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VOL 40. ISSUE 38


India steps up pressure for release of NRI kids in Norway Three-year-old Abhigyan and one-yearold Aishwarya, children of Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, an NRI couple living in Stavanger, Norway, were taken under protective care by Barnevarne (Norwegian Child Welfare Services) in May on grounds that they were not looked after properly by their parents. India’s External Affairs Minister SM Krishna on Monday took up the matter with the Norwegian authorities at the highest level and sources say a solution may be in sight. Continued on page 26

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe

Britain demonising the tax migrants? Immigration has always been the most controversial sector in a country. With the current British coalition government and its whims and fancies, we have had more frequent changes in its immigration rules than the English weather. Theresa May, the current Home Secretary has proposed and disposed various plans, yet Britain continues to have no luck with reducing the number of immigrants. The government has also never tried to realise that very often some of these immigrants add more value to British society, than the natives them-

28th Jan to 3rd Feb 2012

Brent Council’s Labour leader investigated over Shridi Sai temple planning application

Cllr Ann John

Rt Hon Keith Vaz, MP

Theresa May, Home Secretary

selves. The flaw probably lies in the structure and its perception. The nationality of benefit claimants has never been recorded until today.

Chris Bryant, the shadow immigration minister, blamed the Government and said the situation would only get worse due Continued on page 2

Brent Council’s Labour Council Leader Cllr Ann John is facing an investigation into the way she sought to influence the decision on a controversial planning application for the Shirdi Sai Temple, Continued on page 6

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Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

one to one Keith Vaz MP with

Joanna Brown, Chief Executive, Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists

What are your proudest achievements? Growing the Society’s annual clinical conference and trade exhibition despite the economic downturn. At our 2011 conference in

Harrogate we had over 1000 delegates, 80 exhibitors and a great buzz! What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? I would not wish to use the word “obstacle”, but in common with many others I have lacked the time to do everything that I would have liked, be that personal development or pursuing projects and ideas at work that are not an immediate priority Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date?

There is no single individual, but during my career I have worked with and learned from many interesting and talented people. I admire the drive and imagination of entrepreneurs such as Dame Mary Perkins who built up Specsavers from a small family business. What is the best thing about your current role? I really enjoy talking to politicians in Westminster and the devolved governments about the important role of podiatrists in keeping the population mobile and pain free. The ageing population and explosion in diabetes and foot complications means

Britain demonising the tax migrants? Continued from page 1 to lax border controls, rising migration and increasing unemployment. Ministers recently ordered a comparison of records held by the UK Border Agency, Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs. The analysis found there were 371,000 foreign-born claimants for out-of-work benefits, out of a total 5.5 million recipients. Of these, 258,000 were from outside the European Economic Area. But the question is who are these migrants? The immigrants who come to the UK from outside EEA, they are not eligible for any benefits until they become citizens of the country. That takes minimum 5-6 years and to qualify they need to work continuously. However once they become citizen of a country, they still value their jobs, given their age long cultural

influences and traditions. But in difficult situations, when they cannot make ends meet, they might have asked for benefits. And most of the time they have been entitled to it lawfully. On the other hand, European nationals actively look for work can claim unemployment benefit, moment they arrive in Britain. Those from some eastern European nations can claim so after 12 months on a registration scheme, but definitely quicker than other nationalities. Dr Matt Cavanagh, the associate director of the think-tank the Institute for Public Policy Research told BBC “Around 7,500 people who came here as foreign nationals are claiming benefits. Is that a massive problem? That works out at about one in 1,000 of the total number of people who are on out of work benefits. Clearly, it should be looked at and

What are your long term goals? To build an evidence base that clearly demonstrates through high level clinical research the economic value of podiatric treatments. If you were Prime Minister, what one thing would you change? I would insist on the number of podiatrists and other Allied Health Professionals in training being based on a proper analysis of long term outcomes for patients, not on short term funding considerations. For example 100 people a week in the UK lose a limb due to diabetes, yet 85% of these amputations could be avoided through the early intervention of a diabetic foot care team. At the moment there are not enough podiatrists being trained to do the preventative work

Joanna Brown is the Chief Executive of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (SCP), the leading professional body and trade union for chiropodists and podiatrists in the UK. Joanna graduated from the University of Warwick with an honours degree in history. After a short spell working in administration at the Institution of Electrical Engineers, Joanna moved to the Inland Revenue Staff Federation, the then trade union for Inland Revenue employees. Joanna was a Negotiations and Policy Officer focussing on member representation, organisational structure and equalities. Joanna moved into the health sector in 1991 as Executive Secretary of the British Orthoptic Society, and in 1997 joined the SCP. Joanna was initially the SCP Director of Industrial Relations and Professional Practice, and became Chief Executive in 1997. She is currently a member of the Allied Health Professions Federation Board and TUC General Council. Joanna was appointed as a magistrate in 1995 and serves in adult and youth courts on the newly amalgamated North West London Bench. Joanna has three grown up children and lives in North London. Please tell us about your current position? I am Chief Executive of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, the leading professional body and trade union for chiropodists and podiatrists in the UK. The Society has nearly ten thousand members who work predominantly in the NHS or private practice

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sorted out and the Government said it’s going to do that but I don’t think [tackling] one in 1,000 of the people claiming out of work benefits is the way to reduce the overall welfare bill, which

there has never been a greater need for podiatrists. This is a particularly pertinent issue in the Asian community because of the high incidence of diabetes. The support that the Society receives from MPs and Peers is invaluable And the worst? Juggling competing priorities! The Society is a membership organisation, and as such we provide a wide range of services, education and representation for our members. We also have an important role in providing foot health information for the public through our publications, leaflets and webis what people are worried about. My second point is the sheer scale of benefits. About 6% of people on out of work benefits are foreign nationals, the great majority of them entitled to them, that’s slightly less than the proportion for British people who have

Go find a Job People living in benefitdependent households have been urged by the Prime Minister to “go out and work” rather than complain about the loss of welfare payments. David Cameron said that living on welfare had become an “acceptable alternative” to working and suggested that benefit payments were too easy to receive. He spoke as the Government faced serious opposition to the plan to cap the maximum benefit payments that can be received by any household at 26,000. The House of Lords is seeking to block

the policy. The Rt Rev John Packer, Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, who introduced the successful amendment, said: “It cannot be right for the cap to be the same for a childless couple as for a couple with children. Child benefit is the most appropriate way to right this unfairness.”

If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figures would you like to spend your time with and why? Boudicca, a female leader, patriot and working mother! We know some of the historical facts about her life, that she led the Iceni uprising against the Romans following the rape of her daughters and defeated the Roman ninth legion, but there is much that is lost in the mists of time. I would be fascinated to know how, as a woman, she inspired the British tribes and whether she felt the ends justified the means: the loss of life and destruction of several Roman cities. always been resident here. What we know is that when migrants come here, for the first five or 10 years they are much less likely to claim benefits and even after they have been here for five or 10 years, they are slightly less likely than British people to claim benefits. It’s fair enough for the Government to say they want to get the brightest and best migrants to come here – we all do that – and we don’t want people claiming benefits that they aren’t entitled to, but to some extent you have to take the rough with the smooth of migration. It’s overwhelmingly good for the economy of the country. Some of the people who come here end up being Nobel Prize-winners who George Osborne praises in his conference speech. A few of them will end up out of work but if they have worked and paid contributions for several years, I think they are entitled to claim the benefit.” Rt Hon Keith Vaz, MP

People ■ Priti Patel MP was the host at a dinner organised by TATA Consulting at the House of Commons.

Priti Patel MP

MPs Steve Pound, Virendra Sharma, Matthew Offord and Ben Wallace were amongst those attending.

■ News reaches me that the noble Lord Dolar Popat has not yet

Lord Dolar Popat

bought the glittering tiara for his wife Sandia, Lady Popat. This is required wearing for wives of Peers at the State Opening.

■ Why has Dickie Stagg’s departure from New Delhi gone so quietly? But he has gone! New High Commissioner James Bevan, a former Europe Director, is the new man in India. and the Chair of the Home Committee told Asian Voice, “Over 50% of those who claim benefits are now UK citizens or have the right to remain. These figures do not show how long they have been in the UK, they could have been here for 20 years or more. Many immigrants make a greatly beneficial contribution to British society. Migrants are in fact significantly more likely to be working and supporting themselves than people who are UK born.” In a recent letter to Evening Standard, Ben Pollard, a UK citizen has rightly written supporting the immigrants. He said that people born abroad are twice as likely to be in work. Most people who come to the UK want to contribute, to build lives and pay tax. And that clearly infer that all immigrants are not coming to the UK to thrive on the state money. Some have also contributed largely to make Britain such a successful nation.

Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012


Is it fair to strip migrants of benefits? Neither it is fair nor advisable to strip migrants off their benefits. But it seems the next big thing is government-led migrant bashing. Migrants are not getting what they are entitled for. More than 370,000 migrants who were admitted to Britain to work, study or go on holiday are now claiming out-of-work benefits. Media makes it as if migrants are devils, the issue of migrants are hyped from mole hill to mountains. It is not going to benefit Britain to be negative towards migrants who have come from far off countries to settle and work in Britain. Is this prejudice simply because they have a different colour, creed, community and country? Please remind yourself that we have entered the era of globalisation where everyone contributes his might for the progress of their adopted country. Government also understands that the migrants’ claims are not unreasonable, but because of their failure to set the economy on the right track, they are thinking that by denying migrants their rights can save the country few billions. Far from strengthening immigration control the Government is returning fewer illegal migrants and net migration has continued to increase. And at the same time increasing number of people born here and abroad are on out-of-work benefits because the government's failure on the economy which pushed up unemployment rate. But Chris Bryant, shadow immigration minister, blamed the Government and said the situation would only get worse due to lax border controls, rising migration and increasing unemployment. Tory ministers are resorting to rhetoric and misinformation to hide the

reality of their failures on immigration and unemployment. "Ministers should get a grip of rising unemployment and weaker border controls rather than trying to hide behind questionable figures which include people who have been British citizens for many years, and don't take account of British citizens claiming benefits abroad. Many of the migrants have worked for years and have paid their dues. Many have become UK citizens with a moral right to get support. It is easy to say that those who have been here for short time and have lost jobs should be denied benefits. But while some could return home, others lack the means. If they are destitute and we refuse to support them, they will turn to crime or begging, is that what we really want, Chris Bryant asked. Agreed that immigration is quite high, it needs to be reduced, but a wholesale cut in migrants’ benefits is not the way to achieve it. In fact just two per cent of them are claiming benefits illegally. To remind, a migrant who is trying hard to settle in the new country and culture, hunts a job to earn his bread but he does not get a job only because of his legal status. Like a young migrant who waited for 11 years for his legal status, applied for nearly 400 jobs and was turned down for each time on the basis that he did not have any experience in UK. But if he ever gets a chance to work? If someone is legally in this country, if they’ve worked for several years, if they’ve paid taxes for several years, then clearly they should be entitled to benefits, especially if they have become citizens.

Whither Nigeria The attacks by Islamist militants in the northern Nigerian city of Kano killed over 200 people. The Boko Haram militants who said they carried out the attacks so that they could overthrow the national government and install an Islamic state. This tragedy reminds us of the violence that broke out in West Bengal in India, during the partition in 1947. A part of the British Indian province of Bengal was divided between India and Pakistan. This displaced up to 12.5 million people in the former British Indian empire, with estimates of loss of life varying from several hundred thousand to a million. The violent nature of the partition created an atmosphere of mutual hostility and suspicion between India and Pakistan that plagues their relationship to this day. Muslim League organised day of Action on 14th August 1946, that murdered over 12000 Hindus in Kolkata. Same is scenario with Kano, where attacks were massive. A series of explosions ripped apart police buildings, passport offices and immigration centres around the city. Hospitals are struggling to deal with the number of killed and injured. Haram militants have frequently attacked police stations and other symbols of state power, but the group has also bombed churches and killed hundreds of people mainly Christian, some Muslims too. But this latest unrest is a worrying indication that these tensions remain never far from the surface, and that, in a country with such high levels of poverty, the underlying issues of access to scarce resources such as land and jobs are as much of an issue as ever.

Whatever the historical justifications, the conflict is always and everywhere about access to scarce resources. Religious bigotry, unfounded suspicions and hatred create divisions of a country. Sometimes it is aided and abated by the Imperial powers. Sometimes Church and the Mullahs are also hyper active. Kolkata massacre of 1946 convinced many leaders of the Congress to cut the losses and allow the Muslim League to have a separate state of Pakistan. Indeed it was Jinnah's desire to have an Islamic state but it became inevitable. In those horrendous days, most Hindus and Sikhs left Pakistan or were forced to leave. Most Indian Muslims chose to remain in India and today more Muslims live in India than Pakistan- by and large more peaceful and are on average far better than their religious brethren in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Separate state for Muslims have not given any peace, pride and prosperity to the people of Pakistan. They can watch over the border (through satellite channels and Bollywood) and see a secular and developing society. Sudan is divided between Muslim north and Christian south. Some say oil and minerals were incentives for the super powers to encourage division of the country. The omens are bad. The borders are very insensitive and highly inflammable. Nigerians both Muslims and Christians ought to learn some lessons from India, Sudan and other divided countries. Africa's resourceful nation with highest population need not end up in permanent or long lasting religious hatred culminating in warfare.

England should learn to tackle Pak bowlers English cricketers suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Pakistan in the first Test at Dubai. The main wreckers of England were off-spinner Saeed Ajmal and Umar Gul. Ajmal took ten wickets in the Test. There were whispers among Englishmen about his bowling action after he took seven wickets in the first innings. This is not the first time that doubts were expressed about his action and the International Cricket Council has cleared the same in 2009. Still English cricketers raised doubts about. Andy Flower, the England team director, was asked repeatedly whether he thought Ajmal was a chucker. He did not answer directly, but he gave a hint, perhaps of his feelings. “My own beliefs are that it is not possible to bowl the ‘doosra” without straightening your arm, but given the 15-degree latitude catered for by the regulations, only the ICC can police the situation.” The Englishmen should not look for alibis for their dismal performance, but to look at ways to face the Pakistani bowlers especially Ajmal. England knows that Ajmal’s threat cannot be wished away and instead they should turn their minds on how to combat him rather than worrying about the legality or otherwise of his actions. There are three things that England’s batsmen need to workout, how to pick his “doosra,” how to read his

length and how to score. If they won’t work them out soon, the series would be over quicker than expected. The batsmen can work on the following clues. Any sighting of the back of the hand in delivery signals “doosra,” as does a delivery with a scrambled seam and top-spin. The quicker ball is, harder its to pick up because he flicks it from the arm without any effort, but a flatter trajectory ought to be a warning sign to push forward rather than staying back in the crease. England knows that there is little to be gained by grumbling about the action of Ajmal. They have to work out to win at the second Test in Abu Dhabi, which they must win if they are to have any chance of extending their victorious streak of seven Test series. This Test was also a revelation of the caliber of Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq. He was dropped from the team in 2010. Rather than burn his kit and give up the game, Misbah kept up his training and hoped that even in his mid-thirties, his country might need him again. Sure enough, it did soon after the corruption within the team was exposed. Not only Pakistan board wants Misbah to return, they wanted him to return as captain. They saw his wise head who could lead a badly shaken group and a battered nation out of the darkness. It was an extra ordinary gamble but one that richly paid off.


Thought for the Week To be happy in this world, especially when youth is past, it is necessary to feel oneself not merely an isolated individual whose day will soon be over, but part of the stream of life flowing on from the first germ to the remote and unknown future. - Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

Political Sketchbook Alpesh Patel’s

The Politics of Taxation What’s the Point of Profits? So Vodafone does not have to pay some $3 billion to the Indian tax man. But it took an Indian Supreme Court to make the decision and clarify the law. So I wonder if all those people protesting outside Vodafone stores in Oxford St in the UK over Christmas, claiming Vodafone had not paid enough to the UK tax man, would be unhappy with this decision. Presumably, if you are judge and jury as a protestor that UK companies do not pay enough tax, then you also wanted them to have paid the Indian tax man $2.9 billion? Your argument is not about what is rightly owed, because you do not wait to hear about that. Your argument is that whatever is owed, it tends to be too little a liability. This matters, because it goes to who best should be custodians of money? Should it be the public, through their governments, or workers of corporations, or capitalists who own the shares in the companies? The capitalists argue the workers have too much influence. After all, fat bonuses and rising salaries guaranteed to go up with or without inflation, go to the worker. Whatever is left over, if anything, after tax to the government, is left to the company, which may give a dividend to the poor capitalist. And what kind of dividend? Well, a Vodafone shareholder gets around 5% per annum on their 100 pounds worth of shares…if there is a profit…if a dividend is paid…for this 87 billion pound company. Shareholders capital is worth 87 billion pounds. But what do they get? 5% return. What does an employee get? Bonuses. Salary, even if a loss is made. What does the capitalist shareholder get? A share price stuck at 1997 levels. The risk of no returns at all for his troubles. Clearly the worker has defeated the capitalist. So what about the government then? Have they beaten the worker? The most recent tax bill for Vodafone was 1.6 billion pounds. That excludes employer National Insurance contributions by the company. That was on 9.5 billion pounds of pre-tax profit. That is around 20% in tax. Too little? Should they have bunged some $2.9 billion to the Indian tax man too – why not – they’ve got it. Actually, why do companies need any profits? After all, profits is left over that is not used. It is after wage bills and research and development. So what do you need profits for? Okay, for dividends, but the capitalist getting 5% is hardly about to whinge. Or take all profits after a 5% dividend. Profits doesn’t make your share price go up – clearly – as it is at 1998 levels. So why not confiscate all profits to the use of the State. Tax profits at 100% after a dividend is paid out. The employees don’t care, they got paid. The shareholder capitalist got his dividend anyway. And a company, unlike a human, doesn’t need money on personal consumption like food and drink and fun and expensive spouses and alimony. Surely they’re better off in the hands of the State? They can build roads, and help protestors to get a job, or just pay them to dig ditches. So there you have it. Vodafone, should just have given the Indian tax man the money, instead of to lawyers. After all, what’s it going to do with profits anyway? At least in India, they could have been put to some social use.

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


Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

In brief


Leicester Voice

Leicestershire sees significant drop in crime rate

By Meera Majithia

Four people found guilty of human trafficking Four people have been convicted for their involvement in a human trafficking case with a Romanian national.

Georgina Toma

Georghe Avram (24), Georgiana Toma (31), Kirit Rabheru (59) and Claudia Ghenciu (33) were convicted after a 14 day trial at Leicester Crown Court. The defendants were charged after an investigation by Leicestershire Constabulary’s serious crime team with support from colleagues from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). The victim in this case is a Romanian national who was brought to the UK under the pretence that she was going to work in a restaurant but when she arrived in the country she was made to have sex with up to 15 men a night.

George Avram

Claudia Ghenciu

Avram pleaded guilty to controlling a prostitute for gain and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and Toma pleaded guilty to controlling a prostitute for gain. Rabheru and Ghenciu were both found guilty of controlling a prostitute for gain. Ghenciu was sentenced to 12 months in prison and the remaining three defendants are due to be sentenced at a later date. Detective Constable Stu Palmer from the city serious crime team investigated the case, he said: “This was a complex and lengthy investigation which has today resulted in four people being convicted for their part in the crime.

Kirit Rabheru

“The victim has been extremely brave throughout the proceedings and is slowly recovering from her ordeal at the hands of the defendants. “She was brought to the UK under false pretences and was shown photographs of her young daughter who was in Romania and told that her child would be harmed if she didn’t comply with their instructions. Rabheru also forced the victim to have sex with him as a way of paying her rent. “All the defendants played a part in what she was subjected to and I hope the verdicts help her move on with her life and put the events of the last 14 months behind her.”

Call for green volunteers Volunteers are being sought to lead groups exploring Leicester's parks, nature reserves and green spaces. A number of projects are due to take place and the council is looking for people to help with a number of different activities, ranging from bulb planting, litter picking, maintaining trees and vegetation, and helping to clean out local ponds and streams. Helpers will also be able to train to become Green Hat volunteers, who lead other volunteers in regular clean-up and planting days. Leicester already has a wellestablish network of thriving 'friends of parks' groups, made up of community volunteers who care enough about local parks to get involved in the management and development process, including regular volunteer

activities, helping with on-site events, and supporting bids for money for further development. Leicester City Council senior park officer, Vicky Hudson, said: "All our parks and green spaces belong to the people who live and work in the city, which is why we're so keen to welcome volunteers and to get them involved with our parks. "There are major heritage renovations going on at Spinney Hill Park, and Knighton Park has recently become home to a brand new outdoor gym. Neither of these projects would have been successful in gaining funding without the local communities' direct involvement and support." January events include planting in Evington Park on Wednesdays, conservation work at Aylestone

Meadows, pruning and mulching work at Evington Community Orchard, and litter picks at Evington's Sparrow Park and Sturdee Road Recreation Ground. There will also be the chance to help with coppicing and cutting work at Watermead Country Park. Leicester assistant city mayor responsible for heritage and leisure, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, added: "Volunteers play a vital role in ensuring parks and green spaces are kept looking their best, and these volunteering opportunities are a great way for people to get involved in their communities." To register for a list of each month's volunteering events and training details, visit: and choose information on Park Force Volunteers.

2,000-year-old treasure returns to the city A magnificent Roman helmet which lay buried in a Leicestershire field for 2000 years, then underwent nine years of restoration at the British Museum, is finally coming home for permanent display. The Hallaton Helmet will be publicly displayed for the first time on Saturday 28th January at Harborough Museum, Market Harborough. It will be reunited with other finds from the Hallaton Treasure which were found alongside it when a native British Iron Age shrine was excavated by the Hallaton Fieldwork Group and University of Leicester Archaeological Services between 2001 and 2004. The event will be attended by the Leader of Leicestershire County Council, David Parsons, and Cabinet Member for Adults and

Communities, David Sprason. The new displays will be unveiled at 10.30am by Mrs Jackie Dickinson, Chairman of Leicestershire County Council. Roman soldiers from the Ermine Street Guard, including cavalrymen on horses, will be in Church Square between 11am and 3pm to help celebrate in true Roman style. The helmet made international news on 10th January when it was unveiled to the media at the British Museum in London. An incredible conservation and restoration programme was undertaken by their conservators Marilyn Hockey, Fleur Shearman and Duygu Çamurcuoglu following Leicestershire County Council’s successful bid for Heritage Lottery Funding to undertake this mammoth task. The project was likened to a 3D jigsaw puzzle made

complex by deterioration of the helmet during 2000 years in the soil. The mystery of how silver-gilt covered Hallaton helmet ended up in the possession of the local native British population in the years surrounding the Roman conquest of Britain which began in AD 43 has intrigued experts. David Sprason, Leicestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Communities, said: "I urge everyone to go and see this wonderful piece of Leicestershire’s past. It really is a fantastic object which has changed how we view the Roman conquest of Britain. To have an artefact of international importance on our doorstep, displayed in a free, community museum is something of which we can be really proud."

Crime in Leicestershire is reported to have reduced by 11.2% compared with the national figure of 4%, according to the latest figures published in the ‘Crime in England and Wales: Quarterly Update to September 2011’. The figures, which compare the crime rate for the 12-month period from September 2010 to September 2011 showed there were 8,559 fewer crimes reported. Recorded violence against the person offences fell by 4.7% nationally, however Leicester saw this figure reduce significantly with 13.6%. Recorded burglaries fell by 1.9% nationally, but in Leicester this figure amounted to 16.2%. Meanwhile recorded vehicle crime fell by 11.5% nationally, yet once again Leicester saw a higher reduction figure of 15.4%. Chief Constable Simon Cole of Leicestershire Police said: “Whilst it is pleasing to achieve reductions in crime across the board, ourselves and partners can’t become complacent. We will continue working in the coming days, weeks and months to protect our communities from the harm caused by crime and anti-social behaviour. “The support and cooperation of the public are very important factors in the work we do. I would encourage people living and working in the in the communities we serve to share any concerns they have about their local area.” British Crime Survey (BCS*) interviews showed that 63 per cent of people agreed that the Leicestershire force deals with local concerns; 60 percent agreed police and local councils are dealing with local issues. Both results were the highest in the East Midlands. The city performed very well compared with other forces in its most similar group (MSG).The other seven forces in its MSG include Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, Essex, Kent, Lancashire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire.

Search for overseas player continues

Former Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf is no longer in the running to join Leicestershire County Cricket Club this season. Yousuf, 37 who represented Warwickshire last year, and last played for his country in November 2010, would have been Leicestershire’s overseas player in the LV= County Championship. However, the parties were unable to reach an agreement, and so Leicestershire’s search for an overseas batsman continues. Chief executive Mike Siddall said: "We have been in talks for several weeks but unfortunately a problem arose this week which, between us, we could not solve. We are disappointed and are now looking at other options." The Friends Life t20 champions have already secured Abdul Razzaq’s return for their defence.

