VOL 40. ISSUE 39
Let noble thoughts come to us from every side
First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe
Green’s new immigration rules termed ‘classist’
The new changes to the immigration rules proposed by the Home office and the Immigration Minister Damian Green has raised serious criticism. It has not only been categorised as unfair but also as extremely classist. In a recent interview the Minister emphasised that the new policy will benefit ‘wealthy immigrants’ and will undoubtedly ‘penalise people from poor countries and the unskilled’. He said that he hoped
to encourage into Britain a new generation of ‘the skilled, the highly talented – the bright young things – the brightest and the best from all around the world’. He had also added there would be a separate
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2G scam: India’s Supreme Court pulls up PMO Apex court sets 4-month time limit to decide on issue of sanction Indicting the Prime Minister’s Office ( PMO) but letting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh off lightly on failure to decide on prosecuting the then telecom minister A Raja in the 2G case, the Supreme Court set a limit of four months for deciding the issue of sanction for prosecution of corrupt public servants.
General G E Vahanvati's arguments, a bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly held that Swamy had the locus standi to seek sanction. The apex court blamed the PMO for sitting on the plea to Prime Minister for granting sanction to prosecute Raja. It said that those who were "duty bound" to
Allowing Janata Party president Subramaniam Swamy's petition against the Delhi High Court judgment refusing to direct the Prime Minister on his plea for prosecution of Raja, the apex court upheld the right of a private citizen to seek sanction for prosecution of a public servant for corruption. Rejecting Attorney
apprise the Prime Minister about the "seriousness" of the allegations to enable him to take appropriate decision in the matter "failed" to do so. "Unfortunately, those who were expected to give proper advice to Prime Minister and place full facts and legal position before him failed to do so. Continued on page 26
Rt Hon Keith Vaz, MP
Indian President, Smt. Pratibha Patil, the chief guest of Republic Day, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra and the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh at the 63rd Republic day celebrations, in New Delhi. The Republic Day was celebrated all over the world. Martyrs day was observed on January 30. (Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary) Reports on page 6,7 and 26
( Limited period only )
4th Feb to 10th Feb 2012
Damian Green, Immigration Minister
route into Britain for the exceptionally talented in the arts, including dancers, actors, artists and musicians but those who come in on a work visa will find it more difficult to win the right to stay permanently. Post this comment, of course it is highly questionable what incentive would drive this non EU immigrants towards Britain, especially as the economy remains in a sorry state. The urge in a man to migrate and settle in a better or advanced land has been perennial. Continued on page 5
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Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
one to one Keith Vaz MP with
Peter Smith, Development Director, Broadway Lodge
I am the Development Director at Broadway Lodge which is a treatment centre for dependency to alcohol, drugs, gambling, video/internet gaming and eating disorders. I have a lead role in the delivery of the therapy programmes and as a member of the Senior Management Team I am involved in the strategic development of the organisation.
What has been the biggest obstacle in your career?
What are your proudest
Blessed with two identities? Second-generation Asian women switch between a standard “British” accent and Asian-accented speech depending on the situation, researchers have discovered. Academics from Queen Mary, University of London found that second-generation Asian men had developed their own Asian youth speak, dubbed “Brasian”. Women, however, were speaking “prestige English” in formal situations, such as at work or during interviews, and switching to Indianaccented English at home. The academics conducted more than 100 interviews in Southall, west London, and asked participants to record themselves in a range of situations. They found young women used “highly standard, even posh, British variants” in formal situations and reverted to “highly Indianised speech in the home”. Seema Malhota, MP for Feltham and Heston and the sixth Asian
And the worst?
achievements? I am most proud of taking the lead in Broadway being the first centre to be recognised by the European Association for the Treatment of Addiction (EATA) under its accreditation scheme when first introduced in 2001. This identified Broadway as a provider of care services of the highest standards.
female MP in Britain (pictured), who is also a second generation Briton, told Asian Voice, “I think what is really important is that this shows how second generation Asians or indeed any person that may have more than one background or heritage that we can bridge more than one world and be comfortable in both. For second generation Asians, we do bridge East and West in a way I think is really powerful for community cohesion in Britain and important for strong relationships between Britain and Asia.”
What is the best thing about your current role? The best thing about my role now is its variety. I have the opportunity to travel across the UK and abroad and to meet interesting people doing interesting and innovative things and at the same time to be involved in operational and strategic decisions with Broadway as it develops and delivers services in an uncertain climate.
Peter Smith has spent 25 years working in the counselling and addictions professions in both community and residential settings; 18 years providing counselling supervision and training; 12 years acting in a consultancy capacity for organisations in this country and overseas to assist with the development of alcohol and drug workplace policies, delivery of treatment programmes and staff training and development programmes. He is currently Development Director at Broadway Lodge and a GAMNOS Steering Group member and RCGP Gambling Awareness Advisory Board member. He is working on the development of appropriate responses to problems arising from video/on-line game playing and developing tools to assess treatment impact. Please tell us about your current position?
to as the Core Conditions (empathy, unconditional positive regard and congruence) made a big impact on my early training and has continued to influence the way I work.
On reflection perhaps the biggest obstacle has been the choice of subject studied at university (geography) but on a philosophical note, if I had done something different I would not be here now. Currently the biggest obstacle is the uncertainties regarding funding for this client group. This lack of certainty makes strategic planning difficult.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? The biggest influence has been Carl Rogers. I have always enjoyed working with people and motivated to care and support people in difficulty as best I could. Learning about the ‘person-centred’ approach and what Rogers referred
The worst thing is having more on my desk to deal with at the end of the week than there was at the beginning. This is followed in close second and sometimes connected by the problems that modern technology presents when the server is playing up or the internet is down or I can’t remember where I have filed something on the computer What are your long term goals? I would like to add a final phase to the treatment journey that Broadway provides its service users. Following detoxification, Primary
Meeting called to discuss allegations against Brent Council Labour leader A meeting has been scheduled by the Brent Standard (Initial assessment) SubCommittee on Monday 6th February at 6:30pm to discuss the case of Cllr Ann John, who has been accused of influencing decision over a controversial planning application made by the Shirdi Sai Temple. This meeting, which is not open to press but only to the general public, will be attended by Cllrs Beck, Colwill & Gladbaum at the Committee room 4,
2nd Floor, Brent town. The investigation against Cllr John, Labour Leader in Brent council has been launched following serious allegations made in a leaked email from a fellow Labour councillor. These allegations have been reported to the council’s Monitoring Officer who has responsibility for overseeing the Councillors’ Code of Conduct, which may have been breached by Cllr John. The Standards Board for England, which
oversees standards of conduct in local government, has also been informed. When asked about it, Cllr Ann John told Asian Voice, “This is a load of rubbish and I have nothing to hide.” Speaking to Shirdi Sai Temple authority Asian Voice learnt that despite of winning the case against the council, various problems of the temple still continue to hinder its normal function.
Doctor found guilty by NHS Dr Savi Sondhi, a doctor in charge of out-of-hours care for a million London patients, ran the service from his home in Norfolk and often took three hours to return urgent calls, an NHS report has disclosed, as reported by The Daily Telegraph. The report, by NHS South West London, found that he repeatedly failed to answer his telephone when on call and took between one-and-ahalf and three hours to respond to urgent requests for help. The target is 20 minutes. As many as 114 calls
were logged to his telephone each night, yet he allegedly cancelled shifts without warning, the report stated. Malcolm Wicks, the Labour MP for Croydon North said, “With the publication of this report, we now have chapter and verse about a major abuse of the health service. It shows how one GP seized the chance, through the privatisation of an essential health service, to run things not in the interest of patients, but for personal gain. The impact on some patients must have
been at best stressful, at worst terrifying and dangerous.” Nitin Mehta MBE, who is a renowned Jain leader of the vegetarian society from Crydon area told Asian Voice, “This is a gross failure on the part of Croydon Primary Care Trust. The other GPs on the board of Croydoc were either duped or kept quiet due to misplaced loyalty. Unfortunately a culture of looking the other way has developed in many public institutions. It is a sorry state of affairs for this country.”
Care, Secondary Care and Third Stage, I would hope we could work towards the provision of housing and employment. I am keen to explore the development of a Social Enterprise and through this to offer skills training and improve the employment prospects of people in recovery. If you were Prime Minister, what one thing would you change? As Prime Minister I would simplify the taxation system and encourage better distribution of any ‘bonus’ money being made available to ensure the whole of a workforce benefit from it rather than a select few at the top. If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figures would you like to spend your time with and why? If marooned I would want people who were practical in approach to help with things like cooking, building, and harnessing energy, but historical figures I would like to spend time with would be Gandhi, a man of great dignity and faith that I could learn from; Thomas Hardy and Khaled Hosseini who I believe would thrill and entertain with stories; and Charles Darwin to teach us about fauna, flora and evolution.
More than 250 people have turned down honours The authors JB Priestley and Roald Dahl and the painters Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon and LS Lowry are among more than 250 people who have turned down honours over the past 40 years, according to official records published on last Wednesday night. The neo colonial hangover which urges people to receive honours from the Queen on New Year and on her birthday has been severely criticised by some people who have refused the honours. The list, which covers anyone who snubbed an honour from the Queen between 1951 and 1999 and has since died, was released by the Cabinet Office.
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Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
Dow’s association with London Olympics brings shame to UK The news that Dow Chemical will be branding and wrapping the London Olympic Stadium is disappointing yet sadly, unsurprising. The LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games who claim to be committed to sustainability, are willing to partner with Dow brings shame on the UK and yet again, on the Olympic Games and irrevocably demonstrates the ongoing influence of the multinational superpowers in global affairs. Olympics are an event to promote peace. But, Union Carbide and Dow’s products are used in humankind’s war against people and nature. The International Olympic Committee could not have chosen a worse partner to promote its charter. The protest is because Union Carbide, which was taken over by Dow Chemicals has given rise to mass death tragedy in Bhopal. The very word Bhopal hurts the sentiments of Indians, as in December 1984 a highly toxic gas was leaked from a pesticide plant in Bhopal by which more than 20,000 people had died. Winds spread the poison through a densely populated area. Many died instantly, others died while as they tried to flee the leak. Others have lived with debilitating health problems ever since. Children born decades after the spill are drinking water that flows from the polluted site. The terrible legacy of the leak takes its toll on every generation. And 28 years on, the victims are still waiting for meaningful justice and full compensation. When faced with loss of life on this scale, the immediate question people ask is who is to blame. The answer is complicated, but the extensive evidence from Amnesty International demonstrates that Dow Chemical now carries ultimate responsibility. The assets and liabilities of the company involved at the time – Union Carbide – are in Dow's
hands. Instead of cleaning up the site and compensating the victims and their families, Dow denies any responsibility for the tragedy. In 2010, the International Olympic Committee appointed Dow as an international sponsor for the Games Then last year, Locog, the London Games organiser, invited companies to tender for a major contract to provide a wrap for the main Olympic stadium. Dow won this bidding process. Many groups and individuals raised questions and finally the commission was asked to investigate. It was shocking to see that the result of our investigation was a public statement from the commission that essentially portrays Dow a responsible company. Though information about Bhopal tragedy was provided to commission, it made no difference and to everybody’s surprise it publicly repeated Dow's line bears no responsibility for Bhopal. With no response coming from either the IOC or the London Olympics organisers to their previous protest, the Indian Olympic Association shot off another letter to both the bodies demanding Dow Chemical's removal as sponsor of the upcoming event. "There is no need to carry this Toxic Legacy," IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra said in a statement. An enraged Meredith Alexander stepped down as a commissioner on the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 (CSL), whose job is to assure sustainability across the Olympic and Paralympic programme, stating she no longer wanted "to be party to a defence of Dow Chemicals". Five Bhopal victims' rights groups have also demanded the scrapping of the sponsorship deal, saying it would give undue publicity to a company that was refusing to clean up the toxic contamination of soil and groundwater.
Britain's new immigration rules-risky? Whoever says that Britain is done with discrimination, better take a walk. The recent rule changes proposed by the immigration minister Damian Green is not only discriminatory but extremely eclectic. It resembles an archaic Indian matrimony advert for a groom or a bride, where the 'best and the fair, with strings of talents are only welcome to respond.' One must know that it is rational for a human race to migrate to a country with better resources. Damian Green in his recent interview in various national dailies has commented that the new policy will benefit 'wealthy immigrants' and will 'undoubtedly penalise people from poor countries and the unskilled.' Why has Mr Green overlooked the possibility of immigrants easily picking up a foreign language? Why does he think that only the rich and the brightest can bring prosperity to Britain? Mr Green is forgetting two things here. First his target audience. If Britain only wants the brightest immigrants to fill vacancies that cannot be otherwise fulfilled by an equally qualified native, British
companies will have to pay much more to these talented immigrants to lure them from abroad. It would create a situation of complexity that is uncontrollable by the Britons. Second, as the Economist rightly points out, Migration brings youth to ageing countries, and allows ideas to circulate in millions of mobile minds. That is good both for those who arrive with suitcases and dreams and for those who should welcome them. States may well have the right to rigorously enforce immigration law, but no one will uproot themself from their country and family to go someplace where they don't speak the language and get paid peanuts just for the fun of it. They do it for economic opportunities that do not exist in their home country. If they are already rich, they have no reason to migrate to another country for equal status. It is wise to control asylum seekers, sham marriages and illegal immigrants, but a 'classist' basis of choosing 'who should be let in' could be a risk to Britain at this moment.
India bows down to the threat of fanatics The recent incident of blocking the entry of Sir Salman Rushdie physically as well as blocking his video address during the literary festival in Jaipur is a huge embarrassment for the government of India which is aspiring to become a superpower. Once again the Indian state has succumbed to the threat of violence by a group of religious fanatics, who neither could read the book nor understood it. It only proves once again that it only needs the threat of violence and some illiterate bigots to bring the educated Indians to their knees. The politicians of all hues, from right to left of centre to communists, remained speechless bystanders, showing how the politics of compromise and cowardice has overtaken India. It shows once again how Indians are becoming aloof from the assault on the free speech and ineffective Indian state. Except some reports in the media, there was no
national outrage. When the mob rules, why risk our life is the unfortunate attitude of the public! Whatever it may be, it has proved as the collective failure of India. Two years ago Sir Rushdie said that he was worried about the rising culture of complaint in India. He referred to the case of late artist M F Husain. The trouble makers had vandalized the painter’s works, threatened him and literally drove him out of India. This time the threats are to Sir Rushdie himself. Critics say that politicians are in fear of offending Muslim voters in Uttar Pradesh resulting into keeping Rushdie away. But this incident also raises some fundamental questions: Is an increasingly prosperous India becoming more intolerant? Or the religious groups and politicians failed to move with the times?
Thought for the Week Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence - Aristotle (384-322 BC)
Sarah Teather MP Liberal Democrat MP for Brent Central and Minister of State for Children and Families
Stopping the super rich getting away with high pay for low performance When the history books are written about the years leading up to the financial crises of 2008, it’s likely that one of the topics covered will be the huge payouts that many rich bankers and other top executives regularly received, and the effect this had on the gap between the earnings of those on average salaries and those at the very top. Children in British schools of the future will be taught how politicians failed to learn the lessons of previous recessions, such as the ‘dot-com’ boom and bust of the 1990s, and carried on thinking that as long as the economy was growing, there was no need to worry about top pay. I was shocked to learn that in 1997 when Labour took power chief executives pay was 47 times average pay but when they lost power in 2010 this had ballooned to 120 times average pay. It seems ridiculous that, at a time when the global recession means that many people are seeing their incomes stagnate, the wealthiest in society are still receiving pay rises – rises which seem to be completely unrelated to performance. What’s more, these pay rises are awarded by secretive committees, hidden from shareholders, employees and the public. In January, the Liberal Democrat Secretary of State responsible for business, Vince Cable, gave an important speech, which showed that unlike previous Governments, the Coalition is determined to learn the lessons of the crash. There will now be more transparency than ever before – making sure that employees and the public can see what is really going on and hold execu-
tives to account. There will also be an end to the cosy arrangements where company bosses set each others’ pay, with proposals to give shareholders – the people who actually own the businesses – more power to keep pay in check. This wrangling over executive pay may sound remote from most people’s lives, but what goes on in business boardrooms affects us all. When, as at the moment, bosses can be sure of fat pay packets no matter how well they do their jobs, they have less incentive to ensure the long-term success of their companies. As a result, British businesses are less likely to succeed and this means that we all lose out on the jobs and revenue that they might have created. There is also the important matter of inequality. The huge gap between rich and poor is the great injustice of our age. This is why the Liberal Democrats in Government are determined to fight for the changes that will make Britain fairer. We are already taking measures that will help, such as introducing the pupil premium for school pupils from low income families and taking the lowest pay out of income tax altogether, but there is still much more we need to do. A fair country is one where everyone does their bit and gets back what they deserve, both at the top and the bottom of the income scale. The old model of “take what you can” capitalism glorified under the last Labour Government didn’t work. The ideas that the Liberal Democrats are putting forward in Government will make Britain a fairer and more prosperous place to live.
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Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
By Meera Majithia
A hearty gesture by local charity The Heartsearch Charity Committee has donated a generous £10,001 to help the University of Leicester Cardiovascular Research Centre Appeal get closer to its goal of raising £1m. The cheque presentation ceremony took place on Thursday 19th January 2012 at the Stoneycroft Hotel in Leicester, and was made by committee members Mr. Jayantibhai Chandarana (Chair of Trustees), Mr. Hemendra Ghelani (Chair of Management Committee / Trustee), Mr. Gulabbhai Mistry (Treasurer), Mr. Naresh Popat (Chair Fund raising committee), Miss. Sunita Joshi, Mr. Hakim Khalifa, Mr. Arvind Mistry (Secretary) to Ave Vinick, Deputy Director of Development at the University. In August 2011 the University launched the public phase of its appeal to raise the final £1m required to complete and equip the Cardiovascular Research Centre (CRC). The new £12.6m research centre will impact radically on both the scale and quality of research and treatment of cardiovascular disease all over the UK. The University has committed over £6m of its capital resources to this major project and the British Heart Foundation has provided flagship funding for the Centre. Consultant Cardiologist Professor Nilesh Samani is Head of the University’s Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, where he
Committee members from Heartsearch present a cheque for ̂ A£10,001 to Ave Vinick, Deputy Director of Development at the University of Leicester, to support the Cardiovascular Research Centre Appeal
holds the prestigious British Heart Foundation Chair in Cardiology. He is a Leicester alumnus and one of the foremost researchers in cardiovascular genetics in the world. Professor Samani said: “The state-of-the-art Research Centre will undertake world leading research in heart disease and further Leicester's reputation as an internationally acclaimed centre of excellence in cardiovascular research.” Ave Vinick, Deputy D irector of Development at the University, said: “We are delighted by the tremendous support that Heartsearch have shown towards
the Appeal. “The £12.6m Cardiovascular Research Centre, which is due for completion in July 2012, will enable more people with a susceptibility to, or suffering from, cardiovascular disease to benefit from greater understanding, prediction, treatment and care. “The new Research Centre will radically transform the scale and quality of research undertaken into cardiovascular disease and seek to improve the health and life expectations of thousands of patients and the general public in Leicestershire, across the UK and worldwide.”
Research shows Over 60’s skip meals to make ends meet An Age UK report compiled by experts at Loughborough University has revealed that many over 60’s are only just able to afford the basics and some get by though skipping meals. The report “Living on a Low Income in Later Life”, and a subsequent ICM poll, have shown nearly one in ten (9%) older people admit to be either “finding it difficult” or “really struggling” to manage on their income. An estimated 4.5 million (33%) can only just afford to buy the basics. Experts in the University’s Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP) carried out indepth interviews with
individuals and focus groups to gain a detailed understanding of people’s experiences of living on a low income in later life. CRSP Head of Income Studies Donald Hirsch explains: “Our research shows that, typically, pensioners on low incomes find life tough but are ‘coping’. Older people with limited means are often good at making their money stretch, but this can create a huge amount of stress and anxiety. “It may mean always having to shop around for the best deal, having little to spend on small treats that can make life easier, and living in fear of debt and hardship if prices rise or a service is withdrawn.
“And real hardship for pensioners still does exist: some pensioners in Britain today are still not heating their homes properly, or skipping meals in order to make ends meet.” People interviewed talk of cutting back, doing without and making do while at the same time worrying about the cost of energy bills and buying food. The report highlights some examples of “making do” such as just using a hob or microwave rather that replacing a broken oven and boiling a kettle for washing rather than heating water in a boiler. While those interviewed by researchers talk of seeking out the best bar-
Open day for disabled children Visitors will be able to find out more about services on offer for disabled children at an open day taking place in February. The event, in the main hall at New Parks House, Pindar Road, New Parks, will include information sessions and stands on issues ranging from play schemes, short breaks and holiday clubs to volunteering opportunities and information on the Disabled Children’s Register. The all-day session runs from 10am to 7pm,
on Monday 6th February. At 10.30am there will be a session on play schemes and holiday club providers, and 10-minute presentations about the Disabled Children’s Service will take place at 12pm, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm. Leicester assistant city mayor responsible for children, young people and schools, Cllr Vi Dempster, and Leicester City Council’s director of learning services, Margaret Libreri, will be attending. Cllr Dempster said:
“The Disabled Children’s Service offers help, support and advice on a great many areas affecting children and young people with disabilities, so this is a great chance to see the work which is being done and find out more about what the service offers.” Visitors will also get the chance to meet staff and pick up goody bags. Refreshments will also be available. Further information on the Disabled Children’s Service is available on 0116 294 6056.
gains when food shopping and timing their shopping for the end of the day when products are marked down. Most older people do everything they can to avoid getting into debt, and with hard work and effort they often manage day to day, but many are fearful of the future. Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director at Age UK says:“Living on a low income is hard work. Currently there are 1.8million people living in poverty but our polling suggests that many above the official poverty line are finding life hard.”
Administrator charged with £100,000 fraud Leicestershire Police have charged a will writer and estates administrator following an investigation into the disappearance of more than £100,000. The 55-year-old woman, from Cannock, Staffordshire, has been charged with three counts of fraud by false representation, and three alternative charges of theft. The allegations relate to one offence in Leicester and two in Staffordshire. She is due to appear at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on February 14.
Over 100 sewer blockages found in Loughborough Loughborough-town has been named as one of the worst places in its region for blocked sewers according to Severn Trent. The company revealed that there have been more than 500 inspections and 109 blockages cleared in the area in the past year. Engineers have found nappies, baby wipes and fats from roasting tins in the sewers all of which have contributed to the blocked sewers. Speaking to the BBC, Scott Burgin, Severn Trent’s network service delivery manager said: “Internal and external flooding to people’s homes can be very distressing for occupiers. “Sewers are not designed to carry waste such as nappies, baby wipes and sanitary products and that’s without mentioning what people put down the plug hole.” Severn Trent Water spends about £10m each year cleaning 435 miles (700km) of sewers.
