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FIRST & FOREMOST ASIAN WEEKLY IN EUROPE

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Health & Healing Curing a cracked foot to save embarassment See Page - 18

BollyCat Priyanka replaces Akshay as ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’ host See Page -21

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

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Civil nuclear deal with Islamabad possible

India US ties in Gordian Knot - See page 3

Yusuf Raza Gilani

British Summer Time Don’t forget that British Summer Time starts on Sunday 28th March, but which way to change the clocks? Easy! Just remember: "Spring forward, Fall back!".

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US signals pro Pakistan shift US once again gave clear signals that it will not compromise relations with Pakistan. US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson said Pakistan is likely to get a civil nuclear deal akin to India to meet the country’s rising energy needs. It is considered a remarkable shift in US stand, which has till the day maintained that Islamabad will not get a Continued on page 23

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More about David Coleman Headley – See page 26

9 Hindu MPs in Pak stage a walkout A historic protest forces Lahore HC chief justice to clarify his offending remark A walkout by nine Hindu MPs in the Pakistan national assembly forced the chief justice of Lahore High Court to issue a clarification that his statement, as reported in a section of local media was misreported and wrongly quoted to him. The chief justice had reportedly remarked that Hindus in the country were financing the terrorist activities. Reacting to the allegations, Ramesh Lal, a PPP member of the national assembly last Wednesday staged a walkout from the house. Eight other members fol-

lowed him. Lal had said if the authorities felt like, they should name a country, but castigating a minority community was not acceptable. He claimed that Hindus in Pakistan were as patriotic as the Pakistanis. Even leaders of various parties in Pakistan assembly, including the ruling PPP said judges should not make such statements. They all tried to assuage the hurt feelings of Hindu MPs. Protesting against the atrocious comments, Ramesh Lal said, “The sentiments of four million Pakistani Hindus Continued on page 23

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Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

one to one Keith Vaz MP with

Ashok Amritraj, Chairman and CEO of Hyde Park Entertainment Ashok Amritraj is the Chairman and CEO of Hyde Park Entertainment, has produced more than 100 films during the span of his 30 year career, with a worldwide gross in excess of $1 billion. Amritraj has partnered every major studio in Hollywood, and has produced films starring the likes of Bruce Willis, Sandra Bullock, Sylvester Stallone, Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett and Kate Hudson. Amritraj has been called “India’s Ambassador to Hollywood” for the last three decades – he has been a true pioneer of crossover cinema between India, Asia and Hollywood through extensive film and cultural exchanges, and has provided a platform to showcase Indian and Asian talent worldwide. Amongst the various accolades Amritraj has received are the Indian International Film Academy Award for “Outstanding Achievement in International Cinema”; the “Producer of Vision Award” from the Hollywood community and the prestigious “Pride of India Award” from the American India Foundation. Amritraj is part of the legendary Amritraj tennis family and has played in every major tennis tournament, including Wimbledon and the US Open. 1) What inspired you to begin a career in film?

day I would be able to produce films in Hollywood.

From an early age growing up in Chennai, I loved Hollywood films and always hoped one

2) What are your proudest life achievements?

wide grosses in excess of $1.5 billion. It's been a great journey from India to tennis to Hollywood.

and children have provided me the ability to have the long career that I have been able to enjoy.

3) What has been your favourite project to work on?

7) What is the best thing about your job?

"Bringing Down the House", starring Steve Martin and Queen Latifah. 4) Is there anyone you are desperate to work with but haven’t yet had the chance? I have worked with most of the A List stars and Oscar winners. It would be fun to do a film with Meryl Streep. 5) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? The perception of a tennis player from India in 1980 trying to make it in the Hollywood film business when no Indian had done so before. 6) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date?

In tennis: reaching the final of the Wimbledon Juniors and winning the World Team Tennis Championships for Los

Angeles. In film: 30 years of producing over 100 films with wonderful world-

Growing up in India, watching wonderful Hollywood films, being able to balance East and West. Close family: my parents and my wife

It is creative, and it is a business. I work with many extraordinarily talented people both in front of and behind the camera. It is an exciting and magical job. 8) And the worst? It tends to consume your life, however, growing up in India has helped me balance my family and my work, and blend the most important qualities of East and West. 9) If you were President, what one thing would you change? I would use my power to change poverty and unemployment to the best of my ability. 10) If you were marooned on a desert island, who would you like to spend your time with and why? My wife and my children. There is nobody I would rather spend time with.

Bank clerk who stole £120,000 hanged herself with husband A banker who fled court moments before she was due to be sentenced for stealing £120,000 from customers has killed herself in an apparent suicide pact with her husband. Senior HSBC clerk Bindi Dhanji, 31, disappeared from Southwark Crown Court on last week Tuesday after meeting with her lawyers. The bodies of Dhanji and her husband Kishore were found next morning hanged from a footbridge near their home at Staples Corner junction off the North Circular Road. The clerk, from north London, was facing up to six years prison after admitting two counts of theft by an employee. Dhanji stole £118,000 from two pensioners’ accounts while working at the bank’s Notting Hill Gate and Portobello Road branches in West London. In the first case, she pocketed £54,700 from the account of one elderly customer, continuing to withdraw money for 10 months after she died in February 2008. She also stole £64,148 from a second customer in her eighties after befriending her, lavishing the woman with flowers and chocolates. Dhanji and her husband met

with her legal team before sentencing on Tuesday morning, but the pair fled before her case was heard.

much reliance on the pre-sentence report.’ Judge Anthony Pitts then issued a bench warrant for Dhanji’s arrest, saying: ‘It does seem like she has taken flight at first glance, I must confess, from what you have told me. ‘It's not unknown, but it is a slightly unusual situation given that she was here this morning.’ Dhanji allegedly began taking money from her first victim in 2005 after hearing the she had moved to France to be with her family because she was ill. The victim died in France in February 2008 but her family did not notify the bank until 10 months later, at which point the account was suspended, City of London Police said. Relatives complained to the bank about Dhanji's refusal to give them access to the woman's statements and her employers identified irregularities in the Bindi and savings of the second elderKishore Dhanji ly client. Dhanji was arrested folExplaining her disappearlowing a police investigation. ance to the court on Tuesday her In May 2009 she confessed lawyer, Richard Parry, said: ‘She to stealing from the customers clearly seems to have panicked. but allegedly claimed a man she She seemed to be, I thought, was not prepared to name had fairly stoical about the outcome.’ threatened her with violence ‘Her husband took a differunless she handed him cash. ent view, he seemed to place too She allegedly said she target-

ed the pensioners because she thought their bank accounts would not be properly checked. It is thought Dhanji used the stolen money to put down an £80,000 deposit on a house in Watford, Herts. HSBC later reimbursed the accounts of both victims. Appealing for her return before discovering she was dead, Detective Constable Malcolm Jolly, of City of London Police, said Dhanji abused a position of trust to steal from two elderly and vulnerable women. 'Bindi Dhanji has admitted to committing a serious crime and now needs to face the judge and receive her punishment in full,' he said. A post mortem into the deaths was due to take place on last Friday. A Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘Police and paramedics attended the bodies of a man and a woman found near the A406, Staples Corner, at

Bindi Dhanji

6:40am. ‘The bodies were hanging from a footbridge on the eastbound A406.’ ‘Officers believe they know the identity of the deceased and next of kin have been informed, but await formal identification. This has now been referred to the Coroner.'


Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

COMMENT

India-US ties in Gordian knot The Indo-US relationship, despite the periodic gusts of optimism and media hype, are seemingly not fated to reach the promised consummation. The banal commerce in ritual pieties on human rights and shared democratic values has never been more than a smokescreen for a predatory global empire whose depredations, overt and covert, in Vietnam and Iraq and places are too numerous to mention. The US record worldwide tells of a blatant preference for military dictators and corrupt elites prepared to participate in Uncle Sam's skulduggery. Whether it is the kidnap and torture of Islamist terrorist suspects in Poland and the Baltic States under Extraordinary Rendition or the training of death squads in lands from the Philippines to Latin America, the dismal tale rarely varies. The Gringos have been a despised and hated lot, with little change of perception in the foreseeable future. It is against this setting that the case of the Islamist David Coleman Headley has to be viewed. The son of a Pakistani father and American mother, Headley learned his trade in Pakistan and made numerous visits to India under false pretences, the most recent being to Mumbai, where he helped set the scene for the murderous 26/11 (2008) assault, which claimed the lives of 166 innocent victims and left scores more injured. It now transpires that while US intelligence agencies were aware of Headley's activities in Pakistan long before the Mumbai carnage, they did nothing to share this knowledge with their Indian counterparts. Headley's arrest in Chicago last October was initially viewed as a breakthrough in exposing the role of the Lashkar-e-Taiba in terror attacks in India and its links with Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), which was headed from October 2004 and October 2007 by General Ashfaq Parvez Kiani, the country's present army chief. He is expected in Washington sometime this week as part of a high powered Pakistan delegation ready and willing - at a suitable price entailing $35 billion and US nuclear reactors to propel US-Pakistan relations into a more exalted orbit. America's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has reached a plea bargain with Headley. The deal enables the Obama administration to withhold formal evidence in a court of law that might reveal his links with US intelligence or permit any cross-examination of Headley by the prosecution. Nor will the families of the 166 victims be able to engage a lawyer to question Headley during his trial in Chicago. Vital information will now remain classified. The FBI has refused Headley's extradition to India and will

restrict access, thus preventing Indian agencies asking questions concerning his possible links with US and Pakistani intelligence services. Headley's plea bargain refers to his Pakistan handlers as A.B,C and D, so that their identities can be kept under wraps. Their names and faces will remain a secret. Mumbai was too vast and complex an operation to be restricted to LeT, the Pakistani state was involved without doubt. (US envoys in Islamabad and New Delhi have given conflicting accounts on whether Indian inteligence will be given any access to Headley). Resulting from his plea bargain Headley can expect a relatively light sentence. US security expert Lisa Curtis points a finger at Washington for its deliberate policy of viewing LeT as simply a function of Indo-Pakistan hostility. This despite evidence of its role as a Taliban recruiter and facilitator in Afghanistan. Be that as it may, and however soothing the US bromides, pressure on India will mount. Singly or collectively, Washington and Beijing will apply the squeeze on New Delhi on behalf of their Pakistani surrogate. Testing times lie ahead. The challenges likely to face India will be daunting, but Wimbledon is never won with walkovers. India has strong cards of its own. Its economy has weathered the global economic downturn remarkably well. Its armed forces are in good working order, as is its parliamentary democracy, which precludes CIAsponsored military coups. Moreover the Headley affair should be valuable education for the Indian people on the ground realities of international politics. Not a word has appeared in the British media on these events; India is reduced to an extravagant and exotic land of slums and colourful curiosities. This has long been a fourth-rate estate in hoc to the first estate, the embodiment of the world's second oldest profession in never ending proximity talks with the world's oldest. Which is not the end of the story. A front-page Daily Telegraph (March 23) refers to intelligence fears (based on credible evidence) of a possible al-Qaeda operation to smuggle elements of a nuclear bomb into Britain and then arrange their detonation in London or one the country's larger cities. It is known “that the terrorist group had approached Pakistani nuclear scientists, developed a device to produce hydrogen cyanide, which can be used in chemical warfare, and used explosives in Iraq, combined with chlorine gas cylinders.” These dangers were highlighted by Britain's Security Minister Lord West. There are clearly lessons to be learned.

New revelations soils New Labour As if New Labour wasn't soiled enough already with Tony Blair's chicanery over Britain's damning involvement in the Bush administration's squalid Iraq war, now comes news of how a cabal of Blair favourites used their influential positions as former government ministers to play fast and loose with rich businessmen. This new scandal involving Stephen Byers, Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon has set the cat among the pigeons and led to their suspension from the parliamentary Labour party, yet this does nothing for the reputation of a party that once boasted of its roots among the down and out, who claimed to represent the nation's social and moral conscience. But that was long ago when cloth caps and factories belching smoke were the fashion. Rumours are afloat that a Lib Dem and a Tory MP were also involved in similar activity. New Labour, it would appear, changed this for the gear and ethics of the City, where success was and is measured by a knowledge of the price of everything and the value of nothing. MPs perks and allowances were a scam too many, now another brews with the

Sunday Times Insight team and Channel 4's Dispatches documentary, which caught the erring former on film. These ornaments of New Labour were busy renting their services – peddling influence and inside knowledge of government workings and much else – for an appropriate fee. As nothing comes cheap these days these tidy sums are beyond the wildest dreams of the hoi polloi. With some Tory and Labour peers of the realm, with business interests abroad, avoiding taxes in the UK there is something rotten in the state of Denmark. Public disenchantment with politics and politicians is clearly evident.This strikes at the roots of British democracy. With a general election looming what are the British people expected to do? They may throw out one lot of rulers for another, but will this lead to a truly new order? Even the Almighty would be hard pressed for a satisfactory answer. Public life in these islands may not be the Augean Stables – not yet anyway – but it needs cleansing. And fast. The next government will have its hands full, but it would help if they were also clean.

President Rajapakse must think again Sri Lanka's President Mahendra Rajapakse may have presided over his country's defeat of the Tamil Tigers, but his promised peace dividend is nowhere in sight. He had proclaimed that the process of healing would be implemented and that the minority Tamil community together with other minorities would have a secure place in the country's future. But these words have still to become flesh. Worse, divisions with the majority Sinhalese population are further eroding the decencies of public life and igniting mutual fears and suspicions. Can democracy and the rule of law survive unscathed in such conditions? Can Sri Lanka prosper amid this deepening strife? President Rajapakse let the cat out of the bag when he refused to consider a federal structure to accommodate Tamil aspirations. Federalism, he

claimed, would be tantamount to Sri Lanka's disintegration. This is quite preposterous. Federalism exists in America and Canada and next door in India without causing harm to the nation as a whole. President Rajapakse fears, arising from federalism, is surely a symptom of his suspicion of the country's Tamils. If he doesn't trust them, he cannot expect them to trust him. As a sign of good faith he should convene an all party conference where Sri Lanka's constitution can be discussed and possible amendments introduced. Devolution must come in some shape or form. Without real evidence of seriousness on Mr Rtajapakse's part, Sri Lanka's woes are set to continue. He must re-think his position for his country's sake. He must act fast – and with magnanimity.

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Thought for the Week

I will not say I failed 1000 times, I will say that I discovered there are 1000 ways that can cause failure - Thomas Edison

Barry Gardiner MP Member of Parliament for Brent North

The Veil of Ignorance Imagine that you are the head of your family. Easy enough! Now imagine you have to take a decision about the sort of society your family is going to live in. Sounds relevant! But this decision will last. You won’t be able to change it in four years time or even in forty years time. It will last for at least four hundred years! Now here is the tough bit. You have to take the decision behind a veil of ignorance. By that I mean you have to take it not knowing what your own position in that society is going to be. You don’t know whether you are going to be rich or poor. You don’t know whether you are going to be male or female, educated or uneducated, fit and healthy or sick and disabled. Behind that veil of ignorance what sort of society would you chose? This of course is simply a thought experiment. But it is a useful way of trying to identify what is a fair basis upon which everyone could agree to live together and cooperate in society. The point of the four hundred years is simply this: over such a long period members of your family are likely to occupy every single one of these different positions: sick, disabled, poor and uneducated just as much as wealthy fit educated and rich. The point of the veil of ignorance is that if we don’t know what position we ourselves will

occupy, then we cannot bias the rules in our own favour and are likely to choose a set of rules that maximises fairness. Fairness lies at the core of my political values. That is why I supported a national minimum wage when the Conservatives said

it would bankrupt business. That is why Labour set up the National Health Service and has now introduced guarantees that the NHS will give patients the sort of choice and speed that used only to be available to those with private health insurance. Fairness is often about the rights of the many as against the few but it can be about the rights of the few against the many. Last week I visited Hay Lane & Grove Park special schools in Brent for children who have profound physical needs or mental impairment. I also visited a respite care centre where parents take their children to get one week-end break every few weeks from the stress of 24hour care. I pledged those parents my support to get a fairer deal and better services. Most of us can simply say that special needs is an issue that doesn’t concern us. How lucky we are! Perhaps we need a veil of ignorance to concentrate our mind and dispel our complacency.

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: aveditorial@abplgroup.com www: abplgroup.com © Asian Business Publications

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YOUR VOICE

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Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

Ask your local politician

Jubilee Debt Campaign

Gordon Brown Death tax

Citizenship ceremonies

Council elections in London will be held on 6th May 2010. And it is almost certain that general elections will also be held on the same day. This means that politicians will be busy knocking our door for “our valuable votes”.One of their preferred ways of canvassing is to visit Indian/Hindu centres and Mandirs (temples) and address the worshippers. Of course this method of campaigning does not cost them or their parties anything and they get ready made platforms and crowds. Indians/Hindus are warm hearted people, and always welcome people of whatever background, but they should not let politicians fool them or take them for rides. They should ask politicians the following questions on issues that are important for the Indian/Hindu community. l Have they visited Christian/Jewish places of worship for electioneering purposes? l Why Indians/Hindus who do well academically but do not get high ranking jobs in public sector? l What are their opinion on the Kashmir issue? l Ho do they feel about India becoming a permanent member of the UN Security council? l When was the last time they visited temple and when will them come again? l What is their opinion on conversion of Hindus to Christianity in India? l Are they aware that the government is planning to ban Ayurvedic medicine? Will they pressurise the government not to do this?

Many thanks for the report of the conference of the Jubilee Debt Campaign which works for the cancellation of the unjust and unpayable debts of poor countries. Dee Katwa quoted at length an anonymous participant who points out the dangers of debt relief money going into the wrong hands. But isn't that a bit one-sided? Debt relief is carefully supervised. Steps are taken to prevent it going into the pockets of the rich and ensuring it used for. Some of the original loans may have been corrupt at either or both ends. But not always. Many projects were quite honestly run but people had not done their home work, or disasters happened which were unpredictable and no one's fault like hurricanes, famines or world economic crises. In such cases debt relief or cancellation makes good sense. And even if the money were given in the past to corrupt dictators or the apartheid regime, why should it be the poor people of today who have to pay it back? If the rich lenders and irresponsible lenders are penalised they are likely to be more careful in the future. Dee mentions transparency which is indeed important. Here is where faith bodies in poor countries can have a great role. It is so good to note that the Jubilee Movement is world-wide, in the poor countries as well as the rich. Much more needs to be done but let's at any rate celebrate the progress that has been made - the almost $100 billion of poor country debts already written off.

I read with great interest Cllr Anjana Patel's article about Gordon Brown's Death Tax - Asian Voice Vol 38 issue 24 27th February 2010. I salute Cllr Anjana Patel for highlighting this issue of the potential £20,000 Death Tax and bringing home the truth the impact this sort of tax will have especially on the Asian Community. I am very much looking forward to the General Election and placing my vote for a new party to be elected. We urgently need a change of Government! There is a lot of truth in the old saying "Nappies and politicians need changing every so often for the same reason!!!!

I moved to the UK from Bangladesh in 1965 to work in the financial sector; first living in London, then Tring in Hertfordshire. In 1972 I applied for and was granted UK citizenship, and what surprised me was how the whole process was little more than an exercise in bureaucracy. Everything was done by post, with my citizenship confirmed by a simple letter. Ever since, it has always bothered me that what should have been a significant event in my life was reduced to little more than paperwork. Nothing was done to make me feel like part of the country that I had just joined, which is why I so enjoy presiding over Harrow’s citizenship ceremonies. What we do in Harrow is how I wish things had been done in my time. The ceremonies give people the chance to meet and chat with the Mayor or a councillor, to ask council staff any questions they might have, and to learn a bit more about both the UK and Harrow. What was a mere procedure in my time is now a real occasion; one which those attending really seem to enjoy. From my point of view, I consider presiding over the ceremonies a real honour and privilege. Every year around 2,000 people become UK citizens in Harrow. In the last twelve months alone, people born in over 100 different countries have taken part in our ceremonies, and I hope they will remember the experience for many years to come.

Councillor Chunilal Velji Chavda Via Email

On Hussein's illusions Mr Hussein was not thrown out by Indians, but by his guilty conscience. He has fan club of influential Indians, and Hindus. Prestigious Ravi Varma award, planned felicitations by admirers, vote hungry MPs and favourable Home minister prove his welcome in India. His self imposed exile appears to be sacrifice but was intended to escape Hindus’ anger, litigation and protest against constraints on artistic freedom. By accepting Qatar’s citizenship, he has unwittingly accepted very shackles on his artistic freedom, which he did not like in India. Both exiles, Tasleema Nasreen–(India) and Hussein-(Qatar) have hurt public sentiments. But Hussein(who is a Muslim) will be protected in India. Tasleema Nasreen (who is also a Muslim) has no guaranteed protection in Bangladesh, or in any other Muslim country. Khajurao sculptures are not meant for exploitative and mercenary aims. They do not depict any reverent deity, are on remote hills or jungles, away from gaze of ordinary folk. The sculptures are outside and not part of holy temple. Ramesh Jhalla Via Email

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John Nightingale Chair Jubilee Debt Campaign Birmingham

Should burkha be banned? The point raised in Mr R.V. Moradabadi’s letter “should burkha be banned in Britain”(AV 13th March) is not correct. As a British Indian citizen he should be more concerned about this country than supporting France and other Western countries of their despicable reasons towards Burkha system. It is unreasonable, to object the religious obligations without having any knowledge of other peoples’ faith, therefore they must put forward arguments for introspection to convince others. It also appears they are not aware constitutionally that in many western countries there is freedom for every one to practice his/her religion. However in few western countries, members of fascist political parties and government leaders tend to forsake their commitments and breach their own laws due to their secret agenda. No, Mr Mordabadi, Islam does “not impose its philosophy on any individual. Therefore you go your way and I go mine!”

Umesh Raichada London

Save the London Underground staff Mr Navin Shah, AM has questioned the Mayor about his plans. I hope the readers of AV are aware that from Feb 2011 London Underground is planning to close or cut most of its ticket offices. This is a loss of permanent service industry to thousands of people. This can be a very bad example for the safety of young and elderly people, or anybody who need oyster card top up assistance or directions in any language other than English. Please sign the online petition at 10 downing street at http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/StaffOurStations/ to stop him from closing or cutting ticket offices at London Underground, and reducing station staff. Rajendraprasad Vyas Via Email

Barriers to success

Should voting be compulsory?

David Cameron’s pledge to support black entrepreneurs is welcome. But aspiring business people from other minority groups, including Indian, Pakistani Bangladeshi and Chinese, face similar barriers to success and must be included as part of any new policy initiatives. Likewise a national mentoring programme will undoubtedly help, but it is only part of the solution. Access to affordable finance is critical to businesses in start-up and growth phase, helping to secure business premises, staff and materials. Quality business support can have a major impact, provided it is attuned to the different needs and requirements of minority owned businesses. Most important, much more needs to be done to ensure that ethnic minority businesses are actively considered in mainstream supply chain opportunities. There are an estimated 310,000 ethnic minority SMEs in the UK, contributing around £20 billion to the UK economy per year. We hope that the next Government, regardless of political persuasion, works harder to support this growing sector.

When general election is on the horizon, this is one question, the discussion that takes a pride of place, our air time on TV and radios. Although people are divided, pointing out that if we had a choice, better politicians and meaningful policies, most people would go to polls and vote. I feel this is too simplistic an answer to a serious question. Many countries, flourishing democracies like Japan, Australia and New Zealand have compulsory voting, some by law, others by choice, civil duty and even the world’s largest democracy India is considering such a move. Gujarat may become the first State in the Indian Union to make voting compulsory. Perhaps it is worth considering Swiss approach to politics where any one who attains the age of 18 and becomes eligible to vote, has to attend a ceremony in Town Halls before going on the voting list. Failing to do so harms their political and civil rights, as voting register is the first step in checking one’s identity. It would indeed be dangerous if a fringe political party like BNP with fanatic supporters can persuade some 95% of their followers to vote and elect an MP!

Mayank Shah, Director, Minority Supplier Development UK

Bhupendra M Gandhi Via Email

A.M.A. Pira Via Email

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Cllr Golam Chowdhury Greenhill Ward Harrow Council

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

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(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 27th March 2010

Leicester Voice British Indian voted one of UK’s most influential GPs A diabetes expert, from Leicester has been voted one of the most influential GPs in the country. A poll put Professor Kamlesh Khunti in the top 20 of present-day doctors who have helped to shape general practice. He was named in the list, published in Pulse magazine, one of the country’s top weekly medical publications, after a panel of 50 leading GPs were asked to judge which of their colleagues they most admired. Prof Khunti has been a GP in Leicester for 20 years but much of his work is now centred on diabetes research and has won national and international recognition. Kamlesh Khunti qualified from Dundee University and was appointed as Professor of Diabetes and Vascular Medicine and Head of Division of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Leicester in 2007. He leads a research group in the Department of Health Sciences that works in close collaboration with Department of Cardiovascular Sciences. He was a founding member of the Primary Care Diabetes Society and is Secretary of the Primary Care Study Group of the

Kamlesh Khunti

European Society of Diabetes. He was awarded the RCGP’s John Fry Award for Research for 2001, the Mary McKinnon Lecture at the 2006 Diabetes UK Annual Professional Conference and the Leicester University Frank May Prize Lecture for 2006. His current research interests include diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Primary Care and Research among South Asian populations In an interview with Asian Voice, Professor Khunti said, “ I was very surprised to get this news but obviously delighted for our wider research team as its our collective work that is being recognised.” Originally from Gujarat, Prof Khunti (48) was trained to be a doctor in Scotland and came to the UK (Leicester) when

he was 8 years old and lives with his parents, wife and 3 children. When asked about his take on diabetes, Prof Khunti added, “Well I have a very strong family history of diabetes and my father has had a heart attack and stroke (probably related to his diabetes). Most South Asians have a family member who has been affected with diabetes and this obviously has a great impact on the wider family unit. Best is to prevent diabetes by lifestyle changes (diet and exercise) and our research has shown that we can reduce the rate of people developing diabetes by 50%. Once diabetes is developed than the main aim is to have it tightly controlled as well as control of blood pressure, cholesterol and not smoking. Dr Azhar Farooqi, a GP and chairman of NHS Leicester City’s clinical cabinet, told Leicester Mercury: “It is excellent for Leicester that Kamlesh has been recognised in this way. He deserves it because of his enormous research contribution to diabetes and cardiovascular disease. “The work he has done has changed practice, particularly in patient education.”

