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Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

VOL 40. ISSUE 32

Will go on fast again if bill not passed: Anna

17th December to 23rd December 2011

Indian professionals vital for the British economy while criticising UK Prime Minister David Cameron's efforts to slash immigration numbers. LCCI remarked in a report titled 'Migration Reform: Caps Don't Fit'

Subhash Thakrar, Chairman LCCI

The debate whether immigrants add value to the British economy or not has been going on for years. While Home Secretary Theresa May argues refusing immigrants the right to settle in Britain will grant natives more job opportunities, the London Chamber of Commerce begs to differ. In fact hiring professionals from India and other non-EU countries is vital for London economy, and cutting migration from these countries puts economic recovery at risk, added the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)

that the benefits of overseas workers to the London economy are far wider than many policymakers realise, whilst the potential damage caused by the David Cameron

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ment, which has taken a series of measures to reduce numbers coming to the UK from India and other non-EU countries.

Continued on page 26

Kokila Patel Purvi Shah

A few final words at the funeral by son Sunil Anand

“An era has come to an end. Dev Anand leaves a void never perhaps to be filled again...” Bollywood legendary actor Dev Anand passed away in a cardiac arrest at a London hotel last week. He was 88 years old. His last rites were held according to the Hindu traditions in London at the the Putney Vale Crematorium. During the final ceremonies at the Crematorium, a heartfelt tribute was paid by his fans singing his memorable songs “Abhi na jao chod kar” and “Phoolo ka taro ka sabka kehna hai”. A tearful farewell was given to the legend on Saturday. Continued on page 13

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government's reforms to the migration system could be far greater than first envisaged. Cutting immigration is one of the major promises of the Cameron govern-

London bids final farewell to actor and icon Dev Anand


Anti-corrruption crusader Anna Hazare said on Tuesday that he would launch another agitation in Delhi on Dec 27 if his version of the Lokpal bill was not be passed by parliament in current winter session. Hazare has been pressing the government for a strong anti-graft Lokpal bill that would bring the prime minister, the CBI and the lower bureaucracy completely under its domain. The 74-year-old activist went on a daylong token fast on Sunday and found backing in several parties, campaigning for a strong Lokpal bill. In August, Hazare had gone on a continuous 12-day- long fast at the Ramlila ground and broke the fast only after the agreement to frame a stringent anti-graft law. Continued on page 26




Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011

one to one Keith Vaz MP with

Georgios Georgiou, Consul General for the Republic of Cyprus in the UK Mr. Georgios Georgiou was born on 17/08/1973. After his military service he studied Mass Media and Communication and worked as a journalist at a national newspaper and at a national radio station in Cyprus. Ηe has later continued with academic studies in London and received a first class degree on European Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies. He has also attended seminars in relation to Diplomacy in Athens, Belgrade and Brussels. As from September 2010 he was posted as the Consul General for the Republic of Cyprus in the United Kingdom and as from June 2011 he was elected to be the President of the Consular Corps of London, an Association that was founded in 1902 and which has members the Consul General’s and Honorary Consul’s from 92 countries. Mr. Georgiou is married and has two daughters. He likes reading history books and biographies, he enjoys comedy movies and he is a keen football fan (Liverpool FC supporter). In his spare time, weather permitting, he enjoys a good company around a barbecue and a glass or two of good wine. What inspired you to begin your career in your chosen field? Cypriot people are people that are generally very interested in politics. This is probably the result of a very turbulent history and the still unresolved Cyprus problem. Around 37% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus is still occupied illegally by the Turkish army since their invasion in 1974. My generation was born and still lives with the consequences of this problem. As you well know politics and international relations are closely related fields. I would therefore say

that the overall political environment of Cyprus and the injustice imposed upon my country stimulated me to choose the particular career. What are your proudest achievements? I feel very proud that in a relatively young age I hold the highly honourable position of the Consul General for the Republic of Cyprus in the UK. Otherwise, it makes me feel proud and happy, to contribute in resolving everyday problems that concern my compatriots. The sense of carrying out my duties

future holds... Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? This is not about one person but about many. These are, friends and colleagues alike, from whom I managed to “steal” some of their good qualities and tried to apply them in my everyday functions. What is the best thing about your current role? I think that the vast scope of opportunities to help in many ways the ordinary people is the best thing.

in the right way and the subsequent recognition of this by the wider community, I consider as a great achievement. It is also an achievement to be elected as the President of the Consular Corps of London, an association of Consuls based in the UK that originates in 1902. Please tell us about your current position? The position of the Consul General in the UK is a very demanding one. The Cypriot community in this country is quite large and very active both in politics and in business and maintains strong relations with Cyprus. A main duty for me is to make sure that these relations are kept

strong and effectively become even closer and better. To do that it takes many “sacrifices” especially of my “resting time” by attending many meetings and functions after office hours, which of course I’m happy to do. At the same time I have to make sure that the everyday basic functions of the Consulate, like issuing visas, keeping up with registrations, passports and i.d’s are carried out in the public’s interest. What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? I may be one of the lucky ones to say that I haven’t faced any particular obstacles in my career. But no one knows what the

And the worst? As I have said before, to carry out my duties takes a lot of work after office hours, meaning less time with my wife and kids. I need to say, though, that I’m lucky to have a very considerate wife, who accepts that during the period of my designation on my current position she will need to bear more responsibilities with the kids. I’ m grateful to her. What are your long term goals? I have learned not to set long term goals. You can never know what the future holds for you. I just want in my capacity as the Consul General to make a further tangible contribution to the relations between the Cypriot Community in the UK and Cyprus. I would also like to see a real uplift of the Consular Corps of London during my time as President, upgrading the quality of our func-

tions and attracting an active interest by more and more colleagues. If you were Prime Minister, what one thing would you change? In this volatile socioeconomic climate we live, seeing more and more people in unemployment and poverty, I would have strengthened some fundamental public institutions and services that they have a real positive impact to people’s life. If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figures would you like to spend your time with and why? There are so many historical figures from ancient Greece to the Second World War that I would like to spend my time with. Thucydides, as the first teacher of international relations theory, Aristotle for his major contribution to the philosophy would have been my choices from the ancient times. Then, I would have picked some main figures of the two major revolutions of the last two centuries, the French and Russian, which have had such a big impact to our society. Finally, I would have picked Mahatma Ghandi, a very special personality of the post world war movement for liberation from colonialism. It would have been very interesting to see Ghandi with his philosophy of passive resistance to talk to Robespierre or Lenin who practiced a completely different approach in their endeavours.

The Asian Voice Political and Public Life Awards 2012 It is that time of year again…The Asian Voice Public and Political Life Awards nominations. The awards celebrate the achievements of those who have made a special contribution to our political or public life over the last 12 months in a variety of fields. The Asian Voice Political and Public Life Awards represent Asian Voice’s modest effort to honour a number of outstanding individuals from different communities, walks of life and diverse political persuasions who serve society in their own special way, and who contribute significantly, in whatever they do, towards making a better world today and for the future. These awards are given annually to individuals who have made a special impact in the preceding 12 months, ranging from international politicians to individuals who have made a big difference in their local communities. It is the fifth year the awards have been presented and as in previous years, the event will be attended by 250 high profile politicians from all political parties, business men, community leaders.The awards for the achievements in 2011 will be handed out at the prestigious ceremony in the Members Dining Room of the House of Commons on 23rd February 2012.

The nominations for the political awards have been drawn up, and are as follows: l Cabinet Minister of the Year – last year’s winner was Rt Hon Michael Gove MP l This year’s nominations are: Andrew Mitchell, Ken Clarke and William Hague MP l Lib Dem Minister of the Year l This year’s nominations are: Vince Cable, Danny Alexander and Sarah Teather MP l Shadow Cabinet Minister of the Year – last year’s winner was Opposition Leader Ed Miliband. l This year’s nominations are: Yvette Cooper, Rachel Reeves, Andy Burnham MP l Junior Minister of the Year – last year’s winner was Ed Davey MP l This year’s nominations are: Alistair Burt, Lynne Featherstone, Stephen O’Brien MP l Labour Backbencher of the Year – last year’s winner was Anas Sarwar MP l This year’s nominations are: Stella Creasy, Lisa Nandy, Gloria de Piero MP l Liberal Democrat Backbencher of the Year – last year’s winner was Dr Julian Huppert MP l This year’s nominations are: Jo Swinson, Duncan Hames, Sir Alan Beith MP l Conservative Backbencher of the Year – last year’s winner was Nadhim Zahawi MP l This year’s nominations are: Nicola Blackwood, Adam Afriyie, Henry Smith MP

We’re seeking your nominations for the following categories: l TV Personality of the Year – last year’s winner was Rudolph Walker l Journalist of the Year – last year’s winner was Paul l Lewis of the Guardian l Restaurant of the Year – last year’s winner was Curry Fever l Asian Broadcaster of the Year l Business Person of the Year – last year’s winner was Fukhera Khalid l Broadcaster of the Year – last year’s winner was B4U l Parliamentary Journalist of the Year l Local Government Award – last year’s joint winners were Lutfur Rahman and Dr Neeraj Patil l Diversity Award l Face of the Future Award – last year’s winner was Arjun Rajyagor l Sports Personality of the Year Award l Community Award – last year’s winner was Ranjit Mathrani l Lifetime Achievement Award – last year’s winner was Nirmal Sethia

Please send your nominations into Political and Public Life Awards at:

Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011


London Chamber's warning on taxing immigration legislation The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has issued a warning to the Coalition Government on what it perceives as Whitehall's inflexible immigration laws. Talking up immigration controls may appeal to the British street, hence win votes for the Conservative party, but when the electoral dust has settled the price paid for such taxing legislation is likely to be high. And this at a time when the national economy can be likened to a guttering candle. The hard times portrayed so memorably by Charles Dickens a century and a half ago appear to be returning to London and other British cities. Poverty, poor housing, poor education and high unemployment feature prominently in the life of the UK's inner cities. Tapping into the global talent pool in order to maximise the opportunities of the global market place is one avenue to restore growth, if only the powers that be would see sense instead of surrendering to raw emotion. The LCCI has taken Prime Minister David Cameron and his government to task for their “tough” stand on non-EU immigration, when cutting the inflow of skilled migrants from India and similar places are jeopardising the capital's business prospects. The benefits of overseas workers in the London economy in particular are far wider than many policymakers realise, whilst the potential damage arising from the Coalition Government's reforms to the immigration system could be greater than first envisaged, says the LCCI in a report entitled “Migration Reform: Caps Don't Fit”

Highlighting benefits that global talent has on companies, the report shows that the latest immigration reforms are already harming businesses, and was likely to cause further damage when the UK economy picks up again and firms look to hire. Almost two-thirds of all London businesses (63 per cent) and 59 per cent of the capital's smallest firms (1-19 employees) have either employed non-EU migrant workers in the past five years or have considered doing so. Nearly a quarter of businesses (24 per cent) and 29 per cent of the smaller firms (1-19 employees) that have looked outside of the EU for staff did so because they felt non-EU migrants would help them grow into markets beyond the EU. Subhash Thakrar, Chairman of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, writes: “Our report shows that firms recruit from beyond the EU not only for reasons such as a lack of specialist skills in the domestic market, but as a means of exploring and investing in new markets overseas. At a time when investment and growth are fundamental to the future success of the economy, the government must do all it can to support UK plc, providing a framework for growth and creating an environment in which SMEs in particular can easily access new markets and recruit from a truly global talent pool. We accept that the government must balance a whole host of social, political and economic issues, but it needs to do so without damaging the principal means of stimulating the UK: its business community.” Over to you, Mr Cameron

Kolkata tragedy a wake-up call The hospital fire in a south Kolkata hospital that resulted in the deaths of 90 patients is a wake-up call for the city's fathers, the West Bengal government and the rest of India, most notably the authorities in Delhi. This was a private sector hospital – part of a chain, we are told – where patient care passed muster but patient safety from fire hazards did not. The storage of inflammable materials in the basement of the building in callous disregard of the danger this posed to life and property is a damning indictment of the ethics of the hospital's directors. Six of their number have been arrested, but this is small consolation to the bereaved. Profit was all, nothing else seemed to matter. The illtrained fire brigade arrived late, and it was only the valiant efforts of slum dwellers nearby to put out the flames and rescue those in peril that prevented the death toll rising higher. The shambles was truly pathetic. Over recent decades, fires in this teeming metropolis have been a feature of its life. The destruction of the city's oldest photographic establishment, Bourne & Shepard, to a fire was followed by a similar experience at the New Market (aka Hogg Market) in the city centre and another inferno on Park Street. The list goes on. The state's Communist administration did nothing to put things right. Amid its ritual bombast on the evils of capitalism and its exploitative ways, its own methods were cloned to a cronyism that awarded building contracts to groups willing and able to pay

bribes and perquisites for favours received in flagrant disregard of regulatory rules and procedures. Such governance has eaten into the vitals of work culture, leading to a deep cynicism among the ranks of the public. The Communist party and its Left Front cronies were dethroned in May's state elections, with every cabinet minister losing his seat. It reflected the people's pent up rage with Communist mafia rule. However, cleaning the Augean Stables left behind will be no easy task. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her colleagues in six months of office have started wielding their new broom, but as the latest tragedy shows, they have a long way to go before a new civilised order is put in place. For that to happen a root and branch change in regulatory mechanisms on new building sites and structures must replace the accustomed sloth of bureaucrats and their habits of bribe-taking and graft. This won't be easy, but it must be done as a matter of priority if West Bengal is to be restored to rude economic health. Enough has happened for investors to turn their gaze towards the state, as the projected Wipro presence in the IT sector demonstrates, But it will be a long haul to prosperity and proper governance. Meanwhile, there should be no complacency in other parts of India, where unsafe buildings are the norm rather than the exception. This is also a national problem, even though it isn't as acute as the scourge in West Bengal.

Cameron's Pyrrhic victory Prime Minister David Cameron's performance at the EU summit in Brussels was hailed as a long awaited British triumph, the best naysayer his country had ever produced. He had vetoed the Sarkozy-Merkel plan for closer fiscal integration in the eurozone and the wider European Union. He had stood up for British interests in the face of Continental perversity, said the cheering Conservative party's legion of Eurosceptic backbenchers in the House of Commons during a robust if somewhat noisy debate. Patriotic zeal often skews political judgement. Truth is that Mr Cameron's was the sole dissenting voice at the Brussels conclave; 26 of the other EU leaders voted against him. In his bid to defend the City, whose interests he equates with the country, Mr Cameron has emphasised Britain's not too splendid isolation. The diplomatic fallout of this quarrel will become evident in the fullness of time. But

Europe is a divided house, lurching uncertainly from crisis to crisis with no endgame in sight. France and Britain are tarnished by their military adventure in Libya. Colonel Gadaffi's gory end was scarcely a tribute to the civilised credentials of his executioners, all bearing the stamp of approval of their Anglo-French handlers. However, the general lack of wisdom in the EU leadership, their proneness to indecision, could turn out to be the bell that tolls for the European idea itself. Mr Cameron has no panacea for Britain's economic revival. The Eurozone economic crisis has done much to hobble the UK economy. He is the toast of the Tory shires, but that is no guarantee to an enduring economic or political future for Britain. Mr Cameron has at best won a Pyrrhic victory in Brussels. Such victories come at a cost. The damage to Britain's relationship with Europe should be repaired without further ado.


Thought for the Week

It is not our abilities that truly define us - it is the choices we make. - J K Rowling (1998)

Priti Patel Member of Parliament for Witham

Report from the front line This week I had a tremendous time campaigning for Mark Bowen, the Conservative Party candidate in the forthcoming Felton & Heston byelection on December 15th. Mark is a local campaigner which in a by-election makes a huge difference. He has been a local councillor for nine years, and on the doorstep people commented about his local links, his community work and it seemed clear to me that he is well-known and wellrespected amongst local people from all backgrounds. In my time as a party activist and in particular on by-elections, there are many candidates who have no ties with the area which is why Mark is a breath of fresh air. The issues on the doorstep were unsurprising; people frequently commented on how Labour left Britain in a mess with public spending and the deficit, all of which was made worse

by the banking situation. Many people raised the issue of Labour’s something for nothing culture and the failure to tackle welfare so that it was easier not to work, issues of immigration came up as did concerns over the Eurozone and what it means for our economy. E n c o u r a g i n g l y, many spoke about the fact that Government understands these problems and is getting on with sorting out the serious failures of the past; paying down the deficit and making work pay all seemed to resonate with those I spoke to at the start of the week in Felton and Heston. People were interested in hearing about what we are doing to support growth, improve fairness and help families with the cost of living where we can. I was encouraged by the responses on the doorstep and wish Mark well in the final week of this election campaign.

Feltham and Heston by-election to be held The Feltham and Heston by-election is a forthcoming by-election for the Parliament of the United Kingdom’s House of Commons constituency of Feltham and Heston in the London Borough of Hounslow. It is scheduled for 15 December 2011. The by-election was caused by the death of its Member of Parliament Alan Keen. On the 24 November 2011, the UK Independence Party chose Andrew Charalambous, a former nightclub owner and Conservative Party

electoral candidate. The Conservative candidate was named as Hounslow Councillor Mark Bowen on the same day. Labour chose Seema Malhotra as their candidate on 27 November 2011 after a quick-fire selection from four other candidates. Seema is the Director of Fabian’s Women Network and was a Chair of the Fabian Society. Dave Furness was selected by the British National Party on 29 November 2011, Continued on page 6

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Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011


Leicester Voice

By Meera Majithia

Preparations underway to revamp shopfronts The city council’s Cabinet has been given a £100,0O0 proposal for shopfront improvements in the Belgrave Road and Melton Road area as part of a scheme to improve gateways and shopping areas across the city. Improvements are part of the first wave of the £600,000 scheme, which will benefit five priority locations. The locations will all benefit from cash the council won from the Working Neighbourhoods Fund. Other areas planned to receive a facelift include Belgrave Gate, Grandby Street, Narborough Road and Market Place. The scheme will require the support and investment of the business owners who will be asked to apply for council grants of up to £5,00, which they will have to match with their own funding. Shops in the most prominent positions on the roads or in need of the greatest upgrade will be given first priority. Assistant city mayor Cllr Ted

Cassidy said: “It makes sense to build on the momentum created through the Golden Mile regeneration group and build on the partnership working already established in this area. “The scheme will act as a pilot project, and lessons learnt from it could be extended to the other priority shopping areas and gateways at a

later stage.” Grant applications will be considered by a panel made up of representatives from the Belgrave Business Association and the city council. The proposals will be considered by the council’s overview and select committee before a decision is made by the Cabinet at its meeting on January 9th.

School rewarded for tackling discrimination A community college in Beaumont Leys has become the first in the city to win a prestigious award recognizing anti-discrimination work in educational establishments. Babington Community College received the EQualities Award at a ceremony on 8th December by director Dr Chris Derrington. The award is a national scheme recognized by Ofsted, which helps schools to review and develop their practice across all areas of equality including disability, ethnicity and gender. Mr Derrington said:”Babington Community College is unquestionably a ‘champion’ for equality. Having undertaken a rigorous selfreview, the outcome is an excep-

tional EQualities portfolio which provides compelling evidence against more than 60 indicators of good practice. “All schools must comply with recent equality legislation by tackling discrimination, promoting equality of opportunity and fostering good relations, but this portfolio clearly demonstrates a genuine commitment on the part of the staff and governors at Babington to go the extra mile and place equality at the heart of all its work.” There are currently more than 100 schools and children’s centres across the UK currently working towards the EQualities Award. Babington Community College headteacher, Denise Newsome,

added: “We are delighted to have won this award, which really reflects all the hard work of the staff and pupils at the school in making equality a priority. “We are nurturing an understanding among pupils of the importance of all types of equality, which we hope is something they’ll remember and apply throughout their lives.” Leicester assistant city mayor responsible for children, young people and schools, Cllr Vi Dempster, added: “Babington is a rapidly improving school and this award is further evidence that they are meeting the needs of their young people, so they must be very proud.”

Curry house gets a taste of success An Indian restaurant is celebrating after becoming the only one in the city to be featured in a prestigious Michelin guide. Chutney Ivy, in Halford Street, Leicester opened up in November last year and is the only restaurant serving Indian cuisine to have earned a place in the latest Michelin Red Guide. Restaurateur Shaf Islam who co-manages the place said: “We are really surprised and shocked with the news as there are so many Indian restaurants in Leicester. But of course we are very pleased.” When asked what makes his restaurant different to others in the city, Mr Islam said: “We wanted to break away from the mould of what an Indian restaurant should look like. We had professionals design the place and simply wanted to have a place that served Indian food, not a place that looked like a typical Indian restaurant.” Mr Islam has an abundance of experience working in the restaurant trade after starting out in their family-run restaurant Shireen,

which he said was one of the first Indian restaurants in the city. After working there he moved on to manage Shimla Pinks after being given an offer he could not refuse. Speaking about the menu, he said: “We wanted to create new recipes using my experience of food and develop a menu which focuses on traditional dishes but also offers those with more of a contemporary twist.” They have a separate classic Indian section in the menu, which services authentic Indian dishes such as Rogan Josh with lamb. A more contemporary dish, which is hugely popular with customers, is a Chinese-inspired duck somosa, which comes served with a salad and a sauce infused with soya sauce and other Chinese spices and tastes. Coming from a Bangladeshi background, Mr Aslam also has a range of fish curries and other Bangladeshi inspired food on the menu, as well as catering for a vegetarian clientele too. The restaurant team aim to change the menu every

six to 10 months to ensure that customers can always enjoy something different. He said: “Without any disrespect to anyone I have to say one of the most difficult customers to satisfy are vegetarian customers who are looking to eat Indian food. “One of the best compliments I received was from an Indian couple a while back. The gentleman who came along with his wife said we served the best vegetarian food he had ever tasted. It was as good as his wife’s cooking. So with compliments like that I couldn’t be happier.” Chutney Ivy has a special Gujarati chef who specialises in the vegetarian dishes as well as a Bangladeshi one. However Mr Islam claims it hasn’t all been an easy ride as there were some teething problems at the start. Since then however, the restaurant was named the best curry house in Leicester in August by the Great Food Magazine and now has the added accolade of being featured in the Michelin Red Guide.

In brief Santa’s little helpers Staff and students all got in the Christmas spirit as they donned Santa costumes to take part in the Loughborough Santa Fun Run as part of the University of Leicester’s Cardiovascular Research Centre Appeal at Glenfield Hospital.

Two teams entered from the university and raised around £200 for their efforts in the 6km course, which is in its seventh year and was organised by the Rotary Club of Loughborough. Dr Glenn Rodrigo, from the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Leicester, said: “As members of staff at the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, we are more than aware of the harsh facts surrounding cardiovascular disease which is why we are so pleased to support the Cardiovascular Research Centre Appeal by taking part in the Loughborough Santa Fun Run. “Our team “Santa’s Little Extras” consisted of nine members of staff and we all had a great day raising vital funds to help complete and equip the Cardiovascular Research Centre at Glenfield Hospital.”

Drugs operation is hailed a success

Drugs and cash were seized in a police drugs operation conducted in the Spinney Hill area. In a synchronised, early morning operation on December 6th warrants were executed at two addresses under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Officers arrested a 61-year-old man from a house in Earl Howe Street, and a 21 year-old-man and a 54year-old woman from a house in Apollo Court, Leicester. During the searches a large quantity of drugs, believed to be heroin, were seized as well as a quantity of cannabis and £2,000 in cash. Sergeant Sanjay Chauhan, team leader for the Spinney Hill neighbourhood team said: “This has been a very successful drugs operation which was triggered by intelligence provided by people in the local community. “I am delighted by the outcome, and that we have removed a significant amount of drugs from circulation. I ask that local people continue to feed information to the police, so we can work together to make Spinney Hill ward free from crime and illegal drug use.” The 61-year-old man and the 54 year-old-woman have been released on police bail pending further enquiries The 21-year-old man was later charged with possession with intent to supply heroin, and remanded in custody.

Shisha café owner fined over £2000

A shisha café owner has been ordered to pay over £2,000 in fines after people were discovered to have been illegally smoking in an enclosed area at his premises. Thirty-three-year-old Ryiaz Patel was convicted by Leicester magistraes for breaking the anti-smoking laws at the establishment he co-owns on Uppingham Road, Leicester, called vanilla Pod. Authorities had been tipped off by a member of the public about shisha being smoked on the premises. So on March 11th three disguised city wardens visited the business at around 11pm and asked if they could have a smoke. They were shown to an upstairs room where they ordered shisha, food and drink. Two council health and safety officers, who were waiting outside, identified themselves and were taken to the upstairs room by Patel’s business partner Mohammed Hafejee. Patel was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 costs and a £15 victims surcharge. His partner was dealt with in a separate hearing and received the same penalty.


Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011

Caught on CCTV preparing to kill A gang of hooded robbers have been jailed for life after stabbing a shopkeeper to death as his two children watched on CCTV. S u p p i a h Tharmaseelan (pictured) bled to death after he was attacked by four men who broke into the convenience store he owned with his family last November. The father-of-four, who also lived above the shop with his wife and children, ‘did not stand a chance’ as he was stabbed trying to fend off the robbers with a baseball bat, a jury was

were handed a total of 92 years They had admitted robbery but denied murder. All the men are from Erdington, Birmingham. A fifth defendant, getaway driver James Moore, was jailed for six years and nine months after admitting robbery but being cleared of murder. Following a trial which ended last month, it emerged that one of the victim’s children telephoned the police after they witnessed the attack via CCTV in another part of the shop premises.

told. Four men were sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court for murdering the 48-year-old. Twin brothers Ian and John Meenan, 27, Anthony Bayliss, 25, and his brother Liam Ryan

Thug kills innocent pair in a row over parking

An argument over parking led to a ‘completely good and blameless’ businessman and his nephew being machinegunned to death by a drug dealer. After his car was blocked in by a van, Ayub Khan went to fetch a MAC-10 pistol capable of firing 1,000 rounds a minute. Khan, then only 20, gunned down hotelier Amarjit Singh Tiwana and his nephew Rajinder Singh Tiwana at pointblank range. He then turned the weapon on Amarjit’s daughter Harjinder but did not fire – possibly

Amarjit Singh Tiwana and his nephew Rajinder Singh Tiwana

because the gun had jammed. Khan fled the country after the attack but was extradited from Bangladesh in 2010. At Woolwich Crown Court, he was found

guilty of double murder and jailed for a minimum of 26 years. The judge, Mr Justice Saunders, described the killings as ‘brutal, cold-blooded and pointless’.

Political Sketchbook Alpesh Patel’s

The Politics of Sovereignty The Europeans will not understand the British when it comes to the Euro and the British will not understand the European love affair with Europe. They were on opposing sides of a war, and history is not history. Britain does not see itself as just any other country. It sees itself with a sense of destiny. It is a sense of destiny that comes from its poets who had the gall and boldness to write that Jesus Himself may have walked these lands. It is a confidence that comes from having the world’s largest Empire when you are only 1% of the world’s population. It is a boldness that comes from being on the United Nations Security Council. From knowing, even if others begrudge it, you saved the world from tyranny only 70 years ago. Do not underestimate this. Do not underestimate it, when you hear speakers from India talking of ‘the Empire strikes back’ or that Britain is a spent force. Your GDP does not measure your influence. Your people and their ingenuity does. Especially, when as with the British they have a sense of heritage, a sense of history and a sense of destiny. So why is sovereignty important? And why so seemingly to the Conservatives? The Tories are more imbibed with tradition around nation than certainly the LibDems, even though the latter have a very long

proud history. It was a Liberal PM who saw Britain through in World War One of course and they were once the natural party of Government. Labour was part of an international movement, around the worker, not the nation. But even they have a strong ‘stand-apart’ tradition. This is a country whose two unofficial national anthems have the lines “And did those feet in ancient time. Walk upon England's mountains green: And was the holy Lamb of God, On England's pleasant pastures seen!” That is from Jerusalem. These people actually believe God walked here. On this tiny island. Ain’t no European Central Bank in 2011 telling them how to run their country. Or take the lines from Rule Britannia, ‘When Britain first, at Heaven's command, Arose from out the azure main; This was the charter of the land, And guardian angels sang this strain: "Rule, Britannia! rule the waves: "Britons never will be slaves." To Mrs Merkel, I say what Patton said to Romel, ‘You magnificent bastard, I read your books’. Mrs Merkel needs to read more about British history. On this island we live it, not try to forget it. Alpesh Patel






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Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011

Bravery awards for shop staff who fought masked gun raider By Spriha Srivastava

BadMan in UK

Humza Arshad, a self styled BadMan has become an internet sensation. His YouTube videos regularly attract millions of viewers, drawn to his anarchic style of humour and more thoughtful insights on issues of the day. The BadMan has built a loyal online following marking him out as one of the new generation of British-Pakistani comedians determined to challenge many people’s preconceptions about the Pakistani community in Britain. In the past few weeks, Humza has been performing across UK in front of packed audiences. This is his first ever live tour across six cities in UK. In November last week he performed at the University of Manchester in front of 200 fans. "Humza is an inspiration. He makes British Pakistanis proud. But at the same time he's also

representing Asians and Muslims. In fact, all young British people," said Omar, a student at Manchester University. The event at Manchester covered topics as diverse as escaping arranged marriages, harrowing family trips to Pakistan and the value of friendship. With a mixed audience of ages and backgrounds, the turnout confirmed Humza’s growing universal appeal. Fans were treated to Humza’s stand up routine, performances by local rising stars Bonafide and the chance to see previously unseen footage – including the first ever BadMan clip. In London, Humza had two performances – one on the 4th of December at Queen Mary’s University of London and the second on 10th December at Kingston University. Over 300 fans of varied ages and backgrounds packed the Arts 2 Lecture Theatre at Queen Mary’s University of London for BadMan’s performance. Humza treated the crowd to a question and answer session. One young member of the audience asked what motivated Humza to start making his online diaries. Through his comedy, Humza said, he wanted

to show a positive side to Muslims. “We are about more than just the negative things that people hear about all the time. I wanted to have a message; respect for parents, the value of friendship and community. It’s a message not just for Muslims but everyone out there.” Another audience member said Humza made him proud to be a British Pakistan, to a roar of approval from the hall. Fans, young and old, joined Humza on stage to perform his rap number and the most ardent ones even sported Humza’s signature hat – the beanie – throughout! Humza took the event to the audience, getting down from the stage and interviewing fans, while his crew, JP, Kalum, Asif and Fayyaz talked to fans and posed for photos. Humza finished the evening on a very high note posing for photos with everyone in the audience who wanted one taken with the ‘Badman’. The tour was sponsored by Azme Alishan, a Pakistan-based social movement backed by leading media figures with the aim of showing the world a different side to Pakistan.

Ladies vs Ricky Bahl gets average opening The latest RanveerAnushka starrer “Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl” couldn’t create the same magic as Band Baaja Baraat. The film received average response from cinemagoers. So the film revolves around the life of Ricky (Ranveer Singh) who is Sunny, Dev, Iqbal for different girls who he cons in individual instances. Charm or cleverness, he uses whatever works best to his advantage. But then three of his female victims Raina (Dipannita Sharma), Dimpy (Parineeti Chopra) and Saira (Aditi Sharma) team up to get even with him.

They hire the services of a smart salesgirl Ishika (Anushka Sharma) who they use as a bait to trap the conman. Ishika poses as daughter of a NRI hotelier who's on a business visit to Goa to invest in property. The idea is to lure him into a business partnership and rip off his riches for revenge. But then bollywood takes over, they fall in love and the story goes out of control. The move starts off with a few funny moments and an impressive story line but what comes later is a cliché bollywood story about love, emotions, drama and a story going for a

toss. Why can’t bollywood films stick to their simple story line? Why does it have to end in a cliché manner? The film boasts of good acting by Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma in the lead. Debutante Parineeti Chopra has also done justice to her role. The film has also been accused of plagiarism by director Selva of Tamil film “Naan Avan illai.” According to Selva, the Hindi film is a scene by scene copy of the original Tamil film. Looks like director Maneesh Sharma needs to do his homework better the next time.

A shop worker praised by a judge for his bravery after taking on an armed robber told how he acted out of a “matter of principle”. Recently married Kamran Shah recovered from being punched in the face to grab masked raider David Cain before grappling with him at his 24-hour grocery store in north London. Seconds later his colleague Raj Akhtar and Bhavik Amirda, from the shop next door, intervened and the three men wrestled Cain onto a chest. They grabbed an imitation pistol from his hand and took a kitchen knife he had hidden in his waistband. Police were on the scene at Save More in

Kamran Shah, centre, was helped by Raja Akhtar, left, and Bhavik Patel

South Hampstead within five minutes as two of the men pinned down Cain, who drank vodka and beer and had snorted a gram of cocaine before attempting to rob

the shop.The three men were given bravery awards and 750 each during a hearing at Black-friars crown court where Cain, 24, was jailed for five years.

Bigamist fake bride spared jail A bigamous woman on benefits about to marry for a third time as part of an immigration scam walked free from court last week. Bindaya Dalal, 26, (pictured) had never divorced her previous spouses when she was getting ready to walk up the aisle with her third husband in six years.

Feltham and Heston by-election to be held Continued from page 3 the same day as Roger Crouch was confirmed as the Liberal Democrats nominee. Roger Cooper is the English Democrat Party chairman for their London region. David Bishop stood in the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election, 2011 in addition to being one of the 26 candidates at the Haltemprice and Howden by-election, 2008. His website explains that his party was created in protest at the capitalist system which turned Elvis Presley “into a fat media joke.” George Hallam stands on a socialist platform against austerity cuts and in favour of high rates of income tax for the highest earners. The Green Party candidate Daniel Goldsmith is an IT consultant from Chiswick.

But the UK Border Agency became suspicious after she booked a register office and arrested her before she could tie the knot again. Dalal, a British national walked free from

court with a community order to carry out 120 hours unpaid work. The court heard she had agreed to the third marriage to pay off debts – but never received any of the 6,000 arrangement fee. Ola Kukete, 37, a London Underground worker who organised the marriage scam and pocketed 2,000, was jailed for 18 months. Turning to Dalal, the judge gave her a sentence of a six-month community order comprising 120 hours unpaid work and a suspended sentence of three months jail suspended for 12 months.

Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011



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Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011

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APPS aspires to modernise healthcare in Pakistan A charity which promotes the sharing of best practice between Asian medics at home and abroad, in a mission to modernise the healthcare system in Pakistan held its annual dinner in Manchester last Saturday. Organised by the Association of Pakistani Physicians and Surgeons (APPS), the sold-out event brought together around 500 guests from across Britain. Some had come with their families, including children. Held at the Nawaab Banqueting Hall, the £15-per head event featured a packed programme. Awards were presented to the “Best” physician, surgeon, GP, psychiatrist, gynaecologist, dentist “of the Year”. Sponsor presentations, each of 15 minutes, appeared to be least popular, with guests talking throughout. Part of the problem was the poor acoustics. However, kids’ performances were cheered and applauded, showing their popularity. In fact the Pakistani flagwaving kids’ choir was remarkable. They sang “Lab pay aati hai” and “Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan”, national songs for children in Pakistan. Distinguished guests included the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Harry Lyons, Bolton MP Yasmin Qureshi and the regional Consul General

of Pakistan, Ehsan Ullah Batth, each of whom spoke on stage. The two-part programme also included a slide show featuring APPS’s activities over the past 12 months, a poem recital by APPS Kids Club and soul singer Khaleel Mohammed, a UK-born and of Jamaican heritage Nasheed artist, who used to work for Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens. The keynote speech was given by Dr Abdul Hafeez, Chair of APPS UK. He thanked his voluntary team for ensuring that APPS’s aims and objectives were at the heart of everything they did. Adding to the praise, APPS’s Chair Elect Dr Mohammed Iqbal, paid tribute to Rifat Saleem, of the Zanfha Initiative, a charity, for helping to raise £10,000 for disabled children. Tuxedo-clad Dr Iqbal also told attendees that the first donation, a cheque for £151, of the evening had come from a Hindu, Ashok Patel of Edgware in London, an announcement which won rapturous applause. This, said Dr Iqbal, showed there were no boundaries, in terms of

New chief at college A new principal and CEO has been appointed at Walsall College. Jatinder Sharma, who joined the college in 2004 as the director of finance, has stepped into the role. Mr Sharma, 43, pictured, of Wolverhampton, said: “I am looking forward to the challenges ahead.”

Cops con beggars Four West Midlands Police officers are being investigated following claims that they may have stolen cash from street beggars, reports the Sunday Mercury. The officers were suspended more a week ago, but the force has refused to disclose further details.

dentists registered with the General Dental Council has qualifications from abroad. APPS, established in 2004, is an independent, politically imparBudding singers from the APPS Kids Club tial and nonrace, religion, culture or profit organisation. Its caste, when it came to moto, “Advancing Health, helping the needy. “There Changing Lives”, reflects is a need for new thinkits mission to build bridges ing,” said Dr Iqbal in his among health professioneloquent address as he als of Pakistani heritage. shared the “flavour of Ultimately, its goal is to future aspirations of alleviate the suffering of APPS”. Food was served victims of disease, natural at the end, at around disasters in Pakistan and 10pm. to modernise the healthAccording to the Royal care system of Pakistan. It College of Surgeons, one boasts a team of 32, plus in ten surgeons in Britain six trustees, with bases in is female. Separately, the UK, Pakistan, Canada, almost one in ten doctors Saudi Arabia and UAE. To in Britain is foreign and find out more visit untested; and one in four

Rogue travel agent jailed A Birmingham travel agent who ripped off a Muslim family over a Hajj pilgrimage has been jailed for 15 months. Chowdhury Ahmad, 39, pictured, who owned Hellenic Travels in Small Heath, had promised the Noori family five-star food and accommodation after they paid him £10,000 for a trip to Saudi Arabia. Instead they found themselves in a “cockroach-infested hovel” and had to buy their food from street vendors. Victim Mohammed Noori said: “I am happy because justice has been done and it will also let all those Muslims know that there are people out there who will cheat them when they go on these pilgrimages.”

One in four ‘could lose home’ A poll by Crisis, the homeless charity, has found that more than one in four people (28%) in the West Midlands are concerned about losing their property because of the country’s economic problems. Some 26% thought they would get into difficulties with mortgage or rent payments; and 9% said they were already struggling to pay their bills. Government statistics also revealed that 2,280 people were accepted as homeless in the West Midlands and in “priority need” for accommodation during the last three months.

Newsagent, jeweller raided

Prostitute given ASBO A 23-year-old woman, Leah Booth, who used her home for drugs and prostitution, has been given an anti-social behaviour order. The court heard that since July, neighbours had suffered from excessive noise, witnessed large numbers of people visiting the property to buy and use drugs, as well as to visit Booth, who was working as a prostitute.

Psychiatry Team praised

Full marks for Quality Improvement have been awarded to Nottinghamshire Healthcare’s Liaison Psychiatry Team (LPT) by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The LPT, which provides mental health care, and is based at the Queen’s Medical Centre, is the first team in the East Midlands to receive this formal accreditation.

Unworn outfits Women in Birmingham buy nearly 2,000 items of clothing each during their lifetimes but wear only 35% of it, according to a survey.

Charity cycle ride Consultant paediatrician Dr Helen Goodyear from Birmingham Heartlands Hospital has raised £800 for the hospital’s Children’s Appeal. Dr Goodyear, pictured, cycled from London to Paris to raise the cash – which will go towards the £85,000 fundraising target. To find out more visit www.heartofengland

Love thy Neighbour Only a third of people in the West Midlands say they are friendly with their neighbours. A survey by courier firm found just 34% knew their neighbours very well. Yet 60% went on to say that they were on good enough terms to ask them to take in a parcel for them.

Employers’ pension pinch More than half of businesses in the West Midlands have failed to budget for compulsory pension contributions for staff, a new survey shows. Auto-enrolment is being phased in from October 2012 and will mean that eventually every employer will need to contribute to the pension pot of all employees aged between 22 and state pension age who earn between £7,475 and £33,540 per year.

Court takes away drug cash Sajah Ahmed Shah who ran Caspian Pizza in Sparkhill, Birmingham, had had £60,000 confiscated by the courts following his conviction for drug dealing. Shah, 27, told London’s Appeal Court that he had earned the cash from selling fast food. But a judge ruled that it could not have come from the pizza business, as its accounts showed it was making only a £13,000-a-year profit.

India in acquisition lead Indian organisations remain the biggest acquirers of UK businesses, according to KPMG’s Emerging Markets International Acquisition Tracker. This trend is also reflected in the West Midlands. John Leech, partner at KPMG in Birmingham, said: ‘Just as our special relationship with the US has stood us in good stead during the 20th century, so too may our close relationship with India in the 21st century.’

Air-trade link announced A major bid to boost trade between the West Midlands and China has been unveiled – with a new international agreement between Birmingham Airport and MG Motor UK. The agreement highlights the need for a direct air link to China as the £70 million project to extend the 400-metre runway at the airport promises to provide a massive boost to the West Midland economy.

News in Brief

A brave Birmingham shop assistant has told how he fought off armed raiders during a daylight robbery at his family’s newsagents. Karim Khan, 24, was hit over the head with his own laptop as he battled a pair of balaclava-clad thugs who burst into the shop in Balsall Heath last weekend. Mr Khan, pictured left, grabbed a gun that was being brandished by one of the men. Both raiders were described as Asian, aged 16-18. Separately, jeweller Manoj Kumar, pictured right, of Karishma Jewellers, of Hockley, Birmingham, was targeted by raiders last week. The raiders blocked his car and smashed the shop windows, escaping with thousands of pounds worth of jewellery. Mr Kumar, 38, said his “terrifying” ordeal had left him considering his future in the jewellery trade.

Footballer facing bankruptcy Former Aston Villa star Lee Hendrie is facing bankruptcy proceedings. Hendrie, pictured, who once earned £24,000 per week, is a director of six companies, five of which have a good credit rating and one is in liquidation. Hendrie’s case is to be heart at London’s High Court on January 27.

Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011




Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011

CB Live and Cornelia Sorabji

Indian homes hold gold worth $950 bn

In honouring Cornelia Sorabji (18661954) in his very personalised and equally popular programme on MATV, the CB Live shown on December 8, C B Patel did more than justice to her amazing and remarkable life. With undisguised pride and enthusiasm he praised her and spoke of her struggles in the name of equality for women as well as what she has achieved by way of becoming the first woman ever, Indian or British to practice law. She spent most her life giving legal protection to women in purdah, often victims of unscrupulous relatives. The recently published book ‘An Indian Portia’ is about selected writings of Sorabji. CB Patel, impressed by the sheer volume of her literary output and her quick witted and fiercely intelligent writings declared her the star of Gujarat and a national icon. Sorabji wrote numerous books, letters. reviews, plays, diaries and gave marathon speeches on politics and indo-British history. She even interrogated Gandhi in a very historic interview when he was in London for the round table Conference (1931). Gandhi was three years younger than Sorabji. She mingled with Royalty, Prime Ministers, politicians, Viceroys and writers. She was the most high profile Indian in Britain. The fact that very little or anything at all is known about her and many other notable Indians and their contribution to the British way of life is a sad reflection of our indifference to our own history in Britain. An unforgivable act of irresponsibility and lack of national pride. What CB Patel has done for Cornelia Sorabji, both at Asian Achievers Awards recently and his very special tv show is admirable as it is impressive. I am indebted to his kindness and the generosity of his time on a very influential media.

We joyfully note that Indian homes and temples have tons of gold, plus billions of rupees stashed in foreign banks. India should be dictating its national and international destiny. Yet India is treated as third world’s underdeveloped poor country, with 41% shamefully below poverty line. India’s dignity and prestige abroad are compromised by frisking top politicians, visa denied on basis of 9 years old ghost charges, and repeated mauling by terrorists. A chemical company rejects its humanitarian and moral obligations towards victims of Bhopal disaster; Vatican official can denounce Yoga as evil, M. F. Hussain can insult Hindu deities. Minuscule states can fill its citizens with pride and dignity, rush across Africa to rescue citizens from terrorists, perpetuate memory of holocaust, wage war on nation halfway across the globe. Considering that billions can be generated in mere 64 years and secreted abroad, begging to foreign supermarkets to improve India’s economy is bankruptcy of governing skill by UPA. Indians should be marshalled with spirit of Sardar V. Patel, Netaji Bose, Shaheed Bhagat Singh and other passionate patriots. Days of meekness, tolerance, etc must be shelved till Indians can implement same assertive aggression as expected by competitors and onlookers.

Kusoom Vadgama London (Dr Kusoom Vadgama’s majestical work has been based on a perusal to 230 odd volumes of Cornelia Sorabji’s letters in the British Library)

Bol- an inspiring film I saw the Urdu film Bol. People who have not seen this film I strongly recommend them to see it. In fact it should be made compulsory for everyone in Pakistan and India to see this film and improve their thinking by the message that the film has tried to give to both the Nations. It will not be right for me to tell you the story, it deals with the poor people having many children, yet being incapable of looking after them, and leave every thing to Allah or God. I must congratulate Shoaib Mansoor for producing such an excellent film and request him to continue educating people in the right directions by producing films with such themes. Great job, well done Shoaib. Dharam Sahdev Ilford

Ramesh Jhalla Via Email

Dev Anand- the debonair

Banking Regulation

Blind ing Performance

Under the Bank of International Settlements [BIS], based in Switzerland, all banks including offshore banks are regulated where countries have signed up to their Basle I, II and III Accords. However, transactions in the Eurocurrency market are not subject to the Cash Reserve Ratio [CRR] and the Statutory Liquidity Ratio [SLR] requirements. In 1999, this market was worth US$ 9.5 trillion. Thus these funds are not legally protected. Eurocurrency market is a wholesale market in which Eurocurrencies are borrowed and lent in multiples of US$ 10m. Eurocurrency is not the Euro currency. It can be Dollars, Sterling, Euros, Japanese Yen, etc: known as Eurodollar, Euro Pound, Euro Yen, Euro CAD, etc. The legal definition of Eurocurrency is a market in which funds are intermediated outside the country of currency in which the funds are denominated. It is not legal tender. It can just be borrowed or lent. One example would be Hindustan Levers deposits US$30m in an American Bank branch in Germany; another: an American branch in France lends US$30m to British Airways in the UK. The interest rates paid or charged are naturally lower than domestic bank rates. Rates quoted are usually 1% above LIBOR rate, fixed every six months. Although City of London is fully regulated, regulators do not have sufficient time or expertise to monitor this complex banking system, esp. the offshore activities of MNCs and tax evasion that follows. EU is right to propose a transaction tax. David Cameroon was wrong to use the veto in Brussels. He could have said: I have to consult my Parliament for deep reflexion.

David Cameron’s action of vetoing the EU treaty in Brussels has been described as having played a blinder. It indeed takes courage to stand out alone against 26 others. No other British Prime Minister, even Margaret Thatcher, had done so in the forty odd years’ history of the European Union! But the Prime Minister had the interests of the British financial institutions at heart. The City handles 40% of the world’s foreign exchange trade in comparison to 2% handled by France and some 4% by Germany. The PM wanted to get adequate safeguards for Britain in the new European treaty which would otherwise have put our position in jeopardy. David Cameron says we are better off not being in the EU. I don’t profess to be au fait with how the EU works or how the financial sector operates. But is it prudent to go alone when Britain’s position in the EU will be marginalised? What concerns me is that we have already forked out billions of pounds to bail out other EU countries. God forbid but if we get into financial trouble like Greece, Italy or Spain, who would come to our rescue? Would we not become isolated and vulnerable? I also thought it was childish petulance on part of the French President to have offered a cold shoulder to the British PM whose gesture of a hand shake was ignored when they passed each other in the hall. This, especially, after being matey over the Libyan military operation.

Dev Anand- was arguably the most romantic,handsome and musical hero of Hindi Cinema’s golden era peaking in late 50s to early 70s. His wonted hair buff,mannerisms, fast dialogue and dressing made him an icon. Black/printed shirts with closed top button/long coat, upturned collars, and straw hat were a ‘trademark’. At his peak in the mid sixties he was more beautiful than handsome, a face too good for the camera is how West Africans referred to him. He had a touch of Hollywood (inspired by Gregory Peck) and attempted English versions of his productions . During 70’s Dev Anand lost his way somewhat due to his insistence on writing and directing films, different class of heroines- changing their trends, looks – age and music- and violent themes triggered by Goldie’s “Johnny mera naam” . However the preceding decade and half esp Guide plus introducing new talents like Guru Dutt, Sahir etc ensures his place in the hall of fame. D A was certainly one of a kind and on his passing we raise our hats to him and the glorious age of pure romance.

Anna Hazare in a recent statement stated that Rahul Gandhi is not fit to be the Prime Minister candidate even though the Congress party is trying to push him to take control of the party. Anna Hazare has clearly stated by staying one night in a hut is not going to solve India’s problem. The real problem in India is that it is ruled by two members of one family namely Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Even though they are elected representative of the people, they rarely attend the Parliament meetings and do not take part in any debate. On the other Rahul Gandhi is instructing the UPA government to carry out his own policies such as the land reforms and changes in Lokpal bill overriding the Prime Minister’s policy. Therefore several members in the parliament including opposition members wanted land reform bill that was not implemented.