Celebrating National Libraries Day

It is often said that the best things in life are free and to celebrate National Libraries Day on Saturday, February 4th Leicestershire County Council’s libraries will be holding a special free day. On the day, hiring DVDs, CDs or talking books will all be free. There will also be an amnesty on overdue library items so they can be returned without the need to pay any charges. There will be no charges for extra sessions on library computers and users will be able to get up to six computer printouts free of charge. These will join the usual free services such as joining the library, using your library to find information, borrowing books and downloading eBooks. Some libraries will also be holding special events to celebrate the day. These include a talk at Oadby Library on Plague, Pestilence and Prostitution - a lighthearted history of nursery rhymes with Lettys Parkyn from 11.00am - 12.00 noon, for which booking is essential. Also, there will be the final session of serialised readings from a popular children’s book as part of the Children’s Readathon at Hinckley Library from 3 -3.30pm. David Sprason, Leicestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Communities, said: “Whether or not you are a regular user of Leicestershire’s libraries, celebrating National Libraries Day with a free day is an excellent opportunity to go along to your local library and take advantage of the excellent services which are on offer.” For more information about National Libraries Day visit:


Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

Visions of Mughal India: The Collection of Howard Hodgkin On 2 February 2012 the Ashmolean will open an exhibition of Indian paintings from the outstanding private collection of the artist Howard Hodgkin. Hodgkin has been a passionate collector of Indian paintings since his school days and his collection has long been considered one of the finest of its kind in the world. At times he has devoted almost as much effort to developing his collection as to his own work as a painter. It will go on show at the Ashmolean for the first time in its entirety. The collection comprises most of the main types of Indian court painting that flourished during the Mughal period (c. 1550–1850), including the refined naturalistic works of the imperial Mughal court; the poetic and subtly coloured paintings of the Deccani Sultanates; and the boldly drawn and vibrantly coloured xxstyles of the Rajput kingdoms of Rajasthan and the Punjab Hills. Above all, this is a personal collection, formed by an artist’s eye. Artistic quality has always mattered most to Hodgkin – the narrative content and other aspects of paintings far less. All his Indian pictures are of an unusual or exceptional quality. They include illustrations of

epics and myths, royal portraits and many scenes of court life or hunting scenes. There is a large and outstanding group of elephant portraits and studies of the Mughal and Kota schools. Some of the works in the collection vividly evoke the urban or daily life of India, a country which has inspired Hodgkin on his frequent visits made over some 50 years. There is also great diversity in these pictures, some containing exciting passages or juxtapositions of colour, as can also be found in Hodgkin’s own work. But many others are lightly coloured brush drawings which show an expressive mastery of line. A large part of Hodgkin’s collection has been on long-term loan to the Ashmolean for the last ten years and selected pictures have been shown in the Museum’s Indian galleries. Others have been lent by Howard Hodgkin especially for this exhibition. Many of the works which will be shown have never been exhibited to the public before. The Exhibition has been supported by CHK Charities Ltd. The Exhibition Events Programme has been supported by The Nehru Centre.


Real life apprentice scheme aims to produce business billionaires Ushma Soneji and Andrew Rajanathan are among a select group of 30 budding, entrepreneurs who have been chosen to be a part of an innovative programme run by the New Entrepreneurs Foundation. This programme has been compared to the hit show The Apprentice, as it sets out to give young and talented individuals the opportunity to do work placements at successful business companies. This will allow them gain practical experience in the business world, and give them an insight into what it really takes to run a successful business. The programme’s goal is to find the next generation of entrepreneurs who will, in turn, provide a boost for our economy. This non-profit scheme has received high praise from all those involved. 22 year-old old Oxford graduate Ushma Soneji aspires to establish a social enterprise, and has said the programme helped her gain ‘a base of confidence and knowledge’. Her placement was with furniture retailer DFS where she was involved in aiding the design process for a new range of sofas. Andrew Rajanthan, 24, has also been helping with product development on his placement at online wine-trading platform, Liv-ex. He said this scheme has helped with his ambition of becoming an entrepreneur, which is something he

Robinson, Soneji and right, Rajanathan with Davies, Pawle and the programme’s director Zara Pearson

would much prefer to being ‘micro-managed’ as part of a large company. Overall, the young entrepreneurs wholeheartedly agree that this programme is very valued, as it has taught them a lot and as is giving them the exposure they need to leaders in the business world. This non-profit scheme was put together by those that are no stranger to success in the business world. Oliver Pawle, the chairman of Korn/Ferry Whitehead Mann, Lord Davies of Abersoch, the former banker and trade-minister and Sir Nigel Rudd, the chairman of engineering group Invesys are responsible for launching this programme. They have high hopes for its success and believe there is a possibility of a billionaire or two, eventually

emerging from the first group of candidates. However, questions have been asked about the suitability of the candidates to prosper in the cut-throat world of business. Former channel 4 chairman, Luke Johnson, questioned whether they have the ambition and tenacity to succeed in developing a business from the ground up, when there are opportunities for them, as an intellectually able people, to make money more easily in careers such as finance and law. Regardless, Oliver Pawle stands behind the initiative, claiming that while they are ‘not going to have a 100% [success rate]... some will undoubtedly succeed as entrepreneurs and will look back on the course as a fundamental part of their development.’



Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

Success journey: Gujarat to Hollywood via UK By Spriha Srivastava

Hospitality – Indian style It is a known fact that Indians are successful in different fields around the world. We hear names like L.N Mittal and Indra Nooyi on a daily basis but what doesn’t come to our attention are the names of those Indians who are not so famous but are extremely successful in their professions.

gardens to the front and rear and an absolutely impressive entrance and driveway. It is located on the B526 Newport Pagnell Road and is in close proximity to cities in Northampton and Milton Keynes. The hotel has a small beautifully lit hallway with a small lounge and bar area. It

Bhattacharya are aiming to revive that. The restaurant has a lavish Spanish Tapas menu and the Sunday Roast is one of its biggest attractions, prepared by a Master Chef from Spain who has earlier experience of working in Michelin star restaurants. During my stay at the

The Umeria family stumbled across an unlikely business success, when they agreed to buy a dozen pairs of wide-fit shoes from a visiting manufacturer. The Umeria family, who originate from Gujarat in India, have been in the shoe-making trade for 7 generations. Nayma and Jay Umeria moved to the UK in 1977 , and continued the family business by opening a shoe-repair shop in Camden Town, and later a handmade shoe shop in Harrow. The business made enough money to raise their family, but Nayma explained it was ‘not hugely profitable’. However, their luck changed when Nayma, pictured, decided to buy some wide-fitting shoes, and to her surprise, found that they were an indu-

bitable success. It turned out the demand was so high, that the family had to keep increasing their order of wide-fit shoes as fast as their tight budget would allow. Their turnover increased from £40,000 to £50,000 in the space of a year, and Nyama realised they had ‘found a niche market’. Profits remained steady for 6 years, till the family decided to take the business online. In 2006, the website which had

been designed by Nyama’s son, was launched and orders flooded in. Te c h n o l o g y - s h y Nyama was so shocked, she actually called up the first online customer to ‘check the order was real’. Nowadays, Wide-Fit Shoes has a turnover of £800,000 and is spreading outside the UK. Hollywood star John Gooman has even placed an order. Around 10% of the population require wide-fit shoes and could risk problems like bunions, corns and arthritis without appropriate footwear. Nyama is happy that their business is improving the lives of that small but very real percentage of the market, who is not suited to mainstream shoes.

Brent Council’s Labour leader investigated over Shridi Sai temple planning application Continued from page 1

Me at The French Partridge in Northampton

One such example from Britain is Londonbased Indian couple, Mr B P Bhattacharya, Senior Partner of B S S Associates Chartered Accountants Registered Auditors of Gresham House and Mrs. Susmita Bhattacharya, a renowned Rabindra Sangit Singer and Managing Director of Gresham Hotel , Sussex Gardens, London. The couple own a hotel in London in Paddington called “The Gresham” and last year also bought a beautiful boutique hotel called “The French Partridge” in Horton near Northampton. Over the weekend I made a trip to Northampton to experience the much-talked about hotel myself. I was swept off my feet to experience the warm hospitality of The French Partridge. Every little detail is important to them and that brings out the true nature of an Indian welcome. The hotel spans across one and a half acres of land and is about 60 miles from London. It is located in a peaceful area of Horton which also is known for a number of banks and financial institutions. The clientele for this hotel has always been the wealthy and prosperous. The hotel is a charming period building with

also has a magnificent restaurant that can accommodate more than 50 people and a separate small room for either private dining or a further lounge area. It has 10 en-suite bedrooms that are extremely classy and impressive. While it boasts of a traditional setting, the décor is extremely modern and soothes the atmosphere. There are two big windows in the room with beautiful views of lush green fields outside – just a perfect way to spend a relaxed weekend, away from the hustle bustle of a modern day city. The interiors have all been done by Mrs. Bhattacharya with the help of a talented young interior designer. The hotel was known for almost a period of 30 years as a destination for quality French food. It made its entry into the Good Food Guide along with various other culinary accolades such as AA rosettes for its traditional French style cuisine under the charge of Mary Partridge, the first owner of the property. The Partridges never utilized the letting rooms as it served as their family home as well as for business use. The French Partridge was earlier a food destination in the village of Horton and Mr & Mrs

hotel, I made it a point to eat at the restaurant in order to enjoy the lovely ambience and absolutely delicious food. Saturday night dinner is a very special one at FP. There were dim lights, a candle on every table, live performance by an extremely talented singer on the guitar and lovely Spanish Tapas. What more can one ask for? The next day – Sunday was the big day. As I made my way to the restaurant at 12:30, it was already getting full. People from around Horton and other nearby villages were making their way to the restaurant to enjoy the famous Sunday road with a pint of beer. There was live music again as I grabbed a bite of Patatas Bravas with a glass of sweet lemonade. Apart from the restaurant, the hotel also hosts a number of corporate and personal parties and is looking forward to hosting its first wedding in the summer. For all those of you who have been looking to take a break from the hustle bustle of London but could not find the place and comfort, here is your perfect destination. The place has everything – peace, comfort and excellent hospitality. What more do you need for your perfect break?

Let us know what you think. Email Spriha at

Brent Council’s Labour Council Leader Cllr Ann John is facing an investigation into the way she sought to influence the decision on a controversial planning application for the Shirdi Sai Temple, following serious allegations made in a leaked email from a fellow Labour councillor. According to the email Cllr John is accused of: l Instructing Labour councillors on the Planning Committee to vote against the Hindu Temple, in breach of planning law which states that the Planning Committee should act independently and that councillors should make up their own minds about planning applications based on relevant planning considerations. l Intimidating a councillor and threatening disciplinary action because of comments made at the Planning Committee. l Seeking to remove Asian (Hindu) councillors from the February 2011 meeting of the Planning Committee which was due to consider the Hindu temple application l Failing to follow the council’s and the Labour Party rules about how planning applications should be dealt with. The allegations have been reported to the council’s Monitoring Officer who has responsibility for overseeing the Councillors’ Code of Conduct, which may have been breached by Cllr John. The Standards Board for England, which oversees standards of conduct in local government, has also been informed. The Labour leader Ed Miliband has also been asked to look into the way

that Brent Council’s Labour Group of councillors is run following the allegations of intimidation and inappropriate pressure being placed on members of the planning committee. Commenting on the allegations, Councillor Daniel Brown Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader on Brent Council told Asian Voice: “The email paints a worrying picture of the culture in the local Labour group. Ed Miliband and the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party have the power to investigate this and provide assurances to local residents about the way the Brent Council’s administration is run.” Some of the statements in the email are supported by council minutes in 2011 which show changes in the planning committee membership at the times referred to in the email. When asked about the above mentioned allegations, Cllr Ann John told Asian Voice, “This is a load of rubbish and I have nothing to hide.” Asian Voice had voiced the concerns of the members of the Shirdi Sai Temple in early 2011, when some of the gerrymandering members of the Brent council, had conspired to close it down. Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar contacted Lords, MPs and many leaders of Hindu organisations who were shocked to know about the problems faced by the Shirdi Sai Baba temple, Wembley and came forward to support its causes. Hindu organisations in London and other parts of Britain were ready to support this temple in all possible manner. After the temple with-

drew the original planning application as per the professional and legal advices on 21st February 2011, the council decided to look into the enforcement notice. A meeting took place on 23rd February 2011 to decide the fate of the temple, which was attended by Council officers, Councillors and the Temple Trustees. On 23rd February 2011 protest against the enforcement went on for hours before the Planning Committee sat at 7pm at Brent Town Hall. More than 200 Sai Baba supporters were present to raise their concerns. The thunderous support for the temple that planning committee witnessed on that day surely made a huge impact in heading towards a mutually accepted meeting later on. However after much coordination with MPs by Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar along with some stalwarts of the community, with sincere persuasion by the Trustees of the Temple, the Sai group finally received justice. The temple won its case against the council and the enforcement notice was finally withdrawn. But soon allegations were made by a Labour Councillor against Cllr Ann John, and accused her of influencing the decision of the Planning Committee by removing Hindu members who could help to reach a neutral and unanimous decision. Speaking to Shirdi Sai Temple authority Asian Voice learnt that despite of winning the case against the council, various problems of the temple still continue to hinder its normal function.

Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012



Dee Katwa

Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

Midland Voice Contact: Dhiren on 07970 911 386 or

Political pair in power contest Two controversial British Muslim politicians from Birmingham are to contest for separate positions of power, it has emerged. Liberal Democrat councillor and barrister Ayoub Khan has announced he wants to run West Midlands Police, whilst Mahmood Hussain, a former Lord Mayor of Birmingham, is to stand for the Lozells and East Handsworth seat in May’s council elections. Hailing from Aston, Ayoub Khan is Birmingham’s cabinet member for local services and community safety. Now, he has launched his bid to become the West Midlands’ first elected police commissioner in November. Also contesting for this role is Labour’s Mike Olley. Coun Khan said: “I have been a member of

the Police Authority and appreciate how decisions are made. I have got good all round experience and so far am the best suited to the job.” His key policy aims are to cut response times, use volunteers and special constables to increase opening hours at police front desks and deal with the small number of prolific offenders and families who create the majority of problems. In 2009, Nick Clegg, Lib Dem leader, was under pressure to sack Coun Khan after he failed to overturn a judge’s ruling that he had behaved in a “scurrilous” manner by attempting to smear a Labour opponent when

Men guilty of inciting hatred Three Muslim men have become the first to be convicted of stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation after they handed out a leaflet calling for gay people to be executed. Ihjaz Ali, Kabir Ahmed and Razwan Javed handed the pamphlet, entitled The Death Penalty?, which showed an image of a mannequin hanging from a noose and quoted Islamic texts that said capital punishment was the only way to rid society of homosexuality. At Derby Crown Court, they were convicted by a jury of distributing threatening written material intending to stir up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation – the first prosecution of its kind since legislation came into force in March 2010. Mehboob Hussain and Umar Javed, who were also charged with the same offence, were found not guilty.

Man shot dead A Birmingham man has been shot dead in Pakistan as he tried to protect his family. Azhar Iqbal, 39, from Stechford, was shot in the stomach. Mr Iqbal, his wife Rubana and stepdaughter Maha were returning from a shopping trip when two masked men confronted them and demanded their valuables. Mr Iqbal “a loving family man” handed over a mobile phone, then tried to fight the thieves off. He was rushed to a military hospital, but later died. Photo: Mr Iqbal and his wife Rubana on their wedding day in Pakistan, August 2008.

Remembrance event Bhajans were held by the family of Narandasbhai Soni to mark his 16th death anniversary. The vibrant event, held at Leicester’s Hindu Temple last Saturday, brought together friends and relatives from all over the UK. Narandasbhai, who was a pioneer of Leicester’s extraordinary Bajrang Bhajan Mandal, was elder brother of well-known community activist and accomplished public speaker Madhubhai Soni. The evening began, as per tradition, with bhajans dedicated to Lord Ganesh, sung by veteran Mandal member Natubhai Kanabar.

sure it gets sorted.” If he secures the Lid Dem candidacy Coun Khan faces a tough battle as his party support is spread pretty Councillor Ayoub Mahmood Hussain thin in the Khan region and will be seen as giving evidence in an outsider. He is also an election court. currently involved in a Elections Commissioner struggle to keep his counTimothy Straker QC had cil seat in May. found that Coun Khan Separately, Mahmood had made up a “sordid” Hussain, who became story in an attempt to Birmingham’s first Asian falsely accuse Aston Lord Mayor in 2002, will Labour councillor stand for the Lozells and Muhammed Afzal of witEast Handsworth seat in ness nobbling. May’s council elections. One senior He too is no stranger to Birmingham City Council controversy. In 1999, Mr officer, who asked not to Hussain was publically be named, said: named and shamed for “Councillor Khan not bringing the council into only wants to run West disrepute after putting up Midlands Police but the a double garage on land whole of Birmingham too, he bought from the couneventually. He is very cil, contravening a legal smart and is succeeding in convenant banning buildgetting potential enemies ing. He said he was naive, on his side. Let’s hope the had made a mistake and decision-makers also bought out the covenant aren’t taken for a ride.” for £5,000. Also, how durSeparately, Coun ing his Mayoral role, he Khan was heard, allegedhad spent £7,000 taxpayly, telling a British Muslim ers’ money to attend a historian at the launch of friend’s wedding in the British Pakistani Pakistan, a story which, at Youth Council in June the time had hit front 2009, “anything to do page headlines in the local with the Council, just give press. me a ring and I’ll make

Court witness attacked A woman has been spared further time behind bars after she attacked a neighbour who was a witness in a court case against her. Razwana Bi, 24, from Sandwell, had conducted a hate campaign against Jasmin Akhtar. When Bi learned of the case, she dragged her from her home by the hair and punched her four times. Bi admitted assault and witness intimidation. She was sentenced to time served and given a restraining order.

Jobs u-turn could cost £12.6m A U-turn over Birmingham City Council’s controversial decision to move IT jobs to India could end up costing the taxpayer £12.6 million, it has emerged. The council’s contractor Capita was last year set to hire 55 IT specialists in Pune to work on its Service Birmingham call centre contract. But a massive public backlash over the plan prompted bosses to renegotiate the contract and stop the work going abroad.

Cash crisis, mum attempts suicide A Birmingham mum tried to kill herself by taking a drug overdose over her electricity bill. Charlene Franklin, pictured, said she struggled to choose between eating or heating the council flat where she lives with her ten-yearold son. “It’s sad that in 21st century Britain there’s people like me up and down the country living in poverty,” said Charlene who was made redundant from her job as a carer. Charlene, 27, is now being helped by the Citizens Advice Bureau to pay bills at a rate she can afford.

News in Brief Revenue boost, thanks India A Test Match against India helped Warwickshire County Cricket Club achieve a 50% rise in sales last year, it has emerged. However, despite swinging back into the black in terms of operating profits, a rise in administrative expenses – up to more than £3 million compared to £2.2 million last year – meant pre-tax losses grew.

Land Rover thief caged A thief who specialised in stealing Land Rovers from a car park at Birmingham airport has been jailed for two-and-a-half years. Justin Boylan, 39, of Shard End, was caught after his blood was found on one car he failed to get away with, in addition to CCTV recordings. Boylan pleaded guilty to four charges of stealing Land Rovers at Warwick Crown Court.

Chinese celebration Music, dance and a fireworks display will mark the arrival of the Year of the Dragon at Lakeside Arts Centre at Nottingham University (NG7 2RD) this Sunday (Jan 29). All are invited to the free Chinese New Year event from 4.30pm to 6pm.

Fraudster accountant A Birmingham woman could face jail after she admitted fiddling £195,000 from the Midland firm where she worked as an accountant. Joanne Sheargold, 41, of Walsall, committed fraud between 2006 and 2010 at Portico Ltd, the Aldridge-based bedroom furnishings firm.

Jobless figure rise Unemployment has risen once again in the West Midlands. A total of 243,000 people are now out of work in the region, after an increase of 9,000 in the past three months, which means an unemployment rate of 9.2%.

Police Authority Q&A Members of the public, councillors and representatives of businesses and faith organisations in the West Midlands are invited to come and ask questions or comment on anything to do with current and future policy, crime and community safety. The public meeting will take place next Thursday (Feb 2) at 1pm at Sandwell Council House, Oldbury (B69 3DE).

Dishonour to achievements One of Midlands’ top industrialists could be stripped of his CBE after he was jailed for a string of sexual offences. Edward Roberts, 72, of Worcestershire, a former CBI West Midlands regional chairman, and also worked for Pertemps, was jailed for two years for indecent assault.

Fake cigs, pair jailed Two Midland men caught with 500,000 counterfeit cigarettes have been jailed. Abdullah Sharif Karim, 35, of Wolverhampton and Hiwa Najim Ali, 27, of Walsall, were convicted of tobacco smuggling offences. At Birmingham Crown Court last Friday, Karim was jailed for 12 months and Ali, nine months. The fake fags were branded at Superkings and cost more than £90,000 in lost revenue.

Missing keys, officer arrested A prison officer has been arrested following the disappearance of a set of master keys from Birmingham’s newly-privatised jail. Every inmate in the 1,450-capacity prison was placed on lockdown as the keys were hunted but they are understood to have never been found. The arrested officer was trying to make a point because he wasn’t happy about his contract terms under the new management, according to a jail source.


Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

New rice brand to appeal Bangladesh community Veetee Rice Ltd, one of the largest rice millers in the UK, is proud to announce the launch of Shapla, a new long grain rice brand aimed specifically at the Bangladeshi market. Taking its name from the national flower of Bangladesh, Shapla is a high quality yet affordable long grain rice and will be available exclusively in selected areas of London, Birmingham, Oldham, Bradford and Luton. “The Bangladeshi community accounts for a significant proportion of the UK population; however it appears to be the case that consumers have had to rely on products already available on the market up until now. We believe that this community should be celebrated and their specific needs catered for.” says Emma Pozzetti, Marketing Assistant for Veetee. Using a combination

of vivid packaging, traditional imagery and Bengali script, Shapla aims to capture the essence of Bangladeshi culture.The packs, available in 10kg and 20kg, also feature English and Bengali script on pack. The launch will be supported with eye catching point of sale, a trade PR campaign and print ads. In addition, there is a cash back offer to reward businesses who support the launch of this exciting new brand.

Brave shopkeeper fights raiders with mops A shop was raided by a terrifying machete-wielding raider when the brave shopkeeper armed with only a mop fended him off. The 52-year-old and his son Kishan had been

getting ready to shut up their shop, the Premier Store in Rushden, Northamptonshire, on Friday when three masked men pulled up in a car. Continued on page 28

Bereaved families misled into buying expensive funerals Experts at consumer magazine Which? have recently found that a number of funeral care providers are giving confusing and sometimes misleading advice to bereaved customers. Undercover research by Which? involved undercover visits to 20 leading funeral directors. They found it was often hard to get a clear price quote, and a proper explanation of the services. Only half of the funeral directors offered the ‘simple’ funeral option. It was often unclear what you were paying for, as Which? researchers rated the advice they were given as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ at 14 out of the 20 places they visited. Findings will be published in the February issue of Which? magazine.

The confusion continued on the subject of embalming, as 2 of the visits revealed potential breaches of consumer protection regulations. The branches offer the service at an extra cost, suggesting that it makes the viewing of the deceased ‘more comfortable’ as it ‘slows decomposition’. Spokespeople claimed they are adamant about correct language being used when giving advise and making sales. Which? health and social care expert Joanna Pearl says ‘comprehensive and correct advice along with impeccable professional conduct’ are essential in funeral planning. She insists that at a time of bereavement and distress for families ‘funeral directors must get it right first time.’

Indian-origin drug dealer jailed An Indian origin man, who pleaded guilty to being a drug dealer, has been jailed at the Manchester Crown Court for two years as part of the city’s biggest crackdown on streetlevel drug dealing, the police said. Prem Gabroo, 20, was one of 75 people arrested by the Greater

Manchester police on December 6 as part of Operation Audacious which is said to be the city’s biggest crackdown on drug dealing. The total number of people sentenced so far as part of this operation is now 18, who together have received more than 43 years in prison between them.


Community complaints: No benefit from HS2 Hundreds of residents in a “forgotten” part of London are demanding ministers lengthen the high-speed rail tunnel through their community. W h e n Tr a n s p o r t Secretary Justine G r e e n i n g approved plans for the £32 billion HS2 link this month, she announced a 2.7mile tunnel through Ruislip, Hitesh and Arlene Vora, with in a concession to daughters Alana, left, and Monique protesters who say their lives will be ago for £275,000. blighted by noise and disMrs Vora said: ruption. “There’s going to be no But their neighbours benefit from HS2 for us. in Perivale and Greenford There will be years of say they still face the noise and disruption and prospect of 225mph trains then trains going past our thundering past their window every three minhomes on the London-toutes. We moved here Birmingham route, as well because it was perfect to as years of building work raise our children, with before its completion in the community, the green2026. ery and the good schools Accountant Arlene nearby. We can’t just pack Vora, 42, told Evening up and go.” Standard she lives with Boris Johnson has said husband Hitesh, 40, and he is “far from happy” their two daughters only with current plans and 50 yards from the procalled on ministers to fund posed track in Perivale. a new north-south They bought the threeCrossrail line to reduce bedroom house five years congestion at Euston.



Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

Securing the Muslim vote

Haraam to muslims

It is outrageous on the part of the Indian government to prevent Salman Rushdie from attending the Jaipur Literary Festival in Rajasthan due to the pressure applied by some Muslim fundamentalists in India. Muslims from the Deoband group from Uttar Pradesh were against Salman Rushdie attending the Literary festival, even though he had been to India before. Salman Rushdie was born in India and he has got an NRI Indian Passport and he does not require visa to visit India. The Prime Minister was born in Pakistan and Sonia Gandhi was born in Italy and Rahul Gandhi is half Italian and they are treated with high respect in India whereas Salman Rushdie is considered as outcaste since he wrote ‘Satanic Verse’. Muslims consider ‘Satanic Verse’ as anti-Islamic book and it was banned in India. Majority of Indians are Hindus and they were not given the choice to judge whether the book is acceptable to Indian readers or not. Even though India is a secular country, no majority should not be dictated by minorities on what to read. Since Christians objected to ‘ Da Vinci Code’ which sold more than 50 million copies all over the world, the book was banned in India. Muslims form only 15 per cent of the Indian population and the election is going to take place in densely populated state of Uttar Pradesh where Muslim population is over 20 per cent. It is out of order on the part of the Congress led government dominated by religious minorities to state that Indian government cannot provide safety for an Indian citizen since hired Muslim assassins from the Mumbai underworld may be on their way to Jaipur to eliminate him.