Appeal for information related to burglary Detectives investigating a burglary in Burbage have released C C T V images of two men they wish to identify and trace in connection with the incident. The incident took place sometime between 8.45pm on Monday 12th December and 5.30am on Tuesday 13th December, when a property in School Lane was broken into and a car parked on the driveway was stolen. As well as the silver Kia Sportage people carrier a bankcard was also stolen from the property, an attempt was then made to use the card in Bury. Detective Constable Kate Leith is investigating the incident, she said: “We understand from enquiries we have made so far that the victim may have been contacted by someone purporting to be from his bank asking for access to his PIN. “An attempt has then been made to use the card at a shop in the Bury area of Lancashire. “We would urge anyone who recognises the men in the images to contact us, even if you’re not 100% sure, we can quickly eliminate people from our enquiries.” Anyone with any information is asked to contact DC 4064 Kate Leith on 101*, or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Review of council-run bus services in the city Passengers using some bus services, which are supported by Leicester City Council will be asked to take part in a survey looking at levels of use. As part of its budget-making process, the city council is having to look at where best to target its spending on public transport to ensure that important bus services remain in place. It subsidises a number of bus routes which would otherwise not be financially possible, in areas where they are vital to communities and where no alternative services exist. Passengers on these routes will be asked for information about how often and why they use the chosen bus route, in order for the council to get a fuller picture of people using the services. The information will then be used to help ensure resources are targeted at the areas of greatest need. Government budget cuts means that in addition to a £50million cut this year, the city council will have to reduce spending by a further £40million by 2014 including money which pays for the running costs of local bus services. Leicester Deputy City Mayor with responsibility for transport, Cllr Rory Palmer, said: “By taking part in this survey, passengers will be able to give us important information to help us develop proposals for the future about local supported bus services. “No decisions have been made at this stage so I would encourage people to take part in this survey.” The survey can also be completed online at www.leicester.gov.uk/supportedbusservices
Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
Spiderman burglar steals more than £10,000 worth goods A burglar conducted a Spiderman-style break-in at a supermarket by cutting a hole in the roof and abseiling down a rope into the store - stealing £10,000 of produce. The thief took inspiration from the famous comic character, but instead of fighting crime, he used the idea to aid his own, but was caught on the CCTV. The thief managed to escape with a haul of cigarettes and alcohol worth more than £10,000 from the Supersaver store in Litherland, near Liverpool, on last Tuesday. But owners of the
store say the damage caused to the shutters and premises will cost more than £20,000 to repair. Store owner Matt Mahalingham, 31, said: ‘I’ve never seen anything like it. When I looked at the CCTV footage I couldn’t believe it. A spokesperson for Merseyside Police said: ‘We are investigating an incident where a man broke into a supermarket in Litherland in the early hours of Tuesday. ‘Anyone with information should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.’
Man drowned as he fled from bull terrier A man with a fear of dogs drowned after he fled in terror from a Staffordshire Bull Terrier - straight into a lake. Mohammed Faisal, 24, (pictured) died after he jumped head-first into a bush which stood next to the lake, a former brick pit, Peterborough Coroner’s Court heard last week. The inquest heard that the dog’s owner Ritchie Frost did his best to assist Mr Faisal, who could not swim, but that he died after the lake plunge on September 28, 2011.
Police numbers hit ten year low While crime increases in Britain, there are now just 135,838 officers in England and Wales, the lowest since 2002, following a four per cent cut in 12 months. Civilian staff have also been axed in huge numbers with an 11 per cent fall – or 8,820 fewer. One force, Cleveland, slashed almost 70 per cent of its civilian workers. It is the first real sign of the impact on police forces as they face budget cuts of up to 20 per cent over four years. Nick Herbert, the policing minister, insisted
front line policing must be protected and urged forces to use their resources more efficiently. He said claims that crime would rise if officer numbers fell were “simplistic and unfounded”. Labour accused the Government of putting the public at risk with cuts that go too far too fast. The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said the fall in numbers was not surprising given “the context of a constrained funding environment and a sustained recruitment freeze across most police forces”.
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Unfairly dismissed traffic warden emerges as a hero A brave traffic warden who exposed the secret quotas enforced by parking bosses was hailed a hero. Hakim Berkani won his claim for unfair dismissal after he stood up to contractors NSL over their draconian policies on the streets of Kensington and Chelsea. Mr Berkani, pictured, revealed earlier last month that wardens were forced to issue 10 tickets a day and said his colleagues referred to NSL as ‘Ali Baba and his 40 thieves.’ The tribunal ruled that he had been wrongly sacked for opposing contractor NSL, which oper-
ates in boroughs across London, including Westminster. In a ruling that will have major implications for parking enforcement, a tribunal judge said his opposition to the Kensington and Chelsea firm’s quota policy could not ‘justify dismissal’.
Green’s new immigration rules termed ‘classist’ The non EU immigrants who have come into Britain with a job, at least pay taxes and add to the wealth of this country. It is unfortunate but true that there are many European immigrants who live in Britain, even seek asylum or draw benefits but never contribute anything to the society or economy of this country. Therefore it is essentially unfair to target those people who bring prosperity to Britain directly or indirectly, just because of their nationality. Currently immigrants
especially from the non EU states are allowed to become citizens after they have completed 5 years in this country lawfully, has earned sufficiently, has paid requisite taxes and if their employers say they want to keep them. Other measures likely to be in the immigration rules include a new organisation to work with the Church of England to detect sham marriages. Mr Green, while abroad met not only foreign dignitaries but also British immigration officers working to prevent
illegal migrants boarding flights to the UK. According to Mr Green, the number of illegal immigrants being removed from Britain is slowly increasing too, with innovative systems to identify those who should not be in the country including providing employers with scanners to check that the identity documents of their foreign workers are genuine. Among other measures designed to calm fears that the coalition will fail to meet its immigration targets is a taskforce working
with the Church of England to detect sham marriages between European Union nationals and illegal immigrants. The family of a non EU immigrant will be expected to show they have a household income of up to ￡26,000 a year to earn a citizenship as well. World-class athletes who best embody the Olympic motto “citius, altius, fortius” (faster, higher, stronger) could be fast-tracked although Green insisted “selectivity” Continued on page 28
Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
“Our London” CIIr Navin Shah AM London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow
By Spriha Srivastava
India’s R-day celebrated in London
The Acting High Commissioner of India, HE Rajesh N Prasad giving speech in presence of Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles & Rt. Hon. Peter Luff
More than 600 people gathered at Sheraton Park Lane to celebrate India’s 63rd Republic Day. Organised by the Indian High Commission, the reception comprised senior functionaries of the government, Lords, Ladies and Members of Parliament, Mayors, Councillors, several Ambassadors, including the High Commissioner of Pakistan, academia,
Equipment, Support and Technology, Rt. Hon. Peter Luff; Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on India Rt. Hon. Virendra Sharma MP; Chair of the Labour Friends of India Rt. Hon. Barry Gardiner MP; Chair of the Conservative Friends of India Rt. Hon. Stephen Hammond MP; and Chair of the Liberal Democratic Friends of India Lord Navnit
CB Patel, Publisher/Editor of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar with Valerie Vaz, MP and Rt Hon Keith Vaz
Captains of business and industry, and prominent members of the Indian Diaspora. Dignitaries who graced the function included Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles; Minister for Defence
Dholakia. Secretary Eric Pickles, Minister Peter Luff and the Acting High C o m m i s s i o n e r Ambassador Prasad spoke on the occasion. The Acting High Commissioner warmly welcomed the guests.
Speaking at the reception, Ambassador Prasad said: "India-UK bilateral relations continue to be strong, broad-based and robust. Trade between the two countries has increased, despite the worsening global economic situation." India is the 3rd largest investor in the UK. The relationship is growing stronger by the day. Secretary Pickles paid glowing tributes to India being a great democracy and to the very many accomplishments of the Indian Republic. He recalled the wide ranging bonds at the popular level between peoples of the two nations which play a vital role in the growth and consolidation of the Partnership. He said that he is proud to be a friend and supporter of India. Minister Peter Luff described the present state of the bilateral relations as the best saying “UK-India relations have never been better”. He said that UK and India are cooperating including in the cutting edge areas of defence technology, sharing that an Agreement (Letter of Arrangement) was
Republic day photo courtesy: Raj Bakrania
Let us know what you think. Email Spriha at email@example.com
‘TOTAL POLICING’ Met Police Commissioner The Met Police Commissioner of London Bernard Hogan Howe, visited Harrow early this month to talk about his ‘Total Policing’ concept to the residents of Harrow, Brent and Barnet. Addressing the gathering of the 3 Boroughs he explained his ambition of making London’s police the best service in the country and world. However, he revealed some disturbing rise in crime and burglary figures (noted below) in the boroughs of Brent, Harrow and Barnet. Compared to the 2010/11 figures: In Brent personal robbery has increased by 14%, residential burglaries have gone up by 15% and there is decrease of 31% in detection rate. Over the same period there were 19,600 cases of stop and search with 7% arrest rate as compared to 4,200 cases of stop and search incidents in Harrow. In Harrow personal robbery has increased by 63%, residential burglaries have gone up by 15% and there is decrease of 31% in detection rate. Over the same period there were 4200 cases of stop and search with 7% arrest rate with dramatic increase in sickness level in PCSOs and overall increase in the level of police sickness. Attending this meeting, in my Constituency of Brent and Harrow, which was a very welcome initiative from the new Met Commissioner I took the opportunity to quiz him on one the most important issues about reduced police numbers in both Brent and Harrow. With the crime and burglary numbers rising I have grave
signed in this regard recently. He added that he would be visiting India this year and looks forward to the visit greatly. A flag hoisting ceremony was also held at Acting High Commissioner’s resi-
concerns about depleted safer neighbourhood teams with reduced number of sergeants and the ability of Brent and Harrow to remain safe. I also pointed out to the Commissioner our residents concerns during the London Olympics when a large number of local police would be deployed in London. In his reply to the reduced police numbers the Commissioner said he was reasonably confident that the resources were broadly right for now and he told the audience to expect a ‘significant announcement in April’. On the matter of police cover in Brent and Harrow during the Olympics he accepted that there would be smaller police numbers in outer London Boroughs but he’d be able to manage as there’d be help from ‘mutual aid’ deployment of police forces from other parts of the country. I have no doubt that the Commissioner is ambitious and serious about his plans to improve London’s policing. But I’m concerned that we are witnessing a trend of increased crime and burglary rates as confirmed by the Commissioner and the decreasing police numbers including loss of half of sergeants would hamper our Safer Neighbourhood Teams from keeping our localities safe and put at risk our success in combating crime. I wonder whether the Commissioner’s reference to ‘significant announcement in April’ is about a short term fix before the Mayoral elections. Reduced level of police during the London Olympics in Outer London areas like Harrow and Brent remains a big cause of concern to me.
dence in the morning attended by the staff and members of High Commission of India. Both the morning and evening events concluded with the singing of National Anthem that filled the atmosphere
with patriotism and pride. The evening did not end there. What followed was a lavish spread of Indian buffet, just perfect to celebrate India’s Republic Day amidst tradition and heritage.
Kailash Kher launches new album Singer Kailash Kher has recently launched his new album “Rangeele” through his start up music label, Kailasa Records with Saregama. Rangeele is an eleven track album produced by Paresh and Naresh Kamath, penned and composed by Kailash at the Kailasa studios Mumbai. It was released on January 10th, 2012 by Amitabh Bachchan with a scintillating live performance by Kailash Kher and his band Kailasa at Novotel, Juhu. “Rangeele is my accolade to love in all its forms, be it longing, passion, patriotism, devotion or even hatred. This album is extremely special for me for various reasons. Among the most powerful being that the artists featuring in this album also include the unbelievable Mr Amitabh
Bachchan. It also features my two-year-old son Kabir and is our record label, Kailasa Records, first album,” he said.
In a recent conversation he mentioned that he has always been taking his son to the music studio in order to be able to spend more time with him. And for this album de decided to experiment with his son’s voice in order to bring something new. He goes on to say, “Rangeele is also my gratitude to all my listeners since this is a reflection of my observation of my fans
through my eight year career journey. I have tried to reciprocate the love and goodness they have extended to me and my band. Rangeele is like a canvas for my music. Listeners will enjoy and fill in the colours of their own ex p re s s i o n s . But I know that everyone who hears Rangeele will have some songs that they will feel are their own.” Kailash Kher is now preparing for his forthcoming UK tour in April 2012 along with his 14member group. “This is something we are extremely excited about. It will be Kailasa’s first performance in Europe and we are working very hard for it,” he said. Come April and Londoners will have one more evening to add to their list.
Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
Gandhi’s martyrdom day observed in London
Asian Voice Youth Conference 2012 The youth is the future of a country and in order to have a secure and prosperous future, we must invest in our youth today. The global financial crisis has led to record youth unemployment in Britain, according to Government figures. We at Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar believe that youth need to be empowered to bring about the right social and economic changes. We recognise that educational achievements alone are not sufficient to get ahead in the ever more competitive employment market, but that young people, now more than ever, need to stand out with their skills, experience and personal accomplishments. Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar are organising a Youth Conference at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, University of London on Saturday 3rd March 2012 for 15-25 year olds. The conference will feature leading professionals from different walks of life (including finance, law, medicine, politics, media and the arts) who will share their personal experiences and offer practical advice on how young people can fulfil their aspirations and get ahead in the world of work. The conference will also include interactive sessions and mentoring opportunities.
Confirmed speakers include: l Menhaj Huda (film director, producer and writer); l Divya Talwar (BBC News Reporter); l Misha Patel (Assistant General Counsel, KPMG); l Councillor Krupa Sheth (the youngest Councillor in Brent at the age of 20); l Aekta Mahajan (Cabinet Office); l Pratik Dattani (economist and Chair of the City Hindus Network); l Amit Sodha (lifestyle coach and stand up comedian); l Dr Pranav Somaiya (vascular surgeon); and l Rajay Naik (Director of Government and External Affairs, The Open University) We will also be launching the pilot for the national enterprise scheme Young Asian Social Enterprise (YASE), launched in collaboration with the City Hindus Network. This innovative scheme is based on an annual national competition for students to fund raise for charities supporting free education for underprivileged children in India. In return, the participants will be invited to present their idea and fund raising results to a panel of esteemed judges at the end of the competition. Those that have shown a real
entrepreneurial spirit and drive will be presented a YASE award, which will receive expert mentoring and bespoke coaching from some of the City’s top firms. If you are interested to take part in this FREE conference, please email Rupanjana with your full contact details and age by Saturday 18th February 2011 at rupanjana.dutta@abplgroup .com. We have limited seats available and are filling up fast, so please register asap to avoid disappointment. Date: Saturday 3 March 2012 Timings: 11:30am- 4:30pm Location: Brunei Gallery (SOAS, University of London), Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG (nearest tube stations: Russell Square, Euston, Tottenham Court Road) Registration: Email Rupanjana with your full contact details and age by Saturday 18th February 2012 at rupanjana.dutta@abplgroup .com. Strictly limited capacity and pre-registration required Target age range: 15-25 year olds Other details: A vegetarian lunch will also be served. Please note: If you do not register from beforehand, you may not be allowed to take part for security reasons.
Shweta Desai The Indian High Commission paid its tribute to Mahatma Gandhi -fondly remembered as the Father of the Nation on his 64th death anniversary, here on Monday, 30th Jan. The remembrance ceremony was held at Tavistock Park in Bloomsbury, the Borough of Camden, where Gandhi’s serene statue is a central attraction. Dignitaries from the Indian Embassy including Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Rajesh N Prasad, veterans from the India League, Mayor of Camden Councillor Abdul Quadir amongst others who paid floral tributes at Mahatma’s memorial. Other dignitaries who attended and spoke at the event included Satya Narayan Gourisaria, a Gandhian and the former Secretary of India League; Manab Majumdar, General Secretary, India League; Joginder Sanger, Chairman, Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan; Dr. M.N. Nandakumara, Executive Director, Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan;
The acting High Commissioner of India, HE Rajesh N Prasad, Mayor of Camden Councillor Abdul Quadir, Manab Majumdar, General Secretary, India League with others
as well as officers and functionaries of the Indian High Commission and India League besides media personalities and prominent members of the Indian community in London. Members of the India League appealed to follow the footprints of Mahatma in today’s non-violent world to maintain peace. Paying homage to Gandhi’s ideology, Mr Prasad said that the Mahatma preached what he practiced. “He used the tools of non-violence and inspired many including Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King who brought revolution and changed the world.’’ Vice President of the India League, S N
Gauricharya said in today’s violent world, Gandhi’s proven preaching of non-violence is bigger than violence. ``Its inspiring others to follow its ideology,’’ he said. Members and dignitaries later remembered Mahatma by signing his popular bhajans of Vaishan Jan and Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram. Unveiled by Prime Minister Harold Wilson, Gandhi’s statute was designed by Fredda Brilliant and installed in Tavistock in 1968. The park also known as Peace Park contains a Cherry tree to commemorate the victims of the Hiroshima bombing and a Conscientious Objectors’ memorial.
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Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
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Council house wait is just 99 years Desperate Birmingham families seeking large council houses in the city have been told they face a 99year wait. Officials have issued the ‘lifetime’ warning to those seeking properties with four or more bedrooms. The average waiting time for all housing types is around six years. Birmingham City Council is the largest social landlord in the UK, with 65,000 dwellings, around 17% of the city’s total housing. Yet there is a short-
age of four and five-bedroom council homes, which are awarded on a points system. Currently, around 30,000 people are on the council’s housing list and a further 28,000 are receiving some form of housing benefit to rent privately. The highest of the latter figure claimants have been handed more than £1,100 to rent houses
BOPIO salutes India An evening of entertainment, mehfil, was organised by the British Organisation for People of Indian Origin, or BOPIO, to mark India’s Republic Day, in Coventry last Saturday. Guests were welcomed by Davinder Prasad of CasteWatch UK, a tireless and staunch campaigner for equality. Also present were the city’s former Lord Mayor Councillor Ram Lakha and Ramesh Verma, CEO of London-based Ekta Project. Mr Prasad, who appealed for new members, said: “Identity, unity and cohesion are vital. We must change our ways. Unless we do, we shall be scapegoats of the future.” BOPIO’s chairman Sat Pal Muman, pictured, echoed these comments. Sinna Mani, BOPIO’s executive president, won rapturous applause for his emotional and powerful address. Straight-talking Mr Mani made a passionate plea for unity. He saluted Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru and paid a glowing tribute to India, a country where he said poverty was man-made through greed. “Britain needs India more than India needs Britain and David Cameron understands this,” he said adding, “Ed Miliband, well, he’s a child, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” BOPIO is a national, non-sectarian, non-racial and apolitical organisation which promotes integration of people from the Indian subcontinent into mainstream British society. To find out more visit www.bopio.org.uk
Welcome to Year of the Dragon Wine glasses were repeatedly raised and hugs and handshakes exchanged by the over 200 guests who attended a Chinese New Year reception last Tuesday, organised by the Birmingham Chinese Society. The annual event, held at China Court Restaurant, featured traditional songs and dances, a sumptuous meal, a raffle and auction. Welcoming the Year of the Dragon, Steve Yau and Ken Tong, BCS’s honorary chairman and chairman, respectively, wished everyone good health and prosperity. Also present were entrepreneurs Dorian Chan and Dr Yeow Poon, both prominent Chinese community leaders, who have not in the past been seen at this event, a mark, perhaps, of rekindled friendship. Separately, Edward Yi He, a Chinese engineer with Tata Steel was among guests at a Chinese New Year reception in Wales organised by the country’s First Minister Carwyn Jones. Mr Jones is due to meet with officials from Tata Steel when he visits India later this year. Photo: From left – Lord Mayor of Birmingham Councillor Anita Ward, Consul General of China Tang Li and BCS President Irene Chu.
with at least five bedrooms in Small Heath, Sparkbrook, Northfield, Perry Barr and S u t t o n Coldfield. The crisis is fuelled by the fact that 70% of city residents cannot afford to buy the averagesized home on their income. Councillor Ken Wood, pictured, (Cons, Longbridge) is vice-chairman of the city’s Housing Scrutiny Committee: “We
are building more council homes now than at any stage in the last 30 years,” he said, “but we do need to get away from the idea that social housing is the last resort.” Councillor John Lines, Cabinet member for housing, will give a full report on the strategy to meet the demand for larger homes at a meeting of the city council on Tuesday (Feb 7).
Religion and Politics don’t mix David Urquhart, the Bishop of Birmingham, has been criticised by a city councillor for getting more and more involved in the political scene. Instead, says Coun Deirdre Alden, he should be concentrating on the moral decline of Birmingham’s feral underclasses and falling congregations. Hats off to Coun Alden for this brave wakeup call to the popular Bishop who is seen nattering with VIPs more often than with ordinary citizens. In 2009, when the Environment Agency set up a multi-faith group, it received full support from most senior representatives of all major faiths, bar Bishop Urquhart, who over six months took the group host for a jolly good ride by giving false hope through apparent excuses. When the host confronted the Bishop, by chance, he laughed and joked about the inconvenience he had caused. Credit, however, to Rev Pam Nicholson, who represented the Christian faith. Despite her poor health and limited physical ability, she attended every meeting, once even travelling from Newcastle, and made a lasting difference to the Agency’s green agenda at local level.
Dog stolen in car raid A couple are heartbroken after thieves stole their dog by driving off with their car. Disabled James Fay, 50, had stepped out of his car to speak to partner Stella Sivier as she stood in a queue at a takeaway in Ladywood, Birmingham. But he left his keys in the ignition and within 40 seconds thieves had sped off with the car, taking the pair’s Staffordshire Bull Terrier Buck too.
Salutations to Mother India Tributes were paid to India on its 63rd Republic Day by Guru Raj Rao, the Midlands’ highest-ranking Indian diplomat, at an annual event at the Indian Embassy in Birmingham last Thursday. Amazingly, most guests had arrived by the 9.30am start time. Popular personality Mr Rao, pictured, read out the President of India’s speech in Hindi in full, each sentence of which carried a deep and powerful message, particularly to youth. This speech alone, if put into practice, would massively improve society. If only. Due to a working day, the usual cultural programme did not take place. Refreshments were served.
Debt burden More than 150,000 households in the West Midlands spend at least a quarter, and an estimated 123,000 households spend more than half of their income on repaying debts, according to new research. The Financial Inclusion Centre survey rated the West Midlands as the fifth most over-indebted UK region.
News in Brief New bundle of joy The widow of Birmingham riots victim Shahzad Ali has given birth to his baby boy. Khanza Ali, 22, who was four months pregnant when 30year-old Shahzad, pictured, was killed alongside his brother Abdul Musavir and friend Haroon Jahan on August 10 last year. Khanza said: “My little boy is a piece of Shahzad. He looks just like his dad but also has Musavir’s smile.”
New Punjabi Guide book A former Coventry teacher has published his latest book on the Punjabi language. Jagat Singh Nagra, 73, who taught maths at Sidney Stringer School, has written 33 books on the official language of the Punjab, India. His book, GCSE Punjabi Guide, costs £5.99 and is available from ww.nagrapublications. co.uk
Murder: Man charged A 28-year-old man has appeared at Wolverhampton Magistrates charged with the murder of Jagjit Singh Villkhu. Post-mortem tests showed Mr Villkhu, 33, pictured, from Wolverhampton, died from head injuries. His body was found in park land in Willenhall in the early hours of last Tuesday morning.
Siblings stabbed Two brothers were stabbed in front of their terrified family as they fought off armed burglars who broke into their Birmingham home. Ali and Mohammed Ahmed were knifed by the masked raiders who also threatened family members with an imitation gun in Great Barr last Thursday. According to neighbours, it could be part of a spate of gold thefts in the area in recent weeks.
New Asperger Syndrome DVD A new DVD that gives an insight into living with Asperger Syndrome has been released. The DVD, launched by Nottingham City Asperger Service, costs £14.99 and is available from NCAS on 0115 854 2207. Asperger Syndrome is part of the autism spectrum disorder that affects how an individual interacts, communicates and relates to people and how they experience the environment.
MBE for Asif Iqbal Congratulations to Asif Iqbal who has been honoured for his services to the deaf community. Asif, 36, was the only deaf Asian person to receive an MBE medal, in the latest Honours, from the Prince of Wales, pictured, at Buckingham Palace last Thursday. Asif, a project manager with Deaf Parenting UK, lives in Hemel Hempstead with wife Sabina and their three children, Samaira, Areeb and Rubi, all aged under six.
