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Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

VOL 39. ISSUE 34

Anti-terror squad arrest 12 men plotting 'Christmas shopping carnage'




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Cap on migrants declared unlawful; but reinstated

Police officers outside a house in Stoke in trent

Christmas shoppers and partygoers are feared to have been the target of 12 men who were arrested by anti-terror police early this week. The suspects, aged

between 17 and 28, are accused of preparing Al Qaeda-inspired attacks on ‘mass casualty’ targets such as shopping malls and nightclubs. Continued on page 28

Israel irked at Nazi–RSS comparison by Congress drawing a comparison between the Nazis and the RSS – BJP combine, accusing them of spreading hatred for muslims in India. “In response to the enquiries from the press, the Embassy wishes to stress without entering the political debate that no comparison can be made with the Nazi Continued on page 28

A cap on the number of migrants entering the UK was ruled unlawful on Friday 17th December. The shock High Court verdict could lead to thousands of foreigners applying for UK visas. Home Secretary Theresa May announced a temporary cap in the number of nonEU workers coming to Britain in the summer. It was meant as a stopgap before a permanent limit is introduced in April.

Judges in London said Ms May had attempted to "side-step Parliamentary scrutiny" by introducing the cap. The Government is now set to appeal the ruling. The government however was due to reinstate its temporary immigration cap on Tuesday (21st December), despite the court ruling on Friday that

declared the restriction illegal. Immigration minister Damian Green said: "We'll set this right in the next few days to ensure we continue to operate an interim limit. "We remain firmly committed to reducing net migration and will be introducing a permanent limit on non-EU workers next April.

"We'll do all in our power to prevent a rush of applications before our more permanent measures are in place." Green added the government would receive the written court ruling in January, after which it would consider whether to appeal the decision. Continued on page 2

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Israel has felt offended by the Congress attempts to politicise the Nazi holocaust. In a terse, one line statement, the Israeli embassy in New Dellhi has said it didn’t approve of the massacres of the Jews being used for political saber-rattling. This was in response to Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh

PM Cameron with Ms Theresay May, Home Secretary

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Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010

one to one Keith Vaz MP with

Howard Goldstein, Producer King Kennedy, What inspired you to begin your career in your chosen field? I was a bit of a film buff and was also very interested in The Kennedys and Martin Luther King and the events and ideals of the 60’s. I was introduced to Ronan O’Rahilly who had this amazing concept and we joined forces to make it a reality. What are your proudest achievements? On a professional level the film, King Kennedy is unique and amazing and the fantastic responses we get from audiences of all ages and backgrounds is the spur to keep going. I was also a Director of Superdrug Stores Ltd and worked my way up from a managerial shop assistant to Director and was an integral part of the growth and success of that Company. When I joined there were 6

stores, when I left there were 660! On a personal level most definitely my two amazing children! Please tell us about your current project KingKennedy? King Kennedy ( ) is a Feature Film telling the stories of John F Kennedy, his brother Robert F Kennedy and Martin Luther King in a manner never before made entirely from archive material but with no narration. Yet the film tells a compelling and emotional story, causing the audience to look at these men in a totally fresh way. The message of the film, the ideas, ideals and dreams of these men are as relevant today as they were then. The film has taken years of research, eventually accumulating over 700 hours of footage, many

Ed Balls, Shadow Home Secretary

PM David Cameron has called for net migration - the difference between the number of people entering the UK and those emigrating - to be cut from nearly 200,000 a year to "tens of thousands". But business leaders say it will prevent them attracting the best foreign talent. And Labour said the Government's immigration policy was "in chaos". Shadow Home Secretary Ed Balls said: "Their cap may have sounded good before the election but it wasn't properly thought through." He also criticised the cap as “reckless and chaotic”. He

queried what would happen to those who had been rejected for visas under the “illegal cap”. Home Secretary Theresa May limited the number of tier one and tier two visas for non-EU nationals to 24,100 up until next April, to avoid a surge of applications ahead of 2011’s permanent immigration cap. The move was challenged by the English Community Care Association ECCA) and Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), amid concerns about the effect on staffing in the care home sector. One in eight workers in the care industry comes from outside the EU, rising to one in four in London. The permanent immigration cap has been set to allow entry for 21,700 skilled nationals from outside the EU per year, but does not include most intra-company transfers. It has been criticised for having a minimal impact on overall net immigration figures, while causing recruitment issues and skills shortages for some business sectors. However, the vast majority of highly skilled migrants coming to the UK under the Tier 1 visa are from India.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? Well one of my heroes is the late, great Peter Cook. His genius and taste and ability to deal with pomposity were fantastic – and he was a very nice man too – and a huge Spurs fan! Also my amazingly supportive wife, Vivienne. She has been through the various changes of careers and fortunes I have experienced and never wavered in her faith. What is the best thing about KingKennedy?

years of editing and reediting and is now at the rough cut stage. What has been biggest obstacle?


We have been through many impediments in making this film but finance is easily the

Cap on migrants declared unlawful; but reinstated Continued from page 1

this so difficult.

biggest obstacle. It is immensely frustrating that because the film is different to anything that has gone before it is impossible to prove the potential revenue the film could generate. I could write an entire book on the other obstacles and events that have made

The emotional response it generates with audiences and the impact it could have on today’s society. It shows how different the world could have been had these three amazing men lived. So many people who have seen the film say the same thing “You must get this film out now”, or “Can this film change the world, America and its future?” That’s quite a response to a film! And the worst? That’s easy! The difficulties we encounter in getting it finished – the

funds, the lack of cooperation from some footage libraries, the various disasters we have had along the way, including the tragic loss of a man from Toronto who was well advanced with the fund raising and had become a friend. What are your long term goals for this film? To get the film released theatrically and see it become the huge impactful success it so clearly deserves to be. If you were Prime Minister, what one thing would you change? I am at heart a libertarian or at least a very liberal man, so I would want to change any law that restricts freedoms, such as so many diktats from the EU, which should never be imposed. If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figures would you like to spend your time with and why? Given my film that is obvious! John F Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy and Dr Martin Luther King! They could tell me where I got it all wrong!

The Asian Voice Political and Public Life Awards 2011 It is that time of year again… The Asian Voice Public and Political Life Awards nominations. The awards celebrate the achievements of those who have made a special contribution to our political or public life over the last 12 months in a variety of fields.

The categories for the nominations and last year’s winners are: Damian Green, MP, Immigration Minister

The temporary cap on Tier 1 visas was administered on a monthly basis, which in recent months has meant that the immigration cap has been used up in the first ten days of the month. The cap may be imposed again in January or February 2011, but until then, Indians looking to immigrate to the UK with or without a job offer can apply without worrying that Tier 1 visas or Tier 2 visas will run out soon.


Asian Solicitors have been in the limelight; some for contributing greatly to society, while some for bringing their profession into disrepute. In order to know more, keep reading Asian Voice in 2011.

Politician of the Year – last year’s winner was the Prime Minister David Cameron. Labour Backbencher of the Year – last year’s winner was Stephen Pound MP Liberal Democrat Backbencher of the Year – last year’s winner was Simon Hughes MP. Conservative Backbencher of the Year – last year’s winner was Damien Green MP. Minister of the Year – last year’s winner was Ed Balls MP. TV Personality of the Year - last year’s winner was Nitin Ganatra. Journalist of the Year - last year’s winner was Shefali Oza from Midlands Today. Restaurant of the Year - last year’s winner was Moti Mahal. Asian Broadcaster of the Year - last year’s winner was Dhru Ghadin from Zee TV. Parliamentary Journalist of the Year – last year’s winner was Joe Murphy from the Evening Standard. Male Entrepreneur of the Year – last year’s winner was Rami Ranger. Female Entrepreneur of the Year - last year’s winner was Rhaynukka Soni Community Award. International Actor of the Year. Sports Personality of the Year - last year’s winner was Rendell Munroe Face of the Future Award . Charity of the Year. Special Award for International Achievement. Lifetime Achievement Award - last year’s winner was Rev. Jesse Jackson. Please send your nominations into Political and Public Life Awards at:

Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010


India, Russia teeing up on new ground By the time we go to press, India has been welcoming the last of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council: Russia in the shape of President Dmitri Medvedev, who follows in the footsteps UK Prime Minister David Cameron, US President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiaobao. It surely says something for India's political and economic standing in the international community that the heads of state/government of the world's five great powers should have visited the country in a little less than six months. Each visit has involved conversations between hosts and guests on political and economic issues of the greatest import.That said, the Indo-Russian yearly summit (alternating between Delhi and Moscow) underscores a time-tested relationship which has few parallels in our time. Irrespective of their differing political systems, India and the erstwhile Soviet Union began a fruitful dialogue on Cold War-related issues and issues of national interest. These conversations and the relationship as a whole got into their stride from 1950 onwards. For reasons of space, this is hardly the place to trace every step of a truly momentous journey; it can be said, however, that the USSR was less rigid in its perception of India than was the United States and its Western allies, “for whom you were either with us or against us” in the Cold War. India created its own non-aligned space through which it navigated through largely uncharted territory. It had to handle a combustible relationship with Pakistan - which became a member of Washington's system of regional alliances to contain the Soviets – and, subsequently, an equally fraught relationship with communist China. The mix was made more complex when Washington and Beijing formed an axis to support Pakistan in its war with India in December 1971, a conflict which originated in the Pakistan military's genocidal massacres in Bangladesh. Moscow stood firmly behind India and enabled Delhi to prevail in the struggle and its aftermath. This Sino-US alignment encompassing “parallel

strategic interests,” to quote US Defence Secretary Brown, ended a decade in 2000, a full decade after the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the USSR. With the accession to power of Vladimir Putin in Moscow in 2000, Indo-Russian ties began a new surge built on the achievements and gains of the past. Past and present were aptly summed up by Ashok Parthasarathi, a senior official in charge of various government departments in New Delhi and Scientific Adviser to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, in the Pioneer newspaper earlier this year. Referring to the significant and unparalleled leeway permitted to India by Russia in their civilian nuclear accord, Mr Parthasarathi writes: “To those like me who have worked with the Soviet Union/Russian Federation , this fundamentally, vastly different treatment of us, right across the no surprise at all. For almost 40 years our relations in high technologynuclear, space, defence, intelligence gathering and interpretation have been paramount.....Perhaps the most significant area has been defence and national security. Starting with the first supply of MiG-21 warplanes as far back as 1963 to the Sukhoi 30-MKI, we have been offered the best fighters,” culminating with the nuclear powered submarine Arihant, in whose manufacture Russian designers and engineers played a critical role. Mr Parthasarathi continued: “This impressive broad-based, ever deepening and ever expanding assistance in military hardware is complemented and supplemented by provision of continued intelligence pertaining to both China and Pakistan. Moreover, Russia has given us massive technological and material assistance to build highly specialised and secret facilities.....” President Medvedev comes to India at a time when international relationships are in flux. The US and Russia are drawing closer, as are Nato and Russia faced by a common Islamist threat. It us right that India and Russia take counsel and prepare policies based on the unique convergence of their national interests.

Fresh arrests in UK in anti-terror drive Police have arrested 12 al Qaeda-inspired suspects in various cities in Britain including three men in London, five in Cardiff and four in Stoke-on-Trent This was part of a national counter-terrorism operation at dawn last Monday under the supervision of Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner John Yates. Some of the suspects are said to be Bangladeshi. They will be interrogated for a maximum of 28 days, as permitted by law, and either charged or released The ages of the suspects range between 17 and 28. According to intelligence sources, Islamist terror groups plan to target areas in Britain, France and Germany in a coordinated series of actions such as those that occurred in Mumbai on 26 November 2008. The bombing in a Stockholm shopping centre by a suicide bomber of Iraqi descent Taimur Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, 28, whose family lives in Luton, raises particular concern. MI5 and anti-terrorist police are attempting to discover what made a father of three into a suicide bomber. Meanwhile, the outlawed Islamist group alMuhajiroum is openly recruiting near the home of the suicide bomber. But terrorism like economics has gone global. Reporting from Peshawar in The Sunday Times, Nicola Smith and Khalid Khan, write that a

“Pakistan terror chief is believed to be plotting Mumbai-style attacks on Britain.” Which is the nub of the present problem. So many of these terror networks emanate from Pakistan, are frequently trained in the country's tribal march land, whose activities are funded through public donations or through secret channels organised by Pakistan's military intelligence services. Such facts are well established, but the West, led by the US and UK, appear powerless to bring the sort of pressure on Islamabad that would yield the desired results. Pakistan was a cold war ally and the more questionable of its regional policies were allowed to pass in Washington and London in the interests of realpolitik. The price for such indulgence is today self-evident. The paradox is that the West, the US in particular, is reviled in Pakistan, yet it is from America that the bulk of the international aid for Pakistan's originates. But there is no gratitude, only ever deepening hatred. The chickens are coming home to roost. Pakistan behaves as it wills, with Chinese support, and, apart from pious declarations, the West has been helpless. As a result the region is combustible, as is the world beyond. It calls for serious reflection from the great and good.

Christmas cheer and good wishes for 2011 Ring out the old year, ring in the new. Time future will soon become Time present. We must hope that 2011 is an improvement on 2010 just as the latter was better than 2009. Progress is rarely huge or smooth; for two steps forward there is the inevitable step backward. The movement is incremental, but it does make a difference to our lives and is therefore to be welcomed. The deepest gloom following the financial meltdown appears to be lifting in the United States, which is the world's largest economy. However, the situation in Europe is still fraught, with Ireland, Greece Spain and Portugal in deep financial crisis. Has the eurozone a future?, people ask. No-one quite knows. We should be the wiser in the next few years. Britain's time of trouble is far from over, as the recent turmoil on the streets of London created by protesting university students, aggrieved by the huge hike in tuition fees from £3,000 per annum to £ 9,000 per annum. We need a university-educated, skilled workforce to compete in the international marketplace. We have to find an acceptable way around the problem of university funding. And solu-

tions to the myriad problems that threaten industrial peace. Meanwhile, our cricketers Down Under have suffered a serious setback in the quest fot the Ashes. Having cruised through the first two Test matches, they were brought to earth with a bump by a victorious Australian side at Perth, so it is one-all, with two Tests left, the next at Melbourne, the final one of series at Sydney. A fortnight ago, the contest seemed over bar the shouting; now the outcome is less predictable. In South Africa's Centurion Park, India were pulverised by an innings and 25 runs by the home side, the sole consolation being Sachin Tendulkar's unbeaten century in India's second innings, his 50th in 175 Test matches in a 21-year career which has no parallel in contemporary cricket. The Little Master, like Alexander the Great, is seeking new worlds to conquer, new peaks to climb. He is his country's pride and joy, personifying the best traditions of the game. A joyful and merry Christmas to all our readers and may you enjoy a prosperous New Year.


Thought for the Week We are all moulded and remoulded by those who have loved us and, though that love may pass, we remain, none the less, their work. No love, no friendship can ever cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark upon it forever. - Francois Mauriac, French novelist (1885-1970)

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

Merry Xmas Beauty of living in London, a multicultural – multi-faith world city, is the privilege of being able to celebrate a wide range of festivals and religious days. In this sense autumn period (October to December) is very special to us when great holy days, interwoven with cultural/social events originating from many religions such as Hindu, Jain, Muslim, Jewish and

Christian are upon us. This is the period when we have opportunity to remember and respect the great values different faiths offer. Bearing this in mind – I hope all Asian Readers have enjoyable and restful Christmas period and gear up for the many challenges in the coming year. Merry Xmas and warm wishes for a happy and peaceful New Year.

Betrayal of students Shame that the Christmas present for students, from the Tory and LibDem government, is £9,000 Tuition fees. Whilst I’m happy to have debate about the merits or demerits of tuition fees – I find the shear treachery and hypocrisy on this issue on the part of the LibDems disgusting. During the general election campaign Nick Clegg signed the NUS Petition against tuition fees, but after becoming Deputy Prime Minister he lent and lead his support to the Tory proposals to levy huge financial burden on aspiring University students. How appropriate Ed Miliband called Nick Clegg a ‘crypto Tory’. Brent Central’s LibDem MP Sarah Teather has followed her Leader’s route of betrayal. Worth reminding the readers that before the last election she vowed to vote against tuition fees and in her maiden speech in 2003 Ms Teather stated “Top-up and tuition fees are serious issues of concern to my constituents. All the evidence suggests that fear of debt will deter those from lower income families and ethnic minority communities. This is particularly the case for Muslims - a large community in my constituency - where attitudes to debt are very different. Fundamentally, I believe that this is about whether we want to encourage a world class education system, or a class based edu-

cation system where students choose universities according to their ability to pay, and universities are judged on the level of their fees.” The level of hypocrisy of Sarah Teather is staggering. This ‘politician of principle’ when push came to shove betrayed the students and put her party and her own career before ideals. Brent is one of the most deprived local authorities in the country and we should be actively encouraging our young people to go to university – not put them off by pricing them out. Its clear Sarah Teather cannot be trusted on the issue of both principle and her election pledges. In the same class is the Tory MP Bob Blackman. During the election campaign, I witnessed at a Hustings at Westminster University Campus in Harrow, Bob Blackman promising to vote against any hike in tuition fees. I am astounded but not surprised that having got elected now - he too has done a complete U-Turn on this issue. You’d think that signing the NUS pledge must prove embarrassing for Bob Blackman. But, his recent comments suggest that he has no shame even after so disgracefully letting students down. It’s blatantly obvious that Mr Blackman’s pledge was motivated for election success and not driven by ideology.

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



Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010

Learn it from the Jews - Kartik.S.Raval Asians residing in the UK have been highly praised over the years for their essential contribution to the society and their participation in almost all walks of life. The BritishAsians have received recognition from the government and also other communities for playing a vital role in development of business, medicine and health, engineering and infrastructure, tourism

ticipation is compared to that of the Jews, it is clear that Asians still have a long way ahead of them. This is obvious as the first Jew nominated as a peer was Lord Nathan De Rothschild in 1885, while on the other hand the first ever involvement of an Asian in the House of Lords was in 1977 when Lord Pratap Chitnis was appointed. Thus, with almost a century behind, the difference in the community's impact on the


British Jews British Asians

Population Heritage Peers Life Peers Privy Counsellors MPs Fellows of Royal Society

300,000 + 8 62 31 22 45

2.5m + 0 29 6 27 12

(Population figure according to last census done in 2001)

and many more within the UK. But it is necessary that one does not get carried away with this acknowledgment and learn from the Jewish community that is leading the way by actively participating in each and every field of development and contribute to a massive extent. They have undoubtedly become an integral part of Britain with their contributions to this society, dating back as early as 19th century. Today, we see a rise in the number of BritishAsians making their voices heard at the House of Lords and Commons. However, when the amplitude and amount of par-

development is well justified. Since the first ever appointment of a Jew in the parliament, the community seemed to have never looked back as today they undoubtedly dominate the participation through Privy Counsellors, Peers, life Peers, Members of Parliament, Baronets, Knights, Dames, Fellows of the Royal Society, Fellows of the British Academy and every possible platform existing in the UK to make contribution to the society or give opinion to make the prevailing society a better place. The Jews reached

some massive heights and areas that need attention milestones before 140 and raise those issues in years that still seem far the coming years for the away to the Asian combetterment of the commumunity. It was in 1868 nity. that Benjamin Disraeli became Nobel Prize Jews (worldwide) the first ever Jew to be elected as a Peace 9 Prime Minister Physics 34 for the UK. Economics 14 Hence, it can be Medicine 42 said without any literature 13 doubt that out of Chemistry 24 all the nonindigenous comThe contribution of munities residing in the the Jewish community can UK, Jews have led the way also be reflected from the in the past and Asians long list of names of the who have been boosting development at a stunning members that have been pace in the last four awarded Nobel prize in decades are following the variety of areas. The numright foot steps. ber of awards given to British-Asian commuJews for their contribution nity leader's also agree in the UK exceeds far that there is still a need more than any other nonfor the people to step forindigenous community as ward and represent their they make up of 25 percent of total award wincommunity at a higher ners. platform. “The presence Learning from the of ethnic minority on the sheer number of Jews front-line matters greatly. involved in front line jobs It helps to address the in the UK, two primary problems that the commuthings are clear. First, nity faces and the way Britain has always welscarce resources are allocomed other communities cated. It also helps the government to unearth to participate and conthe prevailing hidden biastribute in all walks of life es in the society” reveals and also make their sugLord Parekh. While gestions and hence it Baroness Flather agreeing holds equal room for to the lack of presence of development for the Asian her community at a policommunity. Second, there cy-influencing level says still is a long way to go for the British-South Asians that the parents are not and if at all there is a feelenthusiast to see their ing of satisfaction persistchildren choose politics as ing, it needs to be a career which acts as a shrugged off because major backlog in the there is lots remaining to development of the comcontribute and lots still to munity. The youth needs achieve. to be aware about the

India's dance phenomenon Chak Dhoom Dhoom, now in UK After conquering hearts in India, Chak Dhoom Dhoom India’s biggest dance reality show sets its sights on United Kingdom to find a dance group that can get the whole world in the dancing mood. After crowning India’s best junior dancer, Colors and Chak Dhoom Dhoom is now scouting for the rarest group performers for their Team Challenge with teams of exceptionally talented people, and this time around, age is no bar. The program is set to go on air in the early 2011. The channel held primary auditions for aspir-

Javed Jaffrey

Mallika Sherawat

ing teams at Thistle London Heathrow Hotel, Bath Road, Longford, West Drayton and the panel of judges included Mallika Sherawat, Javed Jaffrey and Terence Lewis. Auditioning teams show-

Terence Lewis

cased dance styles ranging from Cha Cha Cha, Bhangra, Hip Hop, Salsa, Ballet, Tango, Waltz, Jazz, Robotics, Locking Popping to the Lavni. After having chosen the youngest dancing star

in the country last season, this season, the channel and the show have decided to scout the world for group dancing talent for Chak Dhoom Dhoom Team Challenge. This year, the dancing groups will be judged by a panel of highly qualified and imminent dance experts from India that include the master of contemporary dance ,Terence Lewis, the guru of dance and a veteran in hunting dance talent, Javed Jaffrey and the sultry sensuous actress and danseuse, Mallika Sherawat.

Treasury Minister: VAT De Minimis limit to be kept under review The partial exemption de minimis rules are derived from EU law and allow member states to ignore insignificant amounts of VAT on costs that a business uses to make exempt supplies. According to David Gauke, MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, the term “insignificant” is not defined in EU law, but is defined in the UK law as being no more than £7500 per annum (provided VAT relating to exempt supplies is no more than 50% of total business related VAT).

‘During my campaign to raise awareness to the plight of some businesses which will lose out or even go bankrupt due to the de minimis level in VAT left unchanged, amidst others like Lord Dholakia and Stephen Hammond, mp, Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP also helped me by writing to George Osbourne, The Chancellor of Exchequers,’ says Yogesh Patel, VAT and business consultant. Mr David Gauke, MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, goes further in statement, giving some assur-

ance on the matter, not closing the door entirely. “I can assure you that HMRC is focused on trying to help small businesses and that it will keep the de minimis limit under regular review”, reveals Mr. Gauke ‘So for now I have concluded the campaign as the awareness is installed in the decision making quarters, both at the ministerial level as well as the HMRC echelon,’ adds Yogesh Patel. (For further information contact:

Leicester Voice Leicester student bags Young Designer of the Year award

Shivani Chavda becomes best Young Designer 2010

A student of De Montfort University in Leicester, Shivani Chavda has been chosen as the Young Designer of the Year at the Clothes Show Live at NEC, Birmingham which is UK's one of the most prestigious fashion events. Shivani who is just 22 is currently studying BA (Hons) Fashion Design and she has definitely reached a big milestone at a very young age by winning the catwalk finals. She won £1,000 as prize money and the same amount was given as donation to the University. Shivani’s design, inspired by the Orient, was among ten finalists whose designs were showcased on the catwalk

which also included a design by fellow DMU student Maria Ellina. This is the second time in three years that the Young Designer of the Year title has gone to a DMU student. In 2008 Charlotte Christy won the competition which is open to fashion students from universities and colleges around the UK. The brief for this year’s competition was to design a dress that draws inspiration from any country in the world. Shivani took elements of the Orient and incorporated it into her dress. The mixture of delicate beauty and strong shapes are the defining features of her design that gave her the edge over all her competitors.

Leicester music to raise money for Pakistan flood victims Christmas Aaya (Christmas is here) is a song that has been recorded on the occasion of Christmas to help raise money for the victims of floods in Pakistan who are still in need. It is sung both in English and Punjabi. It has been released on CD's and DVD's and was launched at a party hosted by Simon Ward, from BBC East Midlands. The drummer King G Mall also launched the soundtrack at Leicester Curve theatre. Almost all the artists featuring in the song are from Leicester and the video was shot in the UK, Holland, Canada and India. It was launched on a full scale in Leicester as the party also featured a fashion show, Bhangra and Bollywood dancers accompanied by Dhol Enforcement Agency. Community and faith leaders like Resham Singh Sandhu, Chairman of the Sikh Welfare Cultural

Society UK; Reverend Javid Iqbal, Chairman of the Diosesan Forum for Ethnic Minority Anglicans in Leicester; Suleman Nagdi, representative of the Federation of Muslim Organisations; Councillor Manjula Sood, former Lord Mayor of Leicester and Chairman of the Leicester Council of Faiths and Mussarat Iqbal, Chairman of Life Skill Project International were present to initiate the good cause. King G Mall, also known as Gurcharan Mall has appeared in the Guinness Book of Records, for assembling the largest gathering of dhol players. Earlier this year, he released Aao Ji, the first bhangra release to feature both Asian and non-Asian artists.


Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010

Former Met Police AC Tarique Ghaffur speaks on owner of Dubai's 'little Britain' By Rupanjana Dutta Tarique Ghaffur, the former Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner and at one time in charge of Specialist Crime in London, is reviewing the case of Safi Qurashi, the British businessman serving seven years in Dubai for crimes he says he did not commit. Mr Ghaffur, who retired from the Met in November 2008 and who is now Chairman of Community Safety Global Limited a London-based international security company, has been asked by Mr Qurashi’s family to independently examine every facet of the case on their behalf. In particular he will closely look at the role of the complainants, banks and the justice system in reaching the decision they did with regard to Safi. Safi Qurashi, from Balham, south London, was convicted in June in the United Arab Emirates of signing cheques worth more than £50m without sufficient funds and cancelling another cheque as he moved to complete three property deals. His imprisonment comes two years after he bought the 11-acre island that is part of the World, a man-made archipelago of 300 reclaimed sandbanks in the Gulf, fashioned into the shape of the globe's landmasses. Mr Ghaffur spoke to Asian Voice about the case, the details and his involvement, in an exclusive interview. AV: What is your exact role in Safi's case and your plan of action? TG: Safi's family asked me to carry out an inde-

Tarique Ghaffur

pendent review of a fairly complex set circumstances which led to the unfortunate jailing of Safi in Dubai. AV. Do you think this case shows discrimination towards a man for his nationality? TG: I am unable to comment on this issue as it is first important to gather all the facts, analyse them and then reach conclusions. I have a complete open mind. AV: How has Community Safe Global Limited been associated with Safi's case? TG: CSD Global in UK carries out private investigations and reviews on criminal and civil cases and we bring to the case substantial resources, knowledge and expertise on a worldwide basis. AV: What sort of issues does Community Safe Global Limited deal with? TG: Recently we have seen growing emergence of global threats to security of nations, cities and safety of communities from terrorism, organised crime and other forms of exploitation.

All this is causing considerable harm to our communities and therefore I have decided to set up an innovative security knowledge provider and solutions company based in London called Community Safety Development Global Limited. The details of the company's offerings are detailed on our website ( AV: Does it deal with forced marriage victim or honour killing issues? TG: We will do so only if asked to do so but essentially these are crimes which official law enforcement agencies take seriously and best dealt with by them. AV: Have you spoken to Sara Qurashi and are you aware of her campaign on you tube etc? TG: Yes I am and I have seen her personally before taking on the assignment. AV: How has your life been after you have left the Met Police? TG: I still miss some of the camaraderie and friends amongst them some special officers and brave members of the community. I have moved on and frankly am enjoying using my substantial experience to benefit communities internationally. I have a lot to learn about running a business but it is quite liberating to try new things out without referring it to others for approval. AV: After the race controversy that you got involved in, do you still

Now its NHS turn to face the heat as government is set to imply cuts and major restructuring within the national health and welfare system of the UK. And it is not surprising that yet again the policy makers are under scrutiny for their plans. Andrew Lansley, Heath Secretary announced the biggest restructuring of the NHS since the service was found 62 years ago. These plans were announced against the advice of professional organisations like King's Fund and British Medical Association. The plans are to scrap the Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) and Primary Care Trusts (PCTs)

who apparently handle 80% of the NHS budget and are responsible for frontline health services, including the work of dentists, opticians and pharmacists. The government has justified the reforms by stating that the spending on the NHS has risen at an unsustainable rate and the value offered for that money is not sufficient. Thus, under the new structure GP's will have more and direct say in how money is spent in order to make the health service more responsive and efficient. The cuts that will be witnessed by NHS is under assessment and is likely to be known in the coming month. However, the NHS is to receive a short-term fund of

£2.6 billion to cover 2012 while the government plans to abolish all the 152 trusts in England by 2014. The family doctors will then be expected to decide what treatment their patients need and where to get it from. In order to do so, a consortium of GP's will be formed by area and will primarily decide how £80 billion allocated to NHS is spent and a NHS Commissioning Board will assess the performance of the consortiums. Since long, many people engaged with NHS have raised concerns and have asked for streamlining of the system but the response to these new plans have been mixed in nature as many GP's feel the policy is an extreme

We would like to wish all the Asian Voice readers a Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Prosperous New Year ahead. Due to the Christmas holidays, we are closed from 24th Dec till 29th December 2010. There will be no Asian Voice published for the issue of 2nd January 2011.

Sad Demise

Safi Qurashi

think that Met will have young Asians joining it? TG: My grievances and issues were against a certain named person and lost confidence in the Metropolitan Police Leadership. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my 34 years in Policing. I would actively encourage our youngsters to join and progress within our public institutions including the police. I continue my part to encourage members of our community to join the Police and actively support those who do. AV: The youth crimes, especially young Asian Muslim men and community crimes- how do you think this country should deal with it? TG: Re-introduce Operation Quadrant which I set up in the Met to deal with serious and organised crime amongst South Asian C o m m u n i t i e s . Unfortunately it was disbanded as it got no support from the then Leadership and the Police Authority.

Restructuring can endanger NHS; GPs worried - Kartik.S.Raval


one and abolition of PCT can create major confusion and chaos across the country. Also there are doubts that NHS will not be able to survive the rising costs of health services for an aging society, reduction in funds and improving medicine at the same time. 52 groups of GPs are already testing the new system by managing local budgets and commissioning services for the patients. “The major concern with the new policy is that GP's will be expected to take up all the tasks that are apparently handled by PCT, which include managerial skills. There is a great danger in this as patients can suffer as standards of service can fall when doctors do not possess the time

Mrs Shardaben Nandlal Shah, passed away at the age of 77, after short illness, on Wednesday 15th December 2010 in Mumbai. Sharden was mother of Harrow's Cllr Rekhaben Shah and mother-in-law of Navin Shah Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow. Shardaben and her husband late Mr Nandlal Shah a successful Engineer started their life in the 40's in Karachi where their first daughter Minaxi was born but left Karachi after partition and settled in Mumbai. Shardaben was a very bubbly, friendly & bold lady, full of laughter and raised a family of 6 daughters a son who are now settled in Mumbai,

Mrs Shardaben Nandlal Shah

London and Washington. Rekha, Navin and family have received a numerous messages of sympathy for which they are very grateful. A prayer meeting will be organised in Harrow to commemorate and celebrate life of Shardaben.

Air hostess jailed for 8 years An air hostess caught smuggling £250,000 worth of cocaine into the country has been jailed for eight years. Mandeep Shahi (pictured), 27, took advantage of lax security while working as a cabin crew member with Air Canada to stash four kilograms of the class A drug in her luggage. After breezing through customs checks at Heathrow, she headed to a central London hotel to deliver the goods to a major drug dealer. She was only arrested five months later when she next flew to Britain, after Scotland Yard detectives identified her using secret CCTV footage of the drop. A jury at Southwark Crown Court found Shahi guilty of possession of class A drugs with intent to supply. Former public schoolboy Simon HowardHarwood and Baljinder Nijjar, both 28, admitted orchestrating the plot,while minicab driver Ghulem Malik, 53, was convicted of ferrying and the managerial skills to fulfill the new responsibilities”, reveals Madhan Gopal, Accident and Emergency's Speciality Doctor for NHS. The government also proposed to scrap large number of Labour’s NHS targets and it will bring in performance measures for emer-

drugs for the pair. Jurors had heard how police had HowardHarwood and Nijjar under surveillance from late 2009. Judge Michael Gledhill, QC, jailed the four defendants for a total of 32 years in prison. Shahi fought back tears as she received an eight year jail term, Nijjar was locked up for 12 years and Malik was jailed for three years. Jailing HowardHarwood for nine years the judge referred to his 'fall from grace' from respectable public schoolboy to prolific drug dealer. gency care. Also, the hospitals that continue to operate mixed-sex wards will be fined. This is the tenth time in the last 40 years that NHS will be going through restructuring and in majority of the previous cases these changes have failed to address the key issues.



Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010

Rumour mills in overdrive: Separating facts from fiction

By Rupanjana Dutta

they were concerned that police were working too slowly, it has The British media has sensationbeen disclosed. But Private alised the tragic story of a detective Dave Miller asked British Indian Hindu boythem to wait till next morning, Shrien Dewani, who has lost his let police do the job and ring wife Anni, in a carjack in South back if she was not found. Africa. There have been a series It has also been reported (By of allegations on Shrien, that The Sunday Telegraph) that includes a planned murder claim Tongo’s aunt Nokwanda Sigaby the South African authorities, Tongo appeared to question why backed up by unproven eviTongo would have organised the dences given by a driver- Zola murder for so little money. Siga Tongo, who has been a part of Tongo said, “He was the most the actual murder and also link successful person in our family – ups with a previous murder of he had his taxi job and was Dr Pox Raghavjee, family friend doing extra work on the side too. of the Dewanis, whom Shrien Why would he do this for 1,000 has never met. rand? It doesn’t make sense and Max Clifford, Mr Dewani's we are sure something is not spokesperson and the lawyers right in the story.” continue to control all the comSunday Mail reports that munications with the media. A detectives want to examine a Dewani relative said, "What laptop computer that Anni Shrien is being put through as a Dewani was seen using two days grieving widower is beyond combefore she was murdered. South prehension. He is torn by the African police believe it could allegations made about his contain vital information that involvement in the murder." might ‘shed light’ on her relaShrien's profile on facebook tionship with her husband. Now continues to have a picture of the whereabouts of the laptop him and Anni, in white and red are not clear. Indian clothes, sitting together, The South African police embraced in love. Qudos to have so far been unable to sugShrien who despite of so much gest a motive – at least publicly – of pressure and allegations, has for why he might have wished to maintained his dignity, unlike have his wife murdered. the South African national comDetectives have in their possesmissioner, General Bheki Cele, sion CCTV images which they who openly condemned Dewani claim shows Mr Dewani having Shrien and Anni Dewani, during their wedding calling him a 'monkey'. meetings with Tongo before the Last week the latest allegawedding said, there was murder and then handing over a Shrien's wedding photograph, tions that were brought forward absolutely no tension between bag of cash three days after it. which was attended by friends against Shrien included a claim the couple. They appeared norBut the family point out that and family from all over the by a German born homosexual mal, happy, in love and looking at that stage Tongo was not a world, Shrien and Anni looked escort, who suggested that he forward to a blissful married life suspect and Mr Dewani was so content, wearing colour coorhad sexual relations with Mr paying him for dinated clothes, smilahead. Dewani three times- although on ing at each other, comdriving the couple A friend of the family's told the dates in question Mr Dewani pletely love struck. in the area. It has Asian Voice, "Which couple does has gathered evidence to show Both the Hindochas been alleged that not have differences amongst he was not in Birmingham or and Dewanis looked Mr Dewani had each other? Which couple does London where the encounters happy, dancing at the changed money in not fight? It is very normal to are alleged to have taken place. ceremonies and a Cape Town on the have disagreements. Being a The Sunday Telegraph, on stunning looking Anni black market at a married person myself, I can say, December 19th reported that took pictures with the pawnbrokers’ to it is usually the differences that Shrien is planning to sue family and friends. hide his payments makes a relation strong. Leopold for libel. The Every picture to the assassins. Sunday Telegraph tried But it transpires appeared to be a page to contact Leopold, but that changing straight from some he refused to comment. money in such fairy tale. Asian Voice has places is a comImages have also raised questions from the monplace. been released of Anni inception of this case Max Clifford, holding up a box conincluding the motive taining an Indian Anni and Shrien having their first dance, to the Hindi love song S h r i e n ' s 'Pehla Naasha' playing in the background during the behind the alleged murspokesperson has Barbie doll – a private wedding at Mumbai der of Anni, who neither told that media joke between the couhad any will, pre nuptial that the murder ple referring to agreement or any sort of allegations on Shrien are Dewani’s pet name for his bride. knew that the information in the insurance that could be ‘untrue’, ‘ludicrous’, ‘hurtful’ After almost two months of phone would have automatically of any material gain to and ‘ridiculous’. this dream-like marriage, a video backed up, but he needed to Shrien, after her death. Clare Montgomery QC, who footage of the couple's first speak to someone in the UK to They had chosen each dance was given to Asian Voice access it. is representing Dewani believes other and it was not an by Max Clifford on behalf the In fact Shrien had tried to he has been accused by "selfarranged marriage of any Dewani family. First Mrs call a mobile phone company confessed robbers and murdersort, so no dowry was Dewani danced for Shrien and and asked if experts could track ers desperate to escape a whole involved either. his wife Anni’s handset. The life sentence" and with "everythen both embraced each other, In fact, the pictures care-homes tycoon also made thing to gain and nothing to as they danced to the Hindi love and video released by strenuous efforts to obtain the lose" by implicating him in the song 'Pehla Nasha' playing in the Shrien's family recently killing. background. The minute-long registration number of the taxi show how much they Anni with the Indian barbie doll, a private See page 10 for our readers' compilation shows Mr Dewani driven by her abductors and were in love with each views on Anni and Shrien's and his new bride smiling and pleaded with police to deploy a joke between the couple referring to other, performing their tragedy. If you have any comlaughing together. (Please see helicopter in the search. Dewani’s pet name for his bride first dance together at ment, please send it to aveditor On 20th December, The their £200,000 wedding in Differences do not indicate ges/shri_anni first dance.wmv to Daily Telegraph wrote that Mumbai, which was held on couples are unhappy with one check the couple's first dance). Shrien Dewani's family also 29th October at the Renaissance (Copyright of photographs: another or is not even a strong The family says it is further tried to hire a private detective Hotel. Max Clifford Associates) reason to kill each other." proof there were no marital hours after the carjacking in Relatives who had visited the problems which could have led which Shrien was killed because As Asian Voice went through Mr Dewani to have his bride murdered. The song which they were seen dancing to was from the 1992 Bollywood movie Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar starring Amir Khan, Pooja Bedi and Ayesha Jhulka. It is also understood that expert advice from ballistics and forensics experts commissioned by Mr Dewani’s defence team shows the single bullet which killed Mrs Dewani passed first through her hand and then into her neck, severing an artery. The post mortem also shows Mrs Dewani’s killer had at one stage grabbed her leg, suggesting she may have struggled and that the gun may have gone off accidentally. The evidence gathered by Mr Dewani’s legal team will be used in the British courts to try and block South Africa’s attempts to extradite the 30-year-old. The Sunday Mail reported that a family member told them that (Shrien) when dumped in a township late at night, knocked desperately on the doors of roadside shacks seeking help. A local man who found him described his distress, as did a policeman, who said he was ‘standing in the road crying and clearly in shock’. Both spoke of his desire to ‘ring the UK’ but did not know who he wanted to speak to. ‘He called us,’ said the relative, who does not want to be named. ‘His BlackBerry was taken in the robbery and he had the taxi driver’s number punched into it.’ The businessman apparently

Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010



Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010

Midland Voice

Contact: Dhiren on 07970 911 386 or Dee Katwa Funding recipient bestows awards on funder News in Brief A Midland Conservative MP has questioned the credibility of Advantage West Midlands, the regional development agency, following an alleged cash-forhonour-style exchange. Dudley South MP Chris Kelly has asked why AWM, which will be scrapped in 2012, was allowed to enter and win the Midlands Excellence Awards. “I question the credibility of such an award being given to an organisation that had a financial interest in it,” said MP Kelly. Since 1999, AWM has spent £1.2 million with Midlands Excellence the not-for-profit body

which is helping to make the West Midlands economy more effective and efficient – including £80,957 supporting the awards programme. But bosses said the decisions on the awards were made with complete impartiality and independence. MP Kelly made his comment after AWM took two of the Midlands Excellence Awards 2010 in the highly commended category and as the “most

MP was Postman Pat Cheers Pat McFadden, pictured, the Wolverhampton South East MP, for your greetings card to Asian Voice. Did you know? MP McFadden had spent three Christmases as a student working for the Royal Mail in Glasgow. He was, quite literally, Postman, reports the Express and Star.

MP’s wife ‘stole’ kitten Christine Hemming, the wife of controversial Birmingham Lib Dem MP John Hemming, will appear before a crown court judge in February over theft allegations. Christine, 52, pictured, is charged with burgling, allegedly, Emily Cox’s home in Moseley and stealing a tabby kitten. Ms Cox is Mr Hemming’s mistress of 11 years and the mother of his four-year-old daughter Isabel. Mrs Hemming appeared at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court last Thursday and was remanded on bail and ordered to stay away from Ms Cox and her home.

Legal Awards Former leader of the Liberal Democrat Party Lord Paddy Ashdown will be the guest speaker at next year’s Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards. Lord Ashdown, pictured, who served as leader of the Lib Dems between 1988 and 1999, will join guests at the ICC for the annual event on March 24.

Young role models honoured

MP Chris Kelly

improved organisation.” This summer AWM’s voluntary redundancy scheme has seen 45 people leave the Aston Science Park-based organisation, leaving 281 people on the AWM payroll. AWM spokesman Will Harpur said: “As a business-led agency, we decided we should practice what we preach. What’s good for business is good for Advantage West Midlands and that’s why

over the past four years we have used Midlands Excellence’s business excellence model here to improve our efficiency and effectiveness.” Ian Nield, chief executive of Midlands Excellence, said: “The annual Midlands Excellence Awards programme is open to any organisation seeking a rigorous and detailed feedback to help them improve. The decisionmaking process, which operates to the highest levels of integrity, is not influenced in any way by Midlands Excellence employees, sponsors or supporters.” AWM, which has a budget of £300 million a year, is being replaced by a series of local enterprise partnerships, or LEPs. Currently, AWM employs 296 staff, including 15 Board members, of which 16.5 per cent are from BME communities.

Council boss hosts festive party Peace and unity are the way forward, Leicester City Council leader Veejay Patel told 80-plus guests at a festive reception hosted by him last Thursday. He praised Leicester citizens for their ongoing support and pledged his full commitment to them. The evening event at the Town Hall brought together community champions reflecting the city’s remarkable kaleidoscope of nationalities and ethnicities. Councillor Patel, 46, was elected the first Asian leader of the council earlier this year. Photo: Veejay with wife Varsha and sons Tanrik, far left, and Rikan.

Untimely death Emotional tributes have been paid to Surjit Singh, nephew of media tycoon Avtar Lit, whose funeral took place at his parental home in Halesowen, Birmingham, on Thursday a fortnight ago. He was 36. Dr Lit is the owner and chairman of the Sunrise Radio Group.

New Appointment Professor David Dabydeen, pictured, a celebrated novelist, has been appointed the Guyanese ambassador to China – a post which had remained empty for 16 years. Previously, he worked in cultural studies at Warwick University for 26 years. Almost 40 years ago, Guyana became the first English-speaking Caribbean country to establish diplomatic links with China, and its first president, Arthur Chung, was of Chinese descent. “China is the future, and Guyana wishes to be part of that future,” said 55-yearold Professor Dabydeen, who lives in Coventry.

Murder update West Bromwich Youth Council, pictured, have been awarded the Diana Certificate of Excellence. This accolade recognises the outstanding contribution of young people aged 12-18 and rewards those who go the extra mile to benefit others, by raising money for charity, campaigning on local issues and mentoring younger children. To find out more visit

A fifth man aged 24 appeared in court last Saturday charged with the murder of Birmingham shopkeeper Suppiah Tharmaseelan. The dad-of-three, 48, was stabbed to death at Haresh’s Convenience Store in Kingstanding on Nov 27. Four other men facing the charges have been remanded in custody.

Tourism trade

Almost £600 million was spent by 1.6 million visitors to the West Midlands last year according to a survey by tourist authority VisitBritain.

Irene is a community champion Irene Chu, a “role model” for Chinese women in the West Midlands, has been recognised for her work in the community. Mother-of-one Irene, pictured, is the Chief Executive of Birmingham Chinese Society which supports people from disadvantaged backgrounds. She received her ‘Contribution to Public Life’ plaque, as part of the annual MuLan Awards ceremony in London, which was organised by Chinese for Labour. Its Chair, Sonny Leong, described Irene as “a pillar of the community”. Guests included Baroness Hayman, Lady Woolf and Madam Lu Xu from the Chinese Embassy.

Indian bank hosts party The Birmingham branch of State Bank of India threw a festive party for its friends and customers at an Indian restaurant in Edgbaston, Birmingham, on Friday a fortnight ago. Guests were treated to a sumptuous feast and flowing wine. Branch manager Upinder Pokhriyal said the “quality evening” was a great networking opportunity which gave people the chance to share thoughts, views and exchange opinion on various themes.

Woman stabbed to death A Birmingham man who killed his mother-in-law to be in a “merciless” knife attack just days after her daughter cancelled their wedding has been jailed for life. Robert Edwards, 42, murdered 59-year-old Sylvia Smith, pictured, in her home in Erdington. He had stabbed, kicked and punched her in the “brutal” killing. Edwards, who had a stormy nine year relationship with Sylvia’s daughter, Samantha, was found guilty of murder at Birmingham Crown Court. He must stay in prison for at least 27 years.

Birmingham is Europe’s fattest city Birmingham has been shamed as Europe’s worst obesity hotspot – despite at least £15 million of taxpayers’ cash being pumped into tackling the issue. Nearly one in three adults, 29 per cent, were classed as obese – more than double the European average of 14 per cent. And a quarter of 11 to 12-year-olds in Birmingham are obese, according to new figures from the Association of Public Health Observatories. The city’s new Queen Elizabeth Hospital is currently fitting super-size mortuary fridge cranes to reflect the rise in fat people.

Missed appointments Almost seven million outpatient appointments were missed last year. And according to data from NHS hospitals in England, men in their 20s were the least likely to attend appointments. In 2009/10, the total number of NHS outpatient appointments increased by 9.3 million on the previous year, to almost 84.2 million.

Listener figures drop The future of BBC Radio West Midlands has been called into question following revelations that its listener figures have plunged to a record low. The number of people tuning in has fallen by 210,000 a week over the past six years. The station, which had 400,000 listeners at its peak in 2004, marks its 40th anniversary this month.

Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010




Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010

Justice must transcend grief

Self interest of South Africa

Has multiculturalism failed in the world?

Rahul Gandhi and WikiLeak

The report about Shrien Dewani’s unfortunate predicament is commendable, creating positive firewall which should defeat untruths generated around the incident. Our soothing thoughts must be with Shrien Dewani and his family. We must emphatically support them with firm belief that he is innocent but is sucked in whirlpool of vicious criminals, ruthless police and blind justice. With generations of ethnic, domestic and communal religious and spiritual atmosphere, Shrien can never harbour murderous thoughts. His record as a responsible office bearer of National Hindu Students’ Forum can convince anyone about his commitment towards marriage and wife. Looking at ground realities, it would be dangerous if Shrien would be extradited to South Africa. Twists and turns generated by allegations from uncontrollable dubious sources, press and influential persons may distort the case, impinge on the verdict or push case into limbo. Unsolicited meddling can devalue sanctity of complex judicial proceedings can wreak havoc with the verdict. We wish, hope and pray that Shrien and all concerned may be able to withstand this acid test.

I and my mother were born in Africa. My view is unfortunately Africa has not been led in to correct path due to lack of decent leaders. In case of Dewani lot of voices are coming from various authority to stop faltering South Africa down spiralling image by deciding the fait for a case before it come to court. I think home secretary should not allow Shrien Dewani to surrender to South African authority. but to dismiss the demand all to gather.

The Europe is of the firm opinion that different cultures cannot live together in peace. For the failure of multiculturalism, the Europe holds Islam and Muslims responsible who have opted out of integration process. The partition of India, Cyprus, Bosnia etc are the examples given by the WEst. The Muslim migration has also become an explosive issue with the Europeans, The West wants the Muslims to accept the basic values cherished by their natives. The French has banned burqa. The Swiss have banned minarets and the call of Muezin(Azan). The Scandinavian countries are working towards modernising Muslims. The Americans are never going to forget the attacks on their cities. "The multi-culturalism is dead", says German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. She wants 2.5 million Turkish immigrants to learn German imbibe Christian values. Russia, China, Thailand, Bosnia etc facing great difficulties from their Muslim populations are also well-known to the world. The United Kingdom has also been trying various initiatives to get its Muslim citizens to integrate with the larger communities. But the Islamic terrorists who created havoc on 7/7 has brought shivers both to the government and the natives. In spite of being victim of Islamic terror in the past and present, India has said "yes" to multiculturalism. It is the only country in the world which had managed to create a nearly successful model of coexistence of different cultures.' In the words of Jesuit scholar, "The world has a lesson to learn how the Indian people with many languages, religions and cultures live together. India has an important role to play in shaping the destiny of mankind."

The Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi has told United States ambassador Timothy Roemer that the growth of 'radicalised Hindu groups', which create religious tensions in India, could pose a bigger threat to the country than activities of groups like Lashkar-eTayiba. Even though the Rahul Gandhi made this statement privately, now that it is make public, the Indian government should have taken FIR against him since he is a security risk to India and he is ignorant of the threat posed by Islamic terrorist organisations to India who were responsible of several attacks killing hundreds of people. When Varun Gandhi made a anti Islamic statement about terrorism, he was immediately arrested. The UPA government under the control of religious minorities is pursuing anti-Hindu policies in order to divert the attention from the corruption issues regarding Spectrum 2, Adarsh Housing Association, Commonwealth games and so on. Hindus are in trouble in India, if Rahul Gandhi becomes the Prime Minster of India, he will change the secularity that the Hindus have maintained so far.

Ramesh Jhalla Via Email

Family Tragedy I refer to your article in Asian Voice. On sympathy ground for both Anni and Shrien, on Sunday 21st November I travelled a long distance to pray tribute to her in Stanmore, dispite the weather and my health not being favourable. On the basis of both the family and couple having similar backgrounds and hence I personally don’t see any reason why Shrien should be involved. However, Anni’s parents are quite right to ask the cause of the murder, and Shrien is answerable - Sitting miserably is not the solution and therefore I feel that he must provide answers to the family. Ideally if he is not involved, he must go to South Africa and prove to not only the family, but the community and the world as a whole that he is, in fact, innocent. In that case the extradition would be totally out of question. Nevertheless, as he is keeping silent, he is making the on-going case difficult and thus leaving the South African authorities to find the evidence against him. What this may cause is British authorities being forced to follow the exile which will be difficult. British authorities also may think twice before acting on the arrest following the statement of the South African officer. In this case the mystery will never be solved. Ramnik Ganatra Beckenham Kent (This letter is dated 17th Dec 2010. There have been more developments since then.)



