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First & Foremost Asian Weekly in Europe

Vol 46 Issue 43


10th March to 16th March 2018

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side 80p


Honours for Contribution to Political & Public Life

In a saffron surge in the Northeast, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party put up a spectacular show in Tripura, as it ended 25 years of the Left government in the state. As three NE states- Tripura, Nagaland, and Meghalaya faced verdicts on March 3, the BJP was seen pushing their roots firmly in a region that once seemed impenetrable. A significant breakthrough, the victory didn't come easy. Two main factors that helped the BJP was the dissatisfaction with the Manik Sarkar government, and the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT), a tribal-dominated party that helped it clinch 39 out of 59 constituencies in the state.

Lifetime Achievement award winner Indian actor and politician Shratughan Sinha with CB Patel, Publisher/Editor, Asian Voice

Congress, barring Meghalaya, was almost wiped clean in Nagaland and Tripura, becoming a butt of jokes on the world wide web for its obscene performance in the polls. It is safe to say that the grand old party has lost all political footing across the

The BJP revels in its stunning victory in Tripura

country. Following its victory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said people are reposing faith in the development oriented agenda of the NDA while rejecting negative and disconnected politics. He said his party's historic victory in Tripura is “as much an

ideological one”. “Time and again, election after election, the people of India are reposing their faith in the positive and development oriented agenda of the NDA,” Modi tweeted. “The historic victory in Tripura is as much an ide-

ological one. It is a win for democracy over brute force and intimidation. Today peace and non-violence have prevailed over fear. We will provide Tripura the good government that the state deserves,” he said. Continued on page 26

Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP receiving Cabinet Minister of the Year Award from CB Patel

See Full Story on P16-17


Asian Voice | 10th March 2018





Keith Vaz, MP

Vino Patel Vino Patel was born in Mombasa, of an economic migrant, who came to Kenya from India in search of better living standards and financial happiness. Having achieved reasonable grades but unable to progress further, Vino studied Electrical Engineering whilst working as a Salesman in a Retail shop and going to college in the evenings for three years. Like most new immigrants, Vino’s family faced a few hardships trying to settle in a new country, but they worked hard and Vino had to further his studies in Accountancy whilst working and eventually got a visa to settle in the United Kingdom. After spending his early years being employed in various Industries and Financial Institutions and supporting a family, Vino entered into a Pharmacy business in 1986, which he pursued for 20 years before retiring. After retirement in 2004, Vino started a Consultancy Company for Printing and Packaging, and has worked in India, Italy and Africa for a few leading printers. In 2015, Vino re-entered into the Pharmacy business with a close family member. He is now semiretired but still works part time in Pharmacy and continues to build up the business. Vino enjoys helping people in different walks of life. In his leisure time, he enjoys swimming and cycling for Charity Organisations. Vino has done a trek to the Himalayas which he believes was life changing. 1) Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in? Although I was born in Kenya, I have spent most

of my adult life in the West, so I feel United Kingdom is my home country. Although in Sports, I still support the

Kenyan teams. 2) What are your proudest achievements? Being blessed with a beautiful wife and family from the man above. At the age of 50, I also achieved an MBA with full support from my family whilst managing a hectic Business life and other Social Events. 3) What inspires you? My family and their enduring support is a constant source of inspiration which I am ever grateful for. 4) What has been biggest obstacle in your career? Due to Open Door Society, whether business or otherwise, it has been a struggle to win the hearts and minds of everyone and to stand together on a single or similar platform for a common goal. 5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? It is hard to point a finger as to who has influenced me. It is the way we live in

modern times, the competitions and challenges we endure every day that have influenced me to be on guard and protect your love ones and stay positive. 6) What is the best aspect about your current role? As life is totally unpredictable, I like to deliver my ideas to the best of my knowledge that is beneficial to everyone at the end of the day. 7) And the worst? Unable to win hearts and minds or convince people to see the opposite side to their point of view. 8) What are your long term goals? To share and deliver some of my experiences in life to Society, that will achieve even bigger benefits and share this with the under privileged members of the Society. 9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? Equal playing field for

all. One for all, all for one. I would also introduce a system whereby the large corporate world must return some benefits to Society where there is need. 10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why.

Dr Livingstone. A great explorer of the African Continent. He had the courage to find his way to inform the world about the Continent. He understand his role not as an Explorer, but how he made the rest of the world aware of life in the jungle and how his exploration would bring wealth and prosperity to the Continent.

Former Russian spy collapses due to “unknown substance” A former Russian agent who had been convicted for spying for Britain, Sergei Skripal, 66, along with a woman identified as being his daughter, Yulia Skripal, 33, were found collapsed on a bench at The Maltings shopping centre in Salisbury, Wiltshire on Sunday 4th March. As of 6th March at 5pm when this report was filed, they remain in hospital in a critical state, and police have stated that the duo had been exposed to an “unknown substance” and are trying to find out what the substance was

that caused them harm. The pair had no visible injuries, however, police are investigating whether a crime had been committed. Sergei Skripal, who was a former colonel in the Russian military intelligence, was sentenced by Russia in 2006 to 13 years in jail for passing the identities of Russian intelligence agents who were working undercover in Europe to MI6, UK's Secret Intelligence Service. Skripal was one of the four prisoners to be released by Moscow in exchange for 10 Russian

Due to the bad weather and heavy snowfall last week, there has been a delay in customers receiving their weekly copy of Asian Voice/Gujarat Samachar. You will be receiving your copy of last week's newspaper soon. We apologise for any inconveniences caused.

spies as part of a swap, who had been arrested by the FBI. He was later sent to the UK. Top counterterrorism officers in Britain along with specialist officers are now supporting the investigation by Wiltshire police. In a radio interview, Scotland Yard's Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said, “It's a very unusual case and the critical thing is to get to the bottom of what's caused these illnesses as quickly as possible. If necessary we will bring that investigation into the counterterrorism network. We're doing all the things you would expect us to do, we're speaking to witnesses, we're taking forensic samples at the scene, we're doing toxicology work and that will help us to get to an answer. I can't say any more at this stage.” Freya Church, an eyewitness saw the duo sitting on the bench. She

Sergei Skripal

explained to the BBC, “An older guy and a younger girl. She was sort of leant in on him, it looked like she had passed out maybe. He was doing some strange hand movements, looking up to the sky... They looked so out of it I thought even if I did step in I wasn't sure how I could help.” CCTV footage are being examined by police, which shows an unidentified man and woman walking near to where Skripal and his daughter were found. Russia reiterates that it has “no information” on what could have

led to the occurrence of this incident. However, it says that it is open to cooperate in the police investigation if requested. Spokesman for Russian President Vladmir Putin, Dmitry Peskov told journalists, “We see this tragic situation but we don't have information on what could have led to this, what he was engaged in.” Peskov also told journalists that Moscow was prepared to help in the inves-

tigation. In 2006, a Russian dissident and former intelligence officer Alexander Litvinenko, died in London after consuming tea allegedly laced with radioactive substances. His widow, Marina Litvinenko expressed in an interview on the radio, “It just shows how we need to take it seriously, all of these people asking for security and for safety in the UK.”

France more popular destination for Indian visitors than the UK Research by The Royal Commonwealth Society shows that despite the UK’s historic cultural and economic links with India, France attracted 185,000 more Indian business visitors and tourists in 2016. Overall the number of visits to the UK by Indian nationals fell by 1.73% in 2016, while in

France it grew by 5.3%. Given that the competitiveness of the UK visa offering globally has plummeted from 22nd to 108th in international rankings, a UKIndia bilateral visa agreement would be an ideal initial step in making the UK a more attractive destination for Indian visitors.

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Saving the Health Service

Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), created in the aftermath of the Second World War was the greatest achievement of the Labour government of Clement Atlee. It provided free healthcare at the point of provision to the entire population and was (and is) recognized across the political divide as one of the nation’s crown jewels. Britons took pride in the quality of service it provided. The astronomer Stephen Hawking says he would not have survived without it; that the NHS embodies a ‘humane, civilized system.’ His words were endorsed more fully by Dr Kailash Chand, Honorary Vice President of the British Medical Association, who is eloquent in its defence. ‘This is a unique system, whatever its flaws. Universal healthcare, free at the at the point of provision, is a fundamental human right and the UK is perhaps the only country in the world that has truly tried to meet that requirement.’ Overcrowded hospitals, patients on trolleys waiting to be attended to are now a common sight in many British hospitals, from the 1970s, a slow erosion set in with the worship of the free market, perceived in the Thatcher

years forces, as the ultimate determinant of good and bad. Class divisions grew, the gulf in the affordability of higher education narrowed and poor housing became a feature of social life, and the numbers of homeless people on the streets of the major citie multiplied. There are inordinate delays before patients needing surgery can get the required treatment. This includes people with heart problems, hip and knee replacements etc. In desperation many British people (and Americans) are turning to places in the Third World for urgent surgery. Medical tourism, as it has come to be known, is a package arrangement of surgery and aftercare which often includes a fortnight’s rest and recuperation at a beach resort. Patients contact private hospitals skilled and easily affordable for the average British or American pocket. Patients contact well known hospitals in, say, Mumbai, Delhi or Bangalore for their needs and the vast majority appear well satisfied with the experience - which explains the growing numbers opting for this route for their medical needs.

The seemingly intractable conflict in Afghanistan may at last be moving towards a durable peace. What years of conflict have proved once again is that its rugged terrain and the tribal love of independence from all foreign rule would ultimately prevail even against the most daunting odds. Promiscuous promises of victory emanating periodically issued by top US commanders have produced disappointing results. Ultimately, the penny dropped: the Afghan war was unwinnable. The guerillas lacked the firepower to defeat well armed regular formations; the latter was unable to overcome an adroit opponent with no fear of death. War weariness set in. For the United States it was the longest war in the nation’s history. Even for a militarized society with lax gun laws and a high frequency of domestic homicides, and an astronomical defence budget that keeps rising and extends beyond gravitational laws of common sense, the sought after security is proving as elusive as the mythical philosopher’s stone. The Afghan Taliban, with their deep social roots have sensed the ebbing enthusiasm for the continuing slaughter; besides the unfolding presence of Arab Islamic State was troubling as a an alien intrusion. Against this canvas, the Taliban and the US opened secret negotiations. The Taliban expressed a willingness to abide by the spirit and letter of the Afghan Constitution including respect for the rights of Afghan women.The stage was set for Afghan President Ashraf

Ghani to take a bow with a sweeping set of gamechanging proposals. The Taliban could open an office in Kabul; it could operate freely in the country, and hence contest elections. President Ghani said to the Taliban leadership: ‘Now this is in your hands, accept peace and let’s bring stability to the country.’ A conference of regional powers including Pakistan will hopefully be convened. Afghan intelligence has long complained of covert Pakistani support for the Taliban, but Islamabad being on the international terror watch list instituted by America, Russia, France, Britan and Germany, and an initially reluctant China, must know that the three-month notice to cease arming and funding jihadis in Afghanistan or face economic sanctions could have dire consequences for its fragile economy. The era of brazen defiance is over. Clearly a partner in the consultative process, India has endorsed President Ghani’s peace initiative. Following its attendance at second Kabul Conference, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale met President Ghani and Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar. An official Indian statement welcomed the peace process, the safeguards for the rights Afghan women and minority communities. ‘There can be no compromise with terrorism…and those who finance them and provide safe havens and sanctuaries,’ said the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is young charismatic and engaging – shades of his late father Pierre. The Liberal Party landslide brought him to office, with great popular expectations of change following years of perceived lacklustre Conservative Party government. However, Trudeau’s radical chic performances at home have started raising eyebrows about the substance he brings to the table and less to the glamorous image. For instance, asked recently by a voice in a domestic audience, why Islamic State jihadis were welcomed back to Canada, his reply likened their cases to immigrants from Europe fleeing Hitler’s Nazi oppression – a comparison that was both obtuse and needlessly offensive. These events were little known abroad, especially in India, where the media’s international pages are largely restricted to the pantomime of American politics, including alleged Russian meddling in the US 2016 presidential election, and of sowing racial discord in the US. Perhaps the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan is a Russian export. Trudeau’s arrival in India was awaited keen anticipation. The visit turned sour soon enough. ‘So what went wrong?’ asks Candice Malcom, a Canadian reporter covering the trip. ‘In a word, narcissism – paired with superficiality and poor judgement. The Canadian Prime Minister’s success to date can be traced to his talents as a performing artist than to an understanding of statecraft, economics, or diplomacy. When posing in a costume, he is at his best. But without a scripted narrative to follow, he lacks the depth and the sophistication to grasp when the show has gone on too long.’ Trudeau’s entourage included Jaspal Atwal a convicted assassin and former Sikh terrorist, once a member of the International Sikh Youth Federation now banned in Canada. In 1987, Atwal attempted to murder a visiting Punjab Cabinet Minister Malkiat Singh on

Vancouver Island. Confusion was worse confounded by absurd denials of Mr Trudeau’s ties with Atwal; photographs of them together proved otherwise. Mr Trudeau’s visit was reduced to a family vacation wit its album of Daddy, Mummy and the bkids in exotic Indian garments. Mr Prudeaus’s security advisor has suggested that Atwal was given a visa by rogue elements in the India’s Ministry of External Affairs in a bid to derail the IndoCanadian relations.hip - which has caused outrage in the ministry. Derailment has occurred. It is the wreckage we see before us. It will take time for Humpty Dumpty to be put together again. The Canadian Liberal party subordinated the country’s national interest to the politics of vote banks and will pay a high price for such indulgence. This, it would appear, is deep-seated malaise. One recalls the bombing of an Air India flight in June 1985 from Canada to India that exploded in midair off the coast of Ireland in Cork county killing all 329 passengers and crew. No arrests have been made. The bombers received instructions from former CIA operatives. A US Congressman defended their action on the plea of free enterprise! Republican US Republican Congressman Dan Burton was a lifelong Khalistani supporter; and the Khalistani and jihadi presence in the UK was once generously accommodating until things started to get out control, with jihadi terror groups menacing British society with bomb, bullet and vehicular battering rams. Supporting good terrorists against perceived bad ones has long been an idiom of American statecraft in the Middle East and beyond. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is conducting a global crusade in every Western capital he visits against this cynical and dangerous game.. Dissembling American leaders have much to answer for. US certified jihadis bore (and bear) the stamp of respectability even as US policy in Middle Eastern trouble-spots unravel. Old habits die hard.

Ghani takes a giant step for peace

Trudeau in India: Bang to whimper

Asian Voice | 10th March 2018


In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision. - Dalai Lama

Virendra Sharma MP Labour MP for Ealing & Southall

Organ Donation in BAME Communities This month I want to talk about the importance of active involvement of our community in saving the lives of hundreds of people each year. As Member of Parliament for Ealing Southall many of my constituents are of BAME origin. BAME people wait an average of six months longer for transplants than do their white counterparts and face the struggle of comparatively rare blood and tissue types. Those from BAME backgrounds are more likely to develop conditions that result in the need for organ transplants and those requiring bone marrow donations are more likely to find a match with someone from a similar ethnic background. Although there has been a fantastic increase in the number of donors overall in the past ten years, the number of BAME organ and tissue donors has only increased by 7% - this translates directly into more deaths for our community. We are in need of a drastic increase in both living and deceased organ donation from members of our community. Last month I voted for England to shift to an opt-out system for organ donation rather than our current opt-in system, and that will raise the number of BAME donors. However, families within our community are just as important as the donors themselves. Under the current system, if you have not registered with the NHS Organ Donor Registry, and your wishes are unclear, your doctor will ask your family or an appointed representative about your organ & tissue donation. 64% of BAME families refuse permission for donation compared to only 43% for the rest of the population. Research shows that religion is quite often a barrier to loved ones consenting to organ donation because they feel that their religion doesn’t allow it, but in fact, all major religions in the UK support the principles of organ donation. Further education for our families is necessary to increase donations. When the wishes of the deceased are unclear, and our emotions are cloudy immediately after their death, it can be difficult to make the decision to donate at that time. As organ donation is a time sensitive issue (For example, eyes have a 6 hour window after death to be donated) making your wishes about organ donation clear within a will often will not allow enough time for donation to be carried out. Discussing your wishes with family well in advance can mean that you will save a life. Further education on organ donation and debunking myths about religious exclusion from the practice is necessary to save more lives, as is discussion with family members prior to death regarding organ donation. Awareness must be raised within our schools and communities here in the UK if we wish to save lives and increase quality of life for countless individuals. Continued on page 6 Editor: CB Patel

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Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

Leicester Arena and Morningside Pharmaceuticals announce partnership Leicester Arena and Morningside Pharmaceuticals have agreed a three year naming rights sponsorship for the arena, which will henceforth be called the Morningside Arena, Leicester. The 3,000 capacity arena is the largest in Leicester, and, as well as being the home of the national basketball Club champions, the Leicester Riders, the Leicester Arena has become the go-to venue for a wide range of sporting, entertainment, religious, and comedy events, as well as being a venue for a wide range of community activities. Recent major Events have included a religious event with the Archbishop of Canterbury, a FIBA World Cup Basketball Qualifier between Great Britain and Greece, a John Bishop comedy event, multiple Bollywood music events, televised boxing events, national karate championships, and international wheelchair rugby and basketball events. The arena also has a strong community focus, being utilised by the underage programmes of the Riders, by students from Leicester College for coursework and enrichment, by students from Leicester’s two universities, and a for wide range of other community activities. Dr Nik Kotecha, OBE, Chief Executive of Morningside said, “Morningside Pharmaceuticals is committed to making a difference to our local community and the Leicester Arena is a superb new facility for the city, the county and for the East Midlands.” “Through this partnership, we will be able to offer the venue for one day a month to local and national community

be hugely beneficial to our strategy.”

About Leicester Arena

Dr Nik Kotecha, OBE

projects which will be extremely valuable to all that benefit.” “We are thrilled to be making this commitment to improve the overall experience for users of the venue, and to support the use of the arena for community and charitable activities.” According to Leicester Arena Director and Riders Chairman Kevin Routledge, “The Arena and all its partners are absolutely delighted with this naming rights sponsorship with one of Leicestershire’s great and global firms.” “We have all been working very hard to put the Leicester Arena on the sporting and entertainment map as a flexible high class arena, without losing our community focus, and to be able to work with Morningside Pharmaceuticals will

Ethnic differences in need for heart pacemakers may have genetic link A team of researchers at the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), UK, has found evidence to show that South Asian people (from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka) in Britain are less likely to require a pacemaker for an abnormally low heart rate compared to white people of European origin. Abnormally slow heart rate (bradycardia) occurs when the electrical conduction system of the heart does not work properly. Symptoms include dizziness, fainting, confusion, shortness of breath and tiring easily after light physical activity. It is more common as people get older, especially after 75 years of age. The best way of managing significant bradycardia is to implant a permanent pacemaker. The device, which sits under the skin below the collarbone, is about the size of a 50 pence piece. It is connected to a pacing wire which sends an electrical impulse to stimulate the heart to beat when it detects that the heart rate

is too low. The researchers looked at the number of permanent pacemakers implanted in Leicestershire over an 8 year period. During that time, 4,883 people had a permanent pacemaker implanted, which represents about five people in every 1000 of the local population. However, the rate of permanent pacemakers fitted in white people was nearly six times higher than in South Asian people, even when factors such as risk of heart disease and age were taken into account. Iain Squire, professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Leicester and honorary consultant physician at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “From previous research comparing the two populations, we know that South Asians have higher incidences of coronary artery disease and stroke compared to people of European origin. However, with this particular heart condition, our study shows that the level of susceptibility is in fact reversed.” Professor Sir Nilesh

Samani, cardiovascular theme lead for the NIHR Leicester BRC and Professor of Cardiology at the University of Leicester, said: “Leicester is a particularly good place to undertake research of this kind because of our mixed population. The results of this study raise the possibility that genetic differences at least partly explain the differences in risk of different heart conditions between South Asians and Europeans. Finding out the mechanisms, including any genetic variation that underpins these differences, is certainly warranted by further research.” The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is a partnership between University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, the University of Leicester and Loughborough University. The article, “Evidence for reduced susceptibility to cardiac bradycardias in South Asians compared with Caucasians”, was published on 21 February 2018 by the BMJ Group’s Heart Online First.

The Arena is a partnership of Leicester Riders, Leicester City Council and Leicester College. The Arena was funded by the partners, and Sport England and the Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, and a number of commercial partners. The Arena is the home to the champion Leicester Riders ND is also a regional basketball centre of excellence. It also serves as Leicester College's Sport teaching and learning facility and as a large multi-use sports venue the local community. It is also home to Leicester Cobras Wheelchair Basketball Club. Leicester College will use the Arena during term time as part of the teaching and learning offer to all Leicester College learners attending sports courses. And all of the College's 25,000 students have access to the facilities through a membership scheme for sports enrichment activities.

About Morningside Pharmaceuticals Morningside Pharmaceuticals Ltd is a large local Loughborough based business dedicated to delivering first class medicines to those in need for over 25 years. The company manufactures and supplies a wide range of branded and generic medicines. Morningside’s medicines are delivered to NHS hospitals and pharmacies twice daily, as well as being supplied to some of the largest aid agencies in the world.

Office queen bees sting other women Researchers have found that the queen bee syndrome at work has made some women target others in an attempt to climb the ladder. The behaviour is typified by disparaging feminine traits, delivering harsher criticisms and failing to support moves to help tackle gender inequality. A team at the University of Arizona tested who were rudest to women in the workplace. Their study showed that women consistently reported higher levels of incivility from other women than their male counterparts. Companies face a higher risk of losing female staff who suffer female instigated rudeness, according to the study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

GPs paid to cut hospital referrals

Doctors are being given cash incentives to keep patients out of hospital, under a recent agreement condemned by patients’ groups. An investigation has revealed a quarter of the country’s NHS authorities introduced “cashback” for local surgeries that managed to cut the number of patients referred to hospital.

Asian Voice wishes you all a very Happy Mothers’ Day. Read special article on page 8


Sad farewell to Wolverhampton Mayor, Cllr Mattu - Dhiren Katwa Tributes from all over the world continue to pour in following the sad loss of Councillor Elias Mattu, serving Mayor of the City o f Wolverhampton. He was 59. Cllr Mattu, pictured, died last week after a lengthy illness. Mayoress Mrs Asha Mattu, Cllr Mattu’s widow, said: “We have been so moved and comforted by the enormous amount of tributes to Elias since he passed away. He touched so many lives here in the City of Wolverhampton and further afield. He dedicated his life to public service and making things better for people regardless of their background.” Cllr Roger Lawrence, Leader of Wolverhampton City Council, described Elias “a true man of the people, loyal, proud and caring man who worked tirelessly for our city’s diverse communities”. He added: “This Thursday our city will come together to remember Elias and say goodbye to someone who will never be forgotten.” Cllr Mattu’s funeral will take place at St Peter’s Church in the city centre this Thursday (Mar 8), followed by a burial at Danescourt Cemetery. A horse and carriage carrying Cllr Mattu’s coffin will lead the cortege from his home in Penn Fields into the city centre where it will stop in St Peter’s Square outside the Civic Centre where a minute’s silence will be observed at approximately 10.30am. The Mattu family have asked for no flowers and that donations are made to Cllr Mattu’s Mayoral charities which are: Acorns Hospice, Street Pastors, Sickle Cell Care, Interfaith Wolverhampton, the Alzheimer's Society and Wolverhampton Central Youth Theatre.

Surgeon who pressed himself against junior doctor and kissed her neck avoids punishment

An orthopaedic surgeon, who forced himself on a junior doctor, has avoided punishment after organising Powerpoint presentations using himself as the example to stop other doctors harassing colleagues. Dr Milind Mehta, 48, asked the woman into his office at Dr Gray's Hospital in Elgin, Scotland, on the pretext of showing her medical slides - only to press himself against her chest before kissing her repeatedly around the neck and shoulder. Afterwards the colleague - known as Dr D - asked Mehta if he had tricked her into going in to his office to which he laughed and replied: 'I hope you did not get the wrong idea.'

Students ban ‘transphobic feminists’

Students at the University of Bristol have voted to speakers who question the womanly status of transgender people from campus. The university’s students’ union passed a motion to “no-platform” so-called TransExclusionary Radical Feminists (Terfs), who argue that identifying as a woman is not the same as being born a woman. A further vote is needed before the motion becomes official union policy, according to a spokesman for the students’ union.

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Coalition of charities and academics demand rethink on ‘dangerous’ voter ID trials Over 40 leading charities and academics have call on the government to urgently reconsider the decision to run pilot mandatory voter ID at the local elections in May. They have written to Chloe Smith MP, for the Minister Constitution, calling on the government to urgently reconsider the decision to enforce voter ID at the local elections in May. The coalition of groups have argued that voter ID reforms present a significant barrier to democratic engagement and could disadvantage young people, older people, disabled, transgender, BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) communities and the homeless. The group, led by the Electoral Reform Society, are calling for a rethink from across civil society – including Age UK, the National Union of Students, Operation Black Vote, the Salvation Army and Stonewall. All are concerned that mandatory voter ID would damage turnout and undermine engagement among already disadvantaged and excluded groups – and worry the trials are a fait accompli for a national roll-out. In the letter, they note that enforcing voter ID is an entirely disproportionate response to the issues involved: “In 2016 there were 44 allegations of impersonation – the type of fraud that voter ID is designed to tackle – out of nearly 64 million votes, reflecting just one case for every 1.5 million votes cast.” And figures now released for 2017 show

this fell to just 28 allegations of impersonation last year our of nearly 45 million votes, or one case for every 1.6 million votes cast. Only one of these allegations resulted in a conviction. Darren Hughes, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said: "Electoral fraud is a serious issue – but mandatory voter ID is a sledgehammer to crack a nut. "Requiring voters to bring ID to the polling station risks excluding far more people than the handful attempting to undermine the result. "As has been seen in the US, mandatory voter ID raises sizeable barriers to people wishing to legitimately express their democratic will – and the millions who do not hold any form of photo ID. Our democratic procedures are widely respected without the need for over-bearing policies like this. "The government needs to rethink these plans urgently, to ensure that our democracy is not threatened by these heavy-handed changes. “We have electoral officers and a highlyrespected judicial system to prevent abuses – let’s strengthen them, rather than potentially disenfranchising millions.” Simon Woolley, Director, Operation Black Vote, said: “This is clearly not a political issue, but rather a democratic concern. Right now our democracy needs to be the strongest it can be, therefore, we should be making the process of voting much easier, rather than introducing more layers of bureaucracy, that will inevitable cause distrust and turn people away."

Mother cares for snake that killed her son

Daniel Brandon died of asphyxiation at his home in Church Crookham, Hampshire Inset: Parents Babs and Derek Brandon

Pets form a very dear part of ones life and become more than family. But what happens when your own pet whom you've cared for ends up biting you, or much worse, killing you? Barbara Brandon has revealed that she saved the 8ft snake that had

killed her 31-year-old son, Daniel. Daniel died in in August 2017 from asphyxiation at his home in Hants. The mother disclosed that she continued to care for the pet snake since the death of her son as that is what he would have wanted.


Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

Neil Basu becomes the first Asian officer to take top counterterrorism role Rupanjana Dutta Neil Basu has become the first police officer of Asian descent to be appointed as the new Assistant Commissioner responsible for leading counter terrorism policing nationally. Mr Basu will take over from AC Mark Rowley as head of the Met’s Specialist Operations when AC Rowley retires later this month. Currently Mr Basu is the Senior National Coordinator for counter terrorism policing and AC Rowley’s deputy, a position he has held since October 2016, responsible for delivering the police response to pursuing terrorists and the Prevent strategy. He takes on the new role after five terrorist attacks in Britain in the past year including Islamist atrocities in London and Manchester and a far-right vehicle attack in Finsbury Park, north London. Police and MI5 also disrupted ten Islamist and four extreme right-wing plots during the same

Neil Basu

period. Commenting on this a p p o i n t m e n t , Commissioner Cressida Dick said: “I am delighted that Neil is joining our senior team. He takes on a job of enormous importance and responsibility leading counter terrorism policing nationally and in London and is a worthy successor to Mark Rowley. Neil has the skills, experience and character we need. “He has already undertaken some of the toughest jobs in policing, not least in the last year as senior national coordinator countering terrorism and has proven how good

his judgment and resilience is. He is a leader of courage, compassion and integrity and I know he will do a great job.” Mr Basu, whose father is of Indian origin, on his new appointment said: “It is a privilege to be asked to join the management board of the Met and to lead for CT policing at such a point in our history. “It is both a challenge and a duty that I accept with humility and a sense of great purpose. I will lead to the best of my ability, the most extraordinary people I have ever worked with as they work night and day to counter terrorism.” He was promoted to Deputy Assistant Commissioner in 2015 and at that time was posted to lead on protection and security, including Royalty and Specialist Protection, Parliamentary and Protection Diplomatic Aviation Policing and Protective Security Operations. He has also worked as a detective in all ranks to detective superintendent in a range of areas includ-

ing anti-corruption and homicide for Trident within the Serious and Organised Crime Command. He has also held the posts of area commander for South East London and head of armed policing within the Met. He will take over as Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations on 21 March. A recruitment campaign will be launched later this month to fill Mr Basu’s current role as Senior National Coordinator. In the interim, Commander Dean Haydon, who is the head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) will undertake this role as temporary Deputy Assistant Commissioner and Senior National Coordinator. Clarke Jarrett will temporarily take on the role of Commander for SO15. Home Secretary Amber Rudd welcomed the appointment of Neil Basu and said, "I look forward to working with Neil as we make sure we have a broad and comprehensive response to terrorism which keeps pace with, and ultimately reduces, the threat."

Tighter laws on guns can prevent gun crimes Two weeks after the catastrophic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Florida which killed 17 students people, returned to classes and by welcomed were the of members Broward County Police Benevolent Association who handed carnations to them as they entered the school. non-partisan The analysis conducted by the Rand Corporation reveal new estimates based on a review of existing gun policy research, as well as surveys on gun rights and gun control experts. The that revealed study imposing a ban on assault weapons may prevent 170 mass shootings a year in the US. The study also suggests that passing a background universal check law could prevent 1,100 gun homicides a year, while raising the age limit for buying guns and firearms could prevent 1,600 suicides and homicides. people's Despite expectation of a traditional response of a sales spike in gun sales following the school shooting, the shares in gun manufacturers plummeted. The

Rifle National Association (NRA), the pro-gun lobby group which has five million members, is said to have had a history of being America. in feared However, following the recent destructive event, there has been a dramatic turnover where car rental firms, many airlines and other corporate organisations have ended special deals for NRA members. Social media has also been instrumental in pushing business leaders to be more responsive regarding gun laws in the US. Retailer Walmart said it was raising the minimum age for someone buying guns and ammunitions to 21 years, while Dick's Sporting Goods stated that it would no longer sell assault-style rifles and also supported “common sense gun reform”. But is that enough to ensure safety from the widespread prevalence of gun violence? According to statistics released by Pew Research Center & ATF, 30% of adults in the US personally own a gun, 39% of which are men, 22% women, 36% whites, 24% 15% and blacks, Hispanics.

Furthermore, President Donald Trump allegedly suggesting the idea to arm teachers as a way of preventing school shootings has sparked a sense of uncertainty. The idea of “good guys with guns” will not solve the problem; it can lead to more gun crimes taking place rather than preventing them. Gun crime is not an alien concept to the UK. According to a report by the London assembly's police and crime committee, the Metropolitan

police recorded 2,542 gun crime offences in 2017. This statistic of gun crime in the UK is the highest number in five years and is 44% more than the 1,755 gun crime recorded in 2014. The report also suggested that about a third of the gun crime victims as well as nearly three in five offenders were age 25 or under in the 12 months to October 2017. However, in comparison to the US, the UK seems to be doing a better job in tackling gun crimes.


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Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

Meghan to baptise as Anglican out of respect for Queen Meghan Markle, the future wife of Prince Harry has had a multifaith childhood. She was raised as a Protestant, studied at a Catholic school and was formerly married to a Jewish man. It is now said that Meghan will be baptised and confirmed as an Anglican by the Archbishop of Canterbury at Kensington Palace in a private ceremony due to take place in March. Although Meghan was not required to become an Anglican in order to marry Prince Harry in church, she decided to go ahead with the baptism out of respect for the Queen's role as head of the Church of England. Among family members who are expected to be at the baptism is Meghan's father, Thomas, who lives in Mexico and is yet to meet his soon-to-be sonin-law, as well as Meghan's mother Doria Ragland, who is said to be travelling from her home in California. Meghan was previously married to Trevor

Meghan Markle

Engelson who was Jewish, however, she did not take up his faith during the two-year duration of their marriage. The royal wedding of the year is to take place on 19th May at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. The couple are to invite 2,640 people to the wedding, 1,200 invitees will be members of the public including schoolchildren and charity volunteers. The wedding list includes 200 people from charities and organisations with which the duo have a close association, 100 pupils from Royal School and St George's School, 610 Windsor Castle community members includ-

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle with the Duchess and Duke of Cambridge

ing residents of Windsor Castle and members of the St George's Chapel community, and 530 members of the Royal Households and Crown Estate. As the day to the special day is approaching, Meghan Markle decided to have her hen-do at a spa, rather than do the usual club and drinks, notoriously associated with hen and stag-dos. It is suggested that the Duchess of Cambridge wanted to go but s she is seven months pregnant, she chose to stay at home and rest instead. It would not be farfetched to instate that the

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have brought in a sense of novelty to the traditional ways of how the royal family were once perceived. They have instated a sense of compassion and approachability where one is able to associate themselves with these royal couples despite the fact of the grand scale of differences between them and the general public. They still manage to evoke a sense of belonging amongst the public through their grounded demeanour and behaviour.

Noisy neighbours ordered to pay £100,000

Banker Sarvenaz Fouladi, 38, who lived in a £2.6 million flat in Kensington has sued her noisy neighbours, Sarah and Ahmed El Kerrami who lived on the floor above her as the noise of the young family on the wooden floors was “intolerable”. The judge ruled that the neighbours must pay Fouladi £100,000 in compensation as their floors had no carpet. Sarvenaz Fouladi said that the sound of their daily activities, such as children playing or dishwashing used to keep Fouladi up at night as the noise was too loud to bear

Sarah and Ahmed El Kerrami

work on the floors in order to reduce the noise levels significantly. The judge also ordered that Fouladi was paid

£107,397.37 as compensation, rising by £40-a-day until the work on the flat floors was completed.

Judge tells feuding father and son: life is too short “Life is too short”, a judge told a father and son who have been battling over their £100,000 collection of vintage tractors. Thomas Lowther, 88, and his son Thomas Lowther jnr, 51, also known as Royston, was urged by the judge to make up with each other as they had not been speaking to one another for several years. The duo from Darlington had a minor argument regarding the maintenance of a hedge grew out of proportion leading them to be at war with each other and hence started to sell off their entire collection of tractors. In court, Lowther jnr was ordered to pay £750

Thomas Lowther jnr with father Thomas Lowther snr (seated)

as well as £604.28 costs. The judge also told the father-son duo to let

Theresa May opens trade negotiations with the EU On Friday 2nd March, Theresa May started trade negotiations with the EU by acknowledging the “hard facts” of Brexit, however, encouraging compromise to assure an “enduring deal”. The Prime Minister professed in a pragmatical speech in London that Britain would lose access to EU markets while remaining subjects to many of its rules and contributing funds. However, she also stated that EU leaders should allow Britain to match regulators in certain areas and deviate in others in a “unique and unprecedent-

ed partnership”. Theresa May also set out proposals for “substantially similar” regulations as the EU for goods and offered the prospect of a generous migration settlement in EU citizens in the UK.

Internet biggies, such as Facebook and Google have been accused by the National Crime Agency (NCA) of “making profits” from sex trafficking of vulnerable women, many of whom end up in massage parlours and temporary sex clubs in Britain. Security chiefs have warned about “pop-up brothels” that has taken the country by storm. Web companies have been accused by NCA's “modern slavery tsar” as

becoming the “key enabler for the sexual exploitation of trafficked victims in the UK” and has demanded something to be done about this issue. It has been revealed that makeshift brothels have been found in Swindon, Cambridge, Cornwall, as well as holiday cottages in the Peak District.

A Nottingham-based radio station was fined £2,000 for broadcasting a song said that allegedly glorifies violence against nonMuslims. It is said that Ofcom found Radio Dawn was in “serious breach” of its licence when it aired the “nasheed” chant on 26th December 2016. The watchdog suggested that the 17-minute

chant in Urdu, which is recited by a young boy “glorifies historic violence against infidels”, and allegedly suggested acts of the similar nature to be committed to bring honour to Islam. Under the Ofcom code, licensees must not air any sort of material which is likely to motivate crime and distress.

PM Theresa May

Web companies accused of “making profits” from popup brothels

Radio station fined for playing song glorifying violence

Sarvenaz Fouladi

for her. The judge agreed with Fouladi's claims that the noise caused by the El Kerrami family had caused a “nuisance”. The judge also ordered the company that owned the neighbour's flat to do


bygones be bygones. He said, “Life is just too short for this sort of thing, it is terrible. This is a singlechild family and I hope, despite everything, that a line can be drawn under it all as it has got out of hand. I would like to think the situation is not completely irreparable. I am a born optimist and if it is at all possible for the parties to find some degree of closure from this, I would strongly suggest they do so.” The judge continued by speaking directly to the two men, “Try not to let this define you, look at the positives and look at this as a way of moving on. Try to find some sort of reconciliation. That is a

genuine expression of hope rather than an expectation, but life is too short to let this ruin lives.” The father offered to shake his son his hand to shake, however, the son declined saying “never”. Indeed, life is too short and nothing is worth fighting over with your near and dear ones. Materialistic pleasures and money comes and goes in life, but the love and support from your loved one is priceless. It is better to bury the hatchet than dragging a pointless dispute to your grave. Don't miss out on valuable moments with your loved ones over trivial disagreements.

Organ Donation in BAME Communities Continued from page 3 Through the NHS Organ Donor Registry you can choose which organs you would like to donate, and choose if you would like to donate your eyes and tissues as well. The fantastic work of Mr Ashok Kumar Mehra, Dr Ramesh Chand and their campaign with Punarjot’s eye bank has been an admirable and impressive effort towards a “corneal blindness free world”. They have already offered over 5000 free transplants in India, the success of which would not have been possible without informed donors. The willingness of donors and their families, combined with the efforts and knowledge of Dr Chand, have made all the difference for thousands of families across India in the past 25 years. The team’s success and their mission of moving towards a corneal blindness free world has set an example not only for doctors in India, but doctors across the world.



Ethnic minorities paid 37.5% less Nominate your favourite charity than white counterparts in London AsianVoiceNews


Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

British Asians are paid 16% less than whites

Rupanjana Dutta Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) public sector workers in London have been paid up to 37.5% less than their white colleagues last year, especially with a severe difference in Police, according to figures revealed by a new research. The report also highlighted how pay gaps between specific ethnic groups differed. While Black Britons are paid up to 26% less than their white counterparts in London’s public organisations, British Asians are paid 16% less. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has pledged to take action after the pioneering pay audit. In a statement he said, “London is renowned throughout the world as a progressive and diverse city and that’s why it is important for me to publish City Hall’s first ever ethnicity pay audit. I have made sure all of the GLA group publishes an ethnicity pay audit – and the results should concern us all. “I am pleased my administration is shining a light on an issue that has been hidden from sight for far too long. But this is just the beginning. “I am deeply troubled that members of the Black Asian and minority ethnic community who work at these organisations earn on average less than their white counterparts, and I am determined to confront this inequality. “This sort of injustice takes many years to develop and it becomes deeply entrenched. My administration is finally beginning the process of turning this around. “We are determined to promote fairness for all workers, and remedy any unfair disadvantage against BAME people. Change cannot come soon enough. “I’m urging all London’s public bodies and businesses to join me in doing what they can to right this injustice and calling on the Government to consider if it is appropriate to legislate to make ethnicity pay audits a legal requirement, as is the case for gender pay reporting.” Angry campaigners have said that this figure reveals the reality- how underneath London’s image of diversity, there are shocking levels of inequalities even in today’s day and age. Sadiq Khan himself agreed that the figures were deeply troubling and shocking for him and he wanted to con-

front the inequalities himself. According to the report by the Greater London Authority (GLA), areas of job with pay gaps have been further revealed. While BAME people working in the Metropolitan Police earn up to 16% less per hour than their white counterparts, the GLA also has its own ethnic pay gap of 16%. Transport for London (Tfl) which runs London’s main transports such as tubes, trains and buses, has an ethnic pay gap of 9.8% . But the highest level of inequalities have been unearthed at the Old Oak and the Park Royal Development Corporation, which runs a major redevelopment project in the north-west of the city, accounting to a stark gap of 37.5%. Dr Omar Khan, director of race equality think tank, the Runnymede Trust, told The Independent how the study “uncovered London’s secret”. He said that underneath the “image of diversity, in a city where over a third of its population is non-white, there are shocking levels of inequality. This is caused by large employers failing to recruit and promote black and minority ethnic (BME) Londoners. “We may now see the private sector overtaking the public sector, who have become far too complacent about racial diversity. Two in five Londoners are BMEs in their forties, which should be their peak earning potential, yet how many London organisations have two in five BME senior, or even middle, managers?" Last year PwC actually acknowledged this differences to be 13% and have been trying to rectify it. The Mayor has also urged the UK Government to consider whether businesses should be legally be required to publish their own ethnicity pay gaps. The Government since 2017 has made it mandatory for businesses that employ at least 250 people to report their gender pay gaps in 2017. Over 1,000 firms have made their gender pay gap figures public so far, with an estimated 8,000 yet to meet a deadline in April 2018. With less than a month until the gender pay gap

reporting deadline, Dr Sumita Ketkar, Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Professional Development at Westminster Business School, thinks that ‘naming and shaming’ may not be enough to overcome the pay gap given how technology is changing workforces. She said, “The ‘naming and shaming’ of gender pay gap reporting drives the narrative of transparency and equity at a broader level. When longrevered institutions such as the BBC and NHS are put under scrutiny, it raises public ire over the differences in salaries, and starts the conversation around the topic. However, at the same time, small and medium sized companies - or those which are not as much in the public eye - have far less to lose as they can hide behind the big names. If the gap is truly to be filled, more must be done in the form of imposing penalties on defaulters, a move which might be the next necessary step to tackle this ongoing problem deeply embedded within society. “A closer look at the data available to date across sectors reveals that while predictably some sectors such as Finance and Insurance as well as Sports – for example Barclays Bank and England Cricket Board – have large pay gaps, even the more traditionally ‘women oriented’ sectors such as education, healthcare and social care have a gap, in some cases significantly large (i.e. education, which has the second largest gap). Not surprising, no matter what industry we are looking at, under-representation of women in the top jobs seems to be the recurring trend. To that extent, the reporting hasn’t revealed anything particularly new. “Several estimates have been given on when the pay gap is likely to be closed. The World Economic Forum forecasts this will take around 217 years globally, while in the UK predictions range from 60 to 100 years. Unfortunately, these fail to account for the rapid change to the future of work, with an increase in automation, the use of Artificial intelligence and a paradigm shift in the nature of the workforce. These new ways of working and an ongoing underrepresentation of women in science and technology is likely to pose further challenges. A holistic approach to dealing with this societal problem is needed more than ever.”

Do you know of any UK based charities / individuals who are solving pressing social issues of our time, both in Britain and globally



Nomination deadline

31 March 2018.

Nominate them for the Asian Voice Charity Awards 2018 by visiting our


The Awards ceremony will be held on Friday 18th May 2018 at the Hilton, Park Lane , London

Award Categories

For Charities and Not-for Profit Institutions I Charity of the Year

This award recognises a UK-registered charity for their outstanding work and contribution to society, as well as demonstrated excellence service and achievement in its work over the last five years.


Start-Up of the Year

This award is similar to Charity of the Year, but specifically for charities that have been operational for three years or less.

I Outstanding PR Team

This award recognises excellence in charity PR, either in-house at a charity, or an agency undertaking a PR campaign on behalf of a charity

I Most Enterprising

This award recognises a social enterprise or the trading arm of a charity that has made a significant difference to beneficiaries through its ability to generate income to meet its social goals over the last two years.

I Social Impact Award

This award recognises an organisation for the social impact they have created and their contribution to society.

For Corporate Partnerships: I Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility

This award recognises the best corporate partnership and corporate responsibility programmes. It honours a company which goes beyond simply CSR projects to engage in partnerships in the last two years with either UK-registered or international charities, social enterprises or unincorporated charitable projects, to demonstrate quantifiably positive impact to the community.

For Individuals: I Inspiring Individual

This award recognises an individual who has demonstrated dedication, professionalism and integrity over a sustained period of time, and who has produced an identifiably profound effect on the social sector in the UK or otherwise through their work, which could be voluntary or otherwise.

I Inspiring Young Person

This award recognises a young individual who has demonstrated dedication and integrity through their work with the social sector in the UK or otherwise over the past year.




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Gauhar Jaan – The Datia Incident A story inspired by India's first recording star

Tarun Jasani’s new play is a historical re-imagining, inspired by the real-life experiences of Gauhar Jaan, one of India’s most renowned singing and dancing sensations. The story, interwoven with scandal, intrigue and invention, follows the journey of engineer Fredrick Gaisberg as he makes his way across India to record her beautiful voice. India, Oct 1902. Fred Gaisberg is travelling across the country capturing the exotic sounds of the East to be played on his miraculous new machine, the gramophone. He is hoping to record the beautiful voice of Gauhar Jaan, a young courtesan famed not only for her musical prowess but her arrogance. Numerous travellers Gaisberg meets along the way recount the famous Datia Incident where the Maharaja and Gauhar Jaan ‘the Queen of the

Gauhar Jaan, the first Indian diva

Arts’ indulged in a fierce battle of egos, the outcome of which threatens Gaisberg’s mission. Each tells the tale of what happened on that dark day in Datia. So what exactly happened? Set against the backdrop of the Mughul courts, this multilingual production explores India’s recording history at the dawn of the 20th century and touches on the wider themes of inequality, self-belief and empowerment.

Gauhar Jaan was a ground-breaking female, outspoken and openminded. During a period in history when most musicians resisted being recorded, she fearlessly led the way, despite becoming a focus of rumour and small talk. A talented singer who only ever craved control over her own fate, Gauhar’s bold contribution to world music and the revolutionary impact of technology, changed the arts and culture a hundred

years ago. This new play will be showcased from 10th29th April 2018, at the Omnibus Theatre in Clapham, South London. The play will be accompanied by an exhibition : The First Indian Diva - The Courtesan and the Recording Industry. The exhibition is supported by the British Library and EMI Archive Trust, offers visitors the opportunity to delve deeper into the era, the life of Gauhar Jaan and to understand the revolutionary impact that technology had on the development of arts, culture together with the importance of the first recorded sound. The exhibition addresses the role of female courtesans, the significance of musicians such as Gauhar Jaan and early music labels, featuring original recordings and archive material on public display for the first time.

Essex Indians celebrate International Mother Language day

Rupanjana Dutta

Across the world, on 21 February International Mother Language Day was celebrated, is an annual observance which was introduced by UNESCO in 1999. With time and globalisation as a common language for everyone takes precedence, the importance of mother tongue starts dwindling. On a similar thought, Bernadette Holmes MBE in a campaign wrote, “In a world that is constantly in flux, our languages and cultures matter more and more, giving us a sense of identity and confidence. The more we share our languages and cultures, the more we develop a sense of community and a wider and deeper understanding of one another. With each new language and culture

that we encounter, we broaden our world view, become culturally curious and keener to learn new ways of thinking. We could say that by sharing our languages and cultures, we become more aware of what it is to be human. “With globalization and the increasing use of certain global languages like English, Mandarin and Spanish, many languages are disappearing. It is said that every fourteen days, a language dies. With it, the unique knowledge, insights and memories of a distinct culture fade from our view. “This loss of language and culture does not need to continue, if we promote the value of multilingualism and cultural diversity more vigorously.” Keeping the spirit alive, the UK diaspora also

Arpita Ray

celebrated the occasion with pomp and gaiety. Essex Indian community group celebrated ‘Bhasha Dibosh’ or the International mother language day at Langdon Hills Church Hall in Basildon Essex on 24th February. It started with a preevent medical course for community. Doctors of community conducted basic life support course for children and adult . The evening continued

Mother is love. Love is Mother.

Mitul Paniker Women, in general are stronger than men. Women, in general are stronger than men. Stronger in spirits, emotions, cognition. On the slight chance that this statement instigates men, this is but the truth. A female finds her strength constantly transforming when she accepts motherhood. As a teacher, my mother found her maternal instincts attached to more than just my brother and myself. She had over 30 children, all just as special and unique to her. I have

memories of her treating each one as she did us. It had its drawbacks, of course. We were invincible. Arrogant, the kind who walked an inch above the ground because we were

Seena Paniker's children. The vanity soon resonated with all the students who came to study under her. She was never the kind to coddle. No mistake could pass by unnoticed and undetected.

with a beautiful presentation of Dr Dipankar Mukhopadhyay and Teerna about how language evolved. Dr Monika Rakxit and Mr Upal Banerjee discussed bilingualism and growing up abroad. They shared their personal experience. Mrs Yetunde discussed how they are trying to keep their language alive in the UK. Dr Arpita Ray, who conducted the evening’s show spoke about Maitreya Bengali club and how they are trying to keep the Bengali culture alive especially within next generations. With many musical presentations, dance and recitations by the members, the event concluded at a celebratory note. It was attended by Rotarian Dr Srivastava and Dr Prasad and their families. The behaviour often had us young ones question her loyalty. Today however, we realise where she came from and what she intended for us to learn. “I really saw clearly, and for the first time, why a mother is really important. Not just because she feeds and also loves and cuddles and even mollycoddles a child, but because in an interesting and maybe an eerie and unworldly way, she stands in the gap. She stands between the unknown and the known,” wrote Maya Angelou in her autobiography, Mom&Me&Mom. This is what a mother is capable of. She can shake the earth to its core


JITO's conference on cryptocurrency Jain International Trade Organization (JITO) will host a networking event and international conference on 18th March 2018 titled Blockchain and Crypto Currencies – The Next Technological Revolution. The conference is aimed at businesses and professionals, and the speakers will attempt to demystify in non-technical terms blockchain technology, its importance, its current and future applications. The speakers are Guy Davies, Business Development Manager, Blockpass; Ashok Shah, Investment Director, London & Capital; David Prais, Chairman,; Myles Milston, Founder & CEO, Globacap. This event comes after JITO's highly successful International Conference in 2107 which was attended by a galaxy of business owners and corporate heads from India and the UK.

Kiran Mehta, Chairperson, JITO UK

In a message to Asian Voice, Kiran Mehta, Chairperson, JITO UK said, 'One of the objectives of the conference is to stay tuned with the impact of technology.' The event will be held at the Navnat Centre, Printing House Lane, Hayes Middlesex, UB3 1AR. Registration for the event is now open. Admission is free to annual members and patrons of JITO. For registration please visit

Asian Music Circuit presents Music of the Three Worlds Since ancient Vedic times people in India contemplated the origins of the universe and their natural environment. They followed the path of intuition and insight rather than intellectual scientific analysis. There was an awareness of something greater – the creator of everything – Brahman – the Absolute which was in everything and in which everything was. Various ways were elucidated to reach that ultimate bliss. Music and the arts evolved as one of the most powerful platforms to express their longing for and separation from the divine and the spiritual. with her sheer determination and force of love, the kind that is so strong, no man living can withstand. But this is also the kind of love that makes the world go around. A wise woman once told me to “evolve”. To grow, and to never stop. To adapt and never apologise. To do right, and be right. To follow what I have been taught, and not for one minute question what I am capable of being. I find myself lucky for having the right female role models who loved and lived. From a very young age I have been taught the importance of supporting other women. Hollywood's #MeToo,

Music - an integral part of everyday life - became a most important inward path to self-realisation. Music of the Three Worlds aims to explore how people in India expressed their yearning for the divine through various styles of music, temple architecture, poetry, meditation and chanting. Asian Music Circuit is following its now well proven formula of having a high quality exhibition with a symposium and related concerts of live music. Various planned events will take place throught the months of June and July For more details please visit and Time's Up campaign is one such example of what happens when women stand up for fellow women. When women support each other, incredible things happen. March is special to me. With Women's Day celebrated on the 8th and Mother's Day set to be celebrated on the 11th, I find myself filled with love. Having been surrounded by some of the most spirited, sharp-witted women, each year I celebrate these two occasions with a lot of free-willed eagerness. If you or our organisation has or will celebrated women and mothers, feel free to share your joy, and we will publish it for the world to see.

