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First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe

Vol 46 | Issue 25

Investing doesn’t have to be boring. (It’s just better that way.)



28th October to 4th November 2017


By Kishan Devani HBFS Wealth Management

UK inheritance tax (IHT) is charged on your estate when you die. Your estate is basically everything you own, including your main property, any other properties, cars, life assurance policies and other investments, as well as your personal effects such as jewelry. IHT is potentially charged at 40% on the value of everything you own above the nil-rate band threshold. The nil-rate band threshold is the value of your estate which is not chargeable to UK inheritance tax. The amount which is set by the government, is currently £325,000 and will be frozen until 2021. When you die your estate is not liable to tax on any assets up to this amount. However, anything above this amount is taxed at 40% In April this year, an additional allowance was introduced, known as the residence nil rate band. It allows your estate an additional allowance if you leave your home to your children or grandchildren. The residence nil-rate band allowance is £100,000 in the current tax year (2017/18) and will rise by an additional £25,000 per year until the tax year 2021 when the allowance will be £175,000. This allowance will be tapered

24/10/2017 15:40

if your estate is worth in excess of £2 million. Without an IHT plan in place, your beneficiaries could be faced with a large tax bill when you die. They may even have to sell some of your assets such as the family home, in order to pay for the IHT bill. Forward planning can help the people you want to benefit from your estate to actually benefit. One of your first steps should be to make a Will to make sure your wishes are carried out. If you are married you can use the spouse exemption which allows all assets to pass from one spouse/civil partner to the other when the first person dies, with no IHT to pay. However, I must caution you by pointing out that this exception may only delay and not solve the problem. For married couples and civil partners, it is possible to transfer any unused relief from a spouse or civil partner who died first, giving the second spouse or civil partner up to twice the current nil rate band. If you do nothing to mitigate IHT, your beneficiaries could be faced with 40% tax bill on all your assets over the nil-rate band and residence nilrate band. This could mean that HMRC could be the largest beneficiary of your estate. Something I’m sure you wouldn’t intentionally plan to do! Let’s look at an example: Mr & Mrs Patel are married with 4 children. They own a house worth £800,000 plus have other investments worth £1 Million. They have made no IHT plans apart from making mirror Wills, with each partner being the beneficiary from the death of the first spouse to die. Ignoring growth, let’s assume on the death of the second spouse the estate is worth £1.8 Million. The IHT calculation is

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

the value of the Estate minus 2 Nil rate bands and twice the residence nilrate band. £1,800,000 – £850,000 (£650,000 + £200,000) = £950,000 which is liable to IHT. £950,000 x 40% = £380,000 IHT Bill. Mr & Mrs Patel’s 4 children would each receive £355,000 (£1.8 Million value of the estate - £380,000 (IHT charge) = £1,420,000/4) but as I just mentioned HMRC would receive £380,000 and would be the biggest individual beneficiary.

The main approach to IHT mitigation is to reduce the value of your estate over a number of years. The smaller the estate the less

how much should you spend each year! On a serious note you could gift money to your beneficiaries and as long as you live for 7 years after the gift has been made, this gift will be out of your estate for IHT purposes. This option should bring up other questions such as how much should I / could I give away, will I have access to the gift and will I have any control of how this gift is used while I am alive. The other alternative could be to put some money into Trust but will you be asking the same questions if you gifted the money? The answer in most cases lies in between. A combination of gifting and placing money into Trust usually works for most people. Let’s have a look at some of the gifting exemption options

IHT is paid by your estate when you die. There are many approaches to reducing your IHT liability such as spend your assets while you are alive. There are a few issues with this approach the major issue being you won’t know how long you’re going to live so

available. Small Gift Exemption: Gifts of up to £250 in total can be given to any number of people in one year are exempt from IHT. Annual Exemption: Individuals are entitled to give away £3,000 in total,

Reduce your IHT Bill


in any tax year free from IHT. This allowance can also be backdated by one tax year which means that if you did not use your annual exemption last tax year you can carry it forward to the current year and gift £6,000 this tax year. Normal Expenditure from Income: You can also make regular gifts (i.e. monthly, quarterly, or yearly) out of your income. If these gifts do not affect your standard of living, they could also be IHT exempt. Marriage or Civil Partnership Gifts Exemption: Gifts made can be made to a couple who are getting married or entering a civil partnership. A parent can give up to £5,000 a grandparent up to £2,500 and anyone one else can give up to £1,000 which is immediately IHT exempt. Other gifts are also exempt such as giving to charities and political parties. As you can see there are relatively small amounts which can be given away and which are IHT efficient. However, if your estate is larger you may want to consider setting up a Trust to allow you to pass on your assets to your beneficiaries in a very tax efficient way.

Trust A Trust is one way to move money out of your estate to reduce your IHT bill. It avoids potentially lengthy probate delays, so the peo-

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ple you want to benefit from your estate will benefit as quickly as possible and as tax efficiently as possible. A Trust allows you as the settlor to entrust your assets to a group of people known as the Trustees. The Trustees become the legal owners of these assets and manage these assets for the Trust beneficiaries. Trusts allow you to pass on your wealth when you die but some trusts can also allow you to receive regular withdrawals. Two of the most commonly used Trusts are:

Discounted Gift Trust (DGT) This type of trust allows you as the settlor to make a gift to a Trust. A significant percentage of the amount gifted is immediately outside of the estate. The amount of the discount will depend on your age and general state of health. You will also be able to take a regular income from the Trust as long as you live. After 7 years the entire Trust will be IHT free.

Loan Trust This Trust allows you to make a loan to Trustees. You will then have access to all or part of the loan at any time during your lifetime. Any growth from the loan is never part of your estate and will, therefore, pass to your beneficiaries free of Inheritance Tax. This Trust allows you retain total control of the capital safe in the knowledge that you are growing a gift for your beneficiaries that will be free of IHT. IHT, Gift and Trust planning can be considered a complex area, you should always seek professional financial advice before undertaking and committing to a plan. For more information please contact Kishan Devani on 020 8953 3444.

Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance.You may lose part or all of your money. A full risk assessment is carried out.


Asian Voice | 28th October 2017



Put off the taxman. (With the taxman’s blessing.) Offshore Wrappers allow you to defer tax on your investments, using a structure set up by a specific Act of the UK Parliament. They can be an excellent tax-planning vehicle for investments, especially pensions, if you find yourself constrained by the tax-relief limits.

Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. You may lose part or all of your money. A full risk assessment is carried out.

For more information please contact Kishan Devani on 020 8953 3444 or email

HBFS is the trading name of HBFS Financial Services Ltd., which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FCA number; 463752. Registered address: 52 High Street, Pinner, Middlesex HA5 5PW. Registered in England, Reg. no. 5273179. Trading address: 3 Theobald Court, Theobald Street, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire WD6 4RN. Š 2017 HBFS Financial Services Limited. All rights reserved.



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First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe

Vol 46 | Issue 25


28th October to 3rd November 2017

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side


Square on 15th October, that was attended by thousands. Mayor Sadiq Khan and the High Commissioner of India to UK His Excellency Y K Sinha addressed the gathering, which concluded with a musical evening. Stone's throw away from Trafalgar Square, at the Tattershall Castle Ship, a reception was held that marked switching on of the diwali lights for the first time on London Eye, representing the Rangoli colours. The evening was dedicated to the victims and heroes of recent terror attacks and Grenfell tower fire.

Srutidharma das saying a prayer with Rt Hon Priti Patel MP at 10 Downing Street

Rupanjana Dutta British Indians celebrated Diwali all across the UK, with much pomp and gaiety. Irrespective of religious or ethnic differences, people came together to mark this festival, which has officially become the biggest festival in Britain after Christmas. The formal celebrations started with the Mayor of London's special reception in London's Lalit Hotel where he addressed 300+ specially invited guests. The evening kicked

Continued on page 4 off with a Ganesh puja, hosted first time and attended by Mayor Sadiq Khan. This act of devotion represented the real spirit of London which stood for 'unity in diversity'- having a Muslim Mayor going beyond his faith to engage with the Hindu, Sikh and Jain community, for their biggest festival.

Shadow Foreign Secretary promises Labour party will not turn its back on Modi and India

For stories on Diwali celebrations in the UK, see page 14-17. This was followed by the Diwali in Trafalgar

Full story see Page 4

Modi's boldest move yet, places interlocutor in Kashmir

Dineshwar Sharma

In a brilliant move, the Modi Government has announced that it is up to the newly-appointed interlocutor for Jammu and Kashmir to decide whom to engage with in the troubled region. Former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma has been appointed by the Centre as its special representative for a “sustained dialogue” with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir. The retired 1979-batch officer of the Indian Police Service was the IB director from December, 2014, to December, 2016. The move was welcomed by the state government, observing that dialogue was the only way forward to address the Kashmir

issue in the larger interest of peace and stability. The Opposition however, alleged it was “only for publicity”. Speaking on the sidelines of the 56th Raising Day parade of the IndoTibetan Border Police, Union Minister Rajnath Singh, when asked if Sharma would hold talks with the Hurriyat Conference, said, “It depends upon him, whom he talks to or engages with.” He stated that Sharma will initiate a sustained interaction and dialogue to understand legitimate aspirations of people in Jammu and Kashmir. This is the boldest political move on Kashmir by Modi, following prolonged anti-India Continued on page 25


Asian Voice | 28th October 2017





Keith Vaz, MP

Joe Irvin Joe Irvin is chief executive of Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking. The charity is currently campaigning to pedestrianise Oxford Street in London and works with over 3,500 schools encouraging children to walk to school. He has 35 years’ experience at senior level in the voluntary, public and private sectors, as well as trade unions. He was previously political secretary to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, special adviser to Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and Director of Policy for the Transport and General Workers Union. He is an elected trustee of ACEVO – the Association for Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations – and serves as a judge for the Guardian Charity Awards. 1) Which place or city or country do you most feel at home in? Though from Central Lancashire originally, I have lived in London with my family for many years - I feel very at home in Hackney, and Walthamstow Islington where I have spent most of my time. I love the mix of people, the secret neighbourhood and hidden treasures, and the vitality of

the place amidst the hustle and bustle of the capital city. 2) What are your proudest achievements? Taking part in the UN climate change negotiations in Kyoto supporting John Prescott – against the odds, coming out with the world’s first agreement to cut greenhouse gases with binding targets. The environment is important to me

and Kyoto didn't solve the whole problem but it was an essential first step. 3) What inspires you? People making personal sacrifices for the sake of others – you see instances all the time in the charity world. I am especially in awe of people who bring us all together, bridge divides and strengthen our sense of community. An example would be a Community centre in Cumbria which embraced refugees and made them welcome and safe in a council estate previously unused to immigration. 4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? People in power being reluctant to embrace change, even if it is obvious they need to. 5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? I come from a socialist

DIWALI OF MANY FIRSTS Continued from page 1 On 16th October, Rt Hon Priti Patel, Secretary of State for International Development hosted a Diwali for 10 Downing Street on behalf of Prime Minister Theresa May, who was travelling. The evening was attended by almost all UK Hindu organisation representatives, members of the Armed Forces, children from faith schools, MPs and Peers. It was the first time, an Indian origin MP (the only in May's cabinet) hosted Diwali at the PM's residence and office- a moment of pride for BritiIndians. Mrs May in a statement said, “I want to send my very best wishes to everyone celebrating Diwali here in Britain and all around the world. “The Festival of Lights is a special time for families and friends to come together, to share wonderful gifts and sweets, and to draw confidence from the knowledge that ultimately good will triumph over evil; hope over despair and light over darkness... “As Prime Minister, I want to take this opportunity to say a special thank you - on behalf of the whole country for the immense contributions you all make to every sphere of life in the United Kingdom. “From the doctors and nurses serving in our NHS, to the soldiers, sailors and airmen serving in our armed forces, the entrepreneurs creating jobs across our communities, and the stars of arts and culture inspiring and entertaining us, Britain's Indian communities are a shining example of what makes our country great. “As successful and integrated communities you maintain your unique traditions while contributing fully to our national life. And you help to show the world that our United Kingdom truly is a place where people from all backgrounds and beliefs can live their lives in freedom and achieve their full potential.

“So this Diwali let us celebrate the values and freedoms that we share – and let me wish you all a happy, peaceful and prosperous new year. Shubh Diwali.” PwC Hindu Network hosted a Diwali at the Lalit Hotel on 17 October, followed by an event by Hindu Forum of Britain on Wednesday 18 October. The Diwali events conclude on 27 October with events by Metropolitan Police Hindu Association and a dinner by the City Hindus Network. BAPS Swaminarayan Neasden temple organised their annual Diwali celebrations and Annakut on 19 and 20 October and Bhaktivedanta Manor hosted their celebration on Sunday 22 October. In Leicester, the Diwali lights were switched on, in early October. Leicester's Wheel of Light arrived at Belgrave Road and remained lit at night to provide a glittering centrepiece to the festivities. For the first time Birmingham Victoria Square saw Diwali celebration attended by HE Y K Sinha and Mayor Andy Street. Wales also saw festivities at Cardiff, attended by First Minister Carwyn Jones. Lord Jitesh Gadhia in an article on Diwali and British Indians in the Evening Standard wrote about the apprehension among UK's 1.5mn Indians. He said, “This week London’s half a million Indians celebrate Diwali the Festival of Lights, in a pensive mood. For sure, there is a lot for them to be positive about. The data from the Government’s race disparity audit last week showed how British Indians, far from being a disadvantaged minority, rank top for earnings and educational attainment. Yet there is an air of anxiety hanging over the community too. British Indians are not immune from the existential angst pervading the country at large, as reflected in a recent Ipsos poll showing that 72 per cent of Britons feel the country is off on the wrong track.”

family and spent over 20 years working in trade unions – I always have in mind how hard life is for most people and how we can overcome injustice by acting together. 6) What is the best aspect about your current role? Working with enthusiastic people to change people’s lives for the better. I recently heard from Arun in Leicester who, suffering from Alzheimer's, lost his confidence to go outdoors. His wife persuaded him to join a Living Streets walking group and he told us: 'I enjoy the walks. With a guide I don't worry about where I am; I can just enjoy the walking in the park. I enjoy the fresh air, seeing flowers and trees, hearing the birds, and it makes me feel refreshed.' 7) And the worst? Like most charities, we end up with periodic uncertainty over how we can fund our work. But I

suppose this makes us work hard to make every penny count. 8) What are your long term goals? For our charity, to turn Britain into a country where walking is the natural choice for everyday local journeys such as the journey to school, to work or to the shops, with a better attractive walking environment. 9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you

change? Ensuring big corporations pay their share of tax. 10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? Nelson Mandela – probably the greatest hero of my lifetime, who suffered greatly, achieved so much and was a very funny story-teller. He could also certainly survive on an island with very little.

Shadow Foreign Secretary promises Labour party will not turn its back on Modi and India Rupanjana Dutta Shadow Foreign Secretary Rt Hon Emily Thornberry has vowed that India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi will receive a warm welcome from the Labour party and leader Jeremy Corbyn if they come to power in the next general election. Party leader Jeremy Corbyn had sponsored a motion two years ago asking the British Home Department to reinstitute the ban on Narendra Modi for his 'role in the communal violence in 2002' in Gujarat. The motion stated: “This House calls on the Secretary of State for the Home Department to reinstitute the ban on (then) Gujarat’s Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, from entering the UK, given his role in the communal violence in 2002 that claimed the lives of hundreds if not thousands of Muslims, including British nationals; expresses its concern that the ban was lifted for economic and diplomatic reasons, ignoring the role Mr Modi and his administration played in the violence that warranted the ban that stood for more than 10 years; notes that Mr Modi was previously denied a visa on grounds that he was 'responsible for or directly carried out…particularly severe violations of religious freedom'; and calls on Mr Speaker and the House authorities to ban Mr Modi from entering the Palace of Westminster.” Corbyn was also one of the 40 British MPs who signed an Early Day Motion calling on the then UK Prime Minister David Cameron to take up the issue of

human rights with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit in November 2015. The Motion had also raised a number of issues such as the release of political prisoners in detention in India (it mentioned the Amnesty Special Report on violation of human rights in Kashmir); it condemned the ban on Indian Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai from visiting the UK; and questioned the government’s ban on the BBC documentary “India’s daughter’ and efforts to block it from being shown in the UK as well. When Modi had delivered a speech to Parliament, Corbyn was not present in the royal gallery. This prompted Rt Hon Keith Vaz, the British-Indian Labour MP, to tell the Sun that he was “disappointed” with Corbyn. He said, “If the British Prime Minister can make the time to listen to PM Modi, so can Jeremy.” Speaking about Labour's position towards India and Narendra Modi, Thornberry told Asian Voice, “Modi is a democrartically elected leader of India, the biggest democracy in the world. He is the legitimate leader, so we begin with that. I have been in many meetings with Jeremy with people who would seem to be our friends and with people who would not seem to be our natural allies. “Jeremy is always the same — he will always criticise where he believes criticism should be levelled. But I think it would not be right to say that he is not a pragmatist and it would not be right to say that he wishes to turn his back on one of the largest and most important

countries in the world. So yes I imagine his meetings with PM Modi would be heated, but I think proper friendship should be based on honesty.” Shadow Foreign Secretary Rt Hon Emily Thornberry met the Indian Journalists Association members in St James's Hotel on Friday 20 October and discussed many issues including trade relations between India and UK, immigration, Sikhs demanding a separate ethnic identity in the UK, as well as climate change. While the issue of Kashmir and Operation Blue Star were a part of the Labour manifesto, partly drawn up by Thornberry herself, she insisted the Kashmir issue particularly needs to be settled by India and Pakistan, and Britain had no role in it. “It is our place to keep saying that it needs to be resolved in a peaceful way. This is not radical, this is common sense,” she said. But she also adeed, “Our current position on Kashmir comes from a concern for human rights. We hear a kaleidoscope of stories, from the extremes to the less extreme. The human rights of Kashmiris continue to bubble up. I have spoken to the Indian high commissioner about this. “Kashmiris want to live in peace. That should be our starting point. I know there are people in India who say these stories are exaggerated or indeed downright lies. And if that’s right, it does seem to me that India has nothing to fear from allowing human rights monitors into Kashmir in order to be able to support that it isn’t true.” AsianVoiceNews



Kashmir: Separating problem from solution A.S. Daulat, India’s former director general of the Research and Intelligence Wing (RAW), addressing an audience at the London School of Economics accused the Indian government of creating a ‘mess’ in Kashmir during the past 15 months, and called for ‘imagination’ and dialogue. ‘Heavy handedness has never worked in Kashmir…actually it doesn’t work anywhere as we’ve seen recently in Spain.’ Taking flight, he continued: ‘I think if there is one message that comes out of Kashmir, not today, not yesterday but as far back as one can remember… you can achieve a lot through love and compassion but you can never achieve it through force. That is the mistake we have created in the past 15 months….we need to deal with Kashmir in a civilized manner.’ There was little sign of a ‘civilized manner’ from his fellow guest speaker Ehsan-ul-Haq, the former Director General of Pakistan’s Inter Services directorate, who laid into India from the standard Islamabad script. Mr Dulat’s pietas makes one wonder how he chose his profession. If the charge of creating a ‘mess’ in Kashmir is to be made with any justice, it is he and others like him, who should be held to account, for creating the ‘mess,’ in the first place, leaving it to the present government to start clearing it up. If one goes by recent revelations that have come light involving inducements of cash to leaders of the separatist Hurriyat, the enormity of the ineptitude of Mr Daulat and his regime is quite staggering. Money – stacks and stacks – simply flowed into Hurriyat pockets from diverse sources – some through the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, and cash routed through the Middle East and elsewhere. The Indian establishment was privy to these transactions, piously hopeful that the scale of the bribery would win over their Hurriyat interlocutors. When the present Government realized that there was no endgame to karmic cycle of blackmail and violence, of bluster and intimidation, they started calibrating a response fit for purpose.

Indian Intelligence uncovered documents relating to swanky properties accumulated by Hurriyat leaders; also protection money and rent from Srinagar traders and shopkeepers. The clampdown that followed emboldened the ordinary Kashmiri to come forward with crucial information that has been of considerable importance to the security forces against jihadi terrorism and its extensive networks from Pakistan. The lotus-eyed Mr Dulat, it would appear, is oblivious of the linkages between the Mumbai bomb blasts in November 2008 and those prior to these in March 1993. In 1993, and jihadi operatives targeting the Hindu Pandits for ethnic cleansing from the valley, a community whose ancestral claims in the valley were (and are) as legitimate as those of their Muslim peers. Islamism’s messianic dream transcends Kashmir and includes the entire subcontinent. In a word, it was to set up a new regional caliphate. Mr Daulat’s powers of recall are clearly seriously impaired, otherwise he might have cogitated the horrors inflicted on Bengali-speaking masses of East Bengal (now Bangladesh), where, among other things, the Pakistan Army set up enclosed camps for the systematic rape of Bengali peasant women to facilitate the creation of a new Muslim population free of Hindu cultural genes. He should read the speeches of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto calling for a jihad against India and demolishing it. A perusal of Stanley Wolpert’s biography contains damning evidence from the Bhutto archive. Mr Daulat’s dismal lack of reading shows up. History demonstrates that ethical conduct in political disputes can pay dividends, but only when the contending parties play by similar rules. This did not apply to Hitler’s monstrous Nazi regime and the infamous Holocaust where six million unresisting Jews were consigned to gas chambers and died horribly. Mr Dulat is best advised to take an elementary course in history. He and his ilk were part of the Kashmir problem; they were never part of the solution. Nor, hopefully, will they ever be.

India-Bangladesh: Crafting a regional vision

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is on a crucial visit to Bangladesh. This comes in the wake of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s presence in Dhaka for talks on closer economic ties between India and its neighbour to the east, following which, Mr Jaitley finalized a line of credit of $4.5 billion to Bangladesh. Sushma Swaraj hopes to take Indo-Bangladesh relations (already good) to the next level. Her talks in Dhaka are expected to cover the estimated 1.2 million Rohingya exodus from Myanmar into Bangladesh; explore ways by which India can further aid the rehabilitation efforts. India has kept its lines open to the Myanmar government, with a view to facilitate the return of the refugees to the country. That will be an arduous undertaking but a start has to be made at some point. The open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Congress leaders P. Chidambaram, Shashi Tharoor, and human rights activists, to accommodate 70,000 Rohingyas, on the face of it looks like a publicity stunt. The Government of India’s decision to refuse them entry has been made in close consultations with India’s intelligence agencies, already stretched in its pursuit of covert jihadi terror groups within the country. To add to their labours would be the height of folly. Mr Tharoor is a popinjay looking to make a political comeback. He had hopes of succeeding Kofi Annan as UN Secretary General, but these were thwarted by Britain, EU and the United States. Appealing to counterfeit patriotism and vote banks is the Tharoor mantra. To return, however, to Minister Sushma Swaraj and her conversations in Dhaka: beyond the Rohingya question, are issues of broader regional integration. Bangladesh is the hub of a grouping of Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri

Lanka, Thailand and India. The goal is to enhance trade and investment and all forms of cooperation in industry, agriculture, science, technology and culture. An extensive road network is work in progress to link these countries and facilitate these ends. In time the venture could be expanded to include Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Clearly, India has given up on Pakistan and the dysfunctional South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). In truth it was stillborn from the moment of its ill-starred conception. It was a foolhardy project which consumed much wasted time and money. Pious words were no guarantee of pious deeds from Pakistan, as jihadi terror attacks emanating from across the border multiplied., and continue to do so. Finally, India’s lead role in the above grouping has been prompted by geopolitical concerns. Chinese hostility, far from being assuaged following the Doklam standoff, shows every sign of persisting, albeit in multiple forms. India’s deterrence capability leaves much to be desired, despite the cascade of reassurances to the contrary. The Air Force is 12 squadrons short of full strength, and new acquisitions are still pie-n-the –skies. The previous Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar informed the media sometime in May 2016 that the appointment of a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the final contract for the design and manufacture of the FifthGeneration Aircraft with Russian had been finalized; that both recommendations had been forwarded to the Cabinet Committee. There has been a mysterious silence ever since. Hopefully the new Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will get things moving.

