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VOL 41. ISSUE 42


2nd March to 8th March 2013

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Jallianwala Bagh a ‘shameful event in British history’: David Cameron 16 killed, over 100 injured as terrorists carry out three blasts

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Despite repeated intelligence inputs about a terror strike in India in the aftermath of Afzal Guru's hanging, the Andhra Pradesh government apparently failed to protect its citizens. What's surprising is that Dilsukhnagar area of Hyderabad where at least 16 people were killed and more than 100 injured when terrorists carried out three blasts on Thursday last, had been on the terror radar for the past few months. This was revealed during the interrogation of one of the suspects of last year's Pune blasts. The Delhi police special cell had arrested four IM suspects Syed Maqbool, Irfan, Imran and Asad - for their alleged role in the Pune blasts. During interrogation, one the suspects, Irfan, said that he and Maqbool had carried out a recce of certain places in Hyderabad, including Dilsukhnagar, in June 2012. In fact, Maqbool was arrested from his hideout in Hyderabad in October

after he went underground following the Pune serial blasts last August. In April 2012, Imran had introduced Maqbool to the Bhatkal brothers of the Indian Mujahideen (IM). Their interrogation revealed that just before the Pune serial blasts, Maqbool, Irfan, Imran and Asad had discussed their plan of car-

rying out an attack on the Buddhist shrines at Bodh Gaya, Bihar. But since the Bhatkals had wanted to avenge the death of Qateel Siddiqui, another IM operative who mysteriously died in Pune's Yerwada jail, they decided to carry out blasts in Pune instead. The investigation also revealed that Maqbool had

trained other members of the group in putting together the improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The investigation further revealed that Maqbool was instrumental in the formation of the Indian Muslim M o h a m m a d i n Mujahideen, a terrorist organisation, in 1999. Continued on page 26

On a visit to Amritsar, British Prime Minister David Cameron described the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 1919 as "a deeply shameful event in British history." "We must never forget what happened here," he said of the shooting of nearly 1,000 peaceful Indian protestors by British troops on the orders of General Reginald Dyer. "This was a deeply shameful act in British history, one that Winston Churchill rightly described at that time as 'monstrous.' We must never forget what happened here and we must ensure that the UK stands up for the right of peaceful protests," Cameron wrote in the visitors' book at the memorial site.

Before that, he paid his respects at the holiest shrine for the Sikh religion, the Golden Temple. Cameron is the first UK prime minister to voice regret over the Jallianwala Bagh shooting. In 1920, Winston Churchill, then the secretary of state for war, called the Amritsar massacre "a monstrous event", saying it was "not the British way of doing business". On a visit to Amritsar in 1997, Queen Elizabeth called it a distressing episode, but said history could not be rewritten. However, her husband, Prince Philip, delivered a massive controversy by opining that the death count of the shooting had been "vastly exaggerated." Continued on page 26



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UK - Asian Voice 2nd March 2013

Keith Vazwith MP

Keith Vaz MP

Dr Matthew Offord MP

I am pleased to have recently been appointed to the Environmental Audit Select Committee. I have always had an interest in environmental matters and I believe the work of this Committee will be of interest to many of my constituents in Hendon and I look forward to being able to raise issues that they bring to my attention.

Matthew was elected as Member of Parliament for Hendon in the 2010 General Election. Prior to this he worked as a Conservative Party Agent, assisting with election campaigning in Barnsley, Nottingham, Leicester, Staffordshire, Liverpool, Carlisle and London. He later worked for the BBC, advising on a wide variety of political matters. During this time he was elected as a Councillor for the Hendon Ward. At Barnet Council, Matthew became Deputy Leader and was also the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, Cabinet Member for Investment in Learning and Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Community Engagement. In 2004 Matthew became Chairman of the Hendon Conservative Association. He recently completed his PhD in Rural Governance from King’s College London, becoming Dr Offord. What inspired you to stand for Parliament? I guess most MPs would answer that they wanted to make a difference – and I think that’s true. As I said in my Maiden Speech, my constituency is marked by religious, cultural and economic diversity. This diversity is often reflected by differences in aspiration. Whilst some aspire to doing well at school, going to university, getting a good job and buying a home, there are too many who do not have this aspiration. I want to help create circumstances which encourage aspiration and ambition because everyone

deserves an opportunity to achieve their full potential. Not only is this good for the individual concerned but it is good for the success of our country too. What are your proudest achievements in politics? When I was Deputy Leader of Barnet Council I introduced a scheme whereby the Council employed its looked-after children, in the same way that a parent might employ one of their children in the family business. It was an opportunity for young people to improve their life chances by gaining experience in a structured

workplace and I am pleased that several youngsters took up this opportunity. Please tell us about your current position? As MP for Hendon I chair the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Thameslink Route. This line runs through my constituency and the programme for improvements will have a direct effect on a huge number of my constituents. I am also Vice-Chairman of the APPG on Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, a matter of great importance to many of my constituents.

What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? Not enough hours in

an opportunity and a privilege not afforded to many. And the worst? Generic emails. What are your long term goals? To represent my constituents to the best of my ability and to feel that I have made a change for some people. In the short term I am proposing to take part in a half marathon in aid of a children’s charity and the Trailwalker Challenge in aid of Oxfam and the Ghurka Welfare Trust, something that is close to the hearts of the many Ghurkas who live in my constituency.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? New Labour – they made me realise that Britain had to have a Conservative Government.

If you were Secretary General of the United Nations, what one thing would you change? The speed at which mine clearance is being undertaken. I have an interest in this issue and would use my position to pressurise the international community to increase work in the countries affected.

What is the best thing about your current role? Being able to highlight issues of concern on behalf of those who are unable or unwilling to speak out. Representing as I do a very diverse population, the fact I am able to raise local, national and international issues with those in authority is

If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? Lord Admiral Nelson. As a fellow lover of the sea and sailing, we would have something in common and between us could probably construct a boat to effect our escape.

the day.

First ever British Indian President of EBRD visiting his birth country to allure investment partners Rupanjana Dutta European Bank of Regional Development's (EBRD) first Asian and/or Indian President Sir Suma Chakrabarti is heading for India from 4-8 March to talk with the senior political officials including Financial Minister P Chidambaram in Delhi and CEOs and business executives of private companies in Mumbai. Intending to speak on political goals of EBRD, current status with Indian private companies with the Finance Minister, this trip aims particularly to allure investment partners from within the Indian financial and corporate community, in order to change people's lives and environments from Central Europe to central Asia to Southern and Eastern Mediterranean. The EBRD was set up in 1991, after the Berlin wall fell, to support the transition from planned to market economies. A public sector institution, owned by 64 countries and 2 international organisations, the EBRD’s particular niche is investment to develop the private sector. It supports the financial systems in countries where it operates, as well as the corporate sectors. It helps to improve and modernise infrastructure – such as roads and transport networks as well as local services such as water provision, and waste systems. It places a very high priority on promoting energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy resources and helps to fight against corruption by supporting the development of transparent corporate governance and open and fair procurement. Lord Suma Chakrabarti, who was born in Jalpaiguri, North Bengal, India in 1959, and grew up in Kolkata till the age of 5, studied PPE at Oxford University and did a Masters in Development

Sir Suma Chakrabarti interacting with IJA journalists

Economics at the University of Sussex. Prior to this, from 2002, he headed the DfiD, where he worked closely with economies undergoing substantial reform in eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and Middle East and North Africa. He had also worked in the UK Treasury in the late 1990s, where he was responsible for UK public funds and in the early 2000s in the Cabinet office he led on cross departmental strategic and subsequently the management of the Cabinet agenda. Clarifying that EBRD does not invest in India as its a non member or not a country of operation, he spoke about the areas and sectors India prefers to invest in, in foreign countries. He emphasised that India is an important source of direct foreign investment. The value of joint India-EBRD investment stood at €806.8mn as of end of 2012. EBRD finance accounted for €641.5mn and India investment accounted for €165.3mn. Adding in further investment from other countries and sources, the total value of projects with India-EBRD involvement was €2,402.7mn. The major-

ity of these deals were in the private sector. “Indian company investment is particularly strong in countries like Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. In Egypt, 67% of direct investment is of Indian source. From manufacturing and services (mainly chemicals) sector, to natural resources, Indian investment is quite wide and diverse. Companies like Tata through automotive and tourism invests in IT, Mahindra invests through agricultural equipments, Reliance through petrochemicals and so on.” Nandita Parshad, Director, Power and Energy Utilities, who will also accompany Sir Suma on this trip added, “In Georgia (country) we helped Jindal Steel Works (JSW) to set up a steel mill and we helped to finance them set it up. They are now looking into expanding in Georgia, in hydro power etc and we are looking into where we can help them potentially. We helped Tata to finance acquisition of a beverage company called Grand, and we partnered with them in this section. There is a wide variety of investors from India in

various areas.” Talking about the ethos that dominates the EBRD, Sir Suma stated, “We are private sector dominated, but we are demand driven and are strictly not in guns or tobacco. Integrity and transparency matters enormously to us, our reputation depends on that, we do detailed check and there are people who we would not work with. That's why we are scandal free. This is applied on every project.” Speaking of the challenges that EBRD currently faces, especially after the Euro zone crisis and company sizes, he said, “Euro zone crisis is a challenge because it depressed the growth rate of the economies in eastern Europe. We increased lending into those regions to ensure the economies stay afloat and tried to help the companies we have invested in survive that crisis. However I am more optimistic now. There was recently a huge plan of alliance between the EBRD, World bank and European Investment bank for South Eastern Europe. It's called the Growth and Recovery plan. It values upto €30bn over 2 years and in that EBRD has invested €4bn, in response to the crisis. In many of these countries the investment climate is harmed by obvious things like slow moving courts, licenses, trading permits, corruptions etc. Countries have to compete with foreign investment, so better they are on investment climate, better is the change of having foreign investment. The private companies that invest could be of any size- we also have Local Enterprise facility for companies to grow in smaller countries.” He is also planning to visit Taiwan for the same purposes before he goes to India and visit his parents in Kolkata prior to the meetings in Mumbai. - Asian Voice 2nd march 2013


Cameron visit a step towards a new Indo-UK relationship David Cameron’s three-day visit to India, accompanied by a large and representative delegation of British businessmen, is surely a significant step forward in the transformative Indo-British relationship. The endeavour is integral to the British Prime Minister’s vision for the 21st century. Britain’s “special relationship” with the US is a given, but there is considerable diplomatic and strategic space based on a platform of trade and investment for a complementary structure in Asia. Europe clearly has not the borne fruits expected of it. The Continent’s political and economic importance to the UK rests on geography and history, but recent irritants have encouraged British ministers and planners to look further afield for opportunities to enlarge their country’s global footprint. If the French can do well in India, the British surely can do better. Mr Cameron struck the right note when he assured prospective Indian students, that there was no limit to their numbers in the UK, provided they had a place at a British university. He assured them of the warmest of welcomes and said there would be no bar to their working in the country on completion of their studies. Indian businessmen wishing to visit the UK would be given visas on the day of their applications, he said. Mr Cameron and his party hoped to profit from the Mumbai-Bangalore industrial corridor and also from the one between Mumbai and Delhi, in which the Japanese have the largest stake. Mr Cameron addressed the captains of Indian industry in Mumbai. The meeting provided an opening for the captains of British industry to make their pitch with their Indian counterparts. Numerous Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed and, hopefully, these will be translated into actual agreements. The British Prime Minister spoke of his goal to double bilateral trade to 35 billion pounds by 2015. The Foreign Office in London will be making commercial relations their priority, hence Britain’s consulates in India are certain to play their full part in the exercise. The infrastructure for prompt communication, information and the smoothening of bureaucratic wheels are in place. It will now be up to the entrepreneurs to move into gear and face up to the challenges that confront them. The doors are open and both sides are ready to do more business than ever before. We can only await the results with hope. The portents are encouraging. If they weren’t the French President and the British Prime Minister, representatives of two great powers and permanent members of the UN Security Council, would not have had the time or inclination for back-to-back vis-

its to India. Their presence may be interpreted as a vote of confidence in India’s future. The country’s economy may have slowed, but its 5.5 per cent GDP growth is the second-fastest after China among the major powers. Mr Cameron, together with Bollywood celebrity Amir Khan, interacted with students at a Delhi college, fielding questions, providing answers in a freewheeling conversation, a worthwhile reminder of the pleasures and strengths of democratic public life which, alas, are too often and too easily taken for granted. Looming menacingly over this soft aspect is Jehadi terrorism, which affects the security and wellbeing of both Britain and India. The arrest and convictions of three Pakistani Britons in Birmingham on terrorism charges and the latest bombings in Hyderabad reinforce the need for deepening anti-terrorism cooperation. Finally, Mr Cameron, head bowed, stood before the memorial to the victims of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 13 April 1919 by British troops. While some carping critics were dissatisfied at his censure of the event as “deeply shameful” without the full apology they sought, others, among them Sukumar Mukherjee, Secretary of the Memorial Committee, whose grandfather survived the shootings, said: “He has come here. He has paid his tribute. It is more than an apology.” It is time to apply closure. Mr Cameron visited the Sikh Golden Temple, also in Amritsar, where he was presented with a ceremonial Siropa. He said: “Today was fascinating and illuminating – to go to the place that is so central to the Sikh religion. I am proud to be the first British Prime Minister to go and visit the Golden Temple [he was also the first to visit the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial] and see what an extraordinary place it is – very moving, very serene, very spiritual.” The Prime Minister went on: “In coming here, to Amritsar, we should also celebrate the immense contribution that people from the Punjab play in Britain…..the role they play, what they give to our country is outstanding. It is important to understand that….to pay respect and to seek a greater understanding of the Sikh religion.” Spoken from the heart, Mr Cameron, and worthy of a new and exciting chapter in Indo-British relations. PM Cameron should have visited Gujarat for at least two important reasons- First, Gujarat is the fastest growing state in India and Britain has the lion's share in India. Secondly, British Gujaratis are the largest number of British Indians. Together with their participation and excellence in education, professions, business and commerce is very high indeed.

Sri Lanka has case to answer Disturbing revelations of the killing fields of Sri Lanka during the final stages of the country’s war against the Tamil Tigers continue to grow. The latest evidence is of an atrocity committed by Sri Lankan forces involves the shooting dead of 12 year-old Balachandran Prabhakaran, son of the Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. A Channel 4 television documentary “No War Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka” shows Balachandran sitting in a bunker looking lost. His corpse was later discovered with five bullet holes to his chest, along with the dead bodies of five Tamil Tiger soldiers. The Sri Lankan envoy in New Delhi claimed disingenuously that the picture of Bakachandran had been “morphed”. Goebbels might have blushed. The Sri Lankan Army has repeatedly come up with rancid accusations that this is a well laid conspiracy to tarnish the country’s good name. In Tamil Nadu popular outrage deepens by the day. This is understandable. There was similar anger in Indian Bengal in 1971 when the

Pakistani military were slaughtering the Bengali population of then East Pakistan. The feelings of India’s Tamil population must be taken into account by the government in New Delhi. Its relationship with Sri Lanka must come a distant second. Sri Lankan apologists much given to reminding India of the danger of secession should recall that the Indian Peace-Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka in the 1980s fought to preserve the unity of their country. Sri Lankan President Premadasa conspired with the Tamil Tiger leadership to eject the IPKF. Following its departure, the Tigers assassinated their erstwhile ally, Mr Premadasa. Some Sri Lankan point to India’s troubles in Kashmir, twaddle will not wash. India must as a matter of honour vote against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Convention in Geneva next month. If the Colombo establishment wishes to penalize India by embracing China so be it. The price might be high, but India cannot flinch and kowtow to such pressure. Enough is enough.

Bangladesh on cusp of defining era The recent turmoil in Bangladesh is a defining moment in the country’s evolution as a liberal democracy. The trial and conviction of hardline Islamist collaborators with the occupying Pakistani forces in the War of Liberation in 1971 promises a release from the burdens of religious fanaticism. The young people of Bangladesh who have spearheaded the mass demonstrations against the Razakars, who joined forces with the murderous Pakistani military in the carnage of their fellow Bengalis, have been brought to book and punished for their crimes. This catharsis will free Bangladesh from its old fetters.. The prideful young, alive to the glories of their liberating cultural heritage, are studying Sanskrit, along with Islam; they read and absorb the Bengali

literary canon, which include the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Nazrul Islam, Jibananda Das, and the novels of Sarat Chandra Chatterjee, Bibhuti Bhusan Bandhyopadhay et al which have enriched their moral and intellectual sensibilities; they march confidently into the future by throwing off the shackles of the past; they wish to remake history, rescue it from absurdist and fetid dogma. Islamist reactionaries appear to be losing their grip as they take desperately to the streets to reverse the tide of history; they are being confronted by even larger numbers of progressive radicals committed to free thought and expression. These are the flowers of Bangladesh humanity, the hope of an embattled society. We salute them.


When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand, where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone, where no wind can ever erase it - Anonymous

Sarah Teather MP Liberal Democrat MP for Brent Central

New Bill will put children and families first Being a parent is one of the most important and rewarding roles anybody has and, at times, can is also one of the most challenging. It is even more challenging if you know that your child is falling behind at school through no fault of their own, but because they are not getting the support they need. Unfortunately, for thousands of parents whose children are disabled or have a special educational need, this is a daily reality. Far too often families feel that the systems that should be supporting them are in reality working against them and that they have to fight time after time to get the services they need. This is why I was delighted to welcome the Children and Families Bill, which was published at the beginning on February. The Bill contains the biggest overhaul of the Special Education Needs system for 30 years with reforms that are designed to make sure that parents and children can access the support and services that they need, when they need them. One of the biggest changes is to the assessment process. Since I became an MP, one of the most frequent complaints I hear from parents about the current system is that every time they encounter a new service provider they have to fill in new forms and once more retell their story to a different professional, all of which takes up precious time when a child is being denied the support they deserve. Under the reforms, this will all change. Instead of sending parents from pillar to post,

the Government are expanding the current educational statement so that it also covers health and social care services. This means that there will be just one single assessment process of a child’s support needs. Another of the aspects of the system that worried parents was that when a child leaves school their support is taken away, in spite of this being the time when a young person needs additional support to become more independent. In response to these concerns, the Children and Families Bill will extend a young person’s right to support right up until they reach 25 to help them into further education and employment. The Children and Families Bill also contains other key reforms which will tackle disadvantages faced by some of the most vulnerable children in our society. It will overhaul the adoption system, breaking down barriers to adoption so that more children can benefit more quickly from being adopted into a loving home. Additionally, the reforms in the Bill will make the Children’s Commissioner more independent from Government, allowing him or her to better promote and protect children’s rights. Every child, no matter what their background, disability, or special educational need, deserves a chance to fulfil their potential. I am confident that the reforms contained within the Bill will mean that more children and more families are given the support that they need.

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


Midlands Voice - asian Voice 2nd March 2013

Let's bring back spy cameras in Birmingham Perry Barr MP, Khalid Mahmood has called for the reinstatement of controversial spy cameras in predominantly Muslim areas of Birmingham in the wake of a failed suicide bomb plot. He is urging to start up the Project Champion scheme again. Khalid Mahmood said the relaunch of the scheme aims to monitor movement of cars and people in Sparkhill. Ward End and Washwood Heath. It “could ensure the safety and security for people in birmingham and the whole of UK.� The Muslim MP spoke out after the ringleaders of a failed terror plot hatches in Sparkhill were convicted of planning a bombing campaign that, if successful, would have killed more people than the 7/7 attacks in

Khalid Mahmood

London. A total 218 cameras, including 64 covert, were installed in the three areas of Birmingham during the disastrous ÂŁ3million Project Champion scheme in 2010. The combination of CCTV and Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras would have monitored people and vehicles

travelling through the inner city areas. However, the cameras were never switched on and were shelved in June 2010 following a massive public backlash over the lack of community input or consultation. Later on, West Midlands Police later apologised after it emerged that they had been installed by its counter-terrorism unit with the consent of the Home Office and MI5. The chaos ended when cameras were taken down in 2011. The Mail revealed last year that some were even thrown in the bin and other further sold for about ÂŁ1. The ringleaders of the Birmingham terror plot were warned they face life in prison after found guilty of terrorism offences. The Labour MP for Perry

Jilted boyfriend threatened to kill his ex girlfriend Ram Odedra, 29, could not accept the breakdown of their four-month relationship and jilted, threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend by showing her a photograph of him holding a gun. His obsessive behaviour was characterised by bombarding the victim with nearly 200 missed calls and text messages, as confirmed by Leicester Crown Court. The victim took one of his calls and he told her that he had an air rifle. The victim, after seeing him sentenced to 20 months imprisonment at Leicester Crown Court, the victim believes that it should have been longer. The 29 year old single mum, who lives in Leicester, said after the case: “I was constantly checking my doors and windows.� In fear, the victim, after she had seen the picture of him holding the gun, went to the police straight away. “He was charming when I first met him in a restaurant in Belgrave, but became so jealous.� She claimed he stopped her from seeing her friends. Odedra, of no fixed address, admitted making

Ram Odedra

a threat to kill on November 15 last year. Victoria Rose, prosecuting said that texts and a barrage of missed calls followed. By 15th of November, she had 70 missed calls, ans between the 16th and 17th this rose up to 73 missed calls and 27 text messages. The tone was genreally pestering, but also threatening, apart from one when he said it was the “biggest mistake of his life.� She was simply terrified, when he threatened to shoot her over the phone and when she saw some of his new profile photos on Blackberry Messenger, where he was shown holding an air rifle. On October 25, Odedra did receive a

harassment warning, as told by the sentencing Judge Philip Head, who said that the victim must have been understandably “scared for her life�. “You were the influence of drink and drugs when you made the chilling threats�. He further stated that it was “a deliberate culmination of a campaign of harassment.� Linda Hinds, mitigating, said: “He had suffered the failure of a business and his marriage before this relationship.� “He recognises what he has done is wrong, the relationship is over and he should have accepted it. He's extremely sorry for what he's sone and realises how much he must have frightened the complainant.�

Barr, said the convictions highlighted the potential benefits of Project Champion. “I don't see why this scheme should not be revived�, said Khalid Mahmood. He mentioned that instead of the police dealing with the concerns that people had and adjusting the scheme as required, they had ran away from the issue. “The lack of consultation on this scheme was unacceptable, but I see nothing wrong with having the cameras there to protect people in Birmingham and the rest of the UK.� The cameras would have helped the security forces enormously, and it's bizarre that this equipment was wasted at a huge cost to the taxpayer, as stated by Khalid Mahmood.

World’s first Pill Manager App A pioneering medicine management system in the form of a free download mobile application, believed to be the first of its kind in the world, has been launched this week. The new Pill Manager application, or app, will allow the patient to re-order their medication anytime and from anywhere, online. In addition, the user-friendly app will allow the patient to track their own medication schedules and also interact directly with their pharmacist or GP. The innovative app is the brainchild of leading community pharmacist and entrepreneur Pankaj Sodha from Birmingham. Mr Sodha said: “Opening up a two-way communication between a patient and pharmacist inspired us to develop Patient Manager for use on the desktop computer in a busy dispensary.â€? In the UK alone, wasted medications cost the industry ÂŁ300 million per year. Pill Manager aims to help reduce this financial inefficiency through its reminder functionality and the automatic transmission of a letter of consent alongside every reorder. Mr Sodha owns and runs two pharmacies in Birmingham. He opened his first pharmacy in 1984. He graduated from Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh and spent eight years working for Boots, the pharmacy, before setting up his own. He came to England in 1973 from his native Kenya. There are over 12,000 community pharmacies across the UK. To find out more visit

Parents toss a coin to save their dying son Young Adam Younis receives a life-saving kidney transplant after his father wins coin toss. For parents, Muntzair and Kiran Younis discovered they were both a donor match for their dying son-both were desperate to go under the knife, in order to give him that life-saving operation. They ended tossing a coin and it was Muntzair, 28, who won the toss- and little Adam, aged four, had vital surgery. Mother of three Kiran, 25, of Sparkhill, said: “Both of us decided that whoever was the match would go for

it.� Both were equally desperate to save their infant's life, as they claimed they already had been through so much. “I wanted to save him because I had carried him for nine months and given birth to him. But my husband wanted to be the one to save him as he had given up work in a restaurant to look after him.� Adam was born with Congenital Nephrotic Syndrome, but he only began showing symptoms two weeks later. This meant that his kidneys were unable to filter fluids properly and

caused excess water to be leak into his body- leaving the tot swollen and frequently sick. At nine weeks old, medics at Birmingham Children's Hospital removed one of his kidneys to lessen the symptoms, but his parents were told a transplant would be the only cure. The couple were told that little Adam could die at 18 months, as the symptoms he suffered were horrendous, unable to eat and was under a lot of medication. Eventually, doctors removed his remaining kidney and he was on dialysis for six

months before the transplant in December 2011. Kiran said: “Adam wanted to paint a picture that showed how happy he is with his new kidney and to say thanks to his daddy and to Birmingham Children'd Hospital for looking after him.� The youngster's painting, which shows him standing under a rainbow, surrounded by stars and butterflies and an arrow pointing to his new kidney saying simply 'from my daddy', will be displayed at the special exhibition to mark the hospital's 150th anniversary.





