help.’ L George says, "St Luke’s Hospice is a wonderful charity helping those whose illnesses are no longer curable. The charity enables them to have a peaceful and the best possible quality of life during their final stages. The Asian community

who live in Harrow and Brent have benefited largely from this charity. I request and appeal to generously donate to this wonderful cause.” St Luke’s Hospice provides free end of life care to people whose illnesses are no longer curable. The Hospice give their patients the best possible quality of life during the final stages of their illness and relies on the support of the community to raise £3 million each year in order to do this. Sponsor CB Patel at and George at George or make your donations over the phone by contacting Aneka on 020 8382 8063. CB Patel and L George will be locked up with Dorab Mistry OBE; The London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow, Navin Shah AM; Harrow Central Mosque’s Trustees, Mohammed Abdul Rahman; Cllr Ajay Maru who is also the owner of Salon Sleek; The Chair of Harrow Sikh Association, Gopal Bhachu and St Luke’s Trustee, Ramesh Bhanderi. If you want to join CB Patel and L George behind bars and raise vital funds for St Luke’s, please contact Aneka on 020 8382 8063 or visit

Mum-of-two takes on 24 peaks in 24 hours for charity

A Mum of two is embarking on the gruelling challenge of trekking up 24 peaks in 24 hours to raise money for the children’s charity Plan UK. Ramneek Sohal, pictured, from Redbridge, Greater London, will be taking on the peaks of the Lake District, including England’s tallest mountain Scafell Pike, on June 13th. Ms Sohal is raising money for Plan UK’s Girls Fund, which supports millions of the world’s poorest girls. “I am not the fittest person in the world, so this will be a tough challenge, but I am hoping to raise as much money as possible,” she says. “The work that Plan does is really close to my heart. I am one of five sisters, I have children, and my origins are in India, a country where Plan works. I still have relatives there, so I really wanted to contribute,” adds Ms Sohal. Back in 2005, before she had her children, Ramneek raised £7,300 for Plan UK when she climbed the Great Wall of China. Ramneek, who’s a human resources business partner at the head office of a high street retailer, is hoping to raise more than £1,000 for Plan. If you’d like to donate see Ramneek’s Justgiving page: k-Kaur-Sohal


UK - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

Narendra Modi, PM. What's next? As I See It

It is not whether or if, but by all accounts, Narendra Modi as the leader of BJP in the NDA Coalition is likely to form the next Government of India. Opinion polls as well as assessment by foreign media especially The Economist and FT lead to such a distinct possibility. Rahul Gandhi as the defacto leader of the Congress claimed on last Saturday, that his party will at least gain 200 seats in the Lok Sabha. He qould say that, wouldn't he? In India it was Holi on Sunday and Monday and at some places people drink 'bhang' (a preparation from the leaves and flowers of the female cannabis plant, consumed as a beverage in the Indian subcontinent), which is very intoxicating. But I don't think Rahul Gandhi will touch such a herbal potion! Arvind Kejriwal of AAP has become an expert on Gujarat after his 3-4 days rendezvous. Part of his time was wasted, when he was rushing to meet the Gujarat Chief Minister without any prior appointments. Some of his time was also wasted while he was being asked questions by authorities regarding pre-event permission for a public gathering or rally in accordance with the electoral regulation (authorities should have known that AAP and leaders like Arvind do not require any such permission as they represent Aam Admi- 1.26bn Indians!) The Economist (15 March, 2014, Page 53) expects big win for BJP led alliance and a record defeat for the Congress. There is a distinct possibility of the BJP and its allies to receive nearly 250 seats out of 453 in the Lok Sabha. Besides 2 main national parties there are at least 8 other regional parties. They

Rahul Gandhi

have on average about 20 seats each, since the 2009 elections. It appears that BJP bandwagon would roll in some states where previously they were absent. And it is assumed that in UP they would get 40 out of 80 seats (instead of 9 in 2009). Watching NaMo/BJP campaign, since last September, several individuals and groups have been flocking to the NDA and BJP folds, perhaps it should not surprise everybody. It's not unlikely that NDA would have, with a bit more optimism, nearly or over 300 seats. If such things happen it should be a good omen for Indian democracy. For

How will Narendra Modi govern as the PM?

Narendra Modi

nearly 3 decades India has been governed by some sort of Coalition under the compulsion of some parties, who had no reluctance to misuse the power openly. Coalition politics in Germany, New Zealand, Canada and some other countries- by and large are successful, but in India it has restricted the development of the country and the well being of its citizen. The biggest positive point for Narendra Modi is that he is decisive, experienced, non corrupt, able to work with all segments of the society, a no nonsense man- perhaps the first ever Indian PM with OBC (Other Backward Class) background, who has gained some experience as a humble tea seller at Vadanagar railway station. Perhaps most people do not remember that Narendra Modi also gained Masters in Political Science some 30 odd years ago. FT rightly raised some questions on Monday the 17th about the Indian Muslims' concern at the prospect of Modi becoming the Prime Minister. The article was well written and the issues raised are also very important. Most of the Muslims quoted in the article have welcomed Mr Modi's candidature. Some are worried about the likely promotions of issues, dearer to the Hindu society. Some also refer to the 2002 riots. I on my own initiative talked to some 15 Muslims in the UK, India, US in the last few days. 3 of them are very much against Narendra Modi. 7 are very supportive of Modi and rest are willing to give him benefit of doubt. Most if not all of them remember what happened on 1st and 2nd March 2002, in those horrible riots, where some 800 innocents lost their lives in very tragic circumstances. Only 3 out of 15 remembered or mentioned the dreadful burning of the train compartment outside the Godhra railway station where 59 Hindu pilgrims, mainly women and children were burnt to death. Most of the 15 recollect that out of 800 odd who lost their lives, at least one-third were Hindus, most shot dead by the security forces. One cannot justify any such bloodshed, let alone the death and destruction. But all concerned must not forget the terrible tragedy of February 2002 and keep remembering what happened in early March.

Narendra Modi has proved his ability to govern for 149 months as the CM of Gujarat- only 5% of India's population, but containing all its variety, contradictions and vibrancy. He had another advantage that 3 state elections gave him a comfortable majority in the State Assembly and he was not under the thumb of any faction. Let's leave aside the composition of the Lok Sabha till 16 May when the results will be declared. Lets assume that Narendra Modi forms a good cabinet and start delivering well. How will he fair on the following:l Communal harmony l Good governance without crony capitalism l Development process ultimately beneficial to the underprivileged

Arvind Kejriwal

3. Gujarat, no doubt is much behind some other states on some social development indicators. But from a very low base of 2001, some concrete steps are being taken in health, education and community developments areas.

Some 35 years ago when Modi was a 'pracharak' of RSS or later in his writings (poems, short stories, biographies), have his own brand of message. Surely at that time he would not have even dreamt of his today's role in India. He cannot and will not become a dictator or demagogue. Last time (in August 2013) when I was in Vadodara, the city where I grew up, I visited Fatehpura area, once renowned for communal tension, curfew, Indian Penal code 144 (against assembly of more than 5 people). I was able to interact with the teenagers there. Some of them did not even know what a curfew or section 144 meant. They have never seen it, as it has not once been proclaimed in Vadodara or other cities of Gujarat for a long time. Of all the Indian politicians, Narendra Modi knows the value of peace and harmony as the essential factors for the economic and social development of the country. Lets be honest, Narendra Modi is keen to go in the history books as a performing PM. Perhaps outstanding, so far. He is least likely to deviate from the course that he has followed in Gujarat for a decade now. Perhaps most Indians have understood and are evaluating Modi, with hopes, confidence and expectations. I also genuinely join them.

The Indian media, both print and electronic are very active and powerful. There may be some large publishing houses and channels controlled by corporate sectors, but most of the financial scandals of last 10 years were exposed by the media. Media will not going to leave Narendra Modi alone. Perhaps they will be more vigilant. It is impossible to put the genie back in the bottle. Remember Indira Gandhi and the Emergency of 1975? The state of media was much different but the Indians arose en-mass to topple a very repressive regime in a short time. Narendra Modi himself cannot forget what happened then. He was a prisoner during emergency for a short while.

All subscribers of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar will receive a Souvenir next week to celebrate the success of the campaign exactly 20 years ago. It has proved to be a win-win situation for all and there are some very informative and inspiring contents provided by the Contributing Editors from ISKCON. Suresh Vagjiani's story is worth mentioning. In his teens, he came under the influence of Prabhupada and ISKCON. He took part in the rallies and meetings. He was the first to be apprehended by the Police in the Parliament Square on 16th March 1994. He has built a successful business Sow & Reap and he has supported the Souvenir project. Well done Suresh! - CB

1. In the last 149 months, he has been talking about 50mn-65mn Gujaratis in his public and private pronouncements. He has never talked about Gujarati Hindus or Muslims. All his developments- big tickets or small projects were never focussed on the befit of any segment of Gujarat. 2. Whether Barack Obama or David Cameron, all democratic parties need funding. Overall industries and big businesses are presently supporting Modi and BJP in a large measure. This is true. But for 10 years the UP led Central government of India had CBI, intelligent agencies, as well as access to the vigilant media and the entire government and party machinery to keep an eye and they all have failed so far to find any financial scandal under Narendra Modi's watch.

Are there any checks and balances to oversee Modi government?

HKTDM special

Former Labour Politician Tony Benn passes away aged 88 Tony Benn, former Labour politician and cabinet minister died on Friday 14 March, at the age of 88 at his home in west London, surrounded by his family members. Tony Benn was a controversial Labour MP, who served for more than 50 years and led the Labour Party's transition to the Left, which arguably marginalised the party for a generation.

In a statement his children Stephen, Hilary, Melissa and Joshua reportedly said: "It is with great sadness that we announce that our father Tony Benn died peacefully early this morning at his home in west London surrounded by his family. "We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all the NHS staff and carers who have

looked after him with such kindness in hospital and at home. We will miss above all his love which has sustained us throughout our lives. But we are comforted by the memory of his long, full and inspiring life and so proud of his devotion to helping others as he sought to change the world for the better. PM David Cameron was joined by politicians

from all parties in paying tribute to Mr Benn. The Prime Minister said: “Tony Benn was a magnificent writer, speaker and campaigner, there was never a dull moment listening to him, even if you disagreed with him." Ed Miliband also referred to him as an "iconic figure of our age", as well as many other Labour and Conservative

MPs who took to Twitter to pay their tribute to the former politician. Mr Benn stood down from Parliament in 2001 and from then on, worked closely with and became President of the Stop the War campaign. His son, Hilary, is Labour’s shadow communities secretary. For CB’s personal views, read ‘As I See It’ next week.

Tony Benn

UK - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

Leading Lights

Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

The Swiss Ambassador Loved his Mumbai Kindergarten Years The Swiss Ambassador to the Court of St James’s is His Excellency, Dominik Furgler. Switzerland’s seniormost representative in the UK hosted a high technology event at the Swiss Embassy in London two weeks ago, in collaboration with Codex. After I sampled canapés that included delicious Swiss chocolates, I took the opportunity to interview Ambassador Furgler alone, seated in a comfortable large reception room. He is forthcoming, friendly and informal. He has been in London for half a year, he told me, and says, “The city is great, as is the job of being ambassador, because we have a lot of different issues to deal with. London is a city where, on every topic, you find world class experts you can exchange with. It’s quite easy to gather information; it’s of course a big part of our business. On any issue you find fantastic people to network with. I’ve never lived in such a multicultural city as London. I was posted to London about 15 years ago and I find it more mul-

Dominik Furgler

ticultural now. Switzerland is of course very multicultural; we have our own four cultures in the country, and many people coming from all over the world, but in no city you have that concentration as you have here.” Ambassador Furgler was able to tell me about the qualities his country possesses.

“Economically; Swiss industry, manufacturing. It is the number one competitive country in the world in this, according to the World Economic Forum. I’m proud of the people; not only the Swiss, but many foreigners with their competencies and know- how. That is good for Switzerland and it’s the only way we can keep the number one

Halal foodies take over

The last few years have “haloodies”, a word play witnessed many creon “foodie”, phrases ative enterprises and which took off as a Twitter startups popping up. hash tag during the festiOne such enterprise is val. “Haloodies” is also a company called The now the brand name for a Baking Tray, set up by halal food range develSaema Rangrez, a projoped by the partners, ect manager at a hospiwhich they expect to tal in east London, launch this week which is diffirent from on Ocado, the online grothe typical bakery cer, and in the Harrods because it is a fully halal Imran Kausar and Noman Khawaja Food Hall next month. service. To cater for this rising niche of halal foodies, more and more entrepreneurial people are rushing to fill the gap. This potenWe at Bloomsbury law have expert Immigration lawyers, who speak tial was quickly spotted by Imran Kausar, who startyour language and understand your problems thereby finding an ed the three-day Halal ideal way out if you are stuck in this immigration maze, specifically Food Festival, a consumer tailored to your requirement at an affordable cost. food exhibition, in We advise individuals, businesses and corporate entities London last September. in all areas including: Visitors were offered halal Visit Visa Applications delicacies from street food Family Applications and desserts to drinks, EEA Applications and accessories. Settlement Applications On offer at the exhibiAsylum and Human Rights Applications tion was waffles, sparkling halal wine (zero British Citizenship Applications alcohol), crepes, burgers, Removal, Detentions and Deportation Applications tandoori lamb, salted Appeals, Administrative Reviews and Judicial Review caramel brownies and Point based Applications - Tiers – 1, 2, 4 and 5 more, as well as stalls Call us today !! such as Big Apple Halal We are here to guide you and advise you Hot Dogs. through your process Since then, Mr Kausar has trademarked the 17 Manchester Street, London W1U 4DJ words “Haloodie” and T: 020 7998 7777

position in competition, by being number one in education, further development, science, research. That’s what I’m really proud about.” I had to ask Ambassador Furgler about one of my weaknesses; time management! Swiss punctuality is famous. His take? “I’ve been educated about timekeeping and I’m trying to pass it to my kids. With my kids, I insist on being punctual.” Ambassador Furgler’s own childhood was spent in India, and he has fond memories. “I had the chance to grow up in India. My father worked for Swissair and was station manager in Mumbai. I went to kindergarten there. Mumbai has grown. Then there were three million, now there are much more than 20 million people! I recall the monsoon, the water and the rain. My little sister and I watching out of the window and driving round in a car through a flooded city. I also remember very poor people; in the streets, on the pavements. I remember the club we went to nearly every day with my mother until the fathers came from work, the Breach Candy Club.” He says the strong Swiss-Indian ties are mainly economic. “India

has developed tremendously and there is potential for cooperation. We have now opened a business hub there to promote trade and investment. We have a General Consulate in Bangalore. The aim of that was to have an antenna for our scientific office. The first scientific offices we had were in the US. It

“Our embassy in India has now been upgraded to the most important category of countries to work with, like Washington, London, United Nations.” Ambassador Furgler

was very much felt that it was important –we needto have one in Bangalore, which of course is a great hub for education and scientific co-operation. To show you how important India has become, our embassy in India has now been upgraded to the most important category of countries to work with, like Washington, London, United Nations.” Ambassador Furgler notes that India is a big player on the international political scene. “Of course it’s also a very important political partner. “We cooperate on certain projects, such as in


the United Nations but bilaterally its mainly scientific, economic cooperation.” And His Excellency has a message for Asian Voice readers. “To your Indian readers; we are very happy to have this co-operation and we are very happy to see so many Indian tourists in Switzerland. This is fantastic; this has evolved over recent years. The fact that Bollywood films were made in the Swiss Alps is good and we hope to see many more in coming years.” Codex, that organisation that the Swiss Embassy partnered with, is named after notebooks, called “Codex,” that Leonardo da Vinci used. Da Vinci (1452-1519) was the embodiment of the Renaissance period. His "Codex" or notebooks are testament to his interest in the many subjects and visionary ideas that were centuries ahead of their time. Codex events endeavour to evoke the spirit of true enlightenment by showcasing companies and individuals with ground breaking high-tech ideas. More info; Swiss Embassy; /eda/en/home.html/ Codex;


YOUR VOICE - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

Safety of India’s women

Pension planning

Beware of phone scams

The government in India is spending millions of rupees every month on VIP security. Why can’t the same money be spent for the safety of women in our country? Everyday at least 50 women are raped in India. Many do not complain to the police for fear of being ridiculed. Also, there is no full-stop to the case. It goes on for years and years. In the end, the person who has committed the rape is set scot-free and the victim who has been raped suffers.

The age of 40 is when one needs to look back and look forward to plan for adequate pension income during retirement. The Pension Bill 2013 with major changes has been amended by the House of Lords and sent back to the House of Commons for final approval on 12 March 2014. Currently 58% of the population have no private pension provision. Two thirds of the employed population earn below both the mean and the median average income. True, some of them and their employers are contributing towards their occupational pension schemes. The latter will not do badly forty years from now [Source: The Open University]. But for the rest, may be half the population, it will be hard to survive from State Pension only of £144 per week rising every year. Those having high income can contribute towards pension provision and save 20% or 40% tax on these contributions up to £50,000 every year. However, two thirds of the population do not have these levels of income. For redistribution of wealth, one idea that current and future Chancellors could consider is to gradually reduce over say ten years the tax relief on pension contributions over £3,600 a year, starting from the coming Budget on Wednesday. Recently Office of Fair Trading raised concerns that more than £160 billion worth of savings may be held in poor value trust-based schemes. Also huge management charges are eroding the value of thousands of pension plans [Source: The FT]. Nagin Khajuria By email

Asian Voice readers will know that I alerted them to telephone calls from people identifying themselves as Service Technicians who would say that they were conducting a test on their telephone lines and ask the recipients that in order for them to carry out the test, the owner should touch nine (9), zero (0), the hash key (#), and then hang up. By pushing 90#, you give the requesting individuals full access to your telephone line, which enables them to place long distance calls billed to your home phone number. Another scam has now come to light. People are now receiving phone calls asking them to call an 0809 number saying that a family member has been taken ill or someone has been arrested, died, or to let you know that you have won a prize and so on. In each case, you are asked to call a 0809 number. People unknowingly return these calls thinking they are calling a UK number. If you call this number you will apparently be charged a staggering amount of £1500 per minute. This is because the 0809 area code is located in the Dominican Republic. There are other similar area codes like 0284 and 0876. Please let your friends and colleagues know about this so that they can become aware of this scam and not get trapped.

Jubel D’Cruz Mumbai, India

Home ownership

London is not only the world's global centre, both for commerce and culture, but it is also valued as a safe place for people from less stable regions of the world to invest. Unfortunately, there are not enough homes coming onto the market, leading to rising house prices and making owning a house more difficult for many Londoners. Last week, the Mayor of London reached an important agreement with house builders asking them to sell new homes on every development to Londoners before, or at the same time as they are available to overseas buyers. This should give Londoners greater access to home ownership in the capital. Together with the Chancellor's new measures to make mortgages more affordable, we can begin to help more people onto the housing ladder. Syed Kamall Conservative MEP for London

Is NDA heading for a victory?

According to the latest opinion poll conducted by Hansa Research for popular NDTV, interviewing 200,000 voters in 350 Parliamentary Seats, NDA has done well with perceived wave in BJP favour, capturing 229 (BJP 195) seats against UPA’s 128 (Congress 106) Most prominent loser is Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal who walked out of JD/BJP alliance when Modi was declared PM candidate. His tirades against Modi were obscene. His days as CM of Bihar are numbered. NDA has done extremely well in Karnataka, Bihar, Maharashtra and their traditional heartlands of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. NDA had failed to register its’ presence in South and West, dominated by regional parties headed by Jayalalita and Mamta Banerjee. Veteran politician Joshi vacating Varanasi seat will help Modi and BJP in this most populous state with 80 constituencies, as well as neighbouring Bihar. Rajnath moving to Lucknow, firebrand Varun Gandhi to Sultanpur, Uma Bharti fittingly to Jhansi and intellectual Arun Jaitley to Punjab, demonstrating unity, will help NDA. This is the most fascinating election that will either free or enslave India.

Our shoppers’ brittle loyalty

The recent disappointing profit figures by Morrison's should be a lesson for the British shoppers as well as businesses at large. It seems Continental giants like Aldi and Lidl are stealing traditional British shoppers who have no loyalty either to brand names or well-established British businesses. No wonder once mighty trading nation with 20% share of world trade is now in doldrums, on its knees with just 1% of world trade portraying Britain as the pauper of industrialized world. While traditional British names like Tesco, Sainsbury and Marks and Spencer, find it tough going on the Continent, as their shoppers stick to their tried and trusted national brands, being loyal, British shoppers are brittle, so often go for cheapest goods, irrespective of quality, service or the economic effect that may bring down businesses, creating unemployment and obliterating established brand names. While our supermarkets concentrate on reducing prices, they pay scant respect to quality and especially service to customers which are unbelievably poor with sanctimonious behaviour. The attitude of check-out girls and other staffs is negative, solely obsessed with collecting wages. Even complaints to Store Managers are routinely ignored, letters go unan-

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Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Indian penal code

Mr Shaan Patel is wrong to believe that Penguin’s withdrawal/ settlement about Wendy Doniger’s book “Hindu - an alternate history” is a bad move. Muslims responded thunderously to “Satanic Verses”, (Salman Rushdie), “Lajja”, (Taslima Nasreen), cartoon of Prophet Mohammad. No power in the world now or in future dares to replicate episodes to demean, denigrate Islam or the Koran in any way. Muslims and Christians brook no argument entertain robust exchange of ideas. They do not consider such reaction as holding hostage, sensibility of every believer or faith. Demeaning statements in Britain’s Parliament, depicting Hinduism's religious icons on jeans, tissue-papers, toilets seats, flip-flops, etc., highly educated persons abusing the scriptures, tenets, role models, and denigrating political and Hindu support groups. Hindus’ protest is considered as inane rebellious. Yet when Hindus persevered, assertively and aggressively, offenders have moved abroad, relented, avoided reoffending and apologised. Luckily, no violent action occurred in case of Wendy Donigers’s book. Denigrating events are repeated without fear or shame because Hindus have

Tel: 020 7749 4080 Fax: 020 7749 4081 E-mail:

Dr. Jatindra Saha By email

Financial views

Whilst going through the paper, I came up wiht the RBI’s most respected first man’s short sum up of the official report and had to say it was fantastic. Even these words though bold enough are hardly known for the second or third layer of investors to whom the NP winners like Amritya Sen intended to popularise. It is good that phrases like ‘WIP’, ‘wholesale market price index’, are not uttered by corporate managers financially leaving us destitute.

swered, the sole exception being John Lewis Partnership that excels at customer services, thus doing well and deservedly so. This is in sharp contrast to US and Canada where shoppers are kings, treated with respect where our businesses fail to make impact. Kumudini Valambia By email

Ramesh Jhalla By email

Karma Yoga House substantial reduction in 12 Hoxton Market London N1 6HW

The biggest democracy in the world India is going to the polls from April 7 to May 12 in nine phases. The BJP/NDA coalition parties have declared that given the majority of parliamentary seats in the Lok Sabha Narendra Modi is their choice for the post. Although the UPA coalition parties have not declared their choice it is obvious their candidate is going to be Rahul Gandhi. There are also others such as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and possibly a few others. The question is who has the right credentials to be the next Prime Minister. The person who stands out above everyone else in the field is Narendra Modi. He is a proven, efficient and able administrator and a true patriot, knows how to get things done and is a well qualified person with a great deal of knowledge in trade, commerce, economy, industrialisation and national development. The most important thing about him is that he cannot be corrupted. As Chief Minister he has raised Gujarat from a very low level to the highest position in India and his record proves this point. The Indian electorate has now a chance to elect a Prime Minister with clean personal character combined with ability to resolve national problems and bring about changes for the good of all concerned. Let us hope they will not ignore this chance.