‘Mental’ bomb scare A hoaxer is facing jail after warning MI5 that a bomb had been planted at a Birmingham school – sparking its evacuation. Ghulam Kibria, 33, pictured, pretended to be his estranged wife in a message sent to the secret service’s official website claiming: “There’s a bomb planted at Prince Albert Junior School, Aston.” Mr Reyaz Ali, defending, told the court how his client had suffered from mental health issues since the death of a relative six years ago. Kibria will be sentenced next month.
Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
Celebrating 63 Indian Republic Day
Rooting out the Scroungers
I must congratulate the Indian High Commission for organising a very successful, highly enjoyable and well attended Indian Republic Day Event at an excellent venue, Sheraton Hotel, Park Lane on January 26, 2012. It was marvellous to be welcomed by the staff of the Indians High Commission at the entrance of Sheraton Hotel and then presented with an Indian Flag Tiranga, to be displayed upon the lapel of the honoured guests, participants. Our great admirations for the acting Indian Commissioner, HE Sh Rajesh N Parsed and other two distinguished guests for their short and relevant speeches to mark the 63rd Republic Day Ceremony and for arranging a delicious and traditional Indian dinner by Arun Luhtra of the Ragamama. We also thank the team members of Indian High Commission for their hard work in organising such a memorable event. V an de Mat aram - Maa Tujhey Pran am.
The Government has produced figures which throw light on the number of foreigners who are claiming benefits. It was found that the current system does not record the nationality of benefit claimants. The Government will root out those claimants who can not prove their immigration status and in turn they will be stripped of state handouts. It is time that this should happen. There are people who claim Disability Living Allowance and parking blue badge when they can jog in the park or run to catch a bus! To add fuel to the fire, we now understand that Britain’s debt mountain has smashed through the £1 trillion barrier for the first time in history. It means that each and every one of us owes around £16,400 to the City and global lenders who help keep public services running. Still money is wasted on undeserving scroungers, and in foreign aid! But, if people are living here regardless of their migrant status are deprived of benefits while they have no other source of income to survive or feed their unsavoury habits, they would have no recourse but to turn to crime or indulge in other unacceptable activities like prostitution, gambling, burglary or mugging. This at a time when there are 250 violent gangs roaming the streets of the capital while police force has been reduced to an all time low. This makes a scary reading!
Jai Hin d. Rajinder Chopra, JP Via Email
Indian culture and values It is very disheartening and unfortunate to note that Indian youth especially the Hindu youths are shying away from their customs and culture. This is partly due to ignorance and an element of inferior complex. In addition misinformation is given to them by their peers and there is the influence of media which depicts western customs. Many Hindu youths hesitate to greet their relations or friends saying ‘namaste’, which is a dignified way of non contract greetings conveyed by pressing hands together with a slight bow. It is derived from two sanskrit words: ‘Namah’ meaning bow and ‘te’ meaning to you. People often follow the saying “when in Rome do as he Romans do” but this should not be at the expense of one’s culture. Dr M R Bahl President, Arya Samaj London
General V K Singh’s birth date Mr V K Singh’s birth date - 10th May 1951 should be considered valid on the grounds of his birth certificate or earlier school certificate, which is a valid source. This impetus is expected from the Indian government but it is overlooked! Mr Singh insists on his basic right to have his birth date corrected on the above ground rather than on the ground of holding highest position in military. It would be an injustice to him if the Indian government remains adamant on its arbitrary decision to fix 10th May 1950 relying upon some later documents. I wish him success on abiding by his stand based on a citizen’s right. R N Patel Essex
Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford
Irrespective of angst against blockage of Rushdie’s visit and scrapping of video link, the episode has winners: Muslim protestors got their way; UPA government garnered votes; Rushdie and his blasphemous book got free publicity; Hindus saved from riots, damage or fatalities. Remember that thousands of Hindus have been killed for problems neither caused by them nor originated in India viz: problems with foreign roots-mopla Massacre in 1920, protest against Satanic verses and cartoon of holy prophet Mohammad. India’s problems: Direct Action day massacre in 1947, Godhra-burning karsewaks in 2002, 26-11 raid on Mumbai, and on Hindu temples etc. It would have been foolish to ignore patent threat behind protest by extremists and sacrifice Hindus on the altar of unilateral values e.g. democracy, tolerance, and ideals pushed down the Hindu throats and paraded globally by heartless bigots. If Rushdie was an innocent hero, why did he back out at hint of hired assassin; why millions of British pounds are spent to protect him? For India, lives of hundreds of Hindus, are more precious that of one pen pusher. Would the organisers, journalists, Rushdie, his fans and literature enthusiasts have compensated deaths and damage to Hindus? Did they cry when 60 karsewaks were burnt alive? Ramesh Jhalla Via Email
Safety on the roads of Britain I read the news about Indian students’ safety in Asian Voice (28th Jan). It is remarkable what the universities has been trying to do, in order to protect the safety of foreign students. It is very rightly said that these students who would not go out in the wee hours of the night in their own country, should not have walked around an area like Salford. Salford, especially the estates they were walking through is extremely ill reputed for being unsafe. Youngsters today use their GPS on phone to find a quick way to their destination. But it is very important that they check the safety of the neighbourhood as well. Even children in Britain would not walk for 2 miles at 1am. Why did these youngsters decide to be so adventurous. Britain as a community has its issues. We have youngsters without any ambition, easy going, living on tax payer’s money. It is not that they can’t get a job. They do not intend to get one either. Some of them are a part of the criminal gangs too. But that does not make Britain a racist nation. Britain is much more open to multiculturalism than anywhere else. Millions of students come here every year and receive higher education in various prestigious universities. Yet there are certain cities and localities which are not safe for even natives. People are confusing between safety of general public in the night and race relation. Vivek Sen Manchester
Euthanasia: Is it a curse or a blessing in disguise?
With longevity increasing with leaps and bounds, it creates its own problems, as long life is so often embodied with poor health, especially on mental front suffering with Alzheimer, the disorder of the brain. Such patients require 24 hour care that most families are unable or unwilling to provide and as a result, they end up in nursing homes costing an arm and a leg. With the decline in moral standard and work ethic, nurses and care workers are no longer dedicated Florence Nightingales they used to be only a few decades back. Then un-sympathising health workers reflect the declining standard of honesty and dedication in our society. One can not harvest sweet mangoes from thorny desert bushes. It can only yield prickly pears. Morally corrupt society can not provide dedicated Health Workers. No wonder some may believe that it would be in their best interest to bring life to an end, commit euthanasia before senility sets in and they become a burden to every one, especially to their children. Human life is a God’s gift. So in a way to cut it short before the allocated time is a tragedy. But to prolonged it when quality is not there is a tragedy. Who would like to be a dribbling incoherent person confined to a soiled bed unable even to call for help. It is time we should look at the assisted suicide rather than going to
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‘Smile Pinky’ too gets the Oscar Boyle says Mumbai dwarfed the statuette
Cricket crazy Indians for the first time was seen so euphoric on Monday morning, as they expected a couple of Oscars. British Indians in the UK, Dharavi slums, the shanty township of Mumbai, a village in Uttar Pradesh and almost the entire Bollywood waited in expectation, glued to their TV sets. They burst into celebrations as one by one, their heroes, the actors of the British Indian film and the music maestro, A R Rahman bagged the top awards in the world of entertainment. British actress Kate Winslett also won the Oscar after having missed it almost five times earlier. ‘Smile Pinki’, a short documentary on a cleft-lipped Indian girl in Uttar Pradesh directed by American director Megan Mylan, won the Oscar for the Best Documentary (Short). -/1% /. 0!'%
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It was really shocking to read about the Brent Council’s Labour leader Cllr Ann John. It is a shame that the Hindu Councillors were not allowed to take part in the planning commission. It’s even a bigger shame to note that these councillors did not insist in taking part. Moreover as I read the Asian Voice story, I felt bemused that Cllr Ann John did not even bother to clarify at all regarding her own comment except saying that she has nothing to hide. Is it befitting for such a high posted politician and councillor to not explain her stand to the thousands of readers of Asian Voice? She must tell us in details whether she asked the Asian leaders to step down and clear whatever has been alleged against her. Kamal Singh London
Dirty party politics India celebrated the 63rd year of Republic day with pomp and glory spending cores of rupees showing its military ware. Once again the ugliest face of Communalism has cropped up in Uttar Pradesh state election aided and abated by the renegade Indian politicians mainly from the Congress lead UPA Government. The congress Party wants to allocate five per cent of reservation within the quota of OBCs for Muslims. In addition the Congress party wants to introduce religion based reservation based on the population in Uttar Pradesh. Muslim population in UP is estimated to be 20 per cent and hence 20 per cent of the places in schools, colleges and jobs will be reserved for Muslims in UP. This is a very dangerous policy that will divide India again on the basis of religion. In the selection of candidates for the UP elections, all political parties in the name of social engineering have selected candidates based on religion and castes irrespective of their suitability. It is outrageous on the part of the political parties to publish openly the caste and religion the candidate belongs to openly. Salman Rushdie is a born Indian and holding a NRI passport was prevented to come to India to attend Literary Festival since fundamental Muslim groups were against his visit because of his book ‘Satanic Verses’. The only reason the Congress and Samajwadi Party did not want him to come to India was to appease Muslims and get the support of their votes. They are playing dirty and dangerous politics in India. The real losers are OBC Hindus whose quota will be reduced considerably. OBCs should not support the Congress and the SP parties. Arun Vaidyanathan Via Email Switzerland for this final act of liberation from pain and suffering. Bhupendra M Gandhi Via Email
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Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
UK university applications down as fees rise
University applications from UK students for the first year of higher tuition fees are down by 8.7%, according to figures from the admissions service. With fees rising to up to £9,000 per year, the impact has been biggest for England's universities down by 9.9%. In Scotland, where Scottish students do not pay fees, there was a fall of 1.5%. Universities UK said the "dip is far less dramatic than many were initially predicting". Universities Minister David Willetts argued that school-leaver applications from the most disadvantaged areas had not been hit by the fees increase saying that there was only a decline of 0.2% "It is encouraging that applications from people from some of the most disadvantaged backgrounds remain strong," said Mr Willetts. But Sally Hunt, general secretary of the UCU lecturers' union, said the "figures are very worrying and once again highlight the government's folly in raising tuition fees to as much as £9,000 a year. "Applications in England are down over 50% more than in any other part of the UK as a result of the government
making it the most expensive country in the world in which to gain a public degree." A breakdown of the UK figures show a 4% fall in applications in Northern Ireland and 1.9% in Wales. The figures published by the Ucas admissions service show that by the 15 January deadline there were 462,507 applications for courses beginning in September. This represented a 8.7% drop in applications from students in the UK but an increase in overseas applications meant that the overall figure was 7.4% lower than at the same point last year. Wendy Piatt, director general of the Russell Group of leading universities, says that the underlying longer-term trend remains an increase in demand for university places - with these latest figures considerably higher than three years ago
"Despite all the hype, fee reforms are unlikely to cause a long-term decline in applications. In the past a fall in applications in the first year of higher fees has been followed by increases in subsequent years." But the gap between men and women going to university looks set to widen. Women are already in a majority - and the application figures show a sharper fall among men than women. There is also a breakdown by age group - and this shows that among 18 year olds, across the UK, a decline of 3.6%, compared with last year, with greater drops in applications among older students. There had been much debate about whether students would be influenced by fee levels - and the private BPP University College, which charges £5,000 per year for a three-year course, is reporting that applications have more than doubled.
11 EDUCATION / COUNCIL VOICE Barnet’s young people stand up to be counted More than 30 young people have put their names forward as candidates to represent Barnet at the UK Youth Parliament elections taking place this week. This is the second time Barnet is taking part in the UKYP elections, which will lead to two Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs), and two Deputy MYPs being elected, representing their borough nationally. In total 31 candidates came along to an information session at Hendon Town Hall where they learnt about writing a manifesto, the election process and the requirements of being a MYP. The UKYP was established in 2000 and is run by young people for young people, giving them the opportunity to share their opinions on a range of issues ranging from the cost of university education to job opportunities and war. Its views are listened to by local and national Government, and by providers of other services and agencies who have an interest in the views and needs of young people. From 30 January 2012 young people aged 11-18 years old will have two weeks to cast their votes online at www.mi-
vote.co.uk Voter cards, along with full instructions, will also be delivered to all schools in the week commencing 23 January in advance of the election opening. All votes must be cast online before 5pm on 10 February. Before the voting opens, young people can find out more about the candidates at a debate evening this Thursday (26 January) at Woodhouse College between 4.30pm -
6pm. The event will be an opportunity to ask candidates about their manifestos which can also be viewed online at www.barnetukyp.co.uk The successful candidates will be announced on 21 February 2012 during a results evening to be held at the North London Business Park. The Barnet Youth Board, Barnet’s youth council for 13-19 year olds, campaigned for the borough to join UKYP.
Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
Scrutator’s The shaming Salman Rushdie affair at the Jaipur Literary Festival marred the celebrations of Republic Day. Pomp and circumstance could not hide a revelatory moment that India still had far to go before its democracy achieved true maturity. Mr Rushdie’s presence drew protests from a section of the country’s Muslim community, aggrieved that the author of the controversial The Satanic Verses, which they claimed defamed Islam, should have been issued an invitation. For them it was nothing short of sacrilege, although a great many of their number hadn’t read his book or had sufficient understanding of the English language to comprehend its substance. This has the way with bigots, wherever they reside. The authorities in Delhi and Rajasthan in exercises of dissimulation put it about that Mr Rushdie’s presence would pose a security threat to the safety of delegates as well as to his life; so much so Salman Rushdie that he prevented from addressing the conference over a video link. The Indian constitution gurantees freedom of religion, but it enshrines freedom of thought and expression as well, in case you’ve forgotten. This temporary loss of memory among India’s rulers may one day come to haunt the country.
Jaipur Literary Festival
The easy out of the moral maze is not always the truest wisdom. It could be a pointer to future perils. Mrs Thatcher has not been everyone’s cup of tea, but it remains to her eternal credit that she defended Mr Rushdie’s freedom to write and think as a British citizen with the full might of the British state, which the author had previously excoriated as a replica of apartheid South Africa. She stood up to the murderous Iranian ayatollahs whose fatwa had sentenced him to death for blasphemy. The law of the land was upheld, so was a cherished principle on which it was based.
does not incorporate proper testing, criticism from pee and other checks…..can claim to be ‘scientific’ regardless of the scientific jargon used,” he pronounced. He extolled the 16th century European Reformation which recognized the worth of scientists Copernicus and Galileo who were previously denounced as heretics by the Catholic church. In their wake came Newton and a century later Charles Darwin and his pathbreaking theory of biological evolution. They shaped our world and had enriched the human mind with their discoveries which is part of our universal heritage. Doubt should be the basis of every national and social conversation. It is the way to a productive future just as intolerance is the road to nullity.
India’s Progress However, it would be unduly pessimistic to surrender to gloom and despondency. India has achieved a great deal through its cultivation of science and technology. Take agricuilture, for example. In The Hindu (January 3), the agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan FRS reminds us that without the Green Revolution of the late 1960s and 70s and the quantum leap in the production of wheat and rice, India would have descended into famine (such as that which killed millions in Bengal in 1943) or would hovered on the brink of calamity. There is still some distance to go before India is able to free every citizen from malnutrition and hunger, but food security for all is surely within reach. Progress made is a blessing, he says, and recounts the original work of American scientists in the field which opened the door for their Indian peers. Science is a treasure trove for humankind, not simply this or that nation.
concerns at what is sometimes perceived as the slow pace of Indian economic reforms, Mr Peterson said that in democraciues “policies are made after prolonged dialogue and is indeed a healthy practice” (The Hindu January 20) Impressed by the positive discussion about India, he said it was quite a refreshing change to have moved the conversation away from the economic problems of Europe. He said India was committed economic reform, the agenda, which India’s Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma, Minister, assured delegates was firmly in place. India ranks fourth among the world’s steel producers and sixth, after the US, Germany, Japan, China and South Korea, for innovation.
Creating jobs for US, EU
Investment Destination David Cameron
India Inc in messages to President Obama and European Union leaders reminded them of the jobs created in their respective spheres by Indian compa-
Scientific spirit A distinguished Indian voice, speaking under the auspices of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan to his audience in Chennai reminded them (and those who read his words beyond the confines of that hall) of the liberating spirit of science and the scientific method in combating strife dogmas through inquiry and experiment. Dr Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, a chemistry Nobel laureate, Chennai-born, now a Cambridge resident, where he does his research, is a British citizen. His words echoe across national frontiers. He said that as good governance guarded people from their worst instincts, science and the scientific temper “protects us from
Agni V nies. They chose the WEF Davos meet that India IT companies are creating, not taking jobs in the troubled western economies. British Prime Minister David Cameron said that Europe should view the emerging economies such as India as a help, not hindrance to the Europe’s economic recovery. He said a free trade agreement with India, due to be signed at the end of the year, was very much in Europe’s interest
Developments in defence Agni V, India’s 5,000 kilometreplus ballistic missile is being readied for launch, according to Defence Research and Development sources (The Hindu January 15), but an accomplished fact was the transfer of a Russian Akula II class nuclear submarine (renamed INS Chakra) to India on a tenyear lease worth $900 million to the lessee. Retired Admiral Vijay Shankar, the former Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar and Commander-in-Chief of the Strategic Forces Command Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet praised India’s top defence planners for the acquisition, which he said, was a major strategic decision that covered a vital space in the country’s maritime strength. He wtites: “In terms of the platform , the Akula II represents the state-of-the art in SSN design , the programme having been launched in the mid-1990s. The nearest in terms of quality were US and UK vessels which were slightly inferior.” India had got a good deal, he said. (The Hindu January 25).
Dr Venkatraman Ramakrishnan
our biases and irrationality…..No system that
India is a major investment, according to the annual deliberations of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The votaries of Indian growth included Standard & Poor (S&P) President Douglas Peterson who said that the agency had an investment grade rating on India. Brushing aside
Retired Vice-Admiral Vijay Shankar (left) receiving a memento from ENC FOC-in-C Vice-Admiral Anup Singh in Visakhapatnam.
Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
Political Sketchbook Alpesh Patel’s
The Politics of the Republic ‘The State of our Union is Strong’ proclaimed Barack Obama last week. This past week also saw India celebrate Republic Day. On January 26th 1950, some two and half years after becoming a British Dominion (or ‘independent’), India became a Republic. As a Republic, she removed the British King as Head of State, something which she did not do at Independence in 1947 and adopted a new constitution. As the American President does annually, perhaps India too should analyse the State of the Union, and to what extent the Constitution is being upheld to the original vision of the founding fathers of mother India. After all some 60 years is long enough to ensure the Constitution is being executed faithfully. Article 15 states, ‘The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.’ Okay, well India has had women and untouchables as Prime Ministers. It took the Americans 200 years of their Republic to have a black man as President – so perhaps India can be forgiven. The Indian Constitution goes on to say, ‘Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes’. Not even the American have at their dream founding allowed for positive discrimination for their ‘scheduled castes and tribes’ which were the ‘negro’ and the ‘red Indian’. Article 17 says:’ “Untouchability” is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden.’ That’s alright then. Job done. Article 19; “All citizens shall have the right— (a) to freedom of speech and expression; (b) to assemble peaceably and without arms”. I bet Anna Hazare is
relieved to read that one. Article 21A; “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine” Hmmm…all those slum kids in Mumbai must be foreigners then. Article 23; “Traffic in human beings and begging and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.” Again, I refer you to Mumbai. Article 24: “ No child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.” Depends what you mean by hazardous, but cleaning up roads in Mumbai is pretty hazardous if you ask me. I won’t go on. No Constitution ever realises the dreams of its aspirations. But those few Articles would have been a good start. As mentioned, it even took the mighty US 200 years and it is still far from realising its Constitutional American Dream. So India shall wait. Hey, but Tata bought Jaguar and Goldman Sachs said India will be a really big economy and Mr Ambani – I forget which one – the ugly one or the good looking one – built a big tower. So the Constitution doesn’t matter. But I should not whinge – I should inspire. How will this all happen? I tell you this, America had Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. India had Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel. Is India any less capable of producing greatness? No, until one of her sons and daughters rises to be a Lincoln, Washington, Gandhi or Patel, let us keep reading the Constitution, because one in six humans on this planet lives under that Constitution and it matters – much more than Jaguars and GDP.
Ken Livingstone’s campaign hit by in-fighting? One of his campaign staff faces legal action by another aide over allegations of “bullying, abuse and intimidation”. Sukie Sohal, in charge of fund-raising for Mr Livingstone’s campaign to regain the London mayoralty, is threatening to sue Patrick Heneghan, campaign director, and the Labour party, saying she felt “deeply humiliated” by them, as reported by the Sunday Telegraph. Ms Sohal, a former councillor who has eight years’ experience as a salaried party official, has alleged that she was used as a token Asian to impress Mr Livingstone’s wealthy Indian donors and as a “pretty face” to parade around party events holding up auction prizes. In the documents, two senior members of the Livingstone team, Rob Chapman and Phil Dilks, say the campaign is in “turmoil” with “growing tensions” between Labour’s professional staff and people brought in by the former Mayor. The case papers, which are circulating inside London Labour, was passed to The Sunday Telegraph by a Labour activist. Labour MPs and London Assembly mem-
bers privately complain that experienced campaigners are being cut out of the mayoral campaign by “cronies” of Mr Livingstone appointed without due process. Ms Sohal, was not available for comments. A Labour Party spokesman said: “We do not comment on staff matters.” Cllr Navin Shah, the only Hindu Assembly Member told Asian Voice, “This is Labour Party’s internal staffing matter for the Labour Party to address and nothing to do with the campaign for the forthcoming elections in London. The campaign itself, with its powerful messages highlighting monumental failures of the Tory Mayor, is going from strength to strength with the recent polls putting Ken Livingstone ahead of Boris Johnson. Local campaigns in the areas like Brent and Harrow too show that Labour has excellent support from our residents.”
Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
King’s College London, one of the world’s top 30 universities and 4th oldest in the UK, marked India’s Republic Day on Thursday, 26th January, with the formal launch of its prestigious new India Institute. The event was inaugurated by Rt Hon William Hague MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, representing the UK Government. Acting Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Mr Rajesh Prasad, was also in attendance, reflecting the growing importance of UK-India bilateral relations. The King’s India Institute, which opened its doors to students in September 2011, is already rapidly becoming a world-leading institution for global engagement with contemporary India. The Institute - one of a network of Global Institutes at King’s focusing on 21st century world powers - is pioneering a unique interdisciplinary approach to research on contemporary India, with experts from across the fields of social sciences, policy, law, security studies, science and health. The underlying ethos is rooted in commitment
Photo courtesy: Dominic Turner
King’s India Institute inaugurated on India’s Republic day
Professor Sunil Khilnani, Avantha Chair and Director of the King’s India Institute, with Rt Hon William Hague MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
to build India’s capacity to engage with global issues on its own terms, to foster long-range thinking on India’s most essential dilemmas, and to deepen international comprehension of the distinctive character of India’s growth path and challenges. Rt Hon William Hague MP, who gave the opening speech at the inauguration ceremony said: ‘It is a great pleasure, on India’s Republic Day and the 62nd anniversary of the signifying of its Constitution, to express my sense of optimism and excitement about our relations with India and all that lies ahead for the citizens of both our countries, and our Government’s firm com-
mitment to develop even closer ties in the years to come and indeed we can hope throughout this century, which is very much India’s to shape. ‘This new Institute at King’s could not have come at a better time. Now is the time to study India, to invest in India and to work with India. The rise of India and other nations is good for the people of those countries; it is good for the world; and it brings immense opportunities for a country like Britain that is able to seize them. ‘I wish the King’s India Institute and its students every success in the coming years. It is inspiring to think of all those who will expand our intellectual horizons and
cement our ties with India in the years to come by studying here.’ The Institute is led by Director Professor Sunil Khilnani, author of The Idea of India. Professor Khilnani, who has recently returned from the Jaipur Literary Festival, made a speech describing his vision for the Institute: ‘King’s College London is manifestly the right place for our new India Institute. King’s is an invigorated university expanding its global research footprint and its engagement with the world - through its student body, its faculty, and its partnerships. Its spirit today is one of innovation and experimentation - as is ours. ‘The choices and judgements India makes today will orient its future for many years to come, and it is no longer an overstatement to say that those choices will also change the future of the world. The animating spirit of our new India Institute will be to understand India as such: a nation not at the periphery, but at the centre of our most crucial global debates. ‘Our students will develop skills to contribute to contemporary India’s human development and international influence, and ultimately to worldwide understanding of India’s changing global role. They can also undertake internships and practical experience since we believe this is a crucial part of learning about India today. ‘With the comparative framework offered by the Brazil, China and the upcoming Russia Institute, the programmes at the India Institute are uniquely designed to equip students with the skills and awareness necessary for a successful future in the global economy.’ The Principal of King’s College London, Professor Sir Rick Trainor, closed the official inauguration ceremony saying: ‘We are excited by the significant milestones already achieved by Professor Khilnani and his team at the King’s India Institute. Although still in its infancy, the India Institute is in an extremely strong position to assist in developing the UK and Europe’s understanding of, and engagement with, contemporary India.’ Ramachandra Guha, who will be conducting a seminar series this term, said: ‘This Institute is a scholarly initiative that is both admirable and exciting - because it focuses on the momentous transi-
Hostess Joti Patel received with enthusiasm at AAA 2011 Joti Patel co-hosted the Asian Achievers Awards 2011 at Wembley Stadium and was received with enthusiasm and intrigue from the 1200 audience, headed by distinguished guests including Dr. Vince Cable. Joti’s efforts to charm the audience paid dividends. With multiple bookings secured less than 24 hrs after AAA, Joti is already leading the way on the compering circuit after being booked to present a global tour with guests including some of the highest achievers in business. Joti is an Actress, Presenter & Model who has represented wellknown brands such as BBC, ITV, Crowne Plaza, Sharwoods, Elephant Atta, Sainsbury’s, DFS, Brit-Asia TV and Priority Pass and is booked to represent an international airline for an Olympics campaign in 2012. Joti has also trained with leading names in stage presentation under the team of world famous speaker, Anthony Robbins. Joti is no stranger to our television or silver screen and has worked on Bollywood productions, acted on BBC shows Casualty, Hustle & Doctors and starred in
short films on ITV as well as on the independent circuit. Joti has also featured as the lead actress on various national and global advertising campaigns and is training further with Birmingham School of Acting. This testimonial sums up Joti’s performance at AAA; “is a class act! As an award winning entrepreneur, I’ve been to many award ceremonies and I’m used to a very uniform approach. However, Joti was phenomenal in how she managed and directed the evening. She has great stage presence and comes across in a very professional and clear manner. Joti is a delightful personality and shows great empathy with her audience. She’s one to watch for in the future. I predict this is just the beginning of a very long career for Joti Patel.”
Charity work by Miss India Worldwide UK contestant
Madhuleena (sitting down) with parents and other supporters
Madhuleena Chattoraj will be taking part in Miss India Worldwide UK this year, to be held in HMS President at Victoria Embankment on 4th. In an interview Madhuleena told Asian Voice, “It has been a great experience taking part in this programme. The main focus is personal grooming and development. Of the different activities we had to take part in, one of them was to raise money for a Certain Charity of our own choice. I personally found this the most fulfilltions underway in the world’s most interesting country, and because it is led by a highly regarded senior scholar working alongside some very gifted younger colleagues.’ S u b h a s h i n i Narayanan, who is from Chennai and works as a diplomat for the MEA, is studying on the flagship MA Modern India. At the launch she explained why she had chosen to study at King’s: ‘The main attrac-
ing part of the whole course and I chose the Akshaya Patra Foundation. To raise funds for this charity I arranged a get together at the Peaches Cocktail Bar and Restaurant in Kenton. There was fun and entertainment throughout the evening along with a special presentation from the Charity. There was special appearance from Cllr Navin Shah, the Member of Assembly in support of this special cause, which made the event even more successful.” tion to the MA Modern India programme is its interdisciplinary approach to studying contemporary India - be it India’s foreign and security policy, the historical narrative of modern India or India’s nuclear policy. I found the combination of having the opportunity to interact with renowned political scientists and scholars and studying advanced course work ideally suited my career aspirations.
Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
by Debasree Ghosh
Be a Fashionista, Be You! If you have any questions or a story or a new style to share with us, please write to Shree at email@example.com I did the unthinkable this morning and weighed myself. I have put on three pounds over the weekend. First of all, I didn’t even know that such rapid weight gain is even possible. And secondly, I walked for hours and hours in a museum this Sunday, so exercise clearly has no positive effect! Consequently I am super cranky and depressd right now and have been looking at ways to starve myself thin extraordinarily fast. As always, the Hollywood set did not disappoint me. Vinegar shots, cookie meals and baby food, if you can imaine it, there is a weird diet that promises to give you Gisele’s arse. I’m not sure if I will evr attempt any of these (If I do, I will let you know how I am getting on), but here’s the lowdown. THE BABY FOOD DIET Paparazzi often stalk the entrance to Kitson in Los Angeles, but perhaps they should try the baby aisle at the supermarket instead. Some A-list actresses have reportedly tucked into jars of baby food at meal times to lose weight. A few dieti-
Starry Slim which amounts to about 500-600 calories, with a meal of lean protein and vegetables adding another 300 calories, approximately. The cookies contain protein, amino acids, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and the aim is to eat them to suppress hunger and prevent an increase in blood sugar. The appeal of this plan is simple: Who doesn’t like cookies? Celeb Fans: Kelly Clarkson, Mandy Moore cians admit that baby food could do the trick. If it doesn’t have added starch, it can be a good source of nutrition because it’s just pureed vegetables, fruit, or meat, after all. Ce leb Fans: Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon THE COOKIE DIET One of the most popular diets in Los Angeles over the past few years revolves around four to seven protein-based cookies a day,
THE APPLE-CIDERVINEGAR DIET A shot of something before eating sounds more like a fast track to rehab than to flat abs. But some celebrities swear by a pre-meal gulp of vinegar.This diet rests on the theory that vinegar cuts through fat in your body as it does grease in the kitchen. I have an inkling that this is total rubbish. Celeb Fans: Fergie, Heidi Klum
THE CAFFEIN DIET The pick-me-up can be a dieter's best friend and one that Diet Coke fans Drew Barrymore, Cate Blanchett, Lara Flynn Boyle, Kim Basinger and Caprice know all about. A cup of coffee before a gym workout could help you burn more fat. But even if you are not a gym bunny, daily caffeine fixes can help raise your metabolism, and the stimulant acts as a mild appetite suppressant. Sorry, we're not talking full-fat latte. THE RAW-FOOD DIET The cult of raw food sprouted a few decades ago, but in recent years it has attracted a strong celebrity following, many of whom see it as the path to nutritional nirvana. Devotees believe that cooking food destroys its value – or “life force” – and so none of the fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains they live on are heated above 116 degrees (meat and chicken are out). The good news is that the diet encourages people to eat lots of unprocessed fruits and vegetables, which studies show are very beneficial. Celeb Fans: Demi Moore, Drew Barrymore Any takers?
Arrested for terrifying former lover A city banker spurned by a doctor he met through a dating agency bought a cache of weapons including crossbows and a gun and set fire to her parents’ home after they uncovered criminal past, a court heard. Al Amin Dhalla, pictured, a Canadian national, allegedly orchestrated a terrifying four-month campaign against trainee doctor Alison Hewitt, 35, from Brighton, East Sussex, and her family when she dumped him in December 2010. He was eventually arrested by armed officers at the hospital where she worked - but only after a police helicopter airlifted her parents to safety from the secluded holiday home he had tracked them down to, Lewes Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Richard Barton told the trial: ‘His criminal conduct started with petty thefts and criminal damage, continued through repeated harassment of his former partner and family and ultimately escalated into conduct on his part which endangered the lives of others, with plans for yet more sinister actions. ‘He was apprehended by police before he could execute those final plans.’
Double murder accused found hanged in prison Lithuanian national Rimvydas Liorancas, who was charged with murdering Avtar Kolar and his wife Carole at their home in Birmingham, has been found dead in prison, police said. West Midlands Police confirmed the Lithuanian national was found dead in his cell at Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, on Saturday.
Avtar Kolar and wife Carole
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Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
Kamal recommends SRK for ‘Vettaiyadu Vilayudu’ remake In what is considered to be a loving gesture towards cinema, Ulaganayagan Kamal Hassan cited the Bollywood King Shah Rukh Khan for the police cop role. It was some seven years ago that Gautham Menon depicted Kamal in a fantastic cop role in “Vettaiyadu Vilayadu.” The film offered the very best from Kamal in his hey days and hit the box office with excellent remark. Recently when circles in Bollywood queried the Ulaganayagan for the choice of that character, he at once uttered the name of SRK. He claimed that the King Khan possesses that much of validity for that character. Director Gautham Menon welcomed this recommendation.
Prabhu Deva-Nayanthara end their relationship
The relations between Prabhu Deva and Nayanthara have been in the news for more than three years. It all started after the demise of Prabhu Deva’s son. Prabhu Deva and his wife Ramlath showed mutual consent for divorce and Nayanthara decided to quit films after their marriage. However, Prabhu Deva started getting into more works and didn’t show any signs of getting married. Then buzzes were that they had bitter terms as there was news that Prabhu Deva and Hansika Motwani had become closer. However, it was denied as baseless rumours and the couple decided to enter wedlock sooner. But now Nayanthara has decided to sign more projects and reports are that they have parted ways.
Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
Wedding bells are ringing loud for Ananya. The ‘Nadodigal’ and ‘Engaeyum Eppothum’ actress will marry Anjaneyan, a Trichurbased entrepreneur soon. Their engagement is scheduled to take place on February 3. Says Ananya, “It was my constant decision to leave my marriage to my parents’ choice. When Anjaneyan and his family members approached elders in my family with the wedding proposal, my parents found him as the right man.” The engagement ceremony of Ananya and Anjaneyan is being organized at the actress’s house at Perumbavur near Ernakulam. Wedding date is expected to be fixed during the betrothal function, which will be attended by close relatives and friends. “I don’t know whether I will continue acting or not after wedding,“ she said.
Hot Garam masala Lata Mangeshkar sings for Kareena Way back in 2006, Lata Mangeshkar had recorded a song for Madhur Bhandarkar's "Corporate." After recording the song, the director and the composer felt that it was best to be stored and used it for a different movie. This song will now be used in "Heroine" and will have Mangeshkar singing to Kareena Kapoor's lips. Says composer Shameer Tandon, "I recorded the song titled "Kyun yahan hota hai/Jo yahan hota hai" when Madhur was making "Corporate". The lyrics were penned by Sandeep Nath. However, when we finished recording, we felt the song would be more suited for some other Madhur movie. That's why we kept it on hold. Now, we have decided to use it for Kareena in ‘Heroine’."
Mallika Sherawat goes 3D You've seen her on the big screen in various avatars, now Mallika Sherawat will be seen in a totally different dimension. The actress is the first Bollywood actress to feature in a 3D magazine from Hollywood. Talking about the experience of shooting in 3D, she says, "They approached me and they wanted a face to represent India. I had met President Obama and been to the Oscars, so they thought I would be the right person to be on the cover of their issue. They saw my work and I said I would love to be party of anything new and 3D is such a youth platform." "The magazine comes with 3D glasses so when you see the pictures I will be three dimensional! What's more interesting is that the guys developing it are all Indians. Now you can have me really close to you! It's the next best thing after the real thing," she adds.
Now, Asin says No The search for the female lead for “Shootout at Wadala” continues. The latest name who was considered for the role Asin has turned down the offer. The actress was recently in talks for the project but decided against doing it. Asin's business manager states, "Yes, she was approached to be part of the project. But had to turn it down as the required dates were clashing with another project." Apparently the actress has given a chunk of her dates to “Bol Bachchan” for which she is currently shooting. Asin's move has led producer-director Sanjay Gupta's prequel to his 2007 flick “Shootout at Lokhandwala” left yet again with casting woes.
i've never been part of any camp:
Ananya to enter wedlock
Deepika, PRiyANKA ChoPRA Siddharth to part ways?
Refusing to dwell on her personal equations with co-stars, Priyanka Chopra talks about the professional space and what makes her tick in Bollywood. She had been in the news for not the best reasons of late. And yet, Priyanka refuses to let the rumours affect her, at least professionally. When faced with personal questions about rumours of her special friendship with Shah Rukh Khan, the actress fidgets and declares, "I will not talk about this. I shall never talk about this." However, when it comes to her films, the actress doesn't shy away from answering. About her upcoming Dharma Productions venture 'Agneepath', the actress gushes, "I am nervous and excited. Reports have been brilliant. They have liked Hrithik (Roshan), Sanju (Sanjay Dutt) and my work. More than anything, they have loved the film. I'm very proud of Karan (Malhotra, the
Golden year for Ranbir, Vidya This year has given a golden start to Vidya Balan and Ranbir Kapoor, as they won the best actress and actor trophies respectively at almost all the award ceremonies. Filmfare awards held at Film city declared them as winners for the best actor trophies. They also won the best actor in Zee Cine award held at Macau. Screen award also went to them. In the C h e v r o l e t Apsara Awards ceremony also they have picked the best actors’ trophies for performance in “Rockstar” and “The Dirty Picture” respectively. "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara" bagged the best film honour from Filmfare. Zoya Akhtar took home the best director award for "Zindagi...". Priyanka Chopra won the best actress
(critics' choice) for her portrayal of a woman who kills her seven husbands in "7 Khoon Maaf." Farhan Akhtar picked the best dialogue award for his snazzy writing for "Zindagi..." In the Apsara awards Zoya’s actorfilmmaker b r o t h e r Farhan took home the best supporting actor award for the movie too. The best supporting actress award went to Priyanka Chopra's cousin Parineeti, for her portrayal in "Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl". The act also bagged the best debutant (female) award for her. The best debutant (male) honour went to southern actor Rana Daggubati for his first Bollywood project "Dum Maro Dum".
director) as this is his first film and I'm his first heroine. For me, it's not a remake. I hadn't even seen the original 'Agneepath' till I signed this film. Also my role has been written fresh." And this film strengthens her bond with Karan Johar and Dharma. She had earlier worked with the production house in 'Dostana'. "It was lovely working with Dharma again. As an actor, you don't involve yourself with the production much. You're closer to the director," says the actress. Despite her proximity to Dharma, her relationship with Yash Raj Films is reportedly not as strong. Rumour has it that Yash Raj did not keep its promise of offering her a big film after she agreed to do a small project 'Pyaar Impossible'. However, the actress maintains that it wasn't YRF she was working for but Uday Chopra Productions. Good with a section of the industry and not too close to the rest, this is Priyanka's career graph in a nutshell. However, with single minded determination and what trade analyst Amod Mehra calls 'luck' the actress despite being shunned some, has managed to maintain her position in Bollywood. When asked about her close and not so close relations with actors, producers and directors, she said, “I have never been part of any camp.”
Don’t compare me with Big B: HritHik rosHan
Amitabh Bachchan made Vijay Dinanath Chauhan's character in the 1990 "Agneepath" iconic, but the film didn't do wonders at the box office. Almost two decades later now, Hrithik Roshan, who has reprised the role in its remake that has collected Rs 250 million on the opening day, says it's unfair to compare the two actors. "You can't compare (with Amitabh). If you start comparing, I will fail in a second. I feel people are not saying that I have done as well (as Bachchan), but I think what they are saying is I have done well in my way and they are cheering for me," said Hrithik, who is receiving rave reviews for his performance.
I'm happy with my relationship: Kareena Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor says she is happy and content in her relationship with beau Saif Ali Khan. Kareena shared her sentiments in a casual tete-a-tete with her friend and "Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu" producer Karan Johar for "A date with Ek Main aur Ekk Tu" - a show to be telecast on Zee TV. Johar asked Kareena - "How do you feel when you see Saif in an intimate scene with another hot actress? Say in 'Race 2', Saif has a bare-body scene with a Deepika in bikini, what would be your first thought?" To which, Kareena replied: "I'd be like 'Wow! How hot Saif looks'," and added: "I know how he looks bare bodied!" On a serious note, she said: "I am quite secure in my relationship with Saif and though I don't want to say too much too soon, I am quite content!" Recently Saif admitted how he thinks Kareena looks best only with him, and not with any of the other Khans of Bollywood that she has worked with.
"I don't even want to analyse. There are no comparisons in my head," added the 38-year-old actor. The remake, produced by Karan Johar and directed by debutant Karan Malhotra, broke recent opening day box office records, garnering Rs 250 million. The collections have left behind figures of hits like "Bodyguard" and "RA.One", which made Rs 220 million and Rs 18 million, respectively. Hrithik feels blessed with the response, but credits the entire team for the success. "I feel blessed. I think this is what we live for. I am on centre stage but it's a victory for the entire team so I am representing all people" he said.
Salman finds Katrina truly desi now! Ever since Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif began to shoot for “Ek Tha Tiger,” Kat has been full of surprises for her exflame. Latest being, when she impressed Salman with her improved Hindi diction, which also led Salman calling her 'desi'. Kat has come a long way from her rigid British accent to pure desi style, something Salman can’t withhold raving about. The superstar is enjoying every moment working with Kat.
If rumours are to be believed, the relationship between lovebirds Deepika Padukone and Siddharth Mallya has hit a dead end. The couple who have not been making public appearances from quite sometime may be heading for a split, reports said. "Since August 2010, they have made several appearances together. They have been strangely cold and aloof while talking about their relationship. But all of us wanted to believe that they were headed for something stronger when Sidhartha dined with Deepika's family," a source said. According to reports, Mallya Jr even confided to a friend that "the relationship is not working and heading nowhere." Deepika, meanwhile, is concentrating on her work. "She is putting up a brave front, focusing on her work and hoping for the best," a source close to Deepika said.
Deepika-Ranbir coming close again? Deepika was spotted partying with ex-flame Ranbir Kapoor on his 29th birthday. When asked about it Deepika said, “Ranbir is an extremely talented actor. Technically, we have only done half a film together since I came in only halfway through BAH. We were both keen to do another one, but till Ayan’s film came along, we had not come across the right script. There are no issues anymore, we are good friends.” Ranbir, meanwhile, gifted a piano to Deepika when he came to know about her interest in learning music.
SRK ‘slaps’ Farah Khan's husband The clash between two Bollywood celebrities took on a violent note early on Monday morning, when actor-producer Shah Rukh Khan allegedly came to blows with director Farah Khan's husband Shirish Kunder at Sanjay Dutt's party at a popular nightclub in Juhu, Mumbai, which was attended by A-listers. After being stalked by Kunder right through the party, Khan as he was about to leave, lost his cool and allegedly pinned him onto a sofa and slapped him. Although Farah spent the better part of Monday railing against her former 'best friend' SRK for slapping her husband and attacking him for "no reason", she and
Kunder will not be approaching the police. Kunder on Monday evening tweeted: "We have no intention of filing an FIR or a police complaint." Both Dutt, who had attempted to separate the two, and SRK are maintaining a stony silence. The incident took place around 4.15 am on Monday at a party hosted in Dutt's honour by the owner of the nightclub following Sunday's Filmfare Awards. Eyewitnesses give conflicting accounts of the nature of the scuffle: some say the duo came to blows, others say the actor simply slapped Kunder.
Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
Protecting Yourself, Protecting Your Loved Ones Dear Financial Voice Reader: Several Habits of Highly Profitable Traders I recently took the trading data of 400 private investors over a 4 year period and analysed it. Most happened to be of Indian origin. I wanted to know what winners had in common compared to the losers. I went through every position (well the computer did) of every trader. Then picked out some winner and some losers and try to work out what they kept getting right and wrong. Or why winners turned to losers. (Losers never become winners). As far as I am aware no one has ever done this. Here are some of the findings. Once a security risen 10% into profit, if it falls back into loss, you are less likely to make money: Traders who saw a stock rise 10%, rarely made money, if they then held onto it whilst it slipped into a loss. Winners did not let winning trades becoming losing trades. Some make money that are right only 4 times out of 10: Some winning traders made money despite being right less than half the time. They did this because the amount they won when they were right was more than the amount they lost when they were wrong. Put another way, soon after their positions were in a loss, they exited and did not hang around for the trade to turn into a longer term profit. If they tended to hold winning trades for, say, 25 days, then they did not hold losing trades longer than the average period. Forex traders were particularly successful – trend following and reverse trends: Those trading the foreign exchange markets were particularly likely to be profitable and successful of the batch I observed. This is not to say those buying and holding stocks for the long term are not profitable, it’s just that the audience being observed was one of active traders. So out of those why should foreign exchange trading work well? It appears that one reason is that such markets often ‘trend’ ie move in one smooth direction and then reverse. This is not a hard and fast rule – but relative to equities it has been noticed by many traders. This may help such traders make money. Of course it could be they are better – but it appeared from the trades I saw, they captured trends and those trends existed, rather than with those trading other securities. One exception was commodities. Those traders did well too, but also often due to wild swings, in losing periods, gave back gains. Those who bet small amounts, but did more trades, were more profitable than those trading big size but infrequently: We found winners did not make big bets. But rather their risk was limited, it’s just that when they found that 1 or 2 trades in a hundred which kept on winning, they were able to hang on to them. There is a lot more where this came from. This research will soon go into a book – but who knows perhaps even a PhD?