Indian nurse keeps job despite 'worrying' incompetence A bungling foreign nurse who could barely understand English and refused to learn the language was told he could keep his job despite his "worrying" lack of competence. Biju John, 38, insisted he was able to understand instructions and wrote to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) stating: "I never be confused at all." Colleagues said they felt they were "carrying" him and did not feel safe leaving patients in his care. The Indian nurse also had a limited knowledge of basic skills and did nothing when a patient was struggling to breathe. The NMC heard John should have started basic airway management as the man gasped for breath after coming round from an operation. But instead he had to be helped by a colleague, who rushed over when she heard the man's wheezing from the other side of the care unit at Leicester Royal Infirmary. On another occasion, John almost caused a

patient to go into shock when he wore latex gloves to treat him, despite being told he was allergic to the material. The hospital then devised a set of objectives for John, including meeting the required standard of English. But he failed to reach the targets set for him and was kept on supervised practice. A further incident, on October 20, 2004, led to John being suspended. A disciplinary meeting was scheduled for January 20, 2005, but he quit seven days before it. He was later reported to his regulating body. John, from Cambridge, was found guilty of seven charges relating to his lack of competency when he worked at the hospital between July 2003 and December 2004. These include failing to complete basic skills required of a nurse, not demonstrating his English was sufficient to communicate with colleagues effectively, which gave rise to the incident with the latex gloves, and failing to take appropriate

action when a patient's oxygen levels dropped. He was cleared of mistaking the Surgical Assessment Unit for the Surgical Acute Care Unit. The panel ruled John could keep his nursing licence subject to conditions. NMC chairman David Kyle said John's lack of competence was "worrying" but "not irremediable". He said although John was "a caring nurse", he "lacked confidence" and "was reluctant to act on his own initiative". The panel was satisfied for him to keep his licence, subject to a conditions of practice order. This means John must tell the NMC where he is working, remain supervised and complete a personal development plan and an English language test. If the nurse complies with the conditions he will be allowed to return to normal practice once the 18month period is up. Until August, John worked at a nursing home in Cambridge. He did not attend the hearing.

Do you have any comments, news or photographs about Leicester? If you do, please send them to Leicester Voice at

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Leicester opens it doors for first Asian Carnival

Leicester will come alive this Easter weekend as it gets ready to host a three day spectacular event showcasing South Asian Culture. The Leicester Asian Carnival takes place from 2nd - 4th April 2010 at Parklands, Oadby, Leicester. The event provides a unique shopping experience in the heart of the community by promoting and showcasing South Asian cultural traditions, modern cuisine, fashion, performing arts and much more! Children can enjoy a range of activities including face painting and bouncy castle at the ‘kids korner’. Get your taste buds going at the enormous ‘food court’ sampling the best in exquisite Asian cuisine, 'shop till you drop' at our vibrant ‘bargain bazaar’ with exclusive bridal fashion, jewellery and accessories. Fancy a holiday? Then check out the Travel Market where a variety of experts from the travel industry will help you tailor make your perfect get away!

BBC Asian Network will be hosting the ‘entertainment stage’ where local talent will be showcasing their talent against the UK’s finest British Asian artists including Bollywood sensation Navin Kundra performing his hit Tere Liyeh, Punjabi prodigy Jaz Dhami and many more! Worried about your health? Then come along to Leicester Asian Carnival where the Nation’s Heart Charity – British Heart Foundation will be giving lots of free advice and information about how to live a healthy life. Advice will be available in Gujarati, Punjabi, Urdu and many other languages! Leicester MP, Keith Vaz who will be opening the event, said: “I am proud to be able to lend my support to such a wonderful event. This carnival will provide the perfect setting for Leicester’s many South Asian residents to celebrate their culture, traditions and food and to share this with the whole Leicester community. I hope all local

residents make their way down to the venue over Easter weekend for what will be a fun-filled family day out.” CB Patel, Publisher/Editor of Gujarat Samachar and Asian Voice said, “Leicester and Leicestershire are not only home to a large number of British Asians, especially of Gujaratis but it has a unique distinction of the community's progress in all walks of life together with harmonious community relations. Leicester Asian Carnival is a spectacular opportunity to promote our culture in an ideal environment for all the residents of the city and surrounding areas. During the Easter holidays, I believe Leicester Asian Carnival should provide all of us an ideal opportunity for leisure and pleasure with children, extended family and friends, as well as networking.” For further information aplease visit: www.asiancarnival.co.uk

Leicestershire villagers' praise for popular shopkeeper Villagers have praised a friendly shopkeeper who has celebrated 30 years in business. Ramon Lalloo, 67, opened the H u m b e r s t o n e Supermarket, in Main Street, Humberstone Village, in 1980. Villagers clubbed together to present Mr Lalloo with a card signed by more than 40 people. The shopkeeper said: "It's quite an achievement to be going for as long as I have. I was honoured to receive the card.

Ramon Lalloo and his wife, Chanchal, celebrate 30 years in business

It's easy to do my job because everyone who comes into the shop is so nice. The village has changed a lot in 30 years. A few pubs have closed and people are different these days but I still enjoy serving my cus-

tomers." John Burrows, chairman of the Humberstone Village Community Forum, said Mr Lalloo was one of the most popular members of the community. He said: "I've lived here for six years and have got to know him quite well. He's such a lovely man and the level of service we get from him is A1. He knows us all. The fact he is still here when other places are being forced out of business by bigger chains says it all."

To place an advertisement in ASIAN VOICE Call: 020 7749 4085 email: avsales@abplgroup.com


6

UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

Kapil’s

Students to fight injustice by dodgy colleges National Congress of Gujarati Organisations (UK) last week organised a meeting in the Sangat Community Centre, for the students who have come from India, especially Gujarat and have lost their tuition fees to dodgy colleges, which have been revoked or suspended. More than 100 students attended the meeting, which was also attended by the key office bearers of NCGO as well as the Sangat Centre. Most of these colleges that accepted huge amount of fees from hundreds of foreign students and after being revoked or suspended for whatever reasons have refused to reimburse them. The students who came to the UK mostly their managed tuition fees and travel expenses with education loans or borrowed money from others, now feel cheated. They have voiced their grievances as some college authorities even threatened them with dire consequences when they demanded a refund of fees or sought to transfer their admission and tuition fees to other institutions. The second issue they raised was of unemployment. On one hand, their

KHICHADI by Kapil Dudakia - email: kapil@abplgroup.com Historical Budget

dream of a better education is almost shattered, on the other they have nothing to support themselves with. Even those who have got jobs are not so lucky, since young women face embarrassment, as attempts have been made to take advantage of their vanity. Police officials of Gujarati origin – Sergeant Gor from Wembley and Mahesh Nandha from Harrow Police attended the meeting. They asked the students to immediately report to the police if they faced any offending behaviours. They explained that police cannot help with refunds, but if any indecent behaviours are reported, the police can definitely look into them at the earliest. Kantibhai Nagda of

Sangat Centre advised the students on legal aspects and immigration. He also informed them that on a representation, the Metropolitan Police has entrusted an inquiry to the commander of Hillingdon borough. Ms. Anilaben Shah, also from the Sangat Centre asked the students to consider setting up a representing body like the HSMP Forum. NCGO (UK) leaders decided that a report on this meeting will be prepared. A dossier about the plight of these students will be sent to the Home affairs committee, the Police as well as the Minister for Fair Trading. Shayona caterers lent a helping hand to the meet with a delightful lunch.

MATV awarded for promoting Indian languages through media Kuldeep Singh Shekhawat from MATV accepting award from HE Nalin Surie, Indian High Commissioner. Indian High Commission awarded MATV for its excellent work in the field of Media especially for promoting Indian Languages like Hindi on 17th March. MATV is the only channel in the UK which shows and promotes Gujarati programmes on television.

Cocktail reception held in the city

The silver fox, Chancellor Alastair Darling will have one of the most interesting balancing acts to perform when he presents his pre-election budget this week in the Palace of Westminster that is fast becoming a Circus of clowns. Commentators have written reams on the subject, yet the only speech that matters will be that delivered on 24th March 2010. Having thought about this one cannot but conclude that maybe this is not such a tough budget after all. Let’s face it in one of the most profound global crisis that we have ever witnessed, most people with any common sense know that it won’t be a giveaway. Most people also know that whilst reductions in expenditure will be required, to do so prematurely would destroy the fragility of the economy that is trying to work itself out of this depressive state. At the same time the chancellor has to be mindful that he does not cut back on front line public services that would have a negative impact on our daily lives – after all, that would be one sure sign of getting the nation not to spend in fear of uncertainty. I suspect he will give a restraint budget that will allow for the deficit to be cut by about a half over a parliamentary term. He has been helped in this process since the borrowing that was meant to be around £180 Billion will now come in at around £155 Billion. Saving him a headache of finding an extra £25 Billion worth of cuts!

The Crystal Ball

Mr I S Phukela, Director and General Manager, The New India Assurance Co Ltd, India, Mr Udai Patel, Afro Asian Insurance, Mr KG Arora, Mr M Vasantha Krishna, CEO, The New India Assurance Co Ltd UK, Mr M Ramadoss, Chairman cum Managing Director, The New India Assurance Co Ltd, Mr Surendra Patel, Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar, Mr Trevor Davies from Kennedeys, Mr Manubhai Patel, Mr Kooleshbhai Shah, MD, London Town Hotels and Mr Kishor Parmar, Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar in the reception to celebrate the occasion of the visit of Mr M Ramadoss at a City venue on Monday 22nd March.

Predicting is always a tricky art, and most of us get it wrong. However, in the long line of commentators foolish enough to nail their colours to the mast, I felt that maybe I should do something as well. There should be no rises in VAT – to do so would undermine the fragile growth that we have seen over the past few weeks.

Unemployment is the core issue that has to be managed. If that gets out of control – it can destroy all other initiatives. Therefore programmes to support employment should be high on the agenda. Energy costs are beginning to adversely impact not just households, but the very engines that drive our economy. We cannot sustain a positive outlook if petrol and diesel prices remain high. I would not be surprised if tobacco and alcohol prices go up significantly. To keep our small businesses running there cannot be any increases in corporation tax. However, there is no reason why there should not be a banking tax though I can see why a more coordinated effort with partner countries around the world would be better than any unilateral action. Entrepreneurs should be given all the help we can – these are the people who can still conjure up new and exciting businesses that can take the country to the next stage. That means increasing ‘Entrepreneur Relief ’ from the present £1m to as high as £3m if necessary. Non-dorms have not done this country too many favours recently so don’t be surprised if some of the rules are tightened up. CGT has always been a hot potato and whilst I am not in favour of this going up, I sense that it will. There you have it, by the time AV reaches your front door the chancellor would have been standing at the despatch box for about an hour giving you the real budget.

The simple truth is that many Ex-MPs and Ex-Ministers have to earn a living. In pursuit of a living (sometimes grounded in greed) some will stray too far over the line of what most might call reasonable behaviour. Boasting that you can do something in order to land a job is not new. You and I, we all do it all the time. However, boasting and implicating others can come back and bite. The suspension of the three MPs is of course right. A full inquiry is also right, but NOT only in these cases. I would like to see a full independent inquiry into every single MP over the past 30 years. Yes you read that correctly. I say 30 years because you will find many examples of MPs who in the past have done something similar or even worse. Will the Palace of Westminster ever instigate such a full and wide ranging inquiry? Of course not, both the two leading parties have much to lose and therein you will see them as two archaic bed fellows willing to protect the inner sanctum of Westminster. Do remember, the whole point of Parliament is for various groups to lobby for what they believe in or want. The question is what is the better way of doing this so that genuine lobbyist can conduct their business in a manner that is both honourable and transparent. Maybe we are asking for too much and our expectations are too high. After all, they do say power corrupts.

To Lobby or not?

The NCGO is hosting a ‘Question Time’ session over the weekend with my colleague guest columnist Alpesh Patel in as Chair. I have previously raised five issues to which we should secure proper answers from all the politicians. In this public arena it is important that we witness if they give us their age old rhetoric or will they have the guts to come forward and give clear commitments? Don’t let them off the hook Alpesh.

Three former cabinet ministers, Stephen Byers, Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon have been suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party over claims that they could influence policy for cash. Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said claims made by Stephen Byers on the Channel 4 Despatches programme were "pure fantasy". So what is the truth?

NCGO Question Time


UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

Valerie Vaz selected by Labours to contest election Valerie Vaz, the sister of Britain’s longest serving Asian origin MP Keith Vaz, has been selected to stand as a candidate in the Labour seat of Walsall South held by Bruce George MP for the last 36 years. The seat has a Labour majority of 7,900. If they are both elected at the next General Election the first brother and sister MPs of Asian origin to sit in the House of Commons. She will also be the first Indian origin woman elected to the House of Commons in its history. Valerie is a lawyer and in the 1980s was elected as the first Asian woman Deputy Leader of the London Borough of Ealing. She fought the Tory seat of Twickenham in the 1987 election. Like her brother she was born in Aden, Yemen from parents who originate from Goa. She has served as a Deputy District Judge and previously worked as a solicitor in private practice. She is married

Valerie Vaz

to Paul Townsend a Deputy Headmaster and they have a teenage daughter. Valerie Vaz told the Asian Voice, “I am delighted to have been chosen by the Labour Party to stand in Walsall South. The West Midlands has one of the largest ethnic populations in Europe and it will be a privilege to speak on behalf of the historic town of Walsall.”

Man sparks terror alerts on London Underground A man wearing a barrister’s wig and a battery strapped to the back of his hand sparked a terror alert on the London underground, it has emerged. In a chilling echo of the events that led up to the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, a man carrying a rucksack with protruding wires was trailed by armed police after sparking a major security alert in central London. A team of armed officers were scrambled to deal with the incident after the mentally ill man, who is said to have a fascination with electrical wiring, was reported to police by commuter at Green Park station, near Buckingham Palace. The man, originally black, who is said to bleach his skin and suffers from delusions of being a white woman, bore white marks on his face consistent with possible burns from a failed explosion. The surveillance team trailing him lost sight of him on the tube network but caught up with him as he exited at Finsbury Park station, close to an east London mosque which has been linked to terrorist recruitment. Surveillance officers staked out what was said to be a nondescript building they had seen the man

enter, before discovering it was an NHS-run hostel for care in the community patients with mental health problems. A security official said: 'He had a very lucky escape. It’s also amazing that the member of the public who spotted him didn’t shout something out and cause a panic on the tube.'

7

Sahil back but detectives suspect mastermind could be in Britain After the re enactment of the 2004 Denzel Washington Hollywood blockbuster 'Man on Fire' in real life, the drama unfolded as Sahil finally came back in his mother's arms in Manchester and reunited with his family in Oldham last week after being freed from his 13day ordeal on payment of £110,000 ransom. But it may not have been the story if ransom was not paid, as it emerged that kidnappers of the British five-year-old Sahil Saeed had murdered previous hostages. Following a thorough investigation three more gang members were held last week following a shoot-out with police in the Punjab village of Lala Musa. Two of those arrested admitted they knew Mr Saeed's family. Detectives in Pakistan have linked the gang to 17 killings including two of kidnap victims. And officials admitted the 'experienced gangsters' were 'quite capable' of carrying out the threats made to Sahil's father Raja that they would chop up the boy. The gang had told the distraught father they would send Sahil's body parts home in bin bags if the ransom was not paid. In the gang's hideout police found 5,000 rounds of ammunition, eight grenades, eight rockets and fake passports. Two Pakistani men and a Romanian woman were arrested in the village of Constanti in Catalonia after being caught with the £110,000 ransom cash At least six of the gang have now been arrested in Pakistan and three in

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Sahil with tears of joy, back with his parents in Oldham house

Spain, but police are still hunting two key figures, including the man who planned the kidnap. Detectives believe one of these could be in the UK. They suspect gang mem-

bers were in touch with a contact in England who knows Sahil's extended family. It had been believed Mr Saeed had gone to Paris to hand over a

Arrests made in Spain for Sahil’s kidnap

reduced £110,000 ransom, but he now says a 'friend' went in his place because of visa complications. Sahil was freed two days after the money was delivered. Mr Saeed said the gang warned him it could get to him anywhere and if he involved the police, his relatives in Pakistan would 'pay for it'. During Sahil's captivity, he was cared for by a woman and was allowed to ride a horse, given a bicycle and toy gun and taken for a ride in a donkey-drawn cart. Greater Manchester Police helped organise the handing over of the ransom to the kidnappers. Senior sources confirmed that GMP officers, working with police in Pakistan and Spain, helped ‘ facilitate’ the payment. It is understood that the family of Sahil’s mother raised about £45,000 towards the ransom by selling gold jewellery. No cash was paid by British authorities but there were reports last week that the Punjab government had contributed towards the ransom. Greater Manchester Police declined to comment.

National Congress of Gujarati Organisations UK www.ncgo.co.uk Welcomes all to the

POLITICAL CONFERENCE “QUESTION TIME”

SUNDAY 28th MARCH 2010 AT KADWA PATIDAR SAMAJ HALL KENMORE AVENUE, KENTON, MIDDX From 10.00 am to 2.00 pm Conference Programme Details: Registration & Tea: 10.00am till 10.45am Conference Starts: 11.00am & Concludes at 2.00pm Lunch: 2.00pm onwards. Conference will provide vital platform for us Gujaratis to put our points across. We urge all the Gujaratis to attend this Conference Contact: Shree CB Patel Chairman cb.patel@abplgroup.com Tel: 0207 749 4080 Anita Ruparelia Secretary email: anitaruparelia@aol.com mobile: 07971 813 370 C J Rabheru Convenor totalitjobs@aol.com mobile: 07958 275 222 FREE ADMISSION If you want the changes in the government this is the time!


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Dee Katwa

Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

Midland Voice Contact: Dhiren on 07970 911 386 or dhiren.katwa@abplgroup.com

News in Brief

Skin colour an issue, still, in the workplace Discrimination remains a feature in the workplace in the West Midlands, according to an ethnic business forum.

just 10 per cent. Sarabjeet Soar is chair of the West Midlands Minority Ethnic SeventyThis claim follows publiBusiness Forum’s cation of a report from four per cent of Regeneration and the West Midlands the working Economic Inclusion Regional Observatory age population Group. He said: into the place of ethnic in the West “The headline figminority worker’s in the Midlands is in ures come as little region’s labour market. employment surprise, but are It shows that: People compared with nevertheless very from BME backgrounds just 54 per cent disappointing espeare more likely to be of the working cially in a region unemployed than white age BME popuDisappointed: which is the most people; those that do lation with Sarabjeet Soar diverse in the counhave jobs are more likely jobs. And try after London and to be in less senior and while 15 per cent of should be turning its cullower paid roles and white workers in the tural diversity to its young people from BME region are in senior or advantage.” backgrounds do less well managerial roles the figThe report suggests overall in education. ure for BME positions is that discrimination plays its part because people with a name that implies they are from a white ethNew homes exclusively for injured soldiers are to nic background who apply be built in Birmingham. Up to 12 homes will be rentfor a job are almost twice ed out to former Army, Navy and Air Force men and as likely to be called for an women wounded or disabled in conflicts, including interview, than those with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Birmingham City a minority ethnic soundCouncil is handing over the land free of charge to exserviceman’s charity The Alderson Trust.

New homes for heroes

Home move after 68 years Grandmother Shelia Hopkins who has lived in the same house all her life has moved after 68 years to a bungalow just a few hundred yards away. Over the years Sheila, 68, shared her house in Main Street, Stonnall, a village in Staffordshire, with her parents and her son.

Council homes among cheapest Birmingham’s council housing is among the cheapest in the country to run, latest figures show. The amount of money it costs to provide, maintain and run the homes works out at just £10.99 a week per tenant. This is £4 cheaper than the local authority average and £5 less than other big cities. Around £43 million of the £69 million is spent on staff. The rest goes on premises, running costs, cleaning, IT and grounds maintenance.

School raises £2k for Haiti victims A fundraising event at Waverley School in Small Heath, Birmingham, has helped raise over £2,000 for victims of the Haiti earthquake. Students, parents, staff and supporters from diverse communities packed the school hall and playing fields last Saturday. Alfresco, they amassed to cheer on abseilers Kamal Hanif and Asiyah Ravat, the school head and assistant head, respectively, who were persuaded to do this daredevil feat by heavy sponsorship and a student vote. Mr Hanif said: “This proves again how committed Waverley School is to bettering the lives of others no matter where they are. It also shows how parents, carers, staff and students are prepared to dig deep in any way to show how we, as a community, can help those less fortunate than ourselves” Credit is due also to assistant head Ian Healey for his terrific behind the scene contribution to the success of this event. Well done!

ing name. Mr Soar added: “Inequality in the workplace is not just wrong it is bad for our regional economy. This shows that despite the attempts to legislate, there is still a failure to comply on the part of many employers.” In the West Midlands there are an estimated 47,000 BME-run businesses. Nationally, the workforce that is white, male and under the age of 45 is decreasing year on year and by the end of this year the indigenous population will be a minority in Birmingham and Solihull, experts believe. The West Midlands Minority Ethnic Business Forum provides strategic advice to Advantage West Midlands, the regional development agency, which, under the Conservatives, would potentially be abolished.

Inderpal scoops Ambulance award

Teen charged with murder A ‘baby-faced’ 16-year-old boy has appeared in court charged with the murder of Birmingham father-oftwo Sarfraz Khan, pictured, who was fatally stabbed in the head with a screwdriver. Mr Khan, 24, died in hospital last week, four days after being stabbed during an argument near a children’s play area in the Sparkbrook area of the city. Mr Khan, one of five children who worked in his father’s convenience store, had gone out with his older brother and two friends to visit a pal. It is believed he became involved in an argument with two girls, who were among a cohort of up to eight youths, after they objected to him urinating near a kids play area in Larches Green Park.

Arsonist jailed A disgruntled tenant got so fed up of his flat in Coventry he decided to blow it up. Shane Douglas, 21, doused his room with white spirit and set it alight. Fortunately no-one was in the downstairs flat and the house next door was empty. He blamed his landlord for not fixing his home in Leopold Road, Hillfields. Douglas was last Friday jailed for three years.

Journalism workshop

A dedicated samaritan from Birmingham has been recognised by West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) for helping to make a remarkable difference to the lives of people from diverse communities by educating them on important health issues. In addition, Inderpal Singh Ubhi (pictured, left) who works at the Nishkam Centre in Handsworth and undertakes health checks, has helped train members of the community on how to use an automated external defibrillator. Inderpal was among 30 ambulance volunteers who were honoured by Anthony Marsh, WMAS's chief executive, at an awards ceremony in Dudley a fortnight ago.

Photo: WMAS

8

Offensive letter Virgin Media has apologised to a potential customer after sending him a letter addressed to “Mr Illegal Immigrant”. The firm wrote to Aaron Needham, 24, from Nottingham, with details about its services. A spokeswoman for the firm has now apologised to Mr Needham.

GP banned for life A shameless doctor who was suspended for fondling the breasts of a female patient has been banned from medicine for life. Dr Subhas Pattar, pictured, from Leicester, was initially suspended from the medical register after a panel heard lurid allegations, including that he had performed an “indecent” breast examination on a female without her permission.

Driving ban for Digby Former Trade Minister Lord Digby Jones of Birmingham, pictured, has been banned from driving for just 28 days after being caught speeding at 103mph on a Midland motorway. Telford Magistrates heard how Lord Jones, 54, passed an unmarked police car in his Jaguar XF on the M42 last September. He pleaded guilty and was fined £1,100, ordered to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

I doff my cap to a down-to-earth and impeccably modest Paul Lewis, pictured, a reporter at The Guardian, for delivering an outstanding workshop on investigative reporting. The round-table event at the BBC studio in Coventry last Saturday attracted over a dozen young local reporters. It was organised by top veteran reporter and doughty industry campaigner Barbara Goulden, who is vice chair of the National Union of Journalists’ Birmingham and Coventry branch. The NUJ, nationally, has 33,991 members of which four per cent are registered as BME.