Bhupendra Brahmabhatt Via Email

Arun Vaidyanathan Via Email

Nagin Khajuria Via Email

Rahul and Anna

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


Cricket crazy Indians for the first time was seen so euphoric on Monday morning, as they expected a couple of Oscars. British Indians in the UK, Dharavi slums, the shanty township of Mumbai, a village in Uttar Pradesh and almost the entire Bollywood waited in expectation, glued to their TV sets. They burst into celebrations as one by one, their heroes, the actors of the British Indian film and the music maestro, A R Rahman bagged the top awards in the world of entertainment. British actress Kate Winslett also won the Oscar after having missed it almost five times earlier. ‘Smile Pinki’, a short documentary on a cleft-lipped Indian girl in Uttar Pradesh directed by American director Megan Mylan, won the Oscar for the Best Documentary (Short). -/1% /. 0!'%


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David humbles Goliath In the Old Testament, the mighty Goliath, champion of the Philistines was slain by the young David from a sling in front of their opposing armies. Our David has achieved some thing similar in front of the mighty bullies Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel who wanted to destroy the city of London. No wonder 26 members, most are net beneficiaries and under the economic thumb of Germany ganged up against Britain to line their pockets and save the doomed Euro that Britain had rejected from the onset. They wanted to make Britain a scapegoat for their financial mismanagement and living beyond their means, borrowing as if there is no tomorrow. David Cameron must have cut a lonely figure, allocated a seat next to the PM of Malta, a childish behaviour that spectacularly back-fired and made David even more determined to fight for Britain that no other British PM has done since Lady Margaret Thatcher. It is time for the British people to salute David Cameron for the enormous courage he has shown. Bhupendra M Gandhi Via Email

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Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011

Council to provide £5k for street parties Neighbourhoods across Waltham Forest will receive an extra £5,000 to spend on street parties to help celebrate the Olympic Games or the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Full details of the scheme are still being finalised, but it is anticipated that residents will put the funding towards street decorations, entertainment and refreshments via Community Ward Forums while the Council helps by organising road closures and insurance. The £5,000 does not have to be spent all on one event, as different streets or estates may want to celebrate separately or pool their

resources with neighbouring wards. In addition, each Ward Forum will continue to receive its annual £10,000 budget to spend on local projects and neighbourhood initiatives. The decision to give local Community Ward Forums a cash boost was made to help celebrate two pivotal events for the country: the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The street parties will be paid for thanks to the same one-off Games-time deals that are funding the Council’s Big 6 events and paid for last week’s Senior Citizen’s Lunches. Leader of Waltham

Forest Council, Cllr Chris Robbins, told the media: “Next year the Olympics will bring together athletes and spectators from all over the world and this cash boost will help bring our local communities together as they celebrate two key national events. We’ve promised our residents a fantastic Olympic Year, and we want every Community Ward Forum to take us up on our offer and show us how creative they can be when it comes to celebrating 2012.” For more about Community Ward Forums visit www.walthamforest.

BBC star says economy is the real casualty of foreign language decline Casualty actress Sunetra Sarker is calling on secondary schools around the country to take part in a new scheme which will award £4,000 cash prizes to schools promoting language learning to 11-16 year olds. The British Academy Schools Language Awards will go to fourteen schools across seven UK regions as part of the Academy’s new £5 million programme to help combat the national decline in foreign language and quantitative skills. One award in each region will be

to a mainstream secondary school and the other to a community school with an additional £4,000 prize for the overall winner. Less than 50% of pupils study a foreign language to GCSE level. While English has historically been the dominant international language, over 75% of the world’s population don’t speak English. Lack of language skills has been estimated to cost the UK £21 billion every year. Sunetra, who plays Dr Zoe Hanna in the long-run-

ning BBC medical drama, explains why she’s supporting the campaign: ‘Learning a language in secondary school enabled me to study French at university. I studied and worked in France for a year with my degree and had one of the best years of my life. The British Academy Schools Language Awards are a great initiative to promote the benefits of learning a foreign language – it can open up so many opportunities for youngsters.’


Passage to India for Kingston’s Karishma A Kingston University student has won a place on a train journey, travelling the length and breadth of India to look at new design projects. Karishma Rafferty, pictured, will join 450 other young people for the trip that will last 15 days and cover 6,000 miles. The 25-year-old, who is currently studying on Kingston’s Curating Contemporary Design MA course, will join the Jagriti Yatra (‘awakening journey’ in Hindi) as it visits cities all over India. The locomotive leaves Mumbai on Christmas Eve, returning more than two weeks later, having travelled as far north as Delhi and to Madurai near the country’s southern tip. Karishma – who was also an undergraduate at Kingston, being awarded a first class degree in

Graphic Design in 2007 – secured her place with a CV which includes stints working for publisher Phaidon Press and the Royal Society of Arts in London and for internationally renowned design agency Pentagram in Berlin. Karishma is anticipating a very inspiring journey. “I think it’ll be intense,” she said. “Those 15 days on the train are going to be packed with fascinating speakers, visits and discussions, I

want to document as much of it as possible for the students and staff back at Kingston University.” She’s hoping to build close friendships with other participants on the trip with whom she’ll be able to collaborate in the future. “I feel confident that this experience is going to be a huge boost to my career as a designer and curator,” she said. Although Karishma’s mother’s family is from India, this will be Karishma’s first visit to the subcontinent. Her grandparents were born in Sindh province, which, after the partition of India in 1948, became part of Pakistan. They emigrated, eventually settling in Spain. Karishma will be blogging about the journey at

Olympic tickets on offer for city status schools competition Tower Hamlets youngsters will have a chance to get their hands on a pair of tickets to the Olympic Games, thanks to a competition launched as part of the borough’s city status campaign. Launched by the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, the competition involves schoolchildren drawing their favourite place in Tower Hamlets from the

50 landmarks that are included in the borough’s city status bid document. Amongst the landmarks are some of London and the UK’s most well known places such as Brick Lane, Tower of London and Canary Wharf. There are also landmarks cherished by the local community like Victoria Park, Whitechapel Bell Foundry

and Columbia Road Flower Market. As well as winning themselves a pair of tickets to the Olympic Games, the winner will also have their design framed and put on public display. The winning design will also be put into the archives along with other information and materials from the city status campaign.



Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011

Scrutator’s The shenanigans in India's parliament over the government's decision to open up the country's retail sector to foreign direct investment has provoked concern among leading business leaders, of whom Deepak Parekh is an exemplar. Viewing the unruly conduct of some MPs, Mr Parekh asked if we were witnessing the “collapse of democracy” (NDTV online December 2). Indian taxpayers fund the salaries and allowances of their elected representatives and expect them to speak and behave in a manner befitting members of the legislature of what is routinely described as the “world's largest democracy”. Parliament was suspended for nine consecutive days, giving rise to Mr Parekh's disquiet. It is something the Indian people will do well to consider at the next general election. Those who brought parliament into disrepute have no right to sit there. This is not to prejudge the issue of retail liberalization. The arguments for and against need to be aired forcefully without recourse to mob tactics. Enough said.

ents growing up, part of a family that enjoyed exploring different cultures. When he graduated from Brown University with a major in economics and international relations in 2009, the American job market was less than welcoming, to say the least - so he looked to India.” Says 24 year-old Mr Bennet, who studied urban planning in Bangalore: “India is a natural choice for a few reasons. The Indian overseas diaspora is a vibrant and welcoming community.” Also, he said, Indian professional networks with the West were large, deep and growing. “It was easy to explore opportunities and find a niche that fit my passion and skill set,” he explained. Mr Bennet landed a job as an analyst at ICICI, India's largest private bank, and has lived in Mumbai for the past three years.

Job-hunting in India

Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Vadra

The Sunday Telegraph's man in Delhi, Dean Nelson, (November 20) produced a thoughtful analysis on the problems of India's political succession as the present aging leadership makes way for the young bucks waiting in the wings, eager and more than willing, to take over the reins of power. Mr Nelson concentrated on the ruling Congress party (although the opposition Bharatiya Party (BJP) leader L.K. Adani is well into his eighties and must also be giving thought to his likely successor) and its heir apparent 41 year-old Rahul Gandhi and his sister 39 year-old Priyanka Vadra. On the face off it, brother and sister are well bonded, but Dean Nelson detected undercurrents of rivalry between the two. If Congress fared poorly in Uttar Pradesh – long regarded as Mr Gandhi's bailiwick – in the next state elections, the party faithful might well opt for his sister who, Dean Nelson avers, “has won admirers for her compassion and charisma. Her public forgiveness of a woman jailed for the assassination of her father (Rajiv) was widely praised, while Congress MPs say her support during elections translates into thousands of extra votes”. Mr Nelson quoted a Congress party insider as saying: “With the mother (Sonia) no longer on the scene and Rahul not up to much, Priyanka will be the natural person.”

India, Israel close to free trade deal The Hindu newspaper reports (December 6) that India and Israel are close to finalizing their long awaited free trade agreement (FTA). Such a deal would take their bilateral trade from the present $1.5 billion to an exponential $15 billion, according to a statement in Hyderabad by the new Israeli Ambassador to India, Alon Ushpiz, who told reporters: “We have concluded three rounds of talks regarding FTA and the fourth round is likely to be taken up in January. You must understand that FTA is amongst the toughest subjects to deal with and has many aspects before being finalized, including the items to be included.” The ambassador gave a dramatic demonstration of the high-tech aspect of the com-

merce to come. Taking out two objects from his coat, he swallowed the first: a tiny camerabased gadget to get a complete internal map of the human body; this was followed by a micro-chip that powers irrigation sprinklers and enhances agriculture. Mr Ushpiz said that pesticides and fertilizers would be major thrust areas of IndoIsraeli cooperation. A research and development centre on pesticides was to be set up in India on the optimum use and increased production of pesticides.

India beckons Americans A New York Times feature by Neha Thirani (December 5) opens thus: “Born in Minneapolis, Win Bennet travelled extensively with his par-

With the US economy showing no signs of the projected revival, an increasing number of recent American graduates are job-hunting in India. Meanwhile, Indian companies have responded to the emerging trend by expanding their recruiting drives to talent pools across the seas. Salaries in India might be lower than in the US, but so also was the cost of living – which made the package attractive. The bonus for the young included an opportunity to see the world. Indians who have lived abroad were also aggressively looking to work back home. When Snapdeal, an Indian ecommerce company started recruiting, its founders were surprised by the response: more than 2.000 resumes, 30 per cent from people not of Indian descent. For many non-Indians, said 29 year-old engineering graduate Kunal Bahl, 29, with a business degree from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, a Snapdeal founder, “It's not that they are not getting jobs there, but they are not getting the jobs they want.” So young American graduates “would rather come to India with all the resources available and get to see exciting things.” Other companies scouting for overseas talent include Mahendra & Mahendra, FlipKart, InfoTech Enterprises, Jindal Steel et al, all this surely calculated to raise the hackles of Delhi-based Financial Times hack James Lamont whose dirges on the Indian economy have become weekly offerings.

Exercise to prevent war A sure guarantee against war is to be prepared for it. Situated in the most combustible region in the world, with one neighbour to the north-west committed to terrorism as an instrument of statecraft, while on India's northern frontier is a behemoth joined at the hip with the first predator in a menacing arc directed southwards: a fascist coalition of the willing designed for 21st century goals. India's recent military exer-

Right: President Pratibha Patil with senier Army officers watching the wargame

safety measures on the premises, in early September, warned of their inadequacy and the possibility of a fire hazard. The AMRI hospital authorities were indifferent to the situation , hence innocent patients paid for the criminal negligence with their lives. Six board members of the hospital including cofounders SK Todi and RS Goenka have been arrested. West Bengal “Sudarshan Shakti” in oparation Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the licence of the six-storey hospital in Dhakuria had been cancise termed, “Sudarshan celled. She said the fire was an Shakti,” among the largest carried out in decades, was drawn “unforgivable crime,” and that up with a view to designing a those responsible for the disaslean and mean military ter would be severely punmachine capable of leveraging ished. new-age technologies. The The full rigour of the law exercise, near Barmar in the must be applied against those desert state of Rajasthan, was culpable. The judicial proceedspearheaded by the Southern ings will be followed with the Army Command and the South closest interest by India's citiWestern Air Command, led by zenry. The chief minister has formations under the Bhopalher work cut out; she has it in based 21st Corps, a strike her to restore the workings of Corps also known as the government to an acceptable Sudarshan Chakra Corps. The level after decades of aim was to achieve the required Communist misrule in the synergy between the Army and state (BBC News, The Air Force in a network-centric Statesman (Kolkata, environment dominated by posDecember 9). See Comment sible threats emanating from Page 3. nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Kolkata's hope President Pratibha Patil, Supreme Commander of India's The hospital tragedy had been armed forces, witnessed the preceded a couple of days earexercise with Defence Minister lier by the heartening news A.K.Antony and the Chief of that Wipro, the Bangalorethe Army Staff, General Vijay based software giant, had Kumar Singh. President Patil, struck a deal with the West addressing the formations, Bengal state government under hailed the exercise as a “landwhich the IT major would mark that would enhance comopen a spacious centre in bat preparedness.” The latest Rajarhat, the large satellite tanks, helicopters and fighter town springing up in Greater aircraft were put through their Kolkata. Ms Banerjee was paces. Modernizing all the helped in the talks with Azim branches of India's armed Premji, the Wipro CEO and forces is an ongoing process founder, by her experienced, (The Hindu and Times of India business-friendly Finance December 9). Minister Amit Mitra. The West Bengal government is to allot 50 acres of land Kolkata tragedy to a project expected to result in 15,000 jobs. Wipro's previA fire at a south Kolkata hospious foray in Salt Lake city, tal claimed 90 lives, the victims another Kolkata suburb, has mostly dying from smoke produced 5000 jobs for local IT inhalation; The basement of the talent. The hospital inferno has building was used as storage for cast a long, dark shadow over highly inflammable material. this positive development. Inspectors, who had reviewed


Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011


London bids final farewell to actor and icon Dev Anand

YOUR VOICE FDI and private Indian gold The research by Macquarie says that Indian homes hold gold worth $950 Billion. This is twice the USA Federal Reserve and the economists are already worried about it. Yes, this Indian custom too is based on good economics sense. You need to have ‘something set aside for a rainy day’. Another item of news, suddenly popped up on the world media stage is the issue of FDI in India. This is about Wallmart and Tesco wanting to dominate the Indian retail trade without a thought for the millions of small traders. These two issues are linked. The Western economists view the private Indian gold, held by the Indian women, as something to be targeted. Those foreign lobbies, pushing for FDI, are behaving in the same way as the East India Company, that went to India for, the now infamous ‘trade’. Wikipedia says the following, about the East India Company:- “The East India Company traded mainly in cotton, silk, indigo dye, saltpetre, tea, and opium. The Company also came to rule large areas of India, exercising military power and assuming administrative functions, to the exclusion, gradually, of its commercial pursuits; it effectively functioned as a mega corporation. Company rule in India, which effectively began in 1757 after the Battle of Plassey, lasted until 1858, when, following the events of the Indian Rebellion of 1857, and under the Government of India Act 1858, the British Crown assumed direct administration of India in the new British Raj.” East India Company has been replaced by the hundreds of MNCs including Wallmart and Tesco. Thus, in my opinion, FDI stand for Foreign Direct Invasion. My fellow Indians beware! Narotam Lathia Via Email

Retail FDI in India I read with interest that the poor will pay higher food prices if India does not open up it’s retail sector via FDI. So says Kaushik Basu, economics advisor to President Manmohan Singh. The poor already pay high prices with current inflation levels. And I very much doubt that the rural poor will or need access to western style supermarkets, that’s for the middle and upper classes in urban areas. The poor are living a hand to mouth existence so to them any development in retail is of no concern. One thing is for sure, western style supermarkets will improve logistics and transportation of goods but if we see how UK supermarkets have decimated high street diversity, suppliers and farmers then maybe it’s not a bad thing if they stay out of India. K.Bhudia Via Email

Viru’s double ton Virender Sehwag hit 219 runs in just 148 balls in the 4th ODI against West Indies. India made its highest ODI score (418) in 50 overs. The way Viru was going on, I certainly thought at one point that India is going to make the highest ODI score by crossing South Africa’s score of 436. Unfortunately it didn’t happen! Yet I can say although Sehwag is not a promising performer, whenever he plays his innings well, the opposition is left with no hope of winning and the spectators are left with unlimited value for money. Hope Viru and The Men in Blue carry this form and confidence to the next series in Australia. Devang Bhatt, Harrow, London

Yoga- the evil? Father Gabriel has his own views/thoughts on Yoga and Harry Potter, as a catholic (I assume) and practising exorcist. As an AV reader, one would like to have more information and thoughts on his such views, on the “evils created, by ancient practice of yoga and by books/movies on Harry Potter” Someone, well versed with these, need to go and visit Father to interview, and get some insight into the “evil side of Yoga and Harry Potters magic”, as he perceives/believes. This should make interesting read for AV readers, I believe. Jay Thakerar Via Email Your point is noted and we hope to do the needful. - AV

say that “Nothing is impossible in life, what Subroto Roy and Sunil you need is a strong Anand carrying casket will-power.” He has given Bollywood stars like Tina Munim (Ambani), Jackie Shroff, Shatrughan Sinha, Zeenat Aman... Lord Bilimoria He was in love with HE Rajesh N Prasad paying tribute London. Maybe that is why he took his last breath in London.” The Acting High Commissioner of India, HE Rajesh N Prasad Dev Anand’s funeral ceremony expressed his gratitude covering was attended by a large number of Dev saab with white flowers. He people, including his family and said “I did not know him personalclose friends like Dr Kartar Lalvani ly but I know that he was a unique (Managing Director, Vitabiotics), actor and filmmaker. On behalf of Dr Kartar Lalvani Tony Sarin Lord Karan Bilimoria, Baroness Indian High Commission, I pay my Shreela Flather, Joginder Sangerpay their final tribsincere respect.” Chairman of Bharatiya Vidya ute to their Lord Karan Bilimoria added, Bhavan and a renowned hotel favourite star. His “The first time I met him, he gave a tycoon, Subroto Roy, the Sahara famous films songs viral smile that has been imprinted Chief and more than 300 fans. were sang by in my heart forever. When I was givThe star’s wife Kalpana Kartik Kaushik Khajuria ing my speech at the House of could not attend the funeral and and Anuradha. Lords once, he was looking at me stayed behind in Washington Hotel, Chairman Joginder from the gallery. After my speech where Mr Anand had taken his last Sanghar, Director Joginder Sanger was over, he smiled at me. A smile breath. Dr. Nanda Kumar that still lingers on my mind. He His teary eyed son Sunil perand one of his fan who came from was 88, but had the enthusiasm and forming the last rites, promised his USA Mr. Arun Shah paid their tribenergy of a 48 years old. He has dear father to fulfil his dreams. utes along with Lord Meghnad actually left us very soon. He and Besides Mr Anand’s daughter Desai. Sunil Anand thanked everyhis films has inspired youth all Devina, his sister Sheela Kapoor, one for their support and the mesaround the world and will continue granddaughter Jeana, nephew Tony sages that he had received. He to inspire for ever.” Sarin and Vaibhav Vijay Anand added, “He was not only my father, Devsaab’s close friend Dr were also present. The acting High Kartar Lalvani said “ I have lost my Commissioner of India Rajesh N precious friend. He was a father. Prasad, also paid their homage. Brother, Mama, Mourning family of Dev Anand gathered at Bhavans Kaka, husband and extremely dear to everyone. He will always continue live in my heart”. It was originally decided that with the arrival of Dev Saab’s Final goodbye from the tearful family members body for cremation, songs like “Hum but also a good friend. He always Dono”, “Mein jindigi wanted to keep working and he ka sath nibhata chala rested his heart in the film industry. gaya” were to be I hope to complete his unfulplayed. But due to some technical Inspite of the freezing weather, filled dreams. I will complete his problem they were not played. his fans rushed to the crematorium incomplete film Hare Rama Hare Yet coincidentally one fan of with banners saying “We love you Krishna Aaj and Songs of Life . Dev Saab got the privilege to sing Raju Guide”, “Long live Dev Dev Anand’s death was sensed his songs “Dil na dhale jaye hai raat Anand” to express their love According to the sources it is na jaye, Tu tau na aye teri yaad towards Dev Saab. Even before the believed that Dev Saab must have sataye” and “phoolo ka taro ka body of Dev Saab could reach the sensed his death approaching as sabka kehna hai, ek hazaro mei crematorium, his fans had started during a family dinner on the night meri bahena hai...” and made everyhumming “Aum Namah Shivay” before, he was extremely emotional one emotional The touchy songs mantra. Since the crematorium towards his son, talking about even made his sister Sheela Kapoor could only hold a maximum of 90 blessing him from heaven and whatcry. people, two large TV screens were ever Sunil continues to do. According to Hindu ritual, the put outside, helping the fans to see Condolence meeting at last rites were performed by his his last rites being carried out. Mumbai’s Mehmoob studio family under Dr. Tanaji Acharya’s At about 11.15 his body kept in While fans in India could not guidance. Later Kenny Muir read a casket, decked with flowers, was have had the last glimpse of the star, one chapter of Bible which was foltaken to the crematorium in a his ashes was flown back to lowed by prayer by Reverend Lis motorcade. Dev saab’s year long Mumbai and a memorial service Goddard. While Dev Saab’s body friends like Subrato Roy with famiwill be held at the Mehboob studio was taken to the fire funeral in the ly members Sunil Dev Anand, Tony in Mumbai on December 16. After chamber, Andrew Miller played Sarin and Vaibhav Anand carried memorial service his ashes will be “Dark Island” and “Sky boat song” him to the crematorium, with submerged in River Godavari on the bagpiper. mantras “Ram naam satya hai” at (Dakshini Ganga) in Nashik. The crematorium was filled with the back ground. Some of his fans On 9th December, both the Indian, European and Middle had flew all the way from Andhra Houses of Parliament in India had Eastern reporters who bid farewell Pradesh, USA to bid him the final paid their homage to Dev Anand by to this evergreen hero. farewell. maintaining 2 minutes silence. A following Memorial was His son Sunil performing last arranged at about 2pm at Bhartiya rites said “My father who was the Photo courtesy: Vidyabhavan in West Kensington. evergreen actor and everyone’s Raj Bakrania 07977 759 301 More than 300 people attended it to favourite has passed away. Though he will not be there physically with us, he will always live in our heart and soul forever. I pray for his soul Amrit Kotak has been a to rest in peace.” close friend and confiNephew Tony Sarin said, “He dant of the veteran actor was not only the true legend but a Dev Anand. He not only very good human-being. I was very interviewed Dev saab on close to my mamaji. He was not many occasions but visitonly my mentor but also a mentor ed him innumerable for my brother Shekhar Kapoor and times at various places. Vijaymama’s son Vaibhav, whom he His untold story will be has always encouraged and published in the next inspired. week issue of Asian It is impossible to forget him. I Chandra Kotak, Dev Anand, Mr Jogi and Amrit Kotak Voice. remember his kind words. He use to discussing about New York premiere of Film Guide. Continued from page 1

Dev Anand- the story untold


Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011

Merry Christmas A fresh start

What’s on Santa’s sleigh? Women


l iPad case- Mimi Berry/Pickett, Capulet l iPhone cover- Marc by Marc Jacobs, Selfridges l Bronze sequin scarfAnthropologie l Coloured wallets- Prada l Shoulder bag- Smythson l Leather Grand tour gloves- Rapha l Messenger bag- Ally Capellino l Gold trainers- Miu Miu

l Chronograph watch- Uniform wares at SCP, Ernest Jones, Twisted Time, Conran Shop, Asos l Kindle and coversAmazon, Covers- Smythson, John Lewis l Cassette tape iPhone case l Satchel- Cambridge satchel company l Grey cable knit scarf- My Wardrobe l Gramophone iPod dockAnthropologie l Dandy slippers- Penelope Chilvers

After the Christmas binge January is a great time to give your body a clean and rest. Psychologically it’s the start of a fresh new year, and physically it follows a period of over-indulgence and, probably, an amount of unhealthy eating and drinking. So start the new year by giving your body the chance to make the most of the opportunities ahead. Ilon a Wesle is a nu trition ist and co foun der o f MyDetoxDiet, an d she sugg ests follo wing the se de tox tips for seven d ays.

Children 0-3 years


l l l l


Playon Crayon- Hop Lego duplo cars- Amazon Moover’s doll’s pram- Hippy Chick Bendy Giraffe- Steiff


4-7 years l Fur Real newborn baby penguin- Toys R Us l Disney Princess magic wand gameArgos l Vtech tablet computer- John Lewis l Sylvanian families Berry Grove SchoolJohn Lewis l Stacking robotsAspace l Crusader knight costume- Letterbox l Brio Metro railway set- Amazon

8-11 years l l l l l

Nintendo Wii Just Dance 3 Special Edition Apple iPod Touch Remote control Inch worm- Hex Bug Rubber tipped wooden crossbow- Kids toy world Xbox with Kinect sensor- Amazon

What's in and what's outChristmas gift ideas

l l

l l l

Avoid black tea, coffee and alcohol. Instead drink herbal tea Drink at least 1 liter of water per day – ideally more. Drink fresh juices, e.g. carrot, beetroot, apple and cucumber as they are fantastically nourishing and cleansing Avoid processed foods Chose organic food in order to minimize your intake of toxic pesticides. Even if you cant make every item organic, do the best you can – it will make a difference Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day Reduce your consumption of animal products. And finally, you can support the Detox process by getting a good night’s sleep, trying Yoga or Pilates, treating yourself to a massage or infrared dome session (in order to sweat out the toxins) and exercising regularly By looking after your body at the start of the year you will give yourself the best chance to stay healthy in the cold months ahead and enjoy life to the full.

On the go Christmas is meant for families to spend time together. That could be anywhere in the World. So why don’t you make use of these holidays and travel somewhere you like? If you are worried about booking, call their customer care or our travel agents and you may get some exciting deals left ONLY for you and your loved ones. The obvious choices in destinations are of course somewhere in the balmy weather, but hey, there might be some fun in skiing and sleighing too! So do some research on the net (check out below websites too) or call the travel agents who advertise in Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar. They can advise you with some of the perfect deals.

Top 5 Exotic spots l l l l l

Turkey ( Barcelona ( Morocco ( Sri Lanka ( Tanzania (

Top 5 European spots l Switzerland (see l Italy ( l Prague ( or l Krakow ( l Hogmany, Scotland ( Please Note: Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar are not responsible for the product/tour that is being promoted here. The consumer/reader is advised that the use of the mentioned websites and availability of the packaged deals/tours are at their own risk.