Tatas, Starbucks sign pact for opening cafe chain in India Global coffee chain Starbucks will soon be making its way to India with Tata Global Beverages formally announcing a joint venture pact with the USbased company. "The company has entered into a joint venture with Starbucks group whereby the newlyformed joint venture company Tata Starbucks Limited shall engage in
the operation of Starbucks Cafes," Tata Global Beverages said in a regulatory filing. Both parties had announced their intent to start Starbucks-branded cafes
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The history of the British Indian community is intimately connected to our past migrations (including my own family’s) from India, to East Africa and then to the UK. It created an enterprising spirit which older generations have often passed onto younger: according to a 2006 report there were over 40,000 Asian owned businesses in London alone, with almost 70% of these being family owned. There are real advantages to having a family owned business: control, for example. However, where things may have worked well in one generation – with the business running on loose understandings and agreements, things may not work so well for the next. Over 60% of all the family owned businesses in the UK do not have any handover plans. For a business to survive (and sometimes the family itself!) clarity of ownership, control and rights is important. You could allow active members to have more freedom in the management of the business by amending the
C K Patel re-appointed to US travel & tourism advisory board Atlanta hotelier and immediate past chairman of the A s i a n American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) Chandrakant “C.K.” Patel has been reappointed for a two-year term to the prestigious US Travel and Tourism Board, which consists of 32 leading travel and tourism business leaders who are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce to advise on industry-related programs and policies. A topic of special interest for Patel, who was originally appointed in January of 2011 to serve a one-year term, has been streamlining the visa application process so that foreign travellers can more easily visit the United States. Underscoring the importance of this issue, President Obama on January 19 signed an executive order which supports improved visa processing and promotes the US as a tourism destination. “Travel and tourism is a vital segment of our country’s economy, so this position offers a unique opportunity to contribute to the financial well-being of our country,” explains Patel. “More tourists means more spending, which contributes to more jobs and a faster economic recovery.”
incorporation documents of a company, whilst simultaneously allowing other family members to retain rights by agreeing share ownership. The inevitability of death and taxes means that aside from ensuring that you protect your business by planning for succession (as set out above) ensuring that you have a well drafted Will is equally vital. Specific advice should also be taken where you have family and business assets in India or Africa, or indeed other parts of the World. If you die without making a Will your property and belongings will be divided regardless of your wishes (in the UK). By making a Will, you decide who gets what. Though in general terms, for individuals the first £325,000 of all your solely owned property will not be taxed (the “Nil Rate Band”) by planning and using exemptions (such as small gift exemptions, or cash gifts on marriage) appropriately the amount of tax you might have to pay can be reduced still. The position is a little
more complicated for a business owner: tax relief is available for some types of business property (for example a sole trader business or an interest in a business such as a partnership), but not others (stocks and securities in some instances). If you have an already existing agreement, such as a shareholders agreement this may trump a newly drafted Will - ensuring that the old agreements and your Will are complimentary will be important in reducing conflict later. A famous person once said: other things may change us, but we start and end with family. By protecting your business and your wealth, you will be looking after loved ones, so that this remains the case even after you
have passed on the reins to the next generation. I can provide free initial consultation for Asian Voice readers. If you want any such legal advice on any issue or have any questions, you can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 8445 6753
One Stop Shop for NRI / PIO Last week Asian Voice had an opportunity to catch up with two budding entrepreneurs Mr Darmesh Doshi and Mr Rahul Dixit from Asset India. Asset India is a global company specializing in the real estate investment sector in India with customers, who are Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs), in UK, India, Kenya, Tanzania, Spain, USA, Canada, Australia, Gibraltar and Kuwait and shortly spreading its reach in Dubai, Singapore & Hongkong. They have a team of specialized real estate portfolio managers and finance professionals – all of whom are real estate experts who together have decades of experience in the real estate industry in India and the UK. They are purely investor driven company which provides a one stop shop for all India property investment requirements like Re-sales, Rentals, Property management, Finance and Foreign exchange facilities. Upon asking how did the idea of a company like Asset India come into being? Darmesh went on to say "Earlier we were working with one of the leading real estate developer of India where we realised there was not only a huge demand for investments in real estate in India but also a gap in the International market for lack of professionals facilitating this requirement
hence we came together as a team and formed Asset India with one single objective to provide a one stop service for NRI/PIO’s investing in real estate in India.” He went on to say, “We help the investors by primarily understanding their real estate requirements and subjectively provide tailor-made solutions from sourcing, negotiating, arranging site visits, providing financial/investment calculations along with offering full property management solution like rentals, re-sales, financing as a part of complete portfolio management.” Asian Voice asked Rahul Dixit, whether they search particular properties that people are interested to invest in or is it more of the list they have and people are welcome to invest in one of the properties? He answered by saying, "As this is a primarily investor/client focused company we provide solutions to client requirements thereby personalis-
ing the whole India investment experience. He added, “Real estate sector in India is getting organized and we bridge the gap by providing a professional hassle- free service with our expert experience and hands-on approach”. When asked how different are they from the other India Property Estate agents, Darmesh said, “Asset India has predominantly evolved as a investor-focused company where we not only offer the best property deals in the Indian real estate market but also look after your complete Indian real estate investment making it a hassle-free experience where your investment works harder and smarter for you”. Asset India have been in existence since 2011 and readers who are interested in knowing more about them and their services or would like to get some advises regarding India property could speak could speak to them.
Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
It’s lonely at the top, but you eat better
Suresh Vagjiani Managing Director Sow & Reap A Property Investment & Financing company.
Recently we completed refurbishing a small one bedroom flat to a two bedroom flat in Queens Park/Maida Vale. This was picked up in auction in March 2011 for £280,000. This was the top limit set for this property - I was actually hoping to get it for less. One thing I have noticed is when a property comes up for auction the auctioneer puts the more fashionable next door area in the description, rather than the actual location of the property, if a property comes up in Westbourne Park it would be described as in Notting Hill! And Kilburn becomes Maida Vale. We spent £50,000 doing the property up which included a rear extension and planning fees. I could have got it cheaper if I got my uncle to do it but then I couldn't tell him off if I didn't like anything. The aim was to buy and sell over a six month time period. The total expenses together with purchase costs came to £60k. As soon as the property came up on the market we got an offer of £390k, this was within days of it being out in the market. I thought this was too quick and it must be worth more, so let's hold out. We did and it wasn't! The original buyer due to the delay moved on to other things and January is not the best time to sell a property. The flat realistically is worth £380,000 right now, which actually doesn't leave much margin. The cost to date is £280K + £60K, which is £340k. Using a 3% + Vat agent’s fee, I know that’s high, but I have gone on the assumption that Foxtons end up selling it, this would leave £26,000, a 10% return on your funds. A fair return, but not amazing admittedly given the variables involved. If we had purchased with a mortgage it would have increased the percentage to make it much more attractive, as only 25% of the purchase price would have been used. However the return would have been decreased by the arrangement fee and the interest payments which would mean a total decrease of another £14,000. This now would mean £70,000 into the property and a £12,000 return, which gives a 17% return on your funds. This in my opinion is still not enough given the variables involved in a property deal.
Th e lu cky thin g is this is property and so you al ways have a fall back posit io n. The fallback position is to rent and refinance at the higher value. The great thing with property is you have this realistic and quick option. This would mean you refinance at £380k which means you can extract 75% of this value out from the property, which comes to £285k. So now you are leaving only £55k in the property. The rental is £370pw, net of agents fees. The mortgage payments will be £300pw. This means you have an income of £3,500 pa., which is a 6% net on your deposit. Assuming the price holds and rises you will be making a
The Real Deal This week we have two very contrasting deals to offer One is a 25year lease property for £40k, this comes with a tenant generating £9k per annum. A good way to view this is to look it at like you’re buying a bond, you will get an annual return of 22.5% per annum for a period of 25 years, but unlike a bond there will be no final payment. Roughly over a 4 year period your funds will be returned to you, the rest will be profit. The property is a Ground Floor Two Bedroom Maisonette subject to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy producing £9,000 per annum. The freeholder has quoted £85,000 for a lease extension though you never have to extend, it is still a great deal for £40k in. The property is situated in the south east London residential area of Lower Sydenham close to local shops and amenities and the open spaces of Southend Park are only a short walk away. Transport links are provided by
Lower Sydenham rail station. The second property is a commercial property, the building is grade two listed in Oldham. The property is entirely let to HSBC Bank plc for 15 years from 20th June 2008, expiring 20th June 2023, at a current passing rent of £55,000 per annum. The lease benefits from 5 yearly upwards only rent reviews, with the next review being on 20th June 2013. There is a tenant’s break clause on 20th June 2018, exercisable upon six months’ written notice. The lease contains full repairing and insuring covenants, subject to a schedule of condition. The Tenant has an option to renew the lease for a further 15 years from the end of the term. We understand that part of the mezzanine floor is occupied by the Oldham Town Centre Management Company on an informal basis and no rent is payable. The price is £825k, giving a yield of 6.7%.
capital return on the uplift of the property value. This seems to be the most sensible option. However this real example shows investing in property with a view of buying and selling is no sure thing even though this property was picked up in an auction. The reason? I believe the main culprit is the program Homes Under The Hammer. Programs like these are normalising buying at auctions and so the average person who wants to purchase a property and normally goes to an agent now considers the auction as a viable option. This means auction rooms which traditionally have been wholesalers for property for investors to purchase and then sell on have now became accessible for the man on the street. This has the effect of increasing property prices bought in the auction. For prime Lots I have seen the opposite is true, instead of buying them in auction it is better to sell them at the auction. With a bunch of end users to whom this also becomes an emotional purchase, the price can be driven up way beyond what someone would rationally pay. This is a reversal of what used to occur, to purchase through an agent and resell at auction now is viable for prime Lots. So where is the angle this coming year? We believe in the larger Lot size. The size of these Lots divorces most off the street part time investors. The margins are higher and you can add clear value to them. So how do you a get a chunk of this pie? Asians rarely act as individuals, they act in clumps. When selling India properties it’s rare we sell one plot to one person, the likely situation is one investor buys one and so does his cousin. To really exploit the market this year I feel the method would be to group together and purchase property. We have the right infrastructure in place to make this a hassle free process.
The Victorian House Heating & Lighting Coal fires were the main source of heat during the 19th Century, they consumed a staggering amount of fuel. The consumption of fuel went up from 2.3m tons to 10.2m tons in 1861. In urban houses where space was scarce coal was stored in a separate cellar underneath the pavement. A chute would connect the pavement to the celler, this would be covered with a self locking cast iron plate. The coalman would empty sacks of coal down the chute and close the plate. Houses without cellers would either use coal bins in the back yard or the cupboard underneath the stairs as a ‘coal hole’. Open fires had a catastrophic health effect on London. They left soot both inside and outside of the houses, in the great fog of 1880 700 Londoners died. Gas supplies were only available from 1860. It was used for lighting and rarely for cooking and heating until the end of the century. Electricity came in 1881 where the first public supply was intro-
We provide a turnkey solution. Contact us now: Specialists in: l Property Sourcing l Mortgages l Commercial Finance l India Properties
UK Sales 0207 313 4595 India Sales 0203 384 5323
duced in Godalming Surrey. It was another 20 years before it became standardised and widespread.
Tips of the Week l When planning property projects always have 2 routes to exit l Many lenders do not lend when the seller has held the property for less than 6 months
Westbourne House, 14-16 Westbourne Grove, London, W2 5RH
Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
Quality for Community Mayank S. Rawal, FCQI CQP
Have our institutions taken over the role of the UKBA?
The rug was pulled from underneath the overseas students feet when changes to the student rules came in quickly and without much notice. New students of course know what to expect and they can decide for themselves whether or not UK is the right destination for them. Many European countries have relaxed their regulations in order to encourage students but this has not, until now , been taken up in large number s because of language barriers. The real problem is for students already in the UK looking to extend their stay. The problems initially came from the changes but now it appears that institutions, universities and colleges, who rely on overseas funds have tightened up their procedures in a manner that errs on the side of caution and excludes genuine students. Clearly many do not understand the rules very well and rather than risk losing their licence they lost the student. Take for example the case of a current student who has completed a degree and is eligible to become a post study worker. This category is due to end at some point in April (the exact date
has not yet been announced). The student concerned would like to switch to post study worker status but continue to complete her Master course. This is because at the end of it she will have a period on her visa to enable her to do some work experience. She clearly meets the criteria, there are no restrictions on her continuing to study as a post study worker. In fact the UKBA have confirmed as much in writing. However the University concerned will not to allow her to do this. Another case concerns a student whose college closed abruptly and without prior notice in the middle of the term. The college may have been suspended but the UKBA do not disclose this to the student . As it was mid term finding another college offering a course similar to the one that he had been doing was proving difficult. When he finally did he has been told by the College that before they issue a Certificate of Acceptance (CAS) he must get la letter from he UKBA confirming that he is allowed to seek a further college. Those of us who work in this area of law will know how futile such a task can
be. Nor is it necessary for the college to obtain such a letter. The English tests have also been causing a number of difficulties. Admittedly the rules are complicated at time but as a result they are being misinterpreted at times. For example a student who is issued with the CAS after April 2011 to do an NQF level 6 course must be proficient at level B2 of the CEFR. The college are able to choose their own method of assessing the language ability but often insist on a student passing an approved test. And then there are numerous cases of downright dishonest colleges who take fees often for 12 months and if the student is refused for one reason or another they refuse to refund any fees providing a nice little earner for the crooks. There is a need for this issue to be monitored closely by officers visiting colleges. Maria Fernandes has been in practice exclusively in immigration for the past 25 years. Fernandes Vaz is based at 87 Wembley Hill Road Wembley in Wembley and can be contacted by telephone on 02087330123, by email on email@example.com.
Sahara Group vying to acquire Marriott hotels Subrata Roy of the Sahara Group of India, has made a bid for acquisition of Marriott hotels being sold by Royal Bank of Scotland for about £750m. The 42 four- and fivestar properties have attracted interest from a range of potential buyers. Roy’s Sahara group, which acquired the Grosvenor House hotel on London’s Park Lane a year ago, is vying with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and another Indian investor, Blue Post Group, among others. Jones Lang La Salle, the property agent, and Hawkpoint, a corporate
Subrata Roy of the Sahara Group with his family
the previous owner, a consortium that included Quinlan Private, the Irish real estate fund, and Delek, an Israeli property investor.
finance firm, are handling the sale. The Royal Bank of Scotland took control of the properties after the failure of talks to restructure loans it extended to
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It is a fact of life that every community organization could encounter an incident which could have a significant impact on normal day- to- day operations, and community events. The chances of this happening can be at any time or day. Typical incidents which could potentially occur are fire, flooding, community building damage, electrical hazards, health and safety accidents, bereavements within member’s families, sudden illness of committee members, grievous acts, computer system malfunction, or sudden stoppage of scheduled events. The cost of ignoring such incidents could be high in the long term. The process of disaster recovery should be used by the community organization to recover lost assets, recover access to software, and recover data and hardware needed to allow operations to resume as normal. Disaster recovery planning should take into account various contingencies for how the
organization will cope with the unexpected loss of assets and people. It is all interlinked with Risk Analysis, and therefore important to understand the Risks being faced, and subsequently establishing the mitigation measures. Disaster recovery planning should also be continuously updated to incorporate new assets which have been added to the organization. Mitigation measures are the various techniques, and methods that reduce the probability of the disaster occurring, the impact of a disaster, reduce the time, and cost to restore services and operations back to normal. The following questions should be asked, given sufficient thought and provide solutions for recovery; • What are the most important areas, people, IT systems, information, documentation, historical records for your organization? • What would the impact to the Community Organization if the above were severely
affected, consider the worse case scenario? • Does the Management Committee know who to contact in the event of any incident? • What measures would need to be put in place to restore and maintain temporary operations? • Does your organization have master registers of data or inventory lists of assets and stock items? • Has computer data been securely backed up, securely stored offsite, and any security access information been recorded? • Has vital data been retained on paper copy? • Do Committee members have sufficient awareness, knowledge and experience of each others duties? Prevention is always better than cure, therefore your community organization needs to be fully prepared, physically and mentally, for something which is not envisaged to happen, and subsequently maximize the recovery process.
India assures global CEOs of FDI in retail In the aftermath of FDI suspension in multi-brand retail, India sought to dispel apprehensions regarding alleged policy paralysis in the country. In a meeting with the chiefs of global retail chains Wal-Mart and the Metro Group at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said, “It (51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail) could not be implemented because of the compulsions of coalition politics as also partisan opposition... It is just a pause. The decision has only been put on a temporary halt.” He added that consultations have been restarted with all stakeholders and only bonafide objections would be taken into account. Frans WH Muller, member of the management board of Germanybased Metro Group said, “If retail FDI happens, it would be good for the
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and-carry stores in Ludhiana, Bhopal, Zirakpur, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Kota, Raipur and Indore. Wal-Mart emphasised that it would comply with the conditionalities to promote rural economy, employment and back-end investment in India. Sharma also met Frans Muller of retail chain Metro who discussed the company’s plans to double its investment and stores in cash-and-carry in India. It plans to invest over 100 million euros in India as part of strategy to spread its footprint across the country. At present, it has nine stores in locations including Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Jalandhar and Ludhiana. Metro has over 700 stores in 30 countries, and is one of the leading international leading selfservice wholesale operators and had sales of euro 31 billion in 2010.
Anand Sharma addressing bussinessmen at Davos
entire trade, and the Indian government seems to be confident about that”. In a meeting with Sharma, Walmart International president Doug McMillon said Walmart would abide by all the proposed riders in the FDI policy for multibrand retail segment in India. McMillon also “conveyed his commitment to invest in Indian market as and when FDI in multibrand is allowed”, an official statement said. Wal-Mart is operating in India through a joint venture with Bharti Enterprises. The firm has 14 stores in India with best price wholesale cash-
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Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
Foreign Exchange Paresh Davdra is the Dealing Director of RationalFX, Currency Specialists.
Germany state Greece should give up budget control and tougher times ahead for the UK! The German economy minister was quoted saying that Greece must surrender control of its budget policy to outside institutions if it cannot implement reforms attached to euro zone rescue measures. Greece, which has repeatedly failed to meet the fiscal targets set out by its international lenders, is in talks to finalise a second 130 billion-euro (109 billion-pound) package. With many Greeks blaming Germans for the austerity medicine their country has been forced to swallow, officials in Athens dismissed the idea of relinquishing budget control as out of the question. Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said Greece was perfectly capable of making good on its promises (not that they have so far!!!). Philipp Roesler became the first German cabinet member to openly endorse a proposal for Greece to surrender budget control. Also Chancellor Angela Merkel tried to deflect growing international pressure on Germany to agree an increase in the euro zone's bailout funds by saying talks were still continuing. Chancellor did not address the issue of whether Germany would back raising the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and instead answered a question
about what impact increasing the ESM might have on the German budget this year. Merkel is keen to avoid the EU summit being side-tracked by debate about whether extra funding should be funnelled into the euro zone bailout funds, as the International Monetary Fund and some euro states -- includingItaly and Spain -- have suggested. The German government believes that there should not be any discussions about increasing the firewall until March. The leader of Germany's centre-left opposition in parliament, FrankWalter Steinmeier, said Merkel was making a mistake by resisting calls to raise the ESM. Steinmeier, foreign minister under Merkel in the 2005-2009 grand coalition and a possible challenger in 2013, said that Merkel had failed to inspire public confidence during Europe's worst post-war crisis, by repeatedly changing course. In the US, Republican and Democratic lawmakers have started negotiating a deal to extend a tax break for 160 million Americans beyond February. If they fail, the payroll tax, which funds the federal Social Security retirement program, will revert to a 6.2 percent from 4.2 percent levy for workers. Disagreements
over how to pay for the tax break hampered lawmaker’s efforts to extend it until the end of this year. Democrats had proposed surtax on millionaires and Republicans had proposed cutting salaries and benefits for federal workers. In the end, lawmakers agreed to hike fees the government's mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge lenders to guarantee new loans over a 10-year period. In the UK the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the UK economy contracted by 0.2 percent for the final quarter of 2011. Economists had predicted a slight increase of 0.1 percent for the last three months of the year. Despite the feeble ending to the year, the latest ONS data shows overall growth for 2011 was a mediocre, but still positive, 0.9 percent. Still, this level of expansion is well below the Bank of England’s 2 percent growth target and there
is a real concern that the economy will continue to shrink during the first half of 2012. This could hardly come at a worse time for the British government. Like many of its G8 counterparts, the UK is faced with the dilemma of promoting growth, while at the same time, keeping a lid on spending. In fact, government spending was a central theme in the 2010 election and resulted in a coalition government led by Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron together with the Liberal Democrats. The new government came to power on a promise to address the country’s out-of-control spending which few would argue was not already well beyond a crisis point and that is actually saying something as Great Britain has a long history of deficits. In fairness, some of this debt was accumulated as part of the effort to fight two major wars, but even in peace time, Britain typically spends more than it earns. During the 1970s and 1980s, high levels of inflation forced the government to rely on borrowing to maintain spending programs. In the span of those two decades alone, total debt rose from £33.1 billion ($51.6 billion) in 1970 to £197.4 billion ($308.0 billion) by 1988.
Weekly Currencies As of Tuesday 31st January 2012 @ 11am GBP - INR = 77.93 USD - INR = 49.45 EUR - INR = 65.20 GBP - USD = 1.58 GBP - EUR = 1.19 EUR - USD = 1.32 GBP - AED = 5.79 GBP - CAD = 1.57 GBP - NZD = 1.90 GBP - AUD = 1.48 GBP - ZAR = 12.25 GBP - HUF = 350.83
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Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
Pakistan PM Gilani hints at early polls In Focus Islamabad: Pakistan PM Yousaf Raza Gilani on Monday said the option of an early general election "is open" but political elements wanting polls ahead of schedule would have to take up the issue with him after the budget session of parliament in May. Gilani made the remarks during a meeting with Muhammad Asim Nazir, a parliamentarian of the PMLQ, which is a partner in the Pakistan People's Party-led ruling coalition. He "made it clear that the option for early elections is open," said a statement
issued by the premier's office. "All those political elements who want early elections can talk to me but after the budget session," Gilani said. During an interaction with
Pak premier tones down criticism of army
Islamabad: Pakistan's prime minister toned down his criticism of the country's powerful generals a sign of lessening tension between the civilian government and the army that some predicted could topple the nation's leaders. The two sides have long been in conflict, but tempers flared in recent months over a secret memo allegedly sent by the government to Washington last year asking for help in stopping a supposed army coup after the US operation to kill al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden. The government has denied any connection to the letter. The political crisis has come as the government is facing an array of challenges, including a struggling economy, rampant militant violence and troubled relations with its most important ally, the United States. Denying it ever planned to carry out a coup, the army was outraged by the memo and pushed the Supreme Court to investigate, against the gov-
9 rockets fired on Pak Army school Islamabad: Unknown assailants fired rockets on Pakistan’s elite military academy on Friday morning, near the compound in the garrison town of Abbottabad where US special forces killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011. Officials said that nine rockets were fired from behind a renowned Ilyasi Mosque at the hilltop overlooking Abbottabad city. “Three rockets hit the wall of the Pakistan Military Academy and damaged it. Some exploded, some did not but there was no loss of life,” said Khalid Khan Umerzai, the commissioner of Abbottabad division. Imtiaz Hussain Shah, a top local government official, said that police recovered nine rocketlaunching pads from behind the mosque. “We have a security system and checkpoints on the roads, but the place they used as a launch pad is accessible from all sides and there are mountains at the back of this place,” he said.
ernment's wishes. The probe prompted a war of words between Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and the army. He tried to calm. "I want to dispel the impression that the military leadership acted unconstitutionally or violated rules," Pakistani state television reported Gilani as saying. "We have to be seen as being on the same page." His comments followed a meeting Tuesday with army chief Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and the head of the army's powerful intelligence agency, Lt. Gen. Shuja Pasha. The talk was another sign tempers had cooled. Gilani previously criticized the army for cooperating with the Supreme Court investigation and said the standoff was nothing less than a choice between "democracy and dictatorship." The army had warned of possible "grievous consequences" if the government did not tone down its criticism.
Pakistani journalists on Sunday following his return from Switzerland, where he attended the World Economic Forum, Gilani had hinted at the possibility of the next general election being held ahead of schedule. He said he would hold consultations on the issue with his government's allies and opposition political parties. The general election could be held sometime after the passage of the federal budget, Gilani indicated during the media interaction. "With the passage of the fifth budget, the election year starts and we are of the view
that early elections are likely after the budget," he said. Though the next general election is scheduled for March 2013, several opposition parties, including the PML-N and Jamiat Ulema-eIslam, have demanded early polls to help the country tide over numerous challenges. Leaders of the ruling-PPP too recently said the general election could possibly be held in Oct or Nov. "In politics, no walls are built but bridges are made... We want free, fair and transparent elections and a smooth transition will set a tradition for future," Gilani said.
