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Health & Healing Treating toothache through home made remedies

See Page - 18

KollyCat Vimala Raaman for skin shows See Page -20


Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

VOL 38. ISSUE 37

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Dowry Act amendment likely in budget session of Parliament


ing stridhan or mahar or later during ceremonies such as child birth can be registered with the dowry prohibition officer. The law provides for appointment of a senior government official as prohibition officers in each







Priyanka not interested in number game See Page - 21

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All wedding gifts in India to be listed, registered against dowry menace and get adequate compensation, if a marriage breaks down. T h e Cabinet is likely to consider the proposal in February. “We expect to introduce the amendment bill in the budget session of Parliament,” a senior women and child development ministry official said. The group — with representation from ministries such as, WCD, law and home affairs — has decided that the Act should be amended to ensure that all gifts includ-

See Page -11



Wedding gifts may turn out to be less attractive for some of the bride grooms in India, as government is contemplating to make listing and registration of all gifts that a bride has received on the occasion of marriage. The amendment to the Dowry Act is aimed to give more protection to women in case of a marriage breaks down. The compulsory listing and registration will apply to only costly gifts that are valued at Rs. 5,000 or more. Failure to comply with listing and registration may be made a punishable offence. This is one of several amendments in the Act proposed this week by an inter-ministerial group. The changes are aimed at providing more protection under the law to women

Asian man arrested

23rd January to 29th January 2010


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district of the country to register complaints under the Act and investigate them. Even 15 years after notification of the law, several states have failed to appoint protection officers in each district. “There were not many complaints under the law as it was considered weak to act against dowry seekers,” said Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath. “With these changes the law would become more effective and provide women a platform to fight against dowry seekers.” Continued on page 24



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BBC film angers Sikhs in the UK

A BBC News presenter has been subjected to a deluge of personal abuse after fronting a documentary about one of the most controversial events in recent Indian history. Sonia Deol was even forced to delete her page on the Facebook website amid a barrage of alleged criticism from fellow Sikhs over her film about the Indian army storming the Golden Temple in Amritsar, one of the faith’s most holy shrines, in 1984.

Sonia Deol

gious leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, who was killed in the

Golden Temple in Amritsar

Daily Mail on 17th January reported, now protesters are planning a mass boycott of the licence fee in disgust at what they see as a slur on the controversial reli-

raid. Many Sikhs consider him a saint and are furious that in Ms Deol’s documentary, 1984: A Sikh Story, he was described as a militant. Continued on page 6

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Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010

ONE ON ONE Keith Vaz MP with

Councillor Mrs Mimi Harker Councillor Mimi Harker, first elected onto Chiltern District Council in May 1999, is now a Cabinet Member (since 2004) with responsibility for Community, Young people and Communications. Her portfolio includes sports and leisure and community cohesion. Mimi represents Chesham Bois and Weedon Hill ward, is Chairman of the Conservative Group and fought a Parliamentary seat at the last General Election. Mimi runs an IT company, with her husband Robin, started in 1989, has two teenage children and is a strong community advocate. A member of the BAME Task Force, a columnist for two publications, a school governor and Chiltern Champion for the Olympics and Paralympics are just a very few of her responsibilities. In her spare time, she’s a part time presenter, a passionate cook and makes outrageously delicious chutneys. Chiltern District Council Member for Chesham Bois & Weedon Hill Ward Cabinet Member for Community, Young People and Communication What inspired you to become Councillor? A campaign won in the High Courts of Justice propelled me into politics as my MP asked me to stand for council because of it. I absolutely love what I do and am passionate about people and their issues. I have become a bit of a serial campaigner!

Becoming a councillor, I realised how much of our lives are affected by decisions made on our behalf by our elected representatives politics. Being a politician gives me the opportunity to help shape those decisions and make positive contributions.

What are you term goals?

What do you think has been the biggest issue of the last year?

to the belief that all bankers are greedy and self-serving. Nationally, the MP’s expenses scan-

I n t e r n a t i o n a l l y, undoubtedly the global financial crisis, leading

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dal shattered the bedrock of British politics and any last vestiges of trust in MP’s disappeared too. People were shocked and horrified by the expose. If you were the Prime Minister, what one thing would you most like to change? Opportunities for young people Grammar schools because they give every child with ability the opportunity of a fantastic education. I would also encourage participation in organisations such as the Girl Guides and Scouts – as well as being FUN they teach community spirit, teamwork, volunteering and public service. Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date?

Passenger / driver in a Road traffic accident Accident at work Slipping / tripping Criminal Injuries Injuries to children

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Honestly? The lack of mentoring and the support network mentoring provides. In any sphere, it’s always beneficial if there’s somebody willing to show you the ropes. I mentor people entering politics and know how satisfying it is when they succeed. Time is the second biggest obstacle – so much to do and not enough time to do it in!

My husband and children – amazing, talented people, without their constant support I couldn’t achieve my political aspirations! Campaigning - the national press picked up the post office campaign where I demonstrated the detrimental effect closures have on communities. The 12A classification, film problem solving, the strength of character to put my head above the parapet, oh and the best coriander chutney you will ever taste!

Why do you think a political career is so important?

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What has been the biggest obstacle in your career?

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my horizons and experiences.

SOLICITORS Offices throughout the UK

There is no one person although I can categorically state that the BAME Task Force has opened many doors and created many new opportunities for me, which I have welcomed with open arms – whereas once I was very shy, now I take every opportunity to broaden

People ! Party time in Tooting as Transport Minister and local MP Sadiq Khan entertained the Foreign Secretary at the

David Miliband

Memon Centre. Also enjoying the curry on offer was Cabinet Office Minister Dawn Butler MP, Baroness Pola Uddin, and Sir Iqbal Sacranie.


US Ambassador Louis Susman went to meet his next door neighbours last week.


I’m passionate about becoming a Member of Parliament. I have never experienced this level of enthusiasm in any career thread previously and feel this is my destiny – whether it happens is another story, but it will not be for lack of trying! I've always enjoyed presenting – in fact I came second to your sister when I auditioned for Eastern Eye, a long time ago! If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figures would you like to spend your time with and why? Indira Gandhi, for her political and diplomatic discourse – I would learn a lot! Mahatma Gandhi to teach me wisdom and philosophy – make me a better person Elizabeth I for her brilliant political manoeuvring in keeping England away from the clutches of France and Spain and at the same time preventing religious civil war. Hatsepshut – I’m no expert, but for a women to become a great Pharaoh, leaving one of the most fabulous temples in Luxor, even if she had to wear a fake beard!

Louis Susman

It marked the first visit of an American Ambassador to the Regent's Park mosque in 5 years


Keep the nominations coming for the 2010 Awards! Thank you for all those who have taken part in the online poll so far.

Man arrested after murder in Harrow A man has been arrested in connection with the alleged murder of a Tamil who sustained ultimately fatal head injuries in his Harrow flat. The victim has not been named but is believed to be a 35-year-old who lived at Station Road, Harrow. Paramedics called to that address at 2.20am on last week Wednesday, discovered the man alive and took him to The Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north London. However, he died 12 hours later of the serious head injuries he had suffered. A man in his 30s was arrested at the scene in connection with the murder probe and he remains in custody at a police station in north London. Officers are awaiting formal identification of the victim before a postmortem examination takes place.

Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010


Afghanistan-Pakistan the West's running sore A conference on Afghanistan, to be convened in London next week, will include the major regional powers, such as Afghanistan itself, India, Pakistan and Iran, as well as other nations, far and near, large and small among whom are the United States, Russia and China, not to speak of Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Canada et al. With over fifty participants the conference should produce some lively exchanges. Much has been said about peace and stability, democracy and development in Afghanistan. So far this as been pie in the sky, a political that keeps receding as talk about that tortured land becomes ever more fevered. The Taliban's latest suicide attack on government buildings in Kabul shows that it is alive and kicking, thanks to the oxygen covertly delivered to it by its allies the Pakistan military and intelligence services. The US is well aware of these activities, yet it cleaves to a continuing state of denial, calculating that the beleaguered Zardari regime in Islamabad will sink in the bog of jehadi terrorism with all hands leaving the ship of state to the tender mercies of myriad Islamists equipped with nuclear weapons. Having sown the wind in the cold war, Uncle Sam is now reaping the whirlwind. The key to an Afghan settlement and a lasting regional peace lies with the Pakistan military. The military in turn blackmails its age-old patron in Washington with threats of suicide and a Taliban takeover the country. Such is larger picture in outline. It could be that America has a workable gameplan. If so it has eluded common understanding. The Media Watch column (page 12) reveals that current US diplomacy in the region is predicated showering the Pakistani military with ever newer weaponry devoid of relevance in the war against the Taliban but hugely appropriate for any Pakistani conflict with India – which is the most abiding obsession of the country's generals.

As long as the Obama administration refuses to bite the bullet and rein in its client, but opts instead for the less arduous course of pumping billions of dollars into the public and private coffers of the Pakistan military for its terrorist capers in Afghanistan and India there will be let-up in the violence that plagues Afghanistan and its source Pakistan. Endless troop reinforcements in Afghanistan and a cornucopia of dollars for Pakistan do not add up to a coherent US policy. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Qureshi of Pakistan, in contrast to his earlier charges Indian ill-intent against his country has started cooing like a dove and pitching for a resumption of the Indo-Pakistan composite dialogue with his Indian counterpart S.M.Krishna on the sidelines of the London conference on Afghanistan. He has reportedly roped in the ever willing British Foreign Office to pressuring India to include Kashmir in these talks. It is much like 'Professor' Akbar Ahmed, now Washington-based, the Pakistani TV sage on matters Islamic, on being refused an Indian visa some years ago, threatened to report the errant authorities in Delhi to the resident BBC icon in Delhi, Sir Mark Tully, for remedial action! Finally, the Conservative Party leader David Cameron, has stated in a question and answer session with readers of Metro, that he would stand up to the US, if elected British prime minister, and say no to Washington if Britain's national interest required him to so do. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating. One recalls Dean Acheson, secretary of state in the Truman administration, saying that, while Britain had lost an empire it hadn't found a role. Methinks he meant an independent role, not the self-abnegation of the 'special relationship' which requires ritual prostration before the incumbent in the White House.

Super-mosque near Olympic Games site banned Campaigners opposed to a “super-mosque” being built near to the 2012 Olympic site have described their satisfaction that the project had been blocked by the Newham Council. The council announced that it will issue an eviction notice against the Islamist group behind it, Tablighi Jamaat, which has a global following among Muslims. The Abbey Hills mosque and Islamic centre on a 7.3 hectare site in Stradford was to house 12,000 worshippers and would have been Europe's largest. Alan Craig, a Christian Peoples' Alliance councillor, said: “I am delighted that the council has finally seen the

light on this. It's a key site for the local community that would have been lost if the megamosque had been built. It is a big step forward....” It certainy is, but much more must be done to make this decision irrevocable. The mosque has faced massive opposition from the local community and religious groups. More than 48,000 people signed a petition against the project since it was first unveiled in 2007. Hopefully the authorities elsewhere in Britain will take heart and refuse to be intimidated by political correctness into surrendering to pressure from extremists masquerading as people of pacific intent.

Jyoti Basu: Icon of Indian communism dies Jyoti Basu, long a icon India communism died at the weekend, aged 95. Educated in Calcutta and London, where he studied law and was called to the bar, the youthful Basu was influenced by the stalwarts of the British left and returned to India a convinced communist and joined the Communist Party of India. His political activities were centred on his native West Bengal following Indian independence in August 1947. He became state chief minister in 1977 after his wing of the divided communist party attained power on the back of an electoral victory. As chief minister, Mr Basu's regime presided over West Bengal's industrial and

educational decline, with labour unrest and strikes the prevailing order of the day. His eventual departure from office led to a measure of economic rejuvenation, but enormous damage had already been done. In retirement, Mr Basu freely acknowledged his party's myriad mistakes and misjudgments, for he was more a practical politician than an ideologue. The ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) suffered crippling losses in the Indian general election early last summer and its chances of retaining power in West Bengal in next year's state elections appears more remote by the day. Jyoti Basu belonged to a god that failed, a monument to a discredited past.


Thought for the Week There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person. - G.K. Chesterton (1905)

“Our London” CIIr Navin Shah AM London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow

Get a new boiler save money! Save the environment!

It would be of interest to the readers that last week the Government launched its £50 Million Boiler Scrappage Scheme offering plenty of benefits to the households across England. It is estimated that there are currently some three and a half million homes in England with the very least efficient G rated or even worse type of boilers. Checks and replacement of inappropriate boilers is critical not only for efficient hot water and heating provision, particularly when faced with unprecedented cold weather that we are currently facing, but also important to have energy efficiency to address the climate change issues. The UK has one of the most ambitious CO2 emission reduction targets in the world. The installation of an efficient heating system is an effective way of reducing household energy bills and CO2 emissions, as domestic heating accounts for 14 per cent of the UK's CO2 emissions. It is estimated that the scheme will help to save in the region of 140,000t CO2 per year equivalent to taking 45,000 cars off the road. The excellent news is that the Government is offering up to 125,000 households in England £400 off a new A-rated boiler or renewable heat technology, when you scrap your old, inefficient G rated boiler. New boilers have rated efficiencies of atleast 90 % meaning that they use less fuel, resulting in lower CO2 emissions and running costs. By upgrading your old G-rated boiler to an A-rated one, your household heating bill can drop by about a quarter. Saving on average of around £235 a year. Are you eligible for the scheme? The scheme is open to 125,000 householders in England, living in an owned or privately rented home. Only householders and landlords who privately own and rent houses/flats are eligible to apply for a voucher. If you are a household-

er (including tenants) and 60 years or over you can apply for the scheme regardless of whether the boiler you are scrapping is in working condition. If you are a householder (including tenants) under 60 you can only apply for the scheme if the boiler you are scrapping is in working order and is the main boiler used to heat the home. If you own your own home or rent it from a private landlord and are in receipt of certain benefits, you may be eligible for a grant of up to £3,500 (or £6,000 where oil, low carbon or renewable technologies are recommended) under the Warm Front Scheme. Visit: For more information. Please note you cannot receive funding under both Warm Front and the Boiler Scrappage Scheme. Vouchers for this scheme will be issued from 18th January to the first 125,000 eligible households that register via phone or website, and will be issued on a first come first served basis. You will be free to choose who you want to carry out the work, provided the work is undertaken by registered installers. In the first instance you will have to pay for the new boiler and installation up front and then claim back the £400 back through the Trust. I understand that the Trust would make the payment to you within 25 working days. The vouchers will be valid for 12 weeks, and if they are not used then they will be re-allocated. This scheme is operated on behalf of the Government by The Energy Saving Trust which is a leading impartial body working to help people save energy and reduce their personal carbon emissions. If you have G rated boilers and wish to benefit from the scheme contact free helpline on 0800 512 012 or visit for more information about the boiler scrappage scheme and details on how to apply for the vouchers.



Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010

Labour's core principles

Indian students and our leaders

Discrimination against Asians

Louis Vuitton sells dog bags, each worth thousand pounds and over. Latest little earner Tony Blair has accepted an advisory role for Louis Vuitton! Let's ignore the obvious questions and focus on the following: a) Doesn't he have nothing better to do than help sell overpriced accessories? b) Wasn't he meant to be making peace in the Middle East? c) Why a man who announced himself as a socialist in his maiden speech to the House of Commons because "it stands for equality" gone into flogging deluxe fashion? And Blair is not alone, we have Glenys Kinnock with six publicly funded pensions worth £185,000 per year each and £8m of taxpayers’ money as pay and allowances as the new minister for Europe and as we approach the general election John Prescott enters the scene, who will also benefit from a taxpayerfunded pension by at least £1.5 million.

It was very painful to read the comments of Mr. Harish Lathia about the Gujarati students and their lives in Wembley area. It is more painful to know from AV that there was no response at all from any Indian origin MPs, Lords and religious leaders regarding the above. As a citizen I want our leaders to help people who are passing through difficulties. But if they show no concern then why we advocate that our people should be given these positions? Another question that I would like to ask, Wembley area has some of Europe's most beautiful temples. The management Committees of these temples are collecting millions of pounds as donations; can they not offer any assistance to these students?. At least poor can have free food at the langars in Gurudwaras. We should learn something from them. Dharam Dev Ilford

The easiest way to recognise racial discrimination is when employee of a big factory/firm has to start a corner or grocery shop. I don't come across so much of racial hatred nowadays, but once upon a time in shopping centres, parks, public places, employment areas, business, firms, schools, hospitals, everywhere we Asians could feel the difference of attitude towards us. We have to fight for our rights. Britain is now a multi cultural, multi lingual and multi religious society. Even marriages are taking place between whites and blacks and whites and Asians. Some areas still exist where attacks do take place on the grounds of caste, creed, colour and the weak become victims. But one must remember that the British Indian community is hard working, loyal, honest and seldom depends on the Council for benefits as a means of livelihood.

Ravi Shah Harrow

We understand your concern and share your sympathies. There are two things we would like to bring to your notice. First, not all temples may give out food for free, but the Hare Krishna people distribute food every day for free at Central London near Russell Square (outside Soas) for all mainly for students. Many students eat there for minimum 5 days a week. Some of the temples also give out food for free at least every alternate day, but they do not officially declare it as just for students. Everybody is welcome to eat there, including these students. Second as far as the international students are concerned, they must check what are they signing for, before they reach the UK. Unless their accommodation is sorted, the British Embassy in India usually does not grant a visa. I believe these students are not getting their paper work done from right sources. As far as my knowledge goes, mostly all universities provide with room, flat sharing provisions and hall facilities. Before opting for being a paying guest, one must weigh all their options. If students really wish to study in Britain, they must do what is legitimate.

Secular India and castes It's an easy recall that while creating a secular constitution of India, Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, Sardar Patel and Dr Ambedkar warned outgoing authorities, foreigners and other religious bodies not to interfere in solving the sole Hindu social problems such as caste discrimination, dowry etc which were being dealt with by incorporating them into the constitution by the creators of it. Since then though caste is a reality but discrimination is not as strong as the earlier days. The Indian government knows exactly how to deal with the voice of Dalit internationals, Dalit solidarity network or Caste Watch UK. In the present fast progressing democratic India civil rights, education, industrialisation, wider economies etc have replaced caste discrimination to a great extend. Even Britain is strong enough to deal with such problems by extending her lawful arm. Each religion has sections and sub sections which somehow result into discrimination. Under the pretext of caste discrimination illiterate and poor Hindus are getting converted into other religions. R N Patel Essex

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Caste Watch UK

I read about Caste Watch in your paper and went to their website. I have lived in the UK for sixteen years and never came across the kind of discrimination they are talking about. So, I tried to find out who the executive committee of this group comprises of. No such luck. If they have nothing to hide, why not tell us who is behind this organisation? I'm sure it'll be the mob hell bent on converting us Hindus. Well, no thanks, we are quite happy with Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar! Bharti Patel Via Email

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Who is NHSF protecting? I read the article of NHSF about caste in the Equality Bill with great interest. The students' article also gives three examples of how the Dalits are attacking Hinduism. They make a comment that the word Dalit didn't exist. Whether the word existed or not is a total irrelevancy, what has existed through the centuries is discrimination based on caste. Dr Ambedkar would not have needed to make it illegal in the constitution if that were not the case. Why should we suppose that things would change automatically if people move from India to England or to any other country? We all bring our customs and inheritance with us when we move. Not only that but we tend to hang on to them more than possibly if we had been living in our own country. NHSF is trying to protect Hindus of allegations of caste discrimination, that have existed over years, have also been even noted in Mahabharata. Karan was not made a commander in chief because his caste was not known. So here I have a fairly straight question to ask "How many Dalit members does NHSF have in the Forum?" Can anyone help me with the information? S Mitter London

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There were reports in the media recently about the secret filming by one of the national news papers in an abattoir showing the inhumane and sadistic methods which were being used to kill animals in slaughter houses. The meat thus produced by torturing poor animals is what ends up in the supermarket shelves. Do people really need to eat meat? Some would argue that the animals are put on earth for our benefit. But surely this benefit could refer to other purposes like giving milk, wool or providing labour. One of your readers advises that people should abstain from eating meat for one day of the week. I would say that this is not enough. Why only one day per week? What useful purpose would that serve? We need to go a step further and abstain from meat eating each and every day of the week! When we arrived in this country in the late sixties and early seventies during the mass exodus from Kenya or on expulsion from Uganda, there were hardly any shops in this country selling Indian groceries and vegetables and people out of necessity, taken to consuming meat. But nowadays there is no shortage of shops and restaurants providing vegetarian foods. So there is every reason for giving up meat eating. Besides, the health advantages of giving up meat eating have been well documented. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Is PM paying a lip service to elderly? Quoting PM Brown’s famous words “Caring for the elderly is the hallmark of a civilised society” repeated so often on prime time TV sounds like a broken record and makes me wonder whether PM is taking us, the elderly as senile if not fools. As widely mentioned in national newspapers, 9 out of 10 saving accounts pay miserly 1% gross interest when the inflation has hit a 1.5% mark, thus shrinking the savings even when the interest is allowed to accumulate. This is at a time when our pensioners are one of the lowest paid in EU and heavily depend on the income generated by their savings. If this government is re-elected, it has promised to punish the elderly, especially the disable by scrapping the Disability Attendance and Living Allowance (DAA & DLA) paid to people over the pensionable age but DLA paid to those under retirement age will not be affected. Could this come under age discrimination act? It is heartening to note that many back-bench Labour MPs are vigorously opposing it, as they opposed the 10p tax abolition. I would like to urge every reader of this esteem paper to write to his or her MP pointing out to the consequences of such a short sighted policy. Bhupendra M Gandhi Via Email

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Torture in the Abattoir

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Cricket crazy Indians for the first time was seen so euphoric on Monday morning, as they expected a couple of Oscars. British Indians in the UK, Dharavi slums, the shanty township of Mumbai, a village in Uttar Pradesh and almost the entire Bollywood waited in expectation, glued to their TV sets. They burst into celebrations as one by one, their heroes, the actors of the British Indian film and the music maestro, A R Rahman bagged the top awards in the world of entertainment. British actress Kate Winslett also won the Oscar after having missed it almost five times earlier. ‘Smile Pinki’, a short documentary on a cleft-lipped Indian girl in Uttar Pradesh directed by American director Megan Mylan, won the Oscar for the Best Documentary (Short).

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Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010




Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010


Continued from page 1

BBC film angers Sikhs in the UK They also claim he was depicted in the film in a similar way to Osama Bin Laden. Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi ordered the assault on June 4, 1984, after Bhindranwale and up to 500 armed supporters took refuge in the holy site, apparently fearing arrest amid rising SikhHindu tensions. Around 500 people died in the ensuing battle, which some Sikhs now refer to as ‘our 9/11’. As troops moved in, Bhindranwale’s followers fired missiles at Indian tanks. The BBC has received 52 complaints about the documentary, which attracted 1.3 million viewers and was billed as Ms Deol’s ‘emotional journey back to India in a bid to discover how such an attack could ever have taken place’. However Daily Mail also reports that a community TV station, The Sikh Channel says it received more than 8,000 calls to a phone-in about the controversial film. Channel owner Davinder Singh Bal allegedly told the national daily: ‘The documentary contained many sweeping statements and didn’t attempt to uncover the truth of what happened. 'Our viewers were not

Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale

happy. BT said that our exchange was going into overdrive. ‘The BBC is not responding to the Sikh community and we are thinking about organising a campaign to invoke the non-payment of licence fees by the 700,000 Sikhs in Britain.’ In her introduction to the film, 36-year-old Ms Deol said Bhindranwale was ‘viewed as a militant who had terrorised for long enough’. And she interviewed General Kuldip Singh Braer, who commanded the Indian forces that stormed the temple in what was known as Operation Blue Star. The general, who also comes from a Sikh family,

said of Bhindranwale: ‘He may have started out as a saint but he didn’t end as a saint.’ Operation Blue Star is allegedly believed to have led to the assassination of Mrs Gandhi, who was killed by two of her Sikh bodyguards four months after the attack. Her death triggered three days of attacks on Sikhs across India, in which 3,000 people were killed. A BBC source said Ms Deol’s documentary was never intended to be an investigation, saying: ‘It was her personal journey, a look at her reaction to rediscovering her faith as a Sikh. ‘It was for a mainstream channel, BBC1 and there’s only so much you can say in an hour. 'A lot of the attacks on Sonia have been because people think that the documentary reflected her views on Bhindranwale, but she did not give her opinions about him at all. 'She’s also had a lot of supportive comments.’ A BBC spokeswoman said: ‘1984:A Sikh Story was an authored personal journey through the eyes of a young British Sikh and included a range of contributors offering differing points of view.’