Top 10 Christmas Driving Songs 1. Fairytale of New York – The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl 2. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday – Wizzard 3. Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade 4. Driving Home for Christmas – Chris Rea 5. Do They Know its Christmas – Band Aid 6. Last Christmas – Wham 7. All I Want for Christmas – Mariah Carey 8. Happy Xmas (War is Over) – John & Yoko And The Plastic Ono Band 9. Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney 10. Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Tom Jones & Cerys Matthews (By Survey. Produced by The Co-operative Motor Insurance, which questioned 3,000 drivers)


Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011

f ashionista

by Debasree Ghosh

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

The Christmas-ista This week, I have my work Christmas party i.e the sociological and psychological minefield. As daft as religion itself, and as unavoidable this time of the year. It’s a litmus taste of social dos (be friendly) and don’ts (but not so friendly that you end up in your boss’s flat, alone) while chugging alcohol by the gallons and desperately trying to come up with non-work related topics of conversation. What to wear in this battle of bored boundaries? What you are looking for here is classy, unassuming, quiet and completely non-individualistic. You don’t want to look smart, sexy or God forbid, fun. The look you are going for here is Nice, with a capital ‘N’. Labels that offer this are Massimo Dutti, Banana Republic, Issa, Theory and Joseph or if your bonus is 40k upwards, Prada and Bottega Veneta. Like me, my fiancé also has his merry obligations of the season, and unlike me he expects his other half to accompany him to most of those. This is a tricky situation. I am friends with some of his friends, a few among whom are rather good-looking and a few of whom are women and a couple of them even decide his corporate fate. So, the brief is to look sexy enough for the man to feel proud, but not so sexy that people think our union is on shaky grounds, classy but not uptight, fun but not ‘ that what the fashionable kids in advertising wearing these days?’, and definitely not anything covered in sequins. J.Crew, Hoss Intropia, Jaeger, Farhi or Milly are your playground. Me, I am wearing the DvF bought off ‘Tis the time for friends and family tra la la..ahem. Family....sigh. Make no mistake, there will be family. And the family will frown at your Balmain jacket. I have had Christmas dinners at the house of my in-laws, where I was the only person in shoes not even resembling ‘sensible’. And I have had Christmas dinners in my home where I was so frantically busy checking the turkey and mashing the cranberries that I ended up spending the whole evening in a tracksuit while all my guests had made the effort to not look homeless. What I am trying to say is, when it come to family dinners or heck, family anything, you just can’t get it right. It’s pointless.

Gaga about gadgets In a Telegraph magazine, meant for only suggestive Christmas gifts, Matt Warman writes about the gadgets that are turning people gaga.

Top gadgets: l

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Vita R I portable radio (£159) and carry case (£32), Sight and Sound Smart Speaker- A Q Audio (£219) Bose QC 15 noise cancelling headphones (£279), Bose Sony tablet (£349) Nokia Lumia 800 (£399.95) iDeck 200 (£399.95)

(Prices may change. Terms & conditions apply)

There are so many age-groups, deranged psychologies, generational attitudes and personal equations involved that at least three people are going to trash you anyway. So, don’t try too hard. My only advice is, wear good underwear and clothes that accommodate them. It’s dangerous to bend down to ring out the twenty pound roast while wearing strapless backless chiffon slinkiness. And finally, The one party that you actually want to go to. The one that has your friends, not your colleagues; the one where it’s okay to do tequila shots secure in the knowledge somebody will shove you up in a taxi and hold your hair back while you ‘de-tox’ yourself; the party where it’s fine to admit your love of tinsel and make eyes at the cute bartender, because hey, it’s Christmas. ‘Tis the time to break out the sequinned micro-mini. You are spoilt for choice girl! Half of High-street and almost every fashion brand cater to you. Break the rules and make your own. Be individualistic, go all-out hot and in-your-face glamorous. The only person, who can stop you here, is you. And above all, be thankful that you have all these parties to go to. Merry Christmas, everybody! Mmmm..eggnog.

Finger in the pie

A Christmas Tale This Wednesday evening 50 members of the Dickens Pickwick Club will meet at the George & Vulture, an ancient hostelry in the City of London where people have gone to relax since Chaucer’s father downed a glass or two there! At the cry of the ‘Wittles’ they will take their seats for a heroic supper that will certainly include Pickwick pie (aka steak and kidney pud)followed by Stilton. They will eat in a shabby, tobacco stained room which looks the same as it did to Charles Dickens when he went there with 34 Chums on January 20, 1836, just before he began writing The Pickwick Papers. The G&V would appear in that show-stopping book at least 20 times. His framed bill, for 11 and 5 shillings, survives. The club was founded by Cedrick Dickens (1916-2006)great grandson of the writer and the living embodiment of Pickwick himself. Its aim is to preserve and celebrate the spirit of his ancestor’s oeuvre. It will certainly play an enthusiastic role in the bicentenary celebration next year. Boris Johnson has pledged that London will do Dickens proud: “Dickens stands for London. He

Mini Mincemeat Pies For The Lazy Cook: (Serves 12) Ingredients l 1 (500g) pack of pre-made puff pastry l 450g mincemeat (You can make this at home, but save yourself some bother and buy from store) l 50g dried cranberries l 1 tbsp lemon zest l 4 egg yolks beaten l 50g golden caster sugar

(Ref: The Ghost of Christmas PresentsThe Sunday Times Magazine)

Help yourself

n Shree As everyone knows, eating is seriously detrimental to fashion. While this is completely true, as well-documented by everyone who has lost five pounds and gained it back, in my experience, not eating doesn’t do good things to my sanity. Especially at time time of the year, you have to be a fool to starve yourself. Now, I like desserts. I don’t particularly like eating them, but I absolutely love baking sweet things. This weekend I’ll be making lots of jams and preserves that bottled up, will serve as Christmas presents to friends and family. And I’ll make batches of mini mince pies that I’d take to work to be vanished within the hour. If you, like me, would like to shamelessly lap up praises and compliments for your cooking skills, give this very easy recipe a try.

not only created an incomparable pageant of London characters, he turned the capital into the greatest character Charles Dickens of all.” Dickens wrote about Christmas all his working life, but it was in A Christmas Carol that he gave us the finest, clearest and warmest account of the festival ever written.

Method Preheat the oven to 200°C / gas mark 6. Mix together the shop bought mincemeat with the cranberries and lemon zest. Roll out the pastry until it is 2mm thick. Stamp out 12 x 6cm rounds with a pastry cutter and lay on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Fill each case with one heaped teaspoon of mincemeat and brush the edges with a little egg wash. Stamp out 12 x 6cm fluted rounds for the lids and put on top of the mincemeat, sealing to the edges of the bases, by pressing down gently with the tips of your fingers. Brush with the egg yolks and sprinkle lightly with golden caster sugar. Make a little hole on top. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown sprinkle with the sugar and cool or serve warm.

Everybody may not have a lot of money to spend on an expensive Christmas gift. In that case, make your own Christmas present. Jazz Domino Holly, who wrote Queen of Crafts (published by Penguin) has suggested a few tips on how to make your own Christmas present. l Make the time: There’s a bigger sense of personal value when you give friends and family something home-made. You don’t have to be really creative. A lot of people get very scared and think they are not crafty enough. half of the fun is experimenting and seeing what works. l A Sound Idea: If you are not really crafty and don’t fancy sewing, make the equivalent of a personalised mix tape, burned on to a CD. You can even make your own CD cover on Adope photo shop l It’s a wrap: Try using brown paper or old maps to wrap and tie with colourful yarn instead of ribbons. Or use a paper doily as stencil, rest it on some brown paper and spray-paint a bright colour on top



Asian Voice Saturday 17th December 2011

I have genuine fondness for Ranveer: Anushka

Dhanush greets Abhishek, Aishwarya

Rajnikanth and Bachchan families have been sharing a wonderful rapport over the years. Now it’s Dhanush extending the friendship as Rajnikanth sends son-in-law on his behalf. Recently, Superstar had personally wished Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai for being blessed with baby girl. To ensure that his greetings reach directly, he had sent

Dhanush on his behalf to Mumbai as he was there for the final mixing of ‘3’. With his ‘Why this Kolaveri de…’ song becoming massive hit in Mumbai, the actor had a tremendous reception. Dhanush had personally met and discussed the script with Abhishek. Moreover, Abhishek had Dhanush as his guest for the red carpet premiere of ‘Mission Impossible 4’.

Gautham Menon to reunite with Harris Jayaraj

Successful combo Gautham Menon and Harris Jayaraj, who parted ways due to some differences a few years ago, seem to have buried the hatchet. Well, the musician is likely to replace AR Rahman, who has reportedly walked out of “Neethaane En Ponvasantham” (NEP)

due to his busy schedule, in the multilingual movie. This has lead Gautham Menon to find a good replacement for the Oscar Award winner and he is keen to rope in his trusted music director Harris Jayaraj. But it is not sure whether they have sealed the deal.

Rajini asks makers not to use his name in film titles

Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma says that she has "genuine fondness" for Ranveer Singh whom she calls her "inspiration." Anushka and Ranveer's love-hate relationship is no secret since they starred together in 'Band Baaja Baarat', which went on to become a hit. “We got to know each other better from Ranveer's debut film,” the actress said. Virtually singing paeans for Ranveer, the actress said, “I have lot of respect for Ranveer, he inspires me. He is so driven as an actor. He is passionate about what he wants to do. I have genuine fondness for Ranveer. I think we are very good together when we are on screen,” she said. Replying to a query on their frequent public appearances together after the release of Band Baja...,Anushka said, "after we had shot 'Band Baaja Baarat', we had to do promotions, then award functions.. be it for receiving them or performing. So at that time we used to hang out a lot. You could see a lot of us other". When asked about why they are not seen together often in the recent past, the actress said, “when the film was over we had not much work (to do) so we did not meet up often. But it was not like we were not seeing or meeting each other. There are so many friends whom I have not met for weeks why talk about us like this.” International stunt director Wolfgang Stegemann trained Shah Rukh Khan in some daring fight sequences and created a special fight style for him in “Don 2. And for the first time, he is bringing that side of him to the fore with some hard-hitting action sequences in “Don 2.” "These are powerful and effective to knock off Don's enemies. I had to analyse Khan's motions and find the perfect fight style for him. It is a mix between martial arts, Krav Maga, Wing Chun and Trapping, which has not been practised in Bollywood. It helped him endure long settings of fights together," Wolfgang says. Adds Farhan Akhtar, the director of the film, "There is a lot of hard-hitting, edgy and gritty action in Don 2. We evolved the fighting styles we had established for Roma and Vardhaan in “Don” for the sequel. Throw into that an amazing car chase and a lot of things blowing up and it was like directing action scenes I had fantasised about growing up." The sequences were tough, but SRK had a blast doing the stunts himself. He says, "This time around, Don is lean, mean, sexy, scheming and menacing. He does all the planning and scheming on his own, without the help of his gang, as this time he doesn't trust anyone." Shah Rukh got the moves right rather quickly. As producer Ritesh Sidhwani says, "Action is usually associated with a muscular build, but the action scenes in this film demanded a lean body inspired by Bruce Lee's films. And though performing stunts requires rigorous training, Shah Rukh got a hang of the stunts in no time."

Shilpa Shetty is pregnant!

Superstar Rajinikanth has appealed to film-makers not to use his name as part of the title of their films. Rajini has become so popular that film-makers tend to think that even titles bearing his name might result in the film(s) doing well at the box-office. In this context, it is stated that a film bearing the title Peruman – The Rajinikanth is gearing up for its theatrical release.

Directed by Rajesh Kanna, the title of the film was not objected in the first place by Rajinikanth. Later, though, the superstar reportedly asked the director to drop his name from the title of the film. Commenting on it, the director says “Peruman refers to the all-powerful God who is above everybody else. Rajini Sir has always felt that nobody can be equal to the Almighty.

Shilpa Shetty, the actress-turned-entrepreneur, is expecting her first child with husband Raj Kundra. Says a friend of the actress, "Shilpa suffered a miscarriage earlier this year, so this time Raj and she did not want to break the news till the first trimester was complete. Now, she has started telling her close friends." Shilpa, who is heavily into yoga and fitness, is taking good care of herself. According to reports Raj is also trying to spend as much time as he can with the Shilpa to ensure that she gets all the rest she needs for a healthy and safe pregnancy this time around.

Shah Rukh Khan’s daredevilry in ‘Don 2’

Amitabh Bachchan rebukes Priyanka on twitter A recent Priyanka Chopra-Amitabh Bachchan incident in twitter has taught a lesson to all the Bollywood stars who are very much used to tweeting. Recently Amitabh Bachchan rebukes Priyanka Chopra for using the word 'F'. Priyanka didn't use the word herself, she re-tweeted Singer Rihanna's tweet that was "Fuck I look like ho? I look like yes and ya look like no." After reading Priyanka's tweet, Big B writes "@priyankachopra Arre, retweet bhi padha jaata hai ..mujhse poocho, main bhugat chuka hoon !! But chill .. love to you and take care !! Priyanka immediately apologised to Amitabh "pheeeewwww! Ok sir! Sabak seekh liya.. Bhaad mein jaaye Rihanna aur uske tweets! Love u 2 and have a good day @SrBachchan.".

Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011


I never aspired to be Smita Patil: Chitrangda Singh

Katrina Kaif has finally admitted to have dated Salman Khan in the past. "Salman Khan was my first serious relationship," she said in an interview. Salman had given her a big break in Bollywood in his film “Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya.” The duo will be back together in romantic thriller “Ek Tha Tiger.” It is believed that Khan's over-possessive nature was the reason behind their break-up. After Salman, Katrina was linked to Ranbir Kapoor. In fact, it was reported that Ranbir cheated on his ex-flame Deepika Padukone with Katrina. She was seen romancing the Kapoor boy in “Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani” and “Rajneeti.” However, Katrina denied dating him. "As far as rumours of dating Ranbir go, we did two films that worked well for both of us," she was quoted as saying. Katrina calls herself a 'hopeless romantic' person at heart. "I think what you learn from relationships is that they are unpredictable. Right now, I am single and I believe that you cannot control or predict these things. I am also a hopeless romantic. Love should be all about giving and trusting," she said.

Now, Hrithik turns director for ‘Krrish 3’

The sequel to Bollywood film “Krrish” will not only see Hrithik Roshan play the lead on screen, but also act as the associate director of the movie. The actor had started off his career in Bollywood by assisting his father Rakesh Roshan in films like “Koyla” and “Karan Arjun.” And it would be after a gap of 14 years that he assists his father on the next Filmkraft venture. "Hrithik always helps me out, whenever we work together," director Rakesh Roshan said. Hrithik, who will not be a part of the first schedule of this ambitious project, has decided not to sit at home. The actor will help his father in direction. On the sets of the film that started rolling from December 1 at Filmistan Studios, Hrithik has been calling the shots and taking creative decisions alongside papa Roshan. Once the first schedule of the “Krrish” sequel with Vivek Oberoi, Kangna Ranaut and Priyanka Chopra gets over, Hrithik will join the cast in front of the camera as well. The 37-year-old actor, who has been suffering from back problems, is fast recovering. Roshans have flown down a physiotherapist and a lady nutritionist from abroad for the same, sources close to the actor said. He is enjoying the experience, though it does get tiring for him at time, they said.

Yana Gupta’s easy eating advice Model Yana Gupta says she battled chronic eating disorder and struggled for 16 years with the way she looked despite being conscious about fitness. She carried her own food to the places she was invited to dinner and tried every diet, but her fears about her body remained, Yana says in her yet-to-be-released book, "How To Love Your Body And Get The Body You Love." She got the balance back in her life and gradually learnt to love herself, her publisher Penguin India quoted her as saying in a statement. Using her own experiences, Yana offers "easy eating advice and gives a lowdown on food from the right portions to eat to being healthy on the go."

Bollywood actress Chitrangda says that she never aspired to be a Smita Patil and defends her decision to get into commercial cinema. She made jaws drop with her latest role in Rohit Dhawan's “Desi Boyz.” But when the shock of Chitrangda's transformation from the thinking man's heroine to the outand-out glam diva settled, she did not quite receive the feedback she would have liked. In fact a major portion of the flak dished out at the film was directed at the actress, who made her Bollywood debut in 2003 in Sudhir Mishra's “Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi” and since came to be known as the next Smita Patil.

Aishwarya Rai to team up with Sanjay Leela Bhansali again? Aishwarya Rai is certainly rejoicing every single second of motherhood since the birth of her daughter on 16th November. But the light eyed beauty is also contemplating returning to the silver screen soon. If the buzz that is doing rounds is to be believed, then the newly turned mother had a meeting with Sanjay Leela Bhansali recently. Apparently, the ace filmmaker is elated to have received a nod from his muse and the film is all set to go on floors sometime mid next year. Reportedly, the film has been written specifically keeping Ash in mind. If all goes well, it will be Ash’s first film post pregnancy.


Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011

TiE Awards UK 2011 honours business talent

Dear Financial Voice Reader, ‘But is this a good time for a novice to invest in the market’ asked a friend on Facebook. A brilliant question. Here are 7 reasons why the answer is yes, and remember, I am not trying to sell you a fund, so am not biased. Reason 1: Even experts don’t know the best time to invest. Trying to pick the best time to invest is seductive but notoriously difficult. Want to know how bad experts are? Just look at their returns on any league table. They often don’t beat bank accounts. Sometimes they don’t beat the mattress. That means a novice can rely on themselves without too much of a disadvantage. Reason 2: You don’t have to buy rubbish: Yes at the time of writing in the last 6 months, Netflix and Research in Motion (Blackberry), Bank of America, are down over 50%. And these are big brands. But that is the point. We can be very selective, choose carefully and buy and hold. Of course someone has to teach us how to do that. But the point is, just because you hear of stock crashes, does not mean you ever needed to have bought them. With some careful stock picking you could have avoided the stinkers. Still worried? Try an index tracker – see below. Reason 3: All stocks don’t drop in bad markets: Sure for a while when markets plummet everything stinks. But cream rises over time. We have to ensure we are looking at cream. To do this we use some time criteria. That way we sleep like babies in the difficult times knowing we own quality. Now wouldn’t that be exciting? Reason 4: It is easier than ever for a novice to toe-dip: With the internet, brokerage costs are so low, that even if you start with as little as 500 euros, dollars, pounds – it does not eat too large into your investment. So you can start small. What’s the rush? No one is switching off the market. But this is an important point. Private investors lose money when they are in a rush to make a lot. Reason 5: Searching for good stocks using simple criteria is easier than ever: You want a large company that is growing its sales every year for the past three years and its valuation is one of the lowest of all companies on the stock market and it pays dividends at a rate beating bank accounts. That is just an example. It used to take hours to get this kind of data. Now you can do it in seconds. For instance see w w w . s h a r e s c o p e . c o . u k / a l p e s h or Reason 6: When is a good time? Surely you don’t think a good time is when a market has just rallied? Then people would argue, ‘is this a good time?’ or what about after it has rallied and rallied and is ready to burst. That is when everyone gets in. That is a called a top. So what are you left with. Logically, you say when it is falling. Or as Warren Buffett put it, buy when others are afraid and sell when they are greedy. Well people are definitely afraid now. Reason 7: Products mean instant simple diversification: Products such as exchange traded funds, which track indices, mean you can follow 500 stocks by owning just one. These are relatively cheap to buy and own. So there you have it.

Payday lenders target low-income borrowers

Short term lenders who charge up to 5,000 per cent interest per year are targeting low-income UK borrowers abandoned by high street banks. Such socalled payday lenders, which also include homegrown companies, have been attracted by Britain’s relatively unchecked market. The volume of business has more than tripled in four years to about £2 billion, according to one consumer group’s estimate. “There are now millions of Britons who can’t make ends meet as prices rise and unemployment bites and a lack of regulation means they’re being targeted by legal loan

sharks,” Stella Creasy, a Labour MP, said. An increasingly hostile US political and regulatory background has prompted many payday lenders to cross the Atlantic and move into some of Britain’s most deprived areas. Typically providing loans of up to £400 for a period of two to four weeks, these lenders target borrowers on below-average salaries who have been unable to access bank credit since the financial crisis. David Fisher, director of consumer credit, said. “Our focus is on protecting all consumers, including the vulnerable, from businesses behaving unscrupulously.”

The Indus Entrepreneurs TiE Annual Awards UK 2011 honoured the best of entrepreneurship in Central London on 6 Dec 2011. It was attended by well-known businessmen from UK and also international business community. Mr Anil Agarwal, Chairman and Founder of Vedanta Resources, was the chief guest and he inaugurated the event. Dr Sanjeev Ahuja, President, TiE UK, while addressing the audience said: “The TiE UK Awards are about you: the leaders, the significant achievers, and remarkable role models; the entrepreneurs and those who broke the mould; others who mentored, and especially those who have devoted themselves to their professions and passions alike.” UK’s top business and political stalwarts including former Dragons Den judge and serial entrepreneur James Caan, Lord Karan Bilimoria, Life Peer, Founder and Chairman of Cobra Beer, Founder of New Look Tom Singh, and Baroness Sandip Verma of Leicester were all present in the event. Demonstrating the influence of its esteemed guest-list, combined wealth of attendees touched £6 billion. The platform that TiE UK provides for both established and young enterprising individuals, Dr Ahuja noted: “While debate will continue for some years yet on how best to rescue battered economies, rev up job mar-

Dr Sanjeev Ahuja with Anil Agarwal

kets, and open up stifled liquidity around the World, the spotlight is on nonprofit organisations, philanthropists among you, and private foundations to spur economic growth over what is likely to be a long recovery period.” Emphasising the importance of focusing on the youth, he further pointed out that “ …fostering entrepreneurship is about giving hope to those college graduates; those young men and women who we asked to reach for the stars and then, curtailed their access to the skies.” With nearly 620,000 majority womenowned businesses in the UK, which are expected to rise to over 1,000,000 in the next 10 years, member of the House of Lords Baroness Sandip Verma highlighted the increasing number of women launching their own businesses. Nick O’Donohoe, CEO of Big Society Capital spoke on the subject of entrepreneurship and social enterprise and how both share a symbiotic relationship.

The US-based Kauffman Foundation has chosen Liverpool to host the prestigious week-long Global Entrepreneurship Congress in 2012 with over 500 people from more than 100 countries. Mike Parker CBE, Chairman of Liverpool Vision, explained its significance and aim to “light the candles of entrepreneurship” for the city region’s young people. During question answer session chief guest Anil Agarwal shared how Vedanta came to be, the value of education in modern society, his personal drive and social enterprise. During the event four prestigious awards were presented to: Internet entrepreneur and cofounder of CMG Partners and Arbor Ventures Chris Mathias, who was awarded for Most Impactful Contribution to Early Stage Business by Lord Karan Bilimoria; Unltd, a leading charity supporting social entrepreneurs, was awarded the Most Innovative Social Enterprise Award by Nick

Barclays India freezes retail business Barclays India, which has been rejigging its operations, said it was freezing the retail business in India, a move that comes after it sold nearly half of its credit card business to StanChart India. "As part of our decision to consolidate and build a sustained profitable Indian business based on our competitive strengths globally, we have decided to not book new retail loans here. "However, we will continue to maintain our deposit business, while focusing on wealth management, large corporates

and investment banking services. All the existing loans will, of course, continue as normal," Barclays India spokesperson said. A few days back, StanChart India had said that it bought 160,000 of

the 200,000 standard credit card portfolio of Barclays for an undisclosed sum. But the bank said it bought cards at a huge discount to the book value of Rs 1.75 billione. Barclays, which did not confirm the

deal officially, has around 300,000 customers under its credit card business. The plan to quit the retail business will see at least 150 people getting the pink slip, according to a Barclays insider. This comes four months after Barclays, which is fighting to revive profitability, sacked 50 people following its decision to merge the sales team of its commercial and investment banking units. The latest job cuts will represent about 17% of the bank's remaining 850 employees in India, said the source.

O’Donohoe, CEO of Big Society Capital; Dr Diwan Rahul Nanda, CEO and Global Chairman of TOPSGRUP Securities, was presented with the Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year Award by James Caan; Founder and Chairman of the annual Asian Women of Achievement Awards and well-known food guru Pinky Lilani was presented the award for Woman Entrepreneur of the Year by Baroness Sandip Verma. TiE UK founders Nish Kotecha and Apurv Bagri were recognized for their extraordinary contribution to TiE UK and presented by Dr Sanjeev Ahuja and Sunil Mohindra of TiE UK North. The event was sponsored by DVK Group, a private equity firm and RationalFX, one of the world’s fastest growing independent foreign exchange companies. TiE UK is the UK Chapter of TiE, the world’s largest non-profit organisation that is singularly focused on the advancement of entrepreneurship as a unique vehicle for the creation of sustainable normative wealth. Over the last 3 years, 200 entrepreneurs at various stages and across industry sectors have been mentored by TiE UK. Its management board comprises Dr Sanjeev Ahuja (President), Neil Basu, Mihir Kapadia, Tarun Ghulati, Atul Bajpai, Vijay Goel, Rajesh Agarwal, and representatives from TiE UK North.