Takeaway boss fined Akbar Jan, the owner of a dirt-ridden takeaway outlet in Birmingham who went on the run after his shop was raided by environmental officers has received a three month suspended sentence. He was also ordered to pay costs of £2,645 and banned from managing a food business. Birmingham City Council officials found mouse droppings, greasy walls and dirty door handles when they pounced on the Bab-EKhybar takeaway on Highgate Road, Balsall Heath. They also discovered that Jan, 44, had not paid the gas bill and had cobbled together a series of LPG gas cylinders to supply the kitchen cookers and tandoori oven.

Patel changes plea Hiralal Patel from Birmingham has admitted causing the death of 89-year-old Edna May Bytheway by careless driving. Patel, 58, of Pearson Street, West Bromwich, had initially denied the charge, but he changed his plea before Judge Rosalind Bush at Wolverhampton Crown Court. He was remanded on bail until April 15 for sentencing.

Kaur is back Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, the writer of Behzti, the controversial play which sparked off ugly riots in Birmingham in December 2004, is back with a new play – Behud, which translates to without limit in Punjabi. Behud, a fictionalised account of her Behzti experience, will run at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, from March 27 until April 10. There is a possibility that righteous fury could rise again. To find out more visit www.belgrade.co.uk


EDUCATION/COUNCIL

Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

Property developers’ illegal building work falls flat

Sleep your way to exam success What’s the key to success in exams? Well, an extra hour in bed in the morning, apart from hard work, say scientists. An experiment, designed by three British scientists, which allows students to stay in bed for an extra hour in the same morning has boosted exam results and slashed absenteeism, according to reports. The scientists, led by neuroscience Professor Russell Foster of Oxford University, found that teenagers have a biological predisposition to go to bed late and get up late

Student fury at ‘150 to a class’ degree lessons Students at Manchester University have mounted a protest over a ‘supertutorial’ which crams 150 undergraduates into one class. More than 200 signed a petition calling for a shake-up of the way their mechanical engineering degree is taught. As well as cramped lessons, they complained that lecture notes were ‘unintelligible’ and ‘inconsistent’, with claims that some notes they were given had simply been ‘copied from textbooks’. Although lectures are usually given to hundreds of students at a time, tutorial groups are usually much smaller, allowing undergraduates to get more personal contact with staff. University teaching staff held an emergency meeting with undergraduates earlier this month following the grassroots protest. Prof Colin Bailey, dean of the university’s engineering faculty, said his staff were trying to respond to concerns raised. He said: “We discussed possible solutions. This has resulted in addressing the quality of class notes, improving tutorials, improving communication, improving quality and timeliness of feedback.” Kate Little, from the student union, said: “Hopefully the university will listen to what they ask for and I will put pressure on them to make sure that they do.” Bosses at the university last year vowed to overhaul the way that undergraduate courses were taught following a number of demonstrations by students.

particularly during exam time, and may not begin to function fully until 10

am, two to four hours later than adults. The experiment also revealed that the most difficult lessons should take place in the afternoon, when pupils will be at their most alert. This

adolescent ‘time shift’ persists until the age of 21, after which a person’s body clock starts to shift back again, until by the age of 50 they are likely to get out of bed as early as when they were young children. “Teachers will say, ‘I know my kids are at their best first thing in the morning’, but what’s really going on is that the teachers are feeling particularly awake by 9 am and the kids are half asleep, making the class easier to control,” Prof Foster said.

9

A couple has been fined over £6,500 for allegedly flouting planning regulations at a property in West Ealing. Yashpal Batra and Geeta Kumari Batra, who live in Jersey Road, Isleworth, Middlesex, pleaded guilty at Ealing Magistrates' Court to building four separate flats in Midhurst Road, Ealing, which breached planning permission. The council originally gave planning permission for two flats to be built at the property, but following several complaints by local resi-

dents, the council discovered they had built two flats on the ground floor and two flats on the upper floor. Having made several attempts to get the work corrected, the council issued an enforcement notice. Mr and Mrs Batra appealed to the Secretary of State for planning, who upheld Ealing Council's enforcement notice in February 2009. They still failed to take action and the council had no option but to prosecute Mr and Mrs Batra. Councillor David Millican, Cabinet Member

for Regeneration and Transport said: "This couple has shown a flagrant disregard for local planning regulations and their actions really infuriated local residents. The council was very clear about what work they could do at the property and it beggars belief that they went away and did something completely different. I'm pleased the magistrates' court has recognised this and the case should serve as a warning that planning regulations are not there to be ignored."

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10

UK & CULTURE

Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

Spriha’s

Corner

By Spriha Srivastava

And the “Tamasha” begins Groundbreaking theatre company Tamasha kicks off its 21st Birthday year with Propeller, an intensive artist training initiative culminating in a week of work-in-progress performances at the Gate Theatre. Involving over 30 practitioners at all stages of their careers, the project brings together writers, directors, designers and actors to develop and workshop four plays currently under commission to Tamasha. The directors and designers are working with Tamasha’s cofounder and Artistic Director Kristine LandonSmith and designer Sue Mayes whilst the writers are mentored by cofounder and Artistic Director Sudha Bhuchar and dramaturgs Philip Osment and Lin Coghlan. Tamasha has been discovering and developing emerging artists with major successes including playwright Ayub KhanDin, whose play East is East went on to be produced as a smash-hit film, paving the way for other Asian stories into the mainstream. The company was founded in 1989 by director Kristine Landon-Smith and actor/playwright Sudha

Bhuchar to bring contemporary work of Asian influence to the British stage. It strives to transform theatre to create a space where British Asian talent takes centre-stage. In the last 21 years, Tamasha has produced 19 new plays, presented 1146 performances, and attracted audiences in excess of 210,000, at over 60 theatres around the UK. The company has also taken shows around the world from Mumbai and Delhi to New York and Los Angeles and been invited twice to premier plays at the Edinburgh International Festival. Propeller is supported through the 2012 London Cultural Skills Fund, funded by London Development Agency and managed by Arts Council England. The four highly original plays that Propeller is developing are by writers who have come through the company’s biennial course Tamasha New Writing: Satinder Chohan’s first play Zameen was developed with Kali Theatre and staged at Soho Theatre. Inspired by verbatim research, Lotus Beauty is set in a London beauty salon as secrets,

lies, murder and suicide are unearthed. Ishy Din is a taxi driver by night and is inspired by the stories he overhears in his cab. With a great sense of comedy, Snookered sees four friends come together in a snooker hall to remember a dead friend but as they excavate the past things threaten to explode. Em Hussain’s debut play Sweet Cider presented by Tamasha at the Arcola Theatre in 2008. Her Propeller play, Blood, is a tale of love, lust and betrayal set in the Pakistani community of northern England, based on Lorca’s tragedy Blood Wedding. Avaes Mohammad is an established playwright, poet and performer. He received the Amnesty International Media Award for his poem Bhopal and theatre works include In God We Trust and Shadow Companion. His play Zindabad charts the rise of a second generation immigrant in Lancashire’s tight Pakistani community, still burdened by the weight of their parents’ fate. (For more info, log on to www.tamasha.org.uk/pro pellerblog)

Beauty queen off to South Africa In a few days time, our beautiful British Indian queen heads off to conquer the World pageant in South Africa. Recently crowned Miss India Worldwide UK, Niharica Raizada has been busy preparing her talent and is all geared up to represent UK in the World finals, Durban at the prestigious ICC venue on the 27th of March. The Worldwide pageant schedule is hectic and will last over one week, encompassing grooming sessions, hair and makeup advice, catwalk practice and talent showcase. Esteemed guests including Sonam Nigam will grace the pageant and all thirty contestants will be judged based on their overall personality, grace and beauty. Niharica has been involved in several shoots and hospital charity work since she

won the coveted crown on the 27th of February 2010, triumphing out of forty contestants from

around the country. She has been published in the Daily Telegraph for her work in the hospital and will appear in the Daily Mail on Sunday the 21st of March. "I feel so privileged to have been associated with some big

names in national press" she mentions. Niharica's clothes are being sponsored by Satya Paul, Arinder Bhullar and Reena Mongas her jewellery is being sponsored by Kyles. We wish Niharica all the best and hope she is successful in bringing back the crown. We hope our Miss India Worldwide UK shines. The 24 year old who works at Hammersmith Hospital recently told the reporters that it is sometimes the peer pressure in India that pushes the women to be acknowledged as smart, independent and highly qualified individuals. Well said, Niharica, it is indeed true that more and more women are coming out of the four walls to prove themselves because of the pressure around them, a sense of challenge that provokes them to work hard and do well.

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

Let them know you care Britain is renowned for its unique diversity. Diversity in turn stands for existence of the multifaceted communities, their own peculiarities and cultural heritage. It is but obvious that they also have their own needs and requirements, which are often unknown to our leaders and the government. Pre election time is perhaps the most productive time in a country's political history. The campaigns, the deliveries, the promises, the conversations, the debates- are a significant part of the election fever. We must ask the leaders whatever has always gone unanswered in the name of multiculturalism, Britishness and many more of such ideologies. We must ask them- since you have promised us a Britain fairer and equal for all, does your party, your representatives, your leaders and your ppcs know who we are and what we really need? More importantly, can you really represent us and Britain the way we desire and deserve? So, Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar in association with the National Congress of Gujarati Organisations (UK) are organising a 'Question Time' with the three main political parties viz. Labour, Liberal Democrat and

Conservative on Sunday 28th March 2010 at

Kadwa Patidar Centre, Harrow, 10:30am for 11am. The Conservative Party will be represented by Dominic Grieve, MP, Sarah Teathers, MP from Lib Dem. Labour party is yet to confirm the name despite of several reminders. Moderator for the Question Time will be Mr Alpesh Patel. Alpesh, a well known broadcaster/writer, is a former Visiting Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He read Philosophy, Politics, Economics at St Anne’s College, Oxford when he also interned in the US Congress during the Clinton administration, read Law at King’s College, London, qualifying as a barrister. He is a former Bloomberg TV presenter and Financial Times columnist with 250+ columns published in the FT and author of 13 books on business and the markets. Each party leader or their senior representatives will have 15mins to put forward their party's manifesto for this General Election, to the invited. Following one

hour will be allocated for the audience participation in the form of questions. NCGO was established in 1985 and it has remained the active voice of British Gujarati Organisations. It represents over 700,000 people of Gujarati origin, who reside in the UK. The British Gujarati community is well known as a peace loving and for its success in education, professions, business and commerce. The 105 affiliated organisations and their leaders perform a very important role to educate, inform and encourage its members to have their rightful role in the British public life especially political sphere at this critical juncture. If you are interested to ask a question, please write to CB Patel at cb.patel@abplgroup.com or Anita Ruparelia at anitaruparelia@aol.com by Friday 26th March, 10am. If you are our reader or a member of the NCGO (UK), as a representative of your organisation, email your questions to Anitaben at the earliest. Be vigilant, this is your country. Take your future in your hand. Let them know we deserve to be informed, educated and inspired. This is your last chance to choose the right government for yourself and your future.

25 years of solid service at the Bhavan

On Sunday the 21 st of March 2010, a happy Silver Jubilee of their services to the Bhavan was held for Smt Sivasakti Sivanesan, Bhavan’s full time teacher of South Indian classical music, and Sri Prakash Yadagudde Bhavan’s full time teacher of Bharatanatyam. The Bhavan’s Mountbatten Auditorium was filled to capacity with a wildly enthusiastic audience of former students, parents and admirers of these two great teachers. The programme started with musical items by Bhavan’s present and former students, both Vina and vocal and these included a couple of innovative pieces. These were

followed by felicitous speeches from our Chairman Mr Maneck Dalal OBE, Padma Shri Dr John Marr and Dr Nandakumara. The Director then read a number of messages of congratulations received amongst others from Sri Mathoor Krishnamurthi Director Bhavan Bangalore, Padma Vibhushan Dr M Balamuralikrishna, Prof. T.V Gopakrishnan and others. In addition two former students, one of Bharatanatyam Smt Neena Rajrani MBE, and the other of Karnatic Music Sri Hari Sivanesan also spoke of their Gurus’ contributions. Flowers were then presented to Smt Sivasakti Sivanesan

by Smt Janaki Nandakumara and to Sri Prakash Yadagudde by Mrs Wendy Marr. Presentations were also made by Smt Chandrima Misra, the Bhavan’s resident teacher of Hindustani vocal music, Sri Balu Raguraman Bhavan’s teacher of Karnatic violin and the priest from East Ham Murugan temple. The cultural programme then continued with a number of items of South Indian classical dance given by present and former students of Sri Prakash Yadagudde. This was a spectacular climax to a brilliant evening of celebration by so many of Bhavan’s “extended family”.


UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

11

Lady Noon speaks about Bombay Halwa works towards 'Millenium Women' in Nehru Centre safer neighbourhood

By Rupanjana Dutta

enhance progress, as the offsprings of these helps Writer and filmmaker are encouraged to be eduMohini Kent Noon, cocated and work elsewhere author and producer of including call centres. She the award-winning play also criticised women to 'Rumi: Unveil the Sun', on fear domestic violence, fall the great Sufi mystic prey to it and still Mevlana Jalaluddin look up to the predRumi organised a ator for financial seminar to address security. the subject Lady Noon 'Millenium Women: insisted that this A future model' in status quo desperNehru Centre on ately needs a Friday the 19th change, everywhere, March. including in the B a r o n e s s lives of British Margaret Jay of Indians, in the UK. Paddington who Lady Mohini chaired the event Baroness Margaret Jay of Paddington and Noon has written joined the discusand directed Curry Lady Mohini Noon sion as she talked Tiffin a film on about the balancing act of wrongly ambitious or like Indian history; Ramayana, a woman in a social life. a man or push marriage a feature film on the Baroness Jay, former away to be successful in Indian epic; TV commerLeader of the House of life. She insisted on the cials and documentaries; Lords, was co-chair of the balance of a woman's working with the likes of Iraq Commission in 2007. work and personal life as a Oscar-winning actor Ben She was a journalist with necessity to an ideal for Kingsley and thespian Panorama, Newsnight and Roshan Seth. She's the this millennium. other current affairs proauthor of Chief She also added that “A grammes. A strong camLonghooknose, a humorwoman's life is not cheappaigner on AIDS, she’s ous work of fiction; and an er. Unlike in the west, co-Founder of the Indian cookery book.She where a woman's plate is National Aids Trust and was a columnist with quite full, Indian system patron of Help the Aged. many news magazines and depends on a feudal order Lady Noon in a very had a regular slot with and that helps a woman to witty speech spoke about BBC Radio 5 Alive and progress further.” When the importance of educaRadio Scotland. She’s asked, if India would ever tion in a woman's life as it get rid of domestic helps, actively involved with a leads to empowerment. As she said that it may hapnumber of Indian charities she praised the women in pen in later generations working for women and India who have achieved a though currently this children, providing educagreat deal like Chanda social order is a way to tion and fighting traffickKochchar, MD and CEO remove poverty and ing. of ICICI Bank, India, entrepreneur Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and Indra Nooyi, CEO, PepsiCo, she emphasised that it does mean a woman should become

Bombay Halwa Limited sponsored a second police vehicle to make our neighbourhood safer. They went through the Income Generation Scheme working closely with Inspector Robert Bryan who is in charge of this process on Ealing Borough. Bombay Halwa Limited are helping Ealing Borough Police respond to local issues by sponsoring a Smart Car which will be utilised by the Southall Safer Neighbourhood Teams. This will benefit the local community by increasing the mobility of officers on the local Safer Neighbourhood Teams. Superintendent Jenkins, Inspector Robert Bryan and members of his team attended Bombay Halwa Limited to collect the vehicle. For Sir Gulam Noon of Bombay Halwa Limited and Noon Products who previously sponsored another smart car in October of last year said “I am delighted to be part of this scheme for the second time and feel by sponsoring this Police vehicle we will help the surrounding communities and my employees feel safer. The sponsorship of this second Police vehicle will undoubtedly only

Sir Gulam Noon of Bombay Halwa Ltd with Chief Superintendent Ian Jenkins after handing over the keys

strengthen community links and increase visibility to our business. The community benefits and we benefit by enabling us to offer assistance to Ealing Police engaging in crime prevention. It is important for local businesses to work in partnership with the Police and the scheme is an effective way of doing this.” Borough Commander Sultan Taylor said “On behalf of Ealing Borough Police, I’d like to say a

huge thank you to Bombay Halwa Limited and Sir Gulam Noon..This second car is sure to prove a valuable addition to our resources and will undoubtedly help free up other police vehicles responding to emergency calls. The vehicle will assist in promoting police visibility and will be used by local Safer Neighbourhood Teams with great effect to deal with the needs of the community...”

Asian Achievers Awards 2009 will be telecasted on Sunday 28th March 2010, 12 - 2pm on MATV. You can view MATV on 793 Sky Channel free on Sky network

The High 5 - Five ways to reduce risk on site UK Health and Safety Law protects you even if you are not working here legally fare are the basics of a good site. Slips and trips are the most common cause of injuries at work. ! An untidy site is a poorly managed site.

Rhaynukaa Soni Outreach Executive

Construction is a high-risk industry. Here is the ‘High 5’ that will help you keep safe and healthy. Remember to: l Plan and organise what you do l Make sure you are trained and competent and know the special risks in your trade l Raise problems with your supervisor or safety rep HIGH 1: THE BASICS: Tidy sites and decent welfare Tidy sites and decent wel-

All sites need decent welfare facilities. The minimum welfare requirements are: l Clean toilets l Running hot and cold water with soap and towels l Basins large enough to immerse your arms up to the elbows l Drinking water l Somewhere warm, dry and clean to sit and eat ! Poor welfare facilities can lead to ill health HIGH 2: FALLS FROM HEIGHT Falls from height are the biggest cause of fatal and serious injuries in con-

struction. They account for 50% of all deaths. Many accidents involve falls from roofs, through fragile materials, from ladders and from leading edges. Generally, make sure you: l Work from a safe and secure place or platform with proper edge protection l Use scaffolds and scaffold towers that are competently erected l Use powered access equipment safely l Protect holes and leading edges, e.g. with guardrails and toe boards When working on roofs never: l Work in poor weather l Work on sloping roofs without edge protection l Throw down waste or equipment ! Take care when working on or near fragile material - you can fall through as

well as off it. Ladders: l Only use ladders for light work of short duration if there’s no safer alternative l Angle and secure them to prevent slipping (1 out for 4 up) l Always make sure ladders are properly maintained ! Never over-reach HIGH 3: MANUAL HANDLING Manual handling injuries from working with heavy, awkward materials, often in cold and wet conditions, are one of the most common reasons why workers leave construction. Injuries are made worse by repetitive jobs, such as laying heavy blocks. l Use mechanical means, e.g. hoists, teleporters and chutes rather than hods l Choose equipment suit-

able for the job and keep it maintained l Change to lighter materials, bags etc l Avoid repetitive handling l Avoid awkward movements ! Protect yourself reduce the strain

and

HIGH 4: TRANSPORT Workplace transport incidents are the second most common cause of fatalities after falls from height. l Use barriers and warning signs to separate vehicles and people l Create clearance around slewing vehicles l Avoid reversing - where you can’t, use trained banksmen l Make sure loads are secure l Don’t use plant and vehicles on dangerous slopes l Only take passengers on vehicles designed to take them

Helpline: 0207 556 2181 e-mail: desi@hse.gsi.gov.uk Website: www.hse.gov.uk/construction/gujarati

l Make sure vehicles are maintained and operators are trained ! When people and vehicles collide, people come off worse - so keep them apart! HIGH 5: ASBESTOS Many buildings in the UK contain asbestos. If you’re thinking of working in a building that was built or renovated up until the 1980s, you should assume it contains asbestos until proved otherwise. The main asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) are lagging, asbestos insulating board, sprayed insulation, decorative coatings and asbestos cement. l Check if there is any ACM l Find out what you need to do to work safely ! If in any doubt, leave it to the experts!


12

MEDIA WATCH

Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

Scrutator’s It is quite possible that future historians of India may judge that the country's decision to open its capacious doors for universities from the US, Canada, the UK and Australia was strategic wisdom of a high order. The thirst for a good university education, particularly in the sciences, technology and engineering, is driven being driven by India's burgeoning economy, with demand outstripping supply. The presence of the best foreign universities will not only meet India's needs, it will also provide best practice and that should spur Indian universities to greater heights of endeavour and create new centres of learning and excellence. Aarti Dhar, in The Hindu (March 16), reporting from New Delhi, said the Union Cabinet, presided over by Prime Minister had “cleared the Foreign Educational Institutions Bill, 2010,” for tabling in Parliament.The legislation would permit “foreign education providers to set up campuses in the country and offer degrees.” The bill's architect, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, said: “This is a milestone which will enhance choices, increase competition and benchmark quality. A larger revolution than even in the telecom sector awaits us.” So it does. The bill, which has been pending for the past four years and undergone changes to meet the objections of certain opposition parties, should encounter no major impediments in its rite of passage before it reaches the statute book.

Cold water

BrahMos on target

The New York Times (March 16), which from long habit has viewed India through its glass, darkly was unimpressed. It said “excitement about entering India may be tempered by the difficulties some American universities have had in setting up campuses and attracting students in other countries, particularly in the Middle East.” India is not the Middle East, as even the New York should know, and with India sending about 100,000 students to the US (the highest among foreign countries) there should be no lack of applicants in India itself. But the carping American paper, true to form, remarked: “The effort to bring foreign institutions to the country could also become stymied in Parliament, where opposition parties have lately been tenacious in thwarting the will of the coalition government led by the Congress party. On Monday [March 15], the government was forced to withdraw a controversial bill that would have limited the liability of American nuclear power companies that came to India under the civilian nuclear deal the United States and India signed in 2006.” Foreign education in India and the Indo-US nuclear accord are unrelated subjects. Perhaps Indian legislators remember the performance of Union Carbide in the Bhopal disaster of 1984, and are determined there should be no repeat of the wrangling over compensation in the event of another accident. The New York Times may prefer a Tienanmen Square solution with tanks and guns to expressions of dissent, but that, alas, has never been India's way.

India's dissuasive diplomacy took a giant step forward at the weekend with the latest test of the BrahMos supersonic missile in the Bay of Bengal. The missile, with its range of 290 kilometres, travels at 2.8 times the speed of sound and is jointly manufactured by India and Russia. The test was an awesome display of the missile's capability to manoeuvre in mid-flight at supersonic speeds, giving

Pratibha Patil and Defence Minister A.K.Antony congratulated the BrahMos team and naval personnel on the launch. Previous BrahMos models were fired in 'inclined launcher configurations'. The vertical lunchers are fitted under the warship's deck, protecting them from from atmospheric conditions and also imparting some stealth characteristics to the weapon system. It allows the missile to be fired in any direction. “With vertical launches, the missile can be fired in the entire 360 degree spectrum,” Dr Pillai told The Times of India (March 22). Two such modules, with 16 missiles, are to be fitted in each of the Kolkata-class P15A destroyers being built at Mazgaon Docks near Mumbai. Three Talwarclass stealth frigates being built at the Yantar shipyard in Kaliningrad (Russia). The Indian Army, on its part, is on course to induct two more regiments of the BrahMos Block-II land attack cruise missiles, which have been designed as 'precision strike weapons' capable of hitting small targets in cluttered urban environments including terror training camps across the border without causing collateral damage. India and Russia have begun preliminary work on a hypersonic brahmas mis-

international terrorism, that the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) had identified 320 targets worldwide including 20 in India. “In the wake of the (26/11) Mumbai attack, investigators in controller records and e-mail accounts a list of 320 locations worldwide deemed by the LeT as possible targets for attack. Only 20 of those targets were located within India. The LeT has been attacking US forces in Afghanistan almost from day one and there are present throughout Afghanistan. The LeT has been slaughtering Indians by the score for decades.... This group of savages needs to be crushed. Not starting in a month, not in a year, not when the situation in Afghanistan stabilises, not when things are under control in Pakistan, now, today and everyday going forward. We're not doing it, and we're not effectively leading a global effort to do it. And we are going to regret it bitterly.... Public estimates suggest LeT operates some 2,000 offices in towns and villages throughout Pakistan, as well as maintaing ties with the Pakistan military. There is, in fact, no reason to doubt that Pakistan's military is likely paying compensation to the families of the terrorists killed in the Mumbai attacks. These are our allies in the war on terror. Operational funding for the LeT comes from charitable fundraising amongst the general population of Pakistan, but also depends heavily upon contributions by Pakistani businessmen living abroad and other wealthy individuals from the Persioan Gulf,” Mr Ackerman concluded.

Pakistani illusions BrahMos supersonic naval cruise missile test-fired at the weekend

India an paralleled force projection at sea, on land and (in the next couple of years) in the air as well. The Hindu's T.S.Subramanian writes (March 22): “BrahMos, the supersonic cruise missile, was bang on target on Sunday [March 21], lifting off vertically from Naval destroyer INS Ranvir and punching a hole in a decommissioned vessel... The missile... climbed 200 metres vertically, then manoeuvred at supersonic speeds to cruise horizontally before smashing into the vessel INS Meen.” According to A. Sivathanui Pillai, CEO and Managing Director, BrahMos Aerospace Ltd, it was a 'perfect mission'. He called it a 'formidable weapon'', which had 'no equivalent'. President

sile with 5 and 7 times the speed of sound. The armed forces eventual plan is to have nuclear-tipped land missiles with strike ranges of 15,00 km. Unlike ballistic missiles, cruise missiles do not leave the atmosphere but hug the terrain and are powered and guided throughout their flight path. Cruise missiles are better able to evade enemy radars and air defence systems; they are cheaper as well and more accurate and easier to handle than ballistic missiles.

