Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Stefano Pioli insists Milan “were at least on a par” with Juventus in the 1-0 defeat, but again paid the price for not taking chances. “We need results now.” This was probably the best Rossoneri performance of the season so far, with a series of Wojciech Szczesny saves on Krzysztof Piatek, Hakan Calhanoglu and Lucas Paqueta. However, Juve substitute Paulo Dybala got the decisive goal with a moment of magic as he dribbled past Alessio Romagnoli to drill home. The 1-0 result means Milan have now lost their last nine Serie A trips to Juve and are only four points off the relegation zone. “We put in the performance, were at least on a par with our opponents, if not more, but if you don’t turn those chances into goals, you are going to pay,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia. “We’ve got to keep working and improving. Our current position is unworthy of Milan and that must keep us worried and concentrated at all times. “Unfortunately, it’s the same thing I said last Sunday after Lazio, which is that we had the opportunities and I don’t think many have 15 shots on goal the way we did at the Juventus Stadium, but we need to convert more of them. “We also conceded a goal when we should’ve been tighter in our defending and marking. I can only underline that the performance is good, but we need the results too. We have to improve our position in the table, it’s time to take some punches and work hard. “I see improvements every day, I saw them in recent matches, as we were by no means inferior to Lazio or Juventus. We must understand that at this level, every single ball can be decisive. “We haven’t had as many points as we expected, nor as many as we probably deserved lately, but the performances have been there.” Pioli tested out the three-man defence in training this week, so can that be a solution for the near future? “I don’t think so.”
Wondering how to keep your little ones occupied this summer? Story trailsEvery place has a story to tell. And Story Trails brings those stories to the forefront through their special trails for children. On the trails, you get to learn about things you wouldn’t even notice otherwise. For your children,Wondering how to keep your little ones occupied this summer?Story trailsEvery place has a story to tell. And Story Trails brings those stories to the forefront through their special trails for children. On the trails, you get to learn about things you wouldn’t even notice otherwise. For your children this summer, try the trail which explores the night sky or the Building Blocks Trail, which exposes them to the world of construction, and many more. For more details, log on to www.storytrails.in.Sea legsIf your children are fond of the high seas then sailing is definitely something they should try. The Royal Madras Yacht Club holds classes for different age groups. The club has not only promoted sailing as a sport in the state but has also produced many award-winning sailors at the national and international levels. The Tamilnadu Sailing Association also provides sailing lessons.Call 25382253 or 24764625.Making a splashTaking a dive in the clear blue waters is a summer dream-nothing can rejuvenate you better than swimming. With classes being conducted all over the city, let your children get comfortable in water, especially in the hot weather, when other athletic sports can leave you drained. If you’re really serious about this, the aquatic complex in Velachery has an Olympic-sized pool.The little festivalThe city will be host to an international theatre festival for children for the first time. The Little Festival is on from June 10 to June 19 at The Museum Theatre. The festival aims at not just promoting theatre but also providing a global forum for the performing arts. Look out for Kingdom of Joomba, a musical , Matti, Patti, Bu, a puppet theatre, and Choon Hyang, an English musical.Language classesIf you want your child to be working the grey cells, then language classes are the perfect way to go. Choose from French, German, Spanish, Korean and many more. Almost all the consulates have special packages and classes for children for the summer vacation.advertisement
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The lawyer of former Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt — convicted for spot-fixing — said on Friday that he would appeal against his 30-month jail sentence by a London court on Thursday.Speaking outside Southwark Crown Court, Butt’s lawyer Paul Harris made the announcement soon after the sentencing saying they would appeal against the court verdict within 24 hours.Butt had been sentenced to two-and-a-half years on charges of conspiring to accept corrupt payments and conspiring to cheat. The sentence could, however, be reduced to half the term for good behaviour.Butt was also ordered to pay 30,937 towards the cost of prosecution.Butt’s counsel expressed confidence that they would be able to build the grounds to ensure the appeal was turned in their favour.”On behalf of Salman Butt, I want to confirm that we will be appealing the sentence. We are launching grounds of appeal in the next 24 hours,” Harris said.
