Page 1

FIRST & FOREMOST ASIAN WEEKLY IN EUROPE

R

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

11 - 17 JANAURY 2020 - VOL 48 ISSUE 35

ASIANS WITH AUSTRALIA’S BUSHFIRE VICTIMS ● ●

inside:

Mitali Maheshwari Priyanka Mehta

The ongoing bushfires in Australia have burnt over five million hectares of land in the last few weeks and Asians across the world have showed solidarity with the victims who have been at the receiving end of the wreckage and evacuation procedures. Continued on page 23

Sukhwinder Kaur (second from right) and other Sikh volunteers in Australia dedicate their time to cook and feed bushfire evacuees from the East Gippsland region

CALL

TRAVLIN STYLE

0208 954 0077 / 020 3751 4242 Or Email email@travlinstyle.com

**Prices are “FROM and Subject to availability

5938


2 UK

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

11 - 17 January 2020

with Keith Vaz

Emile Heskey

Emile Heskey is an England footballing legend and one of the most prolific players of his generation. He rose through the ranks of his home team, Leicester City, before making his League debut in 1995, which led to a 21-year career, spanning clubs across England and Australia, during which Heskey won eight major trophies. After his clubrecord move to Liverpool, he was part of the team that secured a treble in 2001. He also earned 62 caps for the national side and will live in the memories of every England fan for scoring in the 5-1 defeat of Germany. In September 2019, Heskey described his career in his autobiography ‘Even Heskey Scored’, providing a critical insight into the life of an elite athlete. He is married to Chantelle and has seven children.

1

What is your proudest achievement on the pitch? I have to say scoring in the 5-1 game against Germany. It’s the one that everyone remembers, it’s the one that I get stopped in the street for every single time, so I have to say that. But, at times, it’s just about making it, as a footballer. That first step I took onto the football pitch as a professional footballer – you can’t get any prouder than that, because I might not have made it past that, but at least I got to that stage. Making my debut as well, in March 1995 against Queen’s Park Rangers in the Premier League.

2

What is your proudest achievement off the pitch? Having kids. Bringing life into this world and raising them in a certain way that they’re very respectful. I have seven kids named Jamaal (aged 21), Micah (20), Liyah (18), Jaden (14), Reigan (11), Milanna (4), Mendez (2). Like I say, one driving and one just about walking.

3

What has been the biggest obstacle in your career that you have found? The biggest obstacle in my career is probably believing in myself – wholeheartedly. I knew I was good, but believing in yourself,

Rashid A Khan Solicitor (Principal)

Benefit from very competitive rates, tailored advice & service to suit your specific needs, 24 hour response to all online enquries and our many years of experience.

www.rashidandrashid.co.uk

• Asylum & Immigration • New Point Based System • Settlement Application (ILR) • European Law • Nationality & Travel Documents • Human Rights Applications • High Court of Appeals • Family Matters and Divorce

• Switching Visas • Over Stayers • Legacy Cases • Work Permits • Visa Extensions • Judicial Reviews • Tribunal Appeals • Student Appeals

Immigration - Family - Stateless Child Visa

020 8540 1666 / 020 8672 0666

FREE LEGAL ADVISE

07878 335 000 / 07774 222 062 Head Office:

190 Merton High Street, Wimbledon, London SW19 1AX 1 minute walk from South Wimbledon Tube Station

Southall Office:

211, The Broadway, Southall, Middlesex, UB1 1NB 1 minute walk from McDonald's

RASHID & RASHID SOLICITORS

wholeheartedly knowing that you are good, and you are better than what people perceive you to be.

open with it now as you were before. I put in my book that I was chased, I was spat at, I had all sorts going on – me.

4

8

Who do you think will win the Premier League this year? Liverpool. It is going to be a difficult one to overhaul, you would need them to have a real big dip, and you need Leicester and Manchester City to go on a real, massive run. Leicester’s on a huge run at this moment in time which is fantastic, but they’ll need to step it up again and you need Liverpool to go on a real slump and I can’t see that.

5

Who has been your biggest influence?

Manager-wise, I would say two people: Martin O’Neill and Gérard Houllier, two managers that gave me the ability to just go out there and perform and enjoy it as well, but also to be able to learn while I’m on the job, because it is a job.

6

If you were Prime Minister, what one thing would you change? It would be difficult to just change one thing because there are so many! We talk about immigration - that’s the thing, us, America, we were brought off that. When you need labour of people you bring in immigrants. They did it in Brazil, they did it in Australia – they are still doing it in Australia – so everywhere needs all this, but we get strung up on letting people in our country.

7

Do you think racism has increased or decreased in the years that you have been involved in football? It hasn’t gone anywhere. It hasn’t done anything. It’s always been there, but it’s just that you’re possibly not allowed to be as

At what age did you experience this?

Football-wise from probably about the age of 15, 16? Actually, before that as I was about 13 or 14 when I got chased from Leicester, going to watch a game, got chased from Leicester City and the ironic thing with that – fast-forward four years and that guy could have been chanting my name from the stands, which is weird. It’s a strange thought for me. But no, it hasn’t gone, it hasn’t changed.

9

We’ve discussed racism in football, but what about in our wider communities? A lot of migrants did go back, but then didn’t feel the connection and came back here again. My mum and dad were lucky because they did feel the connection, but a lot of people go back and they don’t feel the connection even though they might have a better life over there. Their connection is here. They’ve got their kids, they’ve got their grand kids, they’ve got everything here. My mum and dad came over when they were 10. They went back in their 60s… that’s 50 years.

10

If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you spend your time with? I’ll possibly go with someone like Martin Luther King or Mandela to get to understand what was going on in their time and what was going on in their minds. Great minds, to be honest, because even some of the stuff they said back then – they resonate now. They had it hard in their time, but they come out as great people, so how? why?

Sadiq Khan pledges free London travel for disabled people's carers On 2nd January, Sadiq Khan pledged free travel on the city’s transport for anyone accompanying a disabled person. The promise came on the same day as rail passengers nationally were hit with annual fare increases, this year averaging 2.7%. The pass would provide free travel for anyone accompanying a disabled person on all services including the tube, Overground and buses. Khan is consistently polling better than his Tory counterpart Shaun Bailey, Liberal Democrats' Siobhan Benita and Tory defect Rory Stewart. The mayor's popu-

larity however, has been dented over the last 12 months where he has been criticised for the capital’s rising crime rates and knife crime. His personal popularity ratings nosedived to their lowest ever in the summer of 2019. Khan said, “My job is to stand up for all Londoners. I want to ensure everyone in our city can access our fantastic transport network, and that travel in the capital is inclusive and affordable. “The companion pass is intended to make a big difference to disabled Londoners. It will help them to move around our city more easily and take advan-

Sadiq Khan

tage of all the fantastic opportunities London has to offer.” He said if he won the 2020 race he would instruct TfL to work closely with disability and accessibility groups as well as London councils to draw up details of the proposal.

Khan slams Labour leader says voters were right to shun Corbyn On 5th January, Sunday, the Mayor of London slammed former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and admitted that he believes voters “got it right” in the recently conducted general elections on December 12. Speaking to The Times, Sadiq Khan re-instated that Labour's performance in the elections was “catastrophic” and asked, “Hand on heart, did we deserve to win the general election? Probably not, so the British public got it

right.” When asked if Corbyn should have accepted more of the blame, Khan said, “What Jeremy and those around him should have the humility to recognise is [they] let Corbyn be Corbyn, and we got pasted. It’s not just about changing the lead singer, it’s the whole band. The music was wrong. “We’re Labour, a party that’s about anti-racism. For the leadership not to understand the impact of us being seen to condone anti-

semitism is heartbreaking. We’ve demonstrated a breathtaking lack of emotional intelligence — or humanity.” Sadiq Khan is the Labour candidate for the upcoming Mayor of London elections in May 2020.


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

COMMENTS

UK

3

11 - 17 January 2020

Think then act, not act then think America and Iran started their new year in fitting stylewith future threats of world shattering wars. Believed to use this as a distraction from the result of his own impeachment trial that is expected soon, while taking a casual break from golfing in Florida, President Donald Trump ordered a strike that killed Iran's most important military head- Major General Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the elite Quds Force of Iran's Revolutionary Guard. The provocative action has created a total mess for American interests. Iran vowed retaliations and leaving the nuclear deal as more US troops have headed to the tense region. Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron have urged Iran to reconsider its decision to effectively abandon 2015’s nuclear deal. Trump declared his order of the deadly strike on Thursday, calling it a step to "stop a war." But fears are that it is only matter of hours to start a new conflict, as Iran vows to avenge Soleimani’s untimely death in the hands of an ‘impulsive’ Donald Trump. The question therefore asked repeatedly, “why did Trump recourse to killing Soleimani now?” Sixteen years after Saddam Hussein, that proved of poor intelligence by US, judgement, and inadequate influence over the government in Baghdad, it is time for the US to wake up and smell the coffee. The issue is not simply of prophecies of war, but as Simon Jenkins in an article in the Guardian wrote, America’s threat to destroy the sites of ancient Persia should send a shiver down the spine of any civilised person. He very rightly asked how could American bombing of Persepolis or the mosques of Isfahan be justified, as someone even with no sense could see them as not 'threatening America'! It is on the same ethical plane as the Islamic State vandalism of Palmyra and Mosul. The destruction of cultural artefacts in wars has been specially outlawed by the Hague convention of 1954 and subsequent protocols. It is the same as genocide or ethnic cleansing by chemical weapons or strategic bombing of civilians. It is beyond fathomable human behaviour. The

US does not recognise many of the treaties, as it concedes extraterritorial sovereignty, but it usually obeys these laws. Modern weaponry is forgetting ethics, and making a serious mockery of the legality of war. For example the drone. It has turned the onscreen war game, that teenagers get addicted to, into an adult life reality. The deepening fallout over Iran renewed a focus on Trump's careless leadership style and the question of how carefully he had considered the consequences of the attack. The administration does not want to give even a sneak peek into the intelligence that led to attack Soleimani. Democrats in Congress, have said they were not consulted in advance and that the White House has only offered a classified explanation of its action, called on Trump to declassify the formal notification given to Congress about the attack. Though Raab said the UK government was “sympathetic” to Washington’s situation, but added that he had spoken to the Iraqi president and prime minister and French and German counterparts since the assassination, and Britain’s focus had been on restoring calm, and protecting its troops and citizens in the region. The allies are maintaining safe distance, even while supporting Trump, as clearly none of them were consulted. There is also no obvious sign of a long-term strategy to cool off Iranian retaliations. Trump's increasingly hostile, aggressive and unnecessary tweets are fanning the fire. But the administration keeps insisting it does not want a war with Iran, and claims it is not seeking regime change after elimination of Soleimani, the most powerful Iranian leader barring Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. This incident is also an example of a widening dispute between the House and the Senate over the shape of Trump’s impeachment trial. The damaging new revelations strengthen the case further that the President did abuse his power. The showdown with Iran is deepening and it’s another crisis caused by Trump's disruptive and impulsive choices- his impeachment over his demand for political favours from Ukraine. This truly tests the national unity on US soil.

The New Year’s Honours List 2020, published on Saturday 28 December, recognises the outstanding achievements of people across the United Kingdom, including that of Asian-origin. 9.1% of the people are from BAME community. 11% of the successful candidates consider themselves to have a disability and 3.3% of recipients identified as being LGBTQ+. 51% of the recipients in the New Year’s Honours List 2020 are women, including 44% awarded at the highest levels. However none from the South Asian community have been knighted, or been awarded Damehood. It’s surprising for a country where 3.08mn people are of South Asian origin, which is 4.9% of the total population. The New Year’s Honours list includes leaders and pioneers from all fields. The list also celebrates a range of extraordinary young people across the UK. To mark the start of the World Health Organisation’s ‘Year of the Nurse and Midwife’ in 2020, twelve nurses and five midwives who have dedicated their lives to helping others and improving healthcare in the UK receive honours at OBE, MBE and BEM level. This Honours List continues to demonstrate the breadth of service rendered by people from all backgrounds from all across the UK. In total 1,097 people have received an award, out of which 72% of the recipients are people who have undertaken outstanding work in their communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity. This Honours List also includes inspirational people who have dedicated their lives to Holocaust and genocide remembrance and education, sharing their stories with schoolchildren around the UK. As survivors, they have demonstrated extraordinary personal resilience and commitment, championing tolerance and diversity, and playing a vital role in ensuring future generations continue to learn from the past. The New Year’s Honours List while has many people listed from London this year, raised eyebrows when

Ross McEwan, successor of the former controversial RBS boss Fred Goodwin was honoured with a CBE. Goodwin was stripped of knighthood by the Queen in 2012, joining the late, former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, and Soviet spy Anthony Blunt, among the dubious ranks of those relieved of their honours. The Daily Telegraph also criticised the honour’s system and said that it’s a bit odd that none of the luminaries on the honours committee thought even once before awarding Goodwin’s successor Ross McEwan with a CBE. Of course McEwan did a decent job to clean-up during his five year tenure, before moving on from RBS. The bank returned to profit, the government’s stake was cut to 62 percent and some grave and historical misdemeanours like the mis-selling of mortgage in the US was resolved. All perfectly commendable, but he was doing the job for which he was hired after Goodwin- to lead the bank and its reputation to ‘light’. To bestow that person with an honour, seems a bit too far fetched and if we may say, perhaps even ‘devaluing' of the award system. On the other hand, in a sheer blunder by the Cabinet Office, counter-terrorism officers, politicians and celebrities are among more than 1,000 New Year’s Honours recipients who have had their home addresses revealed by the Government. The Cabinet Office apologised after a spreadsheet containing the personal details was accidentally posted online for more than an hour. It is understood that most of the entries on the spreadsheet included full addresses with house numbers and postcodes. The fact that the list included details of senior police officers and Ministry of Defence staff has been seen as a major security breach. Police officers are therefore to be given extra security, amid warnings that some of those affected by the blunder may have to move home. If it is found to have broken data rules the Cabinet Office, which is responsible for the UK's National Cyber Security Strategy, could face a fine of up to £17million.

New Year’s Honours List 2020 raise questions

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain. - Dolly Parton

Alpesh Patel

Fixing a broken government Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s Senior Special Advisor has been in the news a lot. Back when Tony Blair asked me to advise him on building closer ties with India, as part of the UK-India Roundtable I met alongside Margaret Thatcher’s Special Economic Advisory, Sir Tim Lankester. After a couple of years of hearing my presentations for Number 10, in fact for Prime Ministers of both countries, he put me forward as a Visiting Fellow in Business and Industry at Oxford University. There I focussed and lectured on the work of Kahneman (before he got the Nobel) whilst writing about the same in my Financial Times column and why clever people make big financial mistakes. (All before the 2008 crash). I was surrounded by people twice my age as I was only in my 20s. The current Special Advisor to the PM equally impresses me. Coincidentally, or because we are both right (the latter), he is the first person I have ever met who takes the same views on several critical issues on Government. It was he who was advising Gove when Gove decried the problem with ‘experts’ getting things wrong. Dominic Cummings: Perhaps the most profound aspect of broken systems is they cannot reflect on the reasons why they’re broken— never mind take effective action. As he notes, “we can see some reasonably clear conclusions from decades of study on expertise and prediction in many fields. ● Some fields are like extreme sport or physics: Genuine expertise emerges because of fast effective feedback on errors. ● Abstracting human wisdom into models often works better than relying on human experts as models are often more consistent and less noisy. ● Models are also often cheaper and simpler to use. ● Models do not have to be complex to be highly effective — quite the opposite, often simpler models outperform more sophisticated and expensive ones. ● In many fields (which I’ve explored before but won’t go into again here) low tech very simple checklists have been extremely effective: e.g flying aircraft or surgery. ● Successful individuals like Warren Buffett and Ray Dalio also create cognitive checklists to trap and correct normal cognitive biases that degrade individual and team performance. ● Fields make progress towards genuine expertise when they make a transition from stories (e.g Icarus) and authority (e.g ‘witch doctor’) to quantitative models (e.g modern aircraft) and evidence/experiment (e.g some parts of modern medicine/surgery). ● In the intellectual realm, maths and physics are fields dominated by genuine expertise and provide a useful benchmark to compare others against. They are also hierarchical. Social sciences have little in common with this. ● Even when we have great examples of learning and progress, and we can see the principles behind them are relatively simple and do not require high intelligence to understand, they are so psychologically hard and run so counter to the dynamics of normal big organisations, that almost nobody learns from them. Extreme success is ‘easy to learn from’ in one sense and ‘the hardest thing in the world to learn from’ in another sense." ● I find that uneducated people on 20k living hundreds of miles from SW1 generally have a more accurate picture of daily No10 work than extremely well-connected billionaires.” Editor: CB Patel Asian Voice is published by Asian Business Publications Ltd Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, (Off Coronet Street) London N1 6HW. Tel: 020 7749 4080 • Fax: 020 7749 4081 Email: aveditorial@abplgroup.com Website: www.abplgroup.com © Asian Business Publications


4 UK

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

11 - 17 January 2020

Workshop helps parents keep their children safe A workshop offering vital advice and guidance on how to keep children safe attracted almost 100 members of the Slough community. The 'keeping kids safe' workshop was organised by the two Slough Community Groups. One of these is the Al Iman Institute which was set up by young professionals who run courses and study programmes designed to help others become positive role models for Islam. They hold courses and workshops at St Bernard's Grammar School in Langley Road. They ran the 'keeping kids safe' workshop in partnership with the Slough Modest Sisters community group. The workshop was designed to help parents as they tried to get young chil-

dren to understand the potential dangers around them. Headteacher at Al Iman Joweria Khera said: "We wanted to equip parents with the right tools and ideas for them to have those difficult conversations with their children about keeping safe, what is right and wrong, to speak up when something is upsetting and knowing who to go to for

help." Sundas Tamini, who attended the workshop said: "My children are actually too young right now as babies to understand all this but I thought it was important to come and learn some ideas as to how I can best keep them safe. Because I will need to be talking to them about these issues much sooner than I think."

For more information about the Al Iman Institute, which runs its courses on Saturdays at St Bernard's, call 07716 148855,r email admin@alimaninstitute.co. uk or visit www.alimaninstitute.co.uk Another workshop is planned for the near future to be delivered in Urdu to reach parents who have a language barrier.

Woman left scared as Uber driver exposes himself on 2-hour journey home A woman who requested an Uber was driven on a twohour journey home while a driver indecently exposed himself and asked her to touch him. The driver, Nadeem Afzal (pictured), picked up the female passenger who had been on a night out in November, 2018. The young woman in her 20s made an audio recording of his advances as he asked her to touch him several times. The victim's journey took nearly two hours, when it should have taken 40 minutes. She was dropped at a fast-food restaurant near her home in south London

and once she was home, she called the police and an investigation was launched. Afzal, 51, of Limes Avenue, was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, at Kingston Crown Court on Thursday (January 2). He is no longer a cab driver. He was quickly identified and charged on 19 August, 2019 with one count of exposure. He first appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on 17 September 2019. He pleaded guilty to one charge of exposure contrary to the Sexual Offences Act 2003, at a hearing on 6 November 2019. Sergeant Jonny Harris,

New Herts MP to keep his Essex council seat A newly elected MP, who won the seat of South West Hertfordshire last month, will remain an Essex county councillor, it has been announced. However Gagan Mohindra, who represents Chigwell and Loughton Broadway, has stepped down as cabinet member for finance, property and housing. He had said that if successful in being elected, he will be standing down from his councillor roles some time in the New Year. Cllr Mohindra beat David Gauke, the former Tory justice secretary, who lost the whip after rebelling over Brexit, by more than 14,000 votes in last month’s general election. Mr Mohindra’s portfolio will now be looked after by the leader of Essex County Council, David Finch. Cllr Mohindra, who was elected to the council in 2017, though no longer able to claim a £3,000 a month

special responsibility allowance, will be eligible for a basic allowance of £1,000 a month. He also remains a councillor for Epping Forest District Council, where he has represented Grange Hill since 2006. He is also chairman of Essex Conservatives, and sits on the board of West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group. He fought North Tyneside in the 2010 general election. He made it onto the shortlist for the Brentwood and Ongar seat but missed out eventually to Alex Burghart.

of Met Roads and Transport Command, said: “Afzal preyed on this female passenger in his minicab and was extremely persistent in his sexual advances and behaviour, leaving the passenger feeling scared and vulnerable. "The victim showed courage coming forward to police and reporting Afzal, who is now a registered sex offender and can no longer work as a cab driver.”

Mandy McGregor, Head of Transport Policing and Community Safety at TfL, said: “Nobody should ever be subjected to this kind of revolting and predatory behaviour and we are pleased to hear that Afzal has been brought to justice for his actions. “We applaud the bravery of the victim for coming forward. We expect the highest standards from TfL licensed taxi and private hire drivers, which is why Afzal is no longer a licensed driver. "We take every report seriously so it can be investigated by the police.” Afzal has also been put on the sex offenders' register for ten years.

Burger King launches plantbased Whopper not suitable for vegans/vegetarians Burger King is launching a plant-based version of its Whopper in the UK, but vegans and vegetarians won’t be able to enjoy the new burger. The Rebel Whopper, which is made from soy, is not suitable for those avoiding meat because it is cooked on the same grill as the fast food chain’s beef burgers. This means the new burger – which launches on Burger King’s app today and nationwide on Wednesday – is not an option for those trying the ‘Veganuary’ challenge to avoid animal products in January. Burger King is marketing the Rebel Whopper as a “flexitarian” offering – designed for customers trying to reduce their meat intake without cutting out animal products entirely. The new burger is served with tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, onion, ketchup and mayonnaise –

which is not vegan because it contains egg. Despite this, Veganuary welcomed the launch of the Rebel Whopper. In a statement, the organisation said the burger was not “aimed at existing vegans”, but instead at those “who want to reduce their meat consumption for health or environmental reasons or are considering going vegan”. Many restaurant chains have launched new vegan offerings in a bid to tempt customers taking part in Veganuary. Greggs launched its vegan steak bake last week, hoping to replicate the success of its hugely popular vegan sausage roll, while Pret a Manger has introduced a vegan croissant and removed all extra charges for non-dairy milks.

in brief CHADWELL HEATH TERRORIST WHO TOOK SELFIE ON SECRET PHONE SENT BACK TO JAIL

A convicted terrorist from Chadwell Heath who took a selfie on a secret phone has been sent back to jail. Ahmed Aweys, 34, was originally sentenced to 25 months in jail in January 2019 for three charges of disseminating a terrorist publication. He was made subject of a terrorism notification order as part of the terms of his release on licence in August. But in September, police found he had used an unauthorised bank account belonging to his sister to receive three Department for Work and Pensions payments after applying for universal credit. The Old Bailey heard how when officers went to arrest him, they found he also had a second phone he had not declared to police. An examination of the mobile device revealed he had used it to send texts, make calls and search the internet. He had even taken a selfie on it. Aweys, who was recalled to prison, pleaded guilty to two charges of breaching notification order requirements and appeared to be sentenced at the Old Bailey by video link from Wandsworth jail. Mr Justice Sweeney handed him 16 months for each offence to run concurrently with each other and his original sentence. The judge said the defendant had deliberately flouted the terrorism notification requirement.

'HUDDERSFIELD GROOMING GANG DID NOT SEE GIRLS AS HUMAN BEINGS'

A grooming gang preyed on two "young and vulnerable" teenage girls, with one victim estimating she "had sex with up to 300 men", a court has heard. Seven men face 12 charges of rape and indecent assault on the girls in the Huddersfield area from 1995 to 2007. Leeds Crown Court heard the men gave the girls drink and drugs and did not "see them as humans beings", prosecutor Kate Batty said. All seven men deny the charges. The case is set to last five weeks. The accused are: - Usman Ali, 34, who denies two charges of rape - Banaras Hussain, 39, who denies one charge of rape - Abdul Majid, 35, who denies two counts of rape - Gul Riaz, 43, who denies two counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault The case continues.

POLICE OFFICER AMONG 16 CHARGED WITH HALIFAX CHILD SEX OFFENCES

A police officer and 15 other men have appeared at Bradford Magistrates' Court accused of sexual assaults against children. The charges, which include rape and supplying drugs, relate to offences against three teenage girls in Halifax between 2006 and 2009. PC Amjad Ditta faces a single charge of sexual touching. He and the other men were given bail and will appear at Bradford Crown Court on 20 January. The victims were aged between 13 and 16 at the time. The charged men, who are all from Halifax, are: - Vaqaas Abbas, 30, charged with three counts of rape and three of supplying a class C drug - Nadeem Adalat, 34, charged with four counts of rape and four counts of supplying a class C drug - Sajid Adalat, 43, charged with rape - Waseem Adalat, 33, charged with two counts of rape, trafficking and supplying a class C drug - Amjad Ditta, 35, charged with sexual touching - Christopher Eastwood, 45, charged with two counts of rape and two counts of supplying a class C drug - Mahtab Islam, 46, charged with five counts of rape, three of supplying a class A drug, three of supplying a class C drug, two of sexual assault and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice - Mohammed Rizwan Iqbal, 34, charged with rape - Ishtiaq Latif, 32, charged with sexual activity with a child - Asad Mahmood, 33, charged with two counts of rape and trafficking - Khalifa Mughal, 36, is charged with six counts of rape, supply of a class C drug, supply of a class A drug and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice - Younis Mohammed, 34, is charged with rape and causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent - Nadeem Nassir, 39, charged with rape, supply of a class C drug and making threats to kill - Shahzad Nowaz, 40, charged with rape, supply of a class C drug and making threats to kill - Shazad Nazir, 44, charged with two counts of rape and two counts of supplying a class C drug - Sohail Zafar, 36, charged with rape and supplying a class C drug


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

11 - 17 January 2020

UKVI-approved tests for visa applications Trinity has once again been appointed by the Home Office to deliver Secure English Language Te Tests (SELT LT Ts s) in the UK. We’re looking forward to expanding our test centre network and to building upon our high standards of customer service for people who need to demonstrate kn nowledge of language to the UKVI for the purpose of settling, working or studying in the UK.

◗ We are the UK’s leading provider of SELT speaking and listening tests ◗ Trinity has a proven track record of providing Home Office-approved secure English language testing services in the UK since 2011 ◗ Trinity GESE speaking and listening and ISE reading, writing, speaking and lisstening SELTs Ts are a available at Trinity SELT C Centres across the UK See what test takers typically say about their Trinity SELT experience on social media:

Staff were very profe fessional — explained everything. Makes eel calm c and welcomed. you ffeel Thank y Thank you! Elina, F Fac acebook 2.10.19

100% positive ex xperience. What amazing g sstaff! Thank y Thank you u! Henriett, t, F Fac aceb book 3.10.19

I am very happy and grra ateful for ation, their dedication, time, considerra professionalism and humanity! Valentina, F Fac acebook 29. 9.10.19

Find out more about Trinity SELT Tss and about becoming a Trinity Listed SELT Course Provider at trinitycollege.com/SEL LT T /TrinitySELT

@Trrinity y_ _SELT

0333 358 3183

trinitycollege.com/SELT

5


6 UK

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

11 - 17 January 2020

Divorce still a taboo

Sunak to receive super-ministry Rishi Sunak, the Treasury chief secretary is being tipped by senior Tories to run a new economic “super-ministry” after a big cabinet reshuffle due in February, the Financial Times has reported.

Priyanka Mehta

O

n Tuesday 7th January, the government triggered the biggest shake-up of divorce laws seen in the last 50 years by re-introducing the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill in Parliament. This move follows a recent report published by Marriage Foundation which estimated that divorce rates across England and Wales are expected to drop to as low as 22.5%. According to official figures, the number of divorces in England and Wales fell below 100,000 a year in 2018 for the first time in nearly 50 years. No clear data is indicating the number of British Asian couples who are facing troubles in their marriage. However, divorce in the Asian community is often stigmatised with women under certain circumstances being shunned from society and isolated from their family. Minreet Kaur had entered into a “semiarranged” marriage with a man she had met through a Gurudwara in west London.

ostracised in the community and hardly had any social life. She said, “I only received support from my parents while the community frowned upon divorcees. I went to a marriage counsellor and that didn't help. I tried everything I could to get support but Asian families do not understand when a couple is having issues that sometimes it is just a case of going your separate ways. I managed to cope through my prayers and meditation that gave me strength.”

Generational divide: Tolerance as opposed to mental peace Perhaps, Minreet's divorce best illustrates the intersectionality between the generational and cultural divide that exists along with these subjects. The forefathers and grandparents emphasise on building tolerance in a relationship and blame the younger generation for their “committment issues”. Whilst the millennials tend to prioritise their emotional and mental well-being after attempting to weed through their issues. But aside from the community, some psychologists believe that families and their ideas around traditions play an integral role in the sustenance or the wreckage of the marriages. Mamta Saha a psychologist based in London and Dubai says,

Relationship counselling: Discussions around lack of sexual intimacy a taboo Minreet Kaur

Within a year of her marriage, she had divorced her husband and gone back home. She says, “There were lots of issues with him and his immediate family. You never know someone until you live with them. He drank excessively and also was a compulsive liar. We didn't get on at all and were two completely different people.” Divorce is shameful in the Sikh community, especially for women. The 2018 British Sikh Report says that 4% have been divorced and another 1% have separated. For years after her marriage had fallen apart, she had faced the brunt of being

“Asian couples who come to counselling face a lot of challenges because of ingrained traditions that are often reinforced by the family members who are very involved in the couple's life. Other issues include living with in-laws where women have spoken about being disrespected and patronised by the family members. Emotional games, power struggles and issues around intimacy often drive these women to counselling.” She further highlights how some Asian couples shy away from discussing issues around their sex life. Talking about lack of intimate relationships continues to be a taboo among some women who despite living in a progressive British society often brush these concerns under

the carpet. Recounting a case study of one of her clients, Saha says, “I once had a woman who confided that her husband only ever initiated a sexual relationship between them to impregnate her. That woman has had two children and now her husband wants a third but they have no intimacy. The idea of having a third child for her is very uncomfortable but she can hardly speak about it with anyone in her family. “Nobody talks about sex before or during marriage. As a community, we need to wake up and educate our children about having sex and the responsibilities that ensue with marriage and parenthood. In an Asian community, one tends to get married for a host of reasons such that intimacy is quite often left along the sidelines and neglected.”

Social media support and MeetUp groups Whilst there have been counsellors and lawyers, talking the Asian couples and families through the emotional, financial and mental distress of divorce procedures, online platforms are also aplenty. Social media platforms where women gather and support each other by organising group events and meetings have also sprung up in the last few years. One such group on MeetUp includes 300 women, who have gone through or going through a divorce/separation or are suffering from the loss of a spouse. They often plan and host multiple fun events with and without kids regularly. In the meantime, psychologists such as Mamta Saha recommend individuals to work on their happiness index to cope through the emotional distress of a divorce. She says, “My greatest piece of advice is to continue trying. Working on yourself is more important than working on your marriage. If you are not happy, and if you have expectations that are not being met then it has got to do with you. Yes, the other person may be playing a part in that and triggering an emotional outburst but at the end of the day, the onus of managing your emotional well-being primarily lies on you.