Kathak dancers in London In this the India-UK Year of Culture, a troupe of Indian Kathak dancers and sarod artistes were in Britain’s capital city displaying their skills to an appreciative audience. It was a truly Indo-British occasion, where British opera star Patricia Rozario, sarod player Soumik Datta and guitarist Jonny Greenwood were among the 150 participants on view. The idea of the festival was conceived during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Britain in 2015. Since its official launch earlier this year – the 70th anniversary of Indian independence – such cultural events have been

taken place across Britain. Museums and educational institutions have complemented these activities with their own distinctive contributions. Taken the round participants have brought greater awareness of India among all sections of the British people, especially the younger generations of Britons, including those of Indian origin. Indian and Britain have a shared history; their values pertaining to the rule of law, freedom of speech and thought and a democratic way of life, makes for a unique bonding between its peoples. Long may this endure.

Asian Voice | 28th October 2017


If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress. - Barack Obama

CIIr Ketan Sheth

Councillor for Tokyngton Wembley Brent Council’s Chair of Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee

Say Goodbye to Small-time Rogue Landlords Many readers will know about Brent Council’s landlord licensing because of the newspaper headlines and TV coverage of enforcement visits. Only few days ago, Brent Council’s licensing enforcement officers discovered 16 men living inside a run-down flat above a commercial premises in Burnt Oak, North West London. In July last year, I joined officers as they carried out a number of visits to properties in Kingsbury which were suspected of possible licensing breaches, and my committee – Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee - reviewed the council’s new licensing arrangements for the private rented sector. We were keen to see how they were working and, in particular, how enforcement was being addressed. We emphasised to officers the importance of ensuring tenants are aware of licensing schemes, and I am pleased to see that there is a lot of activity in this area. The council’s Private Rented Sector team is planning to support community champions from groups and organisations across the borough to advise people they know who rent in Brent to provide them with up-to-date information about landlord licensing. There is also a lot going on to promote the scheme using the council’s webpages. Additionally, renters can report a disrepair that their landlord won’t fix to the council by visiting the webpage: If a tenant suspects that their landlord may not have a licence, they can do a quick, anonymous search on the council’s database via A tenant also has the right to report their landlord, anonymously and confidentially, if they discover that their landlord doesn’t have a licence at Since last year, things have moved on for the landlord licensing schemes and scrutiny. Following on from my committee’s recommendation, the council’s cabinet has said it intends to apply to the Secretary of State to introduce a borough-wide licensing scheme for all private tenancies. The council has also set up a dedicated scrutiny committee to examine housing issues in May of this year, in recognition of the growing importance of this area. That committee will be keeping a close eye on the success of the landlord licensing and enforcement, as well as the many other housing matters which concern residents, over the coming year. The issue of landlord licensing isn’t just confined to tenants and landlords, especially when the private rented sector is growing fast, and already occupies a third, of the housing market in the borough. All Brent residents benefit when fly-tipping, antisocial behaviour and poor living conditions are removed from the neighbourhood. The licensing of privately rented properties is in everyone’s interest if we are going to build a fairer society. If we are going to tackle the capital’s burgeoning housing crisis, it is a necessary step in the right direction. Editor: CB Patel

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Asian Voice | 28th October 2017


Indian High Commissioner visits High Court rules in favour of Edwardian Jaguar Land Rover's largest Group Limited manufacturing facility in Solihull The High Commissioner of India to UK, HE Y K Sinha visited Birmingham from October 12-14th, accompanied by his wife Mrs. Girija Sinha. It was the first comprehensive visit of High Commissioner to Birmingham, after his brief visit to the city in January 2017, on the occasion of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2017. The visit comprised of 8 events spread across 7 different locations, across the region. During his visit, the High Commissioner by the accompanied Consul General of India, Birmingham, Dr Aman Puri visited the JLR factory at Solihull. JLR is Britain’s largest car manufacturer was acquired by Tata Motors in 2008 from the then owners Ford Motor Company. The High Commissioner was received by Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, Chairman of the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) and Dr. Ralph Speth, CEO of JLR. During his visit to this state of the art manufacturing facility, after witnessing a short audio visual presentation on JLR cars, High Commissioner met with the senior members of the company. Dr. Speth gave a short presentation which traced the company’s progress since 2008. He expressed his gratitude and appreciation towards Tata Motors who believed in JLR, and provided it with the much needed capital infusion at a time when the company was in very difficult financial health. The discussions covered a large arena of subjects including future plans of JLR especially its plans for new model of electric cars. Dr Ralph Speth also expressed his desire to undertake more activities in India in future, and spoke about the JLR assembly plant at Pune, India. The visit concluded with a guided tour of the plant. The High Commissioner presented a specially engraved memento to Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya for his outstanding contribution to India-UK partnership. High Commissioner also presented a token of appreciation to Dr. Ralph Speth for his outstanding leadership of JLR as CEO since February 2010. During this period Dr. Ralph Speth has overseen a remarkable turn-around of the business with increased sales,

HE Y K Sinha presenting memento to Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharya (centre) in presence of Dr Ralph Speth (left) and Dr Aman Puri (right) Photo credit: Silver Fox Pictures

over 8000 jobs created and new models launched. Promoting Make In India and highlight Access India Programme The High Commissioner met a wide cross section of personalities from the business and economic sector from Midlands and North England region, on October 13, 2017 over a Luncheon meeting at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The guests included entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics, innovators, investors and representatives from Chambers of Commerce. In his address, the High

website of the Access India program ( ), the High Commissioner mentioned that it is an ambitious but open ended program which would help British SMEs to overcome the initial hurdles, and smoothen the way to access India, which is already recognised as one of the most attractive investment destinations of the world. Speaking on the subject of GOI initiative of ‘Make in India’ (MII), High Commissioner also apprised the audience about the plans of the Consulate General of India, Birmingham to undertake a week-long

HE Y K Sinha addressing the business leaders, entrepreneurs and leaders of Chamber of Commerce of Midlands region at the lunch reception in Hyatt

Commissioner touched upon a large array of subjects including mutual need for focussing on Trade and Investments between India and UK, importance of greater economic engagements, and the need to create the right environment for growth of trade and investment activities. The High Commissioner mentioned about the recent launch of the Access India Program which is targeted at mentoring and handholding British SMEs, with the aim of attracting them to eventually set up businesses in India. Referring to the new

series of MII seminars from 6th -10th November 2017, which will be spread across 6-7 major cities of Midlands and North England. On the education front, the High Commissioner cited figures to show that in the recent times UK has lagged behind in attracting students from India. He pointed out that in the past, UK was the first choice of Indian students to study abroad, but this is not the case anymore. He emphasized that this situation needs to be recognised by the UK gov-

ernment and corrective actions taken, as this is an important component of our bilateral relation. On the cultural front, High Commissioner mentioned about the launch of India-UK year of Culture by Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh, at a reception at Buckingham Palace on February 27, 2017 At the launch, a projection of Indian motifs in the form of India’s national bird, the peacock was done on the facade of the Palace. This projection which was done jointly by the High Commission of India and British Council, with the idea of creating an image to reflect the deep and intricate bonds of cultural heritage between the UK and India, highlighted the cultural relations between the two countries, and it had a telling impact on the spectators. On this occasion the High Commissioner also presented specially engraved memento to the eminent Indian business leader of UK, Prof Nathu Puri, Owner, Purico Group, who is one of the most successful private entrepreneurs of UK. Prof. Puri is also one of the most significant philanthropist from UK supporting projects in India for almost three decades. The Luncheon meeting was attended by nearly 60 dignitaries including MDs of large enterprises, Director of Midlands Growth Engine, representatives from three of the Big Four Consultancies, various Chambers of Commerce, CII, UKIBC etc., managers of Indian Banks, Pro Vice Chancellors (International) from few Universities , and senior members of well-established Indian companies.

Edwardian Group Limited (EGL), the parent company of Edwardian Hotels London, has successfully defended a claim for over £2 million brought against it in the High Court by the Claimant, Parker Lloyd Capital Limited (formerly Parker Lloyd Capital Plc). The claim was based on an allegation that an oral agreement had been entered into between Edwardian Group Limited and Rajnikant Hansraj Mehta and Pravin Mokar Shah from Parker Lloyd, under which it was alleged that EGL agreed to pay the Claimant 1% ‘finder’s fee’ if they introduced Edwardian Group Limited to a significant lender. On 16th October 2017 the High Court accepted the evidence of Edwardian Group Limited’s witnesses, finding that no contract had been entered into, and dismissed the claim in its entirety.

In his judgement Mr Justice Lavender stated: “I acknowledge, in reaching the conclusion that there was no contract, that it may well be that some or all of the Claimant’s witnesses were lying in some of the evidence which they gave. It is unnecessary for me to decide whether and, if so, in what respects, they were being deliberately untruthful, or were mistaken in their recollection or had subconsciously convinced themselves of the truth of matters which were in fact untrue. All of these would affect the reliability of their evidence, and I have already identified a number of grounds for regarding their evidence as unreliable.” In conclusion he said: “For these reasons, I conclude that there was no contract between the parties and therefore no fee is due from the Defendant to the Claimant. I dismiss the Claimant’s claim."

TV Star 'Citizen Khan' appointed Acorns Patron

Adil and Toby Porter, Acorns Chief Executive

British actor, comedian and radio and TV presenter Adil Ray OBE 'Citizen Khan' has been appointed as a Patron of Acorns Children's Hospice, the charity. Established in 1988, Acorns offers a network of care for life-limited and life-threatened babies, children and young people and their families, across the heart of England. Acorns is the UK’s and the world’s largest children’s hospice charity. Toby Porter, Chief Executive of Acorns, said "we are absolutely thrilled that Adil has agreed to become an Acorns Patron as we approach 2018, our 30th anniversary of caring

for children and supporting their families."Adil, aged 43, described Acorns "a very special local charity". He recalled how in 1988, when Acorns opened their first hospice in Selly Oak in 1988, he used to do a paper round in the surrounding streets. "Just like my paper round back then I look forward to rolling my sleeves up and doing what I can for the inspirational children and families," said Adil, who was born in Birmingham.In the past year, Acorns has provided care for more than 870 children and over 1,090 families, including those who are bereaved. For more information visit AsianVoiceNews



Asian Voice | 28th October 2017

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Asian Voice | 28th October 2017

Dr Prem Sharma honoured by Royal Society of Medicine Veteran community leader, Dr Prem Sharma OBE, has received the rare accolade of being added to the “Wall of Honour” at the Royal Society of Medicine. The inscription was unveiled at a special ceremony last Friday– coinciding with the auspicious start of the Hindu New Year – in the Central Atrium of the Royal building in Society’s London’s Wimpole Street. Attended by family and close friends and associates, the gathering heard of Dr Sharma’s outstanding contribution not just to veterinary medicine but also to community relations, political participation and the cause of peace. The Royal Society of Medicine was founded over two centuries ago in 1805 and is one of the major providers of accredited postgraduate medical education in UK and home to one of the largest medical libraries in Europe. The recognition for Dr Sharma’s achievements was instigated by two eminent clinicians: Professor Anan Shetty, Orthopaedic Surgeon specialising in complex knee surgery and Professor Gopal Krishna.Mahadev, a leading Oncoplastic Surgeon from Manchester. Dr Sharma, himself a Veterinary Surgeon and Chartered Biologist by profession, served as Permanent Secretary to the Kano State Government in Nigeria (1969-1976) and was Director of a major World Bank-funded agricultural project in Saudi Arabia (1976-78) before establishing his own international consultancy specialising in agriculture, trade and technology.

Jaspar Centre – A haven for our ageing population

Subhash Thakrar giving a speech in presence of Lord Popat, CB Patel, Navin Shah AM, Cllr Rekha Shah and other dignitaries

Lord Dolar Popat

Alok Sharma MP, Dr Prem Sharma, Sze Ching Sharma (wife of Dr Sharma), Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Ingela Sharma (wife of Alok Sharma) and Archana Quereshi (daughter of Dr Sharma)

Dr Sharma has also been a pioneer in connecting the British Indian Community with the Conservative Party and British educating Parliamentarians about India. As founder patron of the Conservative Parliamentary Friends of India, he lead a high profile delegation to India in 2003, including an important security briefing on Kashmir, and advised the Department of Trade and Industry on promoting bilateral trade between India and the UK as part of the Indo-British Partnership. Dr Sharma continues to serve as Honorary Life President of the Reading East Conservative Association as a mark of the respect in which he is held locally. Dr Sharma is also founder-chairman of the India Development Trust and was awarded the Hind Rattan (1991) and the Nav Rattan (1995) for outstanding services to the British Indian community. He is also actively involved in local charitable and

social work, including serving as Chairman, Patient Panel, Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Trust. Dr Sharma was conferred OBE in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to community relations in the UK. Dr Sharma has played a key role in encouraging younger people to be involved in civic, local and national political life, regardless of party politics. He is a passionate advocate for peace, leading various peace initiatives both in the UK and abroad, including a series of peace conferences initiated by South Asia Development Partnership. He was acknowledged as an ‘Ambassador of Peace' by the Universal Peace Federation when he addressed their conference in Seoul, South Korea, in 2007. The felicitation ceremony at the Royal Society of Medicine was attended by Dr Sharma’s son Alok Sharma MP (Reading West), Minister of State for Housing and Planning and

Bright Little Stars, Stanmore

Rupeen Popat, Amol Devani, Cllr Bharat Thakker, Cllr Ameet Jogia, Bob Blackman MP, Stanmore Manager, Sarina Pithwa, Mayor of Harrow Cllr Margaret Davine, Deputy Mayor of London (Business), Rajesh Agrawal and Cllr Ameet Jogia

Bright Little Stars, one of North-West London’s finest and upcoming children’s nurseries opened its fourth nursery on Saturday in Stanmore. The Stanmore branch was officially opened by the Deputy Mayor of London for Business, Mr Rajesh Agrawal and was joined by the Mayor of Harrow, Cllr Margaret Davine, Bob Blackman MP and local


Stanmore Councillors Cllr Ameet Jogia and Cllr Bharat Thakker. Situated within the beautiful surroundings of Stanmore Place the nursery has been designed to a high specification to meet with three learning rooms, each specifically tailored to different age groups. Founded in 2012 by joint Managing Directors Rupeen Popat and Amol

Devani, the privately-run nursery group aims to provide exceptional care and learning for children. Speaking after the launch, Amol and Rupeen said, “Bright Little Stars respect children as individuals and encourage them to follow their ethos of truth, love and compassion.” The unique Bright Little Stars Learning Programme, purpose built

his wife Ingela; Baroness Usha Prashar CBE and leading solicitor Vijay Sharma; Lord Jitesh Gadhia; Rami Ranger CBE; Joginder Sanger, Chairman of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Sunita Sanger; Dr Mohan Kaul, former Chairman of the Commonwealth Business Council and Mr CB Patel. Commenting on the occasion, Lord Jitesh Gadhia, said: “Dr Prem Sharma’s story reminds us all of how much has been achieved by the British Indian community in a single generation. He has played a truly pioneering and trailblazing role in connecting British Indians with the important spheres of politics, philanthropy and civic duty – paving the way for so many other people to make their own contributions. This latest honour is richly deserved and I hope Dr Sharma will keep inspiring successive generations to play their full role in the national life of our country and also help build peace around the world – a cause dear to his heart.” modern facilities, generous outdoor provisions and onsite freshly prepared food makes this nursery group one of the most renowned in North West London. Bright Little Stars Mill Hill, the first nursery in the group is rated Outstanding in all areas by Ofsted. They now look to bring this same passion, care and service to Stanmore. Bright Little Stars Nursery will be creating 35 jobs for people in the local community and is open 8am to 6pm, 50 weeks a year, providing a valuable option for care for working parents. Participating in both 15 and 30 hours free entitlement for 3 and 4 year olds and accepting TaxFree Childcare payments for any age this opening will help fill the local shortfall of quality nursery places available.

Last week I had the great honour of opening the new Jaspar Centre Hall in Harrow with a number of esteemed guests. It was no ordinary hall opening – it represented much, much more. The opening signified a new era of British born Indians taking active steps to empower and care for our growing elderly population. People in the UK – including within the British Indian community are living longer than ever before. This is a major achievement of modern science and healthcare. But whilst an ageing population provides tremendous opportunities for our community, it also presents many challenges which we are inadequately prepared for. For the last 50 years our community has been engrossed with trying to better ourselves. With many of our community members coming from India and East Africa from humble backgrounds, our prime focus was to attain a good job, buy a house and secure a better future for our family and get the best possible education for our children. As a community we have done exceptionally well in this country. British Indians today are one of the most successful communities in Britain. However, amongst our determination to succeed and having secured the best possible future for the new generation, we have miscalculated the importance of preparing for the future for our elderly population. We are effectively sitting on a time bomb, with inadequate provisions for how we intend to care for our elderly members. This is not in reference to respite care – but long term care, such as tackling loneliness, depression and dementia which dominant our elderly members. Loneliness is a particular problem in our community, with the University of California finding that “feeling lonely” almost doubled the risk of an elderly person dying. Thirty years ago many members from the British Indian community would start winding down at the age of 50. Today, 60 is the new 40, with people working well into their 70s. This is a great achievement and presents us with an opportunity for us to

harness the skills of this experienced population. As a community, we need to look positively at the ageing of the population; productive ageing. This does not mean that everybody has to be in the workplace, but it means looking at what older people bring to society. Many people now enjoy fuller retirements than ever before, or continue to work well into their later life. Older people make a considerable contribution to society, bringing maturity and varied life experiences to bear. People’s definitions of what it means to be ‘old’ have changed, along with ideas about how dependent older people are. For a lot of people, being ‘old’ is a state of mind related to health and the ability to remain independent. This is where centres like the Jaspar Centre come in and play a crucial role in empowering our elderly population through the activities they provide. Charities like Jaspar, are the eyes, ears and conscience of our community. They mobilise, they provide, they inspire, they advocate and they unite. We are not necessarily heading towards a disaster; the contribution to our society made by older people, which is already impressive will be greater as a result. Already 30% of people aged over 60 volunteer regularly through formal organisations. I am pleased that people like Raj Pankhania and Subhash Thakrar have recognised the need to empower our elderly population. Raj, a very successful businessman is an example to us all in setting aside funds from his business for the community at large. I am sure his late parents would be very proud, particularly of their grandchildren, Anup and Riddhi Pankhania for their efforts in building this centre. But one centre is not enough. The British Indian population is growing older fast and we need more centres and activities. This is why I have always advocated the need for such community centres. We must change our giving habits, moving from donations to temples using their newly acquired wealth to shape the British Indian community in the UK.

Asian Voice | 28th October 2017


Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Arshad Khan’s Film “Abu” Showcased at BFI London Film Festival 2017 filmmaker Canadian Arshad Khan has fulfilled a lifelong dream of sharing his personal journey of being a gay man, an immigrant in a hostile environment and a Pakistani Muslim, with the rest of the planet. His documentary “Abu,” (Father), screened at this year’s BFI London Film Festival on the 13th and 14th October. ABU is a rollercoaster of a journey that opens up the intimate heart of a family that is at odds with itself. The family is in the bind that challenges so many migrant Asian families to a greater of lesser degree. This bind is the attempt to deal with religion, sexuality, colonialism and migration. Arshad Khan weaves narratives different together beautifully. He combines home family video footage, scenes of observation, animation, and clips of classic Bollywood films. He identifies as gay and is of Pakistani-Muslim heritage himself. The filmmaker moves viewers through the heartbreaking complex dichotomy when family meets fate, conservatism meets liberalism and modernity

family. The movie is so intimately written and directed that it leaves the watcher feeling privileged by having been allowed to witness some of Khan’s most personal and tragic moments. These include the death of his father. The film’s origination happened when Arshad Khan made a video for his father’s memorial. At that point he realized that his family had created a large catalogue of family footage over the years. The film-maker says: “We carried cameras with us everywhere. My father loved photography and he wanted to create memories for all of us. I saw the footage as an opportu-

meets familiarity. Away from the film, such situations, perhaps, result in the second generation of the diaspora Asian population feeling schizophrenic sometimes. Some may turn to drink, drugs, deceit, self harm, abuse or some other selfmedication as a way of dealing with this. But back to the movie maker. Arshad Khan was

always certain he was different. He came to the realisation that he is gay shortly after emigrating to Canada from Pakistan with his family. His sensitive documentary is beautifully made and involves the viewer on Khan’s journey. The viewer gets a sense of Arshad’s isolation and loneliness. There are also moments of happiness, growing up in a close-knit

People are loving the film. Audiences are connecting with it.” Arshad Khan nity to share my ‘real’ story, but it was a huge decision to really come out and tell people things I had never shared before. It has been a truly cathartic process and although it breaks all the rules of not

sharing emotions and issues outside of the family, I hope that my father would be proud.” Conception The time of the horrific terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in America created the film’s petri dish. Arshad Khan tells us; “When 911 happened, I was in architecture school and living a good life. All of a sudden I felt like there was an intense war on brown skin and we were falsely labelled terrorists or suspect due to the colour of our skin. And I felt that the media was stoking this fire and perpetuating these fears and that I had no voice. That is what got me into filmmaking. We need to tell our stories.” Arshad Khan studied at the Mel Hoppenheim school of cinema at Concordia university in Montreal. Canada is a filmmakerfriendly country and Khan got creative. He says, “I started with a three minute video that I used for crowdfunding and then applied for a few Canadian grants.” The film has not gone to South Asia yet. Arshad is interested at how his work will be received in

India and South Asia. “It will be at the Dharamshala international film festival in November. Let's see how they like it.” Canada’s sensitivity to film makers. “Filmmaking is hard no matter where you are. However, in Canada there are a lot of public funding bodies federally and provincially as well. And that makes it much easier for emerging filmmakers to make their work,”states Khan. We wondered about the relationship between Khan and his parents, especially with his mother after seeing her family exposed. He said;   “I think it is up and down. Lately it’s been pretty great as my mother has finally watched the film in Toronto and didn't think it was awful.” Arshad Khan’s film is helping with his next ambition. “I am working on my first fiction feature now. The roll out of the ABU film is helping me make new relationships in the industry. People are loving the film. Audiences are connecting with it. I am speaking with a few producers about it. Let's see where it goes.”

