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11th February to 17th February 2017
With roots in Punjab, all “that Gina's family could gather over the years, that her grandfather (mother's father) was Sikh, who told them stories of travelling to Guyana from India on a boat.
May offers Parliament a vote on UK's final Brexit deal
• PM Theresa May: Britain will be 'poorer' without EU workers
• MPs debate Brexit Bill amendments • Ministers are seeking to win over MPs who want a "meaningful" vote on Brexit terms and future trading arrangements • As we go to print, Number 10 expects to win Wednesday's crunch vote
Full Story: Pg 5
This headline may appear to be a bit controversial, but it is apt, especially when it is referring to the inimitable and firebrand leader Gina Miller, who had the guts and conviction to take on a Goliath called
the British establishment to court and win the battle hands down, much to the discomfiture of No 10 and her opponents. Today she is the face of the Brexit legal battle. But all these came at a
46 Church Road Stanmore Middx London HA7 4AH email@example.com
China cash link casts a shadow over Gardiner’s conduct
Let noble thoughts come to us from every side
• UK travellers could face higher roaming charges post Brexit
price. She had to suffer a huge backlash for her campaign. She was threatened, maltreated and hurled the choicest of all abuses on social media – which indirectly revealed
the other side or, to say, the true colours of the 'Great Britain'. Notwithstanding, Gina Miller is a household name today after her colossal Brexit legal victory gave Parliament the final say (and not the Prime Minister) Continued on page 6
Barry Gardiner, shadow international trade secretary, was in the eye of the storm when he found himself embroiled in a controversy which claimed that he has received over £180,000 in staff costs from a firm that acts as chief legal adviser to the Chinese embassy. An investigation by The Times has established that the 59-yearold shadow minister has been employing the son of the firm’s founder in his Westminster office. The payments from law firm Christine Lee & Co are partly going towards this son’s salary, parliamentary records show. The £182,284 pays
the wages of two of Mr Gardiner’s Westminster aide, one of whom is Christine Lee’s son, Daniel Wilkes, parliamentary records show. The donations began in September 2015, soon after Mr Gardiner became shadow minister for energy. Mr Gardiner has been supportive of China’s attempts to get more involved in Britain’s nuclear industry, including the Hinkley Point power plant, which is part-funded by a Chinese state energy giant. The donations from Christine Lee & Co were properly declared in the register of interests. Continued on page 5
ONE ONE with Keith Vaz, MP
Asian Voice 11th February 2017
Rosena Allin-Khan has been the Member of Parliament for Tooting since 17 June 2016. She won the seat at the 2016 by-election, filling the vacancy caused by the resignation of Sadiq Khan after his election in May 2016 as Mayor of London. Her rise to become a Shadow Minister was meteoric within weeks of her election she became the Shadow Minister for Sport, a post she has held since October 2016. Rosena was born in Tooting. Her Polish mother had been a singer in the Polish girl-band Filipinki, who met her father, originally from Pakistan, while the band was on tour in London. The couple separated after having two children, and her mother worked three jobs to support Rosena and her brother. She was educated at Trinity St Mary School, a local comprehensive. She wanted to be a doctor, but could not afford medical school, so she took a degree in medical biochemistry at Brunel University in London, funding her education through a series of part-time jobs. After further studies funded by scholarships, she was accepted at the age of 24 to study medicine at Cambridge University. 1) What is your current position? Last year, I was elected as the MP for Tooting in South London, taking over from Sadiq Khan after he became London Mayor. In October I became the Shadow Minister for Sport, I was always very sporty at University and I’m a keen boxer – so it’s a great job for me to have. 2) What are your proudest achievements? Being mother to two amazing little girls, now aged 2 and 3. I look at them every day and think, wow I made those! I felt really proud when my brother, my husband and I, all managed to reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest freestanding mountain in the world. It was a tough climb and we were so relieved when we all reached the summit. Becoming
4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? Getting into medical school from a poor background, back when I was applying, was hugely difficult. It felt like doors were just not open in the same way as they were for others. I went and obtained a degree in a subject I had little interest in and after I spent a few years giving myself a good "talking to", I realised that
I should not accept limitations placed on me by others and that I should go for it. I managed to make a success of it. Something I would not call an obstacle as such, but is certainly tricky to navigate at times, is being a woman and standing for election. The media and often one's opposition, really do treat BAME and female candidates differently. I certainly felt unfairly judged at times. 5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? My mum is my inspiration, while growing up, her love and care towards me and my brother, especially through the tough times, has made me what I am today. Without my mum I wouldn’t have gone to
Child sex gang jailed for 81 years after abusing girl A child sex gang has been jailed for a total of more than 80 years after abusing a girl who fell pregnant when she was aged just 12. The woman who was sexually exploited by the men from Rotherham since she was aged 11 told Sheffield Crown Court she felt her child was ‘the product of pure evil’ during an emotional trial. The gang’s sentencing was carried out amid scenes of chaos as two of the men, jailed for offences relating to the woman and another victim, shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ as they were led from the dock. As their supporters began s0houting down into the packed courtroom, one of the victims shouted back ‘justice is served’ as police moved into the public gallery. Both victims had watched as Basharat Dad was jailed for 20 years and five others were given prison sentences of more than 10 years for offences against the women between 1999 and 2001. The girl’s pregnancy at the age of 12 made headlines
Tayab Dad , Nasar Dad, Basharat Dad, Matloon Hussain, Mohammed Sadiq, Amjad Ali
in 2001 when she was portrayed as one of Britain’s youngest ever mothers. Although five men were arrested, there were no prosecutions at the time after the victim told police she could not say which of a number of men she had had sex with was the father. The court heard how the girl was plied with alcohol and drugs from the age of 11 when she began being sexually exploited by a number of men. The sentencing marks
Cambridge University to study Medicine, she’s incredible! 6) What is the best aspect about your current role? Being the MP for Tooting doesn't feel like work. How can it when I spend my day representing the home where I grew up and now raise my own young family? By far the best aspect is meeting and supporting all the hundreds of amazing volunteers, who so selflessly serve the community and never ask for thanks.
the MP for Tooting, the area I was born and raised and am now raising my family is right up there too. 3) What inspires you? The thought that in doing my job now, I have the opportunity to try and make this country better for my children to grow up in. Also, the belief that I can be a voice for those that don't have one and stand up for what is right.
the end of a series of three major trials after a shocking report on child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Rotherham described how more than 1,400 children had been groomed, trafficked and raped in the town over a 16-year period. The three trials have resulted in 18 people being jailed for sentences totalling more than 280 years and are the last following South Yorkshire Police investigations.
7) And the worst? Hearing stories of people struggling to make ends meet. Seeing that more and more families with children are relying on food banks outrages me. There’s a real lack of genuinely affordable homes across the country and wages just haven’t grown at the same rate as cost of living. Knowing that, across the country, developers are building multimillion-pound luxury apartments while a family from Tooting has to pay £2,400 a month for a two bedroom flat – is tragic. 8) What are your long term goals? Re-election as Tooting MP and seeing Labour return to government. Getting more BAME men and women into sport, whether
it be on the pitch or in the boardroom at the very top of sporting organisations. Most importantly, I want every young Asian person to be able to look at me and say "if she can do it, I can do it". I aim to spend every single day in elected office, trying to be a positive role model. I am just a normal Tooting girl. Nothing special, just tenacious. 9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? The NHS is facing a crisis and the Government don’t have any answers for it. If I were Prime Minister, I’d ensure we properly invested in our hospitals and in ensuring people had better access to their local GP. We have a duty to care for everyone in our society young and old. The NHS is something we should be proud of and currently it's on its knees, as are the amazing staff that keep it afloat. 10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? Given everything that’s going on around the world today, I’d like to be marooned on a desert island with Donald Trump and a pair of my boxing gloves. Also, I never got to meet my paternal grandmother from Pakistan. She died young, before I got to meet her. From what I know, she was kind, wonderful at raising a family and never ever gave up. I think she could teach me a lot.
Portsmouth father faces jail over child abduction A father who served time for abducting his children could be jailed again after failing to unite them with their mother. Usama Al Barwani, from Portsmouth, pictured, served half a fouryear sentence for abducting his daughter, Aishah, now 12, and his son, Faris, eight, in 2012. The pair are believed to be living with relatives in Oman. Mr Al Barwani previously said he would arrange for the children to be handed over to the British Embassy in Oman.
At the latest hearing at the Family Division of the High Court, Mr Justice Hayden said: "His son and daughter have lost years of their mother that will never be recovered." He said that at a hearing in December, following Al Barwani's release from jail, he had "agreed to cause the children to be handed over to the care and control of the British Embassy in Oman by January 6 this year". He added: "He has given evidence today which I have found entire-
ly unconvincing. He is a shameless liar." The case was adjourned to allow Al Barwani to get legal representation ahead of the committal proceedings, the date of which is yet to be fixed.
Crawley cinema acid attack: Man admits assault A man involved in an unprovoked acid attack on a cinema-goer has been given a conditional discharge for his role. Shop worker Samir Hussain was scarred for Michael life when McPherson threw sulphuric acid in his face outside Cineworld in Crawley, West Sussex. Mr Hussain still wears
a mask 18 months on, Brighton Magistrates' Court heard. Lee Bates, who was
with McPherson at the time, was sentenced after admitting common assault, while McPherson, who admitted GBH, will be sentenced later. The court heard that they were approached outside the cinema by Bates and by McPherson, who told them: "You've seen a gangster movie; you can see gangsters now."
Asian Voice |11th February 2017
Budget roadmap for Indian economy Demonetization was the backdrop of the Union Budget presented to Parliament on February 1. It may have been one persuasive consideration in hastening Apple’s decision to open a manufacturing hub in Bangalore for its iPhones. Apple founder and CEO, Tom Cook, is on record as saying that demonetization would be beneficial for India and take its economy forward in the long-term. The drive towards a cashless economy is a step in the right direction, he said. Entrepreneurs and company heads in general have reacted positively to the major goals of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget. Piruz Khambatta, Chairman of the Confederation of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s committee food processing industry and Chairman and Managing Director of Rasna Pvt Ltd told a TV channel that while the budget would not produce a tsunami, it held the promise of boosting consumption, especially in rural India. According to Sunil Duggal, Chief Executive at the packaging goods firm, Dabur India Ltd, rural India’s consumption had been slowing over the past two years, hence he detected the budget’s goal to stimulate consumer demand at the bottom of the pyramid. The budget may not have produced the big bang but its cumulative measures should improve the quality of life in rural India. The increase in the agriculture outlay too was to ensure that farmers should reap the benefits. The increase in funds for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme reached a new high of Rs 8000 crore. The planned investment in more and improve roads is to provide better access to markets, especially important this year, with its abundant monsoon and noticeable upswing in agricultural produce. The announced Rs 8,000 crore dairy fund ‘will help add milk processing capacities, increase milk production and distribution capacities, besides strengthening the rural economy and enhancing dairy farmers incomes,’ said Vivek Nirmal, Joint Managing Director, Prabhat Dairy. India, once a milk deficit country is now the world’s largest, which account for the explosive growth of India’s dairy industry. Kannan Sitaram, Operating Partner in private equity firm India Equity Partners accepts that the budget targets will help income generation for those at the bottom of the
pyramid. ‘There is clarity in what the FM is doing for the economy. And what is good for the economy is obviously good for companies selling soaps, and shampoos,’ he said. Complementing this will be the boost to urban communities across the country, thanks to the lowering of the personal income tax rate which will put around Rs 20,000 crore into consumers’ pockets and will surely be recycled into demand and increased consumption. Increased infrastructure expenditure is likely to spur job creation. Mr Jaitley has taken measures to promote ease of doing business in India; he has been wise to abolish the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, long due for the bureaucratic scrapheap of form-filling, endless filing and minuting and delay so characteristic of licence and permit raj. Swachi Bharat has been a commendable scheme to improve public health, including garbage collection and disposal and improved sanitation. There have, however, been a number of notable misses in the budget. No mention was made to aquaculture and the plantation sector. The Railways merited only cursory reference, which is surprising since it is by some distance still the most popular form of mass transport in the country. The Railway budget used to be the curtain-raiser for the Union budget, but is now incorporated in the latter. Railways should have been given greater space and time in Mr Jaitley’s speech. Defence capital expenditure was given a modest raise, somewhat surprising in view of the existential challenges facing India. The expectation is that this shortfall will be compensated by large ‘M ake in India’ projects. Importantly, the captains of Indian industry were unanimous in their thumbs up to the abolition of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) and transparency in the funding of political parties. ‘The economic reform agenda continues at a rapid pace, with the abolition of the FIPB …The budget … with a broad strategy, put in place the mechanisms and institutions for the future of the country including through digitalization and formalization of the economy,’ said Naushad Forbes, President of the Confederation of Indian Industry. As the CII stands in the front line of wealth generation and much else, therefore to Naushad Forbes belongs the last word.
Is West Bengal haven for terrorists? This is the disturbing question asked at an IndoBangladesh-conference in Delhi. Successive speakers from Dhaka alleged that Islamic fanatics – the principal source of jihadi terrorism – have moved across the border into Indian West Bengal to shelter and recoup for operations in Bangladesh and even in India itself. Jihadi operatives have been run to ground – more by accident than clever police work in Burdwan, Malda and Murshidabad districts where training camps and arms dumps have been discovered following pressure from national intelligence agencies, which means, in other words, by the central government. Until then, the maverick State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was much given to brushing aside this and related issues as part of what she deemed a ‘conspiracy’ against her government. She never appears to be at peace unless she is at war – generally with the Union government in Delhi. Outside West Bengal, she is uniformly perceived as a leading member of the entertainment industry, with her unbridled tongue and petulant dramas. Her behavior waxes and wanes, and is mostly unpredictable. Bangladesh is more important to India today than ever before. The Awami League government of Sheikh Hasina
has been extremely cooperative in its dealings with the Government of India on sharing intelligence on jihadi terrorism, because of which Indian intelligence agencies have snared substantial numbers of jihadi terrorists planning to bomb targets across India. A major issue between the two countries, pending since 1972 when Bangladesh was established following its war of liberation, was ironing out of anomalies of their border, where Bangladesh enclaves were placed in India and Indian enclaves, likewise, in Bangladesh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave this issue his personal attention and an irritant was removed, allowing space for a warm and trusting relationship to grow. Under previous Bangladesh administrations relations with India were fraught, and jihadi groups were given sanctuary in the country and smuggled into India – often with Pakistani cooperation. The one remain problem now pertains to sharing the waters of the Teesta River, which flows downstream from India into Bangladesh. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has stalled a settlement, one possible reason being her fractious ties with Delhi. Petty spite appears to have got the better of consideration of the national interest.
US Nobel laureate calls on India to fulfill potential David Jonathan Ross visited India in the mid-1990s and was bowled over by the warmth of his welcome. In 2004, he shared the Nobel Prize for Physics with his doctoral student Frank Wilczek and with Hugh Politzer. He has visited Calcutta more than once and told a local reporter that he ‘loved this city. I find it engagingly exciting, with its sound, tastes and culture – warts and all.’ It was once home to Jagadish Bose, Satyen Bose, C.V. Raman. Professor Gross wondered why India, which had invented the zero, had lost its scientific and mathematical edge, a question he put to one of his young audiences. Their answer, overall, was political indifference, bureaucratic meddling and lack of adequate funding. Thugh taken aback by the general response, Professor Gross told them to work and not whinge. Address and interacting with the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai led eventually to the founding in Bangalore of the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS). The moving spirits behind the venture were Spenta Wadia, a student of Gross and Professor Gross himself. It has brought together physi-
cists, astronomers, cosmologists, biologists and mathematicians., eliciting the following comment from Gross who is Chairman of its Advisory Board: ‘ICTS is a marvellous project that’s been nurturing talented young scientists in the field of theoretical physics. This new breed do scientific work and don’t complain,’ he said. Now that India had developed a solid base in theoretical it was time it groomed its huge pool of young talent for experimental physics. However, Professor Gross was dismayed by the bureaucratic impediments and political wire-pulling that goes on in science establishments. It made little sense to place science institutions under the authority of civil servants. Professor Gross vented his criticisms to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the recent Vibrant Gujarat summit which a number of international Nobel laureates attended. ‘India’s biggest asset is the human resource, yet only four out of 10,000 get to work in the field of science and technology. The figure is 80 in the US and 20 in China,’ he said. A truly disturbing statement which the Prime Minister, hopefully, will rectify.
Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier. - Mother Teresa
America – UK – India Alliance – Not a Hatred of Islam Three countries which have had elections (Referendum in the case of Britain) where a major factor in their leaders taking power was the issue of Islam. These three countries will form an alliance. You may hate their leaders, call them fascists, anti-liberal, Islamophobic. Brexit was enough about Muslim migration from Syria, via Turkey into the UK, to swing the vote for exit. Face it, Farage telling you open borders means non-EU Turkey flooded with Syrian Muslims will through a deal with Germany let them into the UK. That was the story. Not the only story. But in a close vote, you only need a small margin. Trump – well he clearly said he would ban all Muslims coming to America. But what is interesting is the case of India. And therein lies some hope for liberals taking fright. You see PM Modi we were told executed a genocide of Muslims in Gujarat and would do the same in India as PM. Yet, there he is visiting the Middle East with warm welcomes from leaders of many an Islamic Monarchy. Similarly, Trump hails Saudi Arabia a close friend. Some of these things get missed in the shrill shouts of panic. To understand Trump, look more closely at Narendra Modi. You see it is not a hatred of Islam. They in one sense could not care less about Islam or anything else. It is not that they will quote chapter and verse from the Koran and pick passages, good or bad. Rather, the point is anything, religion or Communism as it was in the 1960s for America, or Capitalism as it was in 1960s India, that challenges the idea of an allegiance to a diverse nation that they detest. It is their need to have a proof of allegiance. An allegiance to country above religion. Or rather an association of country and religion – America is Christian in origin, despite separation of Church and State and India is Hindustan despite separation of Mandir and State. They do want a primacy. They want a primacy based on the two main criteria demanded by even the simplest notions of justice – what came first, and how many of us are there. So the argument is Islam should not challenge the established order in either country because it is both a minority and also a late-comer. The fundamentalist in Islam challenges this notion of course. But to the Trump and Modi voter, so does the Bourka wearer. Well not yet, but it is a logical progression of the argument. To the horrified liberal, all are equal, and rule based on majority is totalitarianism, not democracy, and rule based on time means immigrants are not equal. But they too are taking their argument to a logical conclusion which needs some finessing. The Modi and Trump supporter (and they are not the same I know) are not saying immigrants are not equal or that only the majority counts (Trump didn’t get a majority anyway of the popular vote), they are saying ‘the pendulum has swung too far – real or perceived. Who speaks for the down-trodden Christian American and the billion Hindus?’ Now you have your answer who. When you see so many Jews, Liberals, Christians, Hindus all standing by a billion Muslims, the support itself makes the claims of the supporters of a new Nazi era lose credibility. As usual in politics, Trump will not, as Modi has proved, be either Satan or Saint. Editor: CB Patel
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Man appears in court charged with murdering Amandeep Kaur A man has appeared in court charged with murdering a 35year-old woman. Baldeep Singh (38), did not enter a plea when he appeared at Leicester Magistrates' Court Monday morning. He is charged in connection with the death of Amandeep Kaur, pictured, whose body was found in a house in Dovedale Road on Friday afternoon. Singh spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth, which he did
through a Punjabi translator. He appeared in the dock dressed in a grey tracksuit. During the short hearing, no details were given about the case. The magistrates sent the case to Leicester Crown Court, with a pre-trial hearing due to take place next month. Singh is in custody. Guy Carter, representing Singh, told the court he would be making a bail application at the crown court within 48 hours. Ms Kaur's body was dis-
covered after police they received a call to a domestic disturbance. Officers investigating Ms Kaur's death have said they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.
Over the weekend, police divers were searching the River Soar in connection with the inquiry. Leicestershire Police is appealing for anyone who knew Ms Kaur to contact them, as they try to piece together her final movements. A police spokesperson said: "Detectives would like to hear from anyone who may have known Amandeep and who may have worked with her as part of their inquiries to trace her movements in the days leading to her death."
Wife stabbed ex-husband and tried to pull out his intestines An ex-wife tried to kill her former husband by disembowelling him after luring him to her Birmingham flat, a jury heard. Dalya Saeed, 35, used a meat cleaver, wooden bat and kitchen knife to attack Mohammed Bilal Miah, Birmingham Crown Court was told. Police found part of his small bowel lying on her bedroom floor, while he was cowering in the porch of a neighbouring flat with his intestines hanging out and 30 different wounds. As well as attacking him with a knife, it is alleged Saeed also used a bat to hit him in the face. When she was arrested, Saeed claimed Mr Miah had raped her and she attacked
him in self defence. She denies attempting to murder Mr Miah and also a second charge of wounding with intent. Adam Western, prosecuting, told the court how the attack happened at around 3am on October 20 in 2015 outside Saeed’s flat in Moseley. He said the couple had divorced in 2013 after two years of marriage, but had a daughter together who was born in 2013 and then taken into care. Mr Miah went on to remarry and the couple stayed in contact because of their daughter. Their daughter was due to be adopted in November 2015 and a month before Saeed rang Mr Miah inviting him over to her flat to discuss the adoption.
Asian Voice |11th February 2017
Mr Western said when he arrived, they had sex - at Saeed’s request - and then started talking about the future of their daughter. Saeed told Mr Miah that she didn’t want him to win custody of their daughter because she feared he would take her to Pakistan. Mr Western said Saeed then tried to initiate sex with Mr Miah again, but he didn’t reciprocate and told her he was leaving. It was at this point Saeed attacked him with a knife, first stabbing him in the abdomen. Despite his intestines hanging out, Mr Miah managed to get out of the flat and ran into the road. But Mr Western said Saeed went after him, armed with a kitchen knife, meat
cleaver and baseball bat and carried on attacking him in the street, witnessed by several residents who were woken up by the screaming. Mr Miah underwent two operations and spent 10 days in hospital. Saeed told police she had been raped and had accidentally grabbed hold of his intestines as she tried to defend herself. The trial continues.
Teacher jailed after hurling drunken racist abuse
A teacher has been jailed for a drunken racist rant at fellow passengers moments before take off from Manchester. Zareena Shaid, 24, who was travelling to Ibiza with three pals, also used vile language to mock a man with a brain injury - and threatened to ‘knock out’ another holidaymaker. Her drunken behaviour aboard Monarch flight ZB504 in September left passengers feeling ‘physically sick’ and scared for their safety, Manchester magistrates’ court heard. And on Tuesday, Shaid, a pre-school teacher, sobbed as she was led away in handcuffs after being jailed for 12-weeks by a judge who branded her behaviour ‘frankly disgusting’. Prosecutor Carl Miles told the hearing that Shaid had been downing free drinks at Manchester airport’s Swissport executive lounge before boarding the flight. As the captain prepared to taxi, cabin crew became aware of an argument between the group of women and other passengers. When Shaid, of Lynton Crescent, Widnes, was asked to be quiet by a passenger, she told him to ‘shut up’ and used a vile racist slur, the court was told.
Indian Takeaway shut as Home Office says it has 'a history of employing illegal workers'
Surgeon escapes driving ban saying losing his licence would risk patients Surgeon Naseer Ahmad leaving court after he escaped his second driving ban - arguing that being forced to get the bus would put patients’ lives at risk. Naseer Ahmad, 42, pictured, had already escaped a driving ban last year under the totting up procedure after claiming he needed his car to get to hospitals quickly for life saving operations. But just months later he was
caught driving his Mercedes at 68mph on a 50mph stretch of the M60 motorway near Manchester - so the consult-
ant vascular surgeon Ahmad used his family instead to argue 'exceptional hardship'. Despite already having 12 points on his licence Ahmad also a school governor - said disqualification would mean him having to get the bus to work and could cost him his job leaving him unemployed with a wife who only 'occasionally works as a pharmacist'. He said as a result he would struggle to pay the
mortgage on his family’s £300,000 home in Gatley, and also pay for feeding and clothing their three secondary school children. At Manchester magistrates court, Ahmad who works for Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, admitted speeding but a driving ban was waived after JPs warned him to be ‘very careful in the future.’
‘Unscrupulous’ travel company exploited pilgrims hoping to travel to Mecca The boss of an ‘unscrupulous’ travel company has been jailed for exploiting pilgrims hoping to travel to Mecca. Babur Hussain - branded a ‘rogue trader’ by council bosses - was the director of Ashton Hajj and Umra Limited, also known as Ashton Travel, in Ashton-under-Lyne , Tameside. The Oldham Road firm last year admitted trading with a lack of professional diligence after Hajj pilgrims lost thousands of pounds and were unable to travel to Mecca. They booked once-ina-lifetime trips through the company, many using life savings, only to be told days before they were due to leave that Visas had not been allocated. Now Hussain, 53, and his brother Sabir Raza, 56, have both been found guilty of offences under the Fraud Act 2006. Council bosses said the charges related to untrue claims made by the firm that flights and packages were
financially protected under the ATOL scheme, leading to customers being misled about the quality of accommodation and flights. Hussain was found guilty after trial at Leicester Crown Court of four offences under the Fraud Act 2006. He was jailed for 14 months. Raza, who worked in sales at the travel firm, was also found guilty of four fraud offences. He received an 11month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and was ordered to complete 180 hours’ of unpaid work. The brothers, both of Lees Road, Ashton-under-Lyne, were also both disqualified from acting as company directors for five years. Birmingham city council brought the prosecution following an operation alongside the City of London Police which resulted in raids on the business and their homes in 2015 - and the M.E.N. was there to capture their arrests. The firm itself, which
Babur Hussain and brother Sabir Raza have both been found guilty of offences under the Fraud Act 2006
claims to be a religious pilgrimage specialist and also trades as Ashton Travel, was also found guilty of four offences under the Fraud Act 2006. Customers left out of pocket could be awarded compensation at a sentencing hearing for Ashton Hajj and Umra Limited, which is due to be held at a later date. The company’s finances, as well as the finances of Hussain and Raza, are now being investigated.