Cyrus Mistry inducted into Tata Industries board

A week after being appointed deputy chairman of Tata Sons, the apex holding company of the $83-billion Tata Group, Cyrus Mistry has been inducted into the board of Tata Industries, the second biggest holding company for the group. Set up in 1945, the privately held Tata Industries mainly promotes the group's entry into new ventures. For instance, it promoted Tata Teleservices, the group's flagship firm in the telecommunications space, and Taco, in the auto components segment.

Tata Motors pips RIL & Infosys, top Indian company for R&D Automobile giant Tata Motors has pipped giants like Reliance Industries and Infosys to become India's top-ranked company for research and development (R&D), as per a list compiled by the European Commission. In its annual R&D Scorecard of the companies from across the world, the European Union's executive body European Commission (EC) has ranked Tata Motors at the top among the 18 Indian companies on its list, com-

piled on the basis for investment towards R&D and business innovation initiatives. Among Indian firms, Tata Motors is followed by IT firms Prithvi Information Solutions and Polaris Software, state-run BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals) and another auto giant Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) in the top-five. IT giant Infosys is placed at 10th position among the Indian firms, followed by Mukesh

Ambani-led retail-to-energy titan Reliance Industries (RIL) at 11th position. Pharma giant Dr Reddy's Laboratories is at 8th, while the country's most valued PSU and oil major ONGC is at 17th. Other Indian firms on the list include Kpit Cummins Info (6th among companies from India), Zylog Systems (7th), Lupin (9th), Core Projects & Technologies (12th), Bharat Electronics (13th), Ashok Leyland (14th), Cipla (15th), Sun

Pharmaceutical Industries (16th) and FCS Software Solutions (18th). The global list is topped by Swiss pharma giant Roche, followed by American drug maker Pfizer, software giant Microsoft, Japanese auto giant Toyota and US-based pharma major Merck in the top-five positions. No Indian firms have managed to find a place in the top-200 list and the top-ranked company from the country, Tata Motors, is placed at 264th position.


Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011


It’s Lonely at the Top Suresh Vagjiani Managing Director Sow & Reap A Property Investment & Financing company.

With the economy in the state it is in it is perhaps surprising why investors are chasing central London property. Or perhaps the statement should be: because of the state the economy is in people are investing in central London. This is because it is seen as a safe haven given the uncertainty in the economy. Like a precious commodity which will protect your money in times of trouble. Growth has been predicted to be low for the coming years, but that's ok because we have a huge economy and a small percentage of a large number is still a large number, or so we have been fed. Inflation is said to decrease to less than 2% therefore reducing the need to raise interest rates. So interest rates are likely to remain low in the future. Why then are the petrol prices booming and why is the cost of borrowing still so high? Petrol prices are linked to oil prices which are measured in dollars and therefore a cheap pound increases the amount we pay for petrol. That’s one reason. As for borrowing, the mortgage rates have improved to what they were a few years ago but compared to the base rate of 0.5% we are paying well over the odds. This is because there is very little liquidity in the market and not much appetite for risk.

P roperty prices are still in cre asing - in Cen tral Lond on. Decent Deals are very d iff icu lt to find at the le ve ls below half a million. One of the main driving forces of the sale of ex-council properties in Westminster was the amount of housing allowance being paid for housing. Currently we are receiving rent of £820 pw for a three bedroom property in Maida Vale purchased for £352,000, a yield of 12% in a prime postcode. This was a honeymoon period and the time is up as the government has capped the housing benefits. But that’s OK as honeymoons don't last forever and the money has been already made. A surplus income of £30,000 per annum over 2 years means you have already cashed in. But in the interim the rentals have been climbing up and so now the difference in price between government housing allowance and private are not that far away, especially for one and two bedroom properties. For a two bedroom property we have just achieved a guaranteed 3 year rental contract for £430pw. Ok not quite the £550 paid by the housing allowance in its peak but still a decent yield given a purchase price of £320,000 for a two bedroom ex- local property, giving a yield of 6.8% in a prime location. This is despite the general condition of the economy. These are solid returns, and the growth prospects given the location are strong. H owe ve r t he real mone y is in part ially completed de ve lopme nt deals or large valu e d eals. The re ason is ban ks are very averse to development fu nding du e to d imin ished appet ite fo r risk and l it tle mo ney to give away, so yo u are findin g solid deals in th e mark et which sh ould no t be the re. One example was a building in Mayfair priced a £1,000 per sq ft. This was no's 4 and 5 Queens St, prime freehold hold buildings seconds away from Green Park station with a combined Square footage at 11,000. These were formally owned by Simon Halabi a Syrian-born businessman formerly based in the United Kingdom who had embarked on a series of speculative property ventures, he amassed a sizeable fortune himself. In the Sunday Times Rich List 2007 he was ranked 14th richest person in Britain, while the Forbes list of global billionaires listed him at 194 in 2007, with an estimated net worth of $4.3billion. In 2009 Forbes ranked him 224 with a redu ced ne t worth of $2.8billion an d he was d eclared bankrupt in April 2010. These two buildings had been on the market and came to our attention from someone who knew someone who could get the contracts. These are called runners, they ‘run’ around central London with property deals assuring everyone they have complete control over the deal. In the end they couldn’t even get us access to the buildings. Normally we try and avoid deals which have many links to them as at times it is hard enough to do one deal with the owners direct what to speak of so many weak links in between before you get to the owners. It later transpired all someone was trying to do was to flip the contract, they had secured the price and got the contract which is not an easy thing to do, as with buildings like this you need to show proof of funds in order to secure the contracts. So we made contact via our lawyers, and using the land registry we tracked down the firm in charge of the sale and then the agent who was selling the property. Luckily our lawyer was a former partner in the

firm handling the repossession. It went to closed bids, we were informed the properties went for around the £11m mark - cheap given the location. The reasons why it went cheaper than it was on the market for was because it had a failed bids and therefore the property loses its sheen when it’s been on the market for a while and had a couple of failed bids, nobody wants an unwanted property, this perception drives the price down. Overriding this is of course the location and the fact it is freehold there is nothing on the market which even matches this building. The normal price for this building would be £1,500 to £2,000 per sq ft depending on the finish. The building had the added advantage of being able to add Sq footage which is a rarity in this location. As the buildings were next to each other there was a real potential of developing lateral flats across the two buildings which would attract a premium in price. There were in my opinion two reasons why these buildings were cheap, first they required massive development, second they were big, on the high end of the scale. Therefore turning this on its head in order to get the juiciest deal one needs to go for bigger deals with a development angle to it. If these are the blocks in the market, how can you exploit the situation and have an edge on these types of properties? Firstly the way to get around investing in higher value properties is to pool many investors together and form a Company or Limited Liability Partnership or something else depending on the best structure. Pooling your investment will allow you to get a portion of the pie which otherwise you will not be able to reach independently. This is part of the reason we Indians stay wealthy, we are networked. The alternative is to go alone which is fine but you will not get the margin one would at the higher end of the scale, unless of course you have access to these kinds of funds. This is especially true of buy and sell opportunities which currently exist in the market. To get around the second problem of no funding for developments most high street banks are not lending and if they are they will exhaust you with unnecessary paper work and cross guarantees. We have access to lenders which will lend in today's market on prime developments without too much fuss. In short these guys are new entrants into the market and are hungry for business and will do what they can to get the deal through. To get lending currently is not that easy, with many lenders it's almost like ‘we do not want your business and we are doing you a favour!’ This pervades the entire criteria and processes when applying for loans. Money laundering has become ridiculous. I do not think most people who deal with money laundering know what they are looking for, they do not know the purpose of the laws, instead they use it as an excuse for more and more paper work. So if you are a group of friends or colleagues and would like to explore these ideas further give our office a call and we can arrange a meeting. Now is the time to strike!

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

UK Sales 0207 313 4595 India Sales 0203 384 5323 Westbourne House, 14-16 Westbourne Grove, London, W2 5RH

Tips of the Week l Sometimes its better off to have a smaller portion of a bigger pie than a crumb of your own l By pooled investment you also diversify your risk, even if you have all the funds to complete the deal


financial voICe

Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011

Amit Patel has over 15 years experience in the field of Leadership and Human Resource Management

Maria Fernandes

Is it time to declare an amnesty? Recently the government has announced that biometric cards are to be extended to more categories and that the benefit of this is that it will enable employers to check the status of individuals more easily than is currently the case and it will also have the added benefit of deterring and squeezing out those who are illegal. Illegal immigrants are nameless and faceless and accordingly when discussing them they are treated as non persons and de-humanised as a result. Where people have personal contact with individuals their opinion is often very different. The childrens author Michael Murpugo wrote Shadow which humanises the pain of being an Immigrant through his characters. There are many children of illegal immigrants unable to make progress because of the status of their parents. The public currently believe that there are too

many immigrants and that the trend should be reversed. Their views are tainted by their perception of immigrants. It is clear that most immigrants either take jobs that no one else wants to do at the lower end and those that the local population are unable to do at the higher end of the scale. The public are also barraged by the political capital that each party seeks to make about the value of immigrants. It is particularly disturbing that in an attempt to play the numbers game the benefits which can enhance the applicant and the country are discarded for unachievable political gain. The Bangladesh Caterers Award ceremony last week attended by over 1000 people was testament to the success story of the immigrant using their skills to create business opportunity. Boris Johnson was right to speak out about the need to grant an amnesty to immigrants

and to be able to collect taxes. There are more disturbing reasons for the small minority who may have criminal tendencies. Imagine this scenario. A child abuser, a violent mentally ill person, or a murderer who lives on the on the fringes of society. They are more of a danger because they are not on any radar and would not be able to be traced. There is now sufficiently advanced technology to prevent a deluge of illegal immigrants as has happened in the past. However those who are already here need to be regularised. The fact that it is unlikely to happen is not reason enough not to discuss this openly. 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

India’s industrial output slumps 5.1 per cent India's industrial output fell in October for the first time in more than two years as capital goods investment slumped, ramping up pressure on the RBI to ease monetary or liquidity conditions. Production at factories, mines and utilities plunged 5.1 per cent from a year earlier, far worse than expected, another blow for the embattled government of prime minister Manmohan Singh that is struggling to combat a slide in the economy. "It is a lot worse than we expected. The nearly two years of monetary tighten-

ing is clearly being felt," said Tim Condon, head of Asian economic research at ING in Singapore. "While India may not be a manufacturing-driven economy, more data prints such as this would be a worrying sign. While we expect a status quo in terms of interest rates from the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) this week, the pressure is clearly building on them to start easing," he said. The fall in industrial output was 10 times greater than economists had forecast in a Reuters poll and marked the steep-

est drop since March 2009. An upward revision in September's increase to 1.99 per cent offered little consolation. India's economy is contending with 13 rate rises since early 2010, a policy tightening that has hit growth but done little to counter near double-digit inflation. Meanwhile, the finance ministry slashed its growth forecast for the fiscal year ending in March to between 7.25 and 7.75 per cent from 9 per cent estimated in February. l it to bring forward its course reversal.

Caught in a Compromising Position ‘Compromise’ is a most intriguing concept. One can never be totally sure if compromise is a good thing or a bad thing. In relationships, it is said that compromise is a vital ingredient for happiness. A strength. In battle, it is considered to be an admission of the inability to win. A weakness. The Oxford dictionary definition is, ’to give up some of your demands after a disagreement with somebody, in order to reach an agreement.’ When the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats agreed to join hands and form a coalition government one of the most spoken words was ‘compromising’. Everything was about c o m p r o m i s i n g . Compromising is a basic negotiation that takes place in all businesses. The ideal scenario is when a ‘win – win’ situation can be reached, in that each party gets something that they wanted, albeit by sacrificing others. Often leaders and managers can be weary of compromising as it can be seen as giving in, which in view of their ‘power’, they shouldn’t have to do. This

Indian rupee hits record low against the dollar The Indian rupee on Tuesday hit a record low against the dollar due to continued demand for the US currency, amid concerns over eurozone debt as well as weak domestic data. The local unit dropped 35 paise to 53.29 against the greenback in early trade on the foreign exchange markets after tumbling 81 paise during Monday's session.

India inches closer to crisis as rupee retreats India may face its worst financial crisis in decades if it fails to stem a slide in the rupee, leaving the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) with a difficult choice over how to make best use of its limited reserves to maintain the confidence of foreign investors. If the RBI is too timid, it risks adding fuel to the ire of portfolio investors, which India relies on heavily to cover its imports tab. Aggressive intervention would leave the central bank open to criticism that it is wasting precious money on problems that are beyond India's control

anyhow, notably Europe's debt crisis. Unlike most of its Asian peers, India has recently been running large current account and fiscal deficits. That means it must attract sufficient foreign money - namely US dollars -- to close the gap, and a weaker home currency makes that costlier. This is a perennial problem for India. The current situation is so worrisome because India is grappling with big internal and external economic threats simultaneously. Growth is slowing. Inflation remains high.

Political paralysis has stymied domestic reforms. The RBI, the last line of defence against a currency meltdown, has cautiously begun to support the rupee, but its firepower may be more limited than its $300 billion in reserves would suggest. Beyond India's borders, Europe is the biggest worry. As its banks deleverage, investment money has flooded out of India's markets. If Europe's debt troubles deteriorate, India could be hit with a balance of payments crisis as severe as the one that forced a sharp devaluation in 1991.

India's central bank has said that it would act to prevent a further downward spiral of the rupee, which has been hit by global financial uncertainty, as investors exit abandon emerging market currencies for safe havens. The rupee has fallen about 14 per cent against the dollar since the start of this year and is the worstperforming of Asia's 10 most-traded currencies.

can result in confrontation and eventually a breakdown in relations. On the other hand, compromising can be a means to reaching agreement and consensus which can foster trust and commitment. This week we witnessed the first significant incident wherein compromising was not an option. When David Cameron decided that the UK would not agree to the terms of the Eurozone rescue package he finally stepped out of the ‘coalition bubble’ created by himself and Nick Clegg. While the early statements were that Clegg had been fully consulted and agreed with Cameron’s actions, the deputy Prime minister later clarified that he did not and could not agree with what had been done. The fear of appearing weak can often supplant the hope of being a respected leader. Good leaders have always been able to recognise when to compromise and when to stand firm, even at the expense of their personal popularity. Nick Clegg decided that now was the

By Amit Patel

time where he had to stand firm and while he could not alter the outcome, he may just have restored some of the credibility lost when he first agreed to join the Tories. Compromising should never be done for the sake of compromising. Sometimes is ok to just agree to disagree. While this is often easier for mature adults to do rather than politicians in the Westminster playground it seems that perhaps Clegg and Cameron are actually demonstrating that it might just be possible. Some are suggesting that this is the beginning of the end of the coalition. Perhaps. Perhaps not. Whatever happens, Clegg and Cameron have ensured that they wont be caught in a compromising position. Amit Patel has over 15 years experience in the field of Personal Development and Human Resource Management. He has delivered speeches on People Management and Development throughout Europe, North America, and Asia. To contact Amit, email him at amitpatelmail

India finally clears Cairn - Vedanta deal India has given final approval for Cairn Energy's $6.5 billion sale of a majority stake in its Indian assets to Vedanta Resources, the company said. The longdelayed deal has served as a reminder of just what many foreign investors don't like about India. Over 15 months of negotiations resulted in a punishing contractual change over royalty payments. “Vedanta has confirmed that it has now satisfied the conditions under the Sale and Purchase Agreement for the acquisition of a controlling shareholding in Cairn India,'' Cairn India said in a filing to Indian stock exchanges. Vedanta is paying $6.5 billion for 58 per cent stake in Cairn India. The London-listed parent company, Cairn Energy Plc, will retain a 22 per cent stake. The companies announced the sale back in August 2010, but wrangling over royalties and government approvals threatened to sink the deal in India's notorious

bureaucracy. To win government approval, the companies agreed to alter their production sharing contract. Under the original contract, Indian governmentrun Oil and Natural Gas Corp. bore full responsibility for royalty payments from a key field in Rajasthan, even though its ownership of the field was just 30 per cent. Those generous terms were negotiated back when investor interest in the unproven oil and gas assets of the Rajasthani desert was scant and the government was eager to attract foreign capital and expertise. Royalties will now be split, with Cairn India paying 70 per cent and ONGC paying 30 per cent. Cairn India also agreed to make a payment for back royalties of $545 million.


Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011


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

A Turning Point for the UK. Was the Veto the right decision? The EU summit concluded on Friday in a mood of division; as not all of the EU Member States agreed to join the Eurozone 17 in preparing an intergovernmental treaty on tightening the fiscal union, currencies remained mixed after a volatile week. When the official talks ended, the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy announced that the UK is the only EU country which will not take part in drafting the new rules on fiscal discipline. British PM David Cameron said it was a tough decision, but the right one, because the treaty was not to UK's best interests. He expressed his hope however, that the Eurozone manages to solve its problems: "We want the euro-zone countries to come together and solve their problems, but we should only allow that to happen inside the European Union treaties if there are proper protections for the single market and for other key British interests." Last week Mario Draghi President of the European Central Bank lowered rates to 1.0% and announced new measures to aid the banks but made it

clear that he opposes big bond purchases, meaning there will be no QE at this time. The ECB forecasts recession in 2012, as an overall mood of pessimism continues to be a dark cloud encircling the EU, from within and on a global scale. Will these measures stop the "ticking bomb" situation in Europe? This sentiment is further exacerbated as the pace of withdrawals from Greek banks heightens as a result of the increased chances of Greece leaving the EU. A Greek bank run could be the straw that

breaks the back of the already devastated Greek economic system and presents a very real threat to confidence in the future of the Eurozone. In a move that shocked markets, credit rating agency Standard and Poor's warned all euro-zone countries, apart from Greece, that their rating is endangered. Some countries, such as Germany, were warned of a one-notch downgrade, while France, Italy, Spain and others received a two-notch warning. The decision on a downgrade depends on the result of the

summit on Friday. The move certainly looks a political play to put pressure on the leaders before the summit. Moving across the Atlantic now weekly jobless claims returned to providing hope for the US, dropping to 381K. In recent weeks, most US figures have been positive. This is also reflected in the all-important Non-Farm Payrolls report. The US continues to gain jobs at a nice pace, with the unemployment rate falling to 8.6%. On the other hand, the services PMI dropped and also factory orders fell. This is somewhat disappointing, although US PMIs still reflect growth. This week we will see the all important FOMC rate decision, in addition, we have German ZEW Economic Sentiment, US retail sales, and Unemployment claims as the important market moving events. These are key market indicators and are likely to influence short term market direction. As the market absorbs the results of the EU Summit and these major news events we are likely to see a continuation of the recent volatile market conditions.

Weekly Currencies As of Tuesday 13th December 2011 @ 2pm GBP - INR = 82.84 USD - INR = 53.18 EUR - INR = 70.12 GBP - USD = 1.56 GBP - EUR = 1.18 EUR - USD = 1.31 GBP - AED = 5.72 GBP - CAD = 1.60 GBP - NZD = 2.03 GBP - AUD = 1.54 GBP - ZAR = 12.82 GBP - HUF = 358.84 Information provided by RationalFX. None of the information on this page constitutes, nor should be construed as financial advice. The exchange rates used are the commercial foreign exchange rates provided by RationalFX. For a live quote or to find out more about how RationalFX can help you, call us on 0207 220 8181.


Pakistan-Bangladesh-sri lanka

Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011

Pak mulls deploying air defenses to border In focus Islamabad: Pakistan may deploy air defense weapons to the Afghan border to prevent future NATO air strikes such as the ones last month that the Pakistani military claims were pre-planned and that killed 24 of the country's soldiers, a senior lawmaker said on Friday. US officials have denied last month's attack was deliberate and have worked to repair the damage it caused to the country's already strained relationship with Pakistan. Finding a way to mend ties is important because Pakistan is seen as critical to the Afghan war. The possibility of

Pakistan deploying air defense weapons to the border shows just how much distrust exists between the country and US-led forces fighting in Afghanistan, even though Islamabad has received billions of dollars in American aid over the last decade. The NATO air strikes against two army posts on the Afghan border before dawn on Nov. 26 added to anger that Pakistan still felt over the covert US raid that killed Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani garrison town in May. Pakistani officials were outraged they were not told beforehand about the operation against the al-

Qaida chief, which also originated in Afghanistan, and fumed over the violation of the country's sovereignty - as they have done with the NATO attacks. Maj. Gen. Ashfaq Nadeem, Pakistan's head of military operations, told the Cabinet and the Senate's defense committee that officials believe the air strikes were planned and speculated they may have been carried out by the CIA, according to the head of the defense committee, Javed Ashraf Qazi, who attended the briefing. The CIA is widely despised in Pakistan because of frequent drone strikes targeting militants

in Pakistan's tribal region. Nadeem said the military was considering deploying air defense weapons to the Afghan border to prevent future attacks, according to Qazi. A report in Pakistan's leading English-language newspaper, Dawn, erroneously said the military has already decided to deploy the weapons. "You cannot deploy these systems on each and every outpost. Sometimes these posts are attacked by militants, and you may lose these weapons," said Qazi, a retired army general and former head of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

US freeze $700 mn aid to Pakistan as distrust grows Islamabad: A crisis in relations looked set to deepen after a US House-Senate negotiating panel agreed to freeze $700 million in US aid to Pakistan until it gives assurances it is helping fight the spread of improvised explosive devices in the region. Pakistan is one of the largest recipients of US foreign aid, and the cutback announced is only a small proportion of the billions in civil and military assistance it gets each year. But it could presage greater cuts as calls grow in the United States to penalise Islamabad for failing to act against militant

groups and, at worst, helping them, following the secret US raid on a Pakistan military town in which alQaida leader Osama bin Laden was killed. Home-made bombs or improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are among militants' most effective weapons against US and coalition troops in Afghanistan as they struggle to fight a resurgent Taliban insurgency. Many are made using ammonium nitrate, a common fertilizer smuggled across the border from Pakistan. The freeze on US aid was agreed as part of a defense bill that is expect-

ed to be passed this week. The United States wants "assurances that Pakistan is countering improvised explosive devices in their country that are targeting our coalition forces", Representative Howard McKeon, a House Republican, told reporters. The United States has allocated some $20 billion in security and economic aid to Pakistan since 2001, much of it in the form of reimbursements for assistance in fighting militants. But US lawmakers have expressed increasing frustration with Pakistan's efforts in the war. There have been

numerous proposals to make US aid to Pakistan conditional on more cooperation in fighting militants such as the Haqqani network Washington believes operate out of Pakistan and battle US troops in Afghanistan. But Pakistan's civilian leaders have in the past warned against aid cuts, saying it would only harden public opinion against the United States. It says it is doing all it can to fight al-Qaida and the Taliban and has lost thousands of soldiers since it joined the US-led war in 2001, some of them at the hands of coalition troops.

Two Indian honeymoon couple killed in Las Vegas copter crash Las Vegas: Two Indian honeymoon couple, Lovish Bhanot, 28, and Anupama Bhola, 26, were among five people killed in a sightseeing helicopter crash near Las Vegas in US. Lovish and Anupama, both from suburban Gurgaon, India, were honeymooning in the US following their November 6 wedding in the New Delhi area. US crash investigators worked to airlift large pieces of charred wreckage from the remote canyon where the aircraft went down in the twilight crash last Wednesday. A National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson in Washington, DC, said pieces of the Aerospatiale AS-350BS would be taken to Phoenix for study by teams from the NTSB and the French accident investigation agency BEA. The others killed in the aircraft operated by Sundance Helicopters of Las Vegas were a Las Vegas pilot married six months ago and a Kansas couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. Mr Bhanot was managing director of Lyca Investment Ltd, a family-run real estate company with his father and grandfather in Gurgaon. Ms Bhola worked as a flight attendant for an unspecified airline.

Afghan leader to confront Pak over attack

Kabul: Afghanistan's president says that the unprecedented suicide bombing at a Shiite shrine in Kabul which killed more than 56 worshippers and wounded more than 160 others was originated in Pakistan and pledged to confront the Pakistani government about the attack. Karzai said the Afghan government has launched an investigation, but the group behind the attack was based in Pakistan and he would take up the issue with the Pakistani government.

After spat with US, Pakistan pulls out of liaison posts

Islamabad: Pakistan temporarily recalled some troops from border posts meant to coordinate activity with international forces in Afghanistan as US-Pakistan relations have been pushed to an all-time low by Nato air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The troops were pulled back for "consultation" on how to improve coordination with Nato and should be back at their posts within the next few days, said Pakistan army spokesman major general Athar Abbas. Abbas did not specify the number of troops who would be recalled, but said some would remain at the border centers. The decision, however, highlighted current problems with coordination because US military officials seemed to think it was another retaliatory move by Pakistan for the Nato strikes on November 26.

Bashir tipped to be Pakistan’s new envoy to India Islamabad: Foreign secretary Salman Bashir is set to become Pakistan's high commissioner in India as part of the biggest reshuffle of envoys approved by prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. Bashir, 59, who is due to retire next year, will replace high commissioner Shahid Malik, whose current contract is valid till the second quarter of next year. Malik retired some time ago and his contract has been periodically renewed for six months at a stretch. Malik could be replaced by Bashir before the expiry of the contractual period of the high commissioner. Gilani had decided that no envoy who is currently on a contract would be given further extensions. He has approved the appointment of new envoys in 14 countries.