Mamta Saha

“A coping mechanism is to remember one's selfworth and potential. Detaching yourself from negative forces and the toxic environment is difficult because you will have social commitments and obligations but it is imperative for your mental peace that you know where to draw a line. You have to be mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually strong to be able to confront such forces.” Minreet has now vowed to help as many other women as possible and today as she continues to challenge the stigma associated with being a divorcee she emphasises, “My message to anyone who is going through a similar phase is to be strong, and not be afraid to tell people you're divorced and don't feel ashamed. Reach out to other people in similar situations and to those out there who judge divorced people even today, I ask: “What is the difference between those who have dated one or two or more people than someone divorced? They still have had a relationship with someone!” In the meantime, the new Bill will allow for socalled no-fault divorces and remove the ability of one party to trap the other in marriage by contesting an application for divorce. It will remove this ‘blame game’ by allowing one spouse - or the couple jointly - to make a statement of irretrievable breakdown. The Bill was first introduced in June 2019 after public consultation and is being brought before Parliament again following the General Election and being mentioned by the Queen in her speech last year.

According to the publication, Conservatives close to the prime minister said Sunak’s performance during the election has enabled him to be promoted to a full cabinet portfolio in the reshuffle. The prime minister is expected to create a beefedup business ministry — absorbing the international trade department — with a remit to attract inward investment and “level up” Britain’s economy by targeting help at poorer areas including parts of the midlands and northern England. Several ministers believe that the Treasury chief secretary will, after doing a stint in a Whitehall “spending department”, return to One Horseguards Road as

Rishi Sunak

chancellor. “In cabinet, Boris will often turn to Rishi first on the economy,” said one minister. Sunak’s business has previously worked at the Goldman Sachs and a hedge before he co-founded an investment business “working with companies from Silicon Valley to Bangalore”. He is the son-in-law of Indian software tycoon Narayan Murthy. Sunak decided to back Brexit in the 2016 referendum.

Islamophobic slogans near Brixton mosque On Monday 1st January, according to the Metropolitan police, Islamophobic slogans were found painted on a building close to Brixton mosque and cultural centre in south London. “Officers were called at around 1100hrs on 1 January to reports of anti-Islamic slogans spray-painted on a building near to the North Brixton Islamic Centre in Brixton Road. Inquiries are ongoing at this time as part of a full investigation. “We are working alongside Lambeth council to ensure the offensive remarks are removed as soon as possible,” a statement from the Met Office noted. The statement added, “Shockingly, hate crime affects people from all walks of life and impacts on communities across London. All members of our communities have the right to go about their daily life without fear of verbal, physical or written abuse. The Met does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we are committed to tackling offences like this as thoroughly as possible.” “Disgusted to hear that Islamophobic slogans have been spray painted near the

North Brixton Islamic Centre. @metpoliceuk are working with Lambeth Council to have them removed, but let me be clear: all prejudice is cowardly and criminals will face the full force of the law,” tweeted Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London. Angela Rayner, the shadow education secretary and frontrunner for

Labour’s vacant position of deputy leader, echoed Khan’s words, saying: “Islamophobic hate is not acceptable and should not be tolerated, it is disgusting, hate has no place in our society and we should always challenge it whenever it occurs.” The incident comes three days after antisemitic graffiti was sprayed across a synagogue and shops in north London during the Jewish festival of Hanukah. The Star of David, a Jewish holy symbol, and the numbers 911 were spraypainted in red and purple on premises in the Hampstead and Belsize Park area, including South Hampstead synagogue.


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

11 - 17 January 2020

7


8 UK 11 - 17 January 2020

AsianVoiceNews

As I See It CB Patel

New Year coffee & discussion over CAA

I was having coffee with three friends - Aziz, Vikas and Arash, on 3rd January. My first meeting in the new year with friends. Our discussion covered a wide range of topics. During the holidays of New Year, Aziz visited Spain, Vikas returned from India, Arash had local tours while I preferred to do some relaxation. No wonder the topic of protests in India against the newly enacted Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) came on the table. Aziz seemed to be concerned but didn’t ask a direct question. He rather asked me about the legal provisions and repercussions of CAA for Muslims in India. It was not only an opportunity but also a duty towards my friends, to thwart the misinformation that has spread in and out of India recently. However, as Arash is an expert on Indian diaspora and immigration lawyer by profession, I felt he should answer this question. So I requested, ‘Why don’t you enlighten us on this topic Arash?’ Arash smiled and said that CAA was an act to give citizenship and not to take it away. He rather assured Aziz, ‘No citizen of India, irrespective of faith or religion, needs to fear losing citizenship under the CAA. CAA does not apply to any citizen of India at all. Therefore, any report to the contrary is part of a misinformation campaign. It only makes provisions for giving citizenship to six minority religious groups migrated from three neighbouring countries.’ Vikas enthusiastically counted on fingertips: Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christians - coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan - correct? He asked. Arash nodded affirmatively and added, ‘Any foreigner belonging to one of these six minorities who migrated for the reason of persecution from these three countries up to 31 December 2014 is eligible to get Indian citizenship under the CAA. CAA creates a legal right in these immigrants to get a faster route for Indian citizenship through naturalisation. While the minimum residency requirement, in the normal course, is 12 years for all foreigners to get Indian citizenship, these immigrants can get it in 6 years.’ Now Aziz asked, rather with concern, ‘Why not Muslims migrating from these countries?’ I had expected this question. And as a journalist, I had followed the topic in great detail. So I preferred to answer that question. And my response was clear: Muslims are not a minority in these three countries and do not face persecution. And it should be clear in our mind that CAA provides only for religious persecution. It does not cover any other form of persecution, not on the grounds of race, gender, membership of a political or social group, language, ethnicity, etc.’

‘Can Hindus from any other country get citizenship under CAA?’ Vikas asked curiously. ‘No, Vikas.’ Arash responded, ‘CAA does not provide for citizenship to any person, of whatever religion, coming from other countries.’ I thought it would be useful to inform Aziz that Muslims of any country can also get Indian citizenship, like any other person of any religion or country, through naturalisation or registration. Again Vikas began counting on fingertips, ‘Indian citizenship can be acquired by: Birth, Descent, Registration, Naturalisation or Incorporation of Territory. Am I right?’ ‘Yes, under the Citizenship Act of 1955, these are the five modes of acquiring Indian citizenship. They are applicable to a person of any religion from any country.’ Arash approved. While Aziz and Vikas were listening attentively, I gave information about 14,864 Bangladeshi Citizens who were given Indian Citizenship when their enclaves were incorporated into Indian Territory after the settlement of Indo-Bangladesh boundary issue. I clarified that most of them were Muslims. Similarly, during the last six years, about 2830 Pakistani citizens, 912 Afghani and 172 Bangladeshi citizens were given Indian citizenship. Many of them too were Muslims.’ Even Arash found this information interesting. It also seemed to have cleared Aziz’s doubts to a certain extent. ‘But my worry is the deportation of Muslims under the CAA.’ Aziz expressed his concern. I knew this question was due to misinformation being spread about the CAA. But again it is more of legal question, I looked at Arash who explained, ‘No Aziz, CAA has absolutely nothing to do with deportation of any foreigner from India. Deportation was always dealt with by the Foreigners Act, 1946 and/or the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920. As you can see, these two are very old enactments. They govern entry, stay, movement within India and exit from India. They apply to all foreigners, irrespective of their religion or country of origin. There is also a wellestablished judicial process to address any grievances and it continues to apply.’ ‘I see.’ Vikas had a sip of coffee and asked, ‘Okay, but my curiosity is why the Government of India has enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in so much hurry, without taking people into confidence?’ ‘Vikas, CAA is not enacted in a hurry. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) had been in the public domain since 2016. Yes, since 2016. It was also cleared by a 30 member Parliamentary Committee consisting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members. So, it has followed the due parlia-

mentary procedure and after getting Presidential assent, it became an Act.’ Aziz gave a detailed clarification to Vikas while Aziz and I heard him with interest. ‘In that case, everyone was aware of the provision of CAA well in advance.’ Vikas whispered to himself. ‘It means there is certainly no reason for any Indian citizen, including Muslims, to worry about losing their citizenship under the CAA. But, what about National Register of Citizens called NRC? I heard now there is something like NPR also.’ As Aziz asked, I could feel that he had been following social media messages and was genuinely concerned. ‘Aziz, NRC has nothing to do with any religion and no decision has been taken in that regard. National Population Register, called NPR is a process for collection of data for all persons resident in India, including declared foreign citizens, to create a comprehensive database of all residents. There is a motivated campaign to link the proposed NPR to NRC. They are two different issues. NPR was done in 2010 and now after ten years, it will be updated again.’ I was happy that Aziz was asking all his doubts and giving us an opportunity to explain. Arash’s presence was really useful as an expert on Indian legal and constitutional system. ‘What is the need for such duplicate exercise while more than 90% of Indian citizens have Aadhar card?’ Aziz asked, this time with a smirk on his face. Vikas nodded in agreement. ‘Aziz, your question is important. Aadhar collects individual data, while NPR collects family data. Therefore, they are different. Such data collected under NPR helps government plan its schemes such as Aayushyaman Bharat, Ujawala Yojana, Jan Dhan Yojana, etc for the benefit of economically vulnerable classes of society. Aadhar does not give such data to the government.’ I explained with examples and they both registered the difference and requirement of NPR positively. Arash knew this fact and he gave an admiring look while having the next sip of coffee. ‘I am happy that we discussed the issue of CAA, NRC and NPR today in such detail. It has removed many doubts from my mind. Perhaps I was misinformed and therefore was concerned on many counts. But now my doubts are clear. I will also inform my friends and relatives here and in India about the reality of these issues.’ Aziz expressed his satisfaction while finishing his coffee while Vikas asked the waiter for the bill. Arash seemed to have liked the coffee and offered to pay the bill. I was happy that we could discuss the burning issue in great detail and their doubts were resolved.

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

Educator and author awarded International Diaspora Award Parin Somani, an educator and author was recently honoured with the International Diaspora Award. She was conferred this award in Gwalior by Madhya Bhartiya Hindi Sahitya Sabha, a collaboration of Akhil Bharatiya Sahatiya Parishad on 17th November 2019. A qualified Chartered Accountant, Parin is an independent scholar, exploring thoughtprovoking teaching methods from the west, which can be applied to a religious context in academia. She has travelled to developing parts of the world, as a visiting lecturer, in pursuit to introduce contemporary teaching methods to overcome the social stigma attached to mental health and well-being, with particular emphasis on women’s empowerment.

Currently in banking industry, Somani has also been a freelance writer, author and poetess. She is connected with various charities including Rotary Club and has served in the Ismaili community and institutions as a volunteer.

Does Nandy stand a chance as the next Labour leader?

From left to right: Rebecca Long Bailey, Keir Starmer, Emily Thornberry, Clive Lewis, Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips

On Tuesday, 7th January Labour’s leadership and deputy leadership races were officially underway with the party’s ruling National Executive Committee setting out the timetable for the three-stage contest.

Rosena Allin Khan

Jess Phillips, Emily Thornberry, Clive Lewis and Lisa Nandy are all running for the leadership race. Nandy a British Asian has been one of the most critical voices on the party’s Brexit policy in favour of a second referendum. She said offering a softer Brexit was the “only way that you would have prevented the scale of the collapse” in seats across the north, Midlands and Wales. In the meantime, her campaign strategy has been all about returning economic prosperity to Britain’s towns, making sure they have good public services and jobs and combatting the increasing carbon footprint destroying the planet. She has said offers such as free broadband failed to resonate when a pledge to improve bus services could have been much more effective. A former shadow energy and climate change secretary, she has also made the case in recent days for the UK to rebuild its

Khalid Mahmood

influence in the world and said Trump’s actions have created a “really, really dangerous moment for the entire world and for Britain in particular”. Nandy has been critical of the manifesto and Brexit policy, but has also said Labour must not abandon the radicalism of the Corbyn era. She is considered to be on the soft left of the party and has stressed her socialist credentials, but some Corbyn allies may eye her with suspicion for having backed Owen Smith’s leadership challenge in 2016. In the meantime, Rosena Allin-Khan, who still works as an A&E doctor in her constituency in Tooting, has decided to run for deputy leader of the Labour Party. She won her seat in south London after Sadiq Khan stepped down when he became Mayor of London. She becomes the fifth candidate to succeed Tom Watson as deputy leader, and is joined by Khalid Mahmood.


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

UK

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

9

11 - 17 January 2020

'Overworked, understaffed and demoralised': BMA report reveals mental health workforce at breaking point A BMA survey of over 1,000 mental health care professionals has laid bare the terrible impact of a shortage of mental health staff in the face of rising demand. It has left staff at ‘breaking point’ and patients failing to get the care they need. The survey, in collaboration with the Royal College of Nursing and the Association of Clinical Psychologists, reveals that over half of respondents said they were too busy to provide the care they would like to be able to give, with 44% saying that they felt demoralised and the same number saying their workload was unmanageable. Doctors raised concerns over the level of staffing on mental health wards with 47% saying there was a shortage of one or more medical staff, while half were concerned about the skill mix. A consultant psychiatrist working on an acute admissions ward said, “It really has an impact on doctors if we don’t have the proper support. You could see doctors changing – you saw them become burned

photo courtesy: Ruhi Khan

SOAS South Asia Institute has again announced two full scholarships for residents of West Bengal, India to study MA South Asian Area Studies at SOAS for a full academic year, starting from 2020. These scholarships known as Bishwa Bangla Scholarships, are sponsored by the West Bengal Government, are for entry in September 2020. There are two Bishwa Bangla scholarships available for the Masters degree pro-

out and less alert.” The doctors’ union has set out a number of recommendations including doubling mental health funding from clinical commissioning groups as it warns that many of the Government’s mental health workforce commitments are not on track to be met. Responding to the report, BMA mental health policy lead, Dr Andrew Molodynski said, “This study highlights the very serious problems facing the mental health sector with a workforce near to breaking point. There are desperate shortages of care staff of all types across mental health, with doctors and nurses on the frontline overworked and demoralised – and patient care is suffering as a

result. “Mental healthcare accounts for 25% of all healthcare activity and yet our funding settlement stands at around 14% of healthcare spending at best. This is not right and has to improve. “There must be a stepchange in the Government’s approach to ensure we move beyond just ‘parity of esteem’ for physical and mental health. “The same level of resources must be made available in mental health so that the vulnerable patients who depend on these services can expect the same level of care, and the same level of outcomes as they do in physical healthcare. Anything less is morally unacceptable."

UK university pupils and academics stand in solidarity with JNU students Students and academics from different Universities in London and Oxford took part in protests on Monday to show solidarity with students at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. Many of these students had friends or family or knew of someone studying in JNU who have been brutally attacked within their university campus on Sunday night. According to a report by The Times of India, more than 50 students, researchers and academics from Oxford University protested outside the Radcliffe Camera, Oxford at 12pm. Similarly 50 people also gathered on the steps of SOAS University in London on Monday at 10am. Director of Soas, South Asia Institute Edward Simpson, and Avinash Paliwal, Deputy Director in a statement through Bulletin told Asian Voice, “Last Sunday, stu-

Bishwa Bangla Scholarships at SOAS

dents and faculty of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi faced an organised attack which led to a number of injuries. Media images showed masked men and women carrying sticks and iron-rods passing through the familiar precincts of the university, which is one of India’s most prestigious places of learning and research. SOAS has a longstanding partnership with JNU. “We collaborate at all

Protest outside SOAS on Monday

levels, including a formal memorandum of understanding, and countless informal links and publications and research projects. Many of our own students

Avinash Paliwal, Deputy Director, SSAI

are graduates of JNU or have friends studying there. Across our campus this week there has been a shared sense of dismay that this was allowed to happen, thus far seemingly without sanction or reprimand. Universities with an ethos of critical analysis are having a hard time in many parts of the world; however, we use this week’s Bulletin message to express strong solidarity with the students and faculty of JNU.”

grammes and for applicants who are ordinarily resident in the State of West Bengal, India. Applicants need to be eligible to pay fees at the overseas rate, have an offer of admission to the full-time MA South Asian Area Studies by the scholarship application deadline, hold a first or second class honours Bachelors degree from a UK university, or equivalent, in a subject appropriate to that of the programme and be proficient in the English language.

The total value of the Bishwa Bangla scholarships for the year 2020-21 is £39,540. The Masters scholarships are for full-time students and one year only. It is not applicable to part-time applicants and the scholarship cannot be held along with any other major scholarship or studentship. West Bengal government introduced the Biswa Bangla scholarships at the SOAS University of London in 2015, which has been since offered to students from Bengal.

Scholarship for poor white students sparks discriminatory row Two of the country’s leading private schools have defended their decision to turn down a £1m scholarship donation for white boys from impoverished families. Dulwich College in south London and Winchester College in Hampshire turned down the gift from the philanthropist Sir Bryan Thwaites over fears that it would break equality laws. Sir Bryan, wanted white

British boys from disadvantaged homes to benefit because they did worse at school than almost every other ethnic group. In the meantime Stormzy, last year had established Cambridge University scholarships exclusively for black British students. The refusal of leading boys’ schools to allow financial help exclusively for white pupils has prompted a row about

equality laws. Under the Equality Act positive discrimination, where someone is given preferential treatment because they have a specific characteristic, is generally unlawful. However “positive action” is permitted for efforts aimed at encouraging someone to overcome a disadvantage attributed to their race or other protected characteristic.


10 READERS VOICE

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

11 - 17 January 2020

The best candidate to lead Labour As the Labour Party searches for a new leader I hope they will look no further than Emily Thornberry, a brilliant and highly experienced politician who often represented Jeremy Corbyn in his absence with great flair at Prime Minister's Questions in parliament. Moreover, Labour badly needs their first woman leader in response to the Conservatives who have already had two female prime ministers. Regarding PMQs,, I am also fed up with Scotland monotonously baying for independence and Prime Minister Boris Johnson repeatedly insisting "no, no, we are better off together". If Scotland is desperate to break away from the United Kingdom, for heaven's sake let them go. Rudy Otter By email

Lord Krishna and Jesus Christ I would like to take this opportunity to make some comparisons and similarities between Lord Krishna and Jesus Christ. 1) first letters of their names have a similar sound ie Kra Krishna, Christ 2) both were born at midnight 3) both were born in unusual places: Lord Krishna in a prison and Christ in a stable 4) both preached principles of truth, righteousness, peace and harmony 5) the preachings of Lord Krishna are in the ‘Bhagwad Gita’ whilst the preachings of Christ are in the ‘Holy Bible’ 6) both died unnaturally cruel deaths: Lord Krishna was killed by wounds of arrows from a hunter and Jesus Christ’s body was nailed and crucified on a cross as a result of which he died, and 7) both were noble, selfless, super human and divine souls Savitaben Shukla Streatham Vale

School teachers crisis Currently Britain is not only facing shortage of doctors, nurses, builders and social care staff but more importantly the shortage of school teachers, on whom the foundation of our future generations depends. More than one million primary school children in England go to schools where they do not have a single full-time male teacher. With the majority of teaching assistants and lunch staff are also women it means many primary schools have an all-female staff. Christopher McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, described the gender imbalance as a ‘crisis’ and said it explains ‘the explosion in knife crime and antisocial behaviour’. He said: ‘Boys, in particular, are adversely affected when there are no father figures in their lives. It is time to stop fretting so much about the so called “rights” of girls and wake up to the real state of emergency in our schools – marginalised, disillusioned and under-achieving boys.’ The department said it last year pledged to increase diversity and is building ‘an inclusive environment where all teachers and pupils can feel valued and be themselves’. The nation’s ambition as a nation is to have a world class education system. This needs autonomous, high performing schools where all children progress and achieve their potential and who are taught by the very best teachers. Recruiting, training and developing teachers is crucial for this aspiration to become a reality. Recent headlines in the Times Educational Supplement have included, ‘Teacher shortages leads schools to spend £733million on supply agencies’; ‘Teacher shortages likely to continue for a decade’; ’90 per cent of teachers consider quitting because of workload, NUT Survey reveals’; ‘Teaching is among the top three most stressed occupations’. In a number of geographical areas in the UK, there is an acute shortage of qualified primary teachers. In areas of deprivation, many inner city schools struggle to recruit teachers. The same is true for small schools in rural and remote areas. Without a qualified teacher in every classroom in every school, the quality of education for young people is diminishing significantly. Teachers shape children’s lives and play a key role in their future. The government should invest in them properly as a matter of priority and urgency. Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow

We are grateful to all letter writers for more and more versatile letters well within word limit. Please keep contributing as always. If you are new, then write to Rupanjana at rupanjana.dutta@abplgroup.com - AV

Is this NHS premonition! It was disturbing to read in national papers that a middleaged mum had to wait six hours for an ambulance after she fell down on footpath, was badly injured. She was unable to move after the fall on a wet and slippery footpath, breaking her leg, a multi-facture injury. Bystanders phoned for ambulance time and again without success. They were helpless to assist her, as her injury was so severe that physically moving her would have complicated her already delicate situation. Thus bystanders were unable to take her to nearest hospital in their own vehicles. She was in and out of conscious struggling to stay awake until paramedics arrive. Bystanders tried to make her comfortable, giving her duvet, pillow and blankets to comfort and protect her from the wet and cold weather. The ambulance arrived after six hours and she was taken to nearest hospital where she passed away from cardiac arrest. She had two mini-strokes before. As usual, ambulance bosses apologised and promised to hold an inquiry. It is too little, too late. But blame lies fairly and squarely at the foot of our out of touch politicians who make NHS political football during election time; promise billions but kick it to the side-line as soon as election is over. Although extra financial investment would be helpful but in reality what NHS badly need is joint political approach to overhaul the ailing and failing NHS to make it fit for 21st Century, learn how other successful nations like France, Germany and Scandinavian countries operate where there is no waiting list, no bed shortages. First and foremost politicians should stop brainwashing public that it is free at the point of delivery. We pay for it in one way or another, through taxation. Listen to our GPs and hospital doctors, curtail Health Tourism, corruption and issue entitlement identity cards that are a norm in EU. Introduce £10 for GP and £50 for A & E visits with safeguards for under-privileged that will stop timewasters in their tracks! Now many GPs only see their patients after telephone consultations, weeding out time wasters! Kumudini Valambia By email

Has BJP lost the plot! When BJP won last general election with thumping majority, routing Congress, reducing Congress to political force of no consequence, everyone expected BJP to go on and win state by State, thus making Bharat true “Ram Rajya” where everyone live in peace, progress and harmony. Instead during last few years, BJP has lost control of States like Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and now Jharkhand, the State where BJP was expecting to get two third majority. This is indeed worse scenario that is allowing Congress to rise from the ashes, through back door BJP left unbolted! It is an interesting question to ask where fault-line lies? Answers political pundits came up with are interesting, logical and serious enough for BJP to worry, put their house in order and start all over again. First and foremost BJP failed to make alliance with local regional parties, thus allowing Congress to make a grand alliance to oppose BJP. Secondly BJP chose a wrong partner in Shive Sena who have no morals, no principal but to grab power at any cost, willing to go to bed with the enemy, even their worse opponents who do not share a single principal. If Bal Sahib Thackeray was alive, he would disown this lot who have betrayed every principal he stood for. The latest defeat in Jharkhand will affect BJP badly in Rajya Sabha where NDA do not have majority. It is also mentioned that PM Modi is surrounded by advisors who lack foresight. They are more Yes men than true friends who dare to call spade a spade when it matters most! CAA is latest example where PM Modi misjudged people’s mood. It would have been perfect bill if BJP had included Muslim minorities like Daudi Bhora, Ismalis, Sufis and Ahmedia Muslims who on most part Modi’s supporters. As these minorities form 1% of Muslim population, it would have made no difference in numbers but made bill secular, acceptable to all. Yes, Ismalis and Ahmedia played prominent part in forming Muslim League, but it is water under the bridge! Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email

MAKE YOURSELF HEARD Write to our ‘Reader’s Voice’ section about what you think regarding the various ongoing issues all around the world. Please send your letters to aveditorial@abplgroup.com Make sure they are NOT more than 350 words. Any letter longer than the limit may not be published. Note that all your letters are subject to being edited by our team for valid reasons. - Asian Voice

CALENDAR 2020 Paid subscribers of Asian Voice will get a copy of our brand new 2020 calendar with their newspaper this week.

Kapil’s Khichadi Vision 2020!

Kapil Dudakia The political games of the past few years on Brexit appear to have finally been laid to rest. Those who strived to undermine democracy ultimately lost to that very same democracy. Let us just take a moment, when it mattered that the British people made the right call at the right time. In that one clinical vote by the electorate, our democracy was restored as was our confidence that it will withstand extreme pressure from all sides of the political divide. This is something we should all celebrate. Not many countries would have survived such trauma, and for the UK to do so with such clarity sends the right message around the world. Can we have 2020 vision for 2020 and beyond? Dare I say, aspiring to secure 2020 vision might be a touch too far even for me! What I would say is that we have started on a trajectory that will bring forth multiple challenges and a myriad of end points for us as a nation. PM Johnson has begun his quest for an end point that will be a great success for the nation, however, the route he selects, and the partners he persuades to join us will ultimately decide where we end up. In my view I would focus on core UK business of the NHS, education, emergency services, commerce, infrastructure, housing and our security. It’s time to build the nation for the 21st Century, and in so doing, we have the opportunity to get right the mistakes of the past. Fundamental to any such

vision is our capacity to grow the economy and make money. Therefore, a thriving nation with high employment will bring in the taxes to pay for our future. Brexit of course does bring with it huge challenges, and many have predicted that we will go bankrupt. I reject such nonsense. There may be a bleep, but comparatively speaking we will see a Europe that is fast diminishing on the economic front. The UK on average will always do better in my view. Align that with our newfound freedom to explore FTAs with leading nations across the globe, and one can see that our GDP growth may well cross 3%. That is huge. This world has increasingly become one where too many people see their glass as half full or half empty. There is no such thing folks. The only debate is, what is in the glass? My glass is full because it contains hope, opportunity, challenges, threats, resilience, advantages and the brilliance of the British people. The only debate being the proportion of each of these in the glass. As we end the year on a high, let us endeavour to remember that in 2020 each of us has a role to play in how this nation moves forward. Lament and undermine it at your peril. This is a time when regardless of the negativity, we all have to rise above it and stay focussed. So, here’s wishing all of you a Happy New Year. Raise a glass of your favourite for Her Majesty, the Queen and this country. (Expressed opinions are personal.)


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

EDUCATION

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

11

11 - 17 January 2020

Exclusions for racism in primary Saturday jobs dying as teen schools up more than 40% employment halves

Primary-school exclusions for racism in England are up more than 40% in just over a decade with the biggest rise in the North West, official figures show. BBC News analysis of the figures showed: ● 496 temporary exclusions for racism from primary schools in the academic year 2017-18 ● a rise of 40% on 2006-07, when there were 350 exclusions ● in the North West there were 36 temporary exclusions in 2006-07, compared with 76 in 2017-18 ● the number of exclusions for racism across all schools in England has fallen over the same period "This is about it being OK to be different," John Au tells a special assembly at Lawrence Community Primary School, in Liverpool. He works for the Anthony Walker Foundation, set up after the Huyton teenager's racially motivated murder, in 2005, to campaign for diversity

and inclusion. The school contacted the charity after staff overheard worrying conversations between pupils. "It was things like, 'Go back to your own country,' because a lot of the children come from different countries," deputy head Lisa Flanagan says. "We also heard children talking about the colour of someone's skin. In some instances, pupils were refusing to learn about another religion because they thought they would be betraying their own beliefs." Dr Zubaida Haque, deputy director of raceequality think tank the Runnymede Trust, says racism in schools reflects attitudes outside the classroom. "So if we have an increase in hate crime in society, an increase of bigotry or there's bullying going on outside of school, racism in papers and in a politician's narrative, children will pick that up very quickly. And that's what is

happening. We have to understand, schools are a microcosm of society" John Au says his organisation has been receiving an increasing number of requests from schools for help. "Racism and discrimination is a problem that affects the whole of society. It doesn't matter how old we are," Mr Au says. "Schools should be praised for identifying problems. We have to give them credit for that. When teachers spot things early, it stops them from escalating into something else." In a statement Nai'm's primary school said: "The school prides itself in being an inclusive school and will continue to challenge all forms of racism. We strongly believe in educating our pupils by teaching them right from wrong, so that they are able to live in harmony with other people regardless of our differences. We want children to accept each other and celebrate our diverse school community."

Warning over 'fake' apprenticeship courses Half of apprenticeship courses in England have been accused of being "fake" by an education think tank. The EDSK report says the apprenticeship levy paid by big employers - is being used on low-skilled jobs or relabelling existing posts, rather than training. Tom Richmond, the think tank's director, said the apprenticeship scheme was "descending into farce". But a Department for Education spokeswoman

defended apprenticeships as becoming "better quality". The apprenticeship levy is paid by large employers, who contribute 0.5% of their salary bill into the training fund. But since 2017, the report claims £1.2bn from the levy has been spent on jobs "offering minimal training and low wages" or on "rebadging" jobs already offered by employers as apprenticeships. In its first full year of operation, the levy raised

£2.7bn and this is expected to rise to £3.4bn by 2023-24. Apprenticeship spending is too often used on "existing adult workers instead of supporting young people into the workplace", the report warns. The education think tank says there is an insufficiently clear definition of what an apprenticeship should offer, so much so that the "brand itself has arguably become a meaningless concept".

The number of working teenagers has almost halved in the last 20 years, a study suggests, sparking fears of the "death of the Saturday job". A Resolution Foundation report suggests a quarter of 16 and 17-yearolds were in work between 2017 and 2019 - falling from 48% in 1997-99. Young people were instead prioritising studies over part-time work, it added. The think tank says the number of people who have never worked increased by 52% over the last 20 years. The report says 8.2% of people aged 16-64 - some 3.4 million people in total - had never had a paid job. That is a 52% increase since 1998 when 5.4% had never worked, the report added. The figures come despite UK unemployment falling to its lowest level since 1975 in the three months to October 2019. Laura Gardiner, from the Resolution Foundation, said: "The rising number of

people who have never had a paid job has been driven by the death of the teenage Saturday job and a wider turn away from earning while learning." There had also been a sharp fall in the employment rate of students in further and higher education. while people were taking longer to find a job after leaving fulltime education, the report found. "With young people today expected to end their working lives at a later age than previous generations, it's understandable that they want to start their working lives at a later age too. But this lack of work experience can create longer-term problems, particularly if they hit other life milestones like motherhood or ill-health before their careers have got off the ground," Ms Gardiner added. Both household worklessness and economic inactivity are at record lows, the study said. Meanwhile,

Laura Gardiner

out-of-work benefits have become less generous in recent decades, it added. "Instead, the rise in the proportion of working-age adults who have never had a paid job is above all a story about the complex choices many young people are facing in trying to get the most out of their education." Ms Gardiner added: "More and more of us are now working, with employment hitting record highs and worklessness hitting record lows, but despite this, around one in 12 workingage adults have never worked a day in their lives - a 50% increase since the late 1990s."