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Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

City Sikhs event in Parliament marks life of suffragette Sophia Duleep Singh


An event hosted at the Houses of Parliament by City Sikhs on 1st of March marked the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote in the UK and the International Women’s Day. The event was centred around the life of princess Sophia Duleep Singh, a leading figure within the Suffragette movement, the granddaughter of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and goddaughter of Queen Victoria. Later this month, the Royal Mail will be issuing a heritage stamp featuring an image of the revolutionary princess (18761948). The event also witnessed discussions on the overall challenges for women in our society and, specifically, in their professional lives in the current times. It was chaired by Narita Bahra, an award-winning barrister from 2 Hare Court and a member of the City Sikhs Advisory Board. The panellists included inspiring women who highlighted the ways in which more women could be included into policy

making and professional sphere. Kamel Hothi OBE, who has been honoured for her service to Diversity in Banking, spoke on the importance of mentoring and how women should be prepared to ask for more senior women in their professions to help them in becoming more confident in their careers. Global media consultant Natasha Mudhar spoke on how essential it is for women to build a good support network around them to succeed in life. Leading community activist Aya Badawai, another esteemed panellist, drew comparisons between British South Asian and Arabic families when it comes to the pressures and expectations for young women. Narita Bahra spoke of her own experiences as a barrister and how she overcame various labels to be treated as a professional

Three men in court over fatal Leicester blast 'caused by petrol' An explosion that killed five people in Leicester was caused by petrol being spread through a shop, a court has heard. A Polish supermarket and the flat above in Hinckley Road were destroyed in the blast on the evening of 25 February. Three men have appeared in court for the first time charged with arson and manslaughter over the explosion. The store's owner Aram Kurd, 33, is charged along with Hawkar Hassan, 32, and Arkan Ali, 37. The men were all remanded in custody and will appear at Leicester Crown Court on 3 April via video link. They each face five counts of manslaughter and one count of arson with intent or being reckless as to whether life was endangered. The court heard that Mr Ali's partner was 22-

The shop and flat above were both destroyed in the blast

Store owner Aram Kurd

year-old shop worker Viktorija Ijevleva, who died in the explosion as well as a married couple and two of their sons who lived in the two-storey flat above the shop. Two of the sons Shane Ragoobeer, 18, and Sean Ragoobeer, 17 - have been named as among the dead. Their mother Mary Ragoobar, 46, is also thought to have died but has not been formally identified. Shane's girlfriend Leah Beth Reek, 18, has also been named as among the dead. Last Sunday, a sixth man was arrested by police investigating the explosion. The man, in his 40s and from East Anglia, is being held on suspicion of manslaughter. Two other arrested men have been released under investigation.


in her own right. The event to commemorate the life of princess Sophia by discussing the future course of revolution for women of colour drew plaudits from MPs and Peers who were in attendance, with Baroness Barker describing it as a “wonderful event” and Lord Suri calling it “groundbreaking”. Emphasising on the importance of the event, Syra Sanghera, a City Sikhs Ambassador, said “We were all taught about Emily Pankhurst and the Suffragette movement at school, but no one ever told us about Sofia Duleep Singh, a strong woman of Sikh heritage who had a massive influence on the movement. It was truly inspiring to hear from a panel of equally strong women for enlightening us about Sofia’s story, and also telling us about their own experiences in modern Britain as women of colour.”

Big thaw forces Cadbury to stop production

Production at Cadbury and Jaguar Land Rover factories were stopped due to the big thaw as it caused chaos and havoc to water supplies. It has also emerged that householders in the worst affected areas who struggled with little or no water due to burst mains may be eligible for a compensation of £20.

Poll reveals we do not recognise our neighbours

According to a survey by the Eden Project found that four in five people could not recognise their neighbours in a police lineup. The research found that 60% of working people had a strong connect and sense of belonging to their workplace, whereas 56% said they felt the same towards their country. However, only 45% stated that they had a strong bond with their neighbours, whereas 83% stated that they were unable to identify and recognise all of their neighbours in a police line-up.

Extremist guilty of grooming “army of children”

Umar Ahmed Haque

It is said that despite having no qualifications, an alleged Islamic State extremist, Umar Ahmed Haque, 25, was able to infiltrate the school system. Haque attempted to radicalise 110 children aged between 11 to 14 as he planned to allegedly carry out terrorist attacks on targets including Tower Bridge and Big Ben. Haque has been found guilty of grooming an “army of children” to carry out terrorist attacks. He taught evening classes at a mosque on Ripple Road, Barking, East London, where he is said to have secretly groomed boys by showing them videos of beheadings, as well as through terrorism roleplay.

From left: Muhammad Abid, Nadeem Patel, and Abuthaher Mamum

The Charity Commission announced an investigation into the mosques where the ringleader the London Bridge terror attack, Khuram Butt, 27, also worshipped. Scotland Yard has revealed that Haque had access to about 250 children at the mosque, as well as at another school in East London where we worked as an administrator. It is said that 35 boys are still receiving support after they were exposed to violent and extremist material. Head of counterterrorism at the Metropolitan Police, Commander Dean Haydon said, “His plan [Umar Ahmed Haque] was to create an army of children to assist in multiple

terrorist attacks across London.” Haque was found guilty of preparing terrorist acts and was dragged from the dock while he yelled support for ISIS. A fellow teacher at the mosque, Abuthaher Mamum, 19, who helped raise money for an attack by gambling, was also found guilty of preparing terrorist acts. 2 7 - y e a r - o l d Muhammad Abid faces being jailed for failing to inform police, while 26year-old Nadeem Patel, was cleared of plotting with Haque but had previously admitted to possessing a gun. Patel has been sentenced to 16 months in jail whereas the others will be sentenced at a later date.



Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

Helping our NHS

In your issue dated 10th February you carried a story ‘Asian Parliamentarians strike back at Trump for NHS criticism’ you reported the statement of the President Trump - “thousands of people are marching” in the UK because the NHS is “going broke and not working” and also was printed “though currently due to lack of resources it has been going through a tough time”. Keeping the above in view, the President criticised the financial position of NHS and not the services it provides. In view of the above, the four Parliamentarians got the wrong end of the stick and missed the point altogether and praised the services which NHS provides and did not touch on the financial problems of the NHS, which was the point raised by the President. Hardly a day goes by when it is not reported either on TV or in the newspapers re financial mismanagement at the NHS. I would suggest that the four Parliamentarians should get together with their colleagues and chart out policies as how: a) to get the NHS out of the financial mire, b) to get the NHS out of mismanagement and, c) to get the NHS out of the misuse of services and benefits provided Subhash C Handa Battersea

Labour’s own goal?

Harrow East, once a safe Labour seat, has recently changed hands, mainly due to majority of British Indians supporting sitting MP Bob Blackman. In the last General Election, popular, well known London Assembly Member Navin Shah AM came close to winning the seat against all odds. In fact the major factor for Navin to miss out was that Labour concentrated their efforts on Harrow West to make sure that their popular sitting MP Gareth Thomas does not lose out, although I personally felt that victory for hard working, ever popular Gareth was never in doubt. By making Harrow East an all women Constituency, imposing women shortlist against wishes of local Labour Party members, failing to recognize very special, indeed unique local diversity, with a large Gujarati population who could sway the result in a marginal seat, barring Navin from standing, Labour has scored an own goal, handing the seat to Bob Blackman on a silver plate. Labour’s candidate Cllr Pamela Fitzpatrick may be an efficient, capable candidate, but she may struggle to dethrone Bob Blackman without ethnic minorities vote. While most Labour Party supporters appreciate Labour’s policy to increase women representation in HOC, a gender balancing act but it should not be at the expense of ignoring diversity balance. In any case their priority should be to win the election and send popular JC to No 10 Downing Street where he could make difference, give us, the long suffering British people the government we deserve, as most people would support his renationalizing agenda to take Royal Mail and utility companies under public ownership, as well as end to selective austerity that affects poor most. Scrupulous Navin is the most recognized face in Harrow. He comes from a politically active family with his wife, a former Mayor and his daughter, both are local Councillors. Navin has been in active politics for the last thirty five years, devoted his life to serving people of Harrow, first as Councillor, then Council leader and now AM. He deserves recognition, not humiliation. As I contribute profoundly to AV, IL and other publications for the last three decades, I am in close contact with ethnic voters who so often ring me at election time if they find it difficult to decide between two leading candidates. Perhaps this will not be the case in 2021 general election! Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

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Beast from the East

The Siberian blast swept in the country last week bringing in the beast from the east. It has caused havoc in the country with a record number of snow falling in various parts of the country. Snow emergency was declared in some parts of the country as the temperature dropped to -10 to -15 degrees celsius. This reminds us of the poem “The north wind doth blow and we shall have the snow”. True to its words, the beast from the north east caused chaos to many parts of the country. As in the past, the energy providers would have taken advantage of the adverse weather conditions and raised their prices but for the Government’s intervention in the form of a bill to cap energy prices which was introduced in the Parliament on 26 February. It is about time that this was done. We, in Asian Voice, have been campaigning for a cap on energy prices for a number of years. We need to have power, we need to use gas and electricity to stay warm in winter. People who suffer most from any indiscriminate rises are retired senior citizens who have nowhere to go during the day, and to avoid heating bills, they stay in cold and damp houses and suffer from depression and other illnesses and be a burden on the health service. The solution could be to nationalise the companies providing the indispensable utilities or subsidise the cost of these utilities. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Could TB menace be curtailed?

There was a time, especially after end of Second World War when TB was a scourge, dreaded illness that was considered worse than death sentence. I remember older generation talking about isolated hospitals, rather detention camps for TB patients in East African colonies of Kenya, Uganda and especially Tanganyika (Tanzania) where sufferers were kept in isolation during late forties and early fifties, as TB was considered to be highly infectious. Although spread of TB was contained and new medicines were developed which cured most patients, it was expensive, as treatment may last for a year or even longer. But like any medicine, especially anti-biotics, these bacteria, microorganisms become immune to these medicines after some time. So the scourge of TB is on the rise, especially in developing countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America, with new and hardens variety of tuberculosis immune to most drugs. Even in India, a record number of two and a half million new cases are recorded every year with half a million death. Although there is a primitive vaccine BCG that was developed some time back, it is proving ineffective. So India is taking lead in developing new vaccine that may stop TB in its track, in cooperation with other nations, under the auspices of WHO who is eager and determined to eliminate this dreadful disease by 2025, like plague, yellow fever and leprosy which is more or less a forgotten illness, bacteria confined to laboratories for research! TB was on the rise even in Britain, especially in poorer parts of the country, East London, Birmingham and Liverpool, due to poor housing, lack of heating and poor diet. In India, government pays each patient Rupees 500 to buy nutritious food which is as necessary as medicine to get better. Let us hope and pray that India, WHO succeeds in this noble cause that may save millions of lives. Kumudini Valambia By email

The legend of Sridevi (1963 to 2018)

Recently with her husband Bonny Kapoor when Sridevi attended a marraige of their family member in Dubai, she died of what was initially believed to be cardiac arrest. Fans of Sridevi from not only in India but also from around the world were shocked to hear this sad news of her sudden death. Today India mourns her death. Sridevi from the age of 4 worked in the film industry for the past 50 years of her life and she appeared in more than 200 films and received 5 Filmfare awards. The film industry has lost her chandni, I have seen most of her movies and one of her best was ‘Sadma’ with Kamal Hasan. Recently I saw her last movie ‘Mum’ in Glasgow theatre and in one function she got an award for her role. That day she appreciated her husband for supporting her all the time. Now the latest news is that Sridevi accidently drowned in a bathtub in her Dubai hotel room May God give her soul eternal peace. Sudha Rasik Bhatt Glasgow


GP Services

The failings and under-funding of NHS is having an adverse effect on the GP services, where the patient ratings for GPs is going down and have fallen to a record low, a survey has found. Thirty five per cent of patients said they were not satisfied with their doctors. The biggest cause of complaint was the long waiting times for an appointment. The findings of the British Social Attitudes survey - which tracks public opinion of the NHS- represent the highest rate of dissatisfaction in GP services since the poll began in 1983. The think tank King’s Fund which published data from a poll of 4,000 patients said the findings ‘show the huge pressure on GPs’. ‘This is a service people used to see as the jewel in the crown of NHS’. One can see it is not the fault of GP services as they are trying their best to cope with heavy demand placed on them by the increase in patients. On top of that they are facing shortage of doctors and nurses, which has been made worse by the Brexit crisis. At an inquest of a case where a child suffering from life-threatening asthma attack was refused treatment by a GP for turning up late by 5 minutes for her appointment which resulted in her death just hours later. This is a horrendous case where a GP was unable to cope with his work load. This should have not happened. This situation need urgent action by the Secretary of Health to put back NHS on its feet. Prof. John Appleby of the Nuffield Trust, said it showed the government must tackle underfunding in the NHS. Baldev Sharma Rayners, Harrow

Charity begins at home

People spend a lot of money in celebrating birthdays, weddings and anniversaries. But what they do not realise is that the same money they spend in inviting any and everybody, can be spent in feeding the underprivileged children of our country. India is a poor country and we all know that eighty per cent of the people living in India do not even get one square meal. They have to rely on charity or handouts for food and to fill their stomach. The same money spent on extravagance can be donated to charitable institutions, where the money can be used for a good cause. I do not celebrate my birthday every year. I donate the same money to a charitable institution where it is used for a good cause. I have told my daughter the same thing who is thinking about getting married soon. Instead of inviting guests who will eat, drink and then parcel the remaining food home it is better to donate the entire amount to a charitable institution where the underprivileged children will at least have a smile on their faces. Meanwhile the continuing violence against women in different parts of India is a wakeup call for all of us. As long as the dignity of our mothers and sisters is at stake, we cannot claim to be a progressive democratic society. We have ample laws to punish the offenders. However, these laws have not deterred the prospective offenders. There should be a tangible change in the mindset of those who regard women as an inferior sex and those who treat them as objects of sexual gratification. Only then will our society be a just and equitable one. Also It was really distressful to know that Bollywood actress Sridevi passed away on February 24, 2018 in Dubai. The actress won the hearts of millions of people all over the world with her films like Chandni, Lamhe, Chaalbaaz, Mr. India, Nagina and many more in the 1990s. She had started her career as a child artiste, and grew up to be one of the biggest female stars India has ever had over the years. Her last performance was the 2017 film ‘Mom’, where she played a woman seeking vengeance after her stepdaughter is raped. Sridevi lived her life in a fantastic way and she really gave a tremendous face to the Bollywood film industry. Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai, India

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Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

Hatred taught at many illegal “schools” Experts demand change to the home education laws after it was found that religious extremists are allegedly exploiting lax home education laws to subject children to material full of hatred at many unregistered “schools” and secret teaching groups. material Extremist that were seized from illegal schools alleged that homosexuality is an “abomination”, that anal intercourse is punishable by death. The text also suggested that a wife cannot “refuse sexual intercourse without sound reason”, as well as suggested boys and girls should be married once they reach puberty. The material also blamed the way women dress for rapes, stating, “If a sweet thing is left uncovered, swarms of dirty creatures are liable to prey upon it and cor-

rupt it.” According to the education regulator Ofsted, there are at least 350 unregistered schools that have been established across Britain. Experts state that these illegal schools have been fuelled by an increase in homeeducated children whose number has gone up by almost 50% in five years to at least 33,000. Although these schools can be technically inspected by the education regulators, it is said that about 80 smaller “teaching groups” have been set up in places such as warehouses and above shops. These are outside the controls of Ofsted. Head of the Commons education committee, Robert Halfon said, “I have huge concerns about unregistered schools and the lack of regulation and inspection. Any school of any kind shouldn't be unregisteread. There

shouldn't be room for grey areas. Even if they have less than five pupils and are open less than 18 hours they should be inspected and registered.” The education regulator has issued warning notices to 50 schools that are suspected to be unregistered, 38 have closed or discontinued to operate illegally and 12 are under criminal investigation. Illegal schools have been located in London boroughs, Birmingham, as well as Luton – about ¼ are faith-based schools. The Department for Education said it and Ofsted agreed on sending cases to the Crown Prosecution Service. “If the director of public prosecutions takes a decision to charge, the case comes to the secretary of state for his consent. So far no cases have reached that stage.”

Up to five new garden towns could be approved under the Government's plans for a 'housing revolution'. The planned settlements, set to be built on the corridor between Oxford and Cambridge, would bring with them thousands of homes. Sajid Javid, the housing secretary, has announced he will give the greenlight to two new towns in the next few weeks and may push for up to three more. It comes after funding was agreed for a highspeed rail line as well as an 'expressway' for cars between the two university towns which would almost halve journey times. Mr Javid told the Sunday Times: 'Along that corridor there's an opportunity to build at least four

or five garden towns and villages with thousands of homes.' He added: 'We have a housing crisis in this country. Average house prices in England are eight times average earnings. 'In London, where we have the most acute short-

age, it is 15 times average earnings. That's not just the worst we have had in England , it's the worst of any major developed economy.' The total number of homes built last year 217,000 - was more than double the total for 2010.

But it is announcing its first online BSc course, to run from next year, with the content produced by academics at Goldsmiths, University of London. Part-

time student numbers fell by more than 40% after fees increased in 2012 - and the current review of university funding has to find ways to reverse this trend.

New garden towns could be built between Oxford and Cambridge

Uni offers fully fledged science degree online

University of London is to announce a fully fledged undergraduate degree course completely taught online for £5,650 per year over three years. It is aimed at encouraging more parttime, working students, following a fall in their numbers after the increase in tuition fees in England. There are plans for 3,000 students to take the computer science course. It comes as the prime minister's review of tuition fees aims to encourage more flexible and cheaper ways to study. The review follows concerns about the high cost of university, with average graduate debts of more than £50,000. The University of London claims to have been the first university in the world to offer distance learning - with correspondence courses in the 1850s.


No. DUBA/Cons/434/MR/18-(30)


Dated: 21.02.2018


A misguided call for Khalistan - Rami Ranger

It is sad that the demand for Khalistan has reared its ugly head once again in the West where some Sikhs can make statements about Khalistan without realising the consequences or feeling the effects of their actions on the Sikh community in Punjab, India and across the rest of the world. It is disturbing to say the least when a handful of unelected Sikhs claim to speak for the wider diaspora and demand a kingdom for themselves which the Sikh Gurus never did. These self-proclaimed leaders act as if they are greater visionaries than the Sikh Gurus and in the process, damage the interests and respect of Sikhs across the world. They project us as anti-India separatists when most of us are not that at all and are proud to be Indians and Sikhs like the Hindus, Muslims and Christians of India are. Sikhs have always been, and still are, in the forefront of India’s defence and integrity. The Sikh Gurus were visionaries who led exemplary lives so that the world would respect them along with their followers. Sadly, some of their followers are now acting and behaving totally against the vision of our Gurus and bringing disrespect not only to themselves but also to us all with their actions. They are in fact diminishing the respect of the Sikh Gurus who dedicated their lives to upholding human rights, freedom and justice throughout India and not just in Punjab. The Sikh Gurus were always above territorial claims and taught principles that crossed borders and cultures. We are proud that it is due to the efforts of the Sikh Gurus that today India is a better place for everyone. Due to their contribution, we the Sikhs receive an unparalleled level of respect throughout India and abroad. More importantly, more and more Indians are now beginning to realise the vision and sacrifices of the Sikh Gurus for India and more and more Indians are paying their respects to them and us. As a result, the Government of India has also started to celebrate the lives and teachings of our Gurus on a national scale. Recently, Guru Gobind Sigh Ji’s 350th birthday was celebrated on a huge scale, led by the Prime Minister. No other religious leader has been accorded such high respect and place to date. Frankly, the Sikhs can never get Khalistan just as the Kashmiris cannot get Kashmir even with the support of Pakistan and aided in the past by the USA. Pakistan fought four fully fledged bloody wars to gain Kashmir, but to no avail. All Kashmiris have achieved to date is to turn a paradise into a no go area for tourists and in the process ruined the economy. If these handful of Sikhs are not careful, they will make Sikhs not only second class in India and beyond but also bring destruction to Punjab’s economy and prosperity. Before the militant movement in Punjab which lead to operation Blue Star, approx. 20% Sikhs were in the Indian Armed Forces and now they have been reduced to a quota of just 2% due to the mutiny of some Sikhs soldiers after operation Blue Star. Sadly, now the Sikh farmers are committing suicide due to lack of employment prospects in Punjab and not to mention a drug epidemic blighting the region. These misguided Sikhs are scoring own goals unwittingly and bring disrespect not only to their fellow Sikhs around the world but also to their Gurus by behaving in a manner which is totally incompatible with their teachings. In 1947 Sikhs could have got an independent State as the British wanted to divide India on the basis of religion, but now as an independent and

sovereign country India will never give an inch of its land to anyone not even to the mighty China. The Sikhs should learn from the Kashmir experience and reflect back upon how many young innocent Sikhs have already lost their lives before and after the Operation Blue Star along with massive setbacks to Punjab’s economy. Do we wish to repeat the same sad and bloody episode in the history of Punjab again ? Our Gurus established the Brotherhood of Khalsa to liberate Indians from the religious oppression of the Mughal kings through immense sacrifices and not to break up India. They also gave us a modern and practical philosophy to make us the best amongst the rest and for us to use religion to get something for nothing, like the Muslims did in 1947 with the death of over a million innocent people along with over 15 million who became refugees in their own country, will be an insult to our Gurus who never used religion to divide mankind. The effects of an artificial manmade division of India are still being felt today and, I dare say, will be felt forever. Throughout their lives our Gurus worked to unite mankind and also gave us a religion based on interfaith teachings by incorporating teachings of Hindu and Muslim holy men to bring people of different faiths closer to one another. These lacklustre Sikhs should think about the Sikh farmers who are settled in UP, Haryana, Rajasthan and also in the rest of India and businessmen in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata along with many other Indian cities. What about Sikhs serving in the Indian Government and Armed forces including the current Air Chief? How will the people of different faiths who come to Sikhs Gurdwaras in every part of India to pay their respect to Sikh Gurus feel? These Sikhs cannot eat their cake and have it too. Sikhs will continue to enjoy respect in India and the world if they live as their Gurus wanted them to. We should, as we have always done, rise on merit and if we continue to spread the teachings and principles of our Gurus through our actions then every Indian will celebrate our Gurus and respect Sikhs even more. It is a fact that no one promotes disloyal staff in their companies similarly, India cannot promote its disloyal citizens either. For these handful of misguided Sikhs to reduce the stature of our Gurus and their followers to just Punjab is reprehensible Finally, our roots are in India where our Gurus were born, the Five Beloved Sikhs (Panj Pyare) who helped establish the Brotherhood of Khalsa, were Hindu Indians who came from every corner of India and who with Guru Gobind Singh Ji helped transform the lives of every Indian. Guru Gobind Singh Ji himself was born in Bihar and left for his heavenly abode in Maharashtra. Banda Singh Bhadur, a renowned Sikh warrior came from Maharashtra. The 9th Guru, Guru Teg Bhadur Ji, paid the ultimate sacrifice not for the Sikhs but for Hindu Kashmiri Pundits and in the capital of India, Delhi symbolising that Sikh Gurus were for every Indian and the universe. We should also remember that present Sikh surnames like Malhotra, Sethi, Kohli, Khurana, Vohra and many, many others, are originally Hindu surnames and there are still so many Hindus and Sikhs who have these common surnames which signifies that it was the Hindu families who made their eldest son Sikh. To separate us from our roots will deny facts about our origin. We should be proud to say we have so much in common with Hindus whilst also having our own distinctions and should continue to live together in a united India.


MEDIA WATCH AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

There have been numerous aftershocks following the collapse of Nirav Modi’s diamond and jewelry business empire, together with that of his close associate Mehul Choksi. The culpability of the Punjab National Bank and officials suspected of involvement in the scam is under continuous scrutiny, with numerous arrests taking place in recent days. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has given banks a fortnight to come with preventive measures against a repeat. A tightening of banking regulations are to be put in place overseen by a government appointed regulator. Karti Chidambaram arrested One scam over, another pops up. Karti Chidambaram, son of former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, was arrested for bribery and corruption by sleuths of the CBI. They took prior precautions with close surveillance of the Chennai,

accounts. Their reach extended to the centre of government and included the Presdent of the Republic Jacob Zuma, his son Duduzane and one of his wives, Gloria Ngeme Zuma, who was on their payroll. The initial murmurs of protest at the the President’s extravagant lifestyle grew in volume, leading eventually to his repudiation by the ruling African National Congress and his enforced resignation from office. Respected South African banks refused to handle the Guptas’ business accounts, hence the brothers turned to the Bank of Baroda to help out

Case to answer

Karti Chidambaram

Bangalore and Hyderabad airports to prevent possible escape be netting their quarry. The court has refused bail to the accused. Law minister Rudi Prasad said the law must take its course. Quite so. Justice must be done, and seen to be done. The Congress party has accused the government of vengeance. The vengeance of the electorate come the general election is what the party leadership should fear most (Times of India, E conomic Times, Hindu, Mint, BN usiness Line, March 1).

Roosting abroad Such purveyors of sharp practice, it would appear, have been plying their trade in deceit, bribery and much else abroad, in other words in countries, where they detect opportunities to make the proverbial fast buck, and hence decided to roost decided to roost in close proximity with victims. The Hindu newspaper devoted an entire page (February 27) to the scams perpetrated in South Africa by the Gupta brothers, Atul, Ajay and Rajesh, who immigrated to the country in the mid-1990s. Their business activities may be likened to that of an anaconda as its enwraps its coils round its victims, suffocating, then devouring them in a slow and measured exercise of its digestive tract. The Guptas insinuated themselves in the heart of South Africa, before spreading their wings. Their transactions involved billions of dollars lodged in secure offshore

The head of its South African operations, Sanjiv Gupta by name but no relative of the Guptas, is now being investigated for wrongdoing, and if found guilty, will surely face disciplinary charges back home. A senior Indian government who asked not to be named by the newspaper revealed that the Central Vigilance Commission, India’s top anti-corruption body, had been instructed to initiate proceedings against Sanjiv Gupta, which could result in his dismissal. Raids have been conducted on the Guptas’ Johannesburg mansion by South Africa’s anticorruption squad, incriminating documents were reportedly discovered and Atul and Rajesh Gupta placed under arrest. The second of the three Guptas, Ajay, has fled the country and is believed to be nesting in Dubai. Meanwhile, Cyril Ramaphosa, the new President of South Africa has the herculean task of cleansing the Augean Stables left to him by his fallen predecessor and his cronies. Insatiable greed was the Guptas’ undoing. The more they acquired through fair means and by foul, the more they coveted. It’s a sorry tale.

Railways on cusp Leapfrog: Goyal India’s rail network among the oldest and largest in the world, long a cash cow for ministers eager to woo their constituencies with headlong expansion with little consideration of purpose or feasibility. Its technology was built on refinements of a century-old technology, but its present minister Piyus Goyal, having taken over the reins is set to make the system fit for 21 st century purpose. The archaic signaling technology, the root cause of the network’s malaise,

is being replaced the world’s most modern ETCS2 system. Rolling stock for commercial traffic will be separated from those for passenger traffic. Endemic delays are destined to become a thing of the past.


India, Vietnam ties enduring

Bullet trains Bullet trains along designed inter-city industrial corridors at around 300km per hour or over, the first between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, the second linking Mumbai and Delhi are works in progress, and will be followed by others integration north, south, east and west. India will be one of the world’s leading manufacturing hubs, said Minister Goyal. ‘Then you have the technologies such as the Hyperloop, which I hope will get the first call port of call in India and look into the future.’

India’s growth bounce back India third quarter (OctoberDember 31) growth of 7.2 per cent, on the back of manufacturing, construction and agriculture, has exceeded expectations. Growth in fixed capital formation points to a possible resurgence in investment following a lacklustre cycle. (Economic Times, Times of India, Mint March 1).

