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11th March to 17th March 2017

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Let noble thoughts come to us from every side ASIAN VOICE POLITICAL & PUBLIC LIFE AWARDS

TOP BRITISH GIANTS ROCK THE HOUSE AT ANNUAL EXTRAVAGANZA

‘Campaigner of the Year’ Gina Miller receiving her award from Chief Guest Eleanor Laing MP and CB Patel, Publisher/Editor, Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar Americans for Refugees and Immigrants Executive Director Anny Khan speaks during a peace vigil for Srinivas Kuchibhotla

The Indians living in the United States of Donald Trump are living in fear. In the seven weeks of the notorious Trump presidency, several accounts of violence have been cited against those who do not identify as an American (white). Owing to a string of attacks charged by racism, the IndianAmerican community is shaken, scared, and is trying to acquaint itself with the rising threat to their lives.

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India beat Australia by 75 runs; level series 1-1 Report on page 32

46 Church Road Stanmore Middx London HA7 4AH email@travelinstyle.co.uk

There have been three major attacks in the past few weeks, first in Kansas, then in Washington State, and the third in Lancaster. Living with an overriding and prominent terror, a feeling while not unfamiliar is certainly painful to one of the richest immigrant groups in the US. On March 4, a 39-yearold Sikh from Kent, Washington, Deep Rai was shot in the arm by a sixfoot-tall white man. The Continued on page 26

‘Sports Personality of the Year’ winner Claudio Ranieri receiving his award from Eleanor Laing MP in the presence of the Deputy Mayor of Rome

Full story on page 6-7


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ONE ONE with Keith Vaz, MP

Asian Voice 11th March 2017

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to

Geeta Srivastava

Geeta Srivastava nurtures a social enterprise called Magic of India bringing Indian culture and language alive in a fun engaging way. Through classes, workshops and entertaining events. One of her popular events is Holi at London, which is a massive community event. She won the Outstanding Achievement British Indian award. Prior to that, Geeta had set up and lead the UK business of www.shaadi.com for 9 years making it a successful brand in online match making. Her earlier avatar include Zee TV (UK), leading Ad Sales for Mainstream Agencies, and all Marketing initiatives including the first biggest Asian fair. She produced a 13 program television series on the best Indian restaurants of London. Other roles include being the Director of The Indus Entrepreneurs UK, a networking organisation. While in India she ran advertising and marketing for Raymond’s fashion, the team winning many industry awards. Geeta has been living in the London for the last 18 years. She has a high interest in art, fashion, and online community building. She has been a proficient Bharatnatyam performer, and regularly practises yoga. 1) What is your current position? I’m the Founder, Director and Teacher at Magic Of India, a London based social enterprise, which works to teach Indian culture and languages in a fun, engaging way. Also, our events embrace Indian culture with celebration of oneness and diversity. 2) What are your proudest achievements? Many of the children I teach are British but of Indian heritage. The feeling of being able to give these kids an insight into their culture, allows them to establish a connection with their roots and feel a sense of pride in both the country where they live and

their heritage. Aside from that, I’d say winning the British Indian Outstanding Achievement Award in 2015, was a big moment for me. 3) What inspires you? I was inspired to start Magic Of India watching my daughter growing up away from her roots. I really wanted her to find a way to get her to feel proud and connected with her heritage. I wanted to spread the cultural diversity of India to her and all the children around us. India has so much to offer, from the history of the land, the poetry of Tagore, the journey of Gandhi, to the vibrant arts like dance and music. All of these inspire me and keep me going every day.

4) What has been the biggest obstacle in your career? Working alone, struggling for funds and resources. We have scripted a set of 300 little learning films, with no resources to bring it to life. I’d like to see more artist, writers, teachers join in and teach, entertain and build the organisation and contribute to the children and adults, and feel a sense of India wherever they are. 5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? I was raised by a single mother, who balanced work and bringing us up and she has without a doubt been the biggest influence

practices” in the 2014 polls that re-elected him for his second term as Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets. His administration controlling an annual £1.2bn budget was brought down by his Election Trial soon after Communities Secretary Eric Pickles send in commissioners to the Town Hall over deals behind closed doors and cash being handed out to obscure groups without scrutiny. He was banned from office unril 2020. Rahman was then reported to the Solicitors Regulatory Authority which has led to next week’s disciplinary tribunal hearing. He “failed to uphold the rule of law and administration of

justice”, the tribunal is expected be told. The charges against him are now subject at the tribunal hearing for proof. Meanwhile, his application to start a new political party was thrown out last week because the name ‘Tower Hamlets Together’ that he chose is the same as a community organisation in the East End linking health and social care.

May faces second Brexit defeat Prime Minister Theresa May faced a second Brexit defeat in the House of Lords as we went to Press, putting her under further pressure as she attempts to meet her end-of-March deadline to trigger Article 50. Last week, the Lords voted by 358-256, a majority of 102, in favour of an amendment demanding protection for EU citizens living in the UK after Brexit.

on me. She ensured that we were persistently dedicated to the pursuits of arts, dancing and culture from a very young age. She once told me that I should only look for work that inspires me every day and if it does not, she can always feed me. That, coming from a woman of meagre means was powerful and has had a lasting impact on me. 6) What is the best aspect about your current role? To see children thrive in their dual heritage. Seeing them learn and smile is the best part. When their parents tell me stories of how these kids connected with their grandparents for the first time by speaking Hindi, that feeling is indescribable. It makes realise I’ve had some sort of impact on them, allowing them to connect with their heritage and culture. 7) And the worst? Being an entrepreneur can be very isolating, when trying to build a dream. Even people working close to you often wonder how and whether ideas will pan out. You have to be able to see far ahead and have an unwavering belief in yourself. 8) What are your long term goals? To build up a bank of stories,

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language lessons and maybe yoga videos, all freely accessible through YouTube, for children and people to access easily, so I can spread the thriving and layered Indian culture to people anywhere in the world, and to that end, find ways in which all our children thrive in the amazing texture that the culture offers. To be able to enjoy being a citizen of the world without fear. 9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? I would not change anything because I know that once I am in their shoes, there are many complex aspects to consider in each decision. I sincerely believe that they are working in our best interests. 10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why? I’d say Leonardo da Vinci because in one lifetime he explored art, science and music and I love that he didn’t limit himself to doing just one thing. He thrived and excelled in a number of fields and it would be a privilege to spend time with him. Apart from that I’d say Madonna has an amazing energy I admire, she’s so edgy, refreshing and bold. She fights all odds and comes out a shining, strong successful woman and it would be a privilege to spend time with her.

Ministers to sign free trade deal between UKIndia at Commonwealth Summit

Ex-mayor Rahman facing 4-day Solicitors disciplinary hearing Attempts by banned former mayor Lutfur Rahman to get back into Tower Hamlets politics has hit yet another crisis in his troubled career as he faces a four-day Solicitors Regulation Authority disciplinary tribunal which started this Tuesday. It concerns whether he is fit to practice as a lawyer after a High Court election judgement in 2015 for fraud and malpractice in office as Executive Mayor. Rahman, a family solicitor for 20 years, was reported to regulators after his disqualification as mayor, when he was found “personally guilty and guilty by his agents of illegal and corrupt

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That has already triggered Parliamentary "ping pong", since the Government has vowed to overturn the amendment - and any others passed in the Lords. But the Government's opponents in the Lords are confident of victory in a vote on a new clause headed: "Parliamentary approval for the outcome of negotiations with the European Union".

The UK Commonwealth Summit taking place in the UK between 9 and 10 March has planned to set free trade deals on course as Britain exists EU, will put other leading commonwealth countries including India on course for greater trade liberalisation, The Sunday Times has reported. More than 30 ministers and around 60 business chiefs will attend the summit in London. They are expected to sign an agreement that will pave the way for a free-trade deal between Britain and countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada after Brexit, the report said.

Ministers and business leaders will chair events on key issues such as finance, technology, good business practice and attracting inward investment at the event. Lord Marland, Chairman of the UK-based Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council has planned the summit to set free trade deals on course as Britain exits the European Union (EU). The newspaper said, "The summit, to be attended by Liam Fox, the [UK] international trade secretary, will also seek to put other leading Commonwealth countries such as South Africa,

Nigeria and India on course for greater trade liberalisation." Lord Marland told the paper, “We will have more than 30 Commonwealth trade ministers under the same roof for the first time ever. I'm hoping we can initiate a Commonwealth trade accord which will endorse the benefits of free trade. “There are huge opportunities for Britain. Everyone in the Commonwealth speaks English and it is underpinned by the UK rule of law. We enjoy a lot of cultural links like sport as well.”

Church minister 'had affairs with 7 churchgoers' A married church minister who was found hanged last month has been accused by his wife of having affairs with seven churchgoers, it has been claimed. Fifty-three-year-old Dr Iain D Campbell was

head of the Free Church of Scotland and a Presbyterian scholar. Allegations have emerged that his wife Anne, 54, has called on the seven women to be kicked out of the church for adultery.

It’s after she allegedly discovered evidence that her husband had been leading a double life for years. The Free Church of Scotland has launched an inquiry into the claims.


C MMENTS

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Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

Nothing to fear only fear itself This is how America’s greatest 20 th century president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorably described his fourth freedom, the Freedom from fear. His words are worth recalling against the tragic death by random shooting of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an Indian IT engineer in a Kansas bar. His assailant struck because he thought his victim was an illegal immigrant. Shortly afterwards, an Indian store owner, Harnish Patel by name, was murdered, his body discovered at the back of the premises. Whether he was a victim of a hate crime or a robbery is scant consolation to his bereaved family and local friends, for he was well liked and respected in the area in Lancaster County, South Carolina. Lax gun laws and the all powerful gun lobby have made America one of the most violent societies on earth. The incendiary mix of ignorance of geography and xenophobia have led to interventionist American policies in many corners of the world with catastrophic consequences for humanity. Unfortunately, India’s English-language broadsheets buy into the New York Times line that it is all President Trump’s fault. Not by a long chalk. It was Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama who embarked on the disastrous policies of regime change in Libya and Syria, just as President George W. Bush had done in Iraq. Of their culpability there is no mention in the Indian print media. They prefer, instead, to maintain an undignified silence at the imbecilic anti-Russian rants of Obama and Clinton. Long before Trump appeared on the political scene, Pulitzer prize-winning author, James Risen, had published his book on the scale of surveillance instituted by the Bush and Obama administrations which, he says, dwarfs anything previously known in American history. For those interested, Risen’s work is entitled, ‘State of War: Abuse of Power of the Bush Administration.’ A Hollywood Oscar was awarded to the Syrian ‘White Helmets’ for humanitarian work, while their covert relationship with jihadi terror organization was ignored amid pious declarations of virtuous intent. Democratic Party Congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard, has exposed the Obama administration’s covert funding of Syrian jihadi terror groups for reasons of realpolitik. Again, this is nothing new. The Jimmy Carter Administration (1976-80), under the prompting of its National Security Advisor, Zbgniew Brzezinski, a pathological Russia-baiter and unremittingly hostile to India, helped lubricate Washington’s jihadi links, boasted of his handiwork. The crusading zeal of this loquacious Polish American zealot appears to have abated somewhat as the jihadi chickens came home to roost in New York, Washington, Brussels, Paris and Cologne. Now, to other matters of moment. The new Indian Ambassador in Washington, Navtej Sarna, took advantage of the annual conclave of US State Governors in the capital to invite them to his official residence for an extended conversation on Indo-US relations. Ambassador Sarna in his address to the Governors

gave chapter and verse of the benefits to the US economy from the presence of these skilled people. The statistics are worth repeating. American firms employed 400,000 Indian IT specialists simply because of the exponential growth of Indian companies between 2001 to 2015. Indian tech companies paid $20 billion in taxes over the last five years. These companies paid $7 billion towards social security contributions in the past five years over and above the tax. Approximately 120,000 American lives from Indian corporate social responsibility contributions. The Ambassador hoped that the Governors would carry back to their States these facts and spread them around to counter any impression that these people were scroungers living off the fat of the land. He cautioned that aborting the H-1B visa scheme for Indian IT professionals and scaring off Indian companies from the US would be killing the proverbial goose that lay the golden eggs. Friendly persuasion is all that a foreign envoy can do in the circumstances; the rest lies in the province of the US administration and US legislators. However, that said, the cards are stacked in India’s favour, and this will continue to be so as long as Indian companies enjoy a price advantage in a highly competitive marketplace. According to the latest report of the Paris-based OECD India will produce 12 per cent of the world’s graduates. The increasing demand for skills in a rapidly expanding economy and the mismatch between needs and available human resources suggests that America’s reliance on overseas sources, India’s especially is likely to continue. President Trump being a businessman is keenly aware of the score, hence will think hard before deciding to throw overboard a scheme of such mutual benefit. President Trump appears to have hoisted the flag of economic nationalism: more jobs at home, more investment in agriculture and a sizeable increase in defence expenditure. How will he square the circle; how will he pay for all this? Fiscal prudence has to reclaim its rightful place in the scheme of things. To sell more abroad, the US surely will have to buy more from abroad. Hence protectionism will hardly fit the bill for all-round prosperity.. India figures prominently, both as a marketplace and a human resource base: The realities of a liberalized international economics cannot simply be wished away with the stroke of a protectionist pen. Old trade multilateral deals may have to be reworked or replaced by better bilateral arrangements, as President Trump plans to do. Best wait and see. So, let us say, the Trump administration refuses to maintain H-1B visas. The Indian footprint onshore will inevitably decline, but the telling Indian price advantage means the Indian offshore IT business will correspondingly increase. Scepticism should be leavened by realism based on President’s words on India. ‘I have great respect for India. It’s an amazing country, the world’s largest democracy and a natural ally of the US.’ There is good reason for optimism.

President Mukherjee reminds India of tolerant values President Pranab Mukherjee stepped into the fray to remind India of the importance of its values of tolerance and respect for diversity of views in the natnal discourse. He spoke out in the context of the disgraceful scenes at a well known Delhi college where a seminar was disrupted by violent demonstration by a students union affiliated to the Sangh Parivar. The demonstrators took offence at the speech of a young woman, Gurmekhar Kaur, whose father had died in action fighting in the ranks of the Indian Army. She preferred to make the futility of war the subject of her talk rather than pin blame for her family’s bereavement on any country. As a nation which pays homage to Mahatma Gandhi there was nothing offensive or unusual in her words. The demonstrators, irrationally, perceived her words to be pro-Pakistan, hence they accused her of

treason and compared her to the jihadi terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, currently holed up in Karachi. Knowing of the loss of a muchloved parent and circumstances in which he laid down his life in the performance of duty, the charge was surely grotesque. This man is wanted in India for terrorist funding in India.. To compare Ms Kaur to this criminal was both offensive and uniquely absurd. The hooliganism accompanying this insult was obscene. The scene on a college campus was sheer collective insanity, meriting surely a Mad Booker prize, responded a noted Delhi University teacher in utter despair. The ‘patriotism’ on show was once described as ‘the last refuge of a scoundrel.’ It was a prescient description uttered in 18 th century London by the wisest and most humane of men, Dr Samuel Johnson.

Rise in individual charity donors India was once described as a rich country with masses of poor of people. Poverty is widespread, despite a significant reduction in numbers since the economy was opened up in 1991. Much, admittedly, has been done, but only faster economic growth can guarantee poverty alleviation to tolerable levels. The challenge is not to leave everything to the government. In the interim, people blessed with wealth, whatever

the variables, can help their less fortunate brothers and sisters by contributing generously to education and health care to those most deprived, for that is where they are most vulnerable. The glad tidings tell quantum rise of individual benefactors, according to a Bain-Dasra report, which specializes in tracing the trajectory of philanthropy. Long may this progress prosper.

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Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. - Nelson Mandela Nick Clegg MP Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson

You can’t have a hard Brexit and a strong NHS People from elsewhere in the EU make a huge contribution to our economy as well as our society. The NHS would collapse if we told all the doctors, nurses and other valued staff from other EU countries that they were no longer welcome here. That’s why the Liberal Democrats spearheaded the government's first Brexit defeat as peers in the House of Lords voted in favour of an amendment to the Brexit bill to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK. Not only would such a move be a slap in the face to those who have cared for and helped so many British people back to health, it would also seriously damage health care in this country and put the nation’s very health at risk. But health is far from the only sector that would be damaged. The government has just indicated it wants to build a vast number of extra homes – how will it possibly deliver those targets if it turns its back on almost 10% of the country’s builders? The government is also relying on big infrastructure projects to support a fragile economy – all of which will require more builders, not less. Currently, Britain employs 210,000 Continental Europeans, 9% of the sector’s workforce. Other sectors that would be hit include manufacturing, which employs 311,000 foreign EU nationals (10% of the workforce) as well as accommodation and food services (243,000 EU workers, 14% of the workforce). Around 10% of doctors and 4% of nurses are understood to come from other EU countries. Overall, around 5% of NHS staff – almost 59,000 people – are from elsewhere in the EU. The stark truth is you can’t have a hard Brexit and a strong NHS, or a hard Brexit and an economy that delivers the homes Britain needs. That’s why the Liberal Democrats have this week called for the government to guarantee an immediate “NHS passport” for the 59,000 EU nationals who work directly for the NHS. Now that even David Davis has acknowledged we will need workers from the EU for the foreseeable future, why won’t Theresa May do the decent think and guarantee the right to remain for all EU citizens? These people are looking after our sick and elderly, Theresa May must not use families living in Britain as bargaining chips in some escalating hostage negotiation. Not only is this mean-spirited approach an appalling way to treat people who contribute so much to the British economy and society, it is harming Britain’s negotiating position. When even David Davis says that the UK economy will depend on EU immigration for years to come, it also begs the question why he wants to leave the Single Market. People must not be used as pawns in Theresa May’s dangerous game. We must secure the future of the millions of people currently held in limbo by this Brexit Government and stand up for a Britain that is open, tolerant and united. Editor: CB Patel

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Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

Magic of India Festival of Colours Magic of India is a social enterprise aimed at bringing Indian culture and language alive in a fun and engaging way, through classes, school workshops and a number of events. Many of the children they teach are British but of Indian heritage. The enterprise believes that being able to give these kids an insight into their culture, allowing them to establish a connection with their roots and give a sense of pride in being Indian, is simply unparalleled. A spokesperson said, “We really wanted them to find a way to get connected, feel proud of and enjoy their heritage. India has so much to offer, the great contributors of the land, the poetry of Tagore, the journey of Gandhi. A vibrant arts, dance, music. All this inspires us to bring it to life.” The founder, Geeta Srivastava, has won the Outstanding Achievement category at the British Indian Award. The award celebrates the ‘determination, hard work and personal achievements of British Indian men and women at the forefront of their industries and communities.’ One of her flagship events in the year is the widely attended Festival of Colours in London, which is a massive community event. This year the Holi

Poet and publisher Yogesh Patel presented to The Queen at the launch of UK-India Year of Culture on 27th February (Pic courtesy: The Buckingham Palace)

Cambridge, Prince Michael of Kent and other Royals mingled with the guests. The Duke of Edinburgh mused over the commingling of Patel and poet aspects with Yogesh Patel. He was impressed with the success of Indian in all aspects, especially recog-

nising their acumen for the business. Lord Kakkar, Lord Bilimoria and Lord Desai also represented the best of medicine, business and academic successes. Gurinder Chadha, Jatinder Verma and Nina Wadia represented film and theatre.

Asad Shah's killer preaching hate on prison phone Colour Festival event is on Sunday, March 12th, from 11am to 2pm, supported by the London Camden Council. Magic of India, in turn, is supporting the charity, Magic Bus, which empowers poor children through sports mentoring, leading them to study, and a livelihood. The event will have live entertainment from DJ to dancers and dhol players, delicious Indian cuisine from samosas to dosas, and dry colour powder play to bring out all the colours of Holi! Magic of India is also hosting a children Holi

storytelling workshop in English. Their storytelling is vivid and entertaining which makes the children learn the tale of Holika and share with their family, school and friends. The way the children connect with their parents and grandparents either by speaking Hindi or sharing a story makes Geeta realise that they have had a positive impact on these children, allowing them to connect with their heritage and culture. Please find more details on their website: www.magicofindia.org.

istrates' court on Monday (March 6). Emergency services were called to the Halifax bank opposite the recently closed down police station at around 6.50pm. The victim was rushed to hospital in a critical condition but died at around 2.30am on Tuesday morning (February 28). The London Assembly member for Brent and Harrow has recently voiced his concerns over knife crime in the capital and said she will be taking up the issue with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

Zeeshan Babar

In a letter to getwestlondon, Labour's Navin Shah wrote: "I was deeply saddened to hear that we have lost yet another life. It deeply concerns me that these devastating incidents seem to be happening more and more."

Peaches Golding becomes first black female Lord Lieutenant American-born Peaches Golding OBE, 63, has become the first black woman in Britain to become a Lord Lieutenant. The businesswoman will act as the Queen's representative in Bristol. Peaches Golding was born in North Carolina and is the daughter of Dr Charles Brady Hauser, an American civil rights campaigner and a D-Day veter-

Poet Yogesh Patel meets the Queen at Buckingham Palace Poetry is often forgotten when the culture is celebrated as it is not visual enough to feed the celebrity culture around us. So it fell upon Baroness Prashar, the Vice-Chair of the British Council, and someone who makes great efforts to support the Word Masala Foundation, run by poet Yogesh Patel, promoting the South-Asian diaspora poets, to make sure the poetry was represented reception The Queen hosted. A very select group of the elite from the various aspects of the British and Indian culture were invited by Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh. The Duke and Duchess of

Man charged after a father-of-two stabbed to death on busy high street in West London A man has been charged with the murder of Mohamed Al-Zufairi opposite a police station in Wealdstone. Femi Omotoso, 26, of Tudor Gardens, Wealdstone was charged on Sunday March 5, with his murder on February 27 in High Street, Wealdstone. A post-mortem examination at Northwick Park Hospital on last Wednesday (March 1) gave cause of death as a single stab wound to the heart. Omotoso appeared in custody at a London mag-

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an who took on a bus company after they tried to force him to sit at the back in South Carolina in 1947. Golding, who has lived and worked in Bristol for 35 years, was given an OBE in 2009 for services to ethnic minorities. She said the historic role was a dream come true, adding: “I am thrilled, I am honoured, I am extremely privileged.”

The killer of Glasgow shopkeeper is in the news for all the wrong reasons. Tanveer Ahmed, who is serving time for a minimum 27 years for the murder of Glasgowbased Asad Shah, is becoming a cult figure among extremists in Pakistan. The Bradford taxi driver has been preaching to his followers in Pakistan on a prison phone and has continued to produce a stream of recordings justifying the murder, a report in The Times said. Thirty-two-year-old Ahmed has now been

Asad Shah

banned from using the phone in his Scottish jail. Ahmed believed Shah committed blasphemy, and recently in January he said “beheading is the only punishment for a blasphemer” and called for the enemies of

Tanveer Ahmed

Islam to be “eliminated”. His crime has inspired a number of Pakistanis who see him as a “defender of Islam” for having killed someone they believe disrespected the Prophet Muhammad.

Hit-and-run driver jailed for 14 years A driver who caused lifethreatening injuries to a man after he deliberately ran over him and left the victim fighting for life has been sentenced to 14 years. Twenty-three-year-old Zeeshan Babar, of Bulwark Court, Parkside Square, Isle of Dogs, drove away and set fire to the car in nearby Joshua Street after the incident. He had pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent and the arson offence on January 3. He was also sentenced

Zeeshan Babar

to five years’ imprisonment for arson, to run concurrently, and disqualified

from driving for 12 years when he appeared at the Old Bailey last week. On July 9 last year, a black car was seen speeding around the corner from St Leonards Road, Poplar, into Zetland Street, the court heard. Babar drove at Vladislavs Loginus and sent him flying through the air, leaving him with a fractured skull. A group of bystanders went to the aid of the 24year-old Loginus. Babar was arrested within hours of the offence.

Online GP services may pose risk to patients: Watchdog The Care Quality Commission has warned that the companies that let patients to get prescription medicines online could be risking their health. The warning comes after investigators found

two firms were putting patients at risk by failing to examine their medical history before prescribing medicines. There were also doubts about whether its workers were sufficiently skilled or

qualified to issue diagnoses and prescriptions. The care watchdog found no processes for contacting a patient's GP, even in cases requiring monitoring or a follow-up appointment.

Zoo denied licence after animals' deaths

Peaches Golding

A zoo's application for a new licence has been turned down after almost 500 animals died within four years. The 486 deaths of animals at South Lakes Safari Zoo in Dalton-inFurness, Cumbria, between January 2013 and September 2016,

were detailed in a report prepared by officers at Barrow Borough Council. A keeper was also killed by a tiger. When the founder of the zoo, David Gill, applied to renew the licence for the zoo, it was rejected by the Barrow Borough Council.

David Gill


UK Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

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Note ban continues to burn PIOs Mitul Paniker In what effectively turned out to be one of the biggest public inconveniences in Indian history, consequences and implications of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ban on old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes issued on November 8 last year, refuse to die down. While the dust has settled on the issue, and Indian residents have finally come to terms with the change, those settled abroad continue to struggle with their banned currency notes. It has yet again been brought to light, that while the Reserve Bank of India made arrangements for NRIs to exchange their cash, they overlooked People of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizens of India (OCI). An RBI FAQ distinctly states that the amendment is only applicable to Indian passport holders. "In terms of Paragraph 4.1 of the GoI Ordinance No. 10 of 2016 dated December 30, 2016 on 'The Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities), a facility for exchange of SBNs is made available for the resident and non-resident Indian citizens (Indian passport required) who could not avail the facility from November 10 to December 30, 2016 on account of their absence from India during the aforementioned period.'" To elucidate the matter, Point 6 of the FAQ reads, "Is the facility available to Overseas

Citizens of India (OCI)/Persons of Indian Origin (PIO)? No, the facility is not available to people who are not Indian citizen." Apparently, the Indian government has left OCI and PIOs hanging with no means to exchange their dead cash. The government's disposition for those not present in the country during the period of the notification was in a real sense, not of much help either, and only added to people's woes. Non Resident Indians braced long queues, much to their chagrin to exchange the old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. The RBI had designated 5 specific central bank branchesMumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, and Nagpur, across the country for the deed. Soon enough, tempers ran high, and the administration's flip-flop came to notice. Several people who had travelled long distances to reach the allotted branches, were denied entry by guards who claimed they were not carrying requisite documents. Hundreds of complaints were made, by NRIs who were not allowed to speak to officials and at least express their grievances. Ritu Diwan, a US national said, "Though I have a foreign passport, I still have roots in India. Our family comes to India every year. We have few

Indian currency notes and we want to exchange them but we are not allowed to enter RBI. Mr Prime Minister are we supposed to burn Indian currency that we have?" She also said that the harassment indicated that PIOs are not welcome to the country of their birth any more. Eventually, many PIOs returned empty handed, furious at the RBI's "high-handedness". When contacted, KH Patel, Chairman, Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry NRG Centre, said, "It is true that the government policy for changing the old currency of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 into new currency is only for NRIs, i.e., for Indian passport holders. According to me, the policy should have covered all PIOs as well, irrespective of the passports they hold. As a member of the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin, we have taken up the matter with the government and asked to cover all PIOs in the scheme. Unfortunately, so far we have not received any positive response from the

government." Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar Publisher/Editor CB Patel, had personally met Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani during his visit to India earlier this year, and expressed his apprehensions over the lack of proper arrangements on RBI's part. CM Rupani had even called the Finance Ministry in New Delhi in CB's presence, and asked the official to help NRGs by making required facilities available. CB had explained how Indians settled abroad have been facing innumerable troubles due to the unavailability of solid planning on the government's behalf. He even wrote a letter to the CM recently, putting forth suggestions to ease the entire process of exchanging banned notes. In the letter, the editor stated that there are branches of several Indian banks, functioning in Britain. If they are authorised to accept the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, things would become much easier for people from the Indian Community settled there. For possibilities of any kind of malpractice, CB suggested that provisions to endorse Indian passport could be made. Granted, the move came as the Government's attack on corruption and black money, the exclusion of PIOs came as a surprise given the current administration's soft spot for the overseas Indian community.