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Asian Voice | 28th October 2017

Diwali without firecrackers

'Let's try out at least one Diwali without fire crackers.' Observed the Supreme Court to implement the well intentioned judgement in Delhi and National Capital Region in India. People are at a loss to understand why try out Diwali without firecrackers , as it was clear in advance that pollution created by fireworks during a few Diwali days is only 1% - quite minimal comparatively with 99% of pollution emitted permanently from the use of fuel by industries, road vehicles, construction, cooking, heating and air conditioning apparatuses etc. All these polluting contributors could have been regulated easily in advance by the authorities to save more fresh air to allow 1% pollution by fireworks, for example, by imposing restriction to industries to run for less hours, or compel airlines to make less flights etc; and allowing traders to sell less polluting fireworks, and people to set off fireworks at certain times. By the abrupt judgement, the long awaited enjoyment to set off fireworks to celebrate Diwali by the indigenous and majority Hindu people and the others, particularly their children, is marred completely. Without a prior notice well in advance to this effect, the fireworks industries,whole sellers ,and retail traders sustained a massive financial loss and business disruption. As such , truly speaking, their loss must be compensated in money terms by the authorised bodies concerned. It is believed that the calculated judgement will scarcely be successful for the intended effect until the city activities' permanently contributing polluters are not restricted to some extent. They must be made to bear the brunt of it rather than the fireworks traders or customers. An enormously huge refuge dump containing garbage etc constantly release poisonous gas along with germs hazardous to health of the people and the rest of living life, which requires to be dealt with immediately. R.N.Patel By email

Et tu Brute

The leader of any country is only a human being, and like any other human, can succumb to the vagries of the weather and acquire lllnesses together with cough and cold. While she is fighting for her political life, almost everything that could go wrong for the prime minister did go wrong at the Conservative party conference a couple of weeks ago. A hardy cough and words collapsing behind her mouth meant that few will remember the policy initiatives that she wanted to emphasise. Somebody tried to hand her a P45 form indicating that she should resign from her post. The Chancellor handed her a cough sweet. Media reports suggest that there are others in the party waiting in the wings and too ready to step into her shoes. They are conspiring against her to topple her. This reminds us of the famous words from Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, “Et tu Brute”, meaning you too Brutus? As Brutus was Caesar’s friend and supporter. It appeared that the PM was probably suffering from a bad bout of ‘flu and the cough made it difficult for her to deliver her speech. Now that the ‘flu season is uppon us, we should be prepared to fight it by getting a ‘flu jab. The elderly and those suffering from certain medical conditions get the jab free of charge from their doctors or pharmacies. Dinesh Sheth

Eco-friendly Diwali

Jubel D’Cruz’s suggestion to hold eco-friendly Diwali is good. Hindus in U.K. practice this by following local health, safety and fire regulation. In India, following safety measures may be devised now, for next divali and later: educate public to burst crackers strictly in rural and open areas, and at specified times. All those suffering from lung diseases must be asked to remain indoors. Best method would be to record the noise and play it during specific times, thus causing zero pollution. But his pointing at crackers as shortcoming of Hindu festival is unjustified. Pollution is not generated by or specifically related to any Hindu festival only; but is an ongoing/ global problem caused by petrol/ diesel guzzling vehicles all the year round, against which all measures are futile/ failed. Actually in order to reduce pollution, ban must be enforced all the year round, and not only at certain specific festivals. Ban this year has been flouted as it was announced very late for traders to undertake damage limiting measures. The court’s ban failed to curb import of crackers from neighboring areas where there was no ban. Ramesh Jhalla By email

Bubble and burst

It is very well for the Prime Minister Theresa May and the Mayor of London to say that they are dealing with the acute affordable housing shortage facing the country. For the previous 30 years the same thing has been happening, lots of promises to increase the housing stock, but unfortunately nothing happens. These are all empty promises made by the government but the situation remains at square-one as always. According to The Guardian (Larry Elliott) “ One curious thing about Britain’s housing market is that it’s not really a market at all. Britain’s housing market is dysfunctional. The rate of home ownership is plummeting, and the average age at which people become owner-occupiers is rising. In London and other property hot spots, the rents are unaffordable for those working at the sharp end of the service sector. Homelessness is on the up. William Beveridge identified housing as a postwar challenge for Britain back in 1942 when he named squalor as one of the “giant evils” that barred the way to progress. Three quarters of a century later, the giant still is alive and well.” People on the lowest incomes especially in London are really worst of, as they are unable to manage to keep up their mortgage payments, with the house prices rising and outpacing wage rises. They are facing a double whammy of short supply of housing and constant rise in house prices. The housing situation has become intolerable with the housing demand rising and failure of all parties concerned to supply adequate housing. Unless the pace of house building is stepped up very fast, this housing crisis will remain with us for a very long time. It is high time for the government to wake up and tackle this problem head on, otherwise the bubble will burst, mortgage rates will increase, there will more homeless people on the streets, more food banks, frustration and hopelessness among a large section of the people. Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow.

Would dentists quit a lucrative NHS?

We read in national newspapers all the time why dental surgeons would like to leave NHS, although most dentists earn around £100K, that is more than MPs, even Ministers earn. Dental surgeons, at the peak of their profession, easily exceed half a million mark and enjoy the highest living standard imaginable. Although dental treatment comes under NHS, it is not free at the point of delivery, unlike visit to GP surgery or A & E Department. Most of us pay at least £50 per visit and complicated treatment may easily set you back hundreds of pounds. No wonder patients fly as far a field as India, South Africa and East European countries where it may cost a fraction of what we pay here. But treatment, especially cosmetic one may not be of our high standard. So often it may badly go wrong with NHS picking up the bill, providing emergency treatment. The recent trend in implants rather than dentures is one area of treatment that may badly go wrong, mainly due to infection, as the hygiene may not be up to our high standard. While there may be a shortage of NHS dentists in some rural part of the country, it is certainly not the case in London, unlike GP shortages that is changing the demography of GP and hospital services. No wonder many OAPs going private for heap replacement, prostrate and cataract operations if faced with unacceptable wait. Fortunately most are reasonably well off to go private while others are helped by their family members. It is time for government to stop fooling people that NHS is free unless one is a refugee and stop wasting billions on Overseas Aid when it is badly needed on the home front with thousands sleeping rough on London streets with average lifespan of just 50 years or so. Kumudini Valambia By email

Getting rid of the web

If you examine the top four corners of most rooms in your house, you are likely to spot at least one spider's web. They are everywhere, even weaved across back gardens from clothes-lines to garages and sheds or across doorways, enveloping your face as you pass by. Try brushing them away and they are quickly restored with a vengeance. Any tips on how to discourage spiders from spinning their webs around the house and garden? Killing them with chemical sprays does not appeal to me. Rudy Otter By email


Knee jerk reaction to India’s economic dip When IMF marginally lowered India’s economic growth, fiduciary Congress and its allies, merchants of doom and gloom were quick to write-off BJP/Modi government as failure, with equivocate reasoning, conveniently forgetting tremendous progress India has achieved, not only at the Centre but also in BJP/NDA ruled states. By the time the next election comes, the face of Holy River Ganges in Banaras will be unrecognizable, fresh, free and full of amenities for pilgrims to bathe. But now no other than IMF Chief Christine Lagarde has come to the rescue, describing Indian economy on solid track and capable of delivering sustained growth over medium and long term. She also praised courageous decision government implemented regarding demonetisation and GST, a combined tax on goods and services that has streamlined various taxes, removing red tapes, raising tax revenue significantly, thus reducing budget deficit in the long run. It was a monumental effort, needing extreme care, knowledge, courage and tenacity, especially in view of the opposition’s efforts to sabotage it at every turn and make it a political football. India’s growth rate in 2016 was 7:1 per cent, 0:3 percentages above the April prediction. India’s booming stock market is another indication of world’s faith in Indian economy. Due to these measures, prices of steel, cement and newly built homes are steady, giving a boost to investors, a welcome news for beleaguered Indian economy. PM Modi, a shrewd decipher of political scenario, had put too much responsibility on the shoulders of cachet, able and trusted Arun Jetly. No one person can effectively handle two demanding portfolios of Defence and Finance, now wisely relieved of Defence, thus letting him concentrate on Finance. Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

The Mahatma

Gandhiji, as he was popularly known, is still remembered for the wonderful things he taught, not just to Indians, but to the entire world. He was the architect of the Indian freedom struggle. But while we may have got freedom from the British rule, we are today not free of corruption, crimes, killings, man-made drought situations and malnutrition which are far bigger evils than the English rule. Humanity itself was a religion for Gandhiji who used to worship honesty. But today we are divided on the basis of religion, caste, inequality, apart from dishonesty all around. Even the currency notes of higher value which has Gandhiji’s picture embossed on them has shrunk in value terms as you can hardly get anything from them. Mahatma Gandhi's teachings have more significance in today’s world. Hence, let us follow on his path to get true ‘swaraj’ (freedom) for our nation in real terms. Work is worship which was Gandhiji’s motto in life. Let us therefore cancel the holiday of October 2nd and work more vigorously which would please the soul of our freedom fighter. Also, let us not talk about Mahatma Gandhi but try to become one like him. That would be a real tribute to our dear Father of the nation. One more thing to mention is that Gandhiji always maintained his originality. As a barrister, he travelled to the United Kingdom and South Africa. He would always wear his traditional Indian dress and would respect the culture of his country and its customs. He would do that even though foreign nationals did not understand, like or respect it. For many decades, a large number of Indian youngsters have been following the Western culture. Indians have lost respect for their culture, customs and their mother-tongue. What is the point of having a national holiday or celebrating a great soul’s birthday when Indians do not want to follow what this great leader has taught us? Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai, India


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Vaccinate children against flu this winter Public Health England (PHE) is encouraging parents and carers to help protect the three million eligible children from flu this winter. This year, the vaccine, administered in the form of a nasal spray, is being offered to 2-3 year olds, those in school years, 1, 2, 3 and for the first time, children in year 4. Children aged over 4 in reception will also be eligible to have their vaccine done in school this year. New data published in August of this year showed that last year’s flu vaccine nasal spray reduced the risk of flu in vaccinated children by 65% across the UK last winter, meaning 65 children in every 100 were protected from flu. Flu can be very serious illness for little children. They have the same symptoms as adults – including fever, chills, aching muscles, headaches and a sore throat. Some children also

Nimisha & family

develop a very Mandira high fever and Bhimjiyani c o m p l i c a t i o n s with husband such as pneumonia and bronchitis which may require treatment in hospital. Dr Paul Cosford, Medical Director for Public Health England, said: “Young children’s bodies can find it hard to cope a result it can cause seriwith flu, so it is especially ous complications for both important to protect them mother and her unborn with the vaccine. The nasal baby. spray is a quick, effective Mandira Bhimjiyani and painless alternative to had the flu jab whilst pregneedles. Once ill, children nant, said: “When you’re also tend to spread infechaving a baby, there are so tion more to other vulnermany things to think able family members, such about and prepare for, as grandparents, so prohowever making the decitecting them is a good way sion to have the flu jab to to protect the rest of the protect my baby was an family. easy decision and one less Whilst seasonal flu can thing for me to worry be an unpredictable virus, about. the vaccine is the best The vaccine protected form of protection against me and my unborn child so flu. Vaccinating those who I could focus on enjoying are most likely to sufbeing a new mum. I would fer the worst from flu recommend the flu jab to also offers a protecother mums as not only is tive effect for the rest it free but it also quick and of the population by safe.” reducing the overall Flu can be particularly spread of the virus. dangerous for people with The free flu vaclong-term health condicine is also available tions. These include: for pregnant women. chronic respiratory disPregnancy naturally ease, such as chronic weakens the body’s obstructive pulmonary immune system, and as disease, bronchitis or

emphysema; heart, kidney or liver disease; chronic neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy; diabetes. and Vaccinating children, who are super-spreaders of the virus, can offer indirect protection to other, more vulnerable family members. Nimisha Lakhani, a mother of three and has a long-term health condition, said: “I have severe asthma and getting the flu is really debilitating for me, I’m laid up in bed unable to move for at least a week so I make sure every year all my family get the flu jab including my children otherwise my condition would be worse.” Those who are eligible for a free flu vaccine should contact their GP, pharmacist or midwife now, for more information. Parents of children in reception and school years 1, 2, 3 and 4 are encouraged to give permission for their children to receive the free nasal spray vaccination. Visit for more details on how to help you and your family to stay well this winter.

Asian Voice | 28th October 2017


Young entrepreneur sold first house whilst doing A levels and is now a millionaire property tycoon

Akshay Ruparelia from Harrow, North East London is a regular 19year-old who completed his A levels last year at Queen Elizabeth's boys' grammar school in Barnet. He's also the millionaire managing director of online estate agent, the "Uber" of the property world which was recently valued at £12 million after doing business for just over a year. Young entrepreneur Akshay Ruparelia Ruparelia told Business Insider: "The £400,000 ($530,000) with commission estate around 500 investors via agents in Britain charge Crowdcubein return for is just unfair." So he came just over 3% of his busiup with an idea to proness. He sold his first vide good customer serhouse -- a five-bedroom vice at a fair price to peodetached house with a ple who are selling their swimming pool -- while homes. he was taking his A levels. Instead of the average The owner also decid2-3% commission most ed to sell land next to the property agents apply to house through a sale -- which on an Doorsteps, which resultaverage London property ed in the company selling equates to about £10,000, £650,000 worth of propaccording to Ruparelia -erty for him in total. Doorsteps charges just But instead of going £99. out celebrating, Ruparelia set the Ruparelia had exams to Doorsteps site live just revise for. He eventually over a year ago, and in a gained an A* in Maths, an recent funding round it A* in Economics, an A in was valued at £12 milHistory, A* in Politics, lion. He raised almost and an A in IFS.

The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School Nurturing Excellence

Open Day Pre-Preparatory (5+) Open Day Saturday 4 November 2017 9.30am – 1.30pm (by appointment only) For boys aged between 5 and 18.

For appointments t: 01727 873632 e: registered charity no: 313996

The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ Pre-Preparatory School Hazel Road, Park Street, Herts AL2 2AH Executive Head – Mr M L S Judd BA Pre-Prep and Preparatory School


MEDIA WATCH AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 28th October 2017

Indian political theatre is never more than a sustained brawl. It makes television a living hell of cacophonic voices, including anchors prone to putting long winded questions to discussants, and then providing equally long-winded answers. The discussants, when they do join in, raise their decibels to drown out their rivals- it is a ruckus of incoherence, a threat to public health as a noise pollutant.

learning curve for the future.


Aridhaman, an Ariant class submarine, however will include several new generation sensors and periscope. Construction of the third such submarine is under way. Built simultaneously in four separate parts, it could be completed in a year. All three submarines are equipped to carry nuclear-tipped missiles and will be part of a fleet of four submarines. (Hindu October 16)

Anti-sub warship Commissioned

Rahul Gandhi

Gujarat elections

The heightened excitement of the Gujarat election campaign has sent politicians into overdrive: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi told Baroda University students that his party had learned its lesson from the drubbing it got in the 2014 general election. The willing suspension of disbelief is what is required for such occasions, as there is scarcely any sign of lessons learned. Reacting to the country’s economic slowdown, he advised Prime Minister Narendra Modi to step down from office and leave him and Congress toclear out the mess in six months! Meanwhile an Uttar Pradesh MLA, Sangeet Som, said the ‘Taj Mahal was a ‘blot on Indian culture.’ (Hindu October 17). Lunacy, clearly, has no defined limits among the serried ranks of the Sangh Parivar.

PM rails at dynasty

Addressing a meeting of the BJP faithful at Ahmedabad, Prime Minster Narendra Modi blasted the ‘Nehru-Gandhi dynasty,’ saying the forthcoming Gujarat State elections pitted economic development against dynastic governance (Hindu, Times of India October 17). Oriental hyperbole is the rule rather than the exception in the Orient, and hence should be taken with a generous pinch of salt.

Congress cheered by Punjab poll victory

The Congress party scored a notable victory in the Gurdaspur by-election in Punjab, wresting the constituency from the BJP. Sunil Jakhar, the party’s State President beat his nearest rival, BJP’s Swaran Salaria, by a convincing margin of 193,219 votes. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarider Singh hailed the result as proof that the ‘party is on the revival path. The Congress’s victory in the Maharashtra civic polls as well as the Kerala by-election are good

Narendra Modi

signs.’ He expected Congress to do well in the coming Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls. (Hindu October 16). The 2019 general election may no longer be foregone win for the BJP, although they are still well ahead in opinion polls.

Hafiz Saeed on loose again

Pakistani jihadi mastermind of the November 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai has had all charges against him dropped by the government. He has been freed from house detention in Lahore and will be back in the public space inciting, recruiting and funding his Jamaat-ud-Dawa organization. In a word, he is back in business (October 16)

New nuclear subs loom larger

India’s second strategic nuclear submarine Aridhaman is set for its launch in December. This is not all. Two further nuclear submarines with more advanced weapon systems and ballistic missiles (like the rest) and sensors are designed to operate from a larger platform. The Navy is the triad in India’s second strike nuclear capability. India’s first operational nuclear submarine, built with Russian help, INS Arihant, weighs 6,000 tonnes and is powered by 83MW pressurized light water nuclear reactor. The entire venture was a

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman commissioned INS Kiltan, the third of the four Project 28 Kamorta class antisubmarine stealth corvette, at the Eastern Naval Command at Vishakhapatnam. Addressing officers and the media from the deck of the ship, she said the Indian Navy was pursuing a vigorous policy of indigenization, of which this was the latest example. The ship was built at the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineering facility in Kolkata. The ship has a displacement of 3,500 tonnes and spans 106 metres in length and 14 metres at the beam, and is equipped to operate in biological and chemical warfare conditions. The protection of India’s coastline is its strategic principal goal (Business Line October 17)

Faster rural growth, says Swedish CEO

Swedish food processing firm Tetra Pak is hopeful of exceeding its current growth in India, which is already the company’s fastest growth market. Their good numbers have been achieved on the back of excellent results recorded in rural India. ‘We have seen continued doubledigit growth across all categories and have not seen a slowdown. If anything we are probably going to see acceleration in our growth, said Kandarp Singh, Managing Director, Tetra Pak, South Asia Markets (Hindu October 8)

Indian economy in solid growth: Lagarde

Christine Lagarde, the International Monetary Fund chief, said that the Indian economy is on a secure growth cycle. ’We have slightly downgraded India (to 6.7 per cent from 7.2 per cent for 2017-18)). However, we believe that India is on a growth track for the medium and long-term, that is much more solid as a result of the structural reforms conducted in the last couple of years.’ (Times of India October 17)

Diwali sales sparkle

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh

Last minute shoppers have boosted Diwali sales renewing confidence among retailers, who expect double digit growth this festive season (Business Line

October 17)

Tractor sales jump with good monsoon

A good monsoon, healthy farm production and increasing use of tractors for non-farm applications have stimulated tractor sales. Leading tractor manufacturers Mahindra & (M&M), Sonalik Mahindra International Tractors Ltd and Escorts have reported strong growth in the first half of the current fiscal ending September 30. With 52 per cent growth in September sales, M&M tractor sales have jumped. Good monsoon, improved kharif production and positive festive season sentiment the future looks good for all the companies listed above (Business Line, Mint, Times of Indias October 10,11,17 )

Top WHO job for Indian woman

Medical scientist Dr Soumya

Dr Soumya Swaminathan

Swaminathan has been appointed Deputy Director General for Programmes at the World Health Organization (WTO). She said the appointment came as complete surprise to her, as, in her own words, ‘This was not planned at all. In fact, I have always thought of myself as a researcher. I wanted to stay on in clinical research, even up to the point I became Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research.’ Dr Swaminathan spearheaded the launch of key research initiatives into HIIV and TB (Hindu October 11))

IIT-Kanpur’s nano-machines

A young structural biologist from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and his team have designed a nano-size machine that can crawl inside living cells to correct living anomalies often linked to diseases. These machines are made of fragments of antibodies that can selectively target signaling developments within living cells, while leaving the arm of the signaling mechanism untouched (Business Line October 4)

Treatment of Parkinson’s

A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangaluru, has fabricated a


metal oxide nanomaterial capable of mimicking all three major cellular antioxidant enzymes, thereby controlling the level of reactive oxygen species in cells. This has promise of treating the crippling Parkinson’s disease. The results of these experiments have vbeen published in the journal ‘Angewandte Chemie’ The Parkinson model was laboratory tested. The researchers will attempt to design an animal model for testing on mice. The first author of the paper was Namrita Singh from the Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, with Professor Patrick D’Silva from the Department of Biochemistry, the other corresponding author (Hindu October 8)

London Museum exhibits Indian science history

London’s Science Museum is exhibiting examples of Indian science and technology down the ages. Many of the items on view have been brought specially from India, as well those of other British institutions. The stellar exhibit is the folio from the ‘Bakshali’ manuscript loaned by the Oxford University’s Bodleian Library, which contains the oldest recorded symbol of zero that new carbon-dating it farther back than the previous estimate of the fourth century AD, The Jaipur Foot designed by craftsman Ram Chander Sharma and orthopedic surgeon Promod Karan Seth, and the Intel Pentium Processor designed by electrical engineer Vinod Dham.

Bose, Einstein, Ramanujan

The exhibition includes the mathematician Ramanujan ‘s papers from Trinity College, Cambridge, and correspondence between Indian physicist Satyen Bose and Albert Einstein from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Quite a feast! (Hindu October 4)

Sex with child bride rape

The Supreme Court of India frequently tackles social issues that India’s craven politicians with an eye to their vote banks prefer to sweep under the carpet. The Court brushed aside the government’s contention that social realities had to be taken into consideration. The Court ruled that a husband found guilty of having sex with an under-age child bride would be guilty of rape and could face life imprisonment. Women’s groups across India have welcomed the ruling.

Significant rise in tax collection

Direct tax receipts in the first quarter of the current fiscal rose bt 15.8 per cent., representing 39.4 per cent of the budget estimates for 2017-18. The reason for this is a wider tax base and greater compliance resulting from GST and demonetization (Business Line October 12)

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Asian Voice | 28th October 2017

Driving Test Evolution

Diwali & Britain Is a Christian Country and India Is a Hindu Country – That’s Great Just as all the secularist, pluralist, liberals go nuts at the name of ‘Modi’ so they have in Britain too – when you mention Britain is a Christian country (and jolly good too!). Cameron reminded Britons of this a few years ago and a load of really famous clever people wrote a letter to the Telegraph saying the British PM is wrong. Just as people write in the Guardian that Modi is a crazy religious right-wing sectarian divisive bigot. This is what they wrote in the Telegraph about then PM Cameron: “we object to his characterisation of Britain as a Christian country … Britain is not a Christian country … At a social level, Britain has been shaped for the better by many pre-Christian, non-Christian, and post-Christian forces. We are a plural society with citizens with a range of perspectives, and we are a largely non-religious society…Constantly to claim otherwise fosters alienation and division in our society. This needlessly fuels enervating sectarian debates that are by and large absent from the lives of most British people, who do not want religions or religious identities to be actively prioritised by their elected government.” You really have to be in denial to think Britain is not a Christian country – what the hell do you think Easter holidays and Christmas breaks are? About bunnies and Fir trees? Or an established Church is. The Queen is not a Defender of Faiths but of ‘The Faith’ . As for India, it’s also known as Hindustan for good reason. When three quarters of your population follow one

faith – Hinduism – to deny it is a Hindu nation, when every corner street has a temple, the country stands still at Diwali – you’re fool to call it anything other than a Hindu nation. And as this October we proudly in Christian Britain celebrate Diwali, if we want an anthem, I can think of none better than one amended from the British themselves. Then raise the saffron standard high. Within its shade we'll live and die, Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer, We'll keep the saffron flag flying here. Hindustan’s flag is deepest saffron, It shrouded oft our martyred gone, And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold, Their hearts' blood dyed its ev'ry fold. Look 'round, the Gujarati loves its blaze, The sturdy Punjabi chants its praise, In Chennai’s temples its hymns are sung Mumbai swells the surging throng. It waved above our infant might, When all ahead seemed dark as night; It witnessed many a deed and vow, We must not change its colour now. It well recalls the triumphs past, It gives the hope of peace at last; The banner bright, the symbol plain, Of human right and human gain. Then raise the saffron standard high. Within its shade we'll live and die, Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer, We'll keep the saffron flag flying here.

