August 2003




August  2003 



 Ancient musical
 instruments of India

 Robert Blackwill &
 What India means to 


 Karun Chandok - the 
 'Formula' of wins



 Government 2 citizen
 service delivery
 models - case studies
 from India


 Snehal Bhatt 
 - saviour of cobras

 Book Reviews - India

 Bunker - 13

 Book Reviews 
 - Pakistan

 Where they dream in


 Emigre Journeys


 Letter from Pakistan


 New research on
 eggs, meat & ghee


 Tarun Thakral & his
 vintage garage

 Real Issues

 Hindutva is not 

 Coffee Break

 Coke's toxic fertiliser 
 in Kerala

 Oldest planet sighted

 Bobby Jindal - the 1st
 Governor in USA?



 the craft shop

 Lehngas - a limited collection

 the print gallery


 Silk Road on Wheels

 The Road to Freedom

Enduring Spirit

 Parsis-Zoroastrians of

The Moonlight Garden

Contemporary Art in










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Coffee Break

Snippets from around the world.
All sources are acknowledged.


Coca-Cola's 'toxic' India fertiliser

Waste product from a Coca-Cola plant in the southern state of Kerala, India, which the company provides as fertiliser for local farmers contains toxic chemicals, a BBC study has found.

Dangerous levels of the known carcinogen cadmium have been found in the sludge produced from the plant. The chemicals were traced in an investigation by BBC Radio 4's Face The Facts programme .

However, Vice-President of Coca-Cola in India, Sunil Gupta, denied the fertiliser posed any risk. Face The Facts sent sludge samples to the UK for examination at the University of Exeter.

Tests revealed the following:

1. material was useless as a fertiliser

2. it contained a number of toxic metals, including cadmium and lead.

3. the contamination has spread to the water supply - with levels of lead in a nearby well at levels well above those set by the World Health Organisation."

Cadmium is a carcinogen and can accumulate in the kidneys, with repeated exposure possibly causing kidney failure.

Lead is particularly dangerous to children and the results of exposure can be fatal. Even at low levels it can cause mental retardation and severe anaemia.

These toxic materials can affect pregnant women in the area. They could cause an increase "… in miscarriages, still births and premature deliveries."

Mr Gupta, Vice-President of Coca-Cola in India , said:

1. local farmers had been grateful for the fertiliser because many could not afford brand-name products of their own.

2. "It's good for crops,"

3. "It's good for the farmers because most of them are poor and they have been using this for the past three years."

Coca-Cola say they will continue to supply the sludge to farmers.


Friday, 25 July, 2003


Indian court backs common code

The Indian Supreme Court says all citizens should be bound by the same laws in civil issues such as marriage, divorce and property rights.

At present, the Indian constitution allows members of different faiths to follow their own religious laws.

Any move to bring such legislation would have to be initiated and approved by the federal parliament.

The court pointed out that there is already legal provision for a uniform civil code in India. It said it was "a matter of regret" that it has not been enacted.

"A common civil code will help the cause of national integration by removing the contradictions based on ideologies," the court said.

23 July, 2003


Indian club wins Asean Cup

East Bengal claimed the South East Asian club title in Jakarta after beating Thailand's Bec Tero Sasana 3-1 in the final.

Indian captain Bhaichung Bhutia, who played with English second division club Bury in 2001, was the tournament's top-scorer with nine goals.

India's national team are at 124th place in Fifa's world rankings.

26 July, 2003


Astronomers discover the oldest known planet.

Robert Roy Britt reported in SPACE.COM on July 10, that

" Astronomers have discovered the oldest known planet, a primeval world 12.7 billion years old. It is more than twice the age of Earth and all other known planets. It is nearly as old as the universe itself.

The planet is at least as big as Jupiter and almost surely gaseous.

It would not harbor life as we know it. 

And because it orbits a dying star, any other planets in the system would not receive the sort of life-giving heat and light provided by the sun.

Its existence was first suspected in 1992.

The planet has not been seen or imaged directly, so final proof of its existence awaits further study.

The planet’s orbit is about 100 years long.

At 7,200 light-years from Earth, it is not just the oldest known planet but also the farthest."



South Asians in news

Bobby.jpg (115611 bytes)

Piyush ‘Bobby’ Jindal – may well become the first Indian-American Governor in the US History. He is the leading Republican contender for the office of the governor in his home state Louisiana. Bobby Jindal resigned earlier this year from his post of Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - the senior-most Indian American in the Bush administration.

A graduate of Brown University with honors in biology and public policy, Jindal also holds a graduate degree from Oxford University where he went as a Rhodes Scholar.

With less than 70 days until Election Day, he remains the leading Republican candidate -- polling more than all other Republicans combined. Overall he remains in second place.




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