CO Kanabar Northwood, Middlesex no thunder and so called broadminded, liberal minded, educated Hindus knowingly turn blind eye to vile denigration of Hindu role models, epics, tenets and legends. The Indian government is wise to incorporate Penal Code 295(A) in democratic freedom of speech. Absence of restrictive clause could have hurt meek, timid, docile Hindus to the maximum. Limiting freedom of speech is an international trend too. Hinduism should not play second fiddle under ethical correctness. Being bold and resolute can be weapons to survive with dignity.

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The Asian Voice Youth Conference - March 28th – 29th - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

Asian Voice Networking Evening in Association with PwC Hindu Network Date: Friday 28 March 2014 Time: 6:00-8:30pm Venue: PWC, 7 More London Riverside Age: 16+

Asian Voice Workshops Date: Saturday 29 March 2014 Time: 12-4pm Venue: Impact Hub, King's Cross Age: 15-30 or students

The time has come again for the annual Asian Voice Youth Conference, hosted by Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar in association with PwC Hindu Network. In its fourth year, the Asian Voice Youth Conference is back by popular demand and has returned with a new look. This year the conference will be somewhat different, taking place on both Friday 28 and Saturday 29 March 2014 and will be open to 15-30 year olds or students. After a huge turn up last year, we are expecting more than 200 participants this year.

Asian Voice Networking Evening On Friday 28 March, we will be hosting a networking evening with drinks and canapés. We have a fantastic line-up of speakers who will share their success stories, give motivational short talks to inspire and advise the younger generation, so that young people can fulfil their aspirations and get ahead in the world of work. There will be a scope to take part in Q&A. Compere for the Evening: Alpesh Patel After over 100 rejection letters, Alpesh Patel became a barrister and an Oxford University Fellow. Formerly cleaning toilets he started his own hedge fund and has recently outperformed every UK company fund manager

over the past decade. Having been told at school ‘he had a problem with English’ he is now the author of 18 books on finance and for 5 years wrote a column in the Financial Times. The shyest boy at school, he went on to present his own show on Bloomberg TV for 3 years. He is also Co-Chair of the Loomba Trust which helps widows and orphans. Speakers

Rajeeb Dey - Founder and CEO, Enternships, CoFounder, Start up Britain. Announced as the youngest Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, 2012 Roma Agrawal - Associate Structural Engineer, WSP Group. Only Asian woman to work on creating The Shard. Jaz Deol – Actor. Worked with renowned theatre companies the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, the Young Vic, the National Youth Theatre and the Theatre 503. Notable credits include playing Nikesh in recent highly-acclaimed play Speed. Lainy Malkani - Founder and Director of the Londonbased social enterprise the Social History Hub and journalist with more than 20 years’ broadcast experience in news and current affairs with the BBC. Arjun - a British singer-songwriter, record producer and actor. Famous for the R&B cover version of 'Why this Kolavari di' which

received 8 million views within a year.

Sunil Patel - lead Partner for Government and Health Industries within Consulting at PwC and is a member of the Consulting Leadership Team and a member of the PwC Diversity Council and the Hindu Network Steering board. Competition Prize We will be holding a competition at the Networking Evening and one lucky guest will win a £60 voucher toward a meal at the noted restaurants Salaam Namaste in Russell Square or Namaste Kitchen in Camden.


Theme: 'The power to think differently, develop innovative business ideas and pursue your career ambitions through building effective interpersonal, entrepreneurial and leadership skills.' Workshops 1) Building your brand: how to differentiate yourself – through extra curricular activities and networking 2) Using social media to advance your career: why it is so important and how you can use social media 3) What it takes to become an entrepreneur – key skills you need, how you can get started, helpful resources 4) Preparing for interviews: how to prepare in advance, how to present yourself on the day

PwC Hindu Network PwC Hindu Network, a part of PwC's diversity networks, established since 2005, as the first Hindu professionals network in the City, Founder and Chair Nilesh Solanki wanted to create a platform to bring together Hindu professionals to collaborate, network and learn. Sunil Patel (Partner) and Umang Paw (Partner) are advisory board members, supporting the network strategically and managed by a team of 10.

Competition Prizes During the Workshops on Saturday 29th March, participants will have the chance to participate in a competition, which will be announced on the day. Fantastic prizes include: 1) Tea in House of Commons hosted by MP Seema Malhotra 2) Complimentary meal at Restaurant KitchnN1 in Kings Cross 3) Vouchers by Shiv Events

Asian Voice Workshops

Competition for Organizations We will also be hosting a competition for organisations. Whoever brings the most number of participants from a single organisation will receive a free space in the Asian Voice newspaper every fortnightly for 6 months.

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.


Email: with full name, age, contact details and day/s attending by Monday 24th March, 2014.



March 29, 2014

NETWORKING EVENING On Friday 28 March, we will be hosting a networking evening with drinks and canapés at PWC, More London Riverside. We have a fantastic line-up of speakers who will share their success stories, give motivational short talks to inspire and advise the younger generation, so that young people can fulfil their aspirations and get ahead in the world of work. There will be a scope to take part in Q&A. Date & Time: 28 March 2014, 6-8:30pm Venue: PWC, 7 More London Riverside, London SE1 2RT Age: 16+ RSVP:

In Association With Rajeeb Dey

Confirmed Speakers

Founder and CEO, Enternships, Co-Founder, Start up Britain. Announced as the youngest Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, 2012

Lainy Malkani

is founder and director of the London-based social enterprise the Social History Hub. She is a journalist with more than 20 years’ broadcast experience in news and current affairs with the BBC.

Roma Agrawal

Associate Structural Engineer, WSP Group. Only Asian woman to work on creating The Shard

Jaz Deol


A British singersongwriter, record producer and actor. Famous for the R&B cover version of 'Why this Kolavari di' which received 8 million views

Jaz Deol is a successful actor, who has worked with renowned theatre companies the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, the Young Vic, the National Youth Theatre and the Theatre 503. His notable credits include playing Nikesh in Speed and the young Suicide Bomber in the feature film “Clean Skin” staring Sean Bean.

COMPETITION FOR ORGANISATIONS: Any non profit/community organisation that will send the highest number of participants (between 16-35 years) will be eligible to win a free space in Asian Voice Editorial section for 6 months* If you want to take part in this competition and are affiliated to a certain organisation, mention the full name when you register. * Terms and Conditions apply

Competition Sponsors:

House of Commons London SW1

Theme: The power to think differently, develop innovative business ideas and pursue your career ambitions through building effective interpersonal, entrepreneurial and leadership skills

Time: 12.00 - 4.00pm Age: 16-30/Students



I Building your brand: how to differentiate yourself - through extra curricular activities and networking. I Using social media to advance your career: why it is so important and how you can use social media. I What it takes to become an entrepreneur: key skills you need, how you can get started, helpful resources. I Preparing for interviews: how to prepare in advance, how to present yourself on the day. I Communication for Success: How good are you at asking 'Insightful Questions'? What does it mean to really listen? Why might these skills be important at interview, building relationships, networking and getting on in life?

@ King's Cross Impact Hub

34b York Way, City of London, N1 9AB

We are excited to announce that the Asian Voice Youth Conference Workshops will be held at one of London's most innovative and coolest spots - King's Cross Impact Hub. Dubbed the 'business incubator', the social enterprise community centre offers a unique place for resources, inspiration and collaboration opportunities - the perfect place to complement our theme this year!



Modern life damaging infant brains, charity warns Overuse of baby equipment and electronic screens can impede the physical and emotional development of underthrees, a charity has warned. What About The Children? (Watch?) says modern lifestyles could be harming infant brains and highlights strapping small children into pushchairs, and the increased use of smartphones and tablets as being particularly damaging. Watch? promotes the importance of secure

attachment in the early years and the vital role that loving care plays in brain development. Sally Goddard Blythe, director of the Institute for NeuroP h y s i o l o g i c a l Psychology, said "Social interaction helps physical development, for example eye contact, singing and talking. Attention, balance and co-ordination skills learned during the first 36 months of life support cognitive learning and have been linked to school performance - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

Increased use of tablets and smartphones may be harming children's neuro-motor development

later." June O'Sullivan, from the London Early Years Foundation, commented. "Children's wellbeing starts with positive attachment to

adults who are attuned and responsive and is the foundation of success at school, in making friends and relationships and for all adult life."

Schools' cash boosted in funding shake-up

England's schools are to receive an extra £350m in 2015-16 - but the government has abandoned its plans to introduce a national funding formula before the general election. This means schools in different local authority areas will continue to receive different amounts per pupil. Schools Minister David Laws said 40% of these areas would gain funding in 2015-16 and none would have less per pupil. Labour said it was not clear where the new money would be coming from. He highlighted the fact a school in Birmingham in which only

3% of children were eligible for free school meals currently received more money per pupil than one in Shropshire where nearly 33% qualified for FSM. But he said steps taken in 2013-14 and 2014-15 meant the system was already fairer - with 80% of funds now allocated on the basis of pupil numbers

alone - and his department was now taking "the first huge step towards delivering this fairer national funding". Mr Laws also announced a minimum funding level for schools would be set, again for 2015-16 alone. This would be based on the number of pupils and the proportions

who were poor, spoke English as a second language, had low attainment levels entering school, or had been looked after in the care system, he said. National Association of Head Teachers general secretary Russell Hobby said: "This is a small step towards a fair national funding formula. We urge the government to continue the journey. Cost pressures on schools are growing severe and we are staring at more redundancies without increases in funding. The simultaneous announcement of additional employer pension contributions only adds to the pressure."

The role of religion and belief in British public life Students, staff and members of the public joined a question and answer session to discuss the role of religion and belief in modern Britain at an event hosted by DMU. Organised by the Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life, the event was led by the commission’s chair Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss (formerly President of the Family Division of the High Court) and DMU’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Wilson. The panel also included the Rt Revd Professor

Dr Jagbir Jhutti-Johal

Imam Ibrahim Mogra

Lord Richard Harries of Pentregarth, emeritus Gresham Professor of Divinity, Honorary Professor of Theology at King's College, London and formerly Bishop of Oxford. Other guests on the panel were Dr Shana

Cohen, Deputy Director of the Woolf Institute, Cambridge; Dr Jagbir Jhutti-Johal, lecturer in Sikh Studies, University of Birmingham, as well as Ibrahim Mogra, a community Imam in Leicester, cochair of the ChristianMuslim Forum and

Slough Libraries looking for reading volunteers Slough Libraries are looking for volunteers aged 14 and above to help children keep reading in the summer holidays. It's the ideal opportunity to have fun, gain new skills and is great for the CV. The national Summer Reading Challenge takes place every year in all libraries across Slough. Last year over 3,000 children took part in the challenge by reading books to gain

rewards. This year’s challenge is called Mythical Maze. Slough Libraries are looking for young volunteers who can commit to a minimum of 15 hours from 19 July to 3 September. Volunteers will help library staff sign up children to the Summer Reading Challenge and talk to them about their books while encouraging them to complete the challenge.

Assistant General Secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain. There was a lively exchange of views for some 90 minutes and Baroness Butler-Sloss, was particularly grateful for the insights provided during the session relating to patterns of belief in both the city and county. Topics discussed included the foundations of a democratic and diverse nation, community identity in a multi-faith society, freedom of religious expression and religion and belief being taught in state schools.

Winners of the Barnet UKYP elections announced The winners of the 2014 Barnet UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) were announced this week. Joshua Awoderu, 15, from Ashmole Academy and Nikhil Malkan, 15, from London Academy will represent Barnet as Members of the Youth Parliament for the 2014/15 term. Afagh Mulazadeh, 16, from Copthall School and Emily Otvos, 14, from The Channing School were elected as Deputy Members for the Youth

Parliament. The UKYP enables young people to use their energy and passion to change the world for the better and provides opportunities for young people to use their voice in creative ways to bring about social change.

Secondary place crunch 'to hit a third of councils' Urgent action is needed to prevent a shortage of secondary school places in a third of local authorities in England within five years, councils say. The latest predictions suggest 49 out of 152 councils will have more pupils than secondary places by 2019-20. Local Government Association analysis of official figures suggests 80,716 new secondary places will be required then. The Department for Education says it has provided local authorities with the funding they need for new places. It added: "It is now up to

them to spend this money efficiently and effectively." But the LGA said the crunch in primary schools meant that despite the creation of nearly 90,000 places in the past academic year, and the government committing £2.35bn in places funding for up to 2017, an extra 130,000 were needed before September 2017. Councils were already taking extraordinary measures to deal with the school places crisis, it said. One borough council, Reading, borrowed £35m privately to fund the expansion of 13 of its primary schools.

Penalty notices issued over school absences in Leicestershire More than 2,500 penalty notices have been issued to parents for failing to send their child to school. The Government introduced tougher regulations on term-time holidays in September. Since then, 2,131 penalty notices have been issued by Leicester City Council – up from 1,660 in the same period the year before. Leicestershire County Council has issued 377 penalty notices since September, compared with

13 the previous year. The majority of notices related to unauthorised holidays, while others were for general non-attendance. A city council spokeswoman said the increase in Leicester was not "dramatic" considering the change in the legislation. "We haven't seen dramatic increases as in other areas, because schools already had firm policies in place and recognised the importance of good attendance," she said.

A free school operated by a private, for-profit Swedish company has been put into special measures by Ofsted. Internationella Engelska Skolan Breckland broke new ground in funding arrangements when a Swedish firm won a £21m contract to run the Suffolk school for 10 years. Inspectors are believed to have found inadequate teaching, poor behaviour

and too few pupils making good progress. The secondary school, which opened in autumn 2012, had been seen as pushing the boundaries of private-sector involvement in running statefunded schools. Free schools cannot be run for profit, but at IES Breckland was paid to run the school on behalf of the not-for-profit trust and said a plan for recovery was already in place

Free school run by private firm fails inspection

Vulnerable tenants put at risk by Redbridge landlord A Redbridge landlord has been fined £9,000, ordered to pay £3,081 costs and a victim surcharge of £120 for putting vulnerable tenants at risk by renting out a property with unsafe gas and electrical installations. Ajay Mohan Kapur from Cranbrook Road, Ilford was fined at Romford Magistrates Court on Friday 28 February 2014 for poor management of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in Ardwell Avenue, Ilford. He was found guilty of nine management offences under the Housing Act 2004. Housing Standards

enforcement officers inspected the three bedroom property which had been converted into a property with five lettable rooms and rented to private tenants. During the inspection a number of management offences were identified. Cllr Michelle Dunn, Cabinet Member for Housing said, “We will not tolerate rogue Landlords who let out unsafe accommodation and place their tenants’ lives at risk. Our Housing Standards Team will continue to take tough enforcement action where we come across such unacceptable behaviour.”

Harrow celebrates its fabulous foster carers Harrow Council celebrated the tireless work of dozens of foster carers during a sparkling awards evening. Accolades were handed to 16 foster carers at a glitzy

ceremony at Harrow Arts Centre last week. One couple received a long service honour after 30 years of looking after children whilst another foster carer

scooped a prize for completing a vital training challenge. There are 62 fostering households in Harrow and around 190 looked-after children. - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

What lessons from the West over Crimea?

and a settlement for Crimea into Russia The Russian Head of Government is a miland no disturbance of gas supplies. itary strategist not the Editor of the Harvard Review like Obama and that’s But you can only do that with a blockthe problem – the street fighter against ade – ie when the other side has somethe academic. thing to lose – not now by negotiating I have just returned from Riga, when it has everything it wants. Too many Latvia. Now a NATO country. As the lawyers, not enough warriors is the probWestern nuclear Superpowers go eyeball lem. Russia does not suffer from that to eyeball over Crimea, I am reminded of problem. The Russian Head of Kashmir where the Eastern nuclear powGovernment is a military strategist not the ers, China, Pakistan, India go eyeball to Editor of the Harvard Review like Obama eyeball. and that’s the problem – the street fightWhat lessons from the West over er against the academic. Third, Russians don’t mind losing face Crimea? or going backwards, as long as they get First the Russians are chess players. They understand sacrificing one piece for something. Russians are not like the another but not stalemate. Kashmir is Chinese where public face-saving is more stalemate – that is an Indian solution, not important than private loss, whereas for a Russian one – the notion of ‘it’s doesn’t the Russians, they would rather have pubmatter’. lic loss, and private gain. Take the Cuban The Russians proved in Cuba they missile crisis, the world thinks they lost. would rather sacrifice publicly in They didn’t. exchange for gain elsewhere. Here with The deal was that the missiles are Crimea, the West has not offered anymoved from Cuba, in exchange for thing – they should have played through American ones from Turkey, near Russia. But Kennedy’s advisers were far more the chess game and worked out that capable than the present Administration’s. Russia will take, has already taken Crimea, and so offer it quietly in exchange for Ukraine into EU and thereafter into NATO. The West never made the trade. It simply said, ‘don’t do this it is illegal’. Russia is rich, sanctions on travel and money matter nothing to a rich Russian with such a big country to see and a private jet. Second, the West has forgotten its history. Maybe we just stopped teaching it? But the Crimea is where the superpowers met and fought in the 1850s. When the famous British light brigade charged through Russian lines, and then from behind enemy lines awaited the French to catch up. From Crimea the legend of the British was born as terrifying fighters and why from the very canons captured at Sebastipol in Crimea, all Victoria Crosses are made to this day – the highest NEW TRUSTEES SOUGHT honour for bravery. St Luke’s Hospice provides The West, as with the specialist palliative care services for the Russians then, and in people of Harrow & Northern Brent. As Cuba, needs a blockade. an independent hospice, all of our Crimea is only important services are free of charge and we rely on voluntary because of the Black Sea contributions for over 70% of our annual income. port to the Russians. They We are seeking to appoint new Trustees in June 2014 loathe encirclement, to fill current and forthcoming vacancies on our Board. which is why when the Trustees share in the overall governance of the Hospice, West did the land grab setting its direction, monitoring its performance and after the collapse of the prioritising its role and activities. Trustees receive no Soviet Empire and took payment for their contribution to the Hospice. the Baltic states into Nato, We welcome people from the widest possible diversity like Latvia, the Russians of background, culture and experience to help ensure needed Crimea even more that the Board is representative of the communities we so to avoid encirclement. serve. Don’t forget Turkey We would particularly welcome applicants with too is in Nato. The West, experience in: accountancy, healthcare, the law, like after World War 1, fundraising/marketing, and retail. sowed the seeds, after the For further information, please contact: Cold War was won, for the Dee Holden next, for this, conflict. St Luke’s Kenton Grange Hospice So they need to encirKenton Road, Harrow, Middlesex HA3 0YG cle again, as with Cuba, in 020 8382 8002 exchange for Russia agreeing to Ukraine in EU Closing date 17 April 2014



Muslim extremists infiltrating Birmingham Schools

Following on from a leaked document last week, that was essentially a “how-to” letter from one Muslim extremist to another, on how to 'Islamify’ state schools, further investigations by The Telegraph, have r e v e a l e d that there is indeed an organised group of Muslim teachers, education consultants, school governors and activists dedicated to implementing an “Islamising agenda” in Birmingham’s schools. Investigations have reportedly revealed that this organized group convene, among other places, on WhatsApp, where they have a closed discussion

group called “Educational Activists”. In their messages, all of which have been leaked to this newspaper, the activists describe their goals and

tactics. As one reportedly stated: “Let the schooling babysitters, the Department of Education and [schools inspectorate] Ofsted be factors of [merely] incidental importance in the Prophetic endeavour to raise and educate our

young people.” The activists have recently congratulated themselves on the appointment of a new Muslim head teacher, Shanaz Khan, at Small Heath, a secular state secondary in Birmingham, where she will start in September. One member of the group reportedly said it was a “hard battle” but the “dynamics have finally changed”. At the moment, Muslim parents appear to have opposed the “Islamisation” agenda and instead strongly supported high-quality education for their children. Yet it is up to Ofsted and the Government to ensure that Muslim parents have this choice.

Conservative Tories urge not to marry cousins The Conservative Muslim Forum (CMF) warned the minority communities against marriage between first cousins, because of the higher rate of birth defects resulting from such unions, reported The Sunday Times. They cite scientific research which indicates that children born to parents who are related are up to 3% more likely to be afflicted with a genetic condition or disability. First cousin marriages are practised within mostly Britain’s Pakistani com-

munity, as well as among some Arab and African families. Medical data previously suggested that while British Pakistanis were responsible for 3% of all births, they accounted for 30% of British children born with a genetic illness. CMF which is supported by the Prime Minister David Cameron, will soon host a lecture in parliament to highlight the issue. It will be addressed by a surgeon of Pakistani origin from the Bradford area.