I was watching the Peace tv channel a few days ago in the evening. Dr Zakir Naik was in the programme to answer questions from the public - mainly Muslim audience with a exception of a handful Hindus or Hindus who might have been invited to ask questions to Dr Zakir. One of the young Hindus asked him what is his opinion about the word namaste which means ‘I bow to you’. Dr Zakir replied that there may be many meanings of namaste but because its literal meaning is "I bow to you" this namaste is haraam to Muslims. Haraam is an Arabic term meaning "forbidden" in Islam. It was not pleasant to hear these words from him. What he is doing is helping to increase friction and hatred between Muslims and Hindus. I have many Muslim friends and they greet me saying namaste. There have been no problems. Dr Zakir Naik must think twice before making such an irresponsible statement. He must remember that he is living in the 21st century where we all must learn to respect each other and our civilisations. He may have a lot of knowledge about different faiths but having no respect for other faiths than Islam will reflect that he has to go a very long way to understand the meaning of Allah, God or Paramatma. For all the AV readers I will like to define the meaning of namaste. Namaste is a friendly and most common greeting generally said by Hindus and often reciprocated by people of other faiths and cultures. I have noticed many white peoplecoming forward to greet by namaste. It is like saying "good day" in English. It is a respectful greetings and can be used universally whatever be the gender, age or social status.

Arun Vaidyanathan By email

PM shows courage of conscious I am glad to acknowledge that British PM David Cameron has not used his veto against Christianity, as is the norm for most trendy, left leaning, misguided, dogooder politicians our country is overloaded with. Britain is preliminary but not pertinaciously a Christian country with Christian values, without upper or plebeian magnitude that unable us to mix and assimilate with the mainstream population with our assiduous, law abiding, family oriented but easy going culture. It was English language, the excellent educational establishments like Oxbridge and Christian values that first attracted us to these shores. We have taken full advantage, especially on education front and our younger generation has climbed the carrier ladder as if there is no tomorrow, in law, accountancy, medicine and business and now even journalism, as Gujarat Samachar, Asian Voice and its wonderful pool of talented young writers so ably demonstrates.

Dharam Sahdev By email It was time some one with authority challenges the liberal, almost mischief making views and opinion expressed by the Church, especially by Dr. Rowan Williams who has expressed sympathy with the summer rioters who brought this country to a standstill with looting, burning and thuggery. It seems so many prominent personalities in the Church hierarchy are willing to reduce, confine Christianity to moral dust-bin on the altar of multi-faith, multicentralism. It is the duty of every individual to defend moral values, upheld law and order and in the face of “moral neutrality” that pervades modern life. It is profoundly wrong to believe that promoting Christianity would “do down other faiths” according to our PM David Cameron. It is time other politicians show the courage and speak up for the well-being of this nation. After all vote bank politics has no standing in our multi cultural society. Kumudini D Valambia By email

Aspersions on Gandhi and the Gita I read with interest the excellent article by Nitin Mehta MBE on Lord Meghnad Desai and his aspersions on Mahatma Gandhi and the Gita (AV 21 January 2012). According to Lord Desai, the Gita gives a message that killing is legitimate and so how could Gandhi, a man of nonviolence, believe in the Gita. Lord Desai is featured in the list of well known atheists. In my view , he hasn’t grasped the true essence of the Gita. It seems that his views are based on the superficial reading of the Gita. This doesn’t do justice to the millions of Hindus who generally follow the Gita and are on the whole of a non-violent and peaceful nature as a result. Nitin has adequately summarised the Gita’s overall purport as being ones duty to fight injustice. What did Gandhi himself have to say on this subject. I quote from his book The Bhagvadgita which was his interpretation of the Gita based on the discourses he gave in 1926 at the Satyagrah Ashram: “I do not wish to suggest that violence has no place at all in the teaching of the Gita. The dharma which it preaches does not mean that a person who has not yet awakened to the truth of non-violence may act like a coward. This dharma does not under any circumstances countenance running away in fear. In this world, violence there will then always be. The Gita shows the way which will lead us out of it, but it also says that we cannot escape it simply by running away from it like cowards.” Well, Lord Desai, there you have it now – from the man himself! Uttambhai D Mistry By email

A gift fit for a Queen The Government has rejected the Education Secretary, Michael Gove’s, proposal for taxpayers to buy a new yacht likely to cost in the region of some £60 million for the Queen as a present for her diamond jubilee. The proposal was rejected on the grounds that there was very little money to go around. This would not be the top of the Government’s list of priorities at a time when resources were scarce and school budgets are being slashed. The Queen does a marvellous job and a yacht to replace the now defunct Royal Yacht Britannia would be a token of our appreciation for the 60 years she has given to the country. Having spoken with Her Majesty at a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace which I had the privilege to attend at the invitation of the Lord Chancellor, I must say that I was struck by the grace and dignity with which she carried herself. Since the Government is unable to come up with the required money, I would like to moot an idea for consideration. The UK’s population at 62.3 million is just over the 60 million mark. If each and every one of us chipped in with a pound each, which is less than the price

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


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). -/1% /. 0!'%


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Unfortunately, Lord Desai has misused rostrum in the lion’s den, the Gujarat to slander Gandhiji and Gita. Except for Mr Nitin Mehta, no one in India or in Britain has protested against such preposterous abuse. Then why did we defend Gita in Russia and complain to the BBC about Top Gear programme in India, or object to paintings by M. F. Hussein? Foreigners viz Joanna Lumley, Francois Gautier, Mark Tully, strive to create positive image of India; late “Mother” from Aurobindo Ashram, Annie Besant and Arundel of Theosophical Society fought for India’s independence. David Frawley, Conrad Elst and Stephen Knapp bring shine to India’s image. Meeraben, and Sister Nivedita took pride about brilliant image of India, which sadly Lord Desai failed to appreciate. Lord Desai, indulging in denigration of Gandhiji and Gita, gives chance to Indian and global adversaries to treat Hindus as doormats. Learn from Muslims whose assertiveness enhances clean image. Parents of Stephen Lawrence doggedly pursued litigation for 18 years to buttress image of blacks to underscore that blacks will not be brushed aside under lame excuses. Lord Desai, should project pride in Indian role models and Gita so that Hindus in Britain can be proud that he is one of us. Ramesh Jhalla By email

British Economy and the current government

I think most of the people know that Mr Osborne, Finance Minister can’t run even a newspaper shop, how can he manage the British economy? I think even a child can bring down the state deficit by cutting all the benefits, public services and jobs. That government is best which rules the least, same way that party is best which brings down the deficit slowly and gradually without reducing services and jobs. People have now understood that Labour party policy was exactly doing that, but of course it's too late now! J Patel Birmingham of a cup of coffee, we could easily gather together the £60 million. Surely, this would not be too much to ask and the gift would serve as a lasting legacy of her Diamond Jubilee. I also had the privilege of speaking with Princess Margaret, the Queen’s sister, when she made a whistle stop visit to my place of work at the then Department of Education and Science accompanied by Margaret Thatcher, who was at the time Education Secretary, and she too oozed charm and dignity. Dinesh Sheth By email

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Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

Social housing fraud-big business A fifth of council tenancies across the UK have been found to hold "indications of fraud" following a number of privately led investigations to tackle the growing problem. It has been suggested that around 160,000 social housing tenants in London alone have been cheating the system, subletting their properties and making millions of pounds at the taxpayer's expense. The scams include individuals taking out mortgages or credit at other addresses whilst claiming against the benefits system. Housing minister Grant Shapps warned the scale of tenancy fraud may be even larger than expected. "It is completely unacceptable for housing cheats to get a

home they don't need at massively subsidised rates, only to rent it out at market rates and pocket the difference. Social housing fraud has become big business, ignored for far too long," he said. The government's recent estimate on fraudulent council tenancies has been placed at 1 per cent; suggesting over 50,000 tenants in the UK are commit-

ting fraud. In a bid to tackle the issue, the government committed to spending ÂŁ19m through local council initiatives to improve the housing system. However, recent evidence under a HJK investigation indicated some councils had not spent a penny on tackling the problem. Howard Kleinberg, director of HJK Investigations, the housing fraud specialist which carried out the research, said: "If this problem was taken more seriously, it could make a significant dent in the council house waiting list. But it will never happen, because of the bureaucracy and the way money gets lost in the chain of officialdom."

Children to light candles on Holocaust Memorial day Around 150 schoolchildren will join Mayor Sir Robin Wales at Newham Town Hall in East Ham on Friday to remember the horrendous crimes, racism and victimisation committed during the Holocaust. Candles will be lit on Holocaust Memorial Day, which marks the anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. Mayor Sir Robin Wales said: "The act of remember-

ing is our opportunity to learn the lessons from the Nazi persecution, strengthen our resolve to tackle anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination and ensure that more recent genocides are neither forgotten nor repeated." The theme of this year's event at the Town Hall from 10am to 12 noon is 'speak up, speak out' and challenges those who continue to seek to deny the Holocaust. Guests include

Gillian Walnes, co-founder of the Anne Frank Trust, and David Gold, chairman of West Ham United. Both are tireless campaigners against anti-Semitism and hatred. The event will see children performing music from Schindler's List and performing extracts from the diary of Anne Frank. There will also be readings by young people of stories of survivors of the Holocaust.


Children's science questions 'stump many parents'

Parents are failing to keep up with their children's scientific knowledge, a survey suggests. Researchers for the Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair interviewed 2,000 parents of children aged between five and 16. Twothirds of parents said they struggled with their children's science queries and a quarter felt frustrated. Professor Brian Cox, a spokesman for the fair, admitted children's science questions could be tricky. Almost one in three parents said they were quizzed by their curious offspring on a daily basis. The questions often left parents embarrassed by their own failure to provide answers. Professor Cox said: "With more and more youngsters getting stuck into science and maths both in and out of school, it's no wonder they are

constantly questioning the world around them. Inquisitive minds are fantastic but clever questions can leave parents in a tricky situation if they don't have the answers. The best thing parents can do is work with their children to find the answers. Not only can it be fun, but you'll both learn something new along the way." Children's enjoyment of science and maths was not always shared by their parents, with more than half of those surveyed saying the subjects filled them

with dread. More than a quarter of parents thought their offspring knew more about maths and science than they did. Some added that their children's enthusiasm was fuelled by television series such as Frozen Planet or Wonders of the Universe. About a third of parents said they actively researched answers to their children's inquiries. But 16% told their children to ask their partner and a fifth made up a response or pretended that no one knew the answer.

Army of 20,000 Volunteers needed to help boost outdoor play An army of 20,000 volunteers will be needed for a new initiative to help children play safely outdoors, say campaigners. They will be asked to help build new playgrounds, staff existing ones, run play schemes and street parties. The government has given ÂŁ2m to help

local groups boost outdoor play in their communities. Campaign group Play England says children should be able to play outside after school or in the holidays. The group's director Catherine Prisk said: "Playing outside, chalking on the pavement. climbing

trees and riding your bike are simple pleasures that many of today's children are missing out on. Play is essential for children's health and happiness now, and for making friends, building key skills for the future and for feeling you are part of a community."



Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

NRIs honoured by Indian Government in New Delhi Asian Voice columnist Dhiren Katwa has been recognised for his outstanding journalism by the Government of India. Dhiren was the youngest of 20 non-resident Indians (NRIs) who were honoured at a prestigious ceremony in New Delhi earlier this month. Each awardee was presented with the Bharat Baroness Sandip Verma Rennu Dhillon Dr Rami Ranger Samman Award, which recognises individuals of Indian origin living overseas for exemplary work in their respective fields. “I attribute this accolade to my well-wishers, avid readers of my column and those who have stood by me at all times,” said Dhiren, who lives in Birmingham and is senior news editor at Asian Voice. He added: “The fine qualities instilled in me by my parents, grandparents has enabled me to Honoured: Asian Voice columnist Dhiren Katwa campaign tirelessly and fearJudge Ajit Swaran lessly for justice, equality receives award from Bal Ram Jakhar and Dr Iqbal Singh Singh, Governor of Puducherry and fairness for all. In addition, without the guidance, hosted by His Excellency James Bedi, noted fashion designer support and excellent mentoring Bevan, the new British High Ranna Gill, editor Hindustan from my guru, Mr CB Patel, this Commissioner in India. Held at Times City Sonal Kalra, MD of award would simply not be poshis residence in Rajaji Marg, Fortis Healthcare Shivinder sible.” Dhiren is the son of New Delhi, the event featured Mohan Singh, MD of Adidas Rameshbhai and Dayaben and Reebok India Subhinder speeches from Mr Bevan, event Katwa and grandson of Bhagat Singh Prem and former High host Jagmohan Singh and Dr S Ravjibhai Bhoja and Santokben Commissioner of India to UK, Y Quraishi, Chief Election Katwa, both Late, of Mombasa, Nalin Surie. Commissioner of India. East Africa. Also honoured during this Also honoured was Baroness The annual event, held at the Sandip Verma, the first British remarkable series of ceremonies Le Meridien Hotel, New Delhi, Asian woman in the House of were: Sir Ponnavaikko, Vice was organised by the NRI Lords. Sari-clad Baroness Chancellor of SRM University in Institute, a non-profit, apolitical Verma, who received the Tamil Nadu; Mr Kriplani T organisation which aims to proLifetime Achievement Award, Desai of Shree Avdhoot vide a platform for people of paid a glowing tribute to the Chemicals of Surat, Gujarat; Indian origin, globally, and proevent organisers for recognising engineer Rishabh Nath Jain of motes NRI investments in India. the talents and achievements, on Kuwait; Judge Ajit Swaran Dr Rami Ranger, who was also merit, of NRIs. Singh, the only judge of Indian present, was given the Lifetime Other award recipients origin in New Zealand; and Achievement Award. Dr Rennu Dhillon, an early learnincluded: Atul Pathak, MD of Ranger’s company, Sun Mark ing specialist and educator. APPT Corporation, which manLimited, is the only UK firm to Rennu founded Genius Kids in ages McDonalds; author and have received three consecutive 2001, a model which has proven Sikh historian Peter Bance; Queen’s Awards for Enterprise. Navin Piplani, director of results for its unique educationDr Ranger’s humorous speech Conservation Studies at York al values of interactive learning was applauded by all. University; and educationalist with academics, personality and Distinguished guests includMehmood Khan, an alumnus of public speaking as the focus for ed Dr Bal Ram Jakhar, former the Indian Institute of young children. Rennu is the Speaker of Lok Sabha, Rajeev Management, Ahmedabad. daughter of former Mombasa Shukla, Minister of A day earlier, a separate Mayor Shamsher Singh Dhillon Parliamentary Affairs, Dr awards ceremony was hosted by and Mohinder Kaur Dhillon – Bhishma Narain Singh, former the Global Punjabi Society. who were also present, as was Governor of Tamil Nadu and Distinguished guests included Rennu’s daughter Sheena. Assam, Governor of Arunachal Marshall of the Air Force, Arjan Rennu was educated in Kenya Pradesh JJ Singh and Joginder and in the UK, and later emiSingh, Governor of Puducherry Singh, former CBI director. grated to East San Francisco in Dr Iqbal Singh, Baroness As part of the three-day the USA. To see full list of winSandip Verma and Lord Daljit Bharat Pravasi Divas celebraRana. Those awarded included ners and for more information tions, an evening reception was former cricketer Bishan Singh visit Britain’s favourite international dish has changed! The trusty tikka masala has been replaced by chinese stir-fry as the number one meal. This quick and easy noodle dish is regularly eaten by approximately 20% of Brits at least once a week, partly because it is so simple to prepare. Statistics show that Brits have truly become Asian food lovers, with 9 out of 10 favourite international dishes originating from the subcontinent. The British have become fans of exotic spices, rendering much of the traditional British cuisine like sausages and mash as just too bland. As a result of

Britain’s love affair with Asian cuisine continues as Chinese stir fry tops tikka masala these changing tastes, families are having an average of 3 international meals a week. Other favourites in the top ten, include Thai green curry,

Peking duck and sweet and sour chicken. Around a quarter of Brits are eating more oriental cuisine than a decade ago. And as time goes on, it seems likely that this number will increase, as a survey has found that a third of parents claim their child is more adventurous when it comes to trying new dishes than themselves. Nick Thorogood, Managing Director of Food Network EMEA said that their research has shown that nowadays ‘it is considered normal to be swapping a Cottage Pie for a Thai Green Curry,’ which was definitely not the case 10 years ago.

Moresand Group celebrates its silver jubilee with pomp and gaiety Rupanjana Dutta The Moresand Group or more popularly known as Crystal Travel celebrated its 25th anniversary at a gala lunch event on Thursday 12th January at the Millenium Hotel in Gloucester Road. The celebratory lunch bustled with representatives from mostly all the airways. The company staff of Moresand group were also present at the gala party including their international office heads.

and East London and call centres at Colombo, Pakistan, Delhi and Hyderabad. “This is a remarkable achievement by PS Kang and his people, the company that started with 3 people and grown to the strength it’s now. They have gone from an Asian diaspora to a main stream company. This is a family business; through the hard work, the dedication, the out of box thinking, what the company has achieved over the last 25 years is demonstrated

Directors P S Kang and John Kalia with the Moresand Team

The Managing Director P S Kang and Director John Kalia were around, offering the best hospitality one could provide to their guests. A family business in actual, Mr Kang was accompanied by his children, especially daughter and her fiance and wife, Mrs Kamal Kang. Mr PS Kang told Asian Voice, “It is a wonderfully proud moment for myself, our team and Moresand. It has been a long and successful journey and it is indeed a time to rejoice.” The Chief Guest for the afternoon was Rt Hon Keith Vaz, Chair of Home Affairs Committee and MP for Leicester who spoke very highly of the host and the company.

through the huge increase of revenue. I am sure there will be many such successful years to come and I am quite confident that I will come back and celebrate the 30th and 40th year of this company, which surely will be better and bigger, because at the end of the day PS Kang and his family and you all don’t do this job to just make money, but you do your job to improve the quality of people’s life and create more and more jobs. I am proud it’s a British company and some one of Indian origin has achieved so much for this country through this world class company.” PS Kang, founder and MD of the company spoke about the

Mr Keith Vaz addressing the audience on the occasion of Moresand Ltd 25th anniversary

The reception started with a drink and networking session followed by a lavish lunch while the guests were given more information on the history of Mr Kang’s vision, the company and formally introduced to the members of his team. Crystal Travel is a leading pan-European travel company specialising in worldwide travel. A part of Moresand Group, formed in 1986, it is a well established Travel company, situated very close to Oxford Circus in the heart of London. Crystal Travel operates under multiple brand names like Sam travel, Air travel Guide and Air travel Guru. They offer a full range of travel products online, over telephone and through retail outlets in Central London

yesteryears, his modest start of the company and thanked his team members and long term friends and supporters who made Moresand such a successful company. It was an incredibly noble gesture on his part to introduce all his team members who were present at the celebration. A toast was raised by ex employee, who spoke about the journey of Moresand, which of course was not easy, but he praised P S Kang who kept trying, working harder to make Crystal travel a better and stronger organisation. The afternoon ended with a tasty luncheon by Ragasaan and entertainment that included some exotic performances by gorgeous dancers.


Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012


Indian students’ safety discussed by Universities UK A delegation from University of East London headed by Prof Patrick Mcghee, Vice Chancellor, Lord Kamlesh Patel and others will be visiting India (Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai) in March, that may also discuss about UK as a safe destination for foreign students, was announced in a Press Conference on Friday 20th January 2012 in a central London venue. In a meeting with Indian and British Indian journalists, Universities UK and British Council spoke about their deep regrets regarding the murder of Indian student from Pune- Anuj Bidve in Salford, while they also discussed certain safety measures that are a must for any foreign student. The meeting was attended by Prof Eric Thomas, President, Universities UK and Vice Chancellor, University of Bristol, Prof Patrick Mcghee, Vice Chancellor, University of East London, Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive, Universities UK, Helen Clews, Account coordinator and Immigration adviser, British Council, Jo Attwooll, Policy Advisor, Universities UK, Nigel Semmens, Director of

Council conducts a pre departure guidance. On arriving to the port of destination an orientation program is also conducted by the University. It is in order to make these foreign students aware of what they may encounter on reaching Britain and essentially familiarising them with the surrounding. The British Council has also published a booklet called Creating Confidence that is meant to guide foreign students Professor Eric Thomas, Prof Patrick Mcghee, Nicola Dandridge, Helen Clews with others from the Universities UK

Communications, Universities UK, Helen Barker, Press officer, Universities UK and Gareth Greene, Press Officer, University of East London. Prof Eric Thomas, who chaired the discussion wrote in a letter on 4th January, "On behalf of all UK universities in the UK, I am writing to express our deep sadness at the death of Anuj Bidve. This is a devastating tragedy for his family and friends and the death of a gifted individual in such a manner is a loss for us all. The British people have been appalled by this terrible event and Monday (2nd Jan) vigil bore witness to national

and local feeling..." He added, "UK universities take the safety and well being of all their students very seriously. Institutions offer induction and orientation sessions for international students which include advice on safety. We at Universities UK would want to reassure current and future Indian students and their aprents that this kind of incident is thankfully exceptionally rare. Compared to other countries UK remains a safe and tolerant country with low levels of violence and street crime and indeed the British Council's survey showed that only a very small pro-

portion of students had ever experienced any kind of crime here..." Prof Patrick Mcghee told Asian Voice that UK remains one of the best and safest countries for living, studying and making friends. It remains one of the best location for higher education- high quality and modern. Helen Clews, Account coordinator and Immigration adviser, British Council told Asian Voice that UK receives around 534,600 international students every year out of which 45,350 are essentially Indian. Every year before these foreign students leave their country of origin, British

through the life in the UK. However it was unanimously advised to all students to take a licensed taxi if they are coming back very late in the night. It was also suggested that the College Students Union may help in getting a taxi or fare, if required. They advised international pupils to go out with friends, talk to other students regarding safety of a city and research well before visiting a locality late in the night.

Man charged with Birmingham double murder 37-year-old man to appear before magistrates over killing of Avtar and Carole Kolar who were found dead by their son. Police have charged a man with the murders of a couple who were found dead in their home in Birmingham. Postmortem examinations revealed that both died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head, each sustaining a number of blows. The bodies of Avtar Kolar, 62, and his wife Carole, 58, were discovered at their house in Handsworth Wood 2 weeks back. West Midlands police said a Lithuanian national

Avtar and Carole Kolar

Rimvydas Liorancas, 37, would appear before magistrates in Birmingham on Thursday morning. Crimestoppers has described the double murder as a “vile crime” and put up a reward of up to 10,000 for details leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.



Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

India Connect Masala Bhangra, the fun new way to get fit! Q & A: Visa to India How do I apply for Minor Child (Under 16 Years of age) A copy of the child’s birth certificate showing both the parents names. Consent letter addressed to the HCI or its respective consulates signed by both the parents. Photocopy of Parent’s passJiten Vyas, VFS Global ports along with the copy of their current Indian Visa, if already holding one. In case of Divorce, Child Custody Letter from court in respect of the child is required. In case of Single Parent, Solicitor’s Letter and Child Benefit letter will be required. Applicants can visit India without the ‘02 month entry’ restrictions with a valid Long term VISA. This is different from a Tourist VISA. What is long term VISA. A Long term entry visa is issued to people of Indian origin only and hence appropriate documentation is required to substantiate Indian origin e.g. Old Indian Passport copy or any document issued in the name of the applicant by the Government of India. The visa is valid for up to five years with multiple entries. Please note the validity of the visa is effective from the date of issue. What are the requirement for Long Term VISA ? Passport - valid for a minimum of 180 days with at least two blank pages. Correct visa fee. Two recent 50 x 50 mm size photographs. Please check the Photo Specifications. Correctly filled application form. Any of the below listed Documents for Proof of Indian Origin: Copy of Surrender Certificate of Indian Passport of the Applicant. Copy of the Applicant's Parent’s Indian Passport /Surrender Certificate of their Indian Passport along with the applicant's Birth Certificate. Copy of the Applicant’s Wife’s / Husband's Indian Passport or Surrender Certificate of his / her Indian Passport along with the applicant's Marriage Certificate. (If claiming Indian origin by virtue of spouse's (Wife / Husband) Indian origin). In absence of any of the above documents, an affidavit signed by the First Class Magistrate from India about Indian Nationality. I want to submit a PIO / OCI application, where do I do this? For all PIO or OCI applications or queries, you will be required to apply directly at the High Commission of India or its respective consulates in the UK. I have completed an online visa application but forgot to note down my web reference number, how do I retrieve this? If you require your web reference number to retrieve, modify or print your application, please email our information desk ( or call our helpdesk on 0905 757 0045)

For more information regarding any quires about Indian Visa please contact by email or post: Email: Customer Relations Department. India Visa Application Center, 60-62 Wilton Road, London SW1V 1DE

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Alina Polianskaya Alice Ramcharran, founder of brand new workout program Masala Bhangra, introduces her new class. With Bollywood and Bhangra inspired music and moves, it promises to be an exciting and authentic exercise program. I spoke to Alice to find out more... Why did you choose Bhangra to be part of your fitness programme? I’m always looking for new and exciting ways of keeping people fit and helping them to achieve their goals. I was the first one back in 2008 to bring Zumba to the High Wycombe area, and when Masala Bhangra announced they would be running a course in the UK, I jumped at the chance. My colleague Bridget and I are currently 2 of only 16 instructors in the UK. Do you have a Bhangra dancing background? I actually have a background in fitness, not dance, and have been in the industry since 1999. I have taught various classes including aerobics, legs bums and tums, supple strength, boxercise, circuits, bootcamp, body blitz, body conditioning, step and Zumba, to name but a few! Why did you decide to get involved in Bhangra? I really love the music, it makes you want to get up and move and helps you get fit at the same time! The class uses Bhangra and Bollywood moves to create an exhilarating, fun workout with a difference. Obviously Bhangra has Asian origins, what links do you have to the Asian community? My strongest links with the Asian community come through my husband. His family is from Guyana so he has an Indian/Indo-Caribbean heritage. Also having lived in High Wycombe all my life, I have many Asian friends and clients. I have a strong appreciation of the Asian culture and a great deal of my cooking

is inspired by Asian cuisine. I have recently written a vegetarian cookbook to help my clients follow a healthy and low-fat diet... mainly based on Asian and Indo-Caribbean family recipes.

sounds with more modern music. We were given music on our Masala Bhangra course, but I also speak to others and look online to find more suitable music that has the right beat for our routines.

