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Employment rises amongst British Indians

Malala scoops 2013 Children’s Peace Prize


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The Lok Sabha, India’s lower House, has approved a controversial £13 billion ($20 billion) plan to provide cheap grain to the poor – a key part of the ruling Congress party's strategy to win the 2014 general election. Under the plan, the government will sell subsidised wheat and rice to more than two-thirds of its 1.2 billion population. India is home to a quarter of the world's hungry poor, according to United Nations data, despite being one of world’s the biggest food producers and a fast emerging economic power. The vote broke a long stalemate in parliament, potentially clearing the

way for several reforms aimed at spurring the flagging economy, which the government hopes to pass in an extended session that ends in two weeks. The Rajya Sabha must approve the bill before it becomes law. India's main opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata party, has criticised the welfare scheme, which expands an existing cheap food programme covering more

than 200 million people, as still too narrow to tackle widespread malnutrition among India's poor. However, the party voted for the bill, which was passed on Monday evening after nearly nine hours of debate and the inclusion of amendments that government sources say could lead to an additional requirement of about 3 million tonnes of grain. Continued on page 26

Steve Webb

In March 2013, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Dr Vince Cable speaking at the launch of the National Asian Business Association (NABA) in Westminster hailed 50,000 British Asian businesses in the UK which together generate more than £60bn nationwide – helping to create

Mark Hoban

thousands of jobs. Mr Cable said a “new generation” of young Asian entrepreneurs, with increasing numbers of female bosses, was behind the shift away from “traditional, stereotypical” family-run shops into businesses that play a “dynamic” role in British industry. Continued on page 5



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UK - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

Keith Vazwith MP

Keith Vaz MP

John Hemming MP

to miscarriages of justice as well as other campaigning issues.

John Hemming is the Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham Yardley since May 2005. Prior to becoming an MP John founded his first business John Hemming & Co. This software business now employs 250 people and has a turnover of around £20million. John is the Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Birmingham City Council and has been the Deputy Leader of the City Council. John is a member of Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the Musician's Union. He was a drummer in a heavy metal rock group and plays jazz piano. He was a candidate for Britain's First Astronaut and speaks six languages. John is married and has five children. 1) What inspired you to stand for Parliament? I got involved in politics because I wished to see a fairer society with a stronger protection of human rights, civil liberties and the equal treatment of people. Having been involved for a while as an activist I was unhappy with the candidate and took the view that I should be willing to stand for election to achieve my objectives. 2) What are your proudest achievements in politics? There are many issues at an international, national and

local level that I get involved in. It is difficult to single out one issue. Highlighting the electoral corruption in Birmingham in 2004 was very important. I drafted one of the two election petitions and assisted with the other. I have worked on many local projects such as the redevelopment of the shopping centre. Nationally I have succeeded in working with the Slovak Republic to get children returned to their grandmother. The Procedure Committee agreed to adopt my proposals to ensure that Ministers do answer written questions and I

am currently working on tightening up the links between the Parliamentary computer system and departmental ones to ensure more accountability. 3) Please tell me about your current position? I wish to remain a campaigning bencher. I would not be able to do many of things that I do as a front bencher. Although I sit on five Select Committees (Procedure, Regulatory Reform, Back Bench Business, Joint Committee on SIs and Committee on SIs) a lot of my time is spent on issues relating


Retirement could be mission impossible for 18-31 year olds Despite of a overall rise in employment amongst Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, there is a fear that Generation Y (those aged between 18 and 31) will struggle to save enough for retirement. Almost half (46%) of Generation Y do not save regularly. Half (51%) of Generation Y believe they will be worse off than their parents in retirement due to rising living costs and a less generous state pension Generation Y, those aged between 18 and 31, will have it the worst when it comes to funding their retirement, according to a third (33%) of Brits surveyed by NOW: Pensions. Two thirds (65%) predict the baby-boom generation, those aged between 51 and 71, may be the last able to retire with sufficient savings. Nearly a third (29%) believe those born today will struggle the most. According to a study conducted by the workplace pensions provider, over half (51%) of Generation Y expect to be worse off than their parents in retirement, with the majority (68%)

blaming rising living costs and a less generous state pension (57%). Over a third (38%) think increased longevity will put a strain on their retirement income while 30% say they don’t anticipate being able to cash in on property to fund their retirement. Over a quarter believe that the burden of student debt will hold them back. Yet despite this, Generation Y appear unconcerned about their long term financial future, with only 37% saying they are worried about funding their retirement, compared to almost half (45%) of baby-boomers. This sentiment is clearly reflected in their savings habits, with almost half (46%) currently failing to save on a regular basis. When it comes to how Generation Y expects to fund the shortfall in their retirement savings, over half (56%) plan to save or invest more, 55% will work longer, 31% intend to increase pension contributions while 30% anticipate working part time in retirement.

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8) What are your long term goals? I would like to see an end to many of the miscarriages of justice that occur. People should not have to emigrate to protect themselves against an arbitrary secret judicial system and foreign governments should not be complaining about the treatment of their citizens. The way to achieve this is to get the system to work properly. I would also like to see a more rational approach to policy with a better level of public information. Local Authorities appear to operate far more effectively than the national constitution. (I was a councillor for 18 years)

4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? The UK constitution has a particularly weak legislature and it has tended to allow some of its powers to lie unexercised. That has allowed a considerable amount of a culture of cover-up and malpractise in the public sector. It means that the tools for correcting this are difficult to exercise.

9) If you were Secretary General of the United Nations, what one aspect would you change? I would continue the process towards a strengthening of international bodies such as the International Criminal Court.

5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? I would not wish to identify one person. 6) What is the best aspect about your current role? I like to establish my own objectives.

10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? Jeremy Bentham. He would be an interesting person to discuss matters with.

7) And the worst? It is difficult to get the bureaucracy to engage rationally with debate.

Home Simulation, Socialising and Grooming room at the Mosley Acre farm inaugurated more holistic approach in getting to know the animals and their personalities It was felt that the spiritual development of any animal is like a humans where it needs developing, nourishing and understanding…as with humans it will help nurture their self-esteem and confidence. According to Natasha Woest, Manager at the farm, a lot of old age pensioners, people with learning and physical disabilities, social problems and many more receive a sense of healing from the animals. The touch to the animals and from the animals creates sense of belonging which provides healing to both. This activity shall now happen in this new facility. This facility room has been donated by Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur (UK), a registered charity established in 2010. SRMD (UK) is part of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur which is a global movement that endeavours to

Society for Abandoned Animals (“SAA”) a registered charity established in 1967 to provide shelter, food, veterinary attention and homes for animals (Cats, Rabbits and dogs) abandoned by their owners operates at Mosley Acre Farm, Manchester since 1994. It is funded with the support of individual donors (including legacies), corporate partnerships and by various fundraising activities On 5th August this year Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai, founder of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur, inaugurated a Home Simulation, Socialising and Grooming room at the farm where people wanting to adopt animals can spend time with them before adoption. This room would also create a positive space in which Reiki masters who visit the farm on regular basis could practice their skills and pass them onto fellow volunteers and staff. It would create a more relaxed environment in which the animals would feel safe and give more opportunity for staff/adopters to engage in a

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enhance the spiritual growth of seekers and benefit the society. Under the Mission, the Love and Care program is an initiative to bring joy and offer service to all living beings. Included in this programme are 10 Cares related to mankind, animals and the environment-,Health Care, Educational Care, Child Care, Woman Care, Tribal Care, Community Care, Humanitarian Care, Emergency Relief Care, Animal Care and Environmental Care Each care has 5 key projects under it, thereby widening the reach of the service initiatives. Under Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai’s able guidance, the programme is making giant strides in the direction of universal upliftment.

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A Reality Check

Is the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a government in waiting or is it trapped in a sink-hole from which deliverance is unlikely? Opposing the government, simply because it is the government, has never been the way of a credible democracy. How to run an administration, while defining and projecting a national vision, even as domestic policies, from the economy, defence, foreign affairs, science, education, health care, women’s empowerment and much else are calibrated, is a considerable challenge. Modern democratic government requires intelligence, hard work, command of the brief and an ability to communicate with the public at home and abroad. The attitudes of BJP MPs on the pending food bill evoked the following comment from the Hindu (no supporter of the government): “The National Food Security Bill has been derailed yet again in the past few days due to continuous disruption of Parliament…..This is only the latest episode in a long saga of of virtually continuous disruption from the Budget session onwards…..Some parties have lost all credibility in this tussle. The Bharatiya Janata Party, for one, speaks in different voices on the Food Bill. Even as some BJP leaders complain the draft does not go far enough, others argue that it is unaffordable. The Times of India, no friend of the government either, while fiercely critical of the Food Security

Bill, as state interference in what it considers to be the domain of the free market, censured MPs over “the Logjam” in parliamentary business. The present Parliament, it remarks, has the “dubious distinction of having passed the smallest number of Bills, and spent the least time discussing legislation. ” In the time remaining, MPs must “pass important (economic) reform measures pending before Parliament. This will be the best way the political class can signal that it’s serious about putting the economy back on track. For example, the passage of the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, which will replace a land law dating back to the 19th century would give a fillip to real estate and infrastructure sectors….. ” So it would. Equally the food bill now passed, which has been implemented in four Congress-ruled states from the bithday of Rajiv Gandhi will now have huge financial burden on the Indian exchequer. The new government after the next election will have to worry for this act of the Lok Sabha now. The Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh states already have almost similar provisions for food aid to the most needed. The Congrerss party and the UPA would have rather worked on something similar with the some proper and genuine deliberations with diffrent parties rather than taking, what appears to be a pre-election political gambit.

The arrest of Abdul Karim Tunda (see Media Watch, page 12) , the 70 year-old Ghaziabad-born Laskar-eTaiba bomber trained in Pakistan, and the capture of his key terror aide, Mohammed Alauddin,56, at Karadighi village in the West Bengal district of North Dinajpur, with a stack of counterfeit currency in his possession, is a dismal reminder of the threat to India posed by homegrown jihadis. Tunda started his career as a jihadi with the founding of the Indian Mujahideen, which is now spreading its tentacles across north east India. Alauddin, like Tunda, has provided a mine of information to Indian security agencies. Tunda worked with Dawood Ibrahim and the Sikh Babbar Khalsa International leaders Wadhawa Singh, Paramjeet Singh Panjawar and Ratandeep Singh under the supervision of Pakistan’s Inter Services Directorate. India is faced with an undeclared war in which proxies mingle and hide among ordinary communities. India’s Muslim citizens, for their part, need to introspect and take responsibility in the large interest of community and nation. Whatever the shortcomings of the Indian state and society at large, they do provide a level of security and justice for Muslims that is sadly lacking in much of the Islamic world, if events in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan be any guide. The ills within a contemporary state, especially those working to democratic norms, are best addressed through peaceful

mechanisms, including mass protests and demonstration, if need be, such as we witnessed in the United States and apartheid South Africa, led by iconic visionaries Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. To take up the sword needlessly opens the possibility of perishing by the sword. It is surely wiser, in this day and age, to turn swords into ploughshares and ensure peace, reconciliation and prosperity as the charter for unborn generations. India’s Muslims, young and old alike, have it in their grasp to contribute nobly to a better India: pluralist, caring, just and democratic, upholding at all times the rule of law. A useful postscript to this fraught subject would be the Pakistan dimension to the problem, which was lucidly spelled out way back in 1957 by the noted historian of the subcontinent Wilfred Cantwell Smith: “To the simple fact of Pakistan’s establishment the Indian Muslims could have easily adjusted themselves, had it not been for that ‘Islamic’ nation’s subsequent activities…..Pakistani Muslims have had so heavy an investment in the conviction that Indian Muslims are mistreated that at times one cannot but detect a morbid welcoming of adverse news and a resistance to awareness of Indo-Muslim welfare.” This surely has been the seedbed of Pakistan’s subsequent ill-judged policies towards India, which, without a course correction, has become a looming disaster.

General Herbert ‘Hawk’ Carlisle, presently Chief of the US military’s Pacific Command, had once led the US delegation at an executive group meeting of the Indian and US air forces: now he has set the cat among the pigeons by talking “about expanded engagement,” involving the setting up of a US military base at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. This prompted India’s Defence Ministry to issue a curt rebuttal: India “will not allow any foreign country to establish a military base on Indian soil.” Replying crisply to a callow Indian reporter, National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon (who had returned from a visit to Washington) said: “You ask me did I go and ask the Americans to defend India. My answer is no. That is not the question that in today’s day and age you need to ask.” President Obama’s overblown projection of IndiaUS ties as “the defining relationship of the 21st century should be seen for the hyperbole it is. India has been (and is) happy to be classed as an American partner, which is not the same as an American ally, such as, say, Britain, Turkey, the Philippines or Poland. There are areas where Indian and American interests converge, there are others where they diverge, the clearest evidence being Pakistan. Seema Sirohi’s trenchant piece on this Indo-US divide (First Report August 19) is well worth reading. She writes: “The Pakistan military’s signals to India are clear….. The continuous

attacks along the Line of Control (in Kashmir) are an unmistakable attempt to shatter the peace…..and pull the rug from under the shaky feet of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.” The US “has done nothing to rein in the Pakistan military. What’s more, it continues quietly to furnish sophisticated military weapons to Pakistan that are highly unsuitable against terrorists but very suitable against India.” She quotes extensively from the authoritative Congressional Research Services report on the massive range of transferred US weaponry. The 20-year, $20 billion US military aid package to Islamabad - often funded through devious accounting - tells its own damning tale. Washington arms Pakistan as a “regional balancer” (US quote) with India, “which also fits in with China’s plan,” remarks our scribe perceptively. The US and China are on the same page they were in 1971, when India won its war against Pakistan over Bangladesh. Then, the US and China supported the Pakistan military junta led by General Yahya Khan; they now cleave to General Ashfaq Kayani, Pakistan’s de facto ruler. Keeping India in check is still the name of the game, transcending by a wide margine America’s welcoming pieties on Pakistan’s emergent democracy. “Where does this leave…..the (US) strategic partnership with India……” Seema Sirohi asks teasingly. Firmly rooted, methinks, to the ground realities of Realpolitik.

Indian Mujahideen: Need for Muslim introspection

Getting Indian foreign policy right

3 In complete darkness we are all the same. It is only our knowledge and wisdom that separates us. Don't let your eyes deceive you - Janet Jackson

Sarah Teather MP Liberal Democrat MP for Brent Central

Helping everyone get on in life

0It’s that time of year again. School-leavers up and down the country will have just received the results of their GCSE and A level exams. After months of hard work, a few important pieces of paper could be what direct youngsters towards their first job, an apprenticeship, or a place at university. These should be exciting, life-defining moments. But they can also be fraught with uncertainty. Whilst many will be celebrating the success of their hardearned achievements, others will be mourning a set of disappointing results. The emphasis placed on good exam results in the UK today shows just how crucial a good quality education can be in helping young people get on in life. This time last year, I was writing to tell you about the Liberal Democrats’ work to help school children from poorer backgrounds. For too long, a child’s start in life has been the deciding factor in how well they do at school and what they go on to achieve subsequently. Poor seven-year olds are twice as likely to fall short in reading and writing than those from wealthier backgrounds. Worse still, such gaps tend to widen as children progress through school. The Pupil Premium, our top pledge in the Lib Dem manifesto, will mean that primary schools receive £1,300 for every disadvantaged pupil, up from £900 this year. This will help ensure that more pupils are able to achieve higher standards. On top of this, over the last few months, the Liberal Democrats have taken further steps to help those from disadvantaged backgrounds get the education they

deserve. The Targeted Basic Need programme will provide £820m to fund an extra 74,000 school places in areas of need across the UK – over 300 extra places will be created in Brent alone. But this is only the start. Getting good results at school is often the first step towards getting a job or an apprenticeship. In today’s job market, that can be tough. Job creation is key to fixing this problem. The Lib Dems have helped businesses create more than one million private sector jobs by investing in projects such as housing, transport and infrastructure. We have also helped to create over one million apprenticeships and 100,000 work placements to help young people get that important first step onto the jobs market. In Brent, the area I represent, more than 3,000 young people have started an apprenticeship since the Liberal Democrats came into Government in 2010. This is clearly a great start, but there is still much more work to be done. The Liberal Democrat Jobs Campaign will create a further one million jobs across the UK. The Liberal Democrats in Government are working hard to ensure that children in the UK not only get the best possible start in life, but that when they leave school there are a variety of opportunities available to them, whatever their talents and interests. I hope that those students who have received results over the last few weeks will be looking forward to the futures that lie ahead of them. I would like to wish them all the very best in whatever they choose to do next.

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 31st August 2013

Big-hearted lads raise £5k for cancer charity A cancer charity has had a major boost to its coffers, thanks to a team of fundraisers. The team of six men from London drove a pair of old bangers, Volvos 850, 1,500 miles across Europe to raise funds for the Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre (LJMC). In total, they raised over £5,000, exceeding their target. The team, a doctor, two solicitors and three project managers – none of whom can change a tyre -left London last Thursday (Aug 22), travelled through the UK, France, Italy and Spain and returned home this week. Dressed as the three amigos, the team – Rupen Dattani, Rohit Kumar, Tariq Qureshi, Deepak Vij, William James, Naresh

Left to Right: William, Rupen, Tariq, Naresh, Rohit and Deepak

Shourie – chose to raise money for the LJMC after a close mutual friend underwent cancer treatment there. Dad-of-two Rupen – son of Leicester-based Nirmalaben and Gordhanbhai Dattani, originally of Mwanza, East Africa - described their

Ramshackle Rally self-funded trip to Valencia as “absolutely amazingâ€?. According to the rules of the event, cars must not cost more than ÂŁ300 and must drive 1,500 miles in four days. Both criteria were met. The rally culminated with

return to Gujarat he developed a kidney problem which left him bedridden. Meanwhile, Nitin’s mother Manglaben had to work from a young age, especially as out of of five boys and five girls, only she and her sister Godavriben survived. Nitin is reduced to tears as he says: “I’m trying to imagine my mum having to work at the age of eight, with eight siblings who have died. She’s never talked about that.� He learns from a historian that his grandmother would have started having children at 13, which meant they would probably be underweight and more susceptible to illnesses like malaria.

Although there was no tradition of registering deaths in Gujarat, he found information about one of his aunts, Dudhiben, who died at the age of six of fever in 1945. His mother was eight at the time. Nitin signed for a copy of her death certificate while he was in India. After receiving the document he confessed that it caused him some anxiety. Nitin has discovered that his father’s ancestors suffered hardship, too. His great-grandfather, Popatlal Ganatra, moved to Kenya from India in the late 1890s. He was one of 32,000 labourers recruited by the British Empire to build a railway from Mombassa on the coast to Lake Victoria. Sleeping in tents beside the track and subjected to hard labour with picks and shovels, a third of them either died or were invalided back to India because they were too ill to work. Marauding lions ate 28 of the workers along the line – but Popatlal survived three years of working on the railway. He stayed in Kenya when his work was completed, starting a business run-

La Tomatina, an annual festival with a huge tomato fight in the streets of Bunol, a town in Valencia, Spain. LJMC, based at Mount Vernon Hospital in Northwood, exists to provide support and information for people affected by cancer. The charity, which this June marked its 20th anniversary, has an annual running cost of ÂŁ580,000, of which approximately 50% is raised through voluntary donations and fundraising activities. The Centre was named after Lynda Jackson, a patient at the hospital who died at the age of 31. To find out more visit To make a donation visit aRamshackle

Actor Nitin Ganatra makes shocking and emotional discoveries about his roots

During filming the BBC series 'Who Do you Think you are', Eastenders star Nitin Ganatra, pictured, made a shocking and emotional discovery- something he was unprepared for. Nitin wanted to trace his family history because he felt the need to find his roots, a sense of belonging. But when the popular West Midlands actor learned that his grandmother married at the age of six, and had 10 children, eight of whom died at a young age, he was left a bit saddened. The Birmingham Mail reported that Nitin began his journey in Coventry, where his family ran a newsagents after they fled Kenya in 1971, when he was just three years old. He had attended Coundon Court School in the city. He travelled to Gujarat in India to trace his mother’s side of the family, even though he had never even seen a photograph of them previously. “That’s a real shock,â€? he says on discovering just how young they were. Nitin further discovered that his grandfather Keshavjibhai left home at the age of 14 and travelled to Zanzibar to work, but on his A Stockport man who committed an ÂŁ800,000 VAT repayment fraud by submitting over 350 false invoices linked to fictitious exports to Pakistan was sentenced in absence to three and half years jail at Manchester Crown Court. Mohammad Tanwir Khan, 58, who featured on the HM Revenue and Customs ‘Most Wanted’ list two weeks ago, went on the run in May this year following his conviction for VAT fraud. A bench warrant for his arrest was issued in June 2013. Khan had his business records scrutinised by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigators after anomalies with invoices for his import/export company were discovered during a

Stockport man jailed

VAT inspection in 2010. Sandra Smith, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said: “HMRC officers identified suspicious trading by Khan’s company, Spearpoint Limited, when his paperwork did not match the true level of exports. During interviews he couldn’t justify or prove his business claims. He had been living off stolen VAT repayments for a number of years, using faked paperwork to fraudulently reclaim on average over ÂŁ100,000 per year.â€? Khan was charged with VAT fraud of over ÂŁ817,000. In Manchester Crown Court seven years of fake invoicing

was provided as evidence – including 389 false invoices submitted to HMRC between 2006 and 2011. HMRC investigators discovered over 1,700 suspect documents on Khan’s computer, plus hundreds of blank invoices in his home office and garage in readiness for further fraud attempts. Khan was the sole director of Spearpoint Limited, which claimed to regularly supply mechanical parts to clients, including the Pakistan Navy. He sourced equipment from the UK and Europe and then exported them to clients in Pakistan. To justify the VAT repayments he falsified freight invoices from several

ning a general store in the small town of Broderick Falls. By the 1960s it was booming, but in 1967 a new law was passed which limited trade for anyone who wasn’t a full Kenyan citizen. Indians were offered citizenship on condition they gave up their British Commonwealth passports, which the Ganatras refused. Like thousands of others, they came to Britain with nothing because their property was confiscated. At the start of the programme, which will be broadcast on September 4, Nitin says: “I remember growing up in this country, where I was made aware that I don’t belong here. That has repeated itself throughout my life. It’s always been a problem for me, I’m not quite sure where I belong. “It would be a huge achievement to me to find out where my home is because this is a question I have had all my life.� And at the end of his journey, in his family’s ancestral home in Gujarat, he says: “I do feel a little bit at peace, like I’ve finally arrived somewhere.� defunct, bogus and genuine suppliers. Some invoices were crudely amended with correcting fluid while others were photocopied or produced on home computer templates. Most of the consignments did not exist or were for much smaller parts. He even altered and increased the weight of consignments on freight paperwork to give the impression of much larger consignments. HMRC officers searched Khan’s home and arrested him in May 2011. A detailed investigation followed and it became clear that he was vastly overstating the scale and cost of his company’s trading. Khan now faces a confiscation hearing over his criminal profits.



Sarasvati Mahaa-Bhaage Vidye Kamala-Locane I Vidyaa-Ruupe Vishaal-Aakssi Vidyaam Dehi Namostute II Meaning: O Devi Saraswati, the most Auspicious Goddess of Knowledge with Lotus-like Eyes, An Embodiment of Knowledge with Large Eyes, Kindly Bless me with Knowledge. I Salute you.

Leicester stages mega Indian festival

A city-wide festival that brings together seven different events has drawn thousands of people to Leicester. The City Festival took place over the bank holiday at various sites across the city centre.The amalgamation of the seven events coincided with the city's bid to become the next UK City of Culture in 2017. One of the featured events was the Belgrave Mela which highlighted Indian culture, arts and entertainment through music, dance, food, fashion and art. The biggest Indian Bazaar featured fashion, jewellery and more. A huge variety of mouth watering curries, tasty tiffins, delicious drinks and succulent sweets from across the subcontinent were available in the famous Indian food court. The Mela stage featured everything from Bollywood and Bhangra, to belly dancing and hip hop. This year’s headline acts included H Dhami, Navin Kundra, San2 and Sarika Gill, plus live performances from the best dancers and musicians from right here in Leicester. Free workshops, street arts and cultural performances were found across the festival. Famous Jaipur Kawa Brass Band, plus international rangoli street artist Janak Chauhan added a splash of colour to the city centre streets. Leicester Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said the festivals were "a brilliant opportunity to show off Leicester and the great strength of Leicester's bid which is the diversity of Leicester's people."

'Surprise' Indian rhino born at Chester Zoo The birth of the first Indian rhino at a Cheshire zoo has brought in surprise and lot of happiness, keepers have said. The rhino, which has been named Komala, was born at Chester Zoo in July but has been kept from public for the first two months of her life. Curator of mammals Tim Rowlands reportedly said keepers had had "a hunch" her mother Asha was pregnant, but were not sure. The calf, whose Indian name means delicate, was "a proper little bruiser", he said. Komala, who has almost doubled in size since her arrival on 7 July, weighed about 10 stone (65kg) at birth. Mr Rowlands said her arrival had "raised a smile amongst the keepers", who have already welcomed three black rhinos in less than a year.

Two earthquakes shake Blackpool

Two earthquakes off the Lancashire coast have shaken homes in Blackpool. A tremor with a 2.4 magnitude was reported on Sunday by the British Geological Survey, A second larger tremor with a magnitude of 3.2 was confirmed in the same area later in the day. No damage or injuries have been reported. - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

Employment rises amongst British Indians

Continued from page 1 It is believed that this entrepreneurial characteristics has led to create employment, which has reached a record high of 29.78 million, with a rise of 300,000 over the last year, according to figures released recently. More than two thirds of the rise has been amongst UK nationals. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the growth in employment has been fuelled by a rise in permanent jobs: up 110,000 over the last three months. The growth in employment is accompanied by a drop of 4,000 in the number of people classed as unemployed over the last three months. The level is now 49,000 lower than this time last year. The independent figures also show that the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance has fallen for the ninth month in a row - and is now at its lowest level since February 2009. The number of people signing on fell in every region and nation of the UK for the third month in a row. The statistics also show a continued growth in the number of vacancies, with more than half a million currently available – an increase of 12% over the past year. As per the 2011 census, Indians comprise of 2.5% of the UK population, followed by Pakistanis (2.0%) and Bangladeshis (just below 1%) However the most striking development recently is the rise of employment amongst Indians, Pakistani and Bangladeshi community in people above 16 years of age. There is a 0.3% growth amongst Indians, with 5.8% growth in Pakistani community since 2011 and 7.7% growth in Bangladeshi community from previous quarters. Indian women (16+) employment has risen by 10%, with Pakistanis by 18.8% since 2011 and Bangladeshis by 6.1% from previous quarters. However the employment amongst men has gone down amongst Indians by 6.1%, though Pakistanis continue to grow by 0.5% and that of Bangladeshis by 8.2%. Employment rates by Indian men between 1664 years have gone up 0.9%, Bangladeshis by 5.9% though amongst Pakistanis it has come down by 1.8% since 2011. Amongst women employment has reached record high, though amongst men it has continued to decrease. The most interesting survey however shows, in

16+ people that are self employed amongst Indians is up by 15.6% and in Bangladeshis its up by 12.5% since 2011, but in Pakistanis it has come down 3%. In Indian men, its up by 15.6%, in Bangladeshi men by 16% though in Pakistani men its fallen by 1.6%. Amongst women it has gone up by 15.4% but in Pakistanis it has come down by 9.2% Minister for Pensions Steve Webb told Asian Voice, " These figures show a record high employment level – with more women in work than ever before. “This growth has been driven by a rise in permanent, private sector jobs, which suggests businesses are feeling positive about the future.” Minister for Employment Mark Hoban told the newspaper, “With 29,000 fewer people claiming Jobseekers Allowance compared to this time last month, and more people in work than ever before, today’s figures paint a positive picture of the UK labour market. “There are now more jobs available than at any time since the end of 2008, and more hours being worked than ever before - which shows that there are opportunities out there for people who want to work and get on in life.”