Birmingham Islamic school 'segregated' boys and girls An Islamic school has been "unlawfully segregating" boys and girls for all activities except weekly assemblies. Pupils at Redstone Academy in Balsall Heath, Birmingham are not safe, Ofsted inspectors said, and procedures are disorganised. "Boys enjoy school more than girls. This is because they are treated favourably and have more privileges," an Ofsted report said. The school, which has been rated inadequate, has been asked to comment. The academy, which has 152 pupils and charges up to £2,885 in annu-

al fees, was visited by Ofsted in November. Of the privileges afforded to boys, such as more sport opportunities and first choice at work experience places, the report said: "Some of the girls told us that they do not like this. They said that this was not fair and feel disadvantaged." The school, which teaches children from 11 to 16, only permits pupils who are likely to gain a strong pass to complete their GCSEs in subjects including English literature, history and Arabic, which pupils said limits their options for college, inspectors added.

Other criticisms include: School provides an inadequate quality of education Pupils do not develop writing skills well enough ● Not enough done to prepare pupils for life in modern Britain ● Confused understanding from teachers about careers ● Not enough done to ensure pupils are safe, with leaders not ensuring appropriate risk assessments are in place and ineffective safeguarding plans ● A significant fire risk in the school and pupils with serious allergies not having the care plans or medicine they need ●

Gift your loved ones an Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar subscription for Birthday, Wedding & Anniversary Save lots of money by subscribing for both papers

● Exclusive news, Outstanding columnists ● Excelent value for your subscription ● For 50 weekly issues and several special magazines plus Annual Calendar

Your Voice for 47 years, 200,000 readers Please detach this form and send it with your payment or credit card instructions to address below

NAME ADDRESS

ear One y on for d ripti subsc amachar an ly n S o t s i Gujara oice in UK V n a i s A

Calendar 2020 Please tick as appropriate:

❏ Gujarat Samachar & Asian Voice ❏ Gujarat Samachar

POST CODE TEL: Email: ❏ I’d like to be kept up to date by email with offers and news from ABPL I enclose a cheque/ postal order of £................... made payable to Gujarat Samachar Please charge my ❏ Visa ❏ Mastercard ❏ Credit ❏ Debit card for £ Card Expiry date Card No: Signature

RATES VALID FROM 1-2-2018

1 Year 2 Years

UK G.S. A.V. Both G.S. £30.50 £30.50 £36.50 £79 £55 £55 £66.50 £147

EUROPE A.V. Both £79 £131 £147 £252

Please Note: Subscriptions are non-refundable after 30 days

G.S. £95 £174

WORLD A.V. Both £95 £154.50 £174 £288

Date

CALL NOW 020 7749 4080

or Email: support@abplgroup.com www.asian-voice.com www.gujarat-samachar.com

GUJARAT SAMACHAR & ASIAN VOICE Karma Yoga House, Unit 1 12 Hoxton Market, (Off Coronet Street) London N1 6HW


12 UK

14

AsianVoiceNews

11 - 17 January 2020

th Asian

Voice Political & Public Life Awards 2020 NOMINATION FORM

The prestigious Asian Voice Political and Public Life Awards represent our modest effort to honour a number of outstanding individuals from different communities, walks of life and diverse political persuasions who serve society in their own special way, and who contribute significantly and making a big difference in their COMMUNITIES. Please

✔ ❑

tick the appropriate category

Political

❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑ ❑

Campaigner of the year Minister of the year Conservative Backbencher of the year Shadow minister of the year Public Service Awards Peer of the year

Public Life

❑ Entrepreneur of the year ❑ Business Person of the year ❑ Enterprise of the year ❑ Travel Company of the year ❑ Professional of the year ❑ Philanthropist of the year ❑ Community Service Awards ❑ Lifetime Achievement of the year Application Form ■

Full Name of the Person you are Nominating: ___________________________

His/Her Contact Details (Tel & email): ___________________________________

Occupation of the Nominee: ___________________________________________

Please attach the Nominees's CV which includes the following information

(Please do not exceed a limit of 1000 words) (1) Personal background (2) Most important career achievements till date. (3) Nominee's contribution to the community and nation. (4) Future Plans, ambitions and visions. (5) Any notable obstacles in the Nominee's career that has helped him/her to reach where they are today. ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ■ Summary - (Please include a summary in not more than 150 words why the nominee is worthy of winning the particular award in a separate sheet) ■

Your name and contact details: ________________________________________

Your current Occupation/Company: _____________________________________

Your contact _________________________________________________________

Email:_______________________________________________________________ * NOMINATION AND SELECTION PROCESS

Deadline for Nomination: 14th February 2020

Make sure that you fill in this application form and send it on or before 14th February 2020 by email to L.George at george@abplgroup.com If you are sending it by post the address is L.George, ABPL Group, Unit 1, 12 Hoxton Market, London N1 6HW.

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

Non-profit helping Punjabi men with their mental health

Accepting that you need help with your mental health can be difficult for anyone but in some communities it is harder to access help than others. Taraki is an organisation that was founded in response to 'a need for a safe space for Punjabi men' to talk openly about how their mental health is affecting them. Every month the group run a forum called 'Chai in the City' where attendees can 'express themselves, learn and build community in a, secure and non-judgemental space'. The free-to-attend events are ran by volunteers every month at the John Lewis Community Hub in Grand Central. Volunteer, Amardeep Singh from Oldbury leads the event alongside working at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals. Amardeep told BirminghamLive how men are often discouraged from coming forward about their struggles. He said: "Suicide is the biggest cause of death in

young men today. In many communities men are discouraged from acknowledging mental ill health. "Denial, social isolation and a lack of awareness of how to manage mental health issues all compound the problem for many. "I am involved with Taraki because I want to help bring about a change of approach to mental health within the Punjabi community by facilitating dialogue among Punjabi males. "We have held five Chai in the City forums thus far. The feedback from attendees has been positive. We hope to continue providing a forum for open discussion on a wide range of important subjects requested by attendees." The events have been so well received by the community that they are talking about expanding to run more events for women and the transgender and nonbinary communities. According to the Mental Health Foundation South Asian women seem to be an at-risk group for suicide or suicide attempts within

their communities across England and Wales. The Foundation also note that people from ethnic minority backgrounds may be less likely to report experiencing mental health problems because of a stigma against it in their communities. Attendee, Narayan Kainth from Handsworth Wood has praised the initiative for it's welcoming environment and positive impact on the community. "Before attending the forum I was reluctant because I thought that I would be judged, but when I attended I felt so welcomed, nobody was judging and I felt as though I wanted to go back next time. "Now I go every month as it opens your eyes to certain topics and how they truly impact people, it's been amazing to learn with everyone." Taraki also hold spaces for Punjabi women and non-binary folk in Birmingham. For more information to go https://www.eventbrite.co.u k/o/taraki-26261441223

Brothers start building work on 'super-size McMansions' despite fierce opposition from locals Two self-made billionaire brothers have embarked on controversial building work to create five identical 'super-sized' homes which have been described as 'objectionable' and 'monstrous'. Mohsin and Zuber Issa (pictured), both in their 40s, who own Europe's biggest independent forecourt firm Euro Garages, will proceed with their buildings, which have been dubbed 'McMansions', after overcoming a string of complaints from protesters. Despite the fierce opposition, which saw the council face 30 letters of complaint, eight old houses on the site in Blackburn, Lancashire, have now been demolished and builders have laid foundations for the five 5,000 sq ft mansions. Plans for the large houses, which are located on a quiet rural road outside Blackburn where houses sell for up to £1 million, were lodged in April 2018. Nowadays the entrepreneurial pair, who have an estimated worth of

more than £1billion, oversee Euro Garages, which is the EU's largest independent fuel retailer with annual sales of £5bn. Their Blackburn building plans, which were approved in September last year, were met with fierce opposition by local residents, who said the enormous houses would ruin the character of the area. Protesters at an earlier planning application meeting claimed the plans fell foul of the council's local plan, as well as the government's national planning policy framework.

The identical builds, which sit just three miles from where the Issa brothers grew up in a two-up twodown terraced house, have been described as 'not in fitting with the local area' as the homes stand over over 4.5 metres taller with 1,500 square metres of floor space. Speaking last year, local resident of 50 years Ian Woolley, said the mansions were 'objectionable' and 'monstrous'. The Blackburnborn Issa brothers are among the richest families in the UK and own petrol stations and convenience stores across the world.


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

UK

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

13

11 - 17 January 2020

Asian Business Association Winter Reception

Employers' group criticises government for Uppal's departure

Paul Uppal

Tony Matharu

The annual Asian Business Association Winter Reception was held on 10th December 2019 at the Conservatory of the iconic Bombay Brasserie, London – a luxurious restaurant famed for its authentic gourmet Indian cuisine. The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Asian Business Association

Harshad Kothari, (Extreme Left) who was appointed Ambassador of LCCI along with guests

(ABA) was established in 1995. ABA is widely regarded as one of the most important forum for British Asian businesses. It provides a prominent platform for London's Asian business community and reflects the success of British Asian entrepreneurs in the UK. Networking over drinks and canapes the Winter

Reception was attended by industry leaders, influencers and senior decision makers from several UK's leading companies. The event was opened by Peter Bishop, Chief Executive, London Chamber of Commerce. Tony Matharu, Chairman, ABA and Chairman, Integrity Group International delivered the

welcome address. Harshad Kothari, a longstanding member of ABA was appointed as an Ambassador of LCCI. ABA's events offers guests the opportunity to meet industry leaders and offers direct access to political and influential figures that shape the business landscape.

Lint Group looks after the local homeless In the week leading up to Christmas, Lint Group joined forces with Bridges Homeless Support and their Homeless Projects in the local areas of East London. Recent statistics from housing charity, Shelter, reveals Newham as having the highest rate of homelessness in England. Data collected from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government have estimated around 14,611 people in temporary housing or sleeping rough in Newham alone. Lint Group wanted to contribute directly to the homeless in their local boroughs of Redbridge and Newham with Managing Director, Rizz Patel explaining “After establishing Lint Group in East London for over 25 years, we feel it is important to support those in need in our local community.” Lint Group chose to support Bridges which offers services designed to help homeless and vulnerably housed people in Newham. They seek to meet the physical, material, emotional, and spiritual needs of the vulnerable, primarily through the provision of a free hot-breakfast service, and friendly, supportive conversation on Saturday

Rizz Patel and Sam Chand

mornings. Bridges is an independent charitable organisation that has grown out of the work of Memorial Community Church, Plaistow and is staffed by volunteers drawn from the local area. Brian Dexter, Bridges Coordinator commented, ‘It’s been great to see such a fantastic uptake; our guests are playing games and are having a joyous Christmas celebration. We appreciate the support Lint Group has shown us and our community’. Supporting the local

community is a key pillar for Lint Group's Managing Director Sam Chand who said, ‘As a company we do a lot of social work with the local councils, and proactively like to care of the community. The location isn’t far from where I grew up and it’s been an honor to come here and spend quality time with all these lovely people.’ Lint Group is a wellestablished company for their corporate social responsibility, an initiative Rizz Patel is keen to highlight. He said: ‘The homeless

feed has been fantastic; it was great to see so many smiling faces. I truly appreciate the effort from the team as they have taken the time out to volunteer.’ Throughout their 25 years, Lint Group have instilled and cultivated a culture of compassion within their teams. This has led to Lint Group supporting many charitable causes, most notably their sponsored climb up Mount Snowdon, which has raised £80,000 for an ongoing campaign to support Abdullah Aid’s Indonesia Tsunami Emergency Appeal. Lint Group was established in 1992 and by the year 1998, the company had grown exponentially in numerous areas of business, such as Lettings & Management, Construction & Outsourcing, Procurement, Maintenance, Sourcing, Relocation. With over 25 years of experience Lint Group have become pioneers in property letting, sourcing and management, making it the core. Over the last 18 years, the company has created and stimulated opportunities in development consultancy and joint venture opportunities.

On 26th December Thursday, an employers’ group criticised the government for rejecting to clear up confusion about the departure of its small business commissioner. The Forum of Private Business said that it had received a “completely inadequate” response after requests to the business department for an explanation of why its small business commissioner, Paul Uppal had suddenly left his role. Uppal had stepped down as commissioner in October but he had “reportedly” been forced out. However, he is not sure why. Uppal had criticised the government for not giving his office enough support, and that there had been “radio silence” from civil servants and ministers over his approach to the job.

He had also emphasised that his budget was too small to tackle the “huge task” of getting big businesses to pay their bills on time. The post was created in 2016 to mediate in payment disputes on behalf of small companies and to promote fairer treatment of suppliers after concerns that there was a culture of late payment of commercial debts. Ian Cass, managing director of the forum, said the government must explain the circumstances surrounding Mr Uppal’s departure because the issue was “very important to our members and all the other small and micro businesses that Paul had worked so hard to understand, build trust with, support and help”. A permanent replacement for Mr Uppal has yet to be found.

EdTech to launch in the UK A teacher turned tech entrepreneur is the newest and youngest entrant on the Forbes List of 100 Richest Indians, after developing an education app in India that has grown to a valuation of almost $6 billion in seven years. Byju Raveendran, who claims to have learnt English listening to cricket commentary has already attracted 40m registered users to his Think & Learn

Pvt online app. Besides getting onboard foreign investors such as Naspers, Tencent and the Facebook founder’s Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, he is now preparing to launch his app both in the US and UK. The learning app swapped live lectures for snappy cartoons, slick demonstrations and puzzles and has received over $150 million worth investment.

FINANCIAL A SERVICES MORTGAGES Residential Buy to Let Remortgages

PROTECTION Life Insurance Critical Illness Income Protection

Please conta act:

Dinesh Shonchhatra S Mortgage Ad dviser

Call: 020 8424 C 4 8686 / 07956 810647 77 High Street, Wealdston ne, Harrow, HA3 5DQ mortgage@majorestate.co om ~ majorestate.com


14 COMMUNITY / ART

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

11 - 17 January 2020

UK's Sikh Missionary Society honours Seva Trust UK Chairman Councillor Charan Kanwal Singh Sekhon, Founder Chairman of Social Education Voluntary Association (SEVA) Trust UK, a Bedford based international charity working on Education, Health and Environment in the UK and India, received a special award from the UK Sikh Missionary Society. The Education Secretary for the Society Teja Singh Mangat presented the Award of Honour to Cllr Sekhon in an event held on New Year’s Eve at the National Sikh Resource Centre, Southall, London. On this occasion Mr Mangat said, “This is a real-

Councillor Charan Kanwal Singh Sekhon (left) receiving the award

ly special year when we are commemorating 550th Parkeash Utsav (Birth Anniversary) of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and 50th Anniversary of the Sikh

Missionary Society UK. We have presented this Award to Cllr Sekhon for his and his family’s contributions and support for Society projects for advancement

of the Sikh faith, tradition and culture in the UK and abroad. “They have been supporting the educational projects and youth camps led by the Society helping our youngsters to learn about Sikh values, community Seva and making positive contributions in the society being excellent citizens of this country. “Cllr Sekhon has made exceptional contributions in prompting community cohesion and in a wide range of community and charitable projects in the UK and India. The Sikh Missionary Society has honoured Cllr Sekhon and other leading Sikh personalities for their selfless Seva and continuations that made a real difference.”

Biman Bangladesh launches flights to Dhaka and Sylhet from Manchester Biman Bangladesh Airlines celebrated the inaugural flight from Manchester Airport to Dhaka and Sylhet on Sunday, at an event attended by civic leaders and representatives from the Bangladeshi community across the North. The three-times-a-week service has been welcomed by the more than 70,000 people of Bangladeshi origin living in the North and comes on the back of a delegation led by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham travelling to both cities in October. There are up to 300,000 people of Bangladeshi origin in northern parts of the UK, from Birmingham to Scotland, for whom this service will be their closest direct route to Bangladesh. Following that visit, and Sunday's launch of the

Biman service, a series of further activities are planned to foster closer ties between the city region and Bangladesh. In the coming months, delegations from Dhaka and Sylhet will visit Manchester to explore opportunities in a range of business, cultural and educational fields. The airline will operate the routes from Manchester to Dhaka and Sylhet on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, with a flight time of just 10 hours. The carrier will utilise two brand-new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, with 24 seats in business class and 247 in economy. Passengers on Sunday's inaugural flight were greeted with a balloon arch and light refreshments at check-in and the festivities continued at the departure gate, with a traditional Bangladeshi dance performance and free gift bags

Airline and airport officials and civic dignitaries welcoming new flight to Bangladesh

given to passengers while they boarded. Andrew Cowan, CEO of Manchester Airport, who was part of the delegation that travelled to Bangladesh at the end of last year, said: “There is no better way to mark the start of a New Year than with the launch of an exciting new long-haul route from Manchester Airport like this one.” Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “When I visited Bangladesh last year, aone of the main mis-

sions for our trip was to reestablish a direct air connection between Manchester and Bangladesh. It is wonderful to see it actually starting service and we are confident that this link will bring trade, cultural and educational benefits to Greater Manchester and the rest of the country. Just as importantly, it should provide a vital travel route for the friends and families of people of Bangladeshi heritage living in Greater Manchester and further afield.”

Exhibition to showcase Britain's 400 year-old-royal love affair with India The Queen's Gallery in the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh will showcase artworks from the Royal Library at Windsor, manuscripts and painted frontispiece from a Hindi translation of a book about Queen Victoria's travel in Scotland and Ireland. It will feature a 400 year-old royal love affair with India, Pakistan and Bangladesh in the exhibition called 'Eastern Encounters: Four Centuries of Paintings and Manuscripts' from the Indian Subcontinent, from April 3 to September 13. The Times reported that after her accession in 1837, Queen Victoria was show-

Victoria and Abdul

ered with works from India. A posthumous portrait of Maharajah Ranjit Singh, the Sikh ruler of the Punjab, was sent to the Queen by his successor, Sher Singh, in a jewel-encrusted gold frame. It will be displayed alongside a sketch by Victoria of his son, Maharajah Duleep

Singh. After the East India Company’s annexation of the Punjab in 1849 Duleep Singh moved to England, becoming a favourite of the Queen. Victoria had a lifelong interest in India. Her studies of the Hindustani language, undertaken in her seventies

with Abdul Karim, her secretary, are recorded in her Hindustani diaries which will be displayed in the exhibition along with her phrasebook. The Royal Collection contains some of the finest South Asian paintings and manuscripts in the world. Tracing more than 400 years of literary and artistic output, the exhibition offers new insights into the shared history of the British Monarchy and the Indian Subcontinent through exquisite illuminated manuscripts, dazzling depictions of the Mughal court, royal portraits, Hindu epics and modern works.

in brief BLIND ARTIST'S WORK TO BE EXHIBITED IN LONDON

Indian artist Benode Behari Mukherjee's collages after his loss of sight from 1950s-60s will be focus of an upcoming exhibition in London. Set to open on January 9 at the David Zwirner gallery, "Benode Behari Mukherjee: After Sight" will be the first solo presentation in Europe Benode Behari Mukherjee devoted to Mukherjee. Mukherjee was born with impaired vision but with family's help he studied Asian, and eastern art practices and traditions, Kala Bhavana, the fine-arts institute founded by Rabindranath Tagore in Shantiniketan. Born blind in one eye and myopic in the other, the artist lost his eyesight completely in 1957. He went to Japan in 1936 and worked in Northern India and Nepal. After losing sight he came back to Kala Bhavana to teach art history and later becoming the academy's Principal and Proferssor Emeritus. David Zwirner gallery in a statement told an Indian news agency, "Rather than ceasing to produce visual art, Mukherjee expanded his practice, continuing not only to create drawings but also to explore more tactile media, such as sculpture and especially collage.” On view at the show will be a range of these late period collages. Also on view will be a selection of the artist's felttip pen and charcoal drawings. The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with Delhi's Vadehra Art Gallery that represents the estate of the artist. Several of the works on view will also be on loan from the collection of the Delhi's Kiran Nadar Museum of Art. The exhibition will continue till February 22.

BRITISH MUSEUM BUYS TRADITIONAL INDIAN PAINTING TO STOP FROM BEING SOLD OVERSEAS British Museum has bought a masterpiece 'The Trumpeters' by one of India's greatest painters, Nainsukh of Guler, saved from export after being purchased. Described as a photo courtesy: Met Museum, New York work "unparalleled in North Indian art" - had its licence for export blocked in 2018 by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, in order to enable a UK institution to raise the £440,000 required to stop it from being sold overseas. It is believed to have been painted between 1735 and 1740. With the support of Art Fund, the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the museum's Brooke Sewell Permanent Fund, it has now joined the collection of the British Museum and will remain in the UK. It has gone on free display in the Museum's Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia. The painting, depicts a traditional musical performance in Northern India. It shows seven musicians playing Pahari horns with long pipes known as turhi, and their cheeks puffed out with the effort. It is a highly impressive and unusual example of the artist's work, combining aspects of Nainsukh's early work with some of his later achievements. It was purchased by the painter Winifred Nicholson during a tour of South Asia around 1920. After her death in 1981 it remained with her family and now enters a public collection for the first time. Nainsukh is the most famous and highly regarded artist of the Pahari or 'Hill' style of painting, that developed in the hills of Punjab in north-west India. He is famous for his detailed observation and depiction of people and places, portrayed through highly original and dynamic compositions. Three other masterpieces by Nainsukh of Guler was donated in 1940s and are also in the collection of the British Museum.


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

SP

TLIGHT

Virr Haria

Ignite IT “Sometimes clients don’t realise they already have access to the solutions! It’s human nature to be distracted by shiny objects, but it’s more cost-effective to rely on what you’ve got e.g. a person might be using the online storage app, Dropbox, when a lot of computer software such as Microsoft Office comes with an adequate storage option. Similarly, with bigger systems, once you learn how to read or understand Virr Haria them, you find them to be more helpful! I also tailor the approach to whatever the customer wants so I’ll not push Sunetra Senior a certain strategy onto them.” Rather Virr talks through any confusion, and irr’s sociable tech coaching lets clients know their options. business, Ignite IT, brings a The end goal is to achieve a whole much-needed accessible new, elevated experience where people dimension to the mystified platform and tech are of professional tech. Making clear emotionally in and comprehensive training the core sync. “We help principle of his enterprise, he has kick-start busiworked flexibly within a variety of nesses digitally.” different sectors, from consultations Rather than within Fin Tech and SMEs in general having modern to giving community classes and cretools be secondary, Virr helps integrate ating online content which are open them into the everyday: “Research and to the public. problem-solving are naturally key skills”. In this way, Virr’s role also runs “I have always wanted to help people parallel with product development and live a better life,” the contemporary management. Indeed, he has considerentrepreneur told us. “Some people able experience in software developwant to be doctors. Others volunteers – ment as well as holding a degree in this was a good middle ground. Since I Computer Science. He elaborated: didn’t go down my initial preferred “tech coaching is very similar in terms path of medicine, and still love working of making tech easier and better for the with others, and am innately good with end-user, but interestingly does so in tech, it only seemed right to combine an inverse way. User Interface (UI) my passions to create a business.” Virr development, or how people intuitively recently started blogging and making engage with apps and services, is videos to explain tech services and tell prominent so you are enhancing peointeresting stories of his own experiple’s handling of a product rather than ences on the job. boosting the product – technical features etc. – itself.” *** In short, Ignite IT forms an interIgnite IT offers effective digital solumediate social architecture between tions that streamline the use of techthe physical world of digital manufacnology for business to help improve turing and the psychological landscape their organisational models. “It’s about of human understanding to strengthen productivity: what your current IT can this fundamental relationship. “Life is offer you, how it extensively works, about adapting to the surroundings to what could be added, and what you be the best or better. This is a rule don’t need to waste your brain space applied to all organisms in the world so on! For example, using Zoom could it makes sense that we should follow it mean you don’t have to leave your daily.” This motto even extends to office for meetings.” Ignite IT also Virr’s own organic journey within his introduces a basic level of instructive technological trade: clarity for the individuals who “I was initially going to might need it. “We want to train as a programmer or “We boost the tech literacy in web developer after the UK: in schools we’re want to boost finishing university, taught how to read the tech literacy in but this would not and write, and in the have had the age that we live in the UK: in schools same level of it’s also vital to we’re taught how to read i n t e r p e r s o n a l understand how to use the devices and write, and in the age contact. I actually made the that exist around that we live in it’s also decision to go us.” Following this travelling vital to understand how ethos, the company instead. I found specifically offers to use the devices myself helping out two separate levels of at the hostels where that exist around consultation: “for I stayed. Initially, I those who are complete us.” was helping owners beginners, and others who operate laptops and phones might want to use tech profesand giving them tips on their websionally and for their livelihoods. site. It then got to a point where I was Either way, it’s possible to make interexchanging my room for tech services. I action with the digital medium more ended up staying abroad for 3-4 efficient.” months helping a business in Australia Virr also offers two types of packmaximise good business: boosting ages: full ones which help navigate social media, managing various whole office systems, including ones accounts and suggesting new alternathat have evolved from a network of tives!” already existing services, “having A few years on, and Virr enjoys become clunky or hard to maintain,” business from a diversity of companies and basic packages which simply best across the UK. Here, he made sure to utilise the internal system in place.

V

thank his like-minded brother, Shiv, who gave Virr sound direction at a crucial time. “Older than me, he runs a property development company, where I’ve also worked as part of my portfolio for Ignite IT. He asked what I would do if I didn’t get paid, or alternatively, what I already did that could be valuable. That was it – starting my own business was a clear path after that.” Not only then does Virr’s journey demonstrate the benign connective power of technology, but also the inspiring, failsafe code to having a prolific life: doing what really resonates, which, in turn, creates a far-reaching connection with the outside world. Abdicating from a typical career path, the entrepreneur has created a constructive and novel profession. “Don’t be afraid to learn on the job,” he advised on beginning a small business. “Don’t be a perfectionist – people always make mistakes. Whether it is on pricing or entering into a new challenge altogether. That’s normal. As long as you have patience – you’ll do well.” And so, part of a generation who are gradually fixing the gaps of prior tradition from a new, progressive space that is also emerging, the uniquely philanthropic Virr doesn’t just speak but lives his bold advice.

What has been a highlight moment? Getting the first official client. You know you’re doing a good job. Definitely running workshops from last Dec too. I actually moved into doing weekly classes at a community centre. I’ve been able to speak with a group of about 6-10 adults, answering questions and working together with them to better understand the disconnect they might be feeling. You learn more within a collective. How much did your degree help you with your current business? Actually, not as much as the handson learning I’ve had travelling! What you learn when doing Computer Science is very much about what happens behind the scenes. With Ignite IT I focus on the interaction with the end product, and dealing with professional dynamics. It's definitely useful to have in the background to draw from not only when I look into softwares, but also in being able to adapt to something I haven't encountered before without panic, especially errors because I know fundamentally what makes it tick." I wanted to highlight the idea that because I know how things work, I have a calmer and less frustrated approach when dealing with technology, and this perspective is something I want to share through my work. Finally, what’s some more advice you can give to up and coming entrepreneurs? It might be a cliché, but keep going! Make sure your name is out there – think about marketing. It’s important to be known for a particular service. Figure out the flaws while you are doing that: experiment. W: https://ignitelearnit.co.uk/

UK

15

11 - 17 January 2020

NIRAV MODI TO APPEAR BEFORE JUDGE AGAIN ON JANUARY 30 Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, who's facing extradition to India for nearly USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case, appeared on Thursday at the Westminster Magistrates Court before Judge Tan Ikram, for his remand hearing via a videolink from Wandsworth prison. He will appear again for his next remand hearing on 30 January 2020 by a videolink from the prison. Modi Nirav Modi was wearing a grey sweatshirt with white and black design, but was clean shaven, though his face appeared a bit puffy. Modi was represented by barrister Jessica Jones of Matrix Chambers. Modi was declared a fugitive economic offender under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act on December 5, 2019. Modi is the second businessman after Vijay Mallya to be declared a fugitive economic offender under the provisions of the new act, which came into existence in August last year. His extradition hearing is expected to be on 11 May 2020 for 5 days. Judge Ikram therefore asked if there were any other issues to be discussed on Thursday, to which both Modi and Jones both said no. Modi has tried for bail several times and even appealed against rejections, but still haven’t been successful, and therefore remains imprisoned in Wandsworth prison. The court on a previous hearing was told that Nirav Modi was suffering from depression and anxiety, and had allegedly faced attacks from jail inmates and the defence had also expressed concerns over Modi's medical condition being leaked to the press.

UK 2021 CENSUS MAY BE DELAYED

The UK 2021 Census may now be delayed as the Sikh Federation UK has lodged an appeal in the Court of Appeal after the High Court dismissed their challenge to include Sikh as an ethnic tick box instead just as a religion. They are basically asking not to be clubbed under the Indian-origin category, and be known for their own ethnic identity. The SFUK reportedly launched a pre-emptive challenge in November after the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) decided not to include Sikh ethnic tick box in the 2021 Censussomething that SFUK supporters have been rooting for. They are also supporting the Referendum 2020, where they are asking for their own state- Khalistan, separate from India. The SFUK, according to a report in The Times of India, is claiming that UKSA has adopted an unlawful approach in assessing the census questions and is challenging the decision.

DHESI APPOINTED AS CORBYN'S PARLIAMENTARY PRIVATE SECRETARY

Tan Dhesi MP has been appointed a Parliamentary Private Secretary by Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn. A Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) is a MP designated by a senior minister in government or shadow to act as Tan Dhesi MP with Labour party leader Jeremy the minister's Corbyn contact with MPs. This role is junior to that of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, which is a ministerial post, salaried by one or more departments. PPS is seen as a starting point for many MPs, who want to become Ministers later. Although not paid other than their salary as an MP, PPSs help the government to track backbench opinion in Parliament. Dhesi after his appointment, announced on twitter, “As PPS for the Leader of the Opposition, while it’s a great opportunity for me to learn, I will do my utmost to serve him, our @UKLabour Party and our country in this important role.” Tan Dhesi is a Sikh MP from Slough. He was first elected in 2017 and re-elected in 2019 elections. Dhesi was born in Slough, and spent his early years in Chalvey. He is the son of Jaspal Singh Dhesi, who runs a construction company in the UK and former President of Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara, in Gravesend, Kent- the largest Gurdwara in the UK.