Winners of Asian Voice Charity Awards attend a special training session for charity trustees Leading charity consultancy Charity Clarity and investment managers Sarasin & Partners hosted a fascinating training session for charity trustees from across a wide spectrum of organisations last week. The main attendees were award-winners from the Asian Voice Charity Awards powered by Charity Clarity, for whom the Winners’ Package includes regular training and networking opportunities throughout the year. Six members of the team from Start-Up of the Year One Kind Act attended over the two days of the training, as did eyecare charity Graham Layton Trust and human trafficking organisation Shiva Foundation. The focus of the training was to provide a series of masterclasses to trustees and programme managers attending to enable them to be more effective in the leadership and management of their organisations. The diverse range of other attendees included charities and social enterprises with a focus on OCD and mental health, East African diaspora in London, feminine hygiene, a parish, microfinance and

others. The two-day course, unique in its breadth and depth in the charity sector in England, featured sessions on developing leadership skills amongst trustees, measuring a charity’s impact, a masterclass in digital marketing through emails, AdWords and video, investment management, fundraising through crowdfunding and digital marketing, as well as managing currency risk for organisations sending money abroad. The investment management training in particular is an important one for Asian charities more widely. Charity Clarity have found that faithbased charities are often cash-rich but do not operate an adequate investment or reserves policy. This is one of the most important legal responsibilities of a trustee, and


one that is most often unlikely to be fulfilled to the standard the Charity Commission requires. Another area of focus where Asian charities lag behind is in their digital marketing. While mainstream charities place a high premium on ensuring their digital presence is optimised on social media, website and newsletters, trustees from Asian charities often do not have the skills to maximise their wider marketing. This means they are unable to reach as broad an audience, and development relationships with new stakeholders and potential donors. The nominations for the 2018 Charity Awards are now open. You can submit your entries at w w w. a s i a n v o i c e c h a The Awards ceremony is on 18 May 2018.

The way we learn to drive is about to change. The driving used in test England, Scotland and Wales will be reformed from 4th Neil Sargeant December 2017 and incorporate will more modern driving habits. The changes include following directions from a satellite navigation system whilst maintaining road safety and testing different manoeuvers. The DVSA confirmed that initially, the changes will only apply to car driving tests.

The Changes

1. Extended test Part of the test will be longer. Candidates are asked to drive independently without turn-by-turn direction from their examiner. This will last 20 minutes, accounting for half of the overall test. 2. Use of Sat Nav The candidate will be asked to follow a sat-nav. The examiner will set up the route and then the driver will follow it. Candidates can make wrong turns and go off the satellite navigation route as long as they don’t make any faults. 20% of driving tests won’t use a sat nav; those candidates will follow traffic signs. 3. “Reversing around a corner” and “turn in the road” are no more! Reversing manoeuvers will play a reduced role. “Reversing around a corner” and “turn in the road” will no longer be tested. Candidates will do one of three possible reverses: - Parallel parking; - Parking in a bay - drive in or reverse out or vice versa; and - Pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for two car lengths and re-join the traffic. Despite this, all manoeuvers should be

taught during lessons. 4. Vehicle safety question The candidate will answer two vehicle safety, “show me, tell me,” questions during the test. For example: “show me how to wash the windscreen using the controls whilst driving”. It is crucial that driving tests keep up to date with technology and evolve accordingly. It was often said that driving lessons taught you to pass your test but you learn to drive afterwards, meaning each driver develops their own driving habits once they pass. Using satellite navigation during the test makes sense as most new drivers will use them. They will get used to that “distraction” during their lessons, which will ensure greater road safety. Author, Neil Sargeant, is a Road Traffic specialist within Duncan Lewis’ Crime Department. He has specialised in Road Traffic Law since 2008, establishing close working relationships with some of the country’s experts in this field and maintaining an outstanding record of client acquittals. His expertise is most extensive in: G Drink Driving; G Drug Driving; G Failing to provide a specimen for analysis; G Being drunk in charge of a vehicle; G Road traffic cases which involve a hospital conducted procedure; G Dangerous & Careless driving; and G Cases involving a fatality. Duncan Lewis Solicitors are specialists in Road Traffic Law. We can provide free and comprehensive legal advice on any motoring prosecution. You should seek legal advice immediately, as this can make a significant difference to the end result. For specialist advice contact Road Traffic specialist Neil Sargeant on 020 3114 1145 or

Kerala government looks to University of Warwick for new healthcare model The University of Warwick is helping the Indian state of Kerala redevelop its healthcare system. Kerala has the highest literacy rate and the highest life expectancy in India but is experiencing an increase in non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and a rapidly aging population and an increase in migrant workers. To address this Kerala’s government is planning to establish training programmes to teach primary care workers such as GPs and nurses. Kerala’s Minister of Health and Social Justice, Mrs KK Shylaja Kumari, led the delegation to learn from the experience of the NHS how the GP system

has adapted to pressures caused by population changes. The five-strong group included Mr Rajeev Sadanandan, additional chief secretary to government, health and family welfare department, Dr Sarita RL director of health services, Dr Harikumar Nair the dean of Kerala University of Health Sciences and Dr Devkiran of the mission monitoring team of the chief minister of Kerala State. The team from Kerala also visited University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust and local general practices in Coventry city centre along with local clinicians and members of the academic unit for pri-

mary care at Warwick Medical School. They are also exploring opportunities for collaboration with the University of Warwick for training and research. The two-day event which took place from 2324 October included talks about areas of training and research being conducted at Warwick Medical School such as health issues in urban settlements, primary care and mental health resource in India, GP training and postgraduate training. The tour of University Hospital included a visit to the Surgical Training Centre, which provides training to Warwick Medical Students, as well as specialised training to experienced surgeons.



Asian Voice | 28th October 2017


Narita Bahra:


Sunetra Senior Move over Ally McBeal, Bahra’s school within her prestigious here with all the millennial Chambers. Fortunate enough to substance and grit. Working for a have achieved a scholarship to leading Barristers Chambers - 2 train as a barrister after finishing Hare Court – named as premier university to go to bar school, she chambers in the UK, the vivacious reflected: “I remember going to my yet incisive criminal defence lawyer school careers fair, and they were is a head-turning, gathering force in offering catering courses! It was my her profession. A highly soughtfather who said: “just become a after junior, she has dealt with some barrister!” I had to aspire to be of the most high-profile cases in the what I wanted to be and be guided country. These include the Graff by a television program called jewellery robbery of 2009 which was Crown Court.” But Bahra isn’t the biggest multimillion diamond entirely dismissive of dramatic heist in UK history, and more influence: “honestly, I feel it’s as recently the Bedford shooting. She much personality and confident was named leading individual (2017) presentations in the court room by the official Legal 500 team and that achieves high rate of success was granted the Excellence in Law in these criminal cases. It is theatre Award in 2015. However more than a to an extent; you only have so stellar record, the outspoken Bahra many possible facts, but the values the simultaneous social combination of the judges, jury and statement she has been able to defendants are always varied. You make with her phenomenal career. A therefore have to know how to petite (5”3) Asian woman fighting in bring a personal and personable a predominantly white middle class dimension.” Now, a director as part profession, she has broken of her own law firm, Garrick through a proverbial Law, which addresses the multi-layered glass gap in the market ceiling: “it is hard whereby professionals enough to achieve can be advised and 'In a way, it’s not the bar for young advocated when my place to second women,” she accused of serious guess integrity; stated, “because crimes, from murder gender and and armed robberies everyone's entitled ethnic prejudices to drug cartels and to a fair trial' are still so rife, and conspiracies, to this is especially preserve their hardtrue of serious earned reputations, and criminal and complex having appeared on Sky News fraud cases. There aren’t that to give comment on the many diverse prominent role internationally reverberating models. The general stereotype of a Weinstein case, the legally binding middle aged white man to represent Bahra doesn’t just then prove that those accused of serious crime while every woman can excel in an female defence lawyers are influential position, but should be generically pigeonholed into rape unapologetic as she does so. “I took and sexual assault cases. That’s why a stand and said no to just taking you see a lot of female on any case without direction,” representation at the junior end of Bahra aptly added. “Though at the the bar, but not in the more senior time, as a self-employed roles. Factor in the long working professional, this hit me hours and self employment when it financially, it was worth the pay comes to maternity leave, and the off. So many women put their drop-out factor is shocking. This is dreams on hold because they think why I’m so passionate about my they are obliged to do so. It was the mentoring for the up and coming best decision. I was able to carve skilled women of the future. 20 out a noteworthy niche for myself. years on, and my skills are finally Take a risk; only you can do right being acknowledged , but I know by yourself.” that if I had received internal Name another memorable support earlier, I could have had case so far? achieved the success in half the No one day is ever the same, but time! More women need to be there was a case in which my encouraged by each other, and of ethnicity came into play. There was course, by an accommodating an Indian masseuse who was system itself.” charged with sexual assault, and his defence was that an Ayurvedic *** massage is very different from a Bahra is also one of the few European one so in order to barristers to have studied at a state


demonstrate this to the jury, I asked permission for a mannequin to be brought into court so the poor solicitor had to get one of those blow up dolls – Anne I think we called it! I then showed how the Ayurvedic technique involves one smooth move of the hand continuously over the body. It’s not like the usual european massage. I had to think outside of the box, really showing the court as well as explaining to them. My client was acquitted. How do you reconcile your strong investment in human rights with the idea of committing to an individual, no matter the circumstance? Well, with the starting point that everyone is entitled to a fair trial. It is not my place to second guess integrity. I defend clients because that’s my job. The prosecution will fight just as fiercely. It’s got to be clinical to a certain extent as if a doctor’s duty. Where this person is spends the next part of their life is usually all on you! You play a crucial part in their oncoming fate. You do handle a lot of high profile cases, as well as the stresses of being a modern career woman, with other women’s stresses on top of that. How do you wind down? Exercise and my two boys. Just spending time with the boys is grounding in itself; they don’t care about who you are or your status, you’re simply their mum. It actually forges a work-life balance. My partner is also very supportive. It helps so much. Is it possible to over-prepare for a case? When I was training, I was given a copy of the Art of War so no! You need to know your enemy; namely the prosecution case. You need to be able to be flexible in your approach if the situation calls for it. What is the favourite part of the job? I’m a criminal defence barrister so hearing that Not Guilty verdict when the client gets acquitted. Name three important skills that young and aspiring barristers should know but are not educated on enough? Respect everybody in court whether it’s the security guard or the judge; court etiquette and court dress is significant because you are standing as a good role model and how you are perceived is crucial. It’s not just what you say, it’s how you present yourself. Finally; perseverance. The first few years you work really hard, and no one acknowledges you – you might be earning very little but you’ve got to see it through. Ok – a fun last question. Are there any legal tv shows you like watching? The Good Wife and Orange is the New Black. Both are really spot on, and address the individual issues female lawyers and convicts face. Suits is fun, but it’s too perfect. Life isn’t like that! W



Welsh First Minister joins the Diwali celebrations in Cardiff

Raj Aggarwal with Carwyn Jones join the Dandiya Raas Garba dancers

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones really got into the spirit of Diwali celebrations in Cardiff on 16th October and even joined in with the dancers at the event. The 50-year-old Labour politician took to the stage to join in with the Dandiya Raas Dance Group that had performed at the event to celebrate the high point of the Hindu spiritual year. The event at the Wales Millennium Centre which was organised by Indian diplomat Raj Aggarwal was a sell out and there were over 300 people in attendance for the night of traditional Indian music and dancing. There was also a performance by Welsh actress Vicki Bebb, who is playing the lead in Tiger Bay The Musical which is set to open in November at the Wales Millennium Centre. Honorary Consul to India in Wales Raj Aggarwal said: "It was fantastic to see the First Minister getting involved in the dancing to celebrate Diwali, it was such an amazing event and everyone had a great night." During speeches at the event Raj Aggarwal announced a new trade deal for small and medium sized (SME) businesses in Wales which has just been implemented by the Indian government. The Access India pilot scheme is looking for technology firms to manufacture and trade in India and will provide assistance in setting up including cutting through regional and national red-tape, and introducing them to business networks so they can flourish quickly.

India descends in Croydon Diwali Mela 2017

Croydon and people from London witnessed extravaganza in Croydon Diwali Mela held in Surrey Street, Croydon on Sunday 22 October 2017. Madam Mayor Toni Letts attended along with Deputy Mayor Cllr Mike De Siva and former Mayors Cllr Wayne Trakas Lawlor and Cllr Manju Shahul Hameed. They were very impressed to see congregation of the large Croydon Hindu Community in one place. The celebrations began with a procession from Whitgift Shopping Centre accompanied by DholBeats UK and Leizim dancers snd joined by various members of the Hindu Community and Cllr Hameeda Ali. The programme started with soulful singing by Mother daughter duo Moumita Hazra and Tanisha Hazra. Vibrant Gujarat was represented by the group Bollyfusion led by dancers and choreographers PujaTrivedi and Shah Anand with Milind Kataudia, Meghaa Mallikal and Neil Raichuria. The elegant Sattriya and Bihu dances were performed by Chinu Kishore, Gita Cox, Kavita Dasand Pritidipa Barua along with a workshop adding a unique flavour to the dance performances. Rashmi Mishra and Atul Pande compered the program tirelessly cheering the audience. Mayura Patel, Chairperson, Croydon Hindu Council planned, managed, delegated and co-ordinated the event.

DIWALI AsianVoiceNews



Asian Voice | 28th October 2017

Hindu Forum of Britain hosts Diwali at the Palace of Westminster The Hindu Forum of Britain [HFB] celebrated its 16th Diwali event at the House of Commons on 18th October 2016 transthe Terrace forming Pavilion into a vibrant and colourful space, full of light and laughter, a wonderful manifestation of the spirit of Diwali. Every year the HFB brings Diwali to the heart of the UK democratic system bringing together on one platform Ministers, Peers and MPs from all parties and dignitaries and leaders from many different sections of society, including interfaith and business leaders, Hindu community leaders and representatives of many temples in the UK. This is really the spirit of Hinduism which acknowledges the unity and connection, at one level or another, of every human being. This year’s Parliamentary were Bob hosts Blackman MP, Lord Dholakia, Virendra Sharma MP and Caroline Lucas MP Following on from the opening prayers by the priest of Shri Jalaram Mandir Greenford and spiritual commissioner of HFB, H H Gauri Das (ISKCON UK), a minute’s silence was observed for the fallen. The President of HFB, Mrs Trupti Patel, in her opening address to the gathering warmly welcomed everyone and spoke about the importance and significance of Diwali to the Hindu Community and how the profound principles that reflect this important festival can be imbibed by individuals to create a harmonious and integrated society. Rt Hon Priti Patel Secretary of State, I n t e r n a t i o n a l Development, spoke on

highlight how the festival means family values to Hindus; charity, sacrifice, responsibility, hope, optimism and forgiveness. It teaches about importance of building strong families and communities, turning away from wrong-doing and evil, whilst also being responsible, united and tolerant. It gives us the opportunity to reflect on the immense contribution of Hindus in the UK, for which we are all very grateful. Whether it is teaching in our schools, building our businesses or helping to run our NHS , this is a community which has given so much to Britain. We all want to say thank you to what you do in your communities and wish you all happy Diwali. High Commissioner of India to the UK, H.E. Y K Sinha in his speech said that the 16th occasion that HFB is celebrating Diwali in Parliament is indeed something to be happy and proud about. It is wonderful the way Diwali in the UK is being celebrated not just by Hindus but different communities. He said that he was very happy that the importance of Diwali and the spirit of Diwali is recognised and celebrated, not just in India but Dancers outside India. entertaining Among other gathering prominent speakers, Rt Hon Damian Green MP, Hon. Amber Rudd MP said First Secretary of State and that Diwali has brought Minister for the Cabinet home the celebration, the Office said that at the time triumph, the colourful of Diwali celebrations , we nature of the festival of must recognise the contrilights, and around the butions of British Hindus world Diwali is being celeand British Indian commubrated by Hindus, nity. He praised how in Buddhists, and Sikhs to every sphere those present mark different historical had , excelled at bringing events . In all the faiths, our countries and closer Diwali signifies the tritoday. umph of good over evil, Rt. Hon Sajid Javid MP, light over darkness, knowlSecretary of State for edge over ignorance. The Communities and Local Home Secretary went on to Diwali and highlighted the importance of Hindu upbringing where the parents and family elders encouraged children and youth to live according to the Hindu values. She added that Hindus are very much visible in all professional sector in the UK, and that the community was going from strength to strength wherever they were and in all sectors of society. Bob Blackman, MP Harrow East, who was the main sponsor of the event, wished everyone a happy Diwali and spoke about his positive association with Hindu community where he has been transformed from Bob to Bobbhai . He also talked about the integration of the Hindu Community within the British society. Home Secretary Rt

Rt Hon Amber Rudd, Trupti Patel, Rt Hon Priti Patel, Bob Blackman, HE Y K Sinha, Kamal Pankhania and other guests

Government stated very clearly; ‘Now as Communities Secretaries, I will continue to do everything I can. You as a community are a model of integration, you have embraced British values, you love this country, but you are fiercely proud of your culture, your religion, and everything you bought to this country. I wish you joy, happiness and prosperity and a happy Diwali”. Lord Gadhia spoke about the significance and importance of Diwali celebrations and praised the HFB for mobilising the Hindu community in responding to the divisive and unjustified caste legislation in a systematic and assertive manner. He recited the prayer ‘Asato ma sadgamaya ‘ linking it to the current scenario, to Grenfell Tower and terror victims, a prayer to bring light into the hearts and lives of all. As Hindu community let us pray for the peace of the entire world, he concluded. Emphasising on the importance of the festival, Shailesh Vara, MP for North West Cambridgeshire said that In present time, there is great need in the world for light of wisdom and forgiveness, to counter misunderstanding, mistrust and hatred for fellow human beings. It is therefore important that the message of Diwali goes out to all corners of the coun-

try and the rest of the world. Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers, MP for Chipping Barnet said that Diwali is a big celebration throughout the United Kingdom, a great occasion to reflect on the values of unity. The lessons of Diwali resonate in every part of our diverse community in the UK. Paul Scully, MP for Sutton and Cheam , while referring to his Indian heritage as his grandmother who was born in Kolkatta, applauded the fantastic British Indian success story and said “I am looking forward to celebrations in Sutton with my whole family.” Shri Tapan Ghosh, founder & Chief Patron of Hindu Samhati of Bengal , India, was a prominent dignitary who thanked the HFB for organising such a wonderful event at the Parliament which brought the spirit of Hinduism and Diwali across borders. The HFB patron Shree CB Patel gave his blessings to all the volunteers of the HFB and Shree Rashami Chatwani trustee of Shree Jalaram mandir was pleased that in presence of Respected Saint Jalabapa Diwali is celebrated here in the parliament. Interspersed with all the gaiety of speeches and lighting of lamps , Arunima Kumar and her group, and Neha Patel presented stunning classical Indian dance perfor-

mances while students of Sai School of Harrow presented various Hindu chants; all three wonderful renderings being appreciated by all the guests. Mr Kamal Pankhania from ‘V Foundation’ of Westcombe Group was the main sponsor of the celebrations along with Shree Rami Ranger of Sun Mark Limited and Mr Shashi Vekaria of Vascroft being the main donors for the HFB Charity. For 16th time , Mr Nilesh Solanki and Mrs Heena Solanki of Event Gurus volunteered to provide the stage, decorations and also conducted proceedings as Masters of Ceremonies. Shree Jalaram Mandir hosted the wonderful Annakoot, and volunteers from the temple offered the traditional Tilak to the guests. Finally a vote of Thanks was rendered by Mr Velji Vekaria, the Chair for this year’s Diwali Committee of HFB. Diwali has become a time when the world is reminded that we as human beings, in our lives, must find the light of wisdom that will sustain us and the generations to come into the future, the light that will counter the forces of negativity and darkness. The eternal message and the spirit of Diwali has stood the test of time and is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago.

Mayor of London hosts Diwali reception at The Lalit The Lalit Hotel in London looked straight out of a Bollywood scene. Meticulously decorated in orange and pink, the hosts welcomed all the guests with a smile and a polite 'namaste'. As we walked into the lobby, passed by the beautiful water candles into the main hall, the sound of sitar and tabla filled our ears. Outside in the terrace a white and grand Ganesha stood protecting all. Inside the hall, people sipped onto their 'malasa nimbu paani' (lemonade) or peach ice tea or 'masala chai', as canapes and Laddoos (sweets) made their rounds. From politicians to ambassadors to celebrities such as Shekhar Kapur and Gurinder Chaddha, and the who's who of the com-

munity filled the room, to celebrate London's first Muslim Mayor's first ever Diwali celebrations at such a grand scale. The formal part of the evening started with a puja of the Lord Ganesha, as everybody gathered in the terrace to witness a history in the making. It stood as an example of what the true London spirit and diversity stand for. Sadiq Khan, has been a victim of lot of ridicule, some associated with the religion he represents, but he stood among majority Hindus, and took part in the beautiful ceremony, inaugurated by Shrutidharma das from the Hare Krishna Temple. Arjun Pandya conducted the Ganesha aarti and the formal puja, while people joined in to chant Sanskrit

Mayor Sadiq Khan addressing gathering

mantras. After the puja, the Deputy Mayor of Business, Rajesh Agrawal took the podium and welcomed the guests. Rajesh, a popular face among the diaspora and a self-made man, defined the spirit of Diwali and ushered in the goodness and light to fight evil and darkness. After a brief speech by Dr Jyotsna Suri of the Lalit Hotel, Gurinder Chadha

took the podium next, to give a brief yet befitting introduction to Sadiq Khan, who welcomed the guests in his own charming ways. He also enthusiastically discussed about his upcoming India and pakistan trip later this year. Speaking about Diwali, the Mayor said “As the Mayor of London, I want to send my warmest wishes to everyone celebrating Diwali in London and around the world. “During this wonderful festival of lights, we come together to share the story of Rama and Sita, to light candles in our homes, and to pay tribute to the warmth and generosity of our Hindu, Sikh and Jain brothers and sisters. Friends and families reflect on the past

year together, and mark the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and friendship over enmity. “Diwali’s central message of peace and mutual respect is one that we can all learn from. It reminds us that London succeeds when London is open to all. From my family to yours, Happy Diwali and a prosperous new year.” Mayor of London welcomes all to celebrate in Trafalgar Square Trafalgar Square transformed with a colourful and vibrant mix of music, dance and live performance to mark the Mayor of London’s annual Diwali celebrations on 15 October. Trafalgar Square

transformed with a colourful and vibrant mix of music, dance and live performance to mark the Mayor of London’s annual Diwali celebrations on 15 October. Londoners from all communities and visitors to the capital were invited to attend the celebrations, which featured lively music and dance, delicious food and drink, plus activities for the whole family to enjoy. The festivities kicked off with a colourful procession of flags, taken from Kinetika’s ambitious project Silk River, which explored the unique relationship between London and Kolkata through a year’s artistic exchange between communities along the Thames Estuary and Hooghly River.