The trip to Mecca is a religious duty expected of all able-bodied Muslims at least one in their lifetimes. Up to 25,000 British Muslims travel for Hajj - the Islamic pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in western Saudi Arabia each year. After last year’s prosecution by Tameside council, the firm was fined £6,700, with £5,000 costs, and ordered to pay more than £34,000 in compensations to Hajj pilgrims who became victims.
A takeaway in the heart of Manchester's student-land has been closed under new powers to combat illegal working. The Home Office said Raj Takeaway on Wilmslow Road, Fallowfield, 'has a history of employing illegal workers'. Immigration enforcement officers raided the venue last week and a 24-year-old man from Afghanistan found working there was detained. The Home Office said he had entered the UK illegally and had no right to work. Steps are being taken to deport him. In March last year the business was fined £30,000 after two illegal workers were discovered. The Home Office said the fine remains unpaid. A spokesman said the takeaway has now been shut using powers contained in the Immigration Act 2016 because of its ‘history of non-compliance’. Takeaways can be closed under the legislation while applications are made to courts for compliance orders, which would require certain criteria to be met before any business reopens.
Tributes to driver whose body lay undiscovered for three weeks after M6 crash
Loved ones of a motorist whose body lay undiscovered for three weeks after an M6 car crash have paid tribute to ‘the nicest man they have ever met’. Zahid Mirza’s car was believed to have crashed on the southbound carriageway of the motorway on January 15. But police only discovered his body on wasteland on Sunday, some three weeks after he disappeared. West Midlands Police said officers searched the immediate area at the time of the crash, but could find ‘no trace of the driver’.
UK Asian Voice | 11th February 2017
China cash link casts a shadow over Gardiner’s conduct Continued from page 1 There is no suggestion the payments were improper but it could lead to accusations of a conflict of interest by party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s senior Labour figures. One Labour source told the Times, “When you are in that kind of (shadow cabinet) role, it is problematic. Basically this woman is paying for her son to have a parliamentary pass.” Mr Gardiner said Mr Wilkes worked as a volunteer for several months before getting a paid job on merit. The MP said he had never been “improperly influenced” by the law firm in relation to his conduct of his parliamentary and shadow ministerial duties. If Mr Gardiner’s proBeijing stance in his shadow portfolios was a quid pro quo for the job of Ms Lee’s son with her firm’s money, this would be plainly corrupt. Even if there was no suggestion of impropriety, Mr Gardiner’s conduct does not sit comfortably with the MPs’ code of conduct, which states that “holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties”. It is unsual for a private firm, much less one with such close links to a foreign government, to cover the
cost of parliamentary staff. The Times editorial said if the commercial relationship and Mr Gardiner’s positions on Beijing were merely coincidental, it betrays not venality so much as naivety. Chinese investment in industry is not, in itself, objectionable. Indeed it is welcome. The involvement in critical infrastructure of a state that flouts international law and snatches secrets with abandon is another matter. Mr Gardiner should have known better than to embroil his office with its associates.
Barry Gardiner’s response
Barry Gardiner’s response to the media reports on this, as stated on his website: “Christine Lee & Co have generously supported my work as a Member of Parliament over many years since we first worked together to fight against plans to redevelop Oriental City and the loss of homes, livelihoods and community ties in Brent. The firm has enabled me to appoint a strong research support team to hold the government to account. This has always been transparently and appropriately recorded in the register of members’ interests. The Times article has revealed nothing that was not already in the public domain and they themselves admit that the secondment of staff was properly declared and state that ‘there is no suggestion of impropriety’.”
Diaspora celebrates India's budget of 'many firsts' Rupanjana Dutta The High Commission of India on 6 February 2017 organised an evening at India House, London, to analyse and discuss the emerging opportunities with India's latest budget. The welcome address was given by Mr Saikat Sen Sharma, a Counseller at the Indian High Commission followed by remarks from HE Y K Sinha, the High Commissioner of India to UK and Mr David StringerLamarre, Chairman, Institute of Directors (IoD)- City of London. Speakers included Lord Karan Bilimoria, A Crossbench peer, Mr Vindi Banga, Senior Partner of Clayton, Dubilier and Rice and Chair, FICCI IndiaUK Adviosory Group, Mr Rakesh Gupta, President, HIPS Ltd, Mr N Shankar, Vice President and HeadUK & Ireland, TCS, Ms Devie Mohan, FinTech Market Strategist and Mr Satyendra Srivastava, Partner, Khaitan Legal Associates. The moderator was Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik, the Deputy High Commisioner of India to the UK. The evening was attended by the diaspora
less budget and fully online, the date itself was advanced to February 1, nonplan and plan expenditure was merged into one and the Railway Budget was incorporated into the main Budget for the first time." While most of HE Y K Sinha, High Commissioner of India to UK addressing the guests the speakers praised
tal banking is a hindrance. But she's hopeful, that India is now almost ready for FinTech. Lord Karan Bilimoria not only commended India's growth and the Indo-British economic ties, but also praised this budget's special emphasis on underprivileged, poor and farmers of the country. However, he urged that it's high time that India should open up its higher educa-
The panelists and moderator Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik
ence of India's global wealth and growing potentials. HE Sinha said the impact of the policies announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on
the demonetisation scheme that (according to them) has been an extended part of the 'clean' India project, they were of the opinion that deglobalisation has
tion to foreign universities. It was obvious that questions would come up about President Trump and his immigration policies- and if they are affect-
May offers Parliament a vote on UK's final Brexit deal Theresa May has avoided a Conservative rebellion and handed Labour a victory by offering Parliament a vote on the UK's final Brexit deal on Tuesday 7 February, as we went to press. Brexit minister David Jones said MPs would get a say on the final draft Brexit agreement before it was voted upon by the European Parliament. But he also said the UK would still leave the EU, albeit on different terms, if the deal was rejected, the BBC reported. MPs debated the third reading of the Article 50 bill in the House of Commons for the second day, with a final vote scheduled for Wednesday evening, the ibitimes reported. Labour and some Tories want scope for the UK to renegotiate if necessary. It is yet to be seen whether this is enough to win over opposition MPs and some Tories who oppose a so-called "take it or leave it" deal and want the Commons to be able to send ministers back to the negotiating table in search of better terms.
Former shadow minister Chris Leslie had tabled an amendment to the draft legislation calling for the prime minister to give MPs and peers a say, with pro-EU Conservative MPs such as Anna Soubry expected to vote alongside Labour. MPs overwhelmingly backed the draft legislation needed to trigger Brexit talks by 498 votes to 114 after its second reading in the Commons. Labour's shadow cabinet decided on Tuesday morning that it would impose a threeline whip on its MPs to back the bill. Jeremy Corbyn has tabled numerous amendments to the draft legislation, including a call for an anti-tax haven concession from the government. But the Labour leader could face another rebellion after a string of MPs, including former shadow Welsh secretary Jo Stevens, quits his frontbench over the Article 50 vote. The government is hoping to pass the draft law through parliament by 7 March so that May can trigger Brexit talks on 9 March.
Prajit Rajagopalan (HDFC) , L George (ABPL Group), Salil Kumar( Asset india), Ankur Sharma (Antzs.com)
many of who are business leaders, professionals, researchers, analysts, investors and decision makers. Targeting the niche gathering at this
February 1 would have a worldwide positive impact. Kick starting the discussion, the Deputy High Commissioner, who chaired the session, spoke
The audience at the discussion organised by High Commission of India
event, the 2016 edition of the Global India Rich List magazine, published by Asian Voice was handed over to the audience, to give them a further refer-
about some of the key features of this year's budget, describing the 2017 Budget as one of "many firsts": "This was the first paper-
CB Patel, Publisher/Editor of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar with journalist Ashis Ray
not affected India as much or interestingly have worked out to its favour, unlike in other parts of the world. All the speakers present described India's annual budget as reaffirming the reform agenda, but some highlighted its dependence on government spending and a lack of private sector push to fire up the economy, including Mr Banga, who gave credit to the consumer oriented market for India's success and growth. Devie Mohan, FinTech market strategeist said, "This Budget buffers India from the uncertainties of the world well," but also pointed out how poor digi-
ing India's relationship with the US. Mr Shankar from the TCS elaborated how Mr Trump's policies would actually encourage companies to invest locally, a further growth for Indian digital market. The speakers emphasised that a lot is going on in India's favour and with a successful Indian diaspora in the USA, the Indo-US relationship may not suffer at all. With fast moving regulations, private push and a better digital economy, the diaspora in the UK is confident that India would grow soon into an economic giant. Photo courtesy: Raj D Bakrania, PrMediapix
Asian Voice |11th February 2017
Not everything is fair about Britain: Miller
Continued from page 1
in triggering Article 50 – the formal notification to withdraw from EU. Fighting for transparency in various fields of work all her life, Gina known for not mincing words has faced several hurdles, not only as a campaigner, but as a mother, as well as a coloured woman in the UK. While Britain is quite diverse and in theory does offer equal opportunities to all sexes from multicultural backgrounds, but in reality, not all is fair, especially when you are 'brown' and up against a male-dominated society. The whole fiasco of Brexit has brought that ugly side out more in the open and Gina agrees what we are witnessing now is indeed disturbing. Speaking to Asian Voice in an exclusive interview she told us how she still thinks being a woman from ethnic background has been the hardest for her in Britain. “It is still the hardest being an ethnic origin woman. It is the first thing they see. They have unconscious biases, which are very deep seeded. In the past it was much more visible and clear to see. However, now it is much more dangerous, as it is much more nuanced, vague and more difficult to identify. “We have fought very hard for the last 30-40 years to get Britain to be a very much admired place, but in the space of 8 months to a year, we seem to be going backwards. The language, the remarks that were absolutely unacceptable are coming back, despite having laws against them and that worries me. People are using such language in the open without having any regrets, and that is not allowed... “Being ethnic origin is still not considered as a part of the society.
Immigration is largely believed to be white versus black. We are treated as less valuable. Four things apparently as an ethnic woman I should be doing or my fate is to be: a prostitute, a slave, a cleaner or have children. It is sad that in 2017 anyone could say that against you aloud and repeated by hundreds of people.”
Growing up years and Philanthropy Born as Gina Nadira Singh in British Guyana to Savitri and Doodnauth Singh, who later became Attorney General of Guyana, she grew up in the newly independent Guyana before being sent to England by her parents at the age of 10 to be educated at Moira House Girls School and Roedean School. With roots in Punjab, all that Gina's family could gather over the years, that her grandfather (mother's father) was Sikh, who told them stories of travelling to Guyana from India on a boat. In an interview with Vogue, Ms Miller had spoken of her early years in the UK after she and her brother moved to Eastbourne in East Sussex leaving their parents in Guyana. She recalled working in local hotels as “a chambermaid or clearing up in the restaurant” while her brother did paper rounds and washed up in kitchens because their parents were not allowed to send money to the UK. “Whilst we missed our parents dreadfully, and it was difficult juggling our home lives with homework and school, it made us who we are today,” she said. Ms Miller married her first husband at 20 and they had a daughter, who has serious learning difficulties. Her daughter, now 28, has a reading age of six, a writing age of four and
very little short-term memory, Ms Miller told the Mail on Sunday. But she described her as having “amazing emotional intelligence” and being an inspiration to her. She has two other children with her current husband Alan Miller. Like many other expats, Gina has not been to India though she supports a few projects in India, especially a charity called Action Break Silence, which is now working in Kerala, teaching self defence to street children and women. The charity's main aim is to empower and protect women and girls through workshops, by educating participants about sexual and gender-based violence, equipping them better to recognise potential risks and ensuring that participants leave the workshops with improved confidence and practical personal safety skills with which to defend themselves if ‘flight’ or avoidance is no longer possible. They also have interactive workshops for 10 to 13-year-old boys specifically designed to encourage them to play a part in ending violence against women. This is done by breaking down stereotypes and building feelings of empathy towards women and girls with the purpose, in the longer-term, of preventing the development of abusive or violent behaviour (More information at http://www.actionbreakssilence.org). The Founder and Chairman of Miller Philanthropy, she launched the organisation with her third husband Alan. The couple also launched the True and Fair Campaign, aimed at cutting charges on ISAs and rooting out “dishonesty” in the financial services industry.
Brexit, Trump and Politics
Forever a person supporting and campaigning for 'transparency' and ‘protocols' who fought the Brexit battle because she wanted the government to follow a fair and constitutional path of debate in the Parliament before triggering the Article 50, Gina thinks inviting President Donald Trump at such an early stage to a State visit in the
UK, is a grave mistake and sends out a very wrong signal about our country. “...Meeting the Queen, before even he (Trump) has proven his worth as a President, while his policies are frighteningly rightwinged, it is sending out a wrong signal that Britain is accepting his policies. This surely is too early for doing that,” she said.
UK-India Year of Culture kicks off in Britain
Deputy High Commissioner of India Mr Dinesh Patnaik, Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum with other guests at the launch in Science Museum
Despite the court victory, the Brexit debate frustrates Ms Miller as she witnesses the whole thing taking a complete wrong turn. “The politicians should be discussing now about what does Brexit look like, what are the different scenarios, what are the impacts on different parts of society. But I am so disappointed at them. The Opposition should be shameful. Democracy only works when you have an effective Opposition. Labour party is not doing their job as an Opposition or standing up for the people of Britain, whether they lose or win their seat. Brexit vote was opened up to the public because the Government was so arrogant in believing that Britons will only vote Remain and they will get more power and more seats. It was not what was best for Britain but what was best for themselves or party.” Will she ever join politics herself? “I would never last in politics,” laughed Gina as she concluded the interview. “Unless we have politics where people can speak for what they believe in and voice for people you represent, until that's fixed, I don't think I can consider politics, and the other thing that has to change, for me to even mildly consider politics, is changing the way the media behave in the UK. They have to be independent. They cannot back the propaganda for whichever political party in persuasion. For me that is totally wrong and irresponsible. And media have a lot to answer for.”
Observing 70 years of India's independence, UK-India Year of Culture celebrations have kicked off in Britain with a special exhibition at the Science Museum on Indian innovation. This was a part of the discussion between Indian PM Narendra Modi and British PM Theresa May, during her autumn visit to India. 'Illuminating India' at the Science Museum in London centres around two exhibitions – an unprecedented survey of photography in India from the emergence of the medium in the 19th century to the present day and the other highlighting the long tradition of scientific thought in India from the ancient past to the present day. The launch was held on Vasant Panchami (1 Feb 2017) at the Science Museum, which was attended by crème de la crème of the Asian community including the High Commissioner of India HE Y K Sinha and Deputy High Commissioner of India Mr Dinesh Patnaik. Ian Blatchford, director of the Science Museum Group, at the launch of the season last week said, "India's history and culture are built on a rich tradition of scientific thought and innovation. The stories we will be showcasing through this vibrant season not only shaped India but had global significance.” Matt Hancock, UK Minister of State for Digital and Culture, said: "India has a rich scientific history that dates back thousands of years, and continues to influence societies across the world. This exhibition will educate new audiences on the exciting story of Indian design and innovation from the ancient past to today". "It is a fantastic addition to the UK-
India Year of Culture programme that will strengthen the special cultural partnership between our two countries and celebrate the shared ties across science, design and the arts." 'Illuminating India' will run from September this year till May next year and has collaborated with Indian institutions like the Survey General of India in Dehradun to acquire objects on loan for the display. Hindi songs were performed by Kishan Amin to conclude the evening.
Kew Botanical Gardens in south-west London unveiled a special floral display inspired by an Indian market at its annual Orchids Festival 2017 on 4 February. The giant Indian flag created from 900 chrysanthemums set the backdrop for lifesized animal figures, including an elephant, peacock and monkey. This year’s display marries traditional and modern Indian culture, including Kew’s own decorative rickshaws and an Indian street soundscape to complement the visual displays, reported PTI. The Orchids Festival runs until early March and is packed with talks, Indian food stalls and screenings. The British Library launches its own India focus with veteran story-teller Seema Anand, who will explore myths, folklore and stories from India in her ‘Of Love, Lust and Liabilities' session on February 13. The British Council is reportedly developing a programme of cultural activity working with a number of partners and institutions, aimed at connecting and inspiring people in both India and UK and celebrating the cultural ties.
photo courtesy: Lopa Patel
UK Asian Voice | 11th February 2017
Never forget your roots, says Lord Gadhia Stresses on Hindu values at a scintillating speech at Neasden Temple Anand Pillai A crucial part of remaining authentic is maintaining the family and community relationships that each of us builds up over time and never forgetting our roots, said Lord Jitesh Gadhia on Saturday (February 4). He was speaking at a Satsang Sabha at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden. He said the one lesson of recent events (Brexit, US elections, etc.) is to expect the unexpected. “And the one constant we all face is change and uncertainty. Not just political uncertainty but also the profound effects of rapid technological change. Be it: Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles or Gene-based Personalised Medicine –no sector of the economy is immune from
Lord Gadhia addressing the congregation
and intolerant. This is the greatest danger of the present time and that is why Hinduism and Hindu values are even more important today than they have ever been. “We are the torch-bearers for the noble values of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the whole world is one family) – a point which Prime Minister Narendra
Lord Gadhia being offered prasad by Prabuddha Muni Swami
disruptive forces. At the same time, we have seen instability created by protracted conflicts, particularly in the Middle East, having a corrosive human impact and forcing mass migration across continents.” He said closer to home the challenges of an ageing population will require a re-think about the traditional patterns of education, work and retirement as well as health and social care.
Modi emphasised during his first ever address to the United Nations General Assembly. Or in Pramukh Swami’s eternal words: ‘In the joy of others lies our own’.” He said: “We are not only the oldest religion in the world but the most peaceful and tolerant. Hinduism differs from other religions because we do not have: a single founder; a single deity; a single holy text; or a central religious authority.
Lord Gadhia performing Abhishek with trustees Jitu Patel and Vinu Bhatessa
He said in 1917 just 1 in 100 people lived till 100, while 50 out of 100 people born today will live for 100 years. Faced with these overwhelming forces, Lord Gadhia said there is a clear danger that societies may become inward, insular
This lack of formal structure means Hinduism is a deep rooted culture of spirituality and not an organised religion like Christianity or Islam. And that is our distinct advantage.” The secret of great civilisations is that they
Indian-origin couple fight on space ticket in divorce battle An Indian-origin couple are caught up in a divorce battle which includes a £160,000 ticket on the futuristic first commercial flight into space on British entrepreneur Richard Branson’s famed Virgin Galactic, The Daily Mail and The Daily have Telegraph reported. Meera Manek has taken her husband, Ashish Thakkar, to the UK High Court this week to dispute his claims that his assets are worth just £445,532. According to the Daily Telegraph the 33-year-old food writer and blogger insists that her husband is in fact a billionaire. Speaking to the Daily Mail newspaper, a source said: “The Virgin Galactic flight will be discussed in court. It is an asset Ashish still holds and will be considered as part of the investigation into his total wealth. Meera will demand the cost of the ticket be counted in his assets. She could demand he cashes it in”. Thakkar was among the first to sign up for Branson’s dream project of launching the first commercial flight into space. The full amount of the tickets are paid up front but the tickets on Virgin Galactic are fully refundable up until the date of the flight. The UK High Court will now decide over the course of a five-day hearing which began on Monday what Thakkar’s assets are worth and a further trial will then determine how much Manek should receive as part of the divorce settlement. Thakkar is a Dubaibased businessman who runs the Mara Group and
was born in the city of Leicester in the UK. His family were among the thousands of East African Indians who came to the UK after being deported by Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the 1970s. The 35-year-old married Manek in 2008 but the couple separated in 2013. His soon-to-be exwife claims her estranged husband is the beneficiary of a complex series of companies held offshore. But he has told the High Court that the beneficiaries of the Mara Group – an IT, banking and property group – were his mother and sister. ‘The Sunday Times Rich List’ had estimated Thakkar’s wealth at 500 million pounds in 2015 but he was missing from the list in 2016. Justice Moor is due to rule on Thakkar’s real wealth this week. Last July Mr Thakkar lost an opening skirmish when Mr Justice Moor ruled that the pair should not finalise a divorce until decisions had been made on how much Miss Manek should get. In the Family Division of the High Court in London Mr Justice Moor ruled in her favour. The judge said Miss Manek might be at a disadvantage if she was fighting as an ex-
wife rather than a wife. Mr Thakkar's parents had been forced to leave Uganda in the early 1970s to escape Idi Amin's exile of the 'non-African community'. They had lost everything and 'started again' in the UK, working in factories then starting their own business, lawyers said. Mr Thakkar was born in Leicester in 1981. His family had returned to Africa in 1993 and settled in Rwanda - shortly before hundreds of thousands were killed in a genocide. The judge was told that Mr Thakkar had left school at 15 with no qualifications and started to trade in computer hardware after his parents lent him about £3,500. Mr Francis said Mr Thakkar had 'joined forces' with his parents and other family members to create a collection of companies known as the Mara Group. But Mr Francis said Mr Thakkar did not own shares in the Mara Group holding company. He said shares were owned by Mr Thakkar's mother and sister. The judge heard that the 'beneficial ownership' of the holding company was 'hotly disputed'. Mr Thakkar is chair-
man of the United Nations Foundation global entrepreneurs council and founded the Mara Foundation in 2009, which serves as an online mentorship portal for young African entrepreneurs. Three years ago he was appointed to the advisory board of technology company Dell. In 2013, he became the first African to be named in Fortune magazine's annual 40 under 40 list, with total assets said to be in excess of $1bn and employees across 21 African countries. While Ashish Thakkar suddenly claims he is worth only half a million dollars, yet Wall Street Journal estimates that he may be worth $30 m. This turn round in Ashish Thakkar's wealth has appears to have had a major tumble in just a few months. Now he says all the wealth that was formerly attributed to him by his own PR company and media belongs to his mother and sister!! So why did he not make that clear before? When everyone was welcoming as a super rich billionaire, why did not clarify that his wealth is not even a fraction of a billion dollars? What do the media and his PR company have to say about possible misrepresentation. What do his business partners have to say? Is this all because Ashish wants to not pay out his dues in the divorce settlement? He needs to come clean. Ashish is a devotee of his Guru, Sant Morari Bapu who teachings are of keeping high morals and truth.
adapt. They retain their essential values and authenticity, yet modernise, the Kampala-born leader added. He said Hinduism is not dogmatic or driven by ideology, because it has no hidden agenda or motive except to spread truth. All Hindu scriptures state that “self-realisation” is the ultimate goal of every human being, whether Hindu or not. Also, the beauty of Hinduism is that it embraces noble thoughts from any direction. “We welcome truth from every side as stated in the Rig Veda – Aano Bhadra Krthavo Yantu Vishwatah.” Lord Gadhia said Hinduism does not proclaim monopoly or exclusivity of wisdom. Nowhere in the Hindu scriptures do you find that Hindus alone can find God. In fact, any
person who searches after truth will ultimately attain self realisation, whether Hindu or not, he added. “We enjoy absolute freedom of thoughts and actions as a cardinal principle. For example, even an atheist can condemn Hinduism and later proclaim that he or she is a Hindu,” the 46-year-old Gujarati leader said. Also, perhaps most significantly, Hindus do not actively convert people from other religions to Hinduism. He said these are the fundamental principles shared by all British Hindus which “we should be proud of and confident enough to explain more widely”. And that is why British Hindu values are now recognised at the highest level in this country – celebrated in Parliament and in Downing Street – and “our community is
seen as an inspiration for others to emulate”. He said the contribution of Hindus to British Life is wide reaching – Teaching in schools; policing streets; running businesses; serving in armed forces; saving lives in hospitals; donating to good causes, etc. In fact, at every turn “we display those values – Indian and Hindu values – of family, responsibility, enterprise and hard work”. Finally, the Cambridge University-educated investment banker said a lot has been achieved by “our community but I truly believe that our best times lie ahead provided we safeguard our cherished Hindu and Indian values and invest in the next generation”. Lord Dolar Popat, Lady Sandhya Popat, Lord Ranbir Suri, Lady
Tarlochan Suri, Lord Raj Loomba, Lady Veena Loomba and CB Patel, among others, were present. Lord Gadhia described CB Patel as his long-standing mentor who he had the pleasure of knowing for almost 30 years. Lord Jitesh Gadhia’s wife Angeli and children, Priyana and Devand, as well as his mother Hansaben were also present. Last August Jitesh Gadhia was made a Life Peer by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the recommendation of then Prime Minister David Cameron. On September 12, at the age of 46, he was introduced to the House of Lords as its youngest Briton of Indian origin. He took his oath of allegiance using the Rig Veda – the first time anyone has taken the oath using the world’s oldest scripture.