Pakistan wants to work with India on climate change
Davos: Pointing out that Pakistan has "excellent" relationship with India, its Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday said cooperation between the two to tackle climate change was "doable". He said Islamabad wants to work with New Delhi on this front. "Yes, certainly there can be cooperation. We have excellent relationship with India and we want to work together," Gilani said when asked if India and Pakistan can work together to tackle climate change. "We have been having a number of delegations from both countries on various matters like finance and industry. Certainly cooperation is doable", Gilani said during a panel discussion on climate change at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012. Earlier in his address, Gilani said Pakistan has been hit by "horrible" droughts and floods last year and sought a "global fund" to tackle the cli-
mate risk issues. "It (climate change) is quite visible in my country. We have suffered both drought and heavy rains in past one year. It was horrible, not just by our estimates but also as per the estimates of World Bank and Asian Development Bank," Gilani said. "There has to be global solution to these problems. The first step we can take is establishing a global fund to tackle the climate risk issues and Pakistan would be happy to partner," Gilani said. The United Nations has already proposed a USD 100 billion Green Climate Fund. The fund was central to agreements reached in 2010 by UN treaty negotiators in Cancun, Mexico. "If the glaciers in Himalayas melt, there will be huge floods in Pakistan," he said adding that Pakistan has taken some steps by creating a disaster management cell which he himself was overseeing.
Ex-Pakistani envoy to US wins court victory Islamabad: Pakistan's former ambassador to the US said Monday that a travel ban imposed on him during the investigation of a controversial memo sent to Washington has been lifted. The decision suggests that a scandal that at one point looked as though it could lead to the downfall of Pakistan's government may be losing steam. Husain Haqqani said in a statement that the court commission investigating what the Pakistani media calls "memogate" removed the ban. The commission could not immediately be reached for comment. Haqqani resigned in November and returned to Islamabad to answer allegations that he masterminded the note, which asks for Washington's help in reining in the Pakistani army in exchange for security policies favorable to the US. The memo, sent to Washington following the May 2011 American operation that killed Osama bin Laden in a Pakistan army town, outraged the powerful military and exposed the apparent fragility of the country's democratically
elected government. Haqqani, who denies any link to the memo, said he now intended to travel to United States to join family there. "Anywhere else, this matter would have been laid to rest long ago," Haqqani said. "The memo had no impact on US policy and was consigned to the dustbin by its recipient." He said the Supreme Court had given the commission two more months to investigate the affair, and that he would be available to testify whenever it required. Just a few weeks ago, there was speculation that the "memogate" scandal could lead to the demise of President Asif Ali Zardari. But last
week, the main accuser - a Pakistani-American businessman who claimed to have delivered the note to Adm. Mike Mullen, the top US military officer at the time - said he couldn't come to Pakistan to testify, citing security fears. That appears to mean the case is a much weaker one, even assuming the accuser, Mansoor Ijaz, had a "smoking gun" linking Haqqani and President Zardari to the memo. Many observers have since predicted that the probe is heading nowhere. Some media reports have speculated about a possible agreement between the army and the government to shelve the case.
Bangladeshi pirates kill 4 Indian fishermen Kakdwip: Two groups of Bangladeshi pirates killed four Indian fishermen, injured eight others and hijacked a trawler carrying 12 fishermen in the Bay of Bengal. One group of pirates fired at the fishermen travelling in 'Maa Basanti' trawler at Kendua in the bay resulting in four of them being killed, Rahul Majumdar, SDO at Kakdwip, said, adding eight others were injured. In the meantime, another group of pirates hijacked 'Tara' trawler carrying 12 fishermen and sailed away to the Bangladeshi side, he said. As soon as another group of fishermen who were nearby heard about the firing incident, they confronted the pirates and managed to catch eight of them. The fishermen are now bringing the captured pirates and the injured men to Kakdwip, the officer said.
Pakistan air force jet crashes Islamabad: A Pakistan Air Force aircraft crashed during a training mission but the pilots baled out safely. It was FT-7 training aircraft crashed near Mianwali soon after take off from the base. A woman trainee pilot and the instructor managed to escape. It was the third air force jet to crash in training in three months. Two pilots were killed in the other incidents and a helicopter crash last June killed four military personnel. The Pakistan Air Force has a fleet of Chinese aircraft, including F-7PGs and A-5s, plus US-built F-16s and French Mirages.
Pak doctor gave key information for Osama raid: US Washington: US defense secretary Leon Panetta has acknowledged publicly for the first time that a Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi helped provide intelligence for the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Panetta said Afridi ran a vaccination program for the CIA to collect DNA and verify bin Laden's presence in the compound. He has since been charged by Pakistan with treason. Panetta said he is "very concerned" for the doctor. Panetta also said that he remained convinced that someone in the Pakistani government "must have had some sense" that a person of interest was in the compound. He added that he has no proof that Pakistan knew it was bin Laden. The Pakistani government had hoped to resolve the Afridi matter quietly, once media attention died down, perhaps releasing him to US custody, according to two Pakistani officials.
Pakistani deaths from bad heart drugs rise to 69 Islamabad: A senior health official says the number of people in eastern Pakistan suspected to have died in the last month from taking bad heart medicine has risen to 69. A total of 419 heart patients have become sick from taking the drugs, and that 45 of them remain in critical condition. Many of the patients are in the city of Lahore. Illahi is the head of the health department in Punjab province, where Lahore is the capital. The suspected drugs were given free to patients by the state-run Punjab Institute of Cardiology. Illahi says the government has registered a case against the company accused of manufacturing the faulty medicine.
US wants Pakistan to drop Iran pipeline project Washington: The United States is working with Pakistan to help it deal with the consequences if it agrees to abandon the Iran pipeline project, the US State Department has said. If the United States was urging Pakistan not to buy gas from Iran, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said: "Pakistan is one of the countries that we're working with, primarily from the US Embassy. "Earlier this month, US President Barack Obama signed into law new sanctions against Iran. The measure, which Congress passed as part of the 2012 National Defence Authorisation Act, penalises foreign financial institutions that do business with Iran's central bank, as Pakistan will have to if it buys gas.
Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
Muslim family jailed for life after killing 3 daughters
University applications fall in England
Ontario: An Afghan father, his wife and their son have been jailed for life after a jury found them guilty of killing three teenage sisters and a co-wife in what the judge described as a 'despicable' and 'heinous' crime. The jury had taken 15 hours to find Mohammad Shafia, 58, his wife Tooba Yahya, 42, and their son Hamed, 21, each guilty of four counts of firstdegree murder. The four bodies were found in June 2009 in a car submerged in a canal in Kingston, Ontario, where the family had stopped for the night on their way home from Niagara Falls. Prosecutors said the daughters were killed because they dishonored the family by defying rules on dress, dating, socialising and going online.
The number of UK university applications is down nearly nine per cent compared to last year, but in England the percentage of 18year-olds applying to university has fallen by only one percentage point. The disparity is partly due to a decrease in the number of 18-year-olds in the general population. Applications from 18-year-olds make up nearly half of all applications to university (259,000 out of 583,546 total applications), and are an important measure of demand for higher education as they have generally not applied to university before.
Nepal's top Maoist under fire for luxury mansion
Kathmandu: Nepal's top Maoist politician Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is popularly called Prachanda has been under fire for moving into a lavish mansion in Kathmandu. He is a former Communist guerrilla who rose from humble village beginnings to lead a "people's war" against Nepal's royal family and its political elites. The rented 15-room property includes parking space for more than a dozen vehicles and a table tennis room, his office said. "The Maoists have deviated from their stated goal. It used to be socialism but now they have surrendered to bourgeois state power," said Mumaram Khanal, a political analyst and former Maoist leader.
Hillary ready to quit politics
Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has made clear that she won't be serving in a second Obama term if there is one, is ready to step off "the high wire of American politics". Hillary told State Department employees that she's ready to be out of the public eye. "I think after 20 years -- and it will be 20 years -- of being on the high wire of American politics and all of the challenges that come with that, it would be probably a good idea to just find out how tired I am."
Tooba Mohammad Yahya leaves the Frontenac County Courthouse following a guilty verdict. She will serve a minimum of 25 years without parole. After the verdict was read, the three defendants again declared their innocence in the killings of sisters Zainab, 19, Sahar 17, and
Geeti, 13, as well as Rona Amir Mohammad, 52, Shafia's childless first wife in a polygamous marriage. After the jury returned the verdicts, Mohammad Shafia, speaking through a translator, said: 'We are not criminal, we are not murderer, we didn't commit the murder and this is unjust.
'His weeping wife, Tooba, also declared the verdict unjust. She said: 'I am not a murderer, and I am a mother, a mother. 'Their son, Hamed, speaking in English said: 'I did not drown my sisters anywhere.' But Judge Robert Maranger was unmoved, saying the evidence clearly supported their conviction for 'the planned and deliberate murder of four members of your family'. 'It is difficult to conceive of a more despicable, more heinous crime ... the apparent reason behind these coldblooded, shameful murders was that the four completely innocent victims offended your completely twisted concept of honor ... that has absolutely no place in any civilized society.'
Easier US visa for tourists from India, China and Brazil Florida: US President Barack Obama visited Walt Disney World last week and talked about the importance of tourism to the American economy. His speech was short, but his message was clear: "I want America to be the top tourist destination in the world." As expected, Obama also talked about his intentions to expand the State Department's global entry program for trusted international visitors, as well as expand and accelerate visa application processing for certain countries, and add more countries to the visa
waiver program. “China, India and Brazil have huge populations of people that want to come to Florida, but we make it too hard for them,” Obama said, noting travel trends show foreign travel will increase glob-
ally, and the US needs to be prepared to attract those travellers to destinations like Orlando. “We want them to know that Orlando, Walt Disney World and the US is open for business.”
Prior to arriving at Disney, Obama issued an executive order that puts procedures in place to speed up the visa process for tourists from Brazil, China and India. Tom Staggs, chairman of parks and resorts for Disney, said Disney would lend a hand in making the visa process easier via existing cultural outreach programs and using sales offices to educate travellers on the amenities Florida has to offer and make programs as welcoming as they can be. Obama's visit is the first by a US President since George H.W. Bush came in 1991.
Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
Congress ad praises Modi, calls him ‘master organiser’
In divine light
AV Correspondent While Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is out spreading Sadbhavana across the state, the amity is now showing among his political rival Congress, who has openly listed the good works done by him along with other chief ministers of Gujarat in an advertisement released to the local media. The two page pull- out lists the achievements of all the chief ministers of Gujarat, beginning with Jeevraj Mehta, who was the first chief minister of the state. The advertisement described Modi as a successful organizer, a leading worker of his party and electoral strategist and went on to enlist his decision to form a separate ministry for bio-technology, getting permission for increasing the height of Narmada dam from 110.54 mtrs to 121.82 mtrs, his efforts to turn Gujarat into “Vibrant Gujarat”, organization of biennial Vibrant Gujarat Investor’s Summit and organization of Shala Pravesotsav (for the enrolment of children in schools), Krishi Utsav (Agriculture Festival), Navaratri Mahotsav, Kite Festival and so on as his achievements. The advertisement also lists out the achievements of Modi for taking the initiative to organise the Rann utsav in Kutch and Kankaria Carnival in Ahmedabad. GPCC President Arjun
By Rajen Vakil
Modvadia maintained that GPCC had brought out this advertisement to present the correct perspective of development in the state and point out to the people that Gujarat has been by nature progressive and every chief minister had made contributions in developing the state. “It was a positive advertisement where we had refrained from criticizing anyone and presented the correct perspective of development in the state,” Modvadia said. It was meant to be sarcastic: Congress The Congress party on Saturday defended its advertisement lauding Modi saying it was meant to be sarcastic. "It's a sarcastic comment on Narendra Modi. He has been ridiculed in the advertisement. His predecessors did a better job," Congress leader Rajiv Shukla said. "Our attempt was cele-
brate the enterprise of Gujaratis, not any individual. Hence, we have compiled contributions of all CMs irrespective of their political parties who held offices since 1960, when Gujarat was born. A false propaganda is being unleashed to misguide the people of the state," Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said in a statement, struggling to explain the gaffe. The blunder sent senior Congress leaders scampering to identify all those who cleared the draft. Gujarat state assembly polls are scheduled to be held in December and the laudatory words used for Modi only underlines the sinking feeling among party cadres and reinforces the general impression that the Congress is in no position to stop Modi, already by far the longest-serving chief minister of the state, from scoring a hat-trick of wins.
Amitabh Bachchan bowled over by heritage of Ahmedabad
It was for the first time that Khadia in Ahmedabad saw superstar drive through its lanes and for Amitabh Bachchan it was his first drive in the pols of the walled city of Ahmedabad. "Amazing" was what he could just say after seeing the heritage of the walled city. Bachchan was in the area to shoot for the "Khushboo Gujarat ki," a campaign to promote tourism in Gujarat. A scene of Uttarayan was created so that the superstar could shoot for the advertisement titled "Fairs and Festival of Gujarat." As he entered the walled city, he was amazed to see the houses. As he
entered the house of the late Speaker Ashok Bhatt, he was interested to know the structure of the houses. He even asked the people around him about the life of the people in these pols. He also took details of the heritage walk which is being conducted in the area. Bhushan Bhatt, MLA from the area, said, "Considering his age, we were instructed to keep arrangements on every floor to make him sit, but he (Bachchan) climbed all the 70-odd steps in one go. He kept on inquiring about the heritage, the culture and the lifestyle of the people in the area." Officials in the tourism department said Bachchan
even told some of senior officials and local corporators that they should create more awareness about the heritage walk and even the heritage of these pols in the walled city. Earlier, Bachchan arrived in Kutch for the shooting. During the shooting, he tried his hand at riding a camel, an autorickshaw and flying a kite. Kutchi handicrafts and white Rann of Kutch were also some other focus points in Kutch. He spent two days in shooting in Junagadh. The Ashok Shilalekh (stone inscription written during Emperor Ashok's reign) and Buddh caves located near Gondal town of Rajkot district were among some of the historical monuments where shooting took place. Big B gives a ride to some pretty ladies on the famous chakdas (motorcycle trucks) used in Kutch and other parts of Gujarat. Dressed in a blue T-shirt and ripped jeans paired with brown boots, a checked scarf and blue sun glasses, Senior Bachchan takes a walk at the white deserts – Rann of Kutch.
In the previous article, we saw that the verbal duel between Ashtavakra and Bandi had reached the number six, starting from one. Bandi then started extolling qualities of the number seven. Bandi said, “There are Seven domestic animals, Seven animals of the forest; in a complete yagna the rishis use Seven kinds of verses, there are Seven ways of showing respect, and the Veena has Seven strings.” Ashtavakra replied, “The coir fibre has Eight strands which give rise to innumerable shapes, in the gods there are Eight Vasus. The pillar used in all yagnas has Eight corners, and there is an animal in the forest that has Eight legs.” Bandi countered, “There are Nine kinds of mantras used to call our ancestors (pitrus), there are Nine theories about creation, the Brihati verse has Nine letters, and the numerals are from one to Nine.” To this Ashtavakra said, “There are Ten different directions, counting a hundred Ten times is a thousand, a mother keeps the child in her womb for ten months. The supreme truth can be explained in Ten different ways, it can also be countered in Ten different ways and it can be mastered in Ten ways.” Bandi argued, “All living things have Eleven senses (five senses, two hands, two feet, speech and the mind) through which they can experience in Eleven different ways; with each of these organs are born Eleven
The Story of Ashtavakra (Part-5) weaknesses, and among the god there are Eleven Rudras.” Ashtavakra said, “In a year there are Twelve months, the verse called Jagati has Twelve letters, the Yagna called Prakrut lasts for Twelve days, the rays of the sun are of Twelve types and are called the Adityas.” Bandi proceeded, “Of all the dates Thirteenth is the best, the earth is made of Thirteen islands…” At this point Bandi faltered, he had to stop to think, so Ashtavakra finished his line by saying, “there are Thirteen kinds of yagnas that remove human weaknesses and the highest of all the verses is called Atichanda, which has Thirteen letters.” There was a sudden silence in the court of King Janaka; no one could believe that the great Bandi had been defeated in a verbal contest, that too by a twelve year old. Bandi himself was totally crestfallen. Then all at
All past articles on the Mahabharata can be accessed from http://epaper.asianvoice.com or from http://www.3stepbreath.com/mahabharata.html
Modi fails to draw big crowd in his Godhra ‘sadhbhavana’
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi recently failed to strike a 'sadhbhavana' chord with the minority community, as evidenced by the minuscule turnout for his daylong fast. The minority community leaders in Polan bazaar, the area from where most accused of Godhra train burning incident hail, said they wanted to send a message to Modi government that Muslims were seeking justice, not just harmony. "By not attending the function, we have sent a strong message to the state government that there cannot be any ‘sadbha-
once the courtroom erupted and every one shouted praises of Ashtavakra. All the Brahmins in the room came and paid their respects to the young child. Ashtavakra addressed Janaka, “O king, this Bandi has previously defeated many very learned Brahmins and then tied them up and drowned them in the river. Today he should be given the same punishment so have him tied up quickly and thrown in the river.” Bandi said, “O king, Varuna, the lord of the river, started a great yagna twelve years ago. By having the Brahmins drowned I had sent them there to help him. As the yagna is over, all those Brahmins will return shortly. It is now my turn to go into the river to meet the lord Varuna who is also my father. But before I go let me do pooja and pay my respects to this wonderful boy who has defeated me.”
vana’ without every person of the Muslim community getting justice," said some community members, preferring anonymity. The local BJP leaders had expected a crowd of over 50,000, including a big chunk from the minority population, to attend the event at the State Reserve Police ground. Before the fast started, social activist Shabnam Hashmi and five others of NGO Anhad were detained while trying to organise a convention 'In Search of Justice'. The tenth anniversary of train carnage, which led to communal riots in the state in 2002, falls next month.
Andhra Home Secretary arrested S e n i o r Andhra Pradesh IAS officer and Home Secretary B P Acharya was arrested by Central Bureau of Investigation in the Emaar case in Hyderabad on Monday after 4-hour long questioning. The CBI has named him as the first accused in the Emaar case as he was the Chairman and Managing Director of the Andhra Pradesh Industrial I n f r a s t r u c t u r e Corporation (APIIC) in 2005 when certain decisions were taken which are now being investigated by the CBI. He is the fourth person to be arrested in the Emaar case after Koneru Prasad, industrialist, Sunil Reddy, close aide of Jagan Mohan Reddy and Veeraraghavan, top official of Emaar MGF. His arrest comes two days before the CBI files its chargesheet in the case.
Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
Vishwa Gujarati Samaj honours Gujarati expats Vishwa Gujarati Samaj conferred Sardar Vallbhbhai Patel Vishwa Prathibha Award on Lord Bhikhu Parekh, renowned academician, author and political analyst at Gujarati Sahitya Parishad Hall.. Former director of IIM-A Bakul Dholakia presented the award to Parekh. Others who were honoured with the awards were Dr Jagdish Dave, author and Gujarati language scholar from UK; Piyush Patel, an engineer who has developed $ 200 million business empire in New Jersey; Paresh Sanghvi, diamond merchant and member of Belgium Jewellery Council and hotelier and founder of Association of Indian Americans in North America Sunil Nayak. Former Supreme Court judge C K Thakkar was the chief guest at the function. Other dignitaries who were present during
the function were president of Vishwa Gujarati Samaj Krishnakant Vakharia; author Kumar Pal Desai and Suruchi Trust head Shambhubhai Patel. It was also attended by special invitee CB Patel, Editor and Publisher of Gujarat Samachar and Asian Voice, UK At the event Krishnakant Vakharia spoke about the Samaj's initiative in reaching out to the maximum numbers
of NRGs. "NRGs are representatives of our state to the world. We are honored to have Lord Bhikhu Parekh here and this award is a token of affection from the state to these internationally acclaimed dignitaries who have brought Gujarat a global recognition," he said. He also spoke about the efforts of the organization to solve issues and queries bothering Gujaratis. He said that there was a spe-
16 undertrials pass examination on Gandhian studies
About 16 undertrials accused of several serious offences and lodged inside different jails in Gujarat, have emerged triumphant in a recently held examination on Gandhian studies. Suspended Gujarat DIG D G Vanzara, who is accused of killing Sohrabudin Sheikh and his wife Kausarbi in a fake encounter case, emerged first in the examinations. Vanzara along with two other senior IPS officers were arrested in 2007 for being instrumental in the `cold blooded murders’ of the two. Inside the prison Vanzara has taken up writing books and reading Gandhian literature. He had appeared in the examination on Gandhi Mimansa (Gandhian criticism) which was conducted on
Gujarati diamond trader shot dead in Antwerp Mystery shrouds the murder of a 54-year-old Gujarati diamond trader Pravin Patel in the Belgian city of Antwerp recently but the police arrested his son suspecting his involvement in the killing. According to information, two men and a woman armed with revolvers barged into his apartment shot him dead.
Gandhi Jayanti and the results of this examinations have been announced recently. Vanzara took the examinations along with six others in the jail. Gujarat Vidyapith runs the course and Vanzara secured highest ranks with 70 marks. Vidyapith is the university that was founded by Mahatma Gandhi on 18th October, 1920. It has been deemed university since 1963. Bhanu Patel was placed second. Patel too was behind bars till Decmber for a sexual harassment offence. Sources in the Vidyapeeth said that around 15 candidates from across the state undertook the examinations. Officials in Vidyapeeth said that they would soon organise convocation to distribute the certificates.
Sources in the jail said that soon after Vanzara had enrolled himself for the exams he had asked for books from his family members on the life of Gandhi. Apart from Gandhi Mimansa, Vanzara came 11th in the post graduate diploma course in value education and spirituality being run by the Brahmakumaris in association with the Annamalai university’s distance learning course. In this course which included yoga lessons, terror accused Safdar Hussain Nagori had stood first with 87 marks. ADGP (Prisons) P C Thakur said that he was informed about the results of the examinations conducted by Gujarat Vidyapith and that the suspended cop had indeed topped the examinations.
cial committee to select the awardees and the selection was made as much transparent as possible and is totally kept unbiased. He urged the Gujaratis to stay united and connected with their home state Gujarat. Lord Bhikhu Parekh, recipient of Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award in 2005 and Padma Bhushan in 2007, is included by the UK Political Studies Association amongst the best political analysts of the 20th century. Parekh has been conferred honorary doctorate degrees by 15 British universities. Banaras Hindu University has also conferred Parekh with a doctorate in literature. Dr Bakulbhai Dholakia and Dr Kumarpal Desai appreciated the patriotic feeling of all Gujaratis towards their motherland and how they have treasured their country in their hearts.