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In Brief Birmingham councillor voices food bank fears

Cllr John Cotton has warned welfare reforms and the controversial ‘bedroom tax’ will hugely increase the demands on the food banks currently springing up across Birmingham. The Cabinet member for Social Cohesion and Equalities is currently mapping the city’s food banks to help co-ordinate a response to upcoming welfare reforms. And, speaking as he opened three new food bins at Birmingham City Council's Woodcock Street offices, Cllr Cotton said: "I think it's a sad reflection of the kinds of pressures that the people of Birmingham are facing as a result of welfare reform, spending cuts and the general economic situation that more and more of our fellow citizens are turning to food banks for vital help. "There's some fantastic work going on right across the city, from voluntary organisations, faith organisations and community activists who are coming together to help support vulnerable people here in Birmingham. “As a council we’re committed to tackling inequality and poverty and continue to work closely with those organisations that are helping to provide a safety net for many of the most vulnerable people across the city. We're really lucky in Birmingham that we have people who do this work day in and day out.�

Suicide student found dead

The decomposing body of student, Vivek Ajit Shah was found by a friend who went to the shared house in Rusholme. Housemates did not realise he had killed himself, finding him days later. Vivek Ajit Shah's body was only found when a friend, alerted by his family, went to the shared house in Rusholme where he was living. Despite not being seen for three days, flatmates did not realise that he had been lying dead on his bed. A 22-year-old electronic engineering student, studying at Manchester Metropolitan University, had killed himself at the house on Oxney Road. A post-mortem could not confirm exactly how long he had lain undiscovered, but his body had started to decompose. Known to be “kind and geeky�, investigators found he had researched suicide methods and mental health problems online in the days before his death last June. Suffering from depression and anxiety, both as a teenager and in the months up to his death, he became withdrawn and even failed to attend his final year exams. The warning signs were visible when Vivek, originally from Middlesex, didn't go home to visit his family in London. A friend, Alex Faulkner, was asked to go round and check on him. Mr Faulkner had known Vivek for three years and said that when he knocked on the door, it was opened by one of his housemates. “He said he didn't know if Vivek was in- he went to knock on the bedroom door and said there was no answer. I asked if it was ok to go and knock myself and there was no answer.� When the door was opened, he was found lying on his bed, fully clothed and there was no “gas canister on the floor.� Mr. Faulkner called the ambulance immediately.Manchester Coroners Court heard Vivek had shown no signs of stress and unhappiness in a phone call to his family days before his death. Previously, Vivek did take anti-depressants and had undergone psychological therapy after suffering from depression in earlier, but his family believed he recovered becoming more positive after changing his university course. Coroner Nigel Meadows recorded a verdict that Vivek had taken his own life, with the cause of death asphyxiation and gas inhalation. If he shouted for help, his family would have kept a close eye. “I believe he had continued to suffer with untreated depression and I am satisfied that he had intended to kill himself.� - Asian Voice 2nd March 2013



UK - Asian Voice 2nd March 2013

Stick your brand on a human billboard

Spriha Srivastava

Another feather for Bhattacharyas Fancy a casual evening with a few glasses of wine or bespoke cocktails and some lovely Spanish tapas? Well 189 Piccadilly is your place to be. Located in the heart of West End, a one minute walk from the famous Fortnum & Mason, this restaurant has recently been taken over from Biogio by London-based Indian couple, Mr. B P Bhattacharya, Senior Partner of BSS 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 restaurant set in one of the classiest locations of London is indeed a very promising one. The restaurant offers a wide variety of Spanish Tapas, Italian cuisine, exotic cocktails and mouth-watering desserts. The restaurant has a take-away and fast-food section on the ground floor and a finedining restaurant set on the first floor. From Spanish food to Italian Food from ambiance to karaoke from wedding and special venues to private parties, the restaurant offers excellent location. According to the Mr. BP Bhattacharya, the new owner of the fancy restaurant, “The ethos of the present venture is good food from good Ingredients prepared by excellent chef and with superb services.”

Bhattacharyas have in the past few years spread their wings from Gresham, Hyde Park to French Partridge, Horton and now to 189 Piccadilly. Last week, the hotel had its formal inauguration party with the who’s who of London present. An exotic selection of wine, cocktails and canapés was served with lovely music by a very-talented guitarist. Following this was a very sumptuous threecourse meal prepared with fresh ingredients. A lovely ambience, good music and absolutely delicious food, what else would do you need for a perfect evening? For those of you who haven’t been there yet, it’s time to try out a new cuisine, a new place and a new style of hospitality. When it comes to hospitality, the Bhattacharyas are an authority. Last year I visited the French Partridge in Horton and it was probably one of the most comfortable stays ever. For those of you who haven’t been yet, I think it’s worth providing a little snippet. The hotel is a charming period building with 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 hallway with existing reception rooms which will be used as a small

lounge and bar area, a 50 plus restaurant and a separate small room for either private dining or a further lounge area. There are a total of 10 letting en-suite bedrooms that are beautifully furnished. The French Partridge was earlier a food destination in the village of Horton and Mr. & Mrs. 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 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 with guitar and lovely Spanish Tapas. What more can one ask for? And as far as comfort is concerned, Mr. & Mrs. Bhattacharya are known for being an extremely wonderful host. Their other property in London – The Gresham Hotel has been very well rated on all the travel sites. It is now time you step out and enjoy their hospitality in one of their properties. It surely will be worth every effort and penny.

Gurcharan Das in London The IIM Europe and the IIT UK alumni associations in collaboration with SBI London will be hosting an evening with author Gurcharan Das for a talk and discussion on his latest book “India Grows at Night – a Liberal Case for a Strong State.” The event will take place on Saturday, March 23 from 4PM-7PM at the Deutsche Bank offices near Liverpool Street. Entry fee for IIT & IIM alumni members is £10 per person and for nonalumni and others is £15. Gurcharan Das is a world renowned author, commentator, public intellectual and the for-

mer CEO of Procter & Gamble India. In 1995, after a 30-year career in six countries, he took an early retirement to become a full time writer, and speaker who, in addition to authoring a regular column for The Times of India is a popular contributor to The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, and Newsweek. A graduate with honors of Harvard University, and Harvard Business School’s Advance Management Program (where he’s featured in three HBS case studies,) Das is a member of the international advisory board of Wal-Mart, Mars Inc. and of other Fortune

100 companies, and is a sought-after speaker and consultant to some of the world’s largest corporations. Gurcharan Das has written extensively and his authored works include international bestsellers like "India Unbound", "The Difficulty of Being Good", and his latest publication "India Grows at Night - a Liberal Case for a Strong State", and the subject of his talk will revolve around this latest work. For tickets and other details, get in touch with Vikram Balan at and Naresh Bansal at

Let us know what you think. Email Spriha at

Mo Luthra Branding Consultant Word of mouth is one thing but this new phenomena of being a ‘human billboard’ is taking the idea of the individual as a brand messenger to a whole new level, where the person becomes the advert, literally. The word ‘brand’ originates from the idea of cattle farmers putting a mark created by a hot iron on their animal stock. This ensured that they were no disagreements of who

owned what. Like most things in life, everything goes full circle. This new phenomena of the ‘human billboard’is pioneered by a Japanese ad agency, and the concept is that ‘cool/sexy’ people stick adverts in interesting places on their body and walk around town. Now if this idea was stand alone, it wouldn’t really create much reach, but in conjunction with social media this suddenly becomes hot. The individuals who are doing the

‘human billboard’ thing also have to tweet and Facebook pictures of themselves in this role of ‘billboard’. So while it appears as

an offline campaign. The real leverage comes in the online form. By putting it on Facebook allows all their friends to see it. This then means it can be shared. By being quirky and unusual it can go viral quite quickly. Businesses that use traditional forms of advertising, that also incorporate social media in an interesting way are really a step ahead of the curve. While word of mouth has always been powerful, with the internet and the democratisation of media, individuals now hold considerable power to influence buying decisions and share knowledge, which was never possible before. The ‘human billboard’ I am sure will get tiresome relatively quickly. That is part of the challenge, the need for businesses to continue to innovate and engage users through social media will become of paramount importance.

Anti-terror tactic under scrutiny as trio face jail The Government’s programme for tackling Islamist terror was called into question after three known jihadis were convicted of plotting an attack to rival 7/7. Activities of Irfan Naseer and his co-conspirators were widely known in the Sparkhill area of Birmingham, but no one contacted police or other

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strategy, which tries to combat the al-Qaeda ideology by engaging with Muslim communities. “This is is not good news for Prevent,” Dr Usama Hasan of the anti-extremist Quilliam Foundation told a national newspaper. “Millions of pounds has gone to Birmingham in Prevent spending but it Continued on page 30



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UK - Asian Voice 2nd March 2013


Bhavan celebrates India's 64th Republic Day On the 12th February, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan UK once again celebrated the anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of India. His Excellency Dr Jaimini Bhagwati, High Commissioner of India, was the Chief Guest. Other distinguished guests included: Lord Hameed CBE, Lord Bhikhu Parekh and Mr Andrew Slaughter MP, together with Bhavan Vice Chairmen, The Hon. Sir Mota Singh QC and Padma Shri Dr John Marr. The Bhavan’s Chairman, Mr Joginder Sanger welcomed those present, and the Chief Guest, His Excellency Dr Jaimini Bhagwati, whom he described, not only as a leading Patron of the Bhavan, but as a link between the resident Indian community and the UK. Mr Sanger thanked the Indian High Commission and the Nehru Centre for their support over the years. Lord Hameed described India as a great nation which from time immemorial had supported the values of democracy, plurality and secularism. He was proud of the fact that India had the second largest number of Muslims in the world. Lord Bhikhu Parekh congratulated the Bhavan Centre in London for its ‘wonderful work’. The Honourable Sir Mota Singh said that the present high standing of India in the world was due to the perspicacity of its leaders over the years, as well as to the resilience of its

International Sim

Bhavan's young dancers performing at the Republic Day Celebration

Lord Parekh, His Excellency Dr Jaimini Bhagwati, Mr Joginder Sanger and Lord Hameed

people. However there was still a lot to be done, such as getting more people out of poverty. The High Commissioner of India, Dr Jaimini Bhagwati said he was very happy to be celebrating the sixty-fourth anniversary of the Indian constitution. India had been founded on the principles of liberty, equality and justice. Universal suffrage had also been an early achievement. Although we could look back in pride at these achievements there was still a long way to go. Shortcomings would be overcome. His Excellency went on to say that he was very proud of the Indian community in the UK. The work of the Bhavan complemented the work of the High Commission and the Nehru Centre. In terms of the

UK and India, he recognised the ‘strategic partnership’ between the two countries which had developed over the years. Despite the recent global meltdown, trade and investment had been growing. Indian companies such as Tata had invested in the UK, but there had also been investment in India by companies such as BP. Collaboration in security against terrorism had also increased. Britain and India shared many of the same values – such as the Gandhian precepts of truth and non-violence. The Vote of Thanks was given by the Bhavan’s Vice Chairman, Dr John Marr. The evening concluded with a short cultural programme of music, dance and the Indian National Anthem.







Order your free sim from or visit any ø shop Exclusions apply. International rates are for calls made from the UK. Excessive usage policy and terms apply. Minimum top-up £10. Rates correct as of 15.02.13 and subject to change. See for details and latest rates.



2013 - Asian Voice 2nd March 2013

As it is

Indo-British relations and how they are perceived

LILY Foundation is the sponsored charity of Asian Achievers Awards 2013

What if you have nothing to eat? Lady Mohini Kent Noon

“When you have nothing in your belly, have not eaten for days, then you do anything for food,” she said. She is a former prostitute from the notorious tribal districts outlying Bharatpur in Rajasthan. The Bhedia tribe has a tradition of sending their girls to the red light districts of Delhi and Mumbai at about the age of 11 to “learn the trade”. She was one of five daughters at home and they were starving: “And that’s how I came into the trade. It was better than stealing and thieving.” Years later, she returned home with a daughter for whom she wanted a different future. She has turned the page on her old life but knows she must speak up if she is to help other girls like her who spend decades in brothels. With tears streaming down her face she recalls the struggles, the humiliation and abuse. She earned enough to build a tiny house in a dirty alleyway and accrue some savings but still entertains the occasional client to make ends meet. Most of the earnings of girls such as her go into supporting their entire families, including fathers and brothers. Life is still hard and she collects firewood daily from the nearby forest to cook her simple evening meals. It's shocking that, after her decades of working life, she is still going into the forest to collect firewood on which to cook and has not even secured herself financially. Her daughter, by contrast, went to the BSM School in that tribal district which is supported by the LILY project. The BSM School is run by the

Q&A with a former prostitute

GNK project, the brainchild of Dr Sutapa Mukherjee and Dr K.K. Mukherjee. Education was not an option available earlier. With the help of LILY, the dedicated school opened its doors in July 2012 (earlier, it had been run in rented premises in the villages). Does the girl enjoy school? Very much.

“My daughter will complete her 9th standard this year. I’m happy she has a different path ahead of her,” she said proudly. Her daughter doesn’t like her to talk about her days in brothels, so she speaks on the condition of anonymity. Will she encourage her daughter to go for higher studies? “As much as she wants! I am glad nowadays there are so many options to earn money.

The old ways can remain in the past.” And the girl’s marriage? “There will be boys enough when she is educated. I’m sure once a girl’s educated and starts working she will meet many eligible men.” She will be happy if her daughter is happy. “My future is my daughter.” These are the people the country forgot; millions of poor living at subsistence level. In the age of the internet they are still foraging daily for firewood on which to cook their meal of basic dal/roti. India has the largest number of poor people in the world. Prostitution thrives in such conditions. 92% of them are not willing participants. Most of them are illiterate, which makes them even more vulnerable. Education, although indispensable, is not enough by itself. They need training in skills that will lead to paid employment. Help us to give them an alternative future by supporting our cause. The LILY Foundation is an anti-trafficking charity working to prevent the trade, rescue, rehabilitate and educate victims. Contact LILY at iPartner India, Tel: 020 7481 8919

UKBA considering visa fee increase from April 2013 The government yet again plans to make foreigners a ‘scapegoat’. Inspite of PM Cameron's recent visit to India and promises to make it a smoother alliance between the two countries, a legislation is now being considered in the Parliament that proposes fee increases for visas, immigration and nationality applications made from within the UK. Subject to Parliamentary approval, the new fees will take effect from 6 April 2013 and will directly affect Indian immigrants,

like any other non EU migrants. From April 2013, UKBA proposes: l To increase the majority of the fees by 3%, in line with recent measures of inflation. To make this approach affordable, the UKBA propose some targeted changes. These are: l To reduce the discount on fees paid by dependants, for applications made within the UK; from the current level of 50 per cent of a main applicant’s fee to 25 per cent.

l To increase the fee for applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain made in the UK by 6% - from £991 to £1051. l To increase the fee for those applying to register as British citizens. The proposed £673 fee is midway between the current fee, and that charged for applications for citizenship on the basis of naturalisation (£794). l A fee of £55 for applications for residence documentation issued to EEA

Continued on page 30

One of the most complex relations between two countries, according to me, are between India and the UK. East India company ruled most of India between 1757 and 1857. The British Crown itself ruled India until 1947. In 190 years, so many imprints have been left as the legacy of Great Britian on India that to enlist them is a matter of 'space' for a print media such as Asian Voice. Suffice is to say that Indo-British relations affects every aspect of life directly or indirectly to the present day United Kingdom and India- by and large for the good and perhaps for a long time to come. On Monday (25th) during the wonderful reception, Lord Noon Kt, MBE of St John's Wood held by his two gracious daughters, son-in-laws and a stunningly beautiful and clever gran d-daughter, a prominent British MP came to see me at the far end of the hall, where I was sitting. Amongst many observations, the MP mentioned that Asian Voice regularly highlights strong Indo-British links, with special emphasis on the positive aspects of the life in India and especially Gujarat, with regular reports of the community events in Great Britian. This is our job and I am happy to note that it is recognised by such a knowledagble public figure. Now and then, all media, especially the print media have a problem of 'space', which is after all at a premium. At the same time, during what is termed a “silly season”, some news items or features are allocated vast amounts of space, perhaps as a 'gap filler'. Let me draw attention to two items published recently- in what is claimed to be quality national dailies.

In the Daily Telegraph, dated 31st January 2013, there was a large feature with the blaring and rather misleading headline: “The truth behind Mahatma Gandhi: he was a wily operator, not

India's smiling saint.” The headline was followed by a long sentence: “The Indian nationalist leader had an eccentric attitude to sleeping habits, food and sexuality. However, his more controversial ideas have been written out of history.” Dear reader, please read the article yourself. Perhaps you will be surprised, as I was surprised, why such a provocating and insulting headline was used. I would like to welcome your observations and comments.

Naturally, The Times cannot remain far-short of such a reporting. In the Saturday edition, dated 23rd February 2013, within a long article spread over two pages, Alice Thomson narrates her meeting with William Dalrymple, who lives happily, productively and profitably in New Delhi. As someone, who was born in India, who had lived in Britian for nearly 50 years, travels to India at least four times a year and who is in constant touch with a large number of people in India, I find her statement that: “Indians see Britain as a spent force” very surprising to say the least. Prime Minister, David Cameron and his vast entourage visited India only last week and maybe the British press have not reported how warmly they were received by one and all over there. To claim that “They enjoy our decline' is an absolutely unacceptable comment. In spite of the economic difficulties, GB is still the fourth richest country in the world measured by the correct fundamentals and especially the quality of life, which is unique with values and standards of the British society. Dear readers, especially those of Indogenic parentage are requested to read and respond to Asian Voice on this piece of deterimental value.

- CB

Asian Women’s Resource Centre receives £300,000 grant from London Councils A project which supports women affected by female genital mutilation, honour based violence and a forced marriage has been awarded £300,000 by London Councils’ grants programme. The initiative is one of ten bids to tackle sexual and domestic violence totalling £3.3million which were approved for funding for two years by London Councils’ Grants Committee. Women Together Against Harmful Practices in London, led by the Asian Women’s Resource Centre, will provide intense support to 510 women and girls from black, minority, ethnic and refugee communities across London. This includes support groups, advice and information on rights and enti-

tlements in 18 languages and counselling for 60 women. Specially trained support workers will accompany women to report domestic or sexual violence to the police and housing departments and also to court and social services. Director Sarbjit Ganger said: “The Asian Women’s Resource Centre is delighted with London Councils’ decision to fund this project. The money will make a real difference to the lives of many women experiencing domestic and sexual violence in London.” The Asian Woman’s Resource Centre will work in partnership on the project with the Southall Black Sisters Trust, Continued on page 30

UK - Asian Voice 2nd March 2013

Leading Lights

Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Dhruv Chhatralia Communicating from the City Dhruv Chhatralia is a corporate lawyer at international law firm CMS Cameron McKenna, author of 19 books, a spiritual speaker whose talks have been watched by over 50,944 people in over 121 countries in six continents around the world, and chairman of both the CMS Hindu Network and the Dharmic organisation SHYAM. He has worked on many transactions covering several countries including the EUR 277 million acquisition by NYSE- listed company Kennametal Inc. of the Deloro Stellite Group from Duke Capital, a £2 billion wind farm joint venture between RWE, Stadtwerke Munchen and Siemens and the £180 milDhruv Chhatralia lion acquisition by the p a g e In fact, he tells us that Nasdaq-quoted Perrigo ( of the 1,600 members Company of the Rosemont class) has over 10,000 are non-Hindu and there Group from CBPE, formembers. He has been on are members from all eight merly Close Brothers the radio and “given talks of the largest faiths in the Private Equity. directly to youths in world, “many of whom are In January 2013 Dhruv our most active memLondon, Nottingham and completed the longestbers.” Ipswich to empower them ever English commenThe talks are broadcast with these teachings. The taries on the Bhagavad live on YouTube, so people talks are appealing to the Gita and Hanuman in El Salvador, Yemen, youth because they are Chalisa in history, Saudi Arabia, Laos and waking up to the fact that between them comprising Iraq are being educated what is most important in over 3,200 pages, over 1.6 about the Bhagavad life is not what you have million words and over 9.6 Gita. A large proportion (materiality) but who you million characters. He has of the 50,445 subscribers are (spirituality). When given over 120 hours of are non-Hindu. the only measure of a perpublic talks on the He and his team, he son is what he posses then Bhagavad Gita, Hanuman tells us, operate without there is only one road left Chalisa, Ramayan and external funding or sponto take: ‘I will keep gatherShrimad Bhagavad. sorship. “Our law firm ing what I can so the Dhruv has won or has very kindly provides us world will respect been shortlisted for the me’. One of the effects of with the facilities to give following awards: CMS running after objects is our talks. Our law firm client feedback of the year that one is running not for provides recording soft2012 (10 out of 10 from himself but other peoware to record the talks Kennametal on the transple. And after running for and they are uploaded action listed above); other people they just onto YouTube. Our talks Excellence in Equality and become emptier and emphave been uploaded onto Diversity at the Law tier.” the websites of over 850 Society Excellence Dhruv feels that “havorganisations including Awards 2012; Leading an ing” is not important, that the Hindu Council UK, Outstanding Employee “being” is important. His the City Hindus Network Network Group at the talks, he says, are specifiand the National Hindu European Diversity cally for sceptics and sciStudents Forum.” Awards 2012; and Best entists; people who want Dhruv says that his Diversity and Inclusion everything proven to work appeals directly to Event/Network at the them. “Because the young people. “On 22 CMS Corporate Social Bhagavad Gita is based on November 2012 over 300 Responsibility Awards science, it is particular2012. What is most important in ly relevant for the modDhruv mainly does transactional work life is not what you have ern age,” he points out. “Youngsters no including mergers & (materiality) but who you longer believe everyacquisitions, corporate thing they are told and finance and joint venare (spirituality) require concrete tures. Aside from his young professionals proof.” His talks use pracday job, he set up the tical examples from the packed out our law firm’s CMS Hindu Network, he fields of mathematics, offices to create an electric says, “As an educationphysics, chemistry and atmosphere at our Diwali focussed organisation to biology to prove the timeevent.” empower and educate less truths of our scripDhruv and his team individuals of all backtures. And the result is his have given 63 continuous grounds with the wisdom audiences include lawyers, lectures on the Bhagavad of Sanathan Dharma bankers, accountants, Gita and he says that ("that which has no beginjudges, scientists, doctors, every week the room is ning") and provide a pracdentists and pharmacists. packed with enthusiastic tical means to lead a life of youngsters. He has Dhruv’s talks are availexcellence, success and embraced social networkable on SHYAM’s webinner wealth.” But it is not ing and their facebook page: just for Hindus, he says.

Asian Voice Youth Conference 2013 Shaping Young Lives The time has come again for the annual Asian Voice Youth Conference, hosted by Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar in a Central London venue. The conference will take place on Saturday 23 March 2013 and will be open to 15-25 year olds. We are expecting around 80-100 youngsters to take part this year. A workshop based conference, it will feature leading professionals from different walks of life who will share their personal experience and offer practical advice on how young people can fulfil their aspirations and get ahead in the world of work. It will also include interactive sessions and mentoring opportunities. This year along with the City Hindus Network, we will also have the involvement of the Royal Air Force. There will be various competitions to win prizes and opportunities to talk to successful and inspiring people in the field of your choice. The conference is in its third year and is set to be the best and most anticipated until now. Previous speakers have been Divya Talwar, journalist from the BBC, Amit Sodha, Lifestyle Coach and stand up comedian, Krupa Sheth, the youngest councillor of Brent, Pratik Dattani, Economist and Chair of CHN, Misha Patel, Assistant General Counsel, KPMG, Dr Pranav Somaiya, vascular surgeon and researcher, Menhaj Huda, film director, producer and writer and Aekta Mahajan, Cabinet Office and Vice Chair, City Hindus Network . We will also be launching an annual youth supplement at the conference. Date: Saturday 23 March 2013 Venue: SOAS, University of London Time: 11am - 4pm Limited seats available. Prior registration required. To register yourself/friends, please email or with your/participant's full name, age, contact details by Sunday March 9, 2013.