Deepa Sugathan



Ilayaraaja bewitches Tamil audience at his first live concert in Britain EXCLUSIVE

Lycamobile sponsors successful 'Raja the Raja' concert at the O2

Milind Kangle, Ilayaraaja, Kamal Hassan, Subaskaran Allirajah, Premanathan Sivaswamy

Rupanjana Dutta

The music maestro Ilayaraaja held a very touching music concert at the O2, sponsored by Lycamobile, on this August bank holiday. The Tamil community of Britain was ecstatic to have such a concert first time organised just for them, in the heart of London. Ilayaraaja who is also known to be music composer A R Rahman's inspiration, has a music career of more than 30 years, but does not prefer to perform live that often. Before the show, a press meet for the concert “Raja the Raja” was hosted by Lycamobile on 22nd August at their office in Canary Wharf. Along with the music maestro himself, veteran actor Dr Kamal Hassan, who was said to be taking a break from shooting his film Vishwaroopam 2, also addressed the press. The Lycamobile CEO, Mr. Milind Kangle, Chairman Mr Subaskaran Allirajah, and the company’s COO-Mr Premananthan Sivaswamy were also present and warmly welcomed the press with snacks and drinks, who waited for almost 2 hours to meet Ilayaraaja and Dr Hassan. In 2006 Lycamobile launched its mobile brand, since then Lycamobile has grown rapidly with 30 million customers in 16 countries (UK, US, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Australia, France, Germany, Poland, Portugal and Ireland) with further market launches planned in 2013. On Saturday 24th August, the show started with a 'Sloka' and one by one singers such as evergreen Dr S.P Balasubramanyam, Chinmayi, Karthik, Jayachandran, Madhu Balakrishnan, Sadhana Sargam, Shwetha Mohan joined the maestro on the stage. The most interesting aspect of this concert was its informal setting. It wasn't just about Ilayaraaja's hit

However Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi women entrepreneurs still believe that inspite of this growth they have miles to go before they can etch an equal mark. Deepa Sugathan, Partner, Silk Route Legal, a City based law firm told Asian Voice, "Of course it is a great news that women employment and self employment have gone up. It As hundreds of thousands of is also good to students get their A Level results know that sup- new data published by the port groups are Department of Business, trying to help Innovation and Skills shows women in jobs female students who progress to and businesses. university can expect to boost But I strongly their lifetime earnings by feel, it's not £250,000, and men by £165,000. enough. Is there University study is also shown any break down to contribute significantly to the available on how economy, with around 20 per cent many of these of the UK’s economic growth women within between 1982 and 2005 attributathe growth rate, ble to an increase in the number of are married with graduates, as well as at least one children? If self third of the increase in labour proemployment has ductivity from 1994 to 2005. increased consid-

compositions, it was about a journey from an era to era. The stage atmosphere was ultra cool, as casual dialogues and story telling between the composer and his singers continued, with jokes and anecdotes shared, mistakes rectified during the live performances (very unusual), memories cherished, secrets told- a very smooth and impromptu performance. Though SPB witnessed the greatest round of welcoming applause from the audience, Dr Kamal Hassan, inspite of his initial reluctance, stole the show with his 3 dual performances and witty remarks. While the torrential rain flooded most of Britain's roads, nothing could dampen the Tamil spirits, and many audience travelled as far as

abruptly. Why did they start an hour late?” A local resident and lawyer Vivek told Asian Voice, “This show was indeed very different. My wife is from East India, and I have watched almost all the live shows with her in London- including by A R Rahman and other Bollywood hotshots. I feel this show had a very unique characteristic, a touch of commonness and simplicity one can easily relate to, and Ilayaraaja was always in control. What I did not like was that the audience kept walking up and down, children running about, which is very odd, given such a great show was going on live- and the performers did not even take a break.” The show which had a modest turn out (probably due to the high

The Lycamobile team and family felicitating Ilayaraaja, the music maestro, after the show

from Scotland to be part of this great musical history. One Dr Karthick who had drove down all the way from Edinburgh, told Asian Voice, “Lyca has done a great job by putting this show together. I am a great fan of Ilayaraaja. Though I had expected the show to be a bit more lively, the first half was a bit disappointing. I rather liked the groovy numbers played towards the end- but then I felt that the show had to finish

Women to earn more than men The research on graduate earnings confirms previous findings showing a substantial financial benefit from gaining a degree. Over her working life the average female graduate will earn £250,000 more in today’s valuation, net of tax and other costs, than a woman with two or more A Levels who does not continue into higher education. For men the figure is £165,000. This highlights that the regularly quoted average graduate premium of comfortably over £100,000 still holds, despite the substantial increase in graduates and a changing labour market.

ticket prices), ended on an emotional note- with a special poem from the maestro himself. He concluded saying he would keep making beautiful music, that would forever bind the Non Residential Tamils with their roots, wherever they are, from across seven oceans. The Lycamobile team and family felicitated all the singers and the maestro with flowers, before Ilayaraaja bid goodbye to his enthralled audience with tears.

erably amongst Indian women, it does not necessarily imply that gender equalities are increasing in Britain. Rather it implies that more and more women in the City and elsewhere are moving to Consultancy jobs because they don't get equal opportunities in big firms, given they can't put in equal hours as men, after marriage or when they have young children." Jothees Phagre,

who runs his own small business in the North, told Asian Voice, "Amongst Indians, many times self employment is not a choice we make. I am not comparing myself with tycoons like Lord Noon or Rumi Verjee. But SMEs like mine often face unscrupulous challenges or glass ceilings. In fact I started my business because I could not get a job elsewhere. My parents who ran a small shop obviously offered me initial funds to start the business, but not everyone can afford to help their children unfortunately."


6 - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

National Hindu Students Forum (UK)

By Rupal Maru Learning & Schools Team NHSF (UK) BA (Hons) Drama, Theatre & English , Codirector at RuShee

Discovering Integrity

As students, we go about daily life in our own little bubble; floating around from studying, to eating, socializing and procrastinating. We want as much as we can get for free and why not? We are paying thousands of pounds for our education. I was always a passionate Hindu student at university; I wanted to make a change, I wanted to change the world. I would always moan about student rights, morals and I would question the integrity of bigger organisations. However, a recent experience in India made me challenge my own integrity. I would like to share this experience with you. “I was sat in the comfort of an air conditioned car, waiting in the heavy Delhi traffic. As I stared out of the window I saw an old frail man limping in the distance; he looked around 78. He drew closer and closer to our little white car then he knocked on the window...and repeated " Pen lello, Pen

lello" (meaning please buy these pens). My friends told me just to ignore him and look away; however his frailty and old age made me feel immense pity for him. I reached out to get some spare rupees from my purse, thinking if I gave him a few bucks he would go away. As I rummaged through my bag, the traffic began to move along and it became difficult for me to hand him the money but I managed to do so just in time. However he wasn't able to hand me the pen in exchange. I thought nothing of it and told myself it’s only a pen of which I have plenty. Before I knew it, the Baba started running and stumbling after the car, reaching out with this precious pen to make sure I received it and the money I gave him wasn't charity. Seeing his weightless body struggling to reach for the window instantly brought tears to my eyes. He may be old and frail however his integrity

was paramount. In reality I was the weak one. After this experience I realized that I needed to ensure I was maintaining my integrity and practicing my Dharma instead of complaining about others. I asked myself three questions which I would like to ask you: 1. When was the last time you took the easy option, even though it was against your principles? 2. When was the last time you took credit for something that went right, but wouldn’t have taken the flak if it went wrong? 3. When was the last time you put your friends or family before yourself? I discovered I needed to apply integrity to my daily life and routine. I learnt that to make a lasting impact or a real change I needed to start with myself first! I am thankful to this Baba for inspiring me and will cherish this pen for life.

Time Out London’s Hot list of five amazing things to do features the beautiful BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, also known as Neasden Temple, in first place. Described as ‘an exquisite chunk of gleaming white marble fringed by award-winningly beautiful flower gardens’, the breath-taking temple has attracted many visitors from all over the globe. An alternative to visiting the ‘pointy bits’ of Westminster Abbey, the Temple’s religious architecture is said to be

unlike anything else in London. Amongst the top five attractions listed were the Notting Hill Carnival, a series of dog salons and a theatre production about Gay

rights. Something for everyone however, the temple’s place as number one demonstrates it’s attractive nature for people from all walks of life.

Neasden Temple makes it to Number 1 spot on TimeOut London

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Shekhar Bhatia praises comedy queen & ex-wife Meera Syal

It’s time to act! Spriha Srivastava

Yet another rape case brings out lots of opinions, debates, protests and comments. But then it all dies down till another unfortunate incident takes place. Sadly, these days India is in the news for three things – increasing rape cases, fall of the rupee and a corrupt government. When the Delhi gang rape case took place in December 2012 Indians around the world held protests for a stricter rape law, for fast track courts and for better law enforcements but how long did it take for it to be forgotten? People moved on with their lives, went out for holidays, bought houses, cars and changed jobs. And then one more case happened and pulled the nation out of its slumber. This time it was a journalist and it caught heavy media attention, the police acted extremely quickly and arrested the culprits, people staged protests and Bollywood did not miss out the chance to join in. But what next? Funnily, while we are trying to solve a specific case, there is no attention to the underlying problem that the country is facing. One case happens and everyone wakes up. The culprits are arrested, the case is transferred to a so-called fast-track court (remember the Nirbhaya trial is still on) and then everyone lies back on their comfortable couches in front of the TV and follows the trial which is never-ending. The issue is taken up in the Parliament where the opposition uses it as a tool to attack the ruling party and the TRPs grow

In a demonstration of friendship, journalist Shekhar Bhatia offered a helping hand to his ex-wife Meera Syal last Thursday by publishing an article in the Evening Standard for her. The article refers to Meera’s appeal for help in saving the life of a six-year old boy in need of a bonemarrow transplant. Meera Syal, also known as the queen of Asian comedy, was married to Shekhar in 1989 and together they have one daughter, Chameli. Despite their divorce in 2001 however, the two have evidently remained on amicable terms and maintained their long-standing friendship. It is commendable on the part of Shekhar that he appreciates the good work of his ex-wife and that they have managed to keep their friendship outside the usual broken marriage bitterness. It is a rare quality and Shekhar must be praised for this.

by leaps and bounds. But where is the solution in all this? Is anyone looking at the underlying problem? A fellow journalist who prefers to remain anonymous has this to say: “My question is not just to the government but to everyone in India. Why is it that we get this awakening the moment an unfortunate incident like this takes place? Why can’t we continue this struggle till we finally achieve it,” she said. She further added that “so many incidents of rape, abuse and assault happen but only some of them come out in the media. This is where we as journalists need to play an important role.” What we need today is a mix of social and political reforms. I know it will take a long time to sensitize the section that treats women as an object. But we can at least start doing that as mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and friends. We can all spend some time making these men understand that women should be treated with respect. We need to break this patriarchal set up that makes a man the decision maker. At the societal level there is a lot that needs to be done but that will take a long time and many generations. In order to act quickly, we need an extremely swift and smooth law enforcement process. We need our police to act quickly and for this the government needs to ensure they are compensated well so that they have the incentive to work to the best of their capabilities. The govern-

ment also needs to ensure that the trials are done quickly so that the victim and her families are not harassed for years before finally getting justice. But the biggest and the most important thing that the government needs to do is to set deterrent for these crimes. Lack of a strong deterrent is one of the biggest reasons why there have been so many rape cases in India. The culprit doesn’t have much to be feared of. He knows that it even if caught, the trial will take a long time and in many cases he can be out on bail. This is one area where the government needs to act extremely efficiently and it’s time to act now before another unfortunate incident occurs. With every incident the government is testing the power of democracy, the power of youth and the power of speech and expression. We as individuals need to ensure that we continue to protest and show our displeasure to the authorities. Another thing we – both men and women, can do is sensitize men who disrespect women. It might take a long while but every effort in this direction will be extremely helpful. As for this incident, I have immense respect for the survivor. She showed great courage and has helped the authorities find the culprits. It takes a lot of strength to do so. Hopefully this is the tipping point in the number of rape cases in India. Hopefully this drives the government and the people to act because the time has come and we need to act now!

Let us know what you think. Email Spriha at

Sri Lankan boy awarded top marks in Maths A nine-year-old who scored A* in his maths GCSE says it was just like playing a computer game and even completed the paper with 45 minutes to spare. Abhinav Santhiramohan, from Luton, was awarded the top mark in the subject after taking his GCSE exam seven years early. Abhinav, who attends Meads Primary School in Luton, admitted he felt nervous collecting his result and now hopes to take his A-level maths exam when he turns 11. Abhinav, whose family is originally from Sri Lanka, was born in Germany before moving to the UK in 2006.

Paid subscribers of Asian Voice will receive a copy of our quarterly Asian House and Home magazine free of cost with their newspaper. - Asian Voice 31st August 2013


thumping, sweat pouring, arm numbing eight hour mountain bike rides to see waterfalls that only truly exist in heaven itself. The Hindus, Buddhists and Surrealists all know the world is an illusion. So they can be detached from its pains. Happiness comes from that realisation and that realisation comes as the ancient Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita, carrying the ‘Song of God’ Himself says, comes from meditation. Western scientists recently discovered that Hindu-Buddhist style meditation stimulates areas of the brain which cause a feeling of happiness. The American Founding Father revolutionaries under their Constitution even sought to rid themselves of the British ‘in pursuit of happiness’. Happiness is therefore a legitimate political goal. Even though over 200 years since its founding, the country with the world’s largest GDP does not have the greatest happiness. Some Americans do get it. Said their President Roosevelt, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat

and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” Arduous discomfort is where the credit belongs. When was I happiest here in Laos? When cycling down a remote jungle hill or a moonlit deserted street at midnight. Why? It was the meditation the monks here told me of. My mind was empty. Meditation with monks taught me something; as a Hindu, I already knew how to meditate. Want to make British people happier Mr PM? Teach meditation in schools. Your children are being whooped by those from Eastern meditative cultures – can’t get any worse can it? The benefits to concentration and performance are well known. You can’t keep spending your GDP out of unhappiness.

Asians caring for elderly parents welcome Health Secretary's urge to employers Asians applaud Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt's statement urging employers to allow their staff who look after elderly parents to work flexible hours. The Health Secretary urged businesses to change the way they treat carers because of the country’s ticking ‘dementia time bomb’. Britain’s ageing population means increasing numbers of people of working age are being forced to juggle their time to care for elderly relatives- this includes a very high percentage of British Asians, who have welcomed Mr Hunt's thoughts on this matter. Mr Hunt warned large numbers of men and women currently have to give up work to look after relatives – and urged employers to act in order to avoid damage to the economy. Around 6.5million Britons have caring responsibilities, according to the latest census. Charities estimate more than 2 million of

those have given up their jobs, while another 3 million have reduced their working hours. Mr Hunt said some bosses are ‘simply not prepared’ for what lies ahead. He said: ‘A lot of employers have embraced flexible working policies, but some are simply not prepared for the scale of the dementia time bomb. ‘None of us can afford to ignore this problem. ‘Too many people feel unable to combine caring for a family member with working – this will only get worse as we face the consequences of a dementia time bomb.’ His remarks were welcomed by carers and charities, especially that of Asian origin, but business leaders accused Mr Hunt of interfering. Recent reforms mean parents with young children and those caring for frail, sick, or disabled loved-ones already have the right to request special working arrangements – and industry leaders say the changes have gone far enough.


Ivory model of Hazarduari Palace, Murshidabad to be auctioned at Christie's, London

The Pursuit of Happiness And Saving The Children

The Prime Minister returned from his happy holidays early this past week to a very unhappy political situation. The British Prime Minister on taking office said he wanted a measure for happiness not just economic growth (GDP). Why? Because despite a relentless rise in British GDP since it’s ever been measured, our happiness has not had the same trajectory. Indeed some of the happiest people in the world live in countries which have the lowest GDP. ‘The luxury I advocate has nothing to do with money. It cannot be bought. It is the reward of those who have no fear of discomfort.’ Said Jean Cocteau, the French poet, novelist, who was the inspiration for the term ‘surrealism’. I don’t know if this Frenchman ever visited this former French colony, Laos from where I write. But the Buddhists here know luxury – the luxury of happiness. The ability to suffer discomfort is the source of happiness. It is the Western search for material luxury, and therefore the fear of losing it, that leads to unhappiness. With the ability to suffer discomfort comes meaningful achievement. Even if it be a gruelling sweaty arduous thigh killing, head


Anglo-Indian carved ivory model of the Hazarduary Palace in Murshidabad, circa 1837

photo courtesy: Christie's Images Ltd 2013

The Collection of Professor Sir Albert Richardson, P.R.A. (18801964) - the celebrated collector, architect and President of the Royal Academy (1954-1956) will be auctioned over two days in London on 18 and 19 September 2013. All great collections are exercises in creativity and selfexpression, but rarely do they give such a vivid impression of the collector’s discerning tastes, interests and idiosyncrasies as that formed by Professor Sir Albert Richardson. A remarkable ivory model of the Hazarduari Palace, Murshidabad, made around 1835, is also included in the sale to be held in London. As an architect himself, Richardson’s primary passion included architectural models such as a remarkable Anglo-Indian carved ivory model of the And that leads me to one final important part of happiness. I helped raise funds for 150 scholarships for learning Hinduism through the Oxford Centre For Hindu Studies. Education is freedom, and freedom is a luxury, freedom from the illusion of attachment to comfort. Bringing happiness to others is a source of the greatest happiness of all.

Muslim soldiers to talk to school pupils

Muslim soldiers will be asked to deliver talks in schools to help counter extremism following the Woolwich murders. The visits will be co-ordinated around next year’s activities in schools to mark 100 years of the First World War, in which hundreds of thousands of Muslim soldiers fought and died for Britain. Educational programmes will focus on the millions of Commonwealth soldiers who served in the war – including the 1.2million Indian soldiers who fought, 74,000 of whom died. Some 650 Muslim personnel will use their experiences to convince youngsters that it is possible to follow Islam and be a patriotic Briton. Soldiers of both sexes, including those who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq

and some who have been injured, will address school assemblies, particularly in areas that have seen a spike in hate crimes. Attacks and abuse against Muslims rose eight-fold in the wake of the murder of drummer Lee Rigby in May. A month later they were still running at 36 a week. The latest idea to tackle radicalism is understood to have been championed by Baroness Warsi, pictured, the minister for Faith and Communities, and plans are said to be at an advanced stage.

Hazarduary Palace in Murshidabad, circa 1837, which the Professor bought for £50 in 1949 (estimate: £30,00050,000). Hazarduri means ‘the one with a thousand doors’, although 900 of the 1,000 doors of the palace are actually false. It was built by Colonel Duncan Macleod of the Bengal Corps of Engineers during the reign of Mubarak Ali Khan, who is better known as Hamayun Jah. He ascended the throne of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa after the death of his father, Wala Jah, in 1824 and received the imperial title of Shujaul-Mulk, Ihtisham-udDaulla, Humayun Jah, Feroze Jang (Hero of the Country, Dignifier of the Country, of auspicious rank, Victor in War). An ivory miniature of the

Sir Albert Richardson

palace, prepared by Sagore Mistri and perhaps the present example, was sent to King William IV together with other presents. In appreciation, the King honoured the Nawabs, who were the rulers of Bengal, with the badge and insignia of the Royal Guelphic and Hanoverian order. They are still preserved in the Palace, which is now a museum, housing the Nawab collections and under the control of the Archeological Survey of India.

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UK - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

As I See It

Goodbye to an inspiring individual On my way to the Kadwa Patidar centre on Thursday (22 August), in the jam packed train from Euston to Harrow Wealdstone, I was having some remorse that I could not attend a spiritual discourse at the Institute of Directors organised by the Hinduja Brothers. Dada J P Vaswani is also a very inspiring personality. But deep down I felt that the 'prarthana' sabha (prayer meeting) in memory of Shri Popatbhai Chakubhai Ruparelia is equally, if not more important. On my way back, during the one hour journey in the tube, I was able to see innumerable 'fim shots' with closed eyes about the life and contributions made by late Popatbhai Saheb. Shantu Ruparel aptly described Popatbhai as the father figure of the Lohanas as well as the wider Gujarati community in the footsteps of late Shri Haribhai Samani in the UK. When I entered the beautiful hall of Kadwa Patidar centre, I was struck with awe, as I saw a vast audience waiting, including a member of the House of Lords- Lord Popat, Cllr Navin Shah, Member of the Greater London Assembly, several Councillors, leaders of organisations, business tycoons, outstanding professionals, entrepreneurs, women and men, but especially a larger proportion of younger generation. Unfortunately Indian gatherings, weddings, religious events or community celebrations normally have a noisy and disorganised ambience. On Thursday evening this hall was totally different. It was sombre, there were beautiful prayers and heart rendering tributes from individuals. Towards the end, two spokespersons of the 16 grandchildren of Popatbhai (I dislike using the term late as a prefix for such illustrious individuals) paid some whispering tributes. His devotion to the family and community at large as well as to certain values have left a legacy which can inspire future generations in whatever activities they engage in. I was also very relieved as the meeting was called a prayer meeting and not a condolence meeting. Indic religions (Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism) accept death as an inevitable consequence of birth. Gita describes soul as the one which is never born and that which never dies. Soul cannot be touched by flame or wet by oceans. To me my scriptures simply have a message that is much more than my

day to day activities- there is something else possible to perform which has better quality. Who was Popatbhai Ruparelia? He was a successful businessman and industrialist in Uganda, Kampala. He was not in the League of the top entrepreneurs, but then why did so many people voluntarily attend such a prayer meeting? Many of them perhaps have even never met Popatbhai. Most of them have certainly benefited from Poaptbhai’s many fold activities. To me it seems that Popatbhai's upright life, his selfless service to one and all in particular after expulsion from Uganda, when he made his home in Great Britain, his role as a conscience keeper of the Lohana spirit (if I may say so) with Gujaratis and Indian as well as his innumerable examples, where directly or indirectly he helped so many causes and initiatives. Whether its raising fund for a temple and the community centre in Bristol, or Vallabh Nidhi or BAPS in London, whether for the Lohana Community North London, Raghuvanshi Charitable Trust, Lohana Social Service and innumerable other causes, I have seen this tall and brooding personality, helping, guiding and encouraging in his soft, compassionate and unique way. He had the courage to say no to some individuals or their activities which were harmful to the community or its reputation. I know several examples where Popatbhai built bridges between various factions, which is the most thankless task, he did as he told me that he had to do it. He lived till almost 94 years- a lovely man, a great soul. Let us cherish his memories. It will definitely help us in whatever we are doing. Let us tell our children and grandchildren of his wonderful contributions to the community in those delicate days immediately after arriving in the UK. I would not pray for his peace. One does not have to. He passed away very peacefully. I need not offer condolences to his family. To them I will simply say, please remember him. Let us all learn something from Popatbhai, whose life and work has such an inspiring message. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.


- CB

meof aspiration. Popatbhai was at the forefront of creating a template for our community ahead of its time; a vision to establish an efficient, effective and transparent organisation that served its members. Perhaps my most treasured memory of Popatbhai was when I had the opportunity of working with him during Morari Bapu’s Katha which I hosted in Wembley in 1999. Popatbhai played an instrumental role during the Katha and acted as a personal mentor to me in giving me the courage to take on this mammoth task. He was a natural leader and it is from Popatbhai that I discovered that through determination and hard work anything is possible. I shall forever remain indebted to

Give Meena a future

Lady Mohini Kent Noon

is a long way from Kolkatta and gives an idea of the organized network of traffickers who can move girls around the country with impunity.

Meena needed help. But there wasn’t anyone there to help her. She was 11 years old. Her mother was blind, her father was dead, and the family were as poor as church mice. They lived in Kolkatta. Her brother found the solution to the problem of the unwanted Meena by marrying her off to a man close to forty. She was only eleven. Such legitimised paedophilia seems to be quite common in India. The girl child is only too often viewed as a problem by families. Instead of being loved and cherished, the girl could be sold into a brothel or a brutal marriage. Meena’s husband, an alcoholic, abused and raped her at will. His sister, who lived with them, was equally cruel. Just one year later, Meena’s husband carried out a robbery and disappeared. Meena was thrown out of the house. Her brothers didn’t want her back either. In order to eat, Meena took up work as a gold thread (zari) embroidery worker. There, a co-worker offered to find her better paid job and took Meena to her “aunt”, who plied her with drugged tea. She awoke to find herself in a brothel. Then began a period of terror and trauma as her spirit was broken by floggings, starvation and death threats until she agreed to work as a prostitute. Meena’s nightmare only ended when she was rescued and sent to the Odanadi shelter in Mysore for rehabilitation. Mysore

Stanly KV and Parashuram ML were two journalists researching a story on prostitution in Mysore when a prostitute challenged them: Instead of just writing our stories, why don’t you do something to help us? She had laid bare the suffering, the violence, the alcohol and drug addiction that goes hand-in-hand with prostitution. She, like Meena, had had nobody to help her. That was the turning point for Stanly and Parashuram, who gave up journalism and became social workers and activists. The Odanadi project was established by them 20 years ago in Mysore, South India, to prevent sexual violence and human trafficking. Their work has been recognized by the government and many of their initiatives now receive official backing. Odanadi has applied to the LILY charity for funds to develop sustainable enterprises for 40 women rescued from trafficking, some of whom already work as full time seamstresses but need funds to create a design and marketing team to develop the commercial aspects of the business. We can also help them

Hundreds of children and women fall victim every day to human trafficking. Imprisoned in brothels, they cannot escape without our help. Any donation, big or small, will make a crucial difference to them; it could even save a life. You can make the difference. You can change the lives of millions of Lilys trapped in brothels. Please help us to help them. Our partner projects work in areas where trafficking is high, both in rural districts and in urban

slums. Your help will secure the following: Solar Panels £21,000 School Bus & Rescue Vehicle £16,000 Higher Education Scholarships & Livelihood Development £20,000 Computers for schools & IT & English Training £22,000 Food for rescued children £6,500 £21,000 will help buy solar panels to electrify a rural school in Rajasthan benefiting over 500 stu-

to create a new enterprise: a bakery in a commercial middle-class district of Mysore, with proper training in baking, marketing, creating a delivery system, book-keeping and all other aspects. Such sustainable employment will help survivors such as Meena to become more independent. Odanadi is a wellestablished and reputable project. They have conducted more than 60 rescue operations and provided rehabilitation for more than 2000 women and minors. 138 traffickers have been arrested and 47 criminal cases filed against traffickers. 60 vigilance committees have been established in the most vulnerable areas (eg, the North-Karnataka tribal belt). 200,000 school children have been educated about sexual exploitation. 630 missing children were returned to their families. In 2002, Odanadi opened their Madilu centre to accommodate 80 residents, providing them with a safe, family-type environment where they receive support, counselling and education. There are boys too who, like Meena, come from a background of commercial slavery, begging and sexual abuse, or are the children of prostituted women. They need much greater support from us in order to create a viable future for them. Please help the LILY Foundation to give Meena a future by creating sustainable enterprises such as the bakery in Mysore. Thus, we can give her bread to eat, not just today but for all her tomorrows.

