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VOL 41. ISSUE 43
9th March to 15th March 2013
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Indian American Professors block Modi’s Wharton talk Under pressure from some Indian-American professors, the Wharton School unnecessarily cancelled the keynote address of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi at the Wharton India Economic Forum to be held in Philadelphia on March 2223 via video-conference. Cancellation of Modi’s address disheartened lots of people; in fact it created an uproar among Modi’s supporters in India and abroad. Certain sections of people were greatly disturbed and Shiv Sena leader Suresh Prabhu cancelled his visit to Wharton "as a mark of protest" against the cancellation of Modi's address. "It was Wharton which invited him. Modi did not ask that he be invited. And if you are calling off the invite, I think it is not only an
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Peers demand ban on Caste discrimination in Britain Rupanjana Dutta
insult of the Gujarat chief minister but of the entire country," Prabhu said. On the reason for canceling the Wharton visit, Prabhu said, "I have been a regular speaker at colleges and universities all over the world, be it in the US, Japan, Singapore or the Middle East. I find this (Wharton snub to Modi) a ridiculous decision. The university should be a place where divergent views are debated. Such a decision, that too by a varsity in the US, is unfathomable," he said." Gujarat is a leading and industrialised state in the country. Continued on page 26
Budget: Chidambaram nets big fish With elections looming on the horizon, India’s finance minister P Chidambaram faced a twin challenge: keep the Congress hopes afloat while steering the economy out of choppy waters. He has turned to super rich, made a splash for
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women and sought to shore up investments. While announcing a tax rebate of up to Rs 2,000 for those with incomes of not more than Rs 500,000, the finance minister imposed a 10% surcharge on income tax for crorepatis, Continued on page 24
Peers on Tuesday defeated the British Government in a vote in the House of Lords, emphasising that discrimination on the grounds of 'caste' should be outlawed in the UK. Arguments led by Crossbencher Lord Harries of Pentregarth backed an Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill amendment to add caste to race discrimination laws. The government opposed the move, saying it had set up an education programme to tackle caste discrimination. But Peers demanded that this would not be enough, and the law needed to be changed. The government was defeated by 256 to 153. What is Casteism? People of Britain have been aware of racial differences or prejudices that existed in this country. It was tackled by the race discrimination law, but incidents like the murder of Stephen Lawrence or acid attack on Naomi Oni do continue to question our judgement. Due to the
Say No to Caste System
tireless work on racial equality, by people like Lord Navnit Dholakia, the current day British Asians stand witness to a much tolerant country. And now with the Cameron government entrusting Alok Sharma MP with a responsibility of ensuring that corporates reveal ethnic breakdown of their workforce, it is evident that Britain is finally becoming a truely diverse country. Our Publisher/Editor CB Patel on Feb 16th (page 4 AV) in his article “Don't bring Caste dis-
criminations to UK” emphasised that Casteism is not a Hindu or Sikh or a religious malady. The current status of Casteism is catalysed by the way social system has evolved and is the main cause of today's tragedies. Caste system in India was created historically to facilitate hereditary transmission of a style of life including occupation, ritual status in a pyramidical society, and customary social interaction. The segregation that essentially existed on economic grounds, escalated to a
different level with the popularity of urbanisation. Despite of Mahatma Gandhi's effort to unite the Indian society and his great success to eliminate 'untouchability' completely, unfortunately Caste discriminations do exist in modern day India. The sporadic killings of people in the name of castes are reported in various parts of India, including some gruesome honour killings and forced marriages in north India based on caste differences. Continued on page 2
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Keith Vazwith MP
Keith Vaz MP
Dr Krutika Pau
ple who have actively supported me along my journey. However, the strong public service ethos demonstrated by my father throughout my childhood, has been like a golden thread running through my career. This provided me with a firm value base including the key characteristics of perseverance, resilience and reflection which act as a moral compass in turbulent times.
Director of Children and Families, Brent Council After completing her doctorate in education in 1987, Krutika worked for the Community Relations Council in Waltham Forest in East London followed by a period as an Education Officer at the Commission for Racial Equality prior to joining Brent in 1989. Krutika has held a number of roles at the authority including head of policy and planning and school admissions. From 2002- 2004 she worked for central government in the academies unit at the then Department for Education and Skills, where she led on the development of city academies across London. Krutika returned to Brent Council in October 2004 as assistant director in the authority’s children and families department. She was appointed director of children and families at the council in September 2010. What are your proudest achievements? An outstanding education enables young people to follow their passions and can be an exit strategy out of poverty. There is an overall trajectory of improving educational standards in Brent and our young people are more likely to continue into higher education and are succeeding in securing places at the very best universities. However, we cannot afford to be complacent and need to ensure that all children in Brent are receiving a top quality education of which we
can be proud. Please tell us about your current position? I am the statutory director of children's services in the London Borough of Brent. There are over 70,000 children in Brent and currently the Council is the corporate parent for 344 children. My department works directly with children, parents and carers, schools and a wide range of partners, including health, police and the voluntary sector. I work closely with elected councillors to ensure we con-
tinue to improve outcomes for all our children and families, particularly the most vulnerable. What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? Of course you get some lucky breaks, but I have always tried to take responsibility for developing my own career. You need to be self aware and continue to cultivate your strengths whilst working on those skills which require further improvement. You have to be courageous and seek opportunities to step out of your comfort zone. Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? I have been very fortunate to have had a handful of key peo-
Peers demand ban.... Continued from page 1 In Britain, since 1613 the word 'caste' has been used, though it encapsulates not only the economical breakdown but also the idea of race, lineage or breed. It was the Portuguese who employed 'casta' in the primary modern sense when they applied it to the many inmarrying hereditary Hindu social groups, they encountered upon their arrival in India in 1498.
With the oncoming of South Asian immigrants to this country, came the idea of Caste differences as well. With time it lost its true meaning and discriminations or Casteism, as we understand it today, started surfacing. This move by the Lords to include the 'caste discrimination' under the bracket of racial discrimination law is a welcoming step, especially for many
British Asian communities who have been suffering silently. This law will probably ensure that no man or woman, irrespective of any religion will be discriminated against, on the basis of caste, providing equal opportunities to all unanimously. Inclusion of Caste discrimination in Race law The defeat was the second of the day for the government, with peers also challenging the government over the role of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in promoting a more equal society. Ministers want to remove a general duty on the commission underlining the need to protect human rights and promote equal opportunity for all in society, but peers blocked the move. As the debate took place, more than 400 members of the Dalit communityso-called untouchables - protested outside Parliament. Former cabinet minister Lord Deben said it was important to end discrimination. The BBC reported that Bishop of Oxford, Lord Harries of Pentregarth who introduced the amendment - said the British Dalit community
had reached 480,000 and evidence showed they suffered discrimination in education, employment and the provision of public goods and service. At the moment, the bishop said, there was no means of legal redress for those suffering discrimination. "We know in the case of race that nothing has been more effective in reducing racial prejudice than the law. It has had a most powerful educative effect," he said. "Nothing could be more significant and effective in reducing discrimination on the grounds of caste than to have a clearcut law that discrimination in the public law would not be tolerated." “It would be utterly wrong for us to say to the world that we had the opportunity to protect people from this disgraceful discrimination and we decided not to do it” Former Conservative cabinet minister Lord
What is the best thing about your current role? The ability to lead across a whole system to build alliances and translate strategic vision into local improvement plans. My role gives me a vantage point – a helicopter view of needs, resources, solutions and connections. This is essential in order to navigate through a complex set of challenges as we move forward with an ambitious agenda to deliver sustained improvements for Brent residents. And the worst? Seeing the impact of neglect and abuse on children by adults who should be keeping them safe and supporting them to grow into happy and confident
Deben, who spoke passionately in favour of the amendment, said: "You can change the name from untouchable to Dalit, but you cannot change the fact that some people are treated in an appalling way simply because of the person they were born. "I have absolutely no doubt that it would be utterly wrong for us to say to the world that we had the opportunity to protect people from this disgraceful discrimination and we decided not to do it because we had to have another investigation." He said the history of the fight against discrimi-
Alok Sharma MP
nation was marked by people who did not want to change, arguing the issue should be looked at further. 'Programme of education' "It was only when we changed the law and made it wrong not only morally but legally that we actually had the change in atti-
young people. We need more people to come forward as potential foster carers and adopters – ordinary people have the ability to make an extraordinary difference in the lives of our most vulnerable children. What are your long term goals? I am passionate about improving the life chances and choices of all children and young people and I want for them, what I want for my own children....the very best opportunities so they can fulfil their potential in life. Sadly many children have the odds stacked against them at a very early stage and some never recover from this poor start. I will continue to improve the system which supports the most vulnerable children and families, wherever they are, to overcome the barriers which prevent them from leading fulfilling lives. If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? Not quite a historical figure, but I think it would be interesting to spend some time with Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese opposition leader. She comes across as a woman of great conviction, dignity and inner strength and I would love to meet her!
tude and gained the protection that we needed," he said. Crossbench peer Lord Alton said: "There are some values that we hold firmly in this country and we must stand firmly on those principles and not suggest to others that somehow or other to import those kind of conditions into the United Kingdom would ever be acceptable. "However important things like trade relations are to British industry and developing cordial good relations with India and China, nonetheless the stand we take for upholding human rights and human dignity - the belief that no one is untouchable and that every person is of equal value - is the reason I am very happy to support this amendment." Former Conservative Lord Chancellor Lord Mackay of Clashfern gave his "full support" to the amendment which he said dealt with an issue "which ought not to disfigure our national life". For the government, Baroness Stowell said there was "some evidence of caste prejudice and discrimination taking place in the United Kingdom". "We all want to see an end to caste-based prejudice and discrimination," she said. "We are not closing the door to legislation. "From the limited evidence of class prejudice already available we
believe that there is much to be gained through a programme of education and that is something we will get on with immediately." She said the Equality and Human Rights Commission was also going to look into the issue and report later this year.
Helen Grant MP
Rebels voting in favour of the amendment included 22 Liberal Democrat peers and 9 Conservatives. Former party leaders Conservative Lord Howard and Lib Dem Lord Steel rebelled, as did Baroness Williams and former Lord Chancellor Lord Mackay. It needs a special mention of Lord Dholakia here, who has also worked very hard to stop discrimination on the basis of race or caste. Talk for a change by Government The Government unveiled new education Continued on page 30
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 9th march 2013
Chidambaram’s pragmatic Budget The Union Budget was awaited with high expectation and not a little excitement. Finance Minister P.Chidambaram and his team, among them his foremost adviser Raghuram Rajan, a former consultant to the IMF and professor at a top Chicago business school, are compelled by their calling to remain calm and collected as they survey the government’s books and sift the affordable items from the unaffordable as taxable targets, focus on items that require deeper pockets, while keeping the middle classes in equilibrium. At the same time, they must keep enough in the kitty to fund welfare programmes for the poor. Through all this Mr Chidambaram had the daunting task of balancing the books – which meant reining in the fiscal deficit by a 0.1 percentage point to 5.2 per cent of the GDP, a signal of good intent to the market and to the investor community, assuring them that the subject would be kept under strict review for future budgets. The signs of an economic recovery were taken on board by the international rating agency Standard & Poor’s whose predicted GDP growth for the current fiscal is 5.5 per cent, rising to 6.4 per cent in 2013-14 and to 7.2 per cent in 2014-15, on the back of an improvement in the mining and power sectors. So how did Mr Chidambaram fare in meeting the contending demands on the public purse? As expected the expert opinions (from which are excluded the blanks fired by opposition leaders and their flocks) vary. The one expressed by Dr M.S.Swaminathan FRS, an architect of India’s Green Revolution, and an Independent member of the Rajya Sabha is deserving of close critical scrutiny. His overall verdict reads as follows: “Finance Minister P.Chidamabaram’s budget for 2013-13 will be remembered not only for its strategies to stimulate economic growth and control fiscal deficit, but also for the importance given to the needs of the underprivileged sections of our society.” Turning to agriculture, which is his special field, he dwelt, in sum, on three major points. First, he was strongly supportive of the generous budgetary allocations in defence of the achievements of the Green Revolution in Punjab and Haryana; for
this purpose he supported crop diversification in there to stem the decline of the water table and the increase in salinity; second, he hailed the spread of the Green Revolution across eastern India to include Bihar, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Assam; third, came his approval for the government’s decision to start a pilot project marrying nutrition to agriculture in the interests of a balanced diet; added to this, was the projected investment in greater storage capacity for food grains to avoid wastage. Dr Swaminathan’s attention to detail and his analytical rigour contrasts with politician-speak which described the budget, sequentially, as “boring,”, “dull,” and the much favoured “anti-people.” These men and women sit in parliament courtesy the Indian tax-payer. They show little knowledge of their brief and sound for the most like second-hand vacuum cleaners. The Finance Minister’s stimulus package is calculated to revive the economy and take it to the next level of growth, just as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has done for Japan and been praised for his efforts. This, for India, entailed more spending on the industrial corridors between Mumbai and Delhi and Mumbai and Bangalore, projects in which foreign investors, with Japan and the UK leading the charge, are expected to play a substantial part. Infrastructure also includes power, connectivity and affordable housing and mass urban transport systems, primary and tertiary education etc. Many of these projects are already under construction, more are on the way. There is increased spending on science and technology, healthcare, and a 14 per cent hike in defence expenditure, a necessary item considering India’s dangerous security environment. The Finance Minister has given notice of his intention to move towards a rationalized structure in accordance with Shome report. He is increasing income-tax for the super rich by 10 per cent and has given a range of sops, a populist gesture with the next general election a little more than a year away. Democracy is designed to give priority to the mass of the people over the constricted interests of stock brokers and speculators. The entrepreneurs and industrialists must now take over the reins.
Indian space science in spectacular orbit India’s latest space venture SARAL encapsulates the paradox of a country seemingly chaotic in daily life, yet capable of the highest levels of discipline and creative endeavour when the occasion demands. In a little more than a decade Indian scientists and engineers have surmounted the challenges of putting space satellites into different orbits from a single rocket. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) satellites have made a real difference to Indian life, from weather forecasting to directing fishermen to profitable catches, from telecommunication to school and adult education and medicare and much else besides. Western do-gooders and their local auxiliaries, with their impaired vision of development have attacked such ventures as unaffordable extravagance. Bless their bleeding hearts, but so apparently was the Narmada project. Space ventures tell the story of science in the service of society, of science as a liberating force, educating and empowering the poor and needy, and enlightening the ignorant and the superstitious and taking industry to new heights of achievement. Science, in a word, guarantees of India’s future. So what is about SARAL that is worth a celebratory toast? First, was the PSLV-C20 rocket, the ISRO workhorse that did the trick yet again. This time it carried six satellites, ejecting each into its separate, pre-determined orbit. Second, was the awe-
some precision of the exercise. Third, was its superb coordination. SARAL represents the culmination of a joint Indo-French mission for the study of oceanography. Two of SARAL’s payloads, Argos-3 and Altika are French; they will collect oceanographic data. The third payload, a solid C-band transponder, is an ISRO product. All three payloads were integrated into the satellite at ISRO headquarters in Bangalore. The six other payloads include two each from Canada and Austria, and one each from Denmark and the UK. The latter’s 6.5 kg STRand will evaluate the performance of mobile phone electronics in space. There two further launches scheduled for this year, the first in May will be the heavy GSLV-5 with an indigenous cryogenic engine that can carry a communications satellite into a high geo-synchronous orbit of 36,000 kilometres; this will be followed by a PS LV launch of a satellite belonging to the Indian Regional Navigation System. In October, hopefully, will come India’s Mars Lander mission What India was in 1947 and the road she has traversed since - notwithstanding the obstacles and self-inflicted wounds has been (and continues to be) a saga, whose subtext is surely The Life of Pi, where an Indian boy marooned on the high seas with a tiger for company, survives his ordeal, strengthened inside and better able to face the future.
Revisiting the Jallianwala Bagh atrocity David Cameron’s description of the Jallianwala Bagh atrocity as “shameful” and his expression of “regret” following his visit to the site wasn’t enough for carping critics demanding a formal apology. Swapan Dasgupta, arguably India’s most incisive columnist, responded with a scorching edit-page piece in the Telegraph newspaper in which he lamented the skewed “Hindu” approach to history. Was any apology demanded of the Shah of Iran, during his tours of India, for Nadir Shah’s pogrom in Delhi in 1739. The marauding Persian conqueror’s extensive booty included Shah Jahan’s Peacock Throne, now an exhibit in a Tehran muse-
um. Has the Indian political class ever called for its return, as it does for the Kohinoor lodged in the Tower of London with the Crown jewels? And why the Indian amnesia on Timur’s (Tamerlane in the West) equally ferocious assault on Delhi in 1398, or the silence on the Great Calcutta Killings stemming from Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s Direct Action Day call. If Mr Dasgupta had not been constrained for space, he might have mentioned the sack of Somnath and the demolition of Vijayanagar. The mainstream Indian media is studiedly neutral about both. For reasons of vote bank politics, presumably.
People often tell me that motivation doesn't last, and I tell them that bathing doesn't either. That's why I recommend it daily - Hilary Hinton
The Point of Prime Ministerial Visits Now we have had time to reflect on the British PM’s visit to India, I am asked what is the point of these trips, is it good to be on it, how do they change things? Hardly anybody understands their purpose. Whilst Downing Street wrongly measures success in press coverage column inches – these do not matter. Newspapers are after all tomorrows junk, sometimes even today’s junk. Anyway, do you recall the last PM to visit the UK? No. In any event your planned press announcement can easily be held hostage to events, as the British PM was. Augusta Westfield and Amritsar. Speaking of Amritsar, is the point then to win domestic votes back in the UK. If you can’t go to Gujarat, (still too soon apparently), then the next best vote bank in the UK if you are in India is Punjab. No, far better to visit Southall, Leicester, Birmingham and Wembley than trek to Punjab if that is your goal. So what is the point of the trip? To announce deals? No they can be done anyway. To meet and discuss security issues? No, most are multilateral, there is a phone, and you have ample opportunities at Davos, G20 and any other innumerable platforms. Is it to provide invaluable support to the 100 business leaders on the trip to open doors for them? No. The High Commission is there any way to help with that as is UKTI. And the PM is hardly going to lobby for small companies. And the bigger ones are big enough. What then? It is an opportunity for the big companies from the UK to get access to the PM. As when I was on a prior PM delegation and Richard Branson could try to persuade the PM he should somehow make Northern Rock available. And yes PR for small companies and photos with the PM goes a long way, as when, the last PM launched my UK India Business Angel Network and we almost immediately got an Indian company to set up in the UK and get funding from private sources here so it could go global. But it was a hell of a lot of effort for PR. So the point? Ego is important for the delegation to be sure. You’re not a ‘player’ if you’re not on the trip surely. Networking for your next corporate move. Or indeed to catch the eye of the PM if you’re looking for a promotion or those all-important press shots for the next campaign to show a perception of influence or even the ear of the PM. But surely it can’t be something so meaningless? Everyone knows a photo with the PM does not mean you have access to tax or immigration policy – if it did – we would lobby you not the PM. One key benefit usually overlooked is that a PM visit leads to a flurry of activity by officials on both sides keen by dint of deadline to announce initiatives and these initiatives suddenly find grand voice and grander funds from nowhere. Many may even do good. That is an important point of a visit. And indeed by so doing, setting in stone, the Government’s obligations. You see the power is not in the hands of the PM, it is indeed in the hands of the delegates if they learn how to plan, announce, and then hold hostage to announcement such Governmental commitments. I know of one NGO and one SME that has done that – and quite right too! Understanding where power lies is a rare commodity on a PM trip. So PM’s visits have a point. It’s just the reverse of the point you think they have.
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Midland firms caught employing illegal immigrants Kruti Patel Hundreds of Midland firms have been fined £3 million for employing illegal immigrants over the last three years. The UK Border Agency has penalised 328 companies for disregarding the law and making use of cheap foreign labour from countries like India, Nigeria and Afghanistan. The majority of companies that hired illegal immigrants were fast food restaurants or hand car washes. These include some of UK's best known firms such as,
Domino's Pizza and franchised petrol stations selling BP fuel – were also caught by UK Border Agency checks. Sunday Mercury uncovered figures under the Freedom of Information Act, that showed that 328 firms in the East and West Midlands were fined a total of £2,958,750 between 2010 and 2012. In order for authorities to battle the black market of labour, sanctions, which are civil penalties meaning employers do not get a criminal record, were brought in five years ago.
be here and should be returned to their country of origin. Many are here, fighting extradition with their solicitors using legal methods to remain here, making them vulnerable to these types of employers. Workers are often paid below the minimum wage, and employers usually pay it in cash and be denying revenue to the Exchequer. “They are also denying jobs to people who have legal entitlement to this country and have not got jobs at that time”, added Roger Godsiff.
Birmingham Hall Green Labour MP Roger Godsiff, whose constituency includes some of the firms fined, praised the efforts of the UK Border Agency and hit out at employers for using illegal workers. “I welcome the fact the Border Agency are clamping down on rogue employers who are employing people who are not eligible to work,” he said. Employers that do such things are exploiting desperate and vulnerable people and MP Roger Godsiff also stated that these people should not
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University of Manchester now amongst the top 50 in the world University of Manchester, has for the first time broken into the top 50 and was listed as 47th in the Times Higher Education (THE) World Reputation Rankings. It is one of the only nine UK universities in the top 100. The rankings measure the power of universities, constructed on the basis of opinions of senior academics. Researchers have warned the some of the very top institutions in the UK may be gaining more importance than the others, and the rest, dealing with increasing competition from Asian nations. The UK has lost three universities from the top 100 in the last two years, as rankings show. Leeds University dropped put of the top 100, and Bristol clung unto the 100th spot, whilst
Raja Khan and Adeeb Sultan
Edinburgh University, in the top 100, rose three places to 46th. UCL (University College London) rose one place to 20th, and LSE (London School of Economics) increased to four places from 29th to 25th
United States has more institutions on the league table in the top 100 this year, and many of the Asian institutions are also rising up in the global league table. Phil Baty, the magazine's rankings editor stated that there was some good
Former practice manager denies £60,000 fraud A medical practice manager helped himself to £60,000 of surgery funds, bringing the centre to the brink of bankruptcy, a court heard. Ashok Patel used a bogus reference and falsely claiming that he had a first class business studies degree from the University of Leicester to get the job at the Highfields Medical Centre in 2007. Initially he had impressed partners at the centre, which run two surgeries, with 8,000 patients registered. However, during the first day of a Leicester Crown Court, the jury told Patel, who was on a £53,000 a year salary by the time he left in 2010, used business cheques 'as if they were his own'. Jonathan Dunne, prosecuting, told the court Patel paid thousands into his own bank accounts and drew out large sums in cash. He posed as a doctor and had gone into a car dealership, using a medical cheque to put a £5,000 deposit on a Mercedes car. Patel denies four counts of fraudulently using his employers' cheques, between March 2008 and July 2010. Jonathan Dunne, prosecut-
ing, told the court that Patel paid thousands into his own bank accounts and drew large sums of money. He is believed to be an “outand out fraudster who brought his practice to the brink of bankruptcy.” Doctors were unable to pay bills and as practice manager, he was solely responsible for handling the finances of the practice. “The total loss was about £60,000”, added Mr Dunne. Patel made use of a cheque to pay off a £1,000 personal credit card balance and others to settle phone bills, which was part of the salary agreement, as it was claimed. He claimed every cheque he has used was with the consent and they knew he was using the money. He also put some discrepancies down to errors and bookkeeping. When the police searched they had allegedly found a fake MBA certificate from the University of Leciester. The court have been informed that he has never attended university and as Mr Dunne stated, has receive the job on the basis of “a creative CV”.
news for the UK, but only for a handful of universities. Putting aside UK's chosen universities, there is a cause of alarm, as we have lost three institutions from the world top 100 list since the reputation rankings were first published in 2011.
Terror trio from Birmingham may have passed on bomb-making skills “Terrorist tradecraft” and bomb making skills may have been passed on to other Islamic extremists in the Midlands, as counter- terror forces fear. The revelation follows after three men were convicted of planning an attack in the UK, after travelling to Al-Queeda terror training camps in Pakistan. Pharmacy graduate and plot ringleader, Irfan Naseer, was taught how to construct bombs and improvised explosive devices with specific instructions to teach others on his return to the UK. It marks a new strategy for Al Queeda which is finding it increasingly difficult to plan and carry out attacks like 9-11. The persistent threat of US drones hovering over Pakistan tribal areas has meant the terror outfit is now actively dissuading potential recruits from making the trip. Instead they are being told to stay and plan attacks in their home countries. The new strategy
involves a teacher training approach in which a select few Western operatives are taught bombmaking and other aspects of terrorist tradecraft in the tribal areas of Pakistan and are then instructed to return back to the West to “spread the knowledge”. There maybe a possibility the likes of Naseer and Khalid passed on their knowledge to extremists in the West Midlands, who are perhaps expected to do the same. Naseer and Khalid implemented the new al Queeda strategy when they returned to the UK. Just days before their arrest on September 18, 2011, Naseer provided Ashik Ali, the third Birmingham man convicted, with hands-on instruction on how to make explosives. In one of the bugged conversations, Naseer was heard saying that restrictions on training in Pakistan meant it was effective recruiting extremists in the West.
Two men from Birmingham, Adeeb Sultan, 27, and Raja Khan, aged 23, plied a fourteen year old girl with drink and drugs for sex have been jailed for fifteen years. Their 'despicable' actions consisted of inducing the girl to perform a sex act on a taxi driver so that the men could secure a reduced fare. The crime dates back to June 2011, the time when Sultan began speaking to the girl friend on Alum Rock's Reginald Road. According to Detective Constable Amy Bates, Adeeb Sultan offered the girls, who were apparently missing from their home, the chance to hang out with him and his friends. The pair decided to go with him and started to drink vodka on a nearby canal towpath. Later, she was raped by a man on Dubberston Mill Road canal, not once, but twice, with Sultan facilitating the attack. Over the course of five days, Sultan formed an abusive sexual relationship with the young girl who was given alcohol and drugs. She was then raped by Khan, and also abused by unidentified men. Sultan stated that the child had told him that she was 16 and agreed to intercourse. However, he was found guilty on two counts of sexual activity of a child and one count causing a child to engage in sexual activity, jailing him for five years. Raja Khan was sentenced to ten years imprisonment on being found guilty of rape and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Sultan was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for ten years and Khan was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life. Nicola Heath, from the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service said: “This has been traumatic experience for a very young and vulnerable girl, and I would like to thank the victim for her tremendous courage in giving evidence at court and for her support for this prosecution.”