COMPETITION Community organisations are urged to send their youth members to participate in our Youth Conference. The winner organisation (that has the highest number of members, aged 15-25, present at the event) will be given free publicity in Asian Voice, whenever they hold events for the coming 6 months, commencing the conference in March 23rd. If you are a community organisation registering your young members on behalf of them, please send their names with their age and full contact details (phone and email) to or by Sunday, March 9, 2013.

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LBC Radio and aid to India Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone and former Minister David Mellor co-host Saturday morning shows on LBC Radio. The subject of aid to India came up once again and David wondered why wealthy Indians don’t help the poor rather than we having to give them aid! I rung in to say that there is no such thing as free lunch. Aid is linked to our geopolitical and trade interests. I said India gives a huge amount of aid to Afghanistan and other countries because in has its own interests. David then asked me as to why the French President seemed to have a bigger welcome in India than David Cameron. I said that Britain has deep historic links with India and David did get a very good welcome. The continuous reference about aid to India also offends Indians. David Mellor then asked me if it was fair to say that the poor in India are not getting the benefits of India’s progress. I said it was unfair. India became independent in 1947. Years of colonial rule had reduced India to abject poverty. It started with nothing and the founding fathers of India laid the building blocks for a prosperous future. From being called a beggar nation in the sixties it has become a global economic power and a world leader in IT and many other fields. The trouble is that when it comes to India everyone wants things to happen straight away. The trickle down of wealth has begun but it will not be overnight. India is a huge country of 1.2 billion. It is a democratic nation and it has achieved so much in-spite of so many obstacles. One only has to look at India’s neighbours and appreciate India’s achievements. And thus ended our conversation! Nitin Mehta Croydon

Hotel laughs I told the receptionist of our 4-star hotel in Maharashtra that I needed to hang my suits and couldn’t find any coathangers in our room. “No problem,” she said, reaching down behind the desk and handing me a fistful of hangers. There was, however, another problem - no wardrobe or door hooks on which to hang my suits. Resourceful as ever, I hung my suits on window ledges, managing to miss the floor by a couple of inches. At another 4-star hotel in Delhi, my wife and I were watching a Bollywood musical in our room, featuring nubile maidens singing and dancing around trees pursued by handsome men when the screen suddenly went blank. I reported it to reception and had barely put the phone down when four engineers arrived to sort out the problem. Which they did in record time, not by opening up the TV set and using their technical expertise but simply giving the set a number of strategically aimed smacks on the top and sides, bringing it back to life. Have other readers had any hilarious hotel experiences in India? Rudy Otter Via Email - Asian Voice 2nd March 2013

India Matters (to us)

Tesco and misappropriation of Hinduism

As I woke up to the images on television of our Prime Minister stepping off the aircraft stairs, firmly footed on the tarmac of Mumbai, the jumbo sized UK business delegation became very real. A remarkable back-story were the images of Lord Dolar Popat, approaching the same tarmac that his forefathers left behind to seek opportunity in East Africa and flying the British flag cementing ties between the two countries as part of HMG. India matters; but to whom? A second trade mission to follow up on progress and to measure the £23 billion trade growth challenge between the two countries set in 2010, hoping to “artner”with India, a sub-continent set to become the third largest economy by 2030. But a corporate delegation again Mr Cameron? In 2010, wasn’ it noted that the way to penetrate India is through her entrepreneurial zeal and perhaps look at UK SME’ that too can benefit from the “artnership”that is so rightly sought? Perhaps a missed opportunity again? Recent “riendship”with the state of Gujarat may have also been another political coup for Cameron. Shri Narendra Modi “ets growth”and such a gesture would have been welcomed by the Gujarati diaspora in the UK; Vibrant Gujarat coming alive in the East and West! This would have exemplified the same steps that Lord Popat and other Asian Lords and MPs took, SME’ trading with those who preserved our ancestral roots for all these years. Back to where it all began. Cultural diversity. The best of British! India does matter to the UK. The timing prior to the 2014 Indian national elections serves as a temperature test on our relationship with a country that promises to outshine others on the world stage across all spheres of disciplines. Shimal Thakrar Via Email

All women shortlist I understand that Labour party would like to reserve Harrow East constituency for women only candidates. While I support this policy to encourage more women to participate in politics and make House of Commons (HOC) a truly democratic institution reflecting the gender, culture and ethnic orientation of the population at large, I also feel that Harrow East is not the right constituency to be reserved for women only candidates. I would like to compare Harrow with Tottenham, Tower Hamlet and such other London boroughs whose MPs come from the ethnic minorities that form the majority of the population. Labour Party should take into consideration the cultural sensitivity and fairness into consideration and let the best candidate win that should include at least one woman selected on merit rather than on feminine qualities. Harrow is one of the most culturally diverse boroughs in London with the highest Indian/Hindu population. It is indeed culturally diverse and economical-

Varsha Mistry’s protest, about use of Ganesh on packet of cooked chicken curry by Tesco and its subsequent apology, (A.V. dated 23-2-13), is heart warming. Your warning that such misappropriation can be done by other corporate bodies is also valid and needs vigilance by Hindus. But your suggestion that corporate bodies must recruit Asians is mind boggling. How can any Asian advice on religious icon that is neither Pakstani nor Bangladeshi. Such gaff must not be allowed especially when this issue or any others that specifically and only involves Hindu people, religion, icons and values. Hindus and Indians have often expressed views against lumping Hindus with other religions under the term Asian. Towards this I suggest that a central Hindu body consisting of temple heads, scholars or teaching staff at University levels must to be set up. This body can be spokesman, guiding and counselling body for non Hindu persons or businesses towards use of Hindu religious icons. Such a body may also include titans like ISKCON, Swaminarayan, National Confederation of Hindu Temple, Arya Samaj, Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies etc. This body must emphasise that, basically Hindu icons are for worship and reverence; not for exotic display or mercantile purposes. Hindu religious icons deserve reverence similar to Christian and Muslims icons and role models. Hindu vigilance and protest to right culprits shows that Hindus are coming out of spiritual/philosophical shell into pragmatic multi religious arena, where all participants expect 100% input and grab equitable share without fear or favour. This is kaliyuga, where Hindus have not to hide behind term ASIAN or philosophies that preach tolerance, sacrifice whereby Hindus are looted, ridiculed, shunned by vocal, assertive and aggressive non Hindus. Ramesh Jhalla Via Email ly prosperous borough we can all be proud of. It is an oasis of enlightenment with serenity and peaceful atmosphere that is the envy of other London boroughs. It would be appreciated if the Labour party choose a candidate to reflect such diversity. Two names that readily come to my mind are the ever popular and long serving Cllr. Navin Shah AM and up and coming young intellectual Manoj Ladwa. This would make a quantum improvement in satisfaction and motivation level among the ethnic minorities that Labour party profess. I would like to urge the influential readers of Asian Voice to write to Labour Party and express their opinion through AV not to bar such deserving candidates by making Harrow East constituency “All Women Shortlist.” Bhupendra M Gandhi Via Email

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As it is The “As it is” column (page 8 AV 23rd Feb) portrays the real face our current India, which is sinking in the ocean of corruption under the UPA government. Whether it is the coal scam, common wealth games or the latest helicopter scam corruption, has captured the nerves of our Indian economy like cancer. We have no idea when this will end or how many more are there to come. I remember some famous lines to Actor Anil Kapoor by renowned Gujarati actor Paresh Rawal in a Hindi movie “Nayak” based on Indian Politics. A common man dreams of working for his living and family. After his retirement he settles down with a small house, relaxing on a rocking chair, sipping a cup of tea, while reading the morning newspaper and addressing to his wife “Darling iss desh ka kuch nahin ho sakta”. Paresh Rawal spoke the fact that, everybody likes to point out the faults of our corrupt government but nobody is ready to get in the sewage of dirty politics and clean up the mess. I personally believe that corruption is created by the powerful but is encouraged by a common man. We all like to accept things as they are and never raise our voice against anything wrong. Moreover who dares to do so are either killed or knocked down by some way or the other. The best part of the column is the song of Lata Mangeshkar which is gripped with great sentiments. Mayaben is gifted with an identical voice, so I can imagine the impression it must have had on the present audience. Shrijit, Ahmedabad

UK India Special Relationship Part of the two day trade delegation was spent on discussing sale of helicopters contract in 2010 with bribery allegations and selection of 126 Raphael military aircrafts from France to be ditched in favour of British made aircrafts. I believe this was waste of time and money. Such large projects take many years to come to fruition. A two-day delegation is not the time or place to discuss such commercially sensitive and militarily confidential negotiations. Britain is very good in many sports: men’s football, women’s football, rugby, swimming, snooker, tennis, etc. Not only in terms of enthusiasm, interest and media coverage, but also in arranging clubs, matches, training, coaching, etc. Britain is also good in the quality of construction and design of sports facilities, setting sports standards in schools, manufacturing of relevant equipment and sportswear, etc. There is a trade gap in India in the encouragement of sports in India; there is also a trade gap in the quality of labelling and packaging manufactured products compared to China; trade gap exists in the quality of Museums for arts [painting, sculpture and ceramics] and sciences, in bookshops, etc. Continued on page 13

EducAtion Voice - Asian Voice 2nd March 2013


Lord Gulam Noon appointed as the Chancellor of UEL Family hosts gala dinner to celebrate their Dad’s success Rupanjana Dutta

What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories - George Eliot

“He (Lord Noon) stands for everything that is best about our country. Those of us who came as first generation immigrants in Britain, his story is even more remarkable. He has achieved so much. He shows what the next generation can achieve. That's why his life is so important and he remains the ultimate role model,” added Keith. Lord Bhikhu Parekh structurally analysed the complex characteristics of the relationship viz. 'friendship' in the light of his bond with Lord Noon and paid tribute to his towering commitment. “Behind Gulam's success not only there is wonderful Mohini, but his entire family- children and grand children. I take this opportunity to salute Gulam's family and all his friends who made this occasion successful,” said Lord Parekh. Daughter Zarmin, who flew in from Singapore, in a very emotional speech said, “...Dad we don’t say Lord Noon addressing the audience at the dinner enough, but we love you and admire in 2-3 months a factory will be opened in you. As actress Hedy Lamarr rightly said, India. He also spoke about charitable 'I am not ashamed to say that no man I work, his Charitable Trust that has eduever met was my father's equal, and I cated 20,000 youngsters in India, and never loved any other man as much.'” said, “the only thing you will ever leave Speaking about his newly acquired behind is what you do for the underprivirole, Lord Noon told Asian Voice, “I am leged” and emphasised that his narrow both proud and excited to be taking on escape from death in the 2008 Mumbai this role at UEL. This is a great institucarnage was due to the prayers of those tion, with a strong record of providing souls he touched through his charitable opportunities for all to improve and work. develop. I am looking forward to helping Talking about his recent visit to India them continue their good work, encourwith PM Cameron, Lord Noon said that aging diversity and developing entreprehe signed a MoU with the Sahara Group neurship alongside academic excellence.” to open an India Centre in the University

Photo courtesy: Ash Bosamia, Kee Photographics

It was a cold Monday evening. While the city went to sleep early in anticipation of a grey and busy week ahead, the Edwardian room in Crown Plaza Hotel, St James’s, gleamed with warmth, love and respect from family, friends and colleagues, celebrating the recent achievement of Lord Gulam Noon. The leading and famous entrepreneur Lord Gulam Noon was appointed as the new Chancellor of the University of East London (UEL) in a ceremony at the House of Lords on Monday 28th January. To commemorate this fantastic achievement, Lord Noon's daughters Zeenat and Zarmin, grand daughter Natania, son in laws Arun Harnal and Manraj Sekhon threw a gala dinner for their Dad's close ones. Invited were leading businessmen, family friends, cousins, UEL colleagues, students and fellow politicians including Rt Hon Keith Vaz, MP, Lord Bhikhu Parekh, Lord Prof Kamlesh Patel, Lord Navnit Dholakia, Baroness Shreela Flather, Baroness Usha Prashar, Stephen Pound, MP, Barry Gardiner, MP to name a few. The MoC for the evening was Lord Prof Kamlesh Patel, a personal friend of the Noon family, who entertained the guests with his exceptionally witty comments and observations. There were speeches by family and fellow colleagues and everybody highlighted a particular aspect of their fond relationship with Lord Noon. Messages were read out from Rt Hon Hazel Blears, MP and Hinduja brothers, who could not be present on this joyful occasion. Natania, Lord Noon's grand daughter was the first one to speak and she said“It was not very long ago when my grandad or dad as I call him was knighted and I said that time it was the pinnacle of his fabulous life. And how wrong I was! For a man who has many many feathers in cap, obviously there was one missing. So congratulations Chancellor. For those who don’t know him very well, his belief in life has always been to give back to the society, to the needy and the deserving. This desire of helping he has inherited from his elders, in particularly from his mother who always supported the local schools, hospitals for 70 years in their home village Bhawani Mandi, in one of the most underdeveloped part of Rajasthan at the time. They never dreamt that this passion will be so heavily ingrained in him that actually one day not only will he expand on their vision but take it to a higher level. I am sure my great grandmother and others will be extremely proud of him as we all are in the family. His new role will lead him through many challenges and I know he will fulfil them with new renewed vigour and passion. He often said that this comes from the fact he never graduated himself, due to pressing family obligations at that time. But as a very famous American jury once said, formal education will make you a living, self education will make you a fortune... Lord Noon's commitment to mentor-

ing and encouraging young brains to explore the world of education for achieving their goals is well documented by, supporting education at institutions here and in India. He is more of a believer of Nelson Mandela's view that education is the most powerful weapon to change the world. So here's to ‘dad’ and lots of success in your role as Chancellor.” Following a short video on UEL, Pro Vice Chancellor Selena Bolingbroke said that everyone from UEL was absolutely thrilled that Lord Noon accepted their invitation to become their Chancellor. “UEL has been well served over the years by Lord Brian Rix as our Chancellor, and when he decided to step down last year, he left us a very very difficult task of filling his shoes. Finding a suitable Chancellor is never an easy task. They must be inspirational, must be passionate about education, and they must share University's values. And it is in Lord Noon we have found someone who more than fulfils those criterion. He is a perfect match for UEL with his entrepreneurial spirit, his drive to succeed against the odds, his international angle and of

Lord Gulam Noon with wife Lady Mohini Noon, daughters Zeenat and Zarmin, grand daughter Natania, son in law Arun Harnal, friend Lord Prof Kamlesh Patel and family

course his keen interest in sport...,” she added. Rt Hon Keith Vaz, MP cheering for the family's support behind Lord Noon's success, especially that of Lady Mohini Noon, narrated stories from the past, about his visit to Lord Noon's Southall factory with his late mother, just after it burned down and spoke about the values Lord Noon has been renowned for.

He told the audience about his commitment to his company, his values, ethics and social service. He narrated how his mother valued 'giving back to the society' by doing something for the poor. He also said, “No one can say you alone achieved everything. Your success is owed to the people who you work with.” He shared the news of his latest curry food venture in India and confirmed that


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of East London. He also spoke about the greatness of this country (Britain) and the equal opportunity it gives to all, irrespective of any race, religion or caste. The vote of thanks was given by his daughter Zeenat, and the evening came to a close with a toast raised to celebrate Lord Noon's extraordinary life and many more successes to come.


Media Watch

The Budget session of India’s Parliament opened under the tragic shadow of the terrorist bombings in Hyderabad. The explosions claimed 18 innocent lives, with scores injured, some seriously. Opposition MPs blamed the government for slackness, but as Ajit Doval, a former head of the Intelligence Branch, in a searching edit-page analysis in the Times of India, argued that the subject had been politicized, when a consensus on the natural was required. The opposition would been better served projecting their own remedies to terrorism. - asian Voice 2nd March 2013

government. The Kolkata Police Commissioner was replaced for responding to the call of duty. In his letter to the country’s Election Commission, West Bengal Home Secretary (the department’s senior-most civil servant) Basudeb Banerjee made the grievous admission that “Law and order has deteriorated” in the state. An early whiff of President’s Rule, maybe? (Times of India, Hindu, February 14)

Resurgent Bihar Bihar, not so long ago, was dismissed as a lost cause. Six years of settled administration and good governance have transformed the lean years into a decade of bustling prosperity. Hyderabad bombings

The national two-day strike called by India’s trade unions, led from the front by the two Communist groupings, were accompanied with sporadic acts of violence, street cricket, noncompliance and intimidated absence from work. The Delhi suburb of Noida, for example, witnessed attacks on industrial sites and the burning of cars by hooligans. The national exchequer was the pooer by millions of rupees. Communist Party of India (CPI) MP and All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) General Secretary Gurudas Dasgupta’s contrived lament was an indecent exposure of the labour aristocracy’s political bankruptcy. He regretted the inconvenience caused to the public (as if he and his associates cared), crying, “But what can we do … the government is not listening and is very insensitive to the suffering of the masses and the working class.” The inconvenienced public, about whose “suffering” Mr Dasgupta shed crocodile tears included the “masses” and “working class,” he claims to represent. In truth, Mr Dasgupta and his ilk are the loquacious voice of the parasitic underclass whose lives revolve around free lunches and noisy demonstrations. Meanwhile, the Kolkatabased Telegraph newspaper reported that Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, the former Communist chief minister of West Bengal has silently broken ranks with party apparatchiks, having drawn a belated lesson from the party’s catastrophic defeat in the last state elections. Voters showed fed up they were with mindless strikes and the lack of jobs. Those serious about the rise in petrol and diesel prices would do better demonstrating in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf sheikdoms, whence these much prized substances are drilled and

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar

priced. Don’t swan around in fancy cars, comrades, opt, instead, for the free ride of a bullock cart and a life of pastoral bliss

Dark energy While scientists grapple with the galactic mysteries of dark energy, the people of West Bengal groan helplessly under its earthly manifestation. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, once considered the solution to the problem of Communist-led Left Front misrule, has turned out be the problem today. The disillusioning experience has left the populace cynical and angry. The state’s Governor M.K.Narayanan, in a shot across Trinamool bows, delivered with a smile, but with no genial intent, likened the prevailing situation in West Bengal to Goonda Raj (Hooligan Rule). It would be unwise to ignore the troubled mind that gave rise to his speech. National security has long been his forte. He is no runof-the-mill bureaucrat. His presence in Kolkata is not without purpose. And goodness knows, he was right a thousand times over as the hapless citizenry is discovering to its cost every cursed day. A high octane occurred recently in the outer reaches of Kolkata, in its hard underbelly of criminality, where two contending Trinamool factions fought out a pitched battle with lethal force. When the city police intervened, sub-inspector Tapas Chowdhury was shot dead in cold blood – leaving an aged mother too old to understand her loss, a distraught wife and daughter, not to speak of other grieving relatives and friends and colleagues in the ranks of policemen and women - by one Abdus Sobhan alias Suvan, who is under arrest, while one of his mentors, Iqbal, is presently on the run. The godfather of this infamous crew is Firhad Hakim, a senior minister in the state

David Cameron with Manmohan Singh

David Cameron, at Jallianwala Bagh

AirAsia-Tata tie-up

Chief Ministers of opposition-run states had shot down government proposals for an apex coordinating intelligence agency, on the plea that this would diminish their constitutional powers. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde expressed regret for his intemperate remarks linking the BJP and RSS with what he described as “Hindu terrorism.”..

Strike violence

water from the Kishenganga hydroelectric project in Kashmir. The court rejected Pakistan’s contention that India was in violation of the 1960 Indus Water Treaty. Reacting to the verdict an Indian foreign office spokesman said: “The award of the Court of Arbitration at The Hague reaffirmed the validity of India’s position regarding the Kishenganga hydroelectric project….It highlights once again that India is adhering to all the provisions of the Indus Water Treaty.” (Times of India, Hindu February 20

Bihar at its current 11.9 per cent GDP, is the highest of all Indian states. Admittedly, the take off is from a low base, with per capita incomes well short of the Indian norm. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the architect of Bihar’s resurgence, and ever the realist, says it will take Bihar another 25 years to reach parity with India’s most developed states. (Times of India February 20)

Tamil Nadu excels Consider the following lines in a Chennai-based national newspaper. “It comes as no surprise that Tamil Nadu has once again been applauded for its ‘excellent’ maternal and child care services by the Common Review Mission of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). Suffice it to say that at a time when 99 per cent of global maternal mortality occurs in developing regions of the world, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra have become pockets that bucked the trend. Even as India has been reducing its maternal mortality ratio - defined as the number of deaths per 100,000 live births – the rate of reduction from 380 in 1993 to 97 in 200709, has been [more] rapid in the case of Tamil Nadu. So much so that Tamil Nadu (81), along with Kerala (81) and Maharashtra (104), has already achieved the UN Millennium Goal of 109 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by 2015. ….The most significant contributor [in Tamil Nadu] has been the strong and continued importance accorded to health-care services by whichever political party is in power.” (Hindu February 20) There is surely much to learn from the experience.

Court verdict for India The International Court of Arbitration at The Hague has upheld India’s right to divert

In another bid to reach for the sky, the Tata Group is set to link up with Malaysia’s nofrills carrier AirAsia, David Cameron at Golden Temple awaiting only the nod approval from of See comment page 3 India’s Aviation Ministry. If the deal metres per day of natural gas for comes through AirAsia would its 700 MW power station in become the first company to Bidadi, to be ready in two years. enter India’s aviation sector following the government’s deciGhost laid to rest sion to permit foreign direct investment in the country.. The ghost of The move marks the return Netaji Subhas of the Tata Group to air travel Chandra has since Tata Airlines was nationalbeen finally ized to become the blighted cash been laid to cow called Air India. An rest by his AirAsia-Tata statement said the daughter Anita proposed joint venture would Bose Pfaff. operate from Chennai, and that During a visit it planned to focus on providing to Bangalore, domestic connections to India’s she said: “I Tier II and Tier III cities. As per don’t have so Netaji Subhas current rules a carrier must comChandra Bose much time to plete five years of domestic operwaste on controversies surations before becoming eligible rounding my father’s death. He for international service. (Hindu stood for a cause and died for it February 21) as well.” Period. She was referring specifically Gas pipeline on stream to the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, which The delivery of gas through the had ordered a fresh inquiry Dabhol-Bangalore 1,000 kilome(adding to the multitude of pretre-long pipeline has gone on vious inquiries that have kept stream. The first recipient of the the rumour mills of his second gas was Toyota-Kirloskar, which coming running) into Bose’s will utilize the fuel for its captive

Signing of Gas Transmission Agreement (GTA) between GAIL and KPCL for Bidadi Power Plant and Gas supply to Toyota Kirloskar at Sheraton, in Bangalore on Monday. Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Veerappa Moily is also seen

6.5MW power plant. The company has installed a 73 kilometre pipeline in Bangalore. GAIL, the state-owned company which drilled the gas, has also signed a transmission agreement with the Karnataka Power Corporation for the supply of 2.1 million standard cubic

demise. Small wonder that much of India believes the law to be an ass. A tribe of Bengali politicians has transmogrified the Netaji mystery into a soothsayer’s black art. Time to earn an honest rupee, gentlemen. (Times of India February 20)

uK - Asian Voice 2nd March 2013


Schoolgirl killed as she fell from a ski lift at Italian resort

On Democracy I write after the Prime Minister of the world’s oldest democracy met the Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy. So when a few days later I delivered a speech to 500 management students from the Jain University in Bangalore, my topic was democracy and my beliefs. This is that speech. First, I believe that in a secular democracy, faith is too easily forgotten, too readily threatened. So I start my speech on democracy with a prayer, a prayer told to us by Rabindranath Tagore. This is my prayer to thee, my lord, Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows. Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service. Give me the strength never to disown the poor or bend my knees before insolent might. Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles. And give me the strength to surrender my strength to thy will with love. As the British Monarch, as Defender of the Faith proves, it is possible to be secular and have one established religion, a religion whose representatives have as of right a voice in the British Parliament. Not so in the Indian secular democracy, the only major home of one of the world’s great faiths. Second, I believe in a democracy privilege makes gods of us and that those of us with privilege have the obligation to act like gods to protect the underprivileged. God’s manifestation has always been

through the miracle of man’s actions to be selfless. A democracy does not guarantee safety of our children or protection of our girls or food for our poor. We the privileged gods must do that. Third I believe in a capitalist democracy the purpose of business is not the creation of wealth, but the saving of lives. As the businessman Oscar Schindler said on saving the lives of countless Jews in the second world war, ‘I wish I had made more money, so I could have saved more lives’. In both the British and Indian democracies, the whole purpose of business is still not well understood. Fourth I believe that democracy is not a western concept, but one which as with Ashoka’s pillars and the rule of law, runs through the life blood and traditions of India and it was Indians who protected democracy for the world in the second world war. That without India, there would be no democracy in the world because the outcome of the second world war would have been different. Finally I believe that in a democracy equality is not automatic or guaranteed and that is why women should be treated as Lakshmi – bringers of the wealth of nations and its good fortune. That as the ancient Hindu scriptures state, ‘where women are not revered, there nothing good can come.’ I hope my management students from India who heard this speech will take it to heart.