Parliament witnesses the launch of the Great British Chai Party The International Women's Day was celebrated at the House of Commonson 6th March, at an event hosted by Bob Blackman MP, in presence of a number of influential and inspirational speakers from Parliament like Lord Navnit Dholakia, Baroness Sandip Verma, Lord Dolar Popat and the community, who came together to share their view point. The evening also marked the launch of The Great British Chai Party, an exciting initiative focusing on the elderly and supporting government initiatives for a better quality of life in this age group. By 2020, Britain will have more than one million over 70 year olds. Although good work is being done through Age UK and other similar organisations for the elderly, there is a lot more can still be done. The party is co-founded by Kiran Bhanaut and Sushma Bhanot. The key objectives of

Kiran Bhanaut, Baroness Jenkin, Bob Blackman MP, Baroness Sandip Verma, Lord and Lady Dholakia and Sushma Bhanot (Photo courtesy: Raj D Bakrania, PrMediapix)

this party are: To tackle loneliness and social isolation of elderlies by hosting periodical tea parties for them, use these parties to enhance social cohesion, facilitate friendships among elderlies and ensure they can attend these parties by arranging transports for them. Statistics show, in the UK there are approximately 3000 lonely funerals per year, funded by Councils. There are 1 million elderly people who do not see any-

one for 1 month and 4 million elderly people say TV is their only source of communication and companionship. Sushma Bhanot, Director of Coolherbals and CoChair of International Womens Day said, “International Women’s Day is a day of celebration as well as reflection and planning for the future. One of this year’s projects is the launch of the Great British Chai Party.

Kiran Bhanaut, Senior Health & Safety and IT Services Project Management Consultant, Co-Chair of International Women’s Day said, ‘This initiative is to get elderly people coming out of their homes and meeting other like-minded people. Some Asian women particularly feel isolated and this can lead to depression. Through chai or tea parties we are hoping to empower older people to lead full and happy lives.”

In Brief

5

Boys less likely to seek support for suicidal thoughts

Boys are six times less likely than girls to seek support from Childline for suicidal feelings, Office for National Statistics figures show. This, despite they being at more than double the risk of suicide. In 2015/16, the NSPCC-run service delivered 1,934 counselling sessions about suicidal feelings with boys, compared to 11,463 with girls. The latest national data show that the suicide rate for boys aged 10-19 was more than double that for girls in 2015.

Unisex toilets in Glasgow schools on cards

Unisex toilets will be introduced in new primary schools in Glasgow. This will help children struggling with gender identity issues, the Glasgow council has announced. Council bosses believe the same-sex washrooms will cut bullying and help pupils who are confused about their gender. Several parents have written letters of objection to the local authority after it emerged boys and girls will share restroomsat Gowanbank, Blairdardie and Carntyne primaries.

Delinquents putting footage online face stricter punishment

Young offenders who film their crimes on mobile phones to post on social media to humiliate their victims will get tougher punishments. According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, judges have been told for the first time that “additional distress” caused by posting footage of crimes online must be considered an “aggravating factor”. The proposals by the Sentencing Council come after a series of high-profile cases in which delinquents have filmed sexual offences and other crimes.

Former straight-A student ‘was obsessed with martyrdom’

A would-be suicide bomber told an IS contact he was willing to put on a suicide vest and “press the button on the same day”, the Old Bailey has heard. The 22-year-old former straight-A student, Mubashir Jamil, shaved off his beard, cut his hair and bought a football and played in his back garden to make himself less suspicious, the court heard. The court heard how the avid computer gamer became obsessed with “martyrdom” after surfing the web for IS propaganda. Jamil, of Luton, allegedly saved almost 2,000 pounds working in an Amazon warehouse and used an encrypted messaging app on his phone in an attempt to join IS. Jamil, who was born in Pakistan but came to the UK at the age of two, denies terrorism charges. The trial continues.

Asda fined £300k after rodents run riot at depot

An Asda delivery depot was littered with dead mice and flies

Asda has been fined £300,000 after dead mice and flies were found by inspectors at a home delivery depot in north London. They were discovered in the bread section of the site in Enfield, which distributes food to online shoppers in Essex and London. Council officers also found mouse droppings on shelves and in a packet of cereal, the shells of fly pupae, and a packet of sugar that had been gnawed by rats. Asda admitted three food safety and hygiene

breaches and was also ordered to pay £4,843 costs. A spokesman for the retailer said: “The conditions found at our Enfield home shopping centre in May 2016 were completely unacceptable and we are deeply sorry that on this occasion the strict processes we have in place failed at a local level. We would like to reassure all our customers that immediate steps were taken as soon as the issue was flagged last year to restore the high standards that our customers expect from us.”


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TOP BRITISH GIANTS ROCK THE AVPPL AWARDS

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Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

Winner of ‘Doctor of the Year’ category - Professor Nadey Hakim receiving his award from Eleanor Laing MP and CB Patel, Publisher/Editor of Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar

Rupanjana Dutta

Compere for the evening Sheena Bhattessa

The evening of Thursday (2 March) saw the Members Dining Room in the Palace of Westminster bursting with excitement, to celebrate the achievement of 19 individuals from different walks of life at the 11th Asian Voice Political and Public Life Awards. Winners included popular names like campaigner Gina Miller, actor Dev Patel, Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations in the Metropolitan Police and the UK-lead for counterterrorism, Mark Rowley and 2016 UK Premier League ChampionLeicester City Football Club’s Claudio former Manager Ranieri. The compere for the

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Harnoop Aktar, winner of the ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ receiving his award from Chief Guest Eleanor Laing MP and CB Patel

evening was Sheena Bhattessa and Chief Guest was Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons Eleanor Laing MP. The Deputy High Commissioner of India to UK, Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik, calling the winners ‘the heroes we need today’ said, “It is very important in today’s world, when there is so much turmoil all over, that, we have heroes to look up to and to incentivise to do better...The awards are a great way to tell people that we recognise the fact that we are doing well in a community, system, society, in a country and in the world at large...” His Excellency gave away the Philanthropists of the Year award to brothers Vijay and Bhiku Patel. Accepting her award as the

Campaigner of the Year, Ms Miller, whose fight against this Government over Brexit will go down in the annals of legal and parliamentary history, a story perhaps worthy of the Oscars, in her true spirit said, “Every single of us have a responsibility and a mind to speak our minds...I am here not because of my successes but because of my failures...Do not ever underestimate the strength of your voice, conscience and actions. One person can take on those who talk about things that are morally and intellectually indefensible and if we all come together in a stream of consciousness which means that we will preserve what makes our society so great...” This was Ms Miller’s first award after her stupendous and

historic Brexit legal battle victory recently. Mark Rowley, the Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations in the Metropolitan Police and the UK-lead for counterterrorism was introduced as the ‘reason we can sleep soundly at night’. Accepting his awards and attributing a great deal of the success to the unique relationship between the Police and community, he said, “I take this award on behalf of all the policemen and women in this country.” The Asian Voice Political and Public Life Awards represent a modest effort to honour a number of outstanding individuals who serve society in their own special way, and who contribute significantly, in whatev-

Award being presented to the winner of ‘Shadow Minister of the Year’ Rt Hon Diane Abbott MP by Chief Guest Eleanor Laing MP and CB Patel

Veteran journalist H S Rao of the PTI being presented with the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by Chief Guest Eleanor Laing MP and CB Patel

Atul Patel of St George’s Medical Ltd being presented with the ‘Business Performance and Innovation in Health Industry’ award by Eleanor Laing MP and CB Patel

Jimmy Desai receiving the ‘Pharmacist of the Year’ award from Eleanor Laing MP as CB Patel looks on

‘Political Book of the Year’ award being presented to Sir Craig Oliver by Eleanor Laing MP and CB Patel

Dipti Mistry of Bhaarat Welfare Trust being given the ‘Award for Community Service’ by Eleanor Laing and CB Patel


HOUSE AT ANNUAL EXTRAVAGANZA AVPPL AWARDS

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Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

7

This year's distinguished winners are:

l Gina Miller (Campaigner of the Year) l Rory Stewart MP OBE (Minister of the Year) l Claudio Ranieri (Sports Personality of the

Dr Vijay Patel and Bhiku Patel being presented with the ‘Philanthropists of the Year’ award by Deputy High Commissioner of India to UK, Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik, Deputy Speaker of HoC Eleanor Laing MP and CB Patel

er they do, towards making a better world today and for the future. Owing to the centuryold tradition of participation in the political process in the UK, Women and People equally participate in political and public life in a number of ways, from holding office as political representatives, to exercising citizenship rights such as voting, and to playing an active role in community and voluntary organisations. These awards are given annually to individuals who have made a special impact in the preceding 12 months, ranging from international politicians to individuals who have made a big difference

in their local communities. As in previous years, the competition for awards is extremely strong. This is a unique event where readers nominate and an independent panel of judges comprising eminent personalities selects the winners. CB Patel, Publisher and Editor of Asian Voice, said: “On the 10th anniversary of our awards, like every year, we have recognised some incredible people who have made enormous contributions to politics and public life. “I am so thrilled that we can celebrate the achievements of those who have made a positive difference to Britain, regardless of

their political party, race, colour or religion. Congratulations winners. Please keep up your good work.” Chief Guest Eleanor Laing said, “It is my great honour to be involved in this and I am delighted to present the awards. It’s wonderful to see so many people coming together who have made such a difference in all they have done over a lifetime’s work and service, and not just for themselves but for the communities around them. “I had the very great pleasue of visiting Surat (Gujarat) last week, and I could see that it has a wonderfully vibrant community. The thing that delighted

CB Patel, Suryakant Varsani, Secretary, Kutch Leva Patel Community, Chief Guest Eleanor Laing MP, Laxman Mulji, Burntaok Builders and Dhirendra Patel, Corssville Builders

Assistant Commissioner of Met Police, Mark Rowley QPM, receiving the ‘Public Service Award’ from the Deputy Speaker of HoC and CB Patel

me the most while I was there, was the importance of the close ties, the brotherhood between the United Kingdom and India and indeed the whole of Asia and Subcontinent... “It’s wonderful to have these celebrations this evening. I would like to thank Mr Patel and Asian Voice, for all you do, by bringing all our communities together, throughout the world. I congratulate everyone who have won an award tonight and also all those who have supported everyone who have won an award. I am delighted that the House of Commons could provide with the backdrop for this wonderful celebrations.”

Year) l Rt Hon Diane Abbott MP (Shadow Minister of the Year) l Mark Rowley QPM, Assistant Commissioner (Public Service Award) l Dev Patel (Actor of the Year) l Mary Ellen Powers (International Diversity Award) l Bhiku Patel and Dr Vijay Patel (Philanthropists of the Year) l Sir Craig Oliver (Political Book of the Year) l David Morris MP (Conservative Backbencher of the Year) l HS Rao, The Press Trust of India (Lifetime Achievement Award) l Jim Shannon MP (Northern Ireland MP of the Year) l Baroness Brady CBE (Peer of the Year) l Dipti Mistry, Bhaarat Welfare Trust (Award for Community Service) l Jimmy Desai (Pharmacist of the Year) l Harnoop Atkar (Young Entrepreneur of the Year) l St George’s Medical Ltd (Business Performance and Innovation in Health Industry) l Professor Nadey Hakim (Doctor of the Year) l Tim Farron MP (Liberal Democrat of the Year)

Photo courtesy: Raj D Bakrania, PrMediapix Vineet Johri (Video and Photograph)

Members of the UK Armed Forces and guests at the Political and Public life awards

Shailesh Raval, Big Joe Egan and Sandip Patel from Ambe Medical Group with Kishore Parmar, ABPL Group

Amarpal Singh (Shany) Gupta and Yllka Sufi of Duncan Lewis Solicitors with Lalubhai Parekh, President of Overseas Friends of BJP


8

UK

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Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

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A Glorious or Inglorious Empire?

Lord Popat Was it a glorious or inglorious Empire? That was the hotly debated question at an event organised by Lord Bhikhu Parekh in Parliament last week, folMP lowing Congress Shashi Tharoor’s visit to the UK to promote the launch of his new book An Inglorious Empire. Tharoor made headlines in 2015 after a speech at the Oxford Union, where he slammed Britain for its colonial past in India and demanded reparations for its actions. Whilst Tharoor’s argument last week was very compelling, it was a onesided argument that could – in the moment - convince most people that the British Empire was indeed “inglorious”. It is only on reflection that his case becomes significantly weaker. Tharoor argues that India’s share of the world economy dropped from 23 to 4 per cent during the centuries of informal and formal British rule. He claimed that Britain ‘sucked away’ India’s prosperity. But India’s decline was less to do with the British Empire, and more to do with the rapid transformation of Western Europe by the Industrial

Revolution. India was a largely agricultural economy that could not match an industrialising one for growth. Tharoor went further and touched on the tremendous contribution that India and her soldiers played in the Second World War –a contribution that Tharoor claims helped Britain win the War and which India was never compensated for. But it’s worth noting that both Gandhi and Nehru supported Britain during the Second War, because they knew like the rest of India that it was in their interest to back Britain to avoid an invasion from fascist Germany at the time. As a proud British Indian, who will forever remain grateful to this great country for allowing East Africans like myself to settle and prosper in Britain, I find such arguments very upsetting and unnerving. Before I am labelled by some as “AntiIndian”, I would like to make clear that I agree that there were some dark sides to the British Raj –but there were many good sides too. It does not suit India to play victim, particularly at a time when India is about to embark on the global stage as a superpower. Quite frankly Tharoor’s rhetoric is demeaning and

a little offensive to India. Is Tharoor saying that a country of India’s size, resources and populace are being held back by something that was decades ago? India’s history is littered with invasions and ruling powers. Between the 12th and 16th centuries, large parts of India were conquered, first by armies from the Middle East, and then Turks, as well as the Mongols of Central Asia. Had the British not been in charge, India could have been another Saudi Arabia. It wasn’t a case of the British or democracy, more a case of which colonial power would rule India. Tharoor is quick to Winston condemn Churchill, but he is also quick to dismiss the oppor-

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tunities and security that the British Raj brought with it. Britain has left a strong history in India that has helped it to grow. You know the list: democracy, railways, the English language, strong and deep cultural links, the rule of law,

cricket, the irrigation of Punjab, the establishment of great trading cities like Bombay, Calcutta and Madras, the suppression of the sati practice. It certainly wasn’t all perfect, but it certainly wasn’t all bad either. And Britain continues to help India in many ways since Independence, from DFID projects in the country to diplomatic support (has another nation been more committed to getting India a permanent place on the UN Security Council?) Just last week, Her Majesty hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the UK-India Year of Culture. The UK and India still have a deep bond – that many other former Empires like Germany and France do not have with their former colonies.

When I compare Rwanda – and it’s ‘no excuses’ approach – which has transformed itself in a little over twenty years since Genocide – and India, it is obvious to me that only one of those countries is focused on a better future and has shown consistent leadership and vision. In contrast, Indian politicians continue to look for someone else to blame. We should no longer bear the guilt burden of India’s short comings. Looking in the mirror might help. The time to move on has come; forget the colonial gripes – imagined and real - and instead embrace the bright future that should be coming. It’s time for India to start shaping history, rather than being defined by it.

Tharoor: 'History is its own revenge'

Rupanjana Dutta

MP Shashi Tharoor visited the UK to launch his book 'Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India', published by Hurst, London. He attended a number of events to discuss the content of his book and the emotions behind it, the first being a conversation Professor Daya with Thussu, held at the Westminster University, organised by The Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies and the India Media Centre of the Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design. On Sunday at a private event in London's Royal Overseas League, he was in conversation with Journalist and Author Anita Anand and his book was launched by High Commissioner of India to UK, His Excellency Y K Sinha. On Monday 6th he spoke at the London School of Economics as a part of the High Commission of India and LSE South Asia Centre's 100 Foot Journey Club joint initiative. He was also appointed as the new Patron for the National Indian Students and Alumni UK during his talk at the Westminster University. In his book, Tharoor wrote, that, during the eighteenth century, India's share of the world economy was as large as Europe's. By 1947, after two centuries of British rule, it had decreased six-fold. Beyond conquest and deception, the Empire blew rebels from cannon, massacred unarmed protesters, entrenched institutionalised racism, and caused millions to die from starvation. British imperialism justified itself as enlightened despotism for the benefit of the governed, but Shashi Tharoor has taken on and demolished this

MP Shashi Tharoor in conversation with Professor Daya Thussu at the Westminster University

position, demonstrating how every supposed imperial 'gift' from the railways to the rule of law was designed in Britain's interests alone. In his book he goes on to show how Britain's Industrial Revolution was founded on India s deindustrialisation, and the destruction of its textile industry. In this bold and incisive reassessment of colonialism, Tharoor has aimed to expose the devastating effect the inglorious reality of Britain's stained Indian legacy. As Britain prepares to exit from the European Union, it is evident that the country is reconfiguring its role in the wider world. Celebrating 2017 as the UK-India Year of Culture, Britain may also need to reassess its imperial past. Tharoor Speaking to Channel 4 said there is “historical amnesia” in Britain about what the empire entailed. He added that he also objects to Indians, who are good at forgiving and forgetting, forgetting the British Raj. “Let them forgive, but let them not forget,” he told presenter Jon Snow. Calling 'history its own revenge' to ensure the relationship between the two nations strengthen post Brexit, Tharoor insisted that UK needs to reciprocate to the Indians more, whether it's international students' visa or skills. However, he ensured that the current relations between India and Britain

are about two sovereign nations that have come a long way, adding that India’s economy is as big as Britain’s now. Saying there needs to be awareness about our real history, the MP added, “If you don’t know where you’ve come from, how will you appreciate where you’re going.” Tharoor also cited the example of students studying at an ‘A’ level, who are not taught of colonial history and the “atrocities”, or that Britain financed its industrial revolution and its prosperity from the depredations of empire. “Britain came to one of the richest countries in the world (India) in the early 18th century and reduced it, after 200 years of plunder, to one of the poorest,” he said. In fact a YouGov poll found 43% of Brits thought the British Empire was a good thing, while 44% were proud of Britain's history of colonialism The same poll also found 43% believed the British Empire was a good thing, 19% said it was bad and 25% said it was "neither". At its height in 1922, the British empire governed a fifth of the world's population and a quarter of the world's total land area. Although the proponents of Empire say it brought various economic developments to parts of the world it controlled, critics point to massacres, famines and the use of concentration camps by the British Empire.


UK Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

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Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Samit Biswas creates a healthcare revolution, uses technology to transform treatment This is the story of how one committed entrepreneur has created a healthcare revolution and is using technology to transform the treatment of patients in India as well as the UK. Samit Kumar Biswas is the Director and CEO of Advatech Healthcare Europe Ltd.

Background

Samit’s father was a state government employee. Samit and his sister were raised in a joint family with his mother and two uncles in Katwa, West Bengal, about 110 miles from Kolkata. He graduated in zoology from Burdwan University, West Bengal, and has an MBA in International Business from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade. As a young boy Samit used to organise pujas and charities in school. His social entrepreneurial skills were quite apparent. “I supported Helen Keller blind school charity in class six. But joining the World Scouting changed my life. I travelled with my Scout teams, attending camps all across the country. I distributed free water at Lucknow railway station when I was in class eight. I had a dream to make an

Kishan Devani, Consultant

tened to BBC, CNN and Deutsche Radio and started winning school prizes for creative writing, recitation and social works. Samit says that a British Council membership for Rs 200 led to the creation of his business in the UK, resulting in his selection for the Global Entrepreneurship Programme by the Department for International Trade. Samit worked with Eureka Forbes as Sales Executive selling air purifiers, and then moved to Medtronic as regional head East. It was while working with these firms he discovered the gaps in Indian healthcare delivery. He felt that consumers had few options. “The doctor was god, while the patients were kept in the dark. In 2005 I lost my father-inlaw’s elder brother. That was the first time I saw death as an adult. I saw how painful death could be if there was poor infrastructure.”

Turning Point

impact on society doing something different,” he remembers. Samit's family had limited financial resources. There was no internet or television. “We got electric-

ity at home when I was in class 8 in 1988. We had our own TV in 1989 – a secondhand black and white EC TV,” recalls Samit nostalgically He watched and lis-

pany in 2011. It got the Best Start-up company award and was incubated in STEP IIT Kharagpur.”

Ambition

Samit has an ambition which he intends to bring to fruition. He explains enthusiastically, “My dream is to create a global transportation solution for the disabled (physically and medically), emergency and non-emergency (Hippocabs.co.uk), (BookMyAmbulance.co.uk ) and (Ambufly.com).” With family, friends and self-generated profits, he is funding his new venture running in Essex and West Bengal. He got a small loan and funding from Webel. Samit's brands are: - www.advatechhealth.com - www.hippocabs.co.uk - www.ambufly.com - www.meditouria.com - www.myhealthchk.com

Access to private healthcare

In the UK, Samit finds preventive healthcare noticeably absent. This painful “The healthcare discovery led “My dream is to d e m o g r a p h i c Samit to his and disease create a global mission to patterns are transportation create a changing. s o c i a l solution for the So prevenimpact. “In tive healthcare disabled” 2010 my wife is needed to Samit Kumar reduce our disf o r m e d A d v a t e c h Biswas ease burden and Healthcare – a the costs involved. company that helps Keeping this in mind we patients take informed have created a platform decisions with the help of where anyone over 40 can technology, get proper check their cardiac profile treatment and an expected through MyHealthchk. It outcome. I joined the comcosts £199 and offers 26

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blood and body fluid tests, an ECG, X Ray, GP consultation and a cardiologist’s comments. Any sort of private medical transportation is available on 08008606727.” In India, Samit's firm is considered to be a medical tourism company. “We are the first company to be accredited by the Ministry of Tourism as a Medical Tour Operator. We are offering 24x7 ambulance services for corporates like Jons Lang Lesallae, DLF, Tata Power and Maithon Power Limited. We also offer training programmes from one day to three years on First Aid, CPR, and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Recently we were awarded a British Safety Council Membership. The University of Derby Online selected us as their Indian partner to promote their online courses to Indian students,” says Samit. In addition, Samit runs the Anand Mela, a very special event, an opportunity to connect with and showcase his services to the Asian community. “This year we are doing some medical seminars on IVF, joint replacement, spinal surgery, bariatric surgery, cosmetic, dental and eye treatment. We are also organising Meditouria 2017, just before Anand Mela, with all kinds of private healthcare services in the UK and overseas (Poland, Hungary, Costa Rica, India, Thailand, Singapore). We are getting banks, financial institutions, legal firms and airline operators under one roof.”


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READERS’ VOICE

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Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

Knife crime

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National parliaments' majority voting system

I was deeply saddened to hear that we have lost yet another life to knife crime on our streets, when a man was stabbed to death on a busy high street in Wealdston. This follows the tragic murders earlier this year of Djodjo Nsaka, a 19 year old business studies student, who was stabbed near his halls of residence close to Wembley Stadium, and Quamari Serunkuma-Barnes who was just 15 when he died after an attack in Willesden. It deeply concerns me that these devastating incidents seem to be happening more and more: the escalation of knife crime on our streets is not something any of us should accept. Locally we must act to tackle knife crime. In Brent and Harrow we need to engage with young people, setting out the dangers of carrying knives and the need to report violence of any kind. I am taking up the matter with the Mayor of London, and his Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, to ensure that they act swiftly to put in place measures to stop the proliferation of knives and related crime across Brent, Harrow, and London as a whole. It’s time we put a stop to these awful acts before more local lives are tragically lost. Navin Shah AM Labour London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow

Taking advantage of Christians in India?