Hand gun waved in B’ham city centre Detectives have released CCTV images of two people who could help in the investigation of an alleged firearm incident in Birmingham city centre. Officers, investigating, believe that two men can helped, which was launched after a man was seen chasing a group across Edgbaston Street wielding what appeared to be a hand gun on February 1. Thankfully, no shots were fired, but officers are still keen to trace the two men. Force CID, Detective Constable Wayne Johnson stated: “This was a serious offence and we are appealing to anyone who can help us identify the two men...” It was unclear whether or not it was a real firearm or an imitation, but either way it could be seen as threat to members of the public. The investigation continues and anyone with any information are free to call Crimestoppers in confidence.
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Does Dharma have a place in the modern world?
With the sheer amount of widespread suffering, one thought is persistent in my mind: What can Indian philosophy offer us to make the world a better place? Hemal Randerwala is a Hindu activist and founder of Go Dharmic. He is a longtime student of ExHarvard Professor Ram Dass, and is currently in the final stages of editing a book co authored with Dr Nicholas Sutton named,’The Book of Dharma’. Dharma is the fundamental law of universal morality - relevant to all of us - it is to live in harmony with the world, proceeding beyond narrow self-interest and working for the welfare of all living beings. Of course, there will always be debate about what constitutes an ideal lifestyle. One of the charms of the Mahabharata, a monumental Hindu scripture, is that it discusses the subtleties of Dharma in detail rather than dictating it. Within the narrative, Shri Krishna explains to Arjun how he should take care not to reduce Dharma to simple rules. He explains how a holy man named Kausika had taken a vow to always speak the truth and became famous for adhering to the principle. Then one day, a family were attempting to escape with their possessions from a group of ferocious robbers. The criminals asked Kausika the Saint, where did the people go? Kausika
directed them towards the woods they were hiding in. Acting on his information the robbers killed the people and took all of their possessions. Kausika in this case committed adharma. Shri Krishna then goes on to say ‘There has to be some way of distinguishing Dharma. Some say the knowledge is highest gained through reason but many others say knowledge of Dharma is gained from the Shruti (scriptures). I do not disagree with this, but the scriptures does not refer to each individual case. Dharma was created for the welfare of living beings and hence whatever sustains living beings is Dharma. So we must understand Dharma as that which leads to the welfare of people in the world. Now that I have given you a clear definition of Dharma you must decide how to act!’ We see here in the passage the ideas of an emphasis considering each case carefully, of the importance of non-violence, and compassion for others. These are the principles upon which I established Go Dharmic, a platform form for Dharmic action. The fact is that Dharma is a subtle concept which requires due attention. It may be too much to expect Dharma to be centred in the heart of political and public life in the world. Realistically maybe artha, wealth accumulation, has
always had greater position, Indian philosophy teaches us to work for Daya Bhuteshu which means compassion for all living beings. We see all too often what happens when people overcome with greed and anger forget virtue. So, I truly believe that Dharma is of great importance in the Modern world. I believe it is the greatest concept we can teach our children. Go Dharmic, along with Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar, invite you to join us in celebrating over 5000 years of Dharma at the Be Dharmic event on the 9th and 10th of March. We hope this unique event will celebrate Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, the world as one family. Even if one person decides to do one Dharma inspired act, no matter how great, we will consider the event a great success. Be Dharmic, 9-10th March, Sattavis Pattidas Centre, Wembley, London. It promises a wonderful celebration including performances by the Kuntal Dance Academy and Meera Performing Arts, food stalls, shopping opportunities, and educational campaigns. The Go Dharmic workshops will run from 23pm in the main hall on both days. Dr Nandakumar of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan will be giving a Keynote address on Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (The world family) at Dharmasabha, 11am, Sunday 10 March.
Shabana-Waheeda-Javed-Vishal meet Asian Voice Actors Shabana Azmi and Waheeda Rahman, Director Vishal Bharadwaj and Lyricist/Writer Javed Akhtar met the journalists of Asian Voice at the gorgeous Bollywood suite, Crown Plaza Hotel, St James's, in Central London. They were in Britain to raise fund for Tata Memorial Centre through a musical show celebrating the 100 years of Bollywood on Thursday 28 Feb, and discussed effects of cancer, malnutrition in women, awareness programmes in India, survivor stories, films about cancer and so much more. This Memorial centre caters to patients from all backgrounds especially from underprivileged ones, from Eastern India, who come to Mumbai for their cancer treatment at minimum or no cost at all.
Local Asian community support St Luke’s ladies Midnight Walk St Luke’s Hospice will once again be hosting their biggest fundraising event of the year- the ladies Midnight Walk. It takes place on Friday 21 June and over 1000 women are expected to take part. Ladies of all ages will enjoy a fun and energetic live performance and Bollywood master class with dancing sensation, Karan Pangali (pictured) before kick starting their 9-mile walk at midnight. The route starts and finishes at Harrow Leisure Centre and will be heavily marshalled by volunteers. Walkers will receive a goody bag and breakfast on completion. Anji Mody has taken part in every Midnight
Walk event since it started six years ago and says, 'I would say this is a great event which brings people together. Strangers become friends on the night and families become closer. There is always a sense of love and loss, strength and hope in the air and a wonderful sense of achievement. It is not a race in the slightest; it is 100% about the experience and totally worth it.’ Help turn Harrow pink for your local hospice and register at www.stlukeshospice.org/midnightwalk or phone 020 8382 8018. Entry is £20 and if you register by Sunday 31 March you will have the chance to win a Kindle. St Luke’s provides free
end of life care to the people of Harrow and Brent and need to raise approximately £3million each year to do this. The hospice could not continue their vital work without the support of the local community.
Young people most at risk of being forced into marriage Latest statistics from the Forced Marriage Unit suggest young people aged between 16 and 25 are most at risk of being forced into marriage. Freedom Charity launched a new smartphone app designed to provide information about forced marriage with links to where potential victims can get help. The free app, which has been part-funded by the Forced Marriage Unit, is available to download on iPhone. The free app will be a useful tool for both victims and professionals alike. It is designed to look like a game and offers, among other things,
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advice on where to go for help, and what the warning signs may be. Home Office Minister for Crime Prevention, Jeremy Browne, said, “Forced marriage is a devastating form of abuse that is absolutely unacceptable in our society. The new figures show an alarming number of victims, including the young and vulnerable. It is vital we protect them. By criminalising forced marriage the government is sending a strong message that this terrible practice will not be tolerated. But legislation alone is not enough and the new app will also provide a crucial lifeline
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for potential victims.” The Forced Marriage Unit gave advice or support related to a possible forced marriage in 1485 cases involving 60 different countries last year. Of the 744 cases where the age was known, over 600 of those involved were young people under the age of 26. If you are worried about being forced into marriage, or are worried about a friend who you think may be forced into marriage, the Forced Marriage Unit can provide confidential advice and support through its helpline and email (0207 008 0151, email email@example.com).
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Front: Waheeda Rahman, Shabana Azmi and Vishal Bharadwaj Back: Javed Akhtar, Paresh Maity and Geeta Gopalakrishnan
Annually they have 13,000 patients coming from Jharkand, and remote parts of Eastern India. Eastern Indian have tele centres representing Tata medical centre that refer cases to Mumbai. The Tata Memorial has a target to raise Rs 100 crores and
they are planning to do similar fund-raising in Kolkata, Bangalore and Mumbai soon. Present also were famous artist Paresh Maity, whose painting was auctioned on that night, and Film director Sangeeta Datta.
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www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 9th March 2013
Asians urged to donate their organs to save the community Romil Patel “My whole family has signed up to the Organ Donor Register. They can use anything from my body – my skin, bone, anything,” says Bharti Patel from Harrow, London. For six and a half years her husband, Arvind, 68 was forced to conform to the monotonous routine of a dialysis patient. This meant spending fifteen hours a week at the hospital with little hope of a suitable kidney to replace his failing one took its toll on him and his family. It was a “stressful, time consuming and very bad experience,” he recalls, after telling me that he was restricted to only one litre of water per day, to prevent fluid overload. “Dialysis makes you very tired and I was working full-time at a pharmaceutical wholesaler. There aren't many donors in the Asian community.” Latest figures according to NHS Blood and Transplant show the stark reality in Arvind's statement. After death, there are less than 50 donors from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds (BAME) community per year. Around 25% of people waiting for an organ transplant are from black and minority ethnic (BME) groups, with most of those requiring a new kidney. The NHS website says: “Black people are three times more likely to develop kidney failure than the general population, and the need for donated organs in Asian communities is three to four times higher than in the general population.” “Every year, 180 people from these ethnic groups die waiting for a transplant because of a chronic shortage of suitable organs. People from a BAME background are three times more likely to need an organ transplant than the rest of the population.” Arvind and Bharti both expressed the
need for greater awareness and education on this issue to help people come forward and discuss the issue to confront the issue head on. Gurch Randhawa, professor of diversity in public health and director at the institute of health at the University of Bedfordshire who is an expert in organ donation says: “Making organ donation usual will only be possible if it becomes part and parcel of the narrative of UK society.” Like Arvind, Professor Randhawa believes that informing the BME community doesn't simply mean handing out leaflets or watching DVDs – although they definitely help, but speaking to them in person. "Where it works best is when you've got the community on their terms in their environment," professor Randhawa says. This can be at religious gatherings during Diwali or Ramadan or at community events like melas. "If they then want to get faith based advice, it's far better that those people are in the room when you're giving them that information so that they can be part of the dialogue." Asked why there is a serious lack of BME donors, Bharti explains that after death, orthodox followers of religions
such as Islam and Hinduism believe that the body should remain in tact and whole, which means that donating an organ would be out of the question. “There's a lot of belief that you have to be in front of god as a whole person and if you give away any of your organs that’s giving away part of your soul,” says Tilley Harris, leader of the inexchange project. “But these faith leaders have said: ‘No, if you're going to save a fellow man then that's a good thing in the eyes of god.'” She explains the project's aim is to provoke more ethnic minority organ donations by encouraging people waiting for a transplant to share their story. Mobile billboards documenting the stories are being collated and will tour London as a street exhibition in a bid to encourage more black and Asian people to sign the organ donation register. It is also backed by Professor Gurch Randhawa, who says: “This project is particularly important as it provides visibility to an issue. [Organ donation] will be enhanced if there are visible examples of life stories highlighting donors, donor families and the recipient’s life changing experiences. “The inexchange project will provide these visible examples that will be made widely available through photography, documentaries and posters. The life stories will reflect the different sections of the UK public and will be disseminated through different faith and ethnic communities by working with the leaders of the national faith organisations.” “The work will be of international rel-
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A Labour MP has called for compulsory blood, organ and bone marrow donation education in schools to tackle a shortage of registered donors in the UK. Just 50% of people who need a bone marrow transplant will find a matching donor, and there are over 7,000 people currently waiting for donated organs. Increasing the number of donors in the UK will help save more lives. Seema Malhotra, MP for Feltham and Heston, who introduced the 10 Minute Rule Bill on Wednesday, 6 March, at 12.30pm, said: ‘Education about blood, organ, and bone marrow donation is essential for giving young people the information and awareness to make the decision to be a donor, and enable the NHS to save more lives. Introducing this education is a vital measure for securing a long-term solution to address the donor shortage.” “The problem is compounded for people from ethnic minority backgrounds. A white northern European person has a 90% chance of finding a bone marrow donor. However, this drops to just 40% for people from ethnic minority backgrounds.” evance. Many countries are seeking to increase the profile of organ donation, specifically among different faith and ethnic communities.” Highlighting the magnitude of the problem, he says: “The US, Canada, Australia, France, the Netherlands, India and Pakistan are all grappling with this issue and would be keen to learn from this.” Continued on page 30
The curtain raiser to the annual Union Budget, has been the annual Railway Budget. Keeping faith with tradition, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal presented his budget to Parliament two days before Finance Minister P.Chidambaram repeated the exercise on a grander scale, surveying the nation’s economic activity, from finance sand agriculture, to industry and trade, all wrapped in a roadmap to a more assured future. Mr Bansal, for his part, ended the financial profligacy that had characterized the regimes of Laloo Prasad Yadav and Mamata Banerjee. The former substituted efficient performance with comic theatre, for the latter balancing the books, like original sin, was best avoided. The blinkered Laloo saw nothing beyond his Bihar bailiwick; Mamata’s impaired vision recognized nothing beyond West Bengal. The concept of India appeared incomprehensible.
Modernization Modernization of the Indian Railways had stalled, the long awaited hour for the red signal to go and the green to appear arrived finally on Tuesday, February 26, with Minister Pawan Kumar in the driver’s cabin hooting the whistle. The
untouched on the day of its presentation, but across-the-board increases in other areas netted him an additional Rs 47,000 crore, which included a hike of 5.8 per cent in freight rates, eticketing by December, plush club class carriages, more trains and the like, which may lead to enlarged opportunities for public-privateer sector partnerships in rail modernization, all to be paid for. Which augurs well for the containment of the nation’s ballooning fiscal deficit.
Groans, cheers There were the expected populist groans from opposition parties of right and left, none, alas, Railway Minister Bansal in Parliament with discernible technical heft. No-one in their road ahead was now clear for serried ranks appear to have the journey to begin. Mr made a close study of the subBansal’s budget was all-India in ject, hence reactions emanating scope and vision. He looked into from those quarters were clichéd the mirror of the past and slogans worn from over-use. sought to correct fiscal irresponInformed comment came from sibility with a calibrated exercise industry. Its verdict on the that would staunch the haemorwhole was two cheers, the third rhage of reckless expenditure withheld for implementation driven by inflated populism. and the emerging ground realiIndia’s largest state-owned ties. In sum, said the leading enterprise, the nerve centre for lights of the country’s chambers the movement of labour and of industry and commerce, the capital, of goods and services budget was pragmatic and baland the nation’s single largest anced with room for fine-tuning. employer had to become fit for (Times of India, Hindu, 21st century purpose. The rustTelegraph, February 27) ing hulk needed to be dispatched to the scrap heap.
Selling India abroad
Extending the network Rail travel could no longer resemble a teeming cattle truck; there had to be appropriate public amenities in trains and stations, efficient freight traffic and an extension of the network to the farthest corners of the land. Each was a pressing need, economically and in the prime interests of national security. The network needed extension to Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur in the North East to Leh in mountainous Ladakh in the North through the Kargil heights in a line extending from Srinagar in the Kashmir valley. These points, particularly the one pertaining to national security, received special mention in Mr Bansal’s speech. With the era of free lunches dead and buried, the Minister outlined a series of increased charges to boost revenue and fund the modernization programme.
Freight charges Mr Bansal had increased passenger fares in the lead-up to his budget, hence this remained
Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal journeyed to the UK,US and Japan to sell India as an electronics systems manufacturing and design hub for investors. He told the Hindu newspaper (February 22) that Japan, a leader in the field, had shown particular interest in doing so,
especially on the back of incentive schemes for the electronics manufacturing sector, with electronics clusters, 10 per cent of which are expected to be in place this year. The Communications and IT Ministry has set up a special Japan desk and is planning to
www.abplgroup.com - asian Voice 9th March 2013
appoint a nodal officer to take the issue forward. A similar dialogue is at an advanced stage with Cisco – one of the largest global companies which markets hardware to Indian telecom companies, IT and government. India is expected to generate demand worth $100 billion by 2020 in electronics manufacturing which will entail $100 billion in investment, accompanied by employment of a 28 million skilled workforce. The government’s Preferential Market Access Policy will accord manufacturers, and firms investing in India, preference in procurement.
Bolstering defence Speaking at a conference at Bharathiar University in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, Dr Sivathanu Pillai, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, BrahMos Aerospace, said that the Mach 3 (times the speed of sound) supersonic cruise missile would be inducted into the Indian Air Force by 2014. He also spoke of the missile’s upgrade to hypersonic speeds of Mach 7/8 by 2017. Dr Pillai said the initial outlay of $3 million had been recovered with business reaching $5 million. He pointed to the Indian Army’s distinction of being only armed force to possess an operation missile of that calibre. BrahMos, apart from its accuracy, could be launched from multiple platforms, such as ships, submarines, mountains and plains, he said. (Hindu February 27)
Iron Fist “Iron Fist,” the first-ever daynight, weapons demonstration exercise by the Indian Air Force, was conducted over the Pokhran range in Rajasthan Among those present were President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral D.K. Joshi and a number of foreign military attaches (Hindu February 26)
Indian Coast Guard inducts a new generation of interceptor boat
ring: shaking of centuries of servitude when their sole purpose in living was to tremble and obey. Food security, market access and education are the keys to social uplift and liberation. Consider the case of Khedu Ram, a lowly chamar caste agricultural labourer at Chhapwa in East Champaran, Bihar. He recalls his youth when he needed food, lots of it, to keep working and supporting his young family. He married young and fathered four children. It was a struggle to feed a family of six. Often he and his wife would skip a meal so that the kids wouldn’t go hungry. That was thirty years ago. His wife died, but the children lived to see better times. Today, says the 60-year-old Khedu, “No one, not one soul in this village, is hungry anymore.” Between him and his son Bhikari, they get two red ration cards enabling them to get 60 kg of rice and wheat per month. They buy the rest on the open market and have enough money left for clothes and other essentials. The village school is free and so are the lunches it provides. There is more hope for tomorrow. (The Economic Times Magazine March 2)
awarded a$1 million prize by TED, the multidisciplinary conference of brainiacs, for what he called “Minimally Invasive Education”. It started, several years ago in Delhi, when the professor installed a computer in a hole in a wall, adjacent to a slum. It was in 1999. Surreptitiously monitoring what followed, Professor Mitra discovered the slum kids with little or no formal education and no knowledge of English learning seamlessly to use computers and the internet. Working in groups, they were able to figure out complex subjects such as DNA, sequencing, trigonometry and avionics, as Mira discovered during similar experiments in Pondicherry. Professor Mitra was critical of India’s clerical education system based on learning by rote. It simply bred a society of clerks, he said. (Times of India
Innovative education California-based Kolkata-born Professor Sugata Mitra has been
P. Chidambaram see comment page 3
Top Khalistani terrorist held
Coastal defence strengthened Indian Coast Guard’s C-154, an interceptor boat with new generation Arneson Surface Drive was commissioned in Mumbai in the presence of Maharashtra Chief Secretary J.K. Banthia and S.P.S Basra Inspector General Coast Guard Region (West). The 28-metre vessel, with 75 tonnes displacement, is equipped to turn at high speed. It can travel at 35 knots per hour and possesses the latest navigation equipment and has a searchand-rescue capability. The boat was built by a private sector Indian company. Fourteen boats of similar design and capability are to join the force by 2015.
Poor man’s tale of uplift India’s achievers are in the main scientists, engineers and captains of industry. But those at the bottom of the pile are stir-
Militant Narain Singh Chaura after being produced in a Rupnagar court
The Punjab Police have caught a top Khalistani terrorist and captured a significant arms quantity of weaponry in the Tarn Taeran district of the state. Narain Singh Chaura and his associates Sukhdev Singh and Sukhwant Singh were tracked and arrested in Jalalabad village. Narain Singh Chaura, who has been wanted by the police for the past thirty years, eluded the law with skilful disguises, by slipping back and forth across the border to his Pakistani sanctuary, from where his Khalistan Liberation Army was kitted out. Officers planning and leading the operation have been commended.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 9th March 2013
Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor
Dr Sulleman Moreea – from Yorkshire to Mauritius and St Lucia, sharing the knowledge of endoscopy Originally from Mauritius, Dr Sulleman Moreea has Indian roots – his great grandparents were textile traders from Gujarat. He came to Yorkshire on a British Council scholarship to study at the Leeds School of Medicine in 1985. The best year student, he graduated with a William Hey medal in 1991. Dr Moreea trained in both Surgery and Medicine for 15 years before being appointed as a Consultant Gastroenterologist at the Bradford Royal Infirmary in 2006. He is the only consultant in his Trust to have obtained both the FRCS and the FRCP. Dr Moreea now runs one of the busiest Hepatology services in the North of the UK both in terms of service delivery and research into liver diseases. In his spare time Dr Moreea has been very keen to share his knowl-
Dr Sulleman Moreea
edge and passion for gastro-intestinal (GI) endoscopy with doctors based in the paradise
islands of Mauritius and St Lucia. It all started in 2007 when the Prime Minster of
Mauritius, the Honourable Dr N a v i n c h a n d r a Ramgoolam, visited Yorkshire where he worked as a doctor in the 1980s. Dr Moreea met with the PM and the two developed a friendship instantly. “The PM asked me to give a couple of lectures [in Mauritius] but I said: ‘Prime Minister, giving talks isn’t very exciting, I’d prefer to build the island’s endoscopy services instead.’” The PM invited Dr Moreea and his team to deliver the first Bradford-Mauritius GI Endoscopy workshop in October 2008, training local doctors in basic and advanced techniques of endoscopy. Since then, Dr Moreea has been involved in the development of the GI endoscopy services on the island by advising the Ministry of Health and by reporting directly to the Prime Minister. ‘My most satisfying achievement was to convince the Minister of Health to release funds to develop the first dedicated GI Endoscopy Unit at SSRN Hospital in the North of the country in 2009. I depend on local doctors to build on the work I do and in that respect I have a special mention for Dr Farouk Bholah. I invited the latter and his team to Bradford in 2010 for advanced training.’ Dr Moreea regularly
donates equipment to his home country and helps in other ways too. In 2012, he helped open a second purpose-built GI endoscopy unit in the south of Mauritius. ‘I only managed to do this with help from a number of people. First, the doctors from that hospital found a spare room. Then, during a holiday with a Swiss architect friend (Olivier Zuber) I worked with him to design an ergonomic GI unit which would be the
‘If you are genuine and trustworthy, there are a lot of people prepared to donate their time and money for a good cause.’ best on the island. I donated the endoscopy equipment from my own funds. The project took a whole year and now the unit is up and running.’ ‘This was a small token of my gratitude to the country which gave me the education that has allowed me to achieve so much and has moulded my work ethic.’ A third GI Endoscopy unit was opened no later than February 2013 and the plan is to have one GI Endoscopy unit in each of the five hospitals in Mauritius. ‘The issue now is about ensuring compe-
tence.’ Dr Moreea is also developing GI endoscopy in the small Caribbean island of St Lucia. In 2009 he set up the first endoscopy unit in St Lucia. Unfortunately, that wing of the hospital burnt down in September 2009 with the loss of three lives. ‘It’s only now in 2013 that I’ve managed to gather enough equipment to start again in St Lucia.’ Dr Moreea relies on the good will of many people and a number of companies. ‘If you are genuine and trustworthy, there are a lot of people prepared to donate their time and money for a good cause. For example, I have to thank Olympus for donating equipment and helping me run the training programme in Mauritius. Also Pentax subsidises the equipment that I buy from them to donate to Mauritius and St Lucia.’ ‘I’d like to take this opportunity to appeal to firms who would be prepared to help developing countries and also doctors who would like to help me make things better in these countries. Please do get in touch if you think you can help. There is no financial reward but the satisfaction of seeing people I’ve trained become trainers and help their own is why I put so much effort in this. I’ll be happy if I inspire only one person who’s read my story.’
t, en nm ai g rt a te y b en d t, goo ir sh a t- nd nk t a pi fas es ak ud re cl b in
FOR ST LUKE’S HOSPICE
FRIDAY 21st JUNE 2013
Come on ladies, show you care! Sign up to Harrow’s biggest sponsored walk and join 1500 women walking 9 miles at midnight for your local hospice Register Now at
www.stlukes-hospice.org/midnightwalk or text LUKES followed by your name and email to 88008*
*Text messages will be charged at your standard network rate. St Luke’s Hospice will contact you about the Midnight Walk and similar events.We will not allow any other organisations to contact you.
Reg. Charity No: 298555
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 9th March 2013
Education v/s Religion
Proof that there is God
Kumbh Mela and faith
I read in Metro that some prisoners are suing the government for hurting their feelings as they were given halal beef pastries allegedly containing tiny amounts of horse meat. Last week, some Muslim students at the City University protested upon the decision to lock up their prayer room. One can not help think the hypocrisy surrounding such frozen religious beliefs. A University is a seat of learning and not for spreading certain messages of hatred. It was very right decision which should be repeated across all universities In a matured democracy like UK no one. should be allowed to use educational premises other than on an authentic and all inclusive religious tolerance basis. Local authorities/public bodies should follow suit and not be bullied into buying halal meat for schools/hospitals. What about those non vegetarians who for their own faith reasons would not consume halal and can’t get suitable alternative? Post 7/7 Prevent strategy to give grant to Muslim groups to educate their young how not be radicalised has clearly not worked fully. Instead the Government should have spent money on more surveillance on the places they frequent whether teaching centres, gyms or even giving grant to groups of other peace loving religion such as Hinduism to teach the youngsters how to live in a multicultural society and not be blinded by fatwa’s.
As Mother’s day and Maha Shivratri falls on March,10, we convey our holiest greetings to all the readers of Asian Voice. My late mother Maniba, was living with my younger brother in Southall from 1991-96 in London. Then my wife Bhavna and I made a point to visit her and spend time with her almost every year, including two surprise visits. Then her health deteriorated and she was admitted in a hospital. So I came to the UK for 15 daysto see her. On the day of my departure I went back to see her in the hospital. I told her that I was leaving for Canada and on her death bed she whispered to me - “take care while going” and asked my brother to pack some food for the flight. I was speechless. Recently in Shri Moraibapu’s Ram Katha at Porbandar he said Mothers create home, doesn’t matter what condition, situation, place she is in, and I remembered the hospital incident. After 3 days of my departure she died in the same hospital. It was March,19, 1996- not on Mother’s day- March17 that year, not on my younger daughter’s birthday- March 18 nor on March 20 -my nephew’s birthday, who used to live with her. Where can you find unconditional, selfless love? So we dedicate our recent Char Dham Yatra’s blessings in memory of all mothers living or no more in this world.