Lily Foundation against Human Trafficking

Shree Popatbhai Ruparelia Saturday 17th August 2013, saw the sad passing of Shree Popatbhai Chakubhai Ruparelia, most commonly referred to as the ‘Father of the UK Lohana Community.’ Popatbhai, originally from Kampala, Uganda was an iconic figure within the Lohana Community. He was renowned for his tremendous contribution and service to mankind. Popatbhai was larger than life and his vibrant personality touched the lives of so many. He was a kind hearted and compassionate gentleman who I looked up to and very much respected. For me and for thousands of members of the Gujarati community, Popatbhai was a true inspiration. He was the personification –the epito-


LILY Foundation is the sponsored charity of Asian Achievers Awards 2013

Popatbhai for his guidance and advice at the time. A large number of people, including the Editor of Gujarat Samachar, CB Patel attended a prayer service last week in memory of Popatbhai. At the service we gave thanks for those qualities and strengths that endeared him to us; his sense of joy, his vibrant personality, his ability to communicate warmth and passion. I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my deepest condolences to Popatbhai’s dearest wife, Shreemati Hemiben Ruparelia, along with the rest of the family

and friends. I am sure that the rest of the Lohana Community will join me in paying tribute to a towering figure, who will remain one of the most remarkable leaders our community. Popatbhai may not be with us today, but his vision

remains, and we must strive to build upon his impressive legacy. - Lord Dolar Popat A memorial service will be held for Shree Popatbhai Ruparelia at the Kadwa Patidar Centre, Harrow on Friday 30th August at 8pm.

dents and will also provide electricity to an innovative laundry service company in Goa run by the survivors of trafficking. £16,000 will help purchase a dedicated school bus for rescued victims in Delhi as well as a suitable vehicle to carry out successful rescue missions in the rough terrain of Assam. £20,000 will help sponsor higher education to 25 young girls and provide the seed capital to make 55 rescued women financial independent. £22,000 will equip two schools with computers and provide IT, English language and personality development courses to 110 young girls and girls. £6,500 will pay for three meals a day for 125 children of prostitutes for one whole year. contact us at

UK - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

Leading Lights

Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Rav Vadgama, One of ITV’S Most Committed Senior Television Producers Rav Vadgama is a senior producer on ITV Daybreak. He self-shoots, edits and delivers news and current-affairs programming for ITV. He also field produces and shoots breaking foreign and domestic news stories. Rav was trained as one of the UK's original videojournalists by Michael Rosenblum. He has filmed in South America, Eastern Europe, and in Africa. Rav fell into TV by accident. He met the HR manager for Channel One TV, London’s 24 hour cable news service (now defunct) who invited him to visit. He says, “I made myself indispensable, was willing to do anything to help and learn. I was offered a job as a runner.” Channel One was the first channel to use videojournalists to gather news. “I, along with 12 others, was trained to film, edit and make television from scratch.” Over the last 20 years I’ve filmed, edited, produced and directed a variety of TV, thanks to

Rav Vadgama

that training and the opportunity to try things out and fail,” comments Rav. Rav progressed from running to newsdesk researcher, and then to videojournalism. After on-screen reporting, he moved behind the camera to produce news.

He covered the IRA bombing campaign in London and the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Rav moved on from Channel One in 1998, and started freelance news producing, in London, Birmingham, and in the South West. For three years Rav oversaw programmes for Sky’s

Television Production at Middlesex University. He says it was because he got frustrated at the calibre of people he was interviewing for jobs. “They were unprepared and assumed a media degree was the passport to a media career. They also had the perception that TV was glamorous. It’s not, it’s very hard work, and hugely competitive. I don’t understand the 'can't' attitude, and I will never understand producers who have never picked up a camera to make television. A few industry practitioners and I decided to try and correct this. We put together a degree in television production that taught everything from using the equipment, getting commissions, funding and delivering factually correct and compelling programmes. Six years’ worth of our students have carved a niche in the industry.” Rav is passionate about multi-skilling and breaking down television barriers, and says “after 20 years it’s only fair I and others give something back. If I can help students achieve their dreams, open a few doors, and help them rattle a few cages of the establishment along the way, that’s reward enough for me.”

board. You would never find that attitude now at the BBC, ITV or Sky News. If you’re Asian, and you want to make it in journalism - be a good journalist, be tenacious, and don’t be afraid to make tough decisions. And never be afraid to say ‘I don’t know.’ Rav rarely has a set working day. Putting a story together may mean travelling long distances to film, and editing in the field. “I put together quick-turnaround news stories, as well as longerterm features. “A few weeks ago I worked an 80 hour week.”

Technology Channel - as a producer, director and executive producer. Rav made technology programmes for the BBC, and a fun series called ‘Computer’s Don’t Bite’. He won an EMMA award in 2000 as best newcomer. His mother, Veena, who once worked with our own publisher, CB Patel, was very proud. Rav became a GMTV news editor in 2001. He then wrote the show as a senior producer. “Over my time at GMTV and Daybreak, I’ve worked on incredible stories both from the gallery and on location. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the death of popstars, working undercover in Zimbabwe and evading Mugabe’s secret police. I’ll never forget the rescue of the Chilean miners - spending 10 days living in a tent and sleeping two hours a night. The rollercoaster of a story like that, and the sheer exhaustion at the end trying to film while being sprayed by champagne by elated relatives in the Atacama desert.” Rav says, “I’ve never experienced racial discrimination in the workplace, but I have in the interview process. I once heard a BBC manager say to a colleague ‘he’s not one of us’ before I was given short shrift in a

Over the last 20 years I’ve filmed, edited, produced and directed a variety of television

Rav’s morning begins with the Today programme and 5Live, supplemented by a dozen news websites. “I catch every main bulletin on television, and occasionally the 24 hour channels. I scan through all the daily newspapers too. It’s a habit that drives my wife insane. I’m looking for the current news stories, but also for inspiration for future ideas.” Rav has been pioneer in setting up the BA in

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India’s rupee and its devaluation

It is distressing to note rapid devaluation (fall of 44 rupees to 65 rupees in 3 months), of Indian rupee against US dollar. Speculators in Mumbai, Dubai and Singapore, Reserve Bank of India and government of India had fore-knowledge about fall of rupee. No remedial action was taken by policymakers in India, speculators made money from this devaluation. This will cause unaffordable inflation of essential commodities at personal level and nationwide debt trap. In 1991 India had mortgaged tonnes of gold to rescue economy, repeated in 2013. This has occurred because of complacency after 1991 de-regulation introduced by Manmohan Singh, failure to notice financial gamble by America, and withdrawal of perks as US economy grows stronger. India is in death throes caused by America’s tapering of quantity easing. Such massive devaluation had occurred against German marks-(1923) and later against Zambian dollar(2008), where devaluation occurred in terms of billions of local currency against ONEUS dollar. Crash of economy has also occurred in Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy, where EU had to bail these countries out. Current catastrophe has its roots on subprime lending around 2008, which corroded global economy, whereas India survived. Only remedy is repatriation of funds stashed in Swiss banks, added by release of gold hoarded by families and temples. Such appeal by honest prime-minister, Morarji Desai was successful. But public will never trust today’s corrupt /traitor /politicians and businessmen. India is groomed to join the ranks of bankrupt European countries and Pakistan by current and impending /subsequent devaluations. Ramesh Jhalla Via Email

Modi invitation to the UK

The news that Barry Gardiner (not the Labour party) has invited Narendra Modi to the UK begs the question as to why he was never approached in the last 10 years. Bearing in mind that we have a general election coming soon here in the UK, is it a PR exercise to win the Hindu votes? The Hindu community is well aware that the Labour party pushed the caste legislation. The community is in an unforgiving mood for labelling them as practitioners of caste discrimination. Labour MPs and Peers ignored all the concerns of the Hindu community and went ahead and voted for the caste legislation even though there is no proof whatsoever. Hindus were labeled as caste racist. We were told loftily that even if there was even one case of discrimination there should be a law so we await the making of a law for middle classes discriminating against working classes. Nitin Mehta Via Email - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

India on the slippery road to oblivion

Yet another young, professional girl has been mercilessly gang raped in Mumbai. What is the public reaction, a silent protest by thousands of demonstrators, as if it would change the public, government attitude? Why the beleaguered public is so spineless, gutless and gullible, living in a false sense of security when the country is sliding into anarchy. Why women are putting up with male tantrums, chauvinism. Why there is no bitter recrimination, violent protest, drag the politicians who are surrogate apologist out of their cosy homes to face the angry public? It is barbaric to say but unless young member of the ruling dynastic family is similarly subjected to such an ordeal, ruling class sitting safely in their fortress castle will be oblivious to such atrocities. How could these billionaire robbers have concern for ordinary people when they watch filth on their mobiles while sitting in parliament? Bollywood with ever increasing nudity and sexual indulgence is rapidly becoming the culture of new generation, living check by jowl with this filth. A billion prayers will be performed for her speedy recovery, as if prayers are miracle cure. It is time for Kranti, not Shanti. When would people of India show the same courage as people of Egypt! Where is pre-independence spirit? Let these perpetrators be flogged and hanged in public. This may bring the country back to its social, cultural excellence, oasis of enlightenment that was the hallmark of India before independence but now cesspit of moral decline. Let Modi and Gujarat give the lead. Bhupendra M Gandhi Via Email

TB rears its ugly head

It has been reported that London has the highest rate of tuberculosis (TB) in western Europe. The reports say that the capital has a “worrying” rate of 42 per 100,000 people, compared with a national figure of 14 per 100,000. The worst affected area is Newham in east London with a rate of 119 cases per 100,000 people. About 75% of cases are among people born in countries where TB is more common, mostly South Asia (60% of cases) and sub-Saharan Africa (22%). TB is an infectious disease which mainly affects the lungs but can affect most parts of the body.It is only spread by inhaling tiny respiratory droplets containing the bacteria that have been coughed up by somebody who has the active disease in their lungs. After a lull of many years when it was thought that the disease had been eradicated in this country, it has reappeared in these London boroughs where people from the south Asian countries are in a majority. The fact that more people from south east Asia succumb to this once deadly disease points to the fact that these people visit their homelands and contract the infection while over there because of unhealthy and overcrowded conditions. A persistent cough, loss of weight and

Musharraf murder charge and wider implications

I read recently, with incredulity, that former President of Pakistan, Gen. Musharraf, is to be charged with murder for “failing to prevent the assassination of Benazir Bhutto”. Will we now see those same charges levelled at the current President and government for failing to prevent the murders of dozens of innocent women in socalled “honour killings”, with further charges and prosecutions for failing to prevent the almost daily beatings and acid attacks on young women and girls in this gross perversion of “honour”? There is no “honour” in murder and mutilation, none. Likewise there is no “honour” for the cowardly, patronising, supposedly educated worthies, hand wringing politicians and self appointed “community leaders” who are getting away with making outrageous “cultural” and “religious” excuses for these vile atrocities, terrified of actually tackling them. May I remind readers of a famous quote by Edmund Burke:- “All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing”. There is a big difference between being a peaceful, accepting, pluralistic society and one paralysed by political correctness that excuses evil under the guise of “inclusivity and diversity”. We need to make sure that all of us in the UK are the former. Jeremy Zeid Chairman Harrow UKIP

Thuggish behaviour on buses

A black youth tried to board our west London bus without buying a ticket. When the Asian driver refused him entry, the boy waved his fist at him and shouted: “I’m going to kill you! You’re a dead man!” before stepping off. When I related this frightening incident to a friend, she said she witnessed a black youth in another part of London spit at an Asian bus driver for not allowing him to have a free ride. Are some young blacks proving to be a special problem for Asian bus drivers? Or are bus drivers of any nationality regularly subjected to threats and abuse from blacks, whites, browns and yellows of any age? If so, I salute the bravery of bus drivers of any hue for having to put up with such thuggish behaviour. It must be a very stressful way of earning a living. Rudy Otter Via Email blood in the sputum are tell tale signs which should alert people who have returned from a country which has a high rate of TB. We need to educte people who visit countries with a higher incidence of TB to get treatment as soon as they feel they feel unwell after their return from these places. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

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Should use of chemical weapons be a game change?

Chemical and biological weapons were used in World War I, World War II and Vietnam War in recent history. The fundamentals have not changed in Syria. There is a coercive dictatorial regime in Syria that has been suppressing several substantial groups which may not be united but are all opposed to the current regime. But so are many other Arab countries. At least they are stable with less killings than otherwise. The West should not invade in any manner or form without Russia and China agreeing to their plan of action in the U N Security Council. Unless the intention is to continue to get practical experience of modern warfare with modern weapons on real live people. No other end game would be achievable. The West invaded Iraq and 65,000 innocent Iraqis were killed. It invaded Afghanistan and tens of thousands died there including Talibans they wanted to cleanse ethnically. Now it is recommending reconciliation with Talibans. In Lybia, oil production is down to less than half and the country is no longer stable. There is a blood bath in Egypt also. But that is ignored because it is not close to the Middle East oil fields. United Nations Resolutions and International Laws are two sides of the same coin. The more advanced a nation is, the more respect it should have for both. Nagindas Khajuria Via Email

Morally Bankrupt Society

India is in news in the world media yet again for a shameful reason. This time not Delhi but a Mumbai Gang-Rape. I did write a piece on rape-crimes that had happened within months of the much scrutinised Delhi Gang Rape. That time I ended my article by saying “Shame on Sheila Dixit”. I don’t know how many leaders I should keep on criticising. It’s just not happening! Why can’t they understand the simple fact that Mother India is not safe on her own streets; and they need to act quickly rather than keep on debating forever! Quick trials and stringent punishments need to be introduced ASAP for crimes such as Rape. Banning pornographic content on Internet may even help. I felt so sad and ashamed when I found out about the incident from NDTV(Indian media) but felt more ashamed when seen it on the BBC(International media) as well. Now I don’t want to end my article by criticising any leader or any political party here; just hoping for the conditions to improve quickly. Devang Bhatt, Ilford, London Continued on page 11 - Asian Voice 31st August 2013


Asian Achievers Awards shortlisted candidates named (Part II)

Life Time Achievement Awards

Nasser Hussain OBE Nasser Hussain OBE (born 28 March 1968) is a former cricketer who played for Essex and England. In first-class cricket from 1987 to 2004 Hussain scored 20,698 runs in 334 matches at an average of 42.06, including 52 centuries. A right-handed batsman, Hussain's highest Test score was 207, scored in the first Test of the 1997 Ashes at Edgbaston. Fauja Singh Fauja Singh (age 102) is a British centenarian marathon runner of Punjabi Sikh descent. He is a world record holder in his age bracket. His current personal best time for the London Marathon (2003) is 6 hours 2 minutes, and his marathon record, for age 90-plus, is 5 hours 40 minutes at the age of 92. Hinduja Brothers Srichand & Gopichand Hinduja are UK-based billionaire brothers who have a net worth of $8.3 billion. Often refereed to as the Hinduja brothers, they run the global conglomerate The Hinduja Group, which is currently headquartered in London, United Kingdom. Anil Agarwal Anil Agarwal is an Indian businessman and the founder and Executive Chairman of the United Kingdombased Vedanta Resources Corporation. Vedanta's oil subsidiary produces 175000 barrels a day from Rajasthan. Agarwal started as a metals trader. In 2003, he floated Vedanta on the London stock Market. Agarwal's stake is worth £2.05 billion.

Professional of The Year

Professor Soraya Dhillon MBE Professor Soraya Dhillon MBE, BPharm, PhD FRPharmS, Head of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Hertfordshire has over 20 years academic experience in pharmacy education and research. Professor Dhillon works nationally and internationally developing education and research in Clinical Pharmacy, Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacokinetics. Arun Batra CEO, National Equality Standard Director, UK&I Advisory (Ernst & Young) - National Equality Standard, Ernst & Young - Arun is currently leading a groundbreaking initiative which involves developing a single National Equality Standard for the UK. Arun has been responsible for the management and delivery of the Diversity Works for London, the UK’s largest private sector equality initiative.

Uniformed and Civil Services

Satya P. Minhas Satya is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors in London. He has excellent leadership, management, problem-solving and communication skills. Until recently, he was an Audit Manager in the office of Mayor of London Policing and Crime, where he managed reviews within the Metropolitan Police Service. Ravi Chand CBE Ravi is a senior civil servant in the role of Head of Capability, Talent and Diversity, supporting Home Office Ministers and the Home Office Executive Management Board. He leads on the capability and talent strategies for the Home Office, to bring on talent, identify leaders of the future, build professionalism and ensure the department has the right mix of skills to meet future challenges. Chief Supt Surjeet Manku Surjeet is the highest ranking Asian officer in West Midlands Police and has dedicated 29 years serving in uniform and CID roles. He has commanded one of the most challenging areas in Birmingham and led the force on preventing extremism - working with the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit to help stop terrorism. Shami Chakrabarti Shami Chakrabarti has been Director of Liberty since 2003. A Barrister by background, she worked as a lawyer in the Home Office from 1996 until 2001. Since becoming Liberty's Director she has written, spoken and broadcast widely about Liberty's work on equality, human rights and the rule of law. S

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Aruna Seth Aruna Seth is a luxury shoe company with designs hand-crafted in Italy from the finest quality materials. A range of over 50 pairs of Swarovski inspired evening shoes, glamorous day—time ballerinas, classic office shoes and boots. Only the finest quality materials are chosen to adorn each design. Faiza Seth Faiza Seth, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and founder of London based bespoke luxury interior design and architecture firm Casa Forma (, leads the strategy and development initiatives at the company. Her expertise lies in managing, finance and marketing. Faiza has enjoyed living all over the world, including America, India, Hong Kong and the UK.

Nandita Parshad Nandita Parshad is the Director of the Power & Energy Utilities Team at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) where she heads a team of 40 professionals covering 33 countries with a portfolio of over EUR 5 billion, doing an annual business of over EUR 1 billion.

Rajeeb Dey Rajeeb Dey (27) is the founder & CEO of Enternships - a platform for students and graduates to find internships and jobs in over 5000 startups and SMEs for which he was awarded the O2 X Young Entrepreneur of the Year accolade and named the world’s youngest Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2012.

Dr Ajay Gupta Dr Ajay Gupta is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon with a specialist interest in Lower Limb Arthoplasty in London. He is Director of the UK India Healthcare CorporationUKIHC. He is currently leading a project on ‘Affordable Healthcare’ in India to promote a self sustainable healthcare model in India which is affordable, available and appropriate for all individuals.

Nick Madhavji Nick (Nitin) Madhavji is the Founder and Managing Director of the Joskos Group of companies. A dynamic and passionate leader, at the age of 32 and armed with over 15 years of hands-on entrepreneurial experience, Nick is dedicated to ensuring Joskos’ continued success as one of the fastest growing Education technology service companies in the UK.


Dear Readers, Diwali is two months away. The New Year is knocking at the door waiting to bring in colours and light to our lives with fervour of joy and ever lasting happiness. Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar as every year will be publishing the ‘Diwali Special’ Magazine for our fabulous and supportive readers like yourself. This year in the English section, we are doing something special for our young readers. -If you are between 10-25 years of age, write an article in English on 'how you celebrate your Diwali every year' or 'your most memorable Diwali' in no more than 700 words, along with your photo. Or - if you an organisation, which has a youth wing or support youth activities, tell us how your young members or youth wing celebrates Diwali in 500600 words with 2 pictures (in no less than 300dpi). Last day of entry is Sunday 6th October 2012. Please email to with your full name, age and contact number.

YOUR VOICE - Asian Voice

Reincarnation Clashes re-visited There is no scientific theory about process of reincarnation. Our Aatma is never subject to birth and death per all Vedas oldest scriptures & still valid for Hindu religion. (Gita 13.23) The continuous journey of the living entity from one body to another internally or externally under the stringent laws of individual karma is re-incarnation and this process is the Science of self realisation. The state of your mind at the time of your death will determine its next journey and the story of Royal King Bharata smitten by his love for a motherless deer is still valid and when born back as a deer and remembering his past life the King achieved Kevalyagyan in just 48 minutes and Supreme blessedness and did not get new birth. In reality there is no division of Atma and God– it exists externally, in the form and in the qualities. The individual follows the path set down by cosmic law, which has the same validity for all life forms. Jiva-atma, or the individual soul, is the living entity and Param-Atma refers to the Supreme Lord who expands Himself as the Supersoul, who enters into the hearts of all living entities as well as all atoms. In the Thirteenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, Krishna explains how He, as the Supersoul, simultaneously exists in the hearts of all beings as the well wisher. There is no need to change one’s life. All that needs to be changed are the quality of your thoughts for your karmic account to be in credit ! Bharat Raithatha Via Email


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Abdul Karim Tunda, the elusive jihadi Pimpernel, was finally run to ground attempting to cross into India from Nepal. The Ghaziabad trader – turned-Laskar-e-Taiba operative, was among the most wanted men on the list of India’s intelligence agencies. He was snared eventually by sleuths who had been on his trail for the past two decades. Tunda had travelled to Pakistan, where he threw in his lot with its Inter Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), claiming that his handler was Lt General Hamid Gul, a former head of the ISI. Tunda graduat- - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

note that certain senior Gorkhaland leaders visited Nepal’s Ilam district, which is just across the border from Darjeeling. Demonstrations in front of the Indian embassy in Kathmandu and suspicions of a Nepali Maoist tie-up are part of the mix. In the background are border talks between India and China (Times of India August 20)

Sino-Indian Dialogue

Resuming after three years, the Fifth Sino-Indian Strategic Dialogue in Delhi got off to a businesslike start, with Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh (the senior-most official in the External Affairs Ministry) and China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin stating the respec-

Hercules aircraft at Ladakh base

the stand-off between Indian and Chinese forces in April this year. The base, situated at an altitude of 16,514 ft, overlooks the Karakoram Pass, and lies 7 km from the Line of Actual Control (LAC). “The significant capability demonstration by the C130 Hercules underlines that troops and supplies can be ferried to the border on the double if required,” said an Indian offi-

to halt at a non-scheduled stop. Enraged locals set fire to another train travelling in the opposite direction and beat up the driver of the offending train. One would have thought the Indian Railways had sufficient experience to handle the problem of exiting pilgrims from religious sites by putting in place precautionary measures against accidents of this sort. (Hindu, Times of India August 20)

Economy in the round

Abdul Karim Tunda (terrorist) arrested with police guards

ed as an expert bomb-maker and took charge of Laskar-eTaiba operations in India. He worked in tandem with Amir Reza Khan, founder of the Indian Mujahideen, and Pakistan-trained. Tunda revealed that Zakaiur Rehman Lakhvi, creator of the Lashkar-e-Taiba and planner of the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack, was running the organization from his cell in a Pakistan jail.

Exemplary performance

India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the body responsible for external intelligence, picked up the scent and tipped off the Delhi Special Police Cell on Tunda’s whereabouts. His arrest duly followed at the border crossing; he was carrying a Pakistani passport. It was the climax to exemplary intelligence coordination and deserves public recognition.

Red alert

dialogue line, come what may, remains a diversion from the real issue confronting India: the Pakistani establishment, of which the military-intelligence networks are the core, are driven by the messianic dream of reducing India to a descript rump, so removing the perceived obstacle to a regional caliphate, satrap to Islamism’s ultimate goal: the world conquering Universal Caliphate.

India’s choice

The Maharashtra government has been issued with a red alert by central intelligence agencies warning of a terrorist drop at sea some twenty miles off Si Lanka’s Jaffna coastline. The eight Pakistan-trained operatives in the exercise will be on a mission to target special sites in South India (Times of India, Hindu, Telegraph August 18, 19, 20, 21).

India has either to yield or be trampled underfoot into dust. Better, by far, to resist in defence of a civilized way of life: pluralism, freedom of thought and expression and the rule of law. That was what the war against Fascism and German-style National Socialism entailed; that is what the struggle against Islamist fascism is about today. Ignore the lessons of history at your peril.

However, the red alert continues, with Tunda has been an important catch in India’s Great Game with Pakistan, and at a further remove, with China as well, Islamabad’s closest geopolitical partner. Pakistan’s terrorist proxies not only kill and maim but also indulge in large-scale fake currency operations in India as an instrument of economic warfare. India is faced with an undeclared war in which non-state terror groups constitute the enemy’s shock troops. Whimpering Indian voices who make a comfortable living from media fees (and possibly from other more lucrative sources as well (the world is no place for innocents) selling the

The Gorkhaland agitation, led by Nepali migrants or their descendants, has disrupted life in the sub-Himalayan region of West Bengal. Lack of development is their cry. That is something that can be put right without any great difficulty. The Gorkhaland leaders claim to represent the hill people, but this clearly is disputable since the indigenous Lepchas, mostly members of the Lepcha Tribal Association, are content to keep things as they are constitutionally. India’s Defence Ministry is eyeing present developments warily. Army intelligence and state intelligence detect a foreign hand in the unrest. They

Undeclared war

Foreign hand in Darjeeling stir?

Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin

tive positions of their governments on the border issue, on Chinese dams and the flow of the Sutlej and Brahmaputra rivers from their Tibetan headwaters downstream into India. These subjects will, no doubt, come in for further scrutiny when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh makes his scheduled visit to Beijing later this year. Watch and wait.

Investment, trade issues

Trade and investment, however, were the most fruitful areas of discussion. The volume of SinoIndia trade may be impressive at $100 billion turnover, but with Indian exporting $35 billion, it is heavily weighted in China’s favour. The subject was addressed in some detail. India pressed for greater access for its pharmaceutical products, textiles and buffalo meat with reduced import duties. Lowered duties would increase Indian exports substantially – to which the Chinese side responded well. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was being drafted to facilitate greater Chinese investment in India. One way towards this would be an increased Chinese presence in India’s industrial parks. The MoU is expected to address this issue (Hindu August 21)

Hercules lands in Ladakh

Flashing a clear strategic signal a C-130 heavy- lift ‘Super Hercules’ tactical aircraft, flying in from Delhi touched down 90 minutes later at Daulat Beg Oldi’s “unprepared compacted base” in Ladakh, near the site of

cer. The Daulat Beg Oldi base was reactivated in 2008 after 12 years of disuse (Hindu, Times of India, Telegraph August 21)

India, Israel in 5G deal

India and Israel are to develop the fifth generation (5G) telecom technologies, according to Israeli sources following a recent visit to the country by India’s Telecom and IT Minister Kapil Sibal, who held talks on the subject with his Israeli counterpart Gillad Erfan. An agreement was signed to take the project forward. “India has the technology and innovation, India has the capital and market,” said an Indian official. Technology experts believe 5G technology will enable customers to have a fibre network user experience on a wireless connection. It can provide a speed of 10 Gigabite per second internet speed, which is 100 times faster than the mobile technology currently in use. The Indian government has set up working groups to work on 4G and 5G (AFP July 24)

The rupee hurtled to a new low midweek at 65.55 to the US dollar, the result of multiple causes, say experts. One reason has been the Federal Reserve’s decision to gradually reduce pumping the present $85 billion per month into the US economy, which has adversely affected currency rates in emerging economies such as Indonesia, where the value of rupiah has dropped 10 per cent, India’s rupee by 14 per cent and Brazil’s rial by 15 per cent. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) believes that speculators abroad have contributed to the turbulence. The RBI claims to have adequate foreign exchange reserves to meet market volatility. Be that as it may, the rupee is now 100 to the pound sterling. While the slide has been a boon for the textile industry and IT services exports, imports have risen sharply, impacting adversely on the Indian deficit.

Silver lining

The rupee staged a comeback at the weekend, closing at 63.20 to the US dollar. Earlier the Sensex had leapt 407 points on the back of a strong rally in metal stocks. Finance Minister

Bihar pilgrims mowed down

The Rajyarani Express, having got the green signal, gathered speed and ploughed into a party of Hindu pilgrims returning home by walking along the middle of the rail track. Twentyeight people were killed, including 14 women and 4 children. The six injured were treated in hospital. The tragedy occurred at the Dhamara Ghat station in Bihar’s Khagaria district. The driver applied the emergency brakes, which enabled the train

P. Chidambaram

P.Chidambaram opined, during a press conference, that market stability would surely return to restore investor confidence. Could Mr Chidambaran have the last laugh? (Times of India, Hindu August 19-24). Not too sure.