Setting the India-Nepal record straight Nepali journalist Kanak Mani Dixit issued a litany of grievances against India in an edit-page article in the Hindu newspaper [February 20] stemming from a widely held perception of his country’s political class, of India’s big brother bullying attitude towards its neighbor. There is, likewise, much matching selfscourging displays of remorse among certain sections of India’s elite. The time has come for straight speaking.

Amnesia Dixit’s amnesia overlooked the uprising in the early 1950s which overthrew his country’s oppressive Rana oligarchy and sent King Tribhuvan and his family to seek sanctuary in India. His son and successor King Mahendra, with a large chip on his shoulder, began the grievance game during the 1960s, and veiled threats to turn to China for aid and succor. AntiIndian demonstrations became the flavor of the season on the slightest pretext.

India bashing Here is one example. Rumour mills in Kathmandu falsely accused Bollywood film star Rithwick Roshan of stating Nepali women were ugly. Mob fury erupted in the capital targeting the Indian Embassy. The BJP Prime Minister of the day Atal Bihari Vajpayee suspended Indian flights to Nepal in response and restored them following telephone call

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang with his wife Lady Nguyen Thi Hien during a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi

Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang told Indian reorters on the eve of his weekend visit to India that relations between the two countries have ‘gone from strength to strength’ at every level. His visit is to mark 45 years of diplomatic ties. Vietnam is the linchpin of India’s ‘Look East’ policy, designed to bring members of the ASEAN grouping of South East Asia into closer alignment economically and on security issues. from his Nepali counterpart trust and the convergence of expressing regret and promising national interests. Setting the normalcy. scene for the visit, Vietnam’s In the aftermath of the Ambassador to India Ton Sinh, earthquake that devastated briefing reporters in New Delhi, Nepal, Indian relief supplies said President Quang would be were the first to arrive on the raising issues related to the South China Sea with Indian scene. It is true that the Indian leaders (Times of India, Hindu media highlighted the February 28) shortcomings of the Nepali administration in meeting the Trudeau’s India blues dire challenge. The Indian media are not government controlled, and hence the government in The much awaited visit to India Delhi cannot be held responsible of Canadian Prime Minister on everything that appears in Justin Trudeau was not all print or on television. Decades earlier violent antiI n d i a n demonstrations on Sikkim’s accession to India, led to Ambassador M.K. R a s g o t r a threaten to close the embassy with the full authorization of then prime minister Indira PM Modi welcoming Canadian PM Justin Trudeau Gandhi, all and his family related in his memoirs, ‘Fifty Years in smooth sailing. He is young, Diplomacy.’ charismatic and pleasantly affable, but his government’s Transit for currency apparent indulgence of smugglers, terrorists Khalistani militants back home earned sharp Indian media censure. Nepal has become a transit route for Pakistani jihadi gangs Farewell to Sridevi smuggling counterfeit Indian currency into India; also arms Beautiful and regal, gifted with a for terror purposes. These are stunning voice, with songs that issues Mr Dixit would do well to held India in thrall, Sridevi, consider. It takes two to tango, Chennai-born with a mastery of does it not? the South Indian languages, her own Tamil, Telugu and Nehru-Ho Chi Minh Malayalam, learned Hindi and strode the silver screen in set up the platform Bollywood with grace and panache. She died in Dubai, In a tour d’horizon of the drowning in a freak accident in bilateral relationship, President her bath. Thousands lined the Quang said Jawaharlal Nehru streets of Mumbai to bid and Ho Chi Minh between them goodbye to their once gracious established the platform to ties Queen. grow and develop around mutual

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Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

Letter to a New Generation Dear Son, Welcome to the world. You will be your mother’s number one priority and your mother will be mine. Sorry, but that’s how I was raised. You are a boy. Treat women as you would wish your mother to be treated. The world is a beautiful place full of hope. Because you are fortunate. Remember that. Remember, not only us your parents are blessed, but you are blessed too. We will as your parents give you every advantage we can; in three days you have already been on the BBC to 300m viewers worldwide, and thereby achieved in three days more than I did in three decades! But be always humble for your good fortune, and share it with others. Be a rainbow to other’s cloud and you shall lift spirits – including your own. “Poverty is the worst form of violence” said Gandhi. Please remember that when you pick your causes and battles to fight in life. Your achievements will rarely be your own, but like mine, they will be of chance and good fortune. So, you will have an obligation of gratitude to God above and a duty to serve those around you. “Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow” said the former President of India. I have lived by this creed and I hope you will see its merit too: “It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.” Bhagavad Gita. Know you come from an ancient proud heritage, civilisation and faith. Stand

strong for your beliefs and values – in the end, it is all that will truly persist and matter. You are also British – be proud of that too. Be a boy and then a man of character and culture – your actions will reflect on your parents, and theirs. Words from a song I have lived by “Don't waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind...the race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself. Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults, if you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.” You have a large family that loves you beyond words. But I hope you will consider a broader family too – the community around you; the owner of this paper is proof of that. “We may stumble and fall but shall rise again; it should be enough if we did not run away from the battle” said Gandhi. Never run away from the battle. But I do not want to burden you with such thoughts now. There will be time for fun, joy. Fill your lungs with life as you screamed at birth, so too inhale daily the joys of life. Laugh until you have tears; for it is also a sad difficult world, and you will need to find your own moments of peace. Keep your face always toward the sunshine. And look after your mom. Dad, Alpesh B Patel (Approved by mummy Aekta).

Photographic exhibition celebrates life of Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji The University of Wolverhampton is hosting a photographic exhibition on the life and teachings of the revered tenth Sikh Guru, Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. In partnership with the Consulate General of India in Birmingham, the University is co-hosting the exhibition which focuses on the life and teachings of Shri Gobind Singh Ji to commemorate his 350th Birth Anniversary. The FREE photographic display will be

hosted in the exhibition space in the University’s Millennium City Building at City Campus, Wolverhampton from

Indian academics in demand, cross 5,000 mark The number of Indian students coming to British higher education institutions has dwindled since 2010, but the number of academics categorised as “British Indian” has crossed the 5,000 mark for the first time, reflecting their expertise across disciplines. The category includes Indian citizens and British citizens of Indian-origin. During 2016-17, the 5,245 academics in this group included 2,185 Indian citizens, according to new fig-

ures provided by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). Indians have long taught various subjects in British unis, including economist Amartya Sen, educationist Sugata Mitra and engineer Kumar Bhattacharyya, but this is the first time their figure has crossed 5,000 across the country. In 2017, two Indiaborn women experts, Parveen Kumar (medicine, based at the London School of Medicine) and


Tuesday 20th February until 4th March 2018 and is open to members of the public during the week between 10.00 am and 6.00 pm. Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India in Birmingham, said: “The exhibition will form part of a series of photo exhibitions hosted in a few other major cities in the Midlands & North England, culminating in the concluding programme on 16th March 2018 at the University of Birmingham.” Pratibha Gai (electron microscopy, University of York) were honoured with damehood, the female equivalent of knighthood, one of Britain’s highest civilian honours.

Blackburn town that fails to elect Asian women Despite having one of the largest Asian populations in England and Wales, politicians say Blackburn has never elected an Asian woman to its council. Areas with a similar demographic have managed it, so why hasn't this town? Speaking to the BBC Saima Afzal, who stood as a Labour candidate in different Blackburn wards in 1999, 2000 and 2001 coming second each time, said: "I was told to look like a Muslim. I was a woman with a stigma, I'd left a forced marriage. Comments were also made about my sexuality, there were other much worse things said." The former Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire claims some Asian men in the community were unsupportive. And 15 years on, it seems

cotton industry. Fast forward 50 years and the borough now has the 11th largest proportion of Asian residents out of 174 local authority areas in England and Wales. At the 2011 census, nearly a third of its 147,500 residents were recorded as Asian, of which half were women. Yet the demographics are not fully reflected by the area's political makeup. Of the 39 men elected to represent Blackburn, 19 are Asian men; there are no Asian women councillors.

Halal slaughtermen who chanted and danced as they butchered sheep in a British abattoir spared jail Cruel halal slaughtermen chanted and performed a dance as they hacked at the throats of sheep. The still conscious animals were strung up alive as they bled out at the abattoir, near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, a court heard. Kabeer Hussain, 44, and Kazam Hussein, 55, were filmed taunting animals, waving knives in front of them and shouting at them. Some sheep could be seen slipping and staggering away from the duo as blood poured from their necks. The shocking undercover footage of workers ‘hacking and sawing’ at animals’ throats, filmed inside Bowood Farms abattoir by the charity Animal Aid, provoked a public outcry. This week legislation, expected to come into force in May, was put before the Commons that will force all abattoirs to install CCTV. Hussain and Hussein received suspended prison sentences yesterday at Leeds Magistrates’ Court for causing unnecessary suffering to animals. All abattoirs must be approved by the Food Standards Agency, but the


Personal office based marriage introduction service, for all ages, backgrounds, marital status, professionals and non-professionals.

little has changed Blackburn with Darwen Council is yet to have an Asian woman represent one of its wards. The authority's leader Mohammed Khan believes it is because they have "other priorities". "Their jobs, their house and caring responsibility," explains the Labour councillor of 25 years. We do so much to encourage them to come forward, we give them training and tell them how the system works. But this is not paid, it's a voluntary job. It's their choice, we can't force them to come into the council." Blackburn saw an influx of Pakistani and Indian immigrants move to the area in the 1960s, many of whom went to work in the textile mills at a time the town was known for its booming

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Kabeer Hussain (left) and Kazam Hussein (right)

regulatory body does not check whether halal meat is prepared according to religious rules. Many certify themselves as adhering to halal

standards, which state that animals must be killed with a single sweep of a surgically-sharp knife while a Muslim recites a prayer.



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14 Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

11th March GMT Time 06:00:00 08:25:00 12:23:00 15:13:00 18:41:00 21:55:00 00:43:00 02:55:00

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12th March GMT Time 06:00:00 08:26:00 10:56:00 14:20:00 17:04:00 19:46:00 23:09:00 02:06:00

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13th March GMT Time 06:00:00 08:23:00 11:49:00 14:28:00 16:24:00 19:12:00 22:46:00 01:05:00

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14th March GMT Time 06:00:00 08:15:00 11:28:00 14:02:00 17:00:00 20:23:00 23:34:00 01:38:00

BST Time 07:00:00 09:15:00 12:28:00 15:02:00 18:00:00 21:23:00 00:34:00 02:38:00

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BST Time 07:00:00 09:00:00 11:53:00 15:03:00 17:57:00 20:55:00 23:57:00 02:56:00

16th March GMT Time 06:00:00 08:10:00 11:15:00 14:23:00 18:09:00 21:24:00 00:19:00 02:52:00 17th March GMT Time 06:00:00 08:22:00 11:27:00 14:25:00 17:15:00 20:15:00 23:00:00 01:12:00 18th March GMT Time 06:00:00 08:00:00 11:44:00 14:56:00 17:50:00 20:14:00 22:51:00 01:00:00

BST Time 07:00:00 09:10:00 12:15:00 15:23:00 19:09:00 22:24:00 01:19:00 03:52:00 BST Time 07:00:00 09:22:00 12:27:00 15:25:00 18:15:00 21:15:00 00:00:00 02:12:00 BST Time 07:00:00 09:00:00 12:44:00 15:56:00 18:50:00 21:14:00 23:51:00 02:00:00


Film Title Bezubaan Ishq Pardes Double Dhamaal Dhadkan Veer English Vinglish Raman Raghav 2.0 Pyaar Mein Twist Film Title Munna Maange Memsaab Anokhi Ada Taaqat Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam J*** 2 Awaara Paagal Deewana Cheetah The Leopard Mumbai Express Film Title Good Buddy Gadbadi Raj Tilak Udaan I am Kalam English Vinglish Baadshah Vaastu Shastra Kisna Film Title I Don't Luv U Mr. Natwarlal Loha Chakravyuh Awaara Paagal Deewana Phool Aur Kaante Amit Sahni Ki List Kathputli

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Asian Voice | 10th March 2018


Mrs South Central Asia gears up for Mrs Universe 2018

Anisha Safaya being crowned as Mrs South Central Asia

Having been crowned as Mrs India Universe 2017 (reported in 21st November's edition of Asian Voice), Anisha Safaya embarks on her journey towards Mrs Universe 2018. Born to a Kashmiri family, the Jammu & Kashmir ambassador, Anisha has added another feather to her cap by being crowned as Mrs South Central Asia on 11th February 2018, in Mumbai, India. The strong supporter of the “Beti bachao, beti

padao” programme, Anisha feels immensely proud to be able to represent India at an international platform. She now gears up to work harder in order to bring pride to the nation. Anisha shared, “It is a huge responsibility to represent our country at Mrs Universe 2018 and it is a big challenge, but I am all ready for it because I know all I have to do is be the best version of myself, work harder. I am all up for it.”

Changes in eating habit lead to farmers' woes The number of people who have given up meat and have become vegans and vegetarians has trebled over the last 10 years. Changes in eating habits has become a threat to farms who are already facing withdrawal on subsidies. Although there has been a rise in the number of people giving up meat

in the last decade, vegans still make only 1% of the UK population, while vegetarians make up 5%. However, it is said that 55% of meat alternatives are bought by non-vegetarians – this habit has been named as “flexitarianism”. With people opting for meat-free choices, farmers are now in a lurch.



Sunetra Senior As the political landscape continues to undergo debate and internal party friction, literary founder, Shagufta K, and her fierce spoken word and poetry collective – Yoniverse – conjure hopefulness, warmth, “intricacy, experimental ideas,” sharpness and human connection. “We wanted to champion diversity and dialogue by introducing rich and individualistic narratives of previously unheard South Asian women to the mainstream,” she told us. “This could be successfully done through the outspoken medium of open mic. As a result, we decided to create nights dedicated solely to this – we dubbed them Golden Tongue.” With the professional culture of performance art also exploding and increasing in momentum, Shagufta was quite right to state that it’s a “landmark moment” for her collective. “We will have regular headliners and performer’s slots so that women of our cultural background can vocalise their many experiences in the most powerful way. The arts world in general is no longer exclusively a white middle-class industry, either. With digital platforms and social media complimenting its growth, career options here are more viable and we want to be a part of that too.” Indeed, the first poetry night of its punchily cultural kind in the UK, the Yoniverse Collective’s energetic event symbolically took place on the 2nd March, this Friday just gone, immediately before the London Women’s March on the 4th. Opening to great success, with a copious amount of mic slots allocated, in what turned out to be a sold-out evening well in advance, consisting of free-flowing verse, luminous décor – a circle of lights surrounded the speakers as well as a beautifully intertwined string of red and yellow flowers which hugged the mike, forming the stage – Yoniverse’s desired outcome of positively “amplifying the voices of South Asian women by giving them the space to share their stories”, was undeniably a glowing success. Another fluid member of the collective, internationally recognised performance poet, Shruti Chauhan, headlined the evening, shortly followed by an army of emerging open mic acts. “Shruti has this incredible way of delivering these quietly powerful messages,” Shagufta commented. “She moves you forward through shared themes such as culture and womanhood until the proverbial penny finally drops.”



THE YONIVERSE COLLECTIVE women “nuanced and loud” about their cultural experiences, as the eloquent founder mentioned earlier, but also vitally contemporary and empowering in their substantiation of a severely underdeveloped subjective space. “That’s also the unique beauty of spoken word,” Shagufta added: “the performer’s ability to be forthcoming and vulnerable resonates with others and emotionally builds you up as well as the wider community. Hardships can be difficult to experience alone and hearing someone intimately share and own their personal truth makes everyone feel less isolated.” This concept was physically embodied through the Yoniverse Collective’s resident DJ, and Gaysian rights activist, Reeta Loi, whose “music fused classic Bollywood tracks from the '70s and '80s with hip hop and electro beats, getting everyone up and jumping out of their seats together”. Such enrichment was also felt directly through the generous availability of samosas throughout the evening! “We are certainly planning another night soon – currently scheduled for May,” Shagufta proud-

more diverse the spoken word scene, the better the quality and the impact on its audience.” Tell us more about the origins of your spoken word night, Golden Tongue? We wanted to start a modern movement to truly represent South Asian Women. Across the pond in Canada, you have great movement of such women - Rupi Kaur for example - but we didn’t have the same access to such platforms here. Yoniverse Collective wants to see what happens when we do support each other. So far, we have gained a lot of traction from the Midlands to London to further North. We are more than one box or alternative female personality. Why the name Yoniverse? We wanted to reclaim the word ‘Yoni’ in Sanskrit. It could be seen as female genital-centric, but we see it more widely in terms of female dynamism. We wanted to have some simple wordplay with ‘verse’ and universe too!

Photo credit: Kiran Gidda

ly beamed. “Just reach out and speak to us if you’d like to be involved in the future. We also do monthly writing workshops, which is how the collective started, and can hold you through the process of preparing to speak.” The Yoniverse Collective is a highly impressive and experienced team. As well as Shruti and Shagufta, an award-winning artist and author of the poetry collection, Jam Is For *** Girls, Girls Get Jam, prominent spoTogether with the poignancy ken word artist Amani Saeed, proand gender exploration, the lific poet and lover of the featured female perdramatic arts, Afshan formers were also D’souza-Lodhi, multihumorous, various skilled and creative Hardships can be in tone and fearworkshop speciallessly delved into ist, Shareefa difficult to experithematic particEnergy, and Ted ence alone and ulars of bi-culTalk-virtuoso hearing someone tural heritage, Sophia Thakur, intimately share and immigrant life, all contribute to mother tongues, own their personal Yo n i v e r s e’ s motherhood, unparalleled truth makes everysex, hidden combined power. one feel less isolated secrets, mixed Thus, in seeking to accents and both overcome a cultural the marginalisation conundrum, this taland bonuses of having a ented tribe of women at contemporary global identionce contribute to the healty. One poet cautioned of ‘an ascening of an otherwise fractured world. sion of whiteness/the height of “We want people to be able to relax, which is the reaching your feel inspired, talk freely and feel at forthrightness, and me feeling just home,” Shagufta aptly finished. “We that tiny bit inadequate.’ Shagufta hope that our open mode of speaking read at one point on the sometimescan break down bigger boundaries exploited fragile place of women in and put forward all sorts of counterSouth Asian culture: ‘the hands our narratives too. We want to meditate boyfriends leaving invisible, empty on issues and dissolve the echo promises across the lengths of our chamber-mentality: whatever a liscurves.’ Thus, not only are these tener’s ideological persuasion. The

Do you feel there is a crossover between performance poetry and acting? There’s definitely an overlap, but where they differ is the honesty and vulnerability. In live performance, you have to be aware of connecting with your audience and be entertaining in that way. There can’t be an emotional disconnect between you and the page. But you also connect through opening up and stripping yourself of artifice. What grabs you most about performance poetry? You can break the literary rules: mix up commas and sentence structure as well as your delivery. Many view poetry as old-school, but modern verse and mediums take away from the pompousness of that traditional practice because you do have to relate. This is why there is so much cross-over with rap and grime artists and use of vibrant performance spaces. Grammatical correctness doesn’t matter so much as the intention of the work. Tell us a bit about your background? I grew up loving stories. My mum would take me to the library so books were always my little friends. I’ve now been writing poetry and books for 15 years where my voice has really changed over the years. I’ve changed through my twenties along with the world. After 9/11, I’ve looked at the changing contexts: at racism and Islamophobia. My works talks of identity and sense of belonging. T: @shaguftakiqbal




Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

Rupanjana Dutta

Jonathan Ashworth MP receiving Shadow Cabinet of the Year Award from CB Patel, Publisher/Editor, Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

Kulwinder Kumar Bagha of Kool Cakes receiving Innovation in Business Award from Jonathan Ashworth MP along with his wife

Keith Birch receiving the Trade Unionist of the Year Award from CB Patel

Cabinet Minister Rt Hon Sajid Javid, MP, Indian actor and politician Shratughan Sinha and Leicester City footballer Shinji Okazaki were among the winners of the 12th Asian Voice Political and Public Life Awards (AVPPL), hosted by the Asian Voice newspaper at the Palace of Westminster on Thursday 1 March 2018. It was attended by Parliamentarians, business and community leaders, members of the Armed Forces and crème de la crème of the British society, who braved the 'beast from the east' to be present at the awards.

The AVPPL awards represents our modest effort to honour a number of outstanding individuals of any background, who serve society in their own special way, and who contribute significantly, in whatever they do, towards making a better world today and for the future. Owing to the century old tradition of participation in the political process in the UK, women and men equally participate in political and public life in a number of ways, from holding office as political representatives, to exercising citizenship rights such as voting, and to playing an active role in community and voluntary organisations.

These awards are given annually to individuals who have made a special impact in the preceding 12 months, ranging from international politicians to individuals who have made a big difference in their local communities. As in previous years, the competition for the awards was extremely strong. This is a unique event where readers nominate and an independent panel of judges comprising of eminent personalities selects the winners. Receiving the Cabinet Minister of the Year award Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Rt Hon Sajid Javid said, “It is a huge hon-

Dr Balu Pitchiah, a Consultant Psychiatrist receiving Doctor of the Year Award from CB Patel

our to receive this award tonight. My thanks goes to Asian Voice and all its readers, who voted for me. It is very fitting to receive the honour in this setting, the home of our democracy, our cherished freedoms, the freedoms that have made us one of the most open and tolerant countries in the world. A country that just does not celebrate diversity but we actively thrive on the diversity of our country. “It is great to serve people from diverse backgrounds and I must congratulate them all for their achievements. I would like to dedicate this award to my parents and your parents, because it is our parents and sometimes our grandparents who left our homes long time ago, took great risks to come to this country and built not only a better future for themselves, but their children and grandchildren. Today is the opportunity, to remember our parents who are our real heroes.” Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Indian Actor and Politician Shratughan Sinha said, “Thank you Asian Voice readers for nominating me for this award. This is the first time I have entered the Palace of Westminster. I am grateful to all of you that through you and through this

award, I have been able to visit this historic venue. Wherever I go I try to preach and practice, especially to the younger generation that confidence is the main thing in life. Confidence brings commitment, commitment brings determination, determination brings devotion, and when you have commitment, determination and devotion, besides confidence, then you get passion. When you have passion, you can conquer pretty much anything. In this competitive world you have to prove yourself to be better than the best. If you are unable to prove yourself to be better than the best, at least try and be different from the rest.” Calling politics his passion, Sinha added, "Party is bigger than the individual and the nation is bigger than the party. My entire mission is in the interest of the nation. I have great respect for Prime Minister Shri Narendrabhai Modi as he is giving India a good leadership. If there are issues, then they are worth debating. That is the job of friends, especially for members of the BJP. That is why I appeal to all of you. Please do not misunderstand me. No matter what I am, whether I am, good, bad or ugly, I am yours, I was

Prabir Chattopadhyay of Little Kolkata receiving New Business Entrant of the Year Award from Jonathan Ashworth MP





Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

Indian actor and politician Shatrughan Sinha launching our Diwali magazine that featured his daughter and renowned actress Sonakshi Sinha on the cover page, in presence of CB Patel and Kamal Rao, News Editor, Gujarat Samachar

yours and I shall forever be yours." Sinha was also thrilled to see his daughter Sonakshi Sinha, a Bollywood actress, on the cover of Asian Voice's last Diwali issue, and he launched that magazine on public demand, joking that his face could go on next year's 'Holi issue'. CB Patel, Publisher/ Editor of Asian Voice said: “Our awards have recognised great works and some incredible people who have made huge contributions to public and political life. I am so proud that we can celebrate those who have made a positive difference across all walks of life,

regardless of political party, race, colour or religion. These awards also celebrate those individuals who make a significant a contribution to communities and British society and I congratulate all of this year’s winners and urge them to keep up their brilliant work.” The Asian Giants magazine, which is published by Asian Voice annually, was also launched at the event by CB Patel along with Aliirajah Subaskaran, Chairman of Lycamobile. Photo courtesy: Raj D Bakrania, PR Mediapix

Prema Subaskaran, Chairperson, LycaHealth receiving Businessperson of the Year Award from Rt Hon Said Javid MP

The Asian Giants magazine, which is published by Asian Voice annually, being launched by CB Patel along with Aliirajah Subaskaran, Chairman of Lycamobile

Naman Pathak, owner of an affiliated estate business in London receiving Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Jonathan Ashworth MP

Tariq Mahmood of Varsity Restaurant receiving Restaurant of the Year Award from CB Patel

Rt Hon Sajid Javid, MP receiving the Cabinet Minister of the Year award from CB Patel

This year's distinguished winners are:

l Cabinet Minister of the Year: Rt Hon Sajid Javid, MP l Lifetime Achievement Award: Shratughan Sinha l Shadow Cabinet Minister of the Year: Jonathan Ashworth MP l Businessperson of the Year: Prema Subaskaran l Labour Backbencher of the Year: Laura Pidcock MP l Conservative Backbencher of the Year: James Cleverly MP l Liberal Democrat of the Year: Layla Moran MP l Sports Personality of the Year: Shinji Okazaki l Doctor of the Year: Dr Balu Pitchiah l Award for Community Service: Dal Babu l Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Naman Pathak l Restaurant of the Year: Varsity Restaurant with Tariq Mahmood l New Business Entrant of the Year: Prabir Chattopadhyay l Trade Unionist of the Year: Keith Birch l Airline of the Year: Jet Airways and Lydia Nazareth l Enterprise of the Year: Mustafa Abed l Public Service Award: Anirudh Singh and VFS l Innovation in Business Award: Kulwinder Kumar Bagha l Television Channel of the Year: Colors TV l Arts & Film Award: Bhavna Talwar

Mustafa Abed of The Privilege Salon receiving Enterprise of the Year Award from Jonathan Ashworth MP

Shinji Okazaki

Lydia Nazareth, General Manager UK & Ireland- Jet Airways receiving the Airline of the Year Award from CB Patel

Anirudh Singh, Chief Operating Officer- Europe, VFS Global Services receiving Public Service Award from CB Patel

Bhavna Talwar, a leading woman film director receiving Arts and Film Award from CB Patel

Award being received on behalf of Shinji Okazaki, Sports Personality of the Year from Rt Hon Sajid Javid, MP

Dal Babu OBE, former Chief Superintendent of Harrow receiving Award for Community Service from CB Patel

Raman Raikhy, Head of Sales- UK, Colors TV receiving the Television of the Year Award from Jonathan Ashworth MP




Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

Rupanjana Dutta

Jonathan Ashworth MP receiving Shadow Cabinet of the Year Award from CB Patel, Publisher/Editor, Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

Kulwinder Kumar Bagha of Kool Cakes receiving Innovation in Business Award from Jonathan Ashworth MP along with his wife

Keith Birch receiving the Trade Unionist of the Year Award from CB Patel

Cabinet Minister Rt Hon Sajid Javid, MP, Indian actor and politician Shratughan Sinha and Leicester City footballer Shinji Okazaki were among the winners of the 12th Asian Voice Political and Public Life Awards (AVPPL), hosted by the Asian Voice newspaper at the Palace of Westminster on Thursday 1 March 2018. It was attended by Parliamentarians, business and community leaders, members of the Armed Forces and crème de la crème of the British society, who braved the 'beast from the east' to be present at the awards.