Asian Voice | 11th February 2017
Remembering Rashmi Narsidas Thakrar Subhash V Thakrar A pillar of a man amongst the Lohana community, the Gujaratis and the British Asian businessman with a clean and remarkable record full of success and integrity. Yet his wish was not to be remembered as a successful businessman but a good swimming teacher. This was Rashmi Thakrar, the man behind the Tilda Rice empire who left for the higher abode last Friday at the age of 70. In the recent months he was fighting the challenge of cancer. As his son, Shamil eulogised at the prayer meeting attended by more than thousand people, Rashmi did this with dignity, peace and smile. Rashmi gave his family the example of 'pani puri', which
can only be enjoyed when it has both sweet and sour mixed in! Life is full of sweet and bitter. Such were the qualities if a man who embraced the teachings of the Gita. He took the good and the bad in equal stride. Rashmi along with his brothers Vipul and Shilen,
built up the Tilda Rice business from humble beginnings to a multi million pounds business with international presence. Tilda, which I understand was a name derived from the names of his two sisters called Tila and Daksha. It always had the hallmark of quality. It is correct to say that Rashmi Thakar brought the king of all rices, basmati, to the consumers. He took real pride in bringing the best to the consumer. Rashmi spent a lot of his time amongst the farmers in Gurgaon in the state of Haryana in India. This is where he built close relationship with rice growers to achieve high quality. This is also where he became a great swimming coach for the children of the farmers.
Teaching and parting knowledge and experience was his virtue. He delivered this with full reverence. I have known Rashmi for many years but lost regular contact with him after he started spending more time in India. I last met him at the felicitation of Sir Nilesh Samani at Leicester University where Rashmi became a benefactor. He was full of energy, smiles and enthusiasm. Rashmi Thakrar was fine example of a very successful entrepreneur who started as a Ugandan refugee in the UK and building up a a highly respected brand of rice in the World. Rashmi leaves behind his wife Rekha, sons Shamil Raam and their families.
Major step forward in building a global Britain as public has its say on airport expansion Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has taken a major step forward in preparing Britain for leaving the EU by publishing proposals for a third runway at Heathrow Airport. A national public consultation began this week into one of the UK’s most important infrastructure projects which will help build a Global Britain. On 25 October 2016, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling confirmed that the Government’s preferred scheme for adding new runway capacity in the South East is through a new Northwest Runway at
Heathrow Airport, in line with the recommendation made by the independent Airports Commission, and that the policy for this would be brought forward by way of a draft National Policy Statement (NPS) which would be subject to public consultation. This move, taken for the country as a whole, will ensure Britain has the connections it needs to thrive in the global market, sending a clear signal that Britain is open for business, and we are creating an economy that works for everyone. Transport Secretary
Chris Grayling said: “Aviation expansion is important for the UK both in boosting our economy and jobs and promoting us on the world stage. Leaving the EU is a new chapter for Britain and provides us with a great opportunity to forge a new role in the world. We are determined to seize that opportunity an having the right infrastructure in place will allow us to build a more Global Britain. By backing the Northwest runway at Heathrow airport and publishing our proposals, we are sending a clear sig-
nal that when we leave the EU, we are open for business. Key benefits of the new Northwest runway are expected to be: l a £61 billion boost to the UK economy over 60 years; l tens of thousands of additional local jobs by 2030; l an additional 260,000 flights a year, with an extra 16 million long haul seats for passengers travelling from UK airports in 2040; and l reduced fares, fewer delays and more daily destinations for passengers.
PATH TO TOKYO
2020 Make a Real Difference, Support Disability Sport
Following the success of ‘the 2016 Wheelchair Basketball Team Building Day’, Path to Success is again appealing to help raise funds for the London Titans Wheelchair Basketball Club. The 2017 tournament will take place at the iconic Copper Box in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on May 16th 2017. Money raised will go towards funding the Path To 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, for aspiring Team GB Wheelchair B a s k e t b a l l Paralympians. The event already has considerable celebrity backing: from BBC Presenter and ex-Team GB Paralympian Ade Adepitan MBE (a former London Titans captain), and from Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, multiple Paralympic Gold medallist in a glitter-
a unique ‘Team-Building Day’ like no other. This is a fantastic opportunity for able-bodied people to try their hand at a sport that is exciting, fast-moving and physically demanding. Path to Success are seeking teams of 6-8 players to experience a day that will test the determination and teamwork of participants.
ing career and is now a media personality and a Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords. Rio 2016 Bronze medallist Gaz Choudhry is also supporting the tournament, and will be attending to offer coaching on the day. The tournament will be
the day, offering coaching and showing off their skills. To name a few; Rio 2016 Bronze medallists Gaz Choudhry and Simon Brown, Team GB women’s star Fi Tillman, and current Titans players including Christy Gregan, Matt Sealy and Sophie Paterson.
The modern rail industry is going further hi-tech. Rail passengers may soon be charged for journeys by fingerprint or iris scans. The Rail Delivery Group, the organisation representing train operators and Network Rail, claims biometric technology would enable fares to be automatically charged. The use of digital sig-
nalling technology will also allow trains to operate closer together, cutting delay, according to the RDG.Smartphones' Bluetooth signals to open station barriers will be tried out on Chiltern Railways’ route between London Marylebone and Oxford Parkway in the foreseeable future.
The funds raised will touch the lives of the fantastically skilled athletes who will be striving to make Great Britain proud at Tokyo in 2020. A number of leading players will be present on
Mom spent 16 days with baby’s body to overcome grief Two parents in the UK have shared their heartbreaking story after spending 16 days with their dead baby girl in an experience that they claim helped them grieve. Twenty-one-year-old Charlotte Szakacs and her 28-year-old husband Attila were given the shocking news their baby girl Evlyn had a debilitating chromosome abnormality after a 20-week scan in September 2016. Evlyn lived four weeks after her birth on December 13. She was born with an underdeveloped Scientists have revealed the secret to growing taller, offering hope that new treatments could be developed for children with growth disorders. A single gene can add up to an inch to a person’s height – explaining why some people are well over six foot while others are much shorter. Scientists have found dozens of rare mutations that decide how tall we are – elucidating why
Charlotte Szakacs and her husband Attila with their baby Evlyn
brain, narrow airways in her nose and lungs, and a narrow aorta.
She passed away in the arms of Charlotte and Attila at Martin House Hospice in Wetherby, Yorkshire, on January 10. Evlyn was kept in a refrigerated ‘cuddle cot’ at the hospice where she died at four weeks, allowing her parents to come to grips with their loss. The family from York even took her out for walks in her stroller. They spent 12 days at the hospice with her and four days at home where she slept in the cot in their room before her January 26 funeral. Charlotte said having
New height of discovery humans are so different from one another. The findings, published in the journal Nature, mean researchers now know more than a quarter of the genes connected with height. About 700 common mutations have been associated with differences in height but most account for less than 1mm.
The analysis of more than 700,000 people from all over the world focused on unusual ones that can add up to 2cm (0.8 of an inch) to an individual – more than 10 times the average effect of previously discovered variants. Height is mostly determined in our DNA – children from tall parents tend to grow up to be taller,
that time with Evlyn made a difference for her emotionally. “I was really nervous about bringing her home because I didn’t know if it would feel right, but it was so nice to have her there,” she said. “And it wasn’t just for us but for Evlyn so she got to come home.” Charlotte did not get to see her for 7 hours after Evlyn was born – or hold her for 3 days. “We got to hold her and cuddle her properly for the first time for an hour before they turned off the ventilator,” Charlotte said. and those from short parents are shorter. One gene, STC2, makes a protein that limits growth. Future medicines could nullify its effect, say the experts from Queen Mary, University of London and Exeter university. The breakthrough could also lead to new treatments for growth disorders – as well as a host of other conditions, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Paying fares by fingerprint or iris scan on cards
Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor
The Indian Diplomat Handling Royals, Presidents, and Prime Ministers This is the story of a member of the Indian government whose work is critical to the smooth functioning of international diplomacy. Handling world leaders as a matter of routine, this official has the kind of character that forms the quiet backbone of any mission. M.P.Singh has just completed a three-year posting as First Secretary, Protocol at the Indian High Commission, London. Returning to Delhi, he will take up a senior position in the Ministry of External Affairs.
M.P. Singh Mr MP Singh’s grandfather was an engineer in the Cambodia, and the country army, serving in Burma, was emerging from a time Ceylon and Africa. His of regional conflict. father was an engineer in Cuba, where the diplothe Northern railways. Mr mat was next posted, was Singh’s mother originated also going through its most in Rawal Pindi. challenging time. It was M.P. schooled in India’s just after the collapse of the capital city and took his Soviet Union, and along honours degree at Khalsa with its collapse, its ecoCollege, Delhi University. nomic support to Cuba Most career diplomats dried up. need to have languages. He “Cuba suffered,” Mr speaks Vietnamese, fluent Singh noted. “It was Spanish and understands ‘Periodica Especiale,’ a spePortuguese. cial period, because of the He chose to enter the evolution of the economy.” Indian Foreign Service, he Italy, France and Canada said in interview in his stepped into the breach. office in India House, He remembers Cubans because it was always seen as “exotic, wonderas the “Prime place ful people, true where you could possessors of contribute more Bob You could project the than anywhere M a r l e y else. You could and showcase India’s spirit with project and potential. To get India fancy vinshowcase into its rightful place tage cars, India’s potena l w a y s tial. To get in the Committee of wanting to India into its Nations.” First live life to rightful place in full, Secretary, Protocol the the Committee though with a of Nations.” circumspect MP's first postmanner.” ings were Hanoi in He described Vietnam, then Cuba. Cubans as innovative, able He studied with a lanto maintain a car’s roadguage professor three times worthiness long past its sell a week to get his by date. Vietnamese fluent. "The He found Cuba advancbest way to learn a laning in medicine, education, guage is conversing with and women’s rights. people," he said. "If you “Women were and are drivlearn through the street ing around; they’re you'll never forget it. In builders, ship captains, Vietnamese, a single word presidents of chambers of can have six different commerce. There is gender meanings. Castro underequality there.” stood English but believed After Cuba, MP was in in speaking his own lanthe Indian Prime Minister’s guage. " Office for three years in Between 1989-91, charge of Protocol. So he Vietnam experienced “Doi dealt with all the incoming Moi” politics, a period of visits by royalty, presidents, opening up. “To be on the prime ministers and forpolitical desk then was faseign ministers. During two cinating,” remarked MP. It tenures at the Prime was the most challenging Minister’s office he met and period for Vietnam. It was looked after more than 125 the period immediately presidents, prime ministers after its withdrawal from
and kings. He met all three of the recent American presidents; Clinton in 2003, Bush in 2006, and Obama in 2010. Mr Singh also dealt with visits abroad by the Indian Prime Minister, President and Vice President. He did not specify (for reasons of sensitivity) but said that his work covered anticipation, planning and co-ordination with stakeholders [agencies]. “We have a saying in the Protocol department; ‘All that exists between anything and everything is Protocol’s baby,’ he smiled enigmatically. Standout VIPs among a collection of standout people were “Pope John Paul,” he remarked. “He made the unique gesture of patting me on the shoulder; he does not normally touch anyone.” MP also met Mother Teresa, and handled her funeral too. “59 delegations from across the world attended it,” he commented. He remembers meeting Chinese presidents and prime ministers, former French President Jacques Chirac and the UK’s Queen Elizabeth. Mr M.P.Singh had two long meetings with the Dalai Lama. “I asked him about how to control anger. He said that while it easy to vent anger, ‘you should not keep it with you. Holding anger is like keeping a burning ember in the hand with the intention of throwing it at someone. Eventually, you get burnt if you hold onto it.’ His Holiness is witty, humorous and cracks jokes.” India sees London as a critical mission, so generally posts officials here who are destined for promising futures.
Asian Voice | 11th February 2017
Asian Voice | 11th February 2017
Of walls and bridges
In the Asian Voice of 28th January there was a feature on Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and when I read that I remembered that I had had the greatest privilege of meeting him when I was a little girl. He had come to our house and my father told me about him in advance saying that I should try and remember the meeting as he was such a special person. I must have been about 7 at that time although I don't exactly remember which year it was. When Khan Sahib arrived he was wearing faded orange kurta and pajama and really seemed extremely tall to me. My father and mother were quite small relatively speaking and he stood well a head above them. He had grizzled grey hair and was very relaxed. I don't remember when my father and he talked about but I remember him as an image totally fixed in my mind. I have been very lucky with meeting people and with my father explaining to me who they were. Baroness Flather By email
Brexit negotiations and Donald Trump
Prime Minister Theresa May had made it abundantly clear that she is going for hard Brexit which means a clean break from the European Union. She was very clear in her mind when she said on becoming Prime Minster that ‘Brexit means Brexit’. Even during the referendum campaign she kept a low profile and was not visible at all. Which shows she was sitting on the fence waiting to jump on the winning band wagon. It will be unfair for the Theresa May and her Brexit team to ignore the voice of 48 per cent Remainers. The whitepaper submitted by the Brexit team is inadequate as it covers only general principles and no details. It seems they are trying to bulldoze their way through and did not want further discussion on this issue. That was stopped by the judgement of the Supreme Court saying they could not do soon on constitutional grounds. The referendum’s remit was to leave the European Union and not on the terms and conditions of the negotiations without the in-put of the parliament. The Government has to take into account the adverse economic, political and social ramifications that would follow after clause 50 had been triggered and two years of trade agreement negotiations open up. They do not have a carte blanche. Unpredictable, ham-fisted President Donald Trump is hell bent in breaking up the European Union and is a strong supporter of Brexit. That should not be an impediment for Theresa May to get the best deal from the European Union. He has already caused a lot of trouble with Mexico, Iran, the Arab countries and Australia and has made a dogs breakfast of the American foreign policy. This has sent shock waves throughout the world. He should not be allowed to mess up with British policy and interests in Europe. Even though he has agreed to fast tracked the trade agreement with UK because of our special relations, but remember he will always put America’s interests first and get the best deal from UK. It will not the other way round. The UK should not be carried away by what Donald Trump has promised. He is not a politician is surrounded by a team of hawks, he shoots from the hip without caring what the consequences would be. Being a shrewd and experienced businessman and he will not sign any trade agreement which would not be more beneficial to America. So Theresa May has to tread carefully and not fall into his trap. Baldev Sharma Harrow
The Union Budget 2017-2018 was not well-planned as it only benefitted the government at the centre and not the common man. Manmohan Singh was a better Finance Minister. He was far better and much more superior to Arun Jaitley. Arun Jaitley since the day he had been appointed as the F.M. has been thinking only of himself and not the common man. Has he or Prime Minister Narendra Modi stood in long queues outside banks or ATMs to withdraw cash in the days of demonetization? Have they ever stood outside ration shops in queues to get their monthly quota of kerosene or at a railway booking ticket counter? Or have they ever travelled during peak or non-peak hours in buses or trains? All they are doing is enjoying themselves on the taxpayer’s hard-earned money. We work, pay our taxes and they eat. Is this they call India? Section 80L should have been brought back and the tax-free limit on interest earned from bank fixed deposits should have been raised to Rs 50,000/- per annum. This would've encouraged savings and would have had a telling effect on inflation. Also, the pension pensioners get these days is just like peanuts. This should be increased. The retirement age from service of an employee of limited and private limited companies should also be increased from 58 years to 60 years. Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai, India
I am delighted to read Kumudiniben's nice article in the Asian Voice of the 4th Feb. that Prince William and Prince Harry would organize to erect a Statue (may be of White Marble) in the Kensington Palace Garden in the Loving Memory of their mother Princess Diana! By the sudden death of Princess Dana on the 31st August,1997 in a car accident in Paris, the dark cloud of shock and sorrow fell on Britain and the Whole World and all people felt they lost someone very dear and near to their hearts! Nobody can forget her Shy and slightly Smiling Face and tender love for all the Hapless and Homeless People whom she visited, helped and her nonstop Charitable Work! I too felt a shock and dashed out, on the way bought Flowers and joined thousands of people going to Kensington Palace. Near there I saw numerous bunches of flowers laid like a big Carpet! I too saw both Princes reading some messages written with the flowers. It was so sad they lost their beloved Mum at such a tender age! She always took them to School, holiday and everywhere! Upendra Kapadia By email
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Letters that matter
There are so many organizations, businesses that pretend to be nexus, enjoy OAP patronage, ready and willing to help those who are in need. Although few are genuine, most take advantage of disable people, to drum up business, often charge more than one would pay to normal businesses. Many more will only help, come to your aid if original purchase or the work was carried out by them. If they are in business to help disadvantaged people, then why should it matter who installed my stair-lift, walk-in showers, carpeted the house, as so often original firms may no longer be in business or moved out of the area, making it uneconomical to call them. Most insist we should purchase their products, even though the existing product may be in perfectly good condition, from the same manufacturers as the one they offer, may just need servicing. I wonder how these businesses are vetted, given all clear to call them OAP. Is there any register, directory where they are listed or organizations people can call to verify these claims? Watching TV programmes, like “Rip off Britain” one may wonder whom to trust, who are genuine. Perhaps knowledgeable AV/GS readers may be able to give guidance and help those who are not able to help themselves. Kumudini Valambia By email
Open all hours
No one needs reminding how our NHS is failing us, especially OAP, chronically sick and disable people. Reasons for decline in NHS care are varied, mainly due to our bleeding heart luminary politicians living in “Ivory Towers” out of touch with reality. They let health tourism flourish unchecked, in sharp contrast to other European countries and our own private hospitals where we have to surrender credit card details before we can set foot in hospitals, even though we may have medical insurance! No wonder their “Bad Debts” are negligible! Recent example of Nigerian woman, denied entry in US due to her advanced pregnancy ended up in NHS hospital, costing 500k due to multi-birth complications, not an isolated case. One may wonder why tourist visas are granted without having compulsory medical insurance, as is the norm in many countries. Now government want GPs, already under enormous pressure, to “Open All Hours” 8am to 8pm, seven days a week to relieve pressure on A & E. Yet, talking to my GP, it was obvious that hardly anyone turns up at week-end unless it is an emergency and in most cases, they are referred to hospitals. GPs end up doing paperwork at week-ends while waiting for patients. It is time for “All Party Commission” to re-examine NHS funding and make our NHS fit for 21st Century. Bhupendra M. Gandhi By email
President Trump’s decision to ban Muslims from seven Muslim countries is reversed by courts. An appeal by President Trump has been rejected. Myopic vision of the episode may show the ruling as monstrous, with unpleasant sequel. But viewed through knowledge of history, this imbroglio may appear to be a picnic. Obama, Clinton and Carter had also imposed such bans on Muslims, latest one was in 2011. In the past, Japan isolated itself for 200 years, China and Hadrian-(England) built walls to protect its citizens. Lately, Kuwait has imposed ban on Muslims travelling to Kuwait. Muslim Rohingyas of Myanmar, are rejected by neighboring Muslim countries, and Saudi Arabia allows immigrants on two and half years’ visa. Thus this battle being vitiated by misogynist and arrogant stance during pre-election period, will also subside. Arrogant Bollywood ilk must stop criticizing Indians as intolerant should view this insensitive ban specifically on Muslims, by the most powerful leader of the world. India has generously tolerated, respected and assimilated Muslims, Christians, Parsees and Bahais in spite of some endangering its security and integrity of India. At present President is opposed tooth and nail. What unpleasant and unsavory confrontations may be in store during four years of his tenure? Ramesh Jhalla By email
The big clawback
After the supreme court judges delivered their ruling on 24 January that the prime minister could not trigger article 50 and start the ball rolling towards the process of leaving the European Union (EU) without parliament’s approval, MPs voted overwhelmingly to give power to the Government to start the balll rolling towards the negotiations to leave the EU. Now there is nothing to stop Theresa May’s government to start the tough negotiations to come out of the EU and commence the process of Brexit. The Government’s detailed plans will be published in a White paper. Besides the trade deals and property rights of British citizens in EU countries and conversely EU citizens in Britain, the Brirtish negotiators should try and clawback the billions of pounds we have contributed towards the running of the EU since 1974, and in bailing out its sick partners like Greece and Spain during this period. Make it tough for the EU negotiators and ask for refund of UK’s investments in the EU projects and loans we have given to the EU. Without getting into the intricacies of the process and the exact amounts involved, as laymen, we want to see if our negotiators can clawback the vast amounts of funds we were made to contribute towards the running of the EU or towards subsidising other member countries.The monies thus reverted back to us could be put towards the much needed funds to help our ailing NHS and other infrastructures. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford
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Free nursery hours subsidising the rich, report says
The free entitlement to childcare for all parents in England should be scrapped in favour of a system aimed at disadvantaged children, a report says. The Institute of Economic Affairs study says the right to 15 hours free care a week has distorted the market price. It also argues regulations have made it more costly, with many families on average earnings spending more than a third of their income on childcare. The report argues that despite this investment, families are still paying huge sums for people to look after their children. The way early years care is funded means that those who need help the most do not receive it, while many affluent families are generously subsidised, the report found. Currently, parents of three and four-year-olds in
England are entitled to 15 hours free childcare a week, but this is due to increase to 30 hours from September. And providers say that nursery costs for parents could "sky-rocket" in some areas as providers grapple with less funding for the scheme. The report also argues that attempts to improve the quality of childcare have ended up increasing the amount of regulation, while failing to produce better outcomes. However, previous attempts by the government to change the ratio of children to carers were met with resistance from childcare providers, who said the changes would not lead to savings. The report said the system has also limited choice for parents as alternative forms of care such as home-based childminders are priced out of the sector.
Asian Voice |11th February 2017
Londoners urged to hand in firearms as gun crime soars in Harrow The Metropolitan Police has launched a #giveupyourgun campaign as part of weeklong firearm surrender. The campaign will give people in Harrow the opportunity to safely dispose of firearms, imitation weapons or ammunition without having to give their details to police. The most recent figures show gun crime in Harrow is up by 60%. Local London Assembly Member Navin Shah described the amnesty as playing a ‘vital’ role in the fight against gun crime. Figures obtained from the Metropolitan Police show there were 56 gun crimes committed in Harrow in 2016, up from 35 in 2015. Across London, there were 420 more gun crimes in the last year – an increase of 22%. The campaign, which is part of the Met’s ongoing work to reduce gun crime and remove illegal weapons from the streets of London, began on Monday, 6 February and runs until 2300hrs on Sunday, 12 February. Firearms and ammunition can be taken to
Is it easier to get a job if you're Adam or Mohamed? A job seeker with an English-sounding name was offered three times the number of interviews than an applicant with a Muslim name, a BBC test found. Inside Out London sent CVs from two candidates, "Adam" and "Mohamed", who had identical skills and experience, in response to 100 job opportunities. Adam was offered 12 interviews, while Mohamed was offered four. Although the results were based on a small sample size, they tally with the findings of previous academic studies. These have found British Muslims are less proportionately represented in managerial and professional occupations than any other religious group. The fake candidates applied for 100 jobs as business managers in the competitive field of advertising sales in London. After two and a half months, Adam was offered three times more interviews than Mohamed. The two CVs were also uploaded to four job sites. Adam was contacted by four recruiters, but Mohamed only two. Prof Tariq Modood from the University of Bristol analysed the BBC's
findings. He said: "What we've identified very clearly is that the Muslim-sounding person's CV is only likely to get an interview in one out of three cases. "I thought the response rate would be less than 50 per cent [for the Muslimsounding name] so it's worse than I thought, especially in a city like London. "It's so diverse, people coming in and out of the city, from different parts of the world, looking for work, a city very hungry for talent. Yes, it's worse than I thought." Muslim men are 76% less likely to be employed than their white Christian counterparts, according to research by the Research Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship at the University of Bristol. The last census in 2011 showed Muslims make up just over 1 million of the capital's 8.2 million inhabitants. But more than half of Muslim households are in poverty, higher than any other social group, according to the Muslim Council
of Britain. Previous studies have shown an employment bias. A field experiment for the Department for Work and Pensions in 2009 found ethnic minority applicants were discriminated against in favour of white applicants in 29% of cases. In 2015, a report by the charity Demos found British Muslims were less proportionately represented in managerial and professional occupations than any other religious group. Khalil Ur Rahman, an unemployed chartered surveyor, said: "I'm in between jobs at the moment. It's quite clear that it's not my qualifications or skill set that is the issue. It is my religion. "I have seen many people who are less skilled than me but have risen up into more senior management positions, much faster and much quicker because their face fits." He has taken legal action over what he sees as discrimination.
Harrow Police Station, which is open 24 hours a day. Brent and Harrow Labour London Assembly Member Navin Shah AM said: “It is extremely worrying to see gun crime going up in Harrow and across the capital. Every single incident brings misery to the individuals involved, and to their friends and families. “I would urge anyone reading this who is in possession of a firearm – or knows someone who is – to hand it in at Harrow Police Station. You won’t have to leave your details, and you’ll help to make our community safer. “Gun crime is a serious problem in our city, and schemes like this are vital to tackling it.”