Your Voice Continued from page 10

UK India Special Relationship Why not trade in the technical knowhow in all above areas in return for the immense economic contribution the Indian Diaspora has been making for decades in the UK? Recent article in the Times [Feb 20 p1] stated that 75% of 3 million new jobs created in the previous 15 years were taken up by immigrants, failing to mention that most of these immigrants were British citizens. Such coverage in mainstream media continues to create disharmony among British citizens and stifles better UKIndian relations. Nagindas Khajuria Via EmailTwitter

The Horse rears his Head again Following on from my article, “ Horses for Courses”, more facts have come to light about the slaughter of horses for their meat. We now understand that the horse meat came from a French firm. This firm sparked a Europe-wide food scandal by allegedly passing off 750 tonnes of horsemeat as beef. Don’t be surprised if the so called hot dog will really contain dog’s meat. Then there was an up-roar about the potato chips from a well known chain of food outlet being fried in lard. Another fact which has recently come to light is that the red colour in many vegetarian foods comes from crushing bugs known as the cochineal beetle, the tiny insect from which the cochineal or carmine colouring is obtained. Their very dark red blood is used in the making of lip sticks and other food colouring. It is also widely used in products like cosmetics, sweets and certain drinks. Our ancestors who lived in jungles had no alternative but to eat animals to survive as farming was not developed at that time. Now, with modern farming methods and transport system, vegetarian foods like grains, fruit and vegetables from all over the world is available in abundance. Therefore eating of meat has no other purpose than cruelty to animals. But then we also pride in sitting on sofas made from leather and we sell tins of meat in our shops! Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

BJP and Modi

Poonam Bhattal, of Slough, Berkshire died after plunging 20ft from a ski lift in the Italian Alps. The 13 year old, who struck her head on concrete, slipped from a chairlift while on a school trip to the small resort of Claviere, near the border with France. The teenager had survived the fall, but tragically passed away on Friday morning, after apparently suffering from a cardiac arrest while she was being taken to hospital. Workers of the Miramonti ski lodge, where 30 others from Guru Nanak Sikh Academy in Hayes, Middlesex, was staying, paid tribute to the girl that was 'always happy, always smiling'. 'It's terrible. Nothing like this has ever happened before', said one of the staff members. It is sad to think that tragedy struck on the first lift of the day, moments after the teenager had put on her skis. Newly emerged details suggests that the young girl slid from the chair, after accidentally sitting in the wrong seat of the fourman chairlift. La Stampa newspaper was told that she did not sit in her assigned seat, perhaps as a joke or because she lost her bal-

I have read several letters in the British Asian press and in Indian press promoting Narendra Modi as a possible Prime Ministerial candidate and some sections of the Indian public want the BJP to declare him as their candidate. The main problem with the BJP is that some of the NDA partners like JD(U) do not want Modi to be the Prime Ministrial candidate due to some political considerations. The Congress party and the Muslims are exploiting Godhra riots to create communal division between Muslims and Hindus. If any party wants to come to power, it should win a large number of seats in UP and Bihar and more than 25 per cent of Lok Sabha members come from these states. Bihar ( 25%), U.P (25%); West Bengal ( more than 35%) and Assam (40%) have a large Muslim population and these states BJP is very weak. Historically most of the Prime Ministers come from Hindi speaking areas and the BJP and its supporters should accept this as a fact of life. There still exists division between Hindi speaking and

Poonam Bhattal

ance. She ended up sitting in the arms of a school friend Poonam Bhattal, came off the ski-lift in the Italian resort of Claviere, which is in the Alps. “Unfortunately its a horrible tragic accident. No one is to blame.” Investigators are closely looking into the safety of the lift and a postmortem will be taking place. The girl's parents flew out to Italy on the weekend to meet teachers and fellow pupils, who were due to leave the resort on the 23rd. Tributes were paid to the schoolgirl by pupils of the academy, by bringing memories and pictures of Poonam into class. They have also expressed their devastation and grief at her tragic death on social networking sites. One said: “School's going to be dead on Monday. We've lost a sister.”

According to the Daily Mail, Poonam Bhattal's injuries were compounded by the fact that she fell not onto fresh snow, but onto a stream in which there lay several rocks. She was riding on the lift with three other pupils, unaccompanied by any adult supervision, as one skier who came to the scene had claimed. A French skier, a teacher on a different school trip, present, stated: “There were no adults on the chair, just four youngsters altogether. I believe the children were messing around, jostling each other.” He claimed that they did not manage to put down the barrier correctly or properly and the lift operator heard shouting. “He went to stop the lift... maybe three to four seconds passed. But it was too late. She had already fallen.”

non Hindi speaking states. Since the UPA has nominated Rahul Gandhi as their candidate, the time has come for the BJP to nominate Sushma Swaraj or Arun Jetley as an acceptable candidate for the NDA parties. Indian politics is solely based on Communal politics and most of the them are opportunist. The sad part in India is that Hindu middle classes do not take active part in Indian politics. The people of India should realise that in twenty years the Muslim population is North and North Eastern states will exceed Hindu population and there is a possibility India being divided since Muslim population is increasing rapidly in these states. The time has come for Hindus to wake up. Arun Vaidyanathan Via Email

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UK - Asian Voice 2nd March 2013

Bhavan celebrates the memory of Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar It was a sombre event but a celebration nonetheless, paying tribute to one of the world’s greatest musical minds. The memorial event for Sitar virtuoso and Bhavan’s Patron Pandit Ravi Shankar on 24th February, was attended by those who were lucky enough to be closely associated with him, but also countless others who were enchanted by his music and personality. Chairman of Bhavan UK, Mr Joginder Sanger led the tributes and started off the evening’s proceedings, welcoming all those present and giving a special welcome to Anoushka Shankar, her husband Joe Wright and their son Zubin. All of those who spoke were unanimous in their praise for one of India’s greatest exports, many of whom recounted their personal anecdotes. Calling him the King of the Sitar, the Acting High Commissioner for India, His Excellency Dr V.K Paul said; “With his demise, the sitar most definitely has lost its strings” Bhavan’s Honorary Adviser Lord Hameed described Raviji; “as a meteor who dazzled the world with his brilliance

Executive Director Dr Nandakumara recalled Pandit Ravi Shankar’s dedication and devotion to the Bhavan, remembering that not once did he charge for a concert held at the London centre throughout his entire career. Throughout the evening, many spoke of Raviji’a legacy. His daughter Anoushka said she appreciated hearing about all the different facets to her father’s life, going on to say: “It is very moving to hear stories about him; different stories that I may not know. The Bhavan was part of his legacy, so are all his students, and people who play music. All of that is his legacy and I feel that I share it with everyone”. T h e meeting was concluded Anoushka Shankar giving a speech on the stage as Dr John Marr, Lord with a special Hameed, H.E Dr V.K Paul, Joginder Sanger and Maneck Dalal OBE look on cultural programme of made Pandit Ravi music and dance featurlong-time friend of Raviji Shankar internationally ing scores composed by recalled: “He was a great famous, but I would like Pandit Ravi Shankar, perteam-builder and adminto say it was Pandit Ravi formed by his former stuistrator. He had a great Shankar who made the dents and students of the respect for people around sitar internationally Bhavan. him.” The Bhavan’s known.” In his tribute, Bhavan’s Vice Chairman Padma Shri Dr John Marr said: “Pandit Ravi Shankar was a wonderfully encouraging mentor to some of our students here at the Bhavan”. Mridangam player Anoushka Shankar paying tribute P i r a s h a n n a to her late father by lighting a lamp Thevarajah, one such lucky disciand transcended cultures ple, said: “I’ve learned a and geography.” Former lifetime‘s worth of lesChairman and Foundersons from him and not Patron Mr Maneck Dalal just in music. I hope and OBE who knew him well pray I do justice to all he said: “people have somehas taught me. times said that the sitar Shambu Gupta, a

Shreya Ghoshal to perform at the Royal Albert Hall After the successful concert at Wembley Arena in April 2011, International Promoter, Rock on Music once again brings, Shreya Ghoshal, the reigning Queen of Melody, to UK for a much awaited musical night for her fans, performing live with an orchestra at The Royal Albert Hall on Bank Holiday Monday - 6th of May 2013. Celebrating 100 Years of Bollywood - it is going to be a spectacular night of musical festivities. For more information on the Shreya Ghoshal UK & Europe tour visit Born in Berhampur, West Bengal India on 12th of March 1984, her singing potential was discovered by her parents Shri Bishwajit Ghoshal & Smt Sharmistha Ghoshal and at the age of 4, she starting learning music from her first Guru, her mother. Training in Hindustani Classical music from Mahesh Chandra Sharma in Kota, Rajasthan she continued learning music in Mumbai with late Mukta Bhedeji. Winning the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa contest for the second time as an adult ,was the start of her singing career, noticed by director Sanjay Leela Bansali , Shreya got her break in Bollywood with ‘Devdas’ for which she received a National Film Award, launching her as a playback singer. At only 29, the Bollywood icon has won several National Film Awards and Filmfare Awards for best female singer

Shreya Ghoshal

and has sung in nine different languages! She has also received state awards by Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu industries. With a soft versatile, controlled melodious voice she is the bridge between Lata Mangeshkar and the future generation, winning fans all over the world. Zooming up the popularity ladder, she has worked with all the top music composers and legends like A.R. Rahman, Ilaiyaraaja, Ismail Darbar and Pritam to name a few. With latest hits like Chikni Chameli, Ooh La La Tu Hai Meri Fantasy, Naina Re, Teri Meri and Saans from ‘Jab Tak Hain Jaan’ she has left her contemporaries far behind. Supported by our Newspaper Media Partner Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar, the powerhouse of talent Shreya Ghoshal is going to set the stage alight with her performance. Make sure you are part of this musical extravaganza!!! For more information on Shreya Ghoshal UK and Europe Tour 2013 visit:

Does Dharma have a place in the modern world? With the sheer amount of widespread suffering, one thought is persistent in my mind: What can Indian philosophy offer us to make the world a better place? Dharma is the fundamental law of universal morality — relevant to all of us— it is to live in harmony with the world, proceeding beyond narrow self-interest and working for the welfare of all living beings. Of course, there will always be debate about what constitutes an ideal lifestyle. One of the charms of the Mahabharata, a monumental Hindu scripture, is that it discusses the subtleties of Dharma in detail rather than dictating it. Within the narrative, Shri Krishna explains to Arjuna how he should take care not to reduce Dharma to simple rules. He explains how a holy man named Kausika had taken a vow to always speak the truth and became famous for adhering to the principle. Then one day, a family were attempting to escape with their possessions from a group of ferocious robbers. The criminals asked Kausika the Saint, where did the people go? Kausika directed them towards the woods they were hiding in. Acting on his information the robbers killed the people and took all of their possessions. Kausika in this case committed adharma. Shri Krishna then goes on to say ‘There has to be some way of distinguishing Dharma. Some say the highest knowledge is gained through reason (tarka) but many others say knowledge of Dharma is gained from the Shruti (scriptures). I do not disagree with this, but the Shruti does not refer to each individual case. Dharma was created for the welfare of living beings and hence whatever sustains living beings is

Hemal Randerwala is a Hindu activist and founder of Go Dharmic. He is a longtime student of Ex-Harvard Professor Ram Dass, and is currently in the final stages of editing a book co authored with Dr Nicholas Sutton named,’The Book of Dharma’.

Dharma. So we must understand Dharma as that which leads to the welfare of people in the world. Now that I have given you a clear definition of Dharma you must decide how to act!’ We see here in the passage the ideas of an emphasis considering each case carefully, of the importance of non-violence, and compassion for others. These are the principles upon which I established Go Dharmic, a platform for Dharmic action. The fact is that Dharma is a subtle concept which requires due attention. Our first campaign was to raise awareness about the predicaments in Dairy farming. We have worked tirelessly for two years with British organic farmers to create understanding about the benefits of organic milk, and standing up against large-scale factory farms in the UK.

We have also launched a competition to win a cricket bat generously signed by the Indian National Cricket team along with our partner Project Crayons to help care for young vulnerable girls in Mumbai. Of course, these are just a few out of a thousand possible causes that can be launched, but each small act of Dharma is of profound importance. Look, it may be too much to expect Dharma to be centred in the heart of political and public life in the world. Realistically maybe artha, wealth accumulation, has always had greater position, but Hinduism and Indian philosophy teaches us to work for Daya Bhuteshu which means compassion for all living beings. Regarding Dharma and diet, one of our Facebook followers wrote after I posted about the horrendous horsemeat scandal that has recently taken place, “I am horrified that we have no idea what is in our food, what will make us wake up and realise what we are doing to ourselves and the planet?” We see all too often what happens when people overcome with greed and anger forget virtue. So, I truly believe that Dharma is of great importance in

the Modern world, it is charity, it is non-violence, it is compassion, it is as that which is best for all. I believe it is the greatest concept we can teach our children. I, along with CB Patel and the ABPL team, invite you to join us in celebrating over 5000 years of Dharma at the Be Dharmic event on the 9th and 10th of March. We hope this unique event will celebrate Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, the world as one family. Even if one person decides to do one Dharma inspired act, no matter how great, we will consider the event a great success. Be Dharmic, 9-10th March, Sattavis Pattidas Centre, Wembley, London. A wonderful celebration including performances by the Kuntal Dance Academy and Meera Performing Arts, A mela of food stalls, shopping, and educational campaigns. The Go Dharmic workshops will run from 2-3pm in the main hall on both days. Dr Nandakumar of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan will be giving a Keynote address on Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (The world family) at Dharma Sabha beginning at 11am on Sunday, 10th March 2013.

Mother’s dAy speciAl - Asian Voice 2nd March 2013


Make mum feel truly special at Stoke Park with this Special Mother’s Day Package

MOTHER’S DAY SPECIAL Mother’s day is a celebration that honours mothers and is a way to say thank you for all they have done. It takes place on the Sunday, which is the fourth Sunday of Lent. The day is celebrated in many parts of the world, on different dates. This year, it will take place, in England, on 10 March 2013.

GIFT IDEAS Make your mother feel special this mother’s day with these thoughtful gifts! Personalized Cupcake Mug £11.99 The perfect gift for the special lady in your life, surprise mum with this special, fabulous, personalized 'Pretty as a cupcake' mug! Visit: The Slanket Original Lavender Pink - £24.95 Keep mum feeling warm and cosy with this slanket! Visit: HoMedics Entry Shiatsu Massage Chair - £59.99 Place on the sofa or a chair whilst watching TV, this massage chair will have mum feeling relaxed right away! Visit: www.argos.couk Vanilla Pod Diffuser Sticks - £8.00 Enhance your home's environment with these infusion sticks, delicately fragranced with the scent of vanilla pod for 6 weeks of a beautiful and relaxing aroma. Black Chevron Quilted Handbag £49.00

This Mother’s Day, give your Mum a well-deserved pampering in the lush surroundings of Stoke Park. Upon arrival at the traditional Georgian manson, she will feel immediately at home in a friendly ambience, where she can put her feet up and be pampered! She will be greeted by beautiful flowers and a relaxing Polynesia Candle she can take home and enjoy. Dinner will be served in the award winning fine dining restaurant, Humphry’s, where she has the option of trying the Chef’s signature dish: the Dorset Crab Tian or delicious Humphry’s Snickers. Once she has taken in the 5 star luxuries of her surroundings there is plenty for her to do at Stoke Park. The list is endless: experience exquisite treatment in the Spa, swim in the indoor pool, or simply chill out in the steam rooms. Or if she just wants to sit and catch up with loved ones, Stoke Park has delicious afternoon teas and cosy lounges where she can indulge and relax! The Mother's Day Package includes: Overnight stay in a Superior Room Full English Breakfast Three course dinner in Humphry’s (3 AA Rosettes) Beautiful Bouquet of Flowers and Polynesia Candle in room on arrival

From £380 per room based on two people sharing a Superior Room. Standard upgrades apply. Valid on


MESSAGES If you would like to surprise your mum with a message on Mother’s day, send a short message before Sunday 3rd March to either: or, and it will appear in the 9th March issue.

This designer handbag is stylish and sophisticated and is perfect for any mother to throw all her everyday belongings in! Visit: Afternoon Tea for two at Harrods luxurious Georgian Restaurant - £58

Kobo The traditional afternoon menu comprises freshly cut sandwiches, home baked raisin scones and a selection of tea pastries from the famous Harrods Patisserie - all served with unlimited tea of

your choice. Visit: Champneys Chocolate Wrapper Experience Day £40.00 Experience a (delicious) massage that submerges you in chocolate! Visit:

Saturday 9th March & Sunday 10th March 2013. To book, contact: 01753 71 71 72 or visit Top Tunes to dedicate to a special mum

If your mum loves reading, Kobo makes a brilliant gift for this Mother's Day. This eReader has an open platform, and allows consumers to buy eBooks from almost every outlet. Though Kobo Mini might be the best for working mums (to slip it in the office bag or coat pocket and can hold upto 1000 ebooks), Kobo Arc is suitable for mums who love gadgets or tablets and likes to read stories, see pictures in colour. However the best of the three is Kobo Glo, which has a soft and adjustable back light (or comfort light) for the screen and is best for mums who love to read all the time, even in bed (without keeping others awake). It also uses customisable fonts and a noglare XGA high-resolution 6” E Ink screen that is just like reading print on paper and connects easily to Wi Fi. £59, £159 and £99 respectively, Kobo is available at WHSmith and all fine electronics retailers.

Whether you’re in the car or simply having a night in enjoying eachother’s company, these Bollywood classics are sure to get you in the Mothers day spirit. 1. ‘Maa’ from the 2007 movie Taare Zameen par 2. ‘Kushiyon ka din aaya hai’ from the 1992 movie Beta 3. ‘O mummy mummy’ fom the 1997 comedy Deewana Mastana 4. ‘Ma da ladla wigad gaya” from the 2008 movie Dostana 5. Maye ni maye” from the 1994 movie Hum Aapke Hain Kaun? 6. ‘Maa ne kaha’ from the 1998 movie Zakhm

Delicious Breakfast Recipe Treat mum to breakfast in bed with this delicious avocado based breakfast!

You will need: 1 large potato 1 egg yolk 1T butter, melted Half a ripe avocado 6 rashers of free range streaky bacon 2 eggs (for poaching) Grate the potato sprinkling a little salt over it, and set to drain on a clean tea towel. Boil a pot of water for the eggs, lay your bacon out on a grill tray, and cut the avocado into slices. After the potato has drained for 10 mins, squeeze all the liquid you can out of them. Once the potato is as dry as possible, place in a bowl with the egg yolk, melted butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Form into little patties about 5mm thick and fry on a medium heat with a

little oil until golden. Flip and fry the other side. When ready, pull them off the heat and put in the oven to keep warm. While the potato rosti are frying, get your bacon under the grill. As soon as the bacon looks mostly done, turn off the grill. Once the rosti and bacon are done, turn off the boiling pot of water for the eggs, and slide the eggs into the water to poach. Prepare the rosti and bacon and then arrange on the plate and top with the avocado. When the timer buzzes for the eggs, they should be ready. Gently top your stack with the poached eggs, a crack of pepper and a pinch of salt and there you go!

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18 - Asian Voice 2nd March 2013

Financial Voice Dear Financial Voice Reader,

Which way is the pound going to go now and which way the Rupee? Should you convert Rupees to Pounds or Dollars into Pounds? The fall of the pound recently to $1.51 means that it is above its $1.30 weak point but well below the 2008/9 $2 to the pound. There is a real danger at around 75% probability that the pound will reach $1.31. This is not just because of UK growth weakness but also because of US growth strength. The Euro too is attractive because it is of our relief of no likely collapse so the markets are getting back into a Euro which was beaten down. So where does it leave the Pound? Normally after news which everyone expects, like a UK downgrade, the price of the Pound should actually rally – because the negative news was already in the price. When that does not happen, as here, and the price continues falling it means the market has the opportunity to push lower and that is the fear. But the downgrade is good news for the country – exports will be cheaper and when France and US were downgraded the rate the Government has to pay on its debt actually reduced. In any event interest rates are so low that a slight rise makes little difference. So in the immediate term it looks good to buy these cheap pounds. What about Rupees. Over the long term the Rs has fallen consistently. Even after years of Indian growth, inward investment, high interest rates – all things which should mean a stronger Rupee, we have seen a near all time low in the Rupee. Why? Because the rest of the world is also growing and of less risk and so despite India’s attraction, it is relatively unattractive to vast sums of money. On top of this Indian companies and individuals are selling Rupees to buy assets abroad, including in the UK. So whilst the Rs may rise in the near term, over months and years the trend is lower. I don’t however see it going below Rs100 to the pound. What of the equity markets? I remain positive on these, especially the US and UK markets generally. This is for the same reasons mentioned before – they have good profits because they have been so scared of the credit crunch and uncertainty that they sacked a load of people, so cut their costs and then they worked as productively as possible and cut expenditures. Fear usually leads to profit. And it has done for the world’s largest companies. On top of that, a lot of British companies are commodity related and there remains a commodity boom. So overall, despite a very good January I expect a positive year for the markets. What about debt? Well like a credit card on zero interest, you can just prolongue the debt repayments out indefinitely and that is actually what Governments are doing. So again, no major worries. My biggest concern? North Korea and Iran. But that’s something for my political column.

flipflop policies and political opposition buried the group’s desires until Fernandes approached Ratan Tata with a proposal late last year. A Tata executive said that the group’s participation in the venture is that of a financial investor and it will not be running the show. Analysts said India’s robust air travel demand was the key to draw AirAsia and other investors to the domestic aviation story. Amit Bhatia is a coinvestor with Fernandes in sporting ventures, which include owning European football team Queen Park Rangers. Estimates suggest that the number of domestic air travellers will triple to 159 million by 2021. “Hugely exciting venture involving my family, Tata Sons and the coolest guy around, Tony Fernandes,” Bhatia tweeted. The parties have made an application to the FIPB for approval, after which they require the blessings of the civil aviation ministry. They will then have to approach the airline regulator for an air operator’s permit.

No more job cuts till June, ArcelorMittal promises European Commission

Rajat Gupta asked to repay $6.22 mn to Goldman

ArcelorMittal has pledged to suspend closures and job cuts in Europe pending the launch of a pan-Europe plan in June to save the struggling steel industry, the European Commission said. EU Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani quoted a letter from the global steel giant as saying "there will be no more cuts" at its plants in Europe that employ 98,000 people until the launch of the plan. In its own statement, ArcelorMittal confirmed "that no new restructuring plan is envisaged other than what is already announced and being implemented. In the event that the European situation further deteriorates we would engage with the European Commission," it added, without elaborating. ArcelorMittal said it

Special court issues summons to Vijay Mallya over Kingfisher tax dues In fresh trouble for the head of crisis-ridden Kingfisher Airlines, Vijay Mallya, the special court for economic offences has issued summons to him on an income tax department criminal case for not remitting to government the tax deducted at source from salaries of its employees. The court's action came after it took cognizance of the offence under sections 276B and 278B of the I-T Act, 1962,

year. AirAsia typically invests anywhere from $30 million to $50 million to start an airline,” he said, adding that Tata Group chairman emeritus Ratan Tata would be representing the Indian side. Fernandes shares a personal rapport with the 75-year-old Tata, a fact that triggered the deal. The JV marks the Tata Group’s return to the aviation business, something which it pioneered in the country as well as Cyrus Mistry’s first big move after becoming group chairman in December last year. The group bowed out of aviation when India nationalized Tata Airlines, which is now Air India, in 1953. The $100 billion group that has its finger in almost every business from outsourcing to steel, luxury cars and salt has always desired to have a presence in the aviation sector. It explored returning to the sector at least twice in the past two decades, when it joined hands with Singapore Airlines, first to float a new airline, and then, to bid for Air India. But the government’s

One of the airline industry’s most aggressive entrepreneurs and AirAsia founder Tony Fernandes has brought the Tata Group back into the airline industry after 60 years. The Indian-origin Fernandes has also drawn in the family of Amit Bhatia, son-in-law of steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, pulling off a coup in the cash-strapped domestic aviation industry. Asia’s biggest low-cost carrier, the Kuala Lumpurbased AirAsia, is floating a joint venture with Tata Sons, the holding company of India’s largest conglomerate, and Telestra Tradeplace, an investment vehicle of the Bhatia family, to launch a new airline in India. AirAsia will have 49% stake, Tatas 30% and Bhatia will hold 21% in the company, which will be headquartered in Chennai. The JV hopes to start operations in the last quarter of this year under the AirAsia brand, the 48year-old AirAsia CEO Fernandes said. AirAsia’s entry is expected to shake up India’s airline sector,

for not remitting Rs 749. 4 million deducted as TDS in 2009-10 fiscal and Rs 237 million imposed as interest for not meeting the deadline stipulated for payment. Section 276B entails rigorous imprisonment for a minimum of three months and a maximum of seven years with fine. The development spells fresh trouble for Mallya, whose airline is tottering with a net loss of Rs 7.55 billion.

