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Vol 46 | Issue 27

ENTHUSIASTIC PRITI PATEL UNDER SCANNER 11th November to 17th November 2017

TM

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

Paradise Papers

World's best turn out to be the worst tax payers

Queen Elizabeth

Priti Patel reportedly has been supported by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson while Prime Minister Theresa May has also refused to ‘sack’ her

UK's only and first Indian origin MP in the Cabinet, and the Indian Diaspora Champion Ms Priti Patel, faces calls to resign, after failing to turn up to answer questions from MPs about her secret Israel meetings. In a letter to the Prime Minister, Labour demanded she either authorise an independent investigation or "explain your full reasons for why Priti Patel retains your confidence despite clear breaches of the ministerial code". Patel, who hosted Prime Minister's Diwali this year at the 10 Downing Street has been much adored by the British Indian community. She has recently been a bridge between the UK and Indian governments and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a number of official visits. The International Development Secretary is currently away in Africa on government business. A strong Brexiter, campaigning for increasing opportunities for Indians in absence of immigrants from the European Union, has been supporting May in the formal pro-

cedure. However it shocked May's government when it came out to the light, that the International Development Secretary had held 12 meetings with Israeli groups and officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while she was on vacation in the country in August and hadn't told the Prime Minister or colleagues about it. However Patel reportedly insisted that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson knew about her visit. Her department was later forced to clarify the statement, saying "the foreign secretary did become aware of the visit, but not in advance of it." Patel apologised, saying the meetings "did not accord with the usual procedures." Patel also said: “This summer I travelled to Israel on a family holiday paid for by myself. While away I had the opportunity to meet a number of people and organisations. I am publishing a list of who I met. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office was aware of my visit while it was under way. “In hindsight, I can see how my enthusiasm to engage in this way

could be misread, and how meetings were set up and reported in a way which did not accord with the usual procedures. I am sorry for this and I apologise for it.” Patel did not tell British diplomats she was holding the meetings, which is the convention. Shadow international development secretary Kate Osamor called Ms Patel's absence in the Commons "simply unacceptable" and demanded she face a Cabinet Office investigation or do "the decent thing" and resign. But Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt told MPs: "The secretary of state is on a pre-arranged government visit to Africa to focus on how we are breaking down barriers to [trade] and she is presently in the air. "The secretary of state realises in hindsight that these meetings were not arranged following the usual procedures and she has apologised for that. "The Foreign Office has said that UK interests were not damaged or affected by the meetings on this visit." Continued on page 17

Amitabh Bachchan

Just two days before the government observes Anti-Black Money Day to mark the first anniversary of the notorious demonetisation, a cache of 13.4 million documents named 'Paradise Paper's have been outed in the largestever leak of financial data. The documents come 18 months after Panama Papers, and both sets of data were obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, investigated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in partnership with 96 news organisations. The information pertains to some of the world's bestknown companies and public figures, including the Queen of England. The papers reveal that Duchy of Lancaster, private estate of the British sovereign that provides Her Highness with a private income, holds funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. It has been revealed that it made a small investment in the controversial rentto-buy firm BrightHouse. In response to the reveal, the Duchy said the holdings now equate to just over £3,000 and that it does not control how the fund acting on its behalf made decisions on investment. While no suggestions have been made on the Duchy doing anything illegal, or the Queen holding any knowledge of the use of her money, Labour MP Margaret Hodge said she was “furious” at those who advise the Queen for bringing her “into disrepute”.

Indian Connection Among the 180 countries represented in the data, India ranks 19 in terms of the number of names. A total of 714 Indians have been reported in the tally. A massive chunk of the records investigated are from Bermuda law firm Appleby. The 119 year old company is a leading member of the global network of lawyers, accountants, bankers and other operatives who set up offshore companies and manage bank accounts for clients. Indian Continued on page 26


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Rohit Ghai Rohit Ghai born into a Punjabi family and originally from Madhya Pradesh, India. Rohit has risen to be one of London’s most revered chefs of the highest culinary pedigree. Having lead several Michelin starred kitchens. He is heading Jamavar London located in Mayfair. He was awarded the honour in the Great Britain and Ireland Michelin Guide 2018 last month, along with 16 other restaurants. The good news arrived within barely 10 months of launching. He has given Regional Indian cuisines an International makeover. 1) Which place or city or country do you most feel at home in? Has to be Gwalior, India my birth place and where my parents live. 2) What are your proudest achievements? I am proud and thankful to God for all small and big achievements personally and professionally both. The latest and biggest of all being Michelin of course. I am also proud when my family feel pride in my achievements. 3) What inspires you? My guests satisfaction

inspires me to do more. People sometimes get irritated with some very specific dietary restriction. On the other hand I consider them as a challenge and this actually inspires me to dig inside and find innovative and appropriate option for that specific requirement. Finally when that guest leaves happy and satisfied I feel happy too. 4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? Being from a small city I had very less exposure to modern techniques. I used to study in a school where English was just a

subject and spoken English was rare. When I grew up I was so hesitant in communicating in English with anyone. I had to overcome my fear and still am. 5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? My Mother. Though she is not a professional chef but I grew up observing her cooking with great passion and love for entire family. At a time there were always around 7-10 members for the meal. She would cook alone with so much love with very less resources available and with no complains at all. She is such a pure soul and so inspiring. I try to be as calm and passionate as her and try to incorporate her recipes in the menu with modern twist. 6) What is the best aspect about your current role? Part of my job I love the best is the happy and content faces after their meals. As rightly said "The Joy is in Cooking for others". As stated earlier

Bobby's owner Bhagwanji Lakhani passes away Founder of Leicester’s first vegetarian curry house, Bhagwanji Lakhani passed away a few days ahead of his 90th birthday. One of the top Indians in the UK, he opened Bobby's on Belgrave Road in 1976, four years after he arrived in the country having been thrown out of Uganda by then dictator Idi Amin. Despite a lack of experience in the industry, he turned his restaurant into a success that continues to thrive after him. “He decided that Leicester needed a vegetarian Indian restaurant and he named it after Bobby, a big Bollywood film at the time. My mother said to him, 'You don't know much about restaurants, you don't even go out to eat.' But he replied that a lot of

Asians were coming to Leicester and it was a gap in the market,” his son Dharmesh said. “He worked at Bobby's until well into his 80s. He would always be saying to me I should take a day off and take my kids out and let him run the restaurant. He was an amazing man and a very special dad to me and my five siblings as well as being something of a pillar of the community here. He was always there for all of us and never said no to anything.” Lakhani died in his family home in Syston.

Dharmesh added, “We all said our goodbyes and we sang his favourite songs from Bollywood films together. It bought him great peace.” Several Leicester residents expressed grief and paid tributes to Lakhani's life and work. Prominent businessman Jaffer Kapasi said, “He won many awards for the quality of food served and for service with a smile. He was a refugee like me from Uganda. Bhagwanji Kaka was involved in a number of charities, sponsored food at several temples and other organisations. He contributed to the success of the Golden Mile and will be sorely missed not only by his family but customers and the business world of Leicester.”

some people have very specific dietary requirements like allergies but that doesn't take their right to eat good food. Making their meals appropriate as per their requirements along with good flavours and taste is so satisfying. 7) And the worst? The biggest of them is TIME. I wish there were more hours in a day to live. Personal life takes a back seat if you devote professionally. When I reach home after work my 4.5year old daughter is already in bed. The only time I meet her in weekdays is when she comes to wake me up in the morning with a hug & a kiss to say "Bye bye Daddy, Trisha is going to school". I make sure I give all my time to her on My off days. 8) What are your long term goals? I wish I can take Indian cuisine to much more heights than it is. Indian flavours and ingredients should get more and more recognition. There are so many under rated ingre-

dients and dishes in Indian cuisine and I wish I can make the world know about it. 9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? Never thought about it. But if I get a chance will think upon the taxation system. 10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical

figure would you like to spend your time with and why? Has to be Chef Heston Bluementhal. As he said "And I like asking questions, to keep learning; people with big egos might not want to look unsure." I want to spend time with this inspiring chef and learn a lot to improve myself. In the busy chef's life we hardly get time so this will be the best opportunity.

Man jailed for almost 20 years - after hiding loaded revolver under cuddly toy A man who hid a loaded Smith and Wesson revolver under a cuddly toy has been jailed for almost 20 years - after he was caught ferrying deadly guns and bullets to drug dealers in a supermarket carpark. Sunny Dhatt, from Wolverhampton, was identified as a ‘go-to guy’ for dangerous criminals want-

ing to source guns and ammunition. The 26-yearold arranged for the transfer of two 9mm semi-automatic handguns and a dozen bullets to drug dealers in a supermarket car park, on August 3 last year. But he was caught when police officers monitored the

deadly handover and later intercepted the ‘courier’. On Monday, he was jailed for a total of 18 years after also admitting possession of a loaded Smith and Wesson revolver, that officers found in a 60-year-old woman’s bedroom in Bilston.

Thousands raised for Walthamstow acid attack victim who was left fighting for life Thousands of people have donated to an online fundraising page to help a fast food delivery driver who is a victim of a horrific acid attack. Doctors fear that 32year-old Muhammed Nawshad Kamal, will lose his sight in both eyes after the attack that took place last Thursday when he was attacked by two

men on a moped as he was making his delivery. The thieves demanded Kamal hand over his keys to his £2,500 ($3,270) scooter before attacking him when he refused. They then sprayed and drenched him in the face with corrosive liquid. Police arrested a 14year-old boy and a 16-

year-old boy on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm in connection with the incident.

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COMMENTS

Bhutan pivotal to Indian security Bhutan may be a small landlocked country high up in the Himalayas but its importance to India may be likened to those of Belgium and Holland to the peace and security of Europe in the last century. Belgium was invaded by the Kaiser’s Germany in 1914, the casus belli of the First World War; Holland was invaded by Nazi Germany in the Second World War. In both instances ge ography was a determinant of history. With the Tibetan buffer disappearing into the maw of an expansionist China seeking to occupy centrestage as a global military power, as President Xi Jinping proclaimed at his country’s recent Community Party Congress, India is on notice to respond appropriately with a credible deterrent. Bhutan, wedged between Chinese-occupied Tibet and India, borders Sikkim on the west and India to the south. In August this year, Indian and Chinese troops were in a standoff at the tri-junction of Tibet, Bhutan and Sikkim. The spur to India’s intervention at Doklam was prompted by Bhutan’s mounting anxiety at China’s augmented military presence on its northern border. It jelled with Indian anxiety about the defence of the narrow neck of territory dividing Bhutan and Sikkim - which leads directly to the Gangetic plain. India wisely sponsored Bhutan’s membership to the United Nations in 1970, putting to rest the ambiguities of past treaties and confirming beyond any lingering doubt that the Bhutan was a sovereign

state. Beyond such external considerations, Bhutan, with its ancient cultural and Buddhist links with Tibet, has embraced modernity without the excesses of rampant consu merism. Bhutan’s Monarch voluntarily transferred power to an elected government.. The changeover was as smooth as silk. Bhutan measures its progress through its Gross National Happiness. With tragic killings in Las Vegas and New York , and terrorism rearing its ugly head in Europe; with the Middle East a cauldron of murder and mayhem, perhaps Bhutan has lessons to offer on its gracious way of life. In other words, it is a light unto the nations. The four-day visit to India by King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk and Queen Jetsu Pema Wangchuk of Bhutan was a delightfully happy event. The King engaged in cordial talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Trade, power projects and regional road connectivity were discussed against the ba ckcloth of the Doklan crisis. The parties are realists; they well understand that the present respite in time will give way to renewed pressure from China. Such primordial behaviour is unlikely to disappear anytime soon. The Thirteenth Dalai lama warned his friend Charles Bell long years ago, that a thwarted China invariably returns to its predatory instincts and will mount territorial challenges well into the future.

Not in living memory has India witnessed such unremitting spite and hatred between the two major political parties. No external influence can destroy India, but as happened in the past, India has the power to destroy itself. On the basis of the best historical experience a two-party system is widely perceived as a stabilizing force to the smooth functioning of democratic governance. Alas, this has been far from true in India’s recent history. BJP and Congress must share responsibility for this dismal state of affairs. Measures for the liberalization of the economy – privatizing the national carrier Air India and the Indo-US civilian nuclear accord, for example, – met with strenuous opposition from the BJP. In the latter instance, the BJP joined forces with the China oriented Communist Party of India (Marxist ) or CPM, in an attempt to derail the accord. Finally, the unruly conduct of BJP MPs hobbled Parliamentary proceedings. In Government, the BJP has rightly taken economic reforms to the next level and kept scrupulous faith the provisions of the Indo-US nuclear accord. Allowance for some degree of cynicism in politics is understandable, but when it descends to addiction, it is necessary to sound the alarm: Whither India? What the BJP did in opposition, Congress is repeating with interest. The party that led India to freedom is today discredited, dynastic rump. Party Vice President, heir apparent to the President Sonia Gandhi, is no prime minister in waiting; his road-shows are pure pantomime. He is unelectable, the uncomfortable truth is likely to be rammed home to the party faithful come the next general election in 2019. His rants are exercises in incoherence; he has nothing tangible to offer by way of well thought policies, whether on economics, foreign affairs or defence acquisitions and the like. His pompous declarations are best taken with a generous pinch of salt The performance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is far more critical because of his high national standing as a doer rather than vapid dreamer incapable of delivering

the goods. Where does one start? With his deficient historical grasp. Mangling the past to serve pettiest party interests of the present, it simply imperil the future. Sardar Vallabbhai Patel was a giant of his time, his work to integrate the Princely States into the seamless robe that is the Union of India is cast in the purest stone, as recorded faithfully by his principal and trusted aide V.P. Menon. To purloin his historic contribution to modern India as a devoted Congressman close to Mahatma Gandhi and claim him as a BJP icon is not right. Setting Patel against Jawaharlal Nehru is no less so. It was Gandhi with his broad insight who chose Nehru as India’s first prime minister because of his unifying national appeal. He brought Patel and Nehru together and them promise that they work together after he had departed the scene. Patel willingly accepted his position as deputy prime minister and home minister without demur. It was Nehru who, warts and all, created the platform for India’s future development in every field of human endeavour; and partnering the eminent physicist Homi Bhabha, laid the foundations of India’s progress in science and technology. Both men were driven by a shared vision. One of the attractive features of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s makeup was his generous and catholic approach to past figures, notable among them, Nehru and his daughter Indira Gandhi. It was heartening to read on the anniversary of her tragic death on October 31 1984,that Goa Chief Minister and former defence minister Manohar Parrikar paid a warm tribute her memory and especially to her sterling role in the liberation of Bangladesh, the defeat of Pakistan on the battlefield, and thwarting the machinations of Pakistan’s mentors, the United States and China. The BJP leadership could add a cubit to their national stature if they chose to take their cue from Parrikar.”Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom,’ said Edmund Burke two centuries and more ago. Its wisdom endures.

Politics of spite and hatred

Lessons of the German Reformation

The Protestant Reformation initiated in Germany some 500 years ago took hold across northern, central and much of southern Europe and was the source of a creative force that was to leave an indelible imprint on Western civilization. However, the Reformation started an era of immense religious strife between Protestants and Catholic communities reaching its apotheosis in the Thirty Years War on German soil that laid the country a howling desolation. Eventually, the Peace of Westphalia was reached in 1648, which started a period of seed time and remedy that created the platform for an European revival to unparalleled greatness in all categories of thought and invention - game-changer of global proportions. Germany marked the anniversary of the Reformation with a joint prayer of atonement by leaders of the Protestant Lutheran Church and their Roman Catholic compeers for the pain and bloodshed the rival

dispensations had inflicted on each other. Theological differences remain, but the former hatred and violence have been purged. Like all living things, religions, too, must have space to grow and develop in accordance with new truths and new social realities. Bigotry reflects insecurity and fear of the future. The German event should be juxtaposed with one as recent in Malaysia. Zakir Naik, a jihadi preacher of hatred and violence against other faiths in India, was wanted by the Indian authorities to face criminal charges in court; he fled the country for Malaysia, where the government has granted him permanent residence. Naik has been banned from entry into Britain. An international news agency reports: ‘Critics see Naik’s presence [in Malasia] as another sign of top-level support for hardline Islam in a country with substantial minorities of Christians, Hindus and Buddhists, and which has long projected a moderate Islamic image.’ Enough said.

Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

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An exaggeration is a truth that has lost its temper - Khalil Gibran (1883-1931)

Seema Malhotra MP

Labour and Co-op Member of Parliament for Feltham & Heston Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

The country cannot be kept in the dark over Brexit Last week the Government suffered a significant defeat in the House of Commons – using a rare parliamentary procedure known as “an humble Address” to pass a binding vote that the Government provide to the Brexit economic sectoral impact assessments the Committee on Exiting the European Union. The debate has been about transparency, accountability and ensuring that Parliament can do its job of scrutinising the Government effectively. The studies were first highlighted almost a year ago, and since then repeated parliamentary questions, freedom of information requests, petitions, a letter written by us and supported by almost 200 MPs and Westminster debates have failed to result in the analysis being put in the public domain. On Monday last week following my questions at the Select Committee hearings with the Secretary of State, the list of sectors was published – 4 months after it was promised. This issue matters because with Brexit day now 17 months away, there is no time to lose in our nation preparing for the change that is coming. Indeed, the UK is on the brink of the biggest change for a generation. It’s incredibly disappointing that the Government has been intent on keeping Parliament and 29 million British workers in the dark about what it knows about the impact of Brexit on our economy, jobs and livelihoods. What’s clear is that this approach can no longer continue, and it is vital to see a change of course. The result was a victory for parliamentary sovereignty and accountability. And it matters for our businesses and constituencies. There will be downsides from Brexit and it’s critical to prepare for them. The Bank of England has recently estimated that up to 75,000 jobs could be lost in the financial services industry alone as a result of Brexit. A leaked Department of Health report from earlier this year suggested that there could be a shortfall of 40,000 nurses in the event of a hard Brexit. In the year since the referendum, we have fallen from the top to the bottom of the G7 growth league table - the UK is now the slowest growing of all the major world economies To have a proper debate about the impact of Brexit on our economy, jobs and living standards, we need to know the effects it will have on every sector. This is not about leave or remain, but about putting country before party. It is not about taking sides, but about a nation planning together. It is about leadership, transparency, clarity and responsibility. Making Brexit happen – reversing 40 years of our economy growing along side that of our closest and most important markets (44% of our exports go to the EU) was never going to be easy, and the public should never have been given that impression. Its not now that surprising that in a year, the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU David Davis has gone from saying “We have . Continued on page 6 Editor: CB Patel

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Bullying car dealers jailed after complaints about dodgy vehicles leads to investigation

Dodgy second-hand car dealers used aggression, intimidation and bullying tactics against customers as part of an orchestrated fraud worth up to £80,000, a court has heard. As reported in the Leicester Mercury the three men were sentenced at Leicester Crown Court Monday (FRI) for selling defective, unroadworthy and dangerous vehicles to unknowing customers from across the city, county and East Midlands. Kingpin of the operation Paul Hanna, was handed a three-and-half-year jail term after admitting four counts of fraudulent trading. The 51-year-old was also ordered to pay £69,000, which investigators had found hidden under floorboards at his home, in compensation to their 30 victims. Co-defendant Jignesh Manani (33), of Collette Road, Beaumont Leys, Leicester, was given a two-year sentence after pleading guilty to two fraud-

ulent trading offences. Justin John (33), of Wigston, was given a 12month community order involving 120 hours of unpaid work after admitting to one count of fraudulent trading. The investigation was led by the National Trading Standards and East Midlands Regional Investigations Team following more than 300 complaints about vehicles. They included perished tyres, leaking fuel and front seat belts that would not fasten. Many of the faults were present before the cars were sold and were either “unknown or ignored” by company staff. Prosecutor Andrew Easteal said 16 different car sales businesses purported to operate from a site located in Leicester. The court heard that vehicles were also advertised on websites such as Autotrader and Gumtree, with sales staff offering and selling warranties which

Paul Hanna and Jignesh Manani, who were jailed for their part in the crimes

were worthless. A car auctioneer account connected to the businesses purchased a total of 734 vehicles costing £1.38m to sell at the site. They included elderly buyers for whom transport was vital, single parents reliant on a car to manage work and childcare commitments, students needing a car for a part-time job to make ends meet and family members acting as carers.

Judge Robert Brown said aggravating factors in the case included the high number of victims, their vulnerability in some cases, the level of financial loss and distress caused and the danger to life and limb posed by “unsafe and potentially very dangerous” vehicles. He accepted all three defendants’ guilty pleas as mitigation, and the lesser roles played by Manani and John.

More than 300 staff and students from Oadby school sign up to Anthony Nolan register Some 300 staff and students from Beauchamp College in Oadby have signed up to be on the Anthony Nolan register. A special event held at the school on Sunday enabled pupils, teachers, cleaning staff, cooks and lunch supervisors, among others to join the register as part of The Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign. Those between the ages of 16 and 30 years-old were asked to sign up to the Anthony Nolan Stem Cell register by providing a spit swab from the inside of their cheek. Whenever a patient with blood cancer or a blood disorder needs a lifesaving stem cell transplant, the register is searched for a genetic match for that patient using

the swab sample. Only 60 per cent of individuals in need of a transplant find the best possible life-saving match they need. This figure drops to 20 per cent for people from a black, Asian or ethnic minority background. Former Leicestershire Police officer Rik Basra, who received a stem cell donation via Anthony Nolan in 2011, founded the Rik Basra Leukaemia Campaign to raise awareness of blood cancers and encourage informed registrations to the stem cell register. A team of youngsters from Beauchamp College helped promote the event through social media, posters and the school’s own website.

A Leicester gurdwara has notched up a four star food hygiene rating after refitting its kitchen and retraining its staff. The Leicester Sikh Centre in Clarendon Park Road has made the improvements after inspectors from Leicester City Council last year gave it zero stars - the lowest possible rating. Chip shop owner Nim Gill was brought in as a food safety consultant after the failed inspection. He invited the Mercury into the kitchen to see the improvements that have been made. He said: “That zero star rating gave us a real knock, to be honest. Things shouldn’t have got as bad as they did, but they did. We were determined to put it right. “One of the problems was

that the people working in the kitchens were volunteers. They hadn’t had the training they should have, but now they have got that and things are much better. A good few thousand pounds has been invested in the kitchen." Of the latest, four star, rating, he said: "We would have got five stars, but to get that we would have had to do some major work costing £30,000 or £40,000. We are working towards that to get us the five stars.” Mr Gill added: “Food is a really important part of Sikh culture. Anyone can just walk in off the street and get three meals a day here providing they are not drunk or rowdy, and stick to our rules. We want to make people welcome. At the weekends we can feed up to 2,000 people.

Rik Basra with Beauchamp College students Ahmed Essat and Monika Bassi.

Among them were 18year-olds Ahmed Essat and Monika Bassi, who are studying A-Levels at the school. Ahmed said: “We were part of the team helping to promote it and have signed up to the register ourselves. “We know how important it is to help others and we set a target of getting at least

300 people to sign up. “We’re really pleased with the response.” Some 308 had signed up to the register by the end of the day. DJs and musicians kept those signing up entertained throughout the day. The drive formed part of an even bigger campaign by the University of Leicester to find donors.

Gurdwara turns things around after shock zero star food hygiene rating

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Car crashes into restaurant on Melton Road in Leicester as pupils walk to school

Emergency services were called after a 4X4 crashed through the window of a restaurant in Leicester’s Melton Road. The Lexus vehicle was embedded in the front of the Grand Durbar opposite the main entrance to Rushey Mead Academy. The academy say no pupils were injured in the incident which happened as students were streaming into the building. One person was freed from the vehicle by firefighters from Leicester’s Eastern fire station called to the scene by police shortly after 8.15am. Leicestershire Police said a second vehicle was also damaged in the incident. The vehicle had been recovered and the building was being checked for safety. East Midlands Ambulance Service personnel were also on the scene, but it’s not known if anyone received treatment.

Boy, 16, charged with murdering teenager Rhys Singh Bahia

A 16-year-old boy has been charged with murdering teenager Rhys Singh Bahia in Belgrave, Leicester last week. The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, is also charged with causing Police released this grievous bodily harm photograph of Rhys (Image: with intent relating to the same incident in Leicestershire Police) the Ross Walk area on Tuesday night. He is being held in custody and was due to appear at Leicester Youth Court, sitting at the magistrates’ court in Pocklingtons Walk. Police and paramedics were called to the area on Tuesday night after receiving reports that two youths, both aged 17, had been seriously injured. Rhys and the other teenager were taken to hospital. Medics could not save Rhys' life but the other teenager remains in a stable condition. He has also been charged with possession with intent to supply Class B drugs, Leicestershire Police said.

Three police officers charged with gross misconduct over alleged 'racist' language

Three police officers have been charged with gross misconduct after being accused of using racial slurs. The trio, from Staffordshire Police, were hauled before a disciplinary panel after allegedly using the terms at work. All three of the officers are denying the charge. The charge is based on reported conversations overheard by colleagues at Hanley Police Station last February. It is alleged that the three officers have 'breached standards of professional behaviour, relating to authority, respect and courtesy'. The officers appearing before the disciplinary panel are accused of using derogatory terms towards members of the AfroCaribbean, Pakistani, Scottish and Welsh communities.

Armed carjacker Ahtsham Mohammed steals Audi - with £10k in the glovebox

Leicester Sikh Centre improves its hygiene rating from 0 to 4. The kitchen facilities have been improved with more planned for the future. Preparing and cooking chapattis.

That’s why are glad we have got the kitchen sorted.” The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) helps you choose where to eat out or shop for food by telling you how seriously the business takes their food hygiene

standards. The scheme is run by local authorities in England, Northern Ireland and Wales and applies to restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, hotels, supermarkets and other places where food is served or sold.

A gun-toting carjacker fled in an Audi with £10,000 in the glovebox after pointing a pistol through the window. Ahtsham Mohammed dumped some of the cash in a front garden in Lozells after speeding off in the car and smashing into a bollard. He stole the Audi at gunpoint after asking the four men inside if they had any Rizla cigarette papers and then demanding their mobile phones. Passing sentence, Judge Melbourne Inman QC said it was “very coincidental” that Mohammed had stolen a car containing such a large amount of money. But he said he could not be certain the Audi had been specifically targeted.