The AVPPL awards represents our modest effort to honour a number of outstanding individuals of any background, who serve society in their own special way, and who contribute significantly, in whatever they do, towards making a better world today and for the future. Owing to the century old tradition of participation in the political process in the UK, women and men equally participate in political and public life in a number of ways, from holding office as political representatives, to exercising citizenship rights such as voting, and to playing an active role in community and voluntary organisations.

These awards are given annually to individuals who have made a special impact in the preceding 12 months, ranging from international politicians to individuals who have made a big difference in their local communities. As in previous years, the competition for the awards was extremely strong. This is a unique event where readers nominate and an independent panel of judges comprising of eminent personalities selects the winners. Receiving the Cabinet Minister of the Year award Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Rt Hon Sajid Javid said, “It is a huge hon-

Dr Balu Pitchiah, a Consultant Psychiatrist receiving Doctor of the Year Award from CB Patel

our to receive this award tonight. My thanks goes to Asian Voice and all its readers, who voted for me. It is very fitting to receive the honour in this setting, the home of our democracy, our cherished freedoms, the freedoms that have made us one of the most open and tolerant countries in the world. A country that just does not celebrate diversity but we actively thrive on the diversity of our country. “It is great to serve people from diverse backgrounds and I must congratulate them all for their achievements. I would like to dedicate this award to my parents and your parents, because it is our parents and sometimes our grandparents who left our homes long time ago, took great risks to come to this country and built not only a better future for themselves, but their children and grandchildren. Today is the opportunity, to remember our parents who are our real heroes.” Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Indian Actor and Politician Shratughan Sinha said, “Thank you Asian Voice readers for nominating me for this award. This is the first time I have entered the Palace of Westminster. I am grateful to all of you that through you and through this

award, I have been able to visit this historic venue. Wherever I go I try to preach and practice, especially to the younger generation that confidence is the main thing in life. Confidence brings commitment, commitment brings determination, determination brings devotion, and when you have commitment, determination and devotion, besides confidence, then you get passion. When you have passion, you can conquer pretty much anything. In this competitive world you have to prove yourself to be better than the best. If you are unable to prove yourself to be better than the best, at least try and be different from the rest.” Calling politics his passion, Sinha added, "Party is bigger than the individual and the nation is bigger than the party. My entire mission is in the interest of the nation. I have great respect for Prime Minister Shri Narendrabhai Modi as he is giving India a good leadership. If there are issues, then they are worth debating. That is the job of friends, especially for members of the BJP. That is why I appeal to all of you. Please do not misunderstand me. No matter what I am, whether I am, good, bad or ugly, I am yours, I was

Prabir Chattopadhyay of Little Kolkata receiving New Business Entrant of the Year Award from Jonathan Ashworth MP





Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

Indian actor and politician Shatrughan Sinha launching our Diwali magazine that featured his daughter and renowned actress Sonakshi Sinha on the cover page, in presence of CB Patel and Kamal Rao, News Editor, Gujarat Samachar

yours and I shall forever be yours." Sinha was also thrilled to see his daughter Sonakshi Sinha, a Bollywood actress, on the cover of Asian Voice's last Diwali issue, and he launched that magazine on public demand, joking that his face could go on next year's 'Holi issue'. CB Patel, Publisher/ Editor of Asian Voice said: “Our awards have recognised great works and some incredible people who have made huge contributions to public and political life. I am so proud that we can celebrate those who have made a positive difference across all walks of life,

regardless of political party, race, colour or religion. These awards also celebrate those individuals who make a significant a contribution to communities and British society and I congratulate all of this year’s winners and urge them to keep up their brilliant work.” The Asian Giants magazine, which is published by Asian Voice annually, was also launched at the event by CB Patel along with Aliirajah Subaskaran, Chairman of Lycamobile. Photo courtesy: Raj D Bakrania, PR Mediapix

Prema Subaskaran, Chairperson, LycaHealth receiving Businessperson of the Year Award from Rt Hon Said Javid MP

The Asian Giants magazine, which is published by Asian Voice annually, being launched by CB Patel along with Aliirajah Subaskaran, Chairman of Lycamobile

Naman Pathak, owner of an affiliated estate business in London receiving Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Jonathan Ashworth MP

Tariq Mahmood of Varsity Restaurant receiving Restaurant of the Year Award from CB Patel

Rt Hon Sajid Javid, MP receiving the Cabinet Minister of the Year award from CB Patel

This year's distinguished winners are:

l Cabinet Minister of the Year: Rt Hon Sajid Javid, MP l Lifetime Achievement Award: Shratughan Sinha l Shadow Cabinet Minister of the Year: Jonathan Ashworth MP l Businessperson of the Year: Prema Subaskaran l Labour Backbencher of the Year: Laura Pidcock MP l Conservative Backbencher of the Year: James Cleverly MP l Liberal Democrat of the Year: Layla Moran MP l Sports Personality of the Year: Shinji Okazaki l Doctor of the Year: Dr Balu Pitchiah l Award for Community Service: Dal Babu l Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Naman Pathak l Restaurant of the Year: Varsity Restaurant with Tariq Mahmood l New Business Entrant of the Year: Prabir Chattopadhyay l Trade Unionist of the Year: Keith Birch l Airline of the Year: Jet Airways and Lydia Nazareth l Enterprise of the Year: Mustafa Abed l Public Service Award: Anirudh Singh and VFS l Innovation in Business Award: Kulwinder Kumar Bagha l Television Channel of the Year: Colors TV l Arts & Film Award: Bhavna Talwar

Mustafa Abed of The Privilege Salon receiving Enterprise of the Year Award from Jonathan Ashworth MP

Shinji Okazaki

Lydia Nazareth, General Manager UK & Ireland- Jet Airways receiving the Airline of the Year Award from CB Patel

Anirudh Singh, Chief Operating Officer- Europe, VFS Global Services receiving Public Service Award from CB Patel

Bhavna Talwar, a leading woman film director receiving Arts and Film Award from CB Patel

Award being received on behalf of Shinji Okazaki, Sports Personality of the Year from Rt Hon Sajid Javid, MP

Dal Babu OBE, former Chief Superintendent of Harrow receiving Award for Community Service from CB Patel

Raman Raikhy, Head of Sales- UK, Colors TV receiving the Television of the Year Award from Jonathan Ashworth MP



Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

India planning new agency to regulate CAs The scam at Punjab National Bank has jolted the government to move on setting up a new agency to regulate and discipline auditors, almost five years after the law provided for it. Setting up of the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA), a new agency provided for in the Companies Act, will be discussed by the Union cabinet, a move that will take away review and disciplinary functions of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). The cabinet will discuss a proposal from the ministry of corporate affairs to allow for creation of posts, paving the way for setting up NFRA with a chairman and up to 15 members. By all accounts, ICAI

has been resisting the change as it will be rendered toothless with education and conducting exams being its main role. Several countries have separate agencies to regulate auditors and India had drawn upon their experience. In the US, the task is handled by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, while the UK has the Financial Reporting Council. “There is conflict of interest in the current system, that is why we had thought of separating ICAI’s functions in line with global best practices,” said D K Mittal, a former secretary of the ministry of corporate affairs. Finance minister Arun Jaitley has made public his displeasure

with the failure of auditors to check the fraud at the second largest public sector bank. Firestar Diamond files for bankruptcy Firestar Diamond, a part of Nirav Modi's international jewellery business, has filed for bankruptcy in the US, blaming liquidity and supply chain challenges, according to documents filed in a bankruptcy court in New York. Firestar isn’t linked to the complaints filed by authorities in India, the company had said in a February 5 email sent through an external spokesperson. PNB former MD, ICICI ED quizzed Spreading its net wider, the CBI questioned

Allahabad Bank managing director and CEO Usha Ananthasubramanian, who was shunted out of PNB a few months ago, and ICICI Bank executive director N S Kannan, even as the scale of the alleged fraud committed by Modi and Choksi became bigger. 7,000 bank employees transferred in Gujarat Around 7,000 bank employees have received their transfer letters across Gujarat following Central Vigilance Commission’s advisory asking public sector banks to transfer officers, claims Maha Gujarat Bank Employees Association. These transfers have come soon after the fraud unearthed at Punjab National Bank.

ED attaches £121.7 mn assets of Choksi group The Enforcement Directorate has attached 41 properties, valued at over £121.7 million, in connection with its money laundering probe in the PNB scam against Gitanjali Gems and its promoter Mehul Choksi. The central probe agency issued a provisional order for attachment under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Attached assets include 15 flats and 17 office premises in Mumbai, a mall in Kolkata, a four-acre farm house in Alibaug and 231 acres of land at locations

Mehul Chokshi

like Nasik, Nagpur, Panvel, and Villupuram in Tamil Nadu.

A 170-acre park in H y d e r a b a d 's Ranga Reddy district valued at over £50 million is also attached, the ED said. Four flats in Borivali (East) area and nine others in Khemu Towers in Santacruz (East) have been attached as part of the action. “The total value of the 41 seized assets controlled by

Choksi is estimated at £121.72 million,” the ED said. Nirav Modi, Choksi, and others are currently being investigated by the ED and other probe agencies after the fraud came to light following a complaint by PNB. Both, the CBI and the ED have registered two FIRs each to probe the case. The ED is investigating if the allegedly defrauded bank funds were laundered and proceeds of crime were subsequently used by the accused to create illegal assets and black money.

CBI eyes Infosys staff, I-T officials & fake Chartered Accountant for fraud The Central Bureau of Investigation is currently looking into a “revised tax returns” fraud involving several unknown employees of Infosys Technologies, IT department officials and one fake CA from Bengaluru. The scam, which was found out by the Income Tax department in late January saw 1010 revised tax returns with the use of forged documents in the name of 250 taxpayers of various private firms. Infosys is the vendor for the IT department to process e-returns. An FIR said that some Income Tax officials along with a few staffers of the company and a fake chartered accountant, Nagesh Shastri, was filing the returns. An Infosys spokesperson sad the company did not

want to comment without seeing the FIR. Shastri had filed the fraudulent returns along with unknown officials of the IT department, and other private persons, claiming £500,000. The FIR said, “The processing of ereturns is outsourced to Infosys Technologies Limited, who validate the returns in bulk and generate list of cases where refunds have to be approved. The Assessing Officers of the IT department posted in CPC give

the approval for release of refunds to assessees through their bank accounts.” The CBI found that the assessment system tags revised returns and gives pop up messages to draw the attention of the person processing them and also to assessing officers who approve refunds. “The unknown officials of Infosys Technologies who were entrusted with the work of processing the returns and the IT officials at

CPC, who were authorised to approve issue of refunds are suspected to have connived with Shastri in processing these revised returns based on false information or documents knowingly and issued income tax refunds,” the FIR reads. Having been assisting several private sector salaried employees to file returns of income over the past few years, Shastri had access to their used identity and passwords. He would file revised returns of income claiming refund, in cases of assessees whose original returns were already processed by the CPC. “All these revised returns are filed with inflated claims on account of payments towards housing loan,” the FIR read.


Cognizant's India headcount down by 8,000 in 2017

Cognizant's latest filing with the US SEC has revealed that the company's employee strength in India fell by 8,000 in 2017, to a total of 180,000. Possibly the first decline for India in the company's history, the revelation also stands in marked contrast to the big increases in the India headcount that it saw in the past four years. Varying from a low of 10,300 in 2015 to 40,100 in 2014, the company had a headcount addition of 38,500 even in 2016. In its SEC filing, the company said it incurred $53 million in severance costs, including those related to the voluntary separation programme. Cognizant is however, hiring more in other nations. It added 2,900 employees in North America in 2017, 2,300 in Europe and 2,600 in other locations. The total number of employees in North America and Europe were 50,400 and 13,800 respectively. In 2016, its headcount in North America had gone

up by 6,700. “In 2017, we began a realignment of our business to accelerate the shift to digital services and solutions while improving the overall efficiency of our operations,” the SEC filing said. Earlier last year, chief financial officer Karen McLoughlin told analysts in a call that there was no big price differential for the same set of skills while hiring onshore. The employee realignment has reduced the India employee strength as a proportion of total employee strength to 69 per cent in 2017, from 74 per cent in 2014. Cognizant incurred $36 million in costs related to the FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) investigation and related lawsuits in 2017. It is an addition to the $27 million it incurred in 2016 on the same matter, taking the total so far to $63 million. The company said it expects to continue to incur expenses related these matters this year.

Ex-banker in CBI net for disproportionate assets

Archana Bhargava

The Central Bureau of Investigation has filed a disproportionate assets case against former chairperson-cum-managing director of United Bank of India, Archana Bhargava, for allegedly amassing assets worth Rs £3,63,000, which is more than her cited sources of income between 2004 and 2014. Bhargava was earlier booked by the CBI in September 2016, in a cor-

ruption case along with two private companies and her residence was raided during which documents regarding investment worth £1 million were recovered. The CBI has alleged in its latest FIR that Bhargava acquired movable and immovable assets in her name and in the name of her husband, Sunil Bhargava and son Anshuman Bhargava between April 1, 2004 and February 2, 2014. It said she has assets worth £5,22,000, out of which £3,63,000 is found to be disproportionate to her known sources of income. It claims she had several properties, a three-storey bungalow in Noida, a flat at Vasant Kunj and two other properties in the names of her family members in Delhi and Mumbai.



Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment


This week, again we are presented with an opportunity to purchase a load of short lease properties in prime central London. We have bought several properties already from the agent, most recently our client completed on a property which was in a contract race. After having a failed sale, the seller wanted to be sure the next buyer will perform, so, he decided to put two horses in the race. This only made me more keen, and it often sharpens the lawyers when there is a race. From the outset we knew our lawyer could perform as it was a cash purchase. We did win the race and the other party ended up with only legal bills. On the current deal the variables are simple really - on the surface at least. One is the purchase price, and the other is the cost

of the lease extension. Negotiating the purchase price is relativity easy. Just go as cheap as possible. Some buyers even assess the desperation of the seller, and when this is ascertained they try to chip the price just before the exchange. A desperate seller will be forced to accept. However, this is not good practice, as word travels fast, and if you hope to do more deals this is perhaps not the best reputation to have in the market place. So, in ascertaining the purchase price, it’s a question of bargaining. The lease extension costs on the other hand, is where another angle opens up. This is a negotiation which is based on facts and formula, but ultimately comes down to negotiation. The premium payable to the

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP! Q: My tenant has signed a tenancy agreement and is due to move in next week. However, he has not passed referencing. What should I do? A: What a great question. There are generally two methods of practice in the industry for referencing and contracts; most agents will wait for tenants to pass references before any contracts have been drawn up and signed; whereas landlords who do the admin works themselves often end up signing a tenancy before references are back (not

recommended). If you have an agent working for you, then now is the time to apply the pressure and give them a call, as they should be keeping you up to date with the progress. If you are handling the referencing yourself then the first step would be to put the onus on the tenants and explain that they cannot have access to the property until such time that they achieve a pass, inform them of what documents they need to provide or indeed who’s response you are awaiting. Get them on the case as well as you, this could be


Ponton Road, London SW8 Purchase Price: £649,950

Specialists in Central London Property Sourcing

the difference between still waiting and a pass that you need. If this is still not working, for example due to their referee being on holiday, then possible solutions you could choose are: 1. allow them to move in without the reference (not recommended); 2. tell the tenant they are not starting the contract on the agreed date and you will have to redraft another agreement (you may face an angry tenant even though it is not your fault); 3. you may even have the possibility of the tenant


Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

landlord is, keeping it simple, half of the gain in value by extending the lease. What’s bizarre is the amount someone pays for a short lease is hugely variable. The biggest reason for this is psychology. Humans are more prone to fear, and therefore when there are any variables involved they are likely to be irrationally pessimistic. Short leases involve variables, and most investors don’t like this. In a market where there is too much information flow, finding angles to exploit get smaller and smaller. However, this is one, a comparable short lease was sold recently for nearly double the price of what we are getting the deal for. This could be just a freak occurrence, but this kind of variation doesn’t pulling out and having to start the process all over again; or 4. this option is less likely to work - you could explain to the tenant that you are still happy for them to take the tenancy, however, they would only be allowed access and keys to the property once there has been a pass on the references. The catch (which you MUST explain) would be that the start date on the agreement stays and the rent is back dated to this day, and not from the day they move in. For this to work, you have to be on either good terms with the tenant or hope they have no other property lined up. More often than not a

happen in the property market, 1020% is an acceptable variation. Therefore, this could mean we are purchasing extremely well, conversely, it could mean the other buyer has over paid. Currently, the environment is a good one for lease extensions, due to the uncertainty of what affect the Brexit negotiations will have on the property market. Uncertainty is good, it gives astute investors an opportunity to exploit the market, a rarity given there are no entry barriers for agents and entrants alike. The market gets over crowded with buyers at the bottom of the pyramid. The only saving grace is now due to price restraints it’s not as open

tenant may offer to pay two or three months in advance; however, don’t bite their hands off at this time, as this might be the last payment you see from them once the money has run out! There are plenty of other routes you could go down, such as six months advance payment, guarantors, higher deposit and so on; however, without the references you have no idea

as it once was. Actually, this is not a reflection of price but one of credit. Credit was abundant, and based on nothing but clean credit and the valuation. Note, it was valuation this was based on and not the purchase price, on occasion no deposit was even required. If you like the flavour of this deal, call the office now and we’ll tell you more.

who you are letting in and what type of tenant they will be! If you have found yourself in this situation before then I would love to hear from you to find out what you did; or, if you are currently in this situation then please feel free to give me a call in the office. Richard Bond Lettings Manager Sow & Reap

l Stunning new build luxury apartment available at a hot price l Comprising of a spacious living room, two double bedrooms with one ensuite, a large kitchen, separate shower room and private balcony l Long lease l Residents benefit from excellent facilities including 24 hour concierge, media lounge, meeting suite, podium gardens, secure car park, yoga room and fully equipped fitness suite l Expected resale value is £850,000 Call us now for more information!

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


Turning land into cash Get in touch about our land opportunities



Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader,

5 Years From Now – What Will Be Your Best Trades?

Five years ago, I was a single man, rowing down the Mekong river in Laos. Now, I am a dad. When giving a talk recently in Hong Kong and Singapore about forecasting the future, I gave people some examples of the importance of humility predictions. Traders not often have a 5 year outlook. At my lectures I used to give on behavioural finance as a Visiting Fellow in Business at Oxford University, I would give the following examples to avoid one of the most pernicious causes of bad trading in my view: confirmation bias – the strength of belief in our beliefs. I’ve updated these examples, and price data is approximate to the time of writing. 5 years ago, 2013 would you have possibly forecast any of these? • In the FTSE 100 the biggest riser, five years later, in 2018, would be what? Perhaps a company involved in defence and tapping global growth such as RollsRoyce ? Perhaps if you foresaw a massive bull market that we now have, you would say a bank? Maybe Standard Chartered, Barclays? • Actually all those companies ended those five years since 2018 in negative territory. • Well surely the best performer covering a period including Brexit would not be a British Airline or the London Stock Exchange and big bets on Britain such as property companies. • And, there is no way it would be something as esoteric as a healthcare company from the Middle Easy. • Actually NMC Health – up 1000%+ in five years and others doing well, London Stock Exchange up 200%+ and the property companies such as Barratt, Taylor Wimpey all doubled in those 5 years too. Let’s look at the US stocks: • Did you forecast the boom in Cryptos? If you did, did you think mining would boom and then that it would be graphics cards to mine? And so it is that of the Nasdaq 100 – that NVIDIA rose 1,700%+ in 5 years. • 5 years ago would anyone have thought Tesla would rise 800+%? Others from Nasdaq 100 with the rise of cyber threats we all knew in 2013 we would expect Symantec to have done a lot better than an 11% rise. • And surely Starbucks could not double in size in the same period – but it did. So did age old Intel. • Would you even have forecast that Microsoft would be a better trade then Apple over that time? What about Amazon being even better than both of those and Netflix beat them all with a near 1000% rise. As for currencies – did you see the rise of Trump and so USD – Mexican Peso rising 50%? And of all the major currencies (EUR, USD, GBP, JPY) with all the global turmoil of the past 5 years, who would have thought the biggest mover would be USD/EUR – a change of…6%. Conclusion In the business of trading, whether 5 minutes or 5 years, it is important to remember a sense of humility when it comes to your strengths of beliefs. As has been said before, ‘it ain’t what you know that will get you in trouble, but what you know, that ain’t necessarily so’. The best traders will lose their opinion before they will lose their money. Alpesh Patel Alpesh Patel and Juventus Football Club are Official Partners of brokers.

Aircel files for bankruptcy Mobile operator Aircel has announced filing of bankruptcy in view of mounting financial troubles and tough business environment. After failing in its attempt to merge business with R e l i a n c e Communications, the company said it could not reach consensus with respect to restructuring of debt and funding after discussions with lenders and shareholders. In its statement, Aircel said,

“Despite these discussions and invoking of a Strategic Debt Restructuring in January 2018, no agreement could be reached.” It has now filed an application under Section 10 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code for undertaking Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process. Sources said the filing was made in National Company Law Tribunal, Mumbai.


Govt asks PSU banks to scan all bad debts of above £5 mn The government of India has asked state-run banks to fix operational gaps within 15 days, asking them to check all bad loan accounts over £5 million for possible fraud. Sent out by Rajeev Kumar, secretary department of financial services, the latest directive comes after the £1.26 billion fraud in Punjab National Bank. Kumar tweeted, “15 day deadline for PSBs to take pre-emptive action and identify gaps, weaknesses to gear up for rising operation and tech risks; To learn from best practices and pinpoint strategies including tech solutions; clear account-

ability of senior functionaries.” Managing Directors of state-run banks have been directed to detect frauds and any wilful default in time and refer cases to the CBI. They have also been asked to involve other investigative agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Directorate of Revenue

Intelligence (DRI) for any foreign exchange violations. Bank boards, it said, will assign “clear accountability” to senior functionaries for implementation and compliance of the best practices from the banking sector. Banks have also been asked to do “prompt fraud identification” and action within prescribed time. The chief vigilance officer has been told to “vet complaints” and coordinate with the CBI for bad loans exceeding £5 million. Banks have also been asked to

ArcelorMittal, Nippon JV to bid for Essar Steel

World's largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal has said it would form a joint venture with Japan's Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal to bid for bankrupt steelmaker Essar Steel India. The joint venture is its latest attempt to crack the world's fastest growing steel market. The company is in the final stages of signing a deal with state-run SAIL, with which it first signed a preliminary understanding in 2015 to jointly produce 1.2 million tonnes of automotive steel a year, but disagreements over commercial terms had delayed the venture. ArcelorMittal's CEO Lakshmi Mittal said, “Partnering for Essar Steel was always our intention and adds further strength to our offer.” President of

Japan's biggest steelmaker, Kosei Shindo said if the JV's bid to acquire Essar Steel succeeds, it would help Nippon Steel tap into the Indian market, “Where steel demand is expected to grow sharply in the mid and long term.” ArcelorMittal stated it submitted a plan on February 12 to the NCLT to bid for Essar Steel in partnership with Nippon Steel.

Essar Steel was among a dozen of India's biggest debt-defaulters that were pushed to bankruptcy court last year after an RBI order aimed at clearing $147 billion in bad loans at the nation's banks suffered through lending. The company sold its entire stake in Uttam Galva Steels to the company's founders at less than the market price of the stock.

seek borrower status report from the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau on accounts turning into nonperforming assets and have been told to involve ED and DRI if the situation demands. Executive directors (EDs) and chief technical officers (CTOs) have been tasked to prepare a blue-print to enhance preparedness for rising operational and technological risks. They have been told to undertake a comparative assessment of banks' operational risk management practices with the best practices and identify gaps and areas for improvements.

Investors lose £43 bn in 5 days As much as £43 billion of Indian investors' money has been wiped out in the last five trading sessions, with £15.4 billion eroding on Tuesday. The BSE benchmark Sensex on Tuesday nosedived nearly 430 points to close at a nearly three-month low of 33,317 after bank stocks came under heavy selling pressure despite positive global cues. The 30-share index Sensex slipped into a negative zone towards the fag-end to hit a low of 33,209.76 as participants booked profits at improved levels. Following the bearish trend in the broader market, the market capitalisation of BSE listed companies fell to £14.42 million at the end of Tuesday's trading session, from £14.57 million on Monday.

Bribe taking: Karti Chidambram arrested The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram for allegedly taking bribes to get clearance for TV venture INX Media to access foreign investment. The arrest is apparently based on statements made by INX Media promoters Peter and Indrani Mukerjea who have alleged that they paid £300,000 in bribe to Karti at the insistence of his father who was then in charge of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board. Indrani recorded a statement before a magistrate under Section 164 of CrPC, which is admissible as evidence in court and can put Chidambaram senior in legal bother. The Enforcement Directorate will probably also seek Karti's remand once the CBI is over with its custodial

interrogation. After his arrest in Chennai upon return from London, Karti was brought to Delhi and produced before a court that remanded him Karti Chidambram in CBI custody for a day. The Private Limited. According agency alleges that in to Indrani's statement, P March 2007. INX Media Chidambaram told the breached the condition on Mukerjeas to help Karti's which it had been allowed business and make foreign by FIPB to raise 46 per cent remittances for this purequity through issue of pose. The statement also shares. said they met him in Hyatt The company got in in New Delhi where a £30.5 million by issuing demand for illegal gratifishares at a premium cation of $1 million was against the permission to made. Indrani also reportraise £ 462,000 by issuing edly told Judicial shares at face value. Magistrate that she had Additionally, it also paid an amount of $700,000 bypassed FIPB to make 26 abroad in favour of Karti's per cent downstream companies. investment in INX News Both, the CBI and ED are

further investigating the channel of payment of the “remaining” bribe allegedly paid by the Mukerjeas to Karti. The FIR, however, does not name Chidambaram, only stating that “deceitful and fallacious” foreign investment proposal was “favourably considered” and “approved” by the then officials of the finance ministry and the finance minister. Indrani's statement before the magistrate alleges that Karti suggested names of two companiesChess Management and Advantage Strategic Consultancy Private Limited (ASCPL) as “alternatives” to make payments. CBI's FIR alleges payment of Rs 10,00,000 to ASCPL, which has in the meanwhile, claimed to have received payment of Rs 10,00,000 on account of “management consultancy”.