16 UK

AsianVoiceNews

11 - 17 January 2020

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

OBE

MBE

BEM 11 - 17 January 2020

RECORD NUMBER OF BAME ACHIEVERS HONOURED The New Year’s Honours List 2020, published on Saturday 28 December, recognises the outstanding achievements of people across the United Kingdom, including people from BAME community that includes 9.1% of the total 1097 people awarded.

Rupanjana Dutta

T

he List celebrates a range of extraordinary young people across the UK. MBEs are awarded to: 25 year old Yusuf Patel for his work in tackling extremism in London. BEM has been received by13 year old Ibrahim Yousaf, the youngest person on the list, for his charity work in Greater Manchester. Over half of the recipients in the New Year’s Honours List 2020 are women, including 44% of awards at the highest levels. The List includes leaders and pioneers from all fields. To mark the start of the World Health Organisation’s ‘Year of the Nurse and Midwife’ in 2020, twelve nurses and five midwives who have dedicated their lives to helping others and improving healthcare in the UK receive honours at OBE, MBE and BEM level. Singer-songwriter and activist Sir Elton John and historian Sir Keith Thomas both become Companions of Honour. There are damehoods for entertainer and charitable fundraiser Olivia Newton-John and broadcaster and campaigner Baroness Floella Benjamin.There is a knighthood for film and theatre director Sam Mendes. Following a memorable year for British sport, a number of individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to sport in the UK are honoured - both at the grassroots and professional level. This list celebrates a high number of sportswomen, including a damehood for Director of Women’s Football at the FA Sue Campbell. Once again, this Honours List also includes inspirational people who have dedicated their lives to Holocaust and genocide remembrance and education, sharing their stories with schoolchildren around the UK. As survivors, they have demonstrated extraordinary personal resilience and commitment, championing tolerance and diversity, and playing a vital role in ensuring future generations continue to learn from the past.

Dr Ramesh Pattni OBE Dr Ramesh Pattni DPhil (Oxford), Vice President Chinmaya Mission and Vice President Hindu Forum Britain has received an OBE in The Queen’s 2020 New Year honours for services to interfaith relations and the Hindu community in the UK. Dr Pattni has voluntarily served as Trustee of the Interfaith Network UK, founder and Co-Chair of the Hindu Christian Forum and Chair, Interfaith Committee of the Hindu Forum Britain (HFB) for which he now serves as Vice President. He has been an advisor on many Government consultations and has strived to improve links between the UK government and the British Hindu community and worked extensively with the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, University of Oxford, teaching and giving public talks, guiding the public on Hindu concerns and helped deliver practical solutions for individual wellbeing and community cohesion based on Hindu Scriptures. His interfaith work led to an invitation to a private luncheon with Her Majesty the Queen in 2013 as Chair of Interfaith, Hindu Forum Britain, together with eight other contributors in the UK. Dr Pattni’s involvement with Chinmaya Mission began 28 years ago. On hearing the news, Dr Pattni said, “I am delighted and humbled. My sincere gratitude goes to my inspiration and spiritual guide, Swami Chinmayananda, who fortified in me the vision of service to the people as a way of life; to my parents who were themselves great philanthropists and to my wife and children who have allowed me to dedicate time and space in service to others. This award is shared with all those who have been part of my life and my work in interfaith relations and with the Hindu community.”

In total 1,097 people have received an award ● 941 candidates have been selected at BEM, MBE and ● OBE level: ● 315 at BEM ● 397at MBE ● 229at OBE ● 789 (72%) of the recipients are people who have undertaken outstanding work in their communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity; ● 556 women are recognised in the List, representing 51% of the total; ● 9.1% of the successful candidates come from a BAME background; ● 11% of the successful candidates consider themselves to have a disability (under the Equality Act 2010); ● 3.3% of recipients identified as being LGBT+ ● In total, 72% of awards in the New Year Honours List 2020 go to people who have undertaken outstanding work in or for their local community. ● Around 8.7% of awards are for work in education. ● Industry and the economy make up 12.3% of this Honours List. The independent Economy Honours Committee continued to highlight entrepreneurs, emerging sectors and those who have made striking interventions in established sectors across the UK. ● Around 14.6% of honours are for work in the Science, Technology and Health sectors.

Kanubhai Raojibhai Patel BEM Kanubhai Raojibhai Patel has been awarded Medallist of the Order of the British Empire for his services to the community in South West London and Surrey. Born in Kenya in 1941, currently retired Mr Patel has been a businessman in Kenya, and a sub-postmaster in Surrey, UK. He is associated with a number of organisations, including Richmond Nagrik Mandal, Vaso Nagrik Mandal UK, Patidar Samaj, West London Branch, National Association of Sub Postmasters, National Association of Patidar Samaj, Central Body, Shiv Shakti Mandir Archway Samaj Hall, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chha Gam Lagna Sahayak Samati, Ethnic Minorities Advocacy Group, Richmond and Milan Group Wallington. He received many awards since 1976 viz. Post Office Bravery Award – Foiled Armed Robbery (1976), Six Gam Nagrik Mandal – Outstanding services to the community (1995), Consignia Group – Community Service award (2001), Post Office Long Service Award (2003), Milan Group Dedication and Success Award (2017) and Vaso Education Society Sanman Patrak on Satabdi Mahotsav (2018). He has raised funds for a number of local and international organisations, viz. Cancer Relief Fund, Save the Children, Red Cross, GLC Fund for the Blind, Star and Garter Home, Richmond, Commonwealth Society for the Blind, Richmond Adult Collage for disable people lift, Mayors Fund in Richmond & Hammersmith, Royal Hospital in Putney, Ashford Hospital, Roehampton Health Authority, Police Orphan Fund, NAPS Building fund. Sangam Women’s Building fund Edgware, BAPS Swaminarayan Building fund, Neasden, Famine in Africa, Disaster Emergency Ethiopia, Bangladesh Cyclone, Morbi Flood relief, Orrisa Cyclone, Gujarat Relief Fund, Indian Earthquake Disaster, Free Eye Camp through Gujarat Eye Hospital and Kerala Flood Relief.

ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire

* Professor Rowena ARSHAD (ROWENA PARNELL) OBE, Lately Head, Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh and Co-Director, Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland. For services to Education and Equality (Edinburgh) * Dr Ahalia Navina EVANS, Chief Executive Officer, East London NHS Foundation Trust. For services to NHS Leadership and the BAME community (Greater London, EC2Y) * Shobana JEYASINGH MBE, Choreographer and Founder, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance. For services to Dance (Greater London, N2) * Professor Aditi LAHIRI FBA, Professor of Linguistics, University of Oxford. For services to the Study of Linguistics (Oxfordshire) * Paul Pavandeep THANDI DL, Chief Executive Officer, NEC Group. For services to the Economy, (Warwickshire)

Officers of the Order of the British Empire * Ali AKBOR, Chief Executive Officer, Unity Housing Association. For services to the community in Leeds (Greater Manchester) * Shabir BEG, Chair, Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society. For services to Interfaith Relations in Glasgow (Glasgow) * Dr Zahid Mehmood CHAUHAN, For services to Homeless People (Greater Manchester) * Dr Katherine Sarah CHHATWAL, Chief Executive, Challenge Partners and Chair of Education, STEP Academy Trust, London. For services to Education (Greater London, SE24) * Renuka Priyadarshini DENT (RENUKA JEYARAJAH-DENT), Director of Operations and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Coram UK. For services to Children and Families, (Greater London, SW17) * Sabah GILANI, Chief Executive Officer, Better Community Business Network. For services to Young People and to the Muslim community (Bedfordshire) * William Laing GILL, Director, Chair and Honorary Secretary, Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland. For services to the Agriculture Sector in Scotland (Ross and Cromarty) * Nishma GOSRANI, For voluntary services to Promoting Diversity and Inclusion (Greater London, N21) * Arundeep Singh KANG, For services to the Development of BAME communities (Warwickshire) * Rishi KHOSLA, Chief Executive Officer, OakNorth Bank Limited. For services to Business (Greater London, W8)

Nishma Gosrani OBE Nishma Gosrani has been awarded an OBE for promoting diversity and inclusion in all aspects of British life. She pioneered Gender Pay Gap reporting and the subsequent changes to the Equality Act. Her address titled ‘Equality Matters’ on International Women’s Day 2016 led to a rare standing ovation from the public gallery at the House of Commons. A vivacious campaigner: Gosrani promotes positive change in Education, Financial/Professional Services, Culture and the Arts. She is a Director at Deloitte Consulting and leads People Transformation in Banking, Capital Markets and Asset Management with a key focus on partnering with clients on the ‘Future of Work’ agenda. She sponsors the Deloitte Multicultural Network which won ‘Employee Network of the Year’ at the BiTC Awards in 2015. Kenyan born Gosrani was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2008 and whilst on maternity leave in 2016, she was listed as a Financial Times EMpower Top 35 Future Leader. Since 2011, Gosrani has been a board member and trustee of Tamasha Theatre Company, which champions BAME artists from culturally diverse backgrounds. She is also an Advisory Board Member of the City Hindus Network. Nishma has recently been appointed as a Governor and Trustee of St Albans High School for Girls, where she will be responsible for promoting STEM. In 2007, Gosrani won the Asian Professional of the Year Award at the Asian Achievers Awards. Mrs Gosrani said, “I am deeply humbled to have been invested as an Officer of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. It is a great honour to be recognised for something I am passionate about. Gender Pay Gap reporting has helped organisations move the dial but my work is not finished here. Both policy and cultural changes have to take place together to make a real impact and to drive equality – there should be no place for deliberate or unconscious biases in our society.’

UK

17

* Javad MARANDI, For services to Business and Philanthropy (Greater London, SW1W) * Dr Ramesh Damji Devji PATTNI, For services to Interfaith Relations and the Hindu community in the UK (Greater London, HA2)

Medallists of the Order of the British Empire Rishi Khosla OBE * Dhruv Mansukhal CHHATRALIA, For voluntary Shobana Jeyasingh MBE Nadiya Hussain MBE Harpeet Singh Virdee BEM Nadeem Hassan Javaid MBE Jasvir kaur MBE service to Hinduism and Developing Young People * Michael Kuldip JOHAL, Director, Johal, Munshi and Co. Disadvantaged Customers in Birmingham (West Midlands) (Greater London, N3) Limited. For services to the Economy and to Community * Mohamed Ashraf ALI, Head of Projects, British Muslim * Kishan Rajesh DEVANI, For services to community cohesion Cohesion (Nottinghamshire) Heritage Centre. For services to Community Relations, (Greater (Greater London, HA4) * Dr Sudarshan KAPUR, For services to Interfaith Manchester) * Sokphal DIN, For services to Holocaust Education Understanding and the community in East London (Greater * Mohammad Saqib BHATTI, Lately President, Greater (Hampshire) London, E18) Birmingham Chamber of Commerce. For services to Diversity * Nicholas Chandra GUPTA, Lately Deputy Director for * Dr Mahiben MARUTHAPPU, Co-Founder and Chief and Inclusion in Business Communities (West Midlands) Wessex, Environment Agency. For services to the Environment Executive Officer, Cera. For services to Health and Social Care * Professor Kalwant BHOPAL, Race Equality Champion. For in the West of England (Somerset) Technology (Greater London, HA7) services to Equality in Education (West Sussex) * Yashmin HARUN, For services to Female BAME * Dr Nalini Jitendra MODHA, General Practitioner, * Razia BUTT, Independent Education Adviser, Birmingham Representation in Sport (Greater London, IG1) Thistlemoor Medical Centre, Peterborough. For services to the City Council. For services to Education (West Midlands) * Nadia Rehman KHAN, Co-founder, The Delicate Mind. For NHS (Cambridgeshire) * Aziza CHAUDRY, Quality Manager, Adult Education services to Mental Health and Integration in London and * Kanti NAGDA, For services to charity in the UK (Greater Wolverhampton. For services to Education (West Midlands) Birmingham (Leicestershire) London, HA5) * Manjit DARBY, Director of Nursing Leadership and Quality, * George MANN, For services to Young People through the * Yusuf PATEL, Community Engagement Coordinator, Midlands, NHS England and NHS Improvement. For services to Scouting Movement in Northern Ireland (Belfast) Redbridge Borough Council. For services to Community Nursing and Patient Care (Leicestershire) * Sahdaish Kaur PALL, For services to Victims of Domestic Cohesion and Interfaith in the London Borough of Redbridge * Maksud Ahmed GANGAT, Director of Education, Al Risalah Abuse and voluntary service to the community in the West (Greater London, E17) Education Trust. For services to the Muslim community and Midlands (West Midlands) * Yogesh PATEL, For services to Literature (Greater London, Interfaith in South London (Greater London, SW16) * Kanubhai Raojibhai PATEL, For services to the community SM4) * Sonia GHARYAL, Policy Lead, Office of Security and Counter in South West London and Surrey (Surrey) * Dr Tara QUASIM (TARA QUASIM-SHAH), Clinical Co-Lead, Terrorism, Home Office. For services to National Security * Rita PATEL, Correspondence Officer, HM Treasury. For serInS:PIRE. For services to People with Post Intensive Care (Greater London, SW11) vices to Public Administration (Greater London, BR3) Syndrome (Glasgow) * John Paul HAJDU, Holocaust Survivor. For services to * Afzal PRADHAN, Volunteer Cricketeer, ICC Cricket World * Jasvir Kaur RABABAN, For services to the Sikh community Holocaust Education and Commemoration (Greater London, Cup 2019. For services to Cricket (Greater London, UB6) (Greater London, UB1) N2) * Kathryn Lindsay SINGH, For services to the Arts and the * Mohammed Tariq RAFIQUE, For services to the community * Hatice HASAN, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Asian community in Scotland (Glasgow) in Greater Manchester (Greater Manchester) Stopcocks. For services to Women in the Heating and Plumbing * Paramjit SINGH SANDHU, Immigration Officer, Home * Baljinder Singh RAI, For services to Parliament (Greater Industry (West Yorkshire) Office. For services to Community Engagement (Greater London, DA17) * Parveen HASSAN, Inclusion and Community Engagement London, DA7) * Sukwinder Kaur SAMRA, Headteacher, Elmhurst School and Manager, Crown Prosecution Service. For services to * Harpreet Singh VIRDEE, For services to the BAME commuDirector, Elmhurst TSA. For services to Education (Greater Community Engagement, Inclusion and Equality (West nity and to Diversity and Inclusion (Greater London, DA16) London E17) Midlands) * Ibrahim YOUSAF, For services to the community in Oldham, * Dr Adeela Ahmed SHAFI, Reader in Education, University of * Nadiya HUSSAIN, For services to Broadcasting and the Greater Manchester (Greater Manchester) Gloucestershire. For services to Social Justice in Bristol (Bristol) Culinary Arts (Buckinghamshire) * Manjulika SINGH, For services to Yoga, Health and * Arif HUSSAIN, For services to the Muslim community in the Community Cohesion (Dunbartonshire). UK and Abroad (Buckinghamshire) * Nadeem Hassan JAVAID, For services to Community Cohesion and Young People Michael Kuldip JOHAL (Greater * Mumtaz ALI, Work Coach, Sparkhill Jobcentre Plus, London, E17) Department for Work and Pensions. For services to

Members of the Order of the British Empire

Kanti Nagda MBE

Dhruv Chhatralia BEM

Kishan Devani FRSA BEM

Bhagavad Gita teacher Dhruv Chhatralia has been awarded Medallists of the Order of the British Empire for voluntary service to Hinduism and developing young people. Mr Chhatralia is an international mergers and acquisitions lawyer at a global law firm based in the City of London, author of 21 books on Hinduism and he has given over 325 public talks of over 350 hours between them on spirituality including on the Bhagavad Gita, Hanuman Chalisa, Ramayan, Shrimad Bhagavad, Shree Suktam, Devi Mahatmaya, the Upanishads, the Vedas, Yoga and Meditation that are watched in over 161 countries around the world. Dhruv wrote the longest ever English commentaries on the great Indian works the Bhagavad Gita, the Hanuman Chalisa and the Shree Suktam in history, between them comprising over 3,467 pages. All the proceeds from these books went to charity. He then created a programme of over 180 Bhagavad Gita, Hanuman Chalisa and Shree Suktam classes in English to educate youngsters about the Indian scriptures. On being awarded Dhruv said, “I am honoured and humbled to receive this recognition from the Queen. I bow down to Shree Krishna for blessing me on this wonderful journey and for moulding my character through His teachings in the Bhagavad Gita. I would like to thank my parents for bringing me up with Dharmic values and for instilling in me the qualities of hard work, selflessness and service towards other people. I also offer my obediences to my Gurus and the entire Indian Guru tradition for inspiring me with the teachings of the great Indian scriptures. This achievement would not have been possible without the contributions of countless teachers, volunteers and supporters of SHYAM and I would like to recognise their dedicated service in the fields of spirituality, education and

Kishan Devani FRSA, 34, has been awarded a BEM for Services to community cohesion. Kishan has previously received the Honour of the Freedom of the City of London & has been made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Son of a refugee, whose parents and grandparents arrived from Uganda in the 1970s fleeing the tyranny of the dictator Idi Amin, Kishan has been travelling the length and breadth of the UK and speaking to BAME youth at Universities to get involved in British civic life, charitable work and public life as a former Religious Studies Teacher. His extensive work as Advisor to the Unity of Faiths Foundation - a Charity that looks to bring together communities and youth in the various BAME communities has been instrumental in spreading message of peace, love and harmony across the UK & internationally. In addition to this, he has been the only Ambassador of the Religious Education Council of England and Wales. Kishan said, "I am overjoyed & truly humbled receiving this Honour from Her Majesty the Queen. "I fundamentally believe in building bridges and not walls. Communities are stronger working together & uniting on their similarities. Unity in Diversity is a motto I believe in. My spiritual Gurus and Inspirers - Pramukh Swami Maharaj & Mahant Swami Maharaj have a tenet which I try and imbibe within my life as much as I can, it is 'In the Joy of Others Lies Our Own'... "I dedicate this Honour to my family, in particularly my wife & mother whose sacrifices have allowed to me achieve all of these accolades at such a young age. I would also like to dedicate this to all the unsung dedicated activists across our country who are striving to make the world we live in a better place. Thank you all for all you do".

Kanti Nagda has been awarded with an MBE for services to charity in the UK. Mr Nagda, was bestowed the Asian of the Year by Asian Achievers Awards in 2002 for Community Service and awarded a National Political and Public Life Award (AAA) at the House of Commons by Baroness Betty Boothroyd. Thrown out by Idi Amin from Uganda in 1972 with nothing but his clothes and £50.00 in his pocket Kanti Nagda vowed to ease the suffering of his fellow refugees in an alien and unfamiliar land. He immediately started a Drop-in Centre in North Harrow where elderly Ugandan Asians with nowhere to go could socialise out of the cold. He formalised the drop in centre by founding the Anglo Indian Circle Charity and the Centre flourished for many years with 100-150 people regularly benefiting from its cultural and religious activities. He spent all his spare time working for charities assisting people and eventually got a job at Harrow Council as a social worker in 1982, but retired later due to other work pressure. In 1982, the Charity through his efforts had purchased a building for £45,000 where regular activities for over 100 elderly took place, including a Day Care Centre for the disabled. Named as the Sangat Centre. Sangat soon started specialising in free legal advice on issues of Welfare, Housing, Immigration, Race Relations and Matrimonial and demand for its services rocketed from all over the UK. In 2001 and 2002 Kanti worked tirelessly to raise £700k for a new larger building, half of which came from the Millennium Commission. The new building was opened in 2002 by Prince Edward and Countess of Wessex. Kanti has also served as the Secretary General of Confederation of Indian Organisations (UK) from 1974 to 1996, Treasurer of Harrow Community Relations Council, President of National Congress of Gujarati Organisation (UK), Chair of Harrow Refugee Forum, Chair of North West London Community Foundation, President of Greenford Lions Club, Trustee of Karma Yoga Foundation and continues to run the Sangat Centre and sits on a number of other charities.


16 UK

AsianVoiceNews

11 - 17 January 2020

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

OBE

MBE

BEM 11 - 17 January 2020

RECORD NUMBER OF BAME ACHIEVERS HONOURED The New Year’s Honours List 2020, published on Saturday 28 December, recognises the outstanding achievements of people across the United Kingdom, including people from BAME community that includes 9.1% of the total 1097 people awarded.

Rupanjana Dutta

T

he List celebrates a range of extraordinary young people across the UK. MBEs are awarded to: 25 year old Yusuf Patel for his work in tackling extremism in London. BEM has been received by13 year old Ibrahim Yousaf, the youngest person on the list, for his charity work in Greater Manchester. Over half of the recipients in the New Year’s Honours List 2020 are women, including 44% of awards at the highest levels. The List includes leaders and pioneers from all fields. To mark the start of the World Health Organisation’s ‘Year of the Nurse and Midwife’ in 2020, twelve nurses and five midwives who have dedicated their lives to helping others and improving healthcare in the UK receive honours at OBE, MBE and BEM level. Singer-songwriter and activist Sir Elton John and historian Sir Keith Thomas both become Companions of Honour. There are damehoods for entertainer and charitable fundraiser Olivia Newton-John and broadcaster and campaigner Baroness Floella Benjamin.There is a knighthood for film and theatre director Sam Mendes. Following a memorable year for British sport, a number of individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to sport in the UK are honoured - both at the grassroots and professional level. This list celebrates a high number of sportswomen, including a damehood for Director of Women’s Football at the FA Sue Campbell. Once again, this Honours List also includes inspirational people who have dedicated their lives to Holocaust and genocide remembrance and education, sharing their stories with schoolchildren around the UK. As survivors, they have demonstrated extraordinary personal resilience and commitment, championing tolerance and diversity, and playing a vital role in ensuring future generations continue to learn from the past.

Dr Ramesh Pattni OBE Dr Ramesh Pattni DPhil (Oxford), Vice President Chinmaya Mission and Vice President Hindu Forum Britain has received an OBE in The Queen’s 2020 New Year honours for services to interfaith relations and the Hindu community in the UK. Dr Pattni has voluntarily served as Trustee of the Interfaith Network UK, founder and Co-Chair of the Hindu Christian Forum and Chair, Interfaith Committee of the Hindu Forum Britain (HFB) for which he now serves as Vice President. He has been an advisor on many Government consultations and has strived to improve links between the UK government and the British Hindu community and worked extensively with the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, University of Oxford, teaching and giving public talks, guiding the public on Hindu concerns and helped deliver practical solutions for individual wellbeing and community cohesion based on Hindu Scriptures. His interfaith work led to an invitation to a private luncheon with Her Majesty the Queen in 2013 as Chair of Interfaith, Hindu Forum Britain, together with eight other contributors in the UK. Dr Pattni’s involvement with Chinmaya Mission began 28 years ago. On hearing the news, Dr Pattni said, “I am delighted and humbled. My sincere gratitude goes to my inspiration and spiritual guide, Swami Chinmayananda, who fortified in me the vision of service to the people as a way of life; to my parents who were themselves great philanthropists and to my wife and children who have allowed me to dedicate time and space in service to others. This award is shared with all those who have been part of my life and my work in interfaith relations and with the Hindu community.”

In total 1,097 people have received an award ● 941 candidates have been selected at BEM, MBE and ● OBE level: ● 315 at BEM ● 397at MBE ● 229at OBE ● 789 (72%) of the recipients are people who have undertaken outstanding work in their communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity; ● 556 women are recognised in the List, representing 51% of the total; ● 9.1% of the successful candidates come from a BAME background; ● 11% of the successful candidates consider themselves to have a disability (under the Equality Act 2010); ● 3.3% of recipients identified as being LGBT+ ● In total, 72% of awards in the New Year Honours List 2020 go to people who have undertaken outstanding work in or for their local community. ● Around 8.7% of awards are for work in education. ● Industry and the economy make up 12.3% of this Honours List. The independent Economy Honours Committee continued to highlight entrepreneurs, emerging sectors and those who have made striking interventions in established sectors across the UK. ● Around 14.6% of honours are for work in the Science, Technology and Health sectors.

Kanubhai Raojibhai Patel BEM Kanubhai Raojibhai Patel has been awarded Medallist of the Order of the British Empire for his services to the community in South West London and Surrey. Born in Kenya in 1941, currently retired Mr Patel has been a businessman in Kenya, and a sub-postmaster in Surrey, UK. He is associated with a number of organisations, including Richmond Nagrik Mandal, Vaso Nagrik Mandal UK, Patidar Samaj, West London Branch, National Association of Sub Postmasters, National Association of Patidar Samaj, Central Body, Shiv Shakti Mandir Archway Samaj Hall, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chha Gam Lagna Sahayak Samati, Ethnic Minorities Advocacy Group, Richmond and Milan Group Wallington. He received many awards since 1976 viz. Post Office Bravery Award – Foiled Armed Robbery (1976), Six Gam Nagrik Mandal – Outstanding services to the community (1995), Consignia Group – Community Service award (2001), Post Office Long Service Award (2003), Milan Group Dedication and Success Award (2017) and Vaso Education Society Sanman Patrak on Satabdi Mahotsav (2018). He has raised funds for a number of local and international organisations, viz. Cancer Relief Fund, Save the Children, Red Cross, GLC Fund for the Blind, Star and Garter Home, Richmond, Commonwealth Society for the Blind, Richmond Adult Collage for disable people lift, Mayors Fund in Richmond & Hammersmith, Royal Hospital in Putney, Ashford Hospital, Roehampton Health Authority, Police Orphan Fund, NAPS Building fund. Sangam Women’s Building fund Edgware, BAPS Swaminarayan Building fund, Neasden, Famine in Africa, Disaster Emergency Ethiopia, Bangladesh Cyclone, Morbi Flood relief, Orrisa Cyclone, Gujarat Relief Fund, Indian Earthquake Disaster, Free Eye Camp through Gujarat Eye Hospital and Kerala Flood Relief.

ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire

* Professor Rowena ARSHAD (ROWENA PARNELL) OBE, Lately Head, Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh and Co-Director, Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland. For services to Education and Equality (Edinburgh) * Dr Ahalia Navina EVANS, Chief Executive Officer, East London NHS Foundation Trust. For services to NHS Leadership and the BAME community (Greater London, EC2Y) * Shobana JEYASINGH MBE, Choreographer and Founder, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance. For services to Dance (Greater London, N2) * Professor Aditi LAHIRI FBA, Professor of Linguistics, University of Oxford. For services to the Study of Linguistics (Oxfordshire) * Paul Pavandeep THANDI DL, Chief Executive Officer, NEC Group. For services to the Economy, (Warwickshire)

Officers of the Order of the British Empire * Ali AKBOR, Chief Executive Officer, Unity Housing Association. For services to the community in Leeds (Greater Manchester) * Shabir BEG, Chair, Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society. For services to Interfaith Relations in Glasgow (Glasgow) * Dr Zahid Mehmood CHAUHAN, For services to Homeless People (Greater Manchester) * Dr Katherine Sarah CHHATWAL, Chief Executive, Challenge Partners and Chair of Education, STEP Academy Trust, London. For services to Education (Greater London, SE24) * Renuka Priyadarshini DENT (RENUKA JEYARAJAH-DENT), Director of Operations and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Coram UK. For services to Children and Families, (Greater London, SW17) * Sabah GILANI, Chief Executive Officer, Better Community Business Network. For services to Young People and to the Muslim community (Bedfordshire) * William Laing GILL, Director, Chair and Honorary Secretary, Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland. For services to the Agriculture Sector in Scotland (Ross and Cromarty) * Nishma GOSRANI, For voluntary services to Promoting Diversity and Inclusion (Greater London, N21) * Arundeep Singh KANG, For services to the Development of BAME communities (Warwickshire) * Rishi KHOSLA, Chief Executive Officer, OakNorth Bank Limited. For services to Business (Greater London, W8)

Nishma Gosrani OBE Nishma Gosrani has been awarded an OBE for promoting diversity and inclusion in all aspects of British life. She pioneered Gender Pay Gap reporting and the subsequent changes to the Equality Act. Her address titled ‘Equality Matters’ on International Women’s Day 2016 led to a rare standing ovation from the public gallery at the House of Commons. A vivacious campaigner: Gosrani promotes positive change in Education, Financial/Professional Services, Culture and the Arts. She is a Director at Deloitte Consulting and leads People Transformation in Banking, Capital Markets and Asset Management with a key focus on partnering with clients on the ‘Future of Work’ agenda. She sponsors the Deloitte Multicultural Network which won ‘Employee Network of the Year’ at the BiTC Awards in 2015. Kenyan born Gosrani was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2008 and whilst on maternity leave in 2016, she was listed as a Financial Times EMpower Top 35 Future Leader. Since 2011, Gosrani has been a board member and trustee of Tamasha Theatre Company, which champions BAME artists from culturally diverse backgrounds. She is also an Advisory Board Member of the City Hindus Network. Nishma has recently been appointed as a Governor and Trustee of St Albans High School for Girls, where she will be responsible for promoting STEM. In 2007, Gosrani won the Asian Professional of the Year Award at the Asian Achievers Awards. Mrs Gosrani said, “I am deeply humbled to have been invested as an Officer of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. It is a great honour to be recognised for something I am passionate about. Gender Pay Gap reporting has helped organisations move the dial but my work is not finished here. Both policy and cultural changes have to take place together to make a real impact and to drive equality – there should be no place for deliberate or unconscious biases in our society.’