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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

Cllr Sachin Shah Leader of the Harrow Council

Building a better Harrow We all want better, for ourselves and for our families. Maybe a better house, better prospects, a better future. Through planning and hard work we may achieve the goals we set for ourselves and become happier and more prosperous. It’s a similar story when, like myself, you’re responsible for planning the future of towns and neighbourhoods. In Harrow I’m heading up a £1.75 billion investment programme called Building a Better Harrow – it’s all about providing jobs, enhancing conditions for business and energising Harrow as a place. Most importantly of all, it’s about improving lives and that’s why I’m putting everyone who calls Harrow home at the heart of it. Improvements aren’t really improvements at all if they only work for some people and not others – that’s why the personal aspirations of our residents, the things they want for their families and businesses, from their work and leisure time, are central to Building a Better Harrow. New housing is central to our vision, but so is a new state-of-the-art leisure centre. And as part of this development, we’re guaranteeing the future of Byron Hall as a 1,800 capacity venue. Byron Hall is a great example of how we’re matching the aspirations of local people with the buildings we’re planning. It’s a venue that often serves as the focal point for cultural events, as it did again this Navratri, when thousands of people came together under its roof to celebrate this special time of year. We’ve listened to what people have told us about how they use the hall and we’re responding to the problems identified. We’re going to solve issues like the current lack of changing facilities, air conditioning and integrated lighting and audio equipment, to deliver a venue that’s truly fit for purpose and will meet the needs of our community long into the future. Other councils have disposed of similar amenities, because they’re expensive and because there’s no legal requirement to provide them. In Harrow, through prudent investment, we’re guaranteeing a brand new Byron Hall with vastly enhanced facilities and a secure future as a community resource. You can find out more about this ambitious programme at buildingabetterharrow.co.uk.

Lord Dholakia appointed Asia envoy Liberal Democrat peer Lord Navnit Dholakia has been appointed as the Party's special trade, cultural and political envoy for Asia. Vince Cable, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, has created the role as part of a wider mission of strengthening links between the Liberal Democrats and Asian communities in Britain. Commenting on the appointment, Sir Vince Cable said: “I Lord Dholakia with Vince Cable ues and with whom we can have been convinced for build strong ties to our some time that the Liberal mutual benefit." Democrats needed someLord Dholakia added: one to build better and “It is truly humbling for stronger relations between me to be asked to take on the Liberal Democrat this task by Vince Cable. It Party and Asian countries. would fulfil a lifetime’s "We have, in Navnit ambition if I could help Dholakia, someone who strengthen the friendship enjoys enormous respect between Britain and all among all Asian commuAsian countries. nities here in Britain. "We can do much "I believe that he is working together in a ideally placed to nurture troubled world to promote and promote fruitful relaa brighter future, not least tions at every level with for the young people in the countries with which we UK and across Asia.” share many common val-

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Shankar's sitar to go on display in British Museum Pandit Ravi Shankar's Sitar that he played in the 1960s, is to go on display on Friday 10 November as part of a phased renovation of the museum's Asia galleries. It will be displayed near the ancient statues of Hindu Gods and show how Indian culture went global in the 20th and 21st centuries. The sitar has been donated by the Indian sitarists's surviving widow Sukanya and daughter and sitarist Anoushka Shankar. He is also survived by another daughter, the US-singer Norah Jones, born from a separate relationship. The Beatles' Guitarist George Harrison studied under Shankar in India and also collaborated

George Harrison with Pandit Ravi Shankar

with him on two Concert for Bangladesh benefit performances in 1971, coproduced a four-CD album for Shankar’s 75th birthday, and produced Shankar’s album Chants

of India (1997), in which classical Indian forms were combined with a choir and Western instrumentation including vibraphone, harps, violins and cellos. Harrison

also edited Shankar’s autobiography, Raga Mala (1999), and once dubbed him as 'the Godfather of world music'. Richard Burton, head of the British museum's south and southeast Asia section, reportedly said, Indian music is renowned because of Shankar. This updated museum collection coincides with the 70th anniversary of India's independence and the India-UK year of Culture. Works by renowned sculptor Mrinalini Mukherjee, Indian film-maker Satyajit Ray and the famous poet, novelist and artist Rabindranath Tagore will also be on display.

Virendra Sharma launches petition demanding an apology for Jallianwala Bagh Massacre Virendra Sharma MP has launched a petition for proper recognition of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre of 1919 in India and demanding for a formal apology from the Prime Minister of UK, currently Theresa May. People from across the country have begun to sign, and the petition has gathered 537 signatures so far (https://petition.parl iament.uk/petitions/203680 ). If it reaches the mark of 10,000, the government has to reply formally respond to the petition and at 100,000 consider for a debate at the Parliament.

Speaking about the petition, Sharma told Asian Voice, "I would urge as many people as possible to sign this petition. It is important that we show the strength of feeling about this issue. The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

A £1 million fund for organisations and communities wanting to support refugees coming to the UK opened on Wednesday 1 November. The fund is for the Community Sponsorship scheme which enables community groups to take on the rewarding role of welcoming and supporting refuge families in the UK. Sponsor groups can include charities, businesses, local authorities, community groups and third sector organisations. The fund is designed to give experienced organisations the resources to provide training and support to groups who want to sponsor refugees. It aims to bring people together from across society to support vulnerable

refugees through Community Sponsorship. Brandon Lewis, Minister of State for Immigration said:“The Community Sponsorship scheme has got off to an excellent start and this funding will help the scheme develop even further. “The work of the charities and volunteers who have welcomes refugees into their communities so far is inspiring. “I wholeheartedly encourage organisations who feel that they can help to grow the Community Sponsorship scheme to apply for this funding.” Organisation with relevant experience are encouraged to apply to the fund, which seeks to

Virendra Sharma MP

marked the beginning of the end of British rule in India and was truly shocking around the world. Too few today know about this shameful period of history and in this the centenary year of its persecution I believe it is right to draw attention to the massacre and teach children in all schools about it. Please add your support by signing the petition." Sharma's petition reads:"Call for a British Government apology for the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre of 1919. In 1919 Colonel Dyer ordered his men to fire, and maybe

1,000 peaceful protesters were left dead. At the time Winston Churchill proclaimed the massacre "monstrous" and the British Government condemned Dyer for his actions, but no apology has since been forthcoming. It is now time to apologise." Earlier this year Sharma tabled a Parliamentary Early Day Motion on the issue to raise its profile in Parliament. Currently EDM 413 has the support of 19 Members of Parliament from all the major parties.

achieve outcomes such as training for community groups on how to welcome and support refugees in their area, and how to apply to become sponsors, connecting people and

organisations who want to help resettled refugees through Community Sponsorship and raising awareness of Community Sponsorship across different UK communities.

£1mn community sponsorship capacity building fund opens for bids

The country cannot be kept in the dark over Brexit Continued from page 3 more to gain than we have to lose, while the opposite is true for the EU” to telling the Lords EU Committee last Tuesday that Britain’s Brexit withdrawal agreement will “probably favour” the EU. The confusion at the heart of government and the disagreements between Ministers have been the real reason by the

Government has sought time after time to bypass Parliament and the public in decision making. But with so much at stake, that confusion must not now be allowed to get in the way of a nation planning together for the huge challenges to our economy that clearly lie ahead. The Brexit impact assessment papers should now be released as quickly as possible


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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

Sending money to loved ones is now even easier at Tesco. Transfer direct to a bank account and every time you make a transfer you’ll be entered into a prize draw. Visit tesco.com/storelocator to find your nearest store.

£500 Tesco Gift Card to be won

Be in with a chance of winning 1 of 5 Tesco Gift Cards worth £500, every time you make a transfer to mobile or bank account before 22 November 2017. (Automatic entry into prize draw, excluding transactions made in Northern Ireland.)

The prize draw is open to individuals aged 18 or over who make a MoneyGram cash to bank account and/or mobile wallet transaction in England, Scotland, and Wales. Excludes Tesco Bank and MoneyGram employees, their immediate family members, or any anyone directly connected with the planning or administration of the prize draw. For full terms and conditions visit tesco.com/international-money-transfer. Tesco Bank is a trading name of Tesco Personal Finance plc. Tesco Personal Finance plc is an agent of MoneyGram International Limited in the provision of money transfer services. MoneyGram International Limited is an authorised payment institution regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority. MoneyGram and the Globe are marks of MoneyGram. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. © 2017 MoneyGram. The promoter of this advert is Tesco Personal Finance Plc. Registered Office: 2 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh EH12 9FQ.

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UK

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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

Will this be a turning point for the most vulnerable women in England? Sonal Sachdev Patel Domestic slavery, child sexual exploitation and death at the hands of a male partner- these may sound like grisly details from a novel; they are, however, the reality for thousands of women and girls in this country today. The cost of violence against women and girls (VAWG) in England and Wales is a staggering £40 billion a year. Despite this, the government only invests 0.1% of this figure to prevent and respond to this crisis. Of this, even less goes to Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) services, leaving women and girls from these communities even more vulnerable than their non-BME counterparts. Massive cuts in funding, closure of refuges across the country and the loss of specialist services for women are devastating symptoms of a wider- and deeper- problem. There is no easy solution and a coordinated and multi pronged approach is needed. Moreover, funding alone is not the answer, and the government plays a key role in responding to this crisis, and maintaining the human rights of BME women. GMSP Foundation commissioned Sisters for Change to conduct a deepdive analysis into the impact of these policies with a view to making real, robust recommendations for change.

Sonal Sachdev Patel with family and Lord Dolar Popat at the launch of a report by GMSP Foundation, which brought to light new information on the plight of Black and Ethnic Minority women in the UK that face violence

You may ask: why BME women? And not violence against all women? Whilst we agree that all womenand men- should be safe from violence, BME and refugee women face higher rates of domestic homicide, and are 3 times more likely to commit suicide than other women in the UK. Whilst the whole sector has faced cuts, the BME sector has been hit the hardest. For example, 1 in 3 local authorities has no women’s refuge. This means that last year, more than half of women and children fleeing domestic violence, had to be turned away. “Unequal Regard, Unequal Protection: Public authority responses to violence against BME women in England’ was launched on Monday 6th November at the House of Lords.

We anticipate that the findings from this project will act as a game-changer for the BME women’s sector. The report is timely, given the introduction of the new Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill this year. The Bill – supported in the Queen’s speech- offers new hope to women and children who have experienced domestic abuse. According to Home Secretary Amber Rudd, “These measures will help us bring justice to women who experience these abhorrent crimes anywhere in the world and shows perpetrators there is nowhere to hide.” GMSP Foundation is confident that the recommendations from this report, combined with the new Bill could herald a real turning point for BME women.

We strongly endorse the call for ring-fenced funding for specialist BME services as well as for services to be commissioned in keeping with the ground reality of all communities. We believe the Government has taken a powerful first step in introducing the Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill. We look forward to supporting them- and the Voluntary and Community Sector- to bring about real change for millions of women and girls in England. GMSP Foundation works to tackle the most urgent issues affecting women and girls in India and the UK. www.gmspfoundation.org https://www.facebook.com/ GMSPFdn/ @GMSP_fdn

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Lord Loomba takes part in debate on the forthcoming Commonwealth Summit

point, Lord Loomba Lord Loomba, stressed: "[c]ertainly, describing the with an estimated poverty, destitution population of nearly and human rights one-third of the abuses that many world’s total populawidows in the develtion, the oping world face, Commonwealth is asked the Minster, Lord Agnew, "what Lord Loomba well placed to act as a global player and catstrategies the alyst for change." Government can form to Concentrating on "the help the most impoverwomen’s forum," which, he ished and disadvantaged said: " is very close to my women and girls, includheart," Lord Loomba said: ing widows,...?" during a "I hope that the issue of debate on the modern slavery will be Commonwealth in the high on the agenda for the House of Lords on women’s forum, as it Thursday 2nd November. Elucidating his question, affects so many women in Lord Loomba emphasised so many countries." " It is how good strategies can imperative," he stressed: help women and girls, "that we start to ensure including widows "so that that countries and socithey are empowered, able eties are well placed to to earn money, become root out this evil and stop self-reliant and lead a life it from taking hold and of dignity ..," and also, "so devastating the lives of that their children are innocent and vulnerable educated, provided with women." Pointing out how skills training to enable widows, who face "doublethem to get jobs or start discrimination" are "even their own business, gain more burdened, discrimieconomic independence nated against and lacking and break the shackles of opportunities," Lord Loomba said they are poverty.." Welcoming the often vulnerable to modGovernment's aims for a ern-day slavery due to summit that espouses “A their dire circumstances. Fairer Future” that Citing the Loomba cover[s] "the democratic Foundation's World principles that emphasise Widows Report, which the importance of good shows that there are over governance, human rights 258 million widows and the rule of law ...," around the world, many Lord Loomba said: "[t]hese living in destitution Lord are primary principles on Loomba noted that solving which we should all strive the issues of so many vulto build better lives for all nerable widows will go a citizens regardless of their long way to achieving the country of origin, their targets of the Sustainable gender, religion or social Development Goals by status." Adding to his 2030.

New Indian students' union launched at High Commission of India Rupanjana Dutta Indian National Students Association of UK (INSA UK) was formally launched in London at the High Commission of India on Monday 6 November by Lord Karan Bilimoria and Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik, the acting High Commissioner of India to UK. This is the second union for Indian students in the UK, the first being National Indian Students and Alumni Union (NISAU) launched 5 years back. NISAU include Indian MP Shashi Tharoor as one of their patrons. INSA is an organisation started in UK by the Indian students with the objective of providing "a home away from home " for the students from India. INSA was founded in 2016 with the vision to make every Indian student in the UK feel at home when away from home. INSA- UK aims to provide an opportunity for all students from India to interact and share the joy of the culture and heritage of India, and to educate other students, by bringing awareness. They have future events planned to welcome and engage with the students of Birmingham and Manchester. Currently Indians make the second largest diaspora of students with approximately 40,000 Indian students in UK and there is a huge demand for the kind of voluntary service based actions under-

taken by INSA. There are various challenges students face when in a foreign country such as UK and INSA aims to be the missing link of further helping and providing guidance to the students for their day to day queries. 46 universities in UK have already signed up to be part of the INSA network with the objective of being part of the future activities such as the celebration of Indian Republic Day and talks by eminent personalities from India. Currently the Indian students in UK can register to be part of INSA via their social media pages or by speaking directly to their respective University coordinator. The High Commission of India used this opportunity to underline the positive role played by the Indian student diaspora in UK and welcomed the students from 26 universities. They thanked INSA for taking this initiative and requested the students to positively engage with the High Commission going forward . Lord Karan Billimoria who was also present spoke on how he too came to U.K as a student and challenges faced by the Indian students. He complimented the students present on the role they play as defacto mini ambassadors of India and wished INSA success in its future activities. Lord Karan Bilimoria said, “The UK's international scholars go on to become

world leaders with one in ten global heads of state educated in the UK. British universities are the jewels in the crown yet the number of Indian students coming to study in the UK has halved in the past five years.” Ambassador Patnaik said, “India-UK relations have always done well because large amount of our leaders of our country (India) are educated in Britain. In the last few years large number of Indian students have gone down in the UK, but going up elsewhere including in China, Singapore, Germany. They have a choice. But UK is losing out an opportunity here.” The team of INSA is made up of present as well as ex students with Sunil Pala and Amit Tiwari leading their team. Sunil Pala told Asian Voice, "In 2016 External Affairs Minister (Govt of India), Smt Sushma Swaraj, invited student representatives from the UK to discuss issues faced by Indian students studying abroad at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. It was clear from this that Indian international students had specific needs that were not being catered to. Under the inspiration provided by MEA and High Commission of India, a group of current and past Indian students came together with the guidance and support of NHSF (UK) to form the Indian National Students Association (UK)."

Lord Bilimoria and Ambassador Patnaik at the inauguration


UK

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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

The Modern Artist with Miniaturist and Comic Book Influences At the recent Bloomsbury Festival, there was one artist speaker whose work is so beautiful it makes your heart ache. Meet Janine Shroff, a Bombay-ite who lives in London. Janine’s work uses bright colours and humour with darker undertones. Androgynous bird characters and humans enact fantasy scenes. Janine Shroff was born in Bombay, India. She uses mixed media, acrylic and ballpoint-pens on heavyweight paper. Her early influences were miniature paintings and late 80s comic books like MAD magazine. She completed an M.A. with distinction at Central St. Martin’s College, London, following a B.A. at Camberwell College of Art. She was short-listed for the Mercury Art Prize in 2007. Shroff is currently collaborating with Kulture Shop, a collective of designers and illustrators in Bombay. She lives and works in London. The Muse Struck While Growing Up. Janine Shroff says, “I always enjoyed drawing and comics. From taking art as a subject in school to drawing on my desk, from there to drawing in college in all my note books. I did-

n't plan to do it as a profession but it turned out that this was the only thing I was particularly good at so my parents encouraged me to go to art school. Even if it wasn't my profession I'd probably still draw. It's something that I find relaxing.� It Isn’t Easy to Earn a Living as an Artist in India, is it? Janine explains, “I don't make a living from Illustration; I have a day job in a design agency so I'm not sure how easy it is. I believe some illustrators in India and London manage to illustrate full time and have good success at that. In my experience, illustration tends to be poorly paid and sometimes not paid for at all, even if the companies are large, profitable, global ones. Illustration can be perceived as throw-away or not worth paying for: I find that there is also the expectation that "If you love it, why do you need to get paid?" or they might

Janine Shroff

throw you a bone like "we will give you exposure", but I you can't pay rent or eat with exposure alone. I prefer freelancing outside my work hours, (as many artists do) as it gives me the freedom not to worry about how to get by and also to say no to freelance work I am not particularly interested in.�

seems vaster and more varied, but also harder to get in to. Things are

The Differences B e t w e e n Working in Art in India and in the UK.

scattered across the city: Events, arts shows, performances, so many that I find it hard to keep up. I like London's easy access to art all across the city and I like Bombay's niche.�

Janine says she only goes home to Bombay “(For me it will always be 'Bombay' and not Mumbai, that is my home) once a year so my view on this is not that of a local. There are very different thriving artistic scenes in both places; Bombay's artistic environment feels a little more lively, exciting and perhaps a little smaller (but that's an outsider’s perspective). London

During Saptan Stories, I got to see some artists I didn’t know of.

Aardman Commission Recently, the mega successful British media firm, Aardman, gave Janine a lovely commission. She picks up the story. “Aardman is an UK based animation studio most famously known for the Wallace and Gromit claymation films (which I've always loved). They worked with the British Council India on a collaborative digital project for the 70th anniversary of India's Independence called Saptan Stories

(Saptan means 'seven' in Sanskrit). The project was like a digital game of 'consequences', to tell a crowd-sourced story over seven weeks with seven different artists. People could submit what they thought the next part of the story would be, it would be voted on, and the winner's story line would be illustrated by all of us, over seven weeks. So each week it was a different story-line and different illustration. There were three Indian artists, three UK artists and myself, Indian but based in the UK. There were some lovely results from this collaboration. “During Saptan stories I produced seven illustrations, as did all the seven artists for the same story. Each of our stories and illustrations can be found online on the Saptan Stories website. One of the nice things that happened as a result was that I got to see some artists I didn't know of and really enjoyed watching the story unfold in surprising way. It also pushed me to draw faster and challenged me to try a different technique (as sometimes  my drawings are very detailed, like miniatures, and take a while to complete.

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READERS’ VOICE

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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

Great Luminaries Jesus and Gandhi

It appears that Christians are true to Jesus teaching love, non-violence etc, and erecting churches to follow their religion and to feel union of God; Gandhiji's teaching is similar to it but is much more based on Sanatan religions of India, conveying the profound philosophy for clean, quiet attitude towards life in the face of happiness and unhappiness to be imbibed by the Indian nation. Though Hindus are true to Gandhiji's teaching to fulfill his dream of Rama Rajya in which all plural religions were expected to participate in. The I.N. Congress introduced secularism in the Preamble of Indian constitution lately in '76 to throttle the indigenously majority Sanatan religions; and the reservation, which was meant for 10 years only by Gandhiji's wish, is made permanent compelling the public and private sectors to accept without question the reservation classes' candidates even if they have lowest merits; and, as such, due to such uneconomic laws, foreign companies hesitate to invest fully, and consequently higher merits gained by general castes remain unused and wasted. And yet in the last 3 years, Mr Modi's economic progress is better than Congress's 70 years sluggish progress which initiated massive money and brain drain, leaving poverty, corruption and crimes behind. The I.N. Congress' sins are beyond redemption as the nation observes, it has killed Gandhiji in spirit, not obeying the spirit of his teachings and principles based on 'Hindutwa '- generous feelings towards all religions- in his Rama Rajya - peaceful governmentwhich was meant to take place after independence. He wanted all people of different faiths to live side by side. R.N.Patel By email

Brexit anxiety and relief resource

These are tought times for those who are either employed or self employed due to Brexit-inspired insecurities. For owners of either residential or commercial properties or those in business who have borrowed a little bit more in the good times they are really worried, as far as I know, about the repayment capacity and consequences if things go wrong. In the Jewish community as well as in some Indian communities like Ismailis, Bohras and Lohanas I am informed that there are community setups which can give advice and guidance for those in such a dire situation. As far as I know there is no national or community based relief available for Indians especially the Hindu comminity. May I request you to publish if there are such organisations available to help people in such a delicate period? I would also suggest that if there are any such organisations that they please inform Asian Voice so that their services can be published. Business men are aware that what goes down can go up but the most crucial point is how to handle things when the going gets tough especially when it’s not because of one’s own fault or inabilities but because, in this instatnce, the British govenment’s series of blunders vis a vis the EU debate, referendum and now Brexit negotiations which look like in a very difficult patch. Anil Rajesh Northwood, Middlesex

Gandhi Jayanti

Recently on Gaandhi's Birthday I sent an article with the title 'Gandhi Jayanti' it was accepted in full. For the AV of the 4th Nov. I sent the article with Title 'Sardar Patel's Jayanti', which was wrong or either. But you changed to Just 'Sardar's Birthday'. Patel with Sardar makes it more Specific and why you chanced 'Jayanti' to 'Birthday' which was okay with Gandhi? Letters should shorten if it's too long or correct it if it's wrong or not making sense. But 'Sardar Patel's Jayanti' was more Specific and more Respectful! About a year ago when I wrote about Shri Sardar Patel, Editorial Changed to 'Sardarji', It was disrespectful as People call Punjabi North Indian as 'Sardarji'. So Please don't change unless it is really necessary and leave other Articles Unchecked with mistakes and no Sense. I am sorry I have to point out as 'Title' and 'Substance' of my Articles have been unnecessarily changed time and time again! Upendra Kapadia By email

Gujarat goes for medical tourism

During the struggle to free Bharat from the clutches of British colonialism, Gujarat was in the forefront to lead the fight for independence, gifting India leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Mahadev Desai, Kaka Kalalkar and many more. Today Gujarat is leading State when it comes to industry, petro-chemicals and Surat is the diamond capital of the world where 90% diamonds are polished, overtaking Amsterdam that controlled diamond trade for a long time, mainly by Jews who are renowned diamond merchants. Now Gujarat’s CM Vijay Rupani has vowed to make Gujarat centre for medical excellence where Westerners can come for first class medical treatment. Gujarat already boasts some of the best qualified surgeons and consultants in India, leading the field in heart, eye and dental treatment, although Gujarat is far behind Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi, as these cities have stolen march on Gujarat by few decades. Besides Western medicine, Gujarat also wants to put Ayurvedic treatment on the world map and the opening of 400 bed Ayurvedic teaching hospital near Gandhinagar is the first step, the second step should be to persuade Baba Ramdevji to move some of his manufacturing facilities to Gujarat, using the same skill and determination as then CM Modi used to persuade Tata to manufacture their newest and cheapest Nano cars in Gujarat. There is already long established Ayurvedic Medical College in Jamnagar. Ancient Gujarat was famous for its universities, like Valabhi but we may be more familiar with Sandipani, near Porbander, where Lord Krishna was educated and formed lifelong friendship with Sudama, friendship between Prince and Pauper! It is time for Gujarat to re-establish and lead India in medical care as well. Kumudini Valambia By email

Indian Comics

Amar Chitra Katha is the best comic magazine in India. Started in 1970 by the late Anant Pai with ‘Krishna’ as the first title, the comic till today has sold over 75 million copies worldwide. Anant Pai (or Uncle Pai as he was fondly called by children), was the man behind the ACK (or Amar Chitra Katha) comics. His death on February 24, 2011 was a loss to the nation. Till today, ACK has published over 500 titles, not just in English, but in regional as well as in foreign languages. Anant Pai reintroduced India to young Indians and taught them about their roots and culture in a fun, non-preachy way that became an essential part of their growing-up years. Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai, India

Fond memories of a bygone era

I am great fan of Ramesh Jhalla, as his letters are short, articulate and inspiring. His knowledge of our religion and culture is second to none in our friend circle. So I am at a loss to spot simple mistake in his last letter titled “Gandhiji”. Perhaps it was slip of pen, as I have myself made such mistakes on few occasions. Gandhiji was not staunch Jain but staunch Hindu, member of Modh Vanik community, pure Vaishnava, disciple of Lord Rama. Although we believe that Hindus, Jains and Sikhs are peas from the same pod, I feel it is right to correct this misconception for younger readers. We belong to the same community. Going back few generations, we are distantly related. My cousin sister is married to Gandhiji great nephew. The family still have in their possession letters written by Gandhiji while they were living in Durban, South Africa. Modh Vanik is tiny but articulate, well-educated close knit community, like Parcis. India’s richest billionaire, magnanimous Ambani brothers Mukesh and Anil are Modh Vanik who takes care of the community, thus there is no unemployment among Modh Vanik. Dhirubhai Ambani who founded Reliance, passed away in 2002, brothers inherited business. But they soon split up, going their separate ways, yet both are successful. Gandhiji’s grand-daughter Manuben who was always at his side, including on the day he was shot dead, used to write occasionally for our long established community magazine with cachet, “Modh Mohaday” where I, a compatriot, had permanent spot, from late fifties to mid-seventies, writing short stories, poems and articles. It is going down memory lane second week running! Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

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Nairobi attack

Young Indian business heir killed in own house in Nairobi makes a very sad news, more so as he has been shot by police. Even though explanation given by higher authorities appears to be convincing, it cannot assuage sorrow of family stricken in a lightening strike, by forces that are supposed to protect citizens. All Indians resident in Kenya as well as in Britain are shocked. We can only accept explanation and pray for family to have fortitude to bear this sudden loss. May soul of dear departed rest in peace. Indian community must accept the fact that fortunately there is no concerted governmental attempts to undermine Indian community. Government and politicians fully realize the role of Indians in healthy economy of the country, right from colonial days till now. In absence of roads and railways, Indians trekked deep into jungles with goods loaded on donkeys. Currently Indian community’s role is appreciated by acknowledging Diwali as national holiday and accepting Indians as one of the tribes of Kenya. Between pioneering days and now, Indian community was often threatened, but incumbent ruling party took relevant measures to deter anti Indian elements. I assume that Indian community may accept death of Bunty Shah as an accident caused by tension ridden police at election time. Bunty Shah is an innocent bystander. I hope that accepting police explanation and maintaining peaceful atmosphere by all Indians will be noted by all Kenyans and the government. Indians and ruling government at any time must forge strong relations for nation to progress smoothly. Ramesh Jhalla By email

Police cuts to mean selected face-to-face visits

The recent announcement of budget cuts means the number of officers to fall and the Met police will have to prioritise on whom to respond in person. This is quite scary as this was least I expected to hear in the midst of increased number of house burglaries, knife crimes & phone snatching. Everyone got so excited back in March 2017 when government announced about hefty fines for using touch screen devices while driving. Everyday I see numerous drivers use their mobile phones while driving; no issues at all! There is absolutely no system in place to notice & penalise these drivers! I notice numerous cyclists (not all of them but many I would say) break traffic lights, use pedestrian way, drive recklessly or not wearing a high-vis/helmet. Again, there is absolutely no officer present to monitor that. Same thing applies to reckless driving, changing lanes without indicating, road-rage, speeding, etc. Firstly PCSOs disappeared from the streets, now it’s turn for many of the police officers to vanish! They will now assess the seriousness of the crime, how concrete the CCTV footage is, the vulnerability of the victim, etc before deciding whether to attend the scene or simply to issue a crime reference number over the phone! Devang Bhatt London

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EDUCATION

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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

Top university degree adds £177,000 to lifetime’s pay Graduates from the country’s top universities will earn an extra £177,000 over the course of their career once the costs of studying have been deducted. The earning potential of those who do a master’s degree is even greater. They will earn on average £317,000 more than those with no degree. Those who take a doctorate will be wealthier still with a career premium of £409,000. The figures were revealed in an analysis by the Russell Group, which represents 24 leading research universities, and London Economics. It is the first to strip out all the

costs associated with studying, including tuition fees, student loan interest payments, living costs and the years of earning forgone by going to university. After tax, the figure for graduates is roughly £88,000 extra. Unlike other studies into the topic of graduate earnings, salaries were compared with people who had good enough A-levels to go to a top university but chose not to, rather than the general workforce. The calculations on post-graduate education will be particularly welcome to the growing numbers of young people staying on at university, and

their parents, who often wonder if it is worth their value. The number of students taking post graduate courses shot up more than 16,000 to 90,600 in 201617, a 22 per cent increase, with universities reporting that numbers will be even higher this year. According to the report many young people think that they need a second qualification to help them stand out in a crowded graduate labour market. This data suggests they may be right. The report comes as universities are under considerable pressure to show that they are providing value for money for their undergraduates.