Terrorist threat The Times of India report from Washington's Capitol Hill (March 15) quoted Democratessman Gary Ackerman telling a Congressional hearing on

Ashley J.Tellis, a senior associate at the Washingtonbased Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, writes in YaleGlobal Online: “As the search for stability intensifies, the threat of violence and a wider conflagration is growing. In an effort to secure a dominant position in Afghanistan and blunt India's rise, Pakistan has mobilized militants and terrorists on both sides of its borders.... Islamabad has exchanged its previous policy of supporting anti-Indian insurgencies with that of supporting terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, which mounted the deadly assault on Mumbai in 2008.... this tactic not only increases the prospect of major war between New Delhi and Islamabad, but, given Lashkar's growing reach, could have global consequences.”

Saudi Arabia Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's recent visit to Saudi Arabia underlined India's effort to reach out to one of the most influential powers in the Islamic world. He was received with much pomp and ceremony by his royal hosts, clear evidence that

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia

they too desired a closer relationship with a dominant regional player. In the context of the Saudi Monarchy's privileged place in the highest counsels in Islamabad, Dr Singh's references to Pakistan's role in fomenting terrorist attacks in India was a gentle warning to King Abdullah and his ministers of the possible perils of Pakistani policy and Saudi Arabia's need to rein in its ally. Beyond the Pakistan factor, Saudi Arabia was also keen to develop rewarding economic and strategic ties with a neighbouring state whose industrial and military clout was not insignificant. With the Western economies still in near recession, India offered suitable opportunities for Saudi investment. There was sound statecraft on both sides.

Grand plan Mr Tellis continues: “Since its formation in 1947, Pakistan has sought to stir up insurgencies within India. The earliest efforts in 1947-48 centred on provoking insurrections in Jammu and Kashmir in hopes that an internal rebellion would permit the seizure of the disputed state. These efforts failed miserably... Since assaulting India has become a quite satisfying end in itself, the Pakistan establishment has no incentive whatsoever to interdict this [LeT] group. To the extent that ISI [Inter Services Intelligence] has attempted to control LeT, it is mainly to prevent excessive embarrassment to its sponsors or serious crises leading to war. But outside these aims, the Pakistan military has no interest in dismantling any terrorist assets that it believes serve it well.... Military leaders in Rawalpindi... continue to harbour the illusion that

their current strategy of unleashing terrorism will enervate India, push it out of Afghanistan.... Such a strategy is designed to make Islamabad the kingmaker in determinimng Kabul's future. This too promises to become one more in the long line of cruel illusions that has gripped Pakistan since its founding,”concludes

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Ashley Tellis. For all Mr Tellis's words of wisdom, the Obama administration clings stubbornly to the tried and failed policy of appeasing Islamabad (See page 3 comment).

Pilot project Reporting for The Times from Mumbai (March 11), Rhys Blakely told of India's “ambitious scheme to provide all its 630,000 villages, no matter how remote, with broadband internet access. The plan is to use the internet to improve education and health services in areas blighted by poverty and to help to bridge the cultural chasms that still separate India's regions and castes. It would also enable the country's outsourcing businesses, clustered in cities such as Bangalore, to serve Western clients from the most isolated hamlets.... Analysts say that the target is extremely ambitious.... A glimpse of how the gaping digital divide may be bridged came last month when a new government-run WiMAXnetwork was launched near Guwahati, in the northeastern state of Assam. A kind of soupedup wi-fi, the wireless technology allows internet access to any suitable device within 10 miles (16 kilometres) of a central mast. It is well suited to remote regions.... Assam is also earmarked to become the first state in India to have fibre optic cables capable of trafficking large volumes of data at high speed, installed at billage level... There are also plans to provide satellite telephones to villages too far out of reach to supply with conventional telecoms services.” The 21st century looms large.


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Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

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Alpesh Patel Consultant Editor Financial Voice Dear Financial Voice Reader, Many investors like to buy shares in companies in which the directors themselves are buying stock. The theory is simple: directors should know more about their own companies than outsiders. Therefore, if the directors are buying shares this should signal the company is doing well and that the share price will rise. And if they’re selling shares, well surely it’s time to bail out. The internet makes tracking such directors’ dealings easier than ever – easier to get the information, easier to track purchase or sale trends, and quicker and easier to react to these signals. In fact, there’s only one problem with this theory: it doesn’t work. I tested it with the following experiment. I took five stocks at random. In the three months following a director’s share purchase, the stocks fell on average. In each case no directors sold shares during that 3month period. The purchases simply did not boost the share price. And it isn’t that share prices take longer than three months to react after a director’s purchase. I also examined the 12-month period after the same purchases and found they still made little difference to the overall average performance. My conclusion? If directors’ dealings do work as a signal, they don’t work in an obvious, easy or straightforward way. Which is a good reason not to use it at all. Closer inspection reveals why directors dealings don’t work as a signal. Directors could be buying shares not because of faith in a rising share price, but because the company expects new directors to do this (just as a new worker is expected to ‘volunteer’ overtime). It could also be that the share price has fallen sharply and they’re buying stock as a public statement of confidence in the company. Equally, it could be part of their estate planning, tax re-organisation, or an exercise of options. These purchases are hardly calculated moves based on the director’s belief in a share price rise. But although directors’ purchases are not a good signal to buy their stock, perhaps their sales are a good reason to sell it. After all, isn’t the director saying his money is better off elsewhere? Not so. Wharton’s Andrew Metrick and Harvard’s Leslie Jeng constructed a hypothetical portfolio of all ‘insider’ (the US term for high ranking corporate officers including directors) sales over a 10-year period ending in 1996. The portfolio merely performed in line with the market. You might as well have ignored directors’ sales altogether. And Professor Josef Lakonishok, Illinois University, came to the same conclusion when he examined directors’ share sales. He found that executives are twice as likely to sell their company’s stock as buy it, simply because many receive their pay in options. And the timing is random, too – more likely prompted by the need to raise cash to make a down payment on a new car than doubts about the company’s future share performance. So if neither directors’ buying nor their selling is a signal for the net trader to do the same, perhaps we should do the reverse - buy when they sell and sell when they buy? Evidence for this comes from a test by Business 2.0 magazine, which found that a portfolio of 100 stocks with the most insider selling actually gained 40 percent over 12 months. But where’s the logic in that? Would you confidently risk money believing directors are bound to be wrong about their own company’s future share price?

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Hinduja Bank-Middle East gets Dubai nod for full range services A subsidiary of Hinduja promoted bank in Switzerland given category-1 license by DFSA Hinduja Bank-Middle East, a venture of UK based business family of Indian origin – the Hinduja brothers last week got a category-1 license from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). This would enable the bank to provide a complete range of financial services to clients not only in the Middle

East, but also in Europe and South Asia.

The bank had started its operations 16 months ago. Now it has got its license upgraded. Hinduja Bank-Middle East is functional from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Group chairman S P Hinduja said in a statement that the upgrade of the Hinduja

Call Care: phenomenal growth for outsourcing business Call Care is an example of innovation in business outlook and the early bird advantage. Companies and businesses the world over are constantly looking for ways to cut their costs and outsource non core tasks to optimize output. According to a report in ‘The Telegraph’, a former finance director at Philips spotted the opportunity in an area known as call centre almost a decade ago. He was one of the winners during the previous recession and today, Call Care has witnessed a 400% rise in business in just one year. Manchester is the main centre of his

Rasik Kotecha

business, with a team of 100. The Cambridge based company operates round the clock operations, taking calls for their clients. Call Care had £1million turnover last year and Kotecha aims at doubling the business in year 2010. He has some financial backing for his expansion

plans too, from an Abu Dhabi based investor. Call Care started with business from Securicor, as that company wanted to outsource non core activities. From than on, Call Care business has grown to such an extent that now according to Rasik Kotecha’s own estimates, he is earning more than from his job at Philips. The client list of Call Care includes one man business operations to companies in the FTSE 100 list. The options offered by Call Care also cover a variety of operations, though the main functions entrusted are out-of-hour calls.

Hewitt Robins of UK acquired by Tata group Another UK company has been lapped up by the Tata Group of India. TRF Limited, the engineering solutions entity of the Tata group on Monday announced the decision of acquiring Hewitt Robins International of UK for £3 million. Hewitt Robins, the UK based firm is in the field of design and manufacturing of screens, mobile crushing and other related products used for quarrying, mining, recycling, iron and steel industries. TRF Limited board of directors in a meeting on Monday, 22 March approved the acquisition of Hewitt, the Tata group company has said in a regulatory filing.

Gulfsands Petroleum on acquisition radar

Indian Petro majors have already made a bid; will improve the offer after initial rejection Gulfsands Petroleum Plc of UK, the Middle E a s t focused oil firm is up for grabs. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Oil India, two govt. of India owned firms did made a bid for Gulfsands, believed to be at around £400 mn, but was rejected by the company as it considered the offer too little, meaning it undervalued the company, a statement from Gulfsands said. A source believed closely linked to the bid offer said the offer made by Indian major PSUs can

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be conf i r m e d . Gulfsands said the offer was an unsolicited and was rejected because it was found to be too low. The UK company is having oil properties in Syria and Gulf of Mexico and

the Indian bidders said IOC and OIL would again meet and raise their offer, emphasising the point that initial rejection doesn’t mean the deal has fallen through. The Indian petro giants have been working over the deal for six months now. Large institutional investors from

currently produces 14 to 17 thousand barrels per day. The source close to

UK who hold significant stake in Gulfsands were approached prior to the

bid. Gulfsands maintains that it has no intention to go for a sell off. IOC and OIL have teamed up with a 50:50 partnership for acquiring overseas assets. If successful, it will be their first acquisition, though they already have a portfolio of exploration blocks abroad in Gabon, Iran, Libya, Nigeria and Yemen.

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Bank's licence will enable it to make a greater contribution to the future growth of the region... Dubai will be the crucial economic and financial link between the Middle East, Asia and the West. The Hinduja group also has a presence in other sectors there – Automobiles (Ashok Leyland) and Oil sector (Gulf Oil).

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fINaNCIal voice

Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

East India company will be thriving again, with an Indian heart and mind Sanjiv Mehta has big dreams, a huge responsibility to maintain, improve the company’s legacy By Jyotsna Shah

the owner of a 400 year company that was the property of British royal family members as well as political big wigs. Sanjiv Mehta is confident that a new chapter would now be added to the glorious history of the company. He was also modest enough to say that he is not the man who would be credited for creating a history, but for sure he understands well that he is the curator, custodian of story of trail blazing success in world trade. Sanjiv Mehta is a man with an interesting background. His parents – Ashaben and Mahendrabhai are native of Palanpur, a district place in North Gujarat. Sanjiv was born and brought up in Mumbai. He was a student of New Era School, in Gujarati medium. Later, he graduated from the Sidenham College in Fine Arts and went to the USA to study psychology at the Columbia University. He also studied Gemology in Los Angeles with the aim of carrying on his family business of diamond trade.

A company that ruled for almost 200 years on India is now owned by an Indian. It definitely is a matter of pleasure, pride. The name of East India Company was well known not just in India and Britain but the world over. Once it was said that the sun never sets on the British Empire. The company was then owned by the British Royal family. Its value is beyond any count, simply invaluable. Sanjiv Mehta, a 48 year Gujarati businessman is the new owner of the company. He has bought the company with a definite vision. He was excited about the fact that he has bought the company that once ruled his “Matrubhoomi”. In a chat with Asian Voice, he recounts how he came to know that this historic entity is still alive, how he meticulously planned the acquisition and about his plans to take the business forward, to bring back the glory that was once unparalleled. He said he was definitely delighted to become

Tata Motors to compensate Singur Nano vendors industry circles. It said the payment would likely cover at least 75 to 80 per cent of the losses incurred by the vendors due to the relocation costs. "We have done everything possible to help our vendors. We cannot quantify the size of the compensation package. It will vary from vendor to vendor depending on how much amount they had invested in our units," a report quoted a Tata spokesman as saying. Tata Motors began sales of Nano in July last year produced at a unit in Pantnagar in Uttarakhand.

Tata Motors has readied a compensation package for vendors of its Nano, the world's cheapest car, after they were forced to relocate their Bengal units following political agitation. Tata Motors had abandoned the original site of the ultra low-cost Nano at Singur in West Bengal and moved to Sanand in Gujarat in October 2008 over disputes regarding payment for land. The compensation package is estimated at 2 billion rupees ($44 million), the newspaper said on Monday, citing unnamed automotive

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Sanjiv Mehta has settled in London for almost 20 years now, in Harrow. His wife Ami is engaged in Pharmaceuticals, a business that her father is doing. Son Arjun, 20 is studying in the University, while daughter Anushka 17, is also a college student. His father Mahendrabhai is leading a retired life, though he keeps himself busy through a charitable trust known as Ratnanidhi. Follower of Jain religion, Mahendrabhai had played a key role in a huge medical camp that was held earlier this year at Palitana in Gujarat. Sanjiv Mehta

Company finds it cheaper to supply from India than China This could be the beginning of India’s efforts to cut seriously into a space PC exports - that has been dominated by China, Taiwan and some South East Asian countries. About two weeks ago, Dell made its first exports out of India, from its PC manufacturing plant in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu. Dell said, it had started exports but declined to provide details. Sources close to the company, however, said that Dell would be exporting several thousand desktop computers a quarter to the Middle East. The company’s Sriperumbudur plant has the capacity to make 1 million units a year and most of the production from the plant has so far serviced the rapidly growing domestic market, where Dell last year sold about 8.5 lakh PCs. Vinnie Mehta, executive director in the hardware body Manufacturers’ Association of IT (MAIT), said if Dell indeed had

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is himself a religious man, attending devotional gatherings regularly every Sunday. He has faith in Rakeshbhai Zaveri, whom be believes to be his guru. Sanjiv knows that he has taken up a huge responsibility on his shoulders. He said he has started with a winning slogan. There is a big potential for a successful business lying in the acquisition. Going back to the history, he says East India Company was once a colossus. It had more than half the global trade under its kitty at some point of time in history. Thousands of people were employees of the company. It is such

Sanjiv Mehta also said that a publishing company is also associated with it and he has bought that too. The publishing unit has already brought out seven volumes of research material related to the company. Now, he plans to come out with 3 to 4 volumes every year. He traveled around the world, met people who knew anything about the company, studied about the business of the company. He also visited museums to find out about the heritage of the company. The company will launch the first store in Mayfair soon, in summer this year itself, while the second will be opened by the end of the year. It will be dealing with tea, coffee, jwellery, chocolates, furniture and a range of products. He plans to train every sales person of the company with the history of the company so that he/she would be able to make the shopping experience for customers interesting. Sanjiv Mehta aims to make East India stores a cultural link between the East and the West.

Dell begins PC exports from India

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a big brand that even today; more than 2 billion people in the world are familiar with the name, the brand. Queen Elizabeth I permitted a group of businessmen to start trade, with a company that was known initially as “The Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies”. It would be interesting to know that it was this company presented the world with games such as cricket, golf and its own currency. It was also responsible to bring to the people products such as toasts and butter, tea and coffee. In India, the company had started business in the year 1600. It was known as Bahadur and John Company till 1774, when the British government nationalised it. Way back in 1801, the company had an annual turnover of approximately £75 million! It is a colossal amount even today. Another distinct advantage is that while even best of the global brands have a limitation, East India Company can be associated with anything and everything.

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started exports, this would be the first large PC brand to go into overseas markets. “There were attempts earlier, but not much came of it. Our hardware exports have so far been skewed towards

mobile handsets,” he said. Nokia, for instance, has been exporting from its plant near Chennai and has said it intends to make India a hub for exports. Dell appears to be going the Nokia way with PCs. Sources said, it was cheaper for Dell to supply from India than from China, especially to countries in the Middle East, Africa and CIS countries. Mehta said, infrastructure improvements and reduction in tax rates had

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helped in making PC exports a successful business. “But whoever is going into it has to think of setting up global scales of production, which Dell has done. PCs and mobile phones have become commodities and you need economies of scale to be successful,” he said. Wipro said, it does not export its PCs. HCL did start exports but sources said it hadn’t made much headway; the company had not provided its export figures. However, some others like Delhibased Simmtronics Semiconductors have recently been making efforts towards PC exports. Simmtronics has been in the business of making memory modules, but towards middle of last year, it also started manufacturing motherboards and netbooks, which it calls Simmbooks, from its plant in Roorkee in Uttarakhand. “We are exporting about 60% of the 3,5004,000 Simmbooks we

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manufacture every month to the Middle East, Europe, US and Thailand,” said Indrajit Sabharwal, MD of Simmtronics. He has already made investments of about $4 million in the past year and a half, and is now making fresh investments with the idea of starting to manufacture other forms of PCs from April. “We will have the capacity to make about 2.4 lakh PCs a year. I believe our quality is better than that of PCs made in China or Taiwan, but we still suffer a slight price disadvantage because of some component taxes,” he said. According to Mehta, the need now is for a component eco-system to emerge. Most components, especially major ones like hard disk and CPU, are currently imported, which add to costs. But with companies like Dell expanding the manufacturing base, it is expected that component suppliers too will emerge strongly soon.

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fInAnCIAl voice 15 India’s ‘Amrut’ whisky to capture American market Banks in Germany face The brand has already made its place in Scotland, England and Europe bars a levy for risky business The firm was in David Kiley said the spirits was engaged The name, the product,

Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

and the markets – all sound improbable, but they are not. Scottish makers of whisky have never recognised the Indian brew as whisky, because it also contains molasses. Yet, the Bangalore based distillery has already gained name and fame not only in Scotland, but also in England, Netherlands and other parts of Europe. Even people in India are not aware of the brand, but soon the brand will be introduced in Mumbai bars. Amrut single malt and Amrut fusion single malt has already found a mention in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2010. Amrut Distilleries already have drawn up plans to enter the USA market.

the business of supplying cheap liquor to military canteens in India for long. The company started its business right back in 1948. Neelkanta Rao R Jagdale, the CEO of Amrut Distilleries thought of selling single malt whisky in Europe in 1980s and started working on that. It took a lot of efforts and almost two decades to finally get the product that would be able to cater to the targeted market. A team from Amrut Distilleries went to Scotland to learn the art of brewing that special whisky. A Scottish consulting firm specialising in

for the purpose. In 2004, the single malt made debut at “The Pot Still”, one of the most popular bars in Glasgow. Slowly, purely based on word of mouth publicity, Amrut single malt whisky became popular not only in Scotland but also in other European nations. Just last year, Jagdale tried on his idea of fusion single malt. It is a combination of Punjab barley and imported Scottish peated barley. This international fusion brought Amrut more fame. It even won the approval of Jim Murray, who has rated Amrut Fusion as the third finest whisky in his Bible. Another whisky expert,

fusion created a complexity of fruit and smoke, something he had never tasted in a Scotch whisky. Amrut Fusion Single Malt and Amrut Single Malt are now available in select liquor shops in Bangalore. The brands will soon make their debut in some Mumbai shops as well as five-star hotels in select cities. In the US, the initial foray will be in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Connecticut and Massachusetts. By the end of the year, Amrut expects to send more in the US as it gets into Florida, Texas and California. Amrut Distilleries are the makers of Maqintosh premium whisky and Old Port XXX rum, ready to scale new highs.

Ascent to build a module plant in India US giant has signed jv agreement with Kirloskar group Ascent Solar Technologies Inc., the photovoltaic module maker from the USA has entered into a joint venture with Kirloskar Integrated Technologies to set up a module assembly plant in India as well as selling Ascent products in the country. The target markets are defence, consumer portable power and

hybrid solar and diesel generation back-up power

systems. The company manufactures thin-film modules that convert sunlight into elect r i c i t y . According to Ascent, its copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) modules will be integrated

into products. They further said a complete backend module assembly plant will be established in India as part of the second phase. The company also said it would expand production in India to include complete end-to-end module manufacturing under the final phase of the agreement.

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Banks in Germany are likely to face a levy, with a view to create a fund that would pay for any future crisis. The German government wants to ensure that “banks cannot gamble at the taxpayers’ expense in future.” Leader of the conservative parliamentary bloc, Volker Kauder told ZDF television Monday that the governing coalition

has reached an in principle agreement for the plans to ask the banks to provide for a fund. Kauder gave no details on the size of the proposed fund but said it would run into the billions of euros. He added that bank who pose a greater risk as a result of their trading operation will be asked to pay more than others.

Cambridge honour for Ratan Tata

University of Cambridge, the prestigious UK education institution has nominated Ratan Tata, the owner of the Tata group of India among eight distinguished personalities for special honour. Regent House, the official governing body of the university has selected the nominees for the honour. This body consists of most academic and academic related staff of colleges and departments. Ratan Tata alongwith George John Mitchell, Louise Napier Johnson, Andrew John Wiles, Geoffrey William Hill, Richard Sennett, Evelyn and Elizabeth Ann

Glennie will be given an honorary degree of Doctor of Law at a Congregation on June 21. The function will be presided over by Chancellor Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

        

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fInAnCIAl voice

Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

ArcelorMittal to shift £ 7.30 bn project to Bokaro Disappointed over delays in the launch of its pound 7.30 billion steel project in Jharkhand, global steel giant ArcelorMittal is set to relocate its plant proposed in Khunti-Gumla to Bokaro district in the state mainly on account of land acquisition problems. The world's largest steelmaker had entered into a pact with the Jharkhand government for setting up a 12 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) steel plant in 2005 but has been facing delays in land acquisition amid regulatory hurdles. "ArcelorMittal has informed us that they want to shift to Petarwar (Bokaro) and need about 2,000 acres of land for the first phase of their project. They said the response from Petarwar was positive," Jharkhand Mines and Industries Secretary N N Sinha said.

The state government will provide all cooperation to the company, he said adding that they have requested the government for about 50 million cubic metres of water from the Tenughat dam to cater to the requirements of the proposed plant, which will see output of three MTPA capacity in the first phase. Protests by villagers at the proposed KhuntiGumla site had forced the company to scout for other places, while negotiations with Petarwar villagers are still going on to acquire land. The entire project requires around 8,000 acres of land. ArcelorMittal spokesperson could not be immediately contacted for comments.

NRI billionaire L N Mittal, who heads the steel giant, had last month said the company was "anxious" to start work on its proposed greenfield projects in India, which entail an estimated investment of pound 19.01 billion. The company has planned to set up three steel projects in the country – two in Jharkhand and one Orissa with an annual production capacity of 12 million tonnes each. ArcelorMittal has also proposed a pound 4.38 billion project in Karnataka for setting up a 6-MTPA plant. Also, peeved by inordinate delays in starting work on its integrated steel projects, the metal behemoth marked its first operational presence in the country by entering into a joint venture with domestic steelmaker Uttam Galva.

Cairn India discovers more oil in Rajasthan block Cairn India has discovered new oil reserves in Rajasthan oilfields, highly placed sources in the petroleum ministry said. The company is likely to make an announcement shortly. New oil reserve will increase India's domestic oil production by about 23% in financial year 2011. This essentially means that these reserves are very big. Rahul Dhir, the Chief Executive of Cairn India has met the Petroleum Minister Murli Deora who in turn has congratulated him and the company for the discovery. Cairn India

extracts oil from the Barmer region of Rajasthan. Cairn started output from Mangala - the nation's largest onland oil find in more than two decades in late August 2009. Cairn India said oil reserves in its Thar desert field in Rajasthan have increased to 4 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Previously discovered resources were pegged at 3.7 billion barrels of oil and oil equivalent gas, the company said in a statement. "Resource base provides potential to produce

240,000 barrel of oil per day (as against previous estimate of 175,000 bpd)," it said. Cairn said it was on track to ramp up output from Rajasthan fields to 125,000 barrels per day in the second half of 2010. Current output is around 20,000 bpd. The company has tied up sale of 143,000 bpd (over 7 million tonnes a year) of oil. Cairn said production potential from Mangala, the largest field in the block, has increased to 150,000 bpd from previous 125,000 bpd.

Brit firm sparks racism row by preferring Indians for job A British computer company's advertisement seeking applications "preferably of Indian origin" has been dubbed racist by campaigners. The advertisement for the 38,000 pounds a year post was branded "quite clearly racist" by agitated campaigners who claimed it showed anti-British discrimination and urged the equalities watchdog to launch an immediate investigation, reports said. The firm, based in Bristol, stated that it was looking for someone with a minimum of six years experience in IT. It said: "The person should be a UK citizen with security clearance from the UK Government. Preferably of Indian origin." The advertisement was for IT firm Torry Harris, which has bases in Bristol and India's Bangalore city.

It declined to comment. IT consultant Vince Silva said: "I think it is appalling that applicants could be discriminated against in this way. It raises a question about the way some British companies are bringing in workers instead of recruiting them here." "We all know that times are tough in the recession, and surely we should be doing more to help our own people. I'm not knocking the workers from India - they can do a good job. It's the companies that should examine what they're doing," Silva was quoted as saying. Local MP David Davies said: "This is quite clearly racist. I have reported it to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission in the hope for once that they might take action against something that discrimi-

nates against most British people." Meanwhile, recruitment agency McGregor Boyall Associates’ managing director Laurie Boyle said: "This was an error - a bad one, but the first of its kind we have made in 22 years. It was cut and pasted from material sent to us by a client in India. We have begun a review of all our systems to see what we can do to stop something like this happening." "We take steps to ensure that only responsible advertisers can upload advertisements. We don't check their content - that would slow down the process of getting them online for potential applicants to see. Under the contract we have with advertisers, they take total responsibility for the contents," said a spokesperson for jobsite.co.uk.

Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook: Arjuna and Politics There is a scene in the movie Braveheart starring Mel Gibson, where the English soldiers famed for the longbow and arrow skills are readying to fire on the brave Scots led by William Wallace. As the English bowman take aim, the Scots stand still some 500 yards away, their shields lowered. Then the arrows soar. Still Wallace tells the Scots not to move and stand firm. As the arrows glide to the pinnacle of their flight path and begin to head down towards the Scotsman, “Hold” shouts Wallace. Then, suddenly, as if at the very end, before the arrows land, he gives the order for the Scots to raise their shields and form an impenetrable phalanx. As the last of the arrows thuds into the raised shields, the Scots arise and shout and yell, unharmed. Imagine the fear in the hearts and minds of the enemy who know they threw everything they had, but their adversary did not flinch. Then, when the English were spent of weapons, the Scots arise – ready for arm to arm conflict. Enraged, emboldened. How frightened one’s enemies must be when they have thrown all they have, and in quiet solidity you awaited their onslaught, and once they are spent, you arise,

ready for attack, even retaliation and vengeance. So it is in modern politics. One wonders to what extent the sting operation on Patricia Hewitt this past week reported in the press, was to do with political enemies enraged at her call for a leadership battle in January. They say politics is the kind of business where when you see your political friend walking towards you, you inevitably feel a sharp stabbing pain in your front (they stab you in your front not in your back in politics). Or take the upcoming election battle – how often will we hear smears and lies? How few politicians will be able to stick to the issues not the personality attacks? How few will be able to wait, ‘but not be tired of waiting’? And then, finally, take their moment to strike? The sad thing is that in the upcoming campaign the temptation to lose focus on the prize and be dragged down to the level of the ally-cat opponent will prove too great. And so, as with Braveheart – of course about politics – politics of the Union between Scotland and England, so too with Arjun on the battlefield facing political foes and friends alike. As was the advice to him from God Himself, rise

Surya Roshni to invest £ 58.48 mn in Gujarat units Surya Roshni, the flagship company of pound 292.56 million Surya group and exporter of galvanized iron pipes, plans to invest pound 58.48 million in its various units in Gujarat. With this additional investment, the company hopes to generate additional employment for about 2,000 people. After expansion, the company's production capacity of spiral-welded steel pipes will increase to 2 lakh tonnes and of electric resistance welded (ERW) steel pipes, used in oil and gas transportation, to 1 lakh tonnes. The company looks forward to clocking an additional revenue of pound 146.36 million after expansion. "More than 30% galvanized iron pipes sold in the market are spurious steel pipes. These poorquality pipes are produced using sub-standard steel,

instead of tested coils manufactured by Sail," said the company's executive director, Utkarsh Dwivedi, who was in Ahmedabad recently. The company announced the launch of its consumer education programme to educate consumers about the hazards of spurious steel pipes used in houses and commercial complexes for supply of drinking water and other purposes. "Due to unawareness about the menace of spurious pipes, people buy poor-quality products priced 10% lower than quality products. Spurious pipes last for just 2-3 years while pipes manufactured as per prescribed norms last for at least 30 years. Thus, effectively, consumers end up paying a lot more if they use sub-standard products," said Dwivedi.

above the pettiness, see beyond the people and their words, and do your duty. And if our politicians about the enter the political battlefield remember their duty – a duty to a cause greater than the mud being slung around, but to the people they seek to represent and the country they wish to make better, then hopefully they too will focus and not be dragged into the muddy gutter. Equally we as the electorate need to be mindful of our duty. The duty to ensure the best candidate is elected and not the best mudslinger. The bitter and enraged throw mud, we the electorate have a duty to ourselves and the country to clear it from our eyes. The columnist hails from Karamsad and is a former Visiting Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He read Philosophy, Politics, Economics at St Anne’s College, Oxford when he also interned in the US Congress during the Clinton administration, read Law at King’s College, London, qualifying as a barrister. He is a former Bloomberg TV presenter and Financial Times columnist with 250+ columns published in the FT and author of 13 books on business and the markets.

Siva acquires 50% stake in Norway's co for $22m NRI investor Sivasankaran-led Siva Group said it had entered into an agreement to buy 50% stake in Norwegian bottled water maker Isklar for $22 million. According to a statement, 'Isklar' is a pure Norwegian glacial natural mineral water, launched in the UK in April 2008 and in its home market, Norway, in February 2009. V Srinivasan, Group CEO, Siva Group said that the $22 million has been invested into the company to increase production. At present the company can make 150 million litres a year while it is producing only 40 million litres. "We will increase the capacity and sell in newer markets, like Denmark and Spain this year. We plan to bring Isklar into West Asia and India next year. The existing management team will continue to run the operations," he said.


FINANCIAL VOICE

Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

17

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

It’s Who You Know ....

PROPERTY GURU

It’s not what you know

When you go to see a mortgage broker more than likely they will all source you a deal through their in house mortgage software. It’s normally a case of finding the best rate on the market with the specified criteria in mind. But what if the hand doesn’t fit the glove? And the sourcing system doesn’t give the absolute cheapest rate on the market? At Sow & Reap we have access to lenders that are off panel and don’t come up in a sourcing software. They have market leading rates but also have a human brain and have the benefit of being able to adjust the criteria according to the client, a rarity in the market. CLIENT: MR PATEL Rate: 4% (3.5% above tracker) Term: 15 years Lender arrangement fee: £2095 Mr Patel wanted to purchase a New build property on a Buy to Let basis. Although New Build flats are restricted at 65% LTV, we found a lender where not only were we able to get a 70% Loan to Value lending on new build property but a rate of 4%, beating all the products in the sourcing system. Then we stumbled along a second issue, the deal we found the client is based on a repayment basis as opposed to interest only option, now the term is up to a maximum age of 65 years. The main applicant’s age was 54 therefore the term would have been 11 years. As the application was joint the lender allowed the term to go on his wife's age (who was five years younger) taking the term to a 15 year mortgage. So is the moral of this story to marry a younger wife? The answer may well be yes, but for definite it’s not what you know, it’s who you know And it’s good to know the Property Guru.

Last week we closed a deal for a two bedroom flat in the NW1 location. It’s on the corner of Lisson Grove and Broadly Street . The flat is a two bedroom first floor property, with a balcony. The balcony is not really a balcony, but more a room with the windows cut out. It’s an odd configuration which has led to most of the block to convert this into a three bedroom property. As most of the block has done the conversion this should not prove to be an issue when converting this flat, especially as the conversion affects no one else in the block. Not that this is necessarily the criteria when doing conversions in Westminster. Verbally enquiries have indicated strongly there will be no issues. What most have done is simply put a window in and call it a three bedroom flat, so the property rents and sells like a three bedroom flat. The rental currently offered by the council is £750 per week giving a healthy return. In short given the deposit of 25% required by BTL lenders currently, the deal, after all costs have been paid (including the interest rate for the 25% deposit) would give a healthy return of £15,000. This is after allowing for an interest rate of 5.5% on the FULL purchase price of £360,000 and a 10% management fee. This is a tremendous return for any property, let alone one located in one of the prime areas in London. The purchaser is a return buyer, having bought two already through us and enjoying rental returns. He is happy the figures we have quoted match the reality. He had two objectives in mind. Firstly to diversify his income and secondly to have

a truly passive stream coming in as he is time poor and did not want to lift a finger to generate these new streams of income. His first property was a first floor flat bought for £240k, this was a massive one bedroom. It was a one bedroom from the 1970’s when one bedroom’s were proper one bedrooms. But we have no interest in size, our business is to maximise income. This property can be converted easily to a good two bedroom with a separate kitchen attracting a rent of £495pw. This presents a gross yield of nearly 11% in a prime location. We left the property on the market as a one bedroom whilst we were arranging building works to keep our options open. Within a few days we got an offer of £370 per week, the funny thing is we were only asking for £350! A return of 8% without doing any work. The conversion will now happen after a year. l What are the benefits of sourcing a property through Sow & Reap? l They are fully vetted before they come to you. l You are provided with an in depth report showing comparables and pro file of the area, as well as population statistics. l You benefit from the relationships we have developed with auctioneers and agents. l Questions can be answered in house. l We take you through all the way to completion and continue to look after your interest. l You have a relationship which you can rely on into the future.

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

E: info@sowandreap.co.uk W: www.sowandreap.co.uk

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Any ques tions

Swati bhan

Life style

write t o ma mta@abp lgroup.com

by Mamta bhatia, Psychologist

Curing a cracked foot to save embarassment Cracked feet are very common especially on hot places and very annoying and not to say embarrassing. A dry cracked feet, puts you in double mind whether you want to wear sandals. But there are things that one can do to remove or prevent cracked feet. Moiturizing your feet. Make sure you put lotion or feet rub to your feet. I usually use the bath and body works true blue spa products. They are great. Exfoliate, your feet is

one of the hard working parts of your body, make sure you exfoliate to remove dead skin cells.

Use a pumice stone to exfoliate your heel. Pumice stone are very good in removing dead skin cells and also caluses. Then put a foot lotion on your feet after exfoli-

Moisturizing gel socks

ating and you can feel the difference. Doing this in a normal basis will

cure your cracked feet and will keep your feet smooth and beautiful. Wear a moisturizing gel socks to sleep. You can buy a moisturizing gel socks at bath and body works or bed bath and beyond. This socks are very good in helping to keep moisture to your feet. Try one in and feel the difference when you wake up. Wear socks when you go to sleep. Rub a foot lotion to your feet, then wear your socks, this will help the moisture stay and help the feet to absorb the lotion faster and not all over your bed. Wash your feet daily with an antibacterial soap to help clean any bacteria out of the cracks in your skin, to prevent

painful infections. Dry your feet with a soft, clean, dry towel by patting gently. Use a pumice stone to gently scrub away dead skin cells and minimize areas of hardened skin that could potentially crack. Do this when your feet are dry, before you wash or moisturize. If you experience any pain, stop immediately. Soak feet in plain undiluted lemon juice to help soften the skin. One can do this as often as you like, but be sure that the exercise is done at least once a week for 10 minutes at a time to see results. Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can dry out your skin, making the condition worse. Drink at least eight glasses of water every day.

Quick tips to influence well Nobody will market your strengths better then you can, and you need to do this in order to be seen, heard and recognised. This desire is fundamental to all human beings, and when it is not present in any interaction it can quite easily lead to a low sense of self worth and confidence. Look around you, are you naturally commanding the respect you deserve? If you do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got. Sometimes adopting a different style of being can help us to engage people at different levels. Know the distinction between being assertive versus being aggressive or arrogant. Think about times when you have been listened and responded to in a positive way. Ask yourself what worked. When you start to reflect like this you can then define the things that only you can do that work in your favour. The same applies to situations that did not have an assumed outcome. Identify the behaviours you exhibited that disengaged your audience. The more reflection you have over things that didn’t work, the more you can focus on using positive behaviours that will give you a winning outcome. At the end of everyday write in your learning log all the things you did that gave you an outcome you wanted. Overtime reflect on this and start to create a diary of behaviours that are successful. Sharpen your listening skills, this will go a long way. When you take the time to listen, you help yourself get inside someone else’s mind and ways of doing things. This may be difficult, especially if you disagree! However, this is the time you actually need to keep

your ears open. Capture what that person is saying and think about where there maybe synergy between your points and theirs, use this then to construct your points and watch that you have positive non aggressive body language that match your words. Be mindful however that your needs are important and you are more likely to be heard f you give others the same respect. Focus on things that give you positive energy, confidence and strength. Being around these strong sources enables you to develop self-confidence and positive selfesteem. Explore why you may feel the need to become aggressive, is it that you don’t believe in what you are saying? When one has assertive conviction, there is gravitas in your message and you have presence without trying. If need be, take time to build yourself up to what maybe a challenging conversation. Get your thoughts positive and know that if you don’t believe in what you are saying no one else will! Ask for feedback on how you come across and if need be, practice your delivery in the mirror. For an effective way to harness your learning’s I strongly suggest you attend the one day session that I am running in London this April. Not only will the session be intimate it will be just what you need to break out of your mould and create new possibilities in your life. During the session you will learn may approaches that will positively enhance how you live and progress in your life. Send a note to Mamta at thinkspalondon.com More specifically, you will learn how to: Assess what is working & not working in your life (look at what is great and iden-

Malai Ladoo Ingredients • 1/2 cup condensed milk • 250 gms. paneer (cottage cheese) • 2-3 drops kewra essence • 1/4 tsp. yellow colour Method 1. Mash paneer. 2. Add condensed milk and cook on slow flame, stirring continously. 3. Cook till thick and sides leave. 4. Add essence and

5. 6. 7. 8.

remove from flame. Mix well. Pour on plate. Cool. Make ladoos. Sprinkle powdered elaichi and decorate.

tify what isn’t so you can regain control and start to manage your life better). Raise awareness on how your thoughts, feelings and emotions create your current reality (by starting to notice how a positive attitude and a clear attitude can attract great things to your life, as opposed to being negative and things feeling ‘bad’). Fine tune your mind in order to create the life that you want (learn very quickly how to manage your internal thoughts, tuning in and switching off negative thoughts that just hold you back). Quickly build your confidence so you can achieve true success (learning very quickly that every moment is a chance to turn it all around and the earliest you can begin to feel confident is now). Lastly, attain strong satisfaction in all areas of your life (learning how to have a mindset that will bring you full control and happiness in every arena of your life). The session will be run by me; I possess a solid background in human psychology and have over a decade’s experience in developing people. I use Eastern approaches and Western application that will help you to go above and beyond your initial thinking in order to achieve and fulfil your dreams. My approach is engaging, open, constructive and relaxed. The core purpose that I adopt is to give you the tools to live to the full happily and confidently everyday ensuring dreams are achieved and commitments made to you are fulfilled. Do something for you, email: mamta@thinkspalondon.com today to sign up. Spaces are limited so put yourself first, I look forward to hearing from you, Mamta.


Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

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Hrithik slaps the hot Barbara Mori! “Kites” couple Hrithik Roshan and Barabra Mori are in news once again thanks to the smack on the latter's cheek. No, don't get us wrong, Hrithik didn't misbehave with the latin beauty but it was all a part of a scene. Talking to a news daily about the HrithikBarbara chemistry, Anurag recalled a humorous event, “We were doing an intense scene which had a long dialogue. Towards the end, Barbara was supposed to slap Hrithik. We okayed the scene. But Barbara asked me if it was possible to do a retake, because she wanted to slap Hrithik again. It was a prank, but I decided to play along. Duggu was very surprised when I told him we’d do the scene again because I’d already told him the earlier take was fine.” Hrithik somehow got the whiff of it and towards the end of the shot he turned around and slapped Barbara. “Barbara was shocked because just as she was about to slap him, Duggu ducked and slapped her instead.

Shah Rukh Khan gets Global Entertainment award

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was presented the Global Entertainment and Media Personality award at the FICCI Frames 2010 Excellence Awards recently. 'Thank you so much to FICCI for bestowing this award on me, and the job that you guys are doing is absolutely outstanding,' said Shah Rukh after receiving the award. The Global Icon of the Year award was presented to Oscar winning music director A.R. Rehman. 'Thank you FICCI for this honour,' the director

said.Megastar Amitabh Bachchan and actress Vidya Balan bagged the best actor award for their outstanding performance in R.Balki's film 'Paa'. Director Raju Hirani garnered two awards best film and best director - for his film '3 Idiots'. Vidhu Vinod Chopra, producer of '3 Idiots' said in a pre-recorded video: 'Thank you so much, FICCI. Thank you so much to all the members who voted for '3 Idiots'. I am really honoured and deeply appreciate your gesture.' Pritam Chakraborty was present-

ed the best music director award for Imtiyaz Ali's 'Love Aaj Kal' 'I am extremely thankful to FICCI for giving me this award and to Imtiyaz for giving me the opportunity to be part of 'Love Aaj K a l ' , ' P r i t a m said. Ranbir Kapoor won the best entertainment award.

Ranbir to play Kishore Kumar in biopic Post Deepika, Ranbir Kapoor is totally focusing on his career. Soon after his film 'Anjaana Anjaani' with Priyanka Chopra, the Kapoor boy will be playing Kishore Kumar in a biopic on the late singer. Shree Ashtavinayak Cinevision had been planning the biopic for quite a while now and even had a team of writers working on the script. Last week Ranbir travelled to Delhi for a conclave and coincidentally a writer from Shree Ashtavinayak Cinevision was travelling with him and started narrating a script based on the life of Kishore Kumar to him en route. Once Ranbir heard the story, he told Shree Ashtavinayak that he found the story very fascinating and worth considering the offer. “He told them that it was very entertaining story and he approved of it,” said a source to a news daily. But Ranbir's final approval would depend on the director Shree Ashtavinayak picks. When contacted, Shree Ashtavinayak spokesperson said, “It's too early to talk about this.”

Madhavan feels embarrassed to watch some of his own films Having received appreciation for his roles in films like '3 Idiots' and 'Rang De Basanti', multilingual actor R Madharavan says he can never feel embarrassed to watch these films as it is a testimonial to his noteworthy performances. "Watching some of my old films, I feel embarrassed. But my performances in films like 'Rang De Basanti', '3 Idiots' and 'Ramji Londonwaley' are something I would love to watch again and again," Madhavan said. "These films are close to my heart as the characters that I played were appreciated by all. The roles were significant and audience could connect with it," he said. The actor, fondly known as Maddy, has acted in 11 films in Bollywood since 2001 including 'Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein', 'Dil Vil Pyar Vyar', 'Guru', 'Ramji

Londonwaley', 'Mumbai Meri Jaan' and his latest flick 'Teen Patti' alongside Amitabh Bachchan and Ben Kingsley. 'Rehna Hai...' marked Madhavan's debut in Bollywood in 2001 for which he was nominated for the 'Best Male Debut' and 'Most

Promising Male Newcomer' awards catagory. But the 29-yearold actor's recognition came with 'Rang De Basanti' in 2005. In the film, Madhavan essayed the role of Ajay Rathod, F l i g h t Lieutenant in the Indian Air Force who was killed in a fighter aircraft crash. "My role was appreciated by film critics and it was my first major hit in Bollywood," he said. On his role in '3 Idiots' and 'Ramji Londonwaley', Madhavan said, "Role of Farhan Qureshi was appreciated by all and was nominated for awards. Every young guy could associate with the character."

However, 'Ramji...' did not do well at box office but it was simple, sweet and lovable character, he said. Maddy has also acted in number of Tamil films of which his 2006-release 'Thambi' proved to be a big hit down south.

BOX OFFICE 0121 780 3333

www.thsh.co.uk

FRIDAY 9 APRIL – SUNDAY 11 APRIL

MOTHER INDIA WEEKEND AT TOWN HALL Master musicians and a jewel of Indian cinema Friday 9 April, 7pm

Pandit Shivkumar Sharma

Shahid enjoying mini holiday now

A rare UK recital by the Santoor maestro.

The year 2009, Shahid Kapoor was mighty occupied as he was working non-stop on multiple films. Other than his biggest money spinner till date, “Kaminey,” he also had work on “Dil Bole Hadippa,” Parmeet Sethi's “ B a d m a a s h Company” with Anushka Sharma and “Chance Pe Dance” for which he had to actually shoot twice after Genelia D'Souza came in for Jiah Khan. With a welcome break coming his way between January and April till his next release

Saturday 10 April, 7.30pm

Paathshaala (scheduled for April), where he has an extended guest appearance lasting 40-45 minutes,

Shahid Kapoor is happy to come down to first gear from the fifth gear. “There I was working non-stop on films where I was shooting, dubbing or promoting them. However, now that I am relatively free, I am enjoying every moment of it", says Shahid with a glee on his face, "It is a period of unemployment for me and though I won't say that it is a good thing for any actor, a momentary break is anytime welcome. At least this way, I can use this break to reflect on the work I have done and analyse myself.”

Amaan & Ayaan Ali Khan with Matthew Barley Top sarod players and a western classical cellist meet in this thrilling experience.

Sunday 11 April, 7.30pm

Mother India – 21st century remix A dynamic audio-visual project that revisits the tour-de-force of Indian cinema, Mother India. Plus free events throughout the weekend www.thsh.co.uk/mother-india-weekend Supported by

Town Hall renovation also funded by


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Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

Harman, Kareena named worst actors Anushka opposite Venky in Chandramukhi 2? Just a few days after Victory Venkatesh was confirmed as the hero in the Telugu remake of Kannada blockbuster “Aptha Rakshaka,” a sequel to the 2004 blockbuster “Apthamitra,” which was remade in Tamil as “Chandramukhi,” it is now learnt from reliable sources that reigning Tamil-Telugu heroine Anushka will be the heroine in the Telugu version, tentatively titled Chandramukhi 2. It is to be remade in Telugu by Bellamkonda Suresh under the direction of veteran P Vasu. Popular music director Koti, who viewed a special preview of Apta Rakshaka, has reportedly agreed to score music for this flick. Set in a horror backdrop, the film will start rolling in May.

th n a ik n ji a R a y r a d n u So in trouble again!

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Sunaina excited about ‘Yathumaagi’ Sunaina, who became the new “next door girl” of Kollywood through Kadhalil Vizhunden, has been deluged with film offers. At present, the gorgeous lady is all excited about her recent release “Yathumaagi.” The movie is directed by debut director Balakumaran, who was an associate of reputed director Bhagyaraj. Playing the lead are Sunaina and debutant Sachin. Music is by James Vasanthan and the film is produced under Chozha Creations banner. In an interview to a leading English daily, the pretty lass says, “It was a great experience working in Yathumaagi. It’s a beautiful film which will strike a chord instantly among the female audience, as the story is from a woman’s point of view. The songs have come out really well. ‘Pesum Minsaram’ is my favourite and I must say that I never looked so beautiful on-screen.” When asked about sharing screen space with debutant Sachin, she says,

“Sachin is great to work with and we got along like a house on fire. He is sincere and quite professional. Being his first project, Sachin has put in his hundred per cent to the film.” It is worth to mention here that the actress will be soon seen opposite Arulnithi, Kalaignar Karunanidhi’s third grandson in an upcoming flick directed by Pandiraj of Pasanga fame.

Bollywood actor Harman Baweja was named worst actor and Kareena Kapoor got the worst actress title last week at the second annual Golden Kela awards, a spin-off on Hollywood's Razzies. Baweja won the Worst Actor award for his performance in “What's Your Raashee?” while Kareena was adjudged Worst Actress for her role in “Kambakkht Ishq.” The chief guest of the evening was Bollywood funnyman Cyrus Broacha, who was awarded the Cyrus Broacha Memorial Award. "It's great. I'm thrilled. I hope to win this award every year," Cyrus said in his cheeky fashion. Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar won the Bas Kijiye Bahut Ho Gaya (Please stop its enough) Award!, asking him to stop making films. In a great crossover moment, even Hollywood stars

Sylvester Stallone and D e n i s e Richards won the Baawra Ho Gaya Hai Ke (Have you gone nuts) Award for participating in expensive flop Kambakkht Ishq alongside Kareena and Akshay Kumar. The worst supporting actor (male and female) went to Ranvir Shorey and Deepika Padukone respectively for their roles in Chandni Chowk To China. While the worst film went to Kambakkht Ishq, Ashutosh Gowariker was declared worst director for What's Your Raashee?. The function at the India Habitat Centre was complete with digs at

actors, from old timers to the new ones. After hearing open digs at veteran actors Rajendra Kumar, late Feroz Khan and filmmaker Yash Chopra, Cyrus said: "If we want to abuse, we should abuse everybody." Jackky Bhagnani and Shruti Haasan were declared the worst newcomer actors.

Stereotyping costs me dearly, says Tanushree Dutta After creating a buzz in Bollywood with her debut in “Aashiq Banaya Aapne” Tanushree Dutta’s career soon fizzled out. She blames the judgmental nature of the film industry for it. Dutta who is back on the silver screen after a gap of almost two years with the horror flick “Rokkk” says that she was unduly stereotyped as mere eye candy who could do nothing but “hot and sultry” roles. “The surprising part though is that even though I have worked in different genre of movies, I was slotted in a certain bracket. I was told that people expected me to be a hot and sultry woman in each of my films,” she said. But the 29-year-old former Miss India is excit-

ed about her new innings which promises to show her in a different light. “I can see that today, there is a different perception about me in Bollywood. Yes, it has taken some time but I am happy that I am reaching there,” said Tanushree who is now looking forward to the release of her next film ‘Apartment’ She was one of the hottest debutants in Bollywood circuits when she enjoyed a double bill in ‘Aashiq Banaya Aapne’ and ‘Chocolate’ which released within a fortnight of each other in 2005. The Bengali beauty who is still remembered for a steamy love scene between her and Emraan Hashmi in ‘Aashiq Banaya Aapne’ said that the audience will see her in a whole new avatar in

Jagmohan Mundhra’s ‘Apartment.’ “I have worked with many people in the last five years and I can tell whether a person is making a good film or not.