UK

17

* Javad MARANDI, For services to Business and Philanthropy (Greater London, SW1W) * Dr Ramesh Damji Devji PATTNI, For services to Interfaith Relations and the Hindu community in the UK (Greater London, HA2)

Medallists of the Order of the British Empire Rishi Khosla OBE * Dhruv Mansukhal CHHATRALIA, For voluntary Shobana Jeyasingh MBE Nadiya Hussain MBE Harpeet Singh Virdee BEM Nadeem Hassan Javaid MBE Jasvir kaur MBE service to Hinduism and Developing Young People * Michael Kuldip JOHAL, Director, Johal, Munshi and Co. Disadvantaged Customers in Birmingham (West Midlands) (Greater London, N3) Limited. For services to the Economy and to Community * Mohamed Ashraf ALI, Head of Projects, British Muslim * Kishan Rajesh DEVANI, For services to community cohesion Cohesion (Nottinghamshire) Heritage Centre. For services to Community Relations, (Greater (Greater London, HA4) * Dr Sudarshan KAPUR, For services to Interfaith Manchester) * Sokphal DIN, For services to Holocaust Education Understanding and the community in East London (Greater * Mohammad Saqib BHATTI, Lately President, Greater (Hampshire) London, E18) Birmingham Chamber of Commerce. For services to Diversity * Nicholas Chandra GUPTA, Lately Deputy Director for * Dr Mahiben MARUTHAPPU, Co-Founder and Chief and Inclusion in Business Communities (West Midlands) Wessex, Environment Agency. For services to the Environment Executive Officer, Cera. For services to Health and Social Care * Professor Kalwant BHOPAL, Race Equality Champion. For in the West of England (Somerset) Technology (Greater London, HA7) services to Equality in Education (West Sussex) * Yashmin HARUN, For services to Female BAME * Dr Nalini Jitendra MODHA, General Practitioner, * Razia BUTT, Independent Education Adviser, Birmingham Representation in Sport (Greater London, IG1) Thistlemoor Medical Centre, Peterborough. For services to the City Council. For services to Education (West Midlands) * Nadia Rehman KHAN, Co-founder, The Delicate Mind. For NHS (Cambridgeshire) * Aziza CHAUDRY, Quality Manager, Adult Education services to Mental Health and Integration in London and * Kanti NAGDA, For services to charity in the UK (Greater Wolverhampton. For services to Education (West Midlands) Birmingham (Leicestershire) London, HA5) * Manjit DARBY, Director of Nursing Leadership and Quality, * George MANN, For services to Young People through the * Yusuf PATEL, Community Engagement Coordinator, Midlands, NHS England and NHS Improvement. For services to Scouting Movement in Northern Ireland (Belfast) Redbridge Borough Council. For services to Community Nursing and Patient Care (Leicestershire) * Sahdaish Kaur PALL, For services to Victims of Domestic Cohesion and Interfaith in the London Borough of Redbridge * Maksud Ahmed GANGAT, Director of Education, Al Risalah Abuse and voluntary service to the community in the West (Greater London, E17) Education Trust. For services to the Muslim community and Midlands (West Midlands) * Yogesh PATEL, For services to Literature (Greater London, Interfaith in South London (Greater London, SW16) * Kanubhai Raojibhai PATEL, For services to the community SM4) * Sonia GHARYAL, Policy Lead, Office of Security and Counter in South West London and Surrey (Surrey) * Dr Tara QUASIM (TARA QUASIM-SHAH), Clinical Co-Lead, Terrorism, Home Office. For services to National Security * Rita PATEL, Correspondence Officer, HM Treasury. For serInS:PIRE. For services to People with Post Intensive Care (Greater London, SW11) vices to Public Administration (Greater London, BR3) Syndrome (Glasgow) * John Paul HAJDU, Holocaust Survivor. For services to * Afzal PRADHAN, Volunteer Cricketeer, ICC Cricket World * Jasvir Kaur RABABAN, For services to the Sikh community Holocaust Education and Commemoration (Greater London, Cup 2019. For services to Cricket (Greater London, UB6) (Greater London, UB1) N2) * Kathryn Lindsay SINGH, For services to the Arts and the * Mohammed Tariq RAFIQUE, For services to the community * Hatice HASAN, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Asian community in Scotland (Glasgow) in Greater Manchester (Greater Manchester) Stopcocks. For services to Women in the Heating and Plumbing * Paramjit SINGH SANDHU, Immigration Officer, Home * Baljinder Singh RAI, For services to Parliament (Greater Industry (West Yorkshire) Office. For services to Community Engagement (Greater London, DA17) * Parveen HASSAN, Inclusion and Community Engagement London, DA7) * Sukwinder Kaur SAMRA, Headteacher, Elmhurst School and Manager, Crown Prosecution Service. For services to * Harpreet Singh VIRDEE, For services to the BAME commuDirector, Elmhurst TSA. For services to Education (Greater Community Engagement, Inclusion and Equality (West nity and to Diversity and Inclusion (Greater London, DA16) London E17) Midlands) * Ibrahim YOUSAF, For services to the community in Oldham, * Dr Adeela Ahmed SHAFI, Reader in Education, University of * Nadiya HUSSAIN, For services to Broadcasting and the Greater Manchester (Greater Manchester) Gloucestershire. For services to Social Justice in Bristol (Bristol) Culinary Arts (Buckinghamshire) * Manjulika SINGH, For services to Yoga, Health and * Arif HUSSAIN, For services to the Muslim community in the Community Cohesion (Dunbartonshire). UK and Abroad (Buckinghamshire) * Nadeem Hassan JAVAID, For services to Community Cohesion and Young People Michael Kuldip JOHAL (Greater * Mumtaz ALI, Work Coach, Sparkhill Jobcentre Plus, London, E17) Department for Work and Pensions. For services to

Members of the Order of the British Empire

Kanti Nagda MBE

Dhruv Chhatralia BEM

Kishan Devani FRSA BEM

Bhagavad Gita teacher Dhruv Chhatralia has been awarded Medallists of the Order of the British Empire for voluntary service to Hinduism and developing young people. Mr Chhatralia is an international mergers and acquisitions lawyer at a global law firm based in the City of London, author of 21 books on Hinduism and he has given over 325 public talks of over 350 hours between them on spirituality including on the Bhagavad Gita, Hanuman Chalisa, Ramayan, Shrimad Bhagavad, Shree Suktam, Devi Mahatmaya, the Upanishads, the Vedas, Yoga and Meditation that are watched in over 161 countries around the world. Dhruv wrote the longest ever English commentaries on the great Indian works the Bhagavad Gita, the Hanuman Chalisa and the Shree Suktam in history, between them comprising over 3,467 pages. All the proceeds from these books went to charity. He then created a programme of over 180 Bhagavad Gita, Hanuman Chalisa and Shree Suktam classes in English to educate youngsters about the Indian scriptures. On being awarded Dhruv said, “I am honoured and humbled to receive this recognition from the Queen. I bow down to Shree Krishna for blessing me on this wonderful journey and for moulding my character through His teachings in the Bhagavad Gita. I would like to thank my parents for bringing me up with Dharmic values and for instilling in me the qualities of hard work, selflessness and service towards other people. I also offer my obediences to my Gurus and the entire Indian Guru tradition for inspiring me with the teachings of the great Indian scriptures. This achievement would not have been possible without the contributions of countless teachers, volunteers and supporters of SHYAM and I would like to recognise their dedicated service in the fields of spirituality, education and

Kishan Devani FRSA, 34, has been awarded a BEM for Services to community cohesion. Kishan has previously received the Honour of the Freedom of the City of London & has been made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Son of a refugee, whose parents and grandparents arrived from Uganda in the 1970s fleeing the tyranny of the dictator Idi Amin, Kishan has been travelling the length and breadth of the UK and speaking to BAME youth at Universities to get involved in British civic life, charitable work and public life as a former Religious Studies Teacher. His extensive work as Advisor to the Unity of Faiths Foundation - a Charity that looks to bring together communities and youth in the various BAME communities has been instrumental in spreading message of peace, love and harmony across the UK & internationally. In addition to this, he has been the only Ambassador of the Religious Education Council of England and Wales. Kishan said, "I am overjoyed & truly humbled receiving this Honour from Her Majesty the Queen. "I fundamentally believe in building bridges and not walls. Communities are stronger working together & uniting on their similarities. Unity in Diversity is a motto I believe in. My spiritual Gurus and Inspirers - Pramukh Swami Maharaj & Mahant Swami Maharaj have a tenet which I try and imbibe within my life as much as I can, it is 'In the Joy of Others Lies Our Own'... "I dedicate this Honour to my family, in particularly my wife & mother whose sacrifices have allowed to me achieve all of these accolades at such a young age. I would also like to dedicate this to all the unsung dedicated activists across our country who are striving to make the world we live in a better place. Thank you all for all you do".

Kanti Nagda has been awarded with an MBE for services to charity in the UK. Mr Nagda, was bestowed the Asian of the Year by Asian Achievers Awards in 2002 for Community Service and awarded a National Political and Public Life Award (AAA) at the House of Commons by Baroness Betty Boothroyd. Thrown out by Idi Amin from Uganda in 1972 with nothing but his clothes and £50.00 in his pocket Kanti Nagda vowed to ease the suffering of his fellow refugees in an alien and unfamiliar land. He immediately started a Drop-in Centre in North Harrow where elderly Ugandan Asians with nowhere to go could socialise out of the cold. He formalised the drop in centre by founding the Anglo Indian Circle Charity and the Centre flourished for many years with 100-150 people regularly benefiting from its cultural and religious activities. He spent all his spare time working for charities assisting people and eventually got a job at Harrow Council as a social worker in 1982, but retired later due to other work pressure. In 1982, the Charity through his efforts had purchased a building for £45,000 where regular activities for over 100 elderly took place, including a Day Care Centre for the disabled. Named as the Sangat Centre. Sangat soon started specialising in free legal advice on issues of Welfare, Housing, Immigration, Race Relations and Matrimonial and demand for its services rocketed from all over the UK. In 2001 and 2002 Kanti worked tirelessly to raise £700k for a new larger building, half of which came from the Millennium Commission. The new building was opened in 2002 by Prince Edward and Countess of Wessex. Kanti has also served as the Secretary General of Confederation of Indian Organisations (UK) from 1974 to 1996, Treasurer of Harrow Community Relations Council, President of National Congress of Gujarati Organisation (UK), Chair of Harrow Refugee Forum, Chair of North West London Community Foundation, President of Greenford Lions Club, Trustee of Karma Yoga Foundation and continues to run the Sangat Centre and sits on a number of other charities.


18 FINANCE - UK

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

11 - 17 January 2020

Dear Financial Voice Reader, Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, Why do so few people become rich in trading and investing. When I was writing my weekly Financial Times column of the ‘Diary of an Internet Trader’ telling the world what is working and making money and what is not these truths I realized: First, Charlie Munger is right. Charlie Munger, half of the most successful investment team in world history: ‘There isn’t one novel thought in all of how Berkshire [Hathaway] is run. It’s all about … exploiting unrecognized simplicities… It’s a community of like-minded people, and that makes most decisions into no-brainers. Warren [Buffett] and I aren’t prodigies. We can’t play chess blindfolded or be concert pianists. But the results are prodigious, because we have a temperamental advantage that more than compensates for a lack of IQ points.’ When I lectured at Oxford on behavioral financial I used to talk about the research of a man who went on to win the Nobel Prize – He said, “To know whether you can trust a particular intuitive judgment, there are two questions you should ask: Is the environment in which the judgment is made sufficiently regular to enable predictions from the available evidence? The answer is yes for diagnosticians, no for stock pickers. Do the professionals have an adequate opportunity to learn the cues and the regularities? The answer here depends on the professionals’ experience and on the quality and speed with which they discover their mistakes. Anesthesiologists have a better chance to develop intuitions than radiologists do. Many of the professionals we encounter easily pass both tests, and their off-the-cuff judgments deserve to be taken seriously. In general, however, you should not take assertive and confident people at their own evaluation unless you have independent reason to believe that they know what they are talking about.” Daniel Kahneman - Nobel Laureate. Kahneman summarises the evidence: ‘People have competed against algorithms in several hundred contests of accuracy over the past 60 years, in tasks ranging from predicting the life expectancy of cancer patients to predicting the success of graduate students. Algorithms were more accurate than human professionals in about half the studies, and approximately tied with the humans in the others. The ties should also count as victories for the algorithms, which are more cost-effective… ‘The bottom line here is that if you plan to use an algorithm to reduce noise, you need not wait for outcome data. You can reap most of the benefits by using common sense to select variables and the simplest possible rule to combine them…’ And that’s what I did, year in year out winning awards from Bloomberg and in the Financial Times with my algorithm. You know what happened. The money went to people I beat – people like Neil Woodford. Even though they lost in the same competition they entered. Institutional bias? Yes. That’s the name for it. If you’re not an institution money will not flow to you. Doesn’t matter if you’re rubbish. Sadly for me, I’m not rubbish, else I’d be at an institution.

UK services sector rebounds as Brexit uncertainty falls The UK service sector rebounded in December as business optimism jumped in the wake of Boris Johnson’s unexpectedly decisive election victory, lifting some of the political uncertainty facing the British economy. The latest health check of a sector that includes hotels, restaurants, transport and the City from IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (Cips) found that business optimism soared to the highest level since September 2018. The survey of about 650 service sector companies straddled the election, with firms responding between 5

December and 19 December, suggesting the unexpectedly decisive result may have influenced business optimism. The Institute of Directors, which polled almost 1,000 of its members the day after the election, found optimism among company bosses leapt to its highest level for more than three years following the Conservatives’ election win. Despite the improving outlook, the snapshot for December from service sector firms, manufacturers and the construction industry together signalled an overall stagnation in the UK economy at the end of 2019.

Mukesh Ambani unveils online shopping platform to challenge Amazon in India Mega-etailers Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart will soon have to defend their turf against India’s newest online marketplace. Spearheaded by the wealthiest man in Asia, Mukesh Ambani, new startup JioMart is vying for consumers’ wallet share in the world’s second most populous country. JioMart is now open as a label ‘the nation’s new store’ initially to pre-registered consumers. They offer more than 50,000 groceries product, free home delivery and return policy. According to the Website, they are currently available in only three localities of Mumbai. According to the pilot site, the Mukesh Ambabi is controlling the energy and petrochemicals conglomerate. He is stepping up customers’ offerings towards newer businesses. A Mumbai based Reliance industries official rejected to give further detail of the retail program.India's

Mukesh Ambabi

online grocery market is in its infancy - currently estimated to be worth around $870m a year, with just 0.15% of the population using such services. However, analysts predict the sector could see annual sales of around $14.5bn by 2023. Mukesh Ambani’s previous project of capital expenditures of $50 billion is already leading to success. Ambani, 62 years old entrepreneur, is giving shape to his online retail ambitions

by spending billions of dollars on a string of small acquisitions. The newer businesses, including telecommunications and retail, are likely to contribute 50% of Reliance Industries’ earnings in a few years, from about 32% now, Ambani said in August. In 2016, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., the group’s wireless carrier, started up but today, they considered no. 1 Indian operators with

more than 350 million users. The company is the world’s 2nd largest market by the subscribers, providing free calls and cheap data, forcing some incumbents to exit or merge with rivals. Mukesh Ambani is now looking ahead to replicate that success in online retail as well. He gave it a term of “new commerce.” In August Ambani said, his mission is to “completely transform” unorganized retail market of India, which accounts for 90% of the nation’s industry. Mukesh Ambani told shareholders in August: “This tech-enabled partnership will link producers, traders, small merchants, consumer brands and consumers,” he also said: “We are now getting ready to roll out the platform at a larger scale.” Reliance Industries has revealed a general intent to make a $24 billion digitalservices holding firm,and promised postings of the new organizations inside five years.

Oil prices jump on fears of Iranian retaliation against US The price of oil surged on concerns that Iran might respond to the killing of its top general by the United States by disrupting global supplies of energy from the Mideast. If sustained, the rise in oil prices could lead to more expensive car fuel, heating and electricity bills, stifling the global economy at a time when it is already slowing. News that Gen. Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was killed in an air attack at the Baghdad international airport prompted expectations of Iranian retaliation. During past flare-ups in relations with the U.S., Iran threatened the supply of oil that travels from the Persian Gulf to the rest of the world. About 20% of crude traded

worldwide goes through the Strait of Hormuz, where the shipping lane is only 3 kilometers (2 miles) wide and tankers have come under attack this year. The international benchmark for crude oil jumped 3.7%, or $2.45, to $68.70 a barrel in London trading. The U.S. contract was up 3.6%, or $2.18, to $63.36. About 80% of the crude oil that travels through the Strait of Hormuz goes to countries in Asia, including China, Japan, India and South Korea. But the rise in the global price of oil will likely have a wider effect, particularly in oil-importing countries with big manufacturing sectors like Germany. Its stock market fared worst on Friday, falling 1.3%. Because the prices of fuels like gasoline generally reflect

moves in the market for crude, that could mean higher costs for drivers and airlines, for example. Airline shares were down sharply across the world on January 3, Friday. In the U.S., crude oil accounts for just over 50% of the price of gasoline, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In the longer term, the rise in crude oil prices could be limited by the fact that the energy market is flush with oil while demand has softened as major economies have slowed. Crude-producing countries — particularly the Unites States — have been pumping oil at a high rate.

Gold jumps to near 7-year high Gold surged close to a seven-year peak, as investors flocked to the safe-haven metal on escalating US-Iran tensions, while palladium surpassed the level of $2,000 to hit a record high. Spot gold rose 1.7% to stand at $1,577.98 per ounce. Earlier in the session, it had rallied as much as 1.8% to touch $1,579.72, its highest since April 10, 2013. US gold futures gained 1.8% to $1,580.30.

Tata Steel 'can't keep funding losses' at UK's Port Talbot plant: Chairman The chairman of the Tata group N Chandrasekaran in an event said the steel conglomerate cannot have a situation where India keeps funding the mounting losses at its struggling Port Talbot steelworks in the UK. He emphasised that the Port Talbot steelworks in Wales, one of the largest in Europe, needed to be "self-sustaining".

The head of the 84 billion-pound turnover conglomerate that also owns British luxury automaker Jaguar Land Rover, refused to commit to continuing to make UK steel, the report said. Chandrasekaran, 56, said, "I need to get to a situa-

tion where at least the plant (Port Talbot) is self-sustaining." "Whether it is in the Netherlands or here, we can't have a situation where India keeps funding the losses just to keep it going," he told the British newspaper. Tata Steel's pre-tax losses were 371 million pounds last year, up from 222 million pounds in 2017-18. In November, Tata announced plans to cut 3,000 jobs across Europe. Just under half of Tata's 8,385-strong UK workforce are based in Port Talbot. Paul Evans, the Unite labour union's regional officer for Wales, said: "This interview just adds more pressure on

the Tata workers at Port Talbot. The site is obviously key to the future of the other Tata plants in Wales. "The workforce at Port Talbot have for many years proved they are the producers of world class quality steel and Wales and the UK can't afford to lose the expertise and commitment they have shown over the years." A spokesman for Tata Steel's European operations said: "What our chairman said in the interview has already been communicated to colleagues through our transformation programme. "That programme is about building a stronger and more sustainable

European steel business by improving profitability so we can pay for investments necessary to secure our longterm future," the company spokesman was quoted as saying. "The plans include productivity improvements, reduced bureaucracy and increased sales of highervalue steels, as well as employment cost savings," he added. Tata has two large steelworks in Europe - Port Talbot, and one near Ijmuiden in the Netherlands, about 30km north-west of Amsterdam. Tata Steel acquired the Anglo-Dutch steel-giant Corus in 2007 for 6.2 billion pounds.


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

REAL ESTATE VOICE

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

19

11 - 17 January 2020

BUYING & SELLING MONEY Currently, many 5 year fixed BTL rates are below 2%; but this week they are expected to increase. They still represent excellent value, together with security. Rarely do these two attributes go together, but you have them now. Many people cannot get their head around the benefit of being able to borrow cheap money, as they could with getting a discount on a property. Perhaps this example will illustrate the issue with some clarity. At the moment it’s possible to get yields on BTL property at 5% in London, you do however need to scour the market for these deals. Suresh Vagjiani Sow & Reap London Property Investment

If you’re getting 5% rent and you’re borrowing money at 2% this is the same as buying something for £2 and selling it for £5. You’re making £3; and in this situation, you’re doing it with someone else’s money. This is a rare opportunity. If you take a simple example of a property worth £250K and assume a rental of 5% you would be looking at an income of £12,500pa. Your mortgage cost at 2% on 75% LTV would only be £3,750pa. This means you gain £8,750pa on a deposit of £62,500. This is a 14% return. For the purposes of keeping things simple I have ignored management fees, maintenance, and voids, all of which in a practical example may come into play. However, in this example we have also ignored the potential for capital growth, which will

override the income side of the investment. At this level, and given the market is buoyant following the election result, over a 5 year period the rise in capital growth should be significant. This would also allow you at the end of 5 years to extract the original capital out of the investment. Even if it is not, which is unlikely given the wave is starting to rise again, and the price point is low, such an investment would be justified on the yield basis alone. We are currently doing a deal which involves a £400K injection, with the aim of extracting the £400K back out after a 6 month time lag. You need 6 months before you can revalue the

property to extract the money back out. This deal is being done for 3 reasons. Firstly, there will be no money left in the deal. Secondly, we hope to utilise the sub 2%, 5 year fixed rate deal. Thirdly, the council will shortly be signing an Article 4, which will remove the right for landlords to convert their properties into HMOs. So, we are in a race, one to secure the rate, the other to secure the HMO planning. The key will be to look deeply into the detail. A mortgage offer is normally valid for 3 months. At times an application for a product will serve to lock the rate in, sometimes the lender asks for a booking fee to lock in the rates. The process and procedures will need to be looked at very closely.

AGONY AGENT IS HERE TO HELP! Q: How do I ensure the shared spaces in my HMO are kept clean?

best way to deal with this situation is to make them your responsibility from the very start.

A: If you have an HMO you may know the struggle of keeping the common areas in good condition, as whenever you find them in poor condition, you will find that the mess is always someone else’s! Nobody will accept responsibility.

We would recommend that you have the property cleaned weekly (professional cleaner recommended), on the same day each week. You should ask the cleaner to feedback the condition of the property to you every week. We would also suggest that you have a sign off sheet which your cleaner should sign at the property after each visit, so you know they have been and what

Now, unless you have amazing tenants that look after the shared areas without being asked to, which is not very common, the

BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY

areas have been cleaned. This would also serve as a great visual reminder for the tenants to keep these areas clean. Always ensure your property is kept to a high standard of cleanliness, as you want to avoid rats or mice making themselves at home; otherwise you will have a whole new problem to contend with. If you need any other HMO or BTL property guidance, please do get in touch.

● Large three bedroom flat with long lease and low service charges ● Close to a Crossrail station ● Journey time to Canary Wharf and Bond Street will be 11 mins and 25 mins ● Needs minor refurbishment ● Yield of 5.9% per annum

London, SE2 Purchase Price: £225,000

● £95K cash required to close this deal, subject to mortgage criteria ● Sustained long term growth due to Crossrail Call us now for more information!

Specialists in Central London Property Sourcing

0207 993 0103 info@sowandreap.co.uk www.sowandreap.co.uk 27 Gloucester Place, London, W1U 8HU SowandReapProperties

Sowandreapuk

Interested in investing in property? Do get in touch to see how we can help


20 FINANCE

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

11 - 17 January 2020

PM Modi meets India Inc heads to discuss the economy Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on January 6, met 11 leading corporate chiefs and exhorted them to give candid feedback on what has contributed to the slowdown, along with their views on what needs to be done to reverse the trend. Each industry captain was allotted 10 minutes to highlight concerns about his specific sector and the problems with economy and policies as a whole, with the PM urging them to be frank.

While pre-Budget consultations between the finance minister and industry captains have been par for the course, Modi's invitation to them was the first of its kind, at least in recent years. Apart from the PM, there was only one official present in the room, a format which many attendees saw as designed to encourage a free exchange of views. The PM himself was forthright as he addressed some issues perceived to be gnawing at the industry, the zealous taxman for instance.

"There is no need to worry, there is no witch-hunt," he was quoted as telling his guests that included Tata Group chairman emeritus Ratan Tata, RIL boss Mukesh Ambani, AM Naik of L&T and Gautam Adani of the Adani Group. Sunil Mittal of Bharti Group, Bharat Forge CMD Baba Kalyani, Vedanta's Anil Agarwal and Anand Mahindra of Mahindra Group were among others who attended the session in the run-up to Modi 2.0's first Budget, which has taken on addi-

tional significance because of the expectation that it might mark an important intervention to beat back despondency over the economy. The economy is estimated to have grown at 4.5% in the second quarter of the current financial year and advance estimates for 2019-20 are due to be released by the Central Statistics Office. Modi's meeting with the industry comes at a time when the government is keen to comfort businesses, some of whom have said

that they "fear" investigating agencies. Modi met a number of business leaders and entrepreneurs over the past week to seek feedback on various sectors as well as suggestions on policy measures to boost growth and accelerate the drive toward a $5-trillion economy. More such meetings are planned in the days ahead. Those who have attended these meetings so far include Uday Kotak, CEO, Kotak Mahindra Bank; Rajnish Kumar, chairman, State Bank of India; Aditya Puri, managing director, HDFC Bank; IT industry veteran TV Mohandas Pai; former finance secretary Hasmukh Adhia; CP Gurnani, CEO, Tech Mahindra; Nivruti Rai, Intel India general manager and Rajesh Gopinath, Tata Consultancy Services chief executive. The government has announced a number of measures to revive the economy. It’s looking to boost GDP to $5 trillion by 2025 from about $2.8 trillion now.

Ratan Tata moves SC against NCLAT order restoring Cyrus Mistry Following the move by Tata Sons, Tata Group patriarch Ratan Tata, Tata Trusts trustee Venu Srinivasan, and Tata Teleservices also went to the top court, appealing it to set aside the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) order regarding power abuse and not taking decisions regarding the holding firm of the group. The NCLAT order said Tata had abused his powers as Tata Trusts chairman and had ordered him and other Trust nominees not to take any decision regarding Tata Sons. Tata said the NCLAT judgment of December 18 last year had castigated him, N A Soonawala (former trustee of Tata Trusts), and Nitin Nohria, a Trusts-nominated director, for “unfair abuse of powers”. Further, the NCLAT has ordered Tata and other nominees of the Tata Trusts to desist from taking any decision that requires majority approval by the

Ratan Tata with Cyrus Mistry

board of directors or in the annual general meeting, said Tata in his petition. The findings of the NCLAT are wrong, erroneous, and contrary to the records of the case, and require consideration by the Supreme Court, said Tata in his petition. Asking the Supreme Court to set aside the NCLAT order, Tata Teleservices said the company was not party to the dispute either at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) or at the

NCLAT. Yet the appellate tribunal order asked it to reinstate Cyrus Mistry, who had been removed as Tata Sons chairman in 2016, on the board. The company has been denied an opportunity to defend the “justified, legitimate and lawful removal of Mistry”. The petition filed by Tata Trusts also points out that Article 75 of Tata Sons’ Articles of Association is not per se oppressive, and was not even

challenged in the company petition as originally filed but was done so only subsequently. The NCLAT has wrongly declared the conversion of Tata Sons from a public entity into a private one illegal, without even discussing or appreciating the previous Supreme Court judgment in a previous case, the Trusts said. The feud between Mistry and Tata started after the former was sacked by the Tata Sons board in October 2016, citing “incompetence”. Subsequently, the Mistry family’s investment companies, which hold an 18.5 per cent stake in Tata Sons, moved the NCLT, Mumbai, appealing his dismissal, but lost the case. Later, the Mistry companies moved the NCLAT, which on December 18 last year ordered Tata Sons to reinstate Mistry as executive chairman. Tata said the NCLAT judgment was based on the wrong premise that Tata Sons was owned by just two groups.

'Rumours' of Air India's shutdown baseless: CMD Ashwani Lohani Air India chief Ashwani Lohani said that "rumours" of the disinvestment-bound airline's shutdown are "all baseless", weeks after he told the Civil Aviation Ministry that the carrier's financial situation was "grossly untenable" for sustaining operations. "Rumours regarding Air India shutting down or closing operations are all baseless. Air India would continue to fly and also expand and there should be no cause for concern whatsoever to travellers, corporates or agents. Air India the national carrier is still the biggest airline

of India," the Air India Chairman and Managing Director tweeted. In a letter to the ministry last month, he had said, "It also needs appreciation that the overall financial situation is grossly untenable and the airline may not be able to sustain physical operations in the absence of immediate government intervention and support that we have been repeatedly requesting for in the recent past." Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had clarified on December 31 that the national carrier, which is incurring a loss of Rs 20-26 crore

daily, will keep on running till it is privatised. While Air India's net loss in 2018-19 was around Rs 8,556 crore, its current total debt is around Rs 80,000 crore. "We made an attempt two years ago. That attempt proved to be less than successful. We have learnt from that experience. It is our endeavour now that we will be issuing an expression of interest in the coming few weeks. Hopefully, sooner than later," Puri had said. In 2018, the government had proposed to offload 76 per cent equity share capital of the national carrier as well as trans-

fer the management control to private players. However, the offer failed to attract any bidder when the deadline for initial bids closed on May 31, 2018. Therefore, the Centre re-started the disinvestment process this year. The Centre plans to divest its entire stake in Air India this time so as to make it attractive for private entities. At a meeting with some 13 Air India unions in Delhi, Puri had said that the government was trying to address the concerns of the employees regarding issues such as job protection post privatisation.

in brief

'NO MORE CORPORATE TAX CUTS': BANERJEE'S ADVICE TO FM

Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee advised Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to not announce any more corporate tax cuts in the upcoming Budget 2020. Banerjee and fellow Nobel laureate Esther Duflo attended an event and were part of 'The Juggernaut Dialogue' session moderated by Prannoy Roy. During the session Banerjee said that the corporate world is not short of cash. "It needs to be understood that the corporate sector is not short of cash. Just that it is not investing. What you need to do is get the demand side going. Get the money in the hands of the people, and they will spend. This government has ensured that almost everybody has a bank account; therefore the infrastructure is in place. Several measures can be taken to arrest the downward slide of the economy," Banerjee said. Banerjee instead emphasised on the need to have a well-oiled machinery to provide relief to the distressed.

VIJAY MALLYA CAN’T USE PENDENCY OF PLEA TO STALL CASES ABROAD: SC

The Supreme Court Monday said fugitive economic offender Vijay Mallya cannot use pendency of his plea in the apex court to stall insolvency proceedings initiated against him by lenders in other countries. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde passed the order after the Centre told the court that Mallya used pendency of his plea to stall the UK court from delivering verdict in insolvency proceedings. Pendency of the case is not a ground for holding any case anywhere in the world, the apex court said. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, informed the court that proceedings in the UK in an insolvency case filed by SBI against Mallya, have been concluded and the order reserved.

NOT INTERESTED IN RETURNING TO TATA GROUP AS CHAIRMAN: MISTRY

Cyrus Mistry said he is not interested in getting back to the Tata Group in any capacity at all, ahead of the Supreme Court's hearing on an urgent petition seeking to set aside the NCLAT order reinstalling him as the group chairman and also in the board of group companies. Mistry, the ousted Tata Sons chairman, in a public statement said he has taken the decision in the overall interest of the Tata group, whose interests are far more important than those of any individual. "Despite the NCLAT order in my favour, I will not be pursuing the executive chairmanship of Tata Sons or directorship of TCS, Tata Teleservices, Tata Industries. I will, however, vigorously pursue all options to protect our rights as a minority shareholder including a seat on the board," he said.

TAX HAVEN TRUSTS COME UNDER SCANNER FOR SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS

A number of trusts set up in overseas tax havens using a complex maze of entities have come under the scanner of Indian and Swiss authorities for suspected tax evasion by parking of illicit funds in Switzerland-based banks, as per notices issued to those entities. Trusts, especially those set up in jurisdictions like Cayman Islands, Panama and British Virgin Islands, have often been seen as routes for evading taxes. Those named in these notices include businessman Atul Punj, Gautam Khaitan, Satish Kalra, Vinod Kumar Khanna, Dullabhbhai Kunverji Vaghela, Revaben Dullabhai Kunverji Vaghela and Balwantkumar Dullababhai Vaghela. More than 100 such notices have been issued in recent months, including against people already facing black money probe back in India.