More Britons un-retiring, but not for money

Now you can pre-tire, by winding down and working fewer hours or taking a hobby job, and you can un-retire, by stopping work then resuming your career after a break. Then, of course, at some stage you have to re-retire. According to a recent academic study n-retirement is a growing phenomenon in Britain, particularly amongst professional men in a comfortable financial position

and good health. The study by academics from the University of Mancester and King’s College London, found that about one in four people in Britain who retires subsequently returns to work,

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mostly within five years. Men are 26 percent more likely to un-retire than women, as are those in good health, while people with a degree or other professional qualification higher than A levels are almost twice as likely to go back to work. People who are less well off and had no formal qualifications were much less likely to return to work to supplement their income.

Will doctors be obsolete within 10 years? Health experts have predicted that artificial intelligence will replace doctors within the next 10 years. With the rise of apps and websites ready to diagnose illness and give treatment recommendations within seconds, StemProtect.co.uk the UKs stem cell bank, says that GPs will soon be a thing of the past, and instead we’ll turn to AI to give us all the information we need. Among the apps already available for

phones are those, which can provide information about the right dosage for specific prescription drugs, and diagnose health problems for you. There are even those that give you access to your medical records at

any time, and allow you to request repeat prescriptions and have them delivered straight to your door. While it might be the case that doctors could in theory be replaced by artificial intelligence very soon, it seems we’re not quite culturally ready for the switch just yet. So while medical apps continue to grow in popularity and usefulness, they’re still more of an addition to GPs rather than a replacement.

Fake patients and false claims are costing NHS £1.25bn a year Dentists who invent patients and bill the NHS for work that was never done are fuelling a health service fraud bill of more than £1 billion a year, health officials have warned. The head of the newly formed NHS Counter Fraud Authority said such actions along with false claims by patients, were “despicable,” diverting vital funds from front line care. The estimates - the first to assess the scale of losses across the health service - show that the sums could have paid for more than 40,000 staff

nurses or 5,000 ambulances. The authority which was launched recently, has promised to do more to crack down on fraud, and vowed to investigate “without fear or favour” to protect the health service. This follows warnings of a steep drop in successful prosecutions, with just 91 achieved in 2015-16 compared with 393 in 2010-11. The new figures show fraud by dentists was estimated at £121 million, including around £70 million in work which had never been carried out. Among GPs, fraud was

estimated to cost £81 million, while £91 million was falsely taken in NHS payroll and identity fraud. A further £397 million a year was falsely claimed by patients for exemptions for dental fees or prescription charges. The crackdown was launched amid calls for extra funding for the health service. The Health Secretary has indicated that he is seeking extra funds for the NHS in the forthcoming budget, but that any boost is likely to be conditional on making more efficient use of resources.

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MEDIA WATCH

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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

The papers got their front-page lead stories right: India has leapt 30 places on the World Bank’s list on ‘ease of doing business,’ in just a year, from 130 to 100. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley looked pleased, as well he might, but said there could be no resting of oars: the task now would be to climb a further 50 places and join the top league. Which meant the government would press ahead with its reforms agenda.

constructing as a commercial hub to service western Afghanistan, as well for its exports to the Caspian markets, thence to the Russian Federation. Chabahar is India’s answer to the Pakistani ban on transit facilities for Indo-Afghan trade. India is preparing for the long game (Hindu October 30).

the final stage of the project and sent in to the Cabinet for confirmation. Thereafter silence (Times of India October 31).

Navy to get 111 helicopters

Italian PM in India

Arun Jaitley

This is seen as an endorsement of its programme of tax reform, reduction of government’s role in economic activity, measures to reduce corruption. Economic reform had clearly gained traction. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, the Finance Minister said indirect tax reform, that is the Goods and Services Tax (GST), was working, glitches and all, hence was a positive measure that would bring far-reaching benefits to the people. That said, the gains of GST had to be visible on the ground for final public approval.

Way forward Minister Jaitley said dealing with construction permits, enforcing contracts and registering property – where India lags behind – progress had been tangible, but more can and must be done. Annette Dixon, Vice President World Bank for South Asia said ‘a reform that was as bold and transformational as GST’ would take time to show results. ’The transformation will be difficult.’ So it will. But that is true writing a good novel, researching a scientific discovery, climbing a mountain, scoring a goal from distance in football or scoring a century on an uncertain wicket in cricket. Labour has it rewards (Business Line, Times of India, Mint November 1).

Rahul Gandhi’ scorns WB statement Congress Vice President poohpoohed the World Bank statement, saying India had no need of ‘foreign approval.’ The World Bank is an international body specializing in economics and produces reports on individual countries, from time to time, and also on matters pertaining to the global economy. Congress governments, along with others, have applied for and received loans from the World Bank. Gandhi’s colorful language on the bank’s ‘ease of doing business in India’ report is a pointer to his illiteracy on

serious subjects, and was scathingly dismissed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Gandhi is comic without intending to be. (Hindu November 1).

India and Italy opened a new chapter in relations putting aside the diplomatic fallout from the spat over the case of Italian marines firing on an Indian vessel killing a number of Indian fishermen. The case been referred to the International Court of Justice. Italian Prime Minister Pablo Gentiloni and his wife met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for wider-ranging talks on trade and security issues including Indian membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Nirmala Sitharaman

The new Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman may be energizing her ministry from its

In the wake of the World Bank report Nifty and Sensex scaled new heights in the expectation that India’s credit worthiness would bring in more foreign money. Industry was equally optimistic for much the same reason. (Business Line November 2).

Following last year’s severe drought, the roaring start to the North East monsoon has come as a considerable relief to farmers. This has been caused by a depression in the Bay of Bengal, said the Meteorological Department. Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Kerala have also experienced heavy rainfall. The rivers of peninsula are rain-fed, particularly the Cauvery, hence this should fill reservoirs and lakes and help irrigation (Business Line November 1).

Air India, AI Express in joint sale The government has decided to on a joint sale of Air India and Air India Express. ‘The rationale is that we can find prospective buyers from international airlines if we call bids for Air India and Air India Express together. Since Alliance Air operates flights mainly on regional domestic sources, it makes more sense to sell it off separately,’ said an official source (Hindu November 1).

Indian wheat for Afghanistan Days after hosting US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, India shipped its first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan via the strategically place Iranian port of Chabahar, which India is

the world’s highest altitude at 19, 300ft between the villages of Chisumic and Demchok, some 23km from the capital Leh. The link, which reduces the distance between the points by 100kms, will be used for only for military traffic as of now. The road is close to Hanle, the site of the world’s highest telescope (Telegraph November 2).

Russian film festival

Markets abuzz

Tamil Nadu rainfall joy

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To commemorate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and India the two governments have sponsored a Russian film festival in Delhi, Mumbai and Goa, the venue of a subsequent international film festival. The Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky, Russian Ambassador to India Nicolai Kudashev and leading representatives of Russian and Indian cinema will be present. The opening ceremony will include a tribute to the iconic Raj Kapoor with the showing of his 1970s film Mera Naam Joker(My Name is Joker) that proved a hit across the Soviet Union. Special guests for the evening will include Randhir Kapoor and Ksenya Ryabinkina who played one of the key roles in the film (Hindu November 3).

IITs produce novel neuron

PM Modi with Italian Prime Minister Pablo Gentiloni

The talks with Modi exceeded their allotted time. Six agreements were signed. These included railways safety energy, defence cooperaion and the promotion of mutual investments.

Italian support ‘Italian supportive role in the EU and NSG will help our cause with the EU-India FTA (free trade agreement) and our bid for NSG membership . Italy and India are natural partners and this partnership must be allowed to take free flight,’ said former Indian ambassador to Italy Anil Wadhwa. (Hindu, Business Line, Times of India October 30, 31).

Defence Ministry in doldrums At a time when China is bringing its military modernization to global levels, and is actively aiding Pakistan to improve its nuclear capability, the reported paralysis in India’s Defence Ministry is alarming. Acquisitions of hardware have been delayed by long-winded procedures and a lethargic bureaucracy. Most alarming of all is the report that India’s joint production with Russia of Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft ‘have gone into a ‘steep nose-dive’. In May 2016, a media report stated that then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had approved

slumbers, as a report that acquisition of 111 helicopters by the Navy has been passed, indicates. The arrival timelines will be noted with interest (Hindu November 1).

India to join Israeli drill India is to participate this month in its first ‘Blue Flag’ air exercise with Israel, with other participants such as the US, Germany. France, Italy, Greece and Poland. An IAF officer said it was a unique opportunity to share best practices with some of the world’s most capable air formations (Times of India November 1).

Intelligence wing for ITBPF The government has cleared a Home Ministry proposal for an intelligence wing to strengthen the effectiveness of the IndoTibetan Border Police Force along the Himalayas. The decision has come in the wake of heightened tension with China in this region. An official stated: ‘We will soon start earmarking personnel for the intelligence wing. They will undergo training before being deployed (Telegraph (November 2).

Ladakh’s high road The Border Roads Organization has built a 86km motor road at

Udayan Ganguly

Scientists in artificial intelligence at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay have come up with a brain like chip made of fabricated neurons. A team of researchers in collaboration with a peer group from IIT Gandhinagar to produce an artificial neuron. Their work was published recently in the journal Science Reports. The silicon neuron is an analogue device that mimics the biological neuron by firing a spiky signal when it detects simultaneous external inputs. Udayan Ganguly of the Electrical Engineering Department of IIT Bombay in whose lab this research was done says ‘The energy efficiency in biology partly lies in the neurons’ ability to code information as tiny voltage spike …with improved energy efficiency compared with digital implementation.’ (Hindu October 29).


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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

ACID ATTACKS â&#x20AC;&#x201C; AN ISSUE OF IDENTITY

Remembrance â&#x20AC;&#x201C; One Community A couple of years ago, it was my first time of being on a plane when the two minute silence for Remembrance occurs. On a plane, you cannot stand of course. Instead the Captain makes the announcement. You should, as I did, turn off the in flight entertainment, put down the paper, stop snoozing, and all the other things we do on a plane, and instead, remember the fallen. But as I recalled the fallen, I also thought of community of humanity that comes together at this time. Community cohesion

. The two key complaints Hindus make about each other - first that we do not help each other, secondly, we actively put obstacles in the path of each other. Of course, these are generalisations and like all communities we could do more. Hinduâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s often point to the Jewish community as a role model for co-operation. And indeed, when I worked in Congress I studies the Israeli lobby group, AIPAC, as the admirable role model on how a community working together can effectively influence Government policy. A while ago a friend of a friend came to see me. He had been out of work for 7 years. He was Jewish. He was beaten by rejections. His attitude smelt of defeat. Every time I gave him advice on finding a job, he would interrupt about how it wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work. I told him, he is sucking the energy out of the room. Why would anybody employ him?

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But I also remembered the words from the week before I had read in New Delhi, at Birla House, the place where Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated â&#x20AC;&#x201C; â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;the job of a leader is to inspire fearlessnessâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. And so it was for one hour I sat with this stranger and gave him idea upon idea on getting a job. But the best idea I had â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I told him that I would write to some wealthy Jewish friends of mine, and say to them, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;My Indian community holds your Jewish community up as a role model for cooperation. I met someone from your Jewish community. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good man. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m going to help him. But I want you to prove me right, and meet him and help him too. And then, when you do, I am going to write about it, and give my own community a specific example of the role models you are and indeed an example that if we Indians and Hindus do not help each other, then those that do will ensure we are left behind. So prove yourselves to be the role models we believe you to be, and motivate the best in my Indian community to be like the best in yours.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; How does this story end? My Jewish friends did indeed write ba ck. They couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t offer jobs â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which is fair enough. But they made the effort. Just as with the act of remembrance, we make the effort. We canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stop bad things from happening, or helping everyone, but at least we make the effort, the reply, the call backâ&#x20AC;Śwe give some thought. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how communities are built.



 

There has been a substantial rise in acid attacks, which has increased the number of premeditated attacks recorded, especially in the London area. It begs the question; do the Selina Nahar victims know their attackers? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fair to say no one carries around acid as an accessory; it is carried for no other reason than to cause lasting physical and emotional harm to the victim. 60% of acid attacks occur in gangaffected areas. There has been a move away from knives, since they are more detectable. Gang members see acid as an alternative weapon. It is easily accessible, cheap to acquire, can be disguised in a bottle and thrown in a flash. Knives are more restricted in sale and can aid convictions when finger prints are found on the knife. Acid is un-detectable, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no DNA left as evidence, which is arguably one of the reasons why many attackers are not caught. Statistics suggest that attackers may know or have some connection to their victims, whether directly or indirectly, through rivalry gangs. Gang members tend to target relatives or friends of rival gangs, in order to indirectly cause them harm. Gangs use acid as a weapon to degrade and humiliate victims, to gain respect and feel powerful. Those who harm purposely should be brought before courts; evidence in acid attack cases needs to be tested robustly. It is in these cases that innocent defendants may be implicated especially when no DNA is present; it leads to an open system

where anyone could be wrongly convicted. It is important that those facing charges are represented in order to highlight the main issues present when identifying acid attackers; the continuation of evidence found and how quickly the crime scene was preserved after the attack. Emergency services advise that victims must be washed with water in order to halt the corrosive effects of the acid. Though unquestionable, this treatment removes vital evidence, which could lead to the conviction of the wrong person. All in all, the issue of identity is an important factor in these sorts of attacks and when examined properly will be left for the jury to decide. Author Selina Nahar is a caseworker in the Crime department at Duncan Lewis. She specialises in criminal defence cases from serious assault, to extradition matters and cases involving serious fraud allegations. She deals in both legal aid cases and those privately funded. She has been a legal representative for clients remanded in custody and those on bail. Duncan Lewis Crime Solicitors

Duncan Lewis Crime Lawyers are recommended by Legal 500 2017 as a conscientious and professional team. Duncan Lewis has offices across England and Wales meaning a Duncan Lewis criminal defence solicitor can usually reach a police station for interview under caution within an hour. We can advise as soon as a police investigation begins, even prior to an arrest. For 24/7 help at a police station, call the Duncan Lewis Solicitors 24Hour Emergency Helpline on 0333 772 0607.

            

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Former Isis bride from London says racism fuelled radicalisation

A Harrow woman who married a senior Isis figure said that the only reason she had children was to raise them to become killers. Mother-of-four Tania Georgelas, 33, added that the racism she was subjected to as a Londoner led to her becoming radicalised. She said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I've had these children for one reason only, and that was so they could serve god as Muslims, as mujahideen.â&#x20AC;? In a newspaper interview she said she had â&#x20AC;&#x153;faced a lot of racismâ&#x20AC;? during her upbringing, which fuelled her hatred for the West. One of five children born in London to a British-Bangladeshi couple, she later travelled to

Syria with her husband so their family could become terrorists. She met her husband, John Georgelas, an American-born convert to Islam, through the website and the couple fell in love over discussions of jihad, marrying in 2004. After settling in her husband's home town of Plano, Texas, the couple had four children, and travelled by bus with them to Syria in 2013. They set up home in the abandoned villa of a Syrian general in the town of Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;zaz but within months Ms Georgelas wanted to return home as her children became sick. With the help of her husband's parents she made her way back to Plano, where she now

Tania

lives. She has since been granted a divorce and has returned to online dating, meeting Craig, an IT worker, within 24 hours on the site. But she said she remains in love with her ex-husband, known in Isis as Yahya al-Bahrumi. She claimed she has turned her back on ISIS and that she is reformed.


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SP

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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

TLIGHT

AsianVoiceNews

Sharon Raizada:

BITCHED

Sunetra Senior

this causes her. She is pressured one way, to give up on her dreams. We realise femininity and coming into motherhood really isn’t that different from the Fifties!”

*** Raizada is a fast-rising writer and Indeed, though claiming to really script developer, whose latest care about her ambitions and stage-play, Bitched, carries her happiness, Ali’s aspiring artist trademark fieriness, physicality and partner, Rob, is ultimately full of shining satire. Short-listed for sexist platitudes such as ‘my precious Theatre’s 503’s 5, and the producer lady’ which finally escalate into the of several award-winning short more violent slur ‘bitches’ when he films, her first full-length drama, feels he is losing socio-sexual control Black-i, produced by Kali Theatre, over the surrounding women. explored the unlikely relationship Furthermore, Rob and Ali’s between Naz, a young man from interactions with a second, London’s Bangladeshi community, pretentious upper-class couple, and Rose, a girl from the “Mayfair gallery owners, Suzanne and Nirijay, moneyed elite.” The “work is always makes the male verbal smokescreen about those intersection points where politically pervasive. The scene where expectation clashes with desire,” the Suzanne talks directly to Ali about candid creative told us. As well as of children and what will be the course the humour and an urban edge, irreversible compromising of her current play Bitched also showcases freedom mimics the intimate Emilia her incredible ability to and Desdemona scene in produce timeless, almost Othello, where the former, a Shakespearean themes, wiser female confidante, whilst holding her essentially says to the 'I’m definitely writerly own. If Black-i younger, less experienced sick of being is somewhat woman: it doesn’t matter calm and reminiscent of a what background you’re modern, multicultural from: ‘These Men! These diplomatic' Romeo and Juliet, Bitched Men!’ Though much has stands a contemporary, changed on the surface, the more hopeful Othello. This view that women are simply makes organic sense. Raizada said: vessels for male appeasement and “my father was brought up Hindu, securing a family line is still sadly the hailing from Jabalpur, India, while my norm. Though Suzanne has money, mother is Jewish. My brother also she cannot fully dedicate herself to converted to Islam to marry his the children because her husband Bangladeshi wife so my family is one deflects his portion of the big melting pot - I feel English responsibility, drinking and gambling through and through!” The Bitched and seemingly punishing her for the set centres around a simple white bed, power. However, Bitched champions while the plot gradually peels back the one significant refreshing departure grand narratives of culture and class from a tiring oppressive story. Both to reveal patriarchy as the unchanged Raizada’s women are unapologetic foundation of society. The outspoken and active about their anger – protagonist Ali, played by Shireen towards the men as well as with and Farkhoy, also resembles Othello’s amongst themselves. Sharp as knives, character imagination of Desdemona. shouting back and swearing in spades, Together with Farkhov’s buoyant and whilst the men are not only exposed relatable performance, and the rest of but ridiculed for their incompetence the compact, yet highly talented cast – and self-centredness– at one-point Rob (Darren Douglas), Suzanne (Viss Nirjay comes in with a carrier bag as if Elliot Safavi), and Nirjay (Robert he’s about to grocery shop for a baby Mountford), the particulars of the – the play rails against the system. As story are then emphasised as clearly, Raizada pointed out: “this is jarringly, in the present. Talking on especially relevant in light of the her work, Raizada said: “we see how, recent Harvey Weinstein scandal. even in our generation of women, We’re beginning to listen to women’s being domesticated and having voices because their experience children is expected and doing so doesn’t get articulated or heard that completely disrupts one’s autonomy much. If no one is heeding women’s and status. This is shown through the perspectives, I’m definitely up for emotional conflict of the main couple shouting. I’m definitely sick of being Rob and Ali’s pursuit of work, and the calm and diplomatic and one of the former’s assumption that his wife’s bonuses of being playwright is that place is at home and the distress that you don’t have to be!” Thus, a play of

uncanny pertinence and precision – including the interconnected concepts of unequal economic distribution, and an increased psychological burden on already struggling women – Bitched doesn’t just show us the core of women’s frustrations, but passionately rejects it. Accompanied by gentle electronic music, the last scene is one of subtle but definite rebellion. The show doesn’t so much ask ‘can women have it all?’ as, very refreshingly, ‘why are you making them ask in the first place?’ What inspired you to write this play? This came from my own experience of becoming a mother. Though there was also extra stress for my husband, it was my life that completely altered; having to take on all the child related chores etc. It’s a blessing to have children but we don’t hear about the side of it that involves the nightmare of pushing for maternity leave and the disproportionate burden put on women. What are the basic components of good writing? Caring about it. You can have a piece of work that’s polished and slick but if it lacks energy, and doesn’t have that truth and urgency, there is no point. There’s a poignant, cinematic bit in Bitched where there is this interweaving split scene. What is an interesting difference between cinema, TV and the theatre? It’s the live aspect of theatre and the fact that the audience shares in it; when it’s at its best, it’s absolutely exhilarating – it’s like rock and roll! You have been a script developer, for example on Emmerdale, and a CBeebies script has been nominated for a BAFTA. What do you look to do to improve scripts/stories? I look out to see if the story is clear? Are we clear about what the characters want and where they’re going? How are they are changed? Also isolating those moments of transition and making sure this is well understood. You want to travel with the character. What’s your favourite part of that job? The writing! The power of words. I love how language can create emotions and stories and it’s a thrill to enhance the power. Does your work always deal with shifting identity? Yes, a future play of mine, Cracked Vase, is very much about current race and class politics, and in the same way Bitched deals with sexual politics at a time of change where society is not keeping up with our identities, this new piece seeks to overcome that too. Finally, who are some of your artistic influences? Mamet, Patrick Marber, Caryl Churchill, Gurpreet Bhatti and Phyllis Nagy. https://twitter.com/sharonraizada

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UK

Indian Women’s Cricket— past, present and future

Virendra Sharma MP, Journalist Mihir Bose, Prabhakar Kaza, other speakers and guests

On the auspicious day of Diwali, the Indian Forum on British Media held an event with an aim of raising the profile of Indian Women’s Cricket. The event was held in a packed Committee room of the British Parliament, hosted by Mr.Virendra Sharma, M.P. from Ealing, Southall, who kicked off the event, inviting the audience to the august Parliament premises. He was full of praise for the performance of the Indian team, in front of a sell-out crowd at Lord’s, where though India lost the Cup, it won the hearts of the people. Prabhakar Kaza, the President of the Forum explained the objectives of the forum which serves as a watchdog on presentation of Indian events in the British press and TV. The purpose in holding the event was to mobilise spectator support for Indian Women’s cricket so that matches can be held at bigger stadiums at major cities. To stay abreast of the developments, he requested everyone to become a member of Indian Women Cricket Team Fans Facebook page, which currently has 75,000 members. Mihir Bose, the veteran all-round sports commentator and author of thirty books, regaled the audience with wealth of data, picked up from his vast experience. His interaction with the team has convinced him that with the prodigious talent that it has, the future is bright and the TV/press/internet coverage globally has played a major role in increasing awareness and visibility. Of the game. He praised the role of Captain Mithali Raj who has now become even a quiz question. Admittedly the well-knit Women’s team has cut across economic class, geographical divide and other social divisions. Isabelle Duncan, MCC Committee member and author of the book - History of Women’s Cricket mentioned that the history of women’s game is as rich as men’s. She made a fervent plea to BCCI, the richest Cricket board, to pay better salaries to Women, contract more players and hold more matches both domestically and internationally in all the formats, which would jump-start the scope of the game. Prashant Kidambi, Associate Professor, University of Leicester, covered the past achievements, making a special mention of the Parsees for their contribution and brought out several nuances in the women’s game which indicate enormous potential. He emphasised that the systemic issues and BCCI gender bias of the past should be sorted out quickly, to accelerate the growth of women’s cricket. Kamal Prabhakar, veteran Cricketer, actor and model, congratulated the Indian team for their performance in Lord’s finals and expanded on his role in making Cricket for girls an interesting experience in UK. He emphasised that Cricket is not just about Seamers and Sixes but also fielding, fitness, right equipment, motivation, stress management and strategy. The Q and A was robust with a flurry of questions on facilities available for girl’s cricket in India. The audience was emphatic that India should have a women’s IPL and that the women players with increasing stamina and strength, should play on equal terms with men to prove their worth. Anchor, Bharati Desiraju, thanked the UK Parliament, the knowledgeable speakers and the animated audience who turned up in large numbers forgoing Diwali celebrations, demonstrating their commitment and to convey their good wishes for the future of the Indian Women’s Team. The event ended with an universal acknowledgment that the ultimate legacy of Lord’s finals was when a girl in an Indian house asks for permission to play cricket, the parents will not say No.