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AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes

which has seen airfares shoot up in recent past. The airline already flies into several south Indian cities, linking them with major Asian hubs at competitive fares. This is the first foreign direct investment (FDI) after Indian government relaxed ownership rules, allowing foreign carriers to hold 49% stake in a domestic airline. “We have carefully evaluated developments in India over the last few years and strongly believe that the current environment is perfect to introduce AirAsia’s low fares,” Fernandes said. AirAsia operates multiple joint ventures in Asian markets. “We hope to have regulatory approvals in place by the fourth quarter of this

looked forward to contributing toward the June plan since Europe needed an "ambitious and effective" way forward to cope with a massive 30 per cent fall in steel demand since 2007. The EU executive earlier asked ArcelorMittal to suspend the closure of several sites pending the plan but the company had initially declined. The steel group's recent decisions to shutter plants in Belgium, Luxembourg and France triggered violent protests as well as moves by EU nations to band together to save an industry that was at the heart of the creation of the bloc. "There is no Europe without steel," Tajani said. He said ArcelorMittal had pledged to keep the French site of Florange and the Belgian site of Liege open but

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would cut back capacity. At the same time, the company agreed to invest 180 million euros in the French site and 140 million euros in Belgium to produce cutting edge products for the auto and packaging sector. It also said workers who were made redundant would be given jobs at other plants in Belgium and France. Earlier this month, ArcelorMittal reported a massive net loss of $3.72 billion (2.75 billion euros) for 2012, largely due to costs related to Europe but said closing plants and other restructuring efforts would be enough to support a rebound this year. "The year 2012 was a very difficult time for the steel industry, " chief executive of the company Lakshmi Mittal said.


A federal judge on Monday ordered former Goldman Sachs Group Inc director Rajat Gupta to reimburse $6.22 million to help the Wall Street bank cover its legal expenses related to his criminal insider trading case. Goldman had sought to recover $6.91 million, and US District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan said the bank had proved it was entitled to 90 per cent of what it requested. Gupta, 64, is appealing his June 15, 2012 conviction and twoyear prison term for feeding confidential information he had learned at Goldman board meetings to Raj Rajaratnam, the Galleon Group hedge fund manager and former billionaire. Rajaratnam has been a central figure in a multi-year US government crackdown on insider trading.

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finAnciAl Voice - Asian Voice 2nd March 2013


Who Says Looks Are Shallow?

Suresh Vagjiani Sow & Reap A Property Investment Company

The importance of presentation is widely recognised in marketing; in fact much of the money one pays for some goods is mostly for the presentation and the packaging and not for what’s inside i.e. the content. Why when it comes to property do people often cheap out in the last moment; after doing all the hard work of paying fees, getting planning consents etc do they skimp out on the presentation of the property? Developers of new homes often use a show home to help potential buyers to visualize what the flat could look like. On this basis they can sell thin air at a premium to what a nearby flat sells for. Recently New Homes At Savills sold off plan deals in Cambridge for £600 per Sq Ft when the average rate for flats in the city are only £400 per Sq Ft; a 50% mark up for something that doesn’t exist. New developments spend a lot on marketing not just to help the potential purchaser visualize the property but to get them to buy into the emotional appeal of the development. For example the developer will go to great lengths to create an image for the kind of person who would be likely to buy in these developments.

P urch asers are n ot ju st bu ying in to a prope rty now t hey are also get ting an iden tity fo r themselves; t he prope rty you can me asure in price , bu t t he id entity is priceless. Hence you can charge a premium and get away with it. What’s more is with most of these new developers’ flats the flat you end up purchasing is only half as good as the show home they showed you when they sold the flat to you a couple of year ago, inevitably they come with a host of snagging issues to be addressed. The build quality tends to be poor on many of the mass build projects, cheaply done and very prima facie. I had a call only today about someone who had purchased a property for £600k in a new build development in Watford, he’s struggling with a leaky roof, cracks appearing and damp issues. He purchased it one year ago and paid a sweet premium to live in this new build property. When it comes to property development, small developers often fail to capitalise on this important lesson. Many small and medium developers think they do not have a budget or visualization to present the property in the right manor and consequently make zero effort to do so; but this is simpler and cheaper than you may think. There’s a reason why when you go to a car show room all the cars look gleaming to the point they will never look like this again once you drive them out of the show room. It’s because first impressions count and a £20 valet will sell a £10,000 car. I actually got the seed of this idea whilst working for an estate agent briefly in Paddington about ten years ago. I was introduced to a top performer at Foxtons who had smashed all the sales records in the branch in Notting Hill; that’s a mean feat in an aggressive company like Foxtons, and in an area as competitive as Notting Hill. He had then gone on to become a property developer in his own right, working on flats in and around the area. When he purchased and resold a property he managed to achieve the highest price per Sq Ft ever sold on the street. He smashed all the ceiling prices ever achieved. W hen I asked him what his secret was he simply said he had an inte rior designe r to co me and add the finishing tou ches to his pro perties which g ave the ed ge on all oth e rs o n t he mark et. This tip has stayed with me for a long while and has only recently fructified. When someone with an impressive track record gives you a nugget of advice, you keep it with you tight until the right situation presents itself. Finally I will have a chance to put this important lesson to the test. We will be commencing a refurbishment of a large 1400 Sq Ft flat we have picked up in Kensington for £892,000 which has a share of freehold. We had a designer study the property and come up with a design. In a flat it is important to keep the design internally in sync with the rest of the block, otherwise it will not be a holistic design. So at the very least you need to have someone to recognize the features and be able to replicate them in the inside of the property. Otherwise the property will not flow with communal parts. We have chosen to use a designer in this property all the way down to the finer details to ensure the property is presented in the best possible light. This includes the flowers, mirrors etc and it will be fully laden with furniture in an attempt to achieve the absolute maximum. The aim here is to go all out and smash the record ever achieved in this block in terms of £ per Sq Ft. There is a real gap in the market when it comes to presentation. The bigger developers have seen this and addressed it not only because they have the funds to do so but because they have the foresight to do so. The funds perhaps you cannot replicate but the foresight you can. The property was purchased not simply because of the price or sim-

ply because it was a share of freehold but equally to do with the feel of the property. This property, though in a purpose built block, is fortunate to have three different aspects or view points, meaning plenty of light streaming into the property. In many block of flats you would be fortunate to even have two. You don’ t ne ed to be a Fen g Shui co nsultant t o kn ow with this much dayl ig ht coming in to the pro perty you will get a g ood fee lin g in t he f lat. The reception room in particular has windows in the easterly and westerly directions therefore you catch both the rising and setting of the sun. The planning permission from the freeholder has been granted and the design scheme has been approved. All we are awaiting for is the builder's estimate to come in which I know will be competitive. Then we will start work on this project very shortly. The builder we are using is one of the main contractors for the Royal Freemasonic School for Girls in Rickmansworth. The reason why we came across this builder and why I insisted on using them on this project irrespective of whether they're the cheapest is because I used to work for them many years ago as a laborer. I got to see first hand how they operate when no one is watching. This is whe re it cou nts, as things can be smo othed over an d your contrac tor may leave you with a be aut iful look ing flat but with t ime bombs yet to explod e. Their finishing is also second to none as many of the schools' buildings are listed and the workmanship has to be to a high standard. You may think a project like this is out of your range, but when you break the figures down it reduces substantially. When we analyse the above project there are two parts to it. First the purchase and secondly the refurbishment. When we look at the purchase price of £900k (we'll say £900k for simplicity), we need only 65% of this amount, as the rest will be provided by a lender. Therefore only £315k is required. The build cost which will be no more than £70k will be funded also by 50% this will mean you need a further £35k. This adds up to £350k; add stamp duty with legal’s which adds up to £40k. We are looking at £400k rounded up. This means £200k each between two individuals as a joint venture, now an investment in a nice part of town becomes achievable allowing you to ensure higher returns and more security due to the location and type of investment. Even if you have £100k we have investments to suit your budget. Call us now to see how we can make your money work harder for you.

We provide a turnkey solution. Contact us now:

Specialists in Central London Property Sourcing

0207 993 0103

55 Bryanston Street, Marble Arch Tower, London, W1H 7AA

Tips of the Week l When purchasing in auction always check the seller has held the property for longer than six months, otherwise you will have difficulty obtaining finance. Many of these properties are being sold by way of auction. l When purchasing BTL property always check the service charges, especially on new build flats, as these can dampen your rental income.


UK - Asian Voice 2nd March 2013

The First Golden Rule of Good Investing

The Fifth Golden Rule of Investing – Costs & Charges

Mr Justin Urquhart Stewart Sadly the financial services industry is littered with examples of heinous behaviour from the misleading to the criminal. Over the years i have found that some of the most pernicious examples seem to relate to the costs and charges that are levied on private investors. On the surface such amounts can appear almost trivial, but when added together they can provide a painful cost and negate any of the benefit that your investments may have otherwise gained. I divide these items into the covert, and overt costs. The overt ones are usually given to us, although it can often take some work to co-ordinate all of these so that we can establish their full impact. These can be from trading commissions on shares, through to management charges on funds and portfolios. However, from these relatively straightforward costs you can find other “additional” costs for nominee and custody accounts, or maybe a platform fee. There are even some examples of an “inactivity fee” which I find astonishing – so you get charged when you do something and then when you do nothing! Some of these charges from private banks and stockbrokers amongst others need to be calculated to give you a full picture of your true cost, but I’m sad to say I have come across too many examples where the client thinks he may be paying a mere 0.5%, but in fact we find it is in excess of 4% each year! Although the recent introduction of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) has outlawed commissions for financial advisers, it means that a fee for advice may be levied. Some have said that advice was previously given free – but that was untrue – it was just being subsidised by the product provider whom you were paying! This should make the issue of cost slightly clearer here but there are still other issues to address. For a fund you will have the annual management charge (AMC) but there have always been other costs which were not so prominently displayed. These were referred to as a Total Expense Ratio (TER) to include other operational and trading costs (actually they didn’t necessarily include the total expenses and weren’t even a ratio!). These are now also referred to as ongoing charges and should be identified, as they can add a significant cost to a fund which, in a period of lower and slower growth can make all the difference between a profit and a loss. Then there are the covert costs. Sadly unless you are experienced within the industry, there are many cracks and crevices within the system which can allow extra costs to be incurred through ineptitude, inefficiency or sometimes just ignorance! For example with certain investments the trading price can be vital. In the stockmarket, brokers are obliged to obtain the “best” price for the client at that moment. However, the “best” price may not necessarily be the best in terms of a dealer being able to trade most effectively in the market – this is down to experience. Thus the spread, the difference between the buying and selling price, may vary according how and who they deal with. Equally they may need to trade on another market, say in Paris, to get a better price, and often the lack of knowledge and capability may mean that you as a client may not necessarily be getting the best possible value. In my view all the costs and charges should be as clear and as straightforward as possible, and I have always thought that the cost of investment should always correspond to performance – you can earn more if it goes up – and less if it goes down! Costs and charges can cheat your portfolio, so please check and challenge to make sure you are really getting the best value. Justin

Seven Investment Management 125 Old Broad Street London EC2N 1AR Tel: 020 7760 8777 Seven Investment Management is authorised and regulated by the FSA

extremely high," and its outlook was stable. Moody's said that "a combination of political will and medium-term fundamental underlying economic strengths will, in time, allow the government to implement its fiscal consolidation plan and reverse UK's debt trajectory." For the British government, the move was unwelcome but not unexpected. All three of the big rating agencies - Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch- had placed Britain's rating on negative watch, as the economy continues to struggle. The Conservative-led government is cutting 50 billion pounds ($80 billion) in spending through 2015 in a bid to slash the national debt, which stands at more than 1 tril-

lion pounds, over 70 per cent of GDP. Moody's said it expected that level to peak at just over 96 per cent of GDP in 2016. Public sector borrowing remains stubbornly high, and is forecast by the government's Office for Budget Responsibility to be 120 billion pounds for 2013. Critics say the government's austerity policy has failed to kick-start the economy, which has been through two periods of recession since 2008. The UK emerged from a nine-month recession in the third quarter, when GDP grew by 0.9 per cent. But the economy contracted by a worse-than-expected 0.3 per cent in the last three months of 2012. Glimmers of good news for the government

include a stable unemployment rate - 7.8 per cent in the last quarter - and low interest rates. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond fell over the year from 2.29 per cent in February of 2012 to 2.11 per cent now. Osborne said in a statement that the downgrade was "a stark reminder of the debt problems facing our country," with a debt accumulated over the years exacerbated by Europe's economic crisis. "Far from weakening our resolve to deliver our economic recovery plan, this decision redoubles it," he said, promising to press on with debt-cutting. "We will go on delivering the plan that has cut the deficit by a quarter, and given us record low interest rates and record numbers of jobs," Osborne said.

Azim Premji transfers `123 bn to his not-for-profit foundation

Sahara plans to set up thinktank in UK

Credit ratings agency Moody's Investors Service downgraded Britain's government bond rating one notch from the top AAA to AA1 last week, saying sluggish growth and rising debt were weakening the country's medium-term outlook. Treasury Chief George Osborne said the blow only redoubled his resolve "to deliver our economic recovery plan," based on deep spending cuts. Moody's said "subdued" growth prospects and a "high and rising debt burden" were weighing on the British economy. The agency said rising debt meant "a deterioration in the shockabsorption capacity of the government's balance sheet, which is unlikely to reverse before 2016." It said, though, "the UK's creditworthiness remains

This would be the biggest ever charity gesture shown in India. Azim Premji has transferred Rs 123 billion worth of personal shares to his trust that funds his philanthropic activities. This comes on top of a transfer he did in 2010 and then valued at Rs 88.46 billion. The Azim Premji Foundation, the vehicle through which the philanthropic activities are conducted, said that Premji had transferred 295.5 million equity shares, representing 12% of the total shares of Wipro Ltd and held by entities controlled by him, to an irrevocable trust. With this transfer, the trust's shareholding in Wipro will go up to 19.93%. "This trust will utilize the endowment to fund various social, notfor-profit initiatives of the Foundation, which are expected to scale significantly over the next few years," it said. The "Giving Pledge"

Azim Premji

campaign, led by billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, had recently named Premji among billionaires around the world who had committed a majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Premji and his family hold about 75% of the shares in the $7-billion Wipro. Recently, some major commitments have also come from other Indian industry bigwigs, including Shiv Nadar, founder of HCL, who gave Rs 5.80 billion towards education, and GM Rao, chairman of the GMR Group, who gave Rs 1.53 billion for educating the underprivileged. The Azim Premji

Foundation has, over the past two years, done a slew of activities in education: established the Azim Premji University in Bangalore, state-level institutes in three states, district-level institutes in seven districts and six demonstration schools associated with the district institutes. Seven more district-level institutes are in various stages of formation. The Foundation said it would open 60 district-level institutes and 8 state-level institutes across the country by 2016. It will also open 60 to 100 schools of its own. Premji University is expected to have 3,500 students in the next four years from 350 students now. "The district institutes will become outreach facilities for the university," the Foundation said. Dileep Ranjekar, CEO of the Premji Foundation, said: “We are looking at a 10-fold growth of our activities in the next three to four years.”

Subrata Roy Sahara, the chief of the beleaguered Sahara India Pariwar, met British Prime Minister David Cameron to commit to a project that has the potential to generate thousands of jobs in the UK and would also benefit a large number of Indians looking at UK for business and education. In a closed-door meeting with the UK PM in Mumbai, the Sahara India chief presented a detailed plan for an 'India Centre' in the UK and also a 'Sahara Think-Tank,' a body that would promote business opportunities there. These initiatives were initially suggested by the Lucknowbased group to Cameron in June last year in London and have now been given the final shape, a Sahara release said. The think-tank initiative is aimed at providing a platform through a well-structured team of young British professionals to tap unique and hidden business opportunities in the UK which will be funded by the Sahara group.

Private companies, PSUs can set up banks in India

Almost three years after it was first promised in the Union Budget of 2010-11, the Reserve Bank of India has allowed all private and public sector companies to apply for bank licences, paving the way for business houses such as the Tatas, Aditya Birla group, L&T, ADAG, Mahindra & Mahindra and Reliance to throw their hat into the ring. Besides these large groups, financial service companies like Bajaj Finserv, Shriram Capital, Srei Finance and some public sector finance companies such as Power Finance Corporation, Rural

Electrification Co and LIC Housing Finance may also seek a licence. The last time the RBI issued a licence to a private player was in 2004 to Yes Bank. The final norms, announced on Friday, come 18 months after the RBI issued draft guidelines on the issue and does not exclude real estate companies from applying for licences as was widely believed. The final guidelines were delayed as the central bank insisted that the government amend banking laws to give it sweeping powers to replace the boards of banks and supervise conglomerates

that have a bank in the group. Even after amendments to the act, the guidelines went through a few iterations with the government asking RBI to knock out parts that excluded builders and brokers. These guidelines require the shares of a new bank to be held by a nonoperative financial holding company, which would also hold shares of other financial services businesses of the group. To ensure that banks are not controlled by corporate houses, RBI has insisted that promoters bring down their holding in banks to below 40% within three

years from the date of commencement. This would be done partially through a compulsory listing, within three years of launch. Although new lenders such as HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank have carved a nice for themselves since they set up shop in the mid-90s the going won't be easy for new entrants. From day one banks will have to ensure that a fourth of their branches are in unbanked areas. This is the same norm for existing banks, but incumbents have the advantage of having already achieved a critical mass of branches in metros.

finAnciAl voice - Asian Voice 2nd March 2013


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

Credit rating from â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Aaaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Aa1â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Moodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cut the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s credit rating from â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Aaaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Aa1â&#x20AC;&#x2122; on the evening of Friday 22nd February driving the pound to a two-anda-half year low against the dollar and a 16-month low against the euro. Moodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gave reasoning for the decision as they see weakness in the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s growth outlook, a rising debt burden and foresee challenges to the governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fiscal consolidation program. Whilst the decision was not surprising and thus a lot of the negative news may already be priced in; further weakness in the pound cannot be ruled out as Fitch and S&P (Standard & Poorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s) may also downgrade the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s credit rating. The news added to the poor performance of the pound following the dovish tone set by the Bank of England on Wednesday 20th February at the BoE minutes meeting. Mervyn King and Paul Fisher joined David Miles on voting to increase the bond purchasing programme by ÂŁ25 billion to ÂŁ400 billion. The other six members voted to keep the programme unchanged and all nine members voted to keep interest rates at 0.5% The euro fell under pressure on Friday 22nd February after

the European Commission slashed its growth expectations for the euro zone, forecasting a contraction of 0.3% during 2013 instead of the 0.1% growth that was initially expected. Governments across Europe face an uphill battle to rein in their overspending, with Spain, France and Portugal all failing to cut their deficits to agreed targets. Spain's deficit, at 10.2% of GDP in 2012, was well above its 6.3% target, and would stay above target into 2014

Also the (ECB) European Central Bank announced on Friday that 356 banks will repay â&#x201A;Ź61.1bln of the Long Term Refinancing Operation fund that was made last year, instead of the â&#x201A;Ź130bln that the market had been expecting. The outcome of Italyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s general election will be the next event on the horizon for euro investors. Italian elections have finished on Monday and recent exits polls show that Bersaniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s centre-left won 36% to 38% of

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votes, Berlusconiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s centre-right took 29%, Beppe Grillo has 19% and Mario Monti won 9.5%. Investors will be concerned that the reforms that Mario Monti had put in place may be under threat should Berlusconi win or if he is involved in a coalition process, and thus this could put pressure on the euro. In the US, the Federal Open Market Committee minutes on Wednesday 20th February revealed that several policy makers were of the opinion that the central bank should vary the pace of bond purchases, signalling a possible end to quantitative easing in the US. The stance was less dovish than the market anticipated and thus eased concern of deterioration in the value of the US dollar and thus enticing appetite for the currency. Data released on Friday 22nd February also revealed that retail sales in Canada fell by 2.1% instead of falling 0.1%, like the market anticipated, as well as inflation falling short of market expectations. The figures indicate that growth in the economy may be slowing as well as indicating a possible rate cut from the Bank of Canada in the future.

Weekly Currencies As of Tuesday 26th February 2013 @ 5.15pm GBP - INR = 81.87 USD - INR = 54.15 EUR - INR = 70.67 GBP - USD = 1.15 GBP - EUR = 1.16 EUR - USD = 1.30 GBP - AED = 5.55 GBP - CAD = 1.55 GBP - NZD = 1.83 GBP - AUD = 1.48 GBP - ZAR = 13.38 GBP - HUF = 342.07 Information provided by RationalFX. None of the information on this page constitutes, nor should be construed as financial advice. The exchange rates used areâ&#x20AC;&#x201A;the commercial foreign exchange rates provided by RationalFX. For a live quote or to find out more about how RationalFXâ&#x20AC;&#x201A;can help you, call us on 0207 220 8181.



Pakistan-Bangladesh-sri lanka - asian Voice 2nd March 2013

In Focus Nepal woman scales Everest twice within days

Kathmandu: A Nepalese climber was confirmed as the first woman to scale Mount Everest twice in a single season, Guinness World Records said, after she made the second summit within days of the first. Chhurim Sherpa, 29, reached the 8,848-metre (29,028-feet) peak on May 12 last year before returning to base camp for a wellearned rest and then repeating the stunning feat a mere week later. "I was determined that the record should be held by a Nepalese woman and I'm proud to be one," said Sherpa, from Nepal's eastern hills.

29 militants killed in air strikes

Islamabad: Air strikes by combat jets have killed 29 militants and destroyed several hideouts in Pakistan's lawless tribal belt, security officials said. The air strikes targeted militant positions in Orakzai and Khyber tribal regions. In Orakzai Agency, raids were carried out at Arghanju, Saparsok and Tanboh. Nine militants were killed and several others were injured, security officials were quoted as saying. Three militant hideouts were destroyed in the area. Jets targeted militant positions in Dawathoi area of Khyber Agency and killed 20 rebels, including a commander. Four hideouts were destroyed in the area, officials said.

Chinese aid for Pakistanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nuclear plants

Beijing: China has loaned Pakistan Rs 136 billion ($1.38 bn) for two nuclear power plants to be readied by 2016, the state-run media said. The power plants of 340MW each are being built with Chinese assistance at the Chashma nuclear complex in Punjab province.

Pak crack-down on banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi

Islamabad: Police in Pakistan's most populous province of Punjab have detained over 50 people in a crackdown on the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipah-eSahaba Pakistan that was launched in the wake of terror attacks on the minority Shia community. According a Punjab police official, over 50 activists of the LeJ and SSP had been arrested from different parts of the province, including Jhang, Toba Tek Singh, Faisalabad and Lahore.

Anger, scuffles as Pakistan Shias bury 89 dead

Quetta: Scuffles broke out as Pakistani Shia Muslims buried the 89 victims of a second major bomb attack in five weeks, which has highlighted the government's inability to stem sectarian violence. Shia leaders called off a three-day nationwide protest demanding army protection after the government promised those responsible would be arrested in a "targeted operation" and relatives of the dead compensated. But for many of the mourners, the deal was insufficient.

Karzai demands withdrawal of US forces from 2 Afghan regions

Kabul: Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded on Sunday the withdrawal of US special forces from Wardak and Logar within two weeks, accusing them of fuelling "insecurity and instability" in the volatile provinces neighbouring the capital Kabul. "In today's national security council meeting ... President Karzai ordered the ministry of defence to kick out the US special forces from Wardak and Logar provinces within two weeks," said presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi.

