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August - September 2005


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Dispatches & Reports

Karan Billimoria, the CEO of Cobra Beer has been appointed Chancellor of Thames Valley University. He is the third Asian to hold such a high academic honour in the United Kingdom. Chair of the Governing Body at Thames Valley University, Dino Adriano said, “I am confident that in Karan Bilimoria we have someone exceptional who will not only be a real inspiration to the University community but who will also promote the interests of TVU with his renowned determination and flair.”


Karan Bilimoria with Baroness Usha Prashar & H.E. Mr. Kamlesh Sharma,
the High Commissioner for India


Conference of the United Nations for Peace and Prosperity in Kunsthaus, Zurich
The theme of the Conference was ‘Give Peace a chance for Health’. Prince Mohsin Ali Khan, President of the UN for Peace and Prosperity, in his speech paid tribute to Prof. Dr Lutz and Dr. Ian Kwasniewske, who have worked tirelessly in the cause of promoting health and human life. He also welcomed Lech Valesa, the former president of Poland and the Nobel Peace prize winner whose great services to his great nation is recognised by all.The Prince in his speech pointed out that “an opportunity like this serves to remind one that it is possible to advance the cause of humanity using both physical and spiritual means. The pillars of our civilisation today are in peril, threatened by the forces of evil,, rampant materialism and injustices in the world.”


Prince Mohsin Ali Khan with lech Walesa and Dr. Ian Kwasniewske

Mentioning the inauguration of a National movement in Britain called Respect by the Prince of Wales, Prince Mohsin Ali khan said that he supported the aim of “promoting harmony and co-operation between all British communities and cultures regardless of their background.”
Describing the impact of global warming the Prince said, “The present degradation of our planet is due to irresponsible market driven forces from which any aspect of humanity is absent. The prevention of impending catastrophe is only possible if there is revival and strengthening of the moral consciousness of world leaders. In our physical life, body and spirit form unity of life. God is one. There are many candle lights but the light is one.”


VENKAIAH NAIDU IN LONDON:
M. Venkaiah Naidu, the past president and present deputy to L.K. Advani, broke off his journey while on his way home from America, to meet his old friends and devoted members of the Overseas Friends of BJP.
Venkaiahji, son of a farmer with a humble background, has attained prominent position in the BJP with sheer determination, hard work and his love and dedication for Bharat.
Like most BJP politicians, his thoughts and principles are firmly rooted in the RSS ideology.
He was the president of the Youth Wing of Janata Party. He gained his political experience in Andhra Pradesh where he was an MLA.
In the last NDA government, Venkaiah Naidu was a Minister for Rural Development. He wrote several well researched and topical papers of public and political interest, on subjects he incorporated in his various projects that include Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna, Panchayat Raj system and Food for Work which helped millions of under-privileged people, especially in the draught hit areas of various states.
Overseas Friends of BJP held a reception at the SKLP Sports and Community Centre in Northolt.
Although it was Friday, a working day and the function was arranged with less than a week’s notice, there were some 150 prominent people present in the auditorium, representing various communities and organizations.
Venkaiah Naidu arrived right on time, at 7pm, accompanied by Anil Pota, General Secretary of Overseas Friends of BJP and Virjibhai Shingadia, the Chairman of OFBJP, North London branch.
Anilbhai welcomed and greeted Venkaiah Naidu who in his speech emphasised the gradual rise of the BJP in Indian politics.
In the last 25 years, from a humble beginning of “just two MPs in 1982 to 182 at the height of our popularity.” BJP is also in power in various states that include Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
“I know you all share our disappointment at losing the last general election, especially as we, the NDA had given the country not only a stable administration but unparallel economic progress in the history of independent Bharat. I can honestly say that we made more progress on all front in just seven years than the previous governments did in twenty.
“We left behind an economic growth of 8% and our balance of payment at a record high of some $120 billion, in sharp contrast to what we inherited, an empty kitty. We were favourite to win and even today none of us can put a finger on any one issue, one particular reason why we lost.
“One reason put forward by the press was that we ignored the poor and lost badly in the rural areas but it is far from the truth. In fact we fared better in the rural areas but lost ground in the urban areas, in cities like Delhi and Mumbai. We lost some of our long serving and devoted members against novice and raw candidates in these cities. So often glitter, razzmatazz, hype, dynasty members and film stars get more attention, support and media exposure than true patriots who have dedicated their lives in the service of Bharat.
“BJP has no dynastical rule, unlike Congress. It is a party of ordinary people where any one can reach the height, fulfil their potential and climb the podium with hard work, devotion and love for the motherland. A person like me, a farmer’s son with a humble background could only achieve such height in a party like BJP.
On Advani’s controversial speech in Pakistan when he laid a wreath at the tomb of Mohamad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, Advaniji quoted Jinnah from his own published work where Jinnah has described himself, his views as a secular and believed in secularism. But as usual, media twisted his words.
“Another misconception is that BJP is a party of old guards who have already seen their best days. Yes, in Advaniji and Atalji we have leaders of unparalleled experience, integrity, honesty and righteousness who gave the country a stable administration, unparalleled economic progress, made Bharat a nuclear power and put the country on such a high podium that even the Western countries had to acknowledge the importance of Bharat as a major power. Atalji’s skill and vast experience was responsible in establishing a meaningful dialogue with Pakistan where he was respected as an experienced and honest leader.
“Yet in Narendra Modi, Sushma Swaraj, Uma Bharti, Arun Jaitley, Pramod Mahajan, Mukhtar Abbas Naqui, a few among many, BJP has a reserve of young, able and ambitious politicians who would serve the country well when their time comes.”
Praising Shri Narendra Modi, Venkaiah Naidu quoted none other than Rajiv Gandhi Foundation Study Report which has put Gujarat as number one state in economic freedom index, as well as well ahead in good government, security of persons and property rights and the lowest crime.
“Gujarat holds the top position in almost every aspect of good governance thus making Narendra Modi as the best Chief Minister in India. How I wish there were more Chief Ministers as capable and dedicated as Modiji.
“Congress and other parties have sent special delegates to America and Britain to find out why BJP is so popular in the West. They find it difficult to understand why BJP is so popular amongst NRI in the West, especially in America and Britain when the Congress has a deep root here in UK. Perhaps you have more patriotic spirit and are better educated, thus well informed about the Indian politics”.