What was the inspiration behind this new workout class? The Masala Bhangra workout was originally devised by America’s first cross-cultural fitness star Sarina Jain who choreographed traditional Bhangra alongside modern, funky dance moves to appeal to the American exercise industry. The original idea for Masala Bhangra was inspired by her love of Bollywood movies. Masala Bhangra has now spread further and reached the UK in 2011.

What response did you get to the taster class? We did a ‘Masala Bhangra’ evening back in October 2011 where we held a taster session and also offered Asian inspired drinks and nibbles. We had a number of different stalls selling jewellery, beauty products, clothes and accessories. We had a great response with over 70 people attending. It was the positive feedback from the taster class that inspired us to set up a regular Masala Bhangra class which launched on Wednesday 18 January, 2012.

Is it high energy? Who in particular is this workout aimed at? It can be as high or low energy as you want it to be! It’s suitable for all ages, from 14 to 70 plus, and all levels of fitness. We encourage everyone to work at their own pace and if anyone has any pre-existing injuries or medical conditions, we ask them to get medical clearance first. How do you select the music for your classes? The routines are all set to Asian inspired beats that mix Bhangra

How else do you keep fit? Currently I am doing walking, gym sessions and swimming as well as many of the warm up routines in my classes. This is less than I would usually do because I’m 6 and a half months pregnant! My colleague Bridget will be taking the Masala Bhangra classes when we first launch, but my baby is due in April and I am sure I’ll be straight back to instructing as soon as I’ve recovered!

Author Rani Singh discusses Life of Sonia Gandhi Alina Polianskaya Reporter and author Rani Singh appeared at an Asia Programme Meeting at Chatham House to discuss Sonia Gandhi’s life and journey into politics. Rani has recently released the first comprehensive biography entitled Sonia Gandhi, an Extraordinary Life, an Indian Destiny. The meeting, which took place on January 18, began with Rani giving a 30 minute talk about the biography of Sonia. She discussed Sonia’s early life including her Italian roots, her studies in England where she met and fell in love with Rajiv Gandhi, and her move to India where she soon became the favoured daughter-in-law of the late political leader, Indira Gandhi. Ms Singh talked about Sonia’s visits to disadvantaged areas of India and her turbulent and controversial rise into politics following the murder of her husband. This was followed by a half hour question and

Sonia Gandhi

answer session, with contributions from Gareth Price, a Senior Research Fellow for the Asia Programme. Questions were asked about how positive Rani’s account of Ms Gandhi’s life was, despite rumours of corruption. Ms Singh explained that she wanted to give a full factual account of Sonia’s life which was quite a feat in itself. She did not want to waste time with reports that were not substantiated, as such allegations were common of many politicians. The continuation of

the Nehru-Gandhi family line as leaders of the Congress Party was also a large element of the discussion; as was the debatable trajectory of Sonia Gandhi’s career and her leadership style. Rani explained that while Sonia was reluctant at the start and aware of her own weaknesses, she felt it was her duty to help continue the NehruGandhi dynasty. Her contributions included rejuvenating the Congress Party after learning about politics from her mother-

in-law, her husband and the attendees at political meetings. Her aims included carrying on her late husband’s desires to help disadvantaged people. Rani stated that one of Sonia’s assets was that she was always willing to visit underprivileged communities which let to her developing the National Advisory Council. Ms Singh’s comprehensive biography was available to buy at the end of the meeting, and is on sale nationwide.

Queen’s diamond jubilee to have more street parties than royal wedding More street parties will be thrown to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this year than were held for the royal wedding, early figures suggest. Hundreds of people across the country have already written to their local councils to express their desire to hold public celebrations, despite the Jubilee weekend being more than four months

away. The surge of interest indicates that the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge revived Britain’s love of street parties, according to local government leaders. Organisers predict the summer weather and the example set by last spring’s festivities could see up to three million people take to the streets in June.


Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

f ashionista

by Debasree Ghosh

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

All A-braid! Braids, pleats, or plaits whatever you call them, we're absolutely loving all things twisted in hair this season. Braids have been consistently ruling the trend charts for the last couple of years, both on the runway and the red carpet, and promise to stay in vogue through the next season. Once a symbol of the plain Jane – think Melissa Gilbert’s long pigtail braids on

sections of hair at the top of the head and weaves more hair in as you braid toward the nape of your neck. Unlike the traditional braid which begins at the nape; this style begins at your hair line. The traditional version is ideal for work and play but try Sarah Michelle Gellar’s side French braid tied up in a messy bun makes for a contemporary one.

The Wind-Swept Braid

“Little House on the Prairie” – the braid has been elevated to high glam. With a few strategic twists, they can give you a whole new look everyday, including bad hair days. Here are our top styles:

The Herringbone Braid Also known as the fishtail braid, it is deceptively intricate but hardly complicated. It works both dressed up and dressed down. The end result is a braid that mimics the scales on a fishtail – only sexy. Take notes from Fergie and Leona Lewis on how to wear it.

The French Braid Like most things French, this is a classic hairstyle. A French braid is an intricate hairstyle that starts with three small

If the regular braid feels too prairie girl-ish, mess it up to give a nonchalant vibe. Go for the braid version of the just-out-ofbed look. This style is a red carpet favourite with Blake Lively, Dia Mirza and Diane Kruger, sporting them. It works best if you’re hair is cut in layers. Scrunch your hair with mousse before tying it up in a loose braid.

The Swiss Braid Soft, feminine, and pretty, the Swiss is a braid that goes around the crown of your head. It’s also been called a headband braid, since the hair is sometimes braided to look like just that. Also known as the milkmaid braid, it conjures up images of ethereal fairytale women and storybook characters. It’s a simple style that complements the girly side of you and we recommend you wear it with flowing, pastel gowns. Take inspiration from Sienna Miller and Sonam Kapoor.

Klum’s version.

The Ribbon Braid Add a dash of colour to your hairstyle by incorporating ribbons and scarves into your braid. Feel free to experiment with colours and textures. We loved the Spring 2011 look at Hermes backstage where the hair stylists weaved scarves into the model's hair.

Micro Braids

Sneak a few into your pony tail for a dash

The Braided Updo This style comes to your rescue when you are crunched for time. That’s not to take away from the sophistication and elegance of it. We love Heidi

of bohemian chic. Perfect to wear with maxi dresses and long skirts: look to Blake Lively for inspiration.

First ‘Healthy Living Pharmacy’ launches in Birmingham Pharmacies in Birmingham and Solihull are poised to dispense more than just medicines from now on, as the launch of the city’s first ‘Healthy Living Pharmacy’ takes place on Monday. Each Healthy Living Pharmacy will have a ‘Health Information Zone’ with a clear aim to provide assistance and advice on everyday health issues such as stopping smoking, weight loss and reviewing medicines, they will also deliver expert support on wider health

needs including supplying the morning after pill, and dealing with minor ailments on the spot. They have undergone a rigorous training programme to get to this stage as Sajj Raja Community Pharmacy Development Manager, NHS Birmingham & Solihull comments; “The future of healthcare is changing rapidly, and Birmingham & Solihull are leading the way in delivering a much broader range of support services, expert advice and help right on the high

street where it’s accessible to everyone. We are proud to be launching the first accredited Healthy Living Pharmacy in the city.” The first pharmacy to be offering the extended services is Shah Pharmacy on the Stratford Road in Sparkhill, which is spearheading the way for more to follow suit. They are opening their doors for a drop in session on Monday 23rd January, where anyone can find out more about this exciting new initiative in healthcare.


Next generation of artists on display at the Bhavan Founder’s Days give the students and teachers at the Bhavan an opportunity to display their prowess. Indeed it is one of the unique aspects of the Bhavan’s courses, at which students are able to perform in front of audiences. On Saturday 21st January and Sunday 22nd January, the Bhavan’s Mountbatten Auditorium was full to capacity on both days. On the first Founder’s Day of the weekend, the Chief Guest was Mr Bhaskar Hande, Chief Executive of Syndicate Bank. Mr Bhaskar paid tribute to the work done by the Bhavan’s Founder, Dr K.M. Munshi and his valuable posterity in preserving India’s art, culture and heritage. On the second day of the weekend, Chief Guest Miss Sangeeta Bahadur, Director of the Nehru Centre said that she was very impressed with the wonderful quality of the performances by the Bhavan’s students. She also promised to continue the close relationship between the Nehru Centre and the Bhavan. Audiences were treated to accomplished performances of music, dance

Chief Guest Mr Bhaskar Hande, CEO, Syndicate Bank

Chief Guest Miss Sangeeta Bahadur, Director of the Nehru Centre

and recitations. Some 250 students were involved on each day, under the supervision of their teachers. On both days, students received their diplomas and certificates form the Chief Guests. On the Saturday, the vote of thanks was given

by the Bhavan’s Vice Chairman, Padma Shri Dr John Marr. On Sunday, the vote of thanks was given by Mr John Muir, the Bhavan’s Administrative Manager. The proceedings were compèred by Smt Parvati Nair.

Bharatanatyam students on stage


Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

Ajith – The million dollar man

The overseas rights of Thala Ajith’s forthcoming ‘Billa 2′, a prequel to blockbuster ‘Billa’ has been bought for a whopping 1 million dollars by GK Media! It is said that the overseas rights were sold for Rs 53 million and this is the highest overseas rate for an Ajith starrer, more than “Mankatha” as well (which was sold for Rs 37.5 million). Earlier in Tamil cinema, Superstar Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Vijay and Suriya have tasted this success for their films overseas. ‘Billa 2′ by Chakri Toleti has music by Yuvan Shankar Raja and is one hot property that is eagerly awaited by fans and movie goers.

Shruthi Hassan threatens legal action Actress Shruthi Haasan says that she will take legal action against people who are spreading rumours against her. Dhanush and Shruthi Haasan are donning the lead roles in the film titled “3.” Dhanush’s wife Aishwarya is directing this film. At a stage when the film is all set for release, there are rumours linking Dhanush and Shruthi. There was news recently that Shruthi has kissed Dhanush in the presence of his wife and also that both of them had been to Mumbai. When asked about it, Shruthi said, “There is no truth in the news linking me with Dhanush. Nothing of that sort has happened.”

Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

Mallika, Dhanush named hottest vegetarians Tamil superstar Dhanush and Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat have been voted the hottest vegetarians in a new poll by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India. Dhanush and Mallika pipped Vivek Oberoi, Vidya Balan, Sonu Sood, Shahid Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini and Kareena Kapoor to top the list, the animal rights organization said. "If I had to pick the very best thing about being vegan, it's my clear conscience," Sherawat said. Dhanush said: "Being a vegetarian always made me feel healthy. I've always felt light. Every time I sit down to eat, I'm helping the environment. I'm proud to be a vegetarian. Go PETA, go green."

Lara Dutta-Mahesh Bhupathi blessed with a baby girl Bollywood actor Lara Dutta and tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi, who tied the knot in February last year, have been blessed with a baby girl. Mahesh Bhupathi tweeted: "ITS A GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! @DuttaLara. I Love u...." Over the last few days, Lara has been busy setting up house for the little one. "It's fun having my parents here and getting the house baby ready! Anticipation and excitement in the air!:-) feels good 2 start 2012 like that," Lara wrote on her Twitter page. The sportstar was keen on having a daughter. “Mahesh is very excited and would like to have a daughter. However, as a mother, when you are going through the experience of carrying a baby for nine months, the first-and-foremost priority is to have a healthy baby,” Lara said.

If rumours are to be believed, John Abraham has tied the knot with his girl friend Priya in USA two weeks ago. After his break up with Bipasha Basu last year, John was seen dating Priya, a financial analyst. They were spotted together for the Mumbai Marathon too. John has never been a person who hides his relationship status. He was the one who told the world first about his break up with Bipasha. Neither did he deny dating Priya. According to media reports, John has married his girlfriend in Los Angeles in a hush-hush ceremony attended by his and Priya’s family. So, the big question is – has John really tied the knot or is it just another rumour.

When it comes to his daughter Trishala, Sanjay Dutt is a very protective father. He does not want her in the showbiz. The 22-year-old was interested in acting but Sanjay didn't back her. "Absolutely true and underline it 500 times," Sanjay said, about his opposition. "If somebody says give me the reason, I am going to show my finger because she is my daughter. "Trishala is from Sanjay's first wife Richa Sharma, who was an actress and died of cancer. The 51-year-old Sanjay, now married to Manyata from whom he has twins, believes women have to struggle a lot in the film industry and he doesn't want his daughter to face all this. "If you want the reason, my father (Sunil Dutt) never wanted any female from my family to join the film industry. Not because film industry is a bad place for woman, not

Amala Paul who had acted in “Muppozhuthum Un Karpanaigal” and “Vettai” is now pairing with Siddarth in the Tamil film titled “Kadhalil Sodhapuvadu Yeppadi.” She is also pairing with Naga Chaitanya in a Telugu film. She is now worried about acting with the leading stars. Director Vijay who had directed “Deiva Thirumagal” which had Vikram in the lead role has narrated a story to Ilayathalapathy Vijay and has also told Amala Paul that she will the female lead in that film. She is in a confused state of mind, does not know when Vijay will act in that film and whether her market will be stable until then. Because of this she is very determined to pair with other leading actors after the release of “Vettai.”

Hot Garam masala

Has John Abraham tied the knot with Priya?

No acting career for Trishala: Sanjay Dutt

Amala Paul is worried about future

Shiamak Davar performs for Oprah Winfrey Your wish will always come true, but you should have the patience to wait for it, believes dance guru Shiamak Davar. And his patience did pay off when his dream of meeting Oprah Winfrey came true. “I have always respected the work Oprah has done over decades reaching out to people from around the world through her talk show. Most importantly she has made people believe in themselves and given them hope. I’m a fan of hers and watch her show keeping a track of her work and achievement. She is truly God’s messenger,” Shiamak affirms. Shiamak had the honour of meeting her and presented her with a special dance piece that left Oprah spellbound. Singing and performing with his dance company,

this one really came from the heart for someone he admires. “When I heard about Oprah’s visit to India, I knew deep down that we would meet, and as my dear friend Parmeshwar Godrej stepped in and invited me for the dinner, she made this meeting come true. The opportunity invoked a child like spirit in me and I’ve been extremely excited,” he said. Shiamak who has met and interacted with the best from Hollywood, including Tom Cruise, Michael Douglas, Stevie Wonder, Bryan Adams left a lasting note saying Oprah is Oprah! “To present to her my work, to speak to her and to share with her my guru’s book ‘The Laws of the spirit World’ all seems surreal.”

because film industry is taboo in the country, only because it's a huge struggle for women. Being the oldest in the family I can't give up that legacy," said Sanjay, whose mother Nargis was a top notch actress of the 1950s and 1960s. This restriction is not only imposed on his daughter, but his nieces are kept away from the arch light.


How Sonam gets her shape

Sonam Kapoor narrated how she worked her way through adolescent obesity, starvation and a depressing lack of self-confidence, to reach a healthy and sustainable figure. I had hair on my face I've battled my weight since I was 12. My parents took to us to New York once, for a holiday, and there I'd buy fruit loops from a 24x7 shop and sit down with my books. I never played, I wasn't that kind of kid I just read. I ate chocolates like peanuts. I was 86 kg till I was 19. Sanjay Leela Bhansali (the director of her debut film, "Saawariya") told me, “you have a beautiful face but neck down, you're like an Ajanta-Ellora painting.” He was sweet enough to wait for me, but he said, “you have to wear a backless choli, you can't have rolls of fat showing through.” I had all the health problems that come with being overweight - I was diabetic, I had to take insulin tablets. I had hair on my face and I blamed my dad for it! My mom told me, “you don't have hair anywhere else, you've done it to yourself.” At 18, I was seeing someone very loving. He told me then that I love you the way you are, but you need to lose weight! I took two years to lose it all. I did yoga, I followed starvation diets and that's why I have bad acidity - and at this age. I can't wear bikinis because I have loose skin from losing so much weight! The pressure keeps me on track I look at myself in the papers every day. I look at my competition - I have to be thin.

Unfortunately, he didn't spend some quality time in her childhood days with Trishala, who was raised by her maternal grand parents in the US. "I have never seen the aspect of fatherhood with Trishala. That's a sad thing and my bad luck. I feel sad for her. Anyways that was my bad luck. I wish I could spend all those moments with her also. Nonetheless, we will make up."

Vidya Balan to lose kilos for her debut item number

After putting on weight to play the role of a voluptuous sex siren in the biopic “The Dirty Picture” and walking away with accolades, the talented Vidya Balan is now in a race to lose weight as soon as possible, it seems. The reason – Vidya is all excited to perform her first item number in Vidhu Vinod Chopra's “Ferrari Ki Sawaari.” Sources claim that Balan is leaving no effort spared to look her glam best for the song and will be trying out 10 different looks for the song. A source was quoted to have said, "Vidya saw some portions of the film, featuring Sharman Joshi, along with producers Vidhu Chopra and Rajkumar Hirani. She took an instant liking to the film and immediately agreed to do the song." Confirming the news, director Rajesh Mapuskar was quoted to have said, "Yes, we are creatively working out the look. There have been all kinds of item numbers and we want this one to be different."

Zaheer-Isha Sharvani to wed in 2012? Bipasha-Madhavan lip- Ranbir bags Best Actor award for ‘Rockstar’ lock in ‘Jodi Breakers’ Zaheer Khan-Isha Sharvani, who have been going steady for a long time now, are all set to tie the knot soon. A year and a half after rumours of their wedding plans surfaced, there's a fresh round of speculations about cricketer Zaheer Khan and Isha Sharvani finally tying the knot this year. "Zaheer Khan and Isha Sharvani have decided to tie the knot at the end of March. The wedding is just two-and-a-half months away," disclosed a close friend of the couple. The families of the lovebirds are busy chalking out plans for their nuptial. "Recently, their families met and finalised the wedding details. A final decision will be taken when Zaheer returns from the ongoing Australian tour. If they don't marry in March, they will do so in October. But they are keen on March," the source was quoted as saying.

All these years we saw movies where people tried to get the lovers close or create jodis, now get ready to meet the people, who specialize in breaking the couples! Madhvan and Bipasha play the break up experts in upcoming film ‘Jodi Breakers’. Besides its unconventional pairing the promos have created a good buzz for its ‘hatke’ concept, Bipasha's glam quotient, Madhavan's ubercool dude look and not to forget a romantic lip-kiss between the duo.

The 18th Colors Screen Awards, 2012 was a night full of glitz, glamour and entertainment. Shree Ashtavinayak Cinevision's ‘Rockstar’ shined at the glittering award show as it won three prestigious awards, including The Best Actor, Best Playback Singer (Male) and Best Music categories. While Ranbir Kapoor's role in the film won him best actor award, composer A. R. Rahman, who has multiple national and international awards to his credit, was awarded the best music director's trophy for his chartbusting music in ‘Rockstar.’ Singer Mohit Chauhan won the best male singer trophy for the song 'Phir Se Ud Chala' in the musical romantic saga. The evening was indeed an eventful one for team “Rockstar.”


Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

Is Your Business a Winner? Dear Financial Voice Reader: Me and My Moneyball I write to you from India. On the flight from the UK I watched the movie ‘MoneyBall’ in which the Brad Pitt character turns around a baseball team by picking players based on a variety of mathematical factors and by mining for data on all professional baseball players across the US. He looks for exactly the right mix of batters, fielders, runners to make a team which in composite will beat the baseball teams with far more money. Brad knows if they are to beat the best baseball teams, they cannot do so by simply trying to outspend them or mimic what they are doing. His sidekick, a Yale economist, develops a computer programme to score all players. They scout and then hire a team. The uproar by the fans and the other colleagues is outrageous. They complain you cannot pick players based on the characteristics Pitt chooses. You have to use conventional wisdom they say. Yet, the team goes on to equal the record for number of consecutive winning games. This is a true story. Before I knew anything about this story, I had asked the UK’s largest seller of private investor software, if they would create a piece of software for me based on my investing criteria. They could market it licensing my name and call it the ‘Alpesh Patel Special Edition’ of their main software. I knew if I was to beat the biggest fund managers, with their dozens of analysts, I could not do so by simply trying to outspend them. I could not do so by replicating their strategy. I had to look for their perceived strengths and outsmart them, turning those strengths into weaknesses. You see the biggest fund managers are not now, nor have they ever been, very good. They are marketing machines. Statics show they rarely outperform putting your money in a passive index fund. The reason is they have so much money under management, because that’s how they earn money, not based on their performance. With so much money they can only invest in the UK’s largest companies. Moreover, with so much money, they have to spread those funds across so many of these big companies that they end up replicating an index like the FTSE 100. And then they turn that into a virtue, by measuring their performance relative to such an index. So how do I compete with that? How do I compete without the analysts, and doing something other than investing in the biggest and best British companies? So I developed some formulas, based on years of experience and eons of analysis. Not for me evenings out and holidays. Even on rare vacations I would be perfecting the formulae I would eventually use. My magnificent obsession. My nickname among my closest friends became ‘Alpy the Obsessed’. No one stock I picked would be the best, but in composite my team of stocks, would outperform the biggest managers picking their BPs and Shells. I would ignore some of the criteria for picking stocks that conventional wisdom thought important, and add ones which my research showed would be good predictors. After all, I may not be a Yale economist, but I am an Oxford one. I would turn the perceived strengths of the big managers against them, and my perceived weaknesses in my favour. I would not outspend them with an army of analysts, instead I would use computing power. The great leveller. I’ve been investing since the age of 12, so would use my experience in knowing what to look for – I had in my blood, what they were paid to do. I saw as a vocation, what they saw as a job. I live and sleep this stuff, they clock off. I would X-ray and dissect thousands of stocks. I would use my weakness of being small as my strength to slay giants. I would not have billions under management, so I could pick smaller companies, and fewer stocks. My performance would then not simply track an index. I did not have a brigade of assistant managers to meet the companies and the Boards I would invest in, so I would have to make sure I analysed their financials in great depth. The result? In 2004, we launched the Alpesh Patel Special Edition of Sharescope. It has since then year on year beaten the biggest and best fund managers in the UK. It has trounced them in fact. Not every stock has been brilliant. But in aggregate, the portfolio as a whole won. How does the story end? In the film ‘Moneyball’ the Brad Pitt character is offered a multi-million pound contract to play for one of the big teams. He turns it down. He wants to change the game of big money baseball management forever. How does my story end.? You can watch the movie Moneyball in the cinemas. A ticket costs around 10 pounds. You can buy my software from – it costs around 100 pounds a month. You can see on there my annual performance track record. I could have worked for Goldman Sachs. I prefer not to. I do not charge you 2% to manage your money. You have the software and the power in your own hands. Has the game of big money management changed forever? You decide. I’m still waiting for Brad Pitt to play me in the story of my Moneyball. I have started wring the book though. Coincidentally, Moneyball was written by a trader turned financial writer. So maybe Shah Rukh Kahn is available for casting next year – although I suspect I should set my sites more realistically on Govinda. Just need to find a role for Katrina Kaif in the story. Founder,

The countdown to the Olympics has begun, with some businesses unprepared for the Games. Some of the legal issues facing businesses relate to staffing, contingency planning and use of property (though some of these issues are equally relevant to enterprises not directly affected by the Olympics) and the time to take action is now. The Olympics are a national event and people will want to watch the Games and may want time off to do so. Also, work journeys may be delayed, particularly in London if there are problems caused by larger commuter numbers. If businesses want to take advantage of any consumer spending spin off from the Games proper staffing will be especially important. As such, businesses may want to consider alternative working patterns (flexible & home working) and updating discretionary holiday policies to change the notice period (for instance). ACAS the body which deals with workplace conflicts suggests updating any holiday request policy to

something simple like “first come, first served” when deciding who will be given time off. Someone working five days a week is allowed a minimum 28 days holiday (including bank and public holidays) a year. Unless a contract provides otherwise there is no entitlement to further paid leave. This year will see an additional bank holiday on 5 June in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Again, there is no statutory right to paid leave on bank or other public holidays – though it may be customary to get time off or, be expected by contract. For about 16 days when the Olympics are on, travel through certain parts of London will be more difficult which may make delivering goods harder. Regardless of the Olympics, if you are contract bound to deliver goods, unless there is an Act of God, where you fail to deliver the goods you will be liable for this. Only an unforeseen situation such as a riot or an earthquake will in most cases be covered by a force majeure clause (an “Act of God” clause) which gives some protec-

tion. Making reasonable plans, such as finding an alternative route or suppliers, will prevent a dim view being taken by the courts where customers are left out of pocket. Finally, if as a business person you are thinking of renting premises to be closer to the action, then ask yourself what you want from the shop or property and only take on obligations you need to. If you want to just trade for a short time to take advantage of greater visitor numbers in Olympic areas, then a more informal licence could be appropriate. However if what is more important is having a property which allows you to use it exclusively without landlord interference then a short term lease may be better. By giving proper consideration to the issues which your business could face, you will be better placed to take

Bhavini Kalaria

advantage of opportunities - whether for boosting staff morale or making money - the Olympics bring. If you have any questions you can contact me on or 020 8445 6753 and I will do my best to respond and deal with your queries. You can contact me

Vodafone wins `110 billion tax case in India In a major victory to Vodafone International Holdings, India’s Supreme Court set aside the Bombay high court judgment asking the company to pay income tax of Rs 110 billion, holding that tax authorities do not have jurisdiction on an overseas transaction. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia held that the IT department has "no jurisdiction" to levy tax on overseas transaction between companies incorporated outside India. Justice K S Radhakrishnan, who wrote a separate judgment, con-

curred with the findings of the Chief Justice and Justice Swatanter Kumar saying the companies (Vodafone and Hutchison) are incorporated outside and their transaction outside India

has "no underlying nexus" with tax authority in India. "Vodafone has no obligation under section 163 clause 1 (c) of Income Tax Act," Justice KS Radhakrishnan said.