India won the Test series against the West Indies convincingly and yet what has made headlines for two days in a row is not this but serious questions raised by Vinod Kambli in a tell-all television interview.This is the age of sensationalism. If it is cricketers writing autobiographies, the recipe is to write sensational stuff or rubbish other cricketers to make readers curious to see the book.Yet, what Kambli has done is to raise serious doubts over the result of the India-Sri Lanka semi-final in the 1996 World Cup at the Eden Gardens.It is 15 years since that unforgettable match in Kolkata saw the Indian dream of making the final in Lahore being shattered, but no one questioned the integrity of the team and how the match was played.Kambli has said in the interview he was surprised at captain Mohammad Azharuddin’s decision to field. A lot of us have seen that match and are aware of how it panned out.It wasn’t a bad decision at all as Javagal Srinath did the damage early on and Sri Lanka were two down for one run and then 35/ 3. Aravinda de Silva scored 66 but his dismissal made it 85/ 4.The point is the Indian skipper had read the wicket well and Srinath used whatever juice was in the track, after which Anil Kumble, Aashish Kapoor and Sachin Tendulkar bowled 30 overs of spin, which saw Lanka score 251.But what comes as a huge surprise is Kambli’s remark that four batsmen were padded up at the time of the toss. Even if the batsmen have been practising at the nets and come back to the dressing room, they will not remain padded up.advertisementIn this case, if four batsmen had to be padded up, then one of them should have been Azharuddin, who batted at No. 4. And we all, including Kambli, know that Azhar did not go out for the toss wearing pads.Secondly, what comes as a big insult to the batsmen is Kambli’s remark that when he was at the crease, other batsmen came and told him they would achieve the target, but threw away their wickets.This means, not only is Azhar being questioned for his “wrong decision” over the toss, but Kambli implies that Sanjay Manjrekar, Javagal Srinath, Ajay Jadeja, Nayan Mongia and Aashish Kapoor were involved.AND what did Kambli himself do with the bat? He scored 10 runs off 29 balls, which did not include a single boundary. While I was not inside the Eden Gardens to see the match, I did watch it on television and can tell you it was a deteriorating wicket on which a run chase was difficult.People will recall how Sachin Tendulkar scored 65 off 96 balls and was finally stumped by Romesh Kaluwitharana off Sanath Jayasuriya. If Sachin had struggled to make a run a ball, it was proof of how tough batting was and why the others failed.Kambli also mentioned in the TV interview that his career was finished after the match (at Eden Gardens). Kambli continued playing for India till 2000 and his last match was actually against Sri Lanka in Sharjah, where Sourav Ganguly was the captain and India collapsed to 54 all out.My gut feeling is Kambli gave this spicy interview to create a needless stir and in the process he has run down his former teammates.At a time when every bit of action on the cricket field is unfortunately viewed with suspicion, by bringing into focus a famous match played 15 years ago, Kambli has created a huge sensation.Azharuddin, Manjrekar, Mongia and the then-coach Ajit Wadekar have rubbished Kambli’s claims. So it is now up to Kambli to prove what he is saying is the truth as the charges made are very serious and question the integrity of the Indian team.At the same time, my question to Kambli is if he knew about this match, why did he not speak about it earlier?It was at a request from the sports ministry to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in February 2000 that match fixing and related malpractices were probed.THE CBI had, through advertisements, asked people to come forward if they had any information regarding such episodes. If Kambli was convinced there was something fishy in the semi-final, he could well have come forward and volunteered to give all this information to the CBI.The CBI submitted an interim report to the sports ministry in November 2000 and after that, subsequent ministers have done nothing about it. One big point which emerged from that report is how due to a lack of laws in the land to deal with fixing and betting, nothing could be done to nail the guilty.advertisementI had written three weeks ago how in the new draft of the sports Bill, there is no mention of how to deal with betting and cheating. Well, finally sports minister Ajay Maken has woken up and says he wants to ensure there will be laws to deal with this malice.Maken has said that if the BCCI does not look into what Kambli is saying, he may well have to. Mr Maken, what did your ministry do after the CBI submitted its interim report 11 years ago?The CBI interim report said India does not have adequate laws to tackle the menace. It also said the BCCI should be made professional and accountable to a non- bureaucratic autonomous authority. Yet, not a step has been taken till date.It is easy now for the sports minister to seek a probe, but what did the ministry do after getting the CBI interim report in 2000? Did the report go into the files and has nobody bothered to dust it?I now quote what M. A. Ganapathy, Superintendent of Police, CBI Special Crimes Branch, observed towards the end of his interim report in 2000.”The crisis facing cricket today is very different and far more sinister than the ‘body line’ controversy. Cricket, as it is played at present, does not appear to be the same game played by Sir Don Bradman or Neville Cardus wrote about (sic). The romanticism associated with the game is perhaps gone forever. Increasingly, in the playing fields around the world, the music of sweetly timed strokes is being replaced by the harsh cacophony of ringing cell phones. Both inducements and threats to players are bound to increase in view of the big money involved in gambling on cricket and the entry of the underworld. Major corrective steps need to be taken to put cricket back on rails.”Obviously, no sports minister ever took any action on this report.