FESTIVAL - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

What is Janmashtami? It's time to say Happy Birthday to Lord Krishna. This festival is celebrated not only in India but also in other countries with great enthusiasm and devotion by all the Hindus. He killed a lot of demons to save the humanity and earth. Lord Krishna was born in the prison and later lived in a small village named Varindavan. Krishna has been a great inspiration for our generation. We celebrate Janmashtami as the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. Janmashtami also commemorates the earthly appearance of Krishna, who is described in India’s sacred writings as God Himself. One of the biggest religious festivals in the world, it is celebrated by 930 million people around the world and two million in the US alone. To devotees, it’s Christmas and New Year in one, a day of deep spiritual renewal and celebration that effectively ends an old year and begins a fresh one. But why Janmashtami, you may ask? What’s so special about Krishna, as opposed to any other form of God? It’s His personable-ness. He reciprocates in unique, personal ways with every devotee who offers Him love - He is the most adorable, mischievous son, the most romantic lover, the most compassionate friend. And on Janmashtami, devotees celebrate Krishna in all of these aspects. For just as Krishna reciprocates individually with His relatives and confidantes, he responds to the distinct feelings and desires held most deeply in the heart of every single worshipper. So remember that whatever way you worship Krishna on Janmashtami, He will reciprocate with you accordingly. It’s a meditation that makes for an extremely rewarding devotional experience. History of Janmashtami: The history of Janmashtmi dates back to thousands of years. There are also several legends and stories associated with this festival. If you start exploring the origin of the festival, you will end up listening to thousands of folklores related to Krishna and his birth. It is believed that Lord Krishna was the incarnation of Vishnu, one of the three most important Hindu Gods. It is commonly believed that he took birth for killing Kansa, the unreligious demon king of Mathura and other demons, to establish a kingdom of peace, prosperity and religion on earth and to spread the message of brotherhood and humanity. In his preaching to Arjuna in the Holy Bhagvad Gita he says, “Whenever the balance of the universe is disturbed by external interference from any of its parts, then I reveal myself as the Power of eternal balancing. For the protection of those who are in harmony, and the rectification of everything disharmonious, I incarnate myself at every juncture of time.” So, it is assumed that the form of God will return back on earth for the establishment of peace, religion and prosperity in society once again when required. The celebration of Janmashtami is also a way to commemorate his holy deeds on earth for the mankind. Historians calculate that the birth of Lord Krishna goes back to the Dwapar Yug. It is in the year of Visvavasu around 3227 BC when Lord Krishna was born. He was born on a dark, stormy night on the eighth day of the second fortnight of the month of Shravana which now corresponds to the month of August-September in the Gregorian calendar. Born in the prison of Demon Kansa, from Kansa’s sister Devaki and Vasudeva, Krishna was declared to be the savior of mankind and the end of Kansa even before his birth. Krishna, right from the day of birth exhibited that he was a special child and there was extraordinary powers with him. Throughout his childhood and adolescence in Gokul, he did many things which made people believe that he was a form of God. Since then, the people of Nandgaon celebrated the birth of Krishna as a day of fortune. Even thousands of years after his heavenly abode, people observe this day as a day of fortune and commemorate the birth of Lord Krishna by fasting and feasting. People believe Krishna to be the ultimate saviour of the world. One who unlike other gods, can be regarded, as a lover, friend, divine guru or one’s own child. People mesmerized with Krishna’s persona and deeds can be seen singing and dancing in the name of Krishna to eternity on the day of Janmashtami. It is the deep faith and devotion of people towards him that the festival is still celebrated with a great honour, joy as well as elation as it was celebrated thousands of years back. How is Janmashtami Celebrated? Wherever Vaishnava temples exist, festivities begin before dawn and extend all day until midnight, the exact moment of the anniversary of Krishna’s appearance. Events include kirtan, singing the Lord’s name along with other devotees; and japa, private and more intimate prayer. Some devotees cook a feast of over one hundred dishes, while others perform drama and dance. Some clothe and decorate the deity of Krishna while others string enormous flower garlands and other decorations for the temple. Incense burns, scriptures are read, and all but the young and the infirm fast all day. The deities are also bathed with a variety of auspicious liquids in a kind of ablution ceremony called abhisheka which sometimes takes over two hours and is performed with great pomp. Finally, at midnight, priests pull apart the curtains to reveal the freshly dressed deity of Krishna on a creatively festooned and colored altar. The excitement builds, and a rousing kirtan ensues. The highlight of the festival which takes place on the second day is the Dahi Handi. This is where clay pots containing butter, curd, and money are strung up high from buildings and young Govindas form a human pyramid and compete with each other to reach the pots and break them open. This cele-

bration represents Lord Krishna's love for butter and curd, which were the foods he most often enjoyed eating. Lord Krishna was quite mischievous and would take curd from people's houses, so the housewives hung it up high out of his way. Not to be deterred, he gathered his friends together and climbed up to reach it. Rituals performed during Janmashtami: Fasting is observed on the first day of the festival until midnight, when Lord Krishna was believed to have been born. People spend the day at temples, offering prayers, singing, and reciting his deeds. At midnight, a traditional prayer is offered. Special baby cradles are installed in temples and a small statue placed in them. The most elaborate rituals are performed at Mathura, where Lord Krishna was born and spent his childhood. What can be expected at Janmashtami: Lots of chanting, with huge crowds at temples devoted to Lord Krishna. Children get dressed up as Lord Krishna and his companion Radha, and people play games and people perform dances depicting the various events in Lord Krishna's life. The Dahi Handi festivities, while fun to watch, can get quite intense for Govinda participants, sometimes resulting in broken bones and other injuries. Janmashtami in Gujarat: Janmashtami celebration in Dwarka is very special. Dwarka, means ‘Door to Moksha (Salvation).’ Lord Krishna with his elder brother Balram established this ancient city. Divine architect Vishwakarma built it in two days. The city is said to have been made up of diamonds and crystal, with palaces made of gold, emeralds and other precious stones. It was the abode of Lord Krishna for nearly 100 years. After Lord Krishna's death, the city is believed to have been submerged in the sea. Devotees from all over India throng Dwarka during Janamashtami. The celebration on Janmashtami follows the daily routine or ‘Nitya Kram’ of Lord Krishna. The festival day begins with mangla arti performed in the morning. Beginning with 'Banta Bhog’, which means offering milk and milk products to Lord Krishna, followed by cleansing of his face with water and brushing of the idol's teeth. Then the first darshan of the day is allowed to the devotees. Lord Krishna is given the holy bath between 8 and 10 am and devotees are given a chance to see the abhishek, which happens only twice a year. The bath is given right after the mangla arti with Panchamrit – which is a mixture of gangajal, ghee, honey, curd and sugar. After the bath, Lord Krishna is adorned with pitambar, yellow colored clothes and ornaments. Ornaments consist of Chandanmala, Vyjantimala, made of flowers and Suparimala made of Betel nut. After the adornment of Shri Krishna, the curtains are removed and devotees are allowed to do the darshan of the Lord. This is followed by offering of Shringar Bhog to the Lord Krishna. During this ritual, the curtains are drawn down and darshan is not allowed. After the evening arti, Lord is offered sweets again; devotees are not allowed the darshans of the Lord during this time. Then it is time for Dwarkadhish to sleep. This happens around 9 pm. It is around 10.30 pm that darshan is allowed again for the devotees during the Janmashtami celebrations. Lord Dwarkadhish is adorned with lot of Gold jewellery and other precious stones such as Diamonds and Topaz. Utsav Bhog is offered to Lord around 11.30 pm. Devotees are not allowed to see the process of Utsav Bhog though they wait eagerly for their beloved Lord in the temple premises and sing bhajans. The devotees welcome the Lord at 12 midnight with immense enthusiasm and joy by chanting “Nand Gher Anand Bhayo- Jay Kanaiya lal ki”. After nearly two-hour celebrations, the temple closes at 2 am after the mahabhog offerings to Lord Krishna. In Gujarat, markets are also filled up with idols of Bal-Krishna and colorful swings. Every temple and household has decorated swings with Bal-Krishnaidol in colorful costumes sitting on it. The main Prasad known as ‘Panchajiri or Panjari” is also work as protection against the seasonal disorder in people, as it made from five important elements of Ayurveda. Apart from Dwarka, the people of Gujarat also visit Mathura, Dakor, Shrinathdwara and Shamlaji- for pilgrimage. Krishna Janmashtrami in Gujarat is also celebrated as festival of fairs in the state. Most of these fairs have been organized in towns and cities of Saurashtra region, which displays the rich culture and traditions of rural folklore.


Hare Krishna Temple c


FESTIVAL - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

This year is a very special year for Bhaktivedanta Manor: it was 40 years ago when the late Beatle George Harrison generously donated the mansion house and estate to A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and his Movement, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). In fact, it is exactly 40 years ago this month when the popular deities of Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda were installed there by Swami Prabhupada. In celebration of its 40th Anniversary, so far this year the Manor put on a grand fire ceremony (yajna) with four separate kinds (pits), a special function at the House of Lords, the opening of the George Harrison Garden, a colourful boat ceremony on the Manor’s lake during Ramanavami, a new outfit for the Deities made locally and a complete renovation of the entire altar area. It has already been an unforgettable year for the devotees of Bhaktivedanta Manor and everyone is welcome to join its huge Janmashtami celebrations this year which falls on Wednesday 28th August (the actual day) and also Sunday 1st September.

The 40 year History of Bhaktivedanta Manor The first ISKCON temple was opened in 1969 in Bury Place, Bloomsbury, central London. However, it quickly became hopelessly overcrowded. The ancient message of Krishna had met with a resounding approval by the young people of Britain and many had moved in to form a large spiritual community in the heart of the city. George Harrison knew of their plight and suggested another option; not another place in the city but outside it, a country estate where there would be enough space; and he would pay for it. The search began. Meanwhile, over in a part of the former British Empire, an East African dictator was in the process of ridding his country of an entire race of people. A total of 90,000 Indians, descendants of indentured labourers from Gujarat and Punjab, were expelled at 90 days notice. The majority arrived in Britain.

Srila Prabhupada Prabhupada offers arati to temple deities

The devotees at the Manor had lots of enthusiasm, but very little money. In fact, they had so little money that there was no heating during the winter, hardly any food beyond porridge, cabbage and potatoes; and on some days there were no flowers for the altar. Something had to be done. Under the direction of Hansaduta Das, they started going into the nearby towns and selling incense, books and LP recordings of the Hare Krishna mantra and other

One of the Janmashtami celebrations at the Manor

They left their homes, their factories, vehicles, jobs, money and their schools. But they didn’t leave their religion behind. By early 1973, Piggot’s Manor, built almost a hundred years earlier with money from India, was selected to be the new home of Lord Krishna in Britain. Srila Prabhupada himself came to stay there for many weeks and personally invited his Lord in a beautiful welcoming ceremony on the very day that Krishna appeared in this world: Janmashtami. The deities were named Radha- Gokulananda and they were beautiful.

songs. In 1975 the first ever public Janmashtami was staged, as was the Diwali festival, complete with Ramayana drama and fireworks. By 1977 Srila Prabhupada was unwell and devotees around the world prayed for his recovery. He made his last visit to the Manor for Janmashtami and devotees from all over Europe came to see him. Through 1979, there was an increase in the number of Indian families visiting; they were relieved to be in a place where their spiritual culture was

intact. They were able to pray to their Lord Krishna and they offered contributions to help with the Manor’s costs. A “Mahabharata Cultural Association” was created, and along with it the “Mahabharata Youth Club” which began attracting the next generation from Wembley, Southall, Finchley, Tooting and Harrow. Children’s summer camps were held in the Manor grounds. The “Life Membership” programme began. Bhaktivedanta Manor took a bold move this year and branched out, contributing resources to the purchase of another stately home in Worcester. It would eventually be named: “Chaitanya College at Croome Court.” Also in this year, Sivarama Swami came to the country and would hold a variety of leadership positions for the next 23 years. In 1980, official ownership of the Manor passed from George Harrison’s Material World Foundation to ISKCON. Devotees now went out door-to-door to all Hindu homes in London, and a small home gathering began in Southall at the home of the Murti family. It would be the very first of many In the following year there was a grand installation of Sita and Rama. They took their place alongside RadhaGokulananda and looked resplendent. . Unfortunately, the local council issued their first enforcement notice to ban public religious festivals at

George Harrison join Hare Krishna devotees

the Manor. It would take another fifteen years and an enormous legal and political struggle before the relationship changed. In the spring of 1982 a devotee from Northern Ireland, Akhandadhi Das, became the temple president and remained so for a further thirteen years. The Janmashtami festival was even bigger that year and some major events took place in a large big-top circus tent on the front lawn. But the Manor was restricted to six festivals a year and made to promise not to organise any event likely to attract more than 1000 people. The devotees continued to develop their connections with establishment bodies, including thought-leaders and academics. They also began distributing sacred food, or prasadam, to growing numbers of people, including the homeless and disadvantaged. Over 1983-85 the size of Janmashtami grew hugely and resulted in thousands of cars driving through the narrow country lanes and it wasn’t too long before complaints were lodged by the villagers about developments at the Manor. A large Janmashtami that year, with a line of cars backed up all the way to the London borough of Hendon – six miles away – ensured that something in the future would have to change.

the following year the Manor had featured on the popular BBC children’s television programme Blue Peter, certainly a mark of acceptability for some. But not for the local council which issued an enforcement notice to stop all worshippers attending the temple. It was, in effect, an edict to close the temple completely to the public. On the council’s suggestion, the Manor applied to build a new temple in a nearby spot they’d indicated. The council then refused planning permission, so the devotees appealed again. The fight was truly on. Meanwhile, the London Rathayatra was a grand summer festival culminating in a big feast and kirtan for thousands in Battersea Park; the first ever Janmashtami souvenir book was produced; and a Diwali concert featuring famous Indian singer Anup Jalota raised much needed legal funds. Thousands of wellwishers and old friends began to hear about the campaign to save the Manor from closure. Internationally famous cricket hero Sunil ‘Sunny’ Gavaskar and Bollywood film actor Rishi Kapoor headed up an 11 mile sponsored walk from Wembley to the Manor. Thousands of pounds were raised for legal fees that day. Later the same year a youth group was

Campaign Marches to save the Temple

By 1986 the local council had hired people to count the number of visitors coming to the Manor. The wheels of litigation began to turn. But inside the Manor there was a new kitchen and the devotees began to make a name for themselves with like-minded vegetarian organisations. By March

launched: The Manor Youth Forum, or MYF. They also produced a magazine – the MYF Magazine – that was later titled Chakra. But in 1990 the Department of the Environment announced its decision: no new temple, and all public worship and festivals at the Manor

to stop in two years. The clock was ticking towards closure. Again the Manor appealed – this time to the High Court. 2,000 attended a demonstration held in Trafalgar Square. Politicians came out in support of the Manor. The Manor was getting national attention. Temple president Akhandadhi Das was invited by both BBC and ITV to sit on a broadcasting consultative body monitoring standards of religious broadcasting. Popular singer Boy George released his Bow Down Mister in the spring of 1991 and the devotees made numerous television appearances. But the High Court thought that no-one should bow down at the Manor by turning down the appeal. The Manor’s QC, Sir Graham Eyre, argued in the High Court that the original enforcement notice was ‘ambiguous,’ and in October the devotees protested at the Conservative Party Conference, again attracting media attention. The academics who knew about religious issues were not slow to come forward to help. Together with faith leaders they came to a London conference to defend ISKCON, saying that it was the first time in 300 years that a government had threatened to close a place of worship. In response to its pressing need for an alternative solution, the Manor decided that a new driveway – one kilometre long – was the only viable way to go. So it launched the ‘Saviours of the Temple’ campaign to raise funds for purchase of neighbouring land and building of a road. In February the newly-launched youth group Pandava Sena began Sunday public worship outside the Manor on the village green. The local villagers suddenly experienced what could happen if the Manor was closed to the public: that people would continue to come, just to be close to their shrine. But on the 16th March, 1994 the ‘slumbering Hindu tiger’ woke up. The ‘two years’ was up and a shrine to Lord Krishna had effectively just been closed by the British government. Incensed by the underhanded treatment of its faith, 36,000 Hindus came to London from all over the country to march in protest. Surely there must be a solution. In May it happened again, this time with 10,000. They came in small groups to lobby their MPs and then at the stroke of Big Ben they all sat down in the road outside

elebrates its 40th Year - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

Parliament. It took 127 police over an hour to bring everything under control and get London’s rush-hour traffic moving again. The next day the newspapers had stories, and photographs, of frail, elderly Indian ladies being taken away by burly policemen. The media loved it and the publicity ran for two days. In October the BBC’s Everyman programme broadcast The Road to Hare Krishna, choosing the devotee’s plight out of ‘hundreds of other stories.’ Early in 1995 a Public Inquiry started to hear the Manor’s appeal to the Department of the Environment. It was adjourned, then concluded in June after a total of 28 days in which evidence was contributed by academics, faith leaders, villagers and many others. In August a grand total of £1,000,000 was raised in just one night in the ‘Srila Prabhupada’s Dream’ appeal. Funds went toward the land, the road and legal costs. But because the devotees held the Janmashtami festival in 1994, a court case found them guilty and they were fined £30,000 plus costs. There was a demonstration outside the court in Luton. In the summer of 1995, the Pandava Sena youth group began two enduring projects. The first was the annual spiritual retreat, an innovation that would ultimately see up to 130 youth travel to a European temple every year to give everyone a taste of volunteering, a mini-course in Vaishnava teachings, and a chance to savour the local sights and culture. The other was ‘Jammins,’ monthly gatherings that drew together many youth in entertaining and innovative presentations of Krishna consciousness. In August that year, Damodara Das became president of the Manor while Akhandadhi continued to focus on the campaign to save public worship. In May 1996, in a seismic shift that could easily be interpreted as ‘Krishna’s Arrangement,’ Labour took control of local Hertsmere Council. Just days later, in what does not seem to be a coincidence, John Gummer MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, and a Conservative, announced the result of the Public Inquiry. It was a victory – a stunning victory - for Bhaktivedanta Manor. Immediately work began on the new road. It was completed in record time and Krishna’s birthday was celebrated with

volunteers – get to grips with astute budgeting, employment law and generally upgraded financial governance. It also saw a In 1994 the Tory government wanted to close the group started for the deaf: doors of Letchmore Heath Hare Krishna mandir, The Radha-Krishna Deaf near Watford. New Life (former Asian Voice) and Association. Gujarat Samachar decided not to allow this injustice Then in 2001 came the to take place. ISKCON priests, Hare Krishna sad news that George defence movement activists, Patrons' Council, Harrison, singer, songPandavsena and youth from various organisations writer, musician and devogot together and formed a movement. Gujarat tee of Krishna, had lost his battle with cancer. He was Samachar office was their common meeting point. to be permanently rememOn 16th March 1994, a huge Hindu rally was run in bered at the Manor with streets of Central London with loud chantings of the dedication of a garden 'Hare Krishna Hare Ram' mahamantra. People from in a spot he liked. all walks of life joined this rally and the government With new rules coming was influenced greatly. A war that lasted for 13 years in from Europe, ‘Health had a happy ending in 1996. and Safety’ was a subject on everyone’s minds during this period, and the Manor was no exception. With 1500 visitors every Sunday and 30,000 at the largest festival, it was something that had to be taken seriously. In March the Chief Rabbi of the UK invited a Hindu delegation to his home for the first time and fed them. Manor devotees were among them. A new centre for the movement in the inner city opened in After getting permission for a new road outside King’s Cross, London. Letchmore Heath to facilitate devdarshan at Named Matchless Gifts Bhaktivedanta Manor ISKCON priests, devotees after the original storeand other leading Hindu leaders organised a yagna front temple in New York, on the land of the New Road. CB Patel and Local it was to offer shelter to Cllr Frank Ward (Arjundas) joined the yagna. many hungry and lonely people for years to come; By this time, and pargreat jubilation. first 300, 600, then 900 ticularly with the Manor’s No sooner one project free hot meals every day identification with the was completed than for more than a decade. another had to be comHindu community, many From the first brown menced. The Manor’s roof school groups were comand white cow – with only dated back to 1886, it was ing to the Manor. The three teats – back in 1974, made of concrete tiles, and teachers and their pupils the herd of the Lord of the size of a football field. were happy that part of Gokula had swelled to 43. The bill would be in the the Religious Studies curThey needed a new place region of £1.5 million. riculum could be covered to shelter during the winWhen that was finally in a pleasant day out. ter, a well organised milkNumbers of young visitors completed, after many ing parlour, and a place to would continue to swell, months, it was the turn of recover when they were eventually reaching the kitchen – and a major sick. Plans for a new 25,000 children and teachrenovation was required. Goshalla were duly subers each year. While all this was going mitted. on, one of the Members of the Manor’s enduring royal household, the projects was staff at Buckingham launched: The Sanga Palace and Windsor, Programme. Meeting came on a visit to the in each other’s Manor. They enjoyed homes was nothing the hospitality and new for Indian famifound it a pleasant surlies, but the Manor prise to be waited on at helped to coordinate table for a change. At it and to teach Srila that year’s Prabhupada’s mesJanmashtami festival, a sages and perform newly formed, volunKirtan in hundreds teer-based communiof homes. By 2013 cations team hosted there would be 45 guests in their own sangas, each meetdedicated tent. It was a ing regularly with 20 gear shift up in hospito 50 in each. It tality and a total of 350 would be the equivaVIPs were offered hoslent of starting 45 pitality. Sadly, that new temples all over December, while devoLondon. tees were still at their By April 1998, morning prayers, the Manor had a herd of RSPCA came unan24 cows and oxen. nounced and killed a The cows gave a CB Patel and friends join the Save cow they deemed was total of 12,254 liters suffering. It sparked the Temple marches outside of milk that year, one of the biggest negParliament much of it turned ative campaigns in The new millennium into the most artistic, delitheir history. The cow was saw the Manor – now an cious and devotional milk named Gangotri and she organisation of some 40 sweets such as pera, burfi, lent her name to a task residents, 60 staff and 350 rabbri and khir. force which worked with

New Life and Gujarat Samachar join ‘Save the Temple’ movement


the government’s DEFRA, legal experts and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s office to ensure similar incidents would never happen again. At the end of it all, the laws on animal welfare had a codicil added that safeguarded ‘protected cows on Hindu farms.’ The RSPCA admitted their fault, apologised and


ever. In the Queens Diamond Jubilee year, 2012, Her Majesty chose to visit the Krishna-Avanti School in Harrow. Devotees could hardly believe it when she sat before the Krishna and Balarama altar with the Duke of Edinburgh and listened to the children singing a traditional bhajan by Narottama Das

Queen’s visit during Diamond Jubilee

donated a new cow. She was pregnant and when the calf was born she was called Gangotri. New beginnings were also in order for the first of what would be a number of schools, all government funded, in which the educational ethos was based upon the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita. The ground breaking ceremony (Bhumi-puja) for the first school was held in Harrow. The new Goshalla opened with a blaze of colourful ceremony and publicity. Devotees expanded their interfaith activities by participating in Mitzvah Day, a joint Jewish-Christian initia-

Thakur, a great devotee of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. “That was wonderful,” she remarked afterwards, with a smile. Later that year it was the London Olympics and one of the devotees who organises the Janmashtami festival at the Manor, Ajay Kumar, was selected to manage the 300-strong hosting team for the opening ceremony. In September, the Bhaktivedanta Manor Mentorship System was officially launched, after months of preparation and trials. The initiative would help to create a supportive network for all members of the congregation.Then the previously unimaginable happened: the local

Diwali night at the Manor

tive. They found their manpower strength and service attitude very welcomed by the local faith communities. Christians and Jews also joined together with the devotees in the Manor kitchen a few months later in the ‘Feed the 5000’ project which did just that in Trafalgar Square. Later in 2009 the Krishna-Avanti School opened and achieved national publicity. The school became so popular it was over-subscribed. New building for young students seemed very much in the air as the Brahmacari ashram at the Manor was given the most extensive renovation job -

Council - in their own Planning Brief- gave planning permission for a 2000 square meter, two-floored building in the grounds of the Manor. May we take this opportunity to thank each and every devotee, friend, supporter, volunteer, Asian Voice readers and well-wisher for all your valuable time, practical help, prayers, expert advice and contributions over the years. May Lord Krishna and all His saintly devotees bless you and your families now and in the many happy years we will spend together at Bhaktivedanta Manor.

16 - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

Has Sanjay Dutt applied for parole?

Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, who is serving his 42-month sentence at the Yerawada central jail, has reportedly applied for parole leave which is granted only in cases of emergencies. However, the state jail officials did not confirm or deny the development. When an SMS was sent to additional director general of police (prisons) Meeran Chadha Borwankar, she replied, “These matters do not come to me.” Sources at the Yerawada jail said, “The actor has applied for the parole leave and one of the Bollywood actors acted as surety for him. He applied for the leave some 25 days ago.”

‘Raja Rani’ has Atlee riding sky high! Director Atlee’s morale must be sky high at the moment, what after meeting Superstar Rajinikanth and getting his blessings ahead of the audio launch of “Raja Rani.” What is equally significant is that Raja Rani could well be the first instance where a debutant director has scored the chance to work with a top ranked cast such as Arya, Nayanthara, Jai and Nazriya Nazim. In addition Atlee has also handled Santhanam and Sathyaraj as key pieces to the story. This ability of a young debutant to manage such a large star cast should go down as some sort of record. “Raja Rani’s” music too is being highly spoken about in trade circles.

Now, a Bollywood biopic on Modi After a biopic on popular sprinter Milkha Singh (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag) that crossed the 100-crore mark in box-office, biopics has become the flavour of the season. Filmmakers are all geared up to cash on this trend and are coming up with a biopic on boxer Mary Kom and late singer Kishore Kumar soon. Now we hear that director Mitesh Patel has confirmed that he is making a film on Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. This biopic is sure to grab eyeballs with general elections around the corner. The movie will show Modi's journey from a common man to one of the most influential politicians of today.

'Chennai Express' finally beats '3 Idiots' “Chennai Express” box office collections have yet again made it obvious that it's the audience that can make or break a film at the ticket window. Tweeting the box office collection numbers, film trade analyst Taran Adarsh said, "Rohit Shetty becomes most successful director of Hindi cinema: 3 centuries and 1 double century. Four films that feature in 100 cr+ grossers!" Shah Rukh Khan's “Chennai Express” has crossed the Rs. 2 billion mark in a very short period. In fact, it also crossed the 1 billion mark in the shortest time period.

The music of Dhanush's “Naiyyandi,” directed by Sargunam, is being done by the young and talented Ghibran. He has already worked with Sargunam in the acclaimed Vaagai Sooda Vaa and for Naiyyandi, the composer has delivered 5 songs and a bit song. The music is expected to be out in September and the rights to the album will probably be acquired by Sony Music. Ghibran says that this will be his first complete commercial album and that he has explored a variety of genres in the film. Recent Dhanush films such as “Mayakkam Enna,” “3” and “Maryan” were all marked by spectacular music and “Naiyyandi” has a lot to live up to.

Hotshot hero Siva Karthik

Even before the release of “Varuthapadatha Valibar Sangam” (VVS), director Ponram and lead man Siva Karthikeyan have decided to joi hands for another movie, this time for Lingusamy's Thirrupath Brothers banner. The big buzz around this movie is the involve ment of a possible 'superstar' heroine who is popular all over the country. The team will be making an announcement on th heroine in the coming days. Imman and Balasubramaniam would be handling the music score and camera work respectively. It must be noted that they have done their job for VVS too

Om Puri in a Steven Spielberg film Known for his out of the box roles, Om Puri is all set to act in the Hollywood film titled “The Hundred Foot Journey.” The film is an adaptation on the book by the same name written by Richard C Morais and is produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey. Om Puri who has already appeared in Hollywood films plays the role of a Muslim chef Papa who owns an Indian restaurant in a small French town. The film also stars Helen Miller as Madam Mallory along with Manish Dayal who plays Om Puri's son Hassan. The actor will start shooting for the film by the end of August.

Dhan has

Sunny Leone not just eye candy: Kaizad Gustad Indo-Canadian porn star Sunny Leone, who marked her Bollywood debut with Pooja Bhatt's “Jism 2,” is presently shooting for Kaizad Gustad's upcoming film “Jackpot” and it seems that the “Boom” fame director is very impressed with his leading lady. Gustad has been quoted saying that Sunny won't be just a prop or an eye candy in his film. He has revealed that Sunny will play a femme fatale in the film and it is she, who's the actual master mind in the movie. Sunny has also impressed the filmmaker with her determination and hard work.

Bachchan congratulates Salman Khan! Shehanshah of Bollywood Amitabh Bachchan congratulated “Dabangg” superstar Salman Khan who recently completed 25 glorious years in the industry. Bachchan and Salman have worked together in films like “Baghban,” “Baabul” and were last seen together onscreen five years ago in “God Tussi Great Ho.” While the two stars have not shared screen space as often but they both have always maintained cordial relationship. So when we caught hold of Bachchan at Kaun Banega Crorepati press conference, he didn't shy away from acknowledging Sallu's achievement. "My best wishes to him. Twenty five years in Bollywood is not a small thing. Today he is one of the top male actors in the industry. So congratulations to him," said the superstar. - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

nush's ‘Naiyyandi’ a lot to live up to!