Asian Voice | 28th October 2017


Priti Patel hosts Diwali celebrations on behalf of Prime Minister Theresa May

Rupanjana Dutta 10 Downing Street organised a Diwali celebration this year in absence of Prime Minister Theresa May. May was in Brussles on Monday 16 October evening, for a Brexit negotiation. But the celebrations were hosted by Secretary for International Development and the only Indian MP in May's Cabinet, Priti Patel MP, which was attended by almost all Hindu organisations in the UK. An Annakut display (decorated by BAPS Swaminarayan Temple) was in the heart of the room, and the stairs were decorated with Indian

crafts, leading to the main hall. Girls in ethnic clothes offered people Indian sweets at the door (peda) as guests walked in. The formal evening started with a Sanskrit prayer by children of Krishna Avanti School and a simultaneous classical dance performance. Guests included MPs and Peers, including Lord Jitesh Gadhia, the newest Conservative Lord of Indian origin in the UK. Representatives of the Armed Forces also attended the evening. Rt Hon Priti Patel along with the High Commissioner of India to UK HE Yash Kumar Sinha lit the ceremonial lamp to kick start

Performance by school children at the 10 Downing Street Diwali

Rt Hon Priti Patel addressing the guests at 10 Downing Street on behalf of PM Theresa May

the formal part of the evening Srutidharma das from the Bhaktivedanta Manor gave a short speech on how one should, “Never give up” in the spirit of Diwali and ended it with a short Vedic prayer. Rt Hon Priti Patel, addressing 250+ guests, expressed confidence that the "flourishing" relationship between India and the UK will be further strengthened under the "inspirational" leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "The Indian government led by the inspirational Prime Minister Modi has been such a great friend to Britain. Prime Minister Modi has shown

great leadership in India over the last three years and has re-affirmed India's place as a modern and world leading power.” Paying tribute to the 1.5 million Indian community in the UK she added, “Diwali is an occasion when family, friends and community come together. We reflect on our past, look forward to the future and share in the festivities that remind us of the story of Rama and Sita. We also commemorate the victory of good over evil, light over dark, and right over wrong. “In today’s uncertain world with the challenges ahead, we can all learn from the Diwali story how to be determined and be confident. And as British

Priti lighting the Diwali diya to kick start the formal ceremony

Indians, we are a determined and confident people. The Indian community in Britain has made a great contribution to this country and consistently punches well-above its weight. And as we celebrate Diwali, I want to also celebrate the contribution you make to our country.” Elaborating on the diaspora's contributions, she added, “Dilip Patel and Krishna Purna Devi Dasi, from Hertfordshire, have spent 35 years volunteering at their local Hare Krishna temple and together they organise the largest Hindu festival outside of India, drawing two million visitors to Hertfordshire. “Under Dilip and

Krishna’s guidance the ‘Janmashtami Festival’ has inspired 1,500 volunteers to get involved and attracts tens of thousands of attendees a year. “Many of us have joined in the festivities at Bhaktivedanta Manor and Dilip and Krishna’s work has been significant in expanding its reach and prominence as a cultural centre.” The Diwali celebrations in London this year will conclude with an annual ceremony by the City Hindus Network on 27th October. It started with Mayor's Diwali at the Lalit Hotel, followed by the huge celebration at the Trafalgar Square on Sunday 15th.˚

Thousands celebrate Diwali at Bhaktivedanta Manor Over 15,000 people from all over the UK came together on 22 October to celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, at Bhaktivedanta Manor Hare Krishna Temple, as part of one of the biggest festivals in the country. During this joyous occasion, complimentary delicious vegetarian food was also be provided to each visitors. Visitors were treated to a day of colourful Indian dramas, traditional dance performances, face painting, henna, with the festivities culminating with the famous annual grand firework display at 6.30pm. Bhaktivedanta Manor is home to some of the world’s most beautiful shrine of Lord Rama, Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman. Weeks of preparations go into designing the altar and Temple room, and the deities are a special draw for the thousands of pilgrims and visitors attending the festival. Diwali is the second biggest festival hosted by the Temple after Janmashtami in August, which celebrates Lord Krishna’s birthday. The festival promotes the importance of love, unity and peace in what is today a very diverse society. Srutidharma Das, Temple President of Bhaktivedanta Manor

said: “Diwali is traditionally a time for families to come together – it gives us an opportunity to give, forgive and to be grateful. It is a time when we think about giving to others helping those who are less privileged than ourselves. And, by forgiving others it grants us an opportunity for new beginnings. Bhaktivedanta Manor’s Diwali celebrations promise to be spectacular this year – the fireworks against the famous Manor building have been an iconic celebration of this wonderful festival. Bring friends, bring family, bring the kids – it is one celebration for everyone and one not to miss out on!”

Making Temples Safe for Allergy Sufferers As thousands gathered for the Diwali fireworks at Bhaktivedanta Manor, the temple leaders and a host of community and political leaders, took to the stage to launch the Nainika Tikoo Memorial Trust’s allergy awareness campaign for places of worship. The gathered crowd listened with baited breath as Lakshmi Kaul and Vinod Tikoo spoke of the tragic loss of their

Play at the Hare Krishna Temple Diwali celebration

beloved 9-year-old daughter, Nainika, who lost her life in May due to a massive allergic reaction. As Lakshmi described her pain at turning off of the ventilator that kept Nainika alive, her tear filled grief was shared by all present. On any given day temples serve hundreds of pilgrims a good nutritious meal known as Prasad, or blessed vegetarian food. However, that food could be life threatening to those who suffer from allergies. As the numbers of allergy sufferers increases, temples need to be aware, and make others aware of the ingredients and allergens in every plate of Prasad. Temple Managing Director, Gauri Das announced: ‘we are honoured to become partners of Nainika’s Trust. We need to make our temples safe for allergy sufferers. One simple mistake

can cause utter devastation. We need to do this for Nainika’. The Nainika Gold Standard can be achieved once a set of criteria, such as correct labelling, warnings, and first aid response are put in place. Lakshmi explained, ‘We understand that establishing such standards will take time, therefore we have developed the bronze, silver and gold standard. Places of worship and other such institutions can gradually work toward full compliance.’ Representing the National Council for Hindu Temples, Satish Sharma pledged full support: ‘Dear Lakshmiji and Vinodji are close members of the NCHTUK family. The speed and manner of Nainikas passing came as a blow to the Council. We fully support every effort to prevent any other family from having to face

such a tragedy. We will certainly be working with the trust and the Manor to help the Gold Standard initiative become commonplace amongst the Temples of the UK and possible even further. They our full support’. The key dignitaries that joined to launch the campaign included the Watford MP Hon'ble Minister Richard Harrington, Conservative peer Hon'ble Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Deputy Mayor of Hertsmere Brenda Batten, Deputy Mayor of London Rajesh Agarwal, and number of councillors from Harrow, Hertsmere and Watford. Mother of Nainika, Lakshmi concluded the launch with tear filled words: ‘Vinod and I are grateful to team at ISKCON Watford led by Gauri Das for taking on this rather steep challenge. It demonstrates

that the Mandir is fully committed to ensuring there is compassion and inclusivity among devotees and pilgirms. It is a great step forward for all Dharmic communities and ISKCON have led by example in this noble effort to ensure safe environment and facility for all allergy sufferers. Five months back Nainika was declared dead in the hospital. It's humbling to have managed to launch the #NainikaAllergySafe campaign in association with one of the largest temple congregation in UK and Europe.’ If you would like to sign uptothe #NainikaAllergySafety campaign or know more about the #NainikaGoldStandard please write to us:

Temple leaders and a host of community and political leaders take the stage to launch the Nainika Tikoo Memorial Trust’s allergy awareness campaign

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Asian Voice | 28th October 2017

Diwali and Hindu New Year Celebrations at Neasden Temple

Light Up London

Nitin Ganatra, Poonam Patnaik, Dinesh Patnaik, Lord Jitesh Gadhia, HE Y K Sinha with wife Girija Sinha, Shailesh Vara MP, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi MP, Gurinder Chaddha with a guest Mahant Swami Maharaj with Diwali Annakut display in Neasden temple

The traditions, colours and rich culture of the Hindu faith were enjoyed in all their devotional vibrancy at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London – popularly known as the ‘Neasden Temple’ – in the presence of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of the Temple and its creator, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, on Thursday 19 October and Friday 20 October 2017 during the festive days of Diwali, one of the most auspicious festivals in the Hindu calendar. Diwali is also called the ‘Festival of Light’ because devotees traditionally light rows of lamps symbolising the triumph of good over evil. Yogen Shah, a volunteer at the temple, further explains, “Diwali is an opportune moment to reinforce one’s love for God and celebrate the

values of charity, goodwill and family, and thus dispel inner darkness with the light of God’s presence. It is not only a time of joy but also a time to give.” Devotees and visitors arrived at the Mandir throughout the day to offer their prayers, particularly in the evening when a special ceremony was conducted for home and business owners. It is traditionally the day when business owners close existing ledgers and open new ones in preparation for the year ahead. The ceremony also symbolises how one should take stock of one’s spiritual relationship with God. The highlight of the evening for both young and the elderly including the local community was the spectacular fireworks display. Thousands were enthralled by the colour-

ful exhibition that illuminated the skies of North London high above the Mandir domes. The iconic arch of the nearby Wembley Stadium was also lit up in orange in honour of the Mandir’s celebrations. The day following Diwali marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. The first ceremony commenced at 5.00am, followed by prayers for world peace and wellbeing. The ceremonial Rajbhog arti (Hindu ritual) followed at midday, first in the sanctum sanctorum in the main mandir and then in the Haveli assembly hall where the Annakut – literally, ‘mountain of food’ – was artistically arranged as an offering of the first meal of the New Year in thanksgiving to God, and to seek His blessings for the year ahead. Also joining the cele-

brations was His Excellency YK Sinha, High Commissioner of India to the UK. Mr Sinha addressed the assembly and recognised the devotional offerings that were arranged by swamis and devotees, and congratulated the local community for getting together for the occasion. Swami Mahant Maharaj blessed worshippers throughout the two days and emphasised that Diwali is a time to reflect on one’s personal spiritual progress and encouraged everyone to imbibe the values of unity and strengthen their faith in God. He also prayed for peace, harmony and righteous prosperity to prevail throughout the world. In his keynote address on 20 October, he paid tribute to the unity of devotees and worshippers in their preparations for the celebrations.

PwC Hindu Network hosts its 15th annual Diwali gala The PwC Hindu Society hosted a gala Diwali celebration at The Lalit Hotel on Tuesday 17th October, also celebrating 15 years of their inception. The Hindu Network, which is now a part of 14 other people network at PwC, is an example of diversity and inclusion in the firm. The PwC Hindu network has over 500 members and has been an inspiration for other City firms to start similar networks, providing a platform to share cultural values and bring professionals of every level together. The evening started with an opening prayer by Raaheel and Gurdain, following by lighting of Diyas. IT Consultant Nilesh Solanki, who is the founder of PwC Hindu Network said, “It is great to see such diversity here this evening. 15 years ago, I approached a very small diversity team who embraced the idea of a Hindu Network at PwC, which was the first one in the city. After canvassing with a few colleagues, our introductory event attracted over 50 people and things progressed from there...I would like to

Lisa Dhanani, Prinal Nathwani, Kevin Ellis, Vaani Sood, Nilesh Solanki, Sunil Patel and other members of the PwC team

thank PwC for all its support and especially the team who have over the 15 years nurtured this very influential, diverse and successful network. Some of our future initiatives are to initiate collaborative interfaith dialogue, expand our network to the global firm and more client networking. I hope everyone has a great Diwali and Nutan Varsh Abhinandan (Happy New Year) to all.” Sunil Patel, Partner and PwC Hindu Network Board member, sharing story of one of his uncles who moved back to India after decades in UK and US, spoke about the spirit of Diwali and how it stands for giving back to the society, very similar to what his uncle is doing for his native village in Gujarat. Kevin Ellis, PwC Chairman and Senior

Lord Jitesh Gadhia addressing the guests

Partner spoke about the spirit of Diwali, his work in PwC to make it a very inclusive organisation and how it has been the first to identify gender and race pay gap within the firm, following corrective measures and has supported a restaurant in London to create jobs for hundreds of homeless. Lisa Dhanani, Director banking & Capital Markets and PwC Hindu Network

Board member applauded the team's energy and announced how they are looking forward to collaboration and supporting other networks. Lord Jitesh Gadhia, the Chief Guest for the evening complementing PwC for its diverse roles and the Hindu Network for its 15th birthday said, “Diversity of thought and people is an essential ingredient for any professional services firm. It goes to the very heart of your competitive advantage. “In the Rig Veda, which is the oldest living scripture of any tradition, going back several thousand years BC, it says: “Aano bhadra krtavo yantu vishwatah”. A Sanskrit phrase which translated means “Let noble thoughts come to me from all directions”. “We are therefore living in times of huge conse-

On 15 October 2017, for the first time ever, the Diwali Lights were switched on at the Coca Cola London Eye to mark the Festival of Lights celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists. The colour scheme of the London Eye resembled that of traditional Rangoli patterns. It was dedicated to the victims of the recent terror attacks in the UK as well as the Grenfell Tower Fire. The switch on paid tribute to the selfless work of the emergency services and volunteers who worked hard to assist victims during the recent events. His Excellency Y.K Sinha, The Indian High Commissioner to UK, Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik, The Deputy High Commissioner of India, Meera Syal, Gurinder Chadha, Nitin Ganatra, Juggy D, Lord Popat, Lord Desai, Lord Gadhia, Shailesh Vara MP, Tan Dhesi MP and Lopa Patel MBE were among the Chief Guests who switched on the lights at the “Light Up London reception” held at the Tattershall Castle Ship. HE Y K Sinha said, "Diwali has become such a part of life in Britain. It is no more just a Hindu festival, or even an Indian festival, it is a very global celebration. And, what better quence and the constants we all face are change and uncertainty. Faced with these overwhelming forces, there is an ever present danger that societies become inward, insular and intolerant. Some call this de-globalisation, a phrase which Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, has also recently used. This is the greatest threat of our present time and that is why being anchored in a set of personal values is so important. “For Hindus, like myself, we are blessed by a set of timeless human values to draw upon – like those represented in The Ramayana – which forms the basis of the Festival of Diwali... “As British Hindus, we celebrate the important value of dharma, or right conduct, which is the very essence of the Diwali story, enabling good to triumph over evil – bringing

place to celebrate Diwali than in the UK with one of the largest diaspora populations in the world.” With Andy Street, the Mayor of Birmingham, he also lit the first ever Diwali lights in Victoria Square, Birmingham. Ravi Bhanot and Vijay Davda, co-chairmen of the Light Up London committee, the organisation

London Eye dressed in rangoon colours to celebrate Diwali

behind this event said "We are delighted to work with the London Eye, the Indian High Commission and the various community groups to have the Diwali lights switched on at the London Eye for the first time. Diwali is the Festival of Light and this event symbolizes this perfectly.” Guests were treated to key note speeches, live entertainment and refreshing drinks. Funds were raised for the Grenfell Tower Appeal. back “light” to people’s lives. And we look forward to the year ahead which I hope, brings all of us success, health, peace and prosperity – and provides further opportunities for both the British Indian community to play its full role in this country and enable the UK-India relationship to achieve its full potential.” Sarah Churchmen, Head of Diversity, Inclusion, Wellbeing and Mental Health concluded the evening by talking about inclusive culture, diversity and transformations that the firm is undergoing. A Bharatnatyam dance was performed by Vaani Sood, fusion music was performed by Rakesh Chauhan and his team and Indian classical music by Raaheel and Gurdain- to enterian the guests that comprised of the crème de la crème of the Hindu community.



Asian Voice | 28th October 2017

UK commits to lead the world in cost-effective lean growth A report released by Business and Energy secretary Greg Clark has revealed an ambitious strategy on how the UK leads the world in cutting carbon emissions to combat climate change, while driving economic growth. Titled 'The Clean Growth Strategy: Leading the Way to a Low Carbon Future', it talks about the country's strong progress to date. Clark said, “This government has put clean growth at the heart of its Industrial Strategy to increase productivity, boost people's earning power and ensure Britain continues to lead the world in efforts to tackle climate change. For the first time in a generation, the British government is leading the way on taking decisions on new nuclear, rolling out smart meters and investing in low carbon innovation. The world is moving from being powered by polluting fossil fuels to clean energy. It's as big a change as the move from the age of steam to the age of oil and

Fine for delayed filing of GST returns waived The government has waived penalty on the delayed filing of initial GST returns for the months of August and September. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tweeted, “To facilitate taxpayers, late fee on filing of GSTR-3B for August and September has been waived.” He said the late fee which has been already charged to businesses will be credited back to taxpayers' accounts. The Modi government had earlier waived late fee for delayed filing of the maiden returns for the month of July. Preliminary returns GSTR-3B for a month is filed on the 20th day of the next month after paying due taxes. Data reveals 55.87 Lakh GSTR-3B returns were filed for July, 51.37 Lakh for August and over 42 Lakh for September. Businesses have for some time, been demanding that the government waives penalty for delayed filing of 3B returns. GST Network showed majority of businesses file their returns after the expiry of the due date. While only 33.98 Lakh July returns were filed till the due date, the number has now gone up to 55.87 Lakh. Similarly for August 28.46 Lakh returns were filed till the last date, but the figure went up to 51.37 Lakh later.

Britain is showing the way.” Carbon emissions in the UK have fallen and national income risen faster than any other G7 nation. The UK government seeks to make the whole country benefit from low carbon economic opportunities through the creation of new technologies and new businesses that creates jobs. Climate Change and Industry Minister Claire Perry said, “The impact of the Paris agreement and the unstoppable global shift towards low carbon technologies gives the UK an unparalleled opportunity. By

focusing on Clean Growth, we can cut the cost of energy, drive economic prosperity, create high value jobs and improve our quality of life.” The administrations' initiative to reduce carbon emissions through support for renewable energy and energy efficiency measures have helped reduce average consumer energy bills and more than offset the cost of government support for low carbon technologies. The progress was confirmed in a report by PwC, which demonstrated the country is strongly outperforming its peers within the G20 according to its

Low Carbon Economy Index. The report showed UK decarbonising faster than any other G20 nation, and revealed that it achieved a decarbonisation rate of 7.7 per cent last year. The government recently announced a taskforce of senior financial experts to accelerate growth of green finance in the country's low carbon economy. The team has been given six months to deliver ambitious proposals to accelerate investment in the transition to a low carbon economy, creating high-value jobs and opportunities for UK businesses. CEO Siemens plc, Juergen Maier said, “Clean growth is a good growth and the UK has a great opportunity to lead. Siemens welcomes the launch of the government's Clean Growth Strategy which sets a clear direction for business and puts decarbonisation at the heart of the industrial strategy.”

Rejig GST to cut burden on small businesses: Adhia Mere four months into rollout of the Goods and Services Tax, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said that some rejig in the rate structure may be required to reduce burden on small and medium businesses. Speaking in an interview, he said, “There is need for some rejig in rates... it is possible that some items in the same chapter are divided. There is a need for harmonisation of items chapter wise, and wherever we find there is a big burden on small and medium businesses and on the common man, if we bring them down, there will be a better compliance.” He said the rejig would require some calculations by the fitment committee which will decide which items need a rationalisation of rate under the GST regime. Adhia said the committee will bring its

Hasmukh Adhia

suggestions to the Council soon. “We are very keen to do it as early as possible, it depends on how much time the fitment committee takes to work on it. They need data, calculate revenue loss. They need various comparisons. But harmonisation has to be done,” he said. He added that GST, which amalgamates more than a dozen central and state levies like excise duty, service tax and VAT, will take about a year to stabilise. When asked how much

time it would take to stabilise the GST system, Adhia said, “It will take one year because it is a new system for everybody... There has been a complete overhauling of tax system in GST so one year is needed. If you see the experience of VAT, there was opposition for one year. People were on the streets because nobody knew what VAT is, the last fellow was only paying sales tax. It was more opposition that time than this.” Chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the GST Council comprising of representatives of all states, is scheduled to hold its 23rd meeting in Guwahati on November 10. Jaitley has said the council will wait for revenue trends to emerge, but some rationalisation is required and an exercise initiated.

Tesco rolls out Moneygram services British multinational, Tesco has launched a safe, fast and efficient service to send money overseas. With MoneyGram, which is now available in over 800 Tesco stores across the UK, money can be sent to 200 countries including Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, and Ghana. The stores come with fully trained and knowledgeable on hand staff who help and

guide throughout the process. David McCreadie, from Tesco Bank said, “We know there are lots of reasons why people need and want to send money overseas, which is why we are delighted to offer the MoneyGram service within our stores. In the last year, we helped over 80,000 customers to send money to different countries around

the world. This service is just another little help from Tesco Bank.” In addition to the money sending service, they also provide Cash to Account or Mobile Wallet functionality. With this, one can now send money directly to an individual’s bank account or mobile wallet, reducing the need for one to visit a nearby location to access sent cash.


AI eyes sale of scrapped engine parts to generate revenue

Loss-making Air India has sought business proposals for sale of scrapped aircraft engine parts, a move that could potentially add revenues for the disinvestment-bound national airline. According to a tender document, the state carrier plans to salvage select engine parts under a profit sharing arrangement, failing which they would be sold as scrap. The new proposal comes at a time as the government works on the modalities for disinvestment as part of efforts to revive the debtladen flagship carrier. The document said that AI is currently seeking business models on a profit-sharing arrangement for possible salvaging of selected engine parts and generate revenue through sale and marketing of such salvaged parts. It said, “In the event there is no possibility of salvage, bidder will have to make arrange-

ments to destroy/dispose of the same as metal scrap and offer maximum revenue value for such disposal sale at agreed rates and no cost to Air India Ltd.” Just last month, Air India CMD Rajiv Bansal said the airline plans to vacate unused hangar space at some airports and sell the scrap to cut costs. “I am finding that there is a lot of unused material lying in hangars and unnecessarily we are holding on. So we can get some money by selling the scrap and also save rentals by leaving the space.” With an operating fleet of over 140 aircraft, Air India operates to 42 international destinations and over 70 domestic stations. The flagship carrier has a debt burden of over Rs 50,000 Crore and currently survives on a little over Rs 30,000 Crore bailout package extended by the previous UPA government.

Jio posts £27.1 mn loss in Q2 in aggressive pricing war

Mukesh Ambani

Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio that shook the country's mobile services market, has posted a £27.1 million loss in the second quarter of fiscal 2018. However, its parent company RIL saw a 12.5 per cent rise in profit to Rs 8109 Crore. This is the first time that Jio announced its quarterly earnings since it started commercial operations in September last year. The mobile service provided offered its services for free in the first seven months of its operations, and only began charging customers from April. The wholly owned subsidiary of RIL reported expenses of Rs 6563 Crore. Ambani said that the “strong financial results of Jio demonstrates its robust business model and

the significant efficiencies it has built through its investment in 4G technology.” Jio has a subscriber base of 138.6 million as on September 30, of which 15.3 million users were added in Q2FY18. In the seven-month free offer period, the company managed to attract over 100 million subscribers. The fourth-largest mobile operator in terms of users, Jio said its average revenue per customer stood at Rs 156 a month. RIL's Q2FY18 consolidated revenues, including that of Jio, increased 24 per cent to Rs 1 Lakh Crore. RIL's Q2FY18 operating profit rose 32 per cent to Rs 17,896 Crore. RIL derives 95 per cent of its profit from refining and petrochemicals businesses.



A couple of weeks ago I mentioned a deal that we had agreed, which was a freehold pub in central London, Shepherd’s Bush in fact. Prior to this I wrote an article titled The Indians Are Coming, which was regarding the rising interest in UK property by Indians based in India, driven by the current geopolitical and economic landscape between the two countries.

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

The two articles have now been connected. The pub was presented to a group from India one afternoon last week, and the matter was placed in the lawyer’s hands there and then. The property was exchanged on the same day, at about 9pm. Kudos to the lawyers who worked hard to get this done on the same day. It demonstrates where there’s a will, there’s a way. Deals can be done very quickly when there is a focus. If

you give lawyers too much string they will use it. The threat of other buyers at higher prices, ready to execute the deal, always helps to fine tune the will.

The planning team have been appointed and are in full flow to get this deal over the line in terms of planning. We successfully completed a similar pub deal around the corner from this site. That pub was called The Underbrook, and was bought as a ‘going concern’ as it was a functioning pub when we purchased it. This means it did not attract VAT. That deal was done at £1.25m and sold in just under nine months later for £1.75m. It went cheap looking back, but it allowed our client to move on to other deals. This property we have just

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP! On the run up to Halloween I thought I would share a landlord horror story with you, so you can either learn from this, or relax with the knowledge that your tenants are not that bad! A landlord lets a flat to a young lady who only pays the first month's rent. She then starts behaving badly, she has loud parties and the neighbours complain. Her boyfriend causes a disturbance at the property on several occasions and kicks one of the apartment doors in. The police are called

in several times and visit frequently. The landlord visits several times to ask for the rent. He then follows standard procedure and he tells her that unless she pays the rent and behaves properly she will have to go. On at least one occasion he loses his temper and shouts at her (this should never be done; always, no matter what, keep your cool). One week he finds that she is not at the property. He continues to visit the property every few days but she is never there. After about three weeks


Cambridge Square, London W2 Purchase Price: £799,000

he suspects that she has left and uses his keys to gain entry. He finds the flat is in a filthy condition and it is obvious that no-one has been there for some time. It is full of rubbish, and there is mouldy food in the kitchen. He also finds some of her personal things, such as a purse with £12 in it, clothes in the wardrobe and in the chest of drawers in the bedroom, and some videos in the lounge. Despite this, he decides that she has left. So, he bags up all the items left in the property, and

exchanged on, consists of 4,300 sq. ft., and it is not listed, which means it can be knocked down and rebuilt.