Shishukunj London celebrates Holi with a colourful bang! - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

The Jews in Britain

Raj Mistry

Almost 1500 people descended on Byron Hall on Saturday 15 March as Harrow exploded into a cloud of colour for an incredible night of fun. Shishukunj London’s RangHoli Raas Garba event was a tremendous success which brought together members of the community both young and old to celebrate one of India’s most popular festivals. The tone had been set earlier in the day when almost 500 people attended a bhajan and bhojan event that had been organised for the more elderly members of the community. The atmosphere during the two hours of bhakti was simply electric. During the evening’s proceedings the crowds were entertained by an excellent band of young musicians, all of whom had grown up in the care of Shishukunj, and kept the audience dancing for 4 hours. People danced to traditional garbas, jazzed up dhuns and a selection of Bollywood numbers. At the halfway stage 24 young Shishukunj volunteers performed an enthralling dance to the popular track Nagada from the film Rdarshan.sanghrajka@gm ail.comam Leela. In addition to the music and entertainment

Michael Whine

Audience members gleefully covering each other in colour

there was also sumptuous food to be tasted – which Dips Caterers had kindly donated. The stalls were constantly buzzing with people vying for the samosas, bhel and masala chips that were on offer. Younger children were given an opportunity to visit a specially created Kids Zone which amongst other activities taught them all about the festival’s history. A large number of these children emerged from the Kids Zone covered in face paint and coloured powder. At 10pm the main attraction of the event then commenced – with a noisy countdown the crowds threw up a huge cloud of colour and then proceeded to cover each other with the powdered rang that was provided. As time went on the audience then broke into a Ramjanyu dance and con-

tinued to dance away until the end of the night. Upon leaving the venue people were greeted with a team of cheerful volunteers equipped with wet wipes, towels and an industrial blower to help them clean up before returning home with memories of a wonderful evening. Sangita from Palmers Green who attended with her family said “we have never been to a Holi event before and we have had the best time ever!” Shishukunj was glad to raise over £10,000 thanks to support from its sponsors (Godley & Co and Sonia Estates), raffle prize donors, well-wishers and those that bought tickets and attended. For more information about Shishukunj London – please visit

My Story - Healing from Lymes disease

Mukesh Parmar

My story began in May 2008 when I was bitten twice under my left arm pit and developed an abscess which was painful and red, in the UK. I went to A&E and they gave me a dressing to weep the abscess and antibiotics. Within a few days the abscess burst and disappeared. In February 2009, I suddenly started feeling unwell – a bit light headed and thought I was about to faint. I went to my GP and A&E twice but they could not find anything. This point of my life was particularly challenging as my wife and I had a four month old baby. The symptoms continued and my GP referred me to see a Neurologist. I had a MIRA brain scan and results were clear. Due to the severity of the symptoms I could no longer go into work. I got referred to see a Haematologist,

who did some blood tests. His recommendations were that I was only suffering from stress and needed some time out. I then discovered Lynne Mackenzie, a Reikhi teacher in Welwyn Garden city. Lynne did a number of Reikhi sessions with me on a week-

Clairvoyant in Hertfordshire, and my older sister, Ramila came through who had passed away. She questioned my spirituality and advised that I needed to be more spiritual. One evening, I was watching the BBC1 ‘One Show’ and they featured a woman who became

ly basis and pointed out that my weakness was around my left side of my body including my stomach and left glands. I also went to see a

extremely ill and became wheel chair-bound because she developed Lymes disease from a tick bit. Her symptoms were similar to mine -

Jewish communities first emerged in Britain after the Norman invasion of 1066 CE. These communities were tiny and scattered, but they remained until King Edward 1’s expulsion in 1290. Thereafter few Jews chose to come to Britain and those that did so practised their Judaism secretly. In 1656, Oliver Cromwell responded to a petition from Spanish and Portuguese Jews living in Amsterdam and a new community began to assemble, primarily in London. Many of its members were engaged in banking and trade, and their financial abilities helped support several governments, most notably after the Jacobite Rebellion which is said to have led to the passing of the Jew Bill of 1753. This law allowed them to become naturalised, though not without some opposition from parliamentarians who objected to the loosening of Protestant control. But it was the emancipation of Britain’s Catholics in 1829 which really paved the way for the Jews, and thereafter a series of acts allowed them to be knighted, to receive peerages, and in 1858 for the first Jew to enter parliament. The early settlers were later augmented by Jews coming from Germany and Poland, primarily as economic migrants, but the community really grew after the 1880’s when tens of thousands began to flee unusual headaches – and in the end her spine had snapped. It suddenly hit me that I was also bitten. I decided to find a Lymes specialist in the UK and I came across Breakspear Medical Centre in Hemel Hempstead. I had four blood tests, two of which went to Germany. One of the German results came out positive for chronic immune suppression as a result of Lymes Disease. I was given two types of antibiotics around 3,500mg a day. From then, my symptoms dramatically improved and after ten weeks off, I went back to work. Over the next 18

violent pogroms unleashed against them in the Pale of Settlement, the area where they were allowed to live that straddled Poland and Russia. Thereafter, the community in Britain grew from 46,000 in 1880 to 250,000 by 1919. What put a stop to further migration was the passing of the 1905 Aliens Act, brought about by fears that Jewish migrants would swamp Britain’s inner city areas. In fact the Jews never constituted any economic threat as communal agencies provided welfare for the migrants until they could learn English, establish themselves and provide for their own economic and social needs. Smaller numbers did arrive in the 1930s and 1940s, fleeing Nazism, and others arrived from the Middle East the 1950s and 1960s, fleeing the rise of Arab nationalist antisemitism. It has always been the case that communal agencies have lifted the burden of state support for the Jews, and they continue to this day providing for the needs of less fortunate members of the community. Jewish Care, an amalgamation of several Victorian era communal agencies is now the largest non state social care agency in the country, proving facilities for the elderly, the blind and those otherwise disadvantaged. Several thousand smaller charitable trusts cater to every social and educational need for a community which still only numbers around 300, 000 persons. It might be asked ‘why do Jews need so many organisations ?’ And it’s a valid question that many of us ask today. Of course persuading good people to wind up the charitable trusts they oversee, almost always voluntarily, and amalgamate with others to months I was monitored and was having blood tests every three months. After taking antibiotics for this long, my body became immune to them, resulting in symptoms returning more aggressively. Returning to the Clairvoyant, my sister came through and said I needed to see a Nutritionist to change my diet, start doing Kriya Pranayama Yoga, exercise and told me I was lacking in sunlight, zinc and iron. I then made the decision to stop taking antibiotics and went to a health shop and brought iron and zinc tablets to help boost my immune system. I made an immediate major change in my life. I was put on a new balanced diet

form larger, and potentially more effective, trusts is a project that some community leaders have undertaken. But it’s a slow process. However, what is clear is that demographic changes need to be addressed. For example, it was thought that the community was shrinking until recently, but the 2011 Census show that it is actually growing as the Strictly Orthodox community outpaces other sections. This brings a host of new challenges which had not been addressed by the established institutions. This section of the community tends to have larger families, and the men spend more of their adulthood in full time study, which means that their families require greater support. How the community is facing these challenges will be the theme of my next article. Mr Mik e W hin e, 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. and made to drink plenty of water. A few months after I came across a device called 'The Ultimate Zapper SE', which helps to kill parasites. I started to use it and straight away felt a pulling sensation on the left hand side of my body. I did feel a real difference. I have now been Lymes free for three years without any antibiotics. If it was not for Breakspear Medical Center, Reikhi, Clairvoyant, Nutritionist and Yoga teacher, I am sure my health would have deteriorated. I have changed my life by taking a more holistic approach and becoming a more spiritual person. No one should give up as we can all heal. - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

Life and



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

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Stuck for what to get mum? Below are some top gifts that your mum is sure to love!

Tanveer Mann

Mother's Day is a day for celebrating all mothers, motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society and will take place on Sunday 30 March this year. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in spring. The celebration of Mother's Day began in the United States in the early 20th Century. It was first celebrated in 1908. Since then, offering a gift, card, or remembrance toward mothers, grandmothers and mother figures has become tradition.

Treat mum to a delicious, relaxing Afternoon Tea at one of these exclusive locations below:

InterContinental London Westminster from £32.50 28 Broadway, London SW1H 9JS Enjoy unlimited Champagne with Afternoon Tea at InterContinental London Westminster for the special price of £32.50 per person midweek or £35 at weekends. In the incredibly chic surroundings of the InterContinental Hotel Westminster, the Lobby Lounge offers you a relaxed setting, where you can enjoy the perfect Afternoon Tea with your mum. Ten Manchester Street Hotel from £26.00 10 Manchester St, Marylebone, London W1U 4DG Visit Ten Manchester Street for an unforgettable Afternoon Tea in Marylebone. Take a break from London's shopping boutiques, with a pot of Dieci's own special Afternoon Tea blend, designed specifically for the hotel by the Tea Palace. The Park Tower, Knightsbridge from £37.00 101 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RN The Park Tower has recently relaunched following an extensive renovation of the hotel's public areas. Guests can chat and linger over a quintessential English Afternoon Tea of scones with clotted cream and jam, finger sandwiches, fresh pastries, and a fragrant selection of loose-leaf teas. The Park Lane Hotel – Mayfair from £33.00 Piccadilly, London, W1J 7BX Situated on Piccadilly in Mayfair, The Park Lane Hotel is the finest example of Art Deco architecture in London. At the heart of the hotel is the Palm Court, which provides the most glamorous of settings for taking Afternoon Tea. The famous Silver Gallery has been used as a backdrop for many period film and television productions such as Brideshead Revisited, The House of Eliott and the new BBC production of Upstairs Downstairs. River Thames Afternoon Tea Cruise from £25.00 Tower Pier, Lower Thames Street, Tower of London, EC3N 4DT Seeing London from the River Thames is an unforgettable way to view some of London's best landmarks. You can enjoy a delicious Afternoon Tea as you gaze at an endless stream of riverfront sights. When you've finished off your tea, you can always stroll upstairs to take in the 360 degree views of London's riverside landmarks.

Dear Premilaben, Happy Mother's Day and Blessing for Shreejiwav, with love, Yogini, Divyang, Nikhil, Ravikumar, Jigisha, Beejal and all Grandsons/daughters, Na Jay Shree Krishna. My mother, sweet is your name, dear is your memory, close to my heart, you will always in my prayer. Beautiful is your heart, graceful are your manners, praising is your being, inviting is your heart, in waiting to be my heart. By Reshma Patel

Lido Boxed Set Simple Pearl Stud Earrings and Pearl Drop Necklace, White - £45.00

Radley Hibbert Ballerina Slippers, Pink - £24.00

Butterfly Scarf by Lisa Angel £15.00

Links of London Effervescence XS Sterling Silver Bracelet, Silver - £95.00 Mother's Day Rose & Freesia Gift Bag - £35.00

Tête-à-Tête... Mother's Day is a time for remembering and appreciating the love, warmth and knowledge mothers, grandmothers and mother figures have given you. Jim Rai's new motivational book And Then You’re Dead! is an extremely fitting tribute of this, a way to embody and share all the wisdom his late grandmother gave him, Sant Kaur Bajwa, who was the oldest woman in the UK when she passed away in July 2013, aged 115. This book summarises three centuries of wisdom into 47 chapters and explores different ways on how to make a difference in the quality of your everyday life. What compelled you to write these books? Writing the book was not conceived by design but just kind of appeared from nowhere as a result of feeling pretty down one January morning last year. I felt there were certain experiences in my life which had significantly impacted my everyday life and I needed to make some sense out of it all. How long did it take you to write? From conception to the moment I had a physical, printed copy in my hand, it took exactly a year. From January 2013, to January 2014. When I started writing, I wrote 19,000 words in one day, in one sitting. I was sitting in a café in Limassol in Cyprus and began writing in the morning and when I’d finished, I looked up and saw the sun had pretty much set. Do you or are you practicing what you preach? I try to as much as I can but I understand you cannot do it all in one go, you have built yourself up over time to get to that level. However, a lot of what I’ve written in the books is what I had been subconsciously incorporating into my everyday life anyway. The 70% rule is a perfect example. The rule basically

Personalised Apron by Pickle Pie Gifts - £18.00

with Jim Rai encourages you to try and make at least 70% of your day positive, which is what I consciously aim to do. The 30% can be left for the negative stuff, as we all have a bit of down time each day. Do you miss your life as a lawyer? I do and I don’t. Obviously law was a career I pursued and worked hard to gain success in. I carved a career for myself in it and worked in the field for over 20 years, so for that reason I do miss it. But then at the same time, I realised that for a long time I was simply living a life of maintenance and my daily routine at work had taken over my life. What do you do now? I am a management and legal consultant. I very much hope to get onto the life speaking circuit where I am able to share the wisdom and common sense to help inspire others as well as improve the quality of the lives of many. What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is in a stressful job, going through the same routine day-in day-out and are seeing no way out? I would tell them not to waste a single day of their life. Evaluate what is making them unhappy and then change it. If your job is stressing you out, then take control and make the change and don’t make excuses. If you want to know how to get there, then please get yourself a copy of the book ...And Then You're Dead! The accompanying notebook ...And Then You're Alive! allows you to make notes on what I’ve written as you go along. It will all make sense within the 90 minutes it takes to read that I can assure you!

16 - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

Clean chit to Modi on Gujarat riots premature: Rahul Gandhi New Delhi: As the general elections are coming closer, All India Congress Committee (AICC) vice president Rahul Gandhi is becoming more and more attacking, especially on BJP and its prime ministerial candidate.

Varun not to campaign against Rahul

Lucknow: Varun Gandhi, first cousin of All India Congress Committee (AICC) vice president Rahul Gandhi has clarified he would not campaign against his estranged cousin Rahul in the impending general elections. Varun, son of Sanjay and Maneka Gandhi is also BJP general secretary. He said that he wouldn’t campaign against the scion of Nehru-Gandhi dynasty at his Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh. The 34-year-old leader, who is contesting on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket from Sultanpur, said that he believed in political decorum and never harboured any ill will against his opponents. "I have a positive mindset towards politics and have always believed in certain lines

Varun Gandhi

of decency that I would never cross," he said, adding he will not campaign against Rahul Gandhi in the neighbouring Amethi constituency, where the latter was seeking a re-election. Varun Gandhi, a sitting MP from Pilibhit, has shifted base to Sultanpur. Varun Gandhi's mother Maneka Gandhi, currently a BJP parliamentarian from Aonla in Uttar Pradesh, is likely to contest from Pilibhit in the Lok Sabha 2014 election, a seat she has held in the past.

The unannounced prime ministerial nominee of the Congress said that clean chit to Modi over the 2002 Gujarat riots was nothing but politically expedient and far too premature. The scion of NehruGandhi dynasty also termed the Gujarat Chief Minister legally and morally accountable for failing to control the violence. In a recent interview Gandhi also showed disagreement with UPA government’s finance minister P Chidambaram’s comment that the Congress was the underdog and facing an uphill task in the impending Lok Sabha polls. He in fact expressed confidence that UPA-3 government would assume office when the results will be declared. Rahul dismissed opinion polls as a joke and asserted that “Congress is facing a challenging election and we will win the election” in a concerted bid to prop up drooping morale in the party ranks following reports that leaders and sitting MPs were keen to avoid contesting elections or were seeking safe constituencies. Significantly, the Congress vice-president stressed that he shared Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s apology and party president Sonia Gandhi’s regrets over the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, in what seems an effort at damage control over his previous admission that “some Congressmen were probably involved” in the retaliatory violence after the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

Kumar ‘confident’ to beat Rahul

Amethi: AAP leader Kumar Vishwas, who is contesting against the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi from Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh said that he would win against the unannounced Congress Prime Ministerial candidate with ‘huge margin’. Vishwas said that the biggest losers of the election in Uttar Pradesh will be, besides the Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the now ruling Samajwadi Party. Terming his own campaign as “historic”, Kumar Vishwas said his confidence about his own victory and Gandhi's defeat came from numerous interactions with voters, mainly in rural pockets. “I am confident Rahul Gandhi will not only lose but will lose by a big margin,” he added. He said that until the

Kumar Vishwas advent of the Aam Aadmi Party, none of the existing political parties really challenged the Gandhi family in Amethi. Although the Gandhi family has represented Amethi in the Lok Sabha for decades, Kumar Vishwas insisted that poverty was widespread in the sprawling constituency and Amethi lagged behind in economic development.

"The issues in Amethi concern development. There is a place called Shankarganj which has a half-built bridge. It has not been completed for the past seven years." Amethi has elected to the Lok Sabha members of the Gandhi family since 1980. They include Sanjay Gandhi (1980), Rahul Gandhi (1984, 1989), Sonia Gandhi (1999) and Rahul Gandhi (2004, 2009). Gandhi family loyalist Satish Sharma was elected in 1991 and 1996. The Bharatiya Janata Party's Sanjay Singh snatched it in 1998. He later joined the Congress. A poet whose writings have courted him controversy, Kumar Vishwas is a founder member of the Aam Aadmi Party and considered close to former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.

NDA gains 61 se

New Delhi: In a recent opinion poll conducted by Hansa Research from 12 states National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by BJP gain 61 seats. The opinion poll revealed by NDTV portrayed rosy picture for BJP across several states in the north, west, east and southern parts of India. The opinion poll suggests heavy loss for the Congress as well as United Progressive Alliance (UPA). The poll conducted by Hansa Research, from 12 states accounting for a total of 319 seats. It predicted that the NDA would win 166 seats, gaining 61 seats in these states in the 2014 polls. In contrast, the UPA

will see its tally halved from 104 to 52. While most of the findings are in line with predictions by other polls, what could come as a rude shock for the Congress is the estimate that even in Karnataka, where the party was hoping to make some gains vis-a-vis 2009, it is the BJP that will gain a seat. The states for which the findings released were Maharashtra, West Bengal, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Delhi. The BJP and NDA, according to the opinion poll, would make the biggest gains in Rajasthan, where the party would win

19 seats and Congress a mere five, in a near-complete reversal of the 2009 position. In Maharashtra too, the Sena-BJP alliance is set to win 33 of the state’s 48 seats, gaining 13, while the Congress-NCP combine UPA would win just 12, a loss of 13. In Bihar, the BJP-LJP alliance would pick up 23 of the state’s 40 seats and the RJD-Congress combines 11, leaving the ruling JD (U) picking up the crumbs, according to the poll. The NDA would make relatively more modest gains in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Delhi and Bihar, while the UPA would make some small gains in Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand,

Narendra Modi gets soft on

Sambalpur (Odisha): In a strategic move NDA’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi softened his attack on BJD leader Naveen Patnaik and trained his guns on the Congress over Salman Khurshid’s remarks accusing it of “destruction” of institutions and said its leaders have already started searching for excuses for a ‘definite’ defeat. Contradictory to his first rally in the eastern Indian state, Modi during his second rally opted to go soft on Odisha Chief Minister, who is keeping distance from the Third Front. Instead, he launched blistering attack on the traditional rival Congress party. He condemned external affairs minister Salman Khurshid remarks in London in which he had criticised

Salman Khushid and Naveen Patnaik

Election Commission and Supreme Court and said he used a foreign land to target the country's two respected institutions. "I wonder which country he represents. He has gone to London to abuse the EC. He has destroyed its reputation. They (Congress) are looking for excuses for their certain defeat. He has attacked the Supreme Court also. Prime Minister, it is your responsibility to look into it," he said.

The name of Indian National Congress should be changed to Institution Neglecting Congress, he said, adding that it had become the ruling party's habit to attack and abuse institutions. His rivals, he said, have no agenda but to chant “stop Modi, stop Modi. I am working 24 hours a day to find solution to India's problems. They are working to find a solution to Modi.” The BJP's prime ministe-

Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi crucial state with 40 seats. The BJP's 19-member central election committee, which includes both Modi and Dr Joshi, apart from party president Rajnath Singh and other senior leaders. Now, Joshi is contesting from Kanpur. The BJP veteran taught physics at the Allahabad University. He was also a three-term MP from Allahabad before losing in 2004. He then shifted to Varanasi in 2009 and won.

New Delhi: In a major setback to Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee's national ambitions, anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare took a U-turn and decided to withdraw support to her by skipping a joint rally. “Some people who deceive" had got associated with her who made it difficult for him to support her, said Anna. He was responding when reporters asked him whether he would support Banerjee for the Prime Ministership even after the rally fiasco, which he blamed on misleading information. “No. Now, some such people, who deceive me, have got associated with Mamata Banerjee which makes it difficult for me to support her,” the social activist asserted. He said he had told Banerjee to stop using his name in Trinamool's advertisement campaign for the polls. This marks a U-turn as

Murli Manohar Joshi regrets to be in politics

Varanasi: After four decades in active politics, BJP veteran Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi has observed, "I don't know what sin I have committed to have entered politics." “I am a student of science who got stuck in politics. I don't know if you get to see what all is happening around me but I am sure Baba Bholenath (Lord Shiva) can see it clearly. After all this when I reach a place of music, it feels like I am back among humans,” said the 80-year-old BJP leader in Varanasi during a Bhajan recital. Joshi has to vacate his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi for his party’s PM candidate Narendra Modi. BJP’s leadership believe that fielding Modi from Varanasi will help the party draw voters in a state that sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha. They also expect such a move to give the party an advantage in neighbouring Bihar, also a

Anna s

SPECIAL - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

ats: Opinion poll the poll predicted. In W e s t Bengal and Tamil Nadu, the battle predictably is likely to remain between parties that are part of neither of the two big coalitions. In West Bengal, the poll suggested that the Trinamool Congress would win 32 seats, a gain of 13 from 2009, and the Left 9 (a loss of six), leaving just one seat for the Congress, which had won 6 last time. In Tamil Nadu, AIADMK was predicted to win 27 seats, up 18 from 2009, and the DMK 10, down

eight, leaving just two seats for “others” to win. In Delhi, the poll predicted that AAP would win four seats, BJP two and Congress one.

n Patnaik; targets Khurshid

Modi too have exam phobia!!!