Student loan debt up for private sale
The government has started the process of selling more student loan debt to the private financial sector. It has announced that loans made to students in England between 2002 and 2006 will be put up for sale - to be followed by other pre-2012 loans - with the aim of raising £12bn. Universities Minister Jo Johnson said the sale would have "no impact on people with student loans". But the National Union of Students said it was an "ugly move on students". The government has had a long-standing aim of selling off the student loan book to private investors with types of loans being sold in separate stages. Over the next four years it aims to dispose of the loans from before 2012, when tuition fees in England were trebled to £9,000 per year. The slice of loans now being put on sale - dating from 2002 to 2006 - have a face value of
£4bn. The government is promising that there will be "no changes to the terms and conditions" for borrowers - so that rates of repayment for former students will remain the same. It means that interest on these student loans will become an income for private investors, but repayments will continue to be collected through taxation and the Student Loans Company. The Intergenerational Foundation think tank has calculated that a student borrowing for three years' tuition could pay back £54,000 - before debts are cancelled after 30 years. The Universities Minister Jo Johnson says the sale of assets is part of the drive to bring "public finances under control". But he said it would "only proceed once we are satisfied that it represents value for money for the taxpayer".
Asian Voice | 11th February 2017
Budget Day in India, as it is in most democracies, never fails to give rise to public excitement. Invariably, the mood of expectation is high, its delivery in the public space results in mood swings, from high to low and high again, until it settles inevitably at a median level. In essence a national budget is an account of the nation’s finances, of revenues, expenditure, and a roadmap to the future.
Companies in top gear Engineering giant Larsen & Toubro registered a net profit of 39 per cent (Hindu January 29); an analysis of financial performances of India Inc indicates that topline growth has rescued large companies. Data for first set of
Former PM and FM Manmohan Singh, P.Chidambaram
ultimate call on high growth or no growth or something inbetween will be made on the factory floor by the workforce, managers, entrepreneurs and industrialists et al. It is their vision, work ethic and enterprise that will, in the last resort, determine the level of economic growth.
Political reactions to the Budget were as predictable as day following night. Prime Minister Narendra Modi described it as ‘futuristic,’ with something for everybody; BJP President Amit Shah lauded it for its ‘fiscal discipline,’ while Congress Vice President, Rahul Gandhi, said he ‘expected fireworks and got only a damp squib,’ an apt description of self no doubt, with no hint of serious analysis, which has never been Mr Gandhi’s strong suite, assuming he has one. He remains as ever unelectable as prime minister.
my; that GDP was not a measure of economic growth, hence an unreliable measure of social prosperity. This was standard fare. Both blitzed demonetization as the root of the trouble, but Mr Chidambaram, asked if he found anything positive about the Budget leavened his reply with just balance, saying, ’Cash transactions above Rs 3 lakh [300,000] has been banned, there is an attempt to reform political funding, crop insurance, has been expanded and there are promises for one crore [10 million] houses and additional capital expenditure on railways and roads.’ (Telegraph February 3).
State Bank of India CEO, Arundhati Bhattacharya, and Mahindra & Mahindra CEO & MD Anand Mahindra were upbeat but measured. The Sensex rose sharply, faster than it has
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Finance Minister Chidambaram claimed the present BJP-led government was ruining the econo-
200 companies (excluding banks and energy) show net sales of companies until January 30, that net sales grew 6.6 per cent yearon-year, this being mainly led by by companies such as Reliance Limited, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) etc (Business Line February 1).
India’s economy grew faster in financial year 2015-16 than earlier estimates, according to revised statistical analysis conducted by the Statistical Department. Accordingly, the GDP figure for that year was 7.9 per cent from the earlier 7.6 per cent. According to an IMF forecast for the current fiscal ending March 31, India’s GDP will slow to 7.1 per cent or possibly lower, but the momentum should increase thereafter and recovery to a higher level is expected for fiscal 2017-18 (Mint February 1).
Dell EMC India headcount to rise
Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal and head of the Trinamool Congress was her inchoate, denunciatory self, ordering Trinamool MPs to boycott Parliament for two days. Utterly irresponsible and totally misconceived and foolishly counter-productive, many would say. Other, less colourful Opposition leaders mumbled the usual jargon related to ‘ignoring the poor.’
Piramal buys UK firm drug portfolio
Piramal Enterprises Ltd has bought a drug portfolio for spasticity, a muscle disorder, and pain control from UKK firm Mallinckrodt for $171 million. The acquisition by Piramal’s British subsidiary Piramal Critical Care plans to spin off and list its financial services unit and pharmaceuticals business, said Chairman Ajay Piramal in Mumbai (Mint January 31).
The budget is also a political document, where some sections of the community are given preference over others and vice versa. Finally, the budget is a government’s facilitator: how to make the country a stand-out for ease of doing business, through reforms, including prompt decision-making, fewer bureaucratic impediments and transparency, hence attractive to foreign and domestic investors alike. The
Finance Minister Jaitley presenting the Budget in Parliament
tion. We expect to maintain growth of 15-18 in loan book,’ said Keki Mistry, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive, HDFC (Mint January 31).
done since 2005. The core sector of the economy grew over 5 per cent in the past month. People and institutions in close proximity to the economy on a day-to-day basis deserve the appropriate respect, even when they fail to command agreement. (See page 3 for comment).
Bangalore-based US company Dell EMC is to the expand its Research & Development headcount once stood at 2,500 engineers and now stands at 25,000 and is set to rise further in the coming years, according to top executive Ashley Gorakhpurwala, the company was looking for talent across the entire spectrum of engineering, from systems software solutions, systems management to cloud computing, who said: ‘We are hiring and are looking for talented to work in our Bangalore Design Centre. Over the last five years, we have grown the India R& headcount by 15-20 per cent annually. We expect to hire the same numbers by the year end.’ (Business Line January 28).
HDFC beats profit estimates
Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), India’s largest and oldest mortgage financier, posted a third quarter (October – December 2016) 12 per cent profit, exceeding the expectations of market analysts. ‘By March, individual loan book growth should come back to normalcy. Non-individual has not been affected due to demonetiza-
IIM autonomy secured
Legislation has been passed by Parliament to safeguard the autonomy of the Indian Schools of Management, which, forthwith, will be run by their individual boards and not come under the authority of the Ministry of Human Resources Development (Business Line February 1).
Apple ‘Make in India’ planned
Apple announced that it is to manufacture iPhones in India in a plant sited in Bangalore. The Karnataka government issued a press release confirming and welcoming the company’s decision to do so. Stories about this had been doing the rounds since December. The statement was signed by State Minister Priyank Kharge, who explained that Apple’s presence ‘will foster cutting edge technology ecosystem and supply chain development in the State, which are critical for India to compete globally.’ Production is expected to start in June (Times of India February 3).
Jihadi terrorist Hafeez Saeed held
In a familiar trick, the banned Jamaat-ud Dawa resurfaced as Tehreek Azaadi Jammu and Kashmir in a bid to protect Hafeez Saeed and carry on with its jihadi terrorist activities. It’s a cat-and-mouse game set to continue for yet a while. Meanwhile two jihadis were killed in an Army operation in Sopore at the weekend. The mere shadow of Donald Trump and the possibility of action by Washington has sent the Pakistan government scurrying for cover. Trump has accomplished in a fortnight what the sainted President Obama failed miserably to achieve in eight years over two terms. (Times of India, Hindu January 31, February 5).
Jihadis warning to Pakistan
Jihadi organizations in Kashmir have reacted with alarm at the news. ‘Kashmiri movement is at a critical phase and Mr Saeed would support it. Pakistan’s action is a sign of weakness, which is painful. It has sent depressing signals. It also depicts the weak role of Pakistan in Kashmir’s freedom struggle,’ said United Jehad Council chief Syed Salahuddin. He and other leaders have expressed ‘anger and disgust’ at the decision. Another jihadi leader Muhammad Qasim Faktoo warned that Pakistani laxity in obeying Donald Trump may lead to Indian surgical strikes with American backing. (Hindu February 3).
Laser light to speed up electronics
Indian scientist Manish Garg took the proven step to to produce high-speed electronic devices that can operate one million times faster than present-day systems. Working at the Max
Hafeez Saeed, head of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and four others were under house arrest in Lahore by the Pakistan authorities. Saeed, also the co-founder of Laskkar-e-Taiba is believed to be the mastermind of the November 26, 2008 jihadi terrorist attack
Dr Manish Garg
Pakistan jihadi Hafeez Saeed
on Mumbai in which 167 innocent citizens died. Efforts to extradite him to India have failed, and he lived in freedom in Pakistan preaching hatred against India and recruiting people for terror assaults on Indian targets.
Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garchin, Germany, Garg and the team used laser beams to generate electrons that moved at a frequency close to one million billion hertz, the best achievable now is one billion herz. The results were published in the prestigious science journal, ‘N N Nature.’ Dr Garg said: ‘We envision that in future, we will be able to to use transistors driven by laser pulses instead of electronics transistors in devices. The technical challenge is to make use of high frequencies to perform logic operations similar to the ones performed inside an electronics transistor and also make it feasible in integrated chips.’ (Hindu February 1).
UK Asian Voice | 11th February 2017
Man admits Sunderland shopping centre niqab attack A man has admitted pulling a niqab off a woman and subjecting her to a tirade of racial abuse. Peter Scotter shouted "you are in our country now" when he attacked his victim, who was with her young son, at a Sunderland shopping centre. The 55-year-old, of Beach Street, Roker, Sunderland, admitted racially aggravated assault by beating and racially aggravated harassment. He has 66 previous convictions and was told he was facing a jail sentence. Both offences were based on Scotter's hostility towards a particular reli-
gious group, namely Islam, the court heard. Judge Stephen Earl heard the victim was standing outside the Bridges shopping centre in July when Scotter grabbed her veil, almost throwing her to the ground. Laura Lax, prosecuting, said the attack had left the victim feeling as if she could not go out. Tony Hawks, defending, said Scotter had recently been diagnosed with a cancerous tumour under his tongue and was due to undergo surgery. During the abuse, Scotter was heard to swear at the woman and call her a
"stupid" Muslim. He continued to make derogatory comments when he was being interviewed after his arrest, Miss Lax said. Scotter's previous convictions include actual bodily harm and racially aggravated criminal damage.
Man in court over Derby Sikh temple murder An elderly man found dead near a Sikh temple had been beaten so badly police believed he had been hit by a car, a court heard. Sukhraj Singh Atwal has gone on trial for the murder of Satnam Singh, 74 - the father of his mother's ex-husband - in Derby in July 2015. The prosecution at Nottingham Crown Court alleged he repeatedly stamped and jumped on Mr Singh. The 29-year-old, of Pear Tree Crescent, Derby, denies murder. Mr Singh had been walking to the temple where he volunteered in the early hours of 23 July when he was attacked on the corner of Coronation Street. He was found with 41 fractures to his ribs, lacerations to his heart and blunt force injuries to his head and face. Mr Atwal's car
appeared several times on local CCTV at the time of the attack. The beating itself was not caught on camera but the vehicle was seen entering the spot where Mr Singh died immediately before the attack and leaving four minutes later. Footage from a garage forecourt showed Mr Atwal appearing to inspect his light-coloured trousers. He also returned to the scene several times "to observe what was happening", the prosecution
alleged, wearing different trousers. Mr Atwal was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving four days later, giving no comment at interview, save that police should "check the forensics" on his car. He was arrested in April 2016 on suspicion of murder after tests determined Mr Singh had not been hit by a car. Examination of Mr Atwal's phone revealed he had travelled to a remote location near Carsington Water, near the Peak District, later that day where the prosecution alleges he disposed of his trousers. A text message on his phone said he had not hit Mr Singh "with my car" and he even taunted police in a letter from custody saying they "couldn't even get the cause of death right". The trial continues.
Government takes steps towards Personal Injury sector reform When you are involved in an accident that was not your fault, leaving you with an injury that puts you at a disadvantage in your day-to-day life, the resultant stresses can often Alla Kingswood be overwhelming. Personal Injury Lawyers can help to alleviate these stresses by getting you the compensation you deserve. However, in his 2015 Autumn Statement, the Lord Chancellor announced measures, which could affect your ability to successfully make a Personal Injury claim. If you are involved in an accident resulting in a minor injury where you are inconvenienced, but able to make a full recovery within three months, you may no longer be entitled to compensation. This could be the result of the reform programme proposals, which suggest increasing the classification of minor injuries from a three month recovery period to six or nine months. Under the proposal, the amount of compensation that you will recover will also fall. PSLA claims (compensation for Pain, Suffering and Loss of Amenity – the injury) for minor injuries will be fixed at £400, with an additional £25 if there is a psychological element to your injury. For more serious injuries – those lasting 19-24 months – the maximum amount you will be able to claim is £3,600. Additionally, the Government intends to increase the small claims limit to £5,000. This means that if the compensation for your injury is worth less than £5,000, then no legal costs will be recoverable, which will result in you having to fight the compensation “battle” on your own. This could be a very confusing and daunting process, resulting in you receiving
less compensation than you are entitled to. The Government is moving swiftly to implement these reforms, having held a consultation until the 6th January, 2017, and it is now likely they will take steps to turn it into legislation. Therefore, if you have recently suffered a minor injury, which was not your fault and for which you are entitled to compensation, it is of the utmost importance that you act quickly in light of these potential reforms. Author Alla Kingswood is a Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Duncan Lewis Solicitors. The Personal Injury Department at Duncan Lewis ensures high quality representation in your personal injury claim at all levels. Duncan Lewis’ Accident and Injury Lawyers also provide access to the best doctors and medical specialists for clients making a personal injury compensation claim. Duncan Lewis personal injury solicitors offer a friendly and professional service, placing you and your family’s best interests first throughout the process. Duncan Lewis' personal injury practice specialises in clients who have suffered accidents at work. This includes matters where clients have suffered severe disability as a result of employer negligence. A particular focus of the practice is acting in claims for on behalf of victims of fatal injuries. Other broad specialist areas include claims against local authorities for slips and trips in public space; road traffic accidents; occupier’s liability; asbestos illnesses; accidents suffered abroad and children’s accidents. If you feel you have a claim and would like to discuss this in confidence, please do not hesitate to call our team of expert lawyers on 03337720409.
Judge brands sex grooming gang lawyers 'shameful' A senior judge has criticised lawyers representing a gang of child sex groomers who are seeking to avoid deportation. Mr Justice Bernard McCloskey accused them of "frankly shameful" behaviour during a delayed immigration tribunal. The four men, led by Shabir Ahmed, 63, were convicted in 2012 of preying on girls as young as 13 in Rochdale, Greater Manchester. The law firms involved declined to comment while the case was ongoing. Mr Justice McCloskey, president of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber, said the men's barristers and solicitors had failed to submit the necessary papers to the court and had repeatedly asked for adjournments. He said: "The Upper Tribunal has been treated with sustained and marked disrespect. The conduct of these appeals has been cavalier and unprofessional. The rule of law has been weakened in consequence." The judge, who is
expected to deliver his decision on the men's appeal against deportation this month, also criticised government lawyers representing the Home Secretary after they produced "only a skeleton argument" at the "11th hour". He has urged government legal officials to mount an investigation into such cases. Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk said: "The perpetrators of these crimes are trying to avoid languishing in a Pakistani jail, which is where they should be. The law is far too easy to manipulate in this area." The Rochdale grooming gang plied teenagers with drink and drugs before they were "passed around" for sex, the trial was told. Ahmed was given a 19year sentence at Liverpool Crown Court in May 2012 for a string of child sex offences, including rape. He was also jailed for 22 years, to run concurrently, in July 2012 for raping another child 30 times over
a decade. Three other men convicted of child sex offences in the same case, Abdul Aziz, Adil Khan and Abdul Rauf, are also appealing against deportation. Their solicitors, Nottingham-based firm Burton and Burton, were approached for comment by the BBC. A spokesperson for the Government Legal Department said it had apologised to the judge where it had failed to "comply with a direction". Rajiv Sharma, the barrister who represented Ahmed, said he had been instructed at very short notice and was no longer handling the case.
Teenager jailed for 'Hitler' attack on Jewish shoppers
A teenager who yelled "heil Hitler" while throwing gas canisters at Jewish shoppers has been jailed. Patrick Delaney admitted religiously aggravated harassment of four Orthodox Jews - including a 13-year-old boy - on 6 January 2016. Wood Green Crown Court heard Delaney, 19, was intoxicated on nitrous oxide following a relationship break-up. He was jailed for six months for the attack in Tottenham Hale retail park. One victim told the court she was forced to take shelter in a nearby supermarket with her teenage son as Delaney, who was with two other men in a van, repeatedly yelled "Hitler" at her.
Nurse sets self alight over sacking by hospital A nurse who died after setting himself afire following his dismissal from the hospital he worked in, was suffering from a “mental breakdown”, it has been revealed. An inquest in London heard how 41-year-old Amin Abdullah stood outside Kensington Palace and set himself on fire over the way the NHS handled his dismissal. He died in February last year after being sacked from his job as a charge nurse at Charing Cross Hospital in December 2015. Speaking at the inquest, his partner Terry Skitmore said he had slipped into depression after a disciplinary investigation was initiated prior to his sacking.
He said Abdullah had not heard anything about what managers at the NHS were doing “for many weeks” and had put in a grievance regarding the delay. “They have lost a magnificent nurse and I have lost a magnificent partner,” he added. The inquest at Westminster coroner's court continues.
Neethu Haridas: Breaking Professional Boundaries Asian Voice | 11th February 2017
Maharashtra Minister Rajkumar Badole visits Ambedkar House in London
A Russell-group educated science teacher by day and a rising (pro) footballer by night, Haridas is able to make a much needed motivational statement: not only can anyone play football, but those who put their mind to it can conceivably achieve their dream. Holding the much coveted position of forward striker (number 9 shirt) for the famous Queen’s Park Rangers F.C, the dually versed professional said that more than inspiring students as an Asian woman through her circle-shaped career, she embodies the concept of being able to conquer any professional sphere: “though it wasn’t usual in the Asian community for a girl to play football, I received a tremendous amount of encouragement from my parents growing up,” she told us: “this is what made me the confident version of who I am today. My father, a fantastic footballer himself, would pass and dribble the ball with me, warmly nurturing my sporty interest. My mother would drive me long distances to games at weekends, helping me get scouted from an early age. She would sit in the car waiting or come out to watch while I played for hours week in week out. For me, that’s been the real meaning behind all my success: the unwavering drive of parental support. It stays with you through life. As both an advocate of science and physical fitness, I also support my students in pursuing whatever subject they wish. It’s no coincidence that the parents who’ve embraced their children’s individuality and individual talents are the ones who see them move forward fastest. I think, especially now, it’s possible to prosper across a variety of careers and Asian families in particular still have trouble accepting that. The thinking of having to choose a traditional path, such as a doctor or a lawyer, is flawed and doesn’t necessarily correlate to stability. The answer is understanding why it is you’ve brought yourself to where you are. I always ask my students: what’s the reason you want to do this? Let’s start there before getting to the how of it.” *** Indeed, this is on the pulse of modern developments. With the women’s England football team phenomenally outperforming the men's teams, finishing third in the 2015 World Cup, we've entered a time when individual can be as deciding in progress as the institutional prejudices of old. “Interestingly, I’ve found that being an Asian footballer has actually garnered much respect,” Haridas told us. “I have worked very hard to get where I am, and people are generally supportive in the national community. It's as a woman, if anywhere, that I’ve felt any negative bias, and this is mainly down to alterable social attitudes. That’s why we need to start teaching the idea that women are as capable as men to children who are still learning - whether it’s introducing more women’s football teams into recreational curriculums or better teaching programmes for gender equality in the classroom, we need to make this more the norm and find ways of making it popular. If I’ve been limited in the sport, it’s because someone has decided I didn’t have the skills to play against the ‘bigger’ men or didn’t want to go too hard on me as a woman. We must find a way to wipe these stereotypes out.” Thus, incredibly centred as a person, Haridas has evolved through several layers in life.
Tell us more about your journey to the prestigious QPR? I initially got back into football – having focused on the science and cultivating that aspect of my career - when the women’s England team achieved their incredible feat in the 2015 in the World Cup. I searched local teams and ended up successfully trialling and training with Brentford Women’s FC. I benefitted greatly from coaching by experienced players from the men’s professional league and found myself developed enough to trial for QPR Ladies FC. I had the honour of playing under fantastic coaches; many FA qualified, and have now been officially playing with Queen Park Rangers Ladies Football Club in the premier league of English football for the last 6 months.
Though you are a science teacher, is your plan to one day play The Beautiful Game full time? My philosophy has always been to follow what I love and I fortunately do love both. However, I am somewhat held in this part-time position because there is a lot of inequality between men’s and women’s football. Many female footballers have a second job because they wouldn’t be able to sustain themselves on a current professional income. But I love inspiring young girls and that’s part in parcel of the solution – getting more women involved.
Do you think that football helps women’s confidence? Definitely – it encourages you to endure and believe in yourself. I myself
Sunil Kumar, First Secretary, High Commission of India, Minister Badole and his wife
had to fight from a young age to gain the respect from peers on the pitch, which has only made me stronger. The communal element is also good for encouraging women’s physical fitness. Sometimes it can be a bit repetitive to go to the gym – knowing you have a team to meet can be really encouraging.
When did you first get into football? There’s a funny story. As I said, my dad was very passionate about the sport and involved his children: he first kicked the ball to me and then to my brother. I naturally kicked the ball back whereas my brother’s first instinct was to pick it up. I think it was clear then that I was especially drawn to the game.
What grabs you most about the sport; what keeps you playing? Winning! Or not necessarily winning but aspiring to be the best version of you. I did lose a few games in a row earlier on in my football exploits, and every time that forced me to work even harder. Eventually when I moved on to QPR, we had six consecutive games where we didn’t lose – the adrenaline rush was amazing. It is particularly special because you get so much support from the coaches and your supporters. What football techniques are you good at? My greatest strength is probably my speed. I’m extremely fast and can probably out-run most women. Who are your favourite team and role model? I’ve been brought up in a household of Liverpool supporters so its been wired into me to support them from a young age. Regarding women’s football I’m a fan of Alex Scott of Arsenal Ladies.
Is strategy and mathematical thinking as important as physical skill in the game? Oh yes – my success with QPR is very much down to this. Our coaches read the game well enough to implement great strategies and set plays. We have a magnetic white board in our changing rooms where our coaches plan tactical manoeuvres. We re-evaluate at half time according to how the opposition is playing.
“hat's a personal motto that you have? “Nothing in life that’s worth anything is easy”. w w w. i n s t a g r a m . c o m / neethu1988
Mr Rajkumar S Badole, Minister for Social Justice and Special Assistance Department, Government of Maharashtra, India, visited London from 28th January to 1st February 2017. During his visit, Badole visited 10 King Henry’s Road (KHR), NW-3, London, the house where Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar had lived while acquiring higher education in London. Government of Maharashtra has proposed to develop 10 KHR into Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Memorial. He also held meetings with social organisations and officers of Indian High Commission in London, including Shri Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha, High Commissioner, and Shri Sunil Kumar, First Secretary. Badole informed in the meeting that Government of Maharashtra was ready to extend full support, including financial help, for the rapid development of 10 KHR as Memorial. During his visit an Advisory Committee was formed which included Shri Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha, High Commissioner of India in London as Chairman; Dr. Surendrakumar Bagde, Secretary, Department of
Social Justice & Special Assistance, Government of Maharashtra; Shri Sunil Kumar, First Secretary, High Commission of India, London; Ms. Santosh Dass, President, Federation of Ambedkarite & Buddhist Organisations UK; Shri C. Gautam, Joint Secretary, Federation of Ambedkarite & Buddhist Organisations UK; Shri Jograj Ahir, President, Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha, London; and Shri Sukhdev Sahai Hira, Social Worker in London He also called a meeting of the members of the Advisory Committee and urged them to accelerate the pace of work for the development of 10 KHR. Badole also visited London School of Economic (LSE) and met Ms. Mukalika Banerjee, Director, South Asia Centre. It was proposed to establish a permanent Chair at London School of Economic. Minister Badole also informed that to two students from Maharashtra will be offered scholarship by Government of Maharashtra for studying at LSE. Director, South Asia Centre, LSE, assured the Minister that she would soon revert on the above two proposals.