WORLD AsianVoiceNews



Asian Voice | 10th March 2018


Taliban offered a shot at power in return for peace KABUL: In what is seen as a “last ditch” effort to end decades of bloodshed in Afghanistan, President Ashraf Ghani has offered to recognise the Taliban as a legitimate political group if its leaders renounce violence and enter peace talks with the government. The president has also offered to help the Taliban set up a political office in Kabul. The offer, which includes a ceasefire and prisoner exchange, comes amid a deteriorating security climate in which Taliban insurgents are believed to hold more territory than at any time since they held power, and in the wake of two attacks on Kabul that killed 150 civilians last month. “We are making this

offer without preconditions in order to lead to a peace agreement,” Ghani said during a one-day international peace conference in Kabul. “A ceasefire should be held, the Taliban should be recognised as a political party and trust-building process should be initiated.” In return, he said: “The Taliban are expected to give input to the peacemaking process, the goal of which is to draw the Taliban, as an organisation, to peace talks”. Ghani said the Taliban must also recognise the Afghan government and constitution - a sticking point in past attempts to open talks. “Now the decision is in your hands, accept peace ... and let’s bring stability to this country,” he

said. The Taliban, led by Hibatullah Akhundzada, has yet to respond. But a spokesman said: “Experience has shown that there is never a positive outcome from these gatherings because no one ever

addresses the invasion. “It’s just a conference to trick Afghans.” Two weeks ago, the Taliban made its own peace talks offer in an open letter to the US people and “peace-loving congressmen” that many have inter-

Hindu Dalit woman becomes Pak senator ISLAMABAD: In a first for Pakistan, a Dalit and marginalised Hindu woman has been elected to the Senate, the upper house of the parliament. Krishna Kumari Kolhi, a 39-year-old Hindu Dalit woman, was elected senator on a women’s seat from Sindh. She is a member of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari-led Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Her election represents a major milestone for women and minority rights in Pakistan. Earlier, PPP had elected first Hindu woman named Ratna Bhagwandas Chawla as a senator. Dalits, too, have been elected on PPP tickets from Sindh in the past but Kolhi is the first woman from the scheduled caste to become a senator. The first non-Muslim Dalit senator in Pakistan was Dr

Pak women to take to streets ISLAMABAD: Hundreds of women are set to take to the streets of Pakistan to speak against economic, reproductive and environmental injustice. The Aurat March, a rally for collective action, is scheduled to commence from Frere Hall, Karachi and from Hamdard Hall, Lyton Road in Lahore on International Women’s Day (March 8). “The Aurat March isn’t organised by a single group or organisation, and is being organised and led by a collective of women from diverse classes, professions, ethnicity and different sections of society,” a notice said. Referring to themselves as ‘Hum Aurtein’, the invite clarified, “The march is not funded by any political party.

Krishna Kumari Kolhi

Khatumal Jeewan. He was also elected by PPP on a general seat in 2009. Engineer Gianchand was the second Dalit to be elected as senator on a general seat by PPP in 2015. Kolhi hails from Nagarparkar village in Tharparkar district of Sindh province, where women are deprived of

basic fundamental rights. Being a victim of bonded labour along with her parents, a common practice in Tharparkar, Kolhi fought hunger and poverty in her early life. She was married to Lalchand at the age of 16, when she was studying in 9th grade. However, she pursued her studies, and in 2013, she did masters in sociology from the Sindh University. “Fortunately my husband and in-laws were extremely supportive and encouraged me to continue my education,” she said. “We didn’t have electricity so I used to study with the help of an oil lantern,” she added. While at university, she actively worked against bonded labour, sexual harassment at workplaces, and for the rights of women and poor people of her village. “I

will not only represent women of Tharparkar but act as a representative for women across the country and speak for their rights,” Krishna said while highlighting child marriages and forced conversions as major issues faced by the people of Tharparkar. “I will struggle for implementation of the laws in constitution drafted for the rights of women. There are laws for rights of women but none of them have been implemented,” she said. Stressing that the major issues faced by the people of Tharparkar are child marriages and forced conversions, she said these needed "to be addressed urgently". She thanked the PPP leadership for nominating her, and clarified she has won on the women's seat and not the minority seat.

Elite Pak club snubs Indian envoy NEW DELHI: The prestigious Islamabad Club, the favourite watering hole of the Pakistani elite and foreign diplomats, has put Indian high commissioner Ajay Bisaria’s membership on hold. While Indian and Pakistani diplomats routinely, and privately of course, accuse each other of not showing even a modicum of civility in dealing with their respective missions, it’s rare for a high commissioner of either country to be treated like this. The club is where all foreign envoys hang out in Islamabad and it’s customary for an ambassador or high commissioner to seek membership after landing in Pakistan’s capital. Bisaria took over as Indian high commissioner late last year and applied for membership soon

Ajay Bisaria

after. Not only has the club so far not approved his membership, it is also threatening to not renew the membership of other Indian diplomats. While membership for other Indian diplomats, too, has been delayed in the recent past, this is the first time that the Islamabad Club has stalled the membership of the Indian high commissioner. Memberships for envoys are normally approved

within weeks, if not days. Islamabad Club describes itself as an exclusive club whose membership comprises government officials, diplomats and the elite of Islamabad. It sprawls over 346 acres next to the diplomatic enclave in Islamabad. As Islamabad is a relatively small city with few facilities, the club is the favourite hangout of all top diplomats and Pakistan policy wonks. Membership is not given gratis even to top bureaucrats and diplomats. This is the latest in a series of hostilities Indian diplomats in Pakistan have been subjected to at a time when the bilateral relationship is in a downward spiral.

preted as a sign that the nationalist insurgent group is evolving, and understands both sides are fighting an unwinnable war. “Prolonging the war in Afghanistan and m a i n t a i n i n g American troop presence is neither beneficial for America nor for anyone else,” the 2,800-word letter released by Mujahid said. “If the policy of using force is continued for another 100 years the outcome will be the same ... as you have observed over the last six months since the initiation of Trump’s new strategy.” Setting out its case for a negotiated US withdrawal,

Mujahid cited “3,546 American and foreign soldiers” killed, an “87 per cent rise” in heroin production last year, and a US assessment that Taliban control on the ground has increased significantly. The Taliban has long refused to recognise the Afghan government, which it considers a US puppet regime, and has insisted any peace talks must be with Washington on the precondition the US agree to withdraw. Ghani’s offer to recognise the Taliban as a legitimate political force and ultimately allow them to contest elections is seen as motivated by the hope it’s enough of a sweetener to get them to the table for talks with the Kabul government.


21-year-old arrested for stabbing secular writer DHAKA: A 21-year-old man was arrested in Bangladesh for allegedly stabbing a secular writer multiple times during a university seminar, presuming him an "enemy of Islam", police said. Muhammed Zafar Iqbal, 64, a renowned science fiction writer and professor at the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology in the northern city of Sylhet, was stabbed in his head and neck, local media reported. Iqbal, an outspoken opponent of militancy and communalism, was rushed to a local hospital and later airlifted to a military hospital in Dhaka. Police said they have detained the attacker, identified as Faizur Rahman alias Faizul, a resident of an area adjacent to the Shahjalal University. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has "strongly" condemned the attack. The attack took place during a festival where Iqbal was the chief guest. Rahman struck Iqbal from behind and stabbed him in the head, the report said. The students and the

policemen guarding the professor held Rahman immediately after the attack. The students also beat Faizur up before handing him over to police. Iqbal had recently criticised ragging on campus and said that five students punished for ragging had gotten off easy and should have been handed over to police, it said. Iqbal has been provided police protection since 2015 when militants threatened to kill him. There were six to seven policemen guarding him when the attack took place, the report said. Lt Colonel Ali Haider Azad Ahmed from the Rapid Action Battalion of the police said Rahman told them he was a student of Alia Madrasa in Sylhet. But the law enforcers could not confirm the information, according to the report. Rahman also told the law enforcers that he carried out the attack on the professor "to kill him because he was an enemy of Islam", the official was quoted as saying.

Passenger tied up for unruly behaviour DHAKA: A Bangladeshi passenger on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Dhaka was tied up mid-flight after he stripped off his clothes and attacked a stewardess. The incident took place in the flight of Malindo Air, the Kuala Lumpur-based Star reports. Malaysian media sources named the man as Didar Al Mahmud, but the name could not be confirmed. The 20-year-

old, believed to be a university student from Cyberjaya, was also alleged to have masturbated while watching pornography during the flight. He even walked naked to the toilet and urinated on his seat. While describing the bizarre incident, witnesses said the man became violent when asked to wear clothes and attacked the head stewardess.


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Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

China hikes defence budget to $ 175 bn, three times that of India's

BEIJING: China has announced a 8.1 per cent hike in its defence expenditure for this year to $175 billion, which is over three times higher than India's defence budget, as it seeks to further advance an ambitious modernisation drive for its military. The increase is higher than last year's announcement, when China upped military spending by 7% over the previous year. China last year increased the defence budget to $150.5 billion. China is the second largest spender on defence after the US. The Pentagon has requested a budget of $686 billion in 2019, up $80 billion from 2017. China's budget announcement comes as President Xi Jinping, the commander in chief of the

country's armed forces, focuses on increasing both the sophistication and reach of the country's military. Though China announced its military spending at about $150.5 billion last year, observers say it is considerably higher, considering it is now building two more aircraft carriers in addition to the one already in service as

well as addition of new jet fighters, including stealth fighter J-20. The Chinese Navy also expanded its global reach with flotilla ships sailing through the far-off oceans to expand China's influence. The official media justified the increase, saying although slightly higher than the previous two

years, the growth rate is the third time to dip into the single digit since 2013, following 7.6 per cent in 2016 and 7 per cent in 2017. China's defence budget takes up a smaller share of its gross domestic product (GDP) and national fiscal expenditure compared with other major countries, Zhang Yesui, the spokesperson of the NPC told the media. Its military spending per capita is also lower than other major countries, Zhang said. A large part of the growth of the defence budget is to make up for the low military spending in the past and is mainly used to upgrade equipment and improve the welfare of servicemen and women and the living and training conditions of grassroots troops," he said.

Raila team roots for Bomas draft power sharing formula NAIROBI: Four Nasa principals closed ranks to set the ground for constitutional change around the Bomas Draft. They would like the country to not only have an elected president and a deputy, but also an appointed prime minister, who will head the Cabinet. However, the draft that the National Super Alliance (Nasa) is now rooting for could be a long way coming as it was altered drastically after the Bomas talks in 2005, leading to the rejection of the final document in a national referendum opposed by Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, now the President and Deputy President, respectively. The Constitution was changed in a 2010 referendum - ushering in a purely presidential system that had been opposed by Odinga’s camp before they

Lawyers leave a meeting at the Bomas of Kenya on June 17, 2010 that discussed a proposed draft constitution. (File Photo)

made a U-turn and backed it. But, following protracted, high-stakes elections in 2013 and 2017, Nasa now argues that the time is ripe for Kenyans to reconsider the document, which the opposition coalition’s principals said is “what Kenyans wanted.” Odinga, Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula agreed at a meeting to revive debate on the draft, which they believe is the best guide to end regular political con-

flicts blamed on the winner-take-all system. “The Bomas Draft contains cures to the problems of inclusion, strengthening of devolution, the shape of the Executive, and security sector reforms,” Nasa leaders had said in a statement issued after a meeting at Odinga’s office. Change constitution Odinga and Ford-Kenya leader Wetang’ula were both quoted as calling for

talks on the overhaul of the seven-and-a-half-year-old document. “Events in the country are crying out for a non-contested constitutional referendum,” Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua, a close ally of Musyoka, said of the renewed Nasa push. “The Bomas Draft is perhaps the best reference document in the said review. If Jubilee and what is left of Nasa cannot agree on anything else, at least we must be able to agree on the need to fix what is not working for Kenya in the Constitution.” Produced at the Bomas of Kenya Delegates’ Conference in 2005 - spearheaded by law professor Yash Pal Ghai - the document that came to be known as the Bomas Draft proposed that Kenya has a President, a Deputy President, a Prime Minister, and several ministers.

Trump to impose steep tariffs on steel, aluminium; stokes trade war fears

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has announced that he would impose hefty tariffs on imported steel and aluminium to protect US producers, risking retaliation from major trade partners like China, Europe and neighbouring Canada. He said the duties, 25 per cent on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminium would be formally announced next week. “We are going to build our steel industry back and our aluminium industry back,” Trump said. Shares of US domestic steel and aluminium mak-

ers rallied, but shares of companies ranging from auto makers to airplane makers fell on the potential impact of the higher costs they will have to pay for the metals. The announcement came after a night of “chaos” in the White House after the resignation of Hope Hicks. Tariffs were sharply criticised by senior Republican lawmakers and industries ranging from autos to oil to construction equipment. A major concern is that US farm exports could be hit hard in retaliation by steelexporting countries. Senator Pat Roberts said,

“Every time you do this, you get a retaliation. Agriculture is the number one target. I think this is terribly counterproductive for the agriculture economy.” The announcement found immediate friction from other countries, with China already threatening to curb imports of US soybeans, and the European Union considering actions as well. President Xi Jinping's top economic adviser Liu He held talks with the Trump Administration in Washington, which was described as “frank and

Donald trump

constructive”. A White House official said it focused on “ways to ensure fair and reciprocal trade.” Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland sent out a sharply worded statement saying, “Should restrictions be imposed on Canadian steel and aluminium products, Canada will take responsive measures to defend its trade interests and workers.”


Trudeau’s India visit may badly affect his party

Trudeaus at Amritsar Golden Temple during India visit

TORONTO: According to a new poll, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s woeful visit to India is weighing down his political fortunes. A new poll says that if federal elections were held now, his Liberal Party would lose to the opposition Conservatives and among the factors in that plunge in popularity is the muchpanned eight-day tour of India in February. These latest findings are from polling agency Ipsos, in a survey conducted for the Canadian network Global News. According to the results, the Liberals would capture 33% of the vote, five points behind the Conservatives. An article accompanying the poll noted that “public reaction to a recent troubled trip by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to India two weeks ago might be a symptom of a growing problem”. Global News cited Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Global Public Affairs, as stating there was a “shift in public perception” towards Trudeau

and his party. He suggested “the recent trip to India is a prime example of that change.” The poll also found that 40% of Canadians believed the visit had a negative impact on relations with India, with only 16% having a positive view of the trip. “It’s the first time we’ve shown, since before the election, any time the Liberals have been behind. They’ve been consistently four or five points ahead of their nearest competitor; sometimes more than that for the last two years and a bit,” Bricker was quoted as saying. The poll also found that a majority of those polled, 54%, disapproved of the performance of Trudeau’s government. “The thing that’s really held them up is the prime minister and people’s views of him so when that takes a hit, everything starts to go and that’s what’s happened here,” Bricker was quoted as saying. The poll was conducted between February 28 and March 1 and surveyed 1,001 Canadian adults.

Opposition members held for anti-govt stir in Maldives MALE: The Maldives police under the emergency laws arrested another four opposition members for protesting against the President Abdulla Yameen’s government. The top court in the Maldives validated last week a 30-day extension of the state of emergency, which was sought by Yameen over what he has called a national security threat and constitutional crisis. Opposition politicians defied a police order to stop protesting and continued to demand that Yameen implement a SC ruling that quashed convictions against nine opposition leaders and ordered the release of politicians and officials held in prison. The Maldivian Democratic Party, the main opposition party, tweeted that police had arrested Mohamed Ameeth and Abdulla Ahmed, two lawmakers who had defected from Yameen’s party, and

Abdulla Yameen

two more from other opposition parties. According to TV footage, Abdulla Ahmed was arrested while giving an interview about the protest. Yameen’s government has so far ignored international calls to lift the state of emergency, first declared on Feb 5 for 15 days, and release opposition leaders from jail. The Maldives foreign ministry said there was no legal mandate to implement the SC order, which also included reinstating 12 lawmakers stripped of their parliamentary seats by Yameen’s party for defecting last year.

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Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

Emergency declared in Lanka over communal violence

COLOMBO: A state of has been emergency declared in Sri Lanka for 10 days on Tuesday to stop the spread of communal violence, a government spokesman said, after clashes erupted between majority Buddhists and members of the minority Muslim in Kandy community administrative district. Tension has been growing between the two communities over the past year, with some hard line Buddhist groups accusing Muslims of forcing people to convert to Islam and vandalizing Buddhist archaeological sites. Some Buddhist nationalists have also protested against the presence in Sri Lanka of Muslim Rohingya asylum-seekers from mostly Buddhist Myanmar, where Buddhist nationalism has also been on the rise. “At a special cabinet meeting, it

and ethnic Tamils, most of whom are Hindus, about 13 per cent. The government sent troops and elite police to the area and imposed a curfew. A curfew was reimposed in two districts of Kandy on Tuesday, police said.

was decided to declare a state of emergency for 10 days to prevent the spread of communal riots,” government spokesman Dayasiri Jayasekara said. He said some people were instigating violence through Facebook and warned of tough action against them. The unrest in the Indian Ocean island’s central district of Kandy began on Sunday after the funeral of a truck driver from the majority Sinhalese Buddhist community who

died days after he was involved in an altercation with four Muslims, the government has said. It was not clear why the initial altercation occurred but after the driver’s funeral on Monday, a Sinhalese mob attacked Muslim shops, police said. The body of a Muslim youth was found in a burnt-out house early on Tuesday, police said. Muslims make up about 9 per cent of Sri Lanka’s 21 million people. Buddhists make up about 70 per cent

Violence condemned The Government strongly condemned the recent incident of violence that had sparked off in Ampara and Digana, creating communal disharmony, where some places of worship, residences and businesses have been damaged. The Government urged people to desist from falling prey to hate and misinformation campaigns. As a country that had suffered by acts of violence for nearly three decades, we as a nation should desist from the repetition of such, the government said.

UK historian wants to return 1857 uprising skull to India A London-based historian is keen to send back a skull of Alum Bheg, a soldier who was blown to pieces by the British during the 1857 uprising. Senior lecturer in British imperial history at Queen Mary, University of London, Kim A Wagner was given the skull by the family that took over Kent pub, The Lord Clyde. The artifact had been at the pub for quite some years, along with a 170word note that identified the skull as being of Alum Bheg's, a havaldar of the Bengal Native Infantry. Wagner researched and found that Bheg was one of the many unknown soldiers who died during the uprising, and a blast with a cannon in Sialkot, when the unit was sta-


Skull of Alum Bheg

Kim A Wagner

tioned there. The research was published in November last year in the book The Skill of Alum Bheg: The Life and Death of a Rebel of 1857. “My main aim with writing the book was to tell the world about the existence of Alum Bheg because nobody knows

about him and also ultimately to repatriate him to India. But that is quite a long and elaborate legal process. The book is an invitation to Indian authorities. He died in Sialkot in today’s Pakistan, but he is most probably from Kanpur. In any case, there is not

much interest in the 1857 uprising in Pakistan. He was a Muslim and probably doesn’t fit the Indian narrative, identified more with Mangal Pandey, but I am keen for it not to be politicised.” Bheg was probably involved in the killing of British individuals based in Sialkot, as the note along the skull suggests. The 46th Bengal Infantry Regiment had revolted on July 9, 1857 at Sialkot’s military cantonment. “Despite the considerable historiography devoted to the Indian uprising, the outbreak at Sialkot has not attracted any real attention, from either British or Indian scholars, and is only mentioned in the most cursory fashion, if at all,” Wagner said.

Study finds Indian graduates ‘unprepared’ for workplace A new study by researchers at Bournemouth University reveals that Indian students are woefully unprepared for workplace. The findings was based on views of 270 higher education leaders, educators, students, employers, policymakers, and non-governmental organisations in India. Published in report 'Global Talent in India: Challenges and Opportunities for Skills Development in Higher Education', the report reveals a substantial gap between what is taught at university and surveys. Of all the academics questioned for the research, 65 percent agreed that students in Indian higher education are unable to demonstrate that they have had the opportunity to apply graduate-level skills and competencies and gain industry exposure. One of the Sonal researchers, Minocha said, “There is a very clear higher-level skills gap in India, which is estimated to cost the

Indian economy as much as £6.2 billion in lost productivity. Our report offers preliminary findings for consideration by educators, employers, and policymakers in tackling India's graduate-level skills development challenge.” Just one third of employers and industry representatives believed that students and graduates have the necessary high-level skills and knowledge that they are looking for in their industry. Findings are also reinforced by students with just 37 per cent agreeing that Indian universities offered relevant and upto-date training-development opportunities. “There was a huge recognition that a number of our graduates and youth in India will be going itno self-employment. So they felt that there was a lot of emphasis on embedding research in the curriculum and in universities, perhaps not as much importance given to enterprise,” Minocha said.

Vipul Chitalia of Gitanjali Group arrested Vipul Chitalia, a top official of the Gitanjali group, was arrested by the CBI after he was detained at the Mumbai airport and taken away for questioning in the Punjab National Bank fraud case. Chitalia, Gitanjali group's vice president for banking operations, has been sent to CBI custody till March 17. He had been named by other company officials as the group's key official who told them to prepare documents to get the letters of undertaking from the Punjab National Bank. According to CBI, the government-run PNB official Gokulnath Shetty would

Vipul Chitalia

return these documents to top company officials after issuing the letters that enabled billionaire jeweler Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi's companies to get credit abroad. Chitalia was stopped at the airport and brought to the CBI office at the BandraKurla Complex for questioning, a CBI official said.

Glint reintroduces gold as money

Glint, a UK-based startup, is making money fairer, providing, for the first time, the ability to store, exchange, send and spend gold through the global electronic payment system. It has launched the first global currency, account and app based technology, which reintroduces gold as money. In a world of low interest rates, it make sense to save for future events –eg deposit for a house (bank rates are derisory and 'value of money in the bank’ will be eroded by creeping inflation). Glint’s platform makes gold instantly accessible as a global currency with unprecedented liquidity and will be available to anyone to store, send peer to peer, and spend anywhere in the world. Glint’s iOS app is linked to the Mastercard global payment system and

will allow its users to make day to day payments by debit card with multicurrency capabilities including for the first time gold. Pricing is based on interbank exchange rates and no hidden charges. Glint is authorised and regulated by the UK’s FCA with clients’ money stored in segregated bank accounts. Physical gold holdings are legally allocated to each individual client and held in a London Bullion Market Association Accredited Brink’s bank vault in Switzerland. The Glint app is available on iOS (hyperlink) in the App Store for download and registration. Once your account has been approved you can use to start buying gold and your Glint card will be with you within 5 working days. Following its UK launch, Glint will roll out in targeted European territories

through 2018 and into Asia. Glint was founded by Jason Cozens and Ben Davies and is backed by investors in the UK, Europe, Canada. Key investors include, NEC Capital Solutions through its venture fund cooperated with Venture Labo Investment, and the Tokyo Commodity Exchange (“TOCOM”). NEC Capital Solutions is the affiliated company of NEC Corporation, a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies. TOCOM is Japan’s largest and one of Asia’s most prominent commodity exchanges.

Jason Cozens, CEO, Glint, said: “Glint’s ability to use gold as money as

part of the global payments system is a landmark event. Everyone is familiar with gold as one of society’s oldest means of exchange, its universal acceptance, its reliability, its history as a store of wealth and as a means of underpinning the value of “paper” currencies. Unlike “paper” currencies gold can’t be wiped out, devalued or corrupted.”


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Probe into Sasikala’s 'VIP treatment' BENGALURU: Karnataka government has ordered the anti-corruption bureau to probe three senior officers of Parappana Agrahara jail, including a DG-rank retired officer regarding their alleged role in giving out special treatment to VK Sasikala. DIG of the prisons department D Roopa brought irregularities in the prison to light, in July last year, barely six months after Sasi entered the Bengaluru Central Jail. In a two-part report, she alleged that the aide of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa was allowed a bigger accommodation, a

VK Sasikala

television, a pressure cooker, and other basics in her barrack. Also, food was specially cooked for her. Other facilities included freedom to wear her own clothes instead of prison uniform, free access

to a specially-set-up meeting room where she could meet people, and leniency in the number of times she got to meet visitors. Former DGP (Prisons) H Satyanarayan Rao will be probed for possible offenses under the Prevention of Corruption Act. He was transferred when the allegations first surfaced. Roopa too was transferred to a different department to enable a fair inquiry. One of the biggest concerns in the jail was about dysfunctional CCTVs and tampered footage, compromised electronic gadgets like jammers, they will now

be handed over to an external agency for annual maintenance contracts to ensure they are fully functional, not just in Bengaluru but all jails across the State. The state government has also asked ADG (Prisons) N S Megharikh to put together a revised prisons manual within three months in tune with the recommendations of the Ministry of Home Affairs. Sasikala is in prison since February last year, along with her niece Ilavarasi and nephew VN Sudhakaran, both accused in the case.

Amit Shah calls Naidu as TDP decides to step up fight AMARAVATI: BJP national president Amit Shah spoke to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu over the phone, a couple of hours after the Telugu Desam Party decided to strengthen its fight over the Centre for not abiding its commitments made to the state. Sources said Shah has invited Naidu for talks over commitments made at the time of bifurcation of the state. Naidu responded by saying that he would send a delegation led by central minister Sujana Chowdary. Sources said Naidu made it clear that there

would be no compromise on commitments made in Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014. He told Shah that the TDP's fight is not against the BJP, but for the justice to the state. TDP, a partner in the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, had stalled proceedings in the Parliament during the first leg of the budget session and it is currently gearing up to continue the protest in the second leg, starting next week. TDP MP Galla Jayadev said after the meeting that if the Finance Bill was not amended to make alloca-

No simultaneous polls next year: Haryana CM Khattar

CHANDIGARH: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the next Assembly elections would be held on time and not simultaneously with the General Election. Replying to questions of media-persons, he ruled out the possibility of elections next year, stating that it might happen in 2024. Khattar said although Prime Minister Narendra Modi had proposed the “onenation-one-election” concept, it could not be implemented without a political consensus. He said, “Holding elections to the Lok Sabha and Assemblies simultaneously will require constitutional amendments and changes and this requires time.” Speaking on the SutlejYamuna Link canal, Khattar maintained that the opposition had politicised construction of the canal. “Since we are governed by the Constitution, we must abide by it. We have full faith in the judiciary and will get our due share in river waters through the SYL canal,” he said. Khattar said the present state government had strongly pleaded the case in the SC

Manohar Lal Khattar

Amit Shah

tions to the state to fulfill commitments, the party would oppose it. He said since the Centre had promised to extend all assistance under the spe-

cial package, the TDP had agreed for the same but as nothing has been done so far, they were pressing for their original demand of special category status. “If necessary we will go to the court,” the Lok Sabha member said. Andhra Pradesh State Planning Commission ViceChairman Kutumba Rao, meanwhile, said the talks were disappointing. Instead of mooting a formula as assured by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Shah asked them to present their formula.


and ensured early hearing for a presidential reference, pending for 12 years. “We have full faith in the Supreme Court and the state will soon get its share of water through the SYL canal, which should be constructed at the earliest.” Speaking about water management projects, Khattar said between 50 and 100 new ponds would be constructed in the vicinity of the national capital for getting groundwater recharged. “Water has reached 293 of the 300 tailends in the state. The present government has made infrastructural arrangements for irrigation. The existing capacity of 3,451 cusecs of the JLN canal is being revived at a cost of £30 million,” Khattar said.