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Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
Padma awards for Hazarika, Miranda Among 109 awardees 19 are women and 11 NRIs/PIOs
Late legendary singer Bhupen Hazarika, late cartoonist Mario De Miranda and former Intelligence Bureau chief T V Rajeswar have been selected for this year’s Padma Vibhushan, which is the second-highest civilian award of India after Bharat Ratna. In all, 109 people from all walks of life like arts, public affairs, sports, science, literature, education, social services and industry will be conferred with Padma Awards which, besides Padma Vibhushan, also include Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. Other prominent persons in this year’s Padma Awards’ list are retired civil servant Mata Prasad – first Dalit who had served as secretary-rank officer at the Centre - former CVC N Vittal and former ambassador Ronen Sen; film actors Dharmendra and Shabana Azmi; prominent cardiologist Devi Prasad Shetty and film producer\director Mira Nair. All of them are
Indians across the world celebrate Republic Day Indians worldwide soaked in the spirit of patriotism as they celebrated the Republic Day with fervour to mark 63 years since the establishment of the Indian constitution. At the Indian High Commission in the Pakistani capital, High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal hoisted the national tricolour at an official function. Indian High Commissioner in Singapore, T C A Raghavan led the Indian community in the city state to celebrate the day. He unveiled the national flag and read out the President's message to some 500 Indians gathered at the High Commission. Students from Indian schools in Singapore sang patriotic songs and danced at the celebration.
in the list of 27 Padma Bhushan awardees. The list of awardees was announced by the government of India on the eve of 63rd Republic Day comprises 19 women and 11 in the category of foreigners or NRIs or PIOs, including four from the US, two each from UK and Singapore and one each from Germany, Japan and Switzerland. The awards announced each year on the occasion of the Republic Day are conferred by the President at a function held at the Rashtrapati Bhawan around March or April. The other two who will get Padma Vibhushan are 88year-old painter K G Subramanyam and well-
known orthopedic, Kantilal Hastimal Sancheti, in whose hospital in Pune Anna Hazare had recently undergone treatment. Government has once again not selected anyone for the Bharat Ratna. Late vocalist Bhimsen Joshi was the last awardee in this category in 2009. Usually, this award is also announced on the eve of the Republic Day. So far, 41 people have been conferred with the country’s highest civilian award ever since its inception in 1954. Besides five Padma Vibhushan, government will confer 27 Padma Bhushan and 77 Padma Shri, which includes one ‘duo’ case (counted as one) of vocalists
Ramakant Gundecha and Umakant Gundecha of Madhya Pradesh (for Padma Shri). While Padma Vibhushan is awarded for “exceptional and distinguished” service, Padma Bhushan is meant for “distinguished service of high order” and Padma Shri for “distinguished” service. Painter Jatin Das, London-based sculpture artist Anish Kapoor and Carnatic instrumentalist T V Gopalakrishnan are among others who will be awarded Padma Bhushan. Filmmaker Soman Nair Priyadarsan and bhajan singer Anup Jalota will be given Padma Shri. The others who are selected for Padma Shri include globally renowned tiger expert and wildlife scientist Ullas Karanth; musician Vanraj Bhatia, vocalist Zia Fariduddin Dagar, former hockey player Zafar Iqbal, woman cricketer Jhulan Goswami, sports commentator Ravi Chaturvedi and archer Limba Ram.
Be cautious in bringing about reforms: Pratibha Patil In an apparent reference to the civil society movement for a strong Lokpal bill, Indian President Pratibha Patil said one has to be cautious in bringing about reforms so that the tree of democratic institutions does not come down. “While bringing about reforms and improving institutions, we have to be cautious that while shaking the tree to remove the bad fruit, we do not bring down the tree itself,” she said in her address to the nation on the eve of 63rd Republic Day of India. Ms. Patil did not specifically mention the anti-corruption movement of Anna Hazare but the remarks could be seen as a reference to the movement for the anti-corruption
ombudsman. She said India can take pride in its democratic record but as in any functional democracy, it faces pressures and challenges. Ms. Patil said there would be short term pressures, but in this process the long term goals must not be lost sight of, and everyone must work together on core national agenda. Emphasising that those who believe in democracy must try to see the rationale in others’ point of view, she said concord and not discord is the way forward for a country as large as India. ‘Resolve all issues through dialogue’ All issues, therefore, must be resolved through dialogue and there can be
no place for violence. Negativity and rejection cannot be the path for a vibrant country that is moving to seek its destiny, she said. Ms. Patil said Indian institutions may not be flawless but they have coped with many challenges. Indian Parliament, she noted, has enacted pathbreaking laws and government has put together schemes for the progress and welfare of the people. Ms. Patil said, “Our judiciary has a reputable standing. Our media too has played an important role. With all institutions working together for the same national purpose it will create a stream of positive energy.”
2G scam: India’s Supreme Court pulls up PMO Continued from page 1 "We have no doubt that if the Prime Minister had been apprised of the true factual and legal position regarding the representation made by the appellant, he would have surely taken appropriate decision and would not have allowed the matter to linger for a period of more than one year," the bench said. The court said sanction should be granted within a time frame and the competent authority shall take action in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the apex court in the Vineet Narain case of 1998 (three months for grant of sanction and additional one month time may be allowed where consulta-
tion is required with the Attorney General). Justice Ganguly, who wrote a separate judgment, agreed with Justice Singhvi and said sanction would be deemed to be granted if the competent authority fails to take a decision within a period of four months. Further, he said since the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) does not provide for a time limit, Parliament may consider "introducing a time limit in section 19 of the Act for its working in a reasonable manner". On the handling of the issue by the Prime Minister, who was the competent authority in this case, the bench said "By the very nature of the office held by him, Prime
Minister is not expected to personally look into the minute details of each and every case placed before him and has to depend on his advisers and other officers". It said the officers in the PMO and the Ministry of Law and Justice, were "duty bound" to apprise about "seriousness" of allegations made by Swamy. The bench also set aside the high court order which had refused to direct the Prime Minister to take decision on granting sanction to prosecute Raja saying that it had passed the order on a wrong presumption that it was PM who had ordered CBI probe in the scam. "The high court had proceeded under a wholly erroneous assumption that PM had directed investiga-
tion by the CBI into the allegations of grave irregularities in the grant of licences," the bench said. The apex court said the inquiry was done by the CVC which had forwarded its report to the CBI for making investigation to establish criminal conspiracy in the allocation of 2G spectrum. "The material placed on record does not show that the CBI had registered a case or started investigation at the instance of PM," it said. The bench also thrashed aside the government stand that Swamy had no locus standi and the grant of sanction for prosecution of a public servant arises only at the stage of taking cognisance of the case by the court.
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Gandhiji remembered on Martyrs’ Day Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pays homage at Rajghat, the memorial of Mohandas K. Gandhi in New Delhi
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pays homage at Rajghat, the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi, on the sixty-fourth anniversary of his assassination. Mr. Gandhi was on the way to a prayer meeting in New Delhi when he was shot on January 30, 1948. Carved stone footprints dot the path that Mahatma Gandhi took toward a prayer meeting in New Delhi 64 years ago, ending where his frail body was torn by an assassin’s bullets. Prime Minister and a cast of India’s elite gathered to hold an interfaith religious prayer ceremony to commemorate Gandhi’s martyrdom. A rope of marigolds coiled around four columns surrounding the spot where Gandhi, India’s founding father, died. Mr. Singh, in his iconic blue turban and a charcoal vest, bowed, clasping his hands in prayer and sprinkled rose petals on the ground where Gandhi fell, then circled the columns in small, quivering steps. Vice President Hamid Ansari and the chief min-
ister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit, also offered quick prayers before settling on a pristine white diwan on the ground. Organized by the Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, an independent museum and center supported by the Ministry of Culture, the commemoration took place on Tees January Marg (30th January Street), which gets its name from the fateful day that Gandhi was assassinated. Monday’s event included singing by school children wearing Gandhi caps that read “Truth is God”. There were also Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, Christian and other prayers and soothing hymns. The palms of tabla players danced on their instruments. Mr Singh sat cross legged through it, meditatively listening to the music. The commemoration ended with a silent tribute to Gandhi. Students squeezed their eyes shut tight in concentration. The silence was broken only by the shrill cry of birds and the snapping of news cameras.
TRAvEL, Women & HISTORy
asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
PurVi’S traVel bag By Purvi Apurva Shah
By Dr Anil Mehta
Jhansi ki rani Laxmi bai
anand: milk capital of india Anand means happiness, and as destiny would have it, this place has made a complete transformation to the lives of the local people with development of Amul dairy on large scale. Today it is referred to as the Milk capital of the country due to what is known as the White Revolution. Dr Verghese Kurian, leading man of Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation was the pioneer of the White Revolution in India. This place is true face of rural development. Worth-watching is milk collection procedure. A mind stupefying scene of village women coming bare-foot to a collection station and lining up so they can have their milk measured for quality and quantity by a computerised scale connected to a refrigerating system and paid on the spot accordingly. Located in the Gulf of Cambay (Khambhat), it is
surrounded by tobacco and white fields. A person travelling to Anand would appreciate and experience the power and beauty of rural and urban India. There are a number of
ed and the best is available. The local specialities include the sweet dishes sutarapheni and halvasan, and salty snacks. There are many places of tourist interest in
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel - Veer Vithalbhai Patel Memorial
quality educational institutions, developing industrial townships and massive presence of agricultural and dairy businesses. For a food lover, Anand is the king of dairy products and one would find many ice cream joints. This is the place where the concept of bottled flavoured milk start-
Anand. One can visit the Flo–Art gallery for handicrafts, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Musuem and Veer Vithalbhai Patel Memorial. Stambhan Parshvanath Jinalaya and Swaminarayan Mandir are other tourist attractions. Anand is 71 km from Ahmedabad and can be reached by road.
Founder of Montessori education in Gujarat by aV Correspondent Leena Sarabhai, one of the founder members of Shreyas Foundation, is 95 years old but her memory is as sharp as ever. She has the names of the students of the first Shreyas batch on her fingertips and still vividly recalls the time she spent with Maria Montessori in 1947, when Shreyas was in its conceptual stage and was housed in Mud Bungalow, Shahibaug, Ahmedabad, while they were planning a bigger institution which would eventually come up in its present premises at Ambawadi. She recalls her work experience with the first president of Shreyas Foundation (Madame Maria Montessori) and said that it was quite a learning experience as an educator. At Shreyas the students are not taught just bookish knowledge. This is the only school in Ahmedabad where students have the space to indulge in activities like swimming, carpentry, sewing and have direct
contact with nature. They are taught to be humane and encouraged to care about nature. In her own language Shreyas is not a school but a centre where children come to enjoy space, learn the lessons of life and walk together without the feeling of competition. She said that craft, music and dance are things that are denied to children in many schools across the state. She who does not advocate the system of examinations says: "Just by making students sit and write down for two to three hours at a stretch, you cannot adjudge a student's knowledge. "She says that the students of Shreyas know that their knowledge is for life and not for examinations. The grand old lady also says that they included both English and Gujarati mediums so that they could involve a larger section of society in their system of education. While Leena Sarabhai is still an active president of the institution and moves around on a wheelchair,
she sees to it that the campus is kept clean and places like the amphitheatre which is a one of its kind in Gujarat, are utilised for the benefit of the children. The school recently celebrated 50 years of its existence and several alumni belonging to the field of theatre, art and culture came to the grand event. A couple of years ago Leena Sarabhai was felicitated by Helmut Kutin, president of SOS Children's Villages International. She was recognised for her work towards children's welfare and her contribution to education while providing opportunities to experience and appreciate the richness of life to an entire generation of children. She founded Shreyas school in 1947 whose first president was Dr Maria Montessori, founder of the unique method of education. Shreyas Balgram, the first SOS village in India and second in Asia, was established in 1966 and became a part of SOS Kinderdorf International in 1968.
India’s Joan of Arc or Boudicca, call her what you may, Laxmi Bai, Rani of Jhansi (1835-58) was one of the gallant leaders of the Indian Uprising of 1857, and an icon for generations of freedom fighters. Born in Benaras, she was brought up at Baji Rao (II) Peshwa’s exiled court at Bithur near Kanpur. She became skilled in the martial arts of riding, shooting, and fencing. She married the elderly ruler of Jhansi, Gangadhar Rao, in 1851. The Raja died in 1853 leaving no direct male heir but had adopted a son, Damodar Rao, a boy from another branch of his family, and nominated his wife Laxmi Bai as regent until the son came of age. However, Damodar Rao’s claim to the throne was discounted by Dalhousie, a Governor-General of India at the time, who had annexed the state in 1853, under his controversial Doctrine of Lapse policy, incurring Rani’s enmity. Rani was denied rule of her own state on behalf of her adopted son. Rani’s all efforts to persuade the Company (East India Company) to recognise her son as the ruler were in vain. Having achieved no success, she vowed, ‘I will not give up Jhansi’, and declared, ‘to fight the English has now become my dharma’. She decided to take up arms and fight to the bitter end rather than submit to the authorities. Ambitious and talented, she took control of the rebel forces of 10,000 men and succeeded in holding Jhansi for nearly a year. Rani was spared personal humiliation but was forced to relinquish her kingdom. She was granted an annual pension and a residence in a modest two-story royal palace in Jhansi. Her army was disbanded and replaced by sepoys of the company’s Bengal army. When they (sepoys) mutinied in March 1858, they, under circumstances similar to those at Kanpur, massacred some 56 Britons; men, women, and children who had sought refuge in the local fort. The mutineers then marched off to Delhi leaving the Rani implicated. Rani’s personal responsibility for massacre is still hotly debated. Although she had a strong motive against the British, she seems to have played no part in the massacre of Britons. One reliable source maintained that prior to the mutiny, the
plotters did not consult her. She also denied responsibility for what had happened, but the authority considered it as the same story as was told by Bahadur Shah (Mughal king) and Nana Saheb as regards the previous killings at Delhi and Kanpur respectively. The situation, however, changed with the arrival of the Bombay army from the south. Laxmi Bai contacted Tatya Tope, one of the mutiny leaders, at Kalpi, north-east of Jhansi. (After his defeat in Kanpur, Tatya had made Kalpi his HQ). He came to help but was confronted outside Jhansi by the Company army and quickly forced back. After ferocious resistance led by Rani herself, Jhansi fell in April 1858. British lost 350 men against Rani’s 3000 rebels
Gwalior Fort until repeatedly hit by a shower of bullets. She died (17th June) the death of a heroine. The death of the Rani certainly weakened the spirit of her men and on 19th June, Gwalior, the last bastion of resistance, fell too and with that the Great Rebellion was all but over. A defeat was inevitable. There was little discipline among the rebels and their loyalties were weak. Great individual heroes though they were, Laxmi Bai and Tatya Tope were no match for British generals who could command large well-disciplined troops in strategic battles. Tatya Tope and fellow insurgents roamed through Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh for another year. Tatya was betrayed, captured, and
(many other were subsequently executed). The victorious British troops, mindful of earlier massacre of Europeans here, razed Jhansi, killing, looting and terrorising civilians. Rani herself, disguised as a man, escaped with her adopted son and trusty followers to Kalpi to join Tatya Tope. When Kalpi too fell, both leaders and their followers escaped and seized Gwalior in May 1858 where a final showdown with the enemy occurred. At Gwalior most of the European women and children were spared but at least 20 men were executed. When the British army arrived, Rani rallied her troops to a fight but her defiance barley lasted 3 weeks. She fought valiantly in the battle near the
hung. Laxmi Bai’s assets were confiscated and her adopted son, Damodar Rao was granted a miserly Rs. 200 a month allowance. Rani Laxmi Bai was brave, of high character, and most respected by everyone. At the time few in the British camp regretted her death, but later they grudgingly praised her personal courage and determination (‘the only man among the rebels’ according to one adversary). Among her own men she became a folk heroine and a fighter of her rights. She was one of the few leaders emerged from what was essentially a sudden and poorly coordinated uprising resulting in brutalities and considerable loss of lives on both sides.
Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
CB Live is only a Gujarati programme in UK on MATV SKY 793 This week in CB Live meet Amit Mistri, advocate and Aruna Mistri, Trustee, POhWER who will discuss about their work in POhWER with Kokilaben Patel. POhWER helps people who have a problem with their medical treatment, hospital, GP, optician perhaps and handle most of the complaints that people have about the NHS and care provided by the NHS after discharge from the hospital. CB will discuss about his India trip and lines will be open for questions during the program. If you do not have a SKY, go to www.tvunetworks.com and watch CB Live on TVU Player Channel 75203
Green’s new immigration rules termed ‘classist’ Continued from page 5 has not been driven by the Games in London. “This is not a policy for the Olympics,” he said. “This is a policy for life. We want permanently to make Britain the most attractive country in the world for the brightest and the best. The era of mass immigration is over.” There will also be new rules on spouses coming to join migrants in Britain. They will have to show both that they can speak some English and that they will not be dependent on benefits. Families asking for members to join them are likely to have to meet an income test.
Judges are to be issued with new guidance to prevent failed asylum seekers and foreign criminals avoiding deportation by claiming their right to a family life would be infringed. Ministers plan to issue courts with a directive making it clear that the public interest must be considered in each case. Rt Hon Keith Vaz, MP, Chair of Home Affairs Committee told Asian Voice, “Britain must attract the brightest and the best. However, this should always be based on a fair immigration policy that tackles illegal immigrations and doesn’t deter legal migrants.”
COMPETITION If you want to win an audio CD of Ekk Deewana Tha, answer the following question correctly.
Sneh Joshi - 020 8518 5500 Co-operative ventures are likely to generate financial success. So, if hoping to drum up support or backing, it would certainly do no harm to adopt a more pushy and outgoing approach to life. As social life will tend to draw you into a wider circle, the chances of meeting someone attractive are greatly increased.
ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20
7pm to 8pm Every Thursday
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Coming Events l Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) organises a major function on the 4th of Feb, 2012 at the Sattavis Patidar Centre, HA9 9PE to raise funds for school in East Africa l Campaign of Personal Well Being at Madhav Kendra Elderly Day Centre, Grange Interlink Community Centre, Summerville Road, Bradford 7, every Tuesday from 11.00am to 1.00pm. l NHSF Annual Sports Competition, Date: Saturday 18th February 2012, 10am-6pm, with the Guest Lounge open from 12pm to 6pm, Wednesbury Oak Road, Tipton, West Midlands, DY4 0BS. RSVP to email@example.com, l Sparks@LSE – Inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs’, Saturday 18th February, London School of Economics. Tickets for the conference are now on sale at www.sparkslse.com. l Imperial college Indian society proudly presents Celebrating 20 years of culture, Sunday 19th Feb, 57 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4Ql. Contact: 07733686363 l London Sevashram sangha presents Maghi Purnima Tues 7th Feb, 99A Devonport Road, London W12 8PB, Contact 020 8743 9048
Alice Ramcharran, is the founder of Pyramid Health & Fitness Ltd along with colleague Bridget and launched Masala Bhangra classes at Millbrook School. Last week on page 14 by mistake we wrote Alice Ramcharran is the founder of new program Masala Bhangra, which was incorrect.
Who is the producer of Ekk Deewana Tha? l Farhan Akhtar l Karan Johar l Gautam Menon
Strengthen close ties of affection, sort out emotional differences and proffer the olive branch to your loved one. You often sabotage your emotional interests by keeping too much inside. However, your inner pressure builds up and manifests as irrational moods that others find hard to understand. The prevailing cosmic pattern packs a powerful punch early this week. Having such potent energies, make you feel positive and confident in whatever you do. This is not the time to hold back or underestimate your potential if you wish to further an important aim. Some of you will try to get away from the routine chores.
GEMINI May 22 - June 22
CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22
Don't get over- anxious if you feel that you're being kept in the dark. You will probably find that worries have been unfounded. Although you may be faced with a difficult decision concerning your career or employment, this is not the time to hide. Don't waste time if you can improve matters. It is essential that you adopt a very open attitude now for this is a time of lucky opportunity and a chance to greatly enrich your working life and at home. New windows on the world are about to open and this is bound to have a maturing effect on you from now into the future.
LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23
VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23 The pace of everyday life will gather momentum and there may be times when you find it hard to keep your act together. Any obstacles that have stood in the way of your heart's desires should melt into the background soon. Your self-confidence will be extremely high and this will be helped by various encouraging events. LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23 The opening up of a more diverse social life is a point in favour of romantic attachments. The need to push ahead with personal interests and to assert yourself will take precedence over everything else for some time to come. The general pattern of things continues on a progressive and buoyant theme. SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22 Your urge towards greater freedom and independence is very strongly accentuated. In intimate affairs, the prospect appears entirely favourable. In work matters you can expect a progressive phase. Efforts to bring about desirable changes in your working life are more likely to be positive.
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TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21
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SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21 Don't be afraid to act forcefully if your instinct tells you it's time for change. This week the focus is your house of family and home. Besides spending more time tending to domestic affairs, the focus can be on cultivating and nourishing your inner foundations, so to speak. CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 You can expect a lively and varied time ahead. Communications will be free and easy, making this an excellent time to deal with important matters. Also, you'll find that people you meet, perhaps especially newcomers, will be a stimulating influence and may encourage you to dabble in new interests. AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19
Life appears to be focusing your mind on practical matters. So you will need to organise your time carefully if you are to avoid an "all work and no play" situation. Resist making any hasty moves when it come to finances - this is a time to focus on consolidation of current assets rather than attempting to make any new investments.
PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 There are subtle transformations taking shape in your life and a feeling of helpful influences in the background. There is much to suggest that you are in tune with your inner self and in touch with those hidden forces which often seem to take a guiding hand in one's life. Focus on essentials and establish a solid foundations.
Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
Craft Guild of Chefs Panel Would Buy Tilda Pure Original Basmati Following the successful Craft Guild of Chefs’ endorsement of Tilda Pure Original Basmati Rice, the panel of highly ranked chefs all claimed they would buy it for use in their kitchens. During the product testing the panel all strongly believed that Tilda Pure Original Basmati holds well, looks great on the plate, is of a high quality with a premium taste, classic Basmati aroma and consistently gives good results. One chef described the product as ‘really good rice that eats, holds, and is presented very well’. The panel of chefs agreed that Tilda Pure Original Basmati’s packaging is easy to open and seal, plus
all chefs found the onpack cooking instructions helpful. The chefs also stated that rice appears on their menu at least twice a week and all of the chefs serve
rice as an optional side dish or accompaniment. The Chefs unanimously rated quality as the most important factor when buying a rice brand and all strongly believed that the Tilda brand stands for quality and consistency. Basmati rice is the most popular type of rice with UK consumers and Tilda Basmati is the perfect base for creativity and a must have for any kitchen. The natural appeal of this elegant rice and its superb flavour makes it ideal to enhance any savoury dish. Chefs looking for more great tasting recipes made using Tilda Pure Original Basmati Rice should visit www.tildafoodservice.com
Stephen Lawrence mother criticises PM Cameron Stephen Lawrence
The Prime Minister is doing too little to tackle racism, the mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence told a national daily newspaper. Doreen Lawrence said David Cameron was wrong to criticise multiculturalism in a speech last year, saying people may “misinterpret” his message. “People take their lead from the government. If the prime minister said ‘this is what I’d like to see happen in our society’ ... people will try to work towards that. At the moment I’m not sure exactly what they are doing around race,” she said. Gary Dobson and David Norris, the two men who are jailed for the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence, are to appeal against their convictions. Dobson, 36, who was sentenced to at least 15 years and two months at
process, the Court of Appeal confirmed. It is understood that Norris will also seek to appeal, but papers have not yet been lodged at the Court of Appeal. Norris, 35, was given a minimum of 14 years and three months for the murder. The trial judge, Mr Justice Treacy, said it was a “terrible and evil crime”, that was committed “for no other reason
Gary Dobson and David Norris
the Old Bailey last month, has already begun the
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than racial hatred”. He also urged police not to “close the file” on catching the rest of the gang of five or six white youths who set upon Stephen at a bus stop in Eltham, southeast London, in April 1993. On the day of the sentencing Mr Lawrence’s father Neville told reporters outside court
KHICHADI by Kapil Dudakia - email: email@example.com
Bhopal’s Blood – London’s Gold I salute Meredith Alexander (Commissioner on the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012) who resigned live on ‘Newsnight’ last week raising the issue of the 20,000 plus who died in Bhopal in 1984. I salute her for having the courage to stand up for her morals and ethics, and to show that in this corrupt world of power, politics and money – that integrity matters. Of course one wonders what values drive the other members of this body given they do not appear to have acted hitherto. So as you and I celebrate India’s Republic Day let us also reflect and think about the thousands who were killed in that chemical gas leak in Bhopal. Not forgetting their families and the generational ailments that they will have to suffer, and die by, as the years roll on. The Indian Government (of all colours over the past 27 years) has failed in its duty and responsibility to protect the interest of its citizens. People say that some Indian politicians care more for what they can secure in their offshore accounts than for what happens to their country or its people. India is now a mighty important world player and with such power it has the capacity to make any corporate bow down and take note. Such action would send a clear signal to the rest of the world – every Indian life is precious. Take for example the ramifications for the other global giant ‘BP’ and the recent oil leak (April 2010). The US Government demanded reparations costing BP some $35 Billion and to date significant progress has been made in less than 18 months! Regardless of the failures of the Indian Government – we in the UK can surely do something? Have you signed any of the many petitions? Written to your local MP? Sent a message to Lord Coe? No? Well maybe some of you just might wish to do that in the near future before all is lost. How about visiting this website to learn a bit more about Bhopal and maybe even make a donation to help the people: http://www.bhopal.org London 2012 is a great event. It’s one that we in the UK have to be very proud off and rise to the many challenges it brings forth. However, we cannot and should not allow the games, and those with financial muscle, to highjack them for their own ends. To prostitute the games to the extent that the blood of the Bhopal fatalities is exchanged for Gold medals is nothing
short of scandalous. So I say to those who will participate in these games – please do so with all your might and perseverance, and do well. However, at some point you should also ensure that your moral compass is switched on so that on the podium, or at a subsequent press conference or even on your person, you show a clear sign that you are on the side of the Bhopal victims. Do the sports personalities of 2012 have the courage to make a stand not just for Bhopal, but the ideal that such atrocities cannot be allowed to go on for so long, unchecked? When Tommie Smith and John Carlos gave the infamous Black power salute in Mexico City in 1968, it sent a shockwaves around the world as well as a clear message to the American people. Enough is enough. And today, after 40 years America has a Black president. So if Abhinav Bindra or any Indian competitor wins any type of medal, what will they do? Would it not be great if they wore a specially made ‘Gandhi Topi’ with Bhopal printed on the sides when they get up on the podium to collect their medal? In our British parliament, there have been a number of EDM’s on Bhopal and I suggest you seek out who actually signed them, and also those who did not? You will be very surprised with what you find. Let us also acknowledge that Dow Chemical produces a vast array of products that do help humanity on a daily basis. It makes profits from these worldwide activities including those in India. It is therefore right and proper that we ask it to consider where its moral compass is pointing. All too often the global giants tend to pander to the whims of local politicians, their shareholder and ultimately profit at any cost. Most of the sports (and the participants) depend on products/materials produced by Dow. So one does not need to say ban Dow outright. However, we can and should challenge them and raise all issues, regardless of how uncomfortable it makes their CEO/Chairman, or for that matter, politicians who wish to protect their own interests. The bottom line, failures of successive Indian governments, the justice system, and corporate greed has led to tens of thousands suffering for decades. Is it now not time for the ‘human’ in ‘humanity’ to come out so that we give closure to this sad and painful episode? Who will have the courage to take that first step?
that he hoped the pair would “give up the rest of the people” involved.