Councillor may face jail for calling Asian opponent a 'coconut' A black councillor who allegedly called an Asian colleague a ''coconut'' during a meeting is facing a possible prison sentence after being charged with racially aggravated harassment. Liberal Democrat Shirley Brown, 47, used the term to describe Jay Jethwa at a Bristol City Council budget debate last year. Conser vative Councillor Jay Jethwa, 41, said she had not experienced such a severe insult since she came to the UK from India 24 years ago. Mrs Brown used the term after Councillor Jethwa championed a Tory motion to cut funding for the Legacy Commission, which commemorates the abolition of slavery. The incident on February 24 plunged the council into a race row and prompted a formal complaint by the Conservative Party to the council's head of legal services. In July Mrs Brown was suspended for a month by the council's Standards Committee for using ''offensive and abusive language''. But this was overturned on appeal by the


by Kapil Dudakia - email: ‘Sewa’ is the word I was invited to the launch of a great initiative called ‘National Sewa Day’ that was held at the wonderful Ghanshyam Hall venue in Stanmore. You may ask, ‘What is this National Sewa Day (NSD)?’ And rightly so – since the answer is worth knowing by reading on further. NSD is the brain child of a number of our up and coming professionals who want to give back to the community. I know I can list their names here, however, on this occasion let us say that it is being organised under the auspices of Sewa International. The concept of NSD is very simple, on one nominated day each year, everyone who wishes to take part should dedicate that day in serving the community. In our dharma we have the notion of ‘Nishkam Karma’ which translates roughly to, ‘acts of selfless service.’ NSD therefore has started a campaign to recruit as many organisations as possible who wish to take part in this tremendous initiative. At the launch I believe there were in excess of 65 different organisations represented who had come from all corners of the UK and representative of the range of Indic faiths. Sewa will be the equivalent to ‘community social action’ for the benefit of the whole community regardless of one’s faith, ethnicity or cultural background.

Humanity at its best

Liberal Democrat Cllr Shirley Brown, 47

Tory Cllr Jay Jethwa, 41

Adjudication Panel for England Tribunal Service in September and Mrs Brown remains in her post pending the outcome of her appeal. Avon and Somerset police began investigating the incident last March and Mrs Brown has now been summonsed to appear before Bristol Magistrates Court on February 15. The maximum penalty a magistrate can hand down for racially aggravated harassment is six months in prison or a £5,000 fine. If the case goes to crown court, the maximum sentence is two

years in jail. Mrs Brown insists the comment was not racist and says it was intended to mean that Mrs Jethwa was ''in denial of her roots''. It is understood that the complaint to the police was made by a member of the public, not Mrs Jethwa. A spokesman for Bristol City Council said: ''We are not taking any further action at the moment in the light of court proceedings. ''If the prosecution resulted in a conviction for a criminal offence we would review the situation.''

The idea is not new and in this country the Jewish community has already engaged in this process for the past several years. Their day is called, ‘Mitzvah Day’ and last year they had in excess of 15 000 individ-

uals who had registered to volunteer their time to serve the people. Laura Marks who leads on Mitzvah Day informed the audience that ‘Mitzvah’ actually means ‘acts of loving kindness’ and that Mitzvah represents one of 613 commandments that the Jewish community are obliged to follow. For many of the Indic faiths, we call it ‘Sewa’. So what is so unique this year? The Jewish community and the Indian community will synchronise their ‘service’ day which will be 21st November 2010 – so please put that in your diary. This shows that when good people with core human values get together, anything is possible. So what can you do? Simple, if your local community organisation has not already subscribed to this initiative then make it your personal responsibility to ensure it does happen. Contact Anand Vyas on: or 07957 197527 at once and let us show our upcoming professionals with ‘sewa’ in their hearts that we are all supporting them in this fantastic initiative. How about getting say 25 000 people from our community out to do Sewa on the 21st November 2010? All you have to do is offer one day a year when you help to serve someone who desperately needs your ‘act of loving kindness.’ Is that too much to ask?

To Burkha or Not, is the ? Interesting week for diversity. The Government made an announcement that discrimination may not be such an issue after all. You and I know that this is a ludicrous statement since the real life day-today experiences of thou-


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sands of people are quite the opposite. And it is true that nowadays it is well hidden and those who practice it are well adept at concealing their intent. However, compared with Europe we are of course significantly better off in this regard, but why should one accept prejudice of any type? The truth of the matter is that the Government might well have shot their cannon early to prepare the people for their upcoming equalities bill. No doubt it will stir controversy, but who will pay for any fractured policies that might eventually come out of the Palace of Westminster? Hot on their heels, UKIP made one of their standard but astute interventions by starting a debate to ban the burkha. They are going through an assessment of how such a ban could come into force and be workable, but the intent to ban the burkha is now clear. UKIP represents a threat that the Tories can well do without. In today’s climate, let us be clear – such a call on a burkha ban will attract thousands of extra votes for them. That is thousands less for the other parties with the Tories possibly losing out a lot more than the rest. The question that comes to mind is what next? Who next will ask for a ban on say minarets to follow the Swiss model? Should there be a ban on the length of one’s beard to keep Anjem Choudary in check? Whilst many will feel that these are very stupid suggestions, do not under estimate the power of politics which can entice almost any Party to play such cards to suit their ambitions. Of course some might feel that it is a pity that in real life we cannot air brush things in or out that don’t suit us. I wonder if that is a novel idea!


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Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010

National Hindu Students Forum (UK) By Kartik Bharadia, Sixth-Form Co-ordinato

NHSF Embarks On New Sixth-Form Project Over the last few years it has become increasingly evident that Hindu parents are taking a keen interest in National Hindu Students Forum (UK) and are relying on its efforts at university campuses to provide their children with a ‘home away from home’. In fact, in order to aid decision making, some parents are even enquiring whether or not a particular university is affiliated with NHSF. For many students, they will move away from home for the very first time and this can be a difficult and often emotional transition. This year, NHSF has embarked on a new project – the Sixth-Form Project. The aim of this initiative is two-fold: provide guidance and realistic expectations to sixth-form students about university life, especially the Hindu aspect of it, and assist them with university and gap year applications. With over 30 local chapters at universities across the UK representing over 10,000 Hindu students, sixth-

formers will be able to gain general friendly advice about anything they wish to discuss. At the same time, the project aims to increase the awareness of the student run organisation at sixth-form level, so that students can get

involved with their local NHSF chapter from their very first year at university. The new initiative hopes to make the transition from home to university a smoother and more stress-free one for both parents and students alike. A lesson I learnt from university is: ‘don’t stick to a plan but seize the day, carpe diem’! This is where NHSF has been ever so effective in bringing out the best in so many people with the same ‘work hard - play hard’ mentality which helps students channel their energy into something positive. NHSF provides a platform to university students to think for themselves rather than submit to the monotonous and maybe

perhaps somewhat detrimental social peer pressures at university. The new Sixth Form Project will actively seek to meet as many sixthformers as possible and to support their needs. A poster campaign titled “Going To Uni?” will see posters at mandirs, youth groups and schools. Likewise a sixth-form specific webpage on the existing NHSF website ( has been created. The popular social networking website Facebook has also been targeted. The project team will be open to being contacted and will place a representative at universities across the country. Sixth-Formers can signup to a mailing list to receive a two-monthly enewsletter on topics affecting them and are also able to contribute towards the e-newsletter. Anyone wishing to contact the team is able to do so via email: The team wishes sixthformers out there all the success in their A-Level examinations.

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Pongal festival lights switched on Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales has marked the start of the Pongal Festival by switching on decorative lights during a ceremony in Manor Park. The mayor joined Newham’s Tamil communities at the event, which took place in High Street North, near the junction with Wordsworth Avenue. Pongal is a four-day festival that gives thanks to the elements of nature and offers hopes of a fresh new beginning for the coming year. The start of Pongal is popularly known as International Tamil Day. It is traditionally celebrated by Tamil communities in southern India, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, South Africa and Sri Lanka.

wider community.” The event featured also featured speeches from Hindu, M u s l i m , Christian, business and young people representatives. Sweet and savoury Pongal food was also served. Councillor Paul Sathianesan Councillor During a speech at the Paul Sathianesan, who event, Sir Robin told the organised the event said: assembled guests that he “This year’s lights will be hoped the new year brings for peace around the peace and relief to Sri world. I am proud to see Lanka. that the Mayor Sir Robin He added: “Newham is Wales and Newham one of the most diverse Council recognise the boroughs in the UK and Tamil community and celwe are delighted to be able ebrate this festival with to celebrate festivals from the people of Newham.” around the world with the

Swaminarayan School ranked second The Swaminarayan School was ranked second in the table of top independent schools published in the Daily Telegraph recently. Considering the fact that The Swaminarayan School in Neasden has been in existence only since 1992, this achievement is nothing short of extraordinary. The school has always achieved excellent examination results and has been at the top of the

Brent performance tables for a number of years. In January 2008 it was listed fourth in the table of top independent schools published by the Daily Telegraph. The GCSE results for summer 2009, however, have surpassed all previous records with many students achieving a string of A* and A grades. 54% of the grades were either A* or A 86% of the grades were A*, A or B

100% of the students achieved 5 or more A* to C grades The average performance score per student was a staggering 609! Mr Savjani, Headteacher of the school said: “The Year 11 students did exceptionally well last summer with some outstanding performances... The secret is teamwork – pupils, parents, teachers and governors all pulling in the same direction.”


Dee Katwa

Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010

Midland Voice Contact: Dhiren on 07970 911 386 or

All are not blessed with good colleagues Six out of ten people admit to displaying bad manners in the workplace on a regular basis, according to a survey of 1,000 office workers. Today’s working environment is both a very informal and a very hectic place and as a result people often forget their manners and overlook proper etiquette. Here, results of the poll which was carried out by Office Angels, the recruitment consultancy: Lateness – 63 per cent admit they turn up late for work or meetings at least twice a week, wasting colleagues’ time Swearing in office – 76 per cent say they regularly swear at work but wish they could kick the habit

Ignoring emails – 72 per cent admit to sometimes ignoring ‘tricky’ or time consuming emails in the hope they will go away

– 28 per cent are guilty of starting a meeting without introducing people with the majority putting this down to nerves Not saying hello when passing someone in the corridor – 19 per

Answering a mobile or texting during a meeting – 54 per cent claim to have been guilty of this yet nearly all (89 per cent) admit they find this extremely rude when colleagues do it Chewing gum in meetings – 33 per cent say they chew gum in meetings out of habit Forgetting to introduce people at a meeting

cent say they have at some time ignored a colleague in the corridor

Bad manners make a lasting wrong impression and definitely affect their opinion of a colleague, according to nine out of ten (89 per cent) employers. Swearing at work was considered the worst example by 97 per cent, followed closely by answering a mobile during a meeting (87 per cent). Three quarters (72 per cent) believe their office would be a nicer place if people made a concerted effort to improve their behaviour. Has this triggered you to think about your bad manners at work? Have you ever had to give a colleague the nudge for their bad manners, or vice versa? Responses could possibly appear in my next column.

Funding error

New Islamic centre

A blunder at a Midland council last week saw eight groups told they would not get £357,000 of funding after all. The groups were told they could have cash by Walsall Council when the money was not really available. Officers miscalculated a £7 million Supporting People grant aimed at helping vulnerable people improve their quality of life. It fell to Tory Councillor Barbara McCracken, pictured, a former Mayor of Walsall, to have to reveal the mistake at a meeting. The Aaina Asian Women’s Group, in Bath Road, Caldmore, was even about to start recruiting. Walsall Housing Group (WHG) got to keep two grants worth £99,576 because it had already begun.

Europe’s first Islamic Finance and Business Centre has been launched at Birmingham’s Aston Business School. The Centre has been developed as a result of a £1.5 million grant from Dubai-based business Surgi-Tech and aims to establish Birmingham as the hub for Islamic finance in the UK. The largest financial gift on record for the University, the Centre will develop a suite of qualifications on Islamic finance for 2010, including undergraduate, postgraduate, PhD and executive programmes.

Youth vision A new partnership has been launched to help young people drive forward enterprise in the West Midlands. Shivani Mair, pictured, is the only Asian, of a total 12 entrepreneurs, business support specialists and students, all aged between 16 and 27, who have been selected to run the Young People’s Enterprise Partnership. The partnership will give members the chance to speak up and influence future enterprise policy and strategy. It will also look to urgently address some of the issues around rising youth unemployment.

Bank raises funds A Midland branch of Barclays Bank recently hosted a fundraising casino evening at Molineux in Wolverhampton for staff and business customers. The most successful entrepreneur on the evening, Bal Mehta, won the chance to nominate which charity would benefit from the proceeds of the event. He chose the Wolverhampton hospice. A total of £960 was raised at the event and Barclays added a further £750 to this amount.

Trade links with India West Midland exporters will be getting a taste of India at the Midlands World Trade Forum AGM on Jan 27. The event, at the Banks’s Stadium, Walsall, will highlight international trade opportunities with India. The keynote speaker will be Consul General of India in Birmingham, Mr C Gururaj Rao. MWTF chair Deb Leary, pictured, said: “With it being one of the fastest growing economies in the world, it is vital that our members know how to take advantage.”

Meeting customer needs A Midland crematorium is to fit an extra-wide furnace because it fears its “customers” will soon be too fat to fit inside. An extra 10in is being added during a redevelopment of the crematorium in West Bromwich. A local funeral director, Ashley Savell-Boss, says he currently has to take large coffins to Northampton, 60 miles away.

Lights go out Walsall Illuminations, the annual tradition at the town’s Arboretum since around 1875, is being scrapped for good. The biggest lights spectacular outside Blackpool, once attracting 250,000 people from across the Midlands, is being axed to save cash.

News in Brief Kenyan experience opportunity Teachers and recent teaching graduates are being invited to apply for a unique charity scheme that will see them live and work in the Masai Mara in Kenya. Educating the Children, or Etc, aims to combat poverty through educational initiatives. The charity was established by British Hindu women Sapna Sisodia, a graduate from the London College of Fashion, and investment banker Sonal Kadchha. For more information or to find out more about the scheme, which begins next month, visit

We’ll miss you mum Sonam, 18, and 16-year-old Simran, the daughters of a Midland mother who died on a night out at a pub have paid tribute to the “best mum anyone could ask for”. Tajinder Kaur Basi, 39, from Wilenhall, died on New Year’s Eve after being hurt on December 28 after spending the night in the Robin Hood pub at Drayton, Worcestershire. Police investigating the death are awaiting test results from a post-mortem examination. A man arrested was released on bail.

British carpet at Indian airport Legendary Midland carpet makers Brintons has been awarded a £3.4 million contract to supply all of the carpet to the new Terminal Three building at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi. Terminal Three, the size of 24 football pitches, will be completed in time for this year’s Commonwealth Games, which are due to be held in New Delhi from Oct 3 to 14. It will be the third biggest airport terminal building in the world and will give the airport a capacity of 37 million passengers a year.

Conflict of interest A top Birmingham City Council official has been disciplined after the unit she runs handed contracts worth £22,448 to a company owned by her husband. Raffaela Goodby, who is in charge of BEST, a controversial staff motivation scheme, was the subject of a five-month investigation by council auditors. The inquiry was triggered by Mirza Ahmad, pictured, the city council’s chief legal officer after invoices for the consultancy services and IT development were paid by the council to Birmingham-based Nutrient Ltd, where Mrs Goodby is the company secretary and her husband Jack Goodby is a director and sole shareholder.

Parliament offers help to charities The Houses of Parliament are inviting voluntary and charity sector organisations in the Midlands to a free workshop to learn more about engaging on important issues. The event will take place at Birmingham City Football Club on Jan 26. To find out more contact Sharon Stanley at or call 07917 488 842.

Top employer for gay staff West Midlands Police have been named as one of the country’s top employers for gay, lesbian and bisexual staff. The force leapt nine places to be ranked 19th out of 100 employers in the study by Stonewall, the gay rights group, and was one of five police forces to feature in the top 20.

Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010




Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010



By Spriha Srivastava

Jinnah made an “epic” journey, says Singh Ever since I started studying the Indian national movement, I have always believed that it was Muhammad Ali Jinnah who was instrumental in the partition of India and Pakistan. Well, why only me, I think everyone who might have grown up studying Indian history would agree with me on this. But former Indian Minister Jaswant Singh has a totally different philosophy. A former member of the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), who had been expelled last year from his party for praising Muhammad Ali Jinnah, says it is wrong to demonise Jinnah. Speaking about his recently published book titled “Jinnah - India, Partition, Independence” at the Houses of Parliament, at an event organised by the Indian Journalists Association, Mr. Singh said that the book comes from his heart and questions why the partition took place? It also analyses why the present situation exists? He described the journey made by Jinnah as a leader as an “epic journey.” In his book, he talks about the role of Congress party leader and the country’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and the first Home Minister Vallabhbhai Patel in the partition of India in 1947. However, he also pointed out that the transition of Jinnah from being an ambassador of hindu-muslim unity to Quaid-e-Azam of Pakistan is surprising. The seventy one year old politician also referred to the present state of affairs in South Asia as “Paralytic.” He pointed out to the trend of tensions moving from Europe to West Asia and now into South Asia. Well, indeed, India is surrounded by countries that are in a state of great turmoil. And, if we look at India, internally it is troubled too. Infact, one of the endeavours of this book, according to Mr. Singh, was to find out where we stand today in terms of the world affairs. He emphasised on the unity among countries of

South Asia and also said that he would contribute in every way possible towards peace in the region. However, on the issue of India-Pakistan, Mr. Singh said that dialogues between the two nations were the best way to resolve issues. He also said that the two

Jaswant Singh

countries must not hold on to past events. Singh’s book has already been published in twenty three editions and the international edition of the book is expected to be launched in March. Meanwhile, he was also conferred with the title of “Ambassador of Peace” for South Asian region by Peace International, a London based organisation. Singh described it as a “rare honour” and said he was a “very ordinary citizen of South Asia. “

India and UK hold hands in education sector Till now, it was always trade and investment or fighting terrorism that led India and UK to share the same path. But now, both the countries have joined hands to work in their education sector. During his high level visit to the UK last week, India’s Human Resource Development Minister, Mr. Kapil Sibal said that UK wants to "push forward" its relationship with India in the educa-

tion sector and British universities are increasingly interested in coming to the country to collaborate like never before. With Education as the key theme of his visit, the Minister gave a keynote address to an audience including dozens of education ministers from around the world at the Learning and Technology World Forum in London. He then also met the university vice chancellors and set out his vision for the expansion of India’s education sector. On this issue of student visa laws being stringent, he said that the UK government has shown concern on this matter. He also said that the Indian delegation has been quite frank in putting their opinion on the visa case forward. He said that the UK government understands that if it doesn’t allow students to work in the UK, then it will lose its attractiveness. On the issue of comparison between Indian and UK universities, Mr. Sibal said that it was very unfair to compare the Indian universities with that of UK. He said universities like Oxford and Cambridge were set up hundreds of years ago. Also, in India, premier institutions like IIT’s and IIM’s are government sponsored, whereas universities like Oxford and Cambridge have been set with private endowment. In context of the IIT’s, he said “Give it fifty years and it will be on top.” The Minister also made a visit to the University of Surrey and the Imperial College of London. He said he felt both the institutions were ready to collaborate with India. He also ensured that UK universities will very much have a physical presence in India once they collaborate with their Indian counterparts. One thing that the Minister is keen on learning from the UK system is education for the disadvantaged. He made a special visit to the schools to understand better the school education system in the UK.

Let us know what you think. Email Spriha at

Subhash Chandra Bose which he saw as an opporSubhash Chandra Bose was tunity to take advantage of born January 23, 1897; popBritish weakness. At the ularly known as Netaji, was outset of the war, he left a legend in the Indian indeIndia, travelling to the pendence movement. Soviet Union, Germany and Bose was elected presiJapan, seeking an alliance dent of the Indian National with the aim of attacking Congress for two consecuthe British in India. With tive terms, but had to resign Japanese assistance, he refrom the post following ideoorganised and later led the logical conflicts with Indian National Army, Mahatma Gandhi and after openly attacking the Subhash Chandra Bose formed from Indian prisoners-of-war and plantation Congress' foreign and interworkers from British Malaya, nal policies. Bose believed that Singapore, and other parts of Southeast Mahatma Gandhi's tactics of non-vioAsia, against British forces. With lence would never be sufficient to Japanese monetary, political, diplomatic secure India's independence, and advoand military assistance, he formed the cated violent resistance. He established Azad Hind Government in exile, a separate political party, the All India regrouped and led the Indian National Forward Bloc and continued to call for Army in battle against the allies at the full and immediate independence of Imphal and in Burma. India from British rule. He was imprisHe is presumed to have died on 18 oned by the British authorities eleven August 1945 in a plane crash over times. His famous motto was "Give me Taiwan. However, contradictory eviblood and I will give you freedom". dence exists regarding his death in the His stance did not change with the accident. outbreak of the Second World War,

Republic Day of India, 26th January, 1950 The Constitution of India came into force, and India declared itself a Republic on January 26, 1950, a date thereafter celebrated annually as Republic Day in India. The Constitution had been drafted by the Constituent Assembly head by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar which was set up when India gained its independence from the British in 1947. This, in fact, was a deliberate act: the 26th of January was initially India's "Independence Day", one of Mahatma Gandhi's many symbolic acts during India's struggle for freedom against British colonial rule, and the adoption of the Constitution on this date was felt able to strengthen its initial meaning, one calling for Indians of all ages to declare their freedom from the British Raj. And so, after the disposal of the Empire of India, King George VI was the last and only "Emperor" of modern India. To mark this occasion, a grand parade is held in New Delhi, the

Capital of India, beginning from Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan (Presidential Palace), along the Rajpath, past India Gate and on to the historic Red Fort in the old quarter of the city. Different infantry, cavalry and mechanised regiments of the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force march in formation, decked in all their finery and official decorations. The President of India, who is also the Commander in Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute. The Chief Guest of the parade is a Head of State of another nation. The parade also includes many traditional dance troupes, to symbolise the cultural heritage of India. It traditionally ends with a colourful flypast by Air Force jets in a tiranga formation. Similar parades are held in the capitals of all the states of India, where the Governors of the respective states take the salute.

Vishwakarma Jayanti Sri Vishwakarma Jayanti is dedicated to the divine architect Vishwakarma. In Gujarat and Rajasthan, Vishwakarma Jayanti is celebrated in month of Magha (January-February), while other parts of the country – West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand, Tripura etc., it is observed in September. Rig Veda describes Vishwakarma as a deity with multi-dimensional vision and supreme strength. Sri Vishwakarma is the presiding deity who is meant as the Lord of all craftmen, architects, designers and engineers. Vedas, the spritual literature of India, describes him as the son of Lord Brahma who was appointed as the official builder of all the divine palaces in the Universe. Mahabharata describes him as: “The lord of the arts and executor of a thousand handicrafts. He is the carpenter of the gods and is the most emi-

nent artist of artisans. He is expert in fashion designs and known as the designer of all ornaments. He is the great designer with all immortal qualities.” He is known to be the designer of Swarga or heaven – the abode of Indra, Sri Lanka, Dwaraka puri (the place where Lord Krishna shifted after the war) Hastinapur and Indrapastha. Sri Vishwakarma Puja Hindus consider this day as very auspicious. The main spirit of the day is appreciation of Sri Vishwakarma for his expertise with an inspiration to imbibe his good qualities in working class so that everyone is bestowed with ability and proficiency. The ritual usually is observed in all, major and minor, factories, carpenter shops, machine shops, workshops and offices. All the work places come alive with fiesta. A holiday is observed on this day, though all the workers and officials gather to participate in the puja.


Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010


Asian man arrested for involvement in running virtual criminal community To the outside world, there was nothing remarkable about R e n u k a n t h Subramaniam. The 33year-old loner kept a low profile as a Pizza Hut chef and sometime courier, spending his days in internet cafes and nights on friends’ sofas. But on last Thursday the former asylum seeker was unmasked as the alleged mastermind behind a £100million fraud that threatened every bank account and credit card holder in Britain. Despite his itinerant lifestyle he is thought to have made millions himself, but investigators have yet to trace the fortune of a man who lived so modestly to avoid detection. From the Java Bean internet cafe in Wembley, North London, Subramaniam allegedly ran an extraordinary global criminal network dubbed ‘eBay for fraudsters’ which was responsible for the raiding of bank accounts worldwide. His site, called DarkMarket, acted as an online marketplace for vil-

Renukanth Subramaniam

lains to trade victims’ credit card information such as PIN numbers, answers to bank account security questions and even passwords for social networking websites. The ‘one-stop shop’ for fraudsters sold ten credit card numbers for around £30 and offered tutorials to teach others how to compromise internet bank accounts, commit identity fraud, money laundering and even scams targeting retail and gaming industries. The sophisticated site featured breaking newsstyle updates on the latest

stolen bank details available for purchase. Its products included equipment to clone ATM cards. More than 2,500 criminals from around the world subscribed to what was considered the leading English-language website for trading stolen financial information. The scam was smashed following a three-year investigation by the FBI and the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency whose undercover agents infiltrated the site posing as criminals. That led to the arrest of the mastermind along with four others in the UK. Worldwide, 60 members were arrested in countries such as the U.S., Canada, Germany, France, Turkey, Israel and Russia. Details of the virtual crime boss emerged on last Thursday as Subramaniam pleaded guilty at Blackfriars Crown Court in central London to conspiracy to defraud and furnishing false information. A Tamil born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, he is thought to have entered

the UK illegally at 16 accompanied by his aunt and uncle, brother and sister. He was granted British citizenship in 2002. Although he took out £800,000 of fraudulent mortgages on three houses in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, and Tadnworth, Surrey, he never lived in them but stayed with friends in Wembley and Ilford, Essex. He had no previous convictions and had never come to the attention of police. But online, under his

alleged username JiLsi, he was a formidable crime lord selling banking information from tens of millions of victims. From the time the site was set up in November 2005 he presided over its growth to more than 2,500 members. When undercover officers penetrated the site in 2006 they were astonished at the sophistication of the scam. The shadowy website, founded in Western Samoa, was accessible only to those referred by other fraudsters and had a

secure electronic payment system described by Judge John Hillen as a ‘PayPal for criminals’. Subramaniam was allegedly involved in the site until October 2006 when he was demoted by other administrators for poor security practice. As the net closed he handed himself in to police in 2007. With no papers or belongings, he hoped they would fail to uncover the depth of his involvement. But he may now face up to ten years in prison when sentenced later this year.

The Java Bean internet cafe in Wembley which Subramaniam used to help run the virtual criminal community

ELECTRICITY – check it’s dead before it kills you UK Health and Safety Law protects you even if you are not working here legally

Rhaynukaa Soni Outreach Executive

Electricity is used on nearly every construction site. Everyone is familiar with electricity but unlike most other hazards which can be seen, felt or heard there is no advance warning of danger from electricity. And electricity can kill. Accidents happen because people are working on or close to electrical equipment which is either: ! Assumed to be dead when it is in fact live; or ! Known to be live but

adequate precautions have not been taken or the workers have not received adequate training. Electrical equipment must always be treated with great care. It cannot be emphasised too strongly that the installation, maintenance and repair of electrical services must only be carried out by a competent, qualified electrician. Electric shock is the main hazard from electricity but not the only hazard. A short circuit or the use of badly maintained equipment can cause a fire or an explosion. Electrical arcing creates very high temperatures which can cause severe burns and also creates ultraviolet radiation which damages the eyes. Proper planning is essential It is essential that the electricity power supply arrangements are worked

out before any work takes place. Proper planning with the electricity supply company is a legal requirement. All equipment used on construction sites face harsh conditions and rough use. Electrical equipment is likely to become damaged at some point and therefore to become dangerous. Eliminate the hazard Where possible the hazard of electric shock should be eliminated. This can easily be done by using cordless tools or tools which are designed to operate from a special 110 volt power supply. The special design of 110 volt supply equipment means that the maximum possible electrical shock will be 55 volt. Tools which are powered by a special 110 volt supply will effectively remove the risk of death or serious injury if an electrical accident hap-

pens. In contrast if a person touches a 240v electrical supply in an accident then the person is usually killed or very seriously injured. Electrical supply equipment which supplies 110 volt electricity is usually coloured yellow. RCD’s are not enough If 110 volt electricity is used then even if tools or cables get damaged then the worst risk to the worker is a mild electrical shock. If the mains voltage is used, at 240 volts, then the risk of death or injury is high if equipment, tools or leads are damaged. 240 volt elec-

tricity should only be used in less arduous places – such as site offices or welfare – away from construction activities. Trip devices (also called RCDs or ‘Residual Current Devices’) can be used with 240 volt supply. But if RCD’s are used they have to be kept very dry and clean, and protected against vibration or physical damage. It is essential that RCD’s are tested every day. RCD’s cannot give the protection against electric shock that are given by cordless tools or tools designed to work at 110 volts. Check for faults Everyone using electrical tools should know what to look out for. 95% of faults can be found just by looking. Always report defects and check that:

Helpline: 0207 556 2181 e-mail: Website:

! No bare wires are visible; ! The cable covering is not damaged; ! The plug and socket are in good condition and there are no burn marks; ! There are no taped or homemade joints in cables; The outer covering of the cable goes directly into the plug – the coloured insulation inside the cable should not be visible. In addition it is important that all cables are well protected. The best way to do this is to keep cables off walkways by fixing cables at high level. Electricity is a silent killer. Do not install or repair electrical supply equipment unless you are a qualified electrician. Never touch exposed electrical equipment unless you know for sure that it is dead.



Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010

Scrutator’s Visitors and natives alike often marvel at how India functions: “ a functioning anarchy,” was the late great Harvard-based American economist John Kenneth Galbraith's piquant observation on this permutation of the ageless Indian rope trick. Women politicians such as Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh, Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal and Brinda Karat in Delhi jostle for public space with male counterparts like Mulayam Singh Yadav, his erstwhile sidekick Amar Singh, now without a party, the Communist Prakash Karat and a curious assortment of the harebrained fraternity: all demagogues in search of a cause calculated to set the cøuntry alight and hopefully annoint their rise to supreme power. Alas, the Indian public has largely outgrown gimmickry and clowning and would prefer serious issues to be discussed seriously. Some politicians do, too many don't. The former, mercifully, are mostly in government, the latter, by and large, belong to an opposition (of Right and Left and their respective lunatic fringes) whose intellectual cupboard remains conspicuously bare. So, while the circus of Indian politics dominates media space, government and governance ensure that India grows significantly with the right confection of economic, scientific, technological and military inputs. India, after all, is located in arguably the most combustible region on earth, with little more than honeyed words and sweet nothings from the international community's self-appointed human rights brigade - scant comfort for a country fighting the predatory Islamist activities of Pakistan and its myriad controllers.

F-16s sustain Pakistan “Why does Pakistan need F-16s to fight Taliban?” was the title of Rajat Pandit's article in a fullpage Times øf India “Special Report” (January 17, 2010). His opening paragraph set the scene. “Pranab Mukherjee is not given to sudden public outbursts on foreign policy matters. But just five years ago, he angrily tore apart the American argument that the weapons it was supplying to Pakistan were meant to fight alQaeda and the Taliban. “Nobody uses F-16 fighter planes and other weapons meant for big wars to fight terrorists,” Mukherjee thundered. Mr Pandit revealed that, “Little, however, has changed since then. Pakistan continues to get sophisticated weapon systems, missiles, sensors and related equipment from the US, the majority of which are meant more for conventional wars rather than combating militants. “In the name of the 'global war on terror' since 9/11, Indian experts say, Washington has funnelled well over $10 billion in military aid and assistance to Islamabad to bolster Pakistan's counter-terrorism capabilities on the volatile border regions with Afghanistan.” What use are US anti-ship Harpoon missiles against the exclusive land-based Taliban? You may well ask. US statecraft targets the Taliban and kindred Islamist groups, but if

for a ride with astonishing reguA report in The larity, milking it Hindu newspaper by for billions and Y. Mallikarjun getting away with (January 12) said nuclear proliferathat “two ballistic tion and terrorism flight tests of Astra, sponsorship that Beyond Visual Range has earned other Air-to-Air missile countries cen(BVRAAM), were sure, sanction, successfully carried and even punitive from the out wars. Integrated Test Range “So what (ITR) at Balasore, e x p l a i n s Orissa øn Monday Washington's long [January11]. Defence over-indulgence of Research and Sukhoi-50 Fifth Generation Aircraft – Joint Russian-Indian project Pakistan?” asks Development simultaneously. technologically subordiMr Rajghatta. He goes Organisation (DRDO) “The effect was elecnate role assembling and over the well worn lines officials [said] both were tric. The senior IAF officer building fighters that which relate how the successful and the perwalked silently up to the Russia had designed. Now Pakistan military was susformance of the motor aircraft and tøuched it forced to accept HAL as a tained in the cold war as propulsion system and the incredulously. This was design partner, the anti-communist client; the configuration of the vehiwas the Sukhoi-50, the Russians have negotiated US is now apparently tercle and aero-dynamics first technology demonto limit its hard rified that the country will evaluated....The DRDO strator of what India terms role....With just 25 per gø terrorist (as if it isn't officials said it was more the Fifth Generation cent share of design, one already) and much advanced than than the Fighter Aircraft (FGFA).” South Block policymakers else besides. All this has similar class of missiles of After five years of intense still believe that the FGFA the ring of undeniable the United States, Russia negotiations a detailed project is a vital step fortruth, but Mr Rajghatta and France.” commercial contract perward towards India's appears to miss the vital The final tests of Astra taining to the respective emergence as a military point that thrøugh would take place at the roles of the Russian and aeronautical power... Pakistan and, by extenend of the year, opined our Indian partners in the Baweja [the recentAshok sion, China – despite the scribe, after which it design and production of ly retired head of HAL] ritual handwringing of libwould be inducted into the this futuristic warplane puts the project in coneral US scribes – the US IAF's strike aircraft. and their financial inputs text. 'India can only establishment is playing a is about to be signed. (develop the FGFA) by Rule of law Russia, with its partnering with Russia. wide experience in the They have so much manufacture of warexperience [Sukhoi planes going back to has designed over World War II is much 100 aircraft and prothe senior partner, duced 10,000 planes India as the newcomer and has 50 world will play second fiddle. aviation records to India's contribution is its credit]. It's not expected to include just the design the plane's critical must have software, including the materials..... the mission computer maraging steel, tita(the Su-30MKI misnium, composite sion computer is alloys and the entirely Indian), naviindustrial base to gation systems, most convert these into F-16 warplanes for Pakistan of the cockpit dishigh-tech compokeeping Pakistan alive and plays; the counter-measnents like gyros, dubious hand to fulfil its kicking brings the added ures, composites etc sensors and optics. larger goal of keeping bonus of disturbing India's Mr Shukla writes: The FGFA will give Indian Law Minister Veerappa Moily Russia and India in check. equanimity - also a paral“The contract will mark a us important expeThe US may calculate lel Chinese goal - then so significant shift in the rience for building fighters wrongly in some its polibe it. Washington and The Indian government aeronautical relationship thereafter,” Mr Baweja cies, but these are conBeijing sing from the same has struck a welcome blow between India and Russia. concluded. structs of realpolitik. They page, from time time; the for the rule of law by givFor decades HAL cannot simply ascribed to first is wedded to the coning India's courts six [Hindustan Aircraft Astra missiles naivety, as the more woolcept of a US-dominated months to free 125,000 Limited] has played a ly-minded among us are tested unipolar world order, the undertrial prisoners, “who prone to do. latter is more in tune with for long have been the the idea of a bi-polar silent victims of apathy of world shaped by a Sinothe police, prosecuting Russo-Indian US condominium. agencies, prison authoriwarplane ties and the judiciary.” (Sunday Times, January Paradox for A two-part report by Ajai 17) Shukla on the upcoming our times The report continued: fifth generation warplane “The UPA government is to rival America's F-22 “Uncle Sam's pet: Tail setting a six month deadwas an arresting read wags the dog” was the secline, starting January 26 (Business Standard, ond piece on the page. It for the release of these January 5,6). This is how was penned by Chidanand prisoners languishing in the report began. “Late Rajghatta, the paper's jail, booked for petty last year, a defence deleprincipal correspondent in offences [who] have gation to Sukhoi's flagship Washington. His excoriatserved a major part of the facility in Siberia became ing opening lines set the prescribed maximum senthe first Indians to set eyes scene. “It is one of the tence.” upon the next-generation most complex, vexing, Law Minister fighter that is slated to perplexing relationships in Veerappa Moily's concern form the backbone of the the world. One is called a was reflected in his letter future Indian Air Force master, a patron, a beneto chief justices of high (IAF). In that first meetfactor. The other is regardcourts, requesting them to ing carefully choreoed as a client, a vassal, a dø 'everything possible' to graphed by Sukhoi, the rentier state. Yet the the facilitate their early new fighter, standing on client plays the master like release. the tarmac waved a welthe tail wagging the dog. Justice delayed is juscome to the Indians, movBroke and crumbling, India's Astra missile tice denied. ing all the control fins Pakistan still takes the US

Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010


Alpesh Patel Consultant Editor Financial Voice Dear Financial Voice Reader, The Setting Is A Wedding. The marriage of the daughter of a Priest to the son of a Trader. The wedding is finished and people are now dancing. In one corner of a large outdoor tent the father of the bride and groom sit at a table having some wine with one or two other guests including a philosophy professor. Trader: I know you didn’t want this marriage. Let’s be honest. I also know you think we’re not worthy. But what you and I do is very much the same. Priest: How so? ‘In God we Trust’? But whilst you print that on your money, and hold your money up as your God, I Trust in God with no mention of money. Trader: I’ll leave aside that nowhere on earth does a non-governmental institution hold so much wealth as the Church. No, I meant, that for me to be successful, I must be detached from the fruits of my labour. A Trader to make money must not focus on the money itself but rather perform his actions with detachment and the rewards will follow. I read somewhere it’s what you teach – detachment in all things. Philosophy Professor: You’re mistaking Christian teaching with that of Hinduism. “Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice. Better than knowledge is meditation. But better still is surrender of attachment to results, because there follows immediate peace.” It’s from the Bhagavad Gita, an Indian religious text, 5,000 years old. Priest: I do not understand that helps you in your business and what business it is of mine? Philosophy Professor: The Hindus argue all religions, including yours padre, lead to one truth, one god and that to attain true enlightenment one must be detached from the vagaries of daily life, emotions and through such selfcontrol, rather like with the Priesthood, we become closer to god. Priest: Are you both trying to tell me that trading is an act of religious devotion? Or brings you closer to god? Exactly how much wine have you drunk? Trader: No, I’m telling you that a bad Trader needs detachment from money and emotions. In trading he will experience in one day most of the emotions mankind and the church have been battling for centuries and telling us to control: fear, greed, anger. The Trader has to do exactly that. Trader: You know, our children have got married, but you never told me how you became a Priest? Priest: Before I joined the Priesthood I was a mathematics teacher and it is mathematics which led me to god. Trader: See I told you we had a lot in common. I deal with maths everyday, and the maths leads me to god – ‘in God we trust’ remember. Priest: Not quite. I didn’t use maths to make money. Consider the beauty there is in mathematics. You mentioned Hindus earlier Professor. Take the Pingala sequence discovered by the Indians in 200BC. You will know it better by its Western discoverer – Fibonacci some 1,400 years later. The first two Fibonacci numbers are 0 and 1, and each remaining number is the sum of the previous two. So it runs 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13, 21,34,55,89,144 and so on. Fibonacci sequences appear in biological settings, in two consecutive Fibonacci numbers, such as branching in trees, arrangement of leaves on a stem, the fruitlets of a pineapple, the flowering of artichoke, an uncurling fern and the arrangement of a Pine cone"pine cone. The Fibonacci numbers are also found in the family tree of honeybees. God saw fit to make himself known through numbers. Through design in nature. It was these types of clues throughout mathematics of a higher power, a designer, that led me to god. Galileo Galilei asserted that "the laws of nature are written by the hand of God in the language of mathematics." Philosophy Professor: And to return to the Indians, according to the great Indian mathematician!Srinivasa Ramanujan, "an equation is meaningless to me unless it expresses a thought of God." Trader: You know there are traders who use only Fibonacci numbers to forecast the next move in global markets. Priest: Wherever there is god, there is man to make money from Him.

IMF warns of a recession relapse for developed economies The world body feels stimulus should not be withdrawn in a hurry In a warning for developed economies, International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said if huge fiscal and monetary stimulus, provided by the governments to combat the global meltdown are withdrawn in a hurry, the countries may experience a relapse of the recession. The warning came even as France has raised the economic

growth forecast for the year 2010, while Germany and Italy are still cautious about how strong the recovery is. During his recent visit to Japan, IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn described the recovery as fragile as he said the authorities have to be cautious. France suffered relatively less severe fall

among the Euro currency countries. In Germany, the central bank said the pace of the recovery is very slow as the consumer demand is still weak. “We have to be cautious because the recovery has been fragile,” IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said during a visit to Japan. He said pickups in employment and private demand

should precede removal of such life support. Even Italy has witnessed a revival of the economy as compared to fall in the GDP for last two years. After almost five quarters (15 months) of slowdown, the Eurozone and most of the industrialised world have registered a growth in their respective GDPs.

TCS net profits for Q3 up by 34 per cent Company to continue hiring more people in current quarter Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), one of India’s prominent IT services provider has announced encouraging Q3 results, recording a rise of 34 per cent in net profits. For the three months ended 31st December, TCS earned a net profit of Rs. 18.24 billion. The company has also said it will be continuing to hire more trainees and employees in the current quarter, the last one of the FY 2010. A TCS statement has said the revenues for the

company for the quarter went up by 5 per cent to Rs. 76.49 billion, while income from operations stood at Rs. 76.48 billion. 'Superior market presence helped TCS leverage the global economic recovery and post sequential across all operating regions,' the company said in the statement. 'While the US continues to lead demand recovery, UK and European firms are increasingly beginning to invest for the

Suzlon gets orders from a Swedish firm Suzlon Energy, a major player from India in the field of wind energy has secured its first order from Sweden. According to a Suzlon statement filed before the Bombay stock exchange, the first order has come from Triventus AB, a wind power developer and consultant. Triventus has order for two S88 – 2.1 megawatt wind turbines. Suzlon will also get the service and maintenance partnership contracts with a subsidiary of Triventus, which would be for future projects in Sweden. Sweden ranks as Europe's tenth largest wind market, with an installed capacity of over 1,000 megawatts. The country's is expected to have the installed capacity in the sector going up to about 3,000 megawatts in next couple of years.

upturn,' it added. The company board also declared a third interim dividend of Rs.2 per equity share of Rs.1 each. The company is looking at hiring 8,500 trainees and around 3,000 laterals soon, according to a TCS official. TCS Vice-President and Head, Global Human Resources Ajoyendra Mukherjee, speaking to mediamen last week said, given the growth, the company anticipates more hiring in Q4 as well.

"We have already employed 8,703 trainees in Q3 and expect to add 8,500 more trainees in Q4 FY 10. We have also hired 3,000 laterals in Q3 and given the growth we may continue to hire. During Q3, TCS had a net addition of 7,692. “We have had significant employee additions in Q3 and still have increased our talent utilisation to industry leading levels. We remain prepared to meet the growth in demand,” Mukherjee added.

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Inflation rate in UK jumps to 2.9% Inflation in UK was up at the fastest rate annually for the nine month period ended December, 2009. Against 1.9% rise in the previous month, the annual rate in December was 2.9%, as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rose by 0.6% according to the office for National Statistics. The Retail Price

Index (RPI) also went up to 2.4% in December, the highest since November 2008. The RPI covers housing costs. The rise in the CPI recorded its highest monthly rise for many years, since annual index records began. The RPI increase was also the highest annually since 1979.

Reliance Entertainment looking for MGM takeover Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), the Hollywood studio that is up for the grabs since 2008 could become a part of India’s Reliance group headed by Anil Dhirubhai Ambani. MGM has heavy debts, owing more than US$3.7 billion to creditors. One round of bidding is already over, but seven players have offered very low bids, leading to a second round, which is likely to take place next week. Reliance Entertainment, the media and entertainment arm of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, could well be the frontrunner in the race. For the second round bids, many more bidders are reportedly interested

Anil Ambani

in MGM, but Reliance, which aims for a larger presence in the Hollywood market after its deal with Steven Spielberg led Dream Works, could be having an upperhand in the process.

Citigroup boss Vikram Pandit under performance scanner Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit is virtually on a notice – to perform or perish. A major stakeholder in the US financial giant, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia has told the Indian American CEO that its time to deliver and the year 2010 is a year of make or break for him. The Saudi Prince, in an interview to the Fox Business had said, I don’t threaten CEOs I meet, but I told Vikram Pandit that he got two year leeway from the market and now its time to deliver, he has to give solid results in the current year.

Anil Ambani

According to Alwaleed, the Citibank shareholders have been very patient and the honeymoon for Pandit is over.

Nagpur set to have a Boeing MRO unit Dreamliner Boeing 787 to land with AI next year Boeing’s Dreamliner 787 aircraft is scheduled to be delivered to Air India, the Indian flag carrier in 2011. The US plane maker is also to build an MRO facility at Nagpur in Maharashtra with an investment of US$100 million. Dinesh Keskar, Boeing India chief said last week, Air India will get the first

of the 787 planes in second quarter of 2011. The Nagpur maintenance, repair and overhaul facility is expected to be operational in less than 3 years to cater to the maintenance needs of Boeing 787 and 777 aircrafts. The first of the 787 is expected to delivered in the last quarter of 2010.

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Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010

Bilateral trade talks, removing hurdles on India – EU talks agenda Free Trade Agreement negotiations next week in New Delhi India and European Union will be discussing contentious issues like climate change, child labour among others as they meet next week to pave way for a bilateral trade pact. According to a European diplomat, from their side, the issues relate to market access and IPR. Negotiations for an FTA (Free Trade

A new unit at Bharti Airtel for foreign expansion

Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel is still pretty ambitious for expanding the group’s presence globally, as they have created a new unit focused on foreign expansion last week, just on the back of receiving a nod to buy Warid Telecom of Bangladesh. It may be noted here that last year, the group’s efforts to buy a stake in MTN of South Africa failed twice. Manoj Kohli would be the head of the new unit with a focus on expansion in emerging markets beyond South Asia. Bharti founder and Chairman Sunil Mittal, in a statement said, “The next phase of our journey is set to be another game changer -- requiring superior thrust and focused leadership”. The group also has presence in Sri Lanka with mobile operations. SingTel, South East Asia’s top telecom firm holds 30% stake in Bharti. Bharti has a share of about 23 per cent in mobile market in India, the fastest growing market globally. Sunil Mittal said, “Indian telecom market is going through a phase of hyper competition and we continue to win here. At the same time, we will be developing comprehensive plans for our journey to cover emerging markets beyond India and the South Asia”.

Agreement) were launched in 2007 between India and the European Union, but the two sides have not been able to achieve much progress as India wants to keep away the contentious issues out of the scope of discussions. Public procurement is also an issue that India would not like to include in the FTA.

The head of the EU delegation in India, Daniele Smadja said she was hopeful of progress now as the FTA has got a political impetus from the India-EU summit late last year. Among the Indian concerns are conformity procedures for the EC mark and high costs of certificates for exporting fruits

to the EU markets. With a rise of 29% over the previous year, Indian exports went up to US$34.5 billion for the year 2007-08 and with expectations of a pact being signed, the bilateral trade between the two is projected to exceed US$237 billion by 2015. EU is among the biggest trading partners for India.

Cadbury going to USA’s Kraft 840 pence offer acceptable, Hershey out Kraft has finally managed to win the deal for takeover of Cadbury, one of the best UK confectionery brands, it was announced on Tuesday. The deal however has raised fears of possible job cuts at Cadbury’s UK operations. According to a BBC report, the Cadbury board has advised shareholders to accept the offer by Kraft. They have to decide

by 02 February whether to accept the deal. Standard Life, one of the corporate shareholders of Cadbury also said they would be accepting the offer. The unions have said, that

there are no assurances for the jobs, though Kraft has said they would like to continue the UK manufacturing units. The latest valuation makes Cadbury a £11.5bn company. Kraft will pay 500 pence in cash, while rest will be in form of Kraft shares. Hershey, another US bidder has lost the race. Kraft will be borrowing £7bn to finance the deal.

JAL goes in for bankruptcy protection In one of the biggest corporate failures in Japanese history, Japan Airlines – JAL has filed for bankruptcy protection. Reports on Tuesday, 19th January said JAL had applied for protection from creditors under the Japanese Corporate Rehabilitation Law, according to the state backed corporate turnaround agency. Asia’s biggest airline turned to the Enterprise Turnaround Initiative

Corp. of Japan for help in October, 2009 as it was feeling the crunch of the meltdown with falling passenger traffic and ever increasing pension costs. JAL had debts of US$16.5bn (1.5 trillion yen).

Under a prepackaged restructuring plan, JAL will now embark on a massive overhaul to shed the fat and inefficiency that undermined its finances. Japan government also said it would support the airline throughout its restructuring process. JAL will get all the necessary support in securing sufficient funding with a view to enable it continuing its flight operations and steady rehabilitation.