The court asked the IT department to return Rs 25 billion deposited by Vodafone, in compliance of its interim order, within two months along with 4 per cent interest from the date of withdrawal of the money by the tax department. It also asked Supreme Court registry to return within four weeks, the bank guarantee of Rs 85 billion given by the telecom major. Through the USD 11.2 billion deal in May 2007, Vodafone acquired 67 per cent stake in the Hutchison-Essar Ltd (HEL) from Hong Kong-based Hutchison Group through companies

based in Netherlands and Cayman Island. Reacting to the judgment, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, one of the senior advocates who appeared in the case, said "we are happy with the Supreme Court order. It has minutely gone through the case and come to a conclusion. Irrespective of the result it is a tremendous victory for Indian judicial System" Earlier, Vodafone had moved the apex court challenging the Bombay High Court judgment of September 8, 2010 which had held that Indian IT department had jurisdiction over the deal.

RBI cuts CRR by 50 bps, shifts focus to growth

The Reserve Bank of India cut cash reserve requirements for banks by 50 basis points on Tuesday to ease tight liquidity, signaling a policy shift towards reviving growth after nearly two years of fighting inflation. With core inflation still stubbornly high, the RBI as expected left its policy repo rate unchanged at 8.50 per cent for the second consecutive review. The central bank had raised rates 13 times between March 2010 and October 2011, which made it one of the most hawkish central banks anywhere. "The growth-inflation balance of the monetary policy stance has now

shifted to growth, while at the same time ensuring that inflationary pressures remain contained," RBI Governor Duvvuri Subbarao said in his policy statement. Bond and swap markets initially applauded the cut in the cash reserve ratio (CRR) before disappointment that there was not definitive guidance on a policy rate cut pushed bond yields and swap rates higher. The BSE Sensex, however, was sharply higher, rising as much as 1.66 per cent on the day, powered by bank shares. "RBI has clearly said growth concerns have come center-stage despite lingering inflationary pressures,"

said Sumedh Deorukhkar, senior economist at BBVA in Mumbai, who expects a 25 basis point cut in the repo rate at the RBI's next review on March 15 and a combined 150 bps in cuts by the end of 2012. Expectations had grown in recent days that the RBI would cut the cash reserve ratio, the share of deposits banks must hold with the central bank. The cut on Tuesday lowered CRR to 5.50 per cent and releases 320 billion rupees of liquidity into the banking system. Inflation worry persists: The RBI kept to its hawkish stance long after most central banks shifted their focus to growth, as

inflation in India remained high due to elevated food prices, infrastructure bottlenecks, and an expansionary fiscal policy that pushed up rural spending power and strained government finances. Annual headline inflation, measured by the wholesale price index, slowed to a two-year low of 7.47 per cent in December, thanks to a sharp decline in food inflation. However, manufactured product inflation edged up from the previous month, and the RBI said in a report on Monday that the two drivers of rate policy will be core inflation and the impact of exchange rate changes on inflation.


Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012


Stamp Duty Changes Suresh Vagjiani Managing Director Sow & Reap A Property Investment & Financing company.

For me property is like peeling an onion, in that there is something always new to learn and only after peeling off one layer you get to know whatʼs underneath another. It is also true dealing in property sometimes makes you cry in frustration too! A few years ago I was negotiating the purchase of a block of six flats in for £1.1m. The stamp duty on this would at that time have been 4% thus amounting to £44,000. In effect we were purchasing six flats which happened to be held under two freehold titles. If we had bought them individually the duty would be £11,000. So there was a big difference between the two. In this scenario the sellerʼs solicitors were happy to sell us six leases and two freeholds. So from purchasing two titles we were now buying eight titles. Using this method our buyer ended up pay only 1% in stamp duty as these were all below the £250,000 threshold. Both the lawyers were happy with this. We have recently done one were we purchased one freehold title with three self contained flats. This was purchased at £726,000 at auction, hence I expected to pay 4% on this amount as it was one freehold title.

I was pleasant ly surprised when the sol ic it or, aft er the t ransact io n was complete d, said we were on ly liable to pay 1% which is th e min imum you must pay, which amoun ts to a saving o f £21,780. The reason for this is that apparently the guidelines have recently been changed and now a freehold block comprising of individual dwellings is only liable for the rate which would be applied to the average value of the dwelling. For example if the freehold of a new block of 20 flats is purchased for £2.5 million, the transaction is classed as a relevant transaction for the purposes of the relief as it involves the acquisition of more than one dwelling – i.e. the 20 flats. The freehold is treated as if it were interests in the individual dwellings. The chargeable consideration divided by the number of dwellings is £125,000. This is below the normal 0 per cent SDLT threshold but the minimum rate of tax under the relief is 1% The tax due is therefore 1% of £2.5 million = £25,000. There is a lot of information on the HMRC site regarding stamp duty. In fact a client of ours was very surprised when he phoned the HMRC stamp duty department and they guided him on how to get around paying stamp duty on two flats he had just converted in a freehold house. And this is all the while whilst his solicitor was telling him he had to pay and there is no way out. One would expect their solicitor to look after the clientʼs interest. Generally their aim is

to protect themselves from any compliance issues. I am doubtful if one of these cheap conveyancing firms would have picked this saving out, as you need a competent lawyer who keeps up to date with current legislation, and many of these firms have issues even regarding basic administration. We have had a completion this Friday after a four month delay primarily on the side of the buyers solicitorʼs which was one of these ʻfastʼ mass conveyancing firms. Ordinarily solicitors who don’t inspect files too closely may have let this one slip, losing a savings of over £20,000, a year’s wages for many. With property transactions there are fast conveyancing firms on the market but you get what you pay for, at the rate these companies charge you cannot afford a qualified professional to look at your case. Our focus this year is to source blocks for groups of investors. This year you will see good opportunities coming up on the market, more so at the higher end. To capitalise on this opportunity you need to have the ground in place so you’re poised to strike when the opportunity presents itself. Call us to see how we can help.

The Real Deal Real life scenarios from the street A Lesson In Emotions As part of our focus this year we are aiming to offer slightly larger deals, at around the £1m mark, to our investors. With the idea being that the investors club together and buy in a group in order to have access to these kinds of deals. Prior to Christmas we saw a rarely available freehold block in Victoria, the property was about two mins walk from Victoria station, and backing onto Eccleston Sq. It comprised of 1765 sq ft and by doing a rear extension and a loft conversion you would have added another 450 sq ft giving you about 2200 sq ft. As these properties hardly come on the market the end price is thought to be well above £2m. £1000 per sq ft was a good guide line. The works would have cost no more than £250k. We were offered this property at £1.25m. And the interesting point is it was being sold by an investor who was

‘flipping‘ the property. This means he had picked it up for even less and was selling it on for a quick profit rather than doing all the work. To be frank I had a psychological issue with taking somebody else’s leftovers. It’s a case of someone having got there first which is off-putting, after all everything said and done we are all still driven by emotions rather than logic and this was my hang up. This was clearly a good buy. If we apply a 50% loan this means we put down £750,000, the return will be £500,000 over a one year period. The contract was already out on this property, but being an investor selling time was an important consideration so whilst the other party were still doing the paperwork we were offered this block if we were prepared to do an attended exchange. This would mean we attend the solicitor’s office and exchange there and

then giving very little time to the other buyer to exchange. The seller was loath to send a contract out because this would have upset the current buyer perhaps unnecessarily. Christmas came and went, and I made a decision to propose this to a group of buyers who were ready to purchase. They

We provide a turnkey solution. Contact us now: Specialists in: l Property Sourcing l Mortgages l Commercial Finance l India Properties

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agreed to go for the block on the basis of our reports. This was on the Friday evening, however by Monday the property had gone! But this is the nature of the beast, a small percentage will always get away. The important thing to ensure is that you have the right structure and funding in place. Properties from time to time will escape your grasp. But our group of investors are now well poised to strike on the next one. One of main reasons for the delay in making the decision on this one was that I was so hung up on the fact that the current owner was flipping this one on at a profit at our expense. In hind sight it should not be have even been a consideration, when looking at the deal as long as the numbers stacked up we should have gone for this. Funnily enough the current buyer also wants to resell on with a quick profit. This shows the liquidity and demand for properties in this location.

Tips of the Week l Property is by nature passive investment, this means it rises in value whilst you sleep or play! l You are not the main investor when you buy a BTL property, you only need 25% the bank gives the rest


financial VoICE

Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

Taiwanese steel major to set up plant in Gujarat

Maria Fernandes

Watering down of human rights The Home Secretary has always been very clear about human rights law. In her view it is used to pursue useless cases (the law is an ass) and accordingly she clearly signalled the need to take an axe to what she considers are loopholes in the system. As practitioners there is always a tendency to await grand announcements of Bills (the precursor to laws being made) and then to consider the clauses and prepare for battle. This time however changes are being made quickly and without any consultation. There is currently a rule that requires the Secretary of State to consider a number of factors before making a decision to remove a person from the UK. It is if you like the final opportunity for all the factors surrounding the case to be considered. The current law provides that the following issues( which is a non exhaustive list) have to be considered: (i) age; (ii) length of residence in the United Kingdom; (iii) strength of connections with the United Kingdom; (iv) personal history, including character, conduct and employment record; (v) domestic circumstances; (vi) previous criminal record and the nature of any offence of which the person has been convicted; (vii) compassionate circumstances;

(viii) any representations received on the person's behalf. In the case of family members, the factors listed in paragraphs 365-368 must also be taken into account. These are: (i) he has qualified for settlement in his own right; or (ii) he has been living apart from the deportee. In cases involving children the following are considered.:: (i) he and his mother or father are living apart from the deportee; or (ii) he has left home and established himself on an independent basis; or (iii) he married or formed a civil partnership before deportation came into prospect. In considering whether to require a spouse or child to leave with the deportee the Secretary of State will take account of all relevant factors, including, as well as the following: (i) the ability of the spouse or civil partner to maintain himself and any children in the United Kingdom, or to be maintained by relatives or friends without charge to public funds, not merely for a short period but for the foreseeable future; and (ii) in the case of a child of school age, the effect of removal on his education; and (iii) the practicality of any plans for a child's care and maintenance in this country if one or both of his parents were deport-

ed; and (iv) any representations made on behalf of the spouse or child. All the above factors would cover the human rights of a person and any compassionate or unique circumstances of the individual. The UKBA have stated that they will consider these factors anyway but that they do not want the Secretary of State to have the responsibility of considering this and that in the majority of cases these factors are irrelevant particularly as many applicants leave voluntarily. They are obviously stung by the fact that the judges in the Court of Appeal have time and time again stated that where decisions to refuse are made decisions to remove should also be made at the same time and this will require considering the factors above. The danger of removing the safeguards which consider human rights issues is that the applicant will have no safeguards from removal. Para 395C came in for that very reason. Removing it is a major step towards watering down human rights. Maria Fernandes has been in practice exclusively in immigration for the past 25 years. Fernandes Vaz is based at 87 Wembley Hill Road Wembley in Wembley and can be contacted by telephone on 02087330123, by email on

Indian economy to grow 7.7 per cent in 2012: UN report

India's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by 7.7 per cent in 2012 and 7.9 per cent in the following year as compared to the estimated 7.6 per cent in 2011, the United Nation's department of economic affairs said. "The prospects for world economy are not good. The US and European economic growth will slow further," said Nagesh Kumar, chief economist of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Kumar said strong domestic demands and high savings rates would help India maintain its current level of growth momentum despite the adverse impact from the slowdown in the US and European economy. According to the UN's annual economic report titled "World Economic

Situation and Prospects 2012", the world economic growth will fall to 2.6 per cent in 2012 as compared to the estimated 2.8 per cent in 2011 and 4 per cent in 2010, mainly because of the slowdown in the US and European economies. "India will be able to weather the crisis with a little scars," Kumar said after releasing the report. The US' economic growth is projected to fall to 1.5 per cent in 2012 as compared to the estimated 1.7 per cent in 2011 and 3 per cent in the previous year. Growth in the European Union will fall to 0.7 per cent this year as compared to the estimated 1.6 per cent in 2011, the UN report said. Kumar said Asia, especially India and China, would be the main driver of the economic growth in the coming years.

"It used to be said that when US and Europe sneeze the world gets a cold. But now the situation has changed. Today, US and European economies have cold but India and other developing economies are doing well," he said. South Asia's economies are expected to grow by 6.7 per cent this year and 6.9 per cent next year largely driven by the growth in the Indian economy. However, there is a significant downward risk. "In a pessimistic scenario, GDP growth in south Asia will dwindle by about two percentage points," the report said. South Asian economies are particularly vulnerable to volatility in commodity prices. "Double-dip recession in Europe and US would have a significant impact on economies' it added.

In Taiwan’s first major investment decision in Gujarat, the China Steel Corporation (CSC) signed an agreement with the Gujarat government to set up a Rs 10 billion electrical steel plant on a 60 hectares land identified in Dahej-2 Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) estate. The agreement was signed in chief minister Narendra Modi’s chamber in Sachivalaya. Introducing senior executives of the top Taiwanese company, Taiwan’s ambassador to India TR Jeng said, “Starting from today, a new phase of relations between Taiwan and Gujarat have begun. Till now, Taiwanese firms invested in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Delhi. But considering Gujarat’s excellent investment climate, the China Steel Corporation decided

to set up its plant here.” He added, “Currently, the total Taiwanese investment in India is to the tune of $1 billion. We expect total investment coming alone in Gujarat would be to the tune of $1.2 billion. Just for comparison, total Taiwanese involvement in ASEAN is to the tune of $75 billion, while in mainland China it is $200 billion.” The electrical steel project, which is scheduled to start in June 2012, expects to fulfil the current demand-supply gap in the production of electrical sheets, which are used in the production of motors, generators, transformers, compressors and voltage regulators. CSC chairman JD Lin said, the company’s products, which will be available in the Indian market in 2014, will cater to the local

Entrepreneur Ajay Piramal has a spiritual side too Ajay Piramal, the chairman of Piramal group, is one of India's top 50 richest people by Forbes magazine. He is a prosperous entrepreneur no doubt with an estimated wealth of $1.22 billion, but he has a spiritual and artistic side to his personality as well. He has spoken about how he has been inspired by Hindu spirituality through the Bhagavad Gita. He even co-wrote a book entitled 'Light has come to me' about how these teachings have influenced his business and management style. Mr Piramal has transformed his Mumbai office into a tranquil environment, full of persian rugs and Hindu artworks. Rather than harsh, office lights, he opts for a softer illumination, creating a serene atmosphere which he says 'reflects [his] interest in Hindu spirituality'. When he's not busy managing the prosperous Piramal Group, he enjoys a spot of wildlife photography. Recalling his career, he first took over the family business in 1983, when it's main focus was on the production of cotton. As worker strikes and global competition made it a struggle to survive and thrive in the textiles industry, he made the decision to change direction, and led the company into other fields including healthcare and phramaceuticals, specialist bottle manufacture and property investment. He graduated from Bombay University, and has completed further study in at both the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies and Harvard Business School. He has numerous entre-

preneurship awards under his belt, including India Innovator of the Year (2008) from CNBC TV 18 and Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year (2004) in the Healthcare & Life Sciences category. His business focus is currently on the drug research and the discovery element of Piramal Healthcare. This segment of the company, which employs over 400 people, is in the process of developing approximately 40 new treatments for diseases such as cancer and diabetes. After previously selling off their generic drug business for a very respectable $3.7 billion and pushing their available spending money towards the $5 billion mark; Piramal is looking to expand further and invest in new drug discovery companies. Piramal says he would like to turn the company into a Westernstyle drug giant, a first to come out of India with the focus on innovative new medical discoveries rather than production of existing, generic drugs. He says he would like to launch a new drug by 2013. Piramal Healthcare is the main asset of Primal Group and is responsible for 60% of their $1 billion annual turnover. The company also includes Piramal Glass which is responsible for production of specialist bottles for perfumes and medicines, as well as a Piramal finance sector.

Indian market. Currently, India imports 3.2 lakh metric tonnes of electrical sheets, while the company proposes to produce 2 lakh metric tonnes of electrical sheets per annum,” he said, adding, “We propose to export at the most 5% of our products, mainly to the Middle-East. In order to manufacture the products, we will import semiprocessed iron from the port facilities at Dahej.” Among the major areas which the Taiwanese ambassador identified, apart from electrical steel, for investment in Gujarat include petrochemicals and tyres manufacturing sectors. However, answering a question, he said, “A couple of delegations of Gujarat government officials have been to China for investment in IT sector. But I am not aware of any progress here.”

Govt set to allow 49% FDI in Indian airlines In a major relief to financially distressed Indian airlines, the government said foreign airlines would soon be allowed to acquire up to 49% stake in them. After being debated for years, aviation minister Ajit Singh announced the move following a 75minute meeting with finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in the backdrop of at least two big airlines struggling to avoid a shutdown due to financial troubles. “The question was to allow foreign airlines to participate in FDI… the finance minister has agreed. We will bring out a note for the cabinet now. Already, 49% FDI is there. The question was to allow (foreign) airlines to participate in FDI. The committee of secretaries has also recommended that FDI limit should be raised to 49%,” Singh said. The aviation ministry was initially in favour of a 24% cap which was later relaxed to 26% to attract foreign airlines as this would give them some say in running of the airline. However, the sheer scale of financial stress forced the government to raise the cap to 49%. The same reason also led to sidelining old security fears that such a move would only bring money from airlines in the Gulf and China which had till now held up clearing of this move. Even airline promoters such as Vijay Mallya, chairman of Kingfisher Airlines, have supported 49% FDI for foreign carriers. Besides, Sebi has also expressed its reluctance to relax the takeover code guidelines to permit foreign carriers to acquire shares from the public through an open offer for an additional 26%.


Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012


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

2012 More doom than Gloom The crisis in the Eurozone is still far from over. Regardless of the raft of downgrades of 15 European countries the Euro surprisingly kept its midterm strength. In 2010 such downgrades would have experienced large volatility however this time round the markets had priced in the move as it was on the agenda for quite some time. The move saw EUR/USD trade at a low of €1.2648 but has since recovered back to near €1.30 writing off any looses sparked by the downgrade. Support for the Euro came as French and Spanish bond auctions received a warm welcome with strong demand mitigating high yields. The cost of borrowing for the second and fourth largest nations in the Eurozone eased as the ECB flooded the markets with €489Bn of long term lending. Whether banks use the extra funds to purchase bonds or to shore up their balance sheets is yet to be seen. It is clear that the level of funds required in order to improve market confidence is far more than the €1Trillion the EFSF is looking to offer.

With UK vetoing the proposal for extra funding as part of the EU treaty, Germany and France do not have many other avenues left. With this in mind the IMF has come forward requesting as much as €600Bn form the world leaders to help shore up

economies in need of funding. USA was the first to shoot down the request and the UK are still holding off for further details for the use of the funds. The decline came as the move by the IMF is widely seen as a backdoor bailout mechanism for the EU. Nevertheless the European

crisis is having an effect on global growth as the imports and exports are suppressed. Further horror for UK prevailed as the European crisis threatens to derail the UK economy. The real shock for the government came as unemployment peaked to a 17

year high leave 2.68m persons out of work. Growth for the last quarter of 2011 is expected to be in negative figures and if materialised the Great British Pound could once again come under severe pressure. However this may not be a bad thing as the BoE is still keen on a weak pound, which

is expected to improve an export led recovery. Contrary to what is happening in Europe, the US is heading forward with strong industrial production and a large drop in jobless claims. The Housing markets have also shown some level of recovery. USD has been thrown between fundamental and safe haven status since the start of 2012 however at present the strength is on the back of a collection of good figures and worries looking ahead. Looking ahead seems to show a tainted picture for the world economy. Even though Asia has been progressing the negative sentiment in the West is dominating the markets. Stock markets continue to see short rallies which are eventually pared due to negativity. Greece needs to get their house in order immediately and convince private bond holders to accept a bailout to prevent a disastrous bailout which could have massive implications for the Eurozone which has the potential to cause a double dip worldwide.

Weekly Currencies As of Tuesday 24th January 2012 @ 3pm GBP - INR = 77.90 USD - INR = 50.02 EUR - INR = 64.89 GBP - USD = 1.56 GBP - EUR = 1.20 EUR - USD = 1.30 GBP - AED = 5.72 GBP - CAD = 1.58 GBP - NZD = 1.93 GBP - AUD = 1.49 GBP - ZAR = 12.45 GBP - HUF = 361.32 Information provided by RationalFX. None of the information on this page constitutes, nor should be construed as financial advice. The exchange rates used are the commercial foreign exchange rates provided by RationalFX. For a live quote or to find out more about how RationalFX can help you, call us on 0207 220 8181.


PakIStan-BanglaDeSh-SrI lanka

Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

Anti-graft panel may spell more trouble for Gilani Islamabad: In yet another embarrassment for the beleaguered Pakistan government, the supreme court suspended the licence of a lawyer close to president Asif Ali Zardari, as PM Yousaf Raza Gilani faced the possibility of a case being filed against him for alleged misuse of authority. The apex court temporarily suspended the lawyer's licence of Babar Awan, a former law minister and the president's close aide, who is acting as the government's lawyer in several high-profile cases for failing to respond to a contempt notice. An 11-judge bench headed by the chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry suspended Awan's licence. Pakistan's main anti-corruption watchdog is consid-

ering a proposal for filing a case of misuse of authority against PM Gilani under which he could face a prison term of 14 years if convicted. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is contemplating filing a case against Gilani in connection with the appointment of Adnan Khwaja as chairman of the state-run Oil

and Gas Development Company even though Khwaja had already been convicted by court. Gilani and Khwaja were detained in jail together during the previous regime of president Musharraf. NAB chairman Fasih Bokhari told the News daily that action will be taken in cases of alleged illegal appointments made on the orders of the premier under the law and rules. Former establishment secretary Ismail Qureshi, recently arrested on graft charges and released on bail, has reportedly told NAB investigators that Gilani and his principal secretary Nargis Sethi were responsible for Khwaja's appointment. NAB sources said Gilani had vio-

lated a section of the NAB law that carries a jail term of up to 14 years. Gilani gets 2-week breather: Earlier Gilani won a two week reprieve for himself in the contempt of court for failing failing to pursue corruption charges against president Asif Ali Zardari. Gilani told the court he never intended to "ridicule" the judges while reiterating his government's stand that Zardari "has complete immunity inside and outside the country''. "It will not give a good message to proceed against a President elected by two-thirds majority. A president could not be handed over to foreign courts,'' Gilani told the court, referring to approaching Swiss authorities.

Coup bid against Sheikh Memo scandal witness Ijaz Hasina foiled fears arrest, not going to Pak Dhaka: In what sent shockwaves in both Bangladesh and the Indian security establishment, the army in India’s important neighbouring state claimed to have foiled an attempt by some of its officers, apparently driven by religious considerations, to overthrow Sheikh Hasina’s government.

Government sources here confirmed that those held for the attempted coup were “antiIndia’’ and wanted to undo the changes effected by the Hasina government last year in the Constitution to make it more secular. Indian agencies have had inputs about a possible coup in Bangladesh for the past few days. While two retired officers, identified as Lt Col Ehsan Yusuf and Major Zakir, have been arrested, some of the main conspirators are believed to be based abroad, said agency reports from Bangladesh. They are said to have links with the 2009

mutiny, only two months after Hasina took over, by Bangladesh Rifles which first exposed the stray extremist elements in the army. Brig Gen Muhammed Masud Razzaq told a press conference in Dhaka that the military had specific evidence that up to 16 current and former Bangladeshi officers were involved in the conspiracy. The foiled coup bid is worrying for India as it has again brought to light simmering discontent among the Islamists against the friendly Hasina government. India not only managed to sign a landmark agreement for complete demarcation of the land boundary last year but, under Hasina, Dhaka has also tried to ensure that its territory is not used to carry out terror strikes against New Delhi. “Stringent legal measures will be taken against persons involved in the conspiracy after proper investigations,” Razzak said. “Banking on the army in the past, different evil forces availed political gains and made abortive attempts to do so but as an institution, military still has to bear the stigma,” he added. Razzak said “some unruly and derailed military officers have been actively engaged in the execution of the heinous conspiracy through maintaining contacts with fugitive Maj Zia (Syed Mohammad Ziaul Huq) by mobile phones and internet”.

Washington: Fearing arrest, Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, the central figure in the memo scandal, on Monday said he would not visit Islamabad to depose before a judicial panel probing the matter and wants his testimony to be recorded either in London or Zurich. Mr. Ijaz, who triggered a confrontation between Pakistan’s civilian government and the powerful military by making public a secret memo that sought the U.S. help to stave off a feared coup in Pakistan last year, said in a statement that he was willing to depose before the Supreme Court-appointed commission in London or Zurich. In a statement released through his lawyer Akram Sheikh, Mr. Ijaz said he had been given “no assurance” by any person on behalf of Pakistan government to ward off his apprehensions regarding his security. “It seems like a wellorchestrated trap to hold Mansoor Ijaz indefinitely in Pakistan after his deposition before the commission. Therefore, Mansoor Ijaz has decided to make a request to the commission to record his statement in strict compliance with the order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan ... in London or Zurich,” Mr. Sheikh told the media. Mr. Ijaz had earlier failed to make a scheduled appearance before the three-judge

commission on January 16, 2012. The commission then asked him to appear before it on January 24, 2012. Mr. Ijaz and his lawyer have repeatedly demanded that the Pakistan Army be deployed to protect the businessman whenever he arrived in Pakistan.

return to Pakistan. The Senate on Monday passed a resolution seeking Musharraf's arrest on his return. Interior minister Rehman Malik has also said that the former military strongman would be arrested the day he arrives in the country. Musharraf's spokesperson on Jan 19 said that he has postponed his arrival in view of the "emerging political developments". The spokesperson for Musharraf's All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) said that the retired general has postponed his return on the advice of several senior party

leaders. Musharraf had been living in exile in Britain and the UAE since he resigned from his post in August 2008, fearing an impeachment by parliament. He had earlier announced that he would return to

Multan: A German aid worker and his Italian colleague have been kidnapped at gunpoint in Pakistan's central shrine city of Multan. These gunmen barged into a house and abducted an Italian and a German national at gunpoint, Multan city police officer said.