'Chai and the City' celebrates Indo-Saracenic architecture A collection of photographs by renowned photographer Rahul Gajjar, project 'Chai and the City' digs right into the joint history of England and India. The exhibition highlights the topic of Indo-Saracenic architecture in India, designed by British architects. His pieces capture the grandeur of the design and the fine understanding brought by an English architect to selection of materials and design that corresponded to Indian weather conditions that were totally contrary to that of Britain. The IndoSaracenic Revival was an architectural style movement by British architects in the late 19th century in British India. The exhibition is also a sensitive documentation of the British legacy in India that manages to survive through all elements and the destructive nature of socio-economic changes.


UK

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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development hosts India in the Age of Disruption talk Acting High Commissioner Amb. Dinesh K. Patnaik speaks about challenges and opportunities in India

Acting High Commissioner Ambassador Dinesh K. Patnaik delivered a talk on 'India in the Age of Disruption' at Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development (OICSD), Somerville College. During his interaction with students, faculty and researchers based at Oxford, he spoke of the various challenges and opportunities posed to modern day individuals, societies and nations, and discussed how imperative it is for all to confront and adapt and even channelize these forces of innovative change including those brought in by technology, for inclusive global development. Amb. Patnaik spoke in

particular about India, where not only the private sector, but the Government as well is actively harnessing the tools of mass technologies including internet and social media to reach out and to deliver social services more effectively to the remotest villages. The interactive lecture was hosted together by Oxford India Society and Somerville College. Principal of Somerville College, Baroness Royall of Blaisdon, welcomed Amb. Patnaik to the College, and in particular to OICSD which was created in 2003 with a grant from Government of India, matched by Somerville and Oxford with the aim to

Hare Krishna movement to celebrate 48 years in London

Everyone enjoys a good celebration. And, with each passing year, there is more and more for the Hare Krishna movement (officially known as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness or ISKCON) to rejoice over. ISKCON’s London centre has extended an invitation to all to attend its 48th Anniversary event, comprising singing, instrumental, dance, and drama entertainment, a sumptuous vegetarian feast and more on Sunday 26th November. This spiritual organisation has grown continually since back in 1965, when A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada embarked upon an extremely challenging journey from India to bring to the West timeless spiritual knowledge as revealed in the ancient Vedic scriptures. He overcame many obstacles to become founder and preceptor of the international Hare Krishna movement. Srila Prabhupada (as he became known) was a charismatic leader who soon gathered a group of devotees and established a temple in New York in 1966, going on to start up a San Francisco centre in 1967. Mindful of London’s pivotal role in forming crossroads between East and West, and well aware of the city’s significance as a diverse cultural ‘melting-pot’, Srila Prabhupada established the London centre in December 1969. It is thanks to his for-

titude and great vision that now, over 50 years later, there are more than 1,000 ISKCON centres worldwide and over 100,000 members in the UK alone. In UK, ISKCON is an effective and key part of the society. It caters to people from all kinds of social and cultural backgrounds in terms of intercultural work, enriching spiritual education, food relief, social work and youth development. The London Temple continues to provide a calm oasis in the heart of the capital to those who may be feeling spiritually disorientated amid the turmoil and tumult of modern-day life in a relentlessly teeming metropolis. Its ‘hidden jewel’ of a Temple Room (just off Oxford Street!) rests securely on the shoulders of Govinda’s, its own vegetarian restaurant and the oldest in London, along with Radha’s Boutique, which sells literature and artefacts to spiritual seekers. This urban spiritual hub serves as a portal to Vrindavan, Lord Krishna’s eternal home and offers sanctuary to people from all walks of life. Event Information: Date: Sunday 26th November 2016 Time: 2 pm - 7 pm (Vegetarian feast to be served at the start) Venue: Camden Centre, Bidborough Street, London WC1H 9AU For more details, please visit www.iskcon.london/48th or email events@iskcon-london.org.

Mr Patnaik with OICSD members

promote multi-disciplinary research in sustainable nutrition, environment and health.

Acting High Commissioner also met with Dr Robert Easton, Pro Vice Chancellor for

Development and External Affairs, Oxford University and discussed ideas for the University's developmen-

tal goals and public affairs vis-a-vis India, enhancing visits and enrolment of students and faculty from India, and explored ways of deepening educational and research collaboration between Oxford and Indian Universities. Dr. Mallica Kumbera Landrus, Keeper of the Eastern Art Department at A s h m o l e a n Museum also met with Amb. Patnaik during the visit, and took him through the collections pertaining to India, ceramics, textiles, sculpture, metal works, paintings, prints and other decorative arts spanning more than 5000 years in history.

PROPERTY INVESTORS MEET TAX – A Perfect Storm or A Navigable Headwind This event is now totally booked.

Thursday 16th November, 2017 - 6pm to 9pm Harrow College, Lowlands Rd, London, Harrow HA1 3AQ

Property industry has been hit with radical, negative tax changes and reforms in the last few years. Stamp duty has become onerous and costly. Mortgage set off relief is being phased out. Taxes are designed to make it more costly to hold UK property offshore. Changes in company ownership transparency is impacting business decisions.

Panel of Experts

Simon Farrell QC, Three Raymond Buildings: Tax strategies to legally minimise leakage.

Dave Butler, Commercial Banking Director, Metro Bank: Commercial property investment lending.

David Galman, Sales Director, Galliard Homes: Overview of property investment and why it is still a solid, long-term investment.

Drew Hazel, Tax Specialist & Partner, Taylor Bradshaw: Outlook for taxation policies and property going forward.

Etiksha Patel, Private Banking Director, Metro Bank: Private banking services for property investors.

Suresh Vagjiani, Event Moderator, Founder of property specialists Sow & Reap.

Drinks & canapés will be served

An initiative by


16

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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

Lord Bhikhu Parekh pays tribute to Dadabhai Naoroji as an 'exemplary diasporic citizen' Lord Bhikhu Parekh addressed a conference on Dadabhai Naoroji in Zorostrian Centre on 19th October. Naoroji was the first MP of Indian ethnicity and had joined the Lib Dem party, winning a seat in 1892. When the Conservatives and Lib Dems formed a Coalition government, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg had announced Dadabhai Naoroji Award, recognising ones those who helped to build UK-India relations. The awards were judged by ministers following nominations from the public in 3 categories: commerce, culture and education. They were presented today at a Foreign and Commonwealth Office reception for the British Indian diaspora, attended by Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in 2014. However, ever since, the awards were not given to anyone in the last 3 years. Dadabhai was both an academic and a business man. Later in life he also became a public figure who won a Parliamentary seat of Central Finchley with a tiny majority of three which, on a recount, became a majority of five. Lord Salisbury had canvassed against him and remarked that the country was not yet ready to elect a ‘black man’. This remark was heavily criticised in India and by several sections of the British media, many of them saying

that Dadabhai was as white as Salisbury and that his colour was politically irrelevant. Several people was were so angry that they actually joined Dadabhai’s campaign, gave him unprecedented support, and snatched victory from the jaws of certain defeat. Speaking at the conference, Lord Parekh said, “I can claim three bonds with Dadabhai. He was born only a few miles away from where I was. He was a professor of Gujarati in the University College London, and that language also happens to be my mother tongue. Finally, he was the Dewan of the state of Baroda for over a year where I was once a University Vice-Chancellor. Speaking about Dadabhai's appointment as a MP, Parekh went on to say, “Very few Indians enjoy as much reverence and respect in both India and the U.K. as Dadabhai Naoroji does. In Britain he is respected as one of the first Indian M.P.s , and in India as one of the founding fathers of the Indian National Congress. Strictly speaking Dadabhai was not the first Indian M.P. in the British House of

Lord Bhikhu Parekh

Commons. That honour goes to David Dyce Sombre, born in India, whose father had mixed Scottish and Indian, and his mother French and Indian ancestry, and who had become an M.P. nearly 50 years before Dadabhai. He was a corrupt man and was disqualified by Parliament within a year. Dadabhai is the first Indian M.P. in the ethnic sense of being born of Indian parents, viewing India as his second home, and also perhaps as someone who lasted a full term. He was the first MP to take an oath on Avesta, not the Bible.” As an MP Dadabhai supported several valuable causes such as women’s suffrage, pension for the elderly, Home Rule for Ireland, and abolition of the House of Lords. Although not a great debater he was skilful

in marshalling arguments and presenting a strong case for his views. He also supported the cause of India’s Independence,” added Parekh. “He was particularly angry at the way the British took money out of India and ‘drained’ its wealth. Although critical of Britain he also took a sympathetic view of its commitment to great values such as fairness and justice. He believed that when the British people were presented with both sides of an issue they tended to be fair and equitable. When Britain failed to live up to its ideals, it was being unBritish and not true to itself. This is why one his great books published in 1901 was titled Poverty and the Un-British Rule in India. He was one of the founding fathers of the liberal tradi-

Dadabhai Naoroji

tion in India, an alien and rather fragile implant, and did much to nourish it along with constitutionalism and Parliamentary democracy.” Dadabhai’s legacy is considerable including the Congress party and Secularism. He inspired both Gandhi and Jinnah and saw India’s major communities with an impartial eye. No wonder, the title he most liked was the Grand Old Man of India, not a knighthood or a peerage. He set a great example of rectitude and hard work and taught his successors including Indians how to lead an honourable public life. Speaking about his roots

as a diasporic citizen, Parekh added, “Dadabhai belonged to the first generation of the Indian diaspora. He was born and died in India, spent many years there, and spoke its language. For him this was a normal way of relating to his country of origin . He did not got out to India to ‘help’ or ‘serve its people’: that seemed too arrogant and patronising to him. Rather he went there because he loved it, was part of it, and felt it his duty to contribute what he could to its wellbeing. This has a message for us today who wonder how to be diasporic citizens.”

UK's Charity watchdog opens case against Hindu umbrella group Charity Commission, UK's charity watchdog has opened a compliance case against the National Council of Hindu Temples (UK) after the group has been accused of inviting a controversial speaker to a seminar in the Parliament, hosted by Conservative MP Bob Blackman, as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Hindus. The umbrella group in Britain for Hindu temples and relevant organisations had allegedly invited Tapan Ghosh, the founder of Hindu Samhati based in West Bengal, India, to give a keynote address at an event titled ‘Tolerating the intolerant: The abuse of Hindu human rights in Europe and India’ on October 18th, to mark Diwali festival, during which he is accused of voicing extremist views. Amber Rudd also ran into trouble after she had appeared in another Diwali event, with Priti Patel and Sajid Javid where Ghosh was present, but not speaking. A Home Office spokesperson later said: “The

Home Secretary fundamentally disagrees with Mr Ghosh’s views on Islam. The Home Secretary accepted an invitation from the Hindu Forum of Britain to attend an event in Parliament last week to celebrate Diwali.

on Friday 3 November that it had opened a case which will involve questioning the trustees to decide if any further action was required. In a statement the Commission said, “The Commission has opened a case into the National Council of Hindu Temples (UK) to assess concerns raised regarding a speaker at an event linked to the charity,” Meanwhile, members of the Association of British Muslims, Bob Blackman, MP the Asian Mums Network, and the She did not speak to Mr Ghosh Women Against Radicalisation and was not present when he Network have co-signed an open spoke.” letter to the Charity The UK’s Charity Commission demanding the Commission, in charge of reguNational Council of Hindu lating all charitable institutions Temples (UK) be stripped of its registered in the UK, confirmed

Tapan Ghosh

charity status. Blackman said that Ghosh “made no abhorrent remarks at the meeting, and I am quite clear that I and the National Council of Hindu Temples do not agree with the views he previously stated.” The NHCTUK has stressed that the core subject of the event was the “sustained targeting and abuse of Hindu and Sikh girls... their selection on the basis of their religion and their subsequent physical and emotional abuse for the purposes of forced conversion to Islam”.

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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

Sister Nivedita's house in Government funding cuts; Oxford pharmacist sells as going gets tough Wimbledon to receive a blue plaque Cecil A Soans Leading trade weekly magazine for community pharmacy, Chemist & Druggist in its recent edition has reported that the owner of Woodlands Pharmacy in Oxford, Pupinder Ghatora, was forced to sell his pharmacy of 12 years, owing to the government funding cuts. “I never in a million years thought I would sell my community pharmacy. I thought I would retire looking after my community there,” Mr Ghatora said. “The feeling was: this is going to get worse,” he explained. “We were just about making ends meet – the cuts wiped out any prof-

it, so we were working just to pay bills.” Mr Ghatora said despite starting a local campaign, which garnered support from “over 100 people”, he was “going home [from work] angry and upset”. Quoting Mr. Ghatora the publication stated,“I was worried about putting food on the table and looking after my patients.” Commenting on the dire situation, Umesh Patel, a community pharmacy for 33 years, now based in Sunderland, said to Asian Voice: 'We have been working hard to look after the welfare of the elderly, young mothers and other vulnerable sections of society to provide the best possible

care but the government cuts is having a huge adverse impact on care. We pay our suppliers in 30 days but the government takes 90 day to reimburse us. In an age of electronic transactions this system is totally unacceptable.” “There are other ways for the government to make savings and bodies such as PSNC and NPA are perfectly equipped to advise the government on this. But, sadly, it will not listen,” he added. Last month Germany company Celesio that owns UK pharmacy chain LLOYDS PHARMACY has confirmed it is set to cease trading in 190 pharmacy stores. 'Who is next?” wondered Umesh Patel.

Lord Dholakia takes part in Sri Lankan reconciliation debate Lord Dholakia, speaking eloquently during the debate on assessing if progress has been made by the coalition government in Sri Lanka in meeting the United Nations Human Rights Council requirements towards reconciliation said he was "much encouraged by the speech of the President, His Excellency Sirisena, during the general debate at the UN General Assembly last month." "The President," Lord Dholakia pointed out "... gave a pledge to remove excessive powers vested in the President and to entrust them to his Parliament," even before he was elected in 2015. Emphasising the importance of this new approach to democracy in the country, Lord Dholakia stressed: "[t]his was a crucial statement," that, in his opinion has made a positive "change ... in power sharing with the communities in Sri Lanka." This is in stark comparison to the previous Administration that had "vested more power in the presidency than that enjoyed by any democratic institution." Confirming his strong affiliation with Sri Lanka, a country he has visited many times, including helping in the aftermath of the tsunami, Lord Dholakia said: "[m]y last visit gave me the opportunity at first hand to see and learn about the reconstruction, resettlement and reconciliation work in progress there." Outlining the UN Secretary General's review panel report and the International Crisis Group report, that are going some way to ameliorate the situation, Lord Dholakia pointed out the difficulties faced by the new Government which include "addressing the grievances of Tamil and Muslim leaders about the excesses that took place during the war," and recognised it "is not an easy task." "Even today," he said, within the country itself and also its' diaspora "there remain deeply held views about the war in Sri Lanka and its aftermath." Underpinning the new approach, Lord Dholakia noted

that significantly "[t]he President stood by his words and today, rightly, accountability has been vested in an elected Parliament." "The Executive can no longer ride roughshod over the will of Parliament," he said. Reiterating the President's words on "... re-establishing and restoring the freedom of the people, protecting human rights and nurturing fundamental rights”, Lord Dholakia underlined its' importance saying: "[t]his exercise should build confidence among the communities in their elected leadership, as this action alone has succeeded in consolidating excessive power and autocratic governance. It is a great step forward." Questioning the Minister on "truth and reconciliation matters," Lord Dholakia asked: " have the Sri Lankan Government addressed ongoing regional and ethnic disparity, and how far have they succeeded in dealing with conflict-related justice?" And affirmed his question by adding, "[m]ay we seek assurances on how far the Sri Lankan Government have reformed the security sector and criminal justice system in line with international standards, including around police accountability?" To these points Lord Dholakia also asked for clarity on British foreign policy and international aid in "help[ing] to promote liberal values of human rights and democracy in that part of the

world, and who is monitoring the situation?" "We are encouraged," he stressed, "by the progress to date but we should ensure that complacency does not hinder further progress." Lord Dholakia, noting Lord Naseby's informed points on the perceived actual numbers killed during the war in Sri Lanka, said: "[t]his debate is not the place to confirm or deny what did or did not take place during the war, but it is nice to have the statistical information given by the noble Lord. "New statistical information is now available," he said, "but we must accept that this and its rejection will continue to shape the debate for some time to come, and limited purpose will be served by it in making progress towards a stable and prosperous Sri Lanka." Elucidating his point, Lord Dholakia stated: "[w]e have to move on, but the basis on which the country makes progress will be very much determined by how some of the issues are handled." In conclusion, Lord Dholakia stressed: "Sri Lanka paid a heavy price during the conflict years. This should never be allowed to happen again." "The duty of any democracy," he said, "is to protect its citizens—all citizens, irrespective of religion or ethnicity;" adding emphatically "I trust that Sri Lanka and its diaspora will play a crucial role in building a stable, democratic society."

To celebrate educationalist and campaigner for Indian independence, Sister Nivedita's 150th anniversary, UK government organisation English Heritage will put a blue plaque on her house in Wimbledon on 12 November 2017. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is attending the unveiling of the plaque along with some key delegates. London’s famous blue plaques link the people of the past with the buildings of the present. Now run by English Heritage, the London blue plaques scheme was started in 1866 and is thought to be the oldest of its kind in the world. Across the UK capital over 900 plaques, on buildings humble and grand, honour the notable men and women who have lived or worked in them. The Scottish-Irish social worker and disciple of Swami Vivekananda began her professional life as a school teacher in southwest London and set up the Ruskin School in the area. The school was to later become the inspiration for her girls' school in Kolkata, she set up in 1898 after accompanying Swami Vivekananda to India that

Swami Vivekananda with Sister Nivedita

year. Born as Margaret Elizabeth Noble, the name Nivedita or 'the dedicated one', was given to her by Swami Vivekananda. In India, she served the poor in Bengal during the times of flood, plague and famine and was a very vocal campaigner against the partition of Bengal proposed by the British in 1905. Sarada Sarkar, a London-based teacher who is leading the campaign for installing the plaque on behalf of the Ramkrishna Mission said, "We are happy that English Heritage is recognising her contribution not only in the areas of education, but

also as a campaigner of Indian Independence on her 150th birth anniversary on English soil for the first time.” Sister Nivedita briefly travelled back to London with Swami Vivekananda, arriving at the 21 High Street in Wimbledon on July 31, 1899. He stayed there for a couple of days while Sister Nivedita's family found him an accommodation nearby. The house remained Sister Nivedita's family home until January 1902, though she had permanently moved to India. CM Banerjee's week long travel also includes business meets in London and Scotland.

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ENTHUSIASTIC PRITI PATEL UNDER SCANNER Continued from page 1 Ms Patel's meetings have been a further trouble for Prime Minister Theresa May, who is already struggling with an abuse scandal that has seen the resignation of Michael Fallon as the defence secretary. The Downing Street has confirmed Patel wanted to send aid money to the Israeli army after conducting a string of secret meet-

ings with Israeli figures, including the country’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Speaker John Bercow later said he would "welcome" Ms Patel indicating that she wishes to make a statement to the Commons on November 13 about the controversy, though he further told the MPs: "That, I think, has to be for her to judge."

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Lord Bhikhu Parekh pays tribute to Dadabhai Naoroji as an 'exemplary diasporic citizen' Lord Bhikhu Parekh addressed a conference on Dadabhai Naoroji in Zorostrian Centre on 19th October. Naoroji was the first MP of Indian ethnicity and had joined the Lib Dem party, winning a seat in 1892. When the Conservatives and Lib Dems formed a Coalition government, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg had announced Dadabhai Naoroji Award, recognising ones those who helped to build UK-India relations. The awards were judged by ministers following nominations from the public in 3 categories: commerce, culture and education. They were presented today at a Foreign and Commonwealth Office reception for the British Indian diaspora, attended by Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in 2014. However, ever since, the awards were not given to anyone in the last 3 years. Dadabhai was both an academic and a business man. Later in life he also became a public figure who won a Parliamentary seat of Central Finchley with a tiny majority of three which, on a recount, became a majority of five. Lord Salisbury had canvassed against him and remarked that the country was not yet ready to elect a ‘black man’. This remark was heavily criticised in India and by several sections of the British media, many of them saying

that Dadabhai was as white as Salisbury and that his colour was politically irrelevant. Several people was were so angry that they actually joined Dadabhai’s campaign, gave him unprecedented support, and snatched victory from the jaws of certain defeat. Speaking at the conference, Lord Parekh said, “I can claim three bonds with Dadabhai. He was born only a few miles away from where I was. He was a professor of Gujarati in the University College London, and that language also happens to be my mother tongue. Finally, he was the Dewan of the state of Baroda for over a year where I was once a University Vice-Chancellor. Speaking about Dadabhai's appointment as a MP, Parekh went on to say, “Very few Indians enjoy as much reverence and respect in both India and the U.K. as Dadabhai Naoroji does. In Britain he is respected as one of the first Indian M.P.s , and in India as one of the founding fathers of the Indian National Congress. Strictly speaking Dadabhai was not the first Indian M.P. in the British House of

Lord Bhikhu Parekh

Commons. That honour goes to David Dyce Sombre, born in India, whose father had mixed Scottish and Indian, and his mother French and Indian ancestry, and who had become an M.P. nearly 50 years before Dadabhai. He was a corrupt man and was disqualified by Parliament within a year. Dadabhai is the first Indian M.P. in the ethnic sense of being born of Indian parents, viewing India as his second home, and also perhaps as someone who lasted a full term. He was the first MP to take an oath on Avesta, not the Bible.” As an MP Dadabhai supported several valuable causes such as women’s suffrage, pension for the elderly, Home Rule for Ireland, and abolition of the House of Lords. Although not a great debater he was skilful

in marshalling arguments and presenting a strong case for his views. He also supported the cause of India’s Independence,” added Parekh. “He was particularly angry at the way the British took money out of India and ‘drained’ its wealth. Although critical of Britain he also took a sympathetic view of its commitment to great values such as fairness and justice. He believed that when the British people were presented with both sides of an issue they tended to be fair and equitable. When Britain failed to live up to its ideals, it was being unBritish and not true to itself. This is why one his great books published in 1901 was titled Poverty and the Un-British Rule in India. He was one of the founding fathers of the liberal tradi-

Dadabhai Naoroji

tion in India, an alien and rather fragile implant, and did much to nourish it along with constitutionalism and Parliamentary democracy.” Dadabhai’s legacy is considerable including the Congress party and Secularism. He inspired both Gandhi and Jinnah and saw India’s major communities with an impartial eye. No wonder, the title he most liked was the Grand Old Man of India, not a knighthood or a peerage. He set a great example of rectitude and hard work and taught his successors including Indians how to lead an honourable public life. Speaking about his roots

as a diasporic citizen, Parekh added, “Dadabhai belonged to the first generation of the Indian diaspora. He was born and died in India, spent many years there, and spoke its language. For him this was a normal way of relating to his country of origin . He did not got out to India to ‘help’ or ‘serve its people’: that seemed too arrogant and patronising to him. Rather he went there because he loved it, was part of it, and felt it his duty to contribute what he could to its wellbeing. This has a message for us today who wonder how to be diasporic citizens.”

UK's Charity watchdog opens case against Hindu umbrella group Charity Commission, UK's charity watchdog has opened a compliance case against the National Council of Hindu Temples (UK) after the group has been accused of inviting a controversial speaker to a seminar in the Parliament, hosted by Conservative MP Bob Blackman, as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Hindus. The umbrella group in Britain for Hindu temples and relevant organisations had allegedly invited Tapan Ghosh, the founder of Hindu Samhati based in West Bengal, India, to give a keynote address at an event titled ‘Tolerating the intolerant: The abuse of Hindu human rights in Europe and India’ on October 18th, to mark Diwali festival, during which he is accused of voicing extremist views. Amber Rudd also ran into trouble after she had appeared in another Diwali event, with Priti Patel and Sajid Javid where Ghosh was present, but not speaking. A Home Office spokesperson later said: “The

Home Secretary fundamentally disagrees with Mr Ghosh’s views on Islam. The Home Secretary accepted an invitation from the Hindu Forum of Britain to attend an event in Parliament last week to celebrate Diwali.

on Friday 3 November that it had opened a case which will involve questioning the trustees to decide if any further action was required. In a statement the Commission said, “The Commission has opened a case into the National Council of Hindu Temples (UK) to assess concerns raised regarding a speaker at an event linked to the charity,” Meanwhile, members of the Association of British Muslims, Bob Blackman, MP the Asian Mums Network, and the She did not speak to Mr Ghosh Women Against Radicalisation and was not present when he Network have co-signed an open spoke.” letter to the Charity The UK’s Charity Commission demanding the Commission, in charge of reguNational Council of Hindu lating all charitable institutions Temples (UK) be stripped of its registered in the UK, confirmed

Tapan Ghosh

charity status. Blackman said that Ghosh “made no abhorrent remarks at the meeting, and I am quite clear that I and the National Council of Hindu Temples do not agree with the views he previously stated.” The NHCTUK has stressed that the core subject of the event was the “sustained targeting and abuse of Hindu and Sikh girls... their selection on the basis of their religion and their subsequent physical and emotional abuse for the purposes of forced conversion to Islam”.

UK AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

17

Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

Sister Nivedita's house in Government funding cuts; Oxford pharmacist sells as going gets tough Wimbledon to receive a blue plaque Cecil A Soans Leading trade weekly magazine for community pharmacy, Chemist & Druggist in its recent edition has reported that the owner of Woodlands Pharmacy in Oxford, Pupinder Ghatora, was forced to sell his pharmacy of 12 years, owing to the government funding cuts. “I never in a million years thought I would sell my community pharmacy. I thought I would retire looking after my community there,” Mr Ghatora said. “The feeling was: this is going to get worse,” he explained. “We were just about making ends meet – the cuts wiped out any prof-

it, so we were working just to pay bills.” Mr Ghatora said despite starting a local campaign, which garnered support from “over 100 people”, he was “going home [from work] angry and upset”. Quoting Mr. Ghatora the publication stated,“I was worried about putting food on the table and looking after my patients.” Commenting on the dire situation, Umesh Patel, a community pharmacy for 33 years, now based in Sunderland, said to Asian Voice: 'We have been working hard to look after the welfare of the elderly, young mothers and other vulnerable sections of society to provide the best possible

care but the government cuts is having a huge adverse impact on care. We pay our suppliers in 30 days but the government takes 90 day to reimburse us. In an age of electronic transactions this system is totally unacceptable.” “There are other ways for the government to make savings and bodies such as PSNC and NPA are perfectly equipped to advise the government on this. But, sadly, it will not listen,” he added. Last month Germany company Celesio that owns UK pharmacy chain LLOYDS PHARMACY has confirmed it is set to cease trading in 190 pharmacy stores. 'Who is next?” wondered Umesh Patel.