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Ketan Makwana Director of KP Engineering Worksgo has been presented by the Tennis Club with the Most Improved Gents Player of the Year award by Chairman Mr Stephen Phillips at the Acorn Lawn Tennis Club AGM.
Action at a Glance Sania reaches career best 7th spot in doubles ranking
Sania Mirza's semifinal finish in the women's doubles event at the recently-concluded Australian Open has catapulted her to a career best ranking of seventh position in the latest WTA Team Rankings. Sania jumped from 11th spot to be inside the top10 in doubles rankings and if she manages to stay in the top 10 till June 21, 2012, she will get a direct entry into the London Olympics. The Hyderabadi girl though slipped in the singles rankings to be placed at 111th spot from 106th position. The top64 players will get a direct entry into the singles draw of the Olympics and if Sania fails to get into that bracket, AITA will ask the organising committee for a wildcard entry.
IPL deal leaves England players running risk of exhaustion
England are facing fears over burnout to their senior players after five members of the team likely to play in the third Test match against Pakistan were named on Monday on the final auction list for the next Indian Premier League. Ian Bell, James Anderson, Graeme Swann, Matt Prior and Ravi Bopara, who is in line to replace Eoin Morgan in the England side, will all be involved in the multi-million dollar player auction in Mumbai on Saturday which clashes with the second day of a match the team must win to be certain of maintaining their grip on No 1 Test status. The players have negotiated almost a month at the IPL this year and will not have to return to England until May 5, just 12 days before the start of a Test series against the West Indies. England players with IPL deals will fly straight to India from the tour to Sri Lanka, which ends on April 7, three days after the start of the Twenty20 league.
Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
Australia crush India by 298 runs to complete 4-0 whitewash Australia wrapped up a 298run win over India to sweep the series 4-0 early on the final day of the fourth Test at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday. The end was swift with the Australians snapping up the final four wickets in an hour to dismiss India for 201 and inflict a fourth heavy defeat on the demoralised tourists. It was India's eighth consecutive away Test loss after a 4-0 series loss in England last year and the Indians have not won a series in Australia in 10 visits. Australia's dominance over India comes a year after their Ashes series humiliation at home to England and their significant improvement under new skipper Michael Clarke, who replaced Ricky Ponting. Australia won by 122 runs in Melbourne, an innings and 68 runs in Sydney and an innings and 37 runs in Perth before their final Adelaide annihilation. Australia's bowlers, led by pacemen Ben Hilfenhaus (27 wickets) and Peter Siddle (23), dented the reputations of India's decorated batting lineup with the eight-Test youngster Virat Kohli topping the side's batting averages with 37.50. Sachin Tendulkar, who failed to bring up his 100th international century, has now gone without a century for 25 Test and one-day innings. His last hundred (111) was in the
World Cup last March. Tendulkar finished the series with 287 runs at 35.87, but it was sorry reading for the other batting luminaries. Test cricket's second alltime highest run-scorer Rahul Dravid finished with 194 runs at 24.25, Virender Sehwag 198 at 24.75 and VVS Laxman just 155 at 19.37. India were set an improbable 500-run target for victory in the Adelaide Test off 146 overs after Clarke's second declaration of the match at 167 for five in their second innings shortly after Friday's lunch. But the beleaguered tourists never got close and crashed to 166 for six by stumps leaving the final day's
outcome as a formality under sunny skies. Nightwatchman Ishant Sharma was out on the eighth ball of the last day, caught behind off Ryan Harris for two and he was followed in the next over by Wriddhiman Saha also caught behind off Siddle for three. Zaheer Khan hit out lustily for three fours before he was caught by David Warner at short cover off Hilfenhaus for 15. The final wicket came when Umesh Yadav (1) was caught behind by Haddin for spinner Nathan Lyon's fourth wicket of the innings. Ravi Ashwin remained 15 not out. Siddle was announced man-of-the-match for his six wickets.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni ready to quit Test captaincy F a c i n g severe criticism for his unimpressive captaincy and performances in Test cricket, under-fire Mahendra Singh Dhoni has offered to quit the leadership role in the longer format of the game if the BCCI feels there is a better replacement waiting in the wings. Dhoni said if somebody could do a better job than him in Tests, then he will be more than happy to step down as captain for the sake of the team. "It (captaincy) doesn't belong to anyone. It's a position I hold, and it's an added responsibility. I always like to do well till I am in job but it's not something I want to stick to. If there is a better replacement, he can come in," Dhoni said. "At the end of the day, you want India to perform. If there is someone who can do a better job, captaincy should be given to him. It's not something you have to cling on to," said Dhoni as speculation grew over his Test future both as a batsman and captain. Dhoni now has lost seven straight Test matches abroad as captain and as a batsman, his stocks have really fallen low on foreign pitches.
Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
Djokovic beats Nadal in epic Australian Open final Defending champion and world number one Novak Djokovic beat second seed Rafael Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 67, 7-5 to win his third Australian Open title on Sunday. The epic final lasted five hours and 53 minutes. Djokovic, who won the title at Melbourne Park in 2008 and 2011, has now won five Grand Slam titles in total and continues his recent domination over the Spaniard, having beaten him in their last seven meetings, all in finals. The Serbian captured the decisive break at 5-5 in the fifth set in a frenzied atmosphere at Rod Laver Arena. Crossing himself and muttering prayers at the heavens, Djokovic slammed a cross-court forehand winner on the first match point and collapsed to the ground in ecstasy after the five-hour 53 minute tussle. The win gave top seed and 2008 champion Djokovic his fifth Grand Slam title
before his 25th birthday. The final broke the record as the longest match in tournament history when it hit 5 hr 15 min. The match was also the longest Grand Slam final on record, outstripping the 1988 US Open final between Mats Wilander and Ivan Lendl, which lasted 4 hr 54 min. The previous longest Australian Open match was the 2009 semifinal between Nadal and Fernando Verdasco, which lasted 5 hr 14 min. Nadal saved three break points in the eighth game of the fourth set then waited out
a 10-minute rain break before he levelled the match by taking the fourth set 7-6. Nadal had been facing the distinct possibility of defeat within five minutes when he was reduced to 0-40 while trailing 3-4 in the set but produced a fantastic backhand pass and three massive serves to claw his way back into the match, which prompted the crowd to break into tumultuous chants of "Rafa". The players were then forced off the court as officials shut the roof on Rod Laver Arena after rain swept across central Melbourne and
the ball boys and girls scrambled around on their knees with towels to dry the court. Nadal then fed off the crowd that had swung behind him and, after seemingly been down and out returned to his fist pumping, competitive best and took the tiebreak 7-5 to send the match into a decider. Djokovic raced through the third set to take a 2-1 lead as he began to wear the Spaniard down and seized the set 6-2. Djokovic set the tone when he blasted through the first game and held serve to love and ,while he had no break points on Nadal's first service game of the set, the Spaniard was forced to battle as the Serb forced three deuce points. The world number one continued the pressure on Nadal's serve in the fourth game when he sealed the important break and then consolidated for a 41 lead when he again held his own serve to love.
Environmentalist quits Olympics ethics panel over Dow's Bhopal links There were fresh calls for an independent inquiry into Dow Chemical's controversial sponsorship of the London Olympics after Meredith Alexander, a leading environmentalist, resigned from the Games' ethics committee - the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 - protesting against Dow's links with the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster and accusing the organisers of “toeing” the company's line. “I feel that the Commission and the London Games organisers are in danger of becoming apologists for Dow Chemicals. They are repeating and falsely legitimising Dow's assertion that they have no responsibility for the Bhopal tragedy,” she said indicating that other members could follow suit. Terming the deal “ill-judged,” Ms. Alexander said: “I share Amnesty International's view that Olympic bodies are culpable of entering into an ill-judged relationship with Dow, the company that carries the responsibility for the catastrophic gas leak, a responsibility they have repeatedly absconded from.” She decided to quit after the
Commission failed to address the concerns. She felt that continuing to be part of a body that publicly endorsed Dow was “untenable.” Ms. Alexander, a seasoned campaigner who works for the charity ActionAid, said Dow's involvement had “hurt” the victims' families and “tainted” the Games. “I felt it was absolutely essential for me to stand up and be counted on this.” She also wanted to highlight the “toxic legacy” of the Bhopal tragedy. “It's one of the worst abuses of human rights in my generation, and I just could not stand idly by.” The Commission is an official watchdog set up to monitor and ensure that
the London Olympics meets its commitment to deliver the most sustainable Games ever. Besides a £7-million deal under which Dow is funding a fabric wrap for the Olympic stadium in east London, the company has a 10-year sponsorship arrangement with the International Olympic Committee estimated to be worth at least £100 million. The deal has sparked protests. Noam Chomsky is among high-profile international figures, including British MPs and former Olympians, who have written to Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog), urging him to scrap the deal. Barry Gardiner, senior Labour MP and chairman of the Labour Friends of India, demanded a parliamentary inquiry. Dow, which bought the Bhopal plant from Union Carbide after the gas tragedy, denies any liability. The Games' organisers have defended the decision to award the contract to Dow, saying it was taken after all the issues were “very carefully” considered.
Malaise of Indian cricket
By Premen Addy
Then list of things wrong with Indian cricket are simply too long and too tedious to enumerate. Suffice it to say the past has caught up, the deception ending in ignominy in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide, where hosts Australia thrashed their guests out of sight and right out of their tiny minds. There was much whimpering from certain Indian cricketers. Gautam Gambhir, the opening batsman, suggested that India doctor wickets at home as raging turners, for future visitors from Down Under, England and South Africa to get even with them, without apparently realizing that such dubious methods merely conceal weaknesses rather than project true strength and skill. On three successive tours to South Africa, England, and now Australia, he never looked the part. He was clearly out of his depth, so how he retained the trust
and loyalty of Team India must remain something of a mystery to the naïve but not those more worldly wise. Cronyism may have come into play, as it seemingly did with a few of his colleagues. Offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin talked a good line with the media but rarely struck the necessary line and length in his bowling which was smacked to all corners of the ground with impunity. Virender Sehwag, another resounding flop, asked that the past be put aside in the interest of the future. But the
two are linked, surely. To ignore past failures is to ensure a future without hope. While many careers waned, the few with talent – left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha and batsman Rohit Sharma waited forlornly in the wings for the call that never came. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a busted flush, a pretender in Test cricket, although still the genuine article in the shorter form of the game. The Indian selectors, including Chairman Krishnamachari Srikkanth came up short and need also to be replaced. Their presence at Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy matches, where the country’s young hopefuls cut their teeth, was as rare as the Siberian crane out of season in, say, Gangetic West Bengal. They were under the mistaken impression that their sumptuous salaries required that they cast a fleeting glance at the talent o9n offer in Test matches. ODIs and the rock n’ roll IPL. Time
to disabuse these worthies. Selectors must decide when players have reached their end of their shelf lives; retirement cannot be a subject for the players alone. Some among this sainted number believe that only when they climb into their wheelchairs that the time for leave-taking had arrived. They need reeducation, preferably in freedom, and not in one of Chairman Mao’s many labour camps. Truth is Indian cricket is in steep decline. Whether this is terminal only time will show. Meanwhile, Australia deserve the warmest congratulations for leaping back into contention as world Test champions, following their dismal performances in the Ashes series at home last year. England, meanwhile, have been brought down by a resurgent Pakistan 2 nil, with a Test to come. The Pakistani spinners bewitched, bothered, and bewildered their opponents into oblivion.
Action at a Glance Victoria Azarenka wins Australian Open women's title
Victoria Azarenka routed Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-0 on Saturday to win the Australian Open singles title and take over the No. 1 ranking in women’s tennis. Azarenka, playing in her first final in 25 Grand Slam tournaments, was broken in the opening game of the match by Sharapova and trailed 2-0 before taking advantage of 16 Sharapova unforced errors to win the first set in 46 minutes. The 22-year-old Belarusian broke Sharapova’s service to open the second set and never looked threatened to clinch the title in 1 hour, 22 minutes. The winner of the match had the added bonus of taking over the top ranking vacated by Caroline Wozniacki when she lost in the quarterfinals.
Leander Paes, Radek Stepanek win Australian doubles Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek denied the Bryan brothers a record 12th men's Grand Slam doubles title on Saturday as they beat the American top seeds in straight sets in the final. The 76 (7/1), 6-2 victory was the first for India's Paes over American twins Bob and Mike Bryan in a final after five defeats in title matches, and means he completes a career Grand Slam of doubles titles. Coming into the Australian Open the Indian doubles specialist had won 47 career doubles titles with 11 different partners, including one with Stepanek, who now claims his first grand slam doubles title. "I know what this means for him (Paes) because this title was missing from his career Grand Slam, and I'm happy I can be by his side," Stepanek said. The two danced around the court gleefully after their win. Paes-Vesnina falter in final: Meanwhile, the fifth-seeded Indo-Russian pairing of Paes and Elena Vesnina came up short at the crunch after battling back from an errorstained opening set in the mixed-doubles final of the Australian Open. In the end, the eighth-seeded American-Romanian pairing of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Horia Tecau, playing their first Grand Slam final, came through 6-3, 5-7, 10-3 in an hour and 42 minutes. The winners took home $135,500 for the fortnight’s run while Paes, playing his 13th mixed-doubles final, and for $67,500.
Milkha Singh donates Olympic shoes for charity Legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh has donated his priceless pair of shoes, which he wore during the 1960 Rome Olympics, for a charity auction which will be held in Mumbai, on February 11. Milkha says certain things are priceless, but there can be no good reason to part with them when they are given for a noble cause. "I hope the charity auction will fulfill someone's dream," he said. He said Bollywood actor Rahul Bose, whose NGO would be carrying out the auction, had told him that there was a charity auction for the benefit of the blind and other needy children. Singh said that earlier he had given another pair of shoes worn in the Rome Olympics to Sports Museum at Patiala, but had this pair with him for over five decades.
Asian Voice - Saturday 4th Febuary 2012
Rehman stuns England to give Pakistan series
Action at a Glance Panesar blames himself for England's defeat
Monty Panesar, who took seven wickets in the match against Pakistan in the second Test, has been a whipping boy for England, but no one expected him to take the loss to the point of selfflagellation. “Maybe I let the team down in the first innings, where I didn’t take wickets at a quick enough rate,” said Panesar on Monday. “I was pleased with my performance in the second innings but Graeme Swann kind of carried me in the first.” Panesar turned the ball sharply during the match, but taking any blame for England’s sorry performance, as they chased 145 to win, is his biggest spin yet. Yet Panesar does not see his claims as being unnecessarily hard on himself. “I do have my selfbelief and confidence,” he said. “The key to success is that you need to develop your own courage and confidence into your character. If you lack self-belief on and off the field, you are not going to be able to reach your own potential. It has helped me to play grade cricket in Sydney for RandwickPetersham and to have my own selfimprovement guru.”
England suffered one of their most disastrous batting collapses in Test history as they disintegrated against Pakistan's spinners to lose the second Test in Abu Dhabi and with it the series. Pakistan went 2-0 up with one to play as Abdur Rehman, their left-arm spinner, took most of the plaudits with a Test-best 6 for 25. England had only lost on four occasions in Test history when presented with a victory target of 145 or fewer, evoking memories of when they were run ragged by Richard Hadlee and made 64 against New Zealand in Wellington. They did not even get halfway, dismissed for 72 in only 36.1 overs, their lowest total since the debacle against West Indies in Kingston three years ago which became the catalyst for their transformation under the stewardship of the coach, Andy Flower, and captain, Andrew Strauss. England were never in the hunt at the Sheikh Zayed stadium after Monty Panesar's triumphant return to Test cricket - 6 for 62, the second best figures of his Test career -- left them chasing only 145 for victory. The pitch offered prodigious turn at times but it was England's inability to read the length of Pakistan's spinners that cost them just as dearly. Rehman fell to his knees and kissed the turf after taking five wickets in a Test innings for the first time. England had come to Dubai fearing Saeed Ajmal's devilish mix of offspinners and doosras and they had fallen instead to one of the most unsung spinners in the international game. Not that Ajmal could be entirely excluded. He became the quickest Pakistan player to reach 100 Test wickets when Matt Prior became the ninth England batsman to fall, and his serene presence was a counterpoint to the excitability all around him. For a Pakistan side that was so recently embroiled in controversy after three players were jailed for their part in the spot-fixing scandal, this was a striking restatement of their talent. The captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, has brought stability where too often there has been near anarchy and more and more people will look upon Mohsin Khan's position as interim coach and wonder why the word "interim" still remains. England's horrors in Asia go on, their status as the No. 1 team in the Test rank-
England need fresh blood
England selectors know that instead of continuing with the trio of Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan, with their 94 runs between them, they have to go for fresh blood. But the main question is who they would bring in? Ravi Bopara is the spare batsman on tour, while Steven Davies, here putatively as wicket-keeping back-up, could also bat in the top six if required, but there doesn’t appear to be anything like the same depth of talent in reserve as in the pace bowling department. James Taylor, the England Lions captain in Sri Lanka, looked as if he might have been the next batsman to break through, but his stock appears to have fallen despite his move to Nottinghamshire in search of tougher cricket. Moreover, Taylor’s Lions have been concentrating on one-day cricket. In that format, Jos Buttler and Craig Kieswetter have excelled in the subcontinental conditions, with Jonny Bairstow also doing well. All are naturally aggressive strokemakers with options against spin bowlers but then Morgan is brilliantly adept against them in one-day cricket, something you wouldn’t have guessed from his naïve dabblings here. Context and conditions are everything when judging how good batsmen are against spinners. England play another seven Tests in the subcontinent this year, but judging who of the next generation might cope best is difficult.
The Pakistan players celebrate their series win
ings already under threat. Another calamitous top-order collapse saw them lose four wickets for 16 runs in 37 balls as what little confidence they had was shaken by a debilitating stomach bug for Jonathan Trott, the bedrock of their batting, who came in at No. 7. England, as if shaken by Trott's illness, crawled to 21 in nearly 15 overs before Alastair Cook tried to work Mohammad Hafeez into the legside against the spin and chipped a gentle return catch off a leading edge. It was the least that Pakistan deserved because he should have been out leg before three balls earlier. Only Adnan Akmal, the wicketkeeper, was convinced that it was out and by then his incessant appealing had started to wash over everybody, his team-mates included. Ian Bell's woes against Ajmal's doosra have wrecked his series. This time he got out to a trick shot, trying to dead bat a doosra but contriving to pop it through his own legs onto the stumps. He left looking to the heavens, an accomplished batsman suddenly Little Boy Lost again. Aficionados of Kevin Pietersen's supposed fallibility against left-arm spin of any quality will find fresh evidence in the way he played outside Rehman's arm ball. Pietersen's recourse to DRS was overturned, the ball shown to be clipping
the top of middle, and he trudged off with the air of a man about to fashion an excuse first and a technique later. That left Eoin Morgan, reputedly one of England's best players of spin, a reputation that owes everything to adventurous innings in one-day cricket. The pressure of Test cricket demanded a reassessment as he edged onto the back foot as Rehman turned one back slightly and was bowled past a horribly angled blade. England's plight could have been worse if Strauss had been given out caught off bat and pad at short leg by Azhar Ali off Rehman. Strauss, on 16, was blessed as the umpires turned to the third umpire, Billy Bowden, to check if the ball had carried and Bowden, in a pernickety decision that defied common sense, responded that he could not be certain. It was impossible to see where his doubt had arisen. But Strauss was unable to organise prolonged resistance. He made 32, more than half England's runs, produced virtually England's only moment of authority when he swept Rehman for four and then fell to the next ball as he was lbw, caught on the back foot. England challenged the decision and lost their second review. If Trott had produced heroics, the Test would have forever been dubbed Trott's Trots.
Boyle to direct London Olympic opening ceremony To have ‘Tempest’ theme, Dev Patel to play a part
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Danny Boyle, the maker of Oscarwinning film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, will direct a £29 million opening ceremony extravaganza of the London Olympic Games in July. Modern, multi-cultural Britain will feature in the display with London-based Dev Patel, who starred in ‘Slumdog’, will figure as a part of this celebration. Scotsman Boyle let slip few more hints to the press. He said, for the inauguration, he was drawing inspiration from Shakespeare’s drama, ‘The Tempest’. He is creating ‘The Isles of Wonder’ to reflect the setting of the play. The words “…be not a feard. The
isle is full of noises” will reportedly been graved on a giant 23-ton bell that will ring during the ceremony. The organising committee anticipates a TV audience of one billion for the opener. There is understandable pressure to get the presentation right. Unsurprisingly, Boyle quantified his task as “bloody enormous”. More than 10,000 artistes will participate in Boyle’s three-hour show. The music is being written by Underworld, the dance music pair of Karl Hyde and Rick Smith, who wrote the score for Frankenstein. It’s a recent stage performance directed by Boyle.
The industrial revolution and the revitalization of derelict land in east London into a magnificent Olympic complex will also be highlighted. Boyle said he can’t compete with Beijing’s big budget four years ago (estimated at $300 million). Instead, he will attempt to replicate the friendliness of the 2004 Sydney Games. Prime Minister David Cameron, on being consulted (the government is on austerity drive), doubled the budget to £81 million for the four ceremonies that will adorn the London Games, with an allocation of £29 million for the inaugural.