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February 15, 2013 Volume 4, No. 20

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Anti-Muslim remarks spark rage worldwide Helping the suffering 2 angels Look who’s in love

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The killer of 21-year-old Shalvin Prasad, remains untraceable as the police reaches out for assistance of high profiled criminal profilers to track down the murderer.

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www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

NEW ZEALAND

Police step up hunt for Disrespect for turban infuriates Sikh man Shalvin’s killer
ARVIND KUMAR

P

o l i c e have now roped in the assistance of high profiled criminal profilers to track down the killer of Shalvin Prasad, whose burning body was found in South

Auckland two weeks ago. The still alight body of 21-year-old Shalvin, originally from Fiji but living in Dannemora, was found in scrub on the dead-end McRobbie Rd in Kingseat on January 31, several hours after he withdrew $30,000 from his bank account. Counties Manukau Police communications and media manager Ana-Mari Gates-Bowey said the criminal profilers were targeting highprofile criminals who could have been involved in the incident. “We have also brought in criminal expatriates and investigators from other countries to look into the matter,” she said. Ms Gates-Bowey said the criminal profilers and expatriates were being involved because of the seriousness of the case. “Shalvin’s body was set on fire and it is something unusual for someone in New Zealand to be burnt alive,” he said.

Ms Gates-Bowey said the expatriate investigators were working on analysing facts as to how long Shalvin was set on fire and how long it would have taken him to die. She said Shalvin, whose body was doused in petrol and set alight, was not a victim of blackmail or fraud and there was no suggestion he was involved in an illegal activity. His blue Rav4 was found abandoned in Papatoetoe, and his body was found at least 27km away in Kingseat. While police were not releasing any information on their investigations, Ms GatesBowey said they were making progress. “We cannot say anything on what we are doing and the leads we are following but we are making progress,” she said. Earlier this week, Shalvin’s older brother and family spokesman for this case, Pravin Prasad, made an emotional plea for information from the public leading to the arrest of his brother’s killers. Pravin said their family members in Fiji, Australia and the US were “train wrecks” following Shalvin’s death. “Shalvin was bubbly, he loved to laugh and was always cheerful,” he said. Grieving father, Ravin Prasad, said his younger son had never stayed out at night after 10pm and they were at a loss to understand what series of incidents could have led to the deadly end.

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ARVIND KUMAR
Sikh man living in Queenstown is disappointed serious charges were not laid against a drunken man who snatched his turban from his head. Jasmail Singh, 26, said last week’s incident was the first time his hair had been seen in public. Singh was outside the Camp St McDonald’s, where he has worked for six months, helping another crew member deal with drunks jumping on his car. “He came from behind and took my turban from my head forcibly,” Singh told the Indian Weekender. “I have never shown my hair in public – it is against my religion. It is very embarrassing for me. When he took the turban off, my hair fell out. I went downstairs because I did not want to show my hair. I started crying – it was very shocking for me.” Singh’s fellow crew members retrieved the turban and Sky Bar bouncers later detained a man. A 19-year-old Scotsman was arrested shortly before midnight and charged with disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence. Queenstown sergeant Kate Pirovano said: “He was drunk and probably didn’t realise the seriousness of his actions.” Singh said the man was let off and had returned to his country. “It should have been classed as an assault. In India it is taken very seriously, a serious crime. A police officer once knocked someone’s turban off and he lost his job. This has never happened before to me. I lived in Invercargill for four years.” National List MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi said the incident was a reminder of the importance of recognising cultural differences. “I’m pleased the police are handling this unfortunate case; however, such incidents highlight the need to remember the multicultural nature of our society. It also serves to remind us that we must be more understanding and tolerant of the different cultural practices undertaken within our communities. “All cultures, religions, and ethnic groups have unique practices and protocols. One of the most significant for the Sikh religion is the requirement of Sikh men to wear a turban. This tradition dates back to 1469,” Mr Bakshi said. This is not the first time the Sikh headwear has caused issues in New Zealand. Three years ago, a Sikh businessman in Auckland was refused service at a golf club bar recently because he was wearing a turban. Kharag Singh, 48, owner of the Everglade 4 Square supermarket and keen golfer, was refused service at the Aviation Country Golf Club bar in Auckland on February 28, 2010, after the day’s competition.

NEW ZEALAND

www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

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MP’s anti-Muslim comments shot down

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ARVIND KUMAR

N MP’s anti-Muslim comments have drawn widespread condemnation from all quarters. NZ First Party’s Richard Prosser, writing in a column in Investigate magazine, said young men who were Muslim, “look like a Muslim” or come from a Muslim country should not be permitted to fly on “western” airlines. He also refers to “misogynist troglodytes from Wogistan”. Prosser was inspired to write the two-page article entitled “Enemy of the State” after security officials confiscated his penknife at Christchurch airport. He said “ordinary people” were being treated like “suspects and pariahs”. Prosser wrote that while all Muslims were not terrorists, most terrorists were Muslim. And his answer is to prohibit all Muslim males from “our aeroplanes.” He went on: “I will not stand by while their [his daughters’] rights and freedoms of other New Zealanders and Westerners, are denigrated by a sorry pack of misogynist troglodytes from Wogistan.” And he added: “If you are a young male, aged between say about 19 and 35, and you’re a Muslim, or you look like a Muslim, or you come

“People like him do not realise how their narrow-minded and extreme views undermine the good work done by others in Parliament at building relationships” - Dr Anwar Ghani, president of the Federation of Islamist Associations of New Zealand, on Prosser’s (left) racist remarks against Muslims
Richard Prosser

from a Muslim country, then you are not welcome to travel on any of the West’s airlines...” He says they shouldn’t be allowed to fly again until Islam has “taken upon itself and proven it is able to prevent extremists”. Dr Anwar Ghani, president of the Federation of Islamist Associations of New Zealand, said the comments were “racist and totally unacceptable”. “I think it’s blatant racism and I feel sorry for those other parliamentarians who have to put up with him,” Dr Ghani told the Stuff website. “I think people

like him do not realise how their narrow-minded and extreme views undermine the good work done by others in Parliament at building relationships.” Dr Ghani said the comments had the potential to harm economic relations with New Zealand if unnecessary weight was given to them. He said Islamic countries made up a significant portion of New Zealand’s trading partners. “Education is a multimillion dollar industry here, and I could imagine some students not being very happy.” Ghani said the comments were

“not good at all”, but obviously not reflective of most of New Zealand. Prosser ran unsuccessfully as a candidate for the Waimakariri electorate in 2011, getting only 538 votes. He joined Parliament as a list MP for the party. National List MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi has condemned these anti-Muslim comments by Prosser. “Mr Prosser’s uninformed and offensive comments have the potential to seriously damage New Zealand’s international reputation, and our standing as a fair and tolerant nation,” Mr Bakshi said. “New Zealand prides itself on being an inclusive society, and we have a very strong tradition of human rights. However, from time to time we are reminded that closed-mindedness still exists in our community. “As a Sikh, and member of a minority community, I understand how hurtful comments like this can be. Mr Prosser’s suggestions have absolutely no place in our Parliament, or our country.” NZ First leader Winston Peters said this week Prosser had made a mistake. He said he knew about the article three weeks ago, and told Prosser it wasn’t acceptable

to present only one side of the argument. “I’m fronting up here to say that this is an extreme view which we don’t share as a party.” Mr Peters denied Prosser had incited hatred with his column. “Before you all take that soft-headed approach, there is an element of truth to what he is saying... this has been happening over and over again... the part that there are far too many radical Muslim extremists... what’s wrong about that is you cannot go and generalise in the erroneous way he did,” Mr Peters said. Prime Minister John Key said it was “an example of the depth of thinking in the NZ First caucus”. The remarks were “stupid and premeditated”. Labour leader David Shearer said the remarks were “completely inappropriate for this Parliament”. “It’s not something that came off the top of his head as a mistake, it was calculated. I think MPs... should act responsibly. And in this case I think it could lead to inciting violence.” Other nations - particularly in the Middle East - will look on New Zealand “with some disdain”, Shearer said.

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Divorce or Separation: A Review I
ASHIMA BUDGOOJAR RAJ SINGH

Ways to gain residence in NZ

Indian

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www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

New Zealand

NEW ZEALAND

f you wish to settle permanently Term Business Visa Category and Term Business the applicant will applicants and their partners and no children of their own, single and in New Zealand you will need to then apply for residence under the establish the business in accordance children must meet the minimum totally reliant on their parents for Plus with the business plan and follow up standard of English Principal financial support. apply for a resident or couples Entrepreneur/Entrepreneur When a married couplevisa. There who have certify that you have both received individual for the couple. The couple or one partner may 1. At least one of party must live in New with a residence applicationto attend counselling if other partner are different a pathways or a civil unionpolicies. legal advice to choose Zealand with and adult child policy - no not have under applicants and their partners and Sibling the intention to live here inentered into marriage decide the Entrepreneur Category, violence or the couple hasmeet Health and longer available. definitely has used which children must attended to separate, it can be the first step towards disfrom when applying for a Resident Long Term Business Visa Inter-country adoption - If a NZ 2. solution (divorce) of the marriage or This category is suitable for will ultimately result in a Residence last 12 months. a civil A SEPARATION ORDER is an order made counselling in the Character Requirements policy. The couple is living apart Visa: The only way to get a divorce is to prove 3. The couple have been living apart for at union. There are a lot of things to consider at people who areCourt. If the couple has a Sepabusiness by the Family interested Visa. resident or citizen legally adopts a least two years has broken down every stage of this journey. Childrenin establishing aOrder, theyin New of Entrepreneur Category the marriage Family Migration irrecshould ration business are free any obligation to that child overseas, they may apply on Skilled Migrant Category be at the top of the list, then the couple needs live with each other. this The if the couple the Entrepreneur atIf members onlyyour of 4. The couple agreed to separate at least two Zealand. Applicants under However, Objective of oncilably and is an end. The of way family are his or her behalf. The sort out finances, family home, and who has children, they both still have legal respon- proving that the relationship has broken down years ago to Skilled Migrant Category at obtaining Category is to attract migrants who already residing in New Zealand and addresses applicants who are policy are aiming parents. irreconcilably is by living apart for two years. 5. The couple’s marriage or civil union has sibilities as gets to keep what. planning to take New Zealand provides while being self-employed can demonstrate that they have been you wish to join the Court broken down irreconcilably Only then can them, a Residence Residence from Work Family Court in up skilled residency rather than looking for employment. actively participating in business Application the marriage Family The objective of the Residence under the dissolve various services like counselling which can employment in New Zealand. and contributing to New Zealand’s Category might beThe two for you: coupleWork children who to enable If the from have Category is are under or civil union. an option be helpful requirements for a Applicants need to:Minimum to the couple. Counselling can help year period cannot be 16 years the grant of residence class visas the couple deal with the issues the their relain have completed a business plan that economic development. Partnership policy allows partners old (or, in special circumstances, 16 resident application under shortened, even residents years or older) the couple will need to needed tionship. The couple may decide to work on NZ citizens and if both apply talents are satisfy Skilled Migrant or civil union together, meets the requirements for their Applicants in the Entrepreneur of the parties agree to the tothe Courtto people whosemade arrangements that they have their marriage Category are: or may business proposal have business Category are required to for residence in New Zealand. by New Zealand employers, people • choosehealth Good to separate and live apart. Whichever dissolution. Once the for their day to day care, maintenance, and experience relevant to their business demonstrate that they have Partnership policy applicantsother aspects of their welfare, or, in a there must with exceptional talent that field • option character Good they choose, counselling can make the couple have been sepaproposal have not been involved in successfully established a business provide sufficient evidence to is a goodof art, culture or sport and people prove reason why no arrangements have rated for two years they • decisions easier. Good English language capabilities bankruptcy have not been involved in New Zealand while holding a that they have the Family togethermade. The granting of of dissolution working in areas a identified can contact been living been Family Court provides 6 free sessions of • Age limit of 55 years Court to get a divorce. order absolute occupational shortage in • counselling of at least 100 under the a counPoint score whereby they appoints in business fraud have obtained permit granted under the Long Term for 12 months or more in a genuinedoes not make these arrangements into They then need to apply a Court New Zealand. sellor and the couple can discuss their issues professional or occupational Business Visa Category and stable partnership with a New order or determine what the parenting points system for dissolution resident. arrangements criteria forthe future. The Court with the counsellor. or of marThe will be in an application In principle everymeans the couple registration in New Zealand if the business has been established on Zealand citizencouple can does not consider issues of relationship under propriage. The A separation applicant who registration is required for operating the basis of a business plan under the is still Parent policy enables parents to join this policy are: meets the above or in a civil union but have apply together with a erty when granting a dissolution order. legally married criteria might be their children in New Zealand. Applicants must have held a work eligible for live separately. The couple can joint application, or one agreed to a resident visa. The the proposed business have, in Long Term Business Visa Category addition to investment capital, the business has required the same or Parents qualify under this policy if need more at least 24 months under this If you visa for information regarding party can apply alone. arrange a Separation Agreement or application process under the Skilled apply to sufficient funds for their maintenance a greater level of capital investment they have no dependentlive theand specific category, Divorce, please The couple can children issue of Separation or must have worked the Family Court for a Separation Order. Migrant Category consists of two and that of their families meet Health as stipulated in a business proposal alltogetheradult children are lawfully in New Zealand for at least 24 of their for a total of contact: main stages: three months within RAJ PARDEEP for an accredited employer A SEPARATION AGREEMENT and Character requirements meet the in respect of which the applicant was and permanently outside the country months SINGH/ is an 1. Expression of Interest agreement that can help to avoid any misungranted a Long Term Business Visa in the two year separation must be and a minimum base salary, must which they reside. Parents ASHIMA BUDGOOJAR 2. Residence Application cover issues minimum standard of English If the couple agree to separate, a Separa- period if they can satisfy the Court that the Barrister & Solicitor derstandings later. It may such as demonstrate that they are genuinely the applicant has relevant experience sponsored by an adult child who has have been actively involved in their day-to-day care of and contact with children, tion Order is not necessary. However, if one main reason for this was to get back together Kenton Chambers Lawyers interested in for at 358 1900 ("reconciliation"). been a New back together Business Migration wants to separate for the new division of any property, and record the date partner establishing the and other partnerbusiness and the They can get Zealand resident Ph: +64 9declared field of art, culture or sport business Family more than once, 9 358 sponsored by a New Zealand long as the total of your separation. A separation agreement indoes not, one partner can apply to theis benefiting New Zealand asleast three years. time to- Fax: +64 and are1903 Experienced business people business New Zealand. EMAIL: organisation of national gether is not more Dependent child may be verbal or written down. agree- applicants Separation order. wishing to purchase or establish a If theSuccessful Court for awill be granted Further requirements are Businesses than three months. policy allows raj@kentonlaw.co.nz / repute, must The couple must meet the join their crite- ashima@kentonlaw.co.nz ment deals New Zealanddivide your property, entry After visas and permitsa Separation Order, with how to can apply multiple work you apply for established in New Zealand must children to following parents in New have been employed in New Zealand business in www.kentonlaw.co.nz it has to be in writing and a lawyer has to the Family Court will arrange counselling ria for divorce: for a work visa under the Long for periods of up to three years. comply with all relevant employment Zealand. 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Indian Weekender | July 27, 2012 | www.iwk.co.nz