Ash out, Priyanka bags item number in ‘Ram Leela’


anjay Leela Bhansali's search for a dancing diva has finally ended with Priyanka Chopra. But what about Bhansali's blue-eyed girl Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who was reportedly in advanced talks to dance her way to a comeback with “Ram Leela.” With the Bachchan bahu confirming a meeting with the director, a bigger collaboration seems to be in the offing. "We did meet. Please wait for an official announcement which will be made soon," said Aishwarya. Meanwhile Bhansali is busy preparing for the elaborate number which will see

arineeti Chopra, who is looking forward to the release of her upcoming film “Shuddh Desi Romance,” which deals with live-in relationships, has declared that she won't let her parents to choose a partner for her. At a recently held event when the actress was asked whether she'll opt for a love marriage or arranged, she said, “Nowadays if my mom buys a tshirt for me I hate it so, I don't think I will let her choose a boy for me. I would definitely want to find a boy for myself because I'm the only one who'll have to live with him all my life. I don't think there should be a discussion over love marriage versus arranged marriage, just choose a person you want to be with.” Directed by Maneesh Sharma, SDR also features Sushant Singh Rajput and Va a n i Kapoor in the lead roles.





It’s all work, no party for Sonakshi Sinha Even after being choosy with the films, Sonakshi Sinha has established herself in the film industry in less than three years. She has already done seven films, a few special appearances and several more upcoming films in her kitty. And the actress has even confessed that "I am only concerned with my work... I don't party, I don't go pubs and I am a very private person. And frankly, I have no time. I am happy I am concerned only about my work and I am happy being appreciated for that." Well all this makes us belief that Sonakshi is indeed very hard working.

Priyanka matching steps with the film's lead actor Ranveer Singh. A source close to Priyanka said, "Bhansali met Priyanka two months ago to discuss the song in detail. Priyanka loved the idea but dates were a concern as she was also shooting for Gunday and Mary Kom simultaneously." Speaking about Aishwarya's involvement in the scheme of things, the source added, "Bhansali likes to meet a lot of people before he finalises anyone. But it looks like he has something bigger planned for Aishwarya, may be a different film altogether."


oine for keyan!

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UK cinemas forced to withdraw ‘Madras Café’


he political thriller “Madras Café” has suffered a setback to its release schedule after protests by Tamil groups in London forced major cinemas to withdraw showings of the film in UK cinemas. Due to the clashes, cinema houses had no option but to make the decision to not show the film in order to protect the safety of cinemagoers. The scenes in London mirror similar protests by pro-Tamil groups in Canada and in Chennai, South India, where demonstrators called for the film to be banned. Earlier this week, the film was cleared for screening globally, as well as in India. The point of contention stems from claims by Tamil groups that the film portrays the LTTE as a terrorist organisation. However, the outlook has been much more positive in India and internationally with the film being very well received. Its release has been met with favourable comments from film critics, authors and dignitaries from the socio-political fraternity alike. Actor Abhishek Bachchan tweeted: Saw Madras Café Last night. Well done

@JohnAbraham @Nargisfakhri and Shoojit, Such a well made film! Dilip Cherian said: “What a fabulous movie Madras Cafe is...John Abraham lifts a docu-drama with poise. Story bravely retold....No Item numbers either.” Renowned film critic Taran Adarsh said in his review of the film: “Terrific Thriller. Superior quality, Sensible cinema. Try not to miss it!” Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resource Development in India said: ‘Moving to see Madras Cafe on Rajiv Gandhi's birthday. Strong second half, fast-paced film. Outstanding direction & acting, especially by John

Abraham. Good to see 2 Stephanian contemporaries, Piyush Pandey & Siddhartha Basu, onscreen in Madras Cafe after treading the boards in college theatre.” Deepender Hooda, Member of Parliament, Bhavna Somaya (Film critic and Columnist), Suchitra Krishnamurthi (Actor, Singer), Komal Nahata (Film Critic) and Taslima Nasreen (Bengali author and Ananda Purashkar award winner), Uday Chopra & Dia Mirza were the renowned people who commented on the relevance of the movie. The co-producers of the film Viacom18 Motion Pictures and JA Entertainment released a statement saying: ‘We have made a realistic film without been frivolous and over sensationalising anything as we believe that the Indian audiences are now looking for credible and realistic cinema. We have told a story. It’s our right of creative expression, We have worked hard to make this film. We only urge people to see the film without being biased and judge it on its merit and not politicize a creative product.’

18 - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

Financial Voice Dear Financial Voice Reader,

I write to you about to fly to India. I said last week that Summer is a good time to think about your investments of course, but take a longer view on improving your investment self. I said I would in this part 2 explain the rules for creating time to improve your investments. These are the rules. Part 3 is next week. 1. I love the fact I de facto live in Mayfair. I always wanted to live in Mayfair as a child playing Monopoly. Why ‘de facto’? Because that’s where my office is, and that is my playground. If you’re work is not your playground, you’re doing it wrong. Think more. 2. If you want to retire, you’re doing the wrong thing. When you don’t want to retire, you’ve found what you should be doing in your life. Think about it. 3. What you want, and think you want are two different things. You actually want the ability to choose, freedom of time. I think most about how to create time. The rules make sure I do that. Time is freedom. Time lets me live better than someone worth 100 times more than me. 4. If you hoard your fun time to once or twice a year, or for the end of your working life – you’re doing it wrong and need to think more, and work less. If you don’t have enough time for friends, you have too many friends. 5. Focus on productivity instead of busy. I have three Outlook folders. ‘Government/Country’, ‘Business’, ‘Randoms’. If you do not relate to my Government/Country or Business you go into ‘Randoms’ and I get round to you when the other two folders are empty. The other two folders are never empty. ‘Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths of inner peace’ said Robert Sawyer in ‘Calculating God’ 6. So what about charity and good works? I have four causes that I care most about. Anything outside those, I may listen to special pleading if someone is genuinely as needy as the sex-trafficked woman, the hungry child, or the martyred solider – some of the causes I focus on. 7. I focus on my strengths, not repairing my weaknesses. My strengths are in financial education and communications. People asking me to do things outside these are a waste of my time and there’s – think about your strengths. 8. I don’t read the FT and rarely watch Financial TV. Why? ‘Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking,’ said Albert Einstein. My Oxford Politics tutor told me never to read the Economist and instead think for myself. I prefer thinking to reading. What about the fact I do the newspaper review on the BBC and market views? Again I focus on my strengths. I trained as a barrister, I can assimilate more information in 5 minutes and then explain it to you eloquently, with context and originality – that’s my job. Find your strength – focus on those. But don’t try to be me, as I can’t be you. Part 3 is next week, with rules to create time to think about investing.

Chidambaram rules out rate hike from current levels

India’s finance minister P Chidambaram ruled out the likelihood of any rate hike from present levels, while a top finance ministry official promised measures to improve capital flows in a week. Chidambaram met foreign institutional investors (FIIs) in Mumbai and reassured them that there would not be any move to impose capital controls. He told the FIIs that it was too early to comment on the success of the measures to support the rupee. The meeting was attended by representatives of global banks including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank. Later, financial services secretary Rajiv Takru

told reporters that the government was working on policies to attract capital to fund the current account deficit. “I think you should see something coming up shortly, say within a week or in the next 10 days. All measures to attract fund flows are under consideration,” Takru told reporters after the meeting. But he did not divulge details about the nature of the measures - whether they would be a sovereign bond issue, NRI bonds or a quasi-sovereign mode of debt raising. “FIIs have sought certain explanations, which the finance minister gave them,” Takru said, without elaborating on what issues were raised in the meeting.

British economic recovery gains momentum Britain's coalition government said the upbeat data showed that the recovery was taking root. "This data confirms that the British economy is moving from rescue to recovery, supported by balanced growth across the economy," said a Treasury spokesperson. "There is still a long way to go, but the economy is on the right track and the government is committed to its economic plan." The ConservativeLiberal Democrat coalition argues that its ongoing austerity measures are needed to drive down the record budget deficit inherited from the previous Labour administration in 2010. The ONS added that construction activity expanded by 1.4 per cent

in the second quarter, up from the initial estimate of 0.9 per cent, as the housing market was partly lifted by state schemes that are aimed at stimulating lending to homebuyers. Factory output grew 0.7 per cent in the quarter, up from the prior figure of 0.4 per cent, while consumer spending rose 0.4 per cent. There were also upward revisions for output from distribution, hotels and catering firms, as well as business services and finance firms, and the agriculture sector. Britain's shrinking net trade deficit, which dropped to £3.2 billion ($5.0 billion, 3.7 billion euros) in the second quarter from a £4.3-billion deficit in the first quarter, also boosted growth as exports hit a record level.

diture in the second half of the year remains quite challenging," Woo said. It can be noted that last fiscal, due to a pressure from international rating agencies threatening to cut the country's sovereign rating to junk status if the fiscal deficit worsens, the government had massively cut its expenditure to meet its fiscal deficit target. The P Chidambaramled finance ministry had in fact, bettered the targeted number by limiting the deficit to 4.89 per cent for the fiscal, as against a stated target of 5.2 per cent. For the ongoing FY'14, the

government is targeting to get the fiscal deficit number to 4.8 per cent. In the wake of a huge depreciation in the rupee and doubts over the revenue increase targets, the government has repeatedly asserted that it will be able to meet the fiscal deficit target of 4.8 per cent. The current account

deficit, which is being blamed as one of the primary reasons for the ongoing rupee depreciation, will come in at $75 billion in FY14 as against the $87.8 billion in the previous fiscal, Colquhoun said. "We expect the GDP ratio for India's current account deficit to be lower than for either of the last two years," he said. However, it said that the ongoing battle to hold on rupee level may dent the country's foreign exchange reserves and added that the total reserves could fall to $230 billion from the present level of around $278 billion.

domestic term rate would give a further boost to the remittances business," said A Surendran, head, retail and international banking, Federal Bank. Bankers said that a hike in NRE rates of long-term maturities is a more costeffective way of raising resources from abroad when compared to NRI bonds as the latter would entail additional costs like having roadshows overseas. In the past, the government has relied on State Bank of India to raise funds from NRIs through the Resurgent India Bonds in 1998 and India Millennium Deposits in 2001. South Indian Bank has also hiked its NRE max deposit rate (three to five years) to 9.5% while interest rate on domestic term deposit of three and up to

10 years fetches 8.75%. "The government wants remittances from abroad to help ease the CAD (current account deficit situation)," Abraham Thariyan, executive director, South Indian Bank, said. IDBI Bank has revised its NRE deposit rates for tenor of more than three years and up to seven years by 25 basis points to 50 basis points. "The bank is now offering a peak interest rate of 9.5% on NRE deposits as a result of the revision," it said. Similarly, Axis Bank is also offering 9.5% interest on NRE deposits in the three- to five-year maturity from 8.75% earlier. According to bankers, NRE deposits and domestic term deposits for long have been mirror images in terms of their usage and there has never been a major exodus

in the latter in times of uncertainty. "If you observe the historical pattern in usage of domestic and NRE deposits, there has not been much difference be it in closing, renewal or even premature withdrawals in the two deposit categories," N Kamakodi, CEO and MD, City Union Bank, said. Besides rupee deposits, banks are also offering higher returns on their foreign currency non-resident (B) deposits after RBI raised the ceiling on these deposits. RBI has allowed banks to offer 100 basis points higher rates by increasing the ceiling to 400 basis points over Libor from 300 basis points earlier. Libor is the London Interbank Offered rate, the primary benchmark for short-term interest rates around the globe.

Britain's economy grew faster than thought in the second quarter, official data showed, extending a broadly based recovery. Gross domestic product (GDP) - the total value of goods and services produced in the economy grew by 0.7 per cent in the second quarter, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement. That marked an upgrade from the initial estimate of 0.6-per cent expansion. Growth occurred across all sectors of the economy, with small upward revisions across manufacturing, construction and parts of services. Second-quarter GDP growth has more than doubled from the 0.3-per cent expansion that was witnessed in the first three months of the year.

The economy expanded by 1.5 per cent in the second quarter, or three months to the end of June, compared with the equivalent period in 2012, the ONS added. That was also up from the previous estimate of 1.4 per cent. Sterling and the London stock market shrugged off the news. Market expectations had been for no change to both figures, according to analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.

Stating that the space to contain expenditure is very limited in the second half of the fiscal, global ratings agency Fitch said the fiscal numbers "look weak" and warned of a downgrade if India is unable to meet fiscal deficit target. "India's fiscal numbers look weak...fiscal slippage could trigger negative rating action," Fitch Ratings' head of Asia-Pacific Sovereigns Andrew Colquhoun said. The agency's lead analyst Art Woo added that fiscal management is a challenging task. "The fiscal side is proving more challenging...a slowdown in fiscal expen-

Non-resident Indians are being wooed with higher rates of interest by several banks after the Reserve Bank of India allowed lenders to offer NRIs a better return than local depositors and relaxed reserve requirements on these deposits. The freedom to price deposits is available only on those with tenures above three years. On its part, Federal Bank has hiked its non-resident external (NRE) term deposit rates in the threeyear and above bucket to 9%, which is higher than the 8.75% offered on identical domestic deposits. The bank has seen a 50% growth in its NRE deposits in the first quarter of FY14 when compared to the same period last year. "A higher NRE rate than the

Fitch warns India of a rating downgrade if deficit target not met

Banks offer higher interest rates on expat deposits


Den of Sin? Or a Gold Mine ? - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap A Property Investment Company


This week we exchanged on a Pub in Kensington, Olympia. It was introduced to me a couple of months ago, off market. I was shown the property from the outside and we snuck in to look at the ground level pub and the basement. The two floors above, which were residential, were not seen. I simply had to stand outside and make an assessment of the condition they would be in on the inside. After the property was shown to me I was told the contract could be delivered at £1.25m; I was then subsequently told we couldn’t have the contract, as there was someone on the scene already purchasing it and the Pub group selling it wanted to give them a fair period of time to exchange. This annoyed me and made me want the property even more; rather like a child who only wants to play with the toy another child has. I kept the property in my radar and persistently enquired, until the group selling it tired of the current purchasers' non performance and my persistence. The contract was then sent over and we exchanged a couple of days later on behalf of a client. The rumor I heard was that the previous purchasers didn’t have the funds to do the deal and were planning on flipping the contract to someone else for a quick profit, without actually exchanging on it themselves. You find this occurring from time to time in the market. The contract is agreed using false proof of funds or a lawyer's letter and then they play for time whilst trying to find a purchaser to sell it on to at a higher price.

W e were aske d to att end th e sell er's so licitor's off ic e t o exch ang e on the con tract, and o f co urse we had n o issues with this. Thou gh we didn ’t realise at the time t hat the solicito rs were in Suffo lk! VAT was applicable to this lot. So it needs to be purchased in a VAT registered company in order for the VAT to be claimed back. Foolishly I approached an Islamic bank to try and have this funded, this along with another deal we're hoping to exchange on this week. I got flatly refused on both, not because they weren’t good deals; not because we were asking for too much money; it was because they were 'Haram', dens of sin. One of the tenants in our Ealing deal was Ladbrokes advocating gambling, and the other was a premises serving alcohol. Luckily my personal criteria is not so stringent. It actually didn’t even occur to me to think these may be barriers to an Islamic bank lending on them. We originally tried to push for a two month completion, as the policy is the longer the better. This way you have more time to finance and sort any issues out prior to completion. The pub group were pushing for four weeks, we then settled on a six week completion. The other main issue in purchasing this property was whether we can kick the tenant out, and the answer is we can, giving him six months notice. This suits us, as he is only paying £50k per annum for the whole building, a lot lower than what he should be paying. This was an important point which would have been a deal breaker if we couldn’t remove him. With the tenant in there the property worth would be defined partly on the yield and partly on the development potential on vacant possession, whenever this would occur. The longer the tenancy the more it would be valued on the yield. As we can get rid of him in six months the yield is almost irrelevant. It’s purely the development angle we are looking at. As time was tight and we needed someone to purchase it blind on our say so, we approached a client who had already traded and made money with us. He also had money with us to close another deal which was in the pipeline but for various reasons had been delayed. This money was transferred from that deal to exchange on the pub, due to the time constraint. At the moment the client is deciding whether he wants to take the whole purchase of the pub himself or whether he would like other investors to come in on this deal. We have two ways this deal can go: One we sell this pub on prior to completion in six weeks for £1.5m plus which is possible, given the upstairs two flats alone should be worth this amount with a little refurbishment. This would mean with £125,000 deposit we would make £250,000. The other is we complete the deal, get rid of the tenant and then do the flats up, this will yield us in the region of £2.5m. Either way we believe this is an exceptional deal, and these do not come around often, especially freeholds.

So then it was agreed to do it as soon as possible following receipt of the contract. The lawyers from the seller's side were very relaxed and did not feel the urgency of the situation. However in these situations it's very important for your lawyer to act fast and to build a good rapport with the other side's solicitors. This alone can either save or destroy the deal. This is why it pays to have solid lawyers on your side. You can never be relaxed with these types of situations, you may find purchasers taking their sweet time with a purchase until they see another buyer is on the scene and then all of a sudden they will develop a laser focus and start moving and get the funds even if they didn’t have access to them. The property consists of a pub with a basement and two floors above made up of two residential flats. It is called The Jam and is at 58 Milson road W14, a small distance from Kensington Olympia station. The property is freehold and is estimated to be around 3,300 sq ft. That’s a lot of space for this sort of money, it comes to £378 per sq ft. Th e fl ats alon e are e xpecte d t o be wort h £750,000 e ach, minimum.

The Real Deal

St John's Wood, London, NW8 Purchase Price: £1.834m l A three floor Mews house in a quiet lane off St John's Wood High Street l Freehold l Integral garage l Priced at £1,051 per sq ft, properties in this area are priced at £1,500 per sq ft and above l End value after works expected to be £2.75m currently l Cost of works expected to be around £200k l Prices in St John's Wood are heating up! The price is likely to be higher than our estimates Call us now if you like the returns on this deal, you do not need the full amount!

0207 993 0103

We provide a turnkey solution. Contact us now:

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Central London Property Sourcing

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

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Tips of the Week

l The internet has limitations when researching properties. We have done deals where the statistics on the internet did not support our decision, but our local knowledge did and our clients made money on them.

l To determine if anything is a good investment, you should look at the risk versus return factor. Generally if an investment is high risk it is high return and low risk means low returns. Property is considered low risk, hence the banks will lend you 75%, BUT you can make high returns, if done in the right way.


UK - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

Investors abandoning India, looking up to US, Western Europe

Dr Sourindra Banerjee

ndia has some very stringent on controlling I Terrorism or Terrorising? the flowrules of rupee out of the country, but it has been he detention of David really aware of the extent unable to stop the rupee Miranda, the partner of to which these powers are T plunging this year as it is a journalist under the being used?

Maria Fernandes

Terrorism Act has finally brought this matter to the public consciousness, as it has exposed the fact that the law was being used to prevent information coming to light that could embarrass the UK and US Government. The furore over the misuse of the Terrorism Act is not a new phenomenon. In fact it has been one of the most controversial pieces of legislation of modern times which has led to legal challenges in the courts. This latest incident is the straw that broke the camel’s back and opens up debate about the use of these powers. The Terrorism Act states that the power is only to be used when there is a serious threat of violence, damage to property, risk to health and safety of the public, where there is an interference with electronic equipment or where the action endangers life. The powers can only be used for the purpose of determining whether the person is a terrorist. In the current climate where terror threats are real and visible, and attempts by terrorists are thwarted, the public accept the need for wider powers. We are protected from these threats and the price we pay for that is the loss of our civil liberties. However are the public

The powers are undoubtedly draconian. The usual safeguards are stripped away. There is no right to silence. The refusal to answer questions can result in a criminal conviction. People can be detained for up to 9 hours, without a lawyer present, have their fingerprints and DNA taken and their equipment examined and retained for up to 7 days. There is no requirement for a “reasonable suspicion” which is the cornerstone of our criminal justice system. There has been clear evidence that the police have been using this law to stop and search activists for their political activities or political dissent and this is a worrying development of affairs. 61,145 people have already been examined under this Act and unsurprisingly the majority are ethnic minorities. It is unbelievable in a civilised society that a journalist can be stopped because there is a belief that he should not publish material because of the damage publication might do. The matter is now with the courts. It is likely that the Government will seek to hear the challenge by Miranda’s lawyers under the “Closed Material Procedure” which will mean that the public don’t get to hear the details of this sorry incident.

India’s super rich may be asked to pay 35% tax

India’s super rich may have to pay more as the government strives to raise revenues to meet its commitment to rating agencies and markets to bring down fiscal deficit. The government is proposing a 35% tax rate for those earning more than Rs 100 million in the Direct Taxes Code (DTC) that is likely to be tabled in Parliament during the ongoing session. The direct taxes bill, once approved by Parliament, will replace the current Income-Tax Act, which dates back to 1961. At present, taxable income in excess of Rs 1000,000 is taxed at 30% while those earning more than Rs 10 million have to pay a surcharge of 10%. Further, since top earners receive substantial income by way of dividends, the Direct Taxes Code incorporates a 10% tax on dividend income in excess of 10 million.

In the current dispensation, dividend income is tax-free in the hands of the investor as the company distributing dividends pays a dividend distribution tax at the rate of 15%. "There can be no quarrel over taxing those earning that kind of income, but this is more a symbolic gesture and does not seem like a revenue-raising move," said Sudhir Kapadia, national tax leader. Few Crorepati Taxpayers: "The government should have looked at a new design architecture for taxing dividends in the hands of recipients as dividend distribution tax adds to the overall corporate tax rate," said Sudhir Kapadia. The corporate tax rate is proposed to be retained at 30% while the Securities Transaction Tax, which has faced vehement opposition from market participants, will stay in place.

hit by a double-whammy. Concerns are growing over the Indian economy and the viability of investing in Indian markets and companies, while the developed economies are picking up. Investors are now turning their attention back to the US and Western Europe as the economic giants start to come round from five years in a virtual coma. The life support of quantitative easing has worked to a degree, but with that now being eased off, that is also affecting India, as with less cash sloshing around the emerging markets are missing out. But India’s biggest problem is what is underlying this malaise – corruption and cronyism. The country has seen its economy grow to the point where it has allowed its major

companies to stretch out into the rest of the world and so invited foreign investment into the region, but with that investment has come a level of scrutiny that has revealed the extent to which corruption and cronyism are rife in the Indian economy. Many will argue it has always been there, but the level of scrutiny and foreign investment has not. India has to reform and take an iron grip on this corruption or risk losing further confidence from investors. Until this is solved I can only see more investors pulling out of the country. Almost every day there is a story about corruption in the Indian media and when the developed economies are picking up foreign investors will be eager to find a more secure and trustworthy place for their money. The continual diet of corruption has battered the image of India as a reliable investment destination and the low investor confidence has led to less capital formation, less

Dr Sourindra Banerjee

employment, less tax collection and less consumption. All of these have a combined effect on driving the decline of the rupee. And with the developed markets picking up, investors have somewhere else to put their money. India has benefited from the poor performance of the US and Europe in recent years and from liquidity given by the US Federal Reserve and the UK’s central bank. But now it is payback time. During the good times the Indian Government had a chance to take stock and implement the reforms that its economy and manufacturing sector, especially, needed. But it did nothing

HSBC downgrades Indian equities to neutral from overweight

and time is running out to implement these changes to stay ahead of the other emerging markets, which are catching up fast. India cannot rely on its cost-effectiveness for much longer; it has to invest in its infrastructure and skills to find a new advantage on the world stage. The increased competition and slipping competitiveness has hit Indian manufacturing exports and has seen a surge in the import of manufactured items, in turn increasing the current account deficit for the country. An increased current account deficit depletes India’s foreign exchange reserves and pushes the decline of the rupee further. Ironically the falling rupee is good news for exporters and with reforms they could help turn the Indian economy around, but it will need proper intervention by the Government if that is to come. The writer is Assistant Professor of Marketing, Warwick Business School, The University of Warwick

Coca Cola to invest more in India

Since the beginning of the current fiscal in April 2013, though the rupee valuation of Indian stock market has fallen by 6.55 per cent, its dollar valuation has plunged 22 per cent. The rupee has depreciated by over 16 per cent during this period. "...the issue is that in many cases the authorities have taken only incremental steps to improve financing of the

current account deficit in recent years. In India, the lack of structural reforms is well documented," it said. According to the report, India faces the most difficult situation as the country's growth is slowing, inflation remains elevated and it has a sizeable current account deficit. "It is the 'impossible trinity,' a country cannot have both in the current environment. Growth will likely suffer," HSBC said. The report further noted that the current inflation situation is also not helping. Imported inflation will further reduce the possibility of looser monetary conditions in the near future.

Coca Cola, the world’s largest soft drinks maker, said India could emerge as a top five market for the company in the next seven years. “If we continue to focus on doing the right things in this market, India could emerge as a top five market for the Coca Cola Company by 2020,” Coca Cola International President Ahmet C Bozer said. Currently, India is the seventh largest market for the Atlanta-based firm. Bozer added the company is going ahead with its planned investments of $5 billion in the country till 2020 to further capture growth opportunities in the packaged beverage market.

to Monday's close of 64.30. It made a new low at 66.08 surpassing previous record low of 65.56 hit just last week. Sustained foreign selling in equities continued to raise concerns about the gaping current account deficit. Overseas investors have sold about $810 million worth of shares in the previous seven sessions, adding to pressure on the rupee. Meanwhile, finance minister P Chidambaram reiterated that the rupee has overshot its true level. "We have to be patient and firm and do what is required to be done. Rupee will find its appropriate value," he said. Chidambaram also sought to allay fears that

the $20-billion Food Security Bill passed by the Lok Sabha will widen India's alarming fiscal deficit even further. "The 4.8 per cent of GDP is a red line as far as fiscal deficit is concerned. This red line will not be breached," the finance minister said. His comments failed to convince investors though. "The Food Security Bill is the key reason for the rupee's fall today. It would open floodgates for (credit) ratings downgrades, if the fiscal deficit is not reined in," Ashtosh Raina, head of foreign exchange trading at HDFC Bank said. There were contrarian views too. Mehraboon Irani of Nirmal Bang

Securities said that markets knew the Food Bill was coming. "It's not going to impact us in this fiscal year," he added. Meanwhile, the sell off in the markets continued unabated. The Sensex was down around 600 points, while the Nifty traded below 5,300 as of 2.15 p.m. Deven Choksey, managing director of KR Choksey said that the culprit is the Bank Nifty, which has cracked significantly. "The RBI's tight monetary policy has led to rising mark to market losses for banks, who will now have to make significant provisions for these losses. Even safe names like HDFC have taken a hit," he added.

Global financial services major HSBC has downgraded Indian equities from "overweight" to "neutral" citing that the country would struggle to defend a falling currency and declining growth. "We lower our weighting in India from overweight to neutral. In our view, India will continue to struggle with the tradeoff between defending a currency and supporting growth," HSBC said in a research note. According to HSBC, the volatility in Indian markets since May can be attributed to the initial talk about tapering of bond purchase by the US

Federal Reserve but the catalyst for recent volatility in Indian equities was when policymakers decided to tighten liquidity to stem capital outflows.

Nothing could stop Indian rupee's inexorable slide to 66 against the dollar on Tuesday. Not the RBI's intervention and not the finance minister's repeated assertion that the government is in control of the economic situation. The crash in the rupee sent the stock markets sharply lower. The BSE Sensex plunged over 600 points slipping below the key 18,000 mark, while the Nifty traded well below the 5,300 levels, falling around 200 points. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reportedly sold dollars starting at 65.90 levels, but after a brief recovery, the rupee was back to its losing ways. The rupee fell around 2.8 per cent as compared

Indian ` breaches 66 per dollar, Sensex sinks 600 points

FINANCIAL VOICE - Asian Voice 31st August 2013


Foreign Exchange

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

Indian rupee fell to an all-time low In the US the big risk event of last Wednesday saw the release of the minutes from the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting revealing broad support for a reduction in quantitative easing later this year as long as the economy continues to improve. Despite 68% of 48 economists in a recent Bloomberg survey still thinking that the Fed will reduce QE in September; there was a lack of clarity by the Fed in the minutes to suggest the precise timing of when tapering was likely to occur. So whilst the US dollar gained following the news, further gains could well be limited until further information is provided to the markets as to the timing and extent of their tapering plan. But saying this it does appear, at the moment, that that all the pieces of the puzzle are slowly being put together for the Fed to take action in the near future. Whilst investors are seemingly looking for further clarification before driving the US dollar higher, the sheer threat of tapering is causing investors to drive emerging markets currencies such as the Indian rupee and Thai Baht even lower.