Jubel D'Cruz is at it again and, if he is not careful, readers will get tired of his blatantly biaised and one sided letters! Crimes against ALL communities (whether minorities or the majority) should be condemned and properly investigated by the Police and action taken against the perpetrators. In today's Indian newspapers, there is a report of the following crime commited by a Vicar against a minor girl and I reproduce the 1st line of the report here: "Eight people, including five nuns, have been booked for their role in hiding facts related to the alleged rape of a minor girl by a vicar of a church in the state of Kerala" Sadly, there are bad apples in ALL communities, both majority and minority communities and it is a pity that Jubel D'Cruz continues to be in self-denial about this. R Jeshang By email

Holi - message of friendship and goodwill

Holi gives us the message of friendship and goodwill. On this occasion we forget our old quarrels with people and mix with one another freely. At least for a day we forget social distinctions completely. On Holi, there is no difference between the rich and the poor. Holi gives us great joy. It is a happy occasion when we forget our cares and anxieties. But Holi has got some evils too. Many people get drunk on this occasion. They indulge in rowdy behaviour and apply colours that are dangerous for health. Some people sing indecent songs and abuse women too. We should celebrate Holi in a decent way. We must realize that it is a festival of joy and friendship. We should share our joys with others. We must not behave in an indecent manner. The real spirit of the festival should be maintained. Holi is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with a lot of non-Hindus too. Holi celebrations begin with the lighting of a bonfire the previous night. Numerous legends and stories are associated with the festival which makes it more exuberant and vivid. People put 'gulal' and 'abeer' on each other’s faces and cheer up saying, "bura na maano Holi hai". People who want to celebrate Holi in the real spirit of colours should be confined to certain areas along with the willing partners so that others are not offended or subjected to inconvenience. The way the unsuspecting passersby are discoloured with toxic dyes renders it as an unholy affair. Let’s have a holy Holi. Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai, India

Moral obligation

While both the houses of parliament are thrashing out minute details of the Brexit process, it is time to pause and reflect on how Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) would affect EU nationals who are living here and conversely to British citizens living in European countries. The media feels that the British Government is under heavy moral obligation to reassure EU nationals that they will not be forced to leave the UK after Brexit. But the government has vowed to overturn a demand by the Lords to guarnatee the rights of these people. At the same time, what would happen to British citizens who are living in EU countries like Spain or France? They would have bought properties in Europe. Would they be driven out too? It will be morally wrong to drive out people en masse as morality is about right or wrong and not ifs and buts. So it is wrong to imagine that if we throrw out EU nationals, Britons will be similarly thrown out. How would all this affect us Indians? EU nationals from Poland, Romania etc are stronger and much hard working and have much energy and dynamism. They are prepared to do any kind of work and have taken away jobs in the building and construction industry from the Asians. Therefore, looking at the whole scenario from a nonmagnanimous point, we Indians would be better off when the Romanians and the Poles return to their respective countries. Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Dear Letter Writers

Thank you for your letters to our ‘Readers’ Voice’ section. As you may recall a few years back we made it mandatory that your ‘letters to the editor’ must not be more than 200 words. Despite that we have allowed people to write upto 250-300 words and have edited them as and when required. However some letter writers continue to send letters up to 500 words. Our Editorial team has been editing them every week. However the team and the Editors have decided that from now on, if any letter is more than 300 words, we will unfortunately not be able to accommodate in the paper. Please note: Letters must be written within 250 words. And can be sent via email to aveditorial@abplgroup.com by Monday 5pm or by fax to 020 7749 4080 or by post. - AV

In the EU Law, voting is defined differently than just a simple majority of 51% to carry through a policy decision or a piece of legislation, etc. Decisions are taken in the EU by debate and negotiation between The Council; The European Commission; and The European Parliament. The voting procedure in The Council, consisting of authorised representatives of each member State is of two types: unanimous if vital national interests are at stake; and “a qualified majority” with minimum of 255 votes, representing 62% of the EU population. It is based on differential weighting according to the size and influence of the State. On 31st March 2017 when UK triggers Article 50, from next day EU population excluding UK will become 446 million. Currently there is a total of 352 votes with UK holding 29 votes. On 1st April 2017, it will become a total of 323 votes. The Commission is comprised of 28 Commissioners. 27 Commissioners after UK leaves. It has a staff of 24,000. It acts by a simple majority. Finally, there is the European Parliament that has 753 MEPs. UK has 73 MEPs. Voting there is on a majority basis. The demographics of the European Union will change dramatically. Germany (18%); France (15%); Italy (14%); Spain (10%) and Poland (9%), a total of 66% of the reduced EU population of 446 million. In Brexit, vital national interests are at stake. A much higher than a simple majority needs to be applied. Nagindas Khajuria By email

Life after Life

In Asian Voice of the 4th March, Mr. Rudy Otter's asked two questions. 1. Can Humans attain Moksha i.e. come out of vicious circle of Life and Death? and 2. What happens after Moksha? These are very complex to answer even for all Religious Heads and Philosophers! All the kind, honest, charitable don't get Moksha if they die with corporal and corporeal desires! Good people go to Heaven and the bad ones go to Hell where they enjoy or suffer as per their deeds, Karma and are reborn again. Mundane desires, kam, are the culprit, they result in greed, anger, ego, hate, violence and will destroy you! After getting human body, gighest stage of physical evolution, you train and exercise your mind to achieve mental evolution to free your soul from vicious circle of life and death and achieve moksha by 3 ways : 1. Bhakti Yog, incessant devotion to God by praying and chanting his name 2. Sanyas (Gyan) Yog, renouncing everything for moksha as a sage 3. Karma Yog, in this you do your duties towards all without expecting rewards, lead simple life, treat and help all living beings and circumstances equally, be unattached and pray to God daily and at the point of Death to achieve Eternity! Answer to the 2nd is difficult. Moksha means you mingle in Eternal Light of God. You may become some star or planet like Sun, Moon or Earth or you may be reborn as some saint or prophet to preach or destroy the evil and sin from the Earth like Moses or Mahatma Gandhi!! Upendra Kapadia By email

Importance of Holi

On the upcoming auspicious Hindu festival of Holi-Dhuleti I,on behalf of my family and friends from Canada extend our warmest wishes to all the readers of Asian Voice, Gujarat Samachar and it's staff. This festival celebrates the arrival of spring and also the chance to burn our ego, arrogance, grudge towards anyone, may be with our acquitances, friends or relatives occurred due to misunderstanding or any other reason and sprinkle colours of happiness and goodwill by forgiveness. The celebration of this festival is not only limited to one day event but also ongoing in our day to day lives with our family ,friends and relatives. So many scandals of deceits, cheating, extortion and abuse of children and women are happening by socalled Sadhvis, Bapus, Gurus and Babas in our Hindu religious world. Recently Sadhvi Jai Shri Giri was arrested by police in Banaskantha district of Gujarat and recovered Rs.1:25 chores in cash, 2:4kg gold, several bottles of Indian made foreign liquor and beer. A co-accused in murder case claimed Sadhvi is no less than mafia. These so-called Sadhvis, Bapus, Gurus by their sweet talk and good oratory skill brain washed people in believing them and donate their hard earned monies to them thinking that by waving magic wand they will solve their problems, difficulties and hardships face by them in their lives and fall in their traps. Instead of facing with courage people look for short cut so they are equally to be blame. On this holy festival we pray Almighty Lord to bestow blessings to everyone for healthy, happy and peaceful life ahead and grant clear thinking and understanding to stay away from these con artists. Suresh and Bhavna Patel Markham, Canada

Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party

Division have arisen again in the Labour party after the by-election defeat in Copeland. It was a devastating result for the Labour Party. This turned the focus on Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and the cry rose again for his resignation. In fact the issue in Copeland was more to do with Brexit than anything else. The key fault line in labour Party is the in-fighting within its own ranks. What both sides say is exaggerated or biased and does not solve the problem rather it acerbates it. Now is the time for the Labour Party to roll up its sleeves, close ranks and move forward. It should concentrate on working on policies on NHS, education, environment, economy, housing, energy, transport, trade unions, foreign affairs and defence rather than indulging in petty politics which has been going on for quite a while. This is counter-productive and regressive step. It is time to rebuild and re-connect with the voters and not finding scapegoats. Baldev Sharma Rayners Lane, Harrow


EDUCATION

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School headscarf row councillor resigns A council equality chief who became involved in a controversy over school rules and discrimination over a four-year-old Muslim girl wearing a headscarf in school has resigned from his cabinet post after being criticised by the Government’s integration tsar. Cllr Waseem Zaffar, Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for transparency, openness and equality, faced accusations of impropriety after the little girl was asked by teachers at St Clare’s Catholic Primary School to remove her headscarf so as to comply with school uniform. Zaffar was related to the pupil but did not make that public, the Birmingham Mail said.

Cllr Waseem Zaffar

Zaffar was accused of trying to force the school to allow the little girl to wear a headscarf and of misusing his position to intimidate a headteacher into changing the school uniform policy. Zaffar’s resignation comes after a government official reportedly told the council his actions were unfair.

4,000 drivers a day caught on bus lane camera Bus lane cameras in England pocketed £31 million from motorists in 2015-16, with the one on John Dobson Street in Newcastle-upon-Tyne even making £6,000 from almost 4,000 drivers each day. Figures obtained by the BBC have revealed the top 10 most lucrative bus lanes in the country, with

London, Newcastle and Manchester occupying most of the top spots. Over 60,000 motorists have been caught in just eight months driving down the bus lane on John Dobson Street. Newcastle City Council took £1.5million from the 62,975 fine notices issued between February 23 and October 31 last year as a result.

Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

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Son of an immigrant to join Eton after winning £76,000 scholarship No matter how adverse your circumstances may be, you prosper if you believe in industry and put in the necessary effort. A son of an immigrant is set to join the world famous public school at Eton after winning prestigious £76,000 scholarship. Fifteen-year-old Kaashif Kamaly, who lives in one of London’s most deprived areas, will follow in the footsteps of Princes William and Harry after bagging the two-year scholarship. He will rub elbows with the elite as he swaps deprived Forest Gate in east London for the plush classrooms in upmarket Windsor, Berkshire. Kaashif will study ALevel Maths, Chemistry, English Literature, Biology and History next September. He studies at the Forest Gate Community School in east London and

is predicted to get an A* in all of his GCSEs. He says, “My family have struggled their entire life to make a better future for me and my siblings. I am a product of that environment. I haven’t known privilege like many of the pupils at Eton. I have this extraordinary opportunity that I will grab with both hands.” Kaashif says he is looking forward to the challenge but won’t forget his roots. “It won’t change who I am and where I have come from, nor would I want it to. Eton is a fantastic school, probably the best in the country, but what the teachers have helped me achieve at Forest Gate Community School is even bigger. The pupils at Eton are sons of kings and queens, lords and judges. In this area, there are many, many social problems. Gangs, drugs, crime, poverty, these are common issues

Kaashif Kamaly

in Newham.” Kaashif has an older brother, Ihtisham 21, and a younger sister Tasneem, nine. His mother Sheuly Begum was born in Bangladesh. For Kaashif his hero is his father Shah Mia. He credits him for instilling the work ethic that has helped him succeed. Shah works as an immigration officer at Heathrow Airport despite a disability. “My dad has a lot of injuries, shattered knee and slipped disc, but has instilled moral and ethics

Ishak Ayiris

that you have to work, you have to pay your way in the world. He crosses London every day to work at Heathrow airport to work as an immigration officer. He is always at work trying to make life better for his family. He is my hero,” the grounded teenager adds. Founded in 1440, Eton has educated 19 prime ministers. Kaashif is the second pupil from Forest Gate Community School to have won a scholarship after Ishak Ayiris earned a place in 2014.

Uni bans many ‘sexist’ phrases Henceforth mind your tongue. A university has banned phrases such as ‘mankind’ and ‘gentleman’s agreement’ in favour of gender-neutral terms under its code of practice on inclusive language. Cardiff Metropolitan

University developed its code of practice to “promote fairness and equality”, adding that students should not allow their “cultural background” to affect their choice of words. The university said it was committed to “providing an environment where

everyone is valued”. The university checklist has given alternative suggestions to include genderneutral terms: Best man for the job – Best person for the job Fireman – Firefighter Housewife – Shopper, Consumer, Homemaker

Manpower – Human resources, Labour force, Staff, Personnel, Workers Tax man – Tax inspector Sportsmanship – Fairness, Good humour, Sense of fair play Gentleman’s agreement – Unwritten agreement, Agreement based on trust

The Armed Forces Engagement Team are presenting in your area and would like to come and inform your group, business, school etc about the Armed Forces. We will give you an overview of the Armed Forces, what it does and how it is changing in order to deal with future challenges. If you would like the team to visit you please email ArmyACGS-AEG-mailbox@mod.uk


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MEDIA WATCH

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For post-demonetization doomsayers the figures released for January by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) reveal that gross domestic product (GDP) grew 7.1 per cent in January, confounding the crisis they had predicted. The demonetization drag, it now appears, is more fiction than fact, although the third quarter fiscal grew 7per cent, down from 7.3 per cent in the second quarter. The fourth quarter figure is likely to be a broad emulation of the third, but a rebound in the next fiscal year will follow, predicts the IMF. ‘The GDP numbers [for January] are a surprise, but a pleasant surprise,’ said Madan Sabnavis, Chief Economist at Care Ratings. ‘Since the CSO has not revised downward the annual estimate, we can expect that there should not be further changes on account of demonetization. The numbers are vindication that demonetization didn’t have a major impact on the economy. They have looked at all the numbers at their disposal and have come out with the estimate.’ (Hindu, March 1) Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) office in Mumbai

Finance Minister Jaitley, PM Modi

cations and with the production of the launcher completed, the first Sukhoi-30MKI is set to testfire the missile in April.

Game changer

Doomsayers Confounded ‘It appears that that the pessimists have exaggerated the extent and length demonetization shock.’ (Business Line editorial, March 3)

Indian IT equal to Japan manufacturing

Rakesh Gopinathan, the new CEO of the $17 billion Tata Consultancy Services (TCS ), said that in the world of technology services, the India brand is as powerful as the Made in Japan was in manufacturing. Gopinathan said industry was taking steps to meet the new digital transformational requirements of customers just as the it had transformed itself after the Y2K event to meet the the world’s then e-business needs. Gopinathan argued that technology had become so pervasive across organizations and so integral to their success that the opportunities for Indian IT had exploded. (Times of India February 25)Sino-Indian

Moody’s positive on demonetization

According to international credit rating agency Mood’s investor service India’s demonetization is likely to reduce tax avoidance and corruption. Besides this, it said the Indian economy was resilient to economic disruption and the worst of the liquidity crunch had passed, which should support a rebound in consumption levels. The US-based agency said: ‘In the medium-term demonetization will strengthen India’s institutional framework by reducing tax avoidance and corruption. It should also result in efficiency gains through formalization of economic and financial activity, which would help broaden the tax base and expand usage of the financial system.’ (Business Line March 3)

Spin on strategic talks unjustified

The Hindu newspaper’s frontpage lead report was the alleged

success of the India-China strategic talks in Beijing, despite the Chin’s refusal to budge on the contentious issues of blacklisting Pakistani terrorist Mahmood Azhar and Indian membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. The UN Security Council’s members minus China were agreed that the man be blacklisted, but Beijing, in deference to its all-weather Pakistan friend has blocked the move for want of sufficient proof. It has also opposed India’s membership of the NSG. So where lies the success trumpeted by Suhasini Haider, the paper’s Diplomatic Correspondent? Global Times, Beijing’s mouthpiece took the Indian delegation to task for its perceived ‘cynicism,’ giving the show away. Indian foreign secretary S.Jaishankar and Prime Minster Narendra Modi are too canny to fall for Chinese guff (Hindu February 28).

Interceptor missile test

The Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) successfully test-fired an interceptor missile with an intercontinental range to destroy an incoming missile, thus validating the previous test technology of an earlier test in mid-February. Defence sources said the interceptor destroy its incoming target at an altitude of 15 kms above the earth. The missile shield is expected to be operational by 2022 (Hindu March 2) Sukhoi-30MKI BrahMos armed

The India Air Force’s crown jewels are its fleet of 270 or so Sukhoi-30MKI fighter bombers. These deadly Russian aircraft are set to be equipped with the world’s only supersonic cruise missile, BrahMos, jointly developed by India and Russia. The aircraft required small but critical modifications so that the BrahMos could be integrated into plane. It took public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) two years to do so when, in June 2016, it successfully conducted a successful dummy test. Now, with other necessary certifi-

This will be a game changer.. The BrahMos-equipped Sukhoi-30KI will provide the IAF with its most lethal capability till date. Indian pilots will no longer have to negotiate heavily defended air space to attack enemy bases, or terrorist camps, as the BrahMos with its 300-km range can be fired from well within home territory. Surgical strikes can thus be carried out at will. The IAF initially planned for two such squadrons, but this has now been revised upward to integrate 216 BrahMos missiles on 42 Sukhoi aircraft. (Times of India online February 24)

New site for Russian nuclear reactors

Russia expects clearance for a new site in India for six Russian nuclear reactors, said Evegeny Pakermanov, President of the Rusatem Overseas. Contracts for the project were to be signed soon, he said. ‘Rosatem is ready for various formats of project implementation. We have signed an action plan programme for providing gradual localization of production facilities for our nuclear power projects in India, he explained.’ According to Indian Energy Minister Jitendra Singh, the Andhra Pradesh government had given its consent to carry out the required technical survey to identify potential coastal locations for such power plants.

Vision statement

Rostem has constructed two units of the Kudankulam nuclear power project in Tamil Nadu the second of which has reached full operation capability. Its safety levels have been described as ‘unprecedented.’ In December 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed the ‘Strategic Vision’ document under which Russia would build 12 nuclear power plants in India (RTR February 7)

Manufacturing rises

There has been an expansion in manufacturing in India, with February figures outpacing those of January; the data shows an increase in new orders, according to a private sector survey. ‘February indicated Indian manufacturing production continued to increase as a result of an export rebound. However, the production figure is

still weaker than that of the longterm average. (Hindu March 2)

Biotech centre in Faridabad

Faridabad-based Regional Centre for Biotechnology is set to become an institution of national importance focusing on research and post-graduate diplomas. The Science and Technology Ministry has been the facilitator in this development. ‘ The Research Centre of BiotechnologyFaridabad will now take up research and innovation and impart education and training in new areas of biotechnology in a big way, keeping in view India’s mission to turn the biotechnology sector into a $500 billion industry by 2026,’ said officials. (Times of India March 1)

Amazon India gears up for agri-retail

Riding high on response to e-grocery platform Amazon India now plans to set up its ‘fully integrated, farm-to fork direct online agriproduct retailing. Whether Amazon’s entry into food retailing is a journey into the unknown, as e-groceries have yet to penetrate markets across India. If successful, the Amazon venture may prove to be a new dawn. (Times of India March 1)

Jihadi suspects arrested

Two brothers in Gujarat with computer science diplomas have been arrested near Rajkot in possession of bomb-making equipment and other weapons. They were tracked by anti-terror detec-

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tives who listened in on their conversations with an ISI handler in Iraq. Far away in Kolkata, police discovered a huge cache of counterfeit currency in the dock area of the city.It was one of the biggest such hauls and officers are seeking possible links between the gang and jihadi groups, since 4 of the 5 arrested were Muslims from Kolkata and its northern suburb, Howrah. A further complication is the porous border with Bangladesh, a prime route for smugglers and Jihadis. The construction of barrier equipped with cameras across the West Bengal border is halfway to the completion expected in 2019. Infiltration from Bangladesh into India may have slowed but it is still significant (Telegraph, Times of India, Hindu March 3) Weapon-locating radar for Army

The Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) handed over in-house designed and manufactured weapon-locating radar to the Indian Army earlier this week, following extensive tests along the lines of control with Pakistan and China. DRDO sources said the system named Swati provides quick, automatic and accurate locations simultaneously of all enemy weapons such as mortars, shells and rockets firing within its effective zone. It can also guide Indian line of fire to enemy target.

Critical need

This has plugged an important gap in India’s defences. During the Kargil war in 1999, India was forced to buy these items from the United States. After supplying the needs of the Indian Army, Swati will be made available for the export market. (Hindu March 3)

Anti-ship missile test-fired

Kalvariu, the first of the six Scorpene submarines acquired from France, has fired fired its first ant-ship missile in the Arabian Sea. The first Scorpene is scheduled to be commissioned into the Indian Navy very soon. (Hindu March 3)

IAF’s Sukhoi-MKI30

Unit 2, Kudankulam nuclear reactor, near Chennai, Tamil Nadu


UK Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

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MoD compensation plans shutting armed forces personnel and their families out of the Justice System

Viceroy’s House or Inglorious Empire? So, what is the reality of the Empire? Shashi Tharoor says British Schools do not cover enough about the negative aspects of Empire. His point is eloquently made – the British have amnesia about Empire; that India was the richest nation in the world when the British arrived and the poorest when they left, and now since they left it is as large economically already. And of course, he is right. But my God the vitriol from British Indians just because the messenger is from a different political party to one they agree with. It’s like the Republicans and Democrats in the UK or Labour and Labour in the UK. As for the Viceroy’s House – there was damning condemnation by Fatima Bhutto of the film that it romanticed the Empire. That it is the product of a colonial mind. Basically, it is everything Tharoor says in wrong about the portrayal of the Empire. Of course many of you will say, ‘move on’, so what? Well without a history of who you are, where you come from how can you appreciate who you actually are? I think Bhutto is too critical of the Viceroy’s House – it is made by the woman

who did it ‘Bend it Like Bekham’ not by Richard Attenborough. Speaking of which, my wife had never seen the film Gandhi. It’s an easier way to learn about the Empire than most. Bhutto also had some comical complaints – that all the rioters seemed to be Muslims in the movie. Plus ca change, the French would say! One thing is for sure, we are a tribal people, whether Congress or BJP, Republican, Democrat. The sign of the age seems to be that whatever any one says, your preconceptions will determine what you see and hear. It’s almost pointless talking on social media. Wait…I think it actually is. So lessons learnt – make your kids watch Gandhi. Second lesson, spend less time on social media. Third lesson, never pick a fight with someone on social media (don’t worry I didn’t). Fourth – politics is tribal – and getting worse. If you think you are one of the good guys, go and do something quietly good. Leave the dogs to the back yard. When they tire, the normal people will return.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley launches IJA@70

Rupanjana Dutta

India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during his visit to the UK launched the 70 years anniversary celebration of the Indian Journalists' Association (IJA) at St James's Hotel. Speaking at the launch on 27 February, the Minister said that Indian journalists based in London are 'more than a mainstream player'. IJA was founded on May 29, 1947- just a few weeks before India’s independence in August, as a representative body for Britain-based correspondents and journalists reporting on and covering India and South Asiarelated issues. Its 100 odd members now comprise of foreign correspondents of major Indian outlets as well as Indian origin reporters of the British Media. Recalling its 1947 founding, Jaitley said: “That must have been a period when your counterparts at that time may not have exactly been in the same frame of mind as you are today. “In 1947, though, the decision had been taken that India will get independence, the Radcliff mission must have been working, there would have been a lot of tension as to what goes to what is now Pakistan and what comes to India. At least the border cities were living on the edge. Those were the days when the size of the media itself was very small,” reported the Hindustan Times. During his visits to London over the last 25

As it stands combat i m mu n i t y sa fe guar ds against batt l ef i el d n e g l i g e n c e c la i m s g o i n g t o court – that is when deci si ons made on the battlefield result in u n n ec e s s ar y Ashwati Menon in jury or death, the case is settled as a compensati on settlement in private. However, the MoD now proposes to expand this pr inciple beyond the battlefield. The MoD has proposed that in cases of death or injury, in stead of those involved havi ng the option to pur sue a civi l case agai nst the MoD decisions, the amount of compensat i o n gi v e n s h o u l d b e m a d e b e h i n d c l o s e d d o o rs b y m i n i s tr y - a p p o i n t e d offici als. The proposals come as result of soldiers facing lengthy and complex legal court battles to gain compensation such as the families of the deceased soldier’s killed in lightly armoured ‘snatch’ vehicles in Iraq, which took close to a decade to resolve. This case came to define the laws surrounding government obligations to soldiers wounded or killed in active service abroad. Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon has commented that the new proposals would “remove the stress of lengthy legal action” and ensure more money for compensation thus being a “welcome relief for families”. Lawyers across the UK have criticised the proposals arguing that broadening the scope of combat immunity will only narrow legal redress for military personal and their families. Delivering a fast and one-off compensation payment isn’t fair to the military personnel that suffer lifelong consequences due to negligence. The MoD becomes both the judge and the jury. Opponents of this move condemn

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the MoD for having a closed attitude to admitting mistakes - they are now avoiding scrutiny of any type including inspection of equipment failure related injuries and deaths. Soldiers’ families have openly criticized the new proposals as being “appalling” and “cowardly”. The grandfather of a soldier killed in Iraq stated that the proposal is disgusting and removed any protection for troops. Law Society president, Robert Bourns, stated “the Ministry of Defence wants to make it impossible for soldiers and their families to bring claims against it to court when these relate to actions in combat”. It is inevitable that cases of this kind will be complex, needing a variety of experts to analyse the case to decipher what went wrong and where responsibility lies. It is important that a number of independent actors are involved in order to ensure that a fair conclusion is reached. Clients will often be traumatised and vulnerable, expecting them to navigate the process without legal representation leaves them open to mistreatment and an unfair outcome. Soldiers should not be excluded from bringing claims against the MoD as this will remove the level of independent scrutiny which ensures the MoD are accountable when mistakes are made that result in injury or death. Instead, they should be given a choice of how they want to proceed; either compensation provided by this new scheme or pursuing a civil case against the MoD represented by a specialist independent legal team. A u th or , A sh w a ti M en o n is a Caseworker in Duncan Lewis’ Clinical Negligence Department. She is experienced in assisting on numerous clinical negligence claims, including, but not limited to orthopaedic claims, gastroenterology and cardiac related injuries.

IJA President Ashis Ray speaking in presence of India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, High Commissioner of India to UK, HE Y K Sinha and Srinivas Gotru, Minister (Press, Information, Culture) Indian High Commission & Director, The Nehru Centre

years, Jaitley said he would meet the Indian media fraternity around a small table. But technology and economy had changed the news media over the years, and also the size of the fraternity. The newly elected President Ashis Ray told Asian Voice, “IJA is planning to host an event on 29th May to celebrate its birthday and a major function in November. It is also contemplating organising an international seminar on a media related subject in course of the year.” Over the years, various heads of state, heads of government, members of royal families and eminent persons in various walks of life have attended IJA events, which have ranged from media conferences to celebrated annual dinners. The distinguished guests have included Jawaharlal Nehru, Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, Lal Bahadur Shastri,

Indira Gandhi, Morarjee Desai, P V Narasimha Rao, Rajiv Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Clement Atlee, Harold McMillan, Alec Douglas Home, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, James Callaghan, Margaret Thatcher and the Duke of Edinburgh. Wilson, twice British Prime Minister, said to IJA: “I must record the great debt both India and Britain owe to your Association, which does so much to enable our peoples to understand each other, and by so understanding, come even closer together.” IJA was reinvigorated on 17 August 2009 with the adoption of a new constitution, which considerably expanded the base of the organisation. It also introduced hitherto nonexistent gender equality and its first Women President-Secretary team was elected in 2013 for 2 years.

Education Minister Lord Nash visits the First State-Funded Hindu school On Thursday 2nd March, Lord Nash (Minister for schools) visited Krishna Avanti Primary school, Harrow (KAPSH). The Minister was joined by Jonathan Hellewell (Faith Advisor to the PM), Shailesh Vara (Member of Parliament for North West Cambridgeshire) and Lorelei Bere (Assistant Private Secretary to Lord Nash). After taking a tour of the school, and visiting a variety of lessons from Science to Drama to English Lord Nash commented: ‘Thank you so much for allowing me to look around your wonderful school. I was most impressed by how engaged the pupils were in their studies. The school has

Shailesh Vara MP, Jonathan Hellewell, Lorelei Bere and Lord Nash touring Krishna Avanti Primary school

a lovely atmosphere.’ The highlight of the tour was an impromptu class recitation of the famous text, the Highwayman by Alfred Noyes performed by year 5. Our guests remarked on the excellent inclusive nature of the school, welcoming students of all faiths and none. The Trust’s schools have hosted Her Majesty The Queen, Justine Greening,

Nick Gibb and Michael Gove. Students from Avanti have performed at venues as diverse as 10 Downing Street to Wembley Stadium (for PM Narendra Modi and PM David Cameron) and the Royal Festival Hall. There are now seven Avanti schools across London and the Midlands, 4 primary schools and 3 allthrough schools (2 in preopening).