NEW ZEALAND

www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

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Facebook frustration stirs up suicidal tendencies
ARVIND KUMAR

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n Auckland Indian woman says she is increasingly becoming “suicidal” following the hacking of her Facebook account. And the biggest frustration which has led to her depressed mental condition is inaction by the social networking organization to shut out the persistent hacker. Ms X, who wants to remain anonymous for obvious reasons, is unable to deactivate her account because the hacker has changed her password and security questions, which means Facebook officials cannoth verify she is telling the truth. A second account she set up was also hacked last year. Ms X said this was the first time in her life that she had contemplated suicide. “I have contacted Facebook but they can’t

Auckland University final year politics and media student Varsha Kumar, who recently did a paper on social media, said: “The advantage of physical and visible anonymity on the internet alludes to a sense of control over identity. “However, this perceived control of online representation is shaped by social constructions administered by society and those in charge of particular online social domains. This is particularly concerning for children and adolescents who actively use social networking sites such as Facebook. “But if we accept that websites like Facebook bridge the offline and online worlds, then we must also accept that Facebook as a real impact on our lives, not just our digital selves... “Facebook doesn’t forget. And it doesn’t

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verify that it is me because someone changed all the security questions,” the teary 49-yearold mother of one told the Indian Weekender. “I feel like I’m being stalked 24/7, my privacy is being invaded, and I can’t do a thing about it. “It’s such a fearful existence,” Ms X said. “I feel so angry and sad because all my family photos are in it. Hundreds of them. “Whoever has hacked it is accepting friends on my behalf and also changed my profile picture,” Ms X said. “With my other Facebook account, I can’t verify it is me because the person has changed all my security questions, my DOB and every other detail. “With the new, I have told them it is hacked, so they have blocked it until I change the password. “I am so angry and stressed, and the stress is taking a toll on my mental state. “It’s only the support of my family that keeps me going.” Ms X’s case follows another reported in the New Zealand Herald last year. Shadi Salehpour’s personal information and photos were taken from her page and used in a derogatory fake profile. She was told by a family friend about the profile, which included sexual references in her “interests” and quotations. In another report in the Herald last year, Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff said the 55 per cent of New Zealanders who thought Facebook was a “private space” was naive. “So it is slightly risky to assume a social media site is private.”

want you to either.” Miss Kumar said there was also pressure from corporations such as Facebook and Google to encourage people to maintain a single online identity. “This is to the main benefit of the social networking giants, who are pushing to become professional internet passports providers for everyone – that is to say – one would only need to login through their Facebook account to authenticate access to other sites.” Safe networking site www.netsafe.org. nz said there were many different issues which could arise on Facebook like imposter profiles, being locked out of your account, being tagged in photos you didn’t want to be posted, abusive messages on your page or about you on someone else’s page. “The most common query we have from Facebook users and educators is how to report and/or block a fake profile. “You can report a profile that violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities by clicking the “Report/ Block this Person” link in the bottom left column of the profile, usually underneath the list of friends. “In our experience it can take anywhere between one hour and several weeks for profiles to be removed but it helps if you ask friends to also report a profile and choose carefully from the options listed on the form.”

* Has your Facebook account been hacked? Tell us your story: email arvind@ indianweekender.co.nz

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www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

NEW ZEALAND

Community mourns Sunil Thakur Counties Manukau

S

PRASHANT BELWALKAR

unday 27th January 2013 will always be etched in the memories of the Maharashtrian community in Auckland. Fresh from the celebrations of the Indian Republic Day on 26th and looking forward to the long Auckland Anniversary weekend, most of the community members were taking advantage of the sunny Sunday. Unfortunately, fate had its own way and late the afternoon came the news that their beloved friend – Sunil Thakur is no more. It was one of those news which not only beggared disbelief but was instantly brushed aside as a cruel joke! Most of them were in a denial mode until news started trickling about the actual passing away! It reminded me of last scene of the movie “Anand”. “Zindagi aur maut uparwale ke hath hai jahapana, jise na aap badal sakte hai na mein… hum sab to rangmanch ki katputliaan hai, jiski dor uparwale ke haath bandhi hai ..KAB KAUN KAISE UTHEGA YE KOI NAHI JANTA..” “Anand mara nahi, Anand marte nahi..” Sunil Thakur was a familiar face and name to many in Auckland and wider New Zealand. A former captain in merchant navy (or shippie as they are fondly called), Sunil along with his wife Sushma and son Sachin made New Zealand their home in the year 1999. He quickly settled into his role of a people’s person and soon was involved

in the community through the Auckland Marathi Association. He played several roles there as a Secretary, President and mentor. But what stood apart was is immense love for people, food and wine! Sunil never missed an opportunity to befriend anybody, be it a small child of 4 years or a senior citizen of 60 years; he was at ease in dealing with people of all ages and earned a natural respect from all. He would be the first to congratulate you on your achievements, wish you on your birthday and chide you for your mistakes. Yet all loved him for he was their “Sunil”. He invited himself for dinners as he loved his food and was knowledgeable about his wine! In fact, he was one of those rare people who could claim a deep understanding on a variety of subjects and that made it easy for him to communicate with all age groups. He loved life!

A testimony of his reach within the community and workplace was visible when nearly 400 people turned up for his funeral. Speakers of a variety of age group and background spoke about how he had touched their lives and how he had contributed to their life. In fact, he was always encouraging people with talent, be it local artists or students. If you had an idea and the zeal, he was willing to stand behind you to achieve your dream! He was the confidant, the reliable go to man in emergency and a philosopher, guide and mentor to many. His sudden passing has left the community with a huge handicap and will take time to come to its grip. He left us suddenly, but we the Maharashtrian community pledge to keep him in our hearts and minds and continue to cherish his ideals and keep him alive! As Rabindranath Tagore says in his poem FAREWELL: I have got my leave. Bid me farewell, my brothers! I bow to you all and take my departure. Here I give back the keys of my door and I give up all claims to my house. I only ask for last kind words from you. We were neighbours for long, but I received more than I could give. Now the day has dawned and the lamp that lit my dark corner is out. A summons has come and I am ready for my journey. We will always cherish you SUNIL!

Family Day

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ounties Manukau Police are hosting one of the biggest and best community events that you have ever seen. Come and meet your ‘Every day Heroes’ on Saturday 23 February at Barry Curtis Park, between 10am and 2pm. The everyday hero’s event celebrates not just the Police, Fire Service and St John’s but also the organisations, groups and volunteers who make the community safe for us all every day. The FREE event will be full of show-stopping displays and showcase all the awesome work that Police do. This is your chance to see the Eagle Helicopter land, talk to the Police Pilot and maybe even sit in the cockpit. The Armed Offender Squad will be there in all their gear, and our Operations Team will be doing a taser demonstration. Counties Manukau top Detectives have created a mock up crime scene to show you what techniques they use when they attend serious crime incidents, it really is an access all areas event. The Police dogs, who are always a crowd pleaser, will wow you with their skills. “There is also a serious message behind this actionpacked day,” says Counties Manukau District Commander John Tims. “Every year emergency services are called to thousands of incidents involving our community. Our goal is to keep everyone safe and for them to feel safe, by showing the community what we do and what they can do to stay safe is key to achieving that goal.” You’ll also be able to see Customs, Crimestoppers, Selecta DNA, Surf Lifesaving, East Tämaki Health Clinic, Coastguard, Pepsi, Just Water, Mercury Energy and heaps more at this one day spectacular event!

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NEW ZEALAND

www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

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Auckland property values continue to soar

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longer solely being driven by Auckland and Canterbury, where values increased 2.4 per cent. “Over the last month or two values have also begun rising again in most of the other main cities and provincial centres,” Ingerson said. “While the rate of value increase is not as fast as Auckland and Canterbury it does signal an increase in confidence across most of the country.” Auckland is the largest property market by far, and Canterbury is booming as the rebuild from the earthquakes progresses. Ingerson said a shortage of properties for sale would continue to rein in sales volumes around the country, with the number of new listings well below the market peak. The reduced choices for buyers meant wellpresented properties were often snapped up quickly. “The overall result is upward pressure on prices” Ingerson said. Increasing values by region: Auckland: Up 3 per cent over the past three months; Up 10.2 per cent over the past year; Up 12.4 per cent since the previous market peak in 2007. Wellington: Up 0.6 per cent over the past three months ; Up 1.8 per cent over the past year; Still below the market peak. Christchurch: Up 2.4 per cent over the past three months; Up 7.1 per cent over the past year; Up 6.3 per cent since the previous market peak in 2007.

uckland property values are continuing to top national figures, jumping three per cent in the last three months. According to Government valuer QV’s latest property value index, city house prices are up twice as much as the national average one and a half per cent.

Nationally, valuations are now 2.6 per cent higher than the previous market peak in late 2007, although still behind on an inflationadjusted basis. QV research director Jonno Ingerson said the property market had a reasonably strong start to the year, with plenty of buyer enquiry and sales activity throughout January. And he said the increasing values were no

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www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

NEW ZEALAND

India on a platter

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Prayas theatre’s upcoming production promises to stir your senses with a concoction of Indian flavours. Treat yourself to this ‘Thali’, writes ArwA JAnJAli
crew member Sananda Chatterjee. “We had to have one New Zealand story in there,” says Ahi Karunaharan, who is directing “Through the grapevine” written by Sananda along with Nikhil Sriram’s “P James for President” and Mathivanan Rajendran’s awardwinning play “My Name is CineMa”, both works from Chennaibased theatre company Stray Factory. Accompanying Ahi in bringing India alive on stage is his co-director/ actor Monica Mahendru. Monica helms the fourth serving in “Thali” – “Balti Kings” (written by Sudha Bhuchar and Shaheen Khan) – a comical peek into Birmingham’s Balti Land by the acclaimed British-Asian theatre company, Tamasha, in UK. She also performs solo in “Through the Grapevine”, which deconstructs history as two mythological characters come together for a cup of coffee in modern times.