Mandira storms British market The Indian premier league (IPL) has taken the British market by storm on ITV. Backed by effervescent programming anchored by Mandira Bedi, ITV seems to have broken all records in viewership of sports programming in England, said an official release. Sources say that the first few days have beaten last years all time record. ITV's IPL ratings have gone 5 times over and the projection is its ratings will be 10 times over last year, apart from the regular programming on other channels; IPL clearly has emerged as a top sporting extravagan-

za on British television. James MacLeod from ITV had to say this on the ovewhelemed response from viewers “We're

delighted with the viewing figures for the IPL so far. The ratings for ITV4's coverage have been around seven or eight times those achieved by Setanta last year, and we're delighted to be bringing the competition to a wider audience.” Mandira could not hide her excitement when she heard this and said “To be accepted and to be a part of something which is so overwhelming is like a dream come true. I hope we continue to entertain and bring all the excitement of the IPL as it happens”.


Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

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BollyKats Priyanka replaces Akshay as ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’ host Actress Priyanka Chopra will make h e r debut on small screen as the host of t h e advent u r e re a l i t y show 'Fear FactorA comedy flick presented in a distinct style, Hum Tum Aur Ghost is a story of Armaan and Gehna, a fashion photographer and an editor of a fashion magazine. Produced by Asrshad Warsi and Maria Goretti under the banner of Shooting Stars Productions; The Indian Film Company and Studio 18, the film is directed by Kabeer Kaushik. In the world of Armaan and Gehna, life is truly beautiful, yet it's like walking on a tightrope. For Armaan, the fashion photographer, debonair, charmer to the core and loved by all around him life only gets better when he dates Gehna, a High profile fashion magazine editor. Life is picture perfect - a doting girlfriend and a job where his expertise with the camera makes him the most wanted photographer in the London fashionista! Armaan has learnt that his chronic insomnia is however not a problem related to a sleeping disorder. He hears voices; voices that torture him; voices that are disturbing him. More importantly voices that nobody else can hear! Life is no more picture perfect now! While his friends sympathize with his problems, his girlfriend Gehna is irritated with his weird behavior. Soon, Armaan becomes aware of his special ability to connect with the souls that haven’t crossed over. Equipped with a will to fulfill the wishes of these spirits who hound him, Armaan sets out on a mission to help out three souls - a child, Ali; an old man, Mr. Kapoor and a young woman, Carol. Armaan discovers the lives of his three special companions and ends up frustrating Gehna. Yet, Armaan is on a journey where he discovers a lot about his own self, his own life for the first time. Arshad Warsi plays the lead role in the film and also shares the credits for story, screenplay and dialogues. Other credits for the story, screenplay and dialogues go to Arshad Sayed and Soumik Sen. The lead cast consist of Arshad Warsi, Diya Mirza, Sandhya Mridul, Boman Irani, Zehra Naqvi, Shernaz Patel, Tinu Anand, Javed Sheikh, Asawari Joshi, Rituraj Singh, Ashwin Kumar and Nilu Kohli. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have scored the music, while K.K., Shreya Ghoshal, Shankar Mahadevan, Vishal Dadlani, Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan and Loy Mendonca have rendered the playback

New Hindi movies releasing this week 1. 3. 4. 6. 7.

Hum Tum Aur Ghost 2. It’S a Man’S World Mittal v/s Mittal My Friend Ganeshaa 3 5. Prem Kaa Game The Great Indian Butterfly Well Done Abba

Top 5 Bollywood movies for the week No. Film 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

No. Last Week Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge? 1 My Name Is Khan 2 Right Yaaa Wrong New Hide & Seek New Na Ghar Ke Na Ghaat ke New

Total weeks 2 5 1 1 1

Khatron K e Khiladi'. S h e will host

the special Indian Premiere League (IPL) edition of the show on the Colors channel. The glamorous actress, who has replaced action star Akshay Kumar as the host, will be taking 13 cricketers to task. 'It feels fantastic to be associated with one of the biggest shows on Indian television today. It fits perfectly with my personality. I have been a huge fan of the show and thoroughly enjoy watching it. 'I am looking forward to begin an all new innings in TV with this show which pumps up the adrenaline levels. It's exciting to be a part of the

concept which is unique and is associated with some of the biggest names in cricket,' Priyanka said in a statement. The special edition of the show will feature Indian as well as international cricketers competing with each other to vie for the 'Fear Factor Khaton Ka Khiladi' title for 2010. Colors' programming head Ashvini Yardi says Priyanka has replaced Akshay due to a change in format. ‘Akshay took this show to great heights with his inimitable style. However, this year we're changing the format,’ said Yardi.

Bipasha to sport 9 different looks now Priyanka Chopra played 12 characters in "What's Your Raashee" and now Bipasha Basu is doing much the same in "Pankh" where she sports nine different looks. The actress plays an imaginary character in director Sudipto Chattopadhyay's film and her different looks will reflect the attitude and mood of the hero, played by debutant Maradona Rebello. Releasing on April 2, it is produced by Sanjay Gupta. According to Bipasha, whenever Maradona feels vulnerable, she has been given a soft look and whenever he is agitated or in self doubt, she is made to look harsh. Bipahsha also feels that designing her look was the complete teamwork of designer Rocky S, director Sudipto Chattopadhyay and new age producer Sanjay Gupta, who were instrumental and involved in designing the right look to match the attitude of the character. "Pankh" traces the life

Preity goes superstitious Preity Zinta seems to have turned superstitious. At least that's what it looks like from her attire. The dimpled beauty was spotted at the domestic airport wearing all black. She also looked a little annoyed to see all of her staff members stuck to their phones. However, what struck as odd about Preity was that she was wearing a number of precious stones, of every colour, one on each finger. Maybe she's really counting on her rings to push up her luck for the IPL tournament.

of a boy (Rebello) who plays a female artiste as a child in movies. When he grows up and wants to be launched as a hero, he goes through gender confusion and falls in love with an imaginary actress, played by Bipasha. "'Pankh' is a wild ride through the underbelly of the film industry. Bipasha

plays an alter ego, a fantasy and we wanted her to look like the two divas Sophia Loren and Liza Minelli from 'Cabaret'. The conception and execution of the looks were a collaborative effort between the Sudipto, the director and designers Rocky S and Gavin Miguel, " Gupta said.


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Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

Chennai chef cooks his way to Guinness Book

In divine light

Jacob prepared 485 barbeque dishes in 24 hours A freelance consultant chef from Chennai, Jacob has cooked his way to the Guinness Book of World Records. His feat is preparing a huge number of Indian barbeque dishes in a span of 24 hours. Jacob said he had a passion to prepare different dishes. A gold medalist in catering technology, he is working as a freelance consultant for five star rated hotels in the city. Lucia Sinigaleisi, head of Guinness World Records Adjudications

Chef Jacob

Department confirmed Jacob’s feat. He decided to

go for the attempt as he came to know that there was no achievement of the kind recorded in that sector. Jacob prepared a total of 485 dishes, with about 150 of them being non vegetarian. Jacob said his next goal is to break his own record, and if before some one else does that, he will try to beat that too. The dishes prepared in the process of the record attempt were distributed to orphanages and old age homes.

Advertisements continue to embarrass govt. of India Now, a Railway advt. shows Delhi in Pakistan, Kolkata in the sea

First, it was a DAVP advertisement, now it is a Railway ministry job. Both have caused huge embarrassment for the Congress led UPA govt. in India. In the DAVP advt., the goof up was of showing a former PAF chief as one of the prominent Indians; the latest faux pass by Railway ministry advertisement shows Delhi, the

Indian capital as a part of Pakistan! In the enthusiasm of the launch of Maharaja Express, a prestigious train targeted at the rich and the famous – tourists who would be paying in foreign currency, the ministry advertisement showing the route of the train showed Kolkata, the home turf of the railway minister

right in the Bay of Bengal, while Delhi was put right in Pakistan territory. Eastern Railway authority has already offered an apology for goof-up and has barred the agency responsible for the blunder from handling any railway projects in future. Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has condemned the ad goof up.

Death penalty for plane hijackers in India Manmohan govt. to amend anti-hijacking act The Union cabinet of India decided to raise the punishment for plane hijackers at it’s meeting last week. Awarding death penalty for the culprits or those who use hijacked planes as missiles was the increased penalty. The amendment will also have an enabling provision to shoot down a plane if it is found hostile and there is evidence to suggest that it might be used as a missile to hit vital targets. The Anti-Hijacking Act of 1982 would be amended to incorporate the enhanced sentences, in an attempt to deter hijackings.

A group of ministers (GoM) headed by Home Minister P Chidambaram earlier approved a legislation by amending the Act as proposed by the Civil Aviation Ministry to include death sentence and life imprisonment to check hijacking. "As there is talk of abolishing death sentence worldwide, the government constituted a GoM to discuss this issue. The proposal has been approved by the Cabinet," Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said at a news conference after the Cabinet meeting. The government will

now place the proposed amendments before Parliament when it meets after a recess next month. The amended law allows the Indian Air Force to intercept an hijacked aircraft and force it to land it. Under the amendments, a hostile plane can be shot down if there is evidence that it could be used as a missile to hit a vital installation. The Cabinet decision follows a prolonged debate sparked off by the 1999 hijacking of an Indian Airlines aircraft to Kandahar in Afghanistan, forcing New Delhi to free three jailed militants.

In Kashmir, true colours of Kashmiriyat are back Muslims bring back a Pandit to Arin, fight for a Hindu cremation ground Arin is a small village in North Kashmir which has brought back the true colours of Kashmiriyat – of true brotherhood. Though he is the only Kashmiri Pandit to have returned to Arin, Rakesh has the support of all his neighbours and fellow villagers to get back his land and the hindu cremation ground, illegally taken over by land mafia. Rakesh was sure things want be the same after 16 years, as he returned to his village. But he didn’t expect them to be as bad as he saw. His land and house had been grabbed by local land

mafia. They went on to the extent of taking over the cremation ground. A house and a shop were already built on the land. But, Muslim resident of Arin came out openly in support of Rakesh. In his own words, “They said I must assert my right. If someone has made fraudulent documents to become the owner of my property, it will not work. The people have supported me in every way, and I am very thankful.” The villagers recently got together to stop the construction on a second house there.

'”We are supporting the truth. We got Panditji here and told him that whatever is your right we will get it for you. And we are with you,” promises neighbour Ghulam Mohiudin. “The bureaucrats at the tehsil and the district level take bribes and support land grabbers. That’s why Pandits don’t get back what their rightfully own,” regrets another resident, Riyaz Ahmed Lone. Together, Arin is building pressure on the bureaucracy to withdraw the permissions granted to those who've taken over the cremation ground.

By Rajen Vakil

Balance in the centres We shall continue with our story of the third disciple whose name was Veda. The guru made him work like an ox, oblivious of heat, cold, hunger, or thirst. Veda remained positive; one day truth dawned and the guru asked him to go ahead on his own. Let us look into the story of Veda, and his disciple Uttanka, over two weeks. Veda started a household with disciples of his own; he looked after them with great love and care. One day the king requested Veda to officiate a ceremony. He left his household in the care of Uttanka instructing him to fulfil the household’s every need. Veda’s wife was in the fertile phase of her monthly cycle and a s k e d Uttanka to fulfil her n e e d . U t t a n ka refused, saying that the guru had not explicitly instructed him on such matters. When Veda returned, he heard about the incident and was very pleased that Uttanka’s inner light had dawned. Veda knew that the light would now guide Uttanka along the path, and that he was free to go. Uttanka requested Veda’s permission to allow him to perform some task to express his gratitude. Veda told Uttanka to ask his wife what she wanted. Veda’s wife instructed Uttanka to get the two earrings worn by the king’s wife, as she wanted to wear them to a ceremony. Uttanka went to the king and begged for the earrings. The king explained that it was for the queen to decide. Uttanka went into the inner chambers of the palace to request the queen but he could not find her. The king, on being informed, told Uttanka that he must have been holding on to some impure thought and hence could not see the queen, who was the epitome of purity. Uttanka sat in meditation and realised the truth in the king’s words, and by deep observation his attachment to that thought dropped. He then went

back into the queen’s chamber and found her sitting there. He begged her for the two earrings. She was pleased with him, said that he was a worthy person, and willingly gave him the earrings. Nonetheless, she warned him that the powerful naga, Thakshak, too desired the earrings and would do anything for them. Uttanka reassured her that Thakshak could do him no harm and that he must leave immediately as he wanted to give the earrings to his guru’s wife for a ceremony due in two days. Let us try and understand the hidden meaning behind the story thus far. Even though Veda (Uttanka’s guru) had instructed Uttanka to fulfil every need of his

family, Uttanka refused to enter into union with his guru’s wife. The most important point in the life of a disciple is when he starts walking on his own. In yoga, this inner light is called ‘viveka’; it brings the capacity to discriminate between what to do and what not to, leading to right action. By caste, the guru and Uttanka are Brahmins, which symbolises expanding consciousness. They represent the thinking centre, together with its higher qualities, within us. The king and queen are Kshatriya, which symbolises the emotion centre within us. The higher qualities of the emotion centre are faith and love, represented by the two earrings of the queen, which the Veda’s wife longs for. Uttanka is sent to get these earrings. ‘Utt’ means water, which symbolises emotions and ‘anka’ means to hook; meaning, to hold on to higher emotions. Uttanka represents the one who goes in search of these qualities so as to balance the emotional and thinking centre. When Uttanka first tried, he could not see the queen. This inci-

dent reveals that to witness certain higher qualities of life requires a specific vision and the power of impartial observation. Our observation is tainted by desires, prejudices, attitudes, and grudges that we hold on to. To enter into the higher chambers of our heart, where the higher emotional qualities lie, we must first learn to observe impartially. Further, this story shows that even after the inner vision is awakened, the process of purification must go on. The experience of truth and the dissolution of ego are two separate happenings. Truth is seen in a flash while the ego dissolves over a long period of time. The experience of truth is like trying to see the mountain peak hidden by clouds; for a moment, the clouds disappear and we get a glimpse of the snowcovered mountain peak reflecting sunlight as if spun in gold. With this glimpse, the quest of many a lifetime ends. This does not imply the dissolution of the ego. The ego is dissolved by leading a normal householders’ life, wherein, every time it tries to appear, it has to be sent back to its source, i.e. the process of evolution in reverse. Egoism was present in animals even before man. This process of sending the ego back to the source is called ‘pratiprasav’ in Yoga. Thakshak means the one who does, the doer, or the ego within us. The queen had warned Uttanka that Thakshak desired the earrings. The ego always wants to destroy love, even the normal sentimental love. The ego hides behind our love and prompts us to quickly possess a person, and in that very act, we lose the powerful and pure energy of love. Here, Uttanka saying that he does not fear Thakshak (or the ego) is an ego by itself. Next week, we shall see and interpret how Uttanka falls a victim to this subtle deception. (Edited by Chintu Gandhi. Illustration by Siddharth Ramanuj.) The author can be reached by emailing 3srb@live.com


Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

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Founding member of Naxalite movement Kanu Sanyal dead Kanu Sanyal, one of the founding members of Naxalite movement, was found hanging at his residence at Seftullajote village, 25 km from Siliguri, on Tuesday. The 78-year-old Sanyal, a bachelor, was suffering from old age related ailments. The body has been sent for post-mortem, inspector general of police (North Bengal) KL Tamta said. Sanyal was a founder of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) formed in 1969. The Naxalite movement started from Naxalbari, a small village in North Bengal on May 25, 1967. It was led by Charu Majumdar and Sanyal.

External affairs ministry launches website in Bengali, Arabic India’s diplomats may be good speakers and writers of the English language. But that is proving insufficient to win friends and influence people, particularly in the non-English speaking world. Fortunately, this is improving now. The ministry of external affairs has decided to launch websites in Arabic and Bengali to reach out to 300 million Arabic speakers in 20- odd countries in North Africa and West Asia and 150 million Bengali speakers in Bangladesh. For long, the ministry had websites only in English and Hindi. Last year, an Urdu one was set up to reach out to people in the subcontinent who speak the language. “The website received tremendous response within months of its launch, particularly in Pakistan. Now, it averages 6,000 hits a day,” a ministry official said. The Urdu website’s success has encouraged the ministry to launch similar ones in Arabic and Bengali.

2002 riots haunt Modi again 9 Hindu MPs in Pak Denies SIT summons; affirms faith in judicial process Breaking his silence for the first time over the reported summons issued by Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by Supreme Court in what is known as Gulbarg Society massacre in Ahmedabad, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday denied that he was asked to appear before the SIT. In an open letter to the ‘People of the Nation’ Modi wondered as to who floated 21st March, 2010 as day for his appearance. Accusing vested interest who are out to malaign him and the state, Modi said he had always reposed faith in the rule of law and the judiciary. ‘No one including a Chief Minister is above the law. I believe it not only in letter, but in spirit too.’ He said he would cooperate with the process of law and any institution appointed by the apex court. Calling upon a probe against those who ran a malicious campaign to tar-

Narendra Modi

nish his image and that of the state Modi expressed his utmost distress and pain over the hostile reports. Before Modi’s clarifications, there were reports in media that Modi had been asked to appear before the SIT on Sunday. For some reasons Modi is believed to have skipped the date. Meanwhile, opposition leader in Rajyasabha Arun Jaitley, who rushed down to Gandhinagar on

US signals pro Pakistan shift Continued from page 1 civil nuclear deal that India has got. India has reacted saying US should better keep the proliferation record of Pakistan in mind while deciding to give in to Pakistan’s demand. In another major flipflop, US officials also changed the tune about giving Indian investigators direct access to David Coleman Headley, the key 26/11 accused in custody of the USA. Headley has already pleaded guilty to the conspiracy of the Mumbai attacks. He has pleaded guilty in a bargain, seeking assurances that he will not be extradited to any country, including India. He also expects to escape death sentence under the bargain. Initially, US said Indian investigators will be allowed to interrogate Headley, but that stand was changed in a matter of just a day or two. The Pakistani establishment, ahead of a wideranging strategic dialogue with US on March 24, has made parity with India, including a civilian nuclear deal, the centerpiece of its ramped-up engagement. Intimations of a change in US policy came even as new reports emerged about the extent

and scope of governmentbacked Pakistani nuclear proliferation in a book by

absolve Islamabad and save it from embarrassment from past misdemeanors, have suggested that the country's nuclear mastermind A Q Khan acted on his own without permission from the Pakistani government or the military, but this assessment is strongly challenged by the non-proliferation community.

Access to Headley also not assured for India former weapons inspector and non-proliferation activist David Albright. Successive US administrations, in an effort to

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Monday told reporters that Gujarat goverment had always cooperated with the process of law and judiciary. This time too Modi and his government will follow this principle. Reacting to Modi’s assertions, leader of the opposition in Gujarat assembly Shaktisinh Gohil said Modi is playing with the sentiments of the people. He is taking the umbrage of the people of the state while the fact it that he himself is now besieged. Gujarat state Congress President Siddharth Patel also a wanted to know from Modi wheather he ever received any communication from the SIT to appear before it. In another related development, Gujarat High Court asked the Nanavati Commission, also looking into the 2002 riots whether it would be issuing summons to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi or not to depose before it.

stage a walkout

Continued from page 1 are hurt by Justice Khwaja Sharif’s uncalled for remarks.” Members of the Awami National Party, too, joined them in the walkout. Their protest was described as the first in Pakistan's national assembly against the judiciary. Justice Sharif had made the remark while hearing a petition on barring the deportation of Afghan Taliban leaders on Monday. The apparent trigger for the comment was a lawyer's observation that a US security firm was responsible for the blasts in Pakistan, including the recent ones in Lahore. Justice Sharif rebutted him saying, "Muslims, and not Hindus, are involved in terror acts in Pakistan. Hindus might be the financiers of such attacks." As a member of ruling PPP, Lal called for intervention from president Asif Ali Zardari and prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, saying Justice Sharif's questioning the

patriotism of Pakistani Hindus had left the latter hurt and angry. He also asked supreme court chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhary to take suo motu note of the "highly objectionable" remark. PPP leader and Labour Minister Khurshid Ahmed Shah said Justice Sharif's remarks were a "slip of the tongue", and added, "the judge had seemingly blamed India for financing the Taliban rather than Hindus." He said a clarification on the matter would be issued soon. PML-N member Rashid Akbar Niwani said judges must dispense justice and not make off-thecuff remarks aimed at attracting publicity. "The judges should speak through their judgments and not otherwise," he said. Munawar Talpur of the PPP expressed his regret to Hindus of Pakistan saying, "They are good Pakistanis. The judge's statement against Hindus is condemnable and indefensible."


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Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

Direct flight campaign gets wider support in UK, Gujarat The campaign launched by the National Congress of Gujarati Organisations – NCGO (UK) and Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar for restoration

of the direct flight between London – Ahmedabad is getting wider support and momentum from leaders of various parties in the UK and India.

Leader of Opposition Gujarat Vidhansabha Gandhinagar, Gujarat State, India

One of the latest to join the issue in India is Mr Harin Pathak, a sitting MP from Ahmedabad. It would be worth a mention here that Mr Pathak got

Shaktisinh Gohil

Ph.: 91-79-232 20995, 232 53069/53070 Fax : 232-22582

Date: 20th March, 2010 Dear Shri Prafulbhai I am writing this letter to you for the cause of majority of Gujaratisresumption of direct flight between India and UK. The demand is well known, but it is unfortunate that nothing has been done to resume the flight which was abruptly discontinued couple of years back. It is not that operations are technically not feasible. It is also not right to believe that the route has no traffic. I should like to draw your attention to the fact that direct flight was started in 2003. What started as two flights a week was soon turned into a route with five flights a week. The intensity of the demand can be gauged from the fact that a UK based publication group, publishers of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar, is running a successful readers' campaign on the issue. National Congress of Gujarati Organizations (UK) has even written a letter to the chairman of Air India in this regard. The letter of National Congress of Gujarati Organizations (UK) has brought out very vital facts of the issue. There are 2500 passengers from UK to Gujarat every week. In the absence of direct flight, passengers take Middle East route on which they have to stop to change the aircraft. This only adds to their problems. I request you to take personal interest and persuade Air India to take tourist friendly approach and resume the direct flight which was stopped abruptly. I am sure of a prompt response from you for a genuine demand of people of Gujarat. Enclosed is a copy of letter National Congress of Gujarati Organizations (UK) has written to the chairman of Air India in this regard for perusal and prompt response from you. Thanking you,

elected from the city for a seventh consecutive term to the Loksabha in India. He was a minister in the NDA government led by Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee

and has served as the Minister of the state for home as well as the Minister of state for defence with independent charge of defence produc-

HARIN PATHAK M.P. - Lok Sabha (Former Union MoS for Defence. Home & Personnel) CHAIRMAN Committee on Papers Laid on the Table of the House

Dated : 23rd March 2010 Subject : Request to reinstate the direct flight service of Air India between Ahmedabad and London. I am forwarding herewith a representation from National Congress of Gujarat Organizations (UK), addressed to me, regarding reinstation of direct flight service of Air India from Sardar Patel International Airport to London Heathrow Airport twiee a week immediately. As you are well aware the Gujarat consists the largest NRIs in India and majority of them are settled in U.K., but it is unfortunate that the UPA Government had stopped the direct flight service of AI from Ahmedabad to London which was introduced in 2003 and which begins from 2 flights a week to 5 flights a week. I, therefore, humbly request you to please pay heed to the genuine demand of Gujarati people and also to keep in mind the sentiments of NRIs of Gujarat and immediately start a direct flight from Ahmedabad to London and oblige. With kind Regards Yours Sincerely,

Yours sincerely,

(HARIN PATHAK) Shri Praful Patel, Hon'ble M/o Civil Aviation, Government of India, Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan, New Delhi.

To, Shri Praful Patelji Hon'ble Minister for Civil Aviation, Room No. 232, 'B' Block, Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan, New Delhi.

Nationalist Congress Party Gujarat Pradesh

dt: 11/03/10 To, Shri Prafulbhai Patel, Hon. Minister for Aviation I / C, Govt. of India, New Delhi. Subject : Regarding Direct London air connection from Ahmedabad Respected sir, With due respect I inform you about the strong representations received by me from various sections from the state and abroad as well on the direct flight between Ahmedabad and London. In the absence of such a flight passengers have to face a lot of difficulties. I request you to do needful in the matter and oblige. Thanks,

ગુજરાત વિધાનસભા PANKAJKUMAR V. DESAI (M.L.A.) 131, NADIAD VIDHAN SABHA OPP. BHARAT TOBACCO, V.K.V. ROAD, NADIAD-387 001. GUJARAT. PHONE : (0268) 2528714

પંકજકુમાર િી. દેસાઈ (ધારાસભ્ય) ૧૩૧, નડીયાદ વિધાનસભા ભારત ટોબેકો સામે, િી.કે.િી. રોડ, નડીયાદ - ૩૮૭ ૦૦૧. ગુજરાત ફોન ઃ (૦૨૬૮) ૨૫૨૮૭૧૪

BLOCK 12/9, NEW SADASYA RESI, SECTOR NO. 17, GANDHINAGAR.