From hip-swinging Parveen Babi to the sexy Dimple Kapadia, gorgeous gals who caught our eye, and fancy. Shirtless Salman Khan, hirsute Kabir Bedi, flashy Feroz Khan. Men who turned our hearts to mush. PROTIMA BEDIFebruary 15, 1977Protima Bedi has an incredible knack of being in the news for no reason,From hip-swinging Parveen Babi to the sexy Dimple Kapadia, gorgeous gals who caught our eye, and fancy. Shirtless Salman Khan, hirsute Kabir Bedi, flashy Feroz Khan. Men who turned our hearts to mush. PROTIMA BEDIFebruary 15, 1977Protima Bedi has an incredible knack of being in the news for no reason and “over-exposure” appears to be her chief aim in life. When she shed her clothing and streaked across Juhu beach, onlookers merely smiled. The part-time model and ex-wife of Kabir Bedi, now engaged to I.S. Johar, has found a new passion, Odissi.SHARON PRABHAKARNovember 15, 1977″I’ve come to Delhi basically to create a stir,” purred Sharon Prabhakar, 25, one of Bombay’s more talented folk singers. With a style reminiscent of Joan Baez and a powerful voice, Prabhakar, like other Western pop singers in India, is still struggling to escape from the claustrophobic limbo of frustration and non-recognition that has always been their lot.ZEENAT AMANMarch 15, 1980Anything one Khan can do, the other can do better. Zeenat Aman, 29, busty star of several recent flops, has got over her divorce from Sanjay Khan, 39, jinxed star of other flops, with remarkable resilience. The new Khan in her life is Pakistani all-rounder Imran. The pair met during the Bombay Test at one of the many film parties thrown for the cricketers and it was love at first grope. Whether the couple has any future is unclear. Aman is too much in love with her career to give it up while Imran insists on staying in Pakistan where he has to support a mother and several sisters. And as for marriage, the lady is said to be unwilling to rush into anything after the last fiasco. Meanwhile, the lovers keep in touch over the phone and Aman has once again begun eating heavily, something she always does when she’s in love.advertisementREKHAJuly 15, 1986Recovering from heartbreak, yoga and seclusion, Rekha is all set and raring to play a glamourised, gun-toting Grande Dame of the Ravines- something of a Putlibai-Phoolan Devi combine which will have you on the edge of your seat. The film, directed by Mohan Sehgal and titled in the manner of all good dacoit films-Kasam Suhaag Ki-will have her hurling oaths like a trooper, spilling gore and swearing vengeance.MADHURI DIXITMarch 31, 1995When a film is called Mrityudand, the director is Prakash Jha and the thespians are Shabana Azmi and Om Puri, it’s decidedly uncool to call it an art film with a difference. But whoa, hold the snickers, this is truly like Maggi Ketchup. It is different. Otherwise what would Madhuri Dixit be doing in it? Maybe Bollywood’s Lady Boss is bored of running around trees. If so, playing an educated girl who marries into a feudal home, eventually inciting a revolt against the men, is guaranteed to be exciting. After all, she will be going take-to-take with the legendary Shabana. Says Madhuri: “Seeing these people perform teaches you a lot.”SRIDEVIMay 15, 1984Sridevi’s star is certainly in rapid ascendancy. Overnight the leggy teenager has turned into Bombay’s biggest sex symbol, the reigning queen of commercial cinema who made it right to the top-over the likes of Rekha and Shabana Azmi-by daring a little and baring a little. Said prominent film producer Romu Sippy, largely responsible for inducting her into the Bombay mainstream: “She is the leading film star today. The price people are paying her has never been paid to an actor before. She has the kind of appeal that will satisfy everybody.” In fact the one really genuine hit of 1984, say producers, is Tohfa. And little wonder-with sexy Sridevi balancing on a prostrate Jeetendra, the Tohfa hoardings were the most titillating ever seen.MAMATA KULKARNIMarch 15, 1993MGR isn’t the only one with the distinction of having a temple built in his memory. Perky actor Mamata Kulkarni, 19, has joined the celluloid pantheon. The people of Nellor have carried their infatuation for her a step beyond cinema halls by building a temple to her name. And the young lady has just three Telugu releases behind her. Her latest film Prem Shikram has broken all box-office records and created a brand new idol for all the hero-worshipping movie-goers of Andhra Pradesh.DIMPLE KAPADIADecember 31, 1982At sweet 16, she bombed the audiences with her innocent looks, bikini-clad body and big brown eyes. It’s been seven years since Dimple Kapadia left her one-film (Bobby) success behind, married Rajesh Khanna, and parted company with him. A tender 23, she has been signed up by Ramesh Sippy for his forthcoming venture along with Rishi Kapoor.MANDAKINIFebruary 28, 1987After being draped in thin saris and pushed under several waterfalls, Mandakini has at last got the chance to show the real stuff she is made of. The sullenly silent siren-who clamped a ban on the press for the constant dressing down it gave her is now making waves of another kind. She has sung her heart out in a freshly released album called Dancing City composed by-who else?