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UK

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Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

Celebrating 25 Years of Chiropractic Clinic in UK On Thursday, 2nd March 2017 Dr. Lalit Sodha and his team celebrated 25 years of Chiropractic in the UK in the presence of long standing supporters, patients and dignitaries at the House of Commons. The programme was hosted by Bob Blackman MP of Harrow East and was attended by dignitaries including Conservative Peer Lord Jitesh Gadhia, President of the British Chiropractic Association, Dr Matthew Bennett, Vice President of United Chiropractic Association Dr Paul McCrossin, CEO of British Chiropractic Association, Satjit Singh and various other chiropractors, professionals, dignitaries and patients of the Chiropractic Clinic, Eastcote. A profession less known, this milestone achievement was the first ever in history of Chiropractic Profession. Chiropractic deals with the Neuro-Musculo-Skeletal systems of the Human body. The primary mode of treatment is hands on manipulation. The event was also to celebrate the the success of Chiropractic as the top most complementary health care profession in the United Kingdom. The profession took birth in Iowa in the United States in the year 1895 by the efforts of the founder, David Daniel Palmer. In the United Kingdom, Chiropractic was first practised over a hundred years back in 1908. The profession has grown exponentially since then. Dr Lalit Sodha shared

some of the key achievements of the Chiropractic profession in the UK: “In the last 25 years the profession boasts over 3000 registered members in the General Chiropractic Council. Most major private Insurance companies now cover for Chiropractic care. Several research studies have been carried out over the years supporting the benefits of Chiropractic care and is widely recognised and accepted. The College of Chiropractors has been granted the Royal status and is recognised as Royal College of Chiropractors. There are three institutions that offer Chiropractic as a Degree programme and a New Institution is being established in South bank, London in 2018. These are amongst the major advancements that the Profession has made over the last 25 years.” The silver jubilee was also an opportunity to recognise the contribution of various individuals in the discipline of chiropractic as well as community service. These included Lord Jitesh Gadhia for being the “Youngest Indian Parliamentarian”; Dr’s Steve and Jo Davison: “Award winning business

model – The Blue Cow”; Mukesh Shah: “Outstanding charitable and community service” for his untiring efforts for the underprivileged children in India, Nepal and Kenya organising collections of clothes, toys and books for them; Prof Bhikhu Kotecha: “Excellence in Academics Receiving Professorship” for being a World renowned ENT consultant at the National ENT Hospital practising surgeon, researcher in field of snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea; Krishna Pujara: “Outstanding service in women’s empowerment” via Saheli UK and Women’s Economic Forum; His Grace Shruti Dharma Das: “Outstanding dedicated service to ISKCON”; Radhakant Das: “Service and dedication in creating a better world for all”; Dr Terry Chimes: “ O u t s t a n d i n g Entrepreneurial and Charitable Work”; Dr Rajesh Parmar: “Outstanding Community service award”; Jenny Thorne: “Dedicated services to Towns Women’s Guild”; and Roopa Suchak: “Multi-talented Outstanding Achievement award”.

Study finds link between highly segregated Muslim areas and terrorism Washwood Heath A 1,000-page and Bordesley report by security Green – account think-tank The for 26 terrorists. Henry Jackson There were Society has brought greater numbers together for the of offenders in first time informaLondon – 117 – tion on who but they were Britain’s Islamist more widely terrorists actually spread across the are. city. But 50 per The study has cent were from revealed one in 10 three boroughs in of all Britain’s the east of the capIslamist terrorists ital: Tower come from just five H a m l e t s , council wards in Newham and Birmingham. Waltham Forest. The study covThe study ers all 269 individfound 46 per cent ual convictions and of offences suicide bombings between 2011 and and all the nearly 2015 were carried 400 offences out by under 25s, involved from the compared with 42 very first in 1998 to per cent before the beginning of UK Terror Map, courtesy The Sunday Times that. last year. Almost 80 per cent there has been an 11-fold It shows that terrorists were inspired or directed increase in plots involving are more likely to have by extremist networks, Islamic State-style beheadgrown up in predominantmost often hate preacher ings and stabbings. Only 10 ly Muslim areas. Anjem Choudary’s now per cent of terror attacks A terror map of the UK banned group alwere carried out by “lone shows 26 of the 269 jihadis Muhajiroun, which was wolves” unconnected to came from the highly seglinked to a quarter of all wider extremist networks, regated neighbourhoods. UK terror convictions, the the report published in the The wards have sizeable media report said. Daily Mail said. areas where the vast majorMosques or faith chariAccording to the ity of the population is ties were places of radicalireport, Birmingham, with Muslim. sation for 38 per cent of 234,000 Muslims, has a The report has found terrorists. The internet was total of 39 convicted terthe number of Islamist tercited as a key source of rorists. This is more than ror offences doubled in the brainwashing in only 35 the whole of West five years to 2015 from 12 per cent of cases, although Yorkshire, Greater to 23 a year. Women’s this was rising. Manchester and involvement in Islamist The study finds a clear Lancashire combined, even terrorism in the UK has link between highly segrethough their Muslim poputrebled in the same period gated Muslim areas and lation is higher at 650,000. from 4 per cent to 11 per terrorism. Areas that are Only five wards in cent. Bombing is the most more integrated have lower Birmingham – Springfield, common type of offence rates of offending. Sparkbrook, Hodge Hill, planned or committed but

India bags the award for ‘Best Country’ at IFS during London Fashion Week Charusmita On Tuesday, the 21st of February, the High Commission of India hosted a team of upcoming Indian fashion designers and curators who recently won the award for ‘Best Country’ for their exhibit at the International Fashion Showcase (IFS), London. The IFS, created by the British Council, British Fashion Council and Mercedes-Benz, is an exciting part of the London Fashion Week's public programme. Held from 17th February to 21st February this year at the Somerset House, it was a series of specially commissioned and curated fashion installations featuring exhibits by emerging international designers from 28 countries. IFS began in 2012, and is now an annual feature that supports and promotes

Team India with Deputy High Commissioner of India, Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik

new designers. It also attracts journalists, bloggers, retailers as well as the general public. The theme of this year’s exhibition was

‘Local/Global’. The Indian exhibit was titled ‘The Indian Pastoralists’. Among India’s pastoral communities – nomadic groups renowned for their

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artisanal skill as much as their animal-herding expertise – a keen awareness of the need to share and protect natural resources, preserve his-

toric mechanisms, and maintain their social fabric has enabled ancient traditions to survive in the face of increasing deforestation, desertification and industrialisation. For the country’s new generation of fashion designers, the Indian pastoralist lifestyle offers inspiring solutions to the global fashion industry’s evergrowing focus on sustainability, providing a starting-point for contemporary reinterpretations of India’s internationally celebrated textile and craft heritage. For designer Karishma Shahani Khan (creator of [KA] [SHA] womenswear), the inspiration for the exhibit stands as an ode to one of India’s most iconic pastoral nomads, Rabaris who are pre-dominantly based in Kutch. For Kaleekal by Alan Alexander Kaleekal (Menswear), the Pastoral Community Inspiration is from Toda, Nilgiri hills, South India. Ikai by Ragini Ahuja (Womenswear), has drawn inspiration from

the Pastoral Community in Drokpa, Ladakh, Northern India whereas P.E.L.L.A. by Priyanka Ella Lorena Lama (Womenswear) has from Lachen & Lachung tribes, Sikkim, North-east India, Antar-Agni by Ujjawal Dubey (Menswear) gets his inspiration from the Van Gujjars, Himalayas, Northern India. The exhibition featured conceptual installation elements designed in collaboration with spatial design expert Wasim Khan and sustainable furniture designer Sandeep Sangaru. ‘The Indian Pastoralists’ was curated and organised by IMG Reliance, and supported by 6Degree, Etihad Airways, and Lakme Fashion Week. His Excellency Ambassador Mr. Dinesh K. Patnaik, the deputy high commissioner of India to the UK, welcomed and congratulated the winning team. He urged them to develop and market garments for untapped global consumer markets, so as to popularise Indian fashion in the UK.


UK Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

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Charity Clarity–Bringing light to a grey sector AsianVoiceNews

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Charity Due Diligence

Far too often we see negative news stories about charities; how they are mismanaged, what is going on in the background and why every penny does not go to the cause. With every negative story, people are becoming more and more disillusioned with charities.

Noticing a theme?

In the UK, Kids Company closed after a number of allegations which led to the charities ultimate downfall. Their financials were exposed and what they reported to the public was far from the truth. They deceived and betrayed the public, the government and the kids they were supposed to be helping. This was avoidable. Recently in Ireland, Console hit the headlines when their CEO completely took advantage of incoming donations to

line his own pocket. Had this not been exposed through some investigative journalism how long would this have continued for? He deceived the public, the government and those who were in dire need of help. This was avoidable.

When all is said and done who are the ones that suffer?

Those who need help have been abandoned by the people they thought were looking out for them. How does this negative news impact on donor sentiment? Naturally, people will take a step back and remember seeing X, Y or Z charity in the news and hesitate in donating. All charities will suffer as more of these stories come to light. It plays on people’s minds and they lose faith in the sector.

This is avoidable!

We are bucking this trend and giving the

power to the donors. Charity Clarity is a charity rating and assessment tool that uses 100 different data points and 18 metrics to give a charity a rating out of 5. Focusing on Financial Health, Accountability and Transparency and Accessibility. Effectively this is an independent audit of a charity, a level of due diligence that donors simply don’t have time to do themselves.

In this grey area, we are shedding light

This platform is giving a stage for charities to showcase their success stories and it gives donors confidence to invest. Divine Onkar Mission is the top rated charity on Charity Clarity’s database with an overall score of 4.18. Have you heard of them before? They are obviously doing some good work and this should be rewarded. One of the most accountable and transparent charities is Sense International (4.35). The work they are doing is incredible and it stems from the structures it has in place. Accessibility is a key indicator of how donors can relate to charities, how charities can build a lasting relationship with donors.

Nominate your favourite charity

15

NOMINATIONS

OPEN NOW!

Nomination deadline 31 March 2017.

Do you know of any UK based charities / individuals who are solving pressing social issues of our time, both in Britain and globally Nominate them for the Asian Voice Charity Awards 2017 by visiting our website w ww.asianvoicecharityawards.com

Who benefits?

Everyone. First and foremost the focus can shift back to those in need. Charities start thinking about what they need to do to improve. Donors feel confident making investment decisions and can rest assured that their money is going to the right charity. Charities often only make the news due to a negative story and we don’t always hear the good they do. But if we can help reduce them negative stories then we can stop saying “This was avoidable”. If you are interested about Charity Clarity, get in touch at contact@charityclarity.org.uk. Contact www.charityclarity.org.uk. Charity Clarity is an independent charity rating agency.

P S Kang – MD, Moresand Group, David Cochrane – Philippine Airlines, Tom Reeves – Kenya Airways, Melanie Blasi – Etihad Airways, Dilshad Caffoor – British Airways and Morena Bronzetti – Qatar Airways

John Kalia – Director, Moresand Group, Farhana Mubarak – KLM/Air France, Rebecca Wright – British Airways, Diego Acuna – Philippine Airlines, Jeremy Pollock – Etihad Airways, Gianni Leone – Alitalia Airlines, Darren Gilbert – Virgin Airlines and Gerald Brace – Virgin Airlines

Moresand Group hosted their annual gala lunch in January 2017 at the Millennium Hotel Mayfair in London. The group turnover in 2016 was £140M a 17% increase, making them market leaders for many destinations and number 36 on the TOP 50 largest CAA ATOL licence holders. The Group's MD Mr P S Kang said, “The growth has come from the core specialist markets to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Philippines and West Africa.” Moresand have recently launched a new luxury long haul travel department ‘Affordable Luxury Travel’ focusing on mid to long haul destinations. In 2017 the group, which also owns Crystal Travels in East London, one of the oldest in the area, plans to open online branches in Ireland, France, Spain and USA.

The Awards ceremony will be held on Friday 19th May 2017 at the Hilton, Park Lane , London

Award Categories

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

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

I

Start-Up of the Year

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

I Outstanding PR Team

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

I Most Enterprising

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

I Social Impact Award

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

For Corporate Partnerships: I Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility

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

For Individuals: I Inspiring Individual

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

I Inspiring Young Person

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

FOR INFORMATION CONTACT : 0207 749 4085

email: rovin@asianvoicecharityawards.com


16

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

www.asian-voice.com AsianVoiceNews

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IT’S TIME TO BE YOUR OWN WOMAN

There still is a strong gender bias in the legal profession here. For instance, there is a pay gap that exists between men and women for the same designation and qualification. Men tend to progress faster towards partnership in these firms than women. This is particularly pronounced in corporate law firms. Women often prefer to work for the non-corporate sub-sectors, not because they are not competent or qualified enough for the corporate firms but because the progress to partnership is painfully slow in the latter. Salima Mawji Director, Match Solicitors

Smita, Charu & Rupanjana At Asian Voice we believe that being a woman is beyond being a wife, a sister, a daughter, and a motherthe essence of her womanhood cannot be contained merely in her relationships or her profession. It is her heart, her desires, and her actions that maketh her. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) is “Be Bold for Change”. In sync with this, it is time for us to stand up for each other- neither silently, nor violently, but boldly and firmly. The power to change perceptions requires courage, a trait we as women personify. It is all about a shared dream- a dream of being the best versions of ourselves without being questioned on our womanhood, a world devoid of glass ceilings and cultural boundations. As the IWD campaign puts it, “Whoever you are, wherever you are, it is one team changing the world together”. So let us connect with women from all over the world, and within our families, and stand up for each other in times of need. This is a mission that will last a lifetime and will bear fruits not only for us but for generations of women to come. Let us vow to not tolerate ignorance for women’s issues- to sensitise our children, both boys and girls, to love and respect each other as equals. Inspiring women from across the world have similar messages, but we seldom inculcate them in our lives-

leaving the job to the “activists” or “the feminist type”. If you feel you have been wronged at any point in your life, owing to your gender, and believe that action must be taken to eradicate this inequality, then, my friend, you already are an “activist”, a “feminist”. As they say, a feminist is as a feminist does! We urge you to zero in on parts of your life that require you to be bold- do not hesitate to take that journey to authenticate your promises made to yourself. Be bold because each time a woman loses her battle with misogyny, you lose. Be bold because if you are not, the patriarchs will be. Be bold because your daughters and sons are watching and learning from you.

REAL WOMEN – REAL ISSUES The East is East and the West is West; and Never the twain shall meet so said the great Kipling. Bridging these two worlds would always come with challenges. Here are stories of some real women who are making this difficult adjustment – trying to hold on to their Asian

roots while boldly striking out in today’s United Kingdom. CULTURAL MISMATCH Trying to hold on to Asian roots while raising children in UK can also be quite disorienting. 29-year-old Setal feels that her culture holds her back from starting her business. “When someone talks about British Values or Indian Values, I feel I belong to none.” She feels that very few people can be part of the

mainstream market space. Even her friends/ relatives who have started businesses target the British Asian Community. The other side of the coin also seems true – as Asian communities struggle to come to terms with the efforts of expat women to internationalise. Says Ramsha, a 24-yearold – “My mother never spoke to me about sex and dating- but I just know they’ll never accept my nonAsian boyfriend. How Asian am I really? Or How

Gender bias still does exist. There are certain expectations within a female role, not in a male role. If you are playing an ‘emotional woman’, would you be playing an ‘emotional man’, ‘a strong minded man’ vs ‘a strong minded woman’? Its also such a powerful form of media shaping generations on image, the role of women etc and its important to send this message in our theatre, our film, our TV, our advertising. There are far fewer female directors and producers than male and so there are many many untold stories about women. If it is a female story, its ‘feminist’. Its not about that. Its about the ability to be human. To be vulnerable. Relatable. But I do think this is the century for the woman, and I’m very excited to be in a period where confidence and equality are beginning to shine through and prevail. Sheena Bhattessa Actress

British?” she said. Ivkiran, a 36-year-old agrees – “Places of worship reject ceremonising wedding rituals where both the bride and the groom do not share the same faith. I went ahead with my wedding and am facing isolation from my family and community.” “My parents still have that image of Pakistan that they left in the 1980s. My cousins back there have moved on a long way in terms of dating and relationships, but I cannot get my parents to realise that. I am probably more Pakistani than my cousins back home,” Ramsha said sadly. Imposing Asian culture, or trying to hold on too tight to your roots while raising children in the UK is disturbing and devastating. Integrating and embracing the culture of the land is easier and healthier for both generations. Every culture has its flip-sides, but embracing the positives with an open mind should be the way to go about. WORK AND EMPLOYMENT London provides a healthy environment for working women, but is extremely competitive and professional. Nikita, working with a top firm in Canary Wharf moved from Dubai. She loves working in London as it does not pose issues like office harassment from senior colleagues or overt gender bias. “Working here is far healthier (than Dubai),” she said. But for first generation Indian women here on

dependent visas, the struggle to find employment can be really distressing. HR Consultant Neha Malpani told Asian Voice that “My work experiences in the past do not matter because it was not UK based. I find this unfair and illogical.” Rajitha Ravindran, another professional endorsed Neha’s anxieties and reiterated “finding a job in London was tough and the salary given my years of experience was quite bad.” Neha says – “UK experience is crucial and without it I have to be ready to begin from scratch. I am finally considering taking up higher studies but I know friends who have done their Masters here, paid hefty college fees and are still unable to find employment due to their lack of UK work experience.” “Voluntary work is also difficult to come by. I once received a mail from an NGO stating that I have been longlisted” – she laughed. However, the trick is to keep trying and to never give up – stay positive and optimistic. Look out for courses of your choice. Sometimes, just getting out of the house, learning to drive, getting a UK driving license gives us a sense of accomplishment and confidence, providing the first steps towards integrating. RENDERING A HELPING HAND Asians raised in their homeland find it extremely tough to cope with the lifestyle here, sans helpers, families and relatives. Asian men are not trained to take on housework, and it often comes crashing down on the women. The situation can be far from ideal. “Domestic help is expensive and Indian women often struggle with household work, kids and office – leaving very little time for herself,” says Geetika “Indian men cannot really handle household and kids’ responsibilities and it becomes a real issue to manage everything.” “Personally I feel we live in a society where people have changed their opinions and prefer a well-educated daughter-in-law who is independent, earns well and is self-sufficient. But the Asian community must come to terms with the fact that their men should help in household chores and raising children along with their spouses,” said Nikita. Well train the men! Find the support that you need. It is missing when you move to the UK, but reaching out to other women – integrating, making friends and calling out for help when you are unable to cope can be wise choices. DEPRESSION AND LONELINESS Mental health issues are common in the UK, and it is not just Asian women suffering from it. Like expats and asylum seekers from differ-

ent communities, lots of women get into depression because of the individualistic lifestyle in UK. Says Mili, a 40-year-old – “I am a homemaker and a mother. I feel my life has been blurred by a mundane routine. Before I got married, I was living in India, and at least there was a support system. Here, bringing up a child is so difficult alone, with my husband away from home most of the time, and it is too expensive to hire help.” In a ladies group on social media, an anonymous letter was posted by a young mother who was suffering from severe depression. A Chartered Accountant, she could not get employed in the UK. She felt worthless, depressed, thought her husband did not care enough and was considering selfharm. Women reacted to her post immediately, discussing that her situation was not unusual and that they all have gone through similar stages. One lady entrepreneur offered her a job and another introduced her to a company that employs workfrom-home qualified mothers, giving them an opportunity to start a second career. Reaching out to your GP in the NHS is an option. The GP refers you to a Psychological Wellness Practitioner for counselling

On this International Women’s Day I’m proud that the UK is helping the poorest and most vulnerable girls and women around the world to reach their full potential. UK aid has already helped more than 5 million girls attend school, given 10 million women access to modern methods of family planning and improved financial services for more than 36 million women. We all know that women are part of the solution; that women’s participation in education, health, politics and peace building increases the chances of a more prosperous and stable future. Yet we must also remain alive to the many challenges that still come before girls and women to have an equal part in this story. So we stand with them all, in every way. Priti Patel, Secretary for International Development

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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

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cases of mild anxiety or severe chronic depression. It helps you find the answers and that is half the battle won. ABUSE AND ALCOHOLISM Shyamla, a 40-year-old single mother of two, had married a bus driver in London and moved from Sri Lanka sixteen years back. She only spoke Tamil. “He was okay at first, worked on shifts and we were doing fine. I could not speak English so I worked in an Indian garments factory in Wembley. We lived in an extended family with my husband’s sisters,” she said. Problems started after he had an accident and claimed benefits. “He would not lift a finger, while I struggled with two kids. He watched television all day and used the benefit money for the children to get drunk with his friends. He beat me regularly when I complained.” Things got out of hand one day when he boxed her face and broke her jaw. “I ran out of the house bleeding profusely, I was in so much pain I could barely move. A Sri Lankan neighbour helped me and called an ambulance,” she recalled teary eyed. The NHS reported the case to the police and she was put on benefits and her husband behind the bars. Shyamala fought back, went to college, learnt English, computers and accounting and works in retail now. The problems of integrating into the community can be tough, but the Asian community is united and supportive. There are differences that can be challenging, but there are also opportunities to break the Asian traditions that can bring in new possibilities. As women, it’s the possibilities that we should be looking at – taking a pledge to fight our struggles together. Be bold, and be the change.

class wrestlers in a maledominated sport by not letting gender stand in his way. The movie struck a chord with the audience and the film grossed 50 million USD globally at the box office. Off-screen Aamir took up the social cause, campaigning for gender parity in smaller towns and cities of India. Sensitizing traditional family-run businesses to take their daughters as heirs to their private holdings, Aamir urged them to take pride in adding the ‘& Daughters’ appendage to their businesses, otherwise traditionally represented as ‘& Sons.’ He stood in solidarity with his Director wife Kiran Rao and members of the industry, raising awareness about the portrayal of women in movies. The goal was to fight against confining women to stereotypical

roles, often reducing them to provide eye-candy in gyrating ‘item’ dance numbers. Kiran shared a platform with the American Director, Scriptwriter, Marketer and Ava Marie Distributer DuVernay during a discussion in Mumbai’s MAMI Film Festival in 2015; discussing the bias women face in the industry when it comes to directing films. Ava said that there was not a chance that a female director could make a 400million-dollar Marvel or DC comic movie which are the real popcorn grabbers. “The big production houses will hire a newbie male director, but eyebrows will be raised if a female director shows a tiny sign of interest in making one. We never get the opportunity to make such films,” she said. In India, the lady make-

up artist Charu Khurana, fought a legal battle against an entire union of the Cine Costume, Make-up artistes and Hair Dressers Association (CCMAA) that restricted women to only the role of hair dressers; and the make-up for film projects would be handled solely by men. The association denied Charu a membership. She dragged CCMAA to the Supreme Court for denying her fundamental right of equal opportunity. She singly raised her voice against the six-decades-old rule that kept women away from competing with men; and won the case in 2014. These are positive, bold steps in the long battle for parity, a concept that seems to have passed the Cine world by – be it Bollywood or Hollywood.

BOLLYWOOD ASKS 'ARE OUR DAUGHTERS LESS THAN OUR SONS'? Gender inequality is widespread, even among the intellectual and high-profile Indian cine industry where one’s talent is supposed to be the only determinant of success. Consequently, some artists from the industry have come out openly, urging the members to embrace gender equality, bridge the wage gap, transform women to hold central roles and fight for equal job opportunities. Dangal, a wrestling biopic starring Aamir Khan was a huge box-office hit. The movie portrayed the journey of India’s wrestler sisters Geeta Phoghat, gold medalist at the Commonwealth championships and Babeeta Kumari, bronze medalist in the World Wrestling Championship in 2012. The dramatic twist was their father, played by Aamir, felt compelled to coach his daughters to become world-

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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

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IT’S TIME TO BE YOUR OWN WOMAN

There still is a strong gender bias in the legal profession here. For instance, there is a pay gap that exists between men and women for the same designation and qualification. Men tend to progress faster towards partnership in these firms than women. This is particularly pronounced in corporate law firms. Women often prefer to work for the non-corporate sub-sectors, not because they are not competent or qualified enough for the corporate firms but because the progress to partnership is painfully slow in the latter. Salima Mawji Director, Match Solicitors

Smita, Charu & Rupanjana At Asian Voice we believe that being a woman is beyond being a wife, a sister, a daughter, and a motherthe essence of her womanhood cannot be contained merely in her relationships or her profession. It is her heart, her desires, and her actions that maketh her. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) is “Be Bold for Change”. In sync with this, it is time for us to stand up for each other- neither silently, nor violently, but boldly and firmly. The power to change perceptions requires courage, a trait we as women personify. It is all about a shared dream- a dream of being the best versions of ourselves without being questioned on our womanhood, a world devoid of glass ceilings and cultural boundations. As the IWD campaign puts it, “Whoever you are, wherever you are, it is one team changing the world together”. So let us connect with women from all over the world, and within our families, and stand up for each other in times of need. This is a mission that will last a lifetime and will bear fruits not only for us but for generations of women to come. Let us vow to not tolerate ignorance for women’s issues- to sensitise our children, both boys and girls, to love and respect each other as equals. Inspiring women from across the world have similar messages, but we seldom inculcate them in our lives-

leaving the job to the “activists” or “the feminist type”. If you feel you have been wronged at any point in your life, owing to your gender, and believe that action must be taken to eradicate this inequality, then, my friend, you already are an “activist”, a “feminist”. As they say, a feminist is as a feminist does! We urge you to zero in on parts of your life that require you to be bold- do not hesitate to take that journey to authenticate your promises made to yourself. Be bold because each time a woman loses her battle with misogyny, you lose. Be bold because if you are not, the patriarchs will be. Be bold because your daughters and sons are watching and learning from you.