Swearing not a crime, says judge A five-lettered word created a fuss in a courtroom last week. A judge has raised concern that criminal law is being used to stop people swearing at each other. This follows after a woman called a man “pussy” over a voicemail when she tried to collect a debt said to be owed to her boss by the man. Judge Daniel PearceHiggins was taken aback to find the woman’s use of the slur had got her arrested, charged and taken to court. “That’s an offence, is it?” the judge asked prosecutors at Worcester Crown Court on January 30, 2017, where a full-day’s trial costs taxpayers £3,000. “Good heavens. It’s fairly standard behaviour in life. I’m concerned criminal law is properly used, not to stop people swearing at
each other. To call someone a pussy is impolite. It’s not an offence. It’s unpleasant but not a criminal act. If that’s the case, there’s an awful lot of criminals about.” Aga Czachowska, aged 31, of Leypark Road, Exeter, admitted sending a malicious communication which was ‘grossly offensive’ between December 1 and December 7, 2015. Czachowska had telephoned Karl Smalley, who had a £10,000 outstanding debt with her boss, and left a voicemail message that included the offensive word. Smalley and his wife Cheryl complained to the police, and the case was taken to crown court. But the judge refused to grant a restraining order against the defendant, instead handed her a twoyear conditional discharge.
www.asian-voice.com Asian Voice | 11th February 2017 AsianVoiceNews
The Indian Wedding
Extravaganza Smita Sarkar
Matches are made in heaven – but weddings are planned and made here on Earth. And it doesn’t get bigger or more elaborate than an Asian wedding. Weddings have always been gala social events and it doesn’t get any bigger than Indian weddings. For Indians, weddings have been an age-old industry replete with customs and traditions that ensure participation from the entire community and beyond. The shehnaiwalas, palanquin bearers, priests, jewellers, caterers, decorators, florists – all walks of life get assimilated in the great Indian wedding. With the wedding months around the corner, this is the season when doting families leave no stone unturned to ensure their sons and daughters have an event to remember. Keeping up with both tradition and modern trends, the Asian community in UK engage with a wide range of experts and specialised services for the near-
week-long celebration around the weddings. Wedding planners, designers, jewellers, food specialists, photographers, decorators, honeymoon travel agents – all come together, partnering the would-be couples in this gala event. Times have changed and place too, but the Indian weddings remains the same in essence. Not just the union of two hearts but a pulsating economy of its own. The Indians in UK continues to retain the same tradition and spirit and in certain ways outdoes their counterparts living in India. Asian weddings are big business in Britain, with the market worth of over £300m a year and the figures are rising. According to Parag Bhargava, Senior Partner at Suman Marriage Bureau, “parents are leaving the decisions to individual couples for putting together the arrangements for weddings.” “The young couples prefer to share their costs and customise their weddings,” Parag said. Synonymous with vibrant and heavy costumes, exotic jewellery, a plethora of food, music, dance and mischievous traditional ceremonies; an authentic Indian wedding in UK can span from
Traditional jewellery designs are making a comeback this season with a focus on multi-layered neclaces, heavy kundan work, judicious use of gemstones to contrast the costumes on different occasions. Pacchi, pearl and mirror-work are in. Large jhumkas and rings are also tuning out to be big hits for the Asian bride. In comparison to the traditional jewellery that seems to be setting the trend in Asian
Bridal Jewellery and Costumes
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www.asian-voice.com Asian Voice |11th February 2017
weddings, the wedding costumes are not looking that traditional anymore. Indo-Western attire is in. We are seeing brides breaking the traditional stereo-types and adopting pastel shades like ocean blue, mint green and beige are replacing the traditional maroon and bold reds. There is a lot of use of hand-embroidered gold intricate designs and broch eques. Floral designs are back in the lehangas, sarees and gowns, along with bold floral hair accessories and make-up that has an element of pink. Off -shoulder and cold-shoulder blous also the favourite for the global, modern Indian brides. While the wedding day is reserved for the more tradition look, the modern Indian bride is using the other functions to make a style statement. Using subtle variations of colour and mixing it up with the right accessories like dupattas and shararas, she is going for a versatile and sometimes minimalistic look. The Asian groom is not to be left too far behind in matters sartorial. While the sherwani still rules the wedding day, the tone is definitely less formal with brocades, embroideries and prints are being used to match the bride’s look.
AsianVoiceNews The stylish Asian groom is investing in the right accessories in the form of a brooch, a regal pocket-watch and turbans. Shoes are becoming critical to the final look with designer mojris making their appearance to match heavily embroidered attires.
Wedding and Beauty
Every bride would like to make this special day more beautiful through her radiance and her exquisiteness. Professional bridal
make-up services guide and support the would-be brides in making the right make-up decisions. The best ones don’t just match your complexion and features, but understands her per-
sonality and ensures that the bride is not just exquisite, but also normally comfortable. They work through the entire process from an initial consultation to a trial run, culminating on the day itself to ensure the bride remains her beautiful best. The other important service provided by bridal beauticians is in the intricate art of henna or mehndi. This ritual signifies deep personal and symbolic meaning for our brides. The best henna professionals create a unique and perfect design customised to the bride and the occasion. Henna services are also provided to other members attending the mehndi ceremony. It is believed that the intricacy of the design brings love and prosperity on the wedding day and in the couple’s marital life. Halimah Abubacker, the Creative Director of Halima beauty says “social media and product awareness has created a demand for that Instagram look. Requests to look like a certain blogger is coming through to us. I have been in this field for over twelve years, and an elegant bridal look with flawless skin and beautiful gleaming eyes still seem to steal the show.” “I prefer keeping the eyelashes natural. A Bollywood queen look is still the favour of the day; with longer hair and heavy make-up,” Halimah said. Grooms are also deploying
the services of professional makeup artists. “With facials, pedicures, manicures and general grooming, the metro-sexual groom is not embarrassed to invest his time and effort in these services,” said Halimah.
The perfect wedding venue goes a long way in making sure that the wedding remains memorable for the couple, their families and the
many UK venues inappropriate for Hindu weddings. Mandaps and intricate floral decorations, the wedding drape or back-drop, the party lighting and abundance of fresh flowers can put a heavy pressure on many venues. No Asian wedding is complete without fresh flowers. Of late, the floral decorations including centre-pieces and the general décor are being co-ordinated with the overall theme of the wedding. The Event’s lighting is also being creatively used to set the mood of
invited guests. South Asian weddings typically have intricate rituals performed in front of a very large number of guests. So not all venues can live up to the requirements. In UK, fire restrictions render
the wedding. Pinspot lighting is being used to highlight the centre-piece or specific elements of the décor. Custom-made, hand-embroidered silk back-drops, appropriate draping, colour co-ordinated
Wedding Venues and Destination Weddings
Asian Voice | 11th February 2017
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Asian Voice |11th February 2017
AsianVoiceNews cater to a range of budgets and individual tastes. As per Parag, “there is an increase in finding exclusive venues such as manor houses, country hotels as well, if you want to wed in the UK.” Dubai and South European destinations like Italy and Spain are popular international destinations. And if you have a more comfortable budget, the Carribeans, Mexico and the Bahamas are becoming hot favourites. In India, Goa, Kerela, Dehradun and various palaces in Rajasthan are catering to this trend.
lighting, podiums and flowers are increasingly being used to transform any venue for the occasion. According to Becki Bishop, Founder of Floco, a Specialist in Asian Wedding flowers and decoration, “while flowers are very important to weddings, good floral designers like us pay a lot of attention to the individual and make sure that the centre-piece and other decorations enhance the overall scheme.” “We help our couples come up with new ideas and then bring them to life
through flawless fresh flowers and colour schemes,” Becki said. The trend for destination weddings keeps on increasing with many couples choosing international destinations for hosting a memorable event. It not only allows friends and family the opportunity to celebrate the big day in a unique and memorable way, but also proves better value with travel and resorts offering group deals and discounts. These venues are often wedding-ready with multiple vendor options that can
Multi-cuisine experimentalism is the growing trend in Indian weddings. This is resulting in Indian wedding menus becoming far more diverse and embracing culinary fusion. Pairing of traditional and non-traditional flavours is key to these experiments. For example, serving the tandoori shrimp with mango salsa. Deep-fried delicacies are being replaced by healthier baked and grilled options. Salad bars are making their appearance in Indian weddings, serving freshly-cut, healthy yet yummy food options. Meet-greet-eat stations – are interactive food stations where you get to eat a
dish and meet the creatorthe Chef and indulge in a chat with him and his team, are also becoming popular concepts. Wedding caterers are now placing a lot of importance on food presentation with elaborate dishes being cooked to perfection and being arranged immaculately on the plate. Deserts are being served in martini glasses, rather than in
market through wedding DJs, dance troupes and professional musicians. There are professional choreographers who coach the families of the bride and groom for stage performances with Bollywood music. Ladies sangeet specialists gather together to bring back age old traditional folk songs that are a vital part of the weddings. But for the
They offer a full spectrum of services starting from initial consultation with the two families, working out the underlined theme and making sure that all the other partners and vendors work smoothly – within te righ schedule and budget. Bollywood director Karan Johar has probably contributed more towards shaping the grand extrava-
bowls. Stalls serving street food like pani-puri, tikka, kebabs and other snack items are greeting Asian wedding guests. Snacky options for kids to munch on, while the wedding rituals are on are a practical yet fun way of keeping the kids engaged. Pairing this fusion food, the cola and the thandai is being replaced by customised cocktails which bring together eastern flavours with western tastes. Cocktails with names like the Maharaja punch or Bollywood Blues are being specially created for these occasions. While Asian banquets are typically buffet affairs, seated-style dinners are making a come-back in South Asian weddings. Families are made to sit together and eat restaurantstyle instead of queuing up for food in the buffet style.
more traditional-minded, shahnai, traditional Panjabi dhol, gidda performers bring back the sight and smell of home. Planning for all of this might prove difficult for new age couples and their
ganza of Indian weddings than any traditions or customs. Megahits from his stable have etched in every South Asian prospective couple’s mind, a fantasy that probably only celluloid can live up to.
Bollywood is an evergreen theme when it comes to entertainment during wedding and at receptions. There are various specialised entertainment agencies that cater to this
families. But not to worry – you can choose from a wide range of wedding planners specialising in different kinds of weddings to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
The event therefore becomes grander and grander as the South Asian wedding strives to etch an International identity within traditional South Asian ethos.
CHEAPER THAN WHOLESALE AsianVoiceNews
Sow & Reap London Property Investment
We are in the process of closing a deal, this apartment is humongous at 2,185 sq. ft. This is not the size to purchase as a typical BTL investment; generally speaking, smaller is better. A colleague in the trade, who specialises in studios, commissioned a leading agent to analyse the occupancy rate in Central London of a studio, the report came back with a rate of 98.6%. In addition, the 1.4% of void periods was not due to the lack of demand, but because the property was being refurbished. So why the interest in this large lump? The location is superb, north of Hyde park which is due for a spurt in growth. This is backed by a Knight Frank report in
AGONY AGENT Each week, we answer a reader’s rental property question, from first-time landlords needing pointers about contracts to experienced owners. Agony Agent, is here to help! Q: How can I ensure a smooth tenant check out? A: Whether you’re saying goodbye to your perfect tenant or celebrating seeing the back of a troublesome one, you should always oversee the tenant check out professionally. You need to ascertain whether the property is in an acceptable state and, if not, how much of the deposit should be kept. If you produced a thorough inventory at the start of the tenancy then the check out should be fairly straightforward. Here are five things to be aware of. 1. Start early A few weeks before check out, get in touch to remind the tenant that you, or a professional inventory clerk, will be coming over at a convenient time to check on the property’s condition. This gives them a chance to review their
copy of the inventory and make sure that the property is still in the same good condition it was in at the start. 2. Reasonable wear and tear It is important to remember that the property will never be in the exact same state as at the start of the tenancy. You can’t charge a tenant for the natural deterioration that happens to bits and pieces in every house. However, if something has been actively damaged, then that’s a different matter. If the sofa is looking a little grubby and frayed, then that falls under the heading of “fair wear and tear”. If you arrive to find one of the sofa arms falling off, that’s when you can charge them for it. If there’s a red wine stain, the best course of action would be to charge the tenants for a professional cleaning. 3. Ask your tenant to be there It will speed up the process if your tenant is in the house, or waiting somewhere nearby, when
late 2014, which confirms the clever money will go to the ‘poor’ side of Hyde Park. Some people will always like to buy labels, they like the idea of owning a piece of Belgravia or Mayfair, they can then feel good about themselves and share this with others and gain their admiration. However, if the goal is to earn money then this is the place to invest.
Asian Voice | 11th February 2017
at £755, which is about 25% discount from the lowest price on the market and a massive 43% discount from the highest. Incidentally, in a new block in Wembley the prices are £778 per sq. ft. This puts this deal into some context, this property is in W2 and has far greater growth prospects and it’s coming in cheaper than market value from day one.
So, the location is excellent, and location is the first mantra of property investment; and the future seems bright; but what about the present? What’s the discount? Comparable properties currently on the market range from £1,000 to £1,335 per sq. ft. This property is coming in
So, two points of the deal have been clarified, the location and the current discount to present value. The third point is the size of the deal, it’s simply not appropriate to purchase a large lump like this as a Buy to Let. The statistics point to small is better from an occupancy point of view, also if you look at the demographics, the
family nucleus is decreasing, people are living in smaller units and as singles. However, this deal can be broken into three flats very easily. It is being purchased with this proviso, therefore for this deal we are looking for three investors and not one. Each flat will then
have an approximate sq. ft. of 728 sq. ft., which is far more rentable. The location will ensure a solid level of occupancy. We have bought numerous apartments in this block for our investors already. In short, you will be getting a retail investment at a wholesale price; actually, cheaper than wholesale.
the check out is being carried out; or allow an agent to handle this for you. If something was left in a condition that you consider unacceptable, it could be explained to them in person with the use of the inventory. If they disagree with your decision, a discussion could take place there and then. This is when pictures taken at the start
of the tenancy could be very useful. 4. Wait… …until the last minute to do the check out. It is advised that the check out is done on either the last day or the day after they have left. The property will be as empty as possible, limiting any unnoticed or hidden damage. It also ensures that the tenant has taken
all their belongings with them. Definitely do not sign anything until the tenant has completely moved out just in case that final bookcase puts a hole in the wall! 5. Take time to assess damage If you think you need time to assess any damages and the corresponding costs to clean, repair or replace items, take it. Get quotes
from the relevant people and remember replacements should be ‘like for like’: you can’t charge for a plush new chair if they broke a bogstandard one. Nor can you charge them for a professional clean of the whole house if they only left a stain on the living room floor. Richard Bond email@example.com
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Asian Voice | 11th February 2017
Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel
Dear Financial Voice Reader, The Agony of Money I get a lot of emails from business persons looking for finance for their business. Bank loans most people are familiar with. No one wants to fill out grant forms. And venture capital firms invest in hardly 1% of all businesses. There is little more agonising than trying to raise money for a startup. Angel investors have a lot of choice, so you end up fallin g back on friends and family for money. But have you thought about crowdfunding? That’s where online you place details about your business or innovation and look for investors. The system is online, simple, quick and you don’t have to have meetings or negotiate. You explain what stage your business is at, and what you want the money for. Investors get a stake in your business or depending on the online pl atform make a loan to you. Of course if an investor thinks your business will not grow or sell out, then they are not going to lend you money. Equally if they think you cannot repay the loan, they won’t either. But this platform opens up the opportunities for small businesses. And companies like Crowdcube and Kickstarter are leading platforms. So many British Indians are in business. But here is the exciting thing, you may be a professional, a doctor, or management consultant. And you may need funding for an invention. Well these platforms are good for that too. Because they force you to think commercially about presenting the invention, and the figures behind it, you are being forced to think if it is viable to begin with and if the market wants it. But guess what – that also market tests it. If you can’t get the funding, then clearly the market is not interested. Imagine if Steve Jobs put the iPod on a crowdfunding site. Obviously every investor would have thought that it is great, he would have got the money. The key reasons for failure will be your idea is not good enough commercially to produce a return. Isn’t it great you get a load of experienced investors to vet it at no cost. These platforms prevent your ego throwing good money away, because if the idea is good money goes to it. Of course you could turn investor and invest via these sites in the next big thing. But of course not everything on the sites is going to be big. Maybe only 10% will make a return. So be careful.
Jaitley slashes tax for small firms to 25% The Indian budget has offered a further push to India's informal manufacturing sector by proposing a 5 percentage point cut in corporate tax to 25 per cent for businesses with a turnover of up to £5 million. The tax cut is expected to impact 96 per cent of the country's MSME sector, cumulatively accounting for almost half of India's GDP and over 80 per cent of the overall employment, and could help increase tax compliance in the informal sector. Announcing the move, Arun Jaitley cited tax data to suggest that during financial year 2015-16, 285,000 companies that recorded profits of less than £100,000, paid tax at an effective rate of 30.26 per cent even as 298 companies that recorded profits of above £50 million paid effective tax rate of 25.90 per cent. "In order to make MSME
companies more viable and also to encourage firms to migrate to company format, I propose to reduce the income tax for smaller companies with annual turnover up to £5 million to 25 per cent," the Finance Minister said. As per data for assessment year 2015-16, there were 694,000 companies filing returns of which 667,000 companies would fall in this category, translating into 96 percentage of companies getting the benefit of lower taxation. "This will make our MSME sector more competitive as compared to large companies. The medium and small enterprises occupy bulk of economic activities and are also instrumental in providing maximum employment to people. However, since they do not get many exemptions, they end up paying more taxes as compared to large companies," he said.
Attach Sahara's Aamby Valley property: SC AsianVoiceNews
The Supreme Court of India has ordered the attachment of Sahara group's amby Valley property in Pune, worth nearly £4 billion, to force it and group chief Subrata Roy to deposit the remaining £1.47 billion it owes investors with market regulator Sebi soon. The SC had in August 2012 ordered Sahara to repay over £2.50 billion to investors by depositing the amount with market regulator Sebi after it found that two group companies Sahara Real Estate and Sahara Housing - had illegally collected the sum from 30 million investors. Sahara has so far deposited over £1.10 billion, of which £600 million was paid after the apex court sent Roy and two directors to jail on March 4, 2014. The group deposited £60 million on Monday as promised in November last year, meeting one of the
conditions imposed by the court to continue the parole for Roy. However, when the group's counsel Kapil Sibal requested the court to extend the roadmap for repayment to July 2019, a bench of Justices Dipak Misra, Ranjan Gogoi and A K Sikri said this was unacceptable. “We cannot be assembling every month for you to deposit meagre amounts like £60 million. If you have got Aamby Valley properties which are worth more than £3.90 billion,
why do you need other properties to be auctioned to raise the money? We will go for Aamby Valley if you do not speed up the repayment schedule. July 2019 deadline for repayment is unacceptable,” the bench said. “If you want to save Aamby Valley from being sold, then give us a list of your unencumbered properties which can be put to public auction for raising the balance amount due from you. Let the principal amount be paid first and we will look into the interest part,” the bench added. Adding to the group's woes, the Enforcement Directorate through additional solicitor general Maninder Singh sought the court's permission to proceed under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Sahara with regard to certain properties abroad. But the court said it would deal
with the ED's application on February 27, the next date of hearing. Appearing for Sebi, Pratap Venugopal said along with interest, the total amount due from the group as per the apex court's order was £4.70 billion, of which it had deposited a little over £1.10 billion. Sibal assured the court that the group had decided to pay up but needed time as it was facing hard times because of demonetisation. The bench asked the group to give a list of unencumbered properties by February 27 despite Sibal pleading that there had been developments which had not been placed before the court. “The income tax department has found that 85% of the investors have got refund of their amount. I want two hours to convince the court that there is nothing due from the group anymore,” Sibal said.
Tata Sons shareholders remove Mistry from board Shareholders at the extraordinary general meeting passed, with the requisite majority, a resolution to remove Cyrus P Mistry as a Director of Tata Sons Ltd, the Tata Group’s holding firm said. Tata Sons, the holding company of the $100 billion salt-tosoftware Tata conglomerate, had called for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) last month to remove Mistry from its board. However, Mistry had challenged the move. Last week, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) had dis-
missed petitions by two investment firms, backed by Mistry family, against holding the EGM. Mistry camp had moved the NCLAT after the Mumbai bench of National
8th failed Trishneet Arora a big name in business The 23- year- old Trishneet Arora has a lot going on in his plate, including a multimillion dollar business built at the young age of 21. Head of TAC Security, a firm that works in cyber security, Arora became obsessed with computers and hacking since he was in the 8th grade. "I was so immersed in computing and hacking that I could not study for two subjects. I did not appear for them and failed in Std 8," he said. While most big career achievements are backed with a stellar academic performance, Arora was an outcast with his bad grades. However, he had his mind set on what he wanted to do, and quit regular schooling to start giving his entire time to his passion. Trishneet kept updating himself on the latest in the hacking world and realised that data were stolen from several companies and being misused. It wasn't until he proved it, that people took him seriously. At the age of 22, he founded TAC Security and roped in
Reliance, CBI, Punjab police, Gujarat police, Amul, and Avon Cycles as his clients. Despite a lack of proper, formal training, Arora has managed to get 50 of Fortune 500 companies in his client list. Today, his business makes a turnover that runs in millions of rupees every year, and he has offices in Dubai and United Kingdom. He has also authored three books namely Hacking Talk with Trishneet Arora, The Hacking Era, and Hacking with Smart Phones.
Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had on January 31 refused to grant any relief. Tata Sons had abruptly removed Mistry as its Chairman on October 24 last year and sought his ouster from operating companies like Tata Motors and TCS. Mistry subsequently resigned from the board of six companies but dragged Tata Sons and his interim successor Ratan Tata to the NCLT. After the board meeting of October 24, 2016, Tata Sons had resolved that Mistry shall, notwithstanding his ceasing to be the
Chairman, continue as a director of the company. But his conduct thereafter in levelling “unsubstantiated” allegations and causing “enormous harm” to Tata Group had made his continuation as a Director of Tata Sons “untenable” and therefore, he should be removed, Tata Sons had said in a notice seeking Extraordinary General Meeting on February 6. Mistry’s family owns an 18.4% stake in Tata Sons, but a majority interest is controlled by a series of Trusts chaired by Tata family patriarch Ratan Tata.
Panel questions Trai's fine on Airtel, Vodafone & Idea An inter-ministerial panel has sought clarifications from Trai over the regulator's decision to recommend £305 million penalty on Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular for allegedly denying interconnect points to Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio. Clarifications include a query on whether Trai has the power to recommend financial penalty on mobile operators. The telecom commission has also raised questions on various parameters that the regulator used to arrive at its findings on the interconnect matter, official sources said.“They have been asked to submit their views over the next fortnight,” a source said. Sources said the government wants to be “sure of legalities” before arriving at any decision on Trai's recommendation on penalty. “We need to make sure that any final decision is legally tenable, and is consistent with various provisions listed in the act governing Trai,” the source said.
Other queries include whether a 90-day period was given to Airtel, Vodafone and Idea for providing points of interconnect to Jio. “The commission has asked about the methodology that Trai adopted to calculate a penalty of £5 million per telecom circle for violations. Clarity has also been sought on the period during which the congestion levels and quality of services on Jio's network were measured,” the source said. The commission, which needs to take a final view on the matter, raised the queries based on findings of an internal committee of the telecom ministry that felt that Trai needs to clarify its position on some of the issues. Trai had in October recommended penalty on top telcos (£105 million on Airtel and Vodafone each and £95 million on Idea Cellular) after an inquiry, which was initiated following a complaint from Jio over massive call failures on its network.
BUSINESS Asian Voice | 11th February 2017
India to abolish FIPB, more Budget will strengthen the economic muscle: Pankaj Patel measures to attract FDI AsianVoiceNews
The government of India had announced key reform measures, including abolition of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, cleaning up of the electoral funding process and a sharp cut of 5 per cent points in the tax rate for MSME sector. However, the annual Budget presented last week, refrained from taking specific measures on the twin balance sheet problem of over-indebted companies and the banking sector hamstrung by a mountain of stressed assets. India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that with more than 90 per cent of the foreign direct investment proposals coming through the automatic route, it was only logical to phase out the FIPB, the body that clears FDI plans up to ÂŁ 500 million. The government will announce more measures to attract FDI, reform labour laws and push digital payments. "A roadmap for (abolishing FIPB) will be announced in the next few months. In the meantime, further liberalisation of FDI policy is under consideration and necessary announcements will be made in due course," Jaitley said. FDI
has increased by 30 per cent to $21.62 billion during April-September this fiscal. Ratings agency Moody's said the Budget for 2017-18 was "fiscally prudent" and the steps on increasing FDI would bolster stable balanced growth. William Foster, Vice President, Sovereign Risk Group, Moody's Investors Service, said, "Measures that effectively foster higher Foreign Direct Investment would be credit positive by bolstering stable and balanced growth and providing stable financing for the current account deficit. India's external vulnerability is currently low, a support to the rating." FIPB was initially constituted under the Prime Minister's Office during the economic liberalisation phase in the 1990s. The Budget also announced removal of various duties on machines used for electronic transactions, introduction of an Aadhaar-based payment system called Aadhaar Pay, strengthening payment infrastructure and grievance handling mechanisms, among others, all in a bid to push digital payments. Jaitley said the govern-
ment would simplify labour laws into four codes on wages, industrial relations, social security, and welfare and safety & working conditions. He chose to stick to the existing Indradhanush plan as opposed to market expectations of a significant increase in capital support to state owned banks battling high non-performing assets. "Some would argue that the FM has missed the nub of the economy's problem - the "twin balance sheet" crisis that the Economic Survey pointed at. This is the familiar problem of over-indebted companies' inability to service debt and the resultant strain on bank balance sheets that continues to worsen," said HDFC Bank Chief Economist Abheek Barua. "The survey's suggestion to use some of the windfall from the note-ban to capitalise a publicly funded 'bad bank' seemed eminently sensible but finds no mention in the budget. Besides, the piffling amount of ÂŁ1 billion allocated for bank recapitalisation might raise suspicions that the government is yet to fully recognise the enormity of this problem," he added.