ELLING stories of your homeland to an alien audience is well a challenge, but moreover, it’s a brave effort in itself. And Prayas Theatre has been all about that “effort”. After stunning both Indians and Kiwis alike with their last production “Rudali”, which unearthed the grim reality of female mourners in remote Indian villages, Prayas now prepares to delight and enthral with their upcoming offering “Thali” (meaning platter in Hindi) at the Auckland Fringe Festival. Presenting a platter that exudes an enchanting mix of Indian aromas – from politics and food to films and mythology – Prayas attempts to give Fringe the ideal taste of South Asian culture with four excitingly diverse short plays rolled into one performance. While three of these are adaptations of plays from India and UK, the fourth is an original piece of writing by local writer and ‘Thali’s

A still from ‘P James for President’ and (below) Ahi Karunaharan and Monica Mahendru - directors of ‘Thali’
“We reached out to South Asian theatre artistes for scripts and picked plays that we felt resonated with us and NZ. Also, since it was Fringe, we had the leeway to experiment and thought it would be interesting to have a variety of genres,” Monica says. “Interestingly, all the four plays depict different social strata and the cast is a mix of diverse age groups too,” Ahi chips in. And most importantly, the performance has the Indian stamp of “song and dance”. “Europeans have set expectations from Indian performances. You can’t present anything stark or modern. They would be like ‘where is the song and dance’? So it’s disappointing at times but one has to accept the fact that we got to celebrate what we are known for,” Ahi explains. A rush of colour, the exotic element and lots of music (a trademark of Prayas, although without ‘live music’ this time round) certainly awaits Fringe but there is something on the storytelling front too that makes an essentially Indian experience palatable to a largely non-Indian audience. Besides, Prayas is the only Indian theatre company in Auckland which has a strong association with TAPAC (The Auckland Performing Arts Centre), thereby assuring it’s easy gateway into the mainstream theatre circuit. It’s also the only community theatre group to participate at the Fringe Festival this year. And the sole Indian community theatre company to perform in English. “I think what works in forming a connect are basic human emotions – love, compassion, dreams. For instance, the idea of being seduced by cinema, that’s portrayed in ‘My Name...’ or the larger theme of what is art and how do you sell it out in ‘P James...’ are all familiar but told with a different perspective. They bring out specificity through universality. But the primary necessity is that the stories should connect with the storytellers first. Only then can they connect with the audience,” Ahi elucidates. Naturally, for this Sri Lankan writer/actor/director/pianist, who has been involved in the European theatre scene in NZ and UK from the past 15 years, joining Prayas was an obvious decision. “As a brown, being involved in mainstream European theatre invites tremendous frustration of getting stereotyped. In my acting career so far, I have hardly been able to rise above roles like that of a terrorist, dairy owner or taxi-driver. They can’t see you as a rockstar. So in order to make things happen, you have to do it yourself,” Ahi reveals. And the driving force through it all is Amit Ohdedar, the founder of Prayas, who also plays an integral part in “Balti Kings”. “Amit da brings clarity and objectivity to the production. He is testimony to developing talent. It is he, who gave a ‘by chance’ actor like me the huge responsibility of co-directing a production. As an actor, you are privileged and come into the picture only when everything else is in place. So, to be involved in a production right from its conceptualisation to the final performance, is the best learning opportunity,” Monica says. Ahi and Monica have very well tapped into each other’s strengths and divided work accordingly. While Ahi puts to use his expertise in movement and theatricality with ‘My Name...’ and ‘P James...’, Monica brings in her sense of food as a Punjabi and inclination towards relationships and drama in ‘Balti Kings’. “The beauty of a group like Prayas is that we all come from different cultural backgrounds to create one theatrical language,” Ahi so rightly concludes. “Thali” is produced by Padma Akula and Sudeepta Vyas. When: 3rd, 4th and 5th March at 7.30pm. 8th March at 8.30pm. Where: TAPAC,100 Motions Road, Western Springs. For bookings, log on to www.tapac. org.nz or ph (09) 845 0295

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NEW ZEALAND

www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

9

Here comes the prince of Punjab pop

NZ reacts to Bollywood

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about the films. “My motive is also to stop people from watching pirated films. It kills the charm and impact of the movie. I want to give them a clear idea whether a movie’s worth a watch in the theatres or no,” Tanya informs. Directed by Shahrukh Issani and supported by Universal studio, this project is currently on a voluntary basis, which according to Tanya works well. “Since I am not paid for this or am not bound by any media pressures, I can honestly say what I want to. And from the beginning, I have had a strong sense of prediction when it came to Hindi films,” she says. Having a theatre background as a child artiste and being someone who is passionate about films, Tanya’s main aim is to make her own movie one day. Check out Tanya’s project onYouTube to see the local reaction to the recently released ‘ABCD’.

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musicians, Mika has been taught and bred with music running through his soul all his life. His father Ajmer Singh Chandan is a trained classical musician of the old school and his mother Balbir Kaur was interested in folk music. He is the youngest brother of the six equally talented Mehndi brothers, of whom famous Punjabi singer Daler Mehndi is the eldest. Mika started learning music from his childhood. He began to play tabla at the age of eight. He started playing harmonium when he was 12 and guitar when he was 14. His career evolved from kirtan singer to bhangra/pop artist. The singer, whose recent accolades include the numbers ‘Chinta ta chita’ from ‘Rowdy Rathore’ and ‘Pungi’ from ‘Agent Vinod’, says, “I love performing live, and the spontaneity and energy which comes to me as a performer can rarely come in a studio. Aariya Entertainment Presents the Baadshah of Bollywood, Mika Singh, in Auckland soon. Start off your Easter weekend with Mika on 28th March at Telstra Clear Pacific Event Centre. Doors will open at 6pm, with DJ Dave starting off the night, a cash Bar and lip smacking food from India Gate. Come in early, have a bite, have a drink and countdown till the concert starts at 8pm.

ika Singh has established himself as one of Bollywood’s and Indian pop’s most prolific artists. His electrifying, heart-pumping music has garnered significant commercial success. In redefining Bollywood playback music, Mika has infused elements of hip hop and rap music into Hindi film music, making him an icon among the newest crop of Bollywood fans. Mika “the powerhouse entertainer” is known for his large audiences at shows, sometimes as large as 90,000 people. He is one of the most talented Punjabi singer to date. Born into a family of acclaimed

indi films are by far the main point of connection, when it comes to Indian communities abroad. They inevitably bring everyone together and spark off familiarity on foreign land. But most Indian movie buffs get their Bollywood fodder from the home country alone, including review of films. There is hardly any local medium or voice on Hindi films, especially to pass verdict on the latest and most awaited Bollywood releases. Realising this void, event manager Tanya Mehra decided to start a YouTube project called ‘First Reaction on Bollywood Movies in NZ’ which will give movie-goers in New Zealand an idea whether to watch a particular release from a New Zealander’s perspective. Tanya hosts the 12-minute review show, which showcases her opinions on recent releases and also brings locals to talk about what they felt

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10

www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

NEW ZEALAND

Malaysian Airlines goes ‘one’ with the world

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international carrier. From 01 February 2013, Malaysia Airlines will officially be a full member of oneWorld - one of the leading airline alliances across the world offering a global network of over 800 destinations. This partnership facilitates to offer smoother transfers for passengers travelling across all member airlines; enhanced co-operation in the member airline’s frequentflyer programs by providing more rewards as well as wider recognition and access to more airport lounges. All aircraft are maintained to the world’s highest standards with state-of-the-art

alaysia Airlines is an award winning airline which operates 6 flights every week from Auckland to Kuala Lumpur, with convenient connections to Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Colombo. Flying to over 80 destinations across 4 continents and winning numerous hospitality awards, Malaysia Airlines knows the value of its guests. From new-age amenities to traditional Malaysian Hospitality, Malaysia Airlines sets out with the intention of making every experience far more enriching right from the very beginning to the end.

Reducing reoffending and putting more cops on the beat
KANWALJIT SINGH BAKSHI
ational is committed to keeping Kiwis safe in their homes and communities. We have a target to reduce reoffending 25 per cent by 2017 – that’s 18,500 fewer victims of crime every year. Department of Corrections research shows re-offending rates fell by more than eight per cent for prisoners who participated in prison-based employment activities, and by more than 16 per cent for prisoners on the release to work programme. That’s why this Government is committed to increasing prisoner employment and skills training over the next five years as part of its programme to reduce re-offending. Many prisoners have poor employment histories. More than half didn’t have a job when they went into prison, and most don’t have any formal qualifications. Most prisoners are going to be released at some stage,

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so we need to do everything we can to make sure they don’t reoffend when they get out. We want them to reintegrate into, and contribute to, the communities they live in on release. Working prisons will give more prisoners the opportunity to get work experience and gain qualifications to increase their chances of finding employment after release. We will be establishing working prisons at Auckland Women’s Corrections, Rolleston and Tongariro/ Rangipo Prisons. Prisoners will have a structured 40 hour week of employment and

“Many prisoners have poor employment histories. More than half didn’t have a job when they went into prison, and most don’t have any formal qualifications”

rehabilitation. These prisons will contribute to National’s priority to deliver better public services, as will our changes to Police. Out on the street, the number of frontline Police foot patrols has risen by 70 per cent nationwide from 2011 to 2012. Here in the Counties Manukau the number of patrols has increased 26.9 per cent. The huge increase in foot patrols, Neighbourhood Policing Teams, the Prevention First Strategy, and the 600 additional frontline officers delivered by the National-led Government are all contributing to our falling crime rate – which is at a 30year low. New Zealanders deserve to feel safe in their homes and communities. And National is supporting this through a comprehensive programme to protect communities, and prevent crime.

Make Auckland’s future a feature
Malaysia Airlines’ commitment to providing high standards of service to customers has been recognised through various industry awards over the years. The most notable awards include World’s Best Cabin Crew by Skytrax UK consecutively from 2001-04, 2007, 2009 and again in 2012 – the most for any airlines. Malaysia Airlines has also received Best Airline Signature Dish and is also one of only six airlines worldwide to be accredited a 5-star Airline at the World Airline Awards 2012 organized by Skytrax. This defines the core of Malaysia Airlines – an airline that takes pride in going beyond expectations with global recognition a tier one

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equipment coupled with unparalleled luxury, each passenger is sure to enjoy every single detail during their journey that’s truly MH. Visit www.malaysiaairlines.com for more information.

oung filmmakers are being challenged to create a three-minute video, on the subject of Auckland’s future, in just 14 days. The competition kicks off with three questions on Auckland’s future and is open to anyone aged 25 or under. “You could be a total film buff with all the equipment, a script and a cast, creating something super-slick with your mates… or you could be one of our younger future filmmakers, getting mum or dad to film you with their smartphone. What’s important is your ideas.

“As well as helping us to create this really important plan, there is also the added bonus of $6,000 worth of prizes up for grabs,” said Councillor Michael Goudie, who oversees the council’s Youth Advisory Panel. A youth judging panel will choose the top three entries, which will be posted on Auckland Council’s YouTube channel on 15 March, to help launch the public engagement period for the Auckland Unitary Plan. The video with the most likes on 31 May – when the feedback period ends – wins a $3,000 Prezzy Card. Second place will receive a $2,000 Prezzy Card and third place a $1,000 Prezzy Card.

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NEW ZEALAND

www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

11

Little angels need help

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DR. RAKESH SHUKLA
Individuals with AS do not develop functional speech. The AS affects across races and genders. People having AS require life-long care and multiple medical interventions. Currently, there is no cure for it. of University of South Florida is doing major researches. In 2012, Dr. Weeber used a trial drug called ‘minocycline’ on a selected children with AS. Results are expected in March. USA spend 2 to 3 million dollars for only a 30-second advertising slot during the Super Bowl each year. One US organisation, “The a challenge upon itself and set an initial target of raising NZ$100,000 for FAST, USA (in coordination with The Angelman Network, New Zealand) as our humble contribution towards finding a cure. Our family is committing the first $1000 donation. How can you help? For the first time, February 15 has been designated as the International Angelman day with the logo. The Angelman Network, New Zealand, has organised an event on the International Angelman Day, on February 16, between 11am and 2pm, at PHAB Building, 8 Auburn Street, Takapuna, Auckland. Please show your support and meet many ‘angels’ who will be present. You can help by donating towards the cause. You can commit just $2(two)/ week for one year, or $100 one time. If you are a commercial organisation or a trust, we request you to donate as much as you can. For any clarifications, please contact The Angelman Network, New Zealand, or Dr. Rakesh Shukla, Ph.D. Mail him on rks. esgrp@gmail.com.

y grandson Arnav Bajpai is four years old. He lives in Auckland. A cheerful child, he calls his mother “mumumum.” His father too is “mumumum.” Actually, for him everyone is “mumumum.” That’s because he cannot speak even at this age. Arnav suffers from overall developmental delays. His comprehension is weak, has barely any ‘fine’ motor movements and his walk is gaited, with ankles pointing outwards. He is dependent on others. He has been diagnosed with ‘Angelman Syndrome’ or the AS. It can be easily misdiagnosed as autism, cerebral palsy or some other syndrome, as those suffering from these share similar characteristics. What causes AS? It results from the loss of a particular gene---UBE3A---in chromosome number 15. Loss of this gene prevents neurons from functioning correctly in the brain, leading to deficiencies in learning and memory. The AS is a severe neurological disorder characterized by profound developmental delays, and in many cases epilepsy.