Jai Hind Bharat Parmar
Suresh and Bhavna Patel Ontario
During my secondary school years at the Catholic Italian Missionary Comboni College, Khartoum, I was always the top of the class of 127 students for six years to June 1960. One of my fellow students was Amir Kidwai, the son of the then Indian Ambassador to Sudan. He used to come second or third but could not beat me. One day he told me: my mother wants to meet you. I obliged and went to his home and had tea with him and his mother. A few weeks later, I was sitting on the college varenda railing. Amir came from behind and pushed me. I fell two metres below on the college grounds. I fractured my right hand wrist bone. I was rushed to the first aid section which was housed in the college bookshop. Father Joseph quickly laid the bound Algebra exercise book on my lap and put my two hands on the book to examine my hands. I realised that it was the same title that I had purchased from the bookshop the previous week. By mistake, the clerk had given me two copies. I kept quiet hoping to sell the second copy for pocket money. To this day I do not remember whether I then actually sold it or returned it. However, for those few seconds, I did feel: there was God and He had punished me. AV and GS sponsored event on 9 and 10 March “Be Dharmic” at Sattavis Patidar Hall embracing Jainism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Budhism reminded me of that incident. Families should take their children and grand children to this wonderful event. Nagindas Khajuria Via Email
Kumbh Mela is attended by more than 10 times the population of New York. Celebration of massive festival originating more than 10,000 years indicates awe inspiring strength of Sanatan Dharma, known as Hinduism. This forceful religious sentiment must be translated into patriotism to fight evils, rampant national pessimism and raise the level of optimism. Then India, Hindus and Hinduism will earn high esteem and can alter the course of history. There was absence of ill/bad temper, law and order breakdown, etc. Harmony prevailed in such a self organised, self controlled gathering. Hindu devotees cheerfully lugged luggage, stripped, bathed, dried off, performed puja, ate and contributed to gaiety of occasion. Police were polite. Rubbish bins were cleared regularly, nets used to collect floating flowers, diyas etc. Financial benefit amounting to billions of rupees, to state and India is a noteworthy factor. India and UP deserve thumping ‘‘shabaash’’. But vile media associated pollution of river Ganges with Kumbh Mela, a gaff and direct blemish on thousands years old Hindu spiritual festival. Though pollution is fact, associating it with holy festival tantamount to attack on Hindus’ religious sentiments. Untoward incidents happen at faith gatherings, but no slander is flung at particular religion or faith. Pollution of River Ganges is not associated with Kumbh Mela but is ongoing evil perpetrated by greedy industrialists who defy environmental laws with impunity. Hindus can truly realise Swami Vivekanand’s resplendent vision of Mother India seated on throne of Hindu devotion. We have army of monks, but warrior monks are needed to convert devotion into Indo-centric patriotism.
Modi’s speech in Wharton university
Sikhs and India
It is outrageous for Wharton university to withdraw the invitation of Narendra Modi to address the Indian Economic Forum through a video conference. A small section of the Indian academics in America is determined on discrediting Modi and his government at the instance of the UPA government headed by an Italian import. Modi has won the Gujarat state election three times with nearly two thirds majority. It is an insult to millions of Indians especially for Hindus to humiliate Modi with the help of renegade bootlicking left wing academics and Muslims to withdraw the invite. Some American Indians are spreading false rumours about the industrial growth and the achievement of Gujarat government during Modi administration. BJP does not want a certificate from USA about his credentials. Modi was elected by Indians and not by renegade American Indians. Since the general election in India is going to take place in 2014, political polarisation is taking place and every attempt is being made by the Congress party to discredit Modi and the BJP. This must stop.
Some Minorities from India made their voices heard in the British Parliament and a debate was held recently. Some of the Sikhs were in forefront to express that Sikhs are not treated well in India. Many Labour MPs reflected their ignorance and gave statements which may reflect their incompetence for not knowing what is happening in India and what India is. For British MPs of all origins of the world, it is very essential to know these following figures - Prime Minster of India: Man Mohan Singh -Commander in Chief of Army: Bikram Singh - Chief Minster of Punjab: Mr Prakash Singh Baddal There are 81 Sikh Members in Punjab Assembly out of 118 elected last year. Punjab Assembly together with its Chief Minister, govern the Punjab state-a home for Sikhs. So if any injustices are happening in Punjab, only the Sikh elected leaders are to be blamed. You cannot even visit a police station in Punjab, where you will not find that majority is Sikh! I am part and parcel of Sikhism and will stand with them wherever necessary I would like to request all the Sikhs and Hindus of Punjab don’t let any one divide us. We are one and will remain one.
Arun Vaidyanathan Via Email
Dharam Sahdev Gants Hill
Making Money out of Misery British Gas has reported a rise in profits for 2012 to £606 million saying that colder weather led to people using more gas. They said that because gas consumption had risen by 12%, profits from its residential energy supply arm rose 11% to £606m. The critics say that no wonder the company has made such huge profit as they had raised tariffs three times in previous year, the latest being an incrase in gas prices of 18% and electricity prices of 16%. Now that they have made so much profit, would they return some of our money back? We need to have power, we need to use gas to stay warm in winter and cannot revert to using cow dung or wood for cooking and heating. People who suffer most from the indiscriminate rises are retired senior citizens who have nowhere to go during the day, and to avoid heating bills, they stay in cold and damp houses and suffer from depression and other illnesses and be a burden on the health service. The solution is to nationalise the companies providing the indispensable utilities like gas, electricity and water and or subsidise the cost of these utilities. Instead of giving aid to foreign countries which in fact carry a chip on their shoulders against us, let the charity begin at home! Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford
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Consultative Conference, (and a member of the politburo of Communist Party of China), Modi showcased Gujarat as a destination with a conducive environment to invest and work. He also explained Gujarat becoming a major tourist destination. He brought out the richness of Buddhist culture in Gujarat which solicited very keen interest among Chinese leadership. He also dwelled upon the ancient Indian and Chinese ethos, relationship, friendship, cultural and business ties. While showcasing
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The cancellation of 80 flights in the past couple of days left thousands of passengers in the lurch prompting the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to demand an explanation from Kingfisher. The cash-strapped airline claimed that it had to drop flights as the company was trying to reconfigure its aircraft. There was chaos at several airports after passengers complained that they were not intimated about the Kingfisher cancellations. )(.#(/ )( * !
A new theory says that any physical activity for 15 minutes every day is a good insurance against a plethora of health problems, be it related to the heart, the brain or even cancer. A study published in The Lancet, a British medical journal, said that just a quarter-hour of physical exertion a day could reduce a person's risk of death by 14% and increase life expectancy by three years compared to inactive people. Incidentally, another theory published in a different British journal said daily TV-viewing for six hours could take
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' $ & ! %& $ $ ! $ " '$ ! % "'$& ( % & &" ! "! & !( & & "! " " '! %& $&* " ! ) $ ! " % '%% "! ) & &"# ! % $% # In a rare gesture, China’s top leadership hosted his delegation at Great Hall of People and had a free and frank discussion and exchange of ideas on a range of subjects including trade, industry, socioeconomic development, investment, and prevailing global economic scenario. Modi emphasized about the shared heritage of India and China, and common vision for improved quality of lives of their people. In his meeting with the Mr Wang Gang, Vice Chairman of the China People’s Political
Contact Mitesh Patel, Partner / Solicitor
0800 11 88 99
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Ramesh Jhalla Via Email
Pen pushers of Kerala I must congratulate the Travel Buzz writer Purvi Apurva Shah for her excellent article on Kerala in Asian Voice dated 23rd February. My wife and I had a memorable holiday in this palm-thronged paradise which hugs India’s deep south-west coast. When our coach arrived at our sweltering beach resort, children surged around us with outstretched hands, pleading not for money but for “school pens”, this being the subcontinent’s most highly educated state which boasts a virtually 100 per cent literacy rate. Along with other tourists we parted with a forest of ballpens which were gratefully received, and also handed over “reading material” they craved which included wine lists we had picked up on the way from Bahrain airport’s duty-free shop. Immediately the kids began reading the lists, silently mouthing the unfamiliar words. Rudy Otter Via Email
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 9th March 2013
Indian doctors seek Judicial Review against unfair exam results Legal action has been launched against the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the General Medical Council (GMC) by the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) which alleges that the examination which confirms that a doctor has satisfactorily completed specialty training for general practice and is competent to enter independent practice, is flawed and discriminates against international GP trainees. BAPIO is seeking a Judicial Review of the way the RCGP conducts the MRCGP exam. Its lawyers claim there is a significant difference in pass rates which cannot be explained by a lack of any knowledge, skill or competency on the part of the International Graduates Medical (IMGs), which include those of Indian origin. Currently there are over 40,000 doctors of Indian origin working in the NHS. The intake of students of Indian origin into UK medical schools is about 20%. Doctors who entered GP training prior to August 2007 would obtain their CCT (certificate of completion of training), needed to become a GP, either through summative assessments or through passing the MRCGP examination. Before 2007 the MRCGP was not a mandatory requirement for obtaining a CCT. After 2007 the MRCGP assessment became mandatory for all doctors wishing to become a GP in the UK. They argue that these graduates will have already passed the GMC’s PLAB test (which includes an English language test and demonstrates that graduates have the necessary skills and knowledge to practise medicine in the UK), a rigorous examination for entry into GP training and on-going assessments. Each sitting of the
examination costs £1,694 and those who seek a CCT are limited in the number of attempts that they may make at passing the CSA. Apart from the cost of undertaking the assessment, a candidate must pass the assessment whilst still in training. Training usually lasts three years and the trainees generally take the CSA in their final year. Trainees also have to pay £504 to sit a written Applied Knowledge Test. RCGP figures show that 65.3% of IMGs failed their first attempt at the Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) component of the MRCGP exam in 2011/12, compared with 9.9% of UK graduates. In 2010/11, 59.2% of IMGs failed at the first attempt, compared with 8.2% of UK graduates. In 2008 43% of IMGs failed the CSA compared with 8.3% of UK graduates. BAPIO is of the opinion that these doctors are failed in spite of the fact that they will have had supervised training for three years during which time each of them would have seen on an average 3,000 patients without any complaints. To reach this stage they would have also have had good feedback from trainers and colleagues and would have passed the theory test. BAPIO says increasing numbers of GP trainees have been contacting them regarding concerns about
BAPIO Legal Action Team: Ritu Mehta, Advisor, Dr Shateesh Mathew, BAPIO Vice-Chair, Anthony Robinson, Solicitor, Dr Ramesh Mehta, BAPIO President, Buddhdev Pandya, BAPIO Corporate Advisor, Dr Sajayan, BAPIO EC Member
the CSA. This exam is intended to mimic practice as a GP and test a trainee’s clinical skills. Each candidate is required to see a number of patients, each of whom is an actor role-playing to present a clinical case. One candidate said: ‘I have good references from 20 hospital consultants and several GP trainers and have been working in the NHS for seven years. I have seen a least 3,000 patients in GP surgeries. I have passed the Applied Knowledge Test with good marks but cannot pass my CSA. I am about to be kicked out of the programme. If I am not fit to practise why did my trainers not raise concerns, why are the RCGP actors taking centre stage? The RCGP actors are deciding who is to be worthy of being an NHS GP.’ BAPIO’s lawyers argue that opportunity for bias arises in the face-to-face assessment trainees under-
go during the mock consultation. It appears that during the exam a physician’s intellectual ability is judged on the basis of how well he/she speaks native English. BAPIO’s case will be that for these reasons the differential pass rates demonstrate unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. Negotiations with the RCGP have so far failed to resolve BAPIO’s concerns. They are also pursuing Employment Tribunal action against the RCGP for individual GP trainees who have failed the CSA and been removed from training. They say IMGs who fail are left with bleak career prospects. Once trainees have exhausted the number of attempts allowed at the MRCGP examination they are then ejected from the training programme leaving them with no career prospects in general practice. Dr Ramesh Mehta,
NABA: A new dawn for Boy bled to death in hospital Mrs Umashankar and toddler bled to death on British Asian businesses aAhospital's her petrol station cashier high dependen-
Businesses run by British Asians in the UK can expect even greater support from the government, thanks to the launch of a national body. The National Asian Business Association, or NABA, was officially launched by Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, in London on Monday this week. Mr Cable hailed the 50,000 British Asian businesses in the UK which together generate more than £60 billion nationwide - helping to create thousands of jobs. He said a " new generation" of young Asian entrepreneurs, with increasing number of female bosses, was behind the shift away from " traditional, stereo-
Vince Cable MP
typical" family-run shops into businesses that play a "dynamic" role in British industry. NABA, which is chaired by Uday Dholakia, is an amalgamation of regional British Asian business groups. Full story next week.
cy unit because of a delay in life-saving surgery and a 'complete failure' of communication between doctors, an inquest has heard. Tharun Umashankar, aged two, died from bleeding of the stomach lining which was probably caused by his intolerance to milk. He was rushed to Sheffield Children's Hospital, where he had been been receiving treatment for the previous two weeks after vomiting blood. Despite having suffered a previous large internal bleed he was not slated for an endoscopy to look at his digestive system until the following day – a delay that proved fatal. Tharun Umashankar died from bleeding of the stomach lining, which was probably caused by a milk intolerance
husband Sivananthan, 42, ran a grocery store in Barnsley at the time but after the tragedy moved to live with relatives in Tooting, London. They came to the UK 12 years ago and are British nationals. Dr Crabbe who reviewed the case said Tharun had a 'mighty strange illness' for a child and he had not come across such a case of catastrophic upper gastrointestinal bleeding in a child before. He said the Children's Hospital was unique in that Tharun was admitted to the care of paediatricians rather than surgeons. The boy should have had an endoscopy on the Saturday which was an "error of judgment" by the doctors caring for him. The inquest was adjourned.
President of BAPIO, says: ‘Patient safety is paramount. These doctors have had extensive interaction over a period of many years with their trainers and patients without significant concerns. For them to be judged to be so grossly incompetent in a short exit exam either reflects poorly on years of training, which is unlikely, or it is because the exit exam is flawed’. ‘Training a doctor to be a GP costs the UK tax payer £488,730 per doctor which seems a profligate waste of resource considering that an estimated 300 doctors have been removed from training because of their failure to pass the CSA. Legal remedy has always been our last resort. We hope that the Judicial Review will help to expose flaws in the system. Dr Satheesh Mathew, Vice President of BAPIO says: ‘These IMGs continue to endure immense strain on their family, per-
sonal anxiety and stress, and financial ruin having spent tens of thousands of pounds on exam fees and courses. All this because of unfair assessment’ Professor Rajan Madhok, Chairman of BAPIO says: ‘I am extremely concerned about this situation which to some extent mirrors what is happening all across the NHS. Our repeated attempts to engage the Establishment to address the growing problem of racial discrimination in the NHS over the last two years have had no impact, forcing us to go down this route. I am also personally upset and feel partly responsible since I was on the GMC Council until Dec 2012, and wish that I should have done more whilst I was there. Our QC feels that BAPIO has a strong case, and hopefully justice will be done and allow these doctors to help the NHS in these hard times.”
Net migration falls by a third The number of people heading to the UK, less the number leaving, dropped significantly by 84,000 to 163,000 in the year to June, fuelled by a 17% fall in the number of students arriving from overseas. The official figures were released as a group of influential MPs reacted angrily to the Government's refusal to remove foreign students from its migration target. Continued on page 30
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international women’s day
This Friday, 8th March, marks the 102nd anniversary of the International Women's Day. It is an opportunity to remember and honour the women for making a difference in our families, communities and countries. In the past years, we have seen many examples of very courageous women who have defied their status quo and have stood up to oppression or wrong doings. The women's day is observed to pay homage to them. International Women's Day is also a time to celebrate the important accomplishments and contributions made by women in different fields. This is a day to pause and remember how far we have come since the first International Women's Day in 1911, when women had the right to vote in only two countries and many faced restricted education and career opportunities. However, the recent global incidents have also reminded us how far we still have to go. Women in every part of the world were left speechless with the cases of sex grooming in Britain or that of alleged harassments by Jimmy Savile. The gruesome rape case of the young Indian student Jyoti in Delhi, has also highlighted a few facts regarding the way a woman is still treated by society, in the 21st century. In countries like Afghanistan, women have gained so much in a short time, but still face many struggles that lie ahead. Women face serious daily challenges, and sadly, 87% still experience physical violence. Equality is still a long way off. The attack on Pakistani girl Malala, has shown the brutality that still exist in parts of our world, while her resilience to fight for women’s right and education rightfully makes her a well deserving candidate for the nomianted Nobel prize. International Women's Day has a very real meaning. For women everywhere in the world who continue to face discrimination from those in power, who are the victims of violence, and who are taught by society from the day that they are inferior to others by birth, it is a reminder that they do matter, their voices are important, that they have the right to be heard, despite of what others have to say about them. To salute the contributions of women, Asian Voice has interviewed some very inspiring people, from different walks of life.
Riddhi Prasad Tell us in brief about yourself and the work you do? I am an equity derivatives strategist at a European investment bank in London. I moved to London from India straight after graduating from IIM Ahmedabad and have been living and working in the city for almost 4 years now. How did you decide on this career option? My career decisions have evolved organically. At Bschool, finance appeals to many as a career option, particularly those with an engineering background, like myself. It’s an industry where most work is analytically challenging and fast-paced, and the pay is very attractive for an entry-level role. Having decided on finance, London was an easy choice – most major banks have a strong base here. The city exposes you to mature, deep and liquid financial markets as well as a diverse, eclectic workforce – an ideal learning ground for a young professional. Within an I-bank, I chose derivatives research - my current role is quantitatively exciting and often places me in consultative discussions with clients, combining the best of the analytical and ‘people’ aspects of working in financial markets. Is the investment banking sector a male-dominated one? If yes, what are the challenges faced? In many senses, yes. Women are definitely outnumbered by men, particularly so
very heterogeneous, and teams oddly harmonious! Each workday is edifying as your co-workers bring a wide variety of cultural contexts and experiences. Undoubtedly, things have been harder through the crisis – the banking industry has lost much popular support and has been under greater regulatory scrutiny, but hopefully this leads to structural improvements in the long run.
on trading floors across the city. It’s unfortunate, not just for women, but also for the industry where a stronger female presence could bring a different, hitherto underrepresented, attitude towards sustainable business development, financial risk, talent management etc. On the bright side, most major banks have started to show a real commitment towards healthier gender ratios – introducing women’s networks, diversity initiatives and flexible work patterns. How has your experience of working in London been, especially in the present crisis times? Working in London has been an incredibly rich experience – the city can boast of being the ‘centre’ of the business world geographically, and proximity to continental Europe makes the workplace
What advice do you have for young women preparing to enter the investment banking world? An enthusiastic and positive attitude towards learning is essential for all young professionals – both men and women. I strongly recommend developing and maintaining networks. Banking is a knowledge industry and being vocal about your views and receptive to material from other sources equips you with market information as well as a broader business perspective. Your networks will be integral to this process. Women in particular, may sometimes be at greater risk of doubting their own potential or holding back and not asserting. I’d strongly urge young women to seek out mentors to discuss concerns, to remain confident and grab the spotlight when there is an opportunity – a moment of hesitation and someone else will be happy to take it from you! **All views expressed are strictly personal.
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What does 'being a woman' mean to you? l Being a woman means being Responsible. Being a woman means being Beautiful. Being a woman means being Multi-faceted. Being a woman means being Strong. Being a woman means being Fun. Being a woman means being Able-To-Cry-When-I-Want-To. Being a woman means being Perceptive. Being a woman means being Charitable. Being a woman is being these and a lot of other wonderful things. Being a woman is difficult at times but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Vinaya Ganesan, Lawyer l Being a woman opens me up to a whole set of emotions that, it is said, men might not otherwise have. People would say a woman is strong internally, can love without bounds etc But truth be told - in the modern world, this difference between what a man and a woman can or cannot do, feel or cannot feel, is pretty thin. It only depends on the strength of character of the individual in question, man or woman. In reality, being a woman doesn't really mean anything special. I am a human being first, then a woman and then anything else - like of a nationality or a religion. Neha Garg, Author & Cartoonist l There are a lot of myths surrounding being a woman. Stuff of legends and assumptions that people, both men and women, love to refer to and play by. You know the kind...women are strong, women are emotional, nothing is bigger than motherhood, the bond of sisterhood, the love of a woman, the love of shoes, the beauty of a woman, hell hath no fury...etc. etc. They are all rubbish. Cushy stories and stereotypes built by generations looking for comfort in familiarity. The truth is that there are no unbreakable sisterhood between women. Women are as strong and as weak as their individual personalities and circumstances. Motherhood is a noble love but not incomparable. I know plenty of girls who own three pairs of shoes. And girls who burp loudly. Women who have chosen a fabulous career over nappy changing. Vegan women. Hunting woman. Smart women, Stupid women. Women of all shapes and sizes and colours and personalities and destinies that fly in the face of the patronising but well-meaning Women's days, Mother's days, make your girlfriend breakfast in bed days. There is no halo. Or broomstick. When all the societal expectations and the fake praises and the mean put-downs fall away, I suspect being a woman feels very similar to being a man. We have our blessings and our demons. We have our days of fooling the world and fooling ourselves. We have a pained past and a hopeful future. And we have lipstick. Debasree Ghosh, Copywriter l A woman epitomises multiple roles throughout her lifetime. She is born as a daughter, becomes a wife and then becomes a mother. In each of these roles, a woman has historically and will always need to exemplify compassion for her loves ones, strength to balance conflicting obligations and tenacity to maintain her rights as an equal individual. For the working woman, whether she is a boardroom executive or a labourer, the demands upon her are even greater. She is pulled in more directions and switching from one role to another. The kind, loving, caring mother and wife at home, the hard working professional at work and for Asian woman in particular the respectful and dutiful daughter / daughter in law. So why do fairytales and myths continue to depict men as the stronger and more powerful figures? Men still play the knights in shining armour saving helpless princesses and men are still saving the world through male figures such as superman and batman. Where are the superwomen? Aekta Mahajan, Cabinet office l In the words of Twain, Shania, Man, I feel like a woman. This equates to the having the prerogative to have a little fun. The Prerogative to change your mind. The prerogative to have the last word. The prerogative of being right most of the time. Jokes apart, the woman's role today is everywhere, in the office, marketplace (and by that I do not mean only the fish market), the kitchen, the home, on boards, on land, the airs, the seas. It's the ability of a woman to perform all these wonderful tasks and still have a smile on her face. Women, they take themselves seriously, but never too seriously. And that's the balance which men are still striving to achieve. Suchira Ray, Student l Being a woman is an important aspect of my identity as a human being. It colours how I view the world we inhabit and makes me a realist, rather than a feminist. Aditi Khanna, Journalist
internAtionAl women’s dAy
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 9th March 2013
Lady Mohini Noon and Team Lily What inspired you to involve yourself in charitable work? Poverty is a prison. The naked street-children in Delhi are incapable of helping themselves, and their parents are incapable of helping them. In such the face of such adversity even love withers. Parents sell their children for the price of a lunch in London. It’s unconscionable to live with this knowledge and do nothing. From personal experience of doing charitable work over the past 25 years, I know how amazingly well children can perform when nurtured – blossoming like flowers that are watered. Mahatma Gandhi said there’s enough in the world for our need but not for our greed. Don’t you think that, instead of buying the next handbag, instead of planning the next five-star holiday, we could plan to give the luckless ones an opportunity? We have so much excess stuff in our lives that we’re drowning in it. The truth is that we only give away a little bit of our surplus; no one deprives themselves of anything at all in doing so. I must share with you Swami Sivananda’s quote that is an inspiration for me: ‘You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give’. Why did you start your charity Lily? In the terrifying marketplace of the human slave trade, the most sordid aspect is the sale of little children into brothels. Girls as young as 3 and 4 are being used in the sex trade. Up until about seven years ago I had concentrated on providing education and healthcare, mainly for women & girls. Then I was introduced to the shocking world of human trafficking. Talking about slavery might conjure up images of Roman slaves or African slave ships, distant far-off images that have
Lady Mohini Noon
Dr Alka Bagri
nothing to do with us today, but that’s not true. Not only is the trade of human trafficking flourishing, it is growing. It’s become a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide. I am an active person and want to make a difference to the world in which I am placed. It’s even worse if I live in the face of such evil and do nothing. Then I would be giving it my silent consent.
had no home to return to since her mother had sold her in the first place; she stayed with an NGO we have supported; she was educated and grew up but the trauma can never be forgotten. However, hers is also a tale of hope. Our message to the hundreds and thousands of lilies out there is that we care about what happens to them. We are their voice.
Why is the charity named ‘Lily’?
Tell us more about the Team Lily.
Lily was a girl of four when she was sold for Rs.5000 (about £60) by her prostitute mother to a pimp. He sold her on to a Delhi brothel for Rs.100,000 (about £1200). Lily had been raped and compelled to participate in a pornographic film before she could be rescued. Being little more than a toddler, she was unable to explain fully what had happened to her. She was rehabilitated and sent to school. Lily (all names are changed to protect identity) is now 18 years old and poised to start her adult life. With tears streaming down her face, she said: My mother didn’t love me so she sold me. I want to teach mothers to love their children.’ Lily’s story illustrates most aspects of the immoral trade: she was sold and raped at the age of four; she was rescued but
A charity is only as good as its team. At Lily, we are lucky to have a core of committed members who are consistently ‘on the job’, such as Dr Alka Bagri at whose home we launched our charity in 2011 with an exclusive dinner for about 60 people. Shakiba Rangoonwala, a relatively new entrant who is deeply supportive. Bina Rani, our professional charity partner and CEO of iPartner India, who has become inseparable from our team and cause. Heena Vekaria, a busy young mother of two who participates fully & adds value. Rita Bhagwati, a bright economist who worked at the World Bank in Washington for about 12 years and has become a dedicated member of our committee. Her husband, Dr Bhagwati, is the
Indian High Commissioner to the UK. Our patrons Lord Patel, Baroness McDonagh, Hon Apurv Bagri and my husband, Lord Noon, are all active members of our team. What is the most difficult thing about running a charity like Lily? Child prostitution is hardly a subject for drawing room conversations and it can deeply distress people. Nevertheless, we have to talk about it and seek help for the victims. Monitoring of the projects on the ground takes a commitment and also entails handholding of the project leaders. They are people who work with integrity and selflessness but may need mentoring, apart from funds. Also, it’s a bleak economic climate for fund-raising, and there are many charities jostling for attention and funds. Why do you think India with all its economical glory still cannot extend the rights of equality to women? The gruesome rape and murder of the poor 23-year old girl in Delhi last December shows the attitude to women in India. By and large, they are
viewed as second-class citizens or, more ominously, as chattels of the men. India is a long way behind on the issue of women’s emancipation. You may have read the sex grooming scandal in Britain, many of the culprits have been spotted to be Asians, mostly Pakistanis. Do you think such attitude towards women is essentially an Asian problem? Yes. The culture of the subcontinent is patriarchal at best and macho at worst. There is little concept that women could be equally intelligent, capable or wise. It’s very much a man’s world there. Equality for women in our post-feminist world is patchy worldwide, with Europe and America far ahead of the subcontinent. At least British and American men appear to have given in with good grace! Afghanistan is probably at the extreme end of the spectrum. How do you think women can help each other, to make the world a better place for them? Women can give other women a leg-up. In extreme cases, we who are privileged and live secure lives, have an obligation to work for girls such as Lily. Let us be mothers to them.