બ્લોક ૧૨ /૯, નિા સદસ્ય વનિાસ, સેક્ટર ૧૭, ગાંધીનગર Dt. 10, Mar 2010

To, H’ble, Mr. Praffulbhai Patel, Respected minister for Civil aviation Union Govt. of India New Delhi Sub : To recommence the daily flight to London from A’bad. Respected Sir, As Ahmedabad airport was established as International air port and having well technically equipped amenities. A’bad Airport has served a great extents in reducing hardships of Gujarati people. Previously we had the direct flights from A’bad to London. but recently this schedules have been cancelled. There is strong necessity within Gujarat and abroad also to recommence these flights. Even small airports like Cochin and Chandigarh also have direct flight. There is strong feelings within Gujarat and abroad, to recommence the direct flight from A’bad to London as soon as possible. it is my humble representation for these as i am Gujarati. Waiting for your anticipation, Thanking you

(JAYANT PATEL ‘BOSKY’) President MLA - SARSA

Continued on page 25

132, Parliament House Annexe, New Delhi-110 001 Phone : 23034980 Telefax : 23019731

(Shaktisinh Gohil)

Jayant R. Patel (Bosky) M.L.A. Sarsa President (NCP), Gujarat State

tion and supplies. Mr Harin Pathak has written a letter to the Civil Aviation minister of India,

Yours Faithfully

(Pankajkumar V. Desai)


Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

N D Tiwari to face the paternity suit HC turns down his plea to dismiss  Rohit Shekhar’s claim He had to resign as Andhra Pradesh Governor due to his alleged affairs. Now, N D Tiwari is to face the paternity suit filed by a man who claims that the Congress leader is his biological father. A Division bench of the Delhi High Court dismissed Tiwari’s plea seeking to dismiss Rohit Shekar’s petition. The bench directed all the

parties to appear before the single judge of the court on April 7. Rohit Shekhar has claimed to N D Tiwari began neglecting Rohit and his mother Ms. Ujjawala Sharma since 1995, when he became the Chief Minister of Uttranchal. Shekhar’s plea might lead to a DNA test for the beleaguered Congress leader.

Direct flight campaign gets wider support in UK, Gujarat Continued from page 24 Shri Praful Patel and has strongly recommended that the flight should be restored at the earliest. In a communication to NCGO (UK) Chairman Mr C B Patel, Mr Pathak has even committed to follow the matter till the issue is resolved positively. Leader of opposition in Gujarat Assembly, Shaktisinh Gohil has also written a letter to Praful Patel, supporting the restoration of the flight. His letter as well as those written by Harin Pathak, Jayant Patel (Bosky) MLA from Sarsa and Gujarat Chief of the Nationalist Congress Party, Mr Pankaj Desai, BJP MLA from Nadiad, and Mr Harin Pathak, MP. In the UK the campaign has also created a much needed stir. Labour MP Stephen Pound from Ealing North has strongly supported our cause. Cllr Navin Shah AM, from Brent and Harrow said, “I am pleased to confirm my support for this campaign and would soon send a formal letter of my support.” Cllr Anjana Patel, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Schools and Children's Development, Harrow Council said, “We have all signed the petition at BAPS Mandir on Sunday. I very strongly believe that they should immediately restart direct flights between Ahmedabad and London.” Besides this we have had support from innumerable readers and community leaders. If you have not signed this petition or joined this campaign as yet, please do so immediately. Remember we need to be vigilant about our future. Step into the shoes of those helpless people who suffer every time they travel to Ahmedabad from London. Remember if you are a successful contributor to your community (through your profession, business or social work), you must join this campaign. You never know, this might be a great source as a research reference later, and you would not choose

to be left out, will you? So join our, if you haven't already. For a quick look, here are the facts regarding this campaign: • Every week on average at least 2500 passengers fly from the UK to Gujarat, India. There is no direct flight. So passengers travelling Air India, Jet Airways or any other airlines going to Ahmedabad have to change in Mumbai or Delhi. It is simply difficult and extremely painful for the people especially with physical hardships, like pregnancy, disability or elderly people to go through 2-3hrs of wait and then change flights etc to disembark and again embark with their hand luggage. • According to travel agents on an average there are 10-27 wheel chair bound passengers to Ahmedabad per flight. • Passengers flying by the airlines from Middle East- Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Ethihad and others have to transfer in Dubai or Doha or some other place. • Middle Eastern airlines are cheaper and it is reported by the travel agents that they carry more passengers bound from Gujarat than other airlines. • A campaign for direct flight was started years earlier by the community, Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar newsweeklies earlier. In 2003 the direct flights by Air India were started between Sardar Patel International Airport and London Heathrow airport. To begin with there were 2 flights and within a few months they were increased to 5 flights a week. • When the UPA government was formed, the Air India flights were stopped in 2006 without any public notice, though the travel agents were informed some 6 weeks prior to this arrangement. • Gujarat is developing rapidly and business travellers are also increasing in number. Lack of direct flights is a very distinct disadvantage.

www.abplgroup.com

25

A British Indian prisoner dies in Goa Ajay Kaushal was wanted for a kidnapping, torture case in UK He was a convicted criminal in UK and was on the run. Ajay Kaushal was arrested in October, 2009 in Goa. Pending his extradition proceedings, Ajay was languishing in a Goa jail under judicial custody. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison and had jumped bail. He was holi-

daying in Goa with his friend Scott Youdale. Following death of Scott, he visited Margao police station, where the police found out that he was a fugitive from UK. Superintendent of Sada jail in the state, R K Satardekar said Ajay recently fell sick and was

transferred to the Goa medical college, where he died on Monday night. Ajay, a resident of Manchester in UK was convicted in a case of violent kidnapping and torture of a UK businessman in 2003. Since then, he was on the run. Last year he was arrested following

investigations. An inquiry has been ordered into the death of Ajay and a case of custodial death has also been registered. Satardekar said Ajay was a diabetic and possibility of natural death is not ruled out, though he dismissed rumours of Ajay having committed suicide.

Kolkata building fire kills six At least six persons are feared dead and 20 injured in a massive fire at an iconic building on Kolkata's Park Street on Tuesday. The fire was finally brought under control after four hours. The fire at Stephen Court building began at around 2.30 pm. As many as four persons jumped to escape one of the worst blaze in the city and scores

were trapped. As many as 300 firemen and 40 fire tenders and snorkels were sent to fight the blaze, which originated from one of the lifts between the fifth and sixth floors of the building, said Fire Services minister Pratim Chatterjee. An electrical fault is suspected to have caused the fire. As a thick smoke engulfed the building, fire-

men put up ladders to rescue the trapped people who had scrambled out from windows on ledges of the building. Several people also clung to the ledges of the building before they were rescued. Stephen Court, located in the heart of Kolkata, houses the iconic 100year-old Flury's confectionery house, a popular restaurant called Peter

Cat, a large music store called Music World and several other offices. Senior police and fire brigade officials were at the spot, which has been cordoned off to facilitate smooth fire fighting operations. "We are trying to save the stores and restaurants," Chaterjee said. The police have arranged ambulances to treat the injured on the spot.

Petition in support of direct flight between the UK and Gujarat. Organised by National Congress of Gujarati Organisations UK. If you want a direct flight from London to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad; if you have a desire to get a permanent, easy connection with people of Gujarat, do sign and get others to sign this petition and send it to “Asian Voice” or “Gujarat Samachar” office by post or fax it to our office (no. 020 7749 4081), at the earliest.    THE CAMPAIGN to facilitate direct flights between London Heathrow  and  Sardar  Vallabhbhai  International  Airport Ahmedabad,  Gujarat  launched  by  National Congress of Gujarati Organisations UK (NCGO UK) and  Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar has  generated  much  interest  amongst Asian  Voice  and  Gujarat  Samachar  readers  and  the  entire community. All  those  wishing  to  add  their  names  to  the  list  of  petitioners,  which  includes  several  prominent  politicians,  business people and community members are requested to complete the tear-off the form and send it to the offices of Asian Voice  and  Gujarat  Samachar  ,  12  Hoxton  Market,  London  N1

6HW, from where they will be forwarded to the Chief Minister of  Gujarat,  Shri  Narendra  Modi,  The  Civil  Aviation  Minister Shri Praful Patel, Government of India and to the Chairman of Air India, Mumbai Shri Arvind Jadhav as well  as to Shri Sam Pitroda,  special  advisor  to  Indian  Prime  Minister  Shri Manmohan  Singh  and  Chairman  of  the  Knowledge Commission of India. Please note : If you wish to register more than 10 names on your petition, then simply photocopy the tear-off form and add the extra names. All petitions must clearly state your full names,postal address and must be signed and dated.

REGISTER YOUR SUPPORT WE THE undersigned hereby support the direct Air India flights between London and Ahmedabad for the following reasons : q There are more Gujaratis living and travelling abroad than any other Indian community, and this figure is increasing. q About 40% of Air India passenger to the UK are Gujarati. Indeed on some flights, close to 80% to 90% are Gujarati. q India is the 2nd largest investor into United Kingdom, according to British Government figures. Many of these Indian companies are either owned, controlled, or significantly staffed by Gujaratis. q The UK is the Second Largest investor in India, and the largest cumulative investor in Gujarat. q Nearly 50% of all visas issued by British High Commission

NAME 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

in India are to Gujaratis. q Currently, air passengers travelling between the UK and Gujarat are required to change planes either at Mumbai or Delhi. This inevitably leads to considerable inconvenience, delay and expense – particularly for families with young children, pregnent women, the elderly, and the increasing number of business travellers. q We believe that the introduction of direct flights will not only be of benefit to the Gujarati diaspora, but also prove commercially successfully for Air India.

Form also available online at www.abplgroup.com to download and Fax on 020 7749 4081 Email: support@abplgroup.com

ADDRESS                                    SIGNATURE                    DATE


26

Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

Dr Patel pleads not guilty in manslaughter charges in Oz court Melbourne: Indian-American surgeon Jayant Patel, accused of gross incompetence and manslaughter while working at an Australian hospital, on Monday pleaded not guilty at a Brisbane court. The 59-year-old Patel, accused of manslaughter of Mervyn John Morris, James Edward Phillips and Gerry Kemps, said: "Not guilty, your honour" as judge John Byrne read each charge at Brisbane Supreme Court. He is also accused of causing grievous bodily harm to Ian Rodney Vowles while working at Bundaberg hospital in Queensland between 2003 and 2005.

Headley pleads guilty to all 12 charges, escapes extradition, death Chicago: PakistaniAmerican David Coleman Headley has pleaded guilty to all 12 charges of being a part of the Lashkar-eToiba's (LeT) 26/11 Mumbai terror plot and conspiring to target a Danish newspaper. In a plea bargain deal worked out with the US government, Headley has accepted that he did indeed work closely with the Pakistan-based LeT to carry out the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. In return for this guilty plea, Headley will not face any trial, he will not face a death penalty and he will not be extradited to India. He also won't be extra-

dited to Denmark and Pakistan, the plea agreement said. Although India's demand for extradition will not be met, it will have access to Headley and New Delhi is now studying the fine print of the document to see whether Headley can only testify before Indian authorities or if he can be interrogated as well. Headley admitted that he participated in planning the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai as well as later planning to attack Danish newspaper JyllandsPosten which published a cartoon of Prophet

Headley admits of Rana being aware of 26/11 in US court Chicago: Pakistan American terrorist David Headley, who has pleaded guilty to charges of plotting the Mumbai terror attack, has claimed that co-accused Tahawwur Hussain Rana too was involved in the conspiracy. Contrary to Rana claims of not being aware of the conspiracy, Headley, in his plea agreement, has said he not only told the former about his Lashkar-e-Taiba membership but operation details of the audacious attack. "In or around June 2006, defendant (Headley) travelled to Chicago and met with co-defendant Rana. Defendant advised Rana of his assignment in India, and explained that opening an office for First World Immigration, a company run by Rana, would provide a cover story for his activities." It said Headley kept meeting Rana in between and updated him about his surveillance of possible terror targets, including Taj Mahal hotels and landing sites for the terrorists. He also kept Rana informed about the reaction of his Pakistani handlers.

The plea agreement states that whenever directed by the US Attorney's Office, since his arrest in October last year, Headley has been cooperating with the US government and has provided substantial assistance in the investigation of this case as well as "critical" information regarding intelligence on other matters. He said all the information that Headley has given to US authorities is and has been shared with India and Denmark. Through the 13 days that Headley talked, he was informed of his right to remain silent, of his right to counsel, that anything he said could and would be used against him. Headley’s lawyer refused to comment on whether his client is a double agent. On whether Headley would get a life sentence, the lawyer said the range of the sentence could be either life or any other sentence less than that as authorised by law. "It is obviously a complicated case. Sentencing is up to Judge Leinenweber. This case has a long way to go," he added.

Shocked uncle says doesn’t know who ‘real’ Headley is Chicago: David Headley’s maternal uncle says his nephew's involvement in the "mass murders" makes him wonder who the "real" David Headley is. "I was really shocked, it was like you had poured cold water inside my chest," Headley's uncle William Headley said. "We absolutely cannot imagine it. It is not consistent with anything that we know of his personality and his personality is very complicated. But the mass murders... I can't see it." William said he was in

disbelief that his own nephew was connected with the massacre in Mumbai. Headley wrote letters to his uncle from a Chicago jail, addressing him as "Dear Uncle Billy". William said Headley had communicated to him that he was doubtful he would be let off, after he was arrested on terror charges in October last year. In a letter dated December 18, 2009, Headley wrote to his uncle that "despite his heritage, he is now a 100% Muslim".

Mohammad. India blames the LeT for the Mumbai attacks that killed over 166 people. Among the charges that Headley pleaded guilty to are: • Conspiracy involving bombing public places in India • Conspiracy to murder and maim persons in India, Denmark

• Aiding and abetting the murder of US citizens in India • Providing material support to foreign terrorist plots • Providing material support to top terror group Lashkar-eToiba Headley says in his plea of guilt that he attended terrorist training camps in Pakistan, conducted extensive surveillance of targets in India for more than two years before the 26/11 attack and made five trips to India between September 2006 and July 2008, when he scouted sites, took photographs for 26/11 and

shared details with Pakistani handlers. The 49-year-old son of a Pakistani diplomat and a Philadelphia socialite was arrested by the FBI's joint terrorism task force on October 3 last year. He told US District Judge Harry Leinenweber that he wanted to change his plea to guilty, in an apparent bid to get a lighter sentence than the maximum death penalty. Headley admitted to using his friend Tahawwur Rana's immigration company as a cover for surveillance activities in India and Denmark on behalf of Pakistan-based terrorist groups, including LeT.

The 36-page plea agreement containing a detailed recitation of Headley's participation in terror conspiracies was presented when he changed his plea to guilty. "By this plea agreement defendant agrees to enter a voluntary plea of guilty to all counts," the document said. It states that Headley has cooperated with the Government since he was arrested on October 3, 2009, and that he "has provided substantial assistance to the criminal investigation, and also has provided information of significant intelligence value."

US about turn on giving India direct access to Headley New Delhi: The US on Tuesday said that it has not taken any decision on giving "direct access’’ to India to quiz alleged double spy David Headley who has pleaded guilty in a 2008 attacks. Washington’s about turn, a day before the USPakistan strategic dialogue, came via a clarification by US Ambassador to India Timothy Roemer. Two days earlier, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram expressed confidence that India will get access to Headley on the basis of assurances by two senior US Administration officials.

A day later, the Union Home Ministry indicated that it would be readying a set of questions to be put to Headley. The composition of the team and the mode of access would be decided after the Minister returned from his visit to the US, the sources had added. Maintaining that the US had provided "substantial information" from the confession made by Headley and was committed to doing so in the future, Mr Roemer said the US Department of Justice "will work with the Government of India regarding the modalities of

such cooperation." The Government had started the process of preparing for the interrogation on the basis of US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake’s statement here last week that India could get access to Headley. This was followed up by a telephonic conversation between Mr. Chidambaram and US Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday. The Union Home Minister had said Mr Holder drew attention to a clause in the plea agreement which stated that Headley "will fully and truthfully testify in any

foreign judicial proceedings held in the US by way of deposition, video conferencing or letters rogatory." Mr. Chidambaram had also asked the National Investigation Agency to get ready documents required for initiating judicial proceedings in which India could get access to Headley to answer questions or testify. Headley and his accomplice Tahawwur Hussain Rana have been charged with involvement in the conspiracy leading to the Mumbai terror attacks by Pakistan based militants of the LeT.

Watertight case against Lashkar New Delhi: The agreement between David Coleman Headley and US authorities, under which he pleaded guilty to being part of the 26/11 plot in order to dodge the death sentence and extradition to India has boosted New Delhi's efforts to expose Pakistan's propaganda to project Lashkar as a group focused on J&K. Details of the "guilty" plea made by Headley validate India's claims about the Lashkar leadership masterminding 26/11, and suggest that the American jihadi may not be able to get away lightly as was being feared. What should temper the disappointment in certain quarters over Americans agreeing to Headley's condition not to extradite him to India is that the deal marks the first time that top Lashkar leaders - mentioned in the agreement as Lashkar Members A, B, C and D have been held responsible for the killing of American citizens in a US court. The estimate of Indian

investigators is that the alphabets stand for jihadi commanders Sajid Mir, Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi, Muzzamil and Abu Hamza or Abu Al Qama: all key figures in the ISIscripted campaign to use terror to bleed India. The lid on their identity will soon be ripped apart given Headley's promise of cooperation. In fact, that he is already singing has been one of the reasons cited by the American authorities to justify why they are not pressing for Headley being put on an electric chair or given a shot of lethal injection. That leaves out the "Big Daddy" of Lashkar Hafiz Mohammad Saeed the hate-spewing jihadi ideologue. But given that Headley has already acknowledged having been inspired by Saeed's anti-India rhetoric and his testimony about the involvement of Lashkar commanders in the Mumbai plot, the agreement strengthens home minister P Chidambaram's demand - stubbornly rejected by Pakistan - for

an investigation into the role of the LeT chief. More so, because Headley's testimony also spotlights that Lashkar is now fully enmeshed in the larger terror web that has Osama bin Laden's alQaida at the lead. Prosecutors told the court that co-accused and HuJI chief Ilyas Kashmiri was in regular touch with Qaida's No 3 Sheikh Mustafa Abu al-Yazid. That is not all. Headley also confessed that his collaborations were "not limited to" just members of LeT - a significant statement in the light of his testimony early on to FBI about the Karachi Project that involves serving and retired officers of Pakistan Army, besides Lashkar and their Indian proxies, Indian Mujahideen. What makes the agreement more satisfactory is that while the American authorities have agreed neither to extradite him nor to seek death penalty despite Headley being charged with seven crimes punishable with execution, the fear of being sent

to the gallows will continue to hang over Headley like a sword of Damocles. The agreement, as acknowledged by Headley's counsel Robert Seeder, makes it clear that the death sentence is off the table only so long as the accused continues to cooperate. "The defendant (Headley) understands that if he should breach this cooperation agreement and if the government, at its sole discretion, voids such agreement, the government will no longer be bound by its decision not to seek the death penalty," stressed the plea agreement. The rider is crucial from India's viewpoint because the cooperation expected under the deal extends to helping with India's own investigation. The statement issued by the US Department of Justice stressed that Headley has agreed to "fully and truthfully testify in any foreign judicial proceedings held against the United States by way of deposition, video conferencing and letter rogatory".


Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

27

Court permission sought to investigate A Q Khan Islamabad: The Pakistan government has sought court permission to investigate disgraced nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan on charges of transferring nuclear know-how to Iraq and Iran, a government lawyer said Monday. This petition comes just days before the opening of strategic talks between the United States and Pakistan, where the south Asian country will likely to ask for a civilian nuclear deal similar to the one between India and the United States.

Pak army using minority women as sex slaves

New York: The Pakistani army is sexually assaulting minority women and using them as sex slaves, alleges the European Organization of Pakistani Minorities (EOPM), an NGO working for the rights of minorities in Pakistan. In a prayer-cumdemonstration held at the UN, it said the Pakistani army is taking minority women away from their families, raping them and then using them as sex slaves. Referring to the December attacks on Christians in Lahore, the organisation alleged that attacks on minorities in Pakistan were increasing. Using a symbolic bro-

ken chair to highlight the plight of minorities in Pakistan, more than 100 women from different faiths lit candles at the prayer to highlight the plight of minority women allegedly being raped and killed by the Pakistani army. Expressing concern over the plight of women of Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan, the organisers said army officials are taking them to torture camps, raping them and then using them as sex slaves. "One such case is of that Zarina Marri who is a 23-year-old school teacher from Quetta and is being used as a sex slave by the Pakistani Army," the

EOPM said in a statement. It said international observers and the media should be allowed free access to Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan to meet families whose women members have disappeared and yet no police cases have been registered. The organisation demanded that the UN organise a special session on the plight of Pakistani women. According to the EOPM, religious minorities constitute much more than five per cent - as claimed in Pakistani census - of Pakistan's 160 million population. However, the census

In focus......... Pak Punjab police ad features Indian logo

intentionally keeps minority population low to deny them greater representation, it said. Christians, Sikhs, Hindus and other minorities are constant targets of attacks in Pakistan, it said, citing Minority Rights Group International, a watchdog organisation, which ranked Pakistan last year as, "the world's top country for major increases in threats to minorities since 2007". Pakistan has also been listed seventh among the 10 most dangerous countries for minorities, after Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar and Congo.

Five Americans charged with terrorism Islamabad: A Pakistani court last week formally charged five young Americans of plotting terrorism in the country, their lawyer said, in a case that has raised alarm over the danger posed by militants using the Internet. The students, in their 20s and from the US state of Virginia, were detained in December in the town of Sargodha, 190 km southeast of Islamabad, and accused of contacting militants over the Internet and plotting attacks.

A defence lawyer for the men, Hassan Dastagir, said the charges brought against his clients, included fund raising for terrorist acts. "The court brought charges of terrorism against my clients and fixed March 31 for the next hearing in which the prosecution would produce evidence and witnesses," he said. He said the men pleaded not guilty and described the charges as "lies." The five men, who had told the court they

only wanted to provide fellow Muslims in Afghanistan with medical and financial help, face life imprisonment if convicted, Dastagir said. Police said the men two of them of Pakistani origin, one of Egyptian, one of Yemeni and one of Eritrean origin - wanted to go to Afghanistan to join the Taliban to fight Afghan and Western forces. Police have said emails showed they contacted Pakistani militants who had planned to use them

for attacks in Pakistan, a front-line state in the USled war against militancy. The five have accused the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and Pakistani police of torturing and trying to frame them. Pakistani authorities deny the accusations. Pakistan is fighting al Qaeda-linked militants and is under pressure from Washington to help stabilise Afghanistan by cracking down on militants' cross-border attacks on US-led troops.

Musharraf’s new political party closer to reality now Islamabad: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has reportedly accepted former president General Pervez Musharraf’s application to register a new political party named-All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), thus clearing the road for Musharraf to return to the country for another political stint. Sources privy to the development said Musharraf was trying hard to register the party through some of his loyalists in the country for quite some time, and has now finally succeeded. Sources said the application filed by the ECP

Pervez Musharraf

named some of the officebearers of APML such as Barrister Saif as chairman, Sher Alam Khattak as president, Chuadhry Abdul Ghafoor as senior vice president, and Rai Mulazam Hussain as secretary general.

Commenting on the reports regarding Musharraf staging a comeback, Major General (retired) Rashid Qureshi, while confirming that Barrister Saif was serving as a legal advisor and spokesman of Musharraf, said the former president has still not decided to join the newly-floated party. Qureshi said though Musharraf enjoys huge public support, he is unlikely to join the APML in the coming days. “Musharraf has not yet decided to join the party and is waiting for right time to join Pakistani politics. There are 155,000 members of Pasdaran-e-

Pakistan and 150,000 lovers on face book. Its shows how much popular he is in the masses,” The Nation quoted Qureshi, as saying. Musharraf has himself made it clear on several occasions that he would return to Pakistan if the country needs him and if he garners sufficient support. But with numerous pending cases against him in various courts across Pakistan and the opposition, particularly the Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) pushing for his high treason trial, the former general’s return seems to be a distant dream.

Islamabad: An advertisement issued on Friday in Pakistani newspapers by the police force in Punjab province featured the logo of its counterpart in India's Punjab state, triggering an outcry among people. The development was reminiscent of the uproar in India in January when a government advertisement featured former Pakistan air force chief Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed alongside Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The advertisement, which appealed to people to remain vigilant and cooperate with police to prevent terrorist attacks and other crimes, was carried on the front page of several English and Urdu newspapers. The logo of the police force of India's Punjab state was placed next to the words 'Punjab Police' at the bottom of the advertisement. Pakistan's Punjab Police chief Tariq Saleem Dogar blamed printing company involved in the advertisement for the lapse.

Zardari signs pact to donate his organs

Islamabad: Asif Ali Zardari became the first Pakistani president to donate all his body organs, after signing a landmark bill to regulate transplant of human organs in the country. The president made the announcement of "donating his whole body" after his death as he inked the document in a ceremony held at Aiwan-e-Sadr. Zardari said he took the decision in the light of his late wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto's philosophy of living for others, Associated Press of Pakistan reported. The law makes the sale and unauthorised transplant of body organs punishable with up to 10 years in prison, and provides for a regulatory mechanism, including a high-level federal monitoring authority and evaluation committees, for the removal, storage and transplantation of human organs and tissues for therapeutic purposes. The president said Pakistan had been singled out in the world community due to the illegal trade in body organs and urged parliament and doctors to create awareness about the issue among the masses.