REAL WOMEN – REAL ISSUES The East is East and the West is West; and Never the twain shall meet so said the great Kipling. Bridging these two worlds would always come with challenges. Here are stories of some real women who are making this difficult adjustment – trying to hold on to their Asian

roots while boldly striking out in today’s United Kingdom. CULTURAL MISMATCH Trying to hold on to Asian roots while raising children in UK can also be quite disorienting. 29-year-old Setal feels that her culture holds her back from starting her business. “When someone talks about British Values or Indian Values, I feel I belong to none.” She feels that very few people can be part of the

mainstream market space. Even her friends/ relatives who have started businesses target the British Asian Community. The other side of the coin also seems true – as Asian communities struggle to come to terms with the efforts of expat women to internationalise. Says Ramsha, a 24-yearold – “My mother never spoke to me about sex and dating- but I just know they’ll never accept my nonAsian boyfriend. How Asian am I really? Or How

Gender bias still does exist. There are certain expectations within a female role, not in a male role. If you are playing an ‘emotional woman’, would you be playing an ‘emotional man’, ‘a strong minded man’ vs ‘a strong minded woman’? Its also such a powerful form of media shaping generations on image, the role of women etc and its important to send this message in our theatre, our film, our TV, our advertising. There are far fewer female directors and producers than male and so there are many many untold stories about women. If it is a female story, its ‘feminist’. Its not about that. Its about the ability to be human. To be vulnerable. Relatable. But I do think this is the century for the woman, and I’m very excited to be in a period where confidence and equality are beginning to shine through and prevail. Sheena Bhattessa Actress

British?” she said. Ivkiran, a 36-year-old agrees – “Places of worship reject ceremonising wedding rituals where both the bride and the groom do not share the same faith. I went ahead with my wedding and am facing isolation from my family and community.” “My parents still have that image of Pakistan that they left in the 1980s. My cousins back there have moved on a long way in terms of dating and relationships, but I cannot get my parents to realise that. I am probably more Pakistani than my cousins back home,” Ramsha said sadly. Imposing Asian culture, or trying to hold on too tight to your roots while raising children in the UK is disturbing and devastating. Integrating and embracing the culture of the land is easier and healthier for both generations. Every culture has its flip-sides, but embracing the positives with an open mind should be the way to go about. WORK AND EMPLOYMENT London provides a healthy environment for working women, but is extremely competitive and professional. Nikita, working with a top firm in Canary Wharf moved from Dubai. She loves working in London as it does not pose issues like office harassment from senior colleagues or overt gender bias. “Working here is far healthier (than Dubai),” she said. But for first generation Indian women here on

dependent visas, the struggle to find employment can be really distressing. HR Consultant Neha Malpani told Asian Voice that “My work experiences in the past do not matter because it was not UK based. I find this unfair and illogical.” Rajitha Ravindran, another professional endorsed Neha’s anxieties and reiterated “finding a job in London was tough and the salary given my years of experience was quite bad.” Neha says – “UK experience is crucial and without it I have to be ready to begin from scratch. I am finally considering taking up higher studies but I know friends who have done their Masters here, paid hefty college fees and are still unable to find employment due to their lack of UK work experience.” “Voluntary work is also difficult to come by. I once received a mail from an NGO stating that I have been longlisted” – she laughed. However, the trick is to keep trying and to never give up – stay positive and optimistic. Look out for courses of your choice. Sometimes, just getting out of the house, learning to drive, getting a UK driving license gives us a sense of accomplishment and confidence, providing the first steps towards integrating. RENDERING A HELPING HAND Asians raised in their homeland find it extremely tough to cope with the lifestyle here, sans helpers, families and relatives. Asian men are not trained to take on housework, and it often comes crashing down on the women. The situation can be far from ideal. “Domestic help is expensive and Indian women often struggle with household work, kids and office – leaving very little time for herself,” says Geetika “Indian men cannot really handle household and kids’ responsibilities and it becomes a real issue to manage everything.” “Personally I feel we live in a society where people have changed their opinions and prefer a well-educated daughter-in-law who is independent, earns well and is self-sufficient. But the Asian community must come to terms with the fact that their men should help in household chores and raising children along with their spouses,” said Nikita. Well train the men! Find the support that you need. It is missing when you move to the UK, but reaching out to other women – integrating, making friends and calling out for help when you are unable to cope can be wise choices. DEPRESSION AND LONELINESS Mental health issues are common in the UK, and it is not just Asian women suffering from it. Like expats and asylum seekers from differ-

ent communities, lots of women get into depression because of the individualistic lifestyle in UK. Says Mili, a 40-year-old – “I am a homemaker and a mother. I feel my life has been blurred by a mundane routine. Before I got married, I was living in India, and at least there was a support system. Here, bringing up a child is so difficult alone, with my husband away from home most of the time, and it is too expensive to hire help.” In a ladies group on social media, an anonymous letter was posted by a young mother who was suffering from severe depression. A Chartered Accountant, she could not get employed in the UK. She felt worthless, depressed, thought her husband did not care enough and was considering selfharm. Women reacted to her post immediately, discussing that her situation was not unusual and that they all have gone through similar stages. One lady entrepreneur offered her a job and another introduced her to a company that employs workfrom-home qualified mothers, giving them an opportunity to start a second career. Reaching out to your GP in the NHS is an option. The GP refers you to a Psychological Wellness Practitioner for counselling

On this International Women’s Day I’m proud that the UK is helping the poorest and most vulnerable girls and women around the world to reach their full potential. UK aid has already helped more than 5 million girls attend school, given 10 million women access to modern methods of family planning and improved financial services for more than 36 million women. We all know that women are part of the solution; that women’s participation in education, health, politics and peace building increases the chances of a more prosperous and stable future. Yet we must also remain alive to the many challenges that still come before girls and women to have an equal part in this story. So we stand with them all, in every way. Priti Patel, Secretary for International Development

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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

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cases of mild anxiety or severe chronic depression. It helps you find the answers and that is half the battle won. ABUSE AND ALCOHOLISM Shyamla, a 40-year-old single mother of two, had married a bus driver in London and moved from Sri Lanka sixteen years back. She only spoke Tamil. “He was okay at first, worked on shifts and we were doing fine. I could not speak English so I worked in an Indian garments factory in Wembley. We lived in an extended family with my husband’s sisters,” she said. Problems started after he had an accident and claimed benefits. “He would not lift a finger, while I struggled with two kids. He watched television all day and used the benefit money for the children to get drunk with his friends. He beat me regularly when I complained.” Things got out of hand one day when he boxed her face and broke her jaw. “I ran out of the house bleeding profusely, I was in so much pain I could barely move. A Sri Lankan neighbour helped me and called an ambulance,” she recalled teary eyed. The NHS reported the case to the police and she was put on benefits and her husband behind the bars. Shyamala fought back, went to college, learnt English, computers and accounting and works in retail now. The problems of integrating into the community can be tough, but the Asian community is united and supportive. There are differences that can be challenging, but there are also opportunities to break the Asian traditions that can bring in new possibilities. As women, it’s the possibilities that we should be looking at – taking a pledge to fight our struggles together. Be bold, and be the change.

class wrestlers in a maledominated sport by not letting gender stand in his way. The movie struck a chord with the audience and the film grossed 50 million USD globally at the box office. Off-screen Aamir took up the social cause, campaigning for gender parity in smaller towns and cities of India. Sensitizing traditional family-run businesses to take their daughters as heirs to their private holdings, Aamir urged them to take pride in adding the ‘& Daughters’ appendage to their businesses, otherwise traditionally represented as ‘& Sons.’ He stood in solidarity with his Director wife Kiran Rao and members of the industry, raising awareness about the portrayal of women in movies. The goal was to fight against confining women to stereotypical

roles, often reducing them to provide eye-candy in gyrating ‘item’ dance numbers. Kiran shared a platform with the American Director, Scriptwriter, Marketer and Ava Marie Distributer DuVernay during a discussion in Mumbai’s MAMI Film Festival in 2015; discussing the bias women face in the industry when it comes to directing films. Ava said that there was not a chance that a female director could make a 400million-dollar Marvel or DC comic movie which are the real popcorn grabbers. “The big production houses will hire a newbie male director, but eyebrows will be raised if a female director shows a tiny sign of interest in making one. We never get the opportunity to make such films,” she said. In India, the lady make-

up artist Charu Khurana, fought a legal battle against an entire union of the Cine Costume, Make-up artistes and Hair Dressers Association (CCMAA) that restricted women to only the role of hair dressers; and the make-up for film projects would be handled solely by men. The association denied Charu a membership. She dragged CCMAA to the Supreme Court for denying her fundamental right of equal opportunity. She singly raised her voice against the six-decades-old rule that kept women away from competing with men; and won the case in 2014. These are positive, bold steps in the long battle for parity, a concept that seems to have passed the Cine world by – be it Bollywood or Hollywood.

BOLLYWOOD ASKS 'ARE OUR DAUGHTERS LESS THAN OUR SONS'? Gender inequality is widespread, even among the intellectual and high-profile Indian cine industry where one’s talent is supposed to be the only determinant of success. Consequently, some artists from the industry have come out openly, urging the members to embrace gender equality, bridge the wage gap, transform women to hold central roles and fight for equal job opportunities. Dangal, a wrestling biopic starring Aamir Khan was a huge box-office hit. The movie portrayed the journey of India’s wrestler sisters Geeta Phoghat, gold medalist at the Commonwealth championships and Babeeta Kumari, bronze medalist in the World Wrestling Championship in 2012. The dramatic twist was their father, played by Aamir, felt compelled to coach his daughters to become world-

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Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

Manoj Ladwa

Strategic Advisor - Global Business & Government

Time to put real thrust behind India’s soft power India’s cultural diplomacy is entrenched in ‘babudom’. It must urgently get some real teeth and direction to reflect the aspirations of a new India, writes India Inc. CEO Manoj Ladwa. Most Indians still don’t know much about Brazil beyond the facts that it is a fellow BRICS nation and the land of footballer Pele. It would be fairly accurate to say that most Brazilians, too, know only as much about India as Indians know about them, though it is doubtful if they have heard of Sachin Tendulkar, India’s answer to the greatest footballer ever. So, it came as a pleasant surprise to learn that the carnival at Sao Paulo, a festival leading up to the Christian fasting period of Lent, has received a new cultural input. Yes, Bhangra, that earthy and energetic Punjabi folk dance, has been gaining ground in the land of the Samba and the fusion of the two styles already has a new name – Sambra. Organised for the first time last year by Sao Paulo’s 3,000-strong Indian community, Sambra has gained traction with five times as many locals joining in this year, according to reports in the media. But why am I surprised? In 2009, a love story set in India about an upper class girl falling in love with a poor boy and the subsequent machinations of the girl’s evil family to keep them apart, had captivated Brazilian TV viewers and became that country’s leading soap opera. And here’s the icing on the cake: it wasn’t even an Indian production. The teleseries, ‘Caminho Das Indias’, was an allBrazilian work, written, directed, produced and

acted in by Brazilians. Now that’s what I call soft power, which Wikipedia describes as “… a concept developed by Joseph Nye of Harvard University to describe the ability to attract and coopt rather than by coercion (hard power), using force or giving money as a means of persuasion. Soft power is the ability to shape the preferences of others through appeal and attraction. A defining feature of soft power is that it is non-coercive; the currency of soft power is culture, political values, and foreign policies”. At a time when the two great democracies on either side of the Atlantic Ocean seem to be pulling up the drawbridge on foreign (and especially Indian) talent, and xenophobia is being fanned in France, the Netherlands and other liberal democracies of Western Europe by the likes of Marine Le Penn, Geert Wilder and others of their ilk, India’s soft power, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inclusive message of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas (Discrimination Against None, Development For All) can serve as a template for cooperation among different peoples. I’m not saying this only out of a sense of goodwill for my fellow human beings. Soft power, and the sense of shared values it propagates, is a very sound foundation on which to build large economic and trade-related edifices. Just look at history. In nine cases of out 10, you will see that each country’s largest trading partners are also the ones with which it has the greatest cultural connections. In the era when Britannia ruled the waves, the British stiff upper lip was the symbol of high culture around

the globe; over the last half a century, fizzy drinks, faded jeans and funky music from the US have taken the world by storm; now, there’s a rush across the globe of children learning Mandarin. Is it a co-incidence that in each of these eras, the UK and the US have been the world’s leading mercantile nations – a standing that is now being challenged by China? The spread of Indian culture and the rapid penetration of its soft power around the globe makes me confident that India is standing at the cusp a leadership role in global affairs. India and Great Britain have just kicked off the UK-India Year of Culture, at the launch of which Queen Elizabeth II welcomed Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and a delegation of Indian celebrities such as Kapil Dev, Kamal Hassan and Anoushka Shankar, among others, at Buckingham Palace, the epicenter of the British establishment, with Indian food and an Indiathemed evening. The Queen’s royal band also performed to the tune of A.R. Rahman’s ‘Jai Ho’, from the film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’.Steamed rice and curry is Britain’s most popular soul food. Bollywood has already edged out Hollywood as the most popular form of entertainment in Africa and the Middle East. Tamil superstar Rajnikanth is reportedly the biggest movie icon in Japan. And Yoga has emerged one of as India’s greatest soft-power exports. Despite this massive groundswell of support from diaspora communities across the world, India has fallen woefully short in leveraging its soft

power. Before Modi rose to the office of Prime Minister, no Indian government ever considered integrating the influence of the Indian diaspora with the country’s foreign policy goal. Then, unlike the British Council, which is at the forefront of spreading British soft power all over the world, the Indian Centre for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has been used by successive governments as a cushy sinecure for a few favoured bureaucrats and individuals. For instance, many Indians complain that the Nehru Centre in the UK has become, under successive Congress regimes, a stodgy parking lot for authors, artistes and retired bureaucrats as a reward for favours done. This must change, and change fast, to be in sync with the new India and its aspirations. India has recently overtaken the UK as the world’s sixth largest economy, India and Japan are stepping up their economic and strategic partnerships, the Gulf monarchies are increasingly pursuing closer ties with New Delhi, and India is emerging as Africa’s favourite global partner. There’s so much the ICCR can do to push India’s interests – in the UK, the US, in Western Europe and the rest of the world. In fact, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, there is a huge opportunity to learn from and partner with organisations like the British Council that have wellheeled systems, and to properly align with India’s own geo-strategic and development goals. That would give India’s cultural diplomacy some real teeth. In a fast changing globe, where countries are jockeying intensely to secure for themselves leadership roles in the emerging new world order, India’s soft power could be the enticing thin end of the wedge for New Delhi.

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Despite demonetisation, India’s GDP growth stays 7% Despite the demonetisation of high-value banknotes in November and the resultant impact on output and well as consumption, the Indian economy clocked a fasterthan-expected growth of 7 per cent in fiscal third quarter. Data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that the rate of economic growth in the three months ending December slowed marginally from the 7.4 per cent in the preceding quarter. The Statistics office stuck to its last month’s projection that the economy will grow at 7.1 per cent in the year to March, in line with the advance estimate of GDP growth released in January. GDP growth was pegged at 7.9 per cent in the previous financial year. The numbers released show that growth decelerated to 7 per cent in October-December quarter even as sectoral data reflected minimal impact of demonetisation on account of a sharp rise in agricultural growth and a pickup in manufacturing sector growth. Nearly all research agencies had forecast that growth estimates for the economy would slide because of the slowdown in consumption due to demonetisation. The Economic Survey for 2016-17 had projected India’s GDP growth rate to reduce by 0.25-0.5 per cent in 2016-17 owing to cash squeeze in the economy following demonetisation. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its Sixth Bimonthly Monetary Policy Statement on February 8 had revised downwards GVA growth forecast for 2016-17 to 6.9 per cent from its December estimate of 7.1 per cent. Last week, National Council of Applied Economic Research cut its growth forecast to 6.9 per cent from its earlier estimate of 7.6 per cent.

Analysts noted that since the early estimates of quarterly estimate on gross value addition relied heavily on available data from the formal sector, which is expected to have weathered the note ban better than the informal sector, the first quarterly estimate issued on Tuesday may not fully capture the impact of the note ban. Subsequent estimates that draw from wider data sources, may well revise the quarterly growth downward, something that was partly corroborated by government officials. When asked whether the GDP growth numbers factored in the impact of demonetisation, Chief Statistician TCA Anant said, “I can only tell you what third quarter figures show. You may interpret them in whichever way you like…More numbers will come in future and we will update accordingly… am not here to attack or defend.” Anant said that policies like demonetisation are “difficult to assess without lot of data coming in.” The second advance estimates include advance corporate filings and data for full corporate filings will be available only by year-end, he added. When asked that companies in their results have declared a decline in consumption due to demonetisation, Anant said, “There are many items in consumption. Durable goods are only a part of it…other than that, there are other things in consumption like agricultural production and others, which have shown growth and that’s why overall consumption is showing a growth.” Commenting on the GDP data, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said this year growth figures are on a high base of last fiscal and numbers “do not show much negative impact of demonetisation”.

General Motors to stop production from Gujarat plant The General Motors (GM) which set up Gujarat's first car manufacturing facility at Halol near Vadodara is all set to shut it down sometime in April. The Indian subsidiary of US automobile giant had in July 2015 announced closure of the facility by mid2016. Later, the company decided to continue production till March 2017 to ensure an orderly transition for employees, suppliers and other stakeholders. “The plant will cease to function after the March 2017 deadline. The exact data for closure has not

been decided yet but it is unlikely to remain operational for more than two weeks or so after the deadline,” said sources. Top officials from the company recently held a meeting with senior government officials to discuss the exit modality after majority of 650-odd workers at the plant not accepting Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) offered in December, which promised 100 days of wages to the workers. “GM has decided to close their plant as per their business decision.

The state government has allowed the company to wind up its operation on the assurance that they would resolve all issues related to workers,” said JN Singh, chief secretary, Gujarat government.

“A month ago, we were offered voluntary separation scheme, which we (the workers) have opposed. As against Rs 3500,0004000,000 offered to supervisors, the workers have been promised just Rs 800,000-1000,000,” said a worker. The company, however, continues its negotiations to sell certain assets of the facility to Chinese automobile giant

SAIC Motor Corp. When contacted, the company stated that the discussions with SAIC on the sale of Halol are progressing well. The company continues to work with its employees on the implications of a sale and with the government to secure necessary approvals. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has also approved the acquisition of certain assets of GM's Halol plant by SAIC Motor HK, a part SAIC Motor Corp. Meanwhile, SAIC is also said to be in talks with state governments of

Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat for a greenfield car plant. GM's exit has come at a time when Gujarat has emerged as an auto hub with the likes of Tata Motors, Ford India and Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt Ltd (HMSI) already commissioning their manufacturing plants in Gujarat. Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) is soon going to operationalize its plant, while HeroMoto Corp's two-wheeler facility is under advance stage of development.


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This week we are looking to tie up a deal in W1. I have been tracking this property for about four months now. I was promised the deal by an agent, who couldn’t really deliver, we even went as far as the sale memorandum being issued and lawyers being instructed.

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

I liked the property as soon as I saw it, it is in a discreet block in W1, which I didn’t even know existed despite being in the area for over a decade. The property had a shortish lease, I say shortish because a 56 year lease may seem short, but as far as Central London standards go this is acceptable, and surprising to most, mortgageable. Margaret Thatcher’s old flat in Chelsea is currently on the market for £1.235m and only has a 24 year lease. This equates to roughly £1,000 per sq. ft. for a 1,200 sq. ft. property. The lease extension has been quoted at £600k, therefore you would be all in for £1,600 per sq. ft. I was speaking to someone in the industry, and it transpired that he was also going for the same property, contracts were already in and only the management information was remaining.

Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

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Only last week I heard everything was in and the deal is now ready to be executed at a price of £725k, the lease extension will cost another £150k. It’s worth going in hard to negotiate the lease extension costs down further, as there is an argument which can be made backed with selective evidence in this post Brexit environment. Works are expected to cost a further £100k, for a top finish, and the valuation is expected to be over £1.2m. Not that we’re recommending a resale; it would be best to hold on to this property for three to five years, or even long term. It’s tough to get a 20% margin in this location, not only is this a desirable block, commanding strong resale figures and demand, it’s in the prime location of W1. We feel this deal will go very quickly, as the location is aspirational and many people like the feeling of owning a piece of W1. A deal we had on the table for £600k a few weeks ago is on the verge of exchanging for a higher price, the demand for property is still strong. This is why people all over the world choose to invest

their wealth in London. Hesitation will lose you deals and money; please note that’s not the same as consideration. We had a client who signed up with us, and has viewed properties, but when it comes to doing the deal, he comes up with one reason after another for not proceeding. I counted a total of four in our last interaction. From the cash flow not being strong, to religious festivals getting in the way. The cash flow will never be strong in

London, if you want cash flow you can go outside of London where yields of 10% have been reported. However, these properties will probably never rise in value in the same way as the capital. What’s more is he didn’t even need the cash flow. If you want hard capital growth, then stick to Central London. Given the recent changes in Tax, capital gains might be more desirable.

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! Today’s question is an all too familiar one, and one I get asked more often than not. Q. My tenant has sub-let without my permission, what can I do? A. Unauthorised subletting is where it can go all terribly wrong, and it increasingly is. It typically works in two different ways: 1: Your tenant is renting out another room in your property without your permission

2: Your tenant doesn’t even live in the property, and has sub-let the entire place Upon discovering that your property is being sub-let without your permission, first decide if it’s causing a problem, as it might not be worth rocking the boat if there are no negative consequences of your tenant sub-letting (e.g. rent is being paid and the property is being kept in good condition). If that’s the case, talk to your tenant about the situation. In many cases, such a happy ending doesn’t exist. Many unscrupulous people make a living out of unauthorised sub-letting, and this is when the reality of the situation can be extremely challenging and complicated.

This is when your tenant draws up tenancy agreements for individual rooms and lets the rooms out separately to strangers, acting as if they are the real landlord. This can lead to a number of problems. First, the new sub-tenants aren’t aware of who the real landlord is. If there is a problem with the property, illegal sub-letters are unlikely to attend to them, and if they do, the problems aren’t usually resolved to a good standard. Secondly, most unauthorised sub-letting leads to overcrowding this is because the subletter tries to cram in as many tenants as possible to maximize profit. Needless to say, an overcrowded property often leads to damage. Regardless of whether your situation falls into scenario

1 or 2, you may want the sub-tenant to vacate, in which case you can do the following: n Talk to the authorised tenant (AT) directly to try and resolve the situation or at least make him/her aware that the jig is up. The AT may just admit defeat and close up shop; n

If that fails, the subtenants should be spoken to directly to clarify the situation as they may well be unaware of the circumstances themselves. They might be understanding and willingly vacate. However, if you and the sub-tenants are happy for them to remain in the property, cut out the middle man by going through the proper procedures to have the tenancy negated, then draw up a new tenancy for

each resident. But under no circumstances should you accept any payment of rent from the sub-tenant until the matter is sorted. n

If you’re still adamant on removing the tenant/subtenants, enforce the term in your tenancy agreement if there is one, and warn the AT to remove the subtenant(s) or you will serve Notice to evict him/her because s/he is in breach of contract; n

If there is no clause, you

could say your insurer/lender does NOT permit subletting, so the sub-tenant must leave; n If that doesn’t work, you could try serving a Section 8 on Ground 12 to your tenant.

If you or your property has fallen foul of this situation, and you need some initial free advice please contact me at the office. Richard Bond Lettings Manager


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Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

Consultant Editor Financial Voice

- INDIA

Alpesh Patel

Dear Financial Voice Reader Well these markets are making a lot of very wealthy people. Sadly, most do not know the basics of how to ride the wave. First, let us look at the wave. In the past 6 months alone the companies in natural resources have been shooting up: KAZ, Glencore, Vedanta -up between 70% and 170% in just 6 months. But people still obsess about property. You can see property, you can borrow in the case of property. When you borrow on property you get to keep all the profits. And they let you borrows tonnes. And a small move on a large sum is even better than 70% on a small amount. And property only ever goes up and shares, well, could be hit and miss. So why obsess over shares? Well, most people are not in property, beyond their own home. And most cannot afford the deposits even to get into property. And then again others do not want to be landlords – especially as the Government seems to be targeting them. And when I point out at £10,000 in 2004 would be £250,000 today if using my Alpesh Patel Special Edition stock ideas (independently audited) – people soon get interested again. But then they say, ‘isn’t the market too high?’ And of course in one sense they are right. But a good company should be bought for life and the dividend income it pays. When I analyse the big companies paying good dividends but not overvalued I find names like Barrat – hoorah – a property company you buy shares in. So you see there is a way of getting into property after all. I am not saying it is either/or but when picking a company do not gamble. We want the biggest safest names we would hold for life. After all we own a part of them. So do treat a share like a home – something you want forever because you love it and do not want to overpay for it. My highest rated companies presently are Bodycote, Vesuvius, Inchape, Savills, Smurfitt. I look to see how much am I paying for every pound of profit they make. A bit like looking at a house and working out how much per sq foot you are paying. When it comes to investing in shares – if you invest in property, treat shares the same way. If you do not, then even more so think about getting into them.

Tata Steel says in 'constructive discussions' with ThyssenKrupp

Tata Steel said it was still in talks with Germany's ThyssenKrupp AG about a potential merger of their European steel assets. The statement was in response to reports in the British media that India's largest steel company might be in the process of calling off a potential deal with the Germans. The company is in "constructive discussions" with ThyssenKrupp, said Tata Steel. "However, until a definitive agreement is reached, there can be no assurances that these discussions will result in a transaction." Tata Steel began talks with ThyssenKrupp last July after it called off the sale of its Port Talbot works in Wales because of uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote and its burgeoning pension liabilities. A deal would cut costs and

reduce overcapacity but Thyssenkrupp Chief Executive H e i n r i c h Hiesinger warned in January that it would take time and may yet fail. Thyssenkrupp has looked at the option of splitting its European steel business into a separate company that could be floated if a merger does fall through, German weekly WirtschftsWoche reported last week. There were reports that the deal faces extensive delays as the German major would not go ahead with the tie-up unless the pension liabilities of Tata Steel's UK assets are carved out into a separate entity. However, the separation is a cumbersome exercise and involves significant issues. Tata is currently involved in seeking regulatory approval to spin off the 15 billion pound scheme. But the regulator is still not convinced about "imminent insolvency" of Tata Steel UK - a precondition for separation.

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Mistry barred from filing oppression plea against Tata Sons

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) held that ousted Tata Sons' chairman Cyrus Mistry's family-held firms are not eligible under the Companies Act to seek relief for acts of alleged oppression and mismanagement against them as minority shareholders of the $103 billion corporate conglomerate. Cyrus Investments Pvt Ltd and Sterling Investment Corporation will now argue for a waiver of the eligibility condition under Companies Act. "The petitioners have failed to satisfy that the petition is maintainable. We will now hear matter regarding waiver," said the NCLT bench. The order was reserved on February 20 by a bench of Prakash Kumar and Nallen Senapathy after concluding a hearing on preliminary maintainability of a petition filed by the two firms. The firm filed a petition against Tata Sons, Ratan Tata, other directors

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Cyrus Mistry

and trustees. Cyrus Mistry was removed as director of Tata Sons on February 6 at a special shareholders meeting after failing to get a stay on it from the tribunal. But claiming that the petitioner is de facto Mistry himself, and the relief will direct to his reinstatement as director, A M Singhvi, the counsel for Tata Sons, said the case should be thrown out at the threshold itself as legally the mandatory eligibility criteria is not met. Members who can allege oppression and mismanagement are only those who have one-tenth the equity capital share-

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holding, Singhvi argued. The arguments were on interpretation of the eligibility criterion under section 244 of the Companies act which Singhvi, S Sarkar, Mohan Parasaran and S N Mukherjee, all appearing for the Tata Camp, said decides which members or shareholders can approach the tribunal for relief against oppression and mismanagement. Singhvi said, the section deals with "issued Share capital". "Both equity and preference are part of Issued share capital" and hence not a separate class each as sought to be interpreted "mischievously" by the Mistry team, he said. Contending that the Mistry plea of "separate class of Shareholders" would lead to rewriting the law. He argued that a plain literal meaning must be given to the law when there is no ambiguity and he stressed that there was none. Mistry firms' counsel C A Sundaram and Mistry's

counsel Janak Dwarkadas, however, had argued that the 2013 Companies Act now provides legal remedy against a company's oppressive actions to separate classes of shareholders, the one-tenth eligibility requirement has to be read and applied separately to equity and preference shareholders. In this case, they had said, the two firms were equity shareholders which with 18 % have more than the requisite shareholding. But Tata Sons said it only amounted to 2.17 per cent since preference shares must be factored in and hence rendered them ineligible. The NCLAT had directed the Mumbai tribunal to first decide the maintainability and waiver issue before going into merits of the case. Now that it has rejected the maintainability plea, the plea for waiver to the 10 per cent shareholding condition - permissible in law and sought by Mistry firms - will be argued.

