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Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar (ABPL Group) are the best-selling newspaper serving the large Indian community outside
We are delighted to give a very warm welcome to Mr C B Patel to our Pattni Connection website.
Hosts and hospitality
Shri C. B. Patel
The other day, several top Indian tycoons hosted a reception for a gentleman on his elevation to the House of Lords. It was very appropriate and arranged at a very prestigious place in central
Some thoughts, I would like to venture loudly with utmost respect to all the hosts. It is my privilege that I have had the pleasure of knowing all of them, almost all of them for a very long time and I admire their success in their chosen field and also applaud their gesture in honouring someone who has done exceptionally well in his career.
* Why the host list was confined to just some tycoons? I wonder whether it would have been more appropriate if some members from public life, especially the House of Lords and House of Commons were involved too.
* In order to attend an event in central
To expect all to stand throughout the proceedings is perhaps a good yoga position but not necessarily beneficial for everyone. (Of course there were a few chairs but the seating position would not have been ideal for the event.)
* When ten or more top tycoons arrange such a wonderful event, is it satisfactory to have drinks and some snacks on canapés alone? Please don’t misunderstand me. I live very much in central
Competition is good. But...
Some years back I read a brilliant book titled Jews in
I distinctly remember a separate chapter called “Business of Charity”. Comparatively, a small community of 320,000 has excelled in most fields but especially in economic progress and philanthropy.
Jewish philanthropy does not stop at the Jewish cause alone, though for British Jews as well as for the state of
I remember 6th June, 1967. I was at the
I am not just referring to such history-making events but on a day-to-day mundane matters, somehow a Jew would contribute more pro-rata than an Asian.
Yes, you might possibly say because they can afford it. No arguments. But...
What about all those really rich Asians? How much they contribute for human service activities in this country or even in the countries of their origin? Sometimes I come across the figures. Very rarely, there are generous contribution figures to the extent that are worthy to their wealth.
Competition is very important, in all walks of life. I would concede that without competition our ancestors may not have left those caves or even trees. But competition can be both constructive and destructive.
I have a distinct memory when a senior reporter of Indian origin from
“I met Mr. A and he spoke for two hours only about himself, his wealth and his family. Then I met Mr. B, who also spoke with me for two hours. After a few brief details about himself, most of the time he spoke about Mr. A.”
makes us aware that high profiling of financial or economic success can only generate envy, jealousy and hatred. So don't show off wealth is the hard hitting message.
His thought provoking article “Rich List - Poor List”
Rich List - Poor List
by Mr C B Patel
Every year, for nearly two decades, come spring and The Sunday Times rich-list is published. In the near future, there will be other lists too - maybe Asian, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and so on. As far as I know, there is no such Jewish rich-list. Not that the Jews are not (God forbid) well-off. Proportionately speaking, there are many and much richer too. But they are aware that high profiling of financial or economic success can only generate envy, jealousy and hatred.
Jews have not forgotten the horrible holocaust. In a so-called civilized nation like
Wealth creation is indeed very important. Hindu scriptures have a very inspiring mantra - Dharma (Righteousness), Artha (Wealth), Kaam (Pleasure) and Moksha (Salvation). Wealth, power and fame attract almost every human being. One of the motivating force is happiness. But the real happiness comes only when you live for others, when you share and care for others.
It is the Asian entrepreneurship which has given us both respect and acceptance, here and elsewhere too. Think for a moment who were among the richest fifty, hundred or few hundred years ago. Surely, there must have been many but you only recollect Bhama Shah (the great philanthroper of Rajasthan) or Carnegie. Today’s Bill Gates or Warren Buffet will perhaps be remembered for a very long time. This is an opportunity for really wealthy people to use their wealth for helping others ensuring more permanant and positive memories.
In the aftermath of the rich-list publication, two headlines in the national daily drew my attention. One said: “Rich-list top 10 dominated by seven foreign billionaires” (The Daily Telegraph, April 30, 2007)
In several other papers it was highlighted that the richest in this country don’t pay any tax other than council tax. I bet it would bring congratulatory messages to the tycoons from hard-working British people who do not have the technical expertise to be so clever!!!
The Sunday Times claims that it is a “definitive guide to the richest 1,000 in
Many years ago Philip Beresford visited my office and I was able to give him few names for his research. He has done very well. He has also refrained from publishing names of several individuals who do not wish to be included in such lists. As I am very well aware, there are many who will qualify to be included.
I am aware that several tycoons keep no stone unturned, not to be included in the rich-list. Similarly some in the rich-list are very pro-active if not keen and a little bit aggressive to be included and furnish all sorts of information to justify their claims.
If wealth creation is much welcome, then the competition amongst rich people for glory is also natural. Nothing wrong with it. But its a very funny feeling that the name in the rich-list does not qualify for more gearing or some special respect amongst the ordinary citizen.
In developing economies, a rich man (or woman for that matter) is always looked upto, partly because people believe that in a rainy day, he or she might be able to extend the umbrella. But in Britain, where the Social Security net gives everyone some sense of pride and self-respect, there is an assurance that come what may, one will not starve.
The best in The Sunday Times Rich-List on pages 4, 5 and 6 was the report on how notable donors have learnt to “stand up and be counted”.
In future one hopes that more and more publicity is given to the socially responsible rich people.
Last Wednesday (April 25, 2007) was the President’s dinner of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. The guest of honour was Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown MP, Chancellor of the exchequer for the next few weeks and then Prime Minister.
I was amongst the selected few non-jews invited for the dinner; alongwith several Christians and some other Hindus and Muslims. I will remember this dinner for a very long time for the following reasons:
1. Gordon Brown, who normally does not attend such events stayed from beginning till end with his wife Sarah. He spoke extensively and very generously about the Jewish contribution to
2. During the “Grace After Meals: Birchat Hamezon”, almost all Jews were reciting clearly and loudly the prayers. No wonder, so few can contribute so much wherever they are settled.
3. A book, “
1st of May is celebrated as Gujarat Day all over the world.
With 5.2 percent of the country’s area and a little over 5 percent of the population,
Over 5 million Gujaratis live outside the state. Similarly, it is a preferred destination for large number of workers from Rajasthan,
What is even more striking is that more and more “foreigners” are living in Gujarat and travelling to
Recently reports are coming out about alleged fake encounters. The Gujarat Government has admitted to a very large extent, the role and responsibility of state police. All the same, it is most tragic and shameful that such incidents occur in
Gujarati language has assimilated vast numbers of words from Persian, Arabic, Portugese, English and other languages. People from Gujarat have also been sea-farers for thousands of years especially travelling to the Middle-East, Africa and the spicy islands of the
Amongst the 1.4 billion people of Indian origin in
The Gujarati diaspora is renowned for its business acumen. They are settled in different proportions in over 130 countries. For exports and imports, technical collaboration and other connectivity, Gujarati language itself has proved to be an added advantage.
With business schools giving more and more emphasis to networking, especially social networking, the community spirit in Gujaratis proves to be in their favour.
British Gujaratis are proportionately higher achievers in education, profession, entrepreneurship as well as other walks of life. The most remarkable achievement of Gujarati heritage can be illustrated with the fact that there are least number of Gujarati prisoners in
In the history of
Ancient Gujarat has also remained active in the making of modern
British Gujaratis are already at the spearhead of progress, especially peaceful progress of Great Britain.and they are destined to play an even larger role.
Jai Gujarat, Jai Hind, Jai Great