With a development site the square footage is less important than the listing of the building and the floor plate. With a knock down and rebuild there are tax advantages, and you will get a better proportioned product to resell or rent. Currently, we are exploring whether it is worth spending some money to do a quick internal refurb, so the property can be rented on a room by room basis whilst the planning is coming through. This should be allowed under the current planning the building has. This will turn the project into two phases, with both running in parallel from the start.

changes the locks. None of the items left in the property are saleable, so, he dumps them, (apart from the money in the purse which he takes against the rent arrears). He redecorates the flat, and then re-lets it to another tenant. He is relieved that he didn’t have to go through the hassle of court action to get the previous tenant out. Two months later the landlord learns of a scene at the flat when the previous tenant tries to gain entry and is refused by the new tenant! The landlord is then served with a county court summons for damages for



Asian Voice | 28th October 2017

When you have an income coming in, you can afford to be a little more relaxed if the planning takes longer than expected, or requires further tweaks. An empty building not only doesn't bring in income, it actually costs money, from insurance, security and council taxes etc. This is a drain, and the longer it takes the deeper the hole you’re digging. The building was purchased for £1.75m which represents a purchase price of £405 per sq. ft., in an area where the square harassment and unlawful eviction together with a claim for compensation for her property, and a notice stating that she has been awarded legal aid. He loses the case and is ordered to pay compensation to the tenant, although the sum is reduced to take into account her unpaid rent and damage to the flat. He also has to pay her legal costs, which run into several thousand pounds, as well as his

foot price floats around the £1,000 per sq. ft. mark. Shepherd’s Bush is a strong area, where property prices have increased by over 13% over the last year. We are confident this project will yield a strong return for our investors.

own solicitor’s bill. Moral of the story: It is very risky to repossess a property without getting a court order first, even if you think the tenant has deserted the property. Richard Bond Lettings Manager Sow & Reap

l This sought after development stands moments from Hyde Park. l Bright and spacious two double bedrooms, two bathrooms, modern fitted kitchen and ample storage space. l Offered with long lease, 24-hour concierge and communal gardens. l Expected resale is £1,000,000. Call us now for more information!

Specialists in Central London Property Sourcing

0207 993 0103 27 Gloucester Place, London, W1U 8HU SowandReapProperties


Turning land into cash Get in touch about our land opportunities



Asian Voice | 28th October 2017


Nisha Biswal named president of USIBC

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, This is meant to be funny… Shree Lakshmiji – hear my prayer, An in case my prayers are being hacked, I mean the Goddess of course not the business God of the same name. Now Diwali is over, so I think it is a good time for me to spend a little longer remembering you than I usually do daily before breakfast. Firstly, as you know, I live in the UK. Now the economy is really worrying me. I am even thinking shifting from Mercedes to Jaguar because of Brexit. Of course I will tell all my friends it is my patriotic duty, but shame, some will question why being Indian I do not have a Mercedes. I have already pawned my collection of Rado watches, for my daughter’s unnecessarily extravagant wedding – but what is money for – and you’ve always been generous no matter how I squander, I mean spend, it. I need your protection from this Brexit Exit. With India growing at 800% per annum, at last you are hearing the prayers of a billion Indians, sorry, Hindus, and have clearly forgotten us poor cousins in the West after so many years of looking after us. We only have a cleaner on alternate days and with Diwali season, my wife is having to wear the same outfit a second time – God forbid someone notices – the rumours will start. I like our people but they like a gossip. So where to begin? My investments in the stock market have actually gone up somehow so far this year with the UK and US markets. But they have not gone up enough. At this rate we will have to consider moving from Mayfair to Kensington – just when Mayfair was becoming ‘little India’ with so many Desi summer homes. That brings me to property prices. The luxury home market is going up in the UK – well London – rich Russians don’t want to live outside London (I am thinking of starting Knightsbridge United Football Club as my next venture – your chicken farmers may be willing to go to Blackburn but Delhites want to be walking distance to their football team) . Now I need you to raise property prices outside of luxury please as my second home in Harrow needs an uplift. Oh, one more thing. All these charity functions. Please do something Lakshmiji for the poor, the children, the widows. I just can’t possibly sit quietly at yet another Diwali charity auction pretending I am deaf and looking away. Anyway, who wants an autographed bat from the Indian cricket team? And you’re nobody in this town unless you are hosting at least one charity gala dinner extravaganza. Such a chore. And the food – I swear – that Madhus should be reported to the monopolies authorities. And then there are all the businesses throwing Diwali parties. I barely have a spare evening even if I wanted to go to the temple in October. And that’s another thing – the temples in London – all the Hare Krishna ones are full of white people – it’s nice but, you know, they’re hippies not Hindus or the temples are Swaminarayan and then I can’t sit with my wife; it’s the only time we get with each other and she doesn’t talk. I know that all the wives of Krishna were forms of you Lakshmiji, so it would be nice to go to a Hare Krishna mandir and not feel it’s a California ashram. Then there is gold. I think too many people have been praying to you for gold, when I look at the prices. I still have one more daughter to marry off in some European city (I’m thinking Venice?). I have to buy more gold. So Lakshmiji, please be considerate in answering prayers – the prices are going up – the wedding will have to be in Eastern Europe at this rate or Brahma forbid – Turkey. Not even Europe proper and…Islamic! Of course Lakshmiji I am not so shallow as to forget that Diwali is not about just asking for things and a bit of gambling and praying for a good auspicious year for business and lots of pujas and reds. I know the true meaning is giving. So please I pray and beg, give me all I ask, one more year and I will be self-sufficient and not need you .”

The US Chamber of Commerce announced the appointment of Indian-American Nisha Desai Biswal as president of the US-India Business Council. Releasing a statement, Biswal said, “I am honoured and excited by the opportunity to lead the US-India Business Council and to join the leadership of the US Chamber of Commerce during a period of historic opportunity for both countries.” She said, “As one of the most significant and fastest growing markets, India is an important

Nisha Biswal

economic partner for the United States. Likewise, Indian companies are investing in ever greater numbers here in the United States.” The 49 year old

served as assistant secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs in the US Department of State from 2013 to 2017. She oversaw the US-India strategic partnership during a period of unprecedented cooperation, including the launch of the US-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue. She was awarded the prestigious Samman Award by the President of India in January this year. Myron Brilliant, US Chamber executive vice president and head of International Affairs

GST reforms will continue, Narendra Modi assures traders During his recent trip to poll-bound Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the process of taking important economic decisions would continue. The statement came at a time when the Opposition parties have been targeting the government over the GST and demonetisation moves. Stating that 27 Lakh “new citizens” had come to the “mainstream” after joining GST, Modi assured businessmen who were “afraid” that the government would not dig out old records. “I would like to assure them that no officer will be entitled to open their old accounts and probe them. The economu of the country is on the right track and direction.” Speaking at the rollon, roll-off ferry service

Narendra Modi

in Ghogha, Modi said that earlier trucks had to wait long hours at checkposts but with GST, the cost of transport had reduced and corruption at checkposts came down. “Now tell me, won't those who looted money by thekedaari (contractors) be angry with Modi? Will they be angry with Modi or not? We have established a business culture based on honesty. It is my experience that no busi-

nessman wants to cheat, but some laws and rules, officers and politicians push him towards it, make him helpless. We want to give an environment of honesty,” he said. The PM also spoke of starting an industrial revolution through a “blue economy”, one where water would be the growth engine. He said his government would bring about a change in the work culture and vowed to bring “vikas”. “Today our economy is burdened with 18 per cent cost of logistics. Our country spends more on shipping, which is why essentials, when they reach the poor, become expensive because of transportation costs. By maximising the use of water transport we can reduce this cost,” Modi said.

said, “We are thrilled to welcome Nisha Biswal to the US-India Business Council and to the US Chamber team. She is a driven, visionary leader who has a strong record of advancing United States business across the growth markets of Asia and throughout India. Under her strong leadership, we're confident the US-India Business Council will play a critical role growing commercial partnership, investment, and innovation across the world's oldest and largest democracies.”

Xendpay to expand to India this year London deputy mayor's money-transfer operation is all set to travel overseas to India this year. Rajesh Agrawal's Xendpay, cofounded by Paresh Davdra, has become the first of its kind business to receive approval from the Reserve Bank of India to move money out of the country. Set up in 2012, the business provides money transfers to over 200 countries. It does not charge an upfront fee if money transferred is below a certain level and unlike its competitors, has instead suggesting a voluntary payment. Davdra said India has always been close to their hearts. Xendpay, which made nearly £1 million in revenue last year, will still rely on the Indian banking system to provide its services, so it is working on streamlining the transfer process and a way to reduce costs further.

Tata to donate millions to develop cancer centres According to a media report, one of the top charitable trusts in the country, Tata Trusts has announced a big step in boosting cancer-related treatment in the country. Led by Ratan Tata, the charity has promised to donate almost a billion pounds along with other

resources in a bid to boost the Central Government's initiative to develop cancer-care centres in five states. Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh will soon have facilities on the lines of the Tata Memorial

Hospital of Mumbai, that provides free or highly subsidised treatment in over 60 per cent of the cases. The monetary aid pledged by Tata Trusts will come in the form of internal infrastructure and medical equipment. Doctors and paramedical staff will be trained by

Tata Memorial. The Trusts will acquire 23.5 acres land in Ranchi and the Indian Railways cancer institute and research centre will be upgraded in Varanasi. The Tirupati Balaji Temple Trust in Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh, will provide 25 acres for a new facility.

The force will not be with Britain…

Abhishek Sachdev

Britain’s creative and entertainment industry faces a potentially “catastrophic” loss of talent and skills with the threat of an end to free movement between the UK and the EU, according to the Creative Industries Federation (CIF). Such sectors, whose highest profile prod-

ucts include the Star Wars films are worth £87bn to the economy. More than 70% of UK creative firms employ EU nationals, says the CIF. It warns that the threat to end free movement has already forced relocation of some talents. A no-deal Brexit will leave millions of British households £500 a year worse off, the report by the Resolution Foundation concludes those who “struggle to get food on the table” will be hit the hardest, with new trade tariffs, causing the cost of essential goods to rise sig-

nificantly. Inflation has also spiked this year, with the price of imports rising on the back of sterling weakness in the wake of last year’s Brexit vote. Figures released this week by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showed that inflation had hit a five-year high of 3% in September, putting real pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates. “The surge in inflation which mainly reflects the fall in sterling since the European Union referendum vote - is squeezing consumers

and holding back the growth of retail spending volume terms” said Andrew Sentance, senior economic adviser to consultancy firm PWC. Food retailers, supermarkets and petrol stations were hit the hardest. Mark Carney has indicated he intends to raise interest rates next month, a move which should combat rising prices. The central bank is now broadly expected to increase its bank rate from an alltime low of 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent at the end of November.

Sterling has dropped against both the Dollar and the Euro as UK retail sales data registered a 0.8% monthly decline in September, the lowest level in four years. As I write, the Pound is down 2.19% against the Dollar in one month. Putting that into context, you would need to spend £166,000 more to import $10m worth of EU goods today than if you had made the purchase four weeks ago. We assist several importers/exporters with FX benchmarking services to ensure they receive the low-

est rate regardless of who they buy their currency from; a bank or broker. You can keep track of key market rates by subscribing to our FREE market rate sheet. Updated daily, this concise summary covers swap rates (i.e. fixed rates for loans), FX rates and more. Visit our website for more details.

Tel: 020 7183 2277



Asian Voice | 28th October 2017

US and UK zeroes in on South Africa’s Guptas JOHANNESBURG: The Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened enquiry into South Africa's Gupta family's links to the US. The update has only helped escalate an ongoing political scandal over the three brothers' alleged use of their friendship with President Jacob Zuma to control state business. FBI investigators have begun probing individuals, bank accounts and companies in the US for ties to alleged graft involving Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta, in recent months. Meanwhile, the UK government also asked financial enforcement agencies to investigate possible ties between HSBC and Standard Chartered and the Guptas, over concern about their exposure to potentially illicit funds. South African raised Lord Peter Hain wrote a letter to the British treasury providing details of individuals who should be investigated for “industrial scale” money laundering. The names include prominent members of the Zuma family – including president Jacob Zuma and presidential hope-

Atul, Rajesh and Ajay Rajesh Gupta

Jacob Zuma

ful Nkosazana DlaminiZuma. Chancellor Philip Hammond responded saying he would pass on the former Labour cabinet minister's concerns about UK banks

being handled illicit funds linked to the notorious family through Hong Kong and Dubai. Hammond said he had contacted the UK's Financial Conduct Authority, the Serious Fraud Office and the National Crime Agency, and that claims of corruption were taken “extremely seriously”. The FCA said it was “already in contact with both banks named and will consider carefully further responses received.” A source from HSBC said it was unclear if the Guptas had ever been among the bank's clients. Standard Chartered said it could not comment on the details of client transac-

tions, but “confirm that after an internal investigation, accounts were closed by us by early 2014.” News of these international probes are expected to increase pressure on Zuma, weeks before his ruling African National Congress is due to vote on his successor as party leader. The party has been split over allegations against Zuma and his friends, the influential Guptas. They are accused of using their connections to direct ministerial appointments and win lucrative state contracts for the family's business. South African civil society groups and opposition parties have expressed frustration that police and prosecutors in the country have not pursued an investigation into the Guptas. The president controls key police and prosecutor appointments. The US investigation is said to draw on information from emails that were leaked from a Gupta company server this year and led to media revelations about the family’s alleged dealings with government ministers and executives at state-owned companies.

Indian-American girl is America's Top Young Scientist COLORADO: IndianAmerican Gitanjali Rao, 11, has been announced the winner of Discovery Education’s 3M Young Scientist Challenge 2017 for her prototype water lead contamination detector called 'Tethys'. The sensorbased device detects the quality of water and shares the results to a mobile application via bluetooth. Rao was selected from a group of 10 finalists, out of which five were Indian-Americans. Rao's product is designed to be portable and easy to use, allowing individuals to test water safety whenever needed. Rao hopes to solve water contamination crisis and decrease long-term health effects from lead exposure. The seventh-grader of STEM School and Academy said, “Millions of people around the world are exposed to water containing lead and its harmful side affects. My solution addresses a core issue of speedy detection of lead con-

Gitanjali Rao

tamination, allowing preventive action and saving lives. There are over 5000 water systems in the US alone with lead contamination issues. Detection and preventive action can help mitigate the problem.” “If you take a shower in contaminated water, you do get rashes and that can easily be studied by an epidemiologist. And if somebody drinks

lead in their water, their children might have small, minor defects. I studied a little bit of both of these topics since I was really interested in these fieleds and then I came up with this device to help save lives,” she said. Rao wants to be either a geneticist or a epidemiologist. She, along with the other finalists had the opportunity to work directly with a 3M scientist to develop

their innovations as part of a unique summer mentorship program. Rao was paired with Dr Kathleen Shafer, a 3M research specialist who develops new plastics technologies that have real-world applications in dentistry and other fields. Paul Keel, senior vice president of business development and marketing-sales at 3M released a statement saying, “3M's commitment to the next generation of science leaders is energised each year by the creativity and ingenuity of these young scientists. Making the world a better place through science starts with a spark of curiosity, which leads to passion- and results in making an impact. 3M is inspired by these finalists and their contributions to making lives better.”

Graft-buster Wang Qishan to exit most powerful China body SINGAPORE: Name of China's powerful anti-corruption chief remained absent from the Communist Party's new central committee as per a list published by the official Xinhua News Agency. The omission suggests President Xi Jinping's adherence to an informal retirement rule placed since 2002. Wang Qishan, who stood at number 6 in the party during Xi's first term, was due to retire from the

Politburo Standing Committee, a requirement of an unwritten rule that states anyone 68 or older should step down. All eyes were glued on Qishan's fate as analysts watched to see whether Xi would keep him. His removal means he will not return to the Committee, the party's top decision-making body. Four other standing committee members who did not make the cut for the Central


Committee are, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan and Zhang Gaoli. This leaves Xi and Premier Li Keqiang as the only remaining standing committee members. A new roster is to be announced later this week. Qishan's likely retirement will put an end to a long career that saw him called on to help set up China's first investment bank, deal with the outbreak of SARS in

Beijing and assist in organising the 2008 Summer Olympics. He heads the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, which has punished over 1.5 million officials in the past five years as Xi cracked down heavily on corruption. The move saw two former top generals and a one-time member of the Standing Committee go down. Also absent on the list is Vice President Li Yuanchao.

Drug dealer hid £1m stolen Stanley Spencer painting

BERKSHIRE: A £1 million painting by Stanley Spencr has been recovered at the home of a drug dealer along with hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of cocaine and ecstasy. Harry Fisher, 28 has been sentenced for eight years and eight months after he admitted conspiracy to supply class A drugs, acquiring criminal property and handling stolen goods. The Cookham from Englefield, dated 1948, was privately owned and was on loan to the gallery when it was stolen. It was said to have “huge sentimental value” to its owners, the Elsdens. Fisher was arrested after a kilo of cocaine and £30,000 in cash was found in his Mercedes. Officers also found three kilograms of cocaine and 15,000 ecstasy tablets in Fisher’s flat in Kingston-uponThames along with more class A drugs and £40,000 in cash at his family home in Fulham, west London.

Mother's crowdfunding page for son’s birthday present backfires

MANCHESTER: A mother who set up a crowdfunding page to raise money for her son's tenth birthday stands accused of what is termed as “modern-day begging”. Stockports' Paramita Sarkar began a JustGiving page where well-wishers could donate cash rather than giving her son “useless presents”. In the description, she asked parents each give £15 so that she could buy her son Adi “something useful that would be treasured”. While her friends encouraged her to set up the page, several visitors were not impressed. A certain Ebrahim Bathia likened the move to “modern-day begging”. Another wrote, “The cheek of it! Instead of referring to past gifts as 'clutter' maybe you should give them to charity as it's quite clear your spoilt brat of a son doesn't want them.”

64 year old dies after getting head stuck in railings

GLOUCESTERSHIRE: Just weeks after an Indian guru warned a mother-of-two to stay away from ornamental railings outside her flat window, she was found dead with her head lodged between the posts. Americanborn Kimmy Varma, 64, died because she was stuck in a position where she could not breathe properly. Her family believes she had leaned out of her Cheltenham flat to have a cigarette- something she is known to have done often. Pathologist Dr Chandima de Cates said Varma died from 'positional asphyxia' at a time after she had been drinking alcohol and had taken medication including Solpadeine painkillers. Her blood alcohol level was 132mgs and the level in urine was 201 mgs. The legal limit blood alcohol limit for a driver is 80mgs and in urine 107mgs.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi becomes Pakistan's first PM to fly military helicopter

LAHORE: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi took the Turkish attack helicopter T-129 for a test flight, becoming the first Pakistani premier to fly a military helicopter. Abbasi, speaking to Pakistani and Turkish media, said Turkey's defence production industry was one of the best in the world and second to none. He appreciated Turkish aircraft and termed it an impressive and good machine. Abbasi also lauded the Turkish aviation industry and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for such achievements in defence production. He also inspected the helicopter, where he was briefed by the Turkish aviation officials about specifications and technical parameters of the combat chopper.

Oxford drops Suu Kyi from common room's name

LONDON: Students at the prestigious Oxford University college have voted to remove the name of Myanmar's de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi from the title of their Junior Common Room for her inability to condemn severe human rights abuses against the Rohingyas in Myanmar. A college resolution was circulated that read, “Suu Kyi's inability to condemn the mass murder, gang rape and severe human rights abuses in Rakhine is inexcusable and unacceptable. She has gone against the very principles and ideals she had once righteously promoted.” It added, “We must condemn Aung San Suu Kyi's silence and complicity on this issue and her condonation of the human rights offences is her own land.” The resolution by undergraduates is the latest move against the leader by UK institutions to revoke honours bestowed upon her, in the wake of the Rohingya crisis.



Asian Voice | 28th October 2017

China seeks more security for top envoy in Pakistan ISLAMABAD: China has asked Pakistan to boost security for its newly-appointed ambassador in Islamabad after he received threats to his life from a terrorist organisation. In a letter written to the interior ministry, the Chinese Embassy said a member of banned terrorist group East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) has sneaked into Pak to assassinate its ambassador. Circulated in the local media, the letter was written by the focal person for the multi-billion dollar ChinaPakistan Economic Corridor, Ping Ying Fi, who asked the ministry to “enhance the protection” of the ambas-

sador and other Chinese working in the country. The letter said that this will not only foil the nefarious designs of the terrorist but will also help in nabbing oth-

ers involved in the plot. Yao Jing, who was the Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan, replaced Sun Weidong as the country's ambassador to Pakistan.

When asked about the report, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, “I am not aware of the information mentioned by you. The ETIM is a UN Security Council listed terrorist organisation. Combating ETIM is an important part of the international counter terrorism effort.” When asked whether the Chinese government expressed concern to Pakistan about the safety of the diplomatic personnel, Geng said the safety of the diplomatic personnel and missions is an obligation of the sovereign countries according to the Vienna Convention.

Hindu Forum of Europe celebrates Diwali in European Parliament BRUSSELS: The Hindu Forum of Europe and Golden Tours Foundation celebrated Diwali in a colourful and historic event at the European Parliament last week. Hosted by MEP Geoffery Van Orden and co-hosted by the Indian Embassy, the celebration saw several MEPs in attendance, including Neena Gill, Jo Leinen, Neiuwenhuizen, Igor Soltes, Jacob Von Weiscaker, Rapert Mathews, James Carver, Jonathan Bullock, Inese Vaidere, Usa Dondelek, David Martin, Jhon Stuart Agnew and Bill Etheridge. Also present was Gaitri Kumar, Ambassador of India. The programme began with a traditional lighting of the lamp, followed by

Diya lighting ceremony at European Parliament

prayers recited by Krishna Kirpa Das, Hindu Federation of Spain. It was followed by a speeches, messages and classical Indian Bharatanatyam dance per-

formance by artists of the Arunima Dance Company UK and Santoor Recital by Padmashri Satish Vyas. Gaitri Kumar congratulated the Hindu Forum of Europe

Blistered California picks up pieces

SANTA ROSA: Wildfires at northern California destroyed at least 8400 homes and other buildings as authorities revealed significant property loss. Efforts continue by firefighters to gain control of the fires and by searchers looking for more victims. Estimated death toll at 42 has made the fire series the deadliest in California history. Officials said 5000 firefighters remain on the lines, and battle 10 different fires across the region. Approximately 100,000 people were displaced by the event. The fires swept through California's wine country, burning over 190,000 acres of land and leaving thousands of people homeless. Initial strong winds hampered safety efforts of over 8000 firefighters who battled 20 blazes. California fire chief Ken Pimlott said, “What this means is that our fires will continue to burn erratically. We are a long way from being done with this catastrophe.” Red

flag warnings have been posted all the way from Santa Barbara to San Diego, an indication that weather conditions are ideal for the spread of wildfires. Weather service issued an excessive heat warning, saying people should limit strenuous outdoor activity. The damage has been estimated at over $1.2 billion. Secretary for the rector of St Eugene's Cathedral in the Diocese of Santa Rosa, McCall said she has been living with several other families on the cathedral grounds while her family puts their life back together. She praised

her pastor, Father Frank Epperson and the Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa for their ministry in the crisis. A parish hall was opened for several days as a temporary shelter and evacuees were served meals by the parish. Santa Anas, one of the nation's most notorious wind events, can spread destructive fires, take roofs off of houses and uproot trees in Southern California. “Nowhere else do such winds impact so many people with so much force and possess such extensive opportunity for damage and destruction,” the weather service said. The National Weather Service warned, “The duration, strength and widespread nature of this Santa Anas wind event combined with extreme heat will bring dangerous fire weather conditions to Southwest California through Tuesday.”

saying, “It is heartening to see a full house and overwhelming response to this programme. It demonstrates the love for India and Indian Disapora globally. There is a great friendship between the European Union and India which needs to be strengthened further.” Attendees also included community leaders represented by temples and 35 organisations from the UK and Europe including the Swaminarayan temple, ISCKON, Brahmakumaris, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Metropolitan Police Hindu Association, National Council of Hindu Temples, Hindu Forum of Britain, Jain community from Antwerp and others.