Gandhinagar: Exam phobia is not limited to students appearing for the exams, even political leaders that too a stature of NDA’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is also passing through the same condition. The Gujarat Chief Minister might also be facing exam blues this time as he has conceded that like young students he is also taking an examination, albeit in the form of Lok Sabha elections. The students appearing for class X and XII exams in Gujarat

rial candidate said he wanted to pursue politics of development, jobs and prosperity and wipe off tears of the poor.

and their parents received a surprise call on their mobile phones from Modi giving them best wishes. The stress related to exams and problems caused by it are common every year when Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) conducts annual examinations of Class X and XII, but BJP has turned it into another campaign tool ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. “Student friends, Narendra Modi is here. Like you, I am also giving an exam. But like me you also

“You give your blessings to me. The world will otherwise gallop past us and we will remain laggards. The more

should not worry about exams,” Modi says in the pre-recorded message in the calls coming to students and parents giving them advice not to be affected by exam blues. “Exams are natural in the life and 'our' hard work will give good results. My good wishes are with you that you will pass with flying colours in class X and XII and secure excellent rank. You, your teachers and your parents have done labour and it will give you a great result. Wishes again,” said Modi's message.

you tolerate them (Congress), the more pain they will inflict on you,” he said.

skips Mamata’s rally in Delhi

Anna Hazare with Mamata Banerjee

he has been endorsing Banerjee for Prime Ministership. On February 19, he declared his support to Banerjee as she agreed to implement his 17-point agenda. He said he supported Banerjee not as a party, but as an individual he admired and that he also backed her views on society and country. Anna Hazare's absence at the rally had left Mamata Banerjee embarrassed as the event to mark her arrival on the national scene had turned out to be a damp squib.

Hazare asks voters to use NOTA

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare has asked voters to use the “none of the above” (NOTA) option in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections if they did not find a right candidate with character and clean image. “The country is not going to see change just by changing (the party in the) regime. If one regime did a graduation in corruption, another did post-graduation in corruption. “That is why, the basic change won’t come by merely changing the rulers. People who can

bring radical change in the state and country will have to be sent to the Legislature and Lok Sabha,” Hazare said in a statement here. “If any party has fielded a candidate who is corrupt, goonda and a robber, the voters should decide that they will not make the mistake that the party has done.” “They (voters) should decide that they will not fall prey to any enticement and then elect corrupt or criminal elements,” he said, adding that alert voters are pillars of democracy.


Arvind Kejriwal ‘confident’ of winning 100 seats Nagpur: Aam Adami Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal is confident to win at least 100 seats in the impending general elections. “We’ll win more than 100 seats and the government won’t be formed without our help. There’s tremendous anger among the people against both the Congress and BJP. Wait for May 16 when the results will be announced,” Kejriwal quoted as saying at Nagpur, co-incidentally headquarters of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). When asked about taking support from the Congress or BJP, the AAP convener said that there was no question of alliance with the Congress or BJP. “We’re not in the field for electoral politics but for changing the system. Elections are just a milestone. Taking a cue from AAP, Vasundhara Raje stopped using red beacon and Shivraj Singh Chouhan set up an anticorruption helpline. Corruption has become an issue in the true sense. This is the change we want,” he said. Terming the upcoming Lok Sabha elections as bipolar election – AAP versus the rest Kejriwal said that the Congress and BJP are in cahoots, BJP workers assaulted AAP activists in Delhi but only AAP workers were booked. Such discrimination is not done against Congress, BJP or any other party, he added. On his traveling by Mumbai local train, which resulted into inconvenience to the common man (Aam Adami), he clarified that the rush at the station was caused not by AAP supporters but by common

people impressed by AAP. “It’s the police’s job to main-

tain order. We don’t blame them. They did not expect so much support for AAP. But the larger question is what the news was? – The huge support for AAP or the toppling of two metal detectors? People we talked to said they were happy that a leader was reaching out to them. They weren’t angry at all. If traveling by auto rickshaw and local is anarchy then common man does it every day. So, is the common man an anarchist? We are being demonized every day. How come our support is growing by the day,” he said. Answering a question on he is targeting only Modi and not Rahul Gandhi, Kejriwal said that AAP has been criticizing the Congress for the last two years. “Congress had then said we were a creation of the BJP. Now BJP says we’re Congress’s creation. Has it forgotten AAP decimated Congress in Delhi? AAP’s reason for criticizing only Modi is that UPA is not coming to power. The NDA is pitching itself as an option. We want to show the NDA is equally corrupt,” he said, adding that BJP has given tickets to corrupt politicians like Yeddyurappa and Sreeramulu. “We don’t want people to be swayed by Modi’s publicity blitz about the Gujarat model. The Gujarat government has failed on many fronts. Congress has never exposed Modi’s government and so we had to do it,” he said.

Kejri visit creates chaos at Churchgate station Mumbai: There was chaos at the Churchgate Station in Mumbai after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal decided to take a local train. Hundreds of supporters gathered at Mumbai's Churchgate Station and reportedly damaged metal detectors set up there in the hope of meeting the political leader. Kejriwal, was on three-day tour of Maharashtra, first took an auto-rickshaw from the domestic terminal of Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport to board a local train from Santa Cruz to Churchgate, where hundreds of his supporters gathered to welcome him.

Sreekumar joins AAP

AV Correspondent

Ahmedabad: Gujarat’s former Director General of Police (DGP), RB Sreekumar, against whom two defamation cases are pending pertaining to ISRO espionage episode, has joined Aam Aadami Party (AAP). The controversial ex-cop is also up-inarm against Modi government over 2002 communal riots victims on Thursday evening reached to AAP Gujarat headquarters and posed with the Gujarat convenor Sukhdev Patel wearing AAP cap. Confirming the development Patel said that Sreekumar joined AAP to ‘fight’ against corruption. “He is known for his brave actions, and never yielding attitude towards political powers,” he added.

RB Sreekumar

Meanwhile, the 1972 batch retired IPS officer said that his ideology was matching with that of AAP. “I am seeing a sunrise in the darkness of corruption,” he said, adding that he doesn’t intend to contest elections but would like to be active in the party in the best of his capacity.

FIR against Kejriwal

Gujarat’s Chief Election Officer Anita Karwal on Friday said that an FIR was lodged against Aam Aadami Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal. Employee of Samkhiali toll plaza in Kutch district, Dipendrasinh Tomar had filed a complaint against car drivers of the AAP convoy pertaining to non-payment of toll tax on March 6, 2014. According to complainant the convoy of around 15 vehicles (cars and Jeep) passed through toll plaza without paying too which was violation of National Highway Authority of India’s notification. “AAP national convenor was sitting in one of the cars in the convoy,” said the complainant. Subsequently, a police complaint in this regard was filed.

18 - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

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India’s BSE Sensex, Nifty hit record high

The BSE Sensex and Nifty hit a record high on Tuesday as strong buying by foreign investors continued to bolster blue chips in the lead-up to general elections, especially companies more geared towards the India’s economy such as HDFC Bank. The broader Nifty gained as much as 1.1 per cent to a record high of 6,574.95 points, surpassing its previous record high hit on March 11. The rally reflects hopes that the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, perceived by markets to be more business friendly, will win elections that kick off next month, analysts have said. A slight expansion in industrial output and a further cooling in stubbornly high inflation have also boosted investor sentiment, offsetting con-

cerns about global risk factors such as political tensions in Ukraine and China's economic slowdown which have been weighing on stock markets elsewhere. Goldman Sachs upgraded Indian shares to "overweight" from "marketweight," citing improving economic fundamentals, including a narrowing current account deficit, and

Banks which set benchmark price of gold sued

Dealers suspect that the banks are joining hands to set the benchmark price of gold. In a lawsuit filed last week, Kevin Maher, a New York-based investor in the gold and derivative markets, is suing the five banks which set the benchmark - Deutsche, Barclays, Nova Scotia, Société Générale and HSBC - for collusion. Another bit of bad news for the gold market comes from a forthcoming paper by Rosa AbrantesMetz, of New York University’s Stern School of Business, and her husband Albert Metz, a ratings-agency chief. This identifies a puzzling number of large downward price movements in the run-up to the afternoon “fix”: a conference call, typically ten minutes long, when the banks exchange information and decide on the price. Abrantes-Metz terms the spikes “too frequent and too large” to be mere chance. The couple has previSpecialist Finance Development Bridging

ously highlighted problems in other benchmarks, such as LIBOR (the London interbank offered rate). Abrantes-Metz says it is “troubling” that a “small group of people” with “complete lack of oversight” set prices in which they have multiple other interests. The anomalous spikes were not noticeable in the period 2001-03, she notes, but became apparent only after 2004, when the goldderivatives market expanded sharply. Some participants are getting jittery. Deutsche Bank is withdrawing from the gold- (and silver-) fix-

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expectations that corporate earnings had bottomed out. "FIIs (foreign institutional investors) are buying continuously," said Suresh Parmar, head of institutional equities at KJMC Capital Markets. "There are no specific triggers other than portfolio building ahead of elections. However, global events could hold the key in the short-term," he added. The benchmark BSE Sensex was up 0.7 per cent after earlier rising as much as 1.1 per cent to an alltime high



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ing processes, putting its seat up for sale. The German financial regulator, BaFin, has interviewed members of the bank’s staff as part of a probe into potential market-rigging of both prices. Other financial supervisors around the world are investigating a range of commodity and interestrate benchmarks. A hangover from an earlier, clubbier age (the London fix started in 1919), they were designed as a way of producing clear prices in illiquid markets. But to a suspicious modern eye, they look archaic and dodgy. People who are involved in the gold market defend it robustly. Ross Norman, the chief executive of Sharps Pixley, a bullion broker, says that the methodology of the fix is “open, efficient and transparent” and known to regulators. He agrees that more visibility might help, but decries suggestions that the market could be rigged. Any systematic anomaly, he says, “would be grasped by dozens of institutions, who would make money on the arbitrage.”

of 22,040.72 points, above its previous record hit on March 10. Overseas funds were net buyers of $160.6 million worth of shares on Friday, marking a 20th buying session in the previous 21, for a net total of $1.6 billion, exchange and regulatory data shows. Banks led gains on Tuesday, with HDFC Bank up 1.1 per cent and State Bank of India 2.7 per cent. Among other domesticoriented blue chips, power equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals gained 2 per cent, while cigarette maker rose 1.4 per cent. Shares of Maruti Suzuki Ltd surged as much as 9.8 per cent after it said on Saturday that it would seek minority shareholder approval for a plan to outsource production at a new factory to Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp.

Indo-Pak trade relations to normalize

India has reportedly agreed to Pakistan's demand of excluding 160 items, essentially textile products, from its Pakistan-specific Sensitive List. The move is said to be a step toward complete trade normalization between the two neighboring nations. Miftah Ismail, special assistant to the Pakistan prime minister and chairman of the Board of Investment, said that both sides have reached a broader understanding on how to move forward on the issue of liberalizing bilateral trade and overcome associated obstacles. The Chairman revealed that both India and Pakistan will simultaneously announce Non-Discriminatory Market Access on Reciprocal Basis (NDMARB) status for each other. Ismail said Pakistan will abolish the Negative List restricting the importation of 1,209 items from India under the NDMARB agreement.

REAL ESTATE VOICE - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014


Taking the distress out of the distressed property

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap A Property Investment Company

Last week I spoke about a property we were looking to purchase in Knightsbridge for £600k, unfortunately the deal did not happen, someone came in and gazumped us for £650k, even though our funds were in the lawyers account ready to do the deal within 24hrs of agreeing it. You lose some and you win some, it’s the nature of the best, all we can do is always be poised to strike; as long as over all we are winning. However we did close one deal last week, it was presented to us on Wednesday and exchange had to happen by midday Friday. The property is a lower ground floor flat in Hampstead, comprising of 1500 sq. ft. of lateral space. There is a distinction which many people often miss, and this is lower ground flats are not the same as basement flats. Lower grounds can be very airy and are sometimes on ground level on the rear of the property, this happens when there is a slope across the property, whereas basement flats have little or no light and have been created by digging down. We secured this flat for £850k, we believe this property has an end value of £1.5m. The reason why we were able to secure it so cheaply is that this deal falls under the category of a distressed sale. What clinched the deal for us was meeting the owner directly, we were able to get to grips with the issues involved in the building. It basically boiled down to a conflict of two personalities. The former owner purchased the property and when it came to completion the freeholder who lives in the block had erected a fence to separate the communal gardens from his own private garden.

I t w a s a t t hi s p o i n t w e w e r e i n t r o d u c e d t o t h e d e a l , i t h a d been floating around for a couple of weeks but the owner d i d n ’ t w a n t t o s t o o p l o w e n o u g h t o a cc e p t o u r o f f e r o f £ 8 5 0 k , u n t i l h e w a s f o r c e d t o o . T hi s is n o t e x a c t l y e n d u s e r p r o p e r t y , o r e v e n m a t u r e B T L l a n d l o r d , d u e t o t he i s s u e s in v o l ve d . O n c e t h e y a r e t i d ie d u p t h e p r op e r t y c o u l d be r e s o l d e ve n i n s he l l c o n d i t io n t o a n e n d us e r . T h e f r e e ho l d e r a l s o w a n t e d t o p u r c h a s e t h e p r o p e r t y f o r £ 9 2 5 k , bu t he ’ ll be d a m m e d i f h e s e l l s t o h e r !

H e w a s n ’ t h a p p y w i t h t hi s , a n d s o h e t a ck l e d i t b y g o i n g i n w it h g u n s bl a z i n g t h r o u g h h i s l a w y e r s a n d w r ot e a h e a v y l e t t e r a r g u i n g r ig h t s o f l i g ht , e n jo y m e n t e t c . T h i s w a s n ’ t t h e be s t f o o t t o s t a r t a r e l a t io n s hi p fr o m ; t h e r e ’ s a s a y i n g w hi c h c o m e s t o m i n d ( w h ic h I ha ve a m e n d e d t o b e p o l i t e ): ‘ y o u d o n ’ t m a k e a m e s s o n y o ur o w n d oo r s t e p ’ . I a s s u m e he l o s t , a s t h e f e n c e i s s t i l l t h e r e . He then hired builders to patio his portion of the garden, which included a manhole cover for the whole block. There was a leak in the building and the manhole cover could not be reached because it had been stoned over. This too didn’t go down very well with the freeholder, so this was strike two. The straw which really broke the camel’s back was when the owner wanted to do works, his structural engineer provided calculations which were challenged by the freeholder’s structural engineers. This led to a stalemate which took the courts to resolve. When the leaseholder’s engineer was scrutinised in the dock he admitted he felt he got his calculations wrong and therefore if they had proceeded based on his calculations the building could have collapsed. He then settled out of court, and was left with a half completed property, a building site. And this was strike three. Clearly it was time to get out. Unsurprisingly the culmination of these events led him to want to abandon the project and move on, he felt any move he made on the build would be scrutinised and challenged. Not the best environment to work on a project.

The owner is now in the process of suing his structural engineer. We agreed a 3 month completion on the basis we would release the £85k exchange money. This was done so he could pay for the legal costs involved in taking him to court. Though we have bought a distressed property, we need to be careful to make sure we inherit just the property and not the distress. Clearly the freeholder will need a lot of reassurance given the background of the property, to ensure one set of cowboys don’t get replaced with another set. W e h a v e j u st c o m p le te d t he r e f ur b i sh m e n t a n d d e s i g n o f a f la t a st o n e th r o w a w a y fro m th i s pr o pe r ty i n F e r n c ro f t A ve w h i c h i s o n th e ma rk e t a t £ 1 .8 m , th e c o nd i ti o n fo r th i s p ro p e rt y i s s tu n n i n g . W e h a d i t fu l ly fu r n i sh e d w i th b e s po k e f u rn i t u re , th e fe e d b a c k fr o m s e v e ra l a g e n t s h a s b e e n th i s i s o n e o f t he b e s t fi n i s h e s t he y h a v e se e n i n a l o ng t i m e . Our logic in taking the property to this level was simple, there are only two types of buyers in the market the investor and the end user. The end user buys more with emotion and the investor buys with the motivation of profit. We do not want the investor to purchase, we are after the end user. Because they purchase with emotion we need them to fall in love with the property. In the same way when you buy a new car it makes absolutely no financial sense at all, but you want it! You pay £10k – £20k more than it’s going to be worth in a year’s time; in fact as soon as you drive it out it drops thousands in value. This is because it’s an emotional purchase. We are trying to replicate the same emotion in our future buyer. We will attempt to tidy up the issues in the property first and then look to resell the project ideally before completion. We will need to work quickly for this to happen. Simultaneously we will be preparing for completion as well. Therefore we will prepare ourselves for the worst case, which isn’t too bad given the market is rising week on week. We also managed to exchange on a property in Abbey Lodge in a purpose built block in St John’s Wood, this was a roughly 500 sq. ft. property which we sourced for a client for just under £500k. This property in my opinion will fetch possibly £700k in a month or two after completion which has been agreed in 6 weeks, and will do very well for them. In this market there is a possibility for reselling for less money prior to completion. The question is whether we will take a smaller piece of the pie in a shorter time or wait and take the whole piece.

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Tips of the Week l It is important to pay attention to the type of job your tenant has and not just that they are working. Doctors, nurses and teachers tend to be hit very little by economic downturns. This will reduce the rotation period.

l Always consider the projects which are happening in and around the borough you’re purchasing in, this will ensure strong capital growth into the future.



Maria Fernandes

The Spouse Rules and the Argument at the Court of Appeal

As thousands of cases languish in various entry clearances abroad awaiting the decision of the case of MM, the case has finally gone to the next stage. For those of you who do not know what this is about, it concerns the introduction by the Government of a minimum income of £18,600 to bring in non-EU partners to the UK. When the case came before the High Court, it found that the rules were unjustified and disproportionate where the applicants are British citizens or refugees. Justice Blake observed that British citizens have a fundamental right of constitutional significance to live in their home country and that the effect of these rules is to require them to leave their own country. The consequences of this are considered to be so excessive in impact that they are not reasonable. The absence of flexibility to the rules contributed heavily to the decision. There were particular concerns, expressed in the judgment, as perverse decisions to refuse to allow savings to be taken into account where there is a shortfall, to allow credible evidence by third parties of support or to take account of prospective income. Needless to say the Governmentappealed against the decision and in the meantime has put over 3,000 cases on hold. The Government believe that they should have the final say on what is proportionate and argued that they had consulted widely. Consulted usually means asking the wrong people vague questions and then rely on the answers given. A number of interesting points emerged from

the hearing. First,that when the Migration Advisory Committee, who recommended the increase, recommended a range in which the highest figure was £18,600. This figure did not take account of housing costs. The evidence indicated that at least a third of applicants rely on accommodation provided by family. The estimated cost of this would be £6,000. The Government also argued that in some cases where the applicants did not meet the rules, the entry clearance officers had the power to exercise discretion and their instructions provided for this. However the evidence that was provided showed that discretion. In one case a shortfall of 59 pence led to a refusal. The Independent Chief Inspector found little and inconsistent consideration given to Article 8 and the best interests of children. The initial decision did not agree that the rules were discriminatory and the Government sought to uphold this decision. The evidence indicated that female sponsors earn less than male sponsors and accordingly are less likely to meet the requirements. There is also the issue of regional differences. Sponsors in Leicester for example earn far less than those in London and are therefore less likely to be able to meet the requirements. The Court of Appeal will reach its decision in 2-3 months’ time. Whoever loses is likely to bring the case before the Supreme Court. The bad news is that it will take at least a year to resolve. In the meantime the applicants are caught in a time warp.

India’s i fell to nine-month low of 4.68% in February due to easing prices of kitchen staples like onion and potato, creating some headroom for RBI to cut interest rate in its forthcoming monetary policy. The food inflation, based on Wholesale Price Index (WPI), dropped to 8.12% in February, compared to 8.8% in the previous month as the rate of price rise slowed in almost all items, except fruits and milk. Inflation, which is on decline since December,

was 5.05% in January. Prior to February, the lowest WPI was recorded in May 2013 at 4.58%. In June, it had inched up again to 5.16%. As per the data, rate of price rise for onions - on annual basis - contracted 20.06% in February. Similarly rate of price rise in potato slowed to 8.36%. The overall inflation in the vegetable basket dropped to 3.99%, from 16.6% in January. There was also a drop in prices of pulses, cereals and wheat.

India’s inflation eases

UKIBC opens business centre in Bangalore - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

UK India Business Council has opened its UK India Business Centre in Bangalore to cover the South Indian region. An inaugural function to mark the occasion was held last week. It was attended by a delegation of 20 SMEs from the UK, Ian Felton, British Deputy High Commissioner, and Indian business leaders including T V Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Manipal Global Education. Following the successful opening of the Business Centre in Gurgaon last year, the Bangalore Centre will not only support UK companies with market entry advisory and facilities support, but also offer a home for Bangalore based early stage UK enterprises. Speaking about the Centre, Richard Heald, Group CEO, UKIBC said, “Today the UKIBC has marked a major milestone in the creation of a panIndia network of UK India Business Centres, by holding a pooja to mark commencement of work on its Business Centre in

(L-R) Richard Heald, CEO, UKIBC, TV Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Manipal Global Education, Ian Felton, British Deputy High Commissioner, Paul Dass, Chairman, Pacific Business Centres PVT Ltd, and Richard McCallum, MD, UKIBC India High Commissioner, Bangalore. The second of Bangalore said. “Bangalore six we will open in India.” is one of the future faces of “The UKIBC has the India – hi-tech, cosmopolifull support for its plans tan and global in outlook. It from the Deputy High is a great place for British Commission in Bangalore, Indian collaboration in sciUKTI, the British Business ence, innovation, trade and Group and from the British cultural relations. I am Council in India; as well as delighted that the UKIBC of Bangalore based memhas chosen Bangalore for bers of the UKIBC its next business centre. Advisory Council - Kiran Working closely together Mazumdar-Shaw, Chair we will add even greater and Managing Director of value to the expanding UK Biocon Limited and T.V. Mohandas Pai.” India trade relationship.” Felton, British Deputy The UK government is

already engaged with the State to work on initiatives such as co-funding UK start-ups with KITVEN Fund (Karnataka Information Technology Venture Capital Fund), connecting UK and Indian innovative technology companies via IP Bridge and developing incubation linkage for entrepreneurs. Speaking about the Centre, Richard McCallum, MD, UKIBC India Pvt Limited, said “The Centre will comprise 12,500 sq. ft, and interior will replicate the fresh and distinctive, look and feel of the Business Centre in Gurgaon. The Centre will be run by a dedicated, inhouse facilities management team as well as a team of market entry advisers in fields relevant to Bangalore’s status as a pioneering city for digital innovation, defence and aerospace. The team will provide market entry support to start-ups and SMEs, and offer events, knowledge and policy insight into the market for our members.”