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Surendra Patel Via Email

Invasion of Central London What is this country coming to? Urination on the statue of Sir Winston Churchill, pulling the flag off the Cenotaph, rocking and damage inflicted on the Royal limousine and battling with the police! This is exactly what happened on 9 December when students protested at the proposed increase in university tuition fees. The damage done at the two demonstrations and the cost of policing them must have cost the country an enormous amount of money. Perhaps much more than the amount needed to offset the rise in tuition fees. If these violent students are the future of our country, one shudders to think what future is in store for us! In this country, students are encouraged to go into higher education and receive all sorts of perks to do so. In Africa and India, where I received my school and university education respectively, my parents had to pay through the nose and we faced all sorts of difficulties to acquire higher education. Students in this country must count their blessings and be grateful for the benefits they receive rather than resort to violence. There must be more peaceful ways in which to make their point. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Praful Patel & Ahmedabad Flights Niira Radia tapes have just mentioned that Praful Patel is trying to run down Air India, then let it go in a loss so that it could be sold to privar aviation company in India. Now if this is correct, a lot of questions get answered for not allowing London-Ahmedabad flights. Those supporting congress in this country should see the extent of corruption of this party. They would not even hold Joint Parliamentary Committee to look into allocation of mobile phone spectrum, and trying to blame opposition for loss of parliamentary session. If ABPL ever calls Praful Patel again, please let me know.

A L Sharma Wembley, Middlesex

Indian visa applicationnew version via online Please refer to Asian Voice dated 11th Dec 2010 page 7 where the visa to India is stated to be made by new online application form, which will be completed while submitting documents for a visa to India from 23rd November 2010. Kindly note that it is not possible for most of the elderly persons to go through the cumbersome new procedure. Many people like me have no access to computers. Instead of simplification for the visa processing system, the High Commission of India is creating more complications. The visa has to be submitted to VFS, that takes 2-3 days to process it and an additional £6.90+VAT is charged on top of visa fee. To make things easier Indian visa should be processed on the same day by India House.

Amit Patel Via Email

Please detach the form and send it with your payment or credit card instructions to address below

Vithalbhai K Patel Kingsbury, London

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Arun Vaidyanathan Via Email

£160,000,000 to each of 500 GP Consortiums Andrew Landsley’s proposal to abolish 152 Primary Care Trusts and replace them with 500 GP consortiums and give the £160 million each is merely an administration reform rather than a structural reform. Such administrative reforms were carried out before. They have not worked. Originally in 1948 it started with 146 Local Health Authorities, 14 Regional Hospital Boards, 36 Boards of Governors and 140 Executive Councils. In 1974 the above was changed to 14 Regional Health Authorities, 90 Area Health Authorities and 90 Family Practitioner Committees. In 1997 this was changed to 100 Health Authorities and 400 Primary Care Trusts, 102 Foundation and 139 Nonfoundation Hospital Trusts. NHS is not fit purpose for the 21st century. It has to be broken up into smaller units: some privately owned with a cap on return on capital employed and a cap on earnings before tax, amortisation and depreciation and others publicly owned, supported by a strong medical insurance sector. Genuine completion, not quasi completion, would drive efficiency. 75% of MPs would agree to such a proposal. Nagindas Khajuria Via Email

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Karma Yoga House 12 Hoxton Market

‘Smile Pinky’ too gets the Oscar Boyle says Mumbai dwarfed the statuette


(Off Coronet Street)

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 25th December 2010



University education: Is it worth it? - Kartik S Raval

enrolled at universities burden of repaying the massive bank loan around the UK each they had to take in order to pursue eduWith the government policy of hiking year, only a few thoucation at the university. tuition fees seem to have cemented and Hence, with university education sands make to these universities set to increase the annual fees clearly set to go out of reach of thouelite universities. While, by 200 to 300 percent, students are asking the rest pursue educasands, the number of students getting themselves is it worth spending that tion at universities that enrolled at these universities is surely to money on university education. Though charge as much as these fall as they find other options or choose there is no doubt on the significance of highly ranked higher education and especially that one’s but offer “If the government is gained through universities like camnothing in simiexpecting students to pay bridge and Oxford, but the question is on lar. thousands of pounds for 20 the value for money offered at thousands So it wont be hours per week for a few of other universities around the UK. surprising to see months and nurture our These universities that offer graduate a shift of focus skills on our own in the and postgraduate specialised courses in from the univerremaining time, they really variety of academic areas, on an average sities to the prineed to think again. conduct 20 hours a week of teaching for vate colleges On an average students spend more time self-studying than in Moreover, there is no return about seven months. Majority of the time when at the end of the classrooms, regardless of the fees paid for education. to this money as today every during these months and for couple of the day it is about has significantly fallen over the years and student is asked to find their months after that, universities expect the student’s capacity to inculcate students are left to find work on their own work placement.” their students to enhance their knowledge as much knowledge as possible own, leaving many without experience Karan Tibrewal, MBA through self study at the library and by and prove their ability in the workand hence today we witness an increasing student - Metropolitan University. finding themselves internship in the force no matter where they have amount of unemployment especially industry. This raises serious concerns in received their higher education amongst the youth. So, the credibility of the mind of the youth whether all the to drop-out. Also, with the cuts implied from. Students from middle class family these universities is in danger in the wake troubles of taking a bank loan or using on funding by the government on the uniwould surely be taking this option into of rising fees for the education they offer their parents hard-earned saved money, versities, they might find it hard to surconsideration as even if they are left to and the falling employment opportunities. hold valuable returns. vive and pose a threat to topple the entire find themselves work after the academic Private colleges on the other hand are Even the work-placement offered by education system. tenure, they at least will not be under the not bound to these new and highly the universities at the end of the course ridiculed policy of the government and many of them, “If private colleges and uniThis is contrary to the um does not take into London Councils has though not accredited by versities offer the same why Government’s original account the higher costs, raised concerns that government education bodshould I throw myself under the promise to provide more such as teachers’ salaries, deprived pupils in London ies offer education of high burden of a bank loan to fulfill funding in areas like in London. £430 per will not be able to access standards. Moreover, the the new fees demand. In any London where costs are deprived pupil will not go the full support that they time is long gone when way, private colleges have a long way in addressing are expected to receive. In higher, for example employers offered job at uniearned their recognition over educational attainment the education settlement teacher salaries. versity’s placement on sheer the years and are developing gaps between rich and for 2011/12, the governLondon Councils’ name of the university, strong contacts in the industry poor pupils as it is, but ment has set the pupil Executive Member for though a degree from to help their students find given our higher costs in premium at a flat rate Children and Young Oxbridge universities would work.” rather than adjusting the People, Councillor Steve London it is even less likestill give a student a cutting Aman Singh Mor, BSC in Physics student – amount according to the Reed revealed, “Applying ly to make much of a difedge. But from more than Coventry University. area where the pupil lives. a flat rate of pupil premiference.” two million students getting

Deprived pupils will suffer warns London Councils

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Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010

Scrutator’s Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiaobao came, he saw and talked business for the most part. Which would be as fair a summing up of his visit to New Delhi as is possible under present circumstances. The fraught Sino-Indian relationship will be calmer for his presence, as he is clearly the emollient face of his country's diplomacy. But much work has to be done before Sino-Indian ties achieve the desired equilibrium. These have also to be viewed against the backdrop of the tensions which affect China's relations with Japan and Vietnam, not to speak of the troubles on the Korean peninsula which have vitiated the regional atmosphere. Japan has just announced that it is making fundamental changes to its defence policy including the relocation of its armed forces southward to counter any possible aggression from China. Likewise, India will be monitoring China's relationship with terrorist-centric Pakistan. Realism must continue to be the order of the day. The Financial Times columnist Robert Stephens refers hopefully to a “risen China”, but this isn't the same as the “risen Christ”! China has first to earn the trust of its neighbours. No more tantrums such as we saw in the aftermath of the Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobao. The FT's curtain raiser to Premier Wen's India visit was an analytical report by James Lamont and Geoff Dyer (December 14) setting out the “familiar headwinds” which impede relations between India and China.

the views of the US, the EU, Russia and India. Need one say more?

Reality check

addressing commanders this month, said: “India started [upgrading] its [military ] capabilities five or six years ago. China started before that. They have a lead over us. ...With the capabilities that we have built up and are in the process of building, a repeat of 1962 can never happen.” It had better not.

The FT's James Fontenella-Khan, reporting from M u m b a i (December 16), told of a $1.93 bilSino-Indian strains lion Chinese bank loan to Reliance The Daily Telegraph's Dean Communications, Nelson (December 17) was owned by Anil right on the button in assessAmbani, thereby ing the true state of play in easing the “debtSino-Indian ties following stricken mobile Premier Wen's visit. Referring phone operator.” to the joint communique, Mr The loan, disNelson spotted the absence to pensed at very the customary Indian endorsefavourable terms, ment of the 'One China' policy, Japan's Defence Minister, Yasukazu Hamada, at the would help the with its implication of Taiwan Japanese Ministry of Defence in Tokyo company with its being part of China; there was financial burdens; no mention either to India's tion, when asked what he there may be other Indian acceptance of Tibet as an thought of it. alienable part of China (a ritufirms who have benefited from al in previous years). China's largesse, but the true imbalance, with China enjoy'Very fragile' Inner demons As there was no give on reality check came a day later ing a huge surplus. “And Delhi relationship China's part on Kashmir and with another FT report frets that this relationship is The FT's comments are unexTawang, in Arunachal (December 17) by Girija semi-colonial. India sends To highlight the difficulties, ceptionable. The point on Pradesh, India held firm on Shivakumar in New Delhi, China raw material, which it they quoted China's ambassaChina's settlement of its border issues of vital interest to Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad returns as manufactured dor to India, Zhang Yan, who problems with Russia, Vietnam and Katherin Hile in Beijing, China. Vikram Sood, former goods....economic links are said relations between the two [it has fought wars with both] telling of the Indian military's head of India's intelligence bound to improve....A matchcountries were “very fragile” and Burma is well taken, but complaint “that Pakistani and service, the Research and and, once damaged, nowhere in the editoriChinese drones are regularly Analysis Wing (RAW), said the difficult to repair. al does the FT make straying into Indian airspace, omission of India's traditional “He also emphasized reference to Tibet, a striking a discordant note into support for 'One China' was China's desire for a self-governing nation this week's summit between welcome and necessary. “It's a free-trade agreement occupied by China in signal that two can play that the two countries.” that India does not 1950. The fact that the game. I don't know if this is According to India's want.” Hardly surworld, including India, just the beginning. I think Defence Minister A.k.Antony, prising, this, as has formally accepted there there will be more sigIndia had experienced nearly China's buys raw the legitimacy of nals,” he said. 30 violations of its airspace materials from India, Chinese rule in Tibet Mr Nelson referred to from from foreign aircraft, which it then rein no way alters India's announcement that it including unmanned aircraft exports as manufacBeijing's deep insecuriwas planning to deploy an (UAVs), known as drones, in tured goods – suspities over the territory. the past three years. These additional 35,000 troops along ciously close to a Beijing seethes at the intrusions were mostly the Himalayan border, where colonial trade model. Fourteenth Dalai Pakistani, but there were both sides have already staNevertheless, senLama's presence on Chinese violations as well. tioned some 300,000 troops ior Indian officials in Indian soil, heedless, it A senior Pakistani official each. Both India and China the Ministry of would appear, of how told the FT: “China is helping are also building new roads External Affairs he came to be there in sought to strike an the first place. He optimistic chord by arrived in India in saying that SinoApril 1959 as a refugee Indian ties had fleeing Chinese recently improved oppression just as his and that these were predecessor, the 'Great too complex for a Thirteenth', did way simplified truth. back in February 1910 Mr. Wen Jiabao with Dr Manmohan Singh However, “four years when the Chinese warago, the then lord Chao Erh-feng's ing improvement in political Chinese ambassador Sun Yuxi forces marched into Lhasa and ties, however, will require more stirred controversy by reaffirmlooted its Buddhist monastereffort....Three issues, in particing China's claim over the ies. China would love nothing ular, need careful northeastern Indian state of better than the Government of handling....China claims Arunachal Pradesh, bordering India tell the Dalai Lama to A r u n a c h a l Tibet. The border dispute....still leave the country for another Pradesh.....Territorial quarrels rankles.” sanctuary, preferably within are not easily resolved. But comfortable range of the China has settled border disBritish Foreign Office. In Business deals putes with Russia, Mongolia, which case, every border probVietnam and Burma. A deal lem with India would disapThe FT editorial (December with India should not be pear; Pakistan would then 17), which followed Premier impossible. Success would cease to be as strategically Wen's departure, was cautiousbuild trust, which in turn China, Pakistan agree to cement strategic cooperative partnership valuable to Beijing as it curly optimistic. It opened thus: “ would ease the second source rently is. The Dalai Lama In November, Barack Obama of tension: Indian fears about enriches India by his luminous Pakistan in the area. Pakistan and military airfields, writes returned from Delhi with $10 China's close ties with presence, if he departed under needs drones for its genuine Mr Nelson. billion worth of deals with Pakistan. duress, India would be reduced Chinese diplomacy has defence purposes and our Indian business. China's pre“The third bone of conto a hollowed out, kowtowing been maladroit. Japan, South Chinese brothers have once mier Wen Jiabao has gone one tention is water. The headwaChinese tributary, a shame to Korea and Vietnam view again risen to expectations.” better.The agreements Mr Wen ters of various Indian rivers are itself and to its people. China with suspicion; Russia's Former head of the Indian struck this week in India total on the Chinese side of the Meanwhile, journeying to relationship with China is Air Force (IAF) Air Chief $16 billion. The burgeoning of Himalayas. India fears that Pakistan, Prime Minister Wen wary rather than trusting. Marshal S.P.Tyagi warned: India and China's ties is China's dam-building projects told Parliament in Islamabad “China is getting aggressive. Only Pakistan and North important and welcome. A simmay deprive it of its water.” FT that Pakistan was contributing India will have to cope with Korea can be considered ilar improvement in their politadvised greater engagement to Asia's stability through its the entire spectrum of threat.” China's true friends. Beijing ical relations would be better between the two countries – a ongoing efforts to curb terrorThe present head of the IAF, will have its hands full for the still.” Referring to commercial good idea, as Mahatma Gandhi ism, which is out of kilter with Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, next few years and more. ties, the FT pointed to their remarked of Western civilisa-

Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010


Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook:

New Year Honours As we approach the New Year, we also approach the New Years Honours list. Now it’s been a year where given the shenanigans of Honourable Members of Parliament that ‘Honourable’ has been in question. So I thought I would share previous thoughts on this timely occasion. Especially as with the New Year’s Honours people are going to have cards printed in the new year with their honours. An honourable man does not need it printed upon his calling card that he is honourable – no more than he needs to state to the world he is a man. Yet our elected Parliamentarians are bestowed the title of ‘Honourable’. Between him and his maker shall the truth be known. So it is this past year the world’s largest democracy has brought to office a new collection of Honourable men and women. And the Mother of all Parliaments – here in Britain – sees questioned the honour of all its Honourable Members. A lawgiver is descended from Moses, but our Honourable men do not give testament to that bloodline. Indeed Moses, the lawgiver, spoke of God’s com-

mand: ‘Honour thy mother and thy father’. Honour is as old as religion and law itself and the lawgivers are inextricably linked to it. It is central to not only society – as is law – but clearly for millennia by God’s own word to family too. And as we have seen those who carry the title on their calling cards oftentimes are the least honourable of all. Perhaps because they feel they can fool all of the people all of the time. Neither is this a new phenomenon. When MarkAnthony famously spoke of the ‘honourable’ Senators who slain Caesar – he too saw the mockery in the distance between title and deed –and the title of ‘Honourable’ was again turned to mockery in reference to lawgivers. The Oxford English Dictionary defines honour to include integrity, ‘principles uprightness of character’. And so it goes to character. It is said character is judged by what actions one takes when one believes no one is looking. So it is when you think no one is looking, so it is when they are, that you cannot be trusted either. Honour, it has been famously said, is not

about making the right choice, but dealing with the consequences. True honour must then be sacrifice of oneself to the consequences, no matter how awful, without fear. As the American Journalist Walter Lippman observed, “A man has honour if he holds himself to an ideal of conduct though it is inconvenient, unprofitable, or dangerous to do so.” As the British Parliament is the oldest of all Parliaments, a quote by an ancient writer is required; in the words of Sophocles, ‘Rather fail with honour than succeed by fraud’ – sadly too many honourable men would rather just not do that. For all that the ancients and the wise teach us about honour, it is why you will not see the word on my calling card – although as a Member of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, I have the right, but have not earned the privilege, to call myself such. In the words of Aristotle, ‘Dignity does not consist in possessing honours, but in deserving them.’ To all those Honoured this New Year – may you live up to the privilege. Happy New Year.



Continued from page 10

Beware of airport duty-free scam

Human Rights of Asylum seeker

A friend of mine recently bought some cigarettes, drinks and perfume bottles at Bangkok airport, in the duty-free. While paying at the counter, he was handed an extra pack of 200 cigarettes, telling him that it was under offer, buy one and get one free. He was later charged for shop lifting, as he had two packs of cigarettes while the till receipt showed only one pack paid for. Needless to say, he was in a panic, afraid to miss his flight and above all the notoreity. In the end an illegal fine of $300 which went into the pocket of the police and their accomplice in the dutyfree shop let him board the flight. He was so shaken that he even dumped the duty free shopping he had paid for. More than duty-free, it is safer to buy on the plane and always pay by a credit card and check so be aware. The world is changing fast and honesty is a rare commodity.

Once again 'human rights' have been used to gain acquittal by a perpetrator of crime and once again mockery has been made of our unique justice system. Mahatma Gandhi said that there could be no human rights without human obligations. The asylum seeker had an obligation and a human duty to stop at the scene of the crime. Instead he chose to flee from the scene and managed to gain a right to stay in the UK, as his own human right. Why are we insulting our human rights by taking an oblique view of its principles? Even God says, "Be a good citizen before you become a good devotee." A P Chohan Bromley

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Bhupendra M Gandhi Via Email

Sorry about the delays We are aware that many of our readers have not been receiving their papers regularly. We apologise for not being able to answer all the phone calls and cater to every customer individually. However whenever notified about no paper received, we have sent around fresh copies of Gujarat Samachar and Asian Voice (as required). This delay in paper delivery has been caused by the snow of early December and that of last week's. Royal Mail is also facing with Christmas rush and there have been irregularity in British transportation and shortage of stuff. Airpots and trains were shut this week and last week and the snow had also affected the highways. If you face any delays in receiving the paper, please bear with us. We apologise for any inconvenience. - Asian Voice

Indian visa issues clarified for the British Asian community By Rupanjana Dutta The winter season in India is called the NRI season, as lot of Indians make their way down to India to enjoy the sun and the warmth. They obviously like enjoying the Christmas holidays and New Year's Eve with friends and family who still live in India. Like most of the visa systems, Indian visa application has also been quite cumbersome. Our readers have raised some questions regarding the visa application and the common problems that they are facing off late. I, on behalf of Asian Voice, as a community torch bearer went to meet the Minister of Political and Media, the First Secretary (Visa) and the First Secretary, Press and Information at the India High Commission. The following problems were highlighted and solutions were provided by the IHC authority: l Online visa applications: There are so many people who cannot access internet. They also do not know that the Indian visa system has shifted their application centre to VFS (UK). They have no idea about the appointment procedures and cannot fill up forms online. From 23rd November, since online visa application has become mandatory, it is difficult for these elderly British Indians to fill up the forms. The Indian High Commission has said that it is important that all the documents are filed online so that the Indian government can have proper reference. These rules are made by the Indian government and made applicable in the UK. They added, if there is any help required in filling up forms, VFS managers can be of assistance. Also

submitting applications via appointments, will save time. They also emphasised that using OCI and PIO cards make travelling much easier for British Indians. (More details on PIO and OCI cards, will be published in the New Year). l The multiple entry tourist visa: The Indian high Commission representatives clarified that India has two types of visa for tourists. One the usual tourist visa that costs around £30/head. The second one is called X Visa that is for miscellaneous purposes. If someone is going for family visits, for weddings or for dropping off parents or medical purposes, one can always acquire this miscellaneous visa for the period required with multiple entries, supported by proper documentations. It is £ 25 more than the tourist visa fee (£ 55/head) but has no restrictions such as the tourist visa. They also clarified a general tourist visa can have multiple entry and be valid for 6 months, but after return to the UK, no person can travel back on the same for a minimum period of 60 days- which is mentioned on the visa itself. l Visa for Pakistani origin British people: The Indian High Commission has said that after the 26/11 bombing, there have been certain precautions that have to be maintained. So the visas for British Pakistanis are only granted after they are verified by the government in India. It could take more than 8 weeks in normal circumstances. Asian Voice will keep in touch with the Indian High Commission and provide more details on different visa process in the new year.

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By Radhika Madlani

By Spriha Srivastava

Udaipur: A favourite among Brits I had always read about the vibrant culture of Rajasthan and it being extremely popular among foreign tourists. My experience of Rajasthani culture had just been limited to a day’s trip to Jaipur during my Graduate school until this time when I actually spent some wonderful moments in Udaipur. The city is a favourite among Brits and Spanish who come in big groups and enjoy the beauty and diverse culture of the city. I met Mark and Sara, a young couple from Nottingham by Lake Fateh Sagar in Udaipur who are in India for a month long trip and decided to spend at least 2 weeks in Rajasthan. They simply loved the colours and richness of Rajasthan and the serenity of Udaipur. “We were initially a bit confused about our India trip and how to go about it since India is a big country and one month is too less a time

Pichola, Udaipur is known as the “Venice of the East.” Called the ‘City of Lakes’, there are a number of beautiful palatial buildings and gardens. History says that

Camels at Udaipur's local market

to see India. So we decided to stick to the Taj Mahal, Rajasthan and South India,” said Mark. When asked what he thinks of Rajasthan he said, “We both love this place. Udaipur is a beautiful city and we have never seen such a rich culture back in England. In fact that’s the reason we Brits tend to come to India during holidays; because we like to see the diversity.” Referred to as the 'most diversified and most romantic spot on the continent of India' by Colonel James Tod in his classic Annals and Antiques of Rajasthan (1828), the city of Udaipur does full justice to his impression even today. Built around the azure waters of the lake

tious beauty. I met a group of European tourists in Udaipur who mentioned that this experience was like never before. Marini, a Spanish girl who had been visiting

A section of Hotel Leela Palace, Udaipur

Suryavanshi sisodia rulers ruled Mewar up to 1200 years. Till the middle of sixteenth century Chittorgarh was their capital. In 1557, the Muhgal troops invaded Chittorgarh and completely ruined. Afterwards Rana Uday Singh was compelled to form Udaipur city and made the capital of Mewar. The city still maintains its heritage build-

ings and gardens. For instance, the Lake Palace which was built by one of the Kings of Udaipur as a summer place is now a heritage property run by the Taj Group. Taj Lake Palace as it is known today has 83 rooms and is situated in the middle of Lake Pichola. The hotel operates a boat that transports its guests to the Palace. Another beautiful hotel property I fortunately got a chance to see was the Leela Palace in Udaipur. The hotel is built in the most marvellous fashion and one falls in love as soon as you enter the main gate. From a beautiful and majestic building to a serene view of the Lake to the King size rooms, the hotel has an infec-

Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010

India for the first time said she couldn’t believe India had so much of heritage. “I had always read and seen pictures or even heard from people but I never knew that a world like this actually exists in India. I am so glad I came here.” The city is also popular for its shopping stores where you can see a selection of handmade shoes, fabric and a number of handicraft items. In a latest international poll Udaipur was crowned the best place to visit in 2009, in a worldwide survey. On speaking to a number of tourist office members, I was told the city has a huge amount of Europeans coming in every year. There are large numbers of tourist groups coming from United Kingdom around either the summer – July/August or heavy winters – December/January. You will see many tourists riding bikes or taking a ride in the traditional rickshaws in the narrow streets of Udaipur. “This is a very convenient vehicle,” said Paul, a tourist from London sitting cosily in the auto rickshaw. “I hope they introduce some in London too, it will be great.” The city carries its rich cultural heritage throughout the year and welcomes guests from all over the world who come and have a wonderful time there. If any of us hasn’t tasted the Rajasthani culture yet, I think we are missing out on a great deal.