Indian-American crowned ‘Miss India worldwide 2017’

WASHINGTON: Emerging hip hop artist and student of criminal law at George Mason University, Virginia, Madhu Valli has been crowned Miss India Worldwide 2017. Valli said she wants to be “the next biggest bridge between Bollywood and Hollywood.” The 20 year old stated that her dream is to be a recording artist. She began learning vocals at the age of eight. “I definitely want to speak to a lot of young IndianAmerican women about women empowerment and positive self-image. I love both my countries, India and the US and I always wanted to discover a way to be a leader in both!” she said. France's Stephanie Madavane became the runner up at the 26th edition of the beauty pageant, and Guyanese Sangeeta Bahadur took third spot.

Oldest US senator seeks re-election in 2018

WASHINGTON: The oldest member of the US Senate, Democratic Senator for California, Dianne Feinstein, 84 announced that she will stand for reelection next year. Making the announcement on micro-blogging website Twitter, she tweeted, “I am running for reelection to the Senate.” Feinstein added, “Lots more to do: ending gun violence, combating Dianne Feinstein climate change, access to healthcare. I'm all in!” One of the most influential members of the upper house, she was a pioneer along with Barbara Boxer, when both won seats in the Senate in 1992 to become the first female senators for the state of California. She is one of the eight octogenarians in the US upper house.

Pak EC issues arrest warrants against Imran

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan has issued non-bailable arrest warrants from Imran Khan, chairman of the opposition party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, in contempt of court case against him for repeatedly failing to appear before it for the hearing, and for failing to send a written apology to the ECP for his absence from court. A former party leader had approached ECP seeking Khan's disqualification over allegations that his party was receiving foreign funds.

Father of missing three-year-old arrested after change in story TEXAS: The father of missing three year old Texas girl Sherin Mathews, has been arrested as police said he changed his account of how his daughter disappeared. The arrest came a day after a yet-to-be-identified body of a small child was recovered. Authorities said Wesley Mathews has been charged with a firstdegree felony after he showed up to the Richardson Police Station and gave an “alternate statement of events” about what happened to his adopted child. It remains unclear what he told the police in his new statement. He had initially said she vanished on Saturday after he made her stand outside near a tree at three in the morning as punishment for not drinking her milk. He however, did not alert police about

Sherin Mathews

what happened to his daughter until about five hours after she went missing. The body of a small child was found on Monday during a search for Sherin, however, the body has not yet been officially identified. Sgt Kevin Perlich told reporters the body was “most likely her”. Mathews was arrested earlier for abandoning or endangering a child, but had posted bond. As part of his bail condition, he was required to surrender his passport and wear an

electronic monitoring bracelet so authorities could track him at all times. Sherin's four year old sister has been taken into custody by child protective services and placed in foster care. Detectives and FBI agents searched the suspect's house and later announced that someone left in the family's SUV at 4 am the day she disappeared and returned home within the hour. They said the victim's mother was asleep during the incident and has not been charged, however, it has been reported that she has stopped cooperating. Mathews and Sini had adopted Sherin two years ago from an orphanage in India. The father told the police she was malnourished and had to be on a special diet to gain weight. She had to be fed whenever she was awake.




Asian Voice | 28th October 2017

Dr. Hari Desai

Diwali Celebrations in Mughal Courts

Even the Mughal rulers did not lag behind. Emperor Akbar (Reign:15561605), the third King after Babur and Humayun, started Diwali celebrations in Mughal Courts

Emperor Akbar initiated the Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb festivals Mothers of Jahangir and Shah Jahan were Hindu Princesses


arring Sisodias of Mewar-Udaipur and Hardas of Ranthambhore, many of the Rajput rulers of JaipurAmber-Jodhpur preferred to enter into matrimonial alliances with the Mughals. It was considered a strategic move by the Rajputs. The British rulers in India tried to create rift on communal basis after 1857 revolution, which was jointly carried out by Hindus and Muslims against the foreign rulers. Unfortunately, even after the English left India in 1947, the communal divide has continued to pay dividends to the Desi political parties. Prime Minister, Theresa May, while celebrating Diwali at 10, Downing Street, prefers to call it “the part of UK’s national life”. The US President Donald Trump hosts a Diwali celebration in the White House, reaffirming Indian-Americans and Hindu-Americans as “truly cherished, treasured and beloved members of our great American family”. Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, greets the Hindu community on the occasion of Diwali and calls upon “the religious scholars to play their role in interfaith harmony in the society”. Likewise Diwali was one of the important festivals of Hindus during the Mughal period too. Diwali, also known as Dipawali or “row of lamps” is celebrated in the month of OctoberNovember every year. The celebration is in memory of the victory of Hindu God, Rama, over the Demon King, Ravana, who forcedly captured Sita, wife of Rama, for nearly one year. When Rama took back Sita from the captivity of Ravana and defeated the Lankapati, the people of Ayodhya were very happy to see Rama and Sita along with Lakshmana back to their State. They welcomed them by lighting the lamps. The age-old festival is being celebrated all over India. Even the Mughal rulers did not lag

Emperor Aurangzeb celebrated Diwali on low key, never banned firecrackers

behind. Emperor Akbar (Reign:1556-1605), the third King after Babur and Humayun, started Diwali celebrations in Mughal Courts, others followed him. Irrespective of what the religion of the ruler was most of them participated in the Diwali celebrations and Emperor Aurangzeb was no exception! Of course, unlike Akbar, Jahangir and Shah

Shah, who ruled for just a year(Reign: 1712-13), celebrated Diwali at Lahore with Lal Kunwar(Imtiaz Mahal), a former dancing girl turned the Empress. Diwali was always considered, even by the orthodox Muslims, a festival of natural joy of God’s creation. The Mughal attitude to Diwali could be gauged from what Abul-Fazl writes in the first volume

states : “ The Mughals patronized Diwali. It became a court festival from Akbar’s time. It became a festival for everyone, not just Hindus.” Recently when the Supreme Court of India ordered to ban sales of crackers in Delhi NCR, some of the propagandists raised the issue that Mughals had banned the crackers. Dr.Katherine

(including Aurangzeb’s), and religious festivals like Sab-e-Baraat.” Dr. Schofield refutes the claim that Emperor Aurangzeb banned the fireworks. She is quoted as saying in ‘The Times of India’: “His supposed ‘Farman’ floating on social media is at best a modern copy or an outright fake (it’s on modern paper and uses contemporary Urdu orthography)… There is no religious reason why Aurangzeb would have banned fireworks. Holi was celebrated in Aurangzeb’s war camp in Deccan in 1693, according to the Italian traveler Gemelli Careri, so why not Diwali?...There is , in fact, a painting of Aurangzeb’s daughter, Zebunnissa celebrating Shab-e-Baraat with fireworks in Delhi in the late 17th century.” There is another reason for the Mughals celebrating Diwali and Hindu festivals. Right from Akbar to Aurangzeb, most of the Emperors had married Hindu wives. Emperor Jahangir was born to a

The Diwali celebrations during Mughal period

The Diwali celebrations during Mughal period

Jahan, Aurangzeb(Reign: 1658-1707) did not participate in the open celebrations but did receive gifts from his Rajput Generals like Raja Jaswant Singh of Jodhpur and Raja Jai Singh I of Jaipur. The grandson of Aurangzeb, Jahander

of Ain-e-Akbari: “His Majesty (Akbar) maintains it is a religious duty and divine praise to worship fire and light; surely, ignorant men consider this forgetfulness of the Almighty and fire worship.” The historian, Harbans Mukhia,

Butler Schofield who teaches at Kings College, London disputes the propaganda against the Mughals and the Muslim rulers of Avadh and Bengal. She says: “Fireworks became inherent to Diwali from the late 18th century. There are Lucknow Nawabi paintings of fireworks at Diwali and European paintings of fireworks at Durga Puja in Murshidabad and Calcutta. The Mughals and their Rajput contemporaries used fireworks extensively, especially in the dark months of the year-late autumn and winter…The chronicles of the reigns of Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb describe fireworks being used for weddings, birthday weightings (Tuladan), coronations

Hindu wife of Emperor Akbar. Emperor Shah Jahan’s mother was also a Hindu wife of Emperor Jahangir. Even Aurangzeb and his sons married Hindu wives. The Mughal Emperors had not only married Hindu wives, they had so many Hindu ladies in their harems too. All the Mughal rulers had Hindu officials in their court and army as well. Hence, the celebrations of Hindu festivals like Diwali were not uncommon. Even the Queen Jodhabai (Mariam-uz-Zamani), the Princess of Raja Bharmal of Amber, who married Akbar, performed Puja of Hindu God in her Palace on regular basis. When Shah Jahan built the city of Shahjahanabad, Dilli became famous all

Portrait of Emperor Akbar, the initiator of Diwali celebration in Mughal Court

over the world and attracted many European travelers. C.F. Andrews was a Church of England priest, educator, missionary, who came to India in 1904 and became great friend with Munshi Zakaullah, an alumnus of Delhi College, a mathematician and social historian. Zakaullah had seen life inside the Lal Quila and had described it to Andrews. Andrews in his book, Zakaullah of Delhi, describes the Mughal Court and life in Shahjahanabad. He writes : “The intimate residence together side by side in the same city of Musalmans and Hindus had brought about a noticeable amalgamation of customs and usages among common people.. It was quite common, for instance, in those days, for the two communities to join together in different religious festivals. Hindus would go to a Muslim festival, and Musalmans would go to a Hindu festival. This had become a natural local custom.” On the main Diwali day, the Emperor was to be weighed in gold and silver and a huge weighing scale was put up. The Badshah would sit on one side and the other is filled with gold and silver to his weight. This was to be distributed among the poor. One black buffalo, black blanket, mustard oil, satnaja(mixed grains), gold and silver were taken out as the Badshah’s sadqa (sacrifice to avoid misfortune) and was distributed among the poor people. The entire Mughal Court was involved in the preparations. This was Delhi’s Ganga Jamuni tehzeeb, unfortunately, people tend to forget these days! Next Column: Agony of the Nobel Laureate Sir CV Raman (The writer is a Sociopolitical Historian. E-mail:


INDIA AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 28th October 2017


TTV Dinakaran to contest RK Nagar Bypoll NEW DELHI: Sidelined AIADMK deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran has said he is not averse to contesting in the upcoming RK Nagar bypoll. The Election Commission said by-election to the RK Nagar seat will be held before the end of the year. The seat was vacated by the death of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa. On October 15, Dinakaran said he is ready to contest the bypoll, however, added that party general secretary VK Sasikala would decide the candidate. He is currently engaged in a bitter fight with the K Palaniswami-led government, and had even met Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao

Palaniswami's seeking removal as Chief Minister. After launching a health camp to distribute Niluvembu Kudineer (herbal drink) to combat dengue fever at Srirangam, Dinakaran said the state government had failed miserably in landing the dengue outbreak. Asserting himself as a former byelection candidate of RK Nagar, he said he will not shy away from contesting in the ensuing bypoll for the same segment. “Even though I am willing, the party's high command headed by general secretary will pick the candidate for the bypoll. We will win the byelection as our supporters have started

Five-judge bench to hear Sabarimala temple ban

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court referred a bunch of petitions challenging the age-old practice in the famous Kerala Sabarimala temple of not allowing women aged between 10 and 50 to enter, to a fivejudge Constitution Bench. A bench will now decide whether the rights of women, especially their fundamental right to religious freedom and to pray at the place of their choice can be discriminated against by a temple managed by a statutory board. Temple authorities justified the practice saying it is founded in tradition. Framing questions for reference, a bench consisting of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan, said primarily the Constitution Bench would decide whether the practice of ban on women was gender discriminatory, violating their right to equality, religious

freedom. Also, it will decide whether the ban is protected by Article 25 (the right of religious freedom) of Ayyappa devotees. The Constitution Bench will answer the question whether a 1991 judgement of the Kerala High Court upholding the ban would amount to res judicata. It will decide whether the ban qualifies as an “essential religious practice” of the Hindu faith. It will also decide whether Ayyappa devotees form a separate religious denomination by themselves. Most importantly, it will decide if a temple managed by a statutory board can “indulge” in the practice of banning women from entry on moral grounds. The Constitution Bench will decide whether the ban enforced under Rule 3 (b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship Rules, 1965 violates the fundamental rights of women to practice religion freely.

Honeypreet Insan to be produced before Panchkula court PANCHKULA: Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's adopted daughter Honeypreet Insan will soon be produced before a court. The Panchkula District Court had sent her and accomplice Sukhdeep Kaur to judicial custody on October 13. She is currently lodged in Ambala Central Jail. Real name Priyanka Taneja, the police had sought remand for Honeypreet saying she was the closest aide of the rapist sect chief, and was away of many things about the activities of the sect and its role in the violence in Panchkula and other places after Gurmeet's conviction. Both, Honeypreet and Kaur were questioned by the Haryana Police in connection with the violence on August 25. The former has confessed to her role in the devastating event that killed 41 people in Panchkula and Sirsa. The Special Investigation Team interrogating her said she has

Honeypreet Insan

admitted to have prepared a guide map of Panchkula, where violence was orchestrated by Dera followers the day Gurmeet was convicted. The SIT told a court that during her six-day interrogation, she admitted to preparing a blueprint of August 25 violence. She also directed her close aides to upload anti-India videos on social media platforms. In one of the videos, she can be seen inciting Dera followers with slogans calling for the country's destruction if the chief is jailed. The SIT said Honeypreet's phone contains vital clues about the videos but it is yet to be recovered.

TTV Dinakaran

preparatory work soon after the EC announced it would be held before December 31,” he said. Speaking on the sidelines of the health camp, he also added, “By providing wrong data about dengue deaths, the Edappadi K

and O Palaniswami Panneerselvam-led government wants to continue to be in power.” Dinakaran said his team would welcome any AIADMK leader who embraced Sasikala as his or her leader. He also alleged that the police department has been “harassing” political leaders associated with him while organising public events. “Police personnel irrespective of their rank should responsibly discharge their duties without showing bias. Soon, we will put an end to the EPS-OPS rule through an assembly election in the state, and will bring governance of MGR and Jayalalithaa.”

Parties lock horns over Vijay's 'Mersal' CHENNAI: Senior BJP leaders from Tamil Nadu have stepped up their attack against Thalapathy Vijay's 'Mersal' for certain dialogues by the actor mocking the Goods and Services Tax. The state president party's Tamilisai Soundararajan called for deleting the scenes that refer to the GST and the Digital India initiative. His demand was backed by Union Minister of State Pon Radhakrishnan. He said, “The film producer should remove the untruths regarding GST from the film.” In the movie, a sequence sees Vijay asking why India cannot provide universal healthcare despite charging a 28 per cent GST, while Singapore, which only charges 7 per cent could provide free healthcare. BJP national secretary H Raja, wrote a series of tweets directed at “Joseph Vijay” in an attempt to identify him by his religion, said the party would welcome criticism but not tolerate lies. “It is a bla-

Pon Radhakrishnan

tant lie to say that healthcare in Singapore is free. In India, education and healthcare are free for the poor. 'Mersal' is the result of Joseph Vijay's hatred for PM Narendra Modi,” he said. Meanwhile, Tamilisai said, “Wrong information shouldn't be propagated by big celebrities. It registers with the people.” While BJP seethes with wrath, the Opposition has picked sides with the movie-makers. Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president Su Thirunavu-kkarasar said, “It should be taken in a sportive way. People like those scenes and are enjoying it. People have been affected by GST.”

Punjab CM accuses SAD of “political gimmickry” CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has accused leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal of “demeaning” his government's flagship over £1 billion farm loan waiver scheme and indulging in “political gimmickry”. He said SAD patriarch Parkash Singh Badal was “playing with the sentiments of the people with fraudulent and baseless charges” against the current dispensation. Singh questioned his predecessor over “failure” to take any initiatives for the farmers and other sections of the society during his 10-year tenure and when the Congress is now making amends, criticising its steps. The SAD has been lashing out at the Punjab state government, alleging that the party had reneged on the promises made before the Assembly polls held earlier this year. Singh asserted that his government had announced

the loan waiver scheme in the state assembly in June this year. Amarinder said Badal failed to even turn up for the session. “In fact, the Akalis did not have the patience to listen to the government on the issue,” he said in a statement. Singh said it was evident that the SAD did not have a positive programme and were merely indulging in a “political gimmickry” for their political interests. “The Akalis were concerned only about promoting their own political and personal interests, as they had been doing all these years, at the cost of the development and progress of Punjab and its people,” he said. Regarding the SAD core committee’s rejection of the government's notification on farmers' debt, Singh challenged Badal and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal to prove even a single of their allegations on loan waiver issue.

Andhra CM on 3-nation tour, lands in Dubai

AMARAVATI (ANDHRA PRADESH): Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has left for Dubai from New York, after holding discussions with several heads of leading MNCs. In his meeting with the likes of Purna Saggurti, head of Global Investment Banking at Bank of America, Naidu explained the investment opportunities present in Andhra. He laid emphasis on the priority given to the construction of Amaravati and the multi-purpose Polavaram project. The CM also met former NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya. In Dubai, Naidu is scheduled to interact with members of the Telugu Association and address a Business Leaders' Forum.

Kerala student commits suicide after alleged scolding by teachers

KOCHI: A teenager jumped from a three-storey building in Kollam district, Kerala, after she was allegedly reprimanded by her teachers. She later succumbed to injuries at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. Gauri, 15, a class X student of the Trinity Lyceum school, jumped from the primary block of the building during lunch break. Her action reportedly saw her at the receiving end from her teachers. SI of the Kollam West police station, Nizamuddin, said, “The post-mortem of her body is complete. We are awaiting the report. An investigation is on.” Officials said the deceased's father has filed a complaint stating Gauri attempted suicide after being mentally harassed by her teachers. A case under Section 305 of the IC for abetment of suicide of a child has been filed against both the teachers involved.

Two arrested for contaminating food at Bengaluru Indira Canteen

BENGALURU: Two autorickshaw drivers have been arrested for allegedly dropping a cockroach in the food served at Karnataka government's flagship programme Indira Canteen. Hemanth and Devaraj, along with two others, visited the place in Kamakshipalya and created a huge ruckus when they found a cockroach in their food. Police said they threatened the canteen runners and urged fellow customers to not eat there. However, CCTV cameras installed inside the canteen purportedly showed Hemanth bringing the roach with him and putting it in the food. The canteens were launched on August 15, and offers food at subsidised rates. Breakfast and meals are served at Rs five and Rs 10 respectively.

One fraudulent bank withdrawal each day in Chandigarh

CHANDIGARH: Despite an impressive educational credit score, Chandigarh reportedly sees at least one fraudulent cash withdrawal from bank accounts a day. In 2017, 297 residents have lost their hard-earned money to frauds, until now. Cyber experts see a direct correlation between the increase in number of cases over the course of this year to the increase in cashless transactions post demonetisation. Rashmi Yadav, DSP Cyber cell, said, “There has been a steady increase in the cases to the fraudulent withdrawal on month on month basis. People are still not aware what to share and what not is one of the prime reasons for most of the cyber frauds.” She added, “No bank asks for your account details so one should not share any personal information on the phone.”

Haryana singer killed by gangster brother-in-law

PANIPAT: Well-known singer and dancer in Haryana, Harshita Dahiya was killed by four men on orders given by her brother-in-law and notorious gangster Dinesh Karala. Superintendent of Police Rahul Sharma said Karala revealed the murder conspiracy during interrogation after he was brought from Jhajjar jail on a production warrant. He revealed the names of his four accomplices who killed the singer. Sharma said, “Dinesh is a notorious gangster. Twelve criminal cases have been registered against him at various police stations in Sonepat, Jind, Jhajjar and Delhi.” The 22 year old was shot dead by unidentified men at Chamrara village, Panipat, when she was returning to her home from a function. Dahiya's sister Lata said Dinesh, her husband was the murderer. “He got her killed because she was a witness in the murder case of her mother.”

INDIA-WORLD AsianVoiceNews


Asian Voice | 28th October 2017

BBC journo shares her #MeToo story, speaks of harassment by colleagues, dirty texts Participating in the internet hashtag #MeToo that aims to raise awareness on how widespread harassment is, BBC journalist Rajini Vaidyanathan shared her personal story of explicit sexual advances from colleagues. The Washington correspondent said it began in an Italian restaurant in New York, when she was 25, and had gone to for the Manhattan Republican Party convention. With most of her colleagues gone, she was left to dinner with a male colleague who made an advance at her. Sharing her cringeworthy experience, Vaidyanathan said, “We were in an Italian restaurant in New York, just after we'd finished working on a story. I was an ambitious producer who'd just been in Manhattan for the Republican convention. Most of the team had gone but a colleague and I were the last two left and we were having dinner. We'd gone to the East Village and in a dimly lit Italian restaurant, I made small talk about George W Bush and John Kerry. Then he said it. "I'm unbelievably sexually attracted to you. I can't stop thinking about you. I dropped my fork and it bounced on the

Rajini Vaidyanathan

“now” knows it was “utterly unacceptable” and “just another reminder of how some men in the workplace use their power to manipulate, harass and even abuse women.” The hashtag garnered speed by allegations surrounding Harvey Weinstein, a powerful Hollywood producer who faces accusations of rape and harassment. “The recent conversation about Harvey Weinstein has prompted countless conversations among my female friends about where the line stops in these situations, and when you should say something,” she said. “Do you have to be touched for it to count? What if you

plate, the spaghetti still woven around it.” “This was a colleague twice my age, wellrespected and with a girlfriend. I had experienced sexism in the workplace before, but not in such an overt way. I can't even remember what I said but it was something all too polite, as I tried to change the conversation. He continued talking about how beautiful I was, as I ate the pasta as fast I could. I wasn't sure at the time if he'd said anything that I could reasonably complain about, but I remember feeling disgusted and uncomfortable about it.” What is most disturbing about her experience is that Vaidyanathan said she

are friends with them? When does harassment start, and when does it end?” Vaidyanathan's horrifying only worsened, as she once had to encounter a married colleague who sent her messages containing explicit details of his sexual desires. When she sent a reassuring message describing his thoughts as “pretty normal”, she says his behaviour worsened. “His messages continued and became more creepy,” she said. “He said he'd fantasised about sex with powerful women, and how he wanted to cheat on his wife. I told him to talk to someone else - not me and to get help.” The #MeToo social media movement reached across 85 countries with 1.7 million tweets. It initially went viral after actress Alyssa Milano shared it on Twitter. Milano shared a tweet saying that if people who have been sexually assaulted or harassed tweet “me too,” it might “give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” Millions responded, including high-profile celebrities like America Ferrera, Rose McGowan, Evan Rachel Wood, Gabrielle Union and more.

