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February - March 2004

Dispatches & Reports

Dispatches & Reports

Hindu Conference To Protest Against Desecration Of Hindi Temples

The most appalling act of vandalism in Britain against our religious place of worship is a wakeup call to us all. What more do we need to realize that we have to be a united force in dealing with first the culprits, then the judges, who give lenient sentences and send wrong signals to the thugs who perpetrate these vile crimes in the first place.

This incident has made it abundantly clear that Hindu Unity is paramount if we are to protect our way of life. You all know that there is no state in the world offering state help to Hindus or Sikhs. That is why it is up to us to do something if we are to see our next generation grow in the way we want them to be. Religion is an anchor in this stormy world. Without this anchor we cannot protect ourselves or our children from drifting into unchartered territories.

Most of us have survived to date as a community because we held on to our culture and our culture stems out of our religion. History is full of communities, which have lost their way by trying to copy other cultures. What made us a success in the world is our rich culture and heritage. If we are to remain successful then we must hold onto this important ingredient, which is essential for our future survival as a community.

We in the West are bombarded by television, satellite and the cinemas, which influences our youth at an early stage. The only way we can preserve our way of life is by uniting and finding time to help ourselves in keeping our culture alive through our religious places. We cannot expect others to worry about our future and that of our children whilst we are too busy working and socializing. We must change or be prepared to lose our identity.

I urge you all to realize that united we stand and divided we fall. Most of us come from India, and we all know that when we were divided, we were first ruled by the Moguls for 700 years and then by the British for 200 years. The only way we could achieved freedom was when we were a united force.

We must also unite here in Britain and become a strong and meaningful voice for all Hindus living here. Nobody knows the problems and issues, which concern us better than ourselves. Therefore we must unite and project a united front to the authorities. Individually, we will never have enough strength or resources to be taken seriously by anyone. The proof is that today amongst us top people from all political parties, Conservative, Labour and Lib Dems together with representatives of the metropolitan police and leaders of the Hindu and Sikh faith are here to lend their support to us because we are united. And we must thank them from the bottom of our heart.

I urge you all to form a strategic Council for Hindus of the British Isles, which can formulate common policies, which concern and benefit us all. This is the only way we can jointly articulate our issues to the highest authority and expect positive and prompt responses. At present, the British authorities are confused, as they do not know who represents us and whom they should deal with for important matters effectively. Therefore we must make it easy for everybody concerned by becoming a united force.


Mayor's Reception For Asian Business 2003
Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, hosted a reception on Monday 24 November to thank London's Asian business community for its contribution to the capital's economy.

The reception at City Hall welcomed almost 250 guests, including leaders of London's Asian business community, embassy representatives, dignitaries, officials and representatives from the capital's Asian tourist and creative sectors.

The Mayor shared platform with Parminder Vir, OBE, a multi-award-winning film-maker and documentary producer. Parminder Vir is Diversity Advisor to Carlton Television, with a responsibility for developing talent and achieving diversity on and behind the screen. The Mayor made particular mention of Asian involvement in London's tourist industries, which account for around 7 per cent of the city's Asian businesses.

Ken Livingstone, said: 'London's Asian business community is a major asset to this city, generating substantial wealth and contributing to the diversity and energy that make the Capital so attractive. I pay particular tribute to the role Asian businesses have played in my Totally London tourism drive.’

New figures show London has over 30,000 Asian businesses, employing more than 160,000 people. Around 11,000 - or 7 per cent - of these jobs are estimated to be in the tourism sector. An additional 56,000 of London's Asian residents are self-employed. Asian businesses in London have an annual turnover of nearly £16 billion. Parminder Vir, OBE, Carlton Television's Diversity Advisor, said: 'I'm delighted and honoured to be invited to an event celebrating London's Asian Business Community. The challenge from my Film and Television Industry is to harness the energy, passion and creative and entrepreneurial spirit of my community.' The reception also played host to a performance by Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company.

According to 2001 Census figures the Asian population in London is around 946,894, or 13 per cent of the capital's total population. Asian here is taken to be the Census categories ‘Chinese’ and 'Asian or Asian British'. Figures on the number of Asian businesses in London and their financial contribution to the capital come from the London Development Agency and Business Link 4 London's Annual London Business Survey 2003 (Provisional results). The survey only includes businesses with one or more staff and therefore does not include the self-employed. The 2001 Census results reveal that there are over 55,856 self-employed Asian residents in London. London’s Asian businesses have been closely involved in the Mayor’s Totally London tourism initiative, and in particular in the successful Totally Banglatown and Totally Chinatown events.

The Premier Asian Fashion & Bridal Event - The Asian Wedding Exhibition 2004

Presenting the latest cutting-edge styles in fashion, beauty and wedding trends, the prestigious Asian Wedding Exhibition returns in January 2004, bigger and better than ever.

Regarded as the original Asian wedding show and celebrating it's tenth year, the event has grown over the years into more than just a wedding show and is now widely recognised as a fashion institution. Due to increased numbers of exhibitors and visitors, the show will take place at the expansive Wembley Exhibition Halls.

The Asian Wedding Exhibition 2004 will be showcasing the very best of East and West fashion and beauty on Saturday 31st January and Sunday 1st February 2004 at Wembley Exhibition Hall 1 and Saturday the 13th and Sunday 14th March at the Birmingham NEC. Displaying a wide selection of the best designer outfits in the UK, the show is a must for keen followers of fashion as well as brides and grooms-to-be.
Following on from the phenomenal success of last year's event, which attracted over 20,000 visitors, the Asian Wedding Exhibition 2004 promises to live up to its reputation as the most spectacular Asian fashion event to be staged outside India. Visitors will be among the first to see some of the season's latest collections, cuts and colours, from the hottest international designers.

But that's not all, with over 200 wedding specialists participating, from jewellers and beauticians to caterers, florists, photographers and even venue representatives, the exhibition will provide a one-stop shop for all your wedding needs under one roof.

It is the brainchild of style guru Yogesh Kanani who commented: "The continued success of the Asian community in the UK is being translated into greater sums of money being spent on weddings. In doing so higher standards are being demanded by the bride and groom and both the new and existing companies are reinventing themselves to surpass their expectations making the show a spectacular, colourful and invaluable date in the dairies of those getting married."

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