Let us know what you think. Email Spriha at

Tough Choices The job of parenting really goes hand in hand with daily choices you have to make that you fear will have lifelong impact on your children. However, the toughest choice I have had to make since my daughters birth is one of who should care for Ria whilst I returned to work. I decided to do some research on the number of us that have had to face this dilemma in our lives and the numbers are interesting. Nearly 55% (that’s 1 in 2) of mothers have children under 5 who are in the labour force today. Although this is an encouraging statistic as it implies many of us return back to work after a maternity break, it is clear that the tough choice of what childcare to choose faces us all. Factors such as affordability, distance, safety and wellbeing of your child are clearly paramount. So, who looks after your child whilst you work? Like many first time mothers planning to return to work after my year off, I agonized for months over nurseries and child-minders and even interviewed nannies and au pairs. I made some interesting discoveries along the way which I think you should consider if you are soon to make the same choice. The ratio of carer to child under the age of 2 should be 3 to 1. Any nursery not offering this should be avoided as they are putting your baby at risk. I also had

recommendations of child minders who were not registered. In an unfortunate event that your child is badly hurt in the care of such minders, you have absolutely no rights and worst still, you cannot ensure it doesn’t happen to another child. I also discovered (worryingly), that many modern nurseries offer webcams so parents can see their children over the web anytime they wish. Personally, I draw a line under the already paranoid tools I use to monitor Ria whilst she sleeps using a video baby monitor and the webcam I installed at home whilst we hired a temporary nanny to ensure Ria came to no harm! I finally spoke to my parents and decided that there was no single answer to my childcare needs! I decided that it would be best for Ria to spend half a day at a nursery so she could have some daily time to interact with other babies and spend half the day with my parents who can enjoy spending time with her and indulge her in the culture in which I grew up. Despite the choice I have made, I still carry guilt of walking away from her each day I go to work but have to console myself that having her in safe surroundings is best for her growing independence. As flexible as todays companies are, the shared-care option still involves a phenomenal amount of juggling that only other working parents can

relate to! I really wanted to share these thoughts so that other parents who feel the same guilt can be assured that it is normal to feel guilty when you leave your little precious angels in the care of someone else, whether it is a nursery, nanny or childminder! I also wanted to pay tribute to those grandparents who despite their age, find the energy to play with their active grandchildren and help lay the foundations for the future generation. Who says the retired don’t add value? My experience is that thousands of grandparents work incredibly hard to support their children by taking care of their grand children. It is true what they say, a parents responsibility is lifelong! My parents have certainly proven that by not only raising me but now helping me raise Ria! Bottom line is that whatever tough choice you have made, use your childs smile as a useful guide to gauge whether the choice you have made is working for them. After all, children need to be surrounded with love and protected from harm. The rest is about promoting their independence and allowing them to learn through play, whoever you leave them with. “There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings.” ~Hodding Carter, Jr.

Should you have any comments or want to get in touch with me you can email on

Harry Potter star's brother threatened with prison Ashraf Azad allegedly branded his sister Afshan (pictured) a prostitute and allegedly subjected her to a ‘wholly unnecessary and unpleasant assault’ when he discovered her boyfriend was a Hindu, prosecutors said. The 22-year-old victim who played Padma Patil, a classmate of the teenage wizard in the JK Rowling films Harry Potter, was so scared she fled the family home in Longsight, Manchester, on May 21 by climbing out

of a window. Addressing the 28year-old defendant who

will be sentenced on January 21, 2011, Judge Roger Thomas QC said: ‘Violence in the home is all too prevalent. That sort of violence, domestic violence, can result, even for a man such as you, in imprisonment.’ His father, Abul, was also allegedly angered by his daughter’s relationship. Afshan was not in court and had pleaded for the case not to proceed as she feared it would put her life in ‘genuine danger’.


Asian Voice - Saturday25thDecember2010


Diamond Centre, first Indian to rise to the top position. • Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah arrested by the CBI in Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.


• India announces relaxations in Tourist Visa regulations for re-entry for bonafide tourists. • Pravasi Bharatiya Divas celebrations in New Delhi; Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh announces government’s resolve to give voting rights to Non-Resident Indians. • India proposes to make the anti-dowry laws more stringent. A list of all the gifts received by the bride on the occasion of marriage is made compulsory. • The Maha Kumbh Mela starts at Haridwar. • Veteran CPI (M) leader, former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu breathes his last. • India celebrates her 61st Republic Day, President of South Korea is the chief guest on the occasion. • Gujarat kicks off the golden jubilee celebrations – ‘Swarnim Gujarat’ to commemorate the 50th year of formation of the state. • Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi meets Japanese Prime Minister Hatomaya in Mumbai. Hatomaya keen for Japanese investments in Gujarat. • A meeting of Diaspora poets held in Rajkot. • Vadodara youth Abhishek Jain ranks first at a ‘NASA’ quiz.

• Civil Aviation minister Praful Patel promises restoration of Air India’s direct flight from Ahmedabad to London at the global Gujarati summit in Ahmedabad.


• British High Commission suspends issuing student visas for the Northern India region. • Church of England withdraws investment from Vedanta Resources. • Indian Environment minister Jairam Ramesh announces ban on introduction of BT Brinjal in the country. • Pune rocked by a bomb blast, 10 killed.

• Amitabh Bachchan – ‘Big B’ accepts the offer to become the brand ambassador of Gujarat for promotion of tourism. • ‘Sunday Indian’ magazine study ranks Narendra Modi as no. 1 Chief Minister, Gujarat as the top state for excellence in governance. • A meeting of Non Resident Gujaratis held at Changa, near Ahmedabad.


• Former MP and veteran RSS leader Nanaji Desmukh passes away. • A bill for reservation of 33% seats for women passed by the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian Parliament. The bill however could not be introduced in Lok Sabha, the lower house. • Industrialist G P Birla is no more. • NCGO UK and Asian Voice, Gujarat Samachar jointly launch the campaign for restoration of Ahmedabad – London


direct flight. • Palitana, the famous jain pilgrimage centre in Gujarat bans sale of meat, non-veg food. • Remains of a 4500 year old city found near Bhachau in Kutch district, Gujarat.


• IPS officer, than personal security officer for the BJP leader testifies before the Liberhan commission that L K Advani’s speech at Ayodhya just before the Babri Masjid demolition was inflammatory. • Sonia Gandhi again appointed the chairperson of the National Advisory Council. • Kolkata inferno claims 34 lives. • Congress is the wealthiest political party in India, assets continuously on the rise. • Kingfisher, a 5 star airline from India launches a Delhi-London flight. • A woman Indian IFS officer arrested on charges of spying for Pakistan. • Mumbai special court holds Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist of the 26/11 attacks, guilty of the massacre. • The Supreme Court appointed SIT interrogates Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi about the post Godhra riots. • Wellknown Gujarati literary personality Joseph Macwan, Music maestro Nandan Mehta pass away. • Congress and BJP MLAs write letters to Praful Patel for restoration of Air India’s Ahmedabad – London direct flight. • A meeting of Global Gujaratis is held in Ahmedabad on the eve of ‘Swarnim Gujarat’ celebrations.

nation (India).


• Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai named as one of the world’s most powerful women. • Savitri Jindal is listed as the wealthiest mother of industrialists in Asia. • India kicks up a huge controversy with a decision to impose huge penalties for Indians who acquire US citizenship and fail to surrender their Indian Passports. • Court verdict in Bhopal Gas tragedy, the world’s greatest industrial disaster till date is pronounced after 25 long years; those found guilty get just 2 years of imprisonment. Thousands were killed in the Union Carbide MIC leak accident. • Row erupts between UK and India over diversion of UK aid given for universal education campaign. • Madras High Court Justice K. Chandra creates a unique record with delivering 75 judgements in a day. • Nepali beauty and Bollywood actor Ms. Manisha Koirala ties the nuptial knot with Samrat Dahal in Kathmandu. • Charutar Vidhya Mandal announces plans of setting up sprawling 225 acre new educational complex with an investment of Rs. 5 billion. • Tata Motors plant for producing the world famous ‘Nano’ cars becomes

• Jammu and Kashmir in the grip of sectarian violence as separatists incite unrest. • Government of India announces setting of a community welfare fund for Indian Diaspora. • Narendra Modi again voted no. 1 Chief Minister by “India Today” national survey. • A cloud burst claims 165 lives in Leh region of Kashmir. • Hollywood star Julia Roberts adopts Hinduism. • Gujarat ranks no. 2 state in India with a growth rate of 10.53% • Home Minister P Chidambaram kicks up a controversy with his statement of “Rise of Saffron Terrorism”


• Congress President Sonia Gandhi creates a record with her election to the party top post for the fourth consecutive time. • Homi Sethna, the father of Indian nuclear programme passes away. • Tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi and Bollywood starlet Lara Dutta announce their engagement. • Allahabad High Court pronounces a historic judgement: The disputed site at


• Manasvi Mamgai is adjudged ‘Miss India World 2010’. • India agrees for resumption of foreign minister level talks with Pakistan. • Justice S H Kapadia is appointed as the new Chief Justice of India. • Former Vice President of India and a BJP veteran Bhairon Singh Shekhavat passes away. • Sachchar Committee report says muslims in Gujarat well off than their average fellow community members nationally. • Air India Express flight crash lands at Mangalore, 158 dead. • A get-together for Global Gujaratis held in Ahmedabad with NCGO UK playing the host. Revered Gujarati preacher Morari Bapu and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi grace the meet as guests of honour. • Foundation laid for a grand Mahatma Mandir (A temple in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the

functional at Sanand near Ahmedabad. • Gujarat gets a nod for another international airport at Fedara (on Ahmedabad – Bhavnagar route) from civil aviation and defence ministry. • Dahej SEZ in Gujarat ranked among the best 25 SEZs globally. • Priyanshi Somani of Surat is world champion in Vedic maths.

Ayodhya is the birth place of Lord Ram. • Gujarat Media takes up the restoration of Ahmedabad – London direct flight campaign at a seminar organised jointly by the ABPL group.


• Canada Tourism appoints Bollywood star Akshay Kumar as their brand ambassador for India. • Indian Rupee gets a new symbol, joins the league of select few global currencies. • A modern, spacious new T2 terminal inaugurated at Ahmedabad International Airport. • Nishit Parikh, a Navsari diamond businessman heads the Antwerp World

• Speaker of Gujarat Assembly Ashok Bhatt is no more.


• Bollywood hero John Abraham sentenced to 15 day prison in an accident case, gets bail from a sessions court. • Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Gilani and novelist Arundhati Roy create storm with their anti India statements. • Chanakya’s economics is published in Dutch language. • Mukesh Ambani tops the Indian richlist of Forbes. • Forbes says “Gujarat most market oriented, business friendly state”. Ahmedabad in the list of fastest growing cities in the world. • BJP victorious municipal corporation elections in all the six big cities of Gujarat.


Look back - 2010 November

• US President Barack Obama on a visit to India. He says India has already emerged a global power.

Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010

• Taliban hack to death two Sikhs in the Swat valley of Pakistan. • India, Saudi Arabia sign extradition treaty. • Chili rocked by a devastating earthquake, 750 dead. • Controversial Indian painter M F Hussain accepts Qatari citizenship.

floods; more than 1200 dead, millions rendered homeless. • Pakistan ravaged by floods, Chinese PLA presence exposed in POK. • British actress Archie Punjabi and Indian origin US model Padma Lakshmi get the ‘Ami’ Awards.


• Maoist leader Prachanda loses the election for Nepal Prime Ministership. • The USA issues a postal stamp in memory of Mother Teresa. • US President Obama announces the completion of ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’. • Australia has a first minority government installed after 70 years. Julia Gillard takes oath a Prime Minister with support of two independent MPs. • Three Indian Americans among the team of advisory commission for US President Obama.

• Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Pepsico chief Indra Nooyi named as the most powerful women in Asia. • Surat diamond trader loses $10 mn worth diamonds in heist at Antwerp.


• Tainted Telecom minister A Raja resigns after the 2G scam exposure by CAG. • Nira Radia, a British Indian lobbyist’s role exposed in the 2G scam. •Parliament approves the bill for voting rights to Non-Resident Indians. 11 million NRIs would be able to exercise their voting rights. • Nitish Kumar leads the JD (U) – BJP coalition to a thumping win in Bihar elections.

• 17 Indians sentenced to death for murder of a Pakistani national in Dubai. • Moscow metro train blasts kill 40. • US consulate in Peshawar (Pakistan) attacked. • Place carrying Poland Prime Minister crashes, all 96 killed. • A deadly earthquake in China, more than 1100 killed.



• Jailed Chinese rebel leader wins Nobel Peace prize. • Chile rescue mission a success; 33 coal miners saved after remaining trapped for more than two months. • India back to the UN SC after a gap of 19 years. • A suicide attack on a Baghdad church leaves more than 50 dead.


• Su Kyi released from prision after Myanmar elections.


• French President Sarkozy visits India. Two countries sign a $9.3 bn nuclear reactors deal. • Global management guru C K Prahlad breathes his last in the USA. • Iceland volcano erupts, flights to and from the USA and Europe disrupted for more than a week.

World January

• A US court pronounces David Coleman Headley guilty of conspiracy for the Mumbai terror attacks. • Surat diamond traders arrested in China, charged with tax evasion. • A Canadian Indian father sentenced to prison for murdering his daughter. • A US Indian woman executive, Sujata Sachdeva charged with unauthorised Sujata Sachdeva spending of $31 mn worth of company money.

UK January

• UK freezes under a record breaking spell of snowfall, life thrown out of gear. It was recorded as the coldest January in UK for 37 years. • Kalyani Kaul, a British Indian appointed by Queen Elizabeth II to an important legal position of Recorder. • UK is out of the recession, announces Prime Minister Gordon Brown. • Dr. Kevalya Desai, a British Indian doctor is held not guilty in a sexual harassment case. • Mota Singh, the first Sikh judge of UK knighted with ‘Sir’. Other British Indians also included in the list of Queen’s honours. Mota Singh • Two British Gujarati men drown in the lake at Watermead county park in Leicester. They had been there for the last rites of a kin. • Arjan Vekaria, President of the Hindu Forum, Britain appointed as the advisor to the Arjan Vekaria Government for religious affairs.



• Indian expats top the global list of remittances back home. • Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visits India. • Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on a visit to India.

• Kenya fires 1150 teachers for sexual exploitation of girl students. • Indian diplomats Meera Shanker and Hardeep Singh Puri report ‘patting’ at US airports, USA apologies.

• Charlie, a seven year old boy collects £200,000 for earthquake relief in Haiti. • Nobel laureate British Indian scientist Venkatraman claims he was a victim of racial discrimination in UK.

• Belgium joins other European nations in ‘Burkha Ban’ • Two Gujaratis among the team of scientists who claimed to have created human life in a lab. • Kamala Persad, a lady of Indian origin elected as Prime Minister of Trinadad and Kamala Persad Tobago.


• Helpless Hindus embrace Islam to save their lives and property in Pakistan. • Two Malay Indians among the Malaysian rich-list. • New York Assembly celebrates ‘Gujarat Day’. • A Gujarati Zambian Umesh Patel arrested for assault on his former employee. • Mahatma Gandhi statue unveiled in Winnipeg, Canada.

• UK endorses India’s candidature as a permanent member to the UNSC. • North Korea attacks a South Korean island with artillery fire. • Pakistan indirectly admits the role of army in Kargil war. • Three Indian Americans among the highest paid CEOs: Indra Nooyi (Pepsico), Sanjay Kumar Jha (Motorola) and Vikram Pandit (Citi group). • Wiki Leaks website creates a storm with publishing secret documents; USA relations with various countries under a strain.

• Hindus win a major legal battle as a UK court uphelds their rights for an open pyre funeral. • A British Gujarati lady, Ms. Anjana Gosai honoured with ‘Beauty journalist of the year’ award.


• A glittering ceremony for Asian Voice Political Awards held at the House of Commons by Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar.


• Miss India Nicole Faria is crowned ‘Miss Earth’.


• Indian Music maestro A R Rahman wins the Grammy award for his music in Indo-British film “Slumdog Millionaire”.

• India – Canada sign civil nuclear pact. • A Mumbai blast suspect arrested in Zimbabwe.


• Warren Buffet announces 1.05 bn charity giving. • Nisha Desai Biswal appointed Assistant administrator for Asian Affairs at USAID. • Kirit Patel’s company wins Koots prize for family business. • Indians face racial discrimination in Washington; forced to vacate flats. • British Gujarati man Rahul Patel gets seven years jail for share scam in Spain.


• Karachi engulfed in violence after murder of MQM leader, 47 dead. • Malaysia withdraws ‘On arrival visa’ facility for Indians. • A Chinese region faces devastating

• A UK couple wins a jackpot prize of £56 mn. • One of the accused of Surat (Gujarat, India) bomb blast arrested from Bolton. • London hosts the 12th Asian Film Festival. • Dr. Kamlesh Khunti from Leicester honoured as one of the best GPs. • Britain announces stricter rules for Immigration. • A British Gujarati couple facing charges of a £125,000 worth fraud commits suicide. • Sister of MP Keith Vaz wins nomination as a candidate for the Labour Party. • Mysterious death of Ashok Kumar,

Look back - 2010

Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010 Labour Party MP of Indian origin in Middlesborough.


• Asian Voice, Gujarat Samachar and NCGO UK host ‘Question Time’ seminar. • Chancellor Alistair Darling presents an election year budget. • A design by Aneesh Kapoor selected as the mascot for London Olympics, 2012. • British Indian Pallonji Mistry is the richest person of Ireland. • Ranjit Matharani appointed as the high Sheriff of Greater London. • Sir Gulam Noon appointed as the assistant treasurer of Labour Sir Gulam Noon Party. • L N Mittal continues his reign as the richest Briton with assets worth £22.45 bn.


• Gordon Brown resigns as Prime Minister after Labour Party lost the elections. • David Cameron heads a coalition government in the country. • Ms. Priti Patel is the first Gujarati lady MP in UK. • UK Parliament has 18 Asians as MPs, 8 among them are Indians. • Harrods, the landmark high street store sold for a Ms. Priti Patel price of £1.5 bn. • Shailesh Vara is appointed as the whip in Cameron government; Saeda Warsi becomes the first Asian origin cabinet minister. • NCGO UK hosts a glittering ceremony in London to celebrate “Swarnim Gujarat Shailesh Vara Day”. • The India born Scottish inventor of ATM, John Shepherd-Barron dies in Scotland. • Hinduja group announces acquisition of KBL for Euro 1.35 bn. • A Gujarati couple sentenced to prison in a £3.9 mn Vat scam. • David Cameron led new coalition government’s first major policy announcement: Relations with India will be strengthened further. • A gala consecration ceremony held for the renovated Sanatan Temple in Wembley.

• • • • •

knowledge of English language is a must even for the spouse of a British citizen. MPs seek withdrawl of new rules for Student visas. A British Gujarati, Arjun Rajyagor is a winner at the BBC’s first ever junior apprentice show. Osborne’s budget raises Income tax threshold; cut in benefits. British Indian Virendra Rastogi ordered to pay £30 mn in the trans-Atlantic fraud case. The investigation report of “Bloody Sunday” announced after 40 years: 13 innocent people were killed. A cap on work permit for professionals from non-EU countries is announced.


• A decision to ask Sikh passengers to remove their turbans at UK airports for security checks reversed after strong opposition • BBC decides to close down Asian Network Radio services. • Lord Dollar Popat formally enters the house of Lords in the august presence of Pu. Morari Bapu. • Lord Raj Bagri resigns from the House of Lords. • UK too brings in a proposal for a Burkha ban for Muslim women in public, two ministers oppose the move. • Travel expenses scam: Inquiry ordered against Lord Swaraj Paul and Baroness Uddin. • ABPL group’s new special issue “British Punjabis 2010” unveiled at a glittering ceremony. • Prime Minister David Cameron on a visit to India: seeks India’s support to help UK come out of the recession, takes Pakistan to task on tackling terrorism.

• UK space scientists discover the largest star of the universe, about 320 times bigger than the Sun. • Osama Bin Laden’s son gets divorce from his British wife.


• A muslim youth from Bharuch in Gujarat gets life imprisonment for murder of a couple. • Reputed Indian film maker Yash Chopra awarded an honorary doctorate by UK School of Oriental and African Studies.


• David Laws, the chancellor of exchequer in the newly formed Cameron government resigns following his involvement in a scam. • A grand ceremony held at Crawley for the consecration of the Sanatan Temple. • Jagjit Singh Garewal elected as the Mayor of Slough. • Dr. Neeraj Patil elected as the Mayor of Lembeth. • India born Asad Omar becomes the Mayor of Harrow. • Dollar Popat appointed as a Lord Dollar Popat by the Conservative Party. • UK says no to giving back the coveted diamond ‘Kohinor’ to India. • ABPL group unveils the FBI (Finance, Banking and Insurance) special issue at the House of Commons. • “Saurashtra”, a painting by the well known artist Ali Raza fetches a record price of £2.4 mn. • A host of British Indians among the list of honours on Queen’s birthday. • UK frames new laws for immigrants:

• UK’s debt goes up significantly, reaches £44.9 bn • A maths wizard of just seven years of age, Oscar Selby is appointed advisor to UK government’s economic advisor.


• A Gujarat trade delegation on a visit to UK, Europe. IndextB and a Leicester trade body – LABA sign an MOU. • David Cameron and Wife Samantha welcome a new member, a daughter into the family. • Aron Fernandes creates a new record of getting admission to a degree course at Cambridge University as the youngest student. • A blast rocks the Hare Krishna temple in Leicester.

• Former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s book, “Tony Blair A Journey” unveiled, Gordon Brown projected a villain. • UK leading in giving citizenship to immigrants among European nations. • Curtains down on Controversial reality TV show ‘Big Brother’. • Sudden demise of Prime Minister David Cameron’s father in France. • London tense as an MQM (Pakistani political party) leader is murdered in the city. • British Parliament praises the commitment of Gujarat government for development. • Pope Benedict on a four day visit to UK. • British Indian teenager Aneesha Panesar declared a perfect ‘Teen’ in the USA. • Sir Mota Singh honoured with ‘Pride of India’ award. • Ed Miliband elected the new leader of the Labour party. • World’s largest offshore wind farm becomes operational at Kent. • Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar present various awards to British Asians at the ‘Asian Achievers Awards’ gala. • Overseas Friends of BJP celebrate Indian Independence Day and Swarnim Gujarat with great fanfare. • David Miliband announces retirement from politics. • Indian ‘Sitarist’ Anoushka Shanker enters wedlock with British filmmaker Joe Wright.


• British Gujarati entrepreneur Sanjiv Mehta buys out East India Company, to resurrect the business of the iconic title. • Vedanta Resources, a UK registered mining and metals group in India announces the intention of acquisition of Cairn India’s major stake from the British parent firm Cairn Energy. • Dr. Parag Bhatt held guilty of groping lady patients. • A London flat sold for a whopping price of £140 mn. • British tabloid “News of the World” exposes involvement of Seven Pakistani cricketers in match and spot fixing with a sting operation.

• Shami Chakravarti listed as one of the influential British women. • Subhash Thakrar appointed as chairman of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry. • Eight Nobel winner scientists criticise the immigration policy of David Cameron government. • Pune born Hrishikesh Desai is the winner of the national chef competition, UK. • Gurkha soldiers lose the battle for pension. • Three MPs of Asian origin – Lord Swaraj Paul, Baroness Manzila Pola Uddin and Lord Bhatia are suspended in the MPs’ expenses scam. • Pankaj Rawat, an Indian origin man assaulted in Edinburgh in a case of racial attack. • Gujarati dentist Milan Shah’s license cancelled by the general dental council. • Leicester city council leader Vijay Patel felicitated by the Federation of Muslim organisations. • Saudi Arabian Prince awarded 20 years


in prison for murder of Homosexual partner. • David Cameron government comes out with proposals to cut government expenditure: half a million jobs in UK likely to be lost. • Former UK Prime Minister Mrs. Margaret Thatcher voted as the world’s most influential woman.

• A writer of Indian origin, Raghuram Rajan honoured with FT’s Goldman Sachs Business Book Award.


• Swedish Gujarati woman married to a British businessman, Anni Dewani murdered while on a honeymoon in South Africa.

• University of East London felicitates Lord Navnit Dholakia, Lord Bhikhu Parekh and Bollywood heroine Priety Zinta with honorary doctorates. • Prince William announces his engagement to girl friend Kate Middleton; marriage scheduled for April 29, 2011.

• The Sahara group of India emerges as the only buyer for the landmark London Hotel Grosvenor House. • Cameron government announces 300% increase in University tuition fees for UK students. • Uday K. Dholakia appointed as brand ambassador for the Asian market at Birmingham airport. • British Hindu community celebrates Diwali with flair. • Teacher Hina Patel awarded 16 months in prison for sex with under age boy student. • Camilla Parker could become Queen, says Prince Charles. • British Indian Resham Singh Sandhu appointed as the new high Sheriff of Leicester.


Look back - 2010

• Sir Gulam Noon appointed to the House of Lords. Raj Loomba too joins the upper house. • UK government announces a new cap of 21,700 jobs for foreigners. • A new English language test made mandatory for UK visas. • Bhaktivedanta Manor gifts a Bhagavad Gita to Prime Minister David Cameron.


• The cap for student visas to UK comes into force. • Prince William says his dad Prince Charles is a contender for King’s position. • Husband Harpreet Aulakh sentenced to life imprisonment in the controversial Geeta Aulakh murder case. • Harrow solicitor Dikshit Shah sentenced to prison in a £20 mn scam. • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrested in London: later released on bail. • Asian of the year 2010 award for leading industrialist John Athwal. • Life comes to a standstill in UK, large parts of Europe with heavy snowfall; hundreds of flights cancelled. • Students protesting huge hike in University fees attack the car of Prince Charles. • Record rise in price of Gas, Diesel. • High Court holds the temporary cap in immigration visas as illegal. • British model and actress Liz Hurley caught in an affair with retired OZ cricketer Shane Warne, announces separation with British Indian husband, industrialist Arun Nayar. Later, as she finds Warne was cheating on her, she tries to re-approach hubby Arun, fate not known. • Rajapaksa faces Tamil protests in Britain. • VC recipient Gurkha soldier Lachhiman Gurung passes away. • Baroness Shriti Vadera appointed as Director by BHP • Anti-terror squad arrest 12 men 'planning UK terror attack' • UK businessman Shrien Dewani 'torn by allegations' about his involvement in his wife's murder.