Nawaz Sharif vows to hunt down Benazir killers Islamabad: Pakistani opposition leader Nawaz Sharif has vowed to bring to justice former prime minister Benazir Bhutto's killers if he comes to power. Addressing a rally in Bhutto's hometown of Larkana in Sindh province, Nawaz Sharif, who has twice been the country's prime minister, said he would mobilise all resources to arrest the Bhutto's killers. 'Being her brother, it's my duty to arrest her killers,' said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief. He also said that he did not view his opponents 'as personal enemy', adding 'my dream is to see Pakistan flourishing and its people prospering'. 'We will change the people's lives if voted to power. We are not those who will ditch you after seeking your vote,' Sharif said.

Pakistan denies peace talks with Taliban Islamabad: Pakistan's interior minister and prime minister have both denied the government is holding peace talks with its homegrown Taliban, saying it would do so only if the militants first disarmed and surrendered. The deputy commander of the Pakistan Taliban, who have been waging a four-year war against the government in Islamabad, said that the two sides were holding talks, a move that could further fray the US-Pakistan relationship. But both prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and interior minister Rehman Malik denied the reports.

Roadside bomb kills 19 in Afghanistan Kabul: A roadside bomb killed 19 civilians and injured another five when it exploded in the southern Afghan province of Helmand. The victims were travelling in a van when the bomb exploded, it said. "This explosion took place while a van was coming from Lashkar Gah to Sangin district when a terrorist's road improvised mine exploded on them," the provincial governor's office said in a statement. Women and children were among those killed and injured, it said.

Pakistani actress Veena Malik disowned by father Islamabad: Pakistani actress and model Veena Malik's father has disowned her and demanded that she be punished, after nude photos of her appeared on the cover of a men's magazine in India. Malik has denied modeling for the magazine FHM and has insisted that the pictures were fake. But her father Malik Mohammad Aslam has made it clear in an emotional outburst that he is not impressed with the situation. He has also demanded that she make a promise not to visit India once the scandal is over. He went on to suggest that he hoped his daughter would be punished if found guilty of stripping off for the racy images "so that no other woman would think of doing such thing."


Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011

In focus

2,080 lashes for Saudi man who raped daughter Riyadh: An official Saudi newspaper says a man convicted of raping his daughter has been sentenced to receive 2,080 lashes over the course of a 13-year prison term. The court in the holy city of Mecca found the man guilty of raping his teenage daughter for seven years while under the influence of drugs. The man will receive the lashes in stages throughout his prison sentence. The man's name was not published. Saudi religious police say the girl's uncle tipped them off to the crime. Lashing is one of the penalties available to the clerics who serve as judges in Saudi Arabia and issue rulings according to the kingdom's strict interpretation of Islamic law.

Islamic cleric bans women from touching bananas New Delhi: An unnamed Islamic cleric based in Europe has issued a ban on women touching fruits and vegetables resembling the male sexual organ to avoid "sexual thoughts". The cleric has said that women should not even get close to bananas or cucumbers. "If women wish to eat these food items, a third party, preferably a male related to them such as their a father or husband, should cut the items into small pieces and serve," the cleric dictated. According to the cleric, bananas and cucumbers "resemble the male penis" and therefore could arouse women or "make them think of sex." The cleric also added carrots and zucchini to the list of forbidden foods for women.

Former Israeli president jailed for rape Jerusalem: Former Israeli president Moshe Katsav began serving a seven-year prison term for rape, professing his innocence and saying he was being "buried alive". The case has captivated the country for more than five years and marked the first time a former Israeli head of state has been jailed. Officials say it proves no one is above the law. Katsav, 66, was president from 2000 to 2007. He was convicted last year of twice raping an aide when he was a cabinet minister in the late 1990s and sexually assaulting two other women who worked for him while he was president. "The day will come when the truth will come out," he said.

Obama names another Indian-American to key post Washington: US president Barack Obama has named yet another Indian-American, Preeta D Bansal, as a member of an independent agency promoting improvements in the efficiency, adequacy, and fairness of government procedures. ‘I am proud to appoint such impressive individuals to these important roles.’

Indian Powerbrands visit the uK Shweta Desai & Rupanjana Dutta

As the Anglo-Indian community and some of the top names from the Indian Corporate world came to London to launch the first `Indian Superbrands’, politicians, academicians and entrepreneurs warned India that if it fails to carry the necessary economic reforms its growth story will suffer major setback. To market the emergence of India as a global superpower, dignitaries from the United Kingdom, India, Canada and the United States of America came together to launch the Indian Power Brands, here on Monday at the JW Marriot, Grosvenor Square. Organised by Planman Marcom, the conference was an effort to bring together the intellectuals and business leaders who are shaping India’s story in the global economic arena. The success of Indian companies and its leaders in the world market is a major contributor of how India despite all its odds is writing a positive chapter. The conference saw discussion on India Rising which was met with criticism and accolades for India’s growth story. “The economic reforms in India in the last 20 years has made a huge impact in its emergence in the world market,’’ said Member of

Parliament, Priti Patel. She added that in the current Euro crisis, it will be significant for the UK to look at the East and its relationship with India. As home to world’s one-fifth of the population, India has tremendous potential and opportunities in the world market in terms of business, trade and economics. Yet, poverty, bureaucracy, politics and corruption is preventing India to take its growth story forward. Managing Director of J K Tyres, Dr Raghupati Singhania, called India as one of the “most frustrating and tough places to conduct business from,” which perhaps explains why most of the global companies and brands are still wary of making base in India. “If we take the population in account, then 20 per cent of the world’s brands should come from India, but that is not the case so far,’’ said Marketing guru and academician Professor Arindam Chaudhari. Lord Karan Bilimoria further added saying that although India is a consumer led place, it has still not produced a truly global brand. He grieved about the recent failure of the Indian government to pass the bill permitting Foreign Direct Investment in the Indian retail sector. “This was supposed to be the biggest

reform since the liberalisation in the 90’s. It was very upsetting to see the Bill not being passed,’’ he said. Renowned economist and member of Labour Party, Lord Meghnad Desai on the other hand appeared worried about `Brand India’. He said in the late 20th century and the early 21st century, the story of Brand India was a great phenomenon but many of the ingredients of this success story have not been understood. Recession in the last two years, political obstructions have slowed down the growth process. ``There is a need of change in the generation of who will lead India politically, more young people. If the BJP and the Congress come together to lead India, there will be a huge change,’’ he said. The Indian Power Brands conference also recognised the contribution of global business leaders, marketers and icons, both from India and across the world. Dr Singhania and Dr Kiran Shaw Majumdar head of Europe Biocon Limited, were named as Corporate Icons of the year’ 2011 in the Power Brands Hall of Fame Achievement awards for their exceptional contribution in the Corporate World. A number of other members from the corporate world were honoured for their contri-

bution in the Travel and Tourism industry, Communication and Marketing, Health Care, Textile, Ceramics, Real Estate among other sectors. ‘Indian PowerBrands’, a research based book charting the rise of India’s most successful global companies, written by Abhimanyu Ghosh was also launched during the conference. In a press conference on Thursday, 8th December Abhimanyu told Asian Voice that the book was written after much independent research and it gives a voice to the Indian brands, which have never been cultivated in similar manners before. The book not only talks about the success stories but also the failures and lessons learnt from there, making it a entrepreneurial guideline for aspirants.

American jailed for ‘defaming’ Thai king

Colorado: An American who translated a banned biography of Thailand's king and posted the content online while living in Colorado was sentenced to two and a half years in a Thai prison for defaming the country's royal family. The verdict is the latest so called lese majeste punishment handed down in the country, which has come under increasing pressure to reform harsh legislation.







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Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011

Move to censor website in India condemned

The government of India’s effort to curtail internet freedom by forcing companies such as Google and Facebook to screen content before it is posted online has provoked dismay and anger as a possible threat to free speech. Indian government this week said that companies, including Microsoft and Yahoo!, remove rude or inflammatory material from content before it goes online in India. Kapil Sibal, India’s telecom minister, said that the proposal was designed to prevent blasphemous and derogatory comments and images from stirring communal or religious tensions in India, which has a history of sectarian violence, especially between castes and between Hindus and Muslims. But critics rounded on the restrictive proposals, which many have emphasised are practically unworkable anyway. “It’s not for the government to impose these sort of controls,” V Suryanarayan, the senior research fellow

at the Centre for Asian Studies said. “This should be something that the media should do themselves by creating a voluntary code of conduct,” he said. More than 110 million Indians use the internet, out of a population of about 1.2 billion, with some predicting that 600 million people will be online within five years. Indian users of Twitter and other online news and comment sites have been highly critical of the move, as were mainstream media outlets. An editorial in the Business Standard declared that “pre-screening of content amounts to censorship”. The move has also provoked veiled criticism from America, where Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman, said: “Freedom of expression applies equally to the internet as it does to the real world.” He stopped short, however, of directly criticising these particular proposals. Mr Sibal rejected claims that they amount-

ed to an attack on free speech, citing recent examples that included a faked picture of Sonia Gandhi, the Congress Party chief, posing naked. He said: “We have to take care of the sensibilities of our people, we have to protect their sensibilities. Our cultural ethos is very important to us.” He added: “We’ll certainly evolve guidelines to ensure that blasphemous material is not allowed. They [internet companies] are not giving a solution, so we will see what we can do.” India has a track record of trying to ban books and films that officials deemed offensive, such as a recent Bollywood film about caste politics, Arakashan, which was not screened in some Indian states. A biography of Mahatma Gandhi, which focused on the former leader’s sex life, was also roundly criticised by politicians. Technology analysts have, however, pointed out that these internet restrictions would be unworkable.

Ahmedabad is the best city to live in India Ahmedabad is the best mega-cities of India, edging out Pune, Mumbai and Delhi in a very close contest. That’s the key finding of an opinion poll conducted for “The Times of India.” But there is a sobering fact. Even the best rated of them barely made it to a rating of “average” on a scale ranging from “very poor” to “very good”. Clearly, there’s a lot our town planners need to do before we can boast of our metropolises becoming world-class. The cities chosen for the survey were the only ones with populations of 5 million or more according to the 2011 census. Most cities have their areas of strength and weakness in a matrix of 30 parameters, which ends up evening out the balance quite a bit at the overall level. However, bottom-placed Kolkata showed up as a laggard on most counts. The results throw up an interesting poser: Could it be more than a coincidence that Ahmedabad and Pune, which are at the top of the rankings, are also the two smallest cities on the list? Perhaps India’s cities manage reasonably when they are small in size by metropolitan standards but find it increasingly difficult to cope as they grow beyond a certain size. The experience of Bangalore certainly seems to suggest that. The two really big cities that have also done quite well in the rankings, Delhi and Mumbai, also have historical advantages, one by virtue of being the political capital and a vir-

tual city-state and the other due to its long reign

as the country’s commercial capital.

In divine light By Rajen Vakil

Story of Mandhata (Part 1) Introduction to Mandhata Rishi Lomesh took the Pandava princes on a long pilgrimage; they visited many mysterious and holy places. One day he took them to see a very auspicious part of the river Yamuna, the place where Sri Krishna did tapas. He informed them that even King Mandhata, a great archer, and Somak had performed yagnas to the gods in that place. Yudhisthira asked Rishi Lomesh to narrate to them the story of Mandhata. The rishi said that in the dynasty of kings known as Ishkavaku, there was a wise and just king known as Yuvanashva, who had performed more than a thousand Ashwamedha yagnas. The king remained childless despite performing so many yagnas and giving charity to thousands of Brahmins. The disappointed king then left his kingdom in the hands of his faithful ministers and went into the forest to meditate upon the divine. Once while he was severely fasting he felt thirsty at night. Nearby was Rishi Bhrigu’s ashram and he went there in search of water. The king was unaware that the pious rishi had, that very day, concluded a yagna so

the king could have a son. In the yagna the rishi had, with mantras, divined a jar of water to be given to Yuvanashva’s wife. By drinking that water, she would bear the king a son greater than Indra, the lord of the gods. The pot of water was kept safely in a room and everyone in the ashram had gone to sleep. The king found this pot of divine water and being extremely thirsty drank it all up. In the morning when the rishi saw that the pot was empty he started enquiring who had drunk the water. The king told the rishi that at night his throat was parched and burning, and he had no option but to drink the water. The rishi told the king what a grave error he had committed and how it was

beyond the rishi’s power to change the resolution he had divined in the water to give birth to a powerful son. He told the king that very soon he would have an illustrious child. The rishi told the king that he would do tapas for him so that he would not have to undergo the pain and scars of childbirth. After a hundred years had passed, a child came out of the king’s left ribs. All the gods came to see the child. As the queen had not borne the child, the gods asked Indra who would suckle him. Indra volunteered and put his finger in the child’s mouth. Immediately the baby started suckling Indra’s finger. Indra called the boy Mandhata. The words ‘mam’ and ‘dhava’ together mean suckled by me. The minute the child started sucking Indra’s finger he grew up immediately and turned into a handsome young prince. The young prince immediately sat crosslegged in deep meditation and in a flash acquired the knowledge of all the scriptures, the art of war, the use of all divine weapons, and the duties of a king.

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

Poor farmer’s son wins National Academy Award in art Purvi Apurva Shah Ordinary people can turn into extraordinary, if you have that extra factor. This has proved by an ordinary farmer’s son Arvind Patel who was recently been honored with the National Academy Award in the field of Visual Art (Painting) at the 53rd National Exhibition of Art at the Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi. The award carried a purse of Rs 100,000, copper plaque and a certificate. The exhibition was held at the regional centre of the Academy in Chennai. Tamil Nadu governor Surjit Singh Barnala inaugurated the exhibition and presented the award. Ahmedabad -based Arvind hailed from a small village and grew up in a farmer’s family. His father was illiterate, who used to earn his bread by farming. But he lived with a hope that his son would study and not live as a farmer. So he moved to Ahmedabad to work in a mill. His son, Arvind got a chance to study. Arvind started going to school and he was doing well in studies but his heart

always carved for art. During the school days, he won the first prize in an art competition. Later he won at least 20 prestigious awards from state government, Lalit Kala Academy and from the municipal corporation. He also won a fellowship to do research in art. Bright as he was, many people suggested him to go for medicine. But he opted for art. He studied art and took up a job in the art faculty of NID. Later he opened his own design studio which is running in Ahmedabad now.

French artist comes to Gujarat to paint its vibrancy

“Gujarat is full of colour, vibrancy and life and I love to paint the every-day life of Gujarat,”

said Henri Rousseau, the famous French painter on his visit to Ahmedabad. Originally from France, but now based in Netherlands, Maastricht, has evolved in the modern art and has won the highest honour from the Queen of Netherlands. The 72 –yearold artist, who visited around 86 countries, said he found India, especially Gujarat, as the most beautiful place in the world. He says, “I have painted the Gujarati folks in their traditional dress and also painted many heritage places of Gujarat. Recently on my visit to old city of Ahmedabad, I did

live painting of Lal Darwaja and many other landmarks. I like to paint everyday life of Gujarati people. I enjoy the hustlebustle of traffic which I have put in canvas with oil colours.” Ahmedabad’s famous kitli and half-drunk tea also fascinated him. “Every art there is soul behind it which has been translated into canvass. People have their own perceptions and not all arts are there for something to be said," says Rousseau. In other words, art for art's sake, as the French saying goes, stating that the essential value of art, and the only 'true' art, is detached from any didactic, moral or useful function. Rousseau was in Ahmedabad for a month-long visit on the invitation of a friend. He says: "India is the only country I have visited three times. I love its beauty, colours and life. For me a country dictates the colours. And for India I somehow always use audacious colours because

it is so powerful on my mind. No matter how much I stay back, there is something I always leave behind to come for more." He has visited Mexico, Tibet, Kenya, Russia and each country has its own fascination for him. “In Ahmedabad the Delhi Darwaza or the man riding an ancient M80 bike in his traditional white attire captures my attention," says the septuagenarian who has painted close to 200 sketches during his stay in Ahmedabad. Recently, he was also a part of the spectators who witnessed the cricket match between India and West Indies at Motera. Even though Netherlands has a cricket team, this was the first brush he had with the sport. "I was amazed with the amount of energy in the stadium and people yelling at every shot. I found it a bit silly at first but slowly it got hold of me. It was an inspiration for sketching. I don't consider myself a modern artist. My paintings are just an emotion coming onto the canvas with endless sources of inspiration," he says.


Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011

In foCus Ajit Singh’s RLD joins UPA

RLD, with five members in the Lok Sabha, was on Monday formally joined the UPA and its chief Ajit Singh has been tipped to be appointed as new civil aviation minister. With RLD joining the ruling coalition, its strength has gone up from 272 to 277 MPs. "Ajit Singh gave a letter to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi stating that RLD would like to join the alliance and the latter has agreed to this," Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh told reporters.

CBI names Ruias, Khaitans in fresh chargesheet The CBI has filed another chargesheet in the 2G case. This is the third chargesheet filed by the investigating agency in the case. According to reports, the CBI has named five top corporates and two companies in the new chargesheet. Among those named are Ravi Ruia, vicechairman of Essar Group and Anshuman Ruia, director of Essar Group. Promoters of Loop telecom I P Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan are also named in the chargesheet. Vikas Saraf, CEO, Essar Telecommunication has also been named. The five have been accused of conspiracy, forgery and cheating. The two companies named by CBI in the chargesheet are Essar and Loop Telecom.

Congress MLAs hurl chair in Odisha Assembly The Odisha State Assembly on Monday witnessed shocking behaviour of MLAs where Congress members tried to throw chairs at the Speaker, demanding discussion in question hour on opening of new police station in the state. The Opposition Congress was demanding answer from the chief minister Naveen Patnaik on the issue. Congress leaders were seen wielding chairs as weapons inside the house. Congress was demanding a discussion on the opening up of new police stations in the state. The matter escalated as their demands were not met.

Harvard drops Swamy's courses Harvard University has cancelled Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy's summer courses over his controversial article in a Mumbai newspaper advocating destruction of hundreds of Indian mosques and disenfranchisement of non-Hindus in India. After a heated debate, a meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted to remove two Summer School courses Economics S-110 and Economics S-1316 - taught by Swamy.


Chinese court frees 13 Indian diamond traders from jail

A local court in South China’s Shenzhen city last week freed 13 out of 20 Indian diamond traders languishing in Chinese jails for the last two years. The rest will remain in jail for additional terms ranging between one month and six years as the court found them responsible for diamond smuggling. The 22 traders have been languishing in jail in Shenzhen after they were arrested in January 2010

for smuggling the diamonds worth $7.3 million from Hong Kong to China. Of the 22, 14 are from Mumbai and 8 from Surat. The court deported 11 of the detained persons after it found they may not be deeply involved in smuggling of diamonds. Only one of them has been fined a sum of 10 million yuan (Rs 80,00,000). Another person will undergo an additional month in jail because he

has already served one year 11 months out of his two-year sentence. Dinesh Navadia, president of Surat Diamond Association (SDA) said, “The verdict was longawaited by the diamond fraternity in Surat and Mumbai. We are thankful to Chinese authorities.” Vijay Sheth, owner of a leading diamond firm in Hong Kong said, “I closely know all the 22 traders. I am standing right outside

the Shenzhen court and over 70 relatives of the traders are present here. They were all happy when told about the release of 13 traders.” The maximum punishment of six years in jail has been awarded to a merchant, Rajesh Kumar Jain. Two other detainees, Soni Amitkumar Arunkumar and Bavishi Rajukumar Babubhai, have been sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay fines.

Hindu statesman Zed honored at Anandpur Sahib Hindu statesman Rajan Zed was honored with a siropa on December 11 in Anandpur Sahib (Punjab, India) in the Sri Kesgarh Sahib complex, which houses one of the five holy Takhts of Sikhism. Siropa (robe of honor) was presented by Giani Tarlochan Singh, Jathedar of Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib. Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism and is based in USA, was also given a shawl; a large framed picture of Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib; a set of books about Sikhism, its scripture, its Gurus, its shrines, etc. Zed was honored sometime back by Nevada (USA) Governor with a certificate for his work in interfaith dialogue, which stated: “For exemplary service in building a dialogue between the various

March 30, 1699, Guru Gobind Singh baptized five Sikhs with amrit and gave them the last name Singh (lion) and then asked them to initiate him. According to Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee website: All the 'Five Takhts' are a fountainhead of inspiration and a centre of enlightenment for the entire Khalsa Panth. Sikhism is fifth largest religion in the world and Sikhs believe in one immortal Being; Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh; the Guru Granth Sahib; the utterances and teachings of the ten Gurus; and baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

Post, and has been bestowed with “World Interfaith Leader Award”. He is Senior Fellow and Religious Advisor to New Yorkheadquartered Foundation for Interreligious Diplomacy, Director of Interfaith Relations of Nevada Clergy Association, Spiritual Advisor to National Association of Interchurch & Interfaith Families, etc. Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib is the birthplace of the Khalsa, where on

faiths in Nevada and around the world; for building unity and creating awareness about the diversity of our state; and for sharing those messages on behalf of the state around the world”. Zed has taken up interfaith, religion, Hindu, environment, Roma (Gypsies) and other causes all over the world. He is one of the panelists for “On Faith”, a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced by The Washington


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Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011

93 killed Kolkata hospital fire, directors grilled

At least 93 people, mostly patients, were killed and over 50 injured when one of Kolkata’s super specialty hospitals turned into a gas chamber in the early hours of Friday after a basement fire pumped toxic fumes through the centrally-air conditioned building. Three staff at the Advanced Medicare & Research Institute (AMRI) hospital in Dhakuria were among the dead. Most of the fatalities were in the ICU and ITU, where patients choked to death, still hooked to life support systems and in wards where people lay immobilized with broken limbs in casts. Most others died a horrible slow death, banging on the glass walls and desperately sucking in air from cracks in the windows, as the hospital staff kept the gates locked and refused to let local residents and the victims’ kin mount a rescue operation. Joint commissioner

2G scam: Swamy to testify against Chidambaram The special CBI court in New Delhi last week allowed Janata Party leader and complainant Subramanian Swamy to lead evidence against home minister P Chidambaram to prove his alleged complicity in the 2G spectrum allocation scam. Special CBI judge O P Saini said Swamy “can’t be prevented in law from leading evidence” about those he has referred to as ‘other conspirators’ in his complaint since the case is still at the initial stage. Swamy has been asked to testify against Chidambaram on December 17. Swamy’s second prayer of summoning two senior government officials to press his case against Chidambaram was, however, only partially allowed.

AV Correspondent

of police Damayanti Sen said six directors of AMRI Hospital – Shrachi Group chairman S K Todi, Shrachi director Ravi Todi, Emami vice-chairman Radheshyam Goenka, Emami directors Prashant Goenka and Manish Goenka and AMRI executive director Dayanand Agarwal – were arrested and would be in policed custody till December 20. They have been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, apart from many other non-bailable sections. Police on Sunday

grilled the six directors to ascertain the ‘lapses’ and ‘irregularities’ in the hospital. Protests against the hospital authorities and candlelight vigils for the dead continued for the second day. A lower court on Saturday remanded the directors to police custody for ten days. Apart from them, another director R.S. Agarwal is now admitted to a private hospital, where he is placed under arrest. Two patients - a police constable and a female patient - who were evacu-

ated to two different hospitals after the fire tragedy, died on Sunday. The death count was now 93, comprising 91 patients and two nurses. Meanwhile, the people's anger continued to rise with protestors putting up posters in the hospital premises demanding exemplary punishment for its officials. Local residents also demanded that a playground 'snatched forcibly' for a park maintained by the medical facility adjacent to the AMRI hospital be returned.

Indian professionals vital for the British economy Continued from page 1 Highlighting benefits global talent has on companies, the report shows that the latest migration reforms, which included the introduction of a cap on non-EU migration as well a number of changes to the Points-Based System, are already harming businesses, and will cause further damage when the economy picks up again and firms look to hire. According to the report, non-EU migrants are essential to all London's businesses, not just large, corporate firms. It says almost two thirds of all London businesses (63 per cent) and 59 per cent of the capital's smallest firms (1-19 employees) have either employed non-

EU migrant workers in the past five years or have considered doing so. It adds further that the recruitment of non-EU migrants increases export opportunities. Nearly a quarter of businesses (24 per cent) and 29 per cent of the smallest firms (1-19 employees) that have looked outside of the EU for staff did so because they felt a non-EU migrant would help them grow into markets beyond the EU. Subhash Thakrar, Chairman of the LCCI told Asian Voice, “Our report shows that firms recruit from beyond the EU not only for reasons such as a lack of specialist skills in the domestic market, but as an important means of exploring and investing in new markets overseas. At a time when investment

and growth are fundamental to the future success of the economy, the government must do all it can to support UK plc, providing a framework for growth and creating an environment in which SMEs in particular can easily access new markets and recruit from a truly global talent pool. “We accept that the government must balance a whole host of social, political and economic issues, but it needs to do so without damaging the principal means of stimulating the UK: its business community. Restricting firms’ ability to grow through an inflexible migration system runs the risk of not only halting our recovery, but hampering future growth for many years to come.”