India's flagging economy delivered rare good news with a slight expansion of industrial production and further cooling in consumer prices, offering some respite to the ruling coalition before next month's general election. Improved consumer demand helped industrial output expand 0.1 per cent on year in January, the first growth in four months, data from statistics ministry showed. Analysts had forecast a contraction of 0.6 per cent in output. The fall in December's output was revised to 0.17 per cent on year from 0.6 per cent earlier. Separately, retail inflation eased for the third straight month to a 25month low of 8.10 per cent in February from 8.79 per cent in the previous month on moderating vegetable prices. "Today's data show India's beleaguered economy moving in the right direction, but still far from

healthy," said Miguel Chanco, India Economist at Capital Economics in Singapore. The data showed production of consumer goods, a proxy for consumer demand, contracted an annual 0.6 per cent in January, an improvement from a 4.7 per cent drop a month ago. Asia's third-largest economy has been struggling to recover from a stagflation-type situation where economic growth has been stuck below 5 per cent for the past seven quarters while price continue to rise at a fast clip. Cooling prices will offer some relief to the government headed by the

Congress party, which is trailing in opinion polls ahead of the polls that begin on April 7. It is still widely expected to be defeated, in part for its failure to control inflation and revive the economy. Hail and heavy rains in the past two weeks have damaged crops, which could see food prices spike again. An uncertain outlook for this summer's monsoon rains due to the El Nino weather pattern is also worrying analysts. "Food ... prices are going to go up again because of unseasonal rains and hail storms in some parts of the country," warned D.H. Pai Panandiker, president of RPG Foundation, a private think tank. "It appears that food prices will start going up in the next weeks as agricultural output may suffer."

Pakistan finance minister Ishaq Dar said Pakistani rupee will strengthen further as it continued to appreciate against the US dollar in the open currency market as well as in interbank trading, taking everyone by surprise. Currently, the interbank trading rate of the Pakistani rupee is 97.30 per US dollar. Last week, it was trading at about 105. Last week, it gained about 1.10, which led to the dollar selling at 99.95 in the interbank rates and at 100 rupee in the open money market. It was the first time in seven months that it had touched 100 per dollar mark in interbank trading. In an interview, Dar said all out efforts are being made to stabilise the Pakistani currency. He said national economy is showing upward trend and the rupee will strengthen further. Dar also said that inflation is moving down and foreign reserves increasing.

of 2008 America attracted net capital inflows of half a trillion dollars. The dollar was a haven in tumultuous times, even when the tumult originated in

America itself. The crisis also “shattered conventional views” about the adequate level of foreignexchange reserves, prompting emerging economies with large dollar hoards to hoard even more. Finally, America’s slump forced the Fed to ease monetary policy dramatically. In response, central banks in emerging economies bought dollars to stop their

own currencies rising too fast. Could Fed swap lines serve as a less costly alternative to rampant reserve accumulation? If central banks could obtain dollars from the Fed whenever the need arose, they would not need to husband their own supplies. The demand is there: India, Indonesia, the Dominican Republic and Peru have all made inquiries.

Indian economy performs better than forecast

Pak rupee sees sharp growth against US $

World’s love-hate relationship with the dollar

A new book, “The Dollar Trap”, by Eswar Prasad of Cornell University, shares the world’s ambivalence towards dollar. The 2008 financial crisis might have been expected to erode the dollar’s global prominence. Instead, he argues, it cemented it. America’s fragility was, paradoxically, a source of strength for its currency. In the last four months

CURRENCY VOICE - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014


Foreign Exchange

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

US Dollar benefits form uncertainty Evidence of a slowing Chinese economy last week and tensions in the Ukraine helped perceived 'safer havens'. As a result the pound lost ground against the US dollar and Japanese yen, and fell to three-month lows versus the euro and Swiss franc. The US dollar (often a benefiter in times of uncertainty) reached intra-week highs of $1.6564 versus the pound as China's industrial output and retail sales data disappointed. The news added to fears the world's second largest economy is slowing faster-than-expected. US retail sales rose slightly more than expected last month, by 0.3%, ending two months of declines. Shoppers stayed at home during unusually cold weather with masses of snow at the turn of the year. Sales are expected to pick up further in coming months as warmer temperatures and better household finances lure consumers back into the shops There was more good news as the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to a threemonth low last week. Jobless

claims dropped 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 315,000 – the lowest reading since late November. The euro advanced against both sterling and the US dollar despite European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi warning on the effects of a strong euro against the central bank's inflation targets. Mr Draghi confirmed the ECB has been preparing additional policy measures, suggesting his forward guidance may help to weaken the euro in order to protect the euro zone against deflation. Inflation in the euro zone is currently running at 0.7%, way below the ECB's target of 2%. In general, data from the Eurozone was encouraging, with industrial production increasing to 2.1% and French economic growth forecasts expecting growth to be at 0.2% in the first quarter of 2014. The euro finished the week very strong, up to a 2 ½ year high against the US dollar and a 2 ½ month high against the pound. Mixed domestic data did little to support the pound. Severe

weather conditions were largely attributable for a drop in UK industrial production in January, whilst manufacturing improved slightly during the same month. The other talking point for the UK last week saw the Bank of England's Charlie Bean demonstrating his concerns over the effect a further rise in the value of sterling would have on exports. Any further appreciation of sterling, which has risen to nearly 10% in trade-weighted terms since March, 'would not be particularly helpful in terms of facilitating a rebalancing towards net

exports'. Bean says exports have been “somewhat disappointing” despite the 25% plus fall in sterling’s value in the first year and a half of the financial crisis. The comments clearly made traders and investors nervous about the value of the pound with the currency dropping an average of 0.8% across the board. Sterling fell to three month lows versus the New Zealand dollar, as the Reserve Bank of New Zealand increased interest rates by 0.25% to 2.75%. The Thai baht was relatively unscathed following the Bank of Thailand's move to cut interest rates by 0.25%. The pound dropped to intra-week lows of against the Australian dollar as the number of Australians in full-time employment enjoyed its biggest monthly gain since August 1991. The Canadian dollar partially pared recent losses against sterling following a rise in new house prices. Better than expected South African manufacturing data helped the South African rand reverse weekly losses versus the pound.

Weekly Currencies

As of Tuesday 18th March 2014 @ 3pm

GBP - INR = 101.13 USD - INR = 60.99 EUR - INR = 84.81 GBP - USD = 1.66 GBP - EUR = 1.19

EUR - USD = 1.39 GBP - AED = 6.09

GBP - CAD = 1.83

GBP - NZD = 1.92

GBP - AUD = 1.82

GBP - ZAR = 17.76

GBP - HUF = 370.38

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.




Claims and counter claims over statins side-effects

London: Researchers at Imperial College who conducted a study on cholesterol lowering drugs statins say that it virtually has no side-effects. However, Dr Aseem Malhotra, a cardiology specialist registrar at Croydon University Hospital, said many people report side effects in clinical trials and claims it would be wrong to dismiss their symptoms. He said: “I think many of the benefits of statins have been hyped up and the side effects ignored.”

Disabled being deprived liberty in care homes

London: A House of Lords report finds that thousands of elderly and disabled people are being locked up or forcibly medicated in care homes. The law designed to protect them are routinely ignored by the staff, the report warned.

Warning against leaving infants in buggies

London: Infants need face-to-face interaction for the development of brains in the first three years and parents leaving infants in buggies or car seats are unknowingly harming them, a leading psychologist has warned. Sally Goddard Blythe, director of the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology in Chester, said children needed time to move and interact as an important part of growing up.

Diana 'leaked royal contacts’

London: Clive Goodman, the former royal editor of a defunct tabloid, claimed in the court that the Princess Diana had leaked a confidential royal contacts book to a News of the World reporter to revenge her estranged husband Prince Charles. Goodman claimed the late Princess sent him the internal telephone directory because she wanted “an ally” in the press who could help draw attention to “the forces that were ranged against her”.

Delay costing stroke survivors

London: A study found that delay in receiving clot-busting drug is proving very costly for the stroke-survivors. The study suggested that for every 15 minute delay the survivors lose a month of healthy life. A research by the American Heart Association found that reducing delays by just a few minutes could lead to big gains.

Herbalife facing US probe

London: The US Federal Trade Commission has begun an investigation into Herbalife, the multi-level marketing company that hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has called a pyramid scheme. Herbalife sells nutritional shakes and supplements in more than 80 countries worldwide. The probe comes after a year in which consumer groups and members of Congress, called for the FTC probe.

Fraud accused GP’s suicide note

London: A popular village GP had committed suicide two weeks after being arrested for fraud. The GP drowned in the bath after taking sedatives wrote a suicide note to the coroner claiming her “conscience was clear.” June Shazeela Allim was found dead by her husband, Henry White, on October 2 last year. The 53-yearold GP had taken a high dose of the sedative temazepam before drowning herself in the bath of the couple’s £975,000 home in the village of Norton Lindsey, Warwickshire.

Harry, girlfriend Cressida related

London: According to genealogy archives Prince Harry and his girlfriend Cressida Bonas are cousins. The discovery comes after more than 11 million documents, known as the Tithe Records, charting proprietorship and residence of land in England and Wales between 1836 and 1930 were uploaded on to website in partnership with the National Archives. After sifting through the records, genealogy experts revealed that Bonas, 25, has an ancestral link to Harry, 29, that could be traced back to Richard William Penn Curzon-Howe, Princess Diana's great-great-grandfather.

Patients being shunted in the night

London: Thousands of patients are being passed around hospitals “like parcels” in the middle of the night to relieve pressure on NHS beds, reports said. Doctors and patients’ leaders attacked the “dehumanising” practice of repeatedly moving vulnerable people when they should be asleep, which leads to longer hospital stays and puts health at risk.

No motive found to explain disappearance of Malaysian jet - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

Kuala Lumpur: Intensive background checks of everyone aboard a missing Malaysian jetliner have so far failed to find anyone with a known political or criminal motive to crash or hijack the plane, Western security sources and Chinese authorities said. Malaysia said it had conferred with the US and Chinese ministers on the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, an unprecedented 26-nation operation that now spans Asia from the Caspian Sea to the southern Indian Ocean. Investigators are convinced that someone with deep knowledge of the

Boeing 777-200ER and commercial navigation diverted the jet, carrying 12 crew and 227 mainly Chinese passengers, perhaps thousands of miles off course. China's ambassador to Malaysia said the country had carried out a detailed probe into its nationals aboard the flight, which

vanished on March 8, and could rule out their involvement. "The probe into the incident's cause is not suitable to be conducted in a high-profile way," Ambassador Huang Huikang told Chinese reporters, state television said on one of its official microblogs on Tuesday.

London: Prime Minister has promised to hold a referendum on whether Britain should stay in the EU or leave if the people bring the Conservative Party back to power. “If I am Prime Minister after the election, I will negotiate a new settlement for Britain in Europe, and then ask the British people: do you wish to stay in the EU on this basis, or leave? I will hold that referendum before the end of 2017, and respect the decision,” Cameron said. “A year ago, in a speech at Bloomberg, I set out my plan to reform the European Union and change Britain’s relationship with it. Britain is not alone in our view that change is needed. No one has argued harder than Angela Merkel that the European Union needs to reform if it is to compete in the modern world. My

Dutch counterpart has coined the phrase “Europe if necessary, national when possible. We share a view that the status quo is not working, and we intend to change it. “I completely understand and share people’s concerns about the European Union. Our businesses value the single market. But they find the degree of European interference in our everyday life excessive. People are worried that Britain is being sucked into a United States of Europe; that may

be what some others want, but it is not for us. They see decisions being taken far away, rather than by their elected representatives in Parliament. And they worry that European rules have allowed people to claim benefits without ever working here. As a result, democratic consent for Britain’s membership has worn wafer thin. And although it would not be a very smart negotiating tactic to lay all Britain’s cards on the table at the outset, I know people want more detail about the specific changes we will seek. So I can confirm today that tackling these concerns will be at the heart of our approach. Let me set out some of the key ones. Powers flowing away from Brussels, not always to it. National parliaments able to work together to block unwanted European legislation.

London: According to a list complied by Oxfam, London-based Hinduja brothers and India-born Reuben Brothers have been named in a list of the five wealthiest families who now control more riches than the poorest 20% of Britain's population. The list showed that the families were worth a combined £28.2 billion, more than than £28.1 billion in assets held by the 12.6 million people considered the poorest in the UK. The charity said the findings were clear evidence that the government should impose a "wealth tax" as well as be more proactive with tax avoidance. The Hindujas comprise of the London-based Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja as well as Indiabased Ashok and Prakash Hinduja, who oversees the

Hinduja Bank in taxfriendly Geneva. Together the brothers placed third on the list are worth a staggering £6 billion, derived from the sprawling Hinduja Group conglomerate which controls everything from truck-maker Ashok Leyland to the IndusInd Bank. That's apart from the £500 million family home on Carlton Terrace in the heart of Central London. Another set of London-based brothers

with roots in India - Simon and David Reuben were born in Mumbai to Jewish parents of Iranian descent - are in second place with nearly £7 billion in assets, including one of the world's largest data-centre operators and a slew of office properties in London. The list is led by the Grosvenor Family who control a combined fortune of £7.9 billion, including nearly 200 acres of prime real estate in Central London.

Cameron promises to hold referendum over EU

Reuben Bros, Hindujas among wealthiest UK families

US and European security sources said efforts by various governments to investigate the backgrounds of everyone on the flight had not, as of Monday, turned up links to militant groups or anything else that could explain the jet's disappearance. A European diplomat in Kuala Lumpur also said trawls through the passenger manifest had come up blank. Focus on pilots: One source familiar with US inquiries said the pilots were being studied because of the technical knowledge needed to disable the aircraft's communications systems.

Devyani re-indicted in US visa fraud case

Toronto: The legal reprieve Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade got from the United States last week proved short-lived. A federal grand jury in New York on Friday returned a fresh indictment against her on two counts visa fraud and making false statements in connection with the visa application of her former domestic help, Sangeeta Richard. Judge Shira Scheindlin had granted Khobragade’s motion to dismiss the earlier indictment based on her argument that she had full diplomatic immunity when she was first charged on January 9. But the ruling did not challenge the underlying criminal charges and left the door open for a fresh indictment. On Friday, Preet Bharara, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, confirmed the fresh indictment was identical to the previous one. It will stay in force - which means it can be used to prosecute Khobragade if she returns to the US without full diplomatic immunity. A US official familiar with the case noted that Bharara had made it clear even with the earlier indictment that his office would seek to prosecute the case if Khobragade ever travelled to the US without immunity. Additionally, Khobragade’s lawyer in New York, Daniel Arshack, had said his client could not travel to the US even in the absence of a new indictment unless the State Department, which had asked her to leave the country amid a raging diplomatic row between India and the US over the case, lifted its ban on her presence in the US. A State Department spokesperson had expressed “surprise” over dismissal of the first indictment against Khobragade. - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014


Russia suspended from G8

Paris/Moscow: France's foreign minister on Tuesday said that leaders of the Group of Eight world powers have suspended Russia's participation in the club amid tensions over Ukraine and Russia's incursion into Crimea. The other seven members of the group had already suspended preparations for a G8 summit that Russia is scheduled to host in June in Sochi. France's foreign minister Laurent Fabius went further on Tuesday, saying on Europe-1 radio that "concerning the G8 ... we decided to suspend Russia's participation, and it is envisaged that all the other countries, the seven leading countries, will unite without Russia.

16 killed in rival gang clashes in Karachi

Karachi: At least 16 people, including five women and two children, were killed and over 30 others injured in clashes between rival gangs in Pakistan's biggest city of Karachi. Shiraz Zikri, the brother of Ghaffar Zikri who is a key figure in the gang war, was killed during a joint operation conducted by police and Rangers' personnel in the troubled Lyari area of Karachi. The situation became tense after the killing and rival gangs engaged in armed clashes in the Jhat Par market in Lyari using automatic weapons and hand grenades. At least 16 people, including five women and two children, were killed in three hand grenade attacks, officials said.

Hamid Karzai says war ‘imposed’ on Afghanistan

Kabul: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said that the last 12 years of war were "imposed" on Afghans, a reference to the US-led invasion that ousted the Taliban. In a last address to Parliament on Saturday, Karzai also said his armed forces, now responsible for 93 per cent of the country, were ready to take over entirely after the final withdrawal of US and Nato troops later this year. Karzai was named as head of state by an international agreement, and subsequently by a council of Afghan notables, in the aftermath of the invasion. His final term in office expires with presidential elections next month.

Indian man admits train assaults on women in Australia

Melbourne: A 41-year-old Indian man in Australia pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting women on trains after offering to read their palms. Ajay Chopra pleaded guilty to assaulting three women and attempting to assault two others on V/Line trains as they travelled between Bendigo and Melbourne. Chopra, now prohibited from boarding trains between the two stations, had approached five women in the age group of 20 to 30 years between February and October 2011.

Indian names on ban list in S Arabia

London: Indian parents in Saudi Arabia would no longer be able to name their children Ram, Maya, Amir, Rama or Mallika. These popular Indian names are among a list of 50, which the Kingdom has banned for hurting “cultural or religious sentiments.” Indians constitute around 7% of Saudi Arabia’s population. The list of banned names also include popular British names like Linda, Lauren, Sandy and Alice. Saudi Arabi justified the move saying they “offend perceived religious sensibilities, are affiliated to royalty and are of non-Arabic or non-Islamic origin.’’

Knife fight in China market leaves 6 dead

Beijing: Five people were hacked to death, and one person was fatally shot by police following a dispute at a market on Friday in southern China, local authorities said. The killings in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, come two weeks after a knife attack in another southern city involving members of the ethnic Uighur minority from the far west region of Xinjiang, raising concerns the latest violence was ethnically motivated. But reports from Changsha indicate it stemmed from a dispute that erupted between two food sellers.

Suicide bomber kills 15 in northern Afghan market

Kabul: A suicide bomber killed 15 people and wounded at least 28 in an attack on a busy marketplace in Afghanistan's northern province of Faryab on Tuesday, the provincial governor said. "It was a bazaar day and everybody was busy buying or selling when the bomber detonated his explosives," Faryab governor Mohammadullah Batash said.


More austerity steps likely in Osborne’s budget

London: Despite Britain’s economic recovery picking up speed, there won’t be any respite from the austerity measures when Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne presents his budget on Wednesday. He has hinted at more austerity in the country's annual budget that could also deliver sweeteners before a 2015 general election. "We must not waver from our plan to reduce the budget deficit and deal with Britain's debts," Osborne wrote. "The recovery is under way, but the single biggest risk would be to abandon the long-term economic plan that is working," added Osborne. The coalition has embarked upon a vast austerity drive since coming to power in 2010, two years after the start of the global financial crisis, in a bid to bring down a record deficit inherited from the

London: Prime Minister David Cameron defended his employment of a foreign nanny after being asked whether his decision showed why he was struggling to meet his target on cutting migration. Cameron gave a passionate defence of the work of Gita Lima, who looks after his children. She is originally from Nepal but became a British citizen after passing the necessary tests. Members of the Cabinet have been answering questions about the employment of domestic staff after James Brokenshire, a newly promoted Home Office minister, claimed that immigration was benefiting the middle class at the


previous Labour government. Wednesday's budget is seen as firing the starting gun on a fierce election campaign that will pit the Conservatives against the Liberal Democrats and main opposition party Labour. Osborne on Sunday announced that the budget would include plans to extend until 2020 a scheme that helps people to join and move up the property ladder by offering government-backed loans for house purchases. Wednesday's budget is also the last before Scotland votes in a referendum on whether to

become independent from the rest of Britain - a poll that has massive financial implications. Millions of parents to get help with childcare costs A major new childcare package to help millions of parents was unveiled by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister on Tuesday 18th March). The measures will help parents to go out to work if they want to and provide more security for their families, while directing extra support to those children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The package includes: - Tax-Free Childcare for almost 2 million families - More help for disadvantaged 3 & 4 year olds - 85% of childcare costs to be met under Universal Credit Prime Minister, David Cameron said:“Tax free

childcare is an important part of our long-term economic plan. It will help millions of hard-pressed families with their childcare costs and provide financial security for the future.” Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said: “All children deserve the best start in life. As, together, we build a stronger economy for Britain, I'm committed to making sure that we create a fairer society too. “Today’s package of support will provide a childcare boost for millions of hardworking families, and a £50 million cash injection for early education providers to support those children who need extra help in their early years. We want to ensure that everyone can get on and succeed.” For further information visit:

expense of the working class. Speaking at a press conference with Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, Cameron was asked why he had employed a foreign nanny if he wanted to cut net migration. He said: “I have an excellent woman, Gita Lima, who looks after my children, who is a British citizen. She came originally from Nepal. She has carried out exams and become a British citizen and she does a fantastic job. She certainly fits the description of someone who works hard and wants to get on. I can confirm, as well, that I did not give her any assistance in these exams she had to take to become a British

citizen.” Last week it emerged that Samantha Cameron had helped Lima to secure British citizenship. The Prime Minister’s wife allowed her name to be entered on Lima’s application form four years ago. Cameron said that he did have conversations with Lima about the exam. “She did once ask me one of the questions in the exam - ‘What is the role of the British Cabinet?’ I will not share the answer I gave.” He has employed her for several years since recruiting her from Kalayaan, a charity that helps immigrants to escape abusive bosses. Lima took a temporary leave of absence in 2012,

when an Australian nanny filled in. Figures published last month showed a rise of more than 30 per cent over the past year in net migration to Britain, to 212,000. This has all but dashed the Conservatives’ hopes of meeting their target of bringing the figure below 100,000 before the general election. Mr Cameron made the personal pledge to bring down annual net migration to the tens of thousands by 2015 shortly before the last general election campaign, but it does not represent official government policy because the Liberal Democrats think that the target is misguided and unachievable.

rhea, meningitis, neonatal sepsis and pre-mature deliveries," said district hospital medical superintendent Dr Jalil. He said his 76-bed hospital is treating around 300 famished people. The calamity has forced thousands to migrate to other parts of Sindh. It has further killed livestock and forced famine-stricken people to sell the surviving ones at throwaway prices to buy food. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif rushed to Tharparkar last week along

with Bilawal Bhutto Zardari whose Pakistan People's Party (PPP) rules the province and has drawn flak for mishandling the situation. He announced Rs 1 billion package for the region and directed federal government officials to monitor the situation. Drought is a regular phenomenon in the desert area and occurs every two to three years. But this time it has been very severe. Officials said the government has to warn people about drought-like situation and provide wheat and fodder on subsidized rates if the region does not receive three spells of monsoon rains before August 16. But the situation worsened since the Sindh government did not take any timely action.