-Bappi Lahiri, the music director who has taken it as his special mission in life to squeeze music out of the stars. “I belong to the world of music,” said Lahiri and going by the reports, it seems Mandakini does too. It should give Raj Kapoor’s hazeleyed heroine the chance to show she can perform-even when she’s not under a waterfall.advertisementSHARMILA TAGOREJune 30, 1979As if being a part-time begum between shooting schedules wasn’t enough, Sharmila Tagore has decided on a change of style. The Tigress of Bengal’s new vocation is being a newshound or is it “newshen” in the new sexist turn of phrase? Keeping step with cricket-star husband, the Nawab of Pataudi who edits a sports magazine, Tagore has joined forces with Nina Arora, an ex-writer of Film World, to let off some editorial steam.PARVEEN BABIOctober 15, 1976″Sweetheart, I didn’t try for the Time cover, these things just happen to me,” purred Parveen Babi. Her adventures with Danny and Kabir Bedi have netted her publicity but little screen success. At the moment, she is undergoing some kind of metamorphosis. “Tradition is truth,” she pronounced, “To rebel is immature. We have such a good deal in India while things are going wrong all over the West.”PERSIS KHAMBATTANovember 30, 1985Whatever happened to the bavi next door who took the first flight to LA and landed a Star Trek and a strange shave? Well, Persis Khambatta is back with a new haircut and assignment. “I was missing home,” says the aspiring Hindi actor who dashed into the thick of Shingora, a video film starring Marc Zuber. “This time I am definitely going to find a place in Hindi films,” gushes Khambatta. Is she here on a man hunt? “I know I am going to get a wonderful man-I have always got what I wanted,” she answers.KIMI KATKARMarch 31, 1990It was love on both sides of the camera for two shortlyto-be-married celebrities: Kimi Katkar and photographer Shantanu Sheorey. Unlike the rest, Kimi intends to quit her film career, but says she, “I’ll miss this life.” Already sounds like come-back noises.KALPANA IYEROctober 31, 1977Hitting the big time in Bombay’s fashion whirl is Kalpana Iyer. “I’m terribly talented,” declared the 20-year-old model, who is a curious blend of amazing frankness and excessive self-indulgence. Iyer, whose many virtues certainly do not include modesty, could well be following in the footsteps of Mohammad Ali as far as the gift of the gab goes. “I’ve made it really big in only a year,” she said. Possible rivals she waves aside with a shrug of her shapely shoulders. She is now undecided whether to represent India in the Miss World contest or “to go dancing all over the Fiji Islands”. “People say I always steal the show.” Don’t get caught, baby.advertisementMOON MOON SENOctober 15, 1981At a quick glance, she could well be mistaken for her famous younger days. But, 26-year-old Moon Moon Sen does not just resemble her mother but is following her footsteps. A former model, Moon Moon is embarking on her maiden celluloid venture in Bhaskar Chowdhury’s film Robi Shome. Said the petite Moon Moon, married to the grandson of Maharani of Cooch Behar: “Mummy never wanted me to join films; even I wasn’t too keen. I am just helping out Bhaskar, whose heroine let him down.” Asked whether she would take on any more movies, Moon Moon spouted the predictable: “It’s too early to say anything. I have two babies to look after.”KABIR BEDIFebruary 29, 1988Kabir Bedi’s coming home-again. With success on the Indian screen eluding him, the star of Sandokan had settled for Hollywood about a decade ago. There, he starred in some films and teleserials- like Magnum P.I. and Murder She Wrote. Now he’s acting in a Hindi film, Khoon Bhari Maang, in which he woos his wife-played by Rekha-in public, but beats her in private. “I wanted someone who looked good and was willing to play the negative role of a brutal husband,” said director Rakesh Roshan. As Bedi said, “Not all roles you do can be chocolate sweet.”IMRAN KHANOctober 31, 1983Imran Khan, the dashing Pakistani cricketer, proved more than ever that he reigns supreme. Cried an ardent fan before the super star of the pitch decided against coming for the Indo-Pak Test series: “Cricket without Imran is a big bore.” Last fortnight Bombay’s cricket fans were squealing with delight when Khan descended on the city for the Abid Ali Benefit Match. Despite the presence of film stars, it was clearly “Imran, Imran” all the way.RAJESH KHANNAOctober 31, 1984Over the last decade, income tax raiders have refused to let the waning star alone. They thunder into Rajesh Khanna’s house, overturn his mattress, peep into the attic and claim to recover lakhs of rupees. Except, says the harassed hero, only a few thousand of those rupees are his. “Every time the income tax authorities recruit a new crop of trainees, they send them to my house for training,” he growled.SHASHI KAPOORMay 31, 1986 He was never known for his acting ability. If anything, he was known for his crooked teeth, carefree gait and unruly mop of hair. But eventually the Kapoor genes come up trumps. Last fortnight, Shashi Kapoor walked away