Will go on fast again if bill not passed: Anna Continued from page 1 Giving up to an aggressive opposition and the looming threat of Anna Hazare, the government on Tuesday okayed a slew of anti-graft bills to tackle corruption at high places, including in the judiciary. The cabinet, at a meeting chaired by prime minister Manmohan Singh, approved the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, the Grievances Redressal Bill and the Whistleblowers’ Bill. The three bills were cleared even as Hazare has demanded that grievance redressal should be part of the Lokpal bill and the judiciary should also be brought in the ambit of the anti-graft ombudsman. Hazare will now meet with his team of activists on Wednesday in Delhi to assess whether the Bill is strong enough for him to

Modi invited to Pak to share secret of economic success

call off a hunger strike scheduled for December 27. So far, Anna has rejected the draft of the Lokpal Bill because it excludes some of the key demands of his movement. At a debate hosted by his team in Delhi on Sunday, political parties agreed with most of these features. 'We have to eradicate corruption from this country and will agitate again at Ramlila maidan from Dec 27. The Jan Lokpal bill has to be passed,' Hazare told reporters. According to Hazare, the youth were playing an important role in the building of the nation and more emphasis would have to be laid on development rather than management. 'Seventy per cent of the money should be spent on development and 30 per cent for management... only then will it

work,' he said. Leaders of major Opposition parties on Sunday shared the dais with anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare during his daylong fast at Jantar Mantar and vowed to fight in Parliament for a “strong, effective and independent” Lokpal Bill. If necessary, the winter session of Parliament should be extended, or a special session called, for a full and comprehensive discussion on the Bill, they suggested. National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leaders Arun Jaitley of the BJP and Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal (United) accused the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Law and Justice of not honouring in its report Parliament's ‘sense of the House' resolution on bringing the

lower bureaucracy and the citizen's charter under the ambit of the Lokpal. “We will fight tooth and nail in Parliament for every comma and full stop of the ‘sense of the House' resolution to be honoured,” Mr. Yadav declared at the public meeting. The two-hour debate, held before enthusiastic crowds, saw Opposition parties — whose representatives had given dissenting notes to the Standing Committee's recommendations — agreeing with most of the points raised by Team Anna, especially the inclusion of Prime Minister, the lower bureaucracy and the CBI's anti-corruption wing in the Lokpal. All of them wanted the CBI to be out of government control and the Lokpal selection procedure to be representative and transparent.

A delegation from the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industries has invited Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi to visit Pakistan and share the secrets of his successful economic model. A delegation of Pakistani businessmen was in Ahmedabad to attend the Asia Colour Chemicals Mega Exhibition. The delegation met Modi at his residence last week and according to the state government, “they invited Modi to visit Pakistan and also address the corporate heads of Pakistan’s industries and business on the Gujarat model of development through video-conferencing to be arranged by the Karachi Chamber.” “They held a detailed discussion as how to develop the relations between the two regions,” said a statement from the state government adding that the businessmen had also

urged Modi to use his good offices to start a direct flight between Ahmedabad and Karachi as Gujarat and Sindh province has long standing relations. Modi had earlier in September said that the procedure for issuing visas to Pakistanis who want to visit Ajmer Sharif should be relaxed. Addressing a tourism event at Gandhinagar, Modi had said that while many Pakistanis travel to India to watch cricket matches, visas were usually issued only for the match venue. But many of them also want to visit Ajmer Sharif and procedures should be made easy for them. Modi had visited China in mid November for five days and had claimed that he had taken up the issue of 22 Indian diamond traders who were languishing in Chinese prison for almost two years for alleged smuggling. The Chinese court, meanwhile, released 13 of the 22 traders last week.

FIR filed against SM Krishna in mining scam The Lokayukta police last week registered FIRs against India’s external affairs minister SM Krishna and two other former Karnataka chief ministers, N Dharam Singh and H D Kumaraswamy, in connection with alleged illegal mining. The Special Court had earlier ordered a probe into a private complaint against Krishna over alleged illegal mining. Judge N K Sudhindra Rao directed Lokayukta additional director general of police H N Satyanarayana Rao to probe and submit the report by January 6. The court also directed the police to register a case and probe Dharam Singh and Kumaraswamy - over illegal mining controversy. With

this, Congress, which was free from allegations in connection with illegal mining, has joined BJP and JD(S) bandwagon in the row. The private complaint accusing Krishna, Singh and Kumaraswamy of corruption was filed by a businessman and activist, Abraham T J. The complainant accuses Krishna of destroying the state's natural resources for personal gain, while serving as chief minister between 1999 and 2004. The complainant described Krishna's decision to dereserve forest areas as the beginning of the illegal mining scam. "He ignored the advice of the department secretary and ordered for dereservation. It led to all kinds of illegalities,'' the complainant stated.

Indian govt puts retail FDI in cold storage Indian Parliament started functioning after the government gave in to opposition’s insistence for a commitment not to operationalize the Cabinet’s controversial decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail until there was a consensus on it among political parties and state governments. Although the government, helped by recognition among the opposition ranks that continuing disruptions could expose them to the charge of being obstructionist, refused to reverse the decision, the conditions it has accepted are rigorous and leave it with little space to revive the suspended decision. “The decision to permit 51% in FDI in multi-brand retail is suspended till a consensus is developed among

various stakeholders,” leader of the House and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said in a statement in the Lok Sabha. India Inc slams govt: India Inc, meanwhile, slammed the government’s move to put on hold the decision to open up the multi-brand retail sector to foreign retailers saying it will have a strong impact on investor sentiment and hurt the economy. A majority of industry players hoped that there would not be any rollback and the decision to put it on hold is temporary. “CII firmly hopes that this would not be a rollback and a quick consensus is reached,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, director-general of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Dharmaj Society of London

Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011


PARLIAMENTARY RECEPTION TO CELEBRATE THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF DHARMAJ SOCIETY OF LONDON On Thursday 10 November 2011, the Rt Hon. Caroline Flint MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change hosted a private reception for Dharmaj Society of London (DHASOL) in the Jubilee Room, Houses of Parliament to celebrate their achievements and success as a Gujarati charity based in the UK. The reception in Parliament was attended by 60 special guests, including their current committee members, and MP for Ealing and Southall, Mr Virendra Sharma. The Rt Hon Caroline Flint had learnt about the charity’s work through her former diary manager Ushma Patel. She was very proud to hear of their hard work and wanted to congratulate DHASOL’s continuous effort to raise funds towards charitable projects in India and the UK.

These events allow the community in the UK to make a real difference to their village in India by donating their money and time. With the donations collected, DHASOL has built the Sharda Maternity Hospital, Doctors and Nurses Quarters and Mineral Water Purification Plant in India, and supported many more. The reception was opened by Rakhi Sood's Dancing Academy who performed a traditional kathak and bollywood dance. Following this the President of DHASOL, Mr Mukundbhai R Patel welcomed guests. “It is a huge privilege to be standing here in Parliament and this is a grand recognition for which we are so proud of. I would like to thank the Shadow Secretary of State for hosting this evening’s reception”. DHASOL was also joined by special guest, Mr Jatinbhai Vyas, who travelled

good example of how to run a rural medical project. The hospital has entertained dignitaries from Nigeria and Ghana and has achieved national press coverage both in UK and within India. The Reverse Osmosis Water Plant Project in Dharmaj was built in 2006. This project helped to provide clean drinking water to residents and help reduce the amount of waterborne diseases from unfiltered water. The Water Plant has the capacity to filter Sharda Maternity and out 2000 litres of General Hospital, clean water every Dharmaj hour. At present the filtered water is home-delivered to all of the residents in Dharmaj and surrounding areas at a special and affordable price of 12 Rupees per 20 litre jar (only 2 Rupees per jar if collected). Both projects have also created job opportunities for the local and surrounding areas. These worthy projects, and many more, have been funded entirely by dona-

DHASOL Committee, Trustees and Rt Hon Caroline Flint MP

DHASOL was formed by just a small group of new immigrants of Dharmaj origin, back in 1968. Their aim was to solely improve the wellbeing of those less fortunate in Gujarat, India. Since then, they have built up a superb reputation as a dedicated organisation in fundraising charitable events. At present there are around 1,400 families of Dharmaj descent residing in the UK, with whom DHASOL maintains regular contact with through their events and newsletters. In the UK, DHASOL hosts regular events that are aimed to benefit the local Gujarati communities and help encourage the enhancement of cultural values. They also do this to bring together their own community and build relationships with their fellow Dharmajwasi’s. The events they hold vary from annual Diwali gatherings for families and friends, Navratri festivals to summer barbeques, and religious or social outings. Each event is sponsored by their long-term donors and members, and their loyal volunteers are always on hand to cater for their functions. The society also owns their own property, The Liberty Centre in Wembley, which holds up to 150 guests. This venue enables them to host meetings and events designed to raise awareness of health and social issues facing local community and raise vital funds for good causes. Some events are organised to raise awareness in the community about health and safety matters, first aid, cooking and yoga. The society has also been involved with the British Heart Foundation to help raise awareness in the Asian community about healthy living.

from India to attend this reception. He is a reputable Indian architect who provided his services in designing the Sharda Maternity and General Hospital and Water Project in Dharmaj, India, both of which are DHASOL’s key projects. He has been a long-term supporter to DHASOL and Mr Vyas said he was “very honoured to be invited to the reception today”. The Sharda Maternity and General Hospital was built in Dharmaj in 2004, from raising a total of £215,000 from UK donations. In the following year, DHASOL added doctors and nurses accommodation to Mr Jatinbhai Vyas the base. The hospital has had an excellent record of over 2,342 babies being born and serving over 39,468 out-patients to date. DHASOL’s objectives were to provide a clean, safe and hygienic environment for expectant mothers and their newborns. The charges for services are completely affordable, whilst the air conditioned rooms on the second floor provide privacy and comfort for the more affluent patients. What was primarily built to be a maternity hospital now offers many other procedures by serving patients who are in need of treatment, from a hernia operation to hysterectomies. Not only is the hospital serving the community for which it was intended, it has also served as a

Reverse Osmosis Water Plant, Dharmaj

tions from the public and sponsors in the UK. DHASOL’s success is a testament to the support and commitment of the simple organisational structure, made up of respected Trustees and a very committed and hard-working Executive Committee of very different age-groups. They all have the same aim and commit their spare time to help others which has made them an inspiration to their community. Further guest speaker, Bhupendrabhai A Patel, DHASOL’s immediate past president, addressed the reception and updated the guests on current events, ideas and also the progress of existing projects in Dharmaj. He summarised that DHASOL had raised and donated substantial funds for good causes that included the Hospital, Water Project, Nurses and Doctors Quarters and other relief projects following natural disasters like the Gujarat Earthquake and South Asian Tsunami. He also outlined future projects which DHASOL will be supporting, including schools in Central Gujarat, like the Sri Ambedkar Sanskardham in Virsad (near Dharmaj, Gujarat, India). This school is committed to offer free secondary school education, through decent boarding and lodging facilities, particularly to children from disadvantaged families that lack basic financial resources. The aim of the school is to provide these children with a sound start in life and make

them self sufficient and eventually good citizens.

Mr Bhupendrabhai Patel addressing the reception on their future project (also in this photo left to right: Shirishbhai Patel, Dinubhai Patel, Mukundbhai Patel President), Jatinbhai Vyas, Manharbhai Patel, Virendra Sharma MP, Caroline Flint MP). In his brief address Mr Virendra Sharma MP, congratulated the Society. He said “the work which has been done is truly remarkable and I will support your future projects in any way I can”. “This is a small charitable organisation that has made a huge impact on its community and I congratulate and salute those who raised money for this village to help build on the necessities for today which are health and education”. He encouraged the guests to continue their support for future projects. Finally, addressing the gathering, the Mr Virendra Sharma MP Rt Hon Caroline Flint MP said “the work DHASOL is doing is outstanding. You are all changing the lives of those is need and making a real difference. We need to help push the voluntary sector and communities to support small charities like yourselves and it’s a pleasure for me to congratulate you on your work and share this beautiful building with you”. She also paid a special tribute to those members who founded the organisation. She concluded by saying “I hope the youth carry on the hard work and the sponsors and volunteers continue to support this charity in the future”.

Rt Hon. Caroline Flint MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

The reception received overwhelming positive feedback from those who attended. Despite being a small charity, DHASOL has made huge strides to bring social change to those in need. To find out more about DHASOL and their work, visit (Charity No: 1070401)

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Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011

For more stories visit

Short Story by Neha Garg

Charlie Eldridge A tall, stretchy gentleman, with knobbly knees Called Charlie Eldridge, if you please One bright morning woke up to find, A cricket bat poking through his behind. With a yelp, Charlie jumped off the bed, And found another shock instead. His hands were transparent, so were his feet, This time Charlie gave a little bleat. What’s going on, dear old Charlie thought, Is it some virus that I have caught? I bet, it was from that pug called Susie, Off late, she had been looking a little woozy. Now, Charlie wasn’t an overly bright chap, (So the fact that he thought of even this, deserves a clap) He was wrong of course, as he’d usually be, Dear Charlie was afflicted with far worse, you’ll see. He put up a hand to ruffle his hair, As he usually did in the face of despair. What happened next increased poor Charlie’s dread, When his hand went straight through his head! Down and down through his body it went, Just passing through, never once making a dent. Finally, all the way down to his feet, Both of which looked as pale as a sheet. And it would have kept on going through the ground,

Had Charlie’s ears not picked up a sound. ‘Ahem!’ said someone as Charlie turned, He whimpered, and his stomach churned. ‘A .. A .. A,’ said Charlie, pointing at the man, His hand was shivering, his face drawn. ‘A Ghost, yes,’ said the man, stroking his beard, ‘Aren’t you a smart one?’ he sneered. ‘I am sorry?’ said Charlie, keeping his cool, He was not going to stand being taken for a fool. ‘Now, none of that, dear sir. I know stuff,’ ‘Ghosts are not real. Don’t you look so tough.’ The bearded one laughed, sank down to his knees, It was ten minutes before he stopped and wheezed. He wiped tears from his eyes, and chuckling still, Turned Charlie around on his heel. Facing a mirror, Charlie finally saw, The sight that made him drop his jaw. He looked exactly like the bearded fellow, The same see-through body, shaking like jello. Charlie still refused to believe what he knew, ‘Am I a ghost then? Am I like you?’ ‘Yes, Charlie Eldridge, this spookiness is yours to keep,’ ‘You see, last night, you died in your sleep.’

Jain delegation at the Vatican On 6th December a meeting took place between the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) and a Jain delegation within the Vatican. The meeting was led by His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the PCID, and Mr Nemu Chandaria, Deputy Chairman Institute of Jainology. This was the second visit by the Jain delegation who particpated in the “Assisi Days” in 1986, 2002 and this year. On 13th November this year the PCID organised a seminar on Christian-Jain Dialogue in collaboration with the Catholic Church in India and the World Fellowship of Religions at Acharya Sushil

Nemubhai Chandaria giving the Jain manuscripts Catalog to H H The Pope

Muni Ashram. In the said meeting which was held in an atmosphere of mutual respect and friendship, members of both delegations expressed satisfaction

over the cordial relations and cooperation that exist between both the Christian and Jain communities in countries where they live their day-to-day lives in proximity.

Muslim Aid launches Mosque Appreciation events Muslim Aid is organising a series of events in the UK to recognize Mosques and Institutions for their generous and valuable contribution to charitable causes in partnership with Muslim Aid the world over. The events will showcase Muslim Aid’s recent work in the emergencies in Somalia and Pakistan. Muslim Aid has received generous contributions from the community to fund its emergency relief and development pro-

grammes as well as distribute religious dues (zakat) on behalf of Muslim donors. The first of these events is being held in Birmingham on 3 December 2011. It will be followed by similar events in Manchester on 9 December and in London on 17 December. A spokesperson for Muslim Aid said: “We are proud that the Muslim community in Britain is part of the great tradition of caring for the poor and

the needy. Our Feed the Fasting programme in Ramadan and the Qurbani programme are funded entirely from community donations. Since its inception, Muslim Aid has placed great emphasis on joining forces with mosques and institutions in the UK to create awareness and raise valuable funds for the relief of victims of emergencies, long-term poverty eradication and developmental empowering programmes.”

Lords Popat and Parekh speak against the persecution of minorities Lord Dolar Popat & Lord Parekh took part in a debate in the House of Lords last week about the current situation of Christians in the Middle East, who have been reported to have become increasingly marginalised and isolated after the recent Arab Spring. The debate was initiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and was brought about by the recent attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt by the military, which killed 25 people. The attack echoed anxiety felt across the Middle East in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, with many people concerned about the possible rise of extremism and the persecution of minorities across the region. The Archbishop of Canterbury proclaimed that Christians had enjoyed a long standing presence in the Middle East, but their position in the region was now more vulnerable than ever before. Lord Popat was one of the few Hindus who took part in the debate and declared ‘that this is not just a Christian issue but an issue for humanity.’ Lord Popat condemned the recent violence in Egypt and called upon the Government, ‘to speak out against any oppression of minorities on the grounds of religion.’ Speaking out against prejudice, Lord Popat said, was also a fundamental part of his Hindu duty. The persecution of minorities is a very important issue for Lord Popat, as he said he had experienced it himself when he was forced out of his home

Lord Popat

Lord Parekh

in Uganda by the brutal dictator Idi Amin for no other reason than for his ethnicity. Peers from all faiths, backgrounds and political parties who took part in the debate, supported Lord Popat’s calling for a united approach to ensure the rights of minorities were upheld and that Egyptians were supported in reaching their ultimate goal of establishing a true democracy. In the same debate Lord Parekh also raised questions regarding the factors leading to discriminations, harassment and violent attacks on the Christinas in Middle East and Britain’s suitable actions to stop it. He said there were several reasons that were largely responsible for such discrimination. “First, in many Middle Eastern countries, there is a deep concern to unite the country and secure its stability by adopting a particular view of national identity. That view is that the country belongs to its majority... Secondly, religious minorities in the Middle East, as in every other part of the world, tend to align themselves pretty closely with the established regime for protection, for status and for other obvi-

ous advantages. When that regime is challenged, as it is challenged when democracy arrives, minorities become a target, even a scapegoat... The third factor responsible for the rise of violence has to do with-let us be frank about it-our own foreign policy... The fourth factor has to do with the fact that some of these acts of violence have been provoked by Governments... The final factor has to do with our old friend alQaeda carrying on its crusade from God-knowswhere it was left off last and talking in terms of civilisational conflict. Its anti-Western and antiChristian propaganda, although limited to a few, continues, sadly, to influence a large number of people.” Speaking about the solutions he added, that we should speak for all minorities and not just Christians. This ensures others that they do not feel alienated. Also it must be ensured that ‘democracy’ does not make the same mistake as it made in Algeria several years ago. To facilitate these, he emphasised that people must read their own history sensibly and do not be misled by ignorance.

The Ahimsa Dairy Foundation launches cow and calf sponsorship scheme The Ahimsa Dairy Foundation, which supplies entirely slaughterfree milk from its herd of organic cows, has now launched a sponsorship scheme for people to help support its cows and calves. The Ahimsa herd are mostly named after Indian or English flowers and supporters can currently choose one of nine cows, or three calves to sponsor – although with several new calves on the way that figure will soon change. The cost of the herd’s retirement plan is built into the price of the milk, but the not-for-profit company wants to ensure it has a little aside to ensure their future as well as moving cows to their sanctuary and training young bulls. The company also want to

involve supporters with the daily lives of the herd. Sponsorship starts from £3, £5 or £10 a month and for this people will receive regular updates about their cow or calf and the Ahimsa Dairy project, which is dedicated to sustainable and ethical farming. Singer Chrisse Hynde said of the Ahimsa Slaughter-free Milk project: “Most animal rights minded vegans share the opinion that cows' milk is only for the consumption of calves and of course, when buying milk from the

meat/dairy industry, no milk is cruelty free. However, if cows are treated according to the high ethical principles of cow protection, as in the Vedic tradition of ancient Indian culture, where no cows are slaughtered, their milk provides unlimited benefits for human health and I am delighted to support Ahimsa Milk and welcome this latest initiative." ADF Director, Sanjay Tanna said : “ We were looking for ways to involve our supporters more deeply with the lives of our herd and the challenges of bringing slaughter-free milk to the breakfast table. We very much hope people will be keen to sponsor our cows and bulls and help us secure their future and expand our project.”



Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011

won’t help you lose weight

Rapid weight loss accomplished through fasting or other extreme diets can cause dehydration, nutritional deficiencies and other health problems. When compared to gradual weight loss achieved through a healthy diet and exercise, weight that's lost rapidly is harder to keep off in the long-term. Here's why... Effects of fasting on the body: Fasting can cause dizziness, dehydration, nausea, fatigue, loss of muscle tissue and electrolyte imbalances. Depending on the length of the fast, it can also cause damage to the kidneys and other organs. It is also a myth that fasting helps the body detox. Weight loss occurs when caloric intake is less than the energy output. Fasting for a certain period of time can bring about a caloric deficit which causes weight loss. But this deficit is quite difficult to maintain over a stretch of

time that can support gradual and healthy weight loss. Besides, such a steep caloric deficit will only deplete your body of the much needed energy to support exercise to build the necessary lean muscle mass. Fasting is an extreme method of shortterm weight loss and it will harm your health.

Modified ways to fast: While fasting for periods of time is not an effective or sustainable weight-loss strategy, a modified "fast" that involves adhering to a

very low-calorie diet on certain days may be an effective weight-loss treatment in certain cases. A diet plan in which caloric intake is reduced to 25 per cent of energy needs every other day has been proved as an effective strategy for reducing body weight and associated cardiac risk factors in obese individuals. Safety precautions: If you still decide to go on a fasting spree, there are certain things which must be considered as safety precautions. First, get the OK from your physician, especially if you take medications or have any health conditions. Drink plenty of water throughout the fast to avoid dehydration. If you decide to do a modified fast of alternate-day calorie restriction, it is important to consume nutrient-rich foods. The right kind of weight loss: Even though the idea of rapid weight loss may be tempting, the most effective strategy for controlling weight over time is a combination of diet and exercise. Losing weight by reducing caloric intake and exercising to achieve a caloric deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories per day, or 3,500 to 7,000 calories per week is the right way of doing it. Gradual weight loss is not only safer than quick weight loss through fasting but also people who lose weight at a slow and steady pace are better able to maintain their weight loss in the long-term.

Milk thistle halts spread of lung cancer An Indian origin scientist has suggested that silibinin, a major component of milk thistle, may be a promising therapeutic compound in the treatment of lung cancer.

Alpna Tyagi, PhD, of the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy, and her team found that treatment with silibinin stopped the spread of these lung cancers in mouse. Tissue with wound-like conditions allows tumours to grow and spread. In the new animal study, silibinin help removed the molecular billboards that signal these wound-like conditions inhibiting the spread of these lung cancers. Though the natural extract has been used for more than 2,000 years, mostly to treat disorders of

the liver and gallbladder, this is one of the first carefully controlled and reported studies to find benefit. Basically, in a cell there can be a chain of signals, one leading to the next, to

the next, and eventually to an end product. The end products COX2 and iNOS are enzymes involved with the inflammatory response to perceived wounds - both can aid tumour growth. Far upstream in the signalling chain that leads to these unwanted enzymes are STAT1 and STAT3. These transcription factors allow the blueprint of DNA to bind with proteins that continue the signal cascade, eventually leading to the production of harmful COX2 and iNOS. Stop STAT1 and STAT3 and you break the

chain that leads to COX2 and iNOS - and the growth of lung tumours along with them. "This relatively nontoxic substance - a derivative of milk thistle, called silibinin - was able to inhibit the upstream signals that lead to the expression of COX2 and iNOS," said Tyagi. In addition, Tyagi and collaborators compared the effects of silibinin to drugs currently in clinical trials for lung cancer. Compared to these multi-million dollar drugs, naturally occurring silibinin blocked not only the expression of COX2 and iNOS, but also the migration of existing lung cancer cells. "What we showed is that STAT1 and STAT3 may be promising therapeutic targets in the treatment of lung cancer, no matter how you target them," Tyagi said.


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


How to be your best self

Being your best self does not have to be hard work. All you have to do is know that it is possible to be great and learn a few techniques that can enhance your strengths and show your greatness. Read below and absorb the tips provided to shine – just as you are meant to. Firstly, learn the best swing from professionals; model your behaviour on people that you feel are simply excellent. Believe and be passionate about getting better at every opportunity. Motivation is an inner force that compels your behaviour; motivation is always generated from the inside. You are acting on an inner need if you are motivated. Memory and imagination are responsible for motivation. If you visualise what you will achieve, you will achieve it. Motivation lives in our memories. How strong of force are things in your life? Are your skills able to help you achieve on your goals. How important is winning to you, being number one? Do you have a concern for excellence? To win you need to express the very best that is in you. If you meditate and worry all day and

night about your concern the only direction you will move in will be backwards. All motivation comes from internal images, highly motivated achievers tell action filled goal orientated explanations. Imagine the things you want so precisely. Don’t be passive, be active, have a voice and represent yourself. Passivity defies motivation. The only two fears you were born with were falling over and loud noises, every other worry you have, you have made up. So much of what you believe is out of your control actually is in your control. We all have one thing in common; in all of our lives one day we will close our eyes and die. So, why would you fear anything? All you need to achieve a dream is action and persistence. Keep going and keep going. Persistence is the one thing that unites every human being in terms of achieving success. We will only ever do something if we want to. You have to make the choice, are you prepared to make the choice, a true decision? Make a plan: 1. What are you going to achieve, by when? 2. Never have a plan B ever.