FICCI president Pankaj Patel called the Indian budget 2017-18 "directionally correct" and one that "strengthens the governance fabric of the nation." Commenting on the budget, Patel said, "This budget would tremendously strengthen the economic muscle of the country. It is directionally correct, fiscally prudent, and strengthens the governance fabric of the nation. FICCI compliments the Finance Minister on his vision for the economy which alongside economic growth also ensures economic justice. Growth without inclusion can be a liability for the country." He also added, "I think the biggest takeaway from the budget is the reform introduced in the area of political funding. The demonetisation move of the government was an attack on the stock of black money and the measures announced in the budget on electoral funding will help attack the root cause of corruption of India. FICCI had represented to the government for bringing in such measures that will enhance transparency in line with the tenets of good governance. I give full marks to the government for this bold
and pragmatic measure." The government this year, has pursued its objective to double the income of farmers in five years' time, the government has significantly enhanced the allocation under most of the agrieconomy directed schemes and programs including those related to farm credit, crop insurance, soil health, irrigation, market infrastructure, dairy farming and all. "All these efforts including the all-time high annual allocation for the reformed MNREGA scheme will not only help improve the income levels in the rural areas of the country but also help generate a swathe of new jobs across vast parts of the nation. This is a clear boost for generating demand on a large scale," Patel said. FICCI has often emphasised the need to have a strong education and skill
development framework in the country to capitalise on the demographic dividend that the country has. This year's budget contains several measures that would move us closer to realising this. "We have been working in some of these areas and will continue supporting the government in these endeavours." Prudent and pragmatic budget: CII President The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in its comment on the budget said it unleashes multiple instruments to revive demand and encourage investments, simultaneously prioritising the needs of vulnerable sections of society. "The Finance Ministry is to be complimented for delivering a prudent and pragmatic Budget that caters to most sectors of the economy. Industry welcomes the cut in personal and corporate income tax rates. The economic reform agenda continues at a rapid pace, said Dr Naushad Forbes, President, CII. He also congratulated the Finance Minister for maintaining a check on the fiscal deficit despite the overwhelming need to raise public expenditure to boost growth.
Trump travel ban: Criticism from many Muslim countries remains muted Asian Voice | 11th February 2017
While the US appeals court may have denied the justice department’s request for an immediate reinstatement of Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban on immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen – the Trump administration has been steadfast in its support of the executive order, which it says is necessary for national security. Trump has said the travel ban is designed to reduce the risk of terror attacks in the US. But terror experts have concluded – from 2001 onwards after the WTC hijacked-plane attacks – no one from the seven banned countries has committed a deadly attack in the US. In fact, no Muslim citizen from these countries has committed a fatal attack on US soil since 1975. On the contrary, the 9/11 attacks were carried out by 19 men – from Saudi Arabia (15), United Arab Emirates (2), Egypt (1) and Lebanon (1). Surprisingly, the ban targeted none of the hijackers’
origin countries. As the Institute of Policy Studies, a progressive think tank, points out: “It’s no accident that of the seven countries identified, the US is bombing five (Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Somalia), has troops deployed and military bases in another (Sudan), and imposes harsh sanctions and frequent threats against the last (Iran).” But the irony is many of the refugees in these countries are a product of wars waged by the US itself. Also President Trump happens to have no business holdings in any of these countries.
Many across the world, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have come down heavily on Trump for his travel ban decision. While the governments from two banned Muslim countries (Iran and Iraq) have vowed to retaliate, surprisingly, the criticism from rest of the Muslim-majority countries has been muted. US allies like the UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have not condemned Trump’s executive order. While Saudi Arabia is the largest international sponsor
of Islamic militant groups and among the largest exporters of fighters to Islamic State, the US has looked the other way to these concerns due to the strong arms-trade ties between the two countries. Also, Egyptian President General Abdel Fateh El Sisi was the first leader to congratulate Trump on his unprecedented election victory. Trump has important business stakes in all these countries. His daughter Ivanka said in 2015 that their firm was looking at “multiple opportunities in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Saudi Arabia – the four areas where we are seeing the most interest”. Much to the shock and surprise of the Muslim world, a top diplomat from the UAE came out in defence of Trump’s order saying the US was within its rights to take what he said was a “sovereign decision” concerning immigration. The comments by Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan could help bolster the US administration’s assertion that the directive was not intended as a ban against Muslims.
Hafiz Saeed-led JuD rebrands under new name ISLAMABAD: Jamaat-udDawa has rebranded under new name, Tehreek Azadi Jammu and Kashmir (TAJK), mere days after its chief Hafiz Saeed was put under house arrest and a crackdown was launched on the organisation's activities. Mastermind behind the Mumbai attack, Saeed had hinted at a launch of TAJK to "expedite the freedom of Kashmir." The rebranding is just proof that he was aware of the official plans and had already worked out his way to survive after the clampdown. Official sources confirmed that the two organisations-JuD and Falah-e-
Insaniat Foundation (FIF), have begun activities under the new name of TAJK and were planning to organise events on February 5, which is observed as Kashmir Day in Pakistan. TAJK banners have been put up for display in Lahore, and other cities,
and the group is also planning to hold a big Kashmir conference in Lahore on Sunday, after the evening prayers. The group has reactivated its donations centres and ambulance services in different districts of Punjab, including Lahore, which is the hub of its activities. A police official said law enforcement agencies were keeping a close eye on the activities of Saeed's network and appropriate action would be taken. "It is a sensitive issue and a measured response is needed to fulfil the international obligations of the country and deal with any possible fallout due to protest by followers of
Saeed," he said. JuD and FIF offices were closed following Saeed's house arrest. Both of them have also been put on observation under the AntiTerrorism Act, 1997. Earlier, the government placed Saeed and his four accomplices Abdullah Ubaid, Zafar Iqbal, Abdur Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Niaz, under house arrest in Lahore. Meanwhile, India said that "concrete evidence" needed to proceed against Saeed is available in Pakistan and it needs to have the political will to act against the 26/11 terror mastermind.
Afghanistan still in turmoil despite huge US investments KABUL: Barack Obama had said in his campaign speech: “As President, I will make the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban the top priority that it should be. This is a war that we have to win.” However, Obama could not keep his ambitious promise of winding up the military mission in Afghanistan, and now the Donald Trump administration is grappling with how to move forward in what has become America’s longest war. Trump had reportedly told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on a phone call in December that he would consider increasing the US troops in Afghanistan. At the same time, Trump has promised to end “nation building” and focus on domestic issues.
Despite investing huge money in Afghanistan and paying a huge price in terms of blood over the past 16 years, the US has been unable to stabilise the country. The US has hitherto spent over $850 billion on the Afghanistan war, half of US construction aid going into building, equipping and training Afghan forces, but it has not borne the desired results. The country is far from secure. The barbaric bombings near Parliament in Kabul and in Kandahar city on January 10 this year highlight the poor state of security in Afghanistan. Nearly 100 people were killed, including five diplomats from the UAE, the deputy governor, security officials and civilians while
Kandahar governor and UAE ambassador were wounded among several others. The territory under government control has come down from 72% in November 2015 to 63.4% in August 2016. Afghan Taliban courts still adjudicate the local disputes, and resultantly men and women are executed publicly as per their rulings. The Afghan economy is in a shambles. Resurgent Taliban forces are gaining ground in the countryside. Despite an international investment of several billion dollars in counter-narcotics initiatives, the opium trade remains a pillar of the economy and a key source of revenue for the insurgency. The US armed forces took on the Taliban in 2001
as the group had provided a safe haven for Al Qaeda, which was based there when it planned the WTC attacks. The administration’s current strategy commits the US to keeping roughly 8,400 troops in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future. The goal has been to persuade the Taliban to the negotiating table by beating them on the battlefield, a prospect that now seems remote. Afghan forces endured over 18,500 casualties last year, according to figures from the Afghan government. Gen Joseph Dunford, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, and Gen John Nicholson, the commander of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, had described the enduring conflict as a “stalemate” last September.
Indian-American to build 8 cricket stadiums in US
WASHINGTON: An Indian-American cricket enthusiast has announced plans to build at least eight cricket stadiums across the US, at an estimated cost of US $2.4 billion to professionalise the game in the country. The proposed stadiums, each with a capacity of 26,000 people in New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Illinois, and California, would create as many as 17,800 new jobs in the US, said chairman of Global Sports Ventures, Jignesh Pandya. "So, there is a great market and readymade audience for cricket in the US," he said.
Kuwait bans visa for 5 Muslimmajority nations
KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait has suspended issuance of visas for nationals from Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Following US President Donald Trump's controversial ban on seven Muslim-majority countries last week, Kuwaiti government has told would-be migrants from the five banned nations to not apply for visas, as it is worried about the possible migration of radical Islamic terrorists. As a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Kuwait remains stuck in escalated tensions between the GCC and Iran. It is the only nation to prohibit entry of Syrian nationals prior to Trump's executive action- issuing a suspension of visas for all Syrians in 2011.
Afghan diplomat killed in Karachi firing
KARACHI: An official of the Afghan consulate in Karachi was fatally shot by a guard. The Third Secretary at the consulate, Zaki Adu, was killed by private security guard Hayatullah following a disagreement between the two, said Deputy Inspector General Azad Khan. He added that the guard was arrested. He added that the incident did not appear to be an act of terrorism. Pakistan Police and Rangers have cordoned off the highly sensitive area which remains home to foreign missions.
Avalanches claim 107 lives in Afghanistan
KABUL: An Afghan official reported that at least 107 people have been killed in recent days by avalanches caused by heavy snow in different parts of the country, almost doubling an earlier death toll estimate of 54. Spokesman for the Afghan State Minister for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs, Omer Mohammadi said that over 65 others have been injured and more than 150 homes destroyed by the avalanches. He said many of the newest fatalities come from Nuristan province, near Pakistan border where two villages were buried in snow, and that rescue teams have so far recovered 48 bodies from those villages.
Indian-origin woman 6th to die in Australia car rampage
MELBOURNE: A 33-year old Indian-origin woman became the sixth victim of an "intentional" road rampage, 10 days after she was critically injured in the accident at a busy street in Australia's second-largest city. Director at a global accounting firm in Melbourne, Bhavita Pael died in the hospital after her family decided to turn off her life support after the fatal accident on January 20. Doctors relentlessly tried to save her, but her condition did not improve and she lay unresponsive in hospital. Patel was walking back to work when she was mowed down by speeding car that rammed into several pedestrians on Bourke street, killing five people including two children, and injuring 31 others.
China tests missile with 10 N-warheads
BEIJING: China has reportedly tested a new version of missile capable of carrying up to 10 nuclear warheads, signalling a major shift in its nuclear capability as Beijing prepares for a possible military showdown with Trump's US. Flight test for DF-5C missile was carried out last month using 10 multiple independently targettable re-entry vehicles, or MIRVs. Two officials familiar with reports of the missile test, said test of the inert warheads was monitored closely by US intelligence agencies.
Eleven Years of Success
Celebrating 11 years of success of the Indian Bureau of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar (UK), ABPL Group held a dazzling evening filled with laughter and warm camaraderie. Publisher/Editor CB Patel, who was on his annual visit to India commenced an event that saw journalists, writers, political leaders, and well wishers in attendance. The anniversary day actually falls on 16th February. Held at the Fortune Park hotel, on 28 January, the programme began with the lighting of a lamp by Padma Shri awardee Vishnu Pandya, revered journalist Bhupatrai Parekh, GCCI NRG Committee Chairman KH Patel, CB Patel, Managing Editor Kokila Patel, and Senior sub-editor Khushali Dave. This was followed by a musical performance by Maya Dipak. Host for the evening, Dhvaita Joshi introduced her as a member of the ABPL Group. Captivating the audience with her melodious voice, Mayaben set a pleasing tone for the rest of the night. Seated amongst the audience were Officer on Special Duty, Communication & Public Relations at the CMO, Bhagyesh Jha, Akruti Promotions and Media Managing Director Pankaj Mudholkar, Nav Gujarat Samay Editor Ajay Umat, Dr Mafatlal Patel, Balwant Jani, Dr Hari Desai, Dr Teena Doshi, Dr Rizwan Kadri, and Kenya-based reader and well-wisher Ashwin Doshi, who had specially flown in from Mumbai. Speaking on the occasion, AB Publication (India) Pvt Ltd, Director and distinguished Oncologist, Dr Bhavesh Parekh welcomed guests.
(L-R) Kokilaben, Bhupatrai Parekh, and CB honour Padma Shri awardee Vishnu Pandya with a shawl
"By inviting everybody once a year, CB builds a bridge allowing all of us to get together. I welcome all of you, and congratulate Bhupatrai Parekh and Kokilaben, for their key contributions in the launching of the India office,â€? said Dr Bhavesh Parekh. The welcome speech was followed by a visual clipping of CB's life journey. Showcasing his struggles, movements, successes and his political journey, the video summed up the reason ABPL remains up and running today. Taking the stage next, Kokilaben gave a vibrant effusion on how she didn't expect such an overwhelming presence at the event. "Our group has constantly worked for the rights of Indians, British Asians, and Gujaratis settled in the UK.
Be it the opening of the Hare Krishna temple at Watford or the commencing of the LondonAhmedabad direct flight, we have successfully ran petitions along with our readers and community members," she said. She also recalled the time Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned CB during his first Wembley address. "Announcing the launch of the direct LondonAhmedabad flight, he called CB his friend." "We also release several other issues along with Gujarat Samachar (UK) and Asian Voice. We organise awards such as Shravan Sanman, Vadil Sanman, Saraswat Sanman, and other similar programmes. ABPL India Bureau has been functioning for the past 11 years. I have been associated with CB for 34
years. I had no knowledge regarding journalism,, but it was his encouragement and support that helped me learn all I need to know. It was under him, that all of us - Bhupatbhai, Balwant Jani, Hari Bhai, Tinaben, Bharatbhai Vyas, Pravinaben Patel, and Dhruvbhai Gadhvi, remain connected for the past several years.â€? Next, in a gesture to congratulate Vishnu Pandya on his Padma Shri, CB and Bhupatrai presented him with a shawl, and flowers. It was followed by a similar honour for Dr Urvi Parekh, by Kokilaben and Pravinaben. Bhupatrai took the mike to give a short thank you speech. He stated that Gujarat Samachar (UK) is not just a newspaper, it is an institution, and so is CB. "Not just behind the commencement of the LondonAhmedabad direct flight, CB also initiated a move for retaining Sardar Patel's UK home." He gave special thanks to Mombasa-based Ashwin Doshi and Kokilaben. Jatin Gandhi, owner of Tanishk and Shaswat Gandhi showrooms, explained the importance of print media. He said, "I have known CB and Gujarat Samachar for several years, but it was today, that I actually came to know him closely. Congratulations to the India office for completing 11 years successfully. I am thankful to its cordial and supportive team. Under CB's able leadership, these publications have so far, done charity worth 7 million pounds. Print media is very powerful. The extent of its capabilities can be seen in CB's work." Finally, the man of the hour, CB Patel took centre stage, and announced
INDIA Asian Voice | 11th February 2017
(L-R) Balwant Jani, Bhagyesh Jha, Ajay Umat, and CB Patel honour Jaysukh Mehta
(L-R) Dipak Panchal and Mayaben Dipak are honoured by Actress Bhavini Jani
Padma Shri Vishnu Pandya as the honorary Editor of Gujarat Samachar (UK). "Gujarat Samachar will complete 45 years in May 2017. The company doesn't owe a single debt. In our offices, there are no employees, just friends working together, and I, for certain, am not their 'boss'," he said. He thanked Pankaj Mudholkar, Dr Jayesh Patel, Bhagyesh Jha, Rajesh Patel, Bharatbhai Vyas, Rameshbhai Patel, Balwant Jani, Dr Keyur Buch, Dr Kunjal Buch, and Manish Mehta, for their contribution and encouragement. Several friends and associates were honoured as the company patrons. Recipients included CB's childhood friend Jaysukh Mehta, Maya Dipak and her husband Dipak, Bhagyesh Jha, and Vejabhai Ravaliya and wife Saakarben. People working
in the India office for over five years were awarded a certificate of appreciation. Vikram Nayak, who has been working with the office since the first day as a Graphic Designer, Accounts Manager Hardik Shah, Asian Voice News Editor KK Joseph, Graphic Designer Mukesh Patel, and Bureau Chief Nilesh Parmar received the awards. Lastly, the crowd was addressed by Bhagyesh Jha, who said, "The mentality today is that nobody reads literature, and there is nothing worth reading in newspapers. Languages today are missing their potency, and the rising number of means of communication are just increasing the gap. Which is why, we will have to make all efforts to keep it alive, and if we work together, we can be successful."
Ustad Imrat Khan turns down Padma Shri Legendary sitar and surbahar maestro Ustad Imrat Khan has refused to accept the prestigious Padma Shri award offered by the Indian government, citing the honour comes decades too late. In a letter written to the Indian Consulate in Chicago, he said, "At the last moments of my life at the age of 82, the Government of India has chosen to recognise me with the Padma Shri award. While I acknowledge the good intentions behind this move; I have mixed feelings about it without holding any prejudice, to the purpose of this award which comes perhaps many decades latewhile my juniors receive the Padma Bhushan." With a pedigree tracing back to court musicians of Mughal rulers, Ustad Imrat Khan has enjoyed years of
sented to me is not parallel to my worldwide reputation and contributions in the name of the pure arts
Ustad Imrat Khan
music and is touted to be one of the best players of the surbahar- a deeptoned, sitar-like stringed instrument. Further writing in his letter, Khan said, "I do not expect at this moment in my life that my
devotion and contributions be diminished to a level lower than my followers, students and sons - by age or reputation. I have never compromised in my life. Why should I compromise now when this award pre-
and culture of India? This is not a matter of selfaggrandizement but an issue of propriety towards the trust, faith and recognition bestowed on me by the greatest masters of the golden era of India classical
music. It is also about cherishing this legacy." While the refusal has garnered mixed responses, sitarist Amita Dalal seconds his decision, explaining why a Padma Shri for someone his age does not suffice. "It is not a question of refusing, look at the age factor. People who are junior to him, who were not even born, they got Padma Shri. Now, maybe he is not performing as much as he did in those times, but at his age, to start with a Padma Shri? No! They should have given him straight Padma Bhushan. Taking into account, what he has done with Surbahar, Sitar, performances he has done in his time, he should have been given a respectful honour. So if you start with Padma Shri, when his juniors have already received it, so what do you
do with his maturity and his vision and his experience? What recognition is this? I think he did the right thing." Music composer Amit Thakkar although, had a more passive response to the turn down. "An honour like this, is being given to your art," he said. "It is your art that is being revered. Be it the government, or the society, their lack of timely consideration to honour you, is their fault and is not worth forgiving. However, if you put yourself- your ego, your self-respect, before your work, only then will a person refuse such an award. If their art comes first, then what does it matter when it was recognised? It also needs to be said that this is a personal matter and if Imratji refused to accept the honour, then it is his decision."
Sasikala to become new Tamil Nadu CM Asian Voice | 11th February 2017
CHENNAI: "I resign. We elect Chinnamma unanimously as the legislature party leader," said Panneerselvam at an AIADMK party meet. General secretary VK Sasikala was unanimously elected to become the third woman chief minister of Tamil Nadu. The swearing-in ceremony is likely to take place this week. Her name was proposed by CM O Panneerselvam and was seconded by the party MLAs at the party headquarters. A total of 134 MLAs signed the resolution, backing Sasikala to take over as CM. Hours after the meeting, Panneerselvam gave his resignation letter to governor C
Vidyasagar Rao, citing personal reasons for his move. "Accept my resignation and relieve the council of ministers appointed by me on December 6," he wrote in the letter. He also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and
Maran bros discharged in Aircel-Maxis case NEW DELHI: Most of the accused in the Aircel-Maxis case, including former union telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his industrialist brother Kalanidhi, have been discharged by a special CBI court. The court said that "no prima facie case warranting framing of charge against any of the accused is made out" as the charges against them are based on "misreading of official files" and speculation and surmises of the complainant. Following a complaint from Chennai-based telecom promoter C Sivasankaran, the Marans along with others, were charged with criminal conspiracy and corruption for receiving "proceeds of crime", totalling ÂŁ74.25 and laundering the amount. However, special CBI judge O P Saini observed there was no existence of proceeds of crime. He said that the fact that the Marans are brothers and shareholders in companies, are not indicative of any conspira-
Kalanithi Maran and Dayanidhi Maran
cy, as he discharged the accuses. "I may indicate their close association but nothing beyond that," he said. Saini said, "These (facts) may create a perception or suspicion that the money received in the company of Kalanithi Maran was meant for Dayanidhi, but perception or suspicion are not enough for criminal prosecution. The perception or suspicion is required to be investigated and supported by legally admissible evidence, which is wholly lacking in this case." He added that he was "satisfied... that the entire case is based on contradictory statements of the witnesses."
78% voter turnout in Punjab assembly election CHANDIGARH: Punjab registered a record 78 per cent polling in the high-stakes assembly elections amid technical snags and sporadic incidents of violence. Additional director general of police VK Bhawra said, "Barring stray incidents of violence, the polling in single-phase remained peaceful." Two people were injured in a clash which took place between AAP and Congress workers at Sultanpur village in Sangrur district. SAD-BJP, Congress, and the AAP have all locked horns in a triangular contest. In Ferozepur's Guru Har Sahai segment, unidentified miscreants fired gunshots in the air, triggering panic. Another, incident involved AAP candidate of Dera Baba Nanak segment being booked for allegedly using undue influence on the complaint of Congress nominee. At least 187 voter-verified paper audit trail machines that were installed for the first time in the ongoing polls, developed snags during the polling process. As many as 538
VVPAT machines developed glitches during the mock poll. Punjab CEO VK Singh called it a "logistic nightmare." Such episodes were reported the most in Majitha, Muktsar, Sangrur, Barnala, and Bathinda constituencies. "We will see the report of the returning officer and take a call on whether a repoll will be held or not," Singh said. A polling station in Moga is heading for a repoll as the polling staff included 50 mock poll votes in the actual voting, by mistake. One hundred and ninety five electronic voting machines developed technical snag during the mock poll and 47 turned faulty during the polling. Over 100,000 paramilitary personnel were deployed in the state for smooth conduct of polls. The Election Commission said more than 80 per cent voters exercised their franchise in districts such as Fatehgarh Sahib, Faridkot, and Sangrur. Experts said this clearly indicated a fiercely fought threecornered battle in Malwa.
the governor for extending all support and cooperation during his short tenure as chief minister. Earlier, the CM and other MLAs met Sasikala at the Poes Garden residence of the late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, where she continues to live. While the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the government's activities, issues pertaining various constituencies and the manner in which Jayalalithaa's birth anniversary on February 24 is to be celebrated. Minutes later, Sasikala was elected, after which she said, "I accept your decision that one person alone should be the general
secretary of the party and chief minister of Tamil Nadu." Setback to Sasikala in FERA cases: Sasikala, meanwhile, suffered a legal setback when the Madras High Court refused to discharge her from three cases filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in 1995 and 1996 on charges of violating the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) of 1973. The case relates to payments made in US and Singapore dollars to foreign firms for hiring transponders and uplink facilities for J. Jay TV (the predecessor of Jaya TV), which was earlier telecast under the logo of JJ TV.
Teen dies while people shot videos in Karnataka BENGALURU: In yet another incident that makes us question humanity, a teenager in Karnataka bled on the road as people, instead of helping him, chose to take photos and videos on their phones instead. Anwar Ali, 18 was on his bike on a busy highway when he was first hit and then run over by a staterun bus in Koppal, 380 km from Bengaluru. "No one came to his help, they were shooting video and clicking pictures. If someone had cared, my brother could have been saved. More than 15 to 20 minutes were wasted there," his brother Riaz said. Videos were shared across the nation, showing the teen begging for help, surrounded by blood. He was offered no help for a good 25 minutes, before someone took him to a hospital. An eye witness said, "The doctor at the hospital said you've come too late. He's lost a lot of blood. We tried our best. The last thing he wanted to do was speak to his mother but he couldn't." This happened in
Karnataka, the first state to introduce the Good Samaritan and Medical Professionals Bill to encourage people to rush accident victims to hospital within the golden hour. While the bill awaits the assent of the Governor, this is the third social media death this year. On January 28, a policeman died of injuries suffered in a head-on collision on a highway near Mysuru. He would have lived had onlookers helped him instead of taking photos. Before that, a girl called for her mother during her last breaths, following an accident, as people just stood and recorded her on video. "It is most unfortunate that bystanders did nothing to save the young life and continued shooting pictures. With proper support from bystanders and appropriate medical care during the golden hour, 50 per cent of road accident deaths can be curbed," said Dr Nandakumar Jairam, chairman and medical director, Columbia Asia Hospitals.
Jats continue peaceful agitation for quota CHANDIGARH: The ongoing Jat quota agitation in Haryana, continues with no untoward incidents reported anywhere. As elaborate security arrangements were made, Jats held dharnas across the state. The fresh stir was called by several Jat outfits, especially those owing allegiance to All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti, headed by Yashpal Malik. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattas said "everyone in a democracy has the right to demonstrate peacefully without impairing law and order." "We had a meeting with one group of Jat leaders recently where the government accepted their demand to give jobs to the next of kin of those who had lost their lives in the agitation last year. Process has been initiated for the same," he said. Paramilitary forces have been called out in sensitive areas in
Haryana, while heavy police force has been deployed to maintain strict vigil. Similar protests last year had led to 30 deaths and widespread destruction of property. Officials said Haryana has been kept on high alert this time. The worst affected areas were Rohtak, Sonipat, and Jhajjar last time. Other than the demand for their quota, the agitators are also demanding release of Jat youths who were arrested and put behind bars last year, withdrawal of cases registered during last year's agitation and grant of government jobs to the kin of those killed and injured in the agitation last year.
Classical dancer dies during stage performance
KOCHI (KERALA): A 48-year-old professional classical dancer collapsed and died while performing Bharathanatyam with his guru during a temple festival in Paravur near here. The audience enjoying the Bharathanatyam thought falling down of dancer Omanakuttan on the stage was part of the performance. However, his Guru Sivan Malyankara who noticed Omanakkuttan suddenly losing his footing and falling down stopped the performance. Omanakuttan was rushed to a hospital but was declared brought dead. Omanakuttan had been an active classical dancer for over 25 years and had staged dance performances at 400 stages in Bihar as part of the national literacy mission.