Hong Kong keen on attracting Indian businesses 1,500 Indian companies are already there in Hong Kong and the island nation is keen on wooing more Indian investments, particularly in six areas of health, education, ICT, technology, innovation etc. With this goal, Hong Kong has already set up the India Representative office of InvestKH in Bangalore. Charles Ng, additional director general of InvestHK, a department of the government of Hong Kong, during his recent visit to the city said

his country is world’s most free economy and 12 Indian banks already have their operatons there, while four others have initiated the process of getting a licence. HCL, Infosys, Titan, TCS are among the Indian companies already present there. Charles said Hong Kong has many advantages, including its geographical location, low and simple taxation and already existing world class infrastructure and connectivity.

Hong Kong offers huge opportunities in financial services, trade, innovation and technology. Indian IT, software, hardware and service firms can benefit from the good business opportunities, as Hong Kong is a major trading centre and a hub of many banking financial services and data centres that were looking out to upgrade their technology. Hong Kong also offers IP protection, which has attracted several global firms for investments in R&D there.

MTNL looking to going global Africa is the Indian operator’s target market MTNL, India’s state owned telecom operator is keen to expand its footprint globally and has set its eye on Africa. MTNL Chairman and Managing Director Kuldip Singh, speaking to mediamen said the company has already earmarked Rs. 5 billion last year. He also informed that they have already bid for a company

in Saudi Arabia. For the African operations, MTNL is open to entering the market via a new licence or buying out an existing operator. Kuldip Singh added that “We are looking for a right opportunity at a right price.” MTNL is present in the Indian metros of

Mumbai and Delhi, providing all types of telecom services – from landline to mobile, broadband internet and so on. It also has presence in Nepal (via a jv) and Mauritius (via a 100% subsidiary). On funds for expansion, Singh said MTNL has comfortable cash

reserves and being a zero debt company, funds would not be an issue. Through its subsidiary MTL (Millennium Telecom Ltd.), the company is also laying submarine optical fibre cable from India to South East Asia and Sest Asia, aiming to go for onward connectivity to Europe and the USA.

Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010




Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010

Financial problems at over 140,000 UK companies The British economy is still suffering from the meltdown, with more than 140,000 companies feeling the heat of financial problems in the last quarter of 2009, a report by Begbies Traynor has said. The problems were on a higher side as compared to the previous quarter, but lower than the same period last year. The report, by a lead-

ing business restructuring entity pointed out that even as the positive effects of the fiscal stimulus from the government are seen, UK is still under “high levels of corporate distress”. In many of the insolvencies, UK Treasury is one of the principal creditors, even as other creditors are now seen to have adopted a more lenient approach as compared to

the early days of the global turmoil that started in September, 2008 when Lehman Brothers of America trigerred the crisis that spread the world over. The report says once the current schemes -which provided a lifeline to many businesses -- are finished, there would be a "significant rise in company failures.

Jet Airways passenger traffic continues to rise in December India’s largest private carrier, Jet Airways saw a continued rise in its domestic as well as international passenger traffic in December. As compared to last year, the increase in domestic sector was 53 per cent, while it was 28 per cent in the international sector. These numbers were better than November also, according to a statement by Jet Airways. Jet had registered a growth of 33 per cent in domestic and 19 per cent in international passenger

traffic in November last year. JetLite, airlines' alleconomy arm, had registered surge of 23 per cent in passenger traffic at an average seat factor of 81.5 per cent in December last year. Jet carried about 3,67,246 passengers in December last year compared to 2,86,711 in

December 2008 on international sector. The airlines carried 3,25,869 to various international destinations in the month of November last year. Jet CEO Nikos kardassis said, “We are confident that Jet Airways is on a growth curve, and our continually improving results serve to further reconfirm this”.

Fears of Indian inflation to go in double digit by March Inflation in India is likely to reach double digits by March, as higher food prices in the country has led to the wholesale price index going up by 7.31 per cent in December, according to Proban Sen, Chief

Rs. 29.56 billion Qatar project for Siemens Electrical giant Siemens Ltd. of India, alongwith its German parent company Siemens AG have announced that they have bagged a contract from Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (QGEWC) that is worth Rs. 29.56 billions. Siemens informed the BSE that it has won an order from QGEWC which includes turnkey projects for design, engineering supply, erection, civil works and commissioning of 14 new electric sub-stations, modifications for five sub-stations and five cable diversions. The projects are to be completed by April 2013.

Statistician of the country. The monetary policy review is due next week, and the RBI is likely to raise the repo and the reverse repo rates with a view to contain inflation. The growth outlook for

the Indian economy looks robust and inflationary pressures going up, a rate tightening cycle is expected to begin. Indian policymakers are expressing divergent views about the growth and inflation.

Autocar ‘Car of the Year’ award for Tata Nano Nano, the cheapest car of the world won the ‘Autocar Car of the Year’ award recently. Instituted by Bloomberg UTV, the awards were announced at a ceremony in Mumbai. Receiving the award, Ratan Tata, the chairman of Tata Motors Group after receiving the award said, "I would like to accept this award on the behalf of the team at Tata

Motors, young engineers who achieved what was considered impossible." "I hope that what we have produced gives a lot of people an affordable car and happiness in the years to come," he added.

BankIslami proposal for a merger with EGIBL BankIslami Pakistan Limited has decided to explore the possibility of a merger with Emirates Global Islamic Bank Limited, Pakistan (EGIBL). The merged entity, if it happens will be known as BankIslami Pakistan Limited.

The Board of Directors of BankIslami Pakistan Limited has decided to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the EGIBL for the p r o p o s e d acquisition/merger. BankIslami said on Monday that the said

transaction is subject to satisfactory due diligence, regulatory consents, and execution of a biding agreement between the parties. The BankIslami will commence due diligence shortly, subject to necessary approvals, the notice added.

Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook: The Election It’s far far from over. Elections don’t always transpire the way they are expected to. Just ask Neil Kinnock in 1992 when he was widely expected to win, only to steal defeat from the jaws of victory. As David Cameron points out to ensure the Tories do not get complacent – they have to win twice as many seats from Labour as they did in 1979 which was their largest swing ever to win an election from Labour. And that was when the country was in even more dire straits than it is now – cap in hand to the IMF for one. The 2005 election gave Labour 355 MPs over Conservative’s 197 and an overall Parliamentary majority of 66. But this hides exactly the advantages in our electoral system which is locking in Labour. First, Labour’s dispersion of voters is such that they can at merely 36% of the votes still win an election – as in 2005. Never before in the history of British elections has a party won with such a low percentage of votes. Never in the history of British elections has a party had just enough of its voters spread efficiently so that with such a low spread of voters it can win enough seats. To understand this – think of it this way; we have a system whereby if you win a seat by 10,000 votes, you win it just as much as if you won by 1 vote. Tory voters tend to give themselves thumping large majorities and so in a way to say the Conservatives have a poll lead is irrelevant because you are only counting a lot of people in constituencies you’ve already won not people in ones

where you need to win from Labour. Labour tend to have lower majorities, but more of them – it’s just the way their vote is spread and so they tend to win more seats per voter. So pronounced is Labour’s advantage that in 2005 more people actually voted Conservative than Labour in England– but the Conservatives won 92 fewer seats than Labour within England (285 to 193). Indeed the Conservatives received 60,000 more votes than Labour in England. And Scotland and Wales are not exactly Tory country at the best of times. Put another way Labour can get 55% of the seats with only 36% of the votes cast. Whereas everyone else combined with 64% of the votes can only manage 45% of the seats – because everyone else’s votes are spread so inefficiently ie they are concentrated in fewer seats. To reiterate this ‘spread’ argument - the Tories with just 3% fewer votes than Labour (33% to Labour’s 36%) got only 30% of the seats against Labour’s 55% in 2005. Still could be worse – you could be Lib Dem – with 2/3rds as many votes as Labour they only got 1/5 as many seats as Labour. Try explaining the argument of ‘wasted Liberal’ vote to the voter on the doorstep. They used to form governments once you know. But that’s the problem with our system, it locks in voter concentration disadvantage and the Tories may want to visit proportional representation again. Of course the bigger

picture is that it’s not exactly a representative democracy when that happens. But it gets worse for democracy. There was an overall turnout of 61% in the 2005 election. But that means more people decided not to vote than voted for Labour. Indeed Labour’s share of the total possible electorate was 22% enough for a mandate to govern! 22%! At least in Iran it’s 99% for the winning party. So if the Tories want to win what’s the answer? Force Labour to go to the IMF – twice before May may do it. Ship swathes of Tories from very safe seats to marginals? Go for the issues seems the best hope – get into the heart of Labour territory of health, education and jobs. And what about Labour to win? Seems the system is so stacked in their favour, they’ve just got to hope the Tories don’t strike into the heart of Labour policy. The columnist hails from Karamsad and is a former Visiting Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He read Philosophy, Politics, Economics at St Anne’s College, Oxford when he also interned in the US Congress during the Clinton administration, read Law at King’s College, London, qualifying as a barrister. He is a former Bloomberg TV presenter and Financial Times columnist with 250+ columns published in the FT and author of 13 books on business and the markets. He is the founder Praefinium – a global Asset Management company.

GM to roll out LCVs from Gujarat unit next year The Gujarat unit of US car maker General Motors will start to roll out LCVs or Light Commercial Vehicles from 2011, GM India president Karl Slym has said. On the occasion of launching of small car Chevrolet Beat, he said for thee Halol unit, it will be a completely new segment of vehicles. The plant has a capacity of producing 85000 vehicles annually, including LCVs. "With the introduction of LCV, GM expects to

begin operations in three shifts at the Halol facility, and run the plant to optimum capacity," Slym said. The first LCV will be like a pick up van similar

to Tata ACE, second one may be a Multi Activity Vehicle, and the third one will be a van somewhat similar to Versa. GM presently has 15 dealers and 16 service outlets in Gujarat and by the end of this year it plans to put in 20 sales points and equal number of authorised service outlets here. GM sold over 70,000 units last year in India and expects a fifty per cent increase in its sales this year to cross the 1 lakh mark, Slym said.


Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010


Suresh Vagjiani is the Managing Director of Sow & Reap, a Property Investment & Financing company.

Still Time To Mature It was over a year since I visited the site of Rituraj Nal Safari, located in Sanand. This is an area which is still lush and green and retains the Indian village atmosphere. It was refreshing to come here after two

horse didn’t bolt and I didn’t fall on the floor as per my deep fear and after a quick trot I got swiftly off still looking manly. When I first came to the area there was no Nano project and only a handful of development

weeks spent in Ahmadabad and to breathe the fresh air and be in the relaxed atmosphere. I was staying in Pride Hotel, a nice hotel, but no matter how nice the hotel I was staying in you cannot replicate the natural outdoor beauty. The development is about a 25 miniute drive from Ahmadabad. The centre of gravity of Ahmadabad is shifting outwards as development is going on; more land on the outskirts is being grabbed by developers as it is cheaper going outwards. This effect is compounded by the development going on in Sanand itself with the much publicised Nano Factory coming up close by along with other projects popping up. After inspecting the completed houses which have come up since the last visit I was offered to go for a horse ride, not wanting to look unmanly I reluctantly got on. This was the first time I rode a horse in my life. No Saddle, no safety helmet just a blanket thrown over the horse. Luckily the

going on. Now there are over 20, however Nal Safari has a completely unique theme. With an integrated farm and a 1 kilometre length body of water for the water sports, horses, 20,000 Ft Clubhouse and even live geese. The strong progress is due to 200 people constantly working on the site. In usual Indian Fashion whole families kids and all come to work on site.

Tiffin Break

The progress made on the development has been phenomenal. The site will be ready to move into in June of this year. Over 75% of the first phase has been sold and over 100 houses constructed. Though this has been bought as an investment both by ourselves and clients, after visiting it will be difficult to part with it and sell it on. As no longer does it become purely about numbers but one gets attached to the beauty of the project. Though it should not be so as it was originally purchased strictly as an investment after seeing it, contrary to my own advice of keeping investment separate from emotion it will now be difficult to sell on. When we were selling in the beginning stages people still had doubts as to whether this project will really come off the ground and whether it would be as promised etc. Now we are past this point and the evidence is for all to see. The prices have risen from Rps750 to currently Rps2200 in two years. There is more to go in terms of development in the area, it is still to reach maturity. We believe the price will rise to Rs4000 with three years. This is still represents brilliant growth and with its unique theme will ensure its strong future growth. Call us now to book, the wave is still rising. Tel: 0207 706 0187.

A off market opportunity to purchase a property in Church Street A bright and spacious one bedroom flat on the 1st floor of well maintained purpose built block close to all the shops of Church Street. Church Street offers a popular location from the moments bustling shops and markets found on and around nearby Penfold Street, with St. John's Wood, Maida Vale and the amenities of the Edgware Road all within easy reach. Local transport links include Edgware Road Underground Station (District, Circle, Bakerloo and Hammersmith & City lines) and the nearby A40 (M), which both offer reliable routes into and out of central London, the City and the West End.

Key Figures from Cash Flow Statement: ! Purchase Price: £236,000 ! Estimated Valuation: £250,000 ! Current Equity: £14,000 Return on Deposit: 13.32%

Word on the street: London NW8Word On

Mortgages Commercial Finance Gujarat Properties - Sale & Resale Property Sourcing

e Street: London NW8 23 January 2008, Arrived in London for the first time in September this year… …Moved into a one bed place just off Edgware Road, on Church Street, and I have to say it's a lovely place to be. The local market means fresh fruit, veggies, fish and flowers are available daily and are cheap. Tesco is right around the corner, Somerfield, a 10 minute walk, and a host of little restaurants and shisha places dot the street in-between. Noteworthy are Sea Shell at Lisson Grove with a limited but delicious menu, the roll and biryani stall at Church Street market every Saturday and of

course, Cafe Helen's shawarma is the best thing after weekend revelries. The Traders Inn also does a lovely Sunday roast and is a warm, welcoming place for a pint. Transport links are great. Edgware road tube stations and

Marylebone underground are equidistant (about 0.5 miles each) and you've got bus no. 6 - which is a 24hr service, along with 98, 16 and 414. 205, 7 and a few others are available from Praed Street, near the tube station, thus connecting you fairly well. Paddington is also a 5 min walk, which is brilliant for the express shuttle to Heathrow. All in all, I have to say living here has been great. Church street offers the peace and quiet needed at night while the bustle on Edgware Road offers a lively vibe with an international mix of people and is a 5 minute walk away. …….Raa Born and bred in

The Wood, I never want to leave... The high street has all you need: cafes, wine shops, clothing and two great food markets. Lamborghini driving past and pleasant, sociable people to keep you company. The area is quiet and safe and the fact that it is so close to central London and Hampstead is half its charm.John We offer a Property Sourcing Service. So call us now to reserve this or similar kind of properties. Please call us on 0207 706 0187 or email for further enquiries.

Sow & Reap Call On: 0207 706 0187 Email at:

Sow & Reap Properties Limited is trading as Sow & Reap. Registered in England No. 05083823 Registered Office Address: 31 Southwick Street, Paddington, W2 1JQ


Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010



Cure of skin rashes through alternative medicine A skin rash is a condition characterized by change in color, texture, and appearance of the skin that causes itching, inflammation, redness, pain, and blisters. There are many forms of rashes that can occur in the different parts of the body which can be very irritating and uncomfortable. The following are some remedies derived from natural products that can effectively cure skin rashes without spending on expensive creams and appointments to a dermatologist: Treating of rashes through applying of olive oil has been known therapy. To cure such rashes apply liberal amounts of olive oil onto the affected skin to reduce rash. Olive oil is well-known for its natural moisturizing and skin healing properties that are effective in the treatment of rashes. It also induces skin renewal. Off late aloe vera has been an alternate method to treat rashes and allergies. SO the best way to do that is to extract on the rash about 3 to 4 times a day. Aloe vera is one of the popular ingredients in skin care products noted for its soothing and healing characteristics to the skin. The other conventional method is

to soak in an oatmeal bath. Pour one cup of uncooked or boiled oatmeal in bathing water and soak yourself for about 15 minutes or more without using soap. Oatmeal has natural properties that could relieve the inflammation associated to skin rashes. The simplest method and the ready home made system is to apply baking powder over the rash. Sprinkle a small amount in your hands and apply on the affected area to calm the itching and dry the rash. Curing diaper rash with aloe vera Diaper rash can be a terrible problem for both the child and the parent. The poor child is in pain and your heart aches for them. Aloe Vera can be a natural way to cure this problem quickly and painlessly. Aloe Vera has been used for generations to heal burns quickly and safely. This "How to" article will explain the simplicity to curing diaper rash with a leaf from an Aloe Vera plant. Pinch off a piece of an Aloe Vera leaf about one inch in length for little babies, two inches in length for larger areas or toddlers. Gather all the necessary items to clean and completely dry baby's bottom. A little

baby soap with luke warm water on a soft cloth to wash baby's bottom works very well. Follow with a dry, soft, clean cloth to ensure the area is completely dry. Do not rub if possible, just gently blot the area till clean and dry. After the area is clean and dry, roll the piece of Aloe Vera between your two fingers till the juice comes out. Smear the juice gently with your finger all over the affected area. The consistency of pure Aloe Vera juice is a little on the slimy side, but a thin layer will work wonders. Try not to put a diaper back on baby, the more air the better. Cloth diapers work great to help let the skin breath and slow down the little puddles in the house. Repeat steps 1 and 2 after every diaper change. Aloe Vera will usually have a mild to moderate case of diaper rash cleared up with in 24-48 hours. In severe cases where open sores are visable,consult your baby's doctor immediately. After the first or second application you will see the area start to dry out and begin the healing process. You will also notice that baby will not appear to be in as much discomfort after the third or forth diaper change.



Puranpoli Ingredients • 300gms. channa (yellowgram) dal • 300 gms. jaggery (molasses) • 1 tsp. cardamom powder • 150 gms. plain flour • 1 tbsp. ghee • warm water to knead dough • ghee to serve Method • Boil dal in plenty of water till soft but not broken. • Drain in a colander for 10-15 minutes. • Pass through an almond grater little by little till all dal is grated. • Mash jaggery till lumps break. Mix well into dal. • Put mixture in a heavy saucepan and cook till a soft lump is formed • Take care to stir continuously, so as not to charr. Keep aside. • Mix ghee, flour, add enough water to make a soft pliable dough. • Take a morsel sized ball of dough, roll into a 4" round. • Place same sized ball of filling in centre, life all round and seal. • Reroll carefully to a 6" diameter round. • Roast on warm griddle till golden brown. • Repeat other side. • Take on serving plate. Apply a tsp. of ghee all over top. OR • Shallow fry on griddle like a paratha for a better flavour. • But this method will consume more ghee and therefore calories. Serve hot with dal or amti. Note: The water drained from boiling dal is used to make the amti. (a thin curry made using black masala, garam masala and some mashed dal.) Making time: 45 minutes Makes: 7-8 puranpolis Shelflife: Best fresh (puran {filling} may be stored in the refrigerator for a week.

Carrot Halwa

Treating toothache through home made remedies

Toothache is the most commonly seen pain and heard amongst people of all age groups. This is a pain that is seen cutting across all seasons and the most easy treatment is popping up a pain killer. Very few people give a thought on the home made remedies that can be tried out for treating toothache. Use one of the most popular folk medicine

curatives: garlic. Or use a raw onion, an inexpensive and highly antibacterial treat. Drink wheat grass juice to draw out the

offending bacteria that may be causing your painful toothache. Have rock salt on hand to combine with garlic when you begin your pain relieving procedure. Treat yourself to a lime: Make a regular habit of drinking lime juice for added bone and tooth strength. Healing the toothache is also easy ans can happen with remedies at home. Eat a clove of garlic daily. It has long been known to provide a multitude of health benefits, including toothache relief. Treat a toothache by combining a clove of garlic with a piece of rock salt and hold it in place above or below the affected tooth. Popularly known as

one of nature's greatest germ killers: the onion. Research has shown that the onion is a powerful tool in the process of toothache relief. Chew an onion for 3 minutes to eradicate all of the mouth's bacteria. Focus your onion use further by holding a small chunk of onion on or beneath your pained tooth. This is said to eventually provide thorough pain relief. Avoid Extreme Temperatures Realize that a toothache is often the result of an infection. Sometimes a toothache can be caused by a nerve being too close to the eating surface. Treat your dental sensitivity with extreme care. Try not to consume beverages that are either too hot or too cold. Otherwise, sharp pain may result. Avoid contact with ice, ice cream , hot soup and tea for as long as your toothache persists.

Ingredients • 1 kg juicy orange carrots • 1 1/2 litre milk • 400-500 gm sugar • elaichi powder (cardomon) • saffron few flakes • few drops orange colour (optional) • 1 tbsp ghee Method • Peel and grate carrots • Put milk and carrots in a heavy saucepan. • Boil till thick, stirring occassionally. • Once it starts thickening, stir continuously. • Add sugar and cook further till thickens. • Add ghee, elaichi, saffron and colour.

• Stir on low heat till the mixture collects in a soft ball or the ghee oozes out. Serve hot, decorated with a chopped almond or pista.

Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010

Anil Kapoor makes American TV debut Bollywood star Anil Kapoor on Sunday made his debut on '24', a popular American TV series depicting a 24-hour period in the life of a government agent fighting fictitious terrorist threats to the US. The new incarnation of '24' broadcast by Fox represents a number of firsts for the veteran actor. For one 'I've never played a president', he says in a video interview

on Fox Television. 'It's the first time that I'm doing television. I've

been doing feature films for around 30 years. Not only was I excited that I was doing '24', but I was also anxious and nervous that I was doing something for the first time in my life.' Kapoor says he took the role on the urging of his friends and family. 'People told me, 'No matter what happens, you have to be on '24'! My son, my daughter, my friends. ''24' is very popular in

India. Five or six years back, I was introduced to '24' by my colleagues who would watch it in their trailers.' His decision to play a Middle Eastern character was a deliberate one, he added. 'I am very clear that I won't play Indian characters in international projects unless they're really special. I've told my agent to seek out parts that are not culture-specific, but have character.'

Paresh Rawal not interested in directing Paresh Rawal's acting skills are well-known and the popular actor also dons the producer's hat for several television serials but the veteran is clear that he will not turn director in the near future. The 59-year-old, who made his acting debut with the 1984 film 'Holi', has had a successful career as a television producer with his production house, Play Time Creations, having churned out shows like 'Teen Bahuraaniya', 'Main Aisi Kyunn Hoon' and 'Laagi Tujhse Lagan', among others. But he has no plans to helm a film or a serial. 'I have no desire to direct. At the moment I am happy with production

and acting,' Paresh said. After the success of 'Paa', where he played grandfather to Amitabh Bachchan's progeric character Auro, Paresh is ready with two films - 'Road To Sangam' and 'Rann' - both releasing on Jan 29. While in Amit Rai's 'Road To Sangam', he essays the role of a devout

Muslim, in Ram Gopal Varma's 'Rann', he plays a corrupt politician. Asked if he was nervous about the box office fate of the two films, he said: 'I don't get nervous now. I do my job with utmost dedication. My work is to listen to the director. I feel satisfied after doing the film. The rest is in people's hands.' 'Road To Sangam', set in present-day Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, revolves round the character of Hashmatullah, a Muslim mechanic played by Paresh, who rebuilt an old car to ferry an urn containing Gandhiji's ashes to commemorate his death anniversary. The film by a first-time director also stars Om

Shahid wants to follow Aamir in acting Shahid Kapoor has always maintained “Kaminey” to be the path-breaking film in his career with due respect to “Jab We Met” which definitely became the turning point. The chocolaty hero has come a long way and has made many heads turn towards him through his brilliant performances including his latest “Chance Pe Dance” as per the critics who though are not impressed with the film. However, the point remains, whether Shahid

is still satisfied with the way his career is shaping. To which he says, “Kaminey is a very special film which has added new dimensions to my career. I think as an actor one has

to break certain shackles and boundaries and if one manages to that then that's what one calls an ideal actor, for your fans expect nothing but something out of box every time they see you onscreen.” So, who do you think fits in the category of ideal actor Shahid? He replies, “I think Aamir Khan. He is in a different league altogether and he's doing some fantastic work. And to reach that level would take me years.”

Aamir says he has no success recipe He has given back to back hits like “Taare Zameen Par”, “Ghajini” and “3 Idiots” in the last three years but Bollywood actor Aamir Khan claims he has “no recipe” to make a successful film and he doesn’t know what audiences want. “I don’t have any recipe (for success). Lot of us often forget that the business we are in by definition is basically selling stories… We have to be different each time. I have to reinvent myself, I have to be different –

that’s the demand of my job. It’s not something that I am thinking and doing,” Aamir said. “I am attracted to scripts that move me emotionally and when you have such stories to tell, it doesn’t matter how

unusual it is, people connect to it,” he added. The 44-year-old stressed that he is oblivious to the audience demand in terms of content. “I’ve no idea what audiences want. I only have an idea about what I want… When I read a script, I go with my gut and then it just happens,” he said. Aamir’s latest outing “3 Idiots” has smashed all records and become Hindi cinema’s highest grosser till date.