In particular, the Indian rupee fell to an all-time low against the pound; this despite the Reserve Bank of India intervening in the markets to halt the demise of the rupee and technical indicators suggesting that the currency is oversold. Whilst the threat of tapering in the US still lingers, investors will remain worried how the nation can reduce its record current account deficit, and thus we could well see further weakness in the rupee. The US, overall, experienced some positive data last week. To start, although US jobless claims rose by 13,000 this week to 336,000 from last week; the monthly average of those filing for jobless claims fell to a 7 year low, indicating a recovering job market. The number of existing home sales increased from 5.06mln to 5.39mln in July. The euro came into focus last week as service and manufacturing PMI surpassed expectations and expanded even further in August. As a result, traders drove the euro higher against most of its counterparts as the data provides further evidence of the economy in the euro zone recov-

ering, albeit at a moderate pace and provides hope that the growth in the second quarter was not a one off. The news unsurprisingly dampened demand for safe haven assets with German 10 year bond yields rising to 1.937%, the highest since March 2012. EU statistics agency Eurostat showed that construction output grew by 0.7% in June, an improvement from the 0.5% rise in May. German GDP figures have

shown that the German economy expanded even further in the second quarter; but surprisingly there has been very limited impact on the euro, suggesting that the news was already priced in. However it wasn’t all good news for the euro zone as Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who leads the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, conceded that Greece may well need another bailout next year; echoing comments made last week by Wolfgang Schaeuble, the German finance minister. Data from the UK last Friday has shown an upward revision for second quarter GDP figures for the UK. The previous forecasts suggest a 0.6% expansion and the latest figures show a rise to 0.7%, suggesting once again that the recovery for the UK is well under way. UK car manufacturing grew by 7% in July compared with a year earlier. The data follows the wider trend of improving data from the UK and with the euro zone also showing signs of recovery; early signs are we should continue to see production increase for the rest of the year.Indian rupee fell to an all-time low

Weekly Currencies

As of Tuesday 27th August 2013 @ 5.30pm

GBP - INR = 103.80 USD - INR = 66.85 EUR - INR = 89.51 GBP - USD = 1.55 GBP - EUR = 1.16

EUR - USD = 1.34 GBP - AED = 5.70

GBP - CAD = 1.63

GBP - NZD = 1.99

GBP - AUD = 1.73

GBP - ZAR = 16.18

GBP - HUF = 349.24

Information provided by RationalFX. None of the information on this page constitutes, nor should be construed as financial advice. The exchange rates used are the commercial foreign exchange rates provided by RationalFX. For a live quote or to find out more about how RationalFX can help you, call us on 0207 220 8181.



In Focus

US designates Pak madrassa as 'terror organisation'

Washington: The US has designated a Pakistani madrassa as a terrorist organisation supporting the Lashkar-e-Taiba, alQaida and Taliban, the first time such action has been taken against a seminary. Ganj Madrassa in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, officially known as Jamia Taleem-Ul-Quran-Wal-Hadith Madrassa, is the first seminary to be the target of sanctions that forbid Americans from having any business interaction with it. The US treasury said Ganj Madrassa was being used as a training and recruiting base by al-Qaida, Taliban and the LeT, blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166. The seminary also facilitates funding for the three groups.

Taliban call centre busted in Pakistan, 5 held

Lahore: Pakistan's law enforcement agencies have arrested five people here while busting an illegal telephone gateway exchange allegedly being operated by the Taliban to make ransom calls to families of persons kidnapped by the militant group. Though Lahore police chief Rai Tahir did not confirm how many arrests were made during raid, police sources say at least five suspects including women have been taken into custody. The raiding team also found weapons and explosives in the house in the thicklypopulated area of Green Town in Lahore.

Pakistan seizes 100 tons of bomb-making material

Quetta: Security forces seized 100 tons of bomb-making material from Quetta, one of Pakistan's most violent cities. The material was the same type used in two bombings of a predominantly Shiite Muslim part of Quetta this year that killed around 200 people, Col. Maqbool Shah of the Frontier Corps said. The raid came a day after two men were arrested driving a truck in the city with 15 tons of potassium chlorate, a chemical used in bomb-making, hidden under boxes of potato chips, Shah said.

Ex-Pak PM Gilani named in Rs 190 mn scam

Islamabad: Pakistan’s top audit body has implicated former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani in a case of alleged misuse of taxpayers’ money for purchasing vehicles worth Rs 190 million. The Auditor General of Pakistan's report, covering fiscal 2011-12, states the cars were brought for alleged distribution among voters of Gilani’s Pakistan People’s Party. It stated that Gilani had ordered the Industries Ministry to buy the vehicles. The industries ministry handed over 200 auto-rickshaws and about 20 minibuses and pick-up trucks bought with taxpayers’ money to former information minister Firdous Ashiq Awan, former PPP lawmaker Nabil Gabol and to some unfamiliar Karachi-based NGOs, the media report said.

Afghan Taliban execute 6 in Heart

Heart (Afghanistan): The Afghan Taliban executed six men who worked for a government programme in western Herat, one of the war-ravaged country's most stable provinces whose small but promising private sector is driving the national economy, the governor said on Tuesday. The men were shot in the head late on Monday, despite efforts by governor Fazlullah Wahidi to convince the Taliban that the men did not work for him.

Dairy giant Fonterra shuts down operations in Lanka

Wellington: New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra temporarily shut down its operations in Sri Lanka, saying it feared for the safety of staff amid allegations of product contamination. The move was sparked in part by a protest outside one of its Sri Lankan factories which attracted about 200 people, the company said. Fonterra, centre of an unrelated botulism scare earlier this month which led to global recalls, said the shutdown was "to protect our people and farmers' assets."

Malala scoops 2013 Children’s Peace Prize - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

The Hague: Teenage activist Malala Yousafzai, shot in the head by a Taliban militant last October after campaigning for girls' right to education, has won the prestigious International Children's Peace Prize, KidsRights announced on Tuesday. The 16-year-old Pakistani will receive the award from 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner and women's rights campaigner Tawakkol Karman at a glittering ceremony in The Hague on September 6, the Amsterdam-based organisation said. Malala “risked her life in the fight for access to education for girls all over the world,” KidsRights said in a statement. “By awarding the 2013 International Children's Peace Prize... KidsRights shines the spotlight on a brave and talented child who has demonstrated special dedication to children's rights,” it added.

The passionate advocate for girls education was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman while on a school bus near her home in Pakistan's Swat Valley last year. She was given life-saving treatment in Britain where she now lives, but the attack

galvanised her campaign for greater educational opportunities for girls. Malala's brave fight back from her injuries and her speech at the United Nations in July have made her a leading contender for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

But the response to her in Pakistan has been mixed, with many hailing her as a national heroine while others have criticised her for promoting a “Western” agenda. The International Children's Peace Prize, an initiative of the Dutch-based KidsRights Foundation, was launched in 2005 by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, when he chaired the Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Rome. It carries a cash value of 100 000 euros ($133 000) that is invested in projects relating to the winner's cause. Last year's winner was 13-year-old Cris “Kesz” Valdez for his work with Filipino street children while he himself was destitute. Cris received the prize from South African peace icon and Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu, who is the award's patron.

Islamabad: Pakistan's National Assembly passed a unanimous resolution condemning the Indian Army's "continued violation of ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC)'' while calling for "constructive engagement" with New Delhi. The second such resolution this month came as Islamabad said one of its soldiers was killed in "unprovoked" Indian fire along the LoC in Rawalakot. Pakistan had a day earlier accused Indian troops of killing an army captain and seriously wounding a soldier in crossLoC shelling in Skardu. Defense production minister Rana Tanveer Hussain tabled the resolution while paying tribute to captain Sarfraz killed in the shelling. "This house condemns this act of aggression and also expresses serious concerns on continued violation of ceasefire from across the LoC by the Indian army," the resolution said. It said the people of Pakistan were fully behind

the country's civil and military leadership to defend Pakistan. The resolution sought "result oriented process of engagement" with India while urging the civilian and military leadership to strengthen Pakistan's defense. Later, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired the meeting of the Defense Committee of the Cabinet (DCC), the country's highest decision making body on defense and security matters. Sharif was briefed on the situation along the LoC at the meeting, the DCC's first since Sharif took over earlier this year. Pak summons Indian envoy: Pakistan on Thursday registered a "strong" protest over the killing of a lance naik by "unprovoked" firing from the Indian Army at Rawalkot by summoning Indian high commissioner TCA Raghavan. So far the two countries had protested ceasefire violations and killing of soldiers by summoning only the deputy envoys.

Islamabad: Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's party has consolidated its hold on power, results from by-elections showed, cementing its ability to push through unpopular reforms aimed at kick-starting the stagnating economy. Sharif began a third term as premier after the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party won a landslide victory in national polls in May. He has since been attempting to stamp his authority on a nation long plagued by instability and violence. The results showed his party won at least another five seats in the 15 by-elections held on Thursday, reinforcing its comfortable majority with at least 189 seats in the 342seat National Assembly. The by-elections on Thursday were held in seats that were forced to annul results from the May vote because of violence or because candidates had since vacated their seats, among other reasons.

The populist Pakistan Peoples' Party, which held power for five years before Sharif's victory, won three seats, with corruption a lingering concern among voters. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, led by former cricket star Imran Khan, also won two seats after promising to crack down on graft. The secular Awami National Party, which has frequently been attacked by the Taliban in their stronghold in Pakistan's often lawless northwest, also won one seat. Turnout from the polling was generally lower than the May vote, Pakistani media reported, and several areas reported problems.

ment body tasked with reconciliation, or release high-ranking Taliban prisoners who might act as interlocutors. Sharif, who appeared with Karzai to deliver statements after their talks in the Pakistani capital, did not specifically address those requests. It is unclear whether the Afghan Taliban, in power from 1996 and 2001, will have a role in the next government. The Taliban, fighting to expel foreign forces and impose Islamist rule, have refused to talk to Karzai, accusing him of being an American puppet. "For the two countries, the primary concern is lack of security for their citizens and the continued menace of terrorism," said Karzai. "It is this area that needs to have primary

and focused attention from both governments." 'Strong, sincere support' Sharif assured him of support and closed his address by listing economic deals the two countries had struck. "Pakistan (has) strong and sincere support for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. We fully agreed that this process has to be inclusive, Afghan-owned and Afghanled," Sharif said. The Taliban in June set up an office in Doha, touted as a conduit for peace talks with the United States, but the office infuriated Karzai the day it opened by displaying a flag bearing symbols from the time the Taliban ruled Afghanistan. Karzai accused the Taliban of running an embassy rather than an office. The office has now closed.

Malala Yousafzai

Pakistan blames Nawaz Sharif’s party India for LoC ‘attacks’ consolidates grip on power

Nawaz Sharif

Karzai seeks Pak help in Taliban peace process

Islamabad: Afghan President Hamid Karzai stressed the need for Pakistan's help in arranging peace talks with the Taliban in a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who assured him of his support. Pakistan backed the Taliban's rise to power in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s and is seen as a crucial gatekeeper in attempts by the US and Afghan governments to contact insurgent leaders who fled to Pakistan after the group's 2001 ouster. But Afghanistan has long accused Pakistan of playing a double game in the 12-yearold war, saying its neighbour, facing a Taliban insurgency of its own, makes pronouncements about peace, but allows elements of its military to play a spoiling role. Pakistan is keen to limit

Hamid Karzai

the influence of its old rival, India, in Afghanistan. Karzai, who has close ties with India, said he had "primarily and with emphasis" asked the Pakistanis to help with reconciliation as most foreign troops prepare to leave Afghanistan by the end of next year. He wants Pakistan to help arrange contacts between the Taliban and the Afghan High Peace Council, the govern-

WORLD - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

In Focus

China to set up first consulate in Nepal

Kathamndu: China will set up its first consulate in Nepal due to the growing trade between the two neighbours, even as the Himalayan nation is preparing to open a third consulate in China. Nepal has been preparing to set up its consulate general's office in Guangzhou while China has proposed to establish the office in Pokhara, a tourist hub in western Nepal. So far, Nepal has three diplomatic missions in China the embassy of Nepal in Beijing and consulates in Lhasa and Hong Kong.

Egypt's Hosni Mubarak released from prison Cairo: Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been transferred from prison to house arrest at a military hospital. The longtime autocrat, forced to quit in 2011, was flown by medical helicopter from Cairo's Tora prison. He will remain under house arrest as he stands trial on corruption and murder charges. Footage on local television showed him transported from the helicopter to a hospital in the Maadi suburb in a heavily-guarded ambulance.

Mugabe sworn in Zimbabwe president again

Harare: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, Africa's oldest leader at 89, was sworn in for a new five-year term in the face of criticism from opponents and the West that the election he won in July was deeply flawed. Mugabe, who has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980, has told critics of his re-election to "go hang" and has vowed to press ahead with nationalist policies forcing foreign firms to turn over majority stakes to black Zimbabweans.

Myanmar Buddhists torch Muslim homes and shops

Htan Gone (Myanmar): Members of a 1,000strong Buddhist mob torched dozens of homes and shops in northwestern Myanmar following rumours that a Muslim man tried to sexually assault a young woman, officials and witnesses said, as the country was once again gripped by sectarian violence. The rioters, who sang the country's national anthem as they rampaged, dispersed after security forces arrived early shooting into the air.


Manmohan Singh New partnership launched to help to visit US in Sept vulnerable Indian communities

Washington: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is due to meet with US President Barack Obama at the White House on September 27, the White House said. Singh has come under fire in India for quietly trying to restart peace talks with arch-rival Pakistan. Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called for better relations with India after weeks of mounting tensions along the border the two countries share in mountainous Kashmir. India is under pressure from the United States to ratchet down tensions with Pakistan to stabilize the region as foreign

forces prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan. Both US Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry have visited New Delhi recently to discuss Afghanistan, where India and Pakistan are vying for influence. US national security adviser Susan Rice announced plans for the meeting between Singh and Obama after discussions with her Indian counterpart, Shivshankar Menon. "The two exchanged ideas on enhancing our security cooperation, reviewed progress on our civil nuclear and clean energy cooperation, and explored greater collaboration on climate change," NSC spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said in a statement. "Ambassador Rice and NSA Menon also discussed India's continued support for a stable, secure, and prosperous Afghanistan." Obama visited India in 2010 and Singh was at the White House in 2009.

Washington/Beirut: The United States put Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on notice that it believes he was responsible for using chemical weapons against civilians last week in what Secretary of State John Kerry called a "moral obscenity." "President (Barack) Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world's most heinous weapons against the world's most vulnerable people," Kerry said in the most forceful US reaction yet to the August 21 attack. Speaking after UN chemical weapons experts came under sniper fire on their way to investigate the scene of the attack, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the use of chemical weapons was undeniable and "there is very little doubt in our mind that the Syrian regime is culpable." Kerry said Obama was consulting with allies before he decides on how to respond. "What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world," Kerry told reporters. "The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable. And despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured, it is undeniable." Military chiefs from

the United States and its European and Middle Eastern allies met in Jordan for what could be a council of war, should they decide to punish Assad, who has denied using chemical weapons and blamed rebels for staging such attacks. The Washington Post cited senior administration officials as saying Obama is weighing a military strike against Syria that would be of limited scope and duration, while keeping the United States out of deeper involvement in that country's civil war. Such an attack would probably last no more than two days and involve sealaunched cruise missiles or, possibly, long-range bombers - striking military targets not directly related to Syria's chemical weapons arsenal, the newspaper reported. It said such a move is dependent on three factors: completion of an intelligence report assessing the Syrian government's culpability in the chemical attack, consultation with allies and the US Congress and determination of a justification under international law. US warships armed with cruise missiles are already positioned in the Mediterranean. Hundreds of people died in Damascus suburbs in what appears to have been the worst chemical weapons attack since Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein fatally gassed thousands of Kurds in 1988.

US warns Assad over 'undeniable' chemical weapons attack

London: Shining Hope Foundation, a UK charity that supports sustainable social and environmental projects, has launched a new collaboration with humanitarian charity Karuna-Shechen, to help some of the most vulnerable communities in Northern India. With the help of the Shining Hope Foundation, KarunaShechen, Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard is now able to provide vital access to health, education, and social services for underprivileged communities in 18 villages across the Bihar region. Several projects are being supported as a result of this new partnership. Shining Hope, founded by Arnoult family in 2010, is the main donor for the medical centre and mobile clinic in Bodhgaya, which aims to provide free health care and comprehensive medical coverage for 35,000 people in Bihar every year. This is one of the poorest regions in India - where almost 60% of infants and 46 per cent of women are malnourished. Special focus is also placed on the education and empowerment of women and girls and in partnership with the Shining Hope Foundation and local NGO Barefoot College, Karuna-Shechen is now sending illiterate

women from Indian villages to be trained as solar engineers. After the training, the women will return to their villages to put their newly acquired skills into action by installing solar light in homes encouraging employment opportunities and a sense of pride and self-worth for the women. This scheme is anticipated to improve the quality of life and livelihoods of over 2,550 villagers. In addition, Karuna-Shechen, with Shining Hope’s support, will provide women with educational opportunities and skill-enhancement classes through a non-formal education (NFE) scheme and a health education scheme. The NFE programme aims to offer education in basic literacy, numeracy and essential life skills, whilst the health education scheme raises awareness about safe drinking water, sanitation, good hygiene practices, mother and child health, and the importance of immunisation and safe delivery. Speaking about the partnership, Marie SaintArnoult, trustee and founder of the Shining Hope Foundation, said: “We are delighted to partner with such a fantastic organisation and are excited by the enormous opportunity to transform the lives of so

many villagers in India. “Each project that we help fund is developed directly to respond to the needs and aspirations of those who have little or no access to such vital services. “Karuna-Shechen’s mission falls perfectly in line with our vision as a charity – to help local communities live in harmony with nature. This is the basis upon which we select our partners. “At Shining Hope, we are passionate about delivering lasting changes for the communities we serve and these new projects in India are very close to our hearts.” Matthieu Ricard, founder of KarunaShechen, humanitarian, best-selling author, acclaimed photographer and Buddhist monk said: “We are very grateful to the Shining Hope Foundation for choosing us and providing us with considerable amount of support through funding and awareness raising. “The foundation has already helped KarunaShechen to extend outreach services to six more villages, bringing the total to 18. “We would like to reach out to more people suffering from the grinds of poverty and marginalisation and look forward to working with the Shining Hope Foundation over the coming period so that we can make an even bigger impact.”

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Bangalore mayoral polls on September 4

It's official. Elections for the posts of mayor and deputy mayor will be held on September 4. Bangalore Regional Commissioner issued a notification in this regard. Elections to the BBMP council's 12 standing committees will also be held on the same day. Mayoral polls have been pending since April 2013 as the reservation rooster had run into a legal tussle.

Karnataka Vidhana Soudha staff watch porn on duty

"Government work is God's work", proclaims a sign at Vidhana Soudha's portal. But a secret CBI dossier says it isn't work that preoccupies people in the hub of administration, but viewing porn on official computers during office hours. The dossier, which has been forwarded to the criminal investigation department (CID), is an offshoot of the CBI monitoring internet activities in government offices. Sources in the CID confirmed having received the file, but were tightlipped on follow-up action.

Congress wins Karnataka by-polls

The Congress registered thumping wins in Lok Sabha bypolls in Bangalore (Rural) and Mandya, both JD (S) strongholds, giving the party and the four-month-old Siddaramaiah government a big boost in the run-up to the parliamentary polls. Both winners – Kannada actress Ramya (Mandya) and D K Suresh (Bangalore Rural), brother of Congress MLA D K Shivakumar – are political greenhorns. Suresh trounced Karnataka JD(S) chief and ex-CM H D Kumaraswamy’s wife Anitha by 1,37,008 votes while Ramya defeated C S Puttaraju oftheJD(S) by 67,610 votes.


106 from Haryana still missing in Uttarakhand

As many as 106 persons from Haryana are still missing in Uttarakhand following the devastating floods and landslides in June this year. Moreover, six people from the state have died in the natural calamity in Uttarakhand. It is estimated that around 5,000 are still missing in Uttarakhand and are feared dead.

Duke gets Indian Power Brand award at US

Duke, one of the leading fashion apparel brands in the country, has been crowned with Indian Power Brand award at a ceremony of Power Brand Glam 2013 at Las Vegas, US. Duke got this award for its innovation, product quality, most preferred apparel brand and inspirational leadership. The award was presented to Komal Kumar Jain, chairman and Kanchan Jain, director, Duke Fashions (India) Limited by Alisia Pulella, national gaming chief, USA, Beatrics Matinez from Steven Horsford (US senator) and Ankita Shorey, former Miss India.

Telangana decision final, Sonia Gandhi tells Kiran Kumar Reddy - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

Chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy failed to convince party president Sonia Gandhi to rethink against the decision to form new Telangana state in an hour-long meeting, in which the CM even presented a dossier containing evidence of simmering tension in the coastal districts. In his first meeting with Sonia and Rahul Gandhi since the July 30 decision to form Telangana, the CM argued how lives of 4.5 crore people living in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema might get affected due to bifurcation of the state, but Sonia said the decision taken

by the Centre in consultation with UPA allies was final. "The party cannot go back at this juncture. All parties had given their consent to the Centre on Telangana. And It is the Congress, which took the decision at the end," said Digvijay Singh, the AICC incharge of AP affairs, after the 10 Janpath meeting got over. Digvijay even urged Seemandhra employees not to disrupt the ongoing Eamcet counseling in the state, which some analysts said were clear messages that the Congress was firm on its July 30 decision and was urging Congress leaders from the

region to call off the strike. During his meeting, Kiran Kumar told Sonia that the widespread resentment in the Seemandhra region bears testimony to growing opposition against division of the state. He also tried to explain the folly of creating a state without resolving contentious issues like water sharing and power generation, but Sonia instead reminded Kiran Kumar that he had not raised those issues during the consultation process on T and had always said he was committed to abide by the high command's decision. In the meeting, Sonia

asked the chief minister to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well and discuss all the issues raised by him, which Kiran Kumar failed to get at a short notice. Emerging from the meeting, the chief minister, it is learnt was confident that his vociferous defence in favour of united Andhra did cut some ice with the party leadership that the T-process has serious issues, which needs to be looked into. Meanwhile, Seemandhra Congress leader and minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao said the Antony committee had acknowledged the issues.

small packets and concealed in a specially-made pouch in his two-layered underwear. The items recovered include two one-kg gold biscuits, three ten-tola gold bars and three rhodium-polished gold chains weighing 970 grams. The market value of the seized items is about Rs 1.1 crore. "During interrogation, Rasheed, who has been working as a carrier, has given us a few crucial details about his operators. We are verifying the information," deputy commissioner, customs, G Shiril Saroj said. Rasheed was arrested and produced in court, which remanded him in judicial custody.

When it's Raksha Bandhan, guys often choose to spend the day indoors, vulnerable as they feel for obvious reasons. But B Suresh Gowda dares to be d i f f e r e n t . Flaunting over 5,500 rakhis, this 30-year-old bhaiya is a sure favourite with all behnas. On Wednesday, the youth leader and national-level kho kho player had his hands covered up to his shoulders with rakhis of all shapes, sizes designs and cuts, most of which came from college girls. In return, the valiant brother shared his mobile number with each of his sisters, requesting them to call him if ever in trouble. And the number of rakhis on his hands were counted painstakingly by his friends in the presence of media and some police officials on Tuesday night. Over 2,000

girls tied the sacred thread on him last year, he recalls, but this time the love and affection he received has been unprecedented. V Vanishree, a firstyear BCom student who tied rakhi to Suresh, says he has been a big brother to them by taking the lead in solving students' problems, and the girls are only expressing their regard through this gesture. Suresh, from Urati Agrahara village in Kolar, is an arts and a law graduate and associated with the student's movement for close to a decade now. Recently, he led a protest seeking bifurcation of the Bangalore University and seeking a separate varsity for Kolar and Chikkaballapur. Suresh's mother Pillamma, touched by the love and affection he gets from all, says she always taught him to respect women.

Raman Bakshi said, "We are highly disappointed on the absence of Sidhu especially when people of Amritsar need him most". He said people of his constituency were gripped with various problems including levying of various taxes on properties, sand was not available for constructing houses, businessmen wanted his support for easier sales tax filing system but Sidhu was nowhere. He said the NGO would give an award of Rs 2 lakh to anyone who would give clue about Sidhu and bring him in the city.

Punjab government has decided to distribute 12626 free bicycles to the girl students of 11th and 12th class in the Amritsar district within two months under 'Mai Bhaggo Viddya' scheme in the current financial year, informed cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia while talking to media persons here on Friday. He further informed that in view of decreasing dropout rate of girl students from the government schools, the state government had also decided to extend the benefit of scheme to the girl students studying in class 9th and 10th under this scheme. The process for distribution of free bicycles to the girl students has been completed by the department of Social Securities and the list of girl students of 11th and 12th government schools have been submitted by the education department. Majithia said a total of 152330 bicycles would be distributed in the state to the government girl students

during this financial year. For the purpose he said the state government has set aside Rs 47 crore. Out of a total of 12626 bicycles to be distributed in Amritsar , the 11th standard girls would get 6746 bicycles while 5880 bicycles would be distributed to class 12th girl student added he. More than one lakh government school girls of 11th and 12th standard had already been benefited under the Mai Bhaggo Scheme which was launched in the year 2011-12 as 6984 girl students were provided with bicycles. He claimed that with various welfare schemes rolled out for the benefit of government school students, the dropout rate of girl students had decreased considerably.

3kg gold found in man's underwear

In one of the largest hauls in recent times, customs sleuths seized 3.3 kilogram of gold worth over Rs 1.1 crore concealed in the undergarments of a city-based smuggler at the Rajiv Gandhi International (RGI) Airport. The air passenger had arrived from Dubai. Rasheed Ahmed, hailing from the Old City, arrived at the RGI Airport from Dubai by flight number AI 952. He opted for the green channel at the customs check area, declaring that he was not carrying any dutiable goods on him. At 7.30 am, air intelligence wing sleuths intercepted Rasheed as his travel pattern to Dubai looked suspicious. When upon questioning Rasheed insisted that he was not carrying any dutiable goods, the customs officials subjected him to a thorough frisking and found 3.321 kg gold deftly wrapped in three

NGO splatters posters of 'missing' Punjab govt to distribute BJP MP Sidhu in Amritsar 12,626 bicycles to girl students

Union government's no to raise Ghadar memorial

Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal being an opposition NDA leader though accuses the congress-led UPA government of meting out stepmotherly treatment to even martyrs of Punjab but here Congress' own Rajya Sabha member is utterly disappointed at the highly negative response of the Union government about raising a memorial to Ghadar movement.

Court grants stay on Faridkot maharaja’s will A court in Chandigarh stayed an order passed in July declaring the will of the maharaja Harinder Singh Brar of Faridkot as null and void. The order comes as a relief to Faridkot-based Maharawal Khewaji Trust which is managing Brar's assets. The court stayed the order till the next hearing of the case on September 26. It also allowed the trustees to utilise Rs 50 lakh for running of the trust and spending on various works till the next hearing.

Karnataka 'big brother' gets 5,500 rakhis

While alleging that BJP MP from Amritsar parliamentary constituency Navjot Singh Sidhu had gone 'missing', a local NGO pasted posters in the city announcing to give a reward of Rs 2 lakh to anyone giving clue of Sidhu. The posters splattering in the city reads, "Sidhu had made tall promises to the people of his constituency but has betrayed them, Sidhu had promised to make the roads of Amritsar like cheeks of Priety Zinta and transform the city into Paris". President of NGO, Amritsar Sangarash Samiti,


India-born executive could be next Microsoft CEO - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

In Focus

362 fishermen repatriated from Pakistan Over 350 Indian prisoners, released from Pakistan jails, were repatriated through the Attari-Wagah land border crossing. Emergency Travel Certificates were issued to them by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. Most of the Indians are fishermen arrested by the Maritime Security Agency for crossing into Pakistani waters near Sir Creek.