Karachi under â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;threat' from Pakistan Taliban

Islamabad: Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan has threatened to attack Pakistan printing press and over a dozen police stations in District Malir and District West. Police force has been deployed in at least 13 police stations and nine police posts in different areas of the city after the terrorists threatened to attack the police. According to the Nation, intelligence agencies have warned about the possible attacks on particular police stations in the areas dominated by militants known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Karachi.

Dhaka: More than 100,000 people have signed a letter seeking death penalty for Bangladeshi war criminals, a media report said on Tuesday. The mass signature campaign, which began on Feb 22, demands death penalty for war criminals. People who collaborated with the Pakistan government during the 1971 freedom movement are called "war criminals" in Bangladesh. Till Monday night, signatures of more than one lakh people were collected, reported The youth have been demonstrating for the last 22 days at Shahbagh intersection, popularly known as Projonmo Chattar. The movement began on Feb 5, soon after Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami assistant secretary general Abdul Quader Mollah was sentenced to life

in prison for rape, killing and genocide in 1971 during country's liberation war. People became angry on seeing the image of Mollah smiling and holding up two fingers in a "V" sign as he was led from the court. Bloggers and Online Activist Network initiated the protest that soon turned into a mass movement. The demonstrators plan to stage a demonstration outside

the home ministry demanding arrest of Mahmudur Rahman, acting editor of Bangla daily Amar Desh. Rahman has been sued for instigating militancy and fanaticism and spreading false information to create anarchy across the country, said a media report. People from different walks of life began to throng the Shahbagh intersection since Tuesday morning. They chanted revo-

lutionary slogans. Demonstrators on Sunday took out a procession in the capital to protest the countrywide daylong shutdown called by eight Islamist parties. Black flags were hoisted on Feb 18 in memory of blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider, an activist of ongoing Shahbagh movement as the current wave of demonsterations is called, who was stabbed to death on Feb 15. On March 26, 1971, the people of then East Pakistan began a military campaign against Pakistani armed forces following large scale killings of civilians opposed to strong-arm rule of Islamabad. The civil war led to the eventual IndiaPakistan war in December 1971, leading to the break-up of Pakistan and the birth of Bangladesh.

Pakistan Taliban describes US to introduce resolution on Rehman Malik as comedian Lankan human rights in Geneva

Islamabad: The Pakistani Taliban have mocked interior minister Rehman Malik by describing him as a "comedian", with a militant spokesman saying a "serious person" should replace him for any dialogue between the two sides. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan compared Malik to Pashto comedian Ismail Shahid and said the group did not take the minister's statements seriously. "Our central shura (consultative council) believes that if Rehman Malik keeps on churning out statements about our offer (of talks), it'll indicate the government is not serious in pursuing peace talks," Ihsan said. "If the government replaces Rehman Malik with a serious person to deal with the dialogue issue, we will come up with an immediate, positive and civilised response in the best interests of Pakistan and its people," Ihsan said over phone from an undisclosed location. Over the past few days, Malik has repeatedly ridiculed the Taliban's offer of peace talks, saying a dialogue

Rehman Malik

can be held only if the banned group lays down arms and declares a month-long ceasefire. Malik remarked that the Taliban raised the issue of talks whenever they were weak. He also asked the group to name a team of "serious negotiators" if they wanted to make peace. The Taliban spokesman said he has been stopped by his leaders from commenting on Malik's statements because the Taliban and "even many in Pakistan don't trust him". Ihsan refused to comment on a conference of political parties convened by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman to discuss ways to end the conflict in Pakistan's northwest.

Washington: Deeply concerned about allegations of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights in Sri Lanka, the US said that it plans to introduce its own resolution on the issue at the Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva. "We continue to be deeply concerned by allegations of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights in Sri Lanka," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said. "At the end of this conflict, we support a full accounting for all who are engaged in acts that violated international humanitarian law," Nuland said. She welcomed the report by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay noting the strong concern about

the government of Sri Lanka's lack of action to address these long-standing issues of reconciliation and accountability. "We plan to introduce our own resolution on this into the Human Rights Council," Nuland said. At the corresponding session last year the India-backed US sponsored resolution urged the Sri Lankan government to show progress on reconciliation. Sri Lankan forces had crushed Tamil rebels in May 2009 after nearly three decades of brutal fighting. The conflict claimed up to 1,00,000 lives, according to UN estimates, and both sides are accused of war crimes. Sri Lanka while formulating an action plan for implementation maintained that most of the recommendations were already put in to effect.

lodging a private member's bill seeking to abolish the death penalty for blasphemy after a Christian mother of five was sentenced to death. Her fellow campaigner, PPP politician Salman Taseer, was murdered in January 2011. Two months later, minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti was also killed. For nearly three years, Muhammad Faheem Akhtar Gill, a marble dealer in the central city of Multan, has tried to persuade police to register a case against her for allegedly making blasphemous remarks on a chat show

in late 2010. Now, police confirmed that they had started investigations on the order of the Supreme Court. "I am investigating the case on the orders issued by the court," senior police official Ghulam Shabbir Jaffri said. A lawyer representing Rehman, Abid Hasan Minto, said that an appeal had been filed in the Supreme Court against the order to investigate the case. The police investigation is the latest case to highlight the sensitivity of blasphemy in Pakistan, where 97 per cent of the population is Muslims.

Pak envoy to US Sherry Rehman faces blasphemy probe Multan: Pakistan police are investigating the country's ambassador to the United States for allegedly committing blasphemy in a television show three years ago, officers said. Sherry Rehman, an ally of President Asif Ali Zardari, who has been ambassador to Washington since late 2011, has been accused of blasphemy over remarks she made on a chat show in 2010. Those found guilty of defaming the Prophet Mohammed in Pakistan can be sentenced to death. People facing similar accusations in the past have been forced into hiding or even killed by

Sherry Rehman

lynch mobs. In late 2010 Rehman sparked fury among religious groups as a lawmaker by

world - Asian Voice 2nd March 2013

Washington: ‘Argo’, a political thriller dramatizing the nail-biting rescue of American hostages from a hostile Iran in 1980, won the Best Picture Oscar, beating a host of heavyweight contenders. India shone in reflected glory as ‘Life of Pi’, a movie woven around an Indian family, bagged four awards at the 85th annual Academy Awards. Among the movies Ben Affleckdirected ‘Argo’ edged out was the much-touted biopic ‘Lincoln’, co-produced by Anil Ambani’s Reliance Entertainment, for which Daniel Day Lewis won the Best Actor Award. The British actor scripted history by being the first person ever to take home three Best Actor Oscars. ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, in which veteran Anupam Kher has a role as a shrink, won Jennifer Lawrence the Best Actress statuette. The toast of the night was ‘Life of Pi’, a movie based on a book by a Canadian author and directed by a Taiwanese American. Life of Pi film won four awards - the maximum by a film this year - including Best Director for Ang Lee. It was a big moment for Lee, but a bigger moment for his Indian fans when he ended his acceptance speech with a “Namaste”. ‘Life of Pi’ narrates the journey of an Indian boy who survives a storm. Widely shot in India, the fantasy adventure drama stars young Delhi-based Suraj Sharma in the lead role, with acclaimed actors Irrfan and Tabu in promi-

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In Focus

Hillary to charge $200,000 per speech

Washington: Hillary Clinton has signed up for speaking circuit and will charge a whopping $200,000 per appearance, an amount more than her annual salary as the US Secretary of State. "Now that she's out as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton isn't going to be hurting for money, thanks to speaking fees of more $200,000 per speaking appearance, according to a source familiar with the situation."

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Kerry reaffirms importance of ties with India

Washington: Newly appointed US Secretary of State John Kerry last week met visiting Indian foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai and stressed that there would be no change in India-US relationship, which he is looking forward to take a step forward during his stint at the Foggy Bottom. During his brief meeting with Mathai, Kerry said that he was looking forward to his visit to India.

ly Lee wrapped up the speech saying: “namaste”. But a direct Oscar eluded India, whose vast output of 1,000+movies annually is largely self-satisfying and aimed at domestic audience. Michelle Obama’s star turn out was a stark political moment on an evening where there were many. “Argo” is about a group of US diplomats who take

nent roles in the movie - a big screen adaptation of Yann Martel’s eponymous Man Booker Prize-winning novel. During his acceptance speech, Lee thanked his producers, “Indian crew”, Suraj and all technicians. “Suraj, where are you,” he called out, and the cameras focussed on Suraj, who made his acting debut with the movie. And final-



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refuge in the Canadian embassy in Tehran and are spirited out of the Islamic republic as members of a bogus movie crew, ending a hostage crisis that still traumatizes Washington. It ended Jimmy Carter’s bid for a second term and brought in the Republican administration of Ronald Reagan that reverted to a muscular US military projection.

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IndIa - asian Voice 2nd March 2013

In Focus Amarnath Yatra to begin from June 28

The religious voyage to Amarnath, the holy Himalayan cave shrine of Lord Shiva in south Kashmir, will begin from June 28 this year. And will conclude on Raksha Bandhan on August 21.The Board noted that last year on June 25, the date on which yatra had commenced, there was heavy frozen snow accumulation in the Domel, Sheshnag and holy cave camp areas because of which it was difficult to set up power and water supply facilities in the yatra camps. Hence the board decided to fix the date for commencement of the yatra on June 28 this year.

Agra set to be country’s first solar city

The state government announced that the Taj city would be the first ‘solar city’ of the country. Minister of state for alternative energy (independent charge) Vijay Mishra said that a Detailed Project Report(DPR) has been sent by the Agra authorities for making the city as the first Solar city of the country. “The work on the project in Agra would start once the Centre approves the DPR. The solar system in Agra would save more than 10% of the power energy,” the minister said to a question of BSP member Dharampal Singh.

26/11 case: Pak judicial India visit to be delayed

A Pakistani judicial commission's visit to India in connection with the Mumbai attacks case is likely to be delayed as an anti-terrorism court on sought an assurance that members of the panel will be allowed to cross-examine key Indian witnesses.Prosecutors informed the court conducting the trial of seven suspects charged with involvement in the Mumbai attack that they would provide an undertaking from the Indian government that the panel will have the power of cross-examination.

Bangalore is cancer capital

The fast-paced IT city has the highest incidence of cancer among Indian cities, roughly 126 cases for every lakh people.Latest figures released by the Population Based Cancer Registry put Bangalore at No.1 with 113.4 cases of cancer for every one lakh males and 139.1 cases for a lakh females every year. The average is 126.25, ahead of New Delhi (122.75) and Mumbai (104.75). The statistics were released during the AfroAsian Conference of Transitional Research in Oncology (ACTRO), which commenced in the city.

3 minor sisters raped, killed

In another shocking and disgraceful incident, three minor school-going sisters were raped and murdered and their bodies were dumped in a well. Police in Bhandara from where the siblings aged 11, 9 and 6 were reported missing since February 14 before their bodies were found in the well three days later - suspect the fallout of an old enmity between two families. Two suspects have been picked up in this regard.

Visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron, it is reliably learnt, has informed his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh about his government's intention to grant visa to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi to visit London in or around the month of May. "Modi's visa was mentioned in the meeting on Tuesday between the two prime ministers," said a source close to the developments. The UK has been showing signs of warming up to the BJP's emerging prime ministerial candidate and it forged a partnership with the Vibrant

Narendra Modi

Gujarat summit last month. There was even some speculation that Cameron might "bump into" Modi during his recent India visit, but that was not to be. Instead, it has been

CBI names former air chief Tyagi in chopper deal case A Preliminary Enquiry has been registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which returned from Italy. The preliminary enquiry was registered against 11 people, including former chief of air staff S.P. Tyagi, and four companies in the $750 million deal for purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland. Apart from Tyagi, the enquiry names 'Julie' Tyagi, Docsa Tyagi, Sandeep Tyagi, Gautam Khaitan and Praveen Bakshi. Others named include Giuseppe Orsi, the former CEO of Italian defence major Finmeccanica, Bruno Spagnolini, CEO of AgustaWestland - a Britainbased subsidiary of Finmeccanica, and Guido Ralph Haschke, Karlo Valentino, Ferdinando Gerosa and Christian Michel. The firms named are Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland, IDS Infotech Ltd. (India) and Aeromatrix India. An Indian delegation visited Italy to collect evidence relating to the probe, which escalated last week with the arrest of the then head of Finmeccanica, Giuseppe Orsi. The Italians authorities

decided that a team of British MPs, who will be coming to Gujarat shortly with a business delegation, would invite Modi to visit London. The change in policy, after the visa denial in 2005 on account of Modi's alleged complicity in the 2002 riots, comes at a time when Cameron's Conservative Party would like to keep Gujarati votes. There are an estimated 850,000 Gujaratis out of around 1.5 million people of Indian origin in UK, and could influence some seats in the December 2013 elections. The official line, as

Cameron spelled out within his group, is that it makes sense to "engage with Modi without endorsing him at the moment". Modi had last visited London in August 2003 — but that was without diplomatic protocol. This time he will be visiting in his official capacity as chief minister for which Manmohan Singh will have to give him clearance. Modi has invitations from the Conservative Friends of India, Friends of BJP and a group of MPs from the European Union to visit London. Incidentally, all programmes are scheduled for May.

Millions throng Kumbh on Maghi Poornima

S.P. Tyagi

provided the visiting Indian team some documents on the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal that may allow the CBI to at least register a preliminary probe in the matter. Sources say, after the scrutiny of documents, a decision will be taken on the preliminary enquiry which in all probability it will against unknown officials. The Indian team that visited Italy had a CBI DIG and a law officer as its members. Finmeccanica is at the centre of an Italian probe alleging that it paid bribes to win the 560 million euro contract awarded in 2010 to its Anglo-Italian helicopter unit AgustaWestland. Italian prosecutors accused Orsi of paying bribes to intermediaries to secure the helicopter deal back in 2010, when he was head of AgustaWestland.

The penultimate bathing day of the 55-day Mahakumbh Maghi Poornima - began on at the Sangam in Allahabad, with millions taking an early holy dip in the Ganga. The day is special as the "Kalpawasi" pilgrims end their month-long penance and sabbatical from worldly life on Maghi Poornima. More than 1.5 crore devotees are likely to take a holy dip at the Sangam - the confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mystical Saraswati. Still haunted by the tragic stampede of February 10 on Mauni Amavasya at the city railway station which left 37 dead, the railway protection force (RPF), civil police and the government railway police (GRP), along with Indian Railways, have made

elaborate arrangements for the return of the crowds after bathing. To meet the extra demand, the railways has opened additional ticketing counters at Prayag Ghat, Rae Bareilly, Lucknow, Faizabad, Ayodhya and Sultanpur. The administration is on tenterhooks as it rained during the weekend, making the temporary roads unmotorable; large areas have been turned into swamps by rain. According to the ascetics at the Kumbh, the auspicious time for bathing began at 1:40 Sunday night; it will continue till 2:01am Tuesday. The Kumbh, which falls after every 12 years, began this year at Allahabad Jan 14; it is set to conclude March 10, Maha Shivratri day.

Swiss watches to have Lord Venkateswara’s image

Case against Badal in US court takes new turn

Two ministers quit Karnataka BJP ministry

The human rights violations case filed against Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal in a US court has taken a taken a new turn with his counsels producing a witness who claimed that on August 9 2012, he was served with the summons at Oak Creek High School instead of Badal, during a function in the memory of victims of shootout at Oak Creek Gurudwara. This witness Surinderpal Singh Kalra, a Chicago-based Sikh, was produced by Badal's attorney "Biskupic & Jacobs" in the court during hearing on February 21 and he testified "I was served at Oak Creek High School on August 9, 2012 instead of CM Badal", while recording his statement before Judge

The image of Lord Venkateswara will soon appear on the dial of the watches made by Switzerland-based Centurion watch company. Company representatives met Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Executive Officer L.V. Subrahmanyam and sought his permission to use the image of the Lord on the watch dial. The company will make 333 diamond-studded watches, each worth several crores of rupees, to be auctioned in London.

Two ministers quit the Karnataka BJP ministry and were set to resign from the assembly and the party too. The two are Forest Minister C.P. Yogeshwar and Small Industries Minister Narasimha Nayak, who is also known as Raju Gowda. The resignations come ahead of local body elections in March and assembly elections due in May. The two ministers are said to be keen to join the Congress party.

Parkash Singh Badal

Adelman. He also told the court that on February 19, 2013 he found original summons and complaint that the process server had given him at Oak Creek High School,

"in the trunk of his car". Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) which had filed the complaint against Badal along with some SAD (Amritsar) activists - informed that Kalra further testified under oath that upon finding the original summons that he "immediately contacted Darshan Singh Dhaliwal". The latter happens to be brother of Punjab rural development minister Surjit Singh Rakhra and CM Badal had gone to Wisconsin to attend Dhaliwal's daughter marriage there when the complaint was filed in Wisconsin court against Badal under Alien Torts Claims Act and Torture Victims Protection Act in the Federal District Court of Wisconsin.

SFJ will also summon Kalra to discover his economic interest in the State of Punjab and his connections with Darshan Singh Dhaliwal and CM Badal," added attorney Pannun. .Attorney Pannun stated that they will file a complaint with US Department of State against the police officers who have come from Punjab to attend the hearing as this is in violation of the US laws.Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and SAD (Amritsar) filed a human rights violations case against Badal on the charges of custodial torture and shielding the Police officers responsible for torture, extra judicial killings and continuous human rights violations against several Sikhs in Punjab.

indiA - Asian Voice 2nd March 2013

Pakistan must abide by its commitments made to India and desist from actions that contribute to trust deficit between the two countries, President Pranab Mukherjee said in a joint session of Parliament at the start of the budget session. He said that India sought peace, stability, cooperation and economic development in South Asia. We attach the highest priority to relations with our immediate neighbours. With Pakistan, we have made progress towards normalisation of relations, strengthening mechanisms for bilateral trade and facilitating greater peopleto-people contact. While we remain committed to taking the process for-

Pranab Mukherjee

ward, it is also important that Pakistan abides by its commitments and desists from acts that contribute to a trust deficit.” Mr. Mukherjee said that as Afghanistan prepares for political and security transition in 2014, India would continue to help it evolve peacefully and to fight terrorism and extremism. He said the

Judge now wants Rajiv killers to live

Justice K T Thomas

It would be “constitutionally incorrect” to hang the three convicts sentenced to death in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, said Justice K T Thomas, who headed the Supreme Court bench that confirmed their death sentences. “It was my misfortune to have presided over that bench,” he said. More than 13 years ago, a three-judge bench headed by Thomas had awarded death to Nalini Sriharan, Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan. Nalini’s death penalty was commuted to imprisonment for life by Tamil Nadu governor in 2000 on the basis of a recommendation of the state cabinet and a public appeal by Sonia Gandhi. A TADA court had originally awarded death to all the 26 accused. When the matter reached the Supreme Court, capital punishment was confirmed only for four. In an interview now, the former Supreme Court judge said that the judgment itself had technical “errors”. The death sentences to Rajiv Gandhi killers had not considered their antecedents, nature and character. So any decision to hang the three now could be termed as “constitutionally incorrect” and a violation of Article 21 of the Constitution, Justice Thomassaid. He said the case deserved a review, considering the antecedents and characters of Murugan, Santhan

and Perarivalan. ‘Nature, character of accused not considered’ Also, he pointed out the three have been in prison for 22 years. “For any life imprisonment, every prisoner is entitled to have a right to get his case reviewed by the jail authorities (to determine) whether remission can be announced or not. Since the accused in Rajiv Gandhi case were death convicts, they underwent a long period of imprisonment without even having the benefit of life imprisonment,” he said. “This appears to be a third type of sentence, something which is unheard of and constitutionally incorrect. If they are hanged today or tomorrow, they will be subjected to two penalties for one offence.” In 1999, Justice Thomas had agreed with two others on the bench in respect of death penalty for only Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan. As for Murugan’s wife Nalini, he gave a dissenting, but minority verdict preferring imprisonment for life. When contacted Justice V R Krishna Iyer, former judge of the Supreme Court, he said death penalty could not be considered as a punishment. “It is just another act of murder, a judicial murder, by the state. It is high time India abolished death penalty… India has not gained anything from death penalties in the past,” he said. The execution of the three convicts, which was scheduled to be held on September 9, 2011, was stayed by the Madras high court for six weeks in August that year. The case has since been transferred to the Supreme Court, to be decided after the Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar case verdict is delivered.

government proposed to introduce a constitutional amendment bill to give effect to the land boundary agreement with Bangladesh. The President said India intended to work with the new Chinese leadership to reinforce the positive direction in bilateral relationship. India will launch its first space mission to Mars

this year. "Several space missions are planned for 2013, including India's first mission to Mars and the launch of our first navigational satellite," Mukherjee said. The Indian Space Research Organisation will also put in orbit the first of its seven satellites of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). India will put in orbit a spacecraft using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. The satellite will undertake a 300-day journey to Mars and is expected to be put into the Martian orbit in September next year. The Indian economy is currently experiencing slower growth. The government has announced a

roadmap for fiscal consolidation and would contain the fiscal deficit to 5.3 per cent of the GDP in the current financial year. President Mukherjee said the country continues to make progress in the field of nuclear energy. This year, two units of the nuclear power plant at Kudankulam, established with Russian collaboration, will be commissioned. My government attaches the highest priority to the safety of nuclear power plants," In order to popularize science education in schools, nearly 7.30 lakh scholarships have been awarded under a scheme called Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research," said President Mukherjee. A new PPP doctoral fellowship titled


"Prime Minister's Fellowship Scheme for Doctoral Research" has been implemented this year," he added. The Indian tsunami early warning system was recognized as the Regional Tsunami Service Provider for the Indian Ocean region in October 2012. India's third permanent station in Antarctica was commissioned in March 2012," he added. announced earmarking US $50 million during India's presidency of the Conference of Parties to strengthen the institutional, technical and human capabilities for biodiversity conservation in India, and to promote similar capacity building in other developing countries," he added.

Petition in support of direct flight between UK and Gujarat, organised by AV, GS and NCGO (UK) If you want a direct flight from London to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad; if you have a desire to get a permanent, easy connection with people of Gujarat, do sign and get others to sign this petition and send it to “Asian Voice” or “Gujarat Samachar” office by post or fax it to our office (no. 020 7749 4081), at the earliest. THE CAMPAIGN to facilitate direct flights Samachar, 12 Hoxton Market, London N1 6HW. We between London Heathrow and Sardar Vallabhbhai will forward all petitions to the Honourable Chief International Airport Ahmedabad, Gujarat has gener- Minister of Gujarat, Shri Narendra Modi. Who is ated much interest amongst Asian Voice and Gujarat renowned to be in the forefront of serving Gujarati Samachar readers and the entire community. people. All those wishing to add their names to the list of Please note : If you wish to register more than 10 petitioners, which includes several prominent politi- names on your petition, then simply photocopy the cians, business people and community members tear-off form and add the extra names. All petitions are requested to complete the tear-off the form and must clearly state your full names, postal address send it to the off ices of Asian Voice and Gujarat and must be signed and dated.