Sports January

• Reena Kaushal, a 38 year New Delhi woman becomes the first Indian lady to reach the South Pole after skating on ice for a distance of 900 kms. on the Antarctica. • Davydenko of Russia creates an upset at the Qatar Open in Doha, beating Rafael Nadal for the crown. • Sachin Tendlukar breaks

many marks in Bangladesh: He crosses the 13,000 run mark, completes 44th century in Tests. • Olympic Gold medal winner Abhinav Bindra not selected for two shooting world cups; CWG probables. • A K Mattoo resigns as Hockey India chief after open revolt by players. • Non inclusion of any Pakistani players by IPL teams rakes up a huge controversy, the issue reaches diplomatic levels.


• Virender Sehwag at the top in ICC ranking • Indian golfer Gaganjit Bhullar becomes the first player from the country to win an Asian tour title at Bangkok. • Saurashtra cricketer Ravindra Jadeja banned from IPL for one year for breach of contract.

Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010 Narang brings more laurels for India; wins a bronze. • England beats Pakistan 3 – 1 in a home test series.


sy, Indian tennis star Sania Mirza finally weds Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik at Hyderabad. • M S Dhoni led Chennai Super Kings take the IPL title, beating Sachin’s Mumbai Indians in the finals. • IPL caught in an ugly controversy as Lalit Modi says minister Shashi Tharoor helped new Kochi franchise

ate a new world record at Wimbledon, playing an 11 hour marathon tennis game. • The Queens baton reaches India; countdown for the Commonwealth Games begins. • Sachin Tendulkar receives the honour of being appointed ‘Honorary Group Captain’ by the Indian Air Force.


• Captain of Indian cricket team, M S Dhoni wedds childhood sweatheart Sakshi Rawat. • Rafael Nadal beats Thomas Berdich to

clinch Wimbledon tennis men’s singles title. • Spain is the new soccer champion. The Netherlands beaten 1 – 0 in the finals. • Diego Maradona resigns as the coach of Argentine football team. • Sri Lankan offie Muttiah Muralitharan hangs his boots. Sets up a new record with capturing 800th wicket in his last test appearance. • Sachin creates yet another world record: becomes the first ever cricketer to score a double century in One Day Internationals. He recorded his land mark at Gwalior against South Africa and remained unbeaten.


• Kapil Dev, the World Cup winner captain of the Indian cricket team honoured with his inclusion at the ICC Hall of Fame. • Pakistan Cricket Board penalises seven players for poor show, indiscipline during the OZ tour. • Australia lifts the Hockey World Cup title, beating Germany at New Delhi.


• Alec Bedser, former England fast bowler passes away. • Mohammed Yousuf, former Pakistan captain and batsman announces his retirement from International cricket. • After a lot of controver-

• Pakistani cricketers admit their crime of involvement in match fixing. • Mary Kom of India wins her 5th consecutive women’s world boxing title. • Andrew Flintoff announces retirement from all forms of cricket, troubled with nagging injury problems.

with insider information.


• Vishwanathan Anand, the Indian wizard takes his third title as World Chess Champion at Sofia in Bulgaria. • England claims their first multi-nation cricket title as World T20 Champions, beating Australia at the World Cup in the West Indies.


• England ousted early at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa after being defeated by Germany 41. • India regains the Asia Cup title after a long gap of 15 years at Dambulla in Sri Lanka, beating the hosts. • Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal wins the Indonesian Super Series title. • Sharad Pawar of India takes charge as the President of ICC. • England beats Australia 3-1 in the ODI series at home. • US – French players cre-

• Bangladesh creates a flutter, records a historic win against England by a five run margin in One Day International.


• England mauls Pakistan in the Nottingham Test, Anderson grabs 6 scalps in just 17 runs. • Saina Nehwal, the sensational Indian shuttler honoured with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. • Tejaswini Sawant, Indian woman shooter equals a world record, bags gold medal at the world shooting championships at Munich, Germany. Gagan

• Cheteshwar Pujara, a Saurashtra lad picked up in the Indian team to play against Australia.

49th century and registering more than 14,000 runs. • IPL controversy intensifies with termination of franchise agreements for Shilpa Shetty owned Rajasthan Royals and Priety Zinta owned Kings XI Punjab. • India beats Australia 2 – 0 in a home test series. • India completes a whitewash of OZ; visitors beaten in both test and ODIs.


• Harbhajan Singh sets a record of sorts: first ever batsman in test cricket history to score two consecutive centuries against New Zealand, batting at no. 8. • India produces new sports heroes at the China Asian Games, Virdhaval Khade becomes the first swimmer to bag an Asiad medal for the country. India ends up at no. 6 in the medals tally.


• Commonwealth Games get a colourful start, ends on a high note in New Delhi.

• Sachin turns 2010 as ‘Ten’dulkar year, scores his coveted 50th test century against South Africa at the Centurion. Earlier in February, he became the first ever batsman in ODIs to

• India comes out with flying colours, claiming no. 2 spot ahead of UK with a record medal haul of 101. UK bagged 142, but was behind by a solitary gold. • Sachin Tendulkar inches closer to his 50 tons in test cricket, scoring his

score a double century. • Saina Nehwal ends the year on a high note with a title under her belt at the Hong Kong super series. • India creates history, beating New Zealand 5 – 0 in the five match ODI series.



Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010


Vidya Balan not ready to give up acting Marriage may or may not figure in her five-year plans but Vidya Balan is not ready to give up acting for "anything or anyone" and feels life has been "good" ever since she turned 30. "Acting is a part of who I am. I don't think I will remotely give it up for anything or anyone," the 32-year-old actor said in a chat. "But having said that, if it comes naturally to me and I do feel like taking it easy at some point of time, maybe I will. But that shouldn't be a precondition to get into any relationship," she added diplomatically. Vidya, who will soon be seen in "No One Killed Jessica" based on

the Jessica Lall murder case, says she is glad women are not giving up their careers just for their personal lives any more. "I think today women continue to work at every age. It's fantastic! And it is happening in every profession. I met a girl at a store who got back to work within just two months of delivering a

child - such is the dedication. "But, yes, in our profession (acting), in the earlier days, the moment you got married, you ceased to be an object of desire, which is why a lot of actresses retired. Today, no longer! I guess that's also got to do a lot with the fact and attitude that today if someone is with someone, it doesn't stop you from desiring them!" she said and broke into a naughty laugh. The critically acclaimed actress, who featured in films like "Parineeta", "Ishqiya", "Guru" and "Paa", is on a high these days. Neither her performances, nor her dressing sense are being criticised - and she

admits she has started being very careful and fussy. "Over a period of time, I think rightfully so, I have found the courage to do only what I want to do. I will not get pressurised to do anything that I don't want to do, even if it is a right film, or maybe it's the kind of film that one should be doing. It has to challenge me and it has to excite me. It can be an extremely simple film, it could be a mad role, it could be could be anything across the spectrum...but I have to feel excited," she said.

I drew inspiration from Shakira: Katrina Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif says she drew inspiration from pop star Shakira for the sizzling item song " Shiela Ki Jawani" from her upcoming film " Tees Maar Khan". When asked about comparisons of her dance in the superhit number with that of Shakira, she said she can only dream of such comparisons. "I can only dream of such comparisons. To be very frank, I drew inspiration from her. If my dance in the song 'Shiela ki Jawani' reminds the viewers of Shakira, it's a huge reward for me," said Katrina Kaif, who was in Kolkata with her "Tees Maar Khan" co-star Akshay Kumar for the promotion of the film.

She was all praises for director Farah Khan and gave her the credit for the grand success of the song. "We have worked hard for the song. But the credit goes to Farah and her conceptualisation of the song. She is a brilliant choreographer," the actress said. "Tees Maar Khan", directed by Farah, is slated to release Dec 24. It has already hit the headlines for its scorching item song "Shiela Ki Jawani" featuring Katrina. Asked about her role, Katrina said she is not so bold in the film as it seems from "Shiela Ki Jawani". "My role is of an aspiring actress. She is

not very aggressive as it looked in the song. She is very naive and sweet. She is the girlfriend to Akshay in the film. She lands herself into trouble because of her own stupidity. It's a fun kind of a character," the actress said. The movie revolves around Tarbez Mirza Khan, a criminal played by Akshay, and his girlfriend Anya played by Katrina who gets the job of robbing antiques worth Rs 5,000 million from a heavily guarded moving train. The film is an action comedy.

Censor Board axes Rani's 'Kamini' act The upcoming Bollywood film “No One Killed Jessica” is in the news for all the wrong reasons. Considering that the Rani Mukerji – Vidya Balan starrer is based on the real life incident of Delhi model Jessica Lal's murder case, it was bound to arouse controversies. But reports claim that while the content of “No One Killed Jessica” has been given the green signal by the members of the censor board, it is the lyrics of a song in the film which has come under the scanner. According to the latest reports in the media, the word 'kamini', used in the song 'Aali Re Saali Re' from the film has to be removed! In a statement, director Rajkumar Gupta said that the production film has taken the decision to beep out the 'kamini' word from the song that has been picturised on actress Rani Mukerji in the film. However, Rajkumar Gupta does not sound pleased by the treatment meted out by the censor board towards the film.

Elaborating on his disappointment, the second time director says that he is amused by the decision taken by the board members because the 'kamini' word has been a part of Hindi cinema even in the past. While a 2009 release was named Kaminey, no one is unaware of veteran Bollywood actor Dharmendra's attachment with this particular word. Since time immemorial, Dharmendra has been mouthing dialogues which have the presence of 'kamini' and several other slangs in the Hindi language.

Toonpur Ka Superrhero A first of its kind live action and animation combo flick in India, Toonpur Ka Super Hero has a story line of science fiction and adventure . Aditya, a reel life hero, accidentally lands in the world of cartoons and transforms into a real life hero. There is trouble brewing in the land of cartoons Toonpur. The good guys of Toonpur (Devtoons) and the bad guys (Toonasurs) are at constant war. That’s when Devtoons decide to take superstar action hero – Aditya’s help and get him down to Toonpur. But things are not as simple as the Devtoons had thought. Produced by Kumar Mangat Pathak and Krishika Lulla under the banner of Big Screen Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. and Eros International Media Ltd., the film is directed by Kireet Khurana. He also shares the story credits with Raagi Bhatnagar, who has written the screenplay. Mubeen Farooqi has penned the dialogues. The lead cast consists of Ajay Devgn, Kajol, Sanjay Mishra, Delnaz Paul, Mukesh Tiwari, Viveck Vaswani, Shereveer Vakil and Amey Pandya. Tanuja and Raza Murad make a special appearance. Kumaar and Munna Dhiman have written the lyrics, while Anu Malik had scored the music. Playback is rendered by Veronica, Anu Malik, Master Saleem, Alisha Chinoy, Roop Kumar Rathod, Javed Ali, Sudesh Bhosle, Sonu Nigam, Altaf Raja, Ajay Devgn,Hard Kaur and Shaan.

New Hindi movies releasing this week 1. 2. 3. 4.

Ada... A Way Of Life Isi Life Mein Tees Maar Khan Toonpur Ka Superrhero

Next Week (Dec 31) 1. Bhoot And Friends 2. Hostel 3. Tera Kya Hoga Johny (This film’s release is delayed, was earlier scheduled for release on 17th Dec.)

Top 3 Bollywood movies for the week No. 1 2 3

Film Last Week Total Weeks No Problem New 1 Band Baaja Baaraat New 1 Phas Gaye Re Obama 3 2

Sonakshi denies posing in bikini Actress Sonakshi Sinha denied reports that she posed in a bikini for the cover of Maxim magazine. "Quite shocked to see ‘India Today’ carrying an article on me appearing on Maxim in a bikini!! Yeah right, " Sonakshi wrote on microblogging site Twitter. A photograph published on ‘India Today's’ website shows Sonakshi wearing a white bikini but the magazine's cover shows her wearing a black dress. "These guys generally have their facts and figures right! Got the fact that I'm on Maxim right, but the figure (pun intended) completely wrong! Would've been smart if they checked out the magazine before writing whatever they felt like. It's not about me anymore but about their credibility, " she added. Sonakshi, who made her Bollywood debut as a simple village girl with Salman Khan starrer "Dabangg", had set her record straight that she would never wear revealing clothes in her films to garner popularity. The newcomer is set to change her on screen image with her next two films - "Kick", where she will romance Salman again, and Akshay Kumar starrer "Joker".


20 Asian Voice Saturday 25th December 2010

SRK wins over China with ‘My Name is Khan’ Vijay’s ‘Kaavalan’ in trouble again Ilayathalapthy Vijay is in trouble again! Recently, Tamil Nadu theatre owners and distributors unanimously decided to demand refund of a portion of the amounts they invested in Vijay’s 50th film ‘Sura,’ since it bombed at the box office. Now, since the actor has failed to fulfill this demand of the theatres owners, the Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners’ Association has decided to boycott his forthcoming film ‘Kaavalan’ until an amicable settlement is reached. According to

the theatre owners, Vijay has to pay 30% of the loss suffered by theatres, which approximately works out to Rs. 30 million. Vijay’s ‘Kaavalan,’ directed by Siddique, is scheduled for a worldwide release on December 24.

‘3 Idiots’ remakes: Suriya replaces Mahesh Babu? In the midst of rumours circulating that Ilayathalapathy Vijay and Prince Mahesh Babu are thinking of walking out of Shankar’s Tamil and Telugu remakes of ‘3 Idiots’ due to various differences in opinion and date problems, it is now heard that Shankar has begun the search for apt replacements for the lead roles in Tamil and Telugu, and is likely to rope in either Suriya or Ajith Kumar for these roles. Both Suriya and Ajith are always keen to work with Shankar, but it has to be seen if they will accept

the ‘3 Idiots’ remakes! Meanwhile, actor Vijay denied the reports that he has walked out of the ‘3 Idiots’ Tamil remake. He said he has not walked out, but is facing some date problems. He added that he had a talk with Shankar about this and the issues would be sorted out soon.

Dhanush’s secret of success Dhanush is one of the very few actors in Kollywood now who has been delivering hits after hits in the recent past. Not even a film of his bombed at the box office, at least the last few years. “I sit with the directors of my movies before we go for shoot and discuss clearly what they expect out of me. This helps me mould for the character better,” says the actor, who is on the sets of ‘Venghai’. “Also, I believe strongly in homework. Before each and every scene, I make sure that I am prepared for it well. This result in better output I guess.” “At a very young age I have seen many a success and many a failure,”

the actor says and adds: “And I learn lessons from each and every person I c o m e across. After all, life is filled with so many learning experiences.” Meanwhile, Sun Pictures has started promoting its next release ‘Aadukalam’, which is a Dhanush-starrer. The film brings together the ‘Polladhavan’ trioVettrimaran, Dhanush and G V Prakash- once again. One of the songs from the film ‘Ayyayyo…’ has already topped the charts and those who have listened it say the number is a perfect melody and takes them back to the golden era of Illayaraja..

Weeks before Chinese premier Wen Jiabao flies into New Delhi to strengthen relations with India, an Indian movie star is making his way into Chinese hearts. Audiences in a dozen Chinese cities are crowding to cinema halls showing Shah Rukh Khan-starrer 'My Name is Khan'. The movie has been shown in more than a dozen Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Dalian since its launch on November 30. This is the first time in more than a

decade that the Chinese censors has approved an Indian movie for showing in cinema houses. Some observers have suggested that the movie's political content discussing the image of Muslims in the United States could be a reason why the censors allowed the film to be showed. An article in, a site with close links with the official CCTV6 television channel said the film demonstrates the bias and unfair treatment of Muslims in the United States since the 9/11 inci-

dent. "We are touched by the hero's simplicity and perseverance," a review in the official site, said. This is among the dozens of Chinese newspapers and Internet sites focused on the movie

industry have sung praises for the movie, which is being described as the "Indian Forrest Gump". The film showing coincided with a four-day art and film festival organized by the Indian embassy and the Chinese government in Beijing. "Chinese audiences were very excited about the Indian movies that were shown during the festival. We have received requests for more showing of Indian films by a lot of people," Ma Zhen Xuan, chief executive officer of GDB Bridge Art Center, said.

Tees Maar Khan set to ring the Christmas bells in desi beats Kartik.S.Raval Bollywood’s big names, Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif and Farah Khan, stirred a frenzy among hoards of fans who descended upon Cineworld Feltham to catch a glimpse of their favorite stars as they visited the venue to launch advance ticket bookings for their forthcoming blockbuster release, ‘Tees Maar Khan’, produced by Three’s Company, Hari Om Entertainment Company and UTV Motion Pictures. The stars brought pandemonium to the venue as the fans clambered to get closer to their screen idols. Despite the subzero climate, the venue was packed inside-out as the dropping temperature had no effect whatsoever on the enthusiastic Bollywood fans. Tees Maar Khan opens in cinemas across the UK on

Wednesday 22nd December. Before the launch, Katrina Kaif revealed to Asian Voice, “working with a director like Farah Khan is always going to be a lifetime experience and you can decide to work in the film even without going through the script as you are sure it is going to be different, exciting and most of all entertaining.” Tees maar Khan which is the biggest Bollywood release for Christmas is likely to give thousands of British Asians a chance to ring the Christmas bells with desi beats. “Indians

Golden Globe nomination for A R Rahman Oscar winning Indian musician AR Rahman is in the race to win his second Golden Globe after being nominated in the Best Original Score category for his music in the Danny Boyle directed film “127 Hours.” The 44-year-old singer-composer had won his first Golden Globe in 2009 in the same category for “Slumdog Millionaire,” the Mumbai based potboiler which was again directed by British filmmaker Boyle. Rahman's music in the film, starring James Franco as real-life mountain climber Aron Ralston, who cut off his arm to escape from beneath a boulder after being trapped for more than five days, had received good reviews for it's "haunting tracks" and "wonderful crescendos." The soundtrack includes ‘If I Rise…’, a collaboration between Rahman and American popstar Dido.

in the UK and also back home celebrate Christmas like any other, however they would like to do so in their own style and cinema is a big aspect to it. Thus, I always plan for one blockbuster in this time of the year as everyone is looking to leave the year behind with lots of laugh and entertainment”, comments director of Tees Maar Khan, Farah Khan. Getting up close and personal, the stars interacted with fans, with Akshay playing real life hero when he rescued a lost child from the crowds and real life action hero

when he climbed on top of the cinema’s ticket booth, to the hysteria and delight of the screaming fans. Traditional Punjabi ‘dhol’ players provided the soundtrack as Akshay, Katrina and Farah together opened ticket sales to the first 20, starstruck fans. Prior to bringing Bollywood mania to Cineworld Feltham, the trio engaged in banter with BBC Asian Network presenters Raj and Pablo and a 200-strong studio audience with whom Akshay shared anecdotes laced with his signature, playful wit.

Abhay Deol needs help: Anil Kapoor While on the sets of “Aisha,” Abhay Deol went on record to say that he was not pleased with the way the film was shaped up besides voicing his problem with Anil Kapoor’s production house. Anil Kapoor on the other hand in an episode of Koffee with Karan said that “Abhay Deol needs help.” When Karan Johar asked him, 'In what way?" he was quick to reply, "in every way! There's something terribly wrong with the guy." What's going to be the result of this outburst? It's difficult to say if Abhay Deol and Sonam Kapoor will work together ever again even though the two of them claim to be good friends. What's more is that Abhay Deol is never going to be offered a film by Anil Kapoor's production house. Guess what? Abhay thinks that's a good thing and even terms it as a 'win-win situation'.


Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010

Alpesh Patel Consultant Editor Financial Voice Dear Financial Voice Reader, Well it’s Christmas time and a good time to catch up with news for many people. So how do you use the news to forecast stock prices? How do you determine value? “But tell me: how did gold get to be the highest value? Because it is uncommon and useless and gleaming and gentle in its brilliance; it always gives itself. Only as an image of the highest virtue did gold get to be the highest value. The giver's glance gleams like gold. A golden brilliance concludes peace between the moon and the sun. Uncommon is the highest virtue and useless, it is gleaming and gentle in its brilliance: a gift-giving virtue is the highest virtue.” Commented Friedrich Nietzsche. Don’t use news to forecast prices is my simple advice. How many investors do I know, who will read every single item of news, then try to outsmart the market? But news does not work in a simple manner with the market. There is a belief that with enough knowledge and know-how we can get a handle on direction of the market. News is attractive because people love stories. News is attractive as a method of forecasting because people like to appear smart. It makes for great dinner conversation to have a ‘theory’. A view. To be educated. Well, I was educated at Oxford University and an Oxford Don at 29, and my politics tutor told me, ‘don’t waste your time reading the Economist – make your own views’. News is opinion often not fact. That may or may not move the market. But it is another layer of complexity in trying to forecast the market. You see the markets have much to do with psychology. And where psychology comes in is that people like to feel clever and knowledgeable. But they are being their own worst enemies. We know the economist Keynes said of experts they should more often state clearly they simply do not know, rather than profess a view. And given how badly the experts let us down (just consider the credit crunch) why would we the reader of papers try to forecast prices based on news about snow at Heathrow for British Airways for instance? More relevant as you read the news this Christmas and wrap ups of the year – remember that once the news is out there, the price has moved. The directional move is indeterminate. Earnings are strong, for instance, but does that mean the price will move up because they have exceeded expectations? Or does it mean the price will fall because they have not? And what were the expectations anyway? Expectations of what? Net earnings? Pre-tax before exceptionals? Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation. Who interprets this? How can we forecast? The market as often ‘buys on the rumour’ and sells on the fact. But it does not do that often enough to make it a rule. The point is, news based forecasting does not have rules, it is not systematic or process driven. No. Do not try to forecast based on news.

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UK and Indian businesses meet to drive forward business agenda Minister for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs Ed Davey last week addressed a group of UK and Indian business leaders in London to speak about the UK government’s vision for developing the special relationship with India. The event follows from the Prime Minister’s successful visit to India in July, where he was accompanied by a large business delegation. During that visit £700 million of deals were agreed. Speaking at the UK/India Business Forum, the Minister said: “These are exciting times for UK and Indian businesses. Our economies complement one another in many respects – creating many opportunities for us to collaborate.” “Over the past decade our bilateral trade has doubled to £11.5 billion. But we want this figure to increase substantially. Already more than 600 Indian companies have invested an estimated £9 billion in the UK - two thirds of which are in the ICT and software sectors. This represents more than 50 per cent of India's total European investment. “For UK companies the opportunities in India are vast, covering the full range of sectors from infrastructure to the service industries.” Minister Davey also stressed the UK’s strong commitment to free trade and welcomed the progress made during recent EU-India Free Trade Agreement negotiations, looking forward to a successful and ambitious agreement next spring. The UK government’s commitment to driving forward UK-India trade relations will continue early next year when Business Secretary Vince Cable will visit India to take part in the UK and India’s annual trade talks. For UK, India is fourth largest investor by number of projects, with inward investment generating 5,889 jobs over the past year from 92 investment

Left to right: Mr Richard Heald, CEO, UKIBC, Mr Rajesh Prasad, Deputy High Commissioner of India to the UK, Mr Edward Davey, Minister for Employment Relations, Consumer & Postal Affairs, Department for Business Innovations & Skills, UK.

projects in 2009/10. For India, UK is one of the top European investors in India (source: ONS statistics, published in December 2009). Top sectors for UK FDI to India include power, oil and gas, telecommunications and service industries. Responding to Asian Voice, various business and industry leaders gave their considered opinions, which according to them would help the two countries march forward. Dr. Samir Dani from the Indo british Trade Council said: “It will be important in the future for both countries to support and grow the relationship between SMEs in traditional and future ‘green and high technology’ sectors. The Indo British Trade Council (IBTC) will support this initiative by helping to build long term alliances to foster bilateral trade synergies”. Uday Dholakia of Global said: The relationship distils the tremendous synergies that British Asians have in contributing to a legacy based bilateral trade, inward investment, tourism, research and academic link with India. The endurance and resilience, past the short-term programmes and initiatives, embedding India within British SME's DNA for

long term and sustainable bilateral trade with India. Meb Somani of Barclays Natural Resource Investors wanted the travel documents and procedures to be simplified to make travel to India easier. He said: My NRI status has run out, but the process for replacement by OCI/PIO is neither automatic nor straight forward. OCI apparently requires 'proof' of origin (a century ago) from panchyat, and takes months. And the 'easy' alternative of tourist visas took 3 mornings spent at the out sourced visa centre. The online application website wasn't working. All contact between the two countries should be encouraged - and create a good impression. Rightly or wrongly, visa process and other official contact is seen as representative of how things work. Mark T. Jones, Director of External Affairs at the London College of Management Studies had this to say: The extraordinary dynamism that is palpable throughout India should be a clarion call for British cities to give serious consideration to establishing close ties and possibly twinning associations with the sub-continent. Sadly, to date such relationships have been over-

looked by both India and the UK. Chan Chowdhry of Farrell Engineering Limited opined: Hon. Minster Ed Davey is right in pushing for special relationship with India There is tremendous scope in automotive sector, Technical training, Mining, Power, Infrastructure, Healthcare etc. Time is of essence and Indian companies like British work ethics. It’s a win-win situation for all. British companies have lot of experience in manufacturing techniques. Richard Perry – CEO IndiaSavvy Ltd. felt: “I've seen too many government led initiatives over the years and see that Germany and USA take a mcuh more business led approach. Whatever people think about the level of trade between the UK and India, there is a need to totally re-evaluate how UK companies are supported in their efforts. Publisher and Editor of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar, C B Patel in his message for the initiative has said: “The Bold Step taken by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with CBI and UKIBC was very enjoyable and inspiring. All the speakers including the minister were very clear, positive and forthcoming. The brief intro by the Deputy High Commissioner for India Shri Rajesh N Prasad was indeed very encouraging. ‘Kautilya Arthsastra’ has a message relevant to deliberation of that seminar: (a) produce (or supply) the best product or the service and never hesitate to market it positively. (b) Dr. Gunveena Chadha Director & Head - UK and Confederation of Indian Industry and Alan Montgomery Partner, corporate, Herbert Smith LLP, deserve our heart felt thanks. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!”