Police call Asaram Bapu for questioning

A notice has been sent to Asaram Bapu, asking the spiritual guru to appear before the police for questioning in connection with a sexual assault case registered against him by a 16year-old girl. A first information report (FIR) was registered against Asaram Bapu in Jodhpur after receiving a copy of the complaint from Delhi Police on August 21. Asaram Bapu has been booked under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and other sections of the Indian Penal Code.

Police firing injures 30 in Assam

At least 30 people, including a superintendent of police and seven policemen, were injured in police firing after a mob went on a rampage in the Rongpur area of Assam's Cachar District. The firing by police reportedly occurred when a group of people burnt vehicles and threw stones late last night. The unruly incident took place allegedly over some objectionable items being found at three places of worship in Rongpur area.

12 Lok Sabha MPs from Andhra Pradesh suspended

Cracking the whip, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar suspended for at least five sittings 12 members from Andhra Pradesh who have been agitating against decision to form Telangana and paralysing the House since the current session began on August 5. The Speaker named the members - 8 from Congress and 4 TDP - for "grave disorder" after two brief adjournments of the House due to disruptions by their continued protests. All of them belong to Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.

The world's largest software company has no anointed successor, and has had only two CEOs in its 38-year history Ballmer and co-founder Bill Gates. Under Ballmer, Microsoft's stock lost 44 per cent during his tenure. An investment of $1,000 in January 2000 would now be worth just $767 after reinvesting dividends, according to data from FactSet. The same investment in Apple would be worth $20,120. The following is a list of tech executives that Microsoft might consider. Satya Nadella: Satya Nadella, head of Microsoft's cloud and enterprise group, which is coming to the fore as the company struggles to catch up in online and mobile computing, is in

running for the position of IT giant's new chief executive. Microsoft Corp, which set up a special committee to find a new CEO after Steve Ballmer announced his retirement, might consider Nadella from the list of top company executives that also include Tony Bates (head of business development and overall strategy), Terry Myerson (executive in charge of operating systems) and Kevin Turner (Chief Operating Officer for the last eight years).

In yet another face-off with Indian soldiers, Chinese troops had come more than 20 kilometres inside Indian territory in Chaglagam area of Arunachal Pradesh on August 13 and stayed there for over two days. However, Army headquarters sought to play down the incursion, saying the Chinese troops have gone back to their area and such incidents keep taking place as both sides enter areas claimed by the other side while patrolling the disputed Line of Actual Control (LAC). People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops had come over 20 km inside

Indian-claimed territory in Chaglagam area of Arunachal Pradesh and after they were stopped by the Indian troops, the two sides showed banners to each other to leave the area, sources said here. However, the two sides held to their positions and the Chinese soldiers left after staying put for twothree days, they said. The area falls under the 2 Division of the Army and the deputy commander of the formation had also intervened to resolve the issue, they said. The sources said paramilitary force Indo-Tibetan Border Police is also present in the area to guard the LAC.

Satya Nadella

Chinese troops intrude into Arunachal

Subscription rate increases nominally to deal with rising costs

Vic Gundotra

Nadella and his team deliver the "Cloud OS", Microsoft's next generation backend platform. The Cloud OS platform not only powers all of Microsoft's Internet scale cloud services (including O365, Bing, SkyDrive, Xbox Live, Skype and Dynamics) but also fuels global enterprises around the world to meet their most challenging and mission-critical computing needs. Today, businesses everywhere depend on the products that make up the Cloud OS, including Windows Azure, Windows Server, SQL Server, Visual Studio and System Center. A native of Hyderabad, India, Nadella earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University, a master's degree in computer science from the University

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of Wisconsin and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Chicago. Vic Gundotra: The high-flying Google Inc engineer, key to that company's mobile phone and social initiatives, is a former Microsoft executive who could be tempted to return. Mumbai-born Gundotra is an alumnus of IIT Mumbai. Tony Bates: Came to Microsoft two years ago as CEO of the acquired Skype and was recently elevated to lead Microsoft's business development and overall strategy. Terry Myerson: The executive in charge of operating systems, which is still the heart of Microsoft, ranging across PCs, tablets, phones and the Xbox game console. Kevin Turner: As COO for the last eight years, the former Wal-Mart Stores Inc executive leads Microsoft's enormous sales organization, but is generally considered to lack the technology credibility to be CEO. Steven Sinofsky: The former head of the

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Windows unit was widely tipped as a potential Microsoft CEO until his abrupt departure in November. His reputation has taken a hit since then with the dismal sales of the Surface tablet he launched and the lukewarm reception of Windows 8. Reed Hastings: The CEO of Netflix Inc is a rising Silicon Valley star and has intimate knowledge of Microsoft's business after several years on its board, until his departure last year. Paul Maritz: One of the key powers in the early days of Windows, Maritz left in 2000 and eventually ran virtualization firm VMware Inc until last year. Talk occasionally surfaces that he could return to Microsoft, but he has never indicated any interest publicly. Bill Gates: The cofounder of Microsoft is still chairman, but has focused his day-to-day efforts on philanthropy since 2008 when he vacated his office on campus. People close to him say he is not considering a return to the CEO position.

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Dear readers,

We would like to inform you regarding our decision to make minor modifications to the subscription rates of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar newsweeklies. We have not increased these rate (by even a penny) for the last 8 years, inspite of the increasing postage, printing & other costs. If we take the increasing costs of all sorts into consideration, then the subscription rate by now should have ideally increased by 33%. But not with us. You are aware conventionally we are not a commercial publishing firm, but a noble platform to empower, with a mission to serve its readers for their sole benefits & betterments. After a lot of debates, analysis & considerations, we have been compelled to make a slight change in our subscription rates- a minimal increase (of 10%) to the current rates, commensurable from 1 October 2013. Due to the rise in the regular postage cost, we also made changes in the subscription rate for circulation outside Britain which will be announced next week. The current and the new subscribers, subscribing before 30th September 2013, will be able to get the papers at our old rates. Along with the weeklies, we have been providing many theme based special issues, yearly calendar FREE of cost to our paid subscribers. Yearly subscription can be a valuable gift on Diwali, birthday and anniversary of your acquaintances, friends and family. In your service always. Yours sincerely, Asian Voice Team


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Mumbai gang rape: All 5 accused arrested


Three days after a young photojournalist was gangraped in a mill in Mumbai, all the five accused in the case have been arrested even as police were grappling to trace the mobile phone used to shoot pictures of the crime that triggered outrage across the country. Mohammed Kasim Hafiz Shaikh alias Kasim Bengali, a resident of Agripada in central Mumbai, was arrested from Mumbai Central while his accomplice Siraj Rehman Khan (24) was arrested later. Both were remanded in police custody till August 30. Another accused, Salim Ansari was arrested from Delhi by the crime branch sleuths on Sunday. The 27-year-old Ansari was arrested from Bharat Nagar in northwest Delhi when he was on his way to a relative's house in the capital. "A team of Mumbai Crime Branch reached Bharat Nagar police station and inquired about a locality about which they had inputs that Ansari will be visiting. He was then nabbed when he was on his way to a relative's house here," said a senior Delhi Police official. He was then taken to Babu Jagjivan Ram Memorial Hospital in Delhi for medical examination. He would be taken to Mumbai later in the day. Two others involved in the case were arrested earlier. Vijay Jadhav and Chand Babu Sattar Shaikh were produced before the court on Saturday which remanded them in police custody till August 30. The 23-year-old victim,

working as an intern with an English magazine, was gang-raped in the premises of the defunct Shakti Mills compound where she had gone along with a male colleague on an official assignment to shoot pictures on August 22. The accused had tied up her colleague at a little distance away from the scene of the crime and gang-raped the girl after threatening her with a broken piece of a beer bottle which they placed near her neck. They shot pictures of the shameful act and warned the victim not to disclose it to anyone or else the pictures would be circulated. Police told the court on Sunday that Kasim Bengali was not cooperating with investigations. He was not disclosing where he and his friends had kept a mobile phone which was used to shoot pictures of the victim, who was subjected to the brutal crime. In the remand application, police said Kasim

had admitted to his alleged role in the crime. Police also told the court that they had recovered a broken piece of a beer bottle which the accused had used to threaten the victim. The article was picked up by them from the scene of the crime. The accused have been booked under various sections of IPC. Kasim Bengali and Siraj Khan were produced before a magistrate on Sunday who asked them whether they had any complaints against police and whether they had hired any lawyers to defend them. Both replied in the negative. The two were brought to the court with their faces covered with a black cloth. Police informed the magistrate that the identification parade had not been held so far and they needed the custody of the accused to interrogate them and find out their exact role in the crime. The incident triggered

strong reactions from opposition parties and they demanded the resignation of Maharashtra home minister RR Patil. "If you can't improve the law and order situation in Mumbai, you must resign," BJP state unit president Devendra Fadnavis said. MNS chief Raj Thackeray also gunned for Patil and alleged that the NCP leader had proved to be a "complete failure" as home minister. Patil, who visited the Jaslok Hospital to inquire about the condition of the victim, expressed confidence that other perpetrators would also be nabbed soon. "We have taken the incident very seriously. No one will be allowed to spoil the law and order situation," he said. Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan told reporters in Aurangabad that it was not proper for opposition parties to demand Patil's resignation.

party to victory in the last two elections, on the back of populist programmes such as a rural jobs plan and a multibillion-pound farmer loan waiver passed just before the general election in 2009. The party has suffered from a series of corruption scandals, bitter internal feuding and its apparent inability to tackle the deep economic and social challenges facing India. Significantly, Sonia, who is the main force behind the bill, could not participate in voting as she fell ill during voting on amendments and had to leave the House. She was later admitted in the AIIMS. Earlier, Sonia Gandhi sought to allay concerns over the measure. "This legislation is only a beginning. As we move forward, we will be open to constructive suggestions; we will learn from experience," Sonia said. She said the approach of the UPA has brought in

"an empowerment revolution in our country – something we are proud to have facilitated." Just before voting on the bill, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj said BJP is supporting the legislation despite it being "halfbaked and weak". She added, "we are waiting for the day when we come to power and we will be able to improve the law." Replying to the day long debate, minister of state for food K V Thomas dismissed the charge that states were not consulted while drafting the bill. He insisted that the states were consulted four times. He also dismissed concerns that new measure would impinge upon the rights of the states and said the legislation would become success one when Centre and states work together. "We will protect the federal system of the coun-

try. We don't want to weaken it," he said. Key outside supporter Samajwadi Party demanded the bill be put in abeyance till states are consulted. BJP dubbed the measure as "vote security bill" and picked holes as it questioned as to how it would be implemented and who would be the beneficiaries?" The passage of the Food Security Bill in Parliament will pave the way to give nation's twothird population the right to 5 kg of foodgrain every month at highly subsidised rates of Rs 1-3 a kg. After the bill gets Rajya Sabha's nod, India will join the select league of countries that guarantee majority of its population foodgrains. At Rs 1,300 billion government support, the food security programme will be the largest in the world. It would require 62 million tonnes of foodgrains.

India approves food bill to subsidise grain for poor

Continued from page 1

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called child malnutrition in India, where almost 50% of children are underweight, a "national shame". However, critics have said the plan merely expands a wasteful and inefficient public distribution system at a time when public finances are under huge stress, as global and local investors lose faith in India's potential to grow fast in the immediate future. The rupee has plunged against foreign currencies in recent weeks, while India still imports vast quantities of oil and gold. Some say widespread reform of the agricultural sector would lead to lower food prices and boost growth. The bill is a pet project of Sonia Gandhi, the UPA chairperson and Congress president who led the - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

Arhat Touch announces its premier exhibition on the Jain religion

The eight-day spiritual extravaganza of Paryushan presents to seekers the opportunity to delve a deeper into the teachings of Tirthankar Bhagwan. It is a time to elevate our minds and purify our souls; to forgive and to spread love to the whole world. Every year, the students of Arhat Touch, welcome this monarch of Jain festivals with great fervour. For instance, in year 2011, these young crusaders enthusiastically participated in an awe-inspiring Paryushan Peace March. They touched several homes and hearts with the message of forgiveness. In 2012, these little messengers had chosen to spread awareness about ahimsa by performing street plays in various locations across the globe. The theme of the plays was beauty without cruelty, stressing on the value of compassion towards animals. This year Shrimad Rajchandra Divinetouch is pleased to announce its premier exhibition on the Jain religion, ‘In Communion with Jainism,’ designed to provide each individual with an enrapturing, mesmerising and inspiring view on the Jain religion. Hundreds of children

have been motivated to study Jainism through Arhat Touch, a new age Jain Pathshala, which has grown to 82 centres worldwide. These young minds have come together to form ‘In Communion with Jainism,’ an exhibition aiming to revive interest and participation in the Jain religious tradition. The children will also showcase their knowledge gained from their time at Arhat Touch. This exhibition will take place in 40 centres across the world, and ensure that children and adults alike can internalise the rich culture of Jainism in a scientific, practical and enjoyable manner. Centres participating in the Exhibition are: Mumbai: Ghatkopar, Hughes Road, Kandivali, Matunga, Mulund, Vasai, Vashi, Vile Parle (E), Vile Parle (W). Chennai, Bengaluru, Dhanbad, Durg, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mangalore, Nagpur, Nasik, Palghar, Pune, Rajkot, Raipur, Secunderabad, Surat, Vadodara, Ahmedabad. Abroad: Antwerp, Austin, Bangkok, Dubai, Hong Kong, Indianapolis, Kuala Lumpur, Leicester, Long Island, London, Manchester, Muscat, Toronto.

AV Correspondent

globetrotting Gujaratis to stay away from foreign tourist destination. With enhanced travel cost, the Gujarati tourists are shelving their foreign tour plans. “With the plans for a foreign trip now shelved, we are looking for a short domestic trip for the family but that too with lots of concern, said Tridip’s wife Sheela, a doctor by profession. But our fear is that with lots of middle class families likely to prefer domestic destination now, more demand could increase the price for that also.’’ Travel operators claim there has been a 40 per cent fall in the foreign travels this year as compared to last year. Travellers were now booking more for domestic destinations like Kerala, Goa and Rajasthan. “For middle class families we used to have tailor made international packages which used to coast 35,000 to 40,000 which was almost same price one used to pay for a domestic trip for instance like a trip to Kerala. But now the price of that foreign package has gone up to almost 55,000,’’ said Deepak Jaiswal, Managing director, AERIO.

Globe trotting Gujaratis give up foreign travel as rupee slide continues

Gujaratis are known to travel far and wide but now comes a deterrent. With rupee continuing its tumble against the dollar, globetrotting Gujarats are being impacted with more and more travellers shelving their plans for a trip abroad. The escalating cost for foreign travel has meant more cancellations and plans for domestic travel instead as the festive season approaches. Several families have altered their holiday plans. For Ahmedabad-based businessman Tridip Shah, his holiday plans for a trip to South East Asian countries has gone for a toss with the rupee value falling. “Just this year, the rupee has taken such a huge tumble. Obviously this has meant more cost for travel abroad. So for the Diwali we have decided to delay out trip. But now with the dollar almost at Rs 65 we have no other option but to dump our foreign travel plans completely,'' said Tridip. The Gujarati community account for almost 40 per cent of the total outbound tourists from the country. But the rupee devaluation is forcing the


V K Saxena: India's ONGC to buy $2.64-billion stake An unsung Hero of in Anadarko Mozambique gas block Gujarat’s Life Line - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

By Mayuri Dave


n May 17, 2008, V K Saxena, the president of National Council of Civil Liberties (NCCL), discovered during his visit to famous Madam Tussauds Museum that Mahatma Gandhi’s statue was not placed in the wing where the statues of other illustrious world leaders were exhibited. He found that the statue was placed in an isolated corner on the second floor near an Ice Cream Parlour close to a dustbin where food was served, consumed, wasted and spilled. Moved by this plight of apathy towards the Mahatma, Saxena took up the matter with the then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and asked him: “Is this not a racial bias against India and its role models of historic reverence?” Saxena requested the British PM to initiate immediate action to see that this anomaly is rectified and the “Pride of India” is restored in Madame Tussauds Museum. The Museum tendered an apology and moved the statue of Gandhiji back to the “World Leader’s Exhibition” hall on 7th June, 2008. Saxena founded NCCL in March 1991 in testimony of his concern to fight against social injustice and lack of civil liberties amongst the people. The suave NCCL president’s another crusade in favour of Gujarat’s Life Line – Sardar Sarovar Narmada Dam and legal fight against Medha Patkar of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) is equally important. Though he prefers to remain in backdrop but played an important role to counter the aggression of Medha and others and restart the construction of the dam which was inordinately delayed. He fought against the vested interests trying to subvert the benefits of Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP). He waged a technical, legal and social battle of multifold dimension to bring to heel the desperate attempts of Medha Patkar. He was incessantly fighting the machinations of Patkar in the courts of law for over a decade. With his untiring efforts, the SSP reached historic proportions and brought Narmada water to the millions of people in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Not only SSP but various impor-

tant hydro-projects on Narmada Valley which were on hold due to Patkar’s false propaganda in international forums could also see the light of the day because of Saxena’s relentless efforts. Importance of his crusade can be judged with the fact that from late eighties to early nineties, agitation by NBA had virtually brought to a grinding halt the SSP. Other multi-purpose hydroelectric power projects on the Narmada Valley, such as the Shree Maheshwar Hydel Power Project, Indira Sagar Hydel Power Project and Omkareshwar Hydel Power Project were also stymied by the agitation launched by Patkar and company. However, from beginning of 2000, NCCL entered into arena and exposed the activities of NBA and Patkar and brought positive change. His other movement was to make Ahmedabad dust- free. Saxena, in July 2007 launched an innovative and ambitious project called Mission ENDURE (ENsuring DUst REduction). Mission ENDURE was the first ever endeavor of its kind and size in the country in which an NGO was promoting a practical, positive and participatory solution to reduce dust pollution in a city like Ahmedabad. This eco-friendly scheme not only reduced dust pollution but also allowed rainwater to recharge the aquifer. Mission ENDURE had won Dubai International Award instituted by UNHabitat. NCCL was selected for this award from 650 entries from 140 countries. This project was showcased at World Urban Forum for worldwide emulation. Ever since, there has been increasing national and international interest in emulating and enhancing the Mission ENDURE to optimize and maximize its notable benefits to the people.


India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC.NS) has agreed to buy 10 percent in a gas field offshore Mozambique from Anadarko Petroleum Corp for $2.64 billion, as the explorer looks to offset diminishing supplies from domestic gas fields by buying overseas assets. The purchase of U.S. oil company Anadarko's (APC.N) stake is the latest in a handful of overseas assets that ONGC Videsh, the overseas business unit of state-controlled ONGC, has bought in the last couple of years to boost India's energy needs. In June, ONGC and state-run Oil India Ltd (OILI.NS) signed a deal to buy a 10 percent stake in a Mozambique gas field from Videocon Group (VEDI.NS) for $2.48 billion. "There is a lot of energy demand and whatever volumes of gas we are able to bring to the country are of utmost significance," A. K. Srinivasan, ONGC's group general manager for finance, told Reuters. "Mozambique will be a big LNG hub for the future." Anadarko said it would

remain the operator of Area 1, with a working interest of 26.5 percent in the block, which is located in Mozambique's deepwater Rovuma Basin. Recent discoveries have turned the Rovuma field into a major draw for global energy producers and boosted Mozambique's natural gas reserves to around 150 trillion cubic feet or enough to supply Japan, the world's top LNG importer, for 35 years. Rovuma has the potential to become one of the world's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) producing hubs by 2018, and is strategically located to supply gas to India at competitive prices. Seen closing by March 2014: ONGC, which expects the cash transaction to close by March 2014, is likely to finance the deal through internal cash balance and fresh borrowings, Srinivasan said, adding that financing details would be finalized over the next few months. The company's bonds were trading at marginally wider spreads underper-

forming tightness in the market, and shares fell as much as 3.8 percent in the Mumbai market. NSEI that was trading flat, on worries about its higher debt levels. Analysts expect ONGC's two recent acquisitions to lead to higher debt levels, although a credit downgrade is unlikely. "Given current market conditions and uncertainty about India, financing may be a challenge and we think most of it will come from the bank market. That said, a potential bond activity cannot be ruled out," a U.S. bank said in a note. Starving by Gas: ONGC, which has struggled to maintain output from its ageing wells off India's west coast, will be interested in buying more overseas assets to feed the energy needs of Asia's third-largest economy, Srinivasan said, but declined to give details. "The country is starving for gas, for our power development and any other development," he said. Demand for gas in India far outstrips consumption, but prices have

been kept low for strategic industries, deterring investment in the sector. India has few energy resources other than coal and is the world's fourthbiggest importer of fuel. After Anadarko, which has been looking to focus more on its domestic assets, Japan's Mitsui & Co Ltd is the second-biggest holder in Mozambique's offshore Area 1 block, with a stake of 20 percent. Indian state refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL.NS) owns 10 percent while Thai state oil company PTT Exploration and Production PCL PTTE.BK has an 8.5 percent interest and Mozambique's stateowned ENH 15 percent. Outbound announced deals involving Indian companies so far this year stand at $35.8 billion, compared to $62 billion last year and a record $70.3 billion in 2008, Thomson Reuters data shows. Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N) advised ONGC Videsh and Citigroup (C.N) advised Anadarko on the transaction.

A furious Amitabh Bachchan has threatened legal action over a fake YouTube video that suggests he is backing Narendra Modi as the next Prime Minister. Following Bachchan's strong protest online, a music composer from Rajkot has admitted to having uploaded it on YouTube and has apologized. Super staraged70, , who is the brand ambassador of Gujarat Tourism, said the video was made by manipulating a voiceover that he did in 2007 for a "Lead India" campaign. Bachchan called the video "an illegal act, inviting strong action, one that I am appalled by, and one that has no concurrence from me at all." On his blog, Bachchan wrote: "DEAR ALL ... FAKE VIDEO CIRCULATION .. In the year 2007, I did a 'Lead India' campaign for the The Times of India, where we talked of the glorification of the country

and India ! SOMEBODY has made a fake video by using my voice and text of what I spoke in the original, and falsely and mischievously, interspersed it with visuals which indicate

of the fake video should take action immediately and apologize to Amitabh ji," Modi tweeted. Utpal Jivrajani, a musician, has claimed responsibility for uploading the

a campaign for the promotion of the Hon Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Narendra Modi !!" Modi too shared Bachchan's concern and sought apology from the creator of the fake video. "Agree with @SrBachchan. The author

video on YouTube but he denied being the brain behind its creation. "I have nothing to do with this video. I just got it on WhatsApp from one of the many groups I am associated with and when I found it interesting I uploaded it," Jivrajani said.

"On August 15, I received this video of Mr Amitabh Bachchan and I found it very interesting, so I uploaded it. But when I realized that it has enraged him and our chief minister Narendra Modi, I have apologised to both of them and now I have deleted it from YouTube," he said. He said since his music album "Gujarati Shakira" and 'Gujarati Ganganam' became popular he has been included in various groups active on WhatsApp. Jivrajani said he is in no way aligned to either BJP or Congress politically. Bachchan said he has brought this to the notice of the concerned authorities and has also asked his digital team to find out its origin. He tweeted: "FAKE !! FAKE !! FAKE !!! APPALLED AND ANGERED BY THIS ILLEGAL ACT ON ME .. PUTTING IT UP NOW, DO READ AND SEE AND CONDEMN .. !!!"

A rock lodged behind the Kedarnath temple since the flash floods of June seems to have won the seal of approval from the Archeological Survey of India, not so much for its supposedly divine attributes as for its role as a protective barrier. Devotees view the rock, the largest of several brought by the floods, as divine as it had stood in the way of the flood and the shrine, splitting the

torrent as it came down the hillside, and diverting it from the temple. The ASI submitted to the government last week a report pointing out tthat he boulders now stand like a natural buffer protecting the temple from possible future damage and adding it be retained at the location or in fact be developed as a landscape memorial. "Yes, the ASI made this recommendation following a visit of an expert team to

the temple earlier this month," says ASI director general Pravin Sriavastava. "The team felt that this boulder deposit has acted as a barrier and buffer for the temple and has so advised it be retained in situ for the same purpose. However, this decision will depend on further geological assessment of the damage incurred by the temple as only they can advise on whether it is safe to allow

these boulders to stay there." The report adds the state government may be requested to work out a proposal to develop the boulder deposit into a "landscape memorial". The ASI recommendation, incidentally, matches the view of Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna who recently said he would write to Geological Survey of India and the ASI to allow the divya shila to remain.

Bachchan angry over fake Modi video

ASI wants 'divine rock' to stay at Kedarnath


TRAVEL & WOMEN - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

Shivpuri: A date with grandeur and greenery Purvi Apurva Shah

bout 120 km from the city of Gwalior lies the small town of Shivpuri. To A say that it is a picturesque place would be

a gross understatement. With its undulating hills, thick vegetation and rich wildlife, this was the perfect summer resort capital of the Scindia rulers of yore. Cut to the present and add some architectural marvels to it, and you have all the ingredients to make Shivpuri a great holiday destination. Whether you take a train (the nearest station is Jhansi or Gwalior), or take a flight (to Gwalior), one has to take a road journey Chhatris to eventually r e a c h Shivpuri. And what a journey that is! The landscape is like a soothing balm to the eyes - gorges, hills, and plateau (your Geography les- Madhav National Park son comes to life!) and endless greenery, the momentum broken momentarily by tiny streams. If it`s in the monsoon that you are travelling, like now, the freshness of the landscape is even more Sakhya Sagar Boat Club alluring. One of the must-visits of Shivpuri is the Madhav National Park. Open throughout the year, the terrain of this 156 park is mixed, with hills, grassland, forests and lakes. The predominant species in this park is the deer, and of them the easily-sighted ones are the graceful little chinkara, the Indian gazelle and the chital. The nilgai is also easily spotted, as is the ubiquitous langur. Among the other animals who have their habitat in the park are the leopard, black buck, sloth bear, and the four-horned antelope. "This park was earlier a part of the hunting ground of the kings. Tigers were bagged by royal shikaris (hunters). History says that herds of elephants were captured by the Mughal emperor Akbar. Now, of course, the animals are protected," Diwan Singh, a guide at the park said. The park also has rich avifauna and the artificial lake, Chandpata, is home to a variety of birds like migratory geese, cormorants, white breasted kingfishers and the likes. What`s more, a small but gushing waterfall offers an opportunity for fun and frolic for children in the park. Having been chosen the summer capital, Shivpuri also bears testimony of a royal legacy of the past. Very close to the national park, for instance, are the chha-

tris or cenotaphs of the Scindia rulers. Set in a formal Mughal garden, with quiet nooks under flowering trees, intersected by pathways with ornamental balustrades and illuminated by Victorian lamps, the Chhatris face each other across a water tank, painting a pretty picture. Then again, there is the Madhav Vilas Palace, the elongated rose-pink summer palace of the Scindias, that`s a fine example of colonial architecture. The palace is remarkable for its marble floors, iron columns, graceful terraces and the Ganpati mandap. T h e national park also has within itself the George Castle, which is currently under renovation. If you are travelling with children, a visit to the Sakhya Sagar Boat Club should probably feature in your itinerary. While the lake, which lies on the edges of the national park, can give you the opportunity to see reptiles such as the marsh crocodile, python and monitor lizards, children can enjoy a safe boat ride along the shore of the lake that is connected to the boat club. No holiday is complete without some shopping and when in Madhya Pradesh, it is recommended to loosen the purse strings for some beautiful fabrics of the famous Chanderi and Maheshwari silk of this region. To finally round off the happiness quotient of the vacation, do try out some of the local delicacies, like kebabs, bhutte ki kees, mawa-bati and the sweet malpua. How to get there Air: The closest airport Gwalior, 120 km away, which has regular flights from Delhi and Bhopal. Rail: The nearest railheads are Jhansi (100 km) or Gwalior, on the DelhiChennai main line. Shivpuri is a railway station on the Dehradun-Ujjain route. By Road: Shivpuri is well connected by bus services to and from Gwalior, Bhopal, Jhansi, Ujjain and Indore. Where to stay Madhya Pradesh Tourism has a resort called Tourist Village nestling close to the Madhav National Park, whose tariff is Rs.2,000 onwards. There are also budget hotels in Shivpuri which can be booked online.