PIA pilot's Hindi song on flight irks flyers

Islamabad: The pilot of a Pakistan International Airlines flight annoyed passengers by singing a Bollywood song to call an airhostess to bring his meal to the cockpit. The pilot was unaware that his message to the airhostess could be heard all over the aircraft, thanks to an open mike. The incident occurred on a flight from Islamabad to Karachi. "Aa bhi jao sanam, tujh ko meri kasam", the pilot sang as an airhostess rushed to the cockpit with a food tray. The faux pas happened because the pilot was unaware that the mike had not been switched off by the cabin crew after an earlier announcement. The passengers found the pilot's behaviour uncivilised and uncultured and demanded an apology, a TV news channel reported. Following the protests by passengers, the pilot apologized first in English and then in Urdu.

Pakistan signs natural gas pipeline deal with Iran

Islamabad: Pakistan has signed a deal with Iran paving the way for the construction of a much-delayed pipeline pumping Iranian natural gas to the energy-starved South Asian country, officials said last week. The $7.6 billion project is crucial for Pakistan to avert a growing energy crisis already causing severe electricity shortages in the country of about 170 million. Pakistani Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Naveed Qmar hailed the signing of the deal in Turkey as an "historic achievement." "It's a milestone towards meeting energy needs of the country," a Pakistani government statement quoted Qamar as saying.

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28

UK

Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

This week CB will discuss with Mr C J Rabheru, Convener of the Question Time, about the political conference organised by NCGO (UK) on 28th March, and talk with Mr Kanjibhai Jeshani, Trustee, Swaminarayan Temple, Willesden and Mr Manjibhai Vekariya, President of Shri Baladia Leva Patel Sarvodaya (UK) on their medical camp in Kutch, Gujarat If you do not have a tv, go to www.tvunetworks.com and watch CB Live on TVU Player Channel 75203

Sneh Joshi - 020 8518 5500

Week commences 27th March 2010 ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20

To ask questions please call on: 020 8963 1001

For more information e-mail:

cblive_matv@yahoo.co.uk

Don't miss !!!

Thursday 7pm to 8pm

Only on CB Live - MATV Sky 793 - Thursday 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Coming Events l St Luke’s Hospice Indian Mela (fair) is organised with lots of Indian themed stalls, selling products and offering taster sessions. Saturday 24th April 2010 Venue: Claremont High School, HA3 0UH Time: 11am until 2pm. Contact: Kate Gammell on 020 8382 8096 l Sophusion Spring Sale ….. up to 50% off on selected items. Sunday 28 March & Sunday 11 April: 10 am - 6 pm at 104 Woodcock Hill, HA3 0JD, contact Krishna Shah: 07958 959104 / info@sophusion.com l Non Violence Day by Sai School of Harrow on 27th March 11am. Contact vlahsiv@aol.com l Lions Club of Hadley Wood in association with the Asian

Foundation For Help organising a Charity Mehfil on Saturday 10 April 2010. Contact: ali@dewood.co.uk or call 07712- 563 254 l Mahavir Janma Kalyanak at the Kingsbury High School on Saturday 27th March 2010, 6 to 7.30 Dinner. Shree Jalaram Mandir Greenford presents Shree Hanuman Jayanti, Tuesday 30th March, 9.30am-8pm l The Essence of Krishna featuring Hariprasad Chaurasia with Alarmel Valli Presented by the Lions of Moor Park in association with Asian Music Circuit in aid of The Chain of Hope. Saturday 17 April, 7.30pm, Cadogan Hall, SW1X 9DQ. Contact: 020 7730 4500

Mensa event The high IQ society Mensa is offering people the chance to find out if they are clever enough to join its elite ranks. A test session has been arranged at 10.30am on Saturday, April 17 at Millennium Point, Birmingham.

Man on drug charges A Wolverhampton man accused of growing 50 cannabis plants at his home has appeared in court. Rakesh Semic, 32, of Wolverhampton Street, Bilston, was arrested on December 4. He faces charges of producing cannabis and also possessing the drug with intent to supply. He was bailed until May 11. Editor: CB Patel Associate Editor: Anne Hoose Deputy Editor: Rupanjana Dutta Tel: 020 7749 4098 - Email: rupanjana.dutta@abplgroup.com Senior News Editor: Dhiren Katwa Chief Financial Officer: Surendra Patel Tel: 020 7749 4093 Email: surendra.patel@abplgroup.com Accounts Executive: Akshay Desai Tel: 020 7749 4087 Email:accounts@abplgroup.com Advertising Managers: Alka Shah Tel: 020 7749 4002 - Mobile: 07944 151 893 Email: alka.shah@abplgroup.com Kishor Parmar Tel: 020 7749 4095 - Mobile: 07957 694 909 Email: kishor.parmar@abplgroup.com Advertising Sales Executive: Nikhil Gor - Email: nikhil.gor@abplgroup.com Tel: 020 7749 4009 Media Consultant: Rovin John George Email: rovin.george@abplgroup.com Tel: 020 7749 4097 Business Development Managers: Urja Patel - Email: urja.patel@abplgroup.com Liji George Tel: 020 7749 4013 - Email: george@abplgroup.com Design and Layout: Harish Dahya & Ajay Kumar Tel: 020 7749 4086 Email: graphics@abplgroup.com Customer Service: Saroj Patel Tel: 020 7749 4080 - Email: support@abplgroup.com (BPO) AB Publication (India) Pvt. Ltd. 207 Shalibhadra Complex, Opp. Jain Derasar, Nr. Nehru Nagar Circle, Ambawadi, Ahmedabad Tel: +9179 2646 Fax: +9179 6061 Chief Executive Director: Kamlesh Amin Tel: +91 922 710 4308 Email: kamleshamin123@yahoo.co.in

Mahaveer award to promote vegetarianism

You have everything to gain by following creative inclinations. If you have new ideas, now is the time to put them into practice. Whatever your present interests you are likely to find that new doors open and the way ahead offers increased scope for expressing your real self. A great time to meet and interact with people.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 There may be a discrepancy between the energy you put out and the actual result achieved. You can do much to minimise this effect by avoiding distractions and concentrating on only what is most essential at a day-to-day level. Try to take things in your stride rather than anticipating what might happen. GEMINI May 22 - June 22 For those seeking amorous experience, the prospect could not be much more favourable - the fates are truly smiling upon you! Although the very practical affairs of life continue to be highlighted, this does not mean that there will be all work and no play. In fact, you will be very much in demand socially.

Pat Smith receiving the award in presence of Nitin Mehta, Pundrick Prabhu and others

A Vegetarian event was held at the Hindu Temple, 215 Carlton Rd. Nottingham on 27th of February. 150 people attended the event and 3 individuals took a pledge to go vegetarian. The guest speaker was Nitin Mehta of the Indian Vegetarian Society. The meeting hoped that

Nottingham Council will be the first council in UK to declare one day a week Vegetarian. A prominent vegetarian campaigner Pat Smith was also awarded a Mahaveer Award for his untiring efforts to promote a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle for almost 25 years.

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CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22 At home, be at your diplomatic best and try not to tread on anyone's toes. Passions will run from hot to cold, and relationships may suffer. Even the most strong-willed Cancerians will be more open to compromise to keep the peace. Plan your spending and set sensible budgets to reach your financial goals. LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

The need to push ahead with personal interests and to assert yourself with added force will take precedence over everything else for some time to come. Mentally you will be in top form, perhaps feeling quite passionate about expressing your ideas and views. Indeed, a goal you have been striving towards will at last be reached.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23 Jupiter, the planet of abundance, is transiting your partnership sector. You have plenty of romantic options. Financially you are still not out of the woods as Saturn is going to remain in your financial sector for quite a while. At work you will be relaxed and this will help you to get on with everyone around you. LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23 You are endowed with a level of determination that others sometimes find formidable. Once you set your mind on a goal you stay the course no matter what obstacles you encounter. Saturn's placement in your Solar 1st house often denotes a phase of restriction, sometimes frustration, in one's life. SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

With Jupiter in your 5th house of romance and creativity, you should enjoy a very popular phase in your life where everyone wants to invite you to parties. You will meet people of your own calibre and pursue any romantic liaisons. Your communications are extremely high making it easy to close those lucrative deals.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21 The accent’s very much on relationships. The opening up of a more diverse social life is a point in favour of romantic attachments. You will achieve a lot more, especially when you're motivated by your own desires. The general pattern of things continues on a progressive and buoyant theme. Not only will the general pace of everyday life gather a speedier momentum but there are liable to b a few unforeseen problems along the way. It is only if you try to cram too much into the day that you will come a cropper or damage you health, so be warned. Be prepared to shoulder certain responsibilities.

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

Mars in your opposite sign sets a rather challenging theme. Although this gives increased potential for tension and conflict with other people, it also means that you are able to confront issues and sort any problems out. If this involves a close relationship, you can now resolve your differences.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20

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


time

Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

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Line from Mork Long Period Mined mineral Poem of tribute ID a gastronome? Kind of metabolism steffi of tennis Kid’s Punishment Dilly Autocratic orders Chip in a chip

Rearrange the letters in the four word jumbles, one letter to each square/circle, to make four ordinary words

How to play

Now arrange the letters in the circles to form the answer to the riddle or to fill in the missing word as indicated

LssIT OPsYTT GMsYDU

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The greatest discovery is that a person can change their future by merely changing their______.(8)

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1 Billiard stroke 2 Pico de __ (Pyrenees peak)

macho types Kuwaiti leader Perfume ingredient French key Claim on property Tac’s terrier Son-of sit-coms Phony Dracula lugosi Victor’s cry Belle’s boyfriend Threadbare Newborn More yolky Marlowe’s Doctor Thalia’s sister Cane palm Lady of Lisbon ___-bitty Holiday precederes Ho-hum BMW competitor Assigned time Emulated lindbergh

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LOOP THE LOOP - 51

Solution of Crossword-79

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Rules Connect adjacent dots with vertical or horizontal lines, creating a single loop. (Fig A). Crossovers or branches are not allowed 2 2 2 (As shown by dotted lines in Fig B). 2 2 3 Numbers in the puzzle indicate the 2 1 3 number of lines that should 2 3 3 surround it, while empty cells may 3 2 2 0 2 1 3 be surrounded by any number of 2 2 2 lines. You can’t draw lines arround 1 zeroes. Each puzzle has just one unique solution. How to begin: Example (Fig A) - Begin with the zero next to 3. Since no lines can be drawn around zero, mark crosses around it, as shown. Now there is a cross in one space around 3. So we know the three lines of 3 can only be drawn in the remaining three spaces. Next these lines can only be extended in one direction each. Continue, using the same Solution of LTL No. 50 logic. x x x x Hints: Keep elimi3 3 2 x nating possibilix x x x x ties by marking 2 3 2 x x x x 3 crosses in x x x spaces between 2 3 x 1 x dots where a line x x x x x x isn’t possible, x x 3 x 2 x i.e., if you have 2 x x x x already completx x 2 x 2 x ed required lines x x x x or where a line 3 x 1 3 x 0 x 1 x extension may x x x create a branch x x x x 2 or cause a deadx x end (Fig B)

MINDBENDER - 80 If you reverse the digits of my age, you have the age of my son. a year ago, I was twice his age. How old are we both now

solution of 79 :

Words: Infix, tenth, sharer, brawny. Answer:Seek respect mainly for thyself, for it comes first from

WHATZIT? - 80

4=Number of years in an American Presidential term.

sPELLATHON - 80

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

sudoku-80

Today’s Ratings: 02-average | 03-good | 04-outstanding

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

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solution of sudoku-79 HOW TO PLAY Each row, column and square 3x3 box is a subgrid of 9 cells. Fill in the grid so that each sub-grid contains the digits 1 to 9. Every puzzle has one solution. Note:

A digit cannot appear more than once in any particular digit combination. For instance in the example, we cannot have the combination of 8+4+8 for 20.

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HEALTH WATCH

Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

Simple lifestyle changes can help you live long Just minor alterations in your lifestyle can enhance your long term health, helping you live longer. Research has shown that cutting down your salt intake by merely 3 grams a day can evoke a good fall in blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease by almost 10 percent. A healthy adult intake of salt has been limited to 6 grams. Thereby, even the slightest reduction can have a great effect on health. Similarly, reducing sugar by just one teaspoon a day can result in a cut down of 32,000 calories a year.

Cut down on hydrogenated fats

Even small amount of unsaturated fat in one’s diet can elevate the risk of stroke or heart disease much more than any other edible substance,

studies claim. Thus, avoiding “hydrogenated fat” foods like low-cost cakes, biscuits and pastries can help.

Why tangy fruit could stop you gaining weight

Fill up your plate carefully

It has been long advised that a balanced diet consisting of good amounts of roughage is the way to healthy living. Filling up half the plate with salad or vegetables and the rest with carbohydrates or proteins is a simple trick that can reduce the calorie intake by 200 calories. Just one additional vegetable serving reduces breast cancer [abnormal cells that divide without control, which can invade nearby tissues or spread through the bloodstream and lymphatic system to other parts of the body. ] risk by 21 percent, a study revealed. Aerated drinks like colas contain eight teaspoons of sugar per can

HEALTH WATCH IN BRIEF

Simple lifestyle changes can help you live long

which increases one’s sugar consumption by 40 grams. Switching to water, lemonades or juices is a sure shot way to a healthy life.

A healthy body needs a healthy mind For a healthy body, it is essential to have a healthy mind as well. Memory exercises, crossword puzzles, and brainteasers help in stim-

ulating the brain, imparting mental fitness. A small walk, yoga classes, or meditation are said to be effective stress busters which enhance the quality of life. Lastly, simply moving your body can help burn enough calories unknowingly. Lifestyle changes like changing TV channels, climbing stairs to work or working in the garden are effective to help lead a healthier and longer life.

Seaweed to tackle obesity

Seaweed could hold the key to tackling obesity after it was found it reduces fat uptake by more than 75 per cent, new research has shown. Now the team at Newcastle University are adding seaweed fibre to bread to see if they can develop foods that help you lose weight while you eat them. A team of scientists led by Dr Iain Brownlee and Prof Jeff Pearson have found that dietary fibre in one of the world's largest commercially-used seaweed could reduce the amount of fat absorbed by the body by around 75 per cent. The Newcastle University team found that Alginate -- a natural fibre found in sea kelp -stops the body from absorbing fat better than most anti-obesity treatments currently available over the counter.

The secret to staying slim may lie in a tangy fruit. The juice of the blood orange stops mice piling on weight when fed a high-fat diet, research shows. In contrast, mice fed sweeter oranges more popular in the UK gain significant amounts of fat. Scientists believe the fat-busting powers of the fruit, grown in Italy and the U.S., may be partly due to its high levels of anthocyanin. This red pigment that gives the orange its deep colour is a type of antioxidant, a natural chemical that helps

ward off disease. The juice damages the ability of cells called adipocytes to accumulate fat, University of Milan researchers told the International Journal of Obesity. Adipocytes are found mostly around the waistline and absorb fat from food to store as energy.

An apple a day? Study shows soluble fiber boosts immune system A new University of Illinois study touts the benefits of soluble fiber - found in oats, apples, and nuts, for starters -saying that it reduces the inflammation associated with obesityrelated diseases and strengthens the immune system. "Soluble fiber changes the personality of immune cells -- they go from being proinflammatory, angry cells to anti-inflammatory, healing cells that help us recover faster from infection," said Gregory Freund, a professor in the U of I's College of Medicine and a faculty member in the College of Agriculture, Consumer and

Environmental Sciences' Division of Nutritional Sciences. This happens because soluble fiber causes increased production of an antiinflammatory protein called interleukin-4, he said. The study will appear in the May 2010 issue of Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

Bananas could be key to stopping spread of Aids, say scientists Bananas may hold the key to powerful new treatments that protect against the Aids virus. In laboratory tests, scientists found that a banana ingredient called BanLec was as potent as two existing anti-HIV drugs. They believe cheap therapies based on BanLec have the potential to save millions of lives. The ingredient is a lectin, a naturally occurring chemical in plants that fights infection. Researchers in the U.S. found that the lectin found in bananas can inhibit HIV infection by blocking the virus's entry into the body. BanLec acts on the protein 'envelope' that encloses HIV's

genetic material. Lead author Michael Swanson, from the University of Michigan, said: 'The problem with some HIV drugs is that the virus can mutate and become resistant, but that's much harder to do in the presence of lectins. 'Lectins can bind to the sugars found on different spots of the HIV1 envelope, and presumably it will take multiple mutations for the virus to get around them.'


Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010

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Ahmedabad misses, Gujaratis make it for an IPL team Kochi consortium has four Gujaratis as co-owners, Pune goes to Sahara group Even as Ahmedabad missed on getting an IPL team on Sunday, Gujaratis succeeded. Rendezvous Sports Group, the consortium that won a Kochi team has four Gujaratis as partners. High hopes among the cricket fans in Ahmedabad were dashed on Sunday as the city lost the opportunity to get an IPL team. The local media and city cricket fans were agog with the expectation of Ahmedabad getting the team. Adani, a local business house was tipped to be the front runner, but Sahara group out bid the Adanis and than decided to have the team for Pune. They had, in fact put the bid for three different venues. Among the losers is

the Videocon group, who was also in race for Pune. Another interesting fact is that the total amount of the two bids put together is higher than all the 8 teams have put in initially. In the first round, the 8 teams collectively were sold for Rs. 28.53 billion, while the 2 teams that will now come on board have been sold for Rs. 32.36 billion (approximately). Lalit Modi, the IPL commissioner himself said, the bids were well beyond his expectation. Sahara ASG got Pune for Rs. 17.02 billion, while Rendezvous SWL got Kochi for Rs. 15.33 billion (approx). They will be a

part of IPL season IV. The next edition will have 94 matches as against 60 now. The bidding took place at Chennai. While the Sahara group is already in the sports arena, being longtime sponsors of the Indian Cricket team as well as Indian hockey team, the Kochi group had the backing of Shashi Tharoor, India’s minister of state for external affairs. Tharoor himself later clarified his involvement was limited to encouragement for the group. The prominent Gujarati partners in the Kochi consortium are Mehul Shah, owner of the famous Anchor

Electricals, Dilip Mehta of the Rosy Blue Diamond group, Mukesh Patel of Shri Ram Vessals, a scrap firm at the Alang Ship Breaking Yard in Bhavnagar district and Vipul Shah of Parani Developers. In a chat with one of the Ahmedabad English dailies - DNA, they said next time, they would definitely make a bigger bid, and that would be for Ahmedabad. Sources in the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) blamed the internal politics of the BCCI for Ahmedabad having lost the opportunity, as according to them, the earlier round of bidding, which has cancelled at the 11th hour, cost the city.

OZ thump Kiwis in Wellington Hughes and Harris shine in the 10 wicket victory On Tuesday at Wellington, visitors Australia achieved the victory that dodged them long, but they did it in the morning session itself, earning for themselves a good rest of more than half the day. Brendon McCullum scored a ton for the home team and led a late resistance. Australia were required to bat for a second time, but the target of 106 runs was always achievable. They did it in rather quick time, winding it up before the break. Now, the home team is trailing 0 – 1 in the two test series. Phillip Hughes' finalday blast ensured that

Phillip Hughes and Simon Katich walk off satisfied by the 10-wicket win at Wellington

Australia completed their task in 23 overs. Hughes thrashed Kiwi bowlers to score a quick fire 86 of just 75 balls. His innings had 12 fours and a six. Prior

to that, debutant Ryan Harris ended the New Zealand innings soon on the final day. He had an impressive show of 4 wickets for 77 runs in the

New Zealand second innings. New Zealand were unable to repeat the fight they put up on Monday. McCullum, the main obstacle, was removed in the fourth over after bringing up his fifth Test century. New Zealand began on 369 for 6, holding a lead of 67, and after losing their last specialist batsman the job was left to Daryl Tuffey and his bowling team-mates. {Brief scores: OZ 459 for 5 dec & 106 for 0 (Hughes 86*) beat NZ 157 & 407 (McCullum 104, McIntosh 83, Vettori 77) by 10 wickets}.

Beckham welcome to England football camp in SA Capello says he would be a positive influence on the team David Beckham is not going to play for England in the football World Cup next June. Yet team manager Fabio Capello has invited him to be presented at the team camp at Rustenburg. Capello feels the midfielder’s presence

would have a positive influence on the team. Beckham ruptured his left Achilles tendon recently and underwent surgery last week. He would recover only by September. The 34-year-old had a

successful two-hour operation in Finland on Monday, but he is not expected to play before September. Team manager Capello feels the midfielder would be able to play for the qualifying campaign of the European

championship. That also is scheduled to start in September. Beckham is expected to recover fully; doctors have expressed such an optimism. Even media reports suggest that the surgery will not force him to retire.

Mumbai Indians continue impressive show Mumbai Indians have continued with their impressive show in the IPL season three, as they beat Kolkata Knight Riders at home on Monday night with a convincing 7 wicket margin. Skipper Sachin Tendulkar led from the front with an unbeaten 71. Chris Gayle’s effort of 75 runs went in vain, as KKR could ultimately score just 155 runs. Mumbai persisted with firing yorkers on the leg

stump, cramping the batsmen for room. It was best highlighted in a passage of play in the Kolkata innings where they batted 37 balls without a boundary. 62 runs off the last six overs was an improvement, yet Sourav Ganguly’s men fell 15-20 runs short. The Mumbai openers began the chase in top gear racing to 24 off two overs, all off boundaries. Shikhar Dhawan dented

Shane Bond's confidence by smashing three boundaries off the first over, while Tendulkar gave Ishant Sharma a similar nightmare by fetching three more fours off the second, all crisply driven down the ground off the front foot. Spin was the only way to put brakes. When Ganguly introduced Murali Kartik, it immediately yielded a wicket. It

dented the run rate as well. It was an opportunity for Kolkata to attack more and push for wickets but the bowlers couldn't sustain the pressure long enough. Mumbai's victory also highlighted the huge difference in the quality of the bowling attacks. (Brief scores: MI 156 for 3 (Tendulkar 71*) beat KKR 155 for 3 (Gayle 75, Zaheer 2-27) by 7 wickets).

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PCB complaint against IPL rejected Pakistan Cricket Board knocking the doors of the ICC for a perceived snub to its players by the IPL brought no results. The ICC ruled that IPL was a domestic event and ICC cannot act against that. Well-placed sources in the PCB said that Pakistan had written to the ICC complaining about the treatment meted out to the players. The source said ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat has written to the PCB informing that the governing body could not interfere in what was primarily a domestic event. A lot of hue and cry was raised here after no Pakistani player found a buyer in the IPL auction with the government also slamming the franchises and the Indian board.

Saina breaks Chinese barrier, reaches no. 5 Saina has again achieved a feat no other Indian women badminton player has been able to do so far. She gained the 5th rank globally, just after having made her best show at All England Badminton Championships earlier this month. There she played in the semi finals, which is also a first for any Indian woman shuttler. The Hyderabad lady now aims gradual scaling up, first aim being to make it to no. 3 and then, finally no. 1. Saina says it is very difficult, but achievable. In the men’s rankings, Chetan Anand of India dropped a spot to 10th. In the mixed doubles rankings, Jwala Gutta and V Diju's pair slipped one spot to 10th in the latest list.

English Premier League Matches Saturday, 27 March 2010 Birmingham v/s Arsenal St. Andrews Ground Bolton v/s Man Utd Reebok Stadium Chelsea v/s Aston Villa Stamford Bridge Hull v/s Fulham Kingston Comms Stadium Tottenham v/s Portsmouth White Hart Land West Ham v/s Stoke Boleyn Ground Wolverhampton v/s Everton Molineux Sunday, 28 March Burnley v/s Blackburn Turf Moor Liverpool v/s Sunderland Anfield Monday, 29 March Man City v/s Wigan Craven Cottage

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IPL: Results of matches played between 16 to 22 March Match Date Teams No. 16 21 March CSK v/s KXIP at Chennai KXIP won in the super over after tie – KXIP 136/8 (20 overs); CSK 136/7 (20 overs) 15 21 March DC v/s DD at Cuttack DC won by 10 runs Brief scores: DC 171/6 (20 overs); DD 161/9 (20 overs) 14 20 March MI v/s RCB at Mumbai RCB won by 7 wickets Brief scores: MI 151/9 (20 overs); RCB 155/3 (19.1 overs) 13 20 March RR v/s KKR at Ahmedabad RR won by 34 runs Brief scores: RR 168/7 (20 overs); KKR 134/5 (20 overs) 12 19 March DC v/s KXIP at Cuttack DC won by 6 runs Brief scores: DC 170/7 (20 overs); KXIP 164/8 (20 overs) 11 19 March DD v/s CSK at Delhi CSK won by 5 wickets Brief scores: DD 185/6 (20 overs); CSK 190/5 (19.1 overs) 10 18 March RCB v/s RR at Bangalore RCB won by 10 wickets Brief scores: RR 92 (19.5 overs); RCB 93/0 (10.4 overs) 9 17 March DD v/s MI at Delhi MI won by 98 runs Brief scores: MI 218/7 (20 overs); DD 120 (16.3 overs) 8 16 March KKR v/s CSK at Kolkata CSK won by 55 runs Brief scores: CSK 164/3 (20 overs); KKR 109 (19.2 overs)


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Asian Voice - Saturday 27th March 2010


Asian Voice