Medical student chased and set on fire
KOTTAYAM (KERALA): A 20 year old medical student was set on fire by her ex-boyfriend. Laxmi was sitting in a classroom with a few other students when Adarsh, 26, barged in and poured petrol on her and himself. While she ran out of the room screaming, he caught up with her and used a lighter to set her on fire, before he set himself ablaze. Both of them died of severe burns in a hospital. Laxmi died of 65 per cent burns. Police said Adarsh was allegedly furious at Laxmi for breaking up with him. There weren't a lot of students in college that day. The accused was not stopped as he had come to the college the day before, for an exam. Two students who tried to save Laxmi, also received burns and are now being treated.
Chennai oil spill: 90% sludge removed from affected area
CHENNAI: The outgoing Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam visited Ennore, outside Chennai and said that 90 per cent of the oil sludge has been cleared after two ships collided and spilled 20 tonnes of oil along the coastline. The sludge removal work will be completed in a day of two, he said. He added that the department of fisheries and revenue were working towards providing relief to fishermen, who have been deeply affected by the oil spill. While the spill has been extended to 12 km along the Tamil Nadu coastline, 75 metric tonnes of sludge has been removed. The spill's impact on aquaculture and coastal vegetation remains unclear.
Punjab blasts toll rises to 5
BATHINDA: The death toll from the high intensity blasts that occurred in two parked cars during a political road show in Bathinda district has risen to 5 with the passing away of two more injured people. Ten critically injured people were currently undergoing treatment at hospitals. The blasts ripped through the site where several local Congress politicians had joined. Cops are not ruling out foul play. According to reports, the cars were fitted with LPG cylinders or had gas cylinders stored in it. "Nothing can be ruled out. It's also possible that a pressure cooker was used to trigger the blasts," said a senior police officer. "Both the vehicles sported fake number plates. Even their chassis and engine numbers had been struck off," he said.
Chandigarh airport sends back chartered flight from US
CHANDIGARH: Chandigarh airport may have begun international operations, but its facilities remain incomplete. The state government got a reality check, when a chartered flight from the USA with six people on board was sent to New Delhi after a four-hour wait as the airport did not have the e-immigration check facility. The plane carried a US delegation that was to participate in a programme at the Institute of Microbiology Technology, Chandigarh, Sector 39. Head of Immigration, Sanjeev Kumar refused to give any comments. Executive vice-president and chief scientific officer of Johnson & Johnson, USA, Dr Paul Stoffels, who was leading the group, was to deliver a lecture at IMTECH. The programme stood cancelled. Other facilities missing at the airport are Wi-Fi, money exchange, additional ATMs, and duty-free shops.
HERITAGE - HISTORY Asian Voice | 11th February 2017
Deendayal Upadhyaya, the Great Indian Thinker AsianVoiceNews
The forgotten right-wing hero is an inspiration for PM Modi’s BJP
Dr Hari Desai The history in making keeps on taking new routes. The BJP, the new Avatar of Jan Sangh, the right-wing political party established in 1951 by Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, is at the helm of the affairs in India with Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister. On December 31, 2016, Modi, among other things, said, “India is celebrating the centenary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya (September 25, 1916 – February 11, 1968) as Garib Kalyan Varsh (Year of the welfare of the poor).” Modi named him
among the three greatest thinkers of the past century, along with Mahatma Gandhi and Ram Manohar Lohia. Unlike Gandhi and Lohia, who studied in England and Germany respectively, Deendayal was solely a product of an Indian University. One more visible difference was Gandhi and Lohia were part of the Congress movement for independence where as Deendayal was attracted to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1937, became a full-time Pracharak in 1942 and got involved in anti-Congress politics of Jan Sangh only in 1951, after the independence of India. The RSS was established by a Congressman Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar
the first time. PM Modi drawing inspiration from Deendayal is but natural, as Deendayal was the pioneer of the Indianised philosophy of Jan Sangh and his innovative concept of Ekatma Manavvad (Integral Humanism), closer to that of Mahatma Gandhi’s Sarvodaya, welfare of all. The first convention of BJP, under the chairmanship of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, held in Mumbai in 1980 accepted the Gandhian Socialism despite opposition from Rajmata Scindia and Bhairosingh Shekhawat. Later even the BJP preferred to return to Ekatma Manavvad, the piller of Jan Sangh ideology rejecting Gandhian Socialism. Even when Vajpayee became the non-Congress PM of India,
Perfect Team: Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Pt Deendayal
in 1925 who continued to be associated with Congress party till 1937, according to Dattopant Thengadi in “Sanket-Rekha”. The year 1937 was a turning point in Indian history. It is interesting to note that both Lohia, a socialist leader, and Deendayal, a Jan Sangh leader, joined hands in 1967 and formed an antiCongress front leading to the formation of Samvid governments in various northern Indian states which became the biggest political challenge to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for
he could not assert on the ideological philosophy as his fate depended on a 24-party coalition. But as of now when Modi is heading the Indian government where the BJP has absolute majority in the Lok Sabha, he can afford to assert on ideological basis. A master strategist as Modi is, he may create a combination of Gandhi, Subhas Chandra Bose, Savarkar, Dr Ambedkar, Deendayal and even K Kamraj as his vote catching strategy suits. But he was brought up in RSS and that
organisation has moulded his basic convictions. PM Modi is waiting to gain majority in the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Indian Parliament, for which he is keen on winning the Assembly elections in various states. Once he has majority in both the Houses of the Parliament, he can safely implement his darling agenda. “Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya is our inspiration,” Modi wrote in Septembe 2015. “From his life, we learn how an individual completely devoted himself to the well-being of the nation and the service of the poor. As a political organiser, his work was legendary. Without getting trapped in the lure for power he continued to work, selflessly.” Unfortunately, Deendayal met with an accidental death in February 1968 at the age of 51 as was the case of Dr Mookerjee, the first President of Jan Sangh in 1953. Deendayal was elected President of Jan Sangh at Kozikode (Kerala) session only in December 1967. His dead body was found on the railway track near Mughalsari Raiway Station. The mystery of his death is not yet solved despite a CBI inquiry followed by Justice Chandrachud Inquiry Commission. Even his bitterest political opponent PM Indira Gandhi paid rich tribute to this great son of India: “I have been greatly shocked at the news of Shri Upadhyaya’s death. Shri Upadhyaya was playing a leading role in the political life of the country. His untimely and unexpected death in such tragic circumstances has left his work incomplete. Whatever the differences between the Jan Sangh and the Congress, Shri Upadhyaya was the most respected leader and he had dedicated his life to
the integrity and culture of the country.” Balraj Madhok, the late President of Jan Sangh, in the third part of his autobiography published in 2003 when Vajpayee was the PM, did express doubts about the insiders responsible for Panditji’s murder, but it still remains mystery. Madhok had blessed PM Modi and died recently. Nanaji Deshmukh, a very senior Pracharak of RSS and former MP who established Deendayal Research Institute (DRI) in Delhi, did write: “Panditji was not only murdered, his murderers were never found. Neither the CBI nor the Chandrachud Commission could say who had killed Deendayalji and why. Indeed it would seem that Government never wanted the murderers and their patrons to be caught, for fear of any inconvenient political consequences…The Government should appoint a three-judge Commission with investigative powers, to unravel the mystery and bring the murderers and their paymasters to book.” Now at least when the Union Government headed by Narendra Modi is cele-
Deendayal hoisting Bhagva flag, Nairobi
brating Deendayal Year, one may expect that the demand by Deshmukh would be met. A man with utmost simplicity and minimum necessity, Deendayal was not only the ideologue of the Jan Sangh but was a great institution builder. Of course with the changing time the political workers who draw inspiration from him also change. Though he was the all India General Secretary of a political party, one may find him reaching in time for the meetings, spreading chattai or even sweeping the
meeting venue without being photographed! He would go abroad in his simple attire of Dhoti-Kurta and would see to it that he does not become burden on his host. At least during the year 2017 one would see people of India debating Deendayal Upadhyaya’s contribution. The PM has released a set of 15-books in Hindi on Deendayal i.e. Sampoorna Vangmaya. Various government organisations and party forums would also discuss Deendayal and his contribution. But it should not just become an event management since the rightwing hero was not an icon for event management or marketing model. Not only the party workers of the ruling BJP but even all other political parties and their workers need to discuss and debate his holistic philosophy for the betterment of the nation, however different views they may hold. Next Column: Josh Malihabadi’s defection with Padma Bhushan (The writer is a Sociopolitical Historian. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org )a
INDIA - WORLD
Jaitley keeps tight hold on govt expenditure
Asian Voice | 11th February 2017
In Modi Sarkar's fourth annual Budget, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley kept a tight hold on government expenditure, making sure they don't walk off the path of fiscal caution. Refraining to make a big bang announcement, he simply put together small things this year, making up for an imaginative economic strategy. Jaitley's 37-page Budget speech included reformist moves such as abolition of FIPB and a new non-cash scheme for political funding, stimulus measures including higher rural spends on roads and housing, populist announcements like taxing the rich more and the middle class less- all this, without spending beyond means. He also promised to go after offenders who fly away by enacting a law to confiscate their personal property, and also limiting cash transactions to Rs 300,000. This could be quite possibly, Jaitley's most conservative of budgets. The total expenditure for 2017-18 has increased by a meagre 6.57 per cent or £13.23 billion over 2016-17. Juxtapose this against the massive £22.36 billion or 12.48 per cent increase in 2016-17 over the previous year. It is clear that the FM has kept a very tight fist. The Budget also explains his fiscal deficit target of 3.2 per cent of GDP for 201718, a minor per cent deviation from the prescribed 3 per cent. Jaitley has refrained from making any estimates about tax revenues that may accrue to him following the Income Disclosure Scheme postdemonetisation. The government will also benefit from a windfall, with a
sizeable value of demonetised notes not returning to the banking system. This will explain the higher allocation of £4.20 billion for rural housing and roads, and the cut in corporate tax to 25 per cent for SMEs with turnover less than £5 million a year. Ambitious targets have been announced, for disinvestment receipts despite a poor show in the current year. In 2016-17, receipts from stake sale have fallen short by £1.10 billion or 20 per cent. This didn't stop Jaitley from raising the target by almost 60 per cent to £7.25 billion for 2017-18. No meaningful progress was made in bank consolidation, but Jaitley changed that by proposing to create an integrated "oil major" by merging oil and gas PSUs. What the Budget fails to recognise, is that private investment cannot take off unless the government first addresses the issue of bad loans. The FM has provide a pitiful amount of £1 billion towards bank recapitalisation. He stressed that his ten focus areas included farmers and village folk, the poor, and youth. This comes as no surprise as the demonetisation move had hurt the informal sector and the rural economy. Jaitley did, however, stress that the adverse effects of demonetisation would not spill over into 2017-18. "My overall approach has been to spend more on rural areas, infrastructure, and poverty alleviation, and yet maintain the best standards of fiscal prudence," he said in his 110-minute speech. The government has increased the tax burden on the rich by introducing a couple of surcharges.
Padma Lakshi sizzles the ramp on Day 4 of the Lakme Fashion Week as she turns Showstopper for Tarun Tahiliani Arun Jaitley
Even as Jaitley halved the tax rate for income falling in the lowest tax bracket of Rs 250,000 to 500,000 to five per cent, he created a new category for the rich by proposing to levy a surcharge of 10 per cent on individuals with net taxable income between £5 million and £10 million. Similarly, while the government refrained from cutting the tax rate for large corporates, it announced a 5 percentage point reduction in tax rate for companies with annual turnover of up to £5 million, which would benefit medium and small enterprises. Given the additional surcharge of 10 per cent on the rich category, an individual with a net taxable income of Rs 5100,000 per annum will have to pay an additional tax of Rs 125,000. The
move is expected to impact an estimated 145,000 individuals who fall in the income bracket of Rs 5000,000 and £100,000. Jaitley announced the combined budget for the massive Railways Sector, for the first time, pegging the total capital and developmental expenditure at £1.31 billion, including £5.50 billion provided by the government for the railways. "Amongst other things, the Railways will focus on four major areas passengers safety, capital and developmental works, cleanliness and financial and accounting reforms." a 'Rail Sanraksha Kosh' will be created for passengers safety, over the period of five years. He also announced that the unmanned level crossings on broad gauge lines will be eliminated by 2020.
Scores of children in Bihar died after ‘eating unripe lychees’ A mystery illness that killed hundreds of children every year in Bihar was caused by eating lychees on an empty stomach, say US and Indian scientists. According to a new research, published in The Lancet, it is suggested they were poisoned by the under-ripe fruit. Most of the victims were poor children in the main lycheeproducing region who ate fruit that had fallen on to the ground in orchards, the journal said. Lychees contain toxins that inhibit the body’s ability to produce glucose, which affected young children whose blood sugar levels were already low
hospital in Muzaffarpur between May and July 2014 found a link to an outbreak of sickness that caused brain swelling and convulsions in children in the Caribbean. That outbreak was caused by the ackee fruit, which contained hypoglycin, a toxin that prevents the body from making glucose. Tests then showed that lychees also contained hypoglycin. Children suf-
Collapse of Crane Bank: ex-managers arrested, charged The collapse of Crane Bank that has now been sold off to DFCU, may not end the liabilities for its exmanagers and share holders, it has emerged. Local newspapers such as The Ugandan, Red Pepper and Daily Monitor have highlighted that the bank's exmanagers and shareholders have been now arrested and charged with a number of alleged accounts and the forensic investigations, that have been going on to find out the 'real culprits' behind the loss, are now expected to be completed within a month. Crane Bank was controlled by the Ruparelia family with 47% shares and MS White Sapphire, a company domiciled in the Mauritius, holding 46% of the shares. Sudhir
Ruparelia's 3 children Sheena, Meera and Rajiv Ruparelia owned 1.99% shares each, wife Jyotsna owned 13.8% and Sudhir owned 28.83%. Jyotsna was also reportedly serving as a board member. Justine Bagyenda, the executive director supervi-
sion at Bank of Uganda (BoU), reportedly said that the former top management and shareholders of the bank will soon have to explain why the bank became under-capitalised in a space of less than a year. “There is a forensic investigation going on to find out whether there were people involved in the loss. The investigation will have numbers as well as legal implications,” she told The Ugandan. However, Daily Monitor has reported that a draft report had been completed which identified areas where further investigations will be required to establish which individuals were responsi-
ble for causing the massive erosion of capital. Some of the issues that have been identified include: poor loan appraisals and followups, insider lending, the suspicious filing of financial reports and the transactions with related companies of the Ruparelia Group. E m m a n u e l Tumusiime-Mutebile, the BoU governor, told journalists that an independent external auditor has been established. “Crane Bank’s liabilities, as on October 20, 2016, being the date of the takeover, grossly exceeded its assets and that it was insolvent,” he said. Insolvency arises when a company, in this case, Crane Bank lacks the financial capacity to meet its obligations.
Malnourished children would die after a chemical in the fruit lowered their blood sugar to dangerous levels
because they were not eating evening meal. For years in villages of Bihar, these apparently healthy children used to wake up screaming in the night, convulsed with seizures. They then slipped into a coma and in almost 40% of cases died, much to the surprise and shock of doctors. They also suffered acute swelling of the brain. Researchers examining sick children admitted to
fering symptoms connected with the outbreak should be immediately treated for hypoglycaemia, officials said. In 2015 doctors in Bihar launched a campaign appealing to villagers to prevent their children from eating lychees and to give them an evening meal. The number of reported cases of the sickness has since fallen from hundreds each year to about 50.
aving a nutritious diet is not sufficient for your beauty regime and you may have to go for some natural treatments. Henna is one such ayurvedic product which gives you a healthy hair. It is safe and hassle-free to use and it also gives the much needed nourishment to damaged and dull hair. For better effect you can add it with a range of ingredients like reetha, shikakai, aloe vera, neem and amla. It is great for hair conditioning as it adds a double-coating to your
hair strands. Regular application of henna gives your hair a brilliant sheen, a rich burgundy hue and shields them against external damage. It has also seen to be beneficial in treating dandruff and an itchy scalp. How to Apply: There are some crucial points to be kept in mind. Always ensure that you don't let the mask rest for long. It will harden and become difficult to remove later. Always wear gloves to avoid staining your hands. Make sure you always use
fresh henna powder since the old powder will not render the desired result. It is preferable to grind fresh henna leaves and use it instead of buying it from the market. While applying henna, never forget to cover the entire body of your hair - from root to tip. Keep petroleum jelly handy to wipe off extra paste from your forehead or from any other areas. Henna Hair Mask: As mentioned above, henna always goes well with shikakai, reetha, amla, neem, aloe vera and many
www.asian-voice.com other natural ingredients. You can use three portions of henna powder and combine it with one portion of amla powder, shikakai powder, neem powder and reetha powder. You can even add a teaspoon of mustard seed powder. Make a paste by adding a teaspoon of castor or olive oil and two teaspoons of curd. Oil will nourish the scalp and hair while the curd will help in conditioning. Achieve the desired consistency by adding water. Since henna has acidic properties which can be neutralized by adding components like curd. You can also try adding powdered flowers like hibiscus. The composition remains the same - 3:1 ratio. Keep the mask for an hour and a half. In case you are pressed for time, take some steam or wrap a hot towel around your head. Use mild herbal shampoo for washing the hair. Consult your dermatologist to determine your hair type and accordingly create herbal masks and packs to suit your needs. A patch test is always advisable to know of any undetected allergies.
Coconut can be your new weight loss secret C
oconuts have not been so popular with calorie counters. They are infamous for their high saturated fat content but 2017 has something else in store for them. Whole Foods Market has predicted that this is going to be a year of everything and anything about coconut. From coconut water, coconut flakes to coconut cookies, coconut lattes and even coconut ice cream, this fruit is going to rule this year. Why? This is what we are answering here. The saturated fat in coconuts is not the usual saturated fat. It is of a particular kind which is known as medium-chain triglyceride (or MCT). They are hardly ever stored as fat in the body. Rather, they provide energy, more or less like carbs, and without raising blood sugar lev-
els, something that carbs do. In fact, a study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders confirmed that MCTs helped in fat and calorie burning in men, leading to less fat storage. Coconuts are not rich in this macronutrient. For every 100 grams of coconut, the carbohydrate count is a mere 15 grams. If you want to cut down on
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Mr Harper sued a hospital, saying that after his wife had surgery there, she lost all interest in him. A hospital spokesperson replied, "Mrs Harper was admitted for cataract surgery. All we did was correct her eyesight." *** "Did you hear what happened to Mel?" one friend said to another. "He was seeing his doctor for six months because of chest pains and shortness of breath. Last week, he dropped dead from cancer." "That’s terrible," says the other friend. "Well, I told him a hundred times to go see my doctor." "Is he any good?" "Good? He’s the best! If he treats you for heart problems … you’ll die of heart problems." *** Patient: Doctor, I slipped in the grocery store and really hurt myself. Doctor: Where did you get hurt? Patient: Aisle six.
carbs for your regime, one thing you can go to is coconuts.
AsianVoiceNewsweekly | Asian Voice | 11th February 2017
Apply henna for a healthy hair H
Though cocos may contain less carbs and their MCT may help burn fat, they are not low in calories. For every 100 grams of coconut, you are consuming 354 calories. This needs you to keep your consumption low. Dieticians have recommended that ideally one should fulfil one tenth of their daily calorie requirement through coconuts. So, if you have to consume 1500 calories a day, you should eat coconut worth 150 calories.
"Seems like your repetitive speeches have begun to diss people"
Diabetes may be an early warning sign for pancreatic cancer A
new study has warned that the onset of diabetes, or a rapid deterioration in existing diabetes that requires more aggressive treatment, could be a sign of early, hidden pancreatic cancer. The findings are based on an analysis linking nearly a million patients with Type-2 diabetes in Italy and Belgium with recorded cases of pancreatic cancer. Half of all pancreatic cancers cases in the two regions were diagnosed within one year of patients being diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes and being given their first prescription to control it, said Alice Koechlin from International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France. "In Belgium 25 per cent of cases were diagnosed within 90 days and in Lombardy (Italy) it was 18 per cent. After the first year, the proportion of diagnosed pancreatic cancers dropped dramatically," she said. Among patients who already had Type-2 diabetes and were managing it with oral anti-diabetic drugs, the switch to incretins (metabolic hormones that stimulate the
To Our Readers
We are publishing these items in good faith, kindly consult your Doctor before you try to implement it. We do not hold any responsibility for its efficacy...
pancreas to produce more insulin to lower blood glucose levels) or insulin happened faster among diabetic patients who were subsequently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In addition, a deterioration in their condition that necessitated them being switched to more aggressive anti-diabetic therapy with injections of insulin was associated with a seven-fold increased risk of being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the study said. "There is currently no good, non-invasive method for detecting pancreatic cancer that is not yet showing any visible signs or symptoms. We hope that our results will encourage the search for blood markers indicating the presence of pancreatic cancer, which could guide decisions to perform a confirmation examination like endoscopy," Koechlin said. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal cancers, partly because it is difficult to detect at an early stage and because there are few effective treatments for it. Less than one per cent of people live for ten or more years after a diagnosis.
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AR Rahman launches entertainment company in Canada
11th February 2017
scar winner AR Rahman launched the Ideal Entertainment Production Banner in Toronto, Ontario, in Canada. He said the banner understood the pulse of the audience and that he was happy to associate with them. Other
than making mellifluent music, Rahman has also been giving time to work on direction and production as well. His directorial debut 'Le Musk', along with the V i s h w e s h Krishnamoorthy's romantic musical '99 Songs',
'Jolly LLB 2'
A satirical black comedy-drama revolving around the life of lawyer Jagdishwar Mishra AKA Jolly. Watch Jolly (Akshay Kumar) take on the big goons in the city of Nawabs.
After Tamannah, Catherine becomes Prabhu Deva's pair
whose story was written by Rahman, both will be produced by Ideal Entertainment. The Ideal Group hosts a function called Ideal Dreams, where hundreds of artists deliver their tribute to the music legend for his 25 years of brilliance in the industry.
'Vivegam': celebs laud Ajith's chiselled torso AsianVoiceNews
akers of 'Vivegam' have officially released the first look poster from the film, and has sent Thala Ajith's fans into a tizzy. The poster shows a
Hansika to team up with Mohanlal and Vishal
Unnikrishnan's upcoming film with Mohanlal in the lead along with Vishal and Srikanth will now, as per the latest update, also feature bubbly actress Hansika in a cameo role. The news was shared by Unnikrishan himself, on his social media page. Touted to be a mega budget project of ÂŁ3 million, the
film will comprise a lot of VFX and special effects. The untitled movie is expected to start rolling o n c e Mohanlal completes M a j o r Ravi's '1971: B e y o n d Borders'.
Another leading heroine in Arvind Swamy's 'Vanangamudi'
horeographer, producer, director, and actor Prabhu Deva, who had made a comeback last year in Tamil cinema as an actor with 'Devi', has taken up another project titled 'Yung Mung Sung'. Directed by Arjun, the comedy entertainer will deal with martial arts as its story line.
Sources also revealed that Catherine Tresa has been roped in to play female lead in the film. Given the high expectations fans hold after Prabhu and Tamannah's sizzling chemistry in 'Devi', let's just hope that he and Catherine will bring back the same magic.
rvind Swamy will soon team up with his 'Pudhayal' director Selva after over two decades, for 'Vanangamudi'. The cast includes Ritika Singh, and recently, Nandita Shweta has also been roped in for an important female character. Also in the movie is National Award winning actor Thambi Ramaiah.
Makers of 'Vanangamudi' are in the process of finalising other artists and technical crew members. Shooting is expected to commence from the 14th of this month. Meanwhile Nandita's next will be director Selvaraghavan's horror flick 'Nenjam Marappathillai' which is expected to hit the screens on February 24, 2017.
rather chiselled Ajith standing bare-chested, and needless to say, we are all swooning. The ripped figure attracted a lot of attention and praise. Actors Dhanush, Simbu, and Rana Daggubati took to micro-blogging website Twitter to laud the 'Yennai Arindhaal' star. "Believe in YOUrself. To work thro all that pain & achieve this is Amazing! Wishing #Ajith sir & @directorsiva a hattrick with #Vivegam !" said Vikram Prabhu. Actor Sivakarthikeyan believes "Thala looks terrific". Rana was a bit overwhelmed, as he seemingly couldn't keep in his excite-
ment. "Wow wow wow!! Outstanding! This is motivational this is inspirational! Really such phenomenal dedication! Ajit Sir you are truly a rockstar!" 'Vivegam' will feature Thala Ajith as an Interpol officer, in charge of a crime in Chennai. The film will show Vivek Oberoi in a negative role. Female lead will be played by K a j a l Aggarwal. Directed by Siva, the film is expec ted to release in the second half of this year.