“There is strong feeling amongst scientists that the cure for Angelman Syndrome is definitely “out there” – it’s just a matter of money (research) and time to find it.”
What’s hindering research? Lack of funds for the research is the main hindrance. Since only one in about 15,000 to 20,000 children suffer from the AS, major drug companies are not showing much interest in funding. It is estimated that to find the cure for AS, only about US$ 20 million would be needed. (http://www.cureangelman. org/what-hope.html) Compare this with the fact that in 2010 in USA, US$218 million was spent on Autism research and US$529 million on Alzheimer’s research (reference: www.report.nih.gov/ rcdc/categories). Companies in the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics” (or FAST), is dedicated to funding an aggressive research agenda, education, and advocacy. The FAST--- a fraternity of families and professionals--supports its chapters in other countries also. How can Kiwis help? An organization in New Zealand, “The Angelman Network” (www.angelmannetwork.com), is promoting awareness of the AS. It is making efforts to raise money to supplement the efforts of FAST, USA. My family has taken

Is there any hope? Fortunately, the answer is affirmative. Loss of UBE3A gene does not affect neuronal development, but the neuronal function. So, neurons can function normally if UBE3A gene function is restored. Moreover, the syndrome has been cured in mouse (models). And scientists have ideas on how to find a solution. Who’s working on the AS? The team of Dr. Edwin Weeber

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www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

INDIA

A tale of two speeches
NIRAV SHAH

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hough formally not announced, it is a widely presumed fact that Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi are the two main contenders for the Prime Minister’s post in the 2014 elections. They represent contrasting backgrounds, ideologies and personas. Rahul belongs to the elite class, born with a silver spoon and has his partymen craving for him to lead them. His biggest achievement, so far, is his surname. On the other hand, Narendra Modi comes from a less than ordinary family and has surged forward in hierarchy of his party slowly and gradually. Though a large majority of his party men are now rooting for him as the PM candidate, there are also some in his party interested in pulling him down. In the run-up to the elections, every word uttered by these two men is amplified and dissected. Hence, the nation observed them with interest, as they delivered speeches on public platform. Rahul, looking keen to display his versatility, gave an emotional speech at Jaipur after having previously

been the angry young man during Uttar Pradesh elections. He made several valid points why India is still lagging behind. He pointed out why our system is not effective. He expressed disappointment at the state of affairs in the country. But his arguments were laced with contradictions, because it is his family which has been at the helm of affairs for most of the time after 1947. He also expressed the desire to change the way things run, forgetting that it’s his mother who runs most things. His speech was dubbed as his “Obama” moment by a section of

the media, but it appeared more like Obama promising change and rooting against a fellow Democrat. He has made it a point to regularly remind the country of his lineage comprising his Great Grandfather, Grandmother and Father. He recollected how he used to play badminton with the assassins of Indira Gandhi, as badminton gave him stability. But the soap opera moment came when he described how his mother Sonia Gandhi, came to his room with tears in eyes and warned him that power is akin to poison. Such anecdotes show that either Rahul is too naive for politics or the Indian population is

too unsuspecting and fooled easily. On the other hand, Modi in his first such interaction outside Gujarat was a revelation. Invited by the Shri Ram College of Commerce, Modi enthralled the audience. Having heard mostly negative comments about him from the mainstream media, the youth were floored by his oration and ideas. He spoke on the topic ‘Emerging business models in the global scenario’. Referring a glass half-filled with water, he said most people would either label it as half full or half

empty. But he chose to look at it as completely filled, half with air and half with water. He gave his lingo for development as P2G2: Pro People Good Governance. He gave an insight into the contribution of India and Indians in the world. The most heartening aspect of his speech was that he encouraged youngsters to take on the World Giants including China with the help of Skill, Scale and Speed. It is a pleasant change to see an Indian leader shed the underdog tag and looking to compete with the league of developed nations. He wittily remarked that India had been known as the land of “snake charmers” but now it has turned into a land of “mouse charmers” thanks to the IT revolution. He repeatedly stressed on the importance of creating a brand identity and marketing in today’s world. If the speeches are anything to go by, we have a lot of drama, histrionics, humour, statistics,inspiring words and interesting anecdotes in store for us in the next year or so.

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14

www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

INDIA

‘They can sing inside their home, not in public’
Kashmir’s girl band calls it quits

In brief
Delhi Airport handles record Air Traffic Moments
The Delhi airport has registered 73 Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) in an hour on January 24. “It is the record number of air traffic movements ever made at any airport in India,” said I. Prabhakara Rao, CEO, Delhi International Airport. “This milestone was achieved between 14:00 and 15:00 hrs. For half an hour 2 runways were in use and for the other half hour 3 runways were in use. It is certainly a testimony of the combined efforts of ATC, DIAL and the airlines.” On the same day, the Delhi airport handled a total of 814 aircraft movements.Previously, an all-time high was recorded in December 2012 with 62 flight movements were recorded. Delhi International Airport is ranked #2 in the world by Airports Council International (ACI) in the category of 25-40 million passengers.

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December. Formed in 2012, the three-member band is comprised of Noma Nazir, Farah Deeba and Aneeqa Khalid. “We will stay quiet for some time as we were threatened by people on Facebook and on the phone directing us to stop this band, or to face the consequences,” Nazir had said. The decision of Pragaash once again draws attention to the concerns over freedom of expression in India. Recently, several worrying instances of forced close-downs and bans on artistic works have surfaced, suggesting that Indian society is increasingly becoming intolerant. The band, however, received support from Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah who said the girls should not allow ‘a handful of morons silence them’. “Shame on those who claim freedom of speech via social media and then use that freedom to threaten girls who have the right to choose to sing,” Omar tweeted. The girls also received support from netizens who created a page on popular social networking site Facebook named: ‘I support Pragaash, Kashmir’s first all-girls’ rock band’. The band members said sorry if they have offended people and that ‘the people’ were unhappy with their music. They’ve said that they will no longer play in order to respect the religious ruling against them.

embers of Kashmir’s first all-girl rock band ‘Pragaash’ (meaning light) have decided to call it quits after the Valley’s Grand Mufti (head priest) Mufti Bashir-udDin issued a fatwa (decree) against them. The band had earlier decided to stop live performances briefly after receiving threats and criticisms on social networking sites. “Yes, I issued the fatwa...They can sing inside their homes. They should not sing in public,” Mufti Bashir-ud-Din said. Earlier, the girls had temporarily suspended their live performances after receiving the threats including rape threats, following their first live performance at Srinagar in

Queer film fest at II-Bombay campus
Saathi, an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) student group at Indian Institute TechnologyBombay screened the award winning gay & lesbian films from Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival at their campus as part of the Queer Azaadi Mumbai (QAM) – LGBT pride week celebrations. This is aimed at creating awareness and sensitizing people on LGBTQ issues.

US-India analyse urban water efficiency
The United States and India conducted a national consultation on water efficiency in urban areas. This consultation marked the culmination of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Water Analysis, Innovations, and Systems Program (WAISP) to increase access to safe drinking water and sanitation services.

Indo-Pak bus service resumes
Cross-border bus service between India and Pakistan resumed from Poonch. The services were stopped following violence along the Line of Control (LoC). Tension escalated between the two countries when two Indian soldiers were killed and mutilated allegedly by Pakistani troops near the LoC earlier this month.

SC to review definition of juvenile
In the wake of the recent Delhi gangrape incident, the Supreme Court on Monday decided to review the definition of juvenile in the Juvenile Justice Act.“The Apex Court’s move came after a plea was filed asking for review of the age limit used to define juveniles,” India Today reported.

Catch all the stories online @ www.indianweekender.co.nz

INDIA

www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

15

Modi positions himself for 2014

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of India, which he termed, as the nation’s biggest asset. Modi assuming center stage is likely to add momentum to the 2014 election campaigning by the BJP. It is likely that Modi will be pitched at the prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 elections, in spite of some factions within the party not in favor of this choice.

ujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi pitched himself as the modern leader of youth in an address to the students of the Shri Ram College of Commerce. His speech included anecdotes of developmental politics and he urged youngsters to build India into a global brand overcoming the present sense of despair. Modi included the highlights of his tenure as Gujarat’s chief minister with the promise to implement similar progress oriented policies in India. “I feel Government has no business to be in business. I believe in minimum government, maximum Governance,” he said. “Our model is P2G2- Pro People, Good Governance.” Modi said that development alone is the solution to all the problems and expressed confidence that it is the youth of India that will fulfill Swami Vivekananda’s dream of a Jagad Guru Bharat. He talked at length about Gujarat’s initiatives in agriculture, industry and the services sector. The lecture was attended by record number of youngsters. “If India has to make place for itself on world map, we need to think of giving importance to good governance,” he said. Modi particularly stressed on the need for quality educational institutions, embracing technology and the need for grooming the youth

BJP committed to Ram temple
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ajnath Singh, president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said his party BJP is committed to the construction of a Ram Temple at Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodha in Uttar Pradesh. This is a clear indication of the possibility that the BJP might go back to its Hindutva plant ahead of the big polls in 2014. In December 1992, the demolition of the Babri Mosque structure at Ayondha by Hindu Kar Sevaks (volunteers) triggered nationwide

riots. A subsequent land title case was lodged in the Allahabad High Court. The Court ruled that the 2.77 acres (1.12 ha) of Ayodhya land be divided into 3 parts. While the three-judge bench was not unanimous that the disputed structure was constructed after demolition of a temple, it did agree that a temple or a temple structure predated the mosque at the same site. The excavations by the Archaeological Survey of India were used as evidence by the court.

THOUGHT OF THE WEEK

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

EDITORIAL

- Aristotle

Greek Philosopher (384 BC - 322 BC)

Prosser has over-stepped the mark

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N online dictionary defines the word “rant” as “high-sounding language without importance or dignity of thought; boisterous, empty declamation; bombast; as, the rant of fanatics”. New Zealand First Party MP Richard Prosser’s comments earlier this week – about young Muslims, or those who look like Muslims to be banned from travelling on the West’s airlines – are just that: high-sounding language without importance or dignity of thought. That is: Absolute crass. Writing in the Investigate magazine, Prosser said: “If you are a young male, aged between say about 19 and about 35, and you’re a Muslim, or you look like a Muslim, or you come from a Muslim country, then you are not welcome to travel on any of the West’s airlines...” He goes on: “… while all Muslims were not terrorists, most terrorists were Muslim”. And his answer is to prohibit all Muslim males from “our aeroplanes”. What planet does this guy live on? What was he thinking? Is he really a Member of the New Zealand Parliament? That fact that he is an MP (he only got 538 votes in his Waimakariri electorate in 2011), makes his comments even more deplorable. The comments have made headlines around the world, and could easily have serious implications for future trade deals with many countries, at the same time breed anger and resentment all over the world, considering Muslims make up one of the biggest global populations. And it has come to light that he was inspired to write the two-page article entitled “Enemy of the State” after security officials confiscated his penknife at Christchurch airport. He said “ordinary people” were being treated like “suspects and pariahs”. To hold public office and then throw a tantrum like a seven-year-old because your pocketknife was taken away at a security check is not good enough. What was he doing carrying a pen-knife on a plane, anyway? Not acceptable. What does a Muslim look like, Prosser? Do you know, or realise, that almost 3000 Muslims in New Zealand are of European origin, and nearly 1000 are Maori, including our “super athlete” Sonny Bill Williams? Quite rightly, it must be noted that the comments have been shot down quickly – all political and community leaders have come out strongly against his vitriolic jibber. Prime Minister John Key said it was “an example of the depth of thinking in the NZ First caucus”. The remarks were “stupid and premeditated”. Labour leader David Shearer said NZ First leader Winston Peters’ response to Prosser’s comments were insufficient. ‘’If it was in my party I would stand him down. That’s for Winston Peters to decide.’’ Peters denied Prosser had incited hatred with his column: “Before you all take that soft-headed approach, there is an element of truth to what he is saying... this has been happening over and over again... the part that there are far too many radical Muslim extremists... what’s wrong about that is you cannot go and generalise in the erroneous way he did.” “Mr Prosser’s uninformed and offensive comments have the potential to seriously damage New Zealand’s international reputation, and our standing as a fair and tolerant nation,” National List MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi said.“New Zealand prides itself on being an inclusive society, and we have a very strong tradition of human rights. However, from time to time we are reminded that closed-mindedness still exists in our community. “As a Sikh, and member of a minority community, I understand how hurtful comments like this can be. Mr Prosser’s suggestions have absolutely no place in our Parliament, or our country.” The best response has to be that from Mana Party leader Hone Harawira who said: “Today I opposed a request from Richard Prosser to make a personal statement to the House. I did so because if he has an apology to make for his offensive remarks to the Muslim community, then he can make his way to the nearest mosque and ask forgiveness there. “I do not accept that he should be able to make such remarks and then simply wash away his venom via an unchallenged explanation in the house.” Prosser, your leader has given you a slap on the hand with a wet bus ticket for this outrageous incident. The onus is now on you to do the honourable thing.