Pak court adjourns 26/11 trial

Islamabad: A Pakistani anti-terrorism court conducting the trail of seven men charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks adjourned proceedings till January 28 after the main accused, Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, sought time to appoint a new lawyer. Lakhvi made the request as his lawyer Khwaja Sultan Ahmed died recently. The seven accused filed an application asking the court to adjourn proceedings for a few weeks as they were in a "state of shock" at the death of Ahmed. Judge Shahid Rafique adjourned the case till January 28 and directed Lakhvi to appoint a new counsel before that date.

Spurious drugs claim 67 lives in Pak

Lahore: Spurious drugs provided to cardiac patients by a state-run hospital in Pakistan's Punjab have claimed 67 lives - more than double the figure initially given by provincial authorities. Punjab health secretary Jehanzeb Khan confirmed the total number of deaths while responding to a journalist's query. Earlier, the Punjab government had confirmed the deaths of only 28 cardiac patients registered with Lahore's Punjab Institute of Cardiology.

Lanka expels 161 foreign Muslim clerics

Colombo: Sri Lanka has ordered a group of 161 foreign Islamic clerics, including Indians, to leave the country for flouting visa regulations. Sri Lanka's immigration head Chulananda Perera said that the clerics had no right to preach in mosques as they had arrived on tourist visas. "They have violated immigration laws. A tourist visa is to have a holiday or visit friends and family, and not to preach Islam," Perera was quoted as saying. The official also said that some local Muslims had complained that the visitors were not teaching a moderate form of Islam.

6 NATO troops die in Afghan copter crash

The statement from Mr. Ijaz ended speculation about his appearance before the judicial commission on Tuesday. Doubts persisted as to whether Mr. Ijaz would travel to Pakistan despite his numerous assertions that he intended to testify before the commission. Ijaz decided to ask the commission to record his statement outside Pakistan after reviewing security arrangements for his planned visit this morning, Mr. Sheikh said.

Don't come back, ISI chief told Musharraf in Dubai

Islamabad: Pakistan spy chief Lt. Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha had a secret meeting with former president Pervez Musharraf in Dubai and told him not to come to the country, a media report said on Tuesday. "General Pasha...held a meeting with him (Musharraf) in Dubai and advised him not to return to the country as the situation is not conducive for his return," a source told Dawn. Sources said that after the meeting with the chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Musharraf called a meeting of his party to have a re-look at his decision to

German, Italian aid workers kidnapped in Pakistan

Pakistan between Jan 27 and 30 to lead his party in the next general elections to be held in 2013. Musharraf seized power in 1999 after he dismissed the elected government of Nawaz Sharif hours after he was sacked as the army chief. An anti-terrorism court has issued arrest warrants in connection with the 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. In October last year, a court issued a warrant for his arrest over the killing of Baloch leader Akbar Bugti in a military operation in August 2006. Musharraf has denied all charges.

Kandahar (Afghanistan): A NATO helicopter has crashed in southern Afghanistan, killing six members of the international military force, the US-led coalition said on Friday. The cause is still being investigated, but a coalition statement said there was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash, which brought the number of international forces killed in Afghanistan this month to 24. The coalition did not disclose the nationalities of those killed and would not release details of the crash until the families of the dead were notified.

21 injured in Lanka prison riot

Colombo: A clash between guards and inmates at a Sri Lankan prison on Tuesday has injured at least 21 people, officials said. They said the inmates began rioting to demand the replacement of the prison chief. Soldiers were deployed to control the inmates, who started a fire inside the prison in Colombo. Some prisoners were seen on the roof shouting slogans and holding a banner demanding the removal of the official. Some threw stones at vehicles on a nearby road. A hospital official said one guard and 20 prisoners were hospitalized.

Pakistan cancels US special envoy Marc Grossman's visit

Washington: US special envoy Marc Grossman's visit to Pakistan for consultation on exploratory talks with Taliban has been put off as Islamabad rejected the move, a State Department official said. The US had made a request for a visit of Grossman, Obama's special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, as part of his itinerary to hold consultations with the US allies in the Middle East on a new move to involve the Taliban in Afghan reconciliation process.


Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

Lohana community leader Bhanubhai Vrajlalbhai Gadhia passes away

Well known social worker and vice president of Lohana community of East London Bhanubhai Vrajlalbhai Gadhia has passed away on Monday. He was 80 and his funeral took place in Rajkot, India. His contribution to the welfare of Lohanas will always be remembered. He never flinched in serving the community. He has been serving as vice president of LCEL since last two years and has worked hard to serve the community. You can send your condolences to Binduben Yomeshbhai Gadhia. Tel: 020 8599 9603

Russia hands over Nerpa nuclear submarine to India

Moscow: Russia's K-152 Nerpa nuclearpowered attack submarine has been handed over to the Indian Navy, a RIA Novoste. In line with the contract worth over $900 million, the Project 971 Shchuka-B (NATO: Akula II) class sub has been leased to India's Navy for ten years. It will be renamed the INS Chakra. Russian submariners trained their Indian colleagues to steer the Nerpa in the Pacific Ocean. Its maximum speed is 30 knots, maximum operating depth, 600 m; its endurance is 100 days with a crew of 73. India has become the sixth operator of nuclear submarines in the world, after the US, Russia, France, Britain and China, though it previously leased another Russian submarine which was then returned.

Yemen's Saleh takes off from Sanaa for Oman

Sanaa: Yemen's outgoing president Ali Abdullah Saleh left for Oman on his way to the United States for medical treatment. An airport official said the plane took off from Sanaa airport to neighbouring Oman, and an aide to Saleh said he would stay there for several days before heading to the United States.

White House locked down after smoke bomb attack

Washington: The White House was locked down for more than an hour after a "smoke bomb" landed inside the compound of the United States president's residence, breaching the high security cordon around the building. The incident took place when an estimated 1,000 people of the Occupy Wall Street movement were protesting outside the White House. Panic struck the Secret Service - the federal agency responsible for security of the US president - when they saw a smoke bomb landed inside the high secure ground of the White House. The White House was temporarily locked down and streets around the area were cordoned off. The protesters were peacefully dispersed and the White House was all clear. President Obama, and First Lady Michelle were not at home when the incident occurred.

Egypt army hands over power to parliament

Cairo: Egypt's ruling military, which took power when president Hosni Mubarak was ousted last February, on Monday handed legislative powers to the new lower house of parliament, the cabinet said. "Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, has announced in a letter to the people's assembly the transfer of legislative power to the assembly," the cabinet said on its Facebook page.

JFK hearse sold for $ 160,000

Washington: A Cadillac hearse that carried the body of US President John F. Kennedy to Air Force One aircraft following his assassination in Dallas has been sold for a whopping $ 160,000. The car was sold at BarrettJackson auction company's annual Scottsdale collector car auction held in Scottsdale, Arizona. A Cadillac hearse like this would ordinarily be worth about USD 40,000 if not for its connection to the Kennedy assassination, CNNMoney quoted Jonathan Klinger of the collector car insurance company Hagerty Insurance as saying.


After protest, US Congress puts off piracy bill Washington: Caving to a massive campaign by Internet services and their millions of users, Congress indefinitely postponed legislation to stop online piracy of movies and music costing US companies billions of dollars every year, giving in to a massive campaign by Internet services and their users. Critics said the bills would result in censorship and stifle Internet innovation. The demise, at least for the time being, of the antipiracy bills was a clear victory for Silicon Valley over Hollywood, which has campaigned for a tougher response to online piracy.

The legislation also would cover the counterfeiting of drugs and car parts. Congress' qualms underscored how Internet users can use their collective might to block those who want to change the system. The battle over the future of the Internet also played out on a different front when a loose affiliation of hackers known as "Anonymous" shut down Justice Department websites for several hours and hacked the site of the Motion Picture Association of America after federal officials issued an indictment against, one of the world's biggest filesharing sites.

Senior Kenyan figures facing International Criminal Court trial

Nairobi: Four prominent Kenyans, including deputy prime minister Uhuru Kenyatta, will go to trial at the International Criminal Court over their alleged roles orchestrating the country's post-election violence four years ago, judges ruled. Each faces charges including being indirectly responsible for murder, rape, forcible displacement of civilians and crimes against humanity that prosecutors said were committed during weeks of clashes that killed 1,300 people. The highest profile of the four men are Uhuru Kenyatta, the country's finance minister and deputy prime minister, and William Ruto, the former higher education minister. Both have said that they plan to run for president in Kenya's next elections, due by March next year. Mr Ruto immediately said that he was still in the running despite the International Criminal Court's ruling, delivered in The Hague on Monday. Mr Kenyatta has indicated he will also still stand.

Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and William Samoei Ruto

"This is the problem we face, they will use the stand at The Hague to campaign and gather support," said Josphat Makundi, a pharmacist in Nakuru, a town in Kenya's Rift Valley two hours west of Nairobi which saw some of the worst of the 2007-8 violence. Both Mr Kenyatta – from Kenya's dominant Kikuyu tribe – and Mr Ruto – a Kalenjin – enjoy significant support from rural Kenyans living in each of their political heartlands. There were concerns that the ICC's ruling would provoke demonstrations protesting against the charges. Elite armed police and undercover officers have been deployed to flashpoint towns across the country. But there were no reports of immediate reactions.

The site of the Hong Kong-based company was shut down, and the founder and three employees were arrested in New Zealand on US accusations that they facilitated millions of illegal downloads of films, music and other content, costing copyright holders at least $500 million in lost revenue. New Zealand police raided homes and businesses linked to the founder, Kim Dotcom, on Friday and seized guns, millions of dollars and nearly $5 million in luxury cars, officials there said. In the US, momentum against the Senate's Protect Intellectual Property Act and

the House's Stop Online Piracy Act, known popularly as PIPA and SOPA, grew quickly on when the online encyclopedia Wikipedia and other Web giants staged a one-day blackout and Google organized a petition drive that attracted more than 7 million participants. That day alone, at least six senators who had cosponsored the Senate legislation reversed their positions. The Republican leader of the House Speaker John Boehner, in statements at the time and again on Friday, stressed that more consensus-building was needed before the legislation would be ready for a vote.

Washington: India has strongly "objected" to the remark on the Golden Temple by popular US television host Jay Leno, terming it "quite unfortunate". Leno, the host of the popular "The Tonight Show" on NBC channel, flashed a picture of the Golden Temple, the holiest Sikh shrine, in Amritsar on his programme and termed it as a possible summer home of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The visiting NRI affairs minister Vayalar Ravi "objected" to the remark and said he has directed Indian Ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao to take up the matter with the State Department. "It is quite unfortunate and quite objectionable that such a comment has been made after showing the...Golden temple," Ravi told a group of Indian reporters. "Golden temple is Sikh community's most sacred place. Even our Prime Minister went there for praying in the New Year. I believe that the person who has shown is not that ignorant. The American Government should also look at this kind of thing," the NRI Affairs Minister said.

"I wish this kind of thing is not shown by any media in the US," Ravi said, adding that he has not seen the show personally and has heard about it from the Sikh community. "Freedom does not mean hurt the sentiments of others... This is not acceptable to us and we take a very strong objection for such a display of an important place like Golden temple," Ravi said. "The embassy is fully aware of it and they will take it up," he said. The comment on Leno's January 19 show has resulted in a outrage in the small but strong Sikh community here. They have launched an online petition against Leno and have started a Facebook page to express their anger against him. Jay Leno himself was not immediately available for comment.

Jay Leno's remark on Golden Temple upsets India

The thuggery of squatters and misguided Lib Dem peers

Yogesh Patel

With reference to the Lib Dem peers opposing an amendment to a squatting clause in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offence Bill, it brings one to the question of how far state and politicians should go to award a crime. Social justice cannot be moral if it hinges on endorsing thuggery by the squatters as lawful, or by creating a new law to protect them, or by ignoring the flaws in the existing law. Quite often in political debates blindness due to the grandiose ethics and morals gets carried away by the selfrighteousness giving in to ignoring the criminal act itself. However lofty the political correctness may be, the squatters cannot have the rights. Their right regarding the property they occupy can exist only by the state indulging in making the

unlawful acts lawful at the expense of law abiding people who happen to have an empty property at some stage. Fundamentally, such acts morally remain wrong, arrogant and dictatorial because they terminate the rights of someone or an entity who lawfully owns a property. Moral philosophy will have something to say about the ownership of anything in general. At a very rudimentary level, if someone owns jewellery, and does not use it for a while - however long doesn’t mean it transfer the right of ownership or use to someone else, even in the case of a property. If the state arrogantly steps in to impose restrictions creating a law about giving some rights to the criminals, then it effectively indulges in to decriminalising the crime committed. In the case of despotic state rationale may not exist, but is it right in the democratic

state to snatch away individual’s proven right to ownership of any lawfully owned property? There are alternatives that politicians and law makers could explore. Instead of indulging in removing property owner’s rights, the less damaging acts can concentrate on the empty properties themselves, or addressing its emptiness. One simple example that one can give is that the property owners can be heavily taxed for leaving the property empty after an agreed period. That amount directly can transfer to supporting the homeless. This could release the empty accommodations without creating the morally corrupt laws snatching away individual’s right to ownership, and its use. ‘Maintained state of the property’ and fines are other areas that may be debated. It could also create conditions for the direct con-

tributions to the social justice ideals and funds. This is just one example as to how differing political agendas can come to common ground and protect the lawfulness rather than indulging in to decriminalising the crime committed. Most people accept the concept that living together in the society means balancing everyone’s right, in most cases to the tolerance norms. It certainly doesn’t mean legalising criminal behaviour of some group so that it sounds good as a social justice! In the case of squatters, if the law makers have indulged in legalizing the law breaking at the expense of law abiding property owners, and tried to be the high priests of morality and social justice, to make amendments to decriminalise that law itself must be treated as an opportunity to be grabbed wholeheartedly. The Lib Dems are failing the society by not grasping it.



Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

Gujarati loses life in Nigeria terror attack that killed more than 200

He had moved to Nigeria just 10 months ago to earn bread and butter for his family. But, 23-year-old Keval Kalidas Rajput, a resident of Devgadh Baria in Dahod district in Gujarat, breathed his last in Kano, Nigeria’s second largest city. Rajput died during the ghastly terror attack that rocked the African country and killed over 200 people on Saturday. Rajput was working as a driver with M/s Relchem, a Kanobased company. Tushar Singh, Devgadh Baria MLA, is now making efforts to get his body back to Gujarat. According to an official release of Indian high commission in Nigeria,

Rajput and his two coemployees had entered the zone of hostilities during the attack. ‘He and his two co-employees Hari Prasad Bhusal and Raj Singh (both Nepali nationals) lost their lives when their car apparently entered a zone of hostilities. The parents of late Rajput have been informed,’ read the release put on the Indian high commission’s website. The release has also provided Rajput’s passport number issued on March

30, 2010 by regional passport office of Ahmedabad. However, there is no information on whether Rajput died in gunfire or by bomb blasts. Rajput was taken to a local hospital where he died during treatment. “I got a call from one of Rajput’s friends stating that he has received injuries. But on Sunday morning I learnt that he has passed away. I got confirmation from Suresh K Makhijani, Indian high commission counsellor in Nigeria,” said Tushar Singh. “We are trying to get Rajput’s body back to Gujarat for carrying out his last rites. I have written to Gujarat chief minister’s PA and other authorities for the same,” Singh said.

Commenting on the differences between United Progressive Alliance (UPA) with key partner Trinamool Congress (TMC), Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi has said there was no serious problem and that they could solve whatever differences through discussions. "To stay in power is not our priority. Power is an instrument for us to implement programmes. Power is a medium to implement

one's ideals and thoughts. It is not possible without power. We don't have any such problems with the TMC, which cannot be solved with mere criticism. The problems can be solved through discussions and these will be solved," Alvi said. The alliance of the TMC and the Congress had run into trouble on several issues like the passage of bill for the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the domestic retail mar-

ket and the issue of the Lokpal Bill. Strains were visible during the parliamentary debate on the anti-graft Lokpal Bill recently when TMC did a volte-face and opposed certain provisions in the government-draft of the legislation. Despite several attempts by the government, the TMC has so far refused to budge from its stand on the issue, leaving the Congress party fuming.

Keval Kalidas Rajput

Congress confident of sorting out differences with TMC

Forest Habitat

Never Before Weekend Home Forest Habitat by Dhanushya Group is a new concept in holiday homes. Weekend is a time when one can be away from the hustle-bustle of daily routines and traffic nuisances and a holiday at such a place is rejuvenating. A beautiful weekend home at Forest Habitat is like a heaven and is surrounded by dense plantation. A green existence that has as many as 4,000 trees per plot. In fact ‘Forest Habitat’is a man made forest, spread over 60 acres of verdant landscape, approximately 40 km from Ahmedabad with lot of greenery all over, pure air with zero pollution, fresh atmosphere and open space. It just reminds you of old times which was not crowded or noisy. The plantation attracts birds, which gives us a feeling of living in a forest area. The medical benefits of the trees like Neem, Banyan etc are innumerable. It is also a place where you can communicate with one of the most beautiful creations, nature. Weekend Home- First time ever: There are many weekend home schemes in the market but does anybody understand the meaning of a weekend home. A weekend home according to Rahul Zunza,

managing director of Dhanushya infracon Pvt Ltd, is a home away from the dust, noise and pollution of city living. A home in the middle of nature, where you are surrounded by the bird chirps in the morning, a smog free sunrise and a pollution free atmosphere, wherein every breath you take in is of the purest air. A home, where you can drive down on weekends, with just your clothes. A place where all that you need for a weekend, including milk,vegetables, foodgrains, bread, butter and cheese, ready to

eat food, utensils, beddings, television, DVD player, music system etc are available at your doorstep at a nominal rate and rent. All you have to do is give us a call at our office 24 hours before you leave for the weekend home, give us a list of all your requirements and everything is available at your home. You can have your breakfast, lunch and dinner ordered and can specify the time too. Not only food, you can pretty well order the DVDs of the movies you would like to

watch. The above is a brief description of our idea of a weekend home where you go to relax and rejuvenate leaving all your worries behind in your city home. It also has Club house Exclusive design with extensive amenities, luxury, comfort, recreation. American style town planning with street name, Landscaped Gardens, 24 hours security, Rain water harvesting to maintain water level of area (Percolation well) .It is Situated on Ahmedabad – Rajkot 6 lane National highway, Just 35 km from Sanathal S.P.Ring road with religious places Rajgruhi Tirth, Sawathi Tirth, Ganesh Pura Temple, Arnej Temple around. There is also Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary, Delhi – Mumbai freight corridor to facilitate regional growth. Situated near upcoming Industrial town – Dholera Proposed metro railway station for faster connectivity Proximity to upcoming International cargo airport – Federa ,Neighboring an international standard Premier PGA Golf club. Future economic junction – better employment opportunities. Tele: +91-79-61606600 Fax: +91-79-61606611

In divine light By Rajen Vakil King Janaka asked Ashtavakra, “Which living being sleeps with eyes open? What does not grow after being born? What does not have a heart and what grows very fast?” To this, Ashtavakra replied “A fish sleeps with eyes open, an egg does not grow after birth, a stone has no heart, and a small rivulet grows very fast into a mighty river.” The king was very happy and told both, Ashtavakra and Swetaketu, that even though they were young in age they were old in wisdom. He said no one would be able to defeat them in the debate and allowed them into the Yagna. Ashtavakra went into the yagna hall and facing Bandi said, “O haughty Brahmin, you have defeated many Brahmins in debate and then you have had them tied up and drowned in the river. Today you will meet your match. Just as the fire of judgment can evaporate a river, I will beat you in the debate. You have harmed my family by defeating my father and having him drowned in the river. Know me as a poisonous snake that is going to sting you to death. Come on let us answer each other’s questions.” Bandi said “Only the One Agni appears as fire in many different forms, only One sun lightens the world, it is only the One lord Indra who vanquishes his enemies, and only the One Yama, the lord of death, rules the under-

The Story of Ashtavakra (Part-4) world.” Ashtavakra replied “The Two, Indra and Agni, are friends and roam together; there are Two Deva rishis, Narada and Parvat, there are Two Ashwinikumars, the cart has Two wheels, God has made Two, both, husband and wife to be each other’s friends. Only the Two, intelligence and consciousness, by complementing and supporting each other allow us to experience and enjoy knowledge. Intelligence on its own cannot do anything.” Bandi said “People perform Three kinds of acts – white, black, and grey. When you have learned the Three Vedas, your life becomes the Vajpayee Yagna. The Brahmins light the Agnihotra in Three periods of the day. There are Three lokas – Bhu, Bhuvaha, and Swaha. And there are Three kinds of flames.” Ashtavakra said “The Brahmins have Four kinds of ashrams. People are

divided into Four castes, there are Four directions and the speech we utter is of Four types from gross to subtle.” (Here Ashtavakra is talking of the Four kinds of sounds called Vaikhari or spoken, Madhyama or molecular, Pasyanti or electronic, and Anahata or unmanifest.) Bandi’s next argument was, “There are Five kinds of fire or Agnis, the verses of the scriptures or ‘chandas’ are composed of Five lines, there are Five types of yagnas, man has Five senses, and the scriptures describe Five types of Apsaras.” Ashtavakra replied, “When lighting the Agnihotra, there are Six cows to be given as charity, in the wheel of time there are Six seasons, we have Six senses composed of five that are gross and one that is subtle, the constellation of Krittikas is formed of Six stars and before one learns the Vedas one has to perform Six yagnas.” To be continued next week…

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

Nitin Gadkari backs Narendra Modi for PM's post BJP president Nitin Gadkari has endorsed Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi for the top posts of prime minister and party head, stirring a fresh debate among GenNext leaders positioning themselves for the 2014 sweepstakes. In an interview to a TV channel, Gadkari ruled himself out of the race for the PM's post and said he would not seek an extension as party chief after his tenure ends in December. "I will never be a candidate for PM nor will I topple anybody. Modi has good potential to be BJP president and PM," he said, adding, "I am ready to work as an ordinary party worker. I will support Narendra Modi to take over the mantle." While he parried queries on the BJP's choice for the PM's post, saying the party would make the decision at an appropriate time, his firm endorsement of the

Gujarat CM is likely to renew questions about the party's future leadership. The Hindutva strongman is seen to be a polarising figure who many feel could be an impediment in BJP attracting allies with "secular" claims. The hostility of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to Modi is known and picking the Gujarat leader could hamper alliance making, thereby negatively impacting the party's poll prospects. This is said to be the main handicap for the leader appreciated for "good governance". The key issue will be the organizational leadership if

Gadkari refuses a second term as BJP helmsman. The party will face the question much sooner than it has to decide about elections and the PM candidate. Modi is popular with the saffron cadre and is also seen by a section as the panacea for organizational weaknesses which have hobbled the BJP in comparison to Congress. Though the decision on who should head the BJP may be an internal issue, its tricky nature stems from the fact that BJP chief would automatically get projected as the party's PM candidate. BJP strategists are eager that it forge a rainbow alliance like NDA under A B Vajpayee. But many from Vajpayee's NDA have since left, citing "secular" concerns, among them being Chandrababu Naidu's TDP, National Conference and BJD of Navin Patnaik.


Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

Kalmadi gets bail after nine months in jail

The Delhi High Court granted bail to Suresh Kalmadi, MP and former chief of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, accused in a corruption case related to the 2010 sporting event. His aide V.K. Verma was also given bail. The court allowed bail to Kalmadi on a personal bond of `500, 000 and surety of the like amount. Kalmadi was arrested April 26 last year for his alleged role in awarding a contract for installing the Timing-Scoring-Result system to Swiss Times Omega at an exorbitant cost of Rs 1.41 billion, allegedly causing a loss of over Rs 950 million to the public exchequer.

MP minister vows to wear shoes sans laces

The Madhya Pradesh minister for cooperatives Gauri Shankar Bisen has vowed to wear footwear without laces a day after being haunted for getting them tied by a young boy on a podium. Apologising for making the young boy to tie his shoelaces, the minister said he is all set to buy six pairs of shoes without laces. The minister addressed a press conference at Chhindwara and read out a statement regretting his actions and justifying the reasons behind the deed. He also argued that contrary to media claims, the teenaged boy was not a tribal but the son of a family friend and member of the same OBC community as himself. “Rajeev and Rahul are the sons of Ravi Shankar, a close family friend. The boys came with me to attend the function in Chhindwara.

Indian Govt decides on tough response Army chief’'s legal move A day after it was ambushed by General V K Singh who took his battle over his age to the Supreme Court, an angry government decided to take on the Army chief frontally in the apex court. Incensed by Gen Singh's surprise move, and regretting that it allowed itself to be outmaneuvered by him, the government explored the entire spectrum of options, ranging from simply letting the court take a call on the case to asking the Army chief to resign or go on leave and naming his successor before time. As of now, the radical step to sack the Army chief is not being considered. It is recognized that Gen Singh has managed to "manipulate" perception to paint himself as a victim

and, therefore, the first move in the counter-strike should be to blast holes in his version, say government sources. The Centre has decided to field attorney general G E Vahanvati and solicitor general R F Nariman in court to rebut Gen Singh's case that he was treated unfairly, having already moved a caveat in the Supreme Court to prevent him from securing any relief without it being heard. The line of succession will also be "fully protected", with Eastern Army commander Lt-Gen Bikram Singh being the frontrunner to replace the incumbent when he retires on May 31. With BJP attacking the government for "mishandling" the issue, Prime

Plot to abduct Sachin: Eightyear jail terms for six

Six Harkat-ul Jihad-al-Islami terrorists who plotted to abduct cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Saurav Ganguly in 2002 were Monday sentenced to eight-year jail terms by the Delhi High Court. A trial court had earlier awarded them life terms.

Shoe hurled at Rahul in Uttarakhand

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, on Monday, joined the burgeoning list of political figures that have had shoe hurled at them. The Amethi MP, who kicked off his election campaign in Uttarakhand, was speaking at Vikas Nagar near Dehradun. Gandhi remained unfazed as a 35-year-old man, identified as Kuldeep Singh, hurled a shoe towards the dais. It landed 10 metres short of the Congress scion. While most partymen on the dais got rattled, Rahul looked calm and said, “Leave the man and let him throw more shoes at me.”