Journalist Shakir Solangi described the situation as an administrative disaster. "The negligence of concerned authorities caused the grim situation and multiplied the woes of downtrodden masses of the deprived area," he said. Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, who has come under fire, has sacked a provincial minister and top officials for negligence after the Supreme Court took suo moto notice of the situation. Residents blame the provincial government for the tragedy. "While children were dying in large numbers in Thar, the provincial government, under the leadership of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, was celebrating the Sindh cultural festival last month,'' analyst Naz Sahito said.

Cameron defends foreign nanny

Famine stalks Sindh area in Pak, 160 dead

Islamabad: The death toll from famine in Pakistan's Hindu-dominated Tharparkar district has mounted to 160. More deaths are feared as two to three children are reported dead daily due to malnutrition and related diseases. The region in Sindh, which forms part of the bigger Thar Desert spread across a vast area in Pakistan and India, has been reeling under drought since December. But the government failed to take notice of the situation until the media highlighted its gravity. The provincial government maintains around 70 people have died, but reliable independent sources contest the figure and put it at 160. "The deaths are mostly caused by pneumonia, diar-




AAP to field 20-25 candidates

Chennai: Aam Aadmi Party feels it's on a strong wicket in Tamil Nadu and plans to field candidates in 20-25 constituencies. AAP's state unit, which claims to have enrolled around 300,000 members, has been plagued by factionalism and saw a change of guard in which a new campaign committee was set up. The party's campaign committee convener, David Barun Kumar, said the party proposed to contest in 20 to 25 constituencies and has received applications for tickets from more than 250 members.

5 former Karnataka CMs in LS poll fray

Bangalore: At least five former Karnataka chief ministers will be slugging it out in the state in the Lok Sabha elections. M Veerappa Moily, H D Deve Gowda, N Dharam Singh, B S Yeddyurappa and D V Sadananda Gowda have been named as candidates by their respective parties. Parties claim that getting former CMs to the Lok Sabha will facilitate using their administrative experience at the Centre. But the Lok Sabha polls have always been an exercise to rehabilitate the former CMs who are certain not to make it again to the top executive post of the state.

Chennai girl wins Spell Bee 2014

Mumbai: It was ‘chiaroscuro’ that did it. The word, which refers to the contrast between light and dark, was what 13-year-old Anagha Sethuraman spelt right to bag the spot of national champion at the Classmate Spell Bee 2014. The teen from Chennai’s Maharishi Vidya Mandir had beaten 16 other finalists from across the country, in the sixth edition of India’s largest school-level spelling championship – an initiative by stationery brand Classmate and Radio Mirchi and powered by The Times of India.

Left goes it alone in Tamil Nadu

Chennai: A week after AIADMK called of its alliance with the Left, CPI and CPM leaders said that they would field nominees for 17 seats and only seat in Puducherry. Each party will contest nine seats each. In the rest of the 22 seats, the two parties have decided not to support candidates belonging to AIADMK, Congress, the DMK-led DPA or the BJP-led coalition. But CPI state secretary D Pandian said if any other candidate or party seeks the support of the Left, the parties would consider it.


Akal Takht Jathedar’s appeal

Amritsar: Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh issued an appeal to candidates of all the political parties to abstain from distributing drugs and liquor during elections. He said that as per the Sikh traditions intoxication of any kind has been banned according to the religious code of conduct, and added that there has been a trend in the elections that drugs are doled out, which should not happen. “The leaders of the political parties have social responsibility that they should take the people out from the drugs culture and vow not to use the intoxicants during the elections campaign," said Akal Takht Jathedar.

Mayor, 15 Congress councillors join BJP

Gurgaon: Loyalty is a fine quality, but politicians seem to think otherwise. Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, when new alliances are being formed and friends are turning foes, Gurgaon is witnessing its fair share of changing loyalties. The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG), which was being run by Congress, turned saffron as 16 councillors, led by mayor Vimal Yadav, joined BJP. Ever since local MP Rao Inderjit Singh switched to the saffron political outfit, the city mayor and his team began finding faults in Congressrun administration. "I will go wherever Inderjit goes," Vimal Yadav had earlier said.

UK delegation visits Khalsa College

Amritsar: A top level delegation under the aegis of Sikh Council, United Kingdom, visited historic Khalsa College Amritsar and asked the students to be wary of the agents who were pushing the youth to the UK illegally. They said the hoards of the youth, including the girls, were reaching the UK shores where they were living the miserable life for want of proper livelihood and getting exploited on foreign land. The council also showed a documentary film depicting the exploitation and poor conditions in which the youth were living in England.

Karunanidhi estranged son Alagiri may float own party - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

New Delhi: DMK chief M Karunanidhi estranged son M K Alagiri met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well as superstar Rajnikanth amidst speculations that he may float his own outfit. The former Union Minister, elected from Madurai Lok Sabha constituency, described as a "courtesy call" his meeting with Singh who regretted that DMK left the UPA. "Please wait for two months. I would reveal my stand after consulting my supporters," Alagiri, who is the elder son

kind of role," the sulking leader stated. Alagiri said he thanked the Prime Minister under whom he served as a cabinet minister for four years between 2009 and 2013. The meeting comes amidst reports that Alagiri, dejected over his expulsion from the DMK, was considering floating a new political party. He is also believed to be dismayed over his supporters not finding a place in the Lok Sabha candidate list of DMK, which was declared last week. Meets Rajnikanth:

Later Alagiri called on Tamil film icon Rajnikanth in Chennai. Alagiri was accompanied by his son Durai Alagiri and MP K P Ramalingam and closeted for more than 20 minutes. "He (Rajnikanth) is my well-wisher. I spoke to him about my personal issues," Alagiri told reporters later. When media prodded him further, he quipped: "I will not speak politics with him (Rajnikanth). I came for my peace of mind." The superstar has been wooed by political parties ever since he hogged national limelight in 1996.

objects and signs on mini buses resembling "two leaves" and also covering of the photographs of Jayalalithaa on "Amma" water bottles and cans. Jayalalithaa wanted to know if DMK leader Stalin would submit petitions urging the authorities to direct use of gloves by people to mask the Congress' hand symbol. "Will he give a petition seeking chopping of the hands of everyone?" Listing out other symbols like mango and bicycle, she asked if the DMK would demand ban on mangoes sale and end commute by bicycles.

Chennai: The BJP has broadly finalized seat adjustments in Tamil Nadu with Vaiko-led MDMK and PMK while an agreement with the DMDK of actor Vijayakanth continued to be elusive. BJP national general secretary in-charge of Tamil Nadu Murlidhar Rao, who led the final round of talks on seat adjustments with allies, expressed reservations over Vijayakanth going ahead with announcing the first list of his party candidates during his poll campaign launch at Gummodipoondi in Chennai outskirts. Explaining that the seat talks with the DMDK could not be concluded as its leaders were busy with their campaign launch, Rao, however, maintained the talks were practically done and a report would be submitted to the BJP national president Rajnath Singh. "Creating an alliance with different political parties, in the same region, will not be a smooth affair. There are bound to be over-

lapping of requests for seats. There are bound to be difficulties while finalizing seats. We thought we could have concluded talks early, but it has been delayed," Rao told reporters. While the BJP leader declined to divulge details of seat allotments saying they had to be vetted by the party's national leadership, it is understood that the DMDK has got the lion's share of 14 seats, eight seats each for the PMK and the BJP, 7 seats for MDMK and one each for the IJK and the KMDK. The BJP, which has been trying to finalize seat sharing talks with its Tamil Nadu alliance partners, expressed unhappiness over DMDK's unilateral decision to announce five candidates with not even a single reference to the prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi or BJP during Vijayakanth's election campaign, which started on Friday from Gummudipoondi.

that followers were now waiting for him to end his meditation. Until then, the ashram in Nurmahal town would stay open with followers performing their own mediations and spiritual sessions. "Maharaji is still sending messages through followers in their meditative stage to protect his body till he returns," he said earlier this week. The decision to place him in the freezer was challenged in court by a man claiming to be his former driver, who alleged several followers were not releasing the body as they were seeking a share of the guru's properties, local media reports said.

Chandigarh: Two Bollywood actresses and a former railway minister are vying with each other to capture the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat. While the BJP has fielded Kirron Kher, Aam Aadmi Party has fielded Gul Panag while the Congress has fielded former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal as nominees. Meanwhile, some disgruntled BJP workers greeted Kirron Kher with black flags when she arrived here. At a couple of places, the disgruntled workers also raised slogans against her. The party has named Kher as the candidate from Chandigarh, ignoring three frontrunners including former MP Satya Pal Jain, Chandigarh BJP president Sanjay Tandon and former Union minister Harmohan Dhawan. When Kher's candida-

ture was announced by the party high command, there was a revolt in the Chandigarh unit of the BJP, leading to a few resignations by some office bearers of the city unit. From the Chandigarh seat, where polling will be held on April 10, former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal is seeking re-election as Congress nominee. Bansal had earlier downplayed the presence of two prominent women in the fray, saying paratroopers cannot do some overnight magic. Gul Panag has travelled a long way since hitting the spotlight in 1999, when she won the Miss India beauty pageant. A stint in the world of fashion and cinema followed soon after. Her Bollywood sojourn saw her acting in films like Dor, which were critically acclaimed, but her career stalled.

M K Alagiri

Karunanidhi, told reporters after meeting the Prime Minister. Refusing to commit whether he would launch his own party, Alagiri, however, stressed that he would play a role in the upcoming elections. "I would surely play a role. But, I cannot indicate the

Jayalalithaa mocks DMK on symbol issue

Chidambaram (Tamil Nadu): Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa rebuked arch rival DMK's attempts to target "two leaves" and claimed her party's symbol had been instilling fear among the Karunanidhi outfit. In her remark laced with sarcasm at an election rally here, the AIADMK supremo came down heavily on DMK petitioning Election Commission and the state high court seeking to "mask" any sign or object that resembles "two leaves" in the run up to the April 24 Lok Sabha polls. "Any thing viewed by jaundiced eyes looked yellowish and for DMK, which is struck by fear, whatever they see, it resembles two leaves," she quipped evoking thundering applause by the crowd. Responding to a notice by the high court on DMK's petition, Election Commission sought two days time to respond to the plea of covering all the

J Jayalalithaa

BJP close to finalizing seat talks with TN allies

Dead Indian guru in freezer Kirron Kher to take on for 'deep meditation' Gul Panag in Chandigarh

Chandigarh: An Indian guru declared dead has been in a deep freezer in his ashram for nearly six weeks with followers confident he will return to life to lead them, his spokesman said. Devotees placed Ashutosh Maharaj, whom authorities declared clinically dead on January 29, in the freezer and have been watching over his body in the sprawling ashram in a small town in Punjab. Maharaj, reportedly in his 70s, headed the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan (Divine Light Awakening Mission) and claims to have millions of followers around the world. Mission spokesman Swami Vishalanand insisted their leader was not dead but was in fact in a state of samadhi, the highest level of meditation, and was therefore still conscious. Vishalanand said - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014



CBI court issues notices to former Gujarat Minister Shah

AV Correspondent

Capture the Glory of

Sri Lanka

The capital city of Sri Lanka, Colombo is a paradisal bliss that embraces you with refreshing green landscapesnext tostriking colonial temples, beaches, woodland and dramatic al fresco sculptures. A traditional welcomingwith flower garlanding,aromatic incensesand the rolitilaklifts your spiritsbefore you head for the fascinating trails of the city. No one can ignore the pungent smells of Kottu or Wade while browsing around the famous

PettahBazaar. From the sprawlingfortto prehistoric paintingsofthe National Museum, the beguiling Galle Face Green tothe calmMt Lavinia, Colombo oozes grandeur in its every stance. Pinnawela is known for the popular‘Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage’,home tothe largest number of elephants in the world.Over 100 people are employed here to feed, bathe and administer theendearinganimals Sri Lanka soboasts of. The ‘Golden Temple of Dambulla’ is a Buddhist cave monastery that houses a big collection of Buddhist mural paintings and statues. Its five cave sanctuariesare the bestpreserved cave temples complexes in Sri Lanka.

The architectural masterpiece ‘Sigiriya’, is a colossal rock rising to a whopping 200 meters that serves asa pedestal to a magnificent fort palace dating back to the 5th century. Soak up the charm ofthe quaint moats,walk ways, gardens and poolsof this majestic palace standing as remnants of its glorious past. A trip to the luxuriant ‘Spice Gardens’of Sri Lanka lets you capture the aromatic plantations ranging from aromatic herbs such as sandalwood, margosa, cocoa, citronella, almond andjasmine to classic spiceslike cloves, pepper, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and saffron. Capture thepicturesqueviewsin your camera while heading to the city nestled on the verdant hillsof the Kandy Plateau. Passing through the tropical plantations and enchanting artificial lake of the city, uncover the glorious ‘Temple of the Tooth Relic’. A trip to Sri Lanka could not be complete without experiencing the ‘Cultural Show of Kandy’. Groups of skilled traditionaldancers perform "Salupliya" dressed in dramatic make-up and costumesof demons to the tones of the professional ‘Drum Orchestra’. The showreaches its peak with performances like fire-eating and barefeet charcoalwalking. A choice of flight, transfers & sightseeing, 6 night’s accommodation with half board are available starting from just £ 995 pp. Book with Brightsun Travel by calling our dedicated tours line 0208 819 0531 or visit

Ahmedabad: At a time when elections are hovering around, a Special CBI court issued notices to Amit Shah, known as the close aide of BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case. In the show-cause notice to Shah, who is also the BJP in-charge for Uttar Pradesh, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court has asked that why he should not be made an accused in the encounter case. Notices have also been issued to the former Ahmedabad Police Commissioner KR Kaushik and the CBI. The notices are returnable on March 26. The notices came following an application filed by Gopinath Pillai, father of Javed Pillai, who was among the four victims, killed in an ‘orchestrated’ encounter. Pillai in his application demanded to include Shah, who was Minister of State for Home in Modi government and Kaushik then Ahmedabad police commissioner when the encounter took place, as accused in the case. On June 15, 2004, in an encounter Gujarat

Congress files complaint in EC against Shah

cops killed Mumbra college student Ishrat Jahan Raza and three others – Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar.

Nine years after the encounter, the CBI filed its first charge sheet on July 3, 2013. The second charge sheet in which seven top cops of Gujarat were charged with murder, conspiracy and destruction of evidence as well as illegal confinement including Additional Director General of Police PP Panday, DIG DG Vanzara, SP GL Singhal, NK Amin, Tarun Barot, J.G. Parmar and Anaju Chaudhary. In the supplementary or second chargesheet the CBI named special director (retired) IB Rajender Kumar, who headed the intelligence Bureau in Gujarat and three other official including P Mittal, MK Sinha and Rajiv Wankhed. The names of Amit Shah as well as KR Kaushik were not figured in both the chargesheet.

order and seeks to point out the “the double faced” role played by the SIT after the Supreme Court stopped monitoring and handed it over to the Crime Branch of the Ahmedabad police. The petition states that the Metropolitan Magistrate committed a fundamental error in law and on facts in failing to exercise his jurisdiction. ``By not dealing with the substantive arguments laid down by the petitioner in written and oral submissions, the Judge has simply accepted the contentions in the closure report with a non-

application of mind, ‘’ the petition said. It further stated that the metropolitan court had failed to consider several evidences that were put to establish prima facie the involvement of the Gujarat chief minister in s e r i o u s crimes of conspiracy and abeitment and which was sufficient to establish his involvement in the conspiracy and abeitment of crimes of murder, arson and rape,’’ said the petitioner. Jafri goes on to state in the petition the Metropolitan Magistrate ought to have accepted the observation of the Amicus Curie that the matter needed to be tested in the trial. In fact the Learned Magistrate completely ignored the contradictions in the statements of various accused regarding who was present and what was spoken at the meeting.

Gujarat Congress has filed complaint in Election Commission against state BJP MLA and Uttar Pradesh party incharge Amit Shah for allegedly holding a political meeting at Gujarat Bhavan in New Delhi on 18 March 2014 with former Congress man Jagdambika Pal. Gujarat Bhawan is state owned property, and according to the complaint it has been used for political agenda.

Ehsan Jafri’s widow approaches Gujarat High Court

AV Correspondent

Ahmedabad: Zakia Jafri, widow of slain Congress leader Ehsan Jafri approached Gujarat High Court and challenged the sub-0rdinate court’s order upholding report of the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) giving clean chit to Gujarat Chief Minister and others in 2002 Gujarat riots. The revision appeal was filed on March 15 and will come up for hearing on March 20. Former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was among those who killed in the massacre at Gulberg society in Ahmedabad. Zakia had filed protest petition on April 15, 2013 against SIT’s report dated February 8, 2012 which had given a clean cheat to Modi and 59 others on charges of criminal conspiracy during communal riots. However, the Metropolitan court had rejected the Protest petition of Zakia on December 26 last year. She The 540 page criminal revision application lays out substantive grounds for rejection of magistrate B.J.Ganatra’s




Islamic teacher spared jail

London: Suleman Maknojioa, 40, an Islamic teacher who sexually abused a young girl as he taught Koran, has been spared jail after the Preston Crown Court was told that he is on benefits and his wife speaks 'very little English.' He reportedly rubbed the 11-yearold’s leg repeatedly and even reached underneath the long folds of her prayer headscarf to squeeze her chest whilst giving her and her two brothers private tuition in Arabic. On the day he was arrested, father of six Maknojioa, a highly-respected Hafiz, was due to teach 30 children at a mosque near his home in Blackburn, Lancashire.He was later convicted of five counts of sexual activity with a child but on Monday he was handed a 40 week custodial sentence suspended for two years after the court heard that he was now on a benefits with a family reliant on him. Maknojioa will be under supervision for two years and made subject of Sexual Offences Prevention Order for 10 years. He will also be on an 'adult barring list' for seven years.

Two Indian students win Science Talent Search awards

Washington: Even as the Intel Corporation and Society for Science & the Public (SSP) honoured the winners of the Intel Science Talent Search, two Indian-American students also made it to the top 10 of the prestigious awards. Intel Science Talent Search, which is the nation's most esteemed pre-college science and math competition, saw the innovative research of the teen scientists ranging from new cancer treatments to an exploration of how technology affects the adolescent brain. Anand Srinivasan of Georgia bagged the eighth position while Shaun Datta from Maryland took the last 10th spot in the awards, bagging prize of USD 20,000 each.

Bringing back the traditional circus

London: Culture minister Ed Vaizey last week launched the National Centre for Circus Arts, promising to transform circus in Britain. But the trapeze artists that opened the show didn’t swing in a Big Top, but in a converted warehouse in Hoxton, London’s cutting-edge, art-galleried East End. This is new circus – sanitised, safe, publicly subsidised. It brands itself as the future of this two century-old art, yet looks enviously back to the fantastical spectacle and physical prowess of the past. But that past was not present at the launch. Not a single traditional tented-circus proprietor was invited. Yet tented circuses are the soul of Britain’s circus industry, with around 40 still touring the country. For a few nights, village greens, muddy fields and abandoned car parks on the edge of our small towns are transformed into magical, exotic worlds. Each week during the winter, more people queue up to see the custard-pie clowns, liberty horses and the Globe of Death at Zippos Circus than can fill the Royal Albert Hall.