Fresh off the boat – no longer slang

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POOJA SUNDAR

- Arvind Kumar
Indian Weekender Volume 4 No. 20 Publisher: Kiwi Media Group Limited Managing Editor: Giri Gupta | girigupta@xtra.co.nz Editor: Arvind Kumar | arvind@indianweekender.co.nz Associate Editor: shriya bhagwat | shriya@indianweekender.co.nz Chief Reporter: Arwa Janjali | arwa@indianweekender.co.nz Chief Technical Officer: rohan desouza | rohan@ indianweekender.co.nz Advertising & Business Development Manager: Gaurav Gupta M: 021 292 4519 l gaurav@indianweekender.co.nz Accounts and Admin.: Farah Khan - P 520 0922 l accounts@indianweekender.co.nz Views and comments: e-mail at: arvind@indianweekender.co.nz Views expressed in the publication are not necessarily of the publisher and the publisher is not responsible for advertisers’ claims as appearing in the publication

wo concrete pacts arose from the Australia-New Zealand leaders’ summit, held in Queenstown, over the last weekend. The first outlined plans to lower data roaming rates between the two nations. The second, more controversial, announcement was New Zealand’s agreement to take 150 refugees from Australia every year. The two leaders also discussed the collection of each other’s student loan debts, co-operation on the fight again cyber-attacks; and the building of an Australian monument in Wellington. The lower data roaming rates will hardly garner any complaint from the majority of the nation, after all, who would say no to cheaper phone calls? The real talking point of this summit is the deal they came out with about New Zealand taking Australian refugees. The last time we took in refugees from our friends across the ditch was in 2001, accepting 131 refugees from the Tampa. Since then however, 250 of their relatives have settled in New Zealand. Unlike this one time deal, we have an entrenched policy of sharing Australia boat people problem. In practical terms, this means we have to take 150 people who have been approved as genuine refugees either after landing in Australia, or being picked up in the middle of the ocean on their boats. The million dollar question, literally, is, why are we doing it? What’s in it for us? In essence it really all comes down to classic political plays. New Zealand needs its $600 million in student loan debt collected from those who have settled in Australia, and the latter has been on our back about helping out with refugees for years. Quid pro quo. Key gave two main reasons for his acceptance; the intelligence that can be gathered from Australia on asylum seekers, and the acknowledgement that some of those that were picked up in Aussie waters were indeed on their way to our fair nation. What Key is really trying to get at here is that this new policy, in essence, can be

seen as a long term insurance policy. In the event that mass arrival – boat people who managed to make it past all the check points and processing centres set up in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, bypass Australia and manage to make their way into New Zealand – our mates on the other side of the Tasman could help us out. Even as an insurance policy, however, does it really make up for the fact that we may be receiving 150 refugees each year? As Peter Dunne pointed out, these would be the refugees that Australia doesn’t want, the ones left over after they have cherry picked from the PNG and Nauru centres. There is no specification on how the refugees will be allocated, nor is there a criteria for the same. Another aspect that is worrying about the deal is that though New Zealand has committed to take on 750 refugees annually this includes the 150 from Australia. The refugees who has gone through the proper channels will be put on hold while we fill the quota from Australia. Yes, it can be argued that while we take 150 from Australia, we are still accepting 600 more annually; the 150 however, could have been filled by those who followed the letter and went by the book in wanted to seek asylum in New Zealand. This sends the message that if you hop on a boat and make it to Australia, or New Zealand for that matter, you will be accepted as a refugee as we won’t really know what to do with you. Not the best message to send out. $600 million may be enough of an incentive to agree to such a deal, but what about in the long run, when the relatives of these refugees come and settle in New Zealand? Don’t get me wrong, I am all for immigrants and emigrants, I believe a nation can only grow and develop successfully with a range of different backgrounds and minds, but to take advantage of the fact Australasia was kind enough to accept boat people? That is taking things too far. Is this insurance policy, and the $600 million, really enough for Key? Apparently it is, but what about the people who have struggled with applications to make their way here. Is it fair to them? I don’t think so.

Pooja Sundar is a law student at the University of Auckland

indian Weekender is published by Kiwi Media Group, 98 Great south road, New Market and printed at APN Print, ellerslie, Auckland Copyright 2010. Kiwi Media Group. All rights reserved.

Our next issue will be published on Friday, 1st March 2013

COMMENT

www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

17

Fiji leadership must live up to global endorsement

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DEV NADKARNI

iji will take on its role as the chair of G77 – a significant group of developing nations from across the world – this year. It was elected to the post on September 28 last year at the United Nations in New York. The country’s election as chair of the grouping is yet another testament to the widely held – and growing – perception about it as a nation of possibilities, one with great potential. For long it has been a regional powerhouse brimming with promise next only to Papua New Guinea and because of its location as the gateway to both Melanesia and Polynesia and its rich and eventful colonial history, it has always retained its importance in geopolitics and regional logistics. This is despite the serious political controversies that have repeatedly dogged it since its independence as a sovereign nation. This latest recognition is a tremendous boost for the country’s global standing. For it is at the helm of an organisation that has the membership of no fewer than 132 developing nations across the world – up from 77 when it started out, hence the name. Some of these nations are proudly powering their way to prosperity today, lifting millions of

their citizens out of poverty as they grow their economies at a rate that developed nations can only dream of in the post global financial crisis world. A few among the member countries are even considered to be transitional economies – fast growing economies that are seen to be making the transition from poverty to wealth, going up the development ladder. India and China belong to this grouping, as does Brazil. The grouping came into existence almost five decades ago in 1964 with 77 founding member nations. That coming together symbolised a shared resolve among those founder member nations to unite and make their voice heard among the countries of the world in matters of trade, economics and human development. It now comprises 132 member nations from every corner of the world. Over the decades, it has become a force to be reckoned with – an organisation that can hold a candle to other groupings of wealthier nations like the Organisation of Economic Cooperation & Development, better known by its acronym OECD. That is an enviable space for Fiji to be in: the first-ever Pacific islands nation to take on the role. Fiji’s appointment is endorsement

of the country’s rising importance as perceived in international circles despite its ongoing political problems that have resulted in many international organisations like the Commonwealth and regional ones like the Pacific Islands Forum suspending its membership. This indeed sets the cat among the pigeons and regional and global hawks are unlikely to find this new endorsement palatable. Being the first country from the region, it can now help train the world’s attention on it and raise its profile in the international discourse – something that is a rarity for the region given its political and economic light weight, not to mention its remoteness from the centres of big action in the world. Fiji’s political problems notwithstanding, it is a significant development for the region’s nations – especially the small island states that depend so heavily on Fiji for international freight and passenger links. Anything that favours Fiji helps them. This is despite Fiji not officially being a part of the Pacific Islands forum as of now. Critics of Fiji, especially a country like Samoa, are unlikely to take kindly to this development and will understandably wonder what is the X-factor that Fiji possesses, which repeatedly brings such international

recognition its way, despite its continuing political problems and being treated as a pariah by regional organisations for years. To the critics of Fiji’s politics it would be hard to accept such an accolade as the country being appointed chair of the G77. They have no choice but to grudgingly admit that the reasons for Fiji’s importance can hardly be overstated: it has always been and will always be a geopolitically important country being situated in the place that it is. Its ongoing political uncertainties, however, have pushed it in and out of the diplomatic doghouse of western nations. It’s most recent episode which has been unfolding since December 2006 has seen itself diplomatically cut off from its two closest western nations although ongoing, even deepening, business interests of Australia and new Zealand in Fiji have kept the commercial relationships relatively intact. Calls from idealistic activists to put Fiji off the holiday list have gone completely unheeded – in fact, tourism has continuously grown year on year. That indeed is the lure of Fiji. All this just goes on to show the tremendous potential that Fiji has. It always had potential but has been prevented from any smooth run on the road to economic development and prosperity by a series of political

speed bumps every so often. For far too long has the country been all dressed up with nowhere to go. With so much going for Fiji, it is hardly difficult to imagine what it can be like if it sorts out its political mess. It has the potential to regain its status as the jewel of the South Pacific that it always was. It could well grow to be one of the world’s most desired locations – not just for holidays but also for doing business and even living, not unlike some of the small wealthy island nations in the northern hemisphere. Next year could well be a watershed year for Fiji. It could be the turning point it has been looking for in decades. It is the year that it has the chance to make a choice between spluttering along the dirt track that it has trodden all these past years or change gears to cruise toward the prosperity that so clearly lies ahead, if it can only drive itself in the right manner led by a legitimately elected leader and government. The regime’s leaders cannot afford to belie the growing confidence that the world has been reposing in the country’s ability to return to democracy. A couple of false moves is all that is required to push the country back into the quagmire it has so often found itself in, in its brief history since independence.

The artifice of free speech
TARANGINI SRIRAMAN

The impression that freedom of speech and expression in India is legally slipping from the grasp of common Indians and celebrities is fast gaining academic and journalistic credence. A broad trend has been made out – assailants on free speech have been identified in the demand for the disbanding of a Kashmiri all-girl rock band, litigation against Ashis Nandy, a renowned academic and the clamour for the ban or alternately, modification of the famous actor Kamal Haasan’s recent film, Vishwaroopam.

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hile many public intellectuals reserve a special measure of affection for eccentric and creative free speech, they at the same time have pointed out the claim of offended communal or caste sensibilities to be a specious one. What the recent wave of lament over the shrinking sphere

of free utterance has not alerted us adequately to is the disparate nature of the stakes, ideas and sentiments disputed in each of these arguments or counter-arguments for free speech. What I mean to say is that there is no homogeneous strand of free speech in these debates. I would go so as to say that sometimes there is only the semblance of or a vague invocation of the concept. Allow me to illustrate this point by attempting the messy task of disentangling the seemingly analogous skeins of the various controversies. Consider, for instance, the sympathetic defence of Nandy attempted by the veterans of the free speech side of the argument. Free speech itself has been less at stake here rather than Nandy’s complex legacy of critical thinking a key element of which has been his highlighting of caste-based inequities against the historically discriminated scheduled castes and tribes. What is defended is Nandyas-an-established-academic’s right and Nandy-as-a-known-championof-oppressed-castes’s right to free speech rather than the universal concept. These academic figures, many of whom started an online petition in favour of Ashis Nandy,

explain that his remarks have been misconstrued given his legacy of academic contributions to social justice. Such an argument expressing solidarity with Nandy is often cited under the refuge of the right to free speech rather than as its unalloyed defence. In the instance of the Nandy legal suit, there has been a backlash against a purist definition of free speech especially in the instance of the perceived thoughtless remarks of Ashis Nandy that the corrupt spring from the marginalized communities of the SCs and STs. Detractors of this remark, especially Dalit academics, have resented being placed in the dock, and wondered why Nandy’s unenviable predicament and the righteous uproar against the persecution of an eminent academic has involved framing them of intolerance and political rabidity. Dalit rights’ academics/activists in Indian universities are saying, either abandon the construct of free speech or expand its sphere to make room for views that are critical of Nandy’s remarks which cannot be benevolent towards marginalized communities in any pre-given sense. The Kamal Haasan film, on the other hand, has provoked indignant

defence of creative freedom and the unconscionable act of holding a film up to social acceptance when it has secured the approval of a statutory body, namely the Censor Board. Here, again, what has been so passionately defended on popular TV channels like Headlines Today and CNN-IBN is not so much the sacrosanct idea of free expression as the Censor Board’s sole legitimacy to censor free expression. To be sure, some writers are arguing against the indefensible idea that communities can claim the right to be offended. Yet, in the Vishwaroopam fim ban as in the case of Ashis Nandy’s remarks, there is a strong undercurrent of indignation against the repression of familiar icons of creativity even when what is expressed outwardly is a notion of free speech. A word of caution here, the voices supporting Kamal Haasan and Ashis Nandy are very dissimilar even though they both cite legacy as a plea against punitive action. Kamal Haasan’s legacy is implicitly recognized as an artistic service to the film industry and the cinematic spectator public and not in its inclusive aspect of respecting various religious communities while that of Nandy’s is definitely invoked

in the latter sense. The online targeting of Pragaash, the all-girl rock band forcing some of its members to quit has raised questions of the gendered denial of free speech. Not all arguments here again have involved the defence of universal free speech. Here, there have been many groups, especially women’s groups and political parties who have deemed the fatwa issued by the “grand mufti” to be abhorrent on grounds of freedom of vocation rather than free speech. Some others have sought to reconcile the religious restrictions against musical performances in the Quran with the impulse for creative expression. What perhaps this commentary seeks to do is to show, through the response to these incidents, the marginal nature of free speech in contemporary political discourse. This marginality of free speech may not necessarily be a bad thing. If anything, the repeated invocation of the right-concept has mired very intricate ideas garbled and presented in instantly recognizable terms.

The writer is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre de Sciences Humaines, Delhi

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www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

INDIA

President signs anti-rape ordinance

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mid its disapproval by the women groups, President of India Pranab Mukherjee signed the anti-rape law ordinance based on some of the recommendations of Justice Verma panel. The government tried to quell the opposition to the same by holding that it was open to consultations and changes. The ordinance will now need to be passed by the Parliament within six months and is likely to be done in the Budget Session that begins on February 21. Foreign minister Salman Khurshid said when the Parliament was not in session, all you could do was bring an ordinance. “It does not mean that widespread consultation cannot take place when the actual bill is brought into parliament,” he said. Law minister Ashwani Kumar also echoed Khurshid’s views and said the government would be happy to review the ordinance if required. Brinda Karat of CPI (M) voiced concerns that the ordinance was selective and opposed it. Meanwhile, women rights groups also rejected the ordinance and had urged President Pranab Mukherjee not to sign it. Human rights lawyer Vrinda Grover told media: “The ordinance is complete betrayal of the faith that people had put in the government.”