If you feel such passion only have a plan A, see it believe it and start to feel that you are achieving it. Put in all the energy you have and those currents will drive you to your destination. How long does it take to make a decision? A second, so do it now, every second is a chance to turn it all around. Think about what you have to loose and rationalise any fears you may have. Go for it, nobody ever achieved anything by staying in their comfort zone. If you know of anyone who may benefit from reading this article please do share it with him or her. Additionally, if you like my articles and want to be inspired on a regular basis remember to ‘like’ the Thinkspalondon page on Facebook and register on the website for free articles. Early next year I plan to run another Impact Boot Camp Personal Development Day. To qualify for an early bird discount register your interest by emailing me directly on mamta@thinkspalondon.c om. May you live always with peace, harmony and happiness.

Garlic juice or mud pack can help you fight pimples, acne If pimples and acne scars on the face are bothering you, try putting some garlic juice or a mud pack. Or if you are game for medical help, laser treatment and chemical peels are an alternative, say dermatologists. Ninety per cent of teenagers suffer from acne in varying degrees of severity. "Medicated creams and face washes are there. Topical treatments for teenaged acne include benzoyl peroxide, sulphur, resorcinol, or salicylic acid,” said Meenakshi Agarwal, a Mumbai-based cosmetic surgeon. Post-acne scars can be cleared by clean-ups with salicylic or glycolic acid at a clinic. Gentle exfoliation with these acids helps in taking out blackheads and

whiteheads. Some natural remedies like garlic juice, clay packs and lemon juice also help in avoiding acne and lightens scars. To avoid acne, wash your skin twice a day. Make sure that you use a mild face wash that is meant for your skin type. Try to avoid processed foods like white bread and noodles as they often trigger outbreaks.

Use a face pack made of Fuller`s earth (nonplastic clay or claylike earthy material) at least once or twice a week. This will help extract excess sebum and is therefore one of the best natural methods to treat acne. You can also apply a little garlic juice on your face, for about an hour at least once a week. Although garlic juice will kill acne-causing bacteria, do not keep it for too long as it can aggravate sensitive skin. Mix equal parts of milk cream and lemon juice and apply on your face. The lactic acid and citric acid in these two substances help in lightening the scars. You can also use gram flour to scrub away the debris and acne-laden skin.




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Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011

CB Live is only a Gujarati programme in UK on MATV SKY 793 This week in CB Live Ms Urvi Shah and Mr Hiren Patel will be interviewed. Urvi Shah is an immigration Lawyer accredited at OISC level 3 and represents immigration matters before the UK Border Agency, Immigration Tribunals (First Tier and Upper Tribunal). She is working through VISA (Vision Immigration Services & Alliances) LTD since July 2009. Urvi is also a qualified Solicitor of England and Wales since August 2004. Urvi has an experience of Immigration law practice in the UK for more then 7 years now. Hiren Patel is also an immigration lawyer accredited at OISC Level 3. He represents clients’ immigration matters before the Home Office and Immigration Tribunal. He also works in VISA LTD. He is a qualified Solicitor of England and Wales and an Advocate of India. He is also qualified Chartered Secretary of India and UK. He has experience in legal practice for over 11 years.

Sneh Joshi - 020 8518 5500 Work is going to play a great part for some of you, who are widening their horizons. An important time to build too, as Saturn can be very severe and cold especially regarding relationships. Regardless of the limits, you have the capacity to turn the course of your life in a more fulfilling direction.

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20

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If you do not have a SKY, go to and watch CB Live on TVU Player Channel 75203

A radical found guilty of distributing extremist Islamic books and DVDs A Muslim graduate was found guilty of publishing and distributing extremist books and DVDs aimed at ‘priming people for terrorism’. Ahmed Faraz (pictured) possessed and disseminated material that ended up in the hands of ‘infamous terrorists’ including 7/7 ringleader Mohammed Sidique

Khan. The 32-yearold was linked to the Maktabah publisher and bookshop that he ran in S p a r k h i l l Birmingham. His books were also found among the possessions of Habib Ahmed, a senior alQaeda lieutenant from Manchester and Andrew Ibrahim who planned to blow up a shopping centre

Coming Events l Shree 108 Hanuman Chalisa, Social Club Hall, Northwick Park Hospital, Watford Road. HA1 3UJ. 11am- 5pm. Contact: 020 8459 5758/ 07973550310 l Bhajans, Sunday 18th December - 3.00pm to 5.30pm by Shree Budhdevbhai Kansara, and Shree Subashbai and Various Artists followed by Arti and Maha Prasad for all. Adhya Shakti Mataji Temple, 55 High Street, UB8 2DX. Tel: 07882 253 540 l Elegance NYE Dinner and dance, 31st December, 7pm-2am at Premier Banqueting. Harrow HA3 7TS. Contact: 07812911675. £45-25. l NYE ball 2011, Saturday 31st Dec, Riverside venue, 1A Bath Road, TW6 2AA, 7pm-2am. Contact: 07717414817 l Christmas dinner & dance 2011, 24th Dec 2011, £25-33/head. Sattavis Patidar Centre HA9 9PE. Performing Shama. Contact- 020 8452 5590 l Christmas dinner and dance 2011, 24th December 2011. £25only. Contact: 0208 477 4357 l New Years Eve Bhajan Programme, Saturday 31st December 2011 from 8pm followed by Maha Aarti at Midnight. For more details contact Shree Jalaram Mandir Greenford on 0208 578 8088 / 9285 Editor: CB Patel Associate Editor: Rupanjana Dutta Tel: 020 7749 4098 - Email: Senior News Editor: Dhiren Katwa Freelance Correspondent: Rudy Otter Chief Operating Officer ABPL: Liji George Tel: 020 7749 4013 Email: Chief Financial Officer: Surendra Patel Tel: 020 7749 4093 - Mobile: 07875 229 220 Email: Accounts Executive: Akshay Desai Tel: 020 7749 4087 Advertising Managers: Alka Shah Tel: 020 7749 4002 - Mobile: 07944 151 893 Email: Kishor Parmar Tel: 020 7749 4095 - Mobile: 07875 229 088 Email: Media Consultant: Rovin John George - Email: Tel: 020 7749 4097 - Mobile: 07875 229 219 Nihir Shah - Email: Tel: 020 7749 4089 - Mobile: 07875 229 111 Business Development Managers: Urja Patel - Email: Design and Layout: Harish Dahya & Ajay Kumar Tel: 020 7749 4086 Email: Customer Service: Ragini Nayak Tel: 020 7749 4080 - Email:

in Bristol, it was reported in The Telegraph. Faraz was found guilty of 11 counts of possessing and disseminating terror-



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TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Give top priority to important written work, official matters and vital communications. This applies particularly to financial and commercial interests. If you can manage to get away from usual routines, this will prove to be highly enjoyable and have a beneficial effect on your physical and psychological well-being. GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Developments during this week are likely to make you feel rather restless, perhaps because you have allowed yourself to fall into a routine that is now becoming jaded. If so, then the hint of change will be extremely welcome, even if it might entail an element of disruption. Adaptable and versatile, as you are, it is unlikely that even a major change will faze you.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22 You will have the distinct feeling that everything is moving ahead at a very satisfying pace. Indeed, you will be in a forwardlooking mood, more inclined to reflect on the future and its potentials. There is a great deal to suggest that the power of destiny is very much in your own hands. LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23 A far more personally enlivening period when you should set out to show the world just who you are. The 'I want' factor seems pretty strong; do avoid making hasty purchases and expensive investments. Assertive and 'ego' powers are pretty powerful now, in fact others may feel you are coming on too strongly. VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23 Domestic and family matters are very much to the fore with the general trend indicating increased harmony and feeling of contentment in your home life. At a more practical level, property matters are under a highly encouraging trend, making this one of the best times for pushing ahead with buying, selling or renovating your property. LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23 You have everything to gain by following creative inclinations. If you have new ideas, now is the time to put them into practice. Whatever your present interests you are likely to find that new doors open and the way ahead offers increased scope for expressing your real self. A great time to meet and interact with people. SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22 Fortune smiles on the romantically inclined with Mars transiting your solar 11th house. You are likely to experience a highly satisfying phase in respect of personal relationships. For Scorpios dissatisfied with their current status, now is the time to do something positive about it.

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SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21 The need to push ahead with personal interests and to assert yourself with added force will take precedence over everything else for some time to come. Mentally you will be in top form, perhaps feeling quite passionate about expressing your ideas and views. It is certainly a good time to get involved in lively debate. CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 Sun's transit of your 12th Solar House indicates that experience will put you in a deeply reflective mood. This is a favourable time for getting away from usual routines and seeking a retreat for a few days. All the better if you are interested in such things as meditation, yoga and therapies that help you to get in closer touch with your inner self. AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 Activities and interests that involve co-operation and teamwork are very much in the spotlight. You will be able to further your special aims and objectives by communicating and working closely with others. You are likely to experience some tension in close relationships - it may be a time to take careful stock of things, especially your own attitudes. PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 This is not a time to take undue risks with money yet it is certainly favourable for those who are working towards improving their earning potential. It is not only career and employment that come under this fortunate trend because your creative energies will be very much to the fore, too. Tread carefully where legal matters are concerned.

SPorT wOrlD

Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011

New Zealand stun Australia with 7-run win

New Zealand has scored a seven-run upset win over Australia and skipper Ross Taylor was quick to dedicate New Zealand's first test victory on Australian soil since 1985 as a Christmas gift to long-suffering fans. It took a 21-year-old, second-generation Black Cap to wrap it up for them on Monday, with 21-year-old all-rounder Doug Bracewell snaring 6-40 in 16.4 overs in only his fourth test match. His eight-ball burst to dismiss exAustralian captain Ricky Ponting (16), current skipper Michael Clarke (0) and veteran Mike Hussey (0) just before lunch swung the momentum decisively in New Zealand's favor after the series seemed to be drifting away from them. In the end, only opener David Warner defied the New Zealand bowlers, carrying his bat for an unbeaten 123 in his second test, including a 34-run last-wicket stand with Nathan Lyon that almost got Australia across the line. The New Zealanders were thrashed by nine wickets in the series-opening match at Brisbane last week and were facing a 2-0 series defeat when Australia was cruising at 159-2 chasing 241 to win the second test. Instead, they squared the series. "With one wicket and 40 runs, you're favorite. When it gets down to that close ... in New Zealand cricket

history, that has to go down as one of the closest, and one of the best," Taylor said. "After the way we played in Brisbane, we wanted to come down here and show a bit more passion in New Zealand and pride. And that's what we did. I'm ecstatic and pretty proud. Thanks to the NZ public- That was for them. We wish them a merry Christmas." Australia's demise started when Ponting miscued a good-length ball from Bracewell and popped an easy catch to Tim Southee at extra cover to make the total 159-3, extending his drought to 31 innings since his last test hundred. Clarke edged to Taylor at slip and then Hussey was adjudged lbw on the

Pakistan crush Bangladesh in 1st Test Abdur Rehman grabbed four wickets as Pakistan thrashed Bangladesh by an innings and 184 runs on the penultimate day of the opening Test in Chittagong on Monday. The left-arm spinner finished with 4/88 as Bangladesh, trailing by 459 runs, were bowled out for 275 in their second innings after lunch to suffer their 62nd defeat in 72 Tests. Rehman, off-spinner Saeed Ajmal and paceman Aizaz Cheema shared five wickets that fell on a fourthday track offering help to spinners after Bangladesh had resumed at 134/4. Fast bowler Rubel Hossain did not bat due a

shoulder injury, suffered while fielding on Sunday. Debutant Mohammed Nazimuddin (78), Shakib Al Hasan (51) and skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (49) were the main run-getters for Bangladesh. Cheema ended the innings when he had Shahadat Hossain (21) caught by Umar Gul in the covers in his first over with the second new ball. Rehman dismissed wellset Nazimuddin and former captain Shakib in the morning session before accounting for Rahim to finish the match with seven wickets after having taken three in the first innings.

next ball - after Taylor asked for a review of umpire Asad Rauf's original not out decision. Brad Haddin survived the hat-trick ball but the three quick strikes gave New Zealand the upper hand with Australia having a longer-than-usual lower order. New Zealand had a setback on the morning of the first day when veteran left-arm orthodox spinner Daniel Vettori was ruled out with a hamstring strain. But it worked out to be a positive for New Zealand, who went into the match on a seam friendly greentop wicket with four pacemen. Bracewell took his first five wickets in two stints before and after lunch on day four, and Southee then claimed two wickets in an over to start the middle session as the Australians lost seven wickets for 40 with batsmen struggling to handle the late swing. Warner's impressive performance was overshadowed by another dismal performance by Australia's top order that will almost certainly cost opener Phil Hughes his spot and raises even more questions over the test futures of veterans Ponting and Hussey. Even when Australia went to lunch at 173-5, it seemed the unbeaten run at Bellerive Oval would survive. But four wickets in 10 balls saw the Australians slip to 199-9.

Murray's mum named Britain's Fed Cup captain

Judy Murray, mother of world number four Andy Murray, was named as nonplaying captain of Britain's Fed Cup women's tennis team. The Lawn Tennis Association said she would lead the team when they contest the Euro/Africa Zone Group I competition in Eilat, Israel in February. "It is a huge honour for me to represent my country in this way and the role pres-

ents a very exciting challenge, given the mix of talent, experience and determination we have in our top female players right now," Judy said. Britain's women have shown some improvement in recent years with Elena Baltacha ranked 51st in the world, Anne Keothavong 73 and Heather Watson also in the top 100. Judy is a regular in her son's box at the biggest tournaments and was responsible for his early progress, opting to send him to Spain as a teenager to further his development. Her elder son Jamie is a former Wimbledon mixed doubles champion.

Amir Khan vents anger at referee after defeat England boxer Amir Khan’s claim to be one of the best boxers in the world ended in disappointment as he lost his WBA and IBF light-welterweight titles to Lamont Peterson in a bout that will be remembered for its controversial refereeing and for the thrilling action. Peterson, who was boxing in his home city, won by a split points decision after two American judges made him the winner by a single point, 113-112. The third judge, from Puerto Rico, had Khan a wide winner, by 115-110. But the contest swung on the decisions of Joseph Cooper, the referee from nearby Virginia, who had deducted two points from Khan, one in the seventh round and one in the last, for pushing. Controversial refereeing decisions are not uncommon in boxing, but what stood out here was the offence. While pushing is against the rules, it is generally seen as a minor infringement. Floyd Mayweather Jr is someone

who constantly pushes and wrestles an opponent’s arms to make room for his punches. It is impossible to recall an incident when a point has been deducted for it, let alone two. “Never in my life have I seen people lose points for pushing like that,” Freddie Roach, Khan’s trainer, said. “I have seen people get bodyslammed and not have points deducted.” Khan pushed Peterson off him to try to get space, as the American leant on him - itself an illegal move for which the

challenger was not warned. Nor was Peterson warned for several low blows and while he was told off several times for going in low with his head, a point was never taken away. Without the deductions, Khan would have won and even just one point off would have meant Khan holding on to his titles with a draw. “The referee shouldn’t decide fights like that, the judges should,” Roach said. “The referee’s decision to take away a point in the final

round of such a close fight was uncalled for. It was the worst refereeing job I have seen in a long time. He missed a knockdown in the first round, and at this level you shouldn’t have referees who miss knockdowns and then take points away without warning for no reason. “Peterson fought his heart out and so did Amir, and it was a close fight. But the referee should not have decided it.” Khan was equally upset. “I fought against him and the referee,” he said. “He kept putting his arm against me and I felt the referee was more on his side. He was coming in with his head. He was strong and came forward, but he didn’t really threaten me at all. I knew it would be tough in his home town. This is why boxing hasn’t been in DC for 20 years, because you get a decision like this. “Let’s see about a rematch and if he has the balls to face me in the UK. I want my two titles back.”


Barcelona win 'El Classico'

Barcelona came back after conceding the quickest 'EL Classico' goal to beat Real Madrid 3-1 to go top of the table, courtesy their better headto-head record over Madrid in the Spanish La Liga. Pep Guardiola's men had the worse possible start in the crunch tie as they went down to a Karim Benzema goal just 23 seconds after the start. A miskick from Barca keeper Victor Valdes landed at Mesut Ozil's feet whose deflected shot rebounded straight to Benzema who slotted home from close range to give Madrid the lead in Santiago Bernabea on Saturday. Madrid pressed hard for the second goal but diminutive Chilean, Alexis Sanchez struck in the 30th minute against the run of play to bring the Catalans back in the game. Xavi Hernandez's deflected shot gave Barca the lead in the 53rd minute and showed why they are regarded as the best club team in the world. The newest member of the Barca team Cesc Fabregas grabbed the third in the 66th minute to end Real Madrid's 15-match winning run and strike a potentially decisive blow in the race for the Primera Division title.

Harbhajan Singh robbed; loses passport, credit cards India’s star cricketer Harbhajan Singh on Monday lost his passport, credit cards and driving license as a group of thieves broke open his car which was also badly damaged at a place near Karnal. Harbhajan and his friend were coming to Delhi by car when the incident happened at a place called Madhuban, near Karnal. "Me and my fiend got down to get some coffee near Madhuban Police Academy. I had locked my car (a Ford Endeavour) and had gone to get some coffee. I came back within five minutes and saw that window pane of my car was smashed and a bag containing all the valuable items was not there," Harbhajan said. "More importantly, I have lost my passport, driving license along with 10 credit cards," he added. He said he has lodged a police complaint and freezed the credit card. "I have frozen my credit cards but losing my passport has been a big headache. Although I have filed a complaint with the police. My appeal to whoever has done this is to at least return my passport and driving license," the senior cricketer who is now nursing an injury said.

Ashwin in top 20 of ODI bowling chart Following his consistent performance in the recent past, India's R Ashwin broke into the top 20 of the ICC ODI bowling charts for the first time in his career, while batsman Virat Kohli moved one rung to be placed fourth in the latest ranking released. Rohit Sharma, up 21 places to 35th, also improved thanks to his three half-centuries in the ongoing series against the West Indies, but opener Gautam Gambhir lost seven places to be placed alongside South Africa's JP Duminy at 19th position. With 620 points, Ashwin was ranked 18th, a jump of three places. The ever-improving Kohli has garnered 766 points and is placed alongside India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni who has lost a place. South Africa's Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers and Jonathan Trott continued to keep the top three spots. There was also good progress for West Indies' Ravi Rampaul in the bowling rankings who improved one place to 13th, while in batting those moving up included Lendl Simmons (up five spots to 25th), Darren Bravo (up 15 to 54th) and Andre Russell (up 34 to 76th). After his strong showing in the recent three-match series in Bangladesh, Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez gained six places in the latest rankings and now sits just 19 ratings points behind teammate Saeed Ajmal, who heads the bowlers' list.


Asian Voice - Saturday 17th December 2011

Panesar gets England recall for Pakistan series England recalled spinner Monty Panesar when they named a 16-man squad on Friday for their upcoming Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates. The series, being played in the UAE, will be England's first since they went to number one in the world Test rankings during a 4-0 home thrashing of India earlier this year. Left-arm spinner Panesar has been in the international wilderness since playing the last of his 39 Tests two years ago, when his tailend resistance with the bat helped England cling on for a draw in the 2009 Ashes opener against Australia in Cardiff. But with pitches in the UAE expected to take turn, Panesar - whose 126 Test wickets have come at an average of just under 35 apiece - has been selected as the second spinner behind off-break bowler Graeme Swann in a 16-man squad. Panesar has been playing club cricket in Australia and England and national selector Geoff Miller, announcing the squad, said: "Monty Panesar, who has been playing cricket in Sydney recently, has been selected as the second spin option along with Graeme Swann. England Test squad: Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wkt), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Tim Bresnan, Chris Tremlett, James Anderson, Steven Finn, Steven Davies (wkt), Monty Panesar and Ravi Bopara.

Hail Virender Sehwag, Eighth Wonder of the World

By Premen Addy

What do they know of Sehwag who only Sehwag know? Give it some thought, for you are unlikely to see his like again. He has defied (and continues to defy) every known principle of the cricketing canon, a stellar performer with the bat who has written his own rules and opened new vistas for those destined to follow in his wake. Sehwag is a trail blazer, a meteor from some rival universe whose coming was never even hinted at by the most sophisticated instruments available to man. Make the most of Viru while he is around. He is the authentic original – the most fearless, without doubt - that has ever trodden a cricket ground. Witness his double centuries and two triple hundreds, especially an innings of 293 against the Sri Lankans that left them cold from shock. Just as some agnostics were preparing to pronounce his demise, he reaffirmed, phoenix-like, his extraordinary powers with an ODI world record score of 219 against the visiting West Indies, which those saw him doing so at Indore, have likened it to a mural of unpremeditated art. The sheer magnificence of the spectacle had Sehwag's opponents pressing his flesh in awe and admiration when our hero walked off the ground. The game

first international century and it promises to be one of many, if he does himself justice. Replying to India's 267 for 6, West Indies subsided to 233 all out (Pollard 119), leaving the home side comprehensive 4-1 series winners. And so on to Australia, where New Zealand pulled off a thrilling 7-run win at Hobart (Tasmania) in moist, bowlerfriendly conditions, enabling them against the odds, to share a 1-1 Test series Down Under in over two decades. This ought to be the seedbed of Indian hope. Meanwhile, the mickey mouse cricketers of Bangladesh were pounded into the dust by the marauding Pakistanis at Chittagong. Bangladesh 135 and 275; Pakistan 594 for 5 declared. An innings and 184 runs is a heavy defeat on any account. After a decade of Test cricket, Bangladesh has shown not a scintilla of progress. The country's dearth of international cricket talent is too stark to permit denial any longer. Instead, Bangladesh should take a rain cheque, having demonstrated their continuing inability to cope with the rigours of Test cricket. The award of Test status to the country has proved hopelessly premature. The ICC president at the time, Jagmohan Dalmiya, has a case to answer, as has every cricket board in the world. Political correctness led to this abysmal lapse of judgment.

was as good as won and lost by then: India's Himalayan 418 for 5 was a peak too high for the visitors to emulate. They were all out for 265, losing the match and the series 1-3, with a game left in a dead rubber. Pride was at stake at Chennai. India was wobbling after the loss of three early wickets, but Manoj Tiwari (104 retired hurt) and Virat Kohli (80) took them to safety. This was Tiwari's

India win final ODI despite Pollard power-hitting

West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard blasted 10 sixes but his powerpacked maiden century was not enough to avert a 34-run defeat against India in the fifth and final one-dayer on Sunday. Pollard's (119) blistering 110-ball knock took his team close to the 268run victory target but apart from Andre Russell (53), none of his batting colleagues could offer much support as West Indies folded for 233 in 44.1 overs. With only number 11 batsman Anthony Martin to give him company and still 35 runs required off the last six overs, Pollard tried to hit Suresh Raina for his 11th six but found Ajinkya Rahane in the deep. India won the fivematch series 4-1. West Indies had lost opener Lendl Simmons to the first ball of their innings and slumped to 78 for five before an 89-run stand between Pollard and Russell brought them back in the match. Pollard tried to hit his way out of trouble but wickets continued to tumble around him. He was fortunate to get his maiden century which came when Virat Kohli dropped him for a four in the 43rd over. Earlier, Manoj Tiwary

Kohli, however, did not get his century, and became Anthony Martin's second victim after a smooth 85-ball knock.

Sehwag shock for West Indies

(104) struck his maiden century before retiring hurt with cramps while Kohli (80) became the highest ODI run-getter in 2011 as India posted a challenging 267 for six at M A Chidambaram Stadium's low and slow track in Chennai. Gautam Gambhir, leading in absence of Virender Sehwag, won the toss and opted to bat first but the hosts were rattled early, losing two wickets in the first three deliveries. Kemar Roach's second delivery kept low and hit Rahane's pad and nextman-in Parthiv Patel dragged the next delivery on to his stumps to become the second Indian batsman out for a first-ball duck. Tiwary, playing his first match of the series, not only denied Roach a hattrick but also decided to make the most of the opportunity that came his way. The right-handed batsman added 83 runs with Gambhir (31) to steady the

innings and shared a more fluent 117-run partnership with Kohli to lay the foundation for a big total. Tiwary hit spinner Sunil Narine for a four to reach the 100-mark but the humidity took its toll on his body and the batsman limped off the ground after taking a single off the next delivery. His 126-ball included 10 fours and a six.

It was Virender Sehwag all the way in the 4th ODI at Indore last week. Such was his onslaught on the West Indies bowling that the outcome of the match was rendered secondary. Sehwag not only followed in the footsteps of his idol Sachin Tendulkar but also surpassed him at the Holkar stadium in Indore on Thursday last. His effort helped India post their highest ODI score of 418 for five, and

put them in a dominant position to win the match and claim the series. India, led by debutant leg-spinner Rahul Sharma's impressive three wicket haul, did just that. The West Indies, burdened by a mountain to climb, barely managed to cross Sehwag’s contribution, leaving India the victors by a huge margin of 153 runs. An apparently out-of- form Sehwag produced an innings of sheer

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grace and power to notch up 219 from just 149 balls, surpassing the 200 not out made by Tendulkar against South Africa at Gwalior in February last year. Sehwag struck as many as seven sixes and 25 boundaries before being caught at long-off off Kieron Pollard in the 47th over. With the ball coming onto the bat, he produced a flurry of strokes that only he is capable of.

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