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

PAKISTAN

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

21

11 - 17 January 2020

in brief NRC SCARE MAY HAVE FORCED THOUSANDS TO RETURN TO BANGLADESH

The spurt in infiltration arrests in Bangladesh over the past couple of months around 450 since mid-November - is the tip of the iceberg. The actual number of Bangladeshis who have returned illegally to their homeland in the wake of the NRC scare could be in the thousands, indicate intelligence and other sources. A process of regular low-key pushbacks is also on, they said. According to state intelligence sources, over the past few weeks around 200 people have infiltrated into Bangladesh every day through North 24 Parganas alone. Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Director General Maj Gen Md Shafeenul Islam disclosed the figure during a press briefing. "About 1,000 people were arrested in 2019 for illegal border crossings from India to Bangladesh, with 445 of them returning home in November and December," he said.

UAE MAN JAILED FOR KILLING MAN, STABBING INDIAN WOMAN AND HER DAUGHTER

A criminal court in United Arab Emirates has sentenced a man to 10 years in jail for stabbing an Indian woman and her sevenyear-old daughter multiple times inside the lift of a building and also for the murder of another person. The 43-year-old man will serve seven years in jail for the murder of the compatriot and three years for the stabbings. He will be deported after serving the entire prison term. The incident dates back to January 16, 2019. The man killed was a graduate from the University of Baroda, India, and was working as an accountant in a company in the Dubai free zone.

TALIBAN COUNCIL AGREES TO CEASEFIRE IN AFGHANISTAN

The Taliban have agreed to a temporary cease-fire nationwide. It provides a window during which a peace agreement with the United States could be signed. A peace deal would allow Washington to bring home its troops from Afghanistan and end its 18-year military engagement there, America's longest. The US wants any deal to include a promise from the Taliban that Afghanistan would not used as a base by terrorist groups. The US currently has an estimated 12,000 troops in Afghanistan. The Taliban chief must approve the agreement but that is expected. The duration of the cease-fire was not specified but it is being suggested it would last for 10 days.

OVER 1,000 PROTEST IN BANGLADESH AFTER COLLEGE STUDENT RAPE

More than 1,000 students and activists joined their hands, chanted slogans and marched through Bangladesh's main public university after a second-year student was raped. The protesters gathered on the campus in Dhaka, the capital, after the victim was rescued and taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital around midnight Sunday. The victim was walking to a friend's place after getting off a university bus on Sunday evening, but someone grabbed her from behind, gagged her and took her to an empty place nearby, where she was attacked, police said. The protesters chanted slogans demanding the arrest of whoever was responsible and safety for women. Some carried festoons reading, No more rape, we want justice and We want the highest punishment."

Main accused in Nankana Sahib vandalism held in Pakistan LAHORE: The main accused in the recent incident of vandalism at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan has been arrested and charged with anti-terrorism act, a top official said. Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, also known as Gurdwara Janam Asthan, is a site near Lahore where the first Guru of Sikhs, Guru Nanak, was born. According to media reports, a violent mob had attacked the Gurdwara and pelted it with stones on 3rd January, Friday. A team of police had to intervene briskly to control the situation. The accused, identified as Imran, was arrested for his role in the incident. “Most importantly, the gurdwara remains untouched and undamaged. All insinuations to the contrary, particularly the claims of acts of

desecration and destruction of the holy place, are not only false but also mischievous,” said an official release by the Pakistan foreign ministry. Azhar Mashwani, the Focal Person to Punjab Chief Minister, took to Twitter to announce the arrest. "The main culprit in #NankanaSahib incident Imran

has been arrested." he said in the tweet which also carries the picture of the accused behind bars. He further said that the "7 ATA is a non bailable section under the Anti Terrorism Act. Breaking his silence on the incident, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the recent incident of vandalism at the Nankana Sahib, saying it goes against his "vision" and the government will show "zero tolerance" against those involved in it. India also had strongly condemned the incident of vandalism at the revered Gurdwara and called upon the Pakistan government to take immediate steps to ensure the safety and security of

the Sikh community there. Indian leaders cutting across party lines and various outfits condemned the mob attack on the historic Gurdwara, terming it as "cowardly" and "shameful". Hundreds of protesters thronged the streets near the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi demanding that Islamabad provide adequate security to Sikh shrines and community members there. Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC), the apex body which manages Sikh shrines in India, said it will send a four-member delegation to Pakistan to take stock of the situation and urged the Pakistan government to take stringent action against the culprits who attacked the gurdwara - one of the holiest sites in Sikhism.

Young Pakistani Sikh shopping for his wedding shot dead in Peshawar PESHAWAR: A young Pakistani Sikh who had recently returned to the country from abroad for his wedding was killed by unknown gunmen in the northwestern city of Peshawar. The killing comes days after a mob attack on Gurdwara Nankana Sahib near Lahore. Parvinder Singh (25) had come to Peshawar from his native Chakesar town, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Shangla district, to shop for his wedding which was to be next month. Harmeet Singh, his brother and a journalist by profession, said his younger brother ran a small business in

Malaysia and had arrived in Pakistan last month. “Last night one of the assailants called me from Parvinder’s phone and said that they had killed my brother,” Harmeet said, adding that he had immediately informed the police about the incident. “The problem here with us (minorities) is that we are very vulnerable. Police stations do not register our complaints unless they receive orders from their top bosses,” Harmeet said. In Chandigarh, reacting to the murder, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh tweeted, “Shocked & anguished over killing of Sikh youth in

#Pakistan, coming on heels of #NankanaSahibAttack. @ImranKhanPTI govt must ensure thorough investigation & strict punishment for the culprits. This is the time to act on what you preach.” Several local Sikhs said that around 40 Sikh families lived in Shangla 10 years ago but now only five families resided there. India strongly condemned the murder of a Sikh citizen of Pakistan in Peshawar and urged the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan to stop attacks on religious minorities in the country and urged Pakistan to punish the perpetrators. The

Parvinder Singh

statement also highlighted the case of Sikh girl, Jagjit Kaur of Nankana Sahib who was allegedly abducted and forcibly married.

US to resume military training for Pakistan Arrest warrant against ISLAMABAD: US President Donald Trump has decided to resume a military training programme for Pakistan that was cut off in 2018 while retaining a suspension in security-related aid, the top American diplomat for South Asia has announced. The resumption of the International Military Education and Training (IMET) for Pakistan was announced through a tweet by principal deputy assistant secretary for South and Central Asian affairs Alice Wells, few hours after secretary of state Mike Pompeo called Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa to discuss the fallout of the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani. Wells said in the tweet that Trump authorised the resumption of the IMET programme for Pakistan to “strengthen mil2mil (military-to-military) cooperation on shared priorities & advance US national security”. She added that the “overall security assistance

suspension for Pakistan remains in effect”. The IMET programme for Pakistan, seen by US officials as a key trust-building measure, was cut off in August 2018, months after Trump famously announced the suspension of some $2 billion in security aid in a New Year’s day tweet. Trump had accused Pakistan of giving the US “nothing but lies & deceit” in return for “more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years”. Pompeo, who reached out to his counterparts in the UK, Germany, France and Russia and the Afghan and Iraqi presidents, opted to contact Pakistan’s military leadership, and not the civilian administration headed by Imran Khan, to discuss the fallout of the killing of Soleimani, the commander of the al-Quds Force foreign operations wing of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The US secretary of state tweeted he had spoken to the Pakistan Army chief “about U.S. defensive action

to kill Qassem Soleimani”. He added: “The #Iran regime’s actions in the region are destabilizing and our resolve in protecting American interests, personnel, facilities, and partners will not waver.” Bajwa, according to the Pakistani military’s media arm, emphasised to Pompeo the “need for maximum restraint and constructive engagement by all concerned to de-escalate the situation in broader interest of peace and stability”. Bajwa also “reiterated the need for maintaining focus on success of (the) Afghan Peace Process”. The resumption of the IMET programme also sparked speculation that the US envisaged a role for Pakistan in dealing with the tensions caused by Soleimani’s killing. Pakistan has good ties with both Iran and Saudi Arabia, the two key players in West Asia, though Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent efforts to broker peace talks between the two rivals did not result in any success.

Bangladesh’s first Hindu chief justice

DHAKA: A court in Bangladesh issued an arrest warrant against Bangladesh’s first Hindu chief justice, Surendra Kumar Sinha, on charges of embezzling 4,00,00000 taka. Sinha has been in the crosshairs of the Awami League Party government in Bangladesh since his 2017 verdict clipped parliament’s wings in removing SC judges, causing a political storm in the country. In 2015, Sinha became the first Hindu chief justice of Bangladesh, and the 21st occupant of the office since the country’s independence from Pakistan in 1971. Before becoming chief justice, Sinha delivered many important judgments, including on the killing of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the country’s founder, and the validity of the 5th, 7th, and 13th amendments to the constitution. In July 2017, when Sinha was chief justice, the Bangladeshi Supreme Court annulled the 16th amendment to the constitution, which empowered parliament to impeach SC judges for misconduct or incapacity. The judgment miffed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who came down heavily on Sinha and accused him of “humiliating” the country. The ruling Awami League accused him of corruption and misuse of power, allegations that Sinha denied.


22 WORLD

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

11 - 17 January 2020

Harvey Weinstein rape trial begins in New York

Dressed in a black suit, former film producer Harvey Weinstein arrived at a Manhattan court on Monday for the start of his landmark rape trial, met by celebrity accusers including Rosanna Arquette who helped fuel the #MeToo movement in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against him. Weinstein hobbled into court leaning on a walker and with a member of his team holding his arm. Lead defense counsel Donna Rotunno followed close behind. Once one of Hollywood’s most powerful men, Weinstein ,67, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two women in New York. He faces life in prison if convicted on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault. Outside the courthouse, the Silence Breakers, a group of Weinstein accusers including actresses Arquette and Rose McGowan, held a press conference and demanded accountability for Weinstein. “As we stand here at the beginning of a new year and a new decade, time’s up on sexual harassment in all workplaces,” said Arquette. “And time’s up on

the pervasive culture of silence that has enabled abusers like Weinstein.” #TimesUp is also the name of a movement that works against sexual harassment, sexual assault and gender-based discrimination. Weinstein did not engage with the accusers who shouted at him outside court. McGowan was dismissive of Weinstein’s feeble appearance. “I think he’s taken some good acting tips.” More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct dating back decades. Those accusations helped fuel the #MeToo movement, in which hundreds of women have publicly accused powerful men in business, politics, the news media and entertainment of sexual harassment or assault. Weinstein has denied the allegations, saying any sexual encounters he had were consensual. Monday’s court proceedings began with a pretrial conference in state court, with jury selection starting on Tuesday, according to Danny Frost, a spokesman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, whose office brought the charges. The court sent jury questionnaires to

Harvey Weinstein arrives using a walker at the Manhattan Criminal Court

2,000 potential jurors. One of the women Weinstein was charged with assaulting, former production assistant Mimi Haleyi, has said that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 2006. Prosecutors say Weinstein raped the second woman, who has not been publicly identified, in 2013 The trial will hang over the Hollywood awards season, which began with Sunday’s Golden Globes. Weinstein was once a fixture at the industry’s glitzy ceremonies, with numerous critically acclaimed small-budget films such as “Shakespeare in Love,” which won the Oscar for best picture in 1999. Juda Engelmayer, a spokesman for Weinstein, said that the two women in the criminal case had long-term

relationships with Weinstein. He said it was prejudicial to conflate the criminal matter with allegations in civil cases or with public grievances he said were lodged by women who were not part of any lawsuit. Allegations against Weinstein first were reported in October 2017. Within days, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which selects Oscar winners, had expelled Weinstein. If Weinstein is acquitted, he is still likely to face legal problems. At least 29 women in the United States, Canada and Europe have brought civil claims against him. The allegations in the civil lawsuits range from battery, assault and defamation to sex trafficking and racketeering. He has denied the allegations.

China's PLA begins major military exercises in Tibet The Chinese army has begun major military exercises in the high-altitude Tibet bordering India, deploying latest weapons including the Type 15 light battle tank and the new 155MM vehicle-mounted howitzer. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Tibet Military Command started its New Year exercises in which it has deployed helicopters, armoured vehicles, heavy artillery and anti-aircraft missiles across the region from Lhasa, capital of Tibet, to the border defence

front lines with elevations of more than 4,000 metres. India-

China Line of Actual Control (LAC) covered 3,488 kilometres,

including the border along Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of South Tibet. Both the tank and howitzer, which were revealed to the public on the National Day military parade on October 1 last year, are specifically designed with advantages for plateau regions and can play important roles in safeguarding border areas, the report said. Their deployment in the Tibet Military Command will enhance PLA combat capability in the plateau regions, it quoted a military expert as saying.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa calls for constitutional changes to curb minority parties Sri Lanka’s new president endorsed amending the constitution to reduce the power of minority political parties, saying the country wasn’t suited to a system that creates unstable governments “constantly under the influence of extremism”. In a speech after he presided over the start of a new Parliament session, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said a majority of the voters who elected him in last November’s presidential election rejected “political agendas founded on race” and proved “it is no longer possible for anyone to manipulate and control the politics of this country by playing the role of kingmaker. “Even though elections can be won through numbers, an

Gotabaya Rajapaksa

unstable Parliament that cannot take clear decisions and remains constantly under the influence of extremism is not one that suits the country.” Voting patterns during the election showed a clear divide

between the majority Buddhist Sinhalese and minority Tamils and Muslims. A vast majority of Sinhalese voted for Rajapaksa, while minorities overwhelmingly voted for his main opponent, Sajith

Premadasa. He pledged to respect the aspirations of the majority by protecting the unity of the country and Buddhism while ensuring people had the right to practice the religion of their choice. Rajapaksa said that the constitution has many “confusions” and changes are needed. He said a strong presidency, parliament and judiciary needs to be created through constitutional changes. Sri Lanka has a proportional representative electoral system where parties with a smaller support base could also return lawmakers with a minimum vote percentage. Minority politicians say the system had given them reasonable representation and help stem any anti-minority move in Parliament.

in brief GOA PIO LEADS NASA TEAM TO FIND FARTHEST GROUP OF GALAXIES

An international team of astronomers linked to Nasa, led by an Indian-origin Goa-born scientist, Vithal Tilvi, has discovered a neverbefore-seen group of galaxies, now labelled EGS77, which is the farthest group of galaxies to have ever been sighted. In 2013, Tilvi was also part of a team that discovered the farthest single galaxy ever sighted by astronomers. The new group of galaxies, EGS77, is estimated to be over 13 billion light years away from the Earth. It took Tilvi and team over four years to make the findings. This group of galaxies can now help astronomers see the Universe directly in its infancy, and see what were the chemicals present when the Universe was just born. "As we look farther and farther, we are looking back in time. This is because, the starlight which carries information about the galaxy group, is reaching the Earth now, after traveling for 13 billion years," Tilvi said.

JAPANESE WOMAN TURNS 117, EXTENDING RECORD AS WORLD'S OLDEST PERSON

Kane Tanaka has extended her record as the world's oldest person by celebrating her 117th birthday at a nursing home in Fukuoka in southern Japan. Tanaka marked her birthday celebrating along with staff and friends at the nursing home. Tanaka was last year confirmed as the oldest living person, aged 116 years 66 days old as of March 9, according to Guinness World Records. Tanaka's record age is symbolic of Japan's fast-ageing population, which coupled with its falling birthrate is raising concerns about labour shortages and prospects for future economic growth.

KALAPANI BELONGS TO NEPAL: AMBASSADOR

The disputed Kalapani area belonged to Nepal and the issue must be addressed soon to prevent irritants in bilateral ties, Nepal’s ambassador to India Nilambar Acharya said as Kathmandu mounted pressure on New Delhi to resolve the boundary issue soon. The Kalapani border dispute flared up again recently after India released its new political map, following the reorganisation of J&K, showing the area at a China-Nepal-India trijunction as its own. Acharya said there was a foreign secretary-level mechanism between India and Nepal to resolve issues related to outstanding border disputes and it needed to be used to address the Kalapani dispute. “That’s the way to go about it. Even according to the Treaty of Sugauli (which established the boundary of Nepal in 1815), Kalapani belongs to Nepal. That’s the sentiment the citizens of Nepal share,’’ he said.

CHINA REPLACES HEAD OF HONG KONG LIAISON OFFICE AMID ONGOING PROTESTS

China has replaced the head of its Hong Kong Liaison Office, the most senior mainland political official based in the Chinese-controlled territory, following more than six months of often-violent antigovernment protests in the city. Wang Zhimin, who had held the post since 2017, had been replaced by 65-year-old Luo Huining, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said on its website on January 4. Until November, Luo was the top official of China's ruling Communist Party in the northern province of Shanxi. Wang is the shortest serving Liaison office director since 1997. Luo, a loyalist of President Xi Jinping, has not previously held any Hong Kongrelated position and is at the age when top Chinese officials typically retire.


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

WORLD

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

23

11 - 17 January 2020

"Developments have taken serious turn": India after US kills Iran General Foreign minister S Jaishankar termed the ongoing US-Iran face-off "very serious". US President Donald Trump had announced that top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US air attack. The war of words since has spiralled, with President Trump threatening to target 52 cultural sites in Iran if the Islamic republic attacks American personnel or assets.

A tweet from Dr Jaishankar's official twitter handle this evening read: "Just concluded a conversation with FM @JZarif of Iran. Noted that developments have taken a very serious turn. India remains deeply concerned about the levels of tension. We agreed to remain in touch." While US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called his counterparts in several countries and the Pakistan army chief after the Iraq strike, he has not called India's External Affairs Ministry. India has been a traditional ally of Iran and had managed to work around US sanctions on purchase of Iranian oil for a while. The imports stopped in May last year. . Qasem Soleimani described as the second most-powerful man in Iran -

- was killed in a US strike the Chabahar Port in on January 3, Friday in Iran, which it is helping action that is considered develop to access oil and a dramatic escalation in gas resources in Iran and the simmering hostilities. Central Asian countries, Washington said he was will offset the competiplanning imminent tion that Beijing poses action that threatened with its Gwadar Port American citizens. built in Pakistan's President Trump, howevBalochistan province. er, assured that the US Iran, affected badly by took action to stop a war. the US sanctions over its "We did not take action refusal to pursue nuclear to start a war," President programme, seeks to Trump said, adding: "We recover its economy with do not seek regime the help of accessing change." The next day, as Asian markets using the After the attack, which killed Qasem Soleimani, India has called for restraint between the US, Iran Iran's supreme leader Chabahar Port. Similarly, Ayatullah Khamenei the North-South forces across the Middle slain Iranian military comwarned of "severe revenge", Transport Corridor (NSTC), East, has prompted mass mander and intelligence India called for restraint. the sea, rail and road route to mourning in Iran. US and chief Major General Qassem "The increase in tension move freight between India, Iranian warnings of new Soleimani was responsible has alarmed the world. Russia, Iran, Europe, the strikes and retaliation have for terror plots in New Delhi Peace, stability and security Caucasus, and Central Asia, is also stoked concerns about a has cornered India that in this region is of utmost another major dream project broader Middle East conflict shares a delicate relationship importance to India. It is aimed to benefit both India and led to calls in the US with Iran. Though President vital that the situation does and Iran economically. Congress for legislation to Trump did not give any not escalate further. India Around five million stop US President Donald specifics about the IRGC terhas consistently advocated Indians live in the Iran which Trump going to war with ror plots in Delhi, many in restraint and continues to do holds huge religious and culIran. "We will take revenge, a official circles believe that he so," the government said in a tural influence over the Shia hard and definitive revenge," was alluding to the 2012 statement. In first hints of population (16 to 25 million) the head of Iran's bombing of the car of the retaliation, mortar attacks in India. Revolutionary Guards, wife of the Israeli defence took place in an area near Iran considers 13 'revenge General Hossein Salami, told attache in New Delhi. the US embassy in Baghdad. scenarios' tens of thousands of mournWhile the US is India's Two rockets slammed into Iran is considering 13 scenarers in Suleimani's hometown most important ally and the Al-Balad air base where ios to avenge the killing of a of Kerman. Many chanted Israel remains a strategic American troops are top Iranian military com"Death to America" and partner on many core issues, deployed. mander in Iraq by a US drone waved the Iranian flag. s Iran enjoys significance given The killing of General attack, a senior Tehran offiTrump puts India in a bind its geographical location, reliQassim Suleimani, who was cial said as the general's body over Iran gious demographics and its responsible for building up was brought to his homeoverall sympathetic view of US President Donald Tehran's network of proxy town for burial. In India. New Delhi hopes that Trump's claimed that the

Washington, the US defence secretary denied reports the US military was preparing to withdraw from Iraq, where Tehran has vied with Washington for influence over nearly two decades of war and unrest. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and military commanders have said Iranian retaliation for the US action would match the scale of Suleimani's killing but that it would be at a time and place of Tehran's choosing. Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, said 13 "revenge scenarios" were being considered. Even the weakest option would prove "a historic nightmare for the Americans," he said. Iran, whose southern coast stretches along a Gulf oil shipping route that includes the narrow Stait of Hormuz, has allied forces across the Middle East through which it could act. Representatives from those forces, including the Palestinian group Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah movement, attended the funeral. Trump has promised strikes on 52 Iranian targets, including cultural sites, if Iran retaliates, although US officials sought to downplay his reference to cultural targets.

Asians with Australia’s bushfire victims Continued from page 1 The rescue effort which now involves the Australian navy, has destroyed over 1,200 homes since September, killing over 20 people and half a billion animals, including about a third of the state’s koala bears. Amidst this climate catastrophe an Indian couple in the country have started providing fresh meals from their restaurant to those affected by the disaster. Kamaljeet Kaur and her husband Kanwaljeet Singh, owners of the Desi Grill restaurant in Bairnsdale in Victoria have been preparing simple meals of curry and rice for the victims for the last five days as the bushfire crisis in the country worsened. "We are providing proper meals of curry and rice. We distribute the food at the relief centres as well as give to those who come to our restaurant asking for it. The situation is really bad. Initially there was less fire in the area but later it expanded. People have lost their lives, houses, farms and animals," Ms Kaur said. Victoria is one of the worst affected areas in the disaster. Other areas include New South Wales and South Australia.

BAPS volunteers prepared the meals and packed them in takeaway containers to serve to the frontline teams

Kaur further highlighted that people had left their houses and were either shifting to relief camps or moving to Melbourne. The couple, who migrated to Australia over a decade ago, was earlier providing raw materials to Sikh volunteers in the area to prepare food for the affected but later started preparing it in their restaurant. Even the shortage of staff in their restaurant has not deterred them from helping those in need as they have roped in friends and family to prepare food for the victims as well as

manage business hours of the restaurant. "Most of the staff members have left due to the disaster. My family and friends are working in the restaurant," said Ms Kaur, who along with her husband started the restaurant in Bairnsdale in 2016. She said that the loss in the area felt like "personal as we have lived here for seven years before moving to Melbourne." In the meantime, the Guru Nanak Gurudwara Turramurra Sikh Temple on Turramurra’s Kissing Point

Road kindly offered free food and water to Hornsby firefighters after they had worked hard to control fires in the nearby region. The gurudwara has also said it is open for all those affected by the fires and in need shelter or food. “As the firefighting operations were drawing to a close at the Canoon RpadFire in South Turramurra, we were approached by members of the local Sikh community with donations of hot food for our firefighters. “They brought along two

types of curry and water, and other residents also brought out water, juice and soft drinks,” said Captain Theo Klich in a statement to SBS News. In a similar show of strength to the loacl Yanchep community, BAPS volunteers assisted the relief efforts by serving over 1,000 hot vegetarian meals to the fire fighters and supporting volunteers. BAPS volunteers prepared the meals and packed them in takeaway containers to serve to the frontline teams. The Yanchep community is part of the city of Wanneroo where the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir is situated. Emergency services personnel from the Fire and Emergency Service (DFES), Department of Parks and Wildlife, and State Emergency Service and Salvation Army Emergency Service (SAES) bravely endeavored to control the bushfires that raged through thousands of hectares of the Yanchep National Park and surrounding areas north of Perth. The fires came dangerously close to residential areas with residents being evacuated for their safety. Another such volunteer is Sukhwinder Kaur who was planning her first trip back to

India in ten years, to see her elder sister who is in a coma after suffering a stroke. But she says her bigger family here also needs her at a time when their homes are burning. In just seven days since the New Year’s Eve, 35-yearold Sukhwinder Kaur has cooked thousands of meals for bushfire victims of East Gippsland. Now, the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has now called up 3,000 military reserve troops to combat the raging bushfire crisis which is expected to worsen over the following days. Australia does, indeed, routinely suffer bushfires, with 173 people dying in the “Black Saturday” fires of Victoria in 2009. The unprecedented length and severity of these ones, however, are the result of both the worst spring drought on record and the highest summer temperatures ever recorded. However, it is difficult to map a direct link between the burning of fossil fuels and any particular disaster. This incident illustrates that perhaps, it is now time that politicians and policy makers woke up to the “climate crises” instead of trolling Greta Thunberg of suffering from Asperger's syndrome.


24 INDIA

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

11 - 17 January 2020

SOUTH INDIA

‘Why not question Pak's atrocities in past 70 yrs?’: PM Modi KARNATAKA: The Prime Minister was in Karnataka’s Tumakuru, where he unveiled a plaque to mark the laying of the foundation stone for a memorial museum of Shri Shri Shivakumar Swamiji. PM Narendra Modi, who was on an official state visit to Karnataka, on January 2 said that protesters opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act must raise their voices against the atrocities that Pakistan and asked what is stopping them from doing so. The Prime Minister was speaking in Karnataka’s Tumakuru where he unveiled a plaque to mark the laying of the foundation stone for a memorial museum of Shri Shri Shivakumar Swamiji at Siddaganga Mutt.

At the event, the Prime Minister defended the

government’s decision to enact and implement the CAA. “Religious minorities were being persecuted in Pakistan and those persecuted were forced to come to India as refugees. But Congress and its allies don't speak against Pakistan, instead, they are taking out rallies against these refugees… Those who are agitating against the Parliament of India today, I want to say that today need is to expose the activities of Pakistan at the international level. If you have to agitate, raise your voice against Pakistan's actions of last 70 years,” he said. Prime Minister Modi also said that protesters must raise slogans against the persecution of minorities and Dalits in Pakistan. “If you have to raise slogans, then raise them against the way minorities are being tortured in Pakistan. If you have

to take out a procession, then take out a procession in support of Dalits in Pakistan and o t h e r s oppressed and PM Narendra Modi exploited in Pakistan,” he said. Modi also said that those opposing the CAA are protesting against the entry of persecuted minorities in Pakistan. “Today, every citizen is asking that processions are being taken out against those who have come here from Pakistan to save their lives, to save the lives of their daughters, but why are they silent against the Pakistan which has carried out such crimes against them,” he said. Prime Minister Modi took a jibe at the Congress and

asked why the party leaders did not question the actions of Pakistan. “Congress, its allies and the ecosystem they created are standing against India's Parliament. We can't leave minorities from Pakistan to their fate. We have a responsibility to protect them,” he said. Responding to the Prime Minister’s speech, the Congress party on its official Twitter handle stated that the anti-CAA protests were not against the Parliament but against ‘divisive deeds.’

PUNJAB

Ensure safety of Indians in Gulf: Amarinder Singh CHANDIGARH: Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh urged the Union government to take immediate steps to ensure safety of around 10 million Indians in the Gulf region amid escalating US-Iran tension. The chief minister said India could not afford to simply wait and watch, or to just monitor the situation, given the rising stakes in view of the threats and counter-threats between the US and Iran. Amarinder was responding in the context of the Union ministry of external affairs' statement that it was keeping a close watch on the situation. Indian government should

immediately direct its embassies to connect with Indians settled there, and provide all possible help to them, said the chief minister. Pointing out that besides the US, other countries like Britain were preparing to evacuate their citizens, if needed, Singh asked the Centre to also prepare and initiate plans to evacuate all Indians seeking to return home in these circumstances. The proximity of the Gulf region to the Indian border makes it imperative for the Centre to intervene without delay and issue necessary directions to its missions in the West Asian countries as well as the Indian population there, the

WEST BENGAL

chief minister said in an official release. With the conflict showing no signs of easing, the situation is evidently grave and it will be in the interest of the Indians to leave the Gulf region immediately, he added. Referring to the large Punjabi and Sikh diaspora settled in the region, Singh said that his government would extend all support to anyone who wanted a safe return back to the country. Punjab government officials were in direct contact Amarinder Singh with the community to move swiftly in response to there and had been instructed any plea for help, he added.

Emergency-like situation: Mamata Banerjee hits out at BJP over JNU violence KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hit out at the Centre over the violence at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and said that situation was nothing less than that of an Emergency. Attacking the government, Mamata Banerjee said: "On one side, they [government] have sent the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] goons and on the other, they have kept the police administration inactive. The incident is a fascist surgical strike. We have never seen attacks like these ever but now everywhere it is happening. Look at Lucknow, what is going on in Lucknow? What is going on in Muradabad? They are doing whatever they like." "When anyone raises their voices, they term them straight as an enemy of the nation. We haven't witnessed these types of issue in the past," Mamata Banerjee said. Stating the difference between India and Pakistan, Mamata Banerjee said:

Mamata Banerjee

"The difference between India and Pakistan is that Pakistan is not a democratic country but we are proud to say India is a democratic country. Fundamentalism is more in Pakistan but India is secular. But look at JNU, AMU [Aligarh Muslim University], IIT [Indian Institutes of Technology] and even in Visva Bharati." "The CISF is deployed to

protect the political leaders. Those people, who are meant to protect the university and people, are protecting the political leaders. There are many BJP leaders who get the protection from the CISF," Mamata Banerjee said. Mamata Banerjee also urged students across the country to come together to fight against the government, which she said is

targeting all the institution in the country. Earlier, Mamta took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “talking all the time about Pakistan”and asked the PM if he was “a Pakistani ambassador”. She also questioned BJP’s constant use of Pakistan to silence its critics. “Why do you always compare our country with Pakistan?” She said it was time Modi and BJP stopped employing “Pakistan rhetoric” to silence political opponents. “He (Modi) talks about Pakistan all the time. Why? Is he their ambassador? We are interested in Hindustan. When someone asks for jobs, he says 'go to Pakistan'. You are India’s PM, but keep talking of Pakistan.” Mamata's 4.5km march from Siliguri's Mallaguri neighbourhood till Baghajatin Park to protest against CAA came 10 days after BJP held a rally. Another anti-CAA rally in the hills is scheduled for January 22.

in brief CHENNAI STUDENTS PROTEST, STAND BY JNU PEERS

Students from IIT Madras, University of Madras and Presidency College have joined their fellow students across the country in condemning the attack on students and teachers at the Jawarharlal Nehru University (JNU) by unidentified people. Besides expressing solidarity with JNU students, they demanded arrest of the perpetrators and resignation of JNU vice-chancellor for the attack that left 34 students and faculty members injured. DMK MP Kanimozhi met the students the university and extended her support. A group of students from Presidency College also protested. Some students protested near Chennai collectorate against the attack. Academicians and alumni of JNU expressed shock over the incident.