Lord Dholakia takes part in Sri Lankan reconciliation debate Lord Dholakia, speaking eloquently during the debate on assessing if progress has been made by the coalition government in Sri Lanka in meeting the United Nations Human Rights Council requirements towards reconciliation said he was "much encouraged by the speech of the President, His Excellency Sirisena, during the general debate at the UN General Assembly last month." "The President," Lord Dholakia pointed out "... gave a pledge to remove excessive powers vested in the President and to entrust them to his Parliament," even before he was elected in 2015. Emphasising the importance of this new approach to democracy in the country, Lord Dholakia stressed: "[t]his was a crucial statement," that, in his opinion has made a positive "change ... in power sharing with the communities in Sri Lanka." This is in stark comparison to the previous Administration that had "vested more power in the presidency than that enjoyed by any democratic institution." Confirming his strong affiliation with Sri Lanka, a country he has visited many times, including helping in the aftermath of the tsunami, Lord Dholakia said: "[m]y last visit gave me the opportunity at first hand to see and learn about the reconstruction, resettlement and reconciliation work in progress there." Outlining the UN Secretary General's review panel report and the International Crisis Group report, that are going some way to ameliorate the situation, Lord Dholakia pointed out the difficulties faced by the new Government which include "addressing the grievances of Tamil and Muslim leaders about the excesses that took place during the war," and recognised it "is not an easy task." "Even today," he said, within the country itself and also its' diaspora "there remain deeply held views about the war in Sri Lanka and its aftermath." Underpinning the new approach, Lord Dholakia noted

that significantly "[t]he President stood by his words and today, rightly, accountability has been vested in an elected Parliament." "The Executive can no longer ride roughshod over the will of Parliament," he said. Reiterating the President's words on "... re-establishing and restoring the freedom of the people, protecting human rights and nurturing fundamental rights”, Lord Dholakia underlined its' importance saying: "[t]his exercise should build confidence among the communities in their elected leadership, as this action alone has succeeded in consolidating excessive power and autocratic governance. It is a great step forward." Questioning the Minister on "truth and reconciliation matters," Lord Dholakia asked: " have the Sri Lankan Government addressed ongoing regional and ethnic disparity, and how far have they succeeded in dealing with conflict-related justice?" And affirmed his question by adding, "[m]ay we seek assurances on how far the Sri Lankan Government have reformed the security sector and criminal justice system in line with international standards, including around police accountability?" To these points Lord Dholakia also asked for clarity on British foreign policy and international aid in "help[ing] to promote liberal values of human rights and democracy in that part of the

world, and who is monitoring the situation?" "We are encouraged," he stressed, "by the progress to date but we should ensure that complacency does not hinder further progress." Lord Dholakia, noting Lord Naseby's informed points on the perceived actual numbers killed during the war in Sri Lanka, said: "[t]his debate is not the place to confirm or deny what did or did not take place during the war, but it is nice to have the statistical information given by the noble Lord. "New statistical information is now available," he said, "but we must accept that this and its rejection will continue to shape the debate for some time to come, and limited purpose will be served by it in making progress towards a stable and prosperous Sri Lanka." Elucidating his point, Lord Dholakia stated: "[w]e have to move on, but the basis on which the country makes progress will be very much determined by how some of the issues are handled." In conclusion, Lord Dholakia stressed: "Sri Lanka paid a heavy price during the conflict years. This should never be allowed to happen again." "The duty of any democracy," he said, "is to protect its citizens—all citizens, irrespective of religion or ethnicity;" adding emphatically "I trust that Sri Lanka and its diaspora will play a crucial role in building a stable, democratic society."

To celebrate educationalist and campaigner for Indian independence, Sister Nivedita's 150th anniversary, UK government organisation English Heritage will put a blue plaque on her house in Wimbledon on 12 November 2017. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is attending the unveiling of the plaque along with some key delegates. London’s famous blue plaques link the people of the past with the buildings of the present. Now run by English Heritage, the London blue plaques scheme was started in 1866 and is thought to be the oldest of its kind in the world. Across the UK capital over 900 plaques, on buildings humble and grand, honour the notable men and women who have lived or worked in them. The Scottish-Irish social worker and disciple of Swami Vivekananda began her professional life as a school teacher in southwest London and set up the Ruskin School in the area. The school was to later become the inspiration for her girls' school in Kolkata, she set up in 1898 after accompanying Swami Vivekananda to India that

Swami Vivekananda with Sister Nivedita

year. Born as Margaret Elizabeth Noble, the name Nivedita or 'the dedicated one', was given to her by Swami Vivekananda. In India, she served the poor in Bengal during the times of flood, plague and famine and was a very vocal campaigner against the partition of Bengal proposed by the British in 1905. Sarada Sarkar, a London-based teacher who is leading the campaign for installing the plaque on behalf of the Ramkrishna Mission said, "We are happy that English Heritage is recognising her contribution not only in the areas of education, but

also as a campaigner of Indian Independence on her 150th birth anniversary on English soil for the first time.” Sister Nivedita briefly travelled back to London with Swami Vivekananda, arriving at the 21 High Street in Wimbledon on July 31, 1899. He stayed there for a couple of days while Sister Nivedita's family found him an accommodation nearby. The house remained Sister Nivedita's family home until January 1902, though she had permanently moved to India. CM Banerjee's week long travel also includes business meets in London and Scotland.

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ENTHUSIASTIC PRITI PATEL UNDER SCANNER Continued from page 1 Ms Patel's meetings have been a further trouble for Prime Minister Theresa May, who is already struggling with an abuse scandal that has seen the resignation of Michael Fallon as the defence secretary. The Downing Street has confirmed Patel wanted to send aid money to the Israeli army after conducting a string of secret meet-

ings with Israeli figures, including the country’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Speaker John Bercow later said he would "welcome" Ms Patel indicating that she wishes to make a statement to the Commons on November 13 about the controversy, though he further told the MPs: "That, I think, has to be for her to judge."

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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

India ranks 100th on World Bank's 'ease of doing business' list In an extraordinary achievement, India jumped 30 places to rank 100th in the World Bank's 'ease of doing business' ranking. The World Bank Group's Doing Business 2018 report, released on October 31, 190 countries were assessed based on several categories. The jump does not only highlight the ruling Narendra Modi government's steady slew of tax reforms and anti-corruption policies, it also serves as an indication that the economic narrative of the country is currently underpassing a mammoth-sized change. The report, which bases rankings on field surveys and interviews with corporate lawyers and company executives in Delhi and Mumbai, it also recognised India as one of the top five reformers in this year's assessment. India's ranking improved based on six out of the 10 parameters used to measure ease of doing business- the only large economy to pass on such a scale. It got its highest ranking on “protecting minority investors” by rising to the fourth position globally from 13th last year as the country's corporate law and securities regulations were recognised to be highly advanced. India fared worst in “dealing with construction permits”. The National Democratic Alliance has seen to have set more ambitious targets for itself, seeking an improvement in India's ranking to attract greater foreign investment. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the target of making it to the top 50 countries in the Doing Business ranking now seems achievable. “In parameters such as doing business, dealing with construction permits, enforcing contracts and register-

ing property where India is still lagging behind, there is reason to believe that we can improve our position significantly.” World Bank president Jim Yong Kim called reforms undertaken by Modi as “significant”. He added that the results would be reflected in the mid and long-term growth figures. “The reform process has been significant. We think that certainly in the medium and long term, the growth will reflect the seriousness of Prime Minister Modi's government in making those reforms,” Kim said. “The goods and services tax would be very good for Indian growth, but for now the sense is that companies are waiting until that passes before really making investment and taking action. So, our sense is that this (slowdown in growth) is temporary.” He added, “Prime Minister Modi took a different approach to our doing business report, and his approach was we are going to move up quickly and we are going to do the things that we need to do to reform the business environment.” Meanwhile, World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva said the Indian government has shown resolve in tackling difficult issues. She added that its performance in the ease of doing business has been remarkable. While the update brings

India in good light, the Indian Opposition couldn't help but wag their tongues on how “policy adventurism” and Jaitley's “adhocism” have cause economic misery. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the reports presented by the Finance Minister would not change the reality driven by “disastrous” demonetisation and “failed” goods and services tax. “The prime minister's policy adventurism coupled with the adhocism of his finance minister to deliver has caused widespread economic misery and distress,” he said. “With great responsibility, we would like to say that Jaitley has proved to be the worst FM in India's history. Hiding behind the World Bank reports will not alter this grim reality,” Surjewala said in a statement. “Crores of job losses in the informal sector have resulted in a 'cease of doing small businesses'. All this is due to the prime minister's personal adventurism in policy- making. The double whammy of demonetisation and GST has wreaked havoc for the economy.” The allegations and statements received a deserved reply as Modi stated that those who worked with the World Bank are now doubting its ranking. Speaking at the Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra at New Delhi, the PM had the

previous UPA government done some work when they were in power, then India would have achieved this milestone long back. Taking an obvious jibe at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, he said people were not able to understand the surge in India's ranking and they were not moved by its import. “Some of these people have been in the World Bank earlier. But today, they are questioning India’s ranking,” Modi said. “If reforms such as the insolvency code, bankruptcy code, commercial courts were brought in your time, then our ranking would have improved earlier itself,” he said. “Wouldn’t the country’s conditions have improved? [They] didn’t do anything and are questioning those who are doing it. Since then, everyone knows who was running the government till 2014. I am such a Prime Minister who hasn’t seen the World Bank building, while earlier those who ran the World Bank were in the seat of power.” Former prime minister Manmohan Singh had represented India on the World Bank's Board of Governors as a government official. His close aide Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the erstwhile Planning Commission, had worked with the Bank in 1979, before joining the government. Modi's brilliant speech hit the bulls eye. The current Opposition has always called foul for every time the ruling party made a move to bring the country to the forefront. One can't help but wonder how far India could come if they put all that energy into helping the government instead of creating deliberate barriers.

35,000 shell firms deposited, Rs 17,000 crore withdrawn post-demonetisation Government crackdown on “shell companies” have revealed that around 35,000 of the 2.24 Lakh companies who names have been struck off, deposited over Rs 17,000 Crore following last year's November 8 demonetisation drive. One to stand out was a company with a negative opening balance on the day the announcement was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, deposited and withdrew Rs 2484 Crore post-demonetisation. The Finance Ministry released a statement saying a company had as many as 2134 accounts and data for

such entities had been shared with enforcement authorities, including the Central Board of Direct Taxes, Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), department of financial services and the Reserve Bank of India for further action. It said that several companies have also been identified for inquiry/inspection/investigation under the Companies Act, 2013, and necessary action is underway. So far, 2 Lakh companies that were inactive for two years or more and did not file statutory reports, have been de-registered, and over 3 Lakh directors

have been disqualified. The government said, “Preliminary enquiry has shown that over 3000 disqualified directors are directors in more than 20 companies each, which is beyond the limit prescribed under the law.” Also, banks have been asked to freeze accounts of such companies, and share data with the government. 56 banks have shared information involving 58,000 companies so far, and more information is expected to be received in the next few months. The initiative is being undertaken by a special task force set up by the PMO, co-chaired by

Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia and Corporate Affairs Secretary I Srinivas. Along with several corrective measures to tighten regulations, the government is also initiating criminal investigation under new provisions of the Companies Act. The government said, “Under Section 447 of the Act, which defines fraud, stringent punishment, including imprisonment up to to 10 years, is stipulated. Further, reference has been made to the ministry of finance to include it as a Scheduled Offence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.”

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Apple India revenue doubles year-over-year

American giant Apple has reported strong quarterly results ahead of the iPhone X launch, as iPhone sales stand at 46.7 million unit, up from 45.5 million in the year-ago quarter. The company, whicvh posted its quarterly revenue of $52.6 billion, reveals an increase of 12 per cent year-over-year with international sales accounting for 62 per cent of the revenue. Quite outstanding was its India revenue which has doubled, though the exact number remains unknown. CEO Tim Cook, during his opening remarks during the earnings call, said, “Revenue from emerging markets outside of greater China was up 40 per cent, with great momentum in India, where revenue doubled year over year.” India also witnessed “double digit” growth in iPhone sales as the iPhone SE manufacturing gained momentum. CFO Luca Maestri expressed his pleasure to see double digit iPhone growth in many emerging markets including mainland China, the Middle East, Central and Eastern

Europe, India, and Mexico. “It was great to see iPad unit and revenue growth in all of our geographic segments and particularly strong results in emerging markets, including greater China, where iPad units sales were up 25 per cent year-over-year and India, which grew 39 per cent,” he said. Cook said Apple is making good progress in India and “gaining understanding of the market”. He however, admitted that the company has a “long way to go” in the country. Cook revealed that the majority of the iPhone SE units sold in the country last quarter were Made in India. “As you know, as I think we talked about before, we started manufacturing the iPhone SE there six, nine months ago so. And the majority of the iPhone Ses that we sold in the domestic market last quarter were manufactured there. And so we also have that going and are hoping that that winds up saving some amount of money over time and avoiding some of the compounding of taxes et cetera.”

ED arrests businessman in Rs 5000 Crore money laundering case The Enforcement Directorate has arrested prominent businessman Gagan Dhawan in connection with a money laundering probe into an alleged bank fraud case of over Rs 5000 Crore by Sandesara Group under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Dhawan allegedly aided bank loan frauds related to a Vadodara-based company named Sterling Biotech. An ED official said that his involvement with several other alleged illegal transactions are on their checklist. The arrest came after the ED registered a case of money laundering taking cognisance of a case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation against Sterling Biotech and its directorsChetan Jayantilal Sandesara, Dipti Chetan Sandesara, Rajbhushan Omprakash Dixit, Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara and Vilas Joshi, along with other persons involved with the bank fraud case. ED officials said Dhawan is also being

Gagan Dhawan

probed for alleged bribing of four senior Income Tax department officials as part of an earlier criminal complaint. He is reportedly a close aide of Congress leader Ahmed Patel. The Sandesara group, according to the case, had been acting as a “depository for receiving funds on behalf of persons, including public servants, and for further delivery to them at a place of convenience. The evidence collected by the Income Tax Department showed corruption of various public servants, including three senior IRS officers.”


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A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE AsianVoiceNews

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

I believe, that the recent rate rise will not have as strong an impact as many people think. A distinction needs to be made between fixed rates and floating rates. There are various names like Base Rate Tracker, Standard Variable Rate, Discounted Rate, Capped Rates and so on, however, if you strip out the various names, there are only two types of products on the market: one which goes up and down, and the other which stays fixed. If we look at the latter, the correlation between mortgage products and the base rate is not as close as it once was. Most of the mortgage products for BTLs have been a lot higher than the base rate for many years, already incorporating anticipated rate rises within their current rates; it’s easy to see why there’s not much room to fall, probably zero chance, and there’s only

AGONY AGENT Q: My agent has told me that my property isn't letting because my EPC rating is too low. Would this really be an issue? A: Before I answer that, I would like to start off with a question of my own, why have you not given your property to us to let for you? Heating and energy bills are always likely to be an area of interest to tenants, as in the current economy every penny helps. If your rating is E or below this may be a factor, but should not

affect the marketing, overall, of the property; even when the bills will increase in homes across the UK during the winter. Many landlords / investors won't be affected by this. If you are a D or above this does not stand out too much on the marketing information, however, if you are affected it might be worth making a few little changes before you have an EPC carried out, or another one carried out. Changes like secondary/double glazing, insulating cavity walls or even changing all the

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one direction to go, which is upwards. A cursory scan of products shows 75% LTV Buy To Let products floating around the 2.75% range, these are fixed rate products varying from two to five years. This is five times the new base rate. In contrast there existed a closer relationship between mortgage products and the base rate when it was around the 5% mark, in the pre credit crunch era, with it peaking at 5.75% in 2007. I remember a 90% LTV self cert mortgage product at the time offered by Mortgage Express at 4.99%, fixed for seven years; this was with a 5.25% base rate in the background. This product was priced to actually incorporate a rate drop during its term. The rate rise will of course affect those on a Base Rate Tracker and variable bulbs to A rated LEDs instead of the filament bulbs can all help. The National Landlords Association (NLA) has listed five main reasons why it believes energy efficiency is an important consideration for anyone letting their investment out. Firstly, the overall value of the property can be greatly increased if it is given some care and attention over time. Energy efficiency improvements can help to reduce the risk of damp, condensation and mould growth, and this little bit of extra effort can have many positive implications and reduced levels of

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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

rates. The effect of the rise will be felt without much time lag. The rate of 0.5% has been in existence since May 2009, with a further drop, to 0.25% in 2016. Those who took a base rate tracker or a discounted rate prior to 2009 have been on a long honeymoon period, and everyone knows honeymoons are not meant to last this long. I even heard of one borrower who was on a Discount Rate of 0.69% below base. When the rate went to 0.5% he would have been on a rate of -0.19%. This would mean, technically, the bank should be paying him every month! However, there was a clause in the contract which meant he had to make a nominal monthly payment.

the property market. The market has taken some hits in recent years, and a rate rise doesn’t help. Although, the extent of the impact this rate rise will have, in my opinion, has been exaggerated.

The real question is what impact this will have on

The market will evolve with the changes. Increasingly, we are seeing investors that are seeking opportunities further from their tradition London base. Foreign money is still coming to

work for you in the future. Not only will the improvements be demonstrated whenever you choose to sell, but its value will be maximised as a wellmaintained property will be more attractive to potential buyers.

dwelling. Another benefit to be gained from considering energy efficiency is the happiness of the tenants, something that shouldn't be overlooked when you have an empty property and are looking for new tenants.

There is more good news as the government provides money for those with a rental agreement to make these improvements. Covering cavity wall and loft insulation, dry-lining for solid walls, draught proofing and hot water installation, the Landlords Energy Saving Allowance enables landlords to potentially claim back up to £1,500 per

It is a legal requirement for landlords to provide an energy performance certificate (EPC) for any rental agreement drawn up after October 1st 2008; and the energy rating must be published when marketing the property. This must be produced by an accredited energy assessor and shows the current rating, as well as any improvements which

the UK, due to unstable geopolitical situations in countries like Saudi Arabia, Kenya and India. This combined with the soft pound means UK property is still an attractive proposition. Traditionally, foreign money would be attracted only to Central London, however, we are finding foreign investors to be far more astute and savvy and are concentrating on returns rather than postcode.

could be made. I would not say that the EER (energy efficiency rating) would be the major problem, however, having a high rating would benefit everyone all round. Please feel free to get in touch, if you would like us to help find a tenant for you.

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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

Major rejig in GST rates for goods in 28% slab

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, Will you be better off in a year? How do you make sure you are better off than just you income can provide? How about making savings work? It’s a common question of course and it fascinates me why most people cannot work out simple logical steps what they should do: Stop trying to find the one wonder-stock Look the chances of you sitting at the pub or reading the FT and finding the next hidden gem is highly remote. And even if you did, the people making the money – the really big lottery like winnings will be the ones who were the angel investors when the company was not even floated on the stock market. So, if we work under the assumption that the next secret cryptocurrency company you heard about on the internet is not the next big thing – then what is? Value you time We need also to value your time. The idea you are going to each week rejig your portfolio and monitor every move is not realistic for most people. Now don’t get me wrong, I mentor a bunch of active traders, but we do it not just for the better returns but also because we enjoy it. Most people no more enjoy actively monitoring the market than they do dieting. So we need to find a process suitable for your particular time constraints and desires. ETFs or Trading for 15 minutes daily or a buy and hold 12 month stock portfolio. You have in my view three options. The first, is buy ETFs, ie index trackers, that track the broader stock market. There. Simple. I know it is unsatisfying and you are just tracking the FTSE or Dow. But at least your savings are doing potentially better than a bank account and these index trackers do not have high running costs. The second option is one I use. I use software to scan and sift under-valued stocks (measured by their share price and their profits, with high growth (measured by there sales growth), paying good dividends. I pick each January around 14 of these companies and hold them for exactly 12 months. You can see the performance results at www.sharescope.co.uk/alpesh and email me if you want to know my latest ideas. Finally, there is also the other option I use. Which is the trading side of things. As the CEO of a fund management company, I of course have people to do this for me, but I still do my own trading weekly, if not daily due to travel. We use trading technology (algos to be precise based on artificial intelligence and machine learning (artificial neural networks to be precise) to find mathematical patterns which in the past have resulted more often than not in price trends. And then if we are right, we increase our initial small risk position, and if we are wrong, and the price moves against us – we get the hell out. It’s pretty basic stuff. But actually, it’s not rocket science that makes money, any more than rocket science leads you to lose weight if dieting. It’s just doing the right things over and over again. Alpesh.patel@tradermind.com

In a massive overhaul of the Goods and Services Tax, the Centre and states are all reviewing almost half of its items in the top bracket of 28 per cent, even allowing larger firms to file returns once a quarter instead of every month. A senior official said that the fitment committee is looking at proposals to pare rates on 150-200 items, with a majority of them being from the top bracket. The main concern for the Centre is finances as it has committed to compensate the states for revenue, while ensuring that it sticks to the fiscal consolidation plan.

Arun Jaitley

A source said, “A large number of items which were not part of any schedule faced 14 per cent tax and all these have moved into the

SBI Interest rate cuts on home, auto loans lowest at 8.30 per cent Country's largest bank, the State Bank of India now offers home loans starting at 8.30 per cent, and auto loans at 8.70 per cent. In an attempt to push retail loans, the money lender cut both, home loans and auto loan rates by 5 basis points or 0.05 percentage points. Rates have been reduced by 5 bps point in all the brackets. SBI's offering in home loan is now the lowest in the market with the reduction. In a statement, the bank said the new rates will be effective from November 1, 2017. Effective interest rate for all eligible salaried customers will be 8.30 per cent per annum for loans up to Rs 30 Lakh. Loan amount for car loans ranges from 8.70 per cent per annum to 9.20 per cent per annum as compared to earlier range of 8.75-9.25 per cent. Exact rate depends on the amount of loan and the credit score of the individual. Above the

8.30 per cent rate, an eligible home loan customer can also avail of an interest subsidy of Rs 2.67 Lakh under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana scheme. The announcement comes a day after the bank reduced the benchmark lending or marginal cost of funds based lending rate by 0.05 per cent across maturities. PK Gupta, MD, Retail and Digital Banking, SBI, said, “With this reduction in rates, we are offering lowest rates for most of our product offering in the retail loans. Lower rates along with wide distribution network and use of digital technology to enhance customer experience is a perfect package for any retail loan customer.”

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has finally published a 61-page summary report of an independent review of Royal Bank of Scotland’s mistreatment of SMEs referred to the nowdefunct Global Restructuring Group (GRG) after MPs

threatened to use Parliamentary powers to force publication. It is a sorry state of affairs that in 2017, more than a decade after the financial crash, my colleagues and I are still having to help British businesses force banks to correct their past misdemeanors. We have a worldclass banking sector, but its reputation relies on treating its customers fairly. The FCA summary examines RBS’s controversial GRG unit, initially set up after the financial crisis to help turn around struggling small businesses but instead accused of

deliberately pushing some companies into bankruptcy for its own profits. The summary confirms an earlier leak by the BBC that indicated several potentially viable businesses that went into the GRG unit suffered some sort of “inappropriate action”, be it higher borrowing costs or an increase in fees. RBS’ treatment of SME owners in the GRG unit was “insensitive, dismissive and unduly aggressive”, and in a “significant” group of cases, the bank's pricing appeared to be “at best questionable and sometimes opportunistic”.

break-up in the bills issued to consumers and instead revert to the earlier system of saying that the price is inclusive of all taxes. “The ministers have looked at the practice in other countries, such as Australia, and no one follows this model,” an officer said. The ministerial panel has also recommended that all companies be allowed to file returns on a quarterly basis to do away with complaints of higher compliance burden. It has talked about a steep cut in late fee paid by those who miss the deadline from Rs 200 to Rs 50.

top bracket. The idea is to limit the 28 per cent levy to sin and luxury goods.” The review comes amid reports that the government has raised the levy on several goods and services and growing instances of evasion, where shopkeepers are insisting that the payment be made by cash instead of through electronic means. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has already indicated his backing for single standard rate, currently split into 12 per cent and 18 per cent. A panel of five state ministers has suggested doing away with the detailed

Nisa shopkeepers to rebel against Co-op takeover A group of Nisa shopkeepers unhappy with the takeover by the Co-operative Group, reportedly aim to block the move. Shareholders are scheduled to vote on the takeover next week, however, some are opposed, believing the terms offered are unfair. Co-op announced it would acquire Nisa, jumping on the chance after Sainsbury's decided not to withdraw from its exclusive talks with the convenience grocer and wholesaler. The shopkeepers are currently taking legal advice on how to block the deal, saying it

favours smaller shareholders. Once the deal is completed, Nisa members will each receive a £20,000 payment, and payments amounting £137.5 million will be handed out to members over the next four years. Meanwhile, a Nisa spokesperson said, “The feedback from recent shareholder meetings suggests growing support for the Co-op's offer. Many convenience retailers are struggling against significant headwinds from the minimum wage, dark tobacco, Brexit, rising rents, and the entrance of larger competition into convenience.”

UK-India Business Forum to analyse bilateral ties Set to take place at The Shard, on November 28, the UK-India Business Forum will see top leaders of the country come together and discuss various aspects of the world's two fastest-growing economies. While the overarching theme for the event will be how one can help keep UK-India trade relations and investment prospects alive, the group will also hold extensive speculative talks on the inescapable challenges posed by the changing regulatory, political environment, and commercial reality of Brexit. Organised by

RBS told to get their act together!

Abhishek Sachdev

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Just yesterday, Treasury Committee chair, Nicky Morgan MP said that small business owners had lost their homes, incomes and their mental health had suffered due to the events over the years. Nicky Morgan, questioned the FCA on its handling of its review of RBS’s GRG unit and the time it is taking to publish the full report. The publication of the summary comes days after Police Scotland launches its investigation into a complaint regarding RBS’s GRG unit and are currently assessing allegations of criminality.

Shakespeare Martineau, with media support from Asian Voice, the event will see Privy Counsellor Rt Hon Professor Lord Ajay Kakkar, Abhijit Mukhopadhyay of Hinduja Group, Philip Bouverat, JCB, Matthew Crate from Moneycorp, Dr Sanjeev Kanoria of Kanoria Foundation, Austrian Anadi Bank and Advinia Health Care, Tijen Ahmet, Shakespeare Martineau, Abhinay Muthoo from the University of Warwick, and Suhas Srinivasiah – Kochhar & Co, in attendance.