Aga Khan settles divorce battle with German princess

London: Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of 12 million Ismaili Muslims, and a German princess has settled 10 year divorce case after arguments in London courts and the French judicial system. The case exposed the man who claims to be the direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed to accusations of an affair with an air hostess. The legal saga finally came to an end with a secret court decision in Paris, where the Aga Khan is believed to have paid out a record £50 million settlement. The 77-year-old British business magnate, whose wealth is derived partly from tithes given by his followers, married Princess Gabriele zu Leiningen in 1998. The couple had one son, Prince Aly, but by 2004 the marriage had broken down and the pair announced their separation. Princess Inaara accused the Aga Khan of adultery and paid a private detective to track his movements as he circled the globe. What followed was a 10-year legal cold war which began in Britain

Avalanche kills 11 in Kashmir

Srinagar: As many as 11 people, including two Army jawans, were killed while over 100 others were evacuated to safety as the unprecedented snowfall in March triggered avalanches and damaged over 150 structures including dozens of houses in Jammu and Kashmir. Two Army personnel, Naik Vijay Prasad and Dharmindra Singh of 82 field regiment, died after an avalanche hit their camp in Kargil sector of Ladakh region, said the police. Bodies of both the personnel have been recovered. - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

Delhi High Court upholds death penalty to convicts in Nirbhaya case

New Delhi: Delhi High Court upheld death penalty to four convicts for the gang rape and murder of Nirbhaya terming their “spine-chilling” and “in a sense unparalleled in the history of criminal jurisprudence”. A division bench of Justice Reva Khetrapal and Justice Pratibha Rani said punishment needs to act as a deterrent to society and upheld the death sentences in the December 16, 2012 case. It found the convict’s offence “extremely fiendish”. The bench put gang rape and murder case of a 23-year-old paramedic firmly in the ‘rarest of rare’ category, saying “exemplary punishment is, therefore, the need of the hour, for, if this is not the rarest of rare case, there is likely to

be none.” The punishment came after HC held the four men guilty of the offences of gang rape and murder. While rejecting the appeals by the convicts against the trial court's verdict, the high court pointed out that the offences were “completely revolting” and committed in a “demoniac, barbaric and nefarious manner”. The HC verdict confirms the death penalty for the four convicts – Mukesh, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma. A fifth convict, Ram Singh, allegedly ended his life as an under trial. HC had little doubt that the offence deserved capital punishment, given the extreme depravity of the crime. It said the barbarity with which the victim's internal organs were “pulled out with bare

hands, coupled with the twisting of iron rods through every orifice in her body, exhibits outlandish mental perversion not worthy of human condonation.” Brushing aside the plea for mercy made by the convicts, the court noted: “To expect society to be a sanguine spectator to this kind of depraved behavior of the outlandish variety and to continue to extend its protective arm to the convicts would be both unnatural and ludicrous.” It added that the act itself showed “exceptional licentiousness and perversion of a superlative degree”. The bench said that pain of an unparalleled order was inflicted also upon the victim's family members and her companion, who were “com-

pelled to watch her die many deaths before being certified dead”. It added that what made the crime worse was that “debauchery, avarice, profligacy and viciousness appear to be the only impelling forces behind the commission of the crime.” In its verdict, HC cited several aggravating factors that compelled it to maintain the death sentence awarded to the men. It noted that the crime was not committed to alleviate poverty “or the pangs of hunger and starvation”. It pointed out except for the young age of the convicts and dependence of their family on them, there is no other mitigating circumstance while there are many aggravating circumstances. Nirbhaya gang-rape: Delhi HC upholds death penalty for 4 convicts.

Continued from page 1 With India heads towards 16th general elections from April 2014 onwards, the second largest political outfit in India after the Congress – Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) announced Narendra Modi’s name as candidate from the holy town on the banks of sacred Ganges River, where Hindu devotees come to wash away their sins in the sacrosanct river. The ancient city also known as ‘Kashi’ and ‘Banaras’ is also considered as the heart of Hinduism. Modi’s nomination from the holiest of the seven cities (Sapta Puri) in Hinduism and Jainism is believed to help him brush up his Hindu nationalist credentials. With Modi contesting from one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and the oldest in India, BJP would focus campaign on key swing areas in Uttar Pradesh, the

most populous and largest State in India. Reacting on his candidature from Varanasi constituency, Modi tweeted that he was grateful to the Party for giving him opportunity to contest Lok Sabha elections from the holy city. The 63year-old Gujarat Chief Minister may also contest one of the seats in Gujarat within the guidelines of Election Commission of India (ECI). According to ECI guideline, one person can contest from two constituencies simultaneously. Kejriwal also plans to contest from Varanasi National convenor of hardly one-year-old political outfit Aam Adami Party (AAP), Arvind Kejriwal has given indication of contesting against Modi. Kejriwal, who started his political career from

anti-corruption movement, had successfully defeated then Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit last year by more than 20,000 votes in assembly elections. Encouraged with the success against Dixit, now Kejriwal is planning to contest against Modi “The people of Varanasi decide to give me this responsibility, I will accept it wholeheartedly,” said Kejriwal who is also termed as anarchist by his detractors. He said that he

would take final decision on his candidature against Modi on March 23. “We don't take Kejriwal seriously. There is a Modi wave in the entire country,” said Bharatiya Janata Party's media convenor Harish Khurana, while reacting on the AAP leader’s plan to contest against Modi. Khurana said that Kejriwal was proved to be an anarchist and his party’s 49-day rule in Delhi was a complete disaster.

Continued from page 1 place in April 2013, over 1,100 people died. New Wave Bottoms occupied the second floor of the eight storey building. Primark will pay $ 9 million to New Wave Bottoms employee and $ 1 million to workers in its competitors’ supply chain. Money will be paid to the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund chaired by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for distribution. This is in addition to the $2 million which Primark has already distributed to these workers, or their families. This brings the total that Primark is paying to the victims to around $12 million.

“Just after a week of the collapse, Primark committed to paying long-term compensation to the workers of Primark supplier, New Wave Bottoms. We are announcing that we are paying a total of $ 12 million as a result of the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh,” a Primark spokesman said adding that with the first anniversary of Rana Plaza fast approaching, Primark is determined to meet this responsibility to workers in supply chain. According to the spokesperson Primark has also tried to minimise the hardship caused by delay in long term compensation payments

reaching all the victims. "For that reason we have paid short-term financial assistance equivalent to nine months wages to all 3,600 Rana Plaza workers, most of whom were making clothes for our competitors," the spokesperson said. Several western firms, including UK retailer Primark and Tesco, Swedish retailing giant H&M and Inditex, owner of the Zara chain had factories inside the building in Bangladesh that collapsed. The building had been illegally constructed and developed massive cracks in the days before its collapse. Workers were forced to continue work despite safety fears.

“The tragic factory collapse in Bangladesh was a wake-up call about the terrible conditions that workers in the developing world endure to produce cheap clothes. British retailers and industry bodies like the Ethical Trading Initiative are already working with DFID to play their part in improving safety for workers. Now we are sending out three UK experts to share their wealth of experience in safe and effective building regulation to help prevent future tragedies and save lives,” said Secretary of State for I n t e r n a t i o n a l Development Justine Greening.

Modi to contest from Varanasi

More compensation to Rana Plaza victims - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014


We would like to apologise for publishing the wrong photo of Mr Edward Bland, Head of Investment at Duncan Lawrie Private Bank in AV (March 1st, Pg 27). Following is the correct photograph of Mr Bland.

SC declines Subrata’s appeal for release

New Delhi: Sahara group Chief Subrata Roy will have to stay in Tihar jail for some more time as the apex court declined his plea for release on a personal bond with an assurance that he will not leave the country. The Supreme Court (SC) bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice J.S. Khehar reiterated their earlier order as they asked senior counsel Ram Jethmalani if there was any proposal by the Sahara chief to deposit the balance of Rs. 19,000 crore to SEBI for resumption of investors’ money.

When Mr. Jethmalani told the court that Roy was prepared to pay an amount of Rs. 2,500 crore as part payment of the outstanding amount, the court refused to accept the offer. A similar offer made earlier by Sahara was rejected as unacceptable by the court.

Court frames charges against Saif in NRI assault case

Mumbai: Two years after actor Saif Ali Khan allegedly assaulted a S o u t h -A f r i c a based businessman and his father-inlaw at a Colaba hotel, a local court framed charges against Khan and his two friends. “The court today framed charges against Khan and his two friends Shakeel Ladak and Bilal Amrohi - under section 325 (assault) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code,” public prosecutor Wajeed Sheikh said. However, the trio pleaded not guilty after the metropolitan court read out the charges to them. Khan and his friends had been arrested following a complaint filed by NRI businessman Iqbal Mir Sharma after the two allegedly got into a fight at the Wasabi restaurant in Taj Hotel on February 22, 2012. The trio was later released on bail. Saif was accompanied by his wife Kareena Kapoor, her sister Karishma Kapoor,

MUMBAI: The 24-yearold Pushpa Ravat, an AAP volunteer from Delhi, was allegedly attacked by an unknown person with a blade at Veera Desai Road in Andheri (west). Ravat and her crew of around 10 AAP volunteers had come down to Mumbai from Delhi to perform street plays and campaign for AAP's Mumbai northwest candi-


Apex Court denies reviewing mercy order

New Delhi: The Supreme Court rejected the Centre’s petition seeking review of its January 21 judgment, which had commuted death sentence of 15 convicts to life term on the ground of inordinate delay in disposal of their mercy petitions by the President. The Centre had questioned the court’s logic in the judgment and said the President’s discretion in deciding mercy petitions could not be put to adjudication before the courts and had sought reversal of the verdict. A corollary of the Centre’s review petition was also to remove the basis of the February 18 judgment of the court commuting the death penalties of three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination lied on the January 21 judgment while rendering its verdict in the Rajiv case. But a bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Shiva

Kirti Singh rejected the Centre’s petition seeking review of the January 21 verdict after finding no merit in its request for an open court hearing. “Permission for hearing in open court is rejected. We have carefully gone through the review petitions and the connected papers. We find no merit in the review petitions and the same are dismissed,” the bench said after considering the Centre’s plea in chamber. Dismissal of this petition could affect the Centre’s plan to seek

Nandan Nilekeni resigns as UIDAI chief

Malaika Arora Khan, Amrita Arora and some male friends at the hotel when the brawl broke out. According to police, when Sharma protested the raucous chatter of the actor and his friends, Khan allegedly threatened them and subsequently punched him in the nose, fracturing it. The NRI businessman had also accused Khan and his friends of hitting his father-in-law Raman Patel. However, Saif Ali Khan had maintained that Sharma made provocative statements and rather used abusive language against the women accompanying him and this led to the ruckus. The police had filed a charge sheet against the trio on December 21, 2012.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accepted the resignation of UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekeni who has quit to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from Bangalore South constituency on Congress ticket. While accepting the resignation, Singh thanked Nilekeni for his "excellent leadership of the effort to provide a unique identity to all residents of the country", PMO said. The Prime Minister also wished him all success in his future endeavours. Nilekeni, Infosys co-founder and face of UPA government's flagship 'Aadhar' programme, resigned yesterday as Chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India, three days after joining Congress. After his exit as CEO of Bangalore headquartered Infosys in 2007, Nilekani had taken charge

as head of UIDAI, mandated to give a billion Indians an identity card, a mammoth exercise that he had been successfully overseeing. Nilekani formally took a political plunge, when he joined Congress, a day after the party named him as its candidate from Bangalore South, where he is taking on five-time BJP MP Ananth Kumar in a tough battle. Bangalore South has been a hostile terrain for Congress which had been tasting defeat since the late 1970s, barring in 1989 when former Chief Minister late R Gundu Rao had won.

date Mayank Gandhi. At 8am on Friday, when Ravat was heading to a temple near Azad Nagar metro in Andheri (west), she was suddenly attacked by a man who came speeding towards her on a bike. "She was talking on the phone and suddenly a young man wearing an orange bandana came on a bike in speed, slowed down and attacked her

with a blade. It was only after blood started oozing from her neck did she realize that she was attacked," said Ankit Pandey, one of the team members and AAP volunteer from Delhi. Ravat was rushed to the nearby BSES hospital for a dressing. "She is doing fine. We are going to be here for another 15 days. We had come here on Gandhi's

invitation," said Pandey. "It is certainly a premeditated attack and not random. These people have been performing on that street for quite sometime. It is shameful and appalling that some antisocial elements are resorting to this. We are lodging a complaint with the Amboli police," said Ruben Mascarenhas, AAP's campaign manager for Mumbai northwest.

AAP volunteer attacked in Mumbai


review of the February 18 verdict commuting death penalties of convicts in the Rajiv assassination case. However, the Centre had pitched the Rajiv assassination case as a standalone case, terming the human belt bomb triggered crime as a unique incident that inflicted tragedy on the nation. However, rejection of the Centre’s petition opened a window of hope for 1993 Delhi bomb blast condemned prisoner Devenderpal Singh Bhullar, whose wife Navneet Kaur has peti-

tioned the apex court to give her husband the benefit of the January 21 judgment. Given the eight-year delay in deciding Bhullar’s mercy plea and his deteriorating mental health, the SC had sought the views of the Centre through attorney general G E Vahanvati, who had earlier promised to get the matter placed before the highest authority. Vahanvati succeeded to place it before the President who in principle was in agreement with the top law officer. However, the ministry of home affairs obstructed the process raising technical arguments. This made the attorney general inform a bench headed by CJI Sathasivam on Monday that the Centre would prefer to argue on merits about the issues raised by Navneet Kaur, who has sought commutation of death penalty of her husband.

Ruias owned Essar Global Fund Limited, which controls 78 per cent of shares in the London-listed Essar Energy has gone hostile with its controversial offer to take the Indianfocused oil refining and power generation company private at 70p a share.

The company confirmed that it was making a formal offer to buy out the minority shareholders in the business at no premium to its previously rejected approach. The Takeover Panel had given time till Friday for the Ruias to decide on the issue.

Essar Energy bid turns hostile


I, Mr Ajay Gupta son of Dr Raj Kumar Gupta whose permanent address in India is Rajan Nursing Home, Rajbaha Road, Patiala, Punjab presently residing at Chalgrove, Peterborough Road, Harrow on the Hill, HA1 3DX, London hereby give notice of my intention to change my name to MR AJAY RAJAN GUPTA.

28 - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

Another achievement of ‘Goli Soda’


Shriya joins Ameer film


t a time when movies with big names find it hard to sustain in theaters for more than two weeks, “Goli Soda” a small budget film with predominantly new faces has managed to complete seven weeks and now the film celebrates its 50th day. The film that released on January 24 was directed by Cinematographer turned director Vijay Milton. National award winning director Pandiraj had written the dialogues. The film's plot was based on four orphaned adolescents’ struggle to retain their identity gained by hard work.

Kamal Haasan slams plagiarism allegations

ctress Shriya Saran may have missed the opportunity to make a comeback in Tamil industry with Bala's upcoming film. But now as per sources the “Sivaji” heroine will be pairing up with Ameer, who is one of the former assistants of Bala. It is reported that Ameer will start a film after the election. Ameer will be producing this film by launching a new banner and he will also be acting as the lead hero. Karthik, an erstwhile assistant of Charan who has worked as the co-director of “Amarkalam” will be directing this flick. Shriya Sarna has been zeroed in to pair up with Ameer in this flick.


Nandhita to act with Vijay Sethupathi again

andhita of “A t t a k a t h i ” and “Ethirneechal” fame is going to pair up with Vijay Sethupathi for the second time in the actor's next film “Idam Porul Eval” which is being directed by award winning filmmaker Seenu Ramasami. The film's shoot began with “Vazhakku En” fame actress Manisha Yadav but she was removed since the director felt that Manisha did not suit the needs of a 'rural girl' character. Seenu claims that he offered the role which will be the love interest of Vishnu Vishal who is another hero in the film. But Manisha reportedly refused the offer and backed out of the project. Now Nandhitha has signed for the role.


here is speculation that the first look of Kamal Haasan's “Uttama Villain” is inspired by an image taken by French photographer Eric Lafforgue, but the veteran actor has slammed the allegation. "Theyyam is a more than a 1,000year-old art. The make-up was done by a good artist, who is probably a third generation practitioner of this art. The lighting might have been similar," he said. "It is like saying two lovers one leaning on another's chest looking in the same direction is a copy of the Ek Duje Ke Liye poster," he added. Explaining the concept behind the first look, Kamal said, "My film has a Theyyam dance fusion with Tamil Nadu's Kooththu tradition."

New Release Farhan opts out of which continue behind closed curtains in SRK’s ‘Raees’ ‘Gang of Ghosts’ rural areas of India. It stars Monali arhan Akhtar has ang of Thakur, Satish Kaushik, Ram Kapoor, opted out of F “GGhosts” Shefali Shah, Nagesh Kukunoor, Gulfam chance to appear

is a paranormal comedy film starring Sharman Joshi, P a r a m b r a t a Chatterjee in lead roles. It is produced by Venus Records & Tapes Pvt Ltd and The Satish Kaushik Entertainment. Directed by Satish Kaushik, it is a remake of Bengali film “Bhooter Bhabishyat.”



akshmi is an upcoming social film directed by Nagesh Kukunoor. The film deals with the harsh realities of human trafficking and child prostitution,

Khan etc.

‘Ragini MMS 2’


a g i n i MMS 2” is a horrorthriller 3D film directed by Bhushan Patel and co-produced by Ekta Kapoor and Shobha Kapoor under Balaji Motion Pictures and ALT Entertainment. It stars Sunny Leone, Parvin Dabas, Sandhya Mridul, Karan Mehra etc. The story revolves around a young couple Ragini and Uday who went to an isolated house for a dirty weekend and the creepy and paranormal happenings that took place to them there.

opposite Shah Rukh Khan in the film “ R a e e s . ” Apparently, the actor walked out of the film due to date issues, since the shoot of ‘Raees’ would clash with Farhan’s dates that have been allocated to Bejoy Nambiar’s film. However, Farhan will still be involved in the film as a producer, since ‘Raees’ will be produced by Excel Entertainment. “Raees” will feature Shah Rukh playing a Gujarati character, and is slated to go on floor in mid-2014 and will hit screens on Eid 2015.

Nargis Fakhri in Hollywood film ollywood actress B Nargis Fakhri

will be playing the role of a secret agent in her debut Hollywood film to be directed by Paul Feig. “She (Nargis) will be seen as a sexy agent in a Fox production starring Jason Statham of ‘Transporter’ fame and Melissa McCarthy who was last seen ‘The Heat’,” sources said. The length of Nargis’s role in the film and when she will begin shooting is yet to be known. She made her debut in Bollywood with Ranbir Kapoor starrer ‘Rockstar.’ She was then seen in Shoojit Sircar’s critically acclaimed ‘Madras Café.’

29 - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

Bhaji on the Beach

Latest Charusmita

f the film ‘Bhaji on the Beach’ would have been Imade today, the issues

would still be pretty much the same, feels Shaheen Khan, who played the character of Simi in the film. Along with Gurinder Chadha, the acclaimed director of the film, she spoke about women in British Asian films at Brunei Gallery, SOAS. The event was held as a part of the ongoing London Asian Film Festival 2014 (presented by Tongues on Fire) which had a fundraising film screening of Bhaji on the Beach (1993), followed by a panel discussion on filming British Asian Women and their untold stories, in collaboration with the charity Oxfam and Asian Circle, a newly-formed UK-based women's network. Talking about her role in the film to Asian Voice, Shaheen said, “I was thrilled to play Simi. She is the bridge between the audience and the characters. Maybe 20 years ago, I would have related to Hashida’s character more in real life, but now I can understand the older women’s point of view. You grow into your mother. It’s scary but true.” The film highlighted topics like domestic violence, inter-racial relationships, teenage pregnancy, middleaged loveless marriages, Bombay modernity versus British Asians and more. During the panel discussion, the filmmakers felt that this sort of a film would probably not be made today, as it has


Anil Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah to come together

nil Kapoor is all set to shoot with the man with whom he started his A career 32 years ago in “Woh Saat Din” -

Naseeruddin Shah. Anil and Naseer will be seen together in “Welcome Back.” In the film Naseer plays a blind don, while Anil will once again be seen as mobster Majnubhai, his character from the prequel. Presently the duo is in Dubai. Before flying off for his schedule, Anil got nostalgic. "This will be my third film with

Sunny Leone refuses to go topless in shower scene

become a common perception that issue-based films don’t sell. Gurinder Chadha spoke about how important it is to “just pick up a camera and get it out there (sic). Making a career in film with Asian people in refused. After some discussion, it was it is very hard. The only decided to use skin-coloured pasties with answer is to find different matching silicone for a nude effect and ways of telling our stories”. these allude to Sunny shooting the scene On being asked the first without a bra. She was okay with this as word that comes to her opposed to actually shooting topless." mind about women in Only key crew members were present films, Shaheen wiseon the set, which was closed for everyone cracked, ‘Hardly’. else. Over 17 camera angles were used to On an upside, she capture the essence of erotica of the strongly encouraged upcoming filmmakscene. "This scene comes at a very critical ers to make more impactful films as cinejuncture in the movie... an imporma gives the issues a much wider auditant revelation is made, ence. “I’d work for no money for such which provides the agini MMS 2” has shower films”, she said, “It is important for these turning point in the scene featuring Sunny films to be seen far and wide”. Talking storyline. The scene Leone and Karan Mehra. And it about a memorable moment from the begins with Sunny apparently took director film, she remembers how there was a lot in the shower, and Bhushan Patel over six hours to of learning off screen- “Zohra Sehgal, after a while shoot. who was around 80 then, was sitting Karan enters the The scene required the calmly on the floor while the rest of us picture," says a actress to go topless, but she (the cast) was moaning and complaining source. about the cold weather. We asked for a bed for her but she refused and showed no restlessness or discomfort. Such an inspiration. I learnt that it’s a privilege to be working in films and one has to be hardworking, focused, yet humble. So how did the film impact Shaheen’s own life? “I learnt how to drive a mini bus”, she quipped. he may be coming from a family of glamorous girls who are doing well in B-Town. However, Meera Chopra has put some restrictions, as far as her Bollywood sojourn is concerned. For starters, she is clear about neither wearing a bikini nor performing any intimate scenes on screens. In fact, even in a dozen odd films that Meera has done down South, she hasn't gone overtly bold despite her good looks and inviting persona. There are boundaries Naseer. The first one she has drawn around herself. This meant that it was a was Woh Saat Din two year struggle for her to gain a foothold in (1982) followed by Bollywood. However, she was willing to be patient Karma (1986) and then instead of making any compromises. Rajkumar (1996). So we Her perseverance paid as she signed Vikram Bhatt's will be sharing screen space “1920-London” and Ratan Jain/Satish Kaushik's after18 years. If Naseer had“Gang of Ghosts.” In fact she was offered another n't said yes to working with me film which she refused because she had to at the beginning of my career, you step into a bikini and also go bold wouldn't be talking to me now. My for the camera. career as an actor would never have taken off," he says.