FARMERS FORCE AMRAVATI SHUTDOWN OVER ANDHRA PRADESH’S CAPITAL CONTROVERSY

Farmers of Amaravati, the capital region of Andhra Pradesh, forced a complete shutdown of the area on January 4, Saturday in protest against the proposed shifting of administrative capital to Visakhapatnam and the alleged highhanded behaviour of the police against women protesters. Educational institutions, banks and commercial establishments in Amaravati were forced to down their shutters, while the state secretariat at Velagapudi remained closed on account of holiday. Headed by the Joint Action Committee (JAC), thousands of farmers in 29 villages falling under Amaravati blocked roads and staged dharnas. The protesters put up barricades and prevented police personnel from entering the villages. The villagers were angry with the report submitted by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a US-based global consulting firm, to the state government, stating that Amaravati is unfit to be the capital city because of its geographical disadvantages and also costintensive plans. It recommended that the entire state administration be shifted from Amaravati to Visakhapatnam.

INFANT DEATHS RISE TO OVER 100 IN KOTA

Kota city, in Rajasthan, was rocked by the death of 12 infants in last week of December 2019 in JK Lon Hospital. Since then, the death toll of newborns in the same hospital has risen to 107, till January 6. According to a report by the superintendent of JK Lon Hospital, a total of 940 death cases were registered in the same hospital in the year 2019. The Centre asked Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot to “avoid preventable deaths" in the wake of infant deaths in Kota. According to State Health Secretary Vaibhav Galriya, the reason of the deaths was systematic and infrastructural deficiencies. Recently, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPR) found broken windows and gates, pigs inside the hospital campus and acute shortage of staff during inspection of the hospital. The JK Lon Hospital has described the deaths of infants as 'not an usual trend'.

MAN WHO SPIED ON BRITISH POLICE FOR FREEDOM FIGHTERS DIES AT 107 IN BENGAL

Centenarian Bhim Chandra Jana, who used to spy on the police in the British Raj under the garb of running a tailoring shop during the freedom movement, died at his ancestral home at Sasati village in Howrah district on January 3, Friday. Family members said Jana had a code name, ‘Nanu.’ He was 107 and left behind 12 children, 35 grandchildren and several greatgrandchildren. His wife had died about eight years ago in 2012. “My grandfather used to spy on the police for freedom fighters during the Swadeshi movement and had been to jail at least thrice between 1930 and 1931. He was only 17 when he went to jail for the first time,” said Arindam Jana, 30, one of the grandsons.


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

INDIA 25

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

11 - 17 January 2020

At over 65,000, India Brothers-Sisters dominate estimated to see most UNICEF 1: January on births Indian Politics

The writer is a Socio-political Historian - E-mail: haridesai@gmail.com

Dr. Hari Desai

• •

Sister Supriya Sule brought back her brother Ajit Pawar from BJP camp Kanimozhi settled the succession issue in favour of step brother Stalin

I

n the new year 2020 while extending greetings to all the readers, it is an occasion to remember two great Indian personalities: 12 January is the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, an Indian Hindu monk who became inspiration for youths and 11 January is the tragic day when Indians lost their darling Prime Minister Lalbahadur Shastri at Tashkent some 44 years back. Of course, 14 January is Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan, one of the most auspicious Hindu festival celebrated in almost all parts of India and by Indians world over, may bring change and good news for all of you. Right from the mythological days the cultural India has been known for the contribution of brothers and sisters in every field. As per the legend, there was once a demon king by the name of Hiranyakashyap who won over the kingdom of earth. He was so egoistic that he commanded everybody in his kingdom to worship only him. But to his great disappointment, his son, Prahlad became an ardent devotee of Lord Naarayana and refused to worship his A NCP MP Supriya Sule with her Deputy CM brother Ajit Pawar father. Hiranyakashyap tried of Tamil Nadu and M.K. Alagiri, former several ways to kill his son Prahlad but Union Minister, Kanimozhi, a DMK MP, Lord Vishnu saved him every time. the step sister played a key role to settle Finally, he asked his sister, Holika to the issue in favour of Stalin. Of course, in enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her Indian politics it was not always the case lap. For, Hiranyakashyap knew that that sisters sided with the brothers. In Holika had a boon, whereby, she could 1984 when Jammu and Kashmir Governor enter the fire unscathed. Treacherously, Jagmohan dismissed the Chief Minister Holika coaxed young Prahlad to sit in her Dr. Farooq Abadullah, Khalida, one of the lap and she herself took her seat in a sisters of Dr. Abdullah, was on the rival blazing fire. The legend has it that Holika side. His brother-in-law G.M.Shah played had to pay the price of her sinister desire the Raj Bhavan game and became the by her life. Holika was not aware that the Chief Minister by toppling Dr.Abdullah. boon worked only when she entered the Even the royal family of Gwalior had fire alone. Prahlad, who kept chanting the not only mother and son on the rival sides name of Lord Naarayana all this while, but brother and sisters too continued to came out unharmed, as the lord blessed be on rival sides. A Congress MP Rajmata him for his extreme devotion. Holi Vijayaraje Scindia deserted Prime derives its name from Holika. And, is Minister Indira Gandhi and contested on celebrated as a festival of victory of good Jan Sangh as well as Swatantra Party over evil. Even Ramayana had a key tickets, preferred to go to jail during PM characters Lankapati King Ravana’s sister Gandhi’s 1975-77 Emergency and became Shurpankha. She was considered to be the founder Vice President of BJP in 1980 instrumental for the war of Ramayana but her son Madhavrao, late Union and the result is known to everyone. Minster, opted to be with the Congress. Modern Indian rulers have such Both the sisters of Madhavrao, combinations of brothers and sisters, Vasundhara Raje, former Chief Minister latest being Supriya Sule, a Member of of Rajasthan and Yashodhara Raje, former Parliament daughter of Sharad Pawar, the Minister of Madhya Pradesh, preferred to Maratha strongman, and her cousin Ajit be with their mother’s party. Madhavrao’s Pawar, a Deputy Chief Minister of son Jyotiraditya, former Union Minister, Maharashtra. Ajit deserted his Godfather continues to be with his father’s party. Sharadrao in recent political crisis and Dushyant Singh, Jyotiraditya’s cousin and was sworn in as a Deputy Chief Minister the only son of Vasundhara, is a BJP MP. in the 80 hour Devendra Fadanvis Sometimes sisters and brothers have Ministry. Supriya played a key role to to change the political colours with time. convince her brother to return to Shard P.A. Sangma, a close confident of Pawar fold which led to the formation of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congressdeserted her on the issue of her foreign Congress Ministry headed roots along with Sharad by Uddhav Balasaheb Next Column Thackeray keeping the The vision of giants for Pawar and Tariq Anwar and all the three established the Prime Minister Narendra Republic India Nationalist Congress Party. Modi’s party BJP out of Late Sangma’s son Conrad Sangma is power in one of the most important state today the Chief Minister of Meghalaya of India. Of course, Priyanka Gandhi and heads his National People’s Party Vadra, late PM Rajiv and Congress having alliance with Prime Minister President Sonia’s daughter has preferred Narendra Modi’s BJP. Conrad’s sister to come to her Congress MP brother Agatha Sangma who was earlier the Rahul Gandhi’s rescue. youngest Minister in the Congress led Even when M.Karunanidhi, the UPA government headed by Dr. legendary DMK supremo died and there Manmohan Singh as NCP MP, is now a was a rift for succession between DMK MP from her brother’s party in the Lok leaders and even among two of his sons, Sabha. M.K. Stalin, former Deputy Chief Minister

India tops the list of eight countries expected to contribute to half the number of births on January 1, with an estimated 67,385 births. China follows at 46,299, Nigeria (26,039), Pakistan (16,787), Indonesia (13,020), the US (10,452), the Democratic Republic of Congo (10,247) and Ethiopia (8,493). The Pacific Ocean island-nation of Fiji most likely delivered 2020’s first baby, and the US, its last. About 3,92,078 babies, according to UNICEF, are estimated to be born around the world on New Year’s Day. But it’s not all hunkydory for the newborns, cautions UNICEF, calling for a safe pair of hands to deliver and care for them. While UNICEF celebrates every New Year’s Day as an auspicious one for childbirth around the world, it points out that “for millions of newborns around the world, the day of their birth is far less auspicious”. “As the calendar flips each January, we are reminded of all the possibility and potential of each child embarking on her

or his life’s journey — if they are just given that chance,” Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director, said in a statement. The reason for concern is this. In 2018, 2.5 million newborns died in their first month, about a third of them on the first day. Among those infants, most died from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections such as sepsis. In addition, more than 2.5 million babies are born dead each year. “Over the past three decades, the world has seen remarkable progress in child survival, cutting the number of children worldwide who die before their fifth birthday by more than half. However, there has been slower progress for newborns,” the agency pointed out. “Babies dying in the first month

accounted for 47 per cent of all deaths among children under five in 2018, up from 40 per cent in 1990,” the statement said. As part of its Every Child Alive campaign, UNICEF calls for immediate investment in health workers with the right training, who are equipped with medicines to ensure every mother and newborn is cared for by a safe pair of hands. The aim is to prevent and treat complications during pregnancy, delivery and birth. “Too many mothers and newborns are not being cared for by a trained and equipped midwife or nurse, and the results are devastating,” said Fore. “We can ensure that millions of babies survive their first day and live into this decade and beyond if every one of them is born into a safe pair of hands.”

Peace returning to Jammu & Kashmir after Article 370: Army chief Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane asserted that peace was returning to the Kashmir Valley after the Centre’s move in August revoking special status to the region, but Pakistan-backed terrorists were making infiltration attempts every day. General Naravane is expected to visit the Siachen glacier next week on his first outstation tour after becoming the army chief on December 31. “Terror activity and stone-pelting have reduced drastically. The law-and-order situation is improving and we expect

it to improve further…There are 200-250 terrorists waiting to cross over into J&K. Infiltration attempts are being made every day, but we are thwarting them,” Naravane told reporters. The army chief said that the September 2016 surgical strikes against terror pads in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, followed by the February 2019 bombing of a terror facility in Pakistan’s Balakot, sent out a strong message to the neighbour that India can take down terror infrastructure and launch pads and “you cannot operate with impunity.” General Naravane has

taken over as army chief at a time the armed forces are facing a fund crunch that could hit weapons procurement. He said only a finite amount of resources were available for allocation to different government departments. Broadband internet restored Broadband internet has been restored at 80 government hospitals, health centres and offices linked to the Health Department in Kashmir valley. Internet was snapped on the valley after the government scrapped special status to Jammu and Kashmir and divided it into two Union Territories.

Mahant Swami in Surat Head of BAPS Mahant Swami is currently seated at Surat. Devotees and saints in large numbers visit everyday to seek blessings from Mahant Swami. A farewell for Mahant Swami was held in Mumbai on December 23 and major contributors and volunteers of Pramuk Swami Janmotsav, held at DY Patil Stadium, were also felicitated on the same day. Mahant Swami came to Surat on 24th December, 2019. Mahant Swami performed Sheela Poojan for the forthcoming temple in Bangkok on January 5 .


26 INDIA

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

11 - 17 January 2020

Mayhem on JNU campus as masked goons attack students, teachers Violence broke out in the night at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on January 5 as masked men armed with sticks attacked students and teachers and damaged property on the campus, prompting the administration to call in police which conducted a flag march. At least 18 people, including JNU Students’ Union president Aishe Ghosh, were injured and admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) as chaos reigned on the campus for nearly two hours.

The violence drew strong reactions from opposition parties which hit out at the BJP and accused “those in power” of trying to scuttle the voice of students. Senior Union ministers and JNU alumni S Jaishankar and Nirmala Sitharaman swiftly condemned the incident. Sitharaman asserted that the government wants

universities to be safe spaces for all students. The JNU administration said “masked miscreants armed with sticks were roaming around, damaging property and attacking people” and that police had been called in to maintain law and order. The students alleged that the attackers entered hostels and assaulted students and teachers. Video footage aired by some TV channels showed a group of men, who were brandishing hockey sticks, moving around a building. Delhi Police said it conducted a flag march and the situation was brought under control after it got a written request from the JNU administration. The Left-controlled JNUSU and the ABVP blamed each other

for the violence. The students’ union alleged that its members, including Ghosh, were injured in stone pelting by ABVP members. But the RSS-backed students’ organisation alleged that its members were brutally attacked by Left-affiliated student outfits and 25 of them were injured, while 11 were missing. Among the injured was the secretary of its JNU unit.

Violence at JNU Teachers’ Association meeting The violence occurred while a public meeting by the JNU Teachers’ Association was being held. “We had organised a peace meet at the tea point at 5 pm. As soon as it got over, we saw that a large number of people entered the campus and they started arbitrarily attacking teachers and students,” R Mahalaxmi, a professor of History

department, said.“How did such a large number of people with rods in their hands enter the campus, that is what we are wondering about. I think they were political activist instigated by the people who always call us antinationals,” Pradeep Shinde, another professor, said. JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh brutally beaten up In a video shared online, Ghosh could be seen bleeding from the head. “I have been brutally beaten up by people wearing masks.... I was there with one of my activists when I was brutally beaten up. I am not even able to talk,” she is heard saying in the video. Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal expressed shocked over violence at JNU. “I am so shocked to know abt the

violence at JNU. Students attacked brutally. Police shud immediately stop violence and restore peace. How will the country progress if our students will not be safe inside univ campus?” Kejriwal tweeted. Earlier, JNU registrar Pramod Kumar said in a statement, “This is an urgent message for the entire JNU community that there is a law and order situation on the campus.... The JNU Administration has called the police to maintain order.” The JNUSU claimed that “ABVP members wearing masks were moving around on the campus with lathis, rods and hammers. They are pelting bricks...getting into hostels and beating up students. Several teachers have also been beaten up,” the JNUSU claimed. A large section of JNU students have been taking part in the protests against the amended Citizenship Act in the national capital.

Gen Bipin Rawat takes charge as India's first Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat has now become India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). Gen Rawat retired as Indian Army chief on December 31. The CDS will be a 4-star General and the principal military advisor for the Minister of Defence. He will also head the new Department of Military Affairs to ensure jointness in logistics, training as well as procurement of the three armed services. New Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane was given an Army Guard of Honour on same day for

assuming command of the force.

Indian government amended the Army rules to change the retirement age of tri-Service chief and Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to 65 years. The decision to amend the rules has been taken so a service chief can be appointed as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) after retirement. According to previous rules, the service chiefs can serve for a maximum period of three years or till attaining the age of 62, whichever is earlier.

Officials said bringing about jointness in operation, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three services within three years will be another major mandate of the CDS. The triservice agencies, organisations and commands relating to cyber and space will be under the command of the CDS and he will also function as the Military Adviser to the Nuclear Command Authority. The Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC) will

comprise chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force and the senior-most member is appointed its

chairperson. In one of his first decisions, CDS Gen Bipin Rawat issued directions to prepare a

roadmap by June 30 to create an Air Defence Command to enhance security of India's skies.

ISRO selects four IAF pilots for Gaganyaan to train in Russia ISRO on January 1 announced that four Indian Air Force pilots have been selected for the ambitious 'Gaganyaan' manned space mission programme, whose astronaut training would commence soon in Russia. Addressing a press conference, Indian Space Research Organisation chairman K Sivan said four Indian Air Force airmen have been identified for the country's maiden manned space mission and their astronauts training would start from the third week of this month in Russia. "We had good progress in 2019 as regards Gaganyaan. And many of the designs were completed and astronauts' selection process is over.

K Sivan

Now four are identified for training purpose..that process is also completed," Sivan said.

A day after Union Minister Jitendra Singh said India will launch Chandrayaan-3 most likely in

2020, Sivan said the activities for the mission were going on very smoothly and the takeoff may shift to next year.

"One major announcement I wanted to make here officialy is that the government has approved Chandrayaan-3 and the project has been formed. The activities are going on for Chandrayaan-3 very smoothly and its configuration will be similar to that of Chandrayaan-2," he said. Noting that Chandrayaan-2 orbiter's mission life was seven years, he said it would be used for the third lunar mission as well. The objective of Chandrayaan-3 would also be to land in the lunar south pole, he said. Asked what went wrong with the Vikram lander of Chandrayaan-2, he said it was due to velocity reduction failure. "The velocity reduction failure was due to

internal reasons," he said. Chandrayaan-2 mission was India's first attempt to land on the lunar surface. ISRO had planned the landing on the south pole of the lunar surface. However, Vikram hard-landed. Sivan also congratulated the Chennai based techie who recently located the Vikram lander that hard-landed and maintained that it was the space agency's policy not to release pictures of the crashed module. India has signed agreements with Russia and France for cooperation on the ambitious Gaganyaan mission, which was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day speech in 2018.


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

HEALTH & LIFESTYLE

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

27

11 - 17 January 2020

Running marathon cuts years off 'artery age' Training for and completing a marathon improves the health of a new runner's arteries, cutting about four years off their "vascular age", a study suggests. Researchers from Barts and University College London tested 138 novice runners attempting the London Marathon. Over six months of training, their arteries regained some youthful elasticity, which should reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. And their blood pressure fell as much as if they had been prescribed pills. Those who were the least fit beforehand appeared to benefit the most. And smaller amounts of aerobic exercise are likely to have a similar effect, according to the British Heart Foundation (BHF), which funded the study, in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. It took them between four and a half and five and a half hours, on average, to run the 26.2 miles. Runners with a pre-existing but undiagnosed heart condition have

Dr. Smita Naram

New year, new diet and new habits for mental and emotional well-being died attempting marathons - but this is very rare. Lead researcher Dr Charlotte Manisty said: "People with known heart disease or other medical conditions should speak to their doctor first. But for most people, the benefits of taking up exercise far outweigh any risk." Start months before a marathon, begin each session with a warm-up and gradually increase the distance run. Having rest days between runs allows joints and muscles to recover and strengthen. The question is how much exercise is needed to keep fit and healthy? Over the course of every week, adults should do a

minimum of either: - 150 minutes moderateintensity exercise, such as brisk walking, doubles tennis or cycling - 75 minutes vigorous exercise, such as running, football or rugby People should also do strengthening activities such as push-ups, sit-ups or lifting and carrying - at least two times a week to give muscles a good workout. BHF's Prof Metin Avkiran said: "The benefits of exercise are undeniable. Keeping active reduces your risk of having a heart attack or stroke and cuts your chances of an early death. As the old mantra goes, 'If exercise were a pill, it would be hailed as a wonder drug.'"

Foods that can boost immunity in kids Most of us, millennial moms are in nuclear families today and feel alarmed of the possibility of our kids getting sick, especially if we are working. Kids with their developing immunity system are especially prone to catching such infections in this chilly weather. The cold weather makes them susceptible to many diseases, which are commonly associated with the winters like cold and flu, throat infections and stomach problems. Since children are more carefree and like to stay mostly outdoors, they are definitely more vulnerable to infections and health issues. To keep them healthy, powerful antioxidants are needed which are rich in vitamin C. Staying hydrated at all times, eating green leafy vegetables and loading up nuts and seeds daily are some preventive measures. Here are five foods that can boost immunity:

1. Fruits and vegetables: All seasonal fruits and vegetables are incredibly rich in vital antioxidants, and vitamins. These food groups are low in calories; nonetheless, most of them are packed with vitamin A and C that help in building up a child's immunity. The best ones to

include in daily diet as immune-booster are fruits like guava, oranges, papaya, berries and vegetables like pumpkin, onions, dark green leafy vegetables etc

2. Yoghurt: Yogurt makes us strong by providing immunity. Yogurt has great potential as a protective, antiinfection agent. Increased yogurt consumption might help increase one's resistance to immune-related diseases such as infections. This healthy snack is packed with calcium and several other nutrients that help maintain strong and healthy bones. Yogurt may help your little one feel fuller too. 3. Proteins to the rescue: Proteins from animal sources contain ample amounts of all the essential amino acids and are a must for immune cells. They are found in fish, poultry, cheese, eggs, and milk. Vegetarians can get their protein in grains and legumes like soybeans, rajma, chickpeas etc. 4. Nuts: Walnuts and almonds have healthy omega-3 fatty acids that help your body fight illness. One small study found omega-3s cut the number of respiratory infections in kids. Walnuts are easy to sprinkle into a snack mix or on cereal.

5. Condiments and spices: Condiments and spices like garlic, ginger and turmeric have antiviral and antibacterial properties. It also stimulates production of white blood cells within the body and is also an antioxidant. Garlic helps prevent cold and flu symptoms. Now, the question arises that how Millennial Moms can include all these food groups in daily diet? As a mom myself, and then a Nutritionist, I try and balance with freshly prepared food and few healthy packaged foods. Make sure your child's main meals are freshly prepared with ginger, garlic and turmeric with a balance of good whole carbs coming from chapatis or rice, one bowl of protein (dals/pulses/eggs/lean chicken or fish) and loaded with seasonal vegetables. The school snacks or pre and post-playtime snacks can be a nutrition bar (read the food labels - avoid any product that has added sugar more than 20%), or a packed fruit smoothie or yoghurt that can provide daily requirements of immunity boosting vitamins like vitamin C. A handful of mixed nuts are always the easiest and healthiest snack to pack.

A new year generally commences with new resolutions around eating right, maintaining a fit lifestyle and aspiring towards a healthy work-personal life balance. Whilst food trends around veganism, and vegetarianism have been on the rise, other minor details around self-care also play an important role in achieving mental and emotional peace. Yoga and exercises coupled with skin-care nourishment, bath routines drain the body of excess stress and help in locking down a regular sleep schedule. Kick-start a new decade and your 2020 by inculcating some of the following Ayurvedic daily routines for a good life style as recommended by Ayushakti: 1. Drink 8-10 glasses water daily to flush out toxins 2. Abhyanga (oil bath) once a week rejuvenates your body cells 3. At night take one teaspoon of castor oil and ghee equally mixed with warm ginger water daily after the age of 40 to improve joint flexibility and remove toxins and improve metabolism

4. Daily exercise/yoga is must for at least 45 minutes. (walking, swimming, dancing, cycling, aerobics etc) 5. Pranayam for 10 minutes 6. Avoid gluten, diary, sour and fermented foods and red meat 7. Your food proportions should be : 60% vegetables, 30% proteins and 10% carbs. Avoid over eating and junk foods. 8. Every few months do a detox just fasting for 5-7 days be on mung and vegetable soup 9. Each day, spend five minutes noticing your surroundings and how you feel. Do this by naming five things you see, four things you can physically feel, three different sounds you hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. Take a second to label how you’re feeling in the moment (like, “I’m frustrated,” “I’m bored,” or “I’m excited”). This is known as a grounding exercise, which according to some experts will helps with anxiety Cutting down on your unhealthy habits such as enhanced/addictive alcohol and caffeine consumption will also help in managing stress levels.

Is vegetable oil good for cooking? Vegetable oils such as mustard seed oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil have traditionally been part of our everyday diet across cultures. Be it for sauteing, frying or coating, vegetable oils are one of the most common cooking oils used in our kitchens. We often underestimate the benefits associated with such locally produced oils. A Harvard Universitybacked EAT Lancet report released earlier this year identified a 'Planetary Health Diet', which stated that total consumption of oils & fats should be restricted to about 10 teaspoons/day, which includes visible fat from home cooked food and invisible fat from local eateries and packaged food. More than half of fat/oil, needs to be sourced from variety of unsaturated fats/oils provided by vegetable sources. While the report focuses on balanced and wholesome diet concept which includes whole grains, plant proteins (beans, lentils, pulses), some meat, dairy, fruit, and vegetables favouring traditional Indian diet, but emphasis on plantbased fats is notable. It highlights that a diet rich in plant-based foods with fewer foods from animal sources, confers improved health as well as environmental benefits. Rich in good fats, most

vegetable oils are a hearthealthy bet. Plant-based vegetable oils provide the right nutrients to maintain optimum body's functioning at cellular level. Replacing saturated fats with an unsaturated option has extraordinary health benefits. For example, replacing butter (saturated fat) with sunflower oil (unsaturated fat) reduces bad cholesterol levels in the blood and minimises the risk of heart disease and stroke. Moreover, majority of the vegetable oils in India are fortified with vitamins, including vitamin A & D, which are essential for enhancing overall health and well-being. Trans-fatty acids (TFA) are one of the most harmful kinds of fat that are a primary cause of heart disease and strokes globally. TFA is typically derived from 2 sources

- Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Industrial TFA) and from animal sources. Evidence shows that both industrial and animal derived TFA adversely affect the blood cholesterol profile and hence, increase the risk of heart problems. Vegetable oils have definite health benefits over Vanaspati, which has transfats. The serious impact of trans-fat on heart health has been taken into cognizance by the FSSAI in India that recently launched a campaign to make consumers aware of the pitfalls of consumer foods with high levels of trans-fat. While working with the stakeholders to eliminate industrially generated TFA from the Indian food system by 2022, a year ahead of the World Health Organization's target for the world is to be TFA-free.

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...


28 BOLLYWOOD

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

11 - 17 January 2020

Amitabh Bachchan 'proud' to receive Dadasaheb Phalke award Amitabh Bachchan was bestowed with the Dadasaheb Phalke award at the recent National Film Awards ceremony by President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhawan. The Dadasaheb Phalke award is the highest award in Indian cinema. Some other recent awardees include Vinod Khanna, Kasinathuni Viswanath, Manoj Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Gulzar, Pran and others. In his blog, Amitabh wrote, “There are times in the life of us all when we assimilate without any assimilation of the times past and gone by …. when the years strike back at you and you wonder whether are you really the eldest in the gathering then a sudden temperament invades the being and there is a silent thought that wishes for us all to do for them that have

this is an indication for me to sit at home and relax after working for so many years? “There is some more work I have to finish and certain possibilities are coming up where I may get a chance to do some work. I just wanted some clarification on this,” Bachchan said on a lighter note. The veteran actor also thanked the government, Information & Broadcasting ministry and the jury members of the National Film Awards for naming him the Dadasaheb Phalke Award recipient. The actor was accompanied by his wife, veteran actor-MP Jaya Bachchan and son, actor Abhishek Bachchan at the ceremony. Amitabh Bachchan is gearing up for the release of four films in 2020 – Gulabo Sitabo, Chehre, Jhund and Brahmastra.

none …. these pictures say it all. I am in pride for the recognition .. I am in pride for the recognition of my profession .. I am in pride of my Country and my Film Industry…” Big B added. “When this award was announced, a doubt arose in my mind: if this is an indication for me to sit at home and relax after working for so many years? There is some more work I have to finish and certain possibilities are coming up where I may get a chance to do some work. I just wanted some clarification on this,” Amitabh Bachchan said at the event. The 77-year-old actor quipped that initially when he was announced as 2018’s honouree, he was doubtful if it was an “indication” for him to sit at home. “When this award was announced, a doubt arose in my mind: if

Kareena Kapoor gave audition for the first time for Laal Singh Chaddha Kareena Kapoor Khan has played an array of roles, from an escort to a feisty Punjabi girl and a fading Bollywood superstar. The actress has an incredible ability to disappear into every character she plays on screen. However, she did not, even for once, have given auditions for any of the roles she had played so far. Kareena will soon be seen in Laal Singh Chaddha opposite Aamir Khan. The film happens to be the first film for which Kareena ever auditioned and she did so only for her co-star Aamir Khan. "In these 20 years, nobody has ever told me that you have to read these two scenes. But I think that even if it was for Hollywood, I would have not auditioned. I auditioned only because of Aamir. I know what his potential is, and I know his intent. He will create a world, and in that world, he wants to be 100 percent sure. I was reading the scene, and I knew that I had nailed it. When I was midway through the scene, Aamir told Advait (Chandan, director) that this is done, and that he can see my character in that," Kareena said. The actress further revealed that it was her husband, actor Saif Ali Khan, who convinced her to audition for the part. "There has never been this concept for audition, and when I told Saif (Ali Khan, husband) about it, he said, 'What is the big deal?' and that actors should audition for a part.

Ajay Devgn looks impressive as IAF pilot Ajay Devgn will be seen as an Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot in one of his upcoming film, Bhuj: The Pride Of India. Ajay, who will be playing IAF pilot Squadron Leader Vijay Karnik, looks crisp and sharp in the uniform. Sharing the first look on the first day of the new year, director Abhishek Dudhaiya wrote, “It’s a privilege to present @ajaydevgn sir’s first look as Sq. Ld. Vijay Karnik from my upcoming directorial film #BhujThePrideOfIndia . #14Aug2020.” He also revealed that the film will open in theatres a day before Independence Day this year. Ajay has worked in number of patriotic films, with another of his upcoming films, Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, also showcasing similar sentiments. The film tells one of the many stories of bravery, selflessness and commitment, shown by ordinary people apart from the armed forces during the 1971 Indo-Pak War. The period drama looks back into the journey of 300 women from Madhapar village of Gujarat’s Kutch district, who played a

Siddhant Chaturvedi to star with Katrina Kaif in horror-comedy Bollywood actor Siddhant Chaturvedi, who made his Bollywood debut with Gully Boy, has been making headlines and for all the good reasons. The actor rose to stardom after he portrayed the role of MC Sher in the Zoya Akhtar directorial, and although he did not have a release in 2019, the actor has already been roped in for a couple of highly-anticipated releases of 2020. There were reports doing the rounds that Katrina Kaif is all set to work with two young actors Ishaan Khatter and Siddhant Chaturvedi in

an action flick, but there was no confirmation on it for a while. According to the earlier reports, Katrina Kaif was to collaborate with Siddhant Chaturvedi and Dhadak actor Ishaan Khatter for a bigbudget action entertainer, however, none of the stars had revealed anything about the same. But now, Siddhant Chaturvedi has finally spoken about the project. In an interview with an entertainment portal, Siddhant confirmed the news of working with Katrina Kaif for a horror-comedy.

pivotal role in helping India win the war. The women came together to rebuild and repair the only runway in Bhuj, which was crucial for the war. The film also stars Sanjay! Dutt, Sonakshi! Sinha, Hate Story 4 actor Ihana Dhillon, singer-actor Ammy Virk and South Indian actor Pranitha Subhash.