with the best actor’s national award for his performance in New Delhi Times-the first major acting award the star has won in his protracted career. Not surprisingly, the actor was the most taken aback.SALMAN KHANMarch 23, 1998You thought Bollywood heroines were under-dressed? Take a look at the guys. Well, Salman Khan in particular-the fellow can’t keep his shirt on. At the Filmfare Awards this January, he tossed off that garment on stage. In the yetto-be- released Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya, he prances through a five-minute dance sequence in all his bare-chested glory. And if that isn’t enough toplessness for a season, in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, he’s done it again. Point taken, dude. Nice muscles! So why is he getting so upset about the attention? “You want to write that I take off my shirt at the drop of a hat,” he fumes, dropping his cool, “I don’t want to talk to you.” A shy exhibitionist. That’s a first.DHARMENDRAJuly 15, 1980All the world loves a lover-even if he is already married-till he gets married again. When the prolific Romeo of Hindi films, Dharmendra, 45, and his Dream Girl, Hema Malini, 30, recently decided to give their seven-year-old off-screen romance a happy finish, all they got were brickbats, recriminations and derisive laughter. “It is an excess against women,” ranted feminists in Parliament, taking up cudgels on behalf of Dharmendra’s first wife, Prakash, and demanding that action be taken against the bigamist for breaking the Hindu Code Act. According to the law, however, only the injured party can take the case to court.FEROZ KHANNovember 15, 1991Most of them think that slips are something you pick up in the lingerie department at Harrods and that maiden overs are something to do with lost virginity. But Sharjah wouldn’t be Sharjah without them. For the motley mixture of ageing film stars, nubile nymphets,and politicians, Sharjah is an important stopover. There was Feroz Khan with Sabrina, almost half his age, whom he describes as “more than a wife. She is my sweetheart”.KAMAL HASSANMay 31, 1988The don’s being wooed by all the warring factions. Filmstar Kamal Hassan’s impassioned portrayal of an underworld chief in Nayakan won him the national award for best actor. Felicitating him-and other awardees-at a function in Madras on May 9, were Tamil Nadu’s top politicians: the DMK’s Karunanidhi, AIADMK’s Janaki MGR, Congress(I)’s Kumari Anandan and Sivaji Ganesan. “I’m using cinema-glitter for social purposes,” says Hassan.RISHI KAPOORJanuary 15, 1977Rishi Kapoor, the Indian screen’s latest Majnu, though hardly vocal, was approachable despite rumours that he was refusing any interviews. “A certain magazine,” said Rishi very righteously, “printed a very dirty article on my father’s film, captioning it Satyam Shivam Boredom.” “And this talk about my having made it because I’m Raj Kapoor’s son. Why haven’t Premnath’s son and Kishore Kumar’s sons made it?” he asked.SANJAY DUTTSeptember 30, 1987It was an unexpected setback-and an unexpected bonus. Sanjay Dutt, hospitalised for a sudden “lung collapse” in New York last month, had a lady-in-waiting ready to nurse him to health-and happiness, forever after. After courting Richa Sharma for a year and a half, he finally decided to tie the knot.JACKIE SHROFFApril 15, 1987No wonder it’s called the seven-year itch. The seven-year romance between film star Jackie Shroff and model-cum-one-film-actor Ayesha Dutt is finally headed for matrimony. Shroff has admitted that the wedding would take place on June 5, Ayesha’s birthday-though that was not the only reason. Says Jackie, “My father has decided on the date and he is an astrologer.” It’s all in the stars, it seems.RAVI SHASTRIJanuary 31, 1985In the Bombay-Baroda Ranji Trophy match, the 22-yearold all-rounder Ravi Shastri gave such a smashing performance that the world forgot, for a while, to tut-tut over the recent Sunil Gavaskar-Kapil Dev ego clashes. One after another came Shastri’s sixes, six sixes in one over, making the kind of history cricket fans dream of.AMITABH BACHCHANJanuary 31, 1983Superstar Amitabh Bachchan certainly appeared to be the man of the moment. Raucous shouts of “Amitabh Bachchan zindabad” rent the air, as Bachchan, dressed in a railway porter’s uniform, which he had worn at the time of the accident last July, stepped onto the sets of Coolie. Every movement of the superstar was recorded for posterity, and perhaps if he enters politics, for the voting public.RAJIV GANDHIMay 31, 1987What extends Rajiv Gandhi’s range and keeps him roving? His sparklingly new silver grey Range Rover Vogue-gifted by the King of Jordan, in the exhaust wake of the Mercedes 500 SEL he gave the year before. But the new vogue took the prime minister on a bumpy ride, as questions are being asked about his Brezhnev-like fad.NASEERUDDIN SHAHSeptember 15, 1979Naseeruddin Shah has as many films and plays on hand as he has fingers. He is impressing Bombay’s theatre-goers with his performance in desi versions of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Edward Albee’s Zoo Story. For “personal satisfaction”, he prefers the stage to movies.