4-7 years imprisonment for 41 accused in fodder scam

A special CBI court awarded four to seven years rigorous imprisonment to 41 people convicted in a fodder scam case and slapped fines of Rs.200,000 to Rs.3000,000 on them. Special CBI court judge P.K. Singh pronounced the quantum of sentence. There were 73 accused in the case. Nine died during the trial and three turned CBI approvers. The court on Monday convicted 61 people and sentenced 20 of them to one to three years imprisonment and fined them between Rs.30,000 and Rs.300,000. The sentences against the remaining 41 were pronounced. The CBI had filed a chargesheet in 2001 and charges were framed in 2004. The multi-million Animal Husbandry Department (AHD)scam surfaced in the late 1990s, when Jharkhand was a part of Bihar.

Minister Manmohan Singh and others, including defence minister A K Antony and law minister Salman Khurshid, spent last week strategizing on the various options. The attorney general and the solicitor general, it is learnt, also had detailed discussions with PMO officials. Defence secretary Shashikant Sharma, too, joined the firefighting by cutting short his official trip to Malaysia.

Leuva Patels shake hands, walk into Guinness record

Priest murders four, then commits suicide

In one of the most gruesome murders in recent years in Gujarat, Dharamnath, the assistant of the priest of a Shiv temple in Iyava village of Sanand clobbered four people to death with an iron bar. He also injured another three people, including the head priest, Somnath Bapu. He killed the four men in the temple campus and later committed suicide by hanging himself from the staircase leading to the temple’s dome.


Kagwad (Virpur): All roads on Saturday led to Kagwad, a nondescript hamlet of Saurashtra, which eventually etched its name in the Guinness Book of World Records. There, 24,435 Leuva Patel couples (48,870 people) set the record for the most number of handshakes in an event, at one of the biggest congregations of their politically influential and cash-rich community. A Guinness Book official, Lucia, who was present at the village, announced that this was the first event in the world where “most number of people shook hands simultaneously”.

The couples took part in a shilapujan vidhi (foundation stone laying ceremony) of the community deity Khodal Maa; a grand temple has been planned. “Leuva Patels from 11 states and seven countries attended this historic event,’’ said Naresh Patel, the president of the Khodaldhaam Trust. “This day will be remembered in the history of community’s development.” Besides creating a world record, the trust also collected Rs 1.50 billion in donations from various community members in just three hours. The money will be used to set

up educational institutes, sports academy, and to help orphaned children of the community. Khodal Agriculture University has also been envisaged. “We plan to promote community farming in all villages in the state, which will ultimately benefit several small and marginal farmers,” Patel said. The spectacular community gathering began with a rain of flowers on the crowd from a specially arranged chopper. Fight injustice, Keshubhai tells community members Grand old man and former Gujarat CM Keshubhai Patel in his sternest messages asked the Leuva Patels to rise against “injustice” and give back a fitting reply. “Mahatma Gandhi told us that if someone slaps you, be ready for another slap. Even I agree, but when you are wrong and someone slaps you, give back two slaps,” Patel told the gathering. “We (Leuva Patels) have suffered a lot. So, we need to get educated and aware. If you are alert, you will ask for your rights and nobody would dare you deprive you,” the octogenarian politician said.

As it seethes with anger, the government is also realizing that it was strung along by Gen Singh who, sources claimed, gave assurances that he would accept May 10, 1950 as his date of birth: pledges that he reneged time and again. Moreover, at least three ministers had gone out of the way to praise the general, lavishing superlatives on him. Now it is recognized that the generous testimonials may be used by Gen Singh in case the government takes recourse to drastic action against him. Hence the need to breach his defence in the court by giving a detailed account of his "manipulation" and string of broken promises, said sources.

13/7 Mumbai blast case solved, Two arrested

Six months after the triple blasts in Mumbai, the Maharashtra AntiTerrorism Squad (ATS) chief Rakesh Maria on Monday claimed that the investigating agency has solved the case and said they have arrested two people, who planted bombs at two of the three spots in Mumbai. The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of the Mumbai Police on Monday also arrested two people in connection with the case. Claiming to have cracked the serial blasts that rocked Zaveri Bazar, Opera House and Dadar in south and central Mumbai, Rakesh Maria said the arrests have been made by Mumbai Police from Bihar. Accused identified as Naqi Ahmed and Nadeem Akhtar, both were originally from Darbhanga and held in Mumbai, are aged 22 and 23 respectively. Rakesh Maria also thanked the agencies in different states who extended the willingness to help at every stage of the investigation. "Our teams visited 18 states and a lead was obtained by the ATS in last week of November," the ATS chief said. "Yasin Bhatkal is the main accused in this case (13/7 Mumbai blast), he started the Darbhanga module," ATS Chief Rakesh Maria told reporters. Maria also said that transfer warrant was being sought from court for 3rd accused, identified as Haroon Rashid. "The wanted accused in the case is Yaseen Bhatkal. We will release his sketches soon," he said.

Ahmedabad girl wins bravery award Petite and soft-spoken, 13year-old Mittal Patadiya hardly looks like someone who could hurt a fly, let alone tackle a person more than twice her size. But when it required, the Ahmedabad girl acted nothing less than a super hero who can fight the deadliest army unarmed. It is precisely this mettle and guts of the teen from the city which has bagged her National Bravery award for showing exceptional courage in the face of adversity. Patadiya is among the 24 children selected for the accolade and received the prestigious Geeta Chopda award from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

On the day of Dhanteras in 2010, Patadia thwarted a gang of thieves and despite sustaining serious injuries, refused to let them go. The incident occurred on November 3, 2010, when Shivkumar Tahiliyani, Mittal Patadiya 72, a retired civil engineer, his wife Kavita, 66, his two other men came from behind Rehwat and forcibly daughter Komal and their entered inside. foster daughter Mittal were "They attacked me and decorating their residence in asked where the valuables Naroda. An autodriver were kept. Mittal screamed Ajitsinh Rehwat rang their for help when she saw this doorbell and asked for water. As the driver looked familiar, and acting quickly, she Kavita found nothing suspipounced at the auto driver, cious but within moments, pulled his hair and even bit

him," Kavita said while patting Mittal's back during an event in Delhi on Wednesday. The three robbers stabbed the 12-year-old in the neck, resulting in blood spurting out but the girl refused to let go. "Mittal's screams caught attention of other family members and neighbours. But neighbours could not enter as the door was locked. Despite being seriously hurt, Mittal fought off the men and opened the door and let the neighbors in to catch the trio," said Kavita. Mittal was later admitted to a hospital where doctors took four hours and 351 stitches to close the knife wound.



Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

Modi govt moves SC over Lokayukta verdict The Gujarat government on Thursday last filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court seeking to quash and have set aside the order of the Gujarat high court - delivered on Wednesday upholding the governor's decision of appointing Justice (retd.) R A Mehta as lokayukta. The state government has sought an ex-parte interim stay on the execution of the appointment. The petition comes a day after the severe indictment of chief minister Narendra Modi by Justice V M Sahai, the third judge of the HC to whom the matter was referred after a split verdict by a two-judge bench. The SLP has been filed on behalf of chief secretary A K Joti and minister of state for law Pradeepsinh Jadeja, but it could not be taken up on Thursday despite the fact that a

battery of lawyers had been lined up by the Gujarat government. The three respondents named in the petition are Justice Mehta, the high court of Gujarat and the principal private secretary to the chief justice of the Gujarat HC. It may be recalled that governor Dr Kamla had appointed Justice Mehta as lokayukta in August 2011 on the basis of a recommendation by the then Chief Justice of the Gujarat HC, S J Mukhopadhyaya, who is now a judge of the Supreme Court. The Modi government has argued that the governor had not consulted the council of ministers before making the appointment, as was required under section 3 of the Gujarat Lokayukta Act, 1986. It quoted Justice Sahai's indictment to ask whether the non-appointment of

lokayukta in the instant case owing to various procedural hurdles "can be said to have invited a grave and exceptional situation perilous to democracy and rule of law or a constitutional mini-crises", so as to warrant the exercise of personal discretion by the governor. The petition seeks a clarification if the governor, under Article 163 of the Constitution, has any discretion to act contrary to the aid and advice of the council of ministers and, if so, when the governor has such personal discretion. It said with the then chief justice declining to consider the representation dated 16.6.2011 of the chief minister against Justice Mehta, there arose a deadlock which should not have been resolved unilaterally by the governor.

PARIN SHAH DoB: 31 January 2005 Wishing you years of good health and happiness. We all love you dearly and all our prays & wishes are with you. Lots of love, hugs and kisses from, Daddy: Rajnikant Shah, Mummy: Alka Shah, Grandma: Mangalaben Kantilal, Nani: Vimlaben Gunvantlal, Kaka: Vijaybhai, Anilbhai, Dineshbhai, Kaki: Anitaben, Binaben, Foiba: Bhartiben, Fuwa: John Buston Mama: Pradipbhai, Subodhbhai, Shaileshbhai, Sunilbhai, Mami: Parulben, Ashaben, Pallaviben, Snehaben, Cousins: Aneeka, Parina,Gemma, Lina,Dejan, Rahul, Jinal, Ankit, Hiral, Kinjal, Vishal, Karishma, Jay, Pooja, Malave and all member of ABPLgroup.

Salman Rushdie's video link to Jaipur festival scrapped The planned video address by British author Salman Rushdie to the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival was scrapped on Tuesday because of security fears, police said. "(The venue) owners conveyed to police that it was not possible for them to allow the organisers (to hold the video link) in the present situation," deputy commissioner of Jaipur police Vijendra Jhala told reporters. Earlier nearly 30 angry representatives of various Islamic organisations in Jaipur tried to enter the venue of the festival in protest against the video address by Rushdie, author of

the banned book "The Satanic Verses". The protesters led by All India Milli Council leader, Paiker Farukh, a lawyer, who alleged that "the festival was trying to portray author Salman Rushdie as a hero". "We have every right to protest in a democratic manner and if the Muslim population of Jaipur comes out in

Upping the ante on the Lokpal bill ahead of assembly polls in five states, Anna Hazare on Sunday shot off a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to "show courage" in passing stringent anti-corruption legislation to give the country something to remember him by. Team Anna also wrote separate missives to Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati and other leaders questioning their party's stance on aspects of the legislation passed by the Lok Sabha last month.

Using sharp language in the letters to the prime minister and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, Hazare described Home Minister P. Chidambaram as "corrupt" and wondered why the government wanted to keep Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) "in its grip." The four-page letter to Manmohan Singh, only signed by Hazare, said he was not sure whether the Congress will give him another chance to become the prime minister and he should use this opportunity to push for a stringent anti-corruption law. "You have turned 80 and this country has given you everything. Now the county

protest, you cannot prevent us. You cannot take us for a ride... we are not fools," Farukh told the media outside the venue at Diggi Palace. The Muslim organisations had filed a petition at the court of an executive magistrate in Jaipur seeking a directive against Rushdie's address following which the court had summoned four organisers of the festival. But the organisers failed to turn up, a representative of the Muslim delegation said. Police were summoned to placate the protesters. The commissioner of police reassured the protesters that their

interests would be taken into account. "We don't know about the fate of Rushdie's video address," a member of the core committee of the organisers then said. Rushdie had called off his visit to Jaipur citing threats to his life from "paid assassins". But later he accused Rajasthan Police of hatching a plot about hitmen to keep him away from the festival where he was expected to be the star attraction. Some Muslim groups had also protested his proposed visit. But then the festival organisers said he would address the festival through a video link.

is asking something in return... show courage to push for a stringent Lokpal bill. You had put your government at stake for passing the civil nuclear liability bill, now show courage for a strict anticorruption law," Hazare said. "There is no guarantee that you will again get a chance to become the prime minister so you should do something that country can remember you always. We

request you to replace the present bill with a strict bill." "Does the CBI have some files which the government does not want to bring in public domain? Or is it that they want to misuse CBI to save corrupt ministers? Or is it you want to misuse CBI to ensure that the government does not fall by ensuring support of (Mulayam Singh) Yadav and Mayawati," Hazare asked. Hazare wrote that Team Anna had decided to tour the poll-bound states and inform the people about the Jan Lokpal bill and that the team will continue to do so till the government brought in a strong Lokpal.

Show courage for strong Lokpal bill: Hazare to Manmohan

India steps up pressure for release of NRI kids in Norway Continued from page 1 The parents said there were “cultural differences” but the authorities took exception to, including sleeping with the children and feeding them by hand. These are common practices in India, where they are seen as part of the bonding between mother and child. Norway’s child welfare denied this, saying it only intervened when parents did not take “adequate responsibility”. Mr Krishna said that he had urged the Norwegian authorities “to find an amicable and urgent solution to ensure that the children are returned to the biological parents”. “Given the children’s very young age, removal from the care of their natural parents and to be placed in foster care

till they turn 18 is an extreme step which should normally be a last resort. The circumstances as known to the Indian government do not appear to justify such measures in the present case,” Krishna said. He said the Indian government was anxious that a solution be found at the earliest. He said that CPI-M leader Brinda Karat has also talked to him about the issue. The Indian case is based on the argument that children needed to be with their parents or their families, and it would be cruel to take them away from their natural surroundings. The Indian ambassador to Norway, RK Tyagi has been asked to stay in touch with the children and the parents. However, the minister did

admit that there was a "problem" since the matter was before the Norway court and the Norwegian judicial system was seized of the matter and therefore, it has to be settled through Indian mission and other stakeholders. After his meeting with Krishna, Brun said, "We have a very close and good dialogue and both the governments have best interest of the children at heart. "Through this constructive and close dialogue, we are very hopeful we will have settlement that will be both acceptable within Norwegian legal system and also in accordance with the legitimate concerns of the Indian government. However, he parried questions on the time frame. When asked if the issue could be resolved before the

expiry of the visa of the parents,, Krishna said he was hopeful that it can be worked out. "Let me emphasise, we have very cordial bilateral relations with Norway and they are ready to accommodate Indian government within their jurisdiction and if it is a visa issue, it can be worked out," he said. Barnevarne has placed them in foster parental care as per the directive of the local Norwegian court, mandated under Norwegian laws. Meanwhile, Barnevarne has sought concrete details regarding how the children will be looked after, who in the extended family would be the children's primary care giver and how Indian authorities will follow up the matter and ensure that the children's needs are met.

13 Jharkhand cops die in Maoist ambush In yet another gruesome operation, Maoists triggered a landmine blast in which 13 Jharkhand policemen were killed near Garhwa district’s Lalmatia village, about 250 km from Ranchi, on Jharkhand’s border with Chhattisgarh. This is the second big attack since last November’s killing of Maoist ideologue and chief spokesman Kishenji in Bengal’s Jangalmahal area. Eleven security personnel were killed in a blast that targeted the cavalcade of Independent Lok Sabha MP Inder Singh Namdhari in Latehar in December.

India rejects US embargo, to import oil from Iran Even as China cuts down drastically its oil imports from Iran, which is soon likely to run into fresh sanctions from the US and the EU, India declared it will continue to import crude oil from the country. Brushing aside US sanctions that prevent financial institutions from doing business with Tehran and its central bank, foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai stated that India will only accept sanctions imposed by the UN. "We have accepted sanctions which are made by the UN. Other sanctions do not apply to individual countries. We can't accept that," said Mathai.

India, China agree on border peace mechanism Leaving behind the acrimony of late last year, when the two countries called off boundary talks because of Beijing's opposition to a Buddhist congregation attended by the Dalai Lama, India and China agreed to a joint working mechanism meant to prevent any flare-up and ensure peace at the border. The Working Mechanism on Consultation and Coordination on IndiaChina Border Affairs signed in the presence of the two Special Representatives (SR), India's NSA Shivshankar Menon and Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo, aims at timely communication of information on border incidents from both sides for appropriate handling and also for “earnestly undertaking other cooperation activities in the India-China border areas".

Yahoo goes to Delhi HC The Delhi High Court sought response from the city police on a plea of Yahoo India Pvt Ltd challenging the summons issued to it by a magistrate for allegedly hosting objectionable content. "Notice be issued for February 10," Justice Suresh Kait said while admitting the petition of Yahoo India for hearing.The court also allowed Yahoo India's plea that its case be heard separately. Senior advocate Arvind Nigam, appearing for Yahoo India, said, "It is a case where summons were issued without application of mind by the trial court as there was no material against me(Yahoo India)". Nigam said the complaint and the order of the magistrate have dealt with alleged objectionable material retrieved from various websites including Zombie, Orkut, Youtube, Facebook, Blogspot and none of them pertained to Yahoo.

tRavel & festival

Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

Republic Day

in search of real roots which no longer exists

AV Correspondent For tourists Kashmir may be a paradise, but not for people who once resided in this paradise. For them the mention of the place is like asking a king in exile to visit his paradise. We had left the place 21 years ago in 1992, when militants threatened us and asked us (Pandits) to vacate our ancestral homes. Our parents left the place with their basic necessities hoping that it was just a temporary phase and we would return to our homes probably after a couple of months. But that never happened and now after two decades we have decided to revisit our places of origin. T h e moment we landed at the airport it gave us a feeling that we really belong to this land and could Pari Mahal not digest the fact that we were actually in Srinagar. But all of it fizzled out and we got saddened when the address that we read out to the driver was that of a hotel and not a housing colony which we had left two decades ago. On way to the hotel, we realised that everything had changed from the roads, to the way the houses had mushroomed in various corners of the city. The natural beauty is there which nobody can take away but it was definitely not the city that we had left behind. Images of furious mobs running behind innocent people kept coming as flashes as we

us, yes the change was definitely visible. The old temples are there since the armed forces would not allow any fresh demolitions, but probably during our next visit they too would no longer be there. And then began the desperate search for our house which we had left. Images of the area were there when we had left a h o u s i n g colony of Shalimar Bagh hardly 30 houses and now the total realise by a close associnumber of houses in that ate, “Do not think of areas alone had gone up coming back and staying to 500. We walked round here, they will give you a and round but just could feeling that your money is not trace the house where welcome but you are defiwe spent some of our best nitely not.’’ We requested an old times and a house which we had left hoping to come back some day and make it a multi-storied. Some old neighbours, who still remember our parents, took us to our old house and to our surprise, the present occupants are friend to lend us his bike Muslims. You could hardso that we could go to the ly see any Hindus in the places where we spent area. The new residents our childhood. We were have retained the original able to trace some locastructure of the house and tions but others just the nameplate outside remained as an image. had changed and instead When we stopped to ask of our family it was theirs. That was the last thing that convinced us_that we should not hope of getting back our house and if we have to visit this place Shikara it was just as a tourist and not like residents even as people about some byeleaders talk of peace and lanes, the only reply was, assure our community “Oh they have been leaders that Kashmir is demolished many years now a safe place. Ask us ago and on which days and we will tell you, “our are you talking about.” money is welcome there, And it was sentences like but definitely not we.” these which convinced were trying hard to pull ourselves back to the present. We were feeling good as we were able to speak our language in the market, to the autowallas but we were soon made to


an important day in india’s history

The Republic Day of India commemorates the date on which the Constitution of India came into force replacing the Government of India Act 1935 as the governing document of India on 26 January 1950.The 26th of January was chosen to honour the memory of the declaration of independence of 1930. Although India obtained its independence on 15 August 1947, it did not yet have a permanent constitution; instead, its laws were based on the modified colonial Government of India Act 1935, and the country was a Dominion, with George VI as head of state and Earl Mountbatten as Governor General. On 28 August 1947, the Drafting Committee was appointed to draft a permanent constitution, with Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar as chairman. While India's Independence Day celebrates its freedom from British Rule, the Republic Day celebrates the coming into force of its constitution. The Constitution of India became the law of all the Indian lands. The Constitution of India was passed on 26 November 1949, but it came into effect completely only on 26 January 1950. Thus, ‘Martyrs’ are the ones who have sacrificed their life for a cause that leads to the betterment of a majority of people. One such individual known for his incredible sacrifice and selfless contribution in order to achieve freedom for India was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, known as Bapuji. January 30, 1948 was the day Gandhiji was assassinated at Birla House where he was going to attend his evening prayers. Nathuram Godse was the man who shot bullets at Gandhiji. Martyrs day is observed on this day as a remembrance to the sad and untimely demise of this great leader. The day is also known as Gandhi Nirman Divas which falls on 30th Jan. Earlier, the day was celebrated on the Republic day i.e., on the 26th of January. However, later it was celebrated on the death anniversary of Gandhiji. Gandhiji also known as the Father of the Nation was a follower of Satyagraha and NonViolence, which were his

applying the constitution on 26 January, to mark and respect 26 January and the freedom struggle and the freedom fighters. It is one of the three national holidays in India. While the main parade takes place in the national Capital New Delhi at the Rajpath before the president, the anniversary is also celebrated with varying degrees of formality in state capitals and other centres. To mark the importance of the occasion, every year a grand parade is held in the Capital, New Delhi, from the Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's Palace), along the Rajpath, past India Gate . Prior to its commencement, the Prime Minister lays a floral wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, a memorial to unknown soldiers at the India Gate at one end of Rajpath, which is followed by two minutes silence in the memory of soldiers. Thereafter he reaches the main dais at Rajpath to join other dignitaries, subsequently the President arrives along with the chief guest of the occasion. First he unfurls the National flag, as the National Anthem is played, and a 21-gun salute is given. Next

important function is the presentation of awards like the Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra by the president before the regiments of Armed Forces start their march past. The different regiments of the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force march past in all their finery and official decorations. The President, who is the Commander-inChief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute. Floats exhibiting the cultures of the various states and regions of India are in the grand parade, which is broadcast nationwide on television and radio. Also part of the parade is children who have won the National Bravery Award for the year. The parade also includes other vibrant displays and floats and traditionally ends with a fly past by the Indian Air Force jets. The patriotic fervor of the people on this day brings the whole country together even in her essential diversity. Every part of the country is represented in occasion, which makes the Republic Day the most popular of all the national holidays of India.

India pays homage to Gandhiji on ‘Martyrs’ day basic tools of war against the Britishers. The day is generally celebrated by paying homage to the martyrs at the India Gate in New Delhi. This is done by the chiefs of the army, navy and the air force. In addition to this, the latest weapons, arms and ammunitions are showcased. The day starts with the wailing of the siren at 11 am in the morning at the government establishments. During the wailing, civilians too are supposed to stop their chores and observe silence for a few minutes. The president, prime minister, vice president and the defense minister are amongst the high level authorities who pay rever-

ence at Rajghat which is the Samadhi of Gandhiji. Gandhiji never differentiated between religions. All religions were the same to him. Hence, on this day, prayers and songs of all the religions are played in front of Rajghat and bhajans are sung in his remembrance. In the evening, candle lighting service takes place where school children, folks of the martyrs and other civilians light candles in their remembrance. Year 2009 was the 60th death anniversary of Gandhiji. As a mark of remembrance, on this occasion the left over ashes of the leader were immersed in the Arabian Sea.



Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

CB Live is only a Gujarati programme in UK on MATV SKY 793 This week meet Rasshee Rraga on CB Live for a discussion and some music, celebrating India's Republic day. Hailing from a background of Indian classical music, Rasshee represented the UK in India’s National singing competition, ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ in 2008 and also performed for BBC’s Radio Concert with more than 100 piece Symphony Orchestra in 2010 in London and composed and sang for ‘Indian Seasons’ on Channel 4. The other guest on this week’s CB Live will be Dr Mina Desai CBE, who will be present to talk on cervical cancer. Dr Desai is the Head of Cytopathology Service/Clinical Lead for Gynaecological Cytology/Consultant Cytopathologist in Manchester Cytology Centre, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Sneh Joshi - 020 8518 5500 The accent’s very much on relationships. The opening up of a more diverse social life is a point in favour of romantic attachments, if this is what you want. 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.

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20

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Coming Events l Indian Republic day Celebration- Thursday 26th January 2012 from 12pm to 1pm, Maha Prashad from 1pm to 2.30pm, Flag Raising followed by National Anthem (Rastra Geet). For more details contact Shree Jalaram Mandir Greenford on 0208 578 8088 / 9285 l Saturday, 28th January - Charity Kathiyawadi Bhajan Night in aid of the Heart and Stroke Research Campaign, Northwick Park Social Club, Northwick Park Hospital. Admission and Parking Free. Contact: Sheena on 020 8869 3294/3284. l Cervical cancer and cervical screening in BME communities: raising awareness and overcoming barriers.10am until 3pm on Thursday 26 January 2012, at The King’s Fund, 11-13 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0AN l Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) organises a major function on the 4th of Feb, 2012 at the Sattavis Patidar Centre, HA9 9PE to raise funds for school in East Africa.

Youth Conference 2012 Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar has organised a Youth Conference at Brunei Gallery, SOAS, University of London, on Saturday 3rd March 2012. Time: 11:30am- 4:30pm. Age group 15-25 years. If you are interested to take part in the conference, have a heart to heart discussion with panelists and be guided by some of the city’s best mentors, please email Rupanjana with your contact details and age by Saturday 18th February 2011 at Please note if you do not register before the conference by writing, you may not be able to take part in it. So don’t delay, write to Rupanjana immediately, with your full name, age and contact details. Do not miss out an opportunity to be mentored by the City’s best professionals, absolutely FREE!!