Puri. Paresh said he had no problems working with a newcomer. 'I didn't have any apprehensions in working with a new director. Even if you work with an established filmmaker, there is no guarantee that the film will work. So, as far as I'm concerned, all that is important to me is that the film is made well,' said Paresh, who has acted in hit films like 'Naam', 'Hero No.1', 'Welcome', 'Cheeni Kum', 'Golmaal' and 'Hera Pheri'.


Colors coming to UK, US: Big B is brand ambassador Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan has been roped in to endorse TV channel Colors in Britain and the US after a successful stint as the host of reality show “Bigg Boss 3” on the channel. The sexagenarian says he is “honoured” by the association. “My association with Colors began with ‘Bigg Boss 3’. Now, by taking on the responsibility of being its brand ambassador, I feel extremely honoured in being able to partner a media channel that has been a conduit of social change while churning out excellent quality entertainment,” Amitabh said in a press release. “I am sure Colors, with its myriad hues of entertainment, will spread its magic in the US and UK as it did in India,” he said. With this launch, Colors, Viacom 18 network’s flagship Hindi entertainment channel, aims to entertain the entire Hindi-speaking South Asian Diaspora, across all generations. While the channel will be called Aapka Colors in the US, it will be known by its original name in Britain. The launch is expected to take place at the end of January. According to Rajesh Kamat, chief executive officer, Colors, the channel will be able to scale new heights with Amitabh as its brand ambassador as he is a global icon.


Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010

Ash-SRK to work together again?

Nayanthara to go with Paavaadai Thaavani and Salwars Nayanthara , the glamour doll of Kollywood will go for a complete makeover in her next flick Boss engira Baskaran. Arya will be teaming up with Nayanthara for first time and the movie will be directed by Rajesh of ‘Siva Manasula Sakthi’ fame. The movie is produced by K S Sreenivasan under the banner Vasan Visual Ventures. Nayantara plays a middle- class girl in the film and she will be seen in salwars and Pavadai-Dhaavani. Currently the shoot for this movie was taken at busy locales of Kumbakonam. The musical score will be by Yuvan Shankar Raja.

Vimala Raaman for skin shows

who is into Vimala Raaman s to have em se er re ca acting uk ka uz "M de cid ed du aa kk mu pin ha naanait etharkku?" st Vimala tried her be ily fam ing in Tamil by do g no girl role and sayin t she to skin shows. Bu . failed to shine here an Sh e the n ma de he r g sin ca ow sh alb um me sa the curves and at sin g po ex y all rti pa tim e indusskins to Telugu film try. great There she got a w busy no is d an nd dema sy showacting? sorry.... bu ing! g in a She is now actin team the d an vie mo u Telug in a ar pe ap to wanted her in the me ca e Sh . ite su swim in this piccostume as shown felt that the ture. The team be mo uth ld ou Lin ge rie sh dress cloth t no d an g droppin !!! dropping water to do the So she was asked ain and ag ce on le swim suite ro d pte for extra she too has acce s showing her in oto ph fees and soon cloth will decorate just two bits of ges making even pa 's these website !!! you drop your mouth

Finally, we might get to see Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan teaming up again for a film. At a get-together, the actress was approached by SRK to play a cameo in his next, ‘RA.One,” directed by Anubhav Sinha. Even if it’s a cameo, at least they’re taking baby steps towards rebuilding their professional relationship. The last time one saw Ash and Shah Rukh together was in 2002 in “Devdas.” After the “Chalte Chalte” fiasco, Aishwarya and Shah Rukh have never worked together. Both of them have tried working on several projects, but nothing materialised. A source reveals, “At a social get-together

recently, Shah Rukh and Gauri were seen in the company of Abhi-Ash. Both the couples were bonding and had a long chat about movies and forthcoming projects. It was at this moment that Shah Rukh spoke about RA.One.” The source continues, “Shah Rukh mentioned a scene to Aishwarya where

she has to play herself in the film. It is a cameo. The scene is yet to be scripted, but so far it is about a character in the film who is Ash’s biggest fan and actually gets to meet her. Abhishek, who was listening, encouraged Ash to do it.” “It was a general conversation that night but one hopes it materialises. It would be great to see Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in a Shah Rukh starrer,” adds the source. Director Anubhav Sinha remained unavailable for comment. Aishwarya’s spokesperson says, “Nothing of this sort has happened, nor has she been approached for it.”

Katrina, Ranbir get romantic again! Ranbir and Katrina are making waves once again. The duo will now be seen in Imtiaz Ali’s much awaited project “Rock Star.” The film was conceived a long time back and has seen much shuffling in the cast, from John Abraham to Saif Ali Khan, who was seen in Imtiaz's Love Aaj Kal. But now, Ali has zeroed down on the cast. Ranbir will play a rock star and Katrina his ladylove. Ranbir would also have to

learn to play the guitar for his role. The songs for the film would be composed by Pritam and not AR

Rahman. According to sources Ranbir is very excited about playing rock star. “Who wouldn’t be ? It’s a dream role,” he told his friend. Attempts are on to sign Katrina for the only other film Ranbir has signed for 2010, which is being directed by Anurag Basu.

‘Rann’ does not show media in bad light: Ramu Ram Gopal Verma's ‘Rann; exposes the true colours of media but does not portray it in bad light. Director RGV, as he is known says that his latest venture is not about media-bashing because it is not a singular entity, but a system. "I expose the media by showing its true colours the pressures, problems and complexities in running a 24 hour news channel," Verma said. Megastar Amitabh Bachchan who portrays Vijay Harshvardhan

Malik, a media baron, says 'Rann' does not portray the media in bad light. "It also not preachy of what the media should or should not do. After all it's a fictional story where there is poetic justice," he said. He felt there is clarity and transperancy in the media to correct lacuna if any within the system. Speaking about his character, Bachchan said Media is about business but also about conscience. "The film highlights the dilemma of the protag-

onist on striking a balance between the two," he said. "There was a news report whether or not the cameraman who shot visuals of the injured policeman and ministers passing by could have saved the dying man rather than just shooting the visuals. "I also read an article, acknowledging the problem of paid news and about the need for disclosure that money has been taken to publish news and there is nothing wrong with it," Bachchan said.

Salman and Shah Rukh to patch up ? Are Salman Khan and Shah Rukh heading for a truce? Well, just before the release of ‘Veer,’ Salman was indulging in garnering social niceties with his long time rival Shah Rukh Khan. News has it that when Salman saw the rushes of SRK’s ‘My Name Is Khan’, the temperamental star called up Karan Johar and congratulated him. The compliment was returned rather promptly by SRK, who, at a recent award function, minced no words to praise Salman’s upcoming film Veer, adding that he was looking forward to watch

the flick. According to sources, “Salman was the first to extend the olive branch by calling Karan after watching the promos of My Name Is Khan and SRK returned it by praising

Veer. They had both come face to face for the first time after the 3 Idiots premiere. ” Meanwhile, when enquired Karan Johar, the director confirmed the news and said, “Yes, Salman did call to say he loved the promos and the look of the film. I appreciate the feedback. It was very gracious of him. I have worked Salman in my first film and have a great amount of respect for him and his family. ”

Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010



Priyanka not interested in numbers game

An Anil Sharma film, Veer is a period flick that also portrays valour, pride and love. In this flick, Salmaan Khan is also associated with the story writing. The film is based on the period of pre-independence India, where the Pindaris are out to fight not only the British Empire but also the conniving King of Madavgarh and jealous tribesmen from their own tribe. The brave Pindaris prefer death to dishonour and will fight to their last breath to save their land...their mother. The bravest, the toughest, the strongest of the Pindaris is Veer. The stakes in the fight are high: His love for princess Yashodhara, daughter of his sworn enemy; his thirst to avenge his father’s dishonour and his very existence itself. Produced by Vijay Galani and Sunil Lulla under the banner of Vijay Galani Moviez, Veer is directed by Anil Sharma and presented by Eros International. The huge cast consists of Salman Khan, Mithun Chakraborty, Lisa Lazarus, Jackie Shroff, Sohail Khan, Neena Gupta, Zarine Khan, Vinay Apte, Bharat Dabholkar, Shahbaaz Khan, Rajesh Vivek, Yogesh Suri, Ashok Samarth, Tim Laurence, William Chubb, Gita Soto and Aryan Vaid. Sajid-Wajid have scored the tunes to the lyrics of Gulzar. Shaktimaan Talwar has penned the screenplay and the dialogues. Sukhwinder Singh, Sonu Nigam, Wajid , Neuman Pinto, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Suzanne D'Mello, Roop Kumar Rathod, Shreya Ghoshal, Rekha Bharadwaj, Shabab Sabri, Toshi, Sharib and Sunidhi Chauhan have rendered the playback.

Priyanka Chopra was marching towards the top with back-to-back hits "Dostana" and "Fashion" in 2008. Last year her "Kaminey" succeeded and if "What's Your Raashee?" had worked, she would have certainly come closer to being number one. But the a c t r e s s refuses to get drawn into the numbers game. "When a couple of my films would succeed at the box office, then people would start

Koena Mitra’s catty colleagues may think her Turkish boyfriend is a figment of her imagination. But that’s only jealous talk. At her birthday party recently Koena proudly introduced Mete Meral to all her friends. The Turkish boyfriend Mete Meral (“Please get the spelling right, ” she urges) is not just a pilot by profession but also part of a huge business empire. From the looks of it the two are dead serious about one another and intend to tie the knot some time soon. Koena isn’t averse to the idea of marriage, but she does sound a few notes of caution to herself. “I am sure I love Mete. But he is Turkish and I’m Bengali. We belong to completely




3 Idiots


Pyaar Impossible




Dulha Mil Gaya







different cultures and countries. Our families have to come to terms with such a cross-cultural alliance.” In fact Koena flies to Turkey later this month to meet Mete’s family. “He’s the only son. And his parents are aware of me, though so far I’ve only spoken to them on MSN chat. I’m looking forward to meeting them. Mete is so far removed from my world. Though he was introduced to me by a mutual friend from Bollywood he’s very amused to see our Bollywood latka-jatkas and laughs every time I show him one of our movies.”

Bollywood actor Tanushree Datta, who did not have a single release in 2009, says the decision was deliberate as she needed a break, and it has not affected her career at all. "After my debut in 2005, I had done almost 15 films till 2008, with 'Saas Bahu and Sensex' being the last. Hence, I thought it

Top 4 Bollywood movies for the week Total weeks

deny the relevance of big banners. However, a fact that also cannot be denied is that sometimes even big films don't work. I have first-hand experience in that because there have been some really big films that I wasn't convinced about and hence had to decline them," Priyanka said. Unwilling to divulge the names of these films, she does reveal though that most of these films didn't work at the box office.

Fresh after break, Tanushree has three movies in her kitty

1. Veer

No. Last Week

even end up stating that she is gone and there is no future for her... However, one hit later, every statement would be retracted. No one can be really blamed because this entire numbers business is so fickle," said the actress who has seen quite a few ups and downs in her career. Was this why she didn't worry much while signing a relatively smaller film like "Pyaar Impossible"? Though she claims it was the film's script that made her sign, she admits that big banners like Yash Raj Films have their relevance. "Yes, one can't

Koena has now a Turkish Boyfriend

New Hindi movie releasing this week

No. Film

commenting 'Oh yes, you are at the number one spot'. But one flop later they may end up stating 'arrey, yeh spot toh thoda hil gaya'," Priyanka said. "In fact, sometimes you experience something even w o r s e because the same people may

was time to slow down," Tanushree Datta, fresh after a self-imposed year-long hibernation, said. "I needed time to take a break and think about my career and come back with a better perspective," she said. So, after 'Saas.., I decided to take it easy and rest for a while. That's why even media interactions were stopped. "Surprisingly, it has not at all affected my career. Though I had release per se in 2009, I was busy doing stage shows and endorse-

ments as I have a lot of hit songs to my credit," she said. Meanwhile, after a gap of 6-8 months I also started getting offers which really interested me, the 'Aashiq Banaya Apne' actor said. Tanushree has at least three movies lined up for release, which are expected to hit the screen by March. There is Jagmohan Mundra's 'Apartment', a psychological thriller, 'Rokk' and a Tamil movie, 'Theeradha Vilayattu Pillai', she said.

Sonia Deol to present new weekday show on BBC Asian Network Sonia Deol is to front the 10 am-12.30 pm, Monday – Friday on BBC Asian Network, it was announced on Monday. The change is to come from Monday, 8th February. Sonia currently presents a Friday afternoon show on the station. The Asian Network has also confirmed that weekend breakfast presen-

ter, Tommy Sandhu is to takeover the drivetime slot (3 pm-6 pm). Sonia says: “The Asian Network audience and I have grown up together, so I’m really excited about my new show. It’s going to be fun, real, sometimes cheeky, and ‘must listen to’ radio. Tommy says: “Wow the drive show at Asian

Network - I’m so pleased! As the show is all about getting people home from work or school safely…then the listeners will be glad to know the journey will be smooth and I have got room for everybody! All are welcome to hop on board the new ‘drive show tractor’ for a desi ride like no other!” Vijay Sharma, Head of

BBC Asian Network, says: “Bringing Sonia and Tommy into the heart of our daytime schedule gives us one of the most talented and engaging presenter line-ups not just on Asian Radio but on all Radio across the UK.” Andy Parfitt, Controller, BBC Asian Network, adds: “These changes are part of our

long term strategy for the Asian Network to re-focus the station on a broader family audience.” Nihal who is on afternoons from Monday to Thursday (1 pm-3 pm) will now add Fridays to his schedule. As a result of the changes, current morning presenter Nikki Bedi leaves the station after

nearly six years. Andy Parfitt says: “I thank Nikki for her excellent contribution to the station over many years, I wish her well for the future and will be helping her develop her BBC radio career.” Jas Rao, who currently presents drivetime will continue to work on projects for the network.



Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010

Thousands bid farewell to Jyoti Basu in Kolkata Thousands of party workers and well wishers gathered in Kolkata on Tuesday to bid final farewell to Communist Party of IndiaMarxist (CPI-M) patriarch Jyoti Basu. Basu's body, draped in the national flag and placed in a gun carriage was carried to Mohur Kunj, where the state police personnel offered a 21-gun salute to the former chief minister. The national tri-colour was draped on the body over the party's red flag with personnel drawn from the Army, Navy and Air Force standing at attention. A large portrait of Basu with folded hands formed the background. Basu's body was handed over to the SSKM Hospital in Kolkata later in the evening. Basu's body was earlier kept at the State Assembly premises, draped in the national flag where many dignitaries and important national and international

Mouners follow the body of Jyoti Basu during a procession in Kolkata on January 19

personalities paid their respects. Congress President Sonia Gandhi accompanied by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee paid floral tribute to Basu at the assembly premises earlier. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was also present with a 40-member delegation to pay her tribute to Basu. Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani and BJP president Nitin Gadkari also paid floral tribute.

Basu's body was first taken from the funeral parlour 'Peace Heaven' to the CPI (M) Headquarters at 31, Alimuddin Street. It was later taken to the Writers Building, the State Secretariat for a few minutes, where chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee placed a wreath on the body. The body was then taken to the Assembly premises, where it was kept from 10 am to 3 pm. Around 2,000 police personnel were deployed during the whole ceremony.

down the matter, pointing out that he had written about the Sangh, his ideological parivar, in his memoirs My Country, My Life. He also emphasized that the film was made by Pratibha. The occasion also saw the saffron stalwart springing a surprise for those who read his stepping down as the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha as retirement from politics. Advani said his “yatra (political journey)

had begun at age 14” when he joined the RSS and was “still on”. It will end only after he is “able to make the party regain its full strength,” he added. The statement may surprise many in the party who read Advani’s quitting as Leader of Opposition as a retreat to the sidelines. Advani said that on the day of Sankranti he hoped that all the ills that had crept into the party would get over.

4th World Gujarati Conference from Jan 22 More than 1,000 Gujaratis of Indian origin are expected to gather in Ahmedabad on January 22 for the three-day 4th World Gujarati Conference. At the conference, one is sure to get a glimpse of the spirit of Gujarat. Celebrating everything that is Gujarati - people, literature, culture and the unflagging entrepreneurial zeal, the World Gujarati Conference is likely to see one of the highest conglomeration of Gujarati Diaspora. The three-day event is organised by Vishwa Gujarati Samaj. The highlight of the event will be the NRI award, to be conferred on five prominent Gujaratis of Indian origin. From philanthropist to businessman to legal eagles, the Gujarati Diaspora have not only scripted success in their respective fields but have kept the Indian flag flying


Sri Krishna – pure consciousness

Row over film on L K Advani made by his daughter A film made on L K Advani by his daughter Pratibha Advani has raised some eyebrows because of the total blackout of his lifelong association with the RSS. The omission was raised by the veteran RSS leader Ramesh Prakash who was part of the audience invited for the screening. The RSS leader found that the film did not have a single frame that included the Sangh. Advani, however, played

In divine light

high on foreign shores. During the event, litterateurs like Dr Dhirubhai Thaker, Kumarpal Desai, Ratibhai Chanderia and Krushna Chandra Patel, who have made remarkable contribution to Gujarati language, will be felicitated. The event will also see an international exhibition which will showcase success of Gujaratis in fields like industry, education, real estate among others through theme pavilions. There will also be a business meet, wherein delegates from different corporate houses will talk about the inspiring Swarnim Gujarat' story and explore opportunities in the state. Morari Bapu will give away NRI awards to five prominent Gujaratis, one each from US, Canada, Tanzania, Kenya and UK. A social worker from Gujarat working for lep-

rosy will be given Gujarat Gaurav award. Discussions on Gujarati language: ‘Yesterday, today & tomorrow', global warming and violent attacks on Indians in Australia would also be held during the meeting. ‘Rang Kasumbal Dayaro', by well-known Dayaro artistes such as Shahabuddin Rathod, Abhesinghi Rathod, Bihari Hemu Gadhavi and Sangeetaben Labadiya Manthan, a dance performance by speciallychallenged girl students, a play ‘Gandhi to Gandhi' by school children will also be held. India’s civil aviation minister Praful Patel, technocrat Sam Pitroda, Union minister of state for power Bharatsinh Solanki, and political leaders like Siddharth Patel, Keshubhai Patel, Suresh Mehta and Ashok Bhatt are expected to grace the occasion.

Our effort as students of spirituality is to merge with the inner master Sri Krishna. He is the epitome of consciousness and his life is rich with symbolic episodes that hide the deepest mysteries of life. Let’s understand a few aspects of his life and unravel for ourselves the truth behind them. Devaki’s cousin, Kamsa (pronounced Kansa), an evil tyrant, had taken over the kingdom of Mathura after imprisoning his father, King Ugrasena. A voice from heaven had forecast that Devaki’s eighth child would kill Kamsa. So, he imprisoned Devaki and Vasudeva, her husband. Kamsa had their seven children killed, one after another. Krishna was the eighth child and before Kamsa’s evil hands could kill him, the prison doors opened and Vasudeva escaped with Krishna, crossed the river Yamuna and exchanged him with Nanda’s daughter. Devaki allowing her seven children to be killed by Kamsa is symbolic of the voluntary suffering a disciple undergoes to awaken consciousness within the body-brain system. The opening of the prison doors shows that consciousness cannot be detained, implying freedom from the imprisonment of our own samskaras (conditionings). Yamuna is the river of divine love or bhakti; crossing the Yamuna is akin to dissolving the ego. On one shore is the prison of Mathura and on the other is Nandgaon, the village of joy. This means that the path to real joy is by dissolving the ego. While crossing the river, the waters rise to touch the child Krishna’s feet, symbolising how nature surrenders to the one whose soul has merged with spirit. He is sucking his big toe, creating a circle; this shows that he is getting joy from within himself, independent of what is happening outside. Our happiness is always dependent upon something outside. Seshnaag, the big snake, is protecting Krishna’s face; the snake being a symbol of time, implying that time is a slave of consciousness.

In our lives time is a tyrant, binding us into slavery. Nandgaon is an idyllic setting where Krishna grows up. Here, there is joy playing with the cowherds (gopas) and the young women (gopis). This is very symbolic because gop means our sense organs and gopi means to drink with the sense organs; pi for pivu (to drink). Our senses work with the energy of sensitivity, which we waste in excitement. If we can free the senses from excitement and expand the energies of sensitivity to that extent where they can extract joy from every event in life, we have mastered the real art of living. This symbolic dance which Krishna plays with the gopis, drinking each event of life with his five senses and extracting the cream from them is called raas and the cream he extracts is ras, the elixir of life. That is why he is called makhan-chor, the one who robs cream. His childhood is filled with stories of how he killed different rakshas or demons, signifying different forms of negativity within us, which every disciple has to kill. Kamsa sends Puttana, his foster nurse to kill Krishna. She applies poison to her breasts and feeds the child Krishna. Pu means purification or purgatory. Krishna drinks her poison and instead of him, she dies. This is the art of converting negative energy into positive or negative situations in life to positive ones. When he is eleven years old, the time has come to go back to Mathura to kill his uncle, the king Kamsa. The word Kamsa means a ‘drinking vessel’. It comes from the root kaam which means

‘desire’. So here is a king who is drunk with the wine of the desire to be the most powerful person in the world. This desire lies in all of us and must be killed before we advance to higher levels of yoga. Kamsa was a personification of a demon, Kaalnemi, meaning time in a circumference, or time-bound. We want to fulfil all our desires in as little time as possible. The irony is that we all feel in this life we will fulfil all our desires, despite knowing very well that no one has ever fulfilled all of theirs. Till we are free of this attitude, we cannot wake up to the dream of life. Krishna kills Kamsa in a hand-to-hand wrestling duel, which shows that we have to struggle hard to come to the state of desirelessness. Krishna’s life as a child, on a small scale, is a play or a leela of something that takes place later on a larger scale in the Mahabharata. Every event that happens in the life of the Pandavas has in essence, happened in some way on a smaller scale with Krishna in his younger days. He has lived the full circle of life’s experiences and when he enters the stage of the Mahabharata, even though young in years, is wise in experience. Thus, he easily takes the reins of Arjuna’s chariot and sails him through the upheavals of the eighteen-day war. All of us are Arjuna, albeit in waiting, and we must work on ourselves till that moment when our inner master, Sri Krishna takes the reins of our lives in his hands. JAI SRI KRISHNA (Edited by Chintu Gandhi. Illustrations by Siddharth Ramanuj) The author can be reached by emailing

Asian Voice - Saturday 23th January 2010


Ganga water not fit for bathing

The quality of the water in river Ganga at Haridwar is not good for bathing, a recent study by an NGO reveals. Water has been polluted due to continuous discharge of untreated waste and effluents, Dehra Dun-based NGO, People’s Science Institute, said in its study. Sewage treatment plant (STP) at Jagjeetpur releases about 129 million litres daily (MLD) into the Ganga with a fecal coliform concentration of about 34 million/100ml. Fecal coliforms are non-sporulating bacteria. Scientists from People’s Science Institute (PSI) took samples from 10 drains falling into the river Ganga at different locations in Haridwar on January 2 and 3 this year along with samples of the river water at three locations.

11-minute celestial spectacle enthrals millions A pall of darkness and a golden ring of fire appeared in the sky in the southern tips of India as the millennium’s longest annular solar eclipse covered a swathe of 1,000 km on January 14. The rest of India only witnessed a partial solar eclipse. The devout thronged the seas and rivers such as the Ganga for a holy dip they believed will wash away the “ill effects” of the celestial event, which coincided with ‘Mauni Amavasya’ after 565 years. Over the southern tip, the eclipse, the like of which is expected again only in 3043, began at 11.14 am and ended a lit-

tle after 3 pm. It was a spectacular sight when the photosphere of the sun was covered by the moon, forming a ring of fire in the sky for about 11 minutes and eight seconds. “It was less than dark but more than twilight,” said B Dasgupta from Madhya Pradesh, who led astronomers observing the event.