Air India operates first all-women crew flight Air India has claimed that it has operated the first around the world flight with an all-women crew. The Air India flight departed from New Delhi to San Francisco last week and returned to the Indian capital. The Boeing 777 flight flew over the Pacific Ocean on its trip to the US, while its return flight was over the Atlantic, encircling the globe, the company said. The airline said that it has applied for an entry on the Guinness Book of World Record. Check-in and ground handling staff, the engineers who certified the aircraft and the air traffic controllers who authorised the departure and arrival of the plane were also all women,

the company said. Air India says it would operate other flights with all-women

teams as part of International Women's day which is celebrated on 8

March. In January, the company started selling female-only seats.

China cuts growth target for 2017 to 6.5% China has pegged its economic growth target at 6.5% in 2017, which will be a tad lower than last year. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew 6.7%, the slowest in 26 years, but within the government's target of 6.5-7%. There has been a deceleration in China's growth, which was in double digits till 2010, and is impacting overall global growth. A 6.5% growth rate during 2017 will mean that India will remain the fastest growing major economy in the world with the International Monetary Fund projecting 7.2% expansion during 2017-18. It had cut the forecast for the current financial year to 6.6%, a shade lower than China's 6.7%, due to the expected impact of demon-

etisation. Central Statistics Office estimates, however, suggest that growth has not been significantly dented due to scrapping of old Rs 500 and 1,000 notes and the economy is expected to grow by 7.1% in 2016-17. In China's case, the government has sought to rework the growth model from an export-led strategy

to one that involves some tough decisions to strengthen its financial system. In January, IMF's World Economic Outlook had identified a severe slowdown in China as one of the risks to global economic recovery. Chinese premier Li Keqiang gave himself some difficult and politically sensitive tasks of reduc-

ing steel and coal production - which will result in heavy job losses in China and impact global commodity prices. He ordered steelmakers to reduce steel production by an additional 50 million tonnes in 2017 after local manufacturers were forced to accept a production cut of 65 million last year. The government is also asking coal mines to decrease production by an additional 150 million tonnes this year over and above the production cut of 290 million tonnes effected in 2016. But he has few alternatives in a situation because overcapacity in certain industries and high inventory of millions of unsold houses is beating down economic growth.


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Foreign Exchange

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Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

Paresh Davdra is the Dealing Director of RationalFX,

Pound rebound since Brexit vote Currency Specialists.

Early on this month the number of jobs added to US non-farm payrolls in January soared to 227,000, Economists had expected a rise of 175,000 jobs during the last month, but the measure instead jumped to its highest point since July. However disappointing wage growth reduced expectations of another interest rate rise from the Federal Reserve, with a March move at this stage was given just a 9 percent chance from about 18 percent Thursday and as a result the USD was sold off. The tone continued with St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard stating yesterday that U.S. interest rates are likely to remain low throughout 2017, with no clear direction as yet on whether President Trump’s administration's policies will spark higher inflation or growth. U.S. President Donald Trump said that he would be releasing his "phenomenal" tax plan in the next few weeks. Investors have been eagerly awaiting details on Trump's campaign trail which promised to inject the U.S. economy with large-scale fiscal stimulus through additional spending and tax cuts. By mid- way through February the Feds tone has changes with Fed Chair Janet Yellen citing that "Waiting too long to remove accommodation would be unwise," Yellen said in prepared remarks before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, citing the central bank's expectations the job market will tighten

further and that inflation would rise to 2 percent. In the Final week of Feb minutes of Federal Open Market Committee’s latest meeting revealed that officials expressed confidence that they can raise interest rates gradually, while a hike “fairly soon” might be appropriate to avoid the risk of an overheated economy. Fed officials are concerned about Trump’s potential fiscal stimulus plans, and the effects of a rising Dollar. With the US Fed announcement on interest rates only a few days away Investors increasingly believe that a U.S. interest rate hike will come sooner rather than later, with a 66.4% probability of a March hike now priced in. The Pound strengthened early on in the month after a strong performance by the manufacturing sector, which has rebounded since the Brexit vote, to record its sixth consecutive month of expanding output. Analysts indicate that the rising cost of imports is expected to push up the price of UK-made goods over the coming year and send inflation from 1.6% to nearer 4%. The Bank Of England monetary policy committee voted unanimously (9-0) to hold interest rates at record lows of 0.25% and to continue with quantitative easing. Governor Mark Carney cautioned about potential challenges ahead as the UK starts the formal process of leaving the EU, and emphasised that interest rates could still move in either direction as the

Bank will respond accordingly. The Pound strengthened after Bank of England policymaker Kristin Forbes suggested she is getting closer to voting for a rate rise to stop inflation rising too high. The UK’s lower house of Parliament gave the government its approval to begin the formal process of leaving the European Union, in a vote that brings Prime Minister Theresa May a step closer to triggering Brexit. The European Commission boosted the UK's growth forecasts yesterday indicating the impact of Brexit on the country's economy might not be as bad as originally feared. Mark Carney said the UK inflation rate will probably hit the Bank’s target, of 2%, this month due to the 18% depreciation in the value of the pound since June. With inflation expected to peak at 2.8% in 2018. Early in February European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said that abolishing the Euro would not benefit any country in the currency bloc, and governments mostly have themselves to blame for their economic problems. Euroscepticism has gained ground in the Eurozone as the political landscape has become more populist, and Draghi said that the root cause of Europe's economic problems was political. ECB governor Mario Draghi criticized the policies of US President Donald Trump, rejecting deregulation and pro-

tectionism as well as claims Germany is manipulating the euro. Draghi also reaffirmed the ECB’s commitment to its expansive monetary policy, saying the central bank was ready to increase the pace of its quantitative easing programme of bond buying if necessary. Greece are hoping for positive news on a bailout review which would allow it to tap cheap ECB funding, as a top European official ruled out imminently extending debt relief sought by the IMF for the crisis-hit nation. The Euro has been volatile recently off the back of polls and rumours surrounding the far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. Veteran French centrist Francois Bayrou announced that he was offering an alliance with independent candidate Emmanuel Macron, in a move that could give the former investment banker a much-needed boost to reach the runoff in May's presidential election. Macron has been a pro-EU voice in the French election campaign, pitted against the anti-EU Le Pen and the rightwing Fillon, who also does not appear to be an EU fan. French stocks were boosted after controversial right-wing French presidential candidate Francois Fillon confirmed that he intends to remain in the race. The decision could strengthen the position of centrist Emmanuel Macron - who, polls show, would beat far-right anti-EU leader Marine Le Pen.

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WORLD

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Indian-American lawmakers slam Trump's address to US Congress Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump's maiden address to the Congress was criticised by Indian-American lawmakers. They said it lacked specificity and offered only unrealistic plans on issues like immigration and Obamacare. Congresswoman Pramila Jaypal claimed that the Prez's "rhetoric did not match reality," and that he uses "repeated falsehoods" about immigrants to justify the logic behind his "inhumane and barbaric" executive orders. "Tonight, the President's rhetoric did not match reality. He said things that sounded

good, but they were the opposite of his actions and rhetoric of the past," she said after the speech. "He repeated falsehoods about immigrants to justify the logic behind his inhumane and barbaric executive orders that have thrown our immigration system into complete and utter chaos. Instead of offering specifics and a plan to expand healthcare for all, President Trump, once again, called for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act leaving millions without health insurance." The first IndianAmerican woman to be elected to the US House of

Representatives, Jayapal said Trump talked about tax relief for the middle class, but the Trump tax plan is nothing more than a big tax break for the rich. "He mentioned reducing poverty, but in fact his budget blueprint would decimate the very social safety net programmes that help people climb out of poverty." Three-term Indian American Congressman Ami Bera said that national security is not a partisan issue. "Defeating ISIS and keeping communities safe is our priority on Foreign Affairs," she tweeted. She also spoke about Trump's move to build a wall

along the Mexico Border. She said his proposal to repeal Obamacare without a replacement would kick 20 million people off their health insurance. California Senator Kamala Harris, the first Indian-American Senator tweeted, "To blame all Muslims for terrorists' actions and suggest we block immigrants based on religion is Islamophobia. Plain and simple." She also said, "We will fight for them. We are stronger together. We need pathways to citizenship, not un-American & unrealistic plans to break up families."

US snubs India, suspends priority H-1B visas WASHINGTON: The Trump administration has temporarily suspended the expedited premium processing of H-1B visas, as part of its cleaning of its guest worker program. The move came despite New Delhi's pressure on the US asking it for a fair and rational approach on the matter from a trade and business perspective. The administrative decision came mere hours after top Indian officials, including foreign secretary S Jaishankar, and commerce secretary Rita Teotia, urged

S Jaishankar

Trump cabinet officials and lawmakers to view the H-1B visa issue as a trade and services matter, and not an immigration one during their visit

to the US. The US assured India that the work visas would be dealt with only as part of a larger immigration reforms package. "There was a sense that there is a recognition of the contribution of the Indian tech sector. Certainly this is not very much... not a priority of the (US) government. They are concerned with the immigration issue... most of the issues are quite different. Nevertheless, when it is addressed, it would be part of the overall immigration package," said Teotia. By paying an additional

$1,225 premium, companies can have an H-1B application processed within 15 days, whereas a standard process takes three to six months. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) brought the axe down on the expedited processing system which has until now, been used by several Indian and American companies to facilitate entry of tens of thousands of skilled professionals for project work in the US. It said the suspension may last up to six months.

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Indian sentenced to life for arranging wife's killing

CALIFORNIA: Shanker Chhaganbahi Patel, an Indian-American, was sentenced to life in prison for orchestrating his wife Usha's murder 25 years ago in San Dimas. Usha Patel, the Zambia-born mother of three young children, was just 29 when she was stabbed 24 times on Nov. 19, 1991, in the garage of her San Dimas home. According to the prosecution, Patel hired Stanley Medina, to kill his wife. Medina then hired Miguel Garcia to do the bidding. Garcia pleaded guilty three years ago, and is serving a life sentence. Medina was initially charged with pre-meditated murder and later the murder charges were dropped and Medina pleaded guilty to the lesser crime. He was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Trump's spy pick 'shocked' by Indian satellites

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump's top spymaster nominee has said he was "shocked" to know that India successfully launched over 100 satellites in one go, asserting that America cannot afford to be seen lagging behind. "I was shocked the other day to read that India, on one rocket launch, deposited more than 100 satellites in space," former Senator Dan Coats told lawmakers during his confirmation hearing for the position of Director of National Intelligence.

Pak group carried out Mumbai attack: EX-Pakistan NSA

NEW DELHI: Former Pakistan National Security Adviser Mahmud Ali Durrani has nailed Islamabad's role in Mumbai terror attacks. Speaking at an event, Durrani said that the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks was carried out by a terror group based in Pakistan. "The 26/11 attack is a classic trans-border terrorist event," Durrani said. The former Pakistan NSA also hit out at Hafiz Saeed. "Hafiz Saeed has no utility, we should act against him," he said.


INDIA Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

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Noted Writer Taarak Mehta No More Eminent Gujarati humourist and playwright Padma Shri Taarak Mehta died at the age of 87, after a prolonged illness, yesterday. He took his last breath in a hospital, surrounded by his family members, who have decided to donate his body to science. Mehta is mostly known for hit television series 'Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah', which was adapted from his column 'Duniya Ne Undha Chashma' which was first published in Gujarati weekly Chitralekha, in March 1971, and ran for two decades. Several political leaders, journalists, and others condoled Mehta's demise, and hailed his significant contribution to Gujarati literature. On getting the news, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "I have had the privilege of meeting Mehta several times. I also got a chance to meet him when he was honoured with Padma Shri. His work reflects unity in diversity in India." 'Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma' writer Asit Kumarr Modi said he was personally affected. "Taarak Mehta ji was very happy to have his name in the title of the show. He really liked it and treated me as a son. He had been unwell since some

Taarak Mehta

time, and age was also taking its toll on him. He always blessed me and the show for a long run. He was also happy with Shailesh Lodha because he played the character of Taarak Mehta to perfection. Besides, the society losing a stalwart of humor and satire, his passing away is a personal loss to me. He would not have wanted anybody to cry over him but to feel happy at the rich heritage of culture he has left behind," Modi said. Munmun Dutta, one of the actors in the serial, tweeted, "Saddened by the news of Taarak Mehta sir passing away. Last time when I met him, I could see his health failing him. He was still spirited and full of life. People will always remember him as the man who gave everyone the reason to laugh through his writings. My respect to him." Born in 1929, Mehta has written over 80 books and six popular Gujarati plays.

Holi marks victory of good over evil

Holi, the Hindu spring festival mainly celebrated in India and Nepal, is called the Festival of Colours, and signifies the victory of good over evil. It is celebrated over a period of two days; the first known as Holika Dahan, and the second as Rangwali Holi or Dhuleti. It also signifies the official end of winter and gratitude for a good harvest. The date is determined by the Hindu calendar, and varies from year to year on the Gregorian calendar. Celebrations start in the evening, with a bonfire where people gather, pray and perform religious rituals. The next day is more fun-filled - People play with coloured powders and water, chasing each other with coloured water-filled balloons and indulge in water fights. Carnivals open in several areas, and groups can be seen going place to place, singing, dancing, and playing drums. Different delicacies are prepared particular to the festival. Customary drinks include bhang. In the evening, people dress up and visit their friends and family. Legend: Hindu festivals usually hold a religious significance or a symbolic legend. According to the Bhagvata Purana, King Hiranyakashipu had earned a boon granting him

One-third of BJP corporators in Mumbai civic body are Gujaratis The first meeting of the newly elected corporators of Mumbai will be held next month, and eight Patels, four Shahs, one Mehta and one Gala, are set to march into the BMC House. Maharashtra civic polls results announced last week saw national party BJP gain in city corporations. A major chunk of its seats have statistically come from the belt between Dahisar, Goregaon, Mulund Ghatkopar, and the south Mumbai stretch from Tardeo-Nana Chowk to Walkeshwar-Malabar Hill. All the areas are largely populated by Gujaratis, and recorded a significant surge in voting. Between Dahisar and Goregoan, in the north, over 50 per cent BJP candidates won. Of a total of 58 seats, 32 were secured. Borivli candidate Pravin Shah won by 19,580 votes, a staggering number for a ward with only 40,000 voters. In a seemingly smart move, the BJP boosted its chances by offering tickets to several Gujaratis. Of the 82 candidates that won, 26 belong to Gujarati-origin. The party won two tickets in Ghatkopar. "We could not have won, but for the loyalty of Gujarati workers towards BJP," said a BJP

worker. All six seats were swept in Mulund, owing to the Gujarati-Kutchi community. Neil Somaiya, son of veteran BJP MP Kirit Somaiya who won from ward 108 in Mulund, said, "The Gujaratis stayed with BJP though there are rival parties pitching for Gujarati and Jain candidates to split votes." This year's Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation elections brought good news for the Gujarati community which has settled in Mumbai for generations. Almost one-

third of the 226 seats in the biggest civic body of India have gone to the community. The victory came despite its NDA ally Shiv Sena deciding to fight the polls independently. Former chairman of Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Sanjay Kothari said he had never seen Gujarati candidates winning in such large numbers in his three decades of stay in Mumbai. "In the municipal election polls, Gujaratis have sailed on

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BJP's boat. There were other factors responsible. One was the campaigning by Jain Munis after the meat episode outside the derasar, and PAAS leader Hardik Patel joining hands with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray," he said. Ashok Shah, chairman of a logistics firm and vicepresident of JITO International, Ashok Shah said, "Gujaratis have earned goodwill by their work in the social sector. When Gujarati candidates stood in the elections, people voted for them." Vipul Shah, CMD of Asian Star, a global diamond firm, said he was happy to see that Gujaratis have finally become organised. "We have never seen Gujaratis winning so many seats in municipal elections. We are all Mumbaikars but our voice as Gujaratis will be heard in the civic body on local issues." Gujarati candidates who won on BJP tickets include Minal Ruchit Patel from Gamdevi in south Mumbai, Kesarben Patel from Marol and Murji Patel from Chakala in the western suburbs. The Patel list, however, doesn't end here. There is Harsh Patel, Jitendra Patel, Sandeep Patel, Daksha Patel and Lina Patel.

five special powers. They were: He could not be killed either by a human, or an animal, not indoors or outdoors, neither at day, or at night, not by an astra or a shastra, neither on land or in water or air. The power made him arrogant, to the point where he considered himself God and demanded only he be worshipped. However, his son Prahlada disagreed and remained an ardent devotee of Lord

Vishnu, infuriating him. As he inflicted several brutal punishments on his own son, he could not change his mind or his devotion. Finally, Hiranyakashipu's sister Holika, took matters into her own hands and tricked the boy into sitting in a pyre with her. She wore a cloak which protects her from the fire. However, when the fire scaled, the cloak flew away from her body and covered Prahlada.

“I would like to send my warmest regards to all the communities in the UK, and those across the world, celebrating Holi. Originating from the Hindu faith in India and Nepal, Holi - also known as the Festival of Colours - is a joyful celebration that marks the end of winter and welcomes the start of spring. “Friends, families and communities will come together this week to celebrate with traditional bonfires, bright colours, and song. It is a time of personal reflection, the chance to forgive and forget conflicts, and strengthen our relationships with those around us. “I wish everyone a happy and colourful Holi.” - Alok Sharma, Minister for Asia

He lived while his aunt burned to ashes. Soon Lord Vishnu came in the form of Narasimha- half human and half lion, at dusk, took Hiranyakashipu at a doorstep, placed him on his lap and killed him with his lion claws. This is how the festival came to be celebrated as the symbolic victory of good over evil. Another mythology tells the story of Lord Krishna, and how to play with colours commemorates Radha's divine love for Krishna. The God, as an infant, developed his characteristic dark blue skin colour when she-demon Putana poisoned him with her breast milk. During his youth, Krishna who loved the fair-skinned Radha, despaired over whether she would love him. His mother asks him to approach her and colour her face in any colour he wanted. He does what she says and since then, Radha and Krishna become a couple. One of the most important activities include the matki phod, where young men form a human pyramid to reach a pot of buttermilk hung high over the streets. Young women try to stop them by throwing coloured water at them. The game is to commemorate Krishna's pranks as a child, and his love for maakhan.


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INDIA

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AP, Telangana at loggerheads over Krishna water Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

HYDERABAD: The irrigation officials of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana indulged in heated exchanges over sharing of Krishna waters at Nagarjunasagar project site in Nalgonda district. After the heated argument, Superintending Engineers of the two States approached Krishna River Management Board (KRMB). Official sources said that the engineers of Nagarjunasagar project, management of which is controlled by Telangana Government, reduced the quantity of water being released to the NSP Right

Canal stating that of the 18.5 TMC ft water allocated to AP by KRMB on February 10, less than one TMC ft was left to be utilised and the remaining quantity would flow down within a few hours. However, after getting the

Andhra plans hi-tech war on mosquitoes NEW DELHI: Three cities in Andhra Pradesh Vijayawada, Vishakhapatnam and Tirupati - want to use modern technology to detect mosquito breeding areas before malaria and other vector-borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and zika become an epidemic. The state government has sent a 'Smart Mosquito Density System' proposal to the Union urban development ministry for approval and to provide funds so that the three municipal bodies can implement this first-ofits-kind project in the country. The three municipalities plan to deploy 10 sensors per sq km. The entire system will cost nearly £400,000. A total of 1,850 sensors will be deployed across 185 sq km of these cities. Sensors fixed to electricity poles will be used to monitor density of mosquitoes along with gender and species. The devices will analyse and transfer mosqui-

to density data along with location to a central database. There will be a control room application to provide mosquito density heat maps, which will help government agencies prioritise sprays. The system will operate autonomously and use stateof-the-art technology to alert health and other agencies of the need to treat geographic areas to control the mosquito population responsible for vector-borne diseases. "The system will help us take appropriate measures to contain breeding mosquitoes and eliminate them. The measures to check their breeding at exact location and that too with the right sprays for a particular specie will help save wastage of resources. Real time data will help the local governments to be proactive on tracking spread of vector-borne diseases," said K Kanna Babu, director of municipal administration of Andhra Pradesh government.

Gurmehar Kaur issue rocks Haryana Assembly CHANDIGARH: Delhi university student Gurmehar Kaur issue rocked the Haryana Assembly, with opposition INLD seeking state minister Anil Vij's apology for his tweet that dubbed her anti-ABVP campaign supporters as proPakistan, liable to be thrown out of the country. The issue was raised during Zero Hour by INLD's leader by former minister Jaswinder Singh Sandhu, who asked Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to rein-in his minister having the habit of shooting off his mouth. Sandhu also said Vij should apologise for what he had said about Gurmehar Kaur. With Vij being outside the House at the time the matter was raised, he walked in and drew vociferous support from his colleagues at treasury benches. Congress too supported INLD members on the issue with the MLAs from the opposition and the treasury benches having sharp exchanges, some of which had to be expunged. Some BJP members also raised 'Bharat Mata

ki Jai' and 'Vande Mataram' slogans. Meanwhile, outside the House, Vij defended what he had said, asserting "In my tweet, no where have I said anything personal against Gurmehar Kaur. I only said she should not do politics over martyrdom of her father," Vij told reporters later, adding "Pakistan has been fighting direct and proxy war against India for the last 70 years and an attempt has been made to give a clean chit to that country." Gurmehar Kaur had said Pakistan did not kill her father, the war did. Somewhere she has shown a soft corner towards Pakistan." Vij went to the extent of terming INLD act of raising the Gurmehar's issue inside the House as "anti-national." On INLD senior leader Abhay Chautala saying that young people can falter, Vij said "to say that she is a young woman, the matter cannot end there. If young people like her become a tool in the hands of the anti-national forces, they too cannot be deemed to have committed wrong."

information that the flow into the Right Canal was reduced, a Superintending Engineer from Macheral in Guntur district rushed to project site and entered into an argument with his Telangana counterpart questioning the latter as

to how the flow was reduced when another 4 TMC ft water was due to be drawn by them (AP). The KRMB in its recent meeting had cleared drawl of 18.5 TMC ft by AP and 15.5 TMC ft by Telangana for immediate needs of irrigation and drinking water. Transmission losses: Over 11,400 cusecs was being let out through Right and Left Canals. When contacted, NSP engineers explained that the release of 9,000 cusecs to Right Canal was gradually reduced to 3,600 cusecs taking into account sharing the transmission and evaporation losses between the two States.

Now, Telangana lawmakers to have plush homes HYDERABAD: Following the footsteps of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao who recently moved into a palatial £5 million home in Hyderabad, the lawmakers will also have big bungalows in their constituencies, now. KCR has plans to build bungalows in 104 constituencies at a cost of over £10 million, with the stated purpose of bringing elected representatives closer to the people. Apparently, some legislators had complained that they could not visit their voters as they had no place to stay. The first of these bungalows is ready in Parkal, around 180 km from Hyderabad. Lawmaker Dharma Reddy will have an office and a home in the two-storied building. The three-bedroom living

quarters include halls, a store room and a puja room. The ground floor is for official work and has a conference hall, VVIP lounge and a waiting room for the people. "This is for the people. The chief minister took this decision with the idea that the MLA must remain accessible to the people of the constituency,'' said state minister Ajmeera Chandulal. KCR has been attacked for what the opposition describes as a colossal misuse of public money, but this is not the first time in recent weeks that he has weathered criticism of this sort. Last week, the Chief Minister gifted gold worth over £5 million from public money at temples in Tirupati, fulfilling a vow he had made.

Haryana govt to raise social security pensions CHANDIGARH: On the occasion of the golden jubilee celebrations of the state, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced a series steps, including increase in social security pensions. Khattar said that old age allowance, widow pension and that for the handicapped would be increased to Rs 1,600 per month from November 1 this year. At present, Rs 1,400 per month is given as social security pensions to 2200,000 beneficiaries at a cost of £8.8 million to the state exchequer. Khattar added that the government has decided to relax the disability limit from 70 per cent to 60 per cent to avail of disability pension. Beneficiaries would also get Rs 1,600 per month. Also, financial assistance to destitute children has been increased from Rs 500 to Rs 700, while assistance to non-school going differently abled children would be raised from Rs 700 to Rs 1,000 from November 1. The honorarium for Home Guard constables has been revised from Rs 300 per day to Rs 572 per day on a par with police constables. This will benefit 14,025 home guards. The CM also announced that a Haryana Swarna Jayanti Medal would be instituted from November 1. All the offi-

Manohar Lal Khattar

cers and police personnel of the department would wear it on the uniform. Khattar announced an increase in scholarship for cadets hailing from Haryana and being trained at National Indian Military College in Dehradun from Rs 35,000 to Rs 50,000 per annum. The government has also decided to set up a separate department for the welfare of ex-servicemen. Khattar announced that financial assistance being given to ex-servicemen of 60 or above, widows of ex-servicemen, physically disabled ex-servicemen, paraplegic ex-servicemen, orphan children of exservicemen and war widows of 1962, 1965 and 1971 would be increased to Rs 3,000 per month. Khattar also launched a scheme under which an honorarium of Rs 9,000 would be given to postgraduate unemployed youths in lieu of 100 hours of work.

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Tirupati temple's big problem

HYDERABAD: The famous Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh is in a peculiar problem and is now seeking providential assistance for a way out. It has received a whopping £4 million in demonetised notes of Rs 500 and 1,000 from devotees in the last two months - past the deadline for their exchange. The temple administration has written to the government and the Reserve Bank of India on the fate of the accumulated banned notes and is awaiting a response, a top official said.

7,000 sarees seized from tax official's residence

BENGALURU: The Anti-corruption Bureau in Karnataka during a raid has seized 7,000 sarees worth millions of rupees from the residence of deputy commissioner, commercial taxes, Kariappa's house in Hubballi. It took nearly six hours for three men to count the sarees. The deputy commissioner argued that he was in the saree business, but could not substantiate his claim. Apart from the sarees, hoards of footwear and jewellery were also recovered from his residence. The police believes, this could be due to the raids he carried out at saree shops as part of his job.

Karnataka govt shelves steel flyover of Bengaluru

BENGALURU: The Karnataka government has shelved plans for £210 million steel flyover from Basaveshwara Circle to Hebbal Junction in Bengaluru following the seizer of a diary from Congress MLC K Govindaraj in which it was mentioned that £65 million has been “received.” “We've to cancel the project as we've to prove our sincerity. Corruption charges are levelled against us when we haven't taken a single rupee in kickbacks,” Bengaluru development minister KJ George said.

1984 riots case: SC asks petitioner to file suggestions

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has directed petitioner S Gurland Singh Kahlon to file his suggestions in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case and also sought a report from the Special Investigation Team (SIT) regarding the progress in the case. Earlier, Kahlon, a member of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, had knocked the doors of the apex court in the case seeking a monitored investigation in the case. Anti-Sikh riots that broke out after assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had claimed 2,433 lives in Delhi alone.