Art & Culture
Suman Bhuchar How did your career in theatre begin, especially with Tamasha and how has it evolved? I began my career in theatre, firstly as an actor with Tara Arts, which was a community theatre group, based in Tooting, but now it has a professionally established company with its own theatre, in Earlsfield. I liked their work, dealing with the stories of concern to the Asian community. I decided that acting was not a profession for me-as it's too difficult; and I joined Tamasha in 1989, when my sister, Sudha Bhuchar, and her friend, Kristine Landon-Smith decided to set up a company, to produce their first play together which was Untouchable. They have been going now for over 23 years, and I worked with them regularly since 1989 as press and marketing on all their productions until Fourteen Songs, Two Weddings and a Funeral. I have a
strong and enduring relationship with them. What has your involvement with Tamasha been? Since 2001, I have also worked on Tamasha shows, but I expanded my repertoire and was involved with other companies like Kali Theatre, Tara Arts and worked on West End shows, such as Bombay Dreams, Midnight's Children, Lord of the Rings, to name a few. For Tamasha, I worked on many other shows, including Wuthering Heights, the House of Bilquis Bibi and Snookered. How will you continue to contribute? I am now trying to encourage the Asian business and corporate community to support arts and cultural initiatives in this country, because arts and cul-
ture feed our soul, keep alive our heritage, and enable us to respond to our relationship with this country. Unfortunately, persuading the Asian business and corporate community is hard going. In general, I feel I am an advocate for the British Asian theatre community, and trying to document our arts history as well as cover it in papers and websites. In order for us to be a part of the British Landscape, this is extremely necessary. What are the aspects of theatre that intrigues you the most and causes you to be a part of productions? I have a passion for theatre and the most interesting thing is the creative aspect and being able to see people come up with the ideas for the story, choosing the actors and finally putting the production together. I have mostly been involved in market-
ing and promotion, because it is important for audiences to see the work and share their feedback. But, in the last couple of years, I have also gotten involved in production- with a company I am part of called, Lucid Arts and Music. We have produced a couple of shows and a small opera, based on Rudyard Kipling stories, at Riverside, which we are also hoping to develop further and tour. What is is like being an Asian woman and having an active involvement in theatre? How do people respond to this? It is hard to doggedly continue to beat the drum for British Asian theatre in any area, be it community, audience, funders, media, mainstream. However, this is something I care deeply about, so I keep on doing it. People are mostly positive and do listen to you if you have
something to say to them, but my latest is to get the Asian business and corporate community to support us with resources and sponsorship. I said this before, but it's worth repeating, because as a creative industry, we give talent a chance to shine, create productions and are contributing to a greater diversity in British theatrical landscape.
international women’s day
www.abplgroup.com - asian Voice 9th March 2013
Research & Science
Professor Pratibha Gai Tell us something about growing up
help put women scientists’ research on the world stage and this visibility motivates younger women to take up scientific careers. There are world leading female role models in senior positions now for younger women to look up to. I very strongly believe that scientific careers are some of the best professions for women because they are based on scientific achievements and they empower women. Science teaches us about the world we live in.
I was born in Maharashtra, India. As my father was a civil servant the family moved around and I grew up in several parts of the country, including in Bangalore. After my early education in India, I graduated with a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Cambridge. You have been involved at the University of Oxford, then at DuPont and University of Delaware, USA and now in University of York. Which has been the most satisfactory so far? My education and scientific career span three continents, Asia, Europe and America, namely, in countries of India, UK and USA. After my graduation from Cambridge, my research career started at the University of Oxford. Working in DuPont and at the University of York, UK, has been greatly satisfactory. As a woman, how difficult has it been for you to be a scientist? Lack of role models during the early stage of my career was a bit difficult, but I developed ways to make it work by determination, dedication, confidence, and passion and enthusiasm for research. I knew I could make it happen. Your latest discovery in bio fuel and microscope- tell us a bit on that. The new microscope I have developed gives us insights into how living chemical reactions work. Chemical reactions are the backbone of healthcare and industry and are at the heart of modern society. However chemical reactions work at the atomic level. Atoms are basic building blocks of matter and are extremely small: two tenths of one billionth of a meter in size! The new microscope allows me
How does it feel to be awarded the L'Oréal-Unesco For Women in Science European Award? I am absolutely thrilled and greatly honoured to receive the L’Oréal UNESCO Women in Science European Award, and bring it back to the UK.This prestigious award belongs not just to me but to all the wonderful colleagues and students I have worked with.
to see with my own eyes how atoms behave in chemical reactions as they occur. This allows us to develop important processes to make cleaner energy sources like biofuels from nonedible vegetable plants (like weeds and grass) with less environmental impact, new medicines and new antibiotics for human healthcare and improved industrial products for the benefit of humanity. The vision of being able to do this has, over many years, led me to develop the special microscope and methods to make this happen.
I will use part of it to attend international scientific conferences to learn about recent advances and part of it to get some research items for my work.
Why do you think women mostly don’t choose science as a career?
What is the next stage in your career?
Women are still under-represented in science. This is because both societal and family expectations of what is good for women may not always include scientific studies. There are still gender and institutional barriers in some places, as in other careers. Lack of encouragement in society and institutions, especially in early stages, has not helped the situation. However, over my career I have seen a huge improvement in scientific opportunities for women. L’OréalUNESCO Women in Science awards are tremendously important as they
My personal aim is to reach the highest echelons of scientific research. I am already working to go beyond the work I have already done and use my developments to find effective new medicines for healthcare and cleaner and sustainable energy sources. I am also involved in mentoring and training students, including an increasing number of female students, in advanced sciences for the future. Women make up half the population and more women in science means more benefits to the world. That is my vision.
What do you plan to do with the prize money?
The British composer, sitar player and the niece of the late Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Sheema Mukherjee is well known for her work with musical c o l l e c t i v e Tr a n s g l o b a l Underground and The Imagined Village. She began pursuing North Indian Classical music at the age of five, under the guidance of Ustad Amir Khan, one of the greatest Indian classical vocalists. She later began closely and intricately studying the sitar with her uncle as her teacher, the legendary Pandit Nikhil Banerjee. Sheema's inspiration comes from her late uncle, who was one of the greatest sitar players, but she has musicians in her family, and although her parents were nervous about her taking it up professionally, they have always encouraged her love for music. Now, the act of creating and entering into new projects continues to inspire her. Being involved with the music in Tanika Gupta's play, The Empress, she hopes that it will be a sub-genre of its own, where they can try bring old, new and fantasy together. As the show will take shape, the music will evolve and will have an interesting instrumentation, embedding the sounds of the sitar, pipes, drums, double bass, the violin, the guitar and so on. For Sheema Mukherjee, it has been difficult to break the glass ceiling, as there is an ornamental side to being a female sitar player. Amongst a number Asian male musicians, there is often a belief that women cannot not succeed above a certain level, or that women cannot be better than men. As a young student, after the death of her uncle, she came across attitudes that would put many women off the industry; however, she was not prepared to tolerate any of this and continued with what she was passionate about. She hopes to see a change in attitudes, particularly family attitudes, which is where most of the constraints lie. She would love to see an increase of women in the industry. Although this is already occurring, she believes that certain attitudes towards female artists still exists and the change will continue to be slow.
Bhavini Kalaria We understand you worked in the City before setting up your own law firm. How difficult was it? I'm extremely fortunate that I come from a strong supportive family – they are the reason why setting up in business on my own was not as difficult as it might have otherwise been. Also, it has been a real asset to me having trained in a large city firm, and then worked a top 50 law firm. It means that best practice – ie how the firm operates, is something I’m very familiar with. One of the biggest hurdles facing newer law firms is the regulatory challenge – we are a regulated profession, and as such should work to high standards. Having said that, my own personal goal is that The London Law Practice provides a service which is totally client focussed, of a high standard and engaged with the people we work with, and is known to do so. This is a continuing challenge for the firm, and one which I am pleased to say we meet time and time again. I also realised early on that
as a working mother, and single to boot, I would not have much time. I have been able to work around my commitments - working late if necessary and building a team of people around me. I am also keen on giving space to working mothers, at least two of my lawyers work flexibly and around their children. It's a huge untapped potential. Most women that I know work harder and smarter because of the added responsibilities of running a home and looking after children. Have you ever felt that it has been difficult to prove yourself in your field, because you are a woman? The London Law Practice is a young firm. Whatever perceptions there might be about female owned businesses, ultimately I believe the work should be judged on its own merits. But the numbers speak for themselves: there are more women entering the legal profession than men (almost 60% are female entrants). However, the number of women in the highest positions is less than 25%. The
Lawyer magazine recently revealed that nearly 46/100 up and coming lawyers are women but despite this the pay gap between men and women of equal ranking has remained. Transported to real life, it may be that when it comes to certain types of work, there is an underlying uncertainty in dealing with me: I'm younger than many, and also a woman. Within the Indian community – this is much more difficult to deal with. Who I am (I have no doubt that many Indian business women feel this) does not fit into the image that is consistent with what businesses are used to dealing with; that of an older man.
times she was left frustrated the idea that your value only come from running a household, but that no equal value can be given to your own ideas, wishes, creative or other impulses, meant that she made sure that we not only were educated, but understood its inherent value: it is a way of opening up the world. She also taught us to follow our hearts and to know that marriage in and of itself was not an end goal. Marriage should be a place where you are happy and secure. So do I believe that marriage is more important than a career? No. I believe that both are there to fulfil you as a human being - whether you are a man or a woman.
Do you feel that marriage is more important than career for a woman?
Who is your ideal woman? And why?
I would very openly say that I have a particularly independent outlook to life. My mother is highly educated; and she was in a unique position in East Africa, which at the time she was bringing me and my two sisters up, I would say was a male-orientated place. I could see that often
I would say that all people (men and women) should have some basic values: treating each other with equal respect for example. I have mentioned my mother, who has been a great role model. But I am also lucky enough that a woman, who I consider to be ideal, is also a very good friend of mine:
Herjeet Marway is an up and coming female academic whose work concentrates in women in society. She is an ideal woman: she's worked hard, she's independent in thinking; she's kind and generous to a fault; and a wonderful friend. She values her background, but she's happy to challenge any norms. She’s my kind of woman, because she is wonderful, kind and a thinking human being. Any message for our young women readers on International Women's Day? Be inspired, and learn to inspire. As Gandhi said: Be the change you wish to see.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 9th March 2013
If you have any particular topics you would like covered on my page, please let me know.
TOP 20 CHART HITS
1. PBN – GO CRAZY (FEAT. MISS POOJA) 2. DJ RAJ – NACHDI (FEAT. BILL SINGH) 3. NAFEES – BUKHAAR 4. BENNY DAYAL & SHALMALI KHOLGADE – LAT LAG GAYEE 5. GIN & REES – TENU PYAR KARAN (FEAT. NIRMAL SIDHU AND RAVNEET RENU) 6. H.RESHAMMIYA, V SINGH & A TRIKHA – HOOKAH BAR 7. KULVINDER JOHAL NACH NACH KE (FEAT. KAOS PRODUCTIONS) 8. SONI J – TU HAI MERI JAAN (FEAT. KHIZA) 9. SHREYA GOSHAL & MOHIT CHAUHAN – SAANS 10. ATIF ASLAM & SUNIDHI CHAUHAN – BE INTEHAAN 11. BILAL SAEED – ADHI ADHI RAAT 12. KK, S.ALVARES & YO YO H. SINGH – PARTY ON MY MIND 13. T MINDER – MAR JAVAN GEH (FEAT. KAOS PRODUCTIONS) 14. KAMAL RAJA – 3 SAAL (THINK ABOUT YOU) 15. TWIN BEATS - LOK BOLIYAN (FEAT. SAINI SURINDER) 16. DAV VIRSA GIDDA PAO 17. BENNY DHALIWAL – MAA 18. NORTHERN LIGHTS – THE LADIES ANTHEM 19. M SHARMA, WAJID & K SAGATHIA – FEVICOL SE 20. BALLY SAGOO – THORI JI KORI Rifco Arts and Watford Palace Theatre Present ‘Break the Floorboards” - a new dance drama touring May & June 2013, written by Yasmeen Khan, journalist and writer of ‘Don't You Know Who I Am?’, advisor to BBC Did you know..? EastEnders' Masood family storylines and regular Mohammad is the most common on BBC Radio. The Show opens at Watford Palace Theatre on the 3rd May before embarking on a UK birth name in the world. wide tour covering Warwick Arts Centre, Oxford Playhouse, Oldham Coliseum Theatre, Key Theatre – Peterborough and Theatre Royal Word of the Week: Windsor. For information on how to Cachinnation – loud or hysterical laughter book visit www.rifcoarts.com
RAPID FIRE IntERvIEW …with Abhaey Singh Abhaey Singh is the dynamic British-born and UK, Spain and India bred Sikh businessman, debater, youth mentor and composer, who has become an overnight YouTube sensation with his new viral rap video titled ‘Talk It Out – Debaters’ Rhapsody’, to promote the launch of Abhaey’s Indian Debating Union (IDU). The video received over a million views on YouTube shortly after being uploaded. Abhaey successfully made the transition of reverse migration to settle in the Indian financial hub of Mumbai, and has established his vision of social enterprise, KUAZALA, Sanskrit word for ‘respectful present’, which uniquely contains an entertainment business at its core. Why did you decide to migrate to India and leave England? Everyone has always seen India as a huge economic opportunity, so that’s always there. But for me, its something I cannot really rationalize, its not about money or anything, I’ve been saying for quite a long time, since I left university that India is in my destiny, was to be in my destiny. Initially it was an emotional thing. We Indians are creatures of the heart. I had to just come. When I got here, I figured out why which is obviously what I’m doing
now, my social enterprise etc. Has it lived up to your dream? In many ways, I didn’t expect anything in particular. Do I like India? I love it, I see through the surface, why have people from all over the world, all wanted to come here? There’s a reason for it and the reason still persists despite the problems we have as a redeveloping country. I say that because if you know anything about the history of India it had been the most successful nation economically before imperialism. And it still retains all the great qualities, people, and culture What have you learnt by moving to India? What I’ve learnt in the last few years has completely changed my entire perception of life. I’ve always loved India, but it has now been qualified more. It’s actually quite a civilized place. Where civilization matters. Its not about poverty, that’s in every developing country, you have to dissect what is Indian and what is developing. What is India? Well, it’s all those amazing spiritual qualities that we read about. Its what makes people who are really poor able to smile. I’m really impressed by this amazing country. Why did you feel the need to set up the Indian Debating Union? The idea behind the debating union came out of two things: One obviously was the selfish pas-
Happy Mother’s day to my mother in law Mrs Shantaben Rajdev and my mum Mrs Sarla Kotecha. You both deserve a gold medal for being the best mums in the world. We all love you very much - From Joyti. To Kanank, Happy Mother’s day, have a fantastic day! – From Manish, Parul, Virali & Mihir. To Vilash, Happy Mother’s day to a wonderful mum, hope you have an amazing day, lots of love– From Manish, Parul and Vishal. To Harsha Raithatha (mummy), you are funny, kind and the most caring person we know. Today is your special day. Thank you for everything, you have done for us and you truly are the best mother we could have ever asked for. Lots of love – From Shivan and Saagar. To My dear mum and kind grandmother Bhavnaben Dave thank you for your love and support! God bless you- Love from Bhavini Dave, Ajay Dave,Dharmistha Dave and grandchilden Amar Dave, Aumkar Dave and Laxmi Dave. S is for the Sweet Sweet Mommy that you are, H is for the best Home-made cooking you have given us, A is for the Amazing woman you are, K is for the special Key that you hold in all our hearts, U is for the Unique you are, for there truly is noone like you. Happy Mother’s Day my Shaku Mommy, love you very much. From Vanisha, Hidesh, Anj & Dipen Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, A message for Jayshri Mum, A Happy Mother’s Day to you. For as long as we can remember, And still today, You are everything a mother should be. Love you always, from Viresh, Arpita, Hidesh and Vanisha
sion of mine but more than that, I wanted to take civilized debating of a high quality to the masses. We had a good turn out when we held our first live audience debates here in Mumbai and it went really well. People really took to it and that gave me confidence that we could now expand which is why I created this video so that we can now start the first step of taking this organization global. How does it feel to get so many YouTube views in such a short time? Really good. I’m an optimist so I always expect good things. I work really hard and put a lot of time into what I do, so I do expect good things but this was obviously much bigger than we had hoped. For me, it’s a really good sign because we haven’t really started yet, this is just the beginning. So I think it bodes very well for the future. What’s your message? I’ll use the song to recite the message to you: ‘When you’re representing people, legislator or MP, you’ve got to let debating be as civil as can be, there can never be good reason for you to ever shout, and its nothing less than criminal, for you to walk out.’ So that basically tells you that one part of the message is to our leaders, that you cant throw tantrums, you can’t walk out, you’ve got to be in the chamber and talk it out. What advice can you give to young people of today? The more time that passes, and seeing different types of people around me, one thing reinforces itself in my mind, which is the concept of dhurma, you have got to do good deeds and stay a good human being. Give a fraction of our time to give back to our community. For me its inexcusable, we need to make sure we keep an eye on our brothers and sisters.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 9th March 2013
Hrithik-Katrina to lip lock once again! After sharing a passionate kiss on silver screen, duo Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif will be locking their lips again for their upcoming film "Bang Bang", which is the official remake of Hollywood flick "Knight and Day." The makers of "Bang Bang" have to yet decide the intensity of this lip-lock. But the actors have been informed about the latest development and they have agreed to do so. Well...we hope that this lip lock will be more passionate than the previous one....Hrithik and Katrina!
Nargis Fakhri refuses to shake a leg for Dharma Productions
Looks like Nargis Fakhri will have to wait a while longer for her chance to do a special song like her peers. Apparently, Punit Malhotra, who made his directorial debut with Dharma Productions' “I Hate Luv Storys,” had approached the actress last month to perform a special number in his next “Gori Tere Pyaar Mein” starring Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor. While Nargis was pretty kicked with the idea, she was forced to come back with 'no' as answer because of a clash of dates with “Madras Cafe.”
No entry to Imran Khan's new house
Imran Khan has been snowed under with requests from architects and interior design magazines ever since he got his ancestral home renovated - however, the actor is not keen to let anyone enter his private pad. Imran's house in Pali Hill, Mumbai, belonged to his grandfather, late filmmaker Nasir Hussain, and it has been there for the past 50 years. The house is eco-friendly with interesting aspects like solar panels, water harvesting and perfect ventilation. It took nearly two years for the renovation to be completed and the actor moved into the home only last month. Ever since, he has been flooded with requests from magazines, which are keen to profile Imran on their cover, but he isn't keen on it.
Priyanka Chopra does a Victoria Beckham!
The Barfi! babe Priyanka Chopra seems to have been smitten with the new rage high waist short shorts! The babe can slay men with her deadly oomph. But in this cover, she simply killed the look by donning an odd under pant. Standing tall with oodles of conviction on the cover of Vogue India, March 2013 issue, the Barfi! babe looks gorgeous. Piggy Chops’ piercing gaze and her pose coupled with the lighting used, spell a lot of command and make for an interesting cover. The concept of this shoot is highly unconventional and we must give a thumbs up to the innovative idea.
Namitha Powerstar together
Powerstar Dr Srinivasan has acted in an ad film recently; the cute charm Namitha shared the screen with him. Sources say that this advertisement has come out really well. Powerstar has made waves in the industry since 2010, overriding everybody else's fame, to become one of the most liked actors in such a short duration. His films 'Anantha Thollai' and 'Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiya' have created a strong fan base for him, not to exclude his 'Lathika' that has seen a thousand days on screen! Currently, he has 'Ya Ya', 'Azhagan Azhagi' and 'Summa Nachinu Iruku' projects lined up for him.
Madhuri launches online dance academy Madhuri Dixit has launched an online dance academy and the actress says it is her way to get closer to her fans who have always loved her dance. "This is my way to get closer to my fans. I wanted to do something for my fans who have always loved me. I wanted to do something for them," the 45-year-old said. The website is called dancewithmadhuridexit.com and Madhuri wants to teach her fans all sorts of dance styles through the site. "We want it to become such an academy where every dance style can be learned under one roof, whether it is Indian, folk, classical or western. Dance has always been my passion," she said.
Trisha Kris Woman Ach
A decade in stardom, and continues to rule the roost Krishnan, is certainly an a so, she has been chosen by bureau for JFW Women Ac Award, for Excellence in C The 5th edition of this prestigious award function held in Chennai on March 1st. The elated Trisha said "I feel very special to be chosen for this award. Feels nice to be chosen and representing my industry". The charming woman has shared the stage with actress Saroja Devi, singer Sujatha Mohan, tennis champion Sania Mirza, young actress Hansika Motwani, dancer Alarmel Valli, Dipika Pallikal, scientist Tessy Thomas, among other achievers.
Kamasutra 3D: Sherlyn, eight others to do nude scenes
Sherlyn Chopra, who was thrown out of her debut film " Kamasutra 3D", is back in the film. Director Rupesh Paul says that along with the actress, others will also do nude scenes in his movie. Rupesh Paul said : "Sherlyn is a very dedicated actress and she is very passionate about her job. I don't think any other actress could justify it. Besides, it's a very bold subject where she is going nude and there are eight actors in the film who are also going nude." He further added: "Sherlyn is playing a princess in the film and I am not ready to compromise with any scene in the film." He will start rolling the film by March 15. "We will start shooting in Rajasthan. We have just shot two to three per cent of the film and now the real journey will begin." Sherlyn was thrown out because she leaked some montage scenes from the film. "After the incident, she has become more mature and responsible. Had I cast anyone else, the tantrums from the actress would have been the same. But one thing I like about Sherlyn is her dedication," said Paul.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 9th March 2013
she still t. Trisha achiever. And y the chievers Cinema.
I don't like sex comedies: Arshad Warsi Nandita confident of her roles!
Actors are known to immerse themselves in their roles to look authentic and also grow in their careers. Nandita of Attakathi fame goes a step further as she reportedly says that in order to understand Tamil cinema holistically, she watches it every single day which nourishes her. Her performance in her first movie Attakathi garnered rave reviews and is sure that Attakathi will add great value to her career. She has other films such as “Nalanum Nandhiniyum,” “Ethir Neechal” and “Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara” in her kitty.
Arshad Warsi loves to entertain people with light-hearted films, but he is not game for sex comedies and prefers to be part of "intelligent" and "smart humour." In fact, he is still remembered for his role as Circuit in the "Munnabhai" series and his next " Jolly LLB" is a fun film too - and a clean one. "I don't like sex comedies or over the top comedies. I like intelligent and smart humour," Arshad had said. "It is very easy to write sex comedies, it's crap. Even over the top banana peal comedy, it's typical...I don't like it," said the actor who made it big with "Tere Mere Sapne". The 1996 release saw him in a funny, yet decent role. "I prefer to do cleaner films. I was offered all these 'Kyaa Kool Hai Hum' and all, but I refused...it's great that it works, happy that people made money. But I don't want my kid to think, 'What is my dad doing?'" Giving reference to classic comedies like "Angoor" and "Chashme Buddoor", the actor said such films require skill to write. But Arshad admits that often actors are forced to do something even when you don't approve of it because it works.
Anupam Kher honoured in Los Angeles
Actor Anupam Kher, who was recently seen in Oscarnominated film “Silver Linings Playbook,” was honoured by Herb J. Wesson, Jr, President Los Angeles City Council and Tom Labonge, Council Member 4th District with a City Proclamation at Los Angeles. Talking about this honour Anupam said, "It is a big event because I am being honoured as an actor, and not only as an Indian actor. The Proclamation from the City of Los Angeles would be an endorsement of the fact that Asian actors are not seen as peculiar phenomena on a global platform. Of course, most of my films are Indian and I am an Indian actor. It was given to me on the same day as they gave it to the Legendary Dick Van Dyke.