A rare temple of Lord Vishnu

AV Correspondent

amodarji Temple at Junagadh is one of the D major temples of 5th cen-

tury which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This temple, also known as Shri Hari Temple, is divided into two parts. The interior of the temple is popularly known as the Nij mandir which has a Shikhara that is 65 feet high along with a Solaha Mandapa which rises up to a height of 30.5 ft. It is built in simple architecture. This temple has one of the largest shrines of Lord Vishnu and is beautifully decorated with gold jewellery. Overall the temple along with its Nij Mandir and Solaha Mandapa covers an area of 32 acres surrounded with 84 well crafted pillars. A flag resembling with the sign of Vishnu is hoisted atop the Shikhara. Damodarji Temple has some of the most celebrated shrines of Lord Vishnu. The holy statue of Shri

Damdar Hari is seated in the form of Chaturbhuj. The statue of Damodarji sits on a Vigrah along with another popular shrine called Nana Damodarji. The statue of Lord Vishnu has four hands carrying Shanka, Chakra, Gada and Kamal. Next to the shrine of Lord Vishnu is the idol of Radhika along with a small temple of Balram which is located in the same campus. The temple has a Garbha Griha along with a small Sabha Mandapa. The garbha griha is raised to 35.5 feet and the apex has a shikhara which is 16 feet high. Along with this there is the temple of Lord Balaram which has a small and a large shrine of Lord Balaram. In the south west part of the campus there is a temple of Shri Ganapati which is revered by tourists. The temple has some of well built idols of Lord Ganesha. The devotees are supposed to a take a holy bath in the Damodar

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Kund before they begin the rituals of worshipping the actual shrine. Thus surrounded by some of the most revered temples this is a small complex of temples which includes the popular shrines of Lord Vishnu, Lord Balaram and Lord Ganesha along with the shrines of Radha. This is one of the most revered pilgrimages of Saurashtra.

Muslim woman travels from Karachi to MP to tie a rakhi

Pakistani national Shahida Khaleel's happiness knew no bounds when she finally got an opportunity to travel to India from Karachi to tie rakhi to a Hindu man in Harda, whom she considers her brother. After five years of efforts, the 45-year-old Shahida finally got a visa to visit India, and came to Harda to tie rakhi to Pankaj Bafna, who is her cousin's friend. "I had been trying to obtain a visa to India for the past five years. Finally, I got the visa," Shahida said. She said her family had moved to Pakistan about 30 years ago, though her uncle had settled in Harda. "During my childhood I would visit Harda. However, I could not come to India for a long time. Pankaj, who is my cousin Dilip Khan's friend, had been inviting me to celebrate Raksha Bandhan. This year I finally got a chance and tied him a rakhi," she said. The 46year-old Pankaj, who is very happy on Shahida's coming, said besides tying rakhi, Shahida gifted him an idol of Lord Ganesh. - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

CALCIUM + Magnesium + Vit. D3 One can easily improve their personal health by taking supplement of vitamin D-3. Increased blood levels of D will help prevent most lifestyle diseases, as well as boost your immune system. Synthesize D from the Sun: Your skin is capable of synthesizing vitamin D3 from sunlight. Vitamin D can be produced from sunshine when your shadow is shorter than your height. The best time of day for sunning yourself is around noontime, for anywhere between ten and 30 minutes. Vitamin D Caveats: Consulting with a doctor for specific medical advice tailored to your unique situation before starting a vitamin D supplementation program is highly recommended. Within a few months of starting vitamin D supplementation, everyone should take a 25(OH) D or 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test. Due to a high degree of variability in how people respond to supplementation, these blood tests are the only possible way to find out where you


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once a day this is especially important as you can start your next session without being impeded by DOMS, allowing you to maintain the intensity of the previous session. If you are still feeling a little ‘tight’ in the morning, a hot shower can help to increase blood flow to the muscles allowing them to relax and ease the tension. 3. Fat loss – If exercise is integral to healthy weight loss, so is a cold

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4 benefits of a post workout shower

A shower is a must after any kind of physical work or workout as it cleans the body. But did you know that it also helps reduce stress and in losing weight. A post-workout shower also helps in enhancing recovery and immunity. 1. Hygiene – A post workout shower is essential in terms of hygiene. The sweat that you produce whilst exercising might be a sign of a good session, but people would prefer to hear about it rather than smell it. Showering is especially important if you play sports where you might have contact with another person. For swimmers, this is equally important as the chlorine in swimming pools will damage your


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UK - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

67th Independence Day celebrated at Maharashtra Mandal London

Maharashtra Mandal London has celebrated India’s Independence Day on 15 August with patriotic spirit and fervour. The evening saw an impressive turn-out in spite of being a working day. President of Mandal Sushil Rapatwar welcomed the gathering while Chief Guest Shantanu Bhagwat has lit the lamp and hoisted the flag. Rendition of the National Anthem of India followed. Shobha Athalye, Poornima, Mrs Sonawane, accompanied on harmonium by Athalye sang patriotic songs. Shantanu Bhagwat is an Ex-IFS officer. He is widely sought after in top business schools across the UK and the US as a guest lecturer. He also conducts workshops on I n n o v a t i o n , Entrepreneurship and Strategy. Sushil Rapatwar gave an inspiring speech highlighting the need to remember the great sacrifices made by the freedom fighters. He stressed on the factor to know the actual history and pass this knowledge to the next generation. He concluded on the note to be vigilant about anti-India propaganda and policies made here and voice out the views openly through the

means available at disposal. Chief Guest Shantanu Bhagawat spoke about Param Veer Chakra awards and explained the valour of one of the award winners – Second Lieutenant Rama Raghoba Rane. Audience was enthralled to learn about Rane's courageous effort in reclaiming J&K in 1948. Shantanu also

stressed on the need for change of leadership at the apex political level. After his speech, Shantanu fielded very interesting questions for about 40 minutes from the charged audience. He exemplified how he left a successful Foreign Service career and took up political activism. The programme concluded with the vote of thanks by Ajinkya Bhave, followed by a melodious rendition of the full song of Vande Mataram (as in Anand Mutt) by Ragasudha Vinjamuri.

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ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20

The Sun is in your 6th house with Mercury, placing emphasizes on your daily work and health routines. Mercury will help you organize and communicate your thoughts clearly at work. Joint resources need to be taken care of as disputes can occur if not handled correctly. The fiery planet Mars is the moving force in regard to amorous experience and it will be rather intense and passionate time ahead.

On Wednesday, 21 August, 12pm a lunch reception was organised at Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar offices to say farewell to Mr Lamba, Chief Executive, Bank of Baroda. Mr Lamba, who is also the Chairman of Indian Bank Association UK, spoke briefly on the subject: Importance and role of Indian banks in Britain. Guests included creme de la creme of the community. Full story in forthcoming issues.

Coming Events

* Janmashtami celebrations

l Om Babaji Yoga Ashram Haccadown Exeter at Devon, 7pm onwards, 28th August 2013. Contact: l Wednesday, 28th August 2013, Shree Jalaram Mandir Greenford 10.30am till midnight. Contact on 0208 578 8088 / 9285 l Hindu Cultural Society of Havering on Wednesday 28 August, 7:30pm onwards. Emerson park social hall, RM11 2BU, Shobhana Patel 01708 452068 l 28th August, from 8PM. Organised by International Siddhashram Shakti Centre. Harrow, HA3 7RR. Contact: 020 8426 0678 l 28th August and 1 September, Janmashtami celebrations, Bhaktivedanta Manor, WD25 8EZ l 28th August Hindu Cultural Society of Havering celebrates Janmashtami at Emerson Park Social Hall, Slewins Lane, Hornchurch, Essex RM11 2BU, 7:309:30pm. l BAPS Swaminarayan Temple, 28 August, Annakut9am-8pm, Utsav: 8-10pm. Janmashtami arti- 10pm, Neasden, London NW108LD. Contact: 02089652651 Others - Gujarati Natak The inaugural showing of Ganga Samani Sagar Ma, a Gujarati comedy play, will be staged this Sunday (Sept 1). Presented by The Wanza Samaj UK, the play has been directed by Mukesh Gohil. 5.30pm at Winston Churchill Hall, Ruislip, London, HA4 7QL. Ticket prices just £10. Contact: or telephone Ashokbhai Bharakhda on 07852 274203

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21

After a period of relative inactivity, you are coming out of your shell, ready to perform and to express yourself creatively. This is a very progressive period of the year, when you are inspired emotionally. You take more pride in your your love affairs, your children, and your hobbies and are generally very sociable and make friends easily.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22

With the Sun transiting your solar fourth house of family and home, these areas are highlighted during this period. Buying or selling of property or even renovating it will be uppermost in your mind as you will be trying to put your roots down permanently. It is also a time when family life will be charged with emotions so be diplomatic and respect other people's views.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

You are exploring and searching now, making connections, and paying attention to your immediate environment. Socially you are very popular and your communications strengthen your connections. You will be busy with errands, paperwork, phone calls, and light socializing. Siblings, close relatives and friends may play an important role in your life during this period.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

The Sun highlights your second house of finance, and your focus is on material affairs and comfort issues. This is a good time to plan your future investments carefully to maximise your profits. Anything or anyone that drains your time and energy should be re-evaluated. It’s time to use that creative imagination of yours to create grandeur in your life.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

The Sun transits your first house and this affects your personal identity, appearance, outward behaviour, and self-expression. This marks the peak of your physical solar cycle, and you are in the position to make an impression on others, and to assert your personal influence. Increased energy and a renewed feeling of confidence is with you now, so take advantage of your charisma to achieve your goals.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

The Sun travels through your twelfth house now, marking a time of retreat and regeneration. This also heralds a time for research and unfinished behind-the-scene activities. Matters which have dragged on for a while should now be re-assessed and put to rest. Some of you will be looking to spiritual enlightenment and take up yoga and meditation.

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The Sun illuminates your sector of friends, social gatherings and group activities. You will be in constant demand and will be in a position to network with new-found friends who will promote your cause. Personal relationships are also to the fore and some of you might even find true love. This is a time to follow your dreams and ideals.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

More than any other time of the year, your focus is drawn to your career and standing in the society. This is the time when you are more interested in, and focused on, accomplishing something important. Contact with authority figures is more likely during this period. Recognition will come your way whether you ask for it or not, and the responsibility that goes with it.

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20

You are feeling most adventurous and willing to achieve higher knowledge and spiritual growth. This is a good time to broaden your horizons through travel and higher learning. This may take you to far off lands in pursuit of your new-found goals. You must distance yourself from the mundane grind of life and take on something which is more meaningful for your inner growth.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 The Sun energizes your sector of change, transformation and regeneration. On a more practical level, you may be dealing with joint finances and shared resources now more than usual. You should also make sure that your tax affairs are in order. You are more willing than usual to explore and delve deeper into life's secrets and arrive at meaningful conclusions. PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20

The Sun highlights your solar seventh house. In this period, you have a greater need than usual to be with some one you love. The emphasis is on "us" rather than "me". Your popularity is increasing, because of your own ability to cooperate and empathise with people. On a material level the trend greatly favours anything geared towards establishing greater financial stability.


India win ACC Emerging Trophy; thrash Pakistan by 9 wickets - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

The Indian under-23 team on Sunday lifted the ACC Emerging Trophy tournament after thrashing archrivals Pakistan by nine wickets in the final with opener K L Rahul (93) being the star of a lopsided chase. One of cricket’s most famous rivalries at the junior level was reduced to a onesided contest as the Indian Colts chased down the 160run target in just 33.4 overs at the Kallang Ground. In the bowling department, Baba Aparajith shone with a three-wicket burst, while pacers Sandeep Warrier and Sandeep Sharma grabbed two wickets each. Rahul missed out on what would have been a well-deserved century by just seven runs but stitched an unbroken 132-run stand for the second wicket with Manprit Juneja (51 not out) as India rounded off their impressive unbeaten run in the tournament. India suffered an early blow in their run chase when former U-19 skipper Unmukt Chand was caught by wicketkeeper

Mohammad Rizwan behind the stumps off Raza Hasan for 15 runs. Unmukt smashed three boundaries in his knock as India went for lunch at 38 for one with 122 still required from 43 overs. Rahul and Juneja then combined well and put up a fine batting display to take the team past 100 at the end of the 23rd over. In the process, Rahul reached his half-century with the help of eight boundaries as the Pakistani bowlers looked clueless to defend a small total on a lively Kallang

Australia coach Darren Lehmann has been fined 20 per cent of his match fee after pleading guilty to a charge of publicly criticising and making inappropriate comments about England player Stuart Broad in relation to an incident that occurred in a match. Lehmann was found to have breached Article 2.1.7 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to public criticism of, or inappropriate comment in relation to an incident occurring in an international match or any Player, Player Support Personnel, Match official or team participating in any international match.

Cricket, it appears, is not the only sport to be hounded by the scourge of match-fixing. India’s double Olympic wrestling medalist and former world champion Sushil Kumar has revealed how he was approached to throw the championship bout at the 2010 world meet in Moscow. As he prepared for his final against Russian Alan Gogaev, Sushil said that he was made an offer of a substantial amount to lose the bout. "A member of my entourage came up to me and said, 'Sushil, kushti ki liye keh rahe hai (They want to talk about the bout)'."

Australia coach Lehmann fined

pitch. Both showed maturity in their approach and never went for risky shots. They produced a magnificent show of batting which saw them mix caution and aggression. Rahul even smashed spinner Hasan for a six in the 32nd over to clear the deep midwicket fence. Juneja provided the fitting end to the proceedings with a six over deep midwicket as the Indian side celebrated its well-deserved victory. Earlier, Pakistan had an early advantage to score the runs after winning the toss

but they kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. Pakistan suffered early blows when openers Mohammad Rizwan (21) and Babar Azam (7) fell to pacers Warrier and Sharma respectively. Usman Salahuddin (15) and Umar Waheed (41) steadied the ship with a fiftyplus stand for the third wicket but both fell in quick succession. Pacer Suryakumar Yadav came up with a fiery spell as he removed the well-settled Waheed (41) and Salahuddin. Pakistan never recovered from there on and lost five wickets in a heap to plunge to 107 for nine from 95 for four. Right-arm offbreak Aparajith struck twice in back to back overs as he dismissed Hammad Azam (0) and Mohammad Waqas (5) back to the pavilion. Pakistan lost three more wickets in Mohammad Nawaz (3), Raza Hasan (2) and Bilawal Bhatti (1) as there innings looked for an early packup.

"When he explained the whole thing, I was aghast," remembers Sushil. "The money offered was around a good few crores. For a wrestler, it was really good money. The offer was communicated to one of our foreign coaches. The event was

taking place in Russia and my final opponent was a Russian. It's our country so our player should win - that's what they seemed to want." "I said, 'It's very strange. Here, we are on the threshold of getting the winning belt home to India, and I'm supposed to tank the final?'" Sushil swiftly put the thought behind him, focussed on the final and proceeded to demolish Gogaev 3-1 for India's only world championship wrestling gold medal. "It was not a matter of two or four crores. Humari bhi izzat ki baat thhi," said the champion.

I was offered cash to throw bout: Sushil Kumar

India ignores IOC diktat on tainted officials

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) managed to sidestep the contentious clause of International Olympic Committee (IOC), which asked the Indian body to bar all charge-sheeted officials from contesting in their elections. In a Special General Body Meeting (SGBM), the IOA accepted all the proposed amendments to its constitution proposed by the IOC but decided that only those officials convicted for two or more years will be barred. If the amendments agreed to in a marathon IOA meeting are accepted by the IOC, it will be a reprieve for the likes of Lalit Bhanot and VK Verma who were chargesheeted in 2010 Commonwealth Games scam along with former IOA president Suresh Kalmadi as they will be allowed to contest

elections in that situation. “We have accepted all the amendments proposed by the IOC except the chargesheet clause. We have modified that clause and now only those persons who have been convicted by a court for a jail term of two or more years will not be able to contest elections and will be disqualified automatically. This is the same as in People’s Representation Act of Parliament,” Indian Kayaking and Canoeing

Association president S. Reghunathan, who chaired the meeting, said. “The cases of those persons who are convicted for a jail term for less than two years or charge-sheeted will be referred to the Ethics Commission of the IOA and the IOA Executive Committee will take a final decision on the recommendations by Ethics Commission,” he said. The IOA announced that the Ethics Commission will be constituted within a week and will consist of five independent retired high court judges. Apart from the Ethics Commision, IOA according to IOC guidelines will also set up an Athletes Commission and an Election Commission. Francisco Elizaide, one of the three IOC observers in the GBM, said he got a ‘posi-

tive feeling’ after the meeting but he was not ‘100 per cent’ satisfied with the outcome. “I am not 100 per cent with what has happened here. It was an interesting day and I have never been involved in a meeting of Olympic Commission where close to 160 members are present,” Elizade, who is an honorary member of the IOC from the Phillipines, said about the meeting. Asked whether other countries have similar provisions for barring charge-sheeted officials, Elizade said, “I am not completely sure about the rule.” It remains to be seen whether IOC accepts these changes made by the IOA especially in regards to the convicted members. The world body had made it clear that they are not pleased by India’s ‘negative’ image caused by the tainted officials.


India’s Anjana wins gold at Asian Youth Games

India’s young athletic contingent wiped away the scars by bagging a gold, a silver and bronze on a memorable day at the Asian Youth Games in Nanjing, China. Anjana Thamake and Rochelle Maria Macfarlane brought the country its first women’s medals, winning the 800m gold and triple jump silver respectively, before Abhishek Pal added the boys’ 3000m bronze. Fifteen-year-old Anjana ran a personal best of 2 minutes 11.47 seconds to help India retain the title won by Namita Kabat in the inaugural edition four years ago in Singapore. Chennai’s Rochelle, 16, also leapt 12.38 metres to climb the podium behind China’s Yue Ma who measured 12.55m. Pal came home third in 8 minutes 45.72 seconds behind China’s Hongliang Liu (8:25.85s) and Chikashi Ikeda of Japan (8:45.04s).

Indian women archers bag second WC gold

The Indian women’s recurve team of Bombayla D e v i , Deepika Kumari and R i m i l Buriuly defeated the formidable South Koreans to clinch the World Cup Stage IV crown in Wroclaw, Poland, on Sunday. It was the Indian women’s second consecutive World Cup title, following their success in Medellin (Colombia) last month. In the Stage 3 final, Deepika and her teammates had upstaged the fancied Chinese to take top honours in Colombia. “We have been here for a week now and it’s been great overall. Bombayla, Deepika and Rimil defeated the Korean team - comprising Yun Ok-hee, Ki Bobae, and Joo Hyunjung - 219-215. Denmark claimed the bronze with a shock 210-194 win over Russia. While the win was special, the treatment meted out to the archers by the federation is shabby. Speaking from Wroclaw, Deepika Kumari said that most of the team members were nursing shoulder injuries and despite many requests to the federation for a physio, the officials paid no heed. Indian archers won despite nursing shoulder injuries. “None of us were fit today. Most of us have shoulder injuries. It rained here a couple of days back. Because of the cold, our shoulders were stiff. Since we don't have a physio with us, we had to help each other out. We have been taking care of each others' massages and things like boiling water etc. In case a serious injury takes place, we are ill equipped. Physios were provided in the camp. But no physio accompanied us here. I don't know how much more vocal can we be to get the basic requirements in place,” she said.

Injured Sharapova pulls out of US Open

Maria Sharapova pulled out of the US Open because of a right shoulder injury. The US Tennis Association announced the withdrawal of the 2006 champion, who has played only one match on tour since her second-round loss at Wimbledon in June. Sharapova originally was seeded third at the US Open. The USTA said 2012 Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanksa would shift from No. 4 to No. 3, and all other seeded players below her would move up a spot, too. “I just wanted to let you know that withdrawing from the US Open has been a really tough decision to make. I have done everything I could since Wimbledon to get myself ready but it just wasn't enough time,” read a message posted on Sharapova's Facebook page. “I have done many tests, received several opinions and it all comes down to taking the proper amount of time to heal my shoulder injury properly.”

32 - Asian Voice 31st August 2013

Ashes finale ends in dramatic draw

England and Australia drew the fifth Test as the Ashes series ended in a dramatic draw on the final day at The Oval on Sunday. England, set a target of 227 to win after Australia captain Michael Clarke's bold declaration, needed 21 more to win off 24 balls with five wickets left when the umpires decided the light, even with the floodlights on, was too dark to continue and ended the match at 7.35 pm local time. The draw meant England, who'd already retained the Ashes, finished the fivematch contest as 3-0 winners having triumphed in three successive Test series against Australia for the first time since the 1950s. Jonathan Trott (59) and Kevin Pietersen (62), who both scored their maiden Test hundreds in Ashes matches at The Oval in 2009 and 2005 respectively, kept England in sight of an improbable win, in a match where they had largely been outplayed, after Clarke closed Australia's second innings at 111 for six. This result saw Australia fail to win a single Test in an Ashes series for the first time since their 3-0 loss in England in 1977 and meant they'd failed to win a Test for the ninth match in a row following a 4-0 loss in India earlier this year. England captain Alastair Cook responded to Clarke's challenge by taking two fours in the first over of the chase off Ryan Harris. But Harris removed Joe Root for 11 when he flat-footedly edged an intended cut to wicket-


England players urinate on Oval pitch

n an embarrassing display about five hours after the last Ashes Test was stopped due to bad light with England close to victory, the players gathered near the Oval pitch and urinated on it in turns to the cheers of their teammates. According to, while the centre of the ground was quite dark, lights were on in the grandstands with dozens of people still cleaning up after a late finish, which saw the game go beyond usual time. A number of players including Stuart Broad, Kevin Pietersen and James Anderson are said to be involved in the act, the report said.

keeper Brad Haddin. It was a record-breaking catch for Haddin, with his 29th victim of this Ashes seeing him surpass the previous world record for most dismissals by a wicketkeeper in a Test series of 28 set by Australia great Rodney Marsh against England in 1982/83. England, whose run-rate on Friday had barely risen above two an over, scored 22 runs in two overs, 10 off spinner Nathan Lyon and 12 off debutant seamer James Faulkner, with Trott piercing the legside field for a couple of excellent boundaries. But a second-wicket stand of 64 ended when Cook

was lbw for 34 to left-armer Faulkner, who'd taken four for 51 in England's first innings of 377. Pietersen came in and clipped Faulkner through mid-wicket for four before driving him wide of mid-off for another boundary. Suddenly England were eyeing a sensational win, with Pietersen pulling left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc for four. But Pietersen's brilliant 55-ball knock featuring 10 fours ended when he was well caught at long-on by David Warner off Ryan Harris. Trott followed soon afterwards when he was lbw to Faulkner. But man-of-the-series Ian Bell, who came to the crease

having amassed 545 runs during the series at 68.12 including three centuries, lofted Faulkner over mid-off for four. England got their target down to 36 off the last six overs, with the floodlights now on as fielders struggled to see the ball. Bell, however, was run out for 17 by bowler Starc's direct hit as he set off for a single in the last significant act of the match before umpires Aleem Dar and Kumar Dharmasena called a halt. After Saturday's fourth day had been washed out without a ball bowled, England resumed on 247 for four and needing 46 more to avoid the follow-on, with Bell 29 not out. However, Bell's hopes of becoming only the fourth batsman after Australia's Don Bradman and England's Herbert Sutcliffe and Walter Hammond to score four hundreds in an Ashes series ended when he was caught onehanded low down the legside by Haddin for 45 as Faulkner took his first Test wicket. England eventually finished 115 runs behind Australia's first innings 492 for nine declared. Australia, seeking quick runs, sent Shane Watson, man-of-the-match for his Test-best 176 in the first innings, back up to open alongside Warner instead of the more staid Chris Rogers. But no batsman made more than Clarke's 28 not out before he declared. Fast-medium bowler Stuart Broad took four wickets for 43 runs in 10 overs.

Time to introduce day and night Tests: Dravid The eco-system of Twenty20 cricket needs Test cricket to survive, says Rahul Dravid. And in return, Test cricket may want to look at the glamour-packed accessories of the game’s shortest format – such as day & night matches – to inject that proverbial shot in the arm of a format which is at a “critical point in history” of the game. But as a whole, the former India captain says cricket and its benefactors need to protect all three formats of the game – and not prefer one over the other – in order to ensure its longevity, retain its popularity and make it economically self-sustainable. Ever since he became the first sportsperson outside of Australia to deliver the historic Bradman Lecture near Sydney two years ago, Dravid has been speaking his mind on what ails the game at different levels. At a summit organised by a website to discuss the sport, he referred to Test cricket as a “tough old dog” whose longevity, he thought, is vital to ensure the durability of the game regardless of its various formats. “Test cricket, an older, larger entity is

the trunk of a tree and the shorter game – be it T20 or ODIs – are its branches, offshoots,” he said. “Now to be fair, it is the branches that carry the fruit, earn the benefits of the larger garden in which they stand and so catch the eye. The trunk, though, is the old, massive, larger thing which took a very long time to reach height and bulk. But it is actually a life source: chip away at the trunk or cut it down and the branches will fall off, the fruit will dry up,” the batting great went on. Dravid said Test cricket has proved its resilience over a century. “We must understand that no matter what the crises, it has reached a fairly critical point in history.”

To ensure that this oldest format of cricket stays alive, Dravid suggested “introduction of day-night matches using pink balls” as a measure to restore its mass appeal. “If it means playing day-night cricket, we must give it a try, keep an open mind. The game's traditions aren't under threat if we play Test cricket under lights. I know there have been concerns about the durability of the pink ball, but I have had some experience of it having played for the MCC, and it seemed to hold up okay,” he said during his speech. Test cricket, Dravid believes, faces tough competition from the game’s other, perhaps more popular, formats like the Twenty20 – which has a following among the youngsters. “We are, I believe, maybe one generation away from reaching the point where our entire youth structures could cater only to Twenty20 without any emphasis on the longer form of the game. By not giving youngsters a chance to explore their versatility, endurance or even improvisational skills, we will be selling ourselves and our sport well short,” Dravid said.

Andy Murray set to launch own fashion line in US

World no. 3 Andy Murray is all set to launch his own line of clothing in the US possibly following the footsteps of fellow Wimbledon champion Fred Perry. Murray's advisers feel there is a gap in the market because the US doesn't have its own male tennis superstar and want him to own a fashion line like the iconic brand of shirts and items bearing the name of his predecessor as Perry. Sources close to Murray said that showbiz guru Simon Fuller is ready to turn him into a global figure like David Beckham and is convinced the US is the best place to start. One of the source said that Murray's focus will be America because Fuller sees little competition for him there as they have the Williams sisters but no male tennis stars. Murray used to wear the Fred Perry clothing range on court but is currently sponsored by Adidas, the report added.

Paes-Nestor lift WinstonSalem open trophy

India’s Leander Paes won his first title of the season when he triumphed at the Winston-Salem Open with Canadian Daniel Nestor as the veteran pair defeated Treat Huey and Dominic Inglot 76 (10), 7-5 in the final. Paes and Nestor, both aged 40, were playing together for just the second time in their careers. Nestor and Paes edged their unseeded opponents in one hour and 33 minutes. They lost just one set all week. Their quarterfinal win over Paul Hanley and John Peers saw Nestor become the first doubles player to reach the 900 match wins milestone (902-358 match record). "There are two things that really stand out for me this week. One was to get Danny to his 900th win. That's a phenomenal career that he's had. It was a real honour to be on the court with him, getting him to that spot," said Paes. "The second thing that stood out was playing together on the court. We wanted to get a few matches in. We wanted to see how we combine on the court."

Wasim Akram marries Aussie girlfriend

F o r m e r Pakistan p a c e r W a s i m Akram said that he had married his Australian girlfriend, Shaniera Thompson, saying he has started a new life on a happy note. "I married Shaniera in Lahore last week in a simple ceremony and this is the start of a new life for me, my wife and for my kids," Wasim said. The 47-year-old's first wife Huma died in 2009 after multiple organ failure. Wasim proposed to the 30-year-old former public relations consultant on bended knee last month and they married on August 12. Thompson came to Karachi earlier this month before going to Lahore to see Wasim's ailing father. There the marriage was solemnised in the presence of immediate family and a few close friends. Wasim said Thompson had converted to Islam and is learning Urdu.

AV 31st August 2013  

Asian Voice weekly news paper

AV 31st August 2013  

Asian Voice weekly news paper