Convicted IAS officer dismissed from service

CHANDIGARH: The Central government has dismissed suspended Haryana Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer Sanjeev Kumar, who was recently convicted in the Junior Basic Training (JBT) teachers' recruitment scam, from service. Sanjeev Kumar was convicted by a Delhi court for irregularities in the recruitment of 3,206 junior teachers in primary education department of the state in 1999-2000. The department of personnel and training (DoPT) has conveyed to the Haryana government its decision to terminate the service of the 1985 batch IAS officer.

Kirron Kher dares Seema Azad for debate

CHANDIGARH: Two days after journalistturned-activist Seema Azad addressed a gathering at Panjab University, local MP Kirron Kher challenged her for a debate on patriotism. Talking to media after the inauguration of 101-foot high National Flag, named the Pride Monument, in Japanese Garden, Kher said, “I challenge Seema Azad for a debate on patriotism any time. The way she addressed the students was an act of cowardice. If she has guts, she should not sneak into the city and the university like a fugitive.” Despite ABVP threat, activist Seema Azad addresses students at Panjab University


HERITAGE - HISTORY Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

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Sarat Bose and Suhrawardy for Bengal Desh AsianVoiceNews

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Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee was nominated to the Constituent Assembly by Congress

Dr Hari Desai The aspirations of the people of British India were raised following declaration of Prime Minister Clement Attlee in the House of Commons on February 20, 1947, that the British would quit India after transferring power into the responsible hands not later than June 1948. The Muslim League headed by Mohammad Ali Jinnah was demanding a Muslim Nation i.e. Pakistan, Akali Leader Master Tara Singh aspired to have a Sikh State and Periyar E V Ramasamy was struggling to have Dravid Nadu. Apart from the

States to be carved out of the British territories, even the Princely States were keen to have their own Union or Unions of States. Before Lord Wavell paved the way for Lord Mountbatten to be the Viceroy, the Hindu Mahasabha leader from Bengal, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, had made representation to the Governor of Bengal, Frederick John Burrows, for partitioning the Bengal Province. Even Hindu Congress leaders of Bengal were in support of the partition plan initiated by Dr Mookerjee. The exceptions were the leader of Congress Legislature Party Barrister (Lincoln’s Inn) Sarat Chandra Bose and the Oxford-educated Muslim League Premier of Bengal Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and their supporters, including Abul Hashim. Sarat Bose was the elder brother of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The history is full of unusual contradictions: Dr Mookerjee, the Hindu Mahasabha leader since 1939, joined the Fazlul Huq Ministry in 1941 with the consent of the Mahasabha supremo V D Savarkar. Huq was the person who moved the “Pakistan Resolution” in the Lahore Muslim League Convention of March 1940. Sarat Bose too was to join Huq Ministry but he was arrested before the swearing in ceremony and was released only in 1945. The Bengal Premier (Chief Minister) Suhrawardy, who at later date was to become the Prime Minister of Pakistan, was considered to be villain of the mass murders of 17,000 Hindus in Kolkata following Jinnah’s call for Direct Action on August 16, 1946, as described by Tathagat Ray, at present the Governor of Tripura state, in the biography of Dr Mookerjee. Dr Syama

Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy

Sarat Bose and wife Bivabati in 1921

Prasad was the youngest Congress Member of Bengal Legislative Council in 1929, resigned after one year following the party diktat and got elected as an Independent. He joined the Hindu Mahasabha in 1939 and rose to become all India President, got nominated to the Constituent Assembly by Congress Party in 1946 even when he was with the Mahasabha. He resigned from the Nehru Ministry in 1950. In mid-1947, there was a move for partition of Bengal on communal lines. Dr Mookerjee with support of Hindu leaders of Congress took the initiative to safeguard the interests of Hindus since Bengal was a Muslim majority state. His argument was: if 35 per cent Muslims could not live in India with 62 per cent Hindus, how could 42 per cent Hindus stay in Bengal with 54 per cent Muslims? On May 7, 1947, a grand rally was held in Kolkata. Jadunath Sarkar presided. It was a major boost to the partition movement. The United Bengal proposal was the bid made by Bengal political leaders Suhrawardy and Sarat Bose to found a united and independent nation-state of Bengal. The proposal was floated as an alternative to the partition of Bengal on communal lines. The proponents of the plan urged the masses

to reject communal divisions and uphold the vision of a United Bengal, including Assam. Sarat Bose put forward his proposal for a “Sovereign Socialist Republic of Bengal” after Suhrawardy and Hashim made it public in Delhi on April 27, 1947, and in Calcutta on April 29, 1947, respectively. Both PM Attlee and Mountbatten were sympathetic to the Bose-Suhrawardy-Hashim scheme if Bose would agree to change the title of the new State. Pandit Nehru and Sardar Patel were adamant in their opposition and had won over Mahatma Gandhi, who at one point of time seemed to be sympathetic to the idea. Even Jinnah was in favour of Suhrawardy-Bose plan with his cunning calculations to have Calcutta under his thumb. On realising the stance of majority Hindus joining the partition bandwagon, Suhrawardy, the Premier of Bengal, preferred to run away to Dhaka to save his life. Both Bengal and Punjab were set for partition on communal lines, the East Bengal became Eastern Pakistan (Bangladesh since 1971) and Western Punjab became the part of Western Pakistan. Viceroy Mountbatten objected to the name of Sarat Bose in Congress list to join the Interim

Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee spearheaded the movement for Partition of Bengal

Government. Nehru and Patel insisted and he was taken on board as a Member (Union Minister) for less than two months. Sisir Kumar Bose in “Sarat Chandra Bose: Remembering My Father” states: “Pandit Nehru got Gandhiji to ask father to tender his resignation to make room for nominees of the Muslim League.” Sarat even resigned from the Congress Working Committee in January 1947 and took the initiative regarding the future Constitution of Bengal as a socialist republic. Sarat Bose made his plan public on May 20, 1947, even sent it to Gandhiji and Jinnah. On Bapu’s advice, he modified it also. Even Mountbatten

was prepared to change his announcement waiting for last minute development of Bengal remaining united in a divided India. He had kept two broadcasts “A” and “B” ready, as per the “Transfer of Power” documents published by Sisir in his book. “Father was mortified at Gandhiji’s helplessness.” He adds: “The Congress High Command having summarily rejected the United Bengal formula, broadcast “A” was used by Mountbatten in his June 3, 1947, announcement of complete vivisection of India and transfer of power to two dominions.” Both Sarat Bose and Dr Mookerjee became the Union Ministers in the Government headed by Nehru but later to resign

after a short period for different reasons. Both became bitter political enemies of Nehru and established separate political parties! The two did not live long. Sarat died in 1950 keeping his hope for Akhand Bengal Desh alive till his last breath. Dr Mookerjee died in 1953 as a founder President of Jan Sangh which always had a dream for Akhand Bharat. Hours before Sarat Bose died on February 20, 1950, he wrote the last Editorial for his journal “The Nation” making an appeal to the people of India and Pakistan: “Let East Bengal live and flourish as a distinct and separate State, but in the interests of the future well-being of the communities living in the two Bengals which, as I have said before, are integral to each other, which are each other’s home of bone and flesh of flesh, let East Bengal live and flourish under the fostering care of the Indian Union.” Next Column: Bhopal Plan and the Hindu Maharajas (The writer is a Socio-political Historian. E-mail: haridesai@gmail.com )


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INDIA - WORLD

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Narendra Modi dedicates multiple development projects in Bharuch Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

During his visit to Bharuch, Gujarat, on March 7, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated multiple development projects to the nation, including, a four-Lane Extradosed Bridge over river Narmada at Bharuch on NH-8 and Petrochemicals Complex of OPAL at Dahej. "The world will not understand what it means to build a bridge at Bharuch. The people of Bharuch, who have undergone so much pain, only they will understand its importance," he said at the foundation ceremony. He said the Indian economy is getting new power on the soil of Bharuch. "If the vision is

Sikh community is familiar to racism since 9/11, when revenge attacks against them were initiated on petty misconceptions. “We are all kind of at a loss in terms of what’s going on right now, this is just bringing it home. The climate of hate that has been created doesn’t distinguish between anyone,” said Jasmit Singh, a community leader. “It is scary,” Satwinder Kaur, another Sikh community leader in Washington said. “The community has been shaken up.” Another IndianAmerican, Harnish Patel, who has been living in the US for the past 14 years, was shot dead right outside his home in Lancaster. Investigators are still looking into the potential motives for the attack, and the possibility of racial motivation has not been ruled out. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched an investigation into the

Gujarati hoteliers in USA urged to invest in Gujarat motels

rorism probes involving Islamic State or individuals inspired by the militant group. The new order launches a 90-day period for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to define a new series of requirements for countries to have full participation in US entry programs. For countries that do not comply, the US State Department, the DHS and intelligence agencies can make recommendations on what, if any, restrictions should be imposed. It also spells out detailed categories of people eligible to enter the United States, such as for business or medical travel, or people with family connections or who support the United States.

The Non-Resident Gujarati Parents Day event organised by the GCCI NRG Centre saw former Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi High Courts, Justice BC Patel in attendance. Speaking at the event, Justice Patel said that it was Gujaratis basic entrepreneurial quality that has been instrumental in their success abroad. He said Gujaratis have been contributing tremendously in different sectors, notably in education and business sectors. Justice Patel even called upon successful Gujarati hoteliers from the USA and asked them to invest in motels in Gujarat. NP Lavingiya, Additional Secretary (NRI), who was the guest of honour, said, "The NRG Foundation of Government of Gujarat carries out various activities for the benefit of the community with a view to contribute towards development of the State. Among the notable activities of the Foundation was the launch of Gujarat Card wherein the NRG cardholders were provided priority treatment in Government Departments and were also eligible for other benefits." Viren Patel, Trustee, Charotar University of Science & Technology,

spoke on the opportunities of NRGs in education sector in the state. He said, "The university under the parental guidance of Charotar Moti Sattavis Seva Sanstha was working in the education, research and medical sectors." He informed that of the total outlay of £15 million for the first NAAC certified private university, NRIs and NRGs' contribution was nearly 70 to 80 per cent. Rahul Shukla, owner and CEO, White Technologies, USA, said that if businessmen were ready to invest £700,000 in urban areas or £350,000 in rural areas he or she can enter USA on Investment Visa. Dr. Keyur Buch, CIMS Hospital, Ahmedabad, speaking on Medical Tourism in Gujarat called upon the State Government for proactive and aggressive Medical Tourism as the Gujarat was far behind other States in taking benefit of economical medical services offered in the country. Earlier in his introductory remarks, K H Patel, Chairman NRG Committee of GCCI, said that NRGs alone had made an investment of £6 billion in the State and held FDs of £500 million in the banks.

mer died in the hospital, Madasani was injured and released later. Speaking at a vigil remembering his friend, four days later, Madasani said, “I wish it was a dream. What happened that night was a senseless crime and that took away my best friend.” It isn’t just the immigrants’ origin that is provoking aggression, there is a shared feeling among “pure” Americans that their jobs are being stolen. A video from August 2016, shot by anti-immigrant website SaveAmericanITJobs.org, has caused severe anxiety. Its YouTube description reads, “Our walk in the park provides evidence as to who has the Jobs in this area, and they are not the citizens of Ohio. It is proof on the ground how guest workers are not only taking over jobs, but also taking away the real estate and parks. The USA Ohio IT Workers have disappeared into oblivion.” While the video did not seem as harmful back then, in retrospect, it can be held as proof to the worsening racial hostility. “Suddenly,

you’re thinking and being concerned about things you never thought of before. I don’t want to believe that the country has suddenly changed,” said Senthil Bagavathy, an information technology consultant. National organisation South Asian Americans Leading Together responded to the attack against Rai, saying it was “no surprise given the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim vitriol escalating across the country, most notably illustrated in President Trump’s divisive recent executive orders”. Suman Raghunathan, executive director of the organisation, said, “When our ‘so-called’ leaders attempt to govern from an angle of xenophobia, these sentiments embolden deadly violence against our communities.” However, the White House has rejected any link between Trump’s foreign policy and the attacks. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, “Obviously, any loss of life is tragic, but I’m not going to get into, like, to suggest that there’s any correlation I think is a bit absurd. So I’m not going to go any further

than that.” Racist tirade against Indians in New Zealand Meanwhile, the New Zealand government has condemned reports of an Indian-origin man being assaulted and racially abused in Auckland, and said the incident was not indicative of the country’s attitude towards foreigners. “We don’t condone race-based abuse in any form,” said Suzannah Jessep, Acting New Zealand High Commissioner, about the incident. “The comments reported do not reflect the views of the vast majority of New Zealanders,” Jessep added. Narindervir Singh was sworn at, abused and told to go back to his own country by an unidentified man after a minor altercation on the road last week. Singh did not engage with the man but began recording his racist rant and streamed the video on social media. “It really shocked me and after he (left), I was really shaken... The first thing in my mind was that he might hurt me with some weapon,” Singh said about his attacker.

Narendra Modi dedicating to the nation the 4-Lane Extradosed Bridge over river Narmada on NH-8, at a function, in Bharuch. Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari, Chief Minister of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani, Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Chemicals & Fertilizers, Mansukh L. Mandaviya and other dignitaries.

clear, intentions right and ideas perfect, then nothing can hinder success." He also laid the foundation

stone of Bharuch Bus Port. Modi stated that the bus port would benefit the poorest of the poor. "The

effect on March 16. It is said that the new order also ensures that tens of thousands of legal permanent residents in the US, or green card holders from the listed countries would not be affected by the travel ban. Refugees who are "in transit" and already have been approved would be able to travel to the US. Over two dozen lawsuits were filed in US courts against the original travel ban. The state of Washington successfully had it suspended by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, after arguing that it violated constitutional protections against religious discrimination. Trump had not taken the move well, and had tweeted the court to "see you in court". The original travel ban barred trav-

ellers from the seven nations from entering for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days. Syrian refugees were indefinitely banned. The White House official said, "This executive order has scrapped that division and the indefinite suspension and has collapsed them into a single category of a 120-day suspension." The official said the new order was based on national security concerns and had nothing to do with religion. "It is substantially different from the first order yet it will do the same thing in this important way. It will protect the country and keep us safe." The FBI is currently investigating 300 people admitted into the United States as refugees as part of 1,000 counter-ter-

Go back, Indians in US told

Continued from page 1

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From Left: Viren Patel, KH Patel, former Chief Justice BC Patel, Bipin Patel, NP Lavingiya, Rahul Shukla, and Dr Keyur Buch

Bharatmala and Sagarmala projects will give a strong boost to port-led development."

Trump signs revised travel ban, excludes Iraq WASHINGTON: Signing a new executive order after his first attempt was blocked by courts, US President Donald Trump has removed Iraq from a list of countries. The new order would keep a 90-day ban on travel to the US by citizens of six Muslim-majority nations- Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. A White House official said Iraq was taken off the list in the original order because the Iraqi government had imposed new vetting procedures, such as heightened visa screening and data sharing, and because of its work with the US in countering Islamic State militants. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House spokeswoman said the new order will take

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India invites Ian Grillot

speaks louder Ian Grillot, who for and is more bravely conrepresentative fronted the of America than Kansas shooter the violence.” and took two Ian is a US bullets and Navy veteran potentially who has always saved a dozen been fascinated people, includwith India since ing an Indian, Ian Grillot the time he was became a hero a child. in India and USA. He met with the Indians appreciated his Indian diplomats after he heroism and the was discharged from the Americans celebrated his hospital. Even Ian himself acceptance and intolerwants to visit India! “I ance of hate crime. think I've found myself a Anupam Ray, India’s congood reason to go there sul general in Houston, now. So I'd definitely have formally invited Ian to to be making a trip someIndia, telling him that time in the near future.” “bravery and kindness attacks to determine whether they are hate crimes. Whatever may be the outcome, these acts of aggression have indefinitely deepened fear among southeast Asian and immigrant communities. Donald Trump’s aggressive rhetoric is proving to be fatal to many US citizens.

The recent series of attacks began in Olathe, Kansas, where two IT professionals were shot in a bar, one fatally. Last month, a shooter reportedly yelled “get out of my country” before he pushed bullets into Srinivas Kuchibhotla and his friend Alok Madasani. While the for-


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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...

Laughter is the Best Medicine

mon foods, still it can occur in people who are underweight, those who have frequent digestive problems or in adolescent girls who avoid milk and rarely have vegetables. The symptoms can be visible within a few days. Poor intake of Vitamin B2 may cause the following symptoms: 1. Weakness or fatigue 2. Change in mood 3. Soreness of throat 4. Skin cracking 5. Dermatitis 6. Anaemia You should know that it is not difficult to build a diet rich in vitamin B2 . One serving of soya can give you half of your daily requirement. Add green leafy vegetables and milk products to your daily meals and you'll be able to get the rest of it. There are a lot of good sources of Vitamin B2 that you should be eating regularly like: n Dairy products n Eggs n Beans and legumes n Vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables (spinach) n Nuts and seeds (almond and sesame seeds)

It is also important to note that the milling of cereals results in a considerable loss of vitamin B2 (up to 60%), and so sometimes white flour, bread or ready-to-eat breakfast are enriched with Vitamin B2. Polished rice is also not usually enriched as the vitamin’s stark yellow colour would make the rice visually unacceptable to the large rice-consuming population. However, most of the flavin content of whole brown rice is retained if the rice is steamed (parboiled) prior to milling. Riboflavin is continuously excreted through the urine, thus increasing the risk of a deficiency when dietary intake is insufficient. A deficiency of

Vitamin B2 in the body can be primarily due to poor vitamin sources in one's daily diet or as a result of conditions that affect its absorption in the intestine. Moreover, a deficiency of Vitamin B2 during pregnancy can result in birth defects including congenital heart defects and limb deformities. There is no side effect seen for Vitamin B2 toxicity produced by excessive intake because it has a lower water solubility than other B vitamins. This makes absorption less efficient as the doses increase, and also because the excess Vitamin B2 that is absorbed is excreted through the kidneys into urine.

Teddy Bears and Dolls Can Help Develop Reading Habits No matter a girl or a boy, everyone once had a nonliving stuffed friend, which was most loved by them during their childhood. It might be a bear, a doll, a

My great-grandma gave me this money,” said a three-year-old, happily clutching a $20 bill he’d gotten as a present. “That’s right,” Mum said. “How did you know that?” Pointing to Andrew Jackson’s face in the middle, he said, “Because her picture is on it.” *** A man at the hotel was miserable at his job and was desperately searching for a new one. “Why don’t you work for your mother?” a co-worker suggested. He shook his head. “I can’t,” he said. “Her company has a very strict policy against hiring relatives.” “Who made up that ridiculous rule?” “My mother.”

*** A guy was in love and wanted to introduce his bride-tobe to his hypercritical mother. But in order to get an unbiased opinion, he invited over three other female friends as well and didn’t tell his mom which one he intended to marry. After the four women left, he asked his mother, “Can you guess which one I want to marry?” “The one with short hair.” “Yes! How’d you know?” “Because that’s the one I didn’t like.” *** “Why doesn’t your mother like me?” a woman asks her boyfriend. “Don’t take it personally,” he assures her. “She’s never liked anyone I’ve dated. I once dated someone exactly like her, and that didn’t work out at all.” “What happened?” “My father couldn’t stand her.” *** A couple invited some people to dinner. At the table, the wife turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, “Would you like to say the blessing?” “I wouldn’t know what to say,” the girl replied. “Just say what you hear Mommy say,” the wife answered. The daughter bowed her head and said, “Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?”

puppy or any other cottonstuffed animal, which accompanies your adorable infant everywhere. As we already know that children live in their own world filled with adventure and fantasy, and evidently feel safe and playful around their favorite toys. A recent study found that your child's stuffed companion

| Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

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LIFESTYLE

6 Common Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin B2 Deficiency Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is one of the important vitamins among the eight B vitamins, which is not only responsible for maintaining healthy blood cells, protecting the skin and eye health but also in boosting your energy levels. It regulates metabolism and acts as an antioxidant in the body. For pregnant women, riboflavin becomes essential for bone, muscle and nerve development of the baby. Vitamin B2 is a watersoluble vitamin like all other B vitamins which means that it is flushed out of the body daily so it must be restored each day to avoid any deficiencies. It is important as it is needed for the proper functioning of every single cell within the body. It is used in combination with other B vitamins, which make up the “B Vitamin Complex”. Vitamin B2 changes into vitamin B6 and folate (vitamin B9) so that the body can use it. Vitamin B2 deficiency is rare as this vitamin is found in almost all com-

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may help induce reading habits in them. Researchers in the study said that sending kids with stuffed animals for a sleepover at the library encourages them to read, even long after the sleepover took place. This is the first time that a study proves stuffed animal sleepovers are an effective

Pre-Pregnancy Stress May Lead to Eczema in Infants

Stress is the root cause of many health issues. We have heard it time and time again from health experts, yet we don't pay much heed and continue living our hectic lives carrying out errands and chasing deadlines. It's not okay to keep going nonstop without taking break and letting your mind and body relax. Stress can cause anxiety and lead to various other ailments such as depression, high blood pressure, insomnia, heart disease, etc. And it doesn't just stop there. According to a new study done by the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, pre-pregnancy stress can lead to eczema in newborns. Pregnancy is a beautiway to get children to read. The results of the study indicated that stuffed animal sleepover programs may help develop children's prosocial behavior by encouraging them to read the books the stuffed animals had chosen during their sleepover. The researchers from Okayama University, Kanazawa University, Osaka Institute of Technology and Kyushu University in Japan said

ful phase but there are many precautions that the to-be-mother should take in order to ensure the healthy development of her child. The study is first of its kind to link preconception maternal stress to the risk of atopic eczema in the child. Eczema is a condition which is defined as inflammation of the skin, leading to rashes, itchiness and even blisters. The researchers believe the findings support the concept that eczema partly originates as a baby develops in the womb and could reveal ways of reducing the risk of the skin condition. They assessed the stress levels of women before pregnancy and around 3,000 babies at six and 12 months for eczema. that they hope their results support the global spread of this approach, which has a positive effect on children's reading habits. Stuffed animal sleepover programs were designed to get children interested in picture books. Children took their toys to a library for the night, where the animals searched for books they want to read. Meanwhile, the staff and volunteers clicked pictures of the stuffed toys.

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Aishwarya Dhanush to perform at the UN HQ

Asian Voice

11th March 2017

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u p e r s t a r Rajinikanth's elder daughter Aishwarya Dhanush is a multi-talented personality as she is engaged in movie making, writing, dancing, and even occasional playback singing. With so many versatile talents up her sleeve one can call her Kollywood's polymath. Last year, Aishwarya

was appointed as the United Nations' Goodwill Ambassador of India. Next week, on the 8th of March, she is set to perform Bharatanatiyam at the UN Headquarters. The performance, which will take place as part of the International Women's Day celebrations, will also be a gesture to promote gender equality.

Parentage case against Dhanush

Queen Elizabeth to watch ‘Baahubali 2’? AsianVoiceNews

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ueen Elizabeth has met many distinguished Indian personalities, including veteran actor Kamal Haasan, during the IndiaUK year of cultural reception held at Buckingham Palace recently. Another interesting detail that emerged from the event was the possibility of SS Rajamouli's 'Baahubali 2'

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ollywood actor Dhanush along with his parents Kasthrui Raja and Vijayalakshmi was present at the Madurai branch of the Madras High Court recently in connection with a parentage case filed by Madurai based couple Kathiresan and Meenakshi claiming to be the real parents of the multi-talented star. The judge ordered for the verification of identification marks on Dhanush

as specified by the couple claiming to be his parents. A Government doctor was asked to check whether the marks are present are whether the marks were medically removed. Now Kathiresan has filed another petition requesting the court to order for a DNA test on him and Dhanush which according to him would prove beyond doubt that Dhanush is actually his son.

December and 'Baahubali 2' falls in that list. The special premiere for the Queen will be organised a day before the film's worldwide release and it is reported that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also attend the premiere. However, at this moment, this is mere speculation and nothing is finalised.

Kamal meets Shruti's rumoured beau Michael Corsale Meanwhile, Kamal Haasan, who was in London recently to attend the India- UK cultural reception, was clicked with Michael Corsale, a London-based artist, who is rumoured to be dating Shruti Haasan for the last three months.

Rajinikanth's 'Kabali' set a new record

u p e r s t a r Rajinikanth's 'Kabali' was released on July 22, 2016 and it is still running at a theatre in Tamil Nadu. Directed by Pa.Ranjith, 'Kabali' has completed 225 Days of theatrical run in Madurai's Imphala theatre. Recently some distributors claimed that the film has resulted in huge loss for distributors and theatre owners. Producer Thanu, shot back by making a public announcement about the film's collection and

Kareena not keen on south films

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being screened in UK. According to reports, Queen Elizabeth will be the first to watch the magnum opus, before anyone else in the world, as a part of India on Film programme organized by the British Film Institute. This programme will apparently showcase all Indian films scheduled to release from April to

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ollywood actress Kareena Kapoor Khan thinks that you have to understand the language before you act in ta film of that language. She says since she did not understand the south language, she is not keen to act in south films. When asked if she is willing to work in Tamil, Telegu or Malayalam films, the 36-year-old actress said, "I truly respect all south films and they have great content, I respect and admire them. There are great actors from Pawan, Rajinikanth sir to Mammooty sir. "There is so much great work being done in Telugu or Malayalam films. I don't understand the language and so I feel the connection will not be there. That's the only problem," Kareena said at an event. She added, "Having said that one of the best films in my career was with a great director from south, Mani Ratnam. I got the opportunity to work with him and it's great."

talked about the film still running on its 225th day in Imphala theatre. The announcement claims that 'Kabali' has collected a total of Rs.11,42,44,715 in Chennai city alone. The ad also claims that this is a record breaking collection in the 100 year history of Tamil cinema. And this comes on the day when the Superstar's 1995 blockbuster 'Baashaa' has released and running to packed houses in all centres.

Yuvan Shankar Raja's big achievement

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uvan Shankar Raja, the younger son of Isaignani Ilaiyaraja, has completed 20 years as a music director. He made his debut in the Sarathkumar starrer 'Aravindan' that released on 28 February, 1997. Yuvan has scored music for over 100 films and still retains a top spot among music directors of Tamil cinema. He has also carved a niche for himself as a playback singer and will be making his debut as a producer with 'Kolaiyuthri Kaalam' s t a r r i n g Nayanthara. “I am sustaining because of the love of my fans. The ups and downs during this period had not deterred

me. Music is my passion. I am a born musician and will remain the same till the last. I deeply thank my fans from my heart for all their support in all these years. I take this opportunity to thank all my producers, filmmakers, the stars, the media and the fans for reposing faith in me. I am grateful to my father for moulding me with a sound attitude that could let me concentrate on music. My 20th year will be marked by the production of my maiden film as a p r o d u c e r 'Kolaiyudhir Kalam'. Talks are on to announce my next project at the earliest,” says Yuvan in a thank you message to fans and media.