Tata makes another major acquisition in UK British Salt Ltd to be bought for £93 mn by TCL subsidiary Brunner Mond Tata Chemicals Ltd., (TCL) a group company of Indian industrial giant Tata group has announced the acquisition of British Salt Ltd. through their UK subsidiary Brunner Mond on Monday. The deal is worth £93 million. In a disclosure before the Bombay Stock Exchange, TCL said Brunner Mond, UK (BMUK) has signed a binding agreement to acquire the entire stake in

British Salt Ltd., UK. The deal will be subject to all necessary regulatory approvals. The acquisition will be financed entirely through debt, with no recourse to TCL, the filing added. Pure dried vacuum salt manufacturer British Salt owns brine wells in the UK with a residual life of

50 years and is also active in the gas storage business. The buy-out will ensure long-term supply of brine for soda-ash manu-

facturer Brunner Monds' operations, the filing said. Cheshire Salt Holdings, the parent company of British Salt is currently owned by LDC, the private equity arm of British banking group Lloyds. British Salt produces about half the UK’s pure salt for a range of applications from food processing to industrial applications. The company has an annual revenue of around £35 mn.



Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010

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

Rented In Hours! Over Christmas and New Year’s traditionally the property market comes to a natural slow down. Valuers and lawyers are busy getting drunk and attending office parties. Over this period most avoid completing on BTL purchases due to the risk of these properties lying empty over the holiday period. This is not the only risk they are exposed to but also the maintenance issues as these tend to spike up at this time of year due to the cold weather. Despite all of the above, we chose to complete on a second property for a client of ours in Maida Vale. Naturally due to the closeness of the holiday period he was nervous. However we convinced him we were quietly confident of having this on rent prior to Christmas. The property price was originally agreed for £315,000 but we managed to negotiate a further £5,000 drop closer to exchange. This block is one of the nicest around, it comes with parking and storage and massive space. In fact the agent showing us around wanted to purchase it for himself a couple of years ago, but the seller pulled out and decided to rent. The block was originally built for council housing but due to an over supply at the time the block was sold on for private use, so the term excouncil is not really appropriate for this property, or indeed most properties labelled as such that we deal with. The idea of a label is to give an idea of the type of property. In these cases it is entirely unjustified. Ex council typifies drug dealers, high towers, one parent families, youths, petty crimes etc. None of these is the case with the properties we vet and source. These properties are amongst the most clean and well looked after blocks in central London. The Right to Buy scheme was introduced by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980’s, since then these properties have been passed through private hands time and time again. The property market in central London is the most fluid in the UK therefore the number of transactions in a given time period will be higher than anywhere else in the country. The original inhabitants have long moved on. Nearly all of the proprieties we have purchased have been through private landlords. On many different levels an ‘ex – council ‘ property is more suitable than a

private one. Firstly the service charges are moderate, in this particular case the service charges are £1,500. This even includes free hot water. The leases tend to be longer and the cost of extension cheap and easier to deal with as the managing agents are Westminster. Westminster is a very efficient and transparent borough, the service charges are the cheapest in the whole of the UK. On the income side the rental is exactly the same. All of these factors equate to a great investment. Our local presence ensures we know intimately which block is great and which one soaks money up. This is one of the benefits of using Sow & Reap. We completed on this property at 10:30am on the Friday 17th December 2010. We were confident we could rent this in the next few days with a rental of £500 per week. What we did not expect was we were going to rent the property on the day of completion. This surpassed even our own expectations and set a new record. As the completion was set up for 10:30am our Lettings negotiator set up his first appointment for 1pm on the same day with more to follow on Saturday and Monday to hedge our bets. A quick inspection was done to see what had been left behind, as it is never guaranteed what is in the flat, sometimes extra is left and at times even what was meant to be there hasn’t been left. This flat was fortunately left clean, tidy and fully furnished. Furniture included beds, sofas, tables, chairs, washing machine and fridge-freezer even the TV, pillows, quilts, cutlery, and dishes were left behind. A thorough inventory was done and the flat was rented to move into the following Monday for £525 per week, this equates to £27,000, a 9% yield in a quality property which is also well placed to rise in years to come. This property was easy to rent and was chosen accordingly. The flat is large, bright, in a good state and with plenty of storage. The only ‘but’ is the stairs at the hall of the property. Property is a package deal, like getting married. If you want to kick start your property investment for 2011 call Sow & Reap now to get moving on 0207 706 0187 or email

Ride where the waves are yet to rise The prices in Central Mumbai currently surpass the expensive prices in areas of London. The difference is India has one of the strongest growth rates in the world and the property market in Mumbai will be a riding on this wave. Already many NRIs being priced out of many of the spots in Mumbai this; will increase to other areas of this market in years to come. Sow and Reap have identified projects which are yet to experience heavy capital growth. This growth will be inevitable as Mumbai grows and nearby areas will start to benefit. The Centre of gravity is shifting within the city as pockets in London have done. A similar story can be said of Paddington where our offices are located, in proximity of Baker Street and Mayfair. Yet it was always seen in poor repute until about 10 years ago, this was when the streets started to be cleared up and the Paddington regeneration scheme started to gather momentum. Proximity to some of the most expensive areas does have an effect on a property. I remember when one-bedroom apartments were being sold for £275,000 about 7 years ago in the new development West End Key, a new development in Paddington. Admittedly I thought this was way too high. The actual valuation of the property was £350,000 - this was sold at £275,000 because it was a money-down deal. I thought it was way too expensive – I was wrong. I underestimated the power of the location and proximity to more expensive areas close by. The current prices are now nothing less then £425,000. These also came with 2 year rental guarantees. If this is what happened in London only 9 years ago, think what a similar effect will be happening in an economy which is developing as fast as India and in one of the most sought after cities in India. The same effect will be compounded exponentially. India runs on two things: one is connections the other is trust. Cores of Rupees are committed on the basis of these two factors, often in cash. Whilst I was there I heard of a man who employed a pest control expert to come in and cleanse a room of white ants. The room was full from floor to ceiling of currency in cash and the white ants where eating into it! No wonder he wanted the problem resolved immediately! The reaction of many NRI is you cannot trust Indians in India. If this is the case how and why is India running? And it is running, it is most definitely not walking and it will be running at least for another decade. For it to run, one person must trust another for a trade to happen. Problem comes when you trust the wrong person. The biggest block for bridging this gap

is the perception the NRI holds, which comes from their own or sometimes others perception of India a few decades ago. India has moved on in leaps and bounds but this perception has stayed the same. I am not saying do not tread carefully. You must tread very carefully but at least make a move. The level the majority of builders are working on nullifies the need to check title. The development itself needs to have clear paper work for the developer to gain funding. Also many banks are lending on the completed project. At loan to values of 80% they have more to lose then the purchaser should the titles not be clear. They do not simply lend on one unit, the majority of the development could be funded by them. Their legal departments will have checked more thoroughly then any one before clearing a project. Our consultants are not new entrants to the market they have had decades of experience in the Mumbai property sector and they will be there to oversee the development till completion. In developing markets it is experience and more importantly in trust which people can rely on. In truth many developer are simply not bothered about selling abroad. Why would they be, when the developments are sold out within hours or days. Sometimes even when they mentioned they have acquired land to redevelop the investor wants in without full clearance simply based on the past performance of the developer. Why would they want to deal with the objections of the NRI mindset when everything is sold out as soon it is announced? In actual fact most do not. This is the challenge we face as NRI advisors in the Indian property sector. Our objective is two fold, firstly to convince the developer the added exposure his development will gain through a relationship with the UK and secondly with the NRI to answer all possible objections from a title clearance to investment related question. We are currently putting together a very special and exclusive deal in one of the up and coming areas in Mumbai for our clients, which we believe will rocket in capital values. This is a soft launch and is aimed primarily at investors. It is moderately priced and you will be entering in the very inception stage of this project. It is 100% white and mortgages are available, which means you will benefit from only having to put 20% into the deal. If the project goes up by only 20% you will have gained 100% on your money. So why not invest ? If you are interested please register your interest at or call us on 0203 384 5323.

n Mortgages n Commercial Finance n Property Sourcing n Gujarat Properties - Sale & Resale T: 0207 706 0187 F: 0203 014 8484

E: W:

31 Southwick Street, Paddington, W2 1JQ Registered in England No. 05083823

FinanCial voice

Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010

Leadership Matters


By Amit Patel

Stand Firm, Strike Hard Maria Fernandes

Cameron’s Fury The Prime Minister recently expressed anger at the fact that an appeal Tribunal rejected the UKBA’s attempt to remove an Iraqi national after a child was hit and killed by his car whilst she was crossing the road. As a mother of a child of a similar age I was at first shocked by the decision as would any reasonable person. However having looked at the case it would appear that the decision was the right one in the circumstances. The incident occurred in 2003 and led to the driver’s disqualification for driving but no charges were ever brought for careless or dangerous driving. By all accounts therefore it is assumed to be a tragic accident by someone who should not have been driving. Removal proceedings were begun after a delay of 6 years. In that time the appellant married and had 3 children. He claimed that his human rights under article 8 would be breached. There were 3 grounds for the removal. The first was on the finding of facts. On this the Tribunal decided that the original judge had correctly considered all the facts. The second ground was that the Immigration Judge failed to consider the evidence of criminality. The comment in relation to this issue was: “it is essential to remember that those responsible for taking decisions relating to prosecutions in the public interest concluded that he bore no criminal responsibility in terms of the manner of his driving. Whilst the Respondent was clearly culpable in the sense that he was driving when he should not have been, that culpability must be seen in this context.” Third it was argued that the judge applied an incorrect test thereby creating an artificially high threshold for the Secretary of State to make out his case. The case was decided under the human rights law in which there is a need to strike a fair balance. In this case the UKBA were not seeking to argue that the applicant would be permanently barred from the UK as this required a higher threshold to succeed or that his family should be required to relocate to Iraq if they want to maintain a family life. Their case was that he should return to Iraq and apply for entry clearance to come back and that any separation would be temporary. The reason the UKBA chose this course of action is because they had delayed making a decision by years and that had resulted in the applicant establishing a family life. The only way for them to proceed at this late juncture was to argue that he had to return abroad. Undoubtedly the objective would have been to refuse him entry clearance when he did apply to return. The Judge took the view that although the merits of whether he would be granted leave or not is not something he could take into account there was uncertainty in terms of the time this process would take. A House of Lords decision has ruled that where there are children applicants should in general not be expected to return abroad only for the purpose of applying for entry clearance. Therefore the law was clear. The Tribunal commented that “there is a misunderstanding of the task before this Tribunal. It is not a balancing of one person's human rights against those of another. It is an assessment of the public interest arguments justifying

removal... balanced against the consequences of removal not only on the Respondent but on his partner and his children.” In my view although it seems abhorrent from the parents point of view to allow the applicant to stay the fact of the matter is that the delay in reaching the decision to remove has created rights and scuppered any chance of success. Cameron’s fury should be properly directed at this aspect of the case. The Immigration Cap Declared Unlawful By The Courts On Friday finally after months of concerns by businesses and the CBI the matter reached to a head when the High Court declared unlawful the interim cap introduced on the 28th June 2010 an announced on the Home Office website rather than in Parliament. The judges expressed concern that the Secretary of State had made no secret of her intentions and in doing so acted unlawfully for attempting to “side step Parliamentary scrutiny”. The judges emphasised that the provisions were substantive changes and should have been laid before Parliament. This is the second case this year which has been thrown out after concerns were expressed about abandoning constitutional principles which have “stood for four centuries as the pillar of democracy.” The Government were warned that their decision was hasty and ill thought out. However they pressed on regardless. The public purse will pay for the legal costs and the cost of administering the changes that will need to be put in place. The result of this decision is that all those who lost the certificates of sponsorship which had previously been issued will have the right to be granted them. The Government have indicated that they may appeal against the decision. Graduate level or not: Consultation by Migration Advisory Committee(MAC) MAC are currently consulting as requested by the Government on 2 questions: 1. What codes should be considered to be graduate level occupations for Tier 2 applications 2. How should the current list be revised to remove jobs below graduate level. Graduate level refers to NVQ level 4 MAC will be able to specify job titles within particular industries even if the broader occupations are not skilled. Interestingly they have identified factors that will be considered to include: • Whether there is a requirement to hold a formal qualification • If formal qualifications are less relevant what level of on the job training is required • Whether there is a degree of innate ability required to do the job. This call for evidence is critically important for restaurants and care homes in particular where formal qualifications are less important than skills. The deadline for submissions is 21st January 2011. Maria Fernandes has been in practice exclusively in immigration for the past 25 years and is accredited in Immigration Law by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Fernandes Vaz is based at 87 Wembley Hill Road Wembley in Wembley and can be contacted by telephone on 02087330123, by email on

Last week I watched on TV ‘The Sun military awards’ function at the imperial war museum. It was a moving ceremony recognising the bravery and sacrifice of the British armed forces. There were stories of remarkable courage, acts of selflessness and strong, determined leadership. I was struck by the number of incidents where people stepped up and assumed responsibility, not because they had to, but because that was the need of the hour. How often have we watched someone do something extraordinary and think to ourselves, ‘I could never do that!’ We worship heroes because they do things which we may not have the confidence to do ourselves. Yet most heroes will say that they did not choose to become heroes or it wasn’t something that they planned on becoming. Rather it was a case of them making a decision to act; to take responsibility; to have the courage to be the example. They did not consider the possibility of failure. Leadership always car-

ries with it the possibility of failure. In a company it may result in someone losing their job (and it’s not always the leader), on the battlefield it could be someone losing their life. Along with this there comes the possibility of becoming unpopular and taking responsibility when for other people mistakes (otherwise referred to as ‘carrying the can’). The sum culmination of all three actually leads to a very common emotion – fear. It is this fear which plants the seeds of doubt in the mind; which paralyses the body; and which becomes an invisible wall to all who want to become leaders. The heroes in the armed forces served as a poignant example that ultimately it is not so much a case of not being afraid - they all admitted that there is some degree of fear in what they do; but rather it is more a case of making a decision to act despite the fear. Fear and failure can actually be beneficial, for it also makes one cautious, careful and measured. Three qualities which are sometimes is

Amit Patel has over 15 years experience in the field of Leadership and Human Resource Management short supply amongst leaders when times are good. ‘There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.’ Colin Powell. Anyone can be a leader, whether it is in the boardroom or on the battlefield. All that is required is the courage to overcome the fear of failure. To end I would like to quote the motto of the 1st Mercier Regiment who were honoured as the best unit for their outstanding gallantry – a motto which is a lesson to all leaders – Stand Firm, Strike Hard. Stand firm against one’s fear. Strike hard when taking on the challenges ahead.

Rise in UK unemployment rate Part time workers numbers at a record high ployed people rose by 35,000 to 2.5 million. Figures were worst for young workers, with an unemployment rate among 16 to 24-year-olds of 19.8 per cent. There were 839,000 people unemployed for more than a year, the highest such figure since 1997.

The number of people working part-time because they could not find a fulltime job increased by 46,000 to 1.16 million, a record high. The number of people claiming unemployment benefits fell by 1,200 in November to 1.46 million

Forecast for UK economic growth scaled down

Multi billion dollar pacts inked between Indian, Chinese businesses

Unemployment rate in UK for the month of October, 2010 registered a rise of 0.1 per cent, climbing up to 7.9 per cent. Official suggest a faltering jobs market as public sector job cuts loom. The Office for National Statistics said that the number of unem-

As inflation in UK is on the rise, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) downgraded its UK economic growth forecast for the first quarter of 2011 to 0.2 per cent, but it also sees interest rates rising next spring, earlier than most analysts expect. The CBI said the Bank of England would begin to "normalise" monetary policy in the spring, with interest rates rising gently through to mid-2012. It said that would be followed by a slightly faster stimilus withdrawl over the second half, taking the Bank rate from a record low of 0.5 per cent to 2.75 per cent by the fourth quarter of 2012. The business group downgraded its forecast for quarterly growth in the first three months of 2011 from 0.3 per cent, saying rising unemployment, a VAT hike and higher-thanexpected inflation would

dent the fragile recovery, but said it expected the recovery to be maintained. The CBI said growth would be knocked in the first quarter when consumer spending falls slightly in response to a rise in VAT. It forecast "fairly modest" growth of 0.4, 0.5 and 0.5 per cent over the remaining quarters of 2011. The group said the economy would expand by 2.4 per cent over the year as a whole, which it said was subdued for this stage of a recovery. "The pace of recovery in the UK economy has been slightly stronger over the past year than we and many others had expected, and somewhat faster than typical during the first year out of a recession. But we do not expect that rapid pace of growth to continue over the next two years of recovery," said CBI Chief Economic Adviser, Ian McCafferty.

China Development Bank last week signed financial pacts worth billions of dollars, including one with Reliance Power and another with ICICI Bank, as part of some 50 business deals sealed during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to New Delhi. The pact with Reliance Power calls for a $4.63billion project financing, while the one with ICICI Bank is for $400 million facility agreement, as per officials who coordinated the signing of these. Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has entered into a memorandum of understanding with China Chamber of Commerce for mutual cooperation. Shanghaibased Huawei announced an investment of $2 billion in a new research facility in Bangalore and its manufacturing unit in Chennai.



Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010

Foreign Exchange Rajesh Agrawal is the Chairman & CEO of RationalFX, Currency Specialists. For any further information call 020 7220 8181 or e-mail

How the UK markets end the year In the UK the week started off with housing market improving slightly year on year with the release of the Right Move House Price Index, however month on month published a gloomy outlook. This had no immediate impact on the markets although as a nation of homeowners it was productive to see the housing market increase slightly. The UK Producer Price Index came in better than expected but failed to affect the markets. On Tuesday UK CPI increased 0.1% YoY and MoM. These figures saw GBP/EUR strengthen slightly as it shows that the nation is still spending. Even though we are still well above the key 2% level this is not too bad as it is still widely expected, and reiterated by the BOE to come down naturally by mid 2011. The Retail Price Index in the UK was also expected to come out flat both MoM and YoY in the UK. Again speculation didn’t prevail with both figures coming out better than expected with MoM increasing to 0.4% from 0.2%

and YoY coming out at 4.7% from a previous figure of 4.5%. A busy day in the UK on Wednesday saw ILO Unemployment Rate reach the

figure of 7.9% which was worse than previous. UK Claimant Count figure showed no movement at 4.5 % and UK jobless claims came out better than previous MoM for November at 1.2k.

However the major data out from the UK was unemployment rate, this saw unemployment rise up to 35000 within 3 months. The data had a detri-

mental effect on sterling as this saw sterling lose half cent against cable and a whole cent against the Euro. UK had a relatively quiet day on Thursday with Retail Sales coming in less than the previous month and

lower than expectations, this was due to people spending on things like toys, sports goods, watches and jewelry but holding back on household goods. Also Consumer Inflation Expectations, whilst not the actual figure it’s a survey of people on where they feel prices will be in the next 12 months, and this increased by half a percent, the highest in 2 years. Bank of England on Friday reported in the semi-annual financial stability report that the UK financial system may be intensified subject to the European debt crisis and asset bubbles and junk bonds in emerging markets. GBP/USD was gloomy as EUR/USD, trading as low as 1.5452. BoE noted that the banking industry in the past six months has improved, but also simultaneously increases the risk faced. To resist these threats, the Bank of England urged to take similar initiatives in the June report, including: following the phase III Basel capital requirements, charging the new capital additional fee, and arranging long term plan with large scale banks.

Weekly Currencies As of Tuesday 21st December 2010 @ 12.30pm GBP - INR = 70.09 USD - INR = 45.25 EUR - INR = 59.57 GBP - USD = 1.5499 GBP - EUR = 1.1784 EUR - USD = 1.3157 GBP - AED = 5.6889 GBP - CAD = 1.5764 GBP - NZD = 2.0801 GBP - AUD = 1.5564 GBP - ZAR = 10.52 GBP - HUF = 324.82 Information provided by RationalFX. None of the information on this page constitutes, nor should be construed as financial advice. The exchange rates used are the commercial foreign exchange rates provided by RationalFX. For a live quote or to find out more about how RationalFX can help you, call us on 0207 220 8181.


Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010

Dr Haneef gets huge compensation from Oz govt Melbourne: Indian doctor Mohammad Haneef has struck a deal with the Australian government for receiving a "substantial" compensation for his wrongful detention, three years after the traumatic experience which he said had a serious impact on his life and career. Haneef, who was detained after being wrongly accused of having links to the failed Glasglow bombing attempt in 2007, returned to Australia last week to

Dr Mohammad Haneef

settle his compensation claim. The 31-year-old doctor said the settlement would help him re-establish his career and reputation and stated that he would consider returning to the country.

The lawyers of the doctor have refused to divulge details of the compensation which was confidential, but said the amount agreed upon is "substantial". Haneef and his lawyers completed two days of talks with the government in Brisbane on Tuesday, and this will see legal action against former immigration minister Kevin Andrews dropped. "Part of the agreement is that the parties not discuss the details of the set-

tlement," Haneef's lawyer Rod Hodgson told reporters as he left the meeting. "Although I can say that Dr Haneef will receive a substantial compensation," he was quoted as saying. The compensation claim had also sought damages for lost earnings, the interruption to his medical career, damage to his reputation and emotional stress. The claim has been described as unique in Australian legal history by his lawyers.

‘Chaotic’ Fox cancels Sri Lanka visit The judgment of Liam Fox was called into question after he abruptly cancelled a controversial trip to Sri Lanka. The Defence Secretary was due to travel to Colombo as a “private citizen” and deliver a speech this weekend in a personal capacity. His office had insisted the trip was going ahead, despite warnings from the Foreign Office that Sri Lanka, which is under pressure to investigate claims of war crimes, would exploit it for propa-

ganda. Labour had warned that such “freelancing” by Dr Fox was in danger of sending mixed messages after it emerged that the regime in Colombo had trumpeted a previous “private” meeting with the Defence Secretary as a discussion of official government business. Downing Street publicly backed Dr Fox, but officials struggled to explain how a defence secretary could ignore his official role while travelling abroad.

“It’s a private matter. Clearly, he’s also a government minister,” a Downing Street spokesman said. Within hours, the Ministry of Defence announced that Dr Fox would not be travelling on from the Gulf to Sri Lanka as planned. He would visit Sri Lanka next year, but in an official capacity, it said ? an apparent admission that it is impossible for a defence secretary to conduct meetings with a head of state on a personal basis.

Yvette Cooper, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, said: “Chaotic diplomacy like this does no good for the Government’s standing on such a significant issue. It also raises serious questions about the Defence Secretary’s judgment.” The episode will be seen among ministers as another question mark against Dr Fox. Many resented what they regarded as the way he and his allies negotiated this year’s spending review in public.

Nairobi: The prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has named six high-profile Kenyans of being behind the violence that followed the disputed 2007 elections. Some 1,200 people died and more than 500,000 fled homes in the violence. The perpetrators would face justice in Kenya or at the ICC in The Hague. Kenyan MPs have so far blocked moves to set up a local tribunal. President Mwai Kibaki announced the govern-

ment would launch its own investigation - a move his critics have denounced as an attempt to prevent suspects being sent to The Hague. The violence broke out three years ago after Mr Kibaki's supporters were accused of trying to rig the presidential election. It ended when Mr Kibaki and his rival Raila Odinga agreed to share power, with Mr Odinga becoming prime minister. The ICC alleges a criminal plan was put in place

in the Rift Valley for supporters of President Kibaki to be attacked after the election. ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo said that in retaliation, police were given the green light to use excessive force and a vigilante group was organised to attack civilians. He has summoned higher education minister William Ruto (who is suspended amid corruption allegations), radio executive Joshua Arap Sang and Minister for

Industrialisation Henry Kosgey on charges of murder, deportation, persecutions and torture, carried out on behalf of the former opposition.

ICC names 6 suspects in Kenya election violence

Abu Dhabi hotel decked up with a £7m Christmas tree Abu Dhabi: A hotel in Abu Dhabi has been decked up with a Christmas tree worth $ 11 million. Dubbed as one of the 'most expensive Christmas trees ever', the glitzy Emirates Palace hotel has unveiled the 40ft evergreen in its goldleaf bedecked atrium. Decorated with traditional silver and gold bows, baubles and white lights, the tree is also decked out in necklaces, earrings and other jewellery giving it its record value. It holds a total of 181 diamonds, pearls, emeralds, sapphires and other precious stones according to Khalifa Khouri, owner of Style Gallery which provided the jewellery. Hans Olbertz, general manager of the hotel, said: 'The tree itself is about $10,000. The jewellery has a value of over $11million - I think

The £ 7 million Christmas tree at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi

11.4m, 11.5m.' He added that the hotel would apply to the Guinness Book of World Records to find out if its tree is the most expensive ever. Asked if the tree might offend religious sensibilities in the United Arab Emirates, where the vast majority of the population is Muslim, Mr Olbertz said: 'It's a very

liberal country.' The hotel has had Christmas trees up in previous years, but this year “had to do something different” and the hotel's marketing team came up with the idea. It is not the first extravagant offering at the Emirates Palace - a massive, dome-topped hotel surrounded by manicured lawns and fountains. Billed as a seven-star hotel, it introduced a seven-day stay in February costing $1million. Guests who take up the offer have a private butler and a chauffeurdriven Maybach luxury car during their stay, as well as a private jet available for trips to other countries in the region. And in May, the hotel became the first place outside Germany to install a gold vending machine.