We are not Taliban: Haryana Khaps tell SC

CHANDIGARH: With a stained image and stress from the Supreme Court for harassing couples in inter-caste marriages, khaps have filed an affidavit in the court for the first time, protesting against portrayal of them as Talibani. Filed by senior advocate Narender Hooda, the affidavit said khaps in Haryana have never passed any judgment and or order or so-called fatwa for honour killing. Hooda said they were in fact, encouraging inter-caste and inter-faith marriages, and had even permitted Haryanvi men to marry women from other states, considering the skewed sex ratio in the state. “What khaps oppose is sapinda or sagotra marriage between men and women on when they are within the prohibited degrees of relationship, a

bar supported by genetic science. Khaps try to uphold centuries of tradition and act as conscience keepers of society,” Hooda said. The affidavit came as a response to a PIL filed by NGO Shakti Vahini, which sought a crackdown on khap panchayats and the menace of honour killings. An SC bench had slammed khaps on two occasions. On January 17, the court termed all orders by khaps as illegal, and on February 6, it said no individual or group shall interfere and harass the couple entering into matrimony. The affidavit said the petitioner NGO presented twisted version by quoting wrong facts about the functioning of khap panchayats. It said the NGO had wrongly quoted that honour killings were a result of any decision of khaps in Haryana and UP.



Mamata backs KCR's call for national front HYDERABAD: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has supported Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's call for a national political formation without the BJP and the Congress. Chief of the Trinamool Congress reportedly told Rao over the telephone that she was willing to work with him to bring in a qualitative change in the country's politics. President of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, Rao said he was ready to play a role in national politics and take a leadership initiative for an alternate political front. Rao said, “People are looking for change. Can we expect something new to happen if Congress comes to power after BJP? It can be a third front or any front. Discussions are going on. There is no secret about it.” He added,

Mamata Banerjee

“I am asking the Centre to increase support price for crops by Rs 500, so farmers distress can be addressed. Will they do it? They won't. Think Telangana should show the way. Our schemes for farmers is progressive. We can give direction to the country.” Calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “friend”, Rao claimed his initiative was not against the BJP or PM Modi. It is against the slow process of the country, he said.

FIR filed against Kolkata firm for £51.5 mn bank fraud KOLKATA: The CBI has registered an FIR against RP Infosystems for defrauding a consortium of 10 banks, including Punjab National Bank, of £51.5 million. The first bank fraud case filed after the scandalous PNB scam, the consortium has claimed that the city-based company, along with its four directors, have committed fraud by availing bank funds on the basis of false and fabricated stock/debtor statements and forged drawing-power letters. The group of banks includes Canara Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Central Bank, Allahabad Bank, and Federal Bank, among others. Central Bank has a £8.2 million- exposure, Canara has £8.1 million, and PNB

has £7.3 million. After Canara registered a formal complaint on February 26 against RP Infosystems, which manufactures and trades in desktops and laptops across India under brand name 'Chirag', CBI sleuths raided several places in Kolkata, Howrah, and North 24 Parganas. Those named in the preliminary FIR are the company's four directors, including Shivaji Panja, Kaustav Roy, and Vinay Bafna. Panja and Roy were once known to be influential in West Bengal's political circles. When contacted, both Panja and Roy said, “We have cooperated with CBI earlier and will cooperate with them this time too. We do not know much about the new case and are talking to lawyers.”

Calcutta HC to get 3 new judges KOLKATA: Pre-appointment formalities for the appointment of Shampa Sarkar, Ravi Krishan Kapur, and Arindam Mukherjee as Calcutta high court judges have been initiated by the Centre. The three advocates were part of the five names recommended by the Supreme Court collegium last December for appointment as judges. The collegium, comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices J Chelameswar and Ranjan Gogoi, had also recommended Sabyasachi Chaudhury and Sakya Sen's names for appointment as judges. Officials said the Centre could agree to these two names too. Calcutta High Court has a sanctioned strength of 72, but

currently, only 30 judges sit on the bench. Two of the judges preside over the Port Blair circuit bench on a fortnightly basis. The Calcutta High Court Bar Association, the Bar Library Club, and the Incorporated Law Society have been on a cease-work since February 19, asking for the vacancies to be filed up. Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi met the agitating lawyers last month, and promised to take up the issue with Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. They also sought an appointment with Prasad to urge him to fast-track the appointment of 13 more names sent by the Calcutta HC chief justice to the apex court.




Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

Dr. Hari Desai

Culprits of Partition as identified by Dr. Lohia Ageing Congress leadership was desperate to seek power at any cost PM is servant of the Parliament, should behave modestly and politely Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia (23 March 1910- 12 October 1967) in “The Guilty Men of India’s Partition”(1960) describes Maulana’s contempt for Sardar Patel and lies being spread on each page of his book including presenting Pandit Nehru under the influence of Lady Mountbatten.


he most unfortunate Partition of India in August 1947 led to killings of nearly 6 lakh people and uprooted almost 15 million Indians from both sides. Who be held responsible or culprits for this holocaust? Not only the historians but even the Indian freedom fighters defer on the analysis and blame each other for being responsible to create situation leading to Partition. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad wrote in “India Wins Freedom”(1959): “(M. A.) Jinnah may have raised the flag of Partition but now the real flag bearer was Patel.” Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia (23 March 1910- 12 October 1967) in “The Guilty Men of India’s Partition”(1960) describes Maulana’s contempt for Sardar Patel and lies being spread on each page of his book including presenting Pandit Nehru under the influence of Lady Mountbatten. Of course, Lohia had been critical of Nehru despite being a Socialist. “It would not perhaps be unfair to say that Vallabhbhai Patel was the founder of Indian Partition,” writes Maulana in his book giving full credit to Lord Mountbatten for the design of Partition. The Sardar, a Home Member resented Liaquat Ali Khan, a Finance Member in the Congress- Muslim League Interim Government (Executive Council) where Liaquat was able “to reject or delay every proposal put up by the Congress Members of the Executive Council.”Sardar Patel discovered that though he was Home Member, he could not create the post of a chaprasi (peon) without

Liaquat Ali’s concurrence. “When Lord Mountbatten suggested that Partition might offer a solution to the present difficulty, he found ready acceptance to the idea in Sardar Patel’s mind.” Maulana found Mountbatten turning his attention to Jawaharlal after Patel was convinced. He says: “I have often wondered how Jawaharlal was won over by Lord Mountbatten. He was a man of principle but he is also impulsive and very amenable to personal influences. I think one factor responsible for the change

Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia

harmful not only to Muslims but to the whole country. He claimed to have made efforts to make both “supporters of Partition” and since it was a futile exercise, he turned to his “only hope” Gandhiji. “It

Gandhiji with Nehru and Ghaffar Khan

was the personality of Lady Mountbatten. She is not only extremely intelligent but has a most attractive and friendly temperament. She admired her husband very greatly and in many cases tried to interpret his thoughts to those who would not at first agree with him.” The former Congress President claims that he was deeply distressed since the Partition was to be

will be over my dead body” was the reply from the Mahatma but after Gandhiji’s meetings with Lord Mountbatten and Sardar Patel, he found “defection” in his views too. Despite Maulana claiming making efforts to avoid Partition even by meeting Lord Mountbatten, both Lohia and Rajmohan

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Gandhi, the biographer of Sardar Patel, claimed that Azad did not oppose Partition in the Working Committee meeting on 14 June 1947 ! “Maulana Azad sat in a chair throughout the two days of (WorCom) meeting in a corner of the very small room which packed us all, puffed away at his endless cigarettes and spoke no word.” So writes Lohia, a special invitee. According to Lohia, barring four persons- himself, Jaipraksh, who was another special invitee, Ghaffar Khan and Gandhi“none spoke a word in opposition of Partition.” Lohia laughs at the claim of Azad that he was the only person who opposed the Partition. In his book, “The Guilty Men of India’s Partion”(1960) and Hindi version of it, “Bharat Vibhajan ke Gunahagar”(2009), Lohia gives eight reasons for the Partition of India: (1) The British Conspiracy (2) Ageing Congress leadership (3) The situation created by Hindu- Muslim riots (4) Lack of determination and competence of people (5)Ahimsa of Gandhiji (6) Betrayal of Muslim League (7) Unable to take advantage of the opportunities and (8) Hindu ego. Lohia believed that the Partition could have been avoided

lest the ageing Congress leadership’s craving for power would have waited. He was of the firm opinion that pro-Hindu elements, who preferred to brand themselves with the Jan Sangh, did support the British and Muslim League in the Partition of the country. “The opponents of Indian Muslims are the friends of Pakistan.” Lohia equally condemns the Communists for their support to the Partition. Lohia’s most talked As Hamid Ansari , the about book former Vice President of short period, in various India, puts it, Lohia was an Indian states like Utter idealist and had his icons in Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, the early period; Mahatma Rajasthan, Bihar, Punjab, Gandhi represented his West Bengal, Orissa, Madras “dream”, Nehru his “desire” and Kerala. One would find and Subhas Chandra Bose some contradictions in the his “deed”. Despite the personality of the visionary adulation of earlier years, doctoral student of his criticism of Nehru and Friedrich – Wilhelms – his policies after early Univesitat, today’s 1940s was trenchant. His Humboldt- Universitat, in articulation of the princiBerlin in the late 1920s and ples of the Congress early 1930s. He was with Socialist Party transmuted Congress Party and was itself in the fifties into the critical of the leadership. He Praja Socialist Party which, did not spare Pattom Thanu as he put it,” is as distant Pillai, his own party Chief from the Congress party as Minister of Kerala, when he it is from the Communist allowed the police to open and the Communalist parfire on agitators. Towards ties.” Elected to the Lok the end of his life , he was Sabha in 1963, he advocatopenly critical of the ed : “ Parliament is the Samyukt Vidhayak Dal govmaster whereas the Prime ernments in which his party Minister is its servant. The was a partner. Lohia always servant has to behave modconsidered the Partition as estly and politely with his an artificial or fake and master.” He utilized the dreamt to have both India parliamentary platform to and Pakistan reunited oneexpress powerfully his day as Hindustan. views on what he considAccording to Yogendra ered were shortfalls in Yadav, Dr. Lohia is rememdomestic and foreign policy bered as the originator of issues. Other Backward Dr. Lohia, as a Socialist Classes(OBC) reservations, leader, initiated an antithe champion of backCongress coalition ward castes in the after the Next Column: politics of north Congress Party India, the under the Gita and Quran father of nonleadership of Unite the World’s Congressism, Prime Minister People the uncomproIndira Gandhi mising critic of the could win all time Nehru dynasty, and the low i.e. 283 seats in Lok man responsible for the Sabha election in February politics of anti-English. 1967, by joining hands with Pandit Deedayal Upadhyaya (The writer is a of Jan Sangh and others. He Socio-political Historian. could manage to establish E-mail: Samyukt Vidhyak Dal(SVD) governments, though for a

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Asian Voice | 10th March 2018


Lotus blooms in the Northeast

Continued from page1

Tripura The BJP set aside the IPFT's demands to make a tribal the chief minister, and declared state unit chief Biplab Deb as the next premier of Tripura. Convener of the state BJP's Janajati Morcha or tribal unit, Jishnu Debbarma will be the deputy. The announcement was made by Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, who along with Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram, was sent to Tripura as central observers. The BJP stormed the CPI(M) shrine by winning 43 seats in alliance with the IPFT. The swearing-in ceremony will be held on March 9. While the party had not declared any chief ministerial candidate during its campaigning, the fact that Deb would take up the reins was a foregone conclusion. Deb's immediate job will be to pacify the IPFT. IPFT chief

Indian states under the saffron government

Meghalaya The 10-year long rule of Congress in Meghalaya has come to an end as the National People's Party (NPP) President Conrad

Democratic Front, and an independent MLA from Dalu. At the oath taking, Governor Prasad also administered oath to 11

Biplab Kumar Deb set to take oath as Tripura Chief Minister

NC Debbarma said his party would support the new government from outside if it was not given “respectable” positions in the ministry. Set to be the youngest chief minister, 48 year old Deb was made president of the state BJP and in a very short period of time, caught the imagination of the electorate, displayed impressive oratory skills and leadership qualities. With language skills restrained to only Hindi and Bengali, Deb has spent 15 years away from Tripura, training under top RSS leaders in Delhi. He is credited with building the BJP's cadres in the last two years. “People inspire me... they are my dal, roti,” Deb said. “There has been a huge change in my life. I love the people of Tripura. I even love the Communist and Manik Sarkar but I am annoyed that they got so much time but did not utilise the resources of the state to develop it. We will rebuild it from scratch.”

ceremony. “This is an important development, the North East is becoming Congress Mukt. In most of the states here now there is either a BJP government or a government by the NDA,” Rajnath said. The state threw a hung Assembly as the ruling Congress party bagged 21 seats, down from last poll's 29, and falling 10 short of a simple majority, while Sangma's party won 19 seats. With both the party confident on its part about being able to form the government, it was BJP, with its pitiable 2 seats of the 47-seat Assembly in the Christian-dominated state, that managed to push the Congress out of power. Even though the NPP and BJP fought separately, they are allies at the Centre, and in Manipur. The UDP is also part of the

PB Acharya in Kohima. The outgoing Naga People's Front government has, however, tried to queer the pitch, with TR Zeliang refusing to resign as CM and asking the BJP to help it form the government as quid pro quo for support to the BJP. The efforts are however, unlikely to hold

official in Kohima Raj Bhavan said. The National Democratic People's Party and BJP, which contested in alliance has 30 seats in the 60-seat assembly, including Rio, who was elected unopposed. The NDPP won 18 seats in the Nagaland Assembly elections, while the Naga People’s Front

Conrad Sangma takes oath as the new Meghalaya Chief Minister

Sangma swore in as Chief Minister. Sangma had met with Governor Ganga Prasad and staked claim to form the government with the support of 34 MLAs in the 60-member Assembly. It was reported that the NPP will form the coalition government in Meghalaya with the help of BJP, United Democratic Party, Hill State People Democratic Party, People's

Cabinet Ministers. Of the 11 ministers, four are from NPP, three from UDP, two from PDF, and one each from HSPDP and BJP. Also present at the event were BJP president Amit Shah and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Chief Ministers of BJP-led government in Assam and Manipur, Sarbananda Sonowal, and N Biren Singh also attended the

BJP-helmed North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA). At least 30 seats were required to form a majority in the 60-member Assembly, which has an effective strength of 59. Nagaland Neiphu Rio is all set to form the next government in Nagaland after he submitted letters of support of 32 legislators to Governor

Nagaland CM aspirant Neiphu Rio with BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav

intended impact as the new government is likely to be sworn in this week. Elected BJP legislature party leader Y Patton will most likely to be the deputy chief minister. “The governor had asked Rio to submit letters of supporting MLAs in 48 hours,” a senior

bagged 26 seats. Besides the BJP legislators, one Janata Dal (United) MLA and one independent MLA have also pledged support to form the government, taking the alliance beyond the majority mark of 31 in the 60-member Legislative Assembly.



To Our Readers

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Martial arts strengthen the body – and also make the brain more alert

Martial arts require a good level of physical strength, but those who take up training need to develop an incredible amount of mental acuity, too. Mental strength is so important to martial arts that researchers have found karate experts’ stronger punching force may be down to a better control of muscle movement in the brain, rather than increased muscular strength. Other studies have also found that children who practice Taekwondo improved in maths test scores, and behaviour. Which leads to an interesting question – does taking part in martial arts cause the brain to develop better control, or do people with these brain characteristics choose to do martial arts? It is something that our team has been researching, with interesting results. Researchers have been specifically measuring attention to assess mental control,

as previous research has suggested that mindfulness and exercise can both have beneficial effects on attention. You could argue that martial arts are a combination of both – active sports that involve aspects of meditation and mindfulness. While there are differences across each martial art in terms of their core philosophies, whether they’re more of a “fighting” martial art or more “meditative”, and their intensity, we did not discriminate about the type our participants took part in. Future research could compare the different types, but for this study we were more interested in general martial artists’ attention compared to non-martial artists.

Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

Avocado: the World’s healthiest food you never knew about The existence of avocado dates back to 10,000 BC, while its cultivation occurred in parts of central and southern America. This fruit reached Indonesia in 1750, Brazil in 1809, Levant in 1908 and then finally to India, where it was grown for the first time in the royal gardens of the famous Muslim ruler, Tipu Sultan. Also known as avocado pear or alligator pear, the fruit comes with a biological name of Persea Americana. It is among the most nutritive fruits that is rich in proteins and fat but low in carbohydrates. Even then, it has the highest energy value compared to other fruits, not to forget its richness in vitamins and minerals. Although the avocado is not as popular as mangoes, oranges or apples, there are a niche group of people who enjoy this delicacy. It has health benefits such as preventing cancerous formations, reducing cholesterol levels and heart diseases and several others. It must be noted that apart from consuming it naturally, avocados are widely available as sandwich fillings, salads, ice creams and milk shakes. Go through the following section to know more about it.


My son was born while I was serving abroad, so he was three before we met. When I got home, I decided it was time for a little father-son bonding time. I bought him a toy razor and invited him to “shave” with me. In the bathroom, I took up my razor and started shaving. I looked around to see how my son was doing. His foot was up on the side of the bathtub, and he was running the razor up and down his leg. So much for male bonding. *** A retired rancher decided to go back to school. He made an appointment with the dean of admissions at a university. The dean asked him, “Are you pursuing a bachelor’s degree?” The rancher replied, “I want to, but I can’t. I’m still married.” *** My fiancé and I went to a counselor to work on our communication issues. Using herself as an example, the counselor crossed her legs and her arms and exhaled loudly. I was about to say she was showing signs of frustration, but my fiancé beat me to it, yelling, “I’ve got it! You’re constipated!” *** My wife is a very adventurous cook. “How does this sound?” she called out from the kitchen. “Bonito, surimi, and anchovies in a decadent, silky broth.” “Sounds delicious,” I hollered back. “Is that what we’re having tonight?” “No. I’m reading from this packet of cat food.”


Avocado was introduced to India somewhere during the period between 1906 and 1914, when an American missionary residing in Bangalore was on a visit to Ceylon, Srilanka. In the royal botanical gardens, he spotted a tree that belonged to his home country. The missionary was fascinated

with what he saw and procured a few seedlings and brought them back to Bangalore where he planted them in the Lal Bagh Gardens: the Royal gardens of the famous Muslim ruler of the Mysore state, Tipu Sultan. This is how the avocado fruit came to India. A few different varieties of it are now grown in India, although on a very limited scale, in states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and the east Himalayan state of Sikkim.Avocado-2

Health Benefits of Avocado Avocados have been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells. Research has shown that certain compounds present in these fruits destroy malignant cells without harming the healthy ones. The oleic acid content in avocado has been shown to prevent the risk of breast cancer. Avocados have the presence of the carotenoid called lutein more than any other commonly consumed fruit. The lutien protects against macular degeneration and cataracts, two age-related eye diseases. Beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels, is found in high proportions in avocados. Folate, vitamin E, monounsaturated fats and glutathione in avocado are great for reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Studies reveal that people who consume this fruit have a much lower incidence of any cardiac problems. Certain nutrients are absorbed better when eaten with avocado. In a survey, when participants ate salads containing avo-

Eat slowly and avoid meals two hours before bedtime to stay slim Eating slowly could be the key to losing weight, with people who take time over their meals less likely to become obese, a new study shows. Cutting out afterdinner snacks and avoiding eating two hours before bedtime are also linked to people shedding the pounds, researchers found. Compared with people who eat quickly, those who ate at a normal speed were 29 per cent less likely to be obese, rising to 42 per cent for those who ate slowly. And when compared with fast eaters, normal-speed eaters and slow eaters had

reductions in waist circumference of 0.21cm and 0.41cm respectively, the authors found.

cados, they absorbed five times the amount of carotenoids (a group of nutrients comprising of lycopene and beta carotene) than those who didn’t include avocados in their meal. Glutathione, which is an important antioxidant, helps in preventing ageing, cancers and heart diseases. Avocados are an excellent source of this antioxidant. Vitamin E is an indispensable vitamin as it maintains overall health of the body and its immune system. Avocados contain a high amount of this vitamin. Rich in potassium, avocados can regulate blood pressure. Therefore, a diet rich in this fruit would combat any diseases of the circulatory system such as high blood pressure, heart diseases or strokes.

fruits. Avoid picking avocados that are blemished or have dark spots on them. If a brown nub, seen at the end of an avocado, is missing then it means that the fruit is rotting from the inside. The texture of avocados is extremely important. A rough skin yields more flavour as compared to the ones with smoother surfaces.

Avocado Storage Tips

When selecting avocados, if you see bright green ones among purplish/maroon/blackish fruits, do not pick the former as they are haven’t ripened yet. Select fruits according to when you’re going to use them. If you intend to use avocados on the same day that you buy it, press to check the softness of the fruit. If you intend to use it after a few days then opt for slightly harder

If you have bought avocados to consume within a few days, you can slow down the ripening process by storing them in a refrigerator. After the fruits have been cut open, place them in plastic bags and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice. Then store them at low temperatures. This will bring reduce the browning process. Unripe avocados can be made ripe by placing the fruits in a paper bag and keeping them at room temperature. If avocados are to be stored for an undetermined period of time, it can be done by putting them in an airtight container with lemon juice poured over them. This mixture is then kept in the freezer. Although this deters its consistency, the avocados will stay for almost 3-6months.

A new study maps the brain circuits that tell us when we need to drink water, as well as when we have had enough. The research uncovered a neural hierarchy by stimulating and suppressing the urge to drink in mice. Feeling thirsty is a sensation that everyone and every animal is familiar with. It is an experience so common that few of us give it a thought. But neuroscientists are fascinated by it. In relation to the survival of an organism, thirst is incredibly important. An animal that doesn't take on fluids when it needs them will not be alive for long. Without water, most of the processes within the body will seize up, and in

humans, death follows in a short number of days. Although the idea that our brains can detect water levels in the body and drive our desire to drink is not new, the exact neuroscience behind it is only slowly being fleshed out. The most recent study to investigate the thirst mechanism was carried out by Yuki Oka, an assistant professor of biology at Caltech in Pasadena, CA. The findings were published this week in Nature.

How to Buy Avocados

How do our brains tell us we are thirsty?

28 AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 10th March 2018


Priya Anand's dream come true in 'Kayamkulam Kochunni'

‘Hate Story IV’

An Indian Hindi-language erotic thriller film directed by Vishal Pandya and written by Sammeer Arora.

Not associated with Kamal Haasan, says Gautami


riya Anand has been busy lately, filming for Rosshan Andrrews' 'Kayamkulam Kochunni' with Nivin Pauly. Ecstatic about the project, she said the film is one she will cherish being a part. “I am really fortunate to get to work with a director like Rosshan and be a part of an epic like KK with some of our country's best technicians and talents. It was always a dream to work in a period film and I'm so glad to be working on something so authentic like this.” Regarding her preparation for the movie, Priya said, “Since it's a period film and authentic to the story of Kochunni, a lot of research has been put in. One of our ADs, Monisha, researched the backdrop and

Amala vies for a personal life


ithin days of announcing his political party, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan made it to the headlines after his former partner and actress Gautami opened up on why she split with him. The blog came as a response to AIADMK allegations that she is a part of Haasan's 'Makkal Needhi Maiam'. Kamal and Gautami ended their 13 year relationship in 2016, and reports emerged that the split was caused by Shruti Haasan. However, in her post, she has blamed Haasan. “I had taken the decision to walk out and make my own life because it had become painfully clear to me over time period even prior to October 2016 that our personal code of conduct and commitment had become completely divergent. In my commitment to our relationship, I had believed that we shared the values and ideals that I have held dear all my life. The reason for the failure of this relationship does not lie with anybody else, especially with Shruti. No third person, especially children, can ever be responsible for the state of a personal relationship between adults. Both Shruti and Akshara are wonderful young ladies who I knew as children and I continue to look upon them as such till today. Neither of them have any responsibility for the breakdown of the relationship. That rests entirely on Haasan's change in commitment and my inability to accept that compromise and destroy my self-respect.” Gautami said Haasan is yet to pay her remuneration for films like 'Dasavatharam' and 'Vishwaroopam'. “During the nearly 13 years of our life together, the work that I did as Costume Designer, was only for films produced by Raajkamal Films International, (RKFI), and for films that Haasan made for other producers. And this was my primary source of income as my working both in front of and behind the camera in other's projects was actively discouraged. In addition to this, it grieves me greatly to have to say that as of October 2016, I had salary dues pending right from earlier films like Dasavatharam, Vishwaroopam, etc. As these pending salary dues were the only financial resource at the time for rebuilding my life, I had made repeated efforts to recover the payments from Haasan and RKFI.” She added, “I have chosen to speak out now because the speculation concerning my association with Kamal Haasan continues unabated and many people continue to labour under the wrong belief that I support and/or subscribe to his words, actions and decisions.”

stories for over a year and a half! The best thing about Malayalam cinema is how real all the characters are. So, once I get out of my caravan, it was like getting teleported back in time!” Priya revealed that she opted out of three films to be a part of this one. “I've always done things my way and have always gone by my instinct. And it always has paid off. Working with these amazing technicians and being able to be lit up by Binod Pradhan are things that I hadn't even dreamt of! It's not often that I get to work with someone as knowledgeable as Rosshan. And with Nivin and Mohanlal sir, this is one of the biggest films to look forward to this year.”


ame often strips one of their privacy, and celebrities constantly find their lives and space invaded. The recent-most example of media insensitivity was the entire coverage of actress Sridevi's demise. One cannot deny that actresses find it more difficult than actors with every aspect of their being up for scrutiny. Questioning the media and the tough standards expected of actresses, veteran Amala Akkineni took to Facebook to ask, “Will you let me age gracefully?” In a heartfelt message, the 49 year old wrote, “Will you let me dress

without feeling low self esteem that I am not size zero anymore, nor that I wear the season's couture?” Last seen in Malayalam film 'C/o Saira Banu' in 2017, the actress further wrote, “Will you let me stop colouring my hair, let me wear it short, without referring to my long tresses in 'Pushpak', at 19? The bad hair days get captured, not the wisdom I carry, and that's demoralising. Surely cameras can show the depth of a person and not just the surface? Will you let me discuss meaningful things without interrupting the flow with questions on how I cook or

what the season's latest gossip demands? My inner being thrives on accomplishing things that make a difference, things I seek to complete before my physical form is put to rest.” Amala further wrote about meaningless questions actresses are asked, about their weight, finally adding, “You have caught me in a time warp, a cage of fame, while my spirit is free. Allow me a life, some privacy, to engage with humanity and the universe, with purpose, truth, compassion and some respect for those now gone.”

Prabhu Deva has his fingers in many pots


ulti-talented Prabhu Deva has a heavy line up of projects in his kitty, all under different phases of production. The actor is busier than ever, with 'Yung Mung Sung', 'Lakshmi', 'Mercury', and 'Charlie Chaplin 2' all in the pipeline. 'Yung Mung Sung' director MS Arjun, who will debut with the film, gave updates on the period-comedy. “When I wanted to make a film centered on comedy, I equally wanted the emotions and action portions to stand out. All the action sequences have been done in Chinese style.