Controversial Pakistani actress Veena Malik has entered the Guinness Book of World Records by receiving 137 kisses on her hand in one minute. She admits it is for the sake of her upcoming film “The City That Never Sleeps.” "I am a celebrity anyway and if you say that it is for publicity, ok, yeah, we need publicity for 'The City That Never Sleeps'," Veena said after breaking the earlier record set by Salman Khan of 108 kisses. "We have to break 20 records for the film and this is one of the records," she added. In 2011, Salman had got 108 kisses in a minute on a TV reality show “Guinness World Record - Ab India Todega.” It
was Veena's birthday on Feb 26 and the men were chosen through contest “The City that Never Sleeps-Bollywood Hunt.” "Long back we decided that I will break this record on my birthday and now we have to break 19 more records for 'The City That Never Sleeps'," Veena said. When she was asked which Bollywood actor she wants to kiss on the screen, she said: "I would like to kiss the actor who does not like kissing on-screen and he is our 'Dabangg' Khan Salman Khan. I think that would be beautiful if we have a kiss on-screen."
hitrangda S i n g h ’s career is in a happy space presently. But sadly, the same can’t be said about her personal life, or so chirp our loyal birdies. So, what really went wrong? The distance, perhaps. The long miles away from home apparently took a toll on Chits’ personal life. And buzz is that the actor has shifted out of her Delhi home now. What’s more heartbreaking is the rumour about the dusky lady being kept away from her son, Zorawar. Certain feathered friends are also of the opinion that Chitrangda’s growing proximity with J o h n Abraham – her co-star of “Desi Boyz” and “I, Me Aur Main” – is the reason behind the split with her golfer husband Jyoti Randhawa. But this one’s hard to believe ‘coz John is already engaged to investment banker Priya Marwah. Right? Anyway, nothing’s confirmed yet. And we hope that these rumours turn out to be just a figment of some birdie’s overactive imagination. Fingers crossed.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 9th March 2013
Financial Voice Dear Financial Voice Reader,
It’s nice to be right. I’ve been pushing stocks for over a year now and we have just hit a record high on the Dow. Why? And can it continue? Actually stocks continue looking attractive because the alternatives do not. But they look attractive because our expectations and perceptions of all things to do with the market do not. So find the market rapidly rises on any good news, because it is unexpected. And markets move on expectations as was discovered by economists decades ago. Will it all continue. I fully expect so. Indeed years with a positive January and February tend to be very good for the markets. So what is there left to say? Buy equities and go to sleep? What about European debt levels? Job worries, personal debt? Actually people have been paying down their personal debts – which is no bad thing. They may not have enough to save, and after that to invest, but by paying down debt they are reducing their cost of living and increasing their disposable income in the longer term by saving on interest charges. Companies have been doing the same. And the Government, whilst not paying down debt overall, has seen the interest it pays on its debt (bond yields) at 350 year lows. So imagine you had borrowed lots of money which you could indefinitely rollover and had to pay near 0% interest? It would make sense to borrow wouldn’t it? Well that’s the state of the UK economy. Now I am not saying everything is rosy. But I am saying that it is better than we have ever thought. Even better, as the Pound has fallen, thanks to the downgrade of our country, so our exports have become cheaper meaning that growth is likely to be fuelled by such exports. Overall, I can’t help but be positive. But cautiously positive in that we have to be aware that it is caution because the debt needs paying down. Interestingly one key positive aspect of the crisis is that every company has been so scared that they have increased productivity and reduced costs. Extravagances are down and everyone realised they can do more with less. Actual talk of austerity produces austere behaviour which itself leads to more productivity and efficiency. These are all vital to a healthy economy which had grown fat and bloated on the boom. You see booms make one complacent. Just like no one likes crisis and austerity, but they do teach us to be at our best. No they force us to be at our best. Little like no one likes competition, but it is competition which brings out the best in us. So it is with companies in the West going through terrible times. They will perversely be better for it. The best way to be? Always behave as if there is a crisis. It’s not much fun, but, then it all depends if your objective is money or fun. Often the two are mutually exclusive.
Budget 'realistic', positive for ratings: Moody's
India's budget for the next fiscal year offers a "realistic" plan to meet the country's fiscal deficit target, and should be a credit positive for its sovereign ratings, Moody's Investor's Service said in a report. India's fiscal consolidation plans could pave the way for monetary easing, thus helping revive economic growth, Moody's also said about the budget unveiled last week. Still, the credit agency noted India would continue to find it challenging to meet some of the assumptions about growth, as well as revenue and spending, made in the budget. Moody's is the only one of the three major credit agencies, to have a "stable" outlook on India's ratings after Standard & Poor's and Fitch cut the outlook to "negative" last year. "This plan of modest fiscal consolidation is credit positive for the sov-
ereign because against a backdrop of subdued GDP growth and upcoming elections, it is a realistic effort to correct India's macroeconomic imbalances," Moody's said. India unveiled a 2013/14 budget last week that seeks to meet its fiscal deficit target of 4.8 per cent of gross domestic product by raising revenue to fund a dash for growth ahead of elections due by next year. Moody's said India's "sharp" spending cuts helped it reduce its fiscal deficit for the current financial year ending in March to 5.2 per cent of GDP, and it will need to show the same commitment for the coming fiscal year. The credit agency said the 4.8 per cent deficit target should have suggested a more aggressive fiscal consolidation effort than the one unveiled in the budget.
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is investigating the potential of manufacturing cars in India, company sources said, as the British luxury carmaker looks to build on its growth in emerging markets with the help of Indian parent Tata Motors. JLR, which has ridden a wave of surging demand in China and other emerging markets to post record profits over the past year, is "actively exploring the possibility" of building cars from scratch in India, said one company source. "The idea is being looked into, with the (Jaguar) XF and (Land Rover) Freelander the obvious candidates," said another source with knowledge of the matter. The British brands, which already assemble two models in India using parts and engines shipped from factories in the UK, will also begin assembling its popular Range Rover Evoque in the country soon, the first source said without providing details. Building cars in India, which has developed into an emerging market export hub for many global carmakers, would allow JLR to skirt high import taxes
on luxury cars, which the country's finance minister proposed raising to 100 per cent from 75 per cent in his budget speech last week. "Jaguar Land Rover has ambitious plans to expand its manufacturing footprint and increase production in markets outside Britain," Del Sehmar, a Mumbai-based spokesman for the company, said. "We continue to examine options to expand our range of locally assembled products," he said, referring to India. JLR will exhibit a new 9-speed automatic Evoque and an electric-powered version of its Land Rover Defender at the Geneva Motor Show. Bought by Tata for $2.3 billion from Ford in
2008, JLR has defied those sceptical of its future under Indian ownership to roar back into profit over the past three years as the main growth driver for its now-struggling parent. Continued growth in emerging markets such as India and China, which accounted for 22.3 per cent of its sales in the December quarter, is key for JLR as it embarks on an expensive overhaul of its production and product clout. The carmaker is investing $1.7 billion with local partner Chery Automobile Co in a factory in China. JLR lags rivals BMW AG, Volkswagen AG's Audi and Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz in assembling cars in India, where the luxury market is
Chidambaram hints at sops to boost growth
India’s finance minister P Chidambaram on Monday indicated that the government would announce sops for certain sectors when he responds to the budget discussion in Parliament. “Budget making is a continuous process. When I reply to the debate on the budget, there will be some more announcements and then when we reply to the Finance Bill there will be more announcements," he said, while suggesting that the Centre could close the year with a better thanbudgeted fiscal deficit level of 5.2%. The government will respond to the budget discussion later this month, while the Finance Bill will be discussed in early May. Chidambaram said his main priority in the budget was to signal fiscal consolidation. “If we did not declare commitment to fiscal consolidation and took no credible measures, there could be severe consequences,” the minister said during a meeting with industry chambers. While he had offered to extend full support to the foreign trade policy, which
is expected next month, to boost exports, FM told industry captains that he has asked customs and excise officials to look at all suggestions that could not be included in the budget.
The government was widely expected to present a budget full of sops to woo voters, ahead of the crucial general elections in 2014 but chose to tax the rich and increased levies on goods consumed by the wealthier sections of the society. Now, the expectation is that the UPA will announce populist measures during the course of the next fiscal. At the meeting, the auto sector was among those that expressed concerns over the government’s move to increase the excise duty on SUVs and make imported luxury
vehicles that cost upwards of $40,000 more expensive. Chidambaram, however, responded by saying that the government is doing all it can for the industry. Besides, he said higher excise was not responsible for the low demand. “The demand for the vehicle is low mainly because of the (high) interest rates. There are ups and downs in every industry.” Call on to retro tax after Voda issue is resolved: Chidambaram said amendment to the retrospective tax rules would be sought from Parliament only after the Vodafone tax dispute is resolved. According to the rules set last year, the government can make retrospective tax claims on long-concluded corporate deals. “We have looked at the Shome Committee recommendations. Whatever decision is taken on the basis of the recommendations, we have to go back to Parliament. We have decided that the appropriate time to go to Parliament is after we have been able to resolve the Vodafone case,”
expected to swell by around six times by 2020 to 300,000 cars a year, according to business consultancy Frost & Sullivan. JLR, with sleek saloons favoured by British prime ministers and luxury SUVs born of desert and jungle combat, has factories working around the clock in England to meet demand, bucking the trend of sluggish demand for European automakers. The company has repeatedly stressed that its overseas ambitions will not lead to job losses in Britain. JLR employed close to 24,000 people at the end of March last year. Earlier this year JLR started the assembly of the 2.2-litre diesel version of the Jaguar XF saloon at a plant in Pune, west India, tucked away in a corner of a sprawling production site where Tata builds its heavy duty trucks and hatchbacks. Screwed together using engines and components shipped from JLR's Castle Bromwich plant in Birmingham, central England, the company has also been assembling its Land Rover Freelander 2 in Pune since May 2011.
SBI identifies some properties of Kingfisher for attachment
SBI, the lead banker in the 17-lender consortium to Kingfisher Airlines, has identified some properties for attachment, according to a top SBI official. "Efforts are afoot to make some recoveries. Already certain properties have been identified towards attachment by the bank as against loans disbursed to the airline. Allocations have been made in the bank's NPA which stood at (around) Rs 220 billion as of Dec 2012," A Krishnakumar, managing director and group executive (national banking) said. A sub-committee has also been formed, involving about four banks to examine availability of assets of the borrower and will also solicit needful legal advisors before the next stage of opting for litigation, he said. It was reported last year reported lenders to debt-ridden Kingfisher were considering selling the carrier's two properties in Mumbai and Goa worth Rs 1.20 billion to recover a part of the loans worth over Rs 75 billion.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 9th March 2013
Room For Fraud
Suresh Vagjiani Sow & Reap A Property Investment Company
Recently we have come across a large number of different types of fraud going on in the property market. This no doubt comes in part because of the current economic climate; therefore the number of cases is likely to increase further with time. Recently a client came to see me very wary about investing; when I enquired what the reason was he mentioned he had just spent two years trying to recover £300,000 from a property he had 'purchased'. The property was sold by someone who did not own it. The supposed vendors pretended to be tenants in a property where there lived an elderly gentleman who was the actual owner. They had befriended the owner and made sure he was taken out when the property was to be shown to the prospective buyer. The solicitors who had been acting for the supposed vendors had been supplied with forged documents which were not checked properly, normally they require a passport and a utility bill to act for a client. The property was duly sold and the money sent across to the purchaser's solicitor and then to the seller's solicitor and then on to the pretend vendor. When the scam came to light the perpetrators where caught but the money had disappeared. The seller got a sentence but this was of no benefit to the purchaser as the money had disappeared and could not be traced.
The on ly re course was the solicitor who had acted for the 'selle r' an d who had failed t o che ck the docu me nts carefully; which on closer inspe ction had shown clear sign s o f fo rge ry. Extracting money from them took two years. Another story which came to light was when a landlord had tenants move out of his flat but before they did so they had 'rented' the flat to a number of different parties and had taken deposits from them all. When the property was officially rented by the actual landlord a number of different parties had come to the property to move in only to discover they had given their deposits to somebody who did not own the property. Auctions also attract fraudsters. Many properties have been put on to the market which did not belong to the sellers. The auction is a faster paced environment where things are more likely to be missed more so than the average sale; also the sale is guaranteed to occur within one month of the auction. The above instances of fraud were based on somebody who pretended to be the owner of a property. It is very important to do some basic checks prior to handing over deposits for rentals and even when purchasing, nowadays you may find a lot of information on social websites and the internet. There is also a type of mortgage fraud going around where someone checks out all unencumbered property in highly valued locations such as central London and then proceeds to take a bridging loan on the property. The loan is paid for a period of around 6 months to allow some time between the event and when the crime is discovered and then the property is left to get repossessed. At the point of repossession the fraud is uncovered and then the lenders or more likely their insurers are forced to swallow the loss caused. It also causes the owner a lot of hassle and distress in discovering this and in rectifying this issue. It is surprising this still happen s in t he UK property market , but it g oes o n and it pays to be astu te; althou gh in fairn ess it's a rarity in the UK and ce rtainly not t he norm. We have come across a building on 115 Shirland Rd which we purchased for £1.15m from an auction, where you would think the auctioneer would have done some basic due diligence. We had the legals and our lawyer had done some basic due diligence. We had exchanged on the property at the auction only to discover the property was not owned by the seller. The freeholders were the Council of Westminster and the lessees through various reasons had forfeited the lease and they were in the process of being evicted themselves; so they had this bright idea of trying to sell a building they did not own through the auctions. When it came to completion they couldn’t provide a clean title and therefore they couldn’t complete the transaction. All that happened was the money was left with the auctioneer at the point of exchange and when the 'seller' couldn’t complete the deposit was returned back to us, the purchasers. We actually had suspected there may be issues with this purchase but we went ahead on the basis that if a clean title was not delivered we would get our deposit back and only be left with a legal bill. We were prepared to take this small downside risk considering the massive potential upside on the building if we could somehow manage to sort the title out. Knowing the auctioneer would be holding on to the deposit was a reassurance for us. It is difficult to ensure fraud never takes place completely as there
are many forms in which it might occur, from a simple mis-description of a property to the refinancing of one which doesn’t even belong to the person remortgaging. There is another type of fraud which occurs time to time in auctions; this is whereby the actual seller 'converts' a large house into several flats overnight. This has been done without planning permission, without building regulations and without any of the amenities connected. For instance if you were to turn on the tap there would be no water coming through, if you were to switch on electrics there would be no electricity flowing. It would be done purely for prima facie appearances. This type of sale is made for those who purchase at auctions without full and proper due diligence. One particular auction house was receiving many properties from a vendor who had done a quick conversion job and put them straight into the auction. After receiving many complaints from purchasers they decided to stop taking instructions from this vendor. It is amazing how little due diligence many auction houses do. Some do not even visit the properties they sell instead they cover themselves with legal jargon to protect themselves in case someone ends up with a dud property. It's basic common sense if someone is selling a product, whatever it is, they should know at least a little about what they are selling. This is unfortunately not always the case when purchasing at auction. Lenders are also concerned about being stung. One concern is when properties are being subsold. This means someone has exchanged on a property and is reselling it straight away. Th ere was a time a a property withou t o n the valu at io n le nde rs d o n ot like
They try to curtail this by having a six month rule before you can remortgage a property at the market valuation rather than the purchase price from the date of purchase. For example if you purchase a property for £700,000 and it's worth £1m, a bridging company could in theory loan you 70% on the valuation. This would mean you put very little into the deal. They understandably will not do this anymore and will instead lend to you based on the purchase price and not the market valuation of £1m. The way some people get around this is to resell it to someone else at £1m, this would then make the purchase price the same as the valuation, then they would be able to get a loan on the £1m which would give £700,000 which covers the full purchase price. The two parties would need to appear unrelated for this to occur. This is however a concern for lenders, though from one angle it doesn’t make any difference as the value of the security is the same. But the angle is more psychological where the borrower is less likely to default if they have their own funds in the deal. Remember property is still the safest investment you can make. The important lesson here is to ensure you use good solicitors when carrying out transactions, London is still perceived to be one of the safest places in the world to invest and of course a lucrative one too.
We provide a turnkey solution. Contact us now:
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few years ago when you could purchase puttin g any mo ney into the de al based of the pro perty; n ow u nsurprising ly this type o f situation.
55 Bryanston Street, Marble Arch Tower, London, W1H 7AA
Tips of the Week l Normally a high return means a high risk investment, however property is the exception. Property can deliver high returns with low risk if done in the right way, this happens partly because you can gear your investment up using borrowing. l Know the type of return you would like from property; for example there is no point going for a high income property when you will be paying 50% tax on the income. It may be better to aim for capital gains instead.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 9th March 2013
A common consequence of the breakdown of a relationship is that one party seeks to move away from the other- whether it is out of the local area in which they used to live or out of the jurisdiction of England and Wales. But what happens when a parent seeks to move away with the child of the relationship and the other parent with parental responsibility opposes? In the event that parents cannot come to an agreement in respect of this issue, an application for removal of the child(ren) from the locality or jurisdiction can be made under Children Act 1989. If successful, the Court will grant an order giving a parent permission (known as “leave”) to remove their children from the locality or from the jurisdiction. Permission must be sought for removal either by consent or a Court Order otherwise any removal will be unlawful and result in Child Abduction which is also a criminal offence. Generally speaking, it is usually the case that the parent seeking leave is the parent with whom the children mainly live; or the resident parent. The case law surrounding ‘leave to remove’ applications is in keeping with all Children Act applications in that it makes clear the principle that the welfare of the children is the paramount consideration. The leading case sets out a rule of thumb that the Court must have regard to when making decisions on leave to remove applications. The Court must ask themselves questions such as the motive behind any application, how realistic any application is, how contact with other party is to be maintained and developed and whether the practical proposals of the move such as housing, employment and education arrange-
ments are well founded. The Court usually does not refuse applications if they find the above criteria as proven, unless the interests of the child(ren) and those of the primary carer are clearly shown to be incompatible. If the court is satisfied that the primary carer’s plans are reasonable, and that the person’s motivation is genuine, they weigh up their proposal with the other parents position, including whether their concerns are motivated by genuine concern for the children’s welfare or driven by some ulterior motive. The Court will have foremost in his mind the likely impact of the proposed move on the other parent’s relationship with the child, and particularly with their ability to have contact with the children. There is a vast body of academic debate about whether the Courts are to ready to grant leave to remove to the parent with care. The trend in case law shows overwhelmingly that the court will not interfere with the way of life chosen by the parent who has the principal care of the children, particularly since any interference by the court may cause that person unhappiness or distress as this could impact upon that parent’s care for the child(ren) and therefore upon the child(ren)’s welfare. These applications are fairly complex, therefore it is advised that anyone involved in this situation or is likely to be should seek legal advice immediately Legal representation is necessary due to the consequences of such an order being granted and to support the parent through this difficult court process. It is prudent that if you are considering making this application and believe yourself to be entitled to public funding to contact a solicitors specialising in legal aid to assist as after 1st April 2013, these types of application will no longer be covered by public funding. Savita Sharma is a Family Director/Solicitor at Legal 500 Law Firm, Duncan Lewis.
Changes to Codes of Practice for Tier 2 employees
An announcement has been made of yet more changes that are due to take place to the Codes of Practice following the recommendations by the Migration Advisory Committee in October 2012. For the first time there is recognition that employers need a period of stability and accordingly no further changes are anticipated after these in the “near future” (whatever that means). The changes will only affect Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (ICT) applicants and will come into effect on the 6th April. Sponsors who have been issued allocations of Restricted Certificates must use them before this date, failing which they will no longer be valid. The new Code of Practice is intended to be simpler to use and easier to navigate and again is a recognition that the current system was much too confusing. As is currently the case, a limited list of PHD occupations will have a higher priority under the Tier 2 limit, will have a less rigorous resident labour market test and will be exempt from the £35,000 earnings threshold for settlement (which comes into effect in April 2016). The minimum pay
threshold will rise from £20,000 to £20,300 and for ICT applicants from £24,000 to £24,300. In practice, of course, the actual rates are generally higher as the Codes set for most jobs are a lot higher than this. For the first time, there will be 2 level s of pay; new entrants and rates for the experienced. In all cases those who have been employed for over 3 years and 1 month will fall into the higher rate. The resident labour market test is returning to the old system in which adverts will need to be placed in newspapers, professional journals and the Job centre rather than in prescribed media. There will be transitional arrangements for those who assign Certificates of Sponsorships before 6th April 2013. For those who assign a CoS before this date, the old Codes of Practice and salary scales will remain in place. An important change is that the new criteria will also apply to those who apply for extensions, or change their employment or if they make applications for settlement. However, those who were exempt from the pay thresholds as a result
of applications made preApril 2011 will still need to be paid the appropriate rates. Those who have already advertised a position will not need to readvertise but will need to offer the new rate if the CoS is assigned after the 6th April. Where the occupation has been re-classified to a lower skill level, extensions will not be affected. However the applicant will not be allowed to change employment to another employer within the same job classification. The new earnings threshold for settlement will rise to £35,500 for those who make applications on or after 6th April 2018. Those applying between 6th April 2016 and 5th April 2018 will be subject to a threshold of £35,000. Those applying before 6th April 2016 will remain exempt from a threshold but will need to earn the appropriate rate. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Etihad, Jet inch closer to deal
Mittal prepares for court clash in UK with India-born tycoon The stage is set for a clash of India-born tycoons in Britain as steel magnate Lakshmi N Mittal appears in the high court here this week over an oil deal with a rice baron. Mittal, UK's richest man and chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, is being sued by his former friend and fellow millionaire Moni Varma over allegations that Mittal reneged on an agreement to pay fees on a multi-million-dollar deal he brokered for him in oil-rich Nigeria. The case has created a stir in London as it is likely to offer a rare glimpse into the workings of one of Britain's largest busi-
ness empires as well as a possible cross-examination of 63-year-old Mittal, who is worth an estimated 12.7 billion pounds. In documents presented to the court, Varma claims to have facilitated a deal in 2006 for Mittal to access two unexplored oil fields in the Niger Delta, and to have arranged a meeting with former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo. "Varma's claim is an opportunistic and speculative piece of litigation brought on a conditional fee agreement, which Mr Mittal denies in its entirety and intends to vigorously defend," a spokesperson for Mittal said.
India-born and London-based Varma, 64, one of Britain's biggest rice traders, says, "Let the courts decide if my claim is legitimate or not. My intention is not to malign anybody". According to a report, his writ details how the two businessmen have known each other socially since 1997 and regularly discussed business opportunities at social events in London. In July 2005, Mittal Investments Sarl, a company owned by Mittal, launched a joint adventure with OVL, a subsidiary of India's state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.
Inching closer to the stake purchase deal with Jet Airways, UAE flag carrier Etihad paid $70 million last week for three pairs of slots of the Naresh Goyalowned airline at London's Heathrow airport. Industry sources termed it as a 'shagun' amount paid to end the uncertainty of the past few days over the deal under which Etihad will pick up 24% stake in Jet for close to $400 million. "Etihad can confirm that the airline has concluded a transaction with Jet to purchase the Indian carrier's three pairs of Heathrow slots for $70 million. The purchase is part of a sale and lease-back agreement signed. Jet will continue to operate flights to London utilizing these slots. The deal further strengthens the existing commercial relationship.... Etihad continues to progress discussions about further investment in Jet Airways," said Rupert Hugh-Jones, Etihad's head of international media relations. Jet operates three daily flights
to London - two from Mumbai and one from Delhi. The Jet-Etihad deal is believed to be a win-win situation for both the airlines. While Naresh Goyal will get funds to ease Jet's loan burden and finance an aggressive expansion plan, the Abu Dhabi-based Etihad will get greater access to the massive Indian market. So far,
Dubai-based Emirates has had the greatest network in India. Both the airlines, however, continue to remain tight-lipped on the issue. While Jet officials said Etihad would make further announcements, the latter limited comments to the $70-million Heathrow slot purchase. "Apart from this statement, we have nothing further to add," said
Rupert Hugh-Jones. The past few days had seen some last-minute issues cropping up in the ongoing talks between the two airlines with Etihad seeking a greater say in the airline and more board presence. Jet is now learnt to have agreed to these requests of Etihad. Aviation minister Ajit Singh told reporters: "Some minor issues had come up (between the two) and I hope they'll be sorted out." Among other issues, Etihad is learnt to have sought some safety for its investment in the Indian carrier. In 1996, two Gulf carriers had a 40% stake in Jet but when the then government disallowed FDI by foreign airlines in an Indian carrier, the two had to exit the airline. Then last year, Abu Dhabibased telco Etisalat exited its JV with DB Group to shut down India operations, following the Supreme Court's cancellation of 122 telecom licences issued in 2008.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 9th March 2013
Foreign Exchange Paresh Davdra is the Dealing Director of RationalFX, Currency Specialists.
UK economy is sputtering
Weekly Currencies As of Tuesday 5th March 2013 @ 3.30pm GBP - INR = 83.15
The pound has a miserable 2013, and there isnâ€™t much good news on the horizon. The UK economy is sputtering, and the US continues to produce mixed results, as the road to recovery remains a bumpy one. The pound dipped into 1.49 territory levels late last week, as the all-important 1.50 level is under pressure from the pair. UK PMI Construction fell to 46.8 points in February, from 48.7 points in January, according to data released today by Markit. The result is against market consensus of rising to 49 points, again having a negative effect on sterling. David Noble, Chief Executive Officer at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply comments: â€œThere is barely a crumb of comfort in this monthâ€™s figures for the construction industry to ease the continued decline in performance. The dramatic fall in civil engineering activity is particularly worrying, having been the one bright spot in the second half of 2012. Whilst the housing sector has registered mild
growth for the first time in nine months, it remains weak compared with its long run average. To add insult to injury, commercial activity declined at a worrying paceâ€?.
E u r o z o n e finance ministers are meeting in Brussels to discuss how to fund a potential 17bn-euro ($22bn; ÂŁ15bn) bailout for Cyprus. Germany has pushed for depositors in Cypriot banks to help pay for the rescue, a process known as a "bail-in". But Cyprus fears a bailin could spark a withdrawal of funds from the country, making its economic situation worse. Meanwhile, Portugal is also seeking to renegotiate part of its own bailout at the same meeting. The euro group meeting is expected to assess the rescue of Portugal, with the possibility that the country will be given slightly longer to pay back the loans it has already received. The Republic of Ireland may also be granted
0 8 0 8
$ 0 4 5
similar leniency on its bailout. In a late night speech Friday, Ben Bernanke said the Fed's latest simulative policies are aimed to "prompt a return to the productive risk-taking that is essential to robust growth and to getting the unemployed back to work." In its effort to boost the economy, the Fed has kept its key interest rate near zero since 2008. To lower rates even further, the central bank has also been buying Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, a program known as quantitative easing. Those policies, which are meant to spur spending and lending by banks, have a secondary effect of driving investors away from low-yielding Treasury bonds in search of higher-yielding assets like stocks. To that end, the Dow and S&P 500 are not far from the all-time highs they set in October 2007. Observers, even including some Fed officials, have recently argued that the "reach for yield" could be fuelling a bubble in certain types of bonds, farmland, and other assets.