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

BOLLYWOOD

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

29

11 - 17 January 2020

Neena Gupta’s 'The Last Color' makes it to the Oscars race Michelin-star chef Vikas Khanna’s directorial debut The Last Color, starring National Award-winning actor Neena Gupta, is among 344 feature films in the running for a nomination in the Best Picture category for the 2020 Academy Awards. An elated Vikas Khanna shared the news on social media and Neena Gupta too couldn’t control her happiness. “BEST WAY TO START 2020. MIRACLE. MIRACLE. Thank you UNIVERSE. Our humble film THE LAST COLOR is pure HEART. Oscars: Academy Announces 344 Films Eligible for 2019 Best Picture,” tweeted Khanna along with a screenshot of the list shared by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In his other tweets, Vikas Khanna mentioned Neeraj

Ghaywan’s 2015 release Masaan was the inspiration behind The Last Color. He thanked the

Masaan director and actors Vicky Kaushal and Richa Chadha for the inspiration. Set in the ancient Indian city of Varanasi, The Last Color is the story of 70-year-old widow Noor, played by

Neena Gupta, and her special bond with 9-year old Chhoti (Aqsa Siddiqui), a homeless girl who aspires to go to school and makes ends meet by performing stunts as a tight-rope walker and selling flowers. Further, Vikas Khanna mentioned in his tweets, “I wrote the story-screenplayscenes-concept-musicnovel on the banks of Ganges. As she touched my feet & made me alive again & again. Singing lullabies to me at the night.” The Last Color had a screening in July 2019 at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Before the screening, Neena Gupta had said, “I feel that if all of us start at home, to be nice to our staff, pay them better salaries, look after their children’s education, then the whole world will change.”

Rajkummar Rao gets mistaken for Alia Bhatt Rajkummar Rao is one of the few actors who can, very convincingly, pull off unconventional roles really well. Recently, the actor dropped his first look from his upcoming film, Anurag Basu's Ludo and left netizens in disbelief. In the first still, Rajkummar is dressed as a drag in a midriff-exposing ghagra choli with long hair, red lips and a bindi. He is seen looking away from the camera. The actor's jaw-dropping transformation broke the internet and many even confused him to be Alia Bhatt. A fan commented, "I thought it is alia" while another netizen wrote: "looking like @kritisanon in 1st one." Others complimented him for the look and wrote, "Best drag ever!!! Happy New year Rajkumar!" The actor posted another picture dressed in flashy clothes as he poses on a motorcycle decorated with tassels.

Directed by Anurag Basu, Ludo is a dark comedy which also stars Abhishek Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, Pankaj Tripathi and Rohit Saraf.

by Vallisa Chauhan

Genre : Epic War Film Duratiom : 2 hours 51 minutes

Chulbul Pandey the badass cop returns

The most lovable police inspector Chulbul Pandey (Salman Khan) is back to entertain his fans. Following the previous two blockbuster hits Sonakshi Sinha will reprise her role as Chulbul’s loving wife Rajjo and Salman Khan’s real brother Arbaaz will yet again play his on-screen brother Makhanchand ‘Makkhi’ Pandey. Dabanng 3 opens in Uttar Pradesh where we see Chulbul Pandey as he always is a cop with swag in a small town. But this time the film flips to the past taking you back to before part 1 and 2 and before Chulbul Pandey became the warm crime-fighting cop we know him to be. A ghost from Chulbul’s past comes to haunt him, Balli Singh (Sudeep) and this is when the flashback begins to show us how Dhaakad Chand Pandey, yes he had a different name, turned into Chulbul Pandey. We also get to meet a love from his past Khushi (Saiee Manjrekar). Much like the previous two films this film also has the funny humour between the star and the villain, with the hilarious one-liners, silly dance moves and the sheer presence of two superheroes in one screen. Prabhudeva has directed the third instalment of the Dabangg franchise and you can see how he has brought in his South Indian style into the film. One of the biggest disappointments of the film has to be the songs, instead of thinking of original songs to add, the makers of Dabangg 3 have rehashed older songs such as Hud Hud Hud and Munna Badnam, which is a real shame

and let down and there are just too many songs. The action sequences could also have been shot a little better, when you have two superheroes on the screen you’re expecting a real raw fight with real-life action but what you end up with is a lot of slow motion cuts, of course, shirtless which is the only plus. Being part of such a big franchise even with the flaws, the film does well to keep you entertained and laughing throughout, just as a Christmas release should. Sinha’s role was a little less than the previous films but it was nice to see Dimple Kapadia slot in her for role as Pandey’s mother and her comic timing was perfect. All in all, if you are a Salman Khan fan and love him playing the comic role then you will love Dabangg 3.

I admire Kangana and her work: Varun Dhawan

Chhapaak Chhapaak is a Bollywood biographical-drama, helmed by Meghna Gulzar. The movie star Deepika Padukone in lead role alongside, Vikrant Massey. Chhapaak is based on the life of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwa. The film revolves around Malti (Deepika Padukone) who is attacked with acid on a street in New Delhi, in 2005.

Darbar

Darbar is a Bollywood action drama, directed by A.R. Murugadoss. Darbar stars Rajinikanth and Nayantara in the lead roles. The movie mark's Nayanthara fourth collaboration with superstar Rajinikanth after Chandramukhi, Kuselan and Sivaji. Santhosh Sivan has weilded the camera for Darbar.

Varun Dhawan’s next film Street Dancer 3D is slated to release with Kangana Ranaut’s Panga on January 24. But the actor said he is not worried about the box office clash. Instead, Varun said he admires Kangana’s work and wants the audiences to go and watch both the films. “Kangana is someone I have known since a lot years. I admire her a lot and admire her work too. Both the films are very different. We are in 2020 we can’t do this thing of clash and all, we have to be cool about it, and move ahead. If people like it then they should go and watch both the films,” the actor said reporters at the launch event

o f song Garmi from the Remo D’Souza-directed movie. Varun said Street Dancer 3D is his effort to make a film which caters to his young audience. “This is my return to doing films for kids, I had not done film for kids since very

long time. Hopefully the family audience will like this film,” he added. Street Dancer 3D also features Nora Fatehi, Shraddha Kapoor and Prabhudeva among others. The film is produced by Bhushan Kumar, Divya Khosla Kumar, Krishan Kumar and Lizelle D’ Souza.


30 KOLLYWOOD

AsianVoiceNews

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

www.asian-voice.com

11 - 17 January 2020

Thala Ajith gets invite from Twitter one tweet he garnered over 25,000 followers. For years actor Ajith who has huge fan followActor Kamal Haasan joined twitter on ing had kept it low key when it comes to pubRepublic Day in 2016 and gained 30,000 follic appearances or film promotional events. lowers within 24 hours. The star actor is also not on social media and the only way fans get to see him is in his films and if lucky at airTV Listing ports, shooting spots or public places occasionally. TUESDAY JAN 14, 2020 Now, the Partnerships 00:47 FILM: RAJA HINDUSTANI 06:00 FILM: HUFF! ITS TOO MUCH Manager of Twitter, Cheryl 08:00 FILM: KRANTIVEER Ann Couto revealed during an 10:58 FILM: MRITYUDAND- THE interview that Twitter India DEATH SENTENCE has offered an invitation to the 14:19 FILM: PHOOL AUR KANTE 17:29 FILM: ALIGARH megastar to join the microblog* Schedule is subject to change 19:59 FILM: TANU WEDS MANU ging site. If at all Thala Ajith SATURDAY JAN 11, 2020 RETURNS accepts the offer to join 01:56 FILM: TRAPPED 22:43 FILM: GHAYAL ONCE AGAIN Twitter, there will be a huge 06:00 FILM: WOH LAMHE WEDNESDAY JAN 15, 2020 01:21 FILM: KYA KOOL HAI HUM 3 number of followers within 08:19 FILM: BOMBAY 06:00 FILM: BAAT BANN GAYI minutes on the first day of his 11:01 FILM: MAIN KHILADI TU ANARI 08:10 FILM: KRISHAN AVTAAR joining. It is highly doubtful 14:42 FILM: VIVAH 11:13 FILM: SATYA 18:07 FILM: KHOOBSURAT that the star actor, who is 20:47 FILM: BHAGAM BHAG 14:43 FILM: RAJA HINDUSTANI 18:20 FILM: BADLAPUR shooting for his upcoming film SUNDAY JAN 12, 2020 20:57 FILM: MASTI 'Valimai' directed by H Vinoth 00:00 FILM: FITOOR THURSDAY JAN 16, 2020 will join Twitter or any other 02:21 FILM: OMKARA 00:31 FILM: KYA KOOL HAI HUM 3 06:00 FILM: BAAT BANN GAYI social media platforms. 02:48 FILM: SHAURYA FILM: LAKSHYA 06:00 FILM: GOOD BUDDY GADBADI Superstar Rajinikanth 08:11 11:53 FILM: A FLYING JATT 08:29 FILM: PHOOL AUR KANTE joined Twitter a week before 14:57 FILM: TANU WEDS MANU 11:41 FILM: ALIGARH his first animated film, 17:22 FILM: AGNEEPATH 14:02 FILM: GHAYAL ONCE AGAIN Kochadaiiyaan was slated for 20:37 FILM: GRAND MASTI 16:51 FILM: TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS 19:26 LIFESTYLE : STAR STOP release in 2014 and before he 22:44 FILM: TRAPPED 20:00 FILM: ALL THE BEST- FUN BEGINS even tweeted his first 140 char- MONDAY JAN 13, 2020 00:52 FILM: KEEMAT 22:56 FILM: MAST acters on Twitter he had over 06:00 FILM: THE PERFECT GIRL FRIDAY JAN 17, 2020 10,000 followers and with just 08:00 FILM: SWEEKAR KIYA MAINE 02:13 FILM: DEEWANE HUYE PAGAL

Thalaivar's blockbuster Chandramukhi to get a sequel It is known that Superstar Rajinikanth's Chandramkuhi that released in 2005 was a huge blockbuster and the film was also a trendsetter to many more films in the horror-comedy genre. The film featured a stellar ensemble of Nayanthara, Jyothika, Prabhu, Nasser, and Vadivelu among others. Chandramuki was directed by director P. Vasu who also made the Kannada version of the movie as 'Apthamitra' before that. It must be noted that both the films were the remake of the Malayalam film 'Manichitrathazhu'. Director P Vasu made a sequel to the film as 'Nagavalli' in Telugu and he is set to make a sequel in Tamil too. The cast, crew

FILM: GANGSTER FILM: OMKARA FILM: BHAGAM BHAG LIFESTYLE : STAR STOP FILM: BADLAPUR FILM: GRAND MASTI

06:00 08:00 10:51 14:12 17:22 19:59 23:03

FILM: FILM: FILM: FILM: FILM: FILM: FILM:

THE PERFECT GIRL SHAURYA AAKHREE RAASTA DHADKAN DESI BOYZ DON 2 ANDAAZ

SUNDAY 12TH JANUARY

16:30 18:00 18:30 20:00 21:30

* Schedule is subject to change

SATURDAY 11TH JANUARY

16:30 18:00 18:30 20:00 21:30

SUPER DANCER CHAPTER 3 MERE DAD KI DULHAN (SAT) THE CHEF (SUN) THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW INDIAN IDOL THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW (100 EPISODES SPECIAL)

SUPER DANCER CHAPTER 3 MERE DAD KI DULHAN (SAT) THE CHEF (SUN) THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW INDIAN IDOL THE KAPIL SHARMA SHOW (100 EPISODES SPECIAL)

MON 13 JANUARY- FRI 17TH JANUARY 18:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 22:00 22:30 23:00 23:00

20:30: 21:00:

VIGHNAHARTA GANESHA MERE SAI TARA FROM SATARA ISHAARON ISHAARON MEIN PATIALA BABES BEYHADH 2 MERE DAD KI DULHAN TARA FROM SATARA CRIME PATROL CRIME PATROL MOHE RANNG DO LAAL BALIKA VADHU - LAMHE PYAAR KE

SAT 11TH JAN 2020

and production houses are yet to be finalized and announced officially,

11:00: 13:30: 17:00: 17:30: 18:00:

but the film is on the cards. Stay tuned for further updates!

Sarathkumar apologises to daughter Varalaxmi Sarathkumar who will be sharing the screen space with his daughter Varalaxmi for the first time in the film 'Pirandhal Parasakthi' apologised for not having done anything for the growth of his daughter’s career. While speaking to a daily the actor stated that he wants to apologize to his daughter for not helping her at the time of her debut film 'Poda Podi'. He praised her courage and will power, as Varalaxmi is trying to establish herself as a leading actress in the Tamil film industry. Sarathkumar also opened up about acting with Raadhika after 21 years in the film 'Vaanam Kottatum'. The actor, however refused to answer anything about Mani Ratnam's 'Ponniyin Selvan' since there

10:54 13:16 16:03 19:18 20:00 22:45

* Schedule is subject to change

MON 13TH JAN - 17TH JAN 2020

8:00: 13:00: 13:30: 15:00: 16:00: 16:30: 17:30: 18:00: 18:30: 19:00: 19:30:

TERE NAAL ISHQ SWARAGINI BIGG BOSS (SEASON 13) JAAGTE RAHO (SEASON 2) DAILY BONUS RASOI SHOW CHHUTA CHHEDA TUM KAUN PIYA DIL KA RISHTA MERE HUMRAHI BIGG BOSS (SEASON 13)

19:30: 20:00: 21:30:

MAHAKALI SAJAN BINA SUNO SANSAAR DHARAM THI GUJARATI DIVINE DESTINATION BIGG BOSS (SEASON 13) WEEKEND KA VAAR DESI BEAT RESET (SEASON 3) DANCE DEEWANE (SEASON 2) JAAGTE RAHO (SEASON 2)

SUN 12TH JAN 2020 11:00: 13:30: 17:00: 17:30: 18:00: 19:30: 20:00: 21:30:

SHRIMAD BHAGWAT IIFA AWARDS 2019 DHARAM THI GUJARATI DIVINE DESTINATION BIGG BOSS - SEASON 13 WEEKEND KA VAAR DESI BEAT (SEASON 3) DANCE DEEWANE (SEASON 2) JAAGTE RAHO (SEASON 2)

22:30:

BEPANAH PYAARR

18:30: 19:00: 20:00: 21:00: 21:30:

VIDYA CHOTI SARDAARNI NAAGIN (SEASON 4) FEET UP WITH THE STARS BIGG BOSS (SEASON 13) WEEKEND KA VAAR

SAT 11TH JAN 2020

* Schedule is subject to change

MON 13TH JAN - 17TH JAN 2020

is a non-disclosure agreement. Pirandhal Parasakthi' is produced under their banner Radaan Production. Also, Varalaxmi is the one

who suggested that Sarathkumar and Raadhika would be apt for the roles when director Om Vijay narrated the script to her.

18:30: 19:00: 19:30: 20:00: 20:30: 21:00: 21:30:

VIDYA RAM SIYA KE LUV KUSH CHOTI SARDAARNI SHAKTI ASTITVA KE EHSAAS KI SHUBHARAMBH BAHU BEGUM BIGG BOSS - SEASON 13

SUN 12TH JAN 2020 11:00: 11:30: 14:30: 19:30: 20:00: 21:00: 21:30:

GATTU BATTU RUDRA GOLMAAL 3 FOOD HIGHWAY NAAGIN (SEASON 4) DESI BEAT RESET BIGG BOSS (SEASON 13) WEEKEND KA VAAR


www.asian-voice.com

AsianVoiceNews

EVENTS

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

31

11 - 17 January 2020

Spring down to Kyoto for Sakura There is a certain romanticism associated with the Sakura trees: whether in parks or in Japanese Haikus. Courting the mystical imagination of a global audience, cherry blossoms have now become a worldwide celebration in blush pink as March approaches. Pale pink somei yoshino are the most popular blossoms and resemble puffs of clouds at the peak of their bloom. However, a symphony of cherry blossom trees grow, from pretty weeping varieties to the slightly later-blooming magenta coloured kanzan trees. Hanami (flower/cherry blossom viewing) season famously begins in April in Japan and lasts for around two weeks. The best places to see them are in Maruyama Park, Mount Yishino, Himeji Castle and Fuji Five Lakes. How to travel There is a perception that travel to traditional Japan results in splurging on an exotic vacation. However, round trip flights from the UK to Tokyo start from as cheap as £350, if booked two months in advance. The Shinkansen bullet train is the most convenient way to travel long distance and the Japan Rail Pass covers unlimited trips on the nationwide JR network. Available from about £200 for seven consecutive days, this pass is most useful for those wishing to do circular trips between multiple cities such as Tokyo-Kyoto-Hiroshima. However, if you are interested in concentrating only on a particular coastline, then you can avail the JR East Pass – covering the Tokyo area and the northern Tohoku region, for five

consecutive days from £145, lasting upto two weeks. Accommodation in Japan is however, not as expensive as the travel costs. You can get a berth in a capsule hotel for as little as £22 per night. A private minshuku (local equivalent of Bed & Breakfast) is slightly expensive at £36 per room. However, if you are a little adventurous then you might want to stay in a ryokan, the traditional Japanese inns that usually come complete with tatami beds, sliding screens and onsite onsen (hot springs). What to do Hiking trails Japan has aplenty of hiking trails like the Nakasendo trail in Nagano’s Kiso Valley, or the old Tokaido highway between Hakone and Mishima –

routes that historically linked Tokyo and Kyoto. Trails along the north shore of Lake Kawaguchi in Yamanashi offer a splendid view of a Mount Fuji. Hot springs Witnessing the hot springs (Onsen) after a walk in Nozawa (Nagano prefecture) and Kusatsu (Gunma prefecture), is a traditional

experience quite exclusive to Japan aside from the tea and sushi. Japanese castles Japanese castles are evocative of its feudal past and a glimpse into its elaborate art and culture. Few originals have survived and among those the recently restored 'White Egret Castle', Himeji-jō, and its natural foil, Matsumoto-jō, the fearsome black 'Crow Castle' should be watched. Matsuri festival Men and women at this traditional festival wear colourful cotton kimonos – and sometimes the men just wear short coats and fundoshi (the loincloths worn by sumo wrestlers). Rooted in Shintō and Buddhist traditions, these serve to renew age-old community bonds through dancing, bonfires and drumming. What to eat Think Japanese and one imagines sushi, hotpots, bento boxes and miso soups. Being a vegetarian in Japan can be difficult, but you will be spoilt for choice between tempura, ramen, rice crackers and tofu dishes. Look out for kappamaki (seaweed rolls with cucumber) and takuan-maki (pickled daikon radish roll). You can also find sushi rolls made with umeboshi (pickled plum), and natto (fermented soybean). Inarizushi is rice stuffed in a tofu pocket—just check it wasn’t made with dashi. Watch out for Tabelog, the local Yelp equivalent, it lets you search for restaurants by area, cuisine and budget, and while the English interface is a handy resource.

Go Plus with

The OnePlus 7T Pro is a minor update to the stellar OnePlus 7 Pro that keeps all the good bits, improves the camera, and speeds up the fingerprint scanner. The monster 6.67in QHD+ AMOLED screen runs at 90Hz – compared with 60Hz for most of the competition. It’s bright, crisp and super smooth, plus it’s free of holes or camera notches. Charging is exceptionally fast via the firm’s WarpCharge system too, hitting 70% in just 34 minutes via cable.

Editor: CB Patel Chief Executive Officer: Liji George Managing Editor: Rupanjana Dutta Deputy Editor: Urja Patel Journalist: Priyanka Mehta Advertising Managers: Kishor Parmar Head - New Projects & Business Development: Cecil Soans

OnePlus 7T Pro FEATURES: ● Qualcomm’s top chip ● the Snapdragon 855+ ● 8GB of RAM and 256GB of fast UFS3.0 storage ● Triple camera on the back combining 48MP main, a 16MP ultra-wide angle and an 8MP telephoto camera ● Battery life, 32 hours between charges ● No wireless charging Available at

£699 Graphic Designers: Harish Dahya & Ajay Kumar Customer Service: Ragini Nayak Tel: 020 7749 4080 Email: support@abplgroup.com Leicester Distributors: Shabde Magazine, Shobhan Mehta Mob: 07846 480 220

Asian Voice Head Office Karma Yoga House 12 Hoxton Market (Off Coronet Street) London N1 6HW. Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar Switch board: 020 7749 4080 Advertising Sales: 020 7749 4085 www.abplgroup.com © Asian Business Publications

What’s on ● Hanuman Chalisa on 11 January, Saturday 2:30 pm Venue: Adikshati Mataji, Temple 55, High Street, Cowley, Middlesex UB8 2EZ Contact: 07882 253 540. ● Mataki Chowki on every Sunday evening from 6pm to 8pm, Bhagwat Geeta, classes on every Thursday from 7pm to 8pm at Venue: Shri Sanatan Dharma, Durga Temple, 3-9, Norman Road, Ilford, IG1 2NH Contact. 020 8514 4781 ● Hindi, Gujarati, Sanskrit and Hinduism Classes When: on every Saturday, morning Time: 10:30 am to 3:30 pm Venue: VHP Ilford Hindu Center 43, Cleveland, Road Essex IG1 1EE Contact: 020 8553 5471 ● Matriliny and Invention of Custom in India’s North East: The Indian state inherited a plural legal ordering of spaces and people. In the post independence run up to subsuming independent and semi-independent groups in the north east frontier, communities identified as tribal were classified under the fifth and sixth schedules of the India constitution. This paper is examines protective discrimination offered by the Sixth Schedule in particular the rights to autonomy over customary laws and legislations. Date: Wed, 15 Jan, 5:00pm Venue: Wolfson Lecture Theatre, Paul Webley Wing, SOAS University of London Open to: Students, scholars, public, alumni Registration: Free to attend but registration essential ● Ajay Srivastav: Ajay Srivastav is a singer/songwriter and guitar player whose music flows from the banks of Delta Blues to the sacred rivers of Indian folk. Lyrically he mixes the personal with the spiritual, forever bouncing between doubt and faith. Ajay's music is raw, passionate and uplifting. As a musician Ajay has worked with a diverse variety of acts such as Jamiroquai, Gregory Isaacs, Zakir Hussain, Sister India and Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan. His song-writing skills have been touted by British music legend Jah Wobble who has produced two of his forthcoming tracks. Date: Friday 17th January 2020 Time: 7pm Venue: The Farnham Pottery, Pottery Lane, Farnham, Surrey GU10 4SL Tickets: https://www.ajaysrivastav.com/gigs ● IndianRaga Festival 2020 - IndianRaga Festival 2020 is all about bringing out the best in YOU. With a day full of workshops, competitions, performances, the festival promises to be an action packed, fun-filled event, not to mention delicious food served all day long. IndianRaga Festival 2020 takes place on 18 January at the expansive, well appointed Watersmeet Theatre, UK, served by London Metropolitan Line. Get ready to banish your winter gloom as you get entertained with a blockbuster concert by IndianRaga celebrity artists and London Labs artists- Mahesh Raghvan, Sunil Sunkara, Swathi Jaishankar, Geetesh Iyer and Chiinthu Sarvan. Date: Saturday 18th January Time: 5pm till 8.30pm Venue: Watersmeet, High Street, Rickmansworth, WD3 1EH Price: £12-£35 (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/indianragafestival-2020-tickets-67470803991) ● Paris Laxmi Dancing - Ballet to Bharatanatyam: The Journey of a French Woman Who Fell in Love with India Paris Laxmi was born in France to Yves Quinio a drama artist and poet and Patricia Quinio, a sculptor. Laxmi expressed her desire to dance even before she walked and never lost the passion for it. Laxmi is an active and well-known dancer , film and tv artist who has performed throughout India and abroad as a Bharatanatyam soloist and in collaboration with other artists. Date: Sunday 19th January Time: 1pm till 5.30pm Venue: Beechen Cliff School, Kipling Avenue, Bath, BA2 4RE Price: £10 (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bath-classicalindian-dance-festival-2020-makar-sankranti-tickets86214440713)

Disclaimer Asian Business Publications Ltd (ABPL) is not in any way responsible for the goods and services rendered by its advertisers. The ABPL management accepts all advertisements in good faith and it is entirely up to readers to verify advertisers’ products and services, should they feel the need to do so.


32

www.asian-voice.com

11 - 17 January 2020

AsianVoiceNews AsianVoiceNewsweekly

India beat Sri Lanka by 7 Monty’s Spin wickets, take 1-0 lead India got off to a blazing start in second Twenty20 international in Indore on Tuesday. India chased down the target of 143 with ease beating Sri Lanka by seven wickets. KL Rahul dominated with a flurry of boundaries without taking many chances. India got past the 50-run mark in the powerplay overs itself. Skipper Virat Kohli struck an unbeaten 30 as India beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the second T20I. The hosts rode a 71-run opening stand between KL Rahul, who hit 45, and Shikhar Dhawan, who made 32, to chase down their target of 143 in 17.3 overs and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series after the first match was rained off. Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga took the wickets of the Indian openers but Shreyas Iyer, who scored 34 before falling to paceman Lahiru

Monty Panesar

Sibley, Pope, Anderson star for England Kumara, and Kohli, who hit the winning six, got the team home. The third match is on Friday in Pune. Earlier Kohli won the toss and elected to field first. Washington Sundar got the breakthrough in his first over getting rid of a dangerous Avishka Fernando. Sri Lanka

kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. Navdeep Saini took two wickets including a thunderbolt yorker to wreck Danushka Gunathilaka’s stumps. Shardul Thakur registered his bowling figures taking three wickets in his final over. Kuldeep Yadav too two

wickets as well despite leaking 38 runs. Jasprit Bumrah and Washington Sundar picked up one wicket each. Kusal Perera top-scored for Sri Lanka with a 28-ball 34. Hasaranga’s late cameo helped Sri Lanka post a modest total of 142/9 in first innings.

Legends Between Wickets hosted in the Home of Cricket The latest edition of ‘Legends Between Wickets' (LBW), was held recently in the Lord’s Cricket Ground, London. Cricket legends Sourav Ganguly and Nasser Hussain had a face-off reminiscing their on and off field experiences. Both shared their fond memories of Lord’s. The current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly first came to the Lord's as a young 21-year-old and hit a century on his Test debut against England in 1996. He even led team India to victory

Vikrant Gupta, Senior Executive Editor, Tv Today Network interacting with Sourav Ganguly and Nasser Hussain

in the NatWest series in 2002 at Lord’s. Nasser Hussain who played his final Test against

New Zealand at Lord's in 2004, scored 34 and 103 not out, making the winning runs.

This event which was conceptualised by ITW Playworx UK raised funds for the British Asian Trust, brought a delightful evening for guests, sponsors and cricket enthusiasts wherein they interacted with the cricket legends and cherished the golden cricket era. The Charity of choice, the British Asian Trust was founded in 2007, by HRH The Prince of Wales and a group of British Asian business leaders, to tackle widespread poverty, inequality and injustice in South Asia.

Shooting and archery could be staged in India for 2022 Commonwealth Games The 2022 Commonwealth Games is considering a leftfield bid to allow shooting and archery to be staged in India months before the main event in Birmingham. Pressure has been building on administrators to reverse their previous decision to drop the sports from the medal programme after India threatened to boycott the Games. The Indian Olympic Association, which has a strong record in shooting, was left furious last year that shooting, in particular, was to be omitted for the first time in more than 50 years. As an alternative, the nation has now offered to host, at New Delhi or Chandigarh, separate championships for both two shooting and archery. David Grevemberg, the

Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive, will chair a meeting next month when the offer could be agreed in principle. "The CGF can confirm that it has now officially received a proposal from Commonwealth Games India [CGI] to host a Commonwealth shooting event and potentially an archery event in India during 2022, the year of the XXII

Commonwealth Games," he said in a statement, "The proposal is supported by the National Rifle Association of India [NRAI], the Government of India, the International Shooting Sport Federation and World Archery. The proposal will be reviewed and considered in January and February by the CGF and discussed with Birmingham 2022 delivery partners."

The option has arisen after officials travelled to New Delhi to avert a potentially damaging crisis for the Games. India's offer will be considered by the CGF executive board next month before going to a full vote of the 71 member associations. Nigel Adams, the sports minister, suggested last summer that a compromise agreement could have been reached. Adams said: “I totally understand how passionate people are about shooting across the Commonwealth. We want India to be here, no question. “I have already written to the Commonwealth Federation to see if we can accommodate shooting in some form, maybe a Commonwealth shooting championships. It's important that we do get a competition in 2022.”

Is Test cricket as strong as it used to be or has white-ball cricket taken over? This year the T20 cricket World Cup will take place in Australia. Cricket authorities are talking about 4 day Tests, something that Virat Kolhi is not in favour of. He clearly prefers five-day Test cricket. These are interesting times for cricket. The recent series between South Africa and England is turning out to be a well-fought contest. I strongly believe that former cricketers should be in administrative roles. The likes of Graeme Smith being appointed as the Director of South African Cricket is welcome indeed. Having played the game at the highest level they are best suited to understand what the game requires and what needs to be done to grow and maintain the standard of cricket, especially Test cricket. There is a feeling that some of the modern-day cricketers lack the skills required for Test match cricket. In that context, in the second Test between England and S.Africa, the innings of Dominic Sibley was a refreshing moment for Test cricket. To see old fashioned Test match batting is good, especially in the face of underemphasis on the importance of Test match cricket. It reminded me of Alastair Cook and how he loved batting long hours. The Ashes series of 2011/12 was a good example. In the dressing room, it always feels good to have a batsman who can bat all day because we bowlers love to rest and put our feet up!! For young upcoming batsmen, Dominic Sibley is a fine example of how to develop their game for Test cricket. It is important to develop both the off side and leg side strokeplay. Another youngster showing positive signs is England's Ollie Pope. He has the repertoire to play both sides of the wicket and has the ability to accelerate his innings as he did in the first innings of the Test match against S.Africa. Joe Root is beginning to build a cluster of top six batsmen in the England team and I am sure both Dominic Sibley and Ollie Pope will feature in that line up. Jofra Archer's injury has made it easy for England's selectors to play both Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad. I have always been a Jimmy Anderson fan. His haul of five wickets against S.Africa in the first innings gave him his 28th fiver. He now has the highest five-wicket haul among English fast bowlers. He is 120 wickets away from Shane Warne's record. Can he keep playing for that long? On another note, and a tragic one, the recent bush fires in Australia has brought the cricket community together. The area that has been damaged is half the size of England and over 500 million animals have perished. People in Auckland were seeing orange skies as a result of the bushfires. My heart goes out to the Australian people and the firemen who have been working tirelessly to stop the fires. The Australian tennis and cricket players have come together to raise money for the victims and the people of Australia. Sport has always been at the forefront of philanthropical causes and that for me is heartwarming.

You can follow Monty Panesar @MontyChannel

Profile for Asian Business Publications Ltd

AV 11th January 2020  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 35 Vol 48)

AV 11th January 2020  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 35 Vol 48)

Profile for abpl