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Brave shopkeeper fights raiders with mops Continued from page 9

to block with his forearm. The robbers eventually retreated to their car, drove round the corner and then stopped to smash the windows of Dinesh’s van and Kishan’s car. Kishan, 21, said they

Dinesh was mopping up just inside the doorway and Kishan was bringing in signs from outside the store when one of the men got out and charged towards the shop. The masked man, armed with a two-foot machete burst into the store but Dinesh bravely struck him with the mop, forcing the bandit backwards. The man tried twice more to get back into the shop but Dinesh used the Dinesh with son Kishan mop to repeatedly hit him, while Kishan were lucky that the only grabbed a hockey stick to damage to the shop had help keep the man away. been to the front door. Two other masked men Northamptonshire got out of the car to join Police confirmed that they the first man, with one are investigating the incithrowing a metal bar at dent, which happened last Dinesh which he manage Friday just before 10pm.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 As social life is likely to gather a pleasant momentum throughout this week, this is bound to present a better prospect, not only for striking up new friendships but also romantic encounters. This is going to be one of those times when insignificant events give rise to unexpected developments especially regarding work and health. GEMINI May 22 - June 22 You will feel confident as the week begins. The cosmic energies are decidedly invigorating at the moment. If you are taking a holiday, so much the better ! Not only do you have Sun putting a favourable emphasis on travel but, you can be sure of deriving the utmost pleasure from adventures and excursions.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22 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. From a financial point of view take stock of where you’re at rather than to launch any ambitious new business plan. Decision making will prove to be a bit of a bind because of your wavering mind - seek professional advice and then steam ahead. Be careful with your expenditure as you have a tendency to be extravagant. Relationships need to be scrutinised carefully. Sometimes it is a good idea to stand back and re-assess life.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

This week, be 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 Virgoans will be more open to compromise to keep the peace. All things considered, your health should be robust. Venus's transit in your solar 6th house, you will find it easy to do well at work and rise to great heights. During this transit you will enjoy robust health and find physical activities very enjoyable. Plan your spending and set sensible budgets to reach your financial goals.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

Life continues to gather momentum and put a strong focus on domestic and family matters. The outlook remains optimistic as developments point the way forward and bring you a sense of real achievement. Don't be afraid to act if your instinct tells you it's time for change.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

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An inspiring boost to matters of communication but make sure your curiosity on a range of topics does not lead to a scattering of mental energy. With a surge of energy and enthusiasm, this is a favourable time to make fresh starts. Personal relationships may be more intense. Jupiter, the planet of abundance, is transiting your solar 5th house. You have plenty of romantic options. Financially you are still not out of the woods as Sun is transiting your financial sign. At work you will experience a relaxed atmosphere and this will help you to get on with everyone.

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

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

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

Fortune smiles on the romantically inclined with Venus transiting your sign. You are likely to experience a highly satisfying phase in respect of amorous desires but you may even find yourself in the flattering position of having more than one admirer. For those who are single, do something positive now.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20

HealtH WATch

Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

Seven home remedies to control hair loss Hair loss has turned into a major healthcare issue all over the world. You can use the following home remedies for controlling hair loss: Regular massaging with basic oils: Regular massaging of the scalp with lukewarm oil helps to stimulate the hair follicles. This is also an easy way to cure hair growth deterrents like dandruff and fungal infections. Regular massaging increases the blood circulation in the scalp. It is also useful for lowering anxiety or stress that is often the underlying reason for thinning of hair. You can use coconut or mustard oil for massaging. Use it for 3 to 4 times a week. Keep the oil on for at least six hours before washing it off with a mild shampoo. Other oils that can be mixed with coconut oil in trace amounts for faster results include almond oil. Natural concoctions for preventing hair loss: Coconut milk is among the richest sources of tissuenourishing, plant derivatives. It is an excellent home remedy for keeping the hair soft without depending upon chemical formulations and regenerating dead hair follicles. You can also use a concoction of coconut oil mixed with half the amount of Amla oil. Just add a dash of lemon juice to this mixture and you have an effec-

tive, dandruff-fighting and scalp-healing concoction that arrests receding hairline. Nature’s effective hairstimulating juices: Wheatgrass juice is one of the most effective remedies against hair fall. It is known to decrease the shedding tendency of hair within a few weeks of regular intake. Aloe vera juice has a similar effect. However, aloe gel can be applied to the scalp too. This is helpful for preventing hair loss due to irritated, dry or infected scalp. After massaging the head with aloe gel, wash the hair with lukewarm water. This can be done twice, every week. Effective natural therapies: You can make your own hair fall-preventing medicine at home by frying some fenugreek (methi) seeds in coconut oil. Strain this mixture and apply it in minimal amounts, rubbed gently into the hair roots. Alternatively, you can boil some henna leaves in mustard oil. After cooling and straining this preparation, add drops of it in your coconut oil container that you are using for regular massaging. Homemade pastes: You can wash the hair with a paste made from Neem leaves. This is particularly effective for hair loss caused due excessive build up of scalp oil or invasive

skin infections. For restoring the alkaline balance of the scalp and preventing hair fall, you can follow this with washing the hair with apple cider vinegar. Other homemade pastes that can be very useful include a mixture prepared from adding honey and olive oil to some cinnamon (dalchini) powder. Use elementary household items: Before washing your hair, apply the juice extracted from crushed coriander (dhania) leaves. You can also use a mixture of curd and gram flour (chana atta) that should be kept-on for at least an hour before bathing. Change diets: Eat more seeds and nuts (almonds and peanuts) along with green leafy vegetables like spinach and sprouts of a variety of dals (legumes). Basically, foods rich in calcium, protein and iron are vital for ensuring overall health of the scalp. Combine this with some basic dietary supplementation, i.e. using over-thecounter products that help to ensure wholesome nutrition for your hair. Regular intake of Amla juice ensures adequate amounts of Vitamin C but you can boost this with eating more guavas. Ensure you take a multivitamin that combines betacarotenes, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin E and trace amounts of zinc and iron.

Scientists have reported that just two 8-ounce glasses of water taken before meals, can lead to weight loss. "In this recent study, we found that over the course of 12 weeks, dieters who drank water before meals, three times per day, lost about 5 pounds more than dieters who did not

increase their water intake," said Brenda Davy of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The simple reason is that it fills up the stomach with a substance that has zero calories. People feel fuller as a result, and eat less calorie-containing food during the meal. And it gets even better if you replace sweetened calorie-containing beverages with it. Although there's no exact amount of water one should drink, experts advise that most healthy people can simply let thirst be their guide. The general recommendations for women are about 9 cups of fluids from all beverages including water - each day, and men at about 13 cups of fluids.

Water before meals aids weight loss Have you tried out every trick in the book to lose weight - crash diets, gyms, or simply starving yourself? Now, try a simple trick - drink a glass or two of water before meals, as that's the best way to curb appetite and shed those pounds - says a new research.

Any quest ions writ e to m amta @thinkspalon By Mamta Saha


Want to be happy and fulfilled?

Ask yourself what you are longing for and have a think about whether your life feels fulfilled or not. A lot of people think fulfilment is driving a nice car, living in a nice house or wearing fancy clothes but as a psychologist, from what I have seen, this is not the case. I work with a lot of clients who have everything they could ask for materially, however, when it comes to the spiritual and emotional fulfilment department – there is significant dissatisfaction. Read on to find out the simple steps that you can take to achieve the happiness and fulfilment you deserve. Firstly, you have to make a commitment or decide that you won’t bother trying to create happiness in your life at all. This sounds harsh, but when you live in a state of limbo, which is neither here nor there, you are always in a place that is negative. There is no gain whatsoever in moaning

Most of us realize what good food choices constitute, what healthy eating habits are all about and the kind of foods we should avoid but somehow, we struggle towards eating the right kind of food over an extended period. Rushed lifestyles, ongoing stressful issues and the lure of sinful food items that surround us, make it hard to stay committed towards healthy eating choices. One smart solution to neutralizing the ill-effects of such mistakes is to gorge upon foods that can eat away our fat! Please note that cholesterol is the basic, core component of what turns into fat or add tissue in our bodies. Thus, if we can equip ourselves with some cholesterol-busting foods, we our essentially eating away our fat! Oatmeal & margarine: With easy availability, you don’t have reasons to excuse oatmeal & margarine. Some time back, oatmeal was considered an American breakfast fad that didn’t find many takers. Eventually, it has made it to most retailers across India in the form of flakes and oatmeal-enriched breads. Oatmeal contains a high concentration of soluble fiber. This kind of fiber prevents the bloodstream from retaining cholesterol. Margarine was looked down as a poor cousin of butter. Now, it has been established that margarine is enriched with plant sterols. These compounds are nature’s most potent cholesterol busters. Other sources of insoluble fiber include kidney beans, prunes, beans and barley. Eat apples daily: One of the easiest,



and complaining about your problems and lifestyle because this achieves nothing but further disappointment with your current reality. Simply create and commit to taking 3 baby steps every day to get closer to the fulfilment you deserve. This immediately sets you up for success and ensures that you are doing something about your current levels of disappointment and are getting closer to where you want to be. Start with very simple things that would be easy to incorporate within your day. For example: take a ten minute walk every morning or evening by yourself to have some ‘me time’, list 10 things that you’re a grateful for, meditate and continue to build on a hobby that you love. All of these activities will start to change your negative energy into positive energy. If you lack the energy and effort to create a positive turnaround in your life nothing of worth and

weight will ever be achieved. If this sounds like you, look in the mirror and really think about the consequences and impact of such thoughts and lack of desire on your life. Every second is a chance to turn it all around and you have all it takes to conjure up the strength to get into the driving seat of your life. Don’t over analyse situations, other people of yourself because when you do you create further hurdles that you have to get over, these thoughts unnecessarily drain your energy. If you are not happy about your current situation think hard about what you can do to progress out of it. Write down twenty-one possible ways of making your life more positive and think about how much commitment you have to achieve all of these things. Remember you have to be your own best friend if you want to achieve and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Good luck!

5 foods that eat away your cholesterol

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most fulfilling ways of lowering the concentration of bad or LDL cholesterol is to eat apples regularly. Apples are naturally equipped with anti-oxidants and pectin that help to lower and fight cholesterol. Eat soy: Soy contains a group of compounds called isoflavones. These are natural cholesterol-fighting agents. You can have soy in various forms like soy flour, nuts, granules and energy bars apart from soy milk and tofu. Eat nuts: You don’t need to gorge upon nuts. Just maintain a steady, basic intake of various kinds of nuts such as pistachios, walnuts and almonds. Nuts are a healthy source of polyunsaturated fatty acids that help to reduce the thickness of blood and fight the harmful effects of cholesterol. Nuts also contain some amount of omega 3 fatty acids. These are effective cholesterol-fighting agents that help to control the blood pressure also. Use olive oil: Olive oil is among the rare food items that have been endorsed by the most authoritative of global healthcare agencies. It is particularly recommended to those with a history of cardiovascular problems and elevated cholesterol levels. Olive oil contains oleic acid which is very effective for lowering blood cholesterol levels. It also contains sterols and stanols, together called phytosterols, and phenols that help to lower cholesterol. You can choose across various types of olive oil including virgin olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, extra light olive oil and pure olive oil.


Sport world

Mahesh Bhupathi blasts AITA's policy decision

Taking potshots at the All India Tennis Association, senior pro Mahesh Bhupathi said he was not sure of pairing Sania Mirza in the mixed doubles event of the London Olympics because of the national body's "funny politics". Bhupathi lashed out at AITA since it did not pair him with Sania for the 2010 Commonwealth Games despite the fact they make a very successful pair on court. They had won the Australian Open mixed doubles title in 2009 and also reached the final once. Bhupathi pleaded ignorance when asked if fans will see him and Sania competing in London Olympics. "Funny enough, the politics of our association are so that we really don't know," Bhupathi told reporters.

David Beckham extends LA Galaxy stay with two-year deal David Beckham is to remain at LA Galaxy after signing a new two-year deal with the club. The former England captain, 36, had been linked with a move to Paris St Germain but decided to stay at the team he joined in 2007 from Real Madrid. "This was an important decision for me," Beckham said in a statement. "I had many offers from clubs from around the world, however, I'm still passionate about playing in America and winning trophies with the Galaxy.'' Beckham, who began his career at Manchester United, helped Galaxy lift the MLS Cup last season, meaning he has won a major trophy with each of the clubs he has permanently signed for.

Suresh Kalmadi to 'step aside' as the IOA president Former Commonwealth Games OC Chief Suresh Kalmadi has decided to 'step aside' as the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President. Kalmadi, who has not resigned officially, said that he would not represent the IOA. In a letter to IOA Acting President VK Malhotra, Kalmadi said he would step aside as the IOA President. "I will not be able to represent the IOA. I will not be taking part in IOA activities for a long time," writes Kalmadi. Meanwhile, Malhotra has informed the International Olympic Committee that Kalmadi is stepping aside for the moment. Sports Minister Ajay Maken said Kalmadi has done the right thing.

Indian para-athletes book tickets to London Indian para-athletes have clinched five medals, including one gold, at the second Kuwait International Open Athletics Championship and so far booked four Paralympic quota places. Para-athletes Jagseer Singh, Mahabir Singh, Subbaiah Thirumalai under Grade A and Surjeet Singh under Grade B have made the cut for the London event, a Paralympic Committee of India release stated. Jagseer clinched gold in the long jump event with a leap of 6.55m while Mahabir bagged the silver. Thirumalai fetched silver in the discus event with a throw of 37.08m. Karnataka's Surjeet Singh accounted for yet another silver medal for the country in short put with a projection of 11.23m. In the 200m race, Rajasthan's Sandeep Singh Maan clocked 23.85s to bag the silver medal, the release added.

Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

India hold SA, win hockey series 3-1

In the end, a few angry words from the coach did the trick. India bounced back from a 'lost' situation to hold South Africa to a 3-3 draw in the fifth and final hockey Test at the Major Dhyanchand National Stadium. The Indians put up an ordinary display early on in the inconsequential match, having come to the tie leading the series 3-1. At the breather, they were down 0-3. But thing changed dramatically afterwards. "I was a little angry. I told the players to pull up their socks and do more in the field. I could understand that they were a little complacent having already won the series," coach Michael Nobbs said after the match. The terse words coupled with some tactical changes not only helped India score thrice in the second half, but also denied the visitors any addition to their tally. A goal attempt by SV Sunil after a fine run on the right flank was stopped by the rival goalkeeper but Sardar Singh grabbed the free ball and passed on to Yuvraj Walmiki who slammed home in the 43rd minute for India's first goal. VR Raghunath scored through

India's fourth penalty corner six minutes later to further reduce the lead before Sarvanjit Singh set it up for SK Uthappa in the 66th minute to complete the tally. Earlier, South Africa dominated the first half with goals from Ricky West (26th minute), Ian Haley (31st) and Miguel de Grasa (34th). Nobbs said that he was happy to see his players' abilities to salvage the situation from critical positions. "Coming back from that position is a terrific result, a real positive. In the last four-five months, whenever we

have trailed, we have often made strong comebacks," he said. India fielded comeback men Rupinder Pal Singh and Danish Mujtaba, who returned to the side after brief injury layoffs. Both played for a fair amount of time though they looked a bit rusty. Having done a lot of experimentation with the team in the five-match series, Nobbs suggested that his boys would continue playing attacking hockey when they square up during the upcoming Olympic qualifiers.

Religious Yousuf loses India regain second spot contract with Leicestershire in oDI rankings

Pakistan's discarded batsman Mohammad Yousuf's refusal to play during the month of Ramazan has cost him a contract with English county Leicestershire for the coming season. Close friends of the former Pakistan captain confirmed that Yousuf couldn't reach an agreement with Leicestershire after he kept the condition that he would not be available for them during month of Ramazan. "Yes, Leicestershire were very keen to sign him on for the English season but Yousuf has decided that he will not play any cricket in Ramazan," a friend said. "He put forth this condition to the Leicestershire

county officials which they said was not feasible for them as it would mean Yousuf missing four important matches at a crucial time of the season," he added. Yousuf, who has been out of favour with the national selectors since he last played for Pakistan against South Africa in the UAE in November, 2010, has also stopped playing domestic cricket. A national selector said that by all intent and purpose it appeared Yousuf had given up hope of making a comeback to the Pakistan team. "If he is not playing how can he be considered for selection," the selector said. The 37-year-old last played competitive cricket for English county Warwickshire and the Lahore Lions in the super eight T20 tournament in May and June last year. Since then he has focused more on his religious obligations and events. One of Pakistan's top players with 90 Tests and 288 ODIs, Yousuf fell out with the selectors over fitness issues just months after he had captained Pakistan in New Zealand and Australia.

India got back to second place in the ICC ODI rankings, thanks to Sri Lanka’s two consecutive wins against South Africa in the just concluded five-match series. India had lost second place to the Proteas after they won the first three ODIs against Sri Lanka, however, the reversal in the fourth and fifth match helped India regain its position. Virat Kohli remains India’s highest-ranked ODI player at number three while skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is at number five. South Africa’s Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers, meanwhile, continue to lead the batting chart. Outside the top 10, South Africa’s Graeme Smith is one of the biggest movers, returning to the top 20 in 17th position after gaining five places following his series contribution of 229 runs. Also heading in the right direction are Sri Lanka’s Upul Tharanga and Dinesh Chandimal. Tharanga has gained eight places and is now in 35th spot while Chandimal is in 65th position after rising 35 places. No Indian bowler figures

in the top 10 list. South Africa’s Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who played a key role in his side’s 3-2 series win over Sri Lanka, has been rewarded with a jump of 10 places and puts him in third spot behind Pakistan’s spin pair of Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez. Tsotsobe leapfrogged teammates Morne Morkel, who has dropped one place to seventh spot, and Dale Steyn, who has slipped to 15th position after conceding five places. Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga has returned to the top 10 with a gain of one place to be placed at number 10.

After much haggling, RCB retain explosive Gayle It wasn’t easy, but Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have finally managed to retain the explosive Chris Gayle in their squad for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Gayle, one of T20 cricket’s biggest draws, came in as replacement for Australian quick Dirk Nannes last season and helped the team to the final. Chris Gayle was on a one-year contract with the Vijay Mallya-owned franchisee. He had not been picked at the last auction because of a lack of clarity on his availability. However, RCB mentor Anil Kumble pulled off a coup of sorts by signing him on mid-season and Gayle promptly turned

the club’s fortunes around. With his signing, or resigning, with RCB having been in limbo for a while, most of the teams were banking on his availability at the February auction. According to IPL rules, RCB, though,

had first right of refusal and the deal was clinched with just one day left for the transfer window (which includes retaining of players) to close. RCB were able to retain Gayle, who was being chased most by Mumbai Indians, only after they bought out the contract of South African batsman Jonathan Vandiar. IPL rules allow each team to sign a total of 11 foreigners only, one up from last season, and now Vandiar must come back into the IPL fray through the auction if he so chooses. Last season Gayle had been signed on for $560,000 and that’s the price he will officially continue to get. This, of course, means RCB will go into the auction with that amount

deducted from the total purse of $2 million. Sources hinted that Gayle would earn “much, much more” for endorsement purposes. With Gayle out of the fray, the hottest property at the auction is expected to be India all-rounder Ravinder Jadeja, with the Saurashtra player having made a convincing comeback into international cricket. According to the list released by the IPL, England spinner Graeme Swann has the highest base price of $400,000. Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson - who hasn’t featured in the IPL so far is also included in the list at a base price of $300,000. James Anderson too has a base price of $300,000.


Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

Gul, Ajmal help Pak rout England in Dubai

England folded to a humiliating defeat by 10 wickets in Dubai as their woeful batting performance helped Pakistan go 1-0 up in the three-Test series. Trailing by 146 runs, England made a disastrous start as Umar Gul (4-63) removed Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen cheaply. Spinners Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman then claimed three wickets apiece as England were skittled out for 160. Pakistan's openers easily knocked off the required 15 runs to seal victory. Just as it had been in the first innings, England's batting performance made a mockery of their number one Test ranking as their technique and concentration were found wanting. The England batting has been embarrassing at times in this Test. The conditions are different to what they're used to, but they're number one in the world, they've had two three-day games to prepare and they've got all the analysts you could want to tell them about the bowlers they're going to face. But they have just not been able to adapt to the conditions and apply themselves under pressure. Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook both fell to poorly executed pull shots, while Ian Bell failed to read Ajmal's doosra for the second

time in the match. Only Jonathan Trott showed the necessary application to survive in unfamiliar conditions as he became the fourth-fastest England player to pass 2,000 Test runs, but even the unflappable Warwickshire batsman gave his wicket away on 49 with a loose cut outside off stump. In total, England's top six made only 143 runs between them in the match as Ajmal became the first spinner to claim seven lbw dismissals in a Test. Perhaps the only crumb of comfort for England will be the fact that the early finish gives them two extra days to regroup before the second Test in Abu Dhabi starting next Wednesday. For Pakistan, the next Test cannot start soon enough after the most comprehensive of victories.

Veteran middle-order batsman VVS Laxman has squashed reports of his retirement following his poor performance in the ongoing Test series against Australia. Laxman, who has played 133 Tests, has averaged just 17 in the three Tests so far in the series and calls are being made to replace him with young Rohit Sharma. Laxman's lacklustre fielding skills and a recurring back problem have also quelled rumours that he would be the

first of the seniors to retire. After a one-on-one technical session with coach Duncan Fletcher at the WACA Ground, Laxman quashed speculation he was on the verge of retirement. "When approached by an Indian journalist after the session, the 37-year-old insisted reports of his impending retirement were untrue," the Australian media reported. Laxman, who is not alone among Indian batsmen who

Gul began the carnage when he had Strauss caught behind down the leg side. The England skipper sent Billy Bowden's decision for review but the verdict was upheld by third umpire Steve Davis, despite HotSpot failing to show any impact with the bat. Cook looked decidedly out of sorts as he scratched his way to five runs off 40 balls. Desperate to find some scoring rhythm, he was tempted into a pull shot by a Gul bouncer, but only managed to feather an edge through to the wicketkeeper. Pietersen at least managed to connect with his attempted pull, but the shot lacked the power to clear the rope and was easily caught by Rehman at deep square leg. And Bell was undone by Ajmal's doosra, the ball striking him on the back pad

plumb in front of the stumps. Eoin Morgan again looked relatively comfortable against the spin as he ground out 14 runs before nicking Rehman behind and Matt Prior was pinned back on his stumps by Ajmal. Stuart Broad (17) and Graeme Swann (39) delayed the inevitable with an entertaining 48-run stand before Broad holed out to long-on and Chris Tremlett edged his first ball to slip. Some lusty hitting from James Anderson spared England the ignominy of an innings defeat but Swann's demise to Ajmal ensured Pakistan's target was a mere formality. Earlier, Pakistan's last three wickets had added 50 runs as the hosts took their first innings total to 338. Broad removed Gul in the second over of the day and Swann had Ajmal caught at short leg after another inconclusive review. But Adnan Akmal frustrated England with some improvised shots, cleverly keeping last man Aizaz Cheema away from the strike and reaching 61 - his highest Test score - before he was stumped to give Swann a fourth wicket. At that stage England hopes of a turnaround remained alive, but after Gul's dramatic opening burst, there was only going to be one winner.

have had little impact on the series, has received the full backing of his team mates and Gautam Gambhir said that it was unfair to single

out an individual for India's debacle in the series. According to reports, Fletcher, who has a poor record in Australia even when he was the England coach, spent the last two days meeting senior players as India hope for a turnaround in the fourth and the final Test in Adelaide. With India staring at their second 0-4 whitewash in an away Test series in seven months, Fletcher's job is also on the firing line.

Umar Gul and Abdur Rehman celebrate Jonathan Trott's dismissal

Saeed Ajmail was delirious with his 10 wickets in the match against England.

Ponting scores 13,000th test run Australian Ricky Ponting became the third batsman to score 13,000 test runs on the opening day of the fourth test against India on Tuesday. The 37-yearold swept a single to deep square leg off the bowling of Ravi Ashwin 20 minutes before tea to move past the milestone and reach 81 not out in Australia's first innings. The former Australian captain made his debut against Sri Lanka at Perth in 1995 and reached the mark in his 275th innings having already claimed his 61st half century earlier in the day. The only two men to have scored more test runs than Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar (15,432) and Rahul Dravid (13,262), were both fielding at the Adelaide Oval.

Mahela Jayawardene reappointed Sri Lanka captain Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan has resigned from the captaincy and former skipper Mahela Jayawardene has been reappointed to the role, the island nation's sports minister said on Monday. "Dilshan has sent his resignation letter so therefore the selectors met and appointed Mahela Jayawardene as the captain and Angelo Mathews as the vice captain," Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said. Dilshan quit a day after returning from South Africa where Sri Lanka lost the threematch test series 2-1 and five-match oneday series 3-2. Taking over from Kumar Sangakkara after a six-wicket defeat in the 2011 World Cup final against India, Dilshan led the team to England, South Africa and in a home series against Australia but failed to win a single test or one-day series.

VVS Laxman squashes retirement reports

Shahid Afridi to skip Bangladesh Premier League Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has reportedly decided to skip the Bangladesh Premier League because of his commitments at home. Afridi insisted that he would instead turn out for Pakistan against England, The Express Tribune reports. Afridi was sold at the auction for the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) for 700,000 dollars, the highest bid for any player in the auction, and was poised to feature in the tournament to be played from February 9 to 28.

Sri Lanka win cliffhanger against South Africa

Kumar Sangakkara compiled a wellpaced century to help Sri Lanka to a two-wicket win over South Africa off the penultimate ball in the fifth oneday international at the Wanderers. Sangakkara scored 102 from 97 balls as Sri Lanka, chasing South Africa's 312 for four, reached 307 for five with only six runs needed off seven balls. But they contrived to lose three wickets in the space of four deliveries before Sachithra Senanayake struck left-arm spinner Robin Peterson high over mid-wicket for six. South Africa, who won the series 3-2, owed their total to captain Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers

who each scored 125. Sangakkara anchored Sri Lanka's run chase, reaching his fifty off 54 balls before posting his 12th one-day international. After striking 10 fours, he fell to the first ball following the completion of his hundred when he hoisted a delivery from off-spinner JP Duminy to Pietersen at long-off. Play was delayed for an hour before Sangakkara and fellow lefthander Lahiru Thirimanne added 100 runs for the fourth wicket on a good batting pitch. Sangakkara departed with the score on 275 for four with the

tourists needing just 38 runs off 34 balls and 22-year-old Thirimanne brought up his maiden ODI fifty on his way to 69 at better than a run a ball to set up the tense finish. The result would have been particularly hard on Smith and De Villiers who had batted superbly during their team's innings. The pair combined for a South African record third-wicket partnership against Sri Lanka of 186 from 28 overs. Smith, who had not scored an ODI century since September 2009, reached his ninth one-day century off 129 deliveries to the raucous applause of the home crowd.

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Asian Voice - Saturday 28th January 2012

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