Christmas Message of Peace and Joy By Christopher Benjamin In the cave of Bethlehem, an extraordinary event took place that changed the course of history; the birth of the Redeemer. Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, the birthplace of King David. Joseph went there because he was a descendant of David. He went to register with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him. She was pregnant, and while they were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have her baby. She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger. There was no room for them to stay in the inn. There were some shepherds in that part of the country, who were spending the night in the fields, taking care of their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, but the angel told them not to be afraid and sang praises of God. So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and saw the baby lying in the manger. When the

shepherds saw him, they told them what the angel had said about the child. Soon afterward, some men who studied the stars came from the East to Jerusalem and asked,

“Where is the baby born to be the king of the Jews? We saw his star when it came up in the east, and we have come to worship him”. When King Herod heard about this, he was very disturb, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem. So Herod called the visitors from the East to a secret meeting and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem with these instructions: Continued on page 30


Pakistan-Bangladesh-Sri Lanka

Bangla cleric arrested after woman caned to death Dhaka: A Muslim cleric has been arrested in northwest Bangladesh following the death of a woman who was publicly caned as punishment by an Islamic court for an extra-martial affair, police said on Monday. Sufia Begum, 50, was accused of having an affair with her stepson and was sentenced by a religious court in her village in Rajshahi district, the local police chief said. "Village elders tied 10 canes together and beat her legs," police chief Azizul Haq Sarker said. The woman who carried

out the beating for the elders has also been arrested. Begum was whipped 40 times on November 12, local media reported. "She became seriously ill and was hospitalised after the caning, and she died last week," Sarker said, adding that police launched an investigation following a complaint from Begum's brother. In conservative, rural parts of Muslimmajority Bangladesh, rights groups say it is common for women to be publicly whipped for "crimes" like adultery despite a court ban on such religious punishments.

Islamabad: A key ally pulled out of Pakistan Peoples Party-led coalition government last week after prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani sacked one of its ministers from his ministry. Azam Swati of Jamaite-Ulema-e-Islam (JuI) was sacked after he ignored Gilani's directive against targeting his cabinet colleague, Hamid Saeed Kazmi, facing corruption charges, in public. Kazmi was also sacked amid mounting pressure to act against the tainted minister. Kazmi, as the religious affairs ministry, is accused

of renting out shabby accommodation to the Pakistani Haj pilgrims at exorbitant rates and making money out of it. "It's impossible to stay in the coalition. We're saying goodbye to the government," said JuI leader Fazal-ur-Rehman. He said two other JuI members in the government would also resign. The government is unlikely to fall, but raises questions over its stability as its battles the Taliban and a fragile economy. The coalition has 181 members, against the required 172, in the 342-member National Assembly.

Graft tremor rocks Gilani govt

Pak to honour Holbrooke with ‘Hilal-e-Pakistan’ Islamabad: Pakistan will posthumously confer one of its highest civilian honours on late US Special Envoy for Af-Pak region Richard Holbrooke for his "untiring efforts" to strengthen this country's ties with America. Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari said that the 'Hilal-e-Pakistan' would be awarded to Holbrooke, who died recently, for his meritorious services in enhancing the bilateral ties. He made the

announcement during a visit to the US embassy to offer his condolences at the death of Holbrooke. Recording his message in the embassy's condolence book, Zardari wrote: "Pakistanis, like many other around the world, mourn the death of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, a great intellect and force for good, a personal friend of Pakistan, my wife Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and myself."

Lanka govt, Tamil Tigers both committed ‘rights abuses’ Colombo: Secret US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks have revealed that both the Sri Lankan government and the defeated Tamil Tigers had committed human rights abuses, and that the state had secretly carried out paramilitary activities including killings, child trafficking and organised prostitution during the war that ended in 2009. According to the BBC, the cables dating from 2007 suggest that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) used systematic forced conscription during the war to recruit Tamil civilians to its forces. Both the Tamil Tigers and Sri Lanka's government have long faced accusations by human

rights groups of committing abuses during the 26year conflict. The cables also said that the government was supporting extra-judicial behaviour by pro-government Tamil paramilitary, led by men who are now ministers. They further claimed that one paramilitary was believed to be trafficking boys as workers and girls as prostitutes. The BBC quoted one of the ministers allegedly involved in the crime, as saying the allegations were completely false. "We are not involved in trafficking or extortions," he added. The cables have also accused pro-government paramilitary and the Tigers of extorting money or food.

Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010

UN team allowed to visit Lanka to probe war crimes Colombo: Sri Lanka has backtracked and will now allow a United Nations team to visit the country and share evidence gathered during an investigation into whether war crimes were committed during the final phase of the island's bloody civil war, a Cabinet minister said on Saturday. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed a three-member panel last June to look into alleged human rights abuses during the decades-long war. The Sri Lankan government resisted the move, calling it an infringement of

its sovereignty and vowed not to issue visas for the UN team. Human rights groups have repeatedly called for investigations of Sri Lankan troops and the now-defeated Tamil Tiger rebels during the war that ended in May 2009. Sri Lankan troops have been accused of shelling civilian areas and hospitals, and blocking food and medicine for people trapped as the Tamil Tigers mounted their last stand. According to the UN, at least 7,000 civilians were killed in the last five months of fighting. An estimated 80,000-100,000 peo-

ple died during the 26-year conflict. Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa has invited UN investigators to share evidence gathered with his own reconciliation commission, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. "We resisted the panel saying we can't allow a UN investigation unilaterally. But in this case, the president has invited them not to undertake any investigation but to share the evidence," Rambukwella said. Ban praised the move saying he hoped the UN team will "have an accountability process and

make progress as soon as possible," he told a news conference on Friday. Britain's Channel 4 television last month aired video clips apparently showing the killing by government soldiers of Tamil prisoners, including a woman identified as a journalist with a rebel television station, prompting Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International to call for a UN war crimes investigation. The Tamil Tigers have also been accused of child recruitment and killing civilians who tried to flee areas in their control.

Gilani for peaceful resolution of issues with India Signs deals worth $ 20 bn with China during Wen Jiabao’s visit

Islamabad: Pakistan wants “peaceful resolution of all issues with India”, including Kashmir to usher in a new era of peace and prosperity in South Asia, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Saturday. Mr Gilani made the remarks while addressing a luncheon he hosted in honour of the visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. He also said Pakistan would oppose any policy aimed at impeding peace in the region. “We desire a peaceful environment in our region in the interest of our

Wen Jiabao (L) and Yousuf Raza Gilani (R) arrive with Pakistani girls for a tree plantation ceremony at Islamabad

development and to raise the living standards of our people. Consistent with this aspiration, we seek peaceful resolution of all issues with India, includ-

ing the longstanding Jammu and Kashmir dispute,” Mr Gilani said. “Success in this endeavour would usher in a new era of peace and

Top Bangla politician arrested for war crimes Agartala: As Bangladesh celebrates her 39th year of liberation from the Pakistan regime last week, Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, one of the most powerful opposition leaders from Bangladesh Nationalist Party ( BNP), was arrested by Dhaka police for his murderous role at the behest of Pakistan in 1971. Chowdhury has always been viewed as a Pakistani 'agent' in Bangladesh. He is also known to be a strong anti-Indian lobbyist at international arena. Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) chief Mokhlesur Rahman confirmed his arrest. Chowdhury was sent to police remand by Dhaka Metropolitan

court. He was picked up by a strong contingent of RAB and Bangladesh detective personnel from his house at Banani. S Q Chowdhury, a shipping magnet and former MP who topped the list of the war collaborators ('razaakars' in local parlance) of 1971 along with several other Jamaat leaders, had been accused of massacre of several people in Chittagong, his home district. He was also accused of playing a key role behind BDR mutiny last year in Bangladesh as well as botched up Chittagong arms supply attempt for ULFA. On April 13, 1971 Chowdhury allegedly led a Pakistani killer squad to

massacre at least 107 Hindus at Kundeshwari, Jagatmallaparha and Unasatturparha in Chittagong. After Bangladesh's liberation, several surviving members of the massacred families filed cases against him. Satya Ranjan Singha, for example, filed a case on Jan 29, 1972 accusing Salahuddin and his father Fazlul Q Chowdhury of killing Singha's father. Recently International Crimes Tribunal probed into the War Crimes and interviewed several eyewitnesses of April 13 massacre. Based on the Tribunal findings, Dhaka Metropolitan court sent Chowdhary to police remand.

prosperity in South Asia. Similarly, a stable Afghanistan will open up vast opportunities for Pakistan and indeed for the regional countries,” he said. In his remarks, Mr Wen said both countries had marched ahead through thick and thin and stood the test of time. Their relationship has “gone beyond bilateral ties and moved into the strategic sphere,” he said. Meanwhile, China and Pakistan signed around 20-billion-dollar worth of deals to boost trade and investment.

25 killed in Bangladesh factory fire Dhaka: A devastating blaze raced through a multistory garment factory near Bangladesh's capital last week, killing as many as 25 people and injuring more than 100, witnesses and news reports said. Fire official Golam Mostafa said the fire started in a 10-story factory owned by local business giant Hameem Group in the Ashulia industrial zone, just outside Dhaka. It was not immediately known what caused the blaze. Local journalist Rafiqul Islam said that he saw at least 25 bodies being loaded onto ambulances.

New twist to Mumbai attack trial in Pak Rawalpindi: The trial of seven Pakistani suspects charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks took an unexpected turn on Saturday when prosecutors alleged one of the defence lawyers possessed a fake degree and should be barred from appearing in court. As Judge Rana Nisar Ahmed of the Rawalpindibased anti-terrorism court began proceedings, the prosecution team produced an FIR filed against

defence lawyer Shahbaz Rajput by officials of the Rawalpindi Bar Association that alleged he possessed a fake law degree. The prosecutors demanded that Mr Rajput be barred from appearing in the court. The prosecution also produced the president of the Rawalpindi Bar Association in court to support their argument. Mr Rajput contested the prosecution’s claim during the in-camera pro-

ceedings and produced documents saying that his degree had been verified by the Rawalpindi Bar Council, sources said. The judge subsequently adjourned the case till January 8. Mr Rajput said the FIR had been filed against him on December 1 by the president and general secretary of the Rawalpindi Bar Association in a bid to “pressurise” him to stop acting as counsel for the suspects accused of

involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. “This is a malicious, illegal and mala fide step to pressurise me. The prosecution wants to remove me from this case but I will continue defending my client because it is my right to do so,” he said. Mr Rajput contended that it was the responsibility of the Rawalpindi Bar Council, and not the Rawalpindi Bar Association, to verify the authenticity of law degrees possessed by lawyers.

Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010



Manmohan says nothing to hide, willing to appear before PAC Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh attempted to take the battle to the opposition camp as he offered to face scrutiny of the Public Accounts Committee of the parliament on Monday. Addressing the Congress plenary in New Delhi, he declared that he has nothing to hide in the 2G scam, referring to the BJP charge of the party and the government trying to shield the PM from facing a JPC questioning. But the opposition, particularly BJP and the

CPI (M) said nobody, including the PM has the right to choose a forum they are prepared to face. They repeated that the scope of a PAC scrutiny remains limited and they would not relent on the demand for JPC. Both the parties also emphasised a point that they had never questioned the personal integrity of the Prime Minister. They also said Congress wants to shy away from a full parliamentary probe as the role of lobbyists in deciding cabinet berths for par-

ticular persons and even the respective ministries has been exposed. Congress leaders were quick to welcome the Prime Minister’s offer, stating that it was “extremely well-timed” as he had not only “seized the high moral ground” but would also dent the Opposition’s campaign against the UPA government. Describing it as a “masterstroke”, AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh told mediapersons later that it was nothing short of a “brave gesture”.

Shree Shyamji Krishna Varma Memorial: A replica of London’s India House in Kutch Dilip D. Trivedi A sprawling 5,217 sq. meters memorial, a tribute to one of India’s leading freedom fighters was recently inaugurated by Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi at Mandvi in Kutch district, the native place of Shyamji Krishna Varma. A visionary in governance and catching the pulse of the people, Modi was behind the setting up of the Kranti Teerth (A pilgrimage of revolution). He thus wanted to recreate the India House, the North London place from where the freedom fighter started his patriotic campaign of seeking India’s freedom. In its own way, it is as exotic a sight as an elaborate Indian temple might be, were it to spring up in the suburbs of North London. This is how a correspondent of a UK daily commented while reporting the event. A full-scale replica of 65 Cromwell Avenue, a red-brick Victorian mansion in Highgate, Shree Shyamji Krishna Varma Memorial was conceptualised and designed by an

Ahmedabad based architect, Hiren Gandhi. In a chat with Asian Voice, Hirenbhai said Gujarat Government held a design competition for the project. Two projects were shortlisted and later they made a presentation before the chief minister. His design was finally selected and the project was completed in about 18 months. He said the central part of his concept was bringing up a World class tourist attraction, which would be able to attract visitors from all corners of the globe. Keeping this in view, the memorial is designed in such a way that even children, elderly people or handicapped people visiting the place would feel comfortable with specific facilities for

them. In response to another query, Hirenbhai said a Gandhi Memorial on the beach in Porbandar, the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi is another of his creations. The Gandhi Memorial though is yet to be inaugurated. In 1905, Varma, the lawyer, who was educated at Oxford, founded India House in Highgate (not to be confused with the Indian High Commission in London, which shares the same name) as a hostel for Indian students. He also hoped that it would become an incubator for freedom fighters. It became a hub for anticolonial activism and revolutionary conspiracy. Mahatma Gandhi visited the place in 1906. The Mandvi memorial is though not an exact replica of the India House in London, the external design is completely similar. The architect and the visionaries behind the project hope that a view of the memorial will transport visitors back in time.

Journalist Samanth Subramanian’s debut novel wins prize Journalist-turned-novelist Samanth Subramanian's debut book "Following Fish", which explores food and cultures associated with fish along the country's coastline, has won the 2010 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize. Subramanian, currently a deputy editor at The Mint, a New Delhi-based business newspaper, has an undergraduate degree from the Penn State University and a masters degree from Columbia University in international relations. "Following Fish" is a fascinating exploration of one of the world's oldest aqua species and the lores, gastronomy and cultures associated with the humble fish along the country's extensive coastline - from

Bengal to Kerala to Goa. The prize has been instituted in the memory of Shakti Bhatt, daughter of Sheela Bhatt, editorial director of Shakti Bhatt, a publisher and writer, was the wife of well-known poet Jeet Thayil. She died in 2007 in her mid-twenties after a sudden illness. The prize carries a purse of Rs.100,000 and a citation. It is awarded to a debut work of fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction (travel writing, autobiography, biography and narrative journalism) and drama. Writers from the sub-continent are eligible for the prize, but their books have to be published in India. The medium of language has to be English or translated in English

from a regional language. The three-member panel of judges comprising playwright Mahesh Dattani, writer and surgeon Kalpana Swaminathan and novelist Ruchir Joshi selected Subramaniam's book from a short-list of five books. The judges described the book as a "delightful read, adventurous and unabashedly fun". They said the writer's "instinct for the apt word, telling phrases, colourful personalities and the comic element" kept the narrative taut. "The fish has such a unique place in Bengali society. It is reflective of the Bengali obsession that they like to do certain things in a certain way," Subramanian told IANS.

In divine light By Rajen Vakil

Formation of an Astral Body from our Emotional Energy Have we ever pondered as to what is it that makes us happy? If we were to do so, we would see that our happiness is always dependent upon something. If I were to get the job I aspire for, I am happy; if I get a new toy, I may be happy; there are various instances such as if I were to marry the right girl, or if my son got good grades, or being able to lead a more comfortable life, or maybe meeting the right guru, or making adequate (or more) money, or people treating us well. Something has to happen to make us happy; some requirement has to be met. Is it possible for us to free our happiness from any outer conditions? We react to these outer circumstances, for instance if our friends do not treat us well or if we lose money, we easily go into a depressed state. This is what happens to us when life does not move in the direction we want it to. Sadhana is the practice we undertake to find happiness when everything is going against us. How does this happen? In what direction do we need to make an effort? When we are born, we are given an emotional centre and a great deal of emotional energy. This emotional energy vibrates at a low rate of vibration and because of this it is easily attracted, hypnotised and thus gets attached to people, situations, or things. It easily likes or dislikes and we cannot hold this energy in an impartial state where it is free from liking or disliking. This is called as purification or tapa. As we practice being free of liking and disliking, we create something within us which is not a victim of circumstances or events that govern our life. It is as if within our body, we have created a separate second body which cannot be swayed by the events in life. The outer body may be anywhere in any situation – in comfort or discomfort, with money or without, hungry or satiated, but this inner body of ours is never influenced. Something within us is free of the constantly ever-changing kaleidoscope of life. In our current situation, our emotional substance keeps getting attached to what we like and repulsed by what we dislike. This is the state of mamta or attachment.

We have seen last week that Mamta was the wife of the rishi Uttathaya. Brihaspati had gone to Mamta to satisfy his passion. The word Brihaspati comes from ‘brihat’ or expanding, meaning to expand ones consciousness. The expanding consciousness frees us from mamta or attachment. She is already with a child in her womb and expresses that there was no room for another. As she is mamta, all her emotional material is stuck in attachment and thus there is no way the second body or the astral body can be formed from the emotional body. For an astral body to be formed, all the emotional substance stuck in attachment must first be freed. The emotional body is made from planetary substances and hence the planets rule the emotional being. If we are able to detach from emotions, then an astral body can be formed, which is free from the ruling of the planets. Brihaspati is the guru of the gods and we see here that however much the guru tries, if the disciple is sunk in attachment then there is nothing the guru can do, be it even the guru of the gods. Here, the space in the womb is occupied and when Brihaspati releases his sperm, the child blocks it with his leg and it falls to the ground. Despite all the efforts of the guru, the disciple loses the moment of transformation. Here, Brihaspati curses him to a long spell of darkness. My teacher said that there is a point in time which if the disciple misses, he has to go through a long cycle of waiting. Here, the sperm represents the seed which the guru wanted to sow in the mind of the disciple; this fell to the ground meaning that the idea could not be sowed into the disciple’s mind. The boy is named Dirghatama, or long darkness. This does not mean that he is physically blind as the story literally suggests but he is sunk in the mire of attachment. We saw that he had learnt the art of sex with the light body – the sublimation of the sex energy into light and freeing the unconscious mind of sup-

pressed desires and thus, becoming free from the darkness or bringing light into the unconscious mind. Even though the disciple misses the first opportunity, through his own effort, he is able to finally bring about the transformation the guru wanted. He becomes a rishi well-versed in the Vedas. Dirghatama married Pradvesi; Pradvesi means towards envy. This implies that before he brought about the transformation within himself, he married envy. Envy is a jail which binds us, rules our thinking, and is very difficult to be free from. His wife and children binding him and throwing him into the waters of the Ganga is symbolic of this. The river represents the flow of time and he passes through many lands before he is saved by King Bali. This shows that even though he brought about the transformation, it takes a lot of time and work to be free from the bondage of envy. The king’s name, Bali, means to sacrifice implying that freedom comes through sacrifice. Now that Dirghatama has formed the second body, he is capable of sharing his enlightenment with others. The king asks him to impregnate Sudeshna, his wife. Sudeshna means a favourable gift. We see that initially she is repulsed and sends her maid to him but Dirghatama is able to share his enlightenment with the maid and the king mistakes the maid’s children for his own. The King again sends his wife to Dirghatama and this time, she bears five children, who have the ancient historic names of the ‘khandas’ or parts of the great country called Bharata. Here, we see that by the transformation of his emotional energy, the disciple is able to form a totally different body within the physical body. This body is free from the laws which govern the physical body and this body does not die with the death of the physical body. This gives the disciple continuity between death and after. (Edited by Chintu Gandhi)

All past articles on the Mahabharata can be accessed from or from



Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010

They are ready to face the world. Now they know they have a chance! On 22nd of October, a dream came true for 220 children in Vrindavan, as the third Sandipani Muni Schools opened its doors to provide education for the poorest of poor children. Many of the first students into the new school are those who have been studying hard in makeshift classrooms for the last one year. They have patiently waited for their new school building to be built so they can begin the long task of changing their lives and finding their way out of poverty. The organisation, Food for Life Vrindavan (FFLV), which runs all three schools, began as a Khichdi distribution kitchen in 1990. After running food distribution service for many years, Rupa Raghunath, FFLV’s Director, realised that whilst feeding the children was essential to their survival, there was also a need to nourish their minds so that eventually, they would be able to take ownership of their own futures. As a result, learning sessions were set up to take place right after the

food distribution. The only qualification for attending these lessons was simply a commitment to be there and a desire to learn. The take up was vast and soon there were too many children to fit into a single room, such was their commitment and desire to change their lives. Now, fifteen years and two schools later, the need is still as great as ever – as is the students’ and teachers’ commitment and motivation to attend daily classes. This third Sandipani Muni school, in Kikinagla Village, was built from donations received at the Asian Voice and Gujarat

Israel irked at Nazi–RSS comparison by Congress Continued from page 1 Holocaust in which six million Jews were massacred solely because they were Jews,” the statement said. Digvijay’s remarks at the Congress plenary on Sunday appeared to lend support to Rahul Gandhi’s reported remarks - months back to the US Ambassador Timothy Roemer - that Hindutva terror was more dangerous for the country than the one unleashed by Islamist outfits. The

Congress made some amends for that: the political resolution said terrorism had to be dealt effectively, whatever source it came from. But the document lashed at the RSS and other Hindutva organisations - and Singh singled them out in his remarks. Digvijay Singh said, “In the 1930s, Hitler's Nazi party attacked the Jews. Similarly, the RSS ideology wants to capture power by targeting Muslims under the garb of furthering nationalism”.

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Samachar Asian Achievers Awards in December 2008. The £150,000 that were raised that night made a huge contribution towards this new school which, at full capacity, will help to educate over 1500 students. Our thanks especially go to CB Patel and the Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar team for making this happen. Phase two of the project, which involves building the high school section has already begun so that eventually students will be able to attend from the ages of one and eighteen. On October 10th 2009, Asian Voice and Gujarat Continued from page 1 They were taken into custody after more than 150 officers from four forces swooped on homes in London, Stoke-onTrent, Birmingham and Cardiff at 5am. Senior security sources described the arrests as ‘hugely significant’. The men – some of Bangladeshi origin – had been the subject of a multi-million pound surveillance operation for several months. They were arrested days after antiterror chiefs consulted Home Secretary Theresa May about the threat they allegedly posed to national security. It is understood there was evidence the suspected plot was moving into ‘a more advanced stage of planning’. Police, who for weeks have been on a heightened state of alert about a possible terrorist atrocity in the UK, decided it was necessary to take decisive action. Sources said the operation was not linked to the recent failed Stockholm suicide bombing or the Al Qaeda print-

Samachar organised a fundraising at the Kadwa Patidar Hall in Harrow. It was attended by Bollywood heartthrob Vivek Oberoi, the then Foreign Aid Minister Gareth Thomas, and the the Mayor of Harrow, Eric Silver. With a little help from Vivek and East Enders’ star, Nitin Ganatra, Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar were able to persuade London’s Gujarati community to donate approximately

£200,000 for the construction of this new school complex outside of Vrindavan. The opening of the new school in Vrindavan was also conducted by Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi who has been a long term supporter of FFLV. Despite his wedding being imminent, Vivek Oberoi kept his promise to the school community to be by their side on this very special day. His presence also brought irre-

pressible joy to the many fans who gathered to catch a glimpse of their idol. The opening ceremony was followed by a cultural performance put on by the school children. Themselves who performed Odissi and local folk dances, and to commemorate Sharad Purnima and danced the Rasa Lila in local style. Please contact: or visit for more details.

Anti-terror squad arrest 12 men

er bomb plot, which originated in Yemen. Nor is the alleged plot thought to have been modelled on the Mumbai commando-style atrocity, which anti-terror chiefs have had particular concerns about in recent months. Instead senior officers believe the terror cell was planning to use conventional bombs or explosives in attacks on crowded places. In recent weeks, security has been stepped up at shopping centres such as Westfield in West London, Bluewater in Kent and Trafford in Greater Manchester. Al Qaeda has a history of targeting landmark dates. Last year, there was an attempted Christmas Day attack on a plane travelling to Detroit. Monday's operation was led by West Midlands Police, supported by Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command, South Wales Police and Staffordshire Police. Metropolitan Police

Assistant Commissioner John Yates, Britain’s top anti-terror officer, said: ‘This is a large-scale, preplanned and intelligenceled operation. At least five addresses were raided in Stoke-onTrent. Three terraced houses, including two neighbouring properties, were searched in Grove Street, Cobridge, near the city centre. Police said four men, one 19, one 25 and two 26, were being questioned. One was arrested at a friend’s house in Birmingham. The five men held in Cardiff were all of Bangladeshi origin and community leaders were informed of the arrests. Police arrested three suspects at a large Victorian house in a quiet suburban street in the Riverside area and two at their homes in the Ely area. They were aged between 23 and 28. In London, police arrested three men aged between 17 and 28 at their homes in the centre of the capital. A fourth home was also being searched.

All 12 suspects, two of whom are thought to have worked for the Post Office, were detained by unarmed officers, with gun-carrying colleagues on standby, on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism in Britain. Phones and computers were taken away for examination and a Mercedes estate car was seized in the Riverside swoop. The suspects’ immigration status was being investigated. Inquiries were also under way to establish whether any bomb-making equipment or explosives had been stored at other locations. Staff at nightclubs and main retailers in Cardiff have been on alert for days after warnings of a possible terrorist attack in the run-up to Christmas. The UK’s terror threat rating remains at ‘severe’, the second highest rating, meaning a terrorist attack is highly likely. Mrs May said the UK faces ‘a real and serious threat from terrorism’.