David CameronI am delighted to have been able to visit India so soon after being elected as leader of the Conservative Party. I wanted to see for myself how this country is changing. It is increasingly understood in Britain that India will play an important role in the 21st century.I,David CameronI am delighted to have been able to visit India so soon after being elected as leader of the Conservative Party. I wanted to see for myself how this country is changing. It is increasingly understood in Britain that India will play an important role in the 21st century.I wanted to find out whether the many links that join the two countries, and the values we share as secular democracies, can provide the basis for a special relationship- a strong partnership for the new era-built on the shared values and family links of the kind which underpin Britain’s friendship with the US.My four-day visit took me to Pune, Mumbai and Delhi and included meetings with political leaders like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi as well as business figures, educationalists, environmentalists and civil society leaders. I am delighted by the strength and familiarity of the friendship between the two countries.I am also excited about the potential for greater co-operation, something that I believe will be vital if both the countries are to meet the opportunities, and challenges, of globalisation. I’d like to propose a few simple steps towards achieving this special relationship.SHARED TIES AND CHALLENGESMuch already unites India and Britain: a shared history and language, educational and commercial relationships, ideals of tolerance, freedom and democracy. There are the bonds which grow from the 1.3 million people of Indian origin living in Britain; a group that has contributed so much to my society.I believe both our countries can be proud of our success in creating stable, multi-cultural communities: I was struck by the fact that India’s Hindu majority are currently governed by a Muslim President and a Sikh prime minister. And let’s not forget cricket, a sport I am passionate about.I believe these ties mean that a new special relationship can become a pillar of prosperity and stability in the world. We face several key challenges. Globalisation offers great rewards, but many will struggle to keep up with the pace of change. Britain and India have both experienced the horror of recent terrorist attacks, and will face new security threats in the future. And we must work together to protect our shared environment.NEED TO OVERCOME MISCONCEPTIONSBut before we can build a special relationship, each country must overcome certain misconceptions about the other. Britain must understand how quickly the centre of gravity is shifting from Europe and the Atlantic to the South and East. It’s time that the US and Europe adjusted to a new world order, and shared leadership with India and China.advertisementIndia has already demonstrated its readiness to play a global role. It is the world’s largest democracy representing almost a fifth of the world’s population. And it is a nuclear power; a responsible force for stability and progress in a sensitive region.The West also needs to recognise that India’s extraordinary economic growth has already pushed important areas of the economy far up the value chain. Call centres and low cost manufacturing are just part of the story. India’s eight per cent per annum growth rate is being powered by homegrown giants like Tata, Infosys, Wipro and Reliance.India has talented entrepreneurs and industrialists running world-beating companies. It also has great universities. At IIT Delhi, I was fascinated to meet recent alumni who had already launched start-ups using cutting edge wireless technology. Every year India produces more engineers than the European Union and US combined. Truly, this is India’s time.India needs to understand how it can best engage with Britain’s service oriented economy. The liberalising reforms implemented by successive Conservative governments in the eighties and nineties left Britain well placed to respond to the impact of globalisation. Competitive pressures mean we no longer have so many great industrial firms. For example, although we are still a major car manufacturer, our expertise in this sector is increasingly in automotive design and R&D.I was happy to discover that Tata Motors has recently opened a new research facility in Coventry in conjunction with Warwick University. Britain’s world-leading universities are increasingly acting as incubators for technology and biotech entrepreneurs. We have great pharmaceutical firms. London is a global financial centre. I am delighted that there are now so many Indian companies listed in the alternative investment market (AIM). But I want more to use London as a place to raise new capital, and as a gateway into the European Union.PRACTICAL STEPSIn order to widen and deepen our relationship we must first understand each other’s realities and priorities. But what practical steps can we then take in order to make this special relationship a reality?First, we should both continue to make the case for