Thames Valley Police conducted a similar investigation into the HBOS Reading scandal, which led to the conviction of two former HBOS employees and forced Lloyds to cancel £245m of fraudulent loans. Thus, Police Scotland’s involvement is positive news! Andrew Bailey, CEO of FCA told a parliamentary committee that it is “unfortunate” that RBS has not accepted the findings of the report (quelle surprise!) and has confirmed another investigation to examine whether it could impose additional sanctions on RBS and senior staff members. Mr Bailey, recently asked Ross McEwan CEO of RBS, “to get his act

together” regarding compensation claims. Vedanta Hedging has advised many businesses who have been forced to enter RBS’s GRG unit; often due to mis-sold interest rate swaps, including the largest GRG dispute in the country worth c£700m. Whether you have suffered at the hands of RBS’s GRG or were unfortunate enough to be a customer in any bank Business Support Unit, we are happy to have a chat.

Tel: 020 7183 2277 www.vedantahedging.com


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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

Interest rate cut reversed

Paresh Davdra is CEO and Co-Founder of RationalFX

The Bank of England raised interest rates for the first time in more than 10 years on this month, however the pound was sold off after the central bank said it expected only “very gradual” rate increases as Britain prepares to leave the European Union. The Bank’s nine rate-setters voted 7-2 to increase the Bank Rate to 0.50 percent from 0.25 percent, reversing an emergency cut made in August 2016 after the Brexit vote. They sighted the Brexit talks were likely to be the biggest factor for the next BoE move on rates being either up or down depending on how negotiations progress. The two Monetary Policy Committee members who voted to keep rates steady, deputy governors Jon Cunliffe and Dave Ramsden, said wage growth was too weak to justify a rate rise now. The Bank said debt servicing costs paid by British households and companies would remain “historically very low” despite Thursday’s hike as a number of fixed rate loans roll off and refinancing would be at considerably lower rates. The Bank stuck with its forecasts that Britain’s economy would grow by 1.6 percent next year and by 1.7 percent in 2019. Later that week Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney said that failure to secure a trade

deal with the EU following Brexit will damage UK economic growth in the short term. When questioned about the Brexit deal in an interview with a top British TV broadcaster Carney said "In the short term, without question, if we have materially less access (to the EU) than we have now, this economy is going to need to reorient and during that period of time it will weigh on growth." Carney also added that the lack of progress in the ongoing negotiations is hindering the growth of British business investment which would otherwise flourish given the strength of the world economy and other factors. Apart from the Bank of England’s decision to raise interest rates for the first time since July 2007.November also saw a cabinet reshuffle amongst top members of UK parliament with British Prime Minister Theresa May appointing North Yorkshire MP Julian Smith as her new chief whip. Smith who initially voted to remain in the EU, replaces Gavin Williamson who has since been promoted to defence secretary although he has never held ministerial office. The euro fell after the Spanish government revealed that it is poised to stall Catalonia’s autonomy after leader Carles Puigdemont refused to abandon the push for

GBP/EUR

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independence. The plans were backed by the Spanish Supreme Court which declared the October 1 vote invalid and said that it violated the constitution, which renders the country as indivisible. Although article 155 has never been invoked, there are now increasing concerns that the moves could trigger further unrest in the region after mass demonstrations in the run up to the ballot earlier this month. The ECB prolonged its bond buying programme by nine months to September 2018, and left the door open to keep buying after that. It said it would begin paring its monthly purchases by half to 30 billion euros ($34.90 billion) starting in January. ECB chief Mario Draghi said “an ample degree of monetary stimulus remains necessary”, as inflation has yet to show signs of a sustained upward trend. From January of next year The European Central Bank will reduce the amount of assets it buys every month to €30bn from the current level of €60bn. The program could finish by the end of next year. Inflation is likely to be below the 2% ECB target for the next few years. The recovery in the eurozone is gaining momentum, so the ECB has opted to reduce some of its stimulus. The ECB kept the key interest rate for the countries that

GBP/USD

use the euro unchanged at 0%, and its deposit rate at -0.4%. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York confirmed that William Dudley, among the most influential monetary policymakers throughout the financial crisis and its aftermath, expects to retire by mid-2018. The US economy expanded at 3% during the three months to the end of September, which was stronger than expected. Analysts had been expecting a sharp slowdown after back-to-back hurricanes battered several states in the quarter. But consumer spending held steady, despite a drop in home building investment Consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, added 1.6 percentage points to growth last quarter. That was driven by motor vehicles, as Americans replaced cars damaged by the storms, while services spending slowed to the weakest pace since 2013. The Federal Reserve refrained from raising interest rates at its policy meeting and said the latesummer hurricanes likely will not have much longer-term impact on overall economic activity. There was little in the post-meeting statement Wednesday to indicate that the Fed would hold off on raising rates again soon.

Weekly Currencies

As of Tuesday 7th November 2017 @ 3.20pm GBP - INR = 85.27

USD - INR = 65.02 EUR - INR = 75.3

GBP - USD = 1.31 GBP - EUR = 1.13

EUR - USD = 1.16 GBP - AED = 4.82

GBP - CAD = 1.68 GBP - NZD = 1.9

GBP - AUD = 1.72

GBP - ZAR = 18.63

GBP - HUF = 353

www.rationalfx.com

Information provided by RationalFX. None of the information on this page constitutes, nor should be construed as financial advice. The exchange rates used are the commercial foreign exchange rates provided by RationalFX. For a live quote or to find out more about how RationalFX can help you, call us on 0207 220 8181.

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INTERNATIONAL

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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

South Africa's Gupta scandal crosses seas, reaches the UK

A British peer has demanded UK regulators probe South Africa's powerful Gupta business family for “possible criminal complicity” in money laundering, stating that internal warnings on large cash transfers out of SA by the family were not heeded by HSBC. Former Labour cabinet minister Peter Hain informed the House of Lords last week that he had asked the UK Treasury to seek a probe into allegations against an unknown British bank for illicit transfers of funds on behalf of the Guptas. The former anti-apartheid campaigner said, “Money laundering is taking place. Billions of rand is being stolen out of the country and often recycled back.” Citing the scandal that broke all hell loose, where money meant for an empowerment farming project diverted to pay for a lavish Gupta wedding, Hain said, “The Vrede dairy farm corruption scandal was a classic case of the laundering, and poor black farmers were robbed from grants from government.” He said that the illegal transactions between the Gupta family's South African bank accounts and the British bank were at some point flagged as suspicious. Hain also said the bank headquarters ordered that this be ignored. The 67 year old has requested that the evidence he has be handed to the serious fraud and the national crime agency. The latest allegations should be one of the major sources of worries for South

Atul, Rajesh and Ajay Rajesh Gupta

African President Jacob Zuma. Hain is known for his persistent campaign to internationalise fight against apartheid, and other actions like leading calls for a boycott of the South African rugby and cricket teams. Zuma's relentless exploitation of the post-apartheid state of its credibility has always pinched those who were raised in the country and are a part of its history. Such international South African activists have more or less made it their business to internationalise the anti-corruption agenda. The Gupta business empire and its chumminess with the Zuma administration has stripped South African government of its integrity, and what was once just a slew of allegations of systemic political corruption, has now evolved into a full investigation, in the state and abroad. The Guptas' laundry list of crimes include treason, extortion, fraud, racketeering, money laundering, and collusion. Now with Lord Hain on the scandal's tail, things have inadvertently heated up.

Hain also pointed at UK's Standard Chartered for holding accounts for the Indian businessmen. The banks however said it flagged its Gupta accounts to regulators in 2013, closing them down the next year. He said that some banks do not learn from their mistakes. Both,

Peter Hain

HSBC and Standard Chartered have made many efforts to clean up their acts, however, there are now questions as to whether HSBC went far enough. While sources in the bank claimed they did not know of the Gupta accounts, one questions the validity of international banks like HSBC not being aware of their clients and their money.

Sikh boy assaulted in the US, Swaraj seeks report WASHINGTON: A 14 year old Sikh boy was punched and knocked down by his classmate, less than a block outside of the city's Kentridge High School. The assault was recorded and posted on Snapchat. The video shows the classmate follow the victim and suddenly punch him, knocking him to the ground. The boy endures several more punches as he attempts to protect his head an crawl away. While the victim's father said his turban-wearing son was targeted because of his descent, the school district said the event was not rooted in hate, and was in fact a continuation of an earlier classroom dispute. Declined to be identified, the victim's father said, “I am feeling so, so bad because this happened with my son. He never interacted with this guy.

Sushma Swaraj

He never know his name, I don't want to see this happen again with my son or anyone else. I don't want to see this.” Communications Director for the Kent School District, Chris Loftis said the student who attacked the boy and the student who filmed the encounter will be appropriately punished. Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has taken notice of the incident and asked the

Indian Embassy in the USA to report. She tweeted, “I have seen news reports about the beating of a Sikh boy in US. I have asked @IndianEmbassy to send me a report on the incident.” The news prompted outrage, with people from the region demanding justice. The teen's father said it wants peace for them and everyone. “I don't want to see this happen again with my son or anyone else. I don't want to see this,” he said.

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Several 'House of Cards' employees allege Spacey made environment "toxic"

DA to report Guptas to the RBI South Africa's Democratic Alliance has stated that it plans to write to the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Urjit Patel to report the Guptas' accounts with the Bank of Baroda. The letter comes in terms of Section 36, that states the RBI has power to “caution or prohibit banking companies or any banking company in particular against entering into any particular transaction.” DA spokesperson Natasha Mazzone said recent evidence produced at Parliament's Inquiry, findings in the Public Protector's 'State of Capture' Report, and the Bank of Baroda's own attempts to close the family's accounts, is more than enough reason for the RBI to prohibit further transactions between BoB and the Guptas. “The DA is of the belief that the Gupta family could be using their accounts with the Bank of Baroda to funnel South African public money out of the country. The Guptas are at the centre of State Capture and have allegedly used their close ties to President Jacob Zuma to raid our state coffers for their own personal financial benefit. The DA will, therefore, request that the Reserve Bank of India urgently prohibit the Bank of Baroda from entering into any further transactions with the Guptas, as the money the Gupta family is transferring into their Bank of Baroda accounts was possibly obtained through illegal means,” Mazzone said.

LOS ANGELES: Eight people who currently work or were associated in American series 'House of Cards' have alleged that actor Kevin Spacey made the set a “toxic” work environment through a series of sexual harassment. A former production assistant in the crew has said that Spacey sexually assaulted him during one of the show's early seasons. His behaviour has been termed as “predatory” with many young male staff members saying it included non-consensual touching. The accusations came forward less than a week after actor Anthony Rapp said Spacey made sexual advances towards him in 1985, when he was 14 years old. Spacey issued an apology soon after, also choosing the time to come out of the closet. Production of the show's Season 6 has been shut down. Production company MRC released a statement saying they have implemented “an anonymous complaint hotline, crisis counsellors, and sexual harassment legal advisors for the crew.”

Be ready to fight, win wars: Jinping

BEIJING: President Xi Jinping has instructed Chinese armed forces to improve their combat capabilities and readiness for war. The remarks were made while inspecting the Central Military Commission joint battle command centre as its commander-in-chief. He was quoted as saying, “The CMC should lead the armed forces to be ready to fight and win wars, and to undertake the missions and tasks of the new era entrusted to them by the party and the people.” This is the second time Xi highlighted the role of the armed forces, since he began his second term. In his meeting with military top brass, he ordered them to be absolutely loyal to the party, focus on how to win wars, pioneer reforms and innovation, scientifically manage commanding a unit, lead troops in accordance with the strictest standards, and to be in the forefront in complying with laws.

Fake meat, speed cakes feed North Korea's stomach

NEW DELHI: North Korean defectors have often spoken about the endemic poverty and chronic hunger suffered by the isolationist country. Despite a Public Distribution System (PDS) that guarantees ration coupons to 70 per cent of the population, over 61 per cent North Koreans continue to depend on informal, private markets as their most importance source of food. A survey of defectors said that official channels like PDS only accounted for 23.5 per cent of people's food intake. Private markets have a robust street food culture, becoming staples of the country's diet. The items that are high protein and fibre content. Include injogogi, a fake meat made from pressing and rolling soy bean oil residue, to speed cakes- cornmeal sweets.

Pak welcomes US mediation amid tensions with India ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has said his country will welcome involvement of the United States in easing tensions with India. However, it is opposed to President Donald Trump's proposal to give a bigger role to New Delhi in wartorn Afghanistan. In a media addressing after the fourth round of PakistanUS Track-II diplomatic talks in the capital, Asif said handing over an expanded role could result in more chaos. He said the US has assured Pakistan that New Delhi's role in Afghanistan will only be limited to economic assistance. “Pakistan welcomes mediation by the United States in easing its ties with India as Pakistan has always opted for comprehensive dialogue for peaceful neighbourhood,” he said. He added that

Khawaja Asif

Afghanistan should deal with the issue of terrorists safe havens which are used to launch attack in Pakistan. Asif emphasised that SAARC should be made active and steps should be taken for promotion of regional trade as the region has long been suffering due to instability in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan's effective counter-terrorism efforts have dismantled the surge of terrorist networks. “Self defence and self-

interest being our first priority, we are fully committed to protect the sovereignty of our motherland,” he said. The minister said Pak would not allow its soil to be used against any other country. “In the era of challenging and complex international relations, states should focus on long-term partnerships and cooperation.” Pakistan has reached out to other regional countries and fora like SAARC in its efforts for peace in its neighbourhood. Stressing that intelligence sharing is imperative for improving border management, Asif said the US should share timely intelligence and Pakistan will take action. “With peace and stability in Afghanistan as our ultimate goal, we have been and are ready to extend every possible cooperation to achieve that end.”


WORLD-INDIA

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Saudi's sweeping purge, 11 princes, ministers arrested RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's sweeping arrests of 11 princes, including billionaire investor prince Alwaleed bin Talal, has put the country on a path to reformation. In a massive crackdown, the dozens of current and former ministers were arrested on claims of corruption. Parallely, head of the Saudi National Guard, once a leading contender to the throne, the navy chief, and the economy minister were replaced in a series of high-profile sackings. The crackdown was led immediately after a new anti-corruption commission, headed by powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was established by royal decree, over the weekend. State media reported that the princes, four current and several former ministers were arrested as the commission launched a probe into old cases such as floods that devastated the Red Sea city of Jeddah in 2009. The commission's goal is reportedly to “preserve public money, punish corrupt people and those who exploit their positions.” An aviation source said security forces had grounded private jets in

Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

CIA files reveal Osama followed J&K news

WASHINGTON: The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) released 4,70,000 additional files seized in May 2011, when US Navy SEALs captured the Abbottabad compound and shot Osama bin Laden dead. Laden closely followed developments in Kashmir, and trial of PakistaniAmerican terrorist David Coleman Headley in the 2008 Mumbai attack case. The documents include his son's wedding video and diaries left by the militant. Also found was an Indian Express article titled 'Omar Sheikh's Pak handler Ilyas Kashmiri also handled Headley'. Also saved on his computer was an article titled, 'India to send magistrate to US to record Headley's statement'. Documents bring to light Laden's interest in news related to Kashmir and other terrorists.

Mohammed bin Salman

Jeddah, possibly in a bid to prevent any high-profile leaders from leaving. The purge came less than two weeks after Prince Mohammed welcomed thousands of global business giants to Riyadh for an investment summit, showcasing his economic reform drive for a post-oil era. Analysts said many of those detained were resistant to the Prince's aggressive foreign policy that includes boycott of Gulf neighbour Qatar. The crackdown is more than a minor family dispute. “The unusual arrest of prominent figures close to the Saudi royal family this weekend is a big deal. It is a part of unprecedented and hasty measures that could

have tremendous repercussions on Saudi Arabia and the region. Keeping in mid that Bin Salman is still crown prince, the succession after his father's death or retirement will not be smooth,” said Abdeslam Maghraoui, professor of political science at Duke University. When King Salman took over power in 2015, after the death of former king Abdullah, he was 79, and already too old for a world leader. His coronation kicked off amongst apprehensions over his alleged battle with a form of dementia. It was Bin Salman, who was 29 at the time, who rose to power after being appointed defense minister back then. He left no time in exercising his new influence, and it won't be

Texas church shooting: AF admits failure to report shooter’s past crimes TEXAS: Devin Patrick Kelley, the gunman who killed 26 people at a small-town Texas church reportedly had a history of domestic violence, and able to buy weapons only because the Air Force did not submit his criminal history to the FBI as per military rules. Kelley, who fired at least 450 rounds at helpless worshippers on Sunday morning, had sent threatening text messages to his motherin-law, member of First Baptist, before the attacks. He had served in the Air Force from January 5, 2010, to May 9, 2014. He was formally ousted in 2012 after he choked his wife and struck her son hard enough to fracture his skull. The incident took place in a tiny town of Sutherland Springs, where grieving townspeople are currently reeling from their losses. Victims ranged from the ages of 18 months to 77 years, and included multiple members of several families. Wife of the church pastor Sherri Pomeroy, who was out of town like her husband, when the attack happened, said, “Our church was not comprised of members or parishioners. We were a

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very close family. Now most of our church family is gone.” The couple's teenaged daughter Annabelle is amongst those killed. While Kelley's mother-in-law too attended services there, the sheriff said she was not at church on the unfortunate day. The shooter, based on evidence at the scene, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he was chased by bystanders, one of whom was armed. The 26 year old also used his cellphone to tell his father he had been shot and did not think he would survive. Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr said once the shooting began, there was probably “no way” for congregants to escape. Dressed in black tactical

gear, the gunman fired an assault rifle as he walked down the centre aisle during worship services. He turned around and continued shooting on his way out of the building. About 20 people were wounded, with 10 of them still hospitalised in critical condition. President Donald Trump who is one trip to Asia, condemned the attack, stating the mass shooting wasn't a “guns situation”, but is a “mental health problem at the highest level.” He called the shooting an “act of evil” and denounced the violence in “a place of sacred worship” and pledged full support of the federal government. He also ordered that all US flags would be flown half-mast to honour those killed.

Al-Waleed bin Talal

far-fetched to say he was the driving force behind Saudi's decision to intervene in neighbouring Yemen's civil war in 2015. The recent crackdown can be seen as an extension of his ongoing power grab. “The royal family has always been secretive about managing its internal affairs,” Maghraoui explains. “The arrests have now appended that quiet, implicit arrangement, opening the way for public conflict and power jockeying among royals and between tribes, families, and religious conservatives.”

Twitter steps up security after Trump’s account briefly deactivated

WASHINGTON: Twitter has boosted security measures after a rogue employee cut of President Donald Trump's account. The social network had initially maintained that the account had been “inadvertently deactivated due to human error” but later indicated it was done intentionally by a departing worker. Twitter said it has Donald Trump implemented “safeguards to prevent this from happening again.” A tweet from a senior employer said, “We won't be able to share all details about our internal investigation or updates to our security measures, but we take this seriously and our teams are on it.” The internet rejoiced during the 11 minutes of deactivation, with several users calling the unnamed employee a “hero”. Trump reacted 12 hours after the shutdown. He tweeted, “My Twitter account was down for 11 minutes by a rogue employee. I guess the word must finally be getting out-and having an impact.”


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INDIA

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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

Haasan launches whistleblower app to fight corruption

CHENNAI: Actor Kamal Haasan has launched a whistleblower app Maiam Whistle, in an aim to create a public platform and reach out to people. The 63 year old who is expected to launch a political party, said he would be embarking on tour of Tamil Nadu soon. “My dream is to create a good Tamil Nadu. It is important to strengthen the base, before launching the party. There is no need or no hurry to announce the name of the party,” he said. His app is undergoing software testing and will be made available in January. The actor sought the help of the news media to further his cause. “I do not want to be to the left or the right, and be at the centre, which is why I have named it Maiam Whistle. It is an app through which you can make your complaints and we will address the problems. The product is being beta tested. About 20-25 people are involved in it. Hopefully, we will be able to bring it you by January. This app will be a continuous pressure on whoever is in the government. In a reference to the Ashoka Chakra, he said, “My

dream is to make Tamil Nadu a state with maximum virtuous cycles. Doing one good deed will sow the seeds for more good deeds, forming a virtuous cycle. Our people are virtuous, but it has not translated into action. The virtuous cycle has turned into a vicious cycle because of taint.” Haasan addressed the controversy surrounding his statement on Hindu terror. He stated that he definitely did not want to hurt sentiments of people. “I did not use the word terror, the word I used was 'extreme', like some of my fans who love me.” About his prospective party, he said, “Looking at the larger goal, longer time, so have to make the party ready for it. Working on structural part. The reason why they (people of Tamil Nadu) want a change is probably the reason why they will follow me.” About his agenda, he said, “The immediate concern is to announce the party's name and when we might contest elections. I take six months to even prepare for a film. So I'm trying to take time and learn what's needed. You can't ask someone what the child's name is when they say they are pregnant.”

Kamal Haasan

In a column for Tamil weekly Ananda Vikatan, Haasan expressed his views on Hindu right-wing groups. He wrote, “In the past, Hindu right-wing groups would not indulge in violence but hold a dialogue with opposite parties on their arguments. But this old tactic was defeated and they started using muscle power. They started indulging in violence. The right-wing cannot challenge anyone asking the question: show me one Hindu terrorist. Terror has spread into their camp as well.” The remark attracted sharp criticism, mainly from the BJP. GVL Narasimha Rao, national spokesperson of the ruling party, even compared Haasan to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed. “Today, when Kamal

Haasan makes similar comments, he is actually joining the ranks of P Chidambaram, Hafiz Saeed, and is possible angling to become an extension of the Congress party.” Haasan's column was in reply to a question raised by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan about Hindutva forces' efforts to make inroads in Tamil Nadu. The BJP described his remarks as “myopic and brazen”, and called him a “wannabe MGR”. RSS ideologue Rakesh Sinha said that it's “not the beginning but end of his public image/political career before it could even start. “Kamal Haasan must apologise for hurting Hindu civilisation, defaming it, trying to create provocation for his petty political end,” he tweeted. Haasan has for months been talking of launching his own political party. He said, “World over, there is a move towards fascism and a leaning toward the right-wing. But this is a temporary trend, it won't win. There is an attempt to bring back regressive thinking in music, art, to make it right-wing, not just in Tamil Nadu, but throughout the country.”

EPS claims swift action to prevent flooding in Chennai

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS), deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, and other leaders visited rain-affected areas in Chennai, expediting relief works besides work on removing stagnated water. The CM visited areas including Royapuram, RK Nagar, Mudichur, and Perungalathur, where he inspected medical camps and relief shelters for those affected by the downpour. EPS said that despite receiving 36 cm of rain that lashed

continuously for three days, the government sprung into action, removing storm water immediately without allowing it to stagnate anywhere. “On October 31, Chennai received 14 cm of rain. On November 1, four cm of rain and on November 2, 18 cm of rain lashed the city. So, within three days, there was 36 cm rain in Chennai. Water did not stagnate in any part of the city and steps have been taken to remove stagnated water immediately,” he said. “The late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had announced a

Haryana teachers to work as priests

NEW DELHI: An order asking government teachers to volunteer at the Kapal Mochan Mela in Yamunanagar district has created a massive row. The Haryana government allegedly asked teachers to perform duties of a 'pujari' or priest during the festival, prompting a protest by the teachers association. Jaidev Arya, state advisor to the Haryana Teachers Association, called the order a “Tuqhlaki farman” (diktat). He said, “It is not a teacher's job to work as priest,” adding that in case the state decides to act against teachers, a protest will be launched by the association. Issued by the Department of Education, the order asked teachers to perform religious duties during the festivals. However, Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar said the directive was not issued by the

ML Khattar

state government. He said, “This could be a directive of the local administration, not our.” Yamunanagar district education officer has now sought an explanation from teachers who failed to turn up for the training ahead of the Mela . “Teachers are supposed to teach, they should be allowed to stay in school and do their job. Teachers are getting dragged into too many non-teaching jobs,” Arya said.

scheme in the State Assembly for ensuring free flow of stormwater through proper stormwater drain to a stretch of 386 km and in the first phase, allocated Rs 1,100 crore. So far, stormwater drain has been laid for around 300 km. The rest of the works would be completed at a cost of Rs 1,800 crore with financial assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA),” he said. When asked about Madras High Court's directive that encroachments on waterways should be removed, he said the

government had been removing them without any delay. He visited a shelter at Perungalathur in Kancheepuram district, where 250 people were staying. He distributed food, dhotis, saris and blankets to the affected people. As many as 10,640 people have been affected by heavy rains in Chennai. They all are currently accommodated in 114 relief camps, while 295 medical camps, including 15 mobile camps have been functioning to help those affected.

Punjab stops social security pension to 1.64 lakh people

CHANDIGARH: After finding 82,533 fake social security pension beneficiaries across the state, Punjab's ruling Congress has ordered cancellation of payment to all the accounts in effect from April 2017. Also, pension benefits have also been stopped to 82,462 beneficiaries who were not found at their given address during the re-verification drive. After coming to power this year, Amarinder Singh's government had ordered re-verification of all 19.89 lakh such beneficiaries in the state. 96 per cent of the process has been carried out, in which it was found that pension was being withdrawn on the name of 65,743 deceased beneficiaries. Recovery of illegal pension amount from fake beneficiaries, and departmental action against delinquent officials will begin once the

process is completed. Social Security and Development of Women and Children director, Kavita Singh said, “We have stopped payments to fake beneficiaries from April onwards as the pension amount has been disbursed by the government till March only.” She however said there may be cases where the pension beneficiary was not available at the given address when the re-verification team went. So the government is giving people some time for an explanation. “Thereafter, if the committee finds the reason genuine on re-verification, the social security pension would be restarted.” When asked about the recovery of money, Singh said, “That is the second stage. First we have to verify the reasons behind receiving such benefits and then we'll see what is to be done.”

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Karnataka pontiff fathers 9th child at 82

KALABURAGI: Peetadipathi of the Sharana Basaveshwara Samsthana in Kalaburagi, Sharanabasappa Appa had his ninth child, a boy from his wife last week, at the age of 82. He has five daughters from his first wife and three daughters from his second wife, who is 48 years old. Appa's nephew confirmed the news saying, “The baby was born in a hospital in Mumbai. We are happy.” The pontiff had longed for a son as he wanted a male heir to take over authority of the mutt which reportedly has properties worth Rs 100 Crore. The group is highly influential in Hyderabad and neighbouring states of Maharashtra and Telangana.