Ancient India-Oz migration
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Oz writer launches books set in India
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German study that analyzed about 1 million genetic markers in Indigenous Australians and compared the patterns of variation to other populations; busts the assumption that aboriginal people - first inhabited Australia 40,000 years ago – were isolated from the rest of the world for thousands of years. Doctor Mark Stoneking, from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, and a team of researchers found the first signs of Indian influence coincided with a time of significant developments to the way Aboriginal communities lived. Dr Stoneking says there are two explanations for the Indian DNA link. “It could have been by people actually moving, physically travelling from India directly to Australia, or their genetic material could have moved in terms of contact between India and neighbouring populations who then had contact with other neighbour populations and eventually, there would have been contact with Australia,” he told PM. The study shows the earliest Indian link occurred about 4,000 years ago during a time when dingoes first appeared in the fossil record and Aboriginal communities

changed the way they sourced and prepared food. “The date that we get for when this gene flow from India occurs - roughly around 4,000 years ago does coincide remarkably well with the first appearance of microliths - the small stone tool technology - in the archaeological record for Australia and with the first appearance of the dingo,” Dr Stoneking said. “It does at least raise the suggestion that all of these events might all be connected.” Suggestive timing: Professor Alan Cooper, from the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Ancient DNA, says the Indian influence may well have played a role in the development of the Aboriginal culture. He says it is impossible to ignore the link with the discovery of the dingo. “The timing of all those things in the archaeological record, about 4,000 to 5,000 years ago, happens to match the timing estimated for this genetic influx from India,” he said.“The timing is similar enough that it’s now got us wondering whether the two are connected. Certainly the timing is pretty suggestive.” Professor Cooper also points to another development that happened around the time of this Indian connection - a big expansion of one

of the Aboriginal language groups. “This other language seems to have taken over Australia relatively recently - perhaps 5,000 years ago,” he said.“And how it did it, how it replaced the other ancient languages, we don’t know. “So suddenly, 4,000 to 5,000 years ago is starting to become a fairly tumultuous time in Australian history.”Dr Stoneking says it has taken a while for the Indian influence to be discovered because Indigenous Australians have been hesitant to participate in these kinds of genetic studies. “Based on their previous treatment at the hands of Europeans, the Australian groups have been rather suspicious of what the purpose of these studies are and what they might show,” he said. Professor Cooper agrees and says there is still so much more to learn about the history of Indigenous Australians. “We know so little about Australian human legacy, and yet it’s perhaps one of the longest continuous occupations of any human cultural group in the world,” he said.“It’s a rich and challenging stories in human history, and we know almost nothing about it.” As reported on www.abc.net.au

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he Last Nizam: An Indian Prince in the Australian Outbreak’ and ‘The Mysterious Mr. Jacob: Diamond Merchant , Magician and Spy’- were launched by the author of these two books, John Zubrzycki, an Australian journalist, at Oxford Bookstore in Kolkata. The first book is an anecdote of rise and fall of the princely supremacy. The book traces the history of Hyderabad’s eight dynastic rulers, their battles, their lifestyle, and their dealings with the British. The book is largely dedicated to the life of the last Nizam Mukarram Jah. He had chosen a life of simplicity and anonymity over regal fortune to live in the outback of an Australian farm. John got the opportunity to meet

with this person. The second book is about a story of a Simla jeweller Alexander Malcolm Jacob. It is a tale of magic and mystic of history of a gem, a diamond which is larger than the famous Kohinoor. The name of this diamond is Imperial Diamond or Jacob’s Diamond now in possession of the Government of India, the writer said. The story tells how Jacob, a diamond merchant, magician and spy becomes a rich person and scandal in the year 1891, turns his life into hell after showing audacity to set a deal to sell the Imperial to the Nizam of Hyderabad. Australian - Indian Council backed the launch.

INDIA ABROAD

www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

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India-Australia India signs social security discuss trade links agreement with Austria

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trade and investment. In this context, they highlighted the priority they placed on the conclusion of a mutually beneficial Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA). Additionally, the Ministers reiterated that a comprehensive, high quality equitable agreement would broaden the base of merchandise trade, remove non-tariff barriers that impede trade in services, and facilitate and encourage investment. They welcomed the growth in the bilateral investment relationship and agreed on the importance of strong bilateral investment flows particularly in priority areas such as mining, advanced manufacturing, infrastructure, clean technology and tourism. Both nations recognize the critical role played by industry in driving trade and investment between the two countries. In this regard, they expressed their strong support for the initiatives of the India Australia CEO Forum, co-chaired by Lindsay Fox AC and Naveen Jindal.

Agreement to provide multiple benefits to Indians
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he 14th Session of the India - Australia Joint Ministerial Commission welcomed the positive momentum in the India-Australia relationship based on shared values, converging interests and growth in economic links. It was co-chaired by Commerce, Industry and Textiles Minister Anand Sharma and Australian Minister for Trade and Competitiveness and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Asian Century Policy Dr. Craig Emerson. Previously, during a visit to India by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard in October 2012 underlined both countries’ deep commitment to advance the Strategic Partnership agreed in November, 2009. Sharma and Emerson emphasized the importance of closer trade and investment relations as a critical component of the strategic partnership. The Ministers underlined the importance of a solid institutional framework to facilitate future growth in bilateral

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ndian Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs H.E. Vayalar Ravi and Austrian Minister for Labour, Social Security and Consumer Protection Rudolf Hundstorfer have signed the Social Security Agreement between India and Austria. This is a significant development keeping in mind the the emerging employment opportunities in the future and to strengthen the trade and investment between the two countries. The Agreement will provide a number of benefits to Indian nationals working in Austria. For short term contract up to 5 years, no social security contribution would need to be paid under the Austrian law by the detached workers provided they continue to make social security payment in India.The benefits shall

be available even when the Indian company sends its employees to Austria from a third country. Indian workers shall be entitled to bring back the social security benefit if they relocate to India after the completion of their service in Austria. Self-employed Indians in Austria would also be entitled to bring back social security benefit on their relocation to India. The period of contribution in one contracting state will be added to the period of contribution in the second contracting state for determining the eligibility for social security benefits.There are about 17,000 Indians in Austria most of whom are working as professionals or are self-employed. This agreement is expected to enhance trade and investment between the two countries.

Dam:India watches China plan
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he Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on is keeping a close watch on China’s plan to build three more dams on the Brahmaputra River. “As a lower riparian State with considerable established user rights to the waters of the River, India has conveyed its views and concerns to the Chinese authorities,including at the highest levels of the Government of the People’s

Republic of China. “India urges China to ensure that the interests of downstream States are not harmed by any activities in upstream areas,” a spokesperson said. The Chinese State Council Cabinet has approved three new dams on the Brahmaputra River under a new energy development plan for 2015.

This is a solution to all your problems

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www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

FIJI

New constitution, Ministry says idle, unused lands Bainimarama version needed for development

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ARVIND KUMAR

he military-ruled Fiji is getting a new constitution, but it won’t be the one drafted after extensive public consultation. It’s been six years since Commodore Bainimarama led a military coup which removed the prime minister, followed later by the suspension of the constitution. A draft constitution, prepared by an internationally respected constitutional lawyer, was presented to the president at the end of last year, in preparation for promised 2014 democratic elections. At a military parade last week Commodore Bainimarama told the troops that draft constitution was unacceptable. “It was seen that it was not without flaws, it did not correspond with the idea that the government of Fiji has a blueprint for a Constitution to take us forward,” he said. Professor Brij Lal, who was involved in drawing up the draft for the 1997 constitution that Commodore Bainimarama abolished, says the rejection is not a surprise. “I think one thing that the Ghai Commission recommended that the regime might have found unpalatable was this idea that, you

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“The draft constitution did not correspond with the idea that the government of Fiji has a blueprint for a Constitution to take us forward”
know, the soldiers should go back to the barracks and that they should be under no obligation to obey illegal orders,” he said. In the next few weeks a new draft constitution, drawn up by Fiji’s attorney-general’s department, will be put before a Constitutional Assembly whose members will be handpicked by Commodore Bainimarama.

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iji’s government is asking indigenous iTaukei landowners to make deposits in the State land bank as the State’s land assets have mostly been leased out. Director for Lands Mosese Tagicakibau said the government administers less than 5 per cent of the country’s total lands, with native land making up 83 per cent and freehold land at 9 per cent. He says the only development currently ongoing is foreshore reclamation, adding that the Lands Use Department was formed earlier to assess idle and unoccupied native lands for State use. Tagicakibau said the government is investing native lands in the bank to accommodate Crown lease applications. He also said that the ministry is facing challenges in securing 5000 acres for 50 agriculture scholarship students from Fiji National University (FNU) who will graduate by year’s end. These students will also receive a FJ$70,000 to buy farm land, housing, equipment and supplies, along with FJ$2,000 in start-up cash.

Airbus deal finalised, says A-G

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IWK BUREAU
“The purchase has gone ahead as announced,” he told the Fiji Times. In an earlier interview, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum revealed that Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama was visiting the Airbus facility at Toulouse in France to witness the roll-out of the first Airbus. “Next week, the first of the A330s goes for its first flight. We hope to have the plane completed and ready for its trip to Fiji next month. The PM will also get an opportunity to see the construction of the second aircraft and also visit developers of the ATR aircraft at the same time,” he said. He also revealed that the PM would be visiting French businesses that Air Pacific had a working relationship with. Air Pacific is expecting its first Airbus in March, followed by the second in May and final delivery in November this year.

HE purchase of three brand new Airbus A330-200 series aircraft is a done deal. This, according to Acting Prime Minister, Attorney General and Minister of Civil Aviation Aiyaz SayedKhaiyum. The AG brushed aside speculation and said purchase of the aircraft had successfully been completed and Air Pacific was expecting delivery of the first aeroplane in the Fiji Airways livery next month.

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www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

HERITAGE

Stress… how to master it?
BramHacHari adarsH cHaitanya

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he everyday life is back on track and the holidays are a mere memory now, the schools are back on, work is back to full steam… another year to look forward to. The goals are set ahead of us, the energy is high, and there are many promises to keep both to oneself and to others. The year is promising new changes with the good wishes of those around us and at this point we are either looking forward to it all cheerfully with hope and faith for a bright and prosperous year or we are looking at the year ahead and wondering how do we get through this one? Our Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji used to say, “The situations remaining the same in the outer world the quality and texture of the mind will determine whether we master the situation or get crushed by it.” Often we find in most situations, we are unable to master our challenges and the subsequent fear associated with it, creates Stress in us. Here is a classic example of Stress. When, in a company, where the father is the owner of the company

and he is trying to bring his 22 year old ‘recently graduated son with an overseas qualification’, into the fold, it is seen that the son tends to take everything casually whilst the father is full of the stress and strain. But it is also seen that in the absence of the father, when the son takes on the role of the MD in the same company, he too experiences the same amount of stress and strain if not more. So WHAT causes stress and How do we deal with it? To deal with anything properly firstly we need to understand it. Firstly, every equipment has a function. To perform that function, energy must be transmitted by that equipment. The transfer of potential energy to transmitted energy is the very function of that equipment, e.g. potential notes of a violin is brought about as music by the very instrument. However, to bring out the music from the violin, there needs to be the right tension on it. Too much tension and the strings will snap, too loose and it’ll sound terrible. But when the tension is right the instrument is tuned. A tuned instrument is capable of playing melodious music.

So too, our Mind is the instrument. When we complain of stress, our instrument has too much tension… melodious music or quality work isn’t possible from such an instrument. There will always be compromise. So, What exactly is Stress? Stress is seen in the Mind when: We are imagine and face negative consequences; Majority of thoughts in our mind are regarding the negative outcome,

even at a planning stage; An overwhelming sense of inability to meet expectations despite effort. The cause of stress is basically, when our mind is centered on negativity. Notice we are never stressed as soon as victory is guaranteed even though we may be still putting in great efforts. In a nutshell, too many negative thoughts and low capacities in us cause stress. The remedy to stress therefore is

two-fold. Loosen the strings of the mind by avoiding negative and unproductive thinking. Keep positive company and feed the positive meter thought by thought. Secondly, have faith in something greater from which all your abilities arise. This may be God or even a strong relationship with someone you love. This will increase the self-belief in us and keep us moving forward. But make sure that relationship doesn’t wane or change. To live stress-free one must identify with a higher and more positive source. One’s deeper relationships of love and devotion help us to tide over the stresses and strains of our daily lives.

Bramhachari Adarsh Chaitanya serves as the Resident Acharya of Chinmaya Mission Auckland and conducts weekly spiritual classes for children, youth and adults. For more information about the Chinmaya Mission and Bramhachari Adarsh Chaitanya please follow this link: www.chinmaya.org.nz or contact him at 2756954

HEALTH

www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

23

Holistic approach to Indian diabetics, get Autism Spectrum Disorder ready for change
IWK BUREAU DR. KULDIP SINGH

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M.D. (HOM.)

utistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are defined as behavioural disorders, characterised by impairments in social communication, social interaction and social imagination. Those affected have a restricted range of interests and display repetitive behaviour patterns. People with an autism spectrum disorder also have difficulties with verbal and non-verbal communication e.g. not fully understanding the meaning of gestures, facial expressions or tones of voice. They do not understand that language is a tool for conveying information to others. They use language very literally with a choice of words & phrases and limited speech. A person suffering from autism might display impaired intellectual abilities, improper motor coordination and attention, in addition to several physical symptoms like gastrointestinal disorders and sleep disturbances.

role in onset of the disorder. These factors coupled with genetic risks, predisposes an individual for Autism. Can people with Autism be helped? An autism spectrum disorder is a lifelong disability, but there are ways of helping, especially if a child is diagnosed early and receives appropriate intervention early in life. Special education programmes and structured support can really make a difference to a child’s life, helping to maximise skills and achieve full potential in adulthood. An early diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder is essential in order to ensure appropriate support is given.h If you suspect an autism spectrum disorder is present, have the person referred (or suggest they ask) for a specialist diagnosis and assessment as early as possible through their GP, Child Development Unit, Child and Family Guidance Centre, paediatrician or clinical psychologist. Once the assessment is done Homoeopathy & Reiki Healing can play a great role in to help these people. ASD symptoms & Homeopathic Treatment Each child suffering from Autism is unique, with his/her unique symptoms and state. Thus to address the specific needs, an individual oriented intervention plan is required. Homeopathy with its individual specific approach treats the child with a holistic perspective keeping the behaviour, physical symptoms, genetic predispositions, environmental abuse as pointers to the right prescription. A good homeopathic practitioner would first study the specific state and symptoms and prescribe suitable remedies. Of course, the focus of homeopathy is not to treat the isolated symptoms of the autistic child, but to treat the child as a whole. While any remedy may be required in any individual case, in my experience the remedies that come up include Stramonium, Belladonna, Bufo Rana, Carcinocin, Hyoscyamus, Mercurius, Cuprum, Veratrum Album, Zinc, Saccharum Officinale, Spider remedies and Opium etc. Reiki & Autism Reiki healing can help calm the fear of overly anxious children .Autistic children begin to sleep well after the first session. Reiki is safe and natural & can be done without even touching if a child is touch sensitive, stranger shy or hyperactive. The calming practice of Reiki promotes relaxation .Special needs children develop Self-esteem, confidence & social awareness skills with Reiki. Incase you know anyone with ASD please pass on this article to their family. For appointments contact Dr. Kuldip Singh or Dr. Pushpinder K Singh at: 09 278 5800 / 09-6205800 / 021 21 75800.