market liberalisation. Open economies are important because they allow enterprise to flourish; they unlock the latent talent in all our people. We must also be ready to defend-and explain-liberalisation, in the face of those who attach a misguided importance to protectionism. No one understands this better than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who as finance minister in 1991 began the liberalisation programme that has had such a lasting and dynamic impact.”A new special relationship between Britain and India can become a pillar of prosperity and stability in the world”We must also take concrete steps to make our economies more open. India and Britain must use their influence to try to restart the Doha Round. But if we cannot get a breakthrough, we should consider the possibility of an EU/India free trade agreement. The EU should also look at opening its markets to India, and other large developing countries, by widening the ‘everything but arms’ initiative which has provided market access for some of the poorest people of the world.In Britain, we must work harder to attract more Indian students to our universities and business schools. The British government should do more to encourage UK firms to invest in India (you received just half a per cent of British overseas investment in 2004, and less than one per cent of our exports). During my visit I met leaders of British firms like JCB, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank which were committed to expanding their investments in India. But many British companies are staying away, or focusing on China.Support for firms considering investment in India needs to be improved, and Britain’s Department for Trade and Industry needs to adopt a more pro-active approach if we are to retain our position as India’s second largest overseas investor. When I met Prime Minister Singh I requested him to continue to take steps to open up India’s markets. In many areas where Britain has world class expertise- such as insurance, legal services, banking and retail-the barriers to foreign investment are still quite high.We must also be honest about globalisation, and acknowledge that it has losers as well as winners. Open economies will need strong societies to ensure that the broken rungs at the bottom of the ladder get mended. Alongside economic opportunity must go economic empowerment. I visited a slum project in the Bandra Kurla district of Mumbai providing children with the computer skills they needed to succeed in the new Indian economy. It was an unforgettable experience.Our special relationship must also focus on other areas of mutual concern. Britain and India do not have to explain terrorism to each other. The cities of Mumbai and London have recently shown remarkable resolve and cohesion in the face of indiscriminate murder. India has a tradition of democratic secularism that the world can learn from.advertisementadvertisementIts success in integrating diverse communities, and its diplomatic and military capabilities mean that India will play a key role in helping to resolve regional and international problems. For all these reasons we need to bring India into the centre of global decision making process, be it the United Nations, where India should become a permanent member of the Security Council, or the G8.Then there is the threat we all pose to our shared environment. India (and China’s) rate of economic growth will put massive pressure on energy resources, and tackling climate change must be a top priority for all of us. In Delhi I visited your impressive new metro system, an infrastructure success story. I also studied the initiative to improve air quality by forcing public transport to switch to compressed natural gas. This initiative has much to teach Britain.INDIA’S SUCCESSAt the end of my visit I was honoured to lay a wreath at Rajghat, where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated in 1948. I was struck by the peace of the site, and the lessons we can still learn from a great Indian life dedicated to calling for communal understanding and friendship. India’s extraordinary success as a secular democracy is one of the finest developments of the 20th century. I also found time to see the Red Fort. I was interested to see that its centuries-old architecture and mosaics consciously reflected the rich and harmonious diversity of Indian society. At a time when intolerance and hatred divide so many, India has much to teach the world in the 21st century.The author is the Right Honourable David Cameron, MP, Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, Great Britain.
Journalists covering the BJP have often complimented a popular media cell functionary of the party for his head full of dark luxuriant hair. Some time back, a senior BJP leader revealed that the person, in fact, sports a wig. Few journalists bought the story.But to their shock, this was proved to be correct when they saw him on TV recently – he was completely bald. For those who still doubted it was the media cell functionary, it took just a few moments of attentive listening to the TV to realise it was the same person.