‘Behind the making of Bollywood stars’ - Rohini Iyer honoured at the WEF 2017 AsianVoiceNews
ohini Iyer, Founder and Director, Raindrop Media, takes ‘Reputation Management’ very seriously. Raindrop Media is the biggest Image and Reputation Management company in Bollywood . On the 31 st of January, Rohini Iyer was awarded Woman of the Decade in Celebrity Media at the Women Economic Forum (WEF) 2017 at The Bhavan, by Dr. Harbeen Arora, Founder and Global Chairperson All Ladies League and Krishna Pujara, Chairperson Women Economic Forum UK. The regional forum of WEF took place from 31st Jan to 2 Feb, bringing together more than 500 men and women from 35+ countries. The theme for the event was “Awakening the Power Within: The Way Forward for UK”. Rohini was also a speaker on the subject of Reinventing the world of stardom/fashion and beauty at the event. Touted as the Olivia Pope of Bollywood, Rohini has been a game-changer and a trendsetter- handling the biggest stars like Priyanka Chopra, Vidya Balan, Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Sonam Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor,John Abraham and also having worked with superstars like Hrithik Roshan, Akshay Kumar, Ranbir Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan among others in the past. Asian Voice got an exclusive opportunity to speak to her about the biggest challenge she faces as a professional and her journey to the top. She started out as a film journalist when she was 16, and continued her journey as the image and reputation guru the industry leans on. In her words, “I sometimes feels like a music conductor surrounded by musicians in the opera, being in the middle of all the drama 24*7”. Every new day is a bigger challenge for her than the previous one, and she is more than happy to turn the day in her
Rohini Iyer with Princess Tessy of Luxembourg.
favour- “While negative publicity inevitably makes headlines, we, at Raindrop Media, do not subscribe to the policy as negative publicity is short lived and superstars don’t need it”, she says. As a young woman achiever, for her, anything that celebrates womanhood is a milestone. As she puts it, “Girls compete with each other, but women empower each other and let each other grow”. Receiving the award at the WEF 2017, she did recognise the existing glass ceiling for women across
the world, but her take on it was moving and motivating- “I believe it just requires one person to break the glass ceiling. If each of us women pick up at least one young girl to mentor, we will make a huge change. We need to not only support women who have made it or are there in the public eye, but also those who are starting out just now. Keep pushing, especially when you are at your lowest.” The movement of talent from Bollywood to Hollywood has been on the rise in the recent years with actors like Priyanka Chopra, Irrfan Khan, Deepika Padukone, and recently, Sonam Kapoor and Huma Qureshi, among others. Rohini believes that the West is coming to India now, they are looking towards India as a market, as well as a talent pool. However, the recent political controversies that have surrounded Bollywood’s stalwarts are a disturbing trend- “This is happening all across the world, and the film fraternity globally is a casualty”, she said. Amidst all the crises, she just never switches off. In such situations of news spreading like wildfire, how does she shield her clientele? She explains, “We advise stars what do to in such situations. I just say, Main hoon na (I’m here for you), you relax, I’ll handle it.” No wonder her comforting words and relentless efforts has top Bollywood stars rooting for her. We asked what was next for Raindrop. She replied with a smile, “World Domination”.
Kangana mocks at Deepika, Priyanka’s move to West
Asian Voice | 11th February 2017
n what can be deemed as a start to an explosive cat fight, Kangana Ranaut made a pointing statement at actresses running in the race to the West. As her biggest competitiors, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra have made it to Hollywood, the 'Queen' actress finds it nothing but foolish to head their at this point of time. Speaking at a recent interview, she said, "It would be stupid for anyone to make the move to the West now. Their theatre business is crashing because of the influx of digital media. Asia, on the other hand, is where Hollywood was 15 years ago. It is a lucrative time for entertainment here. These are baits that I won't fall prey to." Ouch! Well, the statement should not come as a surprise, Kangana has always been opiniated and unapologetic of her ways. In the same interview, she also made digs at patriarchy. "Intimidating women aren't worth having sex with," she scoffed. "Bold, stubborn women, who are achievers, are desirable only to those who are strong and assured. (For some men) it's fright-
ening to handle a woman who can speak her mind. Thankfully, that's not true
for everyone. Courage is often endearing and rare," she said.
Asian Voice |11th February 2017
Record number of Britons show solidarity with Muslims on largest ever #VisitMyMosque Day
Over 150 mosques across Britain opened their doors on Sunday for the third annual Visit My Mosque Day. With dozens if not hundreds reported to have attended each mosque, this could well be one of the largest attended open mosque day campaigns in the world. #VisitMyMosque Day, facilitated by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), provides a platform for Muslims to reach out to fellow Britons and explain
their faith and community beyond the headlines. Speaking at the London launch event at Finsbury Park Mosque, Jeremy Corbyn spoke about how bad rhetoric results in acts of hate, and the importance of endorsing values of respect to bring communities together. With a particular note to Donald Trump, he said, “Drinking tea together is far more effective than pouring concrete to build walls.”
Slough man sentenced for racially abusing woman A Slough man has been sentenced after racially abusing a woman and her children. On Thursday, January 12, Christopher Makepeace, 65, shouted 'go back to your own country', 'terrorist' and other abuse at the 34-year-old woman as she loaded her shopping in the car park of Tesco in Wellington Street.
Her two young daughters were with her. Makepeace was arrested the same day. He pleaded guilty to one count of racially/religiously aggravated harassment at Slough Magistrates’ Court last Tuesday and was given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £20 in compensation.
l Bhavan celebrates India's Republic Day on February 8, at 6:30 to 7 pm. Catch Kadirgama Kuravanji, a unique dance drama of Yalpanam Sri Veeramani Iyer, presented by Guru Prakash Yadagudde and students of The Bhavan, on February 12, at 6 pm.
ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 Mercury and Sun continue
to journey through your solar eleventh house. This is a time when various networking activities are much appreciated and offer you learning experiences. Your ideas are progressive and you are also interested in spending time with people who are like-minded.
TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Mercury and Sun transit your solar tenth house. This is an excellent period for developing career and professional plans or strategies. Although approachable and ready to communicate, you are less inclined towards frivolous matters now. Good time to seek promotions to improve your status. GEMINI May 22 - June 22 The cosmic energies are
decidedly invigorating at the moment. If you are taking a holiday, so much the better. Not only do you have Mercury putting a favourable emphasis on travel but, with Sun you can be sure of deriving the utmost pleasure from adventures and excursions. Long-term partnerships are reinvigorated by Mercury and Sun's transit of your solar 8th house. Whether you’re single or attached you’ll have a busy time ahead of you. Business partnerships are tested by Mars and Venus's placement in your chart. The more you live up to your own set of principles the more cash you’ll pull in.
CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22
Silvertown woman appeals for stem cell donors to give her a second chance at life
Rajee Nedunchezian with her husband Mani
A woman who has lived with leukaemia most of her life is appealing to south Asian people to give her another chance at life by registering as stem cell donors. Rajee Nedunchezian has lived with chronic myeloid leukaemia for 20 years since being first diagnosed at the age of 12. Now the 33-year-old’s condition has taken a turn for the worse and her best chance of a cure is a stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor which is why the software engineer and her husband, Mani, who live in Booth Road, Silvertown, launched their appeal. “My wife has been fighting cancer since she was young, but now she needs people’s support to win this battle. A transplant could give us our lives back,” Mani said. A recent test showed that Rajee’s disease has progressed to the point where drugs alone cannot help her manage it with an increase in “blast cells”, abnormal white blood cells, in her bloodstream. According to Anthony
Nolan, a blood cancer charity, fewer than four per cent of people on the UK’s stem cell register are Asian making it hard to find what could be a life-saving match. Mani warned: “It’s going to be difficult to find Rajee a donor unless we have a lot more Asians on the register - that’s why we want to raise awareness. “It takes very little effort and is almost painless to donate. I think everyone wants to do something good for others,” the 33-year-old IT consultant added. Describing his wife, who is being treated by staff at Hammersmith hospital, as ambitious and independent, Mani, who ran the London Marathon last year to raise awareness and £6,500 for Anthony Nolan, said: “Nothing holds her back, but having cancer does limit what she can do. Pretty much everything in her life is affected by it.” For more about Rajee’s appeal visit healrajee.org. To join the Anthony Nolan register go to anthonynolan.org.
VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23
The Sun and mercury highlight your solar sixth house. This is a period that finds you tending to your daily routines, and health matters. You seek to perfect your skills and as a result, you can be more critical than usual, but this process is necessary for you to sort out what works for you and what doesn't.
With Sun and Mercury in your 5th house of romance and creativity, you should enjoy a very popular phase in your life where everyone wants to invite you to parties. This will give you a chance to meet people of your own calibre and pursue any romantic liaisons that might present themselves.
LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23
SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22
An outstanding former pupil of a Slough school has been awarded a stellar scholarship. Amrita Panesar, 18, graduated from Upton Court Grammar School, in Lascelles Road, Slough, in July 2016 with three A* grades in maths, further maths and computing Alevels. Those excellent results were rewarded with a place at the University of Cambridge, one of the best universities in the country, to read computer science. Amrita has now been awarded a 2016 Diamond Jubilee scholarship by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), contributing £3,000 towards her studies and softening the blow of £9,000 annual fees. The Diamond Jubilee scholarship programme was created in honour of the Queen to address the national skills shortage in science, technology, engi-
Mercury and Sun transit your solar fourth house now. During this cycle, you are especially fond of spending more time at home around the family. You are more receptive and tend to be sentimental or nostalgic now. Loyalty and sensitivity in your relationships are more important to you than typically.
neering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. Amrita was one of just 60 students nationally to receive the Diamond Jubilee scholarship and received membership to the IET for the duration of her course. She met the tough requirements by attaining a minimum of three A grades at A-level and pursuing a STEM discipline at one of the UK’s best universities. Applicants also had to demonstrate a keen interest in scientific and technological research.
Man arrested after Reading shop raided by immigration officers A business in Reading faces a big fine after immigration officers found a man working there whose student visa had expired. A Home Office team swooped on JR Convenience Store in Tilehurst Road, at 3.40pm on Monday, January 23. They arrested a 30-yearold Pakistani man at the store. The business has been served a warning it could face a fine of up to £20,000 unless it can demonstrate the appropri-
The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality
Sun and Mercury in your opposite sign makes you feel invincible, but the way to utilise this transit is to sift through all the opportunities that come your way. You know you have no choice but to streamline and reassess your priorities.Try to create a balance between expansion and conservation.
LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23
Former Slough school pupil lands top scholarship to help her Cambridge studies
ate right to work checks were made when employing the man. The owner will have to prove they have seen a passport or Home Office document confirming permission to work in the UK. Information to prevent business owners employing illegal worker can be found here and anyone with information on immigration abuse can visit https://www.gov.uk/repor t-immigration-crime or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
020 8518 5500
You are exploring and searching now, making connections, and paying attention to your immediate environment. Socially you are very popular and your communications strengthen your connections. You will be busy with errands, paperwork, phone calls, and light socializing. Siblings, close relatives and friends may play an important role in your life during this period.
SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21
CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 The Sun and Mercury highlight your second house of finance, and your focus is on material affairs and comfort issues. This is a good time to plan your future investments carefully to maximise your profits. Anything or anyone that drains your time and energy should be re-evaluated. It’s time to use that creative imagination of yours to create grandeur in your life.
AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 The Sun and Mercury transit your first house and this affects your personal identity, appearance, outward behaviour, and self-expression. This marks the peak of your physical solar cycle, and you are in the position to make an impression on others, and to assert your personal influence. Increased energy and a renewed feeling of confidence is with you now, so take advantage of your charisma to achieve your goals.
PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 Your mind is focused on private matters and past issues while Mercury and Sun transit the twelfth house of your solar chart. This is a time when you are least likely to express yourself freely. You're examining the past for answers. This is a good time for quiet contemplation, and meditation.
Ramkumar, Yuki power India to 4-1 win over New Zealand AsianVoiceNews
Lanky Ramkumar Ramanathan was fluent in his win over Finn Tearney while Yuki Bhambri struggled past Jose Statham as India completed an emphatic 4-1 victory over New Zealand in the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I tie, at Pune on Sunday. Ramkumar sealed the tie for the hosts by thumping Tearney 7-5, 6-1, 6-0 in two hours in the fourth rubber before Yuki won the dead fifth rubber against Statham 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 in one hour and 55 minutes. India now play second round tie at home in April against Uzbekistan, who got past South Korea in their first round away tie. The 22year-old from Chennai, with a singles world ranking of 276, was lifted shoulder high by all his team members after his superb show and the entire team made a lap of the stadium with the Indian tricolor. The resounding victory for India also signalled the end of Anand Amritraj's three-year reign as the team captain as he will be replaced by Mahesh Bhupathi for the second round tie against Uzbekistan. India had taken a 2-0
Indian team coach Zeeshan Ali was lifted by players after India wins during the Davis cup match played against New Zealand in Pune
lead on the first day when Yuki Bhambri and Ramkumar clinched their singles rubbers against Tearney and Statham respectively. New Zealand clinched the doubles rubber when Artem Sitak and Michael Venus got the better of Indian veteran Leander Paes and Vishnu Vardhan. Ramkumar clinched a closely fought 51-minute first set and Tearney's game went to pieces thereafter as the Indian seized on the opportunities and ran away with the second and third sets. The 22-year-old Chennai-born 276-ranked
Ramkumar fired 12 aces but also committed nine double faults as compared to Tearney's 16. The Kiwi player committed a staggering 10 double faults in the opening set, including three in the 12th game in which he was decisively broken by his Indian opponent. The 6-foot-2inch tall Indian youngster also had to dig himself out of the hole in two service games in which he faced break points. He saved three in the fifth game in which he committed the first of his two double-faults with the help of his strong first serve clocked at over 200 kmph.
Later he saved the fourth in the 11th game with his fifth ace to lead 6-5 before Tearney self-destructed when serving to be in the set for the second time by committing three double faults, including the last one when he was down 15-40, to hand over the set on a platter to the Indian. The Kiwi kept the Indian guessing on his serve by alternating between following it to the net and staying behind, but did not have the consistency or power in his serves to take full advantage of this hustling tactic. Ramkumar put only 51 per cent of his first serve in but won 85 per cent points with it as against 82 per cent of his rival's. Both had four break points apiece and the Indian managed to convert one while Tearney failed with all of his. Ramkumar, in spite of committing five double faults including three in the third game which he held after saving a break point, raced away with the second set by breaking his errorfilled rival's serve twice - in the fourth and sixth games. In fact Ramkumar was lucky that his rival could not convert his mistakes into an advantageous position.
Indian colts pocket ODI series Magnificent tons by Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw helped Indian colts to win by a 230-run margin and pocket the ODI series against England at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The Indian under-19 team scored 382 for 9 in 50 overs- their second highest total after being asked to bat. In fact, at one point, Gill and Shaw even looked like taking the India U-19 team to its biggest one-day total ever - 425-3 against Scotland in Dhaka in 2004, before both were dismissed in the early part of slog overs.
They then produced a clinical performance with the ball too, needing merely 37.4 overs to fold up England for 152, to complete a big win, with seamers Kamlesh Nagarkoti (4-
31) and Vivekanand Tiwary (3-20) doing the maximum damage. Coming off an unbeaten 138 in the previous game, the in-form Gill began his assault with a
beautiful on-drive for four off Matt Fisher on just the second ball of the match, and kept punching boundaries all over the park. The Punjab batsman hits the ball hard, particularly when he executes the short-arm pull to smash the ball in the mid wicket region. The final game of this series, scheduled for Wednesday here, is now just a mere formality. India Under-19s: 382-9 (Gill 160, Shaw 105, Brookes 258) beat England Under19s 152 (Pope 59, Jacks 44, Nagarkoti 4-31) by 230 runs.
SPORT Britain advance in bizarre way Asian Voice | 11th February 2017
Britain was defaulted into the Davis Cup quarter-finals, while Spain edged Croatia to advance and defending champion Argentina battled Italy into a decisive fifth match at a rain-hit tie. Canada's Denis Shapovalov hit chair umpire Arnaud Gabas in the face with a ball and was defaulted in the deciding match, handing Britain's Kyle Edmund a 6-3, 6-4, 2-1 triumph and giving Britain a 3-2 victory in the first-round tie at Ottawa on Sunday. Shapovalov, a 17-year-old Israeli-born Canadian, apologized to Gabas in the referee's office as the umpire was being treated for bruising and swelling of his left eye before being taken to a nearby hospital. “No one is nicer or carries themselves better for a 17 -year-old than Shapovalov,” Canadian teammate Vasek Pospisil tweeted. “Everyone can see that today was an accident.” Britain, the 2015 champions playing without Andy Murray, advanced to a quarter-final match up on April 79 against France.
Pietersen opts out of IPL auction
Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen confirmed that he won't be a part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 auction after a busy winter schedule. Pietersen was part of Rising Pune Supergiants in the last edition of the IPL but was released by the franchise. "FYI - I won't be going into the IPL auction. My winter has been too busy with all my travel & I don't want to spend April/May away too!," he said via a tweet. Pietersen played a key role for the Melbourne Stars in the recently-concluded Big Bash League (BBL), where he scored 268 runs in eight games. Prior to that, he represented the Dolphins in the Cricket South Africa Twenty20 tournament, where he played five games. He's expected to play in the Pakistan Super League for the Quetta Gladiators later in the month.
Angry batsman hurls stump, kills 14-year-old
In a shocking incident, a 14-year-old cricketer died in Bangladesh after he was hit by a stump thrown by an angry batsman during a friendly game between neighbourhood teams, police said. Faisal Hossain was fielding in the port city of Chittagong when the batsman was given out, assistant police commissioner Jahangir Alam said. "The batsman was furious when he saw that he was stumped or bowled out. He grabbed a stump and threw it in the air. The stump hit part of the neck and head of Faisal who was fielding close to the wicket," he said. "He collapsed on the ground in pain and was declared dead after he was taken to a hospital." The batsman has been detained and will be prosecuted for causing unintentional death, police said. Clashes over cricket are not uncommon in the country, where the sport is taken seriously even at village level. Last May, a batsman wielding a stump allegedly beat a 16-year-old cricketer to death in Dhaka after the teenager taunted the umpire over a noball delivery
Indian cricketer Harbhajan, wife store their new born baby’s cord blood Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh and his wife Geeta have stored the cord blood and tissue of Hinaya Heer Plaha, their new born baby, with Sussex-based Cells4Life, the UK’s largest stem cell banking and processing company, to help protect her from potential illnesses and diseases. Hinaya Heer Plaha was born on July 27, 2016, in London and her parents felt it sensible to store the cord blood, which could protect her from potential illnesses and disorders in the future. The first ever cord blood transplant took place 28-years ago. Since then the popularity of such treatments has grown,
with over 35,000 cord blood transplants having occurred worldwide. Stem cells are considered to be one of the cornerstones of a new field of science know as regenerative medicine and there are currently over 5,000 clinical trials being conducted to investigate their application to treat a number of conditions – from diabetes and Alzheimers, to spinal damage and hearing loss. Harbhajan was also aware of how stem cell therapy can be used to treat injuries and prolong careers. One such case is the high-profile story of Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo who underwent stem cell therapy for a torn
Harbhajan Singh and Geeta Basra
hamstring. Hamstring injuries are common in most sports as the hamstring muscles and tendons can be over stretched, resulting in a tear. A study that looked at the potential of regenerative therapies,
including stem cells, to treat tendon injuries states that they are an “attractive option” as utilising the “body’s intrinsic potential to repair and heal damaged tissues” often results in a whole and long-lasting
repair. Bowlers put a lot of stress on their rotator cuffs and despite improvement of surgical techniques, 25% of rotator cuff injuries re-tear after surgery. However, a study using the injection of mesenchymal stem cells during surgery has shown significant healing in patients with this problem. The results found that after 10 years, 87% of patients treated with stem cells still had their rotator cuffs intact. Harbhajan said: “At the international level, you witness the magic stem cells can do for injuries. When we found out that cord blood was the best source of stem
cells Hinaya could have, we knew we had to do this for her.” In 2014, Cells4Life became the first bank in the UK to provide cord tissue for patient therapy. Chairman Wayne Channon adds: “We are very grateful to Harbhajan and Geeta for telling their story and promoting the vast array of benefits stem cell storage has to offer. Cord blood is the richest and most powerful source of stem cells that a person can ever have but there is only one opportunity to collect them – at birth, which is why it is so important that expectant parents are made aware that this option is available.”
Asian Voice | 11th February 2017
Chahal plays key role in India's victory
In a dramatic collapse, England lost eight wickets for eight runs and lost the third T20 match and the series at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore last week. Yuzvendra Chahal was the main wrecker as he had captured six wickets for 25 runs - the third-best figures in T20Is – to pull the rug from under England’s feet. Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh and K L Rahul contributed handsomely for India. But the mightiest ‘six’ of the evening was produced by Chahal, as he took six wickets for 25 runs. The feat came at what is Chahal’s homeground in the IPL. Royal Challengers Bangalore mostly pride themselves in their batting firepower. But the diminutive Chahal almost invisibly made an equally significant contribution. He has made the handicap that the Chinnaswamy imposes on a bowler into his strength. Rather than bowling defensively, the leg-spinner invites the batsmen to hit him. “I plan that batsmen will want to go for their shots because it’s a small ground, so I have a chance for wickets. I bowl a fuller length, so I have a chance for lbws if they miss the sweep and reverse-sweep,” he said after being adjudged man of the match
in the series decider. The Haryana native does get hit, but he also gets wickets. Having set England an imposing 203 for the match and series, Kohli gave the new ball to Chahal. Promptly, Jason Roy reverse-swept him for a six. But Chahal struck two balls later with a fullish delivery that Sam Billings, looking to drive across the line, edged onto his boot, and it ballooned towards Raina at first slip. The visitors made a swift recovery and led by Roy, Joe Root
and Eoin Morgan, they took the total to 117/2 in 13 overs when Kohli brought back Chahal for the second spell. After keeping the batsmen quiet for a couple of balls, Chahal forced Morgan to swat a googly against the turn. He could only top-edge it to midwicket, where debutant Rishabh Pant took a diving catch. Chahal then removed Root with a flipper that rapped him on the pad. There was an uproar over Root’s leg-before dismissal in the last match,
but there was no doubt in Anil Chaudhary’s mind that this was plumb. It precipitated an English collapse we had seen too often in the Test series. Only the acceleration of the fall still took your breath away. Jasprit Bumrah removed Jos Buttler in the next over, while Chahal returned to take three more wickets in the next over to cap a scarcely believable second spell that read 2 overs-6 runs-5 wickets. It didn’t start out to be a good evening for Kohli. After losing the toss, he lost
the bandwidth with KL Rahul and was run out in the third over to leave the packed stadium stunned. In came Suresh Raina at No.3. After a rather insipid performance in the first two matches of the series, the pressure was on Raina to justify his place in the team and his promotion to No.3 after Virat Kohli had decided to open the innings. For his part, Kohli said before the series Raina could “still had a lot to offer”, but the onus was on him to grab the opportunity. Often T20s can’t be a
perfect comeback vehicle for batsmen because there aren’t simply enough overs. But with 17 more to go, Raina couldn’t have complained time was in short supply. It was a scrappy knock early with lots of heaves and misses, uppish shots not finding fielders and top edges just about sailing over the boundary. But he found his range. Soon he was whipping the pacers off his hips over fine-leg and dancing down the track and smoking the spinners behind the sight screen. When he slog-swept leg-spinner Adil Rashid over mid-wicket, Raina raised his bat for the first time in international cricket in the past 15 months, a wretched period most of which he spent out of the team. For a bonafide shortest format batsman that he his, his 45-ball 63 was also his first T20I fifty in six years. After Raina, Dhoni also set a record straight, scoring his first half-century in the format. He shared two 50 -run partnerships with Raina and Yuvraj and set India up for 200. It was a daunting task and England needed a lot of maximums to salvage something out of long Indian winter. But they fell in a heap in front of an inspired Chahal.
Alastair Cook quits as England cricket captain Alastair Cook has resigned as England cricket captain after a record 59 matches in the role, saying it was "a sad day" but the right decision for the team. Yorkshire batsman Joe Root is the strong favourite to take over with an announcement expected in the next fortnight, as England build towards the Ashes in Australia at the end of the year. Cook, England's leading scorer in Tests with 11,057 runs, became captain in August 2012 and led his country to Ashes glory on home soil in 2013 and 2015 as well as series wins in India and South Africa. "It's been a huge honour to be England captain and to lead the Test team over the past five years," Cook,
32, who intends to carry on playing Test cricket, said in a statement. "Stepping down has been an incredibly hard decision, but I know this is the correct decision for me and at the right time for the team." Cook's decision to stand down follows England's 4-0 series defeat in India at the end of last year, which put pressure on him to quit. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said a "proper process" had started to appoint a successor, with the team not in Test action again until July. Cook, who also led England in a record 69 oneday internationals between 2010 and 2014, is the country's most capped Test skipper and has scored more Test centuries than any preTM
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vious captain. He was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2012 and ICC (International Cricket Council) World Test Captain in 2013. He tendered his resignation to England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Colin Graves on Sunday. "It's a sad day personally in many ways, but I want to thank everyone I've captained, all the coaches and support staff and, of course, the England supporters and the Barmy Army who follow us home and away and have given us unwavering support," Cook added. "Playing for England really is a privilege and I hope to carry on as a Test player, making a full contri-
bution and helping the next England captain and the team as a batsman." England's director of cricket Andrew Strauss said Cook had made a "fantastic contribution" and "deserves to be seen as one of our country's great captains. We now move on with the process of appointing the right successor," Strauss said. "There are a number of established players who are playing formal or informal leadership roles and whilst we've rightly not spoken to anyone in relation to the Test captaincy so far, we can now talk fully and openly within the team. We expect to be able to make an announcement before the team head to the West Indies on 22nd February."
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