The Kung Fu backdrop of the film will be a unique experience for audiences. I had watched a lot of Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee films in my hometown during my growing up days. The story of Yung Mung Sung happens in 1970-87 and it chronicles crucial events during the period,” Arjun said. He revealed that he narrated the story of period comedy to Prabhu in 90 minutes. “I finished the script of my film in 2016. That's when Prabhu Deva sir made a comeback to the silver screen after 12 years in

Tamil as a lead hero. I wanted to narrate my story to him since only a few heroes in Tamil can handle both comedy and action

scenes equally convincingly. He liked the story, for which I took nearly two years to write, and gave his nod to the film immediately,” he said. Arjun revealed that Prabhu will play the role of Yunga Narayanan, a Kung Fu specialist. RJ Balaji will play Mangalam, and Kumki Ashwin will play Shankar. “That's the idea behind the film's title. These three characters travel to China during their childhood to learn and train in martial art Kung Fu. In China, Prabhu Deva sir's character is forced to make an important decision, which sets in motion a series of events.’ AsianVoiceNews


Sridevi, Shashi Kapoor honoured at the Oscars


Shraddha Kapoor takes up new task


n a surprising and touching move, the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences (AMPAS) paid tributes to Indian stars Shashi Kapoor and Sridevi in the In Memoriam section of the Oscars. The segment remembers artistes who passed away in the past one year. Sridevi, whose sudden demise in at the age of 54, in Dubai sent shock waves through India was inarguably India's first female superstar. She was a rare artiste whose career spanned for 50 years across multiple languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and Malayalam. Veteran actor Shashi Kapoor died in December last year, at the age of 79. He was known for his roles in the 70s and 80s, and featured in some of the best commercial films such as 'Deewar', 'Kabhie Kabhie', 'Namak Halal', and 'Kaala Patthar'.

Hollywood's Raj Kapoor


ollowing the s p e c i a l Memoriam Montage segment at the Academy Awards, artists of the Indian film industry expressed their gratitude for the special mention of Bollywood icons Sridevi and Shashi Kapoor. A special thank you tweet came from veteran actor Rishi Kapoor, who thanked the Academy of Motion Pictures and Science in a tweet, along with a video that featured the name of the late Raj Kapoor. “Oscars. Thank you for remembering Shashi Kapoor and Sridevi. Thrilled to see the name Raj Kapoor as the executive producer of the show. We are on the threshold of world cinema!” Rishi wrote. The tweet prompted questions asking why the Showman was featured in the Academy Awards. While for B-Town the name resonates strongly with the 'Charlie Chaplin of India', in Hollywood, the name is linked to a Los Angeles-based full service creative agency and production company- Raj Kapoor Productions. The company is credited for creating shows for big names like the Bachstreet Boys, Mariah Carey, and Coldplay. Canada-based Raj Kapoor has quite the few powerhouses registered to his client diary. A media report revealed that he has worked on five editions of the Grammy Awards as segment producer, creative consultant and video producer. The 2018 Oscars were his second stint with the mega event. “The screens and music productions, those were my responsibility and work. The screens are anything to do with images and video support for the big, scenic elements and productions,” Kapoor said. At the 2017 Academy Awards, he was responsible for Justin Timberlake's opening with his Oscar-nominated 'Can't Stop The Feeling', and John Legend's 'La La Land' medley, among other performances. When asked about sharing name with a Bollywood legend, Kapoor said, “I've watched his movies and it's nice to be associated with his name. I get asked that a lot now. Even as a little kid, but now a lot more often in being in entertainment. Yes, we have the same name, but we're not related.”

ollywood actors are a talented bunch and have skills that would surprise you. Not many know Salman Khan is a talented painter, Vidya Balan's mimicry could have you in splits, and Saif Ali Khan works the chords like nobody's business. Similarly, it has been recently brought to light that our 'Ek Villain' girl Shraddha Kapoor has a knack of picking up accents. The actress has in fact, entertained audiences on television interviews with her ability to switch from American to Russian,

Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

to British and other dialects. Presently, Shraddha has taken upon the Kumauni accent after spending a fortnight in Tehri, Uttarakhand, where she is shooting for her upcoming 'Batti Gul Meter Chalu'. “The Kumauni dialect sounds unique and different. It needs a fair amount of practice as it is challenging to replicate it as is,” Kapoor said. She said she wants to finesse the newly acquired skill.

Why PeeCee skipped the Oscars A

s curtains fell on the 90th Academy Award, all eyes were glued to the screens waiting for a glimpse of Hollywood's best. However, the absence of 'Quantico' actress Priyanka Chopra was vividly noticed. The 35 year old,as announced earlier, was supposed to present an award but remained unexpectedly absent from the gala night. After a long wait, the actress finally revealed that she is not keeping well and had to give the

Oscars a miss. Posting a picture of herself, Priyanka wrote, “I wish all my friends nominated tonight all the very best! So sick but wishing everyone from bed. Can't wait to know the winners #oscars2018”. The actress is currently busy shooting for the third season of her American crime/drama series. She has been absent from the Indian movie industry for quite some years, and speculation is, she will make a comeback with a sequel of 'Aitraaz'.

Sunny Leone welcomes twins via surrogacy


n this week's fantastic news, actress Sunny Leone and husband Daniel Weber announced the arrival of two beautiful and healthy baby boys in their family. The couple revealed they had twins via surrogacy, and shared a photo of the complete family including their eldest, Nisha Kaur Weber, who they adopted last year from Latur. Calling it “God's Plan”, Sunny wrote an Instagram post. “God’s Plan!! June 21st, 2017 was the day @dirrty99 and I found out that we might possibly be having 3 children within a short amount of time. We

planned and tried to have a family and after so many years, our family is now complete with Asher Singh Weber, Noah Singh Weber and Nisha Kaur Weber. Our boys were born a few weeks ago but were alive in our hearts and eyes for many years. God planned something so special for us and gave us a large family.We are both the proud parents of three beautiful children. Surprise everyone!” After years of trying to start a family, the gorgeous couple are now proud parents of not one, but three children, and we couldn't be happier.


UK AsianVoiceNews

Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

Letter from Gandhi about Christianity sold for $50,000

A unique letter written by Mahatma Gandhi in which he described Jesus Christ as 'one of the great teachers of mankind' has been sold for $50,000 (£36,275). The letter was written to response to one sent by Milton Newberry Frantz, a religious elder in the US at the time, and is dated 6 April, 1926. According to the Raab Collection, Frantz had written the letter is the only one that to Gandhi, a devout has come to market in which Gandhi mentions Jesus Hindu who was by then emerging as a of him. prominent figure in the The letter has been in Indian independence a private collection for movement, inviting him to decades and is being sold read an article the by the Pennsylvania-based American had written Raab Collection, though it about Christianity. would not reveal who has Gandhi wrote back to bought it. The Raab Frantz from the Sabarmati Collection said their ashram, in the western 'research discloses no Indian state of Gujarat, other letter of Gandhi praising Jesus but saying mentioning Jesus to have he was unable to fully ever reached the public accept the Christian view market.' Gareth Thomas MP and Lord Bilimoria in association with the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe invite you for the Zoroastrian All Party Parliamentary Group to mark the centenary of the death of Dr Dadabhai Naoroji, the first Zoroastrian/Indian elected to the House of Commons for Finsbury Central. The gathering is to be held on March 22, 16.00 pm to 18.00 pm in Committee Room 4, House of Lords, Westminster, London SW1A 0AA.

Coming Events

l Shree Jignyasu Satsang Mandal has organised Hanuman Chalisa on March 10, Saturday, after midday aarti at the Social Club Hall Northwick Park Hospital, Watford Road, Harrow, Middx HA1 3UJ.

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 Jupiter


goes. You can “You get to decide where your time can spend it you or either spend it moving forward, don’t you if And de. deci You . putting out fires .” you decide, Others will decide for - Tony Morgan

Fact you didn't know about SPACE

l In space the skin on your feet peels off! This is a pretty gross fact but in the micro-gravity environment, astronauts are not using their feet to walk. Therefore the skin on their feet starts to soften and flakes off. As laundry facilities do not exist in space, astronauts will wear the same underwear and socks for a few days. Those socks then need to be taken off very gently. If not those dead skin cells will float around in the weightless environment.



Planet Eclipse Meteor Galaxy Gravity Satellite Orbit Solar Stars







Sudoku Edition 11



SUDOKU - 011

3 1 8


4 7



4 5

9 2

8 6

2 6

4 8

For solution see next edition


Hope you had a great fun with snow....

Snow Poem:

The Snow in Spring

Outside, The sky is white and grey. The forecast reports it will snow today. I walk up to the window pane And wonder if it might just rain. For as I sought what I was told, If as a promise I was gold. I noticed wisps of snow appear At last I see the snow is here. Soon the snow has grown intense No longer do I feel the suspense. Instead, I will soon go out To play in the snow, the forecast reports today. Name: Harsh Rao, Year 5. School: St Cyprian’s Greek Orthodox Primary Academy, Croydon.

Drawing competition for

Send it to us to have a chance of winning Asian Voice Mother's day Drawing Competition. You will get an opportunity to have your Name, Photo and Drawing will be published in next edition of Whizz kids Corner. Please fill up this form: Name.................................Age..................... Address........................................................ Postcode................School............................

Joke of the week

Q:Why did the sun go to school? A: To get brighter Q: What is an astronaut’s favourite button on the keyboard? A: The Spacebar Q: What is a spaceman's Favourite Chocolate? A: A Marsbar! Q: What did the alien say when he was out of the room? A: I'm all spaced out! Q: Why did Venus have get an air conditioner? A: Because Mercury Moved in.

The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

Retrograde cycle occurs in your eighth house of intimacy, shared resources, and personal transformation. Hold onto your money, work on a budget, and avoid arguments with loved ones that revolve around intimacy and sexuality. You could also be dealing with past actions or karma. It's time to redefine what it is that you want out of life. TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Jupiter goes retrograde for some time to come. This is going to be a time of frustration and re-assessment. It’s all about cultivating patience until planet goes direct. This is evident mainly in the arena of relationships, but it could also flow over in to business partnerships and joint ventures. While you wait, don’t waste any time, organise yourself.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Jupiter’s Retrograde cycle

occurs in your sixth house of work, health, and daily routines. The social aspect of relationships on the job may be strained for the time being. The desire to get on with people around you is very strong in this period. Do your best not to let people get to you. Make sure you are also up-to-date with your tax affairs. With Jupiter turning retroCANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22 grade, it's time to realign your thinking and adjust plans accordingly. There may be some waning enthusiasm experienced regarding a romance or a creative project. But once you adjust your expectations you will find the right balance to get on easily with people around you.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

Jupiter’s Retrograde cycle occurs in your fourth house of home and family. Relations with your family may be a little strained. You might want to wait until Jupiter is direct before you express your frustrations with family members! This retrograde cycle also affects your romance and grown-ups, so be aware of any pitfalls.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

(Make your mum proud)

Send your entry together with this completed form for Mother's Day Drawing Competition to below address. Gujarat Samachar & Asian Voice 12 Hoxton Market, KarmaYoga House, Off Coronet street, London N1 6HW You Can Also Email on

7 6

7 5 3

l Mahatma Gandhi Foundation UK invites you to a bhajan sandhya in fond memory of Mahatma Gandhi on March 20, 6.00 pm to 10.00 pm at Kadva Patidar Centre, Kenmore Avenue, Harrow, Middlesex, HA3 8L0.

Sneh Joshi

If your child has a good joke, poem or any suggestions they would like to share please email us with the name, age and school. Email:-


l Sree Sree Anukulchandra's Satsang to be held on March 10, 6.30 pm onwards at Brent Indian Association Building, 116 Ealing Road, Wembley HA0 4TH.


Jupiter’s Retrograde cycle occurs in your third house of communication. People around you may seem insincere. In fact, you may have a hard time getting your ideas across in a warm, genuine manner. As Jupiter also rules your home, family and relationships/marriage, all of these things may also have to be re-assessed during this retrograde cycle. Retrograde Jupiter transit LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23 occurs in your solar second house this time, extra care should be exercised when it comes to new financial initiatives. There may be the need to resolve old, nagging issues regarding personal finances. Take this time to re-budget and re-think how you want to spend your cash during this period. Jupiter is in its retrograde SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22 phase in your sign, promoting a new cycle that will force you to slow down and reflect on your past achievements and future goals. It is now time to take stock, consolidate and plan ahead. The art of making haste slowly should therefore be cultivated for it will be only too easy to allow other people to rush you.

020 8518 5500

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

Retrograde transit of Jupiter occurs in your solar twelfth house this time, extra care should be exercised when it comes to private and personal matters. Be as non-judgemental as you can, but do keep an eye out for deceptiveness and falseness in others. Good time for yoga and meditation. Jupiter’s Retrograde cycle CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 occurs in your eleventh house of friendships, groups, and aspirations. Your friendships or associations with groups may be a little strained during this period. If you have too many ideas or projects on your plate, this is a good time to prioritize. You must make good use of the energy that is flowing, by channeling it positively! is in its retrograde AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 Jupiter phase in your solar tenth house, this transit will force you to slow down and reflect on your past achievements and future goals. Focus on essentials and establish a solid foundation. A good time to re-assess whether you are spending too much time at work. Time to create a better work-life balance. As Jupiter is retrograde in your PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 Solar 9th house, be extremely careful as an argument over personal philosophies of life can get you into hot water. This is a time of slowing down and reassessing anything linked with travel, educational, and networking. It's a good time to look inwards and get in touch with what truly motivates and enthuses you.





The Indian duo of Pankaj Advani and Manan Chandra staged a remarkable recovery to pip Pakistan in the final of the inaugural IBSF Snooker Team World Cup in Doha. After being 0-2 down in the best-of-five final played on Friday night, India found themselves in a deeper hole at 0-30 down in the third frame. Thanks to a well-crafted 39 break from Chandra and a classy clearance of Advani-led India Beat Pakistan to Win Snooker Team World Cup the final colours by with a long pot on the final frame to determine Advani, the Indian hopes brown, the humbled the first winners of the were kept alive. Pakistani conceded the inaugural event. Chandra In the fourth frame, frame and match. and Muhammad Asif even though Advani found The Indians made a found themselves in a seehimself in a spot of bother shaky start in the final saw frame but it was the when trailing 1-20 against with Masih scoring a conIndian who changed gears Babar Masih, he took vincing 73-24 win over and did most of the scorcharge of the proceedings Chandra in the opener. ing with every given and displayed his mastery Asif then went on to steal opportunity. Eventually, once again by clearing the the second frame from Chandra only needed the table with a 69 break. Advani and win it on the green to be in the safe With this India drew black ball 61-56. zone leaving his opponent parity with Pakistan and it With the Indian team requiring snookers. But all boiled down to the

0-2 down, it had to dig deep and win every frame thereafter. The third frame was a doubles match in which both Indians played out of their skin to stay alive in the final, winning it 7247. "After it became 2-0 in the favour of Pakistan, we knew our chances of winning were slim and had our task cut out. After winning the doubles frame we saw a glimmer of hope and knew now it was up to us to dig deep and individually win both our singles matches to pull off a Houdini," said Advani. “Manan played exceptional snooker especially in the crucial deciders of the semifinal and final, when it mattered most. I'm really happy for him to win his first world title,” added Advani, who increased his tally of world titles to a staggering 19.

India loss tri-series opener to Sri Lanka by five wickets Kusal Perera's blazing halfcentury trumped Shikhar Dhawan's 49-ball 90 as Sri Lanka defeated India in the opening T20I of the Nidahas Trophy tri-series by five wickets at R Premadasa Stadium on Tuesday. Riding on Perera's 37-ball 66, the hosts chased down 175 in 18.3 overs. Perera smashed Indian bowlers all around the park with pacer Shardul Thakur bearing the brunt of his assault, leaking 27 runs in his first over of the night. He struck him for three straight fours followed by a six over mid-off. Stunned by the hiding, Shardul ended up bowling a waisthigh no-ball and ended up being hit for two more fours. Sri Lanka sprinted to their fifty in 3.4 overs and by the time Powerplay was over, had scored 75/2. Perera reached his halfcentury off 22 deliveries – his eighth in the format. By the time he was stumped, Sri Lanka needed just 48 runs from seven overs. Yuzvendra Chahal and Shardul then bowled some tight overs to make the chase interesting but Thisara Perera (22*) and Dasun Shanaka (18*) wiped off the arrears comfortably to seal two points.


Asian Voice | 10th March 2018

England beat New Zealand by 4 runs in thrilling 3rd ODI

England stayed calm at the death to snatch a thrilling four-run win in the third one-day international, despite an unbeaten century by New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. Williamson finished 112 not out, rebuilding New Zealand’s innings after a middle-order collapse provoked by off-spinner Moeen Ali, who took 336 from his 10 overs, and leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who took 2-34. New Zealand had been strongly placed at 97-2 in the 21st over, chasing England’s 234 all out in 50 overs which was grafted on a slow pitch offering extreme turn and frustrating big hitters. Ali, who narrowly missed a hat trick, and Rashid shared five wickets to set in motion a collapse which saw New Zealand slump to 103-6 before it ended 230-8. Williamson rebuilt the innings in a determined partnership of 96 for the seventh wicket with Mitchell Santner. England

regained the upper hand with a piece of good fortune, when Santner (41) was run out at the non-striker’s end in the 46th over. Williamson hit a ball from Chris Woakes straight back down the pitch and Woakes, on his follow through, deflected the ball onto the stumps after Santner had left his ground. New Zealand was then 199-7 and its hopes of winning appeared over. But Williamson kept the hosts in the game as he reached his century from 133 balls. New Zealand came to the 49th over, needing 23 runs from the last 12 balls with two wickets standing. Williamson tried everything but the odds were against him on a pitch which did not favor attacking stroke play. He was able to take only eight runs from the 49th over, bowled by Tom Curran, and New Zealand needed 15 runs to win for the last six balls bowled by Woakes.

Australia wrap up first Test as Warner, De Kock bust-up probed

Earlier, Dhawan hit 90 off 49 to guide India to a challenging total after they lost two wickets inside two overs. Captain Rohit Sharma (0) and Suresh Raina (1) fell cheaply after being sent in by Sri Lanka. Then Dhawan and Manish Pandey (37) got together to repair the early damage with a solid 95-run stand for the third wicket. Dushmantha Chameera gave India a big jolt in the first over itself when he had Rohit caught by Jeevan Mendis who took a breathtaking diving catch while running back from mid-off.

Suresh Raina was then clean bowled off a full toss in the second over leaving India in a spot of bother at 9/2. However, Dhawan snatched back the momentum with a strokeful innings during which he hit six fours and six sixes. He reached his 50 off 30 deliveries and was looking set to record a maiden ton when he was caught at long-off in the 18th over. While Dhawan played a flowing innings, his partner was scratchy and in his effort to score quickly, Pandey holed out for 35-ball 37. Rishabh Pant (23) and Dinesh

Karthik (13*) applied the finishing touches as India creamed 50 runs off their final five overs. However, Kusal Perera was in murderous mood as his assault ensured a comfortable victory for Sri Lanka - their first over India in the format since February 2016. Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 175/5 (Kusal Perera 66, Danushka Gunathilaka 19; Washington Sundar 2/28, Yuzvendra Chahal 2/37) beat India 174/5 (Shikhar Dhawan 90, Manish Pandey 37; Dushmantha Chameera 2/33)

Australia wrapped up a 118-run win on the fifth day of the first Test against South Africa on Monday but the result is likely to be overshadowed by an ugly bust-up between David Warner and Quinton de Kock. It took Australia 18 minutes and 22 balls to claim the last South African wicket when De Kock swung across the line and was leg before wicket to Josh Hazlewood for 83. South Africa were bowled out for 298, adding five runs to their overnight total of 293 for nine. The win gave Australia a 1-0 lead in the four-match series. Just before the conclusion of the match, however, video footage

emerged showing Aussie firebrand Warner pointing and directing a verbal barrage at De Kock during Sunday's play at Kingsmead before he was restrained and pulled away by his teammates. The incident reportedly took place as the players were returning to their dressing rooms at tea. "CA (Cricket Australia) is aware of reports of an incident between players in Durban," a Cricket Australia spokesman said in a statement. "CA is working to establish the facts of what has occurred and will not be commenting further until that has been done."

Sport 32

Asian Voice | 10th March 2018




Manu Bhaker, all of 16, shot her way to a second successive gold medal in a mixed team event as India consolidated their position at the top in the ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico. Partnering with Om Prakash Mitharval, the Indian teenager clinched the 10m air pistol mixed team title, a day after she won the women's 10m air pistol individual gold on what is turning out to be a memorable senior World Cup debut. The 11th standard student could be the youngest ever to win senior World Cup gold medals for India though the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) could not confirm. Also, the duo of Deepak Kumar and Mehuli Ghosh won the country its sixth medal of the competition - a bronze in the 10m air rifle mixed team event. Deepak and Mehuli, competing as India 2, shot 435.1 in the five-team final, finishing behind the Romanian pair of Alin Moldoveanu and LauraGeorgeta Coman who shot 498.4 for silver. China's Xu Hong and Chen Keduo won Gold in a world record score of 502.0. But it was Bhaker, the girl from Jhajjar, Haryana, who stunned the shooting world with a second successive gold in as many days. For someone who took to shooting just a little over two years ago, winning two gold medals in a global event of this magnitude would easily qualify as some achievement. Last December, she won the 10m air pistol event, outclassing the highly-experienced Heena Sidhu at the 61st National Shooting Championship in Thiruvanthapuram where she broke Heena's long-standing national record. She won a staggering 15 medals, including nine gold, during the tournament. Bhaker and Om Prakash, representing India 1, shot 770 in qualification to be placed second behind the German husband and wife pair of Christian and Sandra Reitz who shot 777 for a qualifications world record score. Mahima Agrawal and Shahzar Rizvi, representing India 2,

Asian Wrestling: Navjot Kaur wins gold medal

Navjot Kaur

Manu Bhaker and Om Prakash Mitharval

Shahzar Rizvi

shot 763 to be positioned fourth and made it to the fiveteam final round from among the 16 competing teams. In the final, there were three pairs in contention from the very beginning - India 1 represented by Bhaker and Om Prakash, team Reitz of Germany and the French pair of Celine Goberville and Florian Fouquet. After a sea-saw battle between the three, the Indian and the German pair pulled ahead of the French duo decisively after 38 shots, with the Germans ahead of the Indians. With the final six shots

remaining the Germans were ahead of the Indians by 0.1, but Bhaker and Om Prakash finished strong to clinch the battle after 48 shots, almost a point ahead of the Germans. The final scores in favour of the Indians read 476.1 to 475.2. Mahima Agrawal and Shahzar Rizvi finished fourth with a score of 372.4 in the finals. In the women's trap, India's Seema Tomar was the best finisher, shooting 111 in qualifying to end in 15th spot. Shreyasi Singh shot 106 to finish 22nd while Shagun

Chowdhary shot 101 to be placed 26th. Also at the end of the first day of the qualification round in men's trap, India's Kynan Chenai shot 49 out of 50 to lie in sixth place. Zoravar Singh Sandhu shot 46 to lie 28th while Manavjit Singh Sandhu shot 42 to be in 47th place. India's medal count stood at three gold and four bronze medals for a total of seven podium finishes. Earlier Bhaker won a gold in the Women's 10m Air Pistol. Another Indian shooter Shahzar Rizvi clinched the gold medal with a world record score, while Jitu Rai and Mehuli Ghosh bagged a bronze each. Manu beat the host country's Alejandra Zavala, a two-time World Cup finals winner, with a 10.8 in the last shot of the 24-shot final, to come out on top with a score of 237.5. Earlier Ravi Kumar won his first World Cup medal - a bronze in the Men's 10m Air Rifle event. Pistol ace Rai won the bronze in the event with a score of 219, as three Indians made it to the finals of the season's first World Cup. Mehuli, also a senior World Cup debutant, added to India's medal tally as she shot a world junior record 228.4 to win bronze in the women's 10m air rifle event.

Ace wrestler Navjot Kaur scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman wrestler to win a gold in the Senior Asian Championships as she clinched the yellow metal in the 65kg freestyle category in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Navjot outclassed Japan's Miya Imai 9-1 in a one-sided final bout of the women's 65kg freestyle category to bag the gold. This was also India's first gold in the ongoing championships. Earlier in the day, India got another medal through Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik who won the bronze in the 62kg freestyle category after getting better of Kazakhstan's Ayaulym Kassymova 10-7 in a tough fight. Navjot, who reached the finals after defeating Mongolia's Tsevegmed Enkhbayar 2-1 in the semis, clinched a twopoint lead inside two minutes but it got reverted after Japan challenged the referee's decision. But Navjot fought back to take 2-0 lead and went into the break with a convincing 5-0 lead. Navjot didn't give Miya a single chance to stage a comeback into the match but the Japanese won a single point to trail 1-5. Navjot quickly claimed two more points taking her lead to 7-1 before sealing the title 9-1 in her favour. Vinesh Phogat settles for silver Vinesh Phogat had to settle for silver as she lost the tough-fought title clash. She lost to Chinese wrestler Chun Lei by a narrow margin of 3-2 in the final of the 50kg category (freestyle). Vinesh had defeated Korean, Kazak, and Japanese wrestlers on her journey to win silver. Meanwhile, another female wrestler Sangeeta secured a bronze medal in 59kg weight category after losing to Um Jieun of Korea Republic 9-4. This takes India's medal tally to four in the tournament after Greco-Roman wrestlers Harpreet Singh and Rajender Kumar clinched bronze earlier. This is also Phogat's second consecutive silver of the event, following her last year's podium finish at home on her comeback from a major knee injury.

India's Shubhankar Sharma falls short Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma could not pull off a dream win owing to a late slump but he rose in stature with a creditable tied-ninth finish at the WGC - Mexico Championship. The 21year-old Sharma was tied with two-time Masters champion, Bubba Watson

(67) and Canadian Adam Hadwin (66). Phil Mickelson won on the first play-off hole against a rampant Justin Thomas (64), while Rafa Cabrera-Bello (67), shared third with Tyrrell Hatton (67), who bogeyed the last to miss getting into the play-off.

After a dream run through first three rounds of 65-66-69, Sharma fell with a stuttering 74 on a final day when the Golfing Gods just did not look his way. After being 14-under at one stage on third day, he finished with a total of 10-under and in

tied-9th place. Disappointing it may seem, but it was India’s second best ever, next only to the seasoned Jeev Milkha Singh’s T-4 back in 2009. It was the same event but then it had a different sponsor and was on a different golf course, Doral.

Shubhankar Sharma

AV 10th March 2018  
AV 10th March 2018  

Asian Voice Weekly Newspaper (Issue: 43)