PM Modi launches 'Ro-Ro' ferry service in Gujarat civilisation illustrates the vitality of rivers and maritime trade. Gujarat is the land of Lothal. How can we forget these aspects of our history. This programme is to bring back to life our glorious past, connect Saurashtra and South Gujarat. Imagine how much time and petrol this ferry service will save. This ferry service connects Saurashtra and South

ferry service possible,” he said. Speaking at a public meeting in Bhavnagar after the inauguration, Modi said, “I am happy to be in Gujarat to personally convey New Year greetings. This programme may be for a ferry between Ghogha and Dahej, but this programme is of vital importance for the entire nation.” “The history of human

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched phase one of the Rs 615 Crore 'roll onroll off' ferry service between Ghogha in Saurashtra and Dahej in a rally in Gujarat last week. “This is the firt of its kind project not only in India but also in South-East Asia. This is also a unique project as the State government has used the latest technology to make this

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Gujarat... people from these regions frequently travel to and fro.” “Gujarat is blessed with a long coastline and we should harness opportunities arising due to this. We took steps in developing coastal infrastructure,” NaMo. “This ferry service will not be restricted to this one route. We are planning to link other places also through ferries.”

NID student's 'Cheetah' Logo top choice for Bullet Train project

A three-member screening committee headed by well-known painter and architect Satish Gujral picked a logo designed by a student of the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad for the Prime Minister's bullet train project. According to an official, the cheetah from the logo represents speed, while the red and blue lines, colours using which the logo has been designed symbolise calm and reliability. The logo has been incorporated into the website of National High

Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), which is implementing the project of high speed train corridor between Ahmedabad and Mumbai. The ambitious bullet train project will cost around Rs. 1.10 Lakh Crore. Japan is giving a loan of Rs. 88,000 Crore for the project at a minimal interest of 0.1 per cent. The train, which is expected to begin operating in 2022, will run at a maximum speed of 350 km per hour and will cover the 508.17-km stretch in under three hours.

Modi's boldest move yet, places interlocutor in Kashmir Continued from page 1 protests in the Valley and particularly intense counter-insurgency operations. This year, 160 militants have been killed so far- a significant number if one looks at the total terrorist strength in the Valley. Timing of the move is impeccable. Sharma comes as the interlocutor at a time when the All Party Hurriyat Conference led by SAS Geelani and other separatist leaders are trying to maintain their relevance in Kashmir. One of the top leaders Shabir Shah, along with a few key middle level separatist leaders are in a rut due to the sustained investigation of the National Investigation Agency for alleged links to militancy and terrorist financing. Geelani's race against age

makes it difficult for him to infuse a new lease of life in the 'azaadi' movement, while the other Hurriyat faction led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq's influence is restricted to downtown areas of Srinagar. This way, Sharma has it easy. Even though efforts will be made by the group to engage with the government to maintain its relevance, Sharma can safely put them on the periphery, engaging instead, with three sets of loosely defined segments. There is a perception in the Valley that Centre appointed interlocutors prefer to engage from their cosiness of their location in Srinagar. Sharma is expected to break through Kashmir's skepticism and hear out the most extreme of the anti-India voices ruling the streets.

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Asian Voice | 28th October 2017


Amala Paul strikes the right chord with latest release

‘Jia Aur Jia’

A unique story about two starkly different women that share the same name. Starring Richa Chaddha and Kalki Koechlin in lead roles, both women embark on a life-changing journey together.


single from Amala Paul's upcoming 'Thiruttu Payale 2' has been released and is spreading like fire over the internet with the video already garnering 1 million views on YouTube. Titled 'Nee Paarkum', the song has been topping the charts in radio channels and is a pleasant melody. Composed by Vidyasagar and sung by Karthik and Shwetha Mohan, the

romantic melody persuades one to fall in love. It is one of Vidyasagar's classic composition. Directed by Susi Ganeshan, the film features Bobby Simha, and Paul. On the work front, Paul has a couple of Tamil films up her sleeve, of which, 'Thiruttu Payale 2' and 'Bhaskar Oru Rascal' are in post-production currently. She is also shooting for Malayalam film 'Cinderella'.

Rajamouli's next features Mahesh Babu


midst rumours that SS Rajamouli will start work on his much-awaited 'The Mahabharata', latest reports suggest that the director has chosen on a social drama for his next. Also, his movie with Telugu star Mahesh Babu will be produced by KL Narayanan, and the movie is expected to go in the floors in 2019. One of the finest filmmakers from the south, Rajamouli celebrated his birthday last week. A pioneer in the film frontier, he has undoubtedly taken the Telugu industry all over India by making cult films that include an array of classic historical stories. His magnum opus, 'Baahubali' took south Indian cinema to the international stage.


A son's search for closure post his father's death in a road mishap, leads to some dark realisations. The film stars Manoj Bajpayee, Smita Tambe, Kumud Mishra and Adarsh Gourav in the lead.

'Bigg Boss' contestants team up for new film?

'Mersal' writer reveals heart-touching scene


tory and screenplay writer of critically blockbusters like 'Baahubali' and 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan', Vijayendra Prasand has now written the screenplay for Atlee's 'Mersal' with Thalapathy Vijay. When asked details about the film, Prasad, who is also father to ace filmmaker SS Rajamouli, said, “When Atlee was narrating the story to me, he explained one particular scene. It was a scene from the 80s portion where Vijay's newborn toddler would raise his hand up whenever he hears his father's voice. As soon as I heard this, I told Atlee that there is some energy in this concept, let's do this!” Released last week, the film is currently embroiled in controversy for criticising the Goods and Services Tax and the Digital India Initiative. Its box office collections however, remain unaffected. 'Mersal' made £430 million on its opening day as it played on over 4500 screens. Theatres witnessed a 95 per cent occupancy on the second day.

Arunraja Kamaraj pens lyrics for Rajinikanth's 'Kaala'


RP-hogging TV show 'Bigg Boss' has reportedly helped two of its top contestants come together for a film project. According to their PRO statement, lyricist Snehan and Oviya are all set to join hands for a new film to be produced by music director Sathya. The soon-to-be-titled

movie also marks Sathya's debut production. While an official confirmation is awaited, Oviya has strongly denied the reports, saying it is just a rumour. Official sources close to Oviya has said the news is fake. Snehan and Sathya remain unavailable for comments.


ulti-talented actor, Arunraja Kamaraj has penned yet another interesting number for Rajinikanth's next film 'Kaala'. Arun revealed the news during the audio launch of 'Ippadai Vellum' last week. The actor-director had previously rendered his voice and wrote the chartbuster number 'Neruppu Da' for 'Kabali'. His fierce voice and powerful words boosted the song to the top. Not to forget, it

paired extremely well with Thalaivar's personality. His latest will be the introduction song in 'Kaala'. The song will also mark the

reunion and comeback of Santhosh Narayanan and Arun, after their last collaboration in 'Bairavaa'. Arunraja has worked as lyri-

cist in films such as 'Theri', 'Pencil', 'Kabali', and 'Jigarthanda'. Meanwhile, Rajinikanth had completed shooting for the Pa Ranjith's directorial. His official spokesperson Riaz tweeted, “It's a wrap for #Kaala #superstarrajini. @LycaProductions @shankarshanmugh @twopointo song shooting n @arrahman newly built studio.” 'Kaala' is produced by Dhanush's Wunderbar Films.


Asian Voice | 28th October 2017 AsianVoiceNews


health lifestyle

To Our Readers

We are publishing these items in good faith, kindly consult your Doctor before you try to implement any advice. We do not hold any responsibility for its efficacy...

Cut down on alcohol, avoid preservatives to beat breast cancer A global survey by Avon revealed that several women still don't know enough about the early symptoms and risks of breast cancer. Early diagnosis is vital in treating the disease. Dr Jayanthi S Thumsi, senior consultant-breast oncology, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospitals, dwells a little into the subject. She said, “The magnitude of the disease is very huge, yet it is a very treatable condition. Breast cancer, when detected early and treated appropriately, can be almost completely cured. Detecting it early is vital. It is very important for women to be aware of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.” Dr Reetu Jain, M e d i c a l Oncologist, Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, said, “Early diagnosis is effective in all termsfinancially, economically and the treatment needed for survival. If a lady is diagnosed with breast cancer at stage 1 or say stage 2, the chances of curing is 95-96

per cent. If there is an early breast cancer, the woman may not need radiotherapy or chemotherapy; only operating and removing the cancer will be needed. Patients can keep away extensive treatments.” Proper awareness to detect the problem early is important Jain said, “ If there is a

An elderly couple goes to Burger King, where they carefully split a burger and fries. A trucker takes pity on them and offers to buy the wife her own meal.''It's all right,'' says the husband. ''We share everything.''A few minutes later, the trucker notices that the wife hasn't taken a bite. ''I really wouldn't mind buying your wife her own meal,'' he insists.''She'll eat,'' the husband assures him. ''We share everything. ''Unconvinced, the trucker implores the wife, ''Why aren't you eating?''The wife snaps, ''Because I'm waiting for the teeth!'' *** Visiting the countryside on a hunting trip, a welldressed man from Stockholm takes aim and shoots a duck. But the fowl drops into a farmer's field, and the farmer claims it. Since both want it, the farmer suggests settling the dispute with an old fashioned hick-kick. ''I kick you as hard as I can in the crotch, then you do the same to me,'' he explains. ''Whoever screams the least gets the bird. ''The city man agrees. So the farmer winds up and delivers a crushing blow to the man's privates, and he collapses to the ground. Twenty minutes later, when he finally manages to stand, he gasps, ''My turn.''''Nah,'' says the farmer, turning away. ''You can keep the duck.'' *** Mortified doesn't describe how Jane's parents felt after meeting her boyfriend. He sported vile tattoos, swore and just had a hostile air about him. After he left, the mother said, "Dear, he doesn't seem like a very nice person." “Mom," Jane said, "If he wasn't nice, why would he be doing 500 hours of community service?"

strong family history of breast cancer then we (doctors) recommend selfbreast examination from the age of 30. Patients with family history of breast cancer can themselves start self-breast examination which should be conducted every month; another span of examination is a yearlybased physical examination, where the patient should consult a physician. Women with a family history of breast cancer after the age of 35-40 should opt for screening mammography every year. For people who don't have any family history of breast cancer, doctors recommend self-breast examination from the age of 35-40 years and screening mammography at the age of 40 years.” Thumsi said, “ If one finds any of the symptoms in their breast, there is no need to panic as 80 per cent of the times it could be non-cancerous. But because we should not miss the other 20 per cent when it could be cancerous, it's very important to go to a doctor and get yourselves thoroughly examined and investigated and not to neglect the signs and symptoms.” She added, “ Time is the most important factor in breast cancer. Cancer has an inher-

ent property to grow and spread very fast. Hence, if we intend to beat the cancer negligence will not help. Do not hesitate to share about your problems with others and do not delay in seeking medical help.” Breast cancer need not be detected in the breast first Explaining the earlier symptoms, Jain said, “Breast cancer can spread and form a lump in lymph modes under the arms or around the collar bone. This could cause a swelling even before the

Higher childhood vitamin D levels reduce diabetes risk significantly

A recent study has found that getting enough vitamin D during infancy and childhood, will reduce the risk of diabetes in kids who are genetically predisposed to have the disease. Researchers from the University of Colorado in the US examined the association between vitamin D levels in the blood and islet autoimmunity. Jill Norris from University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, said, “For several years there has been controversy among scientists about whether vitamin D lowers the risk of developing of islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes.” Type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease that is increasing by 3-5 per cent annually worldwide, researchers

said. It is now the most common metabolic disorder in children under age 10. In younger children, the number of new cases is particularly high. The risks seem to be greater at higher latitudes, further north from the equator. Vitamin D status varies by latitude. However, associations between vitamin D levels and islet autoimmunity have been inconsistent. The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study, looked for triggers and protective factors for type 1 diabetes in 8,676 children with elevated type 1 diabetes risk. Researchers compared 376 children who developed islet autoimmunity with 1,041 children who did not.

original tumour in the breast tissue is large enough to be felt.” Men can get it too “Breast cancer can occur in men too. 1:100 is the ratio between men and women developing this disease. Breast cancer in men is very easy to diagnose. The signs and symptoms in men are similar to that in women, but the disease could spread to the other organs very quickly in men compared to women,” said Thumsi. “Most breast lumps in men are caused by gynaecomastia (a harmless

enlargement of the breast tissue),” Jain added. Genetically, both men and women are at equal risk of developing the disease. “Suppose the mother is the carrier and has the gene present in her. If she has two daughters and two sons and if all four children have the gene present in them, then irrespective of the gender, all four have the same amount of risk to develop breast cancer. Gender does not the matter if the gene is present. Breast cancer can be passed on from mother to son or daughter,” explained Jain.



Asian Voice | 28th October 2017



India on Sunday ended its decade-old wait for continental triumph as it defeated Malaysia 2-1 in a close final to clinch its third Asia Cup hockey title. After winning the Cup in Kuala Lumpur in 2003 and Chennai in 2007, India scored off field goals this year through Ramandeep Singh and Lalit Upadhyay. Gutsy Malaysia put a brave show, and its efforts bloomed as Shahril Saabah pulled a goal back. Ranked sixth in the world, India was in for a nervous final 10 minutes, but the defence did just enough to hold on. Singh opened the scoring with a tap-in from a close range in the third minute while Upadhyay doubled India’s advantage in the 29th to put the team in a comfortable position going into the half-time break. Indian skipper and captain Manpreet Singh minced no words in underlining the significance of the victory for Indian hockey. He said, “We needed this win. We didn't have a great performance in the World Hockey League Semifinals. But after that, we told ourselves that this is in the past and we have to give our best in the next tournament and that was our goal in Asia Cup. In the camp, we were clear that we have to win this tournament at all costs. Asia Cup is very important

in the run-up to the World Cup next year. So, we are very happy to have achieved what we aimed for.” The victory was only sweeter as they beat a team that has beaten them twice in two big tournaments earlier this year. When asked if this settled India's score, Manpreet said, “Our only aim in the tournament was to give our best, regardless of the opposition. As professionals, we want to win every game against every opportunity. Yes, the final was a do-or-die situation because you don't get another shot at that. And so to beat them was quite sweet.” Recently-appointed

coach Sjoerd Marijne said the team improvised its defensive tactics quite well in its triumph in the Asia Cup final. “I was a bit worried when the score was 2-1 and strange goals can happen in last four or five minutes. I am really happy how they (the India players) played, they changed the way we defend in the end and that helped us clinch the final,” Marijne said. He guided the team to title triumph in his maiden assignment. As glorious as the victory is, a bigger challenge awaits for the boys in December, when India will play the Hockey World League (HWL) Finals at

home. Marijne said, “As the highest ranked side in the tournament, we were expected to win here and so this result is in keeping with our position in Asia. That it came without some senior players is a good thing because the internal competition we have now is always good.” Manpreet said, “We know the HWL will be different and we are prepared for it. This win is great but now we will get back and regroup after a short break and get going for the next tournament. We hope to keep the momentum going and keep improving, especially since the next one year is going to be tough.”

Under-pressure Kohli's team faces rare series defeat It's tough times for the Indian cricket team as they try to bounce back in the three-match ODI series against a refreshed New Zealand in the must-win second game due on Wednesday. Not many expected the Kiwis to topple India in the series-opener at the Wankhede, however the visitors did so in brilliantly. A record-breaking 200-run stand from Ross Taylor and Tom Latham got the better of the hosts as it put New Zealand on the cusp of a rare series win in India. The way both the gentlemen played spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav was praiseworthy, especially considering that Auzzies struggled against the same combination in the preceding series. The Indian team lacked lustre as captain Virat Kohli led from the front with his 31st ODI ton but failed to find support from his team. The


Social Media changed women's cricket: Mithali India women's cricket team captain Mithali Raj said the profound publicity on the internet and live coverage of the ICC World Cup played an important role in Mithali Raj changing the profile of the sport of the country. India came second in the World Cup held in the UK, losing to England in the final at Lord's. Speaking at an interactive session titled 'Breaking the Boundaries' by Ficci Ladies Organisation, Raj said, “In 2005, there was not much coverage and no live telecast of our matches. We don't have any videos of those games. We only have with us the experience of our journey in 2005.” She said, “This year, the wide publicity on social media and live television coverage of ICC World Cup has changed dynamics of women's cricket in India. The visibility in this World Cup was immense. We got more followers. We couldn't get this momentum earlier. Way back in 90s, it was very difficult for us to go through the journey where in U-16 and U-19 we had to travel in unreserved trains and used to stay in hostels. And it continued when the women's cricket was under WCI. Unlike the US where everything is in place to groom sportspersons for the Olympics, in India we need to make it big before getting some recognition and support from the government.” Also present was former India captain Rahul Dravid who said women's cricket in India has got a start and now there is a necessity of popularising the sport. “The more you play the better you get. Hence, more competitions will bring the best out of the talents. There is a need to bring more school kids on to the platform to develop the sport. For example, there should be more school and college cricket competitions.” FLO President Vasvi Bharat Ram said, “Ficci Ladies Organisation (FLO) believes that successful women must be recognized not only because they deserve to but also it encourages other women to face all odds and emerge victorious and confident. It is especially true when Indian women are breaking all stereotypes and bringing laurels to our country in the field of cricket, which has been always considered as a male bastion.”

Jitu Rai, Heena Sidhu win gold in air pistol mixed team event

cally. In reply, New Zealand lost their first three batsmen for a score of 80. The Pune pitch was a belter when India played England and another run feast is expected on Wednesday.

Virat Kohli

usually dangerous opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma fell to the swing and accuracy of Trent Boult. They will now have to find a way to negotiate the left-arm pacer early on in their innings. Kohli, who stuck a memorable hundred in his 200th ODIm would like to continue from where he left off. The number four spot remains a concern for team management with 11 batsmen being tried at the position. Kedar Jadhav batted at

four on Sunday, miserably failing to do the job, Dinesh Karthik batted at five, and played a decent knock in his comeback game. He is expected to make the playing elevenm putting Manish Pandey in a fringe. On the bowling front, Chahal and Yadav's spin duo who gave away 125 runs and managed a lone wicket will be keen to make amends. Skipper Kohli's 121 helped India score 280 for the loss of eight wickets, in spite of the home team losing wickets periodi-

Squads: India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur. New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, George Worker and Ish Sodhi.

Heena Sidhu & Jitu Rai

Heena Sidhu and Jitu Rai joined to give India their first gold medal of the ISSF World Cup Finals, clinching top honours in the 10m air pistol mixed team event on the opening day of competitions. Commonwealth and Asian Games gold-medallist, Rai, and former Commonwealth Games gold-winner Sidhu picked their third gold together in the mixed team event, being held officially for the first time at an ISSF World Cup. They shot 483.4 in the final to finish top of the podium at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges. The mixed team competitions were organised as test events in the World Cups held earlier this year and will make their Olympic debut in the Tokyo 2020 Games. France's Goberville and Fouquet bagged the silver medal with 481.1, while China's Cai and Yang managed to claim the bronze with a score of 418.2.




31 Asian Voice | 28th October 2017

So you will be sleeping easy. Not your pension Personal Pensions

We use a personal pension plan that works for you whether you are contributing to your pension, waiting to retire or drawing an income from it. We build the right portfolio of funds for you based on your long-term financial goals and coordinate this portfolio with the other investments we manage for you. This plan accepts transfers from other personal pension arrangements and we can then manage all your pension investments as one, bringing you the benefits of scale, oversight and simplified administration. We keep you fully up to speed with the changing regulatory landscape such as ‘pensions freedom’ and make sure that you can take the best advantage of these ongoing changes. When the time comes to start to take an income from age 55. We can use the sophisticated income options the plan provides

for you to draw the best and most tax-efficient income to fund you through your retirement. When you die, the pension fund does not die with you. You choose who you want to benefit following your death.

SIPPs and SSASs We also manage fund portfolios on behalf of SIPPs and SSASs. We normally hold these investments on an onshore platform that will allow your pension administrator to reclaim internal taxes on funds

where appropriate. Money from your SIPP or SSAS can also be transferred into a personal pension – this is often more costeffective than a SIPP or a

SSAS if you just invest in funds.

Individual Savings Account (ISA) The current ISA allowance is £20,000 per person (this is subject to change annually), and so we advise our clients to first take advantage of this tax-free environment. You can invest into an ISA with a lump sum, contribute to your ISA pot every month, or transfer money in from an existing cash or stocks and shares ISA. We then choose the right funds for you to hold in the ISA and manage the portfolio for you. In addition to there being no Income or Capital Gains tax on either the initial investment or subsequent growth, the ISA does not even have to be declared on your Tax Return. If a couple were to contribute the current ISA allowance and then continue paying this allowance in full every year. Assuming an investment growth rate of 5% per annum after 10 years, the ISA portfolio would be worth over £500,000 – t h a t ’ s

£500,000 of completely tax-free cash. If that were to continue for a further 6 years, the couple would be left with a savings pot of over £1 million, completely tax-free! You can fund your ISA with an annual lump sum or small regular contributions to make it more affordable and there are no restrictions on withdrawing your money at any time. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to start building a tax-free pot.

Capital Gains Tax Allowance After our clients have fully maximised their ISA allowance. We would look to invest the next £200,000 or £400,000 for a married or civil partner couple into a Collective Account so that they can take advantage of their Capital Gains Tax allowance. Each UK individual is entitled to a £11,300 Capital Gains allowance in the current tax year (2017/18), which can be

used to soak up most investments that make a ‘gain’, including investments in property, shares, and gilts. This account can be used to absorb your annual Capital Gains allowance, essentially meaning that the first £11,300 (for an individual) of capital gain in the portfolio would be free of Capital Gains Tax, once the funds are sold and the gain crystallised. This would equate to a return of 5.65% per annum on a portfolio valued at £400,000 (for a couple). In addition to this, the government currently allows individuals to receive dividend income of up to £5,000pa taxfree. Of course, we would only use the Capital Gains Tax, Dividend, and ISA allowances if they were not being taken up by our clients elsewhere. We will always look to use the most appropriate tax efficient investment wrappers for our clients. In most

cases, with UK clients we will begin by soaking up the personal investment allowances that each UK individual is entitled to make. It’s very easy to overlook making adequate pension arrangements. Or alternatively, after having made arrangements, not keeping an eye on them. That’s where our Pensions Management service is so valuable. For more information please contact Kishan Devani on 020 8953 3444.

Investing doesn’t have to be boring. (It’s just better that way.)

Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. You may lose part or all of your money. A full risk assessment is carried out. 2

24/10/2017 15:40

Build your £1 million tax-free nest egg gg. With the allowance for ISAs rising to £20,000 from April, A don’t overlook this opportunity. If a couple each put their £20,000 into a stocks and shares ISA every year for 15 1 years, a £1 million tax-free pot is entirely plausible.* Our wealth management services also include Inheritance Tax Planning, Pensions and Tax Efficient Investing.

Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. You may lose part or all of your money. A full risk assessment iis carried out. *Assuming a gain of 5.1% pa after costs.

For more information please contact Kishan De on 020 0 8953 3444 or email me at kishan@hb

HBFS is the trading name of HBFS Financial Services Ltd., which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FCA number; 463752. Registered address: 52 High Street, Pinner, Middlesex HA5 5PW. Registered in Engla and, Reg. no. 5273179. Trading address: 3 Theobald Court, Theobald Street, Bor B ehamwood, Hertfordshire WD6 4RN. N. © 2017 HBFS Financial Services Limitted. All rights reserved.

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Asian Voice | 28th October 2017

If you don’t plan intelligently, a large slice of your estate could end up with the taxman. At HBFS, we have extensive experience in Inheritance Tax planning, with a range of tax-efficient and attractive investment options.

Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. You may lose part or all of your money. A full risk assessment is carried out.

Keep the taxman’s hands off your estate. For more information please contact Kishan Devani on 020 8953 3444 or email

HBFS is the trading name of HBFS Financial Services Ltd., which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FCA number; 463752. Registered address: 52 High Street, Pinner, Middlesex HA5 5PW. Registered in England, Reg. no. 5273179. Trading address: 3 Theobald Court, Theobald Street, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire WD6 4RN. © 2017 HBFS Financial Services Limited. All rights reserved.




AV 28th October 2017  

Asian Voice Weekly Newspaper (Issue No: 25)