No bikini, intimate scene for Meera Chopra


Asia's largest slum Soha Ali beats Sonakshi turns Salman shakes a created for Big B Kareena at spelling singer for ‘Rio 2′ leg for ‘O Teri’ ollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha alman Khan has not only dubbed but also sung B d i d S for the Hindi version of Hollywood film everything esigner Wasiq Khan has created the largest slum in Asia, Dharavi, for Nitesh D Tiwari's “Bhoothnath Returns.” In the film,

Amitabh Bachchan plays the ghost and they had to shoot in Dharavi. "We knew that we would not get permission to shoot with Bachchan in such a crowded area due to security concerns. So, we recreated parts of the slum inside a studio," says Nitesh. But before that the team shot in Dharavi for three days with a Bachchan lookalike. "The rest of the scenes were shot on the sets with Bachchan in a manner that it all flowed seamlessly. You will not be able to tell the real from the artificial, given the attention to detail," says the man who specialises in imbuing a lived-in feel and texture to the sets he creates.

‘Rio’. She has sung a few lines for an interesting party sequence and according to reports she had a complete blast while dubbing for the film. Sonakshi said, ‘I enjoyed dubbing for ‘Rio 2′ because its such a fun film firstly, and secondly because I felt Imran and I were perfect for the

oha Ali Khan appears to be the most intelligent one in the Khan family. S When quizzed about who is the best

spelling bee in their family Soha quips back, "I am better than Kareena at spelling and I am sure she would agree! Her skills lies in other things (ouch!). When it comes to other things I am sure she would kick my a**! The only competitor in my family is my mother who can beat me at crosswords too sometimes. As far as Saif is concerned I don't know how good his spelling is because he doesn't write but reads a lot but I am sure I can beat him too!"

characters of Blu and Jewel! There’s a scene where Jewel is dancing and singing so they made me sing a few lines as well!

when it comes to brother-inlaw Atul Agnihotri’s upcoming comedy flick, ‘O Teri’. Salman who is the narrator in the film has also shot a dance number for the title track. The m a k e r s released a teaser of the song ‘O Teri’ which gives us a glimpse of Sallu’s famous moves as he shakes a leg along with lead actors Pulkit Samrat of ‘Fukrey’ and Bilal Amrohi. Also starring Sarah-Jane Dias and Mandira Bedi, ‘O Teri’ is said to have been primarily shot at Mindmill Corporate Towers in Noida, NCR.



London Marathon Challenge 2014

Nilesh is running for The Children's Trust!

Nilesh Solanki will be doing the London Marathon Challenge - 26 miles on 13th April 2014 raising money for The Children's Trust! anki For a number of years Nilesh Solanki has been wanting to do this. Watching people older, younger and less able to complete this, has inspired him to take it up. Probably a test of mental strength more than physical, but with your support and encouragement he hopes to complete and raise £2000 for The Children's Trust. Through Virgin Money Giving, you can sponsor him and donations will be quickly processed and passed to The Children's Trust. A super charity which helps children with brain injuries. http://www.thechildrenstrust.o Virgin Money Giving is a not for profit organisation and will claim gift aid on a charity's behalf where the donor is eligible for this. We really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations. Wish him Luck ! - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

Keep your assertive inclination under control as conflict and disagreement could be sparked off by your short-sightedness. Think carefully about the implications of your actions. Financially, expect things to run a relatively steady course - it is a time for consolidation rather than speculation.

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21

With Mercury and Venus riding high in your chart, you should enjoy a very popular phase in your life where everyone wants to invite you to parties. This will give you a chance to meet people of your own calibre and pursue any romantic liaisons that might present themselves.

Narendra & Sonja Patel are running for Great Ormond Street Hospital & NSPCC Narendra and Sonja Patel are both running the Virgin London Marathon n Sunday 13th April. This father and daughter duo are putting their bodies through the paces to support different children charities. Narendra who is an experienced marathon runner with 4 London marathons under his belt at the ripe old age of 76 will raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. He managed to secure his place via the main ballot system. After the London marathon he will also be completing a 100K for the same charity. That takes some dedication!

Coming Events

l Sunday 23rd March 2014 – Mother's Day Special at Sattavis Patidar Centre, Forty Avenue J/w The Avenue Wembley Park, Middx. HA9 9PE from 4.30pm till 11pm. Contact: 07958 066 417. l Sunday 23rd March 2014 - Great tribute to Shahid Bhagat Sigh, Rajguru and Sukhdev lunch organised by from Pantanjali Yogpith and i4unity from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm at The centre, Maypole Court, Merrick Rd, Southall, Middlesex UB2 4AU. Contact: 07550 772 888. l Sunday 23rd March 2014 - Fund raising Mehfil in aid of Bhadran Hospital from 5pm at Watersmeet Auditorium High Street, Rickmansworth, WD3 1EH. Contact: 07956 816 556 l Sunday 23 March 2014 - Asian Profiles Project Launch by CB Patel at 3.30 pm at t LMT Lounge, WASP Centre, Repton Avenue, Sudbury HA0 3DW. Contact: 07985 371 771 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:

However, Sonja who is a complete inexperienced runner did not manage to secure a place through the ballot system but through sheer determination managed to secure a place via the NSPCC. Both are amazing charities that require funding through sponsorship to help support children in need. Together they are aiming to raise 4K for both charities and would like your help in raising this money. Visit their Just Giving pages with the below links and sponsor them.

l One man has been charged and three others are being questioned on suspicion of terror offences linked to Syria's civil war. Jamshed Javeed was charged with the intention of assisting others to commit acts of terrorism and engaging in conduct in preparation for giving effect to his intention. The 29-year-old, of Cringle Road in Levenshulme Manchester, was due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on Thursday 13 March.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Your horizons have most certainly being expanding. Venus in the area of your chart ruling long-distance travel and philosophical thoughts will make your mind run wild. Personal relationships may be more intense, though there will be many romantic opportunities. Your financial affairs are also looking up.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22 Much enthusiasm goes into professional ambitions right now, but you need to be your own boss in many ways. Circumstances will make you more determined to place your lifestyle on a foundation of greater security. Far-reaching change begins to gather momentum. At home, be at your diplomatic best and try not to tread on anyone's toes. Passions will run from hot to cold. LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

Your horizons are most certainly expanding. Your philosophical thoughts will make your mind run wild. With Venus transiting your house of relationships, there will be many opportunities to meet the right people. Your financial affairs are looking up. Do not miss out on ways to better yourself in the coming weeks.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23 Your inborn drive to be always pushing ahead receives added impetus during this week. Your energy levels will be high and you will find much scope for taking fresh initiatives and getting fast results - something that always makes you feel good. Your communications are well lit up but be very diplomatic. You can expect everything to run smoothly and luck to attend your efforts. However, underneath this positive surface you may be plagued by a feeling of restlessness, an uneasy feeling that something is not quite right. Try to strike a balance between material and emotional affairs !

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

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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.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

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

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

Venus, the planet of love and beauty, is transiting your solar 1st house. You have plenty of romantic options. It is as if a lucky twist of events and something unexpected that will provide you with a key to your heart's desire. There is a definite expansive trend where money is concerned, this will turn out be a time of fortunate opportunities and lucky breaks.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 Your communications are all-abuzz with planetary energies firing you up. Give yourself plenty of physical outlets to drain off some of the excess mental stimulation. Increased energy and a renewed feeling of confidence is with you now, so take advantage. There's nothing wrong with achieving your personal goals, it's time to carve your own path in life.

Sachin Tendulkar named cricketer of the generation - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

Indian cricket’s greatest son Sachin Ramesh Tenulkar has been voted as the cricketer of the generation by eminent panelists from across the globe. He faced tough competition from the great South African all rounder Jacques Kallis and his great rival Shane Warne. Sachin indeed has been the greatest player this generation has seen. That notion has been born stamp by the Don himself when he said that Sachin’s batting resembled himself. This award was instituted to celebrate 20 years of the most popular cricket website - Cricinfo. Sachin has demolished, dominated and destroyed almost every

bowling attack he has faced the past two decades or so. No batsman has ever lasted so long and this is just a small token of respect for the great man. He has given fans moments that wouldn’t so easily fade off their heads. His competitors;

Warne and Kallis also had a lot of runs and wickets behind their back. But finally, it was Tendulkar so emerged victorious. The jury that decided on the award included Rahul Dravid, Michael Holding, Ian Chappell, Martin Crowe, Mark Taylor, Younis Khan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Barry Richards, John Wright and Jeff Dujon, among others. Silver coins released: A new silver coin bearing Sachin’s face embossed on them along with the number of Tests (200) he had played was launched by Valuemart Gold & Jewels, in association with

Diamond India. A total 15,921 coins were released, each minted in 200 gm silver corresponding to the number of runs that the batting legend had scored in his 24year Tests career between 1989 and 2013, were released in the presence of Tendulkar. Sachin also said that he has the habit of collecting coins in his childhood. ”As a kid I did collect coins and stamps. But there was a stage in life when I had better things to do, my passion changed a bit. Rather than collecting coins, collecting runs were a better option which would give meaning and direction to life,” he said.

Sammy blasted two fours and a six to give West Indies hope but was unable to get another six off the last ball from Jade Dernbach. "We didn't get over the line today but it was a great game. Credit to my guys for taking it to the final over," said Sammy. "We always back ourselves to get two or three boundaries in the last over. The way we fought back in the last 10 overs of their innings was great." The teams now head to Bangladesh for the Twenty20 World Cup. West Indies are the

defending champions after winning in 2012. England won the previous edition in 2010. West Indies take series: West Indies rallied from a middle-order wobble to romp to a series-clinching five-wicket victory over England in the second T w e n t y 2 0 International of the three-match series at Kensington Oval in Barbados. Jos Buttler's careerbest 67 saw the tourists' to a total of 152 for seven batting first with left-arm seamer Krishmar Santokie justifying his inclusion in place of injured spinner Sunil Narine by claiming four for 21 to earn the "Man of the Match" award. Cruising at 111 for two in the 15th over, the hosts lost three wickets for five runs before captain Darren Sammy belted an unbeaten 30 off just nine deliveries to take his team to 155 for five with seven balls to spare.

Often derided because of his mother’s work, the 16-year-old said he was too focused on training hard at his local Kolkata school to care what oth-

ers thought. “I am not ashamed of being a sex worker’s son. She is my main source of inspiration. (But) I want to take her out of the red light district as early as possible,” Rajib said. “Every day I am visiting a temple of Lord Shiva to pray for my son’s success,” his mother said. Rajib was one of 11 teenagers chosen in February to take part in the one-off training camp, following a nationwide talent hunt for trials held by club coaches in the seaside state of Goa in the cricket-mad country.

England end T20 series with thrilling win over West Indies

England survived a late onslaught from the tailend batsmen of West Indies to win a thrilling third and final Twenty20 by five runs in Barbados last week. The home team had a chance to make it a 3-0 victory in the series but captain Darren Sammy was unable to hit the six his side needed off the final ball at the Kensington Oval. "It was a fantastic game of cricket," said England captain Eoin Morgan. "There are a lot of positives for us looking ahead." The tourists batted first and compiled a solid 165 for six built around a sparkling 63 from opener Michael Lumb. Alex Hales chipped in with 38 as he and Lumb put on 98 for the first wicket before the middleorder collapsed. All-rounder Chris Jordan (27 not out), batting at eight, produced a superb late surge with four sixes in the last over. Jordan, who was named man of the match, also played the starring role in the field, taking

two catches and three wickets. "It was a good opportunity I got today," he said. "I've been practising hitting all week and that gave me confidence for my bowling." The West Indies made a terrible start to their reply when Dwayne Smith was bowled off the first delivery and Johnson Charles was dismissed in the next over. Lendl Simmons steadied the innings with 69 off 55 balls but was run out in the last over trying to scramble for a second run at the non-striker's end. Player of the series


India fall to Sri Lanka in World T20 warm-up


Pakistan and Sri Lanka have defeated New Zealand and India respectively in their warm-up matches ahead of the Super-10 round of the World T20 tournament on Monday in Bangladesh. Although New Zealand took the game at Dhaka's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, they however, could not help Pakistan winning by six wickets and managed to struggle to 145 for nine in their 20 overs. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka beat India by five runs in their T20 warm-up at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, stopping India on their way to a run chase of 154 on a dark looking pitch that did not aid stroke play. Captain Brendon McCullum was the best of the New Zealand's batsmen with his 59 not out being the mature, composed innings he is becoming known for, the report added. Meanwhile, reports mentioned that India's Mohammad Shami impressed with his spectacular catch of Kushal Perera by flinging himself and latching onto Perera's shot off the bowling of Varun Aaron to cut short a threatening innings.

MS Dhoni slaps Rs 100 mn suit on Zee

Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has moved the Madras high court seeking Rs 100 million as damages from the private television network Zee. On Tuesday, Dhoni also won an interim order from the court, restraining the Zee group from telecasting interviews or news pertaining to certain match-fixing allegations against him. Denying his involvement in any such unlawful activities, Dhoni said his hard-earned reputation was under stake and his name was being sullied by unverified reports. Admitting his Rs 100 million suit, a single judge of the Madras high court restrained Zee group channels from telecasting any interview or discussion on Dhoni and the alleged scandal.

Impoverished Kolkata kids set sights on Manchester United

Two poor Indian teenagers, one the son of a sex worker and the other a street vendor, are among young players chosen to take part in a Manchester United Football Club training camp. Rajib Boy, whose mother earns 200 rupees (£2) a day, said he was dreaming big after being selected to travel to Britain next month for the Manchester United Soccer School after a talent hunt. “Cristiano Ronaldo is my idol. I am focusing on scoring goals,” Rajib said

in Sonagachi, the redlight district of Kolkata, where he lives with his mother in a one-room home in a run-down building.

India’s telecom giant Bharti Airtel, a club sponsor, organised the trials. Arka Dey, 16, said he was looking forward to the chance of fulfilling his father’s wishes after he died from cancer three years ago. “My father was a fan of Brazilian star Pele. He was my first coach,” he said. “I still can’t believe that I have been selected,” said Arka, who helps his mother run a roadside snack-stall in Kolkata. “If I score a goal for one team, I am hired to play for another team and I earn a little money,” he said, imagining what

could happen. “One of my neighbours has promised me to buy me a nice kit and good pair of shoes before I leave,” he said. After she heard the news, his mother Suchanda said she walked five km to a temple to offer prayers. Although India is best known for its devotion to cricket, English football’s globally popular Premier League has started to make inroads in recent years. Liverpool have set up an “International Academy” in the western city of Pune.


32 - Asian Voice 22nd March 2014

1st leg of IPL to be played in UAE

United Arab Emirates will stage the initial phase of the IPL while Bangladesh was kept on standby for some of the matches by the BCCI, ending weeks of speculation over the venues of the high-profile event which was scheduled from April 16 to June 1. The tournament, which had to be partly shifted out of the country owing to the general elections, will return to India for the final phase from May 13 though the BCCI has sought the government's permission to stage matches in the country from May 1 itself. The early return to India would be possible only if the government agrees to provide security to the tournament in states where polling would have concluded at that stage. "The BCCI is pleased to announce that the 2014 Pepsi IPL season will start on Wednesday 16th April 2014, and conclude on Sunday, 1st June 2014," board secretary Sanjay Patel said in a statement. The initial phase of the tournament would be played out at three venues in the UAE -- Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah from April 16 to 30.

"From Wednesday 16th April to Wednesday 30th April, at least 16 matches will be held in the United Arab Emirates. BCCI is very grateful to the Emirates Cricket Board, its Chairman, HH Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, and the government of the UAE for their offer of wholehearted support to host the Pepsi IPL for this period," the BCCI stated. The second half has been tentatively kept in Bangladesh but could be held in India if the BCCI manages to get the government's clearance. "For the period from Thursday 1st May to Monday 12th May, BCCI has approached the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, seeking permission to play IPL matches in India in cities where the polling

R. Biswaal and Sanjay Patel

has concluded in the respective state. "BCCI is extremely conscious of the various complexities involved, but hopes for a favourable consideration. BCCI will abide by the decision of the authorities in this regard. If it is not possible to play in India during this period, IPL matches will be held in Bangladesh and BCCI is thankful to the Bangladesh Cricket Board and the government of Bangladesh for their support," the Board said. But there is no ambiguity for the final leg, which will be held in the country. "From Tuesday 13th May (once polling has concluded in all states), the remaining league matches plus the Playoffs will be played in India. There will be no matches scheduled on the counting day of Friday,

16th May. BCCI will take the advice of the authorities if any further restrictions are required around the counting day. "A detailed match schedule for the Pepsi IPL 2014 season will be sent out soon," the BCCI said. The general elections are scheduled to be held in nine phases from April 7 to May 12, owing to which the government had refused to provide security for the IPL. This is the second time that the event has had to be forced out of the country due to elections. In 2009, the entire tournament had to be shifted to South Africa, a country which was in contention to host the event even this time. The BCCI officials and IPL chairman Ranjeeb Biswal had been holding discussions with the home ministry for the past few days to work out the schedule of the league which will have eight teams this time around. Due to the lesser number of teams, the duration of the league has also been shortened this time to 47 days and 60 matches much less than the 76 games played last season which was spread over 54 days.

Troy Justice visits Chennai Wheelchair Basketball Development

Choice International (UK), YWTC Charitable Trust and the Chennai Wheelchair Basketball Players welcomed Troy Justice, Senior Director of Basketball Operations International, National Basketball Association (NBA) India, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, in Chennai. As a strong humanitarian, basketball player and coach, with keen interest in Wheelchair Basketball Development in India, Justice met with local players in Chennai, to learn more about the progress being made and

to explore support. The Chennai players sought inspiration and further guidance from Justice. This visit comes at a time of crucial development for Wheelchair Basketball in Chennai, as recently the International Seminar on Disability Sports and Social

Inclusion was successfully delivered at the ITC Grand Chola in Chennai on the 25th of February 2014. “Sports can be a great equalizer in life, but civil society, corporates, the media and the government must all collaborate, in the case of people living with a disability, to make this possible� Michael Rosenkrantz, Wheelchair Basketball Coach, and Livelihoods Advisor at VSO Nepal, said.

This seminar was followed by a three-day Wheelchair Basketball training workshop at the SDAT outdoor stadium, supported by Michael Rosenkrantz. Updates including photos from the seminar and sports workshops can be found online at: events-2014/feb-chennai2014/gallery Choice and YWTC continue promoting disability sports and social inclusion in India, with further activities planned for 2014.

Meanwhile, Kidambi Srikanth is now India's highest ranked men's singles shuttler at No.20 as Parupalli Kashyap dropped seven places to No.25. Kashyap's shoulder injury has resulted in a recent dip of form, leading to his exit in the early

rounds of several competitions since December. Mumbai's Ajay Jayaram, however, gained a place to No.24 and is ranked just above Kashyap. This is the first time since the 2012 London Olympics that Kashyap is not ranked as India's top male shuttler and has fallen behind Jayaram. No Indian figures in the top25 of the doubles - men's, women's and mixed.

Saina Nehwal drops to World No.8

The quarterfinal exit at the All England Open B a d m i n t o n Championships has led India's leading shuttler Saina Nehwal dropping a place to No.8 in the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) women's singles rankings. Saina is now only a spot ahead of World No.9 P V Sindhu, who despite her first round exit last week, still retained the position.

BCCI has no plans to remove India coach Fletcher now

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) made it clear that under-fire coach of the Indian team Duncan Fletcher has its "full backing and support" and there was no immediate plans to remove him despite calls for his ouster from batting icon like Sunil Gavaskar. Fletcher was summoned by the BCCI chief N Srinivasan for a meeting to discuss the team's sagging performances of late but no warning was given to him that his job was on line. "Let me set the record straight. Duncan Fletcher has the wholehearted backing and support of BCCI. There has been no discussion on his removal. We told him that we have a lot of faith in his coaching abilities and he should not be worried about anything else", BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel said. "There is no truth in reports that Fletcher was given a warning by the president (Srinivasan)," Patel said. Asked about Gavaskar's comments that Fletcher should be removed immediately, Patel said, "Mr Gavaskar is entitled to have his opinion just like I have an opinion. It is not necessary that the BCCI is in agreement with what Mr Gavaskar thinks. It's his opinion and the BCCI has nothing to do with it." Fletcher's trip to Chennai a day before the team's departure to Bangladesh gave rise to speculation about BCCI boss making it clear that the board was not happy with his performance after India lost back-to-back Test and ODI series in South Africa and New Zealand. Fletcher's one year contract extension ends on March 31 this year."Many people are not aware that BCCI routinely holds meeting with the coach and the support staff after each and every tour. This is an age-old norm. This meeting would have also been held at the Cricket Centre in Mumbai but our president had a cataract operation and was unable to travel. That's why, I also flew down to Chennai for this meeting," Patel said.

Jayawardene to retire from Twenty20 format

Former Sri Lanka captain and batting great Mahela Jayawardene announced on Monday that he will be retiring from the shortest format of the game after the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. The news comes a day after compatriot and wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara said that he would hang up his boots from T20 Internationals after the showpiece event. The announcement came through the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Twitter handle. The tweet also had a photo attached of Sangakkara and Jayawardene posing together with "Last World T20. Let's make it count" written in the background. The 36-year-old Jayawardene said that the reason behind the decision was the same as Sangakkara's. "The rationale behind retirement is pretty much the same as Sanga's. When it is clear that I can't see myself playing in the next ICC World T20, there wasn't much point in me occupying a spot. It makes more sense for a youngster to come into the mix and establish himself," Jayawardene said. Jayawardene has played 49 T20Is and is Sri Lanka's leading run-scorer in the format with 1,335 runs at an average of 31.78 and a strike rate of 134.17. "While I enjoy all formats of the game, and Test cricket is certainly the pinnacle for any player, the journey in Twenty20 cricket has been fascinating. In many ways it helped me get back to my roots, to bat like I used to when I was a schoolboy, for the sheer love of playing attacking shots and expressing myself with full freedom," Jayawardene added. The former skipper also led his side to the 2012 World T20 final where they lost to the West Indies. His decision comes exactly 18 years after Sri Lanka won the 1996 World Cup.

AV 22nd March 2014  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 46)

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