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

NAME 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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

Form also available online at to download and Fax on 020 7749 4081 Email:





IndIa - asian Voice 2nd March 2013

Villagers set afire railway station as two children run over by train India reined in spending on its vast but decrepit rail network on Tuesday, setting the tone for what is expected to be the most austere union budget in years in two days' time as the government struggles to tame its fiscal deficit. Gross budgetary support for the railways will rise nearly 8 per cent to 260 billion rupees in the coming fiscal year, less than half the 20 per cent increase that was allocated in last year's rail budget. India's railway network is the world's fourth-largest but it has suffered from years of low investment and political meddling. The result is a creaking system plagued by delays, overcrowding and slow freight delivery times that sap the competitiveness of Asia's third-largest economy. But Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government faced the challenge of raising revenues to modernise the network without alienating voters ahead of an election due by May 2014. More than 20 million Indians use the network every day, many of them poor people who see cheap rail travel as a right. Railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal's budget defied speculation

Pawan Kumar Bansal

of a second round of hikes in basic passenger fares after a 21 per cent increase in January. But there was a nearly 6 per cent hike in freight traffic rates and additional charges on some passenger tickets, mostly for wealthier passengers. His budget was delivered to parliament two days before finance minister P. Chidambaram unveils what is expected to be an austerity budget to cut India's bloated fiscal deficit, restore investor confidence and revive sagging economic growth. "The main readthrough to the Union budget is that government spending will likely rise at a slower pace and suppressed prices will be

passed on to consumers, but only at a very gradual pace due to the risk of consumer backlash ahead of the elections," said Sonal Varma, an economist. The government increased passenger fares for the first time in a decade in January, a move aimed at raising money for a ministry that spends more than half its budget paying the salaries of 1.4 million employees and retired workers' pensions. Bansal promised strict fiscal discipline in his ministry during a wide-ranging speech that referred to the cleanliness of railway linen and the safety of elephants straying on to the tracks, and even included lines from a famous poem about a train puffing uphill that sings "I think I can, I think I can". But in a sign of tougher reform measures to come further down the line, Bansal proposed partially deregulating ticket prices, linking both passenger and freight rates to the cost of diesel. However, Bansal only applied the fuel-linked increase to freight fares. He did not specify when passenger fares would be hit, or when the floating mechanism will be introduced. "It does seem that he

Jallianwala Bagh a ‘shameful event in British history’: David Cameron Continued from page 1

Shailesh Vara accompanies Cameron

Before he became prime minister, Tony Blair said the memorial at Amritsar was a reminder of "the worst aspects of colonialism". Kohinoor is ours, won't be returned: Cameron: Cameron said that the giant diamond his country forced India to hand over in the colonial era that was set in a royal crown will not be returned. Speaking on the third and final day of a visit to India, Cameron ruled out handing back the 105-carat Kohinoor diamond, now on display in the Tower of London. The diamond had been set in the crown of the current Queen Elizabeth's late mother. One of the world's largest diamonds, some Indians including Mahatma Gandhi's grandson - have demanded its return to atone for Britain's colonial past. "I don't think that's the right approach," Cameron told reporters. "It is the same question with the Elgin Marbles," he said, referring to the classical Greek marble sculptures that Athens has long demanded be given back. "The right answer is for the British Museum and other cultural institutions to do exactly what they do, which is to link up with

Shailesh Vara, MP, accompanied Prime Minister Cameron on his recent three - day trip to India. The visit covered three cities in three days, starting with Mumbai on Monday (Feb 18), New Delhi on Tuesday and concluding with a trip to the Golden Temple and Jallianwala Bagh gardens in Amritsar on Wednesday. Among the many people whom Vara met was Ratan Tata of the Tata Group. The Tata group employs over 800 people in Vara’s constituency through the subsidiary company Diligenta Ltd and Vara and Tata discussed the success of the company and its contribution to the local economy. Vara also chaired an important session in New Delhi on ‘Defence and Advanced Manufacturing: opportunities and partnerships’. The session comprised of 40 leading business leaders from Britain and India and discussed ways of closer cooperation between the two countries.

After the visit, Vara commented: “India will be one of this centuries economic giants and it is important that Britain continues to develop closer links with her. This was a very successful trip both from a political prospective as well as an economic one. My conversation with Ratan Tata was a very positive one and Tata is certainly keen to continue working with Britain, where his various companies employ over 60,000 people. The session that I chaired on ‘Defence and Advanced Manufacturing’ also proved to be very fruitful and there was keenness from both the British and Indian business leaders to work closer together for the benefit of both countries. The visit to the Golden Temple in Amritsar was a very special one and it was particularly moving to see the Jallianwala Bagh gardens where British troops massacred so many people in 1919.”

other institutions around the world to make sure that the things which we have and look after so well are properly shared with people around the world. I certainly don't believe in

'returnism', as it were. I don't think that's sensible." Britain's then colonial governor-general of India arranged for the huge diamond to be presented to Queen Victoria in 1850.

has ... tried to toe the line between the requirement of getting points before the election and looking at a better financial position for the railways," said Jyotinder Kaur, an economist at HDFC Bank. Bansal is the first railway minister to come from the country's ruling party in 17 years. Modi criticises budget: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi described the railway budget as “anti- development” and an “an indication of the non-performance on the part of the Government.” Reacting to the budget, Modi said that the “people are being misled to believe that there is no hike in the railway fares. The truth is train tickets were hiked 3 months ago and with the rising diesel prices the people will face further difficulty. On one hand the UPA has failed to curb the menace of price rise while on the other hand this railway budget will burden the poor and middle class,” he added.

Angry villagers set afire Gulabganj railway station in Madhya Pradesh's Vidisha district, after two school children were run over by an express train while they were crossing the railway track for their school. One railway official was charred to death and another sustained burn injuries. The deceased has been identified as Bhagwan Das, a permanent wage railway supervisor. The injured person Saket Bansal, deputy station superintendent, has suffered 70% burns and is in a critical condition. The railway officials said that Bansal had been referred to Bhopal for further treatment. The incident took place at around 9 am when two school-going siblings along with their parents tried to cross the railway track through a stationed goods train. "The children were hit by an express train on the adjoining track as soon as they came out," Rajeev Chaudhary, divisional railway manager had said.

An angry mob thronged the station after the incident. Bansal and three others locked themselves inside a room, said sources. However, the villagers locked the room from outside and set it on fire. They also caused damage to the railway tracks by removing fishplates. A tehsildar who tried to control the mob was also attacked. Several goods and passenger trains on the route were affected. The DRM said that the villagers had been demanding for a foot over bridge to cross the railway tracks. "This station does not fulfill standard norms for a bridge, so our application for the same was rejected," he said. The officer also said that he had received a call from an influential person claiming that he has three rescued railway staff who were shifted to a safe room. "It's a matter of investigation whether they were rescued or deliberately pushed into a room that was later put on fire," said the DRM.

Yet another security failure in Hyderabad Continued from page 1 If these revelations were not enough, then there were more. Recent intelligence inputs served as a clear indicator that terror groups were planning an attack in Hyderabad. Intelligence sources said the city has been on the boil since the hate speech made by Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leader Akbaruddin Owaisi in January. Moreover, following the execution of Parliament attack conspirator Guru, a high alert was sounded across many cities in the country. One of the cities where the threat perception was high was Hyderabad. Intelligence sources said there had been a series of intelligence inputs regarding the city. Even India’s home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said there was a specific intelligence input on Hyderabad. "We had informed the state government two days back. Thursday morning also, based on some inputs, all states were informed," Shinde, who visited Hyderabad on Friday said. Intelligence sources also said there were inputs of Kashmir-based terror groups targeting various cities. "There were inputs that Kashmir-based terror outfits, with the help of Pakistani groups like Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, could strike in cities such as Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore," an official said. According to the inputs, terror groups from Pakistan could have links

with fringe outfits in other parts of the country and could use them in launching attacks. Bomb blast kills 16 After the blasts which killed 16 people and injured more than 100 injured, police recovered 5 unexploded bombs from nearby areas. The first blast occurred near Anand Tiffin centre at 6.58 pm, in which more than eight died and many two wheelers were completely burnt. As people ran for their lives, another blast followed at Moteswari Complex, just 130 meters from the first explosion, around 7.02 pm, killing three on the spot. Many others were reported dead while being shifted to hospitals or in the hospitals. Eyewitnesses said they saw a cycle parked among the bikes at the tiffin centre going off first. Two cycles blew into pieces at both the spots. Manideep, a young boy who was present at the blast spot with his friend, said he heard a huge sound from a cycle parked near the snack joint. He said by the time he looked towards the site, people were lying in a pool of blood and many had started running helter skelter. “I did not realize what was happening. While my friend ran one way, I ran in the other direction. We both are safe,” he said. Three of a five-member family died as they were trying to cross the road. Two youths who are undergoing sub-inspector training died on the spot. They were having snacks

at the tiffin centre. This is the third time terrorists have made Dilsukhnagar their target. First,they planted a scooter bomb outside the famous Sai Baba Mandir, a little away from Dilsukhnagar bus stop. Three unexploded bombs were recovered in May 2008, during the serial blasts at Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat, killing 42. Though no outfit had claimed responsibility for the blasts, the police suspect that the blasts are the retaliation to the executions of 2008 Mumbai attacks convict Qasab and Afzal Guru. Police official said they suspected the blasts to be the handiwork of Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashker-e-Toiba. BJP leader L K Advani blamed Pakistan squarely for blasts in Hyderabad, saying it is involved in a proxy war against India. "The neighbouring country has not been successful in waging a war against India in the last few decades, so it has resorted to proxy war," Advani said ‘The neighbouring country has taken recourse to terrorism to trouble India," he said, adding, "there is no doubt that there is the hand of the neighbouring country in Hyderabad blasts." Pakistan should abide by the commitment made during the meeting between Vajpayee and Musharraf, whereby Pakistan undertook not to allow its soil to be used for terror acts against India, Advani said. The neighbouring country cannot wash its hands of the Hyderabad blasts, he said.

indiA - Asian Voice 2nd March 2013

PSLV-C20 launches seven satellites, Pranab witnesses event

In Focus Cameron invites Aamir to 10 Downing Street

The British Prime Minister David Cameron who was in India on a short visit interacted with Aamir Khan at an educational institution in New Delhi. Naturally the two got acquainted. And, one hears that later the same evening, David Cameron invited Aamir to 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British Prime Minister, when the actor is in London, the next time. Aamir has accepted the invitation and he and his wife Kiran Rao Khan are expected to visit the PM's home later this year. When Cameron visited a college in Delhi for a discussion with students, Aamir was the surprise drop-in, as the Indian ambassador for Unicef.

Trade unions shut India

Trade unions in India claimed that the two-day strike called by them was an “unprecedented success”. Two workers were killed in state action, leaders said. Eleven central trade unions, in addition to independent unions in various states, called the strike to press for demands including raising the minimum wage, equal wages and benefits for contract and regular workers, abolishing contract labour, universal pension, raising the limit on provident fund contributions, increasing gratuity and better social security. They were also protesting price rise and inflation. Unorganized, organized and contract workers in rural and urban areas had joined the strike, the unions said.

Indian High Commissioner to Singapore

Vijay Thakur Singh, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Singapore. She is expected to take up her assignment shortly.

Visa issuance to Indian students by USA doubled

America is facilitating enrolment of more Indian students and issuance of student visas went up by 50 per cent in 2012 as compared to the previous year. The country welcomed students particularly in high quality courses of mathematics, science and technology, Jonathan C Scott, ViceConsul, Consular Section, US Embassy, New Delhi, told reporters. Asked if America was losing to Australia, the UK and Japan who have been attracting Indian students.


An India-born research scientist has driven the last forgotten nail in the coffin of slavery in the United States, a shameful casket that was thought to be long buried after Abraham Lincoln's E m a n c i p a t i o n Proclamation followed by the 13th Amendment in 1865 abolishing slavery. Astonishingly though, it turned out that nearly 150 years later, and as recently as last November, one state - Mississippi had not ratified the Amendment because of a combination of ennui, bureaucratic ineptitude, and plain oversight. In other words, it had never officially abolished slavery. Dr Ranjan Batra's adventures and his activism in this regard began with watching Steven Spielberg's movie Lincoln in Jackson, Mississippi, where he is a professor of neurobiology and anatomical sciences at the University Medical Center. The movie ends with the US Congress passing the 13th Amendment ending slavery. Curious to know how the states voted on it, Batra, who became a US citizen only in 2008, went online to learn rest of the story. That's when he saw on a history website an aster-

Dr Ranjan Batra

isk against Mississippi that piqued his curiosity. It turned out that after Congress voted for the 13th Amendment in January 1864, the measure went to the states for ratification. By December 1865, the amendment had received the three-fourths' vote it needed when Georgia became the 27th state to ratify it. States that rejected the measure included Delaware, Kentucky, New Jersey and Ole Mississippi down south. In the months and years that followed, states continued to ratify the amendment even as the urgency receded since it had become law on the strength of the 3/4ths vote. New Jersey ratified the amendment in 1866, Delaware in 1901, Kentucky in 1976, and Mississippi finally rolled in by 1995. But some cock-up caused Mississippi to never notify the ratifica-

tion to the US Archivist, without whose imprimatur it is not considered official. Hence, the asterisk. Dr Batra then ran this by his colleague Ken Sullivan, a native-born Mississippian who had run state office and who was therefore more familiar with legislative processes. Sullivan checked with the National Archives, and found it had never received a copy of the 1995 Mississippi Senate resolution that had passed unanimously. After much to-ing and fro-ing between parties concerned, the required paperwork was filed in January this year. On February 7 Charles Barth, director of the Federal Register, acknowledged receipt of the ratification and confirmed that "With this action, the State of Mississippi has ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States." The asterisk was removed, turning the India-born into an unlikely star. "When I was young, I used to sleep in history class in India," Dr Batra, an alumnus of Kolkota's La Martiniere and Doon School joked with a correspondent in a phone conversation. "Later I realized history shapes who we are."

India's polar satellite launch vehicle continued with its success streak on Monday, launching IndoFrench satellite Saral and six other satellites from Austria, Britain, Canada and Denmark. The 23rd launch of PSLV-C20 — the 22nd consecutive success — also marked the second highest number of satellites being flown in a launch vehicle by the Indian Space Research Organization (Isro). The launch was delayed by five minutes because of a possible interference of space debris. President Pranab Mukherjee and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy were among those who witnessed the launch at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota,

100km north of Chennai. The 44.4m PSLV carrying a payload weighing 668.5kg lifted off from the launch pad at 6.01pm, five minutes later than the scheduled time of 5.56pm. Saral, built by Isro, would study the ocean surface and environment using two French devices — ARgos and ALtila, based on the principle of radar. The other satellites riding piggyback are two micro-satellites UniBRITE and BRITE from Austria and AAUSAT3 from Denmark and STRaND from the UK, besides a microsatellite (NEOSSat) and a mini satellite (SAPPHIRE) from Canada. Isro had postponed the SARAL launch from December last year after it detected some technical inconsistencies.

NRGs urged to be brand ambassador of Gujarat Pradipsinh Jadeja, Gujarat minister for law, justice and NRI department, has urged the non-resident Gujaratis (NRGs) to become the brand ambassadors of the state and spread its image abroad. He was speaking at the Gujarati Diaspora Day organized by the Vadodara Chamber of Commerce and Industries’ (VCCI) recently. He said that Gujarat once known as the land of Gandhi and Sardar Patel was today known as Narendra Modi’s Gujarat. Gujarat has spread its fragrance all over the world. He said that Brand Gujarat had been created under the leadership of Modi and asked the NRGs to become its brand ambassadors. Dr Charuvali Khanna, member of the National Women’s Commission and a women activist, said that a lot of cheating has been taking place under the guise of NRI marriages. She said that attaching the photograph of NRI groom/bride along with the copy of the passport in marriage registration form would reduce such cases. She said that in order to get effective results in harassment cases, women should appeal for a guidelines so that action could be taken by police, hospitals, social

Pradipsinh Jadeja

Arvind Agrawal

workers, courts etc. Arvind Agrawal, chairman of NRG Foundation and principal secretary, said that the state government with help of FICCI would be developing a genuine database of Gujaratis living in different states and abroad. Moreover, the state government has been planning a project to teach them the traditions of the state and also to make a documentary of the charity work undertaken by Gujaratis in different parts of the country and abroad.

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travel & women

ape Town is a quintessential melting pot, a city alive with creativity, flamC boyant colours, sounds and exotic tastes.

While exploring the city’s streets you will meet and fall in love with its people, their creative freedom and incredible spirit. Cape Town is a city surrounded by some of Africa’s most stunning scenery all laid bare for the visitor to enjoy. Cape Town is never out of season, with a particularly good, long summer from November to March. These are the most popular months for visitors, who come to enjoy the 11 or more hours of sunshine every day. - asian voice 2nd march 2013

city, hosts monkeys, exotic birds, reptiles, as well as butterflies, making it a great place for families to visit. Kids will love it. No visit to Cape Town is complete without the picturesque wine lands. You can choose one of the wine-producing areas and sample a mouth- watering selection of fine Cape wines, cheeses, chocolates and olives. The closest vinyard is just 40 minutes from the city. Durbanville, Stellenbosch, Helderberg, Franschhoek, Paarl and Wellington are the famous wine routes. Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront is paradise for adults as well

By AV Correspondent

The best way to explore the city is by the open-top double decker Cape Town City Sightseeing Bus tour which has 17 stops to choose from. Hop off for a quick cable car ride up world renowned Table Mountain and be inspired by the breath taking vista from the top. Spectacular views, fresh mountain air and stunning walks. Here's where you will find peace and tranquility for contemplation. Head south along the scenic Chapman’s Peak drive and then on to Cape Point, part of the Table Mountain National Park and home to an abundance of flora and fauna. A funicular ride to the Point and a guided walk with the resident baboons is a must.

Take a boat trip visit to the World Heritage Site, Robben Island, where former South African president Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. At evening you can explore the Boulders Beach- It is famous for its massive granite boulders and indigenous penguin colony. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is not to be missed, established in 1913, is now home to more than 22 000 plant species in a glorious setting. Make a wish while you throw a coin over your shoulder into the 18th century Lady Anne Barnard’s Bath. Butterfly World in Klapmuts, about 30 minutes outside of the

as kids. You can experience the wonderful display of South Africa’s marine life and also be a step closer to the animals. You can participate in special programs to feed the sharks and penguins.

If you have a spare day, book a tent at Clara Anna Fontein private game reserve in the Northern Suburbs or Inverdoorn Game Reserve. Or try Iziba Safari Lodge and Aquila Private Game Reserve to enjoy camping in the lap of nature. Enjoy a meal served in true African ambience at Mzoli’s Place, the trendy local butchery-turned-club-and-eatery in Gugulethu, or at Eziko Restaurant in Langa. You can enjoy traditional African cuisine, including mopane worms, at “Nyoni’s Kraal” on Long Street.

Brightsun Travel have a fantastic holiday to South Africa which includes a 3 night stay in Cape Town, 2 night’s in Knysna, 2 night’s in Sun City and a 1 night stay in Johannesburg. The package includes flights, transfers, hotel accommodation (B&B), transfers and tours for just £1645pp. Brightsun Travel offers a price match promise on worldwide flights and holidays so you will get the best deals. To book your dream holiday, call Brightsun Travel on 0208 819 0486 or visit

Ambaji, situated in the Banaskantha district of Gujarat is the seat of Ambe Mata, the mother goddess. She is a household name in the state. People pay homage to her during Navratri in song and dance. In fact in Gujarat several songs of the garba are dedicated to the praise of Ambe. She is an aspect of goddess Parvati, Shiv’s consort. Amba or Ambe Mata is shown riding a tiger during the Navratri celebrations. Navratri in Gujarat is comparable to the worship of Durga in other parts of the country. Hindus do not believe in gender bias where divinities are concerned. Ambe Mata is the Adya Shakti- the primordial female power, the mother goddess. The Ambaji temple which is situated on the Arasur hill in the Aravali Mirchi Vada or Mirchi Bhaji is a Rajasthani popular snack. Green chili filled with spicy potatoes, dipped in batter and fried makes mouth watering snack for people who love spicy and hot food. Ingredients: 8 green chillies For Filling: 1 cup potatoes boiled peeled and mashed,1/2 teaspoon salt,1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera), 1 teaspoon coriander powder (dhania), 1/4 teaspoon mango powder (amchoor), 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (hara dhania), 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder optional (lal mirch) For Batter: 1/2 cup Besan gram flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera) 1/8 tablespoon baking powder 1 tablespoon cilantro chopped (hara dhania) Approx. ¼ cup water Also need oil to deep fry. Method: Vertically slit the chili and remove the seeds, don’t remove the stem. Set aside. Filling: Mix all the filling together and set aside. Method: For making the batter mix add all the

Range does not contain any idol. It has only a yantra engraved in a niche. The shrine is made of marble. Large number of devotees visits the shrine during the Purnima fairs held on the full moon day of Kartik, Chaitra, Bhadrapad and also Navratri is celebrated on a grand scale here. Ambaji is one of the 64 Shakti Piths. The Shakti Piths have been established at those places where the pieces of Sati’s body fell. It came about this way. Shiv’s father-inlaw Daksha Prajapati felt insulted when the son-inlaw did not stand up to receive him. In order to slight him he organized a yagna and did not invite Shiv. Sati went to the yagna uninvited. She too felt slighted when people failed to take note of her presence. According to Puranas she fell into the

dry ingredients together: Besan cumin seeds, baking powder and salt. Add the water slowly to make smooth batter. (Batter should be the consistency of pancake batter or dosa batter). Add cilantro and mix it well. Stuff the chilies with potato mix. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat Frying pan should have about 1-1/2 inch of oil. To check if the oil is ready, put one drop of batter in the oil. The batter should come up but not change color right away. Dip the filled chili in the batter one at a time making sure chili is covered with batter all around and slowly drop into the frying pan. Turn occasionally fry the Mirchi Vada until all sides are golden brown. It should take about 4 to 5

sacrificial fire. Shiv picked up her body and rushed about in great grief. Vishnu had to intervene. He cut up the body with his discus, so that Shiv may regain his composure. According to tradition one of the pieces fell at Ambaji. A short distance from Ambaji is the Gabbar Hill. It is said that the goddess revealed herself on the Hill and left her footprints. The temple though purely carved with marble is now being adorned with gold, especially the kalash. Every devotee of the Goddess is aware that without a visit to Ambaji, at least once a year, does not take care of their wishes. There is also a belief which says that those who have visited the Vaisno Devi should visit the Ambaji temple in Gujarat, without which the circuit of the temple visit as a pilgrim is not complete.

minutes. Take the Mirchi Vadas out over paper towel. Vadas are best when they are served hot. Serve them Hari Cilantro and Tamarind Chutney. Health benefits: Chili may help to ward off cancer thanks to the lycopene-rich tomatoes it contains. Lycopenes are a good source of carotenoids - the same group of natural plant chemicals that make carrots and pumpkin such a healthy choice. A steaming serving of chili will help to keep your blood sugars under control. Chili is a good choice for diabetics.

HealtH Watch - asian Voice 2nd March 2013

Any quest ions

By Mamta Saha Psychologist


ith reports of nearly 500 cases of swine flu from across India this seaW son, doctors and experts say the viral dis-

ease sees an upswing during winters but there is no need to panic. Closed and crowded spaces such as offices and airconditioned homes aided the spread of the disease, say doctors. According to doctors, though H1N1 flu cases peak during this season, infection can be avoided by taking simple precautions such as washing hands frequently, wearing masks and avoiding closed and crowded places. Swine flu is a common occurrence in countries with extreme cold weather such as the United States and parts of Europe, said Randeep Guleria, head, Department of Pulomonary Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). "The only difference is that while cases of swine flu peak in other parts of the world during winter, in India, there are two outbreaks -- one in winter and one in monsoon, specially in South India," Guleria said. According to the health ministry, the country has reported of 456 cases of swine flu till January-end. Rajasthan has seen the maximum number of cases at 246. The flu has claimed 91 lives so far. Guleria said that contrary to popular perceptions, swine flu had nothing to do with pigs. "The virus, when it was initially isolat-

ed in Mexico, was found similar to the flu strain found in swine and was thus named that," he said, adding that it was better to call the virus ‘Pandemic H1N1 2009’. He said enclosed spaces, such offices, and air-conditioned homes were ideal conditions for the spread of the infectious disease. The World Health Organisation (WHO), while declaring the H1N1 Pandemic to be over in August 2010, also conveyed that the influenza virus now would take on the behaviour of seasonal flu and continue to circulate for some years to come. Hence, in the post-pandemic period, localised outbreaks of varying magnitude with significant level of H1N1 transmission are expected, said WHO. Swine flu spread very rapidly worldwide due to its high human-to-human transmission rate and due to the frequency of air travel. In 2010, cases were confirmed in at least 171 countries and territories and the flu caused deaths in at least 139 cases, WHO said. With the number of swine flu cases rising in India this season, doctors have asked people not to panic at the slightest flu symptoms. Most symptoms of swine flu are similar to common flu. Hydroquinone, Arbutin and Kojic acid reduce 'melanin', the pigment produced by melanocytes, which gives colour to the skin while other substances exfoliate the s k i n thus

sia is considered the biggest market for A beauty products. And

whitening creams are the product of choice.We asked skin experts if there's truly any magic bottled in those whitening vials. It works: Dr Jamuna Pai says, "All whitening creams work by inhibiting Tyrosinase that is required for the production of melanin, which gives colour to Asian skin tones. The active ingredients that are present in these creams can be simple 'berry extracts' to chemicals like hydroquinone." A combination of exfoliants and sunscreen: Cosmetologist Dr Mohan Thomas says that companies that manufacture over-the-counter facial creams often package the

products with a promise of skin whitening that can be achieved by continuous use. While they boast of ingredients such as exotic metals, minerals and plant extracts, the only approved ingredients that has shown whitening effects on Asian skin are 'Hydroquinone' in two per cent and four per cent creams, Arbutin and Kojic acid, which are plant extracts, Alpha Hydroxy acids like Lactic and Glycolic acids and Vitamins C and A.