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ndian people are among the high prevalence groups for diabetes in New Zealand and the Indian community is being asked to help people with the disease respond to changes in their blood glucose meters. Three new fully funded meters are now available and everyone with diabetes is being encouraged to take full advantage of a wide range of information and training available to help them make the change. PHARMAC, the government’s drug funding agency, began funding the meters and test strips from the CareSens range in September last year. From 1 March 2013, only the CareSens range of blood glucose meters and testing strips will be funded in New Zealand. For most people who use a blood glucose meter, this means changing to a new meter.

out,” he says. As part of efforts to ensure people with diabetes are fully informed, a series of events called Meet Your Meter are being held in communities around the country. The meetings give people a chance to choose which of the three funded meters suits them best, and learn about using the meters. “We’d like people to come and meet with our team and have a chat about their new meter,” Steffan Crausaz says. Details of the events are available at www. pharmac.govt.nz or by phoning 0800 344 899. The events offer a 45 minute presentation at the start, and people can also ‘drop-in’ to learn about the meters at any time during the session. “If people with diabetes can’t make one of our Meet the Meter events, there are lots of other

Causes for Autism Spectrum Disorder 1 person in 100 has an Autism Spectrum Disorder, this includes people who have Asperger syndrome. The estimated population of people with ASD in New Zealand is approximately 40,000. The reasons are not clear, but the factors range from genetic disturbances, environmental toxins and drugs used in pregnancy to the vaccines administered for the prevention of various diseases. “Vaccine-induced autism” is under enormous scrutiny, though there is no conclusive scientific study to prove or disapprove it. But for those who believe in autism being triggered by vaccines, hypothecate that the immune (defence) response generated by the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella) damages the nerve sheaths (nerve coverings) leading to a generalised neurological disorder. Various recent researches suggest Autism to be caused due to several environmental factors coupled with a rare gene mutation, affecting early brain development. These environmental factors could be internal like malnourishment of the mother (lack of Folic acid) during pregnancy or oxygen deprivation of the foetus during birth. Weak immune system is also said to play a major

Chief executive Steffan Crausaz says PHARMAC is working hard to ensure everyone is getting the information they need to be confident with their new meter. “We really encourage family and friends of people with diabetes to ensure those close to them are fully informed, and are aware of the support that is available,” he says Steffan Crausaz says during the lengthy phase-in period, information and support is being provided to meter users and health professionals to help the transition. “It is important that people have their new meters and new test strips, and are confident about using them before their old test strips run

places they can get information – over the phone, online, or from their doctor, practice nurse or pharmacist,” he says. Pharmaco, the supplier of the meters, is visiting health centres and pharmacies around New Zealand providing information and training so doctors, nurses and pharmacists are well placed to help patients. People can find information online at www. pharmac.govt.nz and www.caresens.co.nz; or they can talk to someone on 0800 GLUCOSE (0800 458 2673). The change will free up $10 million in funding each year for PHARMAC to invest in other medicines for New Zealanders.

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www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

ENTERTAINMENT

‘Vishwaroopam’ sees the light of day in TN

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Kamal Haasan and Rahul Bose in ‘Vishwaroopam’

fter causing havoc with Muslim groups for objectionable content and thereby stalling its release in Tamil Nadu, Kamal Haasan’s latest flick ‘Vishwaroopam’ was finally released in the southern state on Feb 7. The ban on the film in the state was lifted on Feb 3 after the actor agreed to edit seven scenes from the movie.Haasan has also withdrawn his petition agawinst the ban in Madras High Court. “I was angered and hurt by this injustice. I stood stoic through all the troubles but what broke me to an emotional pulp was the sight of many money orders, currency notes and bank checks (cheques) sent to me in envelops by admirers to help me tide over my crisis,” Haasan said. “I will be returning all of these to the respective senders. Please do

not take offense; I have safeguarded your addresses, in case politics and religion hound me again to take refuge. I know I have safe homes to

“I was angered and hurt by this injustice. I stood stoic through all the troubles but what broke me to an emotional pulp were gestures by my admirers, which helped me tide over my crisis” - Kamal Haasan

feed and keep me throughout Tamil Nadu. Wherever I go or live, my permanent abode and address would always be your kind minds,” he said. The Hindi version of the Rs 95-crore blockbuster, ‘Vishwaroop’,

has been released across the country. TV news channels quoted some people who saw ‘Viswaroop’ and found nothing objectionable in it. “(The film is) not anti-Muslim or anti-India in any manner,” said a young film buff. Vishwaroopam is a spy thriller film written, directed and coproduced by Kamal Haasan who also enacts the lead role. The film has Pooja Kumar, Rahul Bose, Andrea Jeremiah and Jaideep Ahlawat in supporting roles. The film features soundtrack composed by Shankar-EhsaanLoy. The lyrics are by Vairamuthu and Haasan himself while Javed Akhtar translated them for the Hindi version. The film is also the first of its kind to release via direct-broadcast satellite, also known as direct-tohome (DTH).

The diva and her style diary

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Kareena Kapoor writes what’s it like to be a Bollywood style diva
t is quite a responsibility to always be stylish, actress Kareena Kapoor said at the launch of her book – ‘The Style Diary of a Bollywood Diva’ recently. The book has Kareena’s take on styling and has been published by Shobhaa De Books and Penguin India. “When (writer Shobhaa) De called me for this book, I thought I might write a book when I’m 60. What if something more interesting happens 20 years later? But she said it was going to be a style diary. Then I realised: ‘Yes, I’m stylish and I should take the compliment. I took the responsibility of how it feels like to be a style diva,” she said. She also said the book had something for everyone. “There is something for people from 14 to 35 years. My husband is 40 plus so there has to be something for the 40 plus,” Kareena, who co-wrote the book with Rochelle Pinto, said. She said one would get to know more about her through this book. “As you turn the pages, you get to know Kareena more.” As for an autobiography, the actress said she would think about writing that one day. “I don’t want to write about my struggles. People know about that and I don’t think that’s interesting,” she said. “This style diary is something that reflects my style personality. I don’t know what my next book would be but if at all I write, it will be an autobiography. Autobiography definitely but not now,” she said. She also admitted she had lost weight and said she was practicing a new style of yoga. “Nice to hear the compliment that I have lost weight. Yes, I have lost weight and I’m following a new style of yoga which is very tiring. But I’m enjoying it.” Sporting a black knee-length dress with a golden belt, Kareena said women looked best in saris. “I think a woman looks best in sari. Saif always tells me to wear sari. I think the problem is we always try to ape the west. But we have to dress according to the occasion. Sometime saris, sometimes dress,” the 32-year-old said.

Madhuri is back

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After a gap of six years, the actress is set to sizzle on screen with two films in her kitty
a very fantastic artist and I enjoyed a lot working with him,” Madhuri said. While Naseer and Arshad Warsi would reprise their roles, Madhuri steps into Vidya Balan’s shoes. The film also stars Huma Qureshi. Meanwhile, Madhuri also showers praises on Juhi Chawla, her co-star in ‘Gulab Gang’, their first film together. “It’s been wonderful. I met Juhi and she is a very, very sweet person and the experience has been wonderful,” she said. Asked her about competition, she said: “I have never believed in that. I do what I like and I enjoy it.” Ask her about her strengths and she says, “I am a very hard working person. I am creative. I like to dance and act. I love whatever I am doing. As for the films, both of them have strong roles and very nice characters,” she added. Madhuri is also known for her million dollar smile, but she regards legendary Madhubala’s smile as the most beautiful. “I love Madhubala’s smile and I think it is the best in the industry,” said the actress who is also a huge fan of Madhubala.

fter ‘Aaja Nachle’, which turned out to be a damp squib when it hit the theatres in 2007, Madhuri has regained her popularity as the judge of dance reality show ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’ and has now bagged two important films – ‘Dedh Ishqiya’ and ‘Gulaab Gang’. She says that Vishal Bhardwaj’s ‘Dedh Ishqiya’ shooting will start from mid-February. “Shooting for ‘Gulab Gang’ has already started and ‘Dedh Ishqiya’ will start from midFebruary,” the 46-year-old actress said. ‘Dedh Ishqiya’ was initially supposed to go on the floors in September 2011, but it was postponed till November and then it was shifted to February 2012. After that it was reported that shooting will start in January this year. ‘Dedh Ishqiya’ is a sequel to 2010 hit ‘Ishqiya’ and Madhuri is all praise for Naseeruddin Shah, who was also in the original. “It’s my honour that I am working with him (Naseer). He is

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www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

ENTERTAINMENT

Soha’s royalty gets her a role

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ilmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia says Soha Ali Khan fits the part perfectly in his film ‘Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster Returns’, thanks to her royal connection. “We were toying with a few names. Soha, because she is a royalty in reality, looks the part completely, without doing too much acting, without us making her wear clothes that she is not comfortable wearing, with kind of jewellery,” Tigmanshu said. “What Soha has done does not look fake, it looks effortless... that was one reason for choosing her,” he added. A sequel to his 2011-hit ‘Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster’, it also stars Jimmy Sheirgill, Mahie Gill and Irrfan. The film hits theatres March 8.

Big B’s house becomes a film set

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ilmmaker Anurag Kashyap has shot certain parts of his upcoming movie ‘Bombay Talkies’ inside Pratiksha, megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s house in Mumbai. Apart from Kashyap, ‘Bombay Talkies’, a bouquet of four stories, has contribution by Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Karan Johar. Kashyap has roped in Big B for his part of the film. Apparently it was Big B’s idea to shoot certain scenes inside the house and it is for the first time that he has opened the gates for shooting of his house. The movie will release May 3 as an ode to 100 years of Indian cinema.

The new dad in tinsel town

A book on ‘Paan Singh Tomar’
ormally we have movies made from books. But in the case of ‘Paan Singh Tomar’, a book is being released covering his life and times after a movie on him received critical acclaim. ‘Paan Singh Tomar’s real and reel life story both had a tumultuous journey. While the man – an Indian athlete (represented India at the 1958 Asian Games in Tokyo, Japan) and an army man turned dacoit, the film had its own journey of lying in the cans for over a year before it saw the light of the day. However, when it released, the critics and the audience lapped it up and the Irrfan Khan starrer – Tigmanshu Dhulia directed film bagged big awards for actor, screenplay and direction. Hence it is interesting that almost a year after the film’s release the makers have decided to make a coffee table book on the journey of making this film and expectedly so Irrfan and Tigmanshu Dhulia are backing the project. The studio has roped in journalist-turned-author Priyanka Jain to write it. She has

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ctor Vivek Oberoi and his wife Priyanka Alva became proud parents of a baby boy last week. “Today is the most special day of my life! Priyanka and I welcomed our little angel into our world, a beautiful, healthy, divine baby boy! I thank all of u from the bottom of my heart for all the love, duas, blessings, prayers & aashirwaad u have sent us! Our son is truly blessed!” Vivek posted on Twitter. Oberoi married Priyanka Alva in 2010. The actor will soon be seen in the upcoming crime romance film ‘Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story’. He stars opposite Neha Sharma and will appear in a lead role after long. The film is directed by Vinnil Markan.

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“The book will add to the experience of the film ‘Paan Singh Tomar’. It’s a face of India which needs a look” - Irrfan Khan
earlier co-written a book on Vinod Chopra along with ‘3 Idiots’ fame writer Abhijat Joshi. The book will give readers a good glimpse of the real and reel life of PST with some never seen before pictures depicting his life. Both, director Tigmanshu Dhulia and leading actor Irrfan are backing this project too. Irrfan says, “Thousands of stories live and die every day in India, unnoticed. And these stories are complex, fascinating, moving, heart wrenching and engaging. I feel they should be brought to light in whatever form possible. The book will include all the other details which the film could not include. I feel the book will add to the experience of the film ‘Paan Singh Tomar’. It’s a face of India which needs a look.”

Yash Chopra’s statue to join Walk of the Stars
egendary filmmaker Yash Chopra’s statue was unveiled Monday at the Walk of the Stars by his wife Pamela and son Uday. The statue will be installed at the UTV STAR’s property Walk of the Stars in Bandra Bandstand Promenade today. “Yashji was a dreamer. He was a man who didn’t just make romantic movies or romanced cinema, he romanced life, with love as the most important ingredient. Yashji understood the ever evolving nature of love, and brought alive its multiple facets on the silver screen during his career spanning over 60 years. Yash Chopra has been, is and shall always be the King of Romance in my life and in the lives of his fans,” Pamela said. Chopra died Oct 21 last year at the age of 80. Walk of the Stars was launched early last year with the felicitation of the Kapoor family - tiles bearing the respective handprints of Prithviraj Kapoor, Raj Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Kapoor, Karisma Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor were installed. Brass statues of Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor were also installed. Dev Anand’s statue was also installed at the walk on his first death anniversary.

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SURINDER SINGH

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www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

ENTERTAINMENT

Look who’s in love

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Zeenat Aman admits to having someone special in her life, although marriage is certainly not on the anvil for now
o beautiful and so ahead of her times, Zeenat Aman, who redefined the liberated unfettered modern woman of Hindi cinema of the 1970s through her noholds-barred performances in ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’, ‘Manoranjan’ and ‘Dhund’, has found love again but hasn’t decided anything about marriage. “Yes, I am in love. There is someone in my life, I won’t deny it. But I am not getting married! Not right now at least. Yes, he has proposed to me. But I haven’t decided to take the plunge as yet,” said Zeenat. Zeenat, 61, agrees she’s been unlucky in love. “It’s a fact. I’ve my fingers crossed this time. Let’s see how the relationship plays out. We’re taking each day as it comes. Who knows what tomorrow holds? A very close friend passed away last week. So one never knows what life holds in store. If at all there’s marriage, it would be very quiet. At my age, I can’t have a big fat wedding, though I feel you are as old or as young as you feel,” she said. The actress, who was married to actor Mazhar Khan until his death in 1998, has two adult sons - Azaan and Zahaan - who she says, are the prime focus of her life. “No doubt my boys are my priority. Now there’s this man. And he’s serious about our relationship. He wants to get married, so I am thinking about it,” said the actress of yesteryears. Zeenat, who blazed a new trail with her unabashed sensuality in ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’ and ‘Qurbani’ says her sons are happy for her. “At the end of the day, they want to see their mother happy. Both my boys have just finished their education and are undecided about what they want to do with their lives. They have many options. One of my boys has studied culinary art and is also passionate about music. I will support them in whatever they want to do as long as they’re happy.” Zeenat is also looking at returning to acting. “I’ve a couple of offers. Let’s see how it all pans out. If it’s not worth my while then no point in doing it. In recent times, some of the roles that I did were not much liked by the audience. One did them because one is a single parent with a kitchen to run,” she explained. Zeenat is proud to have given fully of herself to whatever she did. “When it was my career, I was fully into it. Then when it was marriage and motherhood, I gave all of myself to them. And if there’s marriage again, I’ll be completely focussed on it.” Her recent confession though led to a lot of speculation and even linked her to Sarfaraz Ahsan Ahmed, a Shiv Sena member and real-estate dealer. Upset with the talk, which she termed “baseless”, she clarified: “The gentleman whose name has been roped in with me by certain section of media is wrong because he is not the gentleman. He is a very decent person and I respect him,” she said without revealing the name of the person she is dating. “I am absolutely single and this gentleman who you dragged into it ... poor him and his family and poor me also. There is nothing like that,” she added. After her bad experience, the yesteryears diva has decided to keep mum about anything personal. “Now, you know, I am not going to say anything. I don’t know where these things come from. It’s ridiculous. I am so important to you guys!” she fumed.

“No doubt my boys are my priority. Now there’s this man. And he’s serious about our relationship. He wants to get married, so I am thinking about it. Let’s see how the relationship plays out” - Zeenat Aman

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2nd & 3rd March
2013

‘I have become the face of fear’
Basu added that it was the script and screenplay of the film which attracted her to take it up. “While I was listening to the narration, I thought the film would be fabulous. The script and screenplay attracted me,” she said. Talking about the genre of horror, Basu feels that it is at its nascent stage at the moment and has a lot of potential. “I feel that horror is at the nascent stage at the moment. We can do so many different things with horror as a genre,” she said. Directed by Suparn Verma, the film stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui opposite Bipasha Basu.

FREE ENTRY
www.gvr.co.nz

ipasha Basu seems to have become the common face of horror films. After ‘Raaz 3’, she will be seen next in Suparn Verma’s ‘Aatma’. “I have become the face of fear. I don’t mind being a trend setter. Horror is a genre of entertainment and if it has the producers and the audience, then why not,” she said at the launch of the first look of the film. Talking about the horror films which she has been a part of, the actress clarified that all of them had been different in their own way. “Each and everyone of them has had very different roles,” the actress said.

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Bipasha Basu and Emraan Hashmi in ‘Raaz 3’

REVIEW

www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

29

Root for these robbers
ARWA JANJALI

Film: Special 26 Director: Neeraj Pandey Starring: Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, Manoj Bajpayee, Jimmy Sheirgill, Kajal Aggarwal Rating: ***

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t’s always tricky for a filmmaker to set the bar really high with his very first film. Naturally, after his stark directorial debut ‘A Wednesday’, Neeraj Pandey creates room for immense expectation from his second film. ‘Special 26’ is nowhere close to being as profound or hard-hitting though. But it works its way around with a tightly written narrative, a good cast and moments of sheer spark. To begin with, the film is far more light-hearted, along with having the quintessential ‘star’ factor, Akshay Kumar. Based on 1987’s sensational robbery that took place in one of Mumbai’s biggest jewellery stores,

the case of which remains unsolved till date; ‘Special 26’ presents yet another ruthless but triumphant attempt by the common man to give back to the country’s corrupt and hypocritical system. It portrays the power of one individual if he decides to make things right. While ‘A Wednesday’ had one

unknown man avenge the killings of Mumbai’s train bombings in 2006 through an etched out masterplan that puts Mumbai’s entire police department in a frenzy, ‘Special 26’ has four conmen go on a rampage across the country looting politicians and businessmen off their black money.

Ajay Singh (Akshay), along with his second in-charge P.K. Sharma (Anupam Kher) leads the pack of four men, who carry out raids pretending to be CBI/Income Tax officers. While the men are on a spree without any fear of being caught (thanks to the involvement of black money), a real and honest CBI officer Wasim

Khan (Manoj Bajpayee) takes on the task of bringing them to book. Unlike ‘A Wednesday’, which portrayed strong undertones of anger and frustration; ‘Special 26’ is way milder. It’s more of a heist movie with a romantic subplot and melodious music by M.M. Kreem. For a change, Neeraj also tries to make female presence felt in this film as opposed to his first, which was essentially a male oriented flick. But it’s a raw deal after all. Even though Kajal Aggarwal as Akshay’s love interest hovers around in the song sequences and Divya Dutta as inspector Ranveer Singh’s (Jimmy Sheirgill) sidekick keeps spouting all of one line throughout the film, the women clearly have nothing to do. It’s especially surprising and disappointing to see an established actress like Divya in such a dispensable role. That aside, ‘Special 26’ has its message in place. The scene towards the end, where Ajay Singh sends a money order to Wasim Khan, nails the motive of the film. Returning Wasim’s 100 rupees mistakenly taken by him, Ajay writes a note to him saying, ‘What should I do with this money which is earned by such honest means?’ The country surely needs more conmen like these.

THE HOME OF

FROM THE AUTHOR FROM THE AUTHOR OFOF

THE NOTEBO THE NOTEBOOKOK & THE DIRECTOR THE DIRECTOR

OFOF DEAR JOHN DEAR JOHN

Wednesday 20th February
Drinks 6.30pm, Film start 7pm

BOOK ONLINE chicksattheflicks.co.nz
COMING SOON
BEAUTIFUL CREATURES
THURSDAY 21ST FEBRUARY 2013
A supernatural love story set in the South, ‘Beautiful Creatures’ tells the tale of two starcrossed lovers: Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich), a young man longing to escape his small town, and Lena (Alice Englert), a mysterious new girl. Together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town. Rated: (M) Supernatural themes & violence

*Online booking fee applies. Must be R18+. I.D may be required. Ticket includes a glass of Shingle Peak sparkling wine and goodie bag.

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IN CINEMAS FEBRUAR IN CINEMA S

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KAI PO CHE
FRIDAY 22ND FEBRUARY 2013
Based on Chetan Bhagat’s “3 Mistakes Of My Life”. A story of 3 friends- their lives, beliefs, challenges- and their mistakes. With a hint of cricket and set in the midst of Ahmedabad – a city torn like the lives of its protagonists – with riots and earthquakes on one side and an unparalleled energy and passion on the other. Rated: (TBC)

FILM
SQUAD

PMS 485 PMS 484

MORNING TEA SCREENING

THE SWEENY
THURSDAY 28TH FEBRUARY 2013
The Sweeney is a British action film, based on the 1970s television series of the same name, released on 12 September 2012. The film was directed and written by Nick Love, and co-written by John Hodge, based on the characters created by Ian Kennedy Martin. The film stars Ray Winstone as Jack Regan and Ben Drew as George Carter. The film also stars Damian Lewis, Hayley Atwell and Steven Mackintosh.
IN CINEMAS JANUARY 24

Mon 25th & Wed 27th February 2013
Morning Tea 10am Movie starts 10:30am

*Online booking fee applies.

Rated: (R16) Violence, offensive language & sex scenes

NOT A MEMBER? ITS FREE TO JOIN! Must be a Film Squad member and swipe card. Valid until Wed 20th Feb 2013.

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BOOK ONLINE AT www.eventcinemas.co.nz

30

www.iwk.co.nz | The Indian Weekender | February 15, 2013

RECIPE

Ruby’s Kitchen
Ruby Dhillon

Chicken Kathi Roll
ingredients (for the kathi roll) 1cup - flour (maida) 1/4cup - wheat flour (atta) 1tsp - oil 2 pinches of salt Warm water to knead

Method In a bowl mix flour, wheat flour, salt and oil. Using little water at a time, knead into soft dough. Cover and keep aside for 30 minutes.

Ingredients (for the chicken filling) 300 gm- chicken boneless (cut into small pieces) 1 - onion sliced 1tbsp - garlic paste 1tbsp - ginger paste 1 - tomato chopped 1tbsp - coriander powder 2tsp - red chilli powder 1/2tsp - turmeric powder salt as per taste 2tbsp- oil

light brown Add ginger- garlic paste, sauté add red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, sauté Add tomato, salt and chicken Cover and cook until the chicken is tender. Keep aside. Method (for the kathi roll) Heat tawa or flat pan Knead the dough again, divide the dough into equal portions Pinch a large lemon sized ball of dough Dust the working surface with some flour and roll out the dough to form 6-7 inch diameter circles

Place the roti on the hot tawa, cook for one minute, flipping it over Prepare all the rotis and place them in the casserole to keep them soft and warm
to assemble 2- eggs, in a bowl beat eggs with a pinch of salt and keep it aside. 1- onion sliced 1- lemon cut into chunks 2tbsp- chaat masala Mint chutney

oil on it, pour a little beaten egg, spread, keep roti on the egg and let the roti stick to the egg then flip it over cooking the other side of the roti. Similarly prepare the other rotis Place a single roti on a plate with the egg side facing up Spread mint chutney on it Place the chicken filling lengthwise and top with sliced onions Sprinkle a pinch of the chaat masala and a dash of lemon Wrap it into a roll with foil and serve.

Method (for the chicken filling) Heat oil in a pan. Add sliced onion, sauté for 3-4 minutes until

Method Heat tawa or flat pan, spread little

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GA AR B

Matching People with Property TH OF IN 300+m² Penthouse - Vendor says “Sell Now”
www.remuerarealestateregister.co.nz

E

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AR E

GRAFTON, 1105/135 Grafton Road
What you never thought you would find ... an apartment, with fantastic views, in a prestigious complex, which is the size and configuration of a family home. 300+ sq metres over two levels, with family living below and bedrooms and bathrooms above. All key areas enjoy expansive views from North Head, to Rangitoto, the Coromandel, Mt Eden and beyond. The entrance foyer features a double height ceiling and grand staircase which takes you to the second level. Beyond the foyer is the formal living including both sitting and dining. The informal living includes sitting, dining and a perfectly integrated kitchen. There is also a study or third sitting area plus a guest bathroom. The second floor features a master suite consisting of a large bedroom, bathroom and two massive walk-in wardrobes. There are a further three bedrooms and two more bathrooms. Add two secure car parks plus a third outside, great storage spaces, an on-site manager, full mail service, security, heated swimming pool, spa pool, tennis court, netted golf driving range and an entertainment pavilion. CV $2,060,000. Double Grammar zone.

Best offer over $1,650,000
4 3 2 3

Floor Area: Open:

300+m² Phone for viewing times

Offers close 4pm, 28th February 2013 (unless sold prior).

Diana King 021 613 884 diana.king@remueraregister.co.nz
The Kings of Real Estate

Terry King 021 484 332 terry.king@remueraregister.co.nz

Remuera Real Estate Register Limited licensed REAA 2008

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