USD - INR = 54.86 EUR - INR = 71.58 GBP - USD = 1.52 GBP - EUR = 1.16 EUR - USD = 1.30 GBP - AED = 5.57 GBP - CAD = 1.56 GBP - NZD = 1.83 GBP - AUD = 1.48 GBP - ZAR = 13.69 GBP - HUF = 347.03
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Q & A: Visa to India Where can I submit a postal application? If I submit it from outside London – where does it go? Postal applications must be sent to our centralised processing centre located at 13, Canalside, Uxbridge Road, Hayes, Middlesex, UB4 0JN. Even if you address your postal application from outside London – your envelope will still be delivered to this address only. What is the process followed for postal applications once they are received? The minimum processing time for a postal application is 10-15 working days. Once such applications are received, they are opened and scrutinised by our agents. If your application is lacking in required information, photo specifications are incorrect or there is any reason that prevents us from processing the application – your documents and passports will be returned back to you with a sheet stating the reason. You would then be required to rectify the error and re-post your documents back to the visa centre. Upon receipt of a complete application and required documents, the application is forwarded to the respective Mission for processing. Can I send my application directly to the High Commission? Where does it go if I have done so? All applications should be submitted at the specified visa application centres. If you have already dispatched your application to the High Commission of India (London) – your application will be redelivered to our India Visa Application Centre 1-3, Canalside, Uxbridge Road, Hayes, Middlesex, UB4 0JN. But please keep in mind that there will be a delay in the processing of your documents until they reach the Visa Centre from the High Commission. I get a message of ‘No Record Found’ on my postal application. What is the processing timelines? Postal applications must be scrutinised before we can begin to process them. In case there are further details required to have been submitted by you or for example, the photographs given were not up to the specification – your application will be posted back to you. In this case, since we are unable to enter your details through our system, there will not be a record to track. In such cases, you can address your concern to email@example.com. It is always strongly advised to ensure that you have read all requirements for an application before it is dispatched through the post. Where can I get the correct specifications of photographs? Each Visa Application Centre (except for Cardiff, Glasgow and Manchester) have in-house photo booths that will provide you with the required 50x50 size photographs for your application. The cost is £8 for a set of 2. "
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www.abplgroup.com - asian Voice 9th March 2013
Conviction of Islamists lead to clash between police and JI Dhaka: About 80 people were killed when violence rocked Bangladesh following the conviction of Islamist leaders for the 1971 war crimes. Violence escalated on Thursday last when a death sentence was handed down to 73year-old Delwar Hossain Sayedee, vice-president of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), by International Crimes Tribunal. A two-day strike called by Jamaat coincided with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee’s maiden visit to the country. Another shutdown has been called by the fundamentalist outfit's alliance partner and main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by Khaleda Zia on the last day of the visit by Mukherjee on March 5. Authorities called army troops in north-western Bogra as JI activists attacked a police station with homemade bombs and guns at the cantonment area. “Two platoon troops were deployed on request from the local administration as the violence erupted at the cantonment area,” an army spokesman said. The
death toll in the clashes over the war crimes verdicts has risen to about 80 since the first conviction was made on January 21. Twenty one people, including a police constable, were killed and about 50 others were injured in the violence that rocked the first day of the strike called by Jamaat.
ing Jamaat-called 48-hour shutdown. Jamaat activists overnight torched a train and attacked several police installations in northwestern Bangladesh as they enforced a nationwide 48-hour stoppage to halt ongoing trial of their leaders. Most of the violence victims were JI activists.
Activists of Jamaat-eIslami and Islami Chhatra Shibir clashed with the police in the districts of Bogra, Joypurhat, Jhenaidah and Rajshahi districts throughout the day. Of those killed, nine died in early morning clash in three upazilas of Bogra while six in two upazilas of Joypurhat dur-
Sayedee was the third JI politician to be convicted by the International Crimes Tribunal since the trial of war crimes suspects, mostly belonging to the Islamist group, began three years ago. In the first verdict of the tribunal on January 21, former Jamaat leader Abul Kalam Azad was sentenced to death on similar charges.
Another Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah was sentenced to life in February for atrocities during the war. High Court orders security for Hindus: Bangladesh High Court ordered the government to take steps for the security of the minority Hindu community in southeastern Begumganj where suspected rightwing activists attacked several temples and houses during clashes in the past three days. "The court asked the government to take steps to ensure the minority community's security and repair their temples and houses which were damaged in the attacks," a spokesman of the attorney general's office said. The order came as several newspapers and television channels published and telecast the news of ransacking and torching of houses of Hindus and their temples by fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami activists. The reports said at least five temples and 36 Hindu houses were vandalised or torched at Begumganj sub-district of Noakhali.
Bomb hurled outside Pranab Lanka fumes as war Mukherjee's hotel in Dhaka crimes film is aired at UN
Dhaka: A homemade crude bomb of low intensity was hurled on Monday outside the Sonargaon Pan-Pacific hotel in Dhaka where Indian President Pranab Mukherjee was staying. No one was injured in the blast, said Apoorva Hassan, the officer in-charge of Tejgaon police station. Two persons came on a motorcycle and hurled the bomb wrapped in a cap near the SAARC fountain, about 50 yards away from the hotel at a street intersection, he said. The two managed to escape and no one was arrested in this connection, he added. Security around the hotel has been further strengthened after
the attack. Khaleda Zia calls off meeting with Pranab: Meanwhile, domestic politics overshadowed Mukherjee’s visit to Bangladesh as leader of opposition and Bangladesh National Party (BNP) chief Khaleda Zia cancelled her meeting with Mukherjee scheduled for Monday citing security concerns. "We had fixed a time for Begum Khaleda Zia to call on our President well in advance and this had been in our programme for quite some time. The President was in fact looking forward to meeting Begum Khaleda Zia... the programme was accepted," foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai said.
Geneva: The Sri Lankan military committed numerous war crimes during the final months of the country’s 26-year civil war, according to a documentary aired for the first time, amid vigorous protests from Colombo. Using graphic video and pictures taken both by retreating Tamil Tiger rebels, civilians and victorious Sri Lankan troops, “No Fire Zone - The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka” presents a chilling picture of the final 138 days of the conflict that ended in May 2009. Filmmaker Callum Macrae insisted before the screening on Friday at the UN headquarters in Geneva that the film should be seen as “evi-
Florida imam convicted for funneling funds for Pak Taliban Miami: An elderly Muslim cleric in the US was convicted of funneling thousands of dollars to support the Pakistani Taliban terror organization. Hafiz Khan, the 77year-old imam at a Miami mosque, was found guilty of two conspiracy counts and two counts of providing material support to terrorists. Each charge carries a potential 15-year prison sentence. Prosecutors built their case largely around hundreds of FBI recordings of conversations in which Khan expressed support for Taliban attacks and dis-
cussed sending about $50,000 to Pakistan. There were also recordings in which Khan appeared to back the overthrow of Pakistan's government in favor of strict Islamic law, praised the killing of American military personnel and praised the failed 2010 attempt to detonate a bomb in New York's Times Square. Khan insisted the money he sent overseas was for family, charity and business reasons - above all, his religious school, known as a madrassa, in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Khan also said he repeatedly lied about harboring
extremist views to obtain $1 million from a man who turned out to be an FBI informant wearing a wire to record their talk. "That is not supporting terrorism," said Khan attorney Khurrum Wahid in a closing argument. “That is an old guy running a scam, who got scammed." Prosecutors, however, said the purported $1 million offer is never heard on any tapes, and no other witnesses testified about its existence. The informant, identified in court papers as Mahmood Siddiqui, did not testify.
dence” of the “war crimes and crimes against humanity” committed by the troops. “The real truth is coming out,” he said. Sri Lanka’s ambassador in Geneva, Ravinatha Aryasinha, strongly protested the screening of the film on the sidelines of the ongoing UN Human Rights Council. He described it as “part of a cynical, concerted and orchestrated campaign” to influence the debate in the council about his country. Rajapakse denies army killed LTTE chief’s child: Sri Lanka’s president in an interview firmly denied that government troops executed the 12-year-old son of separatist chief Velupillai Prabhakaran in 2009.
52 killed in Karachi bombing Karachi: Residents of the Pakistani city of Karachi were mourning the victims of a bombing in a Shiite neighbourhood which police said killed 52 and injured 127. The explosion ripped through the Abbas Town area of the southern port city when a car packed with 150 kg of explosives was detonated with a timer, said police official Khalid Hussain. “According to initial police reports, 52 people, including women and children, are dead while 127 were injured,” Hussain said. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 9th March 2013
In Focus Former Maldives President Nasheed arrested
Male: Police in the Maldives arrested former president and opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed on Tuesday, defying pressure from India which had called for him to be free to campaign for elections, his party said. â€œA large number of policemen arrested him in (the capital) Male a short while ago," spokesman Shauna Aminath said. He will be produced before court later. Nasheed had taken refuge at the Indian High Commission in Male before walking out a few days ago.
Japanese woman, 114, recognised as world's oldest
Tokyo: A 114-year-old Japanese woman born the same year that radium was discovered was recognised as the world's oldest woman by Guinness World Records. Misao Ookawa, who according to Japanese media has never had a major illness in her life, married in 1919 and has three children, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. The award came as an early birthday present. She turns 115 next week on March 5.
US to honour Nirbhaya as woman of courage
Washington: Nirbhaya or "Fearless," the victim of a gang rape in a Delhi bus, who became the focus of women around India and their fight against genderbased violence, is among ten extraordinary women being honoured with the Secretary of State's International Women of Courage Award. First Lady Michelle Obama will join Secretary of State John Kerry as he presents the annual award recognizing women around the globe who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women's rights and empowerment, often at great personal risk. Since the inception of this award in 2007, the State Department has honoured
67 women from 45 different countries. Nirbhaya "Fearless," champion for justice (India) will be awarded posthumously. "Known to India and the world as "Nirbhaya" (Fearless), the courageous 23-year-old physiotherapy intern whose brutal gang rape on a moving bus in Delhi in December inspired widespread protests, has become the foundation of a popular movement to end violence against women in India," the citation noted. "For millions of Indian women, her personal ordeal, perseverance to fight for justice, and her family's continued bravery is helping to lift the stigma and vulnerability that drive violence against women," it said.
10% boost in Chinaâ€™s defence budget gives India jitters
New Delhi: China significantly upped its defence spending by over 10%, a rise that will be watched nervously in India. Particularly, since India's own defence budget is constrained not only by decreased funding, but also by a distinct lack of strategic planning. In Beijing, the new president, Xi Jinping, began his stewardship of the party and country by raising defence budget by 10.7% to 740.6 billion yuan ($119 billion). Last year, China's budget stood at $106 billion.
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Nairobi: Uhuru Kenyatta had an early edge as Kenya continued the count in a presidential election that brought out millions of voters despite pockets of violence that killed at least 15 people. Kenyans, who waited patiently in long lines, hope the vote will restore the nation's image as one of Africa's more stable democracies after tribal blood-letting killed more than 1,200 people when the result of the 2007 vote was disputed by rivals. Early counts from Monday's broadly peaceful voting gave an early lead to Kenyatta, the 51-year-old deputy prime minister, over rival Prime Minister Raila Odinga, 68. That edge could still be overhauled as it was based on a count of about 10 per cent of votes cast, provisional figures from the election commission indicated. Election officials had said turnout was more than 70 per cent of the 14.3 million eligible voters but have not given a precise total. The United States and Western donors have watched the vote closely, concerned about the sta-
bility of a nation seen as a regional ally in the fight against militant Islam and fretting about what to do if Kenyatta wins, as he faces charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC) related to the violence five years ago. For an outright victory, a candidate needs more than 50 per cent of votes cast, otherwise the top
two face a run-off, provisionally set for April. Odinga and Kenyatta ran neck-and-neck in polls before the race, well ahead of six other rivals. People want peace: "If elected, we will be able to discharge our duties," Kenyatta's running mate, William Ruto, who also faces charges of crimes against humanity, said during voting. "We shall cooperate with the court with a final intention of clearing our names." At a press briefing after
most polls had closed, Ruto said the vote had been "free, fair and credible", and welcomed the early lead by Kenyatta. Odinga's camp declined to comment. Kenyans lined up from the early hours of the morning to cast their ballots and many said memories of the post-2007 bloodshed and its dire impact on the economy were enough to prevent a repeat this time. "People want peace after what happened last time," said Henry Owino, 29, a second hand clothes seller who was voting in Nairobi's Kibera slum where violence flared five years ago. "This time the people have decided they don't want to fight." The real test will come when final results emerge, but at least 15 people were killed in attacks by machete-wielding gangs on the restive coast shortly before voting started. Senior police officers blamed the attacks on a separatist movement, suggesting different motives to the ethnic killings that followed the 2007 vote. The European Union observer mission said turnout was high even at the coast where the attacks took place.
www.abplgroup.com - asian Voice 9th March 2013
South 22 TN fishermen held by Lankan Navy
Twenty-two Indian fishermen were arrested and their trawlers seized by Sri Lankan naval personnel for allegedly violating the island nation's international maritime boundary. The fishermen from Karavaikulam in Tuticorin in southern Tamil Nadu were fishing in three mechanised boats and one country boat fitted with outboard motor off Kalpittiya when they were taken into custody by the Sri Lankan Navy. Tuticorin assistant director of fisheries Prabhavathi said the 22 were arrested when they were fishing off Kalpittya in the north of Sri Lanka.
Three new Tamil Nadu ministers sworn in
Three newly appointed Ministers of Jayalalithaa-led Tamil Nadu cabinet were sworn-in. Governor K Rosaiah administered the oath of office to Sports and Youth Welfare Minister Vaigai Chelvan, Kahdi and Village Industries Minister T P Poonatchi and Minister for Health and Family Welfare K C Veeramani, who replaced three ministers axed by Chief minister Jayalalithaa. The swearing-in ceremony was held at the Raj Bhavan in Chennai in presence of Ms Jayalalithaa.
Low cost housing: IIT Madras shows the way
An environment-friendly house at a low cost in less than a month IIT-Madras shows you how you can build one. IIT-M's civil engineering department has perfected the use of pre-fabricated panels, made from waste generated by the fertilizer industry, to erect walls, lay floors and set up staircases - all in 29 days.The cost of construction is 1,200 a square foot. The system eliminates the use of bricks and minimises the use of steel, cement, water and sand in construction.
Punjab Rohtak to Delhi MEMU train launched
The electric train services started between Rohtak and Delhi, with Union railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal flagging off the first Rohtak-Delhi Mainline Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU) train. The train will provide economical and faster travelling option and have 7,500-passenger capacity on one round trip. From Rohtak to Delhi, the train will have nine stoppages in Delhi and eight in Haryana up to Rohtak.
Man arrested for setting wife ablaze in Punjab
A man was arrested for allegedly setting his wife on fire in Punjab's Jakopur village over a petty matter, leading to her death. Gurmej Singh alias Laddi Palwinder Kaur was arrested for setting Palwinder Kaur ablaze after she clipped his nails too deep cutting into the skin. The victim's kin told police she was persistenly harrased for dowry. In her statement given to the Magistrate before her death, the victim told the police that her husband had set her on fire.
School bus, truck collide in Jalandhar; 12 children dead
At least 12 children died when the school bus in which they were travelling collided with truck near Nakodar town in Punjab. Five children are said to be injured in the terrible tragedy, which has also claimed the life of school bus driver. According to reports, the truck laden with bricks, which was being driven on the wrong side of the road, lost control
Ex-Cong MLA Joginder Pal Jain wins Moga for Akalis
Punjab's ruling Shiromani Akali DalBharatiya Janata Party (SAD-BJP) alliance won the high-stakes Moga assembly by election, with SAD nominee Joginder Pal Jain (67) defeating Congress candidate Vijay Kumar Sathi (66) by a margin of 18,849 votes.
Stepping up pressure on Congress-led UPA Government, its key southern ally DMK demanded that India support the US-sponsored resolution at the UNHRC against Sri Lanka as over 4,000 people staged a protest against Colombo's alleged war crimes. The resolution at UNHRC "will certainly succeed. Our strong demand is that India should also cooperate," DMK chief M Karunanidhi told reporters. Karunanidhi's son and DMK treasurer M K Stalin led the protest under the banner of party-backed TESO (Tamil Eelam Supporters' Organisation) and as the 4,000-strong protesters set out on a march to picket the Sri Lankan Deputy High
Commission in Chennai there were arrested, police said. Besides Stalin, other prominent leaders arrested included Dravidar Kazhagam chief K Veeramani and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) founder and Lok Sabha member Thol Thirumavalavan. The protestors raised slogans such as asking the Centre not to betray Tamils and not to underestimate Tamils' sentiments as they insisted that India support the US initiative. Karunanidhi, who has been vocal in recent months on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue and revived the TESO, said the protest was not just confined to the city but also held in different parts of the state. DMK Rajya Sabha mem-
ber Kanimozhi said Tuesday's protest was aimed at pressing the central government to make its stand clear on the US-sponsored resolution. India had supported a similar resolution last year. MDMK chief Vaiko arrested: Earlier, MDMK chief Vaiko has been arrested by police after he attempted to lay siege on the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission on Monday. Vaiko, who led several pro-Tamil groups, was protesting against alleged war crimes and human rights violations committed by the Sri Lankan government against Tamil civilians there. The MDMK chief was also demanding that New Delhi should vote against Colombo during the USsponsored motion at the
Budget: Chidambaram nets big fish
Continued from page 1
who officially number a mere 42,800, and for domestic and foreign firms with taxable income above Rs 100 million, which would leave out only small enterprises. In a similar vein, he has hiked customs duty on all mobile phone handsets costing more than Rs 2,000. And has increased excise duty on SUVs that includes several sedans too. The duty on imported high-end automobiles and yachts has been upped too. Those buying homes and flats with a carpet area of 2,000 feet or more, or a value of Rs 10 million or more, will now effectively pay service tax on 30% of the value of the property, while cheaper ones will continue to pay 25% of the value. The 'pro-poor, anti-rich' stance apart, the FM was at pains to show how much the government cares for women and their empowerment. Among the many proposals directed at women was a
Nirbhaya Fund for their security and empowerment, and India's first women's bank. For the taxpayer, there will be an additional Rs 100,000 available for deductions on home loan interest payments, though again only for relatively modestly-priced homes and
first-time owners. There were promises too of inflationlinked savings instruments, though the details are to be worked out by the RBI. For corporates, there is an incentive to invest, with 15% of spending of over Rs 1billion on new plant and machinery in the next two years qualifying for a deduction. For the markets, there
was some relief in the form of lower rates of tax on securities transactions and easier procedures for foreign portfolio investors. Against this was a fresh levy, equivalent to the tax on securities transactions, on non-agricultural commodity futures. Fiscal deficit reined in at 4.8% of GDP: Another change was to stipulate that where a foreign investor's equity holdings in a firm are over 10%, it would be treated as FDI, while below that threshold it would be FII investment. The net effect of the tax changes is estimated to yield an extra Rs 133 billion in direct taxes and Rs 47 billion in indirect taxes. The total additional resource mobilisation of Rs 180 billion pales in comparison to the Rs 414.40 billion Pranab Mukherjee had proposed to raise last year. Despite the relatively modest tax mop-up, the FM has managed to present a budget that apparently hikes outlays on key areas like education, health and the social sector.
Measures that will impact NRIs India’s finance minister P Chidambaram has promised to make ‘doing business in India’ easy, friendly and mutually beneficial. Following are some takeaways for non-resident Indians (NRIs). More tax for the super-rich Impact: The finance minister proposed an additional surcharge on incomes over Rs 10 million. If you have a taxable income of over Rs 10 million in India, you will now have to pay a surcharge of 10 per cent. This additional tax is currently proposed only for financial year 2013-14. For non-residents, income here would include any income that arises or accrues in India such as interest on investments, rental income from property located in India, capital gains on sale of assets located in India etc. More than just tax residency certificate for claiming treaty benefits Impact: In the last budget, the finance minister announced that it was
mandatory for non-residents who were claiming tax treaty benefits to present a tax residency certificate (TRC) from the country of their residence. As if that were not enough, this time, an additional clause has been inserted. Accordingly, now a TRC will not be 'sufficient condition' for claiming such relief. However, the Finance Bill does not explain what the other conditions could be. This slightly unclear proposal, if passed, can give the tax department increased power to examine these claims, leaving the non-resident with more compliances to follow. Increase in tax on royalty and fees for technical services from 10 per cent to 25 per cent Impact: If you are a nonresident receiving royalties from India for any technical services provided, the tax rate will now be 25 per cent instead of 10 per cent. However, if the country that you reside in has a Double
Taxation Avoidance Agreement with India, you will be taxed as per the rate mentioned in that agreement. Reduced tax on interest from rupee-denominated infrastructure investments Impact: With a view to attract investment in long term infrastructure bonds in foreign currency, the rate of tax on interest paid to nonresident investors was reduced in the last budget from 20 per cent to 5 per cent. The finance minister has now extended the same benefit to investment made through a designated bank account in rupee denominated long term infrastructure bonds. Substantial increase in limit for duty free gold import Impact: The finance minister raised the duty free limit of bringing gold into the country to Rs 50,000 for a male passenger and Rs 100,000 for a female passenger. The earlier limits were Rs 10,000 and Rs 20,000 respectively.
United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) later this month. He has also demanded for an international probe to be initiated against the Lankan government on charges of war crimes. Vaiko is joined by other political parties in Tamil Nadu. Meanwhile, India’s external minister Salman Khurshid had said in Rajya Sabha that while the government shared the concern of the parties from Tamil Nadu, India would not intervene directly in Sri Lanka's sovereign affairs. The minister had said that "accountability must come from within Sri Lanka", but remained evasive on the position New Delhi will take at the UN on a resolution against Colombo.
Police brutality on woman: Punjab CM orders probe Taking serious view of the alleged thrashing of a girl by policemen in Punjab's Tarn Taran district, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal ordered a magisterial probe into the incident. The chief minister has directed the Tarn Taran district magistrate to ascertain the causes and circumstances which led to this incident and submit the inquiry report within three weeks, an official spokesman said. The 22-year-old girl and her father were allegedly thrashed by policemen when they sought action against some persons who teased the girl and passed vulgar comments in full public view. Badal termed the incident as an unpardonable offence and said any one connected with this grave crime, howsoever influential he may be, would not be spared and brought to book as per the law of the land. Meanwhile, the victim talking to reporters at Tarn Taran demanded the dismissal of the two cops, who thrashed her in full public view. "Stringent punishment must be meted out to the cops," she added. Punjab Police had last evening placed both cops Davinder Singh and Saraj Singh under suspension and marked a departmental inquiry against them. The girl in her complaint alleged that last night, while she along with her father was coming home after attending a marriage function a truck driver and his accomplices started to tease her besides passing vulgar comments. When she and her father approached the nearby police picket, both were beaten up by the policemen on duty, who allegedly let off the accused after accepting bribe, the girl alleged in her complaint. However, SP Kanwaljit Singh Dhillon had said that father of the girl, Kashmir Singh was drunk and creating "nuisance" at a marriage function at Gobindwal road last night.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 9th March 2013
Former vice chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband, Ghulam Muhammad Vastanvi said on Sunday that Muslims should not have any problem if people of the country elect Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as Prime Minister. “If our country makes him prime minister, there is no reason for us to have any objection (Agar apna mulk unko PM banata hai to hamari taraf se koi inkaar to ho hi nahi sakta),” Vastanvi told reporters in Ahmedabad when he was asked him about his views about Modi as prime ministerial candidate.
Ghulam Muhammad Vastanvi
He was Ahmedabad to attend a mass marriage function organized by the Gujarat Sarvajanik Welfare Trust where 162 Muslim couples tied the knot today. When asked about his take on the plight of minorities particularly Muslims in
Gujarat, he said, “For the past 10 years, there is BJP rule in the state. If the BJP government works for Muslims, then Muslims will support it and if it does not, then they will move away.” He added, “As Mulayamji had opined recently, if the BJP changes the agenda, changes its ideology and adopts a secular approach towards every section of society, then I don’t see why people won’t support it,” he said at the function which was also attended by Dariyapur’s Congress MLA Gyasuddin Shaikh and local councillor Badarudding Shaikh. Shaikh later told PTI,
“Vastanviji has not expressed his support for Modi as a section of the media projected. He merely said that if our country chooses Narendra Modi as next Prime Minister, then there is no reason Muslims would have objection to it.” In early 2011, Vastanvi was the centre of a controversy when, as newly elected vice chancellor of the Darul Uloom Deoband seminary, his comments regarding development’s positive impact on Gujarat’s Muslims were interpreted in some quarters as praise for Modi. On July 24, 2011 he was asked to step down from the post of Vice Chancellor.
Petition in support of Direct Flight between UK and Gujarat, organised by AV, GS and NCGO (UK) If you want a direct flight from London to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad; if you have a desire to get a permanent, easy connection with people of Gujarat, do sign and get others to sign this petition and send it to “Asian Voice” or “Gujarat Samachar” office by post or fax it to our office (Fax no: 020 7749 4081), at the earliest. THE CAMPAIGN to facilitate direct flights between London Heathrow and Sardar Vallabhbhai International Airport Ahmedabad, Gujarat has generated much interest amongst Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar readers and the entire community. All those wishing to add their names to the list of petitioners, which includes several prominent politicians, business people and community members are requested to complete the tear-off the form and send it to the offices of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar,
12 Hoxton Market, London N1 6HW. We will forward all petitions to the Honourable Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Narendra Modi. Who is renowned to be in the forefront of serving Gujarati people. Please note: If you wish to register more than 10 names on your petition, then simply photocopy the tearoff form and add the extra names. All petitions must clearly state your full names, postal address and must be signed and dated.
REGISTER YOUR SUPPORT WE THE undersigned hereby support the direct Air India flights between London and Ahmedabad for the following reasons : l There are more Gujaratis living and travelling abroad than any other Indian community, and this figure is increasing. l About 40% of Air India passenger to the UK are Gujarati. Indeed on some flights, close to 80% to 90% are Gujarati. l India is the 2nd largest investor into United Kingdom, according to British Government figures. Many of these Indian companies are either owned, controlled, or significantly staffed by Gujaratis. l The UK is the Second Largest investor in India, and the largest cumulative investor in Gujarat. l Nearly 50% of all visas issued by British High
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Commission in India are to Gujaratis. l Currently, air passengers travelling between the UK and Gujarat are required to change planes either at Mumbai or Delhi. This inevitably leads to considerable inconvenience, delay and expense – particularly for families with young children, pregnent women, the elderly, and the increasing number of business travellers. l We believe that the introduction of direct flights will not only be of benefit to the Gujarati diaspora, but also prove commercially successfully for Air India.