To Our Readers We are publishing these items in good faith, kindly consult your Doctor before you try to implement it. We do not hold any responsibility for its efficacy...

replacing the older skin cells and darker pigment with new cells having less pigment. Hence the combined use of exfoliaters and depigmenting agents along with use of a sun screen is required for skin whitening. Combination of therapies using creams, chemical peels and lasers for resur-

write to mam ta@thin kspalon


Rules for Brilliance

his weeks article is about how you can work towards being brilliant. Being your own best friend and visualising your goals is the starting point. If you constantly put yourself second you are never in a position to be at your most brilliant and if you struggle to picture what your dream looks like you will never achieve it. ‘Seeing is believing’ and if you create a picture in your mind that inspires you, the likelihood of you getting what you want increases. The brain finds it easier to think negatively, however, when you think positively about yourself, your energy changes and so do your experiences in life. Catch yourself being your own critic and play ’devils advocate’ with your thoughts if they are unhelpful for you. Ask yourself 2 questions: 1. Is this thought healthy or unhealthy? 2. Is this thought positive or negative? If it is unhealthy and negative eradicate the thought because it is not

doing you any good. Seek inspiration. If you feel like you are lacking the confidence to push yourself out of your comfort zone look around you and seek inspiration. Think about people that you know (in and out of the limelight) who started with very little in the beginning and soon moved forward in time to make something of themselves despite the odds being against them. No one will give you anything on a plate, so if you need take some risks, seek inspiration and give it a go. ‘The fastest way of moving backwards is by standing still’ so take a step, even if its tiny, it’s better then not moving at all. Create monthly goals and break them down week by week. If your goals seem too large you will always create excuses as to why you can’t achieve them. However, if you take a big goal and break it down into steps it becomes a lot more manageable. Then you can break these down into

daily steps that help you progress little by little to achieve your goal. You may be swayed and distracted by things that happen, find the energy from within to work through this and jump over you hurdle. There is no point in sitting and talking about how hard life is, this is life – there are challenges. Rise above what tries to take you down and stride ahead. Nothing is impossible – I promise you. Your homework is to practice the above. Make sure you spend every spare minute feeling empowered and confident. Think of yourself if high regard, putting yourself down will do you no favours. Remember that if you want something you first have to believe it and see it in your mind. Lastly, we all have choices – so choose the best path for yourself. Please like our page on Facebook: thinkspalondon. Follow us on Twitter and email me at Mamta@ Good luck and god bless, Mamta.

facing (not all lasers are effective on Asian skin) are usually needed for blemishfree skin whitening. Whitening is not bleaching: Dr Sunita More, cosmetologist says that it is true that whitening creams can help to some extent to brighten the skin tone. Making that part one or two shades fairer. For the best results, consistent and regular applications for at least two or three months is necessary. Be aware: Many dermatologists feel that suppressing the production of melanin can have adverse long-term effects. Cosmetic products only polish the skin superficially. What is important is to keep skin healthy and clean. Any tone is beautiful, whatever the shade. Why else would Westeners vie for Asian skin tone and go for bronzers and sun-tanned look?

Prescribing self-help books to patients with depression could be an effective treatment, a study has found. Patients offered books, plus sessions guiding them in how to use them, had lower levels of depression a year later than those offered usual GP care. The effect was seen in addition to the benefits of other treatments such as antidepressants, according to Scottish researchers. Such an approach may help the NHS tackle demand for therapy, they said. More than 200 patients who had been diagnosed with depression by their GP took part in the study, half

of whom were also on antidepressant drugs. Some were provided with a selfhelp guide dealing with different aspects of depression, such as being assertive or overcoming sleep problems. Patients also had three sessions with an adviser who helped them get the most out of the books and plan what changes to make. After four months those who had been prescribed the self-help books had significantly lower levels of depression than those who received usual GP care. A year later, those in the self-help group were more likely to be keeping on top of their depression.


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UK - Asian Voice 2nd March 2013

Asian Women’s Resource Centre receives £300,000 grant from London Councils Continued from page 8 FORWARD, IMECE Women’s Centre, Women and Girls Network, IKWRO Women’s Rights Organisation, Latin American Rights Service and the Ashiana Network. Their work will include raising awareness of the impact of honour based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation in commu-

nities and other voluntary groups, councils and health services. This will be done through workshops, training, presentations and workshops which support peer mentoring and young people. All 32 London boroughs and the City of London contribute to the grants programme which is run on their behalf by London Councils.

UKBA considering visa fee increase from April 2013 Continued from page 8 nationals and their nonEEA family members exercising free movement rights in the UK. l Overseas priority services are already available in more than 25 countries. The UKBA will introduce an expanded range of priority (<5 day) services, and ‘super-priority’ 24hour services at key posts around the world. For UK applications l UKBA will introduce a £275 priority service for applicants who want a confirmed decision more quickly than their standard service but do not wish to attend in person at a UK Border Agency location. This service will initially be offered to selected Tier 2 in-UK applicants only. l To improve clarity and consistency, all applications made in person will in future attract a single premium of £375 in addition to the standard fee. The £375 fee will comprise two components: £100 for the provision of an appointment; and the remainder to pay for faster processing of the application. l The £100 appointment

fee may be retained by the UK Border Agency if an appointment is subsequently cancelled without good reason and not rebooked, or if an application is withdrawn before the appointment happens. They will also charge fees upfront at the point of appointment booking. l Finally, they intend to launch a Tier 4 premium service in July 2013 building on the premium services available to the Tier 2 and 5 work route sponsors since 2012. This is an optional premium service for Tier 4 sponsors, which will offer them enhanced levels of customer service. For an annual fee of £8,000 (the same as the equivalent Tier 2 premium sponsor fee for small businesses), Tier 4 sponsors will receive benefits including: access to a named account manager, priority consideration of post-licence casework, monthly information reports on certificate allocations and access to student eligibility checks. For more details see wsarticles/2013/february/29-new-fees

Anti-terror tactic under scrutiny as trio face jail Continued from page 6 seems much more needs to be done to persuade people to open up. “This is a community which isn’t integrated. The police are often seen as outsiders and the state as the enemy — that sort of feeling is very influential.” West Midlands Police,

which investigated the latest plot, admitted that community sources had not told them of the men being sent to Pakistan. Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid, 27, and Ashik Ali, 27, were convicted at Woolwich Crown Court of 12 charges of preparing acts of terrorism and face life sentences.

Coming Events l Maha Shivratri, Sunday 10 March 2013, 8pmmidnight, International Siddhashram Shakti Centre, Harrow, Middlesex, London HA3 7RR. Contact: 02084260678 l His Story, celebrating Shiv ratri by Brahma Kumaris, Saturday 16 March, 7-8:45pm. Global cooperation House, London NW10 2HH. Contact: 020 8727 3350. Leicester Sat 2 March 7pm-9pm, Soar valley College LE4 7GY. Contact: 01162662023 Sunday 3 March 4-6pm, Unity Function Suite, Leicester LE5 4HF. Contact: same l Shree Jalaram bapa's 132 Punya Tithi, Thursday, 7th March 2013, 9am to 5.30pm, Prashad from 1pm to 3pm and from 6pm to 9pm, Shree Jalaram Mandir Greenford on 0208 578 8088 / 9285 l The Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, London. March 1: Talk: Celebrating 150th Anniversary of Motilal Nehru by Prof. I N Choudhuri who was the former Director of The Nehru Centre. March 7: Play: Pride and Pantyhose by Aks Arts Ltd. March 11 to 15: London Asian Film Festival March 19: Exhibition: Rhythm of Elements by Dr. Balesh Jindal. March 22: Music: Rang De Music, Holi Celebration by Alpha Nomega. l Saturday 2 March, 6pm. Bengali Music and dance by Sajali Roy, Saturday 9 March, Sangamitra, 10 March, 6pm- Mahashivratri, Bhavans, 4a Castletown Road. Contact: 020 7381 3086

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20

Retrograde transit of Mercury occurs in your solar twelfth house this time, extra care should be exercised when it comes to private and personal matters. Be as non-judgemental as you can, but do keep an eye out for deceptiveness and falseness in others. Good time for yoga and meditation.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Mercury turns retrograde in your eleventh house of friends and associates as well. The next two weeks would serve you well if you spend more time listening than speaking. Relationships and romance are both under scrutiny by the presence of Saturn in your 7th house - this will teach you to be patient and re-assess your position. GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Mercury turns retrograde in your tenth house of career and status, slowing down your progress at work. It is important for you to be steadfast and focused as misunderstandings and confusion reign. Stay as organized as possible while Mercury, the planet of communications does its best to trip you up.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22 Mercury turns retrograde in your ninth house of travel and adventure, slowing down your pace for the next two weeks. Your mental focus could be anywhere other than your normal routine - find a way to break up the monotony. Don't be afraid to take on extra responsibilities as it could lead to better prospects. The planet Mercury turns retrograde in your eighth house of joint resources, taxes, wills, legacies and alimony, creating confusion and complications for you during the next two weeks. Mars is also in the same house, so make sure you have plenty of focus when making decisions.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

Your closest relationships come under scrutiny as Mercury, the planet of communications goes retrograde in your seventh house of marriage and partnerships. There can be a lot of misunderstandings and confused signals. You'll need to listen carefully to what your partner is saying.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23 The next two weeks may bring confusion and misunderstandings at work and troubles with your health as Mercury turns retrograde in your sixth house. You'll need to pay more attention to detail and double check everything before finalising important matters. SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22 Mercury retrograde Occurs in your solar fifth house. Extra care should be exercised when it comes to matters surrounding romance, children, and creativity. Be as non-judgemental as possible and you should avoid jumping to any premature decisions. This is a period of review and rest. Speculation and gambling are not advised right now.

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SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21 Mercury retrograde occurs in your solar fourth house. Extra care should be exercised when it comes to family relations, real estate matters, and domestic issues. Be as diplomatic as you can with family members. Try to put off major decision-making with regards to home improvement, moving, and family matters for the time being. CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 Mercury's retrograde transit occurs in your solar third house this time. Extra care should be exercised when it comes to composing letters, emails, making phone calls, and with communications in general. Issues with siblings or neighbours - these should be resolved amicably. AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 Retrograde Mercury transit occurs in your solar second house this time, extra care should be exercised when it comes to new financial initiatives. There may be the need to resolve old, nagging issues regarding personal finances. Take this time to re-budget and re-think how you want to spend your cash during this period. Mercury is retrograde in your solar first house this time, extra care should be exercised when it comes to your body language. Others may misinterpret whatever you say and you should be aware that you can give off mixed signals. Good time to review the manner in which you come across to others.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20

Sport World - Asian Voice 2nd March 2013


Afridi given 'last chance' to prove his credentials

Eoin Morgan and Joe Root ensured England completed a comfortable five-wicket victory over New Zealand in the third and final one day international match at Eden Park to wrap up the series. Root (28 not out) and Morgan (39) built on the foundation laid by captain Alastair Cook (46) and Jonathan Trott (38) as England reached 186 for five in 37.3 overs to complete the 2-1 series victory. England's opening bowlers James Anderson and Steve Finn had set up the victory when they helped bowl the hosts out for a paltry 185 in 43.5 overs, with New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum (79) the only batsman to provide any resistance. Anderson and Finn put immense pressure on the top order to reduce the hosts to 11 for three inside eight overs, which ensured they never got their innings going

as they were unable to take too many risks and lost wickets at regular intervals. "It's great to be bowling at the other end from Jimmy," Finn said in a televised interview. "He's one of the best, if not the best fast bowler in the world so to be bowling at the other end and learn and feed off him has been brilliant. Our job is to take wickets in the first 10 overs and fortunately we have done that in the last

couple of games and it seems to have pegged New Zealand back early." Apart from McCullum's fireworks for the second successive match, Ross Taylor's dismissal for 28 was the only other talking point in New Zealand's innings that was at least 100 runs short of a competitive target on the small ground. Taylor was given out by umpire Chris Gaffaney after he appeared to nick a deliv-

ery from Stuart Broad to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, though the batsman immediately asked for it to be reviewed. None of the review tools available, especially 'hot spot' that shows whether a batsman has hit the ball, appeared conclusive, but television umpire Rod Tucker upheld the on-field umpire's decision to Taylor's visible annoyance. Finn was the pick of England's bowlers, having figures of three for 10 from eight overs before McCullum, who clubbed five sixes in his rear-guard action, and Andrew Ellis took 17 runs from his ninth over. Finn finished with three for 27. England now move to Queenstown for a four-day match against a New Zealand XI before the first of three tests begins at Dunedin's University Oval on March 6.

South Africa complete Somdev, Yuki return for Davis Cup tie against Indonesia Pak series clean sweep

South Africa completed a series clean sweep when they beat Pakistan by an innings and 18 runs on the third day of the third and final Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park. Pakistan were bowled out for 235 in their second innings, an improvement on their first innings total of 156. But the margin of victory and the series result was a fair reflection of the dominance of South Africa, the world champions, playing in their home conditions. Dale Steyn took four for 80 and was responsible for the run-out of Azhar Ali which sparked a collapse of the Pakistan middle order. For the only time in the series, the Pakistan lower

order showed some resistance and Steyn was frustrated in a final spell of eight overs after tea as the last pair, Rahat Ali and Mohammad Irfan, played and missed or edged the ball out of reach of the fielders. At the other end Kyle Abbott was unable to complete a ten-wicket haul on his Test debut, finishing with two for 39 after taking seven for 29 in the first innings. Finally, captain Graeme Smith turned to left-arm spinner Robin Peterson who trapped Rahat leg before wicket with his sixth ball. South Africa won the first Test in Johannesburg by 211 runs and the second in Cape Town by four wickets. None of the matches went to a fifth day. An early finish seemed in prospect when Pakistan lost four wickets quickly after lunch to be floundering at 114 for six, but Sarfraz Ahmed (40) and Saeed Ajmal (31) batted enterprisingly and with a modicum of luck to put on 69 for the seventh wicket.

Top singles players Somdev Devvarman and Yuki Bhambri made a return to the Indian Davis Cup team even as Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna continued to be pariahs for the crucial tie against Indonesia in April. The national selectors met on Saturday and, as expected, picked Somdev, Yuki, Sanam Singh and experienced campaigner Leander Paes for the Asia/Oceania Zone Group I relegation play-off first round tie against Indonesia in Bangalore from April 5-7. The All India Tennis Association's (AITA) selection committee also named Vijayant Malik and N Sriram Balaji as reserves while Ram Kumar Ramnathan was picked for practice. Meanwhile, SP Misra continued to be the nonplaying captain while Zeeshan Ali will be the coach. In the absence of 11 top players, who revolted against the AITA demanding better playing conditions,

Yuki and Somdev

India had lost the Asia/Oceania Group I first round tie against South Korea 1-4 earlier this month. The players ended their rebellion for the time being and made themselves available for the Indonesia tie after AITA agreed to improve the playing conditions and gave all the offers in writing. Somdev, fifth-highest ranked Indian player at 354th, had beaten the world number 39 Benoit Paire of France in an ongoing ATP event in France. For the doubles, the selection committee picked Sanam as Paes' partner as Purav Raja was not retained for the tie.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has given allrounder Shahid Afridi a last chance to prove his credentials, as they recalled him to their one-day squad for the upcoming series in South Africa, starting in March. Afridi, who was dropped out from the one-day series in India in 2012 after his disappointing performance, will return to the 16-man ODI squad, and has also retained his place in the 15-man squad announced for the Twenty20 internationals, according to cricket officials, Sport24 reports. Chief selector Iqbal Qasim said that the board has given a last chance to Afridi to prove his credentials as they felt that the Pakistan squad needed a spinner to back Saeed Ajmal in the ODI series against South Africa. Qasim further said that he hoped that Pakistan improved from their performance in the ongoing Tests against South Africa for the forthcoming ODIs, and added that the team has good one-day showings after beating India 2-1 in the 2012 series. Misbah-ul Haq will lead the team in the one-day matches in Bloemfontein on March 10, Centurion on March 15, Johannesburg on March 17, Durban on March 21 and Benoni on March 24, while former captain Shoaib Malik was also recalled, the report added.

Indian boxers back in ring under AIBA flag

Indian boxers finally found a reason to celebrate on Saturday after the International B o x i n g Federation (AIBA) decided to allow them to return to action, but under the world body's flag. A tele-conference on February 19 between India's International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Randhir Singh and AIBA president Wu Ching-Kuo led to AIBA quashing its January directive which had asked the boxers and coaches to keep away from international competitions until the impasse surrounding the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) was resolved. Randhir had argued that Indian boxers could not be penalized for what AIBA perceived as IABF's wrongdoings and had urged Wu to facilitate their return. AIBA had suspended IABF in December, citing “possible manipulation” in the Indian body's elections held in September. As such, the ban on officials being part of Indian delegations to international competitions stays. In a letter to IABF, AIBA executive director Ho Kim said: “This is to inform you that despite the ongoing suspension of the IABF, the AIBA’s EC Bureau took the decision on February 22, 2013 to exceptionally allow Indian boxers and coaches only (no official whatsoever permitted) to participate in AIBA Competitions (approved events) under the AIBA flag.

Fauja Singh hangs running boots at 101

The world's oldest marathon runner ran his last race on Sunday at the age of 101. Fauja Singh finished the Hong Kong marathon's 10-kilometer race in a time of 1 hour, 32 minutes and 28 seconds. Singh, a Sikh, wore a saffron turban and sported a flowing white beard. As he followed the route along the northern lip of Hong Kong island, he was accompanied by a group from the city's local Sikh community, joining about 72,000 other runners taking part in the marathon. The Indian-born runner, nicknamed the Turbaned Torpedo, had said that he would hang up his sneakers after the race in the southern Chinese

city, just before his 102nd birthday. “I will remember this day. I will miss it,” Singh said minutes after crossing the finish line. Singh, a great-grandfather, became the oldest man to run a full marathon at Toronto in 2011, at the age of 100. But his record was not recognized by Guinness World Records because he doesn't have a birth certificate to prove his age. Singh has a British passport that shows his date of birth as April 1, 1911, while a letter from Indian officials states that birth records were not kept in 1911. “I am feeling a bit of happiness and a bit of sadness mixed together. I am happy that I am

retiring at the top of the game but I am sad that the time has come for me to not be part of it,” Singh said in an interview. “And there will always be times in the future where I will be thinking, ‘Well, I used to do that (running),’” the Punjabi-speaking Singh said through his coach and

interpreter, Harmander Singh. Singh took up running at the age of 89 as a way to get over depression after his wife and son died in quick succession in India. The death in 1994 of his son took a particularly hard toll on Singh because of its grisly nature. Singh and his son,

Kuldip, both farmers, were checking on their fields in the middle of a storm when a piece of corrugated metal blown by the wind decapitated Kuldip in front of his father's eyes. Singh, whose five other children had emigrated, was left all alone. “He didn't think his life was worth living without his son” following the traumatic incident, coach Harmander Singh said. Following his retirement from racing, he said he hoped “people will remember me and not forget me.” He also wanted people to continue to invite him to events “rather than forget me altogether just because I don’t run anymore.”

32 - Asian Voice 2nd March 2013

Dhoni breaks Sachin's record of highest score by Indian skipper

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Monday surpassed Sachin Tendulkar's record of highest individual Test score by an Indian captain en route his majestic 224 against Australia in the first Test. Dhoni, who reached his maiden double century on Sunday went past Tendulkar's 217 scored against New Zealand in 1999-00 at Ahmedabad. Dhoni reached the feat in the 144th over when he first hit a flat six off Nathan Lyon to reach 217 and then took a single to surpass Tendulkar's score. The India captain, however, fell eight runs short of equalling Andy Flower's highest individual score by a skipper - 232 against India. Highest Individual scores by Indian captains: 224 Mahendra Singh Dhoni vs Aus (Chennai); 217 Sachin Tendulkar vs New Zealand (Ahmedabad); 205 Sunil Gavaskar vs West Indies (Mumbai); 203 MAK Pataudi vs England (Delhi).

Ricky Ponting to lead Mumbai Indians in IPL 6

Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting will replace Harbhajan Singh as captain of the Mumbai Indians for the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League, starting April 3. Ponting, who retired from international cricket late last year, was bought by Mumbai Indians at a base price of $400,000 during the IPL players' auction held in Chennai earlier this month. Mumbai Indians said in a statement that decision to name Ponting as the skipper for the forthcoming season was taken after consultation with its newly-appointed chief mentor Anil Kumble, head coach John Wright and Sachin Tendulkar. "Ricky has a lot of experience to lead a competitive and a high-profile side like Mumbai Indians in the IPL. Sachin readily agreed to my suggestion that Mumbai Indians is best served when he leads the batting unburdened by the rigours of captaincy. It was our idea (Sachin and mine) to bring in Ricky as the captain of the Mumbai Indians," Kumble said in the statement.


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India clinched the first Test against Australia with a comfortable eight-wicket victory to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series on Tuesday with their spinners taking all the 20 wickets for only the third time in their Test history. The Indians took about 25 minutes in the morning to finally bring an end to the stubborn last-wicket partnership between Moises Hendriques (81 not out) and Nathan Lyon (11) as Australia folded up for 241 in their second innings, leaving the hosts a small victory target of 50. The hosts lost both their openers Murali Vijay (6) and Virender Sehwag (19) before overhauling the target with more than two full sessions to spare. Cheteshwar Pujara brought about the winning run off Nathan Lyon to trigger off scenes of celebrations in the galleries and the Indian dressing room as the players congratulated and hugged each other. It was a commendable show by the Indians, who have been under pressure of late following a series of indifferent performances in recent times, as they dominated the game right through at the M A Chidambaram stadium in Chennai where the conditions suited the home team.

While captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni expectedly got the man-of-the-match award for his game-changing knock of 224, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin scalped 12 wickets in the match to also play a stellar role. The margin of victory could have been bigger had the Indians managed to get rid of the last wicket pair on Day 4 itself and had they not lost both their openers despite chasing a small total. The two teams will now travel to Hyderabad for the second Test be played at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium from March 2 to 6. This was the third time that Indian spinners managed to take all the 20 wickets in a match. The first time that Indian spinners bagged all the 20 wickets was at this same venue against England in 1972-73 while the second such instance was against New Zealand in Auckland in 1975-76. Resuming at the overnight score of 232/9, Australia could add just nine runs to their tally much to the relief of the Indians who had a frustrating time trying to dismiss the last-wicket pair. It took the Indians just nine overs on Day 5 to put an end to Australia's

resistance when Ravindra Jadeja broke the agonisingly long last-wicket partnership between Henriques and Lyon. Lyon, who showed a lot of grit and temperament to hang on, was dismissed by left-arm spinner Jadeja, caught by Murali Vijay at short-leg. Henriques followed up his first innings half-century with another gutsy unbeaten 81 and together with Lyon added 66 runs for the final wicket to take the match into the fifth and final day and prevent India from recording an innings victory. Chasing the paltry 50run target, India suffered two early blows in the form of openers Sehwag and Vijay, whose flop show with the bat continued. The opening duo of Sehwag and Vijay put on 16 runs before the former was the first one to depart. Vijay started his innings with a bang, smacking Lyon straight over his head for a six, his only scoring shot of the innings. But that was all the local boy could manage in the innings as he was caught by Henriques at mid-off off James Pattinson when he tried to go a big drive in the next over. Cheteshwar Pujara joined the action after

Vijay's dismissal and had to go through some torrid time in the first few deliveries he faced from offspinner Lyon. Pujara gave a half chance to the Australians which the visitors failed to pounce on. The ball hit the top of Pujara's pad and then the glove before crashing into wicket-keeper Mathew Wade's mid-riff as the batsman tried to pad Lyon away in the fourth over. But there was more drama in store as Sehwag (19) also returned to the pavilion, edging a Lyon delivery to Michael Clarke at first slip in the second delivery of the ninth over. Sehwag's dismissal marked the arrival of Sachin Tendulkar at the crease and the champion seemed in a hurry to finish off the chase as he clobbered Lyon for two consecutive sixes in the first two deliveries he faced in the innings. Tendulkar seemed to be fine touch as he timed the ball perfectly and provided some entertainment to the few thousand spectators who had come to the stadium to watch India's victory. Pujara and Tendulkar ensured that there was no further damage for India as they got the required runs in 11.3 overs.

Asian Voice  

Asian Voice weekly news paper

Asian Voice  

Asian Voice weekly news paper