A similar event, but of a smaller duration, is expected to occur in 2019 which will be visible in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. During the annular solar eclipse, the sun appears as a very bright annulus, which in Latin means ring, surrounding the outline of the moon. In Varkala town in Kerala, located on the edge of the eclipse path, a team of astronomers photographed the event using three telescopes. Notwithstanding efforts by science associations and rationalists to

remove the scare among the people based on superstitious beliefs, major temples remained closed throughout the country during the eclipse. Believers refrained from eating and expectant mothers confined themselves to their homes during this time. In Haridwar, where the three-month long Maha Kumbh began on Thursday, tens of thousands of people thronged the ghats of the Ganga for a dip. Kurukshetra in Haryana also witnessed a heavy rush. In the IT city of Bangalore, streets were deserted, people preferring to stay indoors.

Compensation for British victims of 26/11 British government has announced a new scheme for compensation to victims of terror victims under which citizens of the country will be paid compensation even if they have been killed or injured in a foreign country. Under the amended rules, those killed or injured in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks will be entitled to compensation. The new scheme will not be retrospective but officials said British victims of terrorism in overseas since 2002 would be

eligible for compensation. The announcement of the new Overseas Terrorism Compensation Scheme in British Parliament on Monday follows a drive launched by a UK victim, William Pyke, who was caught between the crossfire in Mumbai, and left paralysed for life. Pyke, 29, campaigned for the law to be changed after discovering there was no compensation provision for UK citizens injured in terror attacks outside the country.

He was holidaying with his girlfriend Kelly Doyle when the Taj hotel was attacked. While trying to escape from the window, Pyke fell 50 feet when knots in a rope made of bedsheets and curtains did not hold. Doyle was rescued soon after. "Terrorism is intended as a political statement and an attack on society as a whole. Therefore it is right that, as a tangible expression of sympathy, society should compen-

sate the victims of terrorist attacks abroad in recognition of the injuries suffered," Justice Secretary Jack Straw said. The amount of compensation would be calculated according to a tariff based on the seriousness of injury. Incidents where UK victims of terrorism abroad and their families have campaigned for compensation include attacks in Mumbai in 2008, Sharm al-Sheikh in 2005, and Bali in 2002.

India seeking partnership with UK in teachers’ training India will enter into partnership with Britain on areas of teachers' training, vocational education and skill development. Discussion on these matters will be taken forward during the visit of HRD Minister Kapil Sibal

to the UK. "We are exploring collaboration in areas of skill development, vocational training and teachers' training," Sibal told . Two separate MoUs -one between IIT, Ropar, and Glasgow Research

Partnership in Engineering, and another between IISER, Pune, and Southeast-India Partnership Network – will be signed during Sibal's visit. He will hold talks with Lord Mandelson,

British Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and Douglas Alexander, the British Secretary of State for Department for I n t e r n a t i o n a l Development, UK.

GoM clears proposal to make anti-hijacking law stricter With terror threats to the civil aviation sector looming large, a Group of Ministers cleared proposals to make the antihijacking law more stringent by including death sentence as a punishment. The GoM, headed by home minister P Chidambaram, also decided to incorporate a new clause to cover the aspect of conspiracy to hijack an aircraft which does not exist in the Anti-Hijacking Act of 1982. The clause 4 of the act, which now provides for life imprisonment and a fine for hijacking, would be amended to include death penalty.

They said the proposed amendments would now be given a legal shape with the intent of bringing them before Parliament in the ensuing Budget Session for the law to be amended. In 2005, the government had unveiled a tough anti-hijack policy under which any hijacked plane, being used as a missile to target vital installations as in the 9/11 terror attack, would be shot down. The policy, which was cleared five years ago by the Cabinet Committee on Security [CCS], also provides that no negotiations whatsoever would be held with the hijackers on their

demands. These provisions aim at countering situations like the December 1999 hijack of Indian Airlines' IC-814 which was taken to Kandahar. Four top terrorists were freed in exchange of the passengers, one of whom was killed by the hijackers. Besides Chidambaram, the meeting of the GoM on aviation security was attended by law minister Veerappa Moily, HRD minister Kapil Sibal and civil aviation minister Praful Patel. The policy provides for immobilisation of an aircraft and not allowing it to take off if the hijacking

takes place on Indian soil, besides the scrambling of IAF fighters if the hijacked plane remained in the Indian airspace. Any decision to shoot down an aircraft would be taken in extreme circumstances like the 9/11 terror attack, if the aircraft chose not to identify itself or appeared to have evil intentions of targeting vital installations, the sources said. The draft proposal was prepared by the civil aviation ministry and cleared by a committee of secretaries a few months ago, they said, adding that it was then referred to the GoM for approval.

Gritty Bihar girl on UN calendar Prevailed on orthodox family to let her complete schooling, learnt karate Her orthodox father wouldn’t let her go out of home - even to school. She defied him, joined an education-cum-vocational centre in her village and her impressed teachers prevailed upon her father to let her go out of the village to complete another course. Today, a history honours student, Asma Parween is also a karate trainer whose success story will feature on this year’s United Nations Population Fund calendar. A native of an obscure village, Sakri Saraiya in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district, this 19-year-old blue belt holder has travelled to different parts of Bihar to train girls at camps organised by the government. She is also a member of Muzaffarpur’s district resource group which mobilises children at block levels for admission to Navodaya Vidyalayas. Her achievements have led to a perceptible change in her family’s outlook. “We’re proud of her,” her

elder brother Shakeel Ahmed said. In between these engagements which “besides giving satisfaction to me, also fetches money for my poor family”- Asma continued to take karate lessons and is now set to get the brown belt. Asma’s journey to success began in the mid1990s when an NGO, Mahila Samakhya Kendra (MSK), set up the education-cum-vocational centre for illiterate girls in her village. “Don’t you dare go out of home,” her father Mohammad Yusuf, a petty utensil-seller, fumed when Asma sought permission to join the centre. The gritty girl, however, stealthily completed the two-year course. “Her parents allowed her to complete another eightmonth residential education-cum-training course at Muzaffarpur after much persuasion,” MSK district programme coordinator Poonam Kumari recalled.

India, France ratify N-treaty India and France exchanged the instruments of ratification of the agreement on civil nuclear energy cooperation, bringing into force the historic deal that will give French nuclear companies a head start over other nations in participating in India’s nuclear energy programme. Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and French Ambassador to India Jerome Bonnafont exchanged the documents to give effect to the accord that was signed in Paris on September 30, 2008, during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to France. “As responsible states with advanced nuclear technologies, France and India intend to develop a multiform civil nuclear cooperation covering a wide range of activities, including nuclear power projects, R&D, nuclear

safety, education and training,” the External Affairs Ministry and the French Embassy here said. The two countries were hopeful that the entry into force of the agreement would give a new impetus to the Indo-French partnership and would contribute to further strengthening the deep ties of friendship and long-standing cooperation between the two countries. Days after India secured a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group on September 6, 2008, after 34 years of nuclear isolation, France became the first country to ink a civil nuclear accord with India. The French Parliament unanimously approved the accord in ovember last year, paving the way for participation of French companies in India’s nuclear energy sector.

New Delhi to get Unesco sponsored Gandhi institute Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Peace and Sustainability will be set up in New Delhi soon, Unesco director general Irana G Bokova announced recently. The highest governing body of the Unesco, the general conference that

has representation from member states has already approved the creation of the institute. The final modalities for the same are being worked out. Bokova said the institute will contribute to shaping more inclusive knowledge societies.


Saturday 23rd January 2010 - Asian Voice

Narayanan is new West Bengal Governor, Patil for Punjab National Security Adviser M K Narayanan has been appointed Governor of West Bengal and former Home Minister Shivraj Patil in Punjab. Former Defence Secretary Shekhar Dutt has been chosen for Chhattisgarh from where E.S.L. Narasimhan moves to Andhra Pradesh Raj Bhavan. While . Sankaranarayan has been shifted to Maharashtra. Himachal Pradesh Governor Prabha Rau has been moved to Rajasthan from Himachal Pradesh where senior MP Congress leader Urmila Singh is the new incumbent.

Cathlab facility at Rajkot charity heart hospital Sri Sathya Sai Heart Hospital, Rajkot is a charity run hospital serving the poor and needy heart patients completely free of cost. Aiming to provide the best of the services to the patients, the Hospital inaugurated a Cathlab last weekend. The new facility was inaugurated by justice Mr. Kalpesh Jhaveri of

Gujarat High Court on Saturday, 16th January. The hospital is determined to ensure that by 2011, not even single patient would suffer from heart diseases due to lack of money in Gujarat. Last year the hospital carried out 768 surgeries and people from more than sixteen states have been benefited.

Chinese cyber attack thwarted, says India Beijing denies allegations of hacking computers in PMO Top officials and the office of the Prime Minister were the target of a cyber attack by China recently, India’s national security advisor M K narayanan has said. China on Tuesday has denied the hacking allegations. Mr Narayanan, speaking to a leading English daily said his office and

21 children selected for India’s National Bravery Awards They have hardly reached their teens, but then what has age to do with courage? From saving lives in landslides and averting major disasters due to terrorist strikes to even giving up their lives to save somebody else’s 21 Indian children have been selected for the national bravery awards this year for their heroic deeds. The awardees were introduced to the media at the Indian Council for Child Welfare in the New Delhi on Monday. Of the 21 kids, eight are girls. Thirteen-year-old Gaurav Singh Saini of Haryana has been given the Bharat award for saving more than 60 lives in a stampede at the Naina Devi temple. Recounting his memories of that fateful day in 2008, Saini said that he had gone to the temple with his parents when they suddenly heard that there was a landslide. Panic stricken people started running helter skelter, thus causing a stampede. “My first reaction then was not to run but help those who were stuck in the stampede. There were people all around, falling on top of each other and

feeling claustrophobic. I looked around and saw a wire so I jumped onto it. Seeing me, people held out their hands and I pulled them up and made them hold on to the wire,” Saini said. “Soon I had gathered about 60 people on the wire and slowly we pulled ourselves to a tin roof and slid down to safety,” he said. In all the chaos, the teenager lost his sister and a cousin. “I am proud that I could save so many lives. My teacher used to always say - the test of a person’s character is the way he reacts in the face of adversity. Someday I would want to join the Indian army and save more lives,” Saini said confidently. Saini was not the only brave kid to have expressed his desire to join the defence forces. So did 10-year-old Maibam Prity Devi, who was awarded the Geeta Chopra award for her bravery. Devi, who hails from Manipur, saved the lives of hundreds when miscreants hurled a grenade in their grocery shop in the village. “I was with my mother in the grocery shop when

All wedding gifts in India to be listed, registered Continued from page 1 Registration of the gifts, the ministry officials said, will help women get the dowry back. “In most cases, a dispute emerges over the amount of dowry given. With the provision of registration of the gifts, the women will have a legal right to seek compensation for all the gifts given,” a senior ministry official said. To prevent false claims over gifts, the group has decided that the protection officers will authenticate the list before registering it. The government has

decided that protection officers can also function as protection officers under Domestic Violence Protection Act, to improve efficiency of women specific laws. All state and central government male employees would need to furnish declarations after marriage stating that they have not accepted any dowry. The declaration has to be signed by their spouses, fathers and f a t h e r s - i n - l a w. Incidentally, this practice is already mandatory for Kerala state government employees.

a grenade was hurled at our shop. It landed near the gas cylinder... I was shocked but immediately raised an alarm that it was a bomb. Not waiting for any reaction, I picked it up and threw it some distance away,” the gritty girl said. Her act could save the lives of many people. Two of the 21 awards will be given posthumously. Both the children, Ranu Mishra, 10, and Deepak Kumar Kori, 12, drowned while trying to save the lives of others. The children will be given their awards by the prime minister prior to the Republic Day, after which they will participate in the parade. The president will also host a reception in their honour. They will also receive a certificate, a medal and cash prize.

Mulayam accepts Amar’s resignation Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh on Sunday accepted the estranged colleague Amar Singh’s resignation, 11 days after he quit the posts of national general secretary and party spokesperson and from the SP parliamentary board. In a six-line letter sent to him, Mr. Mulayam Singh said the resignation was accepted “with a heavy heart,” and expressed his gratitude to Mr Amar Singh for his efforts to strengthen the party.

other government departments were targeted on December 15, the same date that US companies reported cyber attacks from China. He said the attack was in the form of an e-mail with a PDF attachment containing a “Trojan” virus that allows hacker to access a computer remotely and down-

load or delete files. After detecting the virus, officials were asked not to log on until it was eliminated. “This was not the first instance of an attempt to hack into our computers,” Mr Narayanan said. China has been at the centre of a storm after Google threatened to close its operations and offices in

China following attempts to hack into gmail accounts of around 20 US, China and Europe based Chinese human rights activists. The Western world had described the internet assault as part of the tactics, a sort of standard operating procedure, that China employs against its critics.

Pak soldier killed in border skirmish Pakistani military has claimed that one of his soldiers died and another injured in firing by Indian forces across a cease-fire line separating the Indian and Pakistan occupied Kashmir region on Tuesday. The alleged incident in Rawalakot sector in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir is the latest in a spate of border skirmishes in recent weeks that have raised tension between the nuclear-armed rivals.

A Pakistani military spokesman described the incident as ‘unprovoked firing’. Pakistan had lodged a protest with India and called for an immediate meeting of military commanders in the area, he said. Relations between the neighbors have been strained since India suspended a peace process with Pakistan after an assault on the Indian city of Mumbai by Pakistan-

based militants in November 2008. Last week, Indian officials said one of their soldiers was killed in firing across the Line of Control. Pakistani and Indian forces traded fire across the border near the Pakistani city of Sialkot on Sunday night and a similar incident was reported on January 8. Both sides routinely blame the other for provoking the fire.

SC snubs Gujarat government, asks to hand over CM’s speeches Close on the heels of its ruling directing the Central Bureau of Investigation [CBI] to take charge of investigation into an alleged shoot down of Sohrabbudin by the Gujarat police, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Gujarat government to furnish without delay all documents, including the alleged inflammatory speeches made by Chief Minister Narendra Modi to the Special Investigation Team probing the post-Godhra 2002 communal riots in the state. A bench of Justices D K Jain, P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam rejected the state government's argument that the documents sought by SIT may not have relevance to investigations. Citing the statement of

Narendra Modi

SIT, the Supream Court asked the respondent ‘what is wrong if you make it available’ while directing the Gujarat government to hand over without further delay all documents required by SIT. The apex court passed the direction on the basis

of an interim report submitted by SIT, headed by former Central Bureau of Investigation Director R K Raghavan, complaining that certain documents relevant to the ongoing probe were not being furnished by the state government despite requests. The documents allegedly being denied by the government included transcripts of an allegedly inflammatory speech made by Modi in September 2000 after the Godhra train carnage. The bench also declined to grant the five-month time sought by SIT to submit its reports and asked the probe team to submit its report to the court by April 30.

1 in 5 Caesarean deliveries in India ‘unnecessary’ Hospitals indulge in this procedure to make a fast buck, says a WHO report One in five deliveries in India is by Caesarean section, a procedure followed 'unnecessarily' in most of the cases despite it increasing the risk of maternal mortality and morbidity, says a WHO report. A global survey on maternal and perinatal health by WHO witnessed 27 per cent rise in Caesarean deliveries in nine Asian countries, including India, China,

Japan, Nepal and Sri Lanka, in 2007-08. Though in India only 18 per cent births are Caesarean as compared to China's 46 per cent which topped the list, what is worrying is that such cases have risen from five per cent to almost 65 per cent in many private hospitals in cities like Delhi and Mumbai, the report said. After analysing 107,950 births of which

24,000 were from Indian states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi, the WHO found that C-section births have increased beyond the recommended level of 15 per cent in these countries, not "because of an immediate medical need for it but due to financial gains". The WHO health experts insisted that "mothers should only get a C-section when there is a need for it as it increases risk of

maternal death, infant death, admission into an intensive care unit, blood transfusion and hysterectomy as compared to spontaneous vaginal delivery. "But these risks have not necessarily been absorbed into medical culture because in two thirds of the hospitals which took part in the survey, the institution had carried out Caesarean to earn more money as it costs more than the normal delivery.


Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010

Bangladesh President rejects Mujib killers' mercy petition Dhaka: Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman has rejected the mercy petitions of three of the five former army officers who were sentenced to death for the killing of the country's founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975. Mohammed Shafiul Alam, secretary to the president, said: 'There is nothing more to do here. The petition has been refused and was sent to the home ministry on Sunday.' The government told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that the execution of all five former army officers who were awarded death sentences has been stayed till the apex court rules on their review petitions. The court said it would hear the five petitions on Jan 24.

Violence erupts in Lanka ahead of presidential poll Colombo: A Sri Lankan opposition supporter was killed on Monday as fresh unrest erupted ahead of next week's presidential election despite a security crackdown, police said. The man was killed in a clash with ruling party activists in northwestern Sri Lanka, marking the third politically-related death in the run-up to the presidential vote on January 26. Supporters of the main opposition candidate, former army chief Sarath Fonseka, were attacked in the town of Wariyapola while they were putting up election posters, police said. "One man was killed and several others sustained injuries," a spokesman for the police

Sarath Fonseka

Mahinda Rajapaksa

election secretariat said. Police say they have reports of nearly 600 pollrelated incidents of violence already. President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is running for re-election, has ordered a security crackdown to quell unrest, his spokesman Chandrapala Liyanage said. "The president is deeply concerned about

the violence and has already ordered police to make sure that there is tighter security," Liyanage said on Sunday. "He is also appealing to all parties to ensure there is no violence." Opposition activist Kusuma Kuruppuarachchi, 60, was the first to be killed in the poll campaign when she was shot in the southern town of Hungama last

India, Britain set to sign nuclear deal London: A declaration on civil nuclear cooperation between India and Britain appears to be on the anvil when commerce minister Anand Sharma visits London next month. This was indicated by Lord Peter Mandelson, British secretary of state for business, innovation and skills. In an exclusive interview, Mandelson confirmed: "We are indeed working with the Indian government on closer relations in the sharing of civil nuclear technology. I hope that I will be able to sign a civil nuclear cooperation declaration with minister

Sharma early this year." Mandelson was said to be disappointed that such an agreement was not concluded during his visit to Delhi last month. According to a source at the Indian High Commission here, India objected to a non-proliferation clause in the draft submitted by the UK. However, even if the mentioned declaration is signed next month, this cannot become operational until New Delhi changes its policy of restricting nuclear collaboration to public sector entities. Most potential British suppliers of tech-

nology for generation of nuclear energy are in the private sector. The same hurdle is, reportedly, holding up implementation of contracts with US companies. In contrast, such firms in France and Russia are generally government owned. Mandelson, seen as the most powerful person in the British cabinet after Prime Minister Gordon Brown and an architect of New Labour, a concept that catapulted the Labour party to office in 1997 after 18 years in opposition - has rapidly acquired a reputation of being an enthusiast on India.

week. Police also fired tear gas to disperse thousands of party workers in the eastern town of Polonnaruwa after mobs destroyed vehicles and buildings on Wednesday. The US embassy in Colombo said it was concerned about the escalating violence in Sri Lanka, where the government last May crushed the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels last year and ended decades of ethnic war on the island. "Those who lost their lives are not the only victims of these brutal attacks - democracy is also a victim," the embassy said in a statement. "Such violence undermines the democratic rights and traditions of Sri Lanka."

Malaysian youth held for threatening Hindu shrine Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian police have nabbed a youth who posted on a website that he was ready to vandalise a Hindu shrine at Batu Caves near here. The youth, who claimed to have prepared crude bombs that were hurled at some churches last week, was held and his seditious postings removed after he said he was only playing around. The police acted after a complaint from Putera Malaysian Indian Congress, the MIC's youth wing.

Life sentence for ex-China SC judge Beijing: A former Chinese Supreme Court judge was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday following his conviction for embezzlement and receiving more than half a million dollars in bribes. One-time court vice president Huang Songyou is the first judicial official of his stature to be tried and convicted on such charges, part of a continuing battle by the Communist Party against

deep-seated corruption. Formally known as the Supreme People's Court, the body is the highest judicial panel in China with wide-ranging powers, including overseeing lower courts and automatically reviewing all death sentences. The court has 13 members, with its grand justice also sitting on the party's decisionmaking Central Committee.

Huang's entire property also was confiscated as part of the ruling, according to a brief report by the official China News Service. Huang was accused of taking 3.9 million yuan ($574,000) in bribes from a law firm in return for favorable rulings on cases between 2005 and 2008. He was also charged with embezzling 1.2 million yuan ($176,000) in

government funds while serving as president of a city level court in the southern province of Guangdong in 1997. Huang was fired and kicked out of the party in August and went on trial last Thursday at the Langfang Municipal Intermediate Court in Hebei province just outside Beijing. Calls to the court rang unanswered on Tuesday.

Israel, CIA accused of killing Iranian scientist Tehran: Iran’s Parliament speaker Ali Larijani has last week accused intelligence agents of the United States and Israel of plotting a bombing which killed a top atomic scientist. "We had received clear information a few days before (the assassination) that the (intelligence) service of the Zionist regime, with the coopera-

tion of the CIA, were seeking to carry out a terrorist act in Tehran," the ISNA news agency quoted Larijani as saying. Massoud Ali Mohammadi, a particle physics professor at prestigious Tehran University, was killed last week when a bomb strapped to a motorcycle in the capital's well-to-do northern sub-

urbs exploded . "They (the Israeli and US intelligence agencies) might have thought that, in the face of certain internal disputes, there was an opportunity to take this action and that they could cause friction among academics and harm the country's nuclear research work," Larijani added. The slain scientist was

not a stalwart of the Iranian government. His name appeared on a list of academics backing opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi in the disputed June 12 presidential election, which gave President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second term. The opposition claims the vote was massively rigged in Ahmadinejad's favour.

Roundup China to build world’s highest airport in Tibet Beijing: China plans to build the world's highest airport in Tibet, the sixth in the strategic Himalayan region, at an altitude of 4,436 metres, the state media reported last week. The airport, planned for Nagqu Prefecture, would be 102 metres higher than Bamda Airport in Tibet's Qamdo Prefecture, which has been the world's highest airport since its completion in 1994, Xu Bo, director of the Tibetan Branch of the China Civil Aviation Administration, said. Xu Jian, director of the Nagqu Committee of Development and Reform, said construction of the airport had been included in the Tibet's development plan and efforts are on to select a site for the airport. The airport construction is planned for 2011 with a construction period of three years. It is expected to cost 1.8 billion yuan ($263 million), he said. He said this airport, the sixth in Tibet, would be named Nagqu Dagring Airport, Xinhua news agency reported.

‘Avatar’ wins top honors at Golden Globes Beverly Hills (California): Science-fiction blockbuster "Avatar" took top honors at the 67th Golden Globes here late Sunday, winning best picture and best director to cement its status as an Oscars frontrunner. The ground-breaking epic from "Titanic" director James Cameron - on course to become the highest-grossing film in history - was the big winner on a night when honors were largely spread across several films. The movie has been hailed as a cinematic milestone for its use of state of the art 3-D cameras and motion capture technology which Cameron was instrumental in helping to develop. Accepting the best director award earlier, a delighted Cameron said he had been expecting to lose out to ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow, who had been nominated for her powerful Iraq war drama "The Hurt Locker." "Avatar's" stellar showing at the Globes may now see it elevated to favorite for the Oscars, whose nominees are revealed on February 2.

Somalia clashes kill 138 in two weeks

Mogadishu: Fighting in central Somalia has killed at least 138 people and displaced 63,000 others in the last two weeks, a rights group said on Friday. Hizbul Islam and its rival, al Shabaab - branded by Washington as an al Qaeda proxy in the region want to impose a strict version of Islamic sharia law in the Horn of Africa nation that has had no functional central government since 1991. Their fighters and those of government-allied Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca have been involved in clashes for control of three towns in central Somalia. "At least 138 people died and 344 others were injured in the last two weeks' fighting in central Somalia," Ali Yasin Gedi, the vice chairman of the Elman human rights group, said. "The recent fighting between Ahlu Sunna, and al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam on one side has also displaced 63,000 people from Galgadud and Hiiraan regions."

Sudan President Bashir starts re-election bid Khartoum: Sudan leader Omar al-Bashir has been officially nominated to stand for president in April's election by his northern National Congress Party (NCP). The general election will be the first since the end of a two decade north-south civil war in 2005. The southern SPLM party is expected to announce its candidate later this week. Reports say it is unlikely to be SPLM leader Salva Kiir, who is focused on his job as president of Southern Sudan. Kiir will want to remain as southern leader ahead of a referendum on independence for the semi-autonomous region due in a year's time. More than three-quarters of the population live in the north, so it is likely that a northern candidate will win the election, he says.


Saturday 23rd January 2010 - Asian Voice

Kenya police kill five supporters of hate cleric al-Faisal Nairobi: At least five people have died after Kenyan police opened fire at supporters of a Jamaicanborn Muslim cleric notorious for preaching racial hatred. Police also fired tear gas at hundreds of stonethrowing protesters calling for Abdullah al-Faisal to be freed. Faisal is in detention in Nairobi after Kenya failed to deport him. Kenya wants to expel him citing his "terrorist history". He was jailed for four years in the UK for soliciting the murder of Jews and Hindus. An unnamed senior police officer said that five people had died, while one of the protest organisers said that seven people had lost their lives.