Form also available online at www.abplgroup.com to download and Fax on 020 7749 4081 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
aha Shivaratri is celebrated with great devotion and religious fervor by Hindus, in honor of Lord Shiva, one of the Hindu Gods forming the Trinity. The festival falls on the moonless, 14th night of the new moon in the Hindu month of Phalgun (in the month of February/March, according to English Calendar). In year of 2013, Maha Shivratri falls on 10th March. On the festival of Maha Shivaratri, devotees observe day and night fast and worship Shiva Lingam, to appease Lord Shiva. Many interesting legends have been related to the festival of Maha Shivaratri, explaining the reason behind its celebrations as well as its significance. According to one of the most popular legends, Shivaratri is the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Parvati. It is also believed that Lord Shiva performed ‘Tandava', the dance of the primal creation, preservation and destruction on this auspicious night of Shivaratri. According to another popular legend, described in Linga Purana, it was on Shivaratri that Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of a Linga for the first time. Since then, the day is considered to be extremely auspicious by the devotees of Shiva and they celebrate it as Maha Shivaratri - the grand night of Shiva. Shiva devotees observe strict fast on this day, with many people having only fruits and milk and some not even consuming a drop of water. Worshippers dutifully follow all the traditions and
customs related to Shivaratri festival, as they strongly believe that sincere worship of Lord Shiva, on the auspicious day, releases a person of his sins and also liberates him from the cycle of birth and death. As Shiva is regarded as the ideal husband, unmarried women pray for a husband like Him, on Shivaratri. On the other hand, married women pray for the well being of their husbands, on this auspicious day. On Maha Shivratri, devotees wake up early in the morning and take a bath, if possible in river Ganga. After wearing fresh clothes, they visit the nearest Shiva temple, to give ritual bath to the Shiva Lingum (with milk, honey, water etc). The worship continues the whole day and whole night. Jaagran (nightlong vigil) might also be observed in Lord Shiva temples, where a large number of devotees sing hymns and devotional songs, in praise of Lord Shiva. In the morning,g devotees break their fast by partaking the prasad offered to Lord Shiva, after the aarti, the night before. Significant for Women: Shivratri is considered especially auspicious for women. Married women pray for the well being of their husbands and sons, while unmarried women pray for an ideal husband like Shiva, who is the spouse of Kali, Parvati and Durga. But generally it is believed that anyone who utters the name of Shiva during Shivratri with pure devotion is freed from all sins. He or she reaches the abode of Shiva and is liberated from the cycle of birth and death.
www.abplgroup.com - asian Voice 9th March 2013
In Focus Kolkata fire: toll rises to 20; 4 people charged At least 20 people were killed when a fire engulfed a multi-storey market complex. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hinted at sabotage as a possible cause. A dozen people were also critically injured in the fire that broke out at about 4 a.m. in Sealdah in central Kolkata when many victims were asleep. Even as 26 fire tenders battled the leaping flames and firemen scrambled to rescue people, many were feared trapped inside the market that houses shops and paper godowns.
Shinde’s goof-up; names rape victims
The names of the three minor girls who were raped and murdered in Maharashtra's Bhandara district had to be expunged after Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde identified them in the Rajya Sabha, attracting the ire of the opposition BJP. Shinde named all the rape victims, which according to thelaw is prohibited.The matter was raised by Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, who said he shouldn't have named Bhandara rape victims.
Indians among top 4 sources for business studies in US
Business-related programmes are the most popular single field of study among international students in the US with China, India, South Korea and Saudi Arabia being the top four source countries, according to a new study. However, among Indian and Saudi students business ranks third behind engineering and math, and engineering and English respectively, while it is the single-most popular field among Chinese and Korean students, according to World Education Services (WES).
Parliamentary panel says no to lowering age of minor
A parliamentary standing committee has decided against lowing the age of juveniles below 18 years of age. "We are not changing the age of juvenile as defined in the juvenile justice act, as it may hurt the larger interests of children in the country. All those under 18 years of age are juvenile," Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath told the Rajya Sabha. A 17-and-a-half-year-old juvenile is among the six accused in the Dec Nirbhaya’s gang-rape.
Pranab Mukherjee to receive top award in Bangladesh
President Pranab Mukherjee will be honoured by Bangaldesh government in recognition of his contribution to the struggle that led to the birth of this nation 42 years ago. The 'Bangladesh Liberation War Honour Award' is being conferred on 77-year-old Mukherjee at a time when the trial of the Islamists for the crimes they committed during the liberation war of the nation in 1971 triggered a mass uprising against religious fundamentalism.
Scottish woman drowns off Goa beach
A Scottish woman drowned while an Israeli tourist was rescued from drowning in two separate incidents in Goa a spokesperson for a private lifeguard service provider said. Sixty-nine-year-old Scottish tourist Marian Joys drowned while swimming in a no-swim zone off the Benaulim beach in south Goa. And in next mishap, Israeli tourist Abdulla Mohazin (22) was rescued from drowning in a water pool at the base of Goa's highest waterfall Dudhsagar.
India, US to ink accord for aviation security
India and the US will soon sign an information sharing agreement to strengthen aviation security in both the countries, a senior Civil Aviation Ministry official had said. "The draft is ready and once it is approved by the Indian authorities and the Cabinet, the governments of India and the US would sign the secret security information sharing agreement," said Anil Srivastava, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
A day after BJP workers virtually anointed him the party's prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi said he would challenge Congress on the issue of governance and development and called Atal Behari Vajpayee as his role model. Making what sounded like an “acceptance speech”, Modi focused on the issues of good governance, growth and development to the complete exclusion of Hindutva themes which he symbolizes in popular imagination while also exhorting party workers to prepare for the 2014 battle. But Modi pulled no punches when he attacked Congress, calling it a party which was addicted to taking commissions and which was gnawing at the country's vitals like a termite. He was scathing on the Gandhi family. He likened Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to a “night watchman” who was keeping the seat warm for a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family. The stress on secular issues looked even more conspicuous because of the praise Modi lavished on former PM Vajpayee. He referred to Vajpayee at least five times in his speech, saying the former PM, known for his moderation, was the best representative of BJP. Significantly, Vajpayee’s advice to Modi to follow “raj dharma” after the 2002 communal violence had been widely interpreted as a reproach to the CM. The
thrust of the speech, which was applauded by the 5,000 party members at the Talkatora indoor stadium in New Delhi, is significant because of the wariness of other non-Congress parties, including BJP's alliance partner JD (U), over supporting Modi because of his “communal” image. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar as well as other anti-Congress players like CMs of West Bengal and Odisha, Navin Patnaik and Mamata Banerjee, and Telugu Desam Party which supported Vajpayee, fear that associating with Modi might cost them the support of Muslims. Cong destroying country: Modi: Modi strengthened the impression that he was trying to live down his persona of a Hindutva hardliner by saying that he had turned the debate on Gujarat into one about the state’s growth under his chief ministership. In case he was serious about an image makeover, the Gujarat CM must have been encouraged by the response of the audience who filled the indoor stadium to the rafters. While his pull among the ranks have been widely ascribed to
his image as a hardliner, the crowd seemed indulgent as Modi tried the manoeuvre aimed at reaching out to the constituency beyond the faithful. In fact, the hour-long speech appeared to have a spell-binding effect on party members: possibly an indication that he has the headroom to smoothen what Nitish Kumar once called without mentioning any name, the “rough edges” of his personality. Accusing Congress of sacrificing the nation’s interest for the sake of the Gandhi family, Modi said that instead of choosing a “capable person like Pranab Mukherjee”,
Congress “decided on Manmohan Singh as PM as a night watchman”, just as the party had done by appointing Sitaram Kesari as the only non-family party chief and later threw him out when a family member was ready for the job. “The Congress tradition has been to sacrifice the nation’s interest for the sake of one family,” he said. “Congress is destroying this country like termites. It is very difficult to deal with termites - you finish them in one place and they rise in another. The only medicine for this ailment is sweat of the BJP worker. Only this sweat can free this nation from the termite that is the Congress,” Modi said to thundering applause. Attacking the Congress for scams like the VVIP helicopter deal and 2G spectrum, Modi said, “The time has come to draw a comparison between the Congress and the BJP. While BJP is for a mission, Congress is for commission. The contest will be between mission and commission.” ‘Modi for PM’ cry in BJP grows louder, pressure on leadership: Earlier, Modi stole the show at BJP’s national council meeting without uttering a word. Even as the BJP leadership debates whether or not to declare Modi as the party’s candidate for prime minister in the coming election, party delegates, cutting across regions, made plain their choice unambiguously on Saturday.
Indian American Professors block Modi’s Wharton talk Continued from page 1 All businessmen, be it Tata, Ambani or global business leaders, are coming to Gujarat," Prabhu said. Even Adani Group said its chairman Gautam Adani has pulled out of Wharton India Economic Forum. In a statement e-mailed to media, the student organizing body said it was “extremely impressed with Modi’s credentials, governance, ideologies and leadership which was the primary reason for invitation. We do not endorse any political view and do not support any specific ideology. Our goal as a team is only to stimulate valuable dialogue on India’s growth story,” the statement said, adding, rather contradictorily, “Even as we stand by our decision to invite him, we believe that this court of action (of canceling the keynote) would be most appropriate in light of the reactions of multiple stakeholders involved.” The organising committee of the prestigious annual event apologized for putting the university and the Wharton School administration in a "difficult position". It said Modi's address would be
replaced by a prominent Indian leader, whose name would be released very soon. But standing by its decision to invite Modi for the event, the organising committee hoped to invite him later some time without causing such a distraction as it has done now. A group of Wharton's professors and students had written a strongly-worded letter saying they are outraged to learn that the Forum has invited Modi as a keynote speaker. The letter noted, "This is the same politician who was refused a diplomatic visa by the United States State Department on March 18, 2005 on the ground that he, as Chief Minister, did nothing to prevent a series of orchestrated riots that targeted Muslims in Gujarat." The man at the centre of the agitation resulting in Wharton Business School canceling the keynote address by Modi has a long record of liberal activism and believes the decision by the alumni enhances the prestige of both the students and the university. Dr Toorjo Ghose, who kick started the online petition last week to scupper
Modi’s scheduled address is an assistant professor at University of Pennsylvania’s Social Policy school whose work focuses on structural interventions in the area of substance abuse, homelessness and HIV, both at the domestic and international levels. He was joined by Ania Loomba, the Catherine Bryson Professor of English, who has worked on left-wing female activism in India, and Suvir Kaul, the A M Rosenthal Professor of English, who has edited a collection of essays on Partition. Ghose has worked on the Gates Foundation-funded Parivartan HIV intervention project with sex workers in India, and is currently collaborating with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India on an HIV risk reduction intervention study with substance users. But amid his academic work, Ghose is a relentless campaigner for social justice and human rights. He finds the idea of even Skype address by Modi offensive. “We don’t want to give Modi any platform,” he said in a phone interview on Monday when asked if he and allied activists could have
questioned the Gujarat Chief Minister publicly about issues that agitated them. “Even a country as indiscriminating as US has revoked his visa, so are not in favor of offering him a forum to establish his credentials.” Interestingly, one of WIEF’s speakers in previous years who did not attract the attention of Ghose and his associates was BJP MP Varun Gandhi, who was accused of hate speech and more recently acquitted of the charges. Ghose said the petition against Modi’s address that he started last week had gathered some 250 signatures from a range of international academics and students, and it had a salutary effect on the Wharton alumni. Their “courageous” decision would enhance their prestige, he added. However, the petition was not signed by any faculty of Wharton Bschool, which is part of the University of Pennsylania (UPenn) Meanwhile, Modi is scheduled to address the Indian diaspora in the states of Edison, New Jersey, Chicago, Illinois, of USA through a video conference facility.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 9th March 2013
JPC to probe chopper deal A Joint Parliamentary Committee will probe the controversial chopper deal, with the government today asserting that there will be "no cover up" as it was determined to go to the root of the scam and give maximum punishment to the guilty. The setting up of the 30-member JPC was decided through a government motion passed by the Rajya Sabha after a walkout by members of most of Opposition parties like BJP, JD(U), Trinamool Congress, CPI and AGP. Moving the motion, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said the JPC would submit its report within three months of its first sitting and rejected the Opposition contention that the decision would amount to putting the issue on the backburner. He attacked the Opposition for walking out, saying they were "running away". Earlier, the House saw a debate during which the opposition accused the government of inaction for over a year into the Rs 3,600 crore deal for 12 helicopters with AgustaWestland which has got into a controversy after allegations that kickbacks to the tune of Rs 362 crore were paid to bag it. Replying to the debate, Defence Minister A K Antony asserted that there would be no "cover up" and the government was determined to go to the "root of the scam". Insisting that there was no inaction on his part, he said he ordered the CBI probe as soon as reports came about the arrest of Giuseppe Orsi, CEO of AgustaWestland's parent company Finmeccanica in Italy. Noting that CBI has filed a Preliminary Enquiry and named 11 individuals, including former Air Chief S P Tyagi, Antony expressed confidence that the probe by the agency along with the one in Italy will bring out the truth.
Kejriwal to begin indefinite fast from March 23 Aam Admi Party founder Arvind Kejriwal announced to sit on an indefinite fast later this month as part of his ongoing "civil disobedience movement" over rising electricity and water prices in Delhi. "I will sit on an indefinite fast from March 23. I appeal to the people not to pay their electricity bills from March 23 onwards. I will not pay my electricity bill either," Alleging "match fixing" between Delhi government, private discoms and Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), he said.
After the thaw, relations between the UK and Narendra Modi’s Gujarat are all set to get warmer. One of UK’s biggest industry associations, led by UK member of Parliament Ian Swales, will visit the state next month. Later in April, a delegation of British MPs is likely to visit Gujarat. Swales is bringing a 20-member delegation of
the North East of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC), which will visit Vapi and Dahej on March 4 and 5. They will explore trade and investment opportunities with companies here to source active pharmaceutical ingredients, besides specialty chemicals from the state. The NEPIC cluster represents 560 industrial units. It accounts for 60%
of UK’s petrochemicals output, and around 35% of the pharmaceutical production. Goods worth 11 billion pounds are exported from the cluster annually. After cold-shouldering Modi for more than a decade over the 2002 postGodhra riots, the UK government has only recently started engaging with the chief minister at the diplo-
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www.abplgroup.com - asian voice 9th march 2013
Purvi Apurva Shah
t is the gateway to one of the most ancient forest covers of Odisha which Ishelters the elephants, tigers and numer-
ous species of birds and beasts. The broad plains of the river Bramhani were the dwelling place of early homo-sapiens who lived on the berries and wild fruits before the advent of rice on these heavily watered expanses. The surrounding Sal forests come ablaze with the changing seasons making this district headquarters town focal point of trips to beautiful interiors. On the eastern coast of Odisha, about 1,600 km from the country's capital, Dhenkanal is a pretty hill station where the locals love to cool their heels off in the torrid summer months. Dhenkanal archaeological remains: Kapilas, the serene hill of epic fame, houses the hilltop shrine of Lord Chandra Sekhar Shiva with a cluster of other temples and a mediaeval fort. The foothill is perched with a Deer Park, a Science Park and a Panthasala- 26 km from Dhenkanal. Tikarapara, on the deep Satkosia Gorge of river Mahanadi, has a Gharial Sanctuary-120 km from Dhenkanal and 58 km from Anqul. The dense forest filled with colourful wildlife is a thrill to the searching eyes. Only 90 km from Angul, Deulajhari has come to limelight for the presence of a hot spring.
Mythological sites: Dhenkanal is home to a variety of temples dedicated to Hindu deities with Lord Shiva reigning supreme in worship rituals. At 2,239 feet from sea-level, situated at the north east corner of Dhenkanal, the Kapilash temple with its Kalinga style of architecture leaves you spellbound. Believed to be the second 'Kailash', you need to climb a fleet of 1,352 stairs to get to the temple. During monsoon, the place is truly a visual treat as the surrounding jungles turn a shade of sapling green with peacocks dancing in them with gay abandon. About 11 km from Dhenkanal, Saptasajya, is one of the prominent mythological destinations in a city known as the 'capital' of temples. Mythology has it that the Pandavas of the Mahabharata during their 12-year exile spent days in disguise exploring the hills of Saptasajya. As a derivative of 'Saptasajya', this land of seven hills was also shelter to Sri Ram during his period of exile or 'vanavasa.' Sanctuaries and parks: If you wish to be welcomed by the cooing of birds, ticking of woodpeckers, silent yawns of alligators, grunts of elephants and occasional roars of tigers, then Satkosia Gorge is the place to be in. A boat ride in the turbulent Mahanadi River with a cluster of ghariyals on the periphery will bring about a sense of adventure to your otherwise quiet holiday in Dhenkanal.
Handicrafts village: Patta chitra, stone carving, puppets and masks, silver filigree, metal work and sand art are some of the signature art forms that mark Odiya's art scene. Pipli village and Raghurajpur, both of which are a few hours drive from Dhenkanal, are culturally steeped and a great place to pick up knickknacks for home decoration. Skilled artisans make paintings engraved with images of Lord Krishna in fine folk texture in shades of red ochre, lamp black, indigo, yellow and white. Life-size lampshades, embroidered garments, handbags, wall hangings, canopies constitute the elaborate flee market of Pipli village.
Fairs and festivals: When it's the festive time of the year, people get together to dance, sing and make merry. The Gaja Laxmi Puja is one of the longest-running festivals of cultural Odisha that goes on for good 11 days. The 'Pallishree Mela' is the highpoint of the puja. The wide expanse of the fair that houses innumerable stalls ranging from food, joy rides and handiwork leave you wanting more. Add to it the decorative lights that come on at night turning Dhenkanal into an illuminated wonderland. Bali Jatra: Commemorating Orissa trade and maritime history, the magnitude of this weeklong held annual fair is something to experience. Bali Jatra gives a platform to traders, businessmen and marketers to exchange in financial enterprise for the welfare of the rural populace. People from across the country participate in this event making it a memorable recreational affair. It is believed that nearly 1,000 stalls are dedicated only to golgappas, locally called 'gupchup', apart from other food counters. Celebrated in December, Bali Jatra is a befitting culmination to the agricultural year with a promise of a favourable harvest to the farmers in the following years.
Weather: The overall climate is hot, with humidity reaching a peak in April and May. Winters are short and hit the town between December and early January. Sporadic breakout of monsoon keeps the weather breezy and comfortably cool through the year. If you take to exploring new getaways and appreciate absolute seclusion amid pristine scenery, Dhenkanal could be your calling. How to get there: Ideally located on the National Highway No. 42, Dhenkanal has direct road connections to major towns of the State. Hundred km from Bhubaneswar, the state capital, it is a railhead on the S.E. Railway.
By AV Correspondent he Shamlaji Temple is a famous and highly T respected temple standing
on the bank of the river Meshwo, in veneration of Lord Vishnu. A number of devotees gather during the month of November to be a part of this great cultural spectacle called Shamlaji Fair that lasts for about three weeks. Devotees come on foot, on camel and other means singing and dancing to participate in this fair. Many people are seen carrying flags, banners with their sacred symbols on them. During the Fair one of the main attractions of the devotees lies in taking sacred bathe in the river Meshwo, on the banks of which Shamlaji Temple is situated. They also offer prayers to the deity. Around 200,000 tourists attend the fair, especially from Gujarat and Rajasthan. The Fair is extremely significant for the Bhils community among the Adivasis, as they are faithfully dedicated to Lord Shamlaji who they lovingly refer to as Kaliyo Dev (Dark Divinity). The Shamlaji Fair also Peanut Chaat is a combination of peanuts, tomatoes, cucumbers and spices. It is a delicious and satisfying snack-not to mention healthy and low-fat! It is easy to make. It can be served as an appetizer or anytime spicy snack. Ingredients: 1/2 cup raw peanuts 1/2+1/2 teaspoon salt adjust to taste 1/8 teaspoon turmeric (haldi) 3/4 cup tomatoes seeded cut in small cubes 3/4 cup cucumber cut in small cubes 1 tablespoon ginger finally chopped 1 green chili finally chopped adjust to taste 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin seed powder (bhuna jeera) 1/8 teaspoon red chili powder 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 1/4 teaspoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon mango powder (amchoor) 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Method: In a sauce pan add peanuts with 2
becomes an extremely important destination for the trading community as people engage in buying silver ornaments, metal ware, cloth and garments, along with many other annual household items. There are three legends behind the creation of this temple. One story goes as Lord Brahma once went on a journey to find out the best tirtha (sacred site) on the earth. After seeing and visiting a number of places, he came to Shamlaji, which he liked the most and performed penance there for a thousand years. Lord Shiva, pleased with him, asked him to perform a yajna (ritual). At the beginning of the yajna, Lord Vishnu manifested himself in the form of Shamlaji, and was enshrined at this place. According to the Second story Vishwakarma, the architect of the Gods, constructed this temple in one night, but as it was morning by the time he completed it, he could not take it with him and had to return leaving it here. Another legend has it, that an Adivasi found the idol of Lord Shamlaji while ploughing his land. He wor-
shiped it by lighting a lamp everyday and was blessed for his faith by having an abundant yield in his farm. Hearing about this, a Vaishnava merchant built the temple and installed the idol therein, which was later beautified by the Idar rulers. The temple of Shamlaji is situated on the bank of river Meshwo and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Sakshi Gopal or Gadadhar is a black representation of Lord Vishnu, worshiped in this shrine. The river Meshwo is seen splashing water and waving through the valley just below the temple. During the fair and otherwise the waters of the river Meshwo is considered very holy as number of devotees take a dip whenever they come here. The shrine of Shamlaji is believed to be about 500 years old and is beautifully crafted. The complete temple is a two stories building that has episodes and teachings of Mahabharata engraved on the outer walls. According to the Hindu calendar, the temple fair falls in the month of Kartik. Kartik Purnima (Full moon night) is the most important day for the fair.
cups of water turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook over medium high heat for about 25 minutes until peanuts are soft. Drain the water and let it cool to room temperature. Mix ginger, chili, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cumin seed powder, red chili powder, black pepper, sugar, mango powder and lemon juice together. Mix the peanuts with tomatoes and cucumbers, add the spice mix and toss. Peanut Chaat is ready to serve. Health benefits: Peanuts are rich in energy.
They are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. 100 g of peanuts provide about 85% of RDI of niacin, which contribute to brain health and blood flow to brain.
www.abplgroup.com - asian Voice 9th March 2013
Why drinking is bad for your weight loss regime If you want to lose weight, you have to skip the booze. There are no two ways about it. One pint of beer contains as many calories as three chocolate biscuits while two glasses of wine equals one glazed doughnut. The World Cancer Research Fund says forgetting the calories in booze is one of the top reasons for diet failure and cutting down on drinks could help people lose weight. Being overweight, the report claims is the biggest cancer risk factor after smoking and even one pint of beer a day can increase person’s risk of liver and bowel cancer. Along with being having no nutritional value, alcoholic beverages tend to lower your inhibitions making you eat more and unhealthier than you intend to. Cutting down on drinking can have a big effect on weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight. It is digested differently: When we drink, the body sees alcohol as a toxic substance and attempts to get rid of it. It converts the alcohol into alcohol dehydrogenase which eventually changes to aldehydes. All these substances are toxic to the body. The body then tries to get rid of these compounds up by burning them as fuel for the body’s activities. This means your body will significantly reduce fat-burning to about 75% of its normal capacity after just one and a half drinks. It will also stop using carbs as energy which is why after a few drinks your body tends to accumulate more weight.
To Our Readers We are publishing these items in good faith, kindly consult your Doctor before you try to implement it. We do not hold any responsibility for its efficacy...
For people who loved Deepika in her avatar as the sexy Veronica in ‘Cocktail’, we bring you her fitness secrets. There are very few actresses who look as fit as Deepika Padukone. She has a sportsperson’s physique. Not very surprising considering her dad is Prakash Padukone, the r e n o w n e d Badminton player. He’s trained her to be a national level badminton player in her teens. She confesses she used to exercise like a maniac back then – forty minute runs in the morning, weight training, and 3-4 hours of badminton in the evening. This regime turned out to be too strenuous and she took a break from it. But now, fitness has become a way of life for her. For starters, the actress never takes lifts preferring to walk. She says simple things like taking a brisk 20 minute
walk and sticking to healthy food can be enough to stay fit. There is no need to push yourself too hard. When on shoots, if Deepika can’t find a gym, she burns off her calories by swimming or dancing in her room. Like other Bollywood actresses Kareena and Rani, Deepika too discovered Yoga a few years earlier and claims it completely rejuvenated her lifestyle. These days her trainer Yasmin Karachiwala has added Pilates to her regular gymming schedule. Pilates is helping her target areas that traditional exercise can’t. It is also helping her build the body’s core strength and flexibility. The actress also vehemently opposes crash diets and never starves herself. She eats in moderation and even indulges in a small piece of dark chocolate every night, so that she doesn’t crave for a full dessert. In this day and age where girls are vying for size zero figures, Deepika’s fitness secrets seem sensible enough to follow. Are you inspired?
Sunlight protects against skin infections Sunlight brings down the risk of developing skin allergies and protects against bacterial infections, a new research has suggested. This has now prompted calls for people to get a regular dose of sunshine. "I am advocating only very small amounts of sunshine. Wanton sunbathing or foolish sunbed use is potentially dangerous and large doses lead to the risk of skin ageing and cancer", the Daily Express quoted Professor John Hawk, who has been studying the benefits of sunlight, as saying. "Large amounts may also be counterproductive to such protective mechanisms. "The rate of skin cancer is still increasing rapidly in northern Europe due to too much sun and sunbed exposure. It is important to remember to cover up and use high protection sunscreens in the
midday sun", he said. Studies conducted earlier found that some Britons are lacking in vitamin D, which is produced by the action of sunlight on the skin and is essential for bone and muscle health. Just five to thirty minutes of sunlight exposure every day is enough to provide most people with the vitamin D they need but long-term daily exposure is thought to increase the risk of skin cancers. "Small amounts of sunlight may protect us against a number of skin conditions, including such allergic reactions as prickly heat, psoriasis, and skin allergies to cosmetics, metals, perfumes and even garden flowers," Professor Hawk said. "There is also some new -evidence suggesting sunlight may boost the immune system to help resist bacterial infections," he added.