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Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010

Be a Fashionista, Be You! If you have any questions or a story or a new style to share with us, please write to Rupanjana at

Bring it on 2011

- Rupanjana Dutta

Gone are the days when fashion was about looking feminine and dainty for women. With the 60s and 70s trends making a major come back, there is plenty of room for those who like hippie culture over just taut skirts or stiff heels. Biker clothing A few years back the military prints had taken over but hardly became a standard. Interestingly skinny jeans has become very popular and inspired many other popular trends like jeggings. 2011 celebrates the motor cycle chic

stockings. And last but not least, motorcycle boots round out the key elements of the biker fashion trend. Biker boots, having been in fashion for some time now, won't be hard to come by. You could consider that a plus, but don't rest on your laurels: mass marketing of biker boots means that a lot of very average styles are going to be seen on the streets already, so in order to get motorcycle boots right in 2011 look for a statement pair; something that exudes quality and style.

Punk style

trend. Obviously a motorcycle trend cannot be possible without a motorcycle jacket. Turned off? Don't be. Even channel has something that matches to the bauble motorcycle jacket. You can obviously swing it on yourself, assimilate it with a colourful retro belt and add a swanky clutch to it. Or may be wear a frilly mushroom dress and add an asymmetrical coloured motorcycle jacket on it. Wear pearls and metals. The motor cycle jackets have various types. Some are zipped, some are quilted, some have jeans pattern, some are in trench shape. Buy that flaunts your figure, not hides it or adds weight on it. Now obviously a leather motorcycle jacket will not look retro enough if its worn over jeans. So you as a fashionista, can wear a leather pants, add a chain to the torso, giving it a catwalk flavour. But then you may not look attractive enough or even be slinky enough. In that case, wear a skirt, assemble it with some thick woollen

The kitten heels

There is of course a danger in wearing studs that over the jackets may just hurt others accidentally. But such outfits are very easy to be worn in an over-thetop way. To that if Combat boots or biker boots are added, they can punk up an outfit - particularly when paired with skinny jeans or skinny leather pants. More than just a handy gem for getting you out of a fashion disaster, the safety pin is iconic to punk. That doesn't mean you need to wear one as a nose piercing; but do look at safety pins and indeed kilt pins as an accessory that can work in dozens of different ways. Think brooches and other bits of makeshift jewellery, or to haphazardly pin scarves, cardigans or other bits of clothing.

Sheer Maxi and lace Wearing a sheer dress whatever be the length is not a joke. But then the maxi skirts and dresses in fashion now and if you can carry off one with high heels and a nice cloak, nothing like it! Obviously the other popular design or fabric in vogue is lace. Wear something like laces or even crochet, but these weaves often tend to intrigue into the other aspects of your dressing. So make sure you do not add heavy fabric to such designs.

The 60s look Its the era of granny skirts. But the name should not put you on panic. Longer, usually gathered or pleated, often with a ruffled hem, the granny skirt is as it sounds:

a young take on grandma dressing. It falls rather than puffs out too much and is more understated - think sixties office girl. The key to pulling off this look today is to either make it completely effortless, or surprisingly sexy. Avoid looking dowdy by pairing with a fitted top; or make it a little more trendy with a sheer blouse. For an authentic look pair with flats or dainty kitten heels. To modernise, stick with a pair of high heels. Sweeten it up with a pair of little bobby socks under shoes a la Marc Jacobs. Now this should challenge your taste. You must not think you look offbeat while the fashion suggests something else. A straight cut sheath or pencil skirt is the ultimate in creating a 1960s hourglass shape - not only cinching in the waist, but clinging to the hips as well. The peg-top skirt is another alternative - full at the waist with small darts or pleats, and tapering narrowly to the hem.

70s look Add bold red lipstick for a bombshell look or soft pink for a vintage belle or add a wide, waist-cinching belt; a leather clutch in candy-store pastels; gloves; a classic headscarf. If you want to modernise your look try the same silhouettes but with a shorter hemline, such as above the knee or shorter. Add a pair of knee high socks that can just be seen below the hemline. Look for pieces in fabrics like leather or sheer tulle for an edgy update on the look. Pair a full '60s skirt or sheath skirt with a cropped top, exposing a little midriff. Wear with one of the more modern 2010 hair trends like a messy topknot or effortless side braid.

The 70s look We all like that vintage flavour in our wardrobe. And we want

to pick up the sleekest, sexiest and most stylish. In recent years we have worn the best of the 20s and 30s, seen the rebirth and fading of an 80s come back, and we are just about to do it all over again. But this time, its the 1970s that are due for a reinterpretation. While '70s fashion is making waves and sure to continue on as a fashion trend in 2011, let's not forget that there are several variants. It's in the addition of that floppy felt hat, those exotic jewels, that super-high pair of platforms. Look for: High waisted wide-leg pants or flares, smartly belted in. Neat bow-blouses, especially ones with billowing or bishop sleeves. Particularly great are fabrics like silk and satin. Roll neck sweaters tucked into pants or skirts. Add to the '70s effect by layering over beaded necklaces or a vest. For those more daring, a pair of hot pants are the ultimate '70s item. A smart printed jumpsuit is another great alternative. By night the '70s sophisticate turns into the ultimate socialite, with look-at-me shimmering fabrics and cuts that either tightly hug or sensually drape over the body. Choose high sheen fabrics with a '70s disco-inspired edge, like lurex or silk; anything with a metallic thread. Add a ruffled neckline under a brocade blazer or tuxedo jacket, paired with a sharp pair of pants. Long, slinky gowns with draping, low necklines or dress slits are the ultimate in '70s night time glamour. Remember the right handbag completes the look. Try for smart, high quality bags like a leather satchel for day, and a small bag with a long strap for night. Big, statement leather belts slung over mini skirts or maxi dresses add impact and fair to a seventies-inspired outfit. A pair of on-trend thigh

Sheer Maxi dress high boots are probably already be in your wardrobe by now pair them with hot pants or a skirt for a decidedly sophisticated '70s look. Wear lots of jewellery - but keep it a little cleaner than a boho look. Try lots of rings with bold stones, neat piles of bangles, and long pendant necklaces and strings of beads. Look to complimentary hairstyles like a sleek longer bob, masses of bouncy curls, or long, flowing hair.

Sheer and shimmering Indian evening look Another must have is cat eye glasses and sunglasses. Some designers featured them prominently in Fall - Prada, notably - and since then a plethora of alternatives have surfaced. But make sure it goes with your face cut. Else aviator always does the magic! In the shoes you have clogs and kitten heels. Clogs are a little too chunky for my taste, bur I just love kitten heels with that ankle high socks.

Fashion 2011 for male will be printed in our new year edition



Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010

This week in CB Live different organisers of charities will be discussing about disabled, handicapped and mentally challenged people. Jaina Anupam N Parmar charitable trust trustees Manuram and Nick Parmar, and Puroshottambhai Majithia from Devon Charitable Trust (UK) will be talking about their charitable works in different parts of India.

Sneh Joshi - 020 8518 5500

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Only on CB Live - MATV Sky 793 - Thursday 7:00pm to 8:00pm Christmas Message of Peace and Joy Continued from page 25 “Go and make a careful search for the child; and when you find him, let me know, so that I too may go and worship him”. And so they left, and on their way they saw the same star they had seen in the East. When they saw it, how happy they were, what joy was theirs! They brought out their gifts of, gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and presented

them to him. Then they returned to their country by another road, since God had warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod. May this Christmas truly be for all people a day of joy, hope and peace! May the Lord, who has made his merciful face to shine in Christ, fill us with his joy and make us messengers of his Peace and Goodness. (Abridged version)

Failed Asylum seeker can still seek solace in the UK M o h a m m e d Ibrahim, 33 pictured, an Iraqi Kurd left a 12-yearold girl dying under the wheels of his car in 2003. Paul Houston, father of Amy Houston who lost her life has been pleading the court to end his seven years of hell by deporting the failed asylum seeker back to Iraq. However the court heard, deporting Mohammed Ibrahim, father of a child in the UK will be violation of his

human rights and hence he has been allowed to stay back. Mohammed was already serving a nine month ban from driving when the accident happened for not having a license or an insurance. He absconded after the accident but later handed himself to the police. Ibrahim was jailed for four months after admitting driving while disqualified and failing to stop after an accident.

This is going to be a very captivating and exciting time for Aries natives. At last you can relax and enjoy the Success and the results of the hard work you had been doing for a long time. You are learning new ways of maintaining harmony in your individuality at work and around friends and family.

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20

Coming Events l Lions Club of Kingsbury organise Mehfil, 24th Dec at RNB Hall Stag Lane, Kingsbury NW9 9AA. Contact: Dinesh Shonchhatra: 020 8424 8686 l Dance the night away: New year's Eve party. Premier House banqueting. 1 Canning Road, Harrow Wealdstone Middlesex HA3 7TS. Email: l International Pushtimargiya vaishnav Parishad (UK) London presents Shree Vithalnathji's Ustava. Sunday 2/1/2011, 2-6pm at Brent Indian Association, 116 Ealing Road, Wembley, Middlesex, HA0 4TH. Contact: 0208 903 3019 l Saturday 25thDecember 19:00 onwards : Xmas Eve- tribute to Mohd. Rafi @ The Millenium Suite, RM5 28H l Friday 31stDecember 20:00 onwards : Bollywood New Years Eve @ The Millenium Suite, RM5 28H. Contact: 0208 924 4000 l Swinging into 2011 in style. GP Promotions presents New Year's Eve Dinner and Dance with Pardesi Entertainment Group's Bollywood Fusion. Friday 31st December 8pm till early hours. Cavendish banqueting Suite, London NW9 5AE. Contact: G P Desai 020 8452 5590 l Lions club presents 105A's 7th Annual Bowls/Quiz- 12th February 2011, Stoke Mandeville Stadium, 7pm. Contact: 01525 636 145 l Charity event by Lions Club Moor on 2nd and 3rd April, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and Rahul Sharma concert. Contact: Himanshu Bavaria- 020 8839 0092

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Strengthen close ties of affection, sort out emotional differences and proffer the olive branch to your loved one. You often sabotage your emotional interests by keeping too much inside. However, your inner pressure builds up and manifests as irrational moods that others find hard to understand. It's time when experi-

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 ence will enable you to

enrich your inner mind and personality. You are moving into a new phase of life which will bring wider scope for developing your unique qualities and talents. You are likely to move around more than usual. Life will become very lively and there will be a lot of social interactions. This week seems to be jam-packed with activity. The powerful Venus in your solar 5th house and Mars factor not only encourages amorous attachment but will bring luck and recognition to those involved in artistic endeavours and entertainments - this is a great time of opportunity.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

Don't get over- anxious if you feel that you're being kept in the dark. You will probably find that worries have been unfounded. Although you may be faced with a difficult decision concerning your career or employment, this is not the time to hide. Don't waste time if you can improve matters.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

You can expect a lively and varied time ahead. Communications will be free and easy, making this an excellent time to deal with important matters. Also, you'll find that people you meet, perhaps especially newcomers, will be a stimulating influence and may encourage you to dabble in new interests.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

Your inborn drive to push ahead receives an added impetus during this week. Your energy levels will be high and you will find much scope for taking fresh initiatives and getting fast results - something that always makes you feel good. Your communications are well lit up but do not upset people around you.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

You can expect a sustained and quite hectic flow of visitors to contribute greatly to a very buoyant atmosphere. If you are ambitious, this promises to be an important time in your life. You are likely to get the lucky breaks and reach a wider audience no matter what your aims.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

Your urge towards greater freedom and independence is very strongly accentuated. In intimate affairs, the prospect appears entirely favourable. In work matters you can expect a progressive phase. Efforts to bring about desirable changes in your working life are more likely to be positive.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

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The prevailing cosmic pattern packs a powerful punch early this week. Having such potent energies, make you feel positive and confident in whatever you do. This is not the time to hold back or underestimate your potential if you wish to further an important aim. Some of you will try to get away from the routine chores.

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

You will be pleased to see that your social life livens up during this week. It is as if a lucky twist of events and something unexpected that will provide you with a key to your heart's desire. There is a definite expansive trend where money is concerned, so do not be surprised if this turns out be a time of and lucky breaks. The opening up of a more diverse social life is a point in favour of romantic attachments. The need to push ahead with personal interests and to assert yourself will take precedence over everything else for some time to come. The general pattern of things continues on a progressive and buoyant theme.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20

SpoRt worLd

Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010


Can Indians score a goal on Football’s biggest platform? Kartik.S.Raval Right from the day the deal of new ownership was struck for the English Football Club Blackburn Rovers, the club and administration has been surrounded with a lot of speculations. Especially after the new owners, Venkatesh Rao and Balaji Rao astonishingly sacked the Club's manager Sam Allardyce who had been accredited of bringing the club through the tough times, everyone at the club seemed to be starstruck. The Venky's Group justified their decision of sacking the manager as part of their wider and bigger plans for the club. While the hunt goes on for the right coach to lead the club into the top four or five, the present first-team coach Steve Kean will fill the managerial duties. Big

names like Diego Maradonna have been linked with possible selection as the coach for Blackburn Rovers over the weeks. However, co-owner Anuradha Desai has told the fans that the club is in 'safe hands' and they are not going to rush in the selection of new manager as he will have a huge role to play in their plans of taking the club in the topflight. On the other hand skipper Ryan Nelsen, players and the fans are pleading for some clues on what is happening. The team has no problems with the new owner's claim that they are going to run the club in their way but has asked them to create a sense of communication between the board and the players as they are the one's feeling the heat and

Blackburn Rovers' new owners Balaji Rao (right) and Venkatesh Rao (left) of Venky's Ltd greet the fans prior to kick off

sense instability which is affecting their performance on the field. This is the very first time in history that an English Club has gone under Indian ownership. Though India has not made its impact in this sport, their managerial skills can be doubted by none and they will be banking on this very skill

to appoint the right people to do the right job for their football club. Blackburn Rovers sit on the 10th position with about half of the league matches under the belt. The new owners have been criticized by many leading football managers for their decision making but it seems they are in mood of taking no suggestions and plan to

BCCI ceasefire on RR, KXIP IPL franchise issue IPL players' auctions to be held in Bangalore Informed sources have indicated that having suffered reverses repeatedly at the Mumbai High Court in their case of termination of Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab franchises in the Indian Premier Leauge (IPL), the

BCCI seems to have finally reconciled to the fact that the two teams will play in the IPL season IV. Earlier, there were indications that BCCI was likely to move the supreme court against the decision of the Mumbai High Court

Beckham honoured with BBC Lifetime Achievement award Ace midfielder and former England football captain David Beckham was honoured with the BBC Sports Personality Lifetime Achievement award. He received the award at the show on Sunday. Beckham, 35 is England’s most capped midfielder. He has won six Premier League titles and the Champions League crown with Manchester United. He was also honoured with the ‘BBC Sports Personality of the Year’ in 2001. Beckham's career

David Beckham

began in September 1996 against Moldova with his latest, and 115th, cap coming against Belarus in October 2009. He led the England team in 59 games in those 16 years.

of granting stay to the two terminated franchises. This reported decision will now facilitate to move ahead with the players auction that is necessary and the same is likely to be held on January 8 and 9 at Bangalore. This is the sec-

ond time in four years that the T20 franchise-based League's players' auction is being held outside Mumbai where the inaugural one took place in 2008. Goa was the venue of the second players' auction in February 2009.

Sania Mirza back to winning ways in Dubai the title clash as Indian tennis star Sania won the final Sania Mirza, now with a score line of married to 4-6, 6-3, 6-0. Pakistan cricketer "It feels great to Shoaib Malik is finish the year on a back to her winhigh after a difficult ning ways in the first six months tennis court after when my wrist a long spell of injury kept me poor show. Sania Mirza wondering if I Last week end, would ever get back to playshe won the Al Habtoor ing professionally again," Tennis Challenge title in Sania said. "I had lost twice Dubai, beating 81st ranked to Bojana this season, but I Bojana Jovanovski of was happy to turn the Serbia. She was out of the tables on her this time. It game for last six months feels good to beat a player due to a wrist injury and who has had her best year and slid to a poor 164th on the Tour this season." rank. Her Serbian rival lost

SA decimate India at Centurion India’s weakness on pacy, bouncy pitches exposed At the Super Sports Park in Centurion on Monday, even the weather did not come to help India. In fact, after having lost skipper Dhoni late on Sunday evening, India had little chances of salvaging the match. For one more time, Sachin Tendulkar’s century ended on the wrong side as far as the team’s fortunes concerned, as India lost the first test match within a few minutes of the start of the day’s play on the fifth and the final day. Sachin though ended his long wait. He scored his 50th century in test matches, a feat no batsman in the game has achieved till day. Experts and fellow cricketers from

Steyn and Smith celebrate the final Indian wicket

all over the world say it would be very difficult, perhaps not possible for anybody to go past Tendulkar’s record.

The only interest left in the game in the final day’s play was whether India would be able to avoid an innings defeat, and that

hopes were also dashed, as Sreesanth and Jaidev Unadkat, the debutant were no match for the fury of the South African pace trio of Morkel, Steyn and de Villiers. India did fight back in the second innings after they were bundled out cheaply in the first innings, as they scored more than 400 runs, but it was still not enough. South Africa have finally gone 1-0 up in the series. {Brief scores: SA 620 for 4 dec (Kallis 201*, Amla 140, de Villiers 129) beat India 136 (Morkel 5-20, Steyn 3-34) and 459 (Tendulkar 111*, Dhoni 90, Gambhir 80, Steyn 4-105) by an innings and 25 runs}.

run the club in their own way. If at all they do succeed in making an impact in the premier league, it will be a big victory for the Indian owners as they are the proprietors to enter this sport in the UK. The ownership has also opened a door to opportunities for India to develop in football and the club owners have also highlighted that in the coming time at the club there is possibilities of seeing Indian faces. This will be a massive breakthrough as no Indian has ever made an impact on the big footballing platform. Whatever the Venky's plan to do, the fans are desperate for something to be happy about and want to see some positive results. With English premier league soon to reach the halfway mark and

transfer window set to open in the next 10 days, the opportunity is ripe for the new owner's to make the changes they want and give a new look to the club they are aiming for. However, these changes will come with a big cost as transfers during January are not only tight but proves to be expensive as no club want to release players half way in the league and hence the money spending capacity of the Indian poultry and pharmaceutical giants is soon to be tested. But one thing is for sure, Venky's are making the Blackburn Rover walk on a thin wire and with the previously trusted manager sacked, they need to produce something big to justify their actions or else the new business venture for Venkatesh and Balaji Rao can face the fire.

Sachin back in ODI team For their last limited overs engagement, India have named a full strength team. For the ODIs and the T20 series against South Africa, India has included Sachin Tendulkar, while spinner Piyush Chawla is a surprise inclusion. Yusuf Pathan got his reward for the sparkling form that he displayed against the Kiwis at home, as he

makes it to the team, while Ravindra Jadeja is out. The team: MS Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, R Ashwin, Yusuf Pathan, Piyush Chawla, S Sreesanth.

EPL Matches for 2 weeks

Sunday, 26 December Fulham v/s West Ham Craven Cottage Blackburn v/s Stoke Ewood Park Blackpool v/s Liverpool Bloomfield Road Bolton v/s West Brom Reebok Stadium Everton v/s Birmingham Goodison Park Man Utd v/s Sunderland Old Trafford Newcastle v/s Man City St. James’ Park Wolverhampton v/s Wigan Molineux Aston Villa v/s Tottenham Villa Park Monday, 27 December Arsenal v/s Chelsea Emirates Stadium Tuesday, 28 December Man City v/s Aston Villa City of Mcr. Stadium Stoke v/s Fulham Britannia Stadium Sunderland v/s Blackpool Stadium of Light Tottenham v/s Newcastle White Hart Lane West Brom v/s Blackburn The Hawthorns West Ham v/s Everton Boleyn Ground Birmingham v/s Man Utd St. Andrews Ground Wednesday, 29 December Chelsea v/s Bolton Stamford Bridge Wigan v/s Arsenal D W Stadium Liverpool v/s Wolverhampton Anfield Saturday, 1 January 2011 West Brom v/s Man Utd The Hawthorns Liverpool v/s Bolton Anfield Man City v/s Blackpool City of Mcr. Stadium Stoke v/s Everton Britannia Stadium Sunderland v/s Blackburn Stadium of Light Tottenham v/s Fulham White Hart Lane West Ham v/s Wolverhampton Boleyn Ground Birmingham v/s Arsenal St. Andrews Ground Sunday, 2 January Chelsea v/s Aston Villa Stamford Bridge Wigan v/s Newcastle D W Stadium Tuesday, 4 January Blackpool v/s Birmingham Bloomfield Road Fulham v/s West Brom Craven Cottage Man Utd v/s Stoke Old Trafford Wednesday, 5 January Arsenal v/s Man City Emirates Stadium Aston Villa v/s Sunderland Villa Park Newcastle v/s West Ham St. James’ Park Wolverhampton v/s Chelsea Molineux Blackburn v/s Liverpool Ewood Park Bolton v/s Wigan Reebok Stadium Everton v/s Tottenham Goodison Park

12:00 15:00 15:00 15:00 15:00 15:00 15:00 15:00 17:30 20:00 15:00 15:00 15:00 15:00 15:00 17:30 20:00 19:45 19:45 20:00 12:45 15:00 15:00 15:00 15:00 15:00 15:00 17:30 13:30 16:00 20:00 20:00 20:00 19:45 19:45 19:45 19:45 20:00 20:00 20:00


Asian Voice - Saturday 25th December 2010

OZ on track for the Ashes fight back England beaten by 267 runs at Perth on Sunday

With a really tough fight ahead, England batting collapsed on Saturday and Sunday for just 123 runs in their second essay at Perth to give Ricky Ponting a perfect birthday gift, an imposing 267 run victory and level the Ashes battle 1 – 1 and two games left. Having lost the top half for a mere 81 runs on Saturday evening, England could not hang on for long, as Ryan Harris ran through the lower order and the match was over in just the 10th over of the day. Harris claimed a test best of 6 wickets for 47 runs in the second innings and made it 9 scalps in the match. Mitchell Johnson too picked up nine wickets.

Ricky Ponting congratulates his team-mates at Perth on December 19

Johnson's revival in this match reflects Australia's upward curve, leaving England with much to ponder before the MCG Test starts on Boxing Day. This was Australia's first Test victory in six matches since beating Pakistan at Lord's. It gave Ricky Ponting, who didn't

take the field due to a broken little finger, the perfect 36th birthday present and will ease the pressure on him for the time being although he faces a race to be fit for Melbourne. For the Aussies, it was a wonderful turnaround, as they were in dire straits having lost the top half in

the first innings on the opening day for just 69 runs. They did well to score 268 runs. However, both teams will remember that a similar momentum-shift occurred in 2009 when Australia won at Headingley before England secured the Ashes at The Oval. Despite the margin of victory in this, and the previous match, these two teams are closely matched and the series could turn into a classic. {Brief scores: OZ 268 (Johnson 62, Hussey 61) and 309 (Hussey 116, Watson 95, Tremlett 5-87) beat England 187 (Bell 53, Strauss 52, Johnson 638) and 123 (Harris 6-47) by 267 runs}.

Sachin scores the ‘Swarnim’ of test centuries Sachin Tendulkar crossed the milestone of scoring 50 test centuries at Centurion in South Africa. In fact, his fans and cricket lovers were waiting for the golden moment for long, as he could have achieved right at home in India, during the New Zealand series, but it eluded the master batsman and his fans. As Sachin Tendulkar scored his 50th test century, he brought time to a standstill, momentarily. The South Africans cheered him, both the Whites and the Blacks, as did the Indians, their faces painted in saffron, white and green. For a moment, it could have been any stadium back home. He met the crowds with his sparkling eyes, waving his willow around, acknowledging the unconditional support he received from all corners of the ground. In the context of the match, Tendulkar’s century couldn’t have come at a better time. With the team having struggled right through

Sachin raises his bat after reaching his 50th Test century

the opening Test in South Africa, Tendulkar ensured that India live to see the final day, grinding it out against some furious pace bowling and venomous turn. “I would like to dedicate my 50th century to my father. It was his birthday yesterday,” Tendulkar said later. “I’m very pleased about it, but there is a match to be saved in South Africa. So let’s not get carried away. I’m glad it happened, but I do not know how to express my emotions at the moment,” he added, before throwing his hands up. In Tests and ODIs combined, Tendulkar has now reached 96 centuries, a touching distance from a century of centuries.

Multi-million dollar offer for Amir Khan for an English showdown Sheffield sensation Kell Brook's manager and promoter Frank Warren has made a multi-million dollar offer to Amir Khan to face his young star. Both Amir Khan and Kell Brook are riding high on confidence after their recent victories. WBA world light-welterweight champion Khan, 24, defeated WBA Interim champion, Marco Maidana in Las Vegas in one of the fights of the year last weekend and has revealed he wants to fight in Britain next year. Amir

Khan successfully defended his World light-welterweight title third time in a row and is flying high on morale. While on the other hand Brook, 23, also enjoyed a two-round destruction of Philip Kotey in Liverpool earlier this month and has lined himself up for a shot at the WBA world welterweight title next year - but wants a fight with Khan first. His manager has also supported the claim that Kell is in fantastic shape right now and is ready for the best in the world.

Amir Khan

Kell Brook

If Amir Khan accepts the offer the clash between the two will be a massive all-British affair and will

be a national must-watch match. Logically, it seems Khan will accept the offer keeping in mind he has

been talking about having a fight in Britain. Khan is also likely to step up on a higher platform as he plans to take on WBA World Welterweight Champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the next 12 months. But he is not the only one who plans to do so as his English competitor Brook also has similar intentions as he has set himself a target for 2011 to become the best welterweight in the world. Kell Brook wants to keep busy and test himself

against the world's elite, starting with Khan. But the fight, if accepted by Khan can test the depth of the bones of Sheffield star as Amir showcased he is filled with plenty of fighting heart after digging deep to beat Maidana and proving the world he is indeed a true warrior. The young Brook wants to test his blood against Khan first before taking up on giants Mayweather who has nine world titles under his belts and Manny Pacquiao who has ten.

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