Dengue deaths a health emergency: Stalin

CHENNAI: DMK president MK Stalin has called the dengue deaths in Tamil Nadu a “health emergency”, urging Governor Banwarilal Purohit to direct the state Chief Secretary to take appropriate action to curb it. The statement came a day after state Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said 35 persons had died due to the disease in the state. Stalin said in the interest of the people and in view of the health emergency, the Governor should immediately intervene and order the Chief Secretary to take appropriate action. He also urged the Governor to direct the top officials to take steps on a “war-footing to halt the everyday deaths due to dengue.” 10,032 cases of fever were reported in the state since January this year, out of which, 35 people died of dengue.

Cartoonist arrested for “indecent” portrayal of CM CHENNAI: Popular freelance cartoonist G Bala was arrested by the crime branch wing last week, for a cartoon he posted on social media criticising the district administration and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. The arrest was made on the basis of a complaint filed by Tirunelveli District Collector Sandeep Nandui, who was also caricatured in the cartoon along with the city police chief. Journalists across Chennai staged a protest on Monday in response to the action. The cartoon was uploaded a couple of days after a man and his wife set themselves and their two kids afire due to harassment by a money-lender. The incident had attracted widespread condemnation from political parties and civil society groups over usury.

Haryana govt signs Rs 20,000 cr worth MoU for logistics parks

CHANDIGARH: Haryana state government has signed a memorandum of understanding with integrated trade facilitation services organisation, Verbind, in a bid to set up a logistics and trading hub in the region. The place is expected to attract Rs 20,000 Crore investment as stated in a release from the CII. Spread over an area of 600 acres near Gurugram, the hub is also expected to generated employment for six lakh people. The government will facilitate Verbind's efforts to obtain necessary permissions, registrations, approvals, and clearances with reference to the projects from relevant department, in line with existing rules, policies and regulations.

Punjab to have new law to tackle crime

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has stated that draft Punjab Control of Organised Crime Act legislation to arm security forces with more teeth to tackle criminals, gangsters, and radical forces is currently in the process of finalisation. Speaking in Patiala, he said, “The new law would soon be enacted to control the spread of crime and hatred in the State.” He said Pakistan’s ISI was constantly trying to revive terrorism in Punjab, but his government would not allow it at any cost.


HERITAGE HISTORY

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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

Dr. Hari Desai

When Emperor Aurangzeb fell in Love

Aurangzeb was only fourteen years of age, he was appointed the Governor of Deccan. He was known as Sultan (Prince) Muhi-ud-Din Muhmmad

Hira Bai died and Alamgir took vow not to drink or listen to music Mughal ruler loved Dara Shukoh’s widow but did not use authority

were characterized by violent clashes that pitted brother against brother and son against father.” And even the Hindu rulers were no exception to this tradition of violent clashes! While referring to the history of one of the most ruthless and heartless Emperor Aurangzeb, one would be surprised to come across not just one but two of his love stories which hardly matched his personality. When Aurangzeb was only fourteen years of age, he was appointed the Governor of Deccan. He was known as Sultan (Prince) Muhi-udDin Muhmmad. Emperor Shah Jahan and his most beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, had four Princes and two Princesses, Jahanara Begum and Roshanara Begum. Mumtaz died early and the Emperor is said to have the Taj Mahal built at Agra in her memory. On her death, the Emperor is famously said to have gone into deep mourning, abandoning imperial duties and withdrawing to the confines of his palace. The Emperor depended so much on his eldest son, Dara Shukoh, and his eldest daughter, Jahanara, and both tried their level best to manipulate the palace affairs. Of course, the younger daughter, Roshanara, was closed to Aurangzeb, and supported him in becoming the Emperor and even in his love affairs too. The historians, in India and Pakistan as well, talk about the eighteen year old Prince falling in love with a Hindu slave girl, Hira Bai, and even willing to break his vow not to drink wine! Parvez Mahmood writes in ‘The Friday Times’ of Lahore, Pakistan: “..it is remark-

H

is detractors consider him “a treacherous and insatiable tyrant” who was ruthless as well as a heartless ruler who not only imprisoned his Emperor father, Shah Jahan, but also managed to get his own brothers - Dara Shukoh, Shah Shuja and Murad - killed to ascend to the throne of Delhi. We are talking about one of the most prominent Mughal Emperors, Alamgir Aurangzeb (3 November 1618-3 March 1707) who ruled over Hindustan for 49 years (1658-1707). There is a Persian expression “Ya takht ya tabut”(either the throne or the grave). European travellers have recorded the brutal, bloody succession battles that engulfed the Mughal royal family. “Emperor Shah Jahan himself ordered the murder of two of his brothers, Khusrau in 1622 and Shahriyar in 1628, and, for good measure, also executed two nephews and two male cousins upon seizing the throne in 1628, records Audrey Truschke in her well-researched book “Aurangzeb: The man and myth”. She adds: “Circumstantial evidence suggests that Shah Jahan’s father, Jahangir, bore responsibility for the death of Danyal, Jahangir’s youngest brother ( the ostensible cause was alcohol poisoning). Even the early days of Mughal rule under Babur and Humayun

Prince Aurangzeb

able that the details of this passionate relationship, between a conservative prince and a slave girl, have entered the history books through multiple reliable sources. The incident has been mentioned by Niccolao Manucci in his contemporaneous detailed autobiography titled ‘Storia do Mogor’ or ‘Mogul India 1653-1708, vol. I’ and by Nawab Samsam-ud-Daula Shah Nawaz Khan in his often quoted ‘Ma’asir al-Umara’. The incident has also been mentioned in detail by Aurangzeb’s biographer Hamiduddin Khan Nimchah in ‘Ahkam-eAurangzeb, written in 1640.” Even Heramb Chaturvedi, the Indian historian, in his Hindi book ‘Do Sultan, Do Badshah aur Unka Pranay-Parivesh’ published by Vani Prakashan of Delhi, quotes various non-fictional

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Hira Bai Zainabadi

Aurangzeb’s love for her, she offered him a glass of wine and when he was about to drink, Hira Bai took it away. Another version is Aurangzeb started drinking with her and enjoyed music and dance in her company. Meanwhile, Hira Bai fell sick and died. She was buried at Aurangabad. Aurangzeb made a vow never to drink wine, nor to listen to music again. Perhaps his heart died with the passing away of his one true love-Hira Bai Zainabadi, but when he became the Emperor after slaughtering his brothers, his heart again started beating for his elder brother Dara Shukoh’s third wife, Rana-e-Dil. Nadira Begum, the first wife of Dara, swallowed poison and Udaipuri Begum(Georgia), the second, volunteered to join the Emperor’s harem. Despite pleading repeatedly, Rana refused. Aurangzeb did not force her and granted a pension due to her as the widow of his elder brother! Next Column: Nehru opposed the “Quit India” Resolution (The writer is a Socio-political Historian. E-mail: haridesai@gmail.com)

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sources when he writes about the Prince and the Emperor, Aurangzeb, falling in love twice and expressing his genuine love without using authority. In 1636, Aurangzeb was travelling to Kirki, the place of his court(now known as Aurangabad) from Delhi and decided to make a stop at Burhanpur to pay respect to his maternal aunt, Salah Bano, sister of Mumtaz Mahal. His aunt was married to Khan-i-Zaman Saif Khan, who was the Subedar of Burhanpur or Commander of Artillery. Burhanpur, about 220 km from Aurangabad, is located on the outer bend on the right bank of river Tapti. In the inner bend was located the village of Zainabad and a garden named Ahu Khana(deer park), which was the royal garden. Parvez Mahmood notes :

“Since Aurangzeb was a member of the family, the ladies of the harem of the Subedar were not in total seclusion. There in the garden, Aurangzeb’s eyes locked on to one girl who was holding a branch of a tree and humming a tune. He was mesmerized and dazzled by the sweet melody and striking beauty of the girl. He sank to the ground and then, visibly disoriented, lay down, unable to stand on his feet.” When his aunt came to know about his condition, she came running but could not understand his problem till at around midnight he went to her and told about the girl. She was Hira Bai Zainabadi, a dancer and singer who belonged to the local village Zainabad. Salah Bano was so scared about how her husband would react about Aurangzeb setting his eyes on the girl. Aurangzeb was accompanied by his close friend and confident, Murshid Quli Khan, the Dewan (Chief Minister) of Deccan. He confided in Murshid who volunteered to kill Saif Khan and invite death sentence to free the girl from Saif’s harem. The Prince never wanted to see his aunt a widow and decided to send Murshid to approach Saif Khan with a request to release the girl to him. Saif did not object but asked Murshid to pay his respect to the Prince and was to convey his reply through his wife. Since Saif Khan knew about the harem of Aurangzeb, he wanted Chattar Bai, a concubine of Aurangzeb in exchange. Salah Bano went to Aurangzeb and conveyed the message which was agreeable to the Prince. When the exchange was traded, once Hira Bai wanted to test

 

 

   



  



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IAS aspirant gang-raped for 3 hours, police fails to act

A 19 year old student studying for the Indian Administrative Service, was tied up and gangraped for three hours by four men in Bhopal, who took tea and gutka breaks during the ordeal. Things were only worsened when the police reportedly failed to act on their feet, and instead sat on the woman's complaint for hours, refusing to investigate, until she and her parents found two of the rapists and dragged them to the police station. The woman, who had already undergone undeserved agony, was alleged-

Key accused: Golu Bihari and Amar Bhuntu

ly accused of making up a “filmy” story by the first police officer she approached. Senior officer Dharmendra Singh

informed that the officer in question, sub-inspector RN Tekam has been suspended, reluctantly admitted a shocking 11-hour

delay in filing a case. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister suspended five other polic officers as outrage and protests grew in the city. Police officials have also been accused of trying to shush the crime. The teenager was assaulted near the city's Habibganj Railway station, 100 metres from a railway police post. While she usually took a train from the station to her hometown after her coaching classes for the IAS, that evening she decided to take a shorter route. The woman was grabbed by one of the

Paradise Papers: World's best turn out to be the worst tax payers Continued from page1 company, Sun Group, founded by Nand Lal Khemka, is listed as Appleby’s second-largest client internationally, with over 118 different offshore entities. Other Indian names in the records include firms like SNCLavalin, Ziquista Healthcare, and individuals like Amitabh Bachchan, corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, actor Sanjay Dutt's wife Manyatta who figured under her former name Dilnashin. Also on the list is Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha. At a time when the CBI is making efforts to extradite liquor baron Vijay Mallya, Appleby's documents show how Diageo, the company which acquired United Spirits

Justin Trudeau

Limited, waived millions of dollars worth of loans taken by offshore companies like USL. There are also scores of documents on the GMPR Group. Also, Indian corporates like

Jindall Steel, Apollo Tyres, Havells, Hindujas, Emaar MGF, Videocon, the Hiranandani Group, and DS Construction have also found a place in the list. While setting up offshore entities for corporate restructuring or expansion may not be illegal, it raises an important issue on how firms like Appleby help MNCs exploit loopholes in law to avoid legitimate taxes. The company's Indian clients are all prominent corporates and companies that eventually have come under the scrutiny of investigating agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate.

Global Networking Paradise Papers have also exposed a Russian firm's investments in Twitter and Facebook, ties between Russia and US President Donald Trump's billionaire commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, secret dealings of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's chief fundraiser, and offshore interests of over 120 international politicians, including former Pakistan prime minister Shaukat Aziz. Also revealed are confidential details of offshore traces of spy planes purchased by the United Arab Emirates, and Barbados explosives company of a Canadian engineer who attempted to build a “super gun” for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Tanishq continues its retail expansion in Ahmedabad- Re-launches its Satellite store in a swankier format

Tanishq, India's most trusted jewellery brand, continues its retail expansion in Gujarat and rings in festive fervor with the expansion of one of its top performing stores in the country. The Satellite store was inaugurated by Mr Bhaskar Bhat, Managing Director, Titan Company Limited. Also in attendance were Mr Arun Narayan, Regional Business Head- West, Titan Company Limited and Mr Jatin ParekhFranchisee Partner. Spanning over 7200 square feet, this store aims to provide its customers with the best jewellery shopping experience. The new store houses the latest collections from Tanishq such as the Red Carpet Collection, Jewels of Royalty- a diamond studded collection that draws inspiration from the royal houses of India and Rivaah- the wedding subbrand from Tanishq.

To celebrate the launch of the latest store in Satellite, Ahmedabad, Tanishq has exciting offers in store for everyone. In addition to the best in class diamond and wedding jewellery, the store also houses an array of beautifully handcrafted plain gold jewellery. From Shubham, a plain gold collection that is inspired by the magnificent temples of India to Mia by Tanishq, there is truly a Tanishq for every woman. Sharing his thoughts on the occasion, Mr

Bhaskar Bhat, Managing Director, Tital Company Limited, said, “It gives me great pleasure to announce the expansion of one of our national top stores today. Modern jewellery retailing is all about providing customers with a holistic shopping experience comprising of world class retail ambience and best-in-class products. With Ahmedabad being an important market for us, we wanted to provide our customers with the best jewellery shopping experience possible. We are wit-

nessing a radical shift in consumer expectations in the retail space and this store reflects Tanishq's commitment towards providing them with an enhanced jewellery purchasing experience and superior service. With Dusshera and Pushyanakshtra right around the corner, there is no better time to indulge in exquisite jewellery at our store.” Tanishq, which bears the hallmark of Titan and the assurance of the TATA group, has always been at the forefront with an offering of best in class jewellery. The store also has a state-of-the-art karatmeter which guarantees the most accurate way of measuring the purity of gold, and also promises best exchange value for old gold. There is complete transparency when it comes to buying and selling of jewellery at Tanishq.

accused, Golu Bihari, who had been drinking with his brother-in-law Amar Bhuntu when they spotted her. As she kept fighting them, they hit her, tied her up, and raped her. In her FIR, the victims said while Bihari left to get cigarettes and tobacco, he left Amar with her. When asked for clothes as hers were torn, Golu allegedly got clothes, but returned with two more men. All four men took turns to rape the woman till 10 pm, the police said. When let go, she walked to a railway police

post at the Habibganj station, where she called her parent, both of whom are in the security forces. Her father took her to a police station the next morning, only to be redirected to two others. In a country like India, where crimes like rape happen more often than one would care to admit, it is expected of the government- state or centre, to bring upon stringent laws. If only leaders put their authority to good use, women of one of the fastest-developing nations would not have to fear for their life.

Brit court declines two Indian extradition requests

Vijay Mallya

The UK court handling extradition case of former liquor baron Vijay Mallya has reported to have rejected two different extradition requests by Indian authorities in the last couple of weeks. British-Indian couple Jatinder Kumar Angurala and wife Asha Rani Angurala are sought by the Indian government for alleged fraud of approximately £24,000 between 1990 and 1993. Jatinder was a branch manager of the Bank of India in Jalandhar at the time. Chief Magistrate in the Westminster Magistrates Court, Emma Arbuthnot turned down the request “by reason of passage of time” on October 12. The court called Angurala “a man of good character”, noting that he sent British postal orders to the bank in Jalandhar to repay several staff loans. It also recalled that an Indian judge had noted in 2001 that neither the bank, nor the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) made any efforts to nab him, when his postal orders were received. “During the two or three years leading up to 2001, the trial of the co-defendants is taking place (in India). They are blaming Mr Angurala in particular for the fraud and the focus inevitably must have been on his whereabouts. The CBI must have been

all too aware at that point, that he was not before the court as the others were,” Arbuthnot said. She pointed that the Indian judge had criticised the CBI and the bank for not nabbing the accused when he sent the orders. “I do not accept the CBI would not have known about this criticism, in 2001 it was in possession of the RP's (Requested Person's) address and this was the time that this court would have expected them to obtain warrants of arrest from the CBI court which would have led to a request. In my view there was no valid reason for this not being done until 2014. Although the CBI received more information on the RPs addresses…in my view it had sufficient information before then for an attempt to be made to arrest the RPs in London.” “I find I am not sure he is a fugitive and his extradition is barred by reason of passage of time as I find it would be unjust and oppressive to him by reason of the quarter century that has passed since the alleged offence,” Arbuthnot added. Currently, seven Indian extradition requests remain pending with Britain, including Rajesh Kapoor, Tiger Hanif, Atul Singh, Raj Kumar Patel, Sanjeev Kumar Chawla, Shaik Sadiq, and Mallya.


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health lifestyle

Could sugary diets fuel Alzheimer's disease?

n Scientists discover link between high levels of glucose and memory loss symptoms A build-up of too much sugar in parts of the brain has been linked to Alzheimer's. For the first time, scientists have found a link between high levels of glucose in the brain and the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Our brains break down glucose – sugar in its most basic form – to provide energy to make our brains work. People whose brains were worse at breaking down glucose suffered more brain plaques and tangles, the hallmark of the disease. In addition, people whose brains were less efficient at breaking down

glucose suffered worse outward dementia symptoms - such as memory loss - associated with Alzheimer's disease. While the research is only at an early stage, and it is not clear why being bad at breaking down glucose causes plaques and tangles. Dr Madhav Thambisetty, at the National Institute of Aging in the US looked at brain tissue samples from autopsies collected by the Baltimore Longitudinal study on Aging, part of a research project which tracks the health conditions of people over several decades. Dr Thambisetty and

'UK wellbeing rises after Brexit vote'

In the year after the UK narrowly voted to exit the European Union, there was a small but significant increase in the population's feeling of wellbeing, official statistics show. The improvements in areas such as life satisfaction and happiness were seen only in England, however. Elsewhere, the rates flatlined. People in

Northern Ireland continued to report the highest levels of wellbeing. Rates of anxiety increased slightly, but not significantly. A higher proportion of people reported very high levels of life satisfaction, happiness and feelings that life was worthwhile in the year ending June 2017 compared with the previous year.

A man is madly in love with a princess and wants to propose, but an evil witch has cast a spell on him, and now he can say only one word a year. So he waits 14 agonizing years—accumulating all his words—before approaching his beloved. Finally, the big day arrives. When he sees her, his heart skips a beat. He gathers his nerve, drops to his knees, and intones, “My darling, I have waited many years to say this: Will you marry me?” The princess turns around, smiles, and says, “Pardon?” *** I was in small-claims court when I listened in on the case of a woman who held a good job but still had trouble paying her bills on time. “Can’t you live within your income?” asked the judge. “No, Your Honor,” she said. “It’s all I can do to live within my credit.” *** During a visit to our friend’s home in Canada, we were feted with a wonderful breakfast. But my sixyear-old daughter was not impressed. "Your pancakes are smaller than my mom’s," she told him. He replied, "That’s because of the exchange rate." *** One day at a local café, a woman suddenly called out, "My daughter’s choking! She swallowed a nickel! Please, anyone, help!" Immediately a man at a nearby table rushed up to her and said he was experienced in these situations. He calmly stepped over to the girl, then with no look of concern, wrapped his arms around her and squeezed. Out popped the nickel. The man returned to his table as if nothing had happened. "Thank you!" the mother cried. "Tell me, are you a doctor?" "No," the man replied. "I work for the IRS."

colleagues focused on brain areas that are vulnerable to plaques and tangles – the frontal and temporal cortex – highly involved in memory and language. They also looked at areas which resist these features, such as the cerebellum which deals with movement, muscles and muscular activity. They found that the people with more severe Alzheimer's had problems

breaking down the glucose to produce energy – a process known as glycolysis. A slower rate of glycolysis and higher brain glucose levels was associated with more severe plaques and tangles in the brains of people with the disease. Worse brain glycolysis was also related to Alzheimer's symptoms such as memory problems.

Fasting diet can keep you young

n Harvard study explains how plans like the 5:2 protect your cells from aging

Intermittent fasting can keep your body younger, extend your lifespan and improve your overall health, a new Harvard University study suggests. Various forms of fasting have been getting hype (and hate) for everything from weight loss to productivity enhancement. The jury is still out on some of the benefits and drawbacks of fasting, but the new Harvard study finally explains how intermittent fasting can keep the body ‘young’ at a cellular level. Researchers at Harvard found that temporarily restricting diet keeps the mitochondria – an important part of the cell to health aging – in homeostasis, which in turn helps to improve lifespan. Fasting is the new juicing lately, as celebrities like B e n e d i c t Cumberbatch and, reportedly, Beyonce and Silicon Valley executives alike extol the virtues of the 5:2 diet, which involves normal eating habits for five days a week, but dramatically intake on the other two days.

Some research has shown that intermittent fasting offers no benefits over daily dietary restrictions, but animal studies have found that it was linked to longer life spans. Last year, Newcastle University research confirmed the crucial role of the mitochondria in human cell aging, and therefore, the aging of our bodies.

27

To Our Readers

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

Study: one brisk walk a week cuts risk of early death by 70% in older women

One brisk walk a week could cut an older woman's risk of early death by 70 percent, according to new research. The study suggests that more physical activity, particularly at higher intensities, could lead to a 'big' increase in life expectancy among females in retirement age. Researchers at Harvard University found light-intensity physical activity, such as a walking a dog, doing housework, or window shopping, did nothing to improve or worsen longevity. Experts say this research should drive doctors to prescribe more intense physical activity to their patients, particularly older females. Previous studies, which used self-reports, showed that active people have about 20 to 30 percent lower death rates, compared to their least active counterparts. The latest research, conducted from 2011 to 2015, is among the first to investigate physical

activity, measured using a wearable device called a triaxial accelerometer. The device is capable of measuring activity along three planes: up and down, front to back and side to side. The capabilities increase sensitivity to detect physical activity and allow for more precise measurements. Study first author Professor I-Min Lee, of Harvard University's medical and public health schools in the US, said: 'We used devices to better measure not only higher intensity physical activities, but also lower intensity activities and sedentary behaviour, which has become of great interest in the last few years.' More than 17,700 women with an average age of 72 wore the activity monitoring device for seven days. Figures were analysed from 16,741 participants who wore their devices for at least 10 hours a day, on at least four days. During an average follow-up of around 30 months, 207 women died.

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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

Huma

wraps up her part of Rajini's 'Kaala'

‘The Window’

H

A drama about an artist’s struggle between staying true to his art and giving in to the ruthless reality of life. Protagonist Lekh fights with his own demons of angst, arrogance, selfishness, and denial while not being ready to compromise with the art that he thinks cinema is.

uma Qureshi, who plays a pivotal role in Rajinikanth's 'Kaala Karikaalan', has wrapped her portion. The team celebrated her association with the film by throwing her a party in one of Mumbai's most popular restobar. The team had been reportedly shooting with the actress over the last few days in a college in the suburbs, and on the highway. Huma had recently spoken about her experience working with Thalaivar. Calling it “amazing” she said, “When he walks, everybody becomes silent and make space for him. For me, the most beautiful thing with him is the simplicity he carries. He is such a humble person. I have never seen a superstar who is so humble, who is so simple and down-to-earth.” When asked if she didn't feel overshadowed by him, she said, “Even if I were made to stand like a tree next to him, I would have been very happy. But thankfully, Ranjith (Director) has written a great role for me. Acting in another language is very difficult, for me, as an actor. So, the roles have to be worth it. It's a powerful role, and it's more special as it is Rajini sir's film.” Calling working with Rajinikanth a learning experience, Huma said, “He is such an amazing actor. Once he is on sets, he never leaves it. He stays and watches over the work; he is always observing. There is so much to learn from him.”

Akshay's thrillingly sinister look for '2.0'

A

new poster of megastar Rajinikanthstarrer '2.0' is out and we are petrified! The picture shows N a t i o n a l -Aw a r d winner Akshay Kumar's ghoulish avatar as eccentric scientist named Richard. The actor is seen sporting spiky teeth, golden-yellow eyes, white hair, long eyelashes and brows. Giving evil a new face, the poster has only set expectations of the fans higher, and with the stellar cast, one is not expected to be disappointed.

A sequel to 2010 Tamil blockbuster 'Enthiran', '2.0' was made on a lavish budget. Directed by S Shankar and music by Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman, the film is slated for an early 2018 release.

Posters for Dhanush's Hollywood debut out

P

osters for 'The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir' is out and it has us drooling all over our computer screens. Dhanush's maiden Hollywood venture, the Ken Scott directorial is based on a Romain Puertolas novel by the same name. The post features Dhanush, Berenice Bejo, Barkhad Abdi, Erin Moriarty, and Abel Jafri sitting on a travel trunkturned-hot balloon. Another featuring the IKEA wardrobe is also out. The story revolves around Ajatashatru (Dhanush), who decides to go on a journey to find his father after losing his mother. The search takes him to Mumbai, Brussels, Paris, and Rome. Producer Luc Bossi said, “'The Extraordinary Journey of

the Fakir' is also an out of the ordinary production adventure, creating through its producers, locations, and talent, a unique bridge between India, Europe, and Hollywood. Its cast reunites actors from more than 15 countries and an international IndoFrench-Belgian-Italian crew with a common passion and goal: Tell a universal story full of laughs and emotions.” The film is currently on post-production, and if reports are to be believed, it will be distributed by Sony Pictures in key areas like France and UK. It is expected to release in summer of 2018. Meanwhile, Dhanush is busy shooting for gangster drama 'Vada Chennai'.

Amala Paul reacts to car registration controversy, gets roasted on internet

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alayalam film stars Amala Paul and Fahadh Faasil caught attention of authorities recently for using their Puducherry (Union Territory) registered luxury cars in Kerala. Reports said the actress paid just Rs 1.25 Lakh as road tax for her Mercedes-Benz worth Rs 1.12 Crore, evading nearly Rs 20 Lakh in tax. She also is said to have used the address of an engineering student who is seemingly unaware of the fraud activity. As she remains embroiled in the case, Amala took a dig at her “well-wishers” for blaming her. Posting a picture of her taking a boat ride, she wrote, “At times I need to run away from the craziness of the city life and needless speculations. For now I am preferring a boat ride, at least no allegations of breaking

the law or should I double check with my 'well wishers' #keralapiraviashamsakal #boatride #noregistration” The post failed miserably as netizens appeared miffed at the actress for not abiding by the rules. A user commented, “You can prefer a boat or ship, its not a matter for us, but try to obey the government rule and pay the tax. Please don't bring this kind of drama like this post to defend faults, you are rich enough to pay the tax, then why this kind of drama?” Faasil, meanwhile, reportedly bought a Mercedes-Benz worth Rs 70 Lakh, using a fake address in Puducherry. He only paid Rs 1.5 Lakh as road tax, as opposed to the Rs 14 Lakh he would have been charged had the vehicle been registered in Kerala.