Having sons may shorten mother's lifespan: study
10 glasses of water a day cuts flab We have all heard this advice innumerable times. Drink eight to 10 glass of water a day. Experts say that if you are overweight or tend to get most of your calories from processed and salty food, eight to 10 glass of water could actually help you reduce your weight. Water could lower your BMI. If you drink eight to 10 glass of water everyday you will end up eating less and also drink fewer calorie-laden beverages. Drinking about 500 ml of water before meal can cut the calories and help in losing weight and as a result lower body mass index (BMI). Water helps in burning fat. You can burn about 50 per cent
more fat after drinking water compared with a higher calorie beverage. Water helps you play your sports better. Sweating away just two per cent of your body's water content affects the performance of a sportsperson to a great extent. Drinking enough water can improve your game and save you from the risk of dehydration. Water can fight hangovers. Being adequately hydrated is the best way not to feel lousy and grouchy after a late night party. Drink a couple of glasses of water hours before the event. Even when you are flying a long distance flight, staying hydrated helps you fight hangover.
Giving birth to sons is more stressful for mothers and can even shorten their live spans, a new Finnish study has claimed. Researchers studied demographic data from pre-industrial Finland to show that irrespective of access to resources, mothers but not fathers with many sons suffered from reduced survival. However, this association reduced as mothers got older. Information on a total of 11,166 women and 6,360 men born between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries was studied. The more sons a woman had, the more likely she was to live a shorter time after last giving birth. The study found that the effect held whether women were rich or poor, The Telegraph reported. "Our results provide
evidence that Finnish mothers traded long postreproductive lifespan for giving birth to many sons," Dr Samuli Helle, of the University of Turku, said. Previous research has suggested that bearing sons is especially costly for the mother because they are, on average, born heavier and place more physical stresses on the body. Having sons can also raise levels of testosterone in their mothers, which can age the immune system, making it less able to defend the body. "Women's post reproductive survival declined with the number of sons they gave birth to. This association did not depend on their socio-economic status but was age dependent. That is, the survival costs of the number of sons born decreased linearly as women aged," Helle said.
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The number of daughters born was not connected to women's lifespan and, in men, neither the number of sons nor daughters born were related to their survival, irrespective of their socioeconomic status, according to the study. "Our results show producing sons shortened the post reproductive lifespan of Finnish women and this association detoriated as mothers aged. This supports our hypothesis that production of sons is more energetically costly than the production of daughters," Helle was quoted as saying by the paper. "The reduction of reproductive costs with age may be due to the potential beneficial social influences of surviving sons, as the number of adult sons was unrelated to post-reproductive lifespan in these women," Helle said.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 9th March 2013
Asians urged organs to save to donate their the community Continued from page 7 The average cost of dialysis is as high as £30,800 per patient per year with nearly 21,000 people requiring this treatment. By contrast, the NHS says: “Kidney transplantation leads to a cost benefit in the second and subsequent years of £25,800 per annum.” The conversations with Arvind, Bharti, Tilley and Gurch hammered home the vital need to communicate with each other to give the issue more prominence and dispel any misconceptions. The serious lack of donors has received widespread coverage with ITV running an awarenessraising campaign on the issue. Before Valentine's day ITV aired a special programme on organ dona-
tion, prompting a record 48,000 people to apply online to join the register, with nearly 147,000 throughout the week. Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We could not have foreseen the unprecedented numbers of people who responded to the call to join the Organ Donor Register. “So to each and every person who is now on the Register and crucially, has told their family, thank you.” As for Arvind, a new kidney means a new lease of life. “When I was on dialysis I couldn't do what I wanted to, now I'm more free,” he says glowingly. For more information v i s i t : http://www.voist.co.uk/in exchangeproject
Peers demand ban.... Continued from page 2 project which promised to work with local communities to tackle caste prejudice and discrimination has been unveiled by the Government. The initiative follows work within Government to identify the most appropriate and effective way of tackling caste-related problems. The Government Equalities Office and the Department for Communities for Local Government have appointed Talk For A Change to work with all interested organisations to find practical solutions to the problems that castebased prejudice can cause. The programme will generate educational material for employers, schools,
colleges and community groups to raise awareness of, and help tackle, the problem. Talk For A Change has extensive experience of working with local groups to address tough issues, helping to build positive relationships and resilient communities. Minister for Women and Equalities Helen Grant, said: “Absolutely no-one should suffer prejudice because of caste. That is why I am very pleased to announce that we have appointed Talk For A Change to engage with Hindu and Sikh communities, and to run an educational programme to help tackle this problem. They have extensive experience of working with local communities to tackle difficult issues.”
Net migration falls by a third Continued from page 2 However, Mark Harper, the Immigration Minister, said: “...Sponsored student visa applications for our world-class university sector are up and the numbers of skilled people being sponsored by UK employers in sectors such as IT and science have also increased.” Sponsored visa appli-
cations rose 3% in the university sector, but fell 62%, 69% and 14% for further education, English language schools and independent schools respectively. Some 117,000 immigrants from New Commonwealth countries arrived in the UK in the year to June, down 30% or 51,000 from 168,000 in the previous year.
Coming Events l Asian Voice Youth conference, 23 March at Brunei gallery, SOAS, University of London, 11am4pm. To book your/your friends' place now, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by 17 March 2013. Limited seats available. l Maha Shivratri puja -Leicestershire Brahma Samaj, Saturday 9th March 2013, 7:30-10pm. Our Lady's Parish Church Hall, Rushey Mead, LE4 7ZB. Vasanti Pandya on 0116 – 2680012 -Redbridge Asian Mandal (RAM), prayers and dinner, Tuesday, 12 March, 12 to 3 pm, Ilford Sports Club, IG1 1UE. Contact Odhavjibhai Magudia on 0208 590 9834. l Tirath Yatra on 23rd March 2013, visit to all the Mandirs in Leicester. To register email email@example.com or call 07801 241296 l Fundraiser in aid of Shree Laxmi Narayan Temple, Tyseley: dinner and dance, Saturday 16 March. Live music and a three-course meal, held at Second City Suite (B5 6LT). Contact Mukeshbhai Ladwa on 07976 178800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org l Hollywood movie Coin Toss, will be screened by Maharashtra Mandal London, Dollis Hill Lane on 9th March 2013. It has won the 11th Route 66 International Film Festival’s Audience Favourite Debut Film Award in Springfield, USA recently. More details: www.mmlondon.co.uk l NCGO celebrates International Women's Day. Women only conference, 8 March, 7pm-10pm at Jalaram Jyot, Reton Acenue, Wembley. Entry free. Contact: Anita Ruparelia 07981813370 l Mother's Day, Monday 11 March, 10:30am-3:30pm. Kadwa Patidar Centre. Kenton HA3 8LU. Contact: 020 8424 9974
You will continue to be in a restless mood for some time to come. This makes you impatient with restrictions and even more determined to cut your own path. Do not get over-anxious if everything seems to be in slow motion - it is time to pull a few strings. You are likely to experience some tension in close relationships.
ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20
TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 With Venus and Sun embracing your 11th sign, this should be a good time for love and friendships. Unfortunately, Mercury remains retrograde for a while. Be patient with your loved ones as your communications could be misconstrued. Saturn in your opposite sign is also retrograde and will further add to your frustration. A great deal will depend on how you organise your priorities this week. This does not mean that you will have to compromise your ideals but you may be obliged to realise that sometimes a more flexible approach is needed. Your best line of action this week is to stick doggedly to familiar routines and avoid all distractions where possible.
GEMINI May 22 - June 22
It is essential that you adopt a very open attitude now as new windows on the world are about to open. This is bound to have a maturing effect on you from now into the future. Your communications are well lit up but you have to ensure that you do not upset people around you with your brash approach.
CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22
It would be unwise to take any risks, particularly in regard to joint interests and investments. So be extra careful if you need to deal with complex legal matters and necessary red tape. If love has left you feeling rather dejected or cynical, it looks as though soon events will pull you out of this mood of despondency.
LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23
Relationships are complex in the best of times, but communicative Mercury's retrograde motion can make things even more complicated now. Misunderstandings can plague partnerships or potential romances - be more careful and forgiving. A good time for completing unfinished business and reassessing your future projects.
VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23
LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23
If lately you have had all sorts of demands being placed on you from all sides, don't despair; take some time out to reflect. Try and work out where you want to make changes in your busy life. A tremendous amount of planetary activity in your chart signals a time of mixed emotions as well as personal issues to be dealt with.
SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22
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Mercury remains retrograde in your fifth house of romance for the next few weeks. This is a good time reflect and analyse current situations. Pressure begins to build as there will be a lot of demands in your daily work. Some of you will prefer to get away and seek solitude and avoid social events.
SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21 As Mercury remains retrograde in your fourth house, you need to watch out for extreme changes in peoples attitude and behaviour at home. Strong emotions may spill out with your loved ones, but it is alright to reveal your fears and insecurities sometimes. It's a cosmically testing time, so try not to tread on each other's toes. CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 You need to pay more attention than usual to your schedule while Mercury is retrograde. Meetings, work hours and organised breaks could play havoc, unless you're prepared to re-group on the spur of the moment. Try to be meticulous and read between the lines before you commit yourself. AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 Your attention turns to money and finance this week. You are satisfied with your love life, but now you’ve got to get busy making money. You have much professional territory yet to cover, with four planets in your financial sector, but you need to be careful as Mercury is retrograde and could mess up your communications. PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 Mercury remains retrograde in your sign for some time to come. Normally we expect matters to be dealt with smoothly, but not while the planet Mercury in your sign, is moving backwards. Confusion and frustration reign, so put your plans on hold. Curb your expenditure as you will spend unnecessarily.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 9th March 2013
India's tour of New Zealand next year to be trimmed
England go into their threeTest series against a newlook New Zealand line-up this week as firm favourites, despite slipping to a shock defeat in their final warm-up match. The tourists, second in the Test rankings, are expected to prove too strong for the lowly Black Caps as they gear up for back-to-back Ashes series against Australia, buoyed by a recent series win away to India. The likes of star batsman Kevin Pietersen failed to fire in the three-wicket defeat on Saturday at the hands of a New Zealand XI, England's first loss in a first-class tour game in nearly seven years. But Alastair Cook's men are firm favourites with the bookmakers to come out on top against a Black Caps side destabilised by injury and a recent change of captain in the series starting in Dunedin. New Zealand, ranked eighth in Test cricket, have
not won a series against England since 1999, with their sole series victory on home soil back in 1984. The home side come into the series after a drubbing in South Africa, where they lost both Tests by an innings, and they are still adjusting to the axing of Ross Taylor as captain in favour of Brendon McCullum late last year. New Zealand were competitive in patches as they lost both the one-day and Twenty20 series against England 2-1 but coach Mike
Djokovic claims Dubai title to extend winning streak to 18
Novak Djokovic extended his winning streak to 18 matches to claim a fourth Dubai Championships in five years on Saturday, underlining his status as the world’s best player after beating Tomas Berdych 7-5, 6-3 in the final. The Serb is unbeaten since October, did not drop a set in Dubai and he has now won all 13 matches against top-10 opponents since Andy Murray defeated him in last year’s US Open final. His latest Dubai triumph takes him to 36 singles titles. The 25-year-old won because he took his chances, converting three break points out of four, while Berdych only managed to make one of his five count. Berdych stuns Federer to reach final: Earlier, Berdych saved three match points before beating defending champion Roger Federer 3-6, 7-6 (8), 6-4 to set up final against Djokovic. In a back-and-forth tiebreaker, Berdych led 4-2 before needing to save two match points - the second
with a powerful serve. The Czech player then wasted a set point before Federer failed to convert his third match point. Berdych finally clinched the set with a blistering return. Berdych then broke to go up 3-2 in the third set, only for Federer to save two match points before holding for 5-4. But the sixth-ranked Czech finished it off when Federer hit a crosscourt forehand into the net. "It feels really amazing," Berdych said. "It's really just about one single point that I was able to make better than him. For me, it was a celebration of tennis. I like to play him so much because of what he has achieved."
Hesson has acknowledged Test cricket remains his side's weakest form of the game. "We're a long way off the pace in Test cricket at the moment," he said before the touring England party arrived. We have to acknowledge that and we know we've got a lot of work to do. "We don't have the depth that we have in other forms of the game so we have to make sure we select the right people and show faith in them to grow their game. That doesn't happen overnight."
Debutant Hamish Rutherford and Peter Fulton are expected to open the batting for New Zealand with Martin Guptill injured and Brendon McCullum moving down the order. Taylor will return to the Test arena for the first time since his demotion while Daniel Vettori, Chris Martin and Mitchell McClenaghan join Guptill on the injured list. Paceman Doug Bracewell is also reportedly under an injury cloud after cutting his foot in an offfield incident. England are set to welcome James Anderson and Steven Finn back into the bowling attack after they were rested for the tour match in Queenstown. Coach Andy Flower did not appear perturbed after the loss, describing England's performance as "rusty", and indicating Nick Compton would not be punished for his returns of 21 and one.
Hesh-Llodra duo win doubles title
On a day when their serve shook - India’s Mahesh Bhupathi and France’s Michael Llodra - playing together for the first time, held their nerve to beat the third seeds Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia and Robert Lindstedt of Sweden 7-6 (86), 7-6 (8-6) in 1 hour 41minutes to clinch the Dubai Duty Free ATP World Tour event on Saturday. Bhupathi, playing his 96th final with 52 titles to his name, claimed his fifth crown at Dubai. All of them have now come alongside different partners - Mark Knowles, Fabrice Santoro, Leander Paes, Rohan Bopanna and now Llodra. “It’s like playing at home for me,” Bhupathi said of his Dubai experience, “I’ve got lots of friends and family here, I used to live here many years ago. So it’s always great to comeback. The Indian support is tremendous. The atmosphere is amazing. It’s a full house and we don’t always get to play before that kind of an audience.” Llodra, who came up with some big shots in key
moments, was quick on the button. “Before coming here, I knew that if I have to play doubles it would have to be with an Indian, they have so much support here,” the 32yearold Parisian said. Bhupathi and Llodra took home $1,26,900 and 500 ranking points for their week’s effort. Bhupathi fared poorly in his first service game of the match. A double-fault and two volleying errors saw the IndoFrench pair fall behind 1540. The 38-year-old veteran did well to pull back to deuce, but a Zimonjic forehand sealed the issue in favour of the no.3 seeds. The scratch combine of Bhupathi and Llodra then struck in the ninth game with the Swede serving for the set.
India's full tour of New Zealand early next year could be trimmed to two Tests, two ODIs and two T20 internationals to accommodate the Asia Cup cricket tournament, according to a report. The ICC's Future Tours Programme (FTP) has India scheduled to play three Tests, five ODIs and a single T20 international in February-March, but the BCCI wanted to trim down the tour to host the Asia Cup around that time. According to a website, the new trimmed schedule will have a maximum of 14 days of international cricket against the 21 originally planned in the FTP, though no formal agreement has been reached between the two Boards yet. The report said that Nimbus, the owners of NEO, which has bagged the broadcast rights of the tour, was made aware of a possible change in the original itinerary for the New Zealand tour. The Asia Cup will also be broadcast by NEO. Nimbus announced two days ago that it would broadcast to India all international cricket from New Zealand till 2020.
Nadal lifts Mexican Open crown
A dominant Rafael Nadal dismantled fellow Spaniard David Ferrer 6-0, 6-2 on Saturday to win his second Mexican Open title and continue his successful come back from a long injury layoff. The world No.5 needed just over an hour to dispatch top seed Ferrer and was delighted with his form. “For me, I played almost perfectly,” said Nadal following the match. “My knee responded well all week.” Nadal also confirmed he would play in next week's Indian Wells hard-court tournament, despite speculation he might skip the event to spare his knee. “My heart tells me I should continue competing, that I need to move on to the next tournament,” said Nadal, who pocketed $291,800 in prize money for the win. The former world number one charged out of the blocks and won the first eight games against three-time defending champion Ferrer, who saw his 19-match winning streak at the clay-court event come to an end. “Rafa was just better than me today,” said Ferrer.
ICC World Cup chief organiser passes away
James Strong, the chairman of the Organising Committee of the ICC World Cup 2015 to be held in Australia and New Zealand, has passed away. The 68-year-old Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) passed away on Sunday night. "James possessed a passion and vision for the tournament that set the tone for the entire organisation. The staff of the Organising Committee are profoundly saddened by the death of their chairman," an International Cricket Council (ICC) statement said. "A world-class leader, he was always friendly and approachable, taking the time to get to know the staff and listen to their views." ICC World Cup chief executive John Harnden knew and worked with Strong for almost 20 years. "James has been a friend and a mentor to me over a long period and I will miss his company and advice," said Harnden.
BCCI sitting over proposal to host Asia Cup The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is sitting over a proposal to host the Asia Cup. The Asian Cricket Council (ACC), which organises the biannual tournament, is waiting for the Indian nod to make an announcement. India has not staged the event since 1991. At an ACC meeting in Dubai last month, BCCI president N Srinivasan, who also happens to be the president of the continental body, apparently agreed with the proposal but stopped short of declaring India’s readiness. A source, who attended the
meeting, said the BCCI chief was persuaded to review the proposal by an aide as the tournament will be close on the heels of World Twenty20 and the IPL. The ACC has identified a small window in February-March 2014. The Asia Cup will be followed by World Twenty20 in March and the IPL in April-May. “The ACC executive board will meet next month and we’re hoping to announce the dates and venue then,” Syed Ashraful Huq, ACC’s chief executive officer. “We hope India will agree as it has not hosted the event for
over 20 years,” he pointed out. It is actually India’s turn as the four-nation championship was hosted by the other three countries – Pakistan in 2008, Sri Lanka in 2010 and Bangladesh in 2012. If the BCCI were to say no, the tournament could go to Sri Lanka as Pakistan is out of bounds for international teams and Bangladesh would be preparing to stage the World Twenty20 tournament. Apparently other ACC members like UAE are interested in hosting the championship but the broadcasters are not too excited
about the likelihood of the tournament being held at a neutral country. “Who will be interested to see a match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at a neutral venue,” said source associated with Nimbus which will be telecasting the tournament on Neo Cricket. If the tournament were to come to India, as is expected, then there will be a scramble between the state associations to host the matches, particularly the big one – between India and Pakistan. There will be seven games in the championship. Pakistan are the defending champions.
www.abplgroup.com - Asian Voice 9th March 2013
India move to fourth spot; R Ashwin reaches career best rankings
Spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja produced a mesmerising spell as India crushed a clueless Australia by an innings and 135 runs in less than three and half days to win the second Test and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series on Tuesday. Ashwin grabbed five for 63 while Ravindra Jadeja took three for 33 as Australia displayed surprising lack of fighting spirit to be skittled out for a meagre 131 in 67 overs in their second innings. The match lasted only two hours on the fourth day as it was an abject surrender by the Australian batsmen who had no answer to the questions posed by Ashwin and Jadeja on a turning track at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium. The visitors needed 192 runs to avoid an innings defeat but they lost the final eight wickets in 35 overs with an addition of only 57 runs to their overnight total. When Ashwin dismissed Pattinson to get the final wickets, the 10,000-odd spectators erupted in joy but the celebration from the Indian camp was a muted one as they only engaged in handshakes. Cheteshwar Pujara was deservingly awarded the man-of-the-match award for his double hundred. The teams now have an eight-day break before the third Test in Mohali but the way this series has panned out, there is unlikely to be any change of script in the third Test where the hosts would be aiming to wrap up the series. It's a well-documented fact that Australians can't play spin bowling which was endorsed by Pujara but what was sad to see was their inability to even put up a fight.
Such was the domination of the Indian spinners that Australia lost their last three wickets for an addition of only one run in 10 overs. The last Test played over here against New Zealand also ended inside four days but it was more to do with majority of the second day's
The ball was drifting down leg-side and Watson, trying to glance it down fine leg, only managed to give Dhoni a catch. The imposing all-rounder managed only 9 and his form would be a massive headache for the Aussies as he is in the team only as a batsman. Australian captain
Michael Clarke, who shoulders the bulk of scoring responsibility due to the team's brittle line-up, announced his arrival at the crease with a six off Ravindra Jadeja. He came down the track to lift the left-arm spinner over long-off. However, Jadeja had the last laugh when he bowled a beauty to get rid of the rival skipper. He tossed the ball up on the leg-middle line and Clarke tried to play a forward defensive stroke but it turned a shade away to knock the off-stump back. Clarke made 16 and with his departure, any chance of a gritty fight looked over as the skipper has been Australia's best player of spin bowling. Boosted by the prized scalp of Clarke, Jadeja was spitting fire and it was a matter of time before he disposed off the challenge of Ed Cowan (44). The left-handed opener had faced 150 deliveries but never looked like getting settled. Jadeja bowled a faster one and Cowan rocked on the back foot trying to play the square-cut. Cowan only managed to edge it and the ball hit Dhoni's pads before flying off to Sehwag at first slip. Jadeja's success with the ball also translated into a good show in the field as his direct throw found Moises Henriques (0) short of his ground. Matthew Wade had pushed an Ashwin delivery towards cover and wanted a quick single. Jadeja was off in a flash as he picked up and successfully aimed at the stumps. From 111 for six, it soon became 123 for seven as Ashwin got his third wicket with a wrong 'un as debutant Glenn Maxwell tried to flick it and was caught plumb infront.
(167), Dhoni said: "We often talk about long partnerships. If you get 40-50, you have to score big. That's what Pujara and Vijay did. That resulted in a massive partnership, which gave us the freedom to accelerate yesterday." Dhoni was impressed with the way Pujara, Man of the Match, and Vijay negotiated the Australian seamers. "It was very important to not give their seamers wickets, and I think they saw that period off really well. After that they could dictate terms," he said. The India captain also had words of praise for his bowlers. "Very good bowling performance. It was important to start today's play really well, and Ishant gave us
the important breakthrough. I think I have got a very good side," he said. Pujara on a lighter note said there was pressure on him to score since his newlywed wife was worried. "Really happy about it. There was a bit of pressure on me. I just got married, and my wife was worried I should perform," Pujara laughed. On a much serious note, Pujara said the experience of scoring big innings in the domestic circuit stood in good stead for him. "We knew that the new ball would do a bit. The plan was to not lose any wickets in that first session. It was a very important partnership with Vijay, our communication was good and it set the platform," he said.
The day started with Ishant Sharma removing Shane Watson in the third over. The lanky pacer had bowled a lot of better deliveries in the series but never got close to getting a wicket. When he finally did get one, it was off a poor delivery.
Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara
play being washed out. With this win, Mahendra Singh Dhoni became the most successful Indian captain, eclipsing Sourav Ganguly's record of 21 Test wins. The technique and ability of the Aussies to counter the Indian spinners was nothing better when compared to the Kiwi batsmen.
Dhoni becomes India's most successful Test captain
India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni surpassed Sourav Ganguly as the most successful Indian Test captain with 22 wins after India won the second Test against Australia by an innings and 135 runs on Tuesday. India now have a 2-0 lead in the four-match BorderGavaskar Trophy series. "Credit goes to the team and the support staff. And winning most matches as captain is a collective effort, and credit goes to each and everyone. We have gone through a period we haven't won many games," said Dhoni. Dhoni lauded pacer Bhuvaneshwar Kumar for giving the team a good start on the first day. "It was important to get off to a good start. Bhuvneshwar provided
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
that. You don't see fast bowlers getting too many in these conditions," he said. On the 370-run stand between Cheteshwar Pujara (204) and Murali Vijay
India moved up a rung to fourth in the ICC Test rankings for teams replacing Pakistan, while veteran Sachin Tendulkar jumped three places to be 17th in the batsmen's chart. Among the bowlers, off-spinner R Ashwin was rewarded for his match haul of 12 for 198 in the first Test as he rose to a career-best 11th. India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni charged up 15 places to 21st courtesy his maiden double hundred at Chennai. Other centurion of the Chennai Test Virat Kohli has gained 10 places and is now on a career-best 25th position. South Africa consolidated their position on the top of the Test rankings after a thumping victory over Pakistan in the third and the final Test at Centurion. There was no other change in the top 10 of the bowlers' table, which is headed by South Africa's Dale Steyn followed by his teammate Vernon Philander. Hashim Amla continued to lead the Test batsmen chart followed by Australian skipper Michael Clarke.
Indian women finish fifth in World Cup wrestling
Geeta Phogat stood out in an otherwise average performance by the Indian team, which finished fifth in the senior women’s wrestling World Cup in Mongolia. Geeta, who took part in the 59kg category for the first time, won all her bouts against her opponents from Japan, Canada, Mongolia and Belarus. India had qualified for this eight-team event, which was held in from March 1 to 3, for the first time. The Indian team lost its opening Group ‘B’ clash against Japan 5-2, followed by another defeat by an identical margin to host Mongolia. In its final engagement, India beat Canada 4-3 to finish third from in its pool. In the fifth-sixth place classification match, India defeated Belarus 5-2 for the fifth position. China won the gold while Mongolia and Japan settled for silver and bronze respectively.
Brett Lee to be KKR bowling mentor too
Australian speedster Brett Lee, who spearheads the Kolkata Knight Riders' pace attack, on Monday replaced Pakistan great Wasim Akram as the team's bowling mentor. Lee, who has retired from international cricket, will shoulder the twin responsibilities in the upcoming Indian Premier League scheduled to be held in April-May. Lee took up the position after Akram, who held it for three years, resigned expressing his desire to spend more time with his family as his two sons Taimur and Akbar are barely in their teens. "We are fortunate that someone of the caliber of Brett Lee, who in addition to being a key member of the team, will also mentor the bowling unit," KKR CEO Venky Mysore said in a statement. "The bowling unit and the entire team will benefit from Brett's leadership in this area." While accepting the role, Lee said, "The experience with KKR over the past three years has been fantastic."
Published on Mar 6, 2013