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Priyanka and Dwayne Johnson become close pals

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riyanka Chopra has carved a niche for herself in the Hollywood. Her muchawaited flick 'Baywatch' all set to release this May. While she moved around the globe to shoot the film, the actress became close pals with Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, her co-star on the film. From posting fun pictures of each other on social media to chilling like villains on the sets of their film, the duo has given the world some major friendship goals. Recently, during the Oscar ceremony,

PeeCee and Dwayne were seen chatting away to glory, and it made for some amazing photo moments for the photographers. Dwayne wrote "Luv me some @priyankachopra. Here she tells me how wearing blue velvet makes my head look even larger than it actually is. #Baywatch #Oscars" To which PeeCee replied, "Haha as if!! @TheRock looked extremely dapper in blue Velvet! Was great to c u DJ.. #Baywatch #oscars" 'Baywatch' is slated for release on May 26 this year.

Amitabh Bachchan – the change-maker

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arch 8 is celebrated as Women's Day, but Amitabh Bachchan has already made the most important statement for gender equality. The actor in a twitter message said, “When I die, the assets I shall leave behind, shall be shared equally between my daughter Shweta Nanda and son Abhishek Bachchan. The move has a lot of relevance in India where traditionally a father bequeaths his all to his sons. Despite courts coming to the aid of b e l e a guered daughters, the tradition contin-

ues. Taking to his blog, the actor seems to be talking about the image when he says, “The office of the public servants that promote various campaigns are keen for this .. and so I do it .. though talking about it and exhibiting its plea is hesitating for me ..” Amitabh's action is expected to at least get a discussion started. Amitabh is a big proponent of gender equality and has been in the news this year for his film 'Pink.' The film is about how patriarchydriven India looks at women and expects them to live by a regressive code. Amitabh played a lawyer in the courtroom drama.

Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

Salman Khan to play dancer in his next

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ollywood actor Salman Khan will play a professionally trained dancer in his next movie to be directed by Remo D'Souza. He has recently wrapped up the shoot of Kabir Khan's 'Tubelight' and will soon start filming Ali Abbas Zafar's 'Tiger Zinda Hai'. According to reports, Salman is building his core strength right now, so as to build a lean body. He will lose weight to appear agile like a dancer. Salman is also undergoing training

with Remo's team, and they are monitoring his diet and workout exercises. Apparently, the film was offered to Salman while he was shooting for 'Sultan' and the director is elated to have him on board. Remo said that it was a dream come true for him to cast Salman, as he was a big fan of the superstar. The film's schedule hasn't been fixed yet, but it is likely to go on floors after Sallu completes shooting for 'Tiger Zinda Hai'.

Shahid to keep away from serious roles for a while

Alia, Mahesh Bhatt get death threats

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umbai police arrested one person for threatening filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt that he would kill his wife Soni Razdan and daughter Alia Bhatt if he did not pay him Rs 5000,000. The suspect had reportedly threatened Mahesh Bhatt that he would “pump his daughter Alia and wife Soni Razdan with bullets” if he did not pay. The arrest came after the accused sent his account details to the filmmaker. A senior police official said, “The accused messaged his account details. We managed to track him through his mobile phone number. He is in custody.”

Mahesh Bhatt in his tweet thanked the Mumbai and UP police for the prompt action against the accused. According to sources, after Mahesh Bhatt registered a complaint at the Juhu police station, the case was transferred to the Mumbai Police’s AntiExtortion Cell. After the culprit was identified, he was arrested with the help of the Uttar Pradesh Police. According to police, the phone call was first made on February 26. It has been reported that the man asked Mahesh Bhatt to deposit the money in a Lucknow-based bank branch.

hahid Kapoor, whose latest war film 'Rangoon' failed to impress cine goers, will be taking a break from dark and complex roles for the time being. The 36-year-old actor said that he wanted to feature in lighter roles next. Shahid had played two back-to-back serious characters in "Udta Punjab" (2016) and the recently released Vishal Bhardwajdirected 'Rangoon.' During a question – answer session, one of the Twitter users

asked Shahid, "Is it that you prefer dark films more now?" To this the actor replied, "Nope. Not for a while now." When asked if he believed some good films don't work at the box office, Shahid said, "Good films always do well." He said after completing his prior commitments he would like to do "anything light and fun." About his role in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus "Padmavati", he said the best thing about Raja Rawal Ratan Singh's character is that he was, "Noble, heroic, and fearless. Above all a true lover."


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Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

Interact with Dr PN Rachhoya

An Ode to Mothers She is a teacher, a cheerleader, a therapist, a dreamer, a doer... Mothers, they say, come in different forms. From kissing skinned knees, to helping mend broken teenage hearts, to watch us spend the rest of our lives with someone else, mothers have done it all, and to them we remain eternally in debt. Mother, I have learned enough now To know I have learned nearly nothing. On this day When mothers are being honored, Let me thank you That my selfishness, ignorance, and mockery Did not bring you to Discard me like a broken doll Which had lost its favor. I thank you that You still find something in me To cherish, to admire and to love. Gujarat Samachar and Asian Voice this year came

up with a unique way of paying homage to all the mothers. In a series of programmes scheduled to commence from March 26, Matruvandana will celebrate mothers and motherhood through the exceptional medium of music. Well-known Indian singer Maya Dipak will give tributes in her melodious voice, promising an evening to remember. Readers can too partake in the programme, and/or, give tribute to their mothers in our special Mothers' Day issue. Send in an ode, your mother's profile, photograph, or advert and let this Mothers' Day be special for her. Be a part and give your mother the appreciation she deserves. To those who nursed us when we were born. To those who shed silent tears when we lost our paths. To those who single-handedly raised their children. And to those who defied all odds only for us. We are who we are, because you made us.

Coming Events

l Watch them before the world does! The Leicester Asian Film Festival will celebrate South Asian cinema from March 16 to 19. Catch movies like Mantostaan, and the banned Lipstick Under My Burkha.

l Gujarat Hindu Society has organised Holika Dahan on March 12, Sunday, 6.30 pm at the GHS Car Park. l Shree Shakti Mandir will celebrate Holi on March 12, Sunday, from 6.00 pm onwards.

l The Nehru Centre promises an evening of dance and theatre in celebration of International Women's Day, on March 9, 6.30 pm onwards. Attend the StringFEST 2017- Festival of Plucked and Bowed Instruments, on March 10, 6.30 onwards.

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 Venus Retrograde cycle

occurs in your sign. This cycle will affect the personal image you project to others. Because Venus rules your romance sector, don't jump to conclusions if a loved one is acting a little distant. Wait it out. Your desires from love and relationship may be hard to figure out for the time being.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Venus

Retrograde cycle occurs in your twelfth house. What you want from love and your desires are very ambiguous and obscure during this cycle. Deal with your past so that you can put it behind you, but don't do it at the expense of your present. Health will also be in focus.

Venus Retrograde cycle

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 occurs in your eleventh

house of friendships, groups, and aspirations. Your friendships or associations with groups may be a little strained during this period. You must make good use of the energy that is flowing, by channeling it positively!

Your horizons have most certainly been expanding with Sun in the area of your chart ruling philosophical thoughts. With Venus retrograde, transiting your career sector, you will want to re-assess whether you are spending too much time at work. Time to create a better work-life balance.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

SCHEDULE

Sunday 2nd April 2017, 3.00pm to 7.00pm Venue: Shree Hindu Community Centre, 541a Warwick Road, Tyseley, Birmingham, B11 2JP Tickets: £12 (including dinner). Tickets Contact: Anjuben Shah 07814 583 907, Harishbhai Masani 07786 488 051, Jayantibhai Jagatia 07808 930 748 , Nisha Ladwa 07779 604 294

Friday 7th April, 2017 8.00pm Venue: Shree Lohana Mahajan Hall, Hildyard Road, Leicester LE4 5GG Tickets: £10 Numbered Seats , £8 First come first seat. Tickets Contact: Vasant Bhakta (Mr B) 07860 280 655 or Radia’s Super Store 0116 266 9409

Saturday 8th April 2017 6.30pm Venue: Gujarat Hindu Society and Community Centre, South Meadow Lane, Preston PR1 8JN Tickets: £10 (including dinner) Tickets Contact: Temple - 01772 253 901. Those who wish to organise Matruvandana through their association, organisation, or mandal, please contact Kamal Rao 020 7749 4001 / 07875 229 211

Parents accused of murdering son with deformity A couple are on trial at the Old Bailey accused of murdering their three-monthold son in July last. Rebeka Nazmin, 31, and Mohammed Miah, 37, of Poplar, east London, deny murdering their son Rifat Mohammed. The court has heard the baby who had 47 broken bones and was shaken to death was mistreated as he had a deformity. The terrible injuries were allegedly caused by squeezing his chest and twisting or

Sneh Joshi LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

pulling on his limbs. Rifat was also hit with the cord of a mobile phone charger and burnt on a radiator, the trial has heard. Nazmin allegedly told police that her husband had a problem with their son’s deformed hand and had abused him because of it. The parents have been charged with causing or allowing Rifat to suffer serious physical harm between March 31 and July 6, 2016. The trial continues.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

Venus Retrograde cycle occurs in your eighth house of intimacy, shared resources, and personal transformation. Hold onto your money, work on a budget, and avoid arguments with loved ones that revolve around intimacy and sexuality. You could also be dealing with past actions or karma. It's time to redefine what it is that you want out of life.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23 Venus has gone into retrograde motion for some time to come. This is going to be a time of frustration and re-assessment. It’s all about cultivating patience until planet goes direct. This is evident mainly in the arena of relationships, but it could also flow over into business partnerships and joint ventures. While you wait, don’t waste any time organise yourself. Venus Retrograde cycle occurs in your sixth house of work, health, and daily routines. The social aspect of relationships on the job may be strained for the time being. Do your best not to let people get to you. Your career as well as relationships with lovers and children are also affected. The desire to get on with people around you is very strong in this period.

by young police officers while serving as the Director of Rajasthan Police Academy. A prolific reader and public speaker, he has authored and published over 25 books including Dr Ambedkar Rediscovered. The meet will be held in Ambedkar Hall, 12 Featherstone Road, Southall UB2 5AA, from 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm. Lunch will ensue. Those interested can RSVP: C Gautam 07956 918053 E: cgautam@ambedkar.org. uk

NHS told to ‘do God’ to offer best care to dying patients A new NHS advice from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) says healthcare workers looking after dying patients in their final days must ask them about their spiritual beliefs in order to offer the best care. The advice suggests “doctors must not be afraid to do God”, reports the Daily Telegraph. Medics should ask dying patients if they want their pets by their side in their final moments. Officials said in many cases a patient may not want painkillers as they die, but a priest, family member or “their cat or dog by their bedside”. “Control of pain and

The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

Jupiter retrograde in your 3rd house of communications is not easy as you need to be diplomatic at all times. Whether you're single or attached you will have a busy time ahead of you. As Venus is retrograde in your Solar 9th house, be extremely careful as an argument over personal philosophies of life can get you into hot water.

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

The Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddhist Organisations UK, has organised a gettogether and interaction session with Dr PN Rachhoya, on March 12, Sunday. The meet will also see participation from CB Patel, Publisher/Editor, Gujarat Samachar and Asian Voice and other Dr Ambedkar followers and admirers, possible presence of local MP Mr Virendra Sharma, along with Councillors, social activists and members of Indian Journalist Association. Dr Rachhoya, a retired IP officer who currently works as an advocate of the Rajasthan High Court, is an accomplished leader who has always worked in support of the poor and the oppressed. A strategic thinker, he was always looked upon

other distressing symptoms is very important for dying people, but good end of life care goes far beyond that. It includes asking about the dying person’s spiritual, cultural, religious and social preferences,” said Sam Ahmedzai, emeritus professor of palliative medicine and a specialist member of Nice’s quality standard committee. The health watchdog suggests medics should not be afraid to talk about personal beliefs with the dying, such as God or religion. It comes after research found the “spiritual wishes” of terminal patients were recorded in just one in seven cases.

020 8518 5500

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21 Venus Retrograde cycle occurs in your fifth house of romance, pleasure, speculation, and children. Because the cycle directly affects your sector of romance and speculation, you should be careful. An old lover may come back in your life, complicating matters. There could also be strained relations with family members, and avoid purchases of new property. CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 Venus Retrograde cycle occurs in your fourth house of home and family. Relations with your family may be a little trained. You might want to wait until Venus is direct before you express your frustrations with family members! This transit also affect your relationships with your children and people at work - be diplomatic.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 Venus Retrograde cycle occurs in your third house of communication. People around you may seem insincere. In fact, you may have a hard time getting your ideas across in a warm, genuine manner. Relationships at home are also strained in this period. Any dealings with people abroad should be handled with care.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 Venus Retrograde cycle occurs in your second house of money and values. Take the time to re-think your sources of income and how you spend your cash during this period, and avoid making any big purchases for a while. This period also affects your communications and intimacy sectors.


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Root hits unbeaten 90 as England clinch series against Windies AsianVoiceNews

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Joe Root struck an unbeaten 90 as he and Chris Woakes steered England to a four-wicket victory over West Indies in their second one-day international. England, who scored 2266, claimed an unbeatable 20 lead in the three-match series. They beat the hosts by 45 runs at the same Vivian Richards Stadium earlier in the opening encounter. Root played a typically flawless innings to carry England home with 10 balls to spare as he and Woakes stemmed a mid-order slump with an unbroken 102-run partnership for the seventh wicket. Woakes survived being dropped twice to score 68 as both teams used the brief series to prepare for June’s Champions Trophy. West Indies, who won the toss and chose to bat,

Murray wins first title of year in Dubai

World number one Andy Murray won his first title of 2017 with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over unseeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the Dubai Tennis Championships final. Murray lost his first two service games of the match but overcame that poor start to win in Dubai for the first time. Murray, who had won 12 of his past 13 matches against the Spaniard, started slowly and was broken in the first game before breaking back in what was a nervous start by both players. The heavy-hitting Verdasco cracked a series of powerful winners to break an uncomfortable-looking Murray again in the third game and consolidated to hold for a 3-1 lead.

Joe Root

never got going on a slow pitch and were dismissed for 225 with 13 balls left of their 50 overs. Jason Mohammed, who top scored with 50, featured in a 72-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Kraigg Brathwaite, who contributed a slow 42 off 70 balls. Jonathan Carter offered

a brief cameo with 39 off 36 balls but was deceived by a slow ball and lofted a catch off Liam Plunkett, who took 3-32. England captain Eoin Morgan's decision to ask Adil Rashid to bowl at the middle order proved to be a clever tactic as he took the wickets of the dangerous Jason Holder and Carlos Brathwaite.

England’s reply got off to a poor start as opener Sam Billings was caught behind for a duck in the first over. Jason Roy might have perished in the next over but survived a lengthy review, given the benefit of the doubt after the Windies were convinced he had nicked one behind. Roy went on to make 52 in a second wicket partnership of 86 with Root before his departure set off a mini collapse with five wickets falling for just 37 runs in 10 overs. But Root kept the runs ticking over steadily as he and Woakes steadied the situation for England with Windies key bowler Shannon Gabriel bowling just three overs before suffering a side strain. The last match in the series is being played at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Muslim women swimmers in England allowed to wear 'Burkinis' The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) has allowed Muslim women swimmers in England to wear loose-fitting full body outfits or 'burkinis' while taking part in amateur swimming competitions. The ASA relaxed its swimsuit regulations following a request from the Muslim Women's Sport Foundation. Until now, full body suits have been banned, as they help streamline the shape of the body and have performance-enhancing characteristics. The new guidance, which will only apply to amateur competitions in England, states that competitors will not be allowed to wear any suit that a competition referee believes will increase performance. The governing body said that swimmers wishing to wear loose out-

fits should present it beforre the authorities for inspection before the competition.

"Once the referee has been informed of a swimmer wishing to wear a suit, as described above, there is no requirement for the referee to question the swimmer further, the ASA swimming management group do not want athletes being asked why they wish to wear the suit," it says. Chris Bostock, chairman of the ASA sport governing board, termed the move as a "very positive step forward." Rimla Akhtar, from the Muslim Women's Sport Foundation, said, "Participation in sport amongst Muslim women is increasing at a rapid pace. It is imperative that governing bodies adapt and tailor their offerings to suit the changing landscape of sport, including those who access their sport."

SPORT Indians win five medals at shooting world cup Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

India ended its Shooting World Cup campaign with five medals, including one gold, as Angad Vir Singh Bajwa ended the final day winning the Grand Prix bronze with Haley Dunn of the United States in the Mixed Team Skeet event, tested out for the first time in the tournament, at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range in New Delhi. It was arguably been one of India's best World Cup finishes ever with shooters Pooja Ghatkar in the Women's Air Rifle (bronze), Ankur Mittal in men's double trap (silver), Amanpreet Singh in men's 50m pistol (silver) and two-time Olympian Jitu Rai in the men's 10m air pistol and 50m pistol (bronze and gold) winning medals for the hosts, while the Grand Prix events do not add to the medal tally. Earlier, among the 22 pairings, which entered the Mixed Team Skeet event, six qualified for the semifinal round. They were then clubbed into two groups of three pairs each. One pair was then eliminated on the basis of having the lowest score after 30 targets. The winner went straight through to the gold medal match while the second placed team made it to the bronze medal match. Angad and Haley finished second in their group getting the better of Italy's reigning Olympic champion pairing of Gabrielle Rossetti and Diana Bacosi in the process. In the bronze medal match, Angad was in sublime form missing just one target out of his allotted 15 to easily beat the all-American pair of Johnson-Connor in partnership with Haley.

India to host Women's Youth Boxing Championship

In what comes as a big boost to boxing, India will host the World Women's Youth Boxing Championship in November this year. It shall be the first major international event to be held in the country since 2010. In 2010, India had hosted the Commonwealth Championships followed by the Commonwealth Games. The country has not hosted a major boxing event since then, primarily because of the administrative turmoil that gripped the sport in 2012. With a new federation taking charge last year, the country seems to be getting back its footing in the international arena. "The World Youth Championships for women will be held in November. In fact, we will be striving to host at least one international tournament every year," Boxing Federation of India President Ajay Singh said. The last time India hosted a World Championship was back in 2006 when the country played host to the senior women's event. Apart from this, India will also have an International Boxing Academy, most likely in Delhi. The facility will be set up with support from AIBA and the world body signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sports Ministry to initiate the process. "The International Boxing Academy could be set up in Delhi itself at the IG Stadium. We are working on it," Singh said.

Chess players get lukewarm treatment in India

Hyderabad girl Harika Dronavalli has won the bronze medal in world chess championship by defeating 64 top women chess players in Tehran and arrived at the airport. Though she is a chess player of world class and also won an international award, but there was none to receive her at the airport, like cricketers. There was only her proud parents to receive her at the airport. Chess is a sport often underestimated in India. It is a sport that demands extreme levels of physical fitness, training and dedication. Same has been the case with Harika. She prepared meticulously for the

World Championship that was held in Tehran from 11 February to 5 March 2017. The compulsory wearing of the hijab didn't discourage her since becoming a World Champion was her dream since childhood and she wanted to fulfil it at all costs. With her team of coaches, she prepared not only different opening schemes, worked on calculation and tactics, studied possible endgames, but also ensured that physically she was as fit as possible. The World Championship was a knockout event. The margin of error in such formats is extremely low. One error and you are sent packing.

Harika Dronavalli

With dogged determination and unparalleled levels of fighting spirit, Harika won the hearts of millions of chess fans all around the world. She was very near to winning the semi-final against Chinese

Tan Zhongyi. A last minute error was the end of the road for Harika in the tournament. Although the loss was depressing, one thing that everyone would perhaps agree upon is that Harika performed exceedingly well to win bronze medal in this 64-player knockout event. She won all her matches in the high pressure tie-breaks, ousting top players in the world like Dinara Saduakassova, Sopiko Guramishvili and Nana Dzagnidze. This is Harika's third bronze medal at the World Championship level. The first two were in KhantyMansiysk in 2012 and Sochi in 2015. Harika has

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won the World Juniors in 2008, Commonwealth women's title in 2010, Asian Championship in 2011 as well as World Online Blitz Championship in 2015. She received the Arjuna Award in 2008. Chess is perhaps one of the very few sports in which India has a host of dominating players like five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand, and Pentala Harikrishna in the men's section, and Koneru Humpy and Dronavalli herself in the women's section. Thanks to these gems as well as a number of youngsters, experts all around the world have

started to predict that India will be a powerhouse of chess – just like what Russia is currently – in the years to come. Yet when Harika came home to Hyderabad, after a successful tournament, she was greeted on the airport by only her parents. There was no mad rush to meet her, no one waiting with garlands. Why was it the case? Why do we all burst into wild celebrations when our cricketers return from a successful series, but choose to stay indifferent when someone like Harika does the country proud in a sport that is played by 605 million people around the world?


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Asian Voice | 11th March 2017

India beat Australia by 75 runs; level series 1-1

India beat Australia by 75 runs and levelled the series 11. Australians won the first test comfortably in Pune. The visitors needed 188 runs to win and a victory would ensure an unassailable 2-0 series lead in the four-match series and retaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. On a psychological level, the win would be a massive morale boost after a season that began with a disappointing series loss to South Africa. The target wasn’t a massive one for Australia considering how they’ve applied themselves over the series. But then a rejuvenated India is a different ball game at Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore. An India which desperately need a win to stay in the series and keep the subsequent two Tests worth their money. But numbers say only four visiting teams have ever scored more than 188 runs in the fourth innings to win a Test in India. It was a match that saw more twists and turns than a roller coaster, to pick out one player for the victory will be just unfair. India were shot down for 189 on day one and after Australia batsmen had applied themselves well on a testing pitch to take a vital lead, Ravindra Jadeja (6/63) found his mark and restricted the lead to just 87. Then Cheteshwar Pujara (92) and Ajinkya Rahane's (52) in the 118-run stand for the fifth wicket edged India ahead. Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav stepped up with a probing spell on the penultimate day that put Australia under pressure. And the importance of KL Rahul's twin fifties (90 & 51), on a track everyone else struggled, cannot be underestimated as well. On paper a target of 188 would have been an easy one but with the way the Chinnaswamy track was behaving, and helped by the 16-run partnership that Wriddhiman Saha and Ishant shared for the last wicket after Mtichell Starc and Josh Hazlewood orchestrated a carnage with the new ball in the first session, India seemed to have the better chance at winning the match. India bowled with venom

Kohli, Ashwin chosen for BCCI awards

Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin

and with the pitch offering all sort of assistance; they scalped six Australian wickets including that of the captain Steve Smith by tea. Australia resisted for a while in the final session but could only prolong the inevitable as they were bowled out for 112 in the second innings. What Rahane and Pujara did with their century stand, majority of which came on day three, was to hand Indian bowlers something to bowl at. Despite losing five wickets for just 23 runs on the fourth day, Saha (20) ensured India's lead was within the range that would have Australia under the pump. David Warner and Matt Renshaw started in a cautious manner and while Ashwin managed to extract alarming turn and bounce, Warner and Renshaw nudged the ball around to add 22 for the opening wicket. In the opening burst, Ishant Sharma bowled like a man possessed. He hit the right length and the ball, after hitting the cracks moved at such angles that both Australian batsmen were squared up many times. Renshaw edged one such delivery that hit the crack and moved away late and Saha obliged behind the stumps. Warner danced down the

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track to Ashwin, hoisting the offspinner for a six over longoff. A risky shot, but Warner had made his intentions clear. But in the next over from Ashwin, Warner went for a sweep off a fuller delivery that had pitched outside off, but was trapped in front. On Smith's suggestion Warner went for the review and despite the ball pitching outside the line of impact, the DRS showed it hitting in line and the impact on stumps as umpire's call, meaning, onfield umpire's decision stood and Warner departed for 17. Smith was the key man for Australia and aided by his unorthodox playing style, he survived. Similar to first innings, India upped the ante and tried to get under the skipper's skin. Playing way ahead of the crease to negate the movement off the track and with a crouched stance, Smith put bat to ball en route to his 28 off 48 balls. Shaun Marsh, the first innings halfcenturion, gave Smith good company until Umesh Yadav had him leg before wicket. Similar to Ishant, Umesh too got purchase off the track. One such delivery, bowled over the wicket with an angle, jagged back in as Marsh offered no shot. Umpire Nigel Llong did not waste much time to give that out and the Australian pair failed

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to gauge that the ball would have missed the stumps by a big margin had they opted for a review. Marsh perished for nine. The low bounce led to the downfall of Australian skipper for 28, as he completely missed a short of length delivery from Umesh that did not rise at all and he was left fishing for nothing. But what made it more interesting was Smith signalling towards pavilion probably for an advice on the usage of the DRS and that had Indian captain Virat Kohli fuming. Umpire Llong also spotted that gesture and outrightly denied Smith a review and as Smith walked back Chinnaswamy roared back to life and India were in control of the Test match for the first time. The tide had turned, and despite Peter Handscomb cracking a lovely cover drive for four, it seemed India were heading towards a win. Mitchell Marsh and Matthew Wade departed in the space of three overs with both the wickets going to Ashwin. In the third session Ashwin polished off the tail with three wickets while Jadeja scalp of Steve O' Keefe. Brief Scores : India 189 & 274 beat Australia 276 & 112 (Smith 28; Ashwin 6/41) by 75 runs

Indian cricketer to receive the Dilip Sardesai award twice. The allrounder first won the award instituted to honour the best performance in the bilateral Test series between India and West Indies after being named the Man of the Series in the three-match Test series in 2011." "In the fourmatch Test series last year, Ashwin again picked up the Man-of-the-Series award for his outstanding show. In four Tests, he scored two centuries and picked 17 wickets, including two fivewicket hauls," the statement read. The BCCI Annual Awards committee consisting of N. Ram, Ramachandra Guha and Diana Edulji had nominated former domestic cricketers Rajinder Goel and Padmakar Shivalkar for the Col. C.K. Nayudu L i f e t i m e Achievement Award. The Mumbai Cricket Association has been chosen as the State Association of the Season (2015-16) for winning the Ranji Trophy, the C.K. Nayudu Trophy and also the women's Plate League Group. They were runnerup in the Cooch Behar Trophy, the Vijay Merchant Trophy and the women's One-Day Elite Group.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has chosen skipper Virat Kohli for the prestigious Polly Umrigar award while allr o u n d e r Ravichandran Ashwin will be presented with the Dilip Sardesai award on March 8 for their outstanding performances. Kohli, who first received the award in 2011-12 and in 2014-15, will become the first Indian cricketer to be bestowed with the honour on three occasions. "Team India captain Virat Kohli will be presented with the prestigious Polly Umrigar Award, given to the International Cricketer of the Year, at the BCCI Annual Awards to be held in Bengaluru on March 8," the BCCI said in a statement. Ashwin, who won the Dilip Sardesai award in 2011, will become the first Indian cricketer to receive the honour twice. The Chennai allrounder, who was adjudged the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Test cricketer of the year, was instrumental in India's Test series wins against New Zealand, England and Bangladesh with both the bat and the ball. "Ashwin will also become the first

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AV 11th March 2017  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 44)

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