Haiti earthquake claims around 2,00,000 lives Port-au-Prince: Around 2,00,000 people are estimated to have died in the massive earthquake that hit Haiti. The Haitian government has said that while 40,000 people have been buried, at least a hundred thousand are still under the rubble. Authorities have also said that the main concern now is that desperation is turning to violence. There are reports of gangs of robbers preying on survivors desperately awaiting aid. Police are being rushed to the areas from where reports of robberies are coming in. Some looting broke out in downtown Port-auPrince, with a body burned and at least two shots fired. Three days after the earthquake, governments across the world were pouring relief supplies and medical teams into the

quake-hit Caribbean state, the poorest in the Western Hemisphere.But due to huge logistical hurdles, including a clogged airport and badly damaged port, and the sheer scale of the destruction, the aid was not yet reaching the victims. Obama names Shah as US relief coordinator Less than a week into his job, Rajiv Shah, the Indian American administrator of USAID, has a crucial task at hand as he was named by US President Barack Obama the coordinator for US relief and rescue mission in quake devastated Haiti. Shah was last week sworn in as head of the US Agency for International Development that oversees a whopping USD 40 billion foreign assistance programme, becoming the highest ranking Indian American in any presiden-

Hare Krishna devotees in Haiti to help quake victims The ISKCON Hare Krishna devotees who have a temple within travelling distance of the affected area are preparing to provide vegetarian food as part of its Food For Life program. The temple Domingo is on board with relief efforts and has cooking facilities with numerous volunteers ready to help. Food for Life Global is partnering with Water for Life Global who have mobile water purifying system and they will also be providing a sanitation service. A press release from Bhaktivedanta Manor, UK says Hare Krishna Food for Life Global is planning to work under the protection of the military, complementing the work of bigger agencies such as CARE and OXFAM and

Red Cross at present. ISKCON is also providing volunteer support from USA, Brazil, Hungary, the UK as well as locally. Priyavrata Das, an ISKCON devotee on the front line, said â&#x20AC;&#x153;it will take some time before things stabilize in the country, and is likely to end up as a four month endeavorâ&#x20AC;?. The Lotus Trust, the welfare arm of Bhaktivedanta Manor in the UK, is working with partner food relief organisations, currently with a base in nearby Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic where food supplies are being prepared to go into Haiti once the roads are cleared to ensure local people receive vital help. Bhaktivedanta Manor, UK has also called upon devotees for donations.

Three Indians denied entry into Australian bar Melbourne: Three Indians were among a group of six South Asians who were denied entry by a bar in Melbourne in what is being described by them as case of racism," amid a slew of attacks on students from the community in Australia. "We had gone to the bar to throw a farewell party for one of our friends, Abhishek Aggarwal, who is about to leave for India" said Sujan Pathak, a Nepalese citizen who was part of the group. However, he said the youths, all in their mid-

20s, were turned away by the Melbourne Centre Lion Hotel bar without giving any explanation. The group of friends three Indians and three Nepalese - just wanted to know the reason for this and contacted police who refused to help them on the issue, Pathak said. All bars here display a notice outside that they can turn away any customer without giving any explanation. "We tried to get into the bar. They denied us (entry), said 'you guys can't get in'," Aggarwal said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (L) visits the former headquarters of United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti at Port-au-Prince on January 17

tial administration. Over 100,000 people are feared dead in a calamitous earthquake that rocked Haiti last week, and thousands of people are buried under

the rubble of the collapsed buildings. "To ensure that we coordinate our effort, going forward, I have designated the Administrator of the US Agency for

I n t e r n a t i o n a l Development Rajiv Shah, to be our government's unified disaster coordinator," Obama said at the White House. Obama ordered an aggressive and coordinated strategy to address the difficulties in providing assistance to the Haitian people and then following through in the weeks and months ahead to help with their reconstruction. "I have directed my administration to respond with swift, coordinated and aggressive effort to save lives," he said. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was rushing to Washington immediately from Hawaii after cancelling her visit to three nations, said she was returning to give full support to Shah. Manmohan announces $ 5 mn aid Indian prime minister

Manmohan Singh on Friday announced a 5 million-US dollar assistance to quake-ravaged Haiti towards relief measures. "India stands by the government and people of Haiti in their hour of need. We would like to make an immediate cash donation of US 5 million dollars as a token of our solidarity with the people of Haiti," Singh said. In a letter to Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, Singh conveyed his condolences to the injured and family members of those who perished in the devastating earthquake. "It is with profound sadness that we have learnt of the vast devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti on January 12. We have no doubt that the people of Haiti have the strength and resilience to overcome this natural disaster", he said.

Taliban militants strike at Kabul; 12 killed

Kabul: Taliban militants struck in the heart of the Afghan capital on Monday, launching suicide attacks at key government targets including the presidential palace and locked security forces in running gun battles, which left 12 people, including four attackers dead. The brazen strike in the city was a clear sign the insurgents plan to escalate their fight as the US and its allies ramp up their own campaign to end the war. At least 40 people were wounded, officials said. After a series of blasts and more than three hours of ensuing gunfights outside several ministries and inside a shopping mall, President Hamid Karzai said security had been restored to the capital, though search operations continued amid reports

Smoke and fire billows from a shopping mall as Afghan policemen take position in a public market building in Kabul on Monday.

that attackers were hiding in the city. It was the biggest attack in the capital since Oct. 28 when gunmen with automatic weapons and suicide vests stormed a guest house used by UN staff, killing at least 11 people, including three UN staff. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said

that 20 armed militants, including some with suicide vests, had entered Kabul to target the presidential palace and other government buildings in the center of the capital. Explosions and heavy machine-gun fire rattled the city for hours. Debris was strewn on the streets, which were quickly abandoned by crowds that nor-

mally fill the area. Defense ministry spokesman Gen Mohammad Zahir Azimi said a child and a policeman were killed. The ministry of public health later said five people - a civilian and four security forces were killed and 30 others wounded. Four militants also were killed, including two suicide bombers who detonated their explosives, and Afghan forces were searching several other areas in the city for more attackers, Azimi said. The attack unfolded on a day in which confirmed Cabinet members were sworn in by Karzai despite the rejection by parliament of the majority of his choices. Presidential spokesman, Waheed Omar, said the swearingin had occurred as scheduled and everybody in the palace was safe.

Rana, Headley indicted for support to LeT for 26/11 Chicago: Pakistani-origin Chicago resident Tahawwur Hussein Rana was last week indicted by a federal grand jury here along with American citizen David Coleman Headley on charges of preparing the groundwork and providing material support for the LeT to carry out the Mumbai terror attack. In its 12-count superseding indictment against Headley and Rana, the jury gives extensive details of the planning of the Mumbai attack by the LeT and how its leaders guided the terrorists during the four-day siege begin-

ning November 26, 2008, that killed 166 people, including six Americans. Headley, 49, a Pakistani American was arrested in October by the FBI and chargesheeted on December 7, while Rana, 49, a Pakistani-Canadian, has remained in federal custody in Chicago since he was arrested on October 18 for planning a terror attack on a Denmark newspaper which had published cartoons of Prophet Mohammad. The indictment contains identical charges that were slapped against Headley on

December 7 and adds Rana as a defendant in three of the counts charging him with providing material support for terror plots in India and Denmark and for supporting Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba. Also indicted were Ilyas Kashmiri, an influential terrorist organisation leader in Pakistan, who was said to be in regular contact with Al-Qaida leaders, and Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed (Abdur Rehman), a retired major in the Pakistani military, both of whom were charged in two conspiracy

counts relating to the Denmark terrorism plot, the US Department of Justice said in a statement. The indictment charges Kashmiri for the first time although he was identified by name in the charges filed previously against Rana, Abdur Rehman and Headley. Rana was charged with providing material support in preparation for and in carrying out the Mumbai attacks and for the Denmark terrorism plot, besides offering material support to LeT. No date has been set yet for Rana to be arraigned in Federal Court in Chicago.


Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010

Lakhvi seeks transfer of 26/11 case to Lahore Lahore: LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi filed a petition seeking transfer of case against him from Rawalpindi to Lahore last week. He said he faces a threat to his life. The Lahore High Court in December 2009 had disposed his petition against indictment over Mumbai attacks. Lakhvi, the mastermind of the Mumbai attacks, had challenged his indictment by a Pakistani antiterrorism court in Lahore High Court and claimed the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove his involvement in the 26/11 strikes.

Zardari’s power to choose service chiefs curtailed

Constitution committee has now transferred the power to the prime minister Islamabad: After losing control over Pakistan's nuclear button, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's key power to appoint the three service chiefs are to be taken away from him and vested with the prime minister, a media report has said. The Constitutional Reform Committee has transferred the authority to appoint service chiefs from the president to the prime minister in a move to clip the power's of the president, the Dawn news said. The news channel quoting sources said that the decision was unanimously agreed upon by all the major political parties, including the Pakistan People's Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Muttahida Qaumi Movement and the Awami Muslim league. In a key amendment to Article 243 of the constitution, the president will

Asif Ali Zardari

now have to consult the prime minister of Pakistan, before appointing service chiefs, the report said. Last November Zardari had stepped down as the chairman of National Command Authority, handing over the nuclear button to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani under a new power sharing equation. In a report he wrote in “The Washington Post” on Friday, Zardari said he was working with the par-

liament to run the country. "I am working with parliament to run a country, not a political campaign. The goal of our democratic government is to implement policies that will dramatically improve the lives of Pakistanis. In time, good policies will become good politics," he wrote in the US daily. Zardari sees no threat from India Describing India as a "mature democracy", President Asif Ali Zardari has said there is no threat to Pakistan from it, even as he sought resumption of the composite dialogue process stalled since the Mumbai terror attacks. Zardari has said that there is no threat to Pakistan from India as one democracy must not fear another. "There is a mature democracy in India and a democracy does not attack another democracy,"

Zardari told a small group of journalists during an interaction over dinner at the Governor’s House in this eastern city last week. He said there was no threat to Pakistan from India. Responding to a question on why India is reluctant to resume the composite dialogue that has been stalled since the Mumbai attacks, Zardari said he hoped that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government would show maturity in this regard as it was the only way to move forward. Replying to another question on the Kashmir issue, he said: "I met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh oneand-half-years ago and talked with him over the Kashmir issue as well. I am optimistic that the issue will be resolved through dialogue."

20 killed in US drone attack in Waziristan Islamabad: A US drone strike targeting a militant compound killed at least 20 on Sunday in the tribal belt in North Waziristan's Taliban stronghold where Hakimullah Mehsud escaped a similar attack last week. The drone fired two missiles during the strike in Shaktoi region that straddles North and South Waziristan, officials were quoted as saying by TV news channels. Twenty bodies were pulled out of the rubble of the compound, which was destroyed, and the toll could rise further, officials said. Three foreign fighters were among the dead, Geo News channel reported. This was the tenth drone strike in Waziristan this year. Shaktoi and its surrounding areas have been targeted by US spy planes several times over the past few days. Two drone attacks on Friday killed 11 militants while another strike on Thursday killed 16 rebels.

Thursday's drone attack also triggered widespread speculation that Tehrik-eTaliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Mehsud was among the dead. Mehsud issued an audio message on Saturday in which he said he was alive and well, and warned that the Taliban would retaliate against further drone attacks. The US stepped up drone attacks in North Waziristan after a suicide bomber linked to the Pakistani Taliban killed seven CIA operatives at a forward base in neighbouring Khost province of Afghanistan. Taliban chief Mehsud injured The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Friday confirmed that its chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, was injured in a US attack which struck at a militants' hideout in South Waziristan on Thursday last. A private TV channel quoted local officials and the TTP as saying Mehsud was in the house in

11 school kids killed in accident Islamabad: Eleven school children and a van driver were killed and eight others were injured last week when their vehicle was hit by a train at an unmanned railway crossing in Pakistan's Punjab province, an official said. The Jafferabad Express coming from Quetta rammed into their

vehicle near Musa Virk railway crossing in Mian Channu, around 250 km from Lahore, Geo TV reported. At least eight more school children suffered injuries and were taken to hospital, said Aslam Bodla, Member of National Assembly from Mian Channu.

Shaktoi village and that a meeting of foreign militants was underway when the US drone struck.

Hakimullah Mehsud

Two foreign militants and eight local fighters were among the 10 killed in the attack, while eight others, including Mehsud, were injured. Mehsud, who received head injuries, is being treated at undisclosed location and his condition was described as being out of danger, Online news agency quoted sources as saying. A vehicle belonging to Mehsud was destroyed in the attack, the sources added. Earlier on Friday, Pakistani interior minister

Rehman Malik said it was not clear whether Mehsud was dead or alive. "We are not clear whether Hakimullah Mehsud was among the killed in a US drone strike or someone who resembles him was killed," he told reporters outside parliament. Hakimullah Mehsud had taken over the reins of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) after its previous chief, Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a US drone strike last August. The Pakistani military is currently engaged in a major offensive against the Taliban in the neighbouring South Waziristan Agency and claims to have eliminated some 1,000 militants. The operations had begun in October 2009 after the security forces had cleared Swat and three other districts of the North West Frontier Province of the militants, killing some 1,500 guerillas.



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Detained Americans complain of torture Sargodha: Five Americans held in Pakistan on suspicion of using the Internet to contact militants said on Monday they had been tortured as police asked a court to indict them on terrorism charges. The students, in their 20s and from the US state of Virginia, were detained last month. Police produced them before an anti-terrorism court on Monday after completing their interrogation. “We are being tortured, we are being tortured,” several of the men shouted in English from a prison van as it left a court in Sargodha town in eastern Pakistan after their hearing, which took place

under tight security. Jehangir Sarwar, a senior lawyer present in the courtroom, quoted one of the five men as complaining of “police excesses”. Sarwar, who was in the court as an observer and was not representing anyone, did not say which of the five men made the remark, while police officials denied that mistreatment was raised during the brief hearing. “None of the five men said anything of the sort in the court. As far as I know, one of these men had a stomach problem,” said Aamir Abbas, a local police official who worked on the case.

India accused of unprovoked border fire Islamabad: Pakistani and Indian forces exchanged fire across their border at the weekend, a Pakistani spokesman said on Monday, the latest in a series of incidents raising tension between the nuclear-armed rivals. Relations between the South Asian neighbours have been strained since India suspended a peace process with Pakistan after an assault on the Indian city of Mumbai by Pakistan-based militants in November 2008. But easing tension between the two countries that compete for influence in Afghanistan would help Western efforts there, US envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke said on Sunday before flying to India. In the latest incident, Indian forces using automatic weapons opened "unprovoked firing" on Pakistani positions in the Sialkot area, north of the city of Lahore, on Sunday night, a Pakistani paramilitary force spokesman said. "Our soldiers strongly retaliated and forced them to stop firing," Pakistani Rangers spokesman Nadeem Raza said. "We have decided to

forcefully respond if they resort to firing again." But a spokesman for the Indian border guards said the exchange was provoked by a militant attack. "A group of terrorists, attempting to infiltrate, fired at Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, our troops fired in retaliation to stop the infiltrators," Vinod Sharma said. "The exchange of fire continued for sometime." India has in the past accused Pakistani troops of giving gunfire cover to help militants cross Kashmir's military control line to join a 20-year-old Islamist separatist revolt on the Indian side. Islamabad denies the allegation. A police official said Monday's infiltration bid was the 11th in past 16 days. Last week, Indian officials said one of their soldiers was killed in firing across the Line of Control, which separates the two sides in the disputed Kashmir region, to the north of the Sialkot area. Two days earlier, the two sides traded accusations of firing across their border near Lahore.



Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010

This week there will be discussions about development of Gujarat and about India’s 60th Republic Day only on CB Live.

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Take some time out to reflect. Try and work out where you want to make changes in your busy life. Once you know, don't hesitate to implement it systematically. A tremendous amount of planetary activity in your chart signals a time of mixed emotions as well as personal issues to be dealt with.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21

Business partnerships are tested, some of them could challenge your authority. Now is the time to cultivate an easier relationship with life, get out and about, explore fresh possibilities. Once you set your mind on a goal you stay the course no matter what obstacles you encounter.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Having all the major planets above the horizon in your solar chart shows that the general pattern of events will focus your attention on the need to make an impact on the world. Although the very practical affairs of life continue to be highlighted, you will be very much in demand socially.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

It is a good time for dealing with financial interests with a long-term basis, such as investments, insurance and all jointly held resources. You will be able to sort out any difficulties by taking immediate action. Therefore you will need to adopt a fairly flexible policy to accommodate the odd twists and turns of everyday life.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23 You will feel energetic and confident as the week begins. New beginnings are favoured around now, as long as you do not bite off more than you can chew. Your thinking is inspired, so listen to your thoughts. This may be a time of expansion and improved opportunity and it would be unwise to let yourself become complacent. VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23 This is a favourable time for getting away from usual routines and seeking a retreat for a few days. All the better if you are interested in such things as meditation, yoga and therapies that help you. This will prove to be highly beneficial for your physical and psychological well-being. LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23 With Venus, Mars well placed in your chart, this is a good time for your social as well as your love life. If you’re single you are likely to meet the person of your dreams and this could lead to a permanent relationship for some of you. You could also benefit at work through a promotion. SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22 Get out as much as possible. Do not be misled by inconsequential issues as you will have better opportunities if you stick to your main objectives. The domestic scene will be active and harmonious as long as you use tact and diplomacy. This is also a time when you will develop fresh insights into other people. SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

Your thinking is inspired, so listen to your thoughts. This may be a time of expansion and opportunity and it would be unwise to let yourself become complacent. The need to push ahead with personal interests and to assert yourself with added force will take precedence over everything else for some time to come.

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

You will progress by focusing your mental and physical energies on what you want to achieve. The underlying trend seems to be pulling you into a much wider social circle now. This will enrich your life and give you a deeper sense of purpose. The prevailing pattern of planets gives you a marvellous opportunity - take advantage.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 There is a definite expansive trend where money is concerned, so do not be surprised if this turns out be a time of fortunate opportunities and lucky breaks. 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. PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 Sun's transit of your 12th Solar House indicates that experience will put you in a deeply reflective mood. This is a favourable time for getting away from a busy schedule and seeking a retreat for a few days. All the better if you are interested in therapies that help you to get in closer touch with your inner self.


Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010 68 Rushing stat Down 1 Gossip 2 Treat with milk 3 Jethro Burns partner 4 One off the wagon 5 Transport-loss allowance 6 Lime man 7 Swaggers 8 Hershiser of baseball 9 Mrs. Clint Black 10 ___-de-sac 11 Quarter of four 12 Agreement 14 computer network terminal 16 Only just 21 First super Bowl MVP 23 “Gosford Park” costar 26 “The Moon is always Female” poet 27 First japaneseAmercan 28 Talk non-stop 29 Social event 30 “CSI:Miami” star 32 Pouty look 36 Carries out 39 Of a rising star 42 Works out 46 Fed a furnace 51 ___Hari 53 Roman 1151 54 Olian or Home 56 Fridge foray 57 Carmaker Ransom 58 Mare’s tidbit 59 Forerunners of CDS 60 Unknown Jhon 62 Utmost degree

C R O S S W O R D - 71 1















20 22







21 24









36 39



43 46


49 52 59










44 47 50














29 German exlamation 31 Moslem VIPs 33 Stewart of “Swing Shift” 34 Air-safety grp. 35 Navy mascot 36 Timber fungus 37 do wok work 38 Firing 40 Potbelly 41 Mame, for one 43 Swarm 44 Look at 45 Rhone trbutary 46 Tex-Mex sauce 47 MPH part

Across 1 Hint at this Puzzle’s theme 4 The Racer’s Edge 7 Step on the Scale? 10 Playing hard-to-get 13 Mesabi Range output 15 Chicago newspape 17 More secluded 18 Used products 19 Hammered on a slant 20 Like straws 22 M. Stipe’s band 24 Dyeing tub 25 Surround

48 Ponselle and Parks 49 Prefix with dent or corn 50 Id card letters, at times 52 Inquitous 55 Saab model 58 The devil 61 Principal 63 Peter or paul, but not Mary 64 Indigestion relief 65 Half a fly? 66 Stashed away 67 ___-de-dah

SPELLATHON - 71 Today’s Ratings: 04-average |05-good | 06-outstanding

How many words of four or more letters can you make from the letters shown in today’s puzzle? In making a word, each letter may be used once only. Each word must contain the central letter. There S should be at least one S I seven-letter word. Plurals, B foreign words and proper names are not allowed. L Y British English Dictionary O is used as reference.

Solution of Spellathon - 70 alight, ALRIGHT, girth, hail, hair, halt hart, hilt, lath, light, right

Solution of Crossword-70 S T Y E










Sudoku-71 9





3 3









5 4





20 12


Solution of sudoku-70 HOW TO PLAY Each row, column and square 3x3 box is a sub-grid of 9 cells. Fill in the grid so that each subgrid contains the digits 1 to 9. Every puzzle has one solution.










4 1

London’s recorded history begins effectively with the second invasion by the Romans in AD 43 (Roman forces under Julius Caesar raided Britain in 55 – 54 BC but did not stay), when Emperor Claudius led a brutal campaign that eventually resulted Romans controlling pretty much all parts of SE Britain. They bridged the Thames near the site of today’s London Bridge and established a port, trading centre, and HQ on the north bank calling it Londinium. The walled area covered by the Romans is at present known as the ‘square mile’ or simply ‘The City’, London’s financial district. Roman London quickly took shape and within a generation or so its landscape changed considerably but suffered a setback 17 years later (AD 60) when Queen Boudicca of the Iceni tribe of E. Anglia led revolt against the Romans. She burnt down the town, massacring the inhabitants before being eventually defeated. In spite of fierce resistance from her there was no real threat to mighty Romans and London was rebuilt as a traditional Roman town with a great basilica, amphitheatre, Forum (the chief market and meeting place), public baths, villas (farm houses), Temple of Roman god Mithras, and governor’s palace. Public buildings were made of stone and tile but dwellings and shops were still made from wood. By 100 AD London became the capital (previously it was Colchester) as well as military centre of the province of Britannia. In about 200 AD, a 3-mile stone wall was built around the town pierced by gates where the

Roman London

main roads from other towns (Colchester, York, Bath) entered the city. Remains of the wall can be seen at London Wall near Barbican and on Tower Hill. Parts of London like Roman god Mithras Aldgate, Ludgate, and forts, and roads – are Bishopsgate get their still a feature of the landnames from the gates of scape. They established this wall. medical practices, introIn about 200 AD duced Christianity, mintLondon was a boom-town ed gold coins, and created almost as cosmopolitan as an administrative strucit is today with some ture (local government) 50,000 people of different modelled on the municinationalities, yet not so pal system in Rome. They small at the time since the also brought a new panpopulation of the country theon of deities, Latin lanwas two million. Latin guage and literature and a was the official spoken new (Romanesque) style language. It maintained of architecture. Many resiits prosperity and promidents adopted Roman nence for the next two lifestyle and with interhundred years. However, marriages Romano-British in 410 Rome itself was population evolved. Trade threatened by the and industry flourished Germanic races from the bringing in prosperity. north and was forced to Wealth remained a measure of social rank. The elite attractively decorated their houses with colourful mosaic and wall paintings and maintained an under-floor heating system to keep warm in cold weather. However, this was not going to last forever. After the Romans departed, London gradually became a ghost town and remained so until the late 7th century when it Queen Boudicca emerged again as a major trading centre during the recall its garrison from reign of Anglo-Saxons – England to defend Rome. yet another invaders to They virtually abandoned Britain! London (and Britain) The recently refurafter 350 years of occupabished Roman Gallery at tion, never to come back the Museum of London in leaving the city falling into Barbican has an excellent decay. Romans left coverage of Roman London but not without a London with archaeologibig impact in terms of culcal finds and atmospheric ture and material life. room constructions and is Their legacy – great public worth visiting. buildings, defensive wall

9 3


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6 7


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6 3

4 5


6 7



8 5

2 1


2 9



6 7

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7 8

3 6


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1 4

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1 2



Remove one letter from each word and they all spell a numeral: FOUR, TEN, and THIRTY.





Three points are selected at random on a sphere’s surface. What is the probability that they all lie in the same hemisphere? Assume that the great circle, bordering a hemisphere, is part of the Hemisphere.


5 8




By Dr Anil Mehta

Solution of 70 :


5 4






9 7



Find the familiar phrase, saying or name in this arrangement of letters.