TOP GUN: SinghA new war fighting doctrine has been propounded, the army needs modernising and it has to learn to fight in conjunction with the other two services.So General Joginder Jaswant Singh’s tenure as chief of army staff comes at a time when the Indian Army is at a doctrinal,TOP GUN: SinghA new war fighting doctrine has been propounded, the army needs modernising and it has to learn to fight in conjunction with the other two services.So General Joginder Jaswant Singh’s tenure as chief of army staff comes at a time when the Indian Army is at a doctrinal crossroads. A battle-scarred veteran, who led over 200 counter-insurgency operations in the Kashmir Valley, and a keen sportsman, the general is a straight-shooting soldier with matinee-idol looks and does not fight shy of hiding his emotions. Days after taking over as the 22nd chief of army staff, he sat down for an exclusive interview with Managing Editor Raj Chengappa and Special Correspondent Sandeep Unnithan to expound his vision for transforming the world’s third largest army into a 21st century fighting force and his plans to hook the troops onto sports like shooting. General Singh has about three years to execute his vision and, maybe, even complete his untitled work of fiction-he is a writer too-set in the backdrop of Kashmir militancy. Excerpts.Q. You are the first officer from the Sikh community to take over as the chief of army staff. What does this mean to you personally? A. I have often thought of this particular aspect. When I joined the army as a 15-year-old, the interview board asked me what my mother tongue was and I replied, Hindi. They were surprised. ‘But you are a Sikh,’ they said. As my father was in the army, I went wherever he was posted.advertisementI wasn’t and am still not fluent in Punjabi. In the army, our religion is that of our troops. In my 59 years, I have spent 41 with the Maratha troops and I know their culture, language, customs and traditions much more than I do of Sikhs. I think Iam firstly an Indian, then an Indian soldier, then a Maratha and then a Sikh.Q. After you took over, your first statement was that you wanted the army to have a human touch. How does this translate on the ground? A. It is nothing new. Our army is one of the most experienced in handling terrorism and insurgency. All of us who led our troops in sensitive assignments have achieved success when there were two things going for us-a professional attitude and a humane approach. The moment you sacrificed one of them, there was a problem.Now the acme of leadership and the real test of skills is how you can fine-tune these two requirements.Q. The recent events in the Northeast and Kashmir haven’t really helped the army’s image. A. I don’t agree that the army’s performance has been below par. By and large, it has conducted itself with credit and it is a difficult task when the enemy can be anywhere. He adopts all means fair and unfair to hit at us, to provoke and target us. Sometimes it is done deliberately to make sure that we respond and the response harms innocents so that we can be blamed.Q.But some transgressions of the army have had a negative impact. A. We are going to make the rank and file understand this-the stakes are very high and your conduct is as important as your operational efficiency. Professional skills and human touch have to blend.They have to ensure that they don’t transgress because one dead terrorist will not end terrorism. But one lady like Manorama Devi (her death sparked off protests in Manipur) can be a costly mistake. Imagine, the home minister had to make two visits, the army chief had to go too. As far as possible, we will try to stop people from conducting unprofessional operations.”I want a lean, highly professional force. We are improving our capabilities to fight in the future battlefield.” Q. What is your assessment of the ground situation in Kashmir? A. Certainly, the level of terrorism and insurgency in Kashmir has been contained. We should be able to bring this down to a very manageable level.Our endeavour will be to bring in normality to such a degree that the civil administration, police and the state machinery can deliver the goods to the people. That is my priority No. 1. We have to win over the people, they are the final determinant in any insurgency. I already see a turnaround.Q.Will you look at a further deinduction of troops from Kashmir? A. First we have to see the situation on the ground. Up to March, the place is covered by sno wand it is not the right time to make an assessment. We will wait for summer to make a conclusion on whether terrorism has been brought under control and if the force there can be pruned.Q. What is your approach towards dealing with terrorists? A.They will be dealt with ruthlessly. There will be no quarter given or taken.Q. Is the infrastructure of terror still intact across the LOC? A. According to intelligence reports, terrorist networks have not been dismantled.Q. If peace talks with Pakistan don’t succeed, will a hostile situation again develop? A. It will take some more time to make a judgement on this. The only thing I can say right now is that from our side we will keep our guard up. We will monitor the situation closely. There is a lot of internal strife in Pakistan and it is also deeply engaged in handling terrorism and certain institutions of terrorism along its border with Afghanistan.advertisementTerrorists are probably targeting Pakistan from those centres. So the devil has come home to roost and now Pakistan is taking action against the training schools and infrastructure which it has started.Q. So is the possibility of a war with Pakistan receding? A. I wouldn’t like to say that there is a possibility of war or that it is receding. As I have said, the indicators are that Pakistan is tied down to a lot of internal challenges and trouble along its western border.Q. What is your vision for the army? A. I would like to have a highly professional but lean army. I am going to lay more stress on ensuring our human resource is kept fully motivated, trained and adequately rested. We have to develop our capabilities to protect ourselves from threat from all quarters. While the intentions of neighbours and adversaries can change anytime, capabilities cannot be built overnight.Q. How will future wars in this region be fought? A. I believe that in future battles, the winner will be the one adept at fighting in all weather conditions and at night. We are improving our competence in these areas to fight in the modern battlefield. The revolution in military affairs and information warfare is going to have an impact on the way we fight.My motto has been ‘Fight to Win’ which means you enter a battlefield with the conviction that you will emerge victorious. I also believe that when the time comes, we will win not on points but by a knockout. This is my philosophy.