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RGV pairs with Nagarjuna after 25 years

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fter making his directorial debut with none other than Akkineni Nagarjuna, Ram Gopal Varma has announced yet another collaboration with the stellar actor. After breaking the news at an event in Hyderabad, he shared on Facebook that the journey has been extremely emotional for him as they will begin shooting for the film on the very same spot where they shot 'Shiva' more than two decades ago. “I am starting my new film with Akkineni Nagarjuna on November 20th at the same place in Annapurna Studios where we first started SHIVA ..to make a confession I am getting quite emotional about it.” Nagarjuna also shared his excitement for the project, tweeting, “Super excited to start RGV's cop drama with his intense stylised action nov20/wanted to announce it myself but the media beat me to it.” While not a lot of details have been revealed about the project, it is aimed to have an April 2018 release. On the workfront, Varma is busy with his film based on the life of Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao. The biopic will be narrated from NTR's wife's point of view.


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Deepika snubs Ranveer, Shahid?

AsianVoiceNews

T

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here seems to be serious trouble in paradise for Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padulone as a recent controversy around the actress' solo appearance at the 3D trailer launch of their upcoming film on October 31 has begun to do media rounds. Deepika who plays titular role in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Padmavati' has been termed a limelight hogger as she attended the event minus her movie co-stars.

Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

According to a report, things are getting ugly as her surprise appearance left her beau “shocked”. It said that the media invite for the event had not mentioned names of any of the three actors. “Deepika, Ranveer, and Shahid Kapoor's names were missing from the invite. In fact, the stars' respective were also informed that the talent was not required for the event at all.” Dippy however, made a surprise appearance at the event, naturally to the dismay of her co-stars. “DP was never supposed to attend t h e

Gentler with age, 'Badshah' Khan

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ollywood badshah Shah Rukh Khan who celebrated his 52nd birthday with his

friends and family at his Alibaug farmhouse last week, calculates his success in terms of how gentle he can be towards people. “When you reach this age, what you want is your children to be healthy. My way of thinking and sentiments have changed over the last few years. As I am ageing, I am becoming gentler, towards everyone including you all. I just feel really gentle towards people,” the actor said. “Achievements, success will follow when we do good films. I have other businesses also, which are doing well. But I think for me achievements and successes are about how gentle I can be

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towards people, how much patience I can have and how much love I can give to people. That's the genuine truth, really... So, yeah when I become a thorough gentleman, that will be a big achievement,” he said. After spending time at his Alibaug farmhouse, he greeted his fans outside his Mumbai bungalow Mannat, in the noon. “I wish I was here at night, but I've to spend time with family too so I have to be away. I kept getting videos of people being here and bursting crackers, which is not a good thing nowadays I've heard. But yes it's very touching.”

launch. That was what was conveyed to everyone else. But she sprung an unpleasant surprise when she chose to attend the event alone. She didn't even bother informing her two co-actors, Shahid or Ranveer. What irritated the leading men, apparently, was the fact that neither of them had expressed unavailability. Shahid was home, while Ranveer was playing football. If they were informed in time, they would have also made it to the event,” they added. “The trailer has released and Ranveer has walked away with all the compliments. People have spoken well about Shahid, too. But there has hardly been any chatter about Deepika. Even her Ghoomar song has not helped create any intrigue

or interest about her character. The film is named after Deepika’s character, so she did this only to prove a point and take centre stage, which was completely wrong on her part.” Describing the actors' reaction, the source said, “Ranveer was shocked. Forget Shahid because Deepika and he are just co-stars, how could she do this to her own boyfriend? This left Ranveer fuming, who also fired the team for doing this. He and Deepika aren't really talking any more post this.”

Comments on Aish's weight upset husband

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n a recent interview with a leading publication, actor Abhishek Bachchan spoke fondly about his wife, former Miss World, actress, and mommy, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan making our hearts melt into goo. Calling her a “supermom”, he said, “When she became a mother, her career took a backseat. Today, she does everything for Aaradhya. She is a supermom. Soon after Aaradhya was born, the media went at her about her weight gain. Nasty things were written, which really upset me.” “If that upset her, she said nothing. Water off a duck's back, said Aishwarya when she saw me perturbed. Anyonw who knows here would know she has never spent a day in the gym. The only time was when we were shooting 'Dhoom 2' (2006), and Uday Chopra, Hrithik Roshan

and I dragged her.” He said he has never seen her complaining about anything even with the hectic travel schedules and unconventional work hours. “Till date, people refer to her as the most beautiful woman in the world, and I know she is immensely grateful for the love. She values her fans and enjoys the adulation as well as the trappings of her career.

Even with the hectic travel schedules and erratic work hours, I've heard her complain about front or back of the plane, Maruti or Mercedes. Her focus isn't on the trivial. It's these things that leave me charmed,” the 'Guru' actor said. Aishwarya who turned 44 last week, visited Siddhivinayak Temple with her daughter and mother Brinda Rai on her birthday.

Mukherjee at the ceremony, Adil said “She was cheerful and joyous”. “My special mention co-awardee. What an hon-

our to be on the same platform as you. Can't wait to now share a frame with you,” Sonam replied.

Sonam wants to work with Adil Hussain

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ollywood actress Sonam Kapoor said she wishes to share screen space with actor Adil Hussain. The two received a Special Mention at the 64th National Film Awards. While Sonal received the honour for her portrayal of Neerja Bhanot in 2016 film 'Neerja, Hussain received it for his performance in two films, 'Mukti Bhawan' and 'Maj Rati Keteki'. Sharing a photograph of the actress received the award by President Pranab


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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

Camera on the Front Line

n An evening with Bhasker Solanki

From Somalia to Sarajevo; Tiananmen Square to the Rwandan Massacre; Mother Teresa to Theresa May, Bhasker Solanki will talk about his experiences as a BBC News cameraman in an award-winning career spanning 38 years, working in over 100 countries. Bhasker, a former student of Rushey Mead School, is co-founder of the Rushey Mead Foundation, which was set up after witnessing the

2001 earthquake in Gujarat. They run the Rushey Mead School in Kutch, established to provide an education for underprivileged children. Hear Bhasker’s fascinating stories about recording front-line combat in dangerous and life threatening situations. To reserve a place at the event and for further details please visit the Eventbrite website https://bhaskersolanki.eve ntbrite.co.uk

Coming Events

l Camera on the Front Line- An evening with Bhasker Solanki, to be held on November 30, Thursday, 6.00pm to 8.30 pm, at Rushey Mead Academy.

Chinmaya Mission UK presents: l Shiva Sankalpa Suktam: Follow-up Workshop on November 25, Saturday, 9.30 am to 5 pm, at Chinmaya Kirti, 2 Egerton Gardens, Hendon NW4 4BA.

l Geeta Jayanti/Tapovan Jayanti 2017, on November 26, Sunday, 10.30 am to 2.30 pm, at Chinmaya Kirti, 2 Egerton Gardens, Hendon NW4 4BA.

Sneh Joshi

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 Venus, Jupiter and Sun are

all transiting your solar eighth house. During this transit, you may see benefits in any of the areas ruled by the eighth house - joint finances, shared resources, loans, taxes and personal transformation. Decluttering your life will also be beneficial as you are learning that one should not hold on to things from the past.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Venus, Jupiter and Sun

move through your solar seventh house. In this period you are more likely to establish, or solidify, a significant partnership. A warm, open, and honest approach to others wins you positive new relationships, or enhances existing ones. Financial benefits could possibly come through partnerships.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Venus, Jupiter and Sun are

all transiting your solar 6th house. You might be tempted to take on more work than you can reasonably manage, however, so be careful not to overload your schedule. You will also take care of your health and it's an excellent time to find new fitness routines by joining the gym.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22 Venus, Jupiter and Sun are all transiting your solar fifth house, and you are likely to see benefits, and experience growth, in the areas of romance, pleasure, creative expression, hobbies, entertainment, and children. Love and romance may come into your life or an existing romance is enhanced with good humour and warmth.

Oxford Street to ban traffic to help fight air pollution All vehicles will be banned from Oxford Street under radical plans to tackle air pollution. The western section of the central London street, which is home to some of the largest department stores in the country, is due to be pedestrianised by the end of next year. All east west traffic will be banned from the half-mile stretch from Selfridges to Oxford Circus with traffic likely to be removed from the remainder by the end of 2021. The measures, which will cost £60 million will be implemented to coincide with the launch of Crossrail.

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Passionate about Reading Club needs your vote

The Passionate about Reading Club is an intergenerational project targeting children aged between 11 and 13 who are reluctant readers. This project links the children together with older reading partners from the community (“community parents and grandparents”) and uses e-readers instead of books to make reading more interactive and interesting. The idea has emerged from discussions with teachers and Headteachers earlier this year on the need to improve literacy in order to help children with reading difficulties be successful. A pilot project was run at Cranford Community College in 2016 -17 to explore the use of e-reader technology in supporting the development of children’s reading competency. In addition to the read-

Passional about Reading Club project targeted at those who are reluctant readers

ing, this project will develop the child’s social skills and for the adult volunteer, a chance to give back to the community. Hounslow’s Promise which was set up earlier this year believes that through strengthening the community around our schools and supporting teachers, we can help support young people’s achievement. The online voting is now open! The online voting is quick and easy. You will just need to register a

valid email address, then search “Passionate about Reading Club” in the Projects search field. You get 10 votes to use how you want! Using the scroll bar on the voting page, you can give all your votes to one project or split them! Early voting matters – so please vote now! The final chance to vote is on the 21st November 2017 at 12 noon. Please see the link: https://communityfund.aviva.co.uk/voting/pr oject/view/17-6077

Leicester man runs marathons for the NSPCC A Leicestershire man has shown dedication to a children's charity with a number of fitness challenges in aid of the good cause. Max Manani, who owns his own construction company has completed, a marathon, a half marathon and a sky dive for the NSPCC. Around 18 years ago, Max and his wife had a baby who was stillborn, which inspired him to start working with children's charities. Speaking to the Leicester Mercury Mr Manani said: "I worked with a charity which sup-

ported baby loss about five years ago and from there I did some running and thought I'd start to do something broader to help children in general. The rest is history really." Working with the NSPCC has opened Max's eyes to all the ways the charity helps children. Mr Manani continued: "I didn't realise they did so many different things. There's so much that they are involved with, like Childine, I didn't realise it was part of the NSPCC. "It's so big now, you

don't realise how much is going on. It's quite flabbergasting how many people and projects there are within the NSPCC. "What you realise is what you take for granted is not the norm for a lot of

people. It's not just money, it's love and attention, there are children who don't even get that.” As well as fundraising with fitness challenges, Max has also got involved with volunteering with childline. Max has run the London, Berlin and Chicago marathons and the Leicester Half marathon a number of times. He is now in training to run the London marathon again in 2018 in aid of the NSPCC.

020 8518 5500

The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

Venus, Jupiter and Sun are all transiting solar fourth house. You are likely to see benefits to home, family, property, and domestic comfort matters. Opportunities to buy or sell real estate for financial gain may present themselves. Home improvements and renovations are favoured, as is moving to a new dwelling.

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

Venus, Jupiter and Sun are all transiting your solar third house. Educational and communication opportunities present themselves. During this period, neighbours or relatives could be especially helpful in your life. If you're a student, school is especially favoured. If you're in business, you are likely to find sales are especially strong.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

Venus, Jupiter and Sun are all transiting your solar second house. During this transit, you have the chance to make lots of money and improve your standard of living. You are likely to feel more confident and enthusiastic about life. Your personal relationships are still going through a period of re-assessment.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

Venus, Jupiter and Sun are all transiting your solar first house. This exciting transit will improve your immediate environment and self-confidence. It also heightens your optimism and generosity, and the entire transit will make you more relaxed. You create a distinct first impression on others, and your likeability increases.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21 Venus, Jupiter and Sun are all transiting your solar twelfth house. This transit brings benefits to activities that take place "behind the scenes" or are otherwise private. Meditation and retreats will be helpful to regenerate and invigorate your spirit. Much pleasure and growth might be found in solitude and contemplation. CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 Venus, Jupiter and Sun are all transiting your solar eleventh house. This is a good time for networking activities, acquaintances, clubs, and organisations in your life. You can rely on your friends for their help and support, and your circle of friends could most certainly increase during this fruitful transit. AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

Venus, Jupiter and Sun are all transiting your solar tenth house. There will be increased public recognition and professional success during this period. People in authority or influential people will look upon you favourably. Integrity, directness, and honesty will get you everywhere now.

Venus, Jupiter and Sun are all transiting your solar ninth house. Under this influence, you may have opportunities to travel, study, go abroad, expand your horizons, and meet people who are of diverse backgrounds. Saturn's transit of your solar 10th house, career and financial success is generally steady and slow to come by.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20


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INDIA WOMEN'S HOCKEY TEAM CLAIM ASIA CUP 2017 AsianVoiceNews

India became continental champions after a vast gap of 13 years, as the country's women's hockey team edged past China to clinch the Asia Cup title, automatically securing a spot in next year's hockey World Cup. Goalkeeper Savita was undoubtedly the shootout star, producing a brilliant save at Kakamigahara Kawasaki Stadium in Japan. After the teams were locked 1-1 in regulation time, skipper Rani Rampal converted the final attempt for the Indians to ensure a 5-4 win. India had failed to qualify for the last World Cup in the Netherlands, finishing ninth in the 2010 edition in Argentina. Rani found herself on target twice, while Monica, Lilima Minz, and Navjot Kaur also found the target in the shootout. Navjot had given Indians the lead in the 25th minute, however, China equalised through a penalty corner conversion by Tiantian Luo in the 47th minute. Both teams played an attacking game, but the first quarter ended goalless. Navjot almost scored a field goal in the 17th minute, but her diving effort was block. India broke the deadlock when Navneet Kaur and

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Rani played a neat 1-2 before penetrating the circle, allowing Navjot to score from a clear shot. Meanwhile, China went all out in search of the equaliser but the Indian defence held firm. India tried to get the second goal in the third quarter, which remained elusive. The final quarter was a tense affair. China won a penalty corner after a successful video referral, and Tiantian Luo found the bottom right corner of the post to level matters. “We are all extremely happy that we won the Asia Cup and have earned qualification for next year's World

Cup on merit. We had a lot of young players in the team who showed great spirit in playing on such a big platform. The team gave a good fight to China. It was a high level competition and we did not drop our level at any point in the game,” Rani said. The forward added, “Hopefully we will carry this confidence and motivation into the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.” The team had finished on the eighth position among 10 teams at the Hockey World League Semifinals in July. She said they found the team unacceptable. “We were not happy with our per-

formance in Johannesburg at the World League SemiFinals and right then the team had decided that we need to start winning in order to gain that confidence to perform well in top tournaments.” India had last won the women's Asia Cup in 2004, beating Japan 1-0. “We worked a lot on creating penalty corners and Gurjit worked hard on converting them during our camps. We were also well prepared for a shootout situation as we were anticipating the knockouts to end in shootouts. All the preparation helped us,” Rani said.

Sreesanth should back his claims of BCCI bias: Kapil Dev Former India captain Kapil Dev said alleged matchfixer S Sreesanth should cite enough examples to boost his claims of facing a rough treatment from the BCCI. Sreesanth, who was suspended for life on charges of match-fixing, has been fighting his case in the court for quite some time. However, BCCI seems adamant on its decision and refuses to remove the life ban. “If he (Sreesanth) thinks that way (BCCI has been biased), then he has to give enough reasons to back his claim. Every person feels he should be playing for the country but at the end of the day, only eleven players are going to play,” Dev told reporters on the sidelines of Krishnapatnam Golden Eagles' Golf Championship. He added, “These are Sreesanth's personal views. I cannot comment much on his personal views.” Just last week, the 34 year old pacer's allegations of discrimination against the governing body was rejected by BCCI Chief for Anti-Corruption and Security Unit, Neeraj Kumar. He had said, “I

Sreesanth

don't think there is any discrimination. Even the other banned players are also not playing international cricket. If they are playing at some local level where the BCCI doesn't come into picture, we are not aware of it. Sreesanth can plead that he is innocent, but according to us he is guilty. He can contest the charges as a citizen and it's under judicial process so I can't comment.” Earlier, a single-judge bench of the Kerala High Court had passed an order that the bowler's life-ban be lifted, but a division bench of the

Kerala High Court upheld the decision. Sreesanth had stated, “All I said was that there were 13 accused and why they were treated differently. This is the only thing I asked. I never asked to reveal their names. More than anyone else, I know much better about it because I was the one who had undergone the toughest possible time.” He recently also expressed disappointment at Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni for not supporting him during his tryst. He said Dhoni did not respond to his emotional plea. “I was

Kapil Dev

sad that Rahul stood by Rajasthan Royals and didn't support me despite knowing me well. I messaged MS Dhoni, sent him an emotional message, but he didn't respond.” He added, “Six or more of the top 10 Indian players were accused by the Delhi Police. If the other six names of the accused come out, it will really affect the game. Let’s face it, this is not the national team. The BCCI is a private firm. If I’m given an opportunity and I’m allowed to play, then I would (not hesitate to) play for another country.”

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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

Anderson open to fill England's vacant vice-captaincy

Veteran pace spearhead, James Anderson is open to replace suspended Ben Stokes as England vicecaptain for the upcoming Ashes Test series. While speaking to reporters, he said the post was “not something I have really thought about to be honest”, but when asked whether he would decline to fill the role if asked, he James Anderson replied, “Of course not, I wouldn't.” He added, “Certainly over the past few years I have seen my role in the team as being a leader, especially with the young bowlers omcing in, I try and help out where I can.” The England and Wales Cricket Board is yet to rule him out of the series, which starts with the first Test in Brisbane on November 23. The team's all-time leading wicket-taker, Anderson said he already fulfils the role of leadership in the team with support from former skipper Alastair Cook and fast bowler Stuart Broad. “That is part and parcel as a senior player who has played over 100 Tests, to be a leader.” Anderson said, “Myself and Stuart try and lead the bowling attack, Alastair has been captain. We have a nice leadership group. My experience as a senior player is to bring experience to the group. Myself, Alastair, Stuart Broad, all bring experience to the group and our job is to help out where we can. There's a lot of players on this tour that haven't played an Ashes series or toured Australia. Our job is to help out.” He added, “Certainly over the past few years I have seen my role in the team as being a leader, especially with the young bowlers coming in, I try an help out where I can.”

Bizarre! Man drives car into pitch during Ranji match

In a off-the-wall incident, a Delhi man drove his Maruti Wagon R onto the pitch during an ongoing Ranji Trophy Match. Identified as Girish Sharma, 32, the man claimed that he had lost his way and since there was no security at the entrance, he drove his car onto the Air Force ground in Palam. The incident startled the players and umpires. Players said that while they were shaken, they did not panic. Delhi allrounder Manan Sharma said, “I had just taken a wicket when we saw the car coming in. Suddenly, the driver took a turn, and came towards the pitch. He took two rounds of the pitch area and then left. We were all shocked and speechless... May be the gate was open. At Palam, you can't see the gate, so nobody saw the car coming in... As he came and left within minutes, we were all taken by surprise.” Security officials eventually caught Sharma and handed him over to the Air Force police who handed him over to the Delhi Police. After an hour of interrogation at the Sadar Bazaar police station, DCP (southwest district) Shibhesh Singh said, “We have called his family members and his father told the police that he was undergoing medical treatment for depression following a marital dispute. Ishant Sharma, who was playing for Delhi, tweeted the incident. “Drive in theater just progressed to #DriveIN match. Shocking scene in between #RanjiTrophy match today witnessed with @GautamGambhir.” Uttar Pradesh captain Suresh Raina tweeted, “Very disturbing to see our Ranji Trophy game being interrupted in this fashion today! Thankfully all players are safe.”


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Asian Voice | 11th November 2017

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INDIA CLAIMS HISTORIC SERIES WIN AGAINST THE KIWIS

With a sharp bowling display from Indian bowlers in Thir vananthapuram, India earned their first bilateral Twenty20 series win against New Zealand as they failed to make the mark by six runs in the decider, losing the threematch series 1-2 in a rain-curtailed eightovers match. Stars of the match, Jasprit Bumrah (2/9) and Yuzvendra Chahal (8 runs in 2 overs) were the saving grace as the batsmen failed to catch up with the everrising required run-rate. Rains spoiled the game, reducing the decisive match of the series by size. Stroke-making wasn't easy under the weather conditions and the hosts could only manage to put on board a 67 for five, with just seven boundaries, including three sixes. Indian pacers and spinners however, bowled their lives' worth in a short and exciting test, finding themselves well supported in the field. Captain Virat Kohli (13) was in action from the start, attacking Ish Sodhi. He hit the spinner for a four and a six but then got out to the New Zealander while going for a big one. Shreyas Iyer (6) and Manish Pandey (17) tried to stabilise the ship but Sodhi picked up another with Iyer departing in the sixth over, holing it out at long-off. Hardik Pandya remained unbeaten at 14 after hitting a huge six with MS Dhoni, who did not get to face even a single delivery. Kuldeep gave away 10 runs from his first over, fifth

Shiv Kapur

of the match, but also picked up a wicket. While Kane Williamson was run out, Glenn Phillip went for a glory slog and was caught by Shikhar Dhawan. The next, a make-or-break over, was bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal. He kept things simple: kept bowling away from the batsmen with a packed off-side field. His 3-run over tilted the match completely in India’s favour. Bumrah next, removed Tom Bruce and gave Hardik Pandya enough cushion to defend in the final over. Pandya started well but went for a huge six off the third ball. The equation read 11 off 3 balls. Colin de Grandhomme could have taken New Zealand across the line, but was however, left stranded at the other end with two balls left. Mitchell Santner tried, but India won by 6 runs. Kohli admitted that the bowler-friendly conditions made them “nervous”. “I

think we were really happy to get a game. This crowd deserved to watch some action. Ever since the ODIs started, we expected them to give a good fight. We were nervous to start here, with the damp pitch. We thought if we can take the run-rate up, it's not going to be so easy. Rohit and MS (Dhoni) came up with Bumrah bowling the second last, and Hardik Pandya bowled the last over well. When Hardik got hurt, I was thinking god forbid if I had to bowl the last four balls,” he said. “We have won a few on the trot and it makes us very proud. This stadium is beautiful, the outfield wonderful and the crowd made it special. I am surprised there were no games here earlier,” he added. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said, “It was a tricky surface and runs on board on that surface was handy. It came down to a cou-

ple of deliveries. Shame to not get across the line in this decider. As soon as you ran your fingers on the ball, it made life difficult.” Adding, “In this part of the world, wickets can be flat. We showed good fight. You have to be on top of their game to win here, they are one of the best teams in the world. I think there have been number of strides forward for us. Fairly new group and it's not easy, guys coming here for the first or second time. It's a tough place to play.” Brief scores: India 67 for 5 in 8 overs (Virat Kohli 13, Manish Pandey 17; Tim Southee 2 for 13, Ish Sodhi 2 for 23) beat New Zealand 61 for 8 in 8 overs (Glenn Phillip 11, Colin de Grandhomme 17*; Jasprit Bumrah 2 for 9) by 6 runs. Man of the Match: Jasprit Bumrah. Man of the Series: Jasprit Bumrah.

Sarita, Sonia enter semis of Asian Boxing Championships

Sarita Devi (64kg) and world championships silvermedallist Sonia Lather (57kg) have advanced to the semifinals and assured themselves of medals at the Asian women's Boxing Championships on Sunday. Former world champion, Sarita now eyes her sixth medal at the Asian meet after defeating Maftunakhon Melieva of Uzbekistan. After returning to the amateur fold after trying her luck in the professional circuit, Sarita took full advantage of her opponent’s reluctance to attack and connected several right hooks to take the upper hand way early in the bout. Melieva faced a standing eight count after a flurry of

Shiv Kapur clinches Panasonic Open title

Sarita Devi

combination punches from the Indian, at the very beginning of the second round. She had barely begun to revert in the final three minutes, however, Sarita displayed spectacular moves to dodge the attacks.

Sonia, meanwhile, edged past Kazakhstan’s Nazym Ichshanova in the quarterfinals. She had a stiffer opponent to deal with. While she did aggressively manage to deliver several blows, the sheer ferocity of her punches

Sonia Lather

standing out, she did only enough to get a split verdict in her favour. Olympic medallist MC Mary Kom (48kg), Priyanka Choudhary (60kg), and Shiksha (54kg) had advanced to the semifinals.

Indian ace golfer Shiv Kapur claimed his first Asian Tour title in India, bagging the Panasonic Open by three strokes, as he brought home a card of four-under 68 in the fourth and final round at the Delhi Golf Club. This is the second Asian Tour title of the season for Kapur, who fired five birdies against one bogey to stay three strokes clear off a pack of fellow Indians. “I am lost for words. You dream about winning but I never got so far in my career so I never prepared a speech in my life. When I won the Volve masters it was a spring board for me and then there was a long gap and I didn't know if I will be able to win but Yeangder win gave me the belief that I can win again and winning here after all these years is really special. All wins have their own place in my heart. Of course, I have been waiting for it for a long long time. So it is a huge monkey off my back. I didn't play my best golf but still shot 17-under, so I take a lot of positive,” Kapur said. Others to finish and tied second are Karandeep Kochhar (66), SSP Chawrasia (69) and Om Prakash Chouhan (69). Two-time winner on the PGTI Feeder Tour, Sudhir produced a clean round with three birdies. Karandeep blasted four birdies and an eagle, while Chawrasia too signed off at 274 after scoring five birdies and two bogeys. As Kapur drained his putt in the 18th hole, the crowd burst with cheer and his colleagues and friends, including Chirag and Rahil Gangjee drenched him in soda and water. “When I walked with a three stroke lead at the 18th and hit the second shot down the fairway, there was a big sigh of relief inside me. I knew I can allow a little celebration now,” he said.

Monty Panesar signs up for 'Dancing On Ice' The latest celebrity to sign up for the new series of 'Dancing On Ice', English cricketer Monty Panesar announced the news during an interview with BBC Radio Five Live. He admitted he is “very excited” about the show. The 35 year old spinner Monty Panesar said, “This is a great opportunity to keep myself fit and motivated and try a different sport. I'm looking forward to it, it's going to be very exciting.” It was revealed last month that the bowler had been in talks with ITV bosses about joining the skating show. A well-loved Sikh sportsman who last played in the 2013-14 Ashes against Australia, Monty has begun practicing for the show. After as series of personal events that set his life spiralling down, Panesar bravely opened up about his mental health issues and how they affected the later stages of his career. He suffered from anxiety and paranoia. He is currently ambassador for the Professional Cricketers' Association. A source said, “Monty thinks 'Dancing On Ice' will show he's still got that fight in him- as well as keeping him super fit.”

AV 11th November 2017  

Asian Voice Weeky Newspaper (Issue : 27)