Solution of - 70 : Tea for two


The numbers in the pink squares refer to the sums of the digits that you must fill into the empty spaces directly below or to the right of the pink square containing the number. For instance, in the given example, Solution of KAKURO - 70 the 2 boxes below 12 must contain 2 digits 13 12 17 12 that add upto 12, 12 whereas for 20, the 3 9 3 7 9 9 16 boxes places horizon5 4 tally next to it must 7 9 11 4 1 29 1 3 add upto 20. No zeroes are used here, 2 7 6 12 6 8 9 4 10 only the digits one 14 3 through nine. 4 3 2 5 23 1 2 6 4 Note: 4 3 1 2 9 6 3 8 A digit cannot appear more than 30 2 1 20 6 8 7 9 once in any particular 8 12 24 digit combination. For 7 4 1 2 8 7 9 instance in the exam4 9 8 4 17 ple, we cannot have 1 7 9 8 1 3 the combination of 12 7 8+4+8 for 20. 3 9 6 1












28 6


5 21





8 9 16

16 13










3 10

17 29







Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010

How one form of natural Vitamin E protects brain after stroke Blocking the function of an enzyme in the brain with a specific kind of vitamin E can prevent nerve cells from dying after a stroke, new research suggests. In a study using mouse brain cells, scientists found that the tocotrienol form of vitamin E, an alternative to the popular drugstore supplement, stopped the enzyme from releasing fatty acids that eventually kill neurons. The Ohio State University researchers have been studying how this form of vitamin E protects the brain in animal and cell models for a decade, and intend to pursue tests of its potential to both prevent and treat strokes in humans. "Our research suggests that the different forms of natural vitamin E have distinct functions. The relatively poorly studied tocotrienol form of natural vitamin E targets specific pathways to protect against neural cell death and rescues the brain after stroke injury," said Chandan Sen, (pictured), professor and vice chair for research in Ohio State's Department of Surgery and senior author of the study. "Here, we identify a novel target for tocotrienol that explains how neural cells are protected." The research appears online and is scheduled for later print publication in the Journal of Neurochemistry. Vitamin E occurs naturally in eight different forms. The best-known form of vitamin E belongs

to a variety called tocopherols. The form of vitamin E in this study, tocotrienol or TCT, is not abundant in the American diet but is available as a nutritional supplement. It is a common component of a typical Southeast Asian diet. Sen's lab discovered tocotrienol vitamin E's ability to protect the brain 10 years ago. But this current study offers the most specific details about how that protection works, said Sen, who is also a deputy director of Ohio State's Heart and Lung Research Institute. "We have studied an enzyme that is present all the time, but one that is activated after a stroke in a way that causes neurodegeneration. We found that it can be put in check by very low levels of tocotrienol," he said. "So what we have here is a naturally derived nutrient, rather than a drug, that provides this beneficial impact." Sen and colleagues had linked TCT's effects to various substances that are activated in the brain after a stroke before they concluded that this enzyme could serve as an important therapeutic target. The enzyme is called cystolic calciumdependent phospholipase A2, or cPLA2. Following the trauma of blocked blood flow associated with a stroke, an excessive amount of glutamate is released in the brain. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that, in tiny amounts, has important roles in learning and memory. Too much of it triggers a sequence of

reactions that lead to the death of brain cells, or neurons -- the most damaging effects of a stroke. Sen and colleagues used cells from the hippocampus region of developing mouse brains for the study. They introduced excess glutamate to the cells to mimic the brain's environment after a stroke. With that extra glutamate present, the cPLA2 enzyme releases a fatty acid called arachidonic acid into the brain. Under normal conditions, this fatty acid is housed within lipids that help maintain cell membrane stability. But when it is freeroaming, arachidonic acid undergoes an enzymatic chemical reaction that makes it toxic -- the final step before brain cells are poisoned in this environment and start to die. Activation of the cPLA2 enzyme is required to release the damaging fatty acid in response to insult caused by high levels of glutamate. Sen and colleagues introduced the tocotrienol vitamin E to the cells that had already been exposed to excess glutamate. The presence of the vitamin decreased the release of fatty acids by 60 percent when compared to cells exposed to glutamate alone. Brain cells exposed to excess glutamate followed by tocotrienol fared much better, too, compared to those exposed to only the damaging levels of glutamate. Cells treated with TCT were almost four times

more likely to survive than were cells exposed to glutamate alone. Though cPLA2 exists naturally in the body, blocking excessive function of this enzyme is not harmful, Sen explained. Scientists have already determined that mice genetically altered so they cannot activate the enzyme achieve their normal life expectancy and carry a lower risk for stroke. Sen also noted that the amount of tocotrienol needed to achieve these effects is quite small -just 250 nanomolar, a concentration about 10 times lower than the average amount of tocotrienol circulating in humans who consume the vitamin regularly. "So you don't have to gobble up a lot of the nutrient to see these effects," he said. The National Institutes of Health supported this work. The study was coauthored by Savita Khanna, Sashwati Roy and Cameron Rink of the Department of Surgery and Narasimham Parinandi and Sainath Kotha of the Department of Internal Medicine, all at Ohio State; and Douglas Bibus of the University of Minnesota.

Sunshine vitamin prevents diabetes, and why losing weight can boost your brain power Health stories from around the world this week include a study by scientists as to whether taking vitamin D lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and a seperate study in Germany that shows that cutting your calorie intake could boost your brainpower

Sunshine vitamin prevents diabetes

Scientists are investigating whether taking vitamin D lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In a new clinical trial at Queen Mary University of London, more than 300 people at risk of the disease will be given the vitamin in supplement form. The four-month trial follows a study at the University of Chicago which found that patients deficient in vitamin D were more likely to suffer from high blood sugar, insulin resistance, high blood pressure and heart disease. It is thought the vitamin keeps the immune system healthy and protects cells from damage including those in the pancreas, which manufacture insulin. 'Management of vitamin D deficiency may be a simple and cost- effective

method to improve blood sugar control and prevent the serious complications associated with diabetes,' said the researchers.

Losing weight boosts brainpower

Cutting your calorie intake could boost your memory, according to a new German study.

Researchers divided adults with an average age of 60 into three groups: the first followed a calorierestricted diet, reducing food intake by about 30 per cent; the second had a similar diet but with a higher proportion of unsaturated fats; the third made no diet changes. All participants underwent memory tests at the start and end of the study. The calorie restricted group had the best results, increasing their memory scores by about 20 per cent. It's thought that cutting calories may reduce inflammation in the body or the amount of harmful molecules (free radicals) that we naturally produce. (Inflammation and free radicals damage cells.) These changes could explain the improvement in memory, by keeping brain cells in better health.

Now, a novel way of treating cardiac disorders Potassium modulates your heartbeat, say scientists in a significant discovery that could open up an entirely new way of treating cardiac disorders. Agricultural Research (AgR) scientists, working with counterparts from Victoria University in New Zealand and the US, have discovered that calcium-activated-potassium (BK) ion channels, present in the heart, have a significant role in modulating its rate. This finding overturns current thinking that BK ion channels are not directly involved in heartbeat regulation. Scientists working in New Zealand and the US made this breakthrough by using mice lacking BK channels and novel ion channel inhibitory compounds, isolated and test-

ed by AgR scientists Julie Dalziel and Sarah Finch. "We're clearly excited by this discovery, and it's fantastic to be involved with something that may pave the way for new heart drugs that act in a completely different way from those currently available," said Dalziel. "Up until now BK ion channels weren't seen as a factor in modulating heart rate and had been overlooked by scientists," she said. "The results in our study support the hypothesis that BK channels are expressed and functional in the heart. Their tissue location and role in cellular excitability remain to be determined," said Finch. These findings were published in the January edition of PLoS One.

Forget the food fads and 'Take 10' small steps to weight loss success - that's the message from dietitians to the thousands who will make weight loss their goal this year. "Fad and quick-fix weight loss programs often promise easy, noeffort weight loss. The reality is these programs can set people up to fail and damage their selfesteem in the process," said Claire Hewat, CEO of Dieticians Association of Australia (DAA). Clare Collins, associate professor of dietics, said: "A range of approaches can help you lose weight in the short term, but making small, permanent changes that fit with your lifestyle will give you the best chance of keeping weight off in the long term." Collins' 'Take 10' tips for achieving or maintaining a healthy weight are: 1. Eat breakfast 2. Include vegetables or salad with lunch and dinner 3. Choose fruit as a snack 4. Replace full-fat food and drinks with reduced-

fat alternatives 5. Choose wholegrain foods instead of more refined foods 6. Eat smaller serving sizes by using smaller plates and cups 7. Eat slowly and stop when you are satisfied, not stuffed full 8. Eat when you genuinely feel hungry, rather than for emotional or other reasons 9. Swap sweetened drinks such as cordial, soft drink and juice with water 10. Eat your evening meals at a dinner table with the TV turned off. The DAA commissioned research was conducted by Newspoll market research nationally among 1,201 respondents aged 18 years and over. Interviews were conducted by telephone Nov 1416, 2008, says a DAA release. It found that 45.5 percent people had actively tried to lose weight during the 12 months prior to the survey, with 21.8 per cent of these people following a diet from a book or magazine and 16.4 per cent seeking advice from a dietitian.

Stress really does increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes, say researchers. Their study challenges conventional medical wisdom that there is no evidence of a link between mental pressure and heart conditions. The researchers at University College, London, say they have shown that those who become stressed are more likely to suffer from hardened arteries than those who remain calm under pressure. Although more work is needed to confirm the

link, the work appears to support longstanding healthy lifestyle advice that stress is bad for the heart. In the latest study, published in the European Heart Journal, doctors recruited 514 men and women with an average age of 62. None of them had signs of heart disease at the time of the test. Healthy lifestyle guides have linked stress to heart attacks and strokes for years - even though there has been very little medical evidence to back up the theory.

Dieticians spell out 10 steps to weight loss

Stress 'does raise the risk of a heart attack and a stroke'

Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010


Sport World Australia make it 3 – 0 Pakistan loses 12 tests in a row

Even the rain gods did not come to the rescue of Pakistan at Hobart on Monday. Hosts Australia made a clean sweep of 3-0 in the test series, as Pakistan lost their 12th test match against the Kangaroos in a row. Nathan Hauritz, who was fighting for his place at the start of the series, had a stake in the last innings too, taking 3 wickets. Winning 12 test matches on a trot is a record of sorts, but currently, Sri Lanka enjoy such a feat against Bangladesh, while Australia has now joined the Lankans, beating the Pakistan team. On the fifth and final day at the Bellerive Oval, rains came just for a brief

Australia's squad kicks back after the 231-run win

while during the lunch break. The home team needed 6 wickets to make it a 3 – 0 clean sweep, while the visitors had a daunting task of scoring more than 300 runs. For Pakistan, a draw was the only hope, but the Australian bowlers would not allow them.

A semblance of resistance from Pakistan came from Khurram Manzoor, as he scored a valiant 77 and was also involved in a partnership of 66 runs with Mohammad Aamer for the seventh wicket. Manzoor displayed an impressive resolve for most part of his innings, but that

UDRS could end the era of neutral umpires David Morgan feels home officials could be back in business With the use of technology and the system of Umpires’ decision review system (UDRS) making good progress, ICC is looking at scrapping the system of neutral umpires in cricket as early as this year itself. ICC President David Morgan feels confident that the umpire decision

review system will continue to grow and all member boards would agree to scrap the appointment of neutral umpires. Morgan, speaking to the cricket website “Cricinfo” said the elite panel of umpires is feeling pressure of the amount of travel under the present system. Morgan conceded of

the problem at the Wanderers but said he thinks the progress with the DRS has been extremely good indeed." ICC elite panel has 12 umpires and five of them are from Australia or England, leaving only seven neutrals to choose from when the two countries meet.

Strauss rested for Bangladesh tour Anderson to undergo rehab for knee problem England selectors have decided to give rest to their regular captain Andrew Strauss and pacer James Anderson from the Bangladesh tour next month. While Strauss will be back for the ODIs and the T20 part of the tour, Paul Collingwood would lead the team for the two T20 matches against Pakistan, to be played in Dubai. Anderson has been rested for the purpose of a specialist review and a programme of rehabilitation for his chronic right knee

injury. Two new faces, Yorkshire pace bowler Ajmal Shahzad and the Kent offspinner James Tredwell have been included in both squads while Hampshire opening batsman Michael Carberry, also an uncapped player, has been included only for the Test team. Although Cook will lead England in the three ODIs against Bangladesh. Test squad: Alastair Cook (captain), Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Michael Carberry, Paul Collingwood, Steven

Davies, Graham Onions, Kevin Pietersen, Liam Plunkett, Matt Prior (wk), Ajmal Shahzad, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, James Tredwell, Jonathan Trott and Luke Wright. ODI team: Alastair Cook (capt), Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Joe Denly, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wk), Kevin Pietersen, Liam Plunkett, Ryan Sidebottom, Ajmal Shahzad, Graeme Swann, James Tredwell, Jonathan Trott and Luke Wright.

was not good enough to keep the bowlers at bay. Hauritz captured 3 for 30 and turned out to be the leading wicket-taker for the series, with a haul of 18 scalps. Scoring 438 runs for a victory was perhaps never a possibility for Pakistan. The weather forecast was a bit threatening, yet Ponting gambled of not asking Pakistan for a follow-on with a slender lead above the mandatory 200 run margin. He wanted his bowlers some time to refresh and his tactics proved right. {Brief scores: OZ 8 for 519 dec and 5 for 219 dec beat Pak 301 and 206 (Manzoor 77, Siddle 3-25, Hauritz 3-30) by 231 runs}

All passports of U-19 teams in NZC custody After some players also a coach of the Afghan and the Ugandan teams going missing during the qualifying tournament in Canada, New Zealand has put extra precautions in place to ensure that it doesn’t face the same situation at the Under 19 World Cup Cricket tournament, under way in the country. Following concerns raised by New Zealand Immigration, the cricket authorities conveyed it to all the participant teams through ICC. No teams had objections and accordingly, New Zealand Cricket is holding the passports of the visiting players. At Toronto in Canada last September, seven players from Uganda as well as five players and the coach from Afghanistan went missing.

Flintoff to miss IPL, World T20 Andrew Flintoff, the England all rounder who is out of action since August 2009 after an arthroscopy on his left knee, will be only able to start playing with the English first class season. He has already announced retirement from test cricket. Flintoff was hoping to make his come back from the ODI series in Bangladesh. After that became impossible, his next idea was to start playing IPL season 3 in India. His surgeon gave some positive news, following which, he will start playing for Lancashire during the English first class season. He is not to play in the ICC World T20 also.

SA tour programme of India The revised programme for the South Africa tour of India is announced by the BCCI. Initially, the Proteas were to play only 5 One Day Internationals, but later, accepted the request from the BCCI to make it a 2 test match and 3 ODI series. The final programme is: 1st test match – Nagpur, February 6 to 10; 2nd test match – Kolkata, February 14 to 18. 1st ODI – Jaipur, 21st Feb., 2nd ODI – Kanpur, 24th Feb and 3rd ODI – Ahmedabad, 27th February. For Kolkata, it will be the first test match to be played at the Eden Gardens after 2007.

Sudeep Tyagi makes it to the Indian test squad too Uttar Pradesh paceman Sudeep Tyagi was picked up for India’s 2 test match series against the Bangladesh, while Tamil Nadu batsman Murali Vijay has also been named in the 16 member team. Veterans of the classical form of the game – Sachin Tendlukar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman have all been included. The two test matches will be played in Chittagong - January 17-21 and Mirpur - January 24-28. Indian team: MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Virender Sehwag (vice-capt), Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Sreesanth, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma, Murali Vijay, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sudeep Tyagi.

English Premier League Matches Saturday, 23 January Man Utd v/s Hull Tuesday, 26 January Bolton v/s Burnley Portsmouth v/s West Ham Tottenham v/s Fulham Wolverhampton v/s Liverpool Wednesday, 27 January Aston Villa v/s Arsenal Blackburn v/s Wigan Chelsea v/s Birmingham Everton v/s Sunderland

Old Trafford


Reebok Stadium Fratton Park White Hart Lane Motineux

20:00 19:45 19:45 19:45

Villa Park Ewood Park Stamford Bridge Goodison Park

19:45 19:45 19:45 20:00

Bollywood stars cheer runners at Mumbai Marathon Kenyan wins it, runners traverse Worli-Bandra sea link

A star-studded race, the seventh Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon was held on Sunday morning amidst tight security and elaborate arrangements. Since 6 am, thousands of Mumbaikars started gathering in Azad Maidan near Churchgate to be part of the world-class event first organised in 2004. Africa continued to dominate the Mumbai marathon with Kenyan Dennis Ndisso winning the seventh edition of the

Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon. Ndisso breasted the finish tape in 2.12 hours. The winner in the women's category was Bizunesh Urgesa of Ethiopia. The $310,000 event saw more than 38,000 runners, including hundreds of foreigners, celebrities, Bollywood personalities, senior citizens, students and other groups join the run in different categories in the total 42 km long marathon from the Chhatrpati Shivaji Terminus to Bandra via the

new Bandra-Worli Sea Link and back. “I am happy to be in India. It’s a fantastic course," said Kenyan Dennis Ndisso after he won. In the women's category Urgesa was the winner from Ethiopia for the third consecutive year. Three time winner Mulu Seboka who was a hot favorite was bypassed this time as sultry weather conditions proved to be too daunting. “It is my first visit to India... I loved running in your country,"

Urgesa after breasting the victory tape. Both the male and female winners take home US$ 35,000. Among Indian men Bining Lyngkhoi stood first with timing of 2.20 hours. Shastri Devi was the first Indian woman athlete clocking 3:10:03. Other major highlights included the Half Marathon, a Veterans’ race and a 6 Km ‘Dream Run’. The Dream Run had top celebrities including actors John Abraham, Vidya Balan, Rahul Bose, Reitesh

Deshmukh, Gul Panag, Akshay Kumar, Gulshan Grover and others. Modelturned actor Milind Soman in-fact completed the 42.1 km run. Actress Genelia D'Souza ran for Nina Foundation that supports people with spinal cord injuries. "I am feeling good to be here. It's great,” she said. The corporate world was represented by Anand Mahindra, while chairman of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, Anil Ambani, a regular partici-

pant in the event, was conspicuous by his absence. His wife, Tina, remained in person to cheer the senior citizens who also launched their race. She boosted their morale by cheering and clapping. A couple married for 78 years and racing together was cheered by the crowds. Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar's daughter Sara too ran in the dream run, as did noted cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle in the city's biggest annual sporting event.


"#$% !"#$%&!

Asian Voice - Saturday 23rd January 2010


Sri Lanka beat India to bag tri-series title

Raina ton in vain, Jayawardene leads his team home India continued its choking ways in tri-series or multi cornered contests, as Sri Lanka beat the mighty neighbours at Mirpur on Wednesday last week to take home the triseries after hosts Bangladesh were blanked out, having lost all the four preliminary games. Suresh Raina scored a ton for India, but others faltered and 245 was all that the team could manage, being bowled out with ten bowls to spare. In a final, this score is not a challenge, atleast not against the Sri Lankans. With Indian bowling not at its average, only a miracle could have helped Dhoni win the title. Indian team has featured in 21 finals of triseries in a decade, and their success numbers are a poor four. In fact, India had done well to cross the 200 mark and played into the 49th over when considered against their score of 60 for 5. Their hard luck con-

walk in with the asking rate under control and a batsman in good nick at the other end. He paced the team’s chase with customary calm and effectiveness. M a h e l a overshadowed a splendid century by Suresh Raina earlier in the day. Raina kept India The Sri Lankans are thrilled after winning the tri-series at Mirpur on January 13 afloat but Sri Lanka finished tinued as Ashish Nehra but Jayawardene proved off well, taking the last had to leave the field with that being experienced four wickets for 32 runs in a groin injury, while does make a difference. 5.2 overs. India were Zaheer Khan and Nehra sent back bowled out in 48.2 overs. Sreesanth were struggling. Tharanga for his second For the first 11 overs of While the vetern consecutive duck. Later, the game, India were Mahela Jayawardene with Yuvraj was introduced struggling. Luckily, Raina his 71 ensured that his into the attack in 17th and Jadeja gave the team achieved the target, 4 over and he tricked innings some substance. wickets for 48 runs earned Dilshan into Dhoni’s {Brief scores: SL 249 Nuwan Kulasekara the gloves with a ball that kept for 6 (Jayawardene 71*, Man of the Match award. low. Harbhajan accounted Sangakkara 55) beat Sri Lanka too had a for Sankakkara in the 20th India 245 (Raina 106, couple of hi-cups, as introover. Kulasekara 4-48) by 4 duction of spin brought Jayawardene is just the wickets}. some life into the game, man any team needs to

SA crush England at Wanderers Home team level the 4 test series 1 – 1

South Africa pose with their trophies after retaining the Basil D'Oliveira at Johannesburg on 17th January

England did well in the first three test matches to keep the home team at bay, but finally the hosts proved better, as South Africa beat the visitors in the 4th and final test match by an innings and 74 runs to square the series 1 – 1 and retain the trophy. At the Wanderers in Johannesburg, England made a poor batting display, being bowled out in less than 200 runs in both the innings after South Africa had put up a strong score of 423 for 7 wickets in the first innings. In fact, the spirited efforts of the home team were so effective that the bowlers wrapped up the match on the 4th day itself, as England folded up for 180 runs in the first essay, while their second outing produced even less, 169 runs. On Sunday, the fourth morning itself, England were in a spot, as they had lost 3 of their second inning wickets, with less

than 50 runs on the board. They needed still 195 runs to make SA bat again. For England batsmen, scoring runs and not losing wickets was a challenge that they couldn’t withstand, with Paul Collingwood being an exception. He scored 71, but could not pull off another great escape like he was able to at the Centurian and Cape Town. Dale Steyn was the wrecker in chief in the first innings, as he took five England wickets, while in the second innings, Morne Morkel scalped 4 with 3 other bowlers taking a couple each. Kevin Pietersen, overnight partner for Collingwood also gave him company for a good while. But all that was just not good enough. {Brief scores: SA 423 for 7 (Smith 105, Boucher 95) beat England 180 (Steyn 5-51) and 169 (Collingwood 71) by an innings and 74 runs}.

Olympic gold medalist Bindra dropped from Indian squad World record holder Suma Shirur also sidelined for international events After hockey, now it is rifle shooting that has shot up a controversy over strange ways of sports administration in India. Abhinav Bindra, the lone individual gold medalist in Olympics for India has been targeted by the stubborn bureaucratic ways of the NRAI. He has not been selected for the Commonwealth shooting championships and the first and second edition of the Shooting World Cup as well, while the association has responded to the sports ministry suggestion by saying that it would consider Abhinav for the Commonwealth games, slated for October as also the third and fourth edi-

Abhinav Bindra

Suma Shirur

tion of ISSF World Cups, to be held in Fort Benning, USA from May 22-31 and in Belgrade from June 26-July 7. However, the Sports Ministry later deviated from its set norms and said any selection process that leaves out the best talents is faulty and it would have no issues if

the NRAI exempts Abhinav from trials. The Olympics medalist had expressed his displeasure and requested the sports ministry to allow him to train in his own way rather than follow the NRAI trials. He had even hinted that the NRAI attitude does not provide any motivation,

and he thinks of quitting. Sports ministry responded favourably, asking NRAI to exempt Abhinav from the trails, but NRAI said the teams for the three events have already been selected and the ministry has already approved (Abhinav Bindra not included), hence there is no scope of reconsidering those selections. NRAI secretary general Baljeet Singh Sethi, speaking to media in New Delhi on Monday said, “We have asked Mr Kalmadi to talk to Bindra and settle the matter. We have called his father A S Bindra for a meeting and asked him to bring Abhinav’s international

scores alongwith him.” Even Suma Shirur, the world record holder in the 10m air rifle and also the only Indian woman to make it to the final round of an Olympic Games — in Athens, 2004, fails to find her name in a list of 37 strong squad for the Commonwealth Shooting Championships, to be held in Delhi in February. As recently as in October 2009, Suma was the only Indian in her category at the World Cup finals, the most prestigious annual event in shootings. This is a result of a very complicated formula adopted by the NRAI, as it ignores such outstanding achievements while it takes into account only performanc-

es it wants to. Even before the Beijing Olympics, where Bindra shot gold, he trained on his own and he wants it the same way now also, but NRAI is not comfortable. The ace shooter is practicing in Germany for the Delhi Commonwealth games and the Asian Games, to be held in China. In case of Suma Shirur, defending their decision, NRAI said that they had already ‘stated that they would take into account only the Nationals, domestic trials and the Doha event. For them, her World Cup mark or the fact that she is a world record holder is of no consequence.

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