Hindu Council UK shares grief with the London Mayor and faith leaders
The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, launched a book of condolences for the victims of the terrorist bombing atrocities in London. All the major faith communities were represented to show their solidarity. The Mayor himself was visibly distraught.
Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, followed the Mayor to write his message.
Among the faith leaders present were: His Grace, the Bishop of London; Justice Mota Singh representing the Sikh community; Sir Iqbal Sacranie from the Muslim Council of Britain; Anil Bhanot from the Hindu Council UK; Dr Natubhai Shah from Jain Samaj; and Jewish and other Church leaders. Trevor Phillips, Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, was also present and signed his name as well.
The Rt. Hon. Tessa Jowell MP, Minister Tony McNulty MP, Teresa May MP and Simon Hughes MP represented the three main political parties. The ceremony was conducted in silence as a mark of respect of those who lost their lives.
Hindu Council UK's London Faith & Culture Executive Team, led by Dilip Joshi MBE and Sudarshan Bhatia, already have a close working relationship with the Greater London Authority, and the Mayor’s speech in the immediate aftermath of the bombings had inspired them to urge greater understanding across the different faiths in a show of community-wide solidarity against the terrorists:
Mr Joshi explained: “Ken’s speech after the bombings touched us all. He said that the terrorist attack was an attack on all faiths - Muslim, Christian, Hindu and Jew. Therefore we are all duty-bound to work together, and indeed to pray together, to ensure our communities remain strong and united against terrorism in all its forms."
Mr. Bhanot, General Secretary of the Hindu Council UK, read a verse in the book of condolences from the Hindu sacred text.
"I am the unborn, without end, without beginning. I look equally upon the saint, the sinner, man, animal and the Wise who worship Me thus are dear to Me and will surely come unto Me. "Lord Krishna, The Bhagwad Gita.”


Rajasthani Foundation launched in UK
At his recent visit to London, Mr. HP Kanoria, head of Srei Group of Companies from Kolkatta, was instrumental in the launch of the Rajasthanis Foundation in UK. The office bearers are - Dr. K.K. Saraogi, President, Ashok Sancheti, Vice Pesident and S. Agarwala, Secretary.
The Foundation is registered in UK twinned with All India Marwari Federation. The objective of the Foundation is to have a separate identity of overseas Rajasthanis and develop friendly relations and involvement with all without alienating itself from the world. It will also help to adjust local culture and promote awareness of unity, as well as socio-economicawareness. The Foundation will aim at developing cooperation amongst Rajasthanis worldwide and people of Indian origin, abroad and in India. The programmes of the Foundation include publishing a newsletter and Members Directory, celebration of festivals and other cultural programmes of Indian artists in UK. A village will be adopted in Rajasthan towards the socio